water damage from a toilet

How To Deal With Water Damage From A Toilet

A toilet is considered to be one of the most important rooms in a house. It is important in maintaining someone’s hygiene in a comfortable and private environment. However, in some cases, it fails to perform its function.

Water damage from a toilet can be even more frustrating as you have to deal with water that contains pathogens or can cause health hazards. It is highly recommended that when this type of water damage happens, it is best to call in professionals.

Water Damage Caused by Toilet Overflowing

There are many reasons why your toilet becomes the source of water damage. However, the most common reason is overflowing. Overflowing happens when something has clogged your toilet. It happens unintentionally or because people are not so aware of the negative effect of throwing things on your toilet bowl.

What To Do If Your Toilet Overflows

Knowing how to handle toilet overflows can help you manage such an intense situation. Follow the steps below when your toilet overflows.

  1. Turn off the water supply. When overflowing starts happening in your toilet, you should turn off the water supply line immediately. Most of the time this valve can be found near the bottom side of the bowl, below the tank.

If water is keeps running, remove the tank cover and pull up the float cup or float ball to stop the water. If this did not stop the water from running, turn off the main water supply line in the house.

  1. Don’t flush again. If you are sure that your toilet is clogged, never attempt to flush it again. Keep flushing does not help in fixing the problem.
  2. Use a plunger. If water has stopped running, try using a plunger to unclog your toilet. Plungers are effective tools in dislodging clogs.
  3. Try an auger to remove clogs. If a plunger was not able to fix the problem, you may try an Auger. The good thing about a toilet auger is it can move through the drain of the toilet and remove any obstructions. And when done, you can simply pull it off.
  4. Contact a professional plumber to fix the problem.
  5. Contact a certified restoration company to sanitize and clean up toilet water damage.

How to Prevent Water Damage From Your Toilet

There are two ways you can prevent water damage from your toilet.

  • Make sure to perform bi-annual maintenance. Check all the components of your toilet. That includes supply valve, flush valve, fill, chain and others. If any of these components need repair, do so. Make sure that you know how to turn off the water valve.
  • Keep the wrong things away from your toilet bowl. Never flush fatty fluids, baby wipes, diapers, soap, facial tissue, paper, fabric, sanitary products, and even products that claimed to be flushable in your toilet bowl. Use is for its purpose alone. Don’t use it as your instant garbage can.

Clean and Sanitize Your Bathroom after Overflowing

Once you have stopped water running into your bathroom and you have removed any standing water, begin cleaning and sanitizing all the surfaces of your bathroom. You may use a multipurpose cleaning agent. Clean every surface, including the areas that did not come in contact with the water that overflowed from the toilet. Then, use a hospital-grade disinfectant. This chemical can sanitize your bathroom and prevent mold growth later on.

Do not use bleach as it cannot effectively kill molds.

What If Toilet Overflowed through Ceiling?

When the toilet that has overflowed is located on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the home, it is most likely your ceiling downstairs will be affected.

Remember that the floor of your bathroom upstairs is the ceiling of the lower part of your home. If water has seeped into the floor, it may damage the ceiling below.

You won’t easily see signs of water damage from your ceiling when only a small amount of water overflows. But be sure to be on guard for any possible things that could happen.

When wastewater starts dripping from your ceiling, you may follow certain procedures in fixing water damaged ceiling. In most cases, you have to replace the affected area to avoid further damage.

Will My Insurance Company Cover Water Damage from Toilet?

Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends highly on how the damage occurs. Your homeowner’s insurance company will cover water damage from a toilet when the damage happened suddenly or by accident. If your toilet is properly maintained, they will surely cover the damage. If the cause of the water damage from a toilet was caused by your sewer line, your insurance company will likely uncover the damage.

Let Professionals help you

It is indeed difficult to handle water damage from a toilet. Not only it is time-consuming and stressful, but it is also dangerous as the water may contain harmful bacteria. Let the local water damage restoration company help you. They can surely sanitize your bathroom and make sure that no further damage will happen, especially to your flooring. Contact them today.

What To Do When Water Damage your Property After A Fire

Fire alone can have a very devastating effect on your property. It can possibly ruin the whole structure of your house and will result in a costly repair. The aftermath of fire damage does not end after extinguishing the fire itself. Soot and smoke that are normally present can be toxic to humans’ health and requires professionals to be removed and to properly clean the whole property, in order for the home to be inhabitable again.

While water is considered as a great opponent of fire, it is one of the culprits that can bring severe damage to your property. With great pressure from fire hoses,  walls, ceiling, furniture, and others have the possibility to break down. Mold colonies follow when water used in putting out a fire is not removed immediately. Mold begins to grow in your house 24 hours and will eventually eat away materials they considered as food, such as wood, floorboards, and others. Additionally, mold can cause harm to human’s health.

Both water and fire can damage your property and can even cause harmful effect on a human’s condition. It is important to address the situation right away and understand the necessary actions to take.

 

Ensure Safety Before Entering your Home

After a disastrous event, there could be invisible damage that can be very dangerous.  Before re-entering your house, ask the officials who are walking into it to know if your home is free from danger.

While you are outside, you can do a little inspection of how fire and water damage to your roof, ceilings, walls, and floorings. Check thoroughly electrical damage. If you notice damage on it, it means your house is not safe to return.

 

Notify Your Insurance Company

When it is announced that your home is safe to re-enter, giving your insurance company a call is top on the list. Notify your agent about the disaster that happened and they will inform you that an adjuster will visit the area to check the damage.

After determining the damage, your agent will inform you of what will your insurance cover and how much you will be spending. During this time, you can inquire whether your insurance company will give you a temporary shelter and provide you food expenses.

 

Record the Damage

Capture all the damage that was made by fire and water. Provide photos or videos of the belongings, walls and even the growth of mold. Moreover, create a list of all the items in the house that were included in the damage.

This information and documents are used to prove the damage of the disaster and are helpful in approving and speeding up the process of the claims.

 

Contact a Professional

When you are done making an insurance claim for the fire and water damage your property has acquired, look for a proficient professional restoration company that will handle the damage in your property and will coordinate with your insurance provider for the claim.

It is vital to contact a restoration company without delay to prevent downward spiral. An infestation of mold growth is what you have to watch out if water still remains in the area. With a delay, they will damage other parts of your home.

A professional restoration company will assess the extent of the damage, create a plan and provide the best solution in restoring your property.

 

Dry Out Your Home

While waiting for the professionals to come over your house and check your property, it is best to air out your home. If the weather is perfect enough to help in circulating air, open all the windows and doors. Additionally, let the cabinet doors and drawers open, to allow air to move. If electricity is safe to use, set up an electric fan throughout the area.

Floor rugs that were soaked in water should be removed to avoid further damage with the floorings. Place a foil under the furniture legs to prevent water from seeping upwards and cause further damage.

 

What NOT To Do after A Water Damage

There could be a lot of things to do in mitigating damage caused by a fire and water disaster. However, it is important that we listen to what professionals say about certain activities that we should never do in the aftermath of water damage. Some examples are;

  •    Wet electric appliances must not be used because doing so can generate danger.
  •    Never use a vacuum to remove excess water, instead use a sump pump if it is available.
  •    Do not enter a room that has experienced structural damage

 

Trust Square One Restoration

When your home has experienced water intrusion and fire destruction, it is most likely that your home is a complete mess and restoration and cleaning are unsafe and challenging. Water can easily spread in the entire area and can worsen the damage. Mitigating the damage as quickly as possible is crucial.

Square One restoration professionals have complete equipment and skills in mitigating the damage and restoring your property. They act fast, assess the damage and make a plan suitable for the situation. You can trust them with your worries because they can bring back your property to its normal state and becomes safe to live in.

MY WATER HEATER LEAKS: What are its signs and causes?

Water heaters are one of the most useful equipment in the house. It provides comfort in our daily lives, especially during the cold season. You don’t want to suffer from taking a bath due to the cold water. However, with almost all types of appliances, problems can possibly occur.

Any type of water heater can last for more than a decade, with regular maintenance and cleaning. According to an IBHS (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety) study, a water heater is one of the top five sources of water damage. A small amount of water might seem like a minor problem for a homeowner, but if taken for granted it might bring several dangers. Such as;

  •    Discoloration in wood flooring and walls
  •    Damage to baseboards and trim due to prolonged contact with water.
  •    Possibility of tank explosion
  •    Growth of mold and mildew. Mold can grow quickly when the leaking water heater is not fixed in a timely manner.

 

What Are The Signs That My Water Heater Is Leaking?

A regular inspection is necessary to prevent you from spending hundreds and thousands of dollars of repair. Check for the following signs to see whether your water heater is about to leak;

  •    Rusty water that is coming from your water heater
  •    The buildup of moisture around your water heater
  •    A frequent rumbling or banging sound when the water is heating up

Once you have already determined that your water heater is the cause of the leak, it is advisable that you turn off the power supply to your water heater to avoid injuries.  

CAUTION:  The hot water from the water heater tank is extremely hot, that could cause first degree burns on the skin on contact. Be careful not to have any contact with it when doing an inspection. Or, let the water heater cool down before doing the inspection. Be extra careful when doing this job.

What Causes The Water Heater To Leak?

There could be a lot of reasons why your water heater leaks. Seeing the leak could give you an idea that your water heater has to be replaced, but before jumping into that conclusion try to give it a thorough inspection. Know the source of the leak and check whether your water heater needs to be replaced or not. Check the list below of the common reasons why your water heater leaks.

Loose Fittings and Connections

Hot water consists of two connections – cold water inlet and hot water outlet connection. The cold water inlet is where the cold water enters the tank and the hot water outlet is where the hot water leaves the tank. These fittings and connections can be found at the top of the water heater itself. Check both of the connections to see whether it is the source of the leaking.

If any of these fittings are loose, simply tighten them with a pipe wrench or replace them with new connections.

Malfunctioned Temperature and Pressure (T&P) Relief  Valve

The T&P valve is a little lever that you can see on top and sometimes on the side of your tank. This valve is a safety mechanism that is used to relieve the pressure from within your tank if the temperature or pressure gets higher than its capacity. When temperature and pressure rise, there is a tendency of tank explosion. So, a temperature pressure relief valve plays an important role in preventing water damage.

If you see moisture coming out from the T&P valve, it’s possible that it is the source of the leak. You can also check the points of connection to the water tank to make sure that this is really the culprit of the leak. There could be two reasons why you can see a leak from the T&P valve. The first reason might be because there is an excessive pressure built up within the water heater and the valve is opening to release some pressure. In this case, your water heater is performing well and you just have to adjust the pressure and temperature of the water heater. The second reason is your water heater itself is defective. If the source of the leak is due to a defective T&P valve, it needs to be replaced.

Fixing this problem might seem like as easy as a pie, but it should be taken very seriously. Call a professional if a situation arises.  

Broken Drain Valve

A drain valve is located at the bottom of the tank. It functions as the gateway when emptying a water heater. The drain valve can be the source of the leak due to overuse and deterioration. The leak can easily be stopped by just re-tightening the valve with a wrench. If it is defective, then it has to be replaced.

The Water Heater Tank Itself

This can be the last thing you would check for water leak as water heater tanks are designed to last for many years. Due to its age and deterioration, it’s almost possible that corrosion and rust build up. When that happens, it allows the water to leak out from the tank. This problem can only be fixed by purchasing a new set of water heater.  Massive water damage to your property will definitely happen if a replacement is not done immediately.

Regular inspection and maintenance can reduce your risk of water damage due to leaking water heater. If you suspect that your water heater has an issue to address, it is a good idea to call a professional. Yet, if it is too late and severe water damage has occurred, you may contact a local Square One Restoration and Rebuild. We are available 24/7 and respond quickly to any emergency clean up and restoration.

Preventing Fire Damage and Water Damage While on Vacation

You have finally booked a flight to your dream destination and are planning to go on a well-deserved vacation with your loved ones. Vacations are great because they allow people to relax and make memories, but sometimes the joy and excitement of the holidays turn to pain when you return home and discover that your place isn’t how you left it. While you are gone, fire and/or water can wreck your home as these forces of nature don’t take breaks and can cause damage anytime.

To ensure that your vacation doesn’t turn into a bad memory, we will show you some important things you must do before going on holidays to prevent fire damage and water damage while you are away.

Things to do to Prevent Fire Damage

Fire can wreak havoc in minutes. While the firefighters will extinguish the fire while you are gone, the damage will be done by the time they are finished. Therefore, take these precautions before going on a vacation to decrease the probability of your home catching fire.

  • Check the Smoke Alarms

The battery of your smoke alarms may have worn out. If that is the case, it won’t go off when a fire starts. So before you leave for the trip, test all your smoke alarms to see if they are working fine and replace the batteries. You won’t be in the house, but your neighbors might be able to hear the alarms going off and call the firefighters who can extinguish the fire before it turns your home into ashes. It would be a good idea to inform your neighbors that you are going on a vacation so that they can stay alert to respond to fire damage.

  • Unplug all Unnecessary Electronic Equipment

Since you will be away for several days or a couple of weeks, it makes no sense to keep unnecessary electronic items and applications plugged. So before going on a vacation, unplug all unnecessary electronic equipment like TVs, video game systems, microwave, computers, mobile chargers, etc. This will reduce the risk of fire from an electrical malfunction.

Things to do to Prevent Water Damage

Water damage can destroy your home, especially when you are away and can’t do anything to minimize the damage. Therefore, do the things listed below before leaving for a vacation to decrease the risk of water damage.

  • Turn off Water Supply

Turn off the main water supply to reduce the risk of water damage. If you have to leave it on due to some reason like to keep the sprinkler system operation, then consider turning off valves to your bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. In the unfortunate event that there’s an issue, water won’t flow unrestricted while you are away since you turned off the valves.

  • Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are clogged and it rains, the rainwater wouldn’t drain away from your home. When that happens, water will start accumulating around your home’s founding, leading to water coming inside your home through the foundation walls or basement windows. Therefore, before leaving for a vacation, remove debris and leaves from gutters. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a plumber to clean the gutters for you to ensure that you are protected against water damage from clogged gutters.  

  • Make Sure Your Sump Pump is Working

Sump pumps collect excess water and pump it out of your home’s basement. If you have one installed in your basement, make sure that it is working fine before going on a vacation. To see if your sump pump is working, pour some water into the sump and see it pumps it out. Also, check the battery backup of your sump pump if you have the backup system and consider adding it if you don’t.

  • Get Leaks Fixed

Minor leans often conceal internal corrosion that could result in a rupture any time. So, if you notice any nagging leaks, get them fixed before you leave for your vacation.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed some important things you should for preventing fire and water damage to your home while you are away on vacation. However, despite taking these precautionary measures, your home can still suffer from fire damage or water damage. If that ever happens, call Square One for water damage or fire damage clean-up and restoration. If you find out about the damage while you are still on a vacation, call us at 602-714-1092 and give us your approval to do the clean-up and restoration work while you are away.

Water Damage Remedial Procedure

Water damage due to flooding, sewer back-ups, plumbing leaks, and major spills can occur at a home or commercial building at any time. Water-damaged materials, mechanical components, structural components, and interior furnishing can become a source of bacteria and fungi contamination if they aren’t managed appropriately. Exposure to these harmful contaminants can lead to health problems like environmental sensitivity, allergic responses, irritation, and even infection.

This is why it is so important to start remedial work after water damage as soon as possible. If you haven’t been a victim of water damage yet, you might not know how professionals carry out water damage restoration work. So we are going to provide an overview of the steps involved in it.

Water Damage Restoration

Several variables have to be considered by the restoration team when water damage occurs in a property. However, drying wet things as quickly as possible is the top priority as it helps in limiting damages. Bacteria (microbials) are found in both indoor and outdoor environment and when moisture is present, they will grow. It is, therefore, important to remediate water damage before they can grow. During the water damage remediation process, one of the most important things to consider is the ‘water quality’.

Water Quality

Generally, water quality is divided into three categories – clean water, grey water, and black or unsanitary water.

Clean Water

The category 1 water damage is from sanitary and clean sources like toilet tanks, water lines, faucets, and drinking fountains. Although clean, this water comes with risks. If the cleaned water isn’t cleared and dried quickly, it can degrade into relatively more harmful category 2 water damage.

Grey Water

The category 2 water damage is from sources that contain contaminants that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Common sources that can cause this kind of damage include washing machines, dishwashers, and toilet overflow with urine.

Unsanitary or Black Water

The category 3 water damage is from sources that contain dangerously unsanitary contaminants. Black water can cause serious illnesses and even death if ingested. This type of water damage can result from flooding, sewer backups, and toilet overflow with feces.

Water Damage Restoration Process

A water damage restoration process consists of the following steps:

  • Evaluation of Safety Aspects

Before water damage restoration professionals enter the water-damaged area, they will evaluate the safety aspects like structural integrity, the potential for electric shock, exposure to toxic gases, and gas leaks. If the building has been exposed to category 2 or category 3 water damage, restoration professionals will equip themselves with personal protective equipment.

  • Isolating the Damaged Area

The water damage restoration professionals will isolate the damaged area by placing warning signs and barriers. This is done to ensure that intruders don’t find their way into the building while the professionals are doing their job.

  • Locating the Source of Water Damage

The next step is to identify the source of water damage and repair or eliminate it to prevent further damage.

  • Moving Furnishings and Equipment

Water damage restoration experts will move furnishings and equipment (if required) to protect them against further damage. They will also seal exhaust systems and air-handling units.

  • Removing Standing Water

All standing water will be first removed thoroughly by absorption or extraction using wet-vacuums, pumps, etc.

  • Drying Damaged Materials

After the standing water has been removed, the wet, damaged materials will be dried by using heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers. Windows will be opened if outdoor conditions can assist in the process of drying. Air movers will also be used during the restoration work. They are effective at removing the moisture from hard-to-reach areas like below carpets and behind walls. Unpleasant odors will be removed using air scrubbers, fogging machines or hydroxyl filters.

  • Remediate Components

After the moisture has been removed and everything has been properly dried, the water damage restoration professionals will proceed with restoring the damaged components. Minor repairs like replacing drywalls as well as major repairs like reconstruction will be completed.

Final Thoughts

You know now how professional water damage restoration works. Can you imagine doing everything that the professionals do on your own? Obviously not. Call Square One any time your home suffers from water damage.  We understand that a rapid response to limit water damage and cleaning, drying, and removal of wet and contaminated material is critical to minimize the opportunity for microbial growth. This is why we offer 24/7 emergency service and will arrive at your doorstep as soon as possible to start the restoration work. The experts from our professional restoration company will bring your building back to its original condition.