Recent Water Damage Posts

Comprehensive Guide to Proper Debris Disposal After Water Damage

2/15/2024 (Permalink)

Employees removing carpet from a room. Water or flood damage can result in a substantial amount of waste that needs proper handling and disposal.

Water or flood damage can result in a substantial amount of waste that needs proper handling and disposal. From damaged belongings to contaminated materials, managing the waste generated during water damage restoration is essential for safety and environmental reasons. In this blog, we'll provide a comprehensive guide to waste removal and disposal to ensure a thorough and responsible cleanup process.

1. Safety First: Assessing Waste Materials

Before handling any waste materials, prioritize safety. Identify and segregate items damaged by water or contamination. Categorize waste into non-hazardous and hazardous materials based on their potential risks to the surroundings and the environment. Hazardous waste might include items contaminated by sewage or chemicals.

2. Proper Handling and Segregation

Separate items into categories for disposal: salvageable items, non-hazardous waste, and hazardous waste. Salvageable items can undergo restoration, while non-hazardous waste, like drywall or carpets, can often be disposed of in regular waste bins. Hazardous waste should be handled with extreme caution and disposed of following specific guidelines.

3. Disposal of Non-Hazardous Waste

Non-hazardous waste like damaged furniture, drywall, or flooring can typically be disposed of following local regulations. Bag or wrap these materials securely and dispose of them following your area's waste management guidelines.

4. Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste, including contaminated materials or chemicals, requires specialized handling and disposal. Contact local authorities or waste disposal facilities for guidance on how to properly dispose of hazardous waste. Professional waste removal services may be necessary for safe disposal.

5. Recycling and Sustainable Practices

Whenever possible, opt for recycling damaged materials such as metal, glass, or plastic. Salvageable items can be donated if they're in a condition to be reused. Promoting recycling and sustainable practices minimizes the environmental impact of waste generated during water damage restoration.

6. Professional Restoration Services

Consider engaging professional restoration services, like SERVPRO®, that specialize in water damage cleanup. These experts have the knowledge, tools, and experience to manage waste removal and disposal safely and efficiently, adhering to environmental regulations.

Proper waste removal and disposal are critical aspects of water/flood damage restoration. Safely managing waste materials, segregating non-hazardous from hazardous waste, following local disposal guidelines, recycling where possible, and considering professional restoration services are key steps toward a responsible cleanup process.

At SERVPRO of Grosse Pointe, we prioritize safe and responsible waste removal during water damage restoration. Our experienced team ensures proper handling and disposal of waste materials, adhering to environmental guidelines. Contact us for expert assistance in water damage restoration and responsible waste disposal!

Safely Disposing of Water-Damaged Materials and Debris in Grosse Pointe

10/8/2023 (Permalink)

Team members extracting water from a basement. Water damage can strike when you least expect it.

Water damage can strike when you least expect it, and when it does, addressing the aftermath is crucial for a swift recovery. One essential aspect of the restoration process is the safe disposal of water-damaged materials and debris. In this blog, we'll guide you through the proper methods and precautions to ensure the safe removal and disposal of materials affected by water damage.

Why Proper Disposal Matters

Health and Safety: Water-damaged materials can harbor harmful bacteria, mold, and contaminants. Safe disposal is essential to protect your health and the well-being of those involved in the cleanup.

Preventing Mold: Mold can quickly develop on wet materials, spreading to other parts of your property. Proper disposal reduces the risk of mold infestation.

Environmental Responsibility: Disposing of materials improperly can harm the environment. Responsible disposal methods are essential for preserving Detroit's natural beauty.

Safe Disposal Steps

Safety First: Before starting the disposal process, ensure your safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, masks, and eye protection.

Assessment: Begin by assessing the extent of water damage. Identify materials that are beyond repair and need disposal.

Isolate and Remove: Isolate damaged materials from unaffected ones to prevent further contamination. Remove damaged items carefully, avoiding unnecessary disturbance.

Proper Packing: Double-bag or wrap the damaged materials securely to prevent leakage during transportation.

Local Regulations: Research Grosse Pointe’s regulations for waste disposal. Different materials may have specific disposal requirements.

Hazardous Waste: If any materials are considered hazardous, such as asbestos-containing materials, follow strict guidelines for their disposal to comply with safety and environmental regulations.

Licensed Disposal Services: Consider hiring licensed disposal services for larger-scale cleanup projects. These professionals are trained in safe disposal methods.

Remember to maintain records of what you dispose of, including photographs, for insurance claims and future reference.

Recycling and Donation

Whenever possible, consider recycling or donating salvageable items. This not only reduces landfill waste but also benefits those in need. Organizations in Grosse Pointe may accept gently used items, helping the community while minimizing environmental impact.

Proper disposal of water-damaged materials and debris is a vital step in the aftermath of water damage. It protects health, prevents mold growth, and ensures environmental responsibility. By following the steps outlined here and adhering to local regulations, you can safely and responsibly manage the disposal process. If you find yourself dealing with extensive water damage, remember that SERVPRO® of Grosse Pointe is here to assist you with professional cleanup and restoration services. We're committed to helping you restore your property and preserve Grosse Pointe’s natural charm.

Water Loss Prevention: Tips for Protecting Your Property

7/27/2023 (Permalink)

Water loss can lead to extensive damage to your property, disrupt your daily life, and result in significant financial expenses. Fortunately, taking preventive measures can greatly reduce the risk of water loss incidents. In this blog post, we will discuss essential tips and strategies to help you prevent water loss and safeguard your property from potential water damage.

Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Perform regular maintenance and inspections of your plumbing system to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Check for leaks, drips, or water stains around faucets, pipes, toilets, and appliances. Inspect the water supply lines, hoses, and connections for signs of wear or damage. Promptly repair or replace any faulty components to prevent water loss.

Properly Insulate Pipes

Insulate your pipes, especially those exposed to cold temperatures, to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Frozen pipes can cause significant water damage when they thaw. Use pipe insulation sleeves or wrapping to provide insulation and protect against freezing. Additionally, ensure that exterior walls and crawl spaces are properly insulated to maintain a suitable temperature around the pipes.

Be Mindful of Water Usage

Conscious water usage can help prevent unnecessary water loss. Avoid leaving faucets running when not in use and fix any dripping faucets promptly. Install water-saving devices, such as low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, to reduce water consumption. Additionally, educate family members or employees about water conservation practices, such as shorter showers and only running the dishwasher or washing machine with full loads.

Regularly Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to overflow and seep into your property's foundation, leading to water damage. Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly, especially during the fall when leaves and debris are more prevalent. Ensure that water is effectively directed away from your property by extending downspouts or using splash blocks to prevent pooling near the foundation.

Install Water Leak Detection Systems

Consider installing water leak detection systems in your property. These systems use sensors to detect leaks and can send alerts to your smartphone or a centralized monitoring system. Some advanced systems can even automatically shut off the water supply when a leak is detected, minimizing potential water loss and damage.

Maintain Landscaping

Proper landscaping can help prevent water loss and damage to your property. Grade the ground away from the foundation to ensure proper drainage and prevent water from pooling around the building. Use plants and vegetation that require minimal watering and avoid overwatering, which can lead to excess moisture and potential water damage.

Know the Location of the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Familiarize yourself with the location of the main water shut-off valve in your property. In case of an emergency or water leak, being able to quickly shut off the water supply can help minimize water loss and damage. Ensure that the valve is easily accessible and that everyone on the property knows how to operate it.

Preventing water loss is a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe and well-functioning property. By implementing regular maintenance, practicing water conservation, insulating pipes, and investing in water leak detection systems, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Stay vigilant, educate yourself and others on water loss prevention measures, and take proactive steps to safeguard your property from potential water-related issues. Remember, prevention is key to avoiding the hassle and costs associated with water loss incidents.

DIY Guide: How to Replace a Toilet in 6 Easy Steps

3/12/2023 (Permalink)

leaking toilet Installing a toilet can be tricky, give SERVPRO a call for help if needed.

Replacing a toilet may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done easily. Whether you're upgrading your bathroom or your old toilet is beyond repair, installing a new toilet can be a great DIY project. In this blog, we'll guide you through the steps of replacing a toilet.

Tools and materials you'll need:

  • New toilet
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Wax ring
  • Toilet bolts and caps
  • Gloves
  • Towels

Step 1: Remove the old toilet

The first step is to remove the old toilet. Turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to remove as much water as possible. Use a wrench to remove the nuts that attach the toilet to the floor. Carefully lift the toilet and remove it from the flange. Place the old toilet on some towels or old newspapers.

Step 2: Remove the wax ring and clean the flange

The wax ring is a seal between the toilet and the flange. Remove the wax ring from the flange and dispose of it. Clean the flange with a scraper or putty knife to remove any residue or debris.

Step 3: Install the new wax ring

Place the new wax ring on the flange. Make sure it's centered on the flange and fits snugly around the opening.

Step 4: Install the new toilet

Lift the new toilet bowl and position it over the wax ring. Make sure the toilet is level and press down firmly to seal it in place. Install the toilet bolts and tighten them with a wrench. Attach the tank to the bowl using the bolts and nuts provided. Install the seat and lid.

Step 5: Connect the water supply

Connect the water supply to the toilet tank. Turn on the water supply and let the tank fill up. Check for any leaks around the base of the toilet and tighten the bolts if necessary.

Step 6: Test the new toilet

Flush the toilet and check for any leaks or problems. Check the water level in the tank and adjust the float if necessary.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed a new toilet! Remember to dispose of the old toilet and any packaging materials properly.

Replacing a toilet is a DIY project that can be done easily with the right tools and knowledge. Follow the above steps to replace your toilet and enjoy your newly upgraded bathroom. If you're not comfortable with DIY projects or encounter any problems, it's best to hire a professional plumber to help you with the installation.

What Are The 3 Categories Of Water Damage?

2/13/2023 (Permalink)

sewer backup Water damage can cause disruption in your home or business.

If your home has been damaged by water, you may be wondering what category of water damage it falls into. Knowing the category helps you understand how severe the damage is and how to deal with it. In this blog post, we'll go over three categories: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3.

Category 1

Category 1 water damage is considered to be minor. Category 1 water damage is also called "Clean Water" and involves leaks caused by a clean water source. Some examples include:

  • Leaking Pipes
  • Rain
  • Melting Ice
  • Toilet Tank Leaks (without sewage)

Category 2

Category 2 water damage is the most common type of water damage, and it's also known as "Grey Water". Category 2 refers to water that is slightly contaminated. Examples include:

  • Septic backups
  • Sump pump failures
  • Dishwasher or washing machine discharge (greywater)

The term "Grey Water" is used because this type of moisture has not been exposed to sewage or other contaminants that would make it brown or black (like Category 3).

Category 3

Category 3 is the most severe category of water damage and can cause long-term damage to your home. This type of damage occurs when there's been a water loss from a contaminated source. Category 3 water can include floodwaters, seawater, or sewage water.

When you have this type of water damage in your house, you need to act quickly before irreversible damages occur. Waiting to act can result in a timely and costly mitigation and restoration process.

Knowing the category of water damage helps you understand the level of severity in your home.

Knowing the category of water damage helps you understand the level of severity in your home. The categories are based on the type of water that has entered the home and its potential impact on health and safety. The first step in identifying the category of your water damage is to determine the source of the water.

How SERVPRO Can Help

Water damage can be devastating.

If you've been affected by a water damage event, you need to act quickly. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more it can cost you.

Call SERVPRO of Grosse Pointe today so we can start working on your home immediately. We'll assess your property, identify any issues that need to be addressed, and help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Knowing the category of water damage helps you understand the level of severity in your home. The three categories are: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3. If you have any questions about which category your home falls into and how to proceed with repairs, contact us today!

What Not To Do After a Water Damage

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the phrase cut the power Shut off electrical devices and appliances

Water Damage: What NOT to Do

Flooding and water damage are some of the most frightening things that can happen to your home. The immediate aftermath of a flood or water leak can be overwhelming and confusing, but it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage. After you’ve assessed the situation and ensured your family is safe, here are some tips for what not to do after experiencing a flood:

Avoid the Affected Area

It's tempting to go back and try to clean up the mess yourself, but it isn't safe—especially if there is mold involved. You should not try to clean any water damage yourself because of the risk of electric shock or exposure to mold and other hazardous materials. If you suspect that your home has experienced a flood or significant water damage, call your local emergency management agency for assistance and advice about how best to proceed.

Shutoff Electrical Devices and Appliances

Once the water has been turned off, you should shut off the main power supply and all circuit breakers. This will prevent any electrical equipment from being damaged by water or electrocution.

Next, you should turn off the gas supply to your home if it was damaged in any way. If you have natural gas or propane in your home, be sure to turn those supplies off as well.

Toss Contaminated Food

It's important to know that your home is safe and secure before you do anything else. If it's been flooded, throw away all food in the fridge or freezer that has been in contact with flood waters. Throw away any food that has an unusual or foul odor, as this can indicate contamination by sewage, chemicals, or other contaminants from the flood. In addition to making sure any refrigerated items are safe, also dispose of non-perishable food items that have come into contact with flood waters or mud because they may have been contaminated by heavy metals from the soil (such as lead).

Call The Professionals

You’re probably feeling overwhelmed. You may be wondering if your home is still safe to live in and what the next steps should be.

You’re not alone. Water damage can cause a lot of problems: It can lead to mold growth, cause structural issues, and make it difficult for you or your family members to breathe properly. In some cases, water damage can even be deadly!

Fortunately, there are ways that you can help minimize the risk of experiencing further losses after a flood or other type of water damage occurs:

Water damage can be a challenging experience to go through, but you shouldn’t let it ruin your day or take over your life. Although there are some things that you can do on your own to help mitigate any damage, it’s important to remember that water is still dangerous even after it has been contained. Make sure that you contact experts who have the training and equipment necessary for handling these situations so they can properly clean up after themselves.

When Is a Basement Flood Covered by a Homeowners' Policy?

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A flooded basement in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.

Coverage Exclusions

The basement is the lowest part of a home. It may also be prone to cracks in the walls and floors. It is thus no surprise that floods frequently occur in this location. Before your next water disaster, you should find out whether your insurance will cover a basement flood.
Your homeowners' insurance should pay for emergency cleanup and restoration services following an accidental and sudden peril. For example, insurance typically covers repairs following a pipe burst or water heater rupture.
However, not every flooded basement is covered by homeowners' insurance. Below are some exclusions of your policy.


1. Water Backup From Drains or Sewers
A homeowners' policy does not include water damage that results from fluid backing into your basement from an exterior drain or sewer. However, you can purchase separate insurance to cover this type of loss.


2. Flood Damage
Similarly, a basement flood that results from a storm or overflowing body of water is not covered by homeowners' insurance. Separate flood insurance coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program.


3. Damage Resulting From Poor Maintenance
If the insurer determines that the water loss resulted from your negligence, your claim will not be accepted. You thus need to perform regular maintenance checks and address leaks right away.


Available Coverage
Your policy should cover both damages to the structure of your home and harm to personal property inside the house. However, the cost of repairing or replacing the broken pipe or appliance that caused the water loss is not included.
A basement flood caused by an outside storm or sewer backup may not be covered under your insurance policy. You can purchase additional insurance to help pay for the restoration and cleanup following these disasters.
However, the cost of repairing and replacing a damaged pipe or appliance is typically excluded from insurance policies. Any floods that result from your negligence will not be covered by insurance, either. Read over your policy or contact your agent in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, to get more information.

The Most Common Water Losses for Commercial Properties

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Collage pictures of a flooded building Flooded commercial building in Harper Woods, MI.

The Most Common Types of Water Losses in Commercial Buildings

When you think of potential water damage, you probably imagine a leaking roof or runoff from a storm. You may not expect your building in Harper Woods, MI, to have a broken pipe, but that's actually one of the most common types of water loss found in commercial properties. Here are some other things you may eventually have to deal with.

Clean Water Damage
Water that damages your building doesn't always come from outside. Floods in commercial properties often come from clean water sources:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Broken supply lines
  • Leaky sinks

One way to minimize the water loss in these situations is to turn off the water main as soon as you know you have an issue. That way, you stop the supply of water at the source. Then call a plumber to fix the broken pipe before the water is turned back on.

Fire Sprinkler Flooding
Your fire suppression system is designed to douse flames that threaten your building. It uses a lot of water to do this, though. Even when it functions like it's meant to work, the flood damage can be extensive. This may also happen if a sprinkler is broken or the system malfunctions. 

Toilet Overflow
It doesn't take long for a flooded toilet to make a big mess. Furthermore, the issue may not remain solely in the restroom where it starts. Certified water repair specialists not only have to clean up the damage in the space around the overflowing toilet but also must check the ceiling in the room beneath it for signs of a problem. Something as simple as an unsuccessful flush can be the start of a pretty big disaster.
Water damage in your building can be caused by anything from a broken pipe to sewer backup. Knowing the main problems to look out for can help you fix them before they get out of hand.

3 Common Types of Secondary Damage After a Flood

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Mold is another serious concern after a flood.

Three Common Types Of Secondary Damage

Secondary damage is to a flood what aftershocks are to an earthquake: they're the less-obvious types of damage that occur after the main event. After a flood, that includes everything from black mold to a busted Xbox. Without the help of an experienced water damage mitigation company, these headaches can happen long after your rugs have dried. Here are three of the most common types of second-tier damage Grosse Pointe Park, MI, homeowners experience following a flood.

1. Electrical Damage
Water in your electrical outlets is no joke. It can be hard to detect and even harder to rebound from. Water in your sockets has the power to brick your electronics or knock out electricity to your entire home.
This potential for a shocking surprise is one of many reasons why cleanup after flooding should be left to an experienced water damage mitigation company.

2. Black Mold
Mold is another serious concern after a flood thanks to the high humidity that flooding creates. If that flood was in your basement, crawl space or another dark place where water likes to linger, you've created the perfect conditions for mold and mildew.
Like water in your electrical system, mold is often difficult to find. For this reason, it's imperative to act fast after a flood to begin the drying process and minimize the potential for more significant damage.

3. Weakened Building Materials
After a water event occurs, it's important not to overlook your home itself. Neglected water can lead to rotten wood and corroded metal. Once these structural elements begin to deteriorate, it spells big problems for both your home and your budget.
Additionally, keep an eye out for water damage that may lead to:

  • Buckling floors
  • Tiles separating from the ground
  • Cracked tiles
  • Sagging plaster
  • Cracked drywall

Softening ceiling plaster or the potential for black mold is difficult for homeowners to detect after a flood, especially when they're blinded by rage and sorting through their soggy stuff. Knowing what to look for, however, can help both you and your restoration crew keep damage to a minimum.

What Is Category Three Water Damage?

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded The entrance of a building flooded.

If your commercial building in Grosse Pointe, MI has experienced a flood, you may have many questions. It's important to know what kind of floodwater you're dealing with as you begin the restoration process. There are three types of water damage, classified as Category One, Category Two or Category Three. Here is some information about Category Three water damage, also known as black water.

Category Three Water Sources

Category Three water is the most extreme form of water damage. In order for water to be considered Category Three, it must be contaminated with toxins such as bacteria, chemicals or sewage. Category Three or black water sources include:

  • water from a rising outdoor water source, such
  • as a lake or river
  • a sewage backup
  • a toilet overflow that contains feces
  • water from a natural disaster, such as flood water

Another way you can get Category Three water is by leaving Category Two water untreated for more than two days.

Safety Precautions

Since black water is considered the most extreme form of contamination, it is important to take the correct precautions when dealing with Category Three water. If possible, avoiding exposure to Category Three water is the best way to stay safe. However, there are times when you must enter your commercial building. In this case, be sure to wear the proper protective equipment, including waterproof gloves, rubber boots and a face shield. It's also important not to attempt to clean up the water, and instead call in a professional flood restoration company. A clean-up crew will bring the specialized equipment and tools needed to safely clean up black water.

Clean-up Procedures

Call a professional restoration company as soon as possible. A clean-up crew will bring the specialized equipment and tools needed to safely clean up black water and begin the restoration process. Black water's toxicity means that any affected furniture or flooring must be removed and your building will be cleaned with biocides to kill any bacteria.
Category Three flood water can be damaging to your commercial building if not dealt with quickly. Call in a professional water restoration company as soon as possible can help keep your employees and building safe.