Recent Water Damage Posts

Understanding the Limitations of DIY Water Damage Restoration

4/23/2024 (Permalink)

Exposed ceiling beams. While DIY projects can be rewarding, water damage restoration is best left to the professionals.

Water damage in your home can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Whether it's from a burst pipe, a leaking roof, or a natural disaster, dealing with the aftermath requires immediate and effective action to prevent further damage and mold growth. While the temptation to tackle water damage restoration on your own may be strong, it's essential to understand the limitations of the do-it-yourself approach.

Identifying the Scope of the Damage

One of the biggest challenges with DIY water damage restoration is accurately assessing the extent of the damage. Water can seep into hidden areas such as wall cavities, underflooring, and behind cabinets, causing unseen structural damage and promoting mold growth. Without proper equipment and expertise, it's easy to underestimate the scope of the damage and overlook critical areas that require attention.

Lack of Specialized Equipment

Another limitation of DIY water damage restoration is the lack of specialized equipment required for thorough drying and restoration. Professional water damage restoration companies like SERVPRO® have access to advanced tools such as industrial-grade dehumidifiers, air movers, and moisture meters, which are essential for drying out affected areas effectively. Attempting to use household fans and dehumidifiers may not be sufficient enough to remove moisture hidden within walls and flooring, leading to lingering dampness and mold growth.

Risk of Incomplete Restoration

Incomplete restoration is a common issue with DIY water damage cleanup efforts. Without proper training and experience, it's challenging to ensure that all affected materials are properly dried and restored. Moisture trapped within walls, floors, and ceilings can lead to structural damage over time, as well as mold growth. Professional restoration technicians have the expertise to assess the extent of the damage, develop a comprehensive restoration plan, and ensure that all affected areas are thoroughly dried and treated to prevent future problems.

Time and Energy Investment

DIY water damage restoration can be a time-consuming and physically demanding process. From extracting water and removing damaged materials to drying out affected areas and sanitizing surfaces, the restoration process requires meticulous attention to detail and significant effort. For homeowners with busy schedules or limited physical capabilities, DIY restoration may not be a practical or feasible option.

Cost Considerations

While DIY water damage restoration may seem like a cost-effective solution initially, it's essential to consider the potential long-term costs of incomplete or ineffective restoration. Mold growth, structural damage, and ongoing moisture issues can result in expensive repairs and renovations down the line. In contrast, professional restoration services may save you time, money, and hassle by ensuring that the job is done right the first time.

While DIY projects can be rewarding, water damage restoration is best left to the professionals. By understanding the limitations of the DIY approach and investing in professional restoration services, homeowners can ensure that their property is properly restored and protected from future damage. If you're dealing with water damage in your home, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Fort Collins for expert assistance and peace of mind.

The Differences Between Flood Damage and Water Damage

2/27/2024 (Permalink)

Gym floor covered with water. Both flood damage and water damage may require professional assistance for effective restoration.

Understanding the differences between flood damage and water damage is essential for homeowners facing water-related challenges. In this blog, we will delve into the distinctions between these two types of damage, including their causes, insurance coverage, potential health risks, and necessary restoration approaches.

Causes and Sources

Flood damage occurs as a result of an overflowing river, heavy rainfall, or natural disasters like hurricanes. Water damage, on the other hand, is caused by internal factors, such as burst pipes, leaking appliances, or plumbing issues within the home. Understanding the different sources helps determine the appropriate response and insurance coverage.

Insurance Coverage

Flood damage is typically not covered by standard homeowner's insurance policies and requires separate flood insurance. Water damage caused by internal factors is usually covered, subject to specific policy terms and conditions. Familiarizing yourself with your insurance coverage can help mitigate potential financial burdens.

Severity and Scale

Flood damage often affects large areas and tends to be more severe, causing extensive destruction to homes and personal belongings. Water damage, while it can range from minor leaks to major incidents, generally affects localized areas within the home. Determining the severity and extent of damage helps in planning proper restoration efforts.

Restoration Process

The restoration process differs for flood damage and water damage. Flood damage restoration often involves water extraction, drying, disinfection, and comprehensive repairs. Water damage restoration focuses on assessing and repairing the source of water intrusion, drying affected areas, and conducting necessary repairs.

Preventive Measures

Preventing flood damage requires proactive measures such as proper drainage systems, flood barriers, and regular maintenance of your property. For water damage prevention, routine maintenance, prompt fixes of leaks, and adequate insulation are essential. Understanding these preventive measures can help mitigate the risk of damage.

Professional Assistance

Both flood damage and water damage may require professional assistance for effective restoration. Flood damage restoration usually involves specialized expertise due to the scale and complexity of the damage. Water damage restoration may also benefit from professional assessment and restoration services to ensure a thorough and safe recovery.

Recognizing the differences between flood damage and water damage is crucial for homeowners to respond appropriately to water-related incidents. Understanding the causes, insurance coverage, restoration processes, and preventive measures can help homeowners navigate the challenges of flood or water damage, ensuring a prompt and effective recovery.

Drying Techniques Demystified: Understanding Air Movers, Dehumidifiers, and More

10/24/2023 (Permalink)

Equipment in a kitchen. Proactive and thorough drying not only prevents further damage but also minimizes the risk of mold growth and other secondary issues.

When faced with water damage in your home, one of the most critical steps in the restoration process is proper drying. Effective drying techniques not only remove visible water but also address excess moisture in the air and structural materials. In this blog post, we will explore various drying techniques, including air movers, dehumidifiers, and more, to help you understand their importance in restoring your home after water damage.

Air Movers

Air movers, also known as blowers or air circulators, are essential tools for accelerating the drying process. These powerful fans create a high-velocity airflow that promotes evaporation by whisking away moisture-laden air and replacing it with drier air. By positioning air movers strategically throughout the affected areas, you can speed up drying time and prevent further damage caused by prolonged moisture exposure.


Dehumidifiers are indispensable in controlling and reducing excess moisture levels in the air. They work by extracting moisture from the surrounding environment and collecting it in a reservoir or draining it directly. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful in high-humidity regions or during humid weather conditions. They help create an optimal drying environment by reducing humidity levels, which aids in the evaporation of water from surfaces and materials.

Heat and Ventilation

Applying heat and utilizing proper ventilation techniques can significantly contribute to the drying process. Warm air can hold more moisture, which encourages faster evaporation. By utilizing heating systems, such as space heaters or central heating, you can raise temperatures in affected areas to expedite the drying process. Additionally, ensuring proper ventilation by opening windows, using exhaust fans, or running HVAC systems helps remove moisture-laden air and introduce drier air into the space.

Moisture Sensors and Meters

To effectively monitor the drying progress, moisture sensors and meters are invaluable tools. Moisture sensors detect the presence of moisture within materials by measuring electrical conductivity, while moisture meters provide precise moisture content readings. These devices help identify hidden moisture pockets that may not be visible to the naked eye, ensuring thorough drying and minimizing the risk of secondary issues such as mold growth.


Desiccants are drying agents that absorb moisture from the air and surrounding materials. Common desiccants used during the restoration process include silica gel, activated alumina, and calcium chloride. Desiccants are typically used in enclosed spaces or contained areas where reducing humidity levels is crucial. They are particularly effective in mitigating moisture-related issues in confined spaces like closets, cabinets, or crawl spaces.

Injectidry Systems

Injectidry systems provide a specialized drying technique for inaccessible or hard-to-reach areas. These systems use hoses and attachments to inject warm, dry air directly into wall cavities, under flooring, or within ceiling voids. By targeting specific areas, Injectidry systems help ensure thorough drying and mitigate potential hidden moisture pockets that may lead to long-term damage or mold growth.

In the aftermath of water damage, employing effective drying techniques is essential to restore your home to its pre-damaged condition. By utilizing air movers, dehumidifiers, heat and ventilation, moisture sensors and meters, desiccants, and Injectidry systems, you can create an optimal drying environment that removes excess moisture from the air and structural materials. Proactive and thorough drying not only prevents further damage but also minimizes the risk of mold growth and other secondary issues. If you're dealing with water damage, don't underestimate the power of proper drying techniques in restoring your home and ensuring its long-term integrity.

Reasons to replace your supply lines.

3/7/2023 (Permalink)

When you think of your water supply lines, what comes to mind? Maybe you're imagining a big pipeline that carries water from your home's well. Maybe you think about the pipes going from your house to the street. Either way, how often do you consider these vital components? You may not give them much thought until they break and cause a leak under your sink or in your basement, but if that happens, it's time to replace them.

Leaks can lead to water damage.

Leaking faucets are not only an eyesore, but they can also be dangerous. A leaky faucet can cause water damage that leads to mold and mildew growth. This is especially true in areas where your house is humid or you have a lot of moisture from cooking or showering. If left unchecked, this could lead to secondary damages down the road.

If you find yourself with leaking supply lines, it's time to replace them before it gets worse and causes more damage than just some extra cleanup around the sink area.

Save you money in the long run.

Replacing your old supply lines can save you money in the long run. If your water bill is higher than it should be, it may be because of leaky or damaged supply lines. Replacing these will help reduce your monthly expenses and keep them from getting even higher in the future.

When insurance companies evaluate what they'll charge for home insurance premiums, they consider a number of factors, including whether or not homeowners have updated their homes with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. Making sure that all of these items are working properly can help lower those costs down the road.

Water lines are one of the most common causes of water loss.

Water lines are one of the most common causes of water loss for homes and businesses. Because they're underground, it's easy to forget about them until you have a leak or burst pipe. If you don't properly care for your supply lines, they can become damaged by freezing or heat. They can also break due to age, especially if there are large trees nearby whose roots have grown into your pipes over time.

Modern supply lines are easier to install than ever before. Supply lines come with more features, like shutoff valves, and they're easier to repair. They also have fewer leaks than older ones.

Replacing your old supply lines can save you money in the long run. Water damage is expensive, and it's not just the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed items that needs to be considered. The insurance company will also charge an additional fee for their services, which could add up to several hundred dollars per claim.

If you're tired of dealing with leaky water lines, it may be time to replace them. Replacing your old supply lines can save you money in the long run and prevent damage to your home or business. The best part is that modern supply lines are easier than ever before!

3 Reasons Why Your Basement May Smell

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

If your basement smells bad, you might want to think beyond the obvious. It's not just a mildew problem or a rodent infestation—it could be something much more serious. In this guide, we'll take a look at some of the most common reasons that basements smell like rotten eggs or sewer gas and how you can fix them.

1. Poor Air Flow

The first reason your basement may smell is because of poor air flow. A basement is a closed space, which means that if you don’t have an adequate amount of ventilation in your home, the air will become stale and begin to smell like mold or mildew. This can be prevented by ensuring that there are no blocked vents from insulation or water damage.

There are also other factors that may contribute to this problem as well; dirt, dust and debris build up on walls and along the floor throughout the year which can create odor issues because this material needs to be cleaned out regularly in order for everything else inside your home (such as your furniture) not get ruined by these particles directly touching them through daily use over time without any care being given towards removing them right away before they accumulate too much filthiness around them!

2. The Ground is Wet

Another common reason for a basement to smell is that the ground is wet. The most obvious way to check this is to go outside and look, but if you have a sump pump, it's worth checking whether it's working properly. In order to do so, open up your sump pump access door and look inside—is there standing water or has the pump been disconnected? If so, secure it back into place and test it out by turning on one of your faucets upstairs.

If that doesn't help resolve the problem, take a closer look at other possible causes: cracks in foundation walls and floors; leaks from pipes (especially those connected with toilets); water damage from flooding caused by heavy rain or ice dams; mold growth due to excess moisture levels in clothes closets or bathrooms.

3. Sewer Gases

Sewer gases are the product of decomposing organic material in your home, and they can be a health risk to you and your family. Sewer gas smells like rotten eggs because it contains sulfur-based compounds. The same foul odor that hits you when you open a can of stinky cheese or an old pizza box is also present in your sewer system.

Sewer gas corrodes metal pipes and causes basement walls to mold or rot due to moisture buildup caused by condensation on them from moist air entering your home through cracks or gaps around windows or doors (or perhaps even through the foundation).

When sewer gases enter at the main stack—the pipe that brings fresh air into your home—they escape into other parts of the house rather than being vented back outside as they should be if there were no leaks anywhere else along its path (like under floors). This means that any openings between rooms could be letting these harmful gases into other areas where they'll linger until someone opens up doors/windows/ventilators again so they can vent outside instead!

Your basement could smell for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons for a smelly basement is water entering where it shouldn’t. If you experience water damage or need odor removal in your Fort Collins, CO basement, Give SERVPRO of Fort Collins a call! 

Shower Won't Drain - What Do I Do?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

What Should I Do if My Shower Won't Drain?

If you have bad smells coming from your shower drain, that may be a sign that your drain is clogged. Clogged drains are not only unpleasant but can also lead to bigger problems if they aren't taken care of soon. If you suspect that your shower drain is clogged, you can follow these steps.

If you have bad smells coming from your shower drain, that may be a sign that your drain is clogged.

The first thing to do when you have a stinky shower is to clean the strainer basket. If this doesn't work, it's time to call in a plumber.

Hair is one of the main culprits when it comes to clogging shower drains.

Long hair can often collect in the shower drain basket or even in the drainpipe itself, keeping water from flowing properly. If your shower won't drain properly due to hair that has become lodged in its drainage pipes, use a drain cleaner designed specifically for this purpose (or use baking soda and vinegar).

Some people don't realize that not all drain cleaners are safe for every type of plumbing system.

While most household chemicals can be used with ease on most drains, some can damage certain types of pipes if they're not used correctly. One example is bleach, which can eat away at the lining of PVC pipes and cause them to crack over time. If you're unsure whether your drain cleaner is appropriate for your home's plumbing system, consult a plumber before using it.

The best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring.

If you're dealing with a plumbing problem and trying to determine whether you need to call a professional, the best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring. If you don't clean out your drain, hair and debris will build up inside of it. 

You should also avoid using chemical drain cleaners at all costs unless they come with explicit instructions as part of their use. Many chemical drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are very dangerous and can cause skin irritation if they get on your body; additionally, many types of these products are extremely toxic for children and pets.

You can help keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly and not using harsh chemicals.

If you want to avoid having to call a plumber, it's important to keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly. The most common way to do this is by using a snake, which is essentially a long wire with an attachment at the end that can be pushed down into the pipes. You'll pull the attachments out of the drain, then use a plunger or other tool to loosen whatever is blocking your pipe.

If you don't want to spend money on tools like snakes or plungers, there are other things that can help as well. For instance: pouring boiling water down your pipes will often break up clogs; using baking soda and vinegar (or some other combination) mixed in equal parts will also work; adding salt into hot water (about 1 cup) will soften hard water buildup so it can be washed away easily; and finally, never pour grease down your drains!

Finally, the best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring. You can help keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly and not using harsh chemicals.

3 Tips to Prevent Clogged Toilets

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Prevent Toilet Flooding

A clogged toilet is not merely annoying, it also creates a risk of overflow and resulting water damage. Prevent toilet flooding in your Fort Collins, CO, place of business by following these three simple tips.

1. Avoid Thick Toilet Paper
Quilted toilet paper is more durable and comfortable. However, it's also more likely to occlude your toilet when used in large quantities. By using thinner, less expensive toilet paper, you can both prevent pipe blockages and save money. Bamboo or recycled toilet paper options are both more eco-friendly than traditional toilet paper and disintegrate faster, causing fewer toilet backups.

2. Provide Convenient Waste Disposal
Many people unknowingly flush items down toilets that should only be disposed of in wastebaskets. The most common non-flushable items that may cause toilet overflow include:

  • paper towels
  • baby wipes
  • dental floss
  • tampons
  • sanitary napkins

If too many of these or similar items are flushed down toilets, a backlog of sewage may occur. Waste will not flush properly under these conditions. If flooding results and causes damage, a water damage repair company can help clean and restore your bathroom.
Always provide proper waste disposal bins both inside and outside bathroom stalls. This service is especially important for stalls in women's restrooms, where sanitary products are changed out. Convenience goes a long way toward encouraging people to dispose of waste properly.

3. Use Visual Reminders to Prevent a Clogged Toilet
Pin signs in the bathroom notifying people about items that can and cannot go down the toilets. Provide both visual and written examples of these items and their proper disposal method. Informing people how toilets may clog and overflow reminds people to comply even if they're busy or forgetful.
Modern plumbing is convenient but requires informed maintenance. Overflowing toilets are a common but mainly preventable malfunction. By sticking to these three rules, you can help prevent a clogged toilet and water damage.

Proper Techniques for Dealing With Home Water Heaters

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Avoid The Negative Consequences Of a Leaking Water Heater

While your water heater is mostly out of sight and out of mind, it is an appliance you rely on every day. To avoid the negative consequences of a leaking water heater, there are a number of steps you can take. The first is to buy a quality unit and have it installed by a certified contractor. The second is to perform any and all necessary maintenance as per the owner's manual and your contractor. The third is to replace the unit at signs that it is near the end of its lifespan.

How To Handle a Failed Water Heater

If you go into the basement of your home in Fort Collins, CO, and discover a layer of clean water on the floor, your water heater probably failed. The usual route is the bottom rusts out from accumulated sediment, emptying 40 to 70 gallons of water onto the floor. If your basement contains only cement and no personal items, you are in luck and you can probably clean it up yourself and order a new unit.
However, if the leaking water heater saturated carpeting and furniture you will need to take action. Consider following these steps as soon as possible:

  • Turn off the water valve to the unit
  • Call for the services of a local water damage mitigation team
  • Watch out for safety hazards and electrical issues
  • Move personal items and furniture away if possible

How To Cope With a Broken Water Heater

Some household issues call for immediate action. In most cases, you will need to replace your broken unit. The new water heater should give you a good twelve years or more of service. Also, make sure the water cleanup met your expectations and there are no possibilities for secondary damage such as mold growth or lingering odors.
A leaking water heater is a disappointing event. With quick action, you can have the whole thing behind you in a day, with the added benefit of having a new unit installed and ready to go.

6 Signs of Plumbing Trouble

3/6/2022 (Permalink)

Water stains on ceiling, cracked ceiling by light frame Water damage to the ceiling in a Fort Collins, CO building.

6 Symptoms of Plumbing Issues

If you run a business in Fort Collins, CO, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem with your plumbing system. If you experience a blocked sewer, toilet overflow or a pipe break, you should contact a commercial restoration service as soon as possible. Before you have to take that step, you can familiarize yourself with these common signs of trouble.

Chronic Drain Clogging

If you experience clogs on a regular basis, it could be a sign of a problem with your cast-iron sewer lines. After 25 years, these lines can deteriorate and fail. A blocked sewer can lead to more damaging and costly issues, so it’s a good idea to address it right away.

Sewer Gas Smell

Your nose may give you another indication of trouble with your sewer lines. If you notice the odor of sewer gas, you should get your sewer system examined for damage or failure.

Continuous Flushing

A toilet overflow is a messy situation for any business. When commercial toilets won’t stop flushing, it is usually a problem with the flushometer. Most commonly, the gasket needs to be cleaned out or replaced.

Bulging Walls and Ceilings

Pipe breaks can occur when clogs or pinhole leaks go unaddressed. If you notice any swelling or protrusions in your walls or ceiling tiles, this may be the reason.

Water Stains

Another noticeable sign that water is building up in the walls is discoloration. By the time you see these stains, the leak or break is already fairly advanced and requires swift attention.

Foundation Cracks

A crack in your building’s foundation can start from root intrusion into a weak point, but once established, can expand to larger cracks. In addition to the structural damage they cause, foundation cracks can wreak havoc on water and sewage systems.
As a business owner, you don’t want to wait for a blocked sewer or pipe break to address problems in your plumbing system. By being familiar with these warning signs, you can deal with plumbing issues before they get serious.

Diagnosing Potential Problems With a Noisy Water Heater

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

Noisy Water Heater

A properly functioning water heater is one of the most important appliances in the home, especially for residents of Fort Collins, CO. And just like any other appliance, it’s bound to make noise as it operates. While some of these sounds are normal and should be no cause for alarm, others are early indicators of impending problems that need to be addressed. If yours is making suspicious noises, here are some things to keep in mind.

Identify the Sound

Try to pinpoint the type of sound you are hearing. While every situation will be unique, certain noises are typically associated with the following common water heater problems:

• When valves are not fully opened, water being forced through the smaller-than-expected opening can lead to what may sound like screeching or screaming.
• If the heating element has become loose, the water flowing around it causes vibrations perceptive as humming.
• Sediment buildup near the heating element can cause popping, rumbling or crackling sounds. This occurs frequently with older units and could mean the tubes need to cleaned or replaced. Performing a water heater flush at least once per year will also help to avoid tank sediment.
• Tapping or ticking noises usually emanate from check valves or heat traps and aren’t generally a cause for concern.

Many of these issues are relatively minor at first but can cause serious problems if not rectified.

Contact a Professional for Emergencies

If you’re still unsure about the noises you're hearing, don’t be afraid to call a licensed professional for service. If a major failure has occurred and your tank has ruptured or is leaking, it’s crucial to contact a clean-up and restoration specialist as soon as possible to help eliminate the mess and avoid the risk of water damage.

There’s no need to panic if you are hearing strange noises coming from your water heater. Regular maintenance can help to avoid many common problems and there are always licensed professionals available in Fort Collins, CO, that are ready to help.