Archived Water Damage Blog Posts
How To handle an overflowing Toilet
Overflowing toilets can cause a great deal of damage and pose a health risk if left un-handled.
No one is more uncomfortable or annoyed than when their toilet overflows. It’s just a shock inducing event. While sometimes a toilet can just have a simple clog there can be other signs of a worse issue.
Don’t Flush Until the Problem is Identified
The first thing to do is to not flush your toilet until you know the problem. Excessive flushing without a proper diagnosis will only lead to further flooding or spread of contaminated water. If the toilet is continually flooding without any flushing turn off the water supply line. Most toilets have an exposed water line with a valve that must be turned to shut off the water supply. Just don’t forget to turn the water back on once the problem is identified and properly dealt with.
Try a Plunger
The simplest solution might be just using a plunger to dislodge the clog. Gently put the plunger into the toilet and firmly press it onto the drain portion and press back and forth. If it is a simple clog this will force water and air into the location and clear up any complications in the toilet. If the plunger solution does not work, there may be a more significant problem.
Use an Auger
If using a plunger does not work, you may want to try and use some form of auger or snaking mechanism. This works by reaching into the clogged material and pulling out anything which refuses to move. If a toy, metallic object or otherwise falls into the drain you may need to use an auger.
Call a Plumber
Worst case scenario if none of the above works you may need to call a plumber or sewage company. If you have a private septic tank you may have an overflow and need to have it drained. Otherwise you will want to call a plumber to see if there is something mechanically wrong with the toilet.
If you have any water damage or biohazard situation due to an overflowing toilet give SERVPRO® of Lancaster West a call at (661) 723 7141.
The Case Against Water Damage at Home | SERVPRO® of Lancaster
We could never live without water, but we certainly could live without the experience of water damage at home.
Concerning water damage, there can be a plethora of driving factors behind it. Are you able to identify what some of those causes are?
What Can Cause It?
Between 2009 and 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. reports that the most common causes of homeowners insurance claims were:
- Exterior wind damage
- Non-weather-related water damage
- Weather-related water damage
As you can see, water damage appears on this list twice, but in two distinct forms. You can classify water damage as non-weather-related and weather-related.
Non-weather-related damage is most common for homeowners, often coming from plumbing or appliance issues. While just as trying, weather-related water damage is not as common and can stem from rain, snow or melting ice.
Regarding your home, the top five reasons for water damage are plumbing issues, washing machine leaks, busted water pipes, aging water heaters and bad weather.
Keeping Your Home Dry
Water damage comes with a price tag. But can you imagine the cost if the damage was not covered by your homeowners insurance plan? It’s a good idea to regularly review your policies to ensure all bases are covered. In most cases, the following damages are covered by a standard policy:
- Damages caused by from weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Discharge and overflow of water, even by accident
- Tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system
- Freezing of plumbing and pipes
While water damage can be highly stressful, there are ways to help stave off certain water-related issues.
Take these preventive steps to provide some layer of protection against water damage:
- Applying water sensors and automatic shut-off valves
- Installing metal mesh connection hoses on the washer and dryer
- Making sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris
- Ridding the hot water tank of buildup by flushing it every six months
- Keeping grease out the kitchen sink and drain
These tips can help make sure you avoid some rather costly water damage at home.
Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Santa Clarita Valley on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.
A Shocking Surprise
You’d be surprised how often we receive calls about water damage in churches, vacation homes, or even homes where the homeowners were gone for only a few days. The likelihood (as well as level of severity) of damage occurring when no one is around increases because there is no one to report the damage, stop it, or slow it down. At least when someone is home, they can turn off the water or make a phone call. What about when you’re not around; what are some solutions?
Learn how to shut off your utility supply lines
This solution may sound simple, but in an emergency, you may become flustered or question yourself. Or, if you know but your neighbor or house sitter doesn’t, how do you explain to them how to shut off the water? This simple trick can prevent a lot more damage, as well as less of a water bill. We suggest using a bright tag on the water shut off, as well as on other shut offs, such as gas or propane.
Areas of common flood damage
We see flood damage occur in kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms due to the use of appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and toilets. We have even seen damage from dryers and water heaters catching fire. This sort of damage happens due to appliance malfunction; holding onto receipts for expensive items will help you in the long run if you ever file a claim due to the damage they cause. We don’t recommend running any appliances while you are gone, and you should always have utilities temporarily disabled or turned off if no one will be home for at least a week.
If you find yourself in a water damage situation, give SERVPRO of Lancaster a call immediately. Click here to discover more about our water damage experts, who work day and night when your home has been in flames or put under water.
Flooding in Lancaster
Lancaster flood damaged homes
Although we aren’t near Texas or Florida, we can assume that Mother Nature has plans of her own, whether we like it or not. Many people weren’t prepared when the hurricanes hit, and most people had to leave with literally the clothes on their backs and their hands full of what they could carry. California doesn’t get hurricanes often, but a hurricane isn’t required to flood your home and destroy everything you have. Sometimes, a pipe break will do the trick!
We highly recommend contacting your homeowner's insurance to get a full understanding of what types of losses are currently covered. Discuss with your company the possibility of expanding coverage, in case of emergencies. A few extra dollars a month may save you thousands of dollars during a heavy winter, or an explosive dishwasher. Learn more about our role during storm damage and flooding.
We don’t recommend trying to deal with flood damage yourself. You may cause more damage to your home, which is more money as well as stress. Our technicians go through months of on the job training, Continuing Education classes and certification classes to be able to get flooded homes back to preloss condition. We are here to help!