Recent Water Damage Posts
Severe Storms Predicted for Greater Toronto Area this Summer
Don't get caught in the rain, call SERVPRO today!
What to do if you experience a flood
With above-normal rainfall expected this summer the risk of flooding is of great concern to many Toronto homeowners. If your home or business experiences a flood, one of the first things you may opt to do is call your insurance provider. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to making a flood water claim.
1. Use a Reputable Restoration Service
The first call you should make is to a restoration company in your Toronto area who specializes in flood damage. SERVPRO can assess the damage and start the cleanup and drying process immediately to avoid any further issues such as mould. Our phone lines are available 24/7 and we can work directly with your insurance company.
2. Start the Cleanup Before the Insurance Adjuster Arrives
It's important to note that when making a flood claim you are allowed to begin the cleanup process before your insurance adjuster arrives. Doing so can help prevent further damage from occurring such as the settling in of mould particles or further damage to your contents. It can be days before an insurance adjuster is available to inspect the damage so be proactive in your emergency repairs.
3. Do your Due Diligence
This may mean making a list of damaged items and what you think will need to be replaced or repaired. Take pictures where possible, as this will allow your insurance adjuster and restoration company to have a visual reference of the areas and items you are discussing. SERVPRO also documents the damage and takes a variety of pictures for reference as we work closely with the insurance adjusters.
Top Causes of a Toronto Basement Flood
Not only can basement flooding occur during heavy rainstorms or rapid snow melts but they can also occur during dry weather. Even the most maintained home can be susceptible to flooding issues, here are some of the most common reasons why;
Sewer backup: The most common and often most problematic cause of basement flooding is caused from a sewer backup. Common causes of sewer backups are due to clogs in your sewer line as a result of items flushed down the drain such as food waste, hair, oils, toilet paper and sanitary napkins. Sewers can also back up during periods of heavy rainfall when the city sewer system cannot handle the excess water, causing it to flood into your home or business. Sewer backups can wreak havoc on your Toronto home as they tend to bring in water that is considered dangerous. The flood water is highly unsanitary and can contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.
Seepage: Another common cause of basement flooding is due to cracks in your foundation which allow water to seep through and cause damage. Unlike sewer backup, water seepage is harder to determine as the damage tends to occur over a longer period of time before it is noticed by the homeowner. Unfortunately, once noticed the damage is done and it can be catastrophic as mould is often a result of this loss.
Gutter Debris and Improper Downspouts: Gutters and downspouts play an important role in moving rain water away from the home. If they overflow or are broken, water can collect in areas too close to the property, allowing water into the basement. Proper maintenance of your gutters is important and could prevent a major loss.
Unfavourable Grading or Sloping: If your yard slopes towards your home rather than away, rain or groundwater cannot drain properly. The excess water can collect around the foundation and cause basement flooding and possible foundation issues. If regrading is not an option regular maintenance and waterproofing can help rectify this problem.
SERVPRO is a full service restoration contractor serving the Greater Toronto Area. We provide 24 hour emergency service with direct insurance billing. Contact us at 416-236-0660.
What to do until SERVPRO arrives!
SERVPRO provides 24/7 emergency services in the Greater Toronto Area with 1 hour response time.
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call (416) 236-0660
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as potable water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives:
Try to safely shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
Remove excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to help with drying.
- Depending on the weather outside you can open windows to allow the humid air to leave the space.
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
For more information on water damage restoration here.
Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze This Winter!
Burst pipe response in the Greater Toronto Area.
When a house's water pipes freeze, the situation is not as simple as calling a plumber. Did you know that an 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mould.
Here are a few steps you can take to keep your Greater Toronto Area home from having a burst pipe.
Please make sure everyone in your family (or your tenants) know where the main water supply line shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
Common causes of frozen pipes in Toronto are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. Frozen water pipes can happen a house with both plastic and copper pipes. You can prepare your home in the Fall to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Before winter arrives
- Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold temperatures out. With extreme weather conditions, even small cracks and openings can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Before winter arrives, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside hose faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
During extreme weather conditions
Even if you think you've done it all to protect your Toronto home and prevent your pipes from freezing, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes. Here are a few more steps you can take:
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature—more common overnight—could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
Before you leave town
Travelling in the winter months might be good for the soul, but don't forget to think about frozen pipes before you leave. What can you do?
- If you are going away for an extended period of time (and it it suitable for your home) turn off your water supply line and drain your house. Remember that if you have radiant heat in your home, your boiler may require water supply to heat the house!
- Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 12°C (55°C).
- Ask a friend or neighbour to check in on your house daily to make sure it is safe and free from any burst pipes or other hazards, while checking that it is warm enough to prevent freezing.
What to do if your pipes freeze
What if your pipes still freeze, despite your best attempts! Firstly - Don't panic. Just because they're frozen doesn't mean they've already burst. Here's what you can do:
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire damage. Water damage or flooding is preferable to burning down your house!
- If your frozen water pipes have already burst, turn off the water supply line at the main shutoff valve in your house; leave the water faucets turned on.
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a local plumber.
- Please don't use any electrical devices in areas of standing water. If you see standing water in your house, call a professional and stay away from any electrical hazards - you could be electrocuted!
SERVPRO's experienced team have seen many frozen pipes and burst pipe situations across the Greater Toronto Area and we will be on site within 1 hour - saving you time, effort and costly repairs later. Proudly serving the Greater Toronto Area, we offer safe, professional restoration services for your home or business.