Recent Water Damage Posts

Washing Machines Need TLC Too

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Washing Machines Need TLC Too Replacing the water supply line hoses to your washing machine is a way that you can reduce the risk of them leaking or worse, bursting.

Of all the chores around the house, laundry seems to be the most daunting task. It never seems to end, and I am only responsible for my laundry, I cannot fathom what those with families go through. But no matter your family size, your washing machine is one of the hardest working appliances in your home and needs some TLC now and then. Your car requires maintenance; change the oil, rotate the tires, flush the radiator. Shouldn’t the appliance that makes sure your clothes are clean deserve the same?

A simple way that you can maintain your washing machine is not to overload it with items to clean or detergent. Suds and bubbles flowing out of a washing machine make for fantastic ’80s and ‘90s sitcom laughs, but they can cause significant issues. On top of the apparent water damage, laundry detergent can stain or bleach flooring and can lead to delamination. Putting too many items in a washing machine is another potential disaster waiting to happen. The barrel may become unbalanced and force the machine to rock and potentially jar the water supply connections lose. Preventative action can go a long way to maintain the life of an appliance.

One of the best ways that you can show your washing machine some love is to change the water supply line hoses around every five years. Over time these hoses can become weak or brittle, and risk cracking or bursting. And can create a tiny leak that can cause long term water damage, or a burst hose can rapidly unleash gallons upon gallons of water flooding multiple rooms and creating significant water damage. Neither of these options sounds very pleasant, and while replacing the supply line hoses will not 100% prevent either one, it does lower the risk substantially.

There is no “best” type of hose to pick as the replacement, as each manufacturer and model of washing machine are very different. That is why it is best to consult your washer’s owner’s manual before you make any decisions. You can also check out the manufacturer’s website to view any certified service suppliers to perform the hose exchange for you.

Take care of your washing machine just like you would a vehicle, and just like a vehicle, it will take care of you for a long time. If your washing machine or any other appliance in your home has a malfunction and causes water, fire, or smoke damage contact our SERVPRO of East Greenville Team.

Stuffed Sharks Do Not Flush

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Stuffed Sharks Do Not Flush Water can cause more damage to the rooms below where a loss occurred. It is always a good idea to consider calling a professional mitigation company.

Mornings can be hectic. You have to make sure the kids are getting dressed for school, check out the traffic reports to make sure that you don’t have to change your commute, make breakfast, and all while making sure that you are ready for the day yourself. Sometimes the during the controlled chaos you may not notice that one of your younger children is performing their very first science experiment focusing on the “flushabilty” of their toys. This was recently the case for one Greenville, SC resident.

A busy working mom trying to get two of her children on their way to school plus a very curious, and quiet, toddler and his action figures and stuffed shark and a toilet. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out a lot.

A second-floor bathroom, packed to the brim with superheroes, building blocks, and one stuffed shark. Oh and gallons and gallons of water with nowhere to go but the living room below.

The homeowner had left to take her kids to school and daycare when she realized that she had forgotten something very important for work and needed to rush home. She opened her door to see that the ceiling fan in the living room had upgraded itself to now have a waterfall feature. The ceiling was saturated, the walls were soaked, and the furniture in the living room also drenched. The forgotten item turned out to be a blessing in disguise, but had she not come home the toilet would have run until the afternoon, but instead, she was able to turn the water off to the toilet. Imagine the damage that would have caused.

The homeowner made three calls: one to work, one to her adjuster, and one to SERVPRO of East Greenville County. Our team was able to be on site within 30 minutes of her call and started working immediately. The standing water was extracted, while air movers and dehumidifiers were placed to dry out the floor, wall, and ceiling. Unfortunately, the many of the materials were too saturated to reach a dry standard within a reasonable amount of time, and our production manager recommended that the flooring in the bathroom and ceiling in the living room below be replaced. SERVPRO of East Greenville County always places and focus on repair and restore versus remove and replace, but sometimes replacement is the more cost-effective action plan. This was one of those times, we may have had to run drying equipment for several more days, and it still may not have reached dry standard without risking further damage to the other materials. The decision to remove and replace the flooring in the bathroom and living room ceiling reduced not only the cost of mitigation but also the amount of time that the homeowner and her family were displaced from their home.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County does have access to advanced technology and techniques, but it is our experienced team that adds the most value for our customers when they need us.

A Different Kind of Emergency

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage A Different Kind of Emergency Standing water stood between an HVAC repair tech and repairing a Taylors, SC heater. We were able to extract the water the same day they called us.

Water does not have to rush in from a flood or run down the walls from a busted pipe to be a huge problem. Sometimes it can just sit there unnoticed and then bring your plans to a grinding halt.

A homeowner in Taylors, SC recently learned this lesson after their HVAC system began to have issues shortly after the recent snowstorm. The HVAC system slowly started to shut down, and while the weather in the upstate has been slightly above average for this time of year, the homeowner knew he needed to get this taken care of ASAP. They called a service specialist and made an appointment right before they were planning to go out of town for the holidays and assumed that everything would be ready and repaired soon. The next problem arose when the HVAC tech opened the crawlspace and saw inches of standing water between the entrance and the unit that needed service.

The service tech contacted the homeowner and told them that they could not perform the repairs until the water was removed. And understandably so, there is no way to know how long the water had been there and what type of pollutants had begun to grow, or where the water came from? Was it from the recent snow and rain or a leak from a pipe? The homeowner called SERVPRO of East Greenville County to extract the water from the crawlspace and needed it done quickly. We were able to perform the service the same day, which included laying down a temporary plastic liner, so the HVAC tech was not crawling and working in mud and allowed for the technician to complete the repairs to the HVAC unit that same day. And the homeowner was able to go on their trip without worrying about their family not having heat when they returned home.

The standing water in the crawlspace was a different kind of an emergency, the property was not necessarily in jeopardy, but there was a lot at stake. So be sure to check your crawlspace a few days after a major weather event or water incident inside your home.

Stories Winter Storm 2018: The Mini Flood

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Stories Winter Storm 2018: The Mini Flood Packed snow combined with melting snow and ice created a mini flood down this sidewalk causing water to flow into a Greer, SC business.

We did it Greenville! We made it through one of the biggest winter storm events to hit our area in years. Our office was closed on Monday, but our team was #Ready: from taking calls from their homes and our crew was out on the icy roads to be where you needed us to be.

One particular call was for a medical facility in Greer that had almost a half an inch of standing water over a few hundred square feet of office space. The office manager had gone out to test the roads to determine if it was safe to open can call in the staff, and while he was out he figured he stop in to take some pictures of downtown covered in the snow, and when he opened the office door and heard splashing, he knew something was wrong. Was it a busted pipe? Overflowing sink or toilet? No, the source was packed snow clogging a sidewalk drainage grate causing the water from the melting snow and ice to flow right into the building. Our team worked to extract the standing water, dry the carpet, and even shoveled the snow off of the grate to keep it from happening again. Because the office manager took swift action and called SERVPRO of East Greenville County, we were able to get the office floor dry quickly and ready for them when they felt it was safe to open. They did not lose any extra time waiting for the floor to dry and were able to begin to provide service to their clients ASAP.

Our team is always #Ready to assist you no matter what the condition, we may even the give the post office a run for their money.

Clean Gutters Can Help Prevent Flooded Basements

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

It has been a rough few days this week as far as weather goes in the Upstate. This week alone the area averaged over 6 inches of rain, that is a month and a half worth of rain per local meteorologists. The storm brought with it flooding, downed trees, auto accidents, and even sinkholes. We were happy to do what we can to assist those that were impacted by the rain.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County was called out to several homes to extract inches of standing water in finished basements. The emergency calls started coming in before 4 AM and continued throughout the day until late into the evening. In many cases, the flooding was from water pooling at a home’s foundation line and then wicking through the walls or cracks. A proper drainage system on the roof of a structure can help to prevent water from pooling next to the wall and potentially causing severe issues.

But what does “proper drainage system mean,” you ask…

Gutters, more specifically well-maintained gutters. That’s right, the bane of the weekend, the yard work that no one sees or compliments, cleaning out the gutters. Climbing up and down a ladder, carrying a bag that gets heavier each and every time, sticking your hand into who knows what, and it is so easy to say “just forget it.” But the thing is all of that can help to prevent a flooded basement.

If the gutters are clogged, water cannot move freely through them into the spouts pointed away from the home. Leaves and sticks can build up creating dams causing hazardous overflow, or they can weigh down a gutter and pull it away from the roof and generate a whole new set of problems.

Everyone has what they consider the best method or tool to clean out gutters, and there are lots of preventative items available too. So, you have to figure what works best for you. But if spending two weekends a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall, can help prevent spending thousands of dollars and tons of headaches, isn’t it worth it?

If your home, business, or facility has had water damage because of clogged gutters or any other reason, SERVPRO of East Greenville County is here to help. Give us a call at 864-292-3495.

National Preparedness Month Week 3: Check Your Coverage

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage National Preparedness Month Week 3: Check Your Coverage A few facts about flood insurance.

If the last few weeks have been any indication, weather can be unpredictable. Hurricane Florence’s path and impacts to the Greenville area have changed multiple times a day, and that has been frustrating when trying to figure out the best ways to prepare. One step in the preparation process that is consistent is checking your insurance coverage.

All insurances are not the same, each carrier and policy have their own specifications, requirements, and limitations of coverage. Reviewing policies and looking for gaps can be overwhelming and confusing, but Floodsmart.gov has several tools and resources that will help you to understand how and when to buy and renew, help you to file a claim, and help to understand your insurance policy to determine if you do have flood insurance.

Your insurance agent is also an excellent resource for understanding your policy, but it is a good idea to talk with them about your policy before you need to utilize your policy.

Indicators Your Greer, SC Home May Have Hidden Water Damage

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Indicators Your Greer, SC Home May Have Hidden Water Damage A small drip from a water supply line resulted in massive water damage to a subfloor in Greer, SC.

When most people hear the phrase Water Damage, they think of flooded basements, overflowing sinks, and water pouring from a hole in the ceiling. And while those are disastrous examples of what a water damage event can look like, sometimes a less dramatic situation can cause quite a scene.

The following are some of the indicators that you may have a discrete water event:

  • Musty Odors. Even the smallest puddle of water can stagnate and become an ideal location for bacterial and microbial growth. These unseen puddles can produce the musty smell that can be an indicator of hidden water damage.
  • Noticeable microbial growth. Water from a loss can flow in many directions and collect in areas that may not get a lot of attention during regular cleaning. Once airborne or dormant mold spores come into contact with moisture, active mold growth can begin. Areas of discoloration or “fuzzy growth” may be a sign of microbial growth and that is being fed by an unknown water loss. If you do notice any suspected mold make sure to have, it examined by a professional mold mitigation service provider.
  • Stained ceilings and walls. Water can find its way into almost any part of a building, in between the levels of an office building, behind the walls of a church, and inside a hall closet in a home. As water pools and saturates the materials, it may stain the adjacent sheetrock or baseboard. Blotches or other stains can be indicators that you may have a small leak.

If you notice any of these or other signs of a potential water loss contact a plumber to determine and repair the source of the loss, and if you are having trouble locating a plumber we can make a referral. After the cause of water loss has been fixed contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for restoration and repair of your damaged property.

Boating Safely Thanks to the USCG Boating Safety Application

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Boating Safely Thanks to the USCG Boating Safety Application The USCG app has a user-friendly layout that allows users to put safety as a priority.

Summer is here and the hot days can make the call of the water irresistible. And if you own a boat, you may be more likely to answer the call, or at least your friends and neighbors will want you to answer their call for some “boat time.” That is why it is important to be more than safe when it comes to preparing for a day on the water.

The United States Coast Guard offers a free application for your phone that provides several essential guides, checklists, and services to help give you peace of mind when planning your excursion. The app is available on iTunes and the Google Play Store, and includes the following features:

Find the latest safety regulations
Request a vessel safety check
Check your safety equipment
File a float plan
Navigation Rules
Find the nearest NOAA buoy
Report a hazard
Report pollution
Report suspicious activity
Request emergency assistance

The application also includes state and federal boating information and if you are on the ocean an Emergency Assistance button that will contact the closest Coast Guard command center.

The Boating Safety Mobile app was not intended to replace a marine VHF radio but act as a supplement.

Post Water Loss: Deodorizing

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with a water loss doesn’t end once all of the water is extracted, and any damaged materials are replaced. You may have bacteria, mold, or other chemicals impacting the air quality of your Greer business or home. Deodorizing is a step that can be easy to overlook if you decide to tackle restoring your home after water loss on your own.

Deodorizing will remove musty mildew odors as well as odors left behind from contaminants that cause black water like feces and organic material. Belongings can be salvaged and cleaned but may retain some of the smells mentioned above, but they too can be deodorized. The process of deodorizing isn’t just as simple as spraying a fragrant sanitizer or whipping down with a bleached cloth; it is an organized process and part of the SERVPRO restoration process.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County has equipment and methods, like air scrubbers and negative pressure seals, that are specifically designed to remove odors from your property and belongings. If your Upstate home has had a water or fire damage event, call 864-292-3495 to your home professionally deodorized.

The Three Categories of Water Loss

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration distinguishes water into three categories. Each category is defined by the levels of containment or possible containments in the source of the water.

Category 1 “Clean Water: Water in this category originates from a clean, sanitary source and poses little to no risk to humans if contacted or ingested. Examples are broken water supply lines, sink or bathtub overflows, or water supplies to an appliance such as a water line to an ice maker.

Category 2 “Grey Water: Water is this category comes from a source that contains significant contamination including chemical, biological, or physical materials. Grey Water has an elevated risk to cause illness and discomfort with any type of exposure. Examples are toilet bowls with urine, sump pump leaks, and discharged water from appliances like dishwasher and washing machines.

Category 3 “Black Water: Water in this category is considered very harmful and contains unsanitary agents, dangerous bacteria and fungus, and toxic substances. This category of water has an extreme risk of causing illness and exposure should be avoided at all costs if the proper personal protective equipment is not available. Examples include sewage, seawater, and overflow from rivers or lakes.

If left unattended Clean and Grey Water can become stagnant and may be considered Black Water.

If you have concerns with water no matter the source, SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in Water Damage Repair & Restoration.

The Four Primary Water Damage Classifications

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration separates water damage into four distinct classes. Each class is based on the severity of the water damage, and they determine what steps must be followed in the mitigation and restoration process.

Class 1 Water Damage - the least amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact only a small part of a room or area of a facility, or large areas that contain materials that have absorbed a small amount of moisture. Little to no carpeted or absorbent material present.

Class 2 Water Damage – significant amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that impact full rooms or carpeted areas. Walls are wicked less than 24 inches, and moisture remains in structural materials (Concrete, plywood, and particleboard).

Class 3 Water Damage – the largest amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. These are water losses that saturate an entire area. Walls are wicked over 24 inches or water may have entered from overhead, impacting ceilings, insulation, or sub-floor.

Class 4 Water Damage – Specific drying situations. Wet materials with low porosity or permeance such as plaster, brick, and stone. These materials can absorb water into deep pockets and can require extended drying times or specialized procedures and equipment.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is fully certified to handle any class of water damage from accidental or natural events. Register for SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile to get started with disaster preparation to limit potential damage and reduce costs.

April showers bring May… Showers

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage April showers bring May… Showers If you would like to donate or volunteer to the American Red Cross in the Upstate, you can call 864-271-8222

It has rained almost every day for the past three weeks in the Upstate. Long-standing daily rain total records have been broken: The GSP Airport reported 1.76 inches on May 29 breaking the record form 1976. And Ashville, NC had 2.92 inches on May 25 breaking the 1975 record. (National Weather Service)

Unfortunately, the record-breaking rainfall is also bringing with it serious issues such as flash flooding, uprooted trees, landslides, and fatal car accidents. A busy section of HWY 85 was shut down for several hours due to a flash flood, and portions of Main St. in Greenville were also closed off as crews worked to remove a fallen tree and power lines.

As the rains continue SERVPRO of East Greenville County wants to remind everyone to always keep safety in mind: If you see running water in the road “Turn Around Don’t Drown,” and remember to stay away from any downed power lines.

Fixing Tiny Leaks Can Conserve Giant Amounts of Water and Help Residents Save Money In Greer

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Fixing Tiny Leaks Can Conserve Giant Amounts of Water and Help Residents Save Money In Greer Small undetected water leaks contribute to massive amounts of wasted water. (EPA.gov.)

You are resting comfortably in your bed: the covers are just right, the room is the perfect temperature, and your head is on the cool side of the pillow. (Drip.) It is very quiet, no barking dogs, passing cars, and the kids have also tucked away into their own beds. (Drip.) You glance at the alarm clock, and you do not have to wake up for hours, plenty of time to get back to dreamland. (Drip. Drip.) You think that you hear a drip coming from the bathroom and check to make sure the faucets in the sink and shower are off, and they are, but you still hear the drip. “I will deal with it tomorrow,” you think to yourself and get back into bed. Only this time it isn’t quiet, you hear every drip like the second hand on a ticking clock. You fold the pillow over your head and try to go back to sleep. (Drip.) The alarm goes off, and you struggle to get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and step into a cold puddle of water. You say “But I checked all the faucets, and none of them were on,” as you follow the puddle to behind the toilet. You found the source of the drip. Not the way you wanted this day to begin.

Week 4 of National Building Safety Month’s theme is Safeguarding Our Water, and it focuses on how building codes help to conserve the water supply and help to ensure that it is clean. One of the best ways that you can contribute to conserving water is to take action if and when you have a scenario like the one above. Here are some tips from EPA.gov on how to quickly find leaks.

  • Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)Here is an excellent video from Spartanburg Water with some other ways to detect toilet leaks
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

Knowing how to test for leaks can help to prevent wasting water and reduce the potential for water damage to your property. You can rest easy because SERVPRO of East Greenville County is available to help if you ever need water damage restoration.

Faster to your Greenville Water Damage Event

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to your Greenville Water Damage Event SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service in Greenville

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of East Greenville County arrives speedily and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 864-292-3495

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water absorbs into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our highly trained staff specializes in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Certifications

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and Safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation

Structural Drying

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Structural Drying:
Moisture content in structural components must be a concern in all water damage situations. After evaluation of carpet and pad, a careful evaluation of structural materials must be done. Replacement of structural components if damaged beyond repair will be much more costly than replacement of contents such as carpet and pad. Thus consideration and inspection of any structural component that has the remotest possibility of being wet is vital (dirt to sky inspection). If moisture is detected, rapid drying of the structure must be the primary concern. Thus use of a hygrometer to measure the extent of saturation of porous materials is considered standard procedure in all water losses.
SERVPRO is the Greenville areas leading water mitigation company. We are an emergency service company serving the Greenville SC area 24 hours per day, 7-days per week, 365 days per year. As an IICRC certified firm we use the latest techniques in structural drying and can handle any size disaster. Call us at (864) 292-3495 should your home or business experience a water emergency.

 

Content from SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge 

How to clean out your gutters, before they clean out your wallet

10/21/2016 (Permalink)

From Fox News

Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on the to-do list yet it’s too often overlooked. Unfortunately, many of us wait until late into the fall season when the very last leaf falls before we decide to get it done. This delay exposes our homes to potential damage. Plus, it makes the job a lot more difficult to do.

If you do it a couple of times a year, in the fall and spring, cleaning gutters is easy. Just once, or not at all, and it can become back breaking work and cost you thousands of dollars worth of trouble down the road.

The problem with clogged gutters is more than just those annoying waterfalls that pour off the roof on rainy days, or the pretty icicles that hang around in the winter. This excess water wreaks havoc on the integrity of your home’s structure. The gutter system of a house is designed to move water down from the roof and away from the home and it’s foundation for proper drainage. Water that gets dammed up in the gutters finds the path of least resistance when it tries to drain and this often means it works right into the walls and ceilings of your house.

The first and most obvious issue with gutters filled to the brim with leaves, twigs, and other debris is simply a weight problem. When that debris gets wet it absorbs the rain water like a sponge and becomes extremely heavy. This burden puts stress on the gutters and their hanging brackets, and can pull the gutters off the house. Falling gutters are costly enough to replace on their own, not to mention any lights or windows they smash as they come crashing down.

Overflowing water from the gutters can also damage the paint and siding on a home, but unsightly water marks down the side of the house pale in comparison with what happens if the water get inside of a wall. Wet wood rots and loses its integrity, and this can go unseen behind the siding until it is too late.

Ice-damming is another major issue with clogged gutters. Blocked water can freeze when it backs up in the gutters, pushing up against the roof structure and working its way under the shingles destroying the wood, causing even more leaks.

Even flooded basements and cracking foundations are other symptoms of clogged gutters. If water isn’t drained away from the house and it pools around the foundation it will expand when frozen and cause cracks which lead to floods in your basement or crawl space.

So what will you need to get the job done? You only need a few things and they depend on the method you choose. Many different tricks and techniques have been developed by home improvement magazines, experts, and handymen alike but the main concept is simple, just get on the ladder and pull the junk out of the gutters.

You’ll need; a ladder, gloves, a container to gather the debris such as a bag or bucket, a garden trowel or small hand rake, and the hose.

Begin by setting the ladder an arms length away from a corner downspout, and tuck a few garbage bags in your back pocket so you can easily pull them out. Some people prefer to use a bucket and bucket hanger for the ladder, but it is much easier to use those little plastic shopping bags. A full bucket or big garbage bag can get pretty heavy and make the job tougher than a high wire act.

Hold your garden trowel or rake in your hand and begin your ascent. You never want to put sharp objects in your pocket when you are climbing a ladder, as they can harpoon you if you fall. Use the tool to pull the debris away from the down spout, being careful not to let any junk fall into the opening, which can create a clog. Take one handful at a time and fill up the bags, tying and dropping them to the ground as you go. Drop the bags away from the bottom of the ladder so they don’t get in your way when you need to dismount.

Move the ladder and repeat. Never reach further than an arms length away from the ladder and be sure to get the dirt on the bottom of the gutter. A majority of it is from the asphalt shingles that run off into the gutter. This stuff gets very heavy when wet so don’t leave it in there.

If you are afraid of heights or worry about dealing with the bags in such a precarious situation, simply grab handfuls from the gutters and drop it onto a clear spot on the ground. This is a very messy method, but you can rake up the debris later, safely and easily. Some guys drop the material down onto a tarp and shake it into a garbage can later.

Once you clean an entire length, grab the hose and spray down the gutter and into the down spouts to get all the small pieces you missed. If there are clogs that the hose can’t clear, you can use a plumbers snake to clear them out. This is also a good point to see if your gutters leak at any corners or joining pieces. If they do, you can purchase a silicone sealant and very easily make the fix. Remember that water finds the path of least resistance, and that path us usually into the walls of your house, so a leaky gutter can be just as bad as a clogged one.

If you are ambitious, you can scrub down the outside of the gutters or touch up any spots with paint to keep your house looking its best.

Still hesitant on doing this yourself? Consider using a roofing or siding contractor, or even handy man, but get three estimates and don’t always go for the cheapest one. The guy with the 1970’s pick up truck with rock bottom prices could possibly do a great job, but may not have any insurance. Whom ever you choose, be sure they are insured. If someone takes a dive off the ladder and breaks every bone in his body and is not covered by his own workman’s comp you, the homeowner, are liable. It’s a lot easier to ask him for a copy of his up-to-date insurance papers than it is to make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy, assuming it even covers such accidents.

One way or another, pushing this chore to the bottom of the to-do list could end up being a very costly mistake. If you get up there regularly it can be a breeze and you’ll prevent the Hoover dam from forming in your gutters.

Jason Gurskis is a licensed home improvement contractor based in Mystic Island, New Jersey dedicated to making homes more comfortable, durable, and energy efficient.

Faster to your Greenville Water Damage Event

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO East Greenville County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of East Greenville County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 864-292-3495

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Greenville County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/30/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Greenville County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service SERVPRO of East Greenville County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Greenville, SC.

SERVPRO of East Greenville County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 864-292-3495

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of East Greenville County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of East Greenville County

SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Nothing makes us happier...

5/6/2015 (Permalink)

Water Damage Nothing makes us happier... Living large!

Johnathan Evatt, General Manager, and Jesus Natareno, Production Tech, celebrate their 1 millionth bag of debris!

Wave Action

1/13/2015 (Permalink)

Water Damage Wave Action A sprinkler system head froze, cracked, and flooded 6 rooms. SERVPRO extracted water, pulled carpet, and effectively placed drying equipment.

When you can see waves on the water in your kitchen, it is time to call SERVPRO.  This past week has been tough on many of our customers, please continue to take precautions as the temperatures dip!

-unscrew hoses from all hose bibbs.

-open vanity doors below sinks on outside walls

-open closet doors that may have a water cutoff inside

-check the location of all exterior hose bibbs and if there is a closet adjacent on an inside wall, open that closet door.

-let the water drip from spigots in sinks on outside walls.

-If you have a crawl space, buy/install pipe insulation.  it is cheap and easy to install.