Recent Water Damage Posts

Do's and Don'ts After Flooding

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

We understand that flooding can be a very emotional and stressful time. Your home has water in rooms where there shouldn't be water, your contents have been damaged, sometimes even ruined by the water. And now, you have to take time out of your busy life to try to make things right again in your home.

We will come out to you as soon as possible. We are usually able to get out to you the same day you call, but in case it is a busy time, below are some do's and don'ts for things you can do to help.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

How to Save Your Furniture After a Water Damage

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Having water damage can be very frustrating and exhausting. We often hear from customers that they have tried to move all of their contents from an affected area, mop up the standing water, and fix the source of the water damage themselves during all hours! We spend our hard earned money on things that make our houses a comfortable and enjoyable environment. The last thing we want is to lose expensive or sentimental pieces of furniture.

There are a few things you can do in order to save your furniture from being ruined in a water damage situation:

-Assess what items have been affected by the water.

-Take pictures to document the water damage and specific pictures of items that have been damaged due to the water.

-Move any furniture out of the affected area that can be moved. The less time the furniture can be sitting in the water, the better. If you cannot move the furniture, try to put something underneath it that gets it up out of the water. For example, you could use wood blocks or aluminum foil.

-If you have wood furniture that has been affected by the water, make sure you put it somewhere it can air dry. Keep the furniture out of direct sunlight as direct sun exposure could cause the wood to crack or warp.

-Apply mayonnaise to any furniture that is lightly water damaged. Apply a thin layer of the mayonnaise and let it sit on the water damaged area for 1-2 hours. Use a damp cloth to remove the mayo from the area. This should remove the water damaged areas.

Tips for Making an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Having a water damage is never something expected. Coming home to a house filled with water can be a traumatic experience. It can be hard to think about the appropriate steps to take to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to limit secondary damage and keep the out of pocket cost to a minimum. Below are some tips to help make filing an insurance claim easier.

Something to Know:

Every insurance policy is different. Therefore, what will be covered may only be determined by reading your policy or calling your insurance agent/insurance company to have them determine coverage. 

Knowledge is Power:

Be sure you know who your insurance company is and how to contact them. You may want to list the phone number for your insurance company on your refrigerator for easy access. You could also add your insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number to your cell phone to have ready at all times. You never know when this information is going to be important. 

Stay Calm:

This experience can be upsetting. It's important to stay calm when you are talking to your insurance company so they can ask all the essential questions to set up your claim and get the ball rolling. 

Take Pictures:

Document the situation every step of the way to help your insurance company understand the full extent of the damage. Take pictures of every room that sustained damage, structural materials affected and personal items. These pictures will help your adjuster understand the full picture of what happened and what will be involved in restoring your house and the contents affected.

Ask Questions:

Resolving the water damage issue can be very confusing. Feel free to ask as many questions as you can think of to your insurance company so that you understand what will happen next every step of the way. It's important to know what your roles are and what your insurance company will be doing for you.

Use a company with IICRC Certified Technicians:

While there are many companies that may be willing to help you clean up from your water damage, it is important to utilize a company that has technicians who have been trained to properly perform mitigation. SERVPRO prides itself on the fact that our technicians are IICRC certified. Our technicians go through on-the-job training and complete IICRC training so that we can keep up with the latest techniques and technologies to dry your home out quickly to eliminate further damage. Education and training is very important to satisfying our customers. http://www.IICRC.org/education-certification/ 

Preventing Leaky Pipes

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Stress on pipes can result in leaks which can be expensive to fix, replace and, not to mention, could cause extensive water damage to your home, business and personal items if they burst. Here are some ways to decrease the amount of stress and pressure on your pipes.

High water pressure can feel nice in the shower and it may seem like the dishes are getting done faster but, this can put an unnecessary amount of strain on your plumbing. You can get a hose bib gauge at your local hardware store to test the pressure. Attach it to an outside spigot and open the valve. Normal pressure is between 40-85 PSI so if you pressure measures above this, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. You can also install a low flow shower head in your bathroom to help reduce pressure there.

Hard water is another obstacle as far as pipes are concerned. Hard water is water with a higher than normal amount of mineral content such as calcium or magnesium present. These minerals can build up inside your pipes which restricts flow and in turn, increases the pressure. Deposits can also corrode joints and fittings over time. If you see a white substance on our faucet heads, you more than likely have hard water. If you are unsure or want more proof, ask your local municipality to view the water quality report they are required to have through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The only way to effectively soften the water in your home or business is by having a plumber install a water softener.

Wrap your pipes. If you have exterior piping and plan on going out of town in the winter months, take precautions to prevent coming home to a disaster. Wrap your pipes in electrical heat tape or a pipe sleeve which you can purchase at your local hardware store to prevent them from freezing. Remember, if the water is not constantly moving and the cold water pipes touch the exterior of the building when the temperature gets below freezing, your pipes will most likely freeze!

Set the spigot valve. If you have a pipe running through cement to your outside spigot valve, it’s always a good idea to install a frost-free hose bib which allows you to shut off water to the inside of the home preventing freezing.

These are all relatively simple and in expensive ways to protect your pipes that in the end could save you thousands of dollars! 

IICRC

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

The IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are a non-profit organization that sets the standards for the cleaning, installation, inspection and restoration industry for more than 25 countries. They offer classes, training and certification. 

The IICRC was formed in 1972 by Ed York and was originally intended to be the standard for carpet and upholstery cleaning. Quickly, the organization grew to include water, fire and smoke damage, cleanup and repair, as well as wood, stone and tile cleaning and repair.

How Are the Certifications and Classes Determined?

IICRC’s Shareholders vote to nominate candidates to sit on a Board of Directors which is comprised of 15 industry professionals. The Board only meets four times of year so within the Board, there is an Executive Committee. The Committee is selected once a year at the fall meeting. The Board, along with the Committee, determines the direction of the organization while still following the ethics and guidelines set in place by IICRC. The Board determines what classes and certifications are necessary throughout the industry. The IICRC does not own schools or hire instructors but rather approves them to teach classes according to the organizations standards.

For more information on the IICRC, you can visit the website here: http://www.IICRC.org/ 

Downspout Extensions

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

When heavy rain occurs, water can likely end up getting inside your home causing expensive damage. When water pools around the foundation from the roof or gutters it can leak through the basement walls. One thing that you can do in order to avoid water damage from heavy rain is to install downspout extensions. These extensions will force water away from the foundation from the home. They are simple to install and there are a variety of different types to choose from. 

You can look at your local hardware store to see what your options are. Some extensions look the same as the downspout, but add length making it so the water flows further from your home. There are also cement extensions which stay in place a little better than the plastic or aluminum extensions. 

Additionally, it is important to check your downspouts to ensure that they aren’t blocked by leaves, or debris. If the downspouts become blocked, water may intrude under your roof causing water damage to your ceiling.

Laminate Flooring Water Damage

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Laminate flooring comes in many different looks and can be a great choice when replacing flooring. However, water damage to laminate flooring can cause have many potential problems. If possible, avoid putting laminate flooring down in rooms that are could potentially have water damage. Use caution when installing laminate flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements. 

Water can cause laminate flooring to detach and break down. Water can cause laminate flooring to permanently buckle, in which case replacing would be necessary. Many times when we see water damage to laminate flooring, we would recommend removing it in order to avoid mold growth and to allow the subflooring to completely dry in a timely manner.

When laminate flooring is placed in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, some of the appliances in those rooms can slowly leak water which seeps underneath the laminate. This leakage can go unnoticed until buckling or mold develop. Basements can accumulate water during heavy rain storms, leaky pipes or when sump pumps fail damaging your beautiful flooring. 

Placing a vapor barrier down can eliminate some of the damage. Being conscious of any leaks or damaged ocurring to your flooring is important. It is easier to clean up from water damage immediately when it occurs rather than letting it set, therefore, deteriorating the structure of your home. 

Why you Need a Sump Pump

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever had water in your basement or crawl space? Some basements and crawl spaces may get water inside of them after a heavy rain, quick thaw, or a long rainy season. Installing a sump pump in these areas can help keep these spaces dry and stop your property and contents from sustaining water damage. You can choose to install a sump pump yourself of have a plumber come and put it in for you. Sump pumps can be purchased from your local hardware store and usually require approximately a 2 foot by 18 inch hole to set in. Water flows into the hole and immediately gets pumped out through a pipe that leads away from your home.

When you have the sump pump installed, somethings you should consider is:

  • How will the sump pump run if the power goes out? Generally the sump pump is plugged in, and therefore would not work if there was no power going to the home. Storms often trigger the power to turn off, so an alternate power source is important. You could keep a generator handy to hook up if the power were to go out. Another option would be to have a back up battery that would automatically turn on if the power went out. The battery would need to be able to withstand long periods of inactivity.
  • What if my sump pump stops working? We often recommend to homeowners to have a back up sump pump handy and ready for use should yours stop working. It can take a lot of time to get a plumber out to the house to have them fix the sump pump, in this case, you would want to be able to hook up an alternate sump pump in the mean time to stop the sump pump pit to overflow causing water damage to your home.

Do You Head South for the Winter?

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Before heading south for the winter, you should definitely check out these important preventative measures to protect your home!

  • Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees. There are new thermostats that are considered “smart thermostats” so that you can control the temperature of your home from your phone from anywhere. The Nest https://nest.com/thermostats/ the thermostat that we use in our home and is so easy to use and manage. 

At SERVPRO we have talked to many homeowners who live in the south for winter and have had their heating system fail while they’re away. This leads to frozen pipes that can be undiscovered for long periods of time. Not knowing that your heating system has failed and pipes breaking while your away can lead to water and mold damage that affects large areas of the home.

  •  Winterize your pipes. Shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all faucets and flushing the toilets. You may also consider replacing the water traps and drains with a nontoxic antifreeze. Don’t think this is something you want to do yourself? Plumbers will come winterize your home for you.

Damaged Contents

9/30/2017 (Permalink)

When we think of storm and water damage, we often think of structure damage. Did you know that SERVPRO offers content restoration for your affected contents as well? Your contents can be your most valuable and meaningful belongings. We wouldn't want you to have to throw away damaged contents because the water damage they may have endured leads to mold damage and staining. 

Our technicians are specially trained to restore contents damaged by mold, water and smoke. Our technicians start by spot cleaning items to determine what cleaning techniques will work best based on the materials the item is made of and the type of damaged the item sustained. 

The types of cleaning we offer are: 

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

If your home or office requires extensive restoration, a pack out may be required. In this case, the SERVPRO team would inventory and pack out all contents and move them to our office. There, the team would clean all contents and store them in our climate controlled containers until you are ready to have your contents brought back. 

We work with you for 100% of this process letting you make decisions and offering solutions to possible problems along the way. Pack outs, storage, and pack backs are often covered by insurance. We work with your adjuster to ensure they understand any type of necessary cleaning and pack out.

Water Intrusion

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Intrusion

Have you ever had water leak into your home through your roof? If so, you understand the ways a roof leak can cause damage in your home. If you haven’t experienced a roof leak- you’re lucky!

It is important to understand the condition of your roof. Knowing that roof maintenance will be needed and what types of maintenance will be required can be helpful! Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly, it helps to know in advance so that you can prepare.

If water starts leaking into your home it can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time.

Damaged shingles is one of the most common sources of roof leaks. Having damaged or missing shingles, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Missing or damaged shingles will allow a lower layer of the roof to be exposed to nature’s elements and can allow water to seep through the uncovered spaces.

Nails that have backed out due to extreme weather should be hammered back in securely. When the nails are raised or fall out, allows water to seep in.

Flashing that is improperly installed or have been damaged allows water to enter through gaps. Have them inspected to ensure they are properly installed and are well maintained.

Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof. This would cause water to possibly intruder into your home through the underside of the roof. If you notice water stains around the perimeters of your home, water maybe backing up into your home from your gutters. Also, gutters that are not pitched properly don’t allow the water to flow the correct direction to the downspouts causing the same damage as a clogged gutter.

Skylights often have leaks if they are not installed properly or have seals that are worn and cracked. Water can seep into the home from the skylight causing damage.

Sometimes water damage from a roof leak goes undiscovered for a long time because of the insulation in the attic or crawl space. It takes a lot of water to seep into the home, soaking the insulation before it reaches the ceiling and walls. In some cases mold forms before water intrusion from the roof is noticed.

If you think your roof needs attention, call a roofer to have them inspect your roof. They can tell you what kind of shape your roof is in, inform you of any repairs that are necessary and give you a quote for the repairs.

Plumbing Checklist

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Plumbing problems cause a lot of the water damages that we hear about. It is important to ensure that the plumbing in your home is working properly and have any problem areas fixed.

You should check for:

  • Signs of leakage. Ex. Water/puddle marks
  • Corrosion
  • Signs of bad pipe connections
  • Water pressure. Low water pressure may be caused by a water line problem or sediment build up.
  • Any exposed pipes, ceilings and walls that may have pipes in them. If you see water stains or smell a musty odor.

Know where your water supply line valves are. It is important to be able to turn the water off to certain areas or turn off the water completely to your home. In an emergency situation you could completely shut off the water to your home until a skilled plumber can come fix the leak.

Syracuse Breaks 100 Year Old Rainfall Record

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Have you noticed the Syracuse area experiencing a large amount of rainfall this year? We have had a record setting amount of rain to date! 0.69 inches fell on May 5th as of 3PM alone.

To the west of us, Buffalo received more than 6 inches of rain in April. As of May 5th, Buffalo had already received 3 inches of rain this month! 3 inches of rain is the typical amount of rain Buffalo normally receives in an entire month.

Many of the local lakes, streams, rivers and canal ways are flooding. Over the weekend, events surrounding the Syracuse Creekwalk were canceled and the Creekwalk has been closed for some time due to high water levels. Parts of the Creekwalk are flooded making it unsafe for people to use that area. Lake Ontario water levels are nearing 2 feet above average and are expected to continue rising.

In Oswego County, a beaver dam burst causing water to pour all over State Route 183. Also in Oswego County, a swamp along Lakeshore Road flooded causing the town to close the road completely.

Onondaga Lake Park, had massive flooding throughout the park. High waters in the park caused some of the park benches to be taken into the lake as water levels began to shrink.

Remember, it is important to watch for flood warnings in your area. There are safety precautions that should be taken for health and safety reasons. Do not walk, drive or ride through flooded waters, because you do not know what is underneath the water that could harm you. If you must travel, find detours that lead around the flooded waters.

Have you had flooding in your area?

Roof Tarping

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that your local SERVPRO offers roof tarping? That’s right, our SERVPRO offers emergency service tarping. When you call our office, day or night seven days a week someone will be there to answer your call and we will come out to start work as soon as possible. Because you never know when you’re going to need this type of service and you never plan for it!

 As we approach the heavy rain season, some homeowners may discover that their roof needs repair. You may also find that your skylight is not air tight and is allowing rain to come into your home causing further damage.

For scheduling, financial or weather related reasoning, you may not be able to have the roof or skylight immediately repaired to stop the water from trickling in. However, it is important to prevent water from getting into your home. As a result, tarping is necessary. Our skilled technicians will identify the damaged section of the roof, checking for damaged tiles and check the interior of the home for leaks. We can then tarp the damaged area of the roof to stop water from entering the home. Any water damage that has occurred inside the home can be mitigated by our technicians to stop further damage in your home.

This way, when you are ready and the weather allows, you can have a roofing contractor come and either fix or replace your roof.

Preventing Basement Flooding

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers! The spring time can be a very moist season in CNY. This week for example, has a large amount of rain predicted in the forecast. Forecasters have even issued a flash flooding storm watch lasting several days.

All of this rain may have you thinking about ways you can prevent basement flooding this spring. Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement area, a flooded basement can be very stressful.

Take the following steps to prevent a flooded basement:

  • Keep gutters and downspouts free from any debris. Clear out any leaves, gravel or anything else that may have formed a blockade in your gutters and downspouts.
  • Make sure downspouts face away from your home. If the ground around your downspout has a slant, make sure that when the downspout empties the water is not going to flow back towards your home.
  • Fill cracks in the foundation with an epoxy.
  • Check your sump pump. Make sure the area is cleared from debris and that your pump is in good working order. You may want to have a back up sump pump or an alternative electrical source for the sump pump incase the power goes out.
  • Examine sewer systems and septic tanks.
  • Install window wells on any windows that lead to a lower level. Check the window to make sure it is water tight.
  • Check over your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you have the correct coverage. We often find that homeowners do not have a sump pump rider on their policy; therefore there is no coverage when a sump pump fails.

 

It is important to take the right precautions. Completing these steps will not be full proof to preventing water damage. However, it will minimize the risks.

Water Damage Alarm

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

What if we told you there was something you could hook up in your home that would alert you when water penetrated an area of your home you didn’t want it to?

Worried about your dishwasher leaking? Concerned about your water heater being old and water seeping out of it? Nervous about having your sump pump fail? Having an alarm that would sound if water infiltrated an area that it was not suppose to be could be helpful in many different spaces in a home or business. If there is an area of your home that has had previous water damages that you may be worried about happening again this water damage alarm could make you feel more comfortable.

If there is a space in your home that you don’t go often, this alarm would notify you of any water damage that occurs. Often, people have areas of their homes they don’t go into on a daily basis. For example, many people don’t or can’t go into their basement every day. Water damages occur in these areas and sit for long periods of time without being noticed. In the mean time, secondary damage occurs. Mold grows, contents get ruined and the already expensive damage becomes a lot more expensive than if it was discovered at the time of loss.

While browsing Amazon.com I found that many of the water damage alarms cost anywhere from $12-$50. When you think about the cost it may save you in the long run, it’s well worth the money! Consider purchasing one (or a few) of these alarms in your home to alert you of a water damage.

How to Save your Furniture after a Water Damage

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

Having water damage can be very frustrating and exhausting. We often hear from customers that they have tried to move all of their contents from an affected area, mop up the standing water, and fix the source of the water damage themselves during all hours! We spend our hard earned money on things that make our houses a comfortable and enjoyable environment. The last thing we want is to lose expensive or sentimental pieces of furniture.

There are a few things you can do in order to save your furniture from being ruined in a water damage situation:

-Assess what items have been affected by the water.

-Take pictures to document the water damage and specific pictures of items that have been damaged due to the water.

-Move any furniture out of the affected area that can be moved. The less time the furniture can be sitting in the water, the better. If you cannot move the furniture, try to put something underneath it that gets it up out of the water. For example, you could use wood blocks or aluminum foil.

-If you have wood furniture that has been affected by the water, make sure you put it somewhere it can air dry. Keep the furniture out of direct sunlight as direct sun exposure could cause the wood to crack or warp.

-Apply mayonnaise to any furniture that is lightly water damaged. Apply a thin layer of the mayonnaise and let it sit on the water damaged area for 1-2 hours. Use a damp cloth to remove the mayo from the area. This should remove the water damaged areas.

Are New Orleans Post Katrina Defense Plans Enough?

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Are New Orleans Post Katrina Defense Plans Enough? Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina hit New Orleans and it hit HARD. Take a look at this video to see what they have done since to amp up the city’s defense system and how we as a society have contributed to our own downfall regarding flood control.


Songs About the Great Flood of 1927

5/18/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Songs About the Great Flood of 1927 The Great Flood of 1927.

The Great Flood of 1927 of the Mississippi River not only changed the landscape of the region, the people and government regulations but their culture as well. Many musicians were inspired to express their feelings at the time of the disaster and others continue to do so through conveying those emotions which they so closely associate with those in peril at the time of the flood. Below are some of the most well-known songs about the flooding in 1927.  I have collected primarily songs from the blues genre although you will find some other styles mixed in. Some of these songs and artists have stories and information to share outside of the songs themselves and others simply leave the music to do all of the talking. I encourage you to listen to the songs by clicking on the title, the emotions behind them and add any other songs about the flooding of 1927 that are not mentioned in the comment section below.

Memphis “Minnie” McCoy and Kansas Joe McCoy – When the Levee Breaks

This is probably the most famous song that came about from the Great Flood of 1927. Many African Americans were forced to work, often at gunpoint, on the levees as the river waters rose during the flood for the Mississippi in 1927. At this point in time, many blacks worked on plantations in the Deep South and rented homes from the plantation owners. When the flood came, they had nowhere to go and were forced to move North to find better jobs. This song rose to fame when rock band Led Zeppelin covered it and released it in 1970.

Bessie Smith - Back Water Blues

                This particular song is written about the very early stages of the flood of 1927 which actually started all the way in Tennessee on Christmas Day of 1926. This blues and jazz standard is about the Cumberland River which flows through Nashville and contributed to the overall flooding in 1927.

Barbecue Bob – Mississippi Heavy Water Blues

Charley Lincoln - Mississippi Low-Levee Blues

                Barbecue Bob wrote “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues” about the flood of 1927 and years later his brother, Charley Lincoln (also known as Laughing Charlie) wrote the sequel “Mississippi Low-Levee Blues.”

Charley Patton- High Water Everywhere Pt 1 and 2 – Bob Dylan Covered

                It is believed that Patton was referring to Greenville, Mississippi in this song where African Americans were held after the flood and not allowed to leave by the landowners for fear that they wouldn’t not return to the Deep South and work the plantations. “High Water Everywhere” is debatably one of Patton’s best works and often hailed as his magnum opus.

Terence Blanchard- Ghost of 1927

                While this song is obviously inspired by the flood of 1927 it was actually written circa 2006-2007 for film director Spike Lee’s four hour award winning HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. What resulted was Blanchard’s album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) compromised of songs about the flooding of the Mississippi region throughout the years. This album won a Grammy in 2008 for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” and the song “Levees” was nominated for “Best Jazz Instrument Solo.”

Randy Newman – Louisiana 1927

Aaron Neville - Louisiana 1927

                Newman wrote this lamenting song in the perspective of an anonymous resident of the Saint Bernard and Plaquemines parishes recounting the aftermath of the flood. He describes the callous response from the government, the sheer volume of water and the scope of disaster. After Katrina hit, Aaron Neville of The Neville Brothers performed his own version of the song and revived “Louisiana 1927” in way that it not only became the theme song after Katrina but is now considered a Louisiana folk song, staple and standard.

Zachary Richard – Big River

                This song is off Richard’s 20th album Le Fou which was strongly influenced by his roots in Louisiana as is all of his music but more specifically, the BP Oil Spill. This album is hailed as his best and Richard splits his time between Scott, Louisiana and Canada where he is most well-known.

Other songs about the Flood of 1927:

Blind Lemon Jefferson – “Rising High Water Blues”

Lonnie Johnson – “Broken Levee Blues”

Eric Bibb – “Flood Water”

Jed Hopkins and Sarah A Westcott – “The Mississippi Flood Song “

Joe Hoover – “Mississippi Flood Song”

Big Bill Broonzy – “Big Bill Blues,”  “Southern Flood Blues,” and his cover of “Back Water Blues

The New Lost City Ramblers – “Mighty Mississippi” (originally written by Kelly Harrell)

Al Craver  (Vernon Dalhart) - “The Mississippi Flood”

Arthur Fields - “Terrible Mississippi Flood”

Norfolk Jubilee Quartet - “The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago”

Bartmon Montet and Joswell Dupuis - “L’Eau Haute” (High Water Waltz)

The Most Destructive Flood in American History

4/25/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Most Destructive Flood in American History Mississippi Flood of 1927.

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

The flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927 was the worst flood in American history. At the height of its power, the flood affected an area approximately 27,000 square miles affecting the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas with Arkansas being hit the hardest. At one point the flooded area was 50 miles wide, a 100 miles long and 30 feet deep. 500 people were killed, 600,000 were left homeless and there were 350 million dollars in damages – approximately 5 billion dollars today.

How did it happen?

Heavy rains came down in late 1926 and kept falling from the sky well into 1927. The tributaries of the Mississippi started to become burdened and the levees overflowed. The single greatest weak point in the levee system was at Mounds, Mississippi but authorities assured residents that the levee would hold. Slaves were made to pile sandbags on top of the levee but once one leak started, the water flow continued to increase. The levee started to shake and eventually collapsed with water flowing more than double the volume of Niagara Falls. The Mounds Landing levee break was significant in that after its collapse, the entire levee system along the river broke. Mounds Landing is known as the most severe levee break in the history on the United States to this day.

Changes

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 brought about many changes to the region and the entire country. Racial tensions soared high and many African Americans migrated north resulting in what is now known as the Great Migration. Under the Flood Control Act of 1928 the world’s longest system of levees were built. In 1941 Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Yazoo Backwater Project which utilizes levees, connecting channels, drainage structures and pumps to prevent flooding in the Mississippi Delta. The Great Flood of 1927 will always be remembered and continues to affect our country, its geography, its people, culture and our landscape to this very day. 

What is a Levee?

4/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is a Levee? Levee on the Mississippi River.

Levees are natural or artificial embankments made to regulate water flow, prevent flooding, overflowing or to keep certain areas of land dry. People have been attempting to control rivers, oceans and seas for thousands of years through the use of levees.

Natural levees are made of sediment pushed to the side of river banks causing the sides to be significantly higher than the river bed. Manmade embankments are often made of soil, sand and rocks but can also be made of wood, plastic and in some severe cases, concrete. On top, a flat surface is typically left on which sandbags may be piled even higher if needed.

Levees usually run parallel to the course of a river or flood plain to divert the water flow in as natural a manner as possible. If there are any spaces between levees on the same riverbank, the levee becomes useless. This may seem like common sense but it was an issue when the first levees were built by individuals who owned property along riverbanks and not government organizations.  

7 Ways to Maintain Your Septic System

4/4/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage 7 Ways to Maintain Your Septic System Septic System.

It is important to maintain your septic system for the health of your family, your community and for monetary reasons as well. Your septic system is an integral part of your household and the importance of it may not be fully realized until there is a problem. To prevent problems and major life inconveniences involving your septic system, there are a few simple procedures and rules to follow for its maintenance.


1)      Regularly inspect your septic system. Get in touch with an On-Site System Maintainer to regularly inspect your system routine maintenance can save you a lot money in the long run.


2)      Locate your septic system, take a picture of where it is in your yard and put it in a file. This will save a lot of time and aggravation later when you have to get your system pumped. You can also have risers installed to make the pumping and monitoring of your system easier and less time consuming.


3)      Pump your system. Different systems call for different lengths of time between pumping and cleaning out your system. Typically your system should be pumped every 3-5 years. If there are a lot of people in your home or you use a lot of water, you may want to consider pumping your soon. Household amenities like garbage disposals, hot tubs and whirlpools can wreak havoc on your system so if these are present, shoot for every 2-3 years. It’s best to consult our septic system handbook, look it up online, or get the opinion of a professional for a more exact length of time between pumps.


4)      Be water conscience. Fixing leaky faucets and running toilets immediately can prevent strain on your system. If these are not taken care of in a timely manner, your septic tank could overflow contaminating your yard, groundwater and the community in which you live. It’s also important to think before you flush! Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. To prolong the life of your septic system avoid flushing items such as tampons, disposable diapers, cat litter, q-tips, condoms and anything other than toilet paper down the toilet and drain.


5)      Proper landscaping can play a large part in the longevity of your septic system as well. Do not plant and shrubs or trees on top of your septic system. Their roots can grow and cause cracks in the system which can cost a lot of money down the road to replace. Never build anything above your system or pour a slab of concrete. It’s safest to just plan grass above the system and the drainfield to let it breathe and work properly.


6)      Direct water from roof and land drains away from drainfield.


7)      Add some yeast to keep the bacteria alive that breaks down solid waste. Flush a ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet the first time and ¼ cup every 4 month after that.


Your septic system is an integral part of your household so do you part to take care of it for the health of your family, your community and your wallet! 

How to Prevent Leaky Pipes

2/1/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Prevent Leaky Pipes Leaky Pipe.

Stress on pipes can result in leaks which can be expensive to fix, replace and, not to mention, could cause extensive water damage to your home, business and personal items if they burst. Here are some ways to decrease the amount of stress and pressure on your pipes.

High water pressure can feel nice in the shower and it may seem like the dishes are getting done faster but, this can put an unnecessary amount of strain on your plumbing. You can get a hose bib gauge at your local hardware store to test the pressure. Attach it to an outside spigot and open the valve. Normal pressure is between 40-85 PSI so if you pressure measures above this, you may want to consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. You can also install a low flow shower head in your bathroom to help reduce pressure there.

Hard water is another obstacle as far as pipes are concerned. Hard water is water with a higher than normal amount of mineral content such as calcium or magnesium present. These minerals can build up inside your pipes which restricts flow and in turn, increases the pressure. Deposits can also corrode joints and fittings over time. If you see a white substance on our faucet heads, you more than likely have hard water. If you are unsure or want more proof, ask your local municipality to view the water quality report they are required to have through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The only way to effectively soften the water in your home or business is by having a plumber install a water softener.

Wrap your pipes. If you have exterior piping and plan on going out of town in the winter months, take precautions to prevent coming home to a disaster. Wrap your pipes in electrical heat tape or a pipe sleeve which you can purchase at your local hardware store to prevent them from freezing. Remember, if the water is not constantly moving and the cold water pipes touch the exterior of the building when the temperature gets below freezing, your pipes will most likely freeze!

Set the spigot valve. If you have a pipe running through cement to your outside spigot valve, it’s always a good idea to install a frost-free hose bib which allows you to shut off water to the inside of the home preventing freezing.

These are all relatively simple and in expensive ways to protect your pipes that in the end could save you thousands of dollars! 

What is the IICRC

1/18/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is the IICRC IICRC Logo.

The IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are a non-profit organization that sets the standards for the cleaning, installation, inspection and restoration industry for more than 25 countries. They offer classes, training and certification.


The IICRC was formed in 1972 by Ed York and was originally intended to be the standard for carpet and upholstery cleaning. Quickly, the organization grew to include water, fire and smoke damage, cleanup and repair, as well as wood, stone and tile cleaning and repair. 


How Are the Certifications and Classes Determined?


IICRC’s Shareholders vote to nominate candidates to sit on a Board of Directors which is comprised of 15 industry professionals. The Board only meets four times of year so within the Board, there is an Executive Committee. The Committee is selected once a year at the fall meeting. The Board, along with the Committee, determines the direction of the organization while still following the ethics and guidelines set in place by IICRC. The Board determines what classes and certifications are necessary throughout the industry. The IICRC does not own schools or hire instructors but rather approves them to teach classes according to the organizations standards.


For more information on the IICRC, you can visit their website here: http://www.IICRC.org/

Different Types of Water Damage

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage is split up into three different types of categories and four different types of classes according to the Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) which sets the industry standards for the water damage restoration and repair industry.

The following categories describe the type of water involved:

Category 1: This is water from a clean source such as faucets, toilets, tanks, drinking fountains, etc.

Category 2: Liquid in this category is sometimes called grey water. The level of contaminants in grey water may cause illness if ingested and comes from sources such as dishwasher or washing machines, sink drains and toilet overflows with some urine but no fecal matter.

Category 3: This is the most unsanitary classification as it could cause severe illness or even death if ingested. Liquid in this category is also known as black water and comes from sewer backup, flooding from rivers, streams, toilet overflow with fecal matter and stagnant liquid that has begun to grow bacteria.

The classes below describe the level of destruction.

Class 1: Only one area of the room was affected, little or no wet carpet, and water has only touched materials with a low permeance rate such as plywood or concrete. Evaporation rate is slow in this class and damage is the easiest to deal with.

Class 2: In this class, the evaporation rate is fast and water has affected the entire room, going up the wall at least a foot leaving a lot of moisture in materials.

Class 3: Liquid may have come from above and the ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated and have the fastest evaporation rate.

Class 4: Specialty drying situations are placed in this class when there is enough water to completely saturate materials with very low permeance such as hardwood, brick or stone.

These categories and classes are used by the restoration industry to determine what type of plan and process should be used in each water damage situation.  Ask your restoration company beforehand if their technicians are IICRC certified to ensure the highest quality and standards in the cleanup process of your home or business.