Houston Winter Storm & Pipe Bursts

Houston Winter Storm & Pipe Bursts

When Regency DRT arrived in Houston this morning the temperature dropped in Southeast Texas into near-historic levels, causing thousands of reported pipe bursts in Houston alone. Not only that but it left millions of homes and businesses without power creating a better environment for pipes to freeze.

With an average yearly snowfall of 63 inches and temperatures reaching -25 to -30 Fahrenheit, our Michigan location is no stranger to this type of damage.

So how can you tell if your dealing with a pipe burst?

 

 

Pipes break during wintry weather because the water freezes and expands inside the pipe, similar to putting a bottle of water or a can of soda in the freezer and watching it expand outward.

Often the pipes can’t take the stress, and they break. This could happen inside your home’s walls, in the attic, under your home or on the pipes outside your home.

Here are 6 telltale signs to look out for: 

Frost or icicles – on the exterior of a pipe

Stains on your walls or ceiling – Look very carefully, perhaps with a bright flash light, for any discoloration from the normal paint. The beginning of a leak won’t always show up as falling sheet rock — try to catch it in the very early stages of discoloration as it gets wet.

Sagging sheet rock – know that most of the time when dry wall gets wet, it has to be replaced, especially if is soaked and sagging or can easily be pierced with your finger or a tool. Fix the leak first, of course. Just repairing the leak without removing damaged dry wall or moisture could caused mold problems down the road.

Low water pressure or no water pressure – this could impact all your water fixtures or just one or two in a certain wall that froze. Of course, this is more difficult to tell if your city’s entire water supply is compromised or suffering from low water pressure.

Expensive water bills – if you haven’t changed your habits or had additional people staying over, a sudden jump in your monthly bill may be an indicator that you have a leak somewhere. It could even be from of a faucet or line outside or under your home where it may be less obvious. Again, walk around the perimeter of your property on a dry day and look for any clues like standing water or mud.

Smelly or Discolored Water – If you’re not sure what we mean by this please visit our “Know Your Water” article. This is extremely important in regards to safety.

 

What can I do to prevent further damage?

 

 

Act quickly – If the stress of water damage doesn’t motivate you to act quickly, the possibility of mold might. Mold can begin to develop within 24-48 hours of exposure to moisture. Say hello to airborne spores and harmful particles! Since mold has been linked to serious illness, be sure to act quickly whenever water damage is suspected.

Stop the flow of water – Assuming it’s safe to proceed, shut off the water supply leading to the damaged area. If you can’t tell where the water is coming from, get in touch with an expert immediately.

Turn off the power – For small cases of water damage, this step can be skipped. However, when water has saturated walls and floors, it’s better to be cautious. Don’t unplug or switch off electrical appliances when in contact with water. Some homeowners have fallen into the “It won’t happen to me” trap and gotten injured. Stay safe and smart.

Assess the damage – Before you or a professional water damage restoration company begins remediation, take stock of the damage. Write down exactly what looks damaged and the source of the damage. Use your phone to snap pictures of visible signs of the damage. This photographic evidence can help you in filing an insurance claim and can offer your restoration company more guidance on the source of the problem.

Salvage your most valuable possessions – Again, this step should only be done if the area is safe to enter. If you can, locate and remove your most important items from the damaged area. If your items are severely damaged, many restoration companies offer content restoration services. Content restoration is a process of individualized restoration to specific items and is ideal for homeowners with a wide variety of possessions that have been damaged. Contact our team for more information on this service.

Prepare the area – To prepare the affected area for full restoration, dry up visible water. Place old towels on the ground and sop up as much water as possible. Standing water is devastating to a home’s structural integrity and can compound water damage into more costly restoration projects.

Contact a professional – Unfortunately, many do-it-yourself restoration projects fall flat. With limited knowledge and equipment on the process of water damage restoration, homeowners usually only scratch the surface of remediation. Warped flooring returns and moldy smells become more apparent. Regency is no stranger to water damage. Whether you’ve experienced major flooding or just a subtle leak, contact Regency DRT for your restoration needs.

 

Is there anything I should avoid doing?

 

 

Regency does NOT recommend DIY mitigation and restoration – If you have water damage within your home, your first instinct may be to go on to Google and find the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to clean it up yourself. With the internet at our fingertips, it seems that we can find “answers” to our problems within seconds. Although we may find these “answers,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they are correct, that they even work, or are the best option for you. Click Here for more information.

 

If Your Home Or Business Was Effected By The Winter Storm, Call Now OR Fill Out The Form Below For Immediate Assistance – Our Water Damage Restoration Experts Are Standing By To Serve You – (888) 221-5791!

 

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When Should I Call a Professional?

It’s pretty common to have a water leak and not even realize it. Most leaks are hidden from plain sight and require special attention to detail in order to notice them. Take a moment and look for the following signs that result in the need for leak detection services.

1. Mushy Ground

If it’s not raining often in your area, your yard should stay dry. However, if you walk around your house and notice areas of mushy, moist ground, you can probably benefit from water leak detection services. Unusually mushy ground could signify a broken water line that’s draining directly into the earth around your home. Allowing the leak to go unfixed will not only keep your yard soggy, but could eventually cause the earth to shift, causing costly damage to your foundation.

2. Skyrocketing Water Bill

One of the easiest ways to spot a water leak is to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you go from paying 50 dollars a month to 350, you probably have a leak or a busted line. Make sure you compare bills over a period of time. Also consider looking at last year’s bill.

3. Sound of Continuously Running Water

Everyone knows the sound of a running toilet or dishwasher. Since it’s such a normal sound in the typical home, you might fail to notice the sound when appliances aren’t running. Periodically check your appliances and toilets when you hear the sound of running water to make sure something is actually turned on. If you hear the sound but know everything is turned off, you must have a leak under your home or in the walls.

4. Mysteriously Changing Water Meter

If you suspect a water leak, turn off everything that uses water in your home for about an hour. After awhile, go to your water meter and have a close look. Is it still running? A running meter signifies the need for water leak detection.

5. Wet Spots in Home

Wet spots on floors and walls might be common in a home with frequent spills. However, if you notice discolored areas where you’re sure nothing has been spilled, keep a look out. If they don’t go away or you notice more, you may have a hidden water leak.

6. Musty Smells

Smelling a musty odor in your home means that water is lurking somewhere. Consider hiring a water leak detection expert to help you hunt down the source. Breathing in the moist air is not only uncomfortable, but it also can negatively impact your allergies.

7. Need for Excessive Pool Chemical Treatments

When a swimming pool has a leak, you’ll probably find yourself treating it with more chemicals than normal. That’s because the costly chemicals are leaking out along with the water. Keep track of chemicals you use each month. If you see a drastic fluctuation, begin searching for leak detection services.

Leaving a leak alone will inevitably cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Save yourself some cash and look for the signs. If you think you have a leak, don’t hesitate to call a professional for water leak detection.

Call Regency DRT to Schedule Your Leak Detection Appointment!

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information!

 

 

Toilet Tank Leaks, What You Need To Know!

According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), toilets are responsible for approximately 27 percent of the water used in homes on a daily basis. The amount of water used by toilets is only increased when there is a leak. A leaking toilet tank can result in an incredible loss of water every minute it has not been stopped. It oftentimes goes undetected until a leak test has been conducted.

What Causes Toilet Leaking?

  • Ineffective flush valve system
  • Fill valve problems

An ineffective flush valve system is the most common culprit of toilet leaking. At the bottom of a toilet tank is the flapper, or flush valve ball. The ball or flapper is supposed to form a watertight seal. After a period of time this part can begin to deteriorate or become defective. When this occurs, water begins to leak around it into the toilet bowl. Although this leak is the most common, it can be the most difficult to detect, because the toilet leaking is silent.

While the ineffective flush valve is responsible for most leaks, fill valve problems result in a leaking toilet tank as well. The second most frequent cause of a leaking toilet tank is a broken or inadequately placed fill valve, or ball cock. Problems occur when the shut-off valve does not completely close or the float is placed too high. If this happens, the tank will experience a continuous flow of water, which then enters the overflow tube.

Water and Money Consumed Before a Leak Test

Toilet leaking results in a tremendous amount of water loss. Every day that a silent leak goes undetected can amount to as much as 300 gallons of water. That is three times the amount of water the average American uses in an entire day. When water is wasted, that easily translates to money spent on higher water bills. Depending on the size of the leak, it is possible to end up paying an extra $500.00 every year on water that was never used. Performing a leak test regularly allows you to take action before more water, and ultimately money, can be wasted.

How Can I Tell if the Toilet is Leaking?

A leak test can be performed by placing a toilet tablet into the toilet tank once the filling has stopped. Wait for a period of 10 minutes, and then check for color in the bowl. If color emerges, you have a leak problem that needs to be fixed right away. The toilet tablet is very inexpensive. They cost as little as $0.19 for one package containing two tablets.

Leaks involving the fill valve are not as easily detected. Once the toilet tank is full, remove the tank covering and check for water flowing in the overflow tube. If this is occurring, you have a leaking toilet tank on your hands. A water leak sensor is available to alert you as soon as toilet leaking is detected. The device flashes a green LED light when the toilet is properly functioning. Once toilet leaking has been sensed, the LED will flash a red light and make a beeping sound. A water leak sensor costs approximately $20.00, and pays for itself many times over during the course of a year in the money you will save by knowing right away when you are facing a leaking toilet tank.

Act Fast!

When your house has been water damaged, there is no time to lounge around and wait for a good time to start the cleanup process. We at Regency DRT have more than twenty years of experience to handle every type of water damage dilemma you might face. Some of the services we provide include water extraction and pump-outs, complete structural drying, dehumidification, mold and sewage remediation, water damage cleanup due to frozen pipes and broken pipes, and off-site personal property cleaning.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information on how to recover from water damage.

 

 

Four Types Of Thunderstorms

Like other things in life, thunderstorms differentiate depending on certain conditions. Sure, we’ve got severe and non-severe storms, but are you aware that there are four different types of thunderstorms?

In their infancy, most thunderstorms start up as high cumulus clouds. wet parcels of air rise, expand, and cool, inflicting these clouds to grow. This creates what we decision an updraft. Often, the white, wispy look of the growing cloud is replaced by a darker shade. This ominous look is water vapor condensing into ice crystals and water droplets that will later fall as rain.

If there’s an updraft, then there must be a downdraft, right? Once the ice crystals and water droplets become heavy enough, gravity takes over and the precipitation begins to fall. As it descends, it forces the surrounding air down with it. This creates the downdraft, transporting cooler, humid air to the surface.

The downdraft is also responsible for what helps weaken a storm. As the downdraft becomes stronger, it eventually overtakes the updraft, leading to the thunderstorm’s demise. If that warm, moist air can no longer rise, the entire process stops and what once was a dangerous storm, becomes a cloud with light rain that gradually dissipates.

Now let’s break down the four different types they can become:

Singe-Cell Thunderstorms:

Single-Cell Thunderstorms are pulse storms. As with all thunderstorms, they are formed in areas of high humidity. They barely last an hour but can create severe hail and weak tornadoes.

Multi-Cell Thunderstorms:

Multi-Cell Thunderstorms consist of a group of single-cell thunderstorms at different stages of their life. They make everyone aware of their presence by lightening.

Multicell Line Storms consist of a line of squalls leading the front.

Multicell Cluster Storms can produce moderate sized hail, flash floods, and weak tornadoes.

Super-Cell Storms: 

Super-Cell Storms are the most severe type of thunderstorm. They can produce strong downbursts, large hail, and occasional flash floods.

 

Safe or Not Safe?

Have you ever walked or drove down a road and came across a sign that declared, “Floodplain Zone!”

If it was near your home, you might have panicked. But if it was somewhere far from your home, you felt safe.
A floodplain can be dangerous because any home in or near one is subject to flooding. If you have a basement, you have more to worry about.

But did you know that even if you live outside a floodplain, there are flooding issues that you must be aware of? Continue reading “Safe or Not Safe?”

Know Your Water

We all have those unwanted surprises in our lives. Water damage is one of them. When experiencing the unexpected trauma of having your Indian River property flooded and your valuables damaged, it might be smart to familiarize yourself with the different water types that you could be swimming in. Some water types can pose a serious threat to your health and safety. We at Regency DRT are experts in properly handling water damage and want to ensure your family and pets are safe from harm.

Category 1: Clean Water

“Hey! I can’t turn off the sink!”

This type of water comes from sanitary sources like overflowing sinks, rain, snow, and water supply line problems. It poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure; however, it must be treated quickly. If left untreated within 72 hours, it will move to a Category 2 water loss.

Category 2: Gray Water

“Hey! the washing machine is spitting out water!”

This category of water is considered to be moderate and may cause illness and discomfort. Just like a Category 1 water source, this problem needs to be dealt with immediately. If it’s not treated within 48 hours, it becomes a Category 3 Loss, which is a lot more expensive to deal with. The most common sources for gray water are toilet bowls, sump pumps, dishwashers and washing machines. Most important rule to remember? Don’t drink this water! It contains chemicals not fit for consumption and you might find yourself feeling a little under the weather.  

Category 3: Black Water

“Hey! The toilet is overflowing and the water doesn’t look too pretty!”

This is where a water dilemma gets serious and will require you to take immediate action. The danger levels for black water are extremely high and can cause serious illnesses like infections, long-term respiratory problems, etc. Black water should be left strictly to the professionals. The use of specialized equipment is required to clear black water without threatening the health of both humans and animals in the area. The most common sources are any sewage or toilet backflows as well as ground surface water carrying silt and organic matter. This problem requires the help of professionals who are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Act Fast!

When your house has been water damaged, there is no time to lounge around and wait for a good time to start the cleanup process. We at Regency DRT have more than twenty years of experience to handle every type of water damage dilemma you might face. Some of the services we provide include water extraction and pump-outs, complete structural drying, dehumidification, mold and sewage remediation, water damage cleanup due to frozen pipes and broken pipes, and off-site personal property cleaning.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information on how to recover from water damage.

Water Damaged Electronics

It’s a terrible sinking feeling (pun intended) you get when you drop your iPhone, iPad or Android — or other expensive hand-held electronic device — into water, such as a sink, bathtub or (gross) toilet.

When that happens, you respond quickly. You dip your hand into the offending reservoir, grab the device and shake it vigorously, hoping against all odds that you can force all moisture out before permanent damage occurs.

You may even dunk your device into a bag of rice, hoping that online tip you read about rice pulling moisture from electronic devices is true. You may submit it mercilessly to the business end of a hairdryer until it is too hot to hold.

What’s the best thing to do when electronic devices suffer from water damage? Continue reading “Water Damaged Electronics”

Fight, Flight, or Do It Right

water damage cleanup port st lucie, water damage port st lucieNothing quite compares to the comfort of walking into your house, removing your shoes, and sinking back into your favorite recliner for a moment of relaxation after a long day. On the other hand, nothing quite compares to the panic and devastation that arises from coming home to find your home and belongings soaked, submerged, and potentially destroyed. Upon coming across such a disaster, it may seem that water damage cleanup is a near impossible task. Typically, this is where one’s fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in. 

Realizing your home has been flooded can send you straight into panic mode. This may lead you into some dangerous waters, pun intended and could lead to further harm to both you and your home. You may find yourself tempted to fling yourself into the danger zone in a frenzied rampage to save your belongings. However, entering the area without protective gear can be extremely dangerous, as the water may contain unknown and detrimental contaminants and bacteria, as well as sharp objects such as nails, broken glass, or exposed wires. In addition, without turning off the water and electrical power, not only are you likely to have more water damage, but you also run the risk of fostering an electrical current in standing water. It is not a good idea to impulsively rush into the situation and tackle the disaster without a serious and professional assessment. “Fighting” the flood on your own is extremely dangerous and could inflict serious injury, inevitably leading to bigger problems than you started with.

Additionally, water damage can also be quite overwhelming, and if you are more prone to the “flight” aspect of the fight-or-flight conundrum, you may find yourself searching for quick-fixes to try to patch up the problem and ignore the real, more long-term consequences. Laying a few towels down and turning on some fans might seem to dry out the area, but much of the more serious damage will be virtually untouched. There may still be water in places you can’t see, like in the walls and beneath floorboards, which can lead to structural decay and mold growth. When left untreated, this can pose a serious threat to the health of all those in the household and could potentially generate major problems in the future.

All-in-all, the best way to handle this type of disaster is simpler than you might think. By reaching out to a water damage restoration service like Regency DRT in the Port St. Lucie area, your home can be saved without much hassle at all. Many water restoration companies offer different services, each tailored to your individual needs. Every disaster is different, and these companies are equipped to handle anything ranging from plumbing backups to severe flooding without causing any stress. An inspection will be conducted to assess damages and determine the source of the water.  From there, the service will determine what actions must be taken to recover your home and its contents, and the disaster will be professionally handled so that you and your home are taken care of.

Protect Your Property From Flooding

water damage west palm beach water damage restoration west palm beachThe weather in 2019 and 2020 has brought a lot of heavy rains and flooding. When you are a home or business owner in West Palm Beach, Florida, the weather can be frustrating and scary. Homes and businesses are at risk of suffering major structural damage due to hurricanes and flooding on top of many other disasters that could happen.

When it comes to protecting your home or business from storms and natural weather events, prevention is the best medicine. There are several things that you can do to prevent major flooding damage from happening so that you do not have to contact a water damage professional. However, sometimes hiring a water damage restoration team can help you determine if there is, in fact, any unseen damage that could have occurred during a water event.

As far as prevention goes, here are a few tips:

  1. Start at the source! If you are building a home in an area prone to flooding, use flood-resistant materials. FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have published lists of flood-resistant materials that can be used. Keep in mind that even flood-resistant materials can become damaged, the damage is usually cosmetic and can be repaired quickly. Flood-resistant materials limit the extent of the damage.
  2. Build at a higher elevation. Homes that are built with the bottom floor above flood level are obviously much less likely to experience flood damage.
  3. If you are in an area prone to flooding, levees and floodwalls are good barriers to prevent flooding inside the home. Sealing off areas where water can get into the home is helpful too.
  4. Properly grate your property so that water will drain away from your walls. This is especially helpful if you have a basement as basements are prone to flood damage.
  5. Clear your storm drains. Keep leaves and debris cleared out of storm drains and gutters. Clogged gutters and storm drains will cause water from heavy rains to puddle. This can cause damage to the outside of your property and let water inside, causing floods.
  6. In the winter, make sure that snow does not pile up against your property. Any cracks in the foundation’s walls or windows could cause an extensive amount of water to get in the home and cause water damage.
  7. Check your pipes. Pipes that are not properly insulated in the winter or do not receive proper maintenance can become major causes of property damage. Frozen pipes often expand and burst, causing horrendous water damage, and old pipes break open creating more flooding issues.

Some flooding is unavoidable. But, there are plenty of flooding scenarios that could be avoided with proper planning, maintenance, and care. Don’t let a water damage disaster leave you frustrated and overwhelmed. Take the proper precautions and if you do find yourself in a water damage emergency, contact a professional water damage restoration team that knows how to successfully clean and restore your home or business. Contact an experienced company like Regency DRT!

Water Damage Clean Up - Regency DRT

It’s Not ‘Just the Carpet’

Many water damage pros have been called by good people just like you who need help “just sucking up the water from the carpet.” This can be water from an overflowing sink, toilet, maybe a washing machine that got a little ambitious during the spin cycle… or it could be from something more serious, like a broken water pipe or roof damage from a storm. No matter what, some homeowners only see and think about the squishy carpet and don’t know about all those other areas in the home where water has affected it. That kind of thinking can get you into a lot of trouble.
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