Recent Water Damage Posts

What to do when your water heater leaks

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do when your water heater leaks SERVPRO is a 24/7 Emergency service, call us anytime for any and all water damages your home may have. Reach us at (217)935-2992.

Imagine: You have just awakened from a well-deserved, refreshing night’s sleep. Feeling mellow, you stretch, sit up, put your feet down and… Cringe. Your feet are sopping wet! Anxiety rising, you prowl around the house to investigate and find that the water’s source is a leaking water heater in your utility closet. With dismay, you see that the broken water heater is unleashing torrents of water into your home, and the entire bedroom wing is flooded with several inches of water.

Now you need to make some important, urgent decision. AS a homeowner, you fear water damage nearly as much as fire damage. How will you deal with the failed water heater, the water now flooding the house, and all the damage that water is causing?

Act Fast

Water damage mitigation specialists would most likely advise the following immediate, crucial procedures:

  • Turn off the water heater, preferably at the circuit breaker.
  • Turn off the water supply, either at the leaking water heater of at the whole-house water supply
  • Drain the water heater
  • Contact your insurance company

Engage a professional water damage mitigation company without delay.

Bring in the experts

Because a failed water heater can cause significant water intrusion into the home, affecting floors, carpets, walls, and furnishings, professional intervention offers the most effective path to pre-flood conditions. Water repair specialists will extract flood water, dehumidifying and drying out the premises with state-of-the-art equipment and practiced expertise. They will perform a thorough inspection of carpets, floors, and walls for an incursion of mold or mildew and eliminate those dangers. They will likely remove any items that cannot be salvaged and dispose of them. They will thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected areas of your home and may even perform any needed repairs or reconstruction.

Even though the aftereffects of a leaking water heater can seem formidable, turning to a professional water damage mitigation company in Piatt/Dewitt counties, will result in the prompt restoration of your home’s pristine condition and the corresponding alleviation of your worry and anxiety. (LB)

Spring season = Flood Season

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Spring season = Flood Season SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is ready 24/7 for all your water emergency needs.

While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. 

As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low-risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.

In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties offer the following tips:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
  • Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
  • Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan
  • Know how to safely shut-off utilities
  • Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
  • Have a portable radio to listen for important current information

When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties immediately at (217) 935 -2992. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. Our team has the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet Tank

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

8 Steps to Fix a Leaking Toilet

When you find water pooling near your home’s toilet in Piatt/Dewitt Counties don’t panic. Check to see if the leak is coming from the tank or the base. If the leaking toilet is at the tank, you can easily fix it with the following eight steps.

1. Shut off the supply water.

The tube below the tank is connected to a valve. Simply turn the valve until the water is off.

2. Remove the tank’s water.

Use a small container to bail the water out of the tank. Once most of the water is gone, use a sponge to absorb the last of it.

3. Loosen the tank’s bolts.

Using an adjustable wrench and screwdriver, loosen and remove both of the tank’s bolts. This will ensure easy removal of the tank.

4. Lift the tank from the base.

Very gently move the tank from side to side until you feel it lift. With the help of a friend, lift the leaking toilet tank and lay it on its side so you can access the bottom.

5. Eliminate the leaking retaining washer.

Remove the washer by turning it until it comes loose. If it is tight, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the rubber piece. 

6. Clean the remaining rubber.

Use something hard to scrape the remains of the gasket from the hole and surrounding area. Make sure the area is clean.

6. Install the tank’s new gasket.

Insert the new gasket into the hole and turn until it is tight. Make sure it turns easily because there is a danger of cross threading.

7. Replace the tank’s bolts and nuts.

Reinstall the nuts on the bolts by hand, making sure they are snug, but not overly tight.

8. Reattach the tank to the base.

Move the tank into position on the toilet base. Gently tighten the nuts and bolts until the gasket looks snug in the base. This will prevent a future bathroom leak.

You have just repaired your leaking toilet. However, if you don’t want to do the job yourself, consider calling a water specialist team to do the job quickly and efficiently. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is ready to help 24/7, Call us at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

Diagnosing a Shower Leak

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Diagnosing a Shower Leak If you have a shower head leaking in your Piatt/Dewitt county bathroom it is time to replace it

Admist the many aspects of maintaining your home in Piatt/Dewitt counties, attending to a bathtub leak can be frustrating without an idea of what to look for. It is important to remember that some signs of damage are easier to distinguish that others; however, confirming the occurrence of a leak is possible with a keen eye and a thorough bathroom inspection.

Check for Telltale Signs

Identifying any immediate indicators of a leak can help determine how best to handle the situation. Giveaway signs may include the following:

  • Pooling water near the shower pan. This is often the result of a shower door with a poor-quality seal and is one of the simplest leaks to repair.
  • Wet spots and dampness on any walls near the shower. If the leak is occurring within the plumbing system, the pipes behind the wall may expel water, thus leaving visible wetness.
  • Water leaking from the spray holes, water may leak from other parts of the fixture. Cleaning the shower head and replacing the O-ring may solve the issue.

Scratch Beyond the Surface

Unfortunately a bathtub leak may cause damage that is not as apparent and may require a more in depth analysis. One critical factor to be aware of is the presence of mold or mildew anywhere in the bathroom; this includes any odors that occur. The flooding underneath the bathroom should be investigated for moisture, dripping, or mineral buildup. Typically, these signs  indicate a leak that may need to be addressed by a professional.

Determine the Best course of Action

Generally a shower pan leak with telltale indicators can be repaired without the need for professional intervention. For more internalized leaks, it is wise to consider contacting a water damage repair specialist for further analysis.

While diagnosing a shower or bathtub leak can be challenging, an informed approach can simplify the process. Understanding what to look for and when to contact a [professional can make a difference in preserving your home.  

If you have a leak in the bathroom, call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties at (217) 935-2992, for all your emergency service needs. (LB)

Frozen Pipes

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Learn How to prevent water pipes from freezing and How to thaw them if they do freeze

Why pipes freezing are a problem

Water has a unique property in it that it expands as it freezes. The expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basement and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to protect pipes from freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturers or installers directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store used hoses outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape”, “heat cable”, or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to prevent frozen pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to make any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nightline temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit

How to thaw frozen pipes

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a froze pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begin to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipes will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electrical hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt for any of your fire needs, 24/7 at (217) 935-2992. (LB)

Water Damage? We've got you covered.

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine discovering that your home has cracks in the foundation and water from a recent rainfall has saturated your crawlspace. Not only is this a soggy situation that needs cleaned up, but also there is a high probability that mold could form on the affected structure. You need a team to service that can do it all. 

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is who you want to contact. We will first remove the insulation and any debris. Drying equipment can be set if drying is needed. Next, the structure will need to be cleaned and treated to prevent mold. Finally, new insulation will be installed along with laying down a vapor barrier. 

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt at 217-935-2992 to schedule an estimate today

Emergency Water Removal for Piatt/Dewitt County Residents

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Removal in an Emergency

Water pipes are often not insulated in the home, particularly when traveling into cellar spaces or through garages. Plumbing systems are suitably robust. However, as they age, they become more susceptible to temperature changes or pressure. These elements cause the materials to expand and retract which, over time can loosen connections or split the pipes. When that happens, water can leak rapidly and require extraction. 


It is rare that homeowners own the type of equipment needed to perform extraction themselves. Water removal in Piatt/Dewitt counties require industrial scale equipment to get the job down fast and reduce the likelihood of permanent damage. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties have an emergency call line that operates 24 hours a day and can send a trained technician to your property within four hours of notification of loss. 

Generally, when standing water is over two inches high, it needs to be pumped. We use gas-powered fully submersible pumps to help remove excess water before moving in with extraction wands to treat saturated carpets or floorboards. When water levels are below two inches, we may not need to use pumps and move straight onto extraction equipment. 

The primary technique for removing excess water is to extract. Extractors come in various sizes and can be scaled to depending on the extent of the spill. If the water is below five gallons, we can use portable extractors which are nimble and precise. Where there is extensive spillage, truck-mounted extractors can be brought in with storage tanks of more than one hundred gallons. A SERVPRO technician can access either type after inspecting the affected area. 

Extraction equipment uses a vacuum component to help lift water from saturated carpets or fabrics. These need to be managed carefully as aggressive usage can damage carpets which are up to 50% weaker when drenched in water. SERVPRO technicians are trained to perform light, repeated pass overs that reduce the pressure put on wet materials and mitigates against further damages. 

If you need rapid water extraction, contact SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties at (217) 935-2992.

6 Tips to prevent pipes from freezing while Tenants are away.

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Learn these 6 Tips to keep pipes on your property from freezing.

Tip #1: Keep the Heat on

When tenants leave for a period of time, make sure to keep the heat on on your property. Convincing Tenants to leave their heat on while they are away may be difficult, especially if they are responsible to pay for their own utilities. However you should inform them that in order to prevent pipes from freezing the heat should stay on. If pipes freeze and burst it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. Keeping the heat as high as you normally would if someone was on the property is not necessary, 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a desired minimum temperature to set your thermostat to.  

Tip #2: Allow Faucet to drip

If you are fearful of a frozen pipe, allow the faucet to drip slightly. Pressure is left in the system when allowing the faucet to be open. Pipe bursts are typically a result in the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet. Following this simple step prevents build up, keeping you pipe from bursting.

Tip #3: Keep Interior doors open

Pipes can often be located in cabinets. Any time the temperature drops, it is a great idea to keep those cabinet doors open so the heat in in the rest of the house/apartment can keep the pipes warm as well.  You should also keep all the interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the entire living space.

Tip #4: Seal up cracks and holes

Tenants should consider to caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. Calking both the interior and exterior walls is a must. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape

Electrical heating tape may be an option to keep from freezing, for pipes that are easily accessible. Heating tape can be applied directly to the pipe. There are two different types of heating tape. One type reacts based on when it senses heat, turning the tape on or off. The other type of heating tape has to be plugged in and unplugged when heat is needed or not needed. These products can be dangerous, similar to a space heater, so be sure to follow each products directions and safety procedures exactly before using.

Tip #6: Add extra insulation

Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements and attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Basements and attics are not the only places that may not have the pipes properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.  You can have pipes fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chance of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Should you have a water emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at (217) 935-2992.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water emergencies can occur in many ways.  Sump pump failure, seepage into a basement, roof or window leak, sewer backup and water lines from a refrigerator or dishwasher leaking are but a few of the ways this can happen.  Should this happen a quick response is crucial to prevent damage to the home, your belongings and prevent mold.  We at SERVPRO are here to help out at anytime, day or night.

Water can be tricky as you cannot always see the full extent of water intrusion during a water loss.  This can lead to mold growing on wet insulation, behind drywall, on personal items, underneath laminate flooring and ceiling tiles potentially causing health problems as mold spores are released into the air.  This can also lead to damage to the house itself over time.  

Here at SERVPRO we have specialty equipment that lets us read moisture levels and follow the water intrusion so the whole problem can be solved, not just what is visible on the surface.  We also have specialty drying equipment that quickly dries the affected area and reduces the humidity to optimal levels.  Spraying to prevent mold is also part of our expertise service to ensure you and your families safety.

Should you have a water emergency, no matter how big or how small, we here at SERVPRO are ready to help 24 hours a day! Call us today at 217 935 2992.