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Water Damage

Water Damage

Water Damage Facts, Tips, & Prevention

There are very few things that can create as much damage as water. And when any flood invades your home, there is sure to be far more hidden damage than you could ever imagine. This is why you need to contact the professionals at H&L Water, Fire, & Mold Remediation as soon as you and your family have safely evacuated your San Jose home. We have team members waiting to answer your call 24/7 at (408) 645-5958 because we know that a flood in your home is absolutely an emergency.

It Will Never Happen To Me

While you might think that water damage is not very common in the United States, or that it is limited to low lying areas that are prone to natural flooding, you would be incorrect. On average, 14,000 people in the country will be faced with water damage in their homes each day. And over the course of a single year, the repair costs for that water damage will reach 2.5 billion dollars.

Water Leaks Are Often The Cause Of A House Flood

Not all water damage is the result of heavy rain, natural flooding, or some other natural disaster. A water leak will damage many houses from inside the home. In a single year, water leaks in homes will total over one trillion gallons of water wasted. That amount is equal to all of the water that is used in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami over the same time frame.

Some Scary Numbers

You might think that a small crack in a pipe is nothing to be worried about. But that is not the case. A crack that is only 1/8” in size can allow 250 gallons of water to leak into your home in a single day. That is over five bathtubs full of water, by the way. And a faucet that is dripping just once each second will allow 3,000 gallons of water to drip into your house over the course of a year. And that same amount of water will leak into your home if just one appliance hose is dripping at a rate of one drop per second.

Water Damage Categories

While you might think that all water damage is equally bad, that is not the case. These three categories do not address the severity of the damage as much as it labels the type of water that caused the damage.

  • Category 1 – Clean water that does not pose a threat to humans, such as a sink that overflows
  • Category 2 – Grey water with some contaminants that could cause discomfort or illness if humans are exposed to it, such as a sump pump or discharge from a dishwasher
  • Category 3 – Black water that is contaminated and could cause serious illness if humans are exposed to it, such as backed-up sewage or floodwaters

Tips To Prevent Water Damage

  • Have your water heater professionally inspected regularly and complete the recommended annual maintenance
  • Replace the hoses on any appliance such as a dishwasher, washing machine, icemaker, and refrigerator at the first sign of any wear or damage
  • Pay attention to your toilet each time it is flushed. Make sure that is flushes completely and stops running once it refills
  • When you discover a leak, turn off the water to that pipe or fixture quickly and call a professional plumber to make the repair
  • Visually inspect your plumbing pipes, appliances, and fixtures regularly for leaks or signs of leaking
  • If your home has a sump pump, test it regularly, even in the dry season to be sure that it will function when you need it to

How To Know You Have A Water Leak In Your Home

The first indication of a water leak that is concealed or hidden in your home could be a very high water bill. If your water bill suddenly increases for no simple reason, like filling your new pool, then call a leak detection specialist immediately.

Another good way to check for a water leak is to look at your water meter and write down the reading. The use no water inside or outside your home for two hours or more. Then reread the water meter to determine if the reading is the same. If the meter has changed at all, you have a water leak somewhere in or under your home.

Leaking toilets are one of the most common water wasters in a home. To check your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to the holding tank. Wait 30 minutes and then look in the toilet bowl. If the water shows any color, then you have a leak that needs to be fixed.

Preventing water leaks in your home is the best way to avoid water damage. But if you do become a victim of water damage, be sure to call (408) 645-5958 immediately. The faster the pros from H&L Water, Fire, & Mold Remediation arrive, the faster your life can return to normal.

Water Damage

The 3 Most Common Causes of Water Damage

Although residents in some states throughout the US must deal with floording from rising waters, it is rare that this happens in California. Unfortunately, there are many other ways water damage can wreak havoc on residential and commercial properties. Oftern times the damage is hidden, progresses slowly, and causes catastrophic issues by the time it is detected. Certain areas of a home are more prone to water damage than others. For instance, you’re likely to see spot a leaking dishwasher or overflowed toilet straight away. But areas  we less frequently perform restoration services in might include crawl spaces, basements, & attics.

Problem under slabs or inside walls can remain hidden for weeks or even months in some cases. They go unnoticed until they have had time to manifest in ways that can be seen by the nake eye. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to keep an eye out for discoloration on walls and flooring, dampness, mold and mildew, as well as off-odors throughout their homes.

Most of the calls we get are from customers who believe that they  have already indentified where the link is coming from, only to later find out that they are mistaken. The problem with water is it can travel easily and move a great distance before you even realize it’s there. Sometimes our customers need leak detection services to detect the source of the leak. Other times the source is obvious.

Below we have outlined some of the most common causes of water damage that we see here at H&L Restoration.

Roof & Window Leaks

Roof leaks are a homeowners nightmare. Not only are they an urgent issue that must be fixed immediately, they are usually a costly one. And when you consider the potential for water damage to occur before a roof leak is even detected, this cost only goes up. Checking gutters and downspouts on a quarterly basis is a good way to keep water from collecting on your roof and deteriorating it prematurely. It will also go a long way to prevent water making it’s way from a clogged gutter or downspout into your attic and eventually the ceiling of your home.

Often times it does good to check on the obscure elements we tend to forget about. Flashing that is laid around vent pipes and chimneys can wear with time. Does your home have windows? Of course it does. Checking the seals around windows and monitoring the amount of condensation that collects during the winter months is a good proactive measure.

Finally, when is the last time you’ve been on the roof? Checking for bad or missing shingles at least once per year is a good idea. This will go a long way to preserving the integrity of your home’s roof and ensuring you catch small issues before they turn into big ones.

Home Appliances

Most homeowners are unaware of this fact but laundry washing machines are one of the leading causes of residential water damage and home flooding. Usually washing machines fail in 1 of 2 ways. First, they are likely to overflow when a drain gets clogged, or when worn and weathered hoses burst or become disconnected. Either issue can lead to hundreds of gallons of water spilling out into your home before you even know what’s happening. Imagine running a load of laundry and heading out to run a few errands only to come home to a flooded house. This is why it is a good idea to check connections, your washing machine drain, and hoses on a regular basis.

Hot water heaters are another under estimated cause of residential flooding. From leaking fittings and valves, to rust and deterioration of the tank, to extreme scenarios like a complete hot water heater rupture, there are really no shortage of ways a water heater can wreak havoc on your home.

Finally, another appliance that we see cause water damage in homes is the dishwashing machine. Much like laundry washing machines, clogged drain lines and damaged hoses are a leading cause.

Humidity and Condensation

Often times what may seem like some sort of plumbing or roofing leak at first, turns out to be condensation. A common problem we see in older home’s with single pain windows or poor insulation, and in bathrooms and showers. This is why it is so important to have properly functioning exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms in your home. Checking vents for obstructions, and ensuring your fans are working properly will do much in the fight against condensation that can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Condensation on windows can drip down and cause water damage on the frame and window sills.  If you notice this often, consider using a dehumidifier or installing a whole-house dehumidifier.


Homeowners attempting to clean up a kitchen flood.
Water Damage

The 4 Most Common Flood Cleanup Mistakes

No matter how they occur, floods are not a property damage emergency that should be taken lightly. And although we are lucky in that we do not often have flooding due to natural disasters in Northern California, there are still plenty of ways for a home to flood. In this post we will outline 4 of the most common mistakes homeowners make when cleaning up floods in their homes.

Mistake #1: Not Getting Started Soon Enough

When it comes to residential or commerical property flooding the first 36-48 hours are absolutely crucial. Depending on the severity of the flooding, the first 48 hours is when the permanent damage is done.

In the first 12-24 hours bacteria will begin to form in standing water or onporous, water soaked surfaces.  This is also when irreversible damage is done to other surfaces and belongings. As another day rolls by mold begins to set in to improperly dried areas. Mold is the #1 greatest threat to a property. It spreads easily, causes allergies in occupants, & is downright dangerous. Once mold spores begin to develop you are dealing with an entirely new set of circumstances.

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Water Damage

How To Save Water Damaged Carpet

It’s easy to feel at a loss, overwhelmed, and frazzled when the unexpected occurs and your home or business is hit with an unexpected water damage emergency. Knowing what to do and in what order is extremely important. It can save you time, energy, and headaches.

When we receive calls for emergency water damage restoration in San Jose one of the most common questions we get asked is how to fix water damaged carpet. Home and business owners alike want to know if anything can be done, or if it’s a lost cause?

Don’t fret. In this post we will outline some of the options you have when dealing with water damaged carpet in your home.

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Water Damage

Prevention Tips: Water Damage & How To Avoid The Avoidable

With the exception of sudden flooding many water damage situations can avoided if the right precautions are taken. Since even a small amount of water left unresolved over time can be damaging to a property, diligence is the best tool in fighting it. It seems to happen all too often that water finds its way into attics, basements, or other rarely visited or seen areas of a property. Left unnoticed and unaddressed, water damage leads to mold growth which compounds damage, the cost to remedy it, and health concerns all at once. Once mold is present you have typically reached the point at which professional water damage restoration services are necessary to resolve the problem. To avoid this necessity, the following water damage prevention methods should be followed:

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