Recent Water Damage Posts
How to Install a New Hot Water Heater
You have likely already read our blog on how to remove a hot water heater so now we will discuss how to install your new hot water heater. When purchasing a new tank be sure to use something similar to the pre-existing tank as far as being an electric or gas tank.
- Start by positioning the new tank in the area where it will rest. Maneuver the tank to an orientation where all the wiring and pipes can easily be attached. Also keep in mind that the tank has cover plates that need to be accessible during any future maintenance so keep these visible.
- Wrap any threaded pipe fittings with two or three layers of teflon plumbers’ tape then re-install the water pipes. When applying the tape, start at about 1" from the end of the fitting and wrap the tape in a clockwise manner around the pipe, overlapping at least 1/2 with each rotation. The entire threaded area of the pipe should be covered with two layers of tape.
- Connect and tighten all pipes with a wrench. (DO not over tighten).
- Turn on the water and check for any leaks. Wipe all joints dry and check again after several minutes for any leaks. To eliminate air in the tank and plumbing allow the hot water tap to run until it stops sputtering.
- When the tank is filled turn on the power (if electric) or connect the gas supply line (if gas). Test the gas line for leaks. Recommended temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take several hours to reach.
Hot to Remove a Hot Water Heater
Hot water heater leaks are a fairly common cause of water damages that we deal with. Some homeowners use a plumber to handle the removal and replacement of their hot water heater but if you are the DIY type it is simple enough for one to do it on their own. Some tips you should know before starting is that you may need a hand when removing the heat due to its size. Even after it is drained it is still not light and very bulky. You should also keep in mind that you will not have water available for use for a couple hours during this process.
1. Turn all water/energy sources off!
Start by turning off the water supply to the hot water heater whether that is the main valve to the house or a shut off valve directly to the heater. Turn off the power to the heater at the panel board as well as the gas supply.
2. Remove any insulation around the tank and save to reuse if still in good condition.
3. Drain the tank. At the bottom of the tank there should be a valve that will allow you to attach a garden hose. Once attached have the other end outside to allow water to be drained.
4. Open both hot and cold water valves somewhere in the house.
5. Time to disconnect the tank.
If you have an electric HWH- there top should have a small steel plate where the wires enter the tank. Remove the plate and gently pull the wires out. For a gas HWH- remove all connections to gas piping.
6. Take a wrench and disconnect the water pipe. You may have to carefully bend this flexible pipe out of the way to remove the tank. It is normal for some extra water to leak at this point. However if it is more than a cup worth the water has not been shut off.
7. Remove the tank and set aside for discard.
Be on the lookout for our next blog on how to install a new hot water heater!
What is Not Covered?
Here are a few key areas that are typically not covered by your standard insurance policy. Also keep in mind of a deductible that may need to be met or coverage limits.
1. Damages resulting from unresolved maintenance issues or neglecting to repair source. For instance, you have a leak coming from your toilet supply line that you have just been ignoring for almost a year. It caused some water damage to the ceiling below which typically would be covered by your policy initially but waiting too long to fix the problem will likely cause your insurance to reject coverage.
2. Flood. Any source of water that enters your home from a flood regardless of the cause is not covered under a standard insurance policy. Yet you may purchase flood insurance which would be recommended for those living in a flood prone area.
3. Law or Ordinance Upgrades. This type of scenario can come into play for something like a fire that causes the electrical wiring in your home to need to be removed and replaced. Yet, your town has new building codes that require a more expensive upgrade to new wiring being installed. In this case your insurance will only cover the costs of the original old wiring and the difference in charges for the new upgrade will be your responsibility.
4. Sewer or drain back up from OUTSIDE. You will typically not be coverage for water that backs up into your home from an outside source. There are endorsements that can be added on to your policy to cover backs up occurring within your property line. If the source is coming outside of your property line your city may be responsible.
5. Costs to repair and/or replace source. Most insurance companies will cover the damages associated however the costs to repair the cause falls under the homeowner. For example a pipe bursts in your home causing damages to your hardwood floors. Your insurance company will take care of fixing the floors yet the plumber you hired to replace the pipe will come out of your pocket.
What To Do Until SERVPRO Arrives
When you experience a water damage the quicker you tackle it the better the outcome. First and foremost, finding out the source and stopping it should be your main priority.
If there are no safety hazards begin by shutting off the water source at the shut off valve. If applicable contact a plumber to fix the source to keep further damage from re-occurring.
If the water did not come from a clean source and likely contaminated avoid all wet areas.
- Contact your homeowners insurance company
- Contact a professional restoration company (SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County @ 201-445-5588)
- If safe, turn off electricity to affected areas at circuit breaker
- Try to mop or blot up water with towels
- Place furniture legs on foil on wooden blocks
- Use safety pins or clothespins to keep furniture skirts and drapery off wet floors
- Remove oriental rugs and place in a dry area
- Remove all moisture sensitive items to a dry place
- Prop up any wet upholstery cushions to dry
- Remove books, magazines, paper to a dry place where they will not transfer and stain
- Wipe excess moisture from furniture
- Use a household vacuum to remove water
- Use any electronics in a room with wet flooring
- Use ceiling fans where a wet ceiling is present
- Open windows in temperatures higher than 70 degrees. AC may be used if water is not contaminated.
Water Damage? Let's Talk Contents!
Move contents to a safe and dry place.
When dealing with property damage to your home one of the challenging tasks is trying to save all of your possessions.
It may be a disappointing and daunting task to itemize, photograph and list every single item for insurance reimbursement but SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County will be there to help give some guidance as well as lend a hand with the removal of any unsalvageable items.
Here are some tips to help you figure out how to categorize your items.
Let's start with discussing what types of contents cannot be saved from water damage.
Items like food, cosmetics, medicines, medical supplies, carpet padding, stuffed animals and baby toys should never be tried to salvage. Mainly due to the risk of contamination and potential health hazards.
There are also some types of contents that can usually be saved but depending on the extent of the damage.
These are items like mattresses, pillows, large carpets, area rugs, upholstered couches & chairs, books, paper products, solid wood/metal/plastic furniture, metal utensils, pots and pans.
Now that you have an idea of what types of items can be saved it is important that you move FAST! Make sure everything you want to save is moved to a safe dry place to prevent further damage. Time is of the essence to decrease the chances of further damage.
The things you don't want to save should be left outside to dry until your claims adjuster arrives. Sometimes your adjuster may not be able to get out for a couple of days. In the case that some of these items are things like food that will spoil or may attract rodents; make a separate pile to have discarded as soon as possible after contacting your adjuster.
Be sure to have EVERYTHING documented as well as photographed for your adjuster to confirm all of your losses.
We hope this provides you some help and insight when dealing with your personal items.
We're Here To Help 24/7
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today- We're Ready
SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (201) 244-0100
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County
SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Sometimes It Can Be Overwhelming
Don't try to tackle this on your own.
When That Sewer Back-up Is Too Much To Handle On Your Own.
At SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County, sometimes sewer back-ups can be bad... very bad. Our IICRC certified technicians know the safest way to clean up the mess. Sewer back-ups can cause illness if not properly remediated. Let our trained technicians get the job done right for you and your family.
We'll work directly with you and in most cases, your insurance company to assure that your home is properly cleaned, deodorized and sanitized. We'll make it safe again for your family, we'll make it "Like it never even happened."
Call us, SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County, your clean-up professionals.
We're here for you: 24/7 (201) 244-0100