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How cold temperatures lead to water damage and what you can do about it.

With temperatures in the UK dropping, you may already feel the cold snap.

But what does this mean for the safety of your property?


How the cold leads to water damage

During a cold spell, water damage is one of the biggest dangers to your home and business.

The cause of this is likely to be a burst pipe.

This commonly occurs when water in your pipes freezes and expands, leading to pressure build-up and causing them to rupture.

Flooding can also be a concern during the snow. This usually happens when frozen water thaws and leaks from pipes, gutters, or appliances.

This can damage your property in multiple ways, including causing unpleasant smells or odours, wearing away at walls and mortar, causing wood rot, and even fostering mould.


How to spot water damage

When expecting cold temperatures, look out for signs of water damage.

Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Separations on the doors and window frames
  • Missing or cracked roof tiles
  • Intact guttering
  • Rings on the ceiling or walls
  • Signs of a leak
  • Soft or sagging spots within the flooring:
  • Cracked and warped flooring

How to prevent water damage in cold temperatures

When expecting cold temperatures and the water damage they may bring – there are some ways to optimise the safety of your property.

How to guard against damage:

  • Turn off outside water sources to prevent frozen or burst pipes.
  • Clear your gutters of debris so that any melting snow can flow away easily.
  • Inspect your insulation. Inadequate insulation could cause warmth from the house could rise into the attic, causing a damn of ice on the roof.
  • Keep windows closed where possible.
  • Lay sandbags to prevent flooding from melting snow.

How does ServiceMaster Restore help?

Should the worst happen and your property falls victim to water damage, your local ServiceMaster Restore technicians will be on hand to help with the restoration.

Our experts have the specialist skills and equipment to protect your assets and leave your property as good as new whenever possible.

And, if you choose to claim on your insurance, we work with your insurance company, broker, or loss adjuster on your behalf.

That way, you don’t have to lose sleep worrying about insurance claims when you already have enough on your plate, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

Contact your local restoration experts by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business or by calling 0845 762 6828 in an emergency.

How to prevent and repair rainwater flooding damage to your property.  

In your home or your business, flooding is a most unwelcome event.

Here’s how you can help protect your home and prevent flooding damage and what to do should the worst happen.


How to prevent rainwater flooding

  • Clear drains and gutters to avoid overflow
  • Keep windows closed (where possible)
  • Apply sandbags if you are near banks
  • Waterproofing

How to restore rainwater flooding

After experiencing water damage from flooding, you will be left cleaning up a watery mess.

Whether ripping up carpet or tiles or replacing furnishings, there’s a lot of work ahead to get your home back in order.

Follow these eight water damage restoration tips for cleaning up after water damage.


  1. Prepare for water damage insurance claims

Thankfully, many insurance policies cover unexpected water damage.

Contact your insurance company immediately and take the proper steps to prepare for your claim.

It is important to note water damage to your home is generally covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

If the damage is considered sudden internal water damage, your policy should protect you.

However, it usually does not cover damage done by lack of maintenance or neglect, nor damage resulting from a flood.

To prepare for your insurance claim, take the following steps:

  • Take photos of the water damage to keep track of household items and home conditions.
  • Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
  • Be present if an adjuster needs to visit your home.
  • The adjuster will assess the damage to the house, providing you with a proof of loss statement to sign.
  • Additional damages can be added when identified.

  1. Disconnect the power and gas before entering the premises

Before any clean-up, you must shut down the electrical supply and the gas.

Turning off power leading into the affected area, particularly if water rises above electrical outlets, will help reduce the risk of electrical shock. Equally, turning off the gas will prevent harmful fumes from building up and seeping into your home.


  1. Remove important household items

Remove electronics, furniture, and any other valuable items immediately. The quicker you can get items out of the water, the better chance of saving them.

If you don’t have a lot of standing water around the house, you can also try pulling up your carpets and under-padding or even some sticky back tiles to see what you can salvage.


  1. Remove excess water

Removing excess water is the most challenging part of flood recovery.

If it is necessary to turn off the power, take the manual approach.

Gather buckets, towels, and mops to eliminate as much water as possible. This can be physically taxing, so take breaks when necessary.

If you can supply power or a backup generator for your commercial premises, you can hook up an automatic pump or a wet vac to remove the water. Either way, remove the excess water at the earliest possible time.


  1. Dry out the affected area

When excess water has been removed, move on to the drying stage urgently.

Use fans, dehumidifiers, and any open windows to improve air circulation and help dry out the damaged area and then continue to circulate dry air.


  1. Clean and disinfect the damaged area

After the damaged area has had time to dry, use a good disinfectant to remove any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, plumbing, or outside, depending on your water source.

Various affordable and accessible cleaning solutions can help clean the area, including bleach, ammonia, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda.


  1. Take steps to stop mould growth

Once the damaged area has been dried and cleaned, it is time to take preventative steps to stop mould from seriously growing. Apply a mould control spray over the affected area according to the directions on the bottle.

Once the spray dries overnight, it will destroy any mould spores.


  1. Dispose of damaged items in a responsible way

To properly deal with water damage, you must stop the water from entering the premises and drying up as much as possible. Contact your insurance agent and prevent mould from growing. Remove and discard damaged items in the most responsible way that you can.


Need some help with flood restoration?

These are just the basics of flooding restoration. There is much more involved than extracting water from your property.

Stagnant water can prove deadly if ingested following ineffective cleaning and sanitisation following rainwater flooding. As well as extraction, our teams at ServiceMaster Restore will dry, clean and decontaminate your property to ensure no rainwater remains.

We can be on hand within 4 hours for a flooding emergency to help clear water from your property, followed by removal and decontamination from rainwater flooding.

To prevent lasting damage to your property or health, contact your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business to repair any rainwater flooding damage today or call 0845 762 6828 in an emergency.

Different types of flooding and how to combat them.

When you think of flooding, it probably seems straightforward: rain, rain, rain, with nowhere to go… flooding.

However, it isn’t quite so simple.

There are various types of floods, and the damage each can do to your home can be different.

Knowing which types of floods could affect your home is essential to better prepare for the disaster.

Different Types of Floods:

  • Coastal flood
  • River flood
  • Flash flood
  • Groundwater flood
  • Sewage flood

Coastal Flooding

A coastal flood is an accumulation of water on land caused by waves, tides, storm surge, or heavy rainfall.

Coastal areas are prone to flooding because they are near the ocean.

Due to climate change, the risk is expected to continue to grow.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over 5.3 million residents live in coastal towns in England and Wales, of which 3.5 million live in seaside towns and 1.9 million in other coastal towns.

Coastal flooding can have dire consequences, from drownings and injuries to contaminated water-caused sicknesses to mental health problems.

Some of these include mental health issues caused by stress during the flooding, injuries while attempting to escape from the water or falling debris, respiratory illness due to damp environments that can lead to mould damage, and coming into contact with contaminated flood water.

There are three levels of coastal flooding:

  • Minor: Low likelihood of property damage and not directly life-threatening
  • Moderate: Elevated likelihood of property damage and possibly life-threatening
  • Major: Significant likelihood of property damage and seriously life-threatening

River Flooding

A river flood occurs when water rises over the top of riverbanks.

Any size of river and stream has the potential to flood, with rivers having an increased potential to overflow once every two years.

Typically, river flooding is caused by extreme rainfall, long-lasting thunderstorms, combined rainfall and snowmelt, and ice jams.

These pulses of melting snow or rain cause water to rise above the riverbanks and flood surrounding areas.

Though river floods can usually be predicted, there is potential for unexpected property damage if a dam or dike breaks.

However, most of the causes of river floods often stem from storms that allow enough warning for those in surrounding areas to evacuate safely.


Flash Flooding

Flash flooding begins within 6 hours of heavy rainfall and is often caused by severe thunderstorms and other weather patterns.

Flash floods can also be the result of a dam or levee breaking.

Several factors contribute to the severity of a flash flood, including:

  • The intensity of the rainfall
  • Location of the rainfall
  • Landscape
  • Soil type and condition

Urban areas are more prone to flash floods than suburban or rural areas, and the damage is likely to be greater with less soil to soak up the water.

However, the lack of soil is not the only reason for this increased risk of flash floods.

Areas that have soil but haven’t seen rain in some time are in similar danger since the water cannot be absorbed by the soil fast enough, leading to water quickly running off to lower areas.

The greatest danger with flash flooding is that it can occur quickly and leave little time to prepare.

Those in areas of heavy rainfall are urged to know the difference between flood watches and warnings to identify if an evacuation is needed.

Most flood-related deaths are the result of flash foods.

They can also lead to significant structural damage to homes, including foundation damage, damage to appliances, and long-term harm resulting from mould.


Groundwater Flooding

Groundwater floods are usually the result of inundated drainage systems by significant rain that causes water to overflow into streets and nearby properties.

They are equally likely to occur in urban and rural areas.

Fortunately, groundwater flooding happens gradually when the water levels are shallow, so homeowners often have time to remove their possessions.

However, this groundwater flooding can be troublesome because it may persist for weeks or months until the soil can absorb the standing water.

As a result, they can lead to significant danger to homes, with an increased likelihood of structural damage to properties and more risk to long-term risks such as mould.


Sewage Flooding

Sewage flooding is caused when unexpected heavy rainfall overwhelms sewage systems or treatment plants, causing them to break down and release untreated sewage into water bodies.

Sewage floods are arguably the most unpleasant, with sewage leaking through pipes or drains or coming up through toilets, sinks, or showers.

These floods are the most hazardous because the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause infections, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, and other diseases.

Fast response and a thorough and detailed clean-up by experts familiar with sewage cleanup services are vital in these situations.


Recover from Flooding Damage to Your Home

No matter the type of flood, the damage to your home can be severe.

Each home flooding situation is different and requires an expert to know the correct steps that need to be taken and how to best recover from the damage.

ServiceMaster Restore has qualified flood and water damage restoration experts who are highly skilled and can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood occurs.

See how your local experts can help you by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.

Storm Agnes is coming.

With the area of low-pressure officially dubbed Storm Agnes by the Met Office set to hit much of the UK this week, here’s everything you need to know and how to prepare to prevent potential damages.

What can we expect from Storm Agnes?

The Met Office warns that:

“Storm Agnes will move into western areas of the UK and Ireland on Wednesday, with the strongest winds most likely on Irish Sea coasts, though it will be a widely windy day across the UK.”

Rain

To be more precise, we can expect around 60mm of rain in some areas of Scotland and heavy rain across the UK.

As Agnes moves north towards the end of the week, rain will move south in heavy bursts on Thursday and Friday across England and Wales.

Wind

A yellow weather warning for wind has also been issued across the UK on Wednesday and Thursday, with only the southeast of England currently except.

Inland areas can expect a high likelihood of wind gusts around 50 to 60mph, while exposed areas like coastland may see gusts ranging from 65-80mph.

This may cause transport disruption, with some roads and bridges closing.

Preventing Potential Property Damage

The wind warning may pose a risk to buildings, as well as the possibility of power cuts for some.

Wind is the most common form of damage and disruption in the UK, with 184 recorded deaths from wind-related building failures between 1962 and 1995.

Here are our top tips for storm preparation:

  1. Secure Loose Objects

Secure all loose objects such as ladders, outdoor furniture, or anything that could be blown into windows and cause damage.

  1. Fasten Doors and Windows

Close and securely fasten all doors and windows, like those for a garage.

  1. Gas, Electric and Water Supply

Remind yourself how to turn off your gas, electric and water supplies. You may need to do this in a pinch, and it’s best to be prepared.

  1. Check all Gutters are Clear

Check all of your gutters and drain pipes are clear to avoid blockages.

  1. Unplug Electronics

Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances.

  1. Have an Evacuation Plan

Have an evacuation plan ready in case of an emergency.

What if Storm Agnes damages your property?

If your property is the victim of damage during Storm Agnes, ServiceMaster Restore will be there to aid in the aftermath and restoration.

To learn more about our services, find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today or call 0845 762 6828 in an emergency.

What is leak detection and why do you need it?

At ServiceMaster Restore, we have over 60 years of expertise in working with both residential and commercial clients to provide expert damage restoration services.

Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, loss assessor or adjustor, service provider or a commercial premise, we are here to help you deal with the fallout and recovery from incidents that have damaged your property, be it fire, flood, mould or a burst pipe.

We are proud to announce that as of the July 2023, we are now offering professional leak detection services to people and properties across the UK.

But what is leak detection?

Leak detection is the process of using non-invasive and market-leading technology to locate and address leaks in a property, therefore mitigating potential damage, stress, and repair costs.

When might you need leak detection services?

Leak detection is a major way of preventing unnecessary costs and damage to your property.

If you’ve noticed things like:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Damp spots or discolouration on walls, ceilings and floors
  • The sound of running water when all faucets are off

You may have a leak that you can’t see.

If you suspect a leak in your property, contact us immediately for a professional, non-invasive inspection.

As experts in disaster restoration, we know that a leak can occur at any time, which is why we offer our services around the clock.

Our team is always prepared to respond immediately, ensuring a swift initiation of the leak detection and mitigation process.

For a 24/7 rapid response to leaks and property damage, think ServiceMaster Restore.

How leak detection helps you

Professional leak detection services are an investment in the future health of your property.

Ignoring a suspected leak can lead to devastating consequences, including structural damage and expensive repairs.

ServiceMaster Restore uses cutting-edge and market-leading equipment to quickly and effectively identify leaks.

Our technology is designed to cause minimal disruption to your property and allows us to locate leaks without unnecessary destruction.

In doing so, it can:

  • Prevent Expensive Repairs by detecting leaks early and mitigating further damage. Thus, reducing the overall cost of repairs.
  • Protect Your Property: Unresolved leaks can pose a serious threat to your property’s structural integrity. Our services aim to preserve your property’s condition, thereby protecting its value and appeal.

Suspect a leak in your property?

If you suspect your property may have a leak that you can’t see, don’t delay – contact the experts and get it checked.

Choose ServiceMaster Restore for all your leak detection needs, and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is in expert hands.

Our combination of professional knowledge, innovative technology, non-invasive methods, and a firm commitment to customer satisfaction makes us a trusted name in disaster restoration.

If you suspect a leak, whatever the time of day, contact us on 0845 762 6828 or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business now.

How to have a safe and happy BBQ this summer with ServiceMaster Restore.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, you’ve probably considered firing up the barbecue if you haven’t already.

After all, nothing says summer like the smell of burgers, steaks, and hot dogs fresh off the grill.

Until something starts burning, that is.

While barbecue grills can cook up large amounts of delicious food, they are also a fire hazard.

But don’t worry! There are easy ways to prevent injury and keep your home safe.

Keep your property out of harm’s way the next time you smoke, sizzle or sauté outside by following a few simple BBQ safety tips from ServiceMaster Restore.

Practice Good Grilling Habits

Whatever kind of barbecue you use, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of fire or injury.

Here are some grilling safety tips to follow:

  • Set your barbecue away from structures and overhangs, including your main building, shed, garage, trees and other potentially flammable objects.
  • Never use your grill inside, in a tent, or under an outdoor awning. Doing so can pose a fire hazard and cause carbon monoxide poisoning using a gas barbecue.
  • Light any gas or charcoal BBQs using long-length lighters or long matches to avoid getting burned. Keep all ignition sources out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave an actively burning BBQ unattended.
  • Let the grill fully cool before you cover or store it.
  • Clean your barbecue thoroughly and often to reduce flammable build-up inside.

Be Aware of Proper Charcoal Barbecue Safety

Many swear by the taste of food cooked on a classic charcoal barbecue.

This method may be popular, but it also poses unique fire risks.

Keep these safety tips in mind if you own or use a charcoal barbecue:

  • Only add enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the barbecue. Don’t pile too much inside since it could cause ashes and sparks to become airborne, possibly catching nearby objects or your home on fire.
  • Store extra charcoal in a secure place away from other potential fire hazards, preferably in an airtight metal container.
  • Only use starter fluid designed for charcoal. Apply it to cold coals only, and don’t add extra once the BBQ is lit. Otherwise, the flames could get too high, resulting in possible burns or an unconfined fire.
  • Empty your used ashes only when they have cooled. Never store or dispose of them in a bin or leave them on the decking. Even when cooled, ashes can still cause a fire. Dump them on garden soil in a metal receptacle for proper disposal.

Use your Gas BBQ Wisely

Gas barbecue grills are convenient, easy to use, and require less refuelling than charcoal grills.

But they are also susceptible to fire risks. Remember these safety tips if you own a gas BBQ:

  • Open the lid before lighting the barbecue. This allows oxygen to escape and reduces the risk of fire or explosion.
  • Check the gas line and tank fittings regularly for leaks. You can do this by brushing soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak somewhere. Replace damaged and leaking parts and make any other repairs before using the barbecue.
  • If you have spare gas cylinders, never store them under a stairway. Place them upright and outside, away from furniture or structures, to minimise fire risks.
  • Turn off your barbecue using the controls first, then close off the gas line at the tank to ensure gas can escape safely.

In need of fire damage restoration?

If the worst should happen and you experience a fire during the warmer months, the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore are always available to help.

We hope you never need to make that call. But if you do, we’ll be there to help with the recovery.

Find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore today or call 0845 762 6828 to see how we can help you in the aftermath.

The causes of water damage in the home, and how ServiceMaster Restore can help.

Water damage to your home can be devastating.

And at this time of year, in particular, the cold weather makes your home susceptible to damage.

At ServiceMaster Restore, we regularly see and help people whose homes are affected by a range of water-related issues.

There are ways to protect against water damage, and knowing the common causes will help immensely.

But should the worst happen, and your home succumbs to water damage, it can be hard to know what to do next.

That’s where ServiceMaster Restore comes in. Our technicians come equipped with the knowledge and equipment to carry out a comprehensive and expert restoration of your home.

This blog post delves into the common causes of water damage and how we help should the worst happen.

How is water damage caused?

Water damage can occur for many reasons, including (but not limited to) a burst pipe, flooding, or even issues with your radiators.

Even a small amount of water can cause all kinds of problems if left unchecked, so deal with the problem as quickly as possible.

If water is left, it allows mould and bacteria to breed. This can pose a severe risk to your health and can cost much more to repair than if immediate action was taken against water damage.

So how can you repair water damage?

Water damage repair and restoration

When your home floods, time is of the essence. Acting fast is crucial to minimise water damage and maximise successful restoration.

If you are worried about any escape of water and need water damage cleaning and restoration, you can rely on ServiceMaster Restore.

Our technicians are on hand 27/4 and have the specialist skills and equipment to resolve things in the right way the first time.

We work to insurance industry standards and should you choose to claim on your insurance, we’ll sort everything out with your insurance company, broker or loss adjuster while keeping you informed every step of the way.

Our first port of call however is typically…

Water extraction

The first goal we have when arriving at your home is to determine the contamination level of the water or liquid.

At ServiceMaster Restore, our top-of-the-range equipment restores your home to as close to its prior condition, initially through the extraction and mitigation of fluids.

The pollution levels tend to vary depending on the water’s origin. But generally, the longer the water has been left to stand, the more contaminated it gets.

We aim to remove the liquid and dry out the space as soon as we can. That’s why we pride ourselves on fast, efficient and professional water damage restoration services.

Water damage clean-up

When water damage has affected your home, it’s vital that all affected material is removed from the property and disposed of safely.

In some cases, you may be able to salvage your belongings, but this will usually depend on the water’s contamination level.

But unfortunately, in most cases, water-damaged materials need to be disposed of to prevent the spreading of mould spores.

Sometimes though, the damage isn’t noticeable until the mould has begun to spread.

In these unfortunate circumstances, we will be on hand to restore mould damage to your home by removing mould safely and effectively.

Drying

Mould spores require moisture to develop and spread, so it’s essential to dry the space affected by water as a priority before restoration can take place.

When carrying out the restoration process, we protect your assets and leave your property as good as new whenever possible, and are ready to reinstate decor and furniture in severe cases.

Furthermore, when drying, our modern equipment can run in quiet mode so you don’t lose sleep while it continues to dry.

Contact ServiceMaster Restore today

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of struggling with water in your home, don’t hesitate and let the mould and contamination take hold.

Act as soon as possible by contacting your local ServiceMaster Restore experts by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business or calling 0845 762 6828 in an emergency.