What to Do if Your Sump Pump Fails

what to do if your sump pump fails

If you live in the Maryland area, you’re probably used to periods of intense rain, quick summer thunderstorms and the occasional hurricane. Whenever your home and landscape are forced to deal with a great deal of rain in a short period of time, flooding and other problems can occur. What should you do if your sump pump fails when you need it the most?

Stay Calm and Call a Plumber

It’s hard to stay calm when your basement is flooding, but it’s important to keep a cool head and place a call to a local plumber. A licensed plumber can evaluate your sump pump, make a recommendation or repair and get things running again. If other homes in your area are experiencing the same thing, you might be in for a long wait.

The second call that you should make, even if the plumber can’t come for several days, is to a water remediation company like Flood Department. If the water has stopped and the amount of water in your basement is stable, a water remediation company can pump out extra water and take steps to prevent serious water damage and mold growth.

Prevent Future Failure

Prevention is always better than trying to fix a flooded basement at 2 AM on a weekend. One of the most common problems in Maryland homes is an insufficient sump pump for the amount of rain in the area. You should purchase and install a sump pump that can handle a significant volume of water without breaking. A cheap, inexpensive model is much more likely to fail when you need it. If you can, upgrade your sump pump and install an additional battery-backup sump pump for significant rain events.

Another common problem is a sump without a lid. Over time, a hole in the ground will accumulate dust, debris and dirt and either dramatically slow or stop working altogether. The sump pump itself can also get clogged up in mechanical parts as a result of sitting in a dirty sump pit. You should have your pump inspected on a regular basis and choose a model with an airtight lid. A lid will make sure that water doesn’t evaporate back into your basement and that debris won’t fall in.

Water Remediation and Mold Prevention After Sump Pump Flooding from Flood Department

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and whether or not you have a mold problem on your hands, give us a call at (301) 829-2600.

The Hidden Dangers of Basement Flooding

basement flooding dangers

Basement floods can be heavy, severe and cause devastating damage to your home. While everything above your basement steps might seem normal, damage to the foundation and basement of your home is no laughing matter. Whenever we are called out to a home or property with basement flooding, we take our time and look for these hidden dangers to keep your family safe and prevent bigger problems down the road.

The Signs of Basement Flooding

While walking downstairs and stepping in a puddle is the most obvious sign of a basement flooding, there are other subtle signs you might have a moisture problem, including:

  • Air that is damp, humid or heavy
  • Respiratory issues
  • Mold, mildew or fungus that is visible
  • Standing water
  • Spots or cracks on walls

Warped Flooring

If you have a finished basement and have carpet or wood on the floor, there’s a good chance that your floor materials are going to be incredibly damaged. Standing water can damage anything underneath it, even a concrete floor. Whenever possible, we will work to restore the flooring that you have instead of recommending a replacement. However, if the damage is severe, replacement might be the only option.

Staining on the Walls

By the time that flooding reaches your basement floor, there’s a high probability it has picked up dirt, debris, grime and plenty of bacteria along with it. All of that water will leave behind whatever it was carrying when it is removed, which can cause wall staining. This is also why it’s so important to have professional flood remediation after your basement floods. Don’t handle dirty, bacteria-filled water on your own and risk your health and well-being.

Mold Growth

It only takes a short period of time for mold to start the growth process, especially if your basement is relatively warm and dark. A professional basement flooding remediation company can take proactive steps to discourage mold growth including bringing in industrial drying and fan equipment to keep air moving. Stopped a mold colony from forming is easier and more cost-effective than returning in the future to take care of the growth, so you shouldn’t try to skip steps in the flood remediation process!

Fix Your Basement Flooding with Help from Flood Department

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and whether or not you have a mold problem on your hands, give us a call at (301) 829-2600.

The Signs of Mold in Your Home

signs of mold

You’re suddenly sneezing when your seasonal allergies aren’t acting up, there’s a musty smell in the air and there might be a spot of mildew in your shower. What are all of these signs telling you? There might be a mold problem in your home. Catching mold early is essential to successful remediation, so keep your eyes peeled for these signs of mold in your home.

The Warning Signs of Mold in Your Home

  1. Allergy-like symptoms including sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose or persistent congestion
  2. Cold or flu-like symptoms that improve when you are not at home
  3. A musty scent that lingers in your home
  4. Visible mildew growth, regardless of what color it is and where it is located
  5. Water leaks, which often mean that there is mold growth near the site of the leak
  6. Visible water damage, which indicates that water lingered in an area and potentially allowed mold to take root
  7. Condensation on the inside of your windows that can indicate high humidity levels and a build-up of moisture
  8. Serious physical and neurological symptoms including difficulty concentrating, headaches, a short attention span, dizziness and memory loss

5 Signs That You Have a Sewage Leak

signs of a sewage leak

A broken or damaged sewer line is one of the last things any homeowner wants to deal with. Whether it’s old sewer pipes pushed past the breaking point or tree root intrusion forcing damage, a sewage leak should be taken care of as quickly as possible for the health and safety of your family. What are some of the tell-tale signs of a sewage leak?

5 Signs That You Have a Sewage Leak

  1. What’s that smell? One of the first signs of trouble that most homeowners notice is the distinct odor of sewage. Sewer gas can occasionally end up in or around your home for other reasons, like a dried-out drain, but an overwhelming sewage scent is a strong indication of a sewage leak, backup or broken line.
  2. Is your toilet making noises? A strange noise coming from your toilet is usually not a good sign. If your toilet is making a gurgling or bubbling sound after you flush, it’s a sign that a sewer line might be broken. Because gurgling is the sound of air being briefly trapped and pushed out again, it could mean that air is being introduced into your sewer line.
  3. Does your home have a lingering mold issue? Mold growth is another sign of a potential sewage leak. Some molds only need humidity levels slightly above 55% to start growing and flourish. A single cracked or leaking sewer pipe behind a wall can lead to high humidity levels that turn into a mold problem.
  4. How quickly are your toilet, bathtub and sink draining? A slow drain could indicate a sewage backup. If your bathtub, sink and toilet are still draining slowly despite attempts to clear the line and removing any hair from the drain, you could be dealing with cracks, channeling or tree root intrusion that are causing a sewage leak.
  5. Does your lawn have one bright patch? It sounds strange, but having one portion of your lawn that is particularly lush and green is a sign that you could have a sewage leak. Sewage is a rich fertilizer for plants, and a sewage leak will give the grass in the area surrounding it plenty of extra nutrients that lead to extra growth.

Trust Flood Department for Sewage Clean-Up

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, sewage clean-up, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your sewage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.

The Biggest Fire Hazards in Your Home This Winter

fire hazards in your home

While Flood Department provides smoke remediation services to homeowners throughout Maryland every day of the year, winter is a particularly dangerous time for fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, $2 billion in property loss occurs every year as a result of winter house fires. Winter fires also account for a whopping 30% of all fire deaths over the course of a year, despite accounting for only 8% of all total fires. How can you protect your family this winter? Here are some fire hazards in your home.

Home Heating Fires

Over the course of 2013-2015, over 45,000 home heating fires occurred every year, which caused a yearly average of 205 deaths, 725 injuries and over $500 million in property loss. After cooking fires, home heating fires were the most common type of winter fire. Heating fires peak in January and between the hours of 5 PM-9 PM. If you are using space heaters in your home, always put them on a solid, flat, non-flammable surface. Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Never use a space heater with a broken plug. You should also keep flammable items at least 3-5 feet away from your fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or candles.

Electrical Fires

3 in 5 home electrical fires are the result of home electrical wiring or lighting equipment. They are especially common during the winter because many homeowners put up electricity-sucking lights and decorations, in addition to using space heaters. To prevent electrical fires, you should only plug one heat-producing appliance (space heater, microwave, coffee maker, etc.) into a wall outlet at a time. Never use extension cords in conjunction with heat-producing appliances, and only use extension cords on a temporary basis.

Cooking Fires

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and many cooking fires occur during the winter months. When you’re cooking in the winter, always stand by the pan. If you’re leaving the stove to welcome guests or check something in another room, turn the burner off. Keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove to avoid bumping into them.

Prevent Fire Hazards in Your Home

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration, smoke damage remediation and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.