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Detecting Hidden Water Damage in Your Home

Home water damage is a difficult problem for anyone to remediate, but even more so when it is hidden from sight. A hidden water problem can fester and create more and more problems before you discover that there is an issue. You want to be aware that water damage can occur hidden from view as well as learn the signs that your home may be at risk from a water leak of some sort. Keep reading to discover a few ways to detect hidden water damage in your home.

Check Your Bills

If a pipe has burst behind one of your walls, or in a concrete floor, you might not detect it for months. However, if your water bill seems a bit high, compare it to previous months to see if there is an anomalous uptick in your usage. This can be a sign than you have an undetected water leak. If you happen to have a leak in a hot water pipe, it could be that you notice excess heat coming from the concrete floor or even a part of the wall that normally wouldn’t be as warm. A leaky hot water pipe may also show evidence of itself on your power bill, as your hot water heater will have to continually run to make up for the steady loss of hot water.

Follow Your Nose (and Feet)

Your nose is a particularly good tool when it comes to detecting water damage behind a wall or in some other hidden space. If a room or basement starts smelling particularly musty, there may be a water leak in the area. Try to narrow down the source of the smell and look for other clues such as mold spots, peeling paint, or warping or peeling wallpaper. One good test is to walk around with one foot in a sock and the other bare. Your bare foot can detect extra moisture on the ground, or excess heat, as in the case of a burst hot water pipe. When you have done walking around a suspected area, take off the sock and see if it has picked up excess moisture. If you find dampness, then the game is afoot!

Check Appliances

Check your appliances to see if there is a leak there. Your dishwasher or clothes washer may spring small leaks that go unnoticed. Check to make sure all of their hoses and attachments are secure. Your furnace and air conditioner, too may be sources of water trouble. Their condensation pans may overflow or rust through and leak out.

No matter what the source, water damage is a problem that must be addressed quickly. Hopefully, you won’t need to do much more than replace a few boards, but you might need a structural overhaul. If the problem is too big for a simple weekend repair, consult your insurance company to see about filing a claim.

At Rapid Dry Services, we specialize in a variety of home restoration services from water, fire, and smoke damage in Western NY residential homes. If you and your family are experiencing a home emergency, contact us today for immediate and friendly assistance!

Water Damage: 7 Tips for Insurance Claims

If you’ve ever experienced a major water event in your home, then you already know the difficulties it presents. Your furniture is at risk, you probably need to rip up the carpet, and the wood floor is likely to need replacement. This is all before we consider the electrical, sheetrock, and mold issues. When you have a floor, or are recovering from a fire, you will need to file a claim for the water damage. Here are 7 tips for ensuring that your water damage claims are effective.

Prepare Your Pipes

During the winter, homes become vulnerable to frozen pipes. When metal pipes freeze, they can burst and cause terrible damage. Insurance companies may not pay a claim if your home has not been prepared for such an outcome. During the cold months, make sure that your pipes are wrapped and that you leave the heat set on a minimal setting while you are away for the holidays.


If your home is in the middle of a slope, heavy rains can pose a threat to your basement. If you experience a water-damage event, insurance companies will want to see that you did what yo could to protect your home investment. Address the problem by digging a French drain, sealing your foundation, or taking other precautionary measures to correct any drainage issues on your property.


Keep your gutters clean and free of debris to ensure that they ferry water away from your home. A simple extension added to a downspout can so so much to save our home from a water-damage event. If the unthinkable occurs, insurance companies will be pleased to see your preventative measures.


A leaky roof can cause lots of damage to the home. Walls, floors, furniture, etc. are all at risk if your roof isn’t fully secure. Perform regular inspections to make sure that all the shingles are intact, that the flashing is secure, and that any repairs are performed. There would be no greater heartache than for a water-damage claim to go unpaid due to a faulty roof.


Your dishwasher, clothes washer, and even refrigerator all are connected to the water supply and they may become faulty, causing water damage. If you maintain these appliances to a reasonable degree, it is likely that your insurance company will honor a water-damage claim. Do, however, make sure that each one is properly draining and well-maintained.


If you live in a low-lying area with a water feature nearby, such as a creek or lake, you may be in jeopardy. Check your insurance policy to see if it covers flooding. Chances are that it does not. In that case, you may wish to purchase additional flood insurance. There is nothing worse than discovering too late that you are not covered for a foreseeable flood. Make sure you are eligible to file a water damage claim on your insurance in the event of a flood. Read more on how you can prepare your home for a flood.

Prepare Your Claim

In the event that a water event occurs despite your best efforts, you will want to prepare a claim for the insurance adjusters. Keep records of any costs such as new carpet, furniture expenses, or roof repairs. Then, take photos of all the damaged areas. You may want to take photos of your house now, prior to any water damage, so the adjuster has a before-and-after comparison. Make a record of any precautions you have taken, such as insulating your water pipes or installing a French drain. This may be overkill, but there is no harm in being overly prepared.

Water damage is ugly and difficult to deal with. Make sure you are prepared and study your policy so that you are current on what it covers.

At Rapid Dry Services, we provide a full array of emergency residential and commercial, home restoration services in the Greater Western NY area. For immediate and affordable assistance, contact us today!

3 Steps to Drying Water Damaged Carpets

Your carpets are waterlogged. What a mess! You will need to act fast to make sure that they aren’t permanently damaged and that mold does not take hold in your home. This may seem like a problem that is impossible to address, but there are steps you can take to begin drying your carpet immediately after the damaging water event. Keep reading to discover three key tips on saving your carpets from water damage, and your home from a long-term mold problem!

Identify the Source of the Damage

First, you will need to make sure the problem won’t get any worse. Identify the source of the flooding and make sure there is no more water leaking in the home. You will want to cut the electricity in the room(s) where the damage has occurred. While you are taking care of these things, try to avoid walking on the carpet. Walking on water damaged carpet may exacerbate the problem, so minimize any impact while the carpet is in the early stages of drying. Your best bet is to isolate the area. If the problem is sewer-related, be especially careful, as airborne bacteria may cause even more damage. With that in mind, do not turn a fan and cut off the areas from your HVAC system by shutting the vents.

Call Your Insurance Company

When you have a major water-damage event happen, you will want to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you are prepared with plenty of photographs, including any that show the source of the problem. Gather any materials you may have to prove that you have taken any preventative measures to ameliorate the problem. For instance, you may need to show that you made good-faith efforts to insulate pipes or to divert water from a slope outside the home. When your insurance company has verified how it will address the claim, you can proceed to call professionals to remediate the water damage. Water damaged carpets should always be dried and cleaned by experienced workers with industry-standard equipment.

Contact a Professional Team

To make sure that your carpets are cleaned as thoroughly as possible, they will need to be treated with professional-grade equipment that can extract every drop of water. Since you are likely dealing with a minor disaster zone, it is prudent to call a professional remediation team who can address the problem in the most expedient manner possible. When you are discussing your claim with your insurance company, see if they have any professionals to recommend in your area. An experienced team will be able to address the problem in the most appropriate manner and will ensure that any damage is not further exacerbated by well-intentioned homeowners who are not trained to handle water-damaged carpet.

At Rapid Dry Services, we specialize in a full suite of emergency residential and commercial, home restoration services in the Western New York area. For immediate and friendly assistance, contact us today!

Winter Woes: Effects of Home Water Damage

Water damage should be avoided at all cost, especially since it is likely to cost twice as much to repair the damage once its done. Insurance companies will also want to see that you have done what you could to minimize any water damage through routine maintenance measures as well as larger projects. This post will cover the types and effects of home water damage.

Clean Water Damage

If you must have water damage, cross your fingers that it is coming from clean water. This would be could derive from a leaky pipe or an overflowed washing machine. Clean water does not come with any inherent hazards, but still must be dried and cleaned in an expeditious manner. If left to sit too long, a clean water incident can become a health hazard when mold spores discover a place to spawn. Winter is a good time for mold to take hold after a water damage event. Once your clean water has been dried and cleaned, you may want to run a HEPA air filter and a dehumidifier to ensure that all the remaining moisture has been dealt with.

Damage From Leaks

Although is it one of the more rare forms of water damage, it is possible to incur damage from a leaky roof or foundation. These leaks can be insidious and effect damage long before any water is detected. A small leak in a roof, for instance, might seep water in to your attic insulation, holding moisture next to the roof boards and materials, causing rot and spreading the damage each time it rains. A leaky roof or basement foundation may also drip water into walls that will result in a need to replace not only framework, but sheetrock as well. Such leaks may also pose a threat to your electrical system, so be sure to inspect your roof and foundation on at least a seasonal basis.

Black Water Damage

One of the worst effects of water damage is the impact to the health of you and your family. Though ″clean water″ damage doesn’t immediately pose a threat, it can create opportunities for mold spores. Mold can contribute to respiratory illnesses and may exacerbate asthma or other pre-existing health conditions. The youth and elderly in particular should avoid homes with an undue amount of mold. If the water damage includes any sewer water, known as ″black water,″ the risk of a negative health effect increases, as a wide range of bacteria and other microorganisms may be added to the environment. If you experience damage from a backed-up toilet or any sewer-related source, be sure that trained professionals handle such problems are on the scene as soon as possible.

At Rapid Dry Services, we provide emergency residential and commercial, home restoration services. Whether you are or have experienced water, fire or smoke damage, our team of cleaning professionals can come to the rescue. If you live in the Greater Western New York area, contact us today!

Repairing Your Home After a Disaster

If a disaster strikes your home, it is vital to get to work immediately repairing the damage. If left too long, the lingering effects of, say, a fire can cause even more damage as time moves on. Soot and ash may work their way into your grout and marble, causing irreparable stains. If water damage is left unchecked for too long, you may end up with a nasty mold problem. So, keep reading to learn more about repairing your home after a disaster.

What Is the Fire Restoration Process?

The fire restoration process is where a team of professionals enter a burned building or home and begin to restore it to its former state. This can be a dangerous process, and is one that requires great skill and care. A mishandled restoration job can do even more damage, though the flames may be long gone.

This post will discuss the fire restoration process and what you should do to initiate the process.

The Process in a Nutshell

The professionals will begin the process by fully assessing the scene. They will be able to give you an estimate of the damage and the cost to restore your home after the fire. From that point, they will begin to clean up the damage. These pros have the protective gear to enter the building at this early stage, so please let them do their job. There are special industrial-grade treatments that they can use to restore your home with no lingering fire smell. If any items are particularly difficult to clean and treat, they can be taken off-site for special care.

What You Should Do

As soon as a fire is out, call a professional to begin the fire restoration process. It may be tempting to run into your home of business to check if certain items were spared by the flames, but try to resist this impulse. You may do more damage to the home than is necessary. A team of pros needs to first arrive to assess the situation so that a well-planned, organized restoration can commence. Their experience and equipment can get to work remediating any damage to carpet, walls, and furniture so that you don’t accidentally do more harm. If you have special items that must be retrieved, the fire restoration team can surely work to find them for you.

Can This Wait?

In a word, no. Damage from soot and ash begins to occur the moment that a fire is extinguished. Within hours, your items may be stained – perhaps irrevocably. The more porous materials in your home will be more vulnerable. So, plastic items, tile grout, and even marble are subject to staining and discoloration. This is why it is imperative to get on the phone with a fire restoration company even before the flames are out. They must be able to swoop in immediately to help save your possessions.

At Rapid Dry Services, we provide emergency water, fire, smoke, and disaster cleanup and restoration services for residents and businesses in Spencerport and the rest of Western New York. For fast, friendly, and affordable assistance, contact Rapid Dry Services today!

Floor and Carpet Replacement Options After a Flood

Where to start the cleanup process after a flood in your home? The whole house is likely impacted, especially the lower floors and basement. Sometimes flooring can be salvaged and dried. Even hardwood floors can be saved, in some circumstances. However, you may have to replace your floors and carpeting after a flood.

Here are a few options for carpet and floor replacement once water damage has gotten the better of them in your home.

How to Make a Family Disaster Kit for Home Emergencies

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario. It’s scary and perhaps depressing to consider that a fire, flood, or earthquake could create a home emergency. Those of us who live close to the Pacific Coast even forget about thunderstorms as time passes. However, any high-wind storm can cause a disaster when our favorite old tree falls on the home. Despite the unpleasant nature of this topic, it is vital for families to have a disaster kit. Here are some tips on how to make a family disaster kit for home emergencies.

Best Home Air Purifiers to Combat Pollen, Dust & Smoke

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is coming down with asthma, getting treated for lung disease, and it seems like every other day there is a smog alert.

Pollen, dust, smoke – all potentially harmful emissions that can lead to asthma or a variety of lung diseases, if not handled early enough. Unfortunately, homeowners and families breathe in dirty air on a daily basis with little to no consciousness of their impact in the long-term. To combat against emissions, you should purchase a home air purifier to filter out pollen, dust, smoke, odors, and mold.

Winter Weather Safety Checklist

When winter rolls around, it’s best to be prepared, particularly in upstate New York. The past few winters have brought deep freezes and deep snow drifts, so who knows what this coming winter will bring? There’s nothing worse than being caught with no plan in the case of extreme weather. This post has a few ideas that will have you thinking ahead to keep you and your family safe and warm, all winter long. Make sure to mark off these 3 things from your winter weather safety checklist.