Tips for Preventing Ice Dams from ServiceMaster in Mankato and Waseca

You rarely see a flat roof on a single family dwelling in Minnesota. For natives the reason is obvious. Unless there is a reasonable slope and access to shovel it free from snow, the weight of the snow itself, or the seepage potential of the melted snow, can cause extreme damage to a home. Most houses have slanted roofs so snow slides off and water runs off—unless there is an ice dam. That’s when the snowmelt freezes before it can run off, creating a trap for subsequent snowmelt. Eventually, with more snow, there is a subterranean lake on the roof that is trying to flow somewhere. Given gravity, it seeps through anything it can to reach a lower point. The damage can be extensive and range from flooding to wall damage and fallen ceilings. If this happens to you, remember that ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is your best solution for water removal and cleanup, and flood damage repair and restoration.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, ice dams can happen because of quick changes in temperature, which have become more common in recent seasons. They can also be caused by insulation problems that make for inconsistent heat distribution under the shingles. Warmer spots, perhaps near heating conduits, melt first, and areas near the edge of the roof and the gutters may not melt at all. The ideal is to have the entire roof well insulated so it is the same temperature overall.

If you see uneven melting patterns on your roof, you may be able to add insulation in your attic or crawl space to keep warm air from rising through to the snow. If you suspect you have an ice dam you can carefully try to remove snow from the edges of the roof, though it’s always safer to call a professional so you don’t damage your gutters or have an accident.

Potential risks of ice dams include damaged wallboard and insulation, direct leaks through the roof and shingles, and the obvious damage to ceilings, electrical systems, and contents below. Have a safe season, but keep our number nearby. For residential water damage repair and reclamation, call ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca.

Avoiding Winter Water Damage with ServiceMaster in Mankato and Waseca

It’s always amusing for Minnesotans to search the Internet for home cold weather tips, discover advice suggesting that they cover exposed pipes and consider adding a heat line to pipes in a crawl space, and then see that the report is from a newspaper in North Carolina or Virginia. It’s true that the greatest percentage of frozen residential pipes occur in the South, especially in those areas where very cold temperatures rarely occur and building codes reflect moderate temperatures. Still, the result of a frozen pipe is the same whether you’re in the South or the North. You’ve got a wet mess, the risk of mold, probable damage to furnishings, and a spoiled winter season as you work your way through cleanup and reconstruction. In central Minnesota, ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca offers you the best option for water removal, water damage repair, and restoration.

It was just over a year ago that cities all across Minnesota were contending with frozen water mains and connecting lines, and homeowners were faced with two choices: running a slow stream of water constantly and running up their water bills or risking a frozen pipe. The lengthy subzero temperatures that wreaked havoc on heating bills also dropped the frost line, endangering water lines that were normally safe from extreme cold. With this in mind, here are the best steps you can take to prevent freezing pipes:

  • Insulate all pipes near external walls, in attics, or in any place that may be prone to lower temperatures.
  • Run water until it’s cold. If it’s colder than 45 degrees, you may be at risk for ice developing in the line.
  • Raise the temperature with space heaters in areas of risk.
  • Keep your house at least at 65 degrees on all floors.
  • If you go away, even for a weekend, consider turning off your water and draining the lines.
  • If ice develops in a line, make every effort to thaw it (studies show you could have a break in two to four hours otherwise), but don’t use an open flame of any kind.
  • If your house is at risk for a frozen line, let both the hot and cold taps run a very small stream in a sink at the far side of the house from the entry pipe.

A higher water bill is probably a small price to pay compared to the costs of a flood in your basement or on your first floor. Some communities and areas offer help repaying water bills in such situations. If you find yourself with a broken pipe, turn off the water, call the plumber, and then contact ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca for water damage repair and flood disaster restoration.

 

 

Summer Storms and Water Damage in Mankato and Waseca, MN

The word deluge brings to mind great floods and walls of water inundating acres of land and destroying all in its path. Yet the word also refers to a situation where water is simply overwhelming. During a brief pounding thunderstorm or a persistent rainstorm that lasts for more than a day, your basement, crawlspace, or ground floor may be subjected to its own form of deluge. It doesn’t take much water to do serious damage. That’s where we come in. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is your water removal and water damage repair specialist.

You may not be aware of the foundation crack, loose window, or clogged drainpipe that’s about to cause the problem. The last thing on your mind during a busy summer is inspecting your house for areas water may intrude. Most of the time it’s something amiss that isn’t even visible. If you’ve done some landscaping this spring, added a wall, or taken out some trees, it may have made just enough of a difference in the contour of your yard to send water a different direction, or to retain water in new areas of your property. It’s also common that no one is home during a strong thunderstorms to take protective action if a window is broken or water finds a way into the home.

Whatever the cause, it’s critical to remove any water before it causes additional damage to walls, floors, furnishings, or appliances. We will respond promptly with trained specialists to board up or tarp any openings, and then efficiently remove the water. When that’s done, we can provide all the help you need to repair the water damage, prevent mold, and restore your home to its previous state. We’ll also help determine the cause of the flooding and recommend ways to prevent it in the future. For the best choice in water removal and water disaster repair and remediation, call us at ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca.

Water Removal and Floor Drying in Mankato and Waseca, MN

 ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca provides water drying and removal services in the Mankato, MN area.

If the last few years have taught us anything in Minnesota, it’s that the weather is becoming less predictable than ever. Near record-breaking rainfall earlier in the year gave way to a dry spell, both extremes causing problems for farmers and others. This climate uncertainty is all the more reason why you should keep ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca’s contact information handy. Heavy rains and flash floods can mean an overnight disaster if your home isn’t completely prepared. If the worst does happen, we are your best bet for water removal and floor drying in Mankato and Waseca, whether it be vinyl, hardwood or carpet.

The best time to inspect your property and perform preventative maintenance is while the weather is relatively warm and dry. When folks hear the words flooding or basement water, they generally think about sewer backups, failed sump pumps, or nearby rivers overflowing their banks. It’s just as likely to be caused by cracks in a foundation, damaged or lose water pipes or faucets, or openings in basement windows, vents or uncovered window wells. Check the drainage and slope in your yard. Any changes in landscaping or erosion in the terrain from last year may spell trouble during a rainy fall season or a quickly melting snowfall later on.

You don’t need much water in your home to cause damage. An inch or less can damage flooring and cause mold and mildew if not removed quickly. The longer materials remain saturated, the greater the damage. Soil or sewage in the flood water just makes things worse. If you encounter home flooding this season, act fast. Call us right away for water extraction and drying of your floors in Mankato, Waseca and surrounding communities. We have all the right equipment at hand and can respond and be working in far less time than it would take you to rent equipment and try to manage a disastrous situation on your own.

Mankato Flooded Basement? Year Round Tips to Avoid the Mess

Nobody likes dealing with a flooded or wet basement, but we all know it can happen. If it happens to you it’s important to get the water out and to dry surfaces quickly to avoid additional damage to walls, flooring, furniture and more. That’s why we offer prompt and complete clean up for flooded basements in Mankato, Waseca and throughout our service area.

However, avoiding the need for professional clean up of flooded basements is your best bet and the tips below can help with that. Some of these tips are seasonal, but all of them are worth reading and acting on.

  1. Keep gutters clean & in good repair. Clean gutters and down spouts regularly to avoid build up that can keep them from doing their job. Fix loose or missing sections of gutter or down spout and use down spout extensions to keep water directed away from your foundation.
  2. Keep the sump pump working. Although it’s usually out of sight and out of mind, your sump pump should never be taken for granted. When ground saturation from melting snow and/or heavy rain comes, that’s when you’ll want that sump pump doing its job. If the pump isn’t working the result can be water damage and a big mess. Making sure your home is equipped with a working sump pump is a smart move.
  3. Sand bags for extremes. Sand bagging is too extreme for most property owners, however in areas that suffer from frequent flooding sand bags could be the only way to adequately protect your home or business.
  4. Don’t leave winter snow piled up around your foundation. Removing snow that has piled up around your home’s exterior walls and foundation will help decrease the amount of water that soaks into the ground near the house when the thaw comes.
  5. Remember – water runs downhill. This seems simple, but the point is to make sure that water flows away from your home or business’s foundation. Water allowed to pool next to the building can lead to water damage.

If all these precautions fail and you find yourself with a wet or flooded basement in Mankato, Waseca or the surrounding area, ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca can help. Contact us to learn more!

The Down Side to Summer Showers

Summer conjures up images of baseball, flowers, grilling on the deck and warm rain showers. But there is a sinister down side to those pleasant summer showers, because too often they manifest as summer storms. The summer storm season can cause basement flooding and water damage in Mankato and Waseca area homes and businesses totaling thousands of dollars each year.

When dealing with wet carpets, flooded basements or other water damage it is important to get the water out as soon as possible and to dry surfaces quickly. The longer water and damp remain, the more likely that additional damage will occur. And wet areas can become ideal environments for dangerous bacteria growth and mold.

ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca can help. We specialize in water damage clean up caused by everything from ice dams and broken pipes, to failed sump pumps or other basement flooding. If water makes and unwelcome visit to your home or business, call ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca. Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians will handle the clean up and get your life back to normal… fast.

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