Imagine waking up to a strange sound. You walk through your house, searching for the source of the sound. With further inspection, you realize it is coming from straight from your water heater. What do you do? If you want to avoid the frantic frenzy and costly repairs that a broken water heater will bring, learn the signs that your water heater is about to burst, how to turn it off if you suspect a problem, and what you should do if it does end up failing. The Cause: Whether gas or electric, water heaters usually last 10-13 years – if maintained well. Sometimes, a water heater will start leaking near the supply lines, and if you don't correct the leak, it won't just damage the surrounding floor and drywall but also lead to corrosion and failure. Other common causes of water heater failure are internal rust, sediment buildup, and high water pressure. Improper sizing can also cause your water heater to burst unexpectedly, leaving you with a huge, expensive mess. How to Prevent a Water Heater from Breaking: As with any appliance, frequent inspection can make your water heater last longer. Set an annual reminder to check for moisture or pooling water around the water heater, and tighten any loose fittings you find. If you see signs of water or mold damage or can't find the source of the leak, call the experts at Flood Doctor immediately. The faster you fix the issue, the less damage and cleanup you'll have. What should I do if I think my water heater might break? First thing's first – turn it off. If you notice any signs that your water heater is about to burst, including any strange noises, immediately shut it off. If it's a gas water heater, twist the dial on the top of the thermostat from the ON to the OFF position. If it's an electric heater, switch the circuit breaker to the OFF position. After you turn off your water heater; follow these instructions: Turn off the water supply. Turn the water valve located on your water heater clockwise until it stops. If it doesn't move or turn off, shut off your home's main water supply. Drain your water heater. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater's tank. Run the other end of the hose to a lower area where you can drain dirty water without risking more damage. Then, open the drain valve. You may need to use a screwdriver or another tool to open it. Open the pressure relief valve. Flip the relief valve handle to prevent a vacuum from forming while the water heater drains. Be careful – the water may be hot. Rinse with cold water. After your water heater is finished draining, open the water supply for a few minutes to flush any remaining sediment out of the water heater. Even if you think your water heater is in good condition, you should drain and refill it once a year as part of your regular water heater maintenance to keep it working properly and efficiently. Simply follow the steps above, and then close the relief and drain valves and turn the water supply back on to refill it. What should I do when my water heater breaks? If your water heater is broken, find a professional to assess the problem right away. If your water heater has burst or you know there's water or mold damage to the area, call the experts at Flood Doctor. Our water damage services are available 24/7/365 to ensure you get the help you need, right when you need it....

We know that stress levels skyrocket after any home disaster, especially in the case of water damage with its potentially lingering effects. That's why we put all the information you need to know together with these water damage insurance claim tips, so you can keep stress to a minimum if the unthinkable does happen. How to File a Water Damage Insurance Claim If you're standing ankle-deep in a flooded basement, take a deep breath and remember that you have a plan. The first two calls to make after a water damage event are to your insurance agency or representative and to a Water Damage Restoration Company, If you live in the Washington DC metro area, give Flood Doctor a call. We are the highest ranked water damage restoration company in the area. With over 20 years of experience, no matter how big or small your flood damage, we have the manpower and expertise to handle it. If you do not live in the Washington DC metro area, do your research before hiring a water damage restoration company. Often the ones who advertise the most and you might have heard of are not the ideal company to go with. Without naming any names, most national water damage restoration companies have deals with insurance companies. They do the job as "cost efficiently"  as possible, and in return, the insurance companies keep sending customers their way. What does this mean for a homeowner? It means that if they work for the insurance company and not you. If they can save them money by keeping water damaged carpet that should be replaced, they will do that. If they have to replace a wall in your home, they won't paint the rest of the walls to match. Knowing full well that insurance companies would cover that. A good place to start looking for a reputable company is the Institue of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration Association (IICRC). "The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associates, the IICRC serves more than 25 countries with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan." After you've made those calls, there are a few more steps to get your water damage insurance claim resolved: Review your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Your insurance company or agent can provide a copy if the original is missing or damaged. The declarations page has important information regarding your policy's water damage coverage, deductibles, limitations or exclusions. It also should list any claim filing deadlines. Take photos and/or video of the damage before any cleanup or restoration begins. If you remove items from the water damaged area, don't throw anything away until your claims adjuster has done an inspection. If mold is a concern feel free to put them outside. No adjuster expects you to keep contents covered in mold. Work with professionals like Flood Doctor for damage assessment, cleanup, and restoration. A professional company can quickly perform complete water extraction and drying, pack-out services, board-up and full mold remediation as needed. Gather the necessary information needed to file a water damage insurance claim. This information may include, but isn't limited to: Date of loss Location of damage Contact information for the property owner Your personal contact information, if you're not the property owner Receipts for all cleanup, repairs and other related costs Receipts for lodging and meals if you had to leave your home before or during cleanup and repair Complete list of all damaged items and building materials Keep detailed records or a log of each person you speak with at the insurance company. This log should include the date and time of the call, the representative's name and a brief description of your conversation. Keep a copy of every written communication with the insurance company, including a file for digital communication like emails. Flood Damage The average homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover floods that originate from the outside on the home. If the water comes into your home from outside rain, or an outside drain back up you need Flood Insurance. However, if the water originates within your home, water damage caused by a broken pipe, sewer backup or failed drainage lines, or even if your sump-pump stops working and backs up into the basement; a typical homeowners insurance policy will cover that. It's important to know exactly what your homeowner's insurance policy does and doesn't cover regarding water damage, so always check your policy first. Any type of water damage event is stressful. Let the experts at Flood Doctor help you get through the process without headache or hassle. From water extraction to the restoration of your artwork, books and important documents, our professional teams can help you get through the crisis and get back your life.  ...

Exposure to mold can cause various health problems ranging from minor irritations to allergic reactions and even serious lung infections. Mold thrives in moist areas. Therefore, to prevent mold growth in your home, you must control moisture levels. Check out this list of mold prevention tips: 1. Repair leaks in the walls, roof, gutters and plumbing pipes as soon as you can to reduce moisture. Inspect ceilings and walls for water stains. 2. Keep indoor humidity at 30-50% by using a dehumidifier, air conditioner or by opening windows and doors. Check the humidity levels at least twice a day. 3. Prevent condensation in your home by reducing humidity and adjusting the thermostat. 4. Ventilate appliances that generate moisture (cooking stove, shower, dryer, etc.) using exhaust fans. 5. Have your HVAC system inspected annually by a certified professional. Make sure your HVAC drip pans are clean and flow properly. 6. After a flood, all wet areas in your home must be cleaned and dried within 48-72 hours by a professional water damage specialist. 7. Prevent mold growth on indoor plant soil by adding a small quantity of Taheebo tea to the water you give to the plants. 8. Use mold-resistant paint, drywall, and sheetrock to prevent moisture absorption in your walls. 9. Slope the ground surrounding your home away from the house foundation to keep water at bay. Provide drainage to direct water away from your home. 10. Clean gutters. Assure water flow from downspouts is directed away from the foundation....

When a fire is just starting, it could be small enough to be extinguished with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher, but if you see that is scattering fast or taking longer than five seconds to be defeated with a fire extinguisher, then you must pull a fire alarm, evacuate the building, and call 911. Electrical Fire Always remember to turn the appliance off or to pull out the plug. Do not use water because it can cause an electrical shock. Use a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket. Cooking Fire Shut off the stove, gas supply or oven. Use baking soda on food to smother the fire, use a lid or keep the oven door closed. DO NOT use water or turn on the exhaust fan since that will draw the flames onto a concealed space. Greasy Pan Never leave unattended the cooking oil with the stove on. Hot grease can spatter and ignite any paper, cloth, or wood materials nearby. Fire in Oven Maintain the oven grease free! A greasy broiler or meet can catch fire even during preheating. Gas Fires Shut off the gas supply. Smother with a rug, blanket or Type B extinguisher or cool with water. Call 911. Leaking Gas Never enter an area with a lighted match or cigarette if you smell gas from a pipe, heater or stove. DO NOT turn light switches on or off. The smallest spark or flame could cause an explosion. No matter the type of fire, we always recommend calling 911 or the Fire Department even if you have extinguished the fire. Is better to be safe than sorry, right? Source: www.vbg.org/ “Different ways to Extinguish Different Fires”...