Tag: basement flood

A week of hurricane preparation: Crucial steps to take

Hurricanes are a risk that all southern and eastern coastal communities are in danger of. The storms can form and can strengthen rapidly leaving little time for proper preparation. This list details things you can do within a week to help get your family and your home ready for the impact.



  • Pull out your insurance documents. Make note of your coverage limits and your deductibles. Consider how much you’d need to cover the cost to replace your home’s structure, your personal belongings and your automobile. Call your agent(s) to confirm that you understand everything correctly.
  • Make a video inventory of your entire house including inside drawers, closets, etc. For higher priced and valuable items make sure to get the make/model, serial number and any other information that would be required to prove the value. Upload the video(s) to the cloud.

Extra Tip: Anyone with a child renting their own place should make sure that they have an active renter’s insurance policy and that they follow these same steps.

  • Much like an emergency kit but not in place of, pack everyone in your household a bag or suitcase with everything they would need for 2-3 days such as outfits, chargers, weather gear, etc. Critical medicine, food and water should be in every bag in case one gets lost. Don’t forget to pack one for your animals!
  • Make sure everyone has a phone list of emergency contacts (at least each other, a local contact and a contact that is out of the area). These should be programmed into phones and a printed copy should be in every bag with instructions on where to go if you get split up. You should have a safe place planned locally and another safe place to meet should you have to evacuate.

Extra Tip: When cell service is bad a text message may go through when a phone call won’t. Plan basic, short text messages to be shared among your emergency contacts such as “Safe. At Mimi’s”.

  • Take any movable items outside your home and move them inside. For items that are too heavy or large to move in, use cables or chains to secure them down so they can’t be blown around.
  • Consider purchasing a heavy-duty gasoline container to be filled and stored it in a cool, well-ventilated area. You don’t want to wait for an evacuation order to start running vehicles and gas cans to the station. Not only could the station run out of fuel before you get there, waiting would take precious time from other preparations and delay your departure.
  • Prepare to board up. Measure all window and glass door openings (include the framing). Purchase plywood pieces and pre-cut them to fit your measurements. Some lumber stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s may even have a panel saw and can cut them for you. Grab a box of screws and a drill if you don’t have one.

Extra Tip: Consider purchasing a generator. If you do purchase one, first test all your carbon monoxide detectors, then pick a safe place that you’ll be able to run it. The running place should be outside in a well ventilated are (no garages or basements!), that is dry and where you can quickly connect to it. Watch this video by Lowe’s for some other important generator tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaLamTvTQc0
Questions? Concerns? Recommendations? Give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’re happy to help!

It’s Personal…

What’s More Personal Than a Person’s Home?


We all hope that we’ll never need the services of a professional restoration company. The reality is that you or someone you know will have a situation that requires them. Why should Whalen Restoration Services be the first choice for Cape Cod, MA property owners? Most people want to work with an established company that has a great reputation. They want the company to be licensed and insured, the workers to be experienced and trained, and the best tools available to be used with up-to-date techniques. There isn’t a restoration company that won’t claim to have all of these positive attributes. Our special difference: Whether the project involves a residential property or a commercial property, our President, Bill Whalen, is tuned in to the needs of the owner.

Bill ensures that all of us at Whalen Restoration Services realize that there is nothing more personal than someone’s home. If put in the same situation we would want to be back in our own homes as soon as possible, and we work diligently to be sure that our clients are. Business owners have additional concerns, specifically the expense of being unable to operate the business while the restoration is ongoing. We helped one restaurant owner who had a fire just before a major holiday, and another restaurant owner whose building was hit by a car at the height of the summer season. Anyone who is familiar with Cape Cod knows that being closed during those times would be devastating for business! We also saved business for a hotel where, had we not responded in the fashion that we did, a wedding would have been forfeited. Our timely restorations also saved the insurance companies significantly in all of these cases. Bill’s empathy and understanding for the business owner contributes immensely to the successful completion of their restoration projects.

Many of us here at Whalen Restoration Services have homes and families of our own, so we completely understand that it is personal to have us in yours. This business is even family owned and operated. These are huge reasons why we’re committed to restoring every residential and commercial property to its pre-loss condition in a timely fashion with quality and courtesy.

Want to learn more about Bill and our office staff? Read on!

Protecting your home from flooding

From August of 2017 to spring of 2018 we saw more groundwater damage on the Cape than ever before. Most of the homes and businesses were unprepared for the events that happened making property losses devastating to owners. Now that it has happened it is very real to the local owners that even if their basements never flooded before it doesn’t mean they won’t, and severe damage can happen within a matter of minutes. We hope the information below helps more people prepare for that possibility, minimize damage and protect their belongings.

Flood facts to keep in mind:

  • Groundwater can cover a variety of actual sources like rain, storm/ocean surge or high water tables.
  • Damage caused by groundwater is often not covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy.
  • Flood policies often exclude personal items stored in the basement. If you have a flood policy make sure to double check the exclusions and have them clarified by your agent.
  • If your basement floods because the water tables are very high you may not be able to do much about the water until the levels have subsided. If you pump the water out into your yard it will probably seep right back in unless the pumping is continuous.
  • You do have options! Just because you take on groundwater under severe conditions doesn’t mean you have to sell and move on. You may have to invest in waterproofing solutions but it can be maintained.

Recommendations for properties in flood-prone areas

  • Raise basement appliances and contents up off the ground. Put them up on blocks, shelves or pallets. You could even install a false floor over the slab to allow for water to drain below to a sump pump.
  • Install a sump pump! Some basements may need more than one. Regardless of how many you install make sure you set up a battery back-up or generator. Last year some owners had pumps but they needed electricity to run and the storms knocked out the power for days so the areas flooded. Odds are that when the flooding is bad so isn’t the weather and power outages will be likely.
  • Properly grade your landscaping. You’re bound to see problems if you have a yard that directs water towards your basement. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the soil around the foundation slopes 4-6 inches for a distance of 3′ from the foundation walls.
  • Check your downspouts. Just like with the landscaping you want to make sure your down spouts are directing the water away from the house. Water should be directed at least 3′ from the foundation.
  • Install an interior drainage system to give the water a place to go. There are several different kinds to suit different types of foundations.
  • Seal your basement walls. This and many of the other options listed here can be taken care of by basement waterproofing professionals. Do your research, read reviews and get quotes from a few places before deciding on the company to help you with your unique waterproofing needs.
  • Make sure you dehumidify. This is important whether you sustain flooding or not, but certainly a necessity if you do. Anything that gets wet needs to be properly dried to avoid mold growth.
  • For more severe cases like properties that take on storm surges that cause feet of water to quickly collect you may want to look into more drastic measures such as raising the entire house.

Caring for appliances to avoid costly repairs

Love your appliances, and they’ll love you back.

Clothes and linens are laundered, dishes are sparkling clean, and that shower was nice and warm all thanks to the convenience of household appliances. These marvelous inventions continue to evolve and strike our fancy with new high tech features, all working to make our daily lives easier. However, any of these wonderful amenities can be a serious water damage disaster just waiting to happen. How can you avoid the costly damage? Routine care and servicing will keep your house hold appliances working safely and properly. Add a few extra preventative measures and some safeguards in case anything does happen, and you’ll be able to continue using these lovely conveniences with peace of mind.

Washing Machines

Washing machine floods lower level in Brewster, MA business

Washing machine floods lower level in Brewster, MA business

One of the biggest culprits of water damages are one of our favorite inventions ever, the washing machine. They can leak internally, front loaders can lose their spin and not drain properly, and the hoses connecting to the water supply can go. The best ways to prevent a water damage from happening because of your washer are:

  • Turn the water supply to the washer off when you are not home, especially if you are going away for a few days or on vacation. Consider installing an automatic shutoff valve.
  • Inspect your hoses seasonally. You’re looking for drips and dampness around the fittings, or on the flooring below. Replace the hoses every 5 years.
  • Keep the machine at least 4 inches from the wall to prevent damage to the hoses such as crimping.
  • Make sure the washing machine is draining properly. If you notice your clothes are still pretty heavy and wet, or just aren’t as wrung out as they used to be, you should have the machine serviced before it stops spinning all together.

Water Heaters

Water heater causes water damage in Eastham, MA home

Water heater causes water damage in Eastham, MA home

Your hot water heater may be working much harder than you think. Time takes a toll on these great units, corroding them in areas both visible and not. For the corrosion you can’t see, the best thing to do prepare for the worst. Install an automatic shutoff valve and a sump pump. Should the unit fail and open a continuous water flow into your home, this will minimize the damage by stopping the flow before you may notice it, and the pump will drain any standing water. You could also make sure that any water that does erupt from the unit is guided to the sump pump or drainage system area. It is important to keep track of the age of your water heater. Of course, the older it gets, the more you need to pay attention to the red flags of it starting to fail. What are you looking for during your frequent inspections of the unit?

  • Any signs of any wear on the system whatsoever.
  • Noises such as hissing, rumbling, or whistling.
  • A reduction in the water temperature from the faucet or in the time it takes to heat up water after it runs out. My favorite way to test this is to run a nice hot bath!
  • Rusty water.
  • Leaks, drips, or moisture around the fittings and flooring below.
  • The age of the water heater could be coded as the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. Check the manufacturer’s website to decode the date, but sometimes, wherever the first letter sits in the alphabet refers to the month, and the first two digits after the letter represent the year. If it’s older than 10 years, consider replacing.

It’s never a bad idea to call the heating and cooling technician if you find even the slightest sign of wear or damage. If you see any major signs, you should have the heater replaced.


Dish washer causes water damage in East Harwich, MA home

Dish washer causes water damage in East Harwich, MA home

Dishwashers can cause both sudden dramatic water damages, and slow, stealth leaks that can easily go unnoticed, eventually compromising your flooring, walls, and surrounding structure.

  • Just like your washing machine hoses, you want to inspect your dishwasher hoses regularly for leaks, exterior moisture, or damage of any kind including deterioration. Add this to each of your seasonal to do lists.
  • Check for rust. You should never find any rust around the dishwasher, and if you do, water is getting into places it shouldn’t.
  • Only run the dishwasher when someone is home. The best way to mitigate a water damage is to immediately prevent more water from flowing, and dry the area out as quickly as possible. If you’re off to work and the hose cracks mid-cycle, instead of clean dishes to come home out, you could potentially be looking at 6-8 long hours of costly damage.

Ice makers

Ice maker leak causes damage and mold to South Yarmouth, MA home.

Ice maker leak causes damage and mold to South Yarmouth, MA home.

Ice makers, like a small leak in a dishwasher hose, can be another sly culprit of a large scale water damage. And what comes with prolonged dampness? Mold! Plastic hoses feeding water into the ice maker are easily pinched, and can become corroded or damaged over time.

  • Check the hoses seasonally for signs of cracks, pinches, or any sort of damage. Replacing them could only cost around $6-15, but the damage that can happen by not replacing them can become thousands.
  • Instead of plastic tubing, replace the water supply line with different material such as copper or stainless steel.
  • Replace any tubes that you think are 10 years old or older.
  • Install a flood alarm. These units go from basic models to new fancy ones that you can even connect to your smartphone. They’ll sound off and notify you if there’s an increase in moisture.

Overall, with proper maintenance and a close eye on the potential sources, you can severely lessen your chances of falling victim to an appliance water damage If you have any questions, please feel free to send us a message and we’ll be happy to respond! More often than not, there are pleanty of others wondering the same thing.