ACC Storm and Water Damage

Water Damage Athens GA

How can you help with Storm Water in Athens Clarke County?

Every person who lives and works in Athens-Clarke County can do their part to ensure that the water we all depend on is safe for years to come.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a ten-room mansion, if you own a small hardware store or a business that sits on five acres, all of us can play a part by taking a few easy steps.


  • Conserve water. Do not over-water your lawns and gardens. Water early in the day or late in the evening (between 6 pm and 10 am).
  • Pick up after pets and properly dispose of the waste in the toilet.
  • Keep pets away from waterside areas.
  • Compost grass clippings and leaves. Do not allow them to be washed athens storm wateraway into roadways or intentionally place them into storm drains or bodies of water.
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash to conserve water and to prevent detergents and toxins from flowing into storm drains on bodies of water.
  • If you must wash your car at home, do so on you lawn or some other pervious surface instead of in the driveway or street.
  • Don’t overuse pesticides. Whenever possible use natural alternatives.
  • Service your car regularly to avoid oil, antifreeze, and other chemical leaks.
  • Maintain your septic system to avoid the pollution of groundwater, seepage, and runoff.
  • Report a discharge to the proper authorities.


  • Use dry methods for the clean-up of spills, such as cat litter or dry sweep compound. Do not hose spills, as the water will flow into storm drains.
  • Recycle grease and oil. Do not pour them into sinks or onto parking no dumbing sewerlots or streets.
  • Store materials in a safe place. Keep all toxic materials in their original containers.
  • Make sure contaminated wash water and chemical discharges are disposed of properly. Do not dump wash water into storm drains.
  • Keep your dumpsters clean and the lids closed, and make sure they are not leaking.
  • Report a discharge to the proper authorities.

Land Developers

  • Identify and conserve environmentally sensitive areas on your site and design your site around these areas.
  • Use low impact site design principles. For “Better Site Design” development tools and tips visit the Center for Watershed Protection and the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual.
  • Implement and maintain aggressive erosion control measures to land developer stormwaterprevent sediment runoff.
  • Locate your site away from any down sloping street or driveway, and any stream, lake, or drainage way.
  • Maintain construction entrances, and clean up sediments daily by sweeping or scraping up soils tracked onto roadways.
  • Prevent root damage of trees and shrubbery by placing barriers around plant life and limiting construction within those barriers.
  • Re-vegetate through seeding and mulching, as vegetation is most effective in erosion control.
  • Report a discharge to the proper authorities.

ACC Stormwater Utility Fees

The ACC Stormwater Utility Fee is a fee you shouldn’t feel bad about having to pay every month. Watch the video for more details.

Handling Water Damage Isn’t Too Difficult

Tips and Tricks for DIY Water Damage Cleanup

Every year, floods kill more people than lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. They can also wreak havoc on homes and businesses, requiring everything from new drywall and furnishings to completely new structures.

If your home or commercial property has been flooded, your first priority is safety. Stay away from the area until government officials say it’s safe to return. When you can go back, take emergency supplies and cash with you. If you can get to a phone, call your insurance company and, if necessary, a flood and water damage restoration contractor.

Then, you can get started on assessing the damage. Watch every step, because the risk of slips and falls is high. Also, be very cautious around appliances, gas lines and electrical equipment. Using them prematurely could cause electrical shocks and even explosions. And don’t forget that wet items can be very heavy. Don’t hurt yourself by overdoing it.

The Destruction Water Causes

Water gives us life, but it can also take life and ruin everything in its path. When it comes to your home or businesses, be aware of how the following items can be affected:

Wallboard and drywall:

    •  These porous materials act like a sponge and become fragile in a flood, and may remain contaminated even after they dry out.


    •  This thick material may not have to be replaced but it takes a very long time to dry. If it is severely cracked or warped, it will need to be replaced.


    •  Foam sheets of insulation just need to be hosed off and dried, but muddy fiberglass batts should be thrown out. Cellulose insulation, made of blown-in treated paper, will need to be removed and replaced.

Solid wood:

    •  Furniture and other solid wood items may warp and crack following a flood, but they can usually be saved when dried out completely.

Particle board and laminated wood:

    •  These materials may separate and weaken after getting wet and usually need to be replaced.

Wood studs and framing:

    •  These solid pillars are usually OK if they dry completely. They must be disinfected, but don’t usually have to be replaced. They are most often far from human contact, so risks of harm from any remaining contamination are low.

Floor coverings:

    •  Most carpets and laminated coverings will have to be thrown out after a flood, especially any with soaked foam rubber backing. A professional cleaner may be able to save small rugs and valuable carpets, which should be removed from the site immediately.

Pipes and electrical wiring:

    •  Floods can float or break pipes and strip electrical wiring. Unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing, work with a contractor if you see damage to these items.


    •  These can be shorted out during floods and can leak harmful and explosive gases into the air. They will need to be cleaned and checked by a professional before use.


     Heater and air conditioner units can become flooded, which can damage their internal electrical systems and douse pilot lights. They can also become muddy, and cleaning them will require professional cleaning. In addition, venting systems can flood and become contaminated. If that happens, they must be taken apart and hosed off piece by piece to prevent contamination from being blown through the air.

Dos and Don’ts of Flood and Water Damage Cleanup

Getting Ready

The first thing you will need to do after a flood is make sure that it’s safe for you and your family to be on the property.

  • DO beware of rodents, snakes and insects that might have come in with flood waters
  • DO smell for gas and look for damaged power and gas lines, foundation cracks and exterior damage
  • DO look for broken pilings, shifted stairs, slanted floors and walls
  • DO turn off water and power (unless you would have to do so while standing in water)
  • DON’T enter your home or business if you see major structural damage
  • DON’T walk on sagging floors or floors above sagging ceilings
  • DON’T use electrical appliances or turn on ceiling fans and lights if the ceilings are wet

First Steps

Once you’re ready to start the cleaning process, it’s important to prioritize. At this stage:

  • DO check that your running water is safe to drink and to use for cleaning
  • DO flush your toilet before you use it to check for clogs from mud and debris
  • DO check for cabinets and other items that may be ready to fall over
  • DO temporarily patch holes in the walls and roof with plastic wrap and repair floors and roof sections with 4X4s if you can do so safely
  • DO remove debris
  • DO remove water trapped in walls
  • DO open all the doors and windows to improve ventilation
  • DO use a wet vac, shop vac, fans, dehumidifiers and desiccants (materials that absorb moisture) to start drying out the property
  • DON’T drain a flooded basement too quickly, because rapid changes in pressure could cause the foundation to collapse
  • DON’T do structural or electrical work yourself
  • DON’T connect generators to the home’s power system, but plug in fans and appliances directly
  • DON’T use generators, grills, camp stoves or charcoal inside homes or within closed areas
  • DON’T use a household vacuum to remove water and mud
  • DON’T let garbage pile up, as it could exacerbate contamination and house pests
  • DON’T leave pools of standing water, which could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes

Putting it All Back Together

Once these major issues are handled, you can start on the water damage cleanup and flood restoration itself.

  • DO wear protective clothing, boots and rubber gloves
  • DO wash your hands often with soap and water
  • DO remove all wall coverings and throw them out, as they may harbor mold
  • DO remove drywall, finished ceilings and most insulation that’s been in contact with flood water
  • DO throw out permeable materials such as padded furniture and foam rubber
  • DO throw out all exposed food, beverages and medicine, including canned goods
  • DO disinfect dishes and other items with soap and hot water, but throw out all soft plastics
  • DO clean hard surfaces with hot water and soap or detergent
  • Do wipe down wooden items and, if possible, take them elsewhere to dry out
  • DO preserve items such as books, documents and photographs in re-sealable bags and freeze them to be cleaned later
  • DO place aluminum foil or wood blocks in between wet floors and the legs of furniture that can’t be moved
  • DO make a list of the damage and take photos or videos
  • DO keep a piece of damaged floor and wall coverings to show your insurance assessor
  • DO check with your mortgage holder before cashing home insurance checks, especially if the damage is extensive

Should You Call a Professional Restoration Service?

Cleaning up after a flood is a lot of work and it is possible to do much of it yourself. However, the costs in time, supplies and machinery rental escalate quickly. Furthermore, you may need professional contractors to do the work to be eligible for home and flood insurance reimbursements or to acquire building permits. If you would like expert help with your flood cleanup or simply want a second pair of eyes for safety, call Paul! Our nationwide network of flood and water damage cleanup professionals is available 24/7.

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Why You Should Unclog a Toilet Immediately


Always Unclog Toilets Immediately To Avoid Water Damage

I unfortunately know this tip well, because I have suffered the consequences of not unclogging our toilet fast. The clog was especially “stuck” this time and I was taking a break from trying to unclog it. Well I forgot about it and went to work that morning. I remembered it at work but “no big deal” right?? Just a clogged toilet. Well little did I know that the valve inside my toilet was deteriorated and slowly leaking water into the bowl. So little you could not see it with the naked eye. Over the course of 9 hours though, this little bit of water turns into a lot. It overflowed, ran onto the floor, found its way down the floor air vent, traveled down into the basement, found a crack in the air vent and slowly but surely flooded my basement. I will NEVER leave a toilet clogged again!!!

Three Great Methods For Unclogging Your Toilet

Unfortunately, clogged toilets are something that most people will experience at least once in their lifetime. Whether your child has flushed a toy, your flushing power isn’t enough to push debris through, or you’ve been flushing the wrong items, a clogged toilet can be a major inconvenience if you’re not sure how to fix the clog. The good news is that most clogged toilets will not require a visit from the plumber as they can typically be fixed quite easily.

The first way to fix a clogged toilet is by using a good old fashioned plunger. If the cause of your clog is not a lodged item, such as a toy, a plunger is a quick and effective method of fixing the clog. To fix a clogged toilet with a plunger, the first step is protecting your floor in case of overflow or splashes. You can use newspaper or a towel to line the area around your toilet. You can also prep yourself by wearing rubber gloves and older clothing. The next step in unclogging your toilet would be to place a good quality plunger into the bowl of the toilet. To be effective, the plungers should make a seal around the hole in the bowl of the toilet while being completely submerged in water. If there is not enough water, add water from another source instead of flushing again. When your plunger is in the correct position, begin pumping the plunger up and down, starting off slowly. It may take a few tries, but eventually, the suction created will help dislodge the clog. Once you believe the clog is loose, try flushing again. If the toilet still seems clogged, add water and repeat the process.

The next method you can use to remove stubborn clogs is creating a drain cleaner at home to help break up the clog. To create a drain cleaner, you will need baking soda, vinegar, and a half gallon of water that is hot but not boiling. Very hot water can cause damage to the porcelain that the toilet is made from, so think of hot tea or coffee as a good temperature measurement. Once you have the hot water ready to go, you’ll want to add one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar to the bowl of the toilet. The chemical reaction can be a great way to break up whatever is clogging your toilet unless it’s a solid object like a toy. After you’ve added the baking soda and vinegar, take the half gallon of hot water and pour it into the toilet from about waist level. The force of the water pouring into the bowl can help move the clog through. Allow the mixture to sit in the toilet overnight. In the morning, the toilet should be clog free. If it still remains clogged after a couple of flushes, you’ll need to try a method for hard obstructions.

If you have a hard obstruction, such as a child’s toy or a bottle, in your toilet, the previous methods won’t be able to remove the clog. To remove a stubborn clog, you may need to use a wire coat hanger. A wire coat hanger can be used to push through a clog that isn’t too far into the pipe. To do this, you’ll want to unravel and stretch out a wire coat hanger. After you’ve got it straightened out, wrap a towel around one end and secure with duct tape. Push the wrapped end into the drain. If you feel the clog, push against it to try to get it to move along. If it seems to be stubborn, you can wiggle the hanger and maneuver it around until you feel the clog move and the toilet flushes freely.

These methods for unclogging your toilet can be great when you’re struggling with a clog. If the methods above fail to work, a plumber may be necessary to help you fully evacuate the clog. Typically, most clogs will be quite easy to deal with, although there can be some more stubborn clogs. Always take your time when working on a clog and remember that it may take multiple tries to get it right.

If you are local here in Athens, use a plumber like Carson Plumbers to help you out. They have been serving our business and our families for decades now. For all of our friends in Cardinal Nation, in St. Louis, we would recommend Emergency Plumber St Louis. I’ve personally used them 3 times and always been a pleasurable experience (minus the needing a plumber part though).

Removing Nasty Black Mold

So what can clogged sewer drains cause? Well how about flood damage to your house because the water has no where to drain. After a while this happens to your house and you have to clean it up! I would rather call a professional than have to deal with this nasty stuff.

Unblock Your Sewer Lines to Prevent Flooding

Sewer lines operate on gravity and will follow the natural slope of the ground. Most city-owned sewer lines will run quite deep and may be between eight and fifteen deep in spots near to homes from which the sewage is collected. Sewage lines that branch out from homes will be at least three feet deep and will lead to the nearest manhole on municipal sewers.

Sewer drains getting choked can cause a serious problem of flooding and result in unsanitary conditions that can turn out to be life-threatening if not attended to in time. Blockage in drainage outlets can often be a localized problem and confined to one fixture like a toilet, bathtub, sink or laundry drain. It is is often the result of requiring the drain to carry away debris that it is not designed for. This debris will not get carried away and will act as a nucleus to gather further debris until the entire flow in the drain is blocked and prevents the sewer from flowing freely. Most sewer blockages are noticed in the toilets that have the biggest drain line and are often connected directly to sewer lines. Bathtubs and showers would show the signs of a sewer line before kitchen sinks as they are located at lower levels. First signs of a blockage that will ultimately lead to flooding in the home may be noticed in the toilets or sinks that are in the lowest areas of the home, like basements.

Another sign of sewer line blockages that can lead to flooding is from unusual events like sink taps producing bubbles in the toilets, when they are operated, or water in the toilet rising instead of draining away. Blockage in sewer lines outside the home may lead to water coming out of the catch pits or manholes to which all the drainage from the house is connected. These blockages can also be caused by tree roots getting into sewer lines. It can cause flooding in the yard, and if the water is black water, from the toilets, this can lead to unsanitary conditions developing, which give rise to the growth of bacteria and fungus. There will also be the odor of sewage. A gurgling sound in a sewer system is often an indication of a problem developing that needs immediate attention. Floor drains in bathrooms and other areas in the home are often the first to indicate signs of a sewer line blockage, as water will overflow from then till the drains can carry it away.

A sewer line blockage must be considered an emergency and must needblocked sewer the attention of experts. Left unattended, this can lead to water flooding all the lower areas of a home and leading to damage to floors, furniture, and fixtures. Formation of mold is inevitable in areas that are always damp, and the spores from the mold can cause serious respiratory problems, especially among children and the elderly.

Close off all water connections and refrain from using bathrooms and other things connected to the sewer mains, till you get in plumbers who can attend to and clear the blockage in the sewer lines.

After a flood has happened inside of your home or business, a local water damage restoration or mold remediation company will probably have to be contacted to assist with the mess and cleanup.

You must do your research on these companies and make sure they are licensed and insured for your safety. Our sister company is actually located in Colorado Springs, CO but they will be branching out nationally soon. You can contact them with questions or concerns by visiting their website – Water Damage Colorado Springs – Water Damage Colorado Springs Company

In the, Athens, GA area please contact Service Master Complete for water damage help. –

Both of these companies can handle any type of water damage restoration, mold remediation, or flood damage problems.

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