Recent Storm Damage Posts

10 Signs of Water Damage After a Storm

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck parked outside a job site. If you notice any of these signs of water damage after a storm or weather event, it's important to act quickly.

After a storm or severe weather event, it's crucial to inspect your property for signs of water damage. Detecting water damage early can prevent further deterioration and costly repairs. Here are some key signs to look out for:

Water Stains

Water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors are telltale signs of water intrusion. These stains may appear discolored, darker, or even moldy, indicating prolonged exposure to moisture.

Musty Odors

A musty or moldy smell in your home, especially in areas prone to moisture, could indicate the presence of hidden water damage. Mold thrives in damp environments and can quickly develop after water intrusion.

Warped or Buckled Flooring

Excess moisture can cause wooden flooring to warp or buckle. If you notice any unevenness or lifting of floorboards, it could be a sign of water damage underneath.

Peeling Paint or Wallpaper

Water seeping into walls can cause paint or wallpaper to peel, bubble, or blister. These cosmetic issues are often indicative of underlying water damage that requires immediate attention.

Sagging Ceilings or Walls

Prolonged exposure to water can weaken the structural integrity of ceilings and walls, causing them to sag or bulge. This is a serious sign of water damage that should be addressed promptly to prevent further structural issues.

Mold Growth

Visible mold growth on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces is a clear indication of water damage. Mold thrives in moist environments and can pose health risks to occupants if left unchecked.

Dampness or Moisture

Feeling dampness or moisture in areas where it shouldn't be, such as carpets, walls, or furniture, suggests water infiltration. Use a moisture meter to detect hidden moisture in building materials.

Water Pooling

Puddles of water or standing water in basements, crawl spaces, or around the foundation of your home indicate poor drainage or water intrusion from outside.

Cracks in Walls or Foundation

Excessive water pressure from heavy rainfall or flooding can cause cracks to form in walls, floors, or the foundation of your home. These cracks allow water to seep in and cause further damage if not addressed promptly.

Increased Utility Bills

A sudden spike in water bills without any corresponding increase in usage could indicate a hidden water leak or other water-related issues within your home.

If you notice any of these signs of water damage after a storm or weather event, it's important to act quickly. Contacting a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO® can help mitigate further damage and restore your home to its preloss condition. Don't delay addressing water damage, as prompt action can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Emergency Preparedness: Creating a Storm Survival Kit for Any Situation

1/3/2024 (Permalink)

When a storm strikes, being prepared can make a significant difference in your safety and well-being. One essential step in emergency preparedness is creating a storm survival kit. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of building a comprehensive kit that includes essential supplies and resources to help you weather any storm situation.

Water and Food Supplies

An ample supply of water is crucial during emergencies. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days. Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, granola bars, and dried fruits should also be included. Don't forget a manual can opener and any necessary utensils for eating.

First Aid Kit and Medications

A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries and providing immediate medical assistance. Make sure your kit includes bandages, antiseptic solution, pain relievers, any necessary prescription medications, and a manual or battery-operated thermometer.

Communication and Lighting

In the event of a power outage, reliable communication and lighting tools are invaluable. Include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to receive updates and stay informed. Have extra batteries or consider purchasing a solar-powered charger. Flashlights, candles, and matches should also be included to provide lighting when needed.

Personal Hygiene and Sanitation

Maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation during a storm is crucial for preventing the spread of illness. Include items such as hand sanitizers, baby wipes, toilet paper, and garbage bags. Don't forget essential hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and feminine hygiene products.

Extra Clothing and Bedding

Having extra clothing and bedding can provide comfort and warmth during extended periods of power outage. Pack warm blankets, extra clothing layers, rain gear, sturdy shoes, and socks. Consider the climate and weather conditions specific to your area and adjust your clothing choices accordingly.

Cash and Important Documents

It is important to have some cash on hand in case ATMs or credit card machines are not operational during a storm. Keep a small amount of cash in your survival kit. Additionally, include copies of important documents such as identification documents, insurance policies, and contact information for emergency contacts.

Tailor your survival kit to meet the specific needs of your household. Consider including additional items such as a whistle, multi-tool, duct tape, extra batteries, a fire extinguisher, a map of your area, and any personal or unique items that may be necessary for your family's well-being.

Creating a storm survival kit is an essential step in emergency preparedness. By including water and food supplies, a first aid kit, communication and lighting tools, personal hygiene items, extra clothing and bedding, cash and important documents, and any necessary additional items, you can ensure your readiness for any storm situation. Stay safe and be prepared!

Understanding the Impact of Storm Damage on Your Property

9/23/2023 (Permalink)

Strong storms are known for causing significant damage to properties, leaving homeowners with various headaches in their aftermath. Water, wind, hail, and lightning are some of the elements that could result in different forms of damage to your property. Understanding the impact of storm damage on your property is vital in protecting your investment and staying financially responsible. In this article, we'll explore the effects that storms can have on your property and why you should take steps to mitigate them.

Water Damage

One of the most common damage types resulting from powerful storms is water damage. During heavy rainfall, excessive water could enter your property and find its way through cracks and other vulnerable points, causing destruction. Water damage could lead to mold formation and structural damage if left unattended. Other water-related problems could include electrical damages, plumbing issues, and appliance malfunctions, followed by possible short circuits, gas line explosions, or electrical hazards.

Wind Damage

When powerful winds accompany severe storms, your property is vulnerable to damage as well. The impact of strong winds could lead to fallen trees, damaged roofs, or window breakage. Other wind-related damages could arise from gutter displacement, hail damage, and siding detachment. Broken windows and holes in your walls may also expose your property to further damage, theft, and unwanted wildlife.

Hail Damage

Hail storms are quite common in the South Central region and can cause significant damage to properties. Hail could lead to roof damage, broken windows, and vehicle damage. They could also harm HVAC units, gutters, and sidings. Even if the hail doesn't break through your windows, they could still weaken the seals, making them susceptible to future damage.

Lightning Damage

Lightning strikes could cause property fires, electrical fires, and damage electronic appliances. If lightning strikes close to your home or business, it could cause power surges that could damage your electrical equipment, including air conditioning systems, televisions, and other appliances. Therefore, it is advisable to unplug your essential electrical equipment during a storm's height.

In summary, storm damage is a costly problem, which can ultimately threaten the safety of your home, business or even your life. Thus, it is critical to understand the impact of storm damage on your property and take appropriate steps to mitigate it. By conducting regular maintenance checks, investing in quality window and door protection, reinforcing your roof and siding, and seeking professional help after a storm, you can protect your property and avoid unnecessary expenses. Remember that being aware and taking precautions in advance can significantly minimize both financial and personal loss in the case of any storm damage.

Shielding Your Business: Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage

6/18/2023 (Permalink)

Commercial properties are often vulnerable to the damaging effects of storms, including high winds, hail, lightning, and heavy rainfall. To mitigate financial risks and protect their assets, businesses often opt for commercial storm insurance. However, understanding the coverage provided by such policies is crucial for making informed decisions. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of commercial storm insurance to help you grasp what it covers and how it can safeguard your business in times of storm-related disasters.

Property Damage Coverage

Commercial storm insurance typically provides coverage for property damage caused by storms. This includes structural damage to buildings, roofs, walls, and other physical structures on your premises. It may also extend to outdoor fixtures, signage, fences, and landscaping affected by storm-related perils. The policy should outline the specific covered perils, such as wind, hail, lightning, and falling objects.

Business Interruption Coverage

In addition to property damage, commercial storm insurance often includes business interruption coverage. This coverage helps compensate for the income loss and extra expenses incurred due to temporary closure or disruption caused by storm-related damages. It can cover ongoing expenses like payroll, rent, utilities, and even relocation costs if necessary.

Equipment and Inventory Coverage

Commercial storm insurance typically extends coverage to the equipment and inventory affected by storm-related perils. This can include machinery, tools, computers, inventory stock, and other business-related equipment. Damages resulting from lightning strikes, water intrusion, or other covered perils may be eligible for reimbursement or replacement under the policy.

Additional Coverages

Commercial storm insurance policies may offer additional coverages or endorsements that can be tailored to your business's specific needs. These may include coverage for debris removal, temporary repairs, and protection against business liability arising from storm-related incidents, such as slips and falls on wet surfaces. Review your policy carefully to understand the extent of these additional coverages.

Deductibles and Limits

Commercial storm insurance policies typically have deductibles, which are the amount you are responsible for paying out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. The policy will also specify coverage limits, which determine the maximum amount the insurer will pay for covered losses. It's important to review and understand these deductibles and limits to ensure they align with your business's risk tolerance and potential financial exposure.

Exclusions and Policy Limitations

While commercial storm insurance covers a wide range of storm-related perils, it's crucial to be aware of any exclusions and limitations within the policy. Some policies may exclude certain perils like flooding or impose limitations on coverage for specific types of property or circumstances. Understanding these exclusions and limitations will help you assess your business's vulnerabilities and explore additional coverage options if necessary.

Commercial storm insurance plays a crucial role in protecting businesses from the financial impact of storm-related damages. By understanding the coverage it provides, including property damage, business interruption, equipment, and inventory, as well as additional coverages, deductibles, and limits, you can make informed decisions when selecting a policy. Remember to review your policy regularly, reassess your business's needs, and consult with an insurance professional to ensure your coverage remains adequate and aligned with your business's evolving requirements. With comprehensive commercial storm insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business is protected against the unpredictable forces of nature.

5 Storm Preparation Tips for Residential Properties

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Tips To Protect Your Home And Family From Severe Weather

Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your home in Mentone, CA, from severe weather, floodwater, and other types of water damage. Planning ahead and making sure you're prepared before a storm hits is key to reducing flood damage and keeping your family safe. Follow the tips below to help protect your home and family from severe weather.

1. Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Craft a clear emergency response plan for your family that is easy to follow. Make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do in the case of a severe storm. Make time to regularly discuss and practice this plan, especially if your local weather channel predicts an incoming storm.

2. Pay Attention to Local Emergency Alerts.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can provide reliable, real-time updates regarding the storm. Make sure everyone in your household signs up for this system so that you can stay updated on new developments.

3. Waterproof and Relocate Valuable Items.
Any valuable possessions that are unlikely to survive a flooded building need to be sealed in waterproof containers and relocated to high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood water level. This includes important documents, electronic devices and other important possessions that are susceptible to water damage.

4. Trim Back Tree Branches.
Severe winds can quickly turn overgrown tree branches into dangerous projectiles. You can help prevent tree limbs from crashing into your property by trimming back any branches that are growing too close to your home.

5. Build an Emergency Supply Kit.
Put together an emergency response kit for your household containing valuable necessities. Suggested items to stock include, but are not limited to, batteries, bandages, non-perishable foods, blankets, a battery-powered radio and a flashlight.
Rising floodwater, dangerously high winds and heavy rains can all inflict devastating damage on your property if you aren't prepared. Contact flood remediation experts if your home has suffered damage from a recent storm or flood.

Avoid Doing These 3 Things After a Flood

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

After a flood, stay away from these three things.

A flood presents a variety of hazards to your Mentone, CA, homes such as flood water itself, crumbling structures, and electrocution. It is understandable that you are overwhelmed by these dangers, but making the wrong move can endanger your house and your wellbeing. Avoid the following actions to keep yourself and your property safe.

1. Try to Save Your Flooded Home

As a homeowner, you may be protective of the house and belongings you have worked hard to earn. However, attempting to "save" your home during a flood is a futile effort. There is not much you can do once disaster strikes, so focus on saving yourself and anyone in the household. Take immediate shelter and then stay with relatives or at a hotel until the weather improves and it becomes safe to approach the territory.

2. Use Your Mobile Phone Too Much

It is important to have every resource available when dealing with natural disasters and your mobile phone is no exception. It can inform you when the flood water has receded, where to evacuate and what other resources are available. But you also need it for instant communication, a crucial factor during and after a flood. Even if you have a backup battery, it is wise to limit phone use to emergencies only. You want to have enough power when you need it the most.

3. Underestimate the Aftermath

Even if the water level has lowered enough, it can still be dangerous to wander inside without precautions. Wear protective clothing that covers everything, along with rubber boots to prevent electric shocks. Stay away from standing water and weakened structures. Wait until the water damage repair is complete since it can eliminate the most obvious hazards of the aftermath, as well as the more subtle ones such as future mold growth.

An overpowering situation such as a flood can lead you to make rash decisions you could regret. Do the proper research and learn what actions to avoid when facing flood water and strong winds.

After the Flood: Where Is That Smell Coming From?

4/2/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company You can count on our SERVPRO team to be there for you when disaster strikes. Our team offers our emergency cleaning and restoration 24/7.

Where Did That Odor Come From After The Flood?

According to FEMA, 99% of counties in the U.S. suffered some impact from flooding between 1996 and 2019. Regardless of whether it comes from a malfunctioning toilet or a leaky roof, a flood has the potential to cause issues like mold growth and water damage. Cleaning up flood water can involve a great deal of time whether you do it yourself or employ the services of a professional cleanup service in Mentone, CA, so it can be annoying to observe a lingering odor even after the process. There are three potential culprits for a smell that refuses to leave in the wake of an unexpected surge of water.

1. Mold and Mildew

FEMA states that mildew colonies (generally used to refer to a certain kind of flat mold growth) may begin to cling to and spread across damp surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. The fungus produces chemical compounds while propagating that release an earthy, musty scent.

2. Bacteria

Flood water is separated into three categories for recovery and restoration purposes:

  • Clean water (Category 1)
  • Gray water (Category 2)
  • Contaminated water (Category 3)

The latter two may carry substances like chemicals. Among their contents, bacteria often reside. These may emit bad odors like the rotten egg one commonly associated with sulfur or others or their breakdown of particles may lead to them. Even after all standing water is removed and everything dried, porous materials like carpeting may retain some of the microorganisms if not properly cleaned, causing the smell to permeate the room.

3. Sewage

Burst pipes are one of the most common reasons for flooding in a structure, and they often contain wastewater. Even if water comes from outside, it may have mixed with sewage loss from storm drains and garbage from the streets, particularly if it is overflow from a nearby body of water.

The best way to avoid unpleasant odors from mold growth and other things in flood water is to disinfect all affected areas and surfaces thoroughly as soon as possible. Consulting a professional may also help.

Creating an Effective Business Continuity Plan

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Developing A Successful Business Continuity Plan

Flooding and other disasters can strike at a moment's notice. Even with advanced warning, things are going to go drastically wrong. However, having a plan for these kinds of disasters can help your business recover quickly. This is why you need to create an effective continuity plan for your business. You need to take the time to outline, test, and improve it.

Outline It

To start making your continuity plan, you will need to evaluate your business and note your processes, vulnerabilities, and potential losses. This step is crucial to creating a tailored plan for your business in Yucaipa, CA. From there, you can outline your plan. The things to include are:

  • Scope of the plan
  • Business areas
  • Critical functions
  • Dependencies
  • Acceptable downtime
  • Plan for hiring storm remediation professionals, maintaining operations, and reopening

Test It

The only way to know if your continuity plan works is to test it. A real incident will be the true test and the best way to see if your plan works. However, a controlled test is much more comfortable for business owners and can give you a realistic sense of gaps and areas that need improvement.

Improve It

You are going to put a lot of effort into creating and testing your plan. Once you complete the job, it is tempting to let your plan sit and hope for the best amid a disaster. However, if you do this, your plan could be useless when a disaster strikes, so you need to improve it after getting the test results.
This plan is crucial for businesses to recover from floods and storm damage. Therefore, you want to make sure you take the time to create an effective plan. Make sure you create a tailored plan and then test it out before a disaster hits. Keep improving it until it is thorough enough to withstand a disaster.

What Kind of Storm Shutters Should I Choose?

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Protect Your Home During Storm Season

People who live far inland typically do not have to worry about needing storm shutters. If you live in the middle of Hurricane Alley, however, where high winds and flooding are yearly occurrences, it is probably a good idea to install storm shutters on your home. Prices of shutters vary according to quality and style. Here are a few options you might consider to protect your home during storm season.

1. Plywood

Plywood is the most basic protection you can get. Although it is heavy and not very pretty, it gets the job done in a pinch. At less than $1 per square foot, it is most likely the least expensive option.

2. Storm Panels

If you want to protect your windows and interiors during the threat of high winds but do not want to leave the panels up the rest of the year, storm panels might be the right choice for you. They cost $7-$15 each and can be removed when they’re not needed.

3. Accordion Style

These storm shutters are bolted to the sides of your windows. They are manually operated, unfolding to protect your windows from wind and rain, and their price ranges from $15-25 per square foot.

4. Rolling Shutters

This option offers protection from wind as well as insulation and privacy. They attach permanently to your home and cost $20-$30 per square foot.

5. Colonial Style

If you are interested in improving the look and privacy of your home in Redlands, CA as well as its level of protection, these shutters add a unique look to your home’s exterior. The price of Colonial-style shutters can be as low as $200 a window or as high as $500 a window depending on materials used.

6. Bahama Awnings

These shutters offer premium protection from storms and from the intense heat from the sun’s rays. They can cost $200-$1000 each.

When high winds rage, you want to make sure you have shutters that protect your home. Fortunately, there are options on the market that fit almost any budget.