Recent Storm Damage Posts
Preparing for Summer Storm Damage
In some areas of the country, rain is almost a daily occurrence during summertime, and summer storm damages are something to be prepared for. Flooding can be a summer storm hazard, and that can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Possessions can be ruined, and the structures of homes and businesses can be negatively affected. A professional water damage restoration company can be a vital resource during such times; such companies are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner.
While storms can’t be predicted much of the time, educating yourself on the most common areas vulnerable to storm damages will help you be prepared to handle such an event. Some areas of your home or business are going to be more apt to experience damage than others during storms, such as low-lying areas like basements and cellars which can be flooded.
Here is a list of the three most common areas that suffer from summer storm damages:
Basements and cellars, the lowest parts of a house or building, need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas!
- ATTICS, ROOFS, AND GUTTERS
A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage, and the areas underneath it will suffer. A small leak can turn into a big problem before you know it. If rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water - even indoors.
- WINDOWS, DOORS, AND ENTRYWAYS
Keep an eye on your doors and windows. If they are not properly sealed against wet conditions, you will know it right away. Entryways are also a potential problem area; make sure they are free of standing water and debris so that people don’t get hurt.
Our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County are experienced in repairs and cleanup from damages caused by water and fire. You can call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County to learn more. We’re also mold remediation experts!
Storm proofing Your Garage
Make storm-proofing your attached garage a priority when planning to protect your home from storms. As one of the largest sections in any home, your garage is also the most vulnerable place when it comes to high winds. Here are some tips to storm-proof your garage, which will also protect the rest of your home:
- Buy a garage door with a higher wind-resistance rating. Storms with extreme levels of wind will cause the most damage; when a garage is breached, the winds will batter the rest of your home more easily. Water will start to come in, and even just an inch of water can cause expensive and unwanted damage! If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it’s recommended that you invest in a door that can withstand winds of 130 mph or higher. Doors with high impact-ratings will be a good idea, as that can protect your home and belongings from flying debris.
- Install a bracing system. You can reinforce your garage door with proper bracing. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks or hinges, which will be no help during a powerful storm. A bracing system works by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.
- Keep your garage door well-maintained. If there are any holes or cracks or any breaches, that will allow storm winds through your garage door. Perform a monthly inspection and look for these issues, as well as problems with the weather stripping or any parts of the garage door mechanisms and functionality. Perform any repairs as soon as possible.
- Secure all windows. If you have windows in your attached garage, there will be weak points during extreme weather. Ensure they are in good repair and the weather stripping is in great shape at all times. Having wrought-iron window protection installed can go a long way to protect your glass from flying debris.
- Install drainage and flood vents. Make sure that this vulnerable area of your home is properly outfitted for the drainage of large amounts of water. You can have a trench drain installed in front of this area and on the sides of your driveway to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can drain any water coming inside quickly before levels rise and cause damage.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we are always ready to help you in case of water damage, and we also handle clean up after house and business fires. Mold remediation is one of our specialities. Call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Preparing Your Home for Spring Showers
We think we can safely say that we are all happy to see signs of Spring showing everywhere. Who doesn’t like to enjoy flowers blooming and trees becoming green again? And it’s so pleasant to hear birds singing all around us.
But all the rain that these plants and creatures need is coming, too, and we need to be ready!
One important task that should be fulfilled before the rains start pouring down is the cleaning of rain gutters. During the winter, they can become clogged with dirt and debris from the roof and windy conditions, and if your home is under trees, leaves will definitely need to be removed. If rainwater cannot be drained away through the gutters, it will back up into the walls and attic of your home and cause significant water damage.
Make sure trees surrounding your home are trimmed properly to reduce damage to your property from falling branches when the winds pick up.
If you have any kind of drainage system in your yard or driveway, make sure these areas are free of obstructions so that rainwater can escape your property easily. Flooding can happen quickly and can create a much bigger problem than you might realize, even from a small Spring shower.
Have you taken a look at your exterior doors and windows? After a harsh winter, seals and weatherstripping may have deteriorated and may need to be replaced before a rainy season. Low-lying entryways that are not properly sealed can be a place that rainwater can creep in.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we stand ready to help with all water and fire damage issues and can come out to your property to help you assess your storm readiness. Call us today at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Storm Damage Clean Up Tips
When a storm damages your home, follow these tips to be safe!
Most people know what to do when severe weather hits, but few know how to deal with the damage left behind. Dealing with repairs and the insurance companies can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or other severe weather.
First Line of Action
If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. There are two people you need to call. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of East Ottawa / Erie County. They’ll help determine if the home is safe. You also need to contact your insurance company.
Find out if special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Ask your agent or check your policy to find out what actions you need to take. Not following these actions properly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages. Photographs are helpful.
Document your neighbor’s damages too. This prevents the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from neglected maintenance or other unrelated issues. Keep a record of all communication you have with your insurance provider, and do not do any of the repair work unless it is necessary.
Stand Up for Yourself
Avoid insurance scams by checking the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully, and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider to handle the repairs.
If your home suffers damage from a storm, follow these tips to get the insurance claim and restoration services started. Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will help immensely as well as prevent problems down the road.
With these ups and downs in the weather, the atmosphere becomes quite unstable thus spurring thunderstorms. Most of the time, these are just heavy downpours that last about 20-30 minutes and leave the day feeling much more humid and hot than when it arrived. There are some of these afternoon visitors that can have some pretty severe components, including lightning.
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Ohio has had 34 deaths from 1990-2003 ranking in at #4 for all 50 states according to data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). You can easily avoid being a statistic by following these simple safety tips.
Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.
Go indoors.Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
Avoid electronic equipment. Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.
Watch for Developing Thunderstorms - Thunderstorms are most likely to develop on spring or summer days but can occur year round. As the sun heats the air, pockets of warmer air start to rise and cumulus clouds form. Continued heating can cause these clouds to grow vertically into towering cumulus clouds, often the first sign of a developing thunderstorm.
Seek shelter before an approaching thunderstorm - Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from where it is raining. That’s about the distance you can hear thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Seek shelter immediately! When thunder roars, go indoors!
Minimize the risk of being struck during outdoor activities - Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer. During organized outdoor sporting events, coaches, camp counselors and other adults must stop activities at the first clap of thunder to ensure that everyone has time to get to a large building or enclosed vehicle. Leaders of outdoor events should have a written emergency plan that all staff are aware of and enforce.
Things to avoid while indoors - While inside, stay off land lines or corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Stay away from indoor and outdoor pools, bathtubs, showers, and other plumbing. Buy surge suppressors for key equipment. Install ground fault protectors on circuits near water or outdoors. When inside, wait 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder and lightning before going out again.
Helping a Lightning Strike Victim. - If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 and get medical care immediately. Cardiac arrest and irregularities, burns and nerve damage are common injuries when people are struck by lightning. You are not in physical danger when helping a lightning victim. Knowing first aid measures, which include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), can help lightning-strike victims survive. American Red Cross chapters and local fire departments often offer first aid and CPR classes.
Lightning is dangerous - By knowing what to do during severe weather incidents, you can greatly increase your safety and the safety of those around you. At the first clap of thunder, go inside a preferably large building or fully enclosed vehicle and wait 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder and lightning before going back outside. Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors!
SERVPRO of East Ottawa / Erie County proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. We cover areas like Sandusky, Castalia, Port Clinton, Huron, Oak Harbor, Vermillion, Catawba Milan, Marblehead, and even Put-In-Bay! For more information visit us at http://www.SERVPROeastottawaeriecounty.com/ or call us at 419-621-7766.