Recent Storm Damage Posts

The Importance of Prompt Storm Damage Cleanup

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

water damage Water damage in a home.

As the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours." However, for homeowners facing the aftermath of a storm, this phrase takes on a more literal and daunting meaning. Storms can wreak havoc on properties, leaving behind a trail of destruction in their wake. From flooding to wind damage, the effects of a storm can be devastating. In such times of crisis, the importance of prompt storm damage cleanup cannot be overstated.

At SERVPRO®, we understand the urgency and necessity of swift action when it comes to storm damage cleanup. Here's why timely intervention is crucial for your home's recovery:

Mitigating Further Damage

The longer storm damage lingers untreated, the greater the risk of further deterioration. Water damage, for instance, can lead to mold growth within as little as 24-48 hours. Prompt cleanup helps mitigate the spread of damage, minimizing repair costs and preventing secondary issues like mold infestations.

Protecting Your Health

Storm damage often compromises the structural integrity of buildings and exposes inhabitants to potential health hazards. Floodwater, in particular, can contain harmful contaminants and pathogens. Swift cleanup reduces the risk of exposure to these hazards, safeguarding the health and well-being of your family.

Salvaging Belongings

Many valuables may be salvageable if addressed promptly after a storm. Furniture, documents, electronics, and sentimental items can often be restored through professional cleaning and restoration techniques. Acting quickly increases the likelihood of salvaging cherished belongings, preserving both their sentimental and monetary value.

Restoring Normalcy

Storm damage disrupts daily life and can leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed and displaced. Prompt cleanup efforts expedite the restoration process, allowing families to return to their homes and routines as quickly as possible. Restoring a sense of normalcy is essential for emotional well-being and recovery after a traumatic event.

At SERVPRO, we specialize in rapid response and efficient storm damage cleanup services. Our trained technicians utilize advanced equipment and proven techniques to restore your home to its pre-storm condition swiftly. With our 24/7 emergency services, you can trust us to be there for you when disaster strikes.

Don't wait until it's too late. If your home has been affected by a storm, contact SERVPRO immediately for expert cleanup and restoration assistance. Remember, when it comes to storm damage, time is of the essence. Let us help you get back on your feet and reclaim your peace of mind.

Unveiling the Aftermath: Assessing Structural Damage After a Severe Storm

1/9/2024 (Permalink)

Severe storms can unleash powerful winds, torrential rain, and other elements that have the potential to cause significant structural damage to homes and buildings. It is crucial to assess the extent of the damage promptly and accurately to ensure the safety of occupants and initiate timely repairs. In this blog, we will discuss the essential steps for assessing structural damage after a severe storm, allowing homeowners and property owners to take the necessary actions for restoration and recovery.

Safety First

Before assessing structural damage, ensure your safety and the safety of others. Stay away from downed power lines and any exposed electrical wiring. If necessary, evacuate the premises until it is deemed safe to enter.

Visual Inspection

Begin by conducting a visual inspection of the property's exterior, including the roof, walls, and foundation. Look for signs of damage, such as missing or loose roofing materials, cracks in walls, or leaning structures. Pay close attention to structural elements that may have been compromised, such as beams, columns, and supports.

Document the Damage

Take photographs or videos of the structural damage, capturing different angles and areas of concern. Document not only visible damage but also areas where water intrusion or moisture issues are apparent. This documentation will be valuable for insurance claims and assisting professional assessors or contractors.

Water Damage and Moisture Assessment

After a storm, water damage is a common issue that can weaken structures and lead to further problems, such as mold growth. Check for signs of water intrusion, including dampness, water stains, warping, or discoloration. Utilize moisture detection tools or consult with professionals to identify hidden areas of moisture and assess the extent of water damage.

Foundation and Structural Integrity

Carefully inspect the foundation for any cracks, shifting, or instability. Look for signs of settling, such as doors or windows that no longer close properly. Consult with a professional, such as a structural engineer, if you suspect significant foundation issues or concerns about the structural integrity of the building.

Professional Assessment

In cases of severe structural damage, it is advisable to seek professional help. Engage the services of a licensed contractor, structural engineer, or qualified restoration company with experience in storm damage. They will conduct a detailed assessment, provide expert recommendations, and develop a comprehensive plan for repairs or rebuilding.

Insurance Claim

Contact your insurance provider and report the storm damage promptly. Provide the documentation and assessment reports gathered during the inspection process. Follow the insurer's instructions and procedures to initiate the claims process efficiently.

Temporary Measures

For safety and protection from further damage, consider temporary measures such as tarping damaged roofs or boarding up broken windows. Consult with professionals for advice on temporary repairs until permanent restoration can be carried out.

Assessing structural damage after a severe storm is crucial for ensuring the safety of occupants and initiating timely restoration. By conducting a thorough visual inspection, documenting the damage, assessing water-related issues, and consulting with professionals, homeowners and property owners can effectively evaluate the extent of the damage and make informed decisions about necessary repairs and insurance claims. Remember, the expertise of licensed contractors and structural engineers will be invaluable in accurately assessing the structural integrity and guiding the restoration process.

Navigating the Aftermath: Assessing Wind Damage and Restoring Your Property

9/25/2023 (Permalink)

When a severe storm with strong winds passes through an area, it can leave a trail of destruction in its wake. From fallen trees and downed power lines to damaged roofs and shattered windows, wind damage can be extensive and overwhelming. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of assessing wind damage, the steps to take in the aftermath, and the resources available to help you navigate the process.

Safety First

Before assessing any wind damage, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Stay away from any downed power lines and avoid entering buildings or areas that may be structurally unsound. Keep an eye out for hazards such as broken glass, exposed electrical wires, or gas leaks. If necessary, evacuate the area and contact the appropriate authorities for assistance.

Exterior Assessment

Once you have ensured your safety, you can begin assessing the damage to the exterior of your property. Check for any visible signs of damage, such as missing shingles, siding, or damaged windows. Look for fallen trees or large branches that may pose a danger to your property or neighboring structures. Take photos or videos of the damage as they may be useful for insurance claims.

Interior Assessment

After examining the exterior, it is time to assess the damage inside your home or building. Look for signs of water intrusion, such as stains, dampness, or mold growth. Check ceilings for any signs of leakage, and inspect walls and floors for cracks or structural damage. Take note of any damaged furniture, appliances, or personal belongings.

Documenting the Damage

To ensure a smoother claims process with your insurance company, it is essential to document the wind damage thoroughly. Take detailed photographs or videos of the damage from multiple angles. Make a list of the affected items and their approximate value. Keep all receipts and invoices related to repairs, temporary housing, or any expenses incurred due to the wind damage. This documentation will help support your insurance claim and ensure you receive appropriate compensation.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

Once you have assessed the damage and gathered all the necessary documentation, it is time to contact your insurance company. Notify them of the wind damage and provide them with all the relevant information and evidence. Follow their instructions regarding the claims process and provide any additional documentation they may require. Keep copies of all communication with your insurance company for your records.

Seeking Professional Help

In many cases, it is advisable to seek the assistance of professionals to assess and repair wind damage. Experienced contractors, roofers, and restoration companies can provide a thorough assessment of the damage and ensure the necessary repairs are carried out correctly. They can also help in mitigating further damage and preventing issues like mold growth or structural instability.

Assessing wind damage is a critical step in the aftermath of a severe storm. By prioritizing safety and conducting thorough assessments, you can navigate the process efficiently and ensure that you receive the necessary support. Remember, professional assistance is available to help you with repairs and restoration. Stay proactive, stay safe, and seek the help you need to recover from wind damage and restore your property.

Unleashing Nature's Fury: The Unique Challenges of Storm Damage Cleaning

7/6/2023 (Permalink)

When it comes to damage caused by natural disasters, storms are often the culprits responsible for wreaking havoc on homes and properties. Storm damage differs significantly from ordinary damage due to its destructive power, the variety of elements involved, and the specialized cleaning and restoration techniques required. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between storm damage cleaning and ordinary damage, shedding light on the unique challenges and considerations faced in each scenario.

Severity and Scale

Storm damage is notorious for its severity and scale, often surpassing the impact of everyday mishaps. Whether it's a fierce hurricane, a violent thunderstorm, or a relentless torrential downpour, the forces of nature can unleash devastation in a short span of time. Compared to ordinary damage caused by, say, a leaking pipe or a small fire, storm damage encompasses a much larger area and affects multiple aspects of a property.

Multiple Elements at Play

One crucial distinction between storm damage and ordinary damage lies in the wide range of elements involved. Storms bring a deadly combination of wind, rain, lightning, hail, and sometimes even flooding. Each element poses unique challenges for cleaning and restoration professionals. Wind can cause structural damage, break windows, and scatter debris across the affected area. Rain and flooding lead to water damage, potentially affecting walls, floors, and personal belongings. Lightning can cause fires, and hail can dent or destroy roofs and other exposed surfaces. The diverse elements involved necessitate a comprehensive approach to restoration.

Safety Hazards

Storm damage scenarios often present significant safety hazards that must be addressed before cleaning and restoration efforts can begin. Fallen power lines, compromised structures, and unstable debris pose risks to both homeowners and cleanup crews. Safety protocols and specialized equipment, such as personal protective gear, are essential when dealing with storm damage. Professional restoration teams are trained to assess and mitigate these risks, ensuring a safe environment for all involved.

Urgency and Timelines

Time is of the essence when it comes to storm damage. Unlike ordinary damage, which can sometimes be addressed over a more extended period, storm damage requires immediate action to prevent further deterioration and secondary issues like mold growth. The urgency stems from the fact that exposure to elements like water and wind can exacerbate the damage rapidly. Restoration professionals are trained to respond swiftly to storm-related emergencies, implementing strategic plans to minimize further harm.

Specialized Expertise and Equipment

Due to the unique challenges posed by storm damage, specialized expertise and equipment are essential for effective cleaning and restoration. Professional teams experienced in storm damage have the knowledge and skills to assess the extent of the damage accurately, develop appropriate restoration strategies, and utilize specialized equipment. This equipment may include high-powered water extraction machines, industrial-strength dehumidifiers, large-scale drying systems, and advanced techniques for mold remediation. Such resources are crucial for a thorough cleanup and successful restoration.

Storm damage cleaning and restoration stand apart from ordinary damage due to the severity and scale of destruction, the involvement of multiple elements, the presence of safety hazards, the urgency of response, and the need for specialized expertise and equipment. When faced with storm damage, it is crucial to seek professional assistance promptly to ensure a swift and thorough recovery. By understanding these differences, homeowners can better appreciate the challenges and complexities involved in storm damage cleaning and restoration, leading to a smoother path to recovery.

What Not to Do After a Flood

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Avoid The Following In Your Home

Dangerous flood water can cause problems for anyone, even if you've never experienced a flood before. Knowing the correct, and incorrect, actions to take during and after the incident can, not only save your life, but also help you avoid subsequent property damage. Make sure to avoid the following if your home in Lehigh Acres, FL, has recently suffered from a flood.

1. Never Enter a Moving Flood.

There are a number of reasons why wading or swimming in flood water is a terrible idea. The water could likely contain harmful biohazards or other contaminants. Likewise, it's difficult to tell how quickly the current is moving. It only takes about 6 inches of water to sweep you away.

2. Never Disobey Emergency Response Crews.

First responders, local authorities and other types emergency response crews exist to help you. Disobeying or ignoring them can put you in danger, as well as make their jobs significantly more difficult. You're better off listening to what they have to tell you and following their directions.

3. Never Touch Standing Water.

Just because the water in your flooded home isn't moving, doesn't mean it's safe. Much like the flood currents, this standing water could contain harmful biohazards. It's also possible that the water could be electrically charged, especially if it has come into contact with an outlet or electronic device.

4. Never Drive Through a Flood.

It only takes about a foot of water to sweep your car away. Avoid catastrophe by simply keeping out of the flood altogether.

5. Never Ignore Water Damage.

All types of floods can cause damage, not just severe ones. After the authorities give you permission to return home, you need to take immediate action to remediate any water damage. Leaving it untreated can cause mold growth and other types of structural damage.

Flood water should never be taken lightly. Staying alert and listening to your local authorities is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe. If your home has suffered damage following a flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts.

Should You Wait for an Adjuster After Storm Damage?

7/8/2022 (Permalink)

Should You Wait for a Storm Damage Adjuster?

After a severe storm or flooding in Fort Myers, FL, you may wonder whether to wait for a flood insurance adjuster before trying to mitigate flood damage. Here are three reasons not to wait before documenting the damage and taking steps to limit the extent of secondary damage to your home.

1. Documentation Is All You Need to File a Claim

An insurance adjuster does not need to witness damage firsthand to process a claim, but you do need to document the damage. Take extensive dated photographic or video evidence. Keep records of possessions, as well as their condition and value, and locate receipts for high-value items if possible. Footage and itemized records should be enough to prove your home and possessions sustained the damage you claim.

2. Adjusters Are Likely To Be Backlogged

Depending on the extent of a flood or storm and how many homes and businesses were affected, it may take adjusters a while to follow up on your flood insurance claims. It is better to document and immediately take steps to mitigate damage to keep conditions in your home from worsening. As a matter of fact, your insurance may not provide as much of a payout if you cannot prove you did everything in your power to limit damage in a timely manner.

3. Secondary Damage Can Start In Hours

The longer water damage sits, the more likely it is that building materials and contents will need to be replaced rather than restored. Mold damage can start to emerge within only 24 to 48 hours following a flood. You should take steps to eliminate the presence of water and moisture in your home as soon as possible.

Don't wait for a flood insurance adjuster following adverse weather or flooding in Fort Myers, FL. Contact water and storm damage specialists if you need assistance with flood damage mitigation or restoration.

How To Find Out If Your Home Is in a Flood Zone

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

How to Determine Whether or Not Your House Is in a Flood Zone

If you are a homeowner, it's important that you understand your flood risk. One of the first steps to do this is to find out whether you are in a flood zone. Being in such a zone increases your risk of flooding, particularly after a severe storm.

1. Obtain and Review Flood Maps

You can get the information you need about your zone by obtaining and looking at relevant flood maps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency website is your resource for finding and downloading flood maps for review. You may choose to use a map showing your entire community, or you can create a custom map — called a FIRMette — of a smaller area that you define. Check effective dates on maps to ensure you are looking at the most up-to-date information.

If you believe there is an error on the maps provided by FEMA, consider requesting a map change from the agency. FEMA will determine if your zone designation needs to be changed, potentially saving you money on premiums.

2. Determine Insurance Needs Based on Flood Zone Status
Flood insurance is available to you as a homeowner, regardless of where you are on the map. But if you find out you are in a higher risk zone, you may desire more coverage. Discuss your options with your insurance company to help mitigate financial costs should you experience flood damage to your home in Fort Myers, FL.

3. Be Prepared and Make Changes Ahead of Time
If you learn that you are in a flood zone, you can take certain precautions. Make sure to have emergency flood supplies on hand, and choose new building projects based on your risk. You may want to build or purchase property outside of your current zone. Also, have contact information of a flood restoration and cleanup company on hand should your home experience damage.

3 Dangers of Driving Through Flooded Roads

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Three Risks Of Driving On Flooded Roads

Strong storms can strike Whiskey Creek, FL, and leave behind serious flooding in your neighborhood. While your flooded street may look like fun to splash around or drive through, this can be quite dangerous. When flooding occurs, knowing how to stay safe behind the wheel and recognizing the dangers can prevent costly accidents.

1. The Water May Be Deeper Than It Looks

When it comes to travel tips, avoiding flooded streets can save your life because in many cases, floodwaters often appear deeper than they seem. When water is deep enough, your car's tires can lose contact with the road and cause it to float. Once this happens, you and anyone else in the car may be at risk of drowning. When you come across a flooded road, turn around and avoid the water if you cannot immediately see how deep it is.

2. Flooded Roads May Hide Danger

Because the depth of floodwaters can be hard to gauge, a flooded street can hide many dangers, including problems that lurk beneath the surface. Cracked or damaged pavement, open manholes and exposed road materials can severely damage your vehicle or trap you inside it.

3. Flood Water Is Dirty

Outdoor floods usually contain dirty contents, such as water from sewers and overflowing creeks. When water from a flooded street enters your car, it could spread bacteria and cause foul odors when it seeps into the interior. You can avoid driving in these conditions by calling in a flood repair and restoration company to help with storm damage to your home instead of driving to the home hardware store for do-it-yourself solutions that may only provide you with short-term fixes.

When heavy rains and sudden storms create flooding effects Whiskey Creek, FL, driving in deep or unknown waters can land you in dangerous situations. When you know how to stay safe, these sudden storms can pass you by without incident.

3 Alternatives to Using Sand Bags for Flood Prevention

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Three Flood-Prevention Alternatives To Sand Bags

When you live and work in Mcgregor, FL, you expect to have to deal with flooding from time to time. In order to prepare your business, you watch the news carefully and run out for sand bags to build dams around your business. You've often wondered: is there a better way? While this method of flood prevention has its merits, it's not very convenient or cost-effective. Here are three alternatives to try instead.

1. AquaFence

If your business is located in an office park or strip mall, you're not the only business owner interested in flood damage prevention. This product is meant to protect large areas, like city blocks, so have everyone pitch in for this one. Once you have it, it takes a few people to set up and can then be stored away for the next emergency.

2. HydraBarrier

For your stand-alone business, something like the HydraBarrier might make more sense. Each of these barriers replaces several sand bags and uses water to fight water. You quickly fill the bags with water to create flood dams around your business. Drain them when you're finished and store them for later.

3. Quick Dam

The Quick Dam is the mostly easily deployed option available. This superabsorbent material pulls in water to create a barrier. You can stack them for high water protection. Once flood waters recede, the material will shrink back to its original size so that it, too, can be reused.

While sand bags may be cost effective in the short-term or for infrequent flooding, water barriers that can be reused from flood to flood and year to year are ultimately more beneficial for your bottom line. No barrier is perfect and it is likely that in the event of a significant weather event, your business may suffer from flood damage. Contact a water damage restoration company to help with repairs.

In places that flood frequently, alternative flood dams will be better for your business and for the environment.

Prevent Financial Loss With Business Interruption Insurance

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Business Interruption Insurance Can Help You Avoid Financial Loss

There are countless measures you can take to make your commercial property in Charleston Park,FL, safe and protected in extreme conditions such as heavy snow, flooding or even wildfires. If minor damage is sustained, a professional service can get you up and running quickly.

However, if the damage is severe, you may have to close business operations entirely for a while. The money you lose can start to add up if it takes a long time to rebuild. Business interruption insurance helps you with exactly these situations.

A Different Kind of Insurance

Fire or flood insurance entitles you to some reimbursement to recover after accidents or natural disasters. Business interruption insurance doesn’t pay out to cover the cost of repairs; instead, it makes up for the potential money lost due to a closed business. For example, customers who are unable to visit your establishment may seek out a competitor’s business, or if you own a hotel or rental property, you may miss out on rent. This insurance also covers any utilities like electricity that may still be running while you rebuild.

The Right Purchase

Business interruption insurance is designed to keep you afloat during disasters that are beyond your control. It can be purchased as part of an insurance package or alongside your property insurance policy. The price of your policy may vary depending on certain factors:

  • The building’s location, if that puts it at greater risk
  • The purpose of the property or business
  • The difficulty level of relocating the business

It may take longer for you to get up and running again than you expect, so ideally choose a policy that will cover you for a few days. Coverage often doesn’t start until 48 hours have passed.

You shouldn’t be punished while you’re struggling to rebuild. Professional contractors and cleaning services can get your building back in shape, and insurance can help keep your finances stable in the meantime.