Recent Storm Damage Posts
TIps to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Cold temperatures are inevitable. When freezing temperatures hit, here are some helpful prevention tips:
- When you know temperatures will be dipping below freezing, allow water to run in all the sinks at a slow, constant drip. It only needs to trickle, and that tiny amount of water will keep the water moving through the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
- Open up the cabinet doors in the bathrooms and kitchen. This will allow the heat from the home to circulate and warm up the pipes.
- Keep the garage door closed to keep garage pipes from freezing.
- Keep your house at a warm, consistent temperature both day and night.
- If you leave your home for extended periods of time, do not set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
- If you do end up with frozen pipes, a hand-held hair dryer or heat lamp can thaw them.
Keeping The Dampness Away After Flood Damage
Keeping The Dampness Away After A Flood
Flooding and other intrusive water can damage a Somersworth home rapidly, showing visible signs immediately. Other damage that continues unabated within the hidden areas of a home's interior cavities can lead to severe infestations of microbes, allow insect pests to nest and burrow in softened materials, and create unwanted odors.
Residents in Somersworth might find that elevated humidity in their home continues to occur after they experience flood damage to their property. This can happen when small pockets of moisture in your home go undetected. One common location is lower surfaces in basement floors. SERVPRO's technicians are IICRC Certified to get these areas dry for you and protect your home from the continued negative effects of damage from flooding.
Water that continued to seep into damaged areas of your home's basement after a flood can smell particularly dank because of the additional odors picked up from the soil underneath your home. Even though the soil can act as a filter, the water's odor and still smell foul, even though it no longer smells like floodwater. The soil around homes that experienced flooding can become so saturated their foundations sometimes move. The pressure can become extremely intense.
If flood damage seems to revisit your home again a short time after mitigation workers complete the initial work, we can help restore your home, so odors and continued damp conditions no longer occur. Desiccant machines can prove highly effective in these situations, as can our air scrubbers. Our Odor Control Technician (OCT) can run machines that produce either ozone and hydroxyl gases to eliminate odors from further bothering you and your family.
Eliminating dangerous excess moisture in your home accomplishes more than hindering the growth of microbial and other infestations and keeping your home smelling normal – it also protects occupants from inhaling damp air. SERVPRO technicians can quickly remove any additional materials damaged by this leftover flood damage, test and treat for any microbial activity, and also use different odor-controlling techniques that leave your home smelling “Like it never even happened.”
Freezing Pipes causes Water Damage during winter storm
When pipes freeze in extreme winter weather and then thaw out as temperatures rise, these pipes tend to crack and burst, causing leaking and flooding. Wrapping your pipes with heat tape can help.
Prevent frozen pipes from damaging your home by keeping your home’s thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you will be out of the home for a lengthy period, consider shutting off and draining your water system.
SERVPRO Professionals have the experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather.
Is My Sump Pump Working?
Tips to Avoid Water Damage
No power: If the power goes out during a storm, your sump pump won’t be able to drain the water
Wrong size: If your sump pump is too small a sump pump for your home’s size can mean too big a job for it to handle. On the flip side, running too large a sump pump can shorten its lifespan.
Old age: Just like any appliance, the years can reduce the efficiency and working order of your sump pump. The average lifespan of a sump pump is roughly 10 years. If yours is creeping up in age, consider replacing it with a more current model.
Clogged pipe: Debris can enter your discharge pipe and create a backup. With nowhere for water to flow, your sump pump will come to a stop.
Lack of maintenance: Your home and the appliances that make it run require regular maintenance. Clean your sump pump three to four times a year to avoid blockages in your discharge line, vents, and floats.
Switch issues: When the sump pump shifts in the basin, the float that administers the switch can cause it to become jammed.
Product or installation problem: In addition to product defects, which are out of your control, improper installation can also cause sump pump failure.
Sump pump fails and causes water damage while you are out of town
How to Handle Storm Damage
Being proactive in a storm event is the best thing you can do!
When storm damage hits Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties homes and businesses, it's important to know what to do until SERVPRO crews get on site.
- Call SERVPRO at (606) 836-8000 immediately upon discovering damage.
- Shut off the source of water (ie: replace sump pump) or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Use a shop vac or carpet cleaning machine to suck water from carpets. Do Not use a household vacuum cleaner.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove electronics, documents, sensitive or valuable items to a dry place.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting and window curtains off damp floors.
- Pull carpet back from the walls to limit water wicking into the drywall.
Preparing for Intense Storms
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season produced 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, including three Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the United States: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. It was the most active season since 1936.
When it comes to hurricanes, most of the overwhelming damage, is from the "very few strongest storms," Mann said. "What matters is how many Category 3, 4, and 5 storms we get, and we're likely to see more of those storms, and more damage… as a result." —Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
Knowing the category of a hurricane can help you understand how threatening it may be.
Category 1: Winds range from 74 to 95 mph and can be expected to produce some minor damage to property. Injuries to people and animals are generally isolated and limited to flying or falling debris. During a Category 1 storm, protected glass windows generally remain intact. Some roof damage to frame homes, apartments, and shopping centers can also occur, as well as short-term power outages due to snapped power lines and downed trees.
Category 2: Winds range from 96 to 110 mph and can be expected to produce extensive property damage. Greater wind velocities mean that debris poses a greater threat to humans and animals, while the roofing, siding, and glass windows (protected and unprotected) of frame homes are more vulnerable to damage. In a Category 2 storm, significant structural damage to apartment buildings, mobile homes, and shopping centers is also expected, as well as flooding in low-lying areas. Extensive power outages ranging from a few days to a few weeks are common, and residents are encouraged to stock up on potable water as filtration systems also fail during this time.
Category 3: Winds ranging from 111 to 130 mph cause significant damage to property, humans, and animals. Mobile and poorly constructed frame homes are often destroyed, and even well-built frame homes commonly sustain major damage. Significant damage to apartments and shopping centers (even those made of wood or steel) can be expected. Category 3 storms can also cause extensive inland flooding. Electricity and water are commonly unavailable for several days to several weeks after the storm, therefore it’s important for residents to have their own stores of canned food and water.
Category 4: Winds range from 131 to 155 mph and can cause catastrophic damage to property, humans, and animals. Severe structural damage to frame homes, apartments, and shopping centers should be expected. Category 4 hurricanes often include long-term power outages and water shortages lasting from a few weeks to a few months, so again, it’s important for any remaining residents to have a significant nonperishable food and water supply at hand.
Category 5: Winds at or greater than 155 mph cause catastrophic damage to property, humans, and animals (read: you should be nowhere near this storm!). Complete or almost-complete destruction of mobile homes, frame homes, apartments, and shopping centers should be expected, and nearly all trees in the area will be snapped or uprooted. Power outages can last for weeks and possibly months. Long-term water shortages should be expected as well, and most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
The strongest hurricanes, have brought severe water and storm damage to coastal locations, including Southwest Brooklyn and other local Brooklyn areas including, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Dyker Heights, while totally disrupting utility power for days across the interior from downed trees and high winds. Both the stronger hurricanes and many of the weaker tropical storms have caused inland river flooding in parts of the New England. History shows that everyone living in southern New England must take tropical storms and hurricanes seriously. Whether you live along the coast, by a river or stream, or far inland, a tropical storm or hurricane striking Southern New England will affect our local area, SERVPRO of Southwest Brooklyn is ready to help you repair your home/business water damage.
The Difference Between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning
The difference is 12 HOURS. A watch is issued when a hurricane or tropical storm is possible within 36 hours. A warning is issued when those same conditions are expected within 24 hours.
It’s important to take steps while you have time before a storm arrives to protect the well-being of your family/employees and home/business.
Step 1: Have an Emergency Communication and Evacuation Plan; have a predetermined location both on your property, like the large tree in the front yard, or the family station wagon; and in your local town to meet incase an emergency causes your family to separate. It’s also a good idea to discuss a relative out of town that will be a check-in since it could be difficult to reach others in the same emergency area.
Step 2: Supplies; you should have enough supplies in your home for 72 hours for each member of your family, this includes having specialty items for babies and children or the elderly. You should also have an emergency and first aid kit for your home, your car and each person should have a personal kit for themselves. Another good thing to think about is flashlights, batteries and multiple copies of area maps.
Step 3: Insurance Coverage; consider your coverage for flooding, it’s important to have contact information incase of an emergency and make sure you know what to do if a storm causes damage to your property. If flooding is predicted try and move your vehicles to a safer location. Taking a home inventory can be as simple as snapping cell phone photos of the contents in each of your home’s rooms, and recording the item number or serial number of more important items.
Step 4: Important Documents; you should keep copies of important documents including; proof of ownership for homes, cars and other property. Make sure to keep copies of you and your family’s personal identification and banking information. It’s also a good idea to have some cash available, after a storm getting to an ATM or bank maybe difficult depending on the severity of the damage.
Step 5: Secure Your Property; Experts recommend piling up sandbags at least 2 feet high as an effective barricade against floodwaters. Unplug unused household electronics and appliances, if you are evacuating consider shutting off electricity. Think about trimming trees to reduce any falling limbs and cleaning up things around your home and yard like potted plants, lawn furniture and children’s toys.
Step 6: Electronic Concerns; Aside from keeping extra batteries and chargers around during a hurricane, people are also encouraged to backup any electronic devices. It’s a good idea to store your data at an off-site location.
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. FEMA reports, in the last 8 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. As most of us have recently experienced, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas.
Here are a few Flood Facts provided by FEMA:
- Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10 to 20 feet high.
- Flooding can be caused by spring thawing (snow and frozen grounds melting in the spring), heavy rains, snow melt runoffs, flash floods, and mudflows.
- Floods are the most widespread natural disaster aside from wildfires.
- A 2,000 square foot home undergoing 12 feet of water damage could cost more than $50,000 to repair.
Here are a few supplies you need to prepare for a flood:
- Stock up on First Aid items
- Non-perishable foods
- Three gallons of water per person for 3 days
- Battery operated radio for weather reports
- Extra batteries
- Personal hygiene necessities
About SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties
SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Category 3 water damage
Rising flood waters
With the high volume of rain that has fallen and may continue to fall, the rivers, creeks and lakes have and will rise quickly. This is known as Category 3 water aka "black water" and is grossly unsanitary.... They are contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. It is important that you call the company that specializes in this mitigation process. SERVPRO® of Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties offers services 24/7 no matter how big or small your job may be, we will help you make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at 606-836-8000 to set up your appointment.
The Dangers of snow
Be safe out there this winter
With winter quickly approaching SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties would like to remind everyone of some of the dangers of snow.
- Accumulating snow can make driving motor vehicles very hazardous.
- Visibility is reduced by falling snow and this is further exacerbated by strong winds creating whiteout conditions.
- Heavy snowfall can immobilize a vehicle entirely, which may be deadly depending on how long it takes rescue crews to arrive. The clogging of a vehicle's tailpipe by snow may lead to carbon monoxide buildup inside the cabin
- Snow buildup can weigh down a roof and cause trusses to cave in.
- Snow piling up outside the house can block dryer vents or even some furnace exhaust vents causing dangerous fumes to enter your home.
- Ice dams forming along the roof can create a backup of water to be forced up under your shingles.
So be safe out there this winter and if any of these thing happen to your home call us at (606) 836-8000 and we will send a crew over.
Here are a few ideas to be thinking about before and after a severe storm hits
- Stay tuned to local news organizations, such as a radio or television station, for important announcements, bulletin, and instructions concerning the storm area, medical aid and other forms of assistance, such as food, water and shelter.
- Remember that you may not have immediate access to your home. Emergency rescue crews, power crews and other personnel may be attending to special needs. Roads could be blocked, power lines could be down and people may be trapped and in need of assistance.
- Make sure that you have current identification. You may have to pass through identification check points before being allowed access to your home/neighborhood.
- Avoid driving as roads may be blocked.
- Avoid sight-seeing or entering a storm ravaged area unnecessarily. You could be mistaken for a looter.
- Avoid downed power lines even if they look harmless.
- Avoid metal fences and other metal objects near downed lines.
- DO NOT use matches in a storm ravaged area until all gas lines are checked for leaks (keep flashlights and plenty of batteries at hand).
- Avoid turning the power on at your home if there is flooding present. Have a professional conduct a thorough inspection first.
- Consider having professionals/licensed contractors inspect your home for damage and help in repairs. This includes electricians, as well as professionals to inspect gas lines, remove uprooted trees and check plumbing.
- Remember that downed or damaged trees can contain power lines that can be a hazard.
- Use a camera or camcorder to record thoroughly any damage done to your home before any repairs are attempted.
- In certain areas, the flooding rains that accompany a storm can create pest problems. Be aware of potential pest problems in your area, such as mice, rats, insects or snakes that may have "come with the storm".
- Telephone lines will likely be busy in the area; use a phone only for emergencies.
- Flooding brings with it the risk of waterborne bacterial contaminations.
- You should assume that the water is not safe and use properly stored water or boil your tap water.
If you have been the victim of a storm give SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup & Lewis Counties a call at (606) 836-8000. We are available 24/7 and eager to help our community.
Our crews worked hard and fast to get help clean up
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Major Hurricane at Category 4 strength on Friday, August 25 causing widespread devastating flooding and wind destruction along the Texas and Louisiana coast. After making landfall, the storm’s track continued through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, causing heavy rains and additional flooding situations.
Unprecedented flooding occurred across Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 inches in Houston.
SERVPRO mobilized and deployed Disaster Recover Teams to the most heavily impacted areas of Texas and Louisiana. Over 700 fully-equipped storm crews were deployed to help with the disaster.
With a disaster of this magnitude, residents and business owners were encouraged were encouraged to see the "Sea of Green" as all of the SERVPRO teams that were there to help.
Hurricane Harvey Hit and We Went Running
One of the houses of Houston after the storm
When we received word of the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey we began packing the trucks and trailers to head to Houston, Tx to help with the efforts. We knew that is was going to be a hard task but we were willing to go lend a hand. A crew of six certificated techs from SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lewis Counties and lead by our storm team manager loaded up the trucks and headed south. Over the next month the crew worked countless hours to help serve the people of Houston. With their boots on the crew waited through water, removing belongings that the costumers cherished and trying to put a smile on the their face. It was a long month and a lot of hard work, but we were happy to lend a hand.
Take a look at your trees!
Fallen tree during storm
Conduct a pre-storm assessment. Identify trouble spots before a storm hits.
Some potential hazards to look for on your property:
- Cracks in tree trunks or major limbs
- Hollow, aged and decayed trees
- One-sided or significantly leaning trees
- Branches leaning more than 45 degrees over the roof
- Anything in close proximity to utility lines
- Shelf-like fungus or mushrooms
- Trees with dangerous leans
Take measures to prevent damage.
After assessing possible hazards to your property, you may need to take any number of measures to limit potential damage.
- Remove dead, diseased or damaged limbs
- Have leaning trees inspected and consider removing those with large cavities
- Prune branches too close to your house and over the street
- Check your gutters, and remove debris to prevent water damage.
Everything You Need To Know For Power Outages
As summer continues ans fall approaches, we have seen some major power outages across the nation. Power outages can not only be dangerous to you and your family, but they can also cause immense stress if you are not properly prepared.
According to ready.gov:
Before a Power Outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
During a Power Outage
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
If you experience a water damage after a storm, call SERVPRO of Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lewis Counties at 606-836-8000 to remediate your damage and restore you home to pre-storm damage condition.