Recent Storm Damage Posts

Winter Storm Damage

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Warnings & Watches

Winter Storm

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

 Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events.

Know the Difference

Winter Storm Outlook - Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Preparing 

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

When Winter Attacks Your Pipes!

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

  • Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
  • Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
  • Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
  • Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows.
  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions

  • Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing.
  • The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
  • Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up.
  • Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces.
  • These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions.
  • Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes. 

If a Pipe Freezes

  • If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
  • To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
  • When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out. 

 If a Pipe Bursts

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.

Natural Disasters

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Every summer, the U.S. goes through an “active weather” season. The middle of spring through summer is a prime time for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, thunder storms, and fires. Here at SERVPRO, we’ve already begun to see the impact of the severe weather. In Kentucky, we have already experienced a massive amount of rain. Luckily, our SERVPRO team is here for any natural disaster. We respond to water, wind and fire damage! Here are some weather events to look out for during the spring and summer months:

  • Hurricanes–Hurricanes, with the accompanying wind, water, and flood, cause a lot of destruction in areas where they hit. When hurricanes gather strength, buildings, trees, and water infrastructures are commonly destroyed. The storms can also knock down power lines, posing a risk of electrocution.
  • Tornadoes– Tornadoes are characterized by whirling winds and debris and can endanger life and property. They are common from spring until the middle of summer but can occur any time of the year.
  • Floods– Floods are becoming more common in the U.S., with flash floods as the top weather-related killer. A few inches of water could bring extensive damage to homes and buildings. Heavy rains, levee breaches, and tsunamis cause floods. Many floods occur in areas that cannot absorb rainwater.
  • Fires– The heat of the summer and the years of drought experienced in many parts of the country can precipitate massive forest fires that, in many instances, affect dwellings. Spontaneous combustion, volcanic eruption, and faulty electrical wires are other common causes of fires.

 Call SERVPRO if you are ever in need after a natural disaster!

Storm Damage Season

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

24 Hour Emergency Service

Flooding, water emergencies, and storm damage do not wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of South Elkhart county provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Need Emergency Service? Call us 24/7 - (574)533-2500

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 United States and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your propertyand being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and many other things. SERVPRO of South Elkhart county arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1-24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 hours- 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically. Replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants. 

In a disaster, SERVPRO is "Ready for whatever happens."

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for whatever happens." With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists SERVPRO of South Elkhart County Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it "Like it never even happened." We helped with 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2017 Mid-West Flooding, 2018 Mid-Atlantic Freeze, 2018 Indiana Area Microburst, 2018 Mid-West Freeze, 2018 Maryland Flooding.

Build an Emergency Kit

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit: 

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water (one+ gallon per person per day) 
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medication 
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

September is National Preparedness Month

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to remind everyone that “we must all take action, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit,” (ready.gov).

With the recent flooding in Louisiana in mind, the last thing you want to worry about is how to communicate and what to do during a disaster like this horrific event that killed hundreds and left many families without homes.

What you can do:

  • Make A Family Plan – you may not be together with your family during a disaster.
    • Set up emergency alerts from local officials
    • Discuss family plans for disasters and plan where to go for safety.
    • Collect information on paper including, phone numbers, emails, social media, medical facilities, doctors, service providers, school
    • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection and if you have pets think about animal-friendly locations
  • Take Action – ensure you can go for at least 3 days without electricity, water service, access to supermarket, or other local services
    • Prepare a disaster supply kit (water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, local maps)
    • Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather
    • Learn about wireless emergency alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency

Consider the following disasters that can occur at any time: Learn more about hazards which can affect your community and ways you can take action to prepare.

  • Earthquakes – can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
  • Floods - Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
  • Hurricanes - have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal and inland areas.
  • Tornadoes - are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds.
  • Wildfires - can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture

Winter Storm Damage

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Now that the weather has turned cold, it can wreck havoc on your house if it is not properly cared for. the cold weather is notorious for freezing and/or bursting water and sewage pipes.

Outdoor pipes most likely to freeze may include:

Hose bibs

Swimming pool supply lines

Water sprinkler lines

Other lines to keep and eye on in partially heated areas may include areas like:

Garages

Crawl spaces

Basements

Well Houses

Other problems the winter weather may cause could be ice dams on your roof. An ice dam is formed when snow melts unevenly on a roof and refreezes into a dam at the edge of the roof, near the eaves. This dam prevents any further snow melt from draining off of the roof. This standing water can back up under shingles, leak into a home, and cause significant water damage to ceilings, walls, and other areas. Ice dams can also tear off gutters and loosen shingles.

Stay Safe During Spring Storms

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

It is nearly impossible to underestimate the destruction and loss of life a tornado can cause. Though tornadoes are only thought to pose potential danger in southern states and in "Tornado Alley" area of the United States,   Alaska is the only state that did average at least two tornadoes per year over the past two decades (according to DisasterCenter.com). Research continues to indicate there is a direct correlation between how prepared the area was for a tornado and how many casualties were caused by the tornado. 

  • Be aware of your communities severe weather warning system. Know in advance where you will take shelter if at a home, office, etc.
  • Put together an emergency kit. Contact your SERVPRO of South Elkhart County for a list. 
  • Do not open your windows. This does not help save the house, as once thought, but it could make things worse by allowing rain and debris a chance to blow into your house. 

For all your clean up and restoration needs call your SERVPRO of South Elkhart County @ 574-533-2500 or go to our page   http://SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com

Disasters 101

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Disasters whether man-made or from mother nature are rarely predictable. They often strike quickly and without warning, leaving devastation in their wake. Families that recover the quickest after disasters usually have at least one thing in common: They are prepared. SERVPRO of South Elkhart County can help you to be prepared too. Whether you need to line up a dedicated restoration specialist in case of emergency or are simply seeking out a game plan for recovery, SERVPRO can help. Call SERVPRO of South Elkhart County for additional information and free recourses including residential preparedness plan information, family communication plans, emergency contact cards and emergency supply checklists. Call SERVPRO of South Elkhart County at (574)533-2500 or go to our web page at http://SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com 

Flash Flood

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. According to running up a $2.4 billion-per-year tab in average annual losses in recent years. While some of Mother Nature's more demonstrative displays, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, get more public attention, floods are the number one weather-related killer in the US. Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of flood, because they combine the nearly unstoppable force of a flood with deadly unpredictability and speed. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than half of all flash floods fatalities are related to automobiles. The truth is simple as it is tragic: Just six inches of fast moving flood water can knock a grown man off his feet, and just two feet of water can cause a car to begin floating. SERVPRO of South Elkhart County can help you to be equipped with tips to keep you safe. CallSERVPRO of South Elkhart County 24/7 at (574)533-2500 or go to our webpage at http://SERVPROsouthelkhartcounty.com