Recent Storm Damage Posts
Winter Storm Damage
Winter will be here before you know it!
Storms of any kind can cause all sorts of damage to our homes and businesses. Winter storms however can be some of the worst. These storms carry the same high wind and water damage risks as other storms, with the addition of heavy snow and ice that can cover trees, powerlines, and roads making things slippery and even more dangerous. We wanted to highlight a few potential storm damages that you should watch out for this winter.
Fallen Trees and Branches:
When the temperatures plummet below freezing, ice and snow can accumulate on tree branches. Water is very heavy, and this added weight can cause branches or even entire trees to fall over. Besides the obvious dangers of things falling from above, these branches and trees can take out powerlines causing a loss of electricity during a time when heating your home is crucial, as well as falling on your home and damaging your roof and other parts of your house.
Colder temperatures outside mean that the places in your home that are not directly heated (the parts of your house that your pipes are in) can reach sub-freezing temperatures. During these periods it is especially important to take care of and inspect your water pipes as the potential for pipes to crack is much higher. When water freezes it expands as it turns into ice, if the water in your pipes does this it can cause them to crack under the added pressure of expansion and flood your home.
Roofs are meant to withstand a lot, after all, they protect your home from the elements, but that doesn’t mean that they are impervious to damage. As mentioned above, snow and ice are heavy and a large build-up of either can put enough stress on your roof to cause it to collapse. This is why it’s important to make sure that your gutters are cleaned during the winter months, in order for snow and ice melt to drain off properly and not collect in ice dams.
You can never really be too prepared for emergency scenarios and disasters, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to prevent storm damage from occurring to your home. Should you be on the receiving end of a winter storm this year and find that you need emergency cleanup and restoration services give your local SERVPRO a call, We’re here to help 24/7, 365 days a year.
Hurricane Prep Guide
Getting prepared for a hurricane in Richmond is not only about buying lots of water or filling up the gas tank. There are steps needed to help protect you and your family if your home is threatened by a hurricane.
Stock Emergency Supplies
- Water & food, at least a 3-day supply for you and your pet
- Tools like flashlights, extra batteries, a wrench, plastic sheeting & duct tape, trash bags
- Medical hygiene and cleaning supplies like a first-aid kit, necessary medications, glasses, contact lenses, moist towelettes, toothpaste, and personal hygiene products
- Personal Items, like a sleeping bag for each person and a change of clothing
- Activities like books, games, playing cards, paper, pencils, and pens
- Radio for NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Other Items like a whistle to signal for help
Prepare and Protect Your Property
- Do a Home inventory of the contents of closets, drawers, and cabinets. Store your home inventory lists, photographs, and videos in a waterproof place off the premises. Keep receipts of high-valued items, which may separate insurance coverage. Always update your home inventory after making large purchases.
Review Your Insurance Policies
- Is everything up to date? If you’ve done any major renovation or made a major purchase, make sure your insurance agent is aware to help determine if your current limits are enough to cover the value.
- Coverage for additional living expenses in case you can’t live in your home until it has been restored from damages.
- What about flood damage? Do you have coverage?
- Do you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy? What happens if a tree falls on it, or water, wind, or flying debris damages your car?
Plan Your Evacuation
- Become familiar with alternate routes in case travel becomes treacherous or traffic-congested.
- If you don’t have a car, plan how you will leave if you need to evacuate; make plans with family, friends, or your local government or aid agencies.
- Plan what you will do with your pets, leave them with family, take them with you, or to a kennel.
- Keep a road map in your car in case you need another route on unfamiliar roads.
- Prepare a bag or file with important papers, like your homeowner’s insurance policy, medical documents, and id cards, and keep it with you.
If you have suffered water damage after a storm, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is prepared to assist you after the storm to clean up the mess and help restore your home to its pre-storm condition.
Tips for Flood Prevention
Here at SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico, our team of professionals works tirelessly to help restore the homes and businesses in our local community. We’re equipped with the experience and technology to help restore your property regardless of the size or extent of the storm disaster. However, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent damages and limit your losses from a storm.
- Regularly inspect your home or business for damage and to ensure that everything is functioning as it should such as your sump pump, door seals, roof, and siding.
- Regularly clean your gutters and make sure downspouts are properly draining water away from the building.
- Make an emergency plan and know what to do should damage occur to your property. If you’re a business, we offer a free program called the emergency ready plan that will help you with this.
- Make sure you understand your insurance policies and what’s covered. Most standard policies do not cover flood damage and will require a separate flood policy.
- Install flood prevention measures if you live in a flood prone area.
While these tips may not completely prevent damage to your home or business in a storm, they will help to lower your risks of serious damage. If you’re in need of storm damage restoration give us a call, we’re available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services.
Flood Damage vs Other Water Damage
Water damage in your home is unfortunately not an uncommon problem for homeowners to face. From leaky toilets, busted pipes, or heavy rainstorms, there are a multitude of different ways water can damage your home. With all of these different avenues for water to get into your home, it’s important to note that not all water damage is treated equally. The damage caused and the means to clean it up will be different depending on the source. One of the biggest differences is between something like a busted or leaky pipe, and flood waters from a storm.
To better understand the difference between these events, you should know the difference between the three categories of water damage. Category one is considered clean water. This water does not pose a health threat actively and is typically caused by things like broken water lines or sink overflows. Category two is gray water. Gray water is water that may be contaminated and could potentially pose a health risk if ingested. Things like broken toilets (with no sewage) and broken sump pumps usually fall into this category. Category three is black water. This is water that is completely unsanitary and contains bacteria or other organisms that can make you sick. Water damage that falls into category three is usually caused by sewage, other water damage that has been sitting for multiple days, or flood waters.
Because flood water damage is caused by water entering the home from the outside, it likely contains bacteria or other organisms, as opposed to something like an ice maker line breaking and getting clean water all over your kitchen. Since this storm water poses a health risk it needs to be treated differently. PPE must be worn, and any surfaces that may have come in contact with the water should be properly sanitized or even removed depending on the extent of the damage. Since things like drywall, insulation, and fabrics are especially porous it can be difficult to make sure that they are cleaned well enough to not be a continued health risk after the water is cleaned up. Another factor is because the water is already contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms, the likelihood of mold growth and secondary damage is much higher than with something like a pipe bursting.
If your home suffers from a flood, you should not try and clean up the water yourself. Without the proper knowledge and safety equipment you’re putting yourself at risk as well as putting your home at risk if you are unable to properly find and dry out all of the hidden pockets of moisture. Our team at SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is expertly trained in dealing with these scenarios and can help ensure that your home is dried out and cleaned up in the most efficient and effective way. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services. Please give us a call or fill out a form online and let us know how we can help!
The Dangers of a Storm Surge
Hurricanes can cause damage in a number of different ways. Perhaps the most damaging and dangerous of which is the storm surge, but what is a storm surge? These events are when there is a large rise of water due to a storm that is above what was predicted for high tide. These surges push water inland where it normally wouldn’t be flooding homes and businesses and causing a vast amount of damage. Often these surges of water linger and take days to subside after the storm, leaving behind mud, sewage, and other harmful contaminants wherever they touched. In addition to the extensive water damage caused by days of exposure. Millions of homes are at risk of damage from storm surges each hurricane season in almost 20 states. One of the most notable storm surge events was in hurricane Katrina. Some affected areas were left under more than 25 feet of water, which is enough to completely submerge an average sized two-story home. It’s important to recognize the dangers that these storm events pose and to make sure that you follow your local government’s instructions during them in order to keep you and your family safe.
If your home sustains water damage from a storm surge or any other storm related event, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is here to help. As leaders in the industry and as part of the SERVPRO Disaster Response Team we know first hand the destructive forces of large storms and work diligently to help get your lives back to normal.
Are You Ready for This Upcoming Winter Storms?
Incoming winter storms can be an exciting time for everyone, with so much fun to be had playing in the snow, however winter storms can also bring a lot of problems if you aren’t prepared.
One of the biggest issues in winter storms is power loss. With ice on the trees and the snow getting heavy, branches inevitably fall and can take out power lines leaving you without electricity and potentially also no heat!
- Make sure that you and your family have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries for them in case of a power outage, and most importantly make sure that everyone knows where they are in the house so that they’re easier to find when the lights go out and you need them most.
- If you know a storm is on the way, charge your devices (phones, computers, radios, etc.) before the storm hits, and consider purchasing a power bank for the extra boost in case you need it.
- Blankets and candles are important to keep around for warmth, just be sure to blow out your candles before you leave the room.
- Stock up on water and non-perishable foods as you may not be able to travel on the roads if the storm creates difficult driving conditions. It’s helpful to also have some food on hand that does not need to be cooked in case the power is out and you can no longer use your appliances.
- Always try to avoid traveling during a winter storm, but if you do have to travel during the storm always carry a blanket, water, some extra layers, and a fully charged cell phone in case you get stuck and need help.
Getting snowed in can sometimes be scary but as long as you’re prepared you can spend the time having fun with your family and not be concerned about your safety.
Are you Prepare for Winter Weather, RVA?
Are you ready for this year’s winter storms?
Incoming winter storms can be an exciting time for everyone, with so much fun to be had playing in the snow, however winter storms can also bring a lot of problems if you aren’t prepared.
One of the biggest issues in winter storms is power loss. With ice on the trees and the snow getting heavy, branches inevitably fall and can take out power lines leaving you without electricity and potentially also no heat! Make sure that you and your family have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries for them in case of a power outage, and most importantly make sure that everyone knows where they are in the house so that they’re easier to find when the lights go out and you need them most. If you know a storm is on the way, charge your devices (phones, computers, radios, etc.) before the storm hits, and consider purchasing a power bank for the extra boost in case you need it. Blankets and candles are important to keep around for warmth, just be sure to blow out your candles before you leave the room.
Stock up on water and non-perishable foods as you may not be able to travel on the roads if the storm creates difficult driving conditions. It’s helpful to also have some food on hand that does not need to be cooked in case the power is out and you can no longer use your appliances.
Always try to avoid traveling during a winter storm, but if you do have to travel during the storm always carry a blanket, water, some extra layers, and a fully charged cell phone in case you get stuck and need help.
Getting snowed in can sometimes be scary, but as long as you’re prepared you can spend the time having fun with your family and not be concerned about your safety.
Be Weather Ready
Hurricane Ida has wreaked havoc on Louisiana. Experts are calling this storm one of the most powerful to ever hit the U.S. as it knocked out power to all of New Orleans and a total of 1 million people. Roofs were blown off of many buildings and even the flow of the Mississippi River was reversed. So far there has been one fatality from this storm and our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico team is thinking of all those affected by this horrific natural disaster.
With this storm in mind, it’s important to remind everyone of the importance of preparing for heavy winds and rains. According to Weather.gov, here is what you can do to be weather ready:
- Check the Weather: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
- Sign Up for Notifications: download the local apps on your phone to be notified in case of emergency and to follow instructions.
- Make a Plan: Make sure your family knows where to meet in case of an emergency. Pick a safe room with no windows in your home such as a basement or a low level of the home.
- Practice Your Plan: Run drills with your family to practice what to do when bad weather is approaching. Don't forget pets if time allows.
- Prepare Your Home: Clear out your gutters and keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. Secure loose objects outdoors and make sure windows and doors are sealed properly.
- Help Your Neighbor: check in on your neighbors, especially ones who live alone or who are elderly. Make grocery runs for them or help secure their home for the storm.
Hurricane Season is Approaching
Hurricane Season is almost at its height and this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The season extends from June 1 through November 30, with the end of August and September being the most active for Atlantic hurricanes. Now is the time for communities to come together to help spread awareness that NOW is the time to prepare for heavy winds, rain, and the potential for flooding to your home or business.
According to FEMA administrator Deanna Criswell, ““Visit Ready.gov and Listo.gov to learn and take the steps to prepare yourself and others in your household. Download the FEMA app to sign-up for a variety of alerts and to access preparedness information. Purchase flood insurance to protect your greatest asset, your home. And, please encourage your neighbors, friends and coworkers to also get ready for the upcoming season.” (source: noaa.gov).
Watch Vs Warning
Most people don’t think much when a storm rolls through their area. A little bit of wind and rain usually doesn’t cause much harm. However, severe weather events with heavy wind and rain can actually cause a lot more damage than one might think. Flooded basements, fallen trees, and other emergency events will occur in these times of thunderstorms. It’s also smart to prepare whenever a big storm is brewing and knowing the difference between a watch and warning is very important knowledge to have before it’s too late.
Watch: “A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.”
Warning: “A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.”
When severe storms hit your Richmond area home or business call SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico. We are always ready 24/7 for whatever happens and are proud to serve our local communities.
We Perform Storm Cleanup
Our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico Disaster Recovery Team are experts in storm remediation and reconstruction. This expertise involves flood damage specialists and reconstruction workers to restore your home or building back to its original pre-storm condition.
These are the Basic Steps After the Storm Hits:
- Water Extraction
Flooding and heavy rains that penetrate your building can usually leave a significant amount of standing water. The first thing that has to happen the extraction of any standing water. Technicians use pumps to remove water and specialized machines to suck up the water on many different types of surfaces.
- Removal of Materials
Our crews will demo water-damaged drywall and any damp insulation they find. Ceiling tiles or flooring may have to be taken out as well depending on the level of saturation.
- Drying Process
The parts of the structure that are salvageable must be dried thoroughly and quickly before buckling and damage occur. If not addressed quickly, any area left wet will leave the perfect conditions for growth to form. Drying out the area quickly and professionally prevents this from happening.
- Building Restoration
We are a one-stop-shop. That means our reconstruction crews will put the building back together again after the mitigation teams demos the necessary areas.
Disaster Recovery Team Bahen has your back after a storm wreaks havoc on your home or business. Give us a call at 804-740-6151.
National Preparedness Thunderstorm Safety
September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico wants you to be aware and prepared for severe thunderstorms. A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down tree and utility poles - causing widespread power outages.
WATCH vs. WARNING - Know the difference
Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area
Warning: Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
Make Preparedness Kit
- Water—one gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation & personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family & emergency contact information
- Extra cash
Call SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico at 804.740.6151 if your home or business experiences damages from a storm. We have the resources to handle any size disaster.
Information provided by The American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/thunderstorm.html
How Hurricane Isabel Brought Project Manager, Justin Ballas to the SERVPRO Team
"In 2003, Hurricane Isabel touched down in my dad’s neighborhood, causing a huge tree to fall on his house that completely destroyed the second and first floor with water damage. SERVPRO was the restoration company hired for the cleanup on my dad’s house. During this time, I observed the cleanup and all the aspects of what needed to be done. It looked interesting and something that I might enjoy doing one day as an actual job. A few years after that, I decided to give it a try and filled out an application. In October 2007, Robert Morgan, General Manager, interviewed me then hired me on the spot. I started as a Production Technician, knowing absolutely nothing about water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, etc. As I began working with the Crew Chiefs I was assigned to each day, I definitely knew this was something I wanted to do for the long haul. After a few years, I was promoted to Crew Chief where I worked long and hard hours. Management quickly noticed my work ethic and how I took each task full-on. With years of continuous growth, I am now a Project Manager, where I have been now for about 6 years.
The 12 years I have been employed with SERVPRO have been an absolute blessing. I’ve gained knowledge of the industry to perform my duties successfully with the friends (co-workers) I have come to know and grow with together. What I like the most about working for this company is that I get to help customers in a time of need where they may be in a state of panic because of the damage they are experiencing in their home or business. The work environment here at SERVPRO is what I’d consider a family setting, because there are many employees that have been here for a long time and everyone gets along with each other. This is also a fast-paced, sometimes long hours line of work, which comes with a sense of satisfaction when you get to help your community. On large jobs, where it calls for multiple technicians to be dispatched, we all buckle down and dive right in, working diligently to get the job completed fast and efficiently.
If you are in search of a company to grow with, build a career with, and feel appreciated on a daily basis, then come join this awesome company at SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico and become a successful asset to #TeamBahen.” – Justin Ballas
Hurricane Plan for Your Business
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of business won't reopen after a natural disaster, one year later 25% small businesses will close, and three years after the disaster 75% of businesses without a continuity plan will fail.
Why is it Important to Plan for a Hurricane?
"If your organization is vulnerable to hurricanes, it is important that you understand your risk, develop a preparedness and mitigation plan, and take action. Doing so will not only increase the safety of employees and customers, but it will help you remain in business after disasters, such as tropical storms and hurricanes, strike." - (FEMA)
Make sure you follow the Step-by-step Process:
- Identify Your Risk - determine the specific areas your organization needs to address to prepare, mitigate risk, and return to operation following a disaster.
- Develop a Plan - staff, surroundings, space, systems, structure and service
- Take Action - perform, preparedness and mitigation activities with everyone in the building
- Be Recognized and Inspire Others - complete the FEMA Ready Business application
Power Outage Toolkit
Do you have a power outage tool kit at home? If not, please consider creating one! During these summer months, thunderstorms are more prevalent, which means more homeworkers and renters experience power outages. Sometimes these outages can last for a few hours or a few days. In either case, it is important to have a tool kit so you are prepared. Below are some suggested items to keep in an easy to access location your home:
- utilize a large plastic bin to store your items- such as a tupperware.
- at least 10 bottled waters
- consider buying a portable cell phone charger so you
- flashlights and batteries
- rechargeable lantern or battery operated lanterns
- some canned foods and non-perishable food items like peanut butter, canned fruit
- can opener
- first aid kit with prescriptions, contact lenses, etc.
- portable battery operated fan
- a deck of cards for entertainment!
Importance of Sump Pumps
If you have a sump pump, most the time you don't realize how important it is until it stops working. Your sump pump is out of sight, out of mind and will almost always have negative consequences. Power outages, failure and a older sump pump that cannot handle the capacity are all common problems that can occur as well.
Avoid potential problems by doing routine inspections or replacing your old sump pump. Usually sump pumps should be replaced every 5 years or according to manufacturers guidelines. Each year the sump, switch and float should be inspected as well. Pay attention to how often the sump pump is running and if it runs regularly or there is a higher water table, consider a sump pump with higher horsepower.
Another way to increase the pump's efficiency and prolong life is to clean your sump pit, remove any dirt, sand, gravel and other debris routinely. Ensure that the discharge line opening is free of obstructions so that water can be pumped through the line and out of your basement or crawlspace and also be aware in the winter the discharge line may freeze bringing the water back into your house.
SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico (804)-740-6151
This Hurricane Preparedness Week, call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for flooding. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough. You need plenty to make it through what could be a LONG recovery period too. Water and electricity could be out for a week or more. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a MINIMUM of one week. Also make sure you have extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cell phone.
The CDC recommends if you need to go to a public shelter, bring at least two cloth face coverings for each person and, if possible, hand sanitizer. (Children under two years old and people having trouble breathing should not wear face coverings). ready.gov/kit
Hurricane Season 2020
How to Prepare for a Hurricane.
This 2020 Hurricane season is estimated to be more active than previous years. It's important to know what to do before it hits to help prevent damage or loss to your property.
List of Supplies
- An Emergency Readiness Plan for your family
- 3 days worth of water
- 3 days of non perishable food for each person or pet
- First Aid Kit
- Battery Powered Radio or radio alert
- Portable Power bank to charge cell phones
- Full Tank of Gas in car
- Whistle to Signal for Help
How to Prepare Your Home
- Cover your windows with storm shutter or plywood, or use tape the glass so the broken shards stay together
- Learn if you are in an area that floods, and how to properly sand bag your home
- Clean out your rain gutters
If you’ve already experienced flooding or storm damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico at 804.740.61.51.
Always Be Prepared for a Storm
After a large storm hits in your neighbor you need food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Depending on the nature of the disaster, road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner and you may be without electricity and the capability to travel.
Your basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days or even weeks. Making sure your prepare a supply kit that contains items that will keep you afloat is paramount.
Everyone is your household should be aware of your supply/emergency kit, where it is located, and what is inside. Hre are some items that are suggested to keep on hand:
- Necessary Medications
- Flashlights for each family member
- Battery-operated radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Bottled water
- Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants, pet food
- Non-electric can opener
- List of important phone numbers
- First-aid kit
Even if you don't think a storm could affect you this bad, it's always recommend to be prepared just in case. If there is damage to your home, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico will always be here to help!
National Preparedness Month
September is known as National Preparedness Month and ready.gov has a theme each year to education people on why it's important to always be prepared in a case of an emergency. This year's theme is "Prepared, Not Scared."
For the first week of September, ready.gov encourages everyone to save early for Disaster Costs. This means you should text your insurance coverage, learn more about flood insurance, plan financially for the possibility of a disaster, and make an emergency financial first aid kit.
The second week is centered on making a plan. this includes an emergency plan, sign up for alerts and warnings in your area, and learn your evacuation zone.
Week 3 is all about teaching youth preparedness. It's important to teach children what to do in an emergency is they are at home or away from their home. You should also update school records and emergency contact numbers.
Week 4 is about getting involved in your community's preparedness. This includes looking into organizations like the National voluntary Organization Active in Disaster. the National safety Council, the Community Emergency Response Teams, and educate yourself with State and Local information.
What to Do for Power Outages
This summer, 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 Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico at 804.740.6151 to remediate your damage and restore you home to pre-storm damage condition.
Threat of Tropical Storms
This time of year is when the threat of severe weather and tropical storms begin to loom over the country. The storms could grow from a tropical depression to a tropical storm and then eventually, if it gets strong enough, a hurricane. Luckily in Richmond, Virginia, we don't experience the mass flooding that comes from these storms, but that doesn't mean we can't be there to help when it hits somewhere else!
Disaster Recovery Team Bahen has already made it's way down to New Orleans to help out wherever we're needed. Right now, according to the National Hurricane Center, the tropical storm is expected to become Hurricane Barry and intensify quickly in the next couple of days. Since the movement of this storm is so slow, it will result in a long-duration heavy rainfall. SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico's Disaster Recovery Team is on the move with generators and water extracting equipment needed to get businesses affected with water damage back to normal as quickly as possible.
Severe Weather - Tornadoes and Floods
This year, we have already seen a multitude of tornadoes and floods affect our nation. Strong storms with large hail, heavy winds and extreme downpours have wreaked havoc in places like D.C.
Even though in Richmond, VA we are not a hot-spot for the threat of tornadoes, we still experience them and heavy storms. It is always a good idea to be prepared in case a disaster strikes. About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly and cause hundreds of thousands in damage.
Here are some tips for preparing for a severe storm:
- secure items that are likely to blow away
- cover windows and nail down shutters
- don't park under or near large/old trees
- prepare for power outages with charges cell phones and extra batteries and flash lights
- stock your emergency kit
SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico will respond 24-hours a day to emergency water damage services. We are also an extreme team, meaning we can travel across the country to assist with a storm damage or very large loss. Call 804.740.6151 for a quick response!
Ceiling Damage from Storm
This tenant for a property local management company experienced a water damage to his ceiling after a heavy thunderstorm. The rainwater seeped through the roof and into his ceiling, causing the water to come through and out into his apartment. Our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico crew came in to extract the water and demo the ceiling to remediate the damage the water caused.
After our mitigation crews dry out the affected areas using state-of-the-art tools and technology, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico's reconstruction division will be able to come in a put the ceiling and walls back together again. We are a one-stop shop, making it easier for the customer to deal with one company that can finish every part of the work and finish it quickly and professionally!
Severe Weather - Tornado Season
Luckily, in Richmond, VA we do not experience the potential threats that tornadoes can have as often as other parts of the country. These places include the upper Mid-west, the northern and southern plains and the Gulf coast.
Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.
However, it is always a good idea to be prepared in case a disaster strikes. About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.
SERVPRO of Richmond will respond 24-hours a day to emergency fire and water services. We are a proud partner with the Red Cross and take part in cleaning up damages after a storm. SERVPRO of Richmond is also an extreme team, meaning we can travel across the country to assist with a storm damage or very large loss. We have the tools and the people who have experience in water, storm, fire damage restoration and we are always here to help.
A list of questions and answers about tornadoes can be found here
How to Prevent Water Damage from Rain
Everyone loves the occasional summer thunderstorm - but it could cause major problems if rain water seeps into your home. One of the most common sources of water damage in a home is from rain water. It can enter through leaks in your roof, seeping in from the foundation, or even flooding into your basement. It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent water damage in your home such as:
Checking for proper drainage:
- inspect your roof thoroughly for structural damage or holes
- clear your gutters from leaves and other debris that could block the flow of water from draining into the yard
Install or Check Sump Pumps:
- sump pump are very effective for keeping rainwater out of your house
- have a professional check your sump pump to insure it is working properly once a year
Check sealant inside and outside foundation
- make sure the tar sealant covering the inner and outer sides of the foundation are intact
Inspect the slope of your lawn
- grading is the slope of your lawn and it should always slope away from your home to redirect the rainwater from flooding around the foundations
When you are dealing with storm, flood, and water damage, immediate action is crucial. You should choose the company with storm damage experience and expertise that has the resources and equipment to handle the job. SERVPRO of Richmond can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Preventing Damage and Ensuring Safety During a Richmond Winter Storm
During Richmond winter storms and extreme periods of cold, your family and property are at-risk for many perils regardless of where you live.
Preventing Damage and Ensuring Safety During Winter Storms
During Richmond winter storms and extreme periods of cold, your family and property are at-risk for many perils regardless of where you live. Keeping a calm and practical attitude during this time can minimize many of the dangers. For example, people often use space heaters and carelessly start fires. If the power goes off, your positive actions can reduce the negative consequences.
Safety Tips to Follow During Winter Storms
Staying informed can prevent many dangers, so listen to the radio or television for . Watch for changing conditions, and prepare for a siege if the weather warrants it. Start following your disaster or emergency plan to conserve resources. Reduce temperatures, cut heat to rooms that you don't need and move your pets to a place where they're sheltered. Dress in layers to save body heat. Other safety tips include:
- Open cabinet doors around interior pipes to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- If pipes freeze, open faucets to relieve pressure and prevent them from bursting. Remove insulation around the pipes, wrap them with rags and pour hot water over them until water begins to run.
- Stay indoors unless an extreme emergency arises.
- Use only safe methods of providing extra heat because fires are more common during storms. Make sure that kerosene heaters are ventilated, and always fill them outdoors for safety reasons.
- Let faucets drip during periods of extreme cold.
- If you must drive, let someone know where you're going and when you're expected and stick to the major roads and daylight driving.
- Wet clothing loses its insulating value, so replace wet things with dry garments.
- Keep exterior entries and unheated spaces closed.
- Check your roof after major snow and ice events to see whether snow and ice have accumulated in areas to create unsafe weight.
- If water begins to penetrate your home, turn off gas and electricity. When it's safe to begin removing water, remove damaged materials and as much standing water as possible before calling a remediation expert.
Even minor periods of cold can damage pipes and influence family members to try risky behavior. This fact is especially true in areas that don't usually experience cold weather. If you leave your home during inclement weather, set heat at a minimum of 55-degrees Fahrenheit to protect your possessions from the cold. If you plan to be away for some time, consider turning off your water and draining water heaters and hot tubs to prevent catastrophic leaks and flooding. Remove snow from window wells, stair wells and areas of the roof where snow accumulates, but don't melt the snow because it can cause water damage.
Safety is your foremost concern during a winter storm in Richmond, but you can also minimize the risks to your home by following safe practices during a storm.
SERVPRO of Richmond Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Richmond proudly serves Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico, Glen Allen, Midlothian, Short Pump, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Chester, Hopewell, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by:
24/7 Fire Damage Restoration Service * 24/7 Carpet Restoration Water Damage * 24/7 House Flooding Damage * 24/7 Mold Remediation *24/7 Bio-hazard Crime/Suicide Clean *24/7 Fire Restoration.