Recent Storm Damage Posts
Sump Pump Failure
After all the rainy weather we had in May and June it caused some major flooding to our rivers and we got a couple hundred calls about flooded basements. Luckily, we have dried out but I thought sump pump failure and what to do when it happens would be a perfect topic. A good number of the basements that we ran into with water in the basement was sump pump failures.
Most basements sit below the water table level, and especially during a storm, as groundwater levels rise, the water is diverted to the sump pit, where a float activates a switch when it rises above a certain level. Some of the most common reasons a sump pump might fail is if it doesn’t have battery backup and you lose power during a storm, sump pump is the wrong size and can’t keep up, or maybe it was improperly installed. Another big factor is a lack of maintenance, this allows for debris to clog vents and air holes.
Should you find yourself with water in your basement and it is manageable, you can mop it up or even use a wet/dry vacuum and make sure to dump it at least 20 feet away from the house. It is important to get the water taken care of as soon as you can because the longer it stands it can lead to mold and mildew and can create a musty odor. On a side note, if flooding leaves water standing in your yard around the foundation, you will have to wait for it to recede before true cleanup can begin.
Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington if your flooded basement is something that you are unable to handle. We can return your flooded basement back to normal and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Weather Alert Radios
As we start to enter the season of thunderstorms it is important to be prepared in case of an emergency. While a first-aid kit, bottled water, and non-perishable food are important to keep on hand so is a weather alert radio. A weather alert radio can be just as important as a smoke detector and when it comes to storms time is crucial so you can get your family to safety. NOAA weather alert radios range in price anywhere from $25-$100 and can be found at just about any of the major retail stores. Below are some benefits to having a weather alert radio.
- You can program it so that it only sends alerts that are specific to your area. It will immediately sound a warning once an alert for your area is issued by the National Weather Service.
- The alert is loud so you can even hear it when you are asleep.
- They can operate on battery backup so you won’t have to worry about it working if you lose power. If you are someone who tends to forget to check battery life or live in an area that experiences frequent extended power outages they also have emergency crank weather alert radios.
Preparing for a Windstorm
It is that time of year in the Midwest when we start worrying about storms and the possible damage they can do. Most people probably don’t think about windstorms but they can be just as dangerous as thunderstorms. Wind speeds during a windstorm typically exceed 34 miles per hour. Depending on the severity windstorms can down trees and power lines and even potentially wreck vehicles and homes. Following are some tips to help protect your property and prepare for this kind of storm.
Check for any old or loose shingles and repair if needed as these could come off during a windstorm.
Remove any dead trees or shrubs which are too close to your home and any power lines.
Make sure your garage door is reinforced and can withstand high winds. Should your garage door come flying off it can leave the contents vulnerable.
Watch the forecast and if it has the potential for high winds secure your backyard and patio furniture as it has the potential to not only damage property but can also injure people.
Should you need storm damage repair don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our professionals are available 24/7 to assist you in your time of need. Stay safe this storm season!
With another round of snow forecast for this coming weekend, this is the time to talk about our winter weather. Not only can several inches of snow be an inconvenience but so can the winds that come along with it. A severe snowstorm that has strong sustained winds of at least 35 mph and that last for three or more hours is considered a blizzard. Not only can this type of storm cause damage to your home but it can also bring whiteout conditions making it extremely unsafe to travel.
It is recommended to keep an emergency kit stocked for your home and your car as well. For your home kit you should include candles, flashlights, warm blankets, non-perishable food, drinking water, and a backup heat source just to name a few. In case you must travel during a blizzard, although it is not recommended, your kit should include water, jumper cables, road flares, tow rope, and non-perishable snacks. This kit comes in handy should your car break down, you get into an accident, or become stuck in the snow. It is important that you stay with your car unless you see a building nearby.
I hope everyone stays safe and keeps warm this winter!
Storm Damage Restoration
Along with fire and water damage restoration SERVPRO of Burlington also provides storm damage cleanup and restoration. Once the storm has passed we will respond quickly to assess your needs and get the restoration process started. A quick response helps prevent secondary damage and also helps to reduce restoration costs.
We are a trusted leader in the storm and water damage industry and our technicians have the advanced training and expertise to return your home back to pre-storm condition. Along with advanced training we also have a lot of hands-on experience and advanced equipment to help in the restoration process. Along with helping out locally we can also access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. Don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington for all your storm damage needs. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."
This time of the year is the perfect time to talk about ice storms because our area is prime for freezing rain and they most often occur during the months of December and January. Annually we have on average 12-15 hours of freezing rain. Something you may not know about ice storms is that urban areas tend to suffer more economic and physical damage than rural areas because of the concentration of utilities and transportation systems.
According to most meteorologists, just one-quarter of an inch of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds of weight per line span. This can cause falling branches and can also tear down power and telephone lines. If more than a half-inch of ice occurs and damage is widespread, it can take a while to remove trees and repair power lines. This can result in a loss of electricity and heat for several days. This is why it is important to make sure you have an emergency kit filled with flashlights, battery-powered radios, candles, and matches just to name a few items. Stay safe this winter season!
Iowa weather can change very quickly from day to day especially at this time of year when one day it could be blistering hot and the next day cold and rainy. This is why you should always be prepared when it comes to storms because you never know when they could pop up. On average, Iowa sees close to 50 tornadoes and hundreds of severe thunderstorms yearly. Some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family during a storm is to watch the weather, unplug any electrical equipment, stay away from water, and stay inside for at least thirty minutes after hearing the last peal of thunder. Once it is safe to do so assess your home and property and determine if you need help. SERVPRO is here 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We will respond quickly to get the damage restoration process started. We are only a call away and can make your storm damage "Like it never even happened."
According to the Insurance Information Institute lightning strikes cost $790 million in insured losses in 2015. A majority of the time lightning strikes can land on or near residences which can wreak havoc on the home's electrical system, appliances, or electronics. Listed are several ways you can protect your house from lightning damage.
- Invest in lightning protection such as a lightning protection system which creates a pathway for lightning bolts, guiding them safely into the ground.
- Make sure you install surge protection devices. Lightning strikes on or near a power line or utility service are a frequent cause of power surges. Surge protection devices such as a point of use or service entrance don't suppress or arrest a surge but instead they divert the surge to the ground.
- Make sure you hire a professional to install this kind of system. This is not a do-it-yourself task due to all the intricacies involved in completing the job accurately.
- Make sure the person who installs your system uses only products that bear proof of UL certification. This ensures the equipment complies with national industry standards.
- If you move into a home that already has this type of system in place or you want to do structural repairs that could compromise your system you should have it checked out by a third-party independent follow-up inspector to ensure it still properly stands up to strikes.
- Last but not least make sure you safeguard yourself. During the storm, inside is the safest place to be and don't touch anything that can conduct electricity such as electrical appliances, metal surfaces, anything connected to your plumbing system, or anything severed by gas lines such as your water heater or stove.
Should you find yourself in a situation where your home is damaged by lightning during a storm call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will make the damage "Like it never even happened."
Emergency Supply Kit
With storm season coming up it's best to be prepared in case of an emergency. One way to be prepared is to put together an emergency supply kit so that you and your family can survive on your own if need be for a few days. The following are just some recommended items that should go in your kit.
Make sure you have on gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid Kit
Whistle to signal for help
Sanitation and personal hygiene itmes
Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
Cell phone with chargers
Important family documents in a waterproof container
Any other items for unique family needs such as food and water for pets, medications, and infant formula or diapers just to list a few
Make sure you maintain this kit by keeping canned food in a cool, dry place. Replace expired items as needed. You should also re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.
Should you find any damage after the storm has cleared call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington who will respond immediately to help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
Tips to Follow During a Winter Storm
I went over how to prepare for a winter storm and what to do afterwards. Now I am going to list some tips for when you are in the middle of a winter storm that can help keep you and your family safe.
1. Stay indoors and only drive if it is absolutely necessary. If you must go out make sure you stick to the main roads and let others know where you are headed. Should you get stuck, stay with your vehicle and wait for help.
2. If you must go outside, walk carefully on snowy and icy walkways, wear mittens and a hat, and watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. When shoveling snow avoid overexertion by taking breaks and pushing the snow instead of lifting it.
3. Listen to the radio or television for updates on the weather conditions.
4. You can also conserve heat by closing off some rooms and keep family close for sleeping.
After a Winter Storm
Winter storms can cause a lot of damage. Once it is safe to do so you should check your property to see if anything needs repaired before it becomes a bigger problem. Following is a list of what you should check for possible damage.
1. The Roof- Winter storms can do a lot of damage to your roof. Repair any leaks found to prevent a complete roof replacement. Also make sure that your roof has no loose or missing shingles.
2. Attic- After checking the roof you should check to attic to make sure you didn't miss any openings in the roof.
3. Gutters- Ice dams can pull gutters away from the roofline.
4. House Exterior- Cold and snow can do a number on the outside of your house and can result in peeling paint if left long enough. If paint has peeled enough it can cause moisture to begin to infiltrate which can then cause the wood to begin rotting. It's recommended to repaint your exterior in the spring to help prevent these problems.
5. Foundation- Water can collect in cracks and then when the temperature goes below freezing that water will freeze and cause the cracks to widen. Repairing this in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing.
6. Trees- Storms can knock down tree limbs which has the potential to take out power lines and damage siding.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
1. Protect pipes from freezing
2. Make sure your heating sources are clean and in working order
3. Make sure your home is properly insulated
4. Consider buying emergency heating equipment
5. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates
6. Be prepared to evacuate if you lose power or heat
7. Check emergency kit to make sure nothing is missing or in short supply
8. Bring your animals inside and make sure livestock has access to shelter, food, and non-frozen water
9. Have a three day supply of water
10. Purchase a supply of flashlights
11. Make sure you have plenty of blankets
Follow these tips and you can ensure that you and your family will remain safe if a winter storm were to hit your area.
What to do in a severe storm/tornado?
Let us help you when you are impacted by a storm!
Southeast Iowa lies in tornado alley, so I'm sure we are all too familiar with the sounds of tornado sirens. Tornadoes are caused when hot and cold temperatures meet, and Iowa's hot/humid climate is the perfect recipe for a strong storm or tornado. Like any typical Midwest summer, we have recently had several severe storms come through our area, inevitably causing some damage in its path. Heavy storms can bring dangerous winds, flash flooding, and downed power lines or trees. SERVPRO is equipped with trained technicians and proper equipment to handle these situations. If you find yourself in the midst of a storm, take the appropriate actions to ensure you and your family are safe. After the storm has passed, assess your home and property. Storm damage can be devastating, but SERVPRO is here 24 hours a day if you need help.