How to Prepare Your Home for Storm Flooding
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Storm flooding can cause extensive damage to your home and possessions, but with proper preparation and planning, you can significantly reduce the risk and mitigate potential losses. This blog post will guide you through the essential steps to prepare for storm flooding in your home, ensuring your safety and safeguarding your property.
Understand Your Risk: Before taking any action, it's crucial to understand the level of risk your area faces regarding storm flooding. Research local flood maps and consult your local authorities or emergency management agencies to determine the likelihood of flooding in your neighborhood. This information will help you make informed decisions about preparation.
Create an Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essentials like non-perishable food, clean water, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, and important documents. Store this kit in a waterproof container that is easily accessible.
Develop a Family Emergency Plan: Discuss and establish a family emergency plan. Everyone in your household should know what to do in case of flooding, where to meet, and how to contact each other. Assign roles and responsibilities, and practice evacuation procedures.
Elevate Electrical Systems: Electrical systems, such as outlets, circuit breakers, and switches, should be raised above the expected flood level in your area. Consult with an electrician to make necessary adjustments and install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electrical shocks.
Install Sump Pumps: A sump pump can help prevent water from accumulating in your basement. Ensure it is in good working condition and has a backup power source, such as a battery or generator, in case of power outages.
Waterproof Your Basement: Seal any cracks in your foundation and walls to prevent water from seeping in. Use waterproof paint or coatings on basement walls and floors. Consider elevating valuable items stored in your basement.
Elevate Appliances: If you live in a flood-prone area, elevate your appliances like the washer, dryer, and HVAC systems to prevent water damage. Secure them properly and consult with professionals if needed.
Install Flood Vents: Flood vents can allow water to flow in and out of your home, reducing structural damage. Consult a professional to determine the right type and placement of flood vents for your home.
Consider Flood Insurance: Regular homeowner's insurance typically does not cover flood damage. Investigate and purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers. Remember that there may be a waiting period before it takes effect.
Secure Outdoor Items: Before a storm, bring in or secure outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that could become projectiles during high winds. Clear gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.
Create a Home Inventory: Compile a list of your possessions, including photos and descriptions. Store this inventory in a safe place, such as a waterproof container or cloud storage. It will be valuable for insurance claims.
Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest weather forecasts and warnings. Sign up for emergency alerts from local authorities and have a weather radio on hand to receive information during power outages.
Preparing for storm flooding in your home is a proactive step in safeguarding your family and property. By understanding your risk, planning ahead, and implementing preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the impact of flooding and make the recovery process smoother. Remember to stay vigilant and adapt your preparations as needed to address your specific circumstances and location.
SERVPRO Team Lutz is there to help you in your time of need. Call our office at 215.368.4110. There is someone waiting to help you 24/7.
Call SERVPRO, Let the Professionals Help!
Let us help you minimize the affects a water damage can have on your business. Call us at 215-368-4110!
Using a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO Team Lutz is often the wisest choice for businesses facing water damage or flooding, as there are several compelling reasons why this approach is superior to attempting the work themselves:
Expertise and Experience: SERVPRO Team Lutz employ professionals with extensive training and experience in dealing with various types of water damage, including flood, sewage backup, and leaks. WE understand the best practices, advanced techniques, and equipment needed to efficiently and effectively mitigate damage.
Speedy Response: Water damage can escalate rapidly, leading to structural damage, mold growth, and other long-term issues if not addressed promptly. We offer 24/7 emergency services and can respond quickly to minimize the damage and reduce business downtime.
Specialized Equipment: SERVPRO invests in state-of-the-art equipment, including industrial-strength pumps, dehumidifiers, air movers, and moisture meters. These tools are essential for effectively removing water, drying affected areas, and preventing mold and secondary damage.
Comprehensive Assessment: SERVPRO's professional restoration experts conduct a thorough assessment of the damage, identifying hidden pockets of moisture that may not be visible to the untrained eye. This ensures that all areas are properly dried and restored, reducing the risk of long-term issues.
Mold Prevention: Water damage often leads to mold growth if not adequately addressed. SERVPRO Team Lutz is skilled in identifying conditions conducive to mold and taking measures to prevent its development, such as proper drying, dehumidification, and mold remediation.
Health and Safety: Handling water damage can expose individuals to health hazards, such as contaminated water, sewage, and mold spores. SERVPRO has the knowledge and equipment to safely manage these risks, protecting the health of both employees and customers.
Insurance Claim Assistance: SERVPRO Team Lutz is experienced in working with insurance companies to facilitate claims and ensure that you receive the compensation you're entitled to. They can document the damage comprehensively, providing the necessary evidence to support your claim.
Minimized Business Interruption: Businesses depend on continuity. Hiring professionals like us can significantly reduce downtime, as they have the resources and expertise to work quickly and efficiently. The sooner your business is back up and running, the less impact there is on your bottom line.
Peace of Mind: Dealing with water damage is a stressful and time-consuming process. Hiring SERVPRO Team Lutz allows business owners and employees to focus on their core tasks and responsibilities, knowing that the experts are handling the restoration work.
Using SERVPRO Team Lutz for commercial water damage is a smart decision. It ensures a thorough and efficient restoration process, minimizes risks, and allows businesses to resume operations as quickly as possible. Ultimately, the cost of hiring professionals is often justified by the savings in time, money, and stress in the long run.
Why your Business Should Have an ERP
An Emergency Ready Plan can protect your business and employees. We can help you plan!
Businesses should have an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) in place for various compelling reasons:
Protecting Lives: The safety and well-being of employees, customers, and visitors are paramount. An ERP provides guidance on how to evacuate, seek shelter, or respond to emergencies, potentially saving lives.
Minimizing Injuries: An ERP helps employees understand how to respond to emergencies safely, reducing the risk of injuries. This can include procedures for handling hazardous materials, fire safety, or severe weather protocols.
Reducing Property Damage: In the event of a disaster or emergency, having a plan in place can minimize damage to physical assets, equipment, and inventory. Quick and effective action can help protect valuable property and minimize financial losses.
Business Continuity: An ERP outlines how to maintain essential operations during and after an emergency. This can include backup power sources, offsite data storage, and communication plans to ensure that the business can continue to function.
Mitigating Financial Losses: Disasters and emergencies can lead to significant financial losses. Having a plan can help a business navigate insurance claims, recover more quickly, and avoid prolonged downtime.
Reputation Management: How a business responds to emergencies can significantly impact its reputation. A well-executed ERP demonstrates responsible management and concern for the community, customers, and employees.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions require businesses to have emergency plans in place, especially if they handle hazardous materials, serve the public, or operate in certain industries. Non-compliance can lead to fines and legal issues.
Improved Employee Morale: Employees feel safer and more valued when their workplace has an ERP. They know their well-being is a priority, which can enhance morale and retention.
Community Responsibility: Being prepared for emergencies is a responsibility not just to the business but also to the community in which it operates. An ERP can help protect not only your interests but also those of your neighbors.
Adaptability: An ERP should be adaptable to various scenarios, from natural disasters to workplace accidents to public health emergencies like pandemics. Being ready for multiple situations ensures that your business can weather different storms.
Peace of Mind: Knowing that your business has a plan in place can provide peace of mind to both you as a business owner and to your employees. In times of crisis, having a well-structured plan to follow can alleviate stress and anxiety.
Insurance Premiums: Having an ERP can lead to potential reductions in insurance premiums, as insurers often see preparedness as a sign of reduced risk.
Having an Emergency Ready Plan is essential for the safety of your employees and customers, the protection of your assets, the continuity of your business, and your legal compliance. It's a proactive step that not only safeguards lives and property but also helps in managing the many risks and challenges that businesses face in an ever-changing world. Let SERVPRO Team Lutz help you with this free of charge. We care about your business and your employees. Call us today at 215-368-4110
What to do after a storm
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Preparing for SERVPRO Team Lutz after a storm can help streamline the process and ensure a quicker recovery. Here are some of the best ways to prepare:
Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance provider immediately after the storm to initiate the claims process. Understand your policy coverage and any specific requirements or documentation needed.
Document the damage: Take detailed photographs and videos of the damage caused by the storm. This documentation will serve as evidence for your insurance claim and help the restoration company understand the extent of the damage.
Ensure safety: Safety should be your top priority. Assess your property for any potential hazards, such as downed power lines, gas leaks, or structural damage. If you identify any hazards, evacuate the area and contact the appropriate authorities.
Secure the property: If possible, take steps to secure your property to prevent further damage. Cover broken windows with plastic sheets or boards, tarp roofs to prevent water intrusion, and secure any vulnerable areas.
Gather important documents: Collect important documents like insurance policies, identification, and any relevant contact information. Keep these documents in a safe, easily accessible place, so you can provide them to the restoration company or your insurance company when needed.
Make a list of damaged items: Create an inventory of damaged items, including their approximate value, make, model, and age. This will help during the claims process and ensure you receive adequate compensation for your losses.
Take preventive measures: Before the storm, consider taking preventive measures such as trimming trees near your property, reinforcing windows, and securing outdoor furniture and equipment. These precautions can minimize potential damage.
Communicate with SERVPRO Team Lutz: Establish clear communication. Provide us necessary information, including insurance details, claim numbers, and preferred points of contact. Ensure we are aware of any specific requirements or concerns you may have.
Follow safety guidelines: During the restoration process, adhere to all safety guidelines provided by the restoration company. This may include staying out of certain areas, wearing protective gear, or temporarily relocating while work is being done.
Remember, every storm situation is unique, so it's crucial to consult with the professionals of SERVPRO Team Lutz and follow their guidance throughout the restoration process.
How to Prevent Flood Damage in Your Business
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Preventing flood damage in your business is crucial to safeguard your property, assets, and operations. While it's impossible to eliminate the risk entirely, here are some measures you can take to minimize the potential for flood damage:
Understand Your Property's Vulnerabilities: Assess your business property to identify areas prone to flooding. Look for signs of poor drainage, cracks in the foundation, or areas where water can accumulate. Understanding these vulnerabilities will help you develop a targeted prevention plan.
Maintain Proper Drainage Systems: Ensure that your property's drainage systems, including gutters, downspouts, and drains, are clear of debris and functioning effectively. Regularly clean and inspect them to prevent blockages and ensure water flows away from your building.
Install Flood Barriers and Sealing Systems: Consider installing flood barriers or flood-resistant seals around doorways, windows, and other vulnerable openings. These barriers can help prevent water intrusion during flooding events.
Elevate Equipment and Utilities: Keep electrical panels, heating systems, and other critical equipment elevated above ground level. If possible, relocate them to higher floors or install them on raised platforms to minimize potential damage from floodwaters.
Waterproof Basement Areas: If your business has a basement, ensure it is properly waterproofed. Use waterproof coatings on walls and floors, install sump pumps to drain excess water, and consider adding a backup power source to keep the pumps operational during power outages.
Implement a Flood Emergency Plan: Develop a comprehensive flood emergency plan that includes evacuation routes, emergency contacts, and procedures for shutting off utilities. Train your employees on the plan and conduct regular drills to ensure everyone is prepared in case of a flood.
Secure Important Documents and Data: Store important documents, contracts, and sensitive data in waterproof containers or off-site in digital formats. This will help protect critical information from water damage and allow for easier recovery in case of a flood.
Regular Maintenance and Inspections: Conduct routine inspections of your property, including roofs, walls, and plumbing systems. Address any issues promptly, such as roof leaks or pipe leaks, to prevent water damage before it becomes a major problem.
Obtain Flood Insurance: Consult with your insurance provider to determine if your business is located in a flood-prone area and if you should invest in flood insurance. This coverage can provide financial protection and help you recover quickly in the event of flood damage.
Remember, proactive prevention is key to minimizing flood damage. By implementing these measures and staying prepared, you can significantly reduce the risk of flood-related disruptions to your business.
What To Do After a Fire in Your Home
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Experiencing a fire in your home can be a traumatic and overwhelming event. Once the fire is extinguished and everyone is safe, it's crucial to take immediate action to begin the process of recovery and restoration. Here are some important steps to take after a fire in your home:
Contact Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire and initiate the claims process. Provide them with detailed information about the damage and follow their instructions regarding documentation and next steps.
Ensure Safety: Before re-entering your home, wait for clearance from the fire department or relevant authorities to ensure it is safe to do so. They will assess the structural integrity and utilities to ensure there are no immediate risks.
Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of the damage caused by the fire. This documentation will be helpful during the insurance claim process and when working with restoration professionals.
Secure Your Property: If necessary, secure your property by boarding up windows, doors, or other openings to protect it from further damage and unauthorized access.
Contact Restoration Professionals: Engage the services of a reputable fire restoration company. They will assess the damage, create a comprehensive restoration plan, and work to restore your home to its pre-fire condition. They will handle tasks such as debris removal, cleaning, smoke odor removal, and structural repairs.
Salvage Valuables: If it's safe to do so, retrieve any valuable items that were not significantly damaged by the fire or water used for firefighting. This may include important documents, jewelry, or sentimental items. However, avoid entering the property or handling items that may be hazardous due to smoke, soot, or water damage.
Address Immediate Needs: Make arrangements for temporary housing if your home is uninhabitable. Contact your utility providers to suspend services until the property is restored, and notify your postal service to forward your mail to a temporary address.
Communicate with Relevant Parties: Inform your family, friends, and employer about the situation and provide them with updated contact information. Inform your child's school about the situation as well.
Begin the Cleanup Process: Work with your restoration professionals to initiate the cleaning and restoration process. This may involve removing debris, drying out the property, cleaning soot and smoke residue, and addressing water damage.
Review and Update Safety Measures: Take this opportunity to review your home's fire safety measures. Install or replace smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors as needed. Develop or update a fire escape plan and ensure everyone in the household is familiar with it.
Remember to take care of yourself and your family during this challenging time. Lean on your local SERVPRO Team Lutz to assist you through this process. With patience and the help of professionals like SERVPRO Team Lutz, you can gradually restore your home and move forward from the fire incident.
Time to Check Your Water Heater
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Maintaining your hot water heater may increase the efficiency and possibly the life span. Here are a few things you can do to help.
There is a valve located near the top of the water heater called a TPR valve. This valve will have a pipe leading away from it. Be sure to place a bucket under the pipe and shut of the power and the cold water supply, Then lift the valve to let a little of the water out and let go. If the water does not stop flowing then the valve will need to be replaced.
Wrap the tank with and pipes. Don't forget to wrap the cold water pipes as well as this will prevent the pipes from condensation in the summer.
Draining the tank and washing out the sediment until clear water comes out will increase the lifespan of the heater. This should be done yearly.
Check to see if the anode rod needs to be replaced every year.
SERVPRO Team Lutz is a professional restoration company that will always be here in your time of need. Call us at 215.368.4110!
6 Common Roof Leaks
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When it comes to roof leaks, even the smallest of consistent drips can cause major water damage. This makes stopping any of these potential leaks of paramount importance. But in order to stop these leaks, you need to know where to look and what to look for. Here are the six most common spots where you may find leaks in your home.
Around the Chimney
While it may seem like your roof and chimney are one single entity, they’re actually not. They are connected using strips of flashing which covers the large gaps between the roof and chimney. This flashing often is a primary source of leaks in the home. Over time, this flashing might pull away from the brick or rust. It’s generally easy to spot this when it happens so if you have a leak and the flashing is pulled away from the brick, you’ll know where the leak is originating.
The shingles on your roof serve many functions for your home. One way they protect your home is by ensuring the heat or cold doesn’t get into your home. Another way it protects your roof is by keeping water out which helps you avoid potentially dangerous water damage. However, as much as these shingles protect you, they can be damaged by old age or a big storm. If the shingles are damaged or missing, water may be able to seep into the underlayment and sheathing which can then cause leaks inside the home. To make sure you’re not in danger of these leaks and subsequent water damage, look for the signs of damaged shingles which include lost granules, curling or buckling shingles, or obvious missing spots.
The gutters that stretch around your roof likely collect leaves, pine needles, and other debris as it falls from overhanging trees. This debris can clog or damage the gutters causing water to collect when it rains. The standing water can then back up in the gutters and cause leaks to occur. People failing to clean their gutters is one of the most common causes of water leaks. But there are other potential dangers. The water can freeze and that has the potential to cause many other problems. Even if you don’t expect that there are leaks, you should clean out your gutters regularly to ensure they don’t clog or become damaged.
Unless you have a flat roof, there will probably be spots on your roof where two different planes will intersect. The line where these planes meet is commonly referred to as a valley. These valleys may be covered with flashing, rolled roofing, or some other material depending on where you live. These valleys can be potential dangers because water tends to collect in these low areas and any potential problems with its covering can allow water to seep into the house causing significant water damage.
Ice dams are potential problems in cold climates in which snow that accumulates on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof underneath the blanket of snow that insulates the roof. This causes a dam of ice to build up on the edge of the roof and catch melted snow rather than allowing it to run off as it should. This backup of water has the potential to cause major leaks in your roof and cause significant water damage in your home.
Any objects that extend above the roof such as vents, pipes, or other penetrations have the potential to cause leaks in the roof. Most of these objects will have flashing around them to connect them to the roof so it’s important to check the flashing to ensure that there’s no rust or loose spots on or around it. As flashing is a primary source of leaks in homes, this has the potential to cause serious water damage to your home.
Leaks, even minuscule ones, have the ability to cause major water damage to your home. Most of these leaks originate from the roof and allows water to drip down into the attic or walls which can be difficult to see until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to be vigilant of any potential problems. If you suffer water damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO Team Lutz to remediate the problem.
Wate Removal is the First Step in Drying Out Your Business
SERVPRO manages all types of devices for water removal from commercial properties--like this injecti-dry system. We prevented demolition.
SERVPRO works with area business owners after disasters happen. These situations can start with leaks, backed-up drains, or a broken sprinkler system. The complete restoration of a business requires water removal first.
To protect your business, water professionals must start the process as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage caused by water spreading continues to worsen. We use the most efficient and powerful equipment possible to do our tasks.
Because we continue the water extraction process until we get the interior of your business dry again, our pump trucks’ large hoses are not the only things we use. Our customers also see different portable water extraction units, such as:
- Hand-held devices, portable wet vacs
- Weighted devices, riding (Rovers) machines
- A floor-mat system.
One type of device is so small it can fit into places that can hold large amounts of water that was forced into small spaces. Once in, this bonded water is no longer under the pressure that forced it into whichever area it now occupies. The small tubes on these injecti-dry system does the job.
Using weighted devices to pull clean water out of your carpeting and the underlying padding can reduce restoration costs by saving the carpet and reducing what needs replacing. These work by forcing the water out and into the device. We might use a small-sized device called the Claw or riding units for larger areas and hallways.
Wood floors are beautiful, but they also require a substantial investment. To rescue these from destruction, we use our Injecti-Dry system. It removes moisture from underneath the floorboards and can also force warm, dry air into enclosed spaces, including the interior cavities of walls or underneath cabinets and stairwells.
We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster. Call SERVPRO Team Lutz at 215.368.4110 for the professional water removal services you need.
Why Professional Restoration Is a Wise Choice for Water Damage in Your Home
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There are certain things that every homeowner worries about at one time or another. Among these is the possibility of falling victim to a natural disaster like a fire or flood. While these circumstances always remain a possibility with the appropriate conditions, internal water emergencies are often far more likely and frequent than any more detrimental disasters.
While water damage to your home might come from several different sources, cleaning up this damage and restoring its effects is a similar process across the board. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that even moderate water emergencies can get taken care of with conventional drying techniques and that the problem is in the past. Unfortunately, without properly cleaning up water damage and drying the area thoroughly, you could be allowing worsening losses to occur.
Fortunately, our SERVPRO technicians get trained to handle all manner of water emergencies and ensure that the job gets done right. This restoration process begins with a thorough inspection of the immediate damage. We also use thermal imagery to inspect the areas that are out of the line of sight for persistent moisture, and a broader range of damage you could not initially tell was there.
Working quickly to dry the area and clean up the mess are both standard practices of our SERVPRO professionals. Once the site has gotten sufficiently dried using air movers and dehumidification equipment, a better inspection can occur with your home's structural components and building materials to ensure that they are as strong and stable as they should be. Overly damaged materials might require removal and reinstallation to complete the restoration process.
Water damage in your home might come from many potential sources, but overcoming the effects is rarely something that you should handle on your own. Even smaller-scale water damage can have severe impacts on your home if the appropriate, thorough measures do not get taken to ensure the area is cleaned and dried adequately. Trust our SERVPRO Team Lutz technicians to help you through every possible effect of water damage. You can reach us anything by calling 215.368.4110.