Recent Storm Damage Posts

Tips for Minimizing Water Damage During Hurricane Season

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO working on remediation In this blog, we will explore some valuable tips to help you protect your property from water damage during hurricane season.

Hurricane season brings with it the potential for significant water damage to homes and properties. As a homeowner, it is essential to take proactive steps to minimize the risk and impact of water damage during this time. In this blog, we will explore some valuable tips to help you protect your property from water damage during hurricane season.

Clear and Secure Gutters and Downspouts

Before hurricane season arrives, make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris. Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and accumulate near the foundation of your home, increasing the risk of flooding. Ensure downspouts are directed away from the foundation, allowing water to flow freely and reducing the chance of water seepage into your home.

Inspect and Maintain Your Roof

A well-maintained roof is your first line of defense against water damage during a hurricane. Inspect your roof for any loose or damaged shingles, cracks, or weakened areas. Address any necessary repairs promptly to prevent water from infiltrating your home. Consider having a professional roofer conduct a thorough inspection and reinforce vulnerable areas if needed.

Seal Doors and Windows

Leaking doors and windows can lead to significant water damage during a hurricane. Ensure they are properly sealed to keep water out. Replace worn-out weatherstripping and use caulking to seal any gaps or cracks. Consider installing storm shutters or impact-resistant windows to provide an added layer of protection.

Elevate Appliances and Utilities

If your home is located in an area prone to flooding, consider elevating appliances and utilities, such as your water heater, furnace, washer, and dryer. Raising these items can help prevent water damage in the event of a flood. Consult with a professional to determine the appropriate height for elevation.

Install a Sump Pump

A sump pump can be an effective tool for preventing or minimizing water damage during a hurricane. It helps remove excess water from your basement or lower levels of your home. Install a reliable sump pump system and ensure it is regularly maintained to ensure it functions properly when needed.

Keep Important Documents and Valuables Safe

Make digital copies of important documents such as insurance policies, identification papers, and photographs, and store them securely in the cloud or on external hard drives. Use waterproof and fire-resistant safes to protect physical documents and valuables. Having backups ensures you can quickly access vital information in the event of water damage or a natural disaster.

Create a Flood Emergency Plan

Prepare a flood emergency plan for your family. Identify evacuation routes, establish a communication plan, and designate a safe meeting place. Store emergency supplies, including non-perishable food, drinking water, flashlights, batteries, and a battery-operated weather radio. Stay informed about weather updates and heed evacuation orders issued by local authorities.

Contact a Professional Restoration Company

In the unfortunate event that your property does experience water damage during a hurricane, it is crucial to contact a professional restoration company like SERVPRO® immediately. Trained and experienced technicians will respond promptly to mitigate the damage and begin the restoration process. Professional restoration services can help salvage your belongings, prevent mold growth, and restore your home to its preloss condition.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk and impact of water damage during hurricane season. Remember that preparation is key, so take proactive measures to safeguard your property and have a plan in place. Stay informed, stay safe, and rely on the expertise of a trusted restoration company like SERVPRO for assistance with storm and water damage.

Understanding Wind Damage

1/8/2024 (Permalink)

Powerful winds can strike without warning, leaving in their wake a daunting path of destruction. One key aspect to navigating post-storm recovery, however, is understanding the extent of what wind damage can do. From SERVPRO®, specialists in wind damage restoration here's what you need to know.

Types of Wind Damage

  1. Roof Damage: Wind can lift shingles, creating pockets where water can later seep in. It can also hurl debris, such as branches, which can cause severe structural damage.
  2. Window and Door Damage: Strong gusts of wind can break windows or cause warping in door frames allowing elements like rain or hail to infiltrate your home.
  3. Structural Damage: In extreme cases, strong winds can cause structural damage to walls, outdoor sheds, or garages, compromising the strength of these elements.
  4. Downed Trees and Limbs: Storm winds can break tree limbs or uproot entire trees, causing damage to anything in their path, including houses, cars, and power lines.
  5. Vehicle Damage: Vehicles parked outdoors during a windstorm are at risk of being hit by flying debris or falling tree branches.

Tips for Mitigating Wind Damage

  • Secure Loose Items: Anything from trash cans to patio furnishings can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Secure loose items or move them indoors before a windstorm.
  • Trim Trees: Regular pruning of tree branches can prevent them from falling onto your property.
  • Inspect Your Roof: Conduct a regular check of your roof for loose or missing shingles, as these can be quickly stripped by wind, leaving your home vulnerable to rainfall.
  • Install Impact-Resistant Windows: These windows are designed to withstand high winds and can offer extra protection against storm damage.

In the aftermath of a windstorm, SERVPRO of North Fort Myers is always ready to help. With our 24/7 service, we are equipped to handle all dimensions of wind damage restoration, returning your home or business to its pre-disaster state in the shortest possible time. Our experts are known for transforming storm-affected properties back to their original condition - "Like it never even happened."

Weather Alerts and Emergency Notifications to stay Informed about Severe Weather

9/25/2023 (Permalink)

Severe weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms, can strike unexpectedly in the Southeast region. Staying informed about these weather conditions is vital for ensuring personal safety and preparedness. In this blog post, we will explore the different ways you can receive weather alerts and emergency notifications in the Southeast, enabling you to stay one step ahead and make informed decisions during severe weather events.

Local Weather Apps and Websites

In today's digital age, local weather apps and websites are invaluable tools for staying informed about weather conditions in your area. These services provide real-time weather updates, radar images, severe weather alerts, and forecasts specific to your location. Popular weather apps and websites include The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and the National Weather Service (NWS). By downloading these apps or visiting their websites, you can access the latest weather information at your fingertips.

Mobile Alerts and Text Messages

Mobile alerts and text messages are another effective way to receive weather notifications in the Southeast. Most wireless carriers provide free emergency alert services that automatically deliver important weather information to your mobile device. These alerts are issued by government agencies and weather organizations, ensuring that you receive critical updates directly to your phone. Ensure that you have enabled emergency alerts on your mobile device settings to receive these notifications.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations that provide continuous weather information 24/7. These stations broadcast weather forecasts, severe weather watches, warnings, and other emergency messages. NOAA Weather Radio receivers are available for purchase and are an excellent investment for staying informed during severe weather events, especially if you live in an area prone to power outages or have limited access to internet services.

Social Media and Online Communities

Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have become crucial sources of information during severe weather events. Many local news stations, emergency management agencies, and meteorologists actively share weather updates, alerts, and emergency notifications through their social media accounts. Following these accounts and engaging with online communities dedicated to weather updates can help you stay informed, gain real-time insights, and access valuable resources during severe weather events.

Local News and Radio Stations

Traditional media sources, such as local news stations and radio stations, remain reliable and accessible channels for receiving weather alerts and emergency notifications in the Southeast. Pay attention to weather reports and news bulletins during severe weather events. Many news stations now have mobile apps and websites that offer weather updates and live streaming, providing additional options for staying informed.

When it comes to severe weather events in the Southeast, staying informed is paramount for your safety and preparedness. By utilizing local weather apps and websites, enabling mobile alerts, investing in a NOAA Weather Radio, and following social media accounts, you can receive timely weather alerts and emergency notifications. Remember to always have multiple sources of information and to seek shelter or evacuate when instructed by local authorities. By staying informed, you can make well-informed decisions and protect yourself and your loved ones during severe weather events.

Navigating the Waiting Period: Steps to Take Before the Insurance Adjuster's Evaluation

6/18/2023 (Permalink)

When your property suffers storm damage, it's important to act swiftly and notify your insurance company to initiate the claims process. However, waiting for insurance adjusters to assess the damage and process your claim can take time. In this blog, we'll explore practical steps you can take to protect your property, ensure your safety, and expedite the recovery process while awaiting the arrival of insurance adjusters. 

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

When your property has been affected by storm damage, it's important not to wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive before taking action. Immediate action is crucial to mitigate further damage and ensure the safety of your property and its occupants. Storm damage, such as roof leaks or broken windows, can allow water to penetrate your home, leading to extensive water damage and potential mold growth. By taking prompt measures to protect your property, such as covering damaged areas, removing debris, and drying out affected spaces, you can prevent additional harm and demonstrate your commitment to mitigating the loss. Remember, your insurance adjuster will still need documentation and evidence of the damage, so it's essential to document everything through photographs and detailed descriptions. Acting promptly not only safeguards your property but also expedites the recovery process and ensures a smoother insurance claim experience. Let's dive in and discover what to do in the meantime.

Document the Damage

While waiting for insurance adjusters, it's crucial to thoroughly document the storm damage for your insurance claim. Take detailed photographs or videos of the affected areas, including structural damage, debris, and personal belongings. Make a comprehensive list of damaged items, noting their approximate value and any relevant details. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence during the claims process, helping ensure a fair assessment of the damage and a prompt settlement.

Mitigate Further Damage

To prevent further deterioration of your property, it's important to take immediate action to mitigate any potential secondary damage. If safe to do so, cover damaged areas with tarps or boards to protect against water intrusion. Clear debris, fallen branches, and any hazardous materials from your property. Additionally, turn off electricity and water supplies if you suspect any damage to electrical or plumbing systems. By taking these proactive measures, you can minimize the risk of additional harm to your property.

Maintain Open Communication

While waiting for insurance adjusters, maintain open and frequent communication with your insurance company. Keep a record of all interactions, including names, dates, and details discussed. Update your insurance provider with any significant developments or changes to the property's condition. Clear communication will help ensure that your claim progresses smoothly and that any necessary additional information or documentation is provided promptly.

Seek Professional Assistance

Engaging the services of a professional disaster restoration company can be invaluable while waiting for insurance adjusters. These experts specialize in storm damage restoration and can provide immediate assistance and guidance. They will conduct a thorough assessment of the damage, offer temporary repairs, and provide an estimate for the restoration work. Their expertise can help streamline the claims process by providing detailed documentation, estimates, and expert opinions to support your insurance claim.

Keep Detailed Records

Maintain meticulous records throughout the entire process. Keep track of all expenses related to temporary repairs, hotel stays, and additional living costs if your property is uninhabitable. Retain receipts, invoices, and any other relevant documents that demonstrate the extent of the damage and the expenses incurred. These records will help ensure that you are properly reimbursed for eligible expenses when settling your insurance claim.

While waiting for insurance adjusters to assess storm damage, taking proactive steps is essential. Documenting the damage, mitigating further harm, maintaining open communication, seeking professional assistance, and keeping detailed records will help expedite the recovery process and ensure a fair settlement for your insurance claim.

Things to check for in the Wake of a Natural Disaster

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

After a natural disaster strikes, it's important to stay safe and assess the damage. If a flood or natural disaster has damaged your home or property, there are a few things you should do right away. Assess the damage and call a restoration company immediately to help reduce cost and secondary damages.

Check for Damage to your Home

First thing you want to check is structural damage. If you notice that your home has sustained any damage, make sure to call a restoration company immediately. The sooner you discover the issue, the better it will be to mitigate any further damage and receive compensation for repairs.

Check for gas leaks. In the wake of a natural disaster, there is a chance that gas lines could have been damaged or severed by falling trees or other debris. If this happens to be the case in your home, turn off all appliances that use natural gas immediately and contact local authorities before attempting to repair them yourself as they may still be live with leaking fuels inside them.

Exterior of Home

Check the exterior of your home. Make sure doors and windows are still secure after heavy winds have passed through the area. This is important to ensure intruders can do access the property if needs to be left unattended.

Look around your house for signs of water damage. Check electrical outlets and power strips for sparks (an indicator of a possible electrical fault). Assess whether there is any flooding in basements or crawlspaces if possible. Check drains/sewers for blockages, to ensure there is no water backing up into your home. Look around foundation, it's common after major flooding events like hurricanes that flood waters can enter your home through ground level windows and doors.

Have a Emergency Plan

In case of emergency, ensure your family knows the emergency preparedness plan incase you have to evaluate the property. Have a safe spot to meet within the property, and if in need of emergency call 911 to ensure quick response to recover all persons.

Check the safety of Food and Water

If your home is damaged and you have been gone for an extended amount of time, it is important to check your safety of the food and water left behind. Check the expiration date on your food, temperature of your refrigerator and freezer, temperature of your water heater before using again and check the drinking water before consuming.

It’s important to look out for these things after a storm, so that you can take care of any issues right away. The more damage you find now, the less you’ll have to deal with later on when everything resumes normal operations. Give the professionals at SERVPRO of North Fort Myers a call at the first sign of water damage after a storm or natural disaster.

Property Management: Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded building Damaged business by a flood

Planning For the Worst-Case Scenario in Property Management

Storm preparedness and emergency planning are both tools in the property managers arsenal. These tools can be the difference between maintained business operations or complete shutdown. The four points below can guide you through the steps and the significance of emergency preparation.

1. Preplan for Disaster

As an owner or a manager, you may find that a significant part of property management revolves around employee safety and disaster prevention. Businesses require this type of preparation to help ensure business continuity; therefore, you will likely want to accumulate a list of contacts and operational procedures in case of an emergency.

2. Prepare an Emergency Checklist

Storm preparedness can be as simple as creating an emergency checklist for employees and clients. You can post this checklist around the property and make sure that every employee has a copy, ensuring that everyone will know what to do during an emergency. These lists should include maps to exits and shelter areas along with an action plan.

3. Practice Emergency Procedures Regularly

While the creation of preparation materials and checklists are a good starting point, these tools are nothing without regular practice and guidance. Many municipalities suggest performing monthly emergency walk-throughs and safety meetings. These monthly meetings will allow employees to ask questions and practice the developed safety routines while allowing management to rectify any potential concerns before a legitimate emergency.

4. Consider Restoration Specialists

When you think of the term restoration specialists, you may not immediately think of emergency preparations, but some restoration companies in Punta Gorda, FL, provide a form of emergency planning for businesses. These companies may offer property evaluations to help pinpoint safety concerns as well as offer custom plans for your business in the event of an emergency or disaster.

An essential aspect of most business planning is storm preparedness, but it goes beyond the installation of storm shutters and backflow valves.

Storm readiness means preparing for emergencies, not only from a business operations perspective but a safety perspective as well. Creating procedures and checklists as well as performing monthly meetings can all benefit your business and employees, ensuring that everyone and everything is prepared in emergent situations.

How To Remove and Prevent Standing Water in a Crawlspace

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

How to Get Rid of Standing Water in a Crawlspace and Prevent It

If you found standing water in your Fort Myers, FL, home's crawl space, you might want to ignore it. However, no matter how long it sits there, it's not going to go away on its own. Here is some equipment you can use to remove the water and ways to keep it from coming back.

Use a Trash Pump
If the water in your crawl space is from a flood, you likely have more than just water in your crawl space. Floodwaters pick up everything in their path, so your crawl space could be full of a number of things. Some items commonly found in floods are:

  • Clothes
  • Plants
  • Tree limbs
  • Garbage

If you tried to use a regular pump to remove the water, you'd likely find that it quickly gets clogged by these foreign objects. Instead, rely on a garbage pump. This type of equipment is designed to suck up water and small items without clogging.

Use a Truck-Mounted Pump
When flooding happens regularly in your crawl space, it could be happening because the water you're pumping out is going right back into the crawl space. When this happens, hire a company with a truck-mounted pump to remove the water for you. The company will pump the water and any debris in the crawl space into a tank on the back of their truck. They will then empty their tank in an approved location for disposal.

Install Preventative Measures
Instead of constantly hiring companies to pump the water out of your crawlspace, take measures to keep it from happening. Contact a water damage prevention service to install a sump pump in your crawl space or have them encapsulate the space. You never want to attempt to do the encapsulation yourself because it takes specialized equipment and training to ensure that it is done correctly.

Flooding in your crawl space is a hassle, but you can get the space clean and dry in no time with the proper hardware and help from the pros.

Ways To Prevent Mold After a Home Flood

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Mold growth is common after water damage. Addressing and repairing the source of the problem is critical to eliminating lingering odors and problems.

Mold Prevention After A Home Flood

As a homeowner, mold growth is a significant worry, especially after water damage. With a quick response and effective mitigation practices, flood remediation services in Punta Gorda, FL, explain that it is possible to avoid mold. Still, even if mold occurs after flooding, homeowners are not without options or solutions.

1. Remove Water Quickly

Removing water from the house is the first concern. With a significant water presence, it is nearly impossible to treat or remove any developing mold. Unfortunately, homeowners do not always have control over how quickly water is removed.

If the flood is a result of a storm, you will need to wait for the water to recede outside before removing it from the inside. Keep in mind that mold can begin to develop within 24 to 48 hours after a flood.

2. Perform a Flood Cut

With the water removed, it is time to assess possible mold growth. Professionals will perform a flood cut, which is a cut above the flood line by 12 inches. The cut is made to the wall, so the wall cavity is exposed. The purpose of cutting above the flood line is to find a dry structure.

3. Remove Debris

The mitigation company you hire will begin to remove all debris from the affected area, including insulation from within the wall. By removing all damp or affected materials, you can reduce your risk of mold.

4. Contact a Mold Removal or Mitigation Service

With all debris and water removed, you can hire a mold removal or testing service. The company will inspect your property for any signs of mold. If they find anything, they are qualified to remove it, reducing the risk of further contamination.

While mold growth after a flood is concerning, mitigation services understand how to protect your home. The goal is to find and expose all dry surfaces and remove or treat all wet ones.

3 Tips To Minimize Odors After a Flood

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

A room flooded It’s important to act quickly after a flood to minimize damage to your business. Please, contact SERVPRO.

3 Ways To Reduce Odors After A Flood

After a flood, getting your business cleaned and ready to reopen can be an overwhelming amount of work. One often-overlooked aspect of flood damage cleanup is dealing with the odors that typically linger after a flood. These odors are typically caused by contaminants in the flood water itself, as well as by the mold growth that usually begins shortly after the waters recede. Try these tips to rid your Solana, FL, business of unpleasant odors after a flood.

1. Act Quickly

It’s important to act quickly after a flood to minimize damage to your business. Evacuate the business, including any customers, clients, tenants, employees, and pets. You can contact your insurance agent and emergency cleanup crews even before the water recedes so that they can be on standby. In a flooding situation, time is always of the essence. The water often brings a host of contaminants into your building, and it only takes a matter of hours after the flood for mold growth to become rampant.

2. Protect Yourself

Flood water, especially water caused by storms or overflowing lakes and rivers, is often filled with dangerous contaminants. The water may contain all manner of chemicals, organic material, sewage loss from flooded and overflowing sewers, bacteria, and more. If you must re-enter the flooded building, wear protective gear and be careful to limit your exposure.

3. Enlist Professional Help

During a flood, highly contaminated water saturates and seeps deep into any porous materials in your business. Completely removing these contaminants and the resulting odors requires extensive training and specialized equipment. Be sure to call a professional flood remediation company, and don’t attempt to handle cleanup on your own.

Take immediate action and bring in professional remediation crews as soon as possible after a flood. Fast cleanup helps minimize offensive odors and mold growth in your business so you can get back to work sooner.

Commercial Content Cleaning Can Save Thousands After Flood Damage

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Office storm damage If your commercial building suffers flood or storm damage, call SERVPRO, we stand ready 24/7 to respond to the emergency needs of our customers

After A flood, Commercial Content Cleaning Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars.

After a flood in Punta Gorda, FL, your commercial building is likely to be a serious mess. Besides the damage to the structure, everything inside that the water touched must be inspected and cleaned.
The key to saving money is for your restoration experts to have a “restore” versus “replace” mentality. Their custom equipment and content cleaning solvents can frequently salvage and repair your contents instead of replacing them.

Content Replacement Can Be a Massive Cost

Many businesses in Punta Gorda, FL, have thousands of dollars worth of equipment and inventory inside their building. Much of this can be restored instead of replaced. This includes items such as:

  • Appliances and electronics
  • Stock and inventory
  • Documents and storage devices
  • Carpets and furniture

Electronics Can Be Tricky

If you can shut off your electronics before a flood, there’s a chance they can be restored. Also, quick action after the storm is critical to prevent further corrosion, but never attempt to turn on any water-damaged electronic device without it being inspected.

Appliances that are disconnected from power have a good chance to be recovered. Ideally, you’ll have turned off all the breakers before the flood hits.

Porous Items Can Sometimes Be Cleaned

Depending on the amount of black water mixed in, items such as carpets and furniture can often be saved with advanced content cleaning methods. The more porous the item is, the harder it is to clean. Inventory below the flood line will all have to be inspected, as well.

Saving Documents Usually Requires a Professional

Once documents get wet, they stick together, becoming a goopy mess. However, new innovations in document restoration mean many of them can be saved if you take immediate action.

Fortunately, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. They’ll arrive immediately and begin the process, even using freeze-drying and thermal vacuum technology to salvage every possible item. 

Expediency is the key here – you need to call your experts or insurance agent before the floodwaters have subsided. Content cleaning can save many items, a lot of money and considerable time compared to replacement. It all depends on the skill of your restoration company.