Recent Storm Damage Posts
SERVPRO of Oak Park/ Ferndale Storm Services
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 Oak Park / Ferndale can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (248) 246-0790
Why Choose SERVPRO of Oak Park / Ferndale? We're Faster to Any Size Disaster
We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.
We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialist's
We are storm and water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-storm condition. Using advanced equipment and scientific drying techniques, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready.
We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
When a major storm hits, it may overwhelm local restoration companies. SERVPRO of Oak Park / Ferndale can scale our resources by accessing the equipment and personnel of 1,700 Franchises. We can also access Disaster Recovery Teams that specialize in major storms and catastrophic events.
Storms happen no matter where you live. Some can be the same routine storms we get every year, but sometimes we can get dangerous ones that cause serious issues. You should always be prepared for when a big storm hits. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
-Keep a battery powered radio with new batteries in your home. If the electricity goes out you want to be able to tune into the radio stations to get updates.
-Every floor of your home should have an accessible flashlight. Make sure to also keep keep fresh/extra batteries with the flashlights.
-Always keep a supply of candles for power outages.
-If living in a frequent storm area take extra precaution when it comes to your roof. Nail down or use adhesive on shingles to keep the shingles from blowing off or turning.
-Trees can be a big threat during a storm even healthy trees. Cut them back if necessary to avoid damage to your house if it were to fall.
-If you live in a hurricane prone area never leave the home during the storm. Always remember to seek high ground if flooding occurs.
-When warnings of a major storm arise you should always close shutters, board windows, or tape the inside of larger panes with an X. This will try and give the windows extra strength not to crack.
-Tornado's are opposite when it comes to the windows. You should leave windows slightly open if there is a tornado threat.
-The best shelter for a tornado is under ground. The basement can work, but you should stay away from gas pipes, and sewage pipes.
Storm Damage Handling
Major storms often bring violent weather, and with violent weather storm damage usually always occurs. Strong winds either from a storm or a tornado can cause chaos for a home or business owner. Knowing how to handle the situation if storm damage happens to your home or business could mean everything. It also helps when it comes to protecting not only your belongings, but your safety and the safety of others.
Storm damage can occur from a number of different things. Strong winds can cause shingles or tiles on roofs to become loose. Strong winds can uplift trees, or other objects that can be tossed on a roof causing impact. Wind is also but not always associated with rain. This is where the big issue lies when any type of damage is done to a roof. When dealing with a damaged roof this allows water or moisture to get inside of the home. This will cause damage to ceilings, walls, and even worse cause the potential for mold growth. Hail during a storm can also cause significant damage to a roof. Lightening is another one that can cause major damage to a home or business. It can cause branches to break off of trees, cause windows to shattered if hit, and also can start a fire.
**Handling the Issue**
Any type of damage to a home or business can be very overwhelming for anyone. Calling a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale will help with acting quickly on getting the problem solves, and minimize the impact the damage has on your home or business.
First thing a home or business owner should do is make sure the power to the home or business is shut off. Storm water can soak into walls reaching electrical wiring. This also could be done with the water supply if any pipes are broken, and or the sewage system is plugged/backed up.
This is where a professional restoration company comes into play. Our trained experts will do an examination of the home or business. We thoroughly check the properties interior and the exterior. We will work with your insurance company by taking photo's of the damage for insurance purposes, and following insurance polices.
Roofs are always hit the hardest when a storm rolls thru. Water damage can happen quickly whenever a roof is in need of repair. The roof will be inspected and repaired immediately in order to stop anymore water damage from occurring.
**The Clean Up*
Once the roof is taken care of temporary or permanently the clean up can start to happen. When cleaning up water we make sure every inch is dry using our professional expertise. We will pick the right equipment needed to get the job done. Whether it is using vacuums and pumps to remove the water, dehumidifiers and air movers to stop mold and mildew before it even happens, to generators if needed to operate our equipment. We will also take the necessary steps in making sure everything is done correctly. We will re-mediate any mold if the water has been sitting for any length of time. We will pull carpet or wet flooring if not salvageable, and disinfect hard surfaces, shampoo savable interiors, and deodorize to stop any odors.
When contacted as soon as the first notice of loss has happened we will be able to save your home or business from a bigger issue. Even the shortest of storms can do a big amount of damage. Our goal is to fix, clean, and get your property back to looking as good as new!!
Severe Weather and the Different Floods Associated With It
Severe Weather happens no matter where you are from. One major issue severe weather can bring is flooding. Did you know floods have became one of the top natural disasters right behind tornadoes? Floods have not only caused a lot of property damage in the United States, but it has also caused a lot of lives to be lost. Some regions experience these types of different flooding more than others. However at least one of these could happen even in the city you live in.
If you live in a state that has a coast boarding the ocean this more than likely has happened a time or two. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and tsunamis are usually associated with causing this type of flooding to occur. Coastal floods are caused by higher than average tides. Onshore winds and heavy rainfall cause the tides to worsen. In a hurricane 9 out of 10 deaths are caused by the fast moving waters these coastal floods produce and bring onshore.
Yup you guessed it! A river flood happens when a river overflows. A lot of rain in one place can cause this to happen. Along with tropical storms or hurricanes dumping its contents quickly, or even when the we get a big snow fall all winter and it finally melts.
Inland floods are very similar to river floods. In fact river floods can actually cause inland floods to occur. Inland flooding happens when the soil becomes to saturated that it cannot hold anymore rain. Steady rain over a prolonged time or heavy precipitation in a short period of time can cause this problem. Any area can be affected to this type of flooding.
Flash flooding is usually described as a heavy amount of rainfall happening over a period of time. Usually can be up to 6 hours. Flash floods can rip through mountain canyons, urban streets, and river bends sweeping up everything along the way. Flash floods in some cases don't even need heavy rain pour to happen. It can happen from any sudden release of water like the breaking up of an ice dam, or a dam failure.
If you ever caught in flood warning territories there are a few things you can do to try and stay safe.
- Make sure to pay attention to the radio or television about the flood
- Put together an emergency kit and make plans with you family on what to do
- Avoid contact with flood water it maybe contaminated with sewage, oil, gasoline, ect
- Move important items to higher ground
- Never build structures in a flood plain
- If you have time turn off and unplug utilities and electrical appliances
It's a Bird, it's a Plane, No, it's a HOUSE! How to Survive a Tornado
A Home Damaged by a Tornado in Lapeer, MI
Storm season is upon us and while we may not reside in “Tornado Alley,” Michigan still sees its fair share of tornadoes. Many of us have been bless to never have experienced an actual tornado, yet I’m sure we’ve all been under a tornado warning. Well we hope that none of you will be caught in one, SERVPRO wants to give you some tips and knowledge that can help save your life if you’re ever staring down a tornado.
First things first, what is a tornado and what causes them? A tornado is a violently rotating column of air which descends from a thunderstorm to the ground. No other weather phenomenon can match the fury and destructive power of a tornado. A tornado can destroy large buildings and lift 20-ton railroad cars right off the tracks. While scientist do not fully understand exactly how tornadoes are formed, they do know that a preceding supercell thunderstorm is needed. A supercell is an organized thunderstorm that contains very strong, rotating updraft. This rotation helps to produce severe weather events such as large hail, strong downbursts, and of course, tornadoes. Tornadoes form under a certain set of weather conditions in which three very different types of air need to come together in a specific way. It goes something like this:
Near the ground lies a layer of warm and humid air, along with strong south winds. Colder air and strong southwest winds lie in the atmosphere. Temperature and moisture differences between the surface and the upper levels create what is called instability, one of the necessary ingredient for tornado formation. Thank change in wind speed and the direction with height is known as wind shear. This is linked to the eventual development of rotation from which a tornado may form. A third layer of hot dry air becomes established between the warm, moist air at low levels and the cool, dry air upward. This hot layer acts as a cap and allows the warm air underneath to warm further, making the air even more unstable. Things start to happen when a storm system aloft moves east and begins to lift the various layers. Through this lifting process the cap is removed, in turn setting the stage for an explosive thunderstorm to develop as strong updrafts form. Complex interactions between the updraft and the surrounding winds may cause the updraft to begin rotating… and a tornado is born.
The Difference Between a Watch and A Warning
Your listening to the weather on the TV, your NOAA Weather Radio (don't got one? Get one!), or online. You hear that there’s a tornado watch/tornado warning. Do you know the difference? A tornado watch means that conditions are right for a tornado, and tornadoes are possible. This also means to remain alert and watch the sky. Watch for these danger signs that a tornado is immanent:
- Dark, greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if its rotating)
- A loud roar, similar to a freight train
If you are noticing any of these sign, you best take cover quickly. That brings us to a tornado warning. This means that a tornado has been spotted by a human eye or radar, and that it is moving towards you in the warning area. Take shelter immediately. Tornadoes are very unpredictable and just because it’s not on a bee-line course to you, doesn’t mean it won’t shift at any moment, change directions and end up in your backyard.
What to Do During a Tornado
So, a tornado warning has been issued and you’re directed to take cover immediately but you don’t know where to go for shelter… Here are the recommended safest places to go based on where you are:
- A Mobile Home/Trailer: Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of any nearby building or storm shelter. Even if the mobile home is equipped with a tie-down system cannot withstand the force of a tornado’s winds.
- A Vehicle: If you can safely drive away from tornado, please do so. If there’s a sturdy structure available, go inside, go to the lowest floor possible. If you don’t have time or not sure if you have time, or you’re not sure which way the tornado is moving, you can stay in the vehicle, park it but leaving it running so the airbags will work. The airbags and the frame can offer some amount of protection but this is not absolutely safe. The other option is to get out of the car and lay down inside a ditch. See more in “Outside with no Nearby Structure” for what to do here.
- A Structure/Building: Seek shelter in the lowest level of the building (basement, storm cellar). Bring with you your NOAA Weather Radio, so you can get all alerts and updates. If there isn’t a lower level, go to the inner most room on the ground floor. Often a bathroom or laundry room can make a suitable shelter area because the water pipes reinforce the walls, providing a sturdier structure. Put as many walls between you and the outside and stay away from windows and doors. Get down on your knees and use your hands to protect your head and neck from any falling debris. You can cushion yourself with a mattress, but don’t cover yourself. Stay inside until the your certain that the storm had passed, as multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.
- Outside with No Nearby Structure: Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head and neck with your hands. If you were in a vehicle, make sure you are far enough away from the vehicle so that it doesn’t tumble unto you. Beware of potential flooding in the ditch you are occupying. Do not get under an overpass or bridge, this will increase your risk of injury. You are safer in a low, flat location. Be aware of flying debris, a tornado can pick up significantly large objects and turn them into missiles. Flying debris causes the most tornado deaths.
You Survived a Tornado, Now What??
After a tornado passes and you need to take some additional safety measures. Wait some additional time to be sure that there are no additional tornadoes coming your way. Be careful as you leave you shelter, there might be some unseen damage and debris waiting for you on the other side of the doors. If your home or business has been damaged in the tornado, walk carefully around the outside and check for any injured or trapped people, and check for things like loose power lines, gas leaks, and general structural damage. Leave the area if you smell gas or if there is floodwater around the building. Call your insurance agent and file a claim. Take photos of all the damaged areas to your home, business, and/or vehicles. Call SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale as well, 248.246.0790, we will be out to your home ASAP, usually within 2-4 hours, and we’ll begin emergency services right away as we wait to hear from the insurance company to confirm coverage and obtain approvals. If the destruction to your home or business is extensive, don’t freak out and panic. The American Red Cross and other volunteer agencies will arrive to your area with food and water, and to set up temporary housing and shelters. Regardless the amount of damage your home or business has suffered from this storm, SERVPRO can help. “We are faster to any size disaster!”
Steps to Recovering after a Storm
Bad weather can spring up without much warning. Most of the time when a bad thunderstorm is threatening your area, you hardly have enough time to find shelter. As a homeowner, it is important to think about these moments before they occur.
Do you have the correct insurance policy? Is your home going to be covered in the event of a disaster? Is the amount of coverage going to be enough to restore your home? Thinking about these questions BEFORE the storm damage occurs can make your life after much easier.
Before you do anything else, stop and make sure your home is covered for the following:
Water and Windstorm Damage
Debris and Tree Removal
Sewer Backup Due to Flooding
Sump Pump Failure Due to Flooding
Additional Living Expenses in Case a Storm Forces You Out of Your Home
Once you have the proper home insurance coverage for storm damage, you can feel safer during the event of a tragedy. Seeing your home in ruins after a major storm can be heartbreaking. It can be difficult for families to know how to move on from this misfortune. The best thing you can do for your family and for your home is to begin storm damage recovery immediately. If you have suffered loss or damage because of bad weather, take the following steps on how to recover:
Take Pictures of the Damage
As soon as you are able, you need to start documenting the damage that has been done to your home. The trick to good storm damage recovery is keeping solid records of the damage. This includes noting any conversations that you have with your insurance agency and with the restoration company about the damage. You should be able to provide them with pictures and evidence of the destruction.
Make an Insurance Claim
It is crucial that you contact your home insurance agency immediately after your home suffers from storm damage. This is one of the biggest steps in storm damage recovery. Your homeowner’s insurance company should be able to provide you with support and structure for moving this process forward to restoring your home.
To start, you should find an exact copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy and determine if the damage exceeds your deductible. You will then need to work with your insurance company to get the necessary money and repairs completed. They will be able to refer you to local restoration companies, some may have preferred contractors that they will recommend, but the decision is ultimately yours as to who you chose to use. Once you have made your decision, report it back to your insurance company.
Finding a contractor that works directly with your insurance company is your best option, and it will save you time and hassle. Being the man in the middle of the two companies can be difficult. There are some contractors who make it their goal to work directly with your insurance company (SERVPRO is one of them) to improve communication during the project. This will take a lot of stress and pressure off you during this difficult time.
Make Temporary Repairs
Once all the proper claims have been made and the damage has been reported correctly, you can begin to make some temporary repairs. These repairs don’t have to be major reconstructions, and they don’t have to last your family forever. You can start by making your home livable again.
If you have suffered roof damage, place a tarp or plastic material over your roof to keep your home from being damaged further by additional rain. Begin the water mitigation process by having all the wet, destroyed materials removed and drying equipment put in place to prevent further damage from microbial growth. If you have lost a wall or large portion of your home, work on closing off that section of your house until you can do more permanent repairs.
Allow Your Family to Recover Slowly
Home repairs do not have to be completed all at one time. Storm damage can take several months to fully recover from and it is important to give your family the time that need. It might take a while before your home is fully restored to its former glory, but it is important that you take your time and get the job done correctly.
Call SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale if you find yourself victim of Mother Nature’s wrath. We are a preferred contractor for most insurance companies and we can work directly with any insurance company to take that stress off your hands, you have enough to worry about. Just give us a call at 248-246-0790 after your insurance claim has been made and we’ll handle the rest.
Flood Insurance Vs. Sewer Backup Coverage, Are you covered??
Flood insurance and sewer backup insurance are not the same thing, nor are they included in your standard homeowner’s policy. It is important to understand the difference between the two, whether you have them, and if you need one or the other… or both!
Floods are the most devastating natural disaster in the US each year causing billions in losses and displacing thousands. While flooding is a common concern for those near rivers and streams, all homes in the US can be caught off-guard by floods. Floods are defined as surface water that enters your home for the outside. A flood can be caused by spring run-off, melting snow, an overflowing river, lake or stream, or even a swimming pool. Excessive groundwater buildup that enters your home via leaks or seepage is also considered flooding.
Sewer back-ups occur when massive volumes of water overload a drainage system. Once the waste water rises above your basement drains, it pushes up into your home through not just those floor drains but your sinks, tubs and any other drainage outlet. Sewer back-up can be a smelly, filthy mess and can introduce black mold, harmful bacteria, and sewage waste into your home, creating health risks and extensive damage.
Both these events can be caused by heavy rainfall, and if you don’t have the proper coverage. you will be footing the bill for this. It is important to know what coverages you have. Based on where you live, one of these may not be logically for you to carry. Here are some facts flood insurance you should consider:
- All flood insurance policies are backed by the federal government, they set all rates.
- Flood insurance never covers contents in a basement. It only covers the basement’s foundation and drywall, it does not cover carpeting, paneling, or tile.
- Most flood insurance polices just cover the dwelling, in case the home is swept away in the flood.
- You can purchase flood insurance for the contents in the main floor, but it will increase your premium.
- Flood insurance will cover certain major appliances like furnaces, air conditioners, freezers, etc. but it will not cover stereos, televisions, furniture or other contents.
- Enter your address into FloodSmart.gov’s One Step Flood Risk Profile tool and the site will tell you how likely it is that your property will be flooded
- There’s a limit on government coverage.You can get upwards of $250,000 on the structure of your home, which in most parts of the U.S. is going to be enough.
- Flood insurance involves water coming into your home from rain, a river, a lake, or external source of water. Flood insurance does not cover water sewer backup, even though this may be caused by excessive rain water.
Sewer back-up coverage can be added as an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. This endorsement covers physical loss to property covered by your policy if the loss is caused by a discharge of water or waterborne material from a sewer, drain or sump. For a loss to be covered, the sewer, drain or sump must be located on premises listed in the endorsement. Here are some facts to consider:
- Sewer back-ups are somewhat a common occurrence.
- The cost can vary, but the typical sewer backup endorsement will cost under $100.
- With sewer backup, you purchase specific amounts of coverage, i.e. $10,000; $15,000 or $20,000. This helps cover the cost of cleaning and mitigating the damage caused from the backup as well as replacing carpets, drywall, personal contents, even cleaning ducts.
- There are some exclusions to the endorsement, one being floods, as well as poor maintenance, power failure, nor will it cover the cost of repairing the sewer or drain.
- Metro Detroit residences should all carry sewer backup coverage, especially if they plan to finish their basement and keep a lot of stuff in there.
Understanding the difference between these two add-on coverage's in lieu of your homeowner’s policy is very important and can save you thousands of dollars if South Eastern Michigan experiences more of the epic rainfall that happened August 2014. If you have more questions or don’t know what coverage you do have, call your insurance agent and find out. Ask questions, be informed. SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale had a lot of customers that found themselves coming out of pockets $30,000+ to repair their homes after that storm, we don’t want this to happen to you.
When Storms or Floods hit Metro Detroit, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Metro Detroit.
SERVPRO of Oak Park/Ferndale specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Metro Detroit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 248-246-0790