Recent Storm Damage Posts
The Taboo Subject of Storms
It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.
Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.
Our SERVPRO of Washington County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.
If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."
Flooding in YOUR Home
Don't think just because you don't reside in a flood means that you won't get flooding.
Even the driest areas can experience what are known as flash floods. Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days.
New construction in your neighborhood can even change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks.
The cost of flood damage is expensive. This cost can vary depending on the type of damage and where the water came from. Any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them. You can't stop a flood from damaging your home from the above situations but you can do some things to keep a flood from happening inside your home.
Here are some things to try:
• An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
• Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year.
• Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base.
• Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly.
• If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit.
• Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors.
• Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out.
• Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections.
• Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake.
You always see photos of homes and businesses boarding up before or after some kind of damaging event, but do you know why?
In the case of abandoned buildings, boarded up windows and doors are usually a measure to keep vandals or squatters out of the structure. However, in the event of damage or a loss, this process is to protect not only windows and doors from shattering, breaking, or failing in other ways, but to protect the structure itself.
Our professionally trained crews often times board up your home or business before or during mitigation and remediation to prevent any further damage.
If done incorrectly, the boarding up process could actually cause secondary damages such as additional moisture or even animal intrusion.
Whether it's fire, storm, or another kind of structural damage, boarding up can be just as dangerous as it is important. Especially if the damage or loss has already occurred.
The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, tornadoes.
While SERVPRO of Washington County is known to mitigate and remediate fire and water damage, don't forget that our teams are trained to deal with storm damage as well. Whether it's a tree on your roof, or a flooded basement, we are here to help!
With our incredible rebuild division, SERVPRO of Washington County should be your first call when it comes to recovering and rebuilding after a major storm event. We make it, "Like it never even happened."
Also be sure to keep up with us on all social media because we will tweet or post to Facebook or Instagram when our area is at risk for potential storm damage.
Staying Above Water
What is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the United States? If you answered floods, then you are well on your way to staying above water!
Floodsmart.gov reports that in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster.
If you get stuck in a flooding situation be sure to stay away from flood waters. A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet. If you're driving, turn around and don't drown! Most cars can get swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If waters are rapidly rising whilst you're driving on a flooded road, get out of your car and move yourself to higher ground. Value your safety first! Also be sure to keep children out and away from any flooding water zones.
Whether your home or business is near a coastline, in the city, the mountains, near a tiny river, or even in the desert...there is always potential for flood damage. Never having experienced a flood or flood damage does not mean you never will! 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk area. On average, flooding costs $3.5 billion in annual losses for the USA.
Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when it isn't treated quickly and properly. The cleanup can be overwhelming, but that is what SERVPRO of Washington County is here for. Our crews are trained to handle an size disaster. When you feel like you're drowning in water damage, SERVPRO helps you stay above water!
Flash Flood Warning vs Watch
We've definitely seen our fair share of summer storms so far this season, and plenty of those have come with a good bit of flash flood warnings and watches! Since SERVPRO of Washington County is one of the most reliable sources in the community for storm and water damage remediation, we figured it's only fair we provide you some flash flood facts. Knowing the difference between and warning and a watch could be the difference between being prepared and being at risk for flood damage.
When your local agencies (whether it be NWS or a local weather station) issue a flash flood/flood warning this means flooding is happening or will happen soon. When you see this warning, it means you should move to high ground or be prepared for flooding ASAP. Often times it is important to be aware of any announcements from local officials if the flooding is projected to be particularly severe.
When local agencies issue a flash flood/flood watch, it means that flooding is possible. Upon the release of this watch, you should be sure to stay tuned to radio or TV for more information about the potential severity of the flood, should the watch be converted into a warning.
We know this can seem confusing, but if you're connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, we are sure to clarify what and when each watch/warning means, when we can.
Maryland's Unpredictable Storms
Maryland blue crabs, black-eyed Susans, great blue herrings – Maryland is such a lovely state for so many reasons. One of the greatest things about our great state is that we get to experience the perfect amount of all four seasons. However, Maryland does come with its disadvantages as well. With a wide range of weather also comes completely unpredictable weather. How many other states can go from snowy to shorts and t-shirt temperatures overnight?
With all these crazy weather swings, Maryland experiences a lot of storms, especially in the summer! This summer, we have been riddled with storms. Many storm-lovers have been on cloud 9 as the beautiful clouds roll in and the thunder booms, but many other Maryland residents have unfortunately endured flooding, wind damage, and all sorts of other disasters to their spaces.
Storms have their ups and downs, but just know that even if you experience a major issue in your home or business, SERVPRO of Washington County will be there to help – rain or shine! We are faster to any size disaster!