Recent Storm Damage Posts
Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Flood
Commercial cleaning and restoration services in Langhorne, PA.
Flood Prevention Techniques
If your business in Langhorne, PA, is located in or near a high flood zone, flood insurance is a must. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be added to your commercial building insurance plan. There are some flood prevention techniques you should also consider to reduce the risk of flooding.
1. Determine Your Base Flood Elevation
This calculation, known as the BFE, determines if your lowest floor is above or below the acceptable flood level. If it is below acceptable levels consider elevating the building at least 3 feet above the BFE, if possible. Contact your county's floodplain administrator for details in determining your BFE.
2. Install Flood-Resistant Materials
Use materials that are flood-resistant wherever possible. Water-resistant wall coverings, flooring and wall insulation will reduce the risk of water damage. Most of these materials can handle contact with water for about 72 hours before extensive damage occurs.
3. Utilize Dry Floodproofing Techniques
Flood prevention techniques, such as dry floodproofing, help to make your building watertight and keep floodwaters from invading your building.
Water-resistant shields should be placed over doors and windows located at or below the BFE. Water-absorbent sandbags, plastic tarps and sheeting should be placed in strategic areas around the building before the storm hits. These devices help to stave off shallow floodwaters.
Permanent swing flood doors or temporary flood gates can be installed to prevent deeper water from entering your building.
4. Invest in Backup Electrical Power
Consider purchasing backup power for your mechanical equipment and air conditioning system. Humidifiers and blowers help dry out materials quickly. If you find yourself in need of flood cleaning after a storm, however, don't attempt to tackle the problem yourself. Contact a water restoration service as soon as possible.
By implementing some smart flood prevention techniques, you can reduce the risk of severe damage to your building.
Dangerous Scenarios During and After a Storm
People should not travel during bad weather
News reports are full of the many dangers that come with violent storms. Oftentimes these events lead to injury or even death for people caught in the middle of severe weather. A flooded street poses dangers for both pedestrians and drivers, while flooding is a problem for many homeowners in the area, so keep these tips in mind during a storm
When at all possible, people should not travel during bad weather. Lightning, hailstorms, and flooded roads all pose serious dangers to travelers. Drivers should heed the following precautions during a storm:
- Only go out when absolutely necessary
- Carry a cell phone at all times
- Let loved ones know the travel itinerary
- Call 911 in an emergency
Never drive through a flooded street. It can be difficult if not impossible to determine the depth and strength of water over roadways. If the water is moving quickly, it can easily sweep a person of his or her feet. Experts state that as little as 12 inches of water can carry away a small vehicle, while 2 feet of moving water will wash even bigger cars down the road.
Persons who get trapped in high water in a vehicle should vacate the car or truck if it is safe to do so and immediately head to higher ground. If the water is moving swiftly, they should remain with the automobile.
In addition to flooding the streets, it is more than likely the water will spill into the basements and ground floors of businesses and homes. When this happens, the services of a storm mitigation franchise can be indispensable. Trained technicians come to a property and work to bring a home back to normal. They use specialized equipment such as fans, vacuums, and air dryers to remove standing water, and know advanced techniques to get rid of odors, stains, and other forms of water damage.
Flooding in Penndel, PA, is bound to cause many problems, from a flooded street to a flooded basement. Take care to stay safe in such a disaster, both at and away from home.
How To Choose a Generator for Your Small Business
A commercial generator will automatically power on within minutes of a utility failure
How Do You Choose A Suitable Commercial Generator?
When the power goes out in Fox Chase, PA, there’s a small time window during which perishable items can be saved. Having backup power is critical for any business, but how do you choose a suitable commercial generator? Here are three tips to help you get started.
1. Determine What Kind You Need
What are the power needs of your business? Depending on how you operate, you may need a portable or stationary unit. If you need power on the go, a towable unit makes it easy to do business at remote locations. Traditional businesses usually benefit from having a unit installed outside the building. Each kind of unit is connected differently but offers the same ability to back up your business's power.
2. Learn How To Use Your Machine
Once installed outside your property, a commercial generator will automatically power on within minutes of a utility failure. An electrician hardwires the unit into the building so you won’t have to worry about turning it on yourself. These machines can run off existing propane or natural gas lines, which makes refueling unnecessary. Alternatively, towable units run on diesel fuel and need to be manually connected to the site on arrival. Read the owner’s manual for these units so you know what to do when on location.
3. Provide Proper Maintenance
Check your machine after every major weather event or utility failure, especially if you’ve had an emergency that required professional water cleanup. Prolonged use with improper loads can cause generator problems, so consult your electrician for the correct sizing for the expected load. This, along with a regular maintenance schedule and high-quality fuel, can help your engine last for 10,000 to 30,000 hours (or 20-30 years).
When you have the right generator for your business, you don’t have to worry that a utility failure will cause irreparable damage to your assets. This critical unit keeps your business running until power is restored.
4 Ways To Prepare for Flood Damage
Tune in to local news stations for weather reports
Here Are Four Ways To Prepare For Flood Damage
Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause a devastating amount of damage, often leaving many people with costly repairs for their damaged homes, in Hulmeville, PA. Severe winds and heavy rains can cause flooding to occur rapidly, and it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare your home and mitigate any possible damage.
1. Stay Informed. Make sure you keep abreast of current weather conditions in your area. A weather radio is good to have on hand, but if you are unable to purchase one, you can tune in to local news stations for weather reports. You can also research your area to see if text or email alerts are available for inclement weather and emergency notifications.
2. Check Outside. Inspect the outside of your house for any areas that could leave your home susceptible to flash flooding. Clean gutters and storm drains and keep them free of any debris that could cause water backups. Check window seals and doors for any cracks that can allow water to seep in.
3. Prepare Inside. Protect your belongings by moving any documents, valuables and furniture off the ground. Move them to the highest floor in the house if you can. Install battery backups for your sump pumps to keep water out of the house if you lose power.
4. Know Who To Call. Be sure to have emergency contacts ready. In addition to having phone numbers of close friends and family to notify during an emergency, you should also keep the number of a professional storm cleanup and restoration company. These professionals are highly trained in storm damage and will help restore your home as quickly as possible and prevent any additional damage from occurring.
Flooding from storms and hurricanes can be terrifying and costly if you are not prepared. Proper planning and knowing who to call after the storm passes can help mitigate any losses or damage to your home.
Ways to Prevent Flooding in Your Building
Inspect the outside of your building
When flooding occurs in a commercial building, the costs can be devastating. In addition to property damage, employees may become displaced. Loss of profits can be monumental while renovations take place. While you can't protect your Cornwells Heights, PA, property in every circumstance, you can follow some smart flood prevention tips to help reduce the risks.
How To Protect Your Monetary Investment
The first step is to discuss your concerns with your insurance agent. Most commercial property insurance policies don't protect in the event of a flood or flood damage. Flood insurance is separate coverage that can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. Your insurance company should be able to give you the contact information.
How To Keep Your Employees and Building Safe
If your commercial building is located in a flood plain or low-lying area, it is likely at a higher risk for flooding. Even buildings on higher ground can be susceptible, however. Listed below are some smart flood prevention ideas to protect your employees and your property, no matter where the building is located.
Set up a routine maintenance schedule to periodically inspect the outside of the building and the roof. Look for cracks or weaknesses in the foundation and seal any suspect areas right away. Carefully inspect the roof for damaged or missing shingles and other roofing materials. Replace any damaged materials as soon as possible. Gutters and drains must be cleaned of any dirt and debris. Sump pumps and generators should be inspected frequently to ensure that they function properly when needed.
Create an emergency action plan and train all employees in how to handle any type of emergency. The plan should include evacuation routes and meeting places for employees and visitors, as well as the location of emergency kits.
Even the business owner who implements the best flood prevention techniques may still have flooding in their building. If you are in need of flood cleaning, make sure you call a water damage expert as soon as possible.
What is a Nor'easter?
The nor'easter is among the most infamous winter storm patterns in the United States
What Makes These Storms So Damaging?
The nor'easter is among the most infamous winter storm patterns in the United States. If you live in the eastern states, you are likely familiar with some of the downsides of having a home in the collision path of two opposing air currents, but you may still be wondering what makes these storms so damaging.
1. A Combination of Opposing Pressure Systems
Between the months of September and April, cold winds from Canada blow southward toward the Atlantic Ocean. Simultaneously, a warm ocean current heats the air, causing a low pressure system to form. The resulting clouds and precipitation soon move up the East Coast as a raging storm. Depending on the origin of air being redirected on the coast, experts refer to patterns as either Miller Type-A or Miller Type-B.
2. A Variety of Winter Weather
Chief among unknown nor'easter facts it that these events do not always produce the same weather phenomena. An infinite number of variables are responsible for winter storms, so snow, wind, rain, sleet and hail are all possible results of different conditions. You and your family should have a plan for flooding, extreme snowfall or high wind events. If you are not sure how to do this, ask a neighbor who has lived in your area for a long time.
3. An Event to Prepare for
Because a nor'easter can result in both damage to property and public infrastructure, it is advisable to keep plenty of supplies on hand during a storm. Some experts recommend keeping at least 3 full days of food stocked in your home in case snow or flooding leaves you stranded.
Read up on storms as much as you can. The more you know about winter weather patterns, the better you can prepare for the next weather event. If your Fox Chase, PA home has already been damaged by a nor'easter or winter storm, do not attempt complex restoration tasks on your own. Contact a storm restoration professional who has experience returning homes to working order.
Preparing Your Business for a Flood
This Bensalem, PA commercial property was flooded after a rain storm. SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem and Fox Chase/Torresdale was quick to the scene!
Storms can be unpredictable. A small rain shower can cause major flooding in a hurry. If you are not properly prepared, this disaster could destroy your business. That is why you should follow the below steps to mitigate any potential harm.
1. Be Aware
Some areas are more prone to floods than others. You can use FEMA's flood map to determine the risk in Bensalem, PA. This will help you prepare accordingly. While some flash floods are unpredictable, meteorologists can alert you when other floods are coming. To stay informed, sign up for a national and community emergency notification system.
2. Protect Your Assets
Any valuable electronics should be placed on higher levels where they are less likely to be affected by flooding. You likely have plenty of important documents in your commercial building, as well. Store them in waterproof containers and consider creating cloud or digital backups.
3. Get Supplies
If the flood occurs during business hours, you need to have certain supplies on hand for your employees. Have your workers create emergency kits in case they have to evacuate the area. The kits should include first aid equipment along with batteries and chargers.
After the Storm Even if you follow the above suggestions, you could still sustain some flood damage to your property. Avoid checking out the destruction in person until authorities say it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, you can contact a commercial building restoration company. You should call the cleanup pros as soon as possible so they can remove any dangerous black water. If you or your employees do go back in the building, keep an eye out for any snakes or other wildlife. Make sure that everyone knows to stay away from any wet electrical equipment, as well. Flooding can cause incredible damage in a short amount of time. While you cannot always predict when the next flood will occur, you can make sure your assets and employees are protected.
Make Sure That Your Solar Panels Can Withstand Storms
A tree falls on a local home during a storm in Langhorne, PA
Solar panels are a great way to reduce energy usage in your home. Since they are installed on the outside of your house, they also take a beating from harsh hail and wind storms in Langhorne/Bensalem, PA. To reduce the risk of panel damage, keep these suggestions in mind.
How To Ensure My Panels Are Strong
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report in which they had conducted annual surveys of panel systems that had been installed from 2009 to 2013. Of the 50,000 systems surveyed, only 0.1% had shown damage or malfunctions. Part of the success can be attributed to the extensive testing conducted by panel manufacturers. Check to make sure your manufacturer has followed these guidelines.
Hail testing - Most panels are certified to resist panel damage caused by hail of up to 1 inch in diameter at 55 mph.
Hurricane testing - Most panels are tested to ensure they can withstand winds of up to 140 mph. The glass or aluminum castings that hold the panels are also waterproof.
How To Conduct Routine Maintenance on Panels
In order to ensure your panels continue to function properly, you should conduct routine maintenance.
Keep them clean - Dirt and debris can build up over time, so you should clean your panels on a regular basis with water. Also, brush away any tree branches that can hamper their functionality. While you are up there, check for roof damage and call a professional for repairs.
Install a panel cover - Even though panels are very sturdy, some come equipped with a cover. If so, make sure it is installed correctly by a professional.
Add a monitoring system - These systems, which must be installed by an expert, can detect and diagnose any problems with the system.
Installing solar panels will ensure that you are reducing your carbon footprint. Just make sure they are installed professionally to prevent panel damage or malfunctions.
How to Properly Make a Flood Damage Claim
A flooded school in Langhorne, PA
Water can inflict massive damage on your home if you're not careful. Though you can prepare yourself against many issues, some types of flooding may occur without warning. If you need to make a flood claim, there are ways you can help the process go more smoothly. Make sure you follow the following advice so you can get the financial help you need.
To make an insurance claim, your provider will want details about how the flood began and what was damaged or lost. Before you call your agent, it's best to do the following:
- Take pictures of the extent of the damage in your home.
- Write down belongings that were damaged or destroyed as well as building materials that were affected.
- Make note of any injuries you or family members may have suffered.
Get in Touch With the Professionals
Cleaning up after a flood can be time-consuming, pain-staking work. Unless the water damage is minor and only covers a small area, you should contact a professional water restoration company. These companies have skilled technicians with experience and the right equipment to clean up the water in your home. The professionals will arrive promptly and assess the situation. Crews will extract all the water, thoroughly dry and sanitize the area and restore any damaged or ruined materials. After you make a flood claim, the insurance company and the cleanup company will coordinate their efforts and work out a payment.
Stay out of the Way One of the best things you can do after a disaster at home is to stay away from the incident area. Do not touch any damaged items or get near the water. This will keep you safe and prevent further issues with your Langhorne/Bensalem, PA home, and belongings.
Make sure you follow these steps when making a flood claim. You can get the compensation you need to restore your home and get back on your feet.
What You Need to Know About a Nor'easter
Keep safe all year by being alert and prepared for an approaching nor'easter
Anyone living on the Eastern Seaboard is familiar with a nor'easter storm. Thankfully, these storms don't hit too often, but when they do, they bring along heavy rain or snow, howling winds and stormy seas. To protect your home in Cornwells Heights, PA from flooding and other damage these storms can bring, let's take a look at some Nor'easter facts, including how the storms are formed and the trouble they can cause.
How Are These Storms Formed?
Two types of weather conditions can cause nor'easter storms, Miller Type A and Type B, as classified by J. E. Miller in 1946.
Miller Type A - These "classic" storms originate in the Gulf Coast and work their way up the coast to the Northeast. The storms are most common in the colder months of the year when cold air from the North travels down to the South where it meets much warmer air. This combination provides the perfection conditions for the storm.
Miller Type B - Much less common than the classic storms, these begin as cyclones in the Midwest that travel east. They break up somewhat in the Appalachian Mountains, then pick up steam again on the East Coast.
What Dangers Should You Be Aware Of?
In the winter months, these storms can cause heavy snow and wind. Power outages from downed trees and icy roads are common. To ensure your safety, keep abreast of weather conditions. Stock your pantry with enough food to get through the storm and stay at home when the storm approaches.
In warmer weather, strong winds and heavy rains can cause significant flooding and other damage to your home. Plan ahead by checking the weather report for any oncoming storms. Make sure your sump pump is in working order and your roof is in good shape. Keep your trees pruned to minimize the risk of downed tree branches.
Keep safe all year by being alert and prepared for an approaching nor'easter.
The Finances of Flood Damage
What would you do if your business flooded tomorrow?
When a major storm hits your commercial business, it can be a financial disaster, too. Therefore it's important to pursue all of the potential benefits available to you. Repairing storm damage to your property can run into the thousands of dollars and many small businesses might not have sufficient savings to cover the expenses. Fortunately, your commercial insurance policy will cover some of these costs, after a deductible is paid. Other insurance options such as business interruption insurance and extra expense insurance may also kick in, though not all companies have this coverage. A number of expenses above and beyond an insurance claim could be tax deductible.
Looking Into Tax Benefits
When it comes to federal, state and local tax laws it always make sense to speak with a tax professionals. This allows you to claim all qualifying storm damage expenses. In general, the following expenses may be eligible for a tax write-off:
- Water damage expenses not paid by insurance
- Cleanup and recovery expenses
- Hurricane and tornado damage
Your initial efforts should concentrate on an insurance claim. An experienced storm mitigation team in Langhorne, PA, can help you organize your paperwork for the insurance company. With photos, spreadsheets and online communications an itemized record of expenses and losses can be sent to the insurance company. This enables a fast and efficient claims process that gets needed money into your hands fast.
Pursuing Other Options
If the storm damage that hits your company is part of a larger storm and has been declared a federal or state disaster area, other sources of financial help could become available. This includes low interest loans that help you borrow money to buy damaged equipment, replace lost inventory and pay employees. When disaster strikes, you need all of the help you can get or your company could never reopen. Working with companies and agencies that are Here to Help can make a big difference.
Sump Pump Losses
Pictured is an actual sump pump caught in the act of victimizing a local homeowner.
We see them all the time: significant storm events. It may be surprising to many homeowners that the most common damage in our area is caused, not by leaky windows or roofs, but by a sump pump failure. Whether it is due to temporary loss of electricity, or just the inability of the pump to function correctly, homeowners with a sump pump can sometimes experience a water damage. Add in a finished basement, that could be a recipe for a lot of damage! "And if you have a cut-rate insurance company policy, you could be paying for the repairs yourself."
So if you want to avoid mayhem, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
1) Speak to your insurance agent or provider to see about adding coverage to your policy specific to sump pumps. Many times, it is very low-cost to add this coverage, but insurance agents do not include it automatically. You don't want to find out after the damage!
2) While you will be anxious to get your property fixed, many times insurance coverage is limited on sump pump damage. Therefore, you may want to get an estimate first. The restoration company may need to see the property in-person to provide an accurate estimate, and this will surely delay the drying process, but it may ultimately save you dollars and cents.
So to sum up, make sure that you check your policy for coverage on sump pumps so that your insurance provider helps you with the repairs. And also be sure that you contact a reputable restoration company that is willing to provide you an estimate up front, like SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem!
Summer Storm Carpet Damage
Carpet ruined in storm
Here is a carpet that our team had to rip up the other day due to storm damage throughout the entire house. Water seeped through the upstairs, downstairs, and living room carpet. When we were called we were honest about saying we weren't sure if we could salvage the damage this time around because it was so severe. If this is the case, we have back up connections to refer out to help our potential clients just in case they need to get a hold of us in the future for any reason. This case however, ended up turning around and we figured out a way to save all of the carpet. Our customers were very pleased that they didn't need to pay for a new carpet and said they'll definitely be using our services again.
Storm Water in Basement
Flooded nearby home
Here is an example of damage that was done to the basement of a home nearby our office. The living room as well as the entire basement was completely under water from the storms we have been having recently. Our office was called in the middle of the night to tend to the job and we had majority of the damage cleared out by morning with a few air movers still placed for the remaining damage. We like to make it known to our customers that we are available any time of the day, no matter how severe the water damage--please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and make your life a lot less stressful and easier during incidents as such.
Sump pump Damage
Clearing sump pump water damage
Over the course of the last couple weeks there have been numerous calls about water damage from Storms. We had a specific call the other day about a sump bump that overflowed due to all the water from the rain. Our client was very worried about the damage and did not want to wait until the weekend was over to take care of the issue. Our team was readily available for them and we arrived at their house the next day to take care of the issue. SERVPRO prides themselves on efficiency and gets the job done as fast as possible each time. If yourself, friend, family member, etc.--ever needs our services last minute, please pick up the phone and call SERVPRO! We're always here to help.
Townhome Storm Damage
Pool water overflow into gym
Here is an example of a job we received a call for a few weeks ago after a big storm had hit. An apartment complex's pool overflowed into the gym and basement as well. Our team was called in quickly to tend to the issue to dry out the damage. While we were there we also tended to some of the units since there was some water that had seeped through the ceilings, too. The property manager was very impressed with our work and stated that from there on out, we would be his main point of contact for emergencies in case something were to happen again. If and when storm damage happens on your property, whether it be commercial or residential--please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO!
Storm Damage to furniture
This is an example of a customer who called us urgently with a concern when she was moving out. There had been a storm recently and there was severe water damage done to all our client's furniture. We used a couple of creative drying methods (more plastic and tubes like the attached picture) to save the most of the building materials and her couch. She was thrilled with how fast we got everything done and how many items we were able to salvage, since she was right in the midst of moving out of her home. SERVPRO is here to take care of any of your drying needs--from floors to counter tops, to couches and more. Please don't hesitate to give us a call if you're feeling stressed at all. We're here to help!
Don't know how to shut off your utilities right before a disaster strikes? Here's what you need to know:
During cases of emergency, power surges after the storm can damage electronics, and flooded appliances can also create safety hazards.
- Shut off all the individual circuits, then turn off your main circuit. It is also useful to label the individual circuits.
- Shut off your water.
- Cracked lines can also pollute your water supply to your home, so check in with local authorities before restoring your water.
- Shut off your natural gas.
- Locate the shutoff valve connected to the gas line, and turn the switch perpendicular to stop the gas flow.
- If you expect a gas leak, immediately evacuate the house and DO NOT turn off your gas. Contact your local natural gas provider, and have a professional assess the situation. Natural gas leaks are attributed to numerous home fires.
How will YOU prepare?