Recent Storm Damage Posts

Ways to Prevent Flooding in Your Building

9/5/2020 (Permalink)

Building Inspector completing an inspection form on clipboard 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?

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Storm waves crash over the seawall causing massive flooding, power outages, road closures, and erosion damage along the Maine 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

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

commercial flooding 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

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

tree damage house 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

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

school flood 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. 

Gather Evidence


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

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Storm wave crashes in the street. Concept of 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

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded building. Sign that says WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 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

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Sump Pump 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

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

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

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

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

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Moving Out

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Disaster Preparation

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

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.

  1. Shut off all the individual circuits, then turn off your main circuit.  It is also useful to label the individual circuits.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?