What to do When a Storm Causes Damage to Your Property
In Southern California, the weather can be petty unpredictable. One year we are in a drought, and the next rain is falling all winter. It is important to be prepared for these types of conditions, because homes are not indestructible structures. A storm can cause serious damage to your property, and it’s best to be aware on what to do when confronted with storm damage.
Scope out the House for Hidden Damages
Water from heavy rain can seep into the nooks and crannies of your home making mold growth more likely. After a storm, look in all of the often overlooked places of your home to check for flooding and water build up. It’s important to catch this soon to prevent mold growth. If you are not sure if your home is damaged from a storm, call a disaster recovery service like SERVPRO to inspect your home for any storm damage.
Steer Clear of Affected Areas
After inspection, if your home has suffered from damaged, to keep everyone safe, keep a good proximity from the affected areas. If your property has mold damage, the mold can produce allergens that can be dangerous for humans to be around. And if water has accumulated in your home, it can affect the structural integrity of your property. Keep yourself and the occupiers of your property safe!
Call a Disaster Recovery Service
Once you are sure your property has suffered from storm damage, call a disaster recover service like SERVPRO to restore your home back to new. Here at SERVPRO, we have a 24-hour emergency service line for your property’s restoration needs any time of day. We have over 50 years of experience in disaster recovery, so you can trust us to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
The History of SERVPRO Industries
SERVPRO industries have been serving the US since 1967. The company started out in Sacramento, California as a painting business by Ted and Doris Isaacson. Their experience with damage restoration led them to create the business into a franchisor for damage clean up and restoration. They sold their first franchise in 1969, and SERVPRO began to grow rapidly, becoming one of the leading disaster restoration services by 1979.
In 1988, SERVPRO moved its headquarters to Gallatin, Tennessee “to be within 600 miles of 50 percent of the U.S. population.” At this time, SERVPRO consisted of 647 franchises, continuing its exponential path of growth. By 2000, the 1,000th franchise was sold and SERVPRO remained a top competitor in damage restoration.
SERVPRO has taken part in the restoration following the largest natural disasters in America. SERVPRO was contracted by the government after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Tennessee floods in 2010, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Now, SERVPRO has more than 1,800 franchises across the United States and Canada. We have over 50 years of experience in disaster recovery, so you know you can trust us to get the job done correctly. We have come a long way, and are more than happy to be serving the United States and Canada with impeccable restoration work!
How Water Damage and Fire Damage Can Simultaneously Affect Your Property
A fire can spark in your home for various reasons. The top causes of home fires are from kitchen appliances, heaters, smoking, candles, and faulty wiring. Some of these are uncontrollable circumstances, so its best to be prepared for such a situation.
When a fire does spark in your home, immediately call the fire department. They will come and extinguish the fire using water and sometimes foam. This method pulls the oxygen away from the fire in turn extinguishing it. During this process, water gets into your home and can cause additional damages.
Fire can damage your home in many ways. It can burn the walls of your home, damage the structural integrity of your home, and the smoke and sot can travel through the vents making the air dangerous to breathe.
Water can damage your home by leaving moisture left in places meant to be dry, making your property more prone to mold growth. Water can also damage the structural integrity of your property, making it dangerous to be in close proximity to.
In the event of a fire, damages can be vicious. Here at SERVPRO, we have the experience necessary to make your property look “Like it never even happened.” We understand the stress that comes with damage restoration… no need to worry, SERVPRO will be there in a hurry!
The Damage a Storm can do to Your Property
In Southern California a harsh storm is not common, but with the weather cycles of Earth changing, heavy rain floods and mud slides are becoming more common in this region. A storm can be of great danger to your property. Here are the types of damage a storm can cause on your property:
Mold from Flooding
After your house is flooded, the water seeps into the floors and walls of your property and it stays there. Over time, the affected areas will grow mold and the air surrounding it can be dangerous to breathe. It is important to be aware of the types of mold that can form on your property and what to do when confronted with it. To learn more read our blogs on Water Damage and Mold.
In a storm with high winds from 50-90mph, the shingles on your roof can fall off and expose your property, leaving little protection. When this happens leaks and mold growths are more likely to happen.
In special lightning storms, the strikes can cause fires. It is most common for this to happen in forests, but the fires often spread to commercial areas and can affect your property. Read our blogs on fire damage to learn more about what to do in the event of a fire. Lightning can also damage
What to do if Your Commercial Property is Flooded
It is possible that your commercial property can be affected by flooding. Accidents and unexpected events happen all the time, so it’s best to be prepared if these situations ever occur. Here’s what to do in the face of a flooded property:
Evacuate Affected Areas
The water flooding into your property can contain bacteria or chemicals dangerous to be around. Evacuate the affected areas and put clear signs or borders around the site to make sure it is untouched to prevent further dangers and damage.
Call a Disaster Recovery Service
When confronted with a flooded property, the damages must be handled by professionals. Flooding can cause indoor mold growths and other damages that need special training to be remediated. At SERVPRO we have a 24 hour emergency service line to assist you with your property’s remediation needs.
To remodel your property, it is necessary for you to contact your insurance provider. They will tell you the estimated coverage provided to remediate the damages done to your property. Our technicians here at SERVPRO try our best to provide you with accurate and cos efficient estimates to make the process affordable and stress free.
Keys to Making you Commercial Property Beautiful
When owning a commercial building, you most likely would want your property to look visually appealing to impress customers and to foster a comfortable work environment for the employees. It may seem like a trying task to make your property stand out from the rest, but these often overlooked areas are the keys to making your commercial property the best in the game.
Shrubbery, Plants, and Nature
As our society leans toward industrialization, our cities have lost their naturally occurring plants and trees that contribute to making a place beautiful and peaceful. With that, it’s smart to incorporate as much plant and shrubbery in your commercial property planning as possible. Some examples of this can be climbing vines, a rooftop garden, a fountain with or without fish, bird feeders, shrubbery, flowers lining the walkways of your building, and any other ways that nature can be incorporated into your property.
Up-to-Date Outside Appearance
The styles in which buildings and signs are designed changes throughout the years. If you want your commercial property to keep attracting people and potential employees, you must stay up to date with the current design trends. This isn’t as hard as it seems! The font and size of your commercial business’ name on your property can be changed to be more visually appealing and with the times. If budget permits, the shell of your commercial property can be remodeled by simply updating the style of windows or the color of the walls. The way your property is presented reflects greatly in the business it accrues.
Up-to-Date Inside Appearance
Obviously, the inside of your commercial business is just as important as the outside. Some easy ways to make it look modern and appealing are:
- Comfortable seating areas
- Don’t keep the walls bare! Put up at least a beautiful work of art or picture.
- Indoor plants
- Walls with softer colors to foster a more at-ease environment for customers or employees
- Avoid cramping spaces with unnecessary furniture, keep things nice and open
- Smell!! Put on essential oil diffusers or air fresheners
The biggest key to keeping your commercial property beautiful is having a strong maintenance schedule. This is where a lot of businesses go wrong, in that the lack of maintenance causes the property to look older and worn out faster and ends up costing the business more in the long run. Maintaining the beauty of your property is the most important part in standing out as a commercial business.
A Brief History of Mold
Obviously, mold has been around for longer than humans can remember. It is a key part in ecosystems all around the world for decomposing dead plant and animal remains to keep the life cycle in motion. The problem occurs when mold enters our homes and workplaces.
The discovery of mold by humans dates back as far as the ages when the bible was written. In the Old Testament, Leviticus 14, you will find the first words of mold remediation ever written:
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’ The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.
“If the mold has spread on the walls, the priest is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
“If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean. It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.”
Fast forward to the 1920s, horses and farm animals in Ukraine were dying at a rapid rate from an unknown disease. Farmers were left bewildered by the cause of such a spike in animal deaths. Only until 1938 did scientists discover that the cause was toxic black mold from the animal’s wet feed.
Although black mold has potential dangers for living things, other types of mold can in fact heal us! In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin from the Penicillium notatum mold. Usually you’d think mold would be dangerous to ingest, but the chemical properties of different molds can serve different purposes in our world.
Now, mold has been studied by scientists for decades and we have a thorough understanding of its benefits and drawbacks. Through these discoveries are we able to create services like SERVPRO to prevent and remediate the effects of mold.
If mold ever strikes your Torrance property, SERVPRO has the training, technology, and certification to restore your property “Like it never even happened.” To learn more about the types of mold, read our blogs.
Annual Maintenance Schedule for Your Commercial Building
A useful security tool that every commercial building should look into is periodical maintenance checkups to make sure that the building is safe and secure from natural disaster. We often find ourselves running into the first commercial building when a storm hits the city. Why is that?
It’s because these buildings are annually checked to find out if they meet the safety regulations. Even a small issue on one of the floors can lead to life-threatening problems. From power cuts cause by a fallen object to chemicals exposed to high temperature and more, such small things can cause serious consequences.
Following is a checklist for a commercial building’s annual maintenance schedule, which every business should follow:
Roofing (Should Be Inspected Twice In a Year)
- Check roofing contracts, warranties and files
- Check rood drains for stuck debris
- Inspect the roofing perimeter for damage to copings and metal
- Check roof connections with the walls for any wrinkles or tears
- If a bitumen roof is installed, check for cracks in the plies
- If a bitumen roof is installed, take protective measure against corrosion
- Trim, weed and irrigate if a green roof is installed
- Conduct regular moisture checks for leaks
- Install a protective roof membrane
- Inspect the solar panels for any openings that might lead to a leak
HVAC (Should Be Inspected Twice In a Year)
- Recharge U-bend or P-traps water traps
- Find screw issues
- Get the boilers and chillers inspected by a professional
- Inspect the cooling towers for motor bearings, fill valves, gearbox, wiring, support structure, log observations and fan blades
- Lubricate pumps at least once a year
- Depending on what type of HVAC system the building has, replace air filters at least once a month
- Make sure the condenser coil is clean
- For the refrigerant and compressor to work properly, switch to energy efficient settings
- Calibrate sensors and clean the economizer
- Lubricate circulation pump systems and water booster
- To find leaks, inspect couplings
- Check boilers and water heaters
- Check for wear by scheduling test runs
- Replace or check oils and refrigerant where needed
- Inspect the sewage pumps
- Check fixtures in the restrooms for leaks
- Windows and doors should be checked for weather stripping
- Electrical system checkups to prevent accidental fires
- Company’s public walkway should be restored annually to avoid any liabilities
- A test run should be done for the fire alarms to make sure they are working properly and that help arrives on time
An annual maintenance checklist for commercial buildings is highly important because it is not just about one person but dozens of families. This is why it is safer to hire a professional for a routine checkup that is done without any reminder. For professional commercial restoration and repair services, contact SERVPRO. We offer 24/7 emergency service for fire, water, mold and storm damage. We’ll repair your commercial property “Like it never even happened!”
How to Recognize the Hidden Signs of Storm Damage
Most people don’t give a second thought to their roof once it is installed. Until and unless they see signs of damage inside the house, they don’t call a roofer for maintenance. When it comes to storm damage, sometimes the aftereffects are not that visible. Therefore, you don’t inspect the roof and focus more on the visible damage the storm left behind.
Perhaps this is the biggest mistake because storm damage signs are not always visible. As you can guess, most of the damage is caused to the roof. A missing shingle or a fallen tree limb are signs that you can easily spot, but then there are the missing granules, lifting shingles, and dented gutters that you always miss. Even if the storm had no power in it and consisted of light rain, it still warrants a check.
Following are the hidden storm damage signs that you should watch out for:
Some signs of wind damage are hard to detect, while others are impossible to spot. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Shingles that are stressed, cracked, or lifted
- Splits, chips, and cracks in siding
- Chipping paint
- Dings and dents from debris
Due to excessive wind damage, you are left with a structurally compromised house that needs repairing.
When exploring hail damage, you probably look for signs such as dents and dings. Depending on the severity of the issue, these damage signs are at the top if the list. However, you should also look for the following:
- Cracked shingles or ones that have been lifted from their place
- Granules piled near the drain spot. This means that the roof has lost its protective layer that prevents heat buildup from the UV rays
- Cracks in the siding’s fiber cement (chips are easily visible if you view the siding from the ground)
- Chipped paint beside the windows
- Dented screens or cracked window castings
- Debris from the roof stuck in the gutter, which can cause water to accumulate on the surface and slowly seep underneath the shingles (this kind of damage takes time to become visible, which is why it is important to clean the gutters first thing after a hail storm)
The trickiest of them all is water damage, which leaves a path of destruction in its wake. The water slowly seeps from the roof and into the walls. It destroys the insulation and causes damp patches on the ceiling. This leads to mold and that is when you spot the damage. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Swollen or soggy wood
- The slightest discoloration on ceilings and any other surface
- A musty smell
And this is how you spot damage cause by storms. For professional storm damage services, contact SERVPRO. We offer 24/7 emergency restoration services.
A Funny Story About Mold Damage
The Strange Entity on the Wall
Samantha had always been into strange things and by that we mean the Ouija board, calling upon spirits through her magic ball, and what not. After one of her particular sessions, she went down into the basement to do her laundry. As she turned on the overhead light, she saw this huge black shape on the wall. There was black ooze dripping from the shape and making a puddle on the floor.
Scared, Samantha ran up and called her mom. After talking to her, she made the next call to the local priest. Turns out, her mother had advised her to get an exorcism done… on the wall. When the priest came to the house, Samantha directed him to the basement and stood back as he took out the things to perform the exorcism. As he was about to start the sermon, he slipped and fell on the black puddle. The priest scrambled back and held out his cross. When nothing happened, he brought his hand closer to his face and smelled the black goo. Eyebrows raised, he turned back to Samantha and said in a deadpan voice, “Child, this is mold!”
Don't be like Samantha and her mother, read our blogs on mold to learn more about how it can affect you and your property. SERVPRO is here to help!