Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts
Busting Lightning Myths: What You Need to Know
Lightning is a powerful force of nature that often comes with its fair share of myths and misconceptions. In this blog, we'll debunk five common myths about lightning to ensure you have accurate information and can take the necessary steps to stay safe during storms.
Myth 1: Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice
Reality: Lightning can and does strike the same place multiple times. Tall structures, such as skyscrapers and communication towers, are more likely to be struck repeatedly. It's crucial to follow lightning safety guidelines, even if an area has been struck before.
Myth 2: Rubber Tires on a Vehicle Protect You from Lightning
Reality: While being inside a vehicle is safer during a lightning storm, it's not the rubber tires that provide protection. The metal frame of the vehicle diverts the lightning around you, creating a Faraday cage effect. However, avoid touching metal surfaces inside the vehicle during a lightning storm.
Myth 3: Lightning Only Strikes During Thunderstorms
Reality: Thunderstorms are the most common setting for lightning, but it can occur outside of a thunderstorm, too. "Bolt from the blue" lightning can strike many miles away from the storm itself. It's essential to be cautious whenever you hear thunder or see lightning, regardless of the immediate weather conditions.
Myth 4: You're Safe if Lightning Strikes Water
Reality: Lightning can strike bodies of water and travel through them, posing a threat to anyone in or near the water. If you hear thunder or see lightning, it's time to get out of the water and seek shelter immediately.
Myth 5: If It's Not Raining, There's No Danger from Lightning
Reality: Lightning can strike even when it's not raining. "Dry lightning" occurs when lightning is produced in a storm but doesn't reach the ground. These strikes can still pose a significant risk, especially in areas prone to wildfires.
Understanding the truth about lightning is essential for staying safe during storms. Don't fall victim to common myths—follow reliable safety guidelines to protect yourself and your property. For more tips on disaster preparedness and home safety, stay tuned to our SERVPRO® of Denver East blog. And remember, if your property experiences any damage due to storms or lightning, our expert team is here 24/7 to provide prompt and professional restoration services!
Flood Preparedness - Prevention and Recovery
Be prepared incase of a flood. Take immediate action for proper mitigation.
The Pacific Northwest is known for its abundant rainfall, which can lead to flooding in certain areas. Flooding can cause extensive damage to homes and properties, disrupt daily life, and pose risks to personal safety. Being prepared for floods and knowing how to prevent and recover from them is crucial. In this blog post, we will explore flood preparedness strategies, including prevention and recovery, specific to the Northwest region.
Know Your Risk
The first step in flood preparedness is understanding the flood risks in your area. Check flood maps and consult with local authorities to determine if your property is located in a flood-prone zone. This information will help you assess the steps you need to take to protect your property adequately.
Standard homeowners' insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage. It is essential to purchase separate flood insurance to ensure that you are financially protected in the event of a flood. Contact your insurance provider to discuss your options and obtain the necessary coverage.
Protect Your Property
- There are several measures you can take to protect your property from flood damage:
- Elevate Electrical Systems: Raise electrical switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring at least one foot above the projected flood level to prevent electrical damage and potential fires.
- Install Sump Pumps: Sump pumps can help remove water from your basement or lower level, reducing the risk of water damage.
- Seal Foundation Cracks: Inspect your foundation for any cracks and seal them to prevent water seepage.
- Clear Gutters and Downspouts: Regularly clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water flow and prevent overflow that could cause water to enter your home.
- Install Backflow Valves: Consider installing backflow valves in plumbing lines to prevent sewage backup into your home during flooding.
Create an Emergency Kit
In the event of a flood, it is important to have an emergency kit readily available. Your kit should include essential items such as:
- Non-perishable food and bottled water
- Prescription medications
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid supplies
- Important documents (insurance policies, identification, etc.) stored in a waterproof container
- Extra clothing and blankets
Develop an Evacuation Plan
Have a clear evacuation plan in place in case you need to leave your home during a flood. Identify evacuation routes, establish a meeting point for family members, and ensure everyone knows the plan. Stay tuned to local news and emergency alerts for the latest updates during a flood event.
Mitigate Flood Damage
If your property is impacted by flooding, it is important to take immediate action to mitigate damage:
- Turn off electrical power at the main breaker if it is safe to do so. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water.
- Remove water and dry out affected areas as soon as possible. Use pumps, wet vacuums, and dehumidifiers.
- Dispose of any items that cannot be properly cleaned or dried, as they may become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria.
- Consult with professionals for water damage restoration to ensure thorough cleanup and prevent future issues.
- Stay informed about flood alerts, weather conditions, and emergency instructions. Follow local news and official sources for updates. Consider signing up for emergency alerts through your local government or emergency management agency.
By being prepared and taking preventive measures, you can minimize the impact of floods on your property. In the event of a flood, take immediate action to mitigate damage and consult with professionals for proper cleanup. By being proactive, you can protect your property and ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones during flood events in the Northwest.
Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Home
Minimize potential damage to your property by taking preventative measures.
When a windstorm strikes, it can cause significant damage to your property. High winds can damage roofs, siding, windows, and doors, and even knock down trees and power lines. As a homeowner, it's important to be prepared for the potential damage that a windstorm can cause and take necessary precautions to minimize it.
Windstorms are among the most destructive natural disasters. They can cause damage to both residential and commercial properties, resulting in significant financial losses for property owners. The potential damage that windstorms can cause is vast and includes the following.
One of the most common types of wind damage is roof damage. High winds can lift and tear off shingles, leaving your roof exposed to the elements. This can lead to water damage, which can be costly to repair. To prevent this type of damage, it's important to have your roof inspected regularly and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
High winds can damage the structure of a building, including walls, windows, and doors. This can compromise the safety of the property and require extensive repairs. Siding can also be damaged by high winds. Strong gusts can loosen or break siding panels, leaving your home vulnerable to water damage and other issues. To prevent this type of damage, consider installing impact-resistant siding or taking other steps to reinforce your existing siding. Additionally, you should inspect your siding regularly and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible.
Falling trees or branches
During a windstorm, trees and branches can be uprooted or broken and fall onto homes, cars, or power lines, causing significant damage. Windstorms can pick up debris and hurl it at high speeds, causing damage to windows, doors, and walls. Windstorms can also cause damage to trees and vegetation. High winds can snap tree limbs, uproot trees, and knock down power lines. This can cause power outages, property damage, and even injuries or fatalities. It is important to inspect your trees and landscaping before a windstorm hits and remove any dead or weakened branches. This can help prevent them from falling and causing damage to your property or injuring people.
Windstorms can knock down power lines, causing power outages that can last for days. Windstorms can cause fires by knocking down power lines or by spreading flames from nearby fires.
If you live in an area prone to windstorms, it's important to prepare your property for potential damage. To minimize the potential damage a windstorm can cause to your property, it is important to take preventative measures. This can include securing loose items in your yard, trimming trees and branches, and reinforcing your roof and windows. Additionally, it's crucial to have a plan in place in case of a windstorm, such as identifying a safe room in your home and having emergency supplies on hand.
The Dangers of Hail for Your Commercial Roof
The impact of hail damage on your roof can be influenced by several factors.
While your commercial building in Hampden, CO, can be vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters, a hailstorm is one of the more destructive ones. Hail can cause many problems for your business, including roof damage. This specific type of damage can severely harm your property if it's not prevented or treated on time. Continue reading to learn more about the effect hail can have on your building and how to prevent it.
The Factors Behind the Damage
The impact of hail damage on your roof can be influenced by several factors. For instance, the size and weight of each hailstone can create different degrees of damage to the roof. Additionally, the roof can successfully absorb the collision of the hailstones depending on the building materials used on it. Other factors that can influence the damage include the speed and direction of the wind, as well as any present barriers.
The Types of Damage
Hail can not only greatly ruin the roof of your business establishment, but it also inflicts additional harm to the entire building.
- Dents or cracks on the roof
- Damaged or missing shingles
- Compromised sheathing
- Water leaks
- Water on the attic
- Wet insulation
The roof damage allows water to enter the location and creates further problems. You might need to contact a roofing specialist and water damage repair to fix both the roof and the affected parts of the building.
Preventing Damage From Hail
The repair process may slow down your productivity and deter consumers away from your business. You can prevent these issues and save on time and expenses by taking active measures against hail damage. Invest in using hail-resistant materials such as copper, plastic, or asphalt to decrease the effect of hail on the shingles. Also, install protection on valuable outdoor items and use storm shutters to protect the windows.
Hailstorms are particularly harsh on your commercial property and roof damage exposes it to additional risks. Focus on this potential damage as you protect and reinforce your commercial roof.
Identifying and Treating Mold Damage After Flooding
Water damage can lead to mold growth.
Mold Damage After Flooding: Identifying and Treating the Problem
Water intrusion after a heavy storm or flood can cause significant damage to a home. Even when homeowners have tried to be proactive about preventing storm damage, it may simply not be possible to fully shield a home from the forces of nature. Mold growth is one of the most worrisome examples of damage that homeowners need to resolve in the aftermath of a flood. Here are a few important considerations about this hazardous home damage that homeowners should be aware of.
What Are Signs That Mold Is Forming?
Any extensive water intrusion should automatically trigger concerns about mold. Mold growth may not be perceptible to homeowners right away. However, it is advisable to keep an eye out for these warning signs after a flood:
- Large areas of yellow or brown discoloration on flooring
- Small flecks of black or green debris on drywall and door frames
- Unpleasant or mildewy odors
Any perceptible signs of mold indicate that the problem is serious. Mold that appears confined to a limited area can rapidly spread to other areas through the air.
When Do Homeowners Need To Address Mold Growth?
In standing water, mold and bacteria can form within as little as 24 to 48 hours. A flood that leaves a volume of water that will not evaporate needs urgent removal. As soon as you perceive signs of mold, you need to take action.
How Can You Remove Mold?
After a water intrusion, professional intervention can alleviate concerns about mold spreading throughout your home. A sump pump can vacuum out water to inhibit mold formation. Industrial dehumidifiers and air purifiers can remove mold from the air to stop the spread.
Treating mold damage at the University Of Denver, CO can be an intensive process. Taking steps to address the problem early on could reduce the scope of work that will be necessary to restore your home.
How a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Home
Remove snow from the roof as soon as you can.
The Effects of a Winter Storm on Your Home
A winter storm at University Of Denver, CO, can damage your home in multiple ways. Wind, snow, rain and cold temperatures can negatively affect various areas of your house, but there are steps you can take to minimize the impact. Take care to prepare for the following situations.
1. Roof Damage
Snow and ice can damage your roof in a couple of ways. Piled-up snow can put too much weight on your roof, potentially causing it to collapse. Snow that melts and refreezes into ice can also create an ice dam. This makes it difficult for water to drain from the roof, causing water to leak into the ceiling underneath. To prevent these problems, remove snow from the roof as soon as you can.
2. Broken Windows
During a blizzard, strong winds can pick up debris and other objects in your yard. If they hit the building, these items can damage the outside of your house and may shatter some windows. If you are expecting a storm, clean your yard and remove or secure any furniture or other objects light enough to be carried by the wind. If there are nearby trees, consider trimming their branches as well.
3. Bursting Pipes
When the temperature drops during a winter storm, cold temperatures can freeze water inside your pipes. The expanding water can cause the pipes to burst and flood your home. Keeping the heat on or insulating exposed pipes can help prevent this from happening. Open cabinets with pipes inside to allow the air to circulate and keep the temperature consistent.
If your home is damaged during a winter storm, professionals can perform emergency restoration to return your home to its previous condition. However, preparing beforehand can save time and money. If you are expecting bad weather, take the necessary steps to get your home ready.
How a Commercial Generator Works and How to Prevent Problems
Some knowledge is all it takes to keep a generator in tip-top shape.
How a Commercial Generator Works
Does your building in North Park Hill, CO, have a commercial generator installed? Are you suffering from generator problems? Some basic info on how these devices work is the difference between success and frustration.
1. Engine and Fuel System
As you might already know, generators don't directly produce electrical energy. They instead convert mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. This is done by using the power of movement and forcing electrons through an electrical circuit. For a generator to produce this mechanical or chemical energy inside the engine, it needs a fuel system. There are several parts that all work together to keep the fuel clean, pressurized, and moving through the system properly.
You also have one of these devices in your vehicle, and it serves the same function: to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy. Oh yes, the engine doesn't do all the work. The alternator works by creating an electromagnetic field to generate electricity. This is all possible because of the movement power generated by the engine.
3. Cooling, Exhaust, and Lubrication
Following the vehicle model here, too, a generator also produces a lot of heat as a car would. To combat this, the small moving parts are all lubricated with oil to allow smooth functioning and slow wear and tear. The cooling system monitors how much heat is being generated and regulates the warning systems. It also tells the exhaust system what quantity of fumes should be expelled as well as when to do so.
4. Preventing Problems
Most problems are preventable with proper care and maintenance of your building's generator. For example, checking the lubrication levels every eight hours of operation prevents the most common wear and tear issues. Similarly, keeping an eye out for any warnings on the control panel helps alert you ahead of time if anything is wrong. If your generator and building are damaged in a storm, it's best to call in maintenance professional as well as any storm cleanup services you might need.
Some knowledge is all it takes to keep a generator in tip-top shape.
4 Ways To Keep Your Home’s Pedestal or Submersible Pump in Tiptop Shape
Remember, sump pumps often operate only a few months out of each year.
Four Ways To Keep Your Sump Pump In Excellent Condition
Your Congress Park, CO, home has a basement or crawl space, which is convenient both for access and roominess. However, many basements and crawl spaces are below water tables. When water rises outside, the pedestal or submersible pump in your basement removes it before it can cause damage. Here are four ways to keep your home’s sump pump in excellent condition.
1. Inspect the Pump
The only way to know whether you need pump maintenance is to routinely inspect the equipment. Remember, sump pumps often operate only a few months out of each year. The rest of the time, they are dormant. Before the rainy season, pull the pump out of its hole and take a look at it. If you see cracks, corrosion or other signs of damage, you may need to replace the pump.
2. Consult the Owner’s Manual
Some pedestal and submersible pumps require re-greasing. With others, you must occasionally replace worn or brittle gaskets. Your pump’s owner’s manual should tell you what type of routine maintenance you must perform to keep the pump operating optimally.
3. Test the Electrical System
Your sump pump runs on electricity. Therefore, it has a cord and a motor. It may also have an internal fuse. To avoid flooding, test electrical functionality every few months. Specifically, inspect the cord and outlet for wear and tear. Also, pour a bucket of water into the hole to see if the pump engages.
4. Look at the Sump
The hole that your pump sits inside is called the sump. As you may suspect, this space can accumulate debris. At least once per year, remove the pump and inspect the sump. If you notice dirt, rocks or other debris, remove it to avoid clogging your pump.
If your sump pump fails, an emergency restoration service can clean up flood damage and mitigate mold or mildew. Before you get to that point, though, follow these tips to keep your pump in tiptop shape.