Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls, or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Storm Damage Unnoticed For Several Months
Rain can be unpredictable enough, but when storm damage is involved it can make matters even more complicated. In fact, a local office building experienced just that. Through the holiday season, they were closed for business and did not discover the damage from the rain until the office manager returned two days later.
When she and the rest of the staff saw that every inch of the carpet was soaked and files in cardboard boxes have been saturated, they began to panic. When we arrived on the scene, we let them know everything was going to be okay. Our production team began to extract water immediately from the wet carpet while the production manager measured what areas were wet and which were dry in the corners. After thoroughly checking for moisture, extracting all water, and drying for a few days, we were able to save the carpet, saving the office and property manager hundreds of dollars.
If you have water damage due to a recent storm, let our office help!
How to protect your home from water damage
Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home can experience, costing billions of dollars annually. Safeguard your most important asset against water damage with the right insurance coverage and the following practical advice.
Water damage and insurance
Different types of water damage are insured by different types of policies.
Homeowners' and renters' insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind-driven rain, and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Generally speaking, water that comes from the top down—such as rainfall and burst sprinklers—is covered by a standard homeowner's policy.
Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider for your homeowners' or renters' coverage.
Typically, water that comes from the bottom up—such as an overflowing river—is covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be purchased from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from some private insurers. If you live in a flood-prone area, learn more about appropriate coverage.
Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.
Prevent basement water seepage
- Reseal your basement. Water in the basement is often caused by cracks in building foundations or floor slabs. If you notice water seepage after heavy rain when you've never had a problem, it may mean that your once-waterproof cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Painting vulnerable areas with water sealant can prevent seepage.
- Make sure water drains away from the building. Seepage is exacerbated by soil that has settled in a way to make water flow toward the building. After a storm, and especially if the ground is already saturated, rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall potentially through any cracks.
- Install a backwater valve. Though less common than other causes of basement water, sewer backups are messy. Learn more about your sewer responsibilities and install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to go out, but not come back in.
Maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems
- Inspect appliance hoses and faucets. Make it a practice every year to check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator ice makers. You may also want to invest in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system that can alert you to any leakage issues. Immediately replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks, and replace them all every five to seven years.
- Inspect showers and tubs. Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight and reseal if necessary.
- When away on vacation, shut off the water supply to the washing machine and never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
- Know the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. Being able to locate and shut off the main water supply quickly will save stress, money, and time.
- Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
- Check plumbing and heating pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs made immediately.
Repair and protect your home's exterior
- Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage.
- Inspect your roof for missing, damaged, and aging shingles and make necessary repairs.
- Check your downspouts. Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
- Check sprinklers and irrigation systems to be sure they are not creating water damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
- Install gutter guards to prevent gutter clogs and keep water flowing away from the house instead of accumulating on the roof.
Protect your possessions
- Store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins, especially in areas where there are plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.
- Never store valuables or memorabilia where there is a risk of destruction from water. Water and dampness also bring with it the threat of mold damage.
- Keep belongings stored on shelving off the floor in basements. In case of water seepage or sewer backup, they're less likely to get damaged.
- Keep an up-to-date home inventory. Having a comprehensive list of your possessions will save time, trouble, and stress in case of loss from water damage.
Why You Should Hire a Professional to Find Your Leaks
Whenever you have a problem with your home, the first impulse is usually to tackle the problem yourself. Sometimes this can be the right choice, and the problem’s easy enough to solve on your own. Other times it’s much safer and smarter to call in the pros from the beginning.
Tracking down tricky leaks is one of those times. Sure, some leaks are easy to track down, but water has a way of traveling odd paths. So once finding a leak gets tough, then it’s time to call in some help. And here’s why:
They Know Where to Look
Water can travel strange paths before it finally comes out into your home, and you might be surprised how far it can come. That discolored spot on your basement ceiling could actually be caused by a leak in your roof or your wall on the opposite side of the house.
Professionals have tracked down hundreds, even thousands of leaks over the years. That experience gives them a wide variety of usual suspects to check, and a good number of unusual ones, too.
They Know What to Look For
That slight, turquoise line along your copper pipe? That’s where water has run along the outside and caused the copper to oxidize. It’s a sure sign that a leak is sending water traveling on the wrong side of the pipes.
Pros know these and dozens of other signs. What looks like a bit of dirt to you might indicate a serious leak in your roof, foundation, or wall. Or it might just be some dirt. A professional will be able to know the difference for certain.
They’ve Got the Right Equipment
Most of us can only use our eyes or sense of touch to lead us to water, but not the professionals. They have a wide variety of specialized equipment that can sense moisture and humidity through walls or probe underground for water deposits using ground-penetrating radar.
This equipment can be expensive to buy and tricky to use. They have years of experience using the equipment, and the know-how to put it to good use.
They Know How to Fix It
Once a professional has found the leak, they’ll know the best way to fix the leak, and will usually be able to take care of the work themselves. The truth is, any professional who comes to repair the leak will have to track it down anyway, even if you have a good idea where the leak is.
By using a professional in the first place, you remove that step from the process, saving you money and getting the leak repaired sooner.
Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Major Causes of Water Damage
Did you know that a leaking faucet can cost you more or less 250 gallons of water each month? There are 12 months in a year; do the math and you will get an idea of the amount of money you get to waste each year for a single unfixed leaking faucet. Below are the 6 most common causes of commercial water damage.
Damaged sprinkler system
The law requires all commercial entities to have a sprinkler system, along with a fire alarm, installed in the building for safety purposes in case of fire. The sprinkler system should only get activated when there is too much heat from the fire. However, over time, the sprinkler can get broken and malfunction. When this happens, the sprinkler can get activated even without fire leading to serious flooding within the building.
The roof should protect the occupants and everything within the building from external elements such as the heat from the sun and rain. But a leaky roof does otherwise. As the roof gets older, it also becomes more vulnerable to heavy rains and snow, resulting in water damage to your building’s roof.
Broken HVAC system
Your business’ HVAC system is an essential part of maintaining the temperature of your building and making its occupants comfortable. Studies have also shown that your HVAC system can also impact the productivity level of your employees. However, like any other part of your commercial building, your HVAC system can also experience issues such as clogging and leaking. An HVAC system that is not cleaned and maintained regularly can cause water damage from the excess water in the compression tanks.
Broken equipment and appliances
Sometimes, your building may have appliances such as a water heater, AC, washing machine, and others. Apart from that, there are also pipes within the building that can get damage anytime and cause water damage in the commercial space. Major problems happen if these equipment and appliances get broken and no one notices it or during off-hours as it can leak a significant amount of water.
Another common cause of water damage in commercial buildings is damaged windows. Rainwater and moisture can seep through especially if the windows are not properly maintained and need re-caulking. While it may not cause immediate flooding, it can do great damage to the drywall and can encourage mold growth.
Apart from the damage to your building’s foundation and roof, water damage in commercial buildings can also be caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, thunderstorms, and heavy rain resulting in flash floods. Clogged gutters can lead rainwater to flow towards the foundation of your building, making it more vulnerable to water damage.
Commercial water damage is a devastating problem that any business owner can experience. While there is no way to totally get rid of the threats of water damage on your building, knowing its most common causes will help you minimize the risk.
Sleeping With Your Bedroom Door Closed Could Save Your Life
Notice the difference in the charring of the hallway versus the unburned walls in the bedroom.
Public Service Announcement: This picture taken by our firefighters while they operated at a structure fire today in The Hideout, Lake Township, Wayne County, shows proof that sleeping with your bedroom door closed could save your life. Notice the difference in the charring of the hallway versus the unburned walls in the bedroom. First arriving crews arrived to find heavy fire engulfing the entire home. The home was a total loss.
Research has shown that a closed bedroom door can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room.
Just a few decades ago the average time it took to escape a home fire was about 17 minutes. Now it is three minutes or less. This is because of the synthetic furniture, more open floor plans in homes, and other flammable materials. Just closing your bedroom door at night can give you more time to get out the bedroom windows safely and call the fire department.
Research proves that a closed door during a fire, can mean the difference between 1,000 degrees temperatures and 100 degrees temperatures. Keep your bedroom door closed to keep the extra heat out!
During a fire, a closed door can also keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM verses 10,000 PPM when a door is left open.
Close Before You Doze. Statistics show that in 2019, every three hours and ten minute, someone dies in a house fire. Do your part and don’t become part of the statistics.
If you live in Jefferson County and are interested in joining their team, visit www.29firerescue.com/membership/ for more information.
SERVPRO’s Veteran Initiative
In early 2021 SERVPRO announced a new initiative called “driven to serve”. This initiative is designed to provide returning veterans with employment. This was a renewed effort on SERVPRO’s behalf to help the more than 225,000 veterans who are discharged from the United States military annually. SERVPRO set a goal of hiring 1,000 returning veterans by 2022.
SERVPRO has always valued employing service members. In fact, on November 10, 2020 the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, recognized SERVPRO Industries, LLC as one of the 675 recipients of the “2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Award’’ during an award ceremony at the U.S. Department of Labor. SERVPRO earned the Gold Award after applying earlier this year. The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act) Medallion Program is the only federal award program that recognizes job creators who successfully recruit, hire, and retain veterans.
I am proud to work for a nationally recognized franchise who values those who served our country and sacrificed so much for us. SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County recognizes the importance of this “driven to serve’’ initiative. We understand how challenging it can be for some veterans integrating back into the workforce. That is why we have decided to help in this effort. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly if you or someone you know has served and is looking for employment in the Poconos.
Please contact us directly at marketing@SERVPROmonroepike.com. We would be honored to work beside you.
Why Choose SERVPRO?
PA residents in Pike and Monroe can rest assured that the SERVPRO of Southern Monroe County Professionals will understand your situation. Our goal is to provide a premium service experience from start to finish on every claim you send our way.
Pocono Area SERVPRO Professionals are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages.
Emergency Response to Claims
Restoring property in the Pocono Area is our SERVPRO Professional's first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage. We also understand the importance of having a production team that can comfort homeowners and business owners in their time of need.
Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense
Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." The Monroe Area SERVPRO Professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability. We are able to get results fairly quickly in most circumstances.
Claims Inventory Service
Pocono Area SERVPRO Professionals can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.
Electronic Claims Information
Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, creating a well documented and well organized file for every claim.
- A Complete Electronic Job File
- First Notice of Loss
- Detailed Estimate
- Digital Loss Photos
- Scanned Forms and Paperwork
- All delivered by email or hard copy
- On-line Access to All Files
- New Assignments
- Pending Jobs
- Completed Jobs
- Informative Reports to Improve Results
Superior, Time-Tested Training
Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. Franchises are trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to franchise professionals and insurance clients at our state-of-the-art IICRC Approved Training Facility.
Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism
If you call SERVPRO, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:
- A Customer Care Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim
- Implementation of best practices and job process programs
- National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks
- Crew and vehicle standards
- Insurance requirements
- File documentation requirements
- Quality assurance program
Serving Adjusters and Their Clients
A SERVPRO Professional's job is to perform premium service and report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim, and not to deal with problems from vendors! Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files, while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours.
How SERVPRO Cleans and Disinfects Your Home or Business
SERVPRO always follows the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home or business:
- Wear reusable or disposable gloves for all cleaning and disinfection.
- Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
- Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
- Focus cleaning on frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include:
- Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
SERVPRO always uses EPA-approved disinfectants and follows the EPA guidelines for safe and effective usage.
To schedule a cleaning and disinfection of your home or business, call us today at 570-424-2290
SERVPRO on the Frontlines of the Pandemic
SERVPRO has been on the front lines of this pandemic since it hit our shores. Early in the pandemic, the federal government was bringing people back from overseas. The government along with the world was still figuring out how the COVID-19 was spread. Even with a lack of consensus at the time, SERVPRO was the trusted Cleanup and Restoration company that the government turned to in their time of need.
That is because SERVPRO is a leader in cleanup and restoration. We have over 50 years of experience in biohazard cleaning. Our trusted employees are trained, familiar, and equipped with leading industry technologies and supplies to clean up any Biohazard including COVID-19. We arm our cleaning support team with protective equipment, proprietary cleaning products which are FDA approved, and top of the line production equipment to get the job done safely.
Each of our employees undergoes vigorous training and shadowing in the field to help them become familiar with safety protocols and procedures. This helps to ensure that they are getting the job done safely and effectively.
As we start to open our country up and hopefully put this pandemic behind us, it is important to remember that the standard of clean has changed. In a recent survey, 80% of consumers surveyed expressed concerns about visiting brick and mortar locations, citing cleanliness as a top concern for them.
Having your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned with a decal on the front window can help communicate to consumers that you hear their concerns and you take their safety and well being seriously.
Call today to make an appointment to have your Monroe County home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! 570-424-2290