Recent Storm Damage Posts

Assessing Wind Damage and Its Aftermath

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO working on remediation In this blog, we explore how to assess wind damage and navigate the aftermath effectively, providing valuable insights and guidance for homeowners.

Strong winds can wreak havoc on homes and buildings, causing significant structural damage. Assessing and addressing wind damage promptly is vital to ensure the safety of occupants and prevent further deterioration. In this blog, we will explore how to assess wind damage and navigate the aftermath effectively, providing valuable insights and guidance for homeowners.

Safety First

Before assessing any damage, prioritize safety. Make sure the immediate danger has passed and it is safe to enter the premises. Watch out for potential hazards such as downed power lines, unstable structures, or debris. If there are any concerns about the stability of the building, evacuate immediately and seek professional assistance.

Exterior Assessment

Begin by conducting an exterior assessment of your property. Look for visible signs of wind damage, including:

  1. Roof: Check for missing or damaged shingles, loose or dented flashing, or displaced tiles. Pay attention to any areas where the roof might have lifted or peeled back, as these are vulnerable spots for water intrusion.
  2. Siding and Facade: Inspect the siding, stucco, or brick facade for cracks, chips, or loosened sections. Strong winds can dislodge siding materials, compromising the structure's integrity and leaving it vulnerable to further damage.
  3. Windows and Doors: Examine windows and doors for cracks, broken glass, or frames that have pulled away from the structure. Damaged windows and doors can compromise security and lead to water damage if not addressed promptly.
  4. Exterior Structures: Assess other elements such as fences, awnings, and outbuildings for damage. These structures may have experienced wind stress or could have become projectiles during the storm.

Interior Assessment

Once the external assessment is complete and deemed safe, proceed to inspect the interior of the building. Look for the following signs of wind damage:

  • Water Intrusion: Check for signs of water damage, including stains, discoloration, or moisture on walls, ceilings, and floors. High winds can cause gaps in the building envelope, allowing water to enter and potentially lead to mold growth and structural decay.
  • Cracks and Shifts: Look for new cracks in walls, ceilings, or floors, as well as any noticeable shifts in the structure. Wind pressure can cause structural elements to move, leading to cracks or gaps that compromise stability.
  • Damaged Electrical Systems: Assess the electrical system for any visible damage, such as exposed wires, broken outlets, or non-functioning fixtures. If you suspect any electrical damage, seek professional assistance and refrain from attempting to fix it yourself.

Engage Professionals

For a comprehensive assessment of structural wind damage, it is essential to engage professionals. Turn to trained experts who can assess the severity of the damage and provide guidance on necessary repairs.

  • Structural Engineers: Consult with a structural engineer to evaluate the extent of the damage and provide a detailed assessment. They can determine if the building is structurally sound and recommend appropriate repairs or reinforcements.
  • Restoration Professionals: A professional restoration company like SERVPRO® can provide expertise in addressing water damage, mold remediation, and structural repairs. Their skilled technicians can conduct a thorough evaluation of the damage and execute necessary restoration procedures to ensure your home is safe and habitable.

Remember to document all the damage with photographs and detailed notes, as this information will be valuable for insurance claims and the restoration process. By promptly addressing wind damage and seeking support from trusted professionals like SERVPRO, you can protect your property and restore it to its pre-storm condition.

In Conclusion

Assessing wind damage and its aftermath requires a methodical approach and professional expertise. Prioritize safety, conduct a thorough evaluation of the exterior and interior, and engage reputable professionals for guidance. By promptly addressing structural wind damage and following the recommended repairs, you can ensure the safety and integrity of your home with the help of trusted experts like SERVPRO.

The Role of a Resilient Roof in Protecting Your Property

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

Large green SERVPRO truck on a commercial job site. Your roof serves as the first line of defense, shielding your property from harsh weather conditions.

Your roof serves as the first line of defense, shielding your property from harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains, strong winds, hailstorms, and more. Understanding the significance of a durable roof is important, especially when considering the unpredictable nature of weather-related challenges.

The Importance of a Resilient Roof

1. Protection Against Weather Elements

A robust roof is crucial in safeguarding your property and its inhabitants against various weather extremes. It shields against rain, preventing water leaks that can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and compromised integrity.

2. Wind Resistance

Strong winds accompanying storms can wreak havoc on roofs, causing shingles to lift or even tear off entirely. A resilient roof structure and quality roofing materials can resist wind damage, minimizing the risk of structural compromise.

3. Hail Damage Mitigation

Hailstorms can pose a significant threat to rooftops, often causing dents, cracks, or punctures in roofing materials. A durable roof built with impact-resistant materials can withstand hail damage more effectively.

Maintaining Roof Resilience

1. Regular Inspections

Schedule routine roof inspections by certified professionals to detect and address any issues promptly. Identify loose shingles, signs of wear and tear, or areas prone to leaks.

2. Timely Repairs and Maintenance

Address minor damages promptly to prevent them from escalating into more significant issues. Repair loose or damaged shingles, flashing, or gutters to maintain the roof's integrity.

3. Invest in Quality Materials

When replacing or installing a new roof, invest in high-quality materials designed to withstand the local climate and weather conditions. Consult with roofing experts to choose the best materials for resilience and longevity.

Responding to Storm Damage

Despite precautions, storms may sometimes cause unforeseen damage to even the most resilient roofs. In such cases:

  1. Safety First: Ensure personal safety and assess the extent of damage from a safe vantage point. Avoid climbing onto a damaged roof.
  2. Document the Damage: Take photographs or videos to document the damage for insurance claims. This will also aid professionals in accurately assessing the repair needs.
  3. Professional Assistance: Contact certified roofing professionals to conduct a thorough assessment and carry out necessary repairs or replacements.

A resilient roof is an invaluable asset in protecting your property from the wrath of nature's unpredictability. Regular maintenance, timely repairs, and investing in quality materials are key to ensuring your roof remains robust against various weather challenges. However, in the event of storm-related damage, entrust the restoration and repair process to experienced professionals like SERVPRO of Bel Air/West Hollywood.

4 Ways Nature Can Be Used to Prevent Flooding

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Four Ways To Reduce Flooding

When floodwaters rise in your Central Hollywood, CA, business, that high water means a messy cleanup best left to water damage and restoration company. While flooding can’t be completely eliminated, larger urban areas are turning to nature for flood prevention. Below are four ways to reduce flooding while also beautifying a landscape filled with concrete and buildings.

1. Rain Gardens
As older urban areas are being revitalized, planners are incorporating more green space to stop flooding. Rain gardens are designed to be just below the ground level to trap rainwater. They are shallow and flat, which helps the green vegetation and soil filter any pollutants as it absorbs the overflow. They are easy and cost-effective to build and maintain, making them a trending solution.

2. Planting Trees
When the goal is to reduce high water, trees make an excellent solution. Although they take time to grow, their eventual canopies slow the flow of runoff. As the water collects on the leaves, it eventually evaporates or trickles down to be absorbed by the soil below. Their extensive root systems can also benefit groundwater replenishment in a drought.

3. Green Roofs
Along with boosting plant life on the ground, green roofs are an ideal method to minimize the effects of stormwater runoff. Covered in vegetation, they absorb approximately 80 percent of the rainfall. That means less water running over sidewalks and streets getting polluted. Another bonus is that a building with a green roof can reduce city temperatures because heat isn’t getting trapped by rows of dark roofs.

4. Rainwater Collection

While heavy rainfall can be a bit dreary, using that rain in smarter ways can reduce flooding and minimize water usage. There are tanks that can be installed for large buildings to collect, store and use that water for other purposes. With the ability to hold thousands of gallons of water, it can be incorporated into a structure for flushing toilets, lawn and garden irrigation, and other cleaning purposes.

Although high water entering your property may eventually happen, largescale efforts are being made in many cities to use nature to fight flooding.

What To Do When Insurance Falls Short

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

What to Do If Insurance Is Insufficient

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you probably have flood insurance. Ideally, this policy covers all your expenses when you need them. If a major disaster occurs in West Hollywood, CA, however, you may have needs that your coverage doesn’t quite meet. In these instances, you can apply for a FEMA grant.

What a Grant Can Cover

There are several types of emergency grants for which you can apply when you need disaster relief. These grants may cover expenses such as:

  • Property damage not covered by insurance
  • Medical expenses
  • Temporary housing
  • Emergency repairs

If you qualify for a grant, it does not have to be repaid, so you don’t have to worry about finding a way to come up with the money. While grants are not designed to replace flood insurance, they can help fill in the gaps.

What a Grant Doesn’t Cover

FEMA grants are intended to serve those who need them most. They are most commonly sought by people who live near a flood plain or other disaster-prone area. Although people of any income can apply for grants, those that pay for expenses such as repairs to personal property or moving expenses are awarded on the basis of income. You can apply for a grant even after flood mitigation specialists have already started the repairs on your home. Providing pictures of the damage before restoration began, however, may speed up the processing of your application.

Even if you have flood insurance, it doesn’t always cover all the expenses that come up when a major disaster strikes the area where you live. You may spend all your savings on your deductible and have nothing left for a place to stay while mitigation is in process. Government grants are designed to help you get the assistance you need without having to worry about paying the money back.

Make Your Commercial Roof Last Longer

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Protecting your property in Bel Air, CA, comes in many forms, which should include keeping tabs on the roof. Once the property sustains roof damage, it may mean ruined property and facing water damage or mold issues. Ensuring upkeep stays on the regular to-do list is vital to avoid that and keep your roof lasting as long as possible.

Upkeep Tips

While it may be easy to forget the roof until a storm comes along, it is important to consider the following throughout the year:

Regular Maintenance: Especially after severe weather, owners should check for leaks, standing water and blocked drains, as well as missing shingles, flashing, or other components caused by wind damage.

Repair Leaks: If you discover an issue, don’t let it sit any longer than necessary. The faster it is fixed, the lesser the chance of a bigger problem emerging.

Annual Inspections: Have a professional inspect the roof at least once a year. An inspector will have the expertise to look for hidden issues and potential problems that may lead to roof damage.

Keep It Clean: Ensuring the roof is free of extra debris is key to damage slowly building up and spread. Leaves and branches should be removed to minimize the chances of algae growth, which can accelerate damage.

Trust Certified Professionals

Whether it is gotten to the point that you need a roof rebuild or have sustained damage that requires water damage and restoration services, getting the right help is essential. A roofing issue of any kind is a long-term situation, so choosing a qualified, experienced contractor is vital. Along with being able to perform the work that is necessary, an ideal contractor will walk you through the process, help provide a maintenance plan and identify steps to help ensure the longevity of your roof.
Although roof damage may not be completely avoidable, it can be minimized. Staying proactive and getting the right help ensures your investment lasts longer.

5 Steps To Take If Your Home Is Damaged in a Storm

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall due to floodwater entering the property Storm damage cleanup in Central Hollywood, CA.

Storm Tips

If you have experienced damage to your Central Hollywood, CA, home after a storm or severe weather, there are many steps that you can take to be proactive in the situation. Instead of just waiting for assistance to come, follow these storm tips to help get your home back in order more quickly.

1. Call Your Insurance Agent

The first thing that you should do if your home has suffered storm damage is to call your insurance company. It is best to get started on your claim as quickly as possible because it can be a long and time-consuming process.

2. Contact a Restoration Service

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to contact someone to help with cleanup and repairs. Sometimes, your agent will give you information for a preferred damage restoration company.

3. Take Pictures

One of the most useful storm tips to remember is to take pictures. You can give these to your insurance agent to facilitate the claims process. Before moving anything, you should document any damage, both to your home and any affected belongings.

4. Move Property to a Dry Area

Once you have photographed the property, you should salvage any items that you can. If you allow them to sit in the water, it will be more difficult to restore and repair them later on.

5. Take Steps To Prevent Further Damage

If the storm damage is contained to certain areas of your home, you should block them off to keep the water from spreading to other areas. Tarps are a useful and effective way to do this. If any doors or windows have been damaged, those should be covered as well.

While it can be easy to panic during an emergency, keeping these storm tips in mind may help you stay calm. You can use them to get the restoration process off to a good start even before the specialists arrive.