Lessons from Historic Northeast Storms: Enduring Impact on Homes and Properties
The lessons learned from historic storms have had a profound impact on how property owners prepare for and respond to extreme weather events.
The Northeastern United States has a long history of enduring powerful and historic storms that leave a lasting impact on homes and properties. As a homeowner or property owner in this region, understanding the lessons learned from past storms is essential to better prepare for future weather events. In this blog, we'll explore some of the most significant historic Northeast storms, the valuable lessons they taught us, and the enduring impact they have had on homes and properties.
The Great New England Hurricane (1938)
The Great New England Hurricane of 1938, also known as the Long Island Express, was one of the most devastating storms to hit the region. With winds exceeding 120 mph, it caused widespread destruction to homes, properties, and infrastructure. The lesson learned from this historic storm was the importance of early warning systems and preparedness. Today, homeowners have access to advanced weather forecasting and emergency alerts, empowering them to take timely precautions when a storm is on the horizon.
The Blizzard of 1978
The Blizzard of 1978 remains one of the most infamous storms in Northeastern history. With record-breaking snowfall and fierce winds, it paralyzed cities and towns, leaving homes buried and properties inaccessible for days. This historic event highlighted the significance of having a well-stocked emergency kit, including food, water, blankets, flashlights, and batteries. Property owners learned the value of investing in snow removal equipment and planning for prolonged power outages.
Superstorm Sandy (2012)
Superstorm Sandy, a hybrid storm formed from a hurricane and a winter storm, struck the Northeast in 2012. This unprecedented storm caused extensive flooding, wind damage, and power outages, affecting millions of homes and properties. Homeowners realized the importance of elevating their homes in flood-prone areas and investing in flood insurance. Property owners also recognized the need for strengthening infrastructure and coastal protection measures to mitigate the impact of future storms.
The "Bomb Cyclone" (2018)
The "Bomb Cyclone" that hit the Northeast in 2018 brought a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure, resulting in intense snowfall and blizzard conditions. This storm demonstrated the significance of proper insulation and weatherproofing to protect homes from extreme cold and prevent heat loss. Homeowners learned to seal gaps and cracks, add extra insulation, and ensure their heating systems were in excellent working condition to endure such frigid conditions.
Lessons for Home and Property Insurance
Historic Northeast storms have also underscored the importance of having adequate home and property insurance coverage. Many homeowners have faced significant financial losses due to storm-related damage. Understanding the terms and coverage of insurance policies is crucial for making informed decisions and ensuring that homes and properties are adequately protected against storm-related risks.
The lessons learned from historic Northeast storms have had a profound and lasting impact on how homeowners and property owners prepare for and respond to extreme weather events. Early warning systems, emergency preparedness, and investing in weather-resistant infrastructure have become crucial pillars of storm readiness. Homeowners have become more aware of the importance of fortifying their properties against the forces of nature and having comprehensive insurance coverage to mitigate potential financial losses. By drawing from the experiences of past storms, we can better equip ourselves and our properties to weather any future challenges that come our way.
Key Measures to Protect Your Business from Fire Disasters
Fire disasters can be devastating for any business, causing significant damage to property, disrupting operations, and putting the safety of employees and customers at risk. As a business owner, taking proactive measures to protect your business from fire disasters is crucial. In this blog post, we will discuss three key measures you can implement to safeguard your business from the threat of fire.
Fire Prevention and Risk Assessment
Preventing fires should be a primary focus for every business. Conducting a thorough fire risk assessment is the first step in identifying potential hazards and implementing preventive measures. Walk through your premises with a trained professional to identify possible ignition sources, flammable materials, and any other fire risks. Common areas to pay attention to include electrical systems, heating and cooling equipment, storage areas, and office spaces.
Based on the risk assessment findings, develop a fire prevention plan tailored to your business. This plan should include measures such as regular maintenance of electrical systems, proper storage, and handling of flammable materials, installation and regular inspection of fire extinguishers, and implementation of fire safety protocols.
Fire Detection Systems
Early detection of fires is critical in minimizing damage and ensuring the safe evacuation of everyone in your business premises. Installing reliable fire detection systems is essential for a quick response. Consider installing fire alarm systems with smoke and heat detectors that are interconnected and monitored 24/7.
Additionally, consider incorporating automatic fire sprinkler systems. These systems can significantly suppress or extinguish fires before they spread, providing an extra layer of protection to your property and assets. Regularly test and maintain these systems to ensure they are functioning optimally and conform to applicable regulations.
Emergency Preparedness and Employee Training
Preparing your employees for emergencies is vital to ensure their safety and the smooth evacuation of your premises. Develop and practice an emergency evacuation plan that includes clear escape routes, designated meeting points outside the building, and specific roles assigned to employees during an emergency.
Regularly conduct fire drills to familiarize employees with evacuation procedures and ensure they understand their roles in emergency situations. Provide training on the proper use of fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment. Encourage employees to report any potential fire hazards they notice and to maintain a safe and organized working environment.
In addition to emergency preparedness, having a well-documented and accessible emergency contact list is essential. This list should include contact information for local fire departments, emergency services, and key personnel within your organization.
Implementing these three key measures will significantly enhance your business's ability to prevent, detect, and respond to fire disasters effectively. By prioritizing fire safety, regularly reviewing and updating your fire prevention strategies, and investing in the right equipment and training, you can protect your business, employees, and customers from the devastating effects of fires. Remember, fire safety is a continuous effort that requires the commitment and involvement of everyone in your organization.
What Can Cause a Flooded Basement?
A flooded basement is a homeowner's nightmare, causing significant damage. Understanding the common culprits behind basement flooding is crucial for prevention and prompt action. In this blog post, we'll explore various factors that can cause a flooded basement, ranging from weather-related issues to plumbing mishaps and structural problems. By identifying these causes, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your basement and prevent costly water damage.
Heavy Rainfall and Poor Drainage
One of the primary causes of basement flooding is heavy rainfall. When rainwater accumulates around the foundation of your home, it can seep into the basement through cracks, gaps, or faulty waterproofing. Inadequate or clogged exterior drainage systems, such as gutters and downspouts, can exacerbate the problem by directing water toward the foundation instead of away from it.
Ensure proper grading around your home, directing water away from the foundation. Clean and maintain gutters and downspouts regularly to ensure efficient water flow. Consider installing a sump pump and a perimeter drainage system to help redirect water away from your basement.
Plumbing failures, such as burst pipes, leaking water heaters, or malfunctioning sump pumps, can quickly lead to basement flooding. A small leak or a sudden pipe rupture can release a significant amount of water, saturating your basement in a short period.
Regularly inspect your plumbing system for signs of leaks, corrosion, or wear and tear. Ensure that your sump pump is in good working condition and consider installing a backup battery or water-powered sump pump for added protection.
Sewer backups occur when the main sewer line becomes overwhelmed by excessive water or blockages, causing wastewater to flow back into your home. This can result in a hazardous and unsanitary situation, leading to basement flooding.
Install backflow prevention devices, such as check valves or gate valves, to prevent sewage from flowing back into your home. Regularly maintain your sewer lines and avoid flushing items that can clog the system.
Cracks in your foundation walls or floor can allow water to seep into your basement during periods of heavy rain or when the groundwater level rises. Poor foundation drainage, hydrostatic pressure, or inadequate waterproofing can contribute to basement flooding.
Inspect your foundation regularly for cracks or signs of deterioration. Address any foundation issues promptly, including repairing cracks and improving exterior drainage. Consider applying waterproof coatings or sealants to protect your basement from water intrusion.
Malfunctioning or Insufficient French Drains
French drains are designed to collect and redirect groundwater away from your foundation. If these drains become clogged, damaged, or insufficient in size, they may fail to effectively channel water away, leading to basement flooding.
Regularly inspect and maintain your French drain system, ensuring it is clear of debris and functioning properly. If needed, consult a professional to assess and improve the efficiency of your drainage system.
A flooded basement can result in extensive damage and pose risks to your home's structure and your family's health. By understanding the common causes of basement flooding, you can take proactive measures to prevent such incidents. Regular maintenance, proper drainage, foundation inspections, and addressing plumbing issues promptly are essential for protecting your basement from water damage. Remember, consulting a professional in case of significant water intrusion or persistent basement flooding is advisable to ensure comprehensive solutions and minimize the risk of future incidents.
SERVPRO's Collaboration with Gutster Brands
We've partnered with Gutster Brands to create 100 percent recycle content garbage bags.
At SERVPRO of Happy Valley, we strive to do more than just talk about the environment – we take action to make a positive impact. That's why we are proud to announce our collaboration with Gutster Brands to bring 100% recycled content garbage bags to our franchise. These eco-friendly bags are not only beneficial for the environment, but they also represent our commitment to sustainable business practices.
Our franchise has worked closely with Gutster Brands for over a year to secure a competitive price on these garbage bags while maintaining their high quality and eco-friendly nature. As a result, we have become the first SERVPRO franchise to receive these branded garbage bag boxes.
Here are some key points about our new garbage bags:
- They are made of 100% recycled content, which is higher than most other brands that range from 0% to 90%.
- All the scraps used in the production of these bags come from the USA, ensuring a positive impact on the domestic plastic problem.
- Our collaboration with Gutster Brands reflects our dedication to making real changes in our business practices to help the environment.
At SERVPRO of Happy Valley, we understand the importance of environmental sustainability, especially for our clients in the Happy Valley area. By using these 100% recycled content garbage bags, we are actively contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and promoting eco-friendly practices within our industry.
We invite you to join us in our commitment to protecting the environment and making a real difference in our community. If you have any questions about our eco-friendly garbage bags or other sustainable practices, please feel free to contact us. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment while providing the highest quality restoration and cleaning services.
Riding Out the Storm: How Severe Weather Can Impact Your Roof
As a homeowner, it's important to understand how storm damage can affect your roof. Storms can bring high winds, heavy rain, and hail that can cause significant damage to your roof. In this blog, we'll discuss how different types of storm damage can affect your roof and what you can do to prevent and repair the damage.
One of the most common types of storm damage to a roof is wind damage. High winds can lift and remove shingles from your roof, exposing the underlayment and roof decking to water damage. In severe cases, wind damage can even cause your roof to lift or collapse. If you suspect wind damage to your roof, it's important to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. A damaged roof can lead to leaks, mold growth, and other structural problems if left untreated.
Heavy rain and flooding can also cause significant damage to your roof. Water can seep into cracks and gaps in your roof, leading to leaks and water damage in your home. Water damage can also weaken the structure of your roof over time, leading to more severe problems down the line. To prevent water damage, make sure your roof is properly sealed and maintained. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and repair any areas of concern before they become major problems.
Hail can be especially damaging to your roof, as it can cause dents, cracks, and other types of damage to your shingles. Hail damage can also weaken the protective granules on your shingles, which can make your roof more vulnerable to water damage in the future. If you suspect hail damage to your roof, it's important to have it inspected by a professional. They can assess the damage and recommend repairs or replacements as needed.
Fallen Trees or Debris
Storms can also bring down trees or other debris that can damage your roof. A fallen tree can cause significant damage to your roof, including punctures, cracks, and other types of damage. Debris can also cause damage to your roof if it's blown onto it during high winds. To prevent this type of damage, it's important to keep trees near your home properly trimmed and maintained. You can also consider installing storm-resistant roofing materials, such as metal or tile, to help protect your roof from damage.
In conclusion, storm damage can have a significant impact on your roof, leading to leaks, water damage, and other structural problems. By understanding the different types of storm damage that can affect your roof, you can take steps to prevent and repair the damage. If you suspect storm damage to your roof, it's important to have it inspected by a professional. A licensed roofing contractor can assess the damage and recommend repairs or replacements to keep your home safe and protected.
If you are in need of storm damage restoration services, contact our team at SERVPRO of Happy Valley. We provide expert storm damage repair and restoration services to help you get your home back to its pre-storm condition.
Dealing with Mold in Your Apartment: A Tenant's Guide to Taking Action and Protecting Your Health
Finding mold in your home can be inconvenient but the professionals at SERVPRO can help.
Living in an apartment can be a convenient and comfortable choice for many people. However, one common issue that can arise in apartments, especially in damp or poorly ventilated areas, is the presence of mold. Mold is a type of fungus that can grow on various surfaces and can pose health risks if not addressed promptly. If you find mold in your apartment, it's essential to take action to prevent its spread. In this blog, we'll explore what you should do if you find mold in your apartment and provide some practical steps to address the issue.
Identify the type and extent of the mold
Mold can come in various colors and textures, and not all molds are the same. If you notice mold in your apartment, try to determine the type and extent of the mold growth. If the mold covers a small area, less than 10 square feet, and it's a relatively simple surface, such as tile or glass, you may be able to address it yourself. However, if the mold covers a larger area, is in hard-to-reach places, or if you suspect it may be toxic mold, it's best to seek professional help.
Notify your landlord or property manager
As soon as you notice mold in your apartment, it's crucial to inform your landlord or property manager immediately. They have a responsibility to provide a safe and habitable living environment for their tenants, and mold growth can be a violation of that responsibility. Contact them in writing and provide details about the location, extent, and type of mold you have discovered. Keep a copy of your communication for your records.
Take steps to prevent further mold growth
While you wait for your landlord or property manager to take action, there are some steps you can take to prevent further mold growth. Mold thrives in damp environments, so it's important to control moisture in your apartment. Use dehumidifiers, fix any leaks or water intrusions, and ensure proper ventilation in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Avoid carpeting in areas prone to moisture, such as basements or bathrooms, as they can promote mold growth. Keep your apartment clean and dry, and avoid leaving damp or wet items lying around.
Follow proper mold remediation techniques
If you're addressing a small area of mold growth on your own, it's essential to follow proper mold remediation techniques. This includes using appropriate cleaning solutions specifically designed for mold removal, such as a mixture of water and detergent, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Avoid using bleach, as it can be toxic and may not be effective in killing mold on porous surfaces. Remove and dispose of any moldy materials, such as carpets, drywall, or furniture, that cannot be properly cleaned. Thoroughly dry the area after cleaning to prevent further mold growth.
In conclusion, finding mold in your apartment can be concerning, but it's essential to take action promptly and follow appropriate steps to address the issue. Notify your landlord or property manager, take measures to prevent further mold growth, protect yourself and others, follow proper mold remediation techniques, and understand your rights as a tenant. Dealing with mold can be challenging, but with the right approach and proper assistance, you can ensure a safe and healthy living environment in your apartment.
Effective Ways to Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke in Your Home
Keeping your home clean can cut down on cigarette smoke smell
The term "cigarette smoke" refers to a mixture of gases, particles and chemicals released when you smoke. There are two types of cigarette smoke: mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke. Mainstream cigarette smoke consists of about 90% of the total particulate matter in tobacco smoke; it's what you see coming out of the end of your cigarette when you take a drag on it. Sidestream cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals including nicotine (a stimulant), tar (a sticky substance) and carbon monoxide (which reduces oxygen in your blood).
Methods of Removing Cigarette Smoke
There are several ways to remove cigarette smoke from your home.
The first and most obvious method is cleaning. Vacuuming and dusting can help remove dust particles that contain cigarette smoke residue, but these methods don't work on surfaces like walls and ceilings where the smell lingers. If you want to get rid of the smell in these areas, try using a sponge or cloth dipped in water mixed with baking soda (1/2 cup per gallon) or vinegar (1/4 cup per gallon). After applying this mixture to the surface, let it sit for about 10 minutes before wiping away with another clean cloth. This method works best on porous materials like drywall or plasterboard; if you're working on hardwood floors or other nonporous surfaces such as tile or marble countertops, consider using an enzyme cleaner instead.
Another option is ventilation tips. Opening windows when possible during warm weather months helps clear out stale air while allowing fresh air into your home at night when temperatures drop outside; running fans throughout each room may also help circulate current levels upwards towards ceilings where they won't linger long enough for people living nearby who might be bothered by them later down time period when those same individuals come back inside again later tonight after spending hours outdoors enjoying themselves without worrying about having some kind of adverse reaction due solely
Vacuum the carpets and wash walls, ceilings and windowsills.
Shampoo the carpets to remove odors from the fibers.
Remove cigarette smoke from clothing by washing it in cold water with baking soda added to the wash cycle or by hanging up your clothes outside overnight to air out before putting them in the dryer.
Air Purifiers and Filtration Systems
If you're looking to get rid of cigarette smoke in your home, there are a few options. The first is an air purifier or filtration system that uses electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These devices use gas phase technology to remove particles from the air before it circulates back into your home.
The second option is an ozone generator, which uses ultraviolet light to create ozone gas that breaks down organic compounds like nicotine and tar from tobacco smoke into simpler compounds that can be removed by vacuum cleaners or other methods of cleaning up messes around the house.
The best way to get rid of cigarette smoke in your home is by using an air purifier. Air purifiers can be expensive, but they're worth it if you want to improve the overall quality of air in your home and make it healthier for yourself and others who live there. If you don't have access to an air purifier, then try vacuuming regularly and improving overall air quality through other means.
Water Damage to your Electronics? Here’s what you should do.
Water damaged electronics can be frustrating.
Electronics are a significant part of our lives, and they have become essential in our day-to-day activities. However, when they suffer water damage, it can be frustrating and costly to repair or replace them. Water damage is a common problem that can happen to anyone, and it can occur in various ways, such as accidental spills, dropping electronics in the pool, or exposure to rain. If your electronics have suffered water damage, here are some steps you can take to try and salvage them.
Turn off the Device Immediately
The first step you should take when your electronics suffer water damage is to turn them off. This will help prevent short circuits and other damage to the device's internal components. If the device is still on, turn it off immediately and disconnect it from any power source.
Remove any External Components
If your device has external components, such as batteries or memory cards, remove them immediately. These components can hold water and cause damage to the device's internal components.
Dry the Device
After turning off and removing the external components, dry the device as much as possible. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to remove any excess water from the device's exterior. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any water that might have seeped into the device's openings.
Use Rice or Silica Gel Packets
Place the device in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice or silica gel packets. These materials can absorb moisture, which will help dry out the device's internal components. Leave the device in the rice or silica gel packets for at least 24 hours.
Do Not Use Heat
Do not use heat to dry out the device, such as a hairdryer or putting it in an oven. This can cause more damage to the device's internal components.
Test the Device
After 24 hours, remove the device from the rice or silica gel packets and reinsert the batteries or memory card. Turn on the device and check if it's functioning correctly. If the device does not turn on or is not functioning correctly, do not continue to use it.
Contact a Professional
If your device is still not working correctly, it's time to seek professional help. Contact the device's manufacturer or an electronics repair shop. They will be able to diagnose the problem and give you an estimate of the repair cost.
In conclusion, water damage to your electronics can be a frustrating and costly problem. However, by following the above steps, you might be able to save your device from permanent damage. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so always be careful around water when using your electronics.
Should I DIY Water Restoration?
Should I DIY water damage? Call the professionals for your water restoration emergency
There is no doubt that water damage can be costly and time-consuming. Whether you're dealing with a burst pipe, sewage backup or some other kind of natural disaster, it's important to get professional help as soon as possible. Depending on the extent of damage, getting a second opinion before DIY would be a good idea.
Causes of Water Damage
Water damage can be caused by many things, including water leaks, flooding and pipe breaks. The most common type of water damage is from a pipe break that causes the inside of your property to become wet. Water damage behind the drywall can lead to extensive damage. Water will seep into the drywall and wood framing causing lots of damage. If you don't take care of water damage quickly, secondary damages can occur leaving your home in shambles.
When repairing any type of water damage it's important that you use a restoration and reconstruction company for cleanup and reconstruction to ensure the job is done right.
Unfortunately, it can also lead to issues like mold, rot and structural damage to the building itself if restoration isn't carried out correctly. The longer water is left in your home or business, the more damage it will do. The faster you act on restoring your property after a flood or leak, the less likely you are to face these long-term problems.
DIY Water Restoration
If you're thinking about taking on a DIY water restoration project, it's important to consider the costs and benefits of hiring a professional. While it can be tempting to save money by doing the work yourself, there are many reasons why hiring a professional is ideal. They know what they are doing. Water damage restoration professionals have been trained in how to properly assess and handle water damage situations. They understand the risks involved with working with electricity, mold remediation techniques, ventilation issues, etc.
They have access to specialized equipment needed for larger projects like commercial buildings where there may be multiple floors affected by flooding.
Commercial and Residential
If you've recently suffered a flood or water damage, we're here to help. Our team of trained experts provides fast and effective water damage restoration for both commercial and residential properties. We'll have your property back up and running in no time at all.
If you need help with insurance claims, we can assist with that as well! We know how frustrating it is when the process gets dragged out by an insurance company. We will make sure they pay out on their end so that you can move on with your life without worrying about money issues.
If you're not trained in how to properly clean up after a flood or leaky pipe burst, it may be difficult for you to recognize signs of secondary damages. SERVPRO of Happy Valley is properly trained in the water restoration industry and have the experience and expertise to get the job done right. Give us a call at the first sign of water damage to prevent secondary damages of DIY.
How Soot Can Damage Floor Joists
Soot -Damaged Floor Joists
A house fire can destroy a home in a matter of minutes. But one thing that many people fail to consider is the damage caused by soot on floor joists even with minor fires. Most homeowners simply replace the damaged drywall. Meanwhile, the underlying issue — the soot — is left untreated, which can have serious consequences down the road. In this article, we'll explore how to identify signs of soot-damaged floor joists and what you should do if they're present in your home after a fire.
What is a floor joist?
Floor joists are the wooden or steel beams that support a floor. They're often 2x8 or 2x10, and they can be reinforced with steel in older homes. In newer houses, you might have concrete floor joists instead of wood.
After a fire, what happens to wood beams?
If you have a wood beam in your home, it can be damaged by a fire. Beams are made from pieces of wood that are joined together to create one piece. Damage happens when the sections of these boards come apart, or warp and twist.
While the damage may not be noticeable immediately after a fire, over time it will start to show as cracks and gaps in the beam. These gaps can let moisture into your home and lead to mold growth on walls or ceilings below them.
The best way to repair this type of damage is with something called an interlocked joist hanger system. This system uses metal brackets that help secure joists together, so they don’t separate anymore — and they also hold up better against fires than traditional wood beams do.
How does soot damage floor joists?
Soot and other forms of ash can cause damage to floor joists by weakening them, making them more susceptible to rot and expansion.
Soot can weaken floor joists by creating weak points that may eventually lead to breakage. Additionally, the residue from soot will make it easier for mold spores and fungus to grow on your floor. The fungus will attack the wood that makes up your joists and cause significant damage over time if left untreated.
Soot-damaged floor joists: how are they cleaned?
If you've got a soot-damaged floor joist, it's important to clean it up quickly and thoroughly. If you're not careful, the soot damage can spread to other parts of your home—and cleaning up after soot damage is a lot more work than it sounds like.
Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways to clean up the wood once it's been damaged by smoke. First: don't panic! It may seem daunting right now but don't worry — we're going to walk through how exactly how this process works.
To begin with: start by applying cleaners like baking soda or vinegar directly onto the surface of the wood (don't forget that sweeping up those ashes from earlier!). You'll want a dry cloth or towel ready for this part; gently wipe away as much dirt and grime as possible.
Next: wash down all surfaces thoroughly with warm water before drying them off again with another clean cloth or towel.
Finally: seal any wooden surfaces affected by smoke damage before painting over them again with whatever color suits your mood best!
Should soot-damaged floor joists be replaced?
If your floor joists have been damaged by fire, you should replace them. The fire may have destroyed your joists, or it may have only left them soot-damaged. If you are uncertain about the structural integrity of your joists, it is important to seek out an expert opinion before attempting to repair or replace them yourself.
The decision to replace damaged floor joists depends on the amount of damage that has occurred over time since the fire took place. If there is no visible evidence of soot damage and everything seems structurally sound, then you may be able to repair rather than replace your floor joist system if:
- The flooring was not significantly damaged during the fire
- There has been no significant water damage since then.
In conclusion, soot damage can be a serious problem in your home. If you have any doubts about the structural integrity of your floor joists after a fire, then it's best to bring in an expert to do an inspection.