Recent Storm Damage Posts

Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of storm damage and a person using products to clean up Check cleaning requirements after a flood.

Cleaning up after a flood is a long process. It has to be done right, or you will face problems later on. After a major flood, it is usually better to call a professional cleanup company in West Valley City, UT, to deal with the damage because they know all of the cleaning requirements.

3 Things to Consider When Cleaning After a Flood

Remove Items

The first thing you should do is remove any items that are wet, saturated or starting to mold or mildew. This can include:

  • Carpets
  • Furniture
  • Personal items
  • Appliances


You also need to remove all contaminated materials from your home and properly dispose of those that can't be cleaned. When doing a full flood clean, it is better to remove something than keep it and have issues later.

Dry Your Home

It is extremely important to dry your home. You can do this with fans or with drying chemicals. Each part of your home will have different drying and cleaning requirements. If you are unsure of whether something will air dry without an issue, it is better to have it professionally dried just in case.
Drying drywall takes time and patience. In some cases, it is easier just to have your remediation company replace it along with the insulation behind it.

Clean Your Home

Cleaning your home after a flood is not as simple as it seems. Everything needs to be cleaned with an EPA-approved flood disinfectant for surfaces. This disinfectant is more powerful than simple over-the-counter cleaners.
The best thing to do is start at the ceiling and work your way down. Even though parts of your house might escape the flood, evaporating water can contain contaminants that might make you sick later on.

Remember to check each item or materials cleaning requirements. You will find that some items should be removed right away while others can be dried out and cleaned. In any case, your home needs thorough cleaning after any flood.

What if I Don't Have Flood Insurance?

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded neighborhood. Flooding can lead to severe water damage.

Many areas aren't located on a floodplain or prone to flooding. However, there's always a possibility that you could find your West Valley City, UT, home in a flood one day. In that case, what happens if you don't have flood insurance? There are a few options available to assist you.

3 Things to Consider if You Don't Have Flood Insurance

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

If there's a chance of an impending flood, it's best to be safe by being proactive. Move valuables and important documents to higher levels (e.g., upstairs or up on shelves). You can also put smaller important items in a clean, dry washing machine or dishwasher; they will keep water both in and out. If any of your valuables are too big or bulky to move (e.g., antique furniture), you can put a drain pan under each leg to keep the water away from it. However, this won't help for floodwaters that are more than an inch or two high.

2. Consider a Loan

If you've experienced a flood and your home has sustained damage, but you don't have flood insurance, you can consider getting a loan. The U.S. Small Business Association offers loans for which you can qualify even if you're not a business owner. They're primarily for homeowners who don't have flood insurance. These low-interest loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence damage. The SBA also offers loans up to $40,000 for personal property damage (also available for renters).

3. Check Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The United States President must declare your state a major disaster area to get federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They also must mark your county for individual assistance. A federal grant from FEMA will offer up to $33,000 per household for expenses incurred from a disaster like a flood. These expenses could include hiring flood damage restoration professionals, temporary housing, belongings replacement, and medical and funeral expenses.

If your home sustains a flood but no flood insurance, there are other options. Understanding them and being prepared before something happens can make a high-stress time a little less stressful.

3 Reasons To Install Storm Shutters

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a home with storm shutters installed Install storm shutters to protect your home

While residential properties must adhere to building codes and standards, those requirements ensure that a structure remains standing when subject to typical storm surges and expectations. Unfortunately, high winds are often unpredictable, and while some aspects of a home are built to withstand such gusts, windows are often vulnerable to breakage and penetration. Most storm damage specialists in West Valley City, UT, recommend homeowners install permanent shutters, and they make such a recommendation for three reasons.

3 Reasons Most Storm Damage Specialists Recommend to Install Storm Shutters

1. Always Ready

Having storm shutters installed means you are always ready, even when the weather shifts suddenly. The protective shields are often easy to deploy by either pulling over and latching or unrolling and latching. Whichever option you choose for your home, you ensure quick deployment and minimal damage to your home through a professional installation.

2. Not Intrusive

Many people worry that a shutter will devalue their property because it will affect the curb appeal, but this is not typically the case. A shutter system is looked at as a value add, and while some may be more visible than others, most do not intrude on the overall look of the home, and you will be happy to have them when the high winds start raging in your neighborhood.

3. Cost Efficient

Some people do not see the value in storm shutters, often opting for spontaneous protection through the nailing up of plywood panels. Not only are nails destructive, but the plywood will only need replacement when it comes to the next storm. By installing a storm shutter system, you are saving money because it is a one-time expense.

While building codes and city regulations attempt to cover every natural disaster or issue, high winds can be highly unpredictable, meaning that some structural elements are more susceptible than others to damage. A storm shutter system can protect both your home and family, and it is a one-time cost.

4 Steps of Action To Take After Storm Damage

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home Home flooded with storm water.

Whether you live in an area where the seasons bring an increased risk of hurricanes or an area where a home flood is more likely to occur because of broken pipes, you need to know how to respond after your home has been affected by flooding. Heavy rains, aging pipes, and backed up sewer systems are all potential causes of flooding in West Valley City, UT. Dealing with water or storm damage can be summed up in several vital steps:

Steps to Dealing With Storm Damage

1. Begin Drying Out Your Home

This may require shutting off the water to your home. It could also entail using buckets, mops, towels, or wet/dry vacuums to remove water. It's a good idea to open windows (if it's dry outside) and gather fans to circulate the air and prevent moisture from settling on surfaces.

2. Contact Professionals for Advice About Proceeding

There's a lot of potential for errors and further damage when the sheetrock, carpeting, and other elements of the home are covered with water. Call your insurance company for a better understanding of what your policy covers and whether there are specific steps you should take. This is also a good time to call a storm or water damage restoration company. These professionals have resources, training, and tools to appropriately handle cleanup and repairs.

3. Separate Items To Save and Discard

When it's safe, carry wet belongings outside where they can dry. Separate items with too much damage for repairs but don't haul them off yet. It's important that the insurance adjuster can see what you've lost in the home flood.

4. Dry and Disinfect Your Belongings as Quickly and Thoroughly as Possible

It doesn't take long for mold to start growing. If you've stuffed your wet clothes in a plastic bag, for instance, mold may set in within 24 hours. Instead, get your clothes, blankets, and similar materials in for laundering as quickly as you can. Some furnishings, such as mattresses and the pad under your carpet, are prime environments for mold.

It's very important to resist taking steps after a home flood until you've spoken with your insurance provider and restoration professionals. Prompt action is required, so get into contact with the pros as soon as you can.

How To Remedy Sewer Backup After a Storm

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a cartoon showing a flooded basement You can prevent a flooded basement

Basements can be used for many purposes. Some families use them as utility rooms, storage or extra living space. If a heavy storm hits your city, however, a flooded basement can result in serious damage and render it temporarily useless. There are several reasons why this can happen and a few things you can do to prevent or resolve the issue.

Facts About Sewer Backup After a Storm And How To Prevent It.

Why Does It Happen?

Ideally, the sewage system in West Valley City, UT, has the capacity to handle rainstorms. Sometimes, however, certain problems can lead to sewage backing up into people's homes:

  • Extra runoff from new development
  • Flooding of municipal sewer system
  • Open flow from perimeter foundation drain of older houses
  • Multiple clogs or sewer issues in several homes in the area


When every home in your neighborhood is hooked up to the same system, a few problems in one section can cause damage in others. Unfortunately, you cannot control what other people do to protect their sewer lines, but you can take certain measures yourself to prevent a flooded basement.

What Can You Do About It?

The best solution is prevention. If your home has an exterior foundation drain, you can install an interior system and connect it to a sump pump to head flooding off at the pass. To do your part to keep from overtaxing the municipal sewer system, talk to your landscaper and city authorities about better drainage solutions for the runoff from your property. If the sewer does back up into your basement, don't ignore the damage or try to clean it up yourself. Call certified flood mitigation experts to ensure that the cleanup is timely and thorough. This helps you avoid additional damage such as bacteria spread and mold growth.

You can't control how quickly the city's sewer system fills up during a heavy storm. You can, however, prevent a flooded basement and do your part to avoid adding to the problem.

Tips for Preventing Ice Dams

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Image of icicles hanging off from the side of the roof of a home. Icicles can be an indicative that an ice dam is forming.

Icicles hanging off the side of your roof may be part of an idyllic winter scene in your mind, but in reality they can also be indicative that an ice dam is forming. Ice dams occur when precipitation gets trapped on the roof and freezes in place. This can lead to damage to both the exterior and interior of your home. Here are some tips for dealing with and preventing ice dams.

3 Tips For Preventing and Dealing With Ice Dams

Identification

The first step of solving any problem is recognizing that you have one. There are several telltale signs that ice may be building up on your roof:

  • Excessive number of icicles hanging from gutters
  • Lack of water flowing out of downspout during a winter storm
  • Signs of water damage in your attic

If you notice these signs, it's important to hire a roofing professional to deal with the buildup and repair the damage to the roof. It doesn't do any good for water damage specialists to resolve the issues inside your home if you don't take steps to fix the problem that caused them.

Removal

Removing an ice dam essentially involves melting it and giving the water a place to flow safely. You want to use an ice melt product that has a calcium chloride base. Avoid products containing harsher salts that are typically used for melting ice on the driveway, as these salts can damage your roofing materials and thus leave your home vulnerable to water damage. Make sure you cover any plants where the melted ice drips so that the are not damaged by the ice melt product.

Prevention

The key to ice dam prevention is simply observation. Have your roof inspected before storm season in West Valley City, UT, begins, and watch for signs that ice dams may be starting to form so that you can deal with them before they become a problem.

An ice dam is not an issue you want to ignore. Pretty icicles can turn into a major disaster in no time.

Storm Damage Prevention Tips

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a warning street sign stating "big storm just ahead" You can prevent a lot of damage to your property with regular inspections.

Taking care of your commercial property starts with prevention. A severe winter storm in West Valley City, UT, can result in a lot of expensive damage to your commercial building. However, there are several things you can do to prevent or at least minimize the damage the storm causes.

3 Tips For Storm Damage Prevention

1. Inspect Building

Regular building inspections are a great way to identify potential problems and take care of them before they get out of hand. At the start of winter, you need a professional inspection of the parts of your building that are particularly vulnerable to storm damage during colder seasons:

  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Foundation
  • Plumbing


Look for existing damage as well as ways to fortify the structure. You can prevent a pipe break by making sure your plumbing has adequate insulation. Don't wait until after the storm hits to find out if your building is in good shape.

2. Control Water Flow

A winter storm often brings a lot of precipitation with it. If that water has no clear path away from your building to follow, it can pool and freeze on your roof or near the foundation. This can cause cracks that let water seep in as the ice melts, causing interior damage that you may not notice for months. Storm damage restoration specialists recommend regular cleaning of your gutters and downspouts as well as the use of sandbags or other barriers to protect the places that are most vulnerable to leaks.

3. Plan Ahead

Some prevention measures require prior notice to use effectively. Have a plan for protecting your building, and make sure everyone knows the part they are expected to play. Pay close attention to the weather reports in your area so that you have plenty of time to get your building ready for an approaching storm.

A winter storm can be dangerous to your building, but there's no reason you can't be ready for it. With regular inspections and a solid emergency plan, you can prevent a lot of damage to your property.

4 Storm Season Preparation Tips

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

drawing of a house flooting in stormy waters and drops of rain Your home can handle any storm damage if you prepare.

Your home is a safe haven for you and your family. During storm season in West Valley City, UT, there are a few extra precautions you need to take. Having a protection plan for your home and family can help you handle any storm damage that occurs efficiently so that you can get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

Storm Preparation Tips

1. Get the Right Coverage


Your insurance agent can help you understand exactly what your homeowners' policy covers. If it doesn't cover certain flood cleanup, you may need to purchase additional coverage to protect your home and the items within it. Work with your provider to make sure you have a flood policy if you need it.

2. Safeguard Important Documents


The period after a storm has struck is not the time to look for the deed to your home, proof of insurance, birth certificates or emergency help numbers. Get in the habit of always storing important documents in a waterproof container to protect them from potential storm damage. Store a backup in a remote location or in a virtual cloud so that you can access the information even if you can't get to the original documents.

3. Have an Emergency Plan


You know you need to practice safety and evacuation plans to keep your family safe during a storm. You also need an emergency plan for getting your home back in shape after the storm hits. Have the number for reliable storm remediation specialists stored in your phone so that you can call them when you need them.

4. Prepare for the Worst


No one likes to think about their home flooding. The homeowners who are the best prepared, however, are those who assume floods will happen during storm season and take the necessary steps to minimize water damage. Install a sump pump in your basement, and make sure your foundation is free of cracks and damage.

Your home protects your family. Return the favor by taking extra precautions to prepare for storm season.

How To Tell Whether You Need Flood Insurance

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Office blue carpet with water damage  Flooded office

How often are commercial properties in West Valley City, UT, affected by flooding? Even if your properties aren't at risk of weather-related floods, could other types of flooding lead to dilemmas? Do you know whether you need a commercial flood insurance policy?

Check out a few pertinent facts:

  • Snow that melts rapidly is one of the top causes of flooding.
  • Just a moderate amount of rainfall could lead to clogged drains.
  • Most commercial property insurance policies don't cover flood damages.
  • Many floods happen outside the high-risk zones.

There are many causes of flood damage, including new development in the area and wildfires.

If you own property in an area that receives snow or rainfall, is attached to a municipal plumbing system, or may be affected by wildfires or new buildings, you should have commercial insurance specifically for flooding.

Do You Need Insurance?

If you are located in a high-risk flood area and if your mortgage came from an insured lender or a federally regulated lender, then you are required to purchase the coverage. If neither of these applies, determine whether you operate in a flood zone. Don't forget to consider the costs to your business if you ever needed the insurance but didn't have it. Contact a flood damage repair and reconstruction company to determine the cost versus risk ratio.

What Does It Cover?

Your first protective step should be to determine whether you have flood coverage. If you don't research what a flood insurance policy covers. You'll generally find that this coverage provides protection from losses when rivers overflow, snow melts, dams break, and rainfall overflows gutters.
Not all water damage is covered by this insurance. For example, if you leave your sprinkler system running all night, the damage may not be covered. If melting snow causes damages to septic systems or your landscaping, you may not get help with those financial costs.

Are You Covered?

Flood insurance is a type of coverage that could help your business survive during a disaster. Carefully consider your level of risk, what is covered, and what isn't as you determine whether to purchase a policy or not.

3 Things Not To Do After a Flood

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

White letters with flooded street behind. Flooding can be damaging to your residential home in West Valley City, UT.

It’s one of many homeowner’s worst nightmares: a large storm or local disaster has flooded your neighborhood in West Valley City, UT. Many who experience flooding for the first time are unprepared and uninformed, not knowing what to do after flood water has covered the streets or entered their home. To help you prepare, whether you’re facing a flooded home now or foresee its possibility in the future, here are three things not to do after a flood:

3 Things to Avoid After a Flood



1. Remain in your home. For you and your family’s safety, if water has entered your home, it’s important to leave and not reenter until flooding has subsided. In a flood’s immediate aftermath, the risk of rising water is still imminent due to the possibility of more rain, a compromised levy or busted dam. Find refuge outside the flood area, whether it be in a hotel, a loved one's home or a public shelter.

2. Touch the water. Flood water can be contaminated with any number of bacteria, sewage and/or chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and health. It’s also imperative to avoid standing water to minimize the risk of electric shock from electrical lines and equipment touching the water. If you must enter or be around the water for any reason, protective clothing such as rubber boots should be worn.

3. Fix it yourself. Repairing flood damage in a home can require a large amount of construction materials, professional knowledge and skill to ensure the damage is fully repaired and any mold is removed. Instead of trying to take on the job yourself, it’s best to save time and additional headaches by contacting a water damage repair and restoration company.

For any homeowner, flood water is certainly an unwelcome sight. Knowing what to do, or not do, in this type of disaster is imperative to keep you and your family safe and to begin the restoration process successfully.

What You Should Know About Floods

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Floods can be dangerous.

Floods are one of the most common natural disasters on this planet. They can destroy buildings and cause water damage. They can also be dangerous too. A few ways a flood can occur might include the following:

• Excessive rain
• A stream or river that has overflowed
• A damaged dam

No matter how the flooding happens, it’s important to know what you are dealing with.

Here is what you should know about floods.



Danger - Flood Water

One of the biggest concerns during these types of natural disasters is black water. This type of water is severely contaminated. Flood water isn’t just rain; it’s full of sewage, chemicals, and dangerous items such as broken glass or metal. It’s very important that you avoid touching the water and don’t drink it.

After the initial disaster, you may be able to return to your commercial building in West Valley City, Utah. However, be sure to wear protective gear when dealing with any water damage or mold. Thoroughly clean or throw away anything that has been submerged in this water, and seek help from professionals.

Location - Flash Floods

It’s important to realize that floods can truly happen anywhere, at any time. Flash floods can occur when rain falls heavily on the already highly-saturated soil. They can also happen when the soil is dry and doesn’t absorb water well. This creates lots of runoff that can cause flash flooding in low areas.

If your business is in a region that could be subject to flooding, be sure to find high ground that you could evacuate to. To minimize risk, every building should have a secure escape route and a backup plan.


Key - Awareness


Local radio stations normally keep people aware of weather conditions, especially during a storm. While this is helpful and can help you prevent water damage in your building, you can also take personal precautions that can ensure your safety.

By steering clear of black water and realizing the risk of flash flooding, you can be prepared for both types of water disaster.

Why Does the Sewer Back Up After a Storm?

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup in West Valley City, UT.

As a commercial building owner in West Valley City, UT, you are responsible for taking care of your property after a storm. You have to know who to call to take care of a problem. When you first enter your building, you may notice a foul, sewer smell. Sewer backup during a storm does not always happen, but it can. You may have to deal with this problem for the following reasons:

• Excess water
• Blockages
• Breaks

No matter why you have sewage seeping into your building, you may want to call in a commercial storm remediation team right away.

Excess Water in West Valley City Home



Storms are often associated with rain water. When there is a lot of water falling at once, the ground may not be able to hold it all. As the water table rises, flooding happens all over the area. Not only does the rising water table push water into basements and low-lying areas, but it also causes the sewer to run out of space. When the sewer cannot go down, it must come up.

Blockages

Storms can also lead to blockages in your pipes or in other parts of the sewer system. When rocks and other debris are washed into the sewer, it may block up some of the piping. This again leaves the traveling sewage with few options. Because it cannot go forward, you may have to deal with a sewer backup.

Breaks

When trees and powerlines are downed, sewer lines can get broken. When these lines are broken, you may have to deal with contaminated, black water seeping into your commercial building. A break may take a while to take care of, so your sewage may have to be turned off until the problem can be properly addressed.

It is never fun to deal with a sewer backup. When this issue is accompanied by other storm damage, you may feel overwhelmed and worried without the help of a team of experts.

How To Prepare Your Home Before Rain

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO knows that immediate action is crucial when suffering storm damage in West Valley City, UT.

You can't decide when flooding will impact your area; torrential rains can come any time of the year. However, you can affect how much damage the storm can do to your home.


With a little preparation, you can keep storm damage to a minimum.

First, you should prepare your family by doing the following:

• Collecting important items such as extra medication
• Putting important documents in waterproof casing
• Knowing possible escape routes
• Checking that your insurance covers floods

Once you have done those things, you should protect your home from flood damage. Here are a few ways you can keep your house ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way:

Clean Your Gutters

If your gutters and storm drains are clogged when the rain starts coming down heavily, this could cause serious problems. Your storm drains give the water a safe place to go, but debris stops this from happening. Instead, the water collects and spills over into areas you wanted to keep it from.

Make sure that you have your gutters and storm drains in West Valley City, UT, professionally cleaned every spring and fall. This simple step can help you avoid severe flood damage. In fact, it could save you money in the long run.

Fill Foundation Faults

Does your foundation have cracks? Even the smallest openings can make flooding worse than it otherwise would be. These breaks allow water to seep in, which causes flood water to damage the foundation. Over time, this can cause further flood damage and even structural problems. Get those cracks fixed while they are still small.

Add Retaining Walls

As you work on landscaping in the spring and fall, consider adding a retaining wall. These beautiful features not only look great, but they can also keep your home from flooding and prevent soil erosion.

No amount of planning is 100 percent foolproof. If floods still enter your home, be sure to have a professional cleanup crew in West Valley City, UT, fix your home immediately.