Recent Storm Damage Posts
The Astonishing Power of Water
The power of water can wreak havoc on your home. If you have any damage, contact the SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington right away.
The most common type of natural disaster in the United States, and indeed, the world, is flooding. Globally flooding accounts for 40% of all natural disasters, but in the United States, an even more incredible 90% of all disasters involve flooding.
And yet for some reason we are often prone to downplay the physical danger of flooding or tempt fate when it happens. Flooding isn’t quite the same spectacle as hurricanes or tornadoes, so perhaps that plays a factor.
But whatever the reason, it’s good to be reminded that water is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and flooding is not to be taken lightly.
Flooding and Pedestrian Danger
You’re in every bit as much danger stepping into floodwater as you would be jumping into a raging river. You may think, “It’s only a few inches of water, how dangerous could it be?” The short answer: very dangerous.
Would you go outside in an EF5 tornado? When you step into floodwater traveling as slowly as seven miles per hour, you’re stepping into an equivalent force per unit area as the winds from the most dangerous cyclones.
You may not believe this, but it’s real: At 25 mph, floodwater carries the same brute force as wind traveling at almost 800 mph—that’s faster than the speed of sound.
Six inches of water is enough to take you off your feet, and six inches is enough to drown a full-grown adult, especially if you slip and fall face first. Don’t attempt to walk in floodwater.
Flooding and Vehicular Danger
First of all, simply don’t drive in storms that are producing floodwaters. Pull over on high ground if you’re already stuck out in it, but definitely don’t make any travel you don’t absolutely have to make.
If you see flooded roads, even if it doesn’t look deep, turn around. Nearly 50% of all flood fatalities are vehicular in nature.
Six inches of water is enough to stall or otherwise hinder most commercial cars, and a foot of water is enough to flip or overturn vehicles altogether. Two feet of rushing water is enough to carry trucks and SUVs completely away, leaving you in peril with absolutely no control.
Add to this inherent danger the fact that floodwaters can completely wash out roads and bridges, then cover it up so you can’t see. This level of danger is never worth the risk—turn around and stay safe.
The incredible power of water can also wreak havoc on your home, causing damage of all kinds. If floodwater makes a ruckus at home, contact SERVPRO and let us help you recover.
The Myth of Heat Lightning
SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington is here to help when lightning and storms cause damage to your home or business.
There’s a certain kind of lightning which produces no thunder, and you’ve almost certainly heard the term for it. Your experience may vary, but for many it happens during something like an outdoor sporting event or day at the park when a clap of thunder would almost certainly mean a delay of game or an evacuation from the swimming area.
Everyone sees the lightning, kids look around nervously and an adult puts everyone at ease as play resumes: “Ah, it’s just *heat lightning*—nothing to worry about.”
Heat lightning. It makes perfect sense as an explanation—after all it’s summertime, it’s hot, everyone’s hot, why shouldn’t there be a thing called heat lightning?
The only thing about heat lightning is…well, the thing about it is there’s no such thing.
###What Is “Heat Lightning”?
The simple answer is this: It’s lightning that’s too far away for you to hear.
Yep, it’s plain old everyday lightning. On a clear day, you may be able to see lightning from a thunderstorm up to 100 miles away, but unless the lightning is within 10 to 15 miles of your location, you probably won’t hear it.
This, by the way, is also the indicator by which you know it’s necessary to vacate the pool or clear the field. Since lightning can strike 10 to 12 miles away from a thunderstorm, you know it’s not safe to engage in outdoor activities if you can still hear the thunder.Why Can’t You Hear the Thunder?
The lowest layer of the atmosphere, known as the troposphere, refracts and filters the sound, keeping it from traveling as far as it otherwise might. It’s especially difficult for the sound to travel far distances when temperatures moisture are high, and the air becomes more dense.
Think about a 6 p.m. August baseball field, and you’ll immediately feel the stickiness that creates this kind of obstacle course for the sound of thunder.
Other factors include the curvature of the earth over miles of distance, and the fact that the thunderclap may reflect off the earth’s surface and vary its path away from where you are.
Whatever the reason, the facts are twofold: (1) Heat lightning is simply a term that came to be used for far-off lightning whose sound isn’t reaching them, and (2) It is, in fact, safe to observe or remain outside, because the lightning is far enough away that it’s not a danger.
SERVPRO is here to help when lightning and storms cause damage to your home or business. Get in touch today to experience the difference of a full restoration.
Do You Know Where Your Tornado-Safe Room Is?
Storm season is on its way. SERVPRO of Conyers/Covington is available 24/7 in case a storm event hits your home.
Here’s a simple question with an answer that can help you keep your family safe: Do you know where the safest room in your house is if a tornado strikes?
That may sound like an odd thing to ask, but given that Georgia has, on average, about 30 tornadoes every year, it’s worth considering. These storms are dangerous and can damage property, cause injuries and even death. So it’s a good idea to know where to go in the event you need protection from a tornado.
There are a lot of options in today’s market. Some homeowners even opt to have a safe room added to or created inside their existing home. But many homeowners don’t have the ability to take this step. In these cases, it’s smart to know where to go in your existing home.
Here’s what the experts recommend to look for in a tornado-safe room:
Find a windowless space in the interior of your home. Your safe room is best if it doesn’t have exterior walls or windows. Think about bathrooms or closets.
Choose a room on the lowest floor of your home. The best spaces to take shelter during a tornado are on the lower floors of your home. Choose spaces on the lowest floor or the basement.
If your home isn’t safe, know an alternative location. Experts agree that in mobile or modular homes no room is safe from a tornado threat so it’s a good idea to have an alternative place to go. Additionally, if you live in a high-rise building or an apartment, ask your building manager about laundry rooms, basements or other safe areas.
If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
- When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured’s property, the professionals at SERVPRO® of Conyers/Covington are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
Source: redcross.org, Travelers.com
Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1
How to Prepare Before a Storm
Before a storm strikes, follow these safety measures to ensure your family and home are safe. You’ll also want to prepare an Emergency Supply Kit to get each person through three days should you lose power or have no running water.
Follow these steps to prepare for when a storm hits:
• In warm weather, turn your air conditioning down. In cold weather, turn your heat up. During and after the storm, keep doors and windows closed - you can retain inside temperature for as long as 48 hours.
• Charge your cell phone and other devices that need to be charged.
• Keep freezer doors closed and sealed. Frozen food will keep two or three days in a well-filled freezer.
• Leave a porch or front light on. This helps our crews know when repair work is successful.
Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits. Hot appliances pose a fire hazard, including:
• Electric space heaters
• Washers and dryers
• Microwave ovens
• Refrigerators and freezers
How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm
While summer typically means warmer weather, it can also bring a variety of harsh weather conditions, sometimes leading to severe storms.
Homeowners can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if and when a severe storm hits. Ken Enscoe, senior director of Catastrophe Operations at Nationwide, shared some tips on how to help prepare your home for a storm:
Clear limbs and trim trees
During a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or even puncture a window. Heavy rain can also cause trees with shallow root systems to pull out of the ground.
Ensure that your fences are properly secured so to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds.
Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. It’s a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
Help prevent damage inside your house by having downspouts drain away from your home and clear your gutters of any debris.
Protect the critical areas
Wind is a major threat to your roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.
Protect your valuables
Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping. Also, make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
Stock a basic emergency kit
A true emergency can leave you without basic services, including electricity, water, gas or sewage, for a few hours or a few days. Stock your family’s emergency kit with enough food, water and supplies to carry all of you through at least three days—and restock your kit once the emergency has passed. Be sure to include:
- Water: One gallon per person per day to cover drinking and sanitation
- Food: At least a three-day supply of food per person
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Hand-crank flashlight
- First aid kit
- Cell phone with charger
- Local maps
Create a family emergency plan
Staying connected is of the utmost importance during an emergency. Designate an out-of-town family member or friend to be your check-in person in case local phone lines are down. Make sure every member of your family knows that contact’s number and has a way to reach him or her—ideally a cell phone and charger or a prepaid calling card.
Choose a local place where your family members should meet if they are separated when an emergency strikes and your home is unsafe. This might be a landmark or even a parent’s workplace.
Know your policy
It’s critical to read and understand your insurance policy. Then, examine your property to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.
Types of Damage That Are Likely After a Storm
Thunderstorms are a tricky thing to prepare for. While they are common and many come through without causing any damage at all, they all have the potential to cause issues. Between high winds, heavy rains, hail and more, there are a lot of problems that severe weather can cause around your house.
Fortunately, by being aware of these possibilities, you can better prepare for them and be sure your home is as protected as possible against them. By examining some of the most common types of storm damage, you can give your home a thorough post-storm examination to check for all possible damages.
The Possible Damages After a Thunderstorm
Damage From Projectiles
When winds rage outside, they are not just slamming into your home—they are also picking up projectiles along the way. High winds can often snap off weak tree branches, carrying them straight toward your home where they can cause exterior damage, broken windows and more. Another common culprit of this is patio furniture, which seems heavy but can often be lifted easily by high winds. Trimming back trees and securing all loose objects is highly recommended.
Damage From Heavy Rain
When heavy rain moves through an area, it can cause flash flooding and moisture buildup, especially if it comes about suddenly. Overwhelmed storm drains, poor landscaping drainage and inadequately sealed windows and doors are all common culprits for moisture to work their way in and begin causing issues. Moisture damage can be extremely serious if not treated quickly, even giving rise to mold and mildew within your home, so it is best to inspect thoroughly for this after every shower.
Damage From Hail
While every thunderstorm does not contain hail, the ones that do tend to cause the most damage. Hail can range from pea- to golf ball-sized, which can cause damage to cars, exterior features and the roof of your home. Hail has even been known to break glass and dent siding, which can cause even more moisture damages in time.
If you have storm damage in your home, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24⁄7 to report your damage and have our team of expert technicians get dispatched to you as quickly as possible to have your home restored.