Recent Posts

Storm safety

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

A severe storm can change everything in the blink of an eye. But, as challenging as recovery can be, you can take comfort in the fact that many have gone through similar experiences. This makes finding the direction you need a little easier. And, if you learn all you can before a storm hits, you’ll be more prepared to navigate these challenging waters: A little knowledge goes a long way.

Here are a few things to think about when severe weather impacts your life.

Stay safe even after the storm has passed 

The first thing you’ll probably want to do is inspect the damage to your home. But keep safety in mind. A study done after a tornado touched down in Marion, Ill., found that 50 percent of the total injuries happened well after the tornado had passed. So, consider the following:

  • Watch out for hazards such as broken glass and exposed nails.
  • Always assume that downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay at least 10 feet away and alert the police and utility company.
  • When inspecting your home at night, use a flashlight instead of a candle (or anything with an open flame). This will alleviate the risk of a fire or explosion from a damaged gas line.
  • If you do smell gas—or suspect a leak—shut off the main gas line, open the windows, and immediately go outside. Notify the gas company and the proper authorities of the situation and don’t return until they’ve deemed your home to be safe.

https://www.progressive.com/lifelanes/household/what-to-do-after-storm-damage/

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Storm surges

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

A storm surge is an abnormally high coastal water level caused by strong winds and low air pressure during storms.

Storm surges:

  • Occur on all of Canada's coasts, including those of the Great Lakes.
  • Occur with severe storms such as hurricanes, blizzards, and ice storms.
  • Can damage buildings, docks, boats and other structures near the shoreline.

What to do

  • Your property may be prone to flooding from storm surges. If so, do not store valuables and emergency equipment in your basement or lower floor. Consider removing exterior doors and windows to your basement and sealing holes and cracks.
  • Consider securing small structures such as cottages and mobile homes to a foundation to prevent them from being floated off their footings. If possible, seek shelter in a more secure building.
  • Storm surges are predictable and are typically forecast as part of coastal storm warnings. Monitor weather forecasts.
  • If flooding is predicted, be prepared to turn off household power and gas. Evacuate when instructed to do so by local authorities.

https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/svrstrms-wtd/index-en.aspx

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

What to do after the storm:

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

  • If your home was damaged, focus on creating a scope of everything that was damaged and what it will cost to repair or replace. 
  • To keep a clean record and avoid premium increases, don't file a claim until you review your policy and you think your loss will exceed your deductible and be covered.  Read: To claim or not to claim...
  • If the damage was sudden and accidental and triggered by the storm, don't accept a claim denial argument from your insurer or agent that it was due to faulty construction or maintenance.  The insurer cashed your premium checks and insured your property "as is".    
  • If you file a claim and your insurer rejects it, make sure you get a clear and detailed explanation of their position.  Read: www.uphelp.org/speakUP.  Claim and coverage disputes are rarely as clear cut as your insurer makes them out to be.
  • The answer to whether your town or city will pay to repair flooding damage to your home is..."it depends."

https://www.uphelp.org/pubs/insurance-tips-storm-damage

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs

MOLD

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

How do I get rid of mold? It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back. Molds can gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth. Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors? One consideration is the size of the mold problem.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Things You Can Do to Protect Your Home From Severe Weather

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Things You Can Do to Protect Your Home From Severe Weather                                          Retrofit for flooding

The best way to physically protect your property from flooding is with a flooding retrofit. FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have strict guidelines on what would work (and they aren’t cheap). Here are a few:

  • Elevate your home so that the lowest floor is at or above flood level.
  • Dry flood-proof your home so it can withstand floodwaters for at least 72 hours. This involves making the portion of a home that’s below flood level watertight using materials like concrete.
  • Wet flood-proof your house, which involves making changes that will allow floodwater inside a home’s structure to minimize damage.

TIP: Regular homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. And when you consider that almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, you may discover you need it. 

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/extreme-weather-climate-change/

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Cool Roof

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Get a Cool Roof

It can make your home more comfortable when the temperatures spike — and reduce your cooling costs. A traditional dark-colored roof can heat up to almost 190 degrees, creating sweltering indoor conditions. A lighter-colored cool roof stays 50 to 100 degrees cooler since it reflects sunlight instead of absorbing heat. As an added bonus, keeping your roof cooler can extend its life. here are a ton of roofing materials. Among the options:

  • Cool roof coating. It’s like a very thick white paint that can be applied to different roof types. Coatings can offer additional perks such as water and chemical protection.
  • Cool-colored roofing tiles. They look like traditional tiles but have a higher solar reflectance. Tiles like these also come in a wide range of shades. Keep in mind darker colors like black will be less reflective than a lighter shade like terra cotta.

TIP: If you have a flat or shallow-pit roof, a green roof could be an option. They reduce storm water runoff because the plants absorb the water that would otherwise flow into the gutter.

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/extreme-weather-climate-change/

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

After a storm

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

What should I do after my house is damaged by a storm? The damage a storm causes to a home can leave your life suddenly upended. In the first days after a storm, you might be overwhelmed with the damage, with everything you have to do and with concerns about getting your life back together. But careful planning can help you return to normalcy as quickly as possible. Safety First. 

Whether your house flooded, sustained wind damage or was struck by lightning, the aftermath of a storm can pose serious dangers. Live power lines, mold and open areas of your house can all put you at risk. It's wise to leave your house until you're able to evaluate the damage. Consider going to an emergency shelter, staying with friends and family or staying at a hotel until you're able to get an inspector to your home. Take a few days’ worth of clothing and supplies if possible, but prioritize safety above collecting your possessions. Your insurance company might provide someone to inspect your home for safety hazards, or you may need to hire someone, but in either case, you should have your home checked for hazards before you return.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/should-after-house-damaged-storm-58794.html

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Protection and prevention

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Protect Your Home from Severe Weather

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Seal Window and Doors

Try to prevent wind and water from entering through windows, cracks, entry doors and garage doors. Wind funneling through your house pushes upward, and could lift the roof, allowing heavy rains to damage the interior of your home.

Especially in hurricane-prone areas it is important to seal your windows and doors as tightly as possible. You can purchase and install special storm shutters to cover your windows.

DIY Storm Shutters
You can also make your own set of shutters out of ¾ inch marine plywood or metal storm panels. Make sure they overlap the windows on all sides by four inches. Then mark them so you know which window they fit. Don’t forget to make shutters for your skylight windows. Once made, the shutter panels can be stored and used when necessary. These shutters can help protect homes from all rainstorms accompanied by high winds, not just hurricanes. 

https://www.nahb.org/consumers/homeownership/homeownership-articles/protect-your-home-from-severe-weather.aspx

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Mold

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

MOLD. THE VERY WORD CANput terror into the eyes of a homeowner. After all, mold in your home can make you and your family sick. If nothing else, it looks disgusting. But it can also weaken your walls, ceilings and floor. And if you try to sell a house known to have mold, you might as well put a sign on your front lawn that reads: "Not For Sale."

So if you think you have mold, and plenty houses do – a 2003 University of Arizona study found that 100 percent of homes have mold (albeit not necessarily the dangerous kind) – what should you do?

Test for mold. That's probably the last thing you or any homeowner wants to hear because mold testing can be expensive, and there are plenty of horror stories out there. If you're deeply suspicious, it'll probably be worth it to hire a mold inspection company. The average cost to test for mold – not to remove, just to test – is $834, according to HomeAdvisor.com. If that price makes you ill, you could buy a mold testing home kit, which generally runs anywhere from  $10 to $50. That said, molding test kits have a reputation for being unreliable, so as the expression goes, let the buyer beware.

https://loans.usnews.com/what-to-do-if-your-house-has-mold-or-you-think-it-does

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.