Recent Storm Damage Posts

Prevent Water Damage With Clean Gutters

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Heavy rainfall hitting a home's gutters. Protect your home with clean gutters.

April showers bring May flowers! That’s right, the welcome warm climate of Spring brings with it torrential rain. Heavy spring downpours fall straight into a home’s gutter system, making functional gutters essential to preventing a costly water damage.

When a home’s gutters are blocked, rainwater is unable to drain. As a result, the excess water travels down the siding and often finds its way inside. As moisture infiltrates the interior, what begins as a steady trickle eventually leads to substantial damage. Over time, water stains to the walls and ceiling are visible. As temperatures warm, the threat of toxic black mold growth is inevitable.

The proven method to prevent water damage from gutters is to clean them at least twice annually, in Spring and Autumn. A Spring gutter cleaning removes the accumulated debris from winter and eliminates the threat of blockage. This ensures your gutters are functioning properly and will increase their overall longevity.

For recommendations on gutter cleaning services in our area, call SERVPRO of Society Hill at 215-772-1203.

Why Is Floodwater Dangerous?

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

A street sign is submerged in murky floodwater. Floodwater often contains dangerous unseen contaminants.

Many of us fear floodwater for the threat it poses to property. But did you know floodwater also poses a serious health hazard? According to The National Severe Storms Laboratory, more people are killed in the U.S. by flooding each year than are killed by tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning.

Floodwater is often teeming with dangerous bacteria and contaminants, which can spread infectious diseases, contain chemical hazards and cause injuries. The worst contamination is caused by sewers or drains backing up in urban areas, or runoff from agricultural chemicals and animal waste in rural areas. In addition to microscopic contaminants, murky floodwaters may contain physical dangers such as downed power lines, sharp debris, or wild animals.

If your home is damaged by a flood, you should always assume that the floodwater is contaminated, even if you can’t see any obvious evidence within the water itself. Avoid contact with the water at all costs and contact professionals to assess the damage. At SERVPRO of Society Hill, we have the specialized training and equipment to carefully extract contaminated floodwater and return your home to safety.

Flood Zones: Know Your Risk Level

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Are you located in a high-risk flood zone? Each flood zone describes the flood risk for a particular area, which is used to determine insurance requirements and costs.

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Understanding your home’s exposure to flooding can help you decide whether or not to purchase flood insurance. 

In moderate to low- risk areas, the risk of flooding is reduced, but not completely removed. In fact, a third of all flood-related claims come from moderate to low-risk areas. However, property owners in these areas are typically eligible for lower-cost flood insurance, known as Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs).

If you own a property in a high-risk zone and have a federally backed mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance as a condition of that loan.

If you’re unsure of your risk level, FEMA’s flood map search tool can help you:

https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

How to Prepare Your Home for a Winter Storm

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

There’s nothing quite like a blizzard warning to send homeowners into panic mode. To avoid fear and frenzy, start preparing your home for severe weather conditions in the Fall. Follow these five tips and you’ll have peace of mind once a winter storm comes our way:

Trim back trees. Heavy snow can cause branches to snap and come crashing down on your home. Avoid a compromised roof by tending to your trees. Remove weak branches and those situated close enough to break a window in high winds. (If a branch cracks your window, weatherseal tape will provide a temporary seal.) Consider hiring a professional company to cut back limbs and remove sick or dying trees.

Protect your pipes. Frozen pipe bursts are one of the leading causes of property damage during winter months. To avoid a costly damage, protect your pipes from freezing conditions. Inspect pipes for visible damage such as rust or cracks and have them replaced if necessary. Protect exposed plumbing using foam pipe insulation. This cost-effective solution will guard against freezing air. You can promote warm air circulation to exterior areas of your home by leaving interior doors and cabinet’s open. Visit our blog article “Prevent Frozen Pipe Bursts” for more tips.

Use alternative sources of heat and power safely. If you plan on utilizing alternative heat sources during a power outage, it is important to have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in your home. Combustible heat sources produce CO, which has no smell. It can cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death. All fuel-burning equipment must be used outside and kept away from windows. Avoid using a chimney if it has not been regularly cleaned, as this may present a fire risk.

Prepare for melting. After the storm subsides, rising temperatures quickly turn snow to water. This may put your home at risk for flooding. Elevate critical utilities, furniture and belongings to avoid potential damage. In the event of a power outage, a sump pump will be unable to drain floodwater. Consider keeping a battery-operated sump pump on standby.

Make a plan. While certain precautions may lower your risk of encountering unsafe conditions, not all emergencies are preventable. If your home is significantly damaged by winter weather, do not attempt to ride out the storm. Instead, seek a public designated shelter. To locate the nearest shelter, text “SHELTER” and your zip code to 43362, which is FEMA’s dedicated text line.

If your home is damaged by a storm, SERVPRO of Society Hill is available 24/7 to help. We provide emergency roof tarping and board ups to prevent further damage. Our professional restoration team has the tools and expertise to repair your home. We strive to make storm damage “Like it never even happened.”

The Dangers of Floodwater

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

With all these tropical storms and hurricanes affecting our country during these times, your health and safety is SERVPRO of Society Hill's top priority. According to the Centers of Disease Control, floodwaters can pose several health risks and cause injuries, infections, chemical hazards, and more. Never drive through flooded roadways, and avoid contact with floodwater when possible as it may contain downed power lines or electric currents from a home or business; human or livestock waste; household, medical, or industrial hazardous waste; debris; or wild animals such as rodents and snakes. If the water has entered a structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is also to be considered black water and could be hazardous to your health. This is why it is very important to act quickly and contact SERVPRO of Society Hill to cleanup all the damages and health risks that come with floodwater.

Protect Your Home From The Storm!

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we care about the safety of you and your loved ones and your home. Storms can be devastating and leave you with nothing. We want to educate you on some popular questions people ask when a storm of any kind comes through a home. 

What to Do After a Hurricane
  • Find your loved ones. ...
  • Don't go home until it's safe. ...
  • Document the damage. ...
  • Contact your insurance company. ...
  • Apply for assistance. ...
  • Stay out of the water. ...
  • Prevent further damage. ...
  • Listen to local clean up news and advisories.

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage. So, if hurricane winds or tornadoes wreck your home, you should be OK. However, if a storm surge or flood carries off your house, a standard policy won't make you whole. You'll still have a mortgage if your house is destroyed by flooding.

Fill your bathtub with water, unless you have little children. This water can be used for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

Stay Safe After a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm
  • Stay out of floodwater.
  • Never use a wet electrical device.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be careful near damaged buildings.
  • Stay away from power lines.
  • Protect yourself from animals and pests.
  • Drink safe water. Eat safe food.

If you have no flood insurance, FEMA's IHP grant will help you in a specific set of ways after a flood or other disaster. ... This is much less coverage than NFIP flood insurance, which covers up to $250,000 to repair or replace your home and belongings.

Most important after you know your family is safe, call SERVPRO to help you get your life back together. 

Storm Safety

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Storms such as hurricanes or tropical storms can be very dangerous and very frightening. SERVPRO of Society Hill wants you to be safe and aware of everything you can do to prevent more danger. 

Safety precautions indoors
  • Avoid water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
  • Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
  • Avoid corded phones. ...
  • Avoid concrete floors and walls.
Review your emergency plan with your family and support staff and post the written plan on an easily accessible bulletin board.
  • Stay inside during thunderstorms and blizzards.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Call the power company right away.
  • Unplug as many big appliances as possible.
Protecting yourself
  • Avoid using corded phones and electronics such as computers or power tools. ...
  • Don't use your cell phone during a thunderstorm.
  • Don't wash your hands, shower, wash dishes or do laundry. ...
  • High winds and hail can shatter glass, so stay away from windows, skylights and doors.

Lightning 30/30 rule: If it takes less... Lightning 30/30 rule: If it takes less than 30 seconds to hear thunder after seeing the flash, lightning is near enough to pose a threat; after the storm ends, wait 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.

Those are just some simple tips and knowledge to keep you safe as possible. 

Storm Damages and Restorations

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damages can be very scary and can take a while to recover from. SERVPRO of Society Hill has done quite a few clean ups after some storm damages. Here are some good things to learn about storms. 

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

After a hurricane hits a coastal area, it can travel inland. At this point, the storm has typically weakened, but it can still cause damage. Torrential rains from the storm can cause rivers to flood their banks and mudslides to form. Around the world, about 10,000 people die each year in hurricanes and tropical storms.

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through.

Stay Safe!

After The Storm

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we want you to better understand the cleaning process of water after the storm. 

The water damages materials. Wallboard will disintegrate if it remains wet too long; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.

Mud, silt and unknown contaminants in the water not only get everything dirty, they also create a health hazard.

Dampness promotes the growth of mildew, a mold or fungus that can grow on everything.

The following steps work on all three of these problems. It is very important that they be followed in order.

Lower the humidity: Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home. There are five ways for you to lower the humidity and stop the rot and mildew. But you'll have to delay using some methods if you have no electricity.

Open up the house: If the humidity outside is lower than indoors, and if the weather permits, open all the doors and windows to exchange the moist indoor air for drier outdoor air. Your body will tell if the humidity is lower outdoors. If the sun is out, it should be drier outside. If you have a thermometer with a humidity gauge, you can monitor the indoor and outdoor humidity.

On the other hand, when temperatures drop at night, an open home is warmer and will draw moisture indoors. At night and other times when the humidity is higher outdoors, close up the house.

Open closet and cabinet doors: Remove drawers to allow air circulation. Drawers may stick because of swelling. Don't try to force them. Speed drying by opening up the back of the cabinet to let the air circulate. You will probably be able to remove the drawers as the cabinet dries out.

Use fans: Fans help move the air and dry out your home. Do not use central air conditioning or the furnace blower if the ducts were under water. They will blow out dirty air, that might contain contaminants from the sediment left in the duct work. Clean or hose out the ducts first.

Run dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners will reduce the moisture, especially in closed up areas.

When a damaging storm hits follow these safety tips!

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

A yellow street sign with storm clouds behind it. You never know when a storm can bring significant damage!

No matter how much preparation or planning, there is no telling what damage a storm can leave behind! Collapsing roofs, broken windows, hazardous debris, and standing water in your home are just a few risks that can be left behind. Along with possible mold growth from water getting into carpets and furniture. Following these steps after a storm strikes will help keep you and your family safe.  If you smell any gas shut off the gas line.  Look out for any broken glass, sharp objects, or nails that could cause a risk.  While taking these immediate precautions, contacting a reputable restoration company such as SERVPRO of Society Hill as soon as possible to help in the recovery process. Next you will want to photograph any damage they may have occurred to have on record for your insurance company, as well as contacting your insurance company to get an adjuster out to survey the damage. After all these steps are take just leave the rest to SERVPRO of Society Hill to clean up any mess no matter the extent.

Staying Aware, and Ready During The Winter Season!

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

A house roof with melting snow dripping off. Always make sure gutters are not blocked. This will prevent melting snow from damaging your house.

Even though we have had mild winter months in Philadelphia. There are still a variety of dangers that can occur and leave you in need of assistance during the season.  First off heavy snow storms can brings lot of snow at any moment if the temperatures were to drop.  If enough snow builds up on power lines or tree branches they can snap and cause some serious issues.  Structural damage is a common one along with the potential of fire risk.  Always be on the look out for low hanging power lines as well as tree branches they may already be damaged. Just being aware could potentially save you a lot of trouble, as well as your life.  Another risk during these cold times is extremely low temperatures. One of the big risks of freezing temperatures is frozen pipes in your home or business.  When pipes are exposed to extreme temperatures they are at a high risk of bursting.  This will likely lead large water damages.  To help prevent this from happening look out for any pipes that me be previously cracked or just in need or replacing from age.  Also if you notice a pipe during freezing do your best to thaw it out before it get to bad.  If you are affected by any type of damage or loss this winter SERVPRO of Society Hill is always ready to take on any job!

Tree Damage Tips After A Storm

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

A large tree that has fallen into a house after a storm. After a storm with high winds,this tree came crashing down on this home. Thankfully no one was injured.

Storms can cause all types of problems, but tree damage should be a main focus for homeowners. Falling trees can cause major damage to houses. There are aspects to look for as a homeowner that will prevent tree hazards from happening. The first aspect is age. Tree age is important in hazard tree management. Every tree species has an inherent life span. Risk of failure increases with age. Another, aspect is the roots of the tree. Root integrity and health cannot be over emphasized. If the roots are damaged in any way, tree vitality and health are affected and the likelihood of failure increases. The probability of failure increases as the amount of the root damage increases. The final aspect is observing the trunk. If there is any fungi on the tree have it removed. Fungi can increase decaying of the bark and will increase the chance of a falling tree. These aspect will help to prevent trees from falling on top of houses. However, tree hazard are unpredictable. If a tree hazard was to happen to your home contact SERVPRO Society Hill for any tree hazards that happen.

Responding Fast to Storm Damage

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm clouds hover over center city Philadelphia. These storm clouds rolled through Philadelphia. bringing heavy rain and tornado warnings.

SERVPRO of Society Hill specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. We are the largest company nationwide to handle large losses.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre storm condition.  Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Which in the end either gets your home back to normal sooner or gets your business up and running for you to continue work and make your profit like it never happened.  When storms hit Philadelphia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Preparing for the Upcoming Seasons and the Weather they bring!

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

As we enter the end of 2019, we also enter into the bad weather season in Philadelphia. While this feels like holiday fun, we have to stay prepared. As we've begun to experience rain, snow, and sleet here at SERVPRO of Society Hill, we've begun to get calls reporting water damage. With the importance of being quick to respond to salvage what we can. We had to act fast of course to prevent mold, but we ask for your vigilance as well. Before consistent rain hits, clean your gutters and if you are able, get your roof examined for any damage. We would like to have people prepared this season to prevent you from suffering a water damage. But if you do suffer from one, don't stress. You can reach out to  SERVPRO of Society Hill and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Weathering the Storm!

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

When storms hit Society Hill Philadelphia, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States. There is NO job too big for us because we all work together to help you. Anything from a flooded basement to a burst pipe down 20 floors of a skyscraper, we are there for you. Feel comfortable and safe knowing you can call us 24/7, 365 days a year.  Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. With our location in Philadelphia, SERVPRO of Society Hill is able to get a experienced professional crew out in a timely manner because we understand how important it is for you.

Tornado Safety Tips

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Always be prepared for a tornado!

Tornado's although not very common can be very unpredictable, as well as extremely destructive.  There is no fool proof plan to guarantee safety during a tornado, but there are actions that can be taken to increase you're odds of staying safe and injury free.  Being prepared is the most important step you can take.  Having a plan and a place to take shelter is the first thing that should be planned out.  Followed by having supplies ready such as fresh batteries, radio, and a emergency kit.  Be aware of the weather especially if thunderstorms are in the forecast.  A tornado can form without warning and rapidly at times.  Some warning signs include, a dark/green sky, a large low lying dark cloud, hail, and a loud noise similar to a freight train. When taking shelter you want to find a basement or the lowest lying room without windows.  Make sure to always protect your head, and cover yourself in a blanket or sleeping bag.  Just staying prepared is always the number one safety step.  If a tornado were ever to strike, just know that SERVPRO of Society Hill has the experience and tools to clean up any damages!

Hurricane Florence Relief

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

The damage that hurricane Florence left behind was just disastrous! Many families lost everything, and if all was not lost there was destruction all over. People returned home to find chaos and no direction to turn. All though many crews and people have responded to help bring relief to the Carolina's. SERVPRO of Society Hill was one of the many SERVPRO franchises to send out crews to help out in this troubling time. With are experienced staff we are just trying to help out in anyway. No matter how small or big the help may be SERVPRO is up for the task. With the extent of water damage throughout the regions, our team is rapidly working to get that water out and start restoring. Loaded with all the proper equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently. This isn't a job that will be done over night, or in a few days. It will take time, but with all the help from countless SERVPRO teams working together. Its only a matter of time before people and families are living their lives again "Like it never even happened."

Types of Damages Water Can Cause

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Society Hill wants you to have an understanding of the different types of water damages.Preventing water damage is the primary challenge for any structure seeking durability. Thermally efficient homes do not dry out as quickly as the energy wasting houses of older generations. Newer, engineered lumber products are less tolerant of frequent wetting. Most damage hides behind finishes, with long term negative impacts on indoor-air quality.The most common and destructive type of water damage is typically rain related and includes many sources:

Water seepage though basement walls.

Leaks through walls at areas like doors and windows

Roof leaks, usually through penetrations and flashing errors

Plumbing leaks, an outlier but relevant

Bulk water leaks come in many forms from the rare catastrophic plumbing failure to the more common hidden leak that causes its damage over many years. Homeowner maintenance goes a long way to preventing and reducing problems. For those building new, we suggest hiring builders who take these matters seriously. We think blower door test results offer a fair measurement for distinguishing between builders for this type of hidden craftsmanship.Uncontrolled, random air leaks are responsible for the second leading cause of water and moisture damage in our homes and buildings. Humid-air will deposit its moisture on cold surfaces which adds up over time to an amazing amount of moisture and resulting damage. This type of damage rarely reveals itself in the ways bulk water intrusion does but it still causes serious problems behind the finished surfaces.Air leaks do most of their damage in the form of energy costs. Reducing air infiltration and ex-filtration is often pointed to as one of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing energy costs and resulting environmental impacts. Increasing comfort is another huge reason to pay close attention to this important issue. Vapor diffusion is a confusing subject. There are two main ways it does damage in our climate.

When moisture reservoir cladding (masonry, fiber cement siding, stucco) gets saturated with rain and the sun or warm outdoor temperatures drive the stored moisture towards the inside. Interior vapor barriers like vinyl wallpaper increases interior vapor drive problems. Expect more damage in our region with masonry against wood common practices.

In the wintertime, when exterior sheathing or framing is cold and interior humidity is too high.Amy has blogs on the subject of wintertime humidity in homes. Keep interior humidity below 40% during cold weather. Exterior sheathing helps keep vulnerable structural members warmer, thus safer from risky dew points.Its common for people to misdiagnose a vapor diffusion problem for one of the first two. When evaluating water damage, suspect number one is bulk water. Most mold inside hidden building cavities, not exposed to bulk water is caused by air leakage.If still unsure about the differences of uncontrolled air movement and vapor diffusion, this blog may help:Breathing Walls?Siding or exterior finish materials that store water can become a problem if not detailed correctly. Selecting the right Weather Resistive Barriers are important along with the right installation details. Rain screens –technically required by code for brick– are an easy way to add durability and reduced maintenance to these types of exterior.Water is lazy but also persistent. It will defy gravity given the right substrates and conditions. It starts in design with features that readily shed water and are less prone to problems. Know and account for the main weaknesses during assembly on site. Prove the project is airtight with a blower door test. These are some of the most important ways of increasing the durability of homes and buildings.

Prepare for the Season

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

As we enter the end of 2017, we also enter into the bad weather season in Philadelphia. While this feels like holiday fun, we have to stay prepared. As we've begun to experience rain, snow, and sleet here at SERVPRO, we've begun to get calls reporting water damage. With the importance of being quick to respond to salvage what we can. We had to act fast of course to prevent mold, but we ask for your vigilance as well. Before consistent rain hits, clean your gutters and if you are able, get your roof examined for any damage. We would like to have people prepared this season to prevent you from suffering a water damage. But if you do suffer from one, don't stress. You can call us here at SERVPRO of Society Hill at 215 772 1203 and we will make it "Like it never even happened." 

Louisiana Flooding Disaster leaves 40,000 homes flooded

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding in Louisiana SERVPRO Water Damage Restoration

The flooding in Louisiana has left over 40,000 homes affected by water damage.  The disaster has been declared a Federal Emergency and over 40,000 claims have been made for FEMA assistance. Thousands have been rescued from their homes as flood waters rapidly rose inside buildings.  

Officials expect standing water to remain for several days.  After flood waters recede, it becomes possible to extract standing water from buildings.  SERVPRO has elite restoration professionals who are specially trained to handle any sized disaster cleanup but specialize in a large disaster such as the flooding in Louisiana.  The team can provide help dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. Storm teams are strategically positioned on standby should a disaster strike near you.  Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.

2014 Flooding in Philadelphia

5/5/2014 (Permalink)

This was the result of heavy flooding in Manayunk Philadelphia, PA. This storm hit quickly and flooded many homes and cars with mud and water. SERVPRO responded and helped restore units.