Uncovering The Hidden Signs Of Storm Damage
Storm damage to your roof isn’t always easy to spot, and it is the things that you don’t see that are most dangerous, because problems which are allowed to linger will often turn into bigger and more expensive ones. Below are some signs of hidden roof damage and how to spot them.
Roofing that is made with asphalt shingles will be covered in a special material called granules. This material resembles sand and is used to protect the surface from ultraviolet rays while lowering the buildup of heat which can cause deterioration. However, they are tough to spot from ground level and may be lost as the result of a storm which will leave the roof surface exposed to the elements.
Tiny Holes with Leaks
Even the smallest holes in a roof will allow water and moisture to seep in, and this is something that you must avoid at all costs, since it can lead to the development of mold in the interior and all the bad stuff that comes with it. Unfortunately, even those that get up on the roof and look closely at the surface might actually miss these openings, which is why you should hire a contractor with a trained eye and the right equipment.
The majority of property owners assume that hail damage is simple to spot because it always appears as dents or holes, but this is not true. In actuality, hail damage can appear different depending on the roof type, the severity of the impact and storm direction. Often, the only way to tell if a roof has been damaged by hail is to hire a professional who can expect the surface up close and who knows what to look for. As with leakage and tiny holes, it takes trained and experienced eyes.
Gutters are essential as they capture rainwater which falls from the roof. If the gutters are missing or damaged, water might pool and then seep through roofing materials which will cause mold and rot. While gutter dents might not seem like a big deal, the damage will prevent water from diverting away from the property, so this is one of the first places you should inspect in the aftermath of a storm.
Just because a storm hasn’t ripped the shingles off the roof doesn’t mean that damage hasn’t occurred. Sometimes the shingles are merely lifted up, but when they become loose the tight seal that they maintained with the roof will break. This scenario is just as bad as having small holes, because water and moisture will get through the opening and travel down into the interior.
Because roof repairs can be expensive, many homeowners put off doing it, in the hope that the problem will go away by itself. Of course, life doesn’t work this way and the problem will only worsen until things become so bad that the homeowner is forced to take action, and by that time the cost can be financially debilitating, which is why it is so important to contact a contractor as soon as you suspect damage.
Understanding SERVPRO of Hoboken / Union City's Emergency Response Capabilities
During an emergency, it is crucial for you to get hold of emergency response services that are nearest to you in order to implement damage control at the soonest possible. Do not wait for regular business hours as the damage may have spiraled out of control by then. SERVPRO of Hoboken / Union City offers professional emergency response facilities around the clock to provide you with immediate cleaning and restoration services.
24 Hour Emergency Response
Flooding and water emergencies can happen anytime without prior warning and at SERVPRO of Hoboken / Union City, we understand the importance of the situation. We offer emergency cleaning and restoration services which are available around the clock to ensure you get the help you need, when you need it. Regardless of the day, time, or weather, you can count on our restoration specialists to get the damage under control to help you get back on track. Our team takes pride in working around the clock with full determination to provide you with reliable services that are fast and efficient.
Fast Emergency Response
In any emergency scenario, time is of the essence. Regardless of your type or scale of emergency, we strive to always render immediate assistance. Our company is strategically-located across the nation and Canada with more than 1,700 franchises. Regardless of where the emergency takes place, there is bound to be an emergency response team from SERVPRO to be at your service. The immediate services we offer can help with damage control to help mitigate the costs needed to clean and restore the area.
Water Damage Timeline
Water damage can happen within mere minutes and if no immediate action is taken, the situation may spiral out of control and cause massive damage.
Water spreads throughout the whole property within minutes and saturate everything that gets in its way. It is then absorbed into floors, walls, belongings, and upholstery which can still be salvaged if the scale of damage is still manageable. The water damage process may cause furniture to bleed and carpets to permanently stain as well as cause belongings like books, photographs and other products made of paper to warp and swell.
Within First 24 Hours
Within just the first day, water damage will cause the drywall of the house to start deteriorating and breaking down along with any metal surfaces to start seeing signs of tarnish. Furniture will also begin cracking up and other belongings will start producing a musty odor.
The Next Day Up to a Week
If no cleaning and restoration is done, mold and mildew will start to grow and spread whereas the windows, doors, and studs will start swelling and warping and eventually fall off their frame. The same goes with other wooden items around the house like furniture and flooring. These in turn may cause serious biohazard contamination.
SERVPRO 24-Hour Cleaning and Restoration
To ensure that you get water damage managed efficiently, always seek emergency response services immediately. With our 24-hour cleaning and restoration facilities, we can help you salvage as much as possible to help you turn your life around after a catastrophe.
How Does Fire Damage Affect Concrete Structures?
The effects of fire damage on concrete structures will manifest itself in different forms. Understanding the manner in which fire and heat damage concrete will make it easier to assess costs and perform the necessary repairs.
What Occurs When Fire Comes into Contact with Concrete?
Concrete that comes into contact with fire will change in chemical and mechanical ways. One is called spalling, where concrete bits will be expelled from its surface layer, and external cracks which come from concrete dehydration and heat expansion.
Should the temperature of the fire exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) then the rebar may turn brittle. If the temperature increases further to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, then the strength of the rebar will be compromised by as much as twenty percent. Unless the fire is put out quickly, the reinforced concrete may suffer structural failure due to the loss of steel tensile strength.
The chemical changes often involve the quartz aggregates growing in volume, while limestone aggregates will deteriorate. The concrete may appear discolored and will often display pink coloration due to the chemical compound changes which involve iron. Carbonation will also occur, where the cement paste will breakdown and the protective coating will fail, which leads to rebar corrosion.
Is Concrete Non-Combustible?
Concrete is often advertised as being non-combustible, and technically it is. However, being non-combustible isn’t the same as being fire proof. Many property owners are under the impression that because their building is made with masonry and steel construction, they don’t have to worry about significant damage from fire.
While these materials do offer a degree of flame resistance, fire can still cause serious and even devastating damage. The primary ingredients which are used to make concrete are aggregates and cement. They do not light on fire like some materials nor do they produce toxic fumes.
However, concrete which is exposed to excessive heat will still sustain damage due to temperature shock along the concrete surface. Concrete will expand as its temperature rises and the external layers in particular will expand far more rapidly than the interior. This difference in expansion is not readily absorbed by concrete itself, which means that if the fire is not put out in time the layers will eventually separate and break away.
What Happens When Concrete Is Penetrated by Extreme Heat?
In the event that concrete is penetrated by extreme heat, its supporting steel will begin to weaken, which in turn will compromise structural integrity. The precise effects will depend on temperature, but at five hundred and fifty to six hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the cement will begin to lose its load bearing capacity.
This is especially dangerous on bridges and other structures because a collapse could occur which could seriously injure or kill anyone in the vicinity. This is why anyone working in a fire zone that notices cracks, spalling or exposed steel should vacate the premises immediately.
Do You Have A Hurricane Recovery Plan For Your Business?
If you are running a business within a zone that is prone to hurricanes, it is essential for you to put together an efficient hurricane recovery plan. This can help you to salvage as much of your assets as possible to mitigate cleaning and restoration costs. If you do not already have a plan on hand, here is what we have put together to help you manage the consequences of an emergency situation.
What is a Hurricane Recovery Plan?
A hurricane recovery plan consists of a set of business procedures that is documented with an aim to respond to a hurricane. Such a plan can be comprised of protocols to tackle a series of weather events from its beginning towards the end. The steps are as follows:
- Preventative steps to anticipate and alleviate the aftermath of a hurricane
- Emergency response procedures to warrant safety in the event of an emergency
- Immediate steps to bring back essential business operations
- Long-term processes to establish full recovery
Why a Hurricane Recovery Plan is Important
Hurricanes are among the most destructive catastrophes within the United States. On top of the danger posed by the natural disaster to the human population, businesses also are put at a risk. It is estimated that the damage from hurricanes can accumulate to approximately $28 billion a year and nearly half of the economy in the United States is vulnerable to hurricane damage. However, it is not just the damage costs that businesses need to worry about. When hurricanes happen, major disruption of business operations can happen and some companies may never recover.
Forced Out of Business
As much as 40 to 60 percent of businesses nationwide never re-open after a natural disaster takes place. The key factor that determines the chances of a business’ survival is how quickly they can respond. If operations cannot be reinstated efficiently, the business could be closed down for good. It is also found that 90 percent of smaller businesses fail within a year if proper hurricane recovery failed to be implemented within 5 days of a natural disaster. This is why a hurricane recovery plan is highly crucial and needs to be put together at an early stage.
How Hurricanes Affect Businesses
The reason behind hurricanes getting the most coverage in the news is because they are shocking. The destruction that they cause is often massive and frightening. However, the associated physical damage is just one of the many ways that a hurricane can inflict to businesses. Below are some of the other types of damages posed by different disasters:
- Wind damage
- Shortage of staff
- Utility and electricity outages
- Server / infrastructure damages
- Transportation disruptions
- Damaged hardware that causes data loss
- Restricted building access
Each of these damages affects your business operations in different ways. However, the impact of the damage to individual operation may differ in terms of scale. Regardless of the extent of damage, there is bound to be a certain sum of damage costs that your business needs to cover. To mitigate the damage costs inflicted by a hurricane, assemble a proper hurricane recovery plan early.
Are You Employing The Right Fire Safety Measures For Hotels?
Owning and running a hotel comes with its own set of challenges for both the owner and staff. One of the most important aspects of safety that needs to be considered includes implementing the right fire safety measures for hotels to help avoid costly damage.
Fire Safety Measures for Hotels
According to data shared by the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 4,000 fires take place at hotels and motels each year which result in at least $100 million worth of property damage. A certain percentage of hotel owners assumes that their fire safety measures are up to industry standards but in actual fact, some steps are often overlooked. Below are some fire safety considerations that hotel owners can review.
Holding Regular Fire Drills and Testing Fire Alarms
Fire alarms are possibly the most important element to hotel safety in the event of a fire. Once an alarm sounds, hotel occupants are immediately aware of the situation and can make their way out of the property quickly. Unfortunately, most hotels do not have their fire alarms adequately checked and tested from time to time. This is the reason why it is critical to conduct regular fire alarm tests.
During a fire alarm test, its control panels need to be set to test mode to avoid notifying emergency services. Once this has been done, press the fire alarm button to test the system. Test results need to be recorded for future reference. For faulty alarms, have them replaced immediately to prevent problems in the event of a fire.
Regular fire drills are also important to prepare staff members on the correct evacuation procedures and for the management to highlight any areas that need to be improved.
Keep Fire Extinguishers Close
All hotels need to be equipped with fire extinguishers rated class A, B, and C which can extinguish small fires involving paper, wood, gas, and oil. Fire extinguishers need to be placed within 75 feet from a hotel property but guestrooms are not required to be equipped with any as there are already several placed in the hallway. Fire extinguishers also need to be check regularly to ensure they are at the proper gauge or weight limit.
Hallways, rooms, and common areas need to be free of clutter to ensure fire safety can be maintained at all times. It just takes a small flame to turn cluttered spaces into an uncontrollable fire. Things like boxes, equipment, or trash need to be moved and stored at appropriate places to allow occupants to move quickly in the event of a fire.
Hotels need to have their fire alarms, lights, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers inspected at least once a year. If these are neglected, they may cause costly fire damage. Professionally inspecting these items can ensure that any problems can be addressed at an early stage to prevent bigger issues.
Commercial Fire Damage Insurance
Fire damage can be costly and hotels without commercial fire damage insurance can be slapped with hefty damage costs. Ensure that your hotel has sufficient coverage in the event of a fire.
Top Tips To Handle Winter Storm Damage
Cold weather can pose a distinct challenge to the owners of various types of property. Snow, ice, and sleet can cause drastic damage to your siding, roof, walkways, and driveways. For regions that experience frequent freeze and thaw cycles, the properties there can experience a case of leaks, frozen pipes, and other property catastrophes. Some property owners may even have to deal with unseasonal warm up, followed by tornado and thunderstorm warnings. Winter storm damage is not a trivial issue as it can cause expensive damages. Quick recovery action needs to be implemented to salvage as much of your property as possible.
Types of Winter Storm Damage
We often hear of residents having to deal with slippery surfaces or getting snowed in due to ice but there are far worst emergencies that are related to winter storms. It is essential to know some of the common disasters that you may face as a property owner.
- Flooding – Freezes and cold snaps can cause damage to the piping system which may cause your pipes to burst. This may then lead to water damage and flooding which require emergency water damage restoration.
- Fires – Fires can be caused by a number of reasons such as improperly cleaned chimneys, unattended fireplaces, or even overloaded electrical outlets. Regardless of the reason, winter storms are known to cause various types of fire.
- Roof Leaks – Ice dams that block pipes, melted frozen ice, ice and heavy snow breaking through shingles, high winds from winter storms, and hail strikes can all cause damage to your roof which then exposes your property to moisture damage.
How to Handle Winter Storm Damage Efficiently
After a winter storm, your property can experience various types of damages that need to be rectified fast. Below are some of the immediate actions you can take after your property has suffered from winter storm damages.
- Staying Calm – It is natural to freak out when an emergency occurs. Instead, you should stay calm and take a few deep breaths to allow you to think straight. It is a crucial time to make wise decisions to react appropriately to the type of disaster that is hitting you.
- Ensuring Safety – Once your property has been damaged by a winter storm, make sure that everyone inside is safe. Evacuate them to a much safer area to ensure that they do not get hit by falling debris, furniture and others.
- Turning Off Water and Power – Winter storms may lead to floods or leaks caused by burst pipes or damaged roofs. Turn off your water source to prevent further damages. By turning your main power outlet off, electrical fires can be prevented.
- Document Losses – Record down the property losses you have faced. This is important to present to your insurer when making claims.
- Contact Your Insurer – Once the danger has been contained, get in touch with your insurance company. Your agent can start the claim process immediately to provide you with the assistance you need fast.
- Remove Property – After properly documenting the damage, remove any property that you can salvage.
Have You Taken Any Storm Damage Measures To Protect Your Home?
Is it just us, or does it seem like storms are getting stronger and more severe? One priority of any homeowner is the taking of storm damage measures to protect their investment. Their house. Additionally, other problems should be prevented as well, like looting and more. After a storm, all sorts of strange things can occur.
If you want to lessen the impact a storm has on your house, and stay safe to, here are some measures you can take.
After we give you a few pointers, however, we are going to introduce you to the best service to contact if you experience storm damage – whether you were prepared or not.
Looting and Broken Glass Prevention
Both during and after a storm, looting and broken glass can be a problem. To protect your house from issues, invest in shutters, hurricane windows, and the like. To secure your home, these features will also help prevent broken windows by looters who want to enter your abode. Your home will be more secure, the better your window improvements are.
A lot of problems are caused from storms where roofing is concerned. You need to be prepared if you live in an area prone to damaging storms. To begin with, to find any repairs that are needed, have your roof inspected. Consider using materials for repair such as those with lengthy warranties, GAF materials, etc. These are designed to resist wind damage.
Certain types of flooring withstand water damage better than others. If minimal flooding occurs, repair costs can be lessened, and damage minimized, by choosing the right type of flooring.
In the case of minimal flooding, flooring materials should be inspected and, if necessary, removed as soon as possible by qualified personnel. New flooring should then be put down after the area is cleaned, treated to avoid mold and mildew problems, restored, etc.
With any luck at all, you'll know ahead of time when a major storm is coming. To prepare, for your most valuable properties, your home should have a place for secure storage. It must be in an area that is protected from storm damage (wind, rain, etc.), and a place that is secure.
The area should be one that is not prone to flooding and the storage location should be reinforced. To reduce costs, there are ways of accomplishing this with smaller spaces like master bedroom closets and more.
If Storm Damage Has Already Occurred, Call the Professionals at SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City!
Maybe you took precautions to see to it that your home wasn't damaged in a storm. Maybe you didn't. Whatever the case, if storm damage did occur, don't panic. Because we know that storms happen at the most inopportune times, we, at SERVPRO, always offer 24-hour emergency service. Give us a call. We can accomplish water removal, water damage repair and restoration, mold remediation, and more.
Need us in a hurry? Our motto is "Faster to Any Disaster" for a reason! The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can get you and your home back to normal. Contact us when you need us.
Fire Damage Restoration Is Not A Task For The Layman!
For fire damage restoration, how important is it to hire a professional? Is this something you should tackle yourself? Before we go any further, let us make it perfectly clear that where fire damage restoration is concerned, it is not a task for a layman, or even an avid do-it-yourselfer. This is something that must be tackled by certified, experienced professionals.
Some homeowners and business owners have had fire damage, water damage, and other kinds of negative events happen to their buildings. It causes personal burdens, financial hardships, and is an overall devastating experience. If you have suffered losses due to any of these occurrences, a professional water or fire restoration company must be contacted. This is a crucial step in getting everything back to normal. Not only can it be costly to try to clean up something like this yourself, it can be downright dangerous.
Why is fire restoration and/or water restoration by a professional so important?
Dehumidifiers, fans, industrial vacuums, water pumps, and more are required to clean up water after a fire or flood. No hardware store-bought or rented equipment can do the job adequately. Additionally, certain chemicals may be needed by restoration specialists depending on the type, size, and amount of damage.
Don't try to save money by doing this work on your own. In the end, you'll spend more when unknown problems like hidden structural damage, mildew, and/or mold rear their ugly heads.
Knowledge And Training
To get the upper hand on detecting damage and assessing it, certifications and years of experience not only come in handy, they're essential. No matter how many hours you spend trying to assess the damage, it's unlikely you'll find it all and know how to adequately resolve problems that occur and/or arise later. Within hours of a fire, experienced technicians and other officials can arrive on scene when you contact a professional water damage restoration service. To get your structure restored quickly and properly, they will create an effective plan and put it into action after sizing up all the damage.
As soon as possible, you will need to inform your insurance company of the fire and resulting damage. Even though you may feel like you can repair the damage yourself, you may be required to go with a professional service in order to have a successful claim filed. Even before repairs and restoration can take place, a professional estimate will likely be needed by your insurance company. This can be acquired through the services of a fire restoration/water restoration company.
Peace of Mind
Not to be trivialized by the above stated reasons for using a professional service after a fire or water damage, this is a big one. For complete peace of mind, you want to know the people who did the restoration did so expertly, completely, and as quickly as possible. After all, time is money if the place that's damaged is a business. If not, and the damaged building is a residence, it’s important for families to get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible.
Where can you go for specialized equipment, knowledge and training, and to satisfy insurance claims? Read on.
Have You Experienced Fire Damage?
If fire and the resulting water have damaged your home or place of business, it's time to call in the experts. We provide seasoned professionals who are certified and highly trained to see to it that all damage done by fire and water is cleaned up and restored.
Don't wait another moment. Time is of the essence. Contact us today at SERVPRO.
The Different Facets Of Storm Damage
Where do you live? No matter the climate or what town you're in, from time to time, you're likely to experience a severe storm. However, not all damage resulting from storms is the same because, let's face it, not all storms are the same. To protect your home against storm damage, it's crucial that you understand various types of damage from severe weather and how they differ.
Before we go any further, however, let's clear up one thing: After a devastating storm or some other natural disaster, the best course of action – whether involving a residence or a commercial building – is to call in the experts. Only then can you be assured of proper equipment, chemicals, training, certification, and expert services. You need a water restoration service.
Now let's look at damage that could be suffered as a result of a storm.
Damage from Ice
Not surprisingly, the chances of car accidents and people falling down increase due to snow and ice. However, power lines and trees can also be taken down because of ice damage and the weight involved. Due to heavy ice storms, entire cities have lost power for days on end! Then, underground flooding is frequently caused once the ice melts. That can mean trouble.
Tornadoes, hurricanes, and even some standard rainstorms can cause wind damage. Strong winds can throw furniture and rocks into buildings, rip up gutters, blow shingles off of roofs, and break tree limbs. Bolt down or bring in outdoor furniture to protect against damage from the wind.
Though it seems significant enough to be in a category of its own, flooding is included under the category of "water damage". Oddly enough, in order to experience flooding in your home, you don't necessarily have to live through a hurricane.
The foundation of your home could be threatened by water table rises resulting from excessive rainfall. Basements are a typical entry for water during a flood. But water can enter the foundation if you don't have a basement. Test your sump pump regularly to protect against flooding (if you have one). Regularly check your drainage system to ensure that it is in working order.
Damage From Water
One of the most common types of storm damage is water damage, particularly where hurricanes are concerned. Water can cause mold to grow, drywall to fall apart, and wood to rot if left unchecked. It decreases indoor air quality, and, to a building’s structure, can pose a significant threat.
Hail is dangerous and annoying. To individuals outside at the time of a hailstorm, it can even cause significant injuries. Hail has a reputation for damaging roofs, denting cars, breaking windows, and more. Use hail resistant shingles to protect your roof. Park in a garage or under a hardcover to protect your car.
The Results And Aftermath
Naturally, visible damage after a storm is not surprising. This can include wet carpets, broken roof tiles, dented cars, fallen tree limbs, and more. Remember, however, that unseen damage is important to remember (and inspect for), too. When scheduling storm damage assessment by a professional, make sure that the following are investigated by the team you hire:
- Hidden moisture damage
- Mold growth
- Structural integrity
Have You Experienced Storm Damage?
SERVPRO offers the expertise, specially trained staff, technology, specialized equipment, precise chemicals, and more needed to clean up after a storm.
Don't wait another minute to recover from severe weather and its effects! Contact us today.
Making A Water Damage Claim Successfully
Whether at your home or business, if you have experienced water damage, you will want your insurance to cover it. This can include everything from the extraction of water to drying out and repairing the affected area, and everything in between. More often than not, material decontamination will be necessary – particularly in the case of flooding. How can you avoid being denied coverage for a water damage claim?
Not only will you want to make sure you're covered for the initial damage done, but – as just suggested above – for the entire process of getting rid of excess water, drying materials, disinfecting, and more. In order to decontaminate materials affected by the water leakage, or remove them entirely, mold removal/testing may need to be done. You'll want that covered as well. To return your home or business to its original condition, whatever water damage restoration/repair is involved, ideally, you want your policy to pay for it.
Floods Versus Water Damage
In some cases, the words "water damage" will make a claim acceptable and coverable, whereas the word "flood" will not. To make absolutely sure of this, you’ll want to check with your insurance company.
In the mind of an insurance company, a "flood" does not come from inside your home or business (roof leak, tub overflow, air-conditioner overflow, septic tank backup, sewer backup, washing machine overflow, pipe leak, etc.), but from outside your home or business.
Here’s an example: If the river outside your home rises severely and overflows its banks, and from outside your home, water rushes in, “flooding” your home… you may not successfully submit a claim. That's the kind of flood damage that is not likely covered by most insurance policies.
If you can possibly submit a claim and avoid calling the water damage a flood, you stand a better chance of coverage.
Help with Submitting a Claim
If you can find a vendor that helps their clients with insurance claim submission, all the better. Unless a vendor has a relationship with an insurance company, they should be able to help you submit your claim with proper wording for the best chance of being covered. Because some vendors and insurance companies do have a close relationship, however, be sure of this before you contract the service.
Before hiring a restoration company, research them at length. Check reviews, their website, and more. You want them working for your best interests, not that of an insurance company.
Don’t Put Off the Process
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with water restoration post leakage or flooding is that the entire process should be expedited as much as possible. True, you want the job done thoroughly and expertly. But because the longer the water damage sits around, the bigger threat it poses, so you should contract a restoration company ASAP.
Additionally, insurance companies want to know about damage right away, not long after the fact. Wait too long, and your insurance company may try to say that the damage was existing before your claim, there were other contributing factors, and more.
Remember – Time Is of the Essence
When making a water damage claim, time is of the essence. There can be no denying this. When it comes to insurance companies and potential dangers from water damage, there's no time to waste. For this reason, and many more, contact the certified, experienced experts at SERVPRO when you need to deal with water damage and/or water restoration.
Don't put off repairing and/or restoring your home or business one more moment. We are available with 24-hour emergency service to be of assistance when you need us.
Contact us today.