Recent Storm Damage Posts
If you have flood damage, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home.
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread disasters in the United States. Flooding can also result from plumbing failures, frozen pipes and damaged structures. Flood damage can affect your business operation in a variety of ways and can range in size from being isolated to a single room to entire floors being fully submerged.
BEFORE A FLOOD
If an advanced Flood Warning has been issued, there are several precautions that can be taken to help minimize damage to certain areas of your business:
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
- Disconnect electrical equipment and appliances.
- Move vehicles out of low-lying parking garages.
- Raise elevators from bottom floor.
AFTER A FLOOD
- Account that all employees are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team’s names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts.
- If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers. While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk-through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains).
- Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.
SECURE THE PROPERTY
- Contact local emergency officials.
- Secure main entrances to building.
- Alert Security company and Alarm company of the situation.
STABILIZE THE PROPERTY
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Give priority to the protection of power plant and fire pumps, keeping them in service if at all possible.
- Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building’s foundation and walls.
- Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter.
- Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.
If you have flood damage, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back.
Flood Zones and Your Home
Are wondering if your home is a high flood risk?
Are wondering if your home is a high flood risk? One way to know this is to determine if your home is located in a flood zone. Here are a few things you may wish to know about these zones and how they affect your home.
What Are Flood Zones
Flood zones are areas that exhibit geographic qualities that make them more prone to flooding. This may include being at the bottom of a watershed, coastal areas, areas near rivers, and areas that experience frequent storms. FEMA sets these risk levels, and they should be marked on your local communities Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), which you can look at by going to your local zoning office.
Is Flood Insurance Necessary
In the event your home is determined to be at risk by its position in a flood zone, you may be wondering what, if any, addition insurance will be required. The best way to determine this is to talk to your insurance agent about what is included in your existing plan, and if any supplemental plans are available for additional coverage. It is important to note than in many cases flood insurance is considered a separate policy.
How to Deal with a Flood in the Home
If a storm does cause flooding in your home, then it is best to contact a flood damage restoration service as quickly as possible. These professionals have the tools necessary to move large quantities of water and can also make any repairs your home may need. The restoration team can also check for any additional problems flood water may cause, such as potential mold growth.
As explained earlier flood zones are areas that exhibit geographic qualities that make them more prone to a flood. It is important to note that in some cases having a home inside a flood zone can affect your flood insurance coverage.
If your home does experience flooding, we are here to help! Our team has experience with flood damage, and we will work hard to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Prepare Your Home for Floods
Storm damage can include not only water damage but mold damage, too.
As Michigan residents, we know that flood water can easily rise, turning your home into a flooded mess that needs extensive repairs. Although flooding from a burst pipe or flash flood can come on quickly, if your home is prepared, the damage can be minimized. Here are tips to prepare your home for flooding:
Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are installed in a pit in the lowest part of the home, such as the basement or crawlspace, and are designed to prevent water from entering the home. They automatically work to pump water out when it rises to a certain level.
Raise Electric Components
Along with water damage, flooding also creates potential fire hazard situations. It is recommended that wiring, outlets, sockets and other electrical components be at least 12 inches above the structure’s projected flood elevation. A licensed electrician can raise them to meet those requirements.
An easy way to keep basements dry is to regularly maintain outside the home. Along with keep gutters and drains free of debris, verifying the property slopes, and properly diverts water can keep water flowing away from the home.
Keep Supplies On-hand
Flood water can come on fast and rapidly rise. If you know you have foundation issues or haven’t cleaned the gutters yet, keeping supplies, such as sandbags and tarps, on-hand can minimize the amount of water entering the home.
Maintain a Checklist
Even if you are prepared, sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t care. When that happens, it is important that everyone in the home knows what to do and precautions are taken to minimize damage. The checklist should be easily accessible and include items such as disconnecting appliances and turning off the main power, gas line, and water supply.
Dealing with flood water can be a time-consuming mess. While total prevention may not be possible, being prepared can minimize damage.
Choose SERVPRO to Handle Your Flood Damage
Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes an easy target for storm damage. That’s why we here at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties are ready to help 24/7. Whether your home or business is affected by storm, or if it’s flood damage, your property needs specialized equipment and techniques to restore it back to its pre-damaged condition.
Our technicians have been specially trained to handle these sorts of unique situations to help get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Storm damage can include not only water damage but mold damage, too. It may seem like a daunting challenge to overcome, but we have the resources and tools to restore your home and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Choose SERVPRO After Storm Damage
Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal.
Utilizing our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties strives to:
- Contact you within 1 hour from notice of loss arrange for your service.
- Be on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
- Provide verbal briefing of scope to you within 8 business hours of on-site arrival.
SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties can also perform pack-out services, which is removing salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When storms hit Mid-Michigan we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,800 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Are You Prepared For Snowmelt?
Typically, you don’t think of floods in the middle of winter. But they do exist and happen more than you think. Snowmelt flooding happens when there is a quick change in temperature change. The temperature change can cause snow to melt and could potentially flood your basement. Basement flooding during the winter are mostly caused by melting snow entering the home because of faulty gutters, cracks in foundations and improper runoff.
Just as an example, ten inches of snow can melt into one inch of water and it is already on soil, unlike rain. Obviously, the heavier snowfall, the more snowmelt. A quick temperature change can cause a significant amount of water on the soil around your home. If the water cannot flow away from your home’s foundation, it can ultimately enter your home.
Snowmelt flooding can damage the floors, walls, furniture and personal items in your basement. It also introduces potential water damage and mold in your basement as well.
Snowmelt Safety Tips:
- Shovel snow away from your home.
- Keep snow and ice buildup off drainage areas.
- Inspect basement walls for cracks
- Check your roof for ice and snow buildup.
- Inspect your gutters and downspouts.
- Clear snow from your roof to prevent buildups.
If you experience damage in your basement from snowmelt, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties can make it “Like it never even happened.” Our services to help restore a basement after flooding include:
- Water Removal and Dehumidification
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
- Move Outs and Contents Restoration
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Carpet and Hard Floors Cleaning
SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties is here to help! For more information on snowmelt flooding damage, call 989-752-8644.
Animal Infestation in Your Home?
Believe it or not, SERVPRO does deal with several animal infestation during the winter months. While some animals hibernate during the cold, many animals do not. Your warm and cozy home is what these animals are looking for to survive the winter.
When animals get into your property, they can be destructive, disruptive and dangerous. This can cause serious damage to your property and put your safety at risk.
Raccoons, bats and mice are the worst when it comes to invading a warm home. These animals are sneaky and can squeeze into the smallest openings of your home. They tend to live in your walls, attic, basement and any small place where they can be warm.
Chewed boxes in your attic or basement, chewed wires or framing, droppings and scratching are all signs that infestation is occurring in your home.
These unwanted tenants can gnaw on electrical wires and turn on appliances. This could lead to potential fire and water damage in your home. We have responded to several homes suffering from water and fire damage due to infestation such as electrical fires and flooding. Although we do cleanup and restoration services for these events, they can be prevented. For more information, call 989-494-5575.
Winter Weather Alerts
Now that we are in the midst of winter, it is always good to know winter weather terminology to be prepared. You never know what Michigan winters will bring, so it is important to know the following terms:
Winter Weather Advisory
This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a low pressure system produces a combination of winter weather (snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.) that present a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria.
Winter Storm Watch
This product is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place.
Winter Storm Warning
This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations. The criteria for this warning can vary from place to place.
Blowing Snow Advisory
Issued when wind driven snow reduces surface visibility, possibly, hampering traveling. Blowing snow may be falling snow, or snow that has already accumulated but is picked up and blown by strong winds.
Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
Advisory Issued when freezing rain or freezing drizzle is forecast but a significant accumulation is not expected. However, even small amounts of freezing rain or freezing drizzle may cause significant travel problems.
Ice Storm Warning
This product is issued by the National Weather Service when freezing rain produces a significant and possibly damaging accumulation of ice. The criteria for this warning varies from state to state, but typically will be issued any time more than 1/4" of ice is expected to accumulate in an area.
This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a low pressure system produces snow that may cause significant inconveniences, but do not meet warning criteria and if caution is not exercised could lead to life threatening situations. The advisory criteria varies from area to area. If the forecaster feels that it is warranted, he or she can issue it for amounts less than the minimum criteria. For example, it may be issued for the first snow of the season or when snow has not fallen in long while.
Heavy Snow Warning
Issued by the National Weather Service when snowfall of 6 inches (15 cm) or more in 12 hours or 8 inches (20 cm) or more in 24 hours is imminent or occurring. These criteria are specific for the Midwest and may vary regionally.
Issued during the growing season when widespread frost formation is expected over an extensive area. Surface temperatures are usually in the mid 30s Fahrenheit.
Below freezing temperatures are expected.
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. If you suffer from winter storm damage, don't hesitate to call us! We are here to help 24/7.
Flooded Basement? We Can Help!
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Michigan basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today – 989-494-5575
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Sterling Heights and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill the Insurance Directly – One Less Thing for You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
When Storms Hit, We Are Ready To Help!
SERVPRO ofShiawassee / West Saginaw Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. 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.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Michigan, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,800 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 989-494-5575.
Make a Disaster Plan
Disasters don’t plan ahead. You Can. This week we are focusing on making a plan for yourself, family and your friends.
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Preparing the family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Here are some ideas from SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties to get you started:
- Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated.
- Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
- Download a group texting app so your entire family can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency.
- Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency.
- Consider downloading the Fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations: fema.gov/mobile-app
- Sign up for local emergency alerts in your area by searching online.
Keeping yourself, family and your friends safe is your first priority when disaster strikes. Be sure you have plan in place before disaster strikes. For more information on creating and implementing a Disaster Plan visit Ready.gov.
Protect Your Pipes from Cold Weather
After 2020, we have learned to be prepared for the unexpected. With that being said, we need to prepare our homes for the cold winter months, because you never know what 2021 could bring. It is important to take the proper steps now to protect our homes from busted pipes and prevent the stress associated with a major water loss.
Extreme cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. In general, pipes are more likely to freeze when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting water damage can be extensive. Outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas of the home can freeze if they are not properly insulated or if temperatures are severely cold.
Outdoor pipes most likely to freeze include:
- Outdoor hose bibs
- Swimming pool supply lines
- Water sprinkler lines
Pipes in unheated or partially heated areas are also at risk of freezing, including:
- Crawl spaces
Prevent Frozen Pipes Tips:
- Keep water faucets running with a slow drip
- Keep garage door closed
- Keep thermostat set to the same temperature morning and night
- Leave the cabinet doors open near pipes
- Unhook the hose from outside the house
- Install heat tape
- Seal leaks to prevent cold air from entering your home
- Check the temperature in the house to ensure there is enough heat on those colder days
If your pipes do freeze or burst, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties have the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. Call 989-494-5575!
Prepare Your Owosso Home for Winter
Living in Michigan, you know how winter works. Winter is our longest season and we even started early with snow falls in November. Now, us Michiganders are looking at frigid, snowy weather for the next 5-6 months (maybe longer). You can be prepared for winter by bundling up in warm clothes and boots. But is your home prepared to face the bitter cold and winter weather for the next 5-6 months?
Here are Some Tips to Prepare your Home for Winter Weather:
- Insulate walls and attics
- Install a door sweep
- Weather-strip doors and windows
- Clean out gutters
- Disconnect and drain outside hoses
- Ensure your furniture isn’t blocking your home’s heating vents
- Repair roof leaks
- Remove tree branches that could get weighed down with snow/ice and fall on your house
- If you have a fireplace, close the damper
- Set the temperature manually and leave it
- Seal furnace ducts
- Insulate hot water pipes and hot water heater
- Avoid ice dams by ventilating your attic and insulating the attic floor
It is that time of year where Michigan gets hit with brutal winter storms and it is crucial to prepare your home for it. Keep our number handy, 989-494-5575. If you suffer storm damage to your home or property, we can be there to take immediate action. We can help minimize secondary damages caused by severe storms.
Prepare Your Home for Winter
As we quickly head into winter, it is time to prepare your home for the cold weather. As we know, Michigan winters are long and brutally cold, it is critical to prepare your home to take on the state’s longest season.
Read the tips below to protect your home against winter:
Plan for a home energy audit: This should be done by a professional and will help you discover any problems with your home before colder weather comes.
Add insulation: Adding insulation to the attic, floors, or walls can help conserve more heat in the winter, especially in older homes.
Seal around windows: You could be losing heat around your windows. By having them properly caulked, you could potentially but your heating bill.
Lower your water heater temperature: By keeping the maximum temperature of your water heater lower, it will consume less energy and save money.
Keep your home temperature at least 65 degree: You want to make sure your pipes do not freeze and expand, resulting pipes to freeze and break. It is advised to cover outside faucets with insulation kits or installing leak detection systems.
Clean you gutters often: Clear your roof, gutters, and downpours so they can properly drain. If not taken care of, ice build-up or water overflow during a storm can cause severe damage to your home.
If you happen to suffer from water damage this winter, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back.
Preparing for a Winter Storm
During extremely cold weather or snowstorms, staying safe and warm can be a challenge. As Michiganders, we know that winter brings freezing temperatures, power failures, and icy roads. To keep you and your family safe, you need to prepare your home for Michigan’s longest season.
Prepare Your Home:
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
By preparing your home before a storm, it could help prevent or lessen the damage. In Michigan, we never know what type of weather we will get, so it is always important to be prepared and safe rather than sorry. For these long winter months, having a plan can protect your home against storm damage.
Before the Storm Hits:
The CDC highly suggests listening and watching weather forecasts regularly to keep updated on the storm. It is also recommended to have an emergency supply kit which includes emergency food and water supply. Even though we cannot always predict how bad a winter storm can be, sometimes watching/listening to a forecast can give you several days to prepare.
Bring Your Pets Indoors:
Don’t leave your furry friends outside to take on the storm. Bring them inside to them warm and safe. Also, make sure that your pets have access to unfrozen water and food.
For more information on preparing for a winter storm, visit the CDC’s website for helpful tips!
Cold weather and winter storms can cause significant damage with little warning. Regardless of the type of storm, our team can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources.
- Cold temperatures
- Heavy snowfall
- Ice storms and freezing rain
No matter the winter storm damage, our team is ready 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Get Your Emergency Storm Kit Ready!
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO is always here to help and want to give you tips on a basic emergency kit in case the unpredictable happens.
In a year filled with the unexpected, one thing that 2020 has shown us is to always be prepared. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit.
Basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Also look at ready.gov for more ideas on emergency kits!
Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes and businesses an easy target for winter storm damage. That is why we here at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties are ready to help 24/7. We will work around the clock to get your property back to preloss condition.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Living in Michigan, we all know sub-zero temperatures are ahead. With frigid temperatures and winter storms coming, now is the time to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes and water damage that can occur if those pipes expand and burst. Frozen pipes are actually very preventable, SERVPRO offers the following tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating potential damage that they can cause.
To prevent frozen pipes and avoid any potential damage:
- Insulate all exposed pipes in your property. Pay close attention to where pipes may be unheated, such as the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Maintain a consistent temperature through your house day and night.
- Close any valves located inside that supply water outdoors and open outside valves to properly drain any excess water remaining in the pipes.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors.
- In especially freezing temperatures, let your faucet trickle; running water is less likely to freeze.
- If you will be leaving your home unoccupied for an extended period, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Thawing Out a Frozen Pipe:
- If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips come out, you may have a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Leave the faucet on while treating any frozen pipes, as flowing water will help melt the ice.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe by using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device.
- Check all other faucets in your home to see if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties has the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. We are always here to help! 989-494-5575.
Fall Weather Can Be Destructive
Since we are now in the fall season you may have noticed a lot of rain. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year. Fall weather may not be as destructive as winter, but it is better to prepare for water damage before it is too late.
For homeowners, some concerns due to fall weather can be:
- Eroded landscaping
- Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill
- Moldy siding, windowsills, doorjambs, windowpanes, and roofing
- Rotting wooden fencing and decking
- Leaking roof
- Puddles and pooling
For business owners, some concerns can be:
- Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas
- Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways
- Leaking roofs
- Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly
Businesses must also keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door!
Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue.
One thing both types of structures must be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that mold has taken hold in either your home or your business. Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest a home or business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation. With a household or workplace mold infestation can come allergens and irritants, making it an uncomfortable living, or working environment.
If you suspect mold, weather because of water damage, or just from damp conditions, you should call SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties as quickly as possible. We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened."
Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today!
Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists at SERVPRO® of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.
Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage, for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We have learned that no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life.
At SERVPRO, we emphasize that everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.
COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it is a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them.
The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Mid-Michigan area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.”
Prepare for Storms!
Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes an easy target for storm damage. Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death. Below is a checklist to make sure your home and family are best prepared for any storms, so that you, your loved ones, and your home can stay safe.
Prepare a storm shelter.
Include essential supplies such as food, water, a first aid kid, flashlights, and batteries to last a few days in the case of a severe storm or tornado.
Clear branches and dead trees around your home.
The high-speed wind of storms can send dead branches or even trees crashing through your windows, siding, and roof. Clearing these objects away from your house is an easy way to make sure they do not cause any damage.
Secure outside objects
The benefits of technology is we have weather apps and stations that give us warning before a storm arrives. If a bad one is coming up, move large outdoor objects inside to prevent damage to your house and those objects.
Document your valuable items.
Take pictures of valuable items that you can use to show insurance later. If they are damaged or lost in the storm, you have better luck with your claim if you have documentation. Include date of purchase and purchase amount if you have that as well. Bonus points for saving receipts!
Protect Your Pets!
When preparing for storms, oftentimes pets are forgotten about. Make sure to have a plan in place for your pets, whether that is in your storm shelter or if that means having them in a separate safe location for when the storm hits.
Whether your home or business is affected by storm, or if it’s flood damage, your property needs specialized equipment and techniques to restore it back to its pre-damaged condition. Our technicians have been specially trained to handle these sorts of unique situations to help get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Storm damage can include not only water damage but mold damage, too. It may seem like a daunting challenge to overcome, but we have the resources and tools to restore your home and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
Time is Money
As a leader in water damage restoration, we know fast mitigation is the key to limiting business interruption. With an unmatched national footprint of over 1,800 franchises, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team can provide trained crews faster to any size disaster and can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce the future damage that water can cause. We have the right equipment, procedures, and training to help ensure the structure is dry the first time, saving you time and money.
Specific Tasks to Include:
- Containment of damaged area to reduce in-flow of water.
- Shrink-wrapping of structures to control inflow of mixture.
- Water Extraction – to remove excess water from a structure.
- Moisture Mapping – to determine impacted areas of a structure.
- Selective Demolition – to remove wet building materials that cannot be economically dried in place.
- Containment – to assure potential contaminants do not spread.
- Evaporation Enhancement – to remove moisture content from building materials.
- Dehumidification – to remove excess water vapor from the structures’ environments.
- Temperature Control – to assist in dehumidification and to prevent the onset of mold growth.
- Post-Drying Cleaning – to remove any potential contaminants from dried building materials.
When disaster strikes, so do we! Our team members live locally and are available 24/7 to respond to your call.
Learn About Derechos
What is a Derecho?
With hot and humid weather conditions that come with summer also comes a threat of a rare severe thunderstorm called a derecho. You may be familiar with this type of storm now after the events that happened in Iowa. According to the National Geographic, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos produce walls of strong wind that run throughout the landscape, causing hundreds of miles of damage.
For a band of severe storms to be classified as a derecho, it must travel 240 miles and move at a speed of at least 58 miles per hour. The Midwest Derecho swept across South Dakota to Ohio, traveling 770 miles in nearly 14 hours and knocking out power for over a million people. Unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, the winds from a derecho follow straight lines. In fact, the term “derecho” means straight in Spanish.
How Derechos Form
Derechos winds can be as strong as winds found in hurricanes and tornadoes. So, how do these strong winds form? It is created by a downburst. SciJinks stated that when the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong winds.
The downburst can suck more dry air into the storm, making stronger downbursts. Derechos happen when the right conditions for downbursts occur over a wide-ranging area.
Where Derechos Happen
Derechos are most common in the Midwestern United States but are quite rare. There is an average of 1 to 2 derechos a year. These storms most commonly occur in late spring and summer.
A derecho can be just as destructive as a tornado, but destructive in a different way. According to the National Geographic, downburst clusters of wind caused by derechos can range from four to six miles long, containing smaller pockets of extreme wind called microbursts and burst swaths. The latter are only about 150 to 450 feet long, but they are severe and concentrated like the winds of a tornado and can exceed 100 miles an hour.
What to Do
Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures. The best thing to do in the event of a derecho is to go someplace safe and protected—high winds and falling trees can be quite dangerous.
Preparing Your Home or Business for Hurricanes
Here in Michigan, we obviously do not have to worry about hurricanes. But for those who own vacation homes or have friends/family living in hurricane zones, we have some helpful tips to prepare that you can share.
Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Preparing Your Home or Business for a Hurricane.
Prepare your Home:
- Cover all your home’s windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
- Plan to bring in all your outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep doors closed.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
Prepare your Business:
- Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
- Identify operations critical to survival and recovery.
- Plan what you will do if your building, is not accessible.
- Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home.
- Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Here to Help 24/7
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day, or night.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties?
- We are Faster to Any Size Disaster: Floods and storms do not wait for normal business hours, and neither do we. You can depend on an immediate response from our highly trained technicians, who are available 24 hours, seven days a week.
- We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists: As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-storm condition.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
- We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters: In addition to our own resources, we can access equipment and personnel from over 1,800 Franchises across the state and country. We can even call upon strategically located Disaster Recovery Teams for catastrophic storms and major events.
Our Disaster Recovery Team
Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, we are prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,800 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:
- 2020 Midland Floods
- 2019 Hurricane Dorian
- 2018 Hurricane Florence
- 2018 Hurricane Michael
- 2017 California wildfires
- 2017 Hurricane Irma
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2015 Carolina floods
- 2014 Polar Vortex
- 2012 Sandy
- 2010 Nashville floods
- 2008 Ike
- 2007 Chicago floods
- 2007 Ohio floods
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita
Should a storm or major event strike, we will make it “Like it never even happened.” Call (989) 494-5575, we are always here to help!
Protecting Your Garden During Rainstorms
Although our gardens love a nice rain shower, too much rain can be harmful to all the plants. After all the hard work you have done to manage your garden, do not let heavy rainstorms ruin it!
Follow these tips to protect your garden during heavy storms:
- Remove damaged limbs and shoots – Removing dead limbs and shoots from your plants will help make them more streamlined and will reduce snapping and tangling.
- Add compost and mulch – Adding a couple of inches of compost to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil will help with drainage.
- Support taller plants – Push a wooden or metal support into the ground and tie taller plants to it. This will help keep them stable against rain and strong winds.
- Drainage – Make sure there is a proper runoff that tilts away from your garden and make sure it is not blocked. Water collecting in your garden can be damaging to your plants, possibly drowning them.
- Cover you most delicate plants – Use a waterproof tarp to cover your most fragile plants during heavy rainstorms. Make sure that the covering is not blocking water from draining because it can cause other plants to drown.
- Check your vegetable roots – Once the rainstorm has stopped, make sure there are no exposed roots following soil erosion. If there are exposed roots, covered them with soil or compost before they dry out.
- Check your pots and planters – Pots and planters can easily become flooded if the drainage is blocked. Check them before, during and after rainstorms. You can always cover pots and planters if necessary.
- Pull weeds up by hand – The moist soil after rain means you are much more likely to retrieve the whole root without it snapping or breaking.
Need more tips? Go to The Plant Guide for more information on maintaining your garden during severe weather.