Recent Storm Damage Posts

Wind Driven Storm

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

“Wind-driven rain” is one of those terms you’ve probably never thought of until buying home insurance.

In fact, most people have never even heard of the term “wind driven rain” until they realize their home insurance policy doesn’t cover it.

By then, it is usually too late.

WHAT IS WIND DRIVEN RAIN?

Wind driven rain is a self-explanatory thing: it’s rain that is driven into your home by the wind.

In the insurance world, wind driven rain refers to rain that comes through an opening into your property because it is being propelled by the wind. So if wind was out of the equation, the water would never have made it inside the home in the first place.

When a storm damages your home, it’s typically wind and rain that cause the majority of the damage. If the wind and rain cause damage on their own, then this is typically covered on your home insurance policy.

However, the “wind driven rain” stipulation may be used if your insurance agency finds out that your home essentially led to the damage caused by the storm. In this case, even if you have flood insurance, your insurance agency may not cover the damages.

HOW DOES YOUR HOME DAMAGE ITSELF WITH WIND DRIVEN RAIN?

As an example, one couple in Oldham County found out that water damage in their home after a storm was not covered by their insurance policy – even though they were paying for a premium home insurance plan.

The adjuster explained that damage inside the home was caused by rain from the storm. Normally, damages like that are covered by an insurance policy.

However, it was determined that the rain was driven into the home because the tiles on the roof needed repair. In other words, it wasn’t the storm that damaged the home. It was the poorly-maintained roof.

This is where things get a little tricky: your home insurance policy would cover damage if the high winds from the storm knocked a tree onto your roof, and then water leaked through your roof into your home.

However, if rain was driven into your home through the roof because the tiles needed to be repaired before the storm, then your insurance may not cover it.

It’s small distinctions like this that can cause insurance agencies to deny a claim.

FLOOD INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER WIND DRIVEN RAIN

When many people spot water damage in their home after a storm, they assume their flood insurance will cover the damage. That’s not true with wind driven rain, unfortunately.

Flood insurance covers overflow of inland or tidal waters and unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source. However, the flood must be a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area.

So if your home’s flood insurance doesn’t cover the damage, then what’s the next step?

WIND DRIVEN RAIN IS NOT ALWAYS OUTLINED CLEARLY IN INSURANCE POLICIES

Wind driven rain disputes can get frustrating for homeowners. Some homeowners feel they did everything right. They read through their home’s insurance policy. They maintained their home adequately. And still their claim is denied because of the wind driven rain stipulation.

In many cases, wind driven rain is clearly defined and outlined in your insurance policy.

Storm Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Sewage Backup in your Home

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup Cleanup

Along with our water damage services, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County offers additional services to help out our clients. This additional water service is sewage backup cleanups. During harsh thunderstorms and periods of time where there is a lot of rain, flooding can occur. Not only can flooding cause damages to a home by causing water to come in, it can also cause backups in the sewage lines. Recently we have helped clients in Oldham/Shelby County with sewage clean up as harsh rain has caused their sewage lines to backup and cause damage to the home's drain pipes. If not treated quickly and efficiently, these sewage backups can cause propose serious risks.

With our 24 hour service, we are always on call to assist anyone with any sewage issue or other remediation needs.

 Sewage Backup In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Tips During a Lightening Storm

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that lightning is the third largest storm-related killer in the U.S., causing nearly one billion dollars in damage per year? Those are some sobering statistics you may want to keep in mind the next time you are trying to decide whether to play one more hole of golf or hike an extra mile when a potential storm may be brewing.

While summer is commonly known as the peak season for thunderstorms and lightning, spring is vast approaching and bringing storms with it as well. The following tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe should you be caught in a lightning storm.

How Can I Protect Myself?

It is important to understand that there is no safe place outside during a lightning storm. If thunderstorms are expected, you should stop any outdoor activities quickly — even if you are still mowing the lawn or enjoying a picnic. Many lightning casualties occur because people fail to seek shelter early enough. Keep an eye on local weather conditions and have a plan if thunderstorms are expected. Your home’s best protection against a lightning strike is a lightning protection system. In order to find out more you can contact a certified lightning protection specialist for information.

What if I'm Outside During a Storm?

As soon as you hear thunder, stop all outdoor activities and get into a building or a hard-topped vehicle for safety. It may be tempting to get into a golf cart or a lean-to, but those will not provide adequate protection. If you absolutely cannot get to safety, try to stay away from open fields, hilltops, tall trees or other tall objects. Go to the lowest place possible, such as a ravine or valley, and squat in a baseball catcher’s position — with your heels touching, ears covered, and head between your knees. Minimize contact with the ground and do NOT lie flat. You should avoid water and anything metal, such as golf clubs or bicycles.

What if I'm Driving?

Exit the road or highway you are on and park in a safe location. Stay in the vehicle and turn on emergency flashers until the storm subsides. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that can conduct electricity.

What if I'm Indoors?

You may think that watching television or shopping on-line are good ways to pass the time during a storm, but your best bet is to unplug televisions, computers and any other high-value electronics well before the storm hits. Once the storm begins, do not touch any electrical equipment or cords, including corded phones. It is OK to use cellular or cordless phones during the storm. Be sure to stay away from windows and doors and do not go on porches. Also avoid taking baths or showers during storms. Water is a conductor of electricity so if a lightning strike hits your house during a storm, it may travel through water and shock you in the bath or shower.

What if My House is Hit by Lightning?

If you think your home has been struck by lightning call 911 immediately and evacuate if you see fire or smoke. You may want to ask your local fire department to check for hot spots in your walls. If you use gas for heating and cooking, contact your  gas company or a licensed contractor to conduct a leak test before re-entering your home. Gas system components have been known to sustain punctures as a result of direct or nearby lightning strikes.

Water or Fire Damage as a result of lightning strike? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Preparing After Spring Storms

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are the main culprit in bringing in severe spring weather, such as lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. When warm, moist air runs into cool, dry air it results in thunderstorms.  Spring is the main season that these treacherous storms usually begin. Spring brings uncertainty and unpredictability in the weather forecast. It can change on a dime, what may seem like beautiful sunny weather could dramatically change to a harsh and eerie storm. It is easy to go unprepared when these dramatic storms don’t normally hit the region you live in but because spring weather is so unpredictable it is important to be aware and ready for anything that could come your way.  

General preparations

Take safety precautions and have an emergency kit easily accessible. Here are a few things to include:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery operated weather radio
  • Have an evacuation and/or shelter plan
  • List of personal information such as contact info for family and friends
  • Insurance and property info
  • Medical information
  • Include a first aid kit with medical supplies
  • Plenty of bottled water and nonperishable food items ready for multiple days
  • Toiletries
  • Blankets

It is not only important to have an emergency kit in your home but also in your car if you were  stranded somewhere when a storm hit. Be sure to practice emergency plans and have all family members be aware of where the emergency kit is held.

Flood preparations

Thunderstorms can bring heavy rainfall, and as the weather gets warmer and snow begins to melt the extra water can begin to overtake streams and ditches ultimately leading to flooding. Here are some ways to be prepared for a flood:

  • Make sure your house has flood insurance, it can help protect against difficult expenses that you’d be responsible for otherwise.
  • Keep a record of valuable items within your home because it will help when filing an insurance claim.
  • Keep important files and documents in a protected and safe place either in or out of the home.
  • Have an emergency kit
  • Create an evacuation plan

If a flood is in the process and it’s slow-moving then you may have time, before evacuating, to reduce any damage that may occur by placing sandbags around your home. Also if you are able, be sure to turn off gas, water, and electricity. Lastly, you can help alleviate damage to your valuables by getting them to the higher levels of your house.

Weather preparations

Don’t only focus on preparations within your home but also on the outside to help prevent damage. Here are different ways to be ready when bad weather hits:

  • Check your roof and identify any problem areas such as missing shingles, leaks, and loose siding. Make sure your house has a good chance to withstand a heavy
    windstorm and pieces won’t easily be ripped off.
  • Choose mulch rather than rock or gravel when landscaping your yard so when a storm occurs it won’t do any damage.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery maintained in your yard by either trimming or cutting trees down. Be sure to look out for any dead or weak limbs that could potentially fall or break in a storm.
  • Clean and check gutters. Make sure gutters are tightened down so they won’t be torn off in a storm and cause damage. Protect your basement from flooding by re-positioning downspouts away from your house.
  • Protect the inside of your home by making sure top-heavy furniture pieces are securely fastened to the wall.

Take action and prevent extra damage to your home by simply maintaining the condition of its exterior.

Rain boots and a rain jacket are good to have if you are a child splashing in puddles. However, it’ll take more than even an umbrella to withstand all that nature brings during the spring season. A child may look to their parent for protection when a thunderstorm strikes but it’ll take a smart parent to know their child is truly protected when precautions had been made prior to the storm. Spring is a beautiful time of year and can truly be captivating and breathtaking as colors come to life, but when storms lurk on the horizon, being prepared will help you rest easy and truly enjoy the sense of rejuvenation that spring can bring.

Don’t be caught off guard or surprised by an unpredictable storm, in fact, take the surprise factor out by simply being prepared for what may come. But, if the spring showers do lead to water damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist.

How to Clean a Flooded Basement

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement

Step 1: Be Sure Your Basement Is Safe to Enter

The first thing you need to do when your basement floods is assess how dangerous the situation is. When there is standing water in your basement, there is a risk of electric shock if the water has rose enough to come in contact with an electrical outlet or wiring. If the water in your basement is more than a puddle and it continues to flow in, the first thing you need to do is think about your own safety. If you believe electrical appliances or outlets are already underwater and you cannot walk through the basement without coming in contact with water, do not enter the basement. The most important thing to know is that as bad as the problem seems, it can get worse for you if you’re not careful.

To see if your flooded basement is safe to enter, check:

  • Water Depth: If the water is more than 2 inches deep throughout your entire basement, do not step into the water; you could be electrocuted. Call in a professional plumber or water restoration company to pump the water out as soon as possible. Whenever flooding occurs, regardless of the water level, if you can access your main electrical service panel without entering the basement, turn off power to the basement. If your panel is not accessible, contact an electrician to shut off the power.
  • Submerged Appliances: If the water level in your flooded basement is approaching any gas-fired appliances, like your furnace or water heater, call the gas company and have them shut off the gas. Your pilot light could be out, and gas could be entering your basement. If you smell gas, exit the building.

If your flooded basement does not pose an electrical or gas-related hazard, you can move on to the following steps.

Step 2: Find the Source of Your Basement Flood

Your next step is to determine why your basement is flooding and is to see if you can stop it quickly. Even if you cannot stop the flooding, if you’re able to figure out where the water is coming from, you can inform your plumber or contractor as soon as they arrive and save time.

How to Find the Source of a Water Leak in Your Basement

How do you find the source of your basement flood? Scan your basement and try to pinpoint how the water is getting in. If water is coming into your basement through:

  • Walls, Floor, Foundation or Windows: This is likely the result of heavy rains and/or a too-high water table. You may have to wait for the weather to change before the water stops rising. If water depth allows for safety, shut off power to the basement in case the water continues to rise, and then start moving your belongings to higher ground.
  • Floor Drain: This usually indicates that there’s an issue with your sump pump or home drainage system, or that there’s a backup in the city sewer lines. Your next step should be to find a plumber and get them on-site. If the plumber determines that the issue was caused by the municipal sewer system, call your city’s water and sewage department and notify them.
  • Plumbing or Appliances: Are your pipes or the hoses connected to your washer or water heater spewing water? You’ve found your culprit. Immediately shut off water to the broken fixture. If you think broken plumbing is the source of the problem, but can’t determine which fixture is broken, shut off water to the entire house.

Once you’ve determined the source of the flooding, and have possibly stopped the leak, you can move on to saving items from the flooded basement.  

Water Damage in your basement? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Storms are unpredictable and tend to target neighborhoods rather than entire counties. If you are unfortunate enough to be in the path, your business is vulnerable to fallen trees, hail damage, fire from lightning, wind damage, losing all or part of your roof, flooding, and power outage. Minutes later, the storm passes, and you are shocked by the extent of the damage.

Why is Storm Damage Preparedness Important? 

As a business owner or facility manager, you’ll need to prepare and react to keep people working safely and stay productive. Here are 4 summer storm damage prevention tips to help your business survive the sudden summer storm and reduce downtime from storm damage commercial property loss.

 #1 Preventative Maintenance 

It’s easy to let maintenance items slip as the seasons quickly change from spring to summer. Be prudent and proactive by scheduling an exterior building inspection on your calendar. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

  • Check the condition of the paint and walls.

  • Check for broken windows and doors.

  • Check the condition of all railings.

  • Check for plants growing on the building or its foundation.

  • Clean the roof. Use care when working in high places; employ adequate fall protection.

  • Clean roof drains and gutters. Test drains and downspouts by flushing them with water.

  • Inspect the condition of the roof.

  • Inspect gutters for adequate anchoring and tighten, if necessary.

  • Inspect the stack and all roof penetrations.

  • Remove any plant life growing on the roof.

  • Clean up any debris found.

#2 Update Your Commercial Storm Damage Insurance Coverage 

It’s devastating to discover that your commercial insurance policy doesn’t have adequate commercial storm damage coverage after a property loss. Along with your preventative maintenance and inspection, schedule an annual policy review with your insurance agent. Be sure to discuss coverage and exclusions and be certain that you understand them. This step removes the disappointment and unhappy surprise from a non-covered loss.

#3 Photograph and Document the Condition of Your Commercial Property

A photographic inventory of your business equipment, interior, and exterior of the business property is a tremendous help when navigating a commercial storm damage insurance claim. Your timestamped photographs accelerate the process when working with your insurance adjuster after storm damage has occurred and provides proof of adequate maintenance of the commercial property.

#4 Initiate Emergency Response Planning with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County

It’s vital to the health of your business to have an emergency plan in place and to update it annually. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has a Emergency Response Plan (ERP) program that ensures you and your employees know how to prepare and react to  storm commercial property damage. Should you need water damage mitigation, fire damage restoration, or emergency repairs as a result of commercial storm damage, your ERP with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will give you peace of mind that you have a strategic partner at the ready to respond to your need 24/7/365. Ask a Marketing Representative to schedule your ERP appointment today. 

Don't let storm damage be disastrous to your commercial property. You worked hard to build your company and deserve the most efficient and experienced response. For the best storm damage restoration from fire, water, or wind damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Flood Clean up

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

You might assume that the worst of the danger is over once a flood ceases, however, flood cleanup can be just as dangerous as the actual flood itself. Contaminated water, electrocution, or fire are very real risks when you have a large scale flood in your home. Here are some things to look out for and be wary of when you have a flood in your house.

Be Cautious Of Downed Electric Lines

There are several types of flooding that you could experience, and only a portion of these floods are caused by natural disasters.

However, if the flood in your home is caused by a natural disaster, then you might need to be aware of electric lines being down. If you have standing water in your home and around it, and power lines are down, there is a risk of electrocution. Though this instance is rare, it is still a very real threat to be aware of. Try to get to safety and call the utility company in your area immediately.

Be Aware Of The Water Category

There are three water categories: clear, grey, and black. Clear water is tap water that is basically clean but is leaking out of your pipes.

This kind of flood water in your home is not dangerous other than it causing water damage.

Grey water is when there could be chemical, biological, or physical contaminants in the water. This proposes a risk if you come into contact with it. This could be water discharge from toilet bowls, dishwashers, or washing machines.

Black water is the most dangerous and has a high level of contaminants. This is usually from sewage or rising waters from a storm. Black water is not sanitary and should be avoided at all costs. This category of water damage should be handled by a professional restoration company.

Shut Off Utilities

When you have a flood in your home from a water leak, you don’t just have to worry about shutting the water off. However, it is important that you shut off your gas lines and electricity as well during these emergencies. If your not sure how to do that, then contact your utility company to help you figure it out or come out and do it for you. Gas and electricity can cause fires when they come in contact with flood water.

Flood cleanup alone can be very risky  and should be carried out by a professional crew. Make sure you and your family stay safe by evacuating the area in cases of a widespread flood. 

Flood in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

Preventing Basement Flooding with Landscaping

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Landscaping can add some serious curb appeal to your home, whether you enjoy shrubs and flowers or a more zero scape look, each home is unique. Landscaping gives each homeowner a chance to create the look they desire and show off their creativity. The downside to some landscaping choices is that they can contribute to water entering your home, usually into the basement. In fact, some flooding problems may be directly related to the landscaping around your house. Here are a few things you can do to your landscaping to prevent flooding.

Grade Your Lawn the Right Direction

Landscaping that grades towards your house instead of away from it may lead to flooding in your basement. You want to make sure that you are directing the water away from your home when it rains. One way you, as a homeowner, can prevent this is to install a dry creek bed in your yard that can provide a path for water to flow away from your house.

Determine How Water is Entering the House

If you notice that you have water in your basement after a rainstorm, investigate where that water is coming in. A possible culprit could be your sump pump. If the sump pump is not dispelling water far enough away from your home, you could be experiencing water intrusion. Also, foundation cracks can be the cause of water entering your basement.

Direct Downspouts Away from the Home

Downspouts should properly direct water away from your house. If your downspout is too short, it can cause water to pool near your foundation which can lead to water intrusion. During a rainstorm, you can go outside to ensure that the water coming from the downspout is flowing away from your home. If needed, you can extend the downspout, given you have the space.

Leave a Gap Between Mulch and Siding

Mulch can be a great option for landscaping however, if you choose this material, you may want to consider leaving a gap between the mulch and your siding. Mulch soaks up moisture so when that rests on the siding of your home, it can cause that siding to rot over time. Leaving as little as a 6-inch gap can help prevent this.

Next time it rains, step outside and do a walk around the perimeter of your home. Check the landscaping you have around your house and see if you notice any areas of pooling water or perhaps a downspout that you can tell is not leading the water where it should be.

Checking the surroundings of your home as a preventative measure, before you have a flood, can save you and your home in the long run. If your home has already experienced basement flooding, contact the Mitigation experts here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Hail Damage: Steps to Follow After A Storm

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Depending on your roof material, it isn't always easy to determine whether it has sustained hail damage after a storm. For example, if your building has asphalt shingles or a metal roof, you may be able to see obvious dents. However, on a built-up (tar and gravel) roof, you may be no visible signs of damage. 

Why is Determining the Extent of Roof Hail Damage Important?
Whether or not hail damage is visible, roof repair costs add up fast, as do the costs from water damage that could impact your building if the roof is not repaired properly. Bear in mind that it can take several years for hail damage to lead to water incursion issues, and most hail damage insurance policies only give you one year from the date of a loss to file a claim.

This is why it’s so important to know what to consider after a hail storm—even when you don’t see obvious signs of damage. Before we discuss a few of the items to survey and consider after a hail storm, let’s quickly look at the interplay between hail and a few common roofing types.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles include a fiberglass membrane that needs to stay structurally sound for the shingles to protect the roof from the elements. The issue is not simply cosmetic when hail damages the membrane; over the course of several years the shingles will begin to disintegrate, which can actually lead to significant water damage. Given the slow-to-appear nature of the damage, and the high costs of replacing a roof on your own dime, it’s important take a close look at asphalt shingles after a storm (you can very rarely determine the extent of the damage from the ground).

Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are constructed using a variety of materials that often look perfectly fine after a hail storm, but may be damaged. For example, TPO or PVC roofs may not show any visible damage, but large hail could break the fiberglass mesh underneath the shell, which will cause the roof to wear out faster than normal. Often times, there is a recovery board or insulation layer under TPO or PVC roofs that can be compromised, impacting the fire rating of the substrate to these types of roofs.

Built-up roofing systems (tar and gravel) can also be difficult to assess because there are often no clear visual indicators of hail damage. Built-up roofing is put together using several crisscrossing layers of black tar paper or felt, each of which gets saturated with tar. While the top layer (which is often covered in a thin layer of gravel) may look completely unchanged after a big hail storm, the felt membranes may in fact be dented and damaged. Over time, the expansion and contracting of the tar can lead to water incursion in the damaged areas. Fortunately there is a method to assess damage to built-up roofing, which involves shipping a small cutout portion of the roof to a lab that can dissolve the tar to assess the felt membranes.

Metal Roofing
Metal roofing systems are often pieced together using two to three-foot-wide strips. In some cases, hail may only cause visual damage to the metal in the form of dents. But in many cases, hail could also damage the seams and joints of the metal strips across the roof, which could lead to water leaks and associated damage.

When Do You Need Professional Help? Three Helpful Indicators:
Hail comes in many sizes and densities, so it can be difficult to know when you actually need to be concerned about damage. Whether you’re staring at piles of pea-sized hail on the ground after a 20-minute storm or there were only a couple of minutes of golf-ball size hail, here are some signs that indicate it would be a good idea to at least talk to a professional:

  • Damaged vehicles—If the roofs of nearby cars were dented, then there’s a good chance your building also sustained hail damage (especially if you have a roof type that won’t show visible damage). 
  • Damaged siding, downspouts or windows—If you are unable to safely inspect your roof, hail damage to other parts of your building, such as dented downspouts or siding, can be a good indicator you may need to take action.
  • Work on neighboring properties—If a neighboring building sustained hail damage and is being repaired, it’s a sign you should more closely inspect your roof and building. This can be especially helpful if you have a difficult-to-evaluate roof type and your initial survey of the area doesn’t indicate any trouble. 

With any storm that creates roof damage it is always a wise decision to seek the help of a roof contractor. 

Leaky Windows and Water Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

If you suspect or witness a window leak, there are a few things you can do to assist your home repair professional with diagnosing and solving the problem. During the next rain event or storm, ask yourself the following questions and note your observations:

  1. Does the window always leak when it rains? Or only in a heavy downpour
  2. Does the window leak when the rain is being driven by wind from a particular direction?
  3. Approximately long has the window been leaking? Can you identify any particular event associated with the first time you noticed the window leak? (i.e. significant storm, icing out, high winds, etc.)
  4. Has the window leak worsened? Or remained consistent over time?
  5. Have you attempted to stop the leak? If so, what has been done to prevent it? Has that helped?
  6. If you can obtain this information, find out who built your home and when it was constructed.

Providing this key information can make the handyman’s job easier and his repair more effective. It can also help determine correct parts and materials needed, more importantly, if your leak is still covered by a warranty.

Spotting Window Leaks

A window leak may look different from how you might imagine. The most obvious, of course, is water and visible moisture on the window or around it. 

 

The good news is you don’t have to panic. A talented home repair expert can decipher what is going on to isolate, and solve the problem.

The bad news is that the longer something like wood rot and mold growth goes unattended, the worse things will get, not just for your home but for your budget too.

What many homeowners don’t realize is that window leaks during rain are often the result of improper home construction or poorly installed windows. Solutions such as caulk may keep some water out but they leave the real problem unaddressed, possibly leading to expensive structural repairs down the road.

Bigger Problems Than Just Window Leaks

A window leak can be the cause of a lot of things, and one cause many homeowners overlook is the box gutter. If you’ve ever had box gutter issues in the past and suffer from unexplained window leaks, your box gutter may be to blame.

Water Damage as a result of a window leak. Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Repairing Your Basement Water Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in the basement is a common issue for many homeowners, and it is imperative that you know how to repair basement water damage. There are many potential ways for water to come into the home, including seepage through cracks in the foundation, broken pipes in the plumbing system, sump pump failures or malfunctions, leaks around windows, and improper grading that allows water to pool up around the foundation. It’s possible to recognize and address some of those problems before the basement is harmed, but situations such as clogs in the municipal sewer system or heavy rainstorms and flooding cannot always be avoided.

During the First 48 Hours:

What steps should you take to avoid serious damages while you wait for professionals to arrive? There are several steps you should take immediately. Putting off the work for an hour or two could have long-lasting consequences. The first 48 hours is a crucial point. Take action within this time frame to prevent lasting damage to your basement materials as well as your homes contents. This is also your chance to avoid a potential mold problem.

1: Turn Off Gas and Electricity

Before you go near the water, be sure to turn off the electricity and natural gas. Never enter a flooded area until the electricity and gas have been turned off and/or disconnected. The combination of electricity and water presents electrocution hazards. Floodwaters often damage appliances, increasing the risk of harm from the gas or electricity.

2: Contact Your Insurance Company and Restoration Professionals

Find out whether your insurance policy covers any of the damages. There’s a wide variety of differences in policies, but most companies require you to purchase a special insurance to cover flooding. Sometimes, however, damages from the plumbing system or a leaking water heater may be covered. Call your insurance company to get accurate information and tell them you plan on contacting United Water Restoration Group for your water remediation professionals. Sometimes your insurance company will offer you other companies but ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide which company they would like to use.

3: Remove Water Quickly

Begin by removing as much water as you can, as quickly as possible. You could use buckets, mops, towels, sponges, and a wet-dry vacuum. It’s a good idea to open windows and doors, so water moves through the basement, carrying out moisture-filled air.

4: Move Your Belongings to a Dry Area

With drying underway, your next step is to remove your belongings to a dry area. Be aware that as furnishings absorb water, they become very heavy. If you’re not prepared to safely lift and handle the additional weight, you could injure your back or legs. Slips and falls create other hazards when there’s standing water because surfaces become slick and it’s hard to see submerged items. Take precautions to safely transport couches, carpeting, appliances, and other belongings from the basement. Move them to a dry, well-ventilated area.

5: Discard Damaged Possessions

Unfortunately, some of your belongings may not be salvageable. If you’ve acted within 48 hours of the flooding, there’s a chance to save porous or organic items. However, you must have these items completely dry before the 48 hours have passed. However, take extra care with the following materials:

  • Carpeting
  • Drywall
  • Fabrics
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Paper
  • Upholstered furnishings
  • Wood

If these items aren’t thoroughly dried, mold could develop inside the belongings and cause more damage in the future.

Beware of the Risk of Mold

If the water in your basement has been there for more than a day, there may be mold present. Professionals can address this problem as part of their work. However, it is too easy to transfer mold from the basement to other areas of the home. Spores travel on moving air and through ventilation systems. Spores may also travel on shoes and clothing. Take steps to prevent the transfer of mold from the flooded area to the clean part of the home.

Although you may know how to repair basement water damage, it can be dangerous to address mold without the assistance of a professional. If the flooding resulted in gray or black water, don’t attempt to do any cleanup work on your own. These contaminated waters can harbor pollutants, chemicals, and waste that cause serious health problems.

Protect Your Home From Future Flooding

Focus part of your recovery efforts on flood-proofing your home against future trouble. Take this opportunity to upgrade pipes and appliances. Replace the sump pump or learn how to properly maintain your water heater. Replace basement materials with products that won’t suffer if flooding happens again.

As always if you have Water Damage in your basement contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

How to Prepare for Summer Storms

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

With tornado season approaching it's time to start thinking about your summer storm preparedness plans as well as supplies needed. Even if you don't live in Tornado Alley or on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, a severe thunderstorm can happen anywhere and have devastating effects.

In this the kind of weather you hunker down and ride it out, however, you'll need some supplies on hand to make you more comfortable. Here are some of the goodies you'll want to have on hand before the next batch of bad weather hits and knocks your electricity out.

Communications

You won’t exactly know what’s going on in your area unless you have some means of listening to the news and or weather reports. A small battery-operated radio can become one of your most valuable possessions. Be sure to purchase one that broadcasts the NOAA weather bands (which are very informative in bad weather) and is rechargeable as well. There are models that are solar powered,  which can be charged with a hand crank, or take a charge via USB, and some that feature all three options. If a weather radio is not an option, use any radio you’ve got in order to stay informed, even the one in your car will work providing it's safe to be in your vehicle.

 Water

If you live in an urban or suburban area and a storm knocks out your power, the water may soon follow. If you draw water from your own well, then your supply will be gone as soon as the power is out. Store ample amounts of drinking water for you and your family in a place that is cool and dark. Gallon jugs are easy to carry and their size can help with water rationing. Set aside 3 gallons per family member to last through the average storm emergency. Should you run out, it's wise to have disinfection options to resupply from other water sources.

Food and Cooking

Stock up on foods that you know your family will like, and pay special attention to foods that are ready to eat. MRE's (meals ready to eat) are good, but they are expensive and would possibly be rejected by picky eaters. Easy-to-cook foods can be manageable, if you are prepared and have a cooking source. Sterno cans, alcohol stoves, and MRE heaters will warm up some foods for you, without any home ventilation issues. Other types of camping stoves can serve your needs given you have proper ventilation. Cooking outside after the weather has cleared is another option. You can grill those rapidly defrosting steaks you had in the suddenly useless freezer. If none of these are an option for you, eat cold foods. Peanut butter and crackers, canned meats and crackers, cold sandwiches, and all kinds of snacks can be eaten without the bother or dangers of cooking. Don't forget to have extra food for your family pets as well.


 

First Aid Supplies

Emergencies and injuries seem to coincide. This makes first aid gear an important part of your self-reliance strategies. If you currently don't have a first aid kit, buy a pre-stocked one from the store and beef it up by adding your most commonly used medications and additional supplies for wound management, such as extra gauze, dressings, and antibiotic ointments. Their are plenty of examples of what your kit should contain on the internet.

Lighting
While a room full of candles might sound like a cozy place, it can be a  serious fire hazard. The last thing you need during a severe storm is your for your house to catch fire and the firefighters unable to reach you through the blinding wind and rain. Buy several different items that provide battery-powered light for your home, and keep the candles to a minimum. Choose LED lights, as they're typically very bright and a very long battery life. Keep extra batteries on hand, in case you get caught in the dark longer than expected.

Following these simple steps will better prepare your family for approaching summer storms. 

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Storms are unpredictable and tend to target neighborhoods rather than entire counties. If you are unfortunate enough to be in the path, your business is vulnerable to fallen trees, hail damage, fire from lightning, wind damage, losing all or part of your roof, flooding, and power outage. Minutes later, the storm passes, and you are shocked by the extent of the damage.

Why is Storm Damage Preparedness Important? 

As a business owner or facility manager, you’ll need to prepare and react to keep people working safely and stay productive. Here are 4 summer storm damage prevention tips to help your business survive the sudden summer storm and reduce downtime from storm damage commercial property loss.

 #1 Preventative Maintenance 

It’s easy to let maintenance items slip as the seasons quickly change from spring to summer. Be prudent and proactive by scheduling an exterior building inspection on your calendar. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

  • Check the condition of the paint and walls.

  • Check for broken windows and doors.

  • Check the condition of all railings.

  • Check for plants growing on the building or its foundation.

  • Clean the roof. Use care when working in high places; employ adequate fall protection.

  • Clean roof drains and gutters. Test drains and downspouts by flushing them with water.

  • Inspect the condition of the roof.

  • Inspect gutters for adequate anchoring and tighten, if necessary.

  • Inspect the stack and all roof penetrations.

  • Remove any plant life growing on the roof.

  • Clean up any debris found.

#2 Update Your Commercial Storm Damage Insurance Coverage 

It’s devastating to discover that your commercial insurance policy doesn’t have adequate commercial storm damage coverage after a property loss. Along with your preventative maintenance and inspection, schedule an annual policy review with your insurance agent. Be sure to discuss coverage and exclusions and be certain that you understand them. This step removes the disappointment and unhappy surprise from a non-covered loss.

#3 Photograph and Document the Condition of Your Commercial Property

A photographic inventory of your business equipment, interior, and exterior of the business property is a tremendous help when navigating a commercial storm damage insurance claim. Your timestamped photographs accelerate the process when working with your insurance adjuster after storm damage has occurred and provides proof of adequate maintenance of the commercial property.

#4 Initiate Emergency Response Planning with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County

It’s vital to the health of your business to have an emergency plan in place and to update it annually. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has a Emergency Response Plan (ERP) program that ensures you and your employees know how to prepare and react to  storm commercial property damage. Should you need water damage mitigation, fire damage restoration, or emergency repairs as a result of commercial storm damage, your ERP with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will give you peace of mind that you have a strategic partner at the ready to respond to your need 24/7/365. Ask a Marketing Representative to schedule your ERP appointment today. 

Don't let storm damage be disastrous to your commercial property. You worked hard to build your company and deserve the most efficient and experienced response. For the best storm damage restoration from fire, water, or wind damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Heat Lightning

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning always seeks a quick path to the ground. When it strikes your home, it flows along your plumbing and electrical wiring on its way to the earth. The damage to your wiring, appliances and electrical equipment can be substantial.

When you're jolted from the couch by the boom of lightning striking your house, you may wonder what you should do. Knowing the following steps in advance will help you prepare for when nature strikes.

CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DUE TO THE RISK OF ELECTRICAL FIRE

Getting your family out of the house is the primary concern after a lightning strike. Fire is a real danger, and you may not have much time to gather your kids and pets and head for the door. Once you're safely away from the house, call 911 and report the incident.

Don't assume that you're safe from the fire because one doesn't break out right away. When lightning travels along electrical wires and burns through walls, it heats them up tremendously. They may burst into flames right away, or the intense heat may smolder and develop into a slow burn.

Do not enter your home until the fire department gives permission. Firefighters use thermal equipment to check for hot spots of intense heat between the walls and in your attic that could start to burn later. The fire department may also turn off the power to your house until you can have the wiring inspected by an electrician.

Chances are your power will be out anyway after a lightning strike. Once the initial emergency is over, call your insurance agent. Your homeowner's policy may cover damage from lightning. You should be aware of the details before you hire contractors to repair damage to your home. These damages may include roof damage, attic damage, electrical and plumbing damage, and smoke or water cleanup.

CALL AN ELECTRICIAN TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE

The first step in restoring your home is to have an electrical inspection. During this the electrician will locate melted or destroyed wires that needs to be replaced. There might also be outlets blown out of the wall that need to be repaired, and your circuit panel outside may be destroyed.

Severe damages will be obvious to the eye. However, subtle damage may not be as noticeable. Your electrician will perform various tests with specialized tools and equipment to show whether your wiring and electrical system are working as they should, even if nothing appears to be damaged.

Lightning has an amazing amount of electrical energy. It is many times more powerful than your home is designed to handle. However, it is unpredictable as well. Your oven may be destroyed, but the refrigerator next to it spared.

When there is a direct hit of lightning to your home, it's possible that many of the appliances and electronics in your home will be destroyed. This can happen even when you have them plugged into surge protectors since a direct hit of lightning is so strong.

PREVENT FUTURE PROBLEMS BY PROTECTING YOUR CIRCUIT PANEL

Now that you know what lightning can do and who you should contact when your house is hit, you probably want to know how to protect your home and belongings. If you're home, unplug electronic equipment such as televisions and computers when a storm approaches.

Remember that lightning will travel along any line that comes in your home, whether it is for electricity, the phone, or cable. Talk to an electrician about installing a whole-house surge protector to stop a powerful surge before it flows through your lines. It is attached to your circuit panel and offers better protection than individual surge protectors, although you may want to use those in conjunction with the whole house unit.

While protecting your wiring, electronics, and appliances is important, the safety of you and your family is paramount. Stay away from electrical equipment during a storm. Don't use your computer, and don't use water, since lightning travels through plumbing pipes too.

Water or Fire Damage as a result of a Lightning strike? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Tips To Prevent Spring Storm Damage

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

No matter where you live, inclement weather can affect you with little warning. High winds, heavy rain, hail storms, tornadoes, and flooding can wreak havoc on your home, leaving you with costly repairs.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent potential weather damage and prepare for severe weather before disaster strikes. Read the following emergency preparedness suggestions to lessen the effects that spring storms may have on your home.

Steps to take before a spring storm strikes

1. Clean out gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters, drains, and downspouts can lead to roof damage during a storm. Dirt and debris can cause water to be unable to flow away from the roof, adding weight which can potentially cause a roof collapse.

Before the spring storms strike, check your downspouts and gutters to ensure that winter storms haven’t created any blockages. While you’re up there, make sure that all connections are secure and that no repairs are necessary.

2. Seal your windows, doors, and roof

Check the seals around your doors and windows. Look for loose screws and cracked caulking. If you live in an area that’s prone to heavy storms, consider investing in impact-resistant windows to protect your home.

When you inspect your doors, check that there are three hinges on each to provide additional support. Then, make sure your threshold is screwed directly into your home, as opposed to only your door frame.

Next, inspect your roof. If you find any missing or damaged shingles, an area of sagging, or other damage, have your roof professionally inspected before a storm hits. Repairs can keep your home from experiencing severe damage due to a leaky roof.

3. Search for cracks in the foundation

Even small cracks in your foundation or basement can put your home at risk of major damage during a spring storm. If water seeps in through the cracks, your home could be in danger of flooding. Furthermore, high winds can make existing cracks prone to widening, causing significant structural damage throughout the home. If you find or suspect any cracks in your foundation or basement, call a professional to seal them to help you prepare for a flood.

4. Install a backflow valve in your basement to prevent sewage backup

Heavy rain can cause municipal sewers systems to become overtaxed, creating the possibility for excess water to flow backward through your home’s sewer lines.

Plumbing fixtures situated at the lowest points in your home may be particularly prone to sewer backup. Consider installing a sewer backflow valve to divert unexpected water away from your sewer lines and back to your city’s sewage system.

What to do if you experience spring storm damage:

If a major storm causes damage to your home, take the necessary steps toward recovery as quickly as possible. Before you begin cleaning up, contact your insurance agency immediately to report the damage. Then, contact a professional weather damage restoration company, like the experts at SERVPRO of the Oldham/Shelby County at 502.241.6861. Our team is available 24/7/365 to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Protect Your Home From Storms

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Harsh weather and the elements can cause unexpected problems along with damage to your home when you least expect it. It may seem like there is little you can do to protect your home from huge storms with lots of rain, snow, or strong winds, although often, a small amount of effort and upkeep on your home can make a big difference during a storm.

The important thing to keep in mind when preparing your home to resist major storm damage is making sure loose or damaged shingles or siding are repaired. Loose spots or small areas that are already damaged make it much easier for strong winds and other elements  to create further damage from a weak spot on your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire roof or siding on your home needs to be replaced, however small repairs now can help prevent further storm damage.

Another important way to keep your home protected from storms is by making sure water can be directed away from your home. Keeping your gutters and other drains clear is critical for the free movement of water. If the water is being taken away from the sides, windows, and doors of your home, you are much less likely to experience flooding and other water damage. In addition, proper sealing around doors or windows is key to keeping rain, snow, and hail outside of your home. Any small opening or crack provides a way for wind to get in and possibly damage windows and doors.

Taking these small steps before a storm hits can help save your home from expensive, destructive storm damage and repairs afterward. If you have any questions about storm damage and how to prevent or repair it, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Sewer Backups

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

There are a number of ways where your sewer system could end up compromised and set off a major overflow of unsanitary conditions.  For example, if your area received a large influx of heavy rain in a short period of time, it can cause the runoff to overwhelm the sewer lines and begin to moving back out.

Common Contributors to Sewer Backups

If you have parents who will yell at you for pouring grease down the sink, then you should thank them.  This is one of the most common ways to clog your drains and cause the sewer line to backup.  On the other end of common plumbing problems is the toilet and bathroom sink. Naturally, it can be easy to assume that it would take a lot of toilet paper alone to clog a toilet and cause sewer blockage, but it’s all a matter of timing, where the pipe bends is where most clogging happens.  Paper towels and baby wipes can cause a clog all on their own as well.

This is why sometimes a simple plunger won’t work and you use a pipe snaking tool.  Liquid drainage solutions are highly discouraged as they are very toxic products that destroy our water table and all wildlife that comes into contact due to runoff.

One other common, but less obvious cause of sewer backup especially is pipe breakage from trees and shrubs that extend their roots across their paths. This can catch owners off-guard and result in a devastating situation if they don't have a sewer backup insurance plan.

Getting Proactive on Sewage Backup

One way to prevent having to deal with any exposure to sewage water in the event of a sewer backup is to install a backflow valve.  This can give you the extra time needed to call a emergency plumber to fix the cause of the problem without discovering a flooded basement and having no time to react.

Being aware of how old your pipes are in your home and around your property can also prevent the aforementioned plant root encroachment.  It’s probably a good idea to replace any old lead pipes with PVC for both health and safety reasons.

Better Safe than Sorry

Lastly, having a good drainage plan in-place can cover many different sewage backup scenarios.  Survey your downspouts to make sure that it is properly directing water out, not just finding a wedge for water to escape.  The same goes for making sure your elevation around the home is not just allowing heavy rains to collect along the perimeter of your property.

If you do ever experience a sewer back and/or basement flooding, never try to go in and fix the problem yourself, especially if you don’t know exactly how it happened. Risking your health to try to save money on the clean-up is not worth it.  Sewage water is carrying more than your typical flora of bacteria and viruses as found on the surfaces of your bathroom or kitchen counters.

Sewage Backup in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.  

Flood Damage

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Most people normally value their homes. However, accidents normally happen when you least expect. Your home can be flooded at any time. This mostly happens to those people who live in areas that are normally affected by storms and so forth. Floods are a common phenomenon in such places. Flood damage happens when water damage occurs from a water intrusion from outside your homes structure. If your insurance policy covers flood damage, you can easily get compensated.
You will note that most policies normally exclude flood coverage because they are costly to purchase. Flood waters are normally considered contaminated waters because they can cause damage that is more expensive to fix than just regular water that comes from a kitchen pipe in your house. There are several steps that you should follow in the event of flood damage. These include:

1. Make an insurance claim
This is one of the first steps that you should take after you've experienced flood damage in your home. You should make a claim with your insurance company. You will realize that they will require a general description of the damage to the property. Depending on the level of destruction, your insurance company will get back in touch within a few days.

2. Hire an insurance adjuster to look at the damage.
It is important that an adjuster visits the property to evaluate the damage. He or she will determine if the problems were caused by wind or water. This decision will greatly affect what the agency will cover. 

3. Ensure that you document all the damages.
You should document all the damages caused as a result of flood damage before making any repairs. This can include the destruction of things such as: furniture walls, ceilings and so forth. If water rose significantly, your electrical system may require to be checked. You can also take photographs and videos of any structural destruction as well as any contents that were affected.

4. Take measures to mitigate further problems.
Once you have made an insurance claim, you should make temporary repairs to your home in order to prevent additional issues. If your windows had been broken, you should cover them with plywood. If your roof had been damaged, you can hire a professional to repair it. This can prevent your property from becoming damaged. However, you should save the receipts for this work so as to recoup the costs. It is important that you keep the undamaged windows and doors open so that your house can dry out. This can go a long way in preventing the growth of mold.


5. Schedule permanent repairs.
Once everything has been evaluated you should begin to schedule the repair work. In this case, you can get a reputable contractor to help you out.
Flood damage can be detrimental to your home. You should follow the above-mentioned steps in the event of flood damage in your home.

Flood Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Oldham/Shelby Counties

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded basement was caused by a recent storm.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby Co. 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.

Faster Response

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 Oldham or Shelby Co, 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.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 502-241-6861

Winter Storm- Preparedness Checklist

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Storms can be devastating if we are unprepared!

2017 has taught us all too somberly that preparation is critical and emergency preparedness is prudent. With all the breaking news of recent disasters, we have been reminded that, though there is much we cannot control, there are steps we can take to be equipped.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, we want to encourage all business owners, property managers, and chief engineers at property sites of all types to be prepared for the storm season. Here are a few key things to have on hand:

Supplies:

  • Portable phone chargers
  • Sandbags
  • Plywood
  • Flashlights
  • Safety glasses
  • Emergency generators
  • Fuel

Many of these suggestions are only starting points for your check list. Each business has varying needs depending on location and operations. Know your team’s unique context and construct your supply list accordingly.

In addition to collecting and storing items in an accessible spot, it’s also important to make contact information for each service partner readily available. Cue these professionals to be on alert in the event your site needs help. If your business doesn’t have existing relationships with certain service providers, initiate connections now. Establish relationships with a reliable contractor, tree trimmer, electrician, restoration company, and others.

Another important storm preparation step to consider is insurance education. Know your policy, especially specifics on exclusions. Have clear knowledge about your business’ insurance coverage and authorize a team person to interact with insurance as well as manage payment, reimbursement and claims related to the clean up work performed.

Most importantly, do a walk through of the property to assess vulnerable spots before the storm. Know the areas that are already weak and mitigate them in advance of the storm. Pay close attention to gutters and tree branches, reinforce or trim when necessary.

Finally, for your business, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can create an Emergency READY Profile.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

There many more steps to the preparedness process and more checklist items depending on your specific needs, but these highlights are a good start.  We at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County want you to be equipped and confident in your storm preparedness.

Water Damage in your Home or Business? Need to schedule an Emergency READY Profile? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Winter Storms - Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Freezing pipes are a problem where they often run through un-insulated or under-insulated attics or crawl spaces. It is definitely necessary to protect exposed water pipes. Leaving pipes unprotected can cause them to burst, which can result in a tremendous amount of damage to the home and the contents inside.

You can drastically reduce your chance of property damage by preparing your water pipes before a hard freeze. The following suggestions can help you accomplish this task.

What Kind of Water Pipes Freeze and When?

- Water pipes have the potential to freeze and burst when the outside temperature reaches 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

- Pipes that are most vulnerable to freeze are usually exposed to severe cold, such as:

- Outdoor hose bibs,

- Swimming pool supply lines,

- Water sprinkler lines

- Water pipes in basements,

- Water pipes in crawl spaces,

- Water pipes in attics,

- Water pipes in garages, and

- Water pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

Preparing Your Home For The Freeze

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located and are in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if the water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature in the pipe is cold.

Consider installing products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Many products are available at your local building supplies retailer. Newspaper can also provide some protection to exposed pipes as long as the cold temperatures are not frequent or prolonged.

Take Action during Cold Weather

- Keep the garage door closed if there are water supply lines located inside.

- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.

- Keep the heating thermostat set at a consistent temperature both day and night

- If going out of town during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home. Set the thermostat to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and open cabinet doors where there is plumbing.

- If you are going out of town and have a heat pump system, and if the temperature is forecast to be extremely low, you may need to switch the setting to emergency heat and reduce the thermostat setting to 55 degrees F.

Thawing Frozen Pipes after the Storm

- If you suspect that the pipe is frozen; keep the faucet open. Water will begin to flow as you treat the frozen area, which will help to melt more ice in the pipe.

- Make sure you know where the main water valve is located outside of your home. The frozen pipe may already be broken, and it will leak when the water is thawed. If this is the case, you'll need to turn off the main water valve to your home until the leak is repaired.

- Apply heat to the frozen portion of the pipe. This can be accomplished by using the following sources of heat: a heating pad, electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Make sure that electrical cords do not come into contact with water. Do not attempt to use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices; they present a serious fire hazard as well as release lethal carbon monoxide fumes into the air.

- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not within reach, or if you can't get the pipe to thaw.

- Inspect all other faucets in your home to find out if additional pipes are frozen. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze also.

Frozen Pipe Burst Causing Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.

Steps To Take Immediately After A Storm Damage

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety hazards , so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Why You Need Professional Help With Flood Damage

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

 Your home is made up of a variety of materials, most of which are negatively affected by contact with water. Water has extremely damaging properties. It can cause mold growth, it can freeze pipes and cause bursting, and it can freeze and cause cracks in the foundation to expand. Water can also warp wood, destroy paper-based materials, and ruin carpeting. Once there has been leaking or flooding in a home, it can cause a lot of issues. As a homeowner, there are several reasons why you need professional help with flood damage.

The biggest issue with trying to clean up flooding on your own is the risk of using subpar instruments that may not entirely dry out the area. Any residual moisture creates a perfect environment for mold growth. Another reason you need professional help is because flooding is something that needs to be cleaned up immediately– not just when it’s convenient and you have time to get around to it. Hiring someone to come in and treat it like the emergency that it is reduces the overall damage caused by the flooding. Similarly, the more people that can be working on the flood damage, the quicker it can be cleaned and the less damage that is ultimately caused.  Professionals can also accurately determine the necessity for replacing materials and provide a third-party opinion for recommending any additional services.

If you’re experiencing issues with flooding, make sure to get the help you need. It is not worth being frugal by trying to clean up flooding on your own. There are too many destructive results from improperly dealing with flood damage to make it worth the effort. Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to ensure it is handled correctly. 502.241.6861

Getting Speedy Storm Damage Repair Can Make A Difference

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Getting Speedy Storm Damage Repair Can Make All the Difference
 
 Mother Nature can sometimes be brutal on our homes and buildings. You’ve likely seen footage of the damage that was caused by major storms such as hurricanes or tornadoes, but the reality is that any storm with strong winds and heavy rain can do a number on your house. For example, a tree branch could get knocked against your roof or windows, or perhaps some power lines might come down on your home. Once you’ve survived the storm, trying to figure out how to take care of the storm damage repair can be a major pain. Where do you even start with something like that?

The good news is that your home insurance usually covers these kinds of repairs. Your best bet is to contact us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby. We specialize in storm damage repair and can come and take a look at the damage. One of the extra things that we do for our clients is to work directly with insurance companies and make sure that we get the repairs taken care of on your home without providing any unnecessary financial burden on you. This is why there is no reason to fret over a large repair from storm damage that has been dealt to your home.

No matter what happens to your home, you can rest easy knowing that our team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby has got you covered. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our emergency storm damage repair service. 502.241.6861

Roof Damage

3/20/2017 (Permalink)



It seems like a good (sometimes cheap) idea to quickly cover the holes in the roof, stop a water leak, and sleep comfortable at night knowing that no rodents or other animals will enter your home or business through those holes.


Although a roof tarp has many benefits, we do not recommend it as a permanent solution to your problem, because:



  • Some brands will wear out over time.

  • It is a quick fix for a leaking roof, but it is only temporary. It can cause more trouble as time passes.

  • If the roof has water damage that leaked into your home, mold could be growing in the affected areas.

  • Wind can move the tarp, leaving spaces uncovered where water can start leaking again.

  • The wind will cause it to flap, creating annoying noises in your home or business.

  • The tarp may increase the heat inside your home or business, which could lead to a higher electrical bill.

  • If not installed properly, it could hold small pools of standing water, perfect for mosquito proliferation.

  • Heat and moisture may become trapped under the tarp, causing mold and other damage to shingles


You, as a home owner, have the right to protect your property and mitigate. As long you have proper coverage from your insurance company, you can avoid further water damage, mold issues and higher bills.


Don’t wait for more damage to occur in your home or business.


Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby at 502-241-6861 to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 



 

 



Do You Have A Plan?

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan. 

Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage.

Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover. 

Prepare your Emergency Plan.

Your employees and co-workers are your business' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.

Install Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what your will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security.

Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

Have an Emergency READY Profile in place for your business.

Our marketing team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby can develop this plan for you. Call us today to get started! 

Emergency READY Statistics

7/5/2016 (Permalink)

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-realted, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. * Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in savings the lives of others.

Contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. 

Ready for whatever happens

6/7/2016 (Permalink)

During major weather events of disaster situations, SERVPRO'S Disaster Recovery Team is activated to assist residents and business owners in the affected areas. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country.