Recent Storm Damage Posts

Have Storm Damage to Your Home? Give Us a Call | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

a yellow storm damage sign in front of a large damaged roof SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your Damage Restoration expert. If you experience any storm damage call us right away.

Storm damages are a common occurrence, but if they are severe, they can be devastating. In 2018, homeowners filed for approximately $2 billion in storm-related damages to their homes, and storm-related claims are a leading cause of insurance filings.

Knowing what to do in advance in case storm damage occurs to your home is one of the best ways to prepare. That is why we are here to tell you about the services we offer and how you can count on us to get your household back on track following storm damage.

What’s Included in the Storm Restoration Process

A Complete Approach to Storm Damage
Every damage is unique, which is why we approach everything with a holistic attitude. Treating structural damage, moisture buildup and mold growth in unison is the only way to achieve full restoration, which is why we make sure we are fully certified to do all of this work on your home. This way you can be certain that all of your damage will be handled.

A Team of Technicians Who Care
Our technicians’ training is something we take very seriously, which is why we invest heavily in making sure they have access to educational materials throughout their career. From their initial training to educate them about the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification guidelines to the seminars and ongoing classes we provide, we make sure that they are fully educated and ready to take on all kinds of damage.

An Adequate Amount of Resources
Because we have the SERVPRO® brand behind us, we have access to national resources when the damages to our community are severe. Whether we need extra equipment, additional workforce or other support, other locations are ready and willing to band together and ensure everyone in the area receives the restoration they need.

A Trustworthy Reputation
We have been working on restoration in the community for many years and have unfortunately seen many companies try to take advantage of those who have sustained damage after a storm. Because we are known leaders in the restoration industry, you do not have to be concerned with the legitimacy of our business—instead, you can be certain you will receive professional, quality work.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Reducing the Danger a Disaster Poses to Your Business | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

preparedness and readiness sayings in bold lettering with red background Having a disaster plan in place is crucial for any business. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South is your full service commercial restoration company.

Natural disasters will always pose dangers to areas they impact, but through careful planning and consideration, small business owners can reduce the risks they are subjected to. Natural disasters continue to occur more frequently in all parts of the world, but being prepared is the best way to ensure your business is well-poised to recover fully from one.

When making your plans, considering both what to do during the disaster and how to pick up the pieces left behind is important to the restoration and reopening process. Recovering quickly is one of the most vital things for business owners to focus on, so they can get back to business faster.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Small Business Owners

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Though a business insurance policy is designed to help you in case of damages to your commercial property, there are some things related to a disaster that your policy may not cover. Discuss the details of your policy with your agent and inquire about whether you need additional coverage added on to your policy in order to fully protect your assets.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When it comes to safety, planning for the moment a disaster strikes is one of the safest things that anyone can do. Knowing where to seek shelter and what routes to take if an evacuation order is presented is important, as is making sure your location has emergency supplies sufficient for if officials order you to stay put. Food, water and a well-stocked first-aid kit are all good items to keep on hand and in an accessible place.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
If you have staff on-site, it is wise to include them in your disaster plans as well. Train staff on the emergency and evacuation procedures, and be sure to set aside time to do workplace drills in order to help staff conceptualize what should be done in a disaster scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
The restoration company you choose to work with for your commercial repairs is one of the most vital aspects of your entire recovery plan. This is the company entrusted with getting your business back up and running by working both quickly and effectively to do a quality job. Choosing this company ahead of time will do wonders for peace of mind, as you can do thorough research without feeling the pressure to decide right away.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Ways That Floods Are Damaging to Homes | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

water damaged furniture, home items and ripped up carpet sitting on driveway of brick home Do you have water damage or flooding? Let SERVPRO of Van Nuys South guide you through your water-related issues.

Once a chief concern only for low-lying areas, flooding has become a more common occurrence around the country, causing more and more homeowners to be concerned.

While floods can happen for many reasons and cause various types of damage, we have treated an abundance of flood-damaged homes and can help you know what to prepare for.

Ways That Floods Can Lead to Damage

Foundational Damage. The ground below a home’s foundation is generally sound, but when floodwaters are introduced, it can quickly become unstable. As soil becomes oversaturated with water, it can begin to swell, causing the foundation above it to shift irregularly and cause damage.

Drywall Damage and Mold. The drywall that has been exposed to flood waters will typically have to be replaced due to mold growth concerns. Not all drywall will show water damage, but it is best to err on the side of caution to prevent mold damage.

Insulation Saturation. A home’s insulation is generally protected via the drywall, but if drywall becomes soaked through, it can easily become oversaturated with water as well. Not only is this something that can stop the insulation from being effective, but it can also lead to an increased chance of mold within the walls.

Temporary Frame Swelling. A house frame made of solid lumber is a sturdy design and one that is typically impervious to water damage. Though swelling may occur and is normal, the structural integrity of the frame will generally remain intact, requiring only thorough drying and cleaning to be restored.

Appliance Ruining. Every appliance manufacturer constructs products differently, but some appliances contain insulation that is at-risk for damages after a flood. However, because they are all different, it is best to get a professional inspection to determine what is safe for continued use.

Furniture Damage. The materials furniture is made of is generally the best indicator of how well it will weather a flood—soft materials such as upholstery and even composite wood can become irreparably damaged, but pieces of a sturdier construction (such as acrylic or metal) will generally be alright following a thorough cleaning.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Rebuilding After flood Damage Hits

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding necessitates rebuilding operations in affected homes for several reasons. If flood damage occurs because of severe weather such as a hurricane, various forces such as wind and fast-moving water can teardown different sections of the property necessitating rebuilding as part of the restoration. Exposure to water also leads to deterioration of materials this necessitating removal.

Proper rebuilding after flood damage in your Van Nuys home is only possible if you identify all affected areas before starting the process primarily when water is the leading cause of deterioration. Leaving water in concealed areas can force you to redo the process or lead to extreme problems such as mold. Our SERVPRO technicians use a wide range of moisture detection tools to establish all wet areas. The common ones include:

  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Moisture sensors
  • Manometers
  • Moisture meters

The rebuilding process can pose risks such as injury to the people involved or further damage to the structure, especially when tearing down deteriorated materials. For example, it is possible to cut power cables or plumbing lines when opening up concealed areas such as walls and floors. Our SERVPRO technicians consult building plans to establish the position of utility lines. We also use different tools for different tasks, including rubber hammers, to minimize the chances of unintended damages and injuries.

When flooding only affects a section of the property, there is a need for containment to limit the spread of debris and even fumes from finishing products such as paint. If such materials are left to spread uncontrollably, the restoration process can take longer than expected. Our SERVPRO technicians use different containment approaches. We can place plastic sheets over air vents, doors, and windows when doing controlled demolition. We also have heavy-duty plastic bags to hold materials such as carpets removed from the structure.

Flooding incidents can leave a wide range of physical damages in your Van Nuys or Greater San Fernando Valley home. Call SERVPRO of Van Nuys South at (818) 780-7111 to help with the rebuild. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Common Culprits for Hidden Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

water damage and flooding on kitchen tile Every water disaster is different. SERVPRO of Van Nuys South will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely. Give SERVPRO

For water damage to occur, extreme rains and heavy flooding are not required. There are quite a few reasons water damage can occur in a home, often going unnoticed in inconspicuous places.

Hidden water damage can be costly to treat, because of how long it takes to find. Water damage claims are over $6,000 on average, and that does not account for the fact that most insurance companies will not extend coverage for water-related claims. Keeping tabs on the common culprits for hidden water damage will help ensure that the problem does not continue for long without being noticed.

<h3to-check-for-hidden-water-damage">Where to Check for Hidden Water Damage

  • Windowsills. While windows themselves are not often privy to leaks, the seal around them can be. The seal joining them to the exterior wall can weaken with time, allowing water to seep underneath.

  • Joints in siding. Siding panel joints typically found where panels overlap or at corners can let water in, allowing it to cause damage to the plywood underneath.

  • Under metal threshold plates. The metal plate over a threshold does not serve as a weather sealer, meaning the wood underneath can become soft and swollen with water over time.

  • Painted exterior elements. When there are layers of paint atop one another, there can be micro-gaps that allow water to come between the layers and cause issues.

  • Dishwasher cubbies. Dishwashers are not typically moved from their cubby until they are replaced, and homeowners are often surprised by years-old water damage at that time.

  • Walls in the bathroom. Water pipes can develop slight leaks that turn into big problems, leading to water spots and discoloration on the walls.

  • The seals of the toilet. As the seals inside a toilet weaken, they can drip water onto the floor below, resulting in a wobble that occurs as the wood grows softer.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

What to Check Following a Lightning Strike

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

A lightning bolt arcing across the sky serves as a perfect reminder of how powerful a thunderstorm is. By causing damage to electrical systems, appliances and even a home’s structure, a lightning strike is a force to be respected.

What Creates Lightning?

Every thunderstorm is electrically charged, which is how lightning and thunder are developed. When the storm opts to expend some of this energy, it creates a bolt of lightning, which makes shock waves that we hear as thunder when it strikes across the clouds.

The atmosphere does not make a good insulator, so lightning striking toward the ground will often travel through an object to travel more efficiently—and this is why the damages can be so severe.

A Home Inspection Checklist for After a Lightning Strike

There are a few ways lightning will typically cause damage to a home—and knowing what to look for after a storm will go a long way.

1. Check your electrical system. Lightning can ignite a building on impact, as bolts regularly reach around 500,000 degrees. However, it can also cause significant damage to wires, creating the potential for an electrical fire in the future. The local fire department can often test for hot spots and identify areas that could be replaced after a strike.

2. Check your electronics. Lightning carries a powerful electrical charge that can overload the electronics when it strikes a home. Always use surge protectors in outlets, and check electronics after a storm to ensure operation.

3. Check the home’s structure. As powerful as shock waves are, at close range it is not uncommon for them to cause serious damage to a home. By cracking foundation or shattering glass, they can create severe damage when lightning has struck nearby. Doing a visual inspection of the home will let you know if there are any problems to address.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Learning About Damage Done by Thunderstorms

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

As warmer weather moves in during the spring and summer, it brings with it the chance for more fun in the sun. But it also brings with it the increased risk of thunderstorms.

Do you have a good understanding of these storms and why and how they form?

Here in the United States, there are typically around 100,000 thunderstorms per year with 10% of those that are considered severe. This is just a small portion of the estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year that occur worldwide.

The formation of a thunderstorm requires certain conditions, which include moisture and rising unstable air that is accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism caused by either hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

Every thunderstorm has three main life stages—when it forms, when it matures and when it dissipates. It’s during the mature phase that most danger occurs, including things like lightning and hail.

There are many different dangers that result from storms, but one of the greatest risks is debris flying around as a result of high winds.

Wind speeds during severe thunderstorms can gust up over 57.5 mph. That is more than enough to createchaos and damage to your property.

These items could turn into dangerous projectiles in your yard:

  • Tree branches
  • Gravel
  • Mailboxes
  • Fencing
  • Lawn furniture
  • Garbage cans
  • Potted plants

Be mindful of this fact and make sure items in your yard are secured if there is a severe thunderstorm threat.

Thunderstorms can also produce the following damage besides wind damage:

Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a building, it can surge through the wiring, damaging appliances and even increasing the risk of electrical fire.

Tornado damage. While not common in all areas of the United States, these intense storms bring winds up to 200 mph, and all the danger you’d think would accompany such intense winds.

Hail damage. Did you know that according to NOAA, the cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year?

Flood damage. During the summer especially, an intense amount of rain can often fall within a small amount of time. This makes it difficult for the rain to saturate into the earth, causing flash flooding.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable. Are You Ready? | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

We have entered into the spring season, which means we also need to be aware of the weather Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

The Highs and Lows of Spring Weather

Spring, of course, means longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, it also means the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s an unpredictable season, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

The unstable temperatures of spring are the cause for the changing weather. They can go from warm to cold in just an hour, and that temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms become a more common occurrence during spring and are what can cause severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

In a past study, one of the causes for natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017 were severe thunderstorms—and they were responsible for some of the costliest losses. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

Those storms can bring with them the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

How to Be Prepared

Weather prediction is tricky, and while we may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, forecasters have the tools available to forewarn us that there is the possibility of severe weather. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Van Nuys Southto get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Tornado Safety Tips for Everyone | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

With springtime comes unpredictable weather—and knowing this means you should always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to perfect conditions for tornadoes.

April and May have, historically, been reported to have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are now in the midst of tornado season all throughout the whole United States. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

These Conditions Can Cause Tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells,” are responsible for the roughly 1,200 tornadoes that occur in every state of the U.S. each year.

The formation of a tornado begins when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

You will most likely not see the tornado’s signature funnel cloud at first because it starts out transparent, but that funnel will become visible as water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster storms have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Ideal conditions for tornadoes occur during the late afternoon hours in the spring and summertime as the air becomes unstable in the cooling temperatures. However, remember that tornadoes can occur anytime and anywhere and no state in our country is exempt.

Safety Tips

Get to know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

A tornado watch alerts you to be aware that the weather conditions are unstable and could change, but a warning for your area means you should take immediate action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Equip your home shelter with working flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra fully charged batteries. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, use furniture items like couch cushions, mattressesor blankets to keep your head and neck covered and protected.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, NEVER try to outrun it! Instead, seek shelter or exit your vehicle and lay flat on the ground covering your head and neck.

Tornadoes leave devastation and chaos in their paths. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

 

3 Causes of Storm Damage in Hurricanes

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Pacific hurricanes are not as common as on the Atlantic Coast, but they have been known to happen. Just in August, Hawaii was devastated by Hurricane Lane. California and the mild Los Angeles climate may be relatively safe from hurricanes, but if you were to travel to the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, or even Hawaii then the odds go up and it’s important to be prepared.

While hurricanes often get the most coverage, they are only one of ten common types of storm in the United States. The others are hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, snow storms, hail storms, thunderstorms, lightning storms, tropical storms, ice storms and Derecho storms.

Of the ten, Derecho storms are actually considered to be rare. Have you heard of a Derecho storm before? This storm occurs when several large storms create one giant storm that reaches speeds of 58 miles per hour (at least) and crosses 250 miles.

Hurricanes, even if more common in some areas than others, can reach far past the coast they occur on.Hurricane Sandy had a reach of over 20 states.

Since hurricanes cause so much damage, it’s vital to be familiar with the damage they cause even if they aren’t common to California.

So, how do hurricanes cause so much damage?First, by wind.

Wind accompanied by hurricanes can be linked to most damage caused by these storms. In some cases, the wind is so strong that it forms tornadoes. Wind speed commonly ranges between 74 - 155 miles per hour, strong enough to cause intense wreckage. The sturdiest of structures, even trees, are in danger from this kind of wind. Storm winds hoist up and fling debris of all sizes and shapes, which causes further destruction.

Second, by storm surge.

Have you heard of a “wall of water” caused by hurricanes? As a hurricane rages toward the coast, its winds are pushing water with it, disrupting the normal flow of tides. The winds push so much water toward the shore that it amasses high above the predicted tide level and it surges onto the shore and farther inland. As the water rushes inland, it has nowhere to drain and causes flooding. Storm surge also creates strong currents and the weight of the water is so heavy that it can cause severe damage.

Third, by flood.

As mentioned, storm surge is primary reason for floods during hurricanes. But this happens primarily on the coast. Hurricanes can cause floods 100 miles out from where the hurricane lands. This is because a hurricane is so powerful as to affect other weather systems, creating excess precipitation that is far ranging. This heavy excess rain often overwhelms an area and causes floods when it can’t drain properly.

Storm damage, caused by hurricanes or flood or otherwise, can be severe and difficult to clean up on your own. Call SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South for expert water damage restoration services.