Recent Storm Damage Posts

Why Immediate Storm Damage Cleanup Is Important

1/14/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee in PPE in a living room with flood cuts. In the aftermath of a storm, the importance of swift action cannot be overstated.

From thunderstorms to hurricanes, the aftermath of a storm can be devastating, leaving behind a trail of destruction. While the safety of your loved ones is a priority during such emergencies, it's equally crucial to consider the immediate cleanup and restoration of your home or business.

The Urgency of Prompt Action

When storms strike, they leave more than just visible damage. Water intrusion, structural harm, and mold growth can quickly compound if not addressed swiftly. Here's why prompt storm damage cleanup is of utmost importance:

Mitigating Further Damage: Time is of the essence. Water damage, if left unchecked, can seep into walls, flooring, and furniture, leading to structural weakening, mold growth, and irreparable harm. Prompt cleanup helps mitigate these risks.

Protecting Health and Safety: Standing water can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold growth within hours. Acting promptly prevents these hazards from taking root, safeguarding the well-being of your family or employees.

Preserving Possessions: Swift action can often salvage personal belongings, furniture, and valuable items that might otherwise suffer irreparable damage due to prolonged exposure to water or debris.

Steps to Effective Storm Damage Cleanup

  1. Safety First: Prioritize personal safety and ensure the area is safe to enter. Turn off electricity and gas supplies to avoid potential hazards.
  2. Assessment and Documentation: Document the damage by taking photographs or videos. This will assist with insurance claims and provide a clear picture of the extent of the damage.
  3. Water Extraction and Drying: Remove excess water using specialized equipment and employ industrial-grade drying techniques to prevent moisture from causing further harm.
  4. Cleaning and Sanitization: Thoroughly clean affected areas to eliminate contaminants and prevent mold growth. This step is crucial for ensuring a safe and healthy environment.
  5. Restoration and Reconstruction: Repair structural damage, replace damaged materials, and restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

The Benefits of Professional Assistance

While a DIY approach might seem cost-effective initially, professional storm damage cleanup offers several advantages. Trained professionals possess the expertise, experience, and specialized equipment necessary to handle storm damage effectively. Professionals also act swiftly, minimizing damage and restoring your property promptly, preventing long-term issues. From water extraction to structural repairs, professionals offer a complete solution, ensuring thorough cleanup and restoration.

In the aftermath of a storm, the importance of swift action cannot be overstated. Prompt storm damage cleanup not only protects your property but also ensures the safety and well-being of those affected. At SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin, our dedicated team is committed to providing reliable and efficient storm damage cleanup services, helping you navigate through these challenging times with ease.

Navigating Post-Storm Water Damage in Pleasanton

9/26/2023 (Permalink)

When storms unleash their fury, they can leave behind a trail of destruction. As a homeowner or property owner in Pleasanton, CA, being prepared to tackle the aftermath of water damage is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to effectively deal with water damage after a storm, protecting your investment, and restoring your property to its former glory.

1. Assessing the Damage

After the storm subsides, the first step is to assess the extent of the water damage. Inspect both the interior and exterior of your property. Look for signs of water intrusion, such as wet spots, discoloration, and visible cracks. Pay special attention to basements, crawl spaces, and attics, which are more susceptible to flooding.

2. Safety First

Before you begin any restoration work, prioritize safety. Turn off electrical power to the affected areas to avoid electrical hazards. Wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and rubber boots to prevent potential health risks associated with contaminated water.

3. Documenting the Damage

Take detailed photographs and videos of the water-damaged areas. These visuals will be invaluable when dealing with insurance claims. Make a thorough inventory of damaged items, including furniture, electronics, and personal belongings.

4. Contacting Your Insurance Provider

Reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible to report the water damage. Provide them with accurate information and the documentation you've gathered. Understanding your insurance coverage and filing a claim promptly will expedite the recovery process.

5. Mitigation and Drying

Start the drying process immediately to prevent mold growth and further structural damage. Open windows for ventilation, use fans, dehumidifiers, and absorbent materials to remove excess moisture. Consider seeking professional assistance if the damage is extensive.

6. Salvaging Belongings

Evaluate your belongings to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded. Porous items like mattresses and upholstered furniture may need to be replaced to avoid mold growth. Non-porous items can often be disinfected and restored.

7. Professional Restoration Services

For severe water damage, it's wise to hire a professional restoration company experienced in dealing with storm-related damage. They have the expertise, equipment, and techniques to effectively restore your property and prevent long-term issues.

8. Preventive Measures

After your property has been restored, take steps to prevent future water damage. Regularly inspect your property for leaks, ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear, and consider waterproofing vulnerable areas.

While storms can bring unexpected challenges, being well-prepared can make all the difference in safeguarding your Pleasanton, CA home. By promptly addressing water damage, documenting the process, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can navigate the post-storm aftermath with confidence, ensuring your property remains a haven for years to come.

Water Damage vs. Flood Damage: What Is The Difference?

6/14/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage and flood damage are two commonly misunderstood terms in the realm of disaster restoration. While both involve water-related issues, it's essential to understand the distinctions between them. In this blog, we will explore the differences between water damage and flood damage, including their causes, insurance coverage, and restoration processes. By gaining clarity on these terms, you'll be better equipped to respond effectively and seek the appropriate assistance when faced with water-related incidents.

Causes and Sources

Water damage typically occurs as a result of internal issues within a building, such as burst pipes, leaking roofs, plumbing malfunctions, or appliance failures. These incidents involve clean water, and the affected area is usually limited in scale. On the other hand, flood damage is caused by external factors, such as heavy rainfall, overflowing rivers, storm surges, or natural disasters like hurricanes. Flood damage involves water that may be contaminated and can affect larger areas, including multiple properties.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage for water damage and flood damage differs significantly. Water damage caused by internal issues is often covered under standard property insurance policies. However, flood damage requires a separate flood insurance policy, typically provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers. It's crucial to review your insurance coverage and ensure you have adequate protection for both types of water-related incidents.

Restoration Process

The restoration process for water damage and flood damage also varies. Water damage restoration involves a series of steps to mitigate the damage, including water extraction, drying, dehumidification, and cleaning. Professionals use specialized equipment to restore the affected area to its pre-damage condition. In contrast, flood damage restoration is a more complex process due to the potential contamination and widespread nature of the damage. It may involve additional measures such as disinfection, mold remediation, and structural repairs.

Risks and Contamination

Water damage can lead to mold growth if not addressed promptly, potentially causing serious damage to the property. However, flood damage poses additional risks due to potential contamination from sewage, chemicals, or debris carried by floodwaters. Proper safety precautions and thorough disinfection procedures are essential during flood damage restoration to ensure the removal of hazardous substances and prevent any hazards.

Professional Assistance

While minor water damage can sometimes be addressed with DIY efforts, it is generally advisable to seek professional assistance for both water damage and flood damage restoration. Certified restoration experts possess the necessary knowledge, experience, and equipment to handle the complexities of each situation effectively. They can assess the extent of the damage, develop a tailored restoration plan, and expedite the process, minimizing further damage and ensuring a safe and thorough restoration.

Understanding the difference between water damage and flood damage is crucial for homeowners and property managers. By recognizing the causes, insurance coverage, restoration processes, health risks, and the need for professional assistance, you can respond appropriately to any water-related incident. Whether it's water damage caused by internal issues or flood damage resulting from external factors, prompt action and engaging experienced restoration professionals are key to minimizing damage, protecting your property, and ensuring the well-being of occupants.

After the Flood: Where Is That Smell Coming From?

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Wet carpet in a home A wet carpet can lead to unpleasant odors and secondary damage.

Unpleasant Odors After A Flood

According to FEMA, 99% of counties in the U.S. suffered some impact from flooding between 1996 and 2019. Regardless of whether it comes from a malfunctioning toilet or a leaky roof, a flood has the potential to cause issues like mold growth and water damage. Cleaning up flood water can involve a great deal of time whether you do it yourself or employ the services of a professional cleanup service in Pleasanton, CA, so it can be annoying to observe a lingering odor even after the process.

There are three potential culprits for a smell that refuses to leave in the wake of an unexpected surge of water.

1. Mold and Mildew

FEMA states that mildew colonies (generally used to refer to a certain kind of flat mold growth) may begin to cling to and spread across damp surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. The fungus produces chemical compounds while propagating that release an earthy, musty scent.

2. Bacteria
Flood water is separated into three categories for recovery and restoration purposes:

Clean water (Category 1)
Gray water (Category 2)
Black water (Category 3)

The latter two may carry substances like chemicals. Among their contents, bacteria often reside. These may emit bad odors like the rotten egg one commonly associated with sulfur or others or their breakdown of particles may lead to them. Even after all standing water is removed and everything dried, porous materials like carpeting may retain some of the microorganisms if not properly cleaned, causing the smell to permeate the room.

3. Sewage

Burst pipes are one of the most common reasons for flooding in a structure, and they often contain wastewater. Even if water comes from outside, it may have mixed with sewage loss from storm drains and garbage from the streets, particularly if it is overflow from a nearby body of water.

The best way to avoid unpleasant odors from mold growth and other things in floodwater is to disinfect all affected areas and surfaces thoroughly as soon as possible. Consulting a professional may also help.

How To Save On Maintenance Without Cutting Corners

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Pool house d\with standing water caused by storm Pool house with standing water in Pleasanton, CA residential caused by a storm.

What Can Property Managers Do in the Event of a Hurricane?

It is possible for a property owner to control maintenance costs and preserve and improve the condition of a residential building. These facility management tips can reduce the overall cost of maintaining an apartment, condominium, or other multifamily residences in Pleasanton, CA.

Prevention Versus Emergency Fixes

Preventative maintenance tends to be much more affordable than an emergency fix. There are several costs that may be avoided:

• Fast response premiums from appliance specialists, plumbers, or roofers
• Cleanup costs
• Damage restoration expenses

The maintenance cost associated with prevention will be considerably less than if damage has already occurred. It may also be possible to avoid irreparable damage to building materials or contents.

Fix Damage As Soon As Possible

Repairs tend to become more costly the longer damage lingers. This is particularly the case for primary damage that is prone to result in secondary damage, such as the following scenarios:

• Damaged windows or doors
• Roof damage
• Roof or pipe leaks

Fixing damage quickly may prevent secondary damage, such as mold. A timely response can also lead to lower mitigation or restoration costs or allow for maintenance measures that might otherwise not be taken until severe problems develop.

Take Measures To Increase Efficiency

Some maintenance measures are made even more cost-effective by increasing efficiency. Switching out older appliances for efficient models may avoid damage resulting from leaks or malfunctions and improve overall efficiency. Replacing or installing treatments or weather-stripping on windows or exterior door sweeps can lower heating bills and prevent storm damage.

All of these measures are practical ways to minimize the maintenance cost of a residential building. It is crucial to quickly mitigate and restore any damage caused by a storm, water backup or leak to prevent costs from spiraling. A property owner or facility manager should rely on a professional service that specializes in residential and commercial restoration in Pleasanton, CA.

What Can Property Managers Do To Prepare For a Hurricane?

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

What Can Property Managers Do in the Event of a Hurricane?

Hurricanes can cause severe damage wherever they strike. Property managers may be able to take a few measures to limit the amount of hurricane damage sustained by a residential building in Dublin, CA. Here are three measures building owners or managers should take before a hurricane is expected to strike.

1. Install Storm Shutters or Board Up Windows

Owners of properties in areas prone to hurricanes may want to install storm shutters. There are several styles of shutters that make it possible to find the right hurricane preparedness equipment for any type of building. These solutions can range in cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the number of windows that require protection. Boarding up windows can also be an effective short-term solution.

2. Check Insurance Coverage

If a property is located in an area prone to hurricanes, the owner or property manager should make sure that the current level and types of insurance coverage are sufficient. Most standard residential and commercial property insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. It may be necessary to add a policy to cover damage caused by these severe weather events. Some policies also only cover damage resulting from certain categories of hurricanes. Separate flood insurance coverage may also be necessary.

3. Take an Inventory

A property manager should have an up-to-date inventory of all of the contents and equipment in the common areas of a structure. Managers may also want to encourage tenants to take out rental insurance policies and make sure that these policies cover contents damaged by hurricanes. Managers should document damage after a hurricane and prepare to make an insurance claim.

These measures can limit damage and make it easier to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage. If a building sustains major damage, property management should arrange for professional mitigation and restoration services as quickly as possible.

Can Severe Storms Damage Solar Panels?

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Can Solar Panels Be Damaged by Severe Storms?

Most solar panels are designed for durability and can withstand hail or wind speeds as high as 140 miles per hour. A severe storm that damages a roof or is accompanied by flying debris may also damage panels. Find out more about the most common forms of panel damage and how to plan ahead and protect these components.

The Effects of Adverse Weather

Roof-mounted panels may succumb to general roof damage. This includes several incidents:

• Broken panels
• Damage due to flying debris
• Dislodged panels

Panels that are less expensive and well-made may be more likely to break. Most high-quality panels are certified to withstand hail with a one-inch diameter falling at 50 miles per hour and high wind speeds. Roof-mounted panels are also typically secured to roof beams with lag bolts.

How To Prevent Panel Damage

Homeowners can take several measures to prevent panels from becoming damaged. These considerations start during the panel selection process and continue throughout installation:

• Invest in high-quality panels
• Check panel design damage ratings
• Anchor panels to roof beams with lag bolts
• Ask installers about common causes of damage

All of these measures can reduce the likelihood that solar panels will sustain damage even during the most severe storms. Lag-bolted panels are positioned within a few inches of a roof surface and should be capable of withstanding intense uplift force. Installation professionals can also provide insight into some of the most common causes of damage in a particular region and install panels in ways that may prevent damage from occurring.

Most industry-leading solar panel designs combine durable aluminum with glass casings to protect solar cells and prevent panel damage. These panels should be capable of standing up to adverse weather conditions. If roof damage results in leaks or damages the interior of a residence, homeowners should rely on a mitigation and restoration service in Pleasanton, CA.

Staying Safe After a Home Flood

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Keeping Safe After A Flood In Your Home

No homeowner wants to come home to a flooded basement or property. The first response when seeing property damage is often to run into your home and salvage what you can, but that is not always the appropriate response. According to flood restoration services in Dublin, CA, flood safety is about remaining calm and following several basic safety tips.

1. Stay Out of the Water

It is best to stay out of floodwater. You never know if the water contains dangerous chemicals or contaminants. Additionally, the flood might be covering electrical receptacles, which can result in electrocution. The best thing to do if your basement or property is flooded is to seek shelter elsewhere and contact emergency services.

2. Turn Off Power, If Possible

If the flood is not drowning electrical outlets, turning off your electricity at the fusebox might be safe. However, if you must walk through water of any depth, it is best to avoid anything electrical and wait for safety personnel to arrive.

3. Wait for Flood Safety Help

Because of the various categories of water, it is best to wait for professionals before doing anything. The pros can help you understand whether you are dealing with clean, gray, or black water. When a flood results from a storm, the water is likely gray or black, which is not safe to enter without appropriate PPE.

4. Focus on Safety

Safety is paramount. You want to ensure your family, including pets, are safe. If the flood is in a basement, close any doors or access points, locking them if possible. If there is no way to seal the affected space, consider taking your family and pets to a friend or family member's home.

Flood safety is about avoiding the potential dangers of floodwater. It is typically best to avoid contact with the water and wait for help to arrive.

3 Tips To Help You Develop a Comprehensive Continuity Plan and Keep Your Business Going After a Disaster

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

3 Ways To Create A Comprehensive Continuity Plan And Keep Your Business Running After A Disaster

In the wake of a catastrophe like a hurricane or flooding, operations can stall or even grind to a halt as you try to deal with contacting insurers, a professional cleanup and restoration service in Pleasanton, CA, and other key personnel, filling out the appropriate paperwork and completing other urgent tasks. Having an in-depth business continuity plan in place ahead of disasters can help prevent this and ensure your business continues to run or returns to functioning in as speedy a manner as possible.

1. Create a Thorough Contact List

A key component of any continuity plan is a list detailing how to reach important people in the wake of a crisis:

  • Insurance agents
  • Backup site providers
  • Contractors
  • Emergency responders
  • Plan administrators

You should also have a communications plan so you can prioritize who to reach out to. The faster you can get in touch with those you need to, the faster you can set the wheels in motion to begin mitigating setbacks.

2. Include an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

With the importance of digital tools and applications, the value of having a strategy for quickly getting online tasks back up again after a disruption cannot be overstated. This includes having data backups in a secure and accessible location, manual workarounds, an avenue to recover files from a separate site in case the primary one shuts down completely and digitized copies of hard documents with security controls in place.

3. Perform a Proper Evaluation

Going over your plan and testing the main parts of it will help you identify and correct any kinks or holes. You want to make sure your teams are ready to implement it and that it works. It is also crucial to continuously evaluate the plan regularly so you can incorporate new improvements.

It is vital to be prepared for potentially harmful eventualities. It helps minimize impacts like storm damage. Constructing and assessing a business continuity plan ahead of time can aid you in bouncing back from a major blow and save you a lot of hassle.