Recent Storm Damage Posts
Stand Strong Against Wind Damage
Wind and water damage are the two most common results of a heavy storm. There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms that have caused significant damage to homes - it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional like SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.
Important Facts to Know About Wind Damage
Wind Type Varies by Storm & Causes Different Degrees of Wind Damage
Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, but wind stemming from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage. It is essential to know when and what type of storm is headed towards your area so you know the potential and level of damage to expect. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S., but the repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.
Characteristics of the Wind will Affect the Wind Damage
The wind has many characteristics that differ depending on the situation such as:
- Duration of Gusts
By recognizing the pattern and type of wind, you will be able to determine another part of how much potential damage to expect. If the wind is expected to come in long gusts, it's important to be aware of branches from trees. Depending on the speed of the wind, you may have to board up windows.
Preventing Wind and Storm Damage
Wind really isn't the thing that causes a majority of the damage - it is the items that get flung around by the wind. Whether it is your garbage can out on the edge of your driveway or debris from plants and trees, unsecured objects can become dangerous in windy situations. If a storm is approaching your area, ensure your patio furniture, toys, and garbage cans are secured or brought inside. It wouldn't hurt to double check your windows to make sure they're locked and secured, too.
The expertise SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon brings to storm damage cleanup and restoration in the Northwest suburbs leads the industry. Give us a call at 703-471-6040 today for any of for storm damage needs.
What Steps Must Begin Right After Flooding Occurs?
Flood damage can be a devastating force, meaning that mitigation and recovery efforts should begin as soon as possible.
There are often times where homeowners look at their Herndon and Reston property and determine the best course of action after a flood emergency. The longer this process takes in choosing the right professionals to begin restoration and recovery, the more your home and its belongings could become irreparably damaged. Knowing what to do when flooding first occurs can help you to appreciate your need for professional restoration despite possible mitigative efforts you can begin on your own.
Regarding your home in Reston and Herndon, several steps must occur, beginning with emergency services when our team arrives. With flooding scenarios, often, the most pressing concern is standing water in the affected areas. Surface water damage can quickly penetrate porous materials, forcing water into structural cavities and causing more substantial concerns like deterioration, microbial threats, or spreading bacteria. The earliest actions that our professionals can take after a flood loss include:
- Content Management
- Debris Removal
What Happens to Damaged Belongings?
Content management is one of the vital services that we offer during your flood-damaged home's mitigation period. The objective begins with assessing the damage to each item or personal belonging still in the house after flooding occurs. Some of these items can get moved to a safer location on the property to prevent damage, while others must get restored on-site or offsite at our SERVPRO facility. In our care at our warehouse, we can offer focused drying, cleaning, and safe storage.
Flooding can be a threatening situation for your home. However, with mitigation beginning as soon as our professionals arrive, there is little to stop you from reaching out to our SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon team as soon as possible. We can make flood losses "Like it never even happened." Call us at 703-471-6040
How To Identify Odors in Your Home After a Flood
Identify Odors After A Flood And Eliminate Their Cause
When storms cause serious flooding and affect your Reston/Herndon home, you may notice several different types of foul odors in the aftermath, even when the waters recede. From mold growth to sewage chemicals, the flooding may leave your home smelling less than pleasant. Learning to identify these odors can be the first step to finding and eliminating their cause.
If you detect an odor like wet dirty laundry after a flood, then you may be dealing with mold. There are many different types of fungi that can take hold after a flood, and many can develop as soon as 24 hours after the event. Mold does not require sunlight to grow and may grow unchecked in a variety of locations:
- Behind drywall
- Around insulation
- Under carpeting
Having your home inspected after a serious flood can help to uncover hidden mold.
The strong, bitter smell of a sewer is hard to mistake for anything else. The odor may also smell like rotten eggs, especially if a nearby sewer has malfunctioned and sewage loss caused a flood in your home’s basement. Because any standing water in your home may contain contaminants and bacteria, you may want to seal off the area until you can call a water damage and mitigation service to come to drain it away and deodorize your home so the offensive smell from the flood water does not linger.
Dirt or Mud Smells
Serious flooding can bring silt, dirt and debris into your home. The moisture it contains can also encourage increased mold growth. You may detect an earthy, fishy or wormy odor from dirt or mud left behind in the wake of a flood. Your flood technicians can remove this debris and offer you options for odor removal as well, such as using ozone machines to clear the air.
Serious flooding can affect your home and cause foul smells from mold growth and dirty standing water. Learning how to identify different odors can give you a head start on cleanup efforts, especially once help arrives.
Preparing for Winter Storms
Winter storms are not uncommon in the Northern Virginia area and to be stuck unprepared in blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days is not ideal. Many winter storms are accompanied by extremely low temps and potentially strong winds, icing, sleet, or freezing rain.
No matter the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared to ensure your safety in these events and know that SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon is here to help.
Know the Difference
Meteorologists may not always be accurate in their predictions, but more often than not they are able to give out a notification for what kind of weather is to come. It is important to note the difference between a Winter Storm Outlook, Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Watch, and a Winter Storm Warning.
- Winter Storm Outlook - storm conditions possible between 2-5 days
- Winter Weather Advisory - conditions are expected to cause inconveniences and be hazardous
- Winter Storm Watch - storm conditions possible within 36-48 hours. Be alert of changing conditions
- Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening & severe conditions have begun or will begin < 24 hours. Take precautions immediately
Now that you know what each warning means - it's time to prepare before scary weather happens!
Winterize your vehicle. Keep the fuel line full to prevent freeing.
Insulate your home. There's nothing worse than a cold home and frozen pipes. Cover windows with plastic and insulate any exposed pipes outside your home. If you speculate that there is a frozen pipe, call your local SERVPRO of Reston/Herndon.
Put together a Supply Kit. Ensure you have your basic necessities of food and water for several days. Batteries, flashlights, medication, a multi-purpose tool and various personal hygiene items.
Now that you know how to prepare for the different types of winter weather, maintain your awareness of the ongoing situations. Listen to the local Weather radio, keep your loved ones close, and avoid traveling if it isn't necessary.
If we can be of any assistance, call us day or night. There will always be a live person on the other end of the line available for whatever you need, even if it is just to answer questions. We are eager to help 703-644-0620.
Storm Damage Prevention and Pruning
Storm damage - Maintenance - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS
There is no doubt trees can cause damage and be damaged in storms. However, appropriately placed and maintained trees can help reduce damage to structures in storms by deflecting wind, and reduce damage to trees. Appropriate actions includes proper placement and planting, and structural pruning prior to the storm. Species selection can also be somewhat helpful in avoiding some damage. Actions in the weeks and years following a strong storm can help bring damaged trees back to health.
Pruning - Landscape plants - Edward F. Gilman - UF/IFAS
New research on effects of pruning trees on wind damage was recently conducted. Five trees were pruned by either 1. doing nothing (controls), 2. reducing crown size, 3. raising the crown, or 4. thinning the crown for a total of 20 trees. The same amount of greenery was removed from each tree. All of the trees were blown with winds reaching 120 mph. These results support usage of structural pruning as a preventive method to reduce tree damage.
Winter Storm Damage and Personal Safety
There are a number of different ways that winter storms can impact a region and the residents. Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are not directly related to the storm itself. People could get in an automobile accident on icy roads, have a heart attack while shoveling snow, or suffer frostbite or hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold.
Wind - Some winter storms have extremely strong winds that can create blizzard conditions with blinding, wind driven snow, drifting, and dangerous wind chills. These intense winds can bring down trees and poles, and can also cause damage to homes and other buildings. Heavy snow accumulations can immobilize a region and strand motorists, and disrupt emergency services.
Ice - Heavy ice accumulations can bring down objects like trees, utility poles and lines, and communication towers. Even a small amount of ice can cause hazardous conditions for motorists.
Cold - Extremely cold temperatures risk exposure to infants and the elderly. The severe cold can be potentially life-threatening and cause hypothermia and frostbite.
Wind Chill is how the wind and cold actually feel on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body driving down the body temperature.
Frostbite is damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. Slowly re-warm affected areas.
Hypothermia is a condition when the body temperature drops to less than 95°F, and it can be fatal. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
Storms can cause major roof damage
Your roof can take a severe beating during a storm. It is important to get out and inspect your roof after a storm to inspect for any potential damage.
Wind may be the number one culprit. High winds can tear shingles off as well as the metal fascia pieces that protect your chimney and other components.
Tree limbs and other debris can tear shingles and fall through the roof potentially exposing the inside your home exposed for further damage.
Hail damage to the roof can be severe. Shingles can be loosened appearing in tact, when in fact the winds can lift them up and water can seep under the cracks into your home with potential mold and moisture issues.
Remove potential hazards to your roof, try to do regular inspections, its even worth having a contractor come out if you have serious concerns.
What to do About Frozen Water Pipes
Protecting your pipes in the bathroom can prevent a major water loss.
What to Do About Frozen Water Pipes
By T.D. Powell, Business Development Manager SERVPRO of RESTON/HERNDON
The damage caused by frozen water pipes and the subsequent leaks that may be caused can be catastrophic. The water damages themselves can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance carrier can lead to higher deductibles and premiums, or cancellation of the insurance itself. Untreated, the water damage can become water rot, or mold which can be hazardous to your family’s health.
The fact is that the frozen pipe generally blocks the flow of water through the pipe. The growth of the ice blocks and splits the pipe itself. Once thawed the leak occurs. Obviously, when this happens, call SERVPRO of Reston/ Herndon for fast response, water cleanup, drying, and treatment to inhibit possible mold development.
I have listed suggestions to minimize the chance of a frozen pipe and water leak in the first place.
-Identify areas where pipes may be located on outside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, etc. Seal gaps around the home where cold air penetration may come in contact with piping.
-Locate the main shutoff valve as well as individual shutoffs for outside hose bibs. Allow hose bibs to remain on slightly and drain after the inside has been shut off.
-Open kitchen and bath vanity doors to allow ambient warm air to circulate especially to cabinets on outside walls that may have pipes running through them.
- DO NOT attempt to thaw pipes with electric heaters, hair dryers, or open flames. Warm air circulation, time and patience will allow the pipe to thaw gradually. You can contact a plumber, although most reputable companies will tell you it is time consuming and expensive for the technician to thaw your pipes.
Tips for Homeowners: Protecting Your Reston / Herndon Home from Storm Damage
Did you know: Fall is the second most severe weather season?
Are you prepared to protect your home from storm damage?
No clue? No worries! Check out our heroes' tips for preventing storm damage to your Virginia home.
Take these precautions to prevent structural damage outside of your home and water damage inside of your home:
- Pay close attention to any trees that could fall on your house during a storm. Keep your trees trimmed regularly, and immediately remove all dead, diseased, and hanging branches.
- Lock, seal, and board your windows.
- Store your outside belongings- plants, furniture, bikes, etc. in your garage or another storage space inside your home. Remove or secure anything that can become a projectile during heavy wind storms.
- Secure your gutters and downspouts and fix any defects. Neglected leaks can cause significant and costly flooding and water damage to your home.
- Prepare for potential evacuation. Pack your essentials and store them in an easily accessible location in your home.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, severe storms may yield consequences beyond your control. On the bright side, however, our heroes are here to help with your fire and water cleanup and restoration needs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day! If you fall victim to storm damage, contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Mt. Vernon for your storm cleanup needs.
Tips for Virginia Homeowners: Be Storm Ready
SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon provides emergency relief from any size disaster-- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!
Hopefully you have followed our steps to protecting your home from potential storm damage, but in the case of emergency evacuation, are you prepared?
Regardless of the severity of a storm, it is imperative that you have an emergency ready kit and plan in place in case a storm requires you to leave your home.
The following is a list of essentials to include in your emergency ready kit:
- Important documents-- identification, insurance policies, etc.
- 1 gallon of water, per person, per day
- 3-day supply of non perishable food
- Flashlight and batteries
- First-aid kit-- antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, adhesive bandages, tweezers, etc.
- Extra clothing
- Dust mask and/or scarf
- Plastic sheeting
- Heavy-duty tape
- Matches (sealed in waterproof container)
Although these essentials may sustain an individual or household, it is important to prepare your business as well. We understand the significant demands of this task, and our heroes are here to help.
Is your business ready for whatever could happen?
Contact SERVPRO of Reston / Herndon to set up your company’s FREE Emergency Ready Profile today!