According to Ready.gov, the extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Wind from tornadoes can reach more than 300 miles per hour, and damage paths can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long. Wind from tornadoes can destroy buildings and trees, transform debris into deadly projectiles, and roll vehicles.
Know the Facts!
They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
Know the Difference!
Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. When there is a Watch, move to be near enough to a shelter or sturdy building to be able to get there quickly in a few minutes if there is a Warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately
Actions to Take for a House Flood
Floods can be caused by a variety of things and you will want to implement these practices to ensure the safety of you and your home, as well as having the best outcome with your insurance.
If you had to evacuate, make sure it is safe before you return. Check for any warping, cracked foundations, or other structural damage before entering the home. You may also want to speak to your utility companies to be sure it is safe from things such as electric or gas.
The water that is now in your home could be contaminated by sewage. It is recommended that you wear waist high waders or waterproof boots that come waist high. Also, dispose of any food that comes in contact with the water.
Before doing anything to your home after a flood be sure to take photos or videos of your home to prove the damage to your insurance company.
Contact your insurance provider
Make sure you have your insurance company's phone number in case you experience a flood. Let your insurance representative know the extent of the damage to your home and of any repairs you wish to make.
This is where SERVPRO steps in. We will help remove water from your house and afterwards mitigate mold so that there are no long lasting negative effect on you or your house.
Preventing Ice Dams
PREVENTING ICE DAMS
You can scrape snow from the roof whenever it falls, using a snow rake from below or a broom or plastic shovel from above. Take Caution, especially when on the roof. It is best to hire someone who knows how to use a safety line.
Replace your shingle roof with standing seam or other metal roof. Or you can replace the bottom three feet or so of your shingle roof with a wide metal drip edge. Always install a water-repellent membrane under any new roofing.
NOTE: If your roof is not very steep, an ice dam can still form on metal roofing and drip edges.
DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS
1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp as it can rip the shingles. Instead, gently tap with a blunt mallet. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.
2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.
3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Never use rock salt. It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.
A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.
WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?
When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot.
That's where SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley comes to help. We can't prevent the ice damming from happening, but we can help you take care of the damages that it can cause.
Asbestos Testing Is Mandatory
Thankfully asbestos used in construction and manufacturing for the most part, is a material of the past. However many buildings today still retain traces or even large quantities of asbestos. Particularly in older buildings, testing for and identifying this asbestos is an important job, but one that is unfortunately neglected by many business owners. Failing to test for asbestos when making renovations or restorations to a building can cause long-term negative health effects for restoration professionals, customers, and even yourself, creating a legal and financial disaster large enough to ruin most businesses. There are specific Federal regulations mandated by the EPA regarding renovating buildings, and asbestos abatement.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley provides certified asbestos testing to ensure the safety of our technicians and your customers alike.
Asbestos testing for a business is not only advisable for practical reasons, but also for legal ones. Failing to test for asbestos can lead to steep fines and regulatory penalties, regardless of whether or not the substance is present. OSHA has explicit guidelines in place regarding demolition or renovations of commercial structures, especially schools, and other municipal buildings. Furthermore, if a customer or employee gets sick as a result of untested asbestos, you may be at risk of a costly and difficult lawsuit. Federal and state authorities alike take this process seriously, which is why it is always recommended to hire a certified company like SERVPRO to complete the task.
In addition to laws on the subject, testing for asbestos should be a major consideration for your health. Asbestos can cause many negative health effects, some of which can shorten your lifespan or lead to long-term illness. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.The longer you are exposed to it, the more likely many of these side effects are to manifest, meaning that valued employees and regular customers may also be at risk. Just as the removal of mold growth can help to avoid a medical emergency in your business, so too can asbestos testing prevent a host of serious medical issues.
SERVPRO of Newton Wellesley is certified in asbestos testing and guarantees a fast and efficient process for your business. Call us today for our services or a quote.
Leave Mold To the Pros
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley for mold remediation services.
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. It is the a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
Dangers of Flash Flooding
An average of 75 people have died in the U.S. from flash floods each year from 2004-2013, according to the National Weather Service. That's more than double the average death toll from lightning
Almost two of every three U.S. flash flood deaths from 1995-2010, occurred in vehicles, according to Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert for The Weather Channel.
The single worst decision you can make in a flash flood is driving your vehicle into floodwaters of unknown depth.
It's easy to misjudge the depth of floodwater, particularly at night. Sometimes the bridge or road masked by flood water may have been undermined or completely washed out.
In some cases, the flash flood event occurs over such a localized area, say one part of one county or city, that driving conditions may go from dry roads to high water in a matter of a few miles. Only 2 feet of water can float a large vehicle or even a bus, therefore you should never drive through flooded roads If you come upon water standing on the road turn around and go back the way you came, do not cross over because you don't know exactly how deep the water is.
Furthermore, just 6 inches of rapidly moving flood water can knock a person down and carry them away.
Always heed warning and seek shelter when your area will be affected by torrential rains.
Did You Know?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of homeowners insurance claims from lightning strikes and electrical surges in the United States rose in 2016, compared with 2015; however, the average cost that insurers paid on those claims fell. More than $825 million in lightning claims was paid out in 2016 to more than 100,000 policyholders. Total insured losses caused by lightning rose 4.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, although overall losses have declined 12.4 percent since 2007. There were 109,049 lightning claims in 2016, up 9.7 percent from 2015. Over fifty percent of claims were related to electrical surge damaging components or wiring, while power surges from transformer or service line shorts were also contributing factors. “The average cost per claim dropped 4.7 percent from 2015 to 2016,” said James Lynch, FCAS MAAA, chief actuary at the I.I.I. “However, the overall average cost per claim has risen 42.3 percent since 2007. By comparison,” he noted, “The Consumer Price Index rose only 15.8 percent in the same period.”
How to Prevent a Dryer Fire
Very few people realize thedanger ofclothes dryer fires. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryervent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting. Lint accumulation and reduced airflow feed on each other to provide conditions ripe for a fire. Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters. A number of dryer vent problems contribute to this.
Here are several important steps you can take to keep this from happening to you
Clean your lint screen.Always clean your lint screen right before you push the start button forEVERY LOAD! Even if there is just a small amount of lint on the screen, clean it anyway. This is a good habit to get into.
Check your vent hose.Make sure your vent hose is in good shape. If you have the white plastic vent hose, replace it now! It is not safe and has been outlawed. Use the aluminum type vent hose and make sure the length is as short as possible and not crushed or kinked.
Clean your vent line regularly.It's very important that the vent line (from the wall behind the dryer to the outside flap) is not restricted or clogged up with lint. This greatly increases your chance of a dryer fire. If you are unable to clean out this line yourself, call a professional. Many Chimney Sweep companies offer this service.
Keep the area around the dryer clean.In the event that your dryer does have a lint fire, don't give it more fuel to destroy your home. Make sure there are no articles of clothing, boxes, cleaning supplies, or anything else behind or around the dryer. You should also keep things off the top of the dryer.
Clean the lint out of the inside of the dryer regularly.Your dryer needs to be opened up and vacuumed out periodically. Most dryers today are not easily accessible for the homeowner. Unless you know how to take your dryer apart and put it back together, you'll need a technician to do this. Any time you have your dryer repaired, ask the technician to vacuum it out for you. He should be doing this anyway as part of the service.
Make sure your gas line is in good shape.If you have a gas dryer you should check your gas line. If it looks old or questionable, you should replace it. Make sure when you push your dryer back into position, you don't kink the line.
What To Do When Water Damages Documents
Even in the age of technology, one of the biggest losses after a flood or water emergency is documents. Not only is the cost of getting new ones a factor, but the emotional value as well -- loosing favorite books or family heirlooms can be tough to handle. Fortunately, it's possible in many instances to save documents affected by flooding.
Many homeowners that experience flood damage are often relieved and surprised to learn that their treasured books and important documents don't have to be tossed out automatically. By calling us as quickly as possible after a flood, you'll increase the chances that your documents can be dried and salvaged. Here are some ways that we work to dry books and papers after a flood.
SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley often uses equipment that efficiently air dries books and documents. This process works well for items that have not sat in water for extended periods of time, those made of more resilient paper, and documents with sturdy covers or binding.
Humidity will break down paper over time, which is why it's important to dehumidify homes with flood damage. Our team will set up equipment to get rid of excess humidity in combination with other techniques to increase the chances of saving your documents and books.
Sometimes a rush of cold air helps prevent irreversible damage to papers and books, and this works best when done soon after a flood. Freeze drying is an option with photos and vintage documents as well as books.
SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley has advanced equipment capable of vacuum freeze-drying and thermal drying documents within homes with flood damage. Using these two methods, even older materials and those that are valuable or fragile can have a chance of being restored. Our expert training and a large inventory of equipment offer the best opportunity to recover water damaged documents, photos, and soft materials.
If you've experienced a water emergency, count on the experts at SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley to get your home and possessions back in good shape. Whenever possible, we'll dry out your documents to prevent the expense and hassle of getting replacements. For a quote or to learn more about our flood damage restoration services, call us 24/7 at (617) 332 9000
When A Washing Machine Wreaks Havoc
One of the most well-known causes of water damage in your home, washing machines can cause costly damage. After the deductible is paid, the average claim nationally for water damage from washing machine malfunction is more than five thousand dollars.
Supply Hose Leaks
Over fifty percent of claims from washing machine water damage can be traced to the failure of your supply hose. It can be caused by an aging hose, a poor connection to the wall or machine, or the hose being pinched while it is installed, causing a hairline break. Intake hoses are high-flow lines and can put out more than six hundred gallons of water in one hour. If the supply hose on your machine is over five years old or is not steel braided, get it replaced as soon as you can.
Drainage Issues And Flooding
If there is a clog in your drainage pipe, the sewer backs up, or your drain pipe is not properly lined up, the drainage system of your washing machine causes some water damage at least. Most importantly, avoid a clog in the sewer line. When this backs up, you can be faced withwater damagethat is filled with contaminates and poses serious risks to health. You most definitely need the help of the professionals at SERVPRO if this happens to you since they have the proper equipment and training to clean up the mess safely.
Your washing machine doesn't have to be incorrectly installed, old, or built poorly to create an internal leak. Overloading your machine on a regular basis can cause valves, gaskets, and bushings to crack or loosen. Smaller loads, even if it takes longer to do the laundry, keep your machine from shaking itself apart.
Identifying Your Leak
If you have a leak that is constant, you likely have an issue with the supply hose. It is probably an internal leak if it happens during the wash cycle but before the spin cycle. With water on the floor during the spin cycle or right after the machine turns off, you probably have a drainage issue.