Recent Storm Damage Posts
Everything You Need To Know About Sump Pumps
Installing a sump pump can be a great way to prevent water damage in your home
If you live in an area where flooding is common, you've most likely heard of a sump pump, but you may not know what it is or if you need one. Here's everything you need to know about them, including what they are, who needs one, and pump maintenance.
What are They?
These pumps are used to prevent flooding. They are installed in a small hole in the floor on the lowest level of your house. When the hole starts to fill with water, it will turn on and begin pumping the water to a storm drain, well, or pond.
Who Needs One?
There are several reasons that installing a pump could be the right option for you:
- You live on a low-lying lot
- Your yard grading causes water to flow towards the house
- Your area experiences frequent flooding
- You have had flooding problems before
- You have a basement
- If your home in Finley, WA, fits into any of these categories, a sump pump could save you a lot of time and money.
- If you have recently experienced a flood, a storm damage restoration service can repair damages and tell you if a pump is a good option for your home.
How Do You Maintain a Pump?
You should always follow the pump maintenance directions provided by the manufacturer. You should also remove debris from the pit, vent, discharge pipe and intake screen regularly. It is especially important to make sure the float switch is clear, so it can turn on the pump when water is detected. You can check that your system is working properly by filling the pit with water and making sure it properly drains the water.
Installing a sump pump can be a great way to prevent water damage in your home, especially if your home is at a high risk of flooding or has had problems with it in the past. Once it is installed, proper pump maintenance will ensure that your system is working correctly so you're prepared in case of an emergency.
5 Inspection Points for Storm Preparedness
Flood damage in South Highlands, WA.
Operating a business in an area susceptible to storms means planning for the inevitable. In South Highlands, WA, businesses need to make storm preparedness part of their exterior maintenance schedule. Keep in mind each of these inspection points when judging your building's storm liability.
Loose Exterior Elements
During a storm, any loose elements outside of your building could become airborne. Not only could your business lose these, but they could become dangerous projectiles in a storm. Create a list of elements that need to be secured before a storm. Look for things like:
- Outdoor signs
- Exterior displays
- Landscaping features like bushes or trees
- Parking lot gravel
Know the Location of All Glass
All your windows will need to be secured for a storm, but don't forget about glass doors on your building. As you perform your building inspection, look for all outside facing glass. Then you can inspect the damage after a storm and point a professional restoration service where to go.
Don't Forget About Your Roof
During exterior maintenance, many businesses only consider what they can see from the ground. Don't forget about your roof and any vents, skylights, pipes, or other equipment that could be damaged during a storm.
Be Mindful Of Propane and Gas
If your business uses propane for manufacturing or power, make sure all of these elements are completely protected during a storm. Keeping your gas lines safe a secure is an important part of keeping your building maintained, especially during a storm.
Examine Areas at Risk of Flooding Cancel
Your building should be sloped to prevent most rainfall from damaging it. However, in extreme circumstances, places that normally do not flood may. Be prepared and examine your building's walls and thresholds. Exterior maintenance should keep sandbags around in case of storm flooding.
The best way to prepare your building for a storm is to integrate preventative measures into normal exterior maintenance. Preparedness is your business's best tool for fighting storm damage.
3 Ways a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Commercial Property
SERVPRO is ready for when crazy storms come through causing damage to your property. Call us!
Three Ways A Winter Storm Can Destroy Your Commercial Property
Residents of Finley, WA, know of the dangers a winter storm can bring for their property. A storm that lowers temperatures to below-freezing corrodes building materials. You can prevent irreparable damage by:
- Replacing your building's roof every 20-30 years
- Updating appliances
- Insulating your building's plumbing system
Damage from a storm can catch property owners off guard, especially if they are new to owning a commercial building. Here are some of the most common damages inclement weather can do to a building.
1. Plumbing Issues
A common cause of burst pipes is freezing temperatures from bad weather conditions. Lowered temperatures cause water to freeze inside of pipes. The frozen water then increases the pressure inside of your building's plumbing system. Pipes can burst under the pressure of the water. The resulting water damage can be devastating for property owners. If you have experienced a pipe break in your building, stop the flow of water immediately to prevent water damage.
2. Roof Collapse
Roofs are engineered to carry at least 20 pounds per square foot. When a winter storm hits, the snow can pack on top of your roof adding extra weight. An older roof can cave in under the stress of packed snow. Ice dams are another common cause of roof collapse. Insurance companies will often cover a replacement roof if you have experienced this type of storm damage.
3. House Fires
Property owners crank up the heat during inclement weather by using furnaces and gas heaters. This increases the risk of a fire, especially if the appliances are outdated. The stress of added heat can cause the old appliances to catch fire, causing severe damage to a building. To prevent a fire, keep your heating and electrical systems updated before a storm hits.
Damage from a winter storm means costly repairs for your property. Prevent overspending on repairs by keeping your property well maintained and updated. If you have experienced damage from inclement weather, contact a storm damage restoration service to help you clean and restore your property.
Emergency Kit Preparedness for Businesses
Check your kit in Finley, WA, once a month for any missing items.
Protect Yourself And Others With A Well-Designed First Aid Kit
Are you ready in case a storm causes your office's windows to shatter and someone gets cut? What if the roof caves in with someone working underneath? Having a first aid kit on hand is essential to making sure you are able to handle these as well as any other perilous scenarios. Use the following information to properly assemble and maintain one for your business.
Emergency Kit Inclusions
Prestocked kits are available for purchase, although some office managers elect to put one together on their own. If you choose to create one, make sure yours includes:
- Multiple size gauze pads
- Variously shaped bandages
- Medical tape
- Wound cleaners
This list does not include many other items that should be included. Perform further research on what belongs before deciding if your first aid kit is complete.
Emergency Kit Management
Diligent emergency kit management is absolutely essential. Pick a smart location where yours will be stored. Make it an obvious spot that isn't prone to experiencing extreme temperatures. Inform everyone where it will stay and provide instructions on easily accessing it during a crisis.
Check your kit in Finley, WA, once a month for any missing items and swiftly replace anything that has been removed. Perform this chore on the first of each month and become proactive about what other components you think should be added.
Have an emergency medical plan in place. Train staff on the best ways to respond to these stressful situations. Emphasize that injured workers remain a priority over fixing structural damage to your building. Only after a wounded individual has been treated should you call a commercial storm restoration service to conduct an assessment and make repairs.
It is impossible to thoroughly eliminate the peril that comes with extreme weather conditions. You can, however, protect yourself and others with a comprehensive, well-designed first aid kit. Make sure your workspace has a good one in place.
3 Things To Know About Renter's Insurance Coverage of Storms
Typically, renter's insurance is a requirement for tenants under property management. One of the coverage areas includes storm damage.
Three Things You Should Know About Renter's Insurance Storm Coverage
Rental properties aren't immune to damage. Unexpected weather events happen. What exactly are property managers responsible for covering? What does renter's insurance cover, and what do tenants owe? Regardless of what type of commercial property you own, if you rent it out, this information is for you.
1. Damage from Certain Weather Events May Not Be Covered
Typically, renter's insurance is a requirement for tenants under property management. One of the coverage areas includes storm damage. Do you know the extent of this coverage, however? Generally, this insurance coverage spans issues that arise from natural disasters, including:
- Hail storms
- High winds
- Rain storms
- Snow and ice
- Lightning strikes
However, there are certain weather events that aren't usually covered. Floods and earthquakes are often excluded. Always check for the local laws and regulations in Richland, WA.
2. Property Owners Are Responsible for the Structure
It's a common misconception that if you are renting, you aren't responsible for any damage that occurs. That is false, especially if you cause the damage. What about natural occurrences that are inevitable? In this case, property owners are only responsible for mitigating damage to the structure. Exterior damage caused by storms calls for local remediation experts to be brought in by the property management.
3. Tenants Are Responsible for the Contents
Renters are required to purchase insurance for a reason. This protects them from unexpectedly losing personal property due to a storm or other natural weather event. While the limits and deductables may vary, most insurance coverage reimburses tenants for:
- Damage to personal belongings
- Temporary housing expenses
- Interior debris removal
- Food spoilage from power outages
Always check the fine print to determine what the property manager and tenants are responsible for, respectively. Work with remediation specialists that are in tandem with your chosen insurance. You can never fully predict a natural disaster, but knowledge of renter's insurance can help lessen the impact when something does occur.
3 Ways Engineers Can Prevent Flooding in Urban Areas
Many countries use various types of technologically advanced water barriers to stop high water in its tracks
Engineers Can Prevent Flooding In Urban Areas In Three Ways
Many cities throughout the world are aware of how devastating the damage caused by flooding can be. Whether they are located near large bodies of water or experience heavy rain on a consistent basis, there are several flood prevention methods engineers have used to protect the entire city. If your business in Kennewick, WA, has seen its fair share of damage caused by high water and is only back in business due to the work of skilled storm damage restoration specialists, you might be wondering what tactics are actually effective at preventing floods. Here are three ways engineers have used to help prevent flooding in urban areas around the world.
1. Water Barriers
Many countries use various types of technologically advanced water barriers to stop high water in its tracks. Water gates, dams, storm surge barriers, and dikes are all methods used to keep the ocean from flooding the nearby city. Various advancements like aqua-drive motors and movable gates are increasingly efficient at stopping floods in their tracks.
2. Enhanced Drainage Systems
Since typical rigid draining systems are unable to deal with a large amount of water runoff or rainfall, one way to address urban flooding is to enhance these draining systems and make them more flexible. Some cities have even adopted sustainable drainage options by replacing impermeable surfaces like concrete with soil and plant life.
3. Constructing Flood-Proof Businesses
Cities who experience frequent high water issues and flooding have begun to rethink how they construct buildings. From constructing buildings far above flood levels to using materials that are designed to withstand contact with water for long periods of time, there are ways to help businesses and homes better withstand the damage flooding causes.
It is important that cities develop ways to stop flooding in order to protect its citizens and allow growth within the city. While there are many unique ways cities have battled flooding around the world, these three methods are a good place to start!
Do I Have To Worry About Flood Damage If I'm a Tenant?
While not legally required to, landlords are also urged to let renters know about the potential for flooding in the area.
Do I Have To Be Concerned About Flood Damage As A Tenant?
Mitigating the risk of home flooding can be nerve wracking, and doing so in a landlord/tenant scenario brings its own set of unique worries. Both renter and tenant may wonder about practical things like who handles flood cleanup or whether renter’s insurance covers flood damage. Be prepared by understanding the responsibilities of renters and tenants in Kennewick, WA.
Unfortunately for tenants, landlords are not responsible for insuring their tenants. It’s for this reason that so many rental properties insist on tenants obtaining a renter’s insurance policy to cover their belongings. The good news is that such policies are cheap and plentiful. In general, the landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to flood damage extend to:
- The building structure itself as well as flooring, wiring, plumbing, and appliances
- Repairs required to make a space legally habitable
While not legally required to, landlords are also urged to let renters know about the potential for flooding in the area. Doing so can shield landlords from liability suits.
Tenants have limited responsibility in the face of flood damage to a rental house or apartment. That responsibility generally extends only to the things that are inside a unit. Personal items are typically addressed by tenant insurance coverage, as is the cost of temporary relocation and normal living expenses if the building is unlivable.
With that said, flood insurance policies are indeed available to renters. Tenants can buy a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover contents up to $100,000. Like standard tenant insurance, this type of policy covers personal property and contents during a flood.
The decision to purchase flood insurance is up to the individual renter. In most cases, renter’s insurance is enough, but flood insurance can put your mind at ease. Use the above to inform your decision, or contact a local expert in flood damage cleanup to help you choose.
4 Ways To Bolster Your Business Against Flood Damage
SERVPRO is always ready to respond to any flood damage in your business.
4 Ways To Protect Your Business From Flood Damage
Even if you’ve never dealt with the issue personally before, you know that flooding is no joke, especially when it involves a business like yours. While being aware of the intensity of flood damage is important, it’s critical to take some precautions within your business in Kennewick, WA, to mitigate damage to your property if the issue ever does occur. Some effective steps include:
- Contracting a team of professionals ahead of time for faster responses during emergencies
- Backing up tech and databases
- Investing in the right insurance policies
- Preparing for damagesç
1. Seeking Professional Help
Regardless of how well you prepare your business, you’re still likely to see some sort of damage if the flood is bad enough, especially if you’re dealing with a threat like black water. Having a chosen team of professionals contracted and on hand means you’ll get faster response times during floods, meaning you’ll receive better damage mitigation thanks to more timely efforts.
2. Uploading Information to the Cloud
Not only do you run the risk of losing computers and other tech during floods, but also the important records and data that they hold. Take the time to back up your data on discs or to a cloud service so you have one less thing to worry about when and if flooding occurs within your business.
3. Adding Extra Insurance Coverage
Of course, having the right insurance can go a tremendous way towards recovering your business after flood damage has occurred. However, you may also want to check into adding business interruption insurance to your policy in order to have the best security possible during renovations.
4. Taking Preventative Measures
Prevention is often the best medicine, and the same can be said for keeping flood waters out of your business. Upgrade your weather stripping, have professional plumbers inspect your waterworks annually and take a few other steps to decrease the likelihood of flooding occurring in the first place. Dealing with floods is never simple, but following these 4 steps can help to mitigate the damage and make the cleanup process easier and less stressful.
This Is a Drill: How To Teach Your Escape Plan to Your Employees
An unexpected disaster can cause fear and panic in your employees. A solid emergency plan for escaping that disaster, however, can increase their confidence and thus the likelihood that they will conduct themselves calmly and rationally when a problem arises. If a situation that requires evacuation comes up during the workday, you will be glad you made a plan and trained employees to carry it out through the use of practice sessions such as a fire drill.
Making the Plan
As the business owner, you are the best equipped to devise the escape plan for your business in Kennewick, WA that will work the best for your employees. Each plan should contain the following elements:
• Alarm procedures
• Evacuation routes and meeting areas
• Chain of command and division of responsibilities
• Emergency kit containing water, flashlights and first aid items
• Contact list of employees for confirming their safety
• Clear reporting structure
• Contact information for insurance company and restoration specialists
The time to plan for a natural disaster or fire is before it happens. After you have the plan, it's time to train your employees.
Training the Staff
Whether you are staging a fire drill or testing storm procedures, the information should always precede the practice. Include evacuation plans in your yearly training. Impress upon your employees the importance of understanding the plan and encourage questions and concerns during the discussion. At some point, you can test the plan with a drill. Only a handful of personnel who will be assisting with key elements of the procedures need to know when the drill is planned. That way, employees can actually experience the surprise they may feel if the real situation should ever arise. During the drill, take note of what goes right and what needs improvement so that you can tweak the plan or training as needed.
Planning how you want your employees to respond in a disastrous situation and training them to implement the plan can keep them safe. Each fire drill brings you closer to a calm, smooth resolution.
When Storms or Floods hit Tri Cities, SERVPRO is ready!
When a storm hits your Kennewick home or business, you need help immediately.
Storm and Flood Damage Restoration Experts
SERVPRO of Tri Cities West 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.
Since we are locally owned and operated and located in the Tri-Cities area, 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 Tri Cities, 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 509-943-9290
Are You Storm Ready?
Be Prepared With The Free SERVPRO Emergency Ready App
The Tri Cities might be a desert and boast 300+ days of sun per year but, as we experienced last winter, we still get some tough storms, flooding and snowfall. And with that, many people experienced some major problems from frozen and busting pipes to ice dams and leaky roofs this past year. Take a proactive approach and be prepared for storms, floods and other natural disasters before they happen.
Knowing what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is key to lowering cost, saving time and lowering your stress during and after disasters.
The good news is that SERVPRO has a free Emergency READY app established for anyone to use.
It is important to have a fire escape plan and most people do however, what about after the fire fighters leave or the flood waters go down? Do you have a restoration plan? With SERVPRO’s Emergency READY App and plan you can be prepared for whatever happens. It is a tool that helps people at their business and at home by clearly marking shut off valves, having key contact information with just a flick of a finger, establishing your preferred service providers such as your electrician, plumber etc for quick response, minimize business and personal life interruption, save money from secondary damage, among other things.
You can find the app for android or ios on your app store. You can also call us and set up a meeting so we can complete it for you at NO COST to you. Yes, I said it! It’s a 100% FREE service we offer to our local community.
Call us today for your free Emergency READY Profile
Severe Storm Damage?
Storm, Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes... No job is too big. SERVPRO is Here to Help
As we seen on Saturday here in the Tri Cities Region, severe thunder storms can do a lot of damage. Storms can be anything from lightning strikes to flooding. It can tear out crops and plants, blow over mobile homes and rip trees right out of the ground. Some storms can produce hails the size softballs and can cause structure damage to homes and businesses, cars, people and other property.
It is important to be prepared and to stay safe before, during and after a storm.
- Sign up for weather notifications
- Create a family emergency plan. You might not always be in the same location when a sudden storm hits. Have an emergency meeting spot.
- Prepare your home and put away any outside objects that can turn into a flying hazard during strong winds
- Help your neighbors and make sure they are safe and secure.
- Go indoors and stay away from windows. A basement is usually the safest place to hole up while the storm is raging.
- Prepare an emergency kit with candles, drinking water, medications and some food in case the power goes out for many days.
You can find a lot more tips and tricks at https://www.weather.gov/
If you have storm damage, SERVPRO can help you make it "Like it never even happened."®
Call us today for a free scope. 509-943-9290