Recent Storm Damage Posts
What to do When the Power goes Out
There are several reason that a home’s power could go out, a crazy rain or snow storm came through and took down wires or a transformer and in that event here are some tips to follow:
- Investigate why the power has gone out. Is it a fuse or the breaker? If it is not that, it could be a power outage in the neighborhood in which case call the power company to report the outage. If you are unable to get through right away be patient others might be calling to report the same issue.
- Unplug all appliances in the event that the power comes back on and the power creates a surge that could short your appliances and electronics that are plugged in.
- Be sure to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. A refrigerator can stay cool for four hours without power and a freezer will last up to 24 hours before the food is fully thawed.
- If your power has been out for a period of time and it is cool outside, keep doors to rooms closed and find a centralized location for everyone in the home to stay to keep the warmth.
Emergency Supply Kit
In the event that a storm has occurred and your home has lost power, it is important to have a basic emergency supply kit that can be made quickly and in advance. It is vital to be prepared and have your own food, water, and additional supplies in enough quantity to last for at least 72 hours.
- A three day supply of non-perishable food items.
- A gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes (amount depends on how many people are in the home).
- A flashlight or two with extra batteries.
- Backup battery packs for electronics or cellphones.
- Extra blankets and clothing to fit the weather’s needs.
- A first aid kit.
- Fun games and activities to keep your time occupied until the power is back on.
Wintery Weather Terms
Winter Weather Advisory: You can expect winter weather conditions. These conditions can cause everything to slow down and can be a real inconvenience. These can also produce life-threatening hazards.
Frost/Freeze Warning: You can expect below-freezing temperatures. Be prepared to allow extra time when traveling. Prepare your home and water pipes with insulation. Protect outdoor plants by covering them or moving them indoors. Make sure any pets have adequate shelter or the ability to come inside.
Winter Storm Watch: You should be alert and prepared; a winter storm is likely in your area.
Winter Storm Warning: You need to take immediate action, a winter storm is in your area or will be entering your area soon.
Blizzard Warning: Seek warm shelter immediately! Heavy snow and strong winds are forecast. Near-zero visibility, heavy snow, deep snowdrifts, and life-threatening wind chill are very likely.
For any winter storm damage that may occur, remember SERVPRO of Central Chester County at (610) 524-0211
How to Prepare your Home for a Storm
Getting your home prepared before a heavy rain storm or for the potential hurricane/ tropical storm is important for all homeowners to do. In the case of a storm, heavy rains can cause flooding and heavy winds can cause branches to break off trees or for objects outside a home such as furniture or flower pots to move around and cause damage to the property.
Prepare your home:
- Check your roof regularly to make sure that there are no loose shingles or leaks to ensure that it is in good condition.
- It is important to keep your homes gutters, downspouts, and drains free and clear of leaves and debris.
- Be sure to remove branches that are close to the home.
- Loose items around the home such as furniture, plant pots, or decorations need to be secured safely or brought inside.
Basement flooding prevention tips
Example of poor draining downspout
As hurricane season approaches many of us will be vulnerable to basement flooding. Basement flooding can be a major disturbance to a family. Loss of use of a part of your home, damage to flooring and walls, damage to personal property, potential of mold growth, and just overall an experience we would avoid if we could.
To begin trying to prevent basement flooding first we must understand why basements flood. Think about when your home was being built. A large hole is dug and the masonry foundation is built inside that hole. The area outside of that foundation wall becomes a trench. This trench is later back filled with dirt. However this dirt is different in composition from what was removed. Typically the soil make up in Southeastern Pennsylvania is a hard clay soil under top soil layer which is hard and compacted. The trench soil is loose, not as compacted, and drains more rapidly. So when water fills this trench in a heavy rainstorm it has only 3 possible directions to go, away from home through hard clay soil, down below the trench through hard clay soil, or into your home though porous masonry walls. The most important step to preventing water damages from rain/flooding is to keep water away from this trench. There are other causes for basements to flood like hydrostatic pressure and sump pump failures but this is the most common cause from our experience.
Below are some tips from the pros that may help you avoid a water damage:
- · Check your gutters and clean them if needed. Clogged gutters cause overflows which lead to water pooling outside the foundation walls. If enough water pools by your foundation, some will most likely enter your basement.
- · Check on your gutter downspouts. If your gutters are clean and operating properly but the water is being discharged to close to your foundation some water will most likely enter your basement. Local home stores sell inexpensive downspout extenders. Use downspout extenders to make sure the water is being discharged away from your foundation and not pooling.
- · Check on your sump pump and pit. Many of us don’t know that our sump pumps aren’t working until it’s too late. Get a 5 gallon bucket of water and fill the pit till the pump kicks on. Make sure it’s working and just like the downspouts, discharging away from your foundation. Also and dirt and debris in the sump pump pit can get sucked into the pump and create a block or shorten the life span and power of your pump. Detach the pump (if possible) and vacuum the pit out with a shop vac to remove any dirt/stones/debris.
Sometimes no matter what we do and what steps we take to prevent it, water will find its way into your home. If that’s the case, we are here to help make it like it never happened.