Recent Storm Damage Posts
Minimize Winter Storm Damage with these Tips
Winters in Huntsville, AL can be severe at times, with heavy rains, winds and snow threatening the very infrastructure of your building on a constant basis. While there is not much you can do about a winter storm, there are steps you can take to minimize storm damage and keep your money in your pocket. Here are four cost-saving tips you can use this winter to keep damage at bay:
- Prep your building.
- Equip your building with a generator.
- Plan for snow and ice removal.
- Have a plan in place.
Prep Your Building
The best thing that you can do to minimize damage caused by a storm is to prep your building. Equip it with storm windows, replace any old weather stripping with new, have your gutters inspected and, if necessary, replaced, and shut off any outside pipes. Frozen pipes tend to cause the most structural damage during the winter, so to prevent a pipe break, make sure that no liquid is allowed to sit in it.
Invest in Backup Power
Invest in a generator, as a winter storm has the potential to knock out your power. Not only do power outages often result in burst pipes because of lack of heat, but also they can cause data loss and fried electrical equipment. A generator can keep your business operating as normal and your assets, both physical and cyber, safe.
Invest in Snow Removal
When snow and ice are allowed to build up on your building or around your structure, moisture can seep into your building and cause unnecessary structural damage. Additionally, ice is a slipping hazard, which could put you at serious liability for personal injury. By investing in routine ice and snow removal, you can minimize damage and potentially costly accidents.
Have a Plan
If a winter storm becomes too severe, you may need to follow through with a disaster plan. Make sure you have one in place and that everyone in your office knows the drill.
Protect your business against damage and losses caused by winter storms. Prep your building, have backup options, invest in snow removal and have a plan to minimize loss this winter.
Who you Should Call after a Storm
This home experienced water damage due to cracks in the roof which lead to water making its way inside the home.
Who Do You Call?
When a storm comes down quickly and fast, it often finds cracks in the roofs, or the storm floods a part of your home, and remediation is often needed. Most homeowners do not think about who their remediation company might be if needed. Most people may never experience something like this and the idea of a contractor coming into your home is sheer terror. With all the nightmare stories that exist about contractors, it is no surprise!
We Will Put You At Ease
Here at SERVPRO of Madison County, we want to put your anxiety about hiring someone to come and make repairs to your home. We are here to help you get your home put back together and walk you through the entire process. We want to make sure that you have the confidence when you hire us that we will get the job done efficiently and correct the first time. Things are going to happen, how we react to them and how we prepare for them is the difference.
Call our SERVPRO of Madison County Team today at (256) 533-5335 for all of your storm damage needs. We are always here to help!
Small Storms Big Problems
Here in Huntsville, Alabama, we experience many small storms that cause flash flooding, lightning, and occasionally closed roads. We often overlook these storms because of their common occurrence but in reality, they can lead to big problems. Some of these problems include electrical damage, damaged roofing, fires, and structural damage.
Lightning is a scary but ignorable event in most all storms. The majority of people take precautions like getting out of pools and bodies of water to protect themselves from electric shock. But, many people don’t realize that their house may be in danger too. Our houses could easily catch fire if being struck by lightning or if lighting strikes a powerline it could cause a power surge. If your house is not protected from events like this the surge could continue into your house burning your insulation and melting the wires which will fuse them. For more ways to protect you and your home from lightning click here to visit Alabama.gov.
Another big way that small storms can affect our houses is by striping the roofing off our homes which leaves your house vulnerable to water damage. Missing shingles leaves the door open for moisture to enter your home and for mold to develop. As dreaded as water damages are, the problem doesn’t stop there. If the missing roofing is ignored water can make its way to the foundation of the house causing immense structural damage on the way down.
Flash Floods can be overlooked easily but they can pose big problems such as sanitary hazards, electrical hazards, and water damages. When flash floods occur human and livestock waste can be uncovered within the water. Which is very unsanitary and can lead to skin rashes and illnesses. If there are downed powerlines in the aftermath of the storm this can leave people near these lines extremely susceptible to being electrocuted. Along with these issues flash floods can cause water damages and lead to mold growth within your house.
All of these major issues can stem from a small storm that didn’t last more than a day. This is why it is important to protect your home and pay attention to new occurrences within your home in the aftermath of a storm no matter how big or small it was.
If you experience water, fire, or mold damage because of a storm we can help. Contact SERVPRO of South Madison County at (256)-533-5335
Storm Damage to your Huntsville, AL home or business?
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Size Disaster
- A Trusted Leader in the Storm and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
- Highly Trained Storm and Water Damage Restoration Specialists
Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (256) 533-5335.
Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges
SERVPRO of South Madison County has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial storm or water damage emergencies. Regardless of your property type or size, we will respond quickly to clean the property and manage the restoration project through to its completion. Learn more about our training and certifications.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of South Madison County will respond immediately to the storm or flood event affecting your commercial property, regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale events and disasters.
We are proud to be a part of our community and strive to provide the residents and business owners in our area the fastest response times and our best work each and every day.
Why is SERVPRO in Huntsville, Alabama Considered First Responders to Storm Damage from Storms
Storms can bring floodwater and storm damage. The professionals at SERVPRO are always on call to handle your water damage restoration needs.
SERVPRO Offers Flood Damage Response To Extreme Weather Events In Madison County
Huntsville seems to receive more than its share of extreme weather events, including high winds, tornadoes, heavy rain, and flooding. Our low-lying areas are prone to flooding, and even a relatively small storm can cause localized flooding in neighborhoods across the city.
SERVPRO maintains a fleet of trucks and equipment to respond to storm damage events in Madison County of any size. We are considered first responders to help homeowners and businesses board up their homes and business premises to protect their belongings from further damage. We also move possessions to dry areas after cleaning and drying to protect them from high moisture levels.
We call on franchises across the state and the country for assistance during extreme weather events. Boarding up a home prevents further damage from wind and rain. We can help manage 3rd party contractor’s complete repairs to your home, in addition to removing water and drying flooded areas of the structure.
Call SERVPRO for storm damage assistance for your home or business:
- Emergency Services Water Damage
- Mold Inspections, Remediation, and Removal
- Water Damage Restoration
Call SERVPRO of Madison County for flood damage in Huntsville and surrounding areas. We can help 24/7. Call (256) 533-5335
How You And Your Family Can Be Prepared For 2021 Storm Season
Visit ready.gov for preparedness and planning tips.
Hurricane season has officially started as of TODAY 06/01/2021 in the Atlantic area! Don’t wait to start preparing! By taking FEMA’s suggestions today, you can become better prepared for a storm no matter when it hits.
Fema has suggested the following to help better prepare for a storm:
Take action today to prepare for hurricanes and other tropical systems:
Know your risk. These storms are not just a coastal threat. Extreme flooding and damaging winds could occur hundreds of miles inland from the coast.
Begin planning. Know what you’ll do if a storm is coming to your area, how to stay in touch with family and friends, and where you will go if your home is unsafe. Visit ready.gov for preparedness and planning tips.
Make a kit. Make sure you have non-perishable food items, water, essential documents, flashlights, a battery (pack) or other means of charging your cell phone, an NOAA weather radio, toys or comfort items for kids, and any supplies needed for your pet.Have enough supplies to last at least 72 hours but preparing to be on your own for up to a week is a good idea.Learn more at ready.gov/kit.
Download the FEMA app. By having the FEMA app installed on your smartphone you can receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, share real-time notifications with loved ones, review emergency preparedness tips and checklists, locate emergency shelters, and more.
Stay informed. Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your mobile phone to receive emergency alerts from the National Weather Service. (An) NOAA Weather Radio can also provide these lifesaving emergency alerts.
Pay attention to weather forecasts in your area provided by local news outlets or the National Weather Service. Many people also use weather apps on their mobile phones for this purpose.
Always follow the guidance of local officials during an emergency. If your community has an emergency alert system you should consider signing up. Contact your local emergency manager for more information.
Purchase flood insurance. Talk to your insurance provider about your coverage and determine if you would be covered in the event of a flood.
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
Flood insurance takes 30 days to become effective – don’t wait until the last minute!
Visit floodsmart.gov for more information.
Known your zone. If you live in a coastal area, become familiar with community evacuation plans, evacuation zones, and evacuation routes. Where will you go and how will you get there?
More information on how to prepare may be found at ready.gov/hurricanes.
This article and more information on Hurricane Season can be found on Fema’s website at https://www.fema.gov/press-release/20210601/fema-encourages-individual-and-community-preparedness-2021-atlantic
If you experience storm damage from a hurricane here in the Huntsville, Alabama and surrounding areas, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to help! Give us a call at 256-533-5335
What to do after a Storm Damage?
SERVPRO of South Madison County knows the stress that unexpected storm damage can bring and we are here to provide the complete service of restoration and cleanup to remodeling and reconstruction. We offer these complete services to help you get through the difficult times no matter the day. When mitigating the initial damage, we utilize what is needed to get the job done efficiently. Our process may utilize deodorizers as odor treatments or EPA-registered disinfectants as antimicrobial treatments. We will remove and dispose of damaged materials and saturated insulation as needed for the structure. We make sure to check the extent of wet flooring, subfloors and walls before proceeding with equipment and any demolition. This is where it's time to see what is restorable versus replaceable. We are available at any time of day for your storm needs.
If you have the unfortunate event of a storm causing damage to your Huntsville, Alabama home, call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335.
Being Prepared in a Storm Situation
Don't Forget Your Emergency Kit
We should always be prepared for the unexpected. It is very hard to predict when a natural disaster will occur. Emergency disaster kits are important steps to be prepared and to help protect your household from these events. Make sure your emergency kit is in a readily available place that is known to everyone in the household.
Here are a couple of items that should be included in your emergency disaster kit:
First aid kit
Batteries, power banks, & a cell phone with chargers
Set of clothes & shoes
Whistle to signal for help
Set of tools
Box of matches or lighter
Battery powered clock / and or radio
Personal items (ie. toiletries, extra pair of contact lenses -if you use them- etc.)
All of these items can be bought at stores or you can even purchase prepared kits online if you would like to purchase a kit that is ready to go. SERVPRO of South Madison County hopes you could share this information with friends or family to help them be prepared and safe for any unexpected events.
Why use SERVPRO for Storm Restoration Work?
5 Reasons to use SERVPRO for storm damage restoration in Huntsville, AL.
24-Hour Emergency Service
Unfortunately, disaster can strike at any time, and when it comes to water damage after a storm, time is of the essence. Every second a structure is exposed to water increases the chances of mold growth. Our SERVPRO team of North and South Madison County is on-call 24-7, including holidays, to help after a storm. The professionals at SERVPRO are available 24-hours a day and work to provide storm restoration services for both residential properties and commercial buildings. They respond to calls quickly to minimize damage and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration.
Certification and Experience
It is very important to have experienced professionals when dealing with water or fire damage. Look for a company with certifications backed up by real-world experience. The technicians at SERVPRO are all IICRC certified. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets high-quality standards for restoration companies. Employees at SERVPRO are constantly learning new techniques through e-Classes and certification training.
Storm damage restoration is a complex process and requires advanced technology. Choosing a restoration company with the proper tools is crucial to minimizing damage. SERVPRO only uses the best technology and equipment, including water removal machines, moisture exposing tools, and deodorization materials. They have access to equipment housed in over 1,700 franchises and even have designated disaster recovery teams.
Locally Owned and Operated
Locally owned companies are more invested in ensuring communities bounce back after major storms. Their clients aren’t just clients—they’re neighbors, friends, and family. SERVPRO is a nationwide franchise, but each franchise is locally owned. This combination gives home and business owners the best of both worlds: the customer care and localized knowledge that comes with a local company and a large corporation's resources.
Familiar with Insurance Requirements
Storm damage restoration can be stressful. However, dealing with insurance providers afterward can be even worse. The best storm restoration companies are familiar with all major insurance providers and provide assistance with the claims process.
Flashback: ‘The Storm of the Century’
Here in the South, we are not as well equipped to handle significant snowfall as our fellow Northerners who experience it every year. Some may even joke that we can’t handle snowfall, period.
One year, we didn’t have a choice. We are sentimental today and decided to reminisce. Do you remember the ‘The Storm of the Century’, ‘granddaddy of ‘em all’, the ‘Superstorm of 1993’? If not, let us refresh your memory...7 inches of snow fell on Huntsville! As strong as a category 3 hurricane, but with freezing temperatures and snow, the ‘snowicane’ hit all 67 counties in Alabama with snow.
Don’t worry, the winter-time feels didn’t last long. It was below freezing that Sunday and back into the 60s by Tuesday. For a brief moment in time, we got to experience what some Northerners see as a normal winter.
Now, back to our scolding summer...
SERVPRO® of South Madison County Becoming Storm Team Certified
We are excited to announce that SERVPRO® of South Madison County is now a proud franchise of the SERVPRO® Storm Team!
What is the Storm Team? When a tornado, hurricane or flood devastates an area, it can be difficult for the local businesses to keep up due to the influx of services required. This is exactly why SERVPRO® created the Storm Team, a network of strategically positioned teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO® is prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Storm Teams include:
Dixie Alley: The New Tornado Alley
We’ve all heard of Tornado Alley, but have you heard of Dixie Alley? If you haven’t...now you have! And guess what? We’re in it.
A ‘recent study suggests that Dixie Alley is surpassing traditional Tornado Alley in terms of number of tornadoes and frequency of events’ (https://www.cbs17.com/weather/weather-stories/tornado-alley-is-shifting-eastward-into-the-mid-south/).
With increasing threats of tornadoes, it is more important than ever to be as prepared as possible.
Have a Plan: When you hear a tornado siren or are told to take shelter, do you know where you are going? Whether it’s a tornado shelter, windowless room in the lowest level of your home or a designated local community center, have a plan in place as to where you will seek shelter.
Prepare Ahead of Time: If you have a tornado shelter at your residence or a selected room, prep that area with helmets, bottled water, snacks, a portable charger, etc. You can even get it ready now!
Stay Connected: When you know a severe storm is heading your way, charge readily used electronics. If the power goes out, you will still be able to connect via broadband cellular network and browse Facebook, Twitter, FEMA for updates.
Know Who to Call: Once the storm is over, if you encounter water or fire damage, call a professional to help. SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to be of service in all your property damage restoration needs, including board ups! Call us at 256-533-5335. We are available 24/7 365 days a year.
Did You Know? A Couple of Interesting Facts About Storms
Recently, we stumbled across a couple of intriguing facts about storms. Maybe you already know about these? But if not, we think we may blow your mind!
“Thousands of years ago philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds” (https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/weather/thunder.html). Honestly, we think that is a pretty good theory considering the time!
It can thunder when it’s snowing. Wait, what?! Yes, you read that right. “Intense bands of snow can develop during blizzards and effect snow events in much the same way that a regular thunderstorm would form when it’s warm out. These strong bands can produce lightening and loud cracks of thunder all while dumping copious amounts of snow in a short period of time” (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/502190/11-booming-facts-about-thunderstorms).
And don’t forget...Fact #3: You can call SERVPRO® of South Madison County 24/7 365 for any storm-related water damage (256-533-5335).
Take on Storms with Technology
With severe storms increasing in Dixie Alley, it is important to be ready at a moment’s notice! Storm technology has improved greatly over the years, especially in increasing the time we have to prepare. Technology has become a vital tool not only before a storm, but during and after as well. It allows us to stay informed on the progression of the storm and keep in communication with others. A few tips to help you be ready the next time a storm is on the horizon:
If you have enough warning time, charge the electronics you readily use to 100% in case of a power outage. Need a backup? Portable chargers and solar-powered chargers are great resources.
Track the Storm
Get the most up-to-date information by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels and governments, as well as your local weatherman/weatherwoman. Facebook and Twitter are great social media platforms for this.
Mark Yourself Safe
The Safety Check feature on Facebook is a great tool to use to let friends and family know that you are safe during an emergency event or disaster. Facebook will even prompt/notify you to use this feature if you are located in an affected area at that time. You can also utilize the Safe & Well feature on The American Red Cross site.
Have a Plan in Place
SERVPRO® of South Madison County is proud to offer The SERVPRO® Ready Plan, a free tool for both residential and commercial properties. With this plan, you create an Emergency READY Profile, which helps minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Create one today at ready.SERVPRO.com. Need help in developing the plan for your property or business? Call us at 256-533-5335.
Preparation for the Next Storm
Storm in Huntsville, AL
One of the most important reasons to prepare for emergencies is so that quick, informed decisions can be made in the midst of crisis.
Having specific plans in place minimizes fear and confusion, and can ultimately save lives.
Know what threats are in your area and plan for situations that may result, should they affect you.
Consider being stuck in your home or what to do if immediate evacuation is necessary.
Assemble GO KITS to be kept in your home and cars to ensure you have provisions and tools you may need to survive or treat injuries.
Take any action necessary, based on your plans that would make your response easier and faster for you and your family.
Make sure family members can turn off utilities if necessary.
Going through the motions will reinforce actions that each individual should take and help them be clear minded and calm.
If Your Home or Business is Damaged by a Storm, Call SERVPRO
Residential storm damage caused an intrusion of water
When your home or business sustains damage from a storm, you need help quickly and you need a company with the experience and expertise to get the job done right.
When you call the restoration specialists at SERVPRO of South Madison County, our team will be on-site quickly to assess the damage and create a plan to get you back into your home or business quickly. Our fast response helps to minimize further damage and reduce costs. With a network of over 1700 franchises, we have the manpower and resources to handle any size situation.
Damage caused by sudden storms can be devastating and overwhelming. We will work with your insurance company and walk you through the process of returning your property to its preloss state. Services that we provide include: water extraction, dehumidification, mold remediation, carpet cleaning, and odor removal. If your home or business has been damaged by a storm, call SERVPRO of South Madison County, anytime day or night at 256-533-5335.
Tornado safety tips
1. Stay away from windows/doors that lead to the outside.
2. Take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture.
3. Use hands/arms to protect our head/neck.
1. Get in low area/ditch or crouch next to sturdy building.
2. Use hands/arms to protect head/neck.
1. Get out and get as far away from vehicle as possible.
2. Follow instructions for outside safety procedure.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF FLOODING IN YOUR AREA.
Remember: October is a high warning time for tornadoes and hurricanes in Alabama. Stay safe!
Storm Team Preparedness
If you aren't familiar with the SERVPRO system, all franchises are individually owned and operated. Headquarters is located in Gallatin, Tennessee but we also have four storm teams. One of those storm teams is located in Birmingham, Alabama.
For instance, if some type of event such as a hurricane or tornado comes through then the storm team in Birmingham facilitates sending other franchises to go in and help those other franchises affected in that area. This usually happens with the local franchises are too inundated to handle the jobs coming in.
Franchises from all over the United States will drive thousands of miles to come help those in need. We are one big "green" family! So if you are ever in need during some catastrophic event, don't hesitate to call us! We are available 24/7, 365!
Thunder storm safety tips!
A thunder storm watch means that a storm is close to or coming soon to your area. A thunder storm warning means that the storm is about to hit or has already arrived in your area.
Here's a few tips on how to stay safe during a thunder storm!
- Keep an eye on the sky. Watch the weather at all times.
- Find a safe place. A building or car will do. Make sure all the windows are closed and avoid places with a lot of metal such as bleachers or dugouts.
- If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
- If with others, stay about 15 feet apart.
- Stay away and out of water!
- Stay away from metal and remove backpacks/purses because they usually contain metal.
- After the storm has passed wait 30 minutes before resuming to usual activities.
- Avoid water. Don't shower, do laundry, wash dishes, or wash your hands.
- Do not use cords! Chargers, extensions, corded phones are bad idea during a thunder storm.
- Do not use electrical equipment. Computers or other electrical appliances.
- Stay inside and away from windows. Keep all windows and doors closed.
If someone is struck by lightening call 911 for help immediately. The person struck will no carry any charge so it is okay to touch them.
Warm Weather Energy Efficiency Tips
Ensure air conditioning vents are unobstructed and opened to full capacity.
Get your air conditioning unit serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Clean range-hood grease filter to ensure proper ventilation.
Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils to improve efficiency.
Remember that dark colors absorb heat. You can repel excess heat by using light-colored blinds, shades and draperies on the sunny sides of the house. Make sure the draperies are insulated or lined.
Use natural lighting early in the day and late in the afternoon to reduce your energy usage.
Use ventilated awnings and other shading devices to prevent heat from entering windows exposed to direct sunlight.
Perform activities such as mopping and washing dishes in the coolest part of the day. These tasks add moisture - and heat - to your home in the summer.
Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open a window to remove heat and moisture when the bathroom door is closed. This spares the air conditioner extra work.
Use your kitchen exhaust fan to remove excess heat, moisture and cooking odors. But don't let it run more than 15 minutes after cooking or it will be taking out conditioned air.
Try setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or above during the summer. If you have a ceiling fan, you may be able to raise the temperature to 80 degrees or higher.
Set the thermostat and then forget it. If you change the temperature often during the day, you are more likely to waste energy.
Hang laundry outside to dry during the warm weather. Running the dryer raises the overall temperature of the house and requires a great deal of electricity.
Tornado Safety in Madison County
IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Call us if you suspect any damage in your home or business from tornadoes! We are available in Madison County 365 days a year, 24/7!
Prepare for Hurricane Season & Flooding!
Are you prepared in case a storm event happens in your area? I know it's easy for us to think "that won't happen to me or my family!" but you honestly never know. Just this past weekend in Alabama we had unexpected flooding throughout the State.
There are many websites you can go to and look at how to become prepared in case of a Hurricane or flooding event. Things such as an evacuation plan, having important documents or medication in a safe place, having bags packed or even moving things to higher places like an attic.
Stay away from flooded areas and do not drive through the water! We want you to keep our number handy and call us if you need us!
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Frigid winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing. We’ve pulled together tips to help prevent frozen pipes and a list of suggestions for you to follow if they do.
Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. That’s especially the case when you are at below freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive.
To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:
- Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
- Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
- Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
- Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
- Place a 60-watt bulb in areas where you’re concerned about pipes freezing. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
- Take swift action if the pipes located inside an exterior wall are freezing. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.
Signs of frozen pipes
One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, first head to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.
If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:
- Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
- Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.
If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, scouring the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
- Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.
Basic Flood Safety Tips
More than half of flood-related drownings occur when someone drives into hazardous water.
Floods are intense and dangerous. While waters may look calm, don’t be fooled. A mere 6 inches of water can take down a full-grown man, sweeping him into the often unrelenting currents. If you are ever caught in a flood, you should be aware of basic flood safety, and review the five safety tips below.
The first safety tip is to listen to warnings and evacuate, if so ordered. Never assume to know better than the agencies that are warning you. Also, keep in mind that when areas are evacuated it likely means that emergency services will not be available in those areas for the time being.
2. Turn around. Don’t Drown!
If you are unable or unwilling to evacuate your home, then whatever you do avoid areas that are flooding around you and attempt to stay on dry land. The adage of “Turn around. Don’t drown!” is not to be taken lightly. To remain safe during the flood, it is essential that you avoid rising water for as long as possible.
3. Avoid Bridges
While bridges may appear to be dry and stable, if there is fast-moving water directly underneath them, it is basic flood safety to avoid them because they can be washed away with little warning.
4. Listen to Emergency Broadcasts
If you have a radio or cellular service during the flood, be sure to stay tuned into NOAA Weather Radio, EAS, or a local alert system to stay up-to-date on any further developments in your area. These stations can provide valuable information about rescue developments and any new storm surges.
5. Elevate Yourself
The most important element of surviving a flood is to elevate yourself. Try to remain above the rising water but do not allow yourself to get trapped in a room with no exits, like an attic.
While these flood safety tips cover the basics, you’ll want to check with the local emergency management office or other experts in your area to verify any other necessary safety precautions.
What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims?
The Northeast and the Southern states are both at high risk for wind-related damage.
You may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of homeowner insurance claims is not fire damage or water damage. It’s wind and hail damage.
According to The Insurance Information Institute, national statistics (2010 to 2014) from property & casualty insurance companies show that 3 out of 100 homeowners filed claims in the wind/hail category. The number of claims caused by wind/hail was nearly double the second most frequent reason for homeowner claims. In that second position? Water damage and freezing.
Fires Cause The Most Damage
Water damage and freezing claims were made by nearly 19 out of 1,000 homeowners. Though fire claims are much rarer—fewer than four claims per 1,000 homes—fires cause the most property damage. The average fire claim in the U.S. was for $39,791. By contrast, the average wind or hail claim totaled $8,041.
One Company Paid $2.4 Billion in 2014 Homeowner Claims
The losses covered by just one insurance company are large. Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas.
Read Our Other Blog Posts
If you’re concerned about making sure your house is well prepared for a wind, hail, fire, water, or other natural disaster, look through the many blog posts here on our website. We cover many specifics. We try to give you information that will protect your family, home, and business from natural disasters.
Visit Your Insurance Company's Website
Go to your homeowner insurance company's website. Many insurance companies publish tips on their websites on how you can avoid claims. The Travelers website talks about installing water sensors to keep small leaks from becoming big ones. At Nationwide’s website, you can learn how to make sure your home is covered for all it’s full value. State Farm and Allstate also have numerous blog posts with tips for homeowners and renters.
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256) 533-5335
Lightning Safety Tips
Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These accidents are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.
1) Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.
2) Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.
3) Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.
4) Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.
5) Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.
6) If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.
Prepare for a thunderstorm
All thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. On average, lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more in the US each year. Dangers associated with thunderstorms include strong winds, flash flooding, hail, and even tornadoes.
To prepare for a thunderstorm:
- Trim or remove tree limbs near your home. Remove any dead or rotting trees.
- Secure outdoor items.
- Postpone or cancel outdoor activities.
- Go inside - if you can't reach a building, get in a hard-top vehicle.
- Secure doors and windows. Close blinds, curtains, or shutters.
- Unplug electronics.
When a thunderstorm occurs:
- Remember this phrase: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". Go inside during thunderstorms.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio such as a NOAA Weather Radio for updates and information.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from lightning-caused power surges.
- Water conducts electricity. Water-based activities and chores should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
- Windows, porches, and doorways can be dangerous in storms - stay inside.
- If you can't get inside, try to avoid natural lightning rods - like a large tree in an open field, and try not to be the tallest thing on a hill, open field, or beach.
- Try not to touch metal - including your car - metal conducts electricity.
- Stay in your car if you're driving. Pull over and turn on your hazard lights until heavy rain ends.
After the storm passes:
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Keep a close eye on your pets to keep them safe.
The professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County are highly trained and certified. Our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge they need to help with any water or fire loss.
SERVPRO of South Madison County
We are here to help 24/7!
Clogged Gutters Can Worsen Potential Flood Damage
Gutters should not overflow and all surface water should be directed away from your home.
Does your home have a basement or crawl space? If so, you should take some time to inspect how heavy rains flow from your roof. An clogged gutter will overflow and dump water right next to your foundation which could lead to a water damage in the basement or crawl space.
Inspect and clean your home’s gutters and downspouts at least once a year. It may seem that all storm damage results from rising waters, but the reality is that the rainfall cascading off your home’s roof could contribute quite a bit to that. If your home’s gutters and downspouts are not properly directing this runoff, you could end up with a damaged foundation, roof damage and more flooding than you would have had otherwise.
Also, make sure your downspout extensions direct water away from your home's foundation. They should extend out at least 3 feet to an area where the water will drain away from your home.
Next time the Huntsville/Madison County area is hit with heavy rains, take a minute to inspect around your home for these issues. If despite your best efforts to prevent flood damage, you do experience flooding in your home, it is important to get help from a professional storm damage company as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of South Madison County can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Huntsville's Regulations & Planning To Minimize Flooding
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."
With all of the rain over the weekend, many communities in the Tennessee Valley have experienced some flooding issues. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. While the weather can't be controlled, there are proactive measures that can be taken to minimize flooding.
Thirteen percent of Huntsville’s developed property is within floodplains. Here are some steps that city officials have put into place to minimize flooding:
- Huntsville officials established strict flood mitigation regulations in 1991 that have been constantly re-examined and updated
- All new commercial and residential development must have retaining areas or draining that can manage the flow of excess water
- Any building within the flood zones must be elevated or flood-proof
- Homes in newer neighborhoods in south Huntsville with a proximity to the river and the feeder creeks must be a foot higher off the ground than standard
- Public Works, Landscape Management and Engineering share the role in keeping waterways free of debris, though landowners must assume a role in clearing banks and ditches adjacent to their property
- Land in floodplain area that couldn’t be adopted as commercial or residential has been transformed into greenspace (recreational areas for walking, hiking and biking)
- Most Huntsville residential draining systems are designed for a 10-year storm, meaning an event that has a 10 percent chance of happening each year
- Huntsville is a participant in a National Flood Insurance program through FEMA and also provides updates to residents whose homes are in floodplains
Our Work In Houston
For the last month, we have had crews in Houston helping other SERVPRO franchises clean up flood damaged homes and businesses. We frequently send crews out of town to help other SERVPRO franchises when a large disaster such as a hurricane or flood affects their area.
Our first round of crews left Huntsville on August 29th. They were loaded up with equipment and supplies and had quite a long drive. Because flood damaged materials must be removed for proper restoration, they faced hard work removing flooring and drywall day after day. They also work long hours and weekends. After two weeks, we always swap out our crews. The original crews need and deserve a rest after all of their hard work and the new crews are rested and ready to help those who need it.
We operate on a wait list and were given a list of 50 homeowners needing our help when we arrived. Eventually that list grew to 80 names. Our primary focus is to remove damaged materials and dry out the home as quickly as possible to prevent secondary damage and mold growth. We also want to save as much of the homeowner's belongings as possible.
Our crews received raving reviews from many of the homeowners that they worked so hard to help. We are very proud of their efforts and hard work!
Great job, SERVPRO TEAM!
Flood Damage Can Lead To Mold Problems
Mold can be a growing problem in the aftermath of floods.
When the Huntsville area is hit with heavy rains, it sometimes results in flood damage to homes and businesses. Basements are a common problem for homeowners. Flood waters also enter a home or business through a garage or other entry door.
SERVPRO usually fields lots of calls in our office after flooding. Homeowners are anxious to get back in their homes. Some call us for help. Some call for advice. And, unfortunately, many don't call us and simply try to clean up the water damage themselves.
Those people often end up calling us later when they discover mold growing. Mold grows best in damp areas where humidity is high. Moisture in basements, walls, carpets and wood provide an environment for mold to flourish.
If your home or business suffered flood or water damage recently, please take the time to inspect the area carefully. If you see mold or suspect mold may be present, give SERVPRO a call.
Why You Should Repair Minor Storm Damage Quickly
Left alone, minor damage often becomes major damage.
In the Huntsville/Madison County region, some storms may not seem very powerful, but weaker storms can be deceiving. Hearing about a predicted minor storm may cause you to think that there’s little possibility your Huntsville home or business will suffer storm damage. However, storm damage doesn’t always mean 3 feet of water in your basement or a 100 foot spruce tree sitting in your bedroom.
Storm damage as minor as losing a few roof shingles or a broken window can hurt. Both of these situations and many others require repairs. Left alone, minor damage (like a slow leak or a little crack) can worsen over time. Preventing minor storm damage from becoming a major issue can stop higher repair bills from sneaking up on you.
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256)533-5335 Anytime
Minor Leads To Major
Huntsville homeowners and business owners who don’t repair minor damage often are forced to face much greater damage in time. SERVPRO of South Madison County can help you make minor repairs before they become major headaches. By not procrastinating you avoid the risk of major repairs and major inconveniences in the future.
Welcome Mat For Rodents
Any opening (missing shingles, peeling siding, etc.) sends a welcome mat for water and insects, and rodents to enter. Larger openings in your roof can permit rodents and birds to come in and make their homes in your attic space. Some rodents are more damaging than others and won't stay in the attic but will find their way into other areas of your home.
Extensive Restoration Training
Because we are SERVPRO of South Madison County, we have extensive training in all aspects of repairs and restorations. That’s true for both residential and commercial properties. We have completed jobs of all sizes over the years, and we can successfully handle any size disaster, including the one you’re facing. Our certifications cover the many different cleaning and restorative types of work that storm damage can cause.
We are ready to restore your home or business to its previous beautiful condition. Minor repairs now can provide major protection for your home or business later.
Heavy Rains Expected? SERVPRO is Ready!
Heavy rainfall forecast for Huntsville and Madison County between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning
Whenever heavy rains are expected in the Huntsville/Madison County area, SERVPRO of South Madison County understands the potential for serious problems for homeowners and businesses. If you find yourself in over your head with water problems call your qualified SERVPRO team today and we'll get you back on track fast, so fast you'll wonder why you ever hesitated to make the call at all!
Do you have a water damage, roof leak, sump pump failure, or need any general clean up from water problems and/or flooding? Call us today and we'll make it all go away!
SERVPRO of South Madison County proudly serves those in need! We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve. We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. Let us help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs, Call SERVPRO of South Madison County 256-533-5335
When Storms or Floods hit Madison County, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Madison County.
SERVPRO of South Madison County 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, 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 Madison County, 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 256-533-5335
Flood Damages and Flood Insurance In North Alabama
In North Alabama we know how drastic the weather can be and how suddenly it can change. It is important to know the terms associated with flooding and what kind of coverage you have on your home.
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible.
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.
Knowing About Flood Insurance:
- Regular homeowners insurance does not cover flood water damages and when purchased from you insurance company is ran through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- If there is sewage back up caused by a flood then it would be only be covered by flood insurance.
- Upon the purchase of flood insurance there is a 30 Day waiting period before the insurance kicks in, so it is important to plan ahead.
- Find out if you are in a flood plain. If you are not you want to calculate the risk of not having flood insurance.