Recent Storm Damage Posts
Severe Storms Are Becoming More Frequent and More Costly | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen to start the restoration process.
We’re all aware that 2020 was a challenging year but did you also know that 2020 saw more weather disasters than any previous year on record.
Once a storm hits the billion-dollar mark in terms of damage caused, it’s officially given the dubious moniker of “disaster.” The U.S. suffered 22 such events in 2020, and of course there were many other weather events that didn’t reach the disaster threshold—in fact, the National Weather Service didn’t prepare enough names to be able to keep up with all the Atlantic storms the year produced, so they ended up using Greek letters to serve as additional names.
Not Just Hurricanes
It’s easy to blame hurricanes for causing costly damages, because they’re so obviously devastating. But it so happened that the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Of the year’s 22 official disasters, 14 of them were storms or storm events like tropical storms Fay and Isaias, which dumped floodwaters and took out power for days at a time in the Bergen area.
To give you an idea of the power of a single storm: In August, a single storm system in Nebraska became a rare derecho (kind of like a tornado made up of cutting straight-line winds) took out over 100 million acres of corn fields—an area more than 150,000 square miles—threatening over 11% of the entire country’s corn production, and half the crop of the state.
Not Just 2020
While we hope for gentler years to come, it’s hard not to notice that 2020 was following a trend toward more extreme weather events. Each of the last 10 years has produced at least eight of the billion-dollar disasters, and several of those years have set records of their own, such as the $300 billion in damages caused by storms in 2017.
Precautions against storm and water damage should be part of every property owner’s routine. But should extreme weather overwhelm your preparation or cause unforeseen damage, remember SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day for emergency help, and we’ll be there “Faster to Any Size Disaster.”
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.
Flood Damage Cleanup Process and Tips
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen is an IICRC Certified restoration business.
Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen to Provide Flood Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Your Bergen County Home
Flooding can cause damage, leading to serious issues both to the interior and exterior of a Bergen County home. Flooding can take place fast with minimal warning, and flood damage can leave your home requiring significant repairs. It can be overwhelming recovering from a flood and understand the steps to take afterward.
Floodwater can be dangerous
Floodwater can affect human health because there could be bacteria, viruses, pesticides, and sharp objects, among other biohazardous substances. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen Technicians have the training and experience cleaning up, drying, disinfecting a flooded house safely.
Precautions you should take after a flood
After a flood, you should take some precautions to avoid injury and extensive damage to your property. They include:
- Avoid walking in floodwater and wear personal protective gear like boots and gloves if you must walk in it.
- Turn off the electricity at the mains.
- Call your insurance firm to inform it about the incident.
- Check your home for signs of damage that needs professional help to repair such as bulges or cracks in the walls and changes to the structure.
Restoring a flooded Property
The task of cleaning up your flood-damaged home can be a lengthy process, particularly in the case of severe water infiltration. Our SERVPRO crew seeks to understand the nature of the flood. The existence of biological or chemical contaminants, and sewage in the floodwater dictates the way we manage recovery. For standing water containing the above items, we have the equipment for extraction and safe disposal.
We also consider the height the floodwater reached and its rate of flow around and inside the building. We use powerful extractors to remove water quickly. Our team then uses air moving and dehumidifying equipment to dry the home. We also use deodorization, antibacterial and anti-fungal products to eliminate odors and microorganisms from the affected areas of a structure.
When your home has flood damage, call the company you can trust SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen at (201)236-2400 for an immediate response to your flood damage disaster. We are Faster To Any Size Disaster.
What Dangers Can Thunderstorms Cause? | SERVPRO® of Northwest Bergen
Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen if you experience any damage.
In the spring and summer, thunderstorms are a fairly regular occurrence—enough so that people tend to become immune to the threat they pose over time. While many thunderstorms occur without serious repercussions, with weather that severe, there is always the potential that damage will occur and danger is imminent.
Any storm that produces thunder is considered a thunderstorm—and any time there is thunder, there is lightning as well. A thunderstorm is upgraded to severe if winds reach a speed of 58 miles per hour and hail is greater than one inch in diameter, both of which can cause significant threats to your property and person.
The Threats That Severe Thunderstorms Pose
Damage and injury from lightning strikes. As previously mentioned, every thunderstorm contains lightning even if you are not able to see it. Lightning-related injuries occur approximately 300 times every year, and there are even more incidents reported of lightning causing house fires or causing trees to topple onto buildings. There are many myths about where lightning will and will not strike, but really, anywhere can become a viable target during a storm.
Property damage due to hail. While hail does not occur during every storm, if the thunderstorm is classified as severe that means hail will be present. Hail can present serious dangers to property, and can also cause injury if someone is caught outside in the storm. Hail has been known to not only dent cars, but also damage the siding and roofs of homes that are in its path due to the serious speeds it can fall at if conditions are right.
Harm from flash flooding. Though flooding is often associated with waterways, flash floods can occur for a variety of reasons during heavy rain. Storm drain backups and overwhelmed tributaries are extremely common, meaning that nearly anywhere can flood if the conditions are right. Floodwaters can knock people off their feet, carry away cars and cause significant injuries or death, so stay far away from any area that has rising water.
Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 24⁄7 for more information about our storm restoration practices.
Storm Damage: Cold Weather Issues
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. In Northern New Jersey temperatures often sink below freezing level, and your property is at risk for frozen pipes, which can create a major disaster at your home or business. Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold ares such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the back-flow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. to prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
- When weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
If you have any water damage caused by a burst pipe call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County at 1-800-497-7179.
To learn more about storm damage and our services visit our Storm Damage web page.
You Can Be Ruined or You Can Be READY! And SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen Can Help!
With the Help of Technology
Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters. The following are tips to help you be ready and use technology in the event of any flood or storm disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store information securely online. Services like Google Drive, and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records and information on your pets if necessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and your local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well Check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to contact before, during and after a disaster. SERVPRO has the READY Plan APP, download the APP and be READY for any fire, water or mold disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
Get an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen offers an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for free to help prepare you, your property or your business for an emergency. By having an ERP done in advance you 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 and cost effective mitigation. Call our office for more information regarding your ERP Profile for your property or business.
source: Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Issue 2
Are You Winter READY?
Are you and your Bergen County home prepared for the coming cold weather?
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow, all extreeme weather can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your foundation. Clear gutters of debris, leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water damage problems.
- Inspect handrails and stairwells as well as entryways to address and correct potential slippery surfaces.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside the cabinet. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucets to ensure it drains.
- Call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen about completing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or downloading the READY Plan APP and list us as your damage restoration company.
CALL US TODAY AT 201-236-2400
Is Your Bergen County Home Ready For A Storm?
Weather can have a huge impact on your Bergen County home if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious damage. While you cannot control weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather.
- Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Obstructions can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside. If you have outdoor faucets, turn off the water at the main valve.
- Ask SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen about completing an Emergency READY Profile for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment of your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster. For residential customers download the ERP App and input your property information, and emergency contacts. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen can be listed as your emergency contact for storm, flood, water, fire and biohazard damage restoration. Give us a call today 201-236-2400.
After The Storm: Leaks May Cause Mold Growth
Did You Know? There is a Water Damage Timeline
Intrusion of water into your home from a storm can result in mold growth. When water damages are not addressed right away, the result is an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Mold may appear within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage intrusion event if the conditions are conducive to mold growth.
SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen located in Northern New Jersey handles water damages every day, and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your home or business building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which helps prevent secondary damage like mold growth.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may begin to bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears. Mold spores grow if conditions are conducive to microbial growth.
Before risking further damage to you home, and belongings don't try to clean a water damage incident on your own, instead call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County at (201) 236-2400 to handle the water damage cleanup and restoration.
Be Flood Smart
Water Damage from Heavy Rains and Flooding: Clean up & Restoration
Flooding from a storm or heavy rains can happen fast. After the recent storms in Bergen County, New Jersey many homes have suffered water damage that never had any before. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency or evacuation due to flooding.
- Water-3+ day supply; one gallon per day per person
- Food-3+day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (all sizes)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes, canes)
- Multi-purpose tool, supplies to secure your home
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication lists, deed/lease to home, insurance policies, birth certificates)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies, pet supplies
- Extra car and house keys
- Extra clothing for both warm, cold and rainy weather-sturdy footwear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Be prepared and make sure your family is safe, then call our trusted office staff at (201)236-2400 to schedule an appointment with SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County to handle the water damage cleanup professionally and quickly before any secondary mold damage can take over and cause even more costly repairs.
After the Storm
After any water damage situation, like a storm your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Floods from heavy rains is one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along a city street, in the mountains, near a river or even in a desert--there is always a potential for flood damage.
Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County, even minor floods can lead to major damage when not treated quickly and properly. Cleanup is often an overwhelming task for the average homeowner without the right equipment. SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen County Service Technicians can handle any size disaster large or small. Read Storm and Water Damage Tips
Be Prepared For ANY Type Of Storm
Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
If your home has water damage due to a storm, call the professional cleanup crew at SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen (201)236-2400 to help we offer storm damage cleanup and restoration visit Storm Damage Cleanup Services for more information.
Plan Ahead and Build an Emergency Kit
Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. https://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit.
- 3-day Supply of non-perishable food
- Water-One gallon per person per day
- First-aid kit
- Prescription Medication
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra Batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in weatherproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant supplies
- Important documents in weatherproof container (insurance documents, bank records, IDs)
You can also keep a condensed Emergency Kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive kit go to ready.gov/
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather and temperatures falling below freezing can bring about home water damage issues such as frozen pipes and ice dams. These damages are costly to repair and in most instances can be prevented.
Frozen pipes are not only those exposed to the cold weather, such as outdoor pipes, but also pipes in cold areas like basements, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your home if not properly and quickly fixed.
According to The American Red Cross here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Drain water completely from swimming pool, sprinkler system and outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
- In extreme cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set at the same temperature day and night. The temperature should not be set below 55°f
Ice dams can cause major damage during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, (source Travelers.com) check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along ceiling of exterior walls in your home. These are indicators that ice dams have occurred and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Remove the ice dam quickly to prevent major water damage to your homes exterior and interior. Using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt can be used to alleviate the ice dam problem.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO has trained professional technicians ready to restore your property.