Recent Storm Damage Posts

Are You Prepared For The Snow Storm Aftermath

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Snow Pile Around House Snow piling Around House

Did you realize that 1 inch of snow can produce almost 3,000 gallons of water per acre?  A fast melting snow could be devastating to your basement. There is also a good chance that your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover this type of loss.  It is a good idea to be prepared for such an event.  

Instead of storing basement contents in bags or boxes you may consider using plastic totes. Plastic totes would not only keep the water out but are stackable for storing convenience.   If you have sentimental or valuable items bring them upstairs for safe keeping. In the event of fast melting snow, SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County are prepared to help you with extracting water from your basement.  A wet/dry vac can be used for quick extraction and prevent the water from rising out of control. Also check your sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition.

There are also things you can do to help outside of your home.  You should check your gutters and downspouts for any debris. Gutters should be cleaned of any falling leaves and debris before winter arrives.  Eliminate snow around your foundation by clearing a 5’ path around your foundation. 

Waterproofing your basement comes with a cost but insures that your basement will stay dry.  There are special waterproof paint / KILZ for smaller water leaks and of course many waterproofing companies.  The water proofing companies of course can get into thousands to fix a leaking basement.  

Remember the lightest, fluffiest snow can cause severe damage to your basement so be prepared.

4 Tips for Making a Flood Insurance Claim

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Flood Damage from storm

If your home has been damaged in a flood, then you will need to make a flood claim to help cover the costs of repairs. Addressing the situation in the right way will help you get through the process more easily and with less stress. The following tips may help.

  1. Call Right Away

When making a flood claim, it is important to contact your insurance company as soon as you can. Waiting too long to do so can cause your claim to be denied, as many policies require you to make a report within a certain time period. Filing your claim sooner also allows you to get the process started and finished more quickly.

  1. Go Over the Details

While you may have read over your policy when you purchased it, you probably haven’t spent much time studying it since then. Look over it carefully so you know what to expect and what is expected of you.

  1. Start on Mitigation Quickly

It can take some time for your insurance adjuster to arrive to inspect your house, so don’t feel like you need to wait to start taking care of the damage. In some cases, waiting too long to begin mitigation and allowing the damage to worsen can cause your insurance claim to be denied. To avoid this, contact a cleanup and restoration company to start work right away.

  1. Document Any Damage

While you don’t need to wait for your adjuster to begin cleaning up, you should make sure you have evidence of the damage. Take photos of affected areas and belongings and set aside items in a safe location. The restoration company can help with this task before they begin working on repairs.
Filing a flood claim might seem like a complicated process, but keeping a level head and following these steps can make it go more smoothly. If you are uncertain about anything, don’t hesitate to SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County anytime at (217) 935-2992.

3 Differences Between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flood waters in a crawlspace Flood waters in a crawlspace of a home

If your Piatt/DeWitt County building is damaged during a storm, you might think that all of the water damage falls into one category, but this is not necessarily the case. Flood damage is actually a bit different from other types of damage caused by water. The following are a few distinctions.

  1. Where the Water Comes From

Perhaps the easiest way to determine whether you are dealing with flood damage or other water damage is to figure out where the water is coming from. Generally, if the water comes from above, then it is regular water damage. This can include leaks and broken pipes. If the water is rising up from the ground, then this is always considered flood water.

  1. The Level of Water Contamination

A lot of the water involved in storm damage is considered to be category 1 or clean water. Water from damaged pipes or supply lines also belongs to this category. Flood water, on the other hand, is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated and should be avoided. This is because water from a flood mixes with sewage and other contaminants on the ground. Anything that it touches, including home contents, will need to be thrown away or thoroughly sanitized.

  1. Whether It is Included in Your Insurance Policy

Another important difference between damage from a flood and damage from other water sources is that flooding is usually not included in your basic insurance policy. If you want coverage for this type of damage, then you will need to purchase a separate flood policy. Whether you are dealing with clean water or flood damage, you will need to have it taken care of quickly to avoid further damage to your building. Moisture of any type can contribute to weakened materials or mold growth. SERVPRO of Piatt/DeWitt County can remove the water and perform any necessary repairs.

Call us at 217-935-2992 at any time.

Storms can cause a back up nightmare

6/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storm waters cause a major back up in your home.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Sewage Cleanup and Restoration. 

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Professionals have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup? Call Us Today: (217)935-2992

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on the length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated the water can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

Experiencing Sewage Back up in your home? Call you Restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties! with our 24 hour services, we are always here to help you in your time of need, anytime day or night. Give us a call at (217)935-2992 for more information! 

Flooding rains can cause sump pump backups.

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water water everywhere....

Listed below are the SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties steps taken during a Storm Damage call. We do both Residential homes and Commercial businesses.

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties: (217)935-2992

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Professionals respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Professionals starts this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 6 - Restoration

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

Call us today at (217)935-2992. SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties is always here to help make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

In an emergency, you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more).  Take some time to locate your shut-off valve before an emergency strikes so that you will be better prepared to act quickly if needed.   

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. If you still have a copy of the home inspection report from the purchase of your home, the location of the shut-off valve may be included in the plumbing section of the report.  In most homes in Piatt/Dewitt Counties, the water shut-off valve should be just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall. 

  1. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off valve in your home? Have one installed by a plumber.   
  2. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.

Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. You may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box, you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
 
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink, just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking, just shut the valves to it off.

If you have a young relative who has recently moved out on their own for the first time, share these tips with them.  Landlords may also want to make sure that all of their tenants are aware of the location of the shut-off valve. 

If you suffer any type of water damage, call SERVPRO Of Piatt/Dewitt Counties, at 217-935-2992.  [JB]

How To Stay Safe During a Flood

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

24 - Hour Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Prepare a portable flood kit in your Piatt/Dewitt Counties property

Flooding poses risks to residents of Piatt/Dewitt Counties, as well as first responders. The following flood safety guidelines are helpful when preparing for flood conditions.

Follow Evacuation Orders

Residents should stay apprised of flooding risks and prepare to evacuate as soon as an order is issued. Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit that includes the following items:

  • First aid kit 
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Sleeping bags
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares

If a homeowner plans to stay at home, he or she should gather most of these items and store a home preparedness kit above the anticipated flood level. Stock up on enough food and potable water for several days.

Protect Yourself

Flood water may contain chemicals, heavy metals, and pathogens. People should avoid drinking or making direct contact with this water. One of the most essential flood safety measures involves exercising caution near moving water. A person can easily lose his or her footing in six inches of moving water and vehicles may float in 12 inches of water. 

Tips for First Responders

First responders should take additional precautions. Here are three of the best safety tips:

  • Avoid electrical components
  • Get immunized
  • Wear personal protective equipment

Responders can reduce electrocution risks by avoiding downed power lines and making sure that the electricity has been shut off in any flooded structures they enter. Exposure to disease is another preventable risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends a tetanus booster for all disaster relief workers and the Hepatitis B vaccine for medical care providers. Relief workers should wear insulated and watertight electrical hazard boots, hip waders, waterproof work gloves, and eye protection. Respirators may also be necessary.

These flood safety suggestions can help to keep residents and first responders safe. Homeowners should contact a damage mitigation and restoration company if flood waters breach residences located in Piatt/Dewitt Counties.

Contact SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties for all your storm damage needs. Reach us anytime day or night at (217)935-2992.

Build an Emergency Checklist

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for when a storm hits near you? Use this checklist to build your emergency kit for your necessities during a storm.  

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandannas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt at (217) 935-2992 for all your storm damage needs 24/7.

Be Storm Smart. Be Storm Ready.

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, and anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe
  • thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling, deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home or business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Call SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt counties for your Storm damage needs at (217)935-2992.