Recent Storm Damage Posts

Hurricane Season 2022

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Photo of a hurricane from space in the Atlantic Ocean Never underestimate the destructive power of a hurricane.

Today marks the first day of summer as well as the start of the 2022 hurricane season.  While our area doesn’t usually experience hurricanes, the past couple of years have shown that the tail end of some hurricanes can reach us.  Suffice it to say, it is always best to be prepared, because even the tail end of a hurricane brings torrential thunderstorms and potential flooding.

First off, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict that the 2022 hurricane season has a 65% chance of having above-average hurricane activity.  This is based on several climate factors, such as the ongoing La Nina and a warmer-than average sea surface temperature in the Atlantic and Caribbean.  Also, if we look at the trend over the past several years, we can expect these storms to last longer and hit harder. 

We encourage everyone to keep an eye on the weather forecasts this season.  We will also be updating our blog on any potential news to keep us all prepared on the latest.

We Mitigate and Repair Damage from Heavy Rainstorms

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

An outside storm drain clogged with debris from a rainstorm Heavy rainstorms can clog storm drains with debris.

As the Spring season continues, we are starting to see more and more rainstorms pop up.  If you’re not prepared, they can cause severe flooding damage.  Just like this job we recently received. where a storm drain right outside this family’s basement was clogged by storm debris.

The clog caused a massive amount of water to pour into their basement, completely ruining their wood floors and leaving four-inch-high water line marks on all the walls.  Our Mitigation Team had to tear up all the wood floors and make a two-foot-high flood cut in all the drywall to ensure all the moisture in the basement was removed.  Our Construction Team then went in and installed brand new wooden floor panels, new drywall and even a new door to their basement bathroom.

While we were able to leave this basement better than it was before the storm, it goes to show how devastating heavy rainstorms can be.  You can never be too prepared.  And if you find yourself in a similar situation, gives us a call and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Has Its Own Meteorologist?

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

A weather map of the United States with a SERVPRO logo in the bottom right We take storm preparedness very seriously.

It might surprise you, but we here at SERVPRO have our own Meteorologist.  Storm preparedness is something we take very seriously.  It’s not enough to just pay attention to the Weather Channel.  We’re not interested in routine showers or overcast days.  We want to be able to track huge weather patterns that result in severe storms before they happen.  Any leg up we can get on the weather allows our national storm response teams to quickly mobilize where they are needed most. 

Every second counts when it comes to storm damage.  Our number one goal is to help alleviate the anxiety and pain of those affected by weather disasters.  The sooner we can respond to them, the sooner they can get back to living a normal life.  Not to mention, the less likely their situation gets worse.  Having our meteorologist track last years polar vortex as it was developing, helped save those affected time and money.  It’s just another way that we go above and beyond for our customers.

Preparing For Spring Storms

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Multi-color umbrella blocking heavy rain with the title, "Preparing For Spring Storms" up top and a SERVPRO logo beneath Don't get caught in the rain this Spring!

Spring is finally upon us!  As the cold weather of winter starts to thaw, it’s a good time to start preparing for the climate shift.  April showers sound delightful on paper, but they can quickly escalate into torrential downpours or thunderstorms.  That is why it is never too late to double check your storm readiness.

First off, everyone should have a general emergency kit in their house and vehicle.  These should include a radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, emergency contact information and non-perishable food.  No matter the type of storm, these kits are invaluable to have.

More specific rainstorm advice revolves around potential flooding.  Make sure you keep your gutters and storm drains clear of leaves and debris.  Try and keep valuables on high shelves when storing materials in your basement or areas that are prone to flood.  Always keep rain gear and water-resistant clothing easily accessible in your home and car.  Last but not least, never drive through standing water or wade into flooding basements.  Both can be fatal.

These simple steps can be lifesavers.  It’s important for everyone to take stock and implement them as we enter the rainy season.  And if you do experience any flooding this spring, you can always count on us to restore the water damage.

Storm Response Program

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

A white Van completely filled with green air movers We're fully prepared to go where ever a storm hits!

Our franchise is extremely proud to be a part of the national SERVPRO Storm Response Program.  Our company is built upon the desire to serve those affected by disasters.  Be it a small bathroom leak or a category 5 hurricane, we are committed to help restore what is lost.  While our first concern is always for those in our immediate community, sometimes the need created by huge national storms is too great to ignore. 

Last year, for instance, during the horrible winter freeze in Texas that incapacitated their power grid, we traveled to Irving to help those most in need.  Later in September, in the wake of Hurricane Ida’s devastation, we drove up to Philadelphia to start rebuilding the damage.  Every second counts during national storm emergencies.  Without the Storm Response Program, coordinating these efforts would have taken much longer. 

These experiences have shaped us into an even more close and compassionate crew.  The gratitude and love we received out in the field have had a deep affect on us and our work even here at home.  This is why we will continue to be a proud member of the Storm Response Program.

Tips to Prepare for Winter Storms

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

A winter highway lined with bare trees covered in snow.  Orange and green banner on the bottom saying "Winter Storm Tips." It's never too late to prepare for winter storms.

The winter storm season is upon us!  In fact, we have already endured a couple this year, but it’s never too late to prepare for the next one.  Here are some simple tips to keep safe in case you are caught outside during a winter storm.

First off, make sure that whenever you leave the house, you are properly dressed for cold weather, even if you aren’t planning to be outside for long.  This may seem obvious, but in the event that a storm strands you outdoors, its crucial to be bundled up.  For extreme cold, its recommended to wear 2-3 layers of clothes, 1-2 pant layers, a warm hat, gloves, waterproof boots, and a face covering like a scarf.

If you plan to be driving in extreme cold weather, you should keep your gas tank at least half full.  This will allow you to keep your vehicle’s heat on longer in the event you get stuck out on the open road.  It’s also important to keep a winter survival kit in your car.  Alongside year-long necessities like jumper cables, working flashlights, a First-Aid kit, non-perishable foods like nuts and energy bars, water bottles, and a phone charger, you should also store some blankets, a shovel for snow, and an ice scraper.  

Of course, these tips also apply if your house loses electricity, and you are snowed in.  However, it’s important to remember in that situation to never use gas stoves to try and keep warm.  The risk of a house fire is too great.  Also, if you have a generator, make sure it is properly ventilated to avoid any carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Hopefully, these tips can help you brave the next winter storm.  It always pays to be prepared!

Unexpected Ways to Protect Alexandria Homes From Storms

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

branch fallen on home A tree fallen on a home during a storm

4 Unexpected Ways to Protect Alexandria Homes From Storms

As a homeowner in Alexandria your house is more than just a home and place to raise your family, it's an investment, and as such it is your responsibility to protect it from weather related damage.

Even though Alexandria isn't known for their terrible storm climate, storm conditions are often unpredictable and can vary wildly in intensity and destructive ability, so its your job to be prepared for any potential hazards.

1. Cutting down surrounding foliage and trees.

Many homeowners like the idea of having a nice big tree in the front or backyard for shade on a hot summers day but strong storm winds can blow limbs off tree trunks or even topple over the entire tree!

While landscaping, look at the distance between the trees on your property and your house, and consider either trimming or even cutting down some weak rooted trees to prevent damage in the event of strong storm winds.

2. Replacing gravel with mulch

Once again, strong winds pose a potential threat of picking up small rocks and whirling them into your home. Since Alexandria rarely has to deal with any tornadoes or catastrophic winds (knock on wood) this probably isn't a very high priority, but may still be worth considering.

Consider replacing any gravel with mulch to reduce the potential damage should there be intense wind conditions.

3. Roof maintenance

Poorly secured shillings can easily blow off in a storm, making your home susceptible to leaking from wet conditions. 

Remember, roof shillings are layered down, meaning if one shilling blows off, many others are sure to blow off as well!

Before a big storm, do a quick roof inspection to make sure your roofing is secure, your gutters are unclogged and they are securely attached to your home.

4. Secure your Garage Door

In the event of strong winds, your garage is the largest opening into the structure of your home. If winds are strong enough to blow through into your garage, the wind will have no where to go but up, blowing off part, if not all of your roof!

In the event of a large storm or high winds, make sure garage door is shut and securely closed.

Many of the preventative measures we be shared in this article don't seem incredibly obvious or imminently dangerous. It's only after working in the restoration industry for years (as we have here at SERVPRO of Alexandria) do you learn to appreciate just how dangerous some common points of neglection are to the safety and integrity of your home.

If, after following these steps your home unfortunately does sustain some storm damage, give us a call at (703) 739-2800.

SERVPRO of Alexandria is one of the leading storm damage restoration businesses in Alexandria, Virginia; we respond quickly, professionally and offer the highest level of customer service!

We are here to help, whether it be a simple consultation, to help clean, or if there's more serious structural damage, give us a call. Once again our number is (703) 739-2800.

Storm Damage To Your Home in Ways You May Not Consider

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

storm damage SERVPRO of Alexandria responds 24 hours a day to your storm emergency. We restore property damages to help make it "Like it never even happened."

One of the reasons why prompt storm damage remediation is so critical is because a storm may damage your home in ways that aren't always obvious. A professional can help you identify and solve any storm damage to the structural portions and other inner workings of your home.

Discover some of the ways a storm could damage your home's structural integrity. Let's get into it!

Roof Damage

  • Your roof can have obvious structural damage if a tree falls on it. However, that's not the only way that a storm could damage the structure of your roof. For example, large tree branches that fall on the roof can also cause damage even though they don't cause an evident cave-in.

Foundation Damage

  • One type of storm damage that can affect your foundation is flooding. Another is erosion. Localized flooding can increase the pressure of water against your foundation wall, which could result in cracks, shifting, sinking, and bowed foundation walls.

Interior Water Damage

  • Whether it enters through a broken window or a roof leak or rises up from the ground, water can be one of the biggest forces of storm damage. Although water may not destroy literally everything it touches, it can come close. Water can cause structural failure in commonly used building materials in your walls, ceilings, and floors.

Pest Damage

  • Although storms don't actually create pests, they can send wildlife looking for places to shelter and can sometimes create damage that allows pests into your home. While most pests are just a nuisance (and sometimes a potential health and safety hazard), some can actually affect your home's structure as well. Prompt storm damage repair can reduce the chances of picking up any of these pests due to storm damage.

As you can see, your home's structure is susceptible to many other types of damage than just large falling objects. For more information on storm damage, how you can prevent storm damage, and what to do if you suspect your home has sustained damage from a recent storm, get in touch with SERVPRO of Alexandria  today. 

How to Protect your Alexandria Home from Secondary Damages After a Storm

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Tarp Contact SERVPRO of Alexandria for all of your storm damage needs 703.739.2800

Whether your home was damaged by a storm or a fire, secondary damages are a real concern. The term secondary damages refers to the types of damage that occurs after but as a result of the initial event. For example, if your roof was damaged during a storm, water damage that occurs during subsequent storms, as a result of the damaged roof, would be secondary damages. Fortunately, options exist for preventing these damages.

Tarp Over Services

A properly installed roof tarp can provide protection for up to three months — plenty of time to settle insurance issues and schedule a repair. The key is to contact a damage restoration and mitigation company immediately so they can apply tarp and dry out any moisture in your attic before further damage occurs.

What to Expect

Professional tarping services are much more secure than the average DIY job. Professionals first remove the debris and measure the damage to ensure that they use the correct tarp size. Tarps must be larger than the damaged area to ensure moisture cannot penetrate the roof.

Further, the tarps must be positioned so that water cannot flow underneath them, which is achieved by always bringing the tarps over the peak opposite the damage and sandwiching the edges beneath boards so that future winds and storms will not pull the tarp free.

Window Boarding

Not all window damage results in broken glass. Damage to the seals or frames can be just as devastating, since moisture can still get into the home.  Signs that you need damage control include damp ceilings below an upstairs window, moisture leaks in around your windows, bubbling paint on the walls surrounding your windows, or mold on the window frames.

What to Expect

Professional boarding services are able to cover your windows without causing permanent damage to the frames or your home's siding. Boards are cut to fit each specific window. Any damaged glass is removed, and then the window may have a sheet of plastic to keep out moisture.

Once the window is covered with plastic, the boards go into place. The boards typically screw into the frame or siding, but the damage can be patched after the window is replaced. Keep in mind that boards are more for security and to prevent further damage, not moisture prevention.

Check out our other Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration services for more information. 

Our Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians Can Help your Through any Unexpected Storm or Flood

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Flood SERVPRO of Alexandria has a HUGE team of highly trained water restoration technicians ready to help during crisis

Regardless of where you live, you can be the victim of a flood. Thanks to the damaging effects of water, floods can destroy much of your home and everything inside. If you want to better protect your home from flooding, check out these four common types of flood waters you should be aware of.

  1. Clean Water Flooding

Sometimes, a faulty pipe or appliance causes flooding inside your house. For example, during the winter, a pipe (containing fresh drinking water) freezes and breaks to create a leak in your basement. This water was designed to be used and consumed by humans, so you don't have to worry about contaminates like sewage.

As long as you catch the damage quickly, this type of flooding can be stopped fast. All you need to do is turn off the water from the source, such as the main water valve. It's still important to remove the water and dry items as fast as possible to prevent mold and mildew, which can cause breathing problems, skin irritation, eye irritation, and other medical issues.

  1. River Flooding

If an area suddenly receives a lot of rainfall (or a lot of snowfall that melts quickly), it can cause rivers to overflow. Nearby houses, which are normally far from the waters, may find their basements, crawlspaces or entire house filled with river water. Unfortunately, this type of water may be heavily contaminated.

First, many rivers, especially those in urban areas, aren't clean. They contain many pollutants, chemicals, and diseases that can harm you and your family. Similarly, while the water was traveling to your home, it may have caught water pouring from overflowing sewers, which means the flood water may contain fecal matter and similar contaminates. For this reason, especially if there was lots of water damage, many homeowners need extensive repairs to drywall, flooring, and other areas of the home.

  1. Groundwater Flooding

While much of the Earth's water is on the surface in the form of oceans, lakes, and rivers, there is also a lot of water hiding underground. This groundwater is commonly used for drinking wells, which means it is relatively clean. Plus, as the water is pushed through dirt and rocks, it may shed more contaminates. For this reason, unless the water smells or looks rancid, you can assume that it is mostly clean.

As long as you start cleaning right away, you should be able to restore much of what was exposed to the water. If drywall was impacted, however, you may need to have your walls opened so that they can fully dry. Even if the wall looks dry and clean outside, it may have mold and moisture inside the walls. This is especially a problem if the insulation absorbs water because it can hold the water for a long period of time.

  1. Sewer Flooding  

Sewage can be found in nearly any type of flood water, but flood water can also come directly from the sewer. In some cases, this is simply caused by your toilet or septic system backing up. As a result, the toilet and other drains may begin to let sewage back into your home.

In more severe cases, if lots of flooding causes the sewage system to overflow (or if the system is damaged in some way), it can cause sewage to back up into your home via the toilet. The worst part: this backup is not just your waste; it can be waste from anyone in your community. Sewage like this isn’t just gross; it can cause illness and disease.

Not all flood water is contaminated, but all flood water can lead to major damage and mold growth.

If you would like to know more about types of flood waters and damage or if you need to request a quote, contact us at 703.739.2800 today.

SERVPRO of Alexandria Water Restoration Team Drives for over 24 Hours to Texas to Assist During a Storm Event

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Equipment in vehicle SERVPRO of Marlton / Morningside answered the call when storm Uri threatened the Midwest.

Winter Storm Uri was a major winter and ice storm that affected over 170 million Americans in mid-February 2021. 

The storm brought severe destructive weather and caused blackouts for over 9 million  people, requiring the need for professional water and extreme weather damage restoration professionals. 

SERVPRO of Alexandria answered the call!

Our brave team members at SERVPRO of Alexandria answered the call by driving for over 24 hours to Irving, TX. Homeowners & business owners alike were faced with unprecedented snowfall while dealing with power outages, frozen pipes, and water damages.

Nationwide Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit any part of the US, 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 (703)739-2800

When April Showers hit Alexandria, SERVPRO is ready!

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

April Showers hit Alexandria Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Alexandria.

SERVPRO of Alexandria specializes in storm and flood damage restoration, and we are prepared to assist you through any downpours any season may bring. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

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 Alexandria, 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 (703)739-2800

Defending Your Home Against The Storm | SERVPRO of Alexandria

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alexandria storm recovery team We don't know when exactly a storm will strike, we can only prepare for it. Our job is to get your property ready and restore any property damages.

Dealing with a strong storm, such as a severe thunderstorm or tornado, is not easy, but following the right procedures helps keep the damage to a minimum. Naturally, you want to prepare well for any upcoming storm, and of course, you also want to restore your home to its original condition if any damage occurs.

This article looks at how to prepare for strong storms and also examines some key restoration issues.

Preventing Damage From A Storm

One important task for homeowners expecting severe weather to strike their area is to trim back any large tree branches that could potentially fall on their house. In many cases, roof damage from strong storms is the result of large branches falling on the roof and letting rainwater into the home.

Doors and windows often sustain significant damage during strong storms. A good way to keep any damage to a minimum is to cover doors and windows with plywood. If you live in an area where storms are common, it's a good idea to install storm shutters, also known as hurricane shutters.

Do not leave any outdoor furniture outside when a storm is expected. Strong winds can easily lift outdoor chairs and tables and turn them into dangerous flying objects. Put all outdoor furniture in a garage or storage room well in advance of any storm.

Another good idea is to disconnect all of your electronic equipment, such as televisions and computers, before the storm hits. Also, make certain that you know how to turn off your utilities should this become necessary once the storm is over.

Restoring Damage After a Storm

Roofs frequently suffer a significant amount of damage during severe storms. The shingles are often blown off, or tree limbs and other objects create holes in the sheathing. To prevent water from getting into the house through a damaged roof, have a tarp placed over the roof by a professional restoration service, such as SERVPRO.

Also, if you must leave your home after a storm make sure that the doors and windows have been boarded up if you have not done so already. If the storm damaged any boards that you put up in advance, have the damaged boards replaced.

Another vital issue that typically crops up after a major storm is mold remediation. Storms tend to let water into the house, and excessive moisture provides an excellent habitat for mold growth. Mold can gain a foothold in your home in a short period of time, so you must deal with mold problems quickly.

Some mold is not harmful to humans, but other types of mold can cause health effects, so your best course of action is not to deal with the issue yourself. There is no reason to take a chance with your health when experts are available to do the job. Call a qualified restoration firm and have them get rid of the mold. 

It's also quite common for important documents to receive damage after a storm due to exposure to moisture. You will want to save your documents if at all possible. Document restoration is not a do-it-yourself job. Fortunately, many storm restoration companies offer document restoring services.

A great way to save damaged documents is to have them freeze-dried. Air-drying damaged documents is another option. The best method usually depends on the amount of damage the documents received.

Preventing storm damage is important, but it's not always possible to prevent a very strong storm from damaging your home or your belongings. If a storm does cause damage to your home or personal property, SERVPRO of Alexandria can provide vital restoration assistance. Contact us for more information.