Recent Storm Damage Posts

Georgia and Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Northwest Cobb County

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

an image with a cloudy, rainy, sunny and snowy sky Extreme temperature changes can lead to severe weather. SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County is a click away if you experience any damage.

The United States is one of the world’s largest countries, beaten in total landmass only by Russia, China, and Canada.

Seasonal climate isn't one-size-fits-all in a country with such a huge and varied territory under one roof; different regions of the country experience unique weather patterns, implying they face varying degrees of weather hazards at various times throughout the year.

Different parts of the country have different weather patterns. For example, in the springtime, warm and cold air masses often collide in different parts of the US. Let's take a look at what to expect in some key regions, as well as what we need to be aware of here in Georgia.

The Pacific Northwest is vulnerable to significant rain throughout the spring, which may cause floods and water damage to homes. Snow will continue to fall at higher elevations, with the melting and runoff from that causing additional problems.

The Upper Midwest and Northeast have the longest winters to face as cold weather will stick around for the whole season. Extreme cold and the threat of snowstorms and blizzards may be expected stretching from Maine to the Dakotas until late spring or perhaps early summer, when temperatures begin to rise.

Excessive heat waves will plague the southern West Coast, while the South Pacific, including Hawaii, will be on high alert for tsunamis triggered by tectonic activity..

The Midwest, from Iowa to Texas, will face many weather threats this year. These include wildfires, windstorms, and derechos. When the winds are strong and it is dry outside, wildfires can quickly spread. Of course, Tornado Alley is part of this region, which has a high incidence of tornadoes.

Finally, there is the possibility of extreme weather in the Southeast. This can include tornadoes, powerful thunderstorms, and dangerous rip currents. Georgia is often hit by thunderstorms. In addition, remnants of tropical storms that arrived via coastal states might produce significant flooding on occasion.

No matter where you live in the United States, property damage due to extreme weather is a risk. Your state may have different risks than your friend's state, but it is always a good idea to be prepared.

Help is only a phone call away if your property has been damaged by water, fire, or other elements in extreme weather. For prompt, professional recovery, contact your local SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County.

Hail and Escalating Roof Damage

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Circles on a roof with chalk, hail damage on a roof Hail storms can cause significant roof damage.

Hail and Roof Damage

Roof damage can be a significant cost for businesses and one that can be avoided with vigilant and routine inspections. While many companies are likely aware of the potential for damage after a storm, they may not be as aware of the threat a hail storm poses to their roof. Hail comes in a variety of sizes and weights, and these ice balls can do lasting damage to your roof if not mitigated early.

1. Shingles

The most apparent signs of hail damage to your roof are broken or missing shingles. Hail stones can either create small divots in a shingle, or they can completely fracture and even break a shingle free of the roof altogether.

2. Underlayment

While missing shingles are not significant causes of roof damage, torn or missing underlayment can be. When a shingle is broken or missing, it can lead to the exposure or wearing away of the underlayment. Tattered or damaged underlayment can lead to water damaged sheathing.

3. Sheathing

Sheathing is the wood boards that cover your attic joist. These boards are your last line of defense against the outside. If your shingles and underlayment are damaged, then your sheathing is exposed to rain and other elements. Depending on the size of hail, it can severely damage your sheathing through both impact and melting.

4. Insulation and Attic

When the roof barrier is compromised, it leaves insulation and your attic space potential exposed. This exposure can lead to moisture buildup and possibly mold development. If you are experiencing this level of damage, you may want to call a disaster restoration specialist in the Mars Hill, GA, area.

Hail storms can cause significant roof damage. Routine inspections of your commercial property’s roofline should protect you from any obvious issues like missing shingles. However, you may want to seek assistance for more thorough inspections for underlayment and sheathing damage.

Roof Readiness: Protecting Your Roof Against Impending Winter Storms

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Maintain your gutters clean.

Roof Preparedness: Keeping Your Roof Safe During Winter Storms

While the inclement and frigid weather of Davis Crossroads, GA, is predictable and leads many homeowners to have emergency restoration services on speed dial, a home doesn’t have to be a victim to any looming winter storm. There are at least four practical steps homeowners can take to help ensure they quite literally maintain the roof over their heads.

1. Clear and Maintain Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters is not just a springtime gig. Maintaining clean gutters year-round helps to ensure that your roof remains structurally sound. In the winter, clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup, which eventually accumulates under your shingles and can lead to roof rot.

2. Trim Your Trees

The last thing you want to experience during a winter storm is the thunderous boom of a maple plummeting through your living room ceiling. Maintaining and trimming your trees at the change of every season can help you avoid the chaos and property loss from loose branches or rotted out trunks.

3. Replace Missing or Damaged Flashing

Missing or damaged flashing can allow the ice and snow of a blizzard to seep into your attic space. Once moisture enters in, it can lead to the development and spread of mold, mildew and rot. Before the winter settles in, you may want to perform a visual inspection of your roofline to ensure everything is hunky-dory.

4. Repair and Inspect Your Chimney

In addition to inspecting your roof for cosmetic damage, like missing shingles, you should also examine your chimney. A leaning chimney or a chimney with old and cracking mortar can cause significant roof damage if not dealt with before the cold sets in. Frigid temperatures and exposure to ice can cause old or already cracking mortar to separate and fail. Additionally, if your chimney is already leaning, then the added weight of snow and ice can cause it to collapse.

Before any winter storm has time to pummel your roof, take the time to inspect it and the surrounding area. Stay safe and keep your roof over your head.

When Are Flood Cuts Necessary?

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

drywall removal from water damage, concept of a flood cut Flooded building in Mars Hill, GA.

Storm or water damage that results in flooding may necessitate a flood cut. This procedure involves cutting out drywall approximately one foot above the highest level of flood damage to assess the presence of moisture behind a wall. Here are several situations when this mitigation method may be necessary.

When Water Damage Occurs

Water damage involves one of three categories:

• Category One water is clean. A Category One leak is typically caused by a broken supply pipe.
• Category Two water or gray water contains chemicals or microbes. This water may come from a dishwasher, shower, or washing machine.
• Category Three water or black water is highly contaminated. This water may contain sewage, solid waste, or toxigenic substances.

A flood cut will probably be necessary for damage involving contamination from Category Two or Category Three water. Category One leaks that make contact with walls without insulation should not require a flood cut and can be dried. Category One water may start to degrade if left standing for days.

After Flooding

Most flood water is Category Three, and necessitates a tear out of porous building materials such as drywall or insulation. If a commercial property is flooded with one foot of water, a mitigation expert will perform a flood cut at the two-foot level. Insulation exposed to any type of water cannot be safely dried, poses an increased mold risk, and will need to be removed and replaced.

If Mold Is an Issue

Contaminated water sources exacerbate the risk of mold growth. Mold can start to grow if water is left standing or excessive moisture persists for 24 to 72 hours. Mold tests may also require that experts make controlled cuts.

Flood cuts are usually necessary after a building is exposed to flooding. If water damage occurs at a commercial property in Mars Hill, GA, contact a water and storm damage restoration service.

Taking Care of Your Roof During Storm Season

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Rain on roof. It's hard to tell if you need roof repair from just a glance.

Steps To Take After A Storm

High winds and hail can cause a lot of damage to your roof. If you don't get roof repair before the next storm hits Davis Crossroads, GA, this can lead to even greater damage. By being proactive, you can make sure your roof is protecting your home no matter what the weather is doing. Here are some steps to take after a storm to make sure your roof is still intact.

You may not be able to see any roof damage after a bad storm, but that doesn't mean it's not there. Have your roof inspected by a professional. During the inspection, experts check every part of the roof:

  • Membrane structure
  • Flashing
  • Decking
  • Shingles
  • Insulation

Inspectors also check for water damage, especially if part of the roof is compromised. If insulation or other materials below the roof membrane are wet, it could lead to mold growth in a short amount of time. Such damage would require additional repairs and mitigation. Early detection and efficient roof repair can save you a lot of time and money.

If the wind damage on your roof is extensive, you likely have water damage inside your attic or upper floors. Once you hire a contractor to fix the roof, flood restoration specialists can mitigate the problems caused by saturated materials inside your home. They start by assessing the extent of the damage and tearing out everything they can't fix. Then they clean and dry the space. Finally, they rebuild the area so that it matches the materials around it, restoring your home to the condition is was in before the storm hit. Identifying the problem early helps the whole process go more smoothly.

It's hard to tell if you need roof repair from just a glance. Professional inspectors can locate damage and make recommendations for fast resolution. By taking care of the damage both inside and outside your home, you can avoid further problems.

4 Tips for Staying Safe Before or During a Flood

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Major flooding on street. While professionals will always be available to help clean up the aftermath, taking flood safety seriously beforehand is crucial.

When you’re facing the threat of a flood in Acworth, GA, it’s best to stay calm and consider all of your options. While this can seem impossible when a natural disaster is approaching, having some key ideas in mind for flood safety can prevent you and your loved ones from potential harm. Here are four safety tips to remember before or during a flood.

1. Create an emergency kit before such an event. Gathering supplies before the onslaught emerges head-on can be a crucial task for keeping you not only safe but level-headed once it happens. Knowing you have items such as bandages, flashlights, basic medicine, blankets, etc. can help keep your mind at ease, even before any flooding occurs.

2. Store food and water resources in a nearby, easy-to-reach place. Whether you’re dealing with an impending storm or you’re already in the thick of it, having access to at least three days worth of food and water - up to one gallon a day per person - is essential for flood safety.

3. Turn off your home’s utilities. When flooding begins in your neighborhood or water begins to build up in your home, it can be vital to turn off your home’s main power switch and gas line to prevent any possible electrical shocks or other deadly mishaps.

4. If flooding forces you out of your home, be on high alert when you’re traveling. Avoiding any areas subject to flooding such as canyons, low spots, water reservoirs, and other potential red-flag points is vastly important, as is remaining vigilant when traveling across any submerged roads.

When a natural disaster such as a major flooding event hits your home in Acworth, GA, having these safety tips in mind and putting them to good use even before a flood occurs is the best chance for you and your family to remain safe and prepared. While professionals will always be available to help clean up the aftermath, taking flood safety seriously beforehand is crucial.

Is Commercial Storm Damage Tax Deductible?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Building surrounded by stormwaters in Acworth, GA. Severe flood damage by storm in Acworth, GA.

After a storm in Acworth, GA you're left picking up the pieces in your business. Storm damage from a major event can permanently shutter businesses in the area affected. Generally, the businesses that do squeak by the need to scrounge every dollar they can to stay afloat.

How Bad Are the Odds?

In a major event, they're terrible. Small businesses generally are crushed when they're forced to close. After a major disaster:

  • 40% of businesses never reopen.
  • An additional 25% fail within a year.
  • A staggering 90% of small businesses fail within two years.

Will Insurance Beat the Odds?

If you have good coverage, it probably will but most small companies are not well-prepared for a real disaster. A Standard commercial insurance policy will cover storm damage such as wind, rain, and hail, but it doesn't cover either flood damage or business income lost.
If you're in an area that may flood, you should investigate flood insurance. With this policy in addition to your standard business policy, you should have full coverage for most kinds of damage.
Business interruption insurance is also usually a good deal; and a huge peace of mind issue. If you can afford this and all your damage is covered, you may not need to worry about tax deductions.

When Is Damage Deductible?

In most cases, damage from a storm that results in a loss to your business is tax-deductible. If insurance covers the damage, it's not a loss although your premiums are deductible, of course. Repairing damage from disasters such as a storm, earthquake or vandalism, is a legitimate business expense and as long as you itemize, you can write it off.

What About Major Disasters?

If a widespread disaster hits, you may be eligible for special tax deductions. However, it depends on the wording. Many special tax benefits are not available to commercial taxpayers. You can call your local storm damage restoration professionals who are available to advise about grants and tax credits as well as help you restore your building.
Losses may be tax deductible if they aren't covered by insurance. Just don't write off covered losses since it didn't actually cost you money.

How To Prepare Your Building for a Severe Storm

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Water damaged ceiling in Acworth, GA due to a storm Schedule routine inspection on your commercial roof.

Storm Preparedness

When a severe storm is on its way in Acworth, GA, it is essential to protect various parts of your building to reduce potential damage. Storm preparedness can help your building withstand the fiercest weather conditions.

Inspect the Roof

Your roof protects your entire building and the people inside it. Scheduling routine roof inspections and repairs is a critical aspect of property management to prevent costly storm damage. A fragile roof under the weight of heavy snow or rain, or with exposure to strong winds, can ultimately lead to:

It is also prudent to remove any objects from a roof that can cause damage elsewhere if they are carried away by strong winds.

Clear the Property Grounds

All unsecured objects, including signs, outdoor furniture, stones and tree branches should be removed from the ground near your property immediately following a severe storm warning. Strong winds can hurl these objects through glass windows and doors or deposit them on your building's roof causing cracks.

Acquire a Generator

Many storms lead to widespread power outages which can negatively impact your business. Purchasing and maintaining a generator is vital to your storm preparedness plan and will ensure that your business continues to operate despite a loss of electricity.

Install Lightning Protection

Lightning that strikes your building can cause a fire, property loss or injury, and interrupt vital services. Thorough property management in storm-prone regions includes installing a lightning protection system that can reduce these risks.

Gather Insurance Details

Keep insurance details in an easily accessible place to prevent delays that could affect your coverage following storm damage. A disaster recovery service can help coordinate all post-storm cleanup efforts with your insurance provider.

Plan Communication Options

Lack of communication can make your building's residents anxious as they await guidance. Consider designating team members to communicate with tenants in each building section or installing an automated emergency alert system to send vital updates.

Storm preparedness can minimize the damage to your business following a severe storm.

3 FAQs About Flood Cuts

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal from a water damage in Acworth, GA Performing flood cuts in an Acworth, GA home

Here Is Some Information About One Common Practice, The Flood Cut

You can expect to need work done to your home in Acworth, GA after you experience flooding. However, you have probably not heard of the techniques used during the restoration process. 

1. What Are Flood Cuts?
A flood cut involves cutting and removing pieces of your drywall. This is done after standing water has been in your home. The cut is made roughly 12 inches above where the water stopped. Then, it is time to tear out your drywall and insulation. This allows for easy access to your studs, so any moisture issues in your home's structure can be remedied.

2. Why Are They Necessary?
While you may not always need a flood cut, these tend to be common after severe flooding. This is because they stop any bacteria or mold spores in the water from finding shelter in your home. It is also a good idea because it will allow your studs to dry out, so there are no structural problems with your home. Additionally, it allows for easy removal of your insulation, which no longer functions properly after it has gotten wet.

3. When Are They Necessary?
They are typically needed after a natural disaster causes standing water to enter your home. If water comes from a clean source inside of your home, your drywall could be salvageable. However, if water comes in during a storm, you will need a flood cut. Additionally, water that is known to contain bacteria will require a flood cut. For instance, if the water comes out of your toilet after sewer problems, you will need a flood cut to remove contamination.
If you experience flooding, a remediation company like SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County will help you get the restoration process underway. To prepare yourself for this process, you will want to learn more about the terms they use, such as flood cut and what that entails.

How to Protect Your Facility From Frozen Pipes

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech removing water from the floor of a business in Acworth, GA. If a burst pipe affects your facility in Acworth, GA, you can call a commercial restoration service

When you think of flooding, you might think of warm-weather events like heavy rain. Water damage, though, can also happen in winter weather due to a burst pipe.

What Causes a Pipe to Burst?

When water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the container it is in. Frozen water can cause pipes of any material to burst. Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are:

  • Outdoor sprinkler lines or swimming pool supply lines
  • Water supply lines in unheated areas of a building
  • Pipes against exterior walls with little or no insulation

How Can I Protect Pipes From Freezing?

Before cold weather hits, drain outdoor systems such as water sprinkler lines and hoses to eliminate standing water. Close inside valves that supply outdoor hose bibs. Leave the outside valve open to allow remaining water to drain or expand without bursting a pipe. Insulate attics, crawl spaces and garages where pipes are located. Consider using pipe sleeves, heat tape, heat cable or other insulating material on pipes that are exposed to cold weather.

During periods of very cold temperatures, keep the water dripping from the faucet connected to the exposed pipe. Running water is less likely to cause a frozen pipe, even if the amount of moving water is very small.

Consider keeping the thermostat at the same setting both day and night. While utility bills may be higher from the extra hours of heat, you can potentially avoid the damage of a burst pipe and standing water.

How Can I Thaw a Frozen Pipe?

If a faucet provides only a trickle of water, treat it as a frozen pipe. Keep the faucet open to allow running water to help melt ice inside the pipe. Heat the pipe with an electric heating pad, space heater, shop light or towels soaked in hot water. Do not leave electric heat sources unattended. Do not use an open flame device such as a blowtorch or kerosene heater.

If a burst pipe affects your facility in Acworth, GA, you can call a commercial restoration service to help with cleanup so you can get your business running again.

How Do You Deal With High Winds and Hail Damage to Your Roof?

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water on the floor of an Acworth, GA office Storms can cause a variety of damage including flooding.

Be Proactive In Fixing Your Roof Damage

Severe weather events, such as strong wind and hail, can leave your home in need of roof repair. Signs of damage include:

  • Torn or missing shingles
  • Granule loss on shingles
  • Missing flashing
  • Peeling sealant
  • Water-damaged items in your attic
  • Water stains on your ceilings and walls

Making prompt repairs can save you time and money. Follow these steps to be proactive in fixing your roof damage.

Look for Damage in Your Home

Go up to your attic and locate any issues. You may not easily find some of the leaks or holes, so use a flashlight in dark areas and thoroughly check the space. If your leaky roof caused severe water damage, talk to a storm damage restoration company to get your home back to pre-storm conditions.

If your attic functions as a storage space, you may have damp boxes or household items. Take anything wet or broken out of the room to see what you can save. Keep items you can dry and repair and throw away things you can’t salvage. Keep in mind that mold can begin to grow on a wet surface within 24 to 48 hours.

Schedule a Roof Inspection

A roofing company can inspect your home, give you a roof repair estimate, and complete any repair work. Find a reputable company with experience dealing with hail and wind damage in the Acworth, GA area. Check that the contractors are insured and licensed and can provide a warranty for the work.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Contact your insurance company to see if you need to file a claim and determine what your policy covers. Take photographs of any furniture or other items you have to get rid of. Keep all receipts for work and materials for reimbursement, even for temporary repairs you make.

Quickly dealing with a roof repair and mitigating storm damage can make recovering from a storm easier and less time-consuming.

Everything You Need To Know About Reducing Flood Damage

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Red and white plastic barriers blocking the road Plastic barriers

Actions To Take After A Flood

There are several ways to prevent or reduce damage when a hurricane threatens your Acworth, GA, business. A sandbag is the most well-known resource that can stop floodwater from entering your establishment. However, there are also other resources at your disposal. Additionally, even if you block as much water as possible, there may still be leftover damage. Learn more about the main method, some alternatives, and actions to take after the flood.

Primary Damage Reduction
During a severe storm or hurricane, water can come through any entrance or opening of a building, no matter the size or location. The best way to counteract this is by inspecting every door and window around the building to see if they are likely to flood. Place bags filled with sand or dirt around the entrance, creating a barrier. The impenetrable material of the bags diverts most of the water away from the vulnerable location.

Damage Reduction Alternatives
Though these bags are a simple and effective procedure, they do have drawbacks. It might take you too long to fill a single sandbag, let alone many. There are several alternatives that provide the same effects:

  • Water-filled flood dams
  • Water-filled large tubes
  • Water-absorbent fabric dams
  • Steel fences and barriers
  • Levee-building machines

These innovations have advantages over the basic bags. For example, the machines help you create larger sand levees, while you can fill water dams and tubes faster. Meanwhile, you can more easily deploy fabric dams and let them absorb water throughout the year, while fences protect larger areas. Decide on which solution best fits your situation.

Flood Aftermath
Once the storm passes, act fast before the damage escalates. Document flood damage and contact emergency storm remediation technicians to assist you. Consider floodwater to be contaminated and safely remove and dispose of bags, dams, and other reduction resources.
Though it is impossible to stop a hurricane from hitting Acworth, GA, you can prevent damage with items like a sandbag or a barrier. Create a plan and secure these resources long before disaster strikes.

3 Tips for Mitigating Roof Damage

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

a man has a problem with leakage. it collects a drop of water leaked from the ceiling. You can reduce harm to the interior of your home by collecting the water

3 Tips for Mitigating Roof Damage

The roof is often the part of your home that is most susceptible to storm damage from wind, hail, or rain. Because contractors often receive a large amount of work after a big storm, there can be a long waiting period to repair roof damage. These three tips can help you mitigate your damage while you wait for repairs to be made.

1. Use a Tarp
A hole in your roof can allow rainwater to enter your home. A tarp can be a good temporary fix that is relatively cheap to purchase and easy to install. If your roof damage is covered by insurance, your insurance company may reimburse you for the cost of the tarp, so be sure to keep your receipt.
2. Remove Standing Water
If your home has a flat roof, water may collect on it, causing seepage. If you can safely access your roof, you maybe be able to remove the water by sweeping it off. However, if you have any safety concerns, it may be best to contact a storm cleanup specialist in Macland, GA, to assist you.
3. Collect Water From Leaks
If wind damage has caused your roof to leak, you can reduce harm to the interior of your home by collecting the water. Pots and pans may work well for small leaks. Large plastic buckets or garbage cans may be a better choice for more severe leaks. It may also be helpful to place plastic coverings over your belongings that can not be moved to a dry area to protect them from any drips that your containers miss.
If a storm has caused roof damage to your home, it may take some time for permanent repairs to be completed. While you are waiting, you can reduce the amount of additional damage that may occur to your home by implementing these three mitigation tips.

The Key Features of a Business Continuity Plan

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan A business continuity plan can minimize the impact on your company

A large storm has the potential to disrupt your business in Kennesaw, GA, in a number of ways. Having a well-thought-out continuity plan in place is the gold standard for minimizing the impact on your company. This plan has many components and involves drafting a business impact analysis and recovery strategies. Swift remediation of storm damage through the services of a professional storm mitigation team is one key feature of the plan. This puts you in a position to recover faster and return to normal operations. A complete analysis of recovery strategies helps you identify your preparedness level and any gaps in your capabilities.

The Critical Importance of IT

Nearly all companies today rely on IT. A storm that causes flooding can reduce your computer network and severely limit your ability to service customers and keep employees productive. A continuity plan seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Assess the status of computer networks, servers, computers, and wireless devices
  • Identify critical components of the IT network
  • Fix items as swiftly as possible
  • Identify manual alternatives until the computer system is operational

All of these steps should be documented in the plan. Important contact resources should be recorded so employees know who to call for help. The option for telecommuting should be considered, as well as how to implement this step.

The Value of Testing and Exercises

It is not enough to have a continuity plan in place if it cannot be implemented when the time comes. Key personnel should be familiar with the plan through training exercises and testing. The more familiar your team is with the process, the more likely they will be to be able to implement its key features. After a round of exercises and orientation programs, input should be taken on how to improve the process for all parties. The more complete a plan is the more likely your company will be prepared for an unexpected event.