Recent Storm Damage Posts
Rainy Weekend in Chambersburg PA
Rain, rain, go away come again another day! Over the next few days it's expected that in the Chambersburg PA and surrounding areas are going to have some rainy days. Keep an eye on those basement for flooding and be sure to talk to your insurance to know what your covered for. If you experience a flooded basement give us a call at 717-261-0310 to see how we can help you!
Storm Chasing Companys
Don't be scammed by storm chasers
Contractor con. Jack and John Thayer trolled neighborhoods after storms, offering to fix damaged homes. The duo stole more than $770,000 in down payments from storm-traumatized homeowners — without fixing the homes. Many victims were elderly. At least the Thayers have a new roof: They received up to 20 years in prison. This story ended in justice but all too often Winston Salem home and business owners are taken advantage of by less than reputable people.
Be wary of door-to-door and trucks patrolling a neighborhood after a storm or telephone sales people. Recently the BBB of North West NC reported that a consumer was contacted by a gentleman who said they are currently working in the area and they notice that she had storm roof damage and they will send a representative so they can help her claim the insurance for this damage.
You can keep scammers away. Protect your family, bank account and yourself from crooks: Stay alert, ask questions and go slow and pay attention to details.
Contact your insurance agent don’t trust that the contractor will file the claim for you. No one should be filing a claim on your insurance but you. This is a good time to talk with your agent about if you should even file a claim or not. You may need additional information like estimates from a reputable company.
After a damage to your car or home ... Take photos of the damage and passengers. You can prevent fake injury and damage claims.
Contact your state insurance department or National Insurance Crime Bureau (1-800-835-6422) to report a scam. You can also report a scam with the BBB
Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, if temporary roofing repairs are necessary. Know what your deductible is and know when to file a claim.
Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid letting your emotions get the better of you. Don't be pressured into making an immediate decision with a long-term impact. Be proactive in selecting a business and not reactive to sales solicitations. It is common for storm chasers to call and knock on your door.
For major repairs, take time to shop around and get 3-4 estimates based on the same specifications and materials. Check out references that are at least one year old, verify with your local government to find out whether or not businesses are required to be licensed/registered to do work in your area, and check with your local building inspector to see if a building permit is required.
Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim to have leftover materials from a job “down the street” or who do not have a permanent place of business. If salespeople go door-to-door, check to see if your community requires them to have solicitation permits.
Be leery if a worker shows up on your doorstep to announce that your home is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect or building official inspect it. While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. This goes for Mold Remediation also. Contact an independent environmental specialist to perform an air quality test. Or ask if they do the test themselves or do they have a third party perform the test. If the mold mitigater does the testing or the roofer does the inspection what do you think the odds of them finding work for themselves to perform are?
Require a written contract agreement with anyone you hire. Be sure their name, address, license number, if applicable, and phone number are included in the contract. Read and understand the contract in its entirety, and don’t sign a blank contract. A copy of the signed contract is to be given to you at time of signature. What certifications does the company have?
Call a trusted contractor call SERVPRO of Chambersburg 717-261-0310
Tips for Preparing for a disaster
A property that had over 4' of water in the basement after a heavy rain period.
#1 Make a Plan. Living here in Chambersburg, you’re less likely to face an earthquake than a severe storm that could cause flash flooding. Knowing what you could face will help prepare you for emergencies as you go throughout your day to day routine. Flooding in Florida and Louisiana reminds us that you may not have as much warning with flash floods or sudden storm systems.
#2 The Details matter. Know the details of how you escape a disaster. Planning the route of where you are going while the fire is burning is not the time to plan your route. Knowing if you are going to a shelter, motel or friends home will help get you there quickly and safely. Ensuring that everyone knows the details of the plan will ensure that your family will meet you at the prescribed place.
#3 Stay informed. Ensuring that you are informed of impending storms by listening to NOAA or the news alerts will keep you aware of changing weather. Being informed is part of being prepared. Local news agencies are committed to alerting their listeners and viewers of dangerous situations.
#4 Communicate. Most people say I’ll just pick up my cell phone, but that may be down. If local phone lines are overloaded or out of service it is sometimes easier to call or text long distance. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones.
#5 Emergency Kit. Having a plan but no tools to implement it with is ineffective. What are some of the basics you need? Water, Food, and Shelter are the big three but what about other necessities? Do you have medicine that you need? A small child to care for? What are other items to help you along the way? Think first aid items, rope and flashlights. FEMA has a list of items that will be helpful here. Do you need to be a doomsday prepper? Probably not, but depending on the severity, you may have to rely on your own for 3-4 days before infrastructure is restored. Be sure you are familiar with what is in the Emergency kit and how to use the items in the kit.
#6 Get trained. Knowing some basic emergency training will also help in a crisis situation. Know how a fire extinguisher works or how to perform CPR. The American Red Cross has education on a number of topics that can be useful in an emergency situation. Learn where the shut offs are for utilities in your home or office. Cutting them off may prevent further damage or making a bad situation even worse. Be sure that your family and coworkers are educated on the plan of what to do in case of an emergency.
#7 Now that you are planning what to do when you are at home, what about if you’re away from home? Talk to your child’s school and ask how they plan or evacuate the school? How do they communicate with you about emergencies? Does your business have a plan? SERVPRO of Chambersburg can help you with that. The Emergency Ready Profile can go right beside your employee handbook and be carried with you on your mobile device. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Call us to get started on your plan 717-261-0310
How to Prepare Your Chambersburg Home for Summer Storms
Tip for Storms in Chambersburg
It seems like we just got done with winter storms, and now the residents of Chambersburg already have to deal with summer storms! While summer storms are known to wreak havoc on Chambersburg homes, a little preparation can save you a lot of time and money.We have a few helpful tips that will get you ready for whatever Mother Nature has to throw at you this summer.
Double Check Your Insurance
This may sound like a weird step to take when preparing for a summer storm, but it’s actually more important than most homeowners realize. You see, some insurance policies will only pay you for what your home was worth before the storm. Replacement cost value insurance, however, pays you for the current market value of your property loss. Of course, no one thinks about their insurance until they need it. So if you take the time to learn exactly what is covered and what isn’t, it will help you know if you need to update your policy. Again, you don’t want to have a 300-year old tree crashing into your home to be the reason why you find out what type of insurance you have.
Preventing Summer Storm Damage with Tree Inspections
Sometimes, trees may appear not to show any types of damage before a summer storm. If you have a pivot or a hump on one side of your tree, you may have a root problem. Root problems can eventually make the tree fall over, and a severe summer storm can rapidly increase the likelihood it tips over. If your top branches are bare, there also could be issues with the health of your tree. Also, big hollows and dead wood on a tree is another indication that you might have a problem. Taking the time to inspect the health of your trees is a great way to prevent damage to your home and vehicles. If you aren’t sure exactly what you should be looking for, it is worth consulting an arborist to find out if you have any issues. If it turns out that you don’t have any issues, you can sleep peacefully at night knowing you, your family, and your home are protected. If you do, it’s a good thing you are getting it taken care of before the summer storms!
Clean Gutters Before Summer Storms
If you don’t clean out your gutters, you risk damage to your basement during a summer storm. If you have a finished basement, it’s especially important to make sure you have a backup battery-powered sump pump system if something were to go wrong. Dirty gutters can also cause damage to your roof and attic by having backed up water enter into your home.
SERVPRO of Chambersburg
Contact SERVPRO of Chambersburg if your carpets do need cleaning. When we leave, your home and your life will be back to normal. For more information on SERVPRO of Chambersburg Inner Harbor’s Services, call 717-261-0310or visit www.SERVPROChambersburg.com.
Lightning Safety Tips
SERVPRO has helped several customer
Did you know that lightning is the third largest storm-related killer in the U.S., causing nearly one billion dollars in damage per year¹? Those are some sobering statistics you may want to keep in mind the next time you are trying to decide whether to play one more hole of golf or hike an extra mile when a potential storm may be brewing.
While summer is commonly known as the peak season for thunderstorms and lightning, such storms can strike any time and in almost any location year-round. The following guide and tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe and secure should you be caught in a lightning storm.
How Should I Protect Myself?
It is important to understand that there is no safe place outside during a lightning storm. If thunderstorms are expected, you should stop any outdoor activities quickly — even if you are still mowing the lawn or enjoying a picnic. Many lightning casualties occur because people fail to seek shelter soon enough. Keep an eye on local weather conditions and have a plan if thunderstorms are expected. Your home’s best protection against a lightning strike is a lightning protection system. In order to find out more you can contact a certified lightning protection specialist for information.
What if I am Outside During a Storm?
As soon as you hear thunder, stop all outdoor activities and get into a building or a hard-topped vehicle for safety. It may be tempting to get into a golf cart or a lean-to, but those will not provide adequate protection. If you absolutely cannot get to safety, try to stay away from open fields, hilltops, tall trees or other tall objects. Go to the lowest place possible, such as a ravine or valley, and squat in a baseball catcher’s position — with your heels touching, ears covered, and head between your knees. Minimize contact with the ground and do NOT lie flat. You should avoid water and anything metal, such as golf clubs or bicycles.
What if I am Driving?
Exit the road or highway you are on and park in a safe location. Stay in the vehicle and turn on emergency flashers until the storm subsides. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that can conduct electricity.
What if I am Indoors?
You may think that watching television or shopping on-line are good ways to pass the time during a storm, but your best bet is to unplug televisions, computers and any other high-value electronics well before the storm hits. Once the storm begins, do not touch any electrical equipment or cords, including corded phones. It is OK to use cellular or cordless phones during the storm. Be sure to stay away from windows and doors and do not go on porches. Also avoid taking baths or showers during storms.² Water is a conductor of electricity so if a lightning strike hits your house during a storm, it may travel through water and shock you in the bath or shower.
What if My House is Hit by Lightning?
If you think your home has been struck by lightning call 911 immediately and evacuate if you see fire or smoke. You may want to ask your local fire department to check for hot spots in your walls. If you use gas for heating and cooking, contact your gas company or a licensed contractor to conduct a leak test before re-entering your home. Gas system components have been known to sustain punctures as a result of direct or nearby lightning strikes.
Identifying Hail Damage to Your Roof
Contact SERVPRO if your roof looks like this for assistance, 717-261-0310
Are you aware that during a hail storm more than just your vehicles are potentially vulnerable to damage and future repairs? When hail hits, it can damage the roof or covering of your home as well as other personal property. Although hailstorms can be destructive, the amount of damage can vary greatly. Following are some factors that affect the type and degree of damage that may be impacted by a hailstorm, as well as a guide on how to identify hail damage to different types of shingles and roofing materials.
- Wind – During a hailstorm, wind direction and wind speed can vary. Changes in wind conditions can affect the location and severity of hail impacts.
- Size and density – The size of the hailstones can affect the degree of damage, if any, to your property. A hailstone can be as small as a pea, or as large as a softball. Most hailstones do not have smooth edges, which can impact the type of damage they cause.
- Building materials – Building materials absorb hail impacts differently. For example, hail can cause dings in aluminum siding, gutters or asphalt shingles, whereas it can crack vinyl siding or wood shakes. Alternatively, softball-sized hailstones can be dense enough and strong enough to puncture a roof. Additionally, the age and condition of a roof could affect the degree of damage.
- Barriers– The position of neighboring structures and natural barriers, like tree cover, landscaping, fences or adjacent homes can reduce the ability of hail to cause damage.
What Does Hail Damage to Your Roof Look Like?
Shingles can react differently when struck by hail. As an example, hail damage to asphalt and composition shingles can look very different than hail damage to wood shingles. It is important to know the different effects of the damage to properly identify whether or not you have roof damage from hail.
Asphalt and Composition Shingles Hail Damage
- Random damage with no discernable pattern.
- Hail hits that are black in color.
- Loss of granules, which may expose the roof felt.
- Asphalt and/or mat that appears shiny.
- Hail hits that are soft to the touch, like the bruise on an apple.
Wood Shingles Hail Damage
- Random damage with no discernable pattern.
- A split in the shingle that is brown/orange in color.
- A split in the shingle that has sharp corners and edges.
- A split in the shingle that has little to no deterioration at the edges.
- Impact marks or dents along the splits.
There are many other types of damage to shingles that can be mistaken for hail damage. For example, exposure to inclement weather and sunlight makes shingles brittle and gives them an aged appearance. This type of damage is normal wear and tear of shingles, which is sometimes misidentified as hail damage. Other types of normal wear and tear may include blistering, cracking, granule loss, flaking and algae. Manufacturing defects and mechanical imperfections in shingles can also be mistaken for hail damage.
If you believe your home has sustained damage from hail, call your agent or insurance representative to discuss possible next steps.
Hail Protection for Your Home
Hail storms can strike without much warning, leaving you with little time to react. Being prepared in advance — and knowing what to do — can help you stay safe and keep damage to a minimum. Consider signing up for local weather alerts, which deliver warnings when hail storms are approaching your area.
What Is Hail?
Hail is a type of solid precipitation, distinct from, but often confused with sleet. Sleet generally falls in colder temperatures while hail growth is inhibited at very cold temperatures. Hail creation is possible within thunderstorms and is formed when water vapor in updrafts reaches a freezing point. Ice then forms and is suspended in the air by updrafts and falls down to be coated by water again. This process can occur over and over adding many layers to the hailstone. Hailstones can be as small as peas or as large as softballs, and the larger ones can cause injury and serious damage.* The average hailstorm lasts only five minutes, but the damage hailstorms cause totals about $1 billion a year, according to the National Weather Service.
How to Minimize Hail Damage
- Large hail can shatter windows. Closing the drapes, blinds or window shades can help prevent the wind from blowing broken glass into your home or buildings.
- Whenever possible, park your vehicles inside a garage or under a carport.
- Patio and lawn furniture can be dented, broken or even shattered by hail. Move these items indoors or under a covered area when not in use.
- If you have plans to replace the roof covering on your home or business, consider using impact-resistant material if you live in a hail-prone area. For guidance on making the right choices for roof coverings, visit the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety website.
Flood Damage Prevention
Storm Damage, Call SERPVRO 717-261-0310
While fire may be a more common concern among homeowners, your home could in fact be as much as ten times more likely to be damaged by water than by fire.* Significant sources of water damage to one’s property can come from weather-related moisture or flooding, including flooding from heavy rains, flash floods, dam and levee failures, tidal storm surges and mudflows. In addition, new construction of buildings, roads or bridges can alter the flow of water, increasing the potential for flooding.
Living in a high-risk flood zone can increase the likelihood of experiencing a flood, but being outside a high-risk zone does not mean homeowners are safe; flooding is always a possibility due to causes such as heavy rains, snowmelt and spring thaws.
Protecting Your Property Before, During and After a Flood
There are a number of things you can do to help minimize or prevent water damage to your property. Follow these tips to help prepare and recover from potentially costly flood damage.
Before the Flood:
- Know your properties flood zone risk and evaluate your flood risk with this reference guide from IBHS.
- Have your furnace, water heater and other permanent equipment elevated above the expected flood levels of your area.
- Inspect sump pumps and drains regularly to ensure proper operation.
- If you own a generator, have a licensed electrician provide a transfer switch to your sump pump so you can operate it in the event of flooding.
- To help prevent sewage backup, have a licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow prevention valve.
- Keep sandbags on hand to help divert unusually high water away from your foundation.
- In snowy climates, flag drains to avoid plowing snow on top of them.
- Learn the flood alert signals of your community.
- Collect emergency building materials if you live in a frequently flooded area. These may include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, shovels and sandbags.
- Plan and practice an evacuation route. Designate a place for family members to meet in the event they become separated.
- Review with all family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.
- Plan a survival kit with important documents, including insurance documents, medications and critical items in the event you need to leave your home.
During the Flood:
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information. If advised to evacuate, shut off all utilities and evacuate immediately.
- Move to high ground, avoid rising waters and do not walk or drive through any floodwaters.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.
After the Flood:
- Listen to the radio and do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
- Once allowed back into your home, inspect it for damage. If your property has been damaged, promptly report the loss.
- Be watchful of snakes that may have found their way into your home.
- Throw away all food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
- Remove standing water as quickly as possible, including from your basement. If your basement is flooded, pump out about 1/3 of the water per day to avoid structural damage.
- Properly dry or remove soaked carpets, padding and upholstery within 24-48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Discard anything that cannot be properly dried.
- Wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets and shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems. Do not energize electrical or electronic equipment that may have suffered water damage without first having a qualified electrician inspect and/or test it.
How Much Weight can your roof support during a snow storm
Snow Removal on Roof
Estimate How Much Weight Your Roof Can Support
- Unless the roof structure is damaged or decayed, most residential roofs, regardless of the location of the house, should be able to support 20 lb per square foot of snow before they become stressed.
- In some areas of New England and in mountainous areas throughout the United States, snow loads used in home design may be considerably higher and the roofs may be able to resist a greater depth of snow.
- If you live in an area known for lots of snow, you can probably check with your building department to find out if higher loads were used at the time your home was built.
Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs Using These Guidelines from IBHS
Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.
Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.
Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.
Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of of fresh snow.
More Infromation: https://disastersafety.org/ibhs-risks-freezing-weather/prevent-roof-collapse-homes/
2016 Blizzard over 30 inches in Franklin County PA
SERVPRO after the storm.
During January 2016 the Franklin County PA area experineced a record breaking snow fall. Chambersburg had over 32 inches for a weekend storm named Jonas.
Flooding In Chambersburg PA
One of the high tech moisture meter's we use to detect water.
This week SERVPRO of Chambersburg has been performing several water restorations due to the heavy rain causing basements to flood. Although a home may have never had water due to rain before does not mean it's not possible. Some homes we have provided services to never had a ground water intrusion for 20+ years.
What is a typical process when your home is affected by weather and causes water to intrude your home?
Any water that enters the home from outside water, such as rain is considered contaminated water and all pours material is has make contact with should be removed and hard surfaces should be cleaned.
Why? Because the contaminates in the soils outside are unknowned. Is there chemicals, animal feces, fertilizer that can be contaminating the water.
Call SERVPRO if you experience any water intrusion to your home!