Recent Storm Damage Posts

A Guide to Home Damages From Flooding | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Though flooding once was a concern only for those in low-lying regions, even other areas are now at risk due to the rising frequency of floods throughout the country. For homeowners, this means that making preparations is a wise choice no matter where you’re located.

Floods vary in type and severity, so the damage they can cause is variable as well. In an attempt to give homeowners an idea of what to expect, we’ve put together a guide for the most common types of damages that can result from flooding.

Flood Damage That Is Common in Homes

Foundational Damage. Your home’s foundation sits upon the soil below, meaning that soil can affect how sturdy it is. When a flood rolls through and oversaturates the ground below, it can cause the ground to shift and swell, leading to movement within the foundation.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Because of how well drywall can conceal a mold problem, experts recommend replacing any water-damaged drywall after a flood, even if it is fine in appearance.

Insulation Saturation. Most insulation can absorb water if the walls around it become soaked through, making it a prime spot for both water damage and mold growth. Some types of insulation are non-absorbent, so having a professional assess your damage is key.

Temporary Frame Swelling. The frame of a home is of solid construction, so as long as the foundation is stable, it generally will remain so as well. While the lumber may swell, once it is thoroughly dried out, it should return to its previous structural integrity.

Appliance Ruining. The appliances that trap heat or cold within them can become waterlogged due to the insulation they contain, but not every oven or freezer is built this way. Always get an expert opinion before using or throwing out appliances that have been impacted by a flood so you know what is safe.

Furniture Damage. While some furniture will survive a flood with a thorough cleaning, others might be better off being replaced due to health concerns. Typically materials such as solid wood and metal will be able to be salvaged, while pieces such as upholstery and mattresses might have to be tossed.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

SERVPRO San Gabriel is Ready for this years Santa Ana Winds

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO VAN SERVPRO San Gabriel is ready to assist in any post fire recovery effort.

SERVPRO of San Gabriel is well-prepared for this year's Santa Ana Winds. We are monitoring current wind trends carefully with you, our neighbors, and are ready to help in the event that any wind-related damage occurs.

This year we experienced several heavy rain cycles contributing to brush and vegetation growth. this growth is now dry and can serve as a potential fuel source. This year Santa Ana Winds has the potential to claim larger areas due to the abundant fuel source and dry conditions. 

As we post this blog post, firefighters are currently battling fires in the Pacific Palisades. The fires threaten multimillion-dollar homes and have caused the evacuation of homeowners.

Give us a call 24/7 and we can take control of the situation and put you at ease. 626-478-0286

How to Detect Hidden Water Damage | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is sometimes the cause of water damage, but that is not always the case. Many mishaps can lead to water damage in the home, especially in hidden places that are not normally checked.

Discovering water damage is overwhelming and can be costly. For a typical water damage insurance claim, it will be over $6,000. Knowing how to detect this hidden water damage will assist homeowners in discovering it before it gets too severe.

Where to Look for Potential Water Damage
  • Check for water below windows. Where windows are joined with the wall can allow water to seep into the wood below over time, so it is important to check for watermarks.

  • Check siding joints. Where siding panels join—especially at corners—can be a prime spot for leaks to occur on the plywood below.

  • Inspect door thresholds. The metal plates of the threshold are not weather-sealed, allowing water to spread to the wood below. Inspect often to ensure the wood has not begun to swell.

  • Assess softness of exterior paint. Paint layered upon paint is not always properly sealed against the elements, allowing water to slip through. If it is soft to the touch, there might be water damage underneath.

  • Move the dishwasher. Dishwashers deal with a large volume of water, meaning they are primed for leaks. Moving the dishwasher out often is a great way to ensure there are no secret water spots.

  • Watch walls for discoloration. Water pipes run behind walls, and if you notice discoloration, that could indicate a leak.

  • Be sure the toilet is steady. A toilet’s seals grow weaker with age and can cause a leak so gradual that it goes unnoticed. However, a wobbly toilet might be indicative of flooring damage below.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

So Cal bracing for 2nd round of Santa Ana Winds

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

The National Weather Service is giving the public advance notice that they might have to cope with a fresh round of Santa Ana winds. A high-pressure system begins to affect Southern California’s weather on Sunday.

The early forecast models indicate that high pressure will develop in the Great Basin over the weekend and could generate a Santa Ana wind event this week.

Last week Santa Ana's fanned several wildfires in Southern California, including the Saddleridge fire, which had charred nearly 8,000 acres in the Sylmar area through early Sunday evening.

Making matters worse, local power authorities have cut power to thousands of homes in potential fire areas to reduce the risk of fire caused by equipment failure. We are ready to assist any post-fire incident should they occur

Winds and available fuel increase risk of CA Fires

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Five of California’s most destructive wildfires on record occurred in 2017.

In fact, 2017 is the costliest year on record for insurers with total U.S. wildfire peril totaling $16bn in losses. The full damage in California is estimated to be as high as $180bn in costs stemming from fire suppression to insurance and recovery expenditures.

California may not see a reprieve in the years to come. For the first time, the National Interagency Fire Center’s Predictive Outlook for 2018 is forecasting above-normal large fire potential due to the persistence of dry fuels, frequent offshore winds, and generally unfavorable weather

Responding to Disasters Quickly

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes your home or business, time becomes an especially precious commodity. When it is your home or livelihood on the line, you don’t have the benefit of waiting for help—you need it right away.

Nobody understands a fast response like we do, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

When it’s your belongings or business on the line, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This becomes especially true when water damage is involved in the disaster through events that involve flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and water damage after a fire.

The walls, the floors, upholstery and your belongings are fast casualties of water. Mere minutes is all it takes for water to spread throughout your property and saturate everything that is in its path.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Within only 48 hours and up to a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

Water damage that is left to stand for over a week leads to a much higher costs and restoration times, and it can impact structural safety.

<h4ll-make-it-like-it-never-even-happened">We’ll Make It Like It Never Even Happened

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in. A major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises is that we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of San Gabriel is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Be Prepared | SERVPRO® of San Gabriel

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Increased Threats of Severe Weather

If we stop and take a look at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common cause and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

With these storms, we have the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Prepare Your Family for the Unexpected Weather

While weather forecasters may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, they do have the tools available to forewarn us of impending severe weather. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Take a look at some of the things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of San Gabriel to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

How to Prepare for Flooding and Storm Damage

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that weather changes are increasing the likelihood of floods? Yes, even in areas where excess water is usually considered to be unlikely. But as long as there is rain, there is a chance for flooding, too.

Technically speaking, a flood has occurred when two or more acres are wholly or partially subsumed with water.

But if a flood does happen, you won’t be spending your time worrying about the legal definition. You’ll be rightly worried about survival. Keep reading this blog for tips about flood preparation - and don’t worry, none of them include building an ark.

You need a generator in an emergency

It’s impossible to know if power lines will survive during a flood, or if any of the usual electric resources will still be available. There are different variables that will influence the type of generator that you need.

Did you know: water conducts electricity. And of course, flooding means lots of excess water. If you know that flooding is impending, you should move all appliances to higher ground for safety.

You need to know the flood risk

You can check with local government or FEMA websites to become familiar with the level of flood risk in your area. The knowledge of when floods are more likely to happen and what is likely to cause them helps you be prepared. For the San Gabriel area, you can start here.

Another good way to stay aware of the risk is to purchase a weather radio and become familiar with how to use it properly.

You need an emergency kit

Have you prepped an emergency preparedness kit? And is it prepared for a flood? The emergency kit should have extra water as flooding can contaminate water sources, and place important documents in a waterproof case, and always include extra food supplies. For help packing an emergency kit, read this.

You need to know how to evacuate

Evacuation is a two-fold process. Begin by researching your local government’s official evacuation plan. After that, you should create an evacuation plan for your family that also includes emergency modes of communication. You should practice this evacuation plan until every person is familiar with the route.

Finally, once all of the floor waters have receded, you’ll want a plan in place for clean up. SERVPRO® of San Gabriel is always ready to help.

The Storm Damage Caused by Hurricanes

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Pacific hurricanes aren’t as common as Atlantic hurricanes, but they are known to happen. In August this year, Hawaii was hit by Hurricane Lane. The state of California and the mild Los Angeles County climate may be generally safe from hurricanes, but if you travel to the East Coast or the Gulf Coast or even Hawaii then the odds rise. It’s always important to be prepared.

While hurricanes tend to get the most coverage, they are actually only one of ten common storm types in the United States. Other storms include tornadoes, floods, snow storms, hail storm, thunderstorms, lightning storms, tropical storms, ice storms and Derecho storms.

Have you heard of a Derecho storm before? They occur when many large storms create a single giant storm –one that can reach speeds of 58 miles per hour and cover 250 miles.

Hurricanes, although more common in some areas than others, reach far past the coast they occur on.Hurricane Sandy affected over 20 states.

Because hurricanes cause so much damage, it’s important to be knowledgeable about them even if they aren’t common to California.

Wind Damage

The winds that accompany hurricanes are connected to all types of damage. In many cases, the wind is strong enough to form tornadoes. Wind speed can often range between 74 - 155 miles per hour, more than strong enough to cause severe wreckage. Even the sturdiest of structures, like trees, are in danger from wind this strong. Storm winds are powerful enough to hoist up and fling debris of all sizes, causing further destruction.

Storm Surge Damage

Have you heard of a supposed “wall of water” caused by hurricanes? This so-called wall is actually called storm surge. As hurricanes rage toward land, the winds push water with it and disrupt the normal tide flow. So much water is pushed toward the shore that it amasses high above predicted tide levels and then surges onto shore and farther inland. As the water surges inland, it has nowhere to drain and thus causes flooding. Storm surge creates strong currents and carries heavy weight, causing damage wherever it goes.

Flood Damage

As mentioned, storm surge is the primary reason for flooding events during a hurricane. But storm surge happens mainly on the coast. Hurricanes can cause floods as far out as 100 miles from landfall. Hurricanes are so powerful that they affect other weather systems, creating excess precipitation in areas that aren’t prepared. Because the excess rainwater cannot drain, floods occur.

Storm damage, whether caused by hurricanes or flood or otherwise, can be very serious and