Recent Storm Damage Posts

Humidity: Primary and Secondary Damages Explained by Restoration Experts

8/6/2022 (Permalink)

moisture meter held by a SERVPRO technician, hand on frame holding a small remote-looking device with screen, Call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando restoration experts to mitigate primary and secondary damage due to storm, flooding + water.

Different Types of Water Damage

Whenever excessive moisture gets inside a building, the problems it causes can be broken down into two categories: primary and secondary damage.

Primary Damage

When water leaks from a pipe or an appliance, it comes in contact with contents and building materials. Anything that happens due to direct contact with liquid water, such as the carpet's de-lamination, is considered primary damage. 

Secondary Damage

Once water gets inside a structure, it naturally raises humidity levels indoors when moisture from wet materials evaporates into the air. Elevated humidity levels can also cause building materials issues since water transfers from the air into dry materials to reach equilibrium. When water vapor causes structural problems, it is called secondary damage.

Extraction procedures help reduce primary issues, and structural drying helps mitigate both primary and secondary water damage. When our SERVPRO technicians deal with any water damage situation, we monitor both relative and specific humidity.

What Controls Humidity?

Controlling humidity levels in a structure helps speed up structural drying times. Wet materials dry out faster if the humidity inside a building is kept low using air movers and dehumidifiers. Monitoring and strategic placement of these devices optimize drying times. When we keep humidity levels low, we also reduce water vapor in the air, causing fewer secondary issues. 

Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity (RH) is a measure of how much water is in the air at any given temperature. RH is expressed as a percentage, so if the relative humidity is 100%, then the air is holding as much moisture as it can at that temperature. At this point, if not sooner, condensation can occur inside the building. "Raining" inside your home can only exacerbate the already water damaging effects. Air can hold more water at higher temperatures, so increasing the house's temperature will lower the relative humidity. That is one of the features of our HEPA filters. Not only does the filter suck the moisture from the air, but it also heats the air to dry the space quicker.

Specific Humidity 

The temperature has such a significant effect on relative humidity, but it's not always a good gauge of how much water exists in the air. Specific humidity is the actual amount of moisture in the air. When our restoration professionals measure specific humidity, they count the actual grains of moisture in each pound of air. To find specific humidity, we measure relative humidity levels and the room's temperature. We then put these numbers in a psychrometric chart that gives us the grains per pound (GPP) number. 

If you ever need help with issues related to water or humidity, such as flood damage, storm damage, or microbial growth, call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando at (407) 985-3200, available 24 hours a day.

Approximate The Distance To Lightning Strike: Know How To Prepare for Storms

7/17/2022 (Permalink)

stop watch in a hand in front of a lightning sky background, SERVPRO logo in the corner To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!
 

Know How To Prepare for Storms

Lightning causes around 43 deaths in the U.S. annually (based on statistics from 1989-2018). Thankfully, this number is only 10% of the average lightning strikes, the other 90% are left alive, but with various degrees of disability.

Nationally, lightning ranks second only to flash floods in weather-related deaths. Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season. Since the threat of lightning is so common, it is typical that many have a lackadaisical approach to protecting themselves. The main reason is that people stay outside too long as thunderstorms approach or form nearby. 

For example, during the early part of the thunderstorm season, "dry" thunderstorms are quite common. With these types of thunderstorms, little or no precipitation reaches the ground and, as a result, people are less likely to seek shelter.  See lightning facts below for statistics on lightning events. 

Did you know?

  • The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 ° F, that is hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • The average flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.

While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed.  If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike.  DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended. 

A Cool Lightning Hack

You can approximate the distance of lightning!

Did you know you can approximate the distance a storm is from you but counting the time between the flash of lightning and the thunder sound that coincides with the lightning flash? That means you can, at your own home, with minimal supplies, figure out how far a lightning strike is from you!

What You’ll Need:

  1. You Ears
  2. Your Eyes
  3. A watch with a second counter or a phone

From the time you see lightning, it will take the sound of thunder 5 seconds to travel 1 mile. To approximate the miles a strike is from you, count the seconds between the flash and thunder, divide by 5!

For example, if you see a flash of lightning, start a stop watch and hear a large crash of thunder 5 seconds after the flash, your lightning is only 1 mile away! Anything less than 5 seconds is definitely close, so seek cover!

It's not raining, is there still danger from being struck by lightning?

YES!  Lightning often strikes outside of the heavy rain area and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

Will the rubber soles of my shoes or tires on my car protect me from being struck?

NO! However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides a sort of Faraday Cage or Faraday shield. This increases protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside the car than outside. When skies darken, or thunderstorms are forecast, look and listen for increasing wind, flashes of lightning, sound of thunder, and static on your AM radio.  While no place is safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others. 

Where you can go…

  • Get inside a house or large shelter
  • Remain clear of tall, isolated trees and telephone poles
  • If possible, move to a sturdy building or hard top automobile
  • If you are caught outside, away from shelter, you need to get to a place of safety as quickly as possible. If safe shelter is not possible, lie down on low lying ground or in a ditch.
  • If boating or swimming, get out of boats and away from the water, get to land and find shelter immediately

What you can do...

  • Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation
  • REMEMBER, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning

If your home or property has been damaged by severe winds, water, or storms—call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando for a free damage restoration estimate.

3 Ways FEMA Can Save the Day

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Truck driving through flooded streets during a hurricane in Northwest Orlando, SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando logo Utilize FEMA resources to help get your life back on track after a natural disaster.

While individuals struggle to pick up the pieces after recent natural disasters, those unaffected might wonder how communities recover from these crises. Although a thunderstorm might not sweep across a neighborhood with the force that could flatten buildings, an average storm can bring a significant amount of flooding. Below are three ways the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can help during such difficult times.

  1. Financial Support

FEMA steps in when a natural disaster takes over. After a governor confirms a state of emergency, FEMA formulates a method to respond to the crisis effectively. The organization can also work with the states to form funding before an expected storm.

  1. Organization

When a flood strikes, it can seem as if a catastrophe has suddenly affected life in general. Since FEMA works at the state level, victims may check whether their specific area can receive support. Through a straightforward system, they may then apply for disaster assistance. Even if you have insurance, connecting with all programs before moving forward might be a wise step.

  1. Promptness Matters

Despite the differences in each situation, FEMA can respond to disasters that prioritize victims first. When you register, an inspector specializing in disasters generally visits within a week. From there, the agency can work with homeowners to determine the right assistance plan. To ensure speedy support, victims may also need to work with the agency to specify damages.

No matter the extent of the damage, discovering that your home has become the setting for a flood can be shocking, challenging, and stressful. However, this is the point at which FEMA can step in to help you get your space – and subsequently, your life – back on track.

Storm Damage Restoration 

Once the storm has passed and those affected start to rebuild, SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Our team of highly trained restoration specialists is trained in storm and water damage restoration. We can respond to emergency situations 24/7 and work with your insurance company to take added stress off of you. Call us anytime at (407) 985-3200.

Brackish Water is a Hazard to Your Orlando Home

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

brackish water from storm near me SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando can clean up brackish water after a storm

Orlando, Florida homeowners are no stranger to hurricanes and the damage that they can do to homes and communities. Water damage comes from storms ranging from a hurricane to a typical rainstorm, but the former is so much worse.

Flood damage in Northwest Orlando results from a hurricane bringing water and salt from the ocean. Brackish water, or salt-water can be very hazardous, with the potential to create havoc on your home's structure and your possessions. Here's a look at why hurricane flood damage is serious and needs immediate action.

When saltwater comes into contact with wire insulation, metals, concrete, zinc, and other materials commonly used in homes, it's corrosive. Saltwater is also conductive, so its charge increases the likelihood of power outages and electrical shock.

A home damaged by saltwater decomposes faster if left sitting. The foundation, walls, flooring, and decorative stone and brick of your home will start to break down and be costly to repair the longer the problem persists.

Contacting experienced professionals, such as our team at SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando, is key to protecting your home after a hurricane. It isn't easy to remove saltwater from your home. As time ticks before repairs commence, your home is vulnerable to water damage.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Taking quick action is key to mitigating flood damage after a hurricane. SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando is dedicated to helping local homeowners with speed and precision. Call today for a quote or additional information regarding our services at (407) 698-5155.

Protect Your Property From Wind Damage

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Wind blown in Orlando, Canva image If you have property damage after a storm, call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando today!

This season many areas in the United States have experienced heavy winds and storms. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property, from broken windows and fallen tree branches to severe damage to the roof, garage or car. It can happen from the strong wind or indirectly from wind blowing debris into your house.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common cause of wind and storm damage. However, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more fierce and can cause severe damage. Understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs. Here are some steps you can take to minimize property damage when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Flying Debris

Most wind damage starts with unsecured flying debris. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes, such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects, are secured or brought inside. Secure your doors and windows to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof Construction

Roofing material should latch firmly to the deck; loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind.

Siding damage comes down to the standard of their construction. Strongly, fastened siding isn't as likely to lift off a structure in intense wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a more robust, storm-resistant structure.

Tree Maintenance

Removing dead limbs or weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of structural damage. When a force like a strong wind causes a tree’s movement or breakage, the tree can seriously injure the unwary and damage nearby structures. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common result. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nails over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency roof closure. Fallen trees may cause other severe safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind or storm damage, contact a restoration professional. SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando today: (407) 698-5155.

How To Prepare for Hurricane Season

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels - dark clouds and water Call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando today!

Do you live in an area that's prone to hurricane activity? Are you new to the area and want to know what you should do when a hurricane warning happens? When a hurricane is approaching, know how to be ready by following our guide of the Top 6 Tips to stay safe and prepared during hurricane season.

Tip #1: Stock Up on Essentials

Depending on the severity of the hurricane, you want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook. Stock up on water, bread, non-perishables, and items that you can eat without cooking like many canned goods. Keep extra batteries on hand for flashlights and headlamps. A portable cellphone charger, candles and matches could be beneficial as well.

Tip #2: Check Your Insurance

Make sure your insurance coverage covers flooding and other expenses you may incur in a location like Tampa, FL.

Tip #3: Make a Video of Your Home

This helps with proving the current state of your home pre-storm. Insurance companies will have an easier time processing your claims. Keep important documents in a water and fire-proof safe, but also make electronic versions of the ones related to your home and your personal information in case they are destroyed. Documents such as your birth certificate, your driver's license, your home's deed, your social security card, and unpaid bills are good examples.

Tip #4: Protect Your Property

Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls and foot and head bolts on all doors. This is important in areas that may receive a direct hit.

Tip #5: Make an Evacuation Plan

When it is time to leave, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles from your home.

Tip #6: Don't Take Risks

People hurt in hurricanes stay in their homes or are taking extreme risks -- like leaving late. Make sure you don't do anything silly when the hurricane begins. Pre-planning is the first essential step to ensuring sufficient safety.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community, too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando is close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community and want to do our part to make our community the best possible.

Roof Damage Culprits to Check After a Storm

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

wood planks on ground SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando is the right restoration company for you! Call us today.

After a significant storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for storm damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Pay attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens, which indicate hail damage. You may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage from the ground, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring minor roof repair.

Find the source of the leak, stop it, and clean any water damage.

Find the Leak Source

During storms in Northwest Orlando, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. Inside your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to that area. Here are five familiar sources for a roof leak:

  1. Vents and fans
  2. Chimneys
  3. Window dormers
  4. Vent pipes
  5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Fix Water Damage

To complete your roof repair:

  1. Start looking for materials damaged by water.
  2. Check for discolorations and rotting wood and wet drywall and insulation.
  3. When you find mold, remain careful and don't spread during cleanup.

A mold remediation professional can help create a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, start drying any wet materials immediately. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are dry. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando today.

When and Where Do Hurricanes Likely Occur?

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

If you have storm damage after a hurricane, call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando at (407) 698-5155. If you have storm damage after a hurricane, call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando at (407) 698-5155.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1st to November 30th. However, storms outside of these dates aren't unheard of. Activity ramps up in August, and peaks in September, and again in October.

Hurricanes form this season because of two factors: warm ocean waters (80 degrees or higher) and weak vertical winds (little change in wind, direction, and speed with height) are most common. This is the season with the highest frequency of west-moving weather disturbances in the tropics that develop into hurricanes.

The difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon is the location you're in. People refer to thunderstorms as hurricanes, while people near the equator in Africa and Australia refer to them as cyclones.

Call SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando today to restore your Florida property "Like it never even happened."