Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts
Stormy Season Is Here
Even though storms are a common part of summer, you still have to consider each one as potentially dangerous.
With the crazy heat, it’s safe to say that summer is here. While summer does bring beautiful, hot days, it’s also known to bring summer thunderstorms and related damage. While there is a saying that April showers bring May flowers, rain is actually even more common during the summer months.
The moisture and warm air present during summer create ideal circumstances for summer storms. As you know, here locally, the summer months prove time and time again that storms happen more often. During these warmer months, our average precipitation jumps up by almost a full inch.
- Even though storms are a common part of summer, you still have to consider each one as potentially dangerous. If you know that heavy storms are predicted, it’s important to stay aware and prepared should anything serious happen.
- You can listen to your local news and radio stations to stay up to date on weather information, but it is also smart to invest in an NOAA Weather radio so that if you lose power, you can still be in the know.
- During storms, it’s important to remember that there is always a possibility of flooding. If you know that flooding is likely, you should make arrangements to stay off the roads.
- When you encounter extreme storms, you also have a chance of taking on more damage to your home and vehicles. Make sure you are keeping up with lawn maintenance and taking precautions with yard art to ensure there is less debris that can be picked up by wind and water during a storm.
Many people die every year from storm-related incidents, so you must think safety-first when experiencing severe storms.
Easy Tips to Remember When Sudden Storms Start Up
Read some quick tips for storm safety anywhere you go.
When you are having fun and enjoying summer, a sudden storm may seem impossible when the skies are clear. However, storms can pop up suddenly when the heat and humidity begin to rise, creating a dangerous environment with little notice.
Because these storms can catch you at inopportune times, we have put together some quick tips for storm safety anywhere you go.
Quick Tips for Storm Safety Anywhere You Go
- Know your options for shelter. If an alert about severe weather is issued and you can get home quickly, that is your best option for seeking shelter. However, if you are out and about, turning your car into a storm shelter is actually the next best thing you can do to stay safe. Pull over safely, turn off the engine and avoid coming into contact with any metal surfaces as you wait it out.
- Practice electrical safety. When lightning strikes a structure, it is looking for the easiest route to get to the ground—which is oftentimes the electrical system. As the current travels through these wires, the charge can transfer to any electronic that is plugged in, potentially ruining it. If you are in a building and a storm is on the way, you can unplug everything to be as safe as possible, and in general, it is best to use surge protectors on every outlet.
- Avoid direct contact with concrete. Concrete structures are so sturdy in part because of how they are built. As concrete is poured around metal, it creates a great structure—but also causes a concern if there is lightning nearby. The metal in concrete can disperse electricity if the building is struck by lightning, so avoid touching these surfaces directly if possible.
- Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. When summer activities are interrupted by severe weather, getting back to the fun is a high priority. Because of how far lightning can travel from the storm’s center, it is best to exercise caution. After the thunder starts to wane, set a 30-minute timer and reset it with every thunderclap, making sure it goes off before you go back outside.
If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on SERVPRO to help.
Tips on Driving in the Rain
Rainy roads can be dangerous.
Did you know nearly half (47%) of all weather-related car accidents — more than 700,000 a year — are due to rain? Here are a few tips to help you drive safely in the rain:
- Exercise caution. Engine oil and grease build-up on roads and highways over time, and when combined with precipitation, you’ve got the equivalent of an automotive Slip ‘N Slide.
- Slow down. Wet pavement causes tires to lose traction and vehicles become more difficult to handle.
- Use headlights. Always use headlights in the rain – even if it’s just a sprinkle. Headlights help you see and be seen in wet weather.
- Keep your windshield wipers in tip-top shape. Summer can wreak havoc on your blades, so get them checked before fall’s showers arrive.
- Defog your windows. Precipitation can cause your windshield to quickly fog up, so use the front and rear defrosters to maximize visibility.
By employing these safe driving techniques, you can keep yourself and your passengers safe during spring drizzles and downpours. Rainy roads can be dangerous, but if we all slow down and use extra caution, rainy days might actually be a little brighter.
Storm Damage Services
When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical.
Heavy rainfall causing floods and storms can lead to unwanted water damage to your home or business in no time. SERVPRO wants local residents to know that when a storm damages your home or business, our highly trained professionals will respond to cleanup and restore your property to pre-damage condition. Our ability to immediately respond to a storm emergency helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Here are some of the services we provide:
- Emergency contact 24/7
- Inspection and damage assessment
- Water removal and water extraction
- Drying and dehumidification services
- Cleaning and repair
- Odor removal
When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, homeowners and business owners can expect our team to respond immediately to any storm emergency.
Facts About Thunderstorms
How much do you know about thunderstorms?
How much do you know about thunderstorms? These storms are so common that many of us rarely think about them, but they can actually be very dangerous.
While many thunderstorms cause little to no damage—and probably don’t even disrupt daily life—the high winds, lightning, hail, flooding and other issues of thunderstorms can cause damage to property and be hazardous to people and pets.
What is a thunderstorm, anyhow? Just what it sounds like! A thunderstorm is defined as any storm that contains thunder. A thunderstorm is recognized as severe when it contains hail that is one inch or larger and straight-line winds of 58 miles per hour or more.
How Thunderstorms Cause Damage
- Damage and injury from lightning strikes. Did you know that where there is thunder there is always lightning? That’s because the booming noise of thunder is actually caused by a lightning strike! These strikes can be dangerous, and it is reported that they cause around 300 injuries every year. Beyond injuries, lightning strikes can also cause fires and damage to your home or other property due to fallen tree branches.
- Property damage due to hail. When you think of hail, damage to cars probably comes to mind. But while hail does commonly damage cars, it can also cause damage to other property and even people. These frozen pellets vary in size, and when they’re larger, they can negatively impact your home’s roof or siding, leading to leaks and water damage.
- Harm from flash flooding. Flash floods can occur any time there is heavy rain for a plethora of reasons—even if storm drains back up or small ditches become filled with water, heavy rain can quickly turn these things into a life-threatening flooding scenario. And these dangerous floods can occur anywhere, not simply in places where there’s a known flood plain. If flash flood conditions are present, it’s important to stay off the roads. Even an inch of flood water can be dangerous and even deadly.
Preparing Your Home for Floods
If your home is prepared, the damage can be minimized.
As Michigan residents, we know that flood water can easily rise, turning your home into a flooded mess that needs extensive repairs. Although flooding from a burst pipe or flash flood can come quickly, if your home is prepared, the damage can be minimized. Here are tips to prepare your home for flooding:
- Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are installed in a pit in the lowest part of the home, such as the basement or crawlspace, and are designed to prevent water from entering the home. They automatically work to pump water out when it rises to a certain level.
- Raise Electric Components
Along with water damage, flooding also creates potential fire hazard situations. It is recommended that wiring, outlets, sockets and other electrical components be at least 12 inches above the structure’s projected flood elevation. A licensed electrician can raise them to meet those requirements.
- Waterproof Basements
An easy way to keep basements dry is to regularly maintain the outside of your home. Along with keeping gutters and drains free of debris, verifying the property slopes, and properly diverting water can keep water flowing away from the home.
- Keep Supplies On-hand
Flood water can come on fast and rapidly rise. If you know you have foundation issues or haven’t cleaned the gutters yet, keeping supplies, such as sandbags and tarps, on-hand can minimize the amount of water entering the home.
- Maintain a Checklist
Even if you are prepared, sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t care. When that happens, it is important that everyone in the home knows what to do and precautions are taken to minimize damage. The checklist should be easily accessible and include items such as disconnecting appliances and turning off the main power, gas line, and water supply.
Protecting Your Garden During Rainstorms
Although our gardens love a nice rain shower, too much rain can be harmful to all the plants.
Although our gardens love a nice rain shower, too much rain can be harmful to all the plants. After all the hard work you have done to manage your garden, do not let heavy rainstorms ruin it! Follow these tips to protect your garden during heavy storms:
- Remove damaged limbs and shoots – Removing dead limbs and shoots from your plants will help make them more streamlined and will reduce snapping and tangling.
- Add compost and mulch – Adding a couple of inches of compost to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil will help with drainage.
- Support taller plants – Push wooden or metal support into the ground and tie taller plants to it. This will help keep them stable against rain and strong winds.
- Drainage – Make sure there is a proper runoff that tilts away from your garden and make sure it is not blocked. Water collecting in your garden can be damaging to your plants, possibly drowning them.
- Cover your most delicate plants – Use a waterproof tarp to cover your most fragile plants during heavy rainstorms. Make sure that the covering is not blocking water from draining because it can cause other plants to drown.
- Check your vegetable roots – Once the rainstorm has stopped, make sure there are no exposed roots following soil erosion. If there are exposed roots, cover them with soil or compost before they dry out.
- Check your pots and planters – Pots and planters can easily become flooded if the drainage is blocked. Check them before, during and after rainstorms. You can always cover pots and planters if necessary.
- Pull weeds up by hand – The moist soil after rain means you are much more likely to retrieve the whole root without it snapping or breaking.
Need more tips? Go to The Plant Guide for more information on maintaining your garden during severe weather.