Recent Storm Damage Posts

Prepare Your Property for Winter Storms

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

winter storm clouds You can minimize damage to your property from winter storms by preparing for them before they hit.

We all love to see the first flakes of snow whirling around. However, winter storms can cause damage to your home. 

Winter storm damage can occur from multiple sources: extreme cold, high winds, snowfall, ice and more. Storms can cause direct damage to structures and also lead to secondary damage from causes such as stove fires or burst pipes. 

Well before icy winds start blowing, it’s smart to prepare your home for winter storms and get mentally ready with a plan for what you’ll do if you’re stranded in your home.

Before the Storm

  • Protect exposed pipes.
  • Check weather stripping and insulation.
  • Identify heat sources in case power fails.
  • Check fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check fire extinguishers.
  • Fill propane tanks and replenish wood piles.
  • Create an emergency kit with supplies such as medications, nonperishable food and extra batteries.
  • Prepare a battery-powered radio or other news source that doesn’t rely on electricity/internet so you can follow storm updates.

During the Storm

  • Leave taps dripping if you lose your main heating source.
  • Use precaution with extra heating sources.
  • Check news for storm updates and local warnings.

After the Storm

Now is the time to check for damage to your home and other property (and possibly to make insurance claims).

  • Clear snow away safely.
  • Check your heating sources and water pipes. Resupply fuel.
  • Check your house and other structures for damage.
  • Look for ice dams that can build up on your roof (icicles are a warning sign) and take safe steps to eliminate them.
  • Ventilate any areas where carbon monoxide may have accumulated.

If you live in Marshalltown, Dike, Eldora, Wellsburg or anywhere in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County, and your home has winter storm damage you can’t repair yourself—such as water damage from a burst pipe or leaking roof—SERVPRO of Marshalltown can help. We can also assist in preparing insurance claims. Contact us at any hour for a consultation or immediate assistance.

Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown After Damage From Lightning

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning streaking across sky Know the dangers that lightning poses to your property.

The dramatic view of lightning streaking across the sky is quintessential to thunderstorms, but it also represents extreme danger. Lightning can often cause severe injuries and damage to property when it strikes, which is why it is essential to know the dangers it presents to your home.

Information About Lightning

All thunderstorms develop an electrical charge, and thunder and lightning are the results of this. What our eyes perceive as a lightning bolt is the storm shooting off some of its electrical charge, which is manifested as a strike.

Clouds are well-insulated for electrical charge, which is why so many lightning strikes arc across the sky. When lightning strikes toward the ground instead, that’s when property damage can happen.

Three Types of Lightning Damage to Property

  1. Fire damage. Lightning reaches temperatures around 500,000 degrees, making it hot enough to ignite buildings on impact. As it travels through a home’s wires, damage can also be caused inside the walls, raising the potential for electrical fires in the future. An electrician or the local fire department can often test for hot spots and assess the damage.
  2. Electrical damage. Lightning has more electrical charge than most electronics are equipped to handle, so lightning traveling through wires can easily move up cables and ruin appliances. Surge protectors are the common defense against this.
  3. Structural damage. The thunder we hear when lightning strikes across the sky is a result of shock waves created by the force. This force is still present when lightning strikes the ground, and can sometimes even shatter windows, explode foundations and crack chimneys. A thorough home inspection after the storm passes is useful in assessing the damage.

If you live in Dysart, Grundy Center, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls or anywhere in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County and your home has been affected by storm damage or lightning-related fires, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

How SERVPRO’s Storm Response Team Handled the Derecho Storm of 2020

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

tree coming through living room ceiling after derecho storm SERVPRO of Marshalltown and the SERVPRO Catastrophic Storm Response Team worked together to restore homes and businesses damaged by the 2020 derecho.

When a strong hurricane-like derecho storm ripped through Iowa this last summer, calls started coming in to SERVPRO of Marshalltown immediately after the storm moved through the area. The volume of calls made it clear this was no average summer storm, so after we had sent all our own crews out on jobs, we called in SERVPRO’s Catastrophic Storm Response Team, a national network of more than 1,700 strategically positioned franchises on standby and ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice when large storms strike. By enlisting the help of the storm team, we knew we would be able to get to all our customers faster and minimize further damage from happening. 

24-Hour Mobilization

Within 24 hours of our call, the national team had set up a local command center with a project coordinator and highly trained crew chiefs and technicians to handle the overflow of storm damage calls coming into our office. Lori Newhouse, our office manager, managed the incoming calls and worked with the large team project coordinator to assign overflow jobs to the additional crews.

Responsiveness That Can’t Be Beat

Within about two weeks, SERVPRO of Marshalltown, together with the national team, had responded to all the storm damage calls from commercial businesses and residents in our Marshall, Hardin, Grundy and Tama County territory. We were told by many of our customers that we were one of the most responsive companies to help people in the area with their various storm damage needs, whether it was boarding up or tarping damaged property to prevent more water from getting in or drying, demo or restoration work to homes and commercial businesses where water had penetrated and caused more extensive damage.

High-Level Service From Entire Team

We know we can trust SERVPRO’s Storm Response Team to handle our customers with the same care and expertise as we do. Because SERVPRO crew chiefs and technicians are all trained to meet the same high standards set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), they provide an equally high level of experience and professionalism, no matter what franchise they work for. It’s why SERVPRO has a reputation for consistent, top-notch service across the entire organization. Here’s just a few of the large storms our national storm teams have handled in recent years:

  • 2017 Hurricane Irma
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew
  • 2015 Carolina floods
  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Hurricane Sandy

Minimize the Financial Strain of Storm Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

tree fallen onto the roof of a home You can take several steps to help minimize the financial impact of storm damage.

Storm damage can hit you hard in the pocket book. According to the Congressional Budget Office, American households experience about $34 billion in storm-related losses every year. You can take several steps to help reduce the financial impact  of storm damage.

Check Your Coverage. Go over your insurance policy before a storm hits. You may be covered for wind and water damage, but only from certain sources. For instance, check the wording of your policy to see whether storm water that backs up from sewers or drains is covered. Talk to your insurance agent if you need help understanding your coverage.

Perform Due Diligence. If your property has existing damage, your insurance company may deny your claim. To help prove your damage was due to a sudden event, keep “before” photos of your house in a safe and easy-to-access place.

Protect Yourself. After a storm, you should first get yourself, your family and your pets to safety. Then check your house for hazards, such as standing water. You may need to evacuate your home if you can’t quickly fix the most urgent problems.

Check Out FEMA Help. If you need help finding a place to stay, getting urgent repairs or even getting a hot meal, call your local FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) office. Depending on how widespread the damage was, FEMA may have an agent deployed where you live.

Document Everything. As you prepare your claim, make detailed records. Take pictures of mold, missing shingles and everything in between.

Time to File. When you reach out to your insurance company, they’ll assign an agent to help you through the process. Be persistent and specific in your claim. Keep careful records of your conversations with your agent. With dedication, you should soon have your claim met and your property in tip-top shape again!

We have many years of experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you live in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County and experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.

When You Sustain Storm Damage, Depend on SERVPRO of Marshalltown

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

damage to a roof from a fallen tree during a storm Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown if you experience property damage during a severe storm.

It’s always a serious and stressful situation when your home or commercial property is damaged during a storm. While some storm damage can be simple to deal with, big storms can bring water, electrical and structural damage into the mix, which is why choosing a restoration company that can handle anything is key—as well as choosing one that is a legitimate business with your best interests in mind.

Starting the recovery process following storm damage may feel like an overwhelming task, but it’s worth putting in the effort to make sure it is done right, including finding a restoration company you can count on. 

Why SERVPRO Is the Best for Storm Damage

We’ve built a strong reputation. Many times after a storm unscrupulous companies will move into an area, obtain partial payment and never be heard from again. Needless to say, these companies are normally not community members or restoration industry leaders—but we are. We have worked hard to build a reputation that showcases our trustworthiness, and when you work with us, you will see that reflected in everything we do.

The resources we have are scalable. Regardless of how large the storm is or how much of the area it impacted, you can count on us to be able to help no matter what. With our national SERVPRO® partners by our side, we can call for reinforcements when needed to make sure we can scale up and provide excellent service after storms of any caliber.

The service you will get is unparalleled, at any hour. Discovering you have damage will never be an enjoyable process, but no matter when you discover it, we will be around to help. We are available 24 hours a day, meaning whenever you discover damage, you can give us a call. We will immediately begin formulating a response to tackle your damage and return your property to its pre-storm state.

When you experience damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown right away at  (641) 758-9746.

Watch Out for Those Summer Pop-Up Storms

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

stormy sky with lightning Summer storms, though sometimes brief, can still be very dangerous. Make sure you're ready for when they pop up.

When the days get longer and the sun gets hotter, pop-up summer storms are expected in Iowa. Storms like this may not seem too threatening, but you should  remember that any storm with thunder has the ability to develop dangerous conditions such as hail, high winds and lightning strikes.

Find out how to protect yourself no matter where you are when severe weather develops. It will keep you and your family safe all summer long.

Know your options for shelter. The best place to be in the event of severe weather is an interior room of your own home or office with no exterior windows or doors. However, if you get caught on the road in the storm, staying in your car is the second-safest thing to do. Pull the car over, turn off the engine and avoid touching anything metal inside the vehicle until the storm passes.

Practice electrical safety. If a building is struck by lightning, the electrical charge will rush to the ground—often through electrical wires in the walls of the home. When this happens, a power surge can be transferred to anything that is plugged into the wall. If you have time before a storm moves through, unplug everything in your home to prevent this from happening. As an extra measure of protection in case you forget to unplug something like a computer, use surge protector extensions in every outlet.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. Structures made of concrete may feel like a safe option when faced with severe weather, but when it comes to lightning, they can actually be quite dangerous. Concrete is often constructed with steel bars at the center for reinforcement, which can become a conductor if electricity moves through it. Avoid leaning against concrete walls or laying on a concrete floor when a storm is moving through.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. The good news about summer storms is that they don’t last long, but that can cause a false sense of security when the skies become clear. Lightning strikes can occur as far as 25 miles away from the storm clouds, so officials advise waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap before heading back outside.

If your Marshalltown, Grundy Center, State Center, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls or Wellsburg home or business is damaged from a storm, SERVPRO of Marshalltown can be there quickly to help prevent more damage and begin restoring your property back to its former condition. Contact us to learn more about our storm restoration process. Call (641) 758-9746, any time night or day.

Staying Safe When Severe Storms Are in the Forecast | SERVPRO® of Marshalltown

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

severe weather sign in front of a stormy sky Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are inevitable weather events in Iowa this time of year. Are you prepared?

Severe weather events like thunderstorms and tornadoes pose danger to properties and people. Educating yourself and being prepared are the best ways to keep yourself safe in a severe weather scenario.

Know the Difference Between Watches and Warnings

When severe weather is forecasted for your area, it's important to understand the difference between a watch and a warning in order to react appropriately. A thunderstorm watch means there is potential for severe storms to develop, but one hasn't been identified by radar. Conversely, a warning means that a thunderstorm is imminent or occurring in the area, and you should immediately take shelter.

Be Ready To Take Shelter

Make sure the safest area of your home where you take shelter has an emergency kit that includes extra food and water as well as flashlights and first-aid supplies. If your home doesn't have a basement, you should know where the next safest place is to take shelter. Generally, you should choose a place on the ground floor away from exterior windows or doors, such as a bathroom or closet.

Set Up a Backup for Emergency Alerts

While most people will rely on their smartphones for weather alerts, this should only be your first line of defense. Storms can knock out cell reception, and cell phones can die during power outages. Set up a backup like a battery-powered NOAA weather radio so you never miss a pertinent alert.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown is ready to help you recover from storm damage. We are a local business and can be there quickly in an emergency. If you live in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Wellsburg or any of the surrounding areas, call us at (641) 758-9746.