Recent Storm Damage Posts
Too much Too Fast
Recently we were able to serve customers out of town that were affected by Hurricane Matthew. While North Carolina grabbed most of the headlines, our crew was sent to Virginia Beach, VA. It never ceases to amaze me how nature can put a wrench in our plans by damaging our property. We saw a incredible amount of damage, not from ridiculously strong winds or trees falling on homes, but from flooding. While I certainly believe that North Carolina sustained heavier damage, Virginia Beach got a lot of the rainfall that accompanied the hurricane which caused pockets of extreme flooding. One of our customers was injured during the flooding and rescue crews had to use a boat to get him from his house to an emergency vehicle. I couldn't imagine having to boat up to my front door!
Many Hands Make for Light Work
Once the flood waters receded it was time for SERVPRO to go into action. One thing that excites me about this company is our ability to respond in times of need. SERVPRO's Storm Team is able to organize and send hundreds of crews to help when our customers need it the most. We have the resources to get all the equipment, supplies, tools and trained team members to the right spots quickly. It was phenomenal yet again to see so many SERVPRO trucks and vans from so many different parts of the country helping a city in need.
Help Isn't Just Being There, It's More
It's not just quantity that matters. We follow the same standards to help flood victims that we do every other day of the year. It's important to me that our customers know that we are there to help, not to take advantage of the situation they are in. Some contractors only see dollar signs. We follow IICRC standards for completing the job and we use the same estimating and pricing system that we always use. I found that this allowed our customers to trust us immediately even though we were from out of town. And trust is important to helping restore our customers. After all, it's important to restore the property, but it's more important to restore the customer's faith that it will be alright.
It will be ok
The Sun Is . . . Rising
While in Virginia Beach helping to clean up from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew I was fortunate enough to stay right on the beach. (It turns out off season rates are as good as anywhere else in the area!) I began taking a picture of the sunrise over the ocean each morning because I don't get that opportunity very often and I would send the picture to my wife each day.
I was in Virginia Beach throughout the Presidential campaign season I returned home just before election day. When I was looking back over my pictures from this trip I saw this particular sunrise and thought of a story I have heard several times over the years. It is said that when the Constitutional Convention was concluding Benjamin Franklin commented on a chair that George Washington had been sitting in throughout the convention that had a semi-circle sun carved into it. He said that he was unsure if that was a rising sun or a setting sun throughout the convention. Finally, at the end of the convention he became certain that for America, the sun was indeed rising.
When I thought of that story and this picture of the sun rising over Virginia Beach I thought about this Hurricane and all the other Storm Events that I have travelled to. I thought about all the storms that have hit our country in the past and I thought to myself, it's going to be alright for these people. Our country is at its best when helping those in need and we have an amazing ability to overcome difficulties in order to keep moving forward. That story of the rising sun chair and the picture I took reminded me that everyone on the East Coast that was affected by Hurricane Matthew may never be the same and it may take a long time to fully recover. But I am certain because of the people I met that for Virginia Beach and any other community affected, the sun is rising.
Lots of rain!
Lots of rain is predicted for Cincinnati. If your sump pump fails or sewer backs up, call 513.467.6666. We'll be there to clean it up!
My roof caused a flood in my basement?
Most people think that their roofs are just there to keep rain from getting in the house, so how could it cause a flood in the basement? Roofs are just a part of a complete drainage system where each part must work together to keep water from coming into the house anywhere. Like any system, if any part is not maintained it could cause the whole system to fail. Here is a quick look at some of the components of the drainage system of most properties:
- Roof (shingle, tile, rubber, metal, etc.)
- Gutters (and other metals like flashing and valleys)
- Drain pipes (above ground, underground)
- Sump Pump (and drain tile)
- Landscape grading
Where's the breakdown?
Roofing materials can wear out over time, gutters can become clogged or damaged, downspouts can get dented which reduces water flow, sump pumps can seize and mulch and dirt can wash out over time and build up against the foundation. When a part of the drainage system fails gravity takes over and generally deposits the rain into the basement. Do I have anyone interested in home ownership yet? The good news is that with a little bit of maintenance and inspection all of these parts of the system can keep water out of your basement as long as you live there. Lack of maintenance could result in the situation you see in the picture!
A season of opportunity
Spring is the season of opportunity. The season to sow, to try something new, to clean up and shake off the remnants of winter. So take the opportunity to walk around your property and look at these different drainage systems. You could even test some of them by spraying water on your roof to inspect for problems. You may not exactly feel like singing in the rain, but it is the best time to see how your drainage system is working. Keep safety in mind when you inspect and ask for help if you are unsure. If you believe water has already gotten into your basement we'll be happy to come out and inspect for wet materials and damage at no charge. Some simple maintenance will provide for years of happy homeownership.
Our crew recently returned home from a two week trip to Chicago to aid in storm damage cleanup. On the night of April 17th the Northern Illinois and Western Michigan areas received around 5-7 inches of rain. SERVPRO was ready and dispatched one of our Storm Teams to help the massive amounts of customers with flood damage.
Our Storm Teams were developed precisely for this type of situation and have specially designed systems to get help to our customers as fast as possible, even during trying times like these. SERVPRO of Cheviot and Cleves is proud to be a member of the Storm Team that responded to the Chicago area.
We handled many different situations during our trip from an inch or two of water all the way up to 5 1/2 feet of water in basements. Some basements were not finished and some were. Many of the customers we helped experienced sewage backing up into their basement because the storm and sewer drainage systems in the area could not handle the tremendous amount of rain. Thankfully we are always ready with the knowledge, training, equipment and willingness to handle even the toughest jobs. In Chicago we definitely helped to make it "Like it never even happened."