Recent Storm Damage Posts

Preparing Your Northshore Home for Spring Storms

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

lightning and clouds In Chicagoland, severe weather can be unpredictable. Preparing in advance could save you thousands in damage to your home.

Spring has officially arrived!  Warmer days have begun, and spring foliage is popping up all around us.  The beauty of spring brings along with it the probability of strong storms.  With a little forward thinking, you’ll be prepared to protect your home. Check out these tips for some ideas to be ready for whatever happens.

Sign up for weather text alerts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends text messages to keep you updated on emergency situations. However, long before anything gets that severe, your local government, weather channel, radio stations and power companies have similar services that let you know what’s happening in your region. The more information you get, the easier it is to plan and prepare.

You can also download the FEMA app to your smartphone, which gets you real-time National Weather Service alerts. You’ll also have access to important emergency safety tips for over 20 types of disasters.

Evaluate your home’s exterior

Your home is designed to shelter you from the weather. To keep it in tip-top condition, do regular walk-arounds and inspect for issues. Keep an eye out for the following things:

  • Loose shingles
  • Loose siding
  • Tree branches extending over your house or driveway
  • All unattached structures like sheds or gazebos should be bolted securely to their foundation
  • Loose patio furniture that should be secured
  • Loose gutters and missing/detached downspouts
  • If you have shutters, make sure they’re secure and clear of debris
  • Check to see if your fence needs repair

Check your sump pump

As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” And with all that rain, your risk of flooding increases. If you have a sump pump, it’s a great idea to run through an annual sump pump maintenance list. 

You’ll want to clear all debris so it doesn’t impede function and ensure your back-up is in working order. With added sump pump failure and water backup coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you’ll have better protection that can bring real peace of mind when the rain starts to fall.

Weather can be unpredictable, but you can still prepare for the unexpected.  Talk with your local insurance agent to review your homeowner’s coverage, and call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield in the event your home sustains damage.  We are available to take your call 24/7/365 at 847-432-1222.

Storm Preparedness in Lincolnshire, IL: Protecting Your Property

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

icicles at edge of roof Icicles formed on your gutters could cause structural damage to your home. This is due to ice melting and refreezing.

During the winter months, your property could be at risk of sustaining damage from a storm.  Here are some tips to prevent property damage in the winter months.

Winterize Your Home

by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

Insulate Water Pipes

Also, allow faucets to drip or trickle during unusually cold weather or if the power and heat are out to avoid freezing. When water freezes, it expands, and this can cause water pipes to burst. Know how to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts.

Clear Rain Gutters

repair roof leaks, check your roof to make sure it can handle the extra weight of the snow and ice, and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or neighboring structure. Keep pathways and driveways clear between storms to avoid buildup of snow piles and icing.

Install Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Detectors

or electric detectors with battery backups in central locations on every level of your home. This will provide an early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide, which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially deadly gas.

Hire a Contractor

to check the structural ability of your roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow and/or ice

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

and make sure everyone in your home knows how to use them. If your smoke alarms get power from your home’s electrical system (hardwired), make sure the backup battery is replaced at least once a year, so your alarms will work during a power outage.

Maintain Heating Equipment

and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

In the event your property does become damaged despite your best efforts, SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield is here to help.  Call today for a free estimate. We are available at 847-432-1222, 24/7/365.

Storm Preparedness in Lake County, IL: Stay Informed

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

servpro logo with snow background SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield is here to help with any storm damage to your home or business.

Emergency Notifications

  • The National Weather Service (NWS) provides alerts and warnings for all hazards through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) receiver.  For more information on NWR receivers, visit nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/nwrrcvr.html.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications that your community may offer.  Download Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at ready.gov/prepare.
  • Download the FEMA and American Red Cross apps on iOS or Android at no cost.  These apps may provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery. 

Watches and Warnings

Learn the difference between Advisories, Watches, and Warnings, which describe changing winter weather conditions.  Learning what these terms mean can help you understand how an approaching storm may impact you and what actions to take to stay safe.  These alerts are issued by your local National Weather Service office and are based upon local criteria.

  • Winter Weather Advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet, or a combination of these wintry elements is expected but conditions should not be hazardous enough to meet Warning criteria.  Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Use caution when driving.
  • Winter Storm Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm event.  Heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storms, blowing snow, or a combination of these events are possible.
  • Winter Storm Warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet, blowing snow, or a combination of these hazards.  Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.

In the event that your home or business is damaged by severe weather, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield for assistance.  Our team is available 24/7/365 for your water damage emergencies as well as a variety of other property repairs.

Storm Preparedness in Riverwoods, IL: Emergency Supplies

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

American Red Cross Emergency Kit SERVPRO is proud to be a partner of the American Red Cross both corporately and locally since 2013.

You may not be at home when a storm starts, so it is important to have basic supplies of food and water as well as a way to stay warm without power in several locations such as your workplace, vehicle, and/or school.  You can build your supplies over time by adding a few items each week or month. For a complete list of emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov/kitCheck these supplies off of your Winter Storm Preparedness Checklist once you add them to your emergency kit, which appears at the end of this document.

Emergency Communication

Make sure you have everything you will need to get in touch with your family either through cellular phones or email.

Medical Needs

Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions your family members may have.  Ask your doctor about storing prescription meds such as at least a three days’ supply of heart and blood pressure medication, insulin for diabetics, and other prescription drugs such as inhalers for those with asthma.  Include battery backup power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs.

Critical Documents

Place any important documents in a sealed, waterproof container to keep them dry and easily accessible.

Tools and Safety Items

Small items like matches, flashlights, a multi-tool, pocket knife, and a whistle (to signal for help) can make a huge difference for your family while weathering a storm. 

Food/Supplies

Have at least a three-days’ supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to store anything specific to your family’s needs. 

Warm Clothing and Blankets

Warm clothes and blankets can help prevent hypothermia. Do not forget warm, waterproof, and protective footwear as well as gloves.

In the event that your home or business is damaged by severe weather, please don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield for assistance.  Our team is available 24/7/365 for your water damage emergencies as well as a variety of other property repairs.

Deerfield Flooding, Storms and Mold

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for water damage from storms

After a disaster or storm when a significant amount of homes and businesses have been affected by water damage many people have concerns and questions about mold indoors. Any material that is wet must get dried quickly. Mold growth can occur within 48-72 hours in a damp, high humidity environment.

With a water loss from a Category Three contamination, some material may need to be discarded. Water from a flood that comes in a home is filled with contaminants, pesticides, animal droppings, fuel, and silt. With water intrusion in the home, the relative humidity temperature indoors can raise giving mold the perfect climate to grow.

Our SERVPRO of Highland Park/ Deerfield technicians are Institute of Inspection and Cleaning Restoration (IICRC) trained to remove water and decrease the relative humidity in your home after water infiltration. If mold is visible, there are different methods of removal based on the material that mold resides. At the job completion, SERVPRO of Highland Park/ Deerfield also uses an antimicrobial solution to assure that no mold spores will grow in the present mitigation project.

Don't let Severe Weather ruin your Summer

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Be severe weather ready

Severe Weather can affect your property in multiple ways. With Summer in Illinois is full effect there’s always things to prepare for Thunderstorms to keep yourself safe. These tips listed below will help you know what to do to save your property and love ones from damage.

How to Prepare for Thunderstorms

  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
  • Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  • Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
  • Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit
  • Review the Be Red Cross Ready - Thunderstorm Safety Checklist

We are here for any size Storm Damage situation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! Call Today 847-557-1080.

Tips on protecting your vehicle during a hail storm

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Hail can do a lot of damage to your vehicle

A hail storm can do a lot of damage to the windows, metal, and paint of your car, but there are steps you can take to protect your car from damage, with the recent spring storms here in Northern IL scattering anything from pea sized to baseball sized hail it’s important to know what to do if and when a hail storm strikes. Here are some tips to help keep you safe during extreme weather.

  • Get covered parking—Covered parking can save you a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of the country. Make sure to listen to hourly weather reports and move your car into the garage before a storm hits. Don't wait till the last minute to have a space cleared out to properly store you're car. If you don't have room in your garage or a carport, seek alternative parking.
  • Ride out the storm—If you don’t have access to covered parking, try to find temporary shelter. Local malls, for example, usually have parking garages where you could park if you know a storm is brewing. If you don’t have a covered place to store your vehicle, find those options for the big storms. Use large buildings as hail shadows if you can’t find an area with covered parking. If a storm is coming from the east, for example, park on the west side of a large building. If the winds are strong enough, the building may be able to shield your car, causing hail to blow completely past it. If you do get stuck driving in hail, it's best to travel either toward or away from it. The reason is because windshields are better designed to withstand the impact of hail, whereas side windows may not be.
  • Use blankets or car covers—If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something over your car. Some companies sell car covers specific to this purpose, but you can use your own blankets as well. Just make sure you duct tape them down—the winds can pick up pretty quickly during hail storms. The tape can leave a sticky residue on your car, but most likely won’t cause any damage to the paint. (Prepare in advance for this. Opt for personal safety and don’t do this if the storm is happening within a matter of minutes.) If you’re caught someplace where you don’t have the option to cover your car this way you can use your floor mats to place over your windshield to help prevent the hail from breaking it. It’s not the best option but at least it’s something

Always stay protected during a hail storm and do not leave your vehicle unless it’s necessary as hail can cause serious bodily damage. If you’re caught in a hail storm while driving and large sized hail is hitting your car, pull over, Make sure you pull completely off the highway, and cover up with a blanket, jacket or whatever you have available in your car to use to shield yourself just in case the hail were to break any glass in your vehicle. Get onto the floor face down, or lay down on the seat with your back to the windows if possible. Put very small children under you, and cover their eyes.

Facts About Floods

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Need to know about floods

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Flood Advisory: Be Aware: A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

When storms hit the area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Strom or Flood damage? Call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield today 847-557-1080

Ways to get Weather Warnings

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Stay informed, be prepared

Storm season is upon us. Do you know all the ways you can stay informed about inclement weather in your area? Here are some Ways to get Warnings and stay in the know.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

Emergency messages sent by the National Weather Service (NWS) and other agencies via your mobile carrier.

Your phone will receive the alters moments after being issued. Phones that are using cell towers in the alert zone will receive the WEA.

NOAA Weather Radio

A nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather info from your local NWS office.

These battery-powered radios are a great source of weather warnings when the power is out and at night when you may be sleeping.

The Internet

Check weather.gov on a desktop or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.

Other ways to find warnings online include social media, other weather apps and local news sites.

Local TV and Radio

Local stations broadcast official warnings, plus forecasts and storm tracks from on-air meteorologists.

TV in particular is a great source of emergency info, since radar displays, maps, and other graphics can be shown.

Outdoor Sirens

Only designed to alert people who are outdoors.

Sirens are not intended to alert people who are in cars, homes, or other buildings.

Storm damage can happen, no matter how prepared you are. Call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield. We have the training, tools and team to help you. 847-557-1080

Dealing with Storm Damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can be stressful. Let SERVPRO help.

Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.

SAFETY FIRST

If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield; we’ll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.

INSURANCE

You will need to contact your homeowners’ insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to find out what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.

RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING

Document your neighbor’s damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them a way to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider, and don’t do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield to handle any repairs.

BE SCAM FREE

Always check the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair.

Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will be an immense help and can prevent problems down the road.

The SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield team is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at 847-557-1080

Deerfield Flooding, Storms, and Mold

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

After a disaster or storm when a significant amount of homes and businesses have been affected many people have concerns and questions about mold indoors. Any material that is wet must get dried quickly. Mold growth can occur within 48-72 hours in a damp, high humidity environment. With a water loss from a Category Three contamination, some material may need to be discarded. Water from a flood that comes in a home is filled with contaminants, pesticides, animal droppings, fuel, and silt. With water intrusion in the home, the relative humidity temperature indoors can raise giving mold the perfect climate to grow. Our SERVPRO of Highland Park/ Deerfield technicians are Institute of Inspection and Cleaning Restoration trained to remove water and decrease the relative humidity in your home after water infiltration. If mold is visible, there are different methods of removal based on the material that mold resides. At the job completion, SERVPRO of Highland Park/ Deerfield also uses an antimicrobial solution to assure that no mold spores will grow in the present mitigation project.