Recent Storm Damage Posts

Snow and ice

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Winter weather in Michigan brings ice, snow and wind.  Protecting your home from the elements can save you thousands of dollars.  Ice, snow, and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break free and damage your home or car, or even injure someone walking by your property. We at SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield strongly encourage you to repair any steps or handrails.  Broken stairs and banisters can become lethal when covered with snow and ice.  We would also advise to use caulking to seal any cracks and wall openings in home to prevent cold air and moisture from entering your home.  Caulk and install weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent warm air from leaking out and cold air from blowing in.  Lastly, call to have your heating system serviced today.  Furnaces, boilers, and chimneys should be serviced minimally once a year.

Wintertime blues

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and Bloomfield has more tips to protect your home from the winter elements here in Michigan.  We encourage your to increase your home's energy efficiency and protect it against damage caused by rain, snow and freezing temperatures.  

  • Arrange for a home energy audit- Professionals can help uncover any issues or problems in home before cold weather sets in
  • Feel for under-door drafts- Replace weather stripping beneath door 
  • Seal around windows
  • Add insulation in unheated basements, attics and around exposed pipes located close to exterior walls
  • Update your appliances to increase home energy efficiency
  • Install programmable thermostat and keep temperature no lower than 65 degrees
  • Install a flow-based water leak detection system to shut down water system in an emergency
  • Lower your water heater temperature
  • Consider installing a backup generator 
  • Clean gutters regularly

Stormy weather

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Severe damage from most storms is covered under home and business insurance policies, but the specifics vary. The amount you are responsible for paying depends on your premiums and deductibles, the age and structure of the building, the extent of your damage, property values in your neighborhood and much more.  Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044 to inspect any storm damage on your home.  We have listed the different common damage scenarios that can happen below.

  • Winter storm damage

Includes snow, ice and freezing rain storms

  • Hail damage

We do see hail sometimes in Michigan.  These storms are most common between May and September. Hail pellets are usually between .2 inches and 1.75 inches in size, but can be much bigger

  • Lightning and thunderstorm damage

Lightning storms can occur anywhere in the U.S., and they bring the threat of fires and severe structural damage

  • Storm-related flood damage and tidal surges

Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and your safety. Different types of floods come with different risks. River floods and flash floods are common when snow melts and have been known to completely overwhelm structures. Coastal floods and storm surges are even more dangerous, and usually lead to evacuation warnings. These can destroy homes entirely, so it’s best to listen to weather reports and plan ahead. Debris flows, which are often made up of heavy mud and plant material, can crush houses and sweep them away.

  • High winds, tornadoes and hurricanes

High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.

Storm damage upkeep

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South is here to help!  Storm season is coming and we are here to give you some helpful tips.  When it comes to storm damage, basic upkeep goes a long way. And while you can’t control the weather, you can still protect your home and family.  Year-to-year, the severity and frequency of bad weather is anyone’s guess. But, inevitably, a lot of homeowners end up dealing with property damage as a result of storms.  The most common type of property damage we see is roof and siding damage following heavy winds and/or hail.  And while you can’t control the weather, there’s still a lot you can do to protect your home and your family listed below.

  • Replace missing or damaged shingles
  • Repair loose siding
  • Keep your gutters clean
  • Ensure water can flow away from your home
  • Keep your sump pump in working order
  • Ensure proper sealing of doors and windows
  • Check for loose fence posts
  • Regularly trim your trees
  • Do walk throughs around your property
  • Keep a generator on hand

Storm damage tips

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Severe storms can be frightening and dangerous, and safety has to be your first priority. If your area has seen major problems, be careful. If you think your home has been structurally damaged or if flood risk remains, don’t go inside until a professional says it’s safe. Spending a few nights at a friend’s house or in an emergency shelter is a small price to pay.

Once the disaster has passed, it’s important to assess the damage and get started with cleanup and restoration. 

Severe damage from most storms is covered under home and business insurance policies, but the specifics vary. The amount you are responsible for paying depends on your premiums and deductibles, the age and structure of the building, the extent of your damage, property values in your neighborhood and much more.

Most storms are considered acts of God, which means that your insurer can’t single you out for rate increases. However, failing to file claims in a timely manner can make you ineligible for coverage, and entire neighborhoods can be subject to rate increases following disasters. That means you should always file claims as quickly as possible so you don’t end up paying more in future premiums without receiving the benefits now.

First, you should document the damage to your home to the best of your ability. Take a lot of photos and be sure to hang on to any receipts and documents related to appliances and maintenance work you completed prior to the storm. Then, contact SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South and your insurance company as soon as possible.

Common Michigan weather scenarios

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Storms can happen anytime in Michigan as we all know.  SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South has provided information below about the damages Michigan weather can cause.

  • Winter Storm Damage

When you’re dealing with ice storms, freezing rain, blizzards, lake effect storms and snow squalls, damage to your home can include roof and structural damage from heavy snow as well as damage to fascia, exterior pipes and siding. These wintry storms often come with high winds, which can exacerbate damage by causing shingles to break loose. These storms can wreak havoc on utility lines.

Winter storms and freezing weather can also create ice dams, which trap water in between your roof and a layer of ice. These can be easy to miss, but are important to be aware of because they can quickly lead to leaks and then to mold and structural damage.

After a storm, don’t get on the roof or climb into the attic until you’re sure it’s safe. Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South to check for any signs of leakage in the attic, missing fascia and shingles, bent or detached exhaust pipes, damaged roof vents and damage to the valleys and edges where your roof meets the walls.

Always stay in your home until storms pass as they can cause roofs to collapse, trees to break and power lines to snap.  Try to plan ahead in storms with emergency food, water, supplies, and power sources.

Crucial Winter Weather Preparation – Frozen Pipe Prevention

11/29/2020 (Permalink)

Be prepared for winter weather before it hits!

As all Michiganders know, the winters in our state bring frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall that can prove to be hard on both families and their homes. Below you will find some tips to help you prepare before the cold weather strikes here in Southeast Michigan.

PREVENT FROZEN PIPES:

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside of house, and open the valves on all outdoor faucets to allow drainage.
  • Ensure sprinkler systems are turned off and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them completely.

These tips can help prevent frozen pipes in your home over winter. Taking these precautions are crucial in that a burst frozen pipe can wreak havoc on your home.

Do you have damage to your home due to severe storms?

11/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South has years of experience restoring homes that have been damaged by storms and flooding. Our teams can respond immediately with highly trained technicians and specialized equipment to restore your home or business “Like it never even happened.”

As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South has advanced training and expertise regarding any type of water loss. In addition, we have the resources to handle any size disaster caused by a storm. Should we need it, we have access to equipment and personnel from over 1,700 other SERVPRO franchises across the state of Michigan and the country. We have the ability to call upon strategically located Disaster Recovery Teams to respond to major catastrophic storms and events.

We are proud to serve members of our community, and others, and doing our part to help and make it the best it can be.

Prepare for a weather emergency

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

We live in Michigan in which tornadoes and severe storms are more likely to occur. Many people don’t have a plan in place for severe weather. With some planning, your family can have an increased chance of staying safe during an unexpected storm.

Although creating a plan is important, practicing it is even more crucial. A severe weather plan needs to be practiced so that everyone knows where to go, no matter what time of day or night severe weather strikes. Write down all of the important phone numbers for family and friends so that you can stay in contact with them after the storm to ensure that they are safe. Another important number to have is that of your insurance adjustor. This number is beneficial if there is damage to the home. Contact us at 248-344-0044, SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South can come to your home to help with water removal and other storm damage that occurs inside of the house.

Keep copies of all of your important documents, such as social security cards and birth certificates. You also need to have a way to communicate with others in the event there is no power or phone service.

An emergency preparedness kit is something to have so that your family can survive if there is no power or if the family is stuck in the home due to damages from the storm. Items in the kit should last for about 72 hours. Batteries are essential so that you can use your phone, radio or a battery powered television. You also need flashlights, a gallon of water for each person for at least 3 days, and non-perishable foods. Other items you might want to include in your kit are blankets, first aid supplies, and clothing.

Before a storm arrives, if possible, secure items that might blow away. These include chairs and toys that are in the yard. When you are prepared for a natural disaster and the storm damage that could occur, it can help give your family a peace of mind so that they can focus on remaining safe and together.

Flash Floods

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

What is a flash flood?

A flash flood is the rapid flooding of a low-lying geographic area, typically caused by extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. They are the most dangerous type of flood, as they combine the destructive power of a flood with both unpredictability and speed. 

MYTH: Large cars and sports utility vehicles should be able to navigate in deeper flood waters.

TRUTH: Just two feet of swiftly moving flash flood water is enough to float most vehicles - even larger cars and trucks.

MYTH: Flash floods occur only along rivers and streams.

TRUTH: Flash floods can occur nearly anywhere - even in urban areas.

MYTH: Homeowners insurance policies always cover flood damage.

TRUTH: The vast majority of these policies do not cover flood damage.

Call SERVPRO of Novi/Commerce South at 248-344-0044 to assess any water damage in your home

Storm damage tip

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

We encourage you to check your home frequently after storms for any sign of damage to both exterior and interior of home.  Wind, rain and trees can cause interior water damage to drywall and insulation as well as exterior damage to roof, siding and exterior pipes to give you some examples.  SERVPRO of Novi Commerce South can inspect and meter all materials to locate wet materials and addressing issues immediately can save you significant money later down the line.  Let us help you fix small problems before they become large problems!  Call SERVPRO of Novi Commerce South today at 248-344-0044 to schedule an inspection if you discover any water damage after stormy weather.  Living in Michigan has taught us all to be prepared for any weather that comes our way!

Storm safety

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

In any storm situation the most important thing is you and your loved ones safety.  SERVPRO of Novi Commerce South have included some safety tips below for extreme weather or tornado conditions.  Stay safe!

  • Listen to the radio for instructions
  • Do not venture outside until it has been declared safe to do so.  The best defense is to stay inside a sturdy building for protection against lightning, large hail, damaging winds, flooding rain and tornadoes.  Stay away from windows and avoid windows and electrical equipment
  • Check on elderly neighbors
  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded streets, only drive if absolutely necessary
  • Do not swim or wade in flood waters
  • Leave or do not enter buildings that have sustained structural damage
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times
  • Keep pets indoors and use a leash when outside

Typically thunderstorms do not last very long and will most often pass in less then one hour.  Be prepared for when severe weather threatens your area and stay safe!

How to prepare for a Winter Storm

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Warnings & Watches

Winter Storm

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

 Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events.

Know the Difference

Winter Storm Outlook - Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Preparing 

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Frozen Pipe Prevention

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

  • Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
  • Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
  • Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
  • Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows.
  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions

  • Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing.
  • The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
  • Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up.
  • Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces.
  • These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions.
  • Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes. 

If a Pipe Freezes

  • If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
  • To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
  • When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out. 

 If a Pipe Bursts

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.

Storm Damage Emergency Tips

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

After any serious water damage situation, your primary focus should first be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that you know are safe to perform.
  • Wet materials can be extremely heavy: use caution.

What to do after flooding:

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for max drying in the summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to do after flooding:

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Is Your Home Prepared for Storm Damage?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is that time of year when tornadoes and severe storms are more likely to occur. Many people don’t have a plan in place for severe weather. With some planning, your family can have an increased chance of staying safe during an unexpected storm.

Although creating a plan is important, practicing it is even more crucial. A severe weather plan needs to be practiced so that everyone knows where to go, no matter what time of day or night severe weather strikes. Write down all of the important phone numbers for family and friends so that you can stay in contact with them after the storm to ensure that they are safe. Another important number to have is that of your insurance adjustor. This number is beneficial if there is damage to the home. Companies like SERVPRO of Novi can come to the home to help with water removal and other storm damage that occurs inside of the house.

Keep copies of all of your important documents, such as social security cards and birth certificates. You also need to have a way to communicate with others in the event there is no power or phone service.

An emergency preparedness kit is something to have so that your family can survive if there is no power or if the family is stuck in the home due to damages from the storm. Items in the kit should last for about 72 hours. Batteries are essential so that you can use your phone, radio or a battery powered television. You also need flashlights, a gallon of water for each person for at least 3 days, and non-perishable foods. Other items you might want to include in your kit are blankets, first aid supplies, and clothing.

Before a storm arrives, if possible, secure items that might blow away. These include chairs and toys that are in the yard. When you are prepared for a natural disaster and the storm damage that could occur, it can help give your family a peace of mind so that they can focus on remaining safe and together.

Get Prepared: Emergency Supply Kit

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is the time to prepare for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way. Having an emergency supply kit on hand is the first place to start.

An emergency supply kit is a collection of basic items in your household you may need in the event of an emergency.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moments notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have the time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them when disaster strikes.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last at least 72 hours.

Recommended Items to Include in an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days.
  • Food, at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable items.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Can opener for food.
  • Local maps.
  • Phone chargers with adapters to allow charging in a car.

Keep the SERVPRO of Novi number handy as well: 248-344-0044. If you suffer storm damage to your home or property, our crew can be there to take immediate action. We can help minimize secondary damages caused by severe weather.

Damage from a Storm? SERVPRO is Ready 24/7

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Restoring storm and flood damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We are dedicated to responding immediately at any hour, which helps to minimize secondary damages.

Flooding and water emergencies do not wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO of Novi provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response from a member of our team at any time.

This is crucial because in many restoration situations, immediate action is needed. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and overall costs.

Water is particularly invasive, and can quickly spread throughout your property and be absorbed into walls, furniture, etc. We arrive quickly and start the extraction process almost immediately.

If your property is damaged by a storm, call SERVPRO of Novi at 248-344-0044.