According to NSSL, The National Severe Storms Laboratory, there are many different types of storms. Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Floods, Lightning, Hail, Damaging Winds, and Winter Storms top their list. Lightning is one of the oldest observed natural phenomena on earth. It can be seen in volcanic eruptions, extremely intense forest fires, surface nuclear detonations, heavy snowstorms, in large hurricanes, and obviously, thunderstorms. What is lightning? By definition from NSSL "Lightning is a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. In the early stages of development, air acts as an insulator between the positive and negative charges in the cloud and between the cloud and the ground. When the opposite charges build up enough, this insulating capacity of the air breaks down and there is a rapid discharge of electricity that we know as lightning. The flash of lightning temporarily equalizes the charged regions in the atmosphere until the opposite charges build up again." Always heed warnings and seek shelter indoors and away from windows and doors when lightning is occurring.
Sump pump failures; there's more to it!
This past weekend, the area of SERVPRO of Pottstown/Souderton received a substantial amount of rainfall. Our phones were ringing as early as Saturday morning with customers who required our assistance since their sump pumps failed the night before. We were able to get onsite to asses the damage and then make decisions and best course of action. If the rain had stopped, we could have pumped out the water then left equipment to begin the dry out. However, since it was still raining and continued to do so until Late Sunday evening, that presents a challenge. You can't run the risk of the equipment getting wet as that could cause a short in the electrical systems which could have led to a fire. All in all, our customers understood the dangers and agreed to let us come back yesterday and today to place equipment and properly dry out the affected areas.
Sopping Memorial day
The South Eastern portion of Pennsylvania is gearing up for a very interesting Memorial Day Weekend; weather wise, that is. The forecast is calling for rain this afternoon, through Saturday and Sunday and finally stopping on Monday. Normally, that would just be depressing over a 3 day weekend, but considering we haven't had rain for almost a month, the ground is exceedingly dry. If we get a lot of wind with this storm front, that will add to the dangers of power outages and overall nastiness. With it being so dry, the literal dust will kick up first, then the rain, which makes it almost clay like, will cause loss of visibility. Let's hope that it truly doesn't get to that point, but we need to be as prepared as possible.
Emergency Ready Plans
If you own a business, you know that anything could go wrong at any moment. Are you prepared to handle it when the time comes? Most business owners feel confident that they would know what to do, until it actually happens and then they are worried and floundering. An Emergency Ready Plan or ERP with SERVPRO is a great way to take some of that stress off of you! We will formulate a plan with you so that all moving parts are in one place and will make things that much easier if and when the time comes. We will know where the main shut off is for the water or electric. We will know who your insurance carrier is so that we can handle all the paperwork for you. We will make it "Like it never even happened."
At SERVPRO we are always learning new things! In this line of work, a new product or procedure comes along very frequently. How do we keep up with all the changes in the industry? Not only do our technicians take courses through IICRC to stay on the forefront of technology, but our offices offer CE or Continuing Education classes. These classes are open to anyone who may benefit as well as those people who are required to show a certain number of hours per year depending on their licenses and certifications. With the current state of the world, we are offering these classes online in a "Zoom" type setting. Please reach out to your local SERVPRO office to inquire about these courses and to get on the list of scheduled attendees.
An apple a day.....
There's an old saying that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". That's great and there is probably a lot of truth to that based on a healthy diet and exercise regimen. When the pandemic hit last year, that slogan sort of lost its luster. No one really knew what was going on or how to treat it, they just knew they had to try. No one is suggesting that eating an apple a day would have avoided the situation, but it can't hurt. Our local franchise teamed up with the local hospital and we donated much needed PPE at that particular time. We are as active in our communities as we can be. We support eating healthy, proper exercise and when things get worse, your local docs are there....and so is SERVPRO. SERVPRO cares and we are here for our friends and neighbors no matter what the situation!
Is there anything better than a hot dog or a burger cooked on a grill? We think not. The smell, the taste, the excitement! Warmer weather, longer amounts of daylight, gatherings with friends and families....it just doesn't get any better. Memorial Day weekend is always considered the "Unofficial" start of Summer. It's generally the 1st use of the grill since putting it away in the fall. In order to avoid any issues or even a horrific fire, make sure you properly clean your grill before firing it up for the first time. Be sure your tank has plenty of gas and make sure the grill is at least 10 feet from any structure! Almost 60% of American's use their grills on Memorial Day and while we support that idea, we do worry about the safety of all. We certainly hope you don't need us, but your local SERVPRO franchise is on call and is prepared in case something goes horribly wrong.
Slip N Slides provide lots of entertainment for both young and old. They are designed to offer hours of fun in the sun and a way for everyone to cool off on hot summer days. They're easy to install; just hook it up to your hose and let enough water wet the plastic and away you go. But what happens when your hose bib is leaking inside your home? Most people don't think much about this but it can cause a multitude of problems. If you have a leak and aren't aware of it, you could be setting yourself up for a serious mold problem and water damage to your home. Inspect your hose bib before use to avoid this and any other problems. If you do have any type of loss, be sure to reach out to your local SERVPRO franchise to mitigate the problem promptly!
But I have Insurance!
My damaged property should be covered by my property insurance carrier. Not so fast! What’s the difference between water damage vs. flood damage? Unfortunately, many people believe that water damage and flood damage are automatically covered through their property insurance. As a property owner, it is very important to understand the difference between water damage and flood damage and how each scenario may be or may be not covered by your insurance carrier. WATER DAMAGE is usually caused by water originating from plumbing, such as a pipe backup, clogged toilet, dishwasher, washing machine, frozen pipe, leaking roof, sump pump malfunction and/or any other internal plumbing issue. A FLOOD DAMAGE is usually caused by water originating from a natural occurrence such as a hurricane or heavy rain event. It is so common for property owners to believe homeowner’s insurance will cover for flood damage. Remember, homeowner’s insurance does not cover for flood damage. Most likely your policy will usually cover for water damage only, it will not pay for damages related to a flood event. Again, it is imperative to remember that flood damage and water damage are two distinct insurance coverage policies and possibly two different insurance companies. It is always best to discuss your coverage and coverage needs with an insurance professional and understand what is and what is not covered by your insurance carrier in case of property damage.
What the Hail?
What is hail? By definition of NationalGeographic.com "Hail is precipitation that is formed when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere." Hail can be severe and affects homes, cars, aircraft, livestock and people. It can be deadly. Hail generally occurs in the summer months and can happen anywhere in the world, but Kenya holds the record for most days, 132, in one year, according to data from 2016. Hail can fall anywhere between 15-40mph depending on the severity of the storm. If you experience hail damage to your home or business you will want to reach out to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. You're local SERVPRO franchise is familiar with mitigating the damage from hail storms.