Recent Storm Damage Posts
Weather is Unpredictable
Just like winter itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.
The recent mild weather in the beginning of February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.
Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began.
“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters.
Here are some helpful tips and suggestions:
For Your Home
- Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone.
- If Feasible, Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines.
- Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational.
- Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.
If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.
Storms During the Colder Months
This summer and fall were unusually wet and cold. Even though the winter weather is not reliably predicted yet, whether or not we have a mild winter or one filled with blizzards and nor'easters, you should always prepare your home for the worst.
Preparing now may affect the impact that powerful storms and weather systems can do to property.
Keep Drains and Gutters Clear
Clear leaves from your gutters and rake leaves away from your foundation.
The same applies for snow. Break up any piles of snow that may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing, which will block any drains.
Another tactic to aid with drainage is to consult with a landscaping service to design your property to move water away from your home, and have plantings to prevent soil erosion.
Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps
As it gets colder and wetter, any roof leaks could be a potential disaster, as the entry point may freezes and re-freeze, making the gap expand and allow more water in.
Windows can also be a source for leaks. It may take time to locate where water is coming in–you may have to check for cold air as well. Once you find it, you’ll have to caulk around where the break is.
Clear Away Sick Trees and Loose Branches
Poor drainage, combined with sick, old or damaged trees may result in downed trees during a storm - which results in uprooted trees. These may fall or lean on power lines and homes.
If you have trees on your property it would be in your best interest to hire an arborist or tree service to check your tree’s health. Most branches and fallen trees were weak and sick before a storm, and only needed the right gust to send branches flying and trunks to topple.
Maintain your trees and keep them trimmed and healthy.
Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards and costly. Staying several steps ahead of the damage caused by wind, rain, ice and snow can make for a safe and secure rest of the year.
Remember, should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up.
Prepare for Fall's Storms
Here in Monmouth County, NJ, we often enjoy a beautiful fall season spent outdoors, enjoying time with friends and family in our backyard and weekends walking along the beach, no longer crowded with summer revelers.
Unfortunately, this season can also bring potentially dangerous weather conditions in the form of nor'easter storms that can wreak havoc for homeowners. In order to minimize any damage to your home and property, here are some steps you can take now to help prepare for when the next storm hits:
Trim Large and/or Dying Trees
Some of the worst damage that can happen to a home during a major storm is the result of falling trees.
While the weather is nice, make sure to inspect all your shrubs and trees and remove any branches that may come crashing into your home.
Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean
When leaves fall it is especially important to keep your gutters clean of leaves and debris. This not only helps protect your siding and landscaping, it can also help prevent costly water damage to your foundation.
Make sure to inspect where the downspout meets the gutter system as this is a spot where clogs frequently occur.
Secure Your Outdoor Furniture
If the weather is still nice, you may still have your patio or deck set up. Before the storm hits, make sure you have tightly secured any furniture using heavy duty chains or wires to connect your furniture to stakes. Or, try tying multiple pieces of furniture together with bungee cords so that their combined mass and weight can function like a natural anchor.
If you have the space, another good option is to bring the furniture inside until after the storm has passed.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
If you’re wondering what you should have in your survival kit, here are the 15 minimum supplies recommended by the American Red Cross:
- Non-Perishable Food
- Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
- First Aid Kit
- Multi-Purpose Tool
- Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
- Copies of Personal Documents
- Cell Phones & Chargers
- Emergency & Family Contact Info
- Area Maps
Know Your Evacuation Plan
Lastly, in case the storm turns out to be severe, make sure you have a safe place to take shelter. Communicate with your family and make a plan well in advance so everyone is prepared.
If your home is damaged by a storm, call the restoration professionals of SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch as soon as you can. A quick response helps to minimize and prevent further damage, reducing you costs. We have the specialized expertise and equipment to help you quickly dry and restore your home to its pre-storm condition.
It’s Hurricane Season!
The peak potential time for hurricanes here in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October. Hurricane Sandy is still on people’s minds, and each season is unpredictable as to the amount and severity of possible storms. Here at the Jersey Shore it’s especially important to be prepared for anything.
In order to protect your home, here are 5 tips that can help you prepare for and ride out a storm:
Keep Doors and Windows Protected Against Rain, High Winds, and Flying Debris
Heavy rains can cause flooding in your home. And, high winds can hurl objects at speeds so fast they can act like bullets. In other words: make sure to protect your windows and doors.
And don’t forget your garage door! Make sure your garage door is installed to be weather-proof or brace an existing door to keep it from giving way.
Remove Items from Your Yard
The more you can minimize any loose, large objects near your house, the better you can protect yourself from flying debris. Remember to secure any patio furniture or garden sculptures. Even better, try to bring everything you can indoors for the duration of the storm.
Keeping your trees pruned and removing any dead branches well before the storm begins will make a big difference in high winds.
Keep Gutters Clear So Water Can Flow
It’s a good idea to regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts and make sure nothing blocks flowing rain water or melting snow throughout the year. But, is especially important to make sure nothing is blocking your water flow before a major storm.
If the heavy rains can’t flow down and away, they could end up pooling on your roof and leaking into your attic, creating significant and costly damage to your home. So, make sure to conduct a visual inspection of your gutter and downspouts to ensure rain will flow away from your roof and home.
Make Sure You Have a Working Sump Pump and Emergency Generator
One way to ensure your basement or crawl space will stay dry during any potential flooding is to install a sump pump system. Also having an emergency generator on hand can be useful for any power loss you may experience during a major storm. You may consider installing a whole-house system, but even a small generator can keep the essentials going and help you withstand the worst of the storm’s after-effects.
Stock Up on Basic Supplies
It’s a good idea to keep on hand at least a three-day supply of basic necessities. This includes drinking water, food that doesn’t need refrigeration, a first aid kit, any prescriptions or other necessary medications, and personal hygiene items. You’ll probably also want a supply of batteries, a flashlight, and candles, just in case you end up with no electricity.
Some additional items recommended by FEMA include:
- Copies of important family documents in a waterproof container
- Sleeping bags and warm blankets
- Change of clothing
- Paper towels and plastic utensils, plates, and cups
- Books and games to pass the time.
If your home does sustain significant storm damage, it is a good idea to enlist the help of trained storm damage specialists as soon as you can. A fast response can limit the extent of the damage and significantly reduce your overall costs. Remember SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is THE only restoration company who can handle storms like Sandy - we can rely on many of our SERVPRO franchises throughout the country to come and help.
In Like a Lion
This road in Belmar saw flooding due to high tide surge. Homes facing the bay had water damage that had to be remediated.
The beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, Riley, Quinn and Skylar, in less than two weeks. Winter Storm Riley was accompanied by a full moon, which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns. Many homes had flood damage or water damage caused by high winds and heavy rain and snow.
Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.
SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.
Be Prepared For Coastal Flooding
The New Jersey coastline is particularly vulnerable to ocean storm surge.
The Jersey Shore is particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding during hurricanes and nor'easters. The safest step to take is to evacuate to higher ground.
However, if you must shelter in place, much of the evacuation protocol applies in moving valuables and furniture to a higher floor and removing loose items, but now you, your loved ones and any pets must move to a higher floor. What is paramount is creating the conditions to endure the next few days with increased discomfort, and accepting the limited availability of rescue and medical services.
- It is recommended to keep at least 3-days of food and water. Any food you keep should be non-perishable, such as canned and dry goods (e.g., soups, cereals, protein bars);
- It may be dangerous to use a gas stove, or you may not have access to a working gas or electric one, you can use the following alternatives:
- Camp stoves (outdoor use only)
- Charcoal grills (outdoor use only)
- If you have access to a refrigerator, be sparing in its use to help keep the cold circulating. If the temperature rises above 40°F, bacteria will thrive—rendering any refrigerated food inedible;
- Any food that has been left at room temperature for over two hours or has had contact with contaminated flood water should be discarded.
- Keep a fresh supply of bottled water of the commercial variety. If you need to use containers, use food-grade water storage containers. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they will dehydrate you;
- If you run out or need to treat possibly contaminated water, boil it, chlorinate it, or use distillation methods before use.
Further tips and information can be found here.
Enduring and surviving a flood can be a harrowing experience. There’s much preparedness that is required for living in flood-prone areas. With the right information helpfully provided on Ready.gov and the FEMA sites, you can find strategies and tips, so you can direct your energies to help and comfort for your loved ones.
Once the flood waters subside, you know you can count on SERVPRO to assist with the cleanup and speed up the return to normalcy.
Beware of the Flood
This restaurant in Monmouth Beach was almost submerged from a storm surge and tidal flooding during a hurricane.
It's February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.
We’ve all seen the footage and images from the most recent wave of deadly hurricanes, the destruction wrought by storm surges that fill residential streets. Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began.
“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters. What follows are some helpful tips and suggestions:
For Your Home
- Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone. If so an early measure to take is to seek out a flood insurance policy that works for you. Having flood insurance will help cover the cost of any repairs once waters subsides. Flood insurance is available for renters and business owners as well and forms and information can be acquired through the National Flood Insurance Program;
- Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines. Frequent flooding requires frequent fixes so stockpile emergency building materials, such as wood, nails, etc.;
- Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You can find ready step-by-step fixes on most websites or purchase sealants to fill cracks and openings. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational. It may also be in your best interest to have a battery-operated sump pump if you lack a system or there is a power failure;
- Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.
If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, make sure you contact the pros from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch. They will be able to fix your home "Like it never even happened."
Deep Freeze of 2018
Temperatures below freezing for over ten days left many homeowners seeking help from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch for broken pipes
The Jersey Shore, along with the entire Northeast, suffered a deep freeze of below freezing temperatures for nearly two weeks, coupled with Winter Storm Grayson. This resulted in frozen and bursting water pipes in many homes, offices and schools throughout the region. Monmouth County was hit particularly hard as well from coastal flooding.
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch was on the scene, helping many homeowners and businesses by extracting water and drying basements, crawl spaces, floors and sheet rock.
To avoid future frozen and broken pipes during long-time freezing temperatures, it is easy to take the following steps:
- Wrap outside faucets
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house
- Disconnect garden hoses
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems
- Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing
- Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom
- Make sure thermostat is set to constant temperature
If, however, you do experience broken pipes, make sure you take quick action to have the water extracted and your home or business dried out properly. Call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Preparing for a Blizzard Part II
Make sure to be prepared way ahead of any storm.
Now that you've winterized your home, you're ready to prepare for the unexpected. It's never too late to get everything you need before a storm.
Stock Up on Supplies
Every powerful storm brings a panic run on supermarkets and gas stations. Consider stocking up on the following to sustain you and your family over difficult days:
- Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping. Stocking up on soup, canned vegetables, dry pasta and other items gradually could create a substantial food source that could be useful during the winter months.
- Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
- Battery-Operated Devices: A working supply of batteries can be the difference between staying illuminated and connected or stuck and ignorant in the dark. Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
- Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (or find reliable tips online) and perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
- Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels. Fire extinguishers should also be full and inspections up-to-date.
Keep Your Car Storm-Ready
There could be that awful possibility of getting caught out on the highway in a terrible storm, only to discover that the highway has been closed and you are forced to shelter in place. Don’t let your motor idle, sapping battery life and fuel in an effort to keep warm. In addition to keeping a first-aid kit and jumper cables in your trunk, you may want to stow a shovel, scrapers and brushes to remove snow and dig out your car, or someone else who may need your assistance. You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.
Here’s some other suggestions for keeping your car storm-ready:
- Snacks and water: have the foresight to keep snacks on hand, such as trail mix, nuts or anything else with a long shelf life, as well as a fresh bottle of water.
- Keeping warm: That sleeping bag that accompanied you on summer overnight trips could come in handy should you find you have to stay the night before the ploughs can clear the highway. Also a set of dry clothes (jeans, sweaters, shirt, socks and maybe even extra boots) to change into if what you’re wearing manages to get soggy.
- “Go Bags”: It may be a sound decision to have on hand in your car or home, packed and ready for emergencies, a “go bag” (aka, “bug-out bag”). The Get Ready campaign, an emergency preparedness campaign sponsored by the U.S. government, has a site where you can learn the basic contents: a set of clothes for extended stays, some money, first aid material, and anything else needed should there be a call to evacuate.
Keep Activity to Confined to Only a Few Rooms
It will prove important to reduce the amount of area that your family uses to retain heat. Designate areas such as the living room, the kitchen and a bathroom for habitation and to keep warm. Close off all other rooms—especially if they aren’t well insulated. If you keep enough people to only a few rooms, body heat and the heat given off by heaters and will last much longer, especially if the power goes out.
If you want more information regarding preparation for blizzards and nor’easters and the challenges these storms present, information can be easily obtained via material posted on the Red Cross and FEMA websites. Both proved helpful in compiling the tips and pointers mentioned in this article. Should you need help with cleanup and disposal in the aftermath, you can always count on SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to provide ready assistance.
Don't let a Blizzard Catch You Off Guard
Excess snow from a blizzard can create a host of problems if your home is not prepared.
You can call it anything you want, but when the wind and snow come roaring through: a blizzard is a blizzard! With heavy snowfall and hurricane-force gusts hurling drifts in every direction, a blizzard will render roads impassable, down power lines and bring life to a standstill.
With the right precautions in place, you may be able to ride out the storm with your home and your family’s safety intact. Your main tasks during such a trial are to be prepared, stay warm and dry and stay safe.
Winterize Your Home
If there’s an evacuation order it’s best to take heed, especially if there’s a danger of coastal flooding or impassable roads cutting you off from vital care. If by choice or circumstance you find you are riding out the storm at home, it’s important to make sure your home is well-insulated and that any gaps and cracks around windows and doors are sealed.
These following precautions can be very helpful in the run-up to any winter storm or freezing condition:
- Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
- Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
- Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.
Dress for the Storm
To preserve body heat indoors and out, it’s best to layer up. If there is a reason to go out and brave the weather, or you’re feeling snug at home while the wind is roaring outside, you should still dress for reduced temperatures and stormy conditions.
Outside Apparel: If you must be outside, you must keep warm and dry. Cover yourself from scalp to sole with a hat, a scarf and a water-repellent outer layer. Use mittens instead of gloves because keeping your fingers close together helps with insulation.
Inside apparel: Even in the comfort of your own home, you should add an extra, secondary layer—especially if and when the power goes out. For the duration of the storm and the cold days and nights afterward, you will want to retain as much heat as you give off.
By making sure your house is prepared, you can save yourself the expense and headache of broken pipes and water damage. But if you DO need storm cleanup, you know you can turn to SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch!
Winter Weather Tips
Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter WeatherKeep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or non-insulated areas of your home.Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.”If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.Ensure gutters are clan and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
Helping a Veteran in the wake of Hurricane Sandy
Our response crew with SSG Mike Minard (right).
SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch teamed up with Homes For Our Troops to help Iraq war veteran SSG Mike Minard and his family return to their Union Beach home after suffering damage from Hurricane Sandy. It was an honor to work with a veteran that has given up so much for our country.