Recent Storm Damage Posts

SERVPRO Tips: What to do after a flood

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

After a flood happens, homeowners may be faced with property losses and damage. Unlike a pipe leak, which is relatively clean water, the cleaning requirements for floodwaters are different. Along with potential black water in the mix, there can also be debris and loosened materials to watch for.

Assessing the Damage

Anything the flood waters touch will need to be addressed. If the flooding is overwhelming, a flood clean professional help you address the problem and provide services to get your home looking “Like it never even happened.” During initial inspection, in addition to checking flooring and walls, check the following for any contact with the waters:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, cups, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Mattresses
  • Toys

While some of these may be able to be cleaned, such as appliances and furniture, some of them should be thrown away. Things like mattresses and stuffed animals can be difficult to completely clean. If a rug has been saturated more than 24 hours, it may need to be tossed. Any clothes, rugs and furniture should immediately be removed and set out to dry before cleaning.

A Thorough Clean

One of the main cleaning requirements for floodwaters is a good flood disinfectant. It will not only eliminate bacteria, stains, and odors but also help reduce the potential for mold to grow. Once any wet items have been dried, usually for at least 48 hours, the cleaning process can start. Be sure to clean anything that has been in contact with water and remember to take safety precautions during the process, such as:

  • Wear disposable gloves and clothing.
  • Avoid touching the face or eyes.
  • Refresh cleaning solution when it becomes cloudy.
  • Thoroughly wash hands after cleaning.

While cleaning requirements may feel overwhelming on top of all the other stresses from the flooding itself, it’s important to ensure everything is clean. That will ensure any mold or bacteria is stopped in its tracks before becoming an issue down the road.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: How to deal with torrential rains when they hit your home or business

8/29/2020 (Permalink)

When the sticky, hot air common during the “dog days” of summer collides with a cold front hinting of fall, Portage can be deluged with torrential rain. Areas of the city struggle with stormwater runoff issues, with flash flooding threatening to invade the lower levels of homes in locations with poor drainage history. If your home is the unfortunate recipient of unwanted water because of overland flooding, we can help manage it safely and quickly.

Poorly Maintained Gutters and Downspouts Contribute to Flooding

If it has been some time since your roof drainage system has had attention, clogged gutters and disconnected drains could be making flood damage in Portage more intense. When the system does not guide roof runoff properly, excess water saturates the ground right next to your foundation and can seep inside. The water moves through cracks or even straight through the semi-porous materials like cinder blocks or concrete that form the walls of the foundation. Wet moves to dry, and if the extra water has nowhere else to go, it can force its way inside to flood your basement.

Flood Water Contains Contaminants

Professional mitigation and remediation follow a thorough professional assessment of all aspects of residential flood damage. Our managers and technicians complete comprehensive training developed by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) before working on your project. We master the techniques needed to pump and extract and then contain floodwaters. Our technicians expect that water is contaminated with road and landscaping chemicals, sewage, organic waste such as dead animals and vegetation, topsoil, and silt. Our team follows local regulations when disposing of contaminated fluids, for your health and welfare and also that of the community. We clean and disinfect all affected surfaces with EPA-registered products to inhibit mold and other pathogen growth.

Thorough Structural Drying Must Follow Flood Water Removal

Removing flood waters is just the first step to complete flood damage mitigation and remediation. We follow up with a drying plan designed to return the moisture levels of structural components to normal readings. We use air movers and heaters to facilitate the transfer of absorbed water to vapor. Then we use evaporative or desiccant dehumidifiers to capture the moisture for off-site disposal.

SERVPRO of Porter County is ready to respond if your home suffers flooding from late summer storms. Call (219) 476-1883 day or night, secure in the knowledge that We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Click here to see more of Portage. 

SERVPRO Tips: It's Important to know what to do and to put it into action

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do in a crisis is very different from putting this information into action for a damaged Portage property. Flooding is something that many homes throughout Porter County have contended with as long as our team has been serving the area, and it is the homeowners that know how to reduce the pressing severity of the situation that can modify both the time spent restoring the property and its ultimate cost when this project completes.

With multiple facets to flood damage in Portage residences, any step you can take to lessen these effects can improve efficiency for cleanup and restoration efforts. Homeowners can take preliminary steps, but only in waiting for professionals like our SERVPRO team to arrive. Our technicians have the experience to contend with widespread loss incidents, and arrive with specialized equipment for rapid extraction, drying, cleaning, and disinfection. There are ways you can help before and during the earliest stages of disaster to protect your property and its contents:

Pay Attention to Changing Weather Conditions
Homeowners often have brief warnings before flooding, and other natural disasters occur. In this time, you can work to gather sentimental items and the occupants of your home together to get to safety.

Ensure Spouts for Sump Pumps Stay Clear
Over time, drainage for sump pumps inside the property can get covered. This blockage can go unnoticed until the next potential flooding scenario. To reduce the presence of floodwater in the lower levels, you can ensure that this sump pump runs optimally before our SERVPRO team arrives.

Shut Off Utilities Before Leaving
You might know the safest place for you is not at home during a flood, but many forget to stop their utilities that remain at risk for damages or compromising failures when exposed to floodwater and debris.

There are ways that you can improve the efficiency of restoration and recovery when it begins on your home. Whenever flood loss incidents arise, regardless of their severity, you can count on our SERVPRO of Porter County team to make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime that you need us at (219) 476-1883.

For more about Portage click here.

When Water Invades Your Home, SERVPRO Is Here For You

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy rainstorms in the Chesterton area can mean you need to prepare yourself for flooding. Being prepared means making sure you are informed about the storm and the areas it is affecting, creating an emergency plan of communication, and knowing what to do when the flood is approaching your home.

Flooding and flood damage to your Chesterton home can be massive in a short amount of time. It is essential that as soon as the storms subside, you get in touch with a professional remediation company, such as SERVPRO, right away. We can help you get all the water out of your home and then dry it out so you and your family can return to a safe, dry home again.

You can reduce the risk of damage to your home by elevating utilities that are critical such as switches, electrical panels, wiring, sockets, heating systems, and appliances. If you live in an region with repeated flooding, think about elevating your whole structure. You should also make sure your basement is waterproofed, and your sump pump is working correctly. Install a battery backup as well in case you lose power.

SERVPRO technicians follow all safety procedures during a flooding emergency like this, including keeping you and your family out of the home while we work and wearing protective equipment. Floodwater can be contaminated by sewage and chemicals, or even animals. Our specialists want to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

We extract as much standing water as we can with powerful, truck-mounted pumps to remove the water as quickly as possible. Once this is complete, we can assess the rest of the damage and dry your structure out.

When floods are approaching, make sure to clear debris from downspouts and gutters and fuel tanks should be anchored. Move your valuables, furniture, and documents which are important to a safe place. You should keep copies of valuable documents like passports and birth certificates in a safe place that is dry, like a safe deposit box.

Building an emergency supply kit is also a good idea. Bottled water, food, medicines, first-aid supplies and a radio that is battery operated should be packed and ready to go when you are. Plan an evacuation route as well and practice it with your entire family, so everyone knows what to in the event of an emergency.

SERVPRO of Porter County is ready to help you restore your home in Portage, Kouts, or Valparaiso when floodwaters have invaded. Please give us a call at (219) 476-1883 as soon as the storm has subsided so we can help you avoid additional damage to your home.

Click here for more about Chesterton.

SERVPRO is here for you when floods damage your Valparaiso home

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Whenever natural disasters force their way through the foundation of your Valparaiso home, the effect could be challenging to overcome without expertise and the right equipment. With many basements throughout the area already susceptible to moisture and dampness from groundwater, flooding is never a far step when the ground surrounding your home becomes oversaturated from torrential rainfall. The pressure of this underground moisture can damage mortar joints, and even fill up columns of blockwork cells with standing water. Our professionals have effective solutions for removing the water damage inside your home and strategies to restore the damage to your foundation as well.

While flood damage can occur from many potential sources, many Valparaiso homes have already seen the destructive force of this rising water on their foundations and basement walls. Our SERVPRO professionals have effective mitigation strategies that can help us to clean up the damage quickly so that our technicians can work to restore the damage to your blockwork and concrete before they become overly saturated and weakened by the pooling water.

We get to work quickly on extraction, and part of this process is determining the source and penetration points of this water damage in the basement. Our moisture detection equipment can help to identify these vulnerabilities, as well as water getting stored in the blockwork. When standing water gets discovered, our technicians can create weep holes in the bottom course of block to drain these cells. Once empty, these created holes can get sealed over with hydraulic cement not to become a hazard point of their own.

This same approach of using hydraulic cement can help to seal up identified penetration points that allowed the flooding to occur. With the use of air movers, our injecti-dry and tenting systems, and dehumidifiers, our professionals can then get to work on drying out the saturated concrete to prevent lingering moisture from allowing secondary effects like mold growth.

Restoring flood damage to your home after flooding is an intricate process that requires specialized equipment and experience. Give our SERVPRO of Porter County rapid response team a call 24/7 at (219) 476-1883.

Discover the Indiana Dunes, click here for more information.

SERVPRO Tips: Storm Water Clean Up Best Practices

3/8/2020 (Permalink)

When you enter a business after a storm, you will immediately notice the water damage. The first step in the cleanup is to tear out everything wet. Tearing out must happen quickly so that mold doesn’t become a problem. Storm water can find its way

  • Into cracks and crevasses
  • Under and behind the molding
  • Behind walls
  • Into the subfloor
  • Into the rooms below

Remove Free-Standing Water

If you don’t remove it now, it will cause more damage later. A wet/dry vac is the perfect tool for this job. Every drop that you collect will help complete the recovery that much sooner.

Remove Wet Fabrics

Fabric items include carpets and padding, window treatments, furniture and anything else that retains water. It might make sense to use your wet/dry vac to remove excess water from these items before moving them.
You may wonder if you should dispose of or restore these items. Items for disposal should go immediately in the trash. Relocate items for restoration to a place where they are out of the way of the cleanup and can’t cause any further problems.

Remove Remaining Items

Wet items should go to someplace where they won’t cause any additional problems. You can decide their disposition later. These items may include electronics, photos, important documents and non-fabric furniture.
Remove everything not damaged to a holding area. It needs to be out of the way so that cleanup can continue.

Locate the Remaining Hidden Moisture

Tear out the wet baseboards and molding. You can reuse them if they survive the drying process without warping. Do the same with the damp wallboard. The only difference is that the wallboard is not salvageable.
The tear out stage of storm restoration is labor-intensive and time-consuming. It also requires a quick completion to prevent mold growth. If your business faces a storm damage crisis, it’s good to know that there are storm damage restoration specialists nearby and ready to help. They are just a phone call away.

SERVPRO Tips: Readiness In Case Of A Disaster in Porter County

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, the last thing you want to think about is where the spare batteries are or whether your perishables have passed their expiration date. Make sure you're ready for any situation — and how to handle the aftermath — with these top tips.

1. Pack a "Go Bag"

If you have to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want to have some essentials packed and ready to go. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:

  • Three days' worth of food and water (at least a gallon per family member)
  • Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Regional maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
  • Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies

(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)

We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.

Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.

2. Make an Action Plan

When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.

It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.

3. Prep Your Home

If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.

How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.

Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.

Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

After the Emergency

Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO of Porter County to help you in the event your home is affected. We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help make things "Like it never even happened."

High Winds, Rain, and Water Damage in Valparaiso

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storms often damage roofs resulting in water entering the homes.

Storm Damage to Attic from High Winds Valparaiso Mitigated Fast!

Fire and water are not the only types of problems we assist homeowners in mitigating. Storm damage from wind can also lead to issues in a home that require both cleanup and restoration.  

Storm damage from high winds affected the roof of a Valparaiso home and let rainwater enter an attic. The homeowner called SERVPRO late at night, and our emergency response team arrived a short time later. 

The technicians scoped the attic and determined the water entered the attic through damaged roofing. They immediately tarped over the compromised area of the roof to prohibit any further water from entering.  

The sheetrock wicked much of the incoming water and required removal as it was too saturated to save through drying. The mitigation of fiberglass insulation happens on a case-by-case basis. If it has absorbed too much water, it is removed and discarded. In this case, the fiberglass insulation was slightly wet. Fortunately, it could be removed using our large insulation vacuum and bagged for drying in another area for reinstallation after completion on the attic mitigation.  

The removal of sheetrock and insulation often causes dust to travel, to limit the chances of this occurring; the SERVPRO technicians contained the entryway to the attic with heavy plastic. Because of the limited space in the attic, portable pumps were the choice to extract the remaining rainwater after removal of the damaged sheetrock and wet insulation.  

Moisture detection confirmed because of fast action by the homeowner calling SERVPRO, the water affected only the attic, and the ceiling below received no damage. Once we located the remaining areas of moisture, the drying phase of restoration began.  

Many people make the mistake of setting up fans to dry a wet attic. This method is a setup for more significant issues as it dries the surface, not anything below. SERVPRO uses air movers which are small, powerful machines that blow high-velocity air over surfaces and cause the moisture deeply embedded in building materials and objects to rise. It is then captured using dehumidifiers and ported out of the area.  

Once the technicians confirmed the moisture readings met drying goals in the attic, they cleaned and disinfected the area. Our location offers building services and to make the restoration process seamless without delay. Technicians offered suggestions on roof repairs we could perform with approval of the adjuster and homeowner to return the home to its pre-water loss condition. 

SERVPRO of Porter County is available 24-hours at (219) 476-1883 to assist with storm damage in your home. We arrive quickly and perform cleanup and restoration services to make your water loss "Like it never even happened."

Read more about Valparaiso here.

Icy Conditions Can Cause Major Issues For Streams And Creeks In Chesterton

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

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Icy Conditions Can Overflow Chesterton Creeks And Streams

For all of the potential problems that could occur to your Chesterton home on account of harsh winter weather, other threats are entirely out of your control. With the steep temperature drops expected throughout the winter, streams and creek beds can begin to freeze. Under the right conditions between temperatures above freezing dropping quickly, flash freezing can occur. These bodies of water can dam up with a solid band of ice. Even when the weather begins to turn favorably again, solid ice takes much longer to melt off, and snow runoff begins to cause the water levels to rise rapidly with no outlet.

Those along the lower lying levels around these creeks and streams then become susceptible to flood damage in Chesterton. These hazardous conditions could happen very quickly depending on the amount of snowfall or rainfall that occurs, leaving your home vulnerable to widespread damages. Our SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7 to respond amid emergencies with effective mitigation solutions that can protect what matters most from getting ruined.

With the unknowns of what could be in the flood water that penetrates the lower levels of your property, it gets considered as contaminated. Often rising creeks and streams can carry mud, debris, chemicals, bacteria, and even sewage into your home that must get cared for by certified professionals with safety training and effective tools that can remove this potential health hazard from the property as promptly as possible.

Our SERVPRO team can arrive shortly after you call with effective extraction tools to remove all of the excess water. We can assess the full scope of the damage at this point and identify materials that must get removed to restore the home completely, and where services like premier cleaning and disinfection are necessary.

While this is only a small portion of the work that your home requires when you get faced with flooding, it can show you the level of dedication and knowledge available with just a phone call to our SERVPRO of Porter County rapid response team. You can reach us 24/7 by calling (219) 476-1883.

Click here for more about Chesterton.

Did You Know Melting Snow Can Cause Flooding in Your Valparaiso Home?

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Basements provided additional living space, but are also susceptible to flooding.

Melting Snow Can Penetrate Valparaiso Basements

Winter brings snow to Valparaiso, and that melting snow can leak into your basement. The ground, frozen during the winter, prevents surface water from being absorbed into the soil. However, when spring arrives, the ground temperature rises, and all of the surface water begins to be absorbed downward which can cause the water to seep into cracks in your basement walls and foundation. Ten inches of snow is equivalent to 1 inch of rainfall which doesn’t sound like much, but one inch of snow produces about 2,700 gallons of water per acre, and this water now has access to the inside of your property.

Flood damage in Valparaiso can result when the masonry used to construct the basement walls of your home eventually allows water to flow in unabated. While french drains can work to provide some diversion, construction in older homes occurred before this became a necessity in home construction. Our SERVPRO professionals can arrive quickly to help you find lasting solutions to the situation and to extract floodwaters from the lower level of the house.

We arrive quickly with all of the extraction equipment we might need from portable electric sump pumps to truck-mounted pumps that remove water very quickly. In these early stages, we also assess the access point for this flood damage to work to seal over these vulnerabilities with hydraulic cement to prevent further exposure and penetration. Once the water has gotten removed, we can focus on drying out the area and determining possible alternative solutions for lasting dryness in the basement.

Lingering moisture causes concern for the formation of mold colonies and other potential risks for your home. It is essential to resolve persistent dampness to protect your investment in the property. We have many solutions from the installation of sump pumps to a permanent dehumidifier in the area, both of which can help to maintain acceptable moisture levels in the problem area of your house.

Melting snow can create excessive pressure on masonry that becomes more and more vulnerable to age. Give our SERVPRO of Porter County response team a call anytime that you experience flood damages at (219) 476-1883.

Click here to see what was included in the city’s 1917 time capsule.

Wind Damage to Your Valparaiso Home? Call SERVPRO!

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

High winds from storms are common in Indiana. Call SERVPRO to mitigate the storm damage from your home.

Wind Damages to Your Valparaiso Home Can Cause Flooding

High-powered storms can cause all manner of concerns for Valparaiso homes. From removing siding to damaging roofs, heavy storms can leave homes exposed to water and flooding damages. Preventing these situations can be challenging, but it begins with accurate assessments of the condition of your structural elements outside of your home, and fast response to concerns as they happen to prevent water penetration and flooding as much as possible.

Storms and winds to your Valparaiso home can be exceptionally damaging. With the ability to knock down trees and limbs, remove siding from your home, damage your roof, or break windows and other vulnerable points of your house, high winds can cause plenty of structural concerns for the property. Our SERVPRO team can respond quickly to these situations to install emergency boarding or tarps to prevent elemental penetration from precipitation or runoff while we assess the full scope of the damage and mitigate your losses within the house.

As flooding can occur quickly following damage to your home, quickly extracting the excess water is critical to mitigating your loss and protecting the contents of your home from becoming unsalvageable. Our SERVPRO professionals can work quickly with extraction tools and equipment to remove the excess from the affected areas to allow for drying efforts to begin.

Our contracting division can assess the scope of the damage to both the exterior and interior of your home to begin removing damaged elements for reconstruction efforts to begin. With our contractors, we can seamlessly transition between this needed build back service and the restoration work to follow. These combined services can save our customers money and valuable time in recovering their home after storm and flood damages.

While you cannot predict the points in which storms become violent or powerful enough to damage your property, you can have the right team in mind to set things right again once it does. Our SERVPRO of Porter County rapid response team can arrive quickly with the experience and equipment to make a difference. Give us a call anytime you need us at (219) 476-1883.

Click here for information about Rogers-Lakewood Park.

Do Not Let Broken Gutters Cause Flood Damage To Your Chesterton Home

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

It is important for our SERVPRO team to get a full scope of the affected areas and damage as we begin the process of extracting water.

Broken Gutters Can Allow Flooding In Your Chesterton Basement

Severe weather systems are a familiar occurrence to Chesterton homeowners, and construction projects throughout the area focus on waterproofing and safeguarding homes against potential storm damages. Among the most rudimentary, yet entirely essential, components of the water diversion efforts of your home are the gutter systems surrounding the perimeter of the roof. When this system fails, the results could prove catastrophic for the unprepared residence.

Among the worst of possibilities for a failing gutter system surrounding your Chesterton residence is flood damage. When the gutters clog or split apart at the rivets, high volumes of water can now flow down the sides of your home or pour directly onto the ground beside your foundation. This pooling water against the foundation of your home creates a pressurized pocket which works to force its way through vulnerabilities in the blockwork into the basement or crawlspace of your house.

Our SERVPRO professionals can respond quickly amid a flooding crisis to help mitigate the situation as efficiently as possible. Locating the vulnerable points in the blockwork can aid our technicians in stopping this penetration and drying up the flow of floodwaters into your residence. Once this point has gotten located, our specialists can apply compounds like hydraulic cement to these vulnerable areas to prevent further water flow.

It is important for our SERVPRO team to get a full scope of the affected areas and damage as we begin the process of extracting water. With flooding happening in the lower levels of your home, it is critical to dry up the damage as efficiently as we can to reduce the possibility of secondary effects like mold growth. Within days, mold spores can seat and spread throughout the damaged area to colonize.

Regular inspections of your gutter system can help prevent this flooding condition, but there are still many ways that your property can get affected by severe weather systems and natural disasters. You can count on our SERVPRO of Porter County 24-hour response team to help you restore your home to the way it used to be as promptly as possible. Give us a call anytime at (219) 476-1883.

Click here for more about Chesterton.

When Storms or Floods hit Porter County, SERVPRO is ready!

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Porter County 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.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Porter County, 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 Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 219-476-1883