Recent Storm Damage Posts

Can Landscaping Reduce Flood Risks?

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

A downspout on a house, water pouring onto a concrete splash block, and over a sidewalk path during heavy rain Make sure downspouts are extended to at least three feet away from your house to avoid flooding

Ways To Minimize The Risk of Flooding

Heavy rain and severe weather pose an outside flooding risk to a residence in Wyndmoor, PA. Homeowners seeking effective flood proofing measures may need to adjust the lay of the land. The following priorities can minimize the risk of water damage.

Diverting Drainage
The roof of any residence should have functional rain drainage. A system with the following components can reduce the risk of flooding:

  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Downspout diverter

Gutters and downspouts collect rain from the roof and reduce the risk of roof damage that leads to leaks. A diverter directs water away from the base of the structure. It is important to make sure that drainage is clear and functional and that the diverter is angled properly to reduce pooling around the foundation and runoff.

Slowing Runoff
The landscape of a property should be designed for functionality as well as appearance. The most effective way to slow the rate of runoff is to improve the tilth or texture of soil. A six percent slope or six inches per 100-foot run with a layer of topsoil can be helpful for managing outside flooding. The flow of runoff can also be slowed by ground cover, such as perennial plants.

Promoting Absorption
Features such as rain gardens and swales are helpful for encouraging water to sink into the ground during and after a rain storm. Swales are depressions that may contain rocks or plants leading up to a drain. Rain gardens may be situated in a swale or on any other part of the landscape where absorption would be helpful for managing runoff or lowering flooding risks.
All of these measures can reduce the risk of outside flooding at a residence in Wyndmoor, PA. Many different types of landscaping materials and techniques are useful for floodproofing. Consult with local or regional landscaping professionals to determine the best solutions for managing runoff.

Tax Relief for Storm Damage

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Three air movers in an office drying carpet after storm damage Call SERVPRO after storm damage in Flourtown, PA

Tax Relief for Storm Damage

If your commercial property in Flourtown, PA, has storm damage, it may cost a lot to repair the damage, replace ruined items and restore the building to a functional state. Your flood policy likely covers a large portion of the cost of flood mitigation services, but what about the inevitable out-of-pocket costs? It is likely that you are able to write off at least some of the costs when you file your next tax return. Here are three tips to help you do so.

1. Check Disaster Declaration

Whenever there is a large-scale storm, such as a tornado or hurricane that covers a wide area of the country, the President will often declare the areas affected as disaster areas. This declaration helps business owners with part of the eligibility verification. You may also be able to file under whichever recent year gives you the best tax break. A list of federally declared disaster areas is frequently updated on the FEMA website.

2. Know Property Value

The amount of out-of-pocket expenses you are able to deduct for storm damage may depend on the value of your property. With most losses, you calculate the amount based on either the tax basis or fair market value of your building, whichever is smaller. The tax basis is usually the amount you originally paid for the property, whereas the fair market value is its current appraisal. Your tax accountant can help you navigate whether this information is needed when you are calculating your tax deductible expenses.

3. Prove Property Ownership

In order to get a tax break for damage, you must own the property. If you rent your office space, therefore, you are not eligible for this particular tax break. The burden of proof of property ownership is on the filer.
Storm damage can be expensive to repair, even if you have flood insurance. You may be able to get some tax relief to ease the financial burden.

Handling a Flooded Basement

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded street in front of a house. If you've experienced flooding in your home, don't panic.

Should you find standing water in the basement of your Whitemarsh, PA, home, you may be unsure how to handle the situation. Any time there are conditions that lead to flooding, such as severe weather or a broken pipe, you need to take action quickly to lessen the long-term damage. Here are some tips to handle a basement flood.

Safety
Cleanup
Restoration

Stay Safe
Safety is of utmost concern when you're dealing with flood conditions. Do not attempt to enter a flooded basement yourself. If you have a circuit breaker that is located away from the water, immediately shut off power to your home. If you cannot access the breaker, evacuate your home. When everybody is in a safe location, contact professionals in emergency basement cleanup and restoration. This is a crucial and time-sensitive step to ensure that your home can be properly dried and restored.

Clean Up
If you can safely stay in your home, ensure that all electronic devices are powered off, and start moving wet objects to a dry area. Carpets, rugs, couches, and other porous items need to be removed from standing water and thoroughly dried and sanitized. Professional services are the best way to return your home and your belongings to a pre-disaster state. Recovery from flooding takes time and work, but experts can make the process easier.

Repair and Restore
Since water can enter your home in several ways, it's imperative to find the source of the water in order to prevent additional floods. If the flood was caused by a sewer backup or a burst pipe, contact experts to help with pipe repair. If the flood was caused by severe weather, your home probably has cracks or holes in the walls that allow the water to come in. Creating proper drainage and installing or repairing basement waterproofing may be necessary.


If you've experienced flooding in your home, don't panic. Call professionals as soon as possible to help you get back on your feet.

Safeguard Against Storm Damage

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Roof damage! Exterior maintenance should be a priority for property owners.

Safeguard Against Storm Damage

Regardless of the size of your property, or properties, in Whitemarsh, PA, regular maintenance and inspections can help structures better weather the weather. Along with inspecting the inside for issues including plumbing, water damage and HVAC operations, keeping a building maintained requires exterior maintenance. Property owners should ensure a regular building inspection is on the to-do list.

Below are four key areas to inspect to guard against storms.

Roofs
Hail, high winds and precipitation can do a number on roofs. Although built to last, even a small point of weakness can quickly turn into a major repair.

Check the following during a roof inspection:

1. Ensure shingles tightly attached and fit together, show no signs of tearing or crack and that none are missing.
2. Verify that roof sheathing is firmly nailed down.
3. Check skylights, pipes, HVAC units or other equipment is properly affixed.
4. Inspect gutters for any clogs or gaps.
5. Attics and ceilings should also be inspected for signs of water damage, rot or leaks.

Doors and Windows
Entry points are also key items for exterior maintenance inspections. Cracks or crevices in window or door seals can create an inviting opening for the storm to come inside. Along with ensuring proper, tight installation, upgrading to triple-hinged doors and wind-resistant windows is an option to beef up storm protection.

Foundations
Any cracks or missing pieces of foundation can gradually lead to growing water damage problems, requiring a water remediation expert to restore and waterproof the building. Along with obvious signs in the foundation itself, inspect walls, floors, support beams and windows for signs of air leaks or water damage.

Landscaping
The right landscaping can help keep water from building up around the foundation. Check that there is a proper slope away from the building. Also, trees may add an appealing aesthetic, but they need to be maintained to keep branches from damaging the roof or crashing into windows.


Exterior maintenance should be a priority for property owners. A quick check of the above areas can help you find problems before they turn into bigger ones.

What Is the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

"Road Closed" sign in large body of water. Water is essential to life; however, it is also extremely powerful.

Water is essential to life; however, it is also extremely powerful. When a storm strikes, should you file a claim for flood damage or water damage? Insurance companies do not treat these claims equally. There are a few common sources of water damage:

Broken pipes
Damaged washing machines
Busted water mains
Clogged drains

On the other hand, flash floods can also cause significant damage to a warehouse or office building. What determines the type of claim you should file? There are a few major differences between the claims that you should note.

Flood Definition
A flood is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a temporary condition that causes partial or complete inundation of at least two acres of land that is typically dry. For example, floods can be caused by an overflow of tidal or inland waters. Other floods might be caused by the collapse of land that sits near the shore. Finally, severe storm damage can also result from a flood.
If your building in Whitemarsh, PA, has suffered damage from any of the sources described above, you are probably dealing with flood damage. Therefore, you should file a flood claim.

Water Damage Definition
The difference between typical water claims and damage due to flooding is dependent on where the water originates. Routine water damage comes from inside the building. This includes ruptured pipes, overflowing toilets, and broken washing machines. On the other hand, flood claims tend to start outside the home. They generally impact two or more properties. Therefore, if you are the only one calling emergency restoration services in Whitemarsh, PA, you are probably dealing with a standard water claim.


Flood Protection
Flood damage can be severe no matter where the issue is located. Therefore, it is important for you to know who to call in the event of an emergency, so you can return to business as normal as quickly as possible.

How To Dry Out a Flooded Basement

2/29/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded room. A basement flood can be an inconvenience.

Because they are located underground, basements are prone to flooding. Many homeowners install sump pumps to help remove excess water, but if you have a major basement flood, you may need to follow these steps to dry it out.

1. Take Safety Precautions
Standing water in a flooded basement can be an electrocution danger, so one of the first things you should do is shut off the electrical power to your basement. Floodwaters can sometimes be contaminated by sewage and other toxic materials. You may wish to contact a professional flood remediation company in Whitemarsh, PA, that will have access to the proper protective gear and training needed to remove contaminated water.

2. Locate the Source of the Water
If your basement flood has been caused by floodwaters, you will likely need to wait for floodwaters to recede before attempting to remove the water. If the water is coming from somewhere inside your homes, such as a burst pipe or an overflowing toilet, you will need to shut off the water before you can begin drying your basement out.

3. Remove the Water
Before you do any work, you may want to take photographs of the damage, so that you will have them in case you need to use your flood insurance coverage. You may be able to clean up a smaller flood with a wet/dry vacuum. For larger floods, you will likely need to use a submersible pump. Gas-powered pumps should be avoided, due to the risk of fumes.


A basement flood can be an inconvenience, but if you follow the proper steps you can dry it out and reduce the amount of potential damage to your property. Depending upon the level of severity of the flooding, you may be able to do the work yourself, but for more severe floods it can be a good idea to hire a professional.

The ins and outs of Commercial Storm Insurance

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

House with a tarp on the roof and the title Examine your business and determine whether it makes sense to purchase storm insurance.

Any wise business owner understands the importance of having insurance coverage. However, some people in this position forget about commercial storm insurance. If your company operates in an area in Whitemarsh, PA, where floods and other severe are common, it's important to protect your business and your employees. Before you speak with an agent and purchase a policy, it's helpful to understand how it works, what it covers and what it doesn't cover.

Why Get It?
Some people may wonder why they should spend the money to purchase this insurance coverage. After all, isn't commercial property insurance enough? This policy gives you financial protection in the following ways:

It can replace items and equipment you lost in a storm.
It can replace building materials and structural components lost in a storm.
It can compensate your business for the cessation of operations.

What Traditional Property Insurance Covers
Property insurance is important because it protects your business from having to pay to repair damage sustained by accidents or vandalism. For example, if heavy winds or torrential rain ruins windows or siding, the property coverage should take effect. Unexpected failures from appliances, systems and the building structure should also fall within this coverage.

When Storm Insurance Steps In
Regular property insurance plans won't cover damage from large storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Also, if a sewer backup or overflowing river brings water into your building, your property insurance policy won't pay for a flood remediation specialist to do the cleanup. However, supplemental storm coverage will protect your business when these incidents occur.


When There's No Coverage
If there is damage in your building because you failed to maintain the plumbing, roof or HVAC systems, neither insurance coverage will accept your claim. Also, if you deliberately cause a flood or other damage to the building, you will not get any insurance help.


Examine your business and determine whether it makes sense to purchase storm insurance. You can find a plan that suits your needs.

Making Sure You Are Covered for a Commercial Flood

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Pool of water on floor. Flood damage is often quite costly, and it’s important to understand your coverage options for various scenarios.

Weather events that cause flooding are occurring with increasing frequency. If your Whitemarsh, PA, location is at risk for flooding or your property has been water damaged, this discussion about commercial insurance coverage may answer some of your questions. Will your business insurance cover flood cleanup and restoration at your commercial facility? The answer is, it depends. Most types of commercial flood damage are excluded from your conventional insurance policy but would be covered under a special flood insurance policy.

Government-Issued Insurance
Commercial flood policies are purchased separately from the government’s insurance program. The source of the flooding determines which type of coverage applies. If any of the following caused your business to flood, a government insurance policy would generally cover you:

Overflowing rivers or streams
Blocked storm drainage systems
Storm surge from hurricanes, severe storms or snowmelt
Broken dams or levees
Broken municipal water mains

You may be required to purchase a government-issued policy if your property is in a high flood-risk area. Your insurance agent will generally be able to help you evaluate and purchase flood insurance.


Commercial Insurance
Storm-related water damage will be covered by your conventional insurance policy if the damage came from above ground level. For instance, if hail or a tree branch breaks your skylight and heavy rain causes damage to your property, your commercial policy would be responsible. Most types of internal water damage, such as broken pipes and leaking appliances, would also be eligible for coverage by your business policy.


Flood Risk
Even if your property is not in a designated high-risk flood area, you could still bear some flood risk and benefit from purchasing flood coverage. If you are located in an area known for heavy snowmelt or significant rainstorms, you bear some risk. Water can back up behind a clogged storm drain and quickly lead to rising floodwaters.


Flood damage is often quite costly, and it’s important to understand your coverage options for various scenarios. Then you can decide whether to pursue government-issued insurance, rely on your commercial insurance policy, or purchase additional flood insurance.

Winter Storm Harper

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Harper is predicted to pile on snow and ice from Friday well into the weekend to areas that have, up until now, only experienced some mild winter weather, according to Weather.com.

Winter Storm Harper’s trajectory is still uncertain at this point, however, predictions have the storm moving through the central states and into the Northeast, bringing heavy snow to the Plains, New England, Pennsylvania and New York State in particular.

There will also be a small, weak weather system on Wednesday that will bring some rain and light snow to the Midwest and Northwest, according to Weather.com. But after this system clears, Winter Storm Harper will bring much more extreme conditions.

Here’s what to expect, according to Weather.com:

 

On Thursday, Harper will bring snow into the Rockies, Sierras and Cascades, then spread into the Northern Plains by nighttime. On Friday, the Rockies will continue to have snow, but so will the Plains — possibly even escalating to blizzard conditions.

By Friday night, the lower Great Lakes, Kansas, parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle may see some snow, or possibly a snow/rain mix, Weather.com reported. Sleet and freezing rain should be expected for northern Missouri and southern Illinois.

On Saturday, the Northeast gets its fair share of the storm. Heavy snow will be falling in some areas of the Plains still, plus the Midwest and Northeast. People in the Midwest should hunker down for possible blizzard conditions, as strong winds may also be present, said Weather.com.

Be sure to keep an eye on your local weather to ensure a safe weekend!

Content by: https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/winter-storm-harper-heavy-snow-northeast

Hurricane Preparedness in Our Area

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 6-12

Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready

While we are not located close enough to the ocean to feel a hurricane’s full effect on a regular basis, hurricanes always pose a wind and water damage threat to our property. Two keys to weather safety are to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. According to the FEMA, we can prepare for a hurricane by following this four stage guide:

Gather Information

Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Understand National Weather Service forecast products and especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings. Contact your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond.

Contacts

Communications is important during a weather emergency. Keep a list of contact information for these resources:

Emergency Management Offices, County Law Enforcement, County Public Safety Fire/Rescue, State, County and City/Town Government, Local Hospitals, Local Utilities, Local American Red Cross, , Local TV Stations, Local Radio Stations, Your Property Insurance Agent

Plan & Take Action

Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?

Supplies Kit

Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.

Emergency Plans

Develop and document plans for your specific risks. Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan. Be sure to plan for locations away from home. Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offer information on animal health impacts in evacuation shelters.

Evacuation

Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!

Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.

When waiting out a storm be careful, the danger may not be over yet. Be alert for Tornadoes, as they are often spawned by hurricanes. The calm "eye" of the storm – it may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.

Recover

Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home. Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.

Resources

Here are some additional resources for Hurricane Preparedness

  • Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) gov/hurricanes for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.