Recent Storm Damage Posts
All About Flood Cuts
Flood cut performed in a North Weymouth, MA company
Understanding What A Flood Cut Is
If you have recently had to speak with a flood cleanup company, you may have heard some terms you didn't understand. Dealing with flooding is a stressful time, but if you know what some of these terms mean, the cleanup process can seem a little easier. Here are the answers to three common questions about one of these terms you will hear when in search of a restoration company, flood cuts.
1. What Is a Flood Cut?
A flood cut is when the contractor has to cut and tear out the drywall from your property. This cut is 12-18 inches above where the flood damage stops on your wall. A flood cut is necessary to remove the drywall affected by flooding and address moisture problems in the wall.
2. Is It Always Necessary?
This cut is not always necessary. If the wall was damaged by clean water, the wall can generally be saved. It is a different story if your walls faced contamination by sewage or other types of dirty water. In these instances, the rule is generally anything that has been touched, must be removed.
3. Can My Walls Be Saved Without Removing the Drywall?
If your walls were affected by clean water and there is no insulation behind the drywall, you may be able to dry out the area using minimally invasive procedures. For instance, your contractor may be able to drill holes in the baseboard and insert airtight hoses. These hoses will pass dry air into the wall, drying out the studs and drywall without making a mess. However, if you have insulation, a flood cut will be necessary.
One way to relieve the stress of dealing with flooding is to understand what a flood cut is and if it will be necessary. However, trusting your commercial storm restoration professionals to take care of the situation is the best way to reduce headaches when cleaning your building in North Weymouth, MA.
How To Determine Your Home’s Flood Zone
Flood zone in South Weymouth, MA
You may have heard about the concept of flood zones. Knowing your flood zone helps you determine the chances that your home will sustain water damage. If you live in a high-risk area, you may have a tough time obtaining sufficient flood insurance. You may thus have to pay for storm cleanup and restoration services yourself.
Finding Flood Zones
There are several ways to find out whether your home is in a flood hazard area. You can:
- Download the Flood Insurance Rate Map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website
- Use the National Flood Hazard Layer database
- Visit your Community Map Repository
The Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, shows the flood risk in South Weymouth, MA. FEMA lets you easily look up this FIRM. Simply type the city into the digital FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC), and the image should appear on your screen. You can also get a FIRM from the Community Map Repository, which can be found in your local zoning and planning office.
The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) tool, meanwhile, implements the most current flood map changes. You can search for your flood zone by county. Both the NFHL and MSC databases let you download printable versions of the flood map, as well.
Buying Flood Insurance
Just because your home is in a low-risk zone does not mean it is safe from flooding. In fact, more than 40 percent of flood insurance claims between 2014 and 2018 occurred outside of high-risk locations.
You should thus purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Keep in mind that lenders and insurance agents may set certain insurance requirements based on what they see on the flood map.
A flood map can show you whether your home is at risk for water damage during a storm. Insurers will use your flood zone and other information on the map to calculate the cost of your policy.
What You Should Do if Your Home Suffers Storm Damage
Roof damage in South Weymouth, MA
Keep These Storms Tips In Mind
Living in South Weymouth, MA, you know you'll encounter your share of bad weather. When a nasty storm rolls through town, you hope your home can withstand Mother Nature's fury. Unfortunately, your best efforts can't always prevent damage. If you follow some basic storm tips, you can minimize many of these issues and stay safe. You'll also be able to get the right help to your home more quickly.
When you think about massive storms, tornadoes and hurricanes probably come to mind. However, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and heavy winds can also cause plenty of storm damage. In the worst cases, your safety and the integrity of your home could be at risk. Make sure you and your family members get out to escape any potential danger.
- Gather at a designated safe meeting place.
- Call 911 if you or a loved one has serious injuries.
- Call a disaster cleanup company to help with the rebuilding task.
- Do not re-enter your home unless it is safe to do so.
Record the Damage
Before help arrives to clean up after the storm, one of the best storm tips you can follow is to take photos of the damage. Shoot some pictures of the outside of your home. If you can safely go inside, take interior pictures as well. Write down the items you lost or any injuries you suffered.
File a Claim
Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to file a storm damage claim. Provide your agent with the photos you took and give as many details as possible.
Retrieve essential items from your home if you can safely go inside. Otherwise, you shouldn't touch any damaged materials. Wait for the professionals to arrive to assess the situation.
Keep these storm tips in mind so you can do what's best for you and your home. Do your part to minimize the damage your home suffers.
Successful Flood Prevention Strategies
A retaining wall may be beneficial if you are located in a flood zone
As with any difficult challenge, some strategies work better than others. That is the case with flood prevention for cities and businesses. To protect your company in Weymouth Landing, MA, from rising waters you want to put your money and planning to best use. Occasionally, throughout the world, cities liable to flooding have erected massive structures to hold back water. These efforts include the Thames Barrier in England and the Delta Works in the Netherlands. A small business does not have the resources to build a large structure that provides guaranteed protection, but it can take steps that will prevent or minimize flood waters from creating a major disruption.
Many steps toward flood prevention cost very little. Cleaning out storm drains to allow fast drainage from rain storms is easy to do. Removing debris from gutters also will help water flow freely away from the building. Landscaping the property around your company can help water divert away from the building. The following larger projects may be beneficial, especially if you are located in a flood zone:
- Retaining walls
- Sand bag placement
- Detention basins
- Fortified foundation
- A small levee
Educating employees about the dangers of floods and how it could impact your business plays a role, too. Informed workers are more likely to suggest strategies that may help your company cope with a dangerous flood.
Not all flood prevention efforts will work all of the time. A plan to deal with flood waters that breach your building is essential. A storm remediation team in your area can bring critical resources to speed up the flood cleaning process. After a rapid inspection and assessment of the situation, technicians will concentrate on water removal and extraction. Industrial vacuums can remove large amounts of water quickly. Advanced equipment can pinpoint hidden areas of moisture that still have the ability to harm property. A rapid response allows for a faster recovery.
Can I Clean Up Black Water Myself?
Sewage back up water on toilet
Your sewer backed up, leaving a smelly, water damage mess. Can you clean it up yourself? It’s natural to want to tackle something as seemingly minor as a sewage leak yourself. But it’s a bad idea. That’s because sewage is a top source of black water - a dangerous type of wastewater that can have serious effects on your health. Keep reading to learn more about this dangerous substance and the right way to handle a sewage leak in your Weymouth Landing, MA, home or business.
What is Toxic Water?
If you’ve ever driven by a sewage facility, you’re familiar with the unpleasant smells that surround the area. There’s a reason for that - toxins. From urine and feces to myriad bacteria, sewage water contains countless contaminants. When those contaminants encounter water, the result is black water. It can have numerous sources, but the key ones are:
- Toilets - for instance from a broken pipe or other toilet component
- Flood water - from rivers, streams and the ground which may have contacted human or animal waste.
If ingested, such water can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, eye infections and even more serious side effects.
Cleaning It All Up
So black water is dangerous - but bleach can fix it, right? Not quite. Bleach and other household cleaners can remove stains, but they can’t address the contaminants and germs that remain. Instead, when toxic water is suspected, you should isolate the area of contamination and contact professionals. A professional water damage and remediation company will use equipment designed to remove the water and properly decontaminate and dry materials to eliminate the risks.
A smelly sewage leak is an inconvenience that nobody wants to face. But cutting corners when it comes to toxic water is not a chance worth taking. Contact a professional water removal company to address water damage in your business and rest assured that you’re safe.
FAQs About First Aid Kits in Businesses
Supplies of a first aid kit
FAQs About First Aid Kits in Businesses
Preparing your business in North Weymouth,MA, for disaster is often an ongoing process. However, while many business owners prepare their buildings for storms and other disasters, it can be easy to forget about keeping a first aid kit available. There are several helpful things every business owner should know about emergency aid kits.
What Should You Have in Your Kit?
Though you can often purchase a general aid kit, there may be some items that you want to add. The following items are often useful to have in every kit:
- Bandages of varying size
- Gauze pads of varying size
- A pocket mask
- A minimum of one blanket
- Latex gloves
- Pre-moistened, sealed towelettes
Where Should Kits Be Located?
During a disaster, it's helpful to have quick access to a first aid kit. Though every building has a different layout, there are various locations that should have a kit nearby in case of an emergency. Placing a kit in areas where a person could receive an injury, such as in kitchens and garages, is often wise. Additionally, it can also be useful to place an emergency kit on every level of your business.
What Else Can You Do To Prepare?
In order for your kit to be of any use, it's often important to know how to use the items in the kit before an emergency arises. Many items in an emergency kit will come with directions. However, it can be helpful to go over the items in your kits with your staff to ensure that everyone knows how the purpose of each item. If an emergency occurs, it's often best to prioritize safety rather than trying to protect your property in an unsafe situation. If your business sustains damage during a disaster, emergency restoration services can help to restore your property.
Having a first aid kit in your business can help to ensure that everyone in your business remains safe. Having the right items in your kits, keeping your kits in the right locations and making sure your staff knows how to use items in the kit can offer you peace of mind.
How To Prepare for a Hurricane
Before the storm hits, seal your windows and doors with plywood
Five Ways to Prepare for Excess Rain and Wind
Knowing how to prepare for a hurricane, tropical storm, or other major rain event can mean the difference between a few small, post-storm repairs and a house overcome by flood water. Here are five ways to prepare for excess rain and wind in Weymouth Landing, MA.
1. Create a Communication Plan
All members of your household should know how to contact each other in the event of a flooded building. Ideally, this plan will include not just how you'll contact each other, but how you'll do so in a variety of specific situations.
2. Create an Evacuation Plan
Locate your local emergency shelter and determine the safest way to get there. Then identify an alternate route, too.
3. Put Together an Emergency Kit
Your kit should include essentials for survival without power and water for at least three days. Include the following items:
- Nonperishable food
- First aid kit
- Must-have medications
- Back-up batteries
- Pet supplies
4. Secure Important Files
To avoid damage from flood water, your family's most important paperwork should be housed in either a waterproof box or offsite in a safety deposit box. These records may include the following:
- Birth certificates
- Mortgage or lease
- Vehicle titles
- Insurance policies
- Medical records
- USB storage drives
At a bare minimum, move these items to higher ground in your home if extreme weather is approaching. If you're evacuating, take them with you.
5. Protect Your Home
Before the storm hits, seal your windows and doors with plywood or storm shutters. Bring any furniture or other items that could be transported by the wind inside. Lower the temperature in your fridge and freezer to prolong the life of their contents. If instructed to by emergency services, turn off your utilities. You might also fill containers, and even the bathtub, with water to add to your reserve of clean water.
A little preparation can go a long way in staving off water damage when a hurricane or other major storm hits. If flood water does happen to enter your home, enlisting the help of a local flood damage restoration service can help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.
How To Waterproof Your Building During a Storm
Building envelope of a Hingham, MA building
Although rain may seem like one of the more harmless parts of a storm, if you have ever experienced flood damage, you know that is not always the case. That is why you want to ensure your property has a solid building envelope to protect against even the strongest downpours.
What Is a Building Envelope?
Contrary to the name, a building envelope does not mean literally enclosing your business in a giant bubble. Rather, it is a term used to refer to the design and construction of the building itself. The main components that make up the envelope are:
Doors and windows
Sub-floors and sub-grade wall systems
Of course, all buildings have a roof and walls, but not all buildings have a properly-constructed envelope that maximally protects against storms and rain damage.
How Does It Work?
A good envelope should control air flow levels, restrict the movement of hot or cold air via a thermal barrier and include mechanisms for drainage and moisture prevention. In many cases, the strongest part of the envelope needs to be its ability to protect against water and moisture. A well-designed system should prevent structural degradation, hazardous black mold and other forms of rain damage.
Start by adding protective sealants on the roof and walls to block against water penetration. Also utilize gutters, drip guards, overhangs and slanting surfaces to divert rain away from the building. Installing a rainscreen is another useful tactic. The rainscreen typically sits about 1/8 of an inch or more away from the structural wall. The rainscreen takes the majority of the impact during a storm, and what little water does penetrate through often dries up in the gap before it is able to reach the main wall. Thus, it acts as a barrier against the elements and facilitates enough ventilation to inhibit mold growth.
If your property has recently experienced rain damage in Hingham, MA, it may be time to check the integrity of your building envelope. Water damage specialists can determine the source of the problem and help you figure out how to better solidify your building against anything Mother Nature throws your way.
Tips for Recovering From Storm Damage
Watch out for weak spots in the roof, missing shingles, and dents on gutters and flashing
Storms can hit at any time and during any season, bringing damage and expenses to Weymouth, MA, neighborhoods. For example, heavy winds might blow shingles off the roof and rainstorms can lead to flooded basements. In many cases, you'll need help dealing with the resulting repairs. There are some things you can do right away before storm damage remediation professionals arrive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these important storm tips:
- Take care of yourself by getting adequate rest and nutrition.
- Prioritize repairs. Focus on the most important cleanup tasks first.
- Get help doing tasks you can't do on your own, such as lifting heavy objects or repairing electrical damages.
- Work in groups, so you aren't alone if you get hurt.
With these safety tips in mind, you can consider facing some of the following tasks as you wait for professionals.
Assess the Damage to Your Property
The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Falling tree limbs and windblown debris can lead to structural damage. Watch out for weak spots in the roof, missing shingles, and dents on gutters and flashing. Move down from there, paying special attention to the windows and doors.
Look for cracks, holes, and damaged frames. Watch out for damage on the walls and siding, then check on your outdoor appliances, especially where they are connected to your home. Take pictures and record the damage for the insurance company. Clean up debris that doesn't pose a risk to your safety.
Check for Standing Water
Remember that the same winds, rain, and flooding that damaged your home could have brought down power lines. Standing water carries electrical currents. Resources that provide storm tips will tell you to avoid electrocution by staying out of puddles and water in your home. Disconnect the power and wait for professional assurance that it's safe to enter.
Focus on Safety
Finally, keep yourself safe. Storms tips are only valuable as far as they help you prevent damage to your property, your family, and yourself. Weymouth, MA, professionals are trained for their work.
Business Continuity Planning Is a Learning Experience
There are local disaster recovery experts ready to be part of the plan
A business continuity plan sounds like some innocent document that sits in a file drawer next to the company insurance policy. Some would call it a disaster recovery plan. The key word in that name is "disaster." Flooding can easily wipe unprepared businesses off the face of the earth. Even prepared businesses face an uphill battle when disaster strikes. However, with a proper plan, they can survive.
Plan Preparation Requires a Total Commitment
In a large company, no employee understands every job. A shipping clerk won’t know how to administer a large contract. A senior executive won’t understand how to post a payment to Accounts Receivable. No one person or team can develop the plan alone. Everyone in every position will provide input. It’s often a long, difficult and costly process, and it includes the following steps:
1. Determine the likely impact of the disaster on your business. You cannot assume that business will return to the way it was. You will likely lose revenue, employees and customers. Assume the total destruction of everything on-site including inventory, paper documents, computers and electronic data.
2. Develop recovery strategies. If your area is susceptible to major floods, the loss of your facility and contents is a real possibility. Even storm damage could be catastrophic. Document what it would take to start from there and rebuild a running business. If post-disaster relocation is a possibility, that should be part of the continuity plan.
3. Implement test procedures and perform exercises. In your IT department, the process might involve storing electronic data in a secure facility far away from the Weymouth, MA, area. They might also have a contract with a company that specializes in disaster recovery services and processes data off-site. Other departments would have different tests and procedures.
4. Identify local restoration services. Your plan will undoubtedly include cleanup and restoration. Fortunately, there are local disaster recovery experts ready to be part of that plan.
The best defense against disaster is a good offense. By developing a thoughtful business continuity plan, you can increase your company's odds of survival, as well as help kickstart a quick recovery.
Nor’easters: 5 Things You Should Know
Nor'easters can cause power outages
5 Facts to Know Before you Find Yourself Facing a Nor'easter
As a Weymouth, MA, resident and homeowner, you need to be aware of nor’easters and their potentially damaging effects in your part of the country. Here are five facts to know before you find yourself facing a nor’easter.
1. These storms are most common between September and April. Nor’easters can occur at any time of year, but you can expect them to be a bigger threat around fall and winter. The reason for this is that cold and warm air are more likely to combine during this time period and create the perfect storm.
2. They aren’t just about snow. This may be one of the lesser known nor’easter facts - rain, heavy winds and damaging coastal waters are all possible. Snow is very common, especially since many of these storms occur in the wintertime, but it is important to remember that hurricane-like effects are quite possible when a nor’easter hits.
3. Nor’easters are common in Weymouth, MA. These storms are mainly a threat to the Northeast, particularly along the East Coast.
4. They are dangerous. Nor’easters can cause everything from flooding to power outages, and roads tend to be unsafe during and even after such a storm. Make sure that you stock up on supplies and listen to what local authorities are saying throughout such an event.
5. No official scale exists. There is an informal intensity scale called the Dolan-Davis scale that measures nor’easters, but it is not widely popular.
If the possibility of a nor’easter makes you worry about storm damage from floods, remember that professional help is available if destruction should occur. If you find yourself facing one of these infamous weather events, wait until the chaos calms down and call your local storm damage restoration service. Many technicians can arrive quickly to help with emergencies and begin creating a cleanup and repair plan right away.
How To Keep a Building Dry During a Storm
Remove debris from your rain gutter
How To Keep a Building Dry During a Storm
Storms with heavy rain and high winds can cause moisture to penetrate a commercial building in South Weymouth, MA. Rain damage or flooding can cause many problems and lead to secondary damage, such as black mold. Here are five ways for an owner or manager to keep a building dry.
1. Check Doors and Windows
Exterior doors and windows should be in good condition. Improperly installed doors or windows can admit water into a structure. Check the condition of frames, flashing, sealant and tracks. It may be possible to retrofit some outside doors or windows, while others will need to be replaced.
2. Inspect the Building Envelope
A structural envelope is a barrier that keeps water out of your building. Have a professional assess the condition of this layer. Air barriers, capillary breaks or vapor barriers can limit internal moisture removal that can lead to mold growth. Black mold may develop if an envelope does not seal out water.
3. Waterproof the Roof
To prevent rain damage, it is important to inspect the condition of a roof on a regular basis and particularly after severe storms. Check for any missing or dislodged roofing materials. Waterproofing can make any roof less likely to leak.
4. Clear the Drainage System
Avoid damage by preventing water from pooling on the roof or around the base of a structure. Remove debris from downspouts, drains and gutters at least twice a year.
5. Locate Flood Proofing Materials
Buildings located in areas prone to flooding should have materials that can block or divert the flow of water on site. Owners or managers may want to provide sandbag components or a reusable sandbag alternative.
These methods can reduce the risk of rain damage at a commercial building in South Weymouth, MA. An owner should try to prevent damage before it occurs. If signs of damage are already evident, contact a commercial storm damage restoration company.