Recent Storm Damage Posts

How Wildfires Can Cause Increased Flooding Damage

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Wildfire causing damage Wildfire damage

If a fire occurs in or near your Salt Lake City, UT, home, you may think the worst is over once the flames are extinguished. Yet that is not the case. Fires can lead to flooding, as well. After a fire, your home will likely have holes in the roof and walls. Water from a storm could enter your house through these holes. Even if your home itself was not affected by a fire, a wildfire near your property could make it more susceptible to flooding damage.

Wildfire Damage and Floods

When wildfires burn through the terrain, they destroy vegetation that typically absorbs rainfall. As a result, the ground is left:

  • Barren
  • Unable to absorb water
  • Charred

It can take up to five years for vegetation to re-grow after a wildfire. Until then, the areas surrounding the damage will be more at risk for flash floods. The rainwater from storms may also pick up sediment and soil as it moves across the charred ground. This could lead to harmful mudflows.
Unfortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not include flood coverage. If your house floods, even if the flood results from a wildfire out of your control, you could be responsible for the full cost of professional restoration services.
This flood cleanup can be quite expensive, as well. In 2010, an average flood claim cost $28,000. In fact, just 1 inch of water in your home can lead to $25,000 worth of damage.
Thankfully, you can purchase separate flood coverage via the FEMA NFIP. The National Flood Insurance Program offers insurance to both renters and homeowners.

Getting Flood Coverage

If you live in one of the 23,000 participating communities, you are eligible for the NFIP. In fact, if you live in a high-risk area and have a mortgage from a government-backed lender, you are legally required to obtain flood coverage. Your insurance agent can help you purchase a flood policy through the NFIP. There may be a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.
The cost of this coverage varies based on your property’s flood risk. If you want to lower your premiums, you can enact flood mitigation measures. For instance, you can elevate your utilities and fill in your crawlspace or basement.

Other Steps To Take Before the Next Flood

Once you have purchased flood insurance from the FEMA NFIP, you should take additional steps to prepare your home and family for the next major storm. Gather all necessary supplies so you will not have to drive to the store in the middle of a storm.
You should also keep an inventory of the various items in your home. This will be important information for the insurance adjuster. Any important documents, such as birth certificates, should be kept in a waterproof location.

In extreme situations, you may be asked to evacuate your house ahead of the storm. Plan a safe evacuation route, and make sure that everyone in your home understands it.
Thanks to the FEMA NFIP, you can purchase insurance that covers the cost of restoration after a flood. This is particularly important if you live in a community prone to wildfires.

3 Steps To Take After a Home Flood

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of flooded room Flooding can lead to severe damage.

Even if you don't live near a water source a home flood can happen to you. It is important to have a plan in place before a flood occurs so that you can minimize the amount of damage to your home. Consider including these three steps in your flood plan.

3 Steps to Include in Your Flood Plan

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Most homeowners policies exclude flood damage; however, some types of storm damage may be covered. If you have a separate flood insurance policy, you should contact the insurance company to file a claim. Because floods can cause extensive damage that requires water restoration services, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance, even if your home is not located in a high-risk area.

  1. Begin Cleanup As Soon As Possible

You should not attempt to reenter your house after a home flood until local authorities say it is safe. However, as soon as you are able, you should begin the cleanup process. Avoid coming into contact with floodwaters. Most homeowners should contact a restoration company in Salt Lake City, UT, rather than attempt a do-it-yourself solution. Standing water can be a safety hazard and flood damage can be very difficult to clean without the right equipment and training.

  1. Dry Out Your Property

The longer your property stays wet, the more likely you are to have issues with rot, mold and other damage. Anything that can not be completely dried out should be discarded. If it is safe to enter your home, you can begin removing wet contents and placing it outside to dry if the weather permits. Some amount of drying can be accomplished by using fans and dehumidifiers, but professional equipment may be necessary.

The damage that occurs during a home flood will continue to get worse the longer it takes to clean and dry the property. Taking the proper steps after a flood can prevent unnecessary additional damage.

How To Make a Flood Claim?

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Car covered by water. Learn how to make your Flood Claim by Following These Tips.

Floods can cause devastating damage to homes. The first step to restoring your property after a flood is to file a flood claim.

How To File a Flood Insurance Claim

Filling your claim for flood damage is a multi-step process:

1. Contact the Insurance Company

The first thing you must do is contact your insurance company. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage so your flood insurance may be with a different insurance company than your homeowner's insurance. If you aren't sure who your insurance carrier is, you can call the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center at 1-800-427-4661 to find out.

2. Provide Information

Your insurance company will need several pieces of information. This may include your policy number, a phone number and email address where your insurance company can contact you and the name of your mortgage company if you have one. If you don't know all of this information, your insurance or claims agent may be able to look it up for you.

3. Document Your Damage

It usually takes 24-48 hours for your insurance company to assign an adjuster to your claim. However, if flooding is widespread, it may take longer. While you are waiting, take photos and videos of your damaged property and the flood lines on the outside and inside of structures. Photograph the make, model and serial number of electronics and appliances. Do not enter flooded areas or structures until you have been told they are safe.

4. Discard Flood Damaged Items That Are Unsafe

After you take photos and keep samples of materials such as pieces of carpet, flooring, drapes or wallpaper, throw away flood-damaged items that are unsafe to keep, such as perishable food, cushions, clothing and pillows.

5. Contact Repair Services

If the electrical, HVAC or water systems of your home are damaged, contact repair services. However, talk to your insurance company about your flood claim before you sign any contracts. This is also a good time to schedule a flood remediation company in Park City, UT, to begin drying and cleaning your damaged home.

6. Meet With the Adjuster

When the insurance adjuster arrives, ask to see the adjuster's Flood Control Number card and other official identification. This protects you against scammers who may be posing as insurance adjusters. Review the adjuster's written report and estimate for any errors. A legitimate insurance adjuster will not ask you to pay your deductible, charge you a fee or ask for money for any other reason.

7. Receive Payment and Begin Repairs

Once the insurance company receives the adjuster's report and estimate, it will review the report, along with any documentation you have provided, to establish the value of your claim. If you disagree with the value the insurance company determines, you may need to submit additional supporting documentation to prove your claim. Once a settlement is reached, the insurance company will issue you a check and you can use the money to make repairs.

The flood claim process can be lengthy, particularly if there are many people in your area with damaged property. The faster you get the process started, the sooner you can expect to receive payment.

What Role Does the Federal Emergency Management Agency Play After a Storm?

5/7/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home after a storm Take into account these tips and Avoid Storm Damage in your Property.

Wherever you reside, the unthinkable could occur at any time. When a disaster devastates your property and others' in Salt Lake City, UT, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. If the loss is significant enough, the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be dispatched to the scene.

FEMA was formed in 1979 to "lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of 'A Nation Prepared.'" For example, it assists survivors of disasters such as severe flooding in rebuilding their lives. It has helped with numerous tragedies in the past and continues to now. It serves several important roles, including the following.

4 Roles FEMA Serves After a Storm

  1. Assessing the Affected Areas

First, it performs detailed assessments of the area in which tragedy has hit. It determines what type of assistance the victims require. These needs can vary depending on the kind of disaster. It basically operates as the "boots on the ground" for everything from hurricanes to wildfires to terror attacks."

  1. Acting as a Liaison Between Federal and Local

It acts as a liaison between the affected area and the federal government. Various factors are controlled physically and financially by FEMA. It usually involves allocating supplies, maintaining resources and working with local and state officials.

  1. Determining the Appropriate Response

It determines the required response and assembles the appropriate troops. Law enforcement, for example, may be needed. Hurricanes and other kinds of disasters can bear several types of significant losses. This can include damage from wind, flooding and even fires.

  1. Coordinating the Response

Finally, it helps coordinate responses such as mobilizing troops to evacuate people, provide tarps for roofs and distribute food and water. It also locates and provides shelter and other basic needs for displaced victims.

Although FEMA takes significant control after a disaster occurs, their help is no substitute for insurance. If you have a flood or other kinds of loss, storm damage remediation experts will likely also be necessary. They can return your home to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

How Much Damage Can a Winter Storm Do?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Strong winter storm falling Prevent Storm Damage by following These Tips related to Winter Storms. For more information, just call us.

Homeowners are usually well aware of the potential hazards of a winter storm; they expect snowfall, ice accumulation, and the potential for slips and falls and car accidents. Still, most remediation specialists in Salt Lake City, UT, also warn of potential structural damage.

While homes in heavy snow climates will usually have the qualities and characteristics that allow them to withstand heavy snow and frigid temperatures, homeowners still need to be aware of their responsibilities to ensure quality home care.

There are several things you want to do to ensure your home is protected from the encroaching winter weather.

  • Shovel and salt pathways
  • Maintain a clear and clean roof
  • Assess seals on all entryways and windows
  • Check the HVAC system

Winter Storm Damage and Recovery

A blizzard can be a common winter storm, and it brings with it frigid temperatures and a tremendous amount of snow. While these storms present significant travel threats, they also present risks to your house. The weight of the snow can lead to extensive roof damage; the temperatures can result in cracked windows, and heavy ice might result in power outages.

While there are multiple threats to your property during a winter storm, it is necessary to focus on a quick recovery after the storm. Wintertime is no time to be without power or heat. You should contact a mitigation professional so they can provide a quick response and recovery.

Common Damages During a Winter Storm

Winter storms will often result in roof damage because of snow and ice buildup. Depending on the style of your roof and its integrity, the weight of the snow could cause minor to severe collapses. If the roof is strong enough to hold out, it is possible that it will succumb to water damage.

When ice builds along the edges of a roof, it creates ice dams. As the weather warms, these dams and the snow melt, forcing the water to find alternative exits. Unfortunately, the water will typically back up under the shingles and soak into the sheathing. If enough water makes it to the underlayer of the roof, it could rot the wood or cause mold.

Aside from roof damage, the cold and ice can lead to power outages and window and door damage. Depending on the style of your HVAC system, you could lose heat during a winter storm. If the heat is out for too long, the frigid temperature could cause windows and doors to crack.

Fundamental Recovery From the Storm

After a winter storm, you should assess your property. You want to look for cracks in windows and inspect the thickness of the snow on the roof. You should be careful if you get on a ladder in the snow. The steps can become slick, resulting in falls. It is better to call a remediation professional to the scene. These specialists have the right tools to make professional property assessments.

A severe winter storm is nothing to play around with. You want to remain sheltered during the storm, but you should assess your property afterward to assess potential damage. Contact a remediation company if you need help.

How To Prepare for Flood Damage

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Houses. Consider these important tips if you experience Flood Damage in your Salt Lake City, UT property.

Damages from flooding exceed $40 billion worldwide every year. You can reduce the chance of suffering extensive flood damage by taking steps to prepare your property.

Tips for Preparing Your Property for Flood Damage

There are several steps you can take throughout the year and when flooding is imminent to help reduce your chance of damage.

1. Purchase Flood Insurance

Most homeowners insurance excludes coverage for damage caused by floods. Because even areas that are not in high-risk zones for floods can experience flash floods, it may be wise to purchase a separate flood policy. However, do not wait until storm damage is imminent to try to buy insurance. There is usually a 30-day waiting period from the time you buy your policy until it goes into effect.

2. Understand Your Flood Risk

Search for your address in Salt Lake City, UT in the Flood Map Service Center to get an idea of how likely you are to experience a flood. It may also be helpful to speak with neighbors who have lived in the area for a long time about how often their property has had flood issues.

3. Complete a Household Inventory

Capture videos and photos of all of your valuable property and store them in a safe place. This will help you if you need to file an insurance claim.

4. Store Important Documents Off-Site

While a water remediation company may be able to save some valuable documents, water damage can easily destroy these fragile items. Store important documents, such as birth certificates, medical records, passports and insurance documents in a watertight safety deposit box.

5. Anchor and Elevate Utilities

Protect important utility equipment, such as propane tanks, electrical panels, wiring, sockets, heating systems and appliances by elevating and anchoring them. You may need to hire a professional contractor to assist you.

6. Make Your Basement Water Resistant

Install a sump pump and water alarm in your basement. Install a backup pump that is battery-operated to protect you when the power goes out.

7. Clean Your Gutters

Debris, such as leaves, sticks and bird nests, in your gutters and downspouts can cause water to pool around your foundation, instead of drain away from your house. Clean out your gutters regularly and before any expected weather event. Consider installing guards on your gutters to keep debris out.

8. Elevate or Relocate Furniture

If you know a flood is imminent, move furniture and other valuable items to the attic or the highest floor in your home. If your home is on a single level, you can elevate your furniture by placing cinder blocks or similar materials under the legs.

9. Monitor Weather Reports and Make a Plan

If a flood becomes bad enough, you may need to evacuate your home. Make a plan for how you will get your family members and pets to a safe place. Use a weather radio to monitor weather reports and sign up for emergency alerts.

There is no way to eliminate your flooding risk. However, these steps can help protect your property, your finances and your loved ones.

Flood Safety Tips for Homeowners

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Man watching a storm through the window. Taking some preventions will reduce the storm damage to your Salt Lake City, UT home.

Storm season in Salt Lake City, UT, brings several possible challenges to homeowners. One of the main concerns is flood safety. You can't control the weather, but you can take some precautions.

Tips To Protect Your House.

Elevate Items for Flood Safety

Electricity and water don't mix. One of the most sensible safety tips starts with identifying the flood line. Once you know how far water is likely to rise, you can more easily safeguard the electrical items both inside and outside your home:

  • Sockets
  • Wiring
  • Circuit breakers
  • Air conditioner units
  • Generators

These and other electrical appliances should be placed a foot above the flood line if possible. It also doesn't hurt to elevate the things in your basement that are likely to become a hazard if they get wet. By keeping electrical items out of the way of potential floods, you can minimize a lot of damage.

Maintain Sewer To Prevent Blockages

Regular sewer maintenance is always important, but it's especially crucial during storm season. Excess flooding from a heavy downpour can overtax municipal drains, causing a backup. If your home already has sewer problems, this can lead to some unpleasant results in your bathroom or kitchen.

One way to protect your home from a flooded city sewer is to install valves to prevent backflow. Check or flap valves provide a one-way seal that keeps wastewater flowing outward. Manually operated gate valves provide even better protection. No matter what kind of valve you choose, you need one at every point where your plumbing connects to the sewer line.

Maximize Water Flow Away From Home

The best way to ensure flood safety is to keep the water from coming toward your house in the first place. Flood restoration specialists recommend that you upgrade your landscaping to slope away from your house so that pooling water doesn't encroach on it during a heavier storm. Keep drains, downspouts, and gutters clean so that water flows easily off your roof and away from your foundation.

Sometimes water rushes toward your house because it floods the street and simply has nowhere else to go. If this happens, contact your county department that is in charge of street maintenance to report the problem and inquire about what can be done to fix it. After all, if it affects your house, it probably is a nuisance to your neighbors as well.

Protect Your Foundation from Flooding

Floodwater will seep into cracks in your foundation any chance it gets. This is one of the reasons it's so important to inspect your foundation and repair any damage found as soon as possible. You can also install valves that direct the flow of water through designated paths through the building so that it doesn't rise and cause damage.

Placing barriers around entryways and the perimeter of your foundation is another way to flood-proof your home when a storm is on its way. Sandbags and inflatable barriers can be used to block extra water.

Knowing how to protect your home from flooding empowers you as a homeowner. Follow these flood safety tips to prevent as much damage as possible during a storm.

Reasons To Steer Clear of Flooded Roads

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded road. Flood roads in Park City, UT, are dangerous for your vehicle.

Storm season in Park City, UT, often results in flooded roadways. While these conditions are inconvenient and can delay your schedule, that's no excuse to try to drive through a flooded street. It's better to stay at home and miss a meeting than to experience some of the consequences of choosing to leave before the storm has passed.

Extensive Vehicle Damage

Your vehicle was not made to drive through deep water. If you drive on flooded roads, your car may never be the same afterward. There are several common problems that occur when a vehicle is flooded:

  • Hydro-locked engine
  • Short-circuited electronics
  • Contaminated fluids
  • Rusted components

Flood damage can cost you a lot in repairs or total your car altogether. While it's possible that a great mechanic can fix what is wrong with the engine and certified water restoration experts can get the funky smell out of your upholstery, it makes more sense to just avoid the problem in the first place by staying off the road or choosing a safer route.

Obscured Vision

When a roadway is blocked by flooding, the water is often murky. This means you can't see what's happening beneath the surface of the puddle. It's difficult to gauge just how deep the standing water on a flooded street is, even if you try to use the curb or other signposts as clues. Floodwater can quickly cause damage to the road, resulting in cracks or sinkholes that make the stream flowing across it deeper than it appears.

Another potential risk hidden from sight is all the debris that washes into the road during a storm. It's unlikely that the only thing blocking your path is water. Tree limbs, rocks, and other obstructions are probably in the flooded road as well, making navigation even more treacherous. Rather than taking a chance on a street with standing water, tune in to travel tips on the radio to find a better path to your destination.

Loss of Control

The biggest hazard of driving on flooded roads is the possibility of losing control of your vehicle. If the engine seizes up and stalls, you may not even be able to steer it to the side of the road before it stops working completely. You then have to wait for someone to tow your vehicle out of harm's way, hoping that no one else loses control and crashes into it in the meantime.

If the floodwater is both deep and fast, it can carry large objects, such as your vehicle, with it. You may not be able to get your door open to escape, which leaves you trapped in a moving car that you can't steer, going whichever direction the flood takes you. No one wants to be in a position with such an uncertain outcome.

There's never a good reason to drive through a flooded street. If you must get on the road, choose a route with adequate drainage or higher elevation so that you can safely get where you need to go. If no such route exists, it's better to wait out the storm than face the peril of the flood.

Individual Assistance Grants From FEMA

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) working on a home affected by a storm disaster. Protecting your home in advance will prevent serious and expensive storm damage in the future.

After a major natural disaster affects your Salt Lake City, Utah, home, FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, may be one of the first sources of help. You can seek this assistance as an individual, and one of your first steps should be registering with the agency as soon as possible after damage to your home. You'll need to have specific information and paperwork available:

  • Address of your damaged property
  • Current contact information
  • Insurance information
  • Social security number
  • Banking information
  • Annual household income

What To Expect From Grants

Whether your property has been affected by wildfires or flooding, the costs of recovery, including the work completed by property repair and reconstruction professionals, can be overwhelming. This assistance is particularly helpful for people without insurance or with gaps in their insurance. The grants may cover:

  • Home repairs
  • Temporary shelter
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Childcare costs
  • Funeral expenses
  • Replacement of personal property

After registering, a FEMA representative will call to schedule an inspection before approving the assistance. It's important to note that scam artists may show up claiming to be official inspectors, so ask for an identification card. Do not provide your credit card or any bank account information because there isn't a charge for these inspections.

Information From Insurance Providers

If you haven't yet experienced a major disaster, it isn't too soon to learn as much as possible about surviving and recovering. Ask your insurance provider about the steps you can take to protect your home against damage from an earthquake, flood, wildfire, or landslide. The more you do beforehand to prevent damage, the better off you'll be.

An Offer of Help

It isn't always possible to emerge unscathed, however, so research the ways that the FEMA Individual Assistance Program could help you. After all, the experience of a natural disaster is scary enough without knowing where you'll be sleeping at night; it's comforting to have many sources of assistance available.

Common Causes and Remedies for Sewer Odor

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damage. Roof damage from storm in Sugar House, UT home.

Having a sewer smell in your commercial building is unpleasant. While the fumes may not be harmful, they can certainly be an unwelcome distraction. There are several reasons you may be smelling sewer gas in your building in Sugar House, UT, and most of them have pretty simple remedies.

Causes of the Odor.

Smelling sewer odor does not usually mean that you have raw sewage wreaking havoc somewhere in your building. The more likely cause is the failure of one of several apparatuses that function to direct the gas outside. There are three main causes of indoor sewer smell:

  • Dry traps with no wastewater to prevent gases from coming back through the plumbing.
  • Blocked vents with a clog or backup that is preventing the gas from escaping through the normal channels.
  • Damaged drain lines that release sewage under the property instead of carrying it away.

To get rid of the smell, you must first locate the problem. It may have an easy fix that you can do yourself, but it's important to call a plumber or sewer remediation services if you need to do so.

Solutions for the Odor

The first thing you should try to do is pour clean water down the drain from whence the smell comes. Dry traps from underutilized drains are the most common cause of sewer odors in buildings and making sure that you use the drain frequently can help prevent the problem or help resolve it once it occurs. If that doesn't work, your drain may need to be cleaned. Disinfecting the drain takes care of any bacteria that may be causing the smell. If none of your efforts get rid of the smell, however, it is time to call in the professionals to assess a potentially larger problem.

Sewer smell can happen any time there is a backup or some other type of plumbing problem. If you can't get rid of the problem on your own, calling a plumber can help you get your building smelling fresh and clean again.

Three Steps for Safety as a First Responder

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of first responders trucks: ambulance, police and a fire truck First responder's safety is important.

As a first responder in Park City, UT, your ability to keep others safe is dependent upon your own safety and well-being. This means that you have a responsibility to prepare yourself, as well as your home and family for possible flood disasters.

3 Steps for Safety

1. Develop Appropriate Handwashing Skills

As a first responder, handwashing is one of your most valuable means of avoiding illness and sharing illness with family members. Don't rush through this task:

  • Use running water when possible.
  • Lather enough soap to cover all parts of your hands, fingers (including fingernails), and wrists.
  • Scrub your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, and over your wrists for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water.
  • Dry hands with a towel or allow your hands to air-dry.

Finally, avoid touching your face as much as possible.

2. Stay Up to Date With Vaccinations

Immunizations, such as a Hepatitis B vaccination and a new tetanus booster every ten years can help you avoid serious illness as you come into contact with a variety of contaminants, especially when you are part of a flood response. The CDC also recommends the rabies vaccine series in case of exposure to potentially rabid animals. As always, check with your medical professional for more information.

3. Personal Protective Equipment

When emergency restoration professionals arrive at your home to address necessary cleanup and repairs, they'll probably arrive in waterproof clothing, heavy-duty boots and gloves, eye protection, and protective masks. You should have access to the same. This type of PPE provides a barrier between your skin and contaminants in the floodwaters. After your work, remove this equipment in an isolated space and store it in a plastic bag away from your other clothes.

Just Three Steps

Take the time to thoroughly wash your hands. Get recommended vaccinations. Suit up in personal protective gear. These three simple steps can you stay safe as a first responder, so you are able to carry out your responsibilities on the job and at home.