Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storm team travel

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

On the road to Dallas SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase on the way to Dallas.

Did you know when a large scale Storm or National Disaster impacts a community, SERVPRO puts out a call for all available storm teams to mobilize?

2020 brought a prolonged deep freeze to parts of the South which are unaccustomed to that type of severe cold.    Many homes and business were impacted in the form of broken pipes, water pumps and structural damage.   

170+ SERVPRO franchises answered the call for help and traveled to various parts of Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri for the 2020 Texas Freeze.   

In our case, we spent 4 weeks in Dallas and helped numerous families and businesses get their properties on the path to reconstruction.   

We arrived in Texas to 20 degrees Ice and Snow, and when we left Spring had arrived! 

Roof leak in Oldsmar Florida

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Pool of water on flat roof This pool of water on the roof leaked into living room below

As rainy season sets into the Tampa Bay area, now is a good time to review your home and roof line for weak spots.

A roof leak during a wind and rain storm in Oldsmar, Florida caused the living room below to show signs of water damage.   As storm season approaches, be mindful to check your roof and walls for cracks or areas where water can pool. 

SERVPRO of Oldsmar Westchase can help with tarping of roofs or drying out the impacted area after the storm passes.  Flat roofs are an example of places which should be given extra scrutiny.  Make sure all the fallen leaves and pollen have been cleared off.   It is also a good opportunity to check or clear out your gutters.  

Types of Flood Contamination

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Water damage can result from any type of flooding

Not All Types Of Floods Are Handled The Same Way

It's important to prepare your business in Lake Fern, to face any type of flooding or water damage. That being said, not all types of floods are handled the same way. There are three primary types of floods, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water itself.

Clean Water Floods
Category 1 floods are also called clean water floods. They are categorized by an absence of contaminants and are the least dangerous types of floods. Even though the water is clean, you still need to make sure that you take the situation seriously to avoid suffering unnecessary water damage. If left untreated, clean water floods can quickly turn into more serious disasters. Category 1 floods are typically a result of one or more of the following:

  • Supply line rupture
  • Water pipe burst
  • Flooded sink, shower or bathtub

Gray Water Floods
Also called Category 2 floods, these waters are categorized by a minor amount of contamination. They are often the result of a Category 1 situation that either wasn't resolved quickly enough, or came into contact with some type of external contamination. Likewise, Category 2 situations will become a Category 3 if left untreated for more than 48 hours. Gray water flooding is typically caused by:

  • Malfunctioning appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines
  • Rain or snowmelt flowing off of the roof
  • Broken aquariums

Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, also known as black water floods, are the most dangerous types of floods. They are categorized by the presence of lethal contaminants, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, chemicals and other dangerous biohazards. You should never attempt to remediate a Category 3 flood by yourself; always consult professional assistance. Category 3 flooding is often caused by:

  • Sewer line bursts
  • Toilet overflow
  • Riverbank flooding

Water damage can result from any type of flooding. It's important to take immediate action as soon as the incident occurs. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance dealing with any type of black water flooding that your business suffers.

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

outside of a home with flooded water Flood damage in a Westchase, FL home

Fulfilling Basic Cleaning Requirements After a Flood

Storm damage, flooding, and similar natural disasters can bring contaminants to your home in Westchase, FL. Therefore, you must meet several cleaning requirements to make your house safe from these agents. Even if you hire water damage professionals to repair and perform a storm or flood clean, you should still ensure they meet the right guidelines for the best results.

Disinfecting Surfaces
The surfaces throughout the house are the areas most affected by pollutants and the ones most people touch. Technicians should use EPA-approved flood disinfectant and tools to clean surfaces. Note that some procedures are different than others depending on the surface or material. A piece of cloth submerged in a chlorine and hot water solution works with most surfaces, while others require boiling water, slow drying or outright removal and replacement. Talk to your specialist about specific treatments for each.

Removing Contaminated Materials
There are certain items like mattresses, wallboard and wood veneered furniture that cleaning requirements consider complete losses. They may either absorb floodwater too easily or the costs of repairing them are too much to be worth it. Even though it is tempting to salvage them, the water may alter them too much to do so. These items lose their intended function and the contaminants can place others in peril. Experts will decide whether this measure is necessary.

Drying Out Property
Sometimes the best way to expedite the flood clean and repair process is to dry out surfaces, equipment and objects. This process makes the materials less vulnerable and easier to disinfect afterwards. It also prevents mold from growing on the surface. Drying methods vary depending on the items, from using air conditioner and fans on furniture and cloths to cutting off wet wallboard to air out the less affected sections.
While every affected surface and object in your Westchase, FL, house requires different cleaning methods, they all follow common cleaning requirements. Ensure the company working with you follows these basic rules.

5 Ways To Prepare for Floods

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Excavation contractor using a track excavator during the installation of a new large block retaining wall at a new commercial Build a retaining wall it can help you divert floodwaters away

Do You Think About Flood Prevention?

When you think about building in Heritage Harbor, FL, do you think about flood prevention? Flooding is a common issue that affects many communities and structures. By being prepared, you can ensure that your new construction project is ready to withstand rough waters.

1. Make a plan. Knowing the weather patterns, major waterways and potential flood hazards for your building site can help you prevent flood damage. This information is beneficial when designing the drainage system and deciding on the upkeep of those systems when it comes to debris and clogging.

2. Plant vegetation. Incorporating sturdy shrubs, trees and other plants into your plans is a good way to help prevent flooding. Plants create an expansive root system that loosens soil and makes more room for water to be absorbed. This reduces the chances of standing water and adds curb appeal.

3. Build retaining walls and overflow areas. Blocking and redirecting water is one of the main flood prevention tactics used in construction. Some of the most common retaining walls used are dams and levees. You can also create flood plains or spillways to help divert floodwaters away.

4. Educate people. Once people start to move in, teaching them simple ways they can help prevent flooding can have a big impact. For instance, just keeping fallen leaves and other waste out of storm drains can help a drainage system handle flood water efficiently.

5. Have a backup plan. No amount of planning can completely prevent natural disasters. Even if you’ve done all of this preventative planning, it is good to have a plan for flood cleanup. Research professional flood cleaning resources in your building area and know who you can call.
Flood prevention means being ready before, during and after a storm surge. Covering all of your bases lets you rest easier knowing that you’ve done all you can to combat flood damage.

Understanding Your Options for Flood Recovery

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

disaster recovery centers staffed with recovery specialists from FEMA FEMA also provides assistance through grants and their Housing Assistance program

It’s impossible to predict flooding from a natural disaster, even if you live in a flood plain. Unfortunately, given the right conditions, flooding can take place nearly anywhere, so it’s not a bad idea to purchase flood insurance, especially when it’s affordable. If your property in East Lake Woodlands, FL is ever inundated, you need to know what options are available for recovery. In addition to insurance coverage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA also provides assistance through grants and their Housing Assistance program. Low-interest disaster loans are also available to homeowners and renters from the Small Business Administration, or SBA.

Federal Disaster Assistance

If you’re a property owner or renter in a disaster-designated area that has sustained damage to your property and possessions, you can register with FEMA for disaster relief aid. These grants cover several expenses related to your disaster, including the following:

  • Temporary housing
  • Emergency home repairs
  • Uninsured/underinsured personal property losses
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Funeral expenses

Income-dependent assistance is also available that covers housing through the agency’s Housing Assistance program. If you are not a legal US resident, you can still request assistance on behalf of a child that is a citizen or qualified alien that lives with you. Applicants with flood insurance policies should check with their providers first before registering. Even if you’ve already repaired your property, you should register as you still may be eligible for assistance.

Understanding Coverage
Federal disaster relief is not intended for bringing your property back to pre-flood conditions. Disaster grants are intended to pay for losses not covered by property or flood insurance. Each relief request is analyzed on a case-by-case basis. You may need to apply for an SBA loan to cover the expenses of a full home restoration which should be completed by a qualified provider that is equipped and experienced when it comes to best cleanup and repair approaches.

5 Flood Safety Tips You Should Know

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks or fires

Safety Tips Before You Begin Working on Your Home

If you experience a large storm at your Cheval, FL, home that causes flooding, then flood safety can be an important part of getting everything cleaned up and repaired. Here are three safety tips you should know before beginning work on your home.

1. Turn Off the Power

One of the most important safety procedures you can follow is to turn off the power to any area that has been flooded. Water conducts electricity so it’s important to have the power off before entering a flooded area to ensure that it’s safe to even begin work. Only after it’s determined to no longer be a possible hazard should the electricity be restored.

2. Wear Safety Gear

Another important flood safety tip to observe is the wearing of safety gear any time you deal with flood water or other repair needs. This gear can include boots, gloves, coveralls for clothing, face masks, and work goggles. This equipment can help you avoid skin contact with possible contaminated water, as well protect you from air-blown debris.

3. Call a Restoration Service

It’s also highly recommended to contact a local damage restoration service to help with any storm damage or flooding to your home. These professionals should already have the safety gear and equipment needed for the job, as well as training on how to correctly conduct repairs. Allowing a professional to work on your home can help prevent many of the possible accidents that could be caused by inexperience.

When it comes to flood safety one of the first things to remember is to turn the powers off to the area. It’s also important to wear safety gear such as gloves when dealing with floodwater. Lastly, it’s recommended to contact a professional restoration service to safely make repairs. If you have any questions about the repair process or other safety precautions you can take, a professional should be able to help.

Introduction to Buying Flood Insurance

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says flood damage SERVPRO of Oldsmar/Westchase is available 24/7 to assist with flood damage!

As a Florida business owner, you have important decisions to make about protecting your employees, your company, and your assets. Because commercial insurance does not cover flood damage to your property, it is wise to consider flood insurance and ask yourself the following questions.

1. What Determines a Flood and Are You at Risk?

To be considered a flood, the resulting water damage must be to two or more properties (or over two acres). If your property is at risk for flooding, your mortgage broker will require you to carry insurance. Even if your broker didn’t include this in your policy, do your research to see if Westchase, FL, and its surrounding towns have had any flood or storm damage in recent years.
Examine what their plans are for capital infrastructure improvements as well. This research is essential because both heavy rains and damaged infrastructure, such as blocked storm drains, can cause flooding. As a result, if your city has not modernized its drainage systems, you could have a higher risk of flooding.

2.What Are Your Insurance Options?

Some private insurance companies offer flood protection, but most of the time, they are managing the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP typically covers up to $500,000 for your building and an additional $500,000 for its contents, but you can buy excess coverage to insure against business closures that resulted from flooding.

3. Did You Include Flooding in Your Emergency Plan?

To ensure the safety of your employees and business, be sure you have a plan for what happens in case of different emergencies. Include contingencies for flooding into your emergency plan and double-check that your local restoration company is prepared to assist with flood cleanup.
Do your research about flood insurance when you start your business. That way, if the worst does happen, you can focus on the safety of your employees, knowing that your flood and commercial insurance will cover your livelihood. Visit,_Florida for more information on flood and storm damage.

Property Manager Storm Preparedness

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

A graphic that says storm safety tip When thunder roars, stay indoors.

Storm preparedness can help keep people safe and minimize damage caused by heavy storms. The United States experiences an average of 10 tropical storms and 1000 tornadoes each year. With statistics like that, you can see why it is a good idea to have a plan. Here a few things you can do to prepare your property in case of a storm in Oldsmar, FL.

1. Plan Ahead

Those responsible for property management and property owners need to work together to create a contingency plan. Contact information for all key players must be easily accessible and current. This document should include locations for emergency exits and how to notify residents if the need for an emergency message were to arise.

2. Staff Responsibilities

Employees should be trained on which duties they would have during a disaster. Special attention must be given to ensuring the safety of the staff while assisting the community. Once an evacuation order is given, all people must exit the property. Employees should be given instructions on whom to contact and when to return to the building.

3. Secure Property

When there is advance warning that a storm is coming, and it is safe to do so, employees should initiate their storm preparedness action plan. This may include securing outdoor furniture, using the emergency alert system, telling people to remove items from their balconies, securing the pool area, or emptying dumpsters. Anything that could be carried away by high winds should be brought inside or protected.

4. Gather Information

If a storm leads to damage, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company. To help your adjuster assess the damage, you can take some pictures of the property before the storm. Another option is to have someone conduct a pre-storm analysis.

Even with the best storm preparedness, you may still experience damage to your property. If this happens, you can hire a professional storm remediation company to restore your building to its previous condition. Visit for more information on storm damage!