5 Instant Steps to Take When Handling Winter Storm Damage
Cold weather poses a difficult challenge to all property owners. Ice, snow, and sleet can cause havoc on your roof, siding, driveways, and walkways. Quick action to deal with winter storm damage is essential in protecting your precious property. If you're questioning how to handle storm damage, read the tips below for some guidance.
Types of Winter Storm Damage
Flooding - Cold snaps and freezes and damage pipes and cause them to burst. This expulsion of water can lead to severe water damage and flooded areas that will need immediate emergency water mitigation.
Roof Leaks - From ice dams to heavy snow and ice breaking through your shingles, winter storms can be harsh on your roof. With holes in your shingles or blockages in your pipes, it leaves your property exposed to moisture damage.
Fires - Whether your tree ignites or your fireplace is left unattended and gets out of hand, fires can often happen during a winter storm.
Tips For When a Winter Storm Strikes
- Remain calm. In times of emergency, it's hard not have your blood pressure raise. It's important to make good decisions when your property is under duress so that it can be repaired and taken care of properly.
- Take proper safety measures. If water damage has occurred, take the time to shut off the water. If a fire has gotten out of hand, use an extinguisher if possible or leave the premises immediately.
- Document Any Losses. Be sure to take notes and photos of anything that has been affected by winter storm damage. This list will be exceptionally useful in making insurance claims, smoothing out the process in the future.
- Contact Your Insurance Company - Call your agent to get the process of filing a claim started. Leave everything in place, except for what must be moved for safety reasons until the adjuster comes to document what happened.
- Make A Plan Now. Knowing what to do in a water storm damage emergency is essential for swiftly and smoothly restoring your property. By creating a plan you will be able to make smart and efficient decisions when storm damage occurs.
Winter Storm Safety
SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula offers comprehensive storm damage cleanup and restoration services in the Upper Peninsula.
Each year, hundreds of Americans are injured or killed by exposure to cold, vehicle accidents on wintry roads, and fires caused by the improper use of heaters. Read the following blog to learn how to stay safe during a winter weather storm!
Protect Your Family
- Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch has been issued.
- Winterize your vehicle
- Check the status of your battery, antifreeze, wipers, and windshield washer fluid
- Check the integrity of the tread on your tires
- Pack an emergency vehicle kit
- Include a scraper, sand for traction, matches for a source of fire, warm clothing, etc.
- Keep the gas tank full
- Keep warm clothing and extra blankets for everyone in your household
Protect Your Home
- Protect your exposes pipes from freezing
- Have a professional examine your HVAC system
- Consider purchasing emergency heating equipment
- Consider installing a portable generator
- Bring your companion animals indoors
- Be aware of local area radio updates
- Drink fluids such as warm broth or juice
- Eat regularly and keep a well-stocked pantry
- Conserve fuel by lowering your thermostat
- Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information
Here to Protect You
Take immediate precautions if you hear winter storm warning or blizzard warning on the news. Winter weather is unpredictable. If you are in immediate need of help, please contact your local Red Cross or call 9-1-1.
If your home suffers winter storm damage such as roof damage from wind, roof collapse from heavy snow, gutter collapse from ice, or water damage from snowmelt, contact us at 906-204-2450 We're "Faster to Any Size Disaster!"
Houghton Flood Relief Efforts
SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula would like to thank all Disaster Relief Responders and volunteers, for restoring communities in times of tragedy.
Here's a few photos of donated supplies we unloaded at Dee Stadium in Houghton yesterday afternoon (boxes, contractor bags, work gloves, rubber gloves, booties, face masks, and cases of bottled water) to help in the relief efforts.
The Houghton Police Department recommends calling the Houghton City Center at 906-482-1700 to find out what immediate donation needs are to best utilize resources.
We also offered some "do's and don'ts" to be cautious of until help arrives. Such as: 1) Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. 2) Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place. 3) Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards. 4) Do NOT use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum. 5) Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 6) Use precautions (such as 1 team in unaffected area, 1 team in affected---or booties) to protect from cross contamination from affected to unaffected areas of the home. 7) Make sure you are using safety equipment while assisting in mitigation efforts. 8) Apply an antimicrobial after water has been dried to prevent any type of growth or secondary damage from forming.
If you have questions, or need professional help contact SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula for assistance (906) 204-2450. Our goal is to make your house feel like home again!