Recent Storm Damage Posts

Different Types of Storms in West Erie, PA

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

image of thunderstorm taking place over a city and water at nigt A thunderstorm is a type of storm that generates lightning and thunder. It is normally accompanied by heavy precipitation.

In Erie, PA, you can never be exactly sure what kind of weather you might get for the day. Lake effect rain and snow can play a major role in your everyday life. It is important to know the different kinds of storms, so you can be prepared for anything that might come your way!

Windstorm: A storm marked by high wind with little or no precipitation. Windstorm damage often opens the door for massive amounts of water and debris to cause further damage to a structure.

Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm is a type of storm that generates lightning and thunder. It is normally accompanied by heavy precipitation. Individual storm clouds can measure 2–10 km across.

Snowstorm: A heavy fall of snow accumulating at a rate of more than 2 inches per hour that lasts several hours. Snowstorms, especially ones with a high liquid equivalent and breezy conditions, can bring down tree limbs, cut off power, and paralyze travel over a large region.

Blizzard: There are varying definitions for blizzards, both over time and by location. In general, a blizzard is accompanied by gale-force winds, heavy snow, and very cold conditions. Lately, the temperature criterion has fallen out of the definition across the United States.

Ice storm: Ice storms are one of the most dangerous forms of winter storms. When surface temperatures are below freezing, but a thick layer of above-freezing air remains aloft, rain can fall into the freezing layer and freeze upon impact into a glaze of ice. In general, 8 millimeters  of accumulation is all that is required, especially in combination with breezy conditions, to start downing power lines, as well as tree limbs. Ice storms also make unheated road surfaces too slick to drive upon.

No matter what may happen, you can rest assured SERVPRO of West Erie County is here to help! We are ready for whatever kind of storm may come your way. We have the equipment and trained professionals ready to handle any type of disaster.

If you should need our help after a storm, call us at (814) 806 1987

Or send us a message via Facebook

Top 5 Overlooked Places Mold Grows

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on a window sill If you suspect you may have mold, call the experts at SERVPRO of West Erie County!

Although we usually equate mold to dark and damp basements, mold is insidious and can grow in places you least expect it. Mold can grow exponentially within 24 hours of being exposed to moisture and spread quickly.

Below are some common places mold forms that you may not be aware

  • Under Your Refrigerator

The spaces behind and under your fridge rarely see the light of day. Even a small leak can lead to a huge mold problem. Make sure to clean all water lines and drip pans and clean behind and underneath your refrigerator regularly.

  • Chimneys

Brick crevices can collect water, dirt, and other debris. Rusted chimney caps and faulty flashing can let in rain and snow. Replace rusted caps and fix flashing to help decrease the likelihood of mold. Additionally, getting your chimney swept by a professional at least once a year can help lower your chances of mold. If you have already discovered mold, a licensed mold specialist can remove the it for you.

  • Front-Loading Washing Machines

Front-loading washing machines are great but can be a potential home for mold. The gasket on the door often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. It is best to wipe the gasket and glass dry before shutting the door. If you do spot mold, run a hot water cycle with some chlorine bleach and no clothes to kill the fungi.

Even top loading washing machines can accumulate moisture and form mold. Make sure to check behind and underneath your washer and dryer regularly to make sure there is no extra moisture or leaks.

Always clean out your lint tray to prevent a fire hazard.

  • Window Seals

When it rains, condensation accumulates, and moisture is left behind long after the rain has stopped. This provides a perfect nesting spot for mold to settle in. After heavy rains, open your windows and wipe the moisture off the windowsills. Replace any broken seals if you notice water has leaked into the wood and walls.

  • Air Conditioners

Air conditioning units trap dust and pollen and grab moisture from the air. If you don’t run your AC unit at least once every 24 hours, warm weather humidity gives mold a chance to grow. If mold grows in your air conditioning unit, you will need a mold specialist to come and clean it out.

If you suspect you may have mold, call the experts at SERVPRO of West Erie County. We can handle any situation, large or small, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us Today! (814) 806 1987

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What is Your Weather Personality Type?

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Stormy weather with SERVPRO sign If you need help after heavy rains or a storm, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County!

When you wake up and the sun is shining, do you automatically feel better? Does dreary, rainy weather make you want to stay curled up in bed all day? Science has not been able to prove yet if weather affects our mood, but it has an influence on our lives.

The 4 Types of Weather Personalities:

  • Summer Lovers: better mood with more sunshine
  • Summer Haters: worse mood with warmer weather
  • Rain Haters: bad mood on days with more rain
  • Unaffected: do not necessarily correlate mood with weather

If rainy days get you feeling down:

  • You are not alone. According to one study, nearly nine percent of people feel angrier and less happy on days with more precipitation. Another study showed that rain even increased the number of negative posts on social media.
  • When it starts getting dark and dreary, turn on the lights instead of crawling into bed. Some research indicates that light boosts serotonin levels which makes you feel happier.
  • Other ideas to boost your mood include exercising, connecting with friends, watching a rom-com, or playing a fun game.

Warmer is not always better:

  • Most research points to cheerier moods when the sun is shining.
  • In some people, warmer weather can lead to more aggressiveness, irritability, and violence.
  • If you find yourself in a lower mood during the warmer months, do your best to stay inside air-conditioned homes and businesses.

If you find yourself feeling emotionally overwhelmed as the seasons change, you may have a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder.

If you need help after heavy rains or a storm, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County! We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Our professionals are certified water and fire restoration experts.

Give us a call today! (814) 806 1987

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Top 5 Storm Essentials for Edinboro, PA Residents

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Map of US storm preparedness statistic Be part of the 51.5% and prepare your storm ready kit today!

Top 5 Storm Essentials According to SERVPRO:

  1. Candles
  2. First Aid Kit
  3. Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  4. Battery Powered Radio
  5. Water Bottles and Packaged Food

In the case of a power outage, candles will be critical in keeping areas of your home lit. If candles are lit, be sure someone is always in the room to avoid a fire hazard.

A first aid kit should always be in your home, whether it is to prepare for a disaster or just to treat common injuries.

 A good first aid kit should include: band-aids, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, an emergency blanket, breathing barrier, instant cold compress, two pair on non-latex gloves, hydrocortisone cream, gauze roll, roller bandage, sterile gauze pads, and tweezers. For a complete list and more tips visit American Red Cross.

Even though you have candles available, it is always a good idea to keep a flashlight and extra batteries. Flashlights are a little more portable and kid friendly.

Battery powered radios will help keep you informed about the severity and time of the storm or severe weather. Without it, you might be left in the dark and not know what is going on.

Like the need for candles and flashlights, bottled water and packaged food is essential in case the power goes out. To keep food in the fridge from spoiling super quickly, it is best to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Of course, if the power is out for a long period of time, your food may spoil regardless. Packaged food that is ready to eat may be needed if the household appliances are not working.

Should you experience any storm or flooding damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County to minimize any inconvenience and restore your home and belongings to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Call us today! (814) 806 1987

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Storm Spotting and Chasing Safety Tips

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Storm cloud in the sky No matter the severity of the storm, SERVPRO of West Erie County wants you to stay safe!

Are you one of those people who love to sit outside and watch the thunderstorm? Some people find thunderstorms and rainfall to have a calming effect.

What is the difference between a storm spotter and a storm chaser? A storm spotter is someone who observes storms either from a fixed location or they are mobile. A storm chaser is someone who actively pursues imminent or existing thunderstorms. Storm chasers are typically willing to travel miles and miles to observe a storm. The National Weather Service does not condone storm chasing in any capacity.

Your number one concern should always be safety. Below are some tips to stay safe:

  • Always spot with a partner: The saying says, “two brains are better than one.” But in this case, four eyes are better than two.
  • Watch for water on the road: If you are traveling in a car, keep a look out for water on the road. Hydroplaning can pose a serious threat to drivers.
  • Avoid the most intense areas of the storm: For one reason or another storm chasers, will sometimes make the poor decision to head into the core of the storm. This is a very dangerous risk because there can be heavy rain, strong winds, low visibility, and hail large enough to damage your car.
  • Always have an escape route in mind: Always have a plan for how you will get out of harm’s way should the storm become life threatening. This requires some expertise and knowledge of how storms behave and move. It is smart to always have a map with you, especially if you are in a new location. Keep in mind, sometimes roads change faster than maps do.
  • Lightning: Lightning gives no warning before striking. Avoid being the tallest object in the area and don’t get too close to power lines or poles. Don’t wait for a warning sign, before taking shelter.

Should you need help before, during, or after a storm, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We are at your service and ready to help 24/7.

Call us today! (814) 806 1987

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Clean Out Those Gutters In West Erie County!

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Rain dripping off of roof Remember to regularly clean out and inspect your gutters to avoid water damage to the structure and roof of your house.

Think back to the last time it stormed…was water pouring off the edges of your house in bucket loads? If so, it is likely your gutters are clogged with debris.

Summer rains can bring high damaging winds that can dislodge branches from trees which may look to find a new home...on top of yours! Helicopters fall from maple trees, leaves, and tiny critters may all find a new home in your gutters.

It is important for you to regularly clean out and inspect your gutters to avoid water damage to the structure and roof of your house. It is simple enough - all you will need is a ladder, gloves, protective goggles, water hose and a scoop or small shovel.

Cleaning your gutters can be performed in 3 easy steps:

  1. Climb the ladder and start scooping! Start from the end closest to the drain outlet and remove any debris with your scoop, working away from the drain outlet. For faster cleanup in the end, toss the debris into a bucket on the ground.
  2. With your water hose in tow, spray a steady stream of water through the gutters towards the drain outlet. To avoid getting sprayed with hose water and debris, a hose with a pressure gauge for high and low power might be better, but any hose will work fine.
  3. Check your drainpipes for any blockages. Hopefully, any potential blocks are minimized by scooping out the debris before it makes it into the pipes. However, there are instances where storms force material into the pipes. If you see a trickle instead of a flow coming from your pipes, use the hose at the top of the gutter and spray directly into the outlet.

If you need help with storm or water damage, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806 1987

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Storm Advice - Tips to Help Kids Who Fear Storms

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

As with most children, Mother Nature can sometimes invoke fear and anxiety. Luckily, there are ways to decrease their fear.

As with most children, Mother Nature can sometimes invoke fear and anxiety. It is very common for kids to fear storms. Luckily, there are ways to decrease their fear. It is truly about preparing them with the expectations before it happens. Ideally, this will help them develop coping skills, and in return, decrease their fear and anxiety.

Education is power. Teaching children to face their fears in small steps becomes a survival skill. The more you educate them on storms; children will learn to not always associate storms in a negative way. 

It is possible to change their negative thoughts into positive thoughts. When they hear lightning and thunder, tell them it is movie night or pizza night. The next time they hear lightning and thunder, they will remember a happy experience. Consistency is key!

Focus on safety and prevention especially with younger kids. They need to hear that they are safe. This is especially important with larger storms that could possibly cause a lot of damage if in its path.

It is important to communicate that there are people who help others during a storm. For example, SERVPRO of West Erie County Storm Team is currently active helping others at Hurricane Dorian.

Once the children hear this, it becomes easier for them to associate storms and safety together to decrease the fear. It may take some time for their mind to reprogram, so don't forget to leave the night light on for a good nights' rest! 

If storms in your area leave you with unwanted water or damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County for help at (814) 806-1987.

Storm Season in Girard, PA

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Have you ever gone on your weather app to check the weather for the week and there is a 20% chance of rain every single day? The little description might read “Slight chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.” One minute it can be 75 and sunny and the next minute there is a torrential downpour of rain.

Unfortunately, pop-up thunderstorms are not uncommon in late July and August, and they can leave you feeling confused and unprepared. Typically, excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Staying informed about the common causes of storm and water damage can provide peace of mind for when that unexpected heavy rainstorm hits Girard, PA.

What are the Common Types of Damage Caused by Storms?

Flooding: During a strong rainstorm, water can penetrate the roof shingles and leak into you home. Nearby lakes, rivers or even streams can overflow and cause flooding that can wreak havoc on your property. Flooding damage can be invasive and cause damage to the materials inside your home or business. Water can rot wood and cause mold growth that will add up to costly repairs.

Burst Pipes: Most people do not examine the condition of the pipes in their home, nor do they know what a worn-out pipe looks like. It may be worth it to hire an expert to evaluate the condition of the pipes in your home. Additionally, active leak detection systems can be valuable as they can detect and stop leaks from happening.  

Sewer Backup: Although nobody wants to experience any kind of water damage, perhaps the most unwanted kind of water damage is sewer backup. Heavy rains can lead to sewer backup that leave your home full of sewage. The smell alone is bad enough, but this problem can affect the foundation of your home.

Any type of water damage can negatively affect the value of your property. Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Water heaters, plumbing, overflowing toilets, bathtubs, and sinks are additional causes of water damage typically seen in homes and businesses.

Regardless of the source, SERVPRO of West Erie County can handle any size disaster. Our highly trained restoration specialists provide 24/7 Emergency Services. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. If you need help, call SERVPRO of West Erie County today! (814) 806-1987

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What to Do When the Power Goes Out in Springfield, PA

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Candles, matches, flashlights, and battery-operated radios are great essentials to have on-hand.

You can lose power for a variety of reasons and often without any warning. Your first thought probably is: “I know I have a flashlight around here somewhere. If only I could find it in the dark!”

Once your power goes out, the first step is to determine the cause. It may be your own breaker or a power outage caused by a storm.

To check, you need to locate your electrical panel and see if one of the switches is turned off. You may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker and all you need to do is turn it back on and power should be restored.

If not, you can always check out your neighbors to see if their house is fully lit. Power is usually lost in a localized area. If you do not have power, it is likely that your neighbors are also without power.

Communicating during a power outage is important to keep everyone as safe as possible.

You can call your utility company and report the loss of power, but be aware many other customers will likely be reporting the same issue and it will be difficult to get through. They are probably already aware of the problem and working to fix it as fast as they can.

Always keep a battery-operated radio on-hand, as well as extra batteries to keep up with the latest news and weather reports. Candles, matches, and flashlights are also important to provide light. 

Be conscious of your phone battery, as you will not be able to charge it using an electrical outlet when it runs out of battery.

In an emergency, you can always use your car to listen to the radio and charge your phone. Make sure your car is in an open area or open the garage door before running it for a period of time. Carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal in an enclosed space.

To protect your appliances, it is best to turn them off. This way, when the power does return, the surge of electrical energy will not damage your computer or television. Additionally, if you were using a stove burner or iron, it can be easy to forget it when the power comes back on.

If the outage is likely to last a prolonged period of time, it is best to stay comfortable and hydrated. Especially in the summer months, your house will likely heat up quickly due to the lack of air conditioning or fans. Stay as cool and safe as possible at all times!

When the power goes out, it can lead to a variety of headaches for homeowners. If you need help with storm or water restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call us at (814) 806 1987

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Summer Storm Safety for Erie Residents

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Late July through early August is peak season for summer weather and temperatures. Unfortunately, this also means thunderstorm season.

As we reach the end of July and early August, it’s the peak season for summer weather and temperatures. As much as summer is about barbecues, family vacations, and sunshine, it is also the season of thunderstorms.

We usually welcome summer storms for a much-needed change in temperature and cool breeze. Although they are typically harmless, there are still some summer storm safety tips to be aware of for your family, home, and business.

Lightning: Lightening results in 55-60 deaths and about 300 injuries each year.

If you are ever outside and hear a buzzing sound or you have a feeling of “tingly hair,” lightening is near. To reduce the risk of being hit by lightning, crouch down on the balls of your feet and keep your head down and ears covered. This will help protect you, but do not rely on this method to stay safe. Find shelter as soon as the sensation passes.

It’s a wide-spread myth that cars will keep you safe from lightning due to the rubber tires. Click here to find out what actually happens to your car when lightning strikes.

Prepare Ahead of Time: Stock up on essentials for your home in the case a severe storm hits without warning. Here is checklist of a few items you might want to have in your emergency kit:

  • Non-perishable food: Think crackers, peanut butter, canned food or pasta. Make sure to have a hand-held can opener in case the power goes out!
  • Bottled Water
  • Flashlights and batteries in case the ones in the flashlight run out.
  • First Aid Kit
  • A backup copy of important documents: In today’s world, it is very easy to keep an electronic copy of all your important documents on your phone or laptop. If not, make sure to keep a copy in a waterproof container.
  • Devise a storm safety plan: Make sure your children know what to do and where to go in the case of severe weather. Designate a safe meeting place in the home such as the basement or bathroom.

Exterior Maintenance: To minimize damage done to your home or property, keep on top of yard maintenance. Trim trees and large shrubbery around your home.

Secure loose items in your yard that could potentially be picked up and thrown across your yard such as trashcans, trampolines, pool floats, or furniture cushions.  

Braving the Storm:  In the northeast region, it is not uncommon to log onto social media and see pictures or videos of people chasing the storm. For your safety, do not try to do this! Additionally, try to safe away from windows or glass doors and avoid taking a shower or bath.

After the Storm: Do not try to drive through flooded areas as you can have no way of predicting how deep the water may get. Stay up to date on the latest weather information through weather radio or local television stations.

If you find yourself in need of help from flooding, water damage, or roof damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We will arrive as quickly as possible and begin to assist you. If you have any questions or need help, call (814) 806 1987

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Tackle Storms and Severe Weather with Technology

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pokémon Go…the number of social media apps and ways to stay connected are endless. Although catching Pokémon and going live on Facebook are fun ways to stay entertained, technology can help keep you safe during a storm!

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others.  Below are some common technology tips, as well as some new ones you may want to check out!

  • Follow the news and stay informed! You can download free apps onto your phone or tablet such as The Weather Channel or Erie News Now to stay up to date with the newest information! Additionally, you can alert first responders to an emergency situation through Twitter. Subscribe through an organization’s alert page such as FEMA.
  • Store an extra copy of important information online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox make it even easier to store important information such as insurance policies, medical records, identification documents, and even information about pets living in the home. This ensures information will be accessible to you should your home or business flood or catch fire. Your phone goes with you everywhere you go!
  • Let family know you’re safe through The American Red Cross app or website. It can give family members peace of mind to know you are safe. You can also check-in on Facebook.
  • Always keep a back-up charger in your car! You never know when you may need to charge your phone and keeping a back-up charger in your car guarantees you will never be left with a dead phone.
  • Create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The Emergency Ready Profile will be created for you by a SERVPRO worker free of charge. It will provide important facility details such as valve shut-off locations for water, electric, and gas and priority contact information. It will be available to you on your smartphone or tablet any time, day or night.

Being prepared for a storm can offer peace of mind. Technology is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay informed about the weather and what is happening in your community. You have access to multiple sources of information and ways to communicate in the palm of your hand.  

Should you need emergency services during or after a storm, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806 – 1987

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