Recent Storm Damage Posts

How Does Storm Damage Cleaning Differ From Ordinary Damage?

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. Be ready for Storm damage by Following our Tips.

There is storm damage and flooding due to a pipe break or sewer backup. These are two different things and need to be cleaned separately. They might seem the same, but they really are not.

Flood Category

The EPA classifies the different types of water damage with different categories. A simple pipe burst is a category one, and a storm flood is a category three. The different categories denote different types of cleanup and handling. For practical purposes, the different types of water are called different names. There are:

  • Clean water is self-explanatory
  • Grey water is water without any harsh contaminants such as a flood or pipe break
  • Black water is sewage, seepage and chemicals


Both types of damage can contain grey and black water.

Cleanup Methods

When cleaning up flooding from a pipe break, a flood remediation company in Emporia, VA is concerned with simply drying out your home. If the flood is from a storm or other widespread phenomena, then the cleanup is considerably more intensive. The solid waste needs to be dealt with more aggressively to prevent bacteria from growing.

Level of Cleanup

Ordinary damage from clean water just involves fans and sometimes chemical drying solutions. It is relatively easy and is usually done in a matter of hours. Flood damage is a lot different. Professionals in storm damage restoration have to wear specialized gear to prevent contamination.

The damage during a flood is also a lot more extensive than ordinary water. In cases where entire rooms are flooded, the drywall, flooring and carpet usually need to be torn out and replaced. The areas behind walls and under floors will also need to be cleared and thoroughly dried before you can re-enter your home.

Flooding cleanup is possible no matter what type of damage you have. Cleaning up after a flood caused by a storm is categorized differently and is a much more intensive process to get your home back to normal.

How To Prepare for a Nor'easter

2/22/2022 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Hitting the City Follow these Tips to be Prepared for a Nor'easter and Winter Storms and avoid Damage in your Emporia, VA property.

A nor'easter is a specific type of storm that develops when air from the Atlantic Ocean collides with the warmer air coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The clashing temperatures create an unstable atmosphere that can produce snow, heavy rain and strong winds. These storms typically move up the coast toward the New England area and the Canadian border region.

Even if you are used to winter storms, a prolonged pattern of precipitation can pose a threat. If the weather report indicates that a storm is headed toward your home in Emporia, VA knowing what to expect can help you make smart choices.

What To Expect During a Nor'easter

Good preparation starts with understanding some basic nor'easter facts. Any storm in which temperatures drop below freezing and rain or snow falls has the potential to cause certain hazards:

  • Broken power lines
  • Fallen trees
  • Frozen pipes
  • Icy roads

Of course, you want to stay out of this weather as much as possible. Seeking shelter at home is ideal, but if a tree causes damage to your house or the power goes out, you may face more challenges than you bargain for.

How To Prepare for the Storm

The good news is that the weather forecast is likely to give you a few days' notice that there is the potential for a nor'easter to come your way. This gives you time to stock up on necessities such as water, shelf-stable food and toiletries. It's also a good idea to make sure you know where your flashlights are and have backup batteries for them. Make sure your first aid kit is up to date as well.

Due to the possibility of heavy rains, it's a good idea to check your home for issues that could make it more vulnerable to flooding. Make sure windows and doors are well-sealed and check downspouts and gutters to ensure that they are clear of debris. If you have a basement, consider installing a sump pump just in case groundwater seeps in through the foundation.

What To Do in the Aftermath

After the storm passes, it's time to inspect your home for damage, particularly if you lost power. Start by testing the faucets. If water comes out in a slow drip when you turn it on, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. Locate the problem and fix it before attempting to use that faucet again.

If your home is flooded, your first call should be to storm damage restoration specialists. The team can arrive at your home within a few hours and survey the damage. After providing you with an estimate, they can get started on the repairs right away. The sooner they are able to clean and dry the area and replace all the ruined materials, the less secondary damage you are likely to have.

If a nor'easter is a common winter event in your area, it's important to know what you could be up against when the next one hits. Understanding the risks involved can help you prepare better in the days prior to the storm.

How To Prepare Your Home for a Storm

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. Prepare your Emporia, VA home for a storm following these important tips.

Your home in Emporia, VA, is probably one of your favorite places in the world. Flood water from a storm can quickly destroy the serene environment you have created there. Luckily, there are many things you can do to ensure that your home is ready for the next storm that comes its way.

Protect It From the Outside

The best way to avoid a flooded building is to keep the water from getting to it in the first place. There are several things you can do to stop or at least slow the flow of water toward your home:

  • Direct downspouts away from the foundation
  • Keep gutters clear of debris
  • Collect sandbags or other barriers for emergency use
  • Make sure the grade of your lawn slopes away from your home to control runoff
  • Maintain a healthy lawn to prevent mass erosion

If the city hasn't already built ditches or trenches around your neighborhood, you can do it yourself on your property. Creating a place for water to safely pool during a storm can protect not only your home but others around it.

Install a Sump Pump

Even if your basement starts to flood, you don't have to panic, especially if you have a method in place to get rid of the water. A sump pump is designed to activate as soon as flood water reaches its sensor. It then starts to pump water out of your home through a discharge pipe.

Store Valuables Safely

Water damage remediation experts may be able to restore many items in your home after a flood. To ensure your most valuable or irreplaceable belongings are safe, though, you need to store them on the highest level possible. Keep mementos from your children's early years and your mother's wedding dress in the attic rather than in the basement. It may still be affected by high humidity, but there will probably be less damage. Make digital backups of your most important documents and use cloud storage to keep the information safe.

Locate Key Shutoffs

If water does get inside your home, you may need to shut off the water and electricity to prevent extra problems. During natural disasters such as hurricanes, your area's water supply may become contaminated. If you are past the precaution of a boil notice, it's best to just shut off the water main until the issue is resolved. Before the water in your home reaches the level of electrical outlets, cut off the power as a safety precaution.

Collect Emergency Supplies

If your whole area is flooded, you may be asked to evacuate. It's smart to take a supply of food and water with you, as you may not have access to the usual conveniences. You should also carry a first aid kit in your emergency pack just in case anyone in your family gets hurt during the trek to safety.

Your home may be your sanctuary, but a heavy storm or natural disaster can seriously disrupt your peace of mind. Take the necessary precautions to protect your house from damage due to flood water.

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Water and Storm Damage

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Hands protecting a tree from lightning. Storms can produce water damage and flooding in your South Boston, VA home.

It doesn't take much for flood water to damage your home. A couple of inches can ruin flooring and lead to foundational concerns and damage. Keeping your home safe against rising waters might seem impossible. Still, there are several steps you can take to limit or avoid extensive damage, according to water mitigation experts in South Boston, VA.

4 Ways To Protect Your Home and Belongings From Flood Water

A flooded building has many vulnerabilities, from structure to electrical systems. As homeowners, your insight is to salvage as much as possible before the water level gets too high. Unfortunately, not every flood will provide enough time to adjust your living space and save vulnerable items. Therefore, it is best to consider the four ways to protect your home and belongings from flooding.

1. Waterproof Your Basement

If your goal is to avoid water damage, consider waterproofing your basement. There are a couple of ways to waterproof: internally and externally. Using a coating system inside your home can significantly reduce your risks of damage, but these systems are not as effective as external waterproofing methods; however, they are much cheaper and more practical.

External waterproofing involves digging down around your home's foundation and adhering a waterproofing membrane to the house. External methods are more effective than internal sealing methods, but because of the labor involved, they are more expensive and time-consuming.

2. Purchase Flood Insurance

While purchasing flood insurance will not protect your physical belongings from water, it does provide monetary protection against flooding. However, when you buy flood insurance for your home, make sure you read the policy carefully. Most insurance policies will come with a list of exclusions — circumstances that are not covered.

A policy might cover internal floods, like sewage backups or supply line breaks, but it will not cover external flooding from storms or public sewer overflow. Reading your policy and asking questions is the best way to ensure you get the coverage you want and need.

3. Elevate Electrical Components and Valuables

If you are aware of an impending flood or storm surge, take action to protect vulnerable items in your home. You will want to unplug all appliances and electronics and elevate them. It would be best if you tried to move all items to the highest level in your home, a second floor or attic space. If there is time, transport your valuables to an external storage unit well outside of the flood zone.

Additionally, refrain from using any electrical outlets after the flood recedes. It is always best to have electrical systems inspected, even if they appear to be working.

4. Pack an Emergency Kit

When a flood occurs, you have no way of knowing how fast the waters will rise or when they will stop. FEMA recommends having an emergency kit packed and ready to go at all times. The emergency pack should include food, water, first aid, and any medications you need. Each family member should have their own kit.

Protecting your home against flood water is about more than physical preparations; insurance and emergency planning are just as important to the process. Check out the FEMA website for more information.

Expectations of Severe Storm Damage

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Severe storm. To prevent some severe storm damage in your Emporia, VA, home, you must know the different risks your house can suffer.

Severe weather presents significant risks to manmade structures, including houses. As a homeowner, little can be done to prevent extreme weather and the tear-out it can lead to, but you can prepare for the potential damage to your house’s structure. If you reach out to a storm restoration company in Emporia, VA, the representatives can help you understand the four types of storm damage you might encounter. They can also help you develop a plan in case you experience such damage in the future.

1. Roof Damage

The most vulnerable surface of your home’s exterior is the roof. While it is solid, it is susceptible to wind damage. Depending on the style of roof and roofing materials, some houses will be more vulnerable than others.

Wind can lead to significant damage during a storm, but debris, hail, lightning, and more can result in damage to the roof as well. While there is little you can do to help prevent damage other than staying current with maintenance schedules and repairs, remediation companies can help you mitigate loss after a storm.

2. Water Damage

Severe weather can lead to storm surges, floods, and other types of water damage. The key to limiting the damage caused by rain and flooding is to remove the excess water as soon as possible. You will also need to tear out any damaged surfaces, like drywall, to limit the possibility of mold growth.

A storm restoration service is capable of handling all mitigation efforts. By dealing with water problems quickly, you can protect your insurance claim, giving yourself the best opportunity for claim approval.

3. Wind Damage

Severe weather often brings with it high winds. High winds alone are capable of breaking glass, damaging roofs, and causing structural loss. However, winds can also pick up debris, creating projectiles that can further bombard a structure.

You can purchase storm shutters to protect against high winds. Shutters are an excellent idea if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other wind storms. You can also opt for a less permanent installation, such as a plywood sheet.

The primary goal of wind protection is to cover those areas that are most vulnerable to damage. For most properties, the vulnerable spaces are windows and glass doors.

4. Fire Damage

Many people underestimate the potential of a fire in the middle of a storm, but it is possible. Lightning accounts for many residential fires every year.

The best protection against a lightning fire is a lightning rod. Contrary to common assumptions, lightning rods do not attract lightning. Instead, they create a high point on your roof, making it a more likely target than your roof. If lightning strikes, its charge is carried through the rod and connecting cable down to the ground where it is safely dispersed.

Even if you have a lightning rod on your house, it is wise to install a few smoke detectors in the attic, garage, and upper floors of the house. Not all lightning fires start right after a strike; some take hours to present.

While storm damage often leads to tearing out to prevent secondary damage, there are some things you can do to reduce your risks of loss. Talking to professional mitigation companies or disaster response leaders can help.

3 Essential Tips for First Responders During a Flood

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded neighborhood of Emporia, VA. Flood can affect entire cities.

As an Emporia, VA, first responder, you're always ready and willing to help your community when a disaster occurs; your work could be your passion. Most importantly, though, you need to know all the ways to keep yourself safe while working in potentially dangerous situations, such as a flood. Otherwise, it's difficult, if not impossible, to help others during this difficult time. Stay safe during a flood response by considering these suggestions.

1. Standing Water Can Be More Powerful Than You May Realize

Many people don't realize how deceptive even a seemingly small amount of standing water can appear. Only a few inches of water can sweep you off your feet and even carry a vehicle away. These waters may not even appear to be rushing. Therefore, it's essential to approach floodwaters with caution until you're sure you can navigate them safely.

2. Vaccinations Will Help Keep You Safer

It's vital for a first responder to get the proper immunizations before starting on the job. You can be exposed to contaminants in floodwaters that can put you at risk for multiple diseases and other issues such as hepatitis B and tetanus.

3. Floodwaters Can Contain Toxic Substances

It's impossible to know for sure all of the pathogens, such as bacteria and toxic chemicals, floating in floodwaters. If possible, it can be very beneficial to initially have storm damage remediation professionals mitigate some of the standing water. This means you should always wear protective gear, such as disposable gloves and a face mask, before coming into contact with the water. Taking these additional steps will make the situation safer for everyone involved.

Being proactive as a first responder can ensure you remain as safe as possible while navigating disaster areas. Planning ahead will give you the peace of mind you need to assist the people of your community in making it through the unthinkable.

When water takes over your life, we are here to take it back!

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Large water loss green desiccant trailer mount. Brick building in the background With the power of 272 dehumidifiers, drying time is greatly reduced saving loss of use cost, RESTORE vs. REPLACE.

The comfort of knowing that no matter how much water has entered a structure or the damage that has been done, that your local restoration experts at SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston have your back! Our trailer mount desiccant is heavily equip with a 130 Kilowatt Generator and a 5,000 CFM Desiccant. This machine has the power of 272 dehumidifiers which speeds up the drying time significantly. This will help minimize down time and loss of revenue cost. 

Drying Capabilities:

  • Water Damage and Remediation
  • Document Drying
  • Mold and Fungus Prevention
  • Industrial Surface Preparation 

Our goal is to provide our local community partners with the best outcome when the unexpected happens to us.

Examples for areas of use:

  • Shopping Malls
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals 
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Churches

Strategic Placement of Air Movers Help Alleviate Water Damage

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO help limit your home’s losses after a storm or flood.

Homes can suffer large amounts of damage from storm and flooding situations. As weather alerts reach their peak during the spring and summer months, the threat of flash flooding from storms increases. Flash floods can move up to nine feet per second, picking up rocks, sand, and mud along the way. The pure force of rushing water can break through door and windows, quickly bringing flood waters into the lower levels of homes which leaves homeowners powerless. You may not be able to stop floodwaters, but you can definitely limit your losses caused by storm water by bringing in the professional at SERVPRO Emporia/South Boston.

Emergency services for storm damage are available in Emporia, South Boston and the surrounding areas year-round. The emergency aspect of water mitigation and restoration depends on the removal of water quickly so as to diminish losses. The role of a restoration company does not stop with the removal of standing water. Wet furniture, rugs and clothing are just as likely to suffer damage as flooded property themselves. SERVPRO’s trained technicians ensure the drying procedure is as effective as diminishing losses, as the removal procedure is to stopping the most immediate concerns.

Wet floors raise the humidity levels as the moisture evaporates in your home. As water evaporates, it can create a layer of air that restrains further evaporation. To fight this, our technicians use air movers to keep air circulating and replace humid boundary layers with dryer sheets. This plays a major role in the amount of time it takes to restore property to their preloss condition.

The technicians at SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston could use as many as twenty air-movers to promote constant airflow. Air movers use centrifugal motion to move large amounts of air and they also use a daisy chain fitting to ensure multiple units can be set up in a room with just one power supply.  This type of placement ensures that it’ is possible to move air from one or two open points of outdoor air. And, if security is a concern, we can position air movers in a closed-circuit system which uses dehumidifiers to provide dry air.

Quick drying of flooded property can reduce claims and any secondary losses. Contact SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston today if you have suffered storm or flood damage. We are available to help 24/7, give us a call at 434-262-6792.

Storm Damage vs. Flood Damage – How to Know the Difference

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

For some, it may be hard to differentiate between storm damage and flood damage. The most general distinction between the two is that storm waters come from above, while flood waters typical spill over from a natural body of water and covers at least two acres of land that would typically be dry land. 

Storm damage typically originates from things such as:

  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • High winds
  • Blizzards and/or heavy snow fall 

Storm damage is covered by most insurance policies. However, home and property owners will need additional and/or different insurance coverage to have protection and cover expenses caused by flood damage. This is why it is important to know the difference between the storm damage and water damage. Damage to property will be considered flood damage if it covers two acres and affects at least two properties. 

If your property is located in a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the necessary insurance policies to ensure that your property/investment is well protected. 

Flooding occurs when a body of water overflows, like:

  • Creeks and/or rivers
  • Lakes
  • Dams
  • Storm-water channels 

No matter if the damage is caused by a storm or a flood, severe problems can arise for property and homeowners. These damages should be planned for, prevented as much as possible, and handled as soon as they occur. 

Regardless of the source of the water, moisture in your property increases the risk of mold and secondary damage, especially if action is not taken quickly. 

SERVPRO of Emporia/South Boston is here to help you! Give us a call anytime at 434-262-6792.