Recent Storm Damage Posts

5 Tips for Securing Your Garage During Storms

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

Storms can pose significant risks to your property, and one often overlooked area is the garage. Properly securing your garage can help protect your home and belongings from wind, rain, and debris during severe weather events. Here are several essential tips to help you secure your garage and minimize storm damage:

Reinforce Garage Doors

Start by inspecting your garage doors for any signs of damage or wear. Reinforce weak spots, such as panels or hinges, with braces or additional hardware to prevent them from bending or breaking under pressure. Consider installing a garage door reinforcement kit for added strength and stability.

Install Hurricane-Rated Garage Doors

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or severe storms, consider investing in hurricane-rated garage doors. These doors are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris, providing an extra layer of protection for your home during extreme weather conditions.

Secure with Locks and Bolts

Make sure your garage doors are securely locked and bolted before a storm hits. Use deadbolt locks or slide bolts to reinforce the locking mechanism and prevent the doors from being forced open by strong winds or intruders. Consider adding a floor bolt or anchor to further secure the bottom of the door and prevent it from being lifted off the tracks.

Seal Gaps and Cracks

Seal any gaps or cracks around the edges of your garage doors to prevent water intrusion and wind-driven rain. Use weatherstripping or rubber seals to create a tight seal between the door and the frame, reducing the risk of water damage and moisture infiltration. Pay special attention to the bottom seal, as this is a common entry point for water during storms.

Invest in a Backup Power Source

Power outages are common during storms, which can leave your garage door opener inoperable. Invest in a backup power source, such as a generator or battery backup system, to ensure that your garage doors remain functional even if the power goes out. This will allow you to open and close the doors manually in case of an emergency.

By following these tips, you can help secure your garage and protect your home and belongings during storms. Don't wait until it's too late – take proactive steps to secure your garage today and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you're prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

Protecting Your Electronics During Storms: Surge Protectors 101

1/2/2024 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can pose a significant threat to your electronics, with power surges caused by lightning strikes potentially damaging your valuable devices. To safeguard your electronics during storms, investing in surge protectors is a smart move. In this blog, we will provide an overview of surge protectors and offer essential tips to help you choose and use them effectively.

Understanding Power Surges

Power surges occur when there is a sudden increase in electrical voltage, usually caused by lightning strikes or power grid fluctuations. These surges can overload and damage sensitive electronic devices. Understanding the potential risks of power surges is the first step in protecting your electronics during storms.

What are Surge Protectors?

Surge protectors are devices designed to safeguard your electronics by diverting excess voltage away from them. They act as a barrier, absorbing and dissipating the surge before it reaches your devices. Surge protectors come in various forms, including power strips and standalone units, with varying levels of protection and additional features.

Choosing the Right Surge Protector

When selecting a surge protector, consider factors such as the joule rating, response time, clamping voltage, number of outlets, and warranty. Higher joule ratings, lower clamping voltages, and faster response times indicate better protection. Assess your specific needs and the number of devices you plan to connect to determine the appropriate surge protector for your setup.

Proper Usage and Placement 

To maximize the effectiveness of surge protectors, follow these guidelines: use separate surge protectors for sensitive and high-cost electronics, avoid daisy-chaining surge protectors, connect critical devices directly to the surge protector, and keep cords organized and away from water sources. Regularly check and replace surge protectors, as they may wear out over time.

Additional Precautions

While surge protectors provide crucial defense against power surges, additional precautions can further protect your electronics during storms. Unplug non-essential devices during severe weather or when experiencing frequent power fluctuations. Consider investing in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for sensitive equipment that requires continuous power even during outages.

Educating Household Members

Ensure that all household members understand the importance of surge protectors and the proper protocols during storms. Teach them how to recognize signs of electrical issues, such as flickering lights or buzzing noises, and instruct them on emergency shutdown procedures if necessary.

Insurance Coverage

Review your insurance policy to understand your coverage for electronics damaged by power surges. Some policies may include specific limitations or require additional coverage for high-cost equipment. Keep a comprehensive inventory of your electronics, including purchase dates and serial numbers, to facilitate the claims process if needed.

Protecting your electronics during storms is crucial in preventing damage from power surges. By understanding power surges, choosing the right surge protectors, using them properly, taking additional precautions, educating household members, and reviewing your insurance coverage, you can safeguard your valuable devices and enjoy peace of mind during stormy weather.

The Best Way to Check Your House After a Storm

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

Tree fallen in a house Storm and wind damage in Colorado Springs, CO.

After the Storm

It's a good idea to inspect your home after a storm. Unfortunately, there may be some damage that could make it difficult for you to stay in your home or worse—put your family at risk for injury or death. We hope these tips will help keep you safe and give you peace of mind after the storm passes.

Inspect the Roof

The roof is one of the most likely places to sustain damage after a storm. Here are some places to check: 

  • Look for loose shingles.
  • Check for holes in the roof.
  • Look for torn or missing shingles.
  • Check for damaged flashing (the metal or plastic that seals around chimneys and roofs).
  • Check for loose or missing gutters and downspouts (metal bars used to divert rainwater).

Inspect the Siding

If the storm damaged any of your home's siding, be sure to inspect it for missing or damaged pieces. Check for loose nails or screws that could cause additional damage to your home, as well as any dents or holes in flashing that should be replaced. If you find any problems with the structure of your house, call a professional to inspect it further and make repairs if necessary.

Inspect Windows

Check windows for damage or missing storm windows. Storm windows should be firmly secured to the window by a lock, latch, or another fastening mechanism. If you find that any of the locks are missing or broken, have someone replace them immediately.

If you do not have storm windows in your home and one side of your existing window is glass and the other side is louvered wood blinds or energy-efficient material (such as plastic film), use nails or screws to secure these materials so they don’t blow away during high winds.

Check all screens for tears and holes in them. A screen can easily rip when it gets caught on debris flying around from high winds during a storm event. If there is any pressure on the screen from outside forces such as wind gusts from being left open too far; shutters being blown back into them; or heavy objects crashing into them like branches from trees falling down nearby then take appropriate measures like using duct tape over certain areas where tears have developed so water does not leak inside.

Inspect the Yard

After a storm, you should always do a walk-around of your property. This will help you check for any damage that may have occurred during the storm, and it can also give you an idea of what repairs are necessary in order to prevent further damage.

If you live in a storm-prone area, it's important to be aware of the trees on your property and whether they pose any danger. If a tree has fallen during a previous storm, examine its roots and branches:

  • Look for loose or broken branches, which could fall again at any time.
  • Check for dead or dying trees that might be more likely to fall in another storm.
  • Make sure any leaning or weak trees are being propped up by supports so that they don't topple into your house during a future event.

Inspect your yard and any detached structures, like a storage shed or garage. Trees may have fallen on these structures and damaged them, so you need to check them carefully.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to check your house after a storm. If you do experience damage to your home or business after a storm, give SERVPRO of Northern Colorado Springs/Tri-Lakes a call! We will get your Colorado Springs, CO property back to normal as quickly as possible!

3 Ways To Stop Ice Dam Formation

11/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks outside home with water damage. Attic insulation can reduce the transference of heat to the roof.

Three Ice Dam Prevention Measures

An ice dam forms when the snow melts on a roof and runs down to the edge and refreezes. Maintaining consistently cool attic and roof temperatures and functional drainage are the best ways to prevent a dam from forming. Here are three of the most effective ice dam prevention measures for residences in Palmer Lake, CO.

1. Limit Heat Loss

Many homes lose one-third of interior heating to the attic through ceilings. Closing bypasses around ceiling penetrations and other cracks and gaps will increase heating efficiency and prevent elevated attic temperatures that lead to ice dams.

2. Insulate and Ventilate an Attic

Attic insulation can reduce the transference of heat to the roof. Most building codes specify 12 to 14 inches of cellulose or fiberglass insulation. An attic specialist can also eliminate gaps that allow heat to travel up, melt snow, and cause an ice dam. Venting is another effective way to maintain cooler attic temperatures. The best locations for roof vents are in overhangs and along or near the peak.

3. Use Prevention Products

A specialized roof rake can be helpful for removing snow. In addition to posing a risk of melting and refreezing, snow also adds excess weight to a roof during a winter storm. Areas, where dams tend to form, can be equipped with high-resistance heat cables that run through a downspout. If a dam has already formed, calcium chloride can melt ice without damaging roofing materials. Use this product according to the instructions and cover plants situated beneath drainage.

Resolving the underlying cause is the best way to stop ice dam formation. Maintaining consistently cool temperatures throughout an attic and across a roof eliminates the factors that cause snow to melt and refreeze. Roof rakes and products that promote melting are fallbacks that may reduce the risk of roof damage and water damage at a residence in Palmer Lake, CO.