Recent Storm Damage Posts
Flood Protection: Beyond Sand Bags
Rain gardens can help you avoid high water damages
Check Out These Other Options to Prevent Flood Damage in Your Commercial Property
The sand bag is a commonly recognized solution for preventing flood damage, but it isn't the only option available when it comes to keeping your Tulsa, OK, commercial property safe from storms and high water. Take a closer look at some of the other options.
If you have enough advance warning, you could use the following steps from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build flood dams around your property.
- Gather wheelbarrows, sheets of polyethylene plastic, a sand bag collection, shovels, and protective gear.
- Select a site with the right terrain and appropriate earth.
- Dig a 1- to 2-foot trench where you want the levee.
- Build up a mound with the soil, sand, or clay you have available.
- Cover the structure with plastic tarps.
Get more information about this method from local flood damage remediation professionals.
Filling sturdy bags with sand and then building a barrier around your property is a common method of directing flood waters away from your buildings and land. This method has been used to prevent flood damage for many years. The use of inflatable barriers follows the same principle except that the bags are filled with water instead of sand. The benefit is that filling the bags with water is much faster than using sand, and the time savings could prevent expensive losses.
Simple changes, such as grading landscaping away from your building, can help you avoid high water damages. Other tips include using native plants, grassy areas, water reservoir features, and rain gardens to divert extra rainfall or snow runoff. Drainage areas are also effective barriers.
Foundation vents are often used to circulate air under the floor during the summer to reduce moisture buildup. Don't confuse these vents with crawlspace vents. Flood vents, gates, or ports are used to reduce structural damage by allowing water to pass beneath a building.
As you gear up for the possibility of flooding, use more than a sand bag collection. Try out one or two of these alternatives.
Protect Your Windows
Some homes in Tulsa, OK may be especially susceptible to high winds.
Some homes in Tulsa, OK may be especially susceptible to high winds. However, you don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort to prevent windblown glass and exposure to the elements. Examine the following shutter designs to choose the best one for your home.
1. Traditional Designs
When many people picture shutters, they imagine a wooden frame on either side of the window with rows of slats. This is called the colonial design, and it is so common that many homes use a non-functional version as a decorative window accent. However, depending on the conditions in your area, the colonial shutter variety might be a solid choice for storm protection as well. Another traditional design called the Bahama shutter has vertical hinges, allowing it to open into a small awning to provide shade in warmer climates.
2. Modern Equipment
Other homeowners choose a sleek and compact look to keep their shutters out of the way when no high winds are present. Accordion and rolling shutters are made of light metals or polycarbonate, giving them a high degree of strength and flexibility. This enables the window cover to fold away or roll up when not in use. These designs are typically more expensive than the traditional varieties, and can even be electrically-powered for added convenience.
3. Temporary Protection
Storm panels and plywood are another window damage prevention method for those in high-risk locations. These storm shutters are not intended for permanent installation, and properly speaking, they do not “shut” over the window at all. Storm panels are corrugated metal surfaces that are simply affixed to the window frame with screws. Plywood is an even cheaper solution and can be implemented faster, but may not be as secure.
Whatever shutter option you choose, remember that protecting your home against high winds is the first step toward avoiding interior flooding. Have the contact information of a qualified water damage restoration service ready if you anticipate severe weather conditions.
What Black Water is and How to Deal With it
Flooded office damaged by severe storms
What Black Water is and How to Deal With It
After a storm and during floods, you may hear the term black water being tossed around. Water damage can be devastating, but it’s worse when this type of water is involved. Not only can your structure be ruined, but the contaminants in the water can make people sick. Here’s what you should know.
1. What It Is
Black water is more common than you might think. It is simply waste water. This water is full of biological material, such as sewage. While it may be easy to think that you won’t have to be in contact with it, keep in mind that it can be present in your drain, sink or toilet if they are backed up. When it comes to water damage, you have to stay diligent.
2. When to Remove It
You should never try to remove black water on your own; it is highly toxic. While there are some aspects of flood damage that can be repaired by you, there are still aspects that you should never deal with without expert assistance. For your health, make sure that you have a professional to contact in case of a flood in your business. They have specialized equipment that helps them to remove the waste safely.
Water damage can be bad enough when there’s a flood in Tulsa, OK. It can be even worse when it comes to waste water being anywhere in your commercial building. You and your employees rely on your business location to be safe. Work with a water restoration specialist to be assured that this type of water is removed safely. Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com for more information on water damage.
Tips for Protecting Your Property from Flood Damage
SERVPRO of Tulsa is always ready to respond to your emergency.
Flood damage can seem like a remote, theoretical risk – that is, until it’s in your face. Fact is, experts have estimated flood costs for the globe’s 136 largest coastal cities could cost $1 trillion annually by 2050. Wise property Tulsa, OK, property owners are thinking ahead by creating a flood plan. Not sure how to protect your property from storm damage and flooding? Here are a few tips.
Federal officials define flooding as partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties. Typical causes include:
- Overflow of inland bodies of water
- Rapid accumulation of surface runoff
All can create damage, but even just an inch of water can result in recovery costs estimated to average $27,000. Being prepared won’t eliminate the risk, but it can help minimize the costs of recovery.
Inspect Your Property
Part of flood-proofing a building is making sure that you inspect it regularly. Look for cracks in the foundation or other structure systems that could be vulnerable in high waters. Also check:
- Flood panels, to ensure the panels or gaskets are working
- Drainage systems for signs of damage that could prevent the pipes from draining properly
Apply Waterproof Sealants
Invest in waterproof coatings and sealants and apply thoroughly to foundations, walls and even doorways of your property. This so-called “dry flood-proofing” measure can form a thin but sturdy barrier that can minimize flood damage effects.
Invest in Water Pumps
Foundation vents encourage water to flow through a building rather than pooling around it, reducing the pressure flood waters can put on walls. This type of “wet flood-proofing” is particularly useful in buildings with basements.
Flood damage can be devastating both physically and financially. Get ahead of the risk with these tips and by identifying a local water cleanup specialist in case the worst does happen.
Tornadoes hit Oklahoma and Arkansas Wednesday
Bad storms need the air to be both warm and moist and that wasn't the case for most of March.
On Wednesday, one individual was killed and many others were injured as the result of different tornadoes that ran through Tulsa during its evening rush hour. According to Tulsa County Sheriff's Capt. Billy McKelvey, one person was killed in their mobile home near the suburban Sand Springs. The whole Sand Springs area was practically destroyed Wednesday during the intense weather.
As of now, it is not certain whether or not the death was the result of the tornado itself or straight-line winds that hit the park. McKelvey stated that the park could hold anywhere from 40 to 50 trailers at a time. Overall, though, 15 people were believed to have been hurt from the storm. However, McKelvey does not have an exact number yet. "It could have been much worse," he said.
Tornadoes didn't just hit Tulsa, they were seen elsewhere in Oklahoma. There were also some tornadoes at this time in Arkansas, although there were no injuries reported from those. Back in 2013, Oklahoma was also dealt with fatal tornadoes when one went through parts of Moore. This Oklahoma City suburb was faced with 24 deaths from this EF5 tornado. Before Tuesday, it had been over a month since the last time the United States saw a tornado.
Much of the damage caused from these tornadoes could be seen on television. The news showed video from Wednesday evening where roof damage was evident throughout a Moore neighborhood. In fact, the glass door that is on the Tulsa building that is home to the National Weather Service was completely smashed. A bunch of cars in the parking lot even had their windows cracked.
Don Ruffin, a resident in the Moore area, said that he was with a neighbor at a local convenience store when he saw the tornado quickly coming closer. "I don't know how close it was to us, but it looked like it was coming toward us, and so we didn't take any chances," Ruffin said. "We got in our vehicles, ran home and got in our shelters." Ruffin said once the storm was over, there were some fences on the ground and "patio furniture thrown everywhere."
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management made a note that statewide, there were roughly 80,000 power outages reported. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol also reported that there was an overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 35, which had completely stopped all traffic.
The tornado season usually kicks up for most parts of the United States in March, but thanks to the weather patterns Oklahoma was experiencing these storms weren't much of an issue before this past week happened. Bad storms need the air to be both warm and moist and that wasn't the case for most of March. However, this week southerly winds turned the temperatures into the 70s and 80s range for these areas. Weather fronts then took that air and transformed them into Wednesday's storm.
While the tornado in Oklahoma was categorized as a EF5 tornado, the one that hit northwest Arkansas on Tuesday night will likely be classified as an EF0. An EF0 is the weakest level of a tornado, with wind speeds coming in at anywhere from 65 to 85 mph. Meteorologist Jeff Hood from Little Rock said that this tornado was actually a waterspout, which means it never even made it onto land. Instead, it formed completely over water.
Prior to this week, there were only about two-dozen twisters total for this year. Typically, this number is about 120. The last time that the Storm Prediction Center is reporting that the United States had no twisters in March was about 50 years ago.
5 Steps in Maintaining a Sump Pump
You should have a backup plan in case you lose power during a storm in Tulsa, OK.
A sump pump plays a critical part in preventing groundwater from intruding into the basement or crawlspace of your home. This pump should be fully functional during flood or storm conditions. Follow these five pump maintenance steps to ensure your pump stays in working order.
1. Inspect Your Pump Before Heavy Rains
The pump should plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet and should be standing upright. Try pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The pump should start automatically, and the water should drain. If the pump is not operational, schedule repairs as soon as possible or rely on a back-up method.
2. Clean the Grate on Submersible Pumps
Raise the submersible pump and clean the bottom grate on a regular basis. The sucking action can pull small stones into the grate that block the inlet and cause damage over time.
3. Schedule Annual Maintenance
Groundwater tends to rise due to snowmelt or precipitation in late winter or early spring. This is an ideal season to make sure your pump is in working order.
4. Familiarize Yourself With the Pump Alarm
Most sump pumps have battery-powered water level alarms. Some systems can send an alert to your cell phone in the event of a flood or pump failure.
5. Consider Installing a Backup Pump
Choose from water-powered pumps that work without electricity, a battery-powered pump that uses a deep cycle boat battery, or a pump powered by a car battery. Or rely on a generator.
These five pump maintenance measures will ensure that the sump pump in your home works properly.
You should have a backup plan in case you lose power during a storm in Tulsa, OK. If groundwater backs up into your crawlspace or basement, contact a residential restoration company to make sure building materials are still viable and to prevent mold. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
How to Check for Roof Damage After a Storm
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage.
After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.
Find the Leak Source
During storms in Tulsa, OK, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:
1. Vents and fans
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes
Fix Water Damage
To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
What You Need To Know About the Flood Cut
A flood cut may not be ideal, but it is better than further contamination.
If your building was recently flooded, your Tulsa, OK, water restoration team has probably informed you that they need to perform a flood cut. While that may sound bad—after all, anything with the word "cut" in it cannot be good right?—it's actually a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure. It's also often necessary post flooding.
What is a Flood Cut?
A flood cut is a procedure performed to separate the damaged sections of a wall from the undamaged sections. It is necessary for several reasons, the biggest of which is that it prevents further contamination. Most professional flood cuts are made 12 inches above the water damage line. Any less and you risk adulteration despite having made the cut. After a flood, flood cuts are performed to:
• Remove all traces of water damage and restore your building to pre-flood condition
• Ensure that all contaminants are removed both internally and externally
• Get rid of all accumulated bacteria
• Restore walls to pre-flooding appearance
A flood cut is not always necessary, but it is common. Usually, professionals recommend flood cuts when flood water is categorized as two or three flood water. Category two water refers to water that contains known contaminants, such as water from a dishwasher or washing machine. Category three water refers to black water, or water from sewage backup. The goal of drywall cut is to get rid of contaminants and ensure that a home or building is safe to return to after a flood.
Flood Cuts Prevent Further Damage
A flood cut may not be ideal, but it is better than further contamination. If want to ensure that your building is safe for occupants, and if you want to prevent a major restoration such as a complete wall tear out, talk to your Tulsa, OK, storm restoration team about performing a flood cut. A flood cut may be the quickest way for you to return to business as usual post-flooding. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
5 Reasons To Board and Tarp After Roof Damage
To ensure the boarding and tarping are properly done, work with experienced restoration specialists.
Roof damage in Tulsa, OK, is not uncommon after a major weather event, such as heavy storms or snow. Unfortunately, some homeowners do not take steps immediately after an event to prevent the damage from worsening. However, tarping or boarding could potentially help mitigate the damages. In addition to preventing further damage to the roof, there are five other reasons to use boards or tarps.
1. The cost of the repair can increase. The longer the damaged roof is left exposed to environmental elements, the more damage can occur. Potentially preventable problems could lead to a balloon in your costs.
2. The home is vulnerable to vandals. Depending on the extent of the damage to your roof, there is a possibility that vandals and robbers could gain access to your home and destroy or steal your possessions. Tarping and boarding your home could be the deterrent you need.
3. Unwanted pests could enter your home. Pests, such as roaches and rodents, can sometimes find their way into your home through openings that are left by wind damage and roof damage.
4. Guests could be injured by the roof. Until the roof has been professionally assessed by restoration specialists and properly boarded and tarped, anyone who visits your home could be at risk of injury from falling parts from the roof. One incident could lead to a lawsuit or a claim against your homeowner’s insurance.
5. Your insurance provider may require mitigation. Depending on your insurance policy, there could be a provision that requires you to take steps to mitigate the damage to your roof. If you fail to act, your claim may be denied or the settlement offer reduced.
By acting immediately to mitigate your roof damage in Tulsa, OK, you could potentially save on the costs of repairs and avoid more serious consequences that can result from waiting. To ensure the boarding and tarping are properly done, work with experienced restoration specialists. SERVPRO of South Tulsa is here to help with any size storm damage! For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com/.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
When your home floods it's important to know what to do and what not to do. Flooding can cause some big problems. The best course of action is to act quickly and begin the drying process for contents that might be in standing water.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
SERVPRO of South Tulsa County is available 24 hours a day. Check out our other services on our website.
4 Ways to Be Ready For the Next Flood
4 Ways to Be Ready For the Next Flood
It is always good to plan ahead for oncoming flooding. Repairing storm damage can cost thousands of dollars if you do not have the right insurance policy. Fortunately, there are various ways to protect your house in Tulsa, OK so that you can evacuate with peace of mind.
1. Waterproof Exterior Walls
It does not take a lot of water to damage a property. It can still take a lot of time and money to repair flood damage that brings fewer than two feet of water inside your home. A waterproof veneer consisting of a brick layer reinforced by a sturdy membrane can help prevent a small amount of flood water from entering your property. In some cases, a membrane can be enough to keep water at bay entirely.
2. Raise Electrical Components
Outlets, meters and service panels should be at least one foot above your home’s flood level. Systems being exposed to even a small amount of flooding can cause them to short circuit.
3. Anchor Fuel Tanks
Clean flood water can become contaminated if a fuel tank sustains damage. An unanchored tank can be swept up by the flood, creating a leak and spilling oil into the basement, which causes a number of problems. It is much more difficult for a professional crew to clean up contaminated water than clean liquid.
4. Clean Gutters Routinely
You should make cleaning the gutters a regular part of your chore routine. Leaves and other debris can get caught in the gutters, and even a small amount of rain can cause the system to break apart. The likelihood of this increases with heavy storms bringing out harsh rainfall. Water can overflow from the gutters, degrading the home’s siding. This water also leaks into the home’s foundation, which can necessitate even more complicated repairs. Prepare sufficiently so you do not fall victim to extreme flooding in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com for more information on storm damage.
Flooding in Tulsa. What is the best way to be prepared?
When preparing for a storm, you might be thinking about flood damage in Tulsa but are you really prepared for it? One of the first priorities prior to a storm is grabbing food and extra water. The second is flashlights and batteries. After you have all the emergency, personal things accomplished, it's time to think about what happens if there's a flood. Will you be prepared?
Being prepared for a flood doesn't only involve sealing the cracks in your foundation or making sure the pump in the basement has enough fuel. There are other concerns like the type of insurance coverage you have on your property if and when a flood happens to you.
Many people are under the impression that their homeowner's insurance covers flood damage. Unfortunately, most policies do not cover flood damage even though they cover storm damage. Flood insurance might need to be purchased separately. If you have flood damage in your policy, find out exactly how much it covers. Will it cover the cost of fixing a sewer backup? Is there a cap on the amount that the policy will cover? These questions are important to ask long before you have a problem.
When you have a problem in your home, it's essential that you have a list of contractors that you trust. All the research into contractors' policies, work ethic and reliability should be done before the contractor is needed. The local utility or public works department should have a list of contractors on hand for the public. Don't keep the list without vetting the possibilities before you need to hire them. To find out if your home is at risk for flooding, contact the possible contractors for a walkthrough of your home. This will help you research and become comfortable with the contractor before you ever need their emergency services.
Flooding and the Sewer
When an area floods around your home, it's not only your home that is impacted. The entire area can become overflowing and that includes the sewer. The sewer connections in your home could become backed up and cause unsanitary conditions. When water enters the sewers from a variety of sources during a flood, it's called inflow. The contractor that you hire to do a test on your home can find out whether you have any source of inflow problems long before a flood situation takes place. He'll need to make sure there's a proper backflow valve.
It's a good idea to have a flood or elevation map of the area surrounding your home. Even homes that are not near the coast can have flooding problems. Very dry areas cannot handle sudden heavy rains so they would be a serious problem during a big storm with potential torrential rain. When you're preparing for your next flood, make sure you have the proper help through insurance and contractors before there's a flooding problem.
SERVPRO of South Tulsa County is locally owned and operated and serves Oklahoma City, Edmond, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Okmulgee, Jenks, Catoosa, Sand Springs, Glenpool, Coweta, and the surrounding communities
SERVPRO of South Tulsa County’s fully certified water removal staff can perform a complete damage assessment to your home of office, and then recommend and follow the industries standards to get your water removal restoration repaired properly available 24 hours a day
Why is Water Mitigation Important after flooding?
The Importance of Water Mitigation
When a person's home experiences water damage, they will want to reduce the amount of damage that occurs. Water mitigation is the process of preventing damage from water inside a building. The goal is to keep any additional water damage from happening by taking fast and effective action.
Cause And Result
Water damage can happen after a structure has a plumbing failure. It can also result because of storm water. Broken underground pipes have also caused water damage. This has resulted in soaked rugs, warped floors, damaged furniture, walls and more. This is a time when immediate water mitigation steps need to be taken.
Water Damage - Disaster
When a home has a plumbing failure, it is important the main water source be shut off. When flooding happens, work may not be able to begin until water levels have dropped. No matter what the cause, when water damage happens it is essential electrical breakers is shut down. This makes it possible to safely unplug and remove electrical devices. These devices could be on a wet carpet or in areas submerged in water. Aluminum foil should be placed under the legs or feet of furniture in contact with a wet carpet. Curtains and draperies should be removed if in contact with the water or a wet carpet. Immediately remove papers, shoes or other items that could be damaged. Walking on a wet carpet should be avoided as much as possible.
Once the source of the water problem has been addressed, it's time for professionals to conduct an inspection. They will be able to carefully inspect the property and determine the extent of the damage. A recovery plan will be created. This will cover the details necessary to return a building back to its original condition.
Water that damages a building can be contaminated. Water in a home from flooding can be sewage or polluted ground water. This is a situation that could cause severe illness to people and their pets. Pumps and other equipment can be used to remove water. There is a good chance this can be done without removing any of the building's contents. This also includes removing any items soaked with water including tems such as carpeting, furniture and more. Anything that has absorbed water and cannot be restored must be removed.
Drying and Mold Prevention
Water damage can create vast amounts of mold if not handled correctly. It is important to take steps immediately to remove mold and prevent it from reoccurring. This will require using state-of-the-art dehumidifiers and air movers. It will require the humidity inside a building be carefully monitored and controlled. If the humidity is not handled properly, items not destroyed during the water damage could absorb moisture and be ruined. The damaged area must also be kept at an acceptable temperature. Providing an improper temperature is a major cause of microorganism and bacterial growth after water is removed.
It is important for a structure to be stabilized, and its integrity maintained. Every water mitigation project will be different. It's important to utilize the services of experienced water removal technicians. They will have the proper equipment and experience to restore any type of structure that experienced water damage.
What not to do after flooding
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.