Storms can have a devastating effect on your home or business. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, landslides, or other severe weather are often accompanied by intense thunderstorms that leave you with damage you aren’t sure how to handle. We understand the stress, confusion, and overwhelming feelings that often come with this type of damage. This article outlines SERVPRO®’s storm damage and construction services, as well as initial tips for immediate cleanup in the aftermath of storms.
A Lesson in Storms
Per the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, there are approximately 16 million thunderstorms each year worldwide, of which 100,000 are in the United States. Roughly 10% are considered severe, and at any given time, there are approximately 2,000 thunderstorms actively in progress.
Thunderstorms, along with other severe weather like tornadoes and hurricanes, can cause a variety of damages, including flooding from excessive rain, fires from lightning, destructive hail, and high winds. Not only can this undermine or rip off roofs entirely, severely damaging the structure of your home or business, but it can take out power lines, mobile homes, and more, often necessitating the need for professional cleanup and construction services.
SERVPRO’s Construction Services
Thankfully, not only does SERVPRO provide cleanup and restoration services, as well as roof tarping and board-up services, but we also handle construction. This means SERVPRO professionals can be your “one-stop shop” for service, allowing you to take comfort in knowing you’ve found a single quality team to handle your property damage from beginning to end, committed to making it “Like it never even happened.” So, how do SERVPRO professionals handle your construction needs? The construction process is broken down into three main phases: pre-construction, construction, and post-construction.
The pre-construction phase includes the following steps:
- Approval. This may involve seeking the approval of a homeowners’ or condominium owners’ association prior to work being done. If the construction is due to an insurance claim, you will need to verify coverage, deductible amounts, and replacement cost.
Estimates. This includes finalizing the estimate.
A Deposit and Draw Schedule is provided as part of the Construction Work Authorization.
You may need to contact your mortgage company if you have a mortgage on your home, since some lenders and insurance companies may issue “multiple party” checks.
Select materials such as carpet, tile, and flooring. This is an important step and can save time in the future, as some items may have long lead times.
Sign the Construction Work Authorization Document.
The construction phase includes the following steps:
- Schedule tradesmen and schedules so the project can flow smoothly.
Weekly communication begins as the project progresses. Be sure to let us know optimal times and methods of communication.
We ask that you inspect the work-in-progress, especially if the project involves different items, such as flooring, new countertops, and more. This ensures any issues are noted and addressed early.
Supplements may arise if, for example, we uncover additional damage that could not be seen until demolition occurred. While we make every effort to avoid this and anticipate the total cost, supplements may require a Change Order to be added as a supplemental to your claim to cover the additional cost.
Sometimes, customers wish to change materials after the estimate has been accepted. At this point, while ordered materials and structural changes cannot be altered, we will work with you to incorporate these new requests to the best of our ability.
You may be asked to make interim payments as the project progresses, if the cost is estimated above $10,000.
The post-construction phase includes the following steps:
- Our construction specialists adhere to the National Association of Homebuilders Residential Construction Performance Guidelines for Professional Builders & Remodelers Fifth Edition. A walk-through will confirm the work performed and lead to final sign-off.
You will be asked to sign the Certificate of Completion, stating the work is complete and meets industry standards.
Storm Damage Cleanup Tips
While storm damage can strike without warning, SERVPRO is always available. Did you know we have several strategically placed storm teams around the country, ready to be dispatched in the event of severe weather? That’s right—our large-loss specialists are equipped for storms around the clock, so no matter the time or where you live, we have crews on standby ready to help.
In the aftermath of storm damage, while you wait for emergency crews to arrive and SERVPRO to provide 24/7 construction services, there are some tips you may be able to employ for fire and water damage that may have been caused by the storm. Fire damage cleanup tips include:
- Keep hands clean, as soot on your hands may soil upholstery and other items in the affected area.
Reduce movement in the space, so soot particles are not spread and possibly embedded into items or tracked throughout the property.
Refrain from cleaning any electrical appliances that may have been affected by the fire. Without consulting a professional first, you may put yourself in danger.
Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery without consulting a cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO first.
Empty your freezer and refrigerator completely, and leave the doors propped open to help prevent odor.
Wipe soot off electrical appliances such as metal kitchens and bathroom faucets.
Do not wash walls without consulting a cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO first.
Water damage cleanup tips include:
- Turn off the water source if possible.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home if possible; only do this if you can safely access the power distribution panel without the chance of electrical shock.
Refrain from turning on ceiling fixtures, especially if the area is wet or the ceiling is sagging.
Do not use a vacuum in wet areas, as this could cause electrical shock.
Hang furs and leather goods in a separate location, at room temperature.
Do not enter affected areas, especially if outlets, switches, other electrical equipment, or circuit breakers are exposed to water. Otherwise, you may experience electrical shock.
Consider placing aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and carpet.
Move artwork, computers, documents, and other sensitive items to a non-affected area.
Prop up wet upholstery and cushions.
Mop and blot water to remove as much excess water as possible before crews arrive.
Choose SERVPRO for 24/7 Service
SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire cleanup, mold cleanup, biohazard cleaning, construction services, and more. With over 2,000 franchises across the United States and Canada, it’s easy to see why we’re the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration. No matter the time of day, when you give us a call, we will be there to service your needs. From minor cleaning jobs to major restoration and reconstruction projects, SERVPRO professionals are trained and equipped to handle it all. Across the SERVPRO system, our technicians have decades of experience, so you can rest assured knowing you’re receiving elite cleanup, restoration, and construction services. We are Here to Help®, and committed to restoring your property to pre-loss condition, “Like it never even happened.” Reach out to your local SERVPRO today.