Recent Storm Damage Posts

The “Hurricane Diaries” – Part VII

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Random cyclonic activity in a hurricane can cause devastating – yet, random – destruction in its path. With ANY force as destructive as a hurricane roars ashore, structures that were there one day can literally disappear the next!

As we – fingers crossed – began to see an end to the 2021 hurricane season, we know many are still reeling from the effects of earlier named storms along both the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard. In fact, Hurricane Ida continued to leave a wake of destruction in her path as she moved up the Mississippi River valley and into neighboring states. So even as the destruction now fades from the headlines, the aftermath for residents affected by ANY storm continues for months or even years!

And this impact was experienced directly by our “Hurricane Diaries” team member, when her family personally felt the effects of Hurricane Camille when it struck the Mississippi coast in 1969. She once again shares these recollections in another “Diary” entry particularly relevant to this situation, and encourage you to check out some earlier installments chapters (Part I, II, III, IV, V and VI), then dive right in to this new chapter:

“While I’ve shared some very early childhood memories, and some very distinct career memories, of hurricanes in my lifetime, this particular one possibly had the greatest impact on me. For the first time, I had the beginnings of an understanding about ‘real’ things as I would be entering my second year of junior high school…or, at least my parents had started to discuss more ‘adult’ matters in my presence.

“Either way, I was very aware of the major upheaval that was about to happen in my life. I had a good life in La Porte, with friends and a social life, respected academic standing, and had just earned first chair clarinet in the Junior Bulldog Band. But, a job offer too good – and lucrative – for my Daddy to pass up had presented itself (especially as paying for my collegiate education loomed closer and closer), so we would be moving back to Mississippi. We had lived there during my first grade year, and half of second grade before returning to La Porte and our home my parents had built after World War II.

“However, after being absentee landlords for those 18 months, my parents were convinced they needed to sell my childhood home prior to this move. Fortunately, my father had longtime family friends just across the Singing River outside Pascagoula, MS, where he could stay while beginning his new position and searching for our new family home. My mother, my little brother and I stayed behind to get the house and yard in tip-top shape for sale.

“Remember, this was the summer of 1969; there were no picture phones, no fax machines, no desktop computers…and you PAID for every single minute of long-distance telephone calls. So my Daddy would go look at houses every weekend, sometimes even after work during the week, and take notes. He would then call Mama and describe the house, property, location, features and price. They would discuss and decide whether to make an offer or to keep looking. That level of trust STILL evokes profound feelings in me!

“Being that in-tune probably made a major contribution to their 59 years of marriage. However, despite their shared mindset, he still would NOT make a decision of this magnitude without speaking with her first! And so, began THAT weekend…

“After months of searching and discussing, he found ‘IT’ – the perfect home. Ideal location, good school system, near community stores and conveniences, and priced to move. It had charm, a sprawling fenced yard, actually close enough to school where I would be liberated finally from bus ridership! His sole focus that Sunday afternoon was reaching my mother for her final stamp of approval to finalize the purchase.

“Ironically, a heavy storm had blown through Galveston Bay earlier and left our yard quite a mess with downed limbs and lots of leaves – and this was before we had leaf-blowers. This was good, old-fashioned manual yard work. Meanwhile, my mother supervised the clean-up from her perch atop a ladder while she finished painting the eves along that front corner of the house. With no fancy answering machines (we had just gotten off a party line less than a decade before!) and no way to hear the one phone tucked away in the opposite corner of the house inside, Daddy tried in vain to get her okay.

“Having lived along the Gulf of Mexico for the majority of his life, my father was quite accustomed to weathering hurricanes. So, when they lost phone and power lines that night as Hurricane Camille roared in to their west at Pass Christian in Mississippi, my father just hunkered down with the rest of the family and waited it out. Luckily, the western Alabama coastal region was spared the worst of the storm and the next day Daddy ventured out to check on the house with his real estate agent. He had managed to get through to Mama early that morning and they had decided to make the purchase immediately, since schools would be starting SOON.

“So, Daddy and the agent made their way to the site which had so captivated my parents…and found a slab. Nothing else, no frame, no outbuildings, no fence, just a hunk of land with a big concrete slab sitting in the middle. At that point, my parents KNEW their greater angels had been working overtime on their behalf, and they had dodged a major bullet. If Mama had heard that phone, we could have been the proud owners of a slab, just like too many other residents all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Gulfport through to Pascagoula.

“Sadly, their predicament also became our predicament. Almost EVERYBODY needed a place to live. Our furniture and the majority of our possessions were in a storage facility, and we began our new schools in Ocean Springs (just east of Biloxi) while living in a motel room on the highway, with a nice-ish kitchenette. We finally resigned ourselves to not being able to find a home large enough for everything, and many items remained in storage for that year. And as a maturing teen, I finally understood what it was like to have to ‘carry on’ after a hurricane turns your life upside down.”

Even though the “dramatic” stories and headlines may have disappeared from news stories, you can count on both our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team and the teams from across the nation to stick around even when it doesn’t make headlines…because we’re committed to making it “Like it never even happened.”

When Elements Collide, The Results Are RARELY Good!

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

While breathtaking to behold, the combination of rain and electrical storms can have deadly consequences. When we think of spring or autumn storms, usually the first thing that comes to mind is flooding…but fire and water can make a potent mix!

In a post we did about the rise in popularity of outdoor features, experts noted the expanded presence of both fire and water elements into these al fresco entertainment spaces. And we’re the first to admit the combination of these two lively natural forces can be mesmerizing. From a cozy fire pit with a fountain as a backdrop to an infinity-edge pool visually spilling into glowing fire features, each seems to intensify the qualities of the other.

The same holds true of a spectacular thunderstorm. The pyrotechnics of charged lightning streaking across the sky, as rain rhythmically taps around us, has captivated the human imagination for millennia. It’s truly a breathtaking phenomenon to behold…and potentially, equally dangerous!

Let’s be honest, when you hear storms, your first thought is probably flooding and water, with a secondary picture of wind or tornado damage. But we’d wager that fire probably falls completely off your radar, unless YOU’VE been personally affected. Yet, in the last month alone, three lightning strikes in the San Antonio area have been responsible for catastrophic house fires.

Carefully controlled, fire and water can be a stunning feature in any home or landscape (just picture a beautiful fire at your feet while lounging in your luxurious soaking tub). But in the hands of Mother Nature on a rampage, the results usually have a considerably more negative impact on the value of your property!

Luckily, you can take a few precautionary steps to lessen the probability of lightning strikes “lighting-up” your home…and investment. And, we found a great starting point:

“Lightning poses a major risk of property damage to both homeowners and renters by causing fires and power surges that damage electronics. The Insurance Information Institute reported lightning strikes cost $739 million in homeowners’ insurance losses in 2014, up 9.7% from 2013. What's more, the report noted the amount of claims was declining (due to lightning protection technology) and the average cost per claim was rising, as damaged electronics become more expensive…Here are four ways to protect your home from lightning:

  • Use a home lightning protection system
    One of the best ways for homeowners, in particular, to protect their homes from lightning is to install a home lightning protection system…Lightning protection systems can include:
  • Lightning rods
  • Main conductors
  • Grounds
  • Bonds
  • Surge protectors
  • Unplug electronics and appliances
    In addition to causing structural fires, lightning can damage the electronics in your home. Dan Robinson of Storm Highway explained that lightning can cause power surge damage  if it uses your home's electrical wiring system as its primary or secondary path. Robinson noted the electrical surge can damage even non-electrical appliances. An easy step both owners and renters can take to avoid electrical damage is to unplug any electronic devices or appliances in anticipation of a storm.
  • Install transient voltage surge suppressors
    There will always be times when you're not available to unplug your electronics, such as during a vacation. One way to make sure your electronics are always protected from lightning is to install transient voltage surge protectors. According to Allstate, transient voltage surge protectors are connected to computers and other electronic equipment to limit voltage to 1.5 times the normal voltage.
  • Check your homeowners and  renters insurance  coverage
    Even if you take all the precautionary steps, you will want to make sure your homeowners insurance and renters insurance plans cover damage caused by lightning. Not all insurance plans are the same, so make sure yours will cover damage done to your home and electronics. It’s especially important to make sure you are covered in case of lightning damage if you live in an area that has frequent lightning storms.

According to State Farm, the top 10 states for lightning damage insurance claims in 2014 were: Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida and Missouri. Yep…there we are, right in the mix. But, whether flood, wind OR fire damage from those storms, you can count on our trained remediation, mitigation and restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio. We’re experts at dealing with what happens when elements collide – whether wind, water or fire!

It’s NEVER Too Early To Be Prepared!

5/31/2021 (Permalink)

Having an emergency checklist, and a “go-bag” of supplies ready, makes good sense ANY time of year…but especially NOW! Whether hurricane, polar vortex or any other natural disaster, it’s ALWAYS a smart idea to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws our way!

It’s THAT time of year…again! It hardly seems like a year has passed since we faced the start of another hurricane season here in Texas. Yet, once again, the first of June has rolled around and we can only hope the 2021 season doesn’t try to outdo LAST year!

Honestly, we cannot recall working our way through the entire alphabet of names and then moving into GREEK letters! But from OUR standpoint, we sure know it was memorable…and considering the stats, this comes as no surprise:

“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active and the fifth costliest Atlantic hurricane season on record. The season also had the highest accumulated cyclone energy since 2017. In addition, it was the fifth consecutive above-average season from 2016 onward. The season featured a total of 31 tropical cyclones, all but one of which became a named storm. Of the 30 named storms, 14 developed into hurricanes, and a record-tying seven further intensified into major hurricanes. It was the second and final season to use the Greek letter storm naming system, the first being 2005. Of the 30 named storms, 11 of them made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916. During the season, 27 tropical storms established a new record for the earliest formation by storm number. This season also featured a record 10 tropical cyclones that underwent rapid intensification, tying it with 1995.”

Maybe because of everything ELSE Mother Nature threw at us after that interminable hurricane season ended, it just feels like we’ve hardly gotten a respite. However, the extended polar vortex, combined with tornadic windstorms and torrential flooding rains DID give us plenty of insights and hard-won experience in being prepared! So it’s time to gird our loins – armed with valuable knowledge – and face the 2021 hurricane season head-on.

And the best way to make sure you can “weather” whatever shows up on the radar, is to be prepared BEFORE disaster looms! Even if you never need it (fingers crossed), having an Emergency Checklist and “go-bag” of everything you need, will save you valuable time – along with a bit of sanity – IF the worst-case scenario does happen.

Now this will look different for every family and household. But, everyone should have the “bare necessities” handy and either pre-packed or easily accessible if the need arises. Emergency preparedness can range from a few “well, of course” items full-on “survival in the wild” supplies. So we’ll start you off with some basics and over time (and with some “experiences”) your personal checklist and supply stockpile will evolve to suit your particular family and needs.

  • Water (3 gallons/person per day)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (prescription & OTC)
  • Pet Supplies (meds, bowls, collars/leads/carriers, shot records – some shelters won’t take pets without proof of vaccinations)
  • Non-Perishable Foods
  • High-Energy/Stress Foods (energy bars, nuts, and of course, candy)
  • Basic Tools (hammer, screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, utility knife, scissors)
  • Important Personal Documents (including insurance, IDs, proof of address, medical records)
  • Emergency Contacts List
  • Candles, Lanterns, Matches, Flashlight(s), Batteries, Sterno, Flares/Glow Sticks (they’re not just for kids or concerts!)
  • Paper Goods (toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates)
  • Spare Keys/Glasses/Contacts
  • Manual Can Opener, Cooking/Eating Utensils
  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing (at least one change/person per day)
  • Water Containers
  • Portable Radio & Electronic Device Chargers
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Blankets, Tarps, Heavy-Duty Trash Bags
  • Whistle (devise a signal for your family, i.e. three short blasts, long-short-long)
  • Cash (remember, ATMs will probably not have power)
  • Hand Sanitizer/Bleach/Gloves
  • Maps (again, GPS may not be available)
  • Entertainment (YES, this is important for adults & kids since cable/devices may be offline)
  • AND…the cure for a million ills, DUCT TAPE!

Certainly this is NOT an exhaustive list and you will have other items specific to your particular household and life. But it does give you a good starting point. And since many of these items have an extended “shelf life” you can pack them away and have them ready to go in case of an emergency – whether evacuating or just hunkering down and trying to make the best of things in your own home. Then, after whatever “disaster” has passed, remember your local SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is ALSO prepared to deal with whatever Mother Nature did to your home and possessions!

The “Hurricane Diaries” – Part III

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

When hurricanes hit, it’s not just rain & floods. Wind damage from hurricanes actually takes a MUCH higher financial toll! You hear “hurricane” and think driving rain & boats on flooded streets, but many DON’T realize hurricane-force winds can cause even MORE damage!

Lately, when someone says “storm” the majority of us IMMEDIATELY recall the grim days this past February when Arctic air invaded our normally-temperate state. However, the rising temperatures help to make those memories quickly recede. After all, spring is a time to look forward to the warm summer days ahead.

And along with the endless summer days filled with fun in the sun, the month of June also heralds the beginning of something ELSE—Hurricane Season! Experts have even started to make their predictions for the upcoming Atlantic storm season just one week into April…and it looks like we could be in for another rough ride:

“Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project released its annual hurricane season outlook on Thursday (April 8), which is predicting for an above-average season in 2021…

“The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook is predicting 17 total named storms, which are two more than the 1991-2020 average; eight hurricanes, which is one more than the 1991-2020 average; and four major (category 3 or higher) hurricanes, which is one more than the 1991-2020 average, Weather.com reports.”

So it seemed like a good time for our team member to once again call on another of her hurricane memories, growing up on the Gulf Coast. We heard about her first – extraordinarily memorable – childhood experience with Hurricane Carla in “The ‘Hurricane Diaries’ – Part I & Part II” and now she’s sharing one of her storm “adventures” from her early years as a working journalist in suburban Houston:

“I had recently moved from a part-time ‘student’ position to a full-time, full-fledged, staff member of ‘The Deer Park Progress’ newspaper – one of a group of weekly suburban papers owned by a Texas publishing family. Incidentally, one brother owned all of the weeklies and biweeklies, and the other brother owned all of the daily Hartman newspapers. So for a novice journalist, this seemed like a great launch pad for what I knew would be my illustrious career. Yeah, we were all once young and naïve!

“Anyway, as the newly-minted Assistant News Editor, I was filled with zeal and ready to handle whatever was thrown my direction…to both prove my journalistic worth and earn that future Pulitzer Prize! So when Hurricane Allen blew into the Corpus Christi area, it put the Galveston Bay area (in which both my hometown of La Porte and my newspaper ‘beat’ of neighboring Deer Park) squarely in the path of the northwest ‘whiplash’ I had heard about since preschool.

“And after a rather ‘interesting’ night in my ‘grown-up’ two-story townhome apartment in nearby Pasadena, Texas – with my parents (who had evacuated from their bayfront home prone to flooded roads used for ingress and egress) AND my now live-in boyfriend (who attended law school at our mutual alma mater, the University of Houston, but my parents had ASSUMED still lived with his parents in Katy) – I was quite eager to report for work the next morning!

“And so I set out for the newspaper office, trying to navigate around all of the damage en route, and stopping to document the most striking images of Allen’s handiwork. I had learned well from an early instructor to ALWAYS have my reporter’s notebook, camera and film on-hand. Maybe THAT’S why the entire back seat of my car always looked like a combination of a rolling office, newspaper archive library and the place takeout containers and wrappers went to die?

“Downed trees, roofs blown completely askew on homes and businesses alike, recreational boats strewn on front lawns, and surreal images of entire walls missing from buildings, provided plenty of fodder for my 35mm Pentax camera. No stranger to this type of landscape, I carefully crawled through back streets and around obstacles in an effort to make it to the office. Remember, cell phones were still the stuff of James Bond and space age TV shows, back then. As a result, any smart reporter ALSO made sure to have plenty of change for pay phones in their ever-ready arsenal.

“So, in addition to trying to drive through hurricane flotsam and jetsam, I was also looking for a working pay phone! Yeah, I know, it’s a pretty laughable scene…especially decades later.

“More than two-and-a-half hours later, for what was normally a 15 minute drive (even with school zones), I was within a few short blocks from the Progress office. And THAT’S when it happened!”

We’ll pick up her story in the next installment post, to see what happens in this adventure. But, in the meantime, this picture she paints of the devastation hurricane-force winds can cause. Never underestimate the damage something as simple as an ordinary garbage can lid can do, when traveling over 65 miles per hour…let alone something MUCH larger!

NOW is the time to start planning for the upcoming season, and make sure you have the 24/7 number for SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio handy. Not only do we handle flood and rising water damage, but our expert team is also equipped to handle major storm damage caused by winds, as well. So in this upcoming hurricane season, if you find yourself with your OWN entry in The “Hurricane Diaries” then know we’re just a phone call away and ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The “Hurricane Diaries” – Part IV

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Once you’ve seen buildings gutted and boats sitting in parking lots, it’s impossible to deny the power of a hurricane! They say “rising tides lift all boats” but mix those flood-level tides with 100+ mph hurricane-force winds & you get more than metaphors to deal with!

With the start of the annual Atlantic hurricane season just around the corner – that’s right, the first of June is less than SIX WEEKS AWAY – now is the time to start your preparations and planning, in case the worst-case scenario happens. And anyone who has spent time along the Gulf Coast knows exactly how bad that can be!

For those uninitiated into life in coastal regions during storm season, one of our team members spent her entire childhood, and many of her adult years, working and living through some of the truly epic hurricanes. For those who have never seen first-hand what really happens when a hurricane hits, she shared in her first two “Hurricane Diaries” entries those first memories (as an impressionable kindergartner), of when Hurricane Carla hit her hometown.

Fast forward almost two decades, as she began her career working for local newspapers, when she had the chance to experience the aftermath of another record-breaking storm – Hurricane Allen – from both a personal and journalistic perspective. She set the stage in her most recent entry, “The ‘Hurricane Diaries’ – Part III” and left us with something of a cliffhanger as she was trying to report for duty at her newspaper. So let’s see what happened NEXT:

“As I mentioned, after literally spending hours to travel less than 20 miles, I was within ‘spitting distance’ (gotta love those Southern colloquialisms!) of reaching my office, when fate and Hurricane Allen intervened!

“A downed tree (in full leaf, no less) had left a path on the side street where I was slowly traveling, but – I quickly found out – had ALSO completely obscured a bent stop sign. By the time I saw it, both my slightly water-logged brakes, and the brakes of the unfortunate vehicle coming up from the cross street, failed to stop the inevitable collision.

“Sadly, this was not my first post-college car – a little blue 1972 used Toyota Celica that I had paid $750 to acquire. OH NOOOO…it was my shiny new sporty red Pontiac Sunbird, which had just gotten its ‘official’ metal license plates that very week from the dealer!

“On the plus side, it was quickly and easily ruled a ‘no-fault’ situation by the local police so with no major injuries and vehicles that were able to drive, we each went on our way. And that’s how I finally arrived at the paper...dented brand new car and a knot the size of a lemon (and color of a pomegranate) on my forehead.

“However, dedicated journalists that we were, we worked throughout the day, as power and information were available and my family doctor told me via phone to advise several of my close staff member friends to watch me for signs of a concussion. To this day, I don’t know for sure whether or not I had actually sustained a concussion in the collision, but I DO know it was one heck of a headache that lasted long into that evening!

“And for this effort and dedication, my reporting and photos of local Hurricane Allen won several area and state journalism awards later that year. And – because nobody went into journalism for the money – my little ‘Rosie’ car wore that driver-side rear panel dent as a journalistic badge of honor for a number of years.

“Yet, I must give credit where credit is due, as I took a page from my college photojournalism mentor’s teachings. I remembered that people were the KEY component of true visual journalism. So I not only photographed ‘damage’ but also the resiliency of these Gulf Coast hurricane veterans and novices, alike, and documented their journey to recovery. I still firmly believe this combination of both the ‘bitter’ and ‘sweet’ accounted for those awards!

“This time spent with those victims brought to mind earlier days with my parents…both preparing for an incoming storm, as well as cleaning up the aftermath. Seeing the level of damage hurricane-force winds could inflict gave me a whole new level of respect for my Daddy, with his carefully measured, cut and labeled plywood panels for each of our home’s windows.

“At the beginning of every summer, he would bring this cache of supplies down from his workshop attic rafters and inspect each one to ensure it would be ready when the next hurricane threatened to blow into town. And, for EVERY home where we lived all along the Gulf Coast – from Alabama to Texas – one of the first things my Daddy always did was to create properly measured and cut window boards customized for that particular residence. Let me just say, Hurricane Allen gave me a newfound appreciation for his diligence!

“And seeing people not only trying to salvage their possessions but also struggling to secure their wind and water damaged properties, now gives me ADDED respect for the work and skills I’ve seen from our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team. Knowing that EXPERT help is just a phone call away, gives me an added layer of ‘peace of mind’ and instills me with the same sense of pride I experienced when I won those awards for hurricane coverage!”

Fortunately, here in the San Antonio metro area we rarely have to deal with the frontline effects of a hurricane landfall. However, we ALSO know that torrential rains and gale-force winds moving inland can still pack a SERIOUS punch…which is why SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio should also be included in YOUR disaster plans and preparations!

Pandemic + Polar + Pipes = Pandemonium!

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

When frigid temps meet any surface pipes, the results are rarely good! Take unprecedented freezing temps, combine with quarantines, then add in buildings not designed for this weather, and you have a recipe for disaster!

Recently, we discussed the “SERVPRO Way” of handling disasters…highlighting the company’s nationwide mobilization to answer an SOS from Texas in the wake of the unprecedented polar wave. And this impressive response allowed us to bring a degree of normalcy back to affected families and businesses.

However, this particular natural disaster carried with it an ADDITIONAL variable unlike any other – COVID pandemic lockdowns and quarantines! People who would have normally sought refuge elsewhere found themselves “stuck” in their frigid homes, without heat or running water, and ill-prepared for these temperatures. Businesses with heavy traffic in “pre-lockdown” times, had been shuttered for days (or weeks) on end and as a result did not realize their freezing properties had burst pipes…compounding the damage.

We saw the photos, and heard the statistics, but aside from a few of the extreme instances featured on newscasts, it can be difficult to put a personal “face” to these reports – unless it happens to YOU!

Once again, our staff member who wrote about her hurricane recollections in Hurricane Diaries – Part I & Part II” – just happened to have a “frozen pipes” experience. Fortunately, her home escaped this fate last month here in Texas. But, she had one VERY memorable Christmas morning years ago in the horse country of Lexington, KY.

“We had recently moved from a townhome near the metro area of Lexington, KY to a sprawling cedar and stone home situated on five acres, located between two horse farms. We wanted more room for our growing young son to be able to play outdoors…and having Kentucky-bred thoroughbreds come visit us at the fences around our property was just an added bonus.

“After getting settled in during the breathtaking fall months – surrounded by the legendary ‘blue grass’ and dazzling array of autumnal colors – we prepared for our first Christmas in this picture-perfect home. A full two-story vaulted ceiling in the living room allowed us to have a truly majestic (and BIG) tree, next to the stone fireplace and visible from the rural pike (roadway) through the expansive front windows. In hindsight, we SHOULD have photographed this scene for the following year’s holiday card!

“Excitedly, we prepared for our son’s first “real” Christmas, since he was only seven weeks old the year before. And, after the Christmas Eve rituals, we put our boy to bed – with visions of sugar plums dancing in his head – then set about the extensive work of being busy Santa’s Helpers.

“Apparently, the ‘early-riser’ gene tends to skip a generation, and our son got it! So we set our alarm to make sure we were up before him and fell asleep to the scene of gently falling snow on the moonlit landscape.

“Spurred by the blaring alarm the following morning, my husband stumbled downstairs for his lifeblood – coffee – and noticed the power to his beloved coffeemaker was off. So, he went into the garage to flip the breaker…and stepped down into shin-deep ICY water!

“I heard bellowing and some DISTINCTLY ‘non-Christmas’ language! Apparently, the ‘below-the-freeze-line’ pipes we had become accustomed to in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio were NOT a ‘thing’ in this part of Kentucky. And, just like what we recently experienced in Texas, this area was not equipped for this type of weather extreme.

“Overnight, the ‘gentle’ snow had picked up volume and the temps had dropped down to the single digits and were steadily dropping below zero. My husband discovered the interior water cut-off was not stopping the flow, so there he was – in his holiday pajamas and fuzzy slippers – running out the front door and frantically digging in a foot of snow to locate the main water cut-off valve!

“So there we were, with no power or water on Christmas morning. Yes, in retrospect, I realize this sounds like something out of a wacky sitcom – and looking back, it really kind of was!

“Luckily, we still had our massive fireplace (along with an ample supply of firewood) and a good relationship with a local plumber. And, since snow and ice were not unknown commodities to local utilities, we had power restored by the next morning. Unlike some of our rural neighbors, we escaped any major damage since the burst pipe flooding was limited to the garage concrete floor. I was never so glad we had unpacked and moved everything into the house before Christmas…and would NEVER curse that steep step up from the garage into the kitchen back door!

“Of course, the clean-up involved LOTS of fans – after the temperatures rose – and some drywall replacement, along with new INSULATED pipes. However, after going through even that ‘minor’ pipe burst experience, I can genuinely sympathize with the effects of this ‘polar pandemonium’ my friends and neighbors had to experience!”

And although some of our local SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio did NOT escape the impact of this recent weather – and we will share another personal story in an upcoming post – it was nice to be able to jump in and help not only our wider community (taking an abundance of COVID-safe precautions) but our own SERVPRO family, as well!

When Is “Stormy Weather”…NOT?!?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

It’s your responsibility as a homeowner, building owner or tenant to make sure you have the coverage you NEED! A little due diligence can go a LONG way to covering you when the bills for “Storm Damage” come due!

With this particularly active tropical storm season, wildfires raging on the West Coast and earthquakes and tornadoes still a concern for many, insurance coverage almost certainly has become top-of-mind for property owners and tenants, alike. However, every day across America too many people discover their particular disaster has left them without the insurance coverage they THOUGHT they had!

NOW – before we go any further – we want to emphasize we are NOT insurance agents, brokers or industry experts! We’re just a team who deals with personal catastrophes every day, and have managed to pick up some “on-the-job” knowledge…knowledge which may be valuable to you either now OR in the future.

Which brings us to the whole idea of “Storm Damage” – YES, we do restoration and remediation for storm damage, and have years of experience dealing with most anything Mother Nature can dish out. But, do YOU know what “storm damage” actually means?!? It just may come as quite a surprise! 

One insurance authority gave a pretty concise definition, in laymen’s terms (because honestly, no one wants to read “insuranc-ese”) of what GENERALLY is covered under the concept of “Storm Damage”:

“Storm damage is the destructive result of weather-related events. It can include damage to the exterior of your home, such as your roof shingles blowing off after a windstorm, or the siding of your home being dented from hail. Storm damage may even affect the interior of your home, like power surge damage from a lightning strike…Storm damage insurance isn’t its own policy — it’s part of your homeowners policy.

“Typically wind or tornadoes, wildfire, ice storms, fallen trees and lightning strikes have a certain level of coverage as part of a standard policy. Make sure you understand the types of storms that are covered by your specific policy before a disaster rather than after…Usually flood and earthquakes are excluded by your standard policy.”

AGAIN, we are not recommending one carrier or type of policy over another…it’s just like panty hose, “one size” does NOT “fit all!” We just want you to be an informed consumer, and insurance coverages and legal parameters literally vary from state to state. For instance, folks along the Gulf Coast diligently write those extra checks every year for rising water and flood coverage. On the West Coast – where earthquakes, mudslides and wildfires occur all too frequently – residents, business owners and leasees MAY need an entirely separate policy to cover these “acts of God” which might normally be covered in areas where they are NOT common.

And, let’s not forget “Sheryl’s She-Shed” – the commercial that went viral! But, if you recall, Sheryl’s first call was to her insurance agent to make sure it was covered. It may come as a shock to some residents to discover their “casitas”…”she-sheds”…and “backyard man caves” are NOT covered under their “standard” policy.

Apparently, Sheryl’s husband and agent ensured that only was her oasis covered, but at “replacement cost” instead of just their initial investment. Your “vintage” kitchen stove damaged by a storm may only fetch a few dollars of reimbursement without that replacement coverage. The same holds true for those who carry renter’s insurance. Your now-water-soaked sofa, depreciated over five years, may only yield enough for a futon in today’s dollars.

It’s not JUST about “replacement,” either. Of course you want to make sure that element is part of your insurance package. But don’t forget the all-important step BETWEEN “disaster” and “shopping” – RESTORATION! Whether it’s a fire from a freak lightning strike or a flash flood from an unexpected rain storm – which, by the way, some “storm” definitions ONLY include “Named Storms” in their hurricane-related coverage – you still need experts to assess the true damage and take the proper steps to restore the environment for all your shiny new replacement possessions. 

Fortunately, the team at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has the knowledge, on-going training in the latest technology and techniques, specialized equipment and a healthy dose of compassion to bring to any disaster scene! As we’ve learned, the MOST important part is to be prepared BEFORE any “storm” strikes. And knowledge of what IS and what ISN’T covered in your life gives you the BEST weapon to deal with whatever nature throws your direction!

The “Hurricane Diaries” – Part II

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

A not-uncommon view of the damage along any shoreline in the aftermath of a major tropical storm Just one example of the “landscape” a 5½-year-old saw after Hurricane Carla hit her hometown!

Once more, the residents of the Texas Gulf Coast find themselves up to their waders in the remnants of yet ANOTHER named storm this year. Who could have ever imagined we’d actually run out of names by mid-September and have moved into Greek territory?!? Guess it’s just another of the squares on our 2020 Bingo cards!

So, it seemed appropriate to once again turn over the blog to our staff member, Debbie, for another of the entries in her “Hurricane Diaries.” When we last left her recollections, her family had just returned home in the aftermath of legendary Hurricane Carla and THIS was when the five-and-a-half year old began to understand WHY everyone had made such a big deal about “another hurricane.”

“As I mentioned before, in 1961 La Porte, Texas was the quintessential ‘small town’ – which just happened to be in the shadow of the one of THE fastest-growing cities in the United States. I remember the population signs marking each of the city limits, being somewhere in the low 3000s, and the MAJOR milestone years later when we finally exceeded five thousand people!

“Although my family did not live within the city limits of either La Porte, or any of the neighboring bedroom communities of Lomax, Shoreacres or Morgan’s Point, you could drive from one end of the entire ‘developed’ area to the other in less than 20 minutes – except through Shoreacres, a well-known speed trap among the local teens and lead-footed adults! So even on a ‘busy’ day, we could be from our driveway to the downtown school, library, movie theater or church parking lot in under 10 minutes.

“But, on THIS morning, it was a drive like I had never experienced. Pieces of homes, furniture, cars, trees and power line poles were strewn across even the ‘major’ thoroughfares. The familiar landscape I had known so well, no longer existed. Carla had transformed my picturesque hometown and left desolation and destruction in her wake. I was numb…and pretty sure at several points my mother told me to close my dropped jaw.

“However, even the torn-away roofing on our grocery store, hardware store and bowling alley could not prepare me for what I saw as we drove further down Old Hwy. 146 closer toward the suburban bayfront south of town – AND our home.

“I discussed earlier the devastation of many of our neighbors’ homes. But that just scratched the surface of the storm damage. Imagine driving down a decent-sized main road, then suddenly seeing a 24’ cabin cruiser with twin inboard engines SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY! And we’re not talking tipped over in a ditch to the side. No siree, we’re talking spread broadside – perfectly upright on its keel – across the entire two-lane blacktop, with sails akimbo and some lodged in treetops.

“That can leave some indelible memories in the sponge-like brain of a youngster. Now, add a drive past the local boating club – the loftily-named Houston Yacht Club (but, as the OLDEST yacht club in the state of Texas, I guess they did have the right to put on some ‘airs’) – and seeing literal STACKS of craft one on top of the other, like a giant nautical Jenga game. Mind blown!

“First row bayfront homes now offered full water views FROM THE STREET. But probably the most bizarre sight I think I saw that day, was our neighbor’s classic Jaguar, MG, Triumph and Sunbeam finely-restored motorcars PERCHED IN TREES like a murder of crows! Between that, and the boats of all shapes and sizes – along with their equipment, rigging and sails – littering front yards, I gained a true understanding of a hurricane’s power that day.

“It’s no wonder I grew up to be a storm-chasing journalist on the Gulf Coast…something we might explore in a future diary entry! But it also gave me genuine empathy for anyone who had ever sustained any type of storm damage. Even though it may not be a classic MGA in a tree, ALL damage caused by major tropical storms is literally life-altering. In addition to this insight, I also walked into the wake of any storm with a MORE-THAN-HEALTHY respect for both the storm and those who feel the effects of its power.

“Somehow, it’s different when the nice lady who always has fresh cookies now must spread her clothes, her rugs, her draperies – basically, her LIFE – across her front lawn. You understand the real pain of the affable neighborhood doctor who now has a tree where the entire center of his home used to be. You tear-up when you see rows upon rows of pylons sticking out of the water, where neighborhood piers once hosted regular gatherings and formed the social nucleus of our little enclave.

“Those two little words ‘storm damage’ honestly seem insufficient to convey EXACTLY what this can entail. But to their credit, each one of our neighbors went through the laborious task of salvaging their lives and rebuilding their American Dream. Although this did not happen overnight, and involved a fair amount of insurance ‘discussion’ since this was BEFORE the time of federally-subsidized flood coverage, it nonetheless offered an honest insight into the indomitable nature of the human spirit…with a little (OR LOT) of help from our friends!

“I guess that’s one of the things I remember most – everyone helping, everyone pitching-in – and as a part of that effort, now I can REALLY appreciate the skills and equipment at our disposal here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, to mitigate the damage of any storm, of any magnitude! Who knows, maybe it was experiences just like these from my childhood that were the impetus for the original founding of that first SERVPRO back in 1967…just a few short years after Carla. Hmmmm? Just a thought!”

So as this same area from Debbie’s most recent “Diary” entry again now faces the destruction and mayhem of even a “minor” hurricane like Beta, we have a bit more insight into both the physical AND emotional devastation it can leave in its path. As Debbie has demonstrated, for us it’s REAL…we take EVERY situation to heart…we honestly CARE about these lives…and ALWAYS stand ready to lend a helping hand!

Stormy Weather On The Way? SERVPRO Is The Calm AFTER The Storm!

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Post-storm restoration and remediation We're ready to help you restore the "calm" after any storm...in your home, business and life!

We've all heard about "the calm before the storm" – and anyone who has ever weathered a tropical storm or hurricane can attest to the fact there's certainly no "calm" AFTERWARD! That is, unless we're talking about the stunned silence of those surveying the post-storm devastation.

And, with Hurricane Laura gaining strength and intensity by the hour, weather forecasters desperately try to predict its path. Meanwhile, potentially-affected residents and business owners find themselves preparing for the worst...and hoping for the best. Which experience tells us, is ANYTHING but "calm!"

Probably the most frustrating part of these "pre-storm" activities (aside from actually finding the supplies you may need), is the "not-knowing" of the whole situation. Will it, or won't it? And, if it DOES, how bad will it be?!? Honestly, does any part of this sound "calm?"

So, having pretty much seen it ALL, at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio our team thinks of itself as the "calm" AFTER the storm – when it's REALLY needed! When facing the aftermath of any natural disaster, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, even unsure of where to start. Combined with possible infrastructure damage, such as no electricity or potable water, streets flooded or blocked with debris, and lack of emergency services diverted to more critical situations, you could feel paralyzed.

Fortunately, as storm recovery experts – on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – your caring neighbors at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio have the training, equipment and experience to come to the rescue! No situation proves too daunting for our team. Believe us when we say, we’ve seen it ALL…from flooded homes, to post-storm mold, and everything in between.

That’s why it’s nice to not only have someone who can help you navigate the recovery process, but a company who genuinely CARES about you, your family, your property, AND your peace of mind! After all, not everyone can say it’s "Like it never even happened," and have the expertise to actually mean it! So, whether you’re currently staring down the barrel at Hurricane Laura, or find yourself having to deal with some future storm damage, you now know who to call to help you find that “calm” AFTER the storm.

Watch Out For Mother Nature!

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

We're open SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is open and ready for you!

Mother Nature does not discriminate. She doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, tall or short. If you’re in her way watch out!

This is the feeling we have when weather affects our homes and businesses. SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has been in business for 20 years and we’ve seen our share of storms. From Guadalupe/Comal River floods, to hurricanes and Polar Vortex’s we’ve been in the middle of restoring homes and buildings and people’s lives.

Understanding the nature of storm work is essential in delivering a good service. The customer, the victim from the storm, wants you and your team rolling in after the storm has passed, waters recede and roads are reopened. Getting to the job prepared is the core of the work. Hiring team members with a “servant's heart” is paramount to getting lives restored.

Many storms don’t happen close to home. SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has the ability to travel to storm sites and help those in need. Our team will be separated from their families for weeks to bring Home back to our customer’s. Working with insurance carriers to give them the correct and accurate information digitally is also a benefit. Having the national brand of SERVPRO brings added comfort to our customers. They know they will be well taken care of and supported by a Fortune 500 company.

When the storm arrives in your life, remember, call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio.

210-521-3313

2016 San Antonio Hail Storm

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Huge hail Record size hail in San Antonio, Texas

On April 12, 2016 the San Antonio area was hit with a catastrophic wind and hail storm. The storm was not forecasted and caught the entire city off guard. In the days to follow SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was called out on 416 calls resulting from the storm. Damages to properties varied from normal hail damage to roofs, to fallen trees damaging homes and buildings to flooded homes and broken sky lights. 

Our crews worked around the clock for 2 weeks without a day off, boarding up roofs and windows, drying out homes and buildings and general clean up. The scope of the storm was immense. The storm cut through the middle of San Antonio and stretched miles wide. Damage was seen from the very southern most parts of Bexar County all the way to The Texas Hill Country.

The aftermath of the storm turned out to be the largest storm event for insurance carriers with the exclusion of a hurricane. For years after the storm, properties are still being repaired and worked on. Occasionally, you will still see a blue tarp covering a roof as a reminder of the storms devastation.

In a storm event, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is able to remove all the debris, demo what is necessary, clean the structure, and dry it properly with all the documentation so that the homeowner can have peace of mind that it was done correctly.

This unique storm hit close to home for us. We  helped our friends and neighbors in their time of need. SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was also a source of consultation to give guidance and support to those going through a trying time.

San Antonio and South Texas is our home, and we are here to help our neighbors should a storm event occur. We are just a phone call away.

210-521-3313

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio helping 2018 Lake LBJ flooding

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Structure Drying Following the cleaning, the drying process begins.

In October, 2018, central Texas endured heavy rainfall which caused tremendous flooding along the Colorado River and Lake LBJ.  As we are locally owned, our neighbors started getting word to head to their lakehouse and lift their boats before the water began rising.  

By that Tuesday morning, many of our friends were able to prepare their homes, but many were not so lucky.  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bridge-collapses-heavy-rains-flood-central-texas-n920796

Once the area was safe to return to, SERVPRO's owners, Greg and Tammie Hall, started to visit the homes they were called out to.  

One area along the Colorado River was impacted greatly.  There is a condominium complex that took the brunt of the flooding.  SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was able to come into that area and work in several of the condos.  This was a team effort.  Our entire staff wanted to help.  Everything was needed from shoveling out sludge from the lake to providing sandwiches and lunch to the homeowners and volunteers.  

Many of the condo owners worked with SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, but a few tried to do it themselves.  Those that attempted to handle it themselves ended up asking for help from SERVPRO once they saw the level of cleaning that was provided.  The dedication and work ethic of our staff was outstanding.  

In a storm event, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is able to remove all the debris, demo what's necessary, clean the structure, and dry it properly with all the documentation so that the homeowner can have peace of mind that it was done correctly.

This unique storm hit close to home for us.  We helped our friends and neighbors in their time of need.  SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was also a source of consultation to give guidance and support to those going through a trying time.

San Antonio and South Texas is our home, and we are here to help our neighbors should a storm event occur.  We are just a phone call away. 

210-521-3313

Call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio if You Have Storm Damage in Bexar County.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can ruin a house in a matter of minutes.

A Little About Us:

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has perfected storm and flood restoration for over 18 years. Our team is highly trained and very good at their work! SERVPRO's specialized equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are locally owned, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before it even occurs.

In the event of a major storm or flood, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has an active response team composed of trained and equipped professionals capable of responding to your property. While most systems have a waiting list, you get priority service with SERVPRO. 

We provide professional service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Call us today! 

(210) 521-3313

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

4/14/2019 (Permalink)

Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disasters, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has perfected storm and flood restoration for over 18 years. Our staff is exceptionally trained and ready to work the moment you call! SERVPRO's high tech equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are owned locally, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before the event occurs.

Preparing For A Flood

4/14/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.

• Water—3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day

• Food—3+ day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food

• Flashlight

• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

• Extra batteries

• First Aid kit

• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

• Multi-purpose tool

• Sanitation/personal hygiene items

• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

• Cell phone with chargers

• Family and emergency contact information

• Extra cash

• Emergency blanket

• Map(s) of the area

• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) • Tools/supplies for securing your home

• Extra set of car keys and house keys

• Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes

• Rain gear

• Insect repellent and sunscreen

• Camera for photos of damage

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit San Antonio, Texas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

Memorial Day Flood in Wimberly, Texas

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

In 2015, Wimberly, Texas experience a devastating flood. It all began in Blanco, Texas when torrential downpours overwhelmed the Blanco River. Experts have said that the amount of rain that hit Blanco hadn’t been seen in nearly 500 years. Unfortunately, the Blanco River overflowed and began to move toward Wimberly, Texas.

Wimberly residents were caught by surprise as many were still celebrating the holiday. The water came in like a wall, taking the lives of livestock and four people. When a river floods and overflows its banks, it is a terrifying scene to behold. A house can be swept away with the current leaving nothing but the foundation it was built on. When the water subsides, you’ll find the bottom of a river where your home used to be. Knee-deep silt, mud and debris covers your property. This event devastated the people of Wimberly and the communities around it. Without a thought, people from all over Texas rose to the occasion to help the victims of this natural disaster.

When SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was called, we arrived on the scene armed with power tools and a hearty crew ready to help where we were needed. It was a tough, dirty, scorching job but it was nothing compared to the loss these residents experienced. The damage was truly overwhelming. So many lives were forever changed that weekend. We at SERVPRO Northwest San Antonio feel honored to have been able to help during such a disaster.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit San Antonio, Texas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

Storm Damage to San Antonio Church

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

On April 12, 2016, the largest hail storm in San Antonio’s history hit the city with tremendous force. It was around 10:30 pm and many folks were at home, settled in for the night, and completely unprepared for the magnitude of the storm.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was called on for many storm damage restoration and clean up jobs in the following weeks but one job that really stood out for us was a church near MacArthur Park. The church sustained major hail damage to the roof, skylights and roof mounted HVAC systems. The interior damage was just as severe, with damage to the sanctuary, Sunday school classrooms, meeting rooms, church offices, and the lobby.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio was called out to tarp up the entire roof, clean up damage and dry out the structure and contents. All this while the church remained open. This presented an interesting challenge for our Production Manager, Gary Brown. Gary has been with us for 16 years and has rarely worked on a building that was still operational while the work was done. He rallied his crews and performed all tasks asked of him and got the church dried out in time for them to have worship services that Sunday.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has perfected storm and flood restoration for over 18 years. Our staff is exceptionally trained and ready to work the moment you call! SERVPRO's high tech equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are owned locally, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before the event occurs.

Identifying Storm Damage to your San Antonio Home or Commercial Property

2/17/2019 (Permalink)

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

When a storm hits your home or business it can sustain various amounts of damage. From tornadoes to flooding, you may encounter damage that you are unfamiliar with and don’t know how to remedy. We’re here to help. The following are types of damage you may see and how to identify them:

Roof Damage

On an asphalt roof, hail damage looks like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away. In some cases you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs with hail or storm damage. After a tornado, you may notice split seams and torn or missing shingles. This can result in leaking and serious water damage, which can lead to mold formation and wood rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of your roof resulting in collapse. In severe wind storms, it is common for shingles or sections of the roof to be missing altogether. (National Storm Damage Center)

Common Signs of Roof Damage:

  • Missing shingles
  • Bruises or dented asphalt shingles
  • Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles
  • Granules collecting in gutters or downspouts
  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling
  • Dents on vents, gutters or flashing

Exterior Damage

When a severe storm hits, the exterior of your home sustains the most damage. Hail, wind, heavy rain and flying debris are common causes of exterior damage. If your home has been hit by hail, you may notice discolored spots, dents, chips or cracks in your paint or siding. If you have a stucco home, look for cracking, chipping and holes in the stucco. (National Storm Damage Center)

Common signs of exterior damage

  • Dings and dents
  • Cracks and splitting
  • Holes and breaks
  • Chipping and discoloration

Window Damage

In high wind areas, many homes have protective storm shutters to protect exposed glass. However, even with storm shutters, many windows can get cracked or damaged. If your home has been hit by hail, high winds, or a tornado, cracked or broken windows and damaged window casings are the most common signs of damage. Remember, a broken, shattered or missing window is dangerous. Watch out for shards of glass and make sure you board up any shattered windows until they can be repaired. (National Storm Damage Center)

Common Signs of Window Damage

  • Shattered windows
  • Cracks and holes
  • Broken panes
  • Damaged frame

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has perfected storm and flood restoration for over 18 years. Our staff is exceptionally trained and ready to work the moment you call! SERVPRO's high tech equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are owned locally, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before the event occurs.

Have storm or flood damage? SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is here to help!

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

This house was torn apart from flood and storm damage during Hurricane Harvey.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio has perfected storm and flood restoration for over 18 years. Our staff is exceptionally trained and ready to work the moment you call! SERVPRO's high tech equipment allows our crews to restore and clean your property "Like it never even happened." Considering that we are owned locally, our teams are prepared for any storms or possible floods before the event occurs.

This past year we went to Houston to help clean and restore homes of victims from Hurricane Harvey. The amount of flood and storm damage was heartbreaking. Our crews worked very hard for weeks to allow some of the victims of Harvey to sleep in their own homes at night. 

If you ever have storm or flood damage, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio is here and ready to help! 

Call Us Today - (210)521-3313

Water Damage From Storm - Part 1

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

What to expect from storm.

Storms that cause water damage and what to expect from the SERVPRO Franchise process.

  • WHAT IS RESTORABLE

Determining exactly what can be saved until everything is dry is usually impossible. We will set a follow-up date so we can monitor the drying process. In addition, the restoration process will be scheduled when the drying is complete. This can include floor preparation , tack strip replacement, carpet and pad installation, carpet cleaning and restoring, and furniture and contents cleaning. A scope of services will be provided.

  • PRE-EXISTING OR PRELOSS CONDITIONS

During the course of cleaning, it is likely we will remove day-to-day soiling, which existed prior to your loss. We are happy to do so. If, however, the removal of pre-existing soil requires significant extra effort, our crews will be instructed to move on to the next item. Pre-existing damage, including visible mold growth, will also be noted.

  • PERSONAL ITEMS

In the course of our survey and cleaning, we will sometimes be required to open doors, cupboards, etc. to qualify and/or restore the damage. If any of these areas contain personal items you would prefer to relocate before we start work, please let us know.

  • GUNS and AMMUNITION

Our crews are instructed NEVER to touch guns or ammunition. For this reason, we request you remove any such items from the areas we are cleaning.

  • JEWELRY, VALUABLES, HEIRLOOMS

Please remove any valuable items from the areas we are cleaning before the job is started. We are not responsible for those items.

  • OVERLOOKED ITEMS

Although our supervisors inspect all work, you should accompany the supervisor on the final walk-through and bring any overlooked items or concerns to the supervisor's attention.

Water Damage From Storm - Part 2

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

What to do in a storm.

What to expect from SERVPRO Franchise after a storm.

  • INSURANCE ADJUSTERS OR AGENTS

We are neither insurance adjusters nor agents. We cannot authorize anything to be replaced, repaired or painted. Our job is to preserve and protect, stop further damage from occurring and to restore damaged items to their prior condition when possible.

  • EMERGENCY CHARGES

The exact price of restoring your property following a water damage emergency is virtually impossible to determine on our first visit. However, in order to give you an idea, we will review the SERVPRO Water Damage Emergency Services Report to provide you an initial estimate while on our first visit if requested. The scope of work can change due to unforeseen circumstances. The final bill will be forwarded to you and/or your insurance carrier upon completion.

  • HEALTH AND SAFETY

Maintaining your personal health and safety is of great concern to us. All occupants and pets should stay away from the work areas to protect their health and safety during the work process. Material Safety Data Sheets for our products are available upon request.

  • APPROXIMATE COMPLETION

The actual time required to complete the restoration process is difficult to estimate. However, the more quickly technicians begin work to limit the damage, the faster the job can be completed. When water has time to absorb, the drying and restoration process can take longer.

National Leader in Storm Response

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm ready!

A national leader in storm response. Help when you need it most!

In the event of a major catastrophe, the SERVPRO Franchise System has a nationwide Large Loss Response Team comprised of trained and equipped professionals capable of responding to your facility. While most systems have a waiting list, you get priority service with SERVPRO. Call today to find out how.

(210) 521-3313.

Each of SERVPRO's over 1,500 nationwide Franchises is independently owned and operated by trained professionals committed to providing the highest level of emergency cleanup and restoration services and customer satisfaction. What this means to you, the commercial property owner or manager, is that should fire, water or mold damage occur in one of your local facilities or a facility across the country, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will provide quality professional service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Storm Disaster Preparedness - What You Can Do

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare the whole family for the storm.

In order to be fully prepared, you should have all pertinent and proper information in a written plan for easy retrieval. Some key questions to consider when creating a personal emergency preparedness plan include:

  • Do you have an escape or evacuation route in place?
  • Do you have a designated meeting place in case of separation?
  • Does everyone have a list of contact information including family members out of state who can serve as a point of contact?
  • Do you have a disaster supply kit with necessary supplies?
  • Do you have a first aid kit that includes necessary prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and basic medical supplies?
  • Do you have enough non-perishable food and bottled water?
  • Do you have access to important family documents, including insurance policies, bank, credit card and loan information and family records such as birth certificates and social security cards?
  • Do you have an inventory of valuable household goods?

A well-equipped disaster supply kit should include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Water- a large enough supply to provide each person with 1 gallon daily for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food- enough to last 3-7 days. Food needs to be non-perishable or canned food. You will also want to include a non-electric can opener, paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Bedding including sheets, blankets and pillows.
  • Clothing- remember it may be warm, however, you may be working and cleaning and may prefer pants or long sleeves to protect your skin. You will also need sturdy, closed-toe, non-slip shoes if available.
  • First aid kit including antiseptics or sanitizers and bandages, over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Contaminated Water From a Storm

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water from a flood in your home? Call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio (210) 521-3313.

Contaminated Water From a Storm

What to do until help arrives!

First, Call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio at (210) 521-3313.

Do:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

Don't:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

You may think you are able to dry out your home or business yourself, but you should always call a trained and licensed professional when dealing with contaminated water. Call SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio!

When Storms or Floods hit in San Antonio, Texas, SERVPRO is ready!

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in San Antonio, Texas.

SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit San Antonio, Texas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - (210) 521-3313.