Recent Storm Damage Posts

How Red Oak, TX, Homeowners Can Take Steps to Prevent Property Damage From Hurricane-Force Winds

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains how to protect Red Oak, TX, homes from storm and water damage during hurricane season.

Water damage and storm damage in Red Oak, TX, and the surrounding area are sources of stress for homeowners. The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian regularly witness the impact of a property damage disaster on homeowners and their families. Technicians are ready 24/7 to respond rapidly and provide cleanup and restoration services in the aftermath of a tropical storm, hurricane, or other form of severe weather.

North Texas is no stranger to hurricanes, tropical storms, and other regional weather events. Local residents are often reminded by urgent weather alerts that the threat of severe weather requires property owners to take measures to protect their homes from storm damage during hurricane season.

What do weather alerts mean?

The National Weather Service defines the three types of tropical disturbances as follows:

  • A tropical depression has maximum sustained surface winds of up to 38 miles per hour. At 25 mph to 31 mph, a strong breeze causes large branches to sway continuously. Near gale winds are rated at 32 to 38 mph. At this point, entire trees are in motion, and walking against winds with this sustained velocity is uncomfortable.
  • A tropical storm has maximum sustained surface winds from 39 mph to 74 mph. The term “tropical storm” can lead property owners to underestimate the power of this tropical disturbance. At 39 mph to 46 mph, gale-force wind litters the ground with broken twigs and small branches. Walking is impeded and can be dangerous for people who have difficulties with balance. Strong gale winds at velocities ranging from 47 to 54 mph cause structural damage. Roofing tiles are blown off, and light residential flag poles and TV antennas may sustain damage. The ground is littered with many small twigs and broken branches. At 55 to 63 mph, whole gale winds cause substantial structural damage to roofs. Small trees may be toppled and uprooted. Storm force winds at 64 to 75 mph cause widespread damage. Larger trees are toppled, potentially damaging homes, sheds, and vehicles. Personal injury can be caused by flying debris, falling limbs, and hail traveling at high velocity.
  • A hurricane has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 miles an hour and above. Hurricane-force winds cause severe and extensive property damage and put lives in danger. Entire roofs can separate from a structure and cause severe collateral damage to other homes, vehicles, and buildings. Windows shatter from debris impact and the sheer force of the wind against the panes. Trees are snapped off at the trunk or are entirely uprooted. RVs and small mobile homes are overturned and destroyed. Moving vehicles can be forced off of the roadway.

How to prepare for hurricane season

The key to being prepared for hurricane season is to take one step at a time. Otherwise, the effort may grind to a halt under the weight of everything that needs to be accomplished to prevent property damage. Begin by making the landscape hurricane-proof.

At velocities of 75 mph and above, hurricane-force winds can make dangerous missiles out of landscaping materials. Once launched by the fierce winds, these “missiles” can shatter windows and doors. The bulk of the property damage from hurricanes is caused by rain entering the structure through broken doors, windows, and openings in the roof. Upgrading the home to protect against hurricane damage is expensive, but it can be accomplished in affordable stages.

Steps to protect against property damage from a hurricane

  1. Remove rock or gravel landscaping material. Airborne gravel and rocks can not only break windows, penetrate siding, and damage doors, but they can also damage vehicles. Instead, use bark mulch which is lighter and less likely to cause as much damage.
  2. Hire a certified, bonded, and insured arborist to remove weak or dead branches and trees and to maintain the overall treescape. In addition to improving safety, well-manicured trees can also add as much as twenty percent to the overall value of a home and should be treated as an investment.
  3. Install storm shutters to protect windows from breakage. Plywood panels cut to fit each window can be installed in advance of an oncoming storm or hurricane.
  4. Reinforce exterior doors so that they are hurricane-proof. Doors should have three hinges and a deadbolt lock that is at least one inch in length.
  5. Cover sliding glass doors with plywood during a storm.
  6. Replace older garage doors and tracks with wind-rated and impact-rated products to protect the contents of the garage from water damage and to prevent massive structural damage to the roof from wind pressure.
  7. Seal outside wall openings such as outdoor electrical outlets, vents, garden hose bibs, and other openings for pipes and cables. A high-quality urethane-based caulk is best to prevent water penetration.
  8. Securely anchor boats, canoes, or kayaks so that they do not become dangerous projectiles. Review the boat insurance policy for the terms and conditions of coverage. Transporting the boat to another location may be the best solution.

Since 2000, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the community, and the company is locally owned. Centrally located in Ellis County and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises, the water damage restoration company specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Red Oak, TX, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

Dealing With Water Damaged Insulation After Storm Damage

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian explains how to deal with wet insulation from a roof leak caused by storm damage.

Storm-related water damage in Midlothian, TX, can often strike without warning. When severe weather leads to a water damage disaster, the SERVPRO professionals can quickly restore the damaged property. The restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

How to deal with wet insulation resulting from storm damage in Midlothian, TX

If insulation is exposed to water and moisture from a leak or roof damage, it loses its insulating capacity. The same wet insulation also becomes a health hazard. If the water intrusion is allowed to continue, the insulation can retain enough water to collapse ceilings and weaken the structural integrity of the home. In most cases, when a roof leak saturates insulation, the insulation almost always requires replacement.

Wet insulation harms the roof, the building, and its occupants

Attic insulation is situated immediately below the roof. A leak permits water seepage through the roof’s outer membrane. The saturated insulation has the potential to cause the roof to deteriorate on many fronts.

  • Water-saturated insulation puts a heavy burden on the entire structure. Over a long duration, the constant weight causes warping and other structural damage.
  • Moisture trapped in insulation gradually degrades the entire roofing system. The damage will not stop at the decking but will spread to the rest of the structure, compromising the integrity of the entire building.
  • Long-term exposure to moisture causes roofing fasteners to corrode. Steel studs and wall ties begin to rust, crack and break. The resulting loss of structural integrity reduces wind-uplift ratings in the roof. In severe weather, the results could be catastrophic.
  • Wet insulation is a prime breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can cause health effects.

Wet insulation negatively impacts R-value and the energy efficiency of a home or business

Dry insulation functionally repels energy. Hot air stays outside. Cool air stays inside, or vice versa. Wet insulation conducts energy. In other words, the wet insulation fails to perform its intended task. Heating costs will reflect the loss of efficiency. Summer cooling costs will also reflect the price impact of the lost efficiency.

Water-logged insulation will have a diminished “R-Value.” The “R-value” gauges thermal resistance. Insulating materials with a higher R-Value are more effective at resisting heat transfer. Water-saturated insulation forfeits up to forty percent of its R-Value. The increase in energy bills can be dramatic and financially painful for the bottom line.

How do different types of insulation respond to water intrusion?

Insulation types vary widely in cost, application, efficiency, and response to water saturation.

  1. Wood fiber insulation, for example, can soak up surrounding moisture and compromise a wide area of a roof.
  2. Isocyanurate, a rigid thermal foam insulation, can be dried out and put back in place.
  3. Open-celled foam insulation, which is relatively economical, contains tiny cells that are not entirely closed. This insulation contains minimal trace chemicals and performs well as an air barrier. Best for interior applications, it is often found in walls due to its sound-reduction qualities. Because of its sponge-like texture and absorption qualities, open-celled foam insulation is inappropriate for exterior applications.
  4. Closed-cell foam insulation has a more compact structure that provides an excellent barrier to both air and moisture. Roofers favor this type of insulation because it withstands the elements without compromising R-value.

What if storm damage leads to water-saturated insulation?

A water intrusion incident can create a nightmare for the homeowner or business if certain types of insulation are involved. These tips will help property owners navigate their way through a storm damage disaster that results in wet insulation.

  1. Know the types of insulation in the structure, how each type responds to exposure to moisture, and whether or not the insulation can be restored.
  2. After severe weather, inspect the roof for damage from high winds, hail, debris, and perforations from fallen limbs or trees.
  3. Inspect the attic for subtle roof leaks that may have introduced water and moisture into the attic insulation.
  4. If water or moisture intrusion is detected, enlist the services of a property damage restoration company with the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to mitigate the water intrusion and appropriately manage the wet insulation.

Hidden water and moisture that is left untreated can slowly undermine the structural integrity of a home or building and lead to a mold infestation that can put residents, employees, and customers at risk for health effects. Each roof has its own set of unique insulation requirements. Among all these variables, one thing is certain when a roof leak is discovered: wet insulation must be addressed as soon as possible.

For more information about water damage restoration services by SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian, contact the water damage restoration company by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How Hail Can Cause Roof Leaks That Lead to a Water Damage Disaster

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains how relatively small-sized hail can lead to large-scale water damage that requires the services of a water damage restoration company.

The water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Waxahachie /  Midlothian know that a water damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning, such as during severe weather. When water damage occurs, life is suddenly filled with stress and worry. The SERVPRO professionals are the premier cleanup and restoration company in the region who can quickly restore the damaged property.

How Hail Can Cause Roof Leaks and Water Damage

Hail can damage a roof, leading to leaks and serious water damage if left unrepaired. What might be a small issue, in the beginning, can spiral into a major water damage disaster requiring both roof repair and water damage restoration for a Waxahachie home or business.

According to roofing experts, “The average hailstorm lasts only five minutes, but the hail damage they leave behind totals about $1 billion a year, according to the National Weather Service. When hail hits, it can damage the roof of your home as well as other personal property… Hail damage on a roof looks like indentations and/or fractures on the shingle’s surface. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness and can create a random pattern of dents or depressions.”

Hail size impacts roof damage.

Generally, the larger the hailstone, the greater the damage it can inflict. However, other factors come into play when dealing with hail damage, such as the shape of the individual hailstone and the speed at which the hail impacts the roof.

Hailstones form when warm updrafts carry water droplets to high altitudes where the temperatures are frigid. The droplets freeze and combine until they are heavy enough to escape the updrafts. At about one-quarter inch in diameter, hailstones begin their downward plummet. Amazingly, hailstones can range in size from a small pea to larger than a softball and can weigh as much as one pound.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the largest hailstone on record in the US measured over eight inches in diameter and weighed over a pound. While small, pea-sized hail rarely damages a roof, dime-sized and quarter-sized hail often severely damages a roof.

Shape can impact hail damage.

The hail formation process creates hailstones of various shapes and sizes. On rare occasions, some hailstones can develop sharp points or edges. When that is the case, small hail can cause great damage. Homeowners should be aware that small hailstones with jagged edges can puncture shingles that have been recently installed. A roof inspection after a hailstorm is a wise course of action.

Hail speed impacts roof damage.

Hail begins its descent from as high as 30,000 feet and will gather speed until terminal velocity or top speed is reached. Wind direction and speed can influence a hailstone’s speed. Wind-driven pea-sized hail impacting a roof at high velocity can compromise the shingles’ ability to keep out moisture. Hailstones the size of baseballs or larger can reach speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. Most roofs are no match for such a fierce barrage.

Roofing materials impact hail damage.

The highest quality thirty-year laminated roofing shingles act as armor in a hailstorm. Best quality shingles can still sustain damage under the onslaught of large, jagged hailstones impacting the roof at high speeds. Other roofing materials such as metal, tile, slate, and synthetics are durable, but the impact from a four-inch hailstone traveling at speeds over 100 miles an hour will at least inflict a measure of cosmetic damage to even the toughest of roofing materials.

The age of the roof impacts hail damage.

A 3-tab asphalt shingle will last from 12-15 years. A well-maintained metal roof will endure for sixty or more years. Architectural laminated shingles are rated at thirty years. All roofing materials will lose durability over time. Homeowners with older roofs should be vigilant in their watch for roof leaks after severe weather, especially weather involving hail and high winds.

The Danger of Small Hail Damage

Small hail damage may require a trained eye to spot. Small damage can lead to small leaks that, if left unrepaired, can cause big problems such as rotted support beams, mold-infested insulation, ceiling stains, and damage to items stored in the attic. The advanced secondary water damage will only worsen if not treated promptly by a skilled water damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian.

For more information about water damage restoration in Waxahachie, TX, and Midlothian, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.