Recent Storm Damage Posts
Causes of Basement Leaks
The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:
- During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor.
- The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rain water from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.
- Window wells can be another cause of water leaks in the basement. If a window well is not properly installed or if the drain becomes clogged, the window well can fill with water. During a heavy rain, the water can seep into your basement. Water stains on the walls are a sure sign of leaky basement windows.
How water gets into the basement
Water can find its way into your basement a number of ways, such as:
- Through cracks in the walls or floor
- At the joint where the poured concrete floor meets the wall
- Through cracks in mortar joints of block or masonry foundation walls
Fixing basement leaks
When it comes to fixing your leaky basement, there are a few steps to take to prevent leaks and keep your basement dry:
How to Prepare for Thunderstorms
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
- Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit
Responding Accordingly During a Thunderstorm
- Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
- Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
- If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
- If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
Recovering After a Thunderstorm
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
- Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.
If Lightning Strikes
Follow these steps if someone has been struck by lightning:
- Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Anyone who has sustained a lightning strike requires professional medical care.
- Check the person for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR. If the person is breathing normally, look for other possible injuries and care for them as necessary. People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
Let Your Family Know You're Safe
Helping Someone Who is Struck by Lightning
When someone is struck by lightning, get emergency medical help as soon as possible. If more than one person is struck by lightning, treat those who are unconscious first. They are at greatest risk of dying. A person struck by lightning may appear dead, with no pulse or breath. Often the person can be revived with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). There is no danger to anyone helping a person who has been struck by lightning – no electric charge remains. CPR should be attempted immediately.
Treat those who are injured but conscious next. Common injuries from being struck by lightning are burns, wounds and fractures.
An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated. This earthquake glossary outlines other terms.
Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. They are smaller than the main shock and can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years. In general, the larger the main shock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.
The epicenter is the point on the earth's surface vertically above the hypocenter (or focus), point in the crust where a seismic rupture begins.
A fault is a fracture along which the blocks of crust on either side have moved relative to one another parallel to the fracture.
The hypocenter, or focus, is the point within the earth where an earthquake rupture starts. The epicenter is the point directly above it at the surface of the earth.
The magnitude is a number that characterizes the relative size of an earthquake. Magnitude is based on measurement of the maximum motion recorded by a seismograph. Several scales have been defined, but the most commonly used are (1) local magnitude (ML), commonly referred to as "Richter magnitude," (2) surface-wave magnitude (Ms), (3) body-wave magnitude (Mb), and (4) moment magnitude (Mw). Scales 1-3 have limited range and applicability and do not satisfactorily measure the size of the largest earthquakes. The moment magnitude (Mw) scale, based on the concept of seismic moment, is uniformly applicable to all sizes of earthquakes but is more difficult to compute than the other types. All magnitude scales should yield approximately the same value for any given earthquake.
The tectonic plates are the large, thin, relatively rigid plates that move relative to one another on the outer surface of the earth.
A tsunami is a sea wave that results from large-scale seafloor displacements associated with large earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands.
The best way to protect your household from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.
Different disasters require different responses. But whether the disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate your home.
In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too.
Assemble a Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit
Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example). Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:
- Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.
- Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
- Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
- Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.
It is important to SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia that families in our community are prepared. For more please contact SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia.
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering flood damage. In fact, nearly 25% of last year’s claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in moderate to low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. Flooding can also result from plumbing failures, frozen pipes and damaged structures. Flood damage can affect your business operation in a variety of ways and can range in size from being isolated to a single room to entire floors being fully submerged.
For years SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia have not only helped our local community with floods but have also traveled to help the residents of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane IKE, floods in Minot, ND and we just finished up with the floods in Palm Springs. We soon could be leaving to help with the flooding in CO.
Our experience for these floods has helped us to become the leader in helping those with floods in our local community.