Recent Storm Damage Posts

When and Where Do Hurricanes Likely Occur?

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of a Hurricane Cyclone on a weather map The different categories for hurricanes depend on the wind speed and damage at landfall.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1st to November 30th. However, storms outside of these dates are not unheard of. Hurricane activity ramps up in August, and peaks in early September, then again in October. 

Hurricanes form during this season because of two factors: warm ocean waters (80 degrees or higher) and weak vertical winds (little change in wind direction and/or speed with height) are most common. This is also the season with the highest frequency of west-moving weather disturbances in the tropics that eventually develop into hurricanes. 

The only difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon is where you're located on the globe. People in our area refer to violent thunderstorms as hurricanes while people near the equator in Africa and Australia refer to them as cyclones. 

Six Tips to Prepare For a Hurricane

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of Storm Rolling in Be prepared for a storm so you can keep you and your family safe.

Do you live in an area that is prone to hurricane activity? Are you new to the area and want to know what you should do when a hurricane warning is issued? When a hurricane is approaching, you need to be prepared. Follow our guide listing the top six tips you need to know to stay safe during hurricane season.


Tip #1: Stock Up on Essentials
Depending on the severity of the hurricane, you want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook. Stock up on water, bread, non-perishables and items that you can eat without cooking. Also, make sure you have extra batteries for flashlights and headlamps, and buy candles and matches.


Tip #2: Check Your Insurance
Make sure your insurance coverage covers flooding and other expenses you may incur because of Tampa Damage


Tip #3: Take a Video of Your Home
This helps with proving the current state of your home pre-storm. Insurance companies will have an easier time processing your claims. Also, make electronic versions of important documents related to your home and your personal information in case they are destroyed in a storm. Documents such as your birth certificate, your driver's license, your home's deed, your social security card, and unpaid bills.


Tip #4: Protect Your Property
Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You also may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls. This is especially important in areas that may receive a direct hit. Install foot and head bolts on all doors as well.


Tip #5: Make an Evacuation Plan
When it is time to leave, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles away from your home.


Tip #6: Don't Take Risks
The people who get hurt in hurricanes often either stay in their homes or are taking extreme risks -- like leaving too late. Make sure you don't do anything silly when the hurricane begins. Stay away from electrical poles and wires. Bunker down in your safe room away from windows. Don't go outside once the hurricane has begun. Play it safe in the midst of so much danger. 

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Tampa/Magdaleneis close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Tampa community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Why Flood Damage from a Hurricane is so Severe

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Why is Flood Damage from Hurricanes So Severe?

Homeowners in Florida are no stranger to hurricanes and the type of damage that they can do to homes and communities. Some liken the water damage that comes from a hurricane to that of a flood from a typical rainstorm, but the former is so much worse. 

Flood damage in Pinellas Park that is the result of a hurricane brings not only water but salt from the ocean as well. Brackish water is more hazardous during and after a storm, and it also has the potential to wreak havoc on your home's structure and your possessions. Here's a look at why hurricane flood damage should be taken seriously and resolved as soon as possible. 

When salt comes into contact with wire insulation, metals, concrete, zinc, and other materials commonly used in and around homes, it's quite corrosive. Also, saltwater conducts its own charge that increases the likelihood of power outages and electrical shock. 

If left to sit, a home damaged by saltwater after a hurricane will decompose more quickly than one that's affected by flood damage following a typical rainstorm. The foundation, walls, flooring, and even decorative stone and brick of your home will start to break down and be much more costly to repair the longer the problem persists. 

Contacting experienced professionals, such as our team at SERVPRO of North Tampa/Magdalene, is key to protecting your home after a hurricane. Saltwater can't simply be pumped out of a house; it first has to be washed away with freshwater before pumping can even be started. As time ticks away before repairs commence, your home is left vulnerable to water damage. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Taking quick action is key to mitigating flood damage after a hurricane, and SERVPRO of North Tampa/Magdalene Park is dedicated to helping local homeowners with speed and precision. If your home is in need of repair or assessment after a storm, call us at (813) 694-9082 for a quote or more information about our services.

Protection From Wind Damage

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of a tree that has fallen down in front of a house Be prepared when storms bring in heavy winds that can cause damage to your home.

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home.  Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car.  It can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house. 

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.  Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs. 

It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.   These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.  Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.

Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm-resistant structure.

 Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

 If your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  SERVPRO of North Tampa/Magdalen can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (813) 694-9082

How to Identify Tornadoes During a Hurricane

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Dark Heavy Clouds approaching a town during a strom Know the signs of a tornado during a hurricane.

Hurricanes can Create Favorable Conditions for Tornadoes

The thought of a tornado touching down in a community during a hurricane is a frightening image. Most people have seen movies or television shows where tornadoes have caused mass destruction and significant property damage. Watching it in action on the big screen or television is disheartening enough, yet alone experiencing the situation first-hand. Living through a tornado and seeing the devastating impact on a community is a humbling experience. If you have never experienced a tornado, it is necessary to understand how to identify them and react appropriately. Your safety and the safety of those around you depends on your ability to identify tornadoes. 

Perhaps the most obvious and well-known characteristics of a tornado is a funnel cloud. During violent hurricanes, meteorologists are often concerned about the development of favorable conditions for tornadoes. The classic signs of an impending tornado include dark skies, large pieces of hail falling to the ground, and a dark sky that appears to be green. People who have witnessed actual tornadoes tend to report a similar claim of hearing a loud noise that resembles a train outside the window. The tornado itself is a rotational cloud that forms in the sky and may or may not touches down to the ground. If the rotating funnel cloud loses formation, it can develop again. Strong, structured funnel clouds may be a single cloud formation that may spur off into another one. This is important to remember in the event the clouds appear to diminish. As quickly as they disappear, they can re-emerge without warning. 

Understanding the obvious signs of a tornado is essential for safety. Seek immediate shelter in the lowest lying area of the home or business such as a basement. Avoid being near windows and glass doors because there could be broken glass that becomes airborne. Cover your head with pillows if they are accessible to protect your head and face. You must be aware that common household objects can get picked up in the wind if the windows or doors are broken. These objects can become airborne and cause interior property damage and bodily harm. 

If you are traveling by car when this emergency strikes, seek shelter in a ditch on the side of the road. Never drive your vehicle towards a clear twister to photograph the tornado as this could be a fatal mistake. Tornadoes cause mass destruction and have been known to kill people, destroy property, and wipe out miles of communities, housing developments, businesses, farms, and roads. It is crucial to recognize that personal safety is the top priority. Since violent storms, such as hurricanes, can spawn tornadoes with little or no warning, everyone needs to know how to identify tornadoes. 

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of North Tampa/Magdalene has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Get help 24 hours a day (813) 694-9082.

How to Check For Roof Damage After a Storm

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of a Roof that is Missing Shingles Check your roof after the next storm to make sure you don't have any damage.

After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.

Find the Leak Source

During storms in North Tampa/Magdalene wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:

1. Vents and fans
2. Chimneys
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Fix Water Damage

To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry.