Recent Storm Damage Posts
Preventing Ice Dams in your Ipswich Home
Ice dams can cause unwanted water damage to your home.
Just when we thought spring was around the corner, Mother Nature surprised Danvers and Ipswich residents with almost a foot of snow last night! I think deep down we all knew another storm was in the works...it would be too good to be true to have such a mild winter like the one we’ve had this year in New England. Although it’s beautiful to look at, snow can often cause unwanted problems for home and business owners. Water damage from ice dams is a common issue we’ve seen throughout the years with our customers. There are some preventative measures you can take to help prevent water damage caused by ice dams.
Here are a few tips from “This Old House” to prevent ice dams:
An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.
More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. To find out how much insulation your attic needs, check with your local building department.
Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.
Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.
Source: This Old House https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/preventing-ice-dams
If you experience water damage from ice dams, we’re here to help. Call us at 978-777-3498.
We're Here to Help During Storm Season
We can help restore your property from storm damage.
Storm Damage can create a variety of problems for Ipswich homeowners. SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich can help restore your home from storm damage. Some examples of storm damage are:
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind the still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas. We can help mitigate water damage caused by ice dams and help you get your home back to preloss condition.
A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, covering an interior in grimy soot, or a puffback can leak soot particles more gradually.
If you experience storm damage this winter, call SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help.
Storm and Frigid Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes
As temperatures drop, be aware of what you can do to help your pipes from freezing.
Frigid Temperatures Can Cause Frozen Pipes
With temperatures in the single digits today today in New England, Danvers home owners should be alert to the dangers of freezing pipes. As most people know, when water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause pipes in your home or business to crack and burst. According to State Farm insurance, A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold. The pipes most at risk in your home are located in unheated areas, such as garages, attics, and basements. Pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are at risk as well. You can prevent your pipes from freezing by following some simple tips.
Tips to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
For outside areas, remove hoses from outdoor water faucets, and cover exterior faucets. If your home has a water shut-off valve, turn off the water supply to outside faucets. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in your garage. For the interior of your home, be sure that your home has proper insulation- especially in basements, attics and crawl spaces. Keep your home warm and open kitchen & bathroom cabinets. This will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Turn faucets on and let your water run in extremely cold temperatures. Even a slow trickle can help prevent pipes from freezing.
30 Inches of Snow?!
It’s mid-December but rather than gearing up for a snowstorm, we’re preparing for high winds and heavy downpours of rain to sweep through eastern Massachusetts.
But what if the predicted 1-3 inches of rain were snow? Ever wonder how the rain-to-snow conversion is made?
Our friends at Sciencing.com explains it:
Baseline Rain-to-Snow Conversion
Perform the baseline rain-to-snow conversion. The baseline ratio of rain to snow is 1 inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow. For example, to calculate the snowfall equivalent of 3 inches of rain, multiply 3 by 10 to obtain 30 inches of snow as the baseline conversion. This conversion applies for snow falling at temperatures near freezing, between 28 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
Find the temperature in the location for which you'd like to perform the conversion. You can track down this info via the National Weather Service, for example, or any number of other meteorological sources, such as the Weather Channel. In general, colder temperatures make snow fall less densely and lower the rain-to-snow ratio, resulting in more inches of snow per inch of rain.
For Temperatures At or Below 27 Degrees F
Adjust your conversion to account for temperature if the outside temperature is less than or equal to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. To calculate rain to snow for temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply rainfall by 15 instead of 10. For temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply rainfall by 20. Between 10 and 14, multiply by 30; between 0 and 9, multiply by 40; between -20 and -1, multiply by 50, and between -40 and -21, multiply by 100. For example, to calculate the snowfall equivalent of 3 inches of rain at 5 degrees Fahrenheit, multiply 3 by 40 to obtain 120 inches of snow. Therefore, if 3 inches of rain are expected but the temperature drops suddenly to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, 120 inches of snow will fall.
Snow to Rain
Perform the calculations in reverse to calculate snow to rain. For example, for 8 inches of snow falling at a temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, divide 8 by 15, since the conversion factor for 20 degrees is 15. The result is approximately 0.53 inches of rain. Therefore, 8 inches of snow that fell at 20 degrees Fahrenheit will melt down to approximately 0.53 inches of rain.
What Causes a Nor'Easter?
This photo from FEMA shows a car that is covered in snow from a Nor'Easter in Massachusetts.
Living in New England , we are all too familiar with Nor’Easter storms. But what exactly causes these types of storms that we experience year after year? And why are they unique to the Northeast region of our country? According to weather.com, Nor’Easters form between Georgia and New Jersey within 100 miles east or west of the east coast. They move northeastward near New England, where they reach maximum intensity. They bring with them strong winds, coastal flooding, rough seas, and heavy rain and snow.
Polar jet streams transport cold air southward from Canada in the U.S., then eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. Simultaneously, warm air moves northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico also go into our waters along the northeastern coastline, causing Atlantic ocean water to warm up and acts to warm the cold air above it. This temperature difference between warm air from the water, and cold air over the land provides energy to create a storm.
If a Nor’Easter is coming, it’s best to prepare for the worst. Stock up with at least 3 days worth of food and water and keep plenty of warm clothing and blankets in case you lose heat and power. If you are in need of flood or storm damage restoration, SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich has the experience and specialized equipment to restore your home or business to pre-storm condition.
When Storms or Floods Hit
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich 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.
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.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978-777-3498
September is National Preparedness Month. Devastating storms remind us of the importance of preparing for disasters. You can prepare now in the case of an emergency with these helpful tips from FEMA.
- Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
Recipe For Disaster!
More snow and warming temperatures can be a recipe for disaster!
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. No matter where you live, there is a potential for suffering from flood damage.
Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.
According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing scream where water is above your ankles, stop, rum around and go another Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about run ning water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.
If you do suffer water damage due to a flood or melting snow in your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Danvers/Ipswich. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.
To Tarp Or Not To Tarp?!
…That is the question!
With the recent "Bomb Cyclones" that have blasted through our region this season, we've seen an excess of structural damage from the high winds that accompanied the rain and snow.
The most recent storm brought hurricane force winds that downed power lines, lifted shingles like playing cards, ripped gutters off of buildings and sent them blowing down the street like left-over drinking straws.
With another Nor' Easter about to hit, and people still scrambling from the damage of the last storm, the main concern is getting the damaged roofs protected.
If you have missing shingles, your roof is vulnerable to moisture seeping in. Whether it's a downpour of rain or snow that sits on your roof, both will find their way into your house causing additional problems, such as water damage and mold.
"Tarping your roof is the best advice, says Ross Martin, an Estimator at SERVPRO and our resident roof expert. If you can hire a professional contractor, like the team we work with, that's always best. They use professional grade materials that will hold up to the worst Mother Nature throws at us."
If not, be sure to have a plan before you venture onto the roof. There are good DIY videos to watch before that provide a sound set of instructions.
Give us a call at 978-374-8555 to learn more about how we can help.
Storms Wreak Havoc in Ipswich, MA
After a few back-to-back storms blew through Eastern, MA., several residents and businesses found themselves with frozen and/or burst pipes.
Such was the case at a historic school building, repurposed to a community arts center when a pipe burst, allowing 15-20 thousand+ gallons of water to rush through the halls and classrooms.
Since this is an historic structure, tearing down walls was not an option. A delicately balanced process referred to as "dry in place" was employed. This is when dozens of high capacity fans, desiccant dehumidifiers and two, 1-million BTU incandescent heaters blowing 200º were staged throughout the building, circulating dry, warm air.
According to Pat Lavigne, owner of SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich, this process requires a balance of the moist air being extracted while the fans continually blow at high pressure to break the vapor barrier so the moisture wicks.
This process also helps reduce the risk of damage to the artwork. Many old buildings needs special care, when a crisis hits, in order to maintain the integrity of the structure. Lucky for this local building, we had a plan!
Preparing For The Worst
Frozen car floating through icy waters in Boston.
Mother Nature's Icy Grip Threatens Northeastern MA
With record low temperatures the norm this season and significant snowfall in the forecast, it's almost as if Mother Nature has something against us. Most of the time, winters in New England feel like a full frontal assault and this year is no exception. There are a plethora of resources on preparing for a storm and most of us can recite the bullet list by heart. However, how often do you think of preparing your car? Probably not often.
The National Weather Service offers a great deal of information on their website, including steps on building an emergency supply kit. According to their website, each year, on average, more than 6,000 people are killed and more than 480,000 are injured due to weather-related vehicle crashes. Before you leave the house, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater, and windshield wipers are in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:
- Mobile phone, charger, batteries
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Firstaid kit
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Extra clothing to keep dry
- Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
- Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Battery booster cables
- Compass and road maps.
Mother Nature Isn't Fooling Anyone!
Can you feel that chill in the air? If not, just you wait — winter will be here before you know it, and now is the time to get your house ready for the cold.
Trust us. You don't want to discover your furnace is dead on arrival of the first frost. And dealing with those cold air drafts now is a lot more pleasant than waiting until the inside of your house feels like a freezer.
To help, Home Advisor has created the ultimate guide to getting your home ready for winter. Here's a list of what to do and who to hire now, so you're not left shivering through the season.
Gutter Check: Ideally, you'll have your gutters and downspouts cleaned in mid-fall so that you only need to double check them before winter. If you do encounter clogs or leaking in difficult to reach places, now is a good time to call in the professionals.
Water Works: Your sprinkler system should have been winterized in the fall. If you missed this step, get a professional in as soon as possible, so you can avoid frozen pipes or cracks that can ruin the entire system. You should also make sure to disconnect all outside hoses from their spouts and turn off the water.
Seal The Deck: If you have a deck, give it a fresh coat of sealer before the cold hits to protect it from the harsh winter elements.
Roof Inspection: Have a contractor look for damaged roof shingles. A professional can also assess the integrity of your roof by doing something called an infrared roof inspection. This process uses infrared rays to locate the parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of it. These "hot spots" can show the roof inspector exactly where heat is escaping.
Weatherproof Windows: If heat is escaping through your windows and the space around them, keeping the rest of your house warm is going to be more difficult and more expensive. You might find installing energy-efficient, double-paned windows will make a noticeable difference in your energy costs and how comfortable your living areas feel. You may not need to install new windows if heat is escaping, though. In some cases, all you need is some caulk or weather stripping to weatherproof the existing windows.
HVAC Tuning: Now is the time to replace the filter in your furnace and close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather. Go ahead and test that your heating system is working properly, too — it's better to find out now if something needs to be fixed before the real cold weather hits.
Chimney Cleaning: Chimneys and wood stoves should be cleaned early in the season. If you own a fireplace, this is not optional — it's a matter of safety. When you have your chimney cleaned, have the furnace flue cleaned at the same time. Make sure to test the flue for a tight seal when closed.
Outlet Inspection: Check electrical outlets and switch plates to see if you feel a draft. Add insulation to prevent warm air from escaping these spaces.
Stock Up: Make sure you have shovels on hand before the first big snow hits. Plus, it's a good idea to get prepared with a supply of extra water, canned food, flashlights and replacement batteries.
Article brought to you by: HomeAdvisor.com
Be Ready for Anything Mother Nature Throws at You!
With one of the busiest hurricane seasons in recent memory, it's wise to follow these safety tips from National grid minimize any damage to your home and possessions and keep your family safe.
- Remain calm and gather all supplies on our storm kit checklist, including adequate medical/prescription supplies.
- Establish a “safe room” in a windowless interior room. Keep your storm kit there.
- Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV, and avoid power lines.
- Turn off all swimming pool pumps and filters, and wrap them in waterproof materials.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings ahead of time to keep food fresh longer in the event of a power outage.
- Turn off and unplug any unnecessary or sensitive electrical equipment.
- Use surge protectors.
- Consider using a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
- Charge the battery for your cell phone and laptop computers.
- Make sure that your home is secure, shuttered, and able to withstand a hurricane.
Storm Prep for Seniors
If you plan staying home during a storm, be sure to follow the steps above and ask a neighbor for help if necessary. If you plan to stay with family or friends during a hurricane, take these precautions:
- Remain calm. Call them in advance. Make sure they will be ready for you.
- Have a backup plan in case they are out of town.
- Have your emergency checklist completed outlining your needs.
- Bring your own food, water, medicine supply, and important papers with you.
- If you have a loved one with dementia, ask to have a room just for you and your loved one. Ask your hosts to take the same safety precautions you have in your home (e.g., hide sharp objects and poisons, limit access to exits, cover mirrors).
- Notify your friends/family/neighbors of your evacuation plans.