Recent Storm Damage Posts
Stanislaus County: Flood Risk
A river in Northern California area
Last spring CBS 10 News wrote an article, ‘Stanislaus County: What every person should know about flood risk’, and the article gave warning that everyone should educate themselves about flood risk despite the amount of rain and snowmelt needed to create a large flood impact. Floods have occurred in the recent past because of weather in the Manteca and Modesto areas, and household mishaps happen on top of bad weather concerns. Flood risk is a big priority in the Manteca and Modesto area for these reasons.
What rivers pose a flood risk in Stanislaus County:
At risk in the Modesto area is the downtown area and the low-lying trailer parks along the Tuolumne River. Dry Creek can be an issue because of unregulated flows. This stream is observed carefully. Dry Creek and the Don Pedro River releases make up most of the flow below 9th street in Modesto and pose a risk in this location.
The San Joaquin River poses more issues because it is harder to predict flood risk as it has multiple rivers flowing into it. To name one, the Merced River causes some concern when flows are at or above flood stage. The major concern is the lower-lying trailer parks western of Stanislaus County.
Extensive flooding hit the area back in 1997 as Don Pedro Dam filled up and had uncontrolled releases. These releases mixed with Dry creek’s uncontrolled flows overwhelmed the levees and massive flooding occurred. Flooding even protruded out to Modesto’s urban areas.
As horrible as the floods were in 1997, the last set of flood damages reported occurred just a few years ago in 2017. Don Pedro River’s spillways opened for the first time in 20 years. Mostly affected were the lower residential regions, like the trailer parks in the area.
Be Prepared for Flooding:
- Register your home, work, and children’s school addresses for alerts with StanAware
- Have a safety kit ready: water, batteries, flashlights, fuel, important documents, etc
- Have an evacuation route planned
A flood being likely or not, it is important to stay alert regarding flood risk in the area and to understand flooding is not only caused by heavy rains. Household accidents can cause flooding as well. Be alert and be safe.
Protecting your Home from Flooding
Rainstorm and Flooding in the Modesto and Manteca area
After a natural disaster, such as a flood or storm, it is imperative to address any water damages that occur in the home. This must be done right away. Without the proper water damage restoration services set in place, restoring your home and bringing it back to its pre-damaged condition can be difficult. Mold can set in and grow, creating horrible odors and posing major health concerns. Taking the correct steps and working with the correct restoration service company can alleviate a lot of hassle and save you money in the long run.
As a homeowner in the Manteca and Modesto area being aware of flood danger zones, knowing what to do in a flood, and understanding what steps to take after a flood is the best preparation one could do. There are options to consider in preparation for flooding due to a storm.
Here are a few tips for home flood preparation:
- Close foundation cracks with mortar, masonry caulk, or hydraulic cement. Hydraulic cement is inexpensive and expands and fills gaps.
- Invest in battery-powered sump pumps. Sump pumps allow you to pump water out of your home should your home experience flooding.
- Install sewer or septic link check valves. these allow waste to flow only one way so that sewage can’t back up into the standing water in your home.
- Move expensive belongings to a safe location. If you have expensive pieces of furniture or artwork get them to the second floor or the attic if you have this as an option.
- Ensure you have proper insurance. Many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover cleanup or repair of flood damage.
There are many options you can consider when protecting your home and your family from flood damage, some are easier and less expensive than others. Some options require professional flood damage restoration services from an experienced and specially trained company such as SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto. Our technicians have professional-grade equipment that can rid your home of all the standing water and dry your home back out.
8 Tips to Prepare for a Heavy Rain or Windstorm
Be as ready as you can be for coming storms if you live where heavy rains or winds are predicted. Heavy rains lead to water leaks through the roof and ceilings, soaking walls and furniture while flooding floors. How can you best prepare and protect your home and belongings?
8 Tips to prepare for a storm
- Gutters can get clogged with leaves and other debris. Clean out gutters and waterspouts before rain season and after each rain. Leaves and debris are often pushed into gutters as they wash down from the roof after it rains. Look for loose gutters and replace those.
- After a storm, take a quick look to see if any large debris, like tree branches, has fallen on your roof. If you find anything large that needs removal, hire a professional to get rid of it. If there is no sign of debris, from ground level, check your roof for broken, loose, or cracked shingles or tiles and for any bubbling or blistering in shingles or tiles. Use binoculars if need be. If you spot any damage hire a professional for repair.
- Inspect the siding of your home. Check for cracks or holes and seal in any leaks that you come across.
- Weather-strip your home. Windows and doors let in cool air if weather-stripping needs to be replaced. Minimize heat loss and ensure that your weather-stripping is not damaged. Replace if needed.
- Consider a backup generator. If there is a power outage, an emergency generator can keep a few lights and appliances on for a few hours up to 24 hours.
- Cover outdoor furniture, barbecues, and any outdoor equipment with heavy tarps. Secure tarps so that heavy winds do not expose or damage your belongings.
- Make sure your trees are trimmed. Trees weaken with droughts, and when the rain comes, weak trees can snap or uproot. The cities of Manteca and Modesto are susceptible to this more so than other cities as droughts are imminent during summer months and heavy rains come winter months.
- Make sure you have a disaster supply kit. Important documents should be stored in the cloud. Ensure you have home insurance in case your home is flooded even if you are not located in a high-risk area. Anything could happen, a pipe may burst, heavy rain can cave in a roof, etc. Make sure you are covered.
What to Include When Building an Emergency Supply Kit
Storm season is fast approaching and we all must be prepared. It was not that long ago, just in 2016, that South Manteca was in jeopardy of widespread evacuations due to the San Joaquin River threatening to break the banks of the local region. Before a storm strikes prepare yourself at home, at the job site, and even in your vehicle.
Home and Work
Loss of heat, power, phone, and shortage of supplies are your main concerns in a storm. You need at least a few day supplies of the following:
- Extra batteries
- Pet Food
- First-aid supplies
- Heating Fuel
- Fire extinguisher
- Smoke alarm
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Food that doesn’t require refrigeration
- Heat sources such as a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater
Fully check the following to ensure your car is winterized before the winter season begins.
- Check fluid levels
- Ensure lights work properly
- Make sure your heater works
- Test windshield wipers
- Keep gas tanks near full
Keeping your gas tanks near full will assist if you must make an emergency.
Emergency Supply Kit
After winterizing your vehicle, pack a winter storm survival kit and make sure it includes the following items:
- First-aid kit
- Dry clothes
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Battery cables
- Water to drink
- Windshield scraper
- Compass and roadmaps
- Flashlight and batteries
- Mobile phone
- Mobile phone batteries
- Mobile phone chargers: wall plug charger, car charger, and portable charger
- Sand or cat litter in case you need traction
- Water container for your vehicle needs
- High-calorie food that does not need to be refrigerated
- Paper products such as tissue, toilet paper, paper towels
These are just some basic needs to keep you safe until help arrives. Do what you can and be prepared in case an emergency arises.
Most Common Types of Storm Damage
SERVPRO Storm Damage
Thunderstorms cause a lot of harm and the amount of destruction caused by lightening can be unpredictable. Some storms come and go with little effect, and others cause minor damage to the home. Worst-case scenario, storms can cause families to uproot from their homes, causing them to need temporary housing. For a commercial facility, flooding or fire damage from a storm can cause business closure for a few hours, up to weeks or more.
Large amounts of rain with high winds and lightning can be a huge threat to our community and our safety.
Some areas of Modesto and Manteca are more prone to flood damage than others. Just multiple inches of rain can cause major issues. In areas you do not expect flooding, a few inches of rain can easily clog a drainpipe and cause disaster. Flood damage is usually found in homes with basements or in residential and business communities in lower levels of the valley.
Wind causes a lot of destruction. Roof damage is the number one complaint after a windstorm. Shingles become loose over time and without proper roofing materials, your homes and businesses become unprotected. Fencing can fall over, and even worse, a tree can fall atop your home or vehicle causing major damages.
Storms produce dangerous amounts of lightning, causing structural fires. Fires happen quite often especially in places that have been through a long dry spell. Homes and businesses near fields, trees, and vegetation are at higher risk for fire. Modesto and Manteca pose for major concerns because of droughts. Due to droughts, water policy is often stricter than other cities causing Modesto and Manteca to be extra cautious come drier seasons.
When facing damage from severe storms, SERVPRO of Manteca and Modesto is here to assist 24/7. Our team can aid in your storm damage concerns. We are part of an elite nationwide network of 1,700 others who possess a special Disaster Recover Team who can respond right away with additional resources during these major storm events.
Storm Damage can cause Mold
Storms are devastating. Recently there have been some freak storms that have damaged homes severely. If your home has been affected by a storm call SERVPRO of Manteca. Although your home may seem fine residual water can soak into the walls, hardwood, carpets which can eventually lead to unwanted mold as well as an unwanted smell. Mold can have effects on health and is not safe for anyone’s household. If you call SERVPRO we can setup our high-powered air movers and desiccant dehumidifiers that can remove all excess water to prevent mold. If mold has already developed, we have industrial air scrubbers and high strength chemicals to remove the mold and the stench. Skip the hassle and call SERVPRO of Manteca at 209-823-8877 and our skilled and highly technicians will be on their way.
What you can do before we arrive after a flood
When storm damage hits, there is often little a homeowner can do to prevent floodwaters from entering the home. These carry immense power and can seep in through even the smallest cracks. However, when it comes to preventing damage to your home and reducing costs during the restoration process, there are a few steps you can take before a SERVPRO crew arrives. If possible, carry out these tasks before we arrive, but always be mindful of your safety and health.
Put a Barrier Between Furniture and the Floor
One of the easiest ways to mitigate harm to your furniture during storm damage in Manteca is to place a small barrier between your furniture and the floor. Prop up couches, chairs, desks, tables, and anything else you can on top of wooden blocks, bricks, or some other stable object. This effort will help to keep the furniture from coming into any more direct contact with flood water.
Lay Things Out to Dry
If floodwaters have already receded from an area, you can take fabrics and objects there and place them out to dry. This placement is essential for couches and furniture with cushions/pillows because the moisture will instead become trapped inside, causing severe and often irreversible damage. Do not, however, attempt to dry items with a hair dryer or other machine. Instead, try to find a sunny or warm area to place them.
Leave Electricity Alone
Anything electrical in your home presents a major hazard following a flood, so even if you feel that turning something on is necessary, wait until a SERVPRO representative arrives to consult them. If a room is dark and you wish to enter, there may be water damage to the lights or wiring and these may present a hazard. Similarly, avoid using outlets or anything plugged in.
Manteca: What to do if Your House is Flooded
It’s likely that the water affecting your home has been contaminated or is sewer water. Also, depending on how soon you get started, mold can be beginning to grow! Protective wear such as masks, gloves, & work boots should be worn.
Remove Damaged Belongings From Your Home
Gather all damaged items and move them out to the curb. This task can be pretty nasty and time consuming, however if you feel you can get some of this done yourself, you will save some money.
In the event that the amount of water is minimal, you can grab a shop vacuum from your local store and extract as much water as you can yourself. If the amount of water in a home is too much to remove on your own SERVPRO is here to help.
Depending on the year of your property was built, you may need to test for asbestos and lead before you begin demo. If your house is asbestos and lead free then you can personally remove affected flooring and drywall. Carpet and padding can be lifted and taken out of your home. Affected baseboard and/or drywall can be cut out and trashed. Typically, with water loss, tile floors should be removed since its likely that water has gotten under tiles.
Clean & Disinfect
Pine Sol or Lysol mixed with equal part water will work fine. You may want to go over everything twice to be sure all remaining germs are gone from your home. It’s also common to use bleach for disinfecting, many professionals use green products that are very effective and safe to use as well. You should read the labels and wear gloves even if you are using green products.
Get the Air Moving
It only takes 48–72 hours for bacterial and mold growth to begin to spread. If a large amount of microbial growth develops, it can increase remediation costs by thousands of dollars. It’s very important that the drying process start ASAP. Although box fans and dehumidifier are no competition for professional equipment, they can definitely help. Place several fans and a dehumidifier throughout the affected area. You may still need professional such as SERVPRO of Manteca to completely dry out the affected areas but the less time you need professional equipment, the more money you keep in your pocket.
Basements, closets and attics often become a place for those things that don’t get used regularly. Take time at least once a year to go through these areas and get the old clothing and random clutter to the recycling bin. Should the time come, you’ll be glad that mess is not an issue.
Put Items Up High
Boxes and items on the floor can create one big problem when dealing water damage. It’s a great idea to invest metal or plastic shelving units. Wood is easily cleaned but may not be salvageable.
Storing In Bins
Using plastic or rubber bins as a means of storage is a smart idea. They provide an inexpensive and organized option for belongings you want to save. Be sure to secure lids properly.
The best advice I can give you is to use a reputable restoration company such as SERVPRO. Especially if you simply don’t have time to get the work done yourself. Call us at (209)823-8877
Manteca:How to protect your home from flood damage
It is essential to address the situation as soon as possible after your home has sustained water damage following a natural disaster such as a flood or storm. Without the proper water damage restoration services to restore your home and bring it back to its pre-damaged condition, mold can begin to grow and create unpleasant odors, plus it can be detrimental to your health. Every water damage and removal project is unique, but the universal idea is to do a complete and thorough drying before any necessary rebuilding can be done.
You need to be aware as a homeowner how to protect your Manteca home from flood damage. Depending upon the risks of floods in your area, there are many options you can consider, some which are easy to implement and not costly, while others could require professional flood damage restoration services from an experienced and specially trained company such as SERVPRO. Our technicians have professional grade equipment which can rid your home of all the standing water, plus dry your home back out.
Installing drainage systems, sealing low windows, building flood walls and levees or elevating buildings are all things you might consider, depending on your budget. Remember that the height of the electric panel inside your home is regulated by a code and must be a minimum of a foot above the flood elevation. If it is not, call a licensed flood damage contractor so that all your outlets and wiring can be elevated to the correct height.
A floating floor drain plug can help a flood damaged home when the drain pipe backs up. In the case of flood waters going into your sewage system and cause a sewage backup in your home, you need to install a backflow valve.
You should also have an extra insurance policy for flood damage, as homeowners’ policies do not cover the cleanup or repair of flood damage. When an emergency arises, SERVPRO can assist you in talking to your insurance company so you can worry about more pressing things, like your family.
Manteca: Dangerous Things to Look for in Flood Damage
Flood damage is both dangerous and unpredictable, and together, these qualities can create high-risk scenarios in your home even after the disaster has run its course. Homes are susceptible to gas leaks, fires, structural collapse, and other additional disasters even when damage is relatively light, as floodwaters may combine with other prior issues to create much more dangerous situations. One must be alert at all times when entering or inspecting a flood damaged area, so be sure to watch for these early warning signs of serious danger.
Doors that Catch on the Ceiling
One of the most dangerous and difficult to detect dangers in Highland Park flood damage cases is structural instability. It can be difficult to spot where a ceiling or wall is ready to buckle, and too often, it is only after the area has collapsed that anyone realizes the problem. One of the most critical signs of imminent structural collapse may be when doors get stuck on the tops of their frames. As weight causes the frame to sag slightly, the door will not be able to swing as usual. If a door scrapes the top of its frame, don't try to force itself open and be sure to alert a SERVPRO technician.
If you have encountered an area with an especially strong smell emanating from within, be sure to tell a SERVPRO technician right away and describe the odor. Smells are the easiest way to identify a potentially deadly gas leak, or perhaps a long-festering spot of mold growth. These odors will usually be foul, but most importantly, they stand out from others. A flooded home does not often smell good in the first place, so what you are mostly looking for is a sudden change in smell.
Cut Cords, Pipes, or Gas Lines
Any sort of line or pipe may be susceptible to oxidation or physical harm during a flood, and these can create serious hazards in your home. If you spot slashed cables, pipes, or anything that might contain a hazardous substance, exercise extreme caution and alert any nearby technicians.