Recent Storm Damage Posts

3 Tips To Avoid a Flooded Basement

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Large crack in a reinforced concrete foundation and brick wall Performed regularly inspections to the exterior of your foundation

Factors That Can Cause a Flooded Basement

Knowing what factors can cause a flooded basement is the first step toward preparing for the unthinkable. Your home may be the priciest investment you'll ever make, so it pays to be proactive. You may already have a sump pump for dealing with an influx of water, but inspecting these areas around your house can also assist in warding off an unexpected basement flood.

1. Foundation Cracks

Visual inspections of the exterior foundation, as well as your basement’s walls and floor, should be performed regularly. Excessive rain and insufficient waterproofing systems can cause saturated earth to push water through foundation cracks. Concrete shrinks and expands with changes in temperature and moisture levels. Therefore, the repair solution must be flexible enough to move with the wall, yet sturdy enough to keep the crack sealed. Caulk, hydraulic cement and waterproof paint are a few options for sealing cracks.

2. Gutters and Downspouts

Make sure your gutters are cleaned regularly and your downspouts are properly positioned to carry water away from the foundation. Clogged gutters can give your sump pump a workout. Water will spread unevenly, causing an unnecessarily large volume of water to enter the sump pit. This forces the pump to work harder, potentially burning out its motor. Clean and well-maintained gutters and downspouts can actually prolong the life of the pump, requiring less pump maintenance or replacement.

3. Landscaping

Have you noticed water pooling around your home after a good rain? Even small changes to your landscaping, such as a new flower bed, can cause drainage issues. Follow the slope of your yard to discover problem areas. Either grading the property or installing a French drain may help solve the issue.
It’s best to be proactive and prepared when it comes to the potential for a basement flood. Regularly inspecting your home in Cedar Brook, NJ, inside and out, can reduce the risk. However, keeping your sump pump in good working order and the wet/dry vac easily accessible for any emergency also provides significant benefits. If things seem overwhelming, be sure to call on water damage cleanup professionals for assistance.

Commercial Storm_43_Flood Preparation Tips

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

A pile of sanbags It’s important to remember that sandbags only work for water under 2-feet tall

Whether you live in an area prone to flooding in Williamstown, NJ, or want to be preventing in case of a flash flood, having a plan in place before an even occurs can help reduce flood damage. Ensuring the safety of people should always top the list. Once an evacuation or flood plan is in place, protect your assets with the following steps.

Turn Electricity Off

At the first sign of floodwaters, even if they appear nowhere near outlets, turn of the electricity. This will not only ensure the safety of everyone present, it will also prevent the risk of a fire.

Flood Barriers

If possible, keep sandbags onsite or invest in a flood barrier. If using sandbags, only fill them hallway and layer them like bricks directly against the area you want to protect. It’s important to remember that sandbags only work for water under 2-feet tall.

Raise Valuable and Hazardous Items

Always store important documents and equipment on higher ground. If your business is on the ground floor, invest in shelving or other fixtures that can keep precious items off the ground. Vital paperwork should also be copied and stored offsite. Cleaning supplies, paint, oil and other hazardous materials should be kept at a higher elevation. If they are on the ground and not properly closed, they could mix with the floodwaters.

Watch the Sewer

When waters are flowing, they can turn sewers into raging waters that begin to overload systems and cause severe storm damage. As the flooding makes the water rise, it can push sewage up through basements. Ensure your building has a cap or sewer plug to reduce sewage from entering your business.
Once the flooding subsides and everyone is safe, these steps can help protect vital elements of your business. Even if items are damaged, a restoration professional can help you get your business back on track.

Using Landscaping to Reduce Flooding

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Backyard with landscaping. There are many trees, plants and red, pink and white flowers Use landscaping to reduce flooding in your Berlin, NJ home

Landscaping may provide some curb appeal to your home, but it also can be used to protect it from outside flooding. When the downpours come, which it will in Berlin, NJ, thoughtful placement of plants, shrubs, mulch and trees can reduce soil erosion and absorb stormwater runoff.

Landscaping Tips

Instead of fretting if the next rain storm will be the one to flood your basement, consider some of the following to keep the water outdoors.

Level Your Yard – If your yard slopes, ensure water is sloping away from the home. This may also provide an opportunity for planting new grass, which has root systems that can better absorb water.
Use Swales – Whether natural or created, these depressions can help redirect how water drains. They can be designed to lead to trees or gardens that love the extra moisture.
Consider a Rain Garden – Once you know where your water is draining, a rain garden can help absorb it instead of creating tunnels or seeping into the soil around the foundation. It’s best to use native plants known for high moisture tolerance. Best yet, this kind of garden needs minimal watering.
Add Mulch – This wood pieces, which are available in an array of colors, help keep soil from eroding and absorb water.

Additional Solutions

If your home is prone to outside flooding, avoid rain drainage by considering adding some extra protection to your home.

Rain Diverter – Adding this to your downspout will help direct rain away from the house.
Rain Barrel – Used along with the downspout, they collect water that can be used for hydrating lawns and gardens, which may mean potential utility savings.
Sump Pump – Although more of an investment, if your home is prone to flooding, this may be a good solution. These systems are designed specifically for flooding and keeping basements dry.

Instead of dealing with outside flooding penetrating your home, consider the many cost-effective alternatives available. If water does get inside, a professional can clean up the mess and work with you to develop a plan to keep it from happening again.

Flood Prevention in Large Cities

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Thames barrier in England

Flood Prevention in Large Cities

High water levels after a storm can cause severe flood damage. Lowlands and coastal areas are particularly vulnerable.
Many paved areas do not have proper drainage, which can lead to a buildup of water on city streets. Even traditional levees and dams are insufficient.
While an emergency restoration services company can help with flood cleanup, preventing storm damage entirely ensures that businesses continue running after a weather disaster. That is why some cities have implemented advanced technologies to keep out floodwaters.

Oosterschelde, Hagestein Weir and Maeslantkering in the Netherlands

Since 60 percent of Holland's population lives below sea level, it is no surprise that the Netherlands is known for its incredible flood prevention systems. One of these is called the Oosterschelde, or the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier. These movable gates helped lower the tidal height.
The Hagestein Weir, meanwhile, is a movable dam that blocks high water from the Rhine River. It features two arched gates that can be rotated open or closed. This weir has been in place since 1960 and has inspired similar structures around the world.
A more modern structure is the Maeslantkering, or Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier. It features tanks that fill up as water rises. The weight of this water then keeps the walls of the barrier closed.

Watergates in Japan

As an archipelago, Japan is also prone to flooding. The country thus utilizes canals and sluice-gate locks. It also has numerous water gates that contain hydraulic motors. These gates can thus continue running during power outages.

Thames Barrier in England

The Brits created a hollow steel barrier to block high water from the Thames River. The revolving gates typically remain open so ships can get through but close during major storms.
Perhaps some of these technologies will eventually make their way to Clementon, NJ. In the meantime, property owners will have to rely on more old-fashioned techniques to stop flooding and prevent the need for storm cleanup.

Let Us Handle Your Storm Worries

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown will go the extra mile to handle your flood disaster from start to finish. As soon as the storm has ended, we will be ready for when you call. The longer you wait to call, the more damage will occur. Your health and safety is paramount, as well as the home's structure.

The Bottom Line

A flooded home can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home's integrity. It's worth making a call to SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We're available 24 hours a day, and we are preferred vendors to many National Insurance Companies. And-we will bill your insurance directly-one less thing for you to worry about.

Call today (856) 728-7350

Tips and Practices

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

It's impossible to prevent storms from occurring but you can control how you keep your property. Ensuring your property is kept in the best possible condition by adhering to these tips and practices, you will have some solid peace of mind.

  • Never store items next to heaters or any open flame.
  • Check your fire extinguisher every year.
  • Inspect and clean fireplace chimney regularly.
  • Do not overload extension cords/outlets.
  • Check smoke detector batteries yearly
  • Inspect and clean furnace every year.
  • Check washing machine hoses and dryer vents.
  • Turn off water when going on vacation.
  • Turn off all outside water in the winter.
  • Do not put water on a grease fire, instead use a lid or flour to prevent further damage.

SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown can help you in your time of need. We're just a phone call away (856) 728-7350 and can give you the peace of mind that is needed in a time of a crisis situation.

Winter Storm - Be READY

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Winter is here if we like it or not and being prepared is the key to surviving a bad storm. Some basic things you should need is an emergency home and care kit and emergency contact list.

Emergency Home Kit List

  • Water and food for family and pets
  • Warm Clothes and Blankets
  • Flashlight
  • Candles and Matches
  • Pocket Knife
  • Emergency Plan

Emergency Car Kit List

  • Flashlight
  • Warm Blanket
  • First Aid Kit
  • Extra Antifreeze
  • Bottle Water
  • Read to Eat Snacks

Emergency Contact List

  • Family Members
  • Local Evacuation Shelters (people and pets)
  • Out-of-State Contacts
  • Primary Physician
  • Local Hospital
  • Insurance’s
  • SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown (856) 728-7350 for you property damages

Remember SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown  is here 24/7 for your winter storm property damages. The quicker you call us, the quicker we can make it “Like it never even happened”

Berlin Residents We Specialize in Flooded Basements by Storms

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

When storms occur, a basement can flood at any time. Most flooding occurs during a heavy rainfall storm. Basements are always very prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. All that it takes is a moderate storm to create a flooded basement.

This could cause:

  • A blocked or failed sewerage pipe
  • Heavy Rain causes surface water to pool around your home.
  • Storm Sewer Backup.
  • Sanitary Sewer Backup.
  • Foundation drainage failure.
  • Water supply-line break or hot water tank failure

If storm waters are not handled properly, your health and safety will be at risk, and cause severe damage to your home's structure. Remember, the longer you wait - the worse the problem will get.

Call SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown Today (856) 728-7250 

Prepare Your Homes for Winter Storms

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again and we here at  SERVPRO of Berlin / Williamstown want you n your homes to be prepared for the brutal cold of winter storms. It is not something anyone looks forward to but it is best to be prepared.  

Follow these tips recommended by to prepare yourself and your home for winter.

Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.

Prepare You Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
  • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
  • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.

Follow these recommended tips and you will be prepared for those cold winters’ days. If you are ever in need for storm damages please be prepared and save our number in your phones now SERVPRO of Berlin / Williamstown (856) 728-7350 we are here 24/7.

How Storm Damage Restoration Professionals Can Help You

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

If you're dealing with storm damage it is imperative to get professional assistance as soon as possible. You need to act fast and hire a restoration company that has a well established history of providing excellent service to home and business owners. SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown is that team that strives to make your damage “like it never even happen.”

Storms can cause rain, wind, hail, ice, and snow which can damage properties in many ways. These damages can result in huge repair cost if the proper team is not restoring the loss. Our team cares about what you have been through and ensuring you get professional service.

Don’t let a storm damper you day call SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown at (856) 728-7350.