Recent Storm Damage Posts

Different Types of Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can impact your home in different ways

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

The storm experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!  Call us at 978.744.4545

Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

When storm damage occurs, let SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead help

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Preparing for a Winter Storm

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared for winter storms in Essex County!

Now that it is winter in Massachusetts, we must remember how to prepare for a winter storm. All winter long we get warnings of impending snow. Whether we enjoy the winter season or not, we must be ready at any time for a large amount of snow fall, ice storms, or well below freezing weather.  At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead we are ready 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

As for any type of impending storm it is suggested to have enough food and water for everyone who lives in the home to last at least three days. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 gallons. The food should be food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. It is also suggested that you have a radio that runs on batteries so you can get updates on what is happening even if the power goes out. Additionally, extra batteries, flashlights and candles should be on hand. If you have a fire place, ensure that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected and that you have wood available. A fireplace, kerosene heaters can be used as alternative heat sources.

There are specific things that can be done right before a winter storm hits. You should fill your gas tank to ensure you have enough gas should you get stuck while traveling. Put blankets and additional winter gear in your car. If possible, you should avoid driving during a winter storm. This will lessen the traffic on the roads and the chance of getting stuck or in an accident.

Check your shovels and snow rakes and put them somewhere that is easily assessable. It is important to keep a shoveled path into your home. Should an emergency arise where emergency responders need to come to the home, it’s important for them to have easy access. Spraying your shovel with WD-40 will stop the snow from sticking to your shovel.

 Make sure your cell phones and other electronics are charged and ready for use.

During the storm, should temperatures dip below freezing you should turn all faucets in your home on so they are slowly dripping. This will help keep pipes from freezing, which could save you in the long run from having to clean up water damage. Leaving the cabinet doors open will help your pipes stay warmer. Wrapping towels or newspaper around your pipes to help insulate them should you lose the ability to heat your home.

Should you suffer any damage during a winter storm please call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545.  We are here to help!

Preparing For Hurricane Season

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare your Essex County home for storms.

As the calendar flips into spring and summer, we’re faced with a tough reality: hurricane season 

While this year’s predictions may be milder, there’s still the chance that a hurricane could come crashing through the Massachusetts coast between now and the end of autumn when the season traditionally comes to an end. And any storm that does make landfall can still leave devastation in its wake. That means it’s still important to do everything you can to prepare for a hurricane now so you can handle the emergency should a situation arise.

Prepare Your Home

Hurricanes can cause immense damage to structures in the areas that experience the storm, and you don’t want your home to be among those hit the hardest. Thus, if you want to have your life return to normal as soon as possible, you should take the time and make the effort to protect your home.

At the outset of summer it’s a good idea to trim any trees on your property to remove any dying, thin, or brittle limbs that may fall down or become a risk factor during high winds, especially the ones that are close to your home. You’ll also want to make sure your property’s drainage lines are clear and clog-free so that flood waters have somewhere to drain out to.

Have an Evacuation Plan

The good news about hurricanes is that they often give us significant warning that they’re coming and you’ll be able to prepare to evacuate if you’re directly in the storm’s path. However, it’s extremely helpful to have the necessary supplies and a plan ready to execute. First, always be sure you have a stored supply of enough food and water to last you at least three days, plus personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, and soap. You should also have an emergency kit that includes things like flashlights, blankets, and a battery-operated radio. Instant ice packs are a good idea, and a spare supply of any important medications you or a loved one needs, such as insulin.

You should also have copies of your most important records available in a place where they can easily be packed and brought with you.

And of course, don’t consider leaving any pets or animals behind to “ride out” the storm. If you have larger animals like horses, know where they can be brought and boarded safely that’s out of the way of the storm. For dogs, cats, or other small animals, be sure to bring at least a few days’ supply of food for them, as well as a pet carrier that’s large enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably in. Make sure they have a collar and an ID tag that’s up to date with your latest information.

Likewise, don’t assume a hotel or shelter will accept them automatically. During emergency situations, you may be required to show that their shots and vaccinations are up to date, so be sure you have that ready to go with your important records.

If your home suffers flood or water damage as a result of a storm, let our SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead experts help you set things right again.  Call us today at (978) 744-4545.

Not All Storm Water Is The Same

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water from storms can be harmful

How many of you remember as a kid playing in or around storm water drains or roadside ditches? It was fun, right? While you may have enjoyed splashing around in the waters, you might not realize that storm water like this may actually be contaminated with raw sewage, dangerous chemicals, or harmful bacteria and viruses capable of transmitting dangerous diseases to you.

In this same way, the harmful water that invades your home following a storm can be harmful.

Restoration Depends on Water Type

Specific steps must be taken to reduce property destruction, depending on the type of water damage. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), who sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are three levels or types of water involved in damages. They include:

Category 1: Clean water

This water damage is from sanitary sources, such as an overflowing sink or tub, burst water pipes, failed supply lines to appliances, drinking fountains, or vertical falling rainwater.

Category 2: Grey water 

This water is from sources that could make you uncomfortable or ill if ingested. Washing machine, dishwasher, or urine-tainted toilet overflows belong in this category.

Category 3: Black water

This is the worst classification of water and could cause severe illness if ingested. Sewer backups, flooded rivers, feces-tainted toilet overflows, or stagnant liquid that has bacterial growth are all examples of black water.

Let the Experts Save Your Home and Belongings

Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects or keepsakes may become permanently damaged. The professionals you find at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are trained on how to handle the various types of water damage. Once they arrive on the scene at a home or business, they quickly assess the situation and start the restoration process in these three areas:

  • Aggressive cleaning: Wall cavities and other surfaces are pressure washed with a detergent solution. Salvageable materials are flushed and thoroughly disinfected.
  • Moisture detection: Not all water damage is visible to the naked eye. Water trapped in structural cavities may require sophisticated detection equipment to mitigate odors, prevent mold growth and minimize structural damage.
  • Rapid structural drying: Mold begins growing on soggy surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. Rapid drying, all the way down to the building’s substructure, is necessary to restore pre-flood conditions.

After your home floods, you may think your home and its contents are beyond hope, but many of your furnishings and belongings can be restored. With professional restoration help, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied sooner than you think.

If you experience a water or flood disaster in Essex County, look for SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead… and you'll be sure that everything’s going to be okay.  You can count on  us to take prompt action to save your home and belongings.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Different Types of Storm Damage

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofsalempeabodymarblehead.com for more information on storm damage.

When Storms or Floods Hit Essex County, SERVPRO is Ready!

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Essex County.

SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead 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.

Faster Response

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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Salem, Peabody, Swampscott, Marblehead or Middleton we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at 978.744.4545

Nor'Easters!

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Salem, Peabody and Marblehead!

SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody and Marblehead 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.

Faster Response

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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Salem, Peabody and Marblehead , we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978.744.4545

Variety of Storm Damage

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur in a variety of ways!

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Visit www.SERVPROsalem.com for more information on storm damage.

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Contaminated flood water needs to be handled carefully.

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters more often than not pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it, in reality, makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is why it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open up a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later on can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at 978.744.4545 for mitigation and restoration services.

Emergency Preparedness: Make a Plan!

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Recent emergency evacuation in Houston

In recent years, many forms of disasters have affected the United States. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business, and community.

If you've seen the news, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We've seen tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

Here are three steps to help you prepare and plan in the event that you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services:

1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care - water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, battery-powered radio - for a checklist of supplies, visit www.ready.gov

2. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For sample plans, see www.ready.gov - Work together with neighbors, colleagues, and others to help build community resilience.

3. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. You can find preparedness information by:

- Accessing www.ready.gov to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

- Contacting your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.

- Contacting your local firehouse and asking for a tour and information about preparedness.

Police, fire, and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down, or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for a natural disaster. For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.ready.gov, or call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead; our professionals can help your business prepare for the unexpected by offering an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation. For a customized Emergency READY Plan, contact us at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/MArblehead today, at 978.744.4545

When Storms of Floods Hit, SERVPRO is Ready!

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are in the news as the result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But floods happen from smaller regional storms as we saw in Lynn MA in Sept.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

Faster Response

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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit eastern Massachusetts we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978-744-4545

Air Movement Is Vital For Flood Damage

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Air Movement Is Vital For Flood Damage Repairs

For more than two decades, water damage restorers have been utilizing air moving equipment for the purposes of structural drying. The reason for this is because controlled drying processes depend on evaporation – the transition of liquid water to vapor.

Several different factors influence the rate of evaporation. Most are linked directly to changes in the air around damaged materials. Therefore, the application of air movement at the surface of wet objects is essential for the successful repair of water damage in North Shore homes.

The Control Of Microbial Growth
High powered air movers are very effective when it comes to drying surface water. At SERVPRO, Salem MA they are a critical tool for preventing microbial growth. Practically speaking, if water activity (aw) can be limited to a level below 0.75, the development of microbes is slower. However, if held at a level under 0.65 aw, it is difficult for any microbes to grow, even on the most vulnerable materials.

It means that SERVPRO has to commit to drying all damaged materials in order to reach an equilibrium with an environment below the 0.65 aw cut off. The fastest way to do this is to install air movers and direct clean, dry air over wet surfaces. Crucially, if the exposed surface of hygroscopic substances (plasterboard) get dried quickly but their interior remains wet, microbial growth is still unlikely.

The Even Distribution Of Heat And Air
As the drying process progresses, SERVPRO Salem tightly regulates the humidity, temperature, and airflow within the water damaged space. When air movers get used correctly, they must redirect clean air and support the even distribution of heat to any materials which are still intolerably wet. As the job is nearing completion, the technicians can start to relax humidity and airflow controls, but they must still maintain established drying goals. Moisture tests are carried out periodically to determine how much moisture the materials in the room contain and how long it is likely to take for them to be dried out.

At SERVPRO of Salem MA, we take water damage restoration seriously. By using sophisticated structural drying techniques, our technicians ensure that all excess water, damp, and moisture gets eliminated. 

ICE DAM EDUCATION

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

About ice dams

 

The icicles hanging from your eaves and gutters last year may be a faint memory now. But winter is coming, and along with it one of your home's worst enemies—ice dams. Ice dams are continuous chunks of ice that form along the margins of your roof. While frozen, they're no more trouble than the icicles that hang down. But during the warmer parts of a winter day, water melting off the roof pools behind the ice (Fig. A), then seeps back up under the shingles. Sometimes water can work its way 5 or even 10 ft. back up under the shingles. Eventually it drips through the roof into the soffits (the outside overhangs), walls, and worst of all, onto your ceilings. You'll first see rust spots on drywall fasteners, then perhaps peeling paint, sagging drywall and stains around windows and doors (Fig. A). Insurance companies pay millions of dollars to thousands of homeowners annually to repair the damage. But it's never enough to cover the time and aggravation of getting everything fixed.

Now is the best time to stop ice dams, before winter comes and before they build up. In this article, we'll tell you the best ways to prevent ice dams. And we'll also outline the few options you have once you've got them.

 

Figure A: How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams occur after heavy snowfall when warm air in the attic causes the roof to warm and the snow to melt. Water running down the roof refreezes when it reaches the colder roof edge, forming a mound of ice. The ice traps meltwater, which can seep back up under shingles and drip through the roof into your house, causing wet and stained ceilings and walls, and peeling paint and rot.

 

Stop ice dams with a cold roof

 

Ice dams (and icicles) form when snow melts, runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. This scenario is often the result of a warm attic. In most homes, heat escapes through ceilings into the attic and warms the wood and shingles directly above it (Fig. A). Although the outdoor temperature is below freezing, the snow melts over the warmed section of roof. When the meltwater runs down the roof, it hits the cold edge not warmed by the attic. There it freezes, creating a rim of ice. This rim can grow, trap more water behind it, and bingo—you have a full-fledged ice dam.

The key to preventing ice dams is simply to keep your attic and roof cold. After a snowfall, a cold roof will have a thick blanket of snow. A warmer roof, however, will soon have clear spots where the snow has melted off, and may well have icicles hanging from the eaves.

To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:

1. Close up attic bypasses
In the average home, about one-third of the heat loss is through the ceiling into the attic. And most of that loss comes from air leaks caused by unblocked walls, gaps in drywall, and cracks around light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, access hatches and other ceiling penetrations (Fig. A). Air leaks can be tough to stop. You have to climb into your attic, pull or rake back insulation, and plug the leaks using foam, caulk and other methods. Low roof angles make some air leaks difficult to reach. This work is definitely a cool weather project; your attic will be unbearably hot otherwise. Always wear a dust mask, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to help prevent skin irritations caused by insulation.

Bonus: By stopping air leakage to mitigate ice dams, you'll save energy and reduce both your heating and your air conditioning bills.

2. Measure your attic insulation level
While you're in the attic, check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12 to 14 in. of fiberglass or cellulose (Fig. B). Add more if you have less than 8 in. and have had ice dam problems in the past. Blown-in cellulose and fiberglass are usually better than hand-placed batts, because they fill more tightly around rafters, joists and other obstructions, leaving fewer gaps. It's usually worth hiring a professional for this job; you probably won't save much by doing it yourself. However, if you can't find a good price, you can rent a blowing machine from a rental yard or home center. Often, the use of the machine is free with the purchase of insulation.

3. Add roof and soffit vents
Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process (Fig. B). The minimum ventilation area (size of the openings) should be about 1 sq. ft. of vent per 300 sq. ft. of ceiling area (attic floor area), when half the vent area is low on the roof and half is high. Actually figuring all this out is a bit complex; you'd have to examine your existing vents to find the area of each, which is stamped on them. As a rule of thumb, put an 8 x 16-in. vent in the underside of the overhang (soffit) in every other rafter space (Fig. B). (If you're planning to rebuild the soffit, install a continuous 2-1/2-in.-wide “strip” vent, because it will look better.) And install a continuous ridge vent along the peak (Fig. B). If the ridge on your roof is much shorter than the roof edge—on pyramid-shaped roofs, for example—add the common square-shaped roof vents near the peak (Fig. B). Add enough so their ventilating area is about equal to the area of soffit vents. This might deliver a whole lot more ventilation than the minimum requirement, but don't worry. You're unlikely to have too much ventilation.

In addition:

  • Some roof types are difficult to vent, especially roofs with angled ceilings and no attic, roofs with skylights, flat roof dormers and low-slope roofs. You may have to rely on the secondary strategies we list in the next section.
  • Insulation, especially the blown-in type, can block the airflow (Fig. A). Take a long 1x2 up into the attic with you and poke it through the spaces between rafters over the exterior walls to make sure they're open. Baffles (Fig. B) usually prevent this problem. If you don't have them, add them before installing additional insulation. A shot of air from a compressor hose from the outside will open plugged soffit vents.
  • Assessing the venting is tricky on homes that have had aluminum retrofitted over old soffits. If you have persistent ice damming in one area, you might have to remove several aluminum sections to check the venting.

Reminder
Climbing onto your roof can be dangerous. Follow safety procedures.

 Keep the roof cold to minimize ice dams. Upgrade attic insulation to about R-40, plug up air leaks to the attic and improve attic ventilation.

What Causes Lighting

2/17/2017 (Permalink)


Lightning is an electric current. Within a thundercloud way up in the sky, many small bits of ice (frozen raindrops) bump into each other as they move around in the air. All of those collisions create an electric charge. After a while, the whole cloud fills up with electrical charges. The positive charges or protons form at the top of the cloud and the negative charges or electrons form at the bottom of the cloud. Since opposites attract, that causes a positive charge to build up on the ground beneath the cloud. The grounds electrical charge concentrates around anything that sticks up, such as mountains, people, or single trees. The charge coming up from these points eventually connects with a charge reaching down from the clouds and - zap - lightning strikes!

Stronger Storms in US

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future.

The new approach, published today in Journal of Climate, uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations. When applied to one simulation of the future effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, the framework helped clarify a common discrepancy in model forecasts of precipitation changes.

"Climate models all predict that storms will grow significantly more intense in the future, but that total precipitation will increase more mildly over what we see today," said senior author Elisabeth Moyer, associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and co-PI of the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP). "By developing new statistical methods that study the properties of individual rainstorms, we were able to detect changes in storm frequency, size, and duration that explain this mismatch."

While many concerns about the global impact of climate change focus on increased temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns could also incur severe social, economic, and human costs. Increased droughts in some regions and increased flooding in others would dramatically affect world food and water supplies, as well as place extreme strain on infrastructure and government services.

Most climate models agree that high levels of atmospheric carbon will increase precipitation intensity, by an average of approximately 6 percent per degree temperature rise. These models also predict an increase in total precipitation; however, this growth is smaller, only 1 to 2 percent per degree temperature rise.

Understanding changes in storm behavior that might explain this gap have remained elusive. In the past, climate simulations were too coarse in resolution (100s of kilometers) to accurately capture individual rainstorms. More recently, high-resolution simulations have begun to approach weather-scale, but analytic approaches had not yet evolved to make use of that information and evaluated only aggregate shifts in precipitation patterns instead of individual storms.

To address this discrepancy, postdoctoral scholar Won Chang (now an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati) and co-authors Michael Stein, Jiali Wang, V. Rao Kotamarthi, and Moyer developed new methods to analyze rainstorms in observational data or high-resolution model projections. First, the team adapted morphological approaches from computational image analysis to develop new statistical algorithms for detecting and analyzing individual rainstorms over space and time. The researchers then analyzed results of new ultra-high-resolution (12 km) simulations of U.S. climate performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) at Argonne National Laboratory.

Analyzing simulations of precipitation in the present (2002-2011) and future (years 2085-2094), the researchers detected changes in storm features that explained why the stronger storms predicted didn't increase overall rainfall as much as expected. Individual storms become smaller in terms of the land area covered, especially in the summer. (In winter, storms become smaller as well, but also less frequent and shorter.)

"It's an exciting time when climate models are starting to look more like weather models," Chang said. "We hope that these new methods become the standard for model evaluation going forward."

The team also found several important differences between model output and present-day weather. The model tended to predict storms that were both weaker and larger than those actually observed, and in winter, model-forecast storms were also fewer and longer than observations. Assessing these model "biases" is critical for making reliable forecasts of future storms.

"While our results apply to only one model simulation," Moyer said, "we do know that the amount-intensity discrepancy is driven by pretty basic physics. Rainstorms in every model, and in the real world, will adjust in some way to let intensity grow by more than total rainfall does. Most people would have guessed that storms would change in frequency, not in size. We now have the tools at hand to evaluate these results across models and to check them against real-world changes, as well as to evaluate the performance of the models themselves."

New precipitation forecasts that include these changes in storm characteristics will add important details that help assess future flood risk under climate change. These results suggest that concerns about higher-intensity storms causing severe floods may be tempered by reductions in storm size, and that the tools developed at UChicago and Argonne can help further clarify future risk.

 

 

Stronger Storms in US

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future.

The new approach, published today in Journal of Climate, uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations. When applied to one simulation of the future effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, the framework helped clarify a common discrepancy in model forecasts of precipitation changes.

"Climate models all predict that storms will grow significantly more intense in the future, but that total precipitation will increase more mildly over what we see today," said senior author Elisabeth Moyer, associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and co-PI of the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP). "By developing new statistical methods that study the properties of individual rainstorms, we were able to detect changes in storm frequency, size, and duration that explain this mismatch."

While many concerns about the global impact of climate change focus on increased temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns could also incur severe social, economic, and human costs. Increased droughts in some regions and increased flooding in others would dramatically affect world food and water supplies, as well as place extreme strain on infrastructure and government services.

Most climate models agree that high levels of atmospheric carbon will increase precipitation intensity, by an average of approximately 6 percent per degree temperature rise. These models also predict an increase in total precipitation; however, this growth is smaller, only 1 to 2 percent per degree temperature rise.

Understanding changes in storm behavior that might explain this gap have remained elusive. In the past, climate simulations were too coarse in resolution (100s of kilometers) to accurately capture individual rainstorms. More recently, high-resolution simulations have begun to approach weather-scale, but analytic approaches had not yet evolved to make use of that information and evaluated only aggregate shifts in precipitation patterns instead of individual storms.

To address this discrepancy, postdoctoral scholar Won Chang (now an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati) and co-authors Michael Stein, Jiali Wang, V. Rao Kotamarthi, and Moyer developed new methods to analyze rainstorms in observational data or high-resolution model projections. First, the team adapted morphological approaches from computational image analysis to develop new statistical algorithms for detecting and analyzing individual rainstorms over space and time. The researchers then analyzed results of new ultra-high-resolution (12 km) simulations of U.S. climate performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) at Argonne National Laboratory.

Analyzing simulations of precipitation in the present (2002-2011) and future (years 2085-2094), the researchers detected changes in storm features that explained why the stronger storms predicted didn't increase overall rainfall as much as expected. Individual storms become smaller in terms of the land area covered, especially in the summer. (In winter, storms become smaller as well, but also less frequent and shorter.)

"It's an exciting time when climate models are starting to look more like weather models," Chang said. "We hope that these new methods become the standard for model evaluation going forward."

The team also found several important differences between model output and present-day weather. The model tended to predict storms that were both weaker and larger than those actually observed, and in winter, model-forecast storms were also fewer and longer than observations. Assessing these model "biases" is critical for making reliable forecasts of future storms.

"While our results apply to only one model simulation," Moyer said, "we do know that the amount-intensity discrepancy is driven by pretty basic physics. Rainstorms in every model, and in the real world, will adjust in some way to let intensity grow by more than total rainfall does. Most people would have guessed that storms would change in frequency, not in size. We now have the tools at hand to evaluate these results across models and to check them against real-world changes, as well as to evaluate the performance of the models themselves."

New precipitation forecasts that include these changes in storm characteristics will add important details that help assess future flood risk under climate change. These results suggest that concerns about higher-intensity storms causing severe floods may be tempered by reductions in storm size, and that the tools developed at UChicago and Argonne can help further clarify future risk.

 

 

Hurricane Tips

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane Tips

General Hurricane Tips

June to October is Hurricane Season. Below are some tips to follow whether you own a home, RV, boat, car, or all of them! You can see a storm coming by the change in color of the sky (often greenish), large hail, low-flying clouds, and a roar like a freight train.

HOME

It is best to have a plan in place regarding where you are going to go when a hurricane hits. While they may be intriguing to watch, the best place is NOT outside. Your basement or under a set of stairs are great places to wait out the storm. If this is not available, the bottom floor of any building will work.

CAR

Keep your car indoors if possible. Tape up the windows and door with tarps and keep away from any objects that could damage the car if they were to fall on top of it.

During an emergency, gas stations will often be closed, so always make sure you have at least half a tank of gas to get away instantly.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out 72 hours, just in case help cannot arrive right away. These supplies can also be stored in the trunk (items like a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and medication can stay there at all times.)

Make sure your car is in proper shape. Have a full tank of gas, wiper blades, and tires are ready to go.

Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep your charger with you.

Avoid driving in deep waters.

BOAT

For your boat, remove non-secure items, electronics, excess gear, valuable, and important documents.

Make sure all openings are clear of debris.

Double all lines that are securing your boat to its securing space.

RV

With your RV, do not drive it during the storm as it is more vulnerable to higher/stronger winds.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, but empty holding tanks, turn off propane cylinders and cover the regulator.

Make sure all documents are in a waterproof bag and with you at all times.

Life can be unpredictable, but having plans in place help you with whatever may come.

As always, once the storm passes, contact:  SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead at 978-744-4545
to help make it “Like it never even happened.”®

www.SERVPROsalem.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------