Recent Storm Damage Posts

Weather Alerts Could Save Your Life During a Disaster | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

a red and white severe weather alert sign If you suspect any damage to your home from a recent storm, call SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett.

Our national weather system uses at least 42 different kinds of weather alerts, split between seven categories depending on the type of event. This is too much information for the average person to comprehend in daily life, much less if they’re sheltering from a dangerous storm.

By knowing the meaning of warnings and advisories that could be issued, you’ll be able to make better decisions during extreme weather. In addition, you can take steps to keep your home protected from storms.

A good base of knowledge about severe weather is good to have, but more importantly, we should be aware of the risks that affect our area most frequently.

How Alerts Are Issued

Most people aren’t aware of how alerts are issued. It begins with the weather forecast, a prediction about future weather patterns. However, multiple factors affect these forecasts, and a lot of data is gathered to measure the severity and characteristics of a storm.

The National Weather Service is our country’s primary organization for all forecasting and issuing potential warnings. Across our nation, there are six offices and hundreds of sub-offices that cover almost the entire landmass. Here in Michigan, we’re covered by the Central Region headquarters, which watches most of the northern USA.

The NWS employs multiple types of personnel to observe and analyze geographical, wind patterns and many other kinds of data. The types of instruments used to collect data will vary based on the kind of weather event, but they always focus on providing accurate forecasts for all Americans.

The Most Important Alerts to Understand

The first thing that everyone should know about severe weather is the meaning of a “watch” and a “warning.” These words are frequently used in all kinds of storms, some being tornadoes, flooding and thunderstorms.

watch will cover large regions, like multiple counties or even states. These alerts are indicating that storms are moving your way, and could become dangerous in the coming hours.

warning is typically only used to cover singular cities or counties, although hurricanes can bring warnings for entire coastlines. These are signs that danger is coming very soon, and you should take steps to be prepared for disaster.

You should be aware of the weather that we see here frequently, as this will allow you to prepare for the most common disasters. In Michigan, East Lansing specifically, we see more than 60 inches of snowfall and only have about 170 sunny days per year, so we see storms almost every other day.

Protecting Your Home During a Storm

Besides knowing your emergency alerts, you can make efforts to prepare your home and mitigate potential damage to your property from weather events.

Clearing your gutters and securing your outdoor furniture is a great place to start. Outdoor furniture is often lifted up by powerful winds and then thrown into the home’s walls, roof or windows.

When the storm is gone, you should take plenty of photos or videos of the damage that your home has suffered. Afterward, give us at SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett a call. We’re always ready to jump into action and help you get back on your feet.

Learn the weather most common in your area, and pay attention to weather alerts so you can be prepared for the dangers ahead.

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

What Makes Storm-Related Flash Floods So Dangerous | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

flash flood over street If your home or business has been damaged by a storm, call SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett today!

Severe weather can be dangerous in many different ways—between lightning strikes, high wind and hail, there are countless ways that storms can cause damage. However, many people are surprised to learn that floods are the most dangerous severe weather incident of all. Floods are second only to heat when it comes to weather-related fatalities in the United States, and flash floods present the biggest risk.

Any type of flooding can be quite dangerous, but when it comes to flash floods, their sudden onset in addition to their ability to impact any area creates a deadly combination. Additionally, because any body of water can overflow during heavy rains, flash floods can impact any area—that is why we encourage people to always be aware of their risks and the top safety tips.

What Makes a Flood a Flash Flood?

A traditional flood will slowly begin to rise, while a flash flood must occur within the first six hours after a storm, but they often happen in as few as three hours. Flash floods tend to be more common in urban areas due to the possibility of blocked storm drains and drainage systems, and they can occur even in areas that are not situated low enough to be a regular flood concern.

What Are the Flash Flood Alert Guidelines?

Because flash floods can come about with little notice, if there is a storm and heavy rain in your area, you should always stay alert to local weather alerts so you have as much notice as possible in case waters near you start to rise.

Officials will issue a flash flood watch for a general area to encourage heightened concern, but if things progress to a warning, you will want to quickly take the proper precautions. If a flash flood emergency is issued, move to higher ground as quickly as you can, as these are rare and deadly conditions.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Flash Flood Risk Level?

It is important to prioritize safety for any severe weather event, but flash floods should be especially revered. Knowing the rules for safety can keep you and your family much safer if the waters suddenly begin to rise:

  • If rain is heavy for an extended period, tune into official weather warning channels.
  • Make sure you have a clear safety plan in place and that your family knows how to execute it.
  • If you come across floodwater, never attempt to cross it by car or on foot.
  • Avoid coming into contact with floodwater, as it can hide electrical currents and contaminants.
  • When evacuating, have alternate routes in mind in case yours is blocked by water.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us.

Responding to a Storm Watch vs. a Storm Warning | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

dark storm clouds If severe weather has damaged your home or business, call SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett today!

Any time severe weather becomes a threat, it is important to be prepared for all the possibilities
it brings. Heavy rains, strong winds, hail, flash floods and tornado threats are all common during
bouts of severe weather, and all of these things can cause damage in addition to increasing the
risk of injury or fatalities.

If severe weather is possible, staying aware of local officials’ weather updates is key, as is
knowing how to respond to them. Understanding alert systems, such as watches, warnings and
emergency sirens for your area, can help you make smart decisions about how to respond and
stay safe when the weather turns nasty.

Understanding a Severe Weather Watch vs. a Severe Weather Warning

A severe weather watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for the severe weather
event to occur. For example, a flash flood watch may be issued during periods of heavy rain, while a tornado watch may be issued when conditions look like those that are often related to tornadoes forming.

A severe weather warning is issued when the event is actively happening—so if flooding is
reported, or if a tornado is spotted on radar or on the ground, a watch would be issued for these
events.

Reacting to a Severe Weather Watch vs. a Severe Weather Warning

Because a severe weather warning means that conditions are favorable but the event is not
actively occurring, a warning being issued is your sign to stay vigilant. Tune into local broadcasts for updates and stay close to a safe area in case you quickly need to take shelter from whatever event is at hand.

When a severe weather warning is issued, that means to seek safe shelter immediately. For a
tornado, this would mean to get to your emergency shelter area. For a flood, this would mean to move immediately to higher ground.

Because time is extremely limited in these situations, it is important that you do not wait until after a watch is issued to plan what you should do—instead, have your safety plan mapped out well in advance so you can quickly take cover when and if necessary.

If you experience damage from severe weather, we are the team you can count on for restoration. We are here 24/7 to respond quickly. Contact us today.

Have You Prepared a Storm Safety Procedure? | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

a dark cloudy sky with lighting strikes off in the distance If you discover storm damage to your home or business, reach out to SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett right away.

Winter storms can be rough here in Michigan, but we shouldn’t forget about the severe weather that comes with spring. These storms can cause events like lightning, rain, winds, flooding and hail, all capable of damaging your home or business. It’s crazy to think about, but there are around 100,000 thunderstorms throughout the United States every year, which is almost 2,000 per week!

In Michigan, we are closely acquainted with extreme weather, but we’re not afraid of it. Disasters like blizzards, nor’easters and even extreme flooding that cost our local community over $2 billion in repairs.

It would be nice to hit a button and get rid of any dangerous weather, but unfortunately, we can’t do that. However, you can— and should—prepare for storms by building an emergency kit, planning a good strategy for communication and taking action to be ready for when storms strike nearby.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

During emergencies, it’s crucial to have proper lines of communication with your loved ones and with your local government. Paying attention to the alerts in your area and knowing the difference between watches and warnings will ensure that you know what the next move is.

Second, it’s a smart idea to have multiple ways to receive weather alerts from officials. Television works great, but storms often knock out the signal, and cellphones always seem to run out of battery right when you need it most. An NOAA weather radio with spare batteries close by is your best bet to stay informed.

Lastly, developing a thorough communication strategy for your family members is key. This lets you stay in touch with loved ones and eases your mind by knowing that they’re safe. For the people in the house, having a specified location to shelter is also important—pick a spot that’s away from any windows like a large closet.

Your Severe Weather Emergency Kit

The term emergency kit seems complex, but it can be simplified by thinking about what you and your family members will need for 72 hours or more of sheltering in place. These kits typically include nonperishable food, a lot of water, working flashlights, extra batteries and first-aid supplies.

These kits should be kept in your designated safe room so that you can access them when you take shelter. By taking this extra step, you will be more prepared for the potential disasters that come from storms.

Your Severe Weather Aftermath Checklist

When you have received the all-clear and it’s safe to leave your safe room, there are a few extra steps in being prepared for severe weather. Addressing your home’s condition comes first, and you need to do a check for property damage.

If you uncover damage during your property check, you can always call us day or night. At SERVPRO of East Lansing/ Haslett, we pride ourselves on being restoration professionals with 24/7 availability to come to your rescue. So when damage happens, reach out to us and have your home or business back to preloss condition as soon as possible.

Finally, after assessing your home for damage, it’s always good to go through your safety plan and look for ways to improve. Explore where things went wrong, or what things went right, and build on that for the next time you face extreme weather. Taking these steps and calling your local experts can help you stay safe and keep your home or business in working order

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the restoration. We’re here 24/7 to spring into action—get in touch with us today.

Storm Watches, Storm Warnings & Other Safety Tips to Note | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

storm clouds Call SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett today!

All too often, severe weather is underestimated. Because thunderstorms often move through areas without causing significant damage, there is a tendency for people to assume that every storm will be minor—unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth.

Storms are powerful and complicated things, and it is important to remember that staying safe is so important.

Safety from severe weather is not something to be taken lightly, and it is much easier to stay safe if you know the proper terminology and what it means for you. Below, we will be looking at the difference between severe weather watches and warnings, and including a few key safety tips so you and your household can stay protected.

The Difference Between Storm Watches and Warnings

What Is a Watch? When a watch is issued, be it for a severe thunderstorm, flood or tornado, that means that conditions for these weather events are favorable—as in, there is a strong chance that they could occur. However, when a watch is issued, the weather event is not actively occurring, and is only possible.

What Is a Warning? When a warning is issued, that means that the weather conditions in question are actively occurring or have become imminent. This means a severe storm has developed, a tornado has been spotted or flooding is happening somewhere within the area, and those in the warning district should quickly get themselves to safety.

Other Safety Tips for Severe Weather

In addition to knowing the difference between a watch and a warning, it is also wise to take note of other safety tips for protecting yourself and your loved ones in the event of severe weather.

  • Know where to shelter, whether at home or out and about, if severe weather becomes imminent. 
  • Keep a weather radio on hand so you can get updates even if cell phone networks fail. 
  • Know where your local shelters are in case you must evacuate your home. 
  • Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your at-home sheltering area so there is no need to leave until it is safe to do so. 

If you have storm damage to your home, you can count on us to help. We are here 24/7 to provide storm restoration services—contact us today to learn more.

Weather Hazards in Michigan as Spring Approaches | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

clounds, rain, sunshine, snow SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett wants to keep your home or business safe this spring!

In terms of total land area, the United States is second only to Russia and Canada (though China is larger if all outlying US territories are excluded). It’s a very large and diverse country.

Because of its sheer vastness, seasonal weather does not follow a one-size-fits-all pattern across the whole country. Throughout the year, distinct regions of the country experience a variety of diverse weather patterns, resulting in a range of weather threats.

With the arrival of spring, warm and cold air masses collide throughout the nation, resulting in extreme weather occurrences. Let’s take a look at what we may expect in various parts of the nation, as well as what we should keep in mind here in Michigan.

Severe rain drenches the Pacific Northwest in the spring, which may result in flooding and water damage to homes. At higher elevations, snow will continue to fall, and the ensuing melting and runoff will create its own concerns.

The Upper Midwest, including Michigan, and all through the Northeast have the longest winters (as you’re surely aware), with frigid weather lasting throughout the season. Michigan has also seen an increase in rain and snowfall in recent years.

The frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation are projected to continue to rise, potentially increasing the frequency and intensity of floods throughout spring. Extreme cold and the threat of snowstorms and blizzards may be expected as far northeast as Maine all the way over to the Dakotas until late spring or early summer, when temperatures begin to rise again.

The southern West Coast, on the other hand, will experience the opposite, with severe heat waves possibly risking lives and property. Additionally, tsunamis caused by tectonic activity can be expected throughout the South Pacific, including Hawaii.

Windstorms, derechos and the risk of wildfires will be major threats across the heartland, from Iowa to Texas. When the winds are high and the weather is dry, wildfires may spread quickly. Accordingly, Tornado Alley, which has a high tornado frequency, is included in this zone.

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in landlocked areas, as well as catastrophic rip currents and hurricanes on the coast late into spring, are all possible in the Southeast region.

Extreme weather poses a significant risk to everybody in the United States, regardless of location. Yours may be different from that of a relative a few states away, but being prepared is always a smart idea.

If extreme weather leaves you with damage from water, fire or other elements, help is a click away. Contact SERVPRO for fast, expert recovery.

What Makes Storm-Related Flash Floods So Dangerous | SERVPRO® of East Lansing/Haslett

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

flooding from a severe storm If your home is damaged due to a storm, SERVPRO of East Lansing / Haslett is here to help. We will get the job done right, contact us today.

Severe weather can be dangerous in many different ways—between lightning strikes, high wind and hail, there are countless ways that storms can cause damage. However, many people are surprised to learn that floods are the most dangerous severe weather incident of all. Floods are second only to heat when it comes to weather-related fatalities in the United States, and flash floods present the biggest risk.

Any type of flooding can be quite dangerous, but when it comes to flash floods, their sudden onset in addition to their ability to impact any area creates a deadly combination. Additionally, because any body of water can overflow during heavy rains, flash floods can impact any area—that is why we encourage people to always be aware of their risks and the top safety tips.

What Makes a Flood a Flash Flood?

A traditional flood will slowly begin to rise, while a flash flood must occur within the first six hours after a storm, but they often happen in as few as three hours. Flash floods tend to be more common in urban areas due to the possibility of blocked storm drains and drainage systems, and they can occur even in areas that are not situated low enough to be a regular flood concern.

What Are the Flash Flood Alert Guidelines?

Because flash floods can come about with little notice, if there is a storm and heavy rain in your area, you should always stay alert to local weather alerts so you have as much notice as possible in case waters near you start to rise.

Officials will issue a flash flood watch for a general area to encourage heightened concern, but if things progress to a warning, you will want to quickly take the proper precautions. If a flash flood emergency is issued, move to higher ground as quickly as you can, as these are rare and deadly conditions.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Flash Flood Risk Level?

It is important to prioritize safety for any severe weather event, but flash floods should be especially revered. Knowing the rules for safety can keep you and your family much safer if the waters suddenly begin to rise:

  • If rain is heavy for an extended period, tune into official weather warning channels.
  • Make sure you have a clear safety plan in place and that your family knows how to execute it.
  • If you come across floodwater, never attempt to cross it by car or on foot.
  • Avoid coming into contact with floodwater, as it can hide electrical currents and contaminants.
  • When evacuating, have alternate routes in mind in case yours is blocked by water.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us.

When Storms or Floods Hit East Lansing/Haslett, SERVPRO is Ready!

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in East Lansing/Haslett!

SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett 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 the East Lansing/Haslett area, 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 517-999-0789

Are you prepared for a power outage?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your family safe with an emergency preparedness kit!

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit

•Nuts

•Crackers

•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods

•Vitamins

•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at https://www.ready.gov/power-outages. When bad weather strikes the East Lansing/Haslett area, knowing what to do until SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett arrives will make a difference.

Call us directly at 517-999-0789.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your East Lansing Home

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett

SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, water or storm damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Learn More About Our Company

February Floods

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

The basement of an Okemos home on the Red Cedar, 5 days after flooding began.

For many people, snagging a piece of waterfront property can be a dream come true. But when accumulated snow melts, or heavy rains ensue, that dream can turn into a nightmare.

In February, Mid-Michigan experienced some of the worst flooding in recent history. The Red Cedar's flood stage is 7 feet, and peaked at 10.3 feet; the Grand River's flood stage is 11 feet, and it peaked at 14.6 feet. The Lansing flood of 1975 reached levels of 12 feet.

There are over 1,700 SERVPRO franchises nationwide, as well as a Disaster Recovery Team and many franchises who participate in Storm Team. SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett has had the opportunity to participate in disasters around Michigan and in Texas during the devastating Hurricane Harvey aftermath. During the Lansing flood, franchises came to help from Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today - 517-999-0789

Staying Safe During a Winter Storm

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

While beautiful, snow covered landscapes can be treacherous.

Although the deep freeze has passed, Michigan's unpredictable winter could throw a few more weeks of frigid temperatures our way. Following these helpful tips from the Red Cross can help keep you, your family, friends, and neighbors safe during a winter storm.

  • Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
  • Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.
  • Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.
  • Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

If you must go outside, protect yourself from winter storm hazards:

  • Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.
  • Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.
  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.
  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.

Prepare Your Mid-Michigan Home for a Winter Storm

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Prepare your home and family for Michigan's upcoming winter season!

Michigan is no stranger to deadly winter storms - take the time this fall to prepare your home and family for this year's winter season!

Trim or Remove Trees

Trees are responsible for the majority of damage to homes and personal property during winter storms. Your homeowner’s insurance may not protect you in the event of fallen limbs or trees. According to insurance company Allstate, your homeowner’s insurance probably will not cover a fallen tree if the tree exhibited prior signs of rot or instability.

  • Trimming: Trimming is far less expensive than full removal. Crews can thin out the branches to reduce the “sail effect” when those high winter winds blow. Trimming can also can balance out the tree’s load and keep one side from being heavier than the other, a condition that may topple the tree.
  • Removing: Tree removal can entail a significant cost, especially in dense, metro areas where mobility is limited. The average cost to remove a large tree hovers in the $1,500 range, not including debris removal. Many communities require that you apply for a tree removal permit or at least put in a written notification. In many cases, the permit or notice must be accompanied by an arborist’s report stating that removal is required.

Check Roof and Flashing Stability

High winds can loosen roof shingles. Walk your roof and inspect it carefully. Shingles that are obviously loose should be replaced by a qualified roofer.

The condition of the flashing – the metal sleeves around the chimney and other roof protrusions – is more difficult to visually determine. Have a contractor or roofer inspect these areas.

Promote Drainage Away from House

When storms hit, massive amounts of water are directed at your house over a short period of time. Re-grade the soil around your house so it declines away from the foundation.

Clean and Repair Gutters and Downspouts

One source of water damage to foundations and basements is downspouts that force water straight into the ground. This can be easily and cheaply fixed by adding plastic downspout drainage lines that deposit the water away from the house. Fix or replace gutters in the summer. Clean gutters in the early fall, as soon as all the leaves are off the trees.

Purchase Ice Melt

In areas prone to freezing weather, walkways and driveways can become dangerously icy. Purchase ice melt in early fall (it may not be in stock in stores earlier than that). Calcium chloride is better than rock salt because it is less damaging to hardscaping and surrounding plants.

Remove Air Conditioners

By the end of summer, window unit air conditioners are no longer needed. A/C units are weak points for water intrusion. Even if there is a tight seal between the unit and the window, water can still enter through the back of the unit. Remove them and stow them away.

Remove Screens and Install Storm Windows

Depending on your climate, you can likely keep the windows open for a month or two past summer’s end. Eventually, though, it is good practice to remove the screens, wash them down, and store them until the following summer. Exterior retrofit storm windows can protect your windows against light debris impact and wind-blown rain, snow, and sleet.

Clean Chimneys for Wood-burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces build up creosote, an oily black substance that can cause chimneys to internally ignite. Hiring a chimney sweep is the most effective way to rid your flue of creosote.

However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) endorses one product, Joseph Enterprise’s Creosote Sweeping Log, as being acceptable for do-it-yourself creosote cleaning.

Prepare Your Home’s Interior and Yourself

Dealing with exterior issues during the summer, when the weather is fair, gives you more time and leeway to tackle interior areas as winter approaches.

Tune-Up Your Heating System

Bringing in a technician to conduct a furnace “tune-up” is like your biannual dentist’s visit for teeth cleaning: you can miss it sometimes, but it is highly recommended that you do every year.

The greatest value in doing the tune-up before winter storms is that you can accomplish it on your own terms. If you wait until your furnace dies during a storm, you will be at the mercy of overtasked HVAC companies, their tight schedules, and their often-inflated pricing.

Learn How to Shut Off the Water Main and Gas

Quick – Do you know where your water main and gas shut-off valves are located? If you cannot answer this question off the top of your head, you need to find out now.

Water main valves are typically located within the house on the perimeter, facing the street. Gas valves are located outside the house near the gas meter. Most gas and water shut-off valves require a special tool that costs less than $15.

Install Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is your protection against fumbling around in the dark when the power goes out. Available for less than $20, these lights stay plugged into outlets so they are always charging. When power to the outlet is cut off, they automatically turn on.

Create a Family Emergency Plan

Creating a family emergency plan is as simple as printing and filling out a form that is available at the FEMA website.

This plan lists phone numbers, addresses, and medical information for all family members. Because both power and cell phone reception can go down in storms, it is valuable to have all this information available in hard-copy form.

Tips courtesy of fix.com

Hurricane Harvey Restoration Work

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

An aerial view of Katy, TX after Hurricane Harvey.

In the days following the horror that was Hurricane Harvey, SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett was assigned to the SERVPRO Storm Team to help with restoration in the Houston area after the massive flooding. Our franchise owner, Bert, and four technicians headed down to Texas to do what they could to restore homes devastated by the storm.

SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett was assigned mainly to the areas of Tomball and Katy, which are north and northwest of Houston. The homes in these areas had experienced indoor flooding anywhere from 1' to 4' high, and the water would take a few days to a week to recede. Even after the water had gone down in the homes, many streets were still flooded at least 2' high up to nearly 4', preventing service vehicles from getting through.

Due to the contamination in the flood waters, anything the water touched would be deemed non-salvageable. Walls, cabinets, furniture, appliances, electronics - everything was lost. This also meant a lot of demolition and repair. Our small crew worked tirelessly tearing out drywall and flooring, and setting equipment to get the homes dried out in an effort to prevent any mold from forming, as well as to get started with repairs.

Our franchise is extremely grateful to be a part of the SERVPRO family, and to be able to take part in opportunities such as this. We've learned a lot about what it takes to come back from a natural catastrophe and are looking forward to continually serving our community.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 517-999-0789

Preparing for a Tornado

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms.

Warmer seasons can bring about destructive tornadoes around mid-Michigan. Peak tornado season for the northern states is late spring through early summer, and most commonly occur between 3:00pm and 9:00pm, but can strike anytime. Tornadoes can develop quickly and without warning, so keeping your home and family prepared for storms and power outages is essential to ensuring everyone remains safe during unpredictable weather.

During storms, keep an eye out for skies turning dark and greenish, watch for large hail, low-lying clouds, and loud roars similar to a freight train. These are danger signs a tornado may be approaching and you should seek shelter immediately.

If you are under a tornado warning and in a structure, get to the lowest level of the building or home. If you are too far from the lowest level to get there in time, go to a small interior room or hallway. Manufactured and mobile homes offer little protection from tornadoes - getting out immediately and to a pre-defined location such as a storm shelter or nearby building. When you're outside and a tornado warning occurs, take cover in a stationary vehicle, covering your head with your arms, a blanket or a coat. If you cannot get inside anywhere, lie in an area noticeably lower than the roadway. Never take cover under an overpass or a bridge!

Be sure to build an emergency preparedness kit in case you're caught in a storm or power outage. Visit ready.gov/kit to see what essentials you should have in your kit. While building your kit, it's a good idea to gather the family and plan a meeting spot in case anyone gets separated during a storm.

Wind, rain and hail can do a lot of damage to your home during a storm. If you find yourself needing emergency tarping or boarding up, call SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett at 517-999-0789. We're here to help.

When Storms or Floods Hit East Lansing/Haslett, SERVPRO is Ready!

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in East Lansing/Haslett!

SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett 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 the East Lansing/Haslett area, 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 517-999-0789

Are you prepared for a power outage?

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Kit

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit

•Nuts

•Crackers

•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods

•Vitamins

•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at https://www.ready.gov/power-outages. When bad weather strikes the East Lansing/Haslett area, knowing what to do until SERVPRO of East Lansing/Haslett arrives will make a difference.

Call us directly at 517-999-0789.

IICRC Certified.. what it means to you.

1/30/2017 (Permalink)

IICRC logos clearly identify certified technicians who have gone through rigorous training.

SERVPRO of East Lansing / Haslett is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of East Lansing / Haslett

SERVPRO of East Lansing / Haslett specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew

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