Recent Storm Damage Posts

Contaminated Water after a Storm

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning Up Flood Water

Should you experience a flood in your home after a bad storm or hurricane, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO® of Lake Charles are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise. We have been a trusted name in safety and properly restoring homes and businesses for almost 15 years! We are here to help!

Storm Checklist

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Safety

It’s Storm Season in Southwest Louisiana and here are a few tips to help keep you safe in a storm event:

  • Always keep a battery-powered radio in your home so that you can tune to radio stations if you lose electricity. Check or change the batteries frequently. 
  • Keep a flashlight in every room of your home! Check the batteries monthly,  and replace them as needed.
  • As a safety precaution, before leaving the house on vacation, unplug all electrical appliances except for those lights connected to automatic timers.
  • If you live in a storm-prone area, nail down roof shingles or use adequate adhesive to keep them from blowing off in a violent wind. For roofs with shingles that are not the seal-down type, apply a little dab of roofing cement under each tab.

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 and let us make it "Like it never even happened."

Storm Shutters Help Protect Your Property from High Winds

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Protect Your Home From High Winds

In areas prone to high winds, residents often look for ways to protect their homes from damage. If your home is located in Lake Charles, adding storm shutters to your property can not only provide protection but could also increase your property value. Below is a list of some of the shutter solutions most frequently chosen by homeowners, so you can see which option may be right for your property.

1. Storm Panels

Other than boarding up your windows with plywood, storm panels are one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect your home from high winds. These panels are removable during the hurricane off-season, but when in use, slide onto either permanent tracks or bolts installed around your windows. At a cost of only $7-$10 per square foot, aluminum storm panels can provide solid protection without breaking the bank.

2. Accordion Style

An accordion-style option has a similar look to a storm panel when in use but is folded and stored in a permanent box near the window until you need it. The cost ($15 to $20 per square foot) is about double that of a storm panel, but it is less burdensome to operate each year.

3. Bahama Style

Bahama-style storm shutters can be one of the most aesthetically pleasing choices and are sometimes used on homes for decorative purposes only. They are permanent fixtures that prop open when not in use, then lowered and secured when needed for protection. Priced around $20 to $30 per square foot, they could be a beautiful and functional option for your home.

4. Roll-Down Style

At $35 to $50 or more per square foot, roll-down-style shutters are more expensive than other options but can provide the most security and ease of use. Operated by a hand crank or sometimes with just the touch of a button, they roll up into a permanently installed box when not needed.

Restoring your home after damage from a storm will involve the help of experienced professionals, so taking extra measures to secure your home can be a worthwhile investment. Shutter options like the ones listed above can help reduce the damage to your property during high winds.

How to be Prepared during a Power Outage

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

When electrical power goes out unexpectedly, it is considered a power outage. In today's society, it's hard to imagine functioning without any electricity. The tips below will help you be ready if you happen to lose access to power.

A power outage can:

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination
  • Force retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other service businesses to close
  • Disrupt communication, the ability to cook, use water, and utilize transportation options

How to Protect Yourself During a Power Outage

  • Limit the amount of time you open your freezers and refrigerators. By keeping the cold air trapped inside, you food will keep from spoiling. 
  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home as this could lead to extensive fire damage.
  • If it is safe to travel, go to an alternate location for heat and cooling.
  • Fuel may become an issue - only use generators outdoors and away from windows if you absolutely need it.

Prepare for a power outage sooner rather than later. By taking inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, you will be able to determine what is absolutely necessary in the time of a power outage. Ensure that you have flashlights with extra batteries, a thermometer in your refrigerator to monitor temperature, electrical equipment charged, and gas tanks full.

If you experience storm damage, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133. No matter what your situation, we are always "Here to help!"

Flood Tips

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Storm season in Lake Charles, LA., brings several possible challenges to homeowners. One of the main concerns is flood safety. You can't control the weather, but you can take some precautions.

Tips To Protect Your House.

Elevate Items for Flood Safety

Electricity and water don't mix. One of the most sensible safety tips starts with identifying the flood line. Once you know how far water is likely to rise, you can more easily safeguard the electrical items both inside and outside your home:

  • Sockets
  • Wiring
  • Circuit breakers
  • Air conditioner units
  • Generators

These and other electrical appliances should be placed a foot above the flood line if possible. It also doesn't hurt to elevate the things in your basement that are likely to become a hazard if they get wet. By keeping electrical items out of the way of potential floods, you can minimize a lot of damage.

Maintain Sewer To Prevent Blockages

Regular sewer maintenance is always important, but it's especially crucial during storm season. Excess flooding from a heavy downpour can overtax municipal drains, causing a backup. If your home already has sewer problems, this can lead to some unpleasant results in your bathroom or kitchen.

One way to protect your home from a flooded city sewer is to install valves to prevent backflow. Check or flap valves provide a one-way seal that keeps wastewater flowing outward. Manually operated gate valves provide even better protection. No matter what kind of valve you choose, you need one at every point where your plumbing connects to the sewer line.

Maximize Water Flow Away From Home

The best way to ensure flood safety is to keep the water from coming toward your house in the first place. Flood restoration specialists recommend that you upgrade your landscaping to slope away from your house so that pooling water doesn't encroach on it during a heavier storm. Keep drains, downspouts, and gutters clean so that water flows easily off your roof and away from your foundation.

Sometimes water rushes toward your house because it floods the street and simply has nowhere else to go. If this happens, contact your county department that is in charge of street maintenance to report the problem and inquire about what can be done to fix it. After all, if it affects your house, it probably is a nuisance to your neighbors as well.

Protect Your Foundation from Flooding

Floodwater will seep into cracks in your foundation any chance it gets. This is one of the reasons it's so important to inspect your foundation and repair any damage found as soon as possible. You can also install valves that direct the flow of water through designated paths through the building so that it doesn't rise and cause damage.

Placing barriers around entryways and the perimeter of your foundation is another way to flood-proof your home when a storm is on its way. Sandbags and inflatable barriers can be used to block extra water.

Knowing how to protect your home from flooding empowers you as a homeowner. Follow these flood safety tips to prevent as much damage as possible during a storm.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Cold weather poses a difficult challenge to all property owners. Ice, snow, and sleet can cause havoc on your roof, siding, driveways, and walkways. Quick action to deal with winter storm damage is essential in protecting your precious property. If you're questioning how to handle storm damage, read the tips below for some guidance.

Types of Winter Storm Damage

Flooding - Cold snaps and freezes and damage pipes and cause them to burst. This expulsion of water can lead to severe water damage and flooded areas that will need immediate emergency water mitigation.

Roof Leaks - From ice dams to heavy snow and ice breaking through your shingles, winter storms can be harsh on your roof. With holes in your shingles or blockages in your pipes, it leaves your property exposed to moisture damage.

Fires - Whether your tree ignites or your fireplace is left unattended and gets out of hand, fires can often happen during a winter storm.

Tips For When a Winter Storm Strikes

  • Remain calm. In times of emergency, it's hard not have your blood pressure raise. It's important to make good decisions when your property is under duress so that it can be repaired and taken care of properly.
  • Take proper safety measures. If water damage has occurred, take the time to shut off the water. If a fire has gotten out of hand, use an extinguisher if possible or leave the premises immediately.
  • Document Any Losses. Be sure to take notes and photos of anything that has been affected by winter storm damage. This list will be exceptionally useful in making insurance claims, smoothing out the process in the future.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company - Call your agent to get the process of filing a claim started. Leave everything in place, except for what must be moved for safety reasons until the adjuster comes to document what happened.
  • Make A Plan Now. Knowing what to do in a water storm damage emergency is essential for swiftly and smoothly restoring your property. By creating a plan you will be able to make smart and efficient decisions when storm damage occurs.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Here Are Some Preparation Tips

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities. One of them is storm preparedness. Hurricanes in Lake Charles, La. can be particularly dangerous, so you need to make sure your building is ready for excessive rain and winds. 

Contact Information
You should have an emergency contact list for everyone on your property. The list should include:

  • Names
  • Individuals with special needs
  • Email addresses
  • Cell and home phone numbers

Documentation
Once the hurricane is over, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer can often help you with storm-related expenses, including remediation and cleanup services.
To expedite the claims process, you should take time-stamped videos or photos of your property prior to the storm. The pictures should document the exterior of the premises and any common areas. Store the images off-site or back them up digitally so you can show them to the claims adjuster.

Maintenance
Cleaning the exterior of your property is important for storm preparedness. Before the storm arrives, you should empty the dumpster and secure any large outdoor items. Be sure to trim trees close to the building, as well.

Staff Delegation
As the hurricane approaches, make sure all of your staff members know their responsibilities. Front-desk workers, managers and engineers should remain on-site for as long as possible so they can assist everyone in the building. Once the winds increase, essential employees should work together to mitigate damage to HVAC systems, water pumps and other important equipment.
If a mandatory evacuation is put into place, none of your staff should stay on the premises. Before your employees leave, give them a phone number or email address that they can contact to find out about returning to work. As the property manager, you should be the last person to evacuate the property.
Storm preparedness is a necessary part of property management. The above tips should help you secure your building and keep everyone safe.

Flooding and How We Can Help

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

We are here for flood water removal.

Lake Charles is no stranger to floods. In 2020, hurricane Laura wreaked havoc across Southwest Louisiana, causing lasting damage to both business and residential property.

Our trained technicians know that every flood water removal project must begin with:

  • An assessment of the situation.
  • Thorough water extraction to remove as much flood water as possible.
  • Securing your home to mitigate any structural damage risks.

If necessary, we can arrange for your belongings to be stored at our facility while we clean and dry your home – this process is known as a “pack-out.” We log all items and pack them carefully to ensure they arrive back at your home safely when the time comes.

If you need flood water removal in your home, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

Commercial Building Flood Damage?

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding can cause terrible and sometimes irreparable damage to residential homes. However, flooding can also inflict unfathomable amounts of damage to commercial buildings. What happens when your commercial building is soaked in water and you find all of the paneling peeling off due to water damage? You need a professional repair service to come out and start making things right.

What to Do When Your Commercial Building Has Flood Damage

So what exactly happens when a commercial building that you own experiences flooding? For one thing, the flooding is going to decimate your wood paneling, wallpaper, and other similar materials throughout the structure. That means that you’re going to need to call in a restoration service to remove and replace all of that material.

Any time that a commercial building that you own has flood damage, one of the first things that you’re going to have to do is close it down for repairs. The second thing that you’ll need to do is call SERVPRO of Lake Charles.

The Challenges of Restoring Commercial Property Affected by Flooding

One of the most challenging aspects of handling commercial flood damage is the paperwork. By the unfortunate virtue of being a commercial building, there will be a substantial amount of paperwork involved when trying to provide the appropriate repair and restoration efforts.

Completing the kind of paperwork that’s involved in restoring a commercial building that’s been damaged by flooding can be much more complicated than one might think.

Professional commercial cleaning and restoration services like SERVPRO of Lake Charles know how to handle the paperwork and speed things along so that you’re not stuck waiting a ridiculous amount of time before your building is restored.

The Importance of Expedience When Repairing Flood Damage

After your commercial building has been ravaged by flooding, you might find that you feel sorry for yourself and don’t want to deal with it. That would be a big mistake. As bad as things are, you still need to take care of the building and take responsibility. Although the damage caused by flooding is extensive, you’ll need to pull yourself together and put a plan into action.

Remember, the longer you wait to address it, the more expensive your problem will be. The best thing to do is to get serious and get on it fast! When you call a company like SERVPRO of Lake Charles, you’ll get expedient service at an affordable price. This means you’ll be able to open up the business in a timely manner.

Most businesses can’t afford to stay closed due to complications from flooding or anything else. The longer you stay closed for repairs the more money you’ll lose. This is why it’s so important to call a 24/7 service like SERVPRO of Lake Charles to get the job done.

Eradicate Commercial Flood Damage By Calling SERVPRO of Lake Charles

Commercial flood damage can grind your business to a screeching halt. Don’t stay down. Get back on your feet by calling the flooding restoration experts at SERVPRO of Lake Charles. We know how to deal with flooding, and our expertly trained teams have a wealth of experience in restoring commercial buildings that have been damaged by flooding.

Don’t let flood damage keep you down, get on the phone with the restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles today!

Water Damage After Heavy Rain

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Lake Charles is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at (337) 478-1133

Steps to Restoring Your Lake Charles Property After Flood Damage

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

We will walk you through every step for your Lake Charles flood damage.

Flash flooding is common in urban areas, and it usually occurs after heavy rain. In Lake Charles, about 490 addresses are situated in FEMA’s 100-year floodplain. This means that there is a one percent chance of flooding taking place in the properties built in the floodplain in any given year.

Flooding creates a frustrating situation for property owners. Fortunately, by taking the right steps, it is not hard to restore your Lake Charles property after flood damage. If it is safe to enter your home, you can start the flood cleanup process by doing the following things: 

  • Wear protective attire like watertight boots, rubber gloves, and safety glasses or goggles.
  • Discard porous materials such as foam rubber and padded furniture.
  • Throw out exposed food, medicine, and drinks.
  • Document the damage by taking photos or videos.
  • Wipe down wooden items.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a solution of hot water and soap.

Cleaning up and drying a flood-damaged property is challenging. You may need special tools like air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the affected surfaces. Some parts of your home may also need to be rebuilt, or soaked materials like carpeting and drywall may need to be removed, discarded and replaced. The other items you may need to replace include drapery, clothing, and ductwork. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a flood damage restoration company like SERVPRO to assist you with the remediation process.

When we get to your residence, we can conduct a detailed inspection using devices like moisture meters, infrared cameras, and moisture sensors. These devices enable us to track moisture within a building. After assessing the destruction, we can come up with the appropriate restoration plan. Floodwater can bring all kinds of solids in your property. We can use a self-priming trash pump to extract the water mixed with solids. We can also use power washers to remove muck or mud on the exterior parts of your home.

After extracting the water, your walls and floors may look dry, but they are still wet. Porous building materials can hold moisture that can make them swell or warp. Our SERVPRO technicians can manipulate temperature and humidity using dehumidifiers and air movers so that drying occurs much faster.

Cleaning floors, walls, and other affected surfaces is also essential. During a flood, sewer lines can leak wastes that may end up in your property, threatening your health. Our team can clean your home using disinfectants that destroy 99 percent of microorganisms.

When you need flood cleanup services in Southwest Louisiana, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for help. Our 24-hour emergency helpline is (337) 478-1133. We can make the loss appear “Like it never even happened.”

To see more about Lake Charles, click here.

Safety Precautions when dealing with Black Water

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets standards for professional members of the cleanup and restoration industry. According to the IICRC standards, black water damage cleanup must involve specialized equipment, supplies, and techniques. Why is this so important?

Compare "black" to other categories.

  • White water is clean and safe to consume. It is fresh from the tap.
  • Gray water may contain soap, fats, oils, hair, and bits of human skin. It is what's leftover after cooking, washing, and bathing.
  • Black water often contains hazardous chemicals, pathogens, human waste, and animal feces. Flood water is almost always considered black.


Once you know what's in the water, it's easy to understand why flood cleanup and mitigation professionals would take extra precautions. What do professionals do to keep your family and themselves safe while cleaning up the watery mess?


Assessment

Before any work begins, water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will inspect and assess the damages. This is a necessary step that helps technicians prepare the most appropriate supplies and equipment, as well as providing you with an idea of how long the job may take.

Containment

One of the next steps will be making sure that contaminants and other hazards from the water aren't spread throughout the rest of your home. This may involve laying down plastic sheeting, and the situation may also require some testing of your plumbing system to be sure your drinking water isn't contaminated.

Protection

Technicians may don personal protective equipment, including gloves, protective goggles, boots, and other clothing that prevents contact between the technician and contaminants in the water. It's important that you recognize the precautions that technicians take. Keep your family safe by staying out of contaminated areas of the home until it is safe to return.

When your Lake Charles, LA., home is affected by flooding, make sure you take necessary steps to avoid coming into contact with black water. Contact professionals right away to clean up water damage and provide any necessary reconstruction services.

Summer Storm Safety Tips

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Every year, hail and thunderstorms result in billions of dollars in property damages, especially in spring and summer months. Here are 10 quick tips to ensure that your home is prepared for the storm season ahead.

1. Keep an emergency kit in an accessible location in your home with the following items: a flashlight, extra batteries, extra chargers, non-perishable foods, bottles of water, first aid kits, blankets, sturdy/waterproof boots, a whistle, and important paper documents.

2. Get routine maintenance on your home, including your roof and the foundation of the house.

3. Become more familiar with your insurance policy. Know what is covered and what is not.

4. Invest in storm windows.

5. Bring all patio furniture and outdoor appliances indoors before a storm hits.

6. Keep all important or expensive belongings away from the floor in case of flooding.

7. Before a storm hits, park your car in the garage to prevent car damage.

8. Identify spots in your house away from windows and house siding to go to during a severe storm.

9. Cut down any trees or branches that could fall on your house or cars during a storm.

10. Take storm watches and warnings seriously. They can be the difference between life and death of you or a loved one.

Understanding Storm Warnings

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

With the help of technology, there are now several ways to receive storm warning alerts. The television, your cell phone, the internet, and radio are some of these sources where you can discover this information. The real question is if we truly understand what these warnings mean? You will find that knowing these definitions will be very useful knowledge in preparation for a storm:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning.
  • Flash Flood Watch – Flash floods are likely to occur soon. Be aware that water levels could rise at any point in time. Anticipate moving to a higher ground level.
  • Flash Flood Warning – Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur soon. If this happens, get to a high ground level immediately, and stay away from vehicles. It only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car of truck away.
  • High Wind Advisory – Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This can make for unsafe driving conditions. Especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. In addition, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning – Very strong winds are expected or already occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating, or any outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Tornado Watch – Conditions are suitable for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning – A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado warning is issued where you live, then proceed to the middle of the lowest floor of a strong building immediately.

Three Pro-Tips for Preparing Your Business During a Flood Event

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

flooded restaurant Flood damage, water damage and mold can hurt your business. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles so we can help.

When flooding affects your business may be at risk. If flood waters are powerful enough, they can force their way into your building and cause damage to floors, walls and your inventory. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are a few ways you can protect your business and minimize the destruction that a natural disaster like this might cause.

1. Make Backup Copies of Important Data

If you know your building might suffer storm damage, it is important to make data backup a high priority. Shipping records, customer data and inventory records may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water, so having multiple files of this information can save you time and money in the aftermath of the flood. Consider cloud storage for real-time data retrieval. 

2. Rent a Sump Pump 

If your building sits on low ground and your basement or crawl space is prone to flooding, then you may want to invest in a sump pump. This machine, which is often used by flood damage and restoration service technicians, drains away excess water from the area where it located. Portable and underwater pumps can reduce the amount of standing you might encounter after the flood. 

3. Do Not Hesitate To Act 

Flood damage can happen quickly, especially in the case of flash floods. If you suspect this might happen, evacuate your business quickly and ensure that customers and employees are safe. Heavy rains can cause this type of flood, so it is wise to be vigilant and watch your local weather to be aware of any watches or warnings. If you realize a flood is imminent, shut down vital systems and try to seal off doors and windows after the building is empty. 

When flooding impacts, you may be concerned about the best way to protect your business. However, knowing how to take action and prepare yourself for a flood can reduce the damage and give you peace of mind both before and after the event. 

Protect Your Home Against Flooding

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

flooded home with water damage Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for more information on how to deal with flooding in your home or business.

Keep Your Home Secure Against Flood Damage

Flooding of your Lake Charles, LA., home can cause major problems. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from heavy rains.
Maintain Existing Flood Prevention Structures
Many homes have common flood prevention features, such as gutters and sump pumps, already installed. It is important to maintain this equipment. The following are some routine maintenance activities that will help keep your home secure against flood damage:

  • Clean and inspect gutters (fall and spring)
  • Clean storm drains (at least once a year)
  • Test sump pump and clean screen (every season)
  • Inspect roof (every year)

When completing the above tasks, be sure to check for damage such as loose gutters or missing shingles. The suggested frequency for each task will vary depending on your specific situation. For example, if you have trees near your home, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often. If you suspect that you will be unable to do any of these jobs, you may wish to hire a professional contractor for some or all of your home's routine maintenance tasks.

Consider Home Improvement Projects

In addition to maintaining whatever flood-proofing systems your home already has, you may decide to do some home improvement projects to further protect your home from flooding. The following are some common improvements that you can make to keep your house safe in heavy rains:

  • Install any of the above items (gutters, storm drain, sump pump) that you do not already have
  • Grade your lawn so that it slopes away from house
  • Upgrade seals around windows and doors

Employ Temporary Solutions

Even well-prepared homes may need additional protection during very heavy rains. If a severe storm is headed your way, you may want to install sandbags or other flood protection devices such as inflatable dams.
The above suggestions will help protect your home from flooding. However, even the most well-prepared homes can suffer storm damage. You may need to enlist the help of experienced restoration professionals to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Flood Damage In Lake Charles

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

phone and clock graphic Contamination can pose a serious health risk, contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 for emergency assistance.

Emergency services, like our rapid response units, cover properties that without immediate attention, are at risk of permanent harm. Common scenarios that are covered by our emergency services include the flooding of your home, which might be the result of internal or external issues. Road overflow from heavy rainfall could result in significant quantities of contaminated water entering the ground levels of your property. We offer experienced technicians, on-call, to assist you and your property in an emergency.

Our call-lines are operated round the clock to assist you with flood damage in Lake Charles. Since contaminated materials are involved, our technicians may require you to evacuate affected areas of the home, or even the whole property itself, while work is carried out. SERVPRO technicians are trained to spot the presence of contaminants in water and may need to cordon off certain zones as well as designate clean rooms on-site for decontamination.

Containment of the emergency is essential to avoiding cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is hard to stop and can be spread on clothing, footwear, or through airborne particles. SERVPRO deploy plastic barriers to cordon off the affected area and can apply negative air pressure when necessary. After establishing a quarantine zone, entering the affected area can only be permitted wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE.) This is to ensure that potentially harmful pathogens do not come into contact with you or the restorer.

In a blackwater situation, there are significantly more items that need disposal than in a clean water emergency. Pathogens can remain harmful and odorous even in microscopic quantities. Porous structural materials like insulation, sheetrock, or some woods must be removed for demolition from at least 2 inches above the standing water level. These items must be sealed into disposal bags and be dealt with in line with state and federal guidelines. Once the area is thoroughly disinfected, the disposed of materials can be replaced.

Contamination can pose a serious health risk, contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 for emergency assistance.

Facts About Winter Storms

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Van covered in ice Water damage and fire damage from winter storms can cause major issues to your home or business.

Winter storms can be a disaster for your home or business. To help avoid water damage or fire damage SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the community of best practices.

A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.

BEFORE

Be familiar with winter storm warning messages.
(See Winter Storm Watches and Warnings.)

Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction.

Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.

Winterize your home.
  • Insulate walls and attic
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows 
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Have safe emergency heating equipment available.
  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood 
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel
  • Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters (See Kerosene Heaters.)
Install and check smoke detectors.

Contact your Parish Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on winter storms.

Keep pipes from freezing.
  • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers
  • Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture
  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries. 
  • First aid kit 
  • One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off) 
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags 
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type) 
Develop an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm.
Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Kerosene Heaters:
Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.

Hurricane Preparedness

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage, flood damage or just a busted pipe, SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands flooding. Make sure you do as well. When a Hurricane is 36 hours out here what you do:

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. Visit www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/137860 to learn more.

If you have any questions or concerns please call us immediately.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Lake Charles are ready to come to your aid.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

Is your Lake Charles, LA,, business in a building that is comfortable, dry and weatherproof? If so, thank the heroes responsible for exterior maintenance. It is their job to keep your building maintained. Proper maintenance ensures that the weather stays outside where it belongs. 

Damage to the exterior lets in the weather. Some, like broken windows, is obvious and demands immediate attention. Other damage starts tiny and grows into serious maintenance problems.

Examples of minor damage are:

  • Small holes in siding
  • Loose or cracked windows
  • Gaps around vents, pipes and other exterior features
  • Damaged masonry

Routine Inspections Are the Key to Preventive Maintenance

Every building has problems that are easy to overlook. They don’t interfere with the business operation, so they go unreported. The first step in fixing them is finding them. The best way to identify them is through a complete building inspection. Think of this as a close inspection of the building with the help of a checklist. Here are some of the tasks that an exterior maintenance inspection might include:

1. Inspect the roof. Look for areas where the roofing material needs repair. Check the vents, air conditioner and other features attached to the roof to make sure they won’t leak. Check the gutters and downspouts. Make sure that rain water will flow down and away from the building. 
2. Inspect the walls. Look for openings that might let water in. A structural engineer can help you determine if there is water damage.
3. Inspect the masonry. Areas that are failing might provide a path for water to get inside. Bring in a professional to check the situation.
4. Inspect the doors and windows. Make sure that they stop the flow of air and water.
Some exterior maintenance problems can’t wait.

One of these is water damage. There are local water damage restoration specialists ready to come to your aid. They are just a phone call away. 

Avoid these 3 Things When Flooding Occurs

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Home

Avoid These Three Things

What you don't do after a flood can be as critical for your safety as the actions you take. It is important to remove flood water to limit water damage, but you should also avoid doing these three things after a flood.

  1. Risk Exposure to Tainted Water

    Standing water resulting from a flood is considered Category 3, or black water. It may contain contaminants such as chemicals, heavy metals, microbes, or solid waste. Keep unprotected skin from making contact with this infected water, and do not allow humans or animals to drink it.

    If you attempt to mitigate damage in a flooded home, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, hip waders, and heavy work gloves. If mold may be present, you should also wear a respirator.

    2. Turn the Electricity Off or On

    You may risk electrocution if you attempt to cross flood water to shut off a circuit breaker. There is no guarantee that water-damaged electrical components will function normally. Furthermore, neighbors may be running a generator improperly and back-feeding electricity into the grid. 

    A utility company technician or a licensed electrician can disconnect the electrical meter to ensure that there is no electrocution risk. You should also exercise caution when dealing with flood-damaged electronics, which are likely to short-circuit.

    3. Delay Cleanup

    The longer water is left standing or moisture lingers, the more likely mold growth will appear. Mold can begin to grow in a flooded home in 24 to 72 hours.

    Avoid unprotected exposure to flood water, the risk of electrocution, and the dangers of secondary damage. The best way to handle flood damage is to hire water damage mitigation specialists to clean, disinfect, and to dry the flooded portion of your residence 
  • Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133.

SERVPRO Does Save Homes in Lake Charles from Extensive Storm Damage

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Stands Ready to Help Lake Charles Properties After Flooding

We Can Reduce Flood Damage in Your Lake Charles Home

You were not expecting your Lake Charles home to flood from last night’s thunderstorm, but it did, and water is everywhere. Flood waters contain contaminants like chemicals, raw sewage, and dead animals, which is why you should never hesitate to call in the professionals. Our techs set goals to make your home clean and safe after storm waters enter your house. Whenever it is possible, our crews can restore your home to its pre-storm condition. Plus, they strive to preserve many of the contents inside your home. 
 
SERVPRO flood damage teams in Lake Charles are highly trained and come ready to get to work when they arrive. The first step the team takes on is stopping the flow of water from entering your home. Hopefully, that has already occurred. Next, they start extracting the water with various pieces of equipment such as a truck-mounted or portable extractor, wands and pumps that can remove water from the structure fast. The type of machinery we employ depends on the amount of water inside affected areas. 
 
Many flooding situations may require the need for our teams to remove items from the house. When we do remove contents, our technicians keep an inventory of every item during the pack-out stage. Typically, clothing, furniture, and paper documents are sitting in several inches of contaminated water. Our crew can remove and clean all salvageable items with industrial cleaning products. Plus, they can use EPA-registered antimicrobial sprays to sanitize your items before bringing back inside your home. Ultrasonic cleaning can also restore possessions that our customers believed were lost.
 
Drying the area is also an essential process during restoration. Our team can use air scrubbers to clean the air. Plus, they can utilize air movers and axial fans to enhance drying. In all cases, we use dehumidifiers to absorb water vapor. Heaters may also be put in place to target specific areas. 
 
SERVPRO of Lake Charles flood damage restoration services are fast and ready to help. We are available 24/7 to assist you in your time of need. If a flood ever occurs in your home, call us at (337) 478-1133 right away.