Warmest Spring in Many Years to Fuel Severe Weather

March 12, 2012

A very active severe weather season is forecast in the United States for the spring of 2012 due to one of the warmest springs since 2004. The National Weather Service stated this week that it will be a mild spring for most of the country from the Rocky Mountains into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

Portions of eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi are in for very wet weather over the next few days. A NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, March 8th shows massive cloud coverage over this portion of the country with areas of showers, heavy rains and thunderstorms. This bad weather is following a massive cold front that extends from the northern Great Lakes through to the southern High Plains. Heavy downpours of rain will begin early Friday, drenching parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. Many areas can expect up to two inches of rain through Sunday although some locations – especially north of Houston could see four to six inches of rain.

Home and business owners in the United States who do not have flood insurance should consider doing so – especially those living in low-lying or flood-prone areas. Even though many people are required by lending institutions to have flood insurance, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP recommends that everyone should have an insurance policy in place that covers flooding. Why? Because you do not necessarily have to be in a mapped out flood-plain to experience flooding. While the National Weather Service is not yet warning of the risk of major flooding for Texas and other southern states, flash flooding can occur in just a few short hours following several hours of non-stop rain.

Now is also the time of year to remind people that no state in the US is immune from tornadoes. The earl start to the 2012 tornado season has already proven deadly. Dozens of tornadoes have ripped through many Midwestern states over the past couple of weeks, wiping out entire neighborhoods and small towns.

Springtime is also when homeowners should prepare their homes for the possibility of flooding. It is wise to move valuables out of basements and to store important documents in a dry, safe place. Now is the time to clear eaves-troughs and to make sure downspouts are clear and are positioned so that they send running water several feet away from a home’s foundation. Dying tree branches near homes should be cut away and large outdoor items should be either put away or secured as in the case with fuel tanks.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Severe Weather Heads Across Northern Plains and Into Midwest

February 29, 2012

This week the weather forecast for the central and eastern states calls for extreme weather. We are not talking merely rain and wind this time around, but huge hunks of hail, torrential winds and large swaths of rain and snow. There is also the possibility of large chunks of hail. The potential for property damage and loss of power is at a heightened level for the central and eastern states. There is also the possibility of isolated tornado activity this week, due to the heightened wind and changes in the jet stream. Needless to say the risk for property damage, or worse yet injury’s, will be at a heightened level this week.

The very first round of severe weather will begin Tuesday or Wednesday. Later on during the week another massive storm front may erupt from the Rockies. This storm from the Rockies is expected to surge outwards into the plains. Areas from Kansas and Oklahoma to parts of northern Texas , Arkansas and central to southern Missouri to the middle Mississippi valley are expected to see severe weather this week, starting around Tuesday. The states most at risk for tornado activity this week are western Arkansas, Southern Illinois, southwest Indiana, central, northeast and southeast Kansas, western Kentucky, central and southern Missouri, south-central Nebraska, central and eastern Oklahoma, western Tennessee and north to central Texas. These areas all rate a 3 or 4 on the TOR CON index for this week, meaning these areas have an above average chance of having severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, hail, or tornadoes.

Property repair expert James Wisher says “With spring comes severe weather and property damage. Storms, rain, flooding, wind damage, and tornadoes are all rampant during the spring season. Wind and hail are especially dangerous to roofs, siding, windows. Flooding utterly ruins many basements during the spring season.” It is important to be prepared for the worse, and have the necessary home insurance which will cover flood, storm, wind and hail damage to your home. It is also vital to know where to turn to should the worst happen, and serious damage happens to your home. Do you know of a good company you can turn to which deals with the damage that weather can wreck upon a home? One can also have work done on their home to better shelter it against adverse weather. If you live in an area with high risk for weather damage, have you done all you can to protect your home, and weatherize your property?

This year has seen some extremely adverse weather patterns world wide. Many people learned to late that they could have had work done to the home to prepare the home for adverse weather conditions, work that could have saved much money and heart ache, after disaster struck to close to home. From better roofing to installing flood control measures in the home basement, much can be done to prepare for the worst. Perhaps now is the time to start thinking about adverse weather, and the intense property damage that can occur due to it.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Smoke Damage Requires Certified Cleanup For Proper Odor Elimination

January 16, 2012

A simple fire or an extensive one, smoke damage is nasty, especially because of that lingering odor of signed organic material, burnt wood or plastic burns. That’s because, smoke particles cling to everything in their path, leaving their odor on furniture, upholstery, carpets, curtains, clothes and even seeping inside your walls and floor. Imagine opening you refrigerator and having to be greeted by a gust of burnt air that even spoils your food. What’s more, smoke damage causes a lot more than leaving bad odor; it also stains everything it touches, creating worse problems for anyone and everyone.

There are innumerable causes of property fires, be it natural or man-made, electrical, organic or chemical. The first thing you must do after the blaze dies down is find the right protective gear. Of course, this is best left to professional firefighters and certified personnel who know when to start cleanup on your property or home that has been affected by the fire. But if you still need to inspect everything for yourself, make sure not to enter without gloves, a gas mask and protective body covering including rubber boots. Remember that your eyes also need protection, so don’t miss wearing goggles either.

When you hire professional, they will generally start by clearing out the air trapped inside, by using blowers, fans and opening up all windows, doors, skylights and vents. The next thing that will be done is to clear out soot off all surfaces, be it floor, walls, tables, windows, kitchen counters or any other area. This reduces the level of carbon monoxide infection and soot allergy. If you do not want to hire professionals and want to get the job done yourself, make sure you are aware of the basic of odor removal or else you won’t get the desired results at all.

You must know why fabric is susceptible to smoke odor before you begin cleaning, and also know that different material react differently to smoke. Because fabric is porous, the smoke molecules cling to them and get absorbed much easily than they do on non-porous surfaces. Still, letting the lingering odor of smoke remain on your home surfaces will only worsen it over time. Because smoke stains and become putrid over time, you will need to get proper cleaning agents to remove smoke odor from all surfaces. Remember that just spraying a deodorizing agent will not solve your problem.

Experts suggest use of special industrial spray products that help to deodorize and lessen the odor rather than just masking it for a while, at the same time sanitizing and disinfecting the air. Professional cleanup agencies will begin by testing every nook and cranny for the presence of smoke and use thermal defogging to remove any lingering presence. After that, they will make sure to discard any organic item and food material affected by smoke, making sure to dispose them off permanently.

A good idea to help remove smoke is use charcoal by placing them in closets, cabinets and cupboards to absorb the smell. Using ground coffee beans to remove odor of clothes is another helpful idea. Wash the affected clothes and store them in a plastic liner bag by placing a small bundle of ground coffee beans wrapped in linen and then seal the bag. Let it remain so for 24 hours at least. Washing clothes with vinegar will also help, as well as scrubbing walls and table tops with detergent mixed with vinegar.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Cold Winter Weather Conditions May Cause Plumbing Issues

December 27, 2011

The inevitable sub-zero temperatures heading your way this winter could put a kink into your home’s plumbing. Freezing pipes are a very common wintertime occurrence and more so in houses which feature old or poor insulation. The pipes making up your plumbing system can freeze whenever the thermometer dips below the freezing point but you need to be especially cautious when the extremely cold temperatures strike.

As a homeowner living in a cold climate, you should know what conditions cause pipes to freeze and how to take care of plumbing issues that may crop up. Unfortunately, every winter in the United States, thousands of homeowners wake up or return home to find that the pipes inside their homes froze, burst and spilled hundreds and even gallons of icy cold water into their homes. Imagine how horrified you would feel if that were to happen to you. Plus the expenses which come along with such a home disaster can lead to financial ruin.

One thing you can do to prevent a pipe from freezing and bursting is to allow a small trickle of water to run out of faucets as moving water cannot freeze. You also can open cabinet doors to allow pipes to receive warm air. If you have exposed pipes in crawl spaces or your basement you should purchase a pipe insulation kit from a local hardware store and apply it to those pipes.

Even a modern, well-insulated home can experience a horrendous water leak from frozen and burst pipes. However, this problem usually only arises when the heating system fails during cold weather and no one is around to take notice. It is often the homeowner who is away on vacation that this happens to because the furnace can die, the power can go out or the fuel supply can be shut off somehow and he/she is not there to know it. The best way to avoid this happening to your home this winter while you are away is to have a friend or neighbor go to your house every day or two to make sure everything’s alright.

Be sure to leave your contact information with that person and give him or her the number of the heating system service company you use. If you cannot find someone to check your home,then you should shut off the water supply. This way, if a pipe does break, it will only spill out a few gallons of water and not thousands.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Roof Damages Caused By Snow and Ice

December 13, 2011

Roof damage is a common problem for people living in regions and countries with heavy snowfall, especially where winter is the predominant condition. The main cause for this is the heavy annual snowfall and the large amount of snow accumulation on house roofs, etc. The resulting ice deposits on roofs end up damaging the roof by either causing leakage or excess weight problems. Not only is roof damage caused by snow and ice dangerous, it is also an expensive and lengthy process, often wrecking your home and causing major, irreplaceable damage.

If you have seen icicles hanging from roofs or shingles of houses, you’ll probably have an idea of how ice accumulates on rooftops during winter. This water and snow damage causes a lot of destruction to both outer and inner structures of homes of people living in colder regions. Outer damages are one thing, but destruction of walls and inside of your house are not only expensive to repair, but also annoying. The reason this happens is because the heat trapped inside your house escapes upwards towards the roof and makes the accumulated ice or snow melt.

Generally, any accumulated water would flow down your roof and drain away, but during winters, the flowing water refreezes again due to the cold climate, turning into ice and ending up clogging the drainage pipes. This phenomenon is called an ice dam, which is basically a hardened ridge of snow that forms on the edge of your roof, acting as a dam that prevents anything from draining away through the gutter. Ice dams are generally formed when the outside temperature is below freezing point as averse to the internal temperatures that are above freezing point.

This temperature difference often heats and melts the residual water, causing it to want to escape through any means, and because spouts and drainpipes remain clogged with ice, the water seeps inside your house through any present cracks or gaps, not only damaging walls, peeling off plaster or paint, but also causing major structural damage. The trapped internal heat is either transferred via conduction or convection. Conduction heat transfers through solid materials, often the heat trapped by attic ceilings, insulating material, etc. Convection heat spreads into the air through exhaust pipes, heaters, recessed lights, etc.
Removal of ice dams is generally expensive because if you try to do it yourself and damage your entire roof you’ll have to pay not only for ice removal, but also to rebuild your roof. But if you don’t want to spend a lot of dough and yet want to prevent snow damage, following a few simple tips will help. Use a pantyhose or stocking filled with calcium chloride and place it all over the ice dam. This will melt the ice slowly and allow it to drain off without spoiling your roof.

Make sure you seal all gaps around the attic or ceilings are filled and increase your home insulation and ventilation capacities, letting the heated air escape properly, rather than destroying your roof in the process. Don’t try to chisel out solid ice from pipes if you are a novice. Call professionals. They know what to do and they’ll rid you off permanent headache without actually causing any damage to your home.

The following article and information page was written by with The Disaster Recovery Pros of Jarvis.

Flooding Throughout Southeastern Michigan As Winter Arrives

November 30, 2011

The National Weather Service issued flood watches and warnings for the greater portion of lower, southern Michigan Tuesday as several inches of rain and snow was expected to fall. People living in one Dearborn Heights neighborhood on the outskirts of Detroit are seeing the second big flood of 2011.

Numerous homeowners in Dearborn Heights have reported six or more inches of water in their basements by Tuesday afternoon. Many cars were pulled from the city’s streets which had been half-way submerged in two feet of water. Close to two inches of rain fell in many areas of southern Michigan which left standing water on several of Detroit’s major expressways resulting in numerous accidents. A semi trailer carry gravel jackknifed when it ran into deep water on west-bound I-94 on Detroit’s east side, closing the roadway during Monday morning rush hour.

The heavy rain changed to snow Tuesday afternoon, adding to the misery. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch or warning for several counties as up to six inches of snow was expected to fall. Wednesday’s high is forecast to be right around 40 degrees with sunshine moving in, which will cause most of the snow to melt, resulting in more flood worries for area residents and business owners.

In Detroit’s downriver area, the soaking late fall rain that began falling Tuesday evening and continued into Wednesday spurned widespread flooding. Allen Park’s Fire Department received several calls from homeowners living on the city’s north end to ask how to get the power to their homes shut off because they have at least two feet of water standing in their basements. A southern branch of Ecorse Creek had crested which sent water rushing into neighborhoods.

About 26,000 in the western suburbs of Detroit were without power Tuesday evening and forecasters are predicting dangerous driving conditions for the Wednesday morning commute. With one month to go, this year has become the wettest year in the metro Detroit area for more than a century. The Rouge and Clinton rivers as well as many creeks are expected to crest at or above flood stage tonight, causing flooding in some areas. Flooding is expected because the ground is saturated from the frequent rains which fell this fall.

Tornado-Spawning Southern Storms Kill At Least Six, Cause Widespread Damage

November 18, 2011

A number of assessments for damage were carried out on Thursday after fierce storms swept through the areas of the South claiming at least six lives, injuring dozens and causing extensive damage. Up to now, the National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed nine tornadoes in six states, including the two killer ones in North Carolina and South Carolina and a long-tracked one in Georgia.

In Alabama, the weather service stated that an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of 120 miles per hour and a path length of about 1.5 miles raked the Sumter County. A second EF-0 tornado in Marengo County, Alabama was verified by the NWS. The tornado had top winds of 85 miles per hour and tracked 2.57 miles.

In Georgia, a long-tracked tornado rated EF-2 in Harris County was confirmed by the NWS. The tornado was reported to have top winds of up to 125 miles per hour and a path length of about 26 miles. Two people were reported to have suffered minor injuries.

In Mississippi, the NWS confirmed three tornadoes, including the one that caused injuries to 15 people. An EF-1 tornado, which tracked for 11 miles with maximum winds of 100 miles per hour, hit the Marion and Jefferson Davis Counties. Another EF-1 tornado that travelled a distance of two miles and had top winds of 95 miles per hour was confirmed in Jones County. The third one was confirmed in Jones and Jasper Counties. This EF-2 tornado tracked 12 miles with top winds of 130 miles per hour and was blamed for injuring 15 people.

In North Carolina, the weather service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado with top winds ranging from 111 to 135 miles per hour hit the Davidson County. The twister had a path length of about eight miles. An elderly lady and her three-year old granddaughter were reported to have been killed by the tornado. Their home was also destroyed by the storm. At least, 10 people were reported to have sustained injuries. Areas around the Highway 64, Hendricks Mill Road and Allred Road suffered the most damage in Lexington. Several homes were damaged, and one home was tossed off from its foundation completely.

In South Carolina, officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado with top winds of 135 miles per hour and struck the York County. The tornado covered a distance of 2.5 miles. Three people were killed in that region. Seven homes were destroyed in one neighborhood on Williamson Road close to Highway 324. A mobile home was also lifted off by strong winds and tossed away 100 yards over another house.

In Virginia, the NWS stated that an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of 100 miles per hour swept across for 2.3 miles in Pittsylvania County.

Flooding Reported Throughout Southern Florida

November 1, 2011

It was a soggy beginning to the work week in South Florida as flash flood warnings were put into effect for both Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Officials reported that many streets in Coral Gables, downtown Miami and Miami Beach were flooded. Some smaller vehicles were covered nearly to their roofs while several cars were seen actually floating in the streets. There have been reports that several drivers had to be rescued from their cars after they drove into flood waters.

Miami authorities have warned residents to stay inside and to avoid walking or driving on flooded streets as there is no way to tell how deep the water is. Health officials in Broward County are advising people not to eat or drink anything that has been in contact with flood waters and not to wade through standing water.

One Fort Lauderdale apartment complex had fifty-tree separate apartments flooded. A water restoration firm arrived on the scene early Monday to help clean up the mess as the waters slowly receded. Residents of the complex reported that they found water rising inside their units early Monday wherein they scrambled to removed electronic items and other valuables. However, many were unsuccessfully in removing all they wished to save as the water quickly seeped inside – covering baseboards and soaking carpeting.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has a location set up to assist flood victims. Sandbags have also been made available as more flooding is likely to occur. Many cars parked in underground parking garages in the city have been damaged by flood water. Power was shut off to some affected apartment complexes for safety reasons as workers began the arduous task of pumping out the contaminated water and cleaning up the mess. Fort Lauderdale received more than eight inches of rain over the weekend which was simply too much for the city to bear.

Rain is in the forecast for South Florida through mid-week. A tropical low pressure system in the Gulf is expected to dump more rain on the already soaked region. The National Weather Service has a flood watch in effect for all of South Florida which may be extended into Tuesday night. The flooding forced the closure of the Key West International Airport for three hours on Monday. Many towns and cities throughout South Florida are using pumps to help keep flood waters out of neighborhoods and off main streets.

Chicago and Midwest Region Brace For Next Wave Of Storms

October 19, 2011

Protect Your Home from the Approaching Wild, Wet and Windy Weather as Severe Storms Expected To Hit Chicago and Detroit Regions Today

Wild, wet and windy weather is expected in the Midwest and the Northeast on Tuesday through Thursday. There are already flood warnings in Chicago along portions of Lake Michigan where the tides could surger. This cold weather resulted from the combination of certain climatic elements such as a strong autumn cold front, a powerful middle-level disturbance hailing from the Rockies and tropical moisture arising from the Gulf. The cold front will move toward the East Coast during this week and bring much colder conditions in the southern and eastern regions of U.S.

This cold weather will strike the Ohio Valley and the East by this week. The wet and windy conditions could cause flooding, damage and travel problems. Much colder air that will follow this major cold front could cause snowfall in certain parts.

A low-pressure area that could develop tropically in the Gulf is also being watched closely. This area of low pressure, whether it develops or not, is expected to bring torrential rains into Florida and drag the moisture into the storm advancing toward the East in the middle of the week.

Extensive rainfall in the range of 1-3 inches is also expected throughout the Ohio Valley and across the Northeast on Tuesday night through Wednesday night. Boston, Columbus, Erie, Ohio and New York are some of the cities where the heaviest rainfall may occur.

Homeowners have been urged to take necessary precautionary steps to protect their homes from potentially expensive damage during the winter season.

Cold weather with snowfalls and interspersed spells of melting and freezing can cause substantial damage to your home. You should make sure that the entrance to your home and sidewalks are clear from ice and snow. Regularly examine your gutter downspouts for ice dams. Check that the leaves and debris are not clogging your gutters. This will ensure that the water from melting ice and snow flows freely. Ice dams can result in the build-up of water, which can, in time, seep into your home damaging roof and walls.

Frozen water can cause your pipes to burst that can damage your home considerably. Experts recommend that you should keep your home heated to at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the inside walls where your pipes are located stay warm. Insulating your pipes, especially those that are located in crawl spaces, is also highly suggested. You should know where your main water supply is located and turn it off immediately if a pipe bursts. If pipes in your home freeze, you should thaw them instantly or hire the services of a competent plumber to fix the problem.

Inspect your home and make a list of things that you need to fix. You will be glad that you took the trouble to fix things in time because the winter season is very punishing period for your home.

Home Odors Offer Strong Indication Of Larger Problems

October 14, 2011

Home odors are often a sign that a property may have a serious mildew, mold or deterioration issue. The sense of smell can often guide most property owners to uncover serious problems that need immediate attention in their home or business, as structural integrity issues could be hidden from view, but the lingering air quality is a signal things are not in great shape.

Have you ever been invited inside a house for a birthday party, and just when you were about to greet the celebrator, a certain smell caught your attention? Like a whiff of perfume, it reached your nose in time, but the problem is you don’t actually smell a hint of lavender or jasmine. You don’t even smell raspberries. You can’t put your finger on what it is exactly, but all you know is that it’s nowhere near pleasant. You scrunch up your nose in distaste, and while your entire evening isn’t ruined, it has certainly been rudely interrupted. Every time we encounter unpleasant odors, we tend to recoil. But what happens when we find those unpleasant odors at home?

What on Earth is that Smell?

When you live in a house, you don’t usually notice the presence of unpleasant odors straight away. This is mainly because you’re so used to them. For instance, if there’s a smoker in the house, you become so used to the smell of cigarette smoke that you’ve actually learned to live with it. You forget that once upon a time, the smell disgusted you. If you have pets, you’re so used to cuddling them that you’ve grown accustomed to their smell as well. The only time your attention is called is when a visitor points out that something smells weird, or if you return from an extended vacation and you notice it yourself.

Of course, there are certain odors we can avoid. When a baby spills milk on the couch or when the cat urinates on the carpet, we clean the mess right away. When we smell a dead rat, we search for it and get rid of the problem. But there are also odors that tend to build up over time. Cigarette smoke is one, because it actually gets absorbed by things like curtains and furniture. Another one is the smell of cooking. Odor residues may build up in the filters of vents over time. Leaks can be avoided, but as time passes, water tends to cause a musty smell in faucets, sinks, and even windows.

What It Does to Your House’s Market Value

Bad odors may not be pleasant to homeowners, but they’re even more unpleasant to prospective buyers. If not eliminated, odors can really downgrade a house’s market value. Nobody wants to buy a stinky house, and bad odors communicate to prospective buyers that the house is not as well-maintained as they hoped it would be. Bad odors give buyers the perception that the house is not cleaned regularly, or that the current homeowners don’t care enough to ensure that their house smells fresh. If the current homeowners don’t care enough to eliminate certain odors, the buyer will wonder what else the current homeowners have neglected.

In reality, these perceptions can actually be far from the truth. But in the business of real estate, first impressions last. The circumstance that led to that unpleasant odor doesn’t count for much. What counts is that it’s there.

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