It’s sad to say it, but summer is winding down. It’s time to think about the factors that could bring about water damage and fire damage in the Chicago area. So, that means a couple of things for you.
- Enjoy the rest of summer while we still have it. Take a walk down by the lakefront, go to a couple more baseball games, and cook out on the grill before it’s too cold out.
- Inclement and sometime violent weather will soon be ushering in the new season.
Lightning and thunderstorms are Mother Nature’s heavy metal concerts complete with epic pyrotechnics and brilliant laser light shows. All of that “flash-boom-bang” also brings along a lot of rain, powerful winds and possibly some unpredictable, devastating tornados. Sound terrifying? If you are not prepared, it can be.
However, by making a few easy, basic preparations, you can minimize the damage to your property and the hassle to your life.
Here are some basic storm safety precautions:
- Keep a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio on-hand. These can be found at large chain stores or local hardware stores for $20-30. This will be handy for knowing the location and severity of incoming storms in the event of a power outage.
- Stock up on inexpensive flashlights and fresh batteries for navigating the darkness with all of your toes intact.
- Keep your cell phone fully charged. Have a list of emergency phone numbers handy or pre-programmed into your phone.
- Since water and power can be out for hours, or even days, have some fresh drinking water available, as well as some water stored up for light bathing and flushing toilets.
- Secure or store outdoor furniture before storms hit. Strong winds may cause them to be damaged or to become hazardous projectiles.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some tips for reducing water damage, fire damage wind damage and other disaster related dilemmas. These steps are simple, but extremely important for keeping storm water where it belongs—outside. Almost anyone can make these basic preparations.
- Clear out your gutters and downspouts! On average, one inch of rain will produce 620 gallons of run-off water on a 1,000 square foot roof. You do NOT want that coming into your house.
- Double check your sump pump. Some homeowners take this crucial piece of equipment for granted. They often assume it will be operational when the water comes in. Double check your pump to avoid costly flood damages to your property. If your home is not outfitted with a sump pump, consider having one installed.
- Remember, water runs downhill. Be sure that landscaping near your house slants away from the foundation.
- Keep low tree branches pruned and away from your roof. Limbs that rub your roof may damage shingles, decrease your roof’s life, and allow rain into your home.
- When the power does go out, use extreme caution when using candles for lighting. The open flame from a candle has the potential to set your house on fire. Better idea: buy a few battery powered lamps or lanterns. They’re much safer and produce way more light.
Obviously, storms and their effects are unpredictable. Sometimes, even the best preparations can leave you with a basement full of water…or worse. ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons specializes in providing families and businesses with water removal, water damage repair and complete water restoration services in the Chicagoland area. We also handle fire restoration and mold removal services. If your home or business has suffered water damage, call us ASAP! The sooner you call, the sooner we’ll be on site to get to work. Restoring Peace of Mind®…it’s what we do.