Recent Storm Damage Posts

Winterizing Your Home in Sandy, Utah: A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting Your Investment

11/9/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a roof with snow Inspect and repair your roof now to avoid damage during winter season in Sandy, UT.

Winter in Sandy, Utah, with its picturesque snow-covered landscapes and crisp air, brings a unique charm to the region. However, the beauty of the season also comes with challenges for homeowners, as the cold temperatures and winter storms can pose risks to property and infrastructure. To ensure your home stays warm, cozy, and damage-free throughout the winter season, here's a detailed guide on how to prepare for winter in Sandy, Utah.

10 Steps To Prepare Your Home For Winter

1. Sealing the Envelope: Inspect and Seal Windows and Doors

One of the first steps in winter preparation is to inspect your home's envelope for potential drafts. Cold air seeping in through gaps around windows and doors can significantly impact your home's energy efficiency. Conduct a thorough examination, checking for any cracks, gaps, or leaks. Seal these openings with weatherstripping or caulking to create a tighter seal, preventing cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. This simple yet effective measure not only keeps your home warmer but also helps reduce energy costs during the winter months.

2. Gutter Maintenance: Cleaning and Inspection

Proper gutter maintenance is essential to prevent water-related issues during winter. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, causing water to back up and potentially damage your roof and interior. Before winter arrives, clean out any debris from gutters and downspouts. Ensure that water can flow freely to prevent ice buildup. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris accumulation, reducing the frequency of cleanings. This proactive approach to gutter maintenance will safeguard your home from the potential hazards of ice dams and water damage.

3. Protecting Your Pipes: Insulation and Prevention 

Frozen pipes can result in extensive damage and costly repairs. To prevent this winter nightmare, insulate exposed pipes in areas such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Use pipe insulation sleeves or heat tape to provide an extra layer of protection. During extremely cold nights, let faucets drip to keep water flowing, reducing the risk of freezing. Familiarize yourself with the location of your water shut-off valve, as knowing how to quickly turn off the water supply can mitigate potential damage in case of a pipe burst. Taking these measures ensures that your plumbing remains intact and functional throughout the winter.

4. Heating System Maintenance: Schedule a Professional Inspection

A reliable heating system is paramount for a comfortable and safe winter. Schedule a professional inspection of your furnace before the cold sets in. A qualified technician can identify and address any issues, ensuring that your heating system operates efficiently throughout the winter months. Regular maintenance not only enhances performance but also reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns. Additionally, changing the furnace filter and checking the thermostat settings contribute to a more energy-efficient and cost-effective heating system.

5. Winterizing Outdoor Plumbing: Preventing Frozen Pipes

Outdoor plumbing, such as hoses and water valves, requires special attention before winter arrives. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses to prevent freezing, as frozen water in hoses can lead to pipe damage. Shut off outdoor water valves and drain any remaining water to eliminate the risk of frozen pipes. By winterizing your outdoor plumbing, you safeguard these vulnerable components from the effects of cold temperatures, reducing the likelihood of burst pipes and water damage.

6. Roof Integrity: Inspect and Repair 

Your roof is the first line of defense against winter weather. Inspect it for any damaged or missing shingles, as these vulnerabilities can lead to leaks and water damage. Snow and ice can exacerbate existing issues, making proactive roof maintenance crucial. Address any identified problems promptly to ensure your roof remains in top condition throughout the winter season. Investing time in roof inspection and repair now can save you from more extensive and costly repairs in the future.

7. Stock Up on Winter Supplies: Essentials for Snowy Days 

Being prepared for winter storms is essential for maintaining both safety and comfort. Stock up on winter supplies, including rock salt, sand, and snow shovels. These items are crucial for quickly clearing walkways and driveways after snowfall, minimizing the risk of slips and falls. Keep these supplies easily accessible, and consider creating a designated storage area for winter essentials. Proactive preparation ensures that you're ready to tackle winter weather challenges and maintain a safe and navigable outdoor space around your property.

8. Pruning and Trimming: Protecting Against Winter Weight 

Heavy snow and ice can weigh down tree branches, posing a risk to your home and property. Prune trees and trim branches, especially those close to your house. This preventive measure reduces the likelihood of branches breaking under the weight of winter precipitation. By addressing potential hazards before winter storms hit, you minimize the risk of damage to your roof, windows, and other structures. Regular tree maintenance not only protects your property but also contributes to the overall safety and aesthetics of your outdoor space.

9. Create an Emergency Kit: Preparedness for Unexpected Events

Winter weather can bring unexpected challenges, from power outages to impassable roads. Prepare for such scenarios by assembling an emergency kit. Include items such as flashlights, batteries, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Having these essentials on hand ensures that you're ready to face unexpected situations with confidence. Regularly check and update your emergency kit to ensure that all items are in good condition and within their expiration dates. Being well-prepared allows you to navigate winter storms with resilience and ensures the safety and well-being of your household.

10. Stay Informed: Weather Awareness for Proactive Planning

Knowledge is a powerful tool in winter preparedness. Stay informed about local weather forecasts, advisories, and warnings. Regularly check reliable weather sources to stay ahead of upcoming storms and extreme weather events. Being aware of potential challenges allows you to take necessary precautions, plan accordingly, and respond effectively to changing conditions. Whether it's adjusting your schedule to avoid hazardous travel times or taking additional precautions around the home, staying informed is a key component of a comprehensive winter preparedness strategy.

In conclusion, preparing your home for winter in Sandy, Utah involves a combination of proactive measures and regular maintenance. By sealing your home's envelope, maintaining gutters, protecting pipes, servicing your heating system, winterizing outdoor plumbing, inspecting your roof, stocking up on winter supplies, pruning trees, creating an emergency kit, and staying informed about weather conditions, you can safeguard your investment and ensure a comfortable and worry-free winter season. Taking these steps not only protects your property but also contributes to the overall safety and well-being of your household during the winter months. Stay warm, stay safe, and embrace the beauty of winter in Sandy, Utah.

The Importance of a Professional Category 3 Flooding Response

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded neighborhood. Know the different categories of flooding waters.

The damage to your home after flooding from natural sources is much more troublesome than the damage that occurs after a broken pipe or overflowing dishwasher. When your Sandy, UT, home is subjected to rising water from heavy rainfall or a river that has grown past its banks, you’re dealing with contamination from multiple sources.

Distinguish Between Category 1 and Category 3 Flooding

Water is one of the number one causes of damage to homes and accounts for some of the most frequent insurance claims. However, not all water damage is the same. There are three categories to label the risks associated with encroaching water:

  • Category 1 or Clean Water comes from sanitary sources, such as the water supply line in your kitchen or from rainwater. You may not want to drink this water, but there’s very little risk to you when you’re exposed to it.
  • Category 2 or Gray Water comes from less sanitary sources, such as an overflowing toilet bowl or a broken aquarium. This water is contaminated and poses some risk. Cleaning and restoration professionals generally treat this type of damage with anti-microbial sprays and other disinfectants.
  • Category 3 or Black Water is highly contaminated. This water may come from rivers, seas, or sewage lines. Windblown rainwater may also fall in this category. This water carries and picks up multiple contaminants from many sources of pollution, including feces, toxic chemicals, and pathogens.

Category 1 Flood Cleanup

When your home is flooded from a break in a pipe or melting snow, the cleanup steps are straightforward:

  • Shut off the water and power.
  • Remove everything within the exposed area.
  • Extract water and thoroughly dry the affected rooms.
  • Disinfect the area.
  • Complete repairs and restoration.

Professionals and homeowners may work together to address Category 1 flood damage because there is limited risk associated. It is worth pointing out that Category 1 water contamination could worsen if not addressed promptly. As water sits, it absorbs chemicals and contaminants from carpeting, furniture, and other materials throughout the home until eventually qualifying as Category 2 or 3.

Category 3 Flood Cleanup

When flood water is full of hazardous pollutants, it poses significant risks. This necessitates the use of personal protective equipment by trained water damage cleanup professionals. This gear may include tall boots, a protective jumpsuit, gloves, and face masks. Storm damage restoration requires all the steps of Category 1 cleanup and also calls for professional removal of contaminated materials. Professionals provide a specialized response depending on the source of water, i.e., sewer lines, seawater, and river water. You should not try to clean up this wastewater on your own. Any contaminants absorbed by the structural components and furnishings of your home could lead to secondary damage and lingering effects such as stains and unpleasant smells.

Your insurance provider may recommend professionals to address Category 3 flooding, and you should never attempt this on your own. It is possible that you could clean up Category 1 damage or assist cleanup technicians but contact your insurance provider first. It is often the case that professional cleanup is faster, more complete, and less likely to cause further harm.

Can Solar Panels Weather Storm Forces?

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Destroyed solar panel after a Storm. Follow our Tips and Learn More about Solar Panels in your Property.

Your home is likely to do well in a storm; however, a few factors could impact water defense and solar function. Is it strong enough to fight off hail and water trouble? Hailstones alone can range from miniature to the size of large fruit, packing quite a punch when it impacts structure.

Therefore, homeowners in Sandy, UT, may worry about panel damage and the costs of repairing the home and solar materials. Are your panels durable enough to handle intense forces? Understand the factors that influence damage.

Important Questions to Consider

What Could Cause a Problem?

Several elements pose a threat to solar panels. Hail, debris and water are the three primary culprits of trouble. During a hail storm, the moisture freezes, creating balls of ice. These irregular formations fall to the Earth and pack a serious punch. How hard it hits depends on air resistance and gravitational force. In fact, according to Wikipedia, hail can fall anywhere between 20 and 110 mph. This natural phenomenon is nothing to joke about.

Homeowners should also remain vigilant about the placement of trees. Broken branches or falling objects such as acorns and pinecones could scratch the panel surfaces. These scratches interfere with energy production, but their harm is not always easily discernible.

Finally, solar companies seal panels during installation. This permeable barrier keeps water out and secures the roof from saturation. However, if the wear deteriorates from wear and tear or excessive snow and water, fluid could breach the panels, seeping into the ceiling. This event leaves the property vulnerable to rot, mildew and mold.

How Does Design Influence Panel Damage?

Solar companies understand that their product has severe impact and conditions, so they use durable materials and test their panels to ensure they work against the elements. The industry wants to satisfy customers and avoid constant replacements and repairs. Therefore, they strive to invent and improve their concepts to combat external threats.

Hail, for instance, comes at random. It's unpredictable. However, when a storm comes through, it rages. Panels undergo thorough testing to survive a storm with minimal harm. Many operations select materials that can withstand intense forces. Panels can survive hail in most cases. They are hardy enough to take the beating. However, owners may find cracks if hailstones continuously hit one spot, increasing pressure.

What Should You Do When You Find an Issue?

Be aware of possible roof damage. Have regular inspections with your solar panel specialists and licensed roofers, determining whether your panels and rooftop are in good condition. Furthermore, immediately contact a water damage remediation in Sandy, UT, to assess any possible water infiltration.

It's critical to perform an immediate assessment, determining the extent of dampness and possible mold growth. The trained crew has specialized equipment to help dry out the facility, tear out contaminated pieces and restore the premises to good condition. Catch problems early. Otherwise, the situation exacerbates, creating more headaches and work for you and your restoration crew.

Solar companies work hard to deliver quality products that survive harsh storms. However, sometimes even the best materials get harmed. Panel damage can happen. Remain proactive about inspecting your roofing and work with professionals to correct any trouble immediately.

What Is an Ice Dam and Can I Prevent It

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

 Professional removing Snow from the Roof. Prevent Ice Dam and be Ready for Winter Storms in your Sandy, UT property by following These Tips.

Winter in Sandy, UT, is not for the faint of heart. Many days, you probably begin by dealing with the snow that piled up overnight. This work takes time and zaps your energy as you snow blow and shovel it off the driveway, not to mention having to scrape it off your car. While it probably won't risk making you late for work as the snow on the ground, an ice dam can be a significant problem during a winter storm.

Ice dams are formed when ice accumulates on a home's eves, creating a ridge. This ridge traps the water from melting snow, preventing it from quickly draining from the roof. Then, the water can refreeze. The freezing backup can cause roof issues and indoor water intrusion problems that often lead to water damage to attics, insulation, ceilings, and walls.

Additionally, water leaks can lead to secondary damage such as mold. The mold infestation can turn out to be an even bigger problem than the original ice and water.

How Can I Prevent Ice Dams at My Home?

By controlling the amount of heat that escapes through the home's roof, you can reduce your risk of ice dams. There are several ways to do this.

1. Control the Home's Upward Airflow

Prevent air from leaking through the ceiling into the attic. Most homes have small gaps in the walls and ceiling from which air can escape. You can do this by creating an air-tight seal around all leakage paths. This action will prevent warm, humid air from rising to the attic.

2. Increase the Home's Insulation

Ice dams can be significantly reduced by adding insulation in your home's ceiling and roof areas. This insulation will help keep the warm air inside the house, preventing it from warming the roof. You can hire water damage mitigation specialists to perform an inspection to make sure you are leak-free and ready for the next winter storm.

3. Repair Roof Issues

A damaged roof or even missing shingles can provide more opportunity for heat to transfer from the indoors to the outside of the roof. Have your roof inspected regularly and repair any issues immediately.

4. Add Vents to the Roof and Soffits

Sometimes adding vents to the roof and soffits can be a great help if you still have some uncontrolled airflow. They will operate by pushing the warm air out of the roof while pulling the cold air inside. If you are still experiencing roof issues when it snows, you can often get a step ahead of the game by utilizing a snow rake. A snow rake is a tool made for pulling the snow down from a roof. Raking your roof at least once during a winter storm can prevent snow from piling up. Just be careful when performing this job, as you can get injured by the influx of falling snow and ice.

With these tips, you can prevent an ice dam. By implementing these suggestions now, you can avoid some potentially costly damage. Begin today planning for your next heavy snow. In the meantime, check with your insurance agent to verify that your homeowner's insurance includes ice dam coverage.

The Benefits of Installing Storm Shutters

2/13/2022 (Permalink)

Image of windows with storm shutters Storm shutters can improve safety in your home.

Do you live in an area prone to high winds or intense storms, like hurricanes and tornadoes? If so, you might want to invest in permanent storm shutters. Sure, you can use plywood or other temporary coverings, but they take time to deploy, and sometimes, time is not on your side.
Installing permanent shutters is an excellent way to ensure rapid deployment when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Many storm remediation services in Sandy, UT, will explain that there are at least four benefits to installing such tools.

4 Benefits to Installing Storm Shutters

1. Improved Safety

The primary reason to install shutters is for safety. With the tools permanently attached to your house, they are easy to move into position when a storm is rolling in, even if you are given little warning.
Window coverings like these, typically made of metal or other solid materials, help to eliminate the danger to people inside the house. The windows are less likely to shatter because of high winds or flying debris, meaning people inside are less likely to be injured during a storm.

2. Improved Curb Appeal

If you have ever driven through an area preparing for a possible hurricane, you will notice that most homes have plywood covering vulnerable areas like windows. Plywood is not the most attractive surface in the world, and it can really take away from your property’s curb appeal.
Using permanent shutters looks more natural on the house, more intentional. The covers come in a variety of materials and colors, ensuring you can find the perfect combination to highlight the beauty of your home rather than take away from it.
It is worth noting that most people do not care about curb appeal when they are trying to protect their homes. However, in many instances, professional-grade covers are more durable than plywood and require less damage to the property to install.

3. Utility Savings

Having coverings installed is also a way to save on utilities, especially heating and cooling. In the warmer months, on especially hot days, you can use the covers to keep the harsh sun and UV rays out of your home, helping to keep your place cool.

4. Increased Resale Value

Finally, if you live in an area prone to violent storms, like hurricanes, installing permanent shutters can improve your home’s resale value. Permanent devices are attractive with a practical purpose. Granted, the resale value might only increase if you are in an area with a high demand for such products.

High winds can lead to significant damage to a house, everything from broken windows to damaged roofs. Storm shutters are only a single means of defense, but they do offer many benefits to the interested homeowner. From safety to resale value, there are few disadvantages to purchasing and installing such products. However, it is crucial to have the items installed correctly to make the most of your purchase. Choosing a DIY approach with little experience might result in sloppy installation and the ultimate failure of the covering, entirely mitigating the usefulness and benefits of the devices.