Recent Storm Damage Posts

How Statistics About Tornadoes in Texas Can Help Red Oak Residents Prepare For Severe Weather

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak highlights important tornado statistics that can help Red Oak residents and businesses maintain awareness about severe weather and the property damage it causes.

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is the premier water damage restoration company in the Red Oak community. Red Oak is in a region of Texas that experiences severe weather, including tornadoes that often cause water damage.

Texas Tornado Statistics Tell a Tragic Story

Each year, about 132 tornadoes strike somewhere in Texas, causing massive property damage that requires the services of property damage restoration companies. The high winds wreak havoc on roofs, resulting in water damage and mold infestation.

From year to year, the tornado totals see some variation. Certain regions are more prone to be visited by tornadic weather than other regions in the state. The Red River Valley owns the distinction of being the tornado alley of Texas. This North Texas area is pummeled more frequently by tornadoes than any other region in the state. Ennis and Red Oak lie within this region of heightened tornadic activity.

No month of the year is immune from the severe weather that generates tornadoes, including December and January, the coldest months of the year. Tornadoes can appear at any hour of the day or night. Nighttime tornadoes are particularly dangerous because most Texas residents are asleep and unaware of the approaching storm.

Meteorologists have determined that tornadic activity is concentrated during the late spring and early summer months, from April through June. Texas twisters typically occur during the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

In the sixty years from 1951 to 2011, nearly two-thirds of all Texas tornadoes struck in three months — April, May, and June. May is the most tornado-prone month of the year, and one in three tornadoes strike Texas in the month of May.

More twisters are recorded in Texas than in any other state in the USA, including Oklahoma. This title is probably due to the state’s massive size relative to other nearby states.

According to the Texas Almanac, “The greatest outbreak of tornadoes on record in Texas was associated with Hurricane Beulah in September 1967. Within a five-day period, Sept. 19–23, 115 known tornadoes, all in Texas, were spawned by this great hurricane. Sixty-seven occurred on Sept. 20, a Texas record for a single day. In addition to Hurricane Beulah’s 115 tornadoes, there were another 9 tornadoes in September for a total of 124, which is a Texas record for a single month. The greatest number of tornadoes in Texas in a single year is 232, also in 1967. The second-highest number in a single year is 1995 when 223 tornadoes occurred in Texas.”

As mentioned above, May is an active month for tornadoes. Texas saw its worst outbreak of spring tornadoes in its history in May of 1982, and meteorologists identified 123 tornadoes. On average, May experiences a little over thirty-nine tornadoes per month, making it the most potentially dangerous month of the year. January experiences the least number of tornadoes on average at 2.3 tornadic events per month.

On December 29, 2006, Texans faced a rare outbreak of winter twisters. Twenty-seven tornadoes rumbled through the Lone Star State, the largest monthly total for December on record. December averages about three tornadoes per month.

According to data compiled from the National Weather Service, the top ten deadliest tornadoes in the history of Texas have accounted for 563 fatalities and 3,447 injuries.

Tornado Statistics Teach Helpful Lessons

Understanding the timing and frequency of tornadic activity, as well as the capacity of tornadoes to cause storm damage to homes and businesses, can give some helpful insight on how to prepare for a tornado and how to respond when a tornado causes storm damage to a structure.

Here are some tips on how to be prepared for a tornado:

  1. Always stay alert, especially during the months of April, May, and June. Two-thirds of all tornadoes occur during these months, and one-third of all Texas tornadic events happen in May.
  2. Storm conditions are at their height between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm. When there is a weather alert during these hours, know that the conditions are just right for a tornado to develop in association with severe weather.
  3. Sign up to receive NOAA weather alerts on all devices.
  4. Purchase a weather radio. Make sure that everyone in the home or business knows how to use it.
  5. Prepare a storm disaster survival plan with the entire family. Business owners should prepare a disaster response plan for their employees. The professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak often work with businesses to formulate a Ready Plan to deal with storm damage, water damage, and fire and smoke damage resulting from a property damage disaster.
  6. Prepare a severe weather survival kit and refresh it before peak tornado season arrives in late March and early April. The kit should include LED flashlights and plenty of batteries, first aid items, food, water, important documentation and contact information, rubber gloves, tarps, duct tape, rope, and a basic tool kit.
  7. Designate a safe room or sheltered area in the home. Practice tornado drills with the family at different times during the day and night.
  8. Pre-qualify a property damage restoration company before disaster strikes. Searching for a storm damage or water damage restoration professional at 3:00 am in the middle of a chaotic situation only adds to the stress and anxiety of the ordeal.

The property damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak are ready to help residents and businesses deal with water damage in Red Oak and Ennis. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, the team can respond within an hour or less. Certified technicians utilize the latest equipment, advanced technology, and proven cleaning and restoration techniques to quickly restore a property to its original pre-damage condition.

For more information about water damage restoration in Red Oak, TX, call SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak office at (972) 937-1494 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How Storm Power Outages Can Lead to Crawl Space and Basement Flooding and Water Damage

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak reminds homeowners that power outages during severe weather can cause a sump pump to fail, which can cause water damage in the crawl space or basement.

Since 2000, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak has been serving the local community with water, fire, and storm damage restoration. Centrally located in Ellis County, the damage restoration teams can reach any location in the area in less than thirty minutes. The local company is backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises, specializing in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster clean-up and restoration.

Everything in Texas is big, including the thunderstorms that rumble through the North Texas region during the spring, summer, and fall. Occasionally, turbulent weather will pay a visit to the area during a warm spell in the winter months, as experienced on December 26, 2015, when ten or more tornadoes pummeled North Texas. Typically, April and May are the most active months for severe weather.

A severe weather “watch” means to keep an eye out for potentially severe weather conditions. A “warning” means severe weather conditions are in the area. The “r” in the word “warning” is a cue to homeowners to run for cover or to retreat to shelter in a protected area or safe room in the home. Once a warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, only minutes or seconds may separate tranquility from turmoil during periods of severe weather.

High winds, hail, heavy rain, and lightning can potentially cause a power outage. High winds may break off limbs or topple trees, which can break power lines. Flash flooding may bring down the power grid along a river or creek basin. Lightning strikes may take out telephone poles, transformers, or substations resulting in the loss of power for large portions of the local Ennis and Red Oak population. In any case, severe weather and power outages can be disastrous.

Some of the consequences related to severe weather and a power outage include:

  • slip-and-fall injuries in the dark or on wet pavement or decking
  • electrical shock from appliances, electronics, or power cords during a major water intrusion from a flood or from severe damage to the roof or other portion of the structure
  • heart issues resulting from stress and anxiety over the power outage
  • back issues, joint injuries, or muscle strains from moving heavy debris, furniture, or water-logged floorcoverings
  • medical complications arising from the loss of power to life-sustaining medical equipment

A serious consequence of a power outage is the loss of power to a sump pump in the basement or crawl space. Typically, sump pumps are installed in a sump pit where water collects from a foundation drainage system that directs intruding water to the pit. The sump pump evacuates unwanted water, keeping the basement or crawlspace dry. Most sump pumps operate on electricity, so a power outage can be disastrous. A crawl space or basement can flood very quickly when the sump pump is not operational. Sometimes a sump pump may lose power even though the home or business has power.

In any case, having multiple contingency plans in the event of a sump pump failure is worth the time, effort, and expense. Flooding in the basement and crawl space can lead to damage to or the loss of valuable property, structural damage to the foundation, mold infestation, health effects related to the mold, and expensive water removal and restoration costs.

According to insurance industry experts, “One way to prevent sump pump failure during a power outage is to have a battery backup for your sump pump, which will keep the pump running even if your power is out. In addition to battery sump pump backups, some pumps also have water-powered backup systems that use your home’s water supply to remove water from the sump pit.”

Some homeowners install an additional sump pump with its own backup power system to ensure any water intrusion can be managed. Not all insurance companies cover water damage resulting from a sump pump failure. Special coverage must be purchased at an additional cost. Homeowners should check with their insurance agent for options and expenses. Some insurance companies may require a backup plan that includes the installation of a reserve system with its own power source, such as a generator.

Homeowners need to regularly test the sump pump by pouring a bucket or two of water into the sump pit. The pump should immediately spring to life and drain the water from the sump pit. Before pouring water into the pit, clean out any debris or dirt that might clog the system.

If the worst-case scenario — a flooded basement or crawl space — becomes a reality, immediately contact a qualified water damage restoration expert to take care of the problem. Water damage grows worse with every passing minute. Advanced secondary water damage may add days and many dollars to the overall expense of the restoration work. Also, insurance companies may look unfavorably upon lengthy delays in securing property damage restoration services, especially for water damage. Pre-qualifying a water and storm damage restoration company when the days are sunny can save hours when it is dark, the rain is coming down in torrents, and the basement or crawl space is flooding.

The water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak are available 24/7, 365 days a year. IICRC-certified technicians have the equipment, training, and experience to tackle any size disaster.

For more information about water and storm damage restoration in Red Oak, TX, contact SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak by phone at (972) 937-1494 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Prepare for Winter Weather to Avoid Costly Damage

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Is Your Property Ready for Old Man Winter?

The mild weather we’ve been blessed with these past few months may have us lulled into an unrealistic sense of security, believing that a mild or even balmy winter lies ahead. However, it doesn’t take a major ice storm to do damage to your house -- normal winter weather with long durations of moisture and ice can cause problems, too. When the worst happens and you need immediate service to rescue your property and prevent further damage, rest assured that SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is ready to respond.

We all hope to be spared from accidents caused by severe winter storms or the damage that can result from wet, icy weather conditions. Read on for suggestions to help you be prepared for that icy onslaught.

  • Check regularly on weather reports and warnings for upcoming freezing weather and winter storms. Being informed ahead of severe weather gives you an advantage.
  • Early in the season, have your heating system checked by a professional HVAC company. At the very least, change your filters. Don’t wait until a frigid day to find out that your heating system doesn’t work.
  • To prevent damage to the outside of your home, paint, caulk, and seal wood structures. Replacing trim later, after moisture has caused rot, will be a lot more expensive than doing this preventative maintenance.
  • Even your masonry and concrete surfaces can be damaged by freezing moisture. Inspect your patio and other concrete structures and apply a winter sealant to keep out the moisture that causes damage.
  • Clean your rain gutters. The leaves falling in autumn, as well as other debris that falls from trees during summer can clog your gutters causing rain to back up and overflow. The overflow can cause moisture to build up under the shingles around the perimeter of your roof, causing wood rot. It also runs down the walls of your home, causing damage to your masonry and foundation.
  • Make sure all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home are in good working order and have fresh batteries. Winter is the time most home fires occur due to home heaters, fireplace fires, and holiday decorations. This is a good time to take stock of your fire extinguishers and have annual maintenance done on them.
  • Hire a reliable company to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney before building that first cozy fire. Make sure you have brought in a fresh stock of firewood and store it at a safe distance from wood structures. Inspecting any old firewood for deterioration will give you the opportunity to spot signs of wood-damaging insects.
  • Prepare pools, sprinkler systems, and outside water faucets for freezing weather. Using professional services for the pool and sprinkler system is well worth the cost. Draining and blowing out lines to prevent pipes bursting during a freeze is far less expensive than having to replace them in the spring. Also drain outside faucets, as they are completely exposed to nasty freezes and can cause major damage if a faucet line bursts and floods the inside of your home.
  • Check any trees near your home. Branches that are too near the house can cause damage when they become ice-coated and brush against the siding and windows. Trees that are dead or dying can fall during snow and ice storms, causing major damage to your house or your neighbors. Dead trees should be removed.

Preparing in advance for winter’s worst can help to prevent damage to your property due to wear or accidents. But when a damaging event does occur despite your best efforts, be assured SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak is prepared to rush to your assistance. We can quickly remediate damage caused by water, fire, or smoke, and help to make your property “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak 972-937-1494

Pipes Burst

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

busted copper pipe No matter the cause, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is available to help remediate water damage.

Though the incoming cold front isn't bringing arctic temperatures, and Texas doesn't often experience weather cold enough to freeze pipes, it has been known to happen.

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak had a customer call us after a storm system came through, causing the temperature to drop so severely that the pipes in their kitchen burst, leaving their home with water damage. 

When experiencing a water loss, it is crucial that the water be extracted quickly. A fast response assists in keeping the affected area isolated, and ensuring that the damage to the impacted area does not become more severe due to prolonged exposure to water. SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak has teams ready to be dispatched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and our skilled technicians will be on site quickly, helping to prevent additional secondary damages from occurring. 

Storm Response

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

drywall cut high to remove flood damaged materials with drying equipment in place Our professional staff knows exactly what steps to take to ensure your property is restored properly.

It's almost starting to feel like fall, FINALLY, well, for the weekend, at least. But, just because it feels like the weather is changing doesn't mean we're done with hurricane season yet. Are you aware that hurricane season lasts from May 15th to November 30th?

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is one franchise in a nationwide network of SERVPRO franchises. We live in, work in, and serve our community; but, when disaster strikes elsewhere, or a destructive storm hits close to home, we are able to partner with our brothers and sisters in green to mitigate storm damage on even a large scale.

No matter where or when mother nature strikes, no matter how big or small the damage, SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak is here to help.

Reduce Potential for Storm Damage: Get Your Home Ready

9/2/2019 (Permalink)

Historically, peak storm season typically occurs in the eight weeks surrounding September 10. This is due to the summer warming of oceanic waters and the weakening of wind sheer. The higher air and water temperatures cause storms to drop more precipitation and to last longer, and the lower wind sheer prevents storms being dispersed by the wind. Over the last 70 years storms over land in the North Atlantic and Western North Pacific have slowed by 20 to 30 percent. These slower, wetter storms mean more potential water damage. (www.weather.com)

SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak technicians are highly trained and ready to rush to your aid in the event that you have water damage due to flooding. But you can reduce the potential for your home to sustain water damage from a storm by doing the following things to get your home ready for the storm and for the possibility of a prolonged power outage after a storm.

  • First check the outside. Make sure rain gutters are clear of debris so water will flow freely and away from the house. Check the roof for soft spots or damaged or missing shingles and make needed repairs. If there are tall trees near your house, make sure the whole tree is stable and if any branches overhang the house, trim them to reduce the chances they might fall and damage the roof, walls, or windows.
  • Secure any outside items, such as patio furniture, umbrellas, and grills, that could be blown by high winds. Move them to an inside location if possible. Anchor any outside fuel tanks.
  • Check that your emergency kit is stocked and readily accessible. It should include items such as non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights and batteries, blankets, extra sets of clothing, a first aid kit, and any medications needed by the family or pets. A more detailed list of items to include in an emergency kit can be found at www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.
  • If you live in a multi-level home, move what you can to a higher level (especially if your home has a basement). Store important documents (such as, birth certificates and passports) in a safe, dry place. Unplug all electronics, as water and electricity are a dangerous combination.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting, or move its contents to the freezer section. This will protect food for a longer time in the event of a power outage.
  • Turn off the gas line to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning or gas leaks.
  • Check your home insurance. Most home owners policies do not cover flood damage. However, with the changes in weather patterns bringing longer, wetter storms, it might be wise to add this type coverage to your policy no matter where you live. Prepare a household inventory, using photos or videos, as this will be critical in processing any insurance claims.

In the event that your property sustains water damage due to storms, flooding, or any other cause, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Ennis / Red Oak at 972-937-1494. Our technicians are experts at cleaning and restoration of water damage.

This information and more regarding storm/flood preparation can be found at www.floodsmart.gov.