Recent Storm Damage Posts

How to Manage Storm Damage Before Professional Help Arrives

1/2/2022 (Permalink)

Especially on the Central Coast, the thunderstorms that come rolling across the coast can cause severe damage, leaving homes and businesses upset and at risk in their wake. Coming home to an uprooted or fallen tree (or two) can inflict costly damage, particularly if you don’t know how to ensure it doesn’t get worse before it can be properly cleaned up. That’s why it’s important to know how to manage storm damage before professional help arrives.

Storm damage comes in all shapes and sizes—it doesn’t fit into one clear box, but there are a few general steps to take to manage storm damage immediately after it happens:

  1. Don’t Go Outside Until You Hear the Okay

Whenever severe storms, tornadoes, or other natural disasters have watches or warnings around you, take caution! Make sure you monitor your radio and your phone to hear the okay to leave your home when the threat of the storm has passed. Your safety and well-being always should come first.

  1. Document the Damage

Before doing anything else, take out your phone and snap pictures of all the damage. This is essential to make any insurance claims on property damage that you have sustained due to a storm. By having photos of the damage before any cleanup has occurred, you’re more likely to be able to claim the maximum amount of coverage from your insurance that you can in order to cover the costs.

  1. Cover Any Areas Where More Water Could Enter

If your roof or home has any holes or damage that allows water to continue to enter your home, make sure you cover them to the best of your ability with a tarp or something else to prevent more water from entering. Chances are, rain may still be pouring down after you sustain some storm damage, and you never know when it may start up again even if it has stopped.

  1. Remove Excess Water

Is your basement now a mini-ocean? Do your best to remove any excess water you can by the bucketful or with a shop-vac. However, don’t attempt to do this until you are certain that there is no electrical damage and you aren’t at risk of your power channeling itself through the standing water. 

In all that you do after storm damage occurs, be sure to take caution and keep your safety in mind first and foremost. Once you have the time and signal to do so, call a local professional restoration company like SERVPRO of E. Fullerton / Placentia to get your place looking back to normal. You can reach us at 714-525-0158.

Avoid Dangerous Situations During a Flood

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Extracts Flood Waters to Mitigate Damage

Flood damage is exceedingly dangerous, for both homes and lives. Floods have the power to swamp and drown residents, as well as cause them serious injury or infection. To homes, they can seep and flow into not only furniture but also the structure itself, causing immense water damage. Furthermore, floodwaters are usually unsanitary and can cause dangerous airborne and water carried illnesses and mold, which may cause health effects. Avoidance is the best way to skirt issues and hazards caused by flooding. So watch out for heavy rains or floodwaters in the street, and keep upstairs if possible.
Infection and Illness
One of the most common injuries sustained after flood damage in Fullerton is an infection. Floodwaters breed and transport dangerous microbes, and because they often mix with sewage and overflow materials, diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and others can occur. Any water ingested or entering wounds has serious potential to lead to illness or infection, hence why you should exercise extreme caution and avoid entering floodwaters when possible. Also, some microbes, pathogens, and viruses may spread through the air or emit toxic gasses, and so the air surrounding flooded areas may also be hazardous to breathe.
Cuts and Wounds
Floodwaters often carry shards of wood, glass, and ceramic that may cut or stab into exposed flesh. These can cause blood loss and pain, in addition to opening up a wound for infection. Should you be cut anywhere in a flood-soaked area, immediately seek to disinfect and bandage the wound to prevent acute infection.
Further Damage to the Home
SERVPRO lists on our website some ways that you can help clean up before our technicians arrive following a flood. Be careful to stick to these recommendations and avoid danger, as there is a chance that you may cause further damage to your home. Allow our trained IICRC technicians in water restoration to be the first to begin serious work, for the sake of both you and your insurance.
SERVPRO of E. Fullerton Placentia is a locally owned and operated company with trained technicians and high-quality equipment prepared to deal with any flooding disaster, large or small. Call us today at (714) 525-0158 for our help or services.

Roof Damage During A Storm

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Stormy weather or major weather events can happen any time during the year, and can result in damage to your roof.  It’s important to take steps such as tarping or boarding the damaged roof to help reduce the potential damage to the inside of your home. In addition to preventing further damage to the roof, here are some other reasons to use a tarp or boards:

  1. The longer the damaged roof is left exposed to environmental elements, the more damage can occur. Potentially preventable problems could lead to an increase in your repair costs.
  2. Pests, such as squirrels or rodents, can sometimes find their way into your home through openings that resulted from the roof damage.
  3. Depending on the extent and location of the damage to your roof, there is a possibility that vandals or robbers could gain access to your home and destroy or steal your possessions. Tarping and boarding your home could be the deterrent you need.
  4. Until the roof has been professionally assessed by restoration specialists and properly boarded and tarped, you, other residents in your home, or anyone who visits your home could be at risk of injury from falling parts from the roof. 
  5. Depending on your insurance policy, there could be a provision that requires you to take steps to mitigate the damage to your roof. If you fail to act, your claim may be denied or the settlement offer reduced.

By acting quickly to mitigate your roof damage, you could potentially save on the costs of repairs and avoid more serious consequences that can result from waiting.

What Is a Flood Zone, and Are You in One?

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Everyone has heard of Tornado Alley, and they know this alley is the region of the United States in which tornadoes are most likely to occur. However, many people are unfamiliar with a nearby flood zone and often wonder in which regions of the U.S. these zones are. It is important that you understand what these zones are and why the government has made special designations for them.

What Is a Flood Zone?

A flood zone is a region of the U.S. that FEMA has defined according to their levels of flood risk. Though there are several alphanumeric designations the organization uses, there are four main categories in which a region can fall:

• Moderate to low-risk areas
• High-risk areas
• High-risk coastal areas
• Undetermined areas

In high-risk areas, homeowners are required to hold a flood insurance policy. However, FEMA provides grants to homeowners who were hit by a bad storm to either supplement what money the insurance company provided or to make up for the lack of coverage.

How Can You Tell What Flood Zone You're In?

FEMA offers a flood map, which provides useful depictions of flood hazards per region. You can download the map for free or pick one up from a Fullerton, CA, flood insurance company. Be aware that flood zones are always changing, and that last year's map may be out of date. It is important for your safety that you retain a copy of the most recent flood map available.

Do You Need Flood Coverage?

If you are in a high-risk zone, then yes, you are likely required to carry flood insurance. However, even if you're in a moderate to low-risk area, your lender may require you to carry a rider policy. If you do need insurance, visit for the most affordable rates and best policies.

It is important for all homeowners to understand what flood zone they're in to better understand the flooding risk. If you're unable to get the information you need from a flood map, contact your local flood restoration team for assistance.

SERVPRO Handles Storm Flooding

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Flood damage can come to your home when you least expect it. Thanks to SERVPRO of E. Fullerton Placentia's unique weather patterns, many homes in our area are ultimately put at even higher risk of storm damages.

As soon as you call us to report flood damage to your local, we act fast to bring technicians to your property as quickly as possible so that they can immediately implement damage-mitigating measures. By stopping any continuing sources of water, and then pumping out any existing standing water, we can then set up drying equipment. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster, simply stated-- we prevent as much additional damage as possible from happening in your home.

The most important steps in keeping your home safe and secure in inclement weather involve maintaining structural integrity and eliminating leaks, but even the most prepared homes can still be subject to the effects of nature. When the worst situations arise, SERVPRO of E. Fullerton Placentia is here to help.
In the following hours and days, we prioritize damage mitigation efforts over other work so that we keep costs low and have fewer restorations to do later.

SERVPRO of E. Fullerton Placentia is a fully-equipped damage mitigation service that can help lessen the impact of flood damage to your home. 

The 5 Most Common Reasons Behind Roof Leaks

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Having a leak in the roof is a pain for homeowners and one that can cause serious damage with time. Many times, roof leaks are not noticed right away because they start initially damaging the attic before they are visible on the ceiling of the home. 

Understanding why roof leaks happen can help you prepare for and prevent them from occurring in your home. 

Common Reasons Why Roof Leaks Begin 

  1. Wear and Tear Resulting From Age. With every variation in temperature, roofs are designed to expand and contract—meaning every summer, winter and temperature variation in between, there will be a bit of movement involved, which can eventually lead to cracks and vulnerabilities in the tar below the shingles. 
  2. Breakdown of Flashing or Seals Around Features. Anytime a feature such as a chimney, dormer or vent intersects with your roof, a seal or a flashing will be installed to keep water out. Over time, these seals or flashing installations can begin to warp and wear, letting in water. 
  3. Missing or Loose Shingles. Shingles are your home’s first line of defense against weather, so if one becomes loose or goes missing, there is a good chance a leak might develop. Shingles can get torn off by debris or simply come loose with time, but it is easy to do a visual inspection to determine if they are all there. 
  4. Clogged Gutters That Cause Puddles. It is recommended to clean the debris from your gutters regularly, as roof leaks can develop otherwise. When water is unable to be drained away, it will sit in puddles on your roof and can eventually start seeping into the wood underneath. 
  5. Excessive Moisture Deposits. If your roof is designed with several levels and one level deposits moisture onto another, the bottom level can become oversaturated with moisture if heavy rainfall occurs. This can overwhelm the roof’s defenses and allow water to saturate the shingles and begin seeping in. 

Have you experienced a roof leak in your household? If so, our trained water restoration technicians are here to help you. Contact us at any time to learn more. 

How Severe Storms Can Lead to Roof Damage to Your Home

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Severe thunderstorms are a frightening event because of how much damage they can cause to
your home. It is estimated that thunderstorms happen around 1,800 times every day, which
makes the potential for damage quite high.

While multiple parts of the home are vulnerable to damage as a result of a thunderstorm, the
roof is typically the most vulnerable and thus the most frequently damaged component.
Between high winds, hail and flying debris, there are several types of roof damage to be on
guard for when a severe thunderstorm is likely.

How Roof Damage Can Be a Result of Severe Thunderstorms

Shingles can be torn away due to high winds.

Damaging winds are classified as any wind speed above 50 to 60 miles per hour, but during severe thunderstorms, wind speeds can be as high as 100 miles per hour depending on the conditions that are present. This speed is certainly high enough to catch a loose shingle and tear it off the roof, exposing the vulnerable materials underneath and leading to leaks in the roof.

Hail damage can impact the roofline.

While not every storm will have hail as a component, when it does happen, it is generally widespread and severe. If you notice hail around your home after a severe thunderstorm, you should check for damage to your roof from hailstones as well. Large, powerful hail can cause divots on the roof, cracking shingles and thus making them vulnerable to water damage the next time it rains.

High winds can lead to flying debris.

When winds are as high as they are during a severe storm, nearly anything can turn into hazardous debris. Tree branches, patio furniture, rocks and decorations can all be thrown far from where they originated and even lifted up into the sky to scrape along the roof. This can also rip off shingles or lead to cracks, but is often more severe than simple wind or hail damage would be depending on the size, weight and force of the debris in question.

If you have storm damage to your home, you can count on us for restoration. Contact us 24/7 to
report your damage and get a quick response today.

What You Need To Know About Category 2 Water Damage

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

When faced with a rupture in your commercial building’s plumbing system, water pipe repair may be the first thing that crosses your mind. There are, however, other important considerations associated with more severe forms of water damage, such as category 2 water damage.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

Being able to recognize Category 2 water damage will help you avoid some of the health and safety hazards associated with this type of disaster.
Category 2 water damage is caused by gray water. It poses a moderate hazard to human health; contact with gray water can result in skin irritation or illness. Sources of gray water include:

  • Water that has accumulated in basements
  • Water from washing machines and dishwashers
  • Toilet water (that contains urine but not feces)
  • Water from sinks, baths, and showers

Rooms flooded with gray water are vulnerable to structural damage. This is linked to the gray water’s moderately fast evaporation rate, as well as to biological factors. Failing to clean up gray water properly can result in mold problems down the line.
For these reasons, preventing extensive Category 2 water damage requires rapid professional intervention. Ideally, this intervention should include both water pipe repair and water damage remediation. A professional remediation company will help you minimize damage to furniture and other items, repair structural damage, make sure your building is completely dried out and decontaminate waterlogged surfaces.

Understanding Contaminants in Gray Water
Gray water may contain biological, physical, or chemical contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms. Quick water pipe repair and water cleanup is important, in part, because these microorganisms can spread quickly.
Gray water may also contain man-made or naturally-occurring chemical compounds, such as bleach, pesticides, and drugs excreted by humans or other animals. Physical contaminants include sediment and mineral deposits found in water.
When dealing with a broken pipe in your commercial building in Troup, TX, you should respond quickly while taking appropriate health and safety precautions. Being aware of hazards created by Category 2 water damage will help prevent illness and injury.

Black Water Damage In Your Home

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Black water is water that has come into contact with feces. It has harmful bacteria that can cause diseases. The water should not be reused without removing these bacteria first. On the other hand, gray water does not have any human wastes which makes is good for reuse for example in irrigation. White water does not contain any dirt, it is clean water.

Well, depending on the type of water that has flooded your house in LA/Orange County; the approach to getting rid of it will differ. The dirty water needs to be removed by SERVPRO experts so that they can also decontaminate the place afterward. Even if the clean water is also a bad thing, there is no possibility of a disease outbreak which makes its removal a whole lot easier.

You can recognize the type of water by first identifying the source. Secondly, the source needs to be either closed or redirected to a safer place so that the water can stop getting in, finally is the removal process. Protective clothes are essential when coming into contact with dirty water. At SERVPRO Fullerton-Placentia we will take care of the water damage restoration, whether dirty or clean.

Causes of Basement Leaks

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:

  • During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor. 
  • The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rain water from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.
  • Window wells can be another cause of water leaks in the basement. If a window well is not properly installed or if the drain becomes clogged, the window well can fill with water. During a heavy rain, the water can seep into your basement. Water stains on the walls are a sure sign of leaky basement windows.

How water gets into the basement

Water can find its way into your basement a number of ways, such as:

  • Through cracks in the walls or floor
  • At the joint where the poured concrete floor meets the wall
  • Through cracks in mortar joints of block or masonry foundation walls

Fixing basement leaks

When it comes to fixing your leaky basement, there are a few steps to take to prevent leaks and keep your basement dry:

  • Clean gutters: When it rains, clogged gutters can overflow and rainwater can pool around your foundation. Removing leaves and debris and installing leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water away from the house can all help prevent the soil around your house from becoming saturated.
  • Improve grading: It's important to make sure surrounding soil is pitched away from the house so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation.
  • Repair window wells: Installing a fitted window well cover is a simple solution for keeping your window wells free of leaves and other debris that can cause the drain to clog and allow water to seep into your basement.
  • Install an interior waterproofing system:

    An interior drain tile connected to a sump pump is a proven solution for keeping the basement dry.

    The most effective way to keep water out of your basement is to install an interior drainage system that minimizes hydrostatic pressure. By installing drain tile along the joint where the floor meets the wall, where most water leakage occurs, you can capture water before it makes its way onto the basement floor. Water coming through the foundation walls will also be collected by the drain tile. The drainage system then carries the water to a sump pump that automatically pumps the water out of your home.

How to Prepare for Thunderstorms

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
  • Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  • Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
  • Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit

Responding Accordingly During a Thunderstorm

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

  • Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
  • Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
  • Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

Recovering After a Thunderstorm

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.
If Lightning Strikes

Follow these steps if someone has been struck by lightning:

  • Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Anyone who has sustained a lightning strike requires professional medical care.
  • Check the person for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR. If the person is breathing normally, look for other possible injuries and care for them as necessary. People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.

Let Your Family Know You're Safe

Helping Someone Who is Struck by Lightning

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

When someone is struck by lightning, get emergency medical help as soon as possible. If more than one person is struck by lightning, treat those who are unconscious first. They are at greatest risk of dying. A person struck by lightning may appear dead, with no pulse or breath. Often the person can be revived with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). There is no danger to anyone helping a person who has been struck by lightning – no electric charge remains. CPR should be attempted immediately.

Treat those who are injured but conscious next. Common injuries from being struck by lightning are burns, wounds and fractures.

Earthquake Glossary

1/6/2014 (Permalink)

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated. This earthquake glossary outlines other terms.


Aftershocks are earthquakes that follow the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. They are smaller than the main shock and can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years. In general, the larger the main shock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.


The epicenter is the point on the earth's surface vertically above the hypocenter (or focus), point in the crust where a seismic rupture begins.


A fault is a fracture along which the blocks of crust on either side have moved relative to one another parallel to the fracture.


The hypocenter, or focus, is the point within the earth where an earthquake rupture starts. The epicenter is the point directly above it at the surface of the earth.


The magnitude is a number that characterizes the relative size of an earthquake. Magnitude is based on measurement of the maximum motion recorded by a seismograph. Several scales have been defined, but the most commonly used are (1) local magnitude (ML), commonly referred to as "Richter magnitude," (2) surface-wave magnitude (Ms), (3) body-wave magnitude (Mb), and (4) moment magnitude (Mw). Scales 1-3 have limited range and applicability and do not satisfactorily measure the size of the largest earthquakes. The moment magnitude (Mw) scale, based on the concept of seismic moment, is uniformly applicable to all sizes of earthquakes but is more difficult to compute than the other types. All magnitude scales should yield approximately the same value for any given earthquake.

Tectonic Plates

The tectonic plates are the large, thin, relatively rigid plates that move relative to one another on the outer surface of the earth.


A tsunami is a sea wave that results from large-scale seafloor displacements associated with large earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands. 


9/23/2013 (Permalink)

The best way to protect your household from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.


Different disasters require different responses. But whether the disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate your home.


In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. 

Assemble a Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit

Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example). Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:

  • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.

  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.

  • Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.

  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

  • Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.

It is important to SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia that families in our community are prepared. For more please contact SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia. 

Recent Floods

9/20/2013 (Permalink)

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering flood damage. In fact, nearly 25% of last year’s claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in moderate to low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. Flooding can also result from plumbing failures, frozen pipes and damaged structures. Flood damage can affect your business operation in a variety of ways and can range in size from being isolated to a single room to entire floors being fully submerged. 

For years SERVPRO Fullerton/Placentia have not only helped our local community with floods but have also traveled to help the residents of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane IKE, floods in Minot, ND and we just finished up with the floods in Palm Springs. We soon could be leaving to help with the flooding in CO.

Our experience for these floods has helped us to become the leader in helping those with floods in our local community.