Recent Storm Damage Posts
A Guide to Storm-Proofing Your Home’s Windows and Doors
As storm season approaches, fortifying your home against potential damage becomes paramount. Windows and doors are vulnerable points during severe weather, making them crucial areas to focus on when preparing your home. At SERVPRO® of Beverly Hills/Westwood, we're dedicated to helping you protect your property, and in this guide, we'll provide you with essential tips on storm-proofing your windows and doors effectively.
Inspect and Repair
Before the storm season begins, inspect your windows and doors for any existing damage. Look for cracks, gaps, or loose fittings that could compromise their integrity during a storm. Repair or replace damaged components promptly.
Upgrade to Impact-Resistant Materials
Consider replacing standard windows and doors with impact-resistant ones. These are specifically designed to withstand high winds and flying debris commonly associated with storms. Additionally, installing storm shutters can add an extra layer of protection.
Reinforce with Protective Coverings
If replacing windows and doors isn’t feasible, reinforce them with protective coverings. Storm-rated shutters, plywood, or impact-resistant films can shield against debris and high winds, reducing the risk of damage.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors using weather stripping, caulk, or sealants. This prevents water infiltration and minimizes the chances of drafts, enhancing energy efficiency as a bonus.
Strengthen Entry Points
Upgrade door hinges, locks, and deadbolts to sturdier, weather-resistant options. Consider installing a storm door as an additional barrier to protect your main entry door.
Trim Surrounding Trees and Branches
Overhanging branches near windows and doors pose a risk of causing damage during storms. Trim trees and remove dead branches to prevent them from potentially breaking and hitting your home.
Create an Emergency Plan
Ensure all family members are aware of the emergency procedures in case of a severe storm. Designate safe areas within your home and have an evacuation plan in place if necessary.
By taking these proactive measures to storm-proof your windows and doors, you significantly reduce the risk of potential damage to your home and increase safety for your family. However, should your property face storm-related damage, our SERVPRO® team is ready to assist you with swift and professional storm damage restoration services.
At SERVPRO of Beverly Hills/Westwood, we prioritize your safety and peace of mind. We're here to support you in protecting your home from the impact of severe weather. For more information or assistance, don't hesitate to contact our team today.
The Importance of Reviewing Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage
Storm damage in Beverly Hills, CA.
Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage
The right commercial storm insurance for your company in Beverly Hills, CA, can offer peace of mind and protect your business from a disaster. It's a good idea to meet with your insurance agent at least once a year to go over your policy. This allows you to update features if your business has expanded or changed in any significant way. It also enables you to see if rates have changed and if a better package fits your needs. When reviewing your policy, consider looking at the following items:
- The total you are paying for premiums
- The level of deductibles you have
- Any changes in the insurance industry that affects your policy
- Any gaps in insurance coverage that leave you unprotected
Your agent may also have ideas to improve your coverage. A good decision on insurance could save your company thousands of dollars.
You should be able to customize your deductibles on your storm insurance. In general, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your overall premium. It pays to understand some of the terminology related to this area of your policy. A dollar deductible refers to a dollar amount that the business owner must pay before the insurance company pays for damages. A percentage deductible replaces a fixed dollar amount with a percentage of the total loss, such as 2 percent; this type of deductible has become more common due to a trend of large storms in the U.S. The rules governing deductibles vary from state to state.
If your company is hit by a large storm, you will be glad you spent some time getting your storm insurance coverage in order. It can be a big help in the recovery process. Working with a professional storm mitigation franchise can also give you additional peace of mind. A trained company allows you to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Looking Out for the Helpers: First Responder Safety
Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road.
Safety Tips For First Responders
When disaster strikes Century City, CA, there is probably going to be an opportunity for the community to help. Those who take care of people during an emergency must also be mindful to take care of themselves. Here are some safety tips for every first responder.
Protection Against Disease
The potential for contact with harmful bacteria or viruses after a storm increases. If you are going to come into contact with floodwaters or people who are hurt, the CDC recommends that you get the following immunizations:
- Tetanus (if you haven't had a booster in the last 10 years)
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended shots for particular region where you are working
If you are going to be helping in and around floodwaters, flood mitigation experts suggest wearing the proper protective gear. Gloves, waterproof coveralls, rubber boots and a face mask with a respirator can help keep the microbes in the water from getting to you.
Protection Against Electrical Hazards
Fierce storms tend to bring down power lines. As a first responder, you need to be on the lookout for lines that have come into contact with standing water so that you can avoid it. If you are entering a home to rescue someone, it is a good idea to turn off the power at the main circuit breaker so that you can enter safely.
Protection Against Auto Accidents
During flood response, it is important to remember to keep doing the things you always do to stay safe. Drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. Do not drive through water that is too deep for you to see the bottom. Adjust your speed to accommodate for potential hazards, and remember to wear your seat belt.
When you are a first responder, you are not just taking care of other people. You must also take care of yourself. By adhering to safety tips and getting immunized against potential diseases, you can be more helpful to others.
How To Get Tax Relief for Storm Damage
Storm damage to a commercial building in Westwood Village, CA.
How to Get Storm Damage Tax Relief
Storm damage to your commercial building in Westwood Village, CA, can end up costing a lot of money to repair. While a good insurance policy and timely response from storm restoration experts can significantly lower the hit to your budget, you probably will end up paying some out-of-pocket expenses that you weren't planning to spend. The good news is that you may be able to get tax relief.
It is likely that a portion of the financial loss you endure due to an unexpected storm is tax-deductible. There are several things that factor into how much you can deduct:
- Your property's fair market value
- Timeliness of your insurance claim
- Amount of reimbursement you receive from your provider
Typically, you can claim these deductions in the year in which the storm occurs. If the storm damage is due to a federally declared disaster, however, you may have a little more choice in which year's tax rules will yield you a higher deduction.
Another possible type of relief from both federal and state taxes is an extension on the due dates for filing and making payments. Your building does not necessarily have to be in the federally declared disaster area to qualify for these extensions. This reprieve can give you a little more time to get your business up and running again and recover some of the losses before having to make your tax payments.
No matter how good your record-keeping is, a storm can destroy your tax files along with your building. The IRS often waives the fees to get copies of tax transcripts when a disaster is involved. This is particularly helpful when you are claiming your deduction on a previous year you have already filed.
While storm damage can be devastating to a business, help is available. Talk to your accountant about the potential tax relief that you can receive after disaster strikes.
4 Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm
Make sure your building is properly insulated.
Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in Century City, CA. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.
1. Insulate Your Building
Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.
3. Stock Emergency Supplies
Create an emergency winter weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.
4. Watch Local Weather
During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go.
Keep Your Family and Property Safe During Severe Weather
If your Westwood, CA, home is located in an area that experiences a lot of flooding, then you likely need to take extra precautions to keep your family and property safe during severe weather. Here are a few ways that you can do that.
1. Maintain Your Home to Prevent Water Build-Up
In order to minimize storm damage to your home, you should be sure to perform proper maintenance, even when you are not expecting bad weather. To prevent moisture from building inside the walls, perform regular inspections of your home’s exterior to check for gaps or cracks. You should also make sure that all of your windows’ seals are working properly. Don’t forget to clean out your storm drains and gutters as well, since clogged ones can cause water to back up and leak into your home.
2. Protect Your Property and Belongings
If you know that you may have flood damage, you can prepare by protecting your belongings. A waterproof safe is a great option for any important documents. You can store smaller items in waterproof and air-tight containers while moving whatever you can to a higher location, like a shelf or a second floor. If you can move your furniture, you may want to do that as well. Covering it with plastic can reduce damage.
3. Have an Evacuation Plan
While your home is important, your family is more so. If the flooding becomes an emergency, you should be ready to move to a safer area. Create a plan for how you will leave the house and where you will go. To make sure that everyone is prepared, it might be a good idea to practice beforehand.
Being prepared for flooding can help you protect what’s important, but you will likely not be able to save everything. If your home or belongings are damaged, a water damage remediation service can help restore your house and any items that are not beyond repair.