Recent Storm Damage Posts

Protect Your Property When Dealing With Flood Waters

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

A Flooded Family Room With Sofa Floating Don’t Get Caught Unprepared When Storms Flood Your Clawson, MI Home

Flash Flood Warning!! -- That dreaded alert many of us fear because of the concerns with our homes might possibly be affected by it.  SERVPRO of North Oakland County understands that your Clawson or Madison Heitghts, MI home is more than a structure: it's your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings that help transform a house into a home.  Here are some helpful suggestions on how to protect your property just in case disaster happens.

 How to Protect Your Property:

  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.  Keep them in a place where it's least likely to be damaged by a flood.
  • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to higher floors if there are areas in your home that are capable of being flooded. 
  • Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into drains of your home. 
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing elements to avoid leakage through cracks. 

Call us today when you’re dealing with any flood water issues.  248-439-1160

You'll Want Fire & Water Restoration Professionals To Help With Your Storm Damage

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Trees Downed Across a Road After Storm Came Through Storm Damage Can Be Severe Enough To Knock Out Roads and Power

When natural storms or man-made disasters occur and cause flood damage in your Madison Heights or Clawson, MI home, the flooding itself is only the beginning of the catastrophe. Subsequent damage to flooring, walls, personal items and furniture will escalate for weeks or months if left unattended.  Wood will swell and crack; carpets will rot and walls will weaken.  Within hours, mold and mildew can arrive and the air can become dangerous to breathe. 

Seek Professional Restoration

The time to act is critical.  You can’t wait long at all.  As a homeowner, you need to contact a professional cleaning and restoration company, such as SERVPRO of North Oakland County, to manage the situation and bring the risk of further damage to a halt.  However, it's important to understand that not all cleaning and restoration companies are equal.  Only the best are qualified and certified by the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is THE agency dedicated to ensuring that companies offering disaster cleaning and restoration, like SERVPRO of North Oakland County, are professional, qualified, and reputed to deliver what they promise.

Stop Contamination and Deterioration

While one might think that flood damage restoration is a simple, straightforward process, but that’s hardly the case.  Certainly, throwing away damaged furniture, carpeting, and decor is often a necessary first step, but with the proper professional restoration tools many household furnishings and items can be recovered and restored.  The presence of hidden moisture and the potential for mildew must be detected and re-mediated properly.  Special drying and dehumidifying equipment is utilized to stem mold and mildew proliferation.  Dangerous microbial agents in walls, flooring, and clothing must be rooted out and removed properly.  If caught quickly, the contamination and deterioration may be limited, saving the homeowner a tremendous amount of money.

SERVPRO is an Excellent Option

The process of restoration includes the inspection of literally everything in the house, whether it was directly in contact with the water or not.  Mattresses, drywall, and anything exposed to the same air where the flood water occurred should be inspected.  Even the sewage system needs to be inspected for possible contamination into the living area or water supply and neutralized if necessary.  To perform those necessary tasks safely, professionals utilize hand and eye protection as well as respirator equipment.  It is only with trained, qualified professionals, like SERVPRO of North Oakland County, that proper containment and restoration can be achieved safely and effectively.

Only after the entire process has been completed, is it safe for the homeowner and family members to rebuild and move back in.  Flood damage is a serious, complex catastrophe to be inspected, evaluated, and handled only by experienced professionals.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community!!  As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Oakland County is close by and ready to respond to your storm or flood damage emergency.  We are proud to be an active member of the Troy and neighboring communities, and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

SERVPRO of North Oakland County has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition.  Call us at today at 248-439-1160.

Storm Damage at your North Oakland County Home

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water Ruined This Troy, MI Basement Carpet

After arriving at your flood-damaged Birmingham, Clawson, Madison Heights or Troy area property, our technicians carefully pre-inspect all aspects of the flooded area.  It’s our team's job to begin mitigating damage immediately.  If the water invading your property is clean and safe to enter, we start implementing a specific set of actions right away. 

First and foremost, we inform everyone on the crew and the homeowner if the flood damage in your home presents any immediate dangers. Electrical hazards, falling ceilings, and deteriorated subfloors are all common occurrences after a flood.  Spending a few minutes securing the structure can save lives. 

Next, SERVPRO’s water damage restoration technicians (WRT’s) use a variety of hand-held, truck-mounted, and submersible extraction equipment.  We pump out all standing water found on your property, checking floors, walls, and crawlspaces whenever necessary.  Using the proper equipment for any given situation allows us access to hard-to-reach areas otherwise overlooked. 

SERVPRO technicians use a water meter to determine the extent of water penetration in carpets, floors, walls, and ceilings.  We move and block any furniture found in your home and extract water from all carpeting and hard-surface flooring.  Our team also detaches the carpet from the floor to extract water from both padding and subfloor underneath.  However, in most cases, replacement of padding is necessary. 

SERVPRO examines the back of the carpet for damages, looking for delamination, bad seams, or visible mold.  We check for pre-existing damages and determine whether or not your carpeting remains salvageable.  Technicians treat the floor and back of carpet with an appropriate deodorizer and an anti-microbial before putting the carpet back in place for additional extraction. Once fully extracted, the top of the carpet also receives deodorizer and anti-microbial treatments to the face fibers. 

We pay close attention to carpeting overall, continually searching for any furniture stains caused by the flood. As this type of stain is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove after your carpet fully dries.  With extraction complete, your assigned restoration team places dehumidifiers and air-movers strategically around the affected area, which begins the drying process.

Call us at SERVPRO of North Oakland County for full-service flood damage solutions throughout the Birmingham, Clawson, Madison Heights and Troy areas.  We have emergency responder’s available 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week, with access to all of the equipment, tools, and resources needed to tackle any size job. (248) 439-1160.

Do You Know The Categories Of Water??

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Learn The Categories Of Water

Categories of water define the sanitation of the water that has made its way into your North Oakland County home or business.  There are 3 categories of water and they’re classified by the Institution of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC).  You will often hear remediation specialists refer to the 3 categories as: Cat 1, Cat 2, and Cat 3 for short. 

Category 1 - Is the cleanest of the 3 and does not cause serious threat to inhabitants.  Here are some examples of sources for Cat 1 water:  a broken water heater tank, an ice maker water line, and falling rainwater.

Category 2 - Contains considerable contamination and has the potential to cause health concerns if someone were to come in contact with or consume it.  The following are examples of sources containing Cat 2 water:  a fish tank, a washing machine overflowing, or an overflow from a toilet bowl on the room side of the trap with some urine present but no feces.

Category 3 - Is grossly contaminated and can cause rather hazardous health concerns to someone that may come in contact with or consume it.  Examples of this would be:  a sewage back up, or flood water.

If you have water damage in the Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills or Troy area, give us a call 248-439-1160.  We are here to help.

Understanding How To Use & Maintaining A Sump Pump

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

When used a lot, your sump pump may require some maintenance.

Sump Pump Maintenance

As a homeowner, you know how much work it is to remove storm water from your home after heavy rain or snowfall.  If interior flooding from ground water or storm runoff is a common problem in your Troy, MI and surrounding community homes, you may want to consider using a sump pump.  This helpful tool not only redirects water away from your house, it can also prevent the costly water damage you deal with and pay for season after season.  Learn more about pump maintenance to determine if this device is right for your home. 

Plug-In the System

Once you get your new pump, you want to start by plugging it in.  If the pump is not attached to a reliable power source it won't do any good when water reaches your house.  Because power outages are often associated with large storms, some homeowners attach a backup power source such as a battery or generator to operate the pump if power fails. 

Clear Blockages

Overtime, your sump pump may require some low-key maintenance.  Small particles and debris may begin to create blockages within the pump that need to be cleaned out.  Neglecting regular inspection for obstructions may result in the following:

  • The pump works harder than necessary
  • Debris may cause permanent damage 
  • Blockages may result in water overflow

Test the System

Regular testing of your pump will help you rest assured that your home is not unprotected.  To test your pump, pour a bucket of water into the floor opening.  Listen for the pump to switch-on and watch for it to quickly and efficiently pull the water out and reduce the water level back to zero.  Slow water extraction may be a sign of pump blockages or debris. 

Swap Out the Backup Battery

Finally, keep an eye on your backup power source.  If you use a battery as your alternative energy connection, charge or replace it every two to three years to make sure it is reliable.  With these simple tips for sump pump operation and maintenance, you may be able to save the time and money on dealing with home storm damage.

Don't Do These Things After A Flood

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Submerged Car On A Rain Flooded Road Most people are unprepared after a major storm comes through. Please Contact SERVPRO of North Oakland County for your restoration needs.

It’s one of many homeowners’ worst nightmares: a large storm or local disaster has flooded your neighborhood in Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and other neighboring communities.  Many who experience flooding for the first time are unprepared and uninformed, not knowing what to do after floodwater has covered the streets or entered their home. To help you prepare, whether you’re facing a flooded home now or foresee its possibility in the future, here are three things NOT to do after a flood.

1. Remain in your home.  For safety reasons, if water has entered your home, it’s important to leave and not reenter until the flooding has subsided.  In a flood’s immediate aftermath, the risk of rising water is still imminent due to the possibility of more rain.  Please find refuge outside the flood area, whether it be in a hotel, a friend or other family member’s home or a public shelter.

2. Touch the water.  Flood water can be contaminated with any number of bacteria, sewage and/or chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and health.  It’s also imperative to avoid standing water to minimize the risk of electric shock from electrical lines and equipment touching the water.  If you must enter or be around the water for any reason, protective clothing such as rubber boots should be worn.

3. Fixing things yourself.  Repairing flood damaged items in a home can require a large number of construction materials, professional knowledge and skill to ensure the damaged items are fully repaired and any mold is removed.  Instead of trying to take on the job all by yourself, it’s best to save time and additional headaches by contacting a water damage repair and restoration company.

For any homeowner, flood water is most definitely an unwelcome sight.  Knowing what to do, or not do, in this type of disaster is imperative to keep you and your family safe and to begin the restoration process successfully.

Winter Headaches!!

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Winter weather brings more than just slippery roads and sidewalks to shovel. In Michigan where temperatures sink below freezing level, frozen pipes and ice dams can create a major disaster for your home or business.  


Frozen pipes are often exposed to cold weather, whether they are outside your home or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen/bathroom cabinets. A frozen pipe bursts typically where the ice blockage is located inside the pipe however the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To help prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:

  • Completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen/bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.


Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter. Ice build-up on the eaves of your roof often times will prevent melting snow to flow off the roof or run into the gutter system. The water then is trapped under the ice which can backflow under the shingles and into the structures interior causing major water damage. Ice dams can also cause gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter. If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured’s
property, SERVPRO of North Oakland County is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition. 248-439-1160

Are You Ready for Winter Weather??

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

The Cold Weather is here.  Are you prepared? Heavy rain and freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet and snow can cause serious and costly property damage to your home or business if you are not ready. You can't control the weather however you can make provisions and be prepared to help take the sting out of winter weather.

Protect your property by taking these precautions before colder weather hits to help prevent costly damages from old man winter. 

  • Inspect tree limbs and branches around your property. Strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ice can cause branches to fall, which could potentially lead to damages to the structure and even cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect roofs, water pipes, and gutters to ensure they are in proper working order. Direct gutter downspouts away from your structure. Clear all debris from gutters. Leaves, pine needles and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect walkways and parking lots for proper drainage to alleviate potential flood hazards.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to prevent potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces. Post caution signs where water could be present.
  • When temperatures dip below freezing, allow faucets to drip to help prevent pipes from freezing. Leaving cabinet doors open allows warm air to circulate around pipes located underneath cabinets helping to prevent freezing. If the structure has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask SERVPRO® of North Oakland County about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO® of North Oakland County to strike back. 248-439-1160

How To Check For Roof Damage After A Storm

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage.

After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.

Find the Leak Source

During storms, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:

1. Vents and fans
2. Chimneys
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Fix Water Damage

To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry. For more information, visit:

What to do if your house gets struck by lightning

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning is extremely dangerous

What to Do If Your House Gets Struck by Lightning

by Shawn Hedrick

What happens when lightning strikes a house?

If your home ever gets struck by lightning, you will hear a very loud, powerful boom that might shake your entire house. Many homes are built to withstand lightning strikes without succumbing to major damage. While staying inside your home, away from doors and windows, is the safest place to be during a storm, a couple of dangers exist inside the home when lightning is involved, regardless of whether you have lightning protection in place.

  1. Power Surges: When lightning strikes a house, the electricity often surges through a home’s wiring or plumbing system, searching for the quickest possible route to the ground. Make sure to unplug any electronics (especially valuable ones like TVs or computers), or they could be destroyed. Avoid running water during a lightning storm. You could get electrocuted if you are touching or standing near water or any electronics that are plugged into walls.
  2. Fire: When lightning shoots through a home, there’s a risk for fire. The most common place for a fire to ignite is in the attic, when a lightning bolt comes through the roof or top of the house. However, the heat from the electricity of a lightning bolt that runs through the walls inside your plumbing or wiring could start a fire as well. You may notice it immediately, or it may burn slowly inside the walls without your realizing it for some time.

What to do if your house gets struck by lightning?

    1. First, make sure everyone is okay. If you see fire or smell smoke, evacuate your home immediately.
    2. Call 911, and tell them your home was struck by lightning. Do this regardless of whether or not you detect a fire hazard.
    3. The fire department will come out to your property and assess the area for damage, including using thermal imaging cameras to search inside walls for heat that could or already has started a fire.
    4. Once your home is assessed and found to be safe, you will be able to return inside.
    5. Call your insurance company and explain what has happened.
  • If there is damage to your home call us at SERVPRO of North Oakland County. We are always here to help – 24/7.  Our experts are standing by -  248.439.1160