Storm damage? Here are your first steps.

Posted Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Storms are coming, Haslett. Are you ready?

Seasonal changes always bring story weather. While it’s important to protect yourself before the storm, what can you do after the damage is done? We know it’s a stressful time, so here are your first steps for tackling storm damage once the weather clears.

Safety first

If you see downed power lines, call 911 and the power company right away. Don’t touch the power lines, and keep your children and pets away.

If your house has electrical problems and flooding, turn off the power. Because water conducts electricity, stepping into a flooded basement with an electrical problem can cause serious injury or death. Turn off the power even if the power’s out—you don’t know when it will come back on, and you don’t want to be standing in water when it does.

Document all damage

Are your rugs stained from flood damage? Is your window cracked from the wind? Is your paint bubbling? What does your crawl space and attic look like? Are your roof shingles intact? Starty by taking photos, videos, and notes of all the damage and compile them into a detailed, itemized list. Then write down the date and time of the storm, and find news articles showing the storm hitting your area. This will come in handy when talking to your insurance company.

Call the insurance

Find out what your insurance policy covers. Michigan law allows homeowners to purchase insurance for flood damage and tree or debris removal in addition to their standard insurance policy. Every time you speak with the company or an agent, write down the date of the conversation and what you discussed. Then submit your itemized list of damages along with other required paperwork to make a claim.

Clean quickly and thoroughly

Time is of the essence in any cleanup job. Bacteria and mold love to grow in warm, damp, dark places, and they can flourish under your carpet and on the walls after a storm. Mold can be especially dangerous for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems.

In order to prevent mold and bacteria from spreading, keep wet areas open and well-ventilated. Open windows, crank up the dehumidifier, and disinfect to keep the microorganisms from spreading.

Bring in a professional team

If there is significant damage to your home, cleanup with be a big job and you’ll need help. At Modernistic, our 24/7 emergency response team is ready to be at your home, helping you repair damage in your hour of need. Our truck-mounted water extraction system will get the water out of your home, and our moisture mapping technology will ensure that we don’t miss any areas of potential mold growth. We can also work with your insurance company to help provide you peace of mind and help you get back in your home as quickly as possible.

How to prepare your house for a storm

Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Sterling Heights: what steps should you take to guard your home before the storm hits?

They say in Michigan that if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. And that’s true: the weather is changeable, and a big storm can hit with little warning, leaving you with very little time to prepare. However, there are steps you can take to be prepared in the event of a storm. How ready are you?

Make your emergency preparations before an emergency strikes.

You don’t wait to buy a first aid kit till you actually need one—by then it’s too late. Storm preparation in Michigan is the same way: they come in fast, and by the time you know one’s coming it’s too late to stock up. Take a moment to think about a big storm heading your way: what would you need now that you don’t have?

Invest in a generator.

If your house is at risk for flooding, make sure you have a generator installed and hooked up to your sump pump that will automatically turn on in case of a power failure. Otherwise, if the power fails while you’re away from home, you may return to a nasty situation. Gasoline generators usually need to be turned on manually, and will require you to have gas at hand for them to run. Whatever solution you chose, be sure you know how to start it and have the necessary fuel to get it running.

Where do you store your important items?

Many families store important documents in their basement, as it’s a seemingly obvious storage space. But if your basement floods, you could lose the documents you hoped to protect. If that still seems like the most reasonable choice, store them on a high shelf in a water-safe box.

Trim back trees near your home.

If you have a large tree near your house with branches close enough to touch, trim them back. A strong wind can cause those branches to knock against your home, causing damage to roofs, windows, and siding. If the tree seems to be in poor health, cut it down before it falls through your living room.

Clear away debris.

Make sure your gutters and downpipes drain properly: if they’re clogged, they could contribute to basement flooding. Also take time to clear debris from your yard. A fallen branch, or even toys left outside, can turn into a dangerous projectile during a storm.

Know who to call for damage control.

If a big storm hits and damages your home, you don’t want to be scrambling to find help last-minute. An emergency is a stressful time to make big decisions, and you want your home in good hands. Modernistic is at hand 24/7 to help repair your home after a big storm. So keep our number handy, and if you need us, we’ll be there.

Protect your home from basement flooding

Posted Monday, September 12th, 2016

Preventative measures will help limit the damage of flooding in your home.

Midland is no stranger to flooding. Like many Michigan cities, it boasts a network of lakes, streams, and wetlands, all of which contribute to a high water table. Not to mention the Tittabawassee River has been known to spill its banks. If you’ve experience basement flooding in the past, or if you’ve recently moved to the Midland area and would like to protect your new home, here are some preventative measures to take to limit the likelihood of basement flooding.

1. Make sure water flows away from your foundation.

When water begins to pool near your foundation, it increases the risk of basement flooding. Take some time after the next rainfall to check for any standing water near the base of your house. If you notice frequent pooling near your foundation after a rainfall, consider re-grading your lot to improve water flow. Keep your gutters, downspouts, and roof drains clear, and make sure they drain far away from your home.

2. Install a sump pump.

Sump pumps work by collecting potential flood waters into a basin, and then pumping them away from your home. They can be especially useful if your home’s foundation lies below the water table. To be extra secure, install a backup sump pump and an emergency generator so that your sump pumps will work even if you lose power.

3. Install a check valve.

Rainwater isn’t the only thing that can leak into your home. During a heavy rainfall, sewer lines can back up. A check valve makes sure that the sewer doesn’t back up all the way to your basement! They’re also one of the most affordable preventative measures you can take.

4. Limit your losses if flooding does occur.

Even after all these measures, your basement may still be at risk for flooding. However, you can limit the damage by storing important documents on a different floor or on higher shelving. Also consider hiring an electrician to move your power outlets higher up the wall. Many homeowners use their basements as default storage spaces, but make sure anything valuable is stored high off the basement floor.

More information to protect your home from basement flooding

The City of Midland provides more information their website for how you can protect your home from basement flooding. And if the worst happens, Modernistic’s flooding restoration team is available 24/7 to respond to your emergency.

What to do if your basement floods

Posted Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Don’t worry, Kalamazoo, we’ve got your back.

Summers in Michigan are times of extreme weather shifts: scorching hot for days on end, and then a sudden storm barreling through from off the lakes. This leaves many areas around Michigan at risk for flooding, and river valleys such as Kalamazoo face extra risk.

If you’ve dealt with basement flooding in the past, you know it can be messy and expensive to clean up. However, you can mitigate the damage if you act quickly and call a professional. If you find water in your basement, here’s what you should do first.

1. Shut off all power

This is the absolute first priority. Do not go anywhere near flooded water in your basement until you are certain that there is no danger of electrical shock. If you are not certain how to turn off the power in your basement, contact someone who can do this for you.

2. Call a professional and contact your insurance

If there’s any significant level of standing water in your basement, you’re going to want a professional to help. Not only are they better qualified to assess damage and make safety recommendations, but they will be better equipped to handle the cleanup quickly and efficiently.

Also call your insurance company and file a claim. Keep track of all your information so that you can work with your cleanup team more efficiently.

3. Wear protective clothing

Depending on the source of your basement flooding and when you discovered it, the water in your basement could be quite dangerous. It could contain sewage, chemicals, and other pollutants. Definitely wear a face mask as well as rubber boots and gloves if you enter the flooded area.

4. Start pumping water out

Find out the source of the flooding and make sure no more water is leaking into your basement. Use a sump pump, a pool pump, a wet/dry vacuum, or (if there’s not a lot of water) a mop and bucket. If you don’t have these items, a professional can help.

5. Dispose of anything that could grow mold

Move dry items somewhere safe. Books, cardboard, and electronics are particularly vulnerable. Don’t touch anything that has already gotten wet, as you risk spreading mold to other parts of your house. Clothes and bedding can usually be washed, but will require special treatment to remove mold. You will have to dispose of anything that takes longer than 24–48 hours to dry, or which can’t be thoroughly cleaned once it is dry, as it poses a significant mold risk.

We can help you with emergency restoration if your basement floods

No homeowner wants to come home to a flooded basement. Depending on the damage, it can be a very upsetting time. The best solution, practically and emotionally, is to move quickly and get help as soon as possible.

At Modernistic, we are available 24/7 to respond to your flood emergency, and our aim is to have a cleanup crew at your door within 60 to 90 minutes. Our IICRC- and RIA-certified technicians can handle every stage of the cleanup, bringing you peace of mind and returning your life to normal as quickly as possible.

If you need our help, contact us immediately.