Recent Storm Damage Posts

How to Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home in Indiana

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fallen tree in the middle of the road. How to Reduce Wind Damage to Your Home

Living in central Indiana, we all are familiar with damaging winds. Due to the lack of hills, mountains, and forests; the wind can be brutal throughout the year. Most of the damaging winds come from thunderstorms and blizzards that blow across our state. Damaging winds are defined as winds that exceed 50mph and are a common occurrence in the Indianapolis area. Another form of damaging winds is tornadoes which are also a common occurrence in Indiana. In the blog below, we will show you how to prepare your home and property for damaging winds. By following these tips, you will hopefully be able to limit the damage that damaging winds can have on your home. 

Check Your Garage Door for Weaknesses and Damage

The part of your home that can be most susceptible to damaging winds is your garage door. The best garage door to have is a heavy one. Some of them are even rated for hurricanes. With a heavy garage door, the high winds are less apt to blow or tear it off your home. You can also have your lightweight garage door reinforced by a garage door installer. Whether you have a heavy garage door or a lightweight one, the next important part of the door is how it is secured to your home. You want to check to make sure that the garage door rails are securely attached to the wall and ceiling of your home. If it is not solidly attached, high winds could possibly separate the rails from the home and blow the garage door down. The last part you want to check is the seal at the bottom of the door. Not only will a properly sealed door prevent water from blowing in but it will also keep the wind from shaking the garage door and damaging it. 

Check the Integrity of Your Roof

You want to make sure that your roof shingles are not missing or damaged as this can lead to water seeping into your home and causing damage. Make sure that all of the shingles are properly secured and not loose. A loose shingle can be easily blown off the roof damaging and exposing other shingles to wind damage. If you have a satellite dish or air conditioning unit or any other type of equipment secured to the roof, you will want to check that they are solidly affixed to the roof. A satellite dish that blows off a roof can become a dangerous projectile that can damage windows, cars, and other homes. You will also want to make sure that the screws and bolts that are used to attach the equipment to the roof have some type of sealant around them to prevent water from leaking through your roof.

Check Your Windows and Doors

A common source of water damage from high winds and storms is through cracks and broken seals in windows and doors. You not only want to make sure that your windows and doors can close completely and lock but you also want to check the outside frames and edges for any cracks or broken seals. With windows, water can seep in around the wooden frames between the siding and the window. You can easily seal any cracks up with window & door caulking. You also want to check the door jamb for spaces or tears in the weather seal. Many doors have seals that can be replaced easily once they become torn and brittle. You can also buy similar seals for the bottoms of your windows to keep water from blowing under and into your home. 

Check the Perimeter of Your Home for Loose Objects

With damaging winds, loose items in your yard, patio, deck, and gardens can quickly become flying objects that can break windows, rip apart siding, dent cars, tear up roofs, and cause all types of damage to you and your neighbors' properties. If you know a severe storm is coming, you want to make sure any table or chairs is secured to the ground and/or moved inside your garage. If you have a grill, move it into your garage or secure it to a deck railing or large tree. If you have any large trees, you will want to cut down any dead branches on a regular basis. Dead branches can easily break during a storm and cause damage to your home. To protect your cars during a severe storm, either move them into your garage or away from any large trees that could fall on them. 

If Your Home Should Suffer Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

If your home or property should suffer damage from severe storms, winds, and/or tornadoes, call the damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge, expertise, tools, and equipment to handle all types and sizes of damage. They’re available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call them the next time disaster strikes your home or business. 

The Dangers of Lightning to Your Indiana Home

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

The Dangers of Lightning to Your Indiana Home

Lightning occurs millions of times each day around the world. From spring through fall, it is also a common occurrence in Indiana. Lightning is a discharge of static electricity between the positively charged particles on the ground and the negatively charged particles in the clouds. As air moves around and moisture builds up, as in a storm, the opposite charges connect forming lightning. It’s kind of like the static shock you sometimes get while wearing socks on a carpeted surface and touching a metal doorknob, only on a bigger scale. 

When lightning connects with the ground, it tends to take the shortest and most attractive path. It tends to connect with conductive materials like a metal antenna on a tall building, a power line, a cell tower, a gutter on the house, a telephone line running to the house, or the metal framing around a window or door. Once the lightning connects with a conductive material, like a TV antenna on the roof of a house, it then travels down through conductive materials until it reaches the ground. These conductive materials could be the electrical wiring in your house, the copper water pipes in your walls, or the TV and internet cables running through your house. 

The danger in lightning is two-fold. The first is the high voltage of the lightning. Lightning can easily injure or kill someone if it comes into contact with them. Being struck by lightning is more of a risk when someone is outdoors but can also happen inside if the person is talking on a land phone line or standing in a metal door frame or touching a metal faucet when the lightning strikes. This voltage can also destroy most appliances if the lightning travels through them.

The other big danger of lightning is the amount of heat that it produces. The heat that lightning generates is around 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is this heat that results in house fires from lightning strikes. The heat can easily spark a fire as the lightning travels through or makes contact with flammable materials like wooden framing, insulation, electronics, and gas piping. With gas piping, the lightning can damage a valve which can cause a gas leak which can lead to an explosion.

The power surge and the heat from the lightning can also cause the wiring and connected devices in your home to explode and spark fires. The wiring itself can overheat and melt the protective sleeve causing fires within the walls, in your attic, and other hidden areas. 

There is one more big danger of lightning that most people don’t think about. That is shock wave damages. While you may not be familiar with shock waves from lightning, you may know it as a different name - thunder. When lightning strikes, it creates a shockwave or thunder that you can hear from miles away. When lightning strikes nearby, you can sometimes feel the shock waves in the air and through the ground. If you can feel the thunder that far away, imagine what thunder can do to a home from a direct hit? Thunder or shock waves from the lightning can be violent enough that they can shake a brick chimney into a pile of rubble. Lightning can crack cinder blocks, bricks, and foundations on a home. The shockwaves from lightning can blow out windows in a home, which is one of the reasons why you should stay away from windows during a lightning storm. 

How to Stay Safe from Lightning in Your Home 

When lightning is occurring, you want to stay inside your home until the storm has passed. You also want to stay away from windows as they could carry the lightning as it travels to the ground and/or they could also explode or shatter from the shockwaves. Since lightning seeks conductive materials, you want to avoid touching any electronic devices that are plugged in. You also want to avoid washing your hands, doing laundry, or taking a shower or bath, as lightning can travel through the water pipes and hit you. If you are in a basement with a concrete floor, you will want to wear shoes as the concrete can conduct electricity if it has moisture in it. You can use your cellphone or wireless devices (remote control, wireless telephone, laptop) as long as they aren’t connected to any power source or other powered devices. 

What If Lightning Strikes Your Indianapolis Home?

If lightning should strike your home, you will want to do a thorough check of your house. Don’t go outside if the lightning storm has not passed. You can, however, check all the rooms for fire or the smell of smoke. You also want to check your garage and attic if possible. The next step is to call the fire department. Even if you did not spot any fires, a small fire could be smoldering inside your walls or attic, and you won’t know until hours later when it has spread. The fire department will be able to do a more thorough check of your property.

If your home has been damaged by lightning, either as a result of fire or shockwaves, you will want to call the storm restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools, equipment, and expertise to handle all types of damage from storms. Whether it is water damage, fire damage, or structural damage from lightning; they can help clean up the damage and get your home back to normal. Give them a call for all of your water, mold, fire, and storm damage.

What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House?

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House?

Storm Toppled Trees and Branches

With the recent bout of tornadoes and strong storms throughout Central Indiana, downed trees and branches are an all but common occurrence. Hopefully, though, the down trees and debris have not hit your home or car but have just caused damage to your lawn or landscaping. If a tree limb or whole tree has hit your home, there are some steps you should take to ensure there isn’t further damage and to speed up any recovery efforts. Below we will cover top tips to follow after a tree, limbs, or debris have hit your home after a heavy storm or tornado.

Call the Electric Company if Power Lines Are Down

If you are without power or notice that the tree has hit power lines, stay away from the tree and power lines and call the electric company immediately. They will be able to safely turn off the power to the lines and start working on getting the lines back up.

Evacuate Any Damaged Structures

If a tree has caused significant damage to your home or garage, you will want to vacate the damaged area of the home or structure. The damaged roof or walls of the structure could make the entire structure unstable and at risk of collapsing. If the damage is to a majority of the home, it is best to evacuate the home and seek shelter at a neighbor or in your car away from the fallen tree and damaged home.

Smell Gas, Evacuate the Area

If a tree has fallen and damaged your roof or exterior wall/s, there is a chance that it has also ruptured a gas line in your wall or attic. There is also the possibility of an uprooted tree breaking the gas line under the ground. If you smell gas in or around your home, you should immediately leave the area and call 911. The police will contact the gas company to shut off the gas line in your area.

Water Damage from Damaged Roof, Walls, or Windows

If you notice water leaking into your home from the damage caused by the downed tree or branches, you will want to call a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, immediately to cover the damaged area and clean up any water damage inside your home. This will keep any further rain from entering into your home and dry up any water that has already entered. The faster this is done, the less damage your home will incur from water and mold.

Does Home Insurance Cover Damage from Fallen Trees?

A common question many people have is whether their home insurance will cover damage caused by a fallen tree or branches. If the fallen tree damaged your home, garage, or detached structures like a barn or shed, more likely than not, your home insurance will cover the damage. If the fallen tree just causes damage to your lawn or landscaping, it’s unlikely your home insurance will cover the damage. It really all depends on your home insurance company and policy. You should contact your insurance agent for clarification on what is covered and what isn’t.

How to Prevent It from Happening Again

While you could remove all the trees from around your property to greatly reduce potential damage from a fallen tree to your home, this is an unlikely and unpopular scenario amongst most people who appreciate having shade trees and ornamental trees around their homes. One tip you could follow to reduce any fallen branches or downed trees from damaging your home is to practice some routine clean up and maintenance on your trees each year. Once a year, Spring is usually the best time, it’s a good idea to cut down any dead branches, leaning branches, or damaged branches that may break or fall during a storm. If you find any dead trees or unhealthy trees, you may consider hiring an arborist to determine if the tree can be revived or cut down. By keeping your trees in healthy condition, you can reduce the risk of one toppling or breaking as a result of strong winds and heavy rains.

Prevent Further Water Damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

If you should experience water damage to your home or property from a downed tree or branches, call the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the equipment and the expertise to stop any further damage from happening and quickly clean up and restore the water damage that has already occurred. They can also help with any mold damage or fire damage if needed. They’re available 24/7 for any size disaster. Give them a call if disaster strikes and damages your home.






After the Flood - The Do’s and Don'ts

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

After the Flood - The Do’s and Don'ts

Floods can be devastating to Indianapolis homes and businesses. Not only can the initial flood waters cause extensive damage but so can the potential mold growth afterward. Before returning to your flood-damaged home, there are things you should do and not do after the flooding.

Wait Until the All Clear

Flood water can be deceiving. While it may seem that the waters have stopped rising or have receded, they can quickly rise as the rivers and streams bring more water from upstream. The best thing to do before even attempting to return to your home is to confirm with the emergency services that it is safe to do so. If there are fire or police in the area, you can also ask them if it is safe to enter your home.

Inspect the Exterior for Damage

Before entering your home, walk around the perimeter of your home to check for any damage to the exterior, downed power lines, or ruptured gas lines. If you smell gas or see a downed power line, leave immediately and contact the authorities. They will contact the utility companies to ensure the power is off and/or the gas line is shut. Do not go back until you have confirmed that there is no danger of electrocution or gas explosion. You also want to check for any structural damage to your home. If the roof is collapsed or sagging or the walls are buckled or heavily damaged, you shouldn’t enter your home as it could be unstable and at risk of collapsing.

Do Not Enter Flooded Floors

If your basement, lower level, or first floor are flooded, do not enter the floors. The water could be hiding hidden dangers like sharp objects, snakes, chemicals, and dangerous bacteria. If the water is flooded in the lower levels of your home, you will want to pump out the water first. Once the water has been cleared out, then comes the messy cleanup. Flood water can be a toxic stew of things that can harm your health. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear rubber boots and gloves to protect yourself from any chemical or waste residues.

Get Rid of Water Damaged Goods

If any of your food has gotten wet from the flood waters, you should throw it away. If your refrigerator has gone without power for a while, you’ll also want to empty it before mold takes hold and makes a bigger mess of your fridge. It’s advisable to remove as many water-logged materials like papers, clothes, storage boxes, fabric furniture, drywall, curtains, and carpets. As you can see this can be a huge and overwhelming job. That’s why it’s usually a better idea to have a professional flood restoration company do this all for you.

Don’t Risk Further Damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Flood damage can be devastating especially if you don’t act fast and don’t remove all of the damage. To ensure all of the flood waters and water damage are removed, it’s best to call the storm damage and clean up professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to handle all types of damage from flood waters, sewage overflows, busted water pipes, and mold growth. They’re available 24/7 for any size disaster. Give them a call if disaster strikes your home.






Spring Storm Restoration Service In Indianapolis

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

We can help when water invades your property.

Springtime Rain Can Be A Pain

With all this rain recently in Indianapolis and more on its way, sump pumps are being overworked and overwhelmed. Some pumps seem to be working correctly but still allow water to back up in the basement or crawlspace. If you have standing water (flooding) in your basement, disconnect the main electrical switch, call a professional or your local fire department to help you. If you are in doubt about the electrical safety of your basement, it's best to stay out of it! Remember, "SAFETY FIRST!" 

Certified Training To Get The Job Done Right

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and our Certified Water Restoration Technicians will make it "Like it never even happened." The water removal and water cleanup process are completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process, and this validates that your property was dried thoroughly and accurately. We're routinely called to homes and business all across Indianapolis to clean up after a flood has occurred. We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any Fire or Water Restoration job that comes our way. When Indianapolis experiences heavy rains and strong storms, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the training and experience to return your home or business to its preloss condition. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential and commercial. 

One Call Away To Save The Day

When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, Indianapolis residents and business owners can expect us to respond immediately to your water emergency. Our office is strategically located in Indianapolis, and that gives us the ability to act fast and arrive "Faster to Any Size Disaster."

Call us, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we always have a live SERVPRO representative to help answer your questions and dispatch a crew 24/7 for emergency services. 317-243-3149

How Winter Storms Can Damage Your Indiana Home

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Ice can be particularly damaging to your Indianapolis home or business.

When we think about damaging storms, we tend to think of warm weather storms during Spring, Summer, and Fall. We don’t tend to think of winter storms as being extremely dangerous and damaging to homes. You might be surprised to learn that winter storms are the most damaging type of storm behind hurricanes and tornadoes.

While summer storms can bring high winds, flooding, and lightning; winter storms can bring some of the same and more like ice and snow. Below we will cover the damaging aspects of a winter storm and what steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your Indiana home.

Ice Damage

The first thing we think about when discussing the dangers of ice are slip and falls. Slip and falls along your sidewalk, driveway, deck, and patio are common and can result in broken bones. But ice can also cause damage to your home. Falling ice from trees and power lines can damage your roof. Ice accumulation in your gutters can cause them to break away from your home. Ice build up on your roof can cause the most damage as the weight of the ice can eventually cause your roof to collapse. Even if ice on your roof doesn’t cause it to collapse or bow, it can also cause water to seep under your shingles and cause water damage in your attic.

Some steps you can take to prevent this is to check to make sure your gutters aren’t clogged. It’s usually best and safest to clean your gutters out once all of the leaves have fallen from the trees around your home. Usually, the temperatures are still bearable and you can find a day where the roof is dry. Once you start having snow accumulations, you need to check your roof on a regular basis to make sure the snow isn’t piling up. As the snow piles up, it can melt and refreeze causing ice dams on your roof. These ice dams can keep the snow melt from flowing off your roof. Instead, the ice can build up and lead to leaks or collapses. A long handle broom or rake can help know off the snow or break up the ice dams.

Wind Damage

Winter storms can bring bitterly cold, high-speed winds which can wreak havoc on a home. These winds can blow snow, ice, and water under shingles, into foundation cracks, in cracks around your windows and doors, and through an attic and crawl space vents. They can also blow tree limbs and ice into your siding and windows causing damage and breaks.

While you can take some steps to reduce the risk of ice damage, there’s not much you can do to keep the high winds at bay. The best thing is to check around your home for any signs of damage after a winter storm. Look for damages to your siding, shingles, and windows. If the wind has blown snow up against your home, you will want to shovel it away. Snow buildup can cause water damage to your siding and foundation as it melts and refreezes.

Flooding After the Snow

During the really big snowstorms that usually only happen every few years in Indiana, the melting snow can be as dangerous and damaging as the snow itself. The snow itself can lead to roof collapses if the snow is wet and heavy and deep. But if the temperatures all of a sudden swing above freezing temperatures, the melting snow can cause flooding. Since the ground in Indiana is usually saturated during the winter months, the melting snow can quickly cause flooding in low and high areas.

To keep the flood waters from damaging your home, you want to make sure to shovel as much snow as possible away from your home’s exterior. If you have storms drains near your home, you want to check them regularly to make sure they don’t get clogged from the snow melts. If the snow builds up against your exterior and it starts to melt, the water can seep through your windows and doors that the snow has covered. This is why it’s important to shovel away the excess snow before it has time to melt.

Winter Storms Can Be Messy


Winter storms can be messy in Indiana. Not only do they make driving and walking even more dangerous, but they can also wreak havoc on your home. If you should experience water damage, mold damage, and/or fire damage from a winter storm, contact the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to clean up and repair the damage caused to your home. Give them call any time and any day for your winter storm damage emergency.

Is Your Home Ready for the Harsh Indiana Winters?

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Home Ready for the Harsh Indiana Winters?

This winter is supposed to be really bad in Indiana with lots of snow and extremely cold temperatures. With Christmas just around the corner and lots of us taking a day or two off from work, now might be a good time to make sure your home is prepped and ready for the harsh Indiana winter weather. In this blog, we will go over steps and tips to take to reduce the risk of water and mold damage to your Indiana home.

Clean the Gutters and Roof

Now that all the leaves have fallen off the trees, you will want to check your gutters to make sure they are clean. If they full or clogged, they could become damaged over the winter as water pools and freezes in the gutters putting excessive weight on them. You’ll also want to make sure any dead branches are removed off the roof and make sure that the water from the gutters is flowing away from your home and its foundation. It’s best to choose a day that is dry to clean out your gutters as roofs can be slippery and dangerous when wet.

You also may want to trim back any branches, especially dead ones, to keep them from breaking and falling on your roof over the winter. While you are on the roof, you’ll also want to check the flashing around the chimney and the seals around the exhaust pipes on your roof to make sure no water finds its way into your home.

Check Seals Around Windows and Doors

Once you're done with cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof, you’ll want to walk around the house and check all of your windows and doors for broken seals, cracks, or other areas where the cold air and water can get into your home.

You also want to check around your foundation for standing water and cracks in the foundation. Cracks in the foundation can get worse in the winter as water seeps into the cracks and freeze causing expansion and further damage to your foundation. If you find cracks, you will want to seal them before they get worse. If you find standing water you may want to make sure your gutters are directing the water away from your home and grading the ground to slope away from your home’s foundation.

Check for Leaks and Water in Your Basement and Crawl Space

Indiana winters tend to be very wet keeping the ground around your home saturated. With so much water and moisture outside, it’s important to check your crawl space and basement for water leaks and high moisture. You want to seal any cracks or leaks and possibly use a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture out of the air. If the moisture is too high, it can lead to mold growth in your crawl space and/or basement. You also want to test your sump pump to make sure it is working properly.

Insulate Pipes and Turn Off Faucets

While you are in the basement and crawl space, you will want to cut off the water to your outside faucets to reduce the risk of them freezing and bursting. You also may want to insulate and exposed water pipes in your crawl space and/or basement. This is an especially important step to take in a crawl space as crawl spaces tend not to be insulated or heated and can get extremely cold in the winter. Under the most extreme cold temperatures, water pipes could freeze and burst.

Change Out Air and Furnace Filters

Changing out your furnace filter will not only reduce the wear and tear on your furnace, but it will also reduce the risk of fire. With a dirty furnace filter, dust can quickly build up and your heater will be operating more often to keep your home warm. The excess dust and the heater working overtime can increase the risk of fire as the dust can be combustible. It’s also not good for the air quality or your utility bill.

If you have other air filters, make sure to check them out and replace them if needed also. Another risk from the excess dust is mold growth. If the humidity is too high in the air, it can increase the chance of mold growing on the dust in your air ducts.

Get Prepared for Indiana Winters

By taking the steps mentioned above, you can greatly reduce the chance of water, mold and/or fire damage to your home. If you should experience water, fire or mold damage to your home this winter, it’s important to act quickly to reduce further damage and call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to handle any Indiana winter home and business emergency. Even a small leak can result in extensive water and mold damage if not dealt with quickly. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

Flash Floods Can Be Dangerous

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Flash floods can happen just about anywhere at anytime.

By definition, a “flash flood” is a sudden local flood, usually due to extreme heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. Flash floods come quickly and sometimes with little to no warning. Flash flooding can happen so quickly that people are caught off guard. If you encounter high or fast-moving water while traveling, stop, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

Don’t take a chance you may regret.

It’s sometimes easy to underestimate the power and force of moving water. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep away a vehicle. People can be caught in their cars and swept downstream causing serious injuries and even death. Many of these drowning deaths each year are due to careless drivers and can be prevented, but too many people continue to ignore and drive around barriers that warn them of flooded roadways. Even driving through standing water can be dangerous. If the water isn’t moving, or cannot sweep your car away, it can stall your engine leaving you stranded and causing long-term damage to it.

Am I safe from flooding if I live Downtown?

A lot of people live in downtown Indianapolis and should be aware of possible flash floods. Flooding can happen almost anywhere, even in urban areas because of the impenetrable ground. The rain water cannot soak into the ground due to the impervious nature of concrete and the lack of open soil in urban environments. Massive amounts of water run-off can then overwhelm the sewer systems. Sewers can quickly become clogged by debris resulting in the water to backup and then flood. If you’re caught in a flash flood, stay safe and in your car if possible, and use your emergency kit.

Some items your emergency kit may include:

  • Water- one gallon per person for at least three days.
  • Food- at least a three day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Candles.
  • Phone chargers.
  • Road flares.
  • Rain ponchos.
  • Tarp.
  • Wet wipes.
  • A whistle to signal for help.

So while I write this blog as content for our website, I also hope that by reading this you will think twice next time you see a flooded roadway and turn around. It’s best if you take a few extra minutes and find an alternate route to your destination. So remember to "Turn Around, Don’t Drown," someone out there will be glad you did.

Tornado Preparedness

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Be as prepared as possible, talk to your family about tornado safety.

Summer is in full swing and that means thunderstorms and severe weather can occur at any time. We watch the news channels whenever strong storms are predicted so that we can be prepared and help keep our families safe. When strong storms are in your area, or the potential for strong storms, the National Weather Service may issue tornado watches and warnings.

Tornado Watch vs. Warning

What's the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

A “watch” is issued when conditions are favorable for storms and tornadoes to be produced. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a storm in your area, but that there is a high potential for one to be produced. A “warning” means that severe weather is imminent and a storm or tornado has been spotted in your area and you should seek shelter immediately.

Where to go and what to do:

Here are a few things we can do to stay safe and help protect ourselves if a storm is near. Get all family members and pets to an interior room, hallway or stairwell, the more walls between you and the storm the better. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture and protect your head. Move away from windows, and be sure to keep them closed, as high winds and dangerous debris can enter if they’re left open. Other safe places during a tornado can be a cellar, storm shelter or the basement of your home, any interior rooms without windows such as bathrooms and closets.

If your caught outside during a tornado seek shelter immediately. If that’s not an option, lie flat face-down on low ground, protecting your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can, they can be blown onto you in a tornado. Seeking shelter under an overpass is more dangerous than standing in an open field while a tornado is approaching. When a tornado passes over an overpass, the wind is funneled under the bridge, this actually increases its velocity. Additionally, overpasses are often where debris tends collect. So you’re better off finding a low area of the ground and laying as flat as you can. Be aware of flash flooding in these low areas.






Preparedness is so important.

It’s a good idea to talk with your family and plan out what to do and where to go in the event of a tornado. Preparation is very important and something we should all take time for. Select an area of the home to go to in the event of a storm and talk about it with the family. Also, keeping an emergency supply kit in that room is a very good idea. Items for a home emergency supply kit can include: water, food, a battery powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit and a whistle to signal for help.


What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms. The most violent tornadoes are capable of winds up to 300 mph and can create tremendous damage. They can destroy large buildings, uproot trees and hurl cars and trucks hundreds of yards.

Where do Tornadoes most often occur?

Tornadoes are most common in the central part of the United States, also known as the Great Plains. This area is suited to bring all of the ingredients together to form tornadoes. More than 500 tornadoes typically occur in this area every year and is why it is commonly known as “Tornado Alley.

Warning signs that a tornado might be near. 

There are several atmospheric changes that might be warning signs of a tornado’s arrival. A dark greenish sky, wall clouds or an approaching cloud of debris and large hail in the absence or rain may indicate a tornado is near. Also, before a tornado strikes, the wind may calm down and the air become very still, the “calm before the storm.”

What to Check After a Hail Storm

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

What to Check After a Hail Storm

While hail is a pretty cool phenomenon when seen on TV or from afar, it’s a scary and many times dangerous situation when experienced first hand. These frozen balls of ice falling from the sky can cause a lot of damage to cars, businesses, and homes. So if you should experience a hail storm, the first step is to take immediate cover. Once the storm has passed, it’s then a good time to check your property for damage. Below we will cover common areas to check around your home and business for damage from hail.

The Damage Hail Can Cause

When it comes to hail damage, the first thing many people think of is cars. We’ve all seen the news stories where cars are pelted with hail during a storm creating little dents in the car hoods and roofs. But what most people don’t think about is that if hail can cause that damage to metal, imagine what it can do to a home or business?

Check the Roof

One of the most common damages from hail is damage to a roof. The hail can tear up the shingles of a home resulting in roof leaks. Even if there are no signs of leaks from the roof damage, you may still want to check for any dings or pot marks in the shingles. If there is enough damage, many times the insurance company will cover the damages due to the hail storm.

Check the Siding

Another common area of homes that hail can damage is the siding. This is particularly true with old, brittle siding. If the hail storm brings with it high winds, the hail can be blown into the siding of homes rather than dropping straight down. The hail can tear apart the shingles causing water to seep into the exterior walls resulting in water damage to the insulation, the wood framing, and eventually into the drywall.

Check the Windows

Again, if the hail storm has severe winds, the hail can be blown into windows and doors causing glass cracks or breaks. Even if the windows and doors are broken, the hail can also cause damage to the seals around the windows and glass which can lead to water seeping into the home. It’s always a good idea to do a thorough check of all the windows and doors that were hit by hail for any damages.

Check the Air Conditioner

Luckily there’s only one major appliance that is found on the outside of the home. That is the air conditioner. While air conditioners are usually built to withstand the brutal Indiana seasonal weather, large and damaging hail storms is one thing that air conditioners may not be able to stand. The hail can damage the cooling coils of the air conditioner. The coils are usually protected by a wire cage to can block objects from hitting the coils directly, hail is usually small enough that it can pass by the cage and cause direct damage to the coils. In severe hail storms, hail can also damage any wires or power supplies to the air conditioner. Again, it’s always a good idea to check the air conditioner and make sure nothing has been blown into it during the storm or been damaged from the hail.

Check the Gutters

Not only can hail dent and ding the gutter system, it can also cause further damage from the weight of the hail piling up into the gutter system. It’s not uncommon to see a gutter system pulled or torn away from a home due to the excessive weight of the hail piling up in the gutters. If you are up on the roof to check for damage to the shingles, you can also check the gutters for damage too. Look for dents in the gutter systems and areas where the gutter is drooping or even pulled away from the house.

Call the Hail & Storm Damage Cleanup Experts

If you should suffer hail and storm damage to your home, call the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle any type of storm damage. With their extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment, the pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle water and mold damage that can result from heavy hail storms, wind damage, and flooding.

What to Do if You Have to Wait for Service After a Storm in Indianapolis

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Heavy storms can leave your Indianapolis home or business flooded.

When a major storm event occurs, widespread flooding will likely accompany it. Whether it's a deep freeze in the winter causing broken pipes or torrential spring and summertime rain overwhelming sump pumps, these devastating storms can leave hundreds or thousands of homes and businesses damaged and flooded.

Beware of the door-to-door salesman

Watch out for door-to-door sales companies wanting to service your home. Always make sure you hire a reputable restoration company recognized in the industry. Do not pay in advance for any service to these door-to-door companies. They’re usually not prepared or able to handle your claim.

Patience is a Virtue

Many so-called contractors out there look to make a quick buck and take advantage of homeowners at their most vulnerable time. Honest and reputable companies will have well-marked service vehicles and uniformed crews that and can provide business insurance and customer testimonials. They should also give you straightforward and easy to understand answers and be able to explain the restoration process fully.

Immediately after major storm events, restoration companies are inundated with emergency service calls to cleanup and dry out homes and business. These extreme storms are rare, and when they happen, you may have to wait for your property to be serviced. We wish we could get to everyone all at once, but unfortunately, that’s just not possible. Our emergency service crews work 24 hours a day after these storms to restore your home or business. While you may have to wait for service, there are some things you can do until help arrives. Always think “Safety First” and use extreme caution after storm and flooding damage.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives:

Be extremely careful and make sure it’s safe to enter a wet area.

Avoid going into rooms with wet and sagging ceilings.

Avoid using any appliances or electronics that may be wet.

Remove excess water by mopping and blotting, Do not use your house vacuum.

Remove or elevate small items from the floor that can be damaged by standing water.

If possible, remove excess water from wood furniture with a soft towel.

Remove couch and chair cushions and place them in a dry space.

Use aluminum foil or small wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. This will help prevent the stain in furniture legs from transferring to the carpet.

If possible, turn on the air conditioning; this helps remove moisture from the air and promotes drying.

Pickup rugs from the floor or carpeting and put them in a dry room.

Remove paintings and artwork to a safe, dry place.

Gather loose items from floors. This will make a more safe environment and help keep them dry.

Reasons to use SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to restore your property:

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is locally owned and operated and part of the Indianapolis community.

We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 SERVPRO franchises, which enables us to respond quicker and with more resources.

When major storm events occur, we can call on our special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the Midwest.

We have agreements with most insurance companies in central Indiana and will help you process your insurance claim.

We will explain our process up front so that you know our every step and what needs to be done to ensure your property is fully restored.

We monitor and document the drying process to ensure your home is completely ready.

Our restoration technicians are certified and have continuing education in the industry.

You will have only one point of contact throughout the process. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West will manage all phases of the project from beginning to end.

You can always contact us 24/7 for emergency service . We are always available to answer any questions you may have.

Preparing Your Indianapolis Home or Business for Floods and Storms

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing Your Indianapolis Home or Business for Floods

While the Summers in Indiana can bring lots of heat and drought, they can also bring lots of thunder, lightning, and flooding. Before the weather outside starts looking dark and gloomy, make sure that your Indianapolis home and/or business is prepared. Below, we will cover what you need to do in the event of heavy storms and flooding in order to reduce any potential damages to your property.

Batten Down the Hatches

Before the storms come, there are some steps you can take to minimize any potential damages from strong storms and potential flooding. If you know a heavy storm is coming and you have time, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all your windows are shut and closed.
  2. Bring in or tie down any outside furniture.
  3. Make sure your gutters are clean to allow water to flow away from your home.
  4. Test your sump pump in your basement if you have one.
  5. Cut down any dead branches or limbs around your home.
  6. Seal any water leaks on your roof if possible.

Prepare for No Power

Strong storms can bring heavy winds which can cause power outages. Even a few hours of no power can be difficult to handle especially with young children. Follow these steps to make any power outages more tolerable:

  1. Have flashlights and plenty of batteries easily available.
  2. Make sure your cell phones are fully charged.
  3. Know where your first aid kit is.
  4. Have bottled water and snacks on hand.
  5. Have a battery-powered radio available in case there is no cell service.

When Flooding and Water Damage Occur

If your home should suffer flooding and water damage, it’s important to remain calm and not panic. Follow these simple rules if your home should suffer flooding or water damage:

  1. Stay away from the flood waters in your home.
  2. Don’t touch or use electrical appliances around floodwater.
  3. Wait until the storm has passed before trying to leave your home.
  4. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible.

When your home is flooded or sustains water damage, it’s important to contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as the storms have passed. The faster our water damage restoration experts can arrive, the less damage the storm waters may cause to your home. If left over 48 hours, water in your home can cause mold and bacteria and waterborne illnesses to thrive and further damage your home.

Contact the Professionals to Help You Recover from Heavy Storm and Flood Damage

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have the knowledge and experience to quickly remove, clean, and restore your Indianapolis home from water and mold damage. We’re available 24/7 to help you quickly recover from any the most extensive storm damage. Contact us anytime for any water, mold or fire damage to your home.

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

Even the smallest of storms can cause significant damage to your Indiana home. A limb can fall and damage your roof or windows. Wind or hail can damage the shingles of your roof. A tornado or high winds can uproot trees and tear off roofs. Even calm showers that last for days can ultimately cause flooding in your home.

While there is usually very little we can do to prepare or prevent such damage, there are steps we can take to reduce the damage from getting worse once the storm has passed. Below we cover simple steps that can be taken to reduce further damage to your home from happening. While some of the steps can be taken by the homeowner, it’s best to contact a storm damage cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. The experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the experience and tools to handle any size disaster and restore your home quickly.

#1 Wait Until the Storm Has Passed Before Taking Action

If you should suffer severe damage to your home, wait until the storm has passed until surveying the damage. If you are listening to the storm coverage on the radio or TV, wait until the reporter has given the all clear for your area. Many times, there can be multiple severe storms or tornadoes that hit one area. It’s always best to be safe when dealing with severe weather.

#2 Take Photos or Videos of the Damage

Once the severe weather has passed and you are able to leave the safety of your home to survey the damage, be sure to take photos and/or video of the damage. This can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company and can also be helpful for storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals to know what equipment they may need on hand.

#3 Turn Off the Electricity if There is Flooding

If you have flooding in your basement or in your home, be sure to cut off the electricity before wading through or getting near the flooded areas. If you are unable to reach the fuse box to cut off the electricity then wait until the cleanup professionals or electric company can arrive to assess the situation. You never want to get near any standing water or flooded areas in your home for risk of getting electrocuted.

#4 Get the Water Out

If there is standing water in your home, you will want to extract it as soon as possible. The longer the water sits in your home, the more damage it can do. Flood waters, in particular, can quickly promote mold growth in your home if not removed and treated quickly. To ensure the water is completely extracted from your home, it’s best to have water damage professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West handle the removal of water from your home.

#5 Air out the House

Once the water is removed from your home, you will still want to air out your home. The flood waters in your home most likely raised the humidity in your home. If you don’t air out your home, the humid air could carry mold spores and cause mold damage throughout your home. You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture from the air.

#6 Check for Exterior Damage

If you haven’t checked the exterior of your home for your damage, you will want to do that. Be sure to check for roof damage, standing waters near your home’s foundation, siding damage, and damage around windows. All of these areas can be causes of water to enter your home.

Contact the Storm Cleanup & Restoration Professionals

If you experience storm damage to your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get the damage cleaned up and your home restored. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and know-how to handle whatever mother nature may throw your home’s way. Whether it’s flooding, water damage, mold growth or even fire, SERVPRO can handle it. Contact them today for complete cleanup and restoration.



SERVPRO Storm Restoration Services in Indianapolis

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storms are relentlessly destructive to houses, property, and the contents within!

Indianapolis has a reputation for its ”mild” climate, but those of us who live here know better! We Hoosiers know the pollen count is insanely high, and if it’s not hot, sticky, and muggy, then the Tornado Warning sirens are blaring. If we’re not seeking shelter from the twisters, we’re dodging hail rocks. And then there are the extra wet days, a few times every summer, when the hard, steady rain pours down like it will never stop.

Hail, tornado, and rain, mixed with our “Hoosier humidity,” means storms are relentlessly destructive to houses, property, and the contents within! Summer storms in Indianapolis can be devastating, and assessing the aftermath may leave you feeling helpless.

Fortunately, our experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West are focused on restoring and repairing your property and contents rather than just replacing them. We understand the importance of personal belongings and can restore damaged items some would write off as ruined. SERVPRO can work with you and your insurance company to return your home to its preloss condition, and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water damage from storms / sump pump failure / roof and window leaks.

Our industry-leading water restoration techniques are second-to-none. Whether it’s a flooding emergency from a failed sump pump or a leaking roof or window, our crews can track the source of water and dry your home. We document the drying process using moisture detection equipment to ensure your property is completely dried. Sometimes water problems are in areas hidden from view, like in a crawlspace or attic. SERVPRO’s storm damage experts can find these water problems before they cause serious damage.

Mold mitigation.

Strong summertime storms here in Central Indiana usher in heavy rains that may enter your home. If left untreated you can experience secondary damage, such as mold. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West follows strict guidelines and industry protocol when mitigating mold. We isolate the affected area using physical barriers and a negative air pressure chamber for proper remediation. Mold must be taken very seriously; it poses health risks, especially to those with asthma and low immune systems. It’s important to address any flooding issues as quickly as possible, because mold can begin to grow within 48-72 hours.

Restoration of heirloom / memorabilia / sentimental pieces.

Using advanced drying techniques, we can restore your home and help save your precious possessions such as: important papers, photo collections, books, certificates, electronics, and other fragile / delicate valuables.

Property damage / power lines and who to call.

ALWAYS stay away from power lines. Call your local utility company or 911 if you see any downed power lines. If you receive heavy storm damage from high winds or a tornado, your home may not be safe. Always remember, SAFETY FIRST, and let the authorities clear your property of any potential hazards before going back inside.

So when storm damage strikes, don’t despair! Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at their emergency 24/7 phone # at 317-243-3149 where a live person is always there to take your call and schedule a FREE in-home consultation. We’re a preferred vendor with most Central Indiana insurance companies. And our 1-4-8 Emergency Service guarantees: 1) within one hour of contact, we're on the phone to arrange services. 4) within four hours, we're on site to begin mitigation services. 8) within eight hours, we'll have a prepared statement and a plan of action outlined for you and your insurance company. You can also email us directly at SERVPRO9518@ATT.NET .

Don’t leave your storm repair to just anyone. Trust the nationwide leader in storm cleanup at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Need Flood Cleanup & Water Damage Restoration Services In Indianapolis Area?

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Need Flood Cleanup & Water Damage Restoration Services In Indianapolis Area?

With the recent rash of heavy rains and violent storms throughout Indiana, many homes have suffered from flood and/or water damage. Not only are the rivers, like the White River flowing through central Indiana, rising and breaching their banks but the extensive rain has saturated the grounds. As a result, homes where flooding is usually not a problem, are experiencing flooded basements and water damage.

Fortunately, the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help dry out, clean and restore your water damaged home or business. SERVPRO has the equipment and the experience to restore water damage of all sizes. Whether you have water seeping in from your basement walls or river water rising and flowing through your home, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help remove the water, dry out the damaged areas, and restore the damage as if nothing ever happened.

What You Should Do If You Experience Flooding in Your Home or Business

If the nearby river or stream is rising and threatening to flood your home or business, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. They will be able to assist in reducing the damage caused by the flood waters. If you wait until the flood waters have had time to flow through and saturate the interior of your home, you could be facing, even more, damage from mold. Mold can grow within 24 hours after gray water or black water from flooding has entered your home or business. By reacting quickly and calling SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately, the mold can be prevented or at the very least minimized before it has caused too much damage.

Flood Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you should experience flood damage or storm damage to your Indianapolis-area home or business, call the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317.243.3149. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications to quickly cleanup, repair, and remediate damage from fire, water, mold,  and storms to home and businesses around central Indiana.




Top Ways Severe Storms Damage Indiana Homes & Businesses

6/25/2017 (Permalink)

Severe Storms Can Easily Damage Indiana Homes and Businesses in Many Ways

Severe storms are as common as corn in Indiana, especially during the spring and summer time. While they are usually short lived and tend to blow through rather quickly, storms can leave a path of destruction for businesses and homes in Indiana. The worst part about severe storms is they have many ways to cause storm damage in Indiana with very little ways to prevent it.

Damage from Heavy Winds

The summer time seems to be the most popular for storms with heavy winds. They usually run in a vertical line and rip across the state from the west to the east. While they blow through quickly, their winds can reach up to 70+ mph. These damaging winds can tear shingles off roofs, rip trees out of the ground, pull siding off of homes, and blow large debris through windows. Once they tear or blast a hole into a home or business, the rains can come inside and cause further damage.

Damage from Large Hail

Golf ball-sized, baseball-size, softball-sized...there are many ways to describe the size of the hale and unfortunately, they are all quite destructive. Hailstorms tend to cause the most damage to cars and roofs. It’s not surprising to see dozens of roofing companies out installing new shingles after a large hailstorm. Hail usually doesn’t cause further damage besides dents in cars and damaged shingles but the larger hailstorms can break glass windows and doors and tear up roofs enough to cause water to leak inside.

Damage from Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes can be very scary and deadly. While you should be safe if you are inside when there is a lightning storm, the lightning can damage your home in a couple different ways. The main damage lightning causes homes and businesses are starting fires. Lightning can cause an electrical fire by striking and running through all of your home's wires. It can also ignite wood whether it be a tree beside your home or the home itself. Lightning can also hit large trees and cause them to fall. Trees falling on homes and tearing holes through roofs and sometimes destroying an entire side of a home are where lightning can cause the most damage.

Damage from Heavy Rains

As the storms roll through your area, they can release a lot of water in a quick amount of time. This quick accumulation of rain can cause flash flooding and overwhelm sump pumps. Flooded basements or water seeping through the basement walls is a common occurrence that we have all either experienced or known someone that has experienced this terrible event. With storms causing water damage inside homes and businesses, it’s important to act quickly to get the water removed and the affected areas dried out. It only takes a day before storm water can cause even more damage by promoting mold to grow in the damp areas. Mold can grow in the carpets, drywall, wood framing, furniture, and insulation. It can turn a bad situation into a much worse situation requiring mold remediation.

Damage from Tornadoes

When it comes to storm damage in Indiana, tornadoes can be the most destructive. A direct hit from a tornado can tear off roofs, blow out windows, hurl large debris through exterior walls, and at their worse, they can completely level a home or business. With an indirect hit, businesses and home can experience broken windows and damage to roofs. All of this damage from a tornado can lead to more damage from rains entering the home or building which can then lead to mold growth.

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you should experience storm damage to your Indianapolis-area home or business, contact the storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317.243.3149. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications to quickly cleanup, repair, and remediate damage from fire, water, mold,  and storms to home and businesses around central Indiana.

Heavy rains in Indianapolis brings many flooded basements.

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Way too much water in my house.

With all this rain recently in Indianapolis, sump pumps are being overworked and overwhelmed. Some pumps seem to be working properly, but still allows water to backup in the basement or crawlspace.

If you have standing water (flooding) in your basement, disconnect the main electrical switch or call your local fire department to do it for you! If you are in doubt about the electrical safety of your basement, it's best to stay out of it! Remember safety first!

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and our certified Water Restoration Technicians will make it "Like it never even happened."

The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

We're routinely called to homes and business all across Indianapolis to cleanup after a flood has happened. We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any Fire-Water Restoration job that comes our way. That's why when Indianapolis experiences heavy rains like we're currently having, we have the training to return your home to it's preloss condition.

When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, Indianapolis residents and business owners can expect us to respond immediately to your water emergency. Call us, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 24/7 for emergency services 317-243-3149.