Recent Storm Damage Posts

Don’t give fire fuel to burn

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Spring is here and with it, warmer temperatures. Californians are no stranger to fire season and even though we still have some rainy days ahead, summer is right around the corner.

Every year, SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms get a ton of calls for wildfire or smoke damage. Nay a year goes by that a major fire doesn’t break out somewhere in southern California near a populated area. 2018 taught the state a valuable lesson when it comes to fire safety and preparation and since then, the state has been far more vigilant with its resources. Firefighters were overworked due to the sheer amount and respective sizes of the Carr and Holy fires, as well as the numerous other fires that broke out that year.

How can you as an individual minimize your risk for fire damage? There are a few simple (and free) steps you can take.

  1. Maintain rain gutters and other areas where leaves and other vegetation gather. This is to reduce the likelihood of embers or flames jumping to roofs or yards where a fuel source is present.
  2. Fully extinguish cigarettes and other flammable debris before discarding. It is not only dangerous to throw cigarette butts on the ground; it’s illegal.
  3. Call SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley or SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms if all else fails and your home or business experience fire damage. With over 50 years of experience in fire damage restoration, we are your go-to resource 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fire safety is no joke and we can all do our part to help reduce the risk of damage!

Snow is beautiful until it becomes dangerous

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

With the polar vortex in Texas raging and utilities being unavailable for the foreseeable future, people in the Southwest are currently living in perpetual freezing darkness.  Windmills are frozen and the electrical grid is being pushed to its brink, laying a heavy burden on fossil fuels to try and thaw the freeze.

In the 1990’s, Californians experienced storms that knocked out electricity for long stretches of time. While these were hard on the grid, electricity was always restored in a timely manner. Sometimes it took longer, but it always came back within a day or two. We were luckily spared from this blizzard-like weather, but for how long?

When will southern California experience a deep freeze?

The high desert regions are no strangers to light snowfall, typically getting a little less than a foot annually. What happens when the snow is waist high and people are stuck in their homes?  SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms want to offer you some quick tips in the event of this hypothetical situation coming true.

  • Have a plan. If a violent storm separates you from your family, what are you going to do? Where will you meet up?
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit. This may include flashlights, a lighter, spare batteries, and canned food.
  • Stay tuned in to local radio. While the world is reliant on television and wifi-enabled computers, these things will not be reliable if the power goes out. Be sure to keep a battery-powered radio handy in case of such an event.

Most importantly, if your home or business is damaged during a storm similar to the one I described, be sure to make SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms your priority phone call. With 50 + years of experience in storm damage restoration, our technicians have the skills and training to return your home or business to preloss conditions.

The Winter of '21

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

2020 has come to an end. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but one thing rings true for everyone: winter is definitely here. The mornings are cold, the nights are long, and the overcast skies make from some brilliant, beautiful sunsets. While a lot of people prefer the cold and rainy landscapes of winter in southern California, they bring with them a slew of issues that both home and business owners should take into consideration.

Ice? In California? Not likely, right? Wrong. With ever-changing atmospheric conditions, California has experienced its share of frozen pipes and icy roads. While it is uncommon in the Inland Empire, the higher elevation areas such as the mountains and high desert will know this struggle all too well. Long story short, frozen pipes are prone to bursting. When this happens, a flooded home or business is sure to follow if the proper steps aren’t taken swiftly.

While 2021 may hold brighter horizons in many regards, the winter months are still sure to bring rain and wind. While we do technically live in a desert, believe me when I say that just because your home hasn’t experienced the wrath of a flash flood in the past doesn’t mean it won’t this year.

You may notice a pattern forming here. Yes, it’s uncommon. Does that mean it is impossible for your home or business to experience a water loss? No way.

If you are unfortunate enough to find your property under water, SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms is here to help. Give us a call today to learn more.


12/28/2020 (Permalink)

One of the benefits of owning a home in the high desert (at least opposed to living on the coast) is that you never have to worry about your home being invaded by gushing torrents of water in the event of a storm. Unless, of course, it rains. Flash floods are one of the most common causes of major water damage in the desert and more than just the roads are affected.

Regardless of the amount of sandbags and preparation, water has an annoying tendency to find its way into homes and cause major damage. Though this year has been relatively dry so far, that doesn’t mean we’re not in for a wet winter / spring like 2019. If you end up pulling the proverbial short straw and find your home under six inches of water, make sure you have SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley or SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms’ number saved (760-244-2566). With over 50 years in the restoration and water mitigation industries, we can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Windy, Windy

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Blowing trees Looks a Little Windy out There

Southern California doesn’t get tornadoes all that often. When you ask a resident of America’s “tornado alley” area if they would rather live here or stay where they are, nine times out of ten they will stay put, denouncing California for its earthquakes. Ask a Californian and most of the time you will get the same response, but in favor of California due to the Midwest’s propensity for tornadoes.

The real conundrum is that even though California doesn’t get tornadoes all that often, we absolutely get devastating winds in many areas. Take Hesperia, for example. In November of 2019, Hesperia experienced high winds that toppled street signs and mailboxes, amongst other things. This type of wind is fairly common, especially in the more open, valley areas.

While high winds are not as visibly disturbing as a giant funnel cloud shaping itself into an atmospheric vacuum monster set on destroying property, the effects can be much the same. Winds have been known to hurl debris through windows and roof tiles or shingles, leaving homeowners to foot the bill.

With all of this being said, I also offer you good news. Regardless of what type of wind Mother Nature throws at you, SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms is here to make sure that you don’t have to deal with it alone. Our trained professionals go to great lengths to make sure your home is restored to preloss conditions and we do so with integrity and compassion.

If your home or business has been damaged by wind, give our office a call today at (760)244-2566.

Rain Storms

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on tile floor Heavy rains can cause flooding in your home.

Every once in a great while, southern California experiences a major storm. I don’t mean loud thunder and impressive displays of lightning. I’m talking more specifically about rain storms. Storms that carry large amounts of precipitation have the capacity to be considerably damaging to suburban areas, and even more so to rural neighborhoods and roadways.

The high desert receives a decent amount of rain annually, but once in a while we experience rains that incapacitate our ability to freely travel back roads. The winter of 2019/2020 brought with it not only above-average amounts of rain, but also an extended period of such weather. It rained well into May and June, leaving many roads under water and impassable.

Storm waters like this also have a nasty tendency to make their ways into homes. SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms responded to multiple water losses that were a direct result of rain water coming in through the roof or from the ground. These types of floods often happen quickly and can catch homeowners off-guard.

Our trained water technicians are trained experts in flood damage dry-outs and restoration and with over 1,700 franchises nationwide to pull from, no job is too big.

Aside from the more common residential floods we contend with, SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms also responds to commercial floods frequently. While they are typically a larger undertaking, we have yet to come across something we couldn’t handle.

If you have experienced a flood in your home or business, give us a call today at (760)548-3191. We can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Flood Water

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Floods are dangerous. This is no secret to anyone who has been in heavy rains. In the high desert communities torrential downpour can quickly lead to flash floods, making for hazardous road conditions and greatly increasing the risk of both road wash-outs and hydroplane situations. The flood water is bad enough but when it sits, it can become even more of an issue.

Residential or commercial flood water has three classifications.

Category 1 – this water is considered to be “clean” water. Category 1, or Cat 1, floods are typically the result of a burst water line in a home. This can include supply line water from toilets, dishwashers, sinks, and water heaters. Cat 1 water poses no real biological risk.

Category 2 – this type of water loss is considered “mildly contaminated”. Examples of this type include water that contains soap or some other type of non-biological additive to it. It is considered mostly safe.

Category 3 – this type of water is considered “grossly contaminated”. This water can be dangerous.

When your home is flooded by storm water, it can quickly become Cat 3 and pose risks to your health and safety. To prevent this from happening, SERVPRO of Hesperia/Apple Valley and SERVPRO of Barstow/Twentynine Palms is here to help 24 hours a day to ensure we can quickly and efficiently dry out and clean up any flood damage before it progresses into something more serious.

If you have experienced a flood or any other type of water damage, give us a call at (760)244-2566.

Storm Damage can be Devastating

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

downed trees in peoples yards The Aftermath of a Storm

Storms in Southern California very seldom reach the severity of being able to cause significant damage to your home. However, there are exceptions to every rule. If your home suffers damage, calling a storm damage / restoration company should be on the short list of immediate actions you should take. Prior to that, there are a few things you as a homeowner can do to help the process along.

Be safe

The first thing you are likely to consider or worry about after a storm event is the state of your home. Homes, however, are material and can be replaced. Your family and pets cannot.

While inspecting your property, look out for hazardous debris, such as nails and sharp, broken edges that may cause injury. If there’s water present, do not turn on anything that requires electricity to use.

If a tree or telephone pole has fallen on your home, stay outside. Heavy objects can leave property structurally unsound.

Survey the area

If you can do so safely, assess the damaged area(s) in your home. Start from the top down. A compromised roof may collapse, causing severe injury or death.

Look for things like water stains or exposed openings in the walls or ceiling. These are typical in severe storms and are easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Be sure to document all damage with pictures or videos. This will be extremely beneficial to have later, once you contact your home insurance company.

If necessary, tarp the roof

We cannot stress safety enough but if a storm continues to pelt your home with winds, rain, or snow, you may find yourself in a situation that requires you to tarp your own roof. Here are some tips:

  • Before starting, clear the area of any branches or debris.
  • The ideal tarp will be thick and heavy, as well as 4 feet bigger than the affected area.
  • Nail the tarp to a 2×4, wrap it around the board, and then screw the board to the roof. This board serves as the “anchor board”.
  • Attach more 2×4 boards to the roof perpendicular to the anchor board. When you screw the boards in, they should first go through the board, tarp, then roof.
  • Finish by attaching the extra parts of the tarp to the eaves of the roof, securing it firmly in place.

Call the experts

SERVPRO of Hesperia / Apple Valley / Barstow / Twentynine Palms is comprised of trained professionals that are ready to help restore your home to pre-loss condition. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Rest assured. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Prepare for the Storm

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

California has one of the strangest and sporadic climates in all of the United States. We don’t have what people would consider “real weather”, save for a month or two out of the year. However, we do get some pretty intense surges from Mother Nature once in a while. Thunderstorms can come out of nowhere and produce some major flood water situations. A heavy rainstorm can produce significant water and wind damage that can affect the productivity and safety of your business. Even before a watch notifies you of a potential storm or a warning alerts you of immediate danger, be sure to have prepared your company with these seven steps.

  • Steps to prepare your business for storms
  • Have a system for alerts

Find out how you can best receive notifications in Chino, CA. Often, there are email alerts to which you can subscribe so that you can easily communicate with your employees.

  • Plan for a safe room

Ideally, identify an interior room without windows within your place of business. Clearly mark this room with a sign and train all staff members for emergency preparedness.

  • Assign a staff member

This person can be responsible for gathering any items that are outside in preparation for a storm. Having a list of items to collect is ideal to ensure timely preparation.

  • Regularly inspect trees and shrubbery

Limbs surrounding your building pose a risk during a storm. Removing dead limbs can reduce the risk of damage caused by high winds.

  • Implement a schedule for inspecting the roof

This will help to ensure that it is structurally sound. After a rainstorm, be sure to check that rain spouts and drainage systems are working properly.

  • Consider the need for lightning rods

These can be vital to further protect your place of business. Lightning rods redirect the electricity and can be helpful even in a steel building. Consult your local fire company for advice on placement.

  • Be prepared to respond to flood damage

Have a reputable company in mind to call immediately in case water damage is sustained in a heavy storm.

Thunderstorms can be an underestimated source of property damage as well as a tremendous safety risk for your business. Even a substantial rainstorm can cause lasting damage. With the proper preparations, your company can be ready.

Storm Events

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Much like its residents, structures in the Coachella Valley and high desert have seen their fair share of crazy weather events. Whether it be rapid flash floods, intense wind events that kick up dust and debris, or California’s infamous wildfires, the desert communities never have a dull moment in regards to their climate.

Storms are, by nature (pun fully intended), a little bit unpredictable. They have a tendency to change severity, for better or for worse, seemingly in spite of forecasted behavior. Homeowners in high-risk areas like ravines and valleys learn very quickly to practice preventative measures, like sandbagging and tarping leak-prone roofs. They always hope for the best and often time, things work in their favor and everything turns out just fine. Other times, storm systems that were billed as being minor become more intense and dump rain on communities that were not prepared. This is where bigger issues arise.

In September of 2015, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood and severe thunderstorm warning for residents of Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville. The warning was issued at 6:52 PM and by 7:00 PM, the NWS reported that over an inch of rain had fallen in the hour prior. The storm was capable of producing hail the size of a quarter and a potential wind speed of 60 MPH.  By 7:30 PM, residents were reporting hail the size of nickels. This is not uncommon for a severe thunderstorm. What was uncommon was that this storm occurred mere hours after the temperature had peaked at over 100 degrees. A heat advisory was issued simultaneously alongside the severe weather warning.

Sometimes, the weather will throw you curve balls.

The good news is that as more of these types of severe weather events take place, people become more accustomed to preparing their homes to avoid costly loss expenses.

Business owners and tenants are also heavily affected. Many of the structures in the Coachella Valley have remained unchanged for decades, and building compliance codes of yesteryear were nowhere near as stringent as they are today. That, coupled with the passage of time and normal wear and tear, can lead to some big problems. When a residence floods, people are at risk of losing precious keepsakes and expensive personal belongings to water damage. When a business floods, owners are in a race against the clock. Depending on how much time passes, hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in equipment and records are at an increasing risk of being destroyed. Productivity and profitability comes to a screeching halt until the issue is resolved.

Storms can be spontaneous and unstable, and they sometimes cause a lot of damage. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Hesperia / Apple Valley / Barstow / Twentynine Palms is made up of experienced and trained technicians who are here 24/7, 365 days a year. We are here when you need us, and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

When Storms or Floods hit the High Desert, SERVPRO is ready!

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in the high desert.

SERVPRO ofHesperia/Apple Valley specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Hesperia or Apple Valley, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (760) 244-2566