Rain is on the way, are you ready?

Rain is headed our way this weekend, and from what the weather report says there could be a lot of it!  After a long dry spell like the one we’ve had over the summer, heavy rains are more likely to turn into small floods as the hard, dry ground will not be as absorbent.  To make sure the weather this weekend doesn’t cause any damage to your home, we have a few tips to help you prepare!

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  • Get your yard ready for the rain by running a metal rake over the tops of shrubs and flower beds to loosen the soil. This will allow the dirt to better absorb the excess moisture.  This should only take you a few minutes, but you might prevent rain water from pooling or causing a small flood.

 

  • Close all of your vents and windows. This sounds like an easy step, but if you forget to do so you could end up with some costly damage! Remember to check rooms that are easily forgotten, like your basement or attic where you may have opened windows when it was so hot.

 

  • Clean out your gutters. The leaves aren’t falling yet, but other debris can clog up your gutters.  Clean gutters will ensure that excess rain water has proper runoff from your roof.

 

  • Know your roof! Don’t be blindsided by roof damage in the middle of a rain storm.  Make sure to get annual inspections and know when your roof is in need of repair.

 

  • Is there a roadside grate near your home? Make sure it is clear of debris, as swift moving runoff can quickly get backed up.  Keep an eye on the grate when it really starts to pour to make sure it is still draining water effectively.

Stay dry out there this weekend!

5 signs of water damage

Have you noticed a new stain on your ceiling? A funny smell when you walk into your basement? These could be indications that your home has water damage! Here are a few tips to help you determine if a water intrusion is affecting your home:

1. Water stains: Whether you are purchasing a new home or water stains appear in your current residence, water stains are not to be ignored. If there is no clear indication where the water is coming from, hire an expert to inspect your home and find the source of intrusion.

Stained wood due to water damage

Stained wood due to water damage

2. Musty smells: Have you noticed a change in odor in your home? Perhaps it smells damp, moldy, or musty. These can all be indications that your home is experiencing water damage; perhaps somewhere you don’t spend as much time like the attic or basement. Examine these often ignored areas thoroughly and call in a professional if the source cannot be found. If left unattended, the cause of the odor could cause costly damage.

3. Warped walls and floors: Water damage can cause wood to swell, resulting in buckling and bulging floors or walls. The longer the moisture sits in these spaces, the more extensive the damage can be. If you notice these changes in your home, address it immediately.

Buckled floors due to water damage

Buckled floors due to water damage

4. Inspect your pipes: Catching water damage before it starts can save you a lot of time and money. Check the pipes in your home for signs of leaking, corrosion or damage. Inspect caulking around sinks and bathtubs for signs of erosion. Inspect the water heater, making sure there are no signs of moisture or damage.

Exposed pipes

Exposed pipes with indications of water damage

5. Check the exterior of your home: Proper flashing, a well maintained roof, and correct run off from your home can help to prevent water damage. Check that your shingles are not cracked or missing and flashing is intact. Should you notice standing water outside your home you may need to asses run off and have the issue addressed.

 

 

Our hope is that you never have to call us for an issue with water damage! By knowing the indications of potential water damage to your home and how to respond, you can reduce your chances of unexpected home repair costs. Should you experience water damage to you home though, Kennedy Restoration can provide you with the knowledge and experience to make sure the issue is properly addressed.

Tornado in Longview WA

The National Weather Service declared a powerful storm system a tornado yesterday afternoon in Longview, Washington.  Thankfully, no on was injured but the storm did sustain damage to trees and property in the area.  This storm is a reminder that we should be prepared for the impact of any natural disaster.  What would you have done in a similar situation?  Would your family or workplace be prepared for such an event?  Being prepared means having fully stocked emergency supplies and having a plan in case of a disaster.

Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this event.

Ask the Estimator!

Welcome to Ask the Estimator, where we pick the brains of the professionals who have seen it all! Today’s question went to estimator Jason Stephens. Jason came to Kennedy Restoration in 2013 with plenty of experience to contribute to the company. With 15 years in construction, 9 years in restoration and 6 years as an estimator, he is a wealth of knowledge!

 

The Question:

“What can I do prepare for severe damage to my home by water, fire, storm or other such events?”

 

The Answer:

 

  1. Know the risks for the area you live in – Planning for the worst differs depending on location, climate, and proximity to trees, elevation and many other factors. Understand the events that could affect your property and plan for them accordingly.
  2. Know your coverage – Make sure your insurance information is current and easy to find when you need it. Have all the necessary information to contact your representative handy and ready to go, should you have to leave your home during an emergency. Know your coverage limits and special endorsements (code upgrade, mold coverage, flood insurance, etc…).
  3. Know your home – Know where to shut off your water in case of leaking or pipe breakage. Any amount of water that is contained could potentially further damage. The more quickly you can shut off the running water, the less damage could be caused.
  4. Know your fire extinguishers – In case of a fire, make sure your fire extinguishers are in working order and everyone in the family knows how to use them properly. Inspect your extinguishers monthly and check the gauge to see when replacement or repair is needed.
  5. Know your emergency plan – Have a well stocked emergency kit with back up lighting and make sure all family members know its location. Run emergency evacuation plans with everyone in your household, making sure that all emergency exits are identified.

 

If you have a question to ask one of our estimators, send it our way!

Hail storm damage prevention

There’s nothing quite like a hail storm!  The pinging on the roof that turns to a dull roar then passes as quickly as it came.  Hail can be as small as a pea all the way up to as large as a grapefruit and travel at speeds up to 120mph.  Hail storms are generally brief, lasting only a few minutes and can be accompanied by wind, thunder and lightning.  Though the storm may only last a short time, it can do a lot of damage in those few minutes.  The Northwest isn’t known for extreme hail storms like those in the Midwest and South but we should still be prepared for the few hail storms we get each year.  Here are a few tips to keep your property safe in the event of a hail storm:

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Make sure your roof is up to code.  When doing repairs or re-roofing your home, have the work done by professionals or have it inspected when the work is done.  Make sure your shingles are asphalt and have a Class 4 rating under Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) 2218 standard. This rating indicates that the shingles did not crack when hit twice in the same area by a two-inch steel ball.

When a hail storm strikes, be sure to stay indoors for safety.  Close all blinds and window coverings; if a window should shatter during the store you will want to minimize the area affected by broken glass.  Stay away from skylights and glass doors until the storm has passed.

Hail has the potential to cause major damage to your vehicle.  If a hail storm is predicted in the forecast, park your car in a covered area.  If you are driving in a hail storm, pull over, preferably under the safety of a roof or over pass.  If shelter is not available, park safely and cover your face should your windshield shatter.

Know your insurance policy well!  If you have any damages contact your insurance representative immediately.

Should you experience damage to your home or property Kennedy Restoration is always here to assist you with your repairs.

Protect your property from wind damage

storm-843732_1280While October was sunny and beautiful, it looks like a fall storm is headed our way!  Storms with high winds have the potential to cause extensive damage to your home and property. By taking a few precautions before a storm hits some of the hazards presented by the weather can be avoided.

 

Insurance – Review your home insurance policy to make sure it covers weather hazards common to your area.  Knowing your policy well before a storm hits is crucial to understanding what will be covered.

Landscaping – Make sure trees and limbs aren’t within reach of landing on your home or car should they fall.  Secure lighter items (such as garbage and recycling bins) so they are not potential hazards in strong wind.

Roofing – How is your roof doing?  Knowing the condition of your roof will inform you if you need to inspect it before a storm in coming.  If you are putting in a new roof, make sure everything is up to date with recommended practices.

Doors and windows – Any weakness in your doors or windows will be revealed in a big wind storm.  Properly secure all doors, including the garage door.  Storm shutters can help to protect more fragile or older windows.

Power outages – Wind storms have the potential to knock out power for hours and possibly days.  Have flash lights and batteries at the ready and read our previous post  on ways to prepare for a power outage.

After the storm – Thoroughly inspect your home and property for damage, especially broken glass and roof damage.  Examine the area around your home for downed trees, misplaced debris and other damages.

 

If you experience any storm damage, Kennedy Restoration is always here to expertly assist you in any and all repairs.

Tree Safety

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Trees can be a beautiful part of your property.  Whether they have been there long before you moved in or you planted new ones to add dimension to your home, trees are a great addition to any property.  Without proper maintenance though, trees can potentially cause costly damage to surrounding areas.  Here are a few basic reminders on tree upkeep so that you can continue to enjoy them without the threat of harm to your property:

  1.  Have your trees routinely checked by an arborist to determine their health.  Trees plagued by rot or insects are more likely to have weak points causing them to snap easily.  Though a tree may look healthy from the outside, there may be internal damage, so it is best to consult a professional to ensure the health of the wood.
  2. Check the area around you trees for soft or water soaked soil. Make sure to have proper drainage around the base and never allow water to easily pool here.
  3. Trim back large branches that split near the top of the tree. These limbs are more likely to break, causing damage to roofs and surrounding areas.
  4. A single standing tree is more dangerous than a grove of trees; the wind is more likely to cause damage to a standalone tree.  When planting, plant several together as opposed to a single tree.  When thinning trees, leave a few remaining collectively.
  5. Tend to debris that may fall from your trees during the autumn months.

Should you experience damage to your property from falling trees or limbs, Kennedy Restoration is always here to help with any necessary repairs.