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Protecting Your Home From Lightning Strikes | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

9/19/2022 (Permalink)

multiple lightning strikes off in distance of dark purple night sky If you are dealing with smoke or fire damage from a recent fire, call SERVPRO of Rapid City to learn about a restoration solution for your issue.

You do your best every day to prevent fires in your home by being attentive to any open flame, having working smoke detectors and having a fire extinguisher nearby. But what happens when Mother Nature sparks a fire from a lightning strike? Unfortunately, external fires are much harder to prevent and predict.

In fact, it is actually relatively common to suffer home damage due to a lightning strike. 2020 brought 70,000 damage claims due to lightning. It is definitely a possibility that you will experience a lightning-related fire at some point, so it is important to know how to react when you do.

What Is Lightning?

Lightning is the result of a giant spark of electricity that comes from an overcharged storm system. The spark travels from the clouds to the ground quickly and powerfully.

Lightning is most commonly associated with thunderstorms, but the phenomenon can also happen with forest fires, snowstorms and volcanic eruptions.

Protecting Your Home

Whenever lightning hits your home, it can start a fire either from the heat of the strike or a resulting electrical surge. If a fire starts, you may not notice right away if the fire starts in the attic or in your walls.

Thankfully, you will probably still be alerted by the sound. Lightning strikes are incredibly loud and can produce an immediate burning smell or scorch mark.

If you want to take some preventative measures against lightning, invest in a lightning rod. This is a metal pole that diverts energy away from the strike so your home doesn’t have to absorb all of the energy on its own.

Nearby Lightning Fire Risks

Lightning can contribute to wildfires relatively easily. An average of 9,000 fires are started each year by lightning! When lightning does spark a wildfire, it can start quickly because of the intense heat.

Do your best to keep your landscaping tidy and consider using defensible spaces around your home as a buffer against any flames. Also make sure that your smoke detectors are in good working order so you can react right away to any situation.

If you do discover a fire after a lightning strike, the most important first step is to call 911 and get out of the house. After the flames are out and you can re-enter your home, call us at SERVPRO of Rapid City to get your restoration process started. We will work tirelessly to complete your project and get you back into your home.

Have you experienced smoke or fire damage in your home? Call us today to get the restoration finished fast.

Specialized and Professional Training

9/14/2022 (Permalink)

a servpro semi truck Call SERVPRO of Rapid City today!

Since 1967, SERVPRO Industries, LLC. has been redefining the mitigation and restoration industries. In addition to training at the regional level, SERVPRO® developed the National Training Center in 1992 to teach restoration and mitigation skills to franchise owners and insurance industry employees.

Employee Certification Training

A self-paced program designed for the franchise employee. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

New Franchise Training

A 15-day, in-house, hands-on training program at our headquarters training facility. Designed primarily for new franchise owners, but also a valuable course for franchise employees. The program covers all aspects of:

  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
  • Mold Mitigation

E-Learning

A web-based program designed to be an ongoing, self-paced training program. Video presentations and support materials are followed by a knowledge test at the end of each module.

IICRC Training Program

SERVPRO is an approved IICRC Training School that offers year-around classes in the following categories:

  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Applied Structural Drying
    (in our purpose-built ASD facility)

Continuing Education

SERVPRO offers both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals and franchise staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation. 

Courses include:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Loss Control
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar
    (non-credit course)

Reduce Your Risk of Home Flooding | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

a group of residential homes with major flooding in back yards Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Rapid City to get the restoration process started right away.

Flooding is a common issue that homeowners face, but just because it is common, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a headache when it happens! Water damage can result, and it doesn’t even take much water to become an issue.

You can’t rely on the possibility of flood insurance or federal aid as some instances will leave you without coverage, so it is necessary to do what you can ahead of time to prevent lasting damages to your home and property.

Flooding can affect us in every season in Rapid City. We are located far enough north to be at risk of melting snow in the springtime and severe weather and heavy rains in the summer and fall.

The Outside of Your Home

Installing gutters is the best way to help keep water away from your foundation. Point your downspouts away from your home to make sure you aren’t focusing all of that water backward toward the foundation or structure.

Add in some special landscaping ideas as well! A strategically placed garden can be a great place for the excess water to collect, and laying down mulch against your house can help aid in water absorption.

The Inside of Your Home

Your foundation is the key to protecting your home! Don’t let any cracks or weathering go untreated, and do your best to keep it waterproof.

Installing a sump pump is also a great idea if your property seems to be wet a lot after any storm. Taking small steps when it comes to flood prevention will always benefit you in a positive way!

Floods can also result from a busted appliance or leaky pipe. Make any necessary repairs quickly when you notice an issue to prevent coming home to a disaster one day. You can also install a leak sensor that will alert you right away if it senses water.

Lastly, be sure to store any important documents or personal keepsakes out of harm’s reach. Keep them high off of the ground or in a waterproof location.

You can replace many possessions, but it can be hard to replace things like photographs or scrapbooks! Also keep a copy of your family’s emergency plan off of the ground as well to ensure you are always prepared to handle any situation.

Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Rapid City today to get your restoration completed faster.

3 Major Storm Threats to Your Home | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike off in the distance of a dark sky When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Rapid City your first call.

Whenever you get a severe weather alert on your phone or from our local weather channels, it can be nerve-wracking! Storms can cause widespread damage if they are severe enough, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of storm damage.

Wind, water and impact damages are some of the most common storm damage complaints we see, so let’s unpack the risks associated with all three!

It’s never a guarantee that you will experience damages after a storm, just like you can’t be sure that your home will be fine. Whenever Mother Nature is involved, there is risk for damage. It all depends on the strength of the storm, your location in town and the materials with which your house was constructed.

In Rapid City, we see severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and winter storms throughout the changing seasons. When it comes to each system, it is important to have a plan in place!

Wind

Wind associated with tornadoes can cause some of the most widespread damages, but so can straight-line winds from thunderstorms! If the downburst of wind is strong enough, wind speeds can easily reach over 100 mph.

When wind blows that quickly, it can bend trees with ease and throw around heavy objects without much trouble. And the wind itself can rip shingles off the roof. If an incoming storm comes with a wind advisory, it is best to stay inside and away from windows in order to stay safe.

If you are given enough of a heads-up before the storm hits, take the time to clear any yard hazards like dead branches or tree limbs and tie down that patio furniture or pull it into your garage. Removing any potential hazards can help you avoid damages!

Water

No one wants water in their home, and that’s especially true when it comes to water damage after storms! Basement flooding can be catastrophic, and it can also be a perfect environment for mold to grow.

If you choose to do any landscaping close to your home, make sure that it is angled away from your foundation so that water doesn’t flow backward into your basement. You can also research what it takes to build a rain garden in your yard to help encourage water to flow into a productive place!

Keep your gutters clear and properly functioning as well. If your gutters get backed up, the water will pool up on your roof and can seep into the eaves of your house.

Impact

Perhaps the scariest of all is “impact damage.” If large trees or other heavy outdoor objects get tossed into your house or roof, it can be incredibly destructive and costly.

Do your best to keep your property clear of any obvious hazards and remove any dead or dying trees promptly. Doing these things won’t eliminate your risk of impact damages, but it can significantly reduce it.

If you do suffer storm damages, the cost to overcome them can be severe. In 2021 alone, Americans experienced $145 billion in damages. That’s painful for your house and your wallet!

At SERVPRO of Rapid City, we are your trusted professionals when it comes to storm damage repair. Call us day or night, and we will be there for you to get started on your restoration right away.

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get your storm damage restoration started faster.

Choose SERVPRO for Your Restoration Needs | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

a group of employees with restoration tools walking away from SERVPRO van No matter what type of disaster you face, SERVPRO of Rapid City is only a phone call away.

We are an independently owned and operated SERVPRO location, so we fully understand the unique struggles business owners deal with on a day-to-day basis. In addition to the intricacies of running a business, having to plan for potential disasters can seem overwhelming as well.

Predicting natural disasters and severe weather isn’t a perfect science, but being prepared for them can help you be ready to tackle any storm or situation.

In addition to sustaining potential damages to your business, the reality of suffering damages to your home is also a possibility. Regardless of your situation, we are here to help.

The first step to preparing your household or business is to create an emergency plan. Creating an emergency plan can help you be ready for any sort of weather we encounter in Rapid City.

When creating an emergency plan, doing some research about what could affect us here can also be beneficial. The American Red Cross has built an informative website that gathers data across the region that can help you prepare for different scenarios. In addition, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety has an emergency preparedness website that can help you plan for your response to severe weather more locally.

You are likely to experience some sort of storm damage in your lifetime. In each case, it is crucial to start any sort of needed restoration quickly to make sure that there are no long term damages or issues down the road.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Rapid City?

No two weather situations are alike. While severe weather and weather events that require restoration are very common, we know that each situation is unique.

In fact, more than 14 million homes are at risk of experiencing flooding each year, but damages done to homes in every region of our country can vary greatly. This is why our crews are specially trained to handle damages of every shape and size.

We are available 24 hours a day. When it comes to damage restoration, we are serious when we say that it is important to act quickly. The longer you wait to address the issue, the worse the problem can become. That’s why we are available to answer your call day or night.

If you suffer water damage, that timeline is even more crucial. Lingering moisture can lead to mold and mildew and make your situation even worse. If you discover water damage, remove the most fragile and vulnerable items in your home and then call us right away.

We provide more than damage restoration. On top of restoring any damages you incur, we can help share the load of your entire restoration process.

We can help you pack up things to prevent more damage during the restoration process, and we work with insurance companies often to help navigate difficult claims. We want to make the process as pain-free and smooth as possible for you.

No matter what kind of disaster you are facing, your local team at SERVPRO of Rapid City is here for you. Our years of experience and training will leave your home or business in good hands, and we will get you back to normal as quickly as we can.

When you suffer damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Backyard Fires & Fun This Summer | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Rapid City.

The summer months are sacred in the Midwest, and it is no different here in Rapid City. Spending quality time with family in your backyard enjoying bonfires, barbecues and s’mores can make for precious seasonal memories.

We utilize fire often with all kinds of summer activities. We light campfires, grill out for dinner and burn yard debris often—and we need a reliable fire for all of these things.

However, even if we are being responsible with our fire use, there is always the risk of sparking an unwanted fire. The National Park Service estimates that about 85% of wildfires are started by humans.

Armed with this knowledge, you should still be able to enjoy a responsible campfire at Canyon Lake Park, enjoy a summer barbecue or burn your leaf-drop in the fall. You just need to adopt some safe fire practices and you can continue the fun.

Recreational Fires and Their Risks

Whenever a fire is lit, there is always a certain amount of risk associated with it. When it comes to grills, bonfires and fireworks, that risk seems to grow exponentially. Ensuring that all of your equipment is in good shape and not cracked or broken can help reduce your risk, and be sure to always have someone responsible for the fire at all times.

If you have bonfires or campfires often, choose a location that is a safe distance away from buildings or vehicles, and only light your fires with matches or lighters. Avoid using gasoline as a starter or accelerant as that will only increase your risk of starting an uncontrollable blaze.

If you own one of those portable freestanding fire pits, they actually carry a similar risk as a bonfire pit. These pieces of equipment should never be lit on a wooden surface and should not be placed under an overhang or inside an enclosed space.

Once your fire is established, stick to only firewood as your fuel and move all of your furniture out of harm’s way to prevent it from accidentally catching fire.

If you are planning to celebrate anything this summer by lighting off fireworks, keep in mind that all fireworks are prohibited within city limits other than novelty fireworks like sparklers and party poppers.

Yards and Fire Risk

If you are considering burning your yard debris, check the National Weather Service website to see if our county is at a high fire risk or not. It is always important to follow all regulations, even if the risk is low.

Keeping your lawn clear and free of excess grass clippings and leaves actually reduces your risk of contributing fuel to a wildfire. Learn how to burn debris properly and be careful to follow all regulations.

If you are a frequent user of a lawn mower or other gas-using power equipment, chances are that you have a gas can in your garage. Improper storage of these cans is one of the most common reasons for house fires to start. Only use gas as fuel for your equipment, and avoid using it as any sort of fire accelerant.

If you take into consideration all of the suggestions above and decide to continue with your activity or project, do one final check on the weather conditions to make sure it will be safe. Any windy days or really dry conditions should warrant you to choose a different day.

If you do wind up with fire damage for any reason, call us at SERVPRO of Rapid City. We are ready to help you with your fire damage and we will work hard to get your home back to normal as quickly as we can.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Home Restoration Experts

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

two techs standing by a van Call the experts today at SERVPRO Rapid City

No one ever wants to think about a fire impacting their home, but it happens all too often. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, one out of every 350 American homeowners files a fire-related claim every year.

And fires aren’t the only reasons that people file claims with their home insurance. Each year, around one out of every 20 American homeowners will file some type of claim, whether related to fire, water damage or even a tree falling on the home.

When disaster strikes, you’ll need a restoration provider you can count on. That’s SERVPRO. Read on to learn why.

Why You Should Choose SERVPRO of Rapid City

When you’re choosing a restoration provider, there are many factors to consider. You logically want a provider that offers state-of-the-art technology and the latest procedures to help restore your property and belongings.

But what truly sets one restoration provider apart from another? It’s the people.

At SERVPRO of Rapid City, we believe we have the best technicians in the business. Not only are they a group of seasoned professionals armed with empathy and compassion for the circumstances you’re facing, but they’re also highly trained.

Our entire technician team goes through intensive training related to all types of home restoration. This includes internal SERVPRO-specific training, but also highly specialized certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is the industry standard for best practices related to restoration.

In other words, when you work with SERVPRO, you should feel certain that your home is in the hands of the best of the best!

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Understanding Different Storm Alerts | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

a red and white severe weather alert sign If you suspect any damage to your home from a recent storm, call SERVPRO of Rapid City.

Did you know that there are 42 different kinds of weather alerts that can be issued for a variety of different weather scenarios? All of the alerts are also broken down into different subcategories as well.

When you are in the midst of a severe storm or potentially dangerous situation, knowing how to respond to various weather alerts is incredibly important.

Thankfully, we don’t need to know about each of the 42 alerts, as we are landlocked and don’t have marine or tropical storm threats here in Rapid City. However, it is important to know the few threats that are the most common in the Midwest so that you can be prepared for any type of severe weather scenario.

Issuing Alerts

Before a weather alert is issued, many different factors and a lot of research goes into creating the forecast. Forecasters use a variety of tools to help create their predictions on the severity, location and length of each storm system.

The National Weather Service is in charge of weather forecasting across the nation and is responsible for issuing any warnings or alerts. In order to help keep the alerts localized, six regional offices across the country are in charge of specific areas. Our forecasts fall under the purview of the Central Region in Kansas City, Missouri, along with sub-offices located closer to home.

Meteorologists and weather forecasters within the NWS utilize all kinds of research from satellite radar, sensors, solar activity and seismic patterns. While not every point of data is used in each scenario, their goal is to be as thorough as possible to provide the most accurate prediction.

The Importance of a Watch vs. Warning

The most basic alerts to understand are watches and warnings. This is a universal language that is used in almost all weather alerts.

When a watch is issued, that simply means that the right conditions are present for a storm to become severe. Watches cover large areas and should make you be aware of any changing weather. When warnings are issued, on the other hand, that means danger is present and you should seek shelter immediately to protect yourself and your family.

In Rapid City, we experience severe storms, tornadoes and winter weather most commonly. When you know how to interpret the alerts for these weather scenarios, you are better prepared for each season.

Your Home During Storms

Understanding weather alerts can help keep you safe, but it can also help give you advanced notice to prepare your home and yard for any impending weather.

Clearing your gutters and securing your outdoor furniture are two things you can do to help minimize water damage and reduce the risk of structural damage to your possessions or home. Also take the time to update your emergency plan and add any necessary supplies to your emergency kit.

If you end up suffering any sort of storm damage, take pictures of what you find and call us right away. SERVPRO of Rapid City will answer your call day or night and we will jump right in to create your full restoration plan as quickly as we can.

The more informed you are about our weather, the safer you will be. Take the time to learn about the different alerts for storms and you will be ready to handle anything that comes our way this season!

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

Commercial Property Damage Risks | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

a large commercial building with extensive damage to roof and siding SERVPRO of Rapid City is your local commercial disaster team. Contact us to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services.

Businesses make up the backbone of our country, our town and our livelihood. Whether you work for one, own one or have a favorite Rapid City business, their existence is important to our daily lives.

If you are a business owner, you know that operating the day-to-day and solving problems comes with the territory of being your own boss. However, that also means you have to be the one that handles things when disaster strikes from either water or storm damage.

When talking about the sheer cost of damages, it has become much more expensive to recover from damages over the last five years. On average in that time period, disasters cost the United States $158 billion annually, which is a significant increase in cost compared to previous years.

In Rapid City, we witness severe storms, tornadoes and floods on a regular basis. This past fall, we suffered through a large storm system that brought hail damage to a local campground. While the recovery process happened eventually for them, it was still taxing on their business.

The most likely cause of damages for commercial properties include water damage and storm damage. The better prepared you are for these possibilities, the better equipped you will be to handle them.

Water Damage

Unwanted water and moisture is a major problem for businesses across the United States. These problems come from excessive rains and even simple internal issues like a plumbing leak. While these problems range in intensity, both types can wreak havoc on your property.

Flooding that comes from an outside source can often seep down through doors and into the ground where it can degrade the foundation of your facility. Landscape your property to route water away from your facility and keep it dry.

Water damage can also be a slow, silent problem, stemming from a slow plumbing leak or an appliance failure. Take care to check your pipes on a regular basis to catch any unnoticed problems.

Storm Damage

Commercial destruction from storms is also a common issue and can be detrimental to your entire building and business. Even something simple like a minor power outage can cause massive problems for you if you rely on power or refrigeration for your product.

Powerful storms are also capable of taking off roofing and siding, breaking windows and doing irreversible damage to your building.

Most storms have minimal wind speeds between 10 and 45 mph, but a strong wind over 100 mph can tear through walls, throw debris into windows and sling trees into your business.

If you are able to invest, install storm-protective window coverings or reinforce your roof to help prevent extensive damage. Thankfully, utilizing even some basic preventive measures can help you avoid costly repairs and potential business closures.

Call Us at SERVPRO of Rapid City

Commercial damage comes in many forms, but water and storm damage can be the most extensive and costly. If your business is forced to close while you deal with the damages, it can disrupt your livelihood.

Thankfully, we maintain 247 availability and are proud to answer your call for help, day or night. We jump into action to make sure your business is back to operational as soon as possible.

If you have experienced damage to your business or want to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.

Preventing Home Fires Starts With You | SERVPRO® of Rapid City

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

fire interior view of a room with items completely destroyed by fire If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Rapid City is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration need.

With the first few months of 2022 under our belts, the American Red Cross has already responded to more than 20,000 house fires. That number only represents a portion of the house fires that have actually occurred in the United States so far this year.

You can reduce the risk of death and total fire destruction most reliably by having fully functioning smoke detectors in your home. Once you have your smoke detector installed, you can also do a few other things around your home to help minimize the risk of a home fire.

Clear Out the Clutter

Minimizing the clutter in your home is beneficial not only to the function of your home, but it can also reduce the amount of fuel a home fire can consume. Keeping common areas clear of unnecessary things and excess belongings can help deter a potential home fire from growing more quickly and intensely.

Keep your water heater clear of any piles of clothing or bulky items. Having flammable things in too close of a proximity to your water heater is actually a fire hazard.

Overloaded extension cords also contribute to a large amount of home fires. Rather than keeping all of your appliances and electronics constantly plugged in, plug them in only when they are in use and remove them when you are finished.

Watch for Outdoor Fire Hazards

Fire hazards can occur outside your home as well. Did you leave any yard debris left over from the fall season?

Spruce needles and other conifer tree needles are highly flammable, so don’t let them pile up in your yard or near any outdoor units like your air conditioner unit. Clear them out seasonally so they don’t pose a fire hazard.

Use Defensible Spaces In Landscaping

The way in which you plant your trees and landscape around your yard can actually help slow fire growth around your home. Planted strategically, they can create barriers between the fire and your home, giving your local fire department valuable time to get to you before the fire breaches your walls.

States in the West like California have actually imposed defensible zone requirements when landscaping or planting new vegetation because of their proven effectiveness. Even though we don’t live on the coast, we can still adopt some of these practices here in Rapid City.

Cleaning Can Save

One of the easiest ways to help in the fight against home fires is to stay on top of your house cleaning. Even a simple, consistent dusting of the commonly forgotten spaces in your home (laundry room, on top of furnaces and water heaters) can be very helpful in reducing the fire risks in your home.

Give your stove and chimney some cleaning attention every season, too! Spaces like these that come into contact with consistent and high heat can be the catalyst for a home fire, so don’t leave it to chance.

The more you do in preventive care, the greater chance you give yourself to ward off a potential fire disaster.

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.