On 18 June, Katy Human and her family watched as tiny chunks of ice fell from the sky.
At first, Human and her family, of Louisville, Colo., were delighted.
“Hail is cool and relatively rare, so we all went out on the front porch to watch it,” she said. However, “Over the next 10 minutes, it got bigger and bigger.” The family backed up, pressing against the wall of their house as golf- and tennis-ball-sized hailstones pummeled their yard.
“We have a garage, but both cars were out,” she said. “It went from ‘Oh, my God, isn’t this beautiful’ to ‘Holy crap, this is doing a lot of damage.’”
Human’s family was witness to something that people in the insurance industry have long known. Tornadoes and hurricanes may grab headlines, but when it comes to property damage, the biggest extreme weather culprit is an often overlooked weather phenomenon: hail.
Hailstorm destruction exceeds $10 billion each year across North America, accounting for almost 70% of the property damage in insurance claims from severe storms, said Ian Giammanco, lead research meteorologist at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s research center in Richburg, S.C. But, he said, funding for hail studies is limited, and the phenomenon is often treated by the public as a curiosity.
“It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of perils,” he said of hail. “It just doesn’t get any respect.”
Giammanco spoke Tuesday on a panel of scientists at the North American Workshop on Hail & Hailstorms. The 3-day symposium, the first of its kind in the United States, was hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.
The workshop occurred just a week after a severe hailstorm pelted Colorado Springs, about an hour’s drive from Boulder, with hailstones reported to be as large as softballs. The storm caused millions of dollars in property damage, injured more than a dozen people, and killed five animals in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Colorado and the central United States are hot spots for hailstorms, explained panelist Andreas Prein, an NCAR project scientist expert on climate modeling with a focus on severe storms. Colloquially called “hail alley,” the area has the right conditions for severe thunderstorms that can produce large hailstones.
A severe hailstorm needs unstable air with a strong updraft, differing wind speeds and wind directions, air that’s humid close to the ground and dry at higher altitudes, and a freezing point that’s relatively close to the ground.
These conditions work together to form the largest hailstones, by drawing moisture up from the ground and quickly cooling it into hailstones; circulating those hailstones around and around within the storm, allowing them to pick up moisture and grow larger; and giving them a short distance to fall back to Earth, so they don’t melt on the way down, Prein said.
Climate Effects Unclear
Hail damage is expected to increase in coming years, largely driven by population growth and suburban sprawl. Sprawl means more buildings, and thus “bigger targets for hailstorms to hit,” Giammanco said.
But humans are also thought to be influencing hail itself, through climate change. The effect, however, isn’t straightforward, influencing hail-forming conditions in varied and sometimes contradictory ways, Prein explained.
For example, climate change is expected to increase air buoyancy for strong updrafts, but at the same time it appears to be causing the freezing level to move higher above the ground. “The question is, How are these things interacting, and how are they affecting hail frequency?” Prein said.
He noted that whereas most of the country has seen hail decrease over the past 100 years, certain areas, including the central United States and the mid-Atlantic states, have seen it become more frequent and severe.
“We need more research on that to really understand how climate change and climate variability [are] changing hail hazard,” Prein said.
Efforts to Study Hail
Hail expert and panelist Andrew Heymsfield, NCAR senior scientist and cochairman of the workshop, noted that a hailstorm-penetrating aircraft that had been used to gather important data since the 1970s was decommissioned in 2003, leaving scientists without an important tool for research for the past 15 years.
Another panelist, Kristen Rasmussen, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, hopes to help reset the scales. She travels to Argentina later this year to study one of the most hail-prone areas in the world.
Storms producing hail the size of oranges and grapefruits are a yearly occurrence in areas like Mendoza, and hail causes significant monetary damage to the region’s many vineyards. But the area lacked any storm forecasting ground radar or warning systems—such as those provided by the National Weather Service in the United States—until about a year ago, she explained.
For her field project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, Rasmussen plans to bring a suite of ground-based radars, hydrological gauges, lightning mapping instruments, and other equipment to learn more about the science of severe storms and hail formation. “We’re trying to study the whole convective process from beginning to end,” she said.
For Human, who works with storm researchers as communications director for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, the science of hail is now personal.
After the 18 June storm, she and her family stumbled out into the street; it was difficult to walk because they kept slipping on the smooth spheres of ice that littered the ground. There they joined their shocked neighbors in inspecting the damage. “Both cars were totaled,” she recalled. Her home’s solar panels were smashed and the roof was battered. Human would later learn that the whole roof had to be replaced. Human estimates the total damages at around $50,000, which will be covered by insurance.
Still, Human didn’t lose her sense of wonder for hail. “They’re beautiful when they crack open,” she said. “There are these intricately layered concentric circles, like tree rings. They’re gorgeous.”
Want more information of Storm Damage. Call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City today at: 702-564-8508
Each year a startling 10,000 thunderstorms and 1,000 tornadoes impact the United States. Potentially deadly severe weather impacts everyone. Here's what you can do to prepare yourself and your family.
Before Severe Weather Strikes
Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
Go to a safe shelter immediately!
Listen to Local/National Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.
Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor.
Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
Protecting Yourself Outside
If you are in the woods, go to a safe building. Make sure it is fully enclosed with a roof and four walls. Tents, shelters, pavilions, or dugouts will not keep you safe.
If you are unable to find a shelter, find a low-lying, open place away from trees, telephone poles, or metal objects.
Get low to the ground, on the balls of your feet in a crouching position. The goal is to get as low as possible, while minimizing your contact with the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them.
After the Storm Passes
Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
If Someone is Struck by Lightning
People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
Call or have someone dial 911.
For more information on severe weather, please call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City at: 702-564-8508
April showers bring May flowers is a popular saying, it is also a reminder to make sure your home is safe from unpredictable rain and wind storms.
A good rule of thumb is to perform inspections on your home before a storm hits. Sit down and go over some questions to ask yourself, such as, do all of your windows and doors fit to create a tight seal? When was the last time you had the roof inspected? Are the trees in the yard trimmed and cut back enough, so they are not hitting your dwelling repeatedly should high winds surface?
In the event of a bad storm do you have an emergency plan in place? Do you have an emergency ready bag for you and all family members living with you, in case you need to leave your home? Is there a designated meeting spot secured? Having an emergency plan for communication may be a good idea as well.
SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City is here to help for any of your storm damage needs. We do board ups, roof tarpings, water damages, as well as fire damages that may result from storm damage. We are always ready and #HereToHelp.
Call today at 702-564-8508 and ask about our FREE Emergency Response Profile for your home.
There are many concerns that come with severe storms, with the threat of damaging winds being one of them. These winds can come with little to no notice and have long-term structural impacts.
An Intro to Damaging Winds
While many think of damaging winds as a result of a tornado or a hurricane, those are not the only times when they can occur. Traditionally, damaging winds are considered those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can stem from a strong thunderstorm. You will often hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds, differentiating them from the winds caused by a tornado.
The damage from these winds can be especially destructive. Straight-line winds can pick up loose objects in your yard and cause those objects to become projectiles.
Windows and the roof can take the brunt of this damage, and the wind damage is extensive enough, water damage can result as the outside elements are able to come indoors.
Anyone who lives in a thunderstorm-prone area can be at risk from damaging winds, but some structures are more susceptible to damage and are especially at risk. Mobile homes, even anchored mobile homes, can sustain extensive damage in wind gusts over 80 mph.
Remove or anchor loose objects on your property that could easily turn into projectiles by the wind. Don’t forget trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture.
Hire a professional to remove large or dying trees and branches that may fall on your home.
Not all high wind circumstances come with forewarning, but incorporating some of these suggestions keep your prepared for that “just in case” moment.
Also, if you are building a new home or renovating an older home, check to be sure the windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.
Should your home be hit by damaging winds and resulting water damage, our highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.
Making Sure Your Family Is Ready for Severe Weather
Preparing for severe weather is always a good idea. Even though we may have advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also those occasions where severe weather can catch us off-guard.
Fortunately, there are things you can do and safety tips to follow that will ensure your family is prepared for any type of severe weather occurrences.
A Severe Weather Plan for Your Family
Have you created a family emergency plan? One of the best ways to stay ahead of the weather is to create a family emergency plan and have it available at all times.
If your family does have an emergency plan in place, be sure to discuss and practice it at the start of various weather seasons so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and what to do.
If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, here are some things to take into consideration when putting one together:
1. Emergency Alerts
Warnings and alerts are always broadcast over radio and TV, but thanks to today’s technology, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone. If you have a weather app or Google on your smartphone, emergency alerts can literally be at your fingertips, which can provide you with valuable time in severe weather situations.
2. Storm Shelter Options
In areas where tornadoes are common, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement if you have one. If that is not possible, locate an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that require shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.
3. Evacuation Routes
You should always have multiple evacuation routes mapped out, since things such as hurricanes, flooding and fires can force you from your home in a hurry. Also, be sure to take your pets into consideration and find out if there are places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members evacuating with you.
4. Communication Methods
We all rely on cell phones to keep in touch with family, but that will not always be possible in some circumstances. Cell phone towers can be damaged in storms, phones could be lost or left behind, and where no power is available, recharging them will be impossible.
Have an emergency communication plan in place for your family and also designate a safe meeting place for your family in case you become separated.
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City at 702-564-8508 to get the cleanup and restoration process started.
When Storms or Floods hit Henderson/Boulder City, NV. SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City 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.
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 Clark County, NV., we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams
April showers bring May flowers is a popular saying, it is also a reminder to make sure your home is safe from unpredictable rain and wind storms.
It's always a good idea to perform inspections on your home before a storm hits. Some good questions to ask yourself may be, do all of your windows and doors fit to create a tight seal? When was the last time you had someone take a look at your roof? Trees are also something that could cause damage during high winds.
In the event of a bad storm do you have a plan in place or even a ready bag in case you need to leave your home. A meeting spot or emergency for of communication may be a good idea as well.
SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City. Is here to help for any of your storm damage needs. We do board ups, roof tarpings, water damages, as well as fire damages that may result from storm damage.
Living in fabulous Las Vegas we are lucky not get the kind of natural disasters the rest of the country has to face. The worst we get is rain. Although when it does rain, it pours. It can cause flooding and as you can see from the photo, damage in your ceiling if you have a leaky roof.
Luckily this customer caught it in time and we were able to assist before the loss got any bigger. To find wet spots in the ceiling we had a couple different tools we can use to help find moisture.
Moisture meters are what we use to determine where moisture is and how saturated building material is. We can also use thermal cameras to find moisture. Thermal cameras pick up temperature and not necessarily moisture but we spots tend to be a good amount colder than dry spots. These tools on a roof leak help ensure we find all the moister that has entered your home from a rain storm.
These past two weeks have been record lows for the valley. We even had snow for the first time in 8 years. When temperatures dip that low that could lead to an increased risk in pipes freezing and bursting. Anytime the temperature gets below 32 degrees, which is the freezing point for water, you should follow these tips.
If you are leaving town always check the weather in your area in case of freezing temps.
Make sure outside exposed piping is properly insulated with foam.
Turn off the water to your home.
Put a slow drip on your faucets to avoid pressure build up.
Open cabinets where water pipes are to circulate warm air if you are planing on keeping your house cooler to avoid wasting electricity.
If a pipe does burst there are a few things you can do before SERVPRO arrives.
If a pipe is still leaking, do what you can to catch the water. Put a bucket down or absorb the water with towels.
Turn off all electronic appliances in the area.
If you have a leak in under cabinets, keep the doors open to help circulate air to promote faster drying.
Put foil under any wooden furniture to prevent staining or damaging the legs of the wood.
Storm Damage Devastates Customers Home and Contents
Television getting covered with water and insulation from roof leak.
As you can tell from the photo the ceiling collapsed and blew insulation all over the house. The cause of loss was from rain water coming in through a ceiling with broken or missing tiles.
Having a damaged roof can cause real problems. Not only did this customer have to deal with moisture in building materials, She had a lot of contents that were affected as well. Rain doesn't happen too often here, but when it does it can be devastating. This customer had to move out of her home because so much of the roof was affected and blew insulation all over her home.
Did you know we, at SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City did roof tarpings. In the event that your roof may be susceptible to leaks, we can come out tarp it to protect your home from a potential water damage.
Missing Shingles or Broken Tiles? You may need a roof tarping.
Roof tarping before heavy rains in Henderson, Nevada
It doesn't rain a lot here in Las Vegas, so you might not know the condition of your roof. Rain water can cause sizable damage if you aren't prepared.
This photo is from a roof tarping we did in January from the big rains we had. This customer had a leak and couldn't get it fixed right away so to prevent further damage, we tarp it off with plastic.
This is only a temporary fix to prevent further damage. If you notice missing or broken tiles, that may be an indication of future water damage during rain storms. It may also be a good idea to get your roof inspected after long periods without rain.
Remember SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City next time you need a roof tarping.
Longest Drought In Vegas History Ends and Brings Water Damage Throughout The Valley
After 116 days of drought, record breaking rains brought down 1.33 inches last week as reported at McCarran Airport. Along with the extremely high number of auto accidents, there were also a high number of claims from roof leaks.
As you can see in the photo, these customers had a massive bubble where the moisture got trapped between the paint and drywall. In situations like this if a bubble isn't visible, you may see staining on the ceiling. This is also a result or moisture being present.
The rains can bring a lot of headache and frustration. SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City can help make it, "Like it never even happened." Call us for your next roof leak, flood, or even if you just need a moisture inspection.
This past spring the Las Vegas valley has seen the winds come though and rip things apart. Trees, power lines and roof shingles. When the wind damages your roof and causes shingle damage, which in turn can cause water damage if it rains.
Most people don't know that SERVPRO provided roof tarping as a service. As a 24 hour service we have crews on standby ready to go out at a moments notice when storms or disaster hit.
This customer was so pleased that we could come out so quickly and prevent any damage that the rain may have caused.
Incase you didn't know SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City provided roof tarping, you probably didn't know we did move outs and packing, document drying, as well as many cleaning services like biohazard, and vandalism.
SERVPRO of Henderson and Boulder City has been working for the Southern Nevada community for 20 years this summer.
We have seen it all, but we are extremely proud of our emergency preparedness. We understand that things happen at the worst possible times. For that reason we have crews on standby 24/7/365. We have equipment ready to be used where and whenever we need it.
When storms roll through and you need an emergency tarp up for your roof or you need to use our board up services, we are ready when you need us.
When we had heavy rains during the winter we were filling up sand bags for tarp ups faster than the rain was falling.
Keep SERVPRO in mind so you can maintain your peace of mind the next time a storm comes through and disrupts your life.
The problem with having a leaky roof is that you don't know you have one until its too late, and if it happens to be in a room you don't use often, it can be really bad. This room had a balcony on top and because it wasn't covered on the top we had to completely contain the walls and ceiling with plastic. You can see we used wood and nailed it to the studs to keep the plastic from falling down. Putting something this elaborate can be challenging enough but when you are on the job on a Friday and the forecast over the weekend says rain you really have to work extra hard to protect the structure. We took extra crews out there with production managers to make sure everything was taken care of before the rain hit.
Spring is on its way and that means showers. With showers comes flooding so we have a few tips to put your mind at ease and enjoy the beautiful, warm weather.
Never walk or drive down flooded streets. We have a lot of roads that flood because our city was not set up with with rain floods in mind. It can only take 6 inches of water to be swept off your feet.
Check your insurance policy to see what type of flood insurance you have. You never know what mother nature is up to, the fewer intrusions in your life, the better.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. Set one up with friends or family. It is also a good idea to make sure you have plenty of supplies in your car in case of such emergency.
You can also download our app to help with emergency preparedness for your home or business! Call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City for questions about Flood Safety.
This little device is called a moisture meter. It is used to detect moisture in such things as flooring, wall, and ceiling. During a week when we had some bad rain storms this customer had flooding in his home.
The water came in from under the weep screed. The weep screed is an object to prevent water from entering your house from underneath. That is why you see landscaping stop short of the foundation a few inches under the slab. This is to prevent water in storm events or irrigation going under that and flooding your house. For any questions or concerns call and have your local SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City representative come check it out.
Natural disasters can strike whenever but being prepared on your part can save you time, money and effort. How fast your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. Though every situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
- Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
- Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have back-up pans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?
Prepare your Emergency Plan
- Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-pace plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?
Practice the Emergency Plan
- Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?
Review Insurance Coverage
- Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
- Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?
Improve Cyber Security
- Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your anti-virus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness
- Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?
This home affected by hurricane Sandy had a taken a lot of water in the ceiling.This home was in the main path of the storm. This was the basement, and the majority of there belongings and contents were stored in that room. So SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City came in moved the items, cleaned and packed out her belongings, removed wet insulation and placed drying equipment. the end result is a dried home ready for the rebuild teams to come in and finish out the home and make it once again whole.
When facing a catastrophe do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City. Big or small we do it all. As the premier restoration company we have the tools and abilities to accomplish anything to help you put your life back together
Having a storm come through your neighborhood can be a trying time and stressful for everyone around. Let SERVPRO be your contact and give you peace of mind when disaster strikes. With the quickest response times and crews constantly on stand by, "Faster to any Disaster" is more than just a motto. The benefit of being apart the national SERVPRO brand is we have the resources to be as big or as small as we need to be.
When we got the call that there was help needed in New York when hurricane Sandy hit we packed up our trucks and drove out with crews for a few weeks to help out. After speaking with crews after they returned they found it very rewarding to help people in such need.
Emergency Response from SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City
At SERVPRO there is no job too big, no job too small, and when you need us to respond to your disaster, that is exactly what we will do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of what makes SERVPRO a unique company is our ability to mobilize teams to help with large scale catastrophic event response.
SERVPRO teams have been dispatched to serve as responders for major catastrophic storms and other events such as Hurricane Sandy, California Wildfires, Hurricane Katrina, and many more.
When it comes to a disaster contained inside your home or business the team that responds to your private disaster will be well equipped to make it "Like it never happened."