Understanding Categories of Hurricanes: Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
Understanding Categories of Hurricanes
Have you ever heard of a hurricane referred to as a Cat 2 or Cat 5 and you were not sure exactly what that meant? Not a problem, here at SERVPRO our goal is to help educate the public on extreme weather incidents and be ready for whatever happens to help restore cities and towns after extreme weather storms.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a scale used internationally for categorizing storms based on their wind speed. Although hurricanes, especially the recent Hurricane Harvey out of the Gulf of Mexico, can be known for their wide spread flooding and large amounts of rainfall, most hurricanes are described as "wind events" where most of the damage caused is by the strong wind pressure that cane easily disrupt cities and towns of all sizes.
Here is how the category system works:
- Category 1: Hurricane winds 74-95 mph - there is no real damage to building structures, damage can be isolated to primarily unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees.
- Category 2: Hurricane winds 96-110 mph - some roofing material, door and window damage of buildings. There may be considerable damage to landscaping and trees with some trees blown down.
- Category 3: Hurricane winds 111-129 mph - in many cases you will see structural damage to residential home and utility buildings with minor amounts of curtain wall failures. It is likely that large trees will be blown down along with shrubbery and foliage blown off of trees. Low-lying escape routes are cut off by rising water several hours before the arrival of the eye of the hurricane. Most damage can be isolated to the coastline caused by rapid rising waters and storm surge.
- Category 4: Hurricane winds 130-156 mph - more extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failures including wind removed shingles or tiles and even removal of small sections of roofing. Mobile homes cannot stand up to Cat 4 winds and will be completely destructed. Cat 4 winds can also cause extensive damage to windows and doors.
- Category 5: Hurricane winds greater than 156 mph - complete roof failure in many cases including residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Potential complete building failures with buildings being blown over or blown away. All shrubs, trees and signs blown down. Severe to extensive damage to windows and doors.
Houston House Fire Causes Roof To Collapse
Acrewoods, North Houston, home fire causes roof collapse.
Early Tuesday morning Houston Fire Department received a distress call and immediately dispatched crews D04, D31, E67, E04, E13, E50, L67, L04, A13, M58 & SF30 to the home fire. The teams worked together to try to end the blaze by utilizing various trucks and hoses.
During the fire, firefighters rushed into the structure to attempt to battle the blazes. Luckily no one was home during the fire so they could focus on extinguishing the flame and did not have to do search and rescue. While firefighters were inside trying to get a handle on the fire, the roof collapsed, separating the firefighters.
E67 first in crew, was separated by the ceiling and roof collapse and made a mayday call, she was recused within minutes of the call. The firefighters on the scene contribute the swift action, training and proper placement of fire engines to her quick and successful rescue. Reaction was fast and smooth and the crews were able to exit through a second story window thanks to a properly placed ladder.
It has been confirmed that there were no deaths in this home fire in Acre Woods, North Houston, one firefighter was taken to the hospital for observation after a confirmed back injury.
How Does SERVPRO Dry Structures?
Air movers and dehumidifiers help SERVPRO properly restore any water loss.
SERVPRO is the leading fire & water restoration and cleanup crew in the nation. In 2018 we celebrated our fiftieth year in business with over 1,700 locations stretching from coast to coast. With that being said we have the entrepreneurial spirit built into our daily operations as each office is an independently owned and operated franchise location.
With so many moving parts of a $2 BN company we take pride in having standardized operating procedures that ensure all SERVPRO customers receive the best service and quality restoration work across the country.
As part of our green system we leverage cutting edge technology that properly measures, moisture maps and scopes all losses to ensure we have the correct amount of equipment placed at each loss to ensure we meet our drying goals.
The drying process consists of two main types of equipment:
- Air Movers: air movers are used to vaporize water from surrounding material. This device creates high-velocity airflow for faster drying.
- Dehumidifiers: once vaporized, water evaporates or is collected by a dehumidifier. The result is the environment is restored to it's original humidity level.
These two powerful machines help to extract hidden moisture from building materials including drywall, wood, concrete and other organic materials.
Commercial Real Estate Women CREW Multi-Family Panel Luncheon
Commercial Real Estate Women of Houston host multi-family panel speaker luncheon at Houston Junior Leage
Members of the SERVPRO of Town and Country team had the unique opportunity to attend the CREW Houston Multi-Family Panel luncheon hosted at The Junior League of Houston ballroom.
CREW Houston is dedicated to promoting women in the commercial real estate industry through education and providing opportunities for women to connect and do business together. Their members range from loan officers to architects and every commercial real estate position in between.
The panel consisted of three speakers:
- Laurie Baker - Camden Living
- Brian Dinerstein - The Dinerstein Companies
- Kimberly Erickson - LifeWell Senior Living
The three speakers had very distinct views on the multi-family industry. The major theme that surfaced during the panel discussion was the need to truly understand who your ideal tenant is.
Brian Dinerstein referred to his campus housing several times as the next big money maker. He raved about how college students do very little damage to the property when compared to traditional apartment tenants. In addition he noted that rent is always paid on time since most of the funding comes from student loans as part of the cost of living at college.
Laurie Baker of Camden noted that they had recently expanded their portfolio to include a 65+ age requirement on one property. She raved that the tenants are excellent and turn over is very limited as older tenants tend to stay long term and are less likely to move frequently. She did mention the struggle to continue to provide amenities that aged with her long-term tenants. Camden has begun investigating if they may need to add in-house medical staff or end of life care as part of their amenity package.
Kimberly Erickson agreed with Bakers comments and stated that working in senior multi-family living is a different ball game. There are extra amenities needed especially related to at home health care and the over all need to keep properties maintained and well cleaned. In addition she mentioned their largest strung in owning and operating a assisted living facility is finding the right staff that is personable and well trained in senior care that can stay on long term and maintain the health and happiness of their tenants.
Overall the SERVPRO of Town & Country team got a deep understanding of the many complex business problems that effect the array of property types that exist within the multifamily industry.
Flood Prevention and Mitigation Bond Passes in City of Houston
Hurricane Harvey causes Harris County to rethink flood prevention and passes bond to fund future flood prevention programs.
Houstonians recently voted into effect a $2.5 billion dollar bond which will fund mitigation efforts to invest in flood-control projects and will also fund future planning councils that will be responsible for restoring buildings caused by future floods.
The bond passed with an unprecedented 85% approval rating from voters. The bond money will be spent on purchasing of homes in flood prone areas, the re-navigation and expansion of existing bayous that weave in and around the city and fund future planning and think tanks to determine how best to reduce Houston area flooding.
Hurricane Harvey was the most wide spread flood in recent memory and caused an estimated $125 billion in damages across the State of Texas. It is estimated that 300,000 vehicles and 150,000 homes were flood damaged or lost due to the enormous amounts of rain this category 4 hurricane brought in from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bond comes with an an on going price of about $5 per resident in Harris County which is the county that the City of Houston resides in.
Harris County intends to host 23 community meetings across the county during the summer months to further discuss with the community how the bond money will be spent and the programs current Houstonians can participate in to plan and recover from future flooding events.
How to Stay Safe During A Storm
SERVPRO of Town & Country is here for you during all storm disasters.
SERVPRO of Town & Country’s top priority is the safety of our customers. We understand natural disasters such as storms are inevitable, therefore, we want to ensure you are informed on how to keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you are indoors, in your residential or commercial property we highly suggest staying away from all windows and doors. This can place you at risk due to high winds and hail having the ability to shatter glass. Additionally, keep all drapes and blinds closed to keep hail or broken glass from blowing in your property. Additionally, If you are away from your home or office, we recommend swiftly locating the nearest enclosed building or hardtop car to remain in until the storm passes through.
SERVPRO of Town & Country cares about your safety and is here for you during your time of need. If your property ever experiences storm damage, you can count on us to restore your home or office. We are available and ready to serve you 24- hours a day, 7 days a week.
Bob Lanier Public Works Building
The outside of Bob Lanier Public Works Building
Due to a leak around the window, the Bob Lanier Public Works building needed SERVPRO’s assistance. We have been in the restoration business for 16 years and specialize in all water, fire and mold restoration. When we received the phone call from Bob Lanier, we instantly arrived at the scene.
Our highly trained technicians specialize in scoping the scene and assuring all areas of the property are dry. This particular job required water extraction, baseboard removal, custom equipment and drill hole procedures.
In addition, the technicians manually removed water with the of use of trash cans and utilized custom drying equipment to evaporate the remaining water. It is our protocol to always issue a moisture test to ensure the entire affected area is dry and the job is complete. If you are ever faced with water damage, we are available 24/7 and here to help!
Houston Police Department
The outside of Houston Police Department
SERVPRO can handle any water damage you encounter, no matter how big or small the job! The Houston Police Department gave us a call after being confronted with severe water damage. Their facility was filled up to 5 feet with standing water, requiring our immediate attention.
This job required water extraction, structure drying, detailed cleaning of the walls and surrounding sidewalk.First, they extracted all of the water from within the property and our highly trained technicians cleaned the interior of the security office. Second, they disinfected the walls, floors and windows. Lastly, they completed the job by thoroughly cleaning the bathroom and storage closet, as well as washing the exterior and surrounding sidewalk area.
SERVPRO believes in the power of the small details. We always ensure your property is completely scoped out and every aspect of the job is complete.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
The outside of Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Lake Houston Wilderness Park called SERVPRO due to flooding issues on their property. Our top priority is to ensure the valuables and property are restored in a timely manner. Our restoration workers quickly arrived to the scene and performed a moisture test as well as brought the wood framing and exterior wood into a dry standard.
Due to the affected areas being wet, the technicians set up emergency equipment to dry the area while they were away. It’s very important to leave drying equipment out to ensure the building is 100% dry. This process not only prevents future damage, but also allows the remaining restoration process to begin. This particular location was revisited multiple times to add more drying equipment and ensure the entire property was dry.
SERVPRO promises to continue working until your place looks, "Like it never even happened.” No matter how big or small the job, we are here to help!
Top Mold Damage Costs Explained
Testing for mold
3 Costs To Expect When It Comes To Mold Remediation
The average homeowner may not have an estimate for removing mold, but they know that it’s costly. Understanding what is involved in removing mold form your Houston,TX , home can help you know how much to expect to spend. Here are the top three costs to expect when it comes to mold remediation.
Why Mold Happens
Mold is the product of microorganisms that can grow inside or out, on most any surface so long as the environment is moist and dark. Indoors, some of the most common places for mold are:
- Leaky roofs
- Beneath sinks
- Crawl spaces
Since black mold removal is a multi-step process that must be done properly to ensure mold doesn’t keep coming back, it can be costly.
One of the first costs involved with mold removal is the mold inspection itself. This is when an expert comes in to examine your home, looking at potential problem areas. This can range from looking in obvious places like attics to more out of the way places, like air ducts. Expect to pay $300 to $900.
Testing for mold is another way this fungus can cost you big. Mold isn’t always visible to the naked eye and in some cases, its smell is the only clue. Mold testing samples air to find toxins produced by mold. This can cost of a few hundred dollars.
The actual removal of mold and restoration of mold-damaged property is where prices are highest. This can involve replacing drywall and carpeting, as well as deep cleaning and deodorizing fabrics. It’s not uncommon to pay upwards of $6,000 or even much more.
Mold removal can cost a pretty penny, but the cost of not removing it - to your home and your health - is much higher. If mold is bothering you, call up your local mold remediation expert to start the removal process.