Wolgast Restoration Blog Page

The Primary Natural Disasters Threatening Michigan Structures

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Jul 06, 2020 @ 11:20 AM

Property owners of Michigan, this map, credited to redcross.org1, suggests that Michigan has insignificant threat of any natural disaster compared to all the rest of the states.  Sure, we aren’t much effected by earthquakes, although we have felt aftershocks from time to time, and it’s unlikely that we will ever have hurricane force winds hit us, but the rain and lesser significant winds of hurricanes do reach us causing damage.  Though someone looking at the map may pat themselves on the back for choosing to live in the Great State of Michigan, there are definitely natural disasters and other mayhem for which we need to be prepared.

DisasterMapAccording to michigan.gov2, Michigan’s primary natural threats include floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, wild fires, and of course winter weather.  Knowing a few details and statistics can help us prepare for disasters, even though most disasters are completely unpredictable.

Thunderstorms are the “primary source of summer rainfall” in Michigan according to (weather-us.com)3.  They are a heavy hitter possibly bringing heavy rain, flash flooding, wind, hail, tornadoes, and/or lightning.  Each of these hazards bring their own havoc to property, which we will discuss more below.  They occur mostly from May to September.  Michigan averages 28 – 40 thunderstorms per year in the Lower Peninsula and 20 – 30 in the Upper Peninsula (michigan.gov)2. Building owners also have to be prepared for power outages during these storms.

Ninety percent of damage caused by natural disasters in the US is from a flood event (iii.org)4. There is not a “flooding season” per say, but they historically have happened in the spring and summer in Michigan.  Additionally, Michigan’s potential for early spring flooding is higher because of the thawing of winter ice and snow makes lake and river levels rise.  Floods cause damage to foundations, drywall and contents within a building, and if not cleaned or dried properly can result in microbial growth that makes inhabitants sick.

In Michigan, most tornadoes occur between April and July.  Experts have even predicted that a tornado is more likely to occur between 3PM and 7PM.  An average of 16 tornadoes occur in Michigan each year (michigan.gov)5.  Tornadoes can cause massive damage to property through heavy winds and force.  Depending on the strength of the wind a tornado can break heavy branches or uproot trees that land on a building, push mobile homes off their foundation, tear off roofs, level well-constructed walls, or lift homes off their foundation.  Power outages are prevalent during tornado storms due to tree limbs and debris falling on power lines.

Hail is common in the spring season in Michigan (weather-us.com)3.  Most Michigan counties see an average of 2 hail events per year.  Hail can cause costly property damage to roofs and siding, resulting in insurance claims and restoration construction.

Wild fires have happened historically between March and October, and most commonly “during the driest part of the year”.  More than 75% of Michigan is covered in forested land in Northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.  We see an average of 550 minor wild fire events a year (michigan.gov)2. Most people think that lightning is the main cause of the fires, but it is actually more commonly caused by debris burning.  The Michigan.gov document “MHA 2019 Full Update Natural Hazards” discusses creating a vulnerable structure to be “Firewise” to protect it from wildfires, which includes non-flammable exterior materials and removing vegetation surrounding the building to provide a barrier from wildfire flames and ash.

Winter weather is more hazardous to automobiles and the health of individuals driving or walking/recreating in Michigan.  However, our winter weather causes damage to property through ice dams, frozen pipes and heavy snow on roofs.  The Lower Peninsula averages 90-180 days of below freezing temperatures (michigan.gov)2.  Insulating pipes near outer walls and keeping the heat above 55 can help prevent the pipes from freezing.  Flooding from frozen pipes only occurs once the pipe starts to thaw creating quite a mess causing restoration of your pipes and the water damage remediated.  Ventilating your attic will help regulate the temperature and moisture in the space to prevent ice dams and water infiltration at the roof barrier. And flatter roof styles will need to remove snow built up on their shingles to protect from the weight, ice, thaw, and damage.

DisasterScheduleThe unpredictable behavior of Mother Nature makes it difficult to prepare your structure in some cases and still live daily life, so it’s most important to have a plan to protect yourself and have phone numbers ready to call your insurance provider and restoration contractor immediately after.  It’s a good practice to have needed items ready in case the power goes out, for example: a light source, charged energy source(s), communication device(s), food, drink, and important papers in a safe place.  Call Wolgast Restoration when a disaster hits your property.

24 HOUR HOTLINE: (855) 965-4278

Sources:

1 www.redcross.org

2  https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MHA_2019__full_update_natural_hazards_653708_7.pdf

3 https://www.weather-us.com/en/michigan-usa-climate?f,in,in,mi#climate_text_4

4 https://www.iii.org/article/facts-about-flood-insurance

5 https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp-tornado_tips_8781_7.pdf

Topics: wind damage, roof damage, disaster plan, fire damage, spring floods, frozen pipes, prevention

Having a Restoration Company and a General Contractor on the Same Team

Posted by Rich Droste on Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 10:47 AM

Wolgast Corporation        Wolgast Restoration Logo RGB 72dpi

Having a Restoration Company and a General Contractor on the Same Team

The team of  Wolgast Corporation and Wolgast Restoration was created to be a high level provider of full-service restoration services to deal with all of your challenges when mayhem strikes your building.  Wolgast Restoration specializes in residential and commercial restoration when it comes to structural damage from water, fire, wind, or other mishaps.  And Wolgast Corporation is a commercial contractor who has specialized in buildings of all shapes and sizes since 1948.

So, what are the benefits of having your restoration company on the same team as a general contractor?  The communication and actions to start planning the reconstruction portion of your project (if it’s needed) flows fluidly through the company as the experts in charge of your building talk freely and regularly.  Also the strength and resources that Wolgast Corporation has developed over the past 70+ years provides a solid foundation for Wolgast Restoration to handle projects of any size. 

During the clean-up portion of a project, project technicians can assess the situation and keep the construction staff informed of what’s needed and the construction staff can be estimating budgets, planning for materials, obtaining permits and organizing team coverage.  All this is done without much effort on your part, because when you have endured mayhem, the last thing you want is to be burdened with is making phone calls and searching for an unknown company to preserve your building.

Wolgast Restoration is providing its services through the same systemized approach that Wolgast Corporation uses to provide its construction services.  We find that having this systemized approach allows us to provide the most uniform and quality service for each unique job.  It helps us move quickly to the next task rather than pause to determine what to do next, all to the benefit of our clients through time savings.

We have offices in Saginaw and Kalamazoo areas.  If mayhem strikes you, please don’t hesitate to strike back with Wolgast Restoration.  Call 855.965.4278 to take immediate action.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please visit www.wolgastrestoration.com or call 989-790-9120 when it isn't an emergency.

 

water damagefire damagewind damage

Topics: Water Damage, residential, wind damage, Wolgast Restoration, structural damage, commercial, fire damage

Supporting Insurance Carriers through a CAT Loss

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 03:55 PM

In a high stress situation of a Catastrophe (CAT) Loss, it’s easy to forget that insurance carriers and restoration companies are working toward the same goal: restoring a property to a pre-loss condition while satisfying the policy holder efficiently.  Meeting the customer’s needs can be taxing for both ends of the spectrum whether it’s matching coverage expectations or the speed and manpower expectations, all while numerous other customers are also calling to notify you of their needs.  Wolgast has a plan in place to support insurance carriers during this harried time.

ServiceMapWe know the importance of moving quickly to reach the optimal number of policy holders and following through with quality service to keep them happy.  As a systemized company, we use a carefully constructed and laid out CAT protocol/process and are prepared to reach a wide variety of property owners in a short amount of time, plus we have the capacity and resources to effectively handle their restoration needs by drawing from our general construction division and its staff when necessary.  This system guides us to know the manpower that we will need, the responsibilities of each staff member and the communication necessary to remain responsible, accountable and organized.  Also, with two locations in Michigan, one near the center of the state in Freeland and one in the southwest in Kalamazoo, we’re ready to cover a large portion of Michigan to readily help you serve your clients.

Our specialty restoration services for quick reference:

  • Board-ups
  • Content Clean-up and Storage
  • Restoration of water, mold, fire, smoke, wind, vehicle, and/or vandal damage
  • Rebuilding (General Construction Division)

We are specialized handle any size claim for both commercial and residential property owners.  Please contact our 24-hour hotline at 855-WOLGAST in the event of an emergency.

 

Download our White Paper, “Reduce the Effects of a Disaster on Your Business” at: www.wolgastrestoration.com/reduce-the-effects-of-a-disaster-on-your-business to learn the details about how we do this for Businesses.

 

Topics: Water Damage, wind damage, Wolgast Restoration, structural damage, fire damage

Schools Can Alleviate Potential Problems When a Disaster Happens

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 @ 10:58 AM

 

disaster

If you’ve been unfortunate to witness what a tornado can do to a school, you know it’s the most awful thing in the world.  As a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or grandparent you assume that your loved one is safe each day they’re at school.  Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that when bad weather hits it will pass over a school with no damage.  We’re coming into the stormy season:  Is your District prepared?

We’re pretty lucky in Michigan since we don’t need much concern for hurricanes and major flooding.  Of course, floods do happen, but not as much as a chance for straight line winds or tornadoes in Michigan.  In fact, the average number of Tornado’s touching down in Michigan is 15-21 per year.  That number was down in 2012, but history shows there really isn’t a predictor out there to say if 2013 will have more or less activity.  Michigan’s tornado season starts in April and runs through August (but has seen tornados outside these months).  Our peak season is May, June and July, thankfully, when classes aren’t typically in session.

Do you know what would be the first thing you would or should do, once the children and staff are safe and sheltered?  Facing any damage to your buildings would be easier and on target if you teamed with a professional and experienced restoration company like Wolgast Restoration.  By developing a relationship and strategy before you have an emergency would ensure the most effective, strategic, efficient way to make the decisions your District will face. 

Once you develop a Disaster Response Plan, which Wolgast Restoration can assist you with, it must be in place and managed at all times.  Some situations require immediate critical response, so having these documents ready is important for cost containment and proposed techniques in advance of implementation.  Time is always critical when a disaster strikes and having an agreed-upon course of action will alleviate potential problems.  Resources could already be in place to meet most of the demands of the situation, such as; knowledge and contact information of officials (fire marshal, school board, local building inspectors, etc.). 

Wolgast Restoration is familiar with how schools operate and insurance claims, and would work well with your insurance adjuster.  With the team formed (Wolgast Restoration, Superintendent, the District’s facilities and operations staff, local government officials, school board members, etc.), the level of communication established and all detailed documents in place YOU ARE NOW READY to handle a disaster should it happen. 

BE PREPARED AND LET WOLGAST RESTORATION HELP YOU.

Topics: wind damage, roof damage, Wolgast Restoration, structural damage, Water Damage in Schools, disaster plan

How to Make a Family Disaster Plan

Posted by Cory Anderson on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:45 AM

Escape

Making sure you and your family are properly prepared for a natural disaster, such as severe weather, lightening storm, flood, or a fire in your home, is a great way to assure that you’re able to “weather the storm” and safely evacuate your home.  FEMA has a website designed to assist you in preparing a Family Emergency Plan:  www.disasterassistance.gov, which guides you and your family to safely and quickly evacuate your home in an emergency.

The first step is to put together an escape route (www.ready.gov/make-a-plan) from your home and make sure to practice this frequently so everyone is familiar with it.  Create a floor plan of your home, making sure to show escape routes from each room; and keep a copy of this floor plan in each room at your children’s eye level.  If you have upper floors, make sure each room has an escape ladder and everyone knows how to use it.   

The second step is to plan where you and your family will meet after evacuating your home.  Part of preparing the Family Emergency Plan is to decide on a location BEFORE disaster strikes.  You may want to discuss having an alternate meeting location if the first location is not available. 

The third step is:  PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.  Practicing your escape plan is vital to making sure that everyone does indeed get out of the home safely and quickly.  It’s recommended that you should practice once per month so everyone is familiar with the plan and knows exactly what they need to do and how to do it.

The fourth step in to prepare an Emergency Kit of supplies and decide where you’re going to keep it.  Having more than one kit and keeping them in different locations will also help if you’re unable to reach one of them.  You’ll also need to decide what to put in your Emergency Kits.  You’ll want to anticipate what you may need for different situations and pack the kit accordingly.  In addition to the more common items, such as flashlights, food, water, blankets, clothing, games/books, you may want to consider the following items to add in case of a longer stay away from your home:

  • Moist towelettes
  • garbage bags
  • can openers for canned foods
  • whistle to signal for help
  • battery-powered radio
  • tools
  • prescription medications & eye wear
  • infant food
  • diapers
  • pet food
  • money
  • paper plates
  • napkins & silverware
  • sleeping bags
  • heavy coats

Preparing for emergencies and disasters BEFORE they happen will likely help your family to stay calmer during a hectic time.  Just keep in mind that you MUST practice with your family once you have your Family Emergency Plan created.  Disasters could happen at any time.  Being prepared is the best way to ensure your family’s safety when it does.

 

At Wolgast Restoration, when mayhem strikes, we strike back!

Topics: residential, wind damage, structural damage, disaster plan

Be Prepared for After the Storm

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 @ 01:37 PM

“It happened so fast.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.”

tornado2The storm has passed.  No one was hurt.  However, the house wasn’t so lucky.  “Now what do we do?” 

First:  GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  While your home may seem secure, in reality it may be in very unstable condition.  Carefully leave, go to a neighbor's house or safe area before making any phone calls. DO NOT try to assess any damages yourself.

Second:  Assess whether everyone who was in the home is safe and unharmed and then move forward with your next steps.  Did you follow your safety drill?  Meet up at a designated area?  Do you have a safety drill and have you practiced with your family to prepare for a disaster?  The following web site will assist you in creating a Family Emergency Plan if you don’t already have one: www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Third:  Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to alert them to the damage and to start the recovery process.  They will call a restoration company, such as Wolgast Restoration, to come to your home and assess the damage and provide emergency services.  Your insurance agent will most likely either come themselves or send an adjuster to meet with you and your restoration company.

Fourth:  If you find you must leave your home, do not try and recover any necessary items if you feel your home is too unstable to safely enter.  Your homeowner’s policy should cover temporary shelter for you and your family.  (The American Red Cross, or other organizations, can be contacted to assist you with basic necessities and temporary shelter if you have no insurance.

Keep in mind that most homeowner policies have a required time frame for reporting home damages.  It is a good idea to have an itemized list of the contents in your home stored in a fire-proof box.  Even better would be video taping your household belongings.  This will help when it comes time to replace your personal belongings by identifying each specific item in detail.  Under duress, you may not be able to remember everything that was in a specific room and what may or may not have been lost.

Storms will and do happen.  Being prepared for potential disasters is the best way to alleviate the stress that comes with it. 

At Wolgast Restoration, when mayhem strikes, we strike back!

Topics: Flooding, residential, wind damage, roof damage

Spring Is on Its Way

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 @ 08:25 AM

Are you prepared for the potential storms that accompany it?

lightning

In the spring, we turn our clocks ahead one hour and our thoughts to warmer weather and the activities we love.  We plan barbecues, picnics, ballgames, camping and a wide variety of other outdoor activities.

No one likes to cancel outdoor activities, but when severe weather threatens, we need to prepare for the possibility of damages occurring not only to ourselves, but also to our home and business.  Thunderstorms, hail, rain and tornadoes cause varying degrees of damage.  

Some valuable things to remember when faced with potential severe weather:

*Check the local weather report for your area or your destination (weatherchannel.com or local news or radio station) to see if there is a chance of severe weather.  You may need to change your plans, or at least wait until the threat of severe weather has passed before heading out.

*Remember that storms can develop quickly and without a lot of advanced warning.  Having an emergency kit in your home and vehicle can provide you with much-needed necessities if caught without power or you are stranded.

**Flashlights and extra batteries, candles, matches, disposable lighters

**Battery-powered radios, cell phones

**Water/non-perishable food for at least 3 days for each person

**Blankets, pillows, extra clothing

**Moistened towelettes, garbage bags

**Tool kit

**Books and/or games

Remember that disaster can strike at any time, and most people are not prepared for it, even though they may think they are.  Being prepared for any emergency will help to alleviate stress when disaster does strike. 

At Wolgast Restoration, when mayhem strikes, we strike back!”

Topics: Water Damage, Flooding, residential, wind damage, Wolgast Restoration, structural damage, commercial