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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Does Storm Surge Make Severe Storm Flood Damage Harder to Manage in Cutler Bay?

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO crew on a small boat ready to work SERVPRO Crews Cruise to Your Cutler Bay Property to Mitigate Saltwater Intrusion from Flooding

Extensive Training for and Experience with Unique Coastal Risks During Storm-Related Consequences Make SERVPRO an Industry Leader

The high winds and torrential rains experienced during the tropical storm and hurricane season in Cutler Bay are concerning enough for area residents. When exposure to a significant storm surge is part of riding out the storm, you need help from a flooding restoration company that understands the ways substantial incursion of salty ocean water complicates and increases the severity of the damage. Familiarity with strategies that prevent long term damage from saltwater is essential.

What Is Storm Surge?

Because of our location on the coast, flood damage in Cutler Bay can include storm surge enhancement. The National Hurricane Center notes that storm surge is "often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane." The surge is a rush of water higher than the usual and predictable astronomical tide. Winds from intense storms, especially hurricanes, blow the abnormal quantity of water onshore. Coastal areas are most at risk, but higher category storms develop storm surges that can travel miles inland. Although improvements in weather forecasting mean storm surges are less likely to catch residents unaware, and physically in the path of the sometimes deadly surge, property damage continues to be of significant concern.

How Does the Damage from Salt Water Differ from the Damage from Fresh Water?

Although any flooding can cause destruction to your home, the SERVPRO team is on alert for increases in specific types of damage when saltwater is part of the mix. Why does saltwater have the potential to do more harm than rainwater and overland flooding?

  • How Does Salt Water Increase Electrical Safety Issues?

Higher amounts of salt increase water's conductivity, reminding us to be even more cautious if live electricity is a risk factor. The modern home also contains many items dependent upon electronics for operation. The high salt content increases the risk of permanent damage to the equipment and systems inside your house if not managed appropriately.

  • How Does Salt Water Impact Metal Building Materials?

Saltwater corrodes metal faster than fresh, threatening to weaken supports and fasteners. Staining and continual deterioration can result if not addressed.

  • How Does Salt Water Affect Wood and Wood-Products?

Lignin is a glue-like substance in wood and cellulose products that provides strength and support, especially to cell walls. Saltwater causes delignification, a breakdown of the lignin that eventually weakens wooden structural components. If you see a fuzzy deposit on wood exposed to saltwater, it is a sign that the lignin has degraded, and wooden structures have weakened. Storm surge flooding requires attention to this possibility.

  • How Does Salt Water Affect Concrete?

Over time concrete flooded with seawater deteriorates. Interestingly, concrete below the waterline in structures intended to support a building or construction such as a pier or bridge directly in seawater are less affected than structures inundated with saltwater for a short time. When non-submerged concrete dries, the compound crystallizes, and disruption of concrete aggregate occurs. Unique processes during flood water removal can lessen this issue.

What Are Additional Steps Needed During Recovery from Storm Surge Flooding in My Home?

  • Electrocution Fears

The ions in saltwater conduct electricity more efficiently, so we observe extreme caution during storm surge removal. Power disconnection, until safety concerns are addressed during the removal process, must occur. Fortunately, our submersible pumps and truck-mounted extractors use gas or onboard generators, so no delay in flood water removal is necessary.

  • Inspection and Repair of Electronics

The many appliances and systems in your home operating through electronics need inspection and intervention by experts. Otherwise, these items may not work correctly or at all, and fire risks from shorts down the line are possible.

  • Flushing with Fresh Water

To decrease the salinity of the floodwater, freshwater pumped in help wash away the salt. This increases the amount of water we ultimately remove from your home. Our high-efficiency and large-capacity equipment are vital to completing this onerous task, especially if the process needs repeating if salt levels remain high.

  • Focus on the Soil Around Your Home

Overland flood damage always has the potential to shift the ground near your foundation, as a mechanical force. Storm surge also puts tremendous pressure on the land because of the power of the water. The salinity, however, exacerbates the erosion potential of seawater-related flood damage to the soil. Landscaping intended to beautify and improve the durability of the earth under and around your home often cannot thrive in highly-saline conditions.

Rely on SERVPRO of Cutler Bay to handle all aspects of coastal flooding in your residence after storm activity. We are on alert during the hurricane season, promptly responding 24/7 when you call (305) 278-8484.

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