Redefining Restoration

Van Rooy Restoration Launches New, Enhanced Website

With a never-ending mission to bring you the very best service and support, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new and improved website here at Van Rooy Restoration. This enhanced site will give us an even better opportunity to reach out to residents in Indianapolis and across central Indiana. Now, we can better inform you about preventing home and property damage, while highlighting our many products and services designed to restore your property should the unthinkable ever occur.

Keep reading to learn more about what’s new on our site.

New Site Navigation Tools

New Site Navigation - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

Comparing our old and new websites is like comparing night and day. Click the top of your screen to visit our homepage and start exploring the new site. We’ve improved navigation and accessibility, making it easier to find what you’re looking for and getting rid of the guesswork on which tabs, pages, and links to click next. From our homepage, you have easy access to our services, resources, team bios, contact info, and more. Go check it out!

New Interactive Features

New Photo Gallery - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

Reading is one thing, but seeing is believing. One of our favorite new features on the site is our restoration photo gallery. Browse images of smoke/fire, water, and storm damage, along with our before and after pics to see just how far we go to return your property to “like new” condition again. The Van Rooy photo gallery also includes images of our remodeling/construction, roofing, and 24-hour emergency response services.

Remember, we proudly serve residential, business, and multi-family clients across central Indiana.

New Monthly Blog

New Blog & Resources - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

If you are reading this, that means you’ve found our blog. Nice work! The Van Rooy Restoration blog is updated monthly and covers relevant, timely topics that can help keep your family, your home, and your business safe. Recent posts include winter car emergency kits, winter storm preparedness, and other disaster prep tips. You can access our blog from the Van Rooy homepage or bookmark it for easier access from your computer or mobile device.

Never miss a future post and stay up to date with everything Van Rooy Restoration by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your Best Source for 24-Hour Emergency Restoration

24 Hour Emergency Response - Van Rooy Restoration

As much as we hope it never happens, accidents and disasters do strike. If a smoke or fire, water, or weather emergency happens to you, we are here when you need us most, 24 hours a day. Write down our contact information and keep it handy, and visit the rest of our newly improved website to find out how Van Rooy is redefining restoration. Stay safe and have a great 2016!

Build Your Own Car Disaster Kit

In order to drive safe in winter weather, you need to stay up-to-date on automotive maintenance, you need snow or all-season tires, and you need to avoid distractions while on the road. Even with all of these things in mind, accidents can and do happen. So, there’s one more thing every vehicle needs this winter – something many of you leave home without every day.

We’re talking about a winter emergency kit for your car. The folks at Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis explain how to assemble your own.

emergency car kit

Winter Emergency Car Kit Essentials

Although there’s no guaranteed way to prevent an accident or disabled vehicle, you can prepare yourself for trouble by planning ahead and building an emergency car kit. Supplies should include:

  • Heavy blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Cold weather outerwear (boots, gloves, socks, scarf, hat)
  • Non-perishable food (granola bars, mixed nuts) and bottled water
  • First-aid kit and prescription medications, if necessary
  • Sand or non-clumping cat litter (sprinkle below tires for added traction)
  • Tire repair kit
  • Ice scraper, shovel, and rope
  • Battery-powered cell phone charger and spare batteries
  • Candles, matches, lighters, hand-warmers, heat packs

Pack as many items as possible into a duffle bag or storage container with lid, so that your emergency kit is easy to transport and everything is together. Make sure that every vehicle at home is equipped with a kit! 

Slow Down. Stay Back. Arrive Alive.

Few things are as frightening as a car accident, but being stranded following one is just as scary. Something as simple as a flat tire or empty gas tank can strand a driver on the side of the road, and help may be seconds, minutes, or an hour or more away. In the winter, dealing with a disabled car can quickly become a life-threatening event if you’re not prepared.

Remember, the best way to avoid accidents is to prevent them in the first place. During these cold weather months, give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Drive slow and leave plenty of space between your car and vehicles ahead. Pay attention to local forecasts. Avoid unmaintained roads. And please, put down that cell phone! Find more safety tips on our blog. From those of us at Van Rooy Restoration, we wish all of our fellow Indianapolis-area drivers happy holidays and a safe winter season!

Staying Up-to-Date During an Emergency

Thinking about disasters tends to put folks in “defense” mode. When we imagine a major storm sweeping through our community, we only think about protecting what’s ours. That is human nature.

Stop for a moment though and think bigger picture. If a disaster strikes, what will you do if you are separated from loved ones? What if an evacuation is ordered? What if power and communication is lost? What if your home is completely destroyed?

Questions like these remind us why staying connected with your larger community in an emergency is so important.

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Emergency Alerts

You know the sound; that sharp, shrill, nails-on-chalkboard sound. Emergency Alert System (EAS) notifications sure can be annoying, but they save lives. These public alerts are designed to notify the community with imminent emergency information. EAS messages are delivered on TV, over the radio, and even through your smartphone.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are a relatively new way to get that information out to the public. They look like text messages, but alert users with a unique sound and vibration. If you have ever received an AMBER alert on your smartphone, this is an example of a WEA. Learn more and find out how to activate WEAs on your device.

Emergency Shelters

If your home is damaged or inaccessible during an emergency, help is out there. The American Red Cross operates quick-response shelters whenever and wherever disasters strike. Open shelters are searchable on an online database from the Red Cross National Shelter System, with information updated every 30 minutes.

Some people prefer to have storm shelters a little bit closer to home. For that reason, there are many American companies that specialize in building private shelters and safe rooms for customers. These family-sized units can be installed in the basement or buried in the backyard. The National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) maintains a catalog of builders, and provides a lot of helpful consumer information on its website.

Plan, Survive, Recover

Few thoughts are as frightening as losing your home – or worse – in a disaster. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to protect it all. Plan ahead by reading articles and finding tips on our blog, know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency, and remember that material possessions are replaceable.

If your home is damaged during a disaster, we can help. Learn more about our restoration services on our website, and contact us if you have questions about any of our services. At Van Rooy Restoration, we are with you every step of the way.

Winter is Coming – Are You Ready?

We may only be a few weeks into fall, but winter isn’t far behind. Being prepared means planning ahead, and when it comes to cold weather threats like snow and ice, it’s never too early to start planning. Let’s cover a few things you should know about winter storms.

winter storm

Your Home

You tune in to the local evening news, only to see a breaking weather alert that a severe winter storm is headed your way. So, you drop what you’re doing and rush to the store to stock up on supplies. The only problem? So does everyone else, and by the time you make it to the store, shelves are empty and folks are fighting over what’s left. It’s a scary reality, but the items in your pantry and medicine cabinet might not be enough to help your family ride out a bad storm. That’s why you need to start planning now. An emergency supply kit is essential for your home. Be sure to include gear like:

  • A three-day supply of food & water for each family member (and pet!)
  • Flashlights & extra batteries
  • A first aid kit & medicines (over-the-counter & prescription)
  • Cold weather outerwear & spare blankets
  • Alternative heat source (like a wood fireplace or coal-burning stove)
  • Rock salt or kitty litter for steps & walkways
  • Extra cash

You can find a longer list of items to add to your home’s emergency kit in our recent weather disaster blog post.

Your Car

Just like your home, you’ll want to make sure each of your family vehicles is stocked with a portable emergency survival kit. In addition to flashlights, kitty litter (which helps with tire traction), food, water, and blankets, make sure you have:

  • An ice scraper
  • A shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains
  • Road flares

A kit like this is vital in case you get stranded, but you can prevent accidents due to snow and ice by being cautious while driving. Go slow, give yourself plenty of room, check your tire pressure, and keep your gas tank full.

Your Family

Property damaged by blizzards and ice is replaceable. Your family is not. The most important thing you can do before a snowstorm blows through is have an action plan in place and practiced.

  • Write down essential phone numbers for relatives, work, school, etc.
  • Teach your children about winter-related health dangers like frostbite and hypothermia (warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing is key!).
  • In a power outage, never operate a portable generator, grill, or camp stove inside, and be sure to run those devices away from windows and vents outside. Your best bet is to go to the home of a relative or friend, or a public shelter, if your home loses power and/or heat.
  • Lastly, be sure to bring your pets inside during heavy snow or other winter weather!

More Winter Preparedness Tips

Make this autumn a season of preparation for the colder temperatures and inclement weather ahead. Find more tips on our website, and remember: Van Rooy Restoration is here for you 24/7, should a damaging winter storm strike your home or business.

Weather Disaster Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a time to think about what you and your loved ones would do if the unthinkable should happen. This year’s theme is, “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.” So, if you have been putting off stockpiling that disaster supplies kit, or still haven’t created and practiced an evacuation plan with your family, make September the time to get started.

Here’s a recap of natural disaster tips we’ve discussed here recently to help you prepare.

weather preparedness

Severe Storm Preparedness

Scary weather strikes our state year-round — knocking out power, damaging your home, or worse. One of the best things you can do to prepare your family for severe storms is build an emergency kit. Essential items include:

  • Three-day supply of food and water for each family member
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Wrench or pliers to turn-off utilities to your home
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

Make sure everyone at home knows where this kit is stored, and knows how to use all of the included items. Consider building smaller kits to store in each of your vehicles.

Flood Preparedness

Did you know that floods are one of the most common and costliest natural disasters? You don’t have to live in a low elevation or next to a body of water to be at risk. If you and your family find yourselves in the midst of a flood, remember this American Red Cross-approved advice:

  • Watch TV if possible, or use your emergency radio or cell phone for updates.
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home at a moment’s notice.
  • If a flood warning is issued for your area, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Don’t return home until officials have declared your area safe.
  • If you smell or hear leaking gas, evacuate the area and call 911.

Visit the Red Cross website to find more preparedness tips for before, during, and after a flood.

Heat & Drought Preparedness

Do you know the difference between a heat watch, a heat warning, and a heat advisory? While all three alerts should be taken seriously, it is important to understand what each means:

  • Excessive Heat Watch – Weather conditions are favorable for extreme heat in your area over the next few days.
  • Excessive Heat Warning – Your local Heat Index values are high enough that bodily harm and even death can occur.
  • Heat Advisory – Temperatures are expected to meet local Heat Index values within the next day or two.

Learn more about weather watches, warnings, and advisories here.

Fire Preparedness

As we keep seeing across the western U.S., fires are dangerous and often unpredictable, and occur in many settings and situations. Protect your property by:

  • Keeping leaves, logs, and other vegetative debris away from your home and outbuildings.
  • Screening in porches and patios with metal wire mesh to help trap ash and embers.
  • Maintaining your lawn with proper hydration and prune trees and shrubs.
  • Making sure grills, fire pits, and chimineas are well away from your home’s foundation.
  • Inspecting roofing tiles and shingles, and repair loose or broken material.

Check out these other fire prevention tips for the whole family.

Snow Storm Preparedness

Indiana is no stranger to heavy snow and below freezing temperatures. Prepare your family for cold weather disasters by:

  • Writing down essential phone numbers for relatives, work, school, etc.
  • Teaching your children about winter-related health dangers like frostbite and hypothermia (warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing is key!).
  • Never operating a portable generator, grill, or camp stove inside during a power outage, and running those devices away from windows and vents outside. Your best bet is to go to the home of a relative or friend, or a public shelter, if your home loses power and/or heat.
  • Bringing your pets inside during heavy snow or other winter weather.

Additional Help & Resources

Contact us or browse our website for more ways to stay safe and prevent disaster. And, if the unthinkable should happen, remember that we’re here for you. This National Preparedness Month, Van Rooy Restoration reminds you: “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”

Fire Preparedness

Family-Friendly Fire Prevention Tips

If you watch the news, you’ve probably heard that a few hundred soldiers are joining the fight against wildfires raging across 10 western states. It’s the first time in nearly a decade that active duty military personnel have been sent to do so.

Fires of any kind pose a potential threat, and seasonal disasters – like those started by overly dry weather or from lightning strikes – are common this time of year. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand the risks, and share safety and prevention tips with your whole family.

Fire Preparedness

What to Look for Around the House

Fire risks around your home might be more prevalent than you think. To minimize these risks, be sure to:

• Keep leaves, logs, and other vegetative debris away from your home and outbuildings.
• Screen in porches and patios with metal wire mesh to help trap ash and embers.
• Keep flammable items like propane tanks and firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
• Maintain your lawn with proper hydration and prune trees and shrubs.
• Make sure grills, fire pits, and chimineas are well away from your home’s foundation.
• Never allow children to play with fireworks unsupervised, and have water ready.
• Inspect roofing tiles and shingles, and repair loose or broken material.

Practice Your Emergency Plan

Seconds count in a fire or any disaster. Practice emergency plans with your family until each member knows exactly what to do. Then practice again, and practice some more! Smart fire emergency procedures include:

• Getting out of and a safe distance from your home as fast as possible.
• Installing and maintaining smoke detectors on every floor and in every bedroom at home.
• Having an emergency supply kit stored in a safe spot. Click here for tips on what to stock and where to store your kit.
• Being prepared with a backup escape and evacuation plan just in case.

Recovering From a Fire

If the unthinkable should happen and your property is damaged by fire, the next step is getting back to normal. That’s where we come in. Learn more about our many residential and commercial services at Van Rooy Restoration. We are here to help, 24/7, when you need us most.

Extreme Heat Preparedness

It’s one of the world’s deadliest and most dangerous types of natural disaster, and it might surprise you. We’re not talking about earthquakes or floods. The phenomenon responsible for the most weather-related deaths is extreme heat, and it affects people all over the world. During periods of extreme heat it is important to know how to keep you and your family safe.

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Know What to Look For

One of the best ways to stay alert to potential heat dangers is to pay attention to local media. Watch for and subscribe to weather information and alerts on your TV, radio, computer, and mobile phone. Meteorologists often break down extreme heat into three common terms:

  • Excessive Heat Watch – Weather conditions are favorable for extreme heat in your area over the next few days.
  • Heat Advisory – Temperatures are expected to meet local Heat Index values within the next day or two.
  • Excessive Heat Warning – Your local Heat Index values are high enough that bodily harm and even death can occur.
A Heat Index is calculated by combining air temperature and humidity. Basically, it refers to how hot your body feels. So, a temperature of 85 degrees outside with very high humidity can make your body feel like it’s 100 degrees or more.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

You might be familiar with the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is definitely true for heat waves and any other type of dangerous weather event. Plan ahead by:

 

1. Making sure everyone in your family understands the risks of extreme heat, and knows how to identify symptoms of overheating. Remember that animals can suffer from overheating too.
2. Having safety plans for different emergency situations (home, work, school, etc.).
3. Keeping your emergency disaster kit (sometimes called a “bugout bag”) properly stocked and ready to go in case of a power outage or other emergency.
4. Knowing where to go if you don’t have air conditioning at home or your A/C system fails. Public spaces like malls and libraries are good places to go, and local officials typically set up public cooling centers during extreme heat events.
5. Being trained in basic first aid. These skills are essential to identifying and treating heat-related illnesses.

Have a Fun & Safe Summer

Summer is time for family fun and outdoor recreation. You can ensure that your loved ones stay safe during these hot summer months by paying attention and planning ahead. Want to learn more? Check out the CDC’s tips for extreme heat here, and be sure to bookmark the Van Rooy Restoration website for local resources and services right here in Indianapolis.

Flood Preparation: Stay Safe with These Tips

Did you know that Indiana has more than 60 rivers and creeks that wind their way across the state? That’s a lot of water! It’s also a big reason to plan ahead for a potential flood.

You don’t need to move to higher ground or build a house on stilts to protect your family and your property. The smartest thing you can do is prepare. Here’s how.

Approaching Storm with Dark Clouds and Heavy Rains

Understanding Flood Risks

According to the American Red Cross, floods are one of the most common and costliest types of natural disasters. In some cases, flooding begins to occur after several days of steady rain. Other times, it happens with little or no warning.

Be on the lookout and listen for these two weather alerts in your area:

  • Flood/flash flood WATCH. Meteorologists use this term when flooding is possible in your community.
  • Flood/flash flood WARNING. This means that flooding is already happening or is imminent in your community.

So, what do you do if weather experts interrupt your program with a severe weather alert?

Have a Flood Emergency Kit Ready

Prepare for a flood by having a disaster supply kit ready to go in an emergency. The following pieces of equipment are essential:

  • Three days of food & water for each family member (don’t forget your pets!)
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Wireless cell phone charger
  • Sanitation & personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Extra clothing & rain gear
  • Maps of your area
  • Cash
  • Make collecting equipment and items for your emergency kit a family affair. Be sure everyone at home knows where the kit it stored, and how to use each item. For more ideas and tips on emergency preparedness kits, visit Ready.gov.

Response During & After a Flood

In the worst-case scenario of a flood actually striking your community, do you know what to do? Consider these safety tips for during and after the disaster:

DURING

  • Watch TV if possible, or use your emergency radio or cell phone for updates.
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home at a moment’s notice.
  • If a flood warning is issued for your area, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Stay away from and never try to navigate floodwaters by foot or vehicle.
  • Keep children away from the water.

AFTER

  • Don’t return home until officials have declared your area safe.
  • Inspect your home’s exterior (power lines, foundation, etc.) before entering.
  • Be on the lookout for stray and wild animals.
  • If you smell or hear leaking gas, evacuate the area and call 911.
  • Wear protective clothing during cleanup and dispose of food.
  • If you notice flood damage in or around your home, contact Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis for rebuilding assistance.

Stay Safe!

If you are the victim of a flood, be sure to let family know that you are okay once you are able to do so. Remember that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, so consider a flood insurance policy. For more tips on how to recover from a flood or other disaster, visit the Red Cross website and Van Rooy Restoration for flood repairs.

How to Prepare for Tornadoes, Strong Winds, & Hailstorms

If you’ve lived in Indiana long enough, you’re familiar with the 500, Hoosier basketball, and our year-round unique weather. Some of that weather involves damaging storms that can produce strong winds, hail, and even tornadoes.

While damage from some of these storms is inevitable, there are ways to minimize your property damage and protect your personal safety:

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Before Severe Weather Hits — Plan Ahead!

1. Build an emergency kit — According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready campaign, your basic emergency kit should contain:

  • Three-day supply of food and water for each family member
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust masks
  • Moist wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Wrench or pliers to turn-off utilities to your home
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

2. Create and practice a plan of action for your family — Make sure all family members know where to seek shelter and what to do if you are not together when the storm hits. Don’t forget to address the care of pets, assisting family members that need help, and shutting off all utilities at the main supply source. Check out FEMA’s Communication Plan to guide this process.

3. Protect your home from additional damage — You can prevent secondary damage by maintaining these areas of your property and home:

  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed out, cut weak branches, and remove trees that could fall on your home
  • Replace rock and gravel landscaping material with shredded bark or mulch
  • If you’re replacing your roof, consider installing shingles rated by UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4 (an indication they have been tested and found to better withstand increasing levels of hail damage)

4. Know the warning signals in your neighborhood — How will you be notified of severe weather in your area? Many municipalities still use emergency radio, TV broadcasts, and sirens. In an effort to inform more people of approaching storms, however, these communications can be made through wireless emergency alerts, which are text-like message received by mobile devices.

Keep Your Home and Family Safe!

More than likely, you won’t need to put this action plan in place, but Van Rooy Restoration encourages you to make emergency preparedness part of your home safety plan.

Visit FEMA’s Ready campaign website, or contact Van Rooy for more information on preparing for severe weather and post-storm repair.

Hail damage? Follow these 6 steps for repair

Did you know that Indiana is among the top ten states for the most hail damage insurance claims? Indiana averages more than three hailstorms per calendar year, causing damage to your roof, shingles, gutters, and other areas of your home. Don’t let damage go untreated – follow these best practices for quick repair.

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What should I do after a hail storm passes through?

1. Assess the damage Normally hail stones 1” in diameter (quarter size) or larger will cause damage – smaller hail usually does not, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone inspect. As soon as you suspect hail damage, contact a trusted roofing contractor to inspect your property for any damage from the storm. Most often, homeowners will get recommendations for roofing companies from family and friends. Before hiring anyone, however, do your homework! Visit the company website, ask for references, and read their reviews. NOTE: If you need a recommendation, contact your homeowner insurance agent. It is NOT necessary to file a claim to get recommendations.

 

2. File a claim with your insurance company – If your contractor discovers enough damage to warrant a claim, now it’s time to contact your insurance agent or company. Let them know you have hail damage documented by a roof repair inspector. If your insurance company requires a formal estimate, you may need to request one from the contractor. Typically, estimates are only prepared by roofing contractors when required by an insurance company.

 

3. Meet with the insurance adjuster and your preferred contractor  Before the claim is approved, most insurance companies will send out an adjuster to verify the damage. For that meeting, it’s a good idea for your contractor to be present. The adjuster and contractor can discuss and agree on all damage to be covered. Having two sets of eyes is always helpful to uncover every possible damaged item to your property.

 

4. Give the insurance estimate to your contractor  Once the claim is approved, the insurance company will provide you with a detailed estimate report for the covered damage, including the total price and quantity of materials. Your contractor will use this report to develop a plan to restore your property to pre-damaged conditions.

 

5. Sign the contract with contractor and begin repair  At this point, your roofing contractor will get to work on fixing your hail-damaged property. Once the work is complete, you pay your contractor with the money received from your insurance company. Your only out-of-pocket cost is your deductible.

 

6. Wrap up the claim  Because your contractor was working from an estimate, quite often, the actual costs exceed that estimate. This can be due to the need for more materials, or the discovery of additional damage. Don’t worry! Your contractor will relay this to the insurance company. In most cases, these additional costs are granted and added to the claim total. 

Van Rooy Restoration – Your Indianapolis-Area Hail Damage Repair Experts

From assessing hail damage to working with any insurance company, Van Rooy Restoration makes the hail damage repair process as simple as possible. If you have any questions about storm damage restoration or filing a claim, contact us today or call 317-684-7315.