Archived Blog Posts
Water Damaged Valuables After a Fire
WATER and FIRE LOSS: When these type of disasters occur, contents in your home can be adversely effected. You can certainly look to rely on the contents coverage on your homeowners policy, but more than likely, you'll find yourself disappointed to learn that there are special sublimits for certain categories of valuables, including but not limited to jewelry, fine art, silverware, and other collectibles. A separate valuable articles rider/endorsement can adequately protect these items. Additionally, consider taking time out of your busy week to either video and/or photograph rooms and valuable items. Remember to print out photos, and secure them in an alternate location in the event of a water or fire loss (like a safety deposit box, or your Mother's home).
Emergency Family and Pet Preparedness
In the blink of an eye, our lives can change. None of us want to experience loss due to fire, water, or storm events. However, it is important to be prepared, and always think about safety first. Family members should have an agreed upon meeting spot if they would have to exit the home in the event of a sudden emergency. Also, an escape ladder should be positioned near a window inside the home. Often, families have pets, and let us not forget the furry ones of our family. Is there a "get away bag" near an exit with a few cans of food for the furry ones, some water, and one or two of their favorite toys, and some of their medications packed. Also, are there friends or family that would take the pets in if you and your family were to be displaced as a result of a fire, water, or storm event loss at your place of living.
3 Questions To Ask Your Water Damage Service About Commercial Content Cleaning
Answers To Common Concerns You May Have When It Comes To Content Cleaning.
Water damage can be devastating to your Cross Creek, PA, business, and facing the aftermath of a flooded company space is likely to raise a lot of questions for you as its owner. How will you handle soaked inventory? Is there any avenue for salvaging office equipment? Fortunately, working with a flood damage and restoration service can help you answer a few common concerns you may have when it comes to content cleaning.
1. Can Water Condition Affect Cleaning Needs?
The type of flooding your building experiences can affect the method of cleaning your items might need. For example, if the source of the flood came from a sink’s broken pipe on a second-floor restroom and water leaked through the ceiling to damage items on the first floor, most will likely be salvageable because the moisture came from a sanitary source. Content damaged by other types of floods, such as those that originated from a sewer backup, usually requires deep cleaning.
2. Can Paper Documents Be Restored?
A flooded company usually means damaged records and other important documents. This can be especially common in basement flooding, where such items are commonly archived. Your content cleaning service has several means for preserving and restoring paper items, such as freeze-drying and disinfecting methods. Photos, x-rays and reference materials, such as company handbooks, can also be restored via these processes.
3. Can Clothing Inventory Be Salvaged?
If you own a retail clothing company and your inventory has been soaked by flooding, you may be concerned about the possible financial loss this can cause. Ask your flood damage and mitigation service about your options for salvaging these items, such as dry cleaning and sanitation processes.
It can be difficult to handle the aftermath of a flooded company space in Cross Creek, PA, especially when multiple items are damaged. However, knowing which questions to ask your professional restoration service may help you realize that much of your building’s content can be salvaged, no matter how the flood occurred.
Severe Water Damage After a Storm
We cannot forecast the number of major storm events, but when storm damage happens, please keep it green with SERVPRO WEST HILLS. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Assoc. reported that in 2016, flooding alone resulted in an estimated collective $99 billion dollars in loss. Also, remember to review your homeowner's insurance policy to be certain that the policy covers sewer back up. Many homeowners insurance policies DO NOT cover this. You may add $5,000 or $10,000 worth of sewer back up coverage, by adding an ENDORSEMENT to the existing homeowners insurance policy, if the coverage is currently not available on your existing policy. SERVPRO WEST HILLS is here to help when storm events result in disaster for your home or business. Give us a call anytime if you have any questions.
How Long Does Mold Removal Usually Take?
SERVPRO understands mold and mold growth and has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
A building owner or facilities manager may want to estimate a timeframe for remediation after the mold is discovered at a structure in Hanover Township, PA. Most mold removal procedures take less than a week. The extent and severity of contamination may add steps to the remediation process. Once removal is underway, the amount of mold present will determine the duration of the removal process.
Remediation starts with mold testing. An indoor environmental professional can determine whether mold growth is ongoing and identify the species. In total, this process may take several days.
• Testing can take a few hours.
• Processing results may take a few days.
• Review results as soon as possible.
An IEP may recommend remediation measures. Limited or full containment and personal protective equipment may be necessary.
The extent of contamination and the type of mold removal involved will determine whether containment is necessary. Here are a few general guidelines:
• Infestations less than 10 square feet may not require containment.
• Infestations between 10 and 100 square feet could require limited containment.
• Infestations larger than 100 square feet or involving toxigenic species may require full containment.
Containment can take several hours to set up. Limited containment calls for a single layer of polyethylene sheeting with a slit entry covered by a flap. Full containment for major mold problems or black mold requires double layers of sheeting with a decontamination chamber or airlock.
Removal can commence once containment methods and equipment are set up. Minor contamination may be removed over several days. Moderate contamination may require anywhere from three days to a week, while major contamination may take up to a week or longer.
Building owners should account for testing and containment when estimating a timeframe for mold removal. It may take anywhere from one to two weeks for remediation specialists to remove mold from a structure in Hanover Township, PA.
Finding the Right Restoration Company for Your Clients
When a major storm hits Strabane,PA contact SERVPRO for storm restoration services
Three Reasons to Choose SERVPRO as Your Preferred Vendor
When a major storm hits Strabane, PA, many of your clients' businesses will likely be affected. The storm restoration company you recommend for repairs needs to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. There are three reasons to choose SERVPRO as your preferred vendor.
1. Quick Response Time
The key to limiting damage after a storm is assessing and starting the cleanup process as soon as possible. The faster the storm response team in charge of the remediation can get there, the better. Quick assessment gives you the information you need to start processing claims. Speedy restoration can keep water damage from spreading or turning into mold damage. A 24-hour service line is the first step in making fast response a reality.
2. Corporate Resources
Both locally and corporately owned storm restoration businesses have their benefits. Local technicians are familiar with the area, and corporations have greater resources. When you can suggest a team that has both a local franchise with the backing of a national company, you get the best of both worlds. When a storm rages in Strabane, PA, the company can mobilize to make sure the local centers have all the equipment and support they need to serve the area.
3. Expert Service
When looking for a preferred vendor to recommend to your clients, you likely have some qualifications in mind. Flood damage remediation technicians should have specialized training to handle the water damage and sanitation process that is required after a flood. You may look for service providers who are certified, indicating that both their skills and experience meet national standards of excellence. A streamlined online documentation system can ensure that you have the latest updates on your clients' cases. All of these features in one partner help you serve your clients better.
When a natural disaster occurs in your clients' area, you need storm restoration services you can count on. A company that responds quickly with experience, expertise and the backing of a reliable corporation should be the one you call.
When Should You Make a Water Damage Claim?
A small timeframe of 24-28 hours is all mold needs to start to grow
Homeowners may be unsure of what to do after discovering water damage. Whether your home has been flooded by bursting pipes or you see signs of a leak, it is important to act quickly.
Policyholders should take a few steps to prepare to make a claim. Start by getting a clearer sense of your coverage and the extent of the damage:
- Check policy terms and limits
- Document damage in photos or videos
- Contact a mitigation service
Standard homeowners policies may cover bursting pipes or leaks if you can prove that negligence did not play a part in causing the incident. Even if a policy does not cover the cost to fix a broken pipe, coverage may be available for the resulting damage.
Within 24 Hours
Mold can start to form within just 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should rely on mitigation professionals to extract standing water and residual moisture. An expert opinion and estimate can help a homeowner decide whether to make a claim or pay out of pocket to avoid a rate increase. Some insurance companies require agents to report any incidents mentioned by policyholders, regardless of whether they end up making a claim.
Within Several Days
If you make a claim, you should provide the necessary documents and materials. Insurers may require several pieces of information:
- Documentation of damage
- An estimate for mitigation and restoration costs
- Proof of loss
A representative may schedule an on-site visit for an adjuster to inspect the damage. A claim can be settled once these requirements are met.
It is important to take timely steps toward mitigation after water damage at a residence in Cross Creek, PA. This is particularly the case when extensive damage is caused by bursting pipes. Schedule a consultation with a damage mitigation and restoration service and obtain an estimate as soon as possible to determine how to proceed.
The Most Common Types of House Mold
Stachybotrys Ata, also known as black mold
5 Common Types of Mold Growth
Many species of mold flourish inside of houses, particularly after water damage. Find out more about five common types of mold growth.
Alternaria grows in damp areas. Most species have a fuzzy appearance and may be black, brown or gray in color depending on conditions and the point in the growth cycle.
Aspergillus is a very common type of house mold, as spores tend to be more concentrated in indoor air than outdoor air. This genus favors materials containing cellulose or plant fibers. It is not uncommon to find Aspergillus growing on paper, textiles, insulation or wood exposed to high humidity. Species grow in many different colors, such as brown, black, gray, green, white or yellow.
3. Black Mold
The scientific name of black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. This species is not always black and may be green early in its growth cycle. Stachybotrys chartarum produces mycotoxins and is known to be one of the most dangerous types of mold. Water damage often precedes black mold growth.
Cladosporium tends to grow on damp building materials or textiles. This genus stands out for its ability to flourish in cooler temperatures compared to other types of mold. Cladosporium is usually black or dark green in color.
Penicillum is set apart by its blue or green color and pungent odor. This type of mold flourishes in porous materials exposed to water and is a common cause of produce spoilage. There are about 200 species of penicillum, and some are known to produce mycotoxins.
These are five of the most common genera or types of mold found in houses and other structures. Homeowners may be able to clean up a minor infestation, but it can be difficult to determine the full extent of mold growth. For the best results, contact a mold remediation company in Hanover Township, PA.
How Does SERVPRO Support Insurance Claims?
SERVPRO is certified with fire, water and mold damage
SERVPRO is a damage mitigation and restoration company with franchises across the country. Only locations that meet the requirements of a Participation Agreement can receive insurance client referrals. Find out more about the claim services Preferred Vendors may provide.
Certification and Participation Agreement
Whenever an insured homeowner or insurance company representative calls to report damage, their information is only forwarded to a franchise that meets Participation Agreement requirements. Each location must agree to operate in accordance with rigorous guidelines:
- Business insurance coverage
- Employee background checks
- Proper job documentation
This agreement includes 21 points in total. Franchise owners and employees are also encouraged to achieve and maintain Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Insurers prefer to work with IICRC-certified vendors.
SERVPRO also maintains a Claims Information Center to make it easier for insurance representatives to access estimates and data. Agents and adjusters can use electronic claim services to view:
- Collected data on losses
- Company comparisons
This service supports communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers. The availability of information can make it easier to process and settle claims.
Fast Response Times
Insurers are more likely to cover a claim if immediate action is taken to mitigate damage. A fast response time can make an insurer more likely to cover work done by a damage remediation company. Seek call response times within an hour, on-site visits scheduled within four hours and a verbal briefing within eight hours. Insurers may also want to compare average emergency response times and job file costs.
All of these factors set SERVPRO apart as a Preferred Vendor. An insurance agent or homeowner should not hesitate to contact the company in the event of any type of damage at a residence in Union Township, PA. An estimate will be made available to insurers, and other claim services will support timely processing and successful settlement.
3 Types of Home Damage To Look for After a Hail Storm
Hail storm in Burgettstown, PA
3 Areas to Inspect After a Hail Storm
Severe weather can happen in any season in Burgettstown, PA, and without warning, you may find yourself in the middle of a violent hail storm. Once the storm is over, you will want to give your home a thorough inspection for hail damage. Some damage may simply be cosmetic, but there could be heavier damage that will lead to greater concerns. These are the three areas you should inspect after a hail storm:
1. Windows and Doors
Large pieces of hail can reach speeds of up to 100 mph, and broken windows can easily happen. Be sure to inspect glass doors for cracks or holes. Depending on the severity of the rain, water seepage could have occurred, causing greater damage to the interior of the house. Carefully check for any water damage to the window frames or drywall.
2. Siding and Exterior
Hail can dent aluminum siding and even cause shredding and splitting. It is important to look for dents, holes or chipping on the exterior of the house. Hail can also peel away paint, exposing the wood underneath to the elements.
3. Roofing and Structure Covering
Roof damage is the No. 1 type of damage from a hail storm. A metal roof may appear to only have dents and dings, but it could also have damage to the seams, which will cause leaking. Shingled roofs should be thoroughly inspected because their damage is not easily seen. Keep an eye out for “bruising,” or dark spots on an asphalt shingle where it is missing its granule finish. Wood shingles may have splits. Shingles that have sustained significant damage and all missing shingles should be replaced.
Once you've identified roof damage or other destruction from a storm, or if you want assistance in doing so, your local storm damage restoration company can help. The professionals can give you added advice and help you maintain your peace of mind after Mother Nature makes a house call.
How To Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire
Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Donora, PA is a terrifying experience
A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting Out a Grease Fire in Your Home
For many homeowners, one of the greatest joys you can have is cooking homemade meals. However, that joy can quickly change to fear when facing a fire. Regardless of your experience in the kitchen, a fire can happen to anyone at any time. As a result, everyone needs to be familiar with the process of extinguishing one. The following is a step-by-step guide to putting out a grease fire in your home:
1. Eliminate the heat source. The first step you need to take is removing the heat source by turning your burner off or unplugging the stove. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control. Be sure to wear oven mitts to avoid burns.
2. Smother the flames. The best method for eliminating a stovetop or oven fire is to smother it by putting a lid over the pan. This quickly cuts off the oxygen supply. Make sure to use a lid that is not made of glass, as the intense heat can cause it to shatter. Another option is to use baking soda and pour a generous quantity on the fire. If you own a fire extinguisher, you can use this as a third option. Never use water on a grease fire, as oil and water do not mix, and this can cause an explosion.
3. Call 911. If the above steps do not eliminate the fire, or if it spreads, call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone in the residence. Do not stay and continue to attempt to put out the fire; your life is much more important.
Dealing with a grease fire in your home in Donora, PA, is a terrifying experience. By arming yourself with the knowledge of how to properly handle one before it starts, you can get it under control and prevent too much damage from occurring. Afterward, fire restoration services can help you with fire cleanup and assess any damage.
5 Steps You Should Include in Your Office Fire Escape Plan
Be sure to have a fire escape plan in your Hanover Township, PA building and practice it
5 Steps You Should Include in Your Office Fire Escape Plan
Fires can be a serious hazard for any business in Hanover Township, PA. In the event of a blaze, a well-crafted fire escape plan can be a lifesaver. Although specific details may vary, incorporating five key steps can help you develop efficient procedures to safeguard the wellbeing of everyone inside your office.
1. Post Emergency Exit Signs
A key component of any emergency escape plan is a viable exit route. You should post emergency exit signs near stairwells and external doors to help everyone quickly locate exits in their vicinity.
2. Designate Multiple Escape Routes
During a fire, flames may bar some paths. Because of this possibility, your staff should recognize multiple escape routes.
Attempting to use an elevator during an inferno can be extremely dangerous. Because of this, you should exclude them from your fire escape plan.
3. Establish Meetup Spot
Once you evacuate the building, it’s important to regroup and account for everyone. To help facilitate this process, you should establish a designated meetup spot a safe distance away from the burning building and instruct everyone to report to their supervisors at that location.
4. Communicate and Practice Procedures
Proper communication may be one of the most vital components of any emergency escape plan. Your staff should understand how to report a blaze as well as established evacuation procedures. To help ensure your staff is prepared for a fire, you should provide training, conduct routine drills and adjust the plan as necessary.
5. Devise Entrapment Procedures
Although evacuating is the goal, your employees should also understand what to do if a fire blocks their exit and traps them inside the building. Examples of recommended procedures include closing the nearest door, opening windows, waving brightly-colored cloth or flashlights and calling emergency personnel to report their location.
In the event of a blaze, minimizing fire damage and ensuring the safety of your staff may be your biggest concerns. Although it may not safeguard your building, an efficient, well-executed fire escape plan can help your staff safely evacuate the premise.
3 Tips To Keep Frozen Pipes From Ruining Your Home
Let the faucet drip
3 Effective Ways to Keep Your Water Line from Freezing
Winter often brings cold weather to Cross Creek, PA. While snow, sleet and ice require you to throw on some extra layers before leaving the house, they can also spell disaster for your home’s plumbing system. As you probably know, water expands when it freezes. This expansion can put tremendous pressure on pipes, leading to a potential pipe burst. Here are three effective ways to keep your water line from freezing during cold winter months.
1. Find Exposed Pipes
Not all the pipes in your home are at equal risk for freezing. Generally, pipes in exposed areas and outer walls have a greater chance of sustaining damage during a cold spell. If you aren’t sure which pipes in your home are vulnerable, ask a plumber to explain your plumbing system to you.
2. Disconnect Outside Hoses
Leaving your hoses connected to exterior spickets during the winter can encourage a pipe burst. At the end of the watering season, disconnect and drain your houses. Also, consider placing insulation around exterior faucets to keep them from freezing when temperatures drop.
3. Let the Faucet Drip contracting with a reputable mold mitigation service, you have the equipment, skill and expertise to ensure your home returns to its pre-flood condition.
Why Does Black Mold Thrive in Showers?
Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity
A shower provides the perfect combination of conditions for black mold and other varieties of fungus to thrive. Find out why shower mold is a common problem and how to discourage mold growth in a bathroom.
Showers Are Moist
Mold requires moisture in order to grow. If water is left to linger in a shower or bathroom after bathing, colonies of fungus may form. There are several ways to lower moisture levels:
- Use a ventilation fan rated for the size of the bathroom
- Use a squeegee to remove water from shower walls or doors
- Ensure that grout lines are sealed to prevent leaks
These measures can reduce a major factor in mold growth. It is also important to keep bathrooms clean.
Organic Material Is Available
Fungi require food in order to multiply. This nutriment comes in the form of any type of organic material. In addition to maintaining low moisture levels when a shower is not in use, there are several shower mold prevention measures homeowners should take:
- Regularly clean and scrub bathroom surfaces
- Deep clean tile grout one or two times a month
- Use an anti-mildew product or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water
Consistent bathroom maintenance combined with drying measures and proper ventilation can prevent mold from becoming a problem. Any one of these factors may reduce the likelihood of fungal growth, but all of these methods should be combined to banish bathroom mold.
The presence of moisture and food sources allow for the growth of shower mold. A homeowner who wants to prevent black mold or other types of fungus should take measures to promote drying and keep a shower and bathroom clean. If a shower leak results in a persistent moldy smell, this may indicate the presence of hidden mold. Contact a water damage restoration and mold remediation service in Strabane, PA.
Hoarding--it was a term which began with folks known to have their savings by them, probably hidden inside their flock-beds; in the contemporary day, hoarding in a living or work space is a pattern characterized by excessive acquisition of and/or an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home, or an office area. You may have made a New Year's resolution to clear out and clean out. It takes time. Some conditions that may be present in a hoarding situation: Beds that cannot be slept in; Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation; Tables, chairs, or sofas that cannot be used for dining or sitting; Unsanitary bathrooms; Tubs, showers, and sinks filled with items and can no longer be used for washing or bathing; Their clutter and mess is at a point where it can cause illness, distress, and impairment. Also, if pets are present, they may have caused significant damage to floors and carpeting because they have been having accidents inside. We do rebuild--We are also capable of laying flooring, carpeting and much, much more. We are here to help, and estimates are complimentary. Make one of those New Year's Resolutions become a reality--give us a call for help. SERVPRO WEST HILLS 412-660-5457
Unattended cooking is the main cause of home fires. When cooking during the holiday season, you may be distracted by guests or cooking in ways that are out of your normal cooking routine. Don't leave the kitchen without turning off the heat, and remember to keep flammable items such as pot holders, wooden utensils, and food packaging off the stovetop. When using the oven, set a timer to remind yourself it's in use. You might want to consider keeping a lid nearby when you are cooking on top of the stove. You can use that lid to smother a grease fire. For a flame up in the oven, turn off the heat and leave the oven door closed until the fire goes out. Never use water to put out a grease fire. Keeping a box of baking soda nearby will help put down a grease fire. And last, but certainly not least, if the fire is big--everyone get out of the building, close the door to contain the flames.
Winter Season Fire Risks
There are 25,000 house fires annually due to overly soiled chimneys. When was your chimney last swept. Some folks have more than one fire place--get them all swept. Please consider taking your cellular phone charger out of the outlet when it is not charging your mobile phone--ever notice how hot that charger gets? If you enjoy supplementing winter time warmth with electric blankets and space heaters, consider their age, and examine all cords at the beginning of the season, and always remember to turn off and/or unplug these items when not in use, and especially when you are leaving the house--even if it be for just a 20 minute journey up the street to the convenience store.
Fall Check For Increased Pollutants & Risk Load
Pollutants can be around the home, or actually stored within the home, and may increase the probability of fire, or other risk events. Think about items being stored in and around the home, and check with local municipalities for correct disposal methods. Some examples of items we keep, and may forget about for many, many years: oil, grease, and toxic chemicals; pesticides and lawn and garden treatments; viruses and bacteria can materialize from forgotten pet waste, and failing septic systems; heavy metals from roof shingles, and other sources. Fall, like Spring, is a great time--before the days get really short, to clean the gutters, walk the property and look for ill or dying trees, test the furnace and the smoke detector batteries, and removed items which may have been stored much too long.
Back To School
Welcome to September! School is back in session, and there is a shift of patterns of behavior in the household. Safety awareness is always important. Now, the kids may be plugging in flat irons and forget to turn them off. Some may be back onto the morning coffee, and leave the coffee pot powered on all day when they leave the house. Additionally, you may want to consider pulling out the cell phone charger from the wall when you are not charging the cell phone. Did you ever happen to feel how hot it gets plugged into the wall when it is not charging a cell phone? Also, please check smoke detector batteries, and have at least one extra set of batteries in the home--ready to go, so there is no "down time" without batteries in the smoke detector. Please have a family plan for emergency exit, and consider a minimum of two exits. Have all persons in the household agree to a designated meeting spot outside the home in advance.
Summer brings longer days, and opportunities to share fun family activities together like boating, swimming, fireworks, the zoo, vacationing, and much, much more. It's challenging to focus on ideas which would demand an evacuation plan from your home or business. These are things that we definitely don't want to think about, especially when there's so much opportunity for summer fun. However, disaster can strike at any single unexpected moment, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take about 10 or 15 minutes to have a family meeting, and discuss logical plans to escape the building, and please absolutely agree on a meeting locale outside the home--so often, family members will re-enter a burning home, searching for a family member who may already be out, and they don't know it. This sort of unplanned event would become all you can think about: the unplanned expense, finding a reliable contractor, plus the inconvenience to you and your family. We are always here to help. Estimates are free.
Mold is bigger than us. Our professionals use advanced water detection equipment to locate the source of the problem and remediate (remove/take away) any mold or water damage. It's important to note that mold--just like us--needs fed. Areas with moisture, darkness, and no ventilation are ideal to feed mold, and help it grow and thrive. Remember to find the food source for the mold. You don't want to remove the mold, only to have it return yet again due to a hidden leaking pipe, ground water seeping into the building, absence of a French drain or sump pump, leaking roof, or a cracked foundation--these examples come from a very long list of ways mold can be fed. The source of their food (the moisture) must be solved and removed in order to ensure that the mold will not return.
From 2011-2015, USA fire departments responded to an estimated average of 170,200 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment. Forty-seven (47 %) percent of reported homes structure fires were caused by cooking. Never leave pots and pans unattended on the stove--don't forget to turn the oven off after the baking is completed; double check yourself. Don't believe that running up the street to the convenience store for 5 minutes and leaving flames on, yet low, on the stove, is safe--it's not. For instance, boiling water on the stove, and then going off to check the laundry. The laundry is finished, and you become distracted, wanting to fold the clothes while they are still hot out of the dryer. In an effort to save time later, and complete the task, you continue on to another area of the home, to put all the folded clothes away. How much time has passed? How high was that flame on the stove? How much water was in the pot? It could be long enough to evaporate all the water in the pot, and the flame continues on without the benefit of water in the pot. Most fires are not total losses, and most fires are kitchen fires, however, no one wants to have a fire experience in their lives.
We hope Spring brings you more flowers and less showers, but if you experience water damage in your home or auto, we are here to help with solutions. When it becomes warmer, and we park outside, we may forget to close those windows, and then there is a massive, heavy over night rain storm. Our vehicle becomes water saturated. Then you may begin to have an itchy nose, and smell that mold smell. Next, you vacuum, and put the little scent tree on your rearview mirror--but oh, that smell. The same situation of leaving that open window in the house, and then, oh, that smell! We live in such a damp geographical region, thankful for our abundant drinking water source, but--mold is everywhere, and our mold estimates are free.
Heavy winds can damage literally hundreds of trees and create dangerous conditions. Additionally, heavy winds can cause power outages. Being proactive, and having a first aid kit--with fresh, non-expired products--both in your home and vehicles, walking your property during fair weather days, looking for ill and diseased trees, or hanging or cracked branches which are extremely large and heavy. If you note any of these things, seek out estimates to address and solve these problem trees BEFORE heavy, inclement weather arrives. Also, consider how you and your family would function if you lost power due to heavy winds. Do you have candles and flash lights with working batteries, and an extra sets of batteries? Blankets, and dry or pre-packaged food supplies for 2 or 3 days? Don't forget water--assume one gallon per day for each person and animal.
With all the cold weather, it is hard to conceptualize that spring is here. Purging the home and garage twice a year helps eliminate headaches down the road. Plan for sections, or rooms, and work in phases, so it won't be overwhelming time consuming. Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again.
Do one room, or just one area at a time. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will inspire to do more. When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot. Don't forget to scrub the shower stall. Make small repairs. If you're not handy, hire someone. Invest in good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin and nails.
Dust before vacuuming or cleaning the floor--floor work kicks up the dust. Household rags are invaluable for jobs requiring a damp cloth – natural fibres work best. Buy mops with a squeeze mechanism (great for vinyl, linoleum or ceramic tile floors) and a decent-size heavy-duty pail. Use a Swiffer for light dusting, or your favorite broom or vacuum attachment to clean hardwood floors. Then damp-mop with a mild cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap.
When Pipes Freeze
When temperatures drop and stay below 32 degrees for a full three days, it is highly likely that pipes can freeze. The following thaw that comes along after the freeze is when the pipes are likely to burst, and the result is not only a broken pipe, but water damage. Water damage to floors, carpets, dry wall and plaster, personal property, and appliances. The damage list can--sadly--go on and on. Remember, during the frigid, wintery season that you do NOT drop the thermostat below 58 degrees when you go out, and if the building is much older, a light drip, drip in both cold and hot spigots in all locations in the home. Make sure you know where your water main shut off is in your home. Also, does it turn easily? If no, a little spritz of WD-40 on the valve to help it move easily in the event there is an issue where the water main must be shut off, you won't be struggling with an uncooperative valve in an emergency.
Ductwork Cleaning And Filter Changes
Not only are we known for fire, water, mold, crime scene clean up, graffiti removal, and fast efficient post-fire board ups, we do a variety of residential and commercial and construction cleaning. During this season of relatively mild winter temperatures, not only should we remember to ensure that our smoke detector batteries are working on a monthly basis, but what about furnace filters and furnace ductwork in your living space?
Ask yourself some of these questions: When was my house built? Have the ducts ever been cleaned? How long has it been since the ductwork has been cleaned, or the furnace filter changed? Can you remember? If you, or members of your family, are having signs and symptoms of allergy-like symptoms: coughing, sneezing and headaches, from the respiratory tract--which typically appears as a result of a disturbance of the respiratory tract--it's time to drill down to get to the root of the cause.
Additionally, during winter months, windows and doors are shut, and sometimes windows are actually sealed up, making it important to regularly vacuum and dust regularly. Otherwise, air circulated is NOT ventilated and can contain very high levels of dust.
Where does all the stuff come from? And more importantly, how can we--as individuals and families--manage all the stuff? SERVPRO of NORTH WASHINGTON COUNTY helps individuals and families when the stuff gets totally out of control. We assist on HOARDER clean outs. Estimates are free. Even now, with some many communications being electronic in nature, there is still a mountain of paper and things out in our Universe. Some tools to help manage, or prevent, the build up of stuff in our homes and worlds may be getting a home shredder and using it every single day in conjunction with the US mail delivery. Also, remembering to send out boxes and magazines with bi-weekly recycle pick ups can help diminish the pile up of paper. No recycle pick up? Magazines and periodicals can be donated to hair salons, etc. Blocking out an hour of time a week, to go through things: clothes, shoes, knickknacks, papers and other items, and being realistic about whether they are needed or used, and then unneeded items can be donated to charity, or perhaps friends or family may enjoy receiving the items.
Electric Shock Drowning
Don't let summer fun turn to tragedy. Electric shock drownings are a hidden danger in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, and around boats, marinas, and launch ramps.
Electric shock drowning (ESD) can occur when faulty wiring sends an electrical current into the water. The current then passes through the body, causing paralysis, and results in drowning.
Life saving measures such as ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection and all grounding and bonding systems are functioning properly.
Just a reminder that with such a rainy summer season this year, keep your eye on the sky for incoming storm events and rain. Thunder and lightening are best seen from inside the house, not inside the pool or hot tub. Error on the side of caution, and get out of the water.