With the holiday season getting closer and the temperatures getting cooler the American Red Cross offers these tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing during the winter months.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
-Source: American Red Cross
If you do have a pipe that freezes SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties is only a phone call away at 217-8528-7775
National Fire Safety Week
October 8th through the 14th was National Fire Safety Week!
The one of best ways to keep your home safe from fires is through preventing them in the first place. Check out these statistics and tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) on how to prevent electrical fires in your home or business.
- AFCI Breakers and Outlets can prevent 50% of residential home fires.
- Each year 2,400 children in the US are treated for injuries caused by outlets. 1/3 of parents do not have outlets childproofed. Install Tamper Resistant Receptacles.
- 470,000 counterfeit smartphone batteries were recalled in 2010 due to burn and fire hazards. Purchase electronics at reputable retailers.
- 3,300 home fires originate from extension cords each year. Heavy reliance on extension cords is a sign to have more outlets installed.
- The CPSC found 47% of electrocutions could be prevented with GFCI protection in homes.
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or flown fuses and cracking, sizzling or buzzing from outlets can be signs of an overloaded circuit. 47,700 home fires in the US are caused by electrical failure or malfunction each year.
Learn more about how to keep your home safe from fires from the ESFI from their website http://www.esfi.org/
Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International
The goal of every restoration job is to safely and efficiently return the indoor environment to preloss condition for the customer. Part of this responsibility is to address the quality of the air inside the structure.
Any job that involves cleanup of sewage, mold, and/or fire damage will generate significant amounts of particulates and odiferous (smelly) gases. These contaminants are a direct result of the damage itself, as well as the necessary process of treating and cleaning damaged materials. This includes not only damage in the occupied space, but also contaminants in wall or ceiling cavities that may be disturbed and unknowingly introduced into the occupied space. These contaminants can settle on carpet, upholstery, furnishings, and be drawn into the HVAC system.
Because these particles can be easily stirred up and become airborne we usually employ the use of an air scrubber in some capacity. In the simplest terms, an air scrubber is a portable filtration system. It draws in air from the surrounding environment and passes it through a series of filters. These filters efficiently remove particles from the air to help improve indoor air quality.
"Mold, often referred to as fungi, are primarily recognized as hazards, however, there are molds with important applications and can serve useful purposes in our environment. Molds are a key component of foods we enjoy, (red wine, beer, mushrooms, and blue cheese). Molds produce by-products that are used in the manufacture of many medications such as antibiotics and anti-rejection drugs for organ transplant patients. Molds are necessary to complete the process that break down organic waste in our landfills and compost bins."
- Source:"IICRC Approved Applied Microbial Remediation Technician Course Manual"
Despite the above passage, the mold that has become a large concern in recent years are those types that cause adverse health effects. It is for these reasons that an indoor environmental professional such as a mold remediation technician is usually employed to correct the problem in order to restore a positive living environment for the inhabitants of the structure.
If you have a mold problem contact SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties at 217-528-7775
Factors that Affect Mold Growth
There are 6 general factors that affect mold growth:
Of these factors the easiest to control by far are the presence of water and nutrients. For this reason almost all remediation projects include some component of structure drying (removing water) of source removal (removing nutrients).
Structure drying could include the implementation of dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air or the use of air scrubbers to filter air and draw moisture out of material through evaporation.
Source removal is usually some kind of controlled removal of building materials that are easier and more cost effectively removed and than cleaned in order to restore the structure to its original state. It is very important that the removal of material be controlled in order to limit the spread of the affected area throughout the structure.
If you need help controlling these factors call SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties today at 217-528-7775
Securing Structure after Fire
Fire damages are never a good situation. In some cases structures are uninhabitable after a fire occurs which can add to the stress of the situation. From loss of property and the shock of what has happened it can be hard to figure out where to start and what to do.
One of the first considerations for the immediate future directly following the fire department's departure is making sure that the structure is secure.
Making sure the structure is secured serves multiple purposes. First, making sure that the interior is protected from the elements, this can mean tarping a roof that has been compromised or boarding up windows that were broken out.
The next reason for securing is deterring burglars or vandals. It is a sad consideration but when you have a fire and there are trucks outside the house for multiple hours it can be a big flashing light for burglars that there is a structure with nobody home and easy access. Using boards and screws to secure door and window openings can make it a lot less likely that someone would be able to gain entry.
Another good reason for boarding up is preventing animals from wandering inside the structure. Animals may take advantage of the missing windows or doors in an attempt to seek shelter or find food.
If you need help with securing a structure after a fire call SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties at 217-528-7775
Storm Damage in Morgan, Cass , Macoupin & Mongomery Counties
Stay alert for the unexpected.
The word storm certainly has been in the news lately. In fact Harvey's remnants were felt all the way up into the state of Illinois. Many homeowners wonder what can be done to prepare for a storm event in the area.
The local planning commission is able to provide you with information about whether or not you are living in flood zone or not here is a link to get you started http://co.sangamon.il.us/departments/m-r/regional-planning-commission/program-areas/strategic-comprehensive-planning
Something else that can be helpful is to do a walk around of your home. If you have a ladder than start with safely examining the roof looking for loose shingles and siding, then examine all the other areas of the home. This inspection should also include the interior of your home, do you see damage form previous heavy rains? Are electrical services up to date and in good working order? Do you know where the shut offs for all of your utilities are locates and have the tools needed to turn them off?
Most people today have access to social media and TV and or radio. Please don"t develop warning fatigue! That means that you hear warnings but because nothing happens your state of readiness lessens. Storms in the area develop quickly please stay alert.
Assessing Water Damage
A water damage occurs when a pipe breaks, plumbing backs up, flood waters rise, or a number of other reasons in which water enters a structure.
Water restoration is the act of making it "Like it never even happened" which is our specialty at SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.
Many homeowners who experience a water damage often don't know where to start. The first step is assessing the situation and responding appropriately.
There are two criteria for categorizing water damages: Class, and Category.
The Class of water damage refers to the extent of damage and how much moisture has been soaked up (or bound) in the building material.
There are 4 Classes of water damages:
Class 1 - water is confined to a small area and materials absorb very little water.
Class 2 - where wet materials represent approximately 5-40% of combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area in a space
Class 3 - wet materials represent more than 40% surface area
Class 4 - this class of damage is a special case where water has been deeply absorbed into the structure and special methods need to be employed beyond a regular drying plan.
Category refers to the level of contamination caused by the water:
Category 1 - originates from a sanitary source, meaning a supply line or sink overflow with no contaminants
Category 2 - water that contains some contaminants such as washing machine or dishwasher rinse water
Category 3 - this includes all water that is significantly contaminated and can cause illness if ingested. This would include sewage, standing water with microbial growth, or water from a toilet containing fecal matter
If you have a water damage that needs to be assessed and for help with the cleanup call SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties at 217-528-7775
Tips for small businesses
Be ready for the unexpected
The Small Business Association states that over 50 percent of Business that experience a loss never reopen. The economy is built on small business and the jobs they provide. What can small business owners do to protect there investment?
Talk it Over
If you are the owner of a small business one of the most important thing you can do is to have a conversation with you insurance agent. You need the answer to some basic questions. For example how will the value of my property be determined? Is it actual cash value or replacement cost? Do I have coverage for the lost revenue I incur while the loss is ongoing? If I have inventory how will this be insured? If you haven't had a conversation with your insurance agent it would be good to schedule a time to do this sooner rather than later.
My Place of Business
In addition to the financial concerns what about your greatest asset your employees? If you were to experience a loss and it you needed to shelter in place are you ready for something like that? Simple steps such as having bottled water, canned, prepackaged food, radio and batteries on hand can go a long way in reducing the anxiety associated with a loss.
Many small businesses have actually had an Emergency Readiness plan put together for them by SERVPRO that organizes there key contacts so that if the unexpected happens they are ready.
Water damage basics
Water damages affect many homes and businesses every year. Each damage is unique but there are a few basic principles that can be applied once the damage has occurred. The following are some places to start in order to get your restoration project running smoothly.
First, has the source of the water intrusion been stopped? This could be as simple as turning off the water valve to the main house supply line. Other times this may involve getting a plumber involved to unclog a drain that has backed up or replacing a sump pump that has quit working.
Next, have you called a professional to help you assess your damage? This could include your insurance company to help you get more information about what steps they require and your coverage/deductible amounts. This could also include contacting your local SERVPRO to help assess and also mitigate any further damage.
If you need help assessing your water damage and figuring out the next steps to get your home or business back to normal contact SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties 217-528-7775