Process Makes the Difference
It’s all about the process. SERVPRO has built a tried-and-true system that is geared towards making the claims process smooth and efficient for all parties involved, from the adjuster to the property manager and essentially the property owner or resident. A couple of the key elements are COMMUNICATION and DOCUMENTATION. Optimally, SERVPRO will already have done a full property evaluation, or an Emergency Ready Plan, and photographed the entire facility or residence so that the preexisting condition is well established.
If these photos are not in place before a loss, we immediately begin to photograph the entire area and gather data such as moisture readings, evidence of organic growth, and conditions of all parts of the structure from the roof and exterior to the interior and insulation.
We then are able to build our estimates based on established IICRC protocols, so that everything is packaged for the Insurance Adjuster to compare data and evaluate the policy in accordance with accurate proof of the damages and evidence of the cause of loss. This makes for a swift turn around on getting claims approved, and allowing us to start reconstructing the property for the customer!! Easy as that! Call us today!
Danger of Candles
Candles are an awesome way to light up, add nice decor, or make a home smell like fresh flowers. However, according to the NFPA, from 2014-2018, there were an estimated 7,610 house fires that were started by candles per year that caused an annual average of 81 deaths, 677 injuries, and $278 million in property damage. Save your home with some of these alternatives!
For those who just want the aesthetic of a candle and no scent, flame-less candles are a great option! They are typically battery-operated and give the same flame-like feature as real candles.
Wax warmers are a great alternative because you can get that amazing scent that comes from real candles without the hazard. Warmers are typically either battery or outlet operated to melt the wax.
Calling all of our essential oil fans, this one is for you! With hundreds of combinations to try, diffusers are a great option for the whole house.
The most low maintenance option is a stick diffuser. Put your scent in the vase and let the sticks do the work.
If you still plan to opt for a candle, be sure to trim the wick before each use to minimize sparking, place the candle where it can’t fall or be knocked over, and always blow out the candle anytime you leave the room or plan to leave the home.
SERVPRO is a fan of diffusers!
Toilets Cause Water Damage Too!
You never know when you will need emergency water restoration services, but when you do, you can count on the professionals at SERVPRO® Here are some great tips for inspecting and preventing toilet failure:
- Be patient after you flush and wait for the valve to completely finish refilling the tank and bowl. If an overflow looks imminent, lift off the tank cover, lift the float to shut off water flow to the tank, and then turn off the supply valve.
- Twice a year, inspect a toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply, and flush valves and the supply line. Make sure you can turn off the water supply. If you have older screw-type valves that are hard to turn or start leaking, consider replacing them with simpler ball valves that are easy to shut off quickly.
- Sewage backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians have the training, equipment, protective gear, and experience to safely restore sewer backups.
When your home or commercial business has a water damage emergency, SERVPRO® is Here to Help.®
Keeping Your Company Running During an Emergency
One of the biggest fears for business owners is losing any progress they have gained when disaster strikes. Once you have a business emergency plan in place, there is no need to fear in losing momentum. Whether you have a new or an established company, protect your assets by building a plan custom tailored to you.
1. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis Survey with your more experienced employees. You will need to assess the most vulnerable areas in your company and determine how to keep the risk of loss low. Where will you conduct your business if you have to vacate the premises, for example? When is the best time to contact commercial building restoration services? With a thorough assessment of your company’s needs, you can be better prepared to continue work, whether that means renting out an area from a nearby facility or having a temporary workplace set up.
2. Develop an emergency response team. Your team should be willing and able to handle its daily responsibilities and emergency response training. If you choose, you can have yourself or the team leader trained as a Business Continuity Plan Professional by taking a course from the Disaster Recovery Institute International. A certified professional can direct your team with efficient loss prevention techniques.
3. Update your emergency response plan with new training and revisions. As your business grows and changes, your plan will need to grow and change with it. Keep your employees informed of any changes and the reasons behind them. That way, when an unexpected setback occurs, you are ready.
In the event of flood, fire, or other emergency, you would hate to lose business because you had no plan to keep the wheels running. No one can expect when a flood or fire will occur, but you can prepare for the unpredictable at any time. No occasion is better than the present to develop a business continuity plan.
Fixing a Leaky Roof After A Storm
Storms can wreak havoc on your property in but for most problems, there is a pretty straightforward solution. If the most recent thunderstorm pummeled your building with hail, high winds or heavy rains, it is likely that you will have a roof leak. Here are the four steps remediation experts can take to fix it.
1. Assess the Situation
Every damaged roof is different. Your roof may show no outward signs of a problem but definite signs of leaking through the ceiling. You may see lots of debris on the outside while everything inside looks intact. Professionals know the signs to look for both inside and outside so that they can address every issue that exists.
2. Remove Wet Materials
A roof leak will inevitably get something wet that shouldn't be exposed to excess moisture. For example, if your ceiling insulation is saturated, it will likely need to be torn out and replaced. Not only is storm weather contaminated, the dampness also tends to penetrate the porous material and weaken it.
3. Dry and Disinfect
After all the unsalvageable material is gone, everything that remains must be thoroughly dried. Failure to do this could lead to secondary damage, such as mold growth. Surfaces should be dry, and dehumidifiers should be used to control the moisture in the air. After drying, technicians will disinfect every part of the structure and every item that is going to remain within it.
4. Rebuild the Structure
The last step is reconstruction. Walls, insulation and ceilings that were removed must be rebuilt. Holes in the roof are patched and missing shingles are replaced. The restoration job is not finished until your building looks as good or better than it did before the storm.
A roof leak may cause a lot of damage, but that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. When you hire trusted professionals to restore your property, you can rest assured that the problem will be resolved.
More Winter Weather Ahead! BUSINESSES BE PREPARED!
We have already seen the impact of winter storms in our area. We are in store for much much more. Here are some tips to keep your business going in a winter storm.
- Ensure your furnace is cleaned and working properly. Also, change the filter.
- Line up snow/ice removal. Make sure they are able to have the sidewalks and driveways cleared before anyone arrives to work. Have extra salt on hand for sidewalks. The last thing anyone wants is for someone to fall.
- Shut off any outside water source, and have the lines cleared. This will help to prevent frozen or burst pipes when the temperatures drop.
- Have a plan for staff. Let them know where to check for any weather related delays. Also, who they need to call if weather prevents them from coming to work. Add a storm damage restoration team to your list of emergency contacts in case of emergency.
Winter storms can be dangerous and cause great stress to businesses, so it is essential to have a plan.
Tips for Removing Nasty Cigarette Odor from your Home
Purchasing a new home with a former smoker? Besides the damages, getting the smell of smoke out is a nightmare. There are some tips that aid in this process.
- Charcoal and White Vinegar
This method is by far the cheapest of many options as both charcoal and white vinegar are easy to come by from your local grocery or hardware store. By keeping open containers of either charcoal or white vinegar in your home, the cigarette smell is slowly absorbed out of the air. Keep in mind that this method only works for milder pockets of odor, so you might need something more heavy-duty if you've suffered a large ashtray fire.
- Air Filters
If the solution above isn't as fast or as effective as you require, you might try an air filter. Since you're dealing with a very complex pollutant composed of many particles and gases of varying sizes, your best option is a HEPA filter. There are different ratings of filters based on what size particle you want to filter. Each filter is rated on a scale of 1 to 20 called a MERV rating. This tells you what size particle a filter effectively removes from the air. The higher the rating, the smaller particles it is capable of filtering. With a cigarette fire or odor, you should use a filter with a MERV rating of 18 or higher.
- Contact a Professional
If these DIY tips aren't solving your issue, it's time to contact a fire cleanup and odor removal specialist at SERVPRO! These experts come with equipment that's designed exactly for this job, and they know how to use it with efficiency. One piece of tech many pros use is a hydroxyl generator. This device produces a harmless charged variant of water particles to break up odor molecules. This helps deal with the smell, and more advanced filters are used to deal with the pollutants.
Don't suffer from a lingering cigarette fire odor. Implement these tips and breathe easier.
Storm Preparation Ideas
Preparing for a storm in advance can help you be ready when high winds, rain, or flood water arrive. These five storm preparation tips can help you stay safe and limit wind and water damage to your home here in Kentucky
- Trim Trees To Clear Your Yard
Pruning trees and shrubs can keep heavy branches from falling and damaging your roof or becoming dangerous wind-blown debris. Bring in items kept outside to prevent them from sustaining or causing damage.
- Cover Windows With Secure Shutters
Cover the windows if high winds and flying debris are expected. Board up openings right before a major storm or have storm windows or shutters installed if you live in an area with frequent tempests.
- Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit
Make a plan that accounts for every member of your household. Gather non-perishable items of food, a first aid kit, flashlights, hand cranked or battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. You will need at least one gallon of water per person and enough food for at least three days; in addition, throw in some garbage bags and moist towelettes for sanitation.
- Anticipate Power Line Outages
Have flashlights and batteries on hand and make sure you know how to shut off the power to your home. Turn off the electricity if you see rising flood water, downed power lines, or need to evacuate.
- Prepare a Go-Bag for Evacuation
Fill your vehicle up with gas and prepare a go-bag car kit with more non-perishable food, jumper cables, flares, maps, tools, a first aid kit, sleeping bags, flashlights, and batteries. Collect important papers in a secure box that you can grab if you need to flee a flooded building.
Prepare for adverse weather by following these five steps. If your home sustains damage from wind or water damage from flood water, contact SERVPRO!
What To Do When A Pipe Breaks
When bursting pipes leave your home flooded, it’s normal to panic. No one is expecting to see water gushing into a previously dry room.
The best thing to do when a broken pipe causes water damage in our area is to call a professional. Remember, a flooded room can cause the following:
- Water damage to walls, furniture, and belongings
- Damage to insulation, which must then be replaced
Standing water can also attract insects, so it is important to address the broken pipe and flooding as soon as possible. The following tips will help you stay protected throughout the process while providing you with peace of mind.
Stay Calm and Turn Off the Water
It can be easy to panic, but try to stay calm and remember that the first step when you have bursting pipes must be to stop the flooding. To turn off the water, you’ll need to find the stop valve on the water main. You can usually find this where the main service line connects to your house, or under the kitchen sink. You should make sure everyone in your family knows where the shutoff valve is located so the water can be turned off quickly in emergencies.
Get to Safety and Call a Professional
Once the water has been shut off, you should immediately get to safety. This is especially important if the water is contaminated, as it can be a serious health hazard. Once you are safely in a dry area, call a professional to fix the broken pipe and clean up the mess.
Trust the Professionals to Dry the Area
Even if the water damage from bursting pipes initially seems minor, you should contact a professional water restoration company when you have water damage in our area, professionals will ensure the area is dry and free from mold and bacteria, keeping you and your family safe.
The Danger of Candle Fires
Candles are a great way to decorate your home or to add your favorite scent to the room, but they could also be a major fire hazard. Depending on where they are placed they can accidentally be knocked over. It’s also very easy to forget about lit candles if they are in rooms where you can’t keep an eye on them, which could then lead to a fire.
There are lots of candle alternatives in the market today that can help with your decorating and lighting needs for your home, and will help get rid of the risk of fire.
- Battery operated candles. There are so many different options out there with battery operated candles. They can range in sizes from tea lights to large pillar candles, come scented and non scented, flicker like a real candle, and some are even on timers to automatically turn on at the same time everyday. Battery operated candles also come in a variety of colors to fit all your decor needs.
- Candle warmers. Choose from electric bases or larger lamp-style models that are designed to accommodate traditional wax candles. These will warm the wax and help diffuse the fragrance without actually lighting the candle.
- Reed diffusers. Placing reeds in oil is a great way to spread a scent throughout your home without having to rely on an open flame or even a battery operated device
Candles are beautiful and can create such warmth and atmosphere to a home, but can also be very dangerous if not attended to properly. These candle alternatives are great for everyday use in common rooms like kitchens and bathrooms where candles are normally found.