SERVPRO Insider – April 2022
Our newest quarterly newsletter is here!
Our newest quarterly newsletter is here! The SERVPRO Insider gives an inside look at what SERVPRO Team Miller has been up to!
In this issue, we’re highlighting a large fire loss in our Shiawassee territory. A local restaurant experienced a fire in the middle of the night that affected four other local businesses. Our SERVPRO team was on site starting the board up and mitigation process within hours. The surrounding businesses are currently smoke and water damage free and operating as normal.
Get an inside look at the cleanup of one of the large loss jobs our Disaster Recovery Team worked on in Kentucky, learn how to prepare your home for floods, and read up on some tips on how you can protect your garden during rainstorms.
Each newsletter comes with a special feature on the services that SERVPRO offers. The service of this quarter: Residential Cleaning Services. Our residential cleaning services will ease the burden of the constant maintenance cleaning home, but will also create a safe, clean, and comfortable living environment for your clients. Our residential cleaning services include carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning, odor removal, sewage and biohazard cleanup, and more!
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SERVPRO Insider – January 2022
SERVPRO Insider – January 2022
Our new quarterly newsletter is here! The SERVPRO Insider gives an inside look at what SERVPRO Team Miller has been up to!
In this first issue, we’re reliving 2021. From our super impressive Halloween costume contest to receiving the SERVPRO Franchise of the Year Award, our team has been busy having fun and servicing our local communities with their fire and water damage needs.
We also feature small articles with helpful tips for homeowners and business owners to take care of their properties and customers. Some of the featured articles in this issue include fireplace safety tips, preparing your business for winter weather, and tips on preventing frozen pipes.
Each newsletter comes with a special feature on services that SERVPRO offers. The service of this quarter: Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration. The professionally trained experts at SERVPRO provide biohazard cleanup services that utilize a science based, safety centered standard. Some of the most common biohazard scenarios our team faces are sewage backups, bloodborne pathogens, and illegal drug manufacturing lab.
If you’d like to subscribe to receive our full quarterly newsletters, send us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Water Damage
It is crucial that you are aware of the hazards and can prepare, prevent or act quickly if faced with winter water damage.
Michigan winters are known to be brutally cold and large amounts of snow is always expected. With below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, your home or business could be in jeopardy for water damage. It is crucial that you are aware of the hazards and can prepare, prevent or act quickly if faced with winter water damage.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas.
PREPARE YOUR HOME
- If you own a home which is unoccupied during a cold period, ensure you have ample heating fuel and that the indoor thermostat, in all areas of the home, is minimally kept at 55 degrees and ensure that you have a trusted person check the home periodically during your absence.
- Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
- Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.”
- If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
- Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS
- Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. Our team has the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. If disaster strikes your home or business during the winter months, know that SERVPRO has your back.
Get Your Emergency Storm Kit Ready!
Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit.
Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO is always here to help and want to give you tips on a basic emergency kit in case the unpredictable happens.
In a year filled with the unexpected, one thing that 2021 has shown us is to always be prepared. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit.
Basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Also look at ready.gov for more ideas on emergency kits!
Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes and businesses an easy target for winter storm damage. That is why we here at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights are ready to help 24/7. We will work around the clock to get your property back to preloss condition.
Tips for a Leaking Roof
A roof leak may seem small, but it can potentially cause severe damage to your property.
A major storm in Michigan can do serious damage to many properties, including the roof of your home or business. When it comes to a leaking roof, you will need a professional not only to fix the exterior but to repair your attic and ceilings. A roof leak may seem small, but it can potentially cause severe damage to your property.
Here is what you can do once a leak has been discovered:
Check the Roof
If your property has a shingled roof, check for missing shingles. That may give you an idea of how water is getting in. If water is coming through, puncture a small hole that will allow the water to flow out freely. If you leave it intact, water will spread over the ceiling which could cause it to sag and possibly collapse. A hole gives the water somewhere to go. Put a bucket underneath to catch the water and move furniture and other items out of the way.
Move Wet Items
Once belongings are wet, they need to be dried and disinfected. If there are no electrical dangers, launder furniture covers, bedding, and other washable items. Air out and clean furniture and rugs. Check for irreparable damage. If something is in poor condition, throw it away.
Dry Everything Well
From the attic on down, everything needs to be as dry as possible. Run fans or heaters or open windows to get air circulating through the area. Once everything is completely dry, then restoration work for the roof leak begins.
A roof leak can cause substantial damage in hard-to-reach areas. Call the experts to evaluate the safety of your building before you attempt any repairs yourself. It is important to have everything dry and disinfected to prevent future problems. A damaged roof can cause extensive issues for your property. Cleaning up properly after storm damage ensures that you have a safe environment.
At SERVPRO, we are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back.
Mold Growth in Your Business?
If your commercial property has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth.
Mold Growth in Your Business?
If your commercial property has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth. Since mold spores live everywhere, it is especially important to address any wet areas after a water leak or flood. Mold spores travel through the air and attach to damp surfaces, which can lead to mold colonies if left untreated.
Important Tips to Remember About Mold Include the Following:
- Mold can establish itself in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
- Mold thrives in areas with high humidity, dim lighting, and low air circulation.
- Mold can form colonies in as little as 1 to 12 days.
If you suspect that mold is growing in your building, it is crucial to check areas that have sustained water damage. Whether the water is from a small, consistent leak or a major disaster, it can lead to conditions that foster mold. When the mold spores land in the correct environment, they begin feeding and breaking down materials such as wood, carpet, fabric, and sheetrock. This can lead to structural damage if not taken care of.
Professional cleanup and remediation services are essential to effectively handle mold growth, as experts have specialized equipment and training to detect and remediate the situation. Not only is it imperative to remove the existing mold, but it is also important to fix the source of the water feeding the mold. If the source of the water is not addressed, the mold will return and cause more damage, so this is a crucial step in mold prevention.
If you suspect mold, weather because of water damage, or just from damp conditions, you should call SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as quickly as possible. We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened."
Preventing a Kitchen Fire
More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else.
More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. Every year, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:
- 470 deaths
- 5,390 injuries
- $1 billion in property damage
These Numbers could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.
Unattended Cooking is The Leading Cause of Kitchen Fires
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling of broiling food
- Check food regularly – use a timer to remind you the stove/oven is On
- If you must leave – turn the oven Off
Stay Alert to Avoid Stirring Up Trouble
- Don’t use the oven or stovetop if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol or are using drugs.
- Keep pot handles turned in
- When you microwave food, open the container slowly to let steam escape and let food cool before eating
- Cool a burn under water for 3 to 5 minutes and cover it with a clean dry cloth
- If the burn is bigger than your fist, seek immediate medical assistance
Flammable Objects -Keep Away from the Stove
- Keep anything that can burn a safe distance away from the stove
- Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop
- Wear short, tight-fighting, or lightly-rolled sleeves. If clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll over and over or back and forth to put the fire out. Get medical help.
Be Ready to React Fast to a Cooking Fire
- When in doubt – just get out!
- If you try to fight fire with a fire extinguisher, be sure:
- Other people are leaving the home
- Someone is calling the fire department
- You have a clear exit path
- If a small fire starts:
- Slide a lid over the pan
- Turn Off the burner
- Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool
- For an oven or microwave fire, turn off the unit and keep the door closed.
If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights a call. We will clean up all fire, smoke and water damage.
COVID-19 and Trick-or-Treating
As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID.
As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID-19. Not only do we have to worry about COVID, flu season is also upon us. Following these considerations can help limit the spread while still being able to enjoy Halloween festivities.
Make Trick-or-Treating Safer:
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Pass out candy outdoors.
- If possible, set up a station with individually bagged treats for children to take.
- Wash hands before handling candy.
- Wear a mask.
- Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
- A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
- Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
- Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.
- Stay at least 6 ft. away from others who do not live with you.
- Bring hand sanitizers with you.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any candy.
For more information on making Trick-or-Treating safer, go to the cdc.gov. Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a fun and safe Halloween!
Deep Fryer Safety
Deep frying is more dangerous than any other types of cooking because it involves cooking oil and grease.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year. Deep fryers are great for cooking up some delicious food for gatherings, etc. But frying is more dangerous than any other types of cooking because it involves cooking oil and grease. Not to mention, deep fryers involve larger quantities of hot cooking oil, so it creates a higher risk of injury and loss.
To avoid a fire, please follow these safety tips provided by The National Fire Protection Association:
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions and code requirements when installing and operating cooking equipment.
- Plug cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Watch what you heat!
- The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the deep fryer.
- Do not use too much deep-frying oil. Having too much will result in excessive spillage.
- Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert.
- Keep the deep fryer clean and change cooking oil regularly.
- Keep pets away to prevent them from knocking over the deep fryer or knocking something onto or into the deep fryer.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, boxes, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your deep fryer.
If you happen to have damage from a fryer fire, we have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to pre-fire condition "Like it never even happened."
Electrical Fires - How They Start
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the second leading of cause of house fires in the U.S. is from electrical failures or malfunctions. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances. The following are the most common reasons why electrical fires happen:
Old electrical sockets and unsafe appliances
Appliances that are old and overused and those that fall short of modern safety standards are the worst culprits. Frayed electrical cords, self-jointed wires, and worn-out sockets that are not properly grounded are major causes of fires. They become ready outlets for directing heat and fire to carpets, rugs, curtains, and combustible plastic. Older appliances draw more power than the wall sockets can handle.
Using light fixtures that exceed the permissible wattage
A very common cause of fires is plugging lights, lighting appliances and bulbs into electrical sockets that cannot handle higher wattage levels. Antique lighting appliances may have defective wiring that makes the appliance unstable by overheating. Decorating lights with colored paper and cloth shades can increase the risk of fire when the material or fabric heats up.
Using multiple appliances plugged into an extension cord
Unrestricted use of extension cords is a major fire hazard. The risk of fire increases when your TV, home theatre, computer and other appliances are all plugged into a single extension cord. This creates excessive power load on a single socket which may not be designed to handle that load. So, there is a social and economic cost to damaged wiring!
Locating portable heaters near combustible materials
Portable space heaters that use coils are potentially dangerous when they are positioned carelessly near curtains and rugs and adjacent to beds and cloth covered furniture. The chances of inflammable material meeting the red-hot coils increase the risk of fire.
Wiring that becomes defective with the passage of time
Over a period of time, you add more electrical appliances such as wide screen televisions, home theatre, microwave oven, refrigerator, and air conditioners. The outdated home wiring cannot handle the increased power load. Older wiring tends to heat up quickly and catches fire. If the breaker boxes are themselves defective, they cannot prevent overheated electrical panels from catching fire.