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Prepare Before a Snowstorm

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A winter storm can keep you trapped indoors for days without power. How do you prepare for a snowstorm? 

Prepare your home for winter before it starts to snow. Keep your family safe and comfortable during a blizzard by having a storm plan.

  • If you live in a place where it snows often enough, it is a good idea to invest in a generator. A reliable generator and fuel supply can practically save the day.
  • Make a winterized emergency kit. American Red Cross has a guide you can follow.
  • Inspect your chimney and have it cleaned before winter.
  • Get a weather radio that can use batteries if the power goes out.
  • Stock up on batteries.
  • Get a sturdy shovel.
  • Clean the gutters and ensure that the roof is stable.
  • Check the weatherstrips on windows and doors.
  • Make sure the walls and attics are insulated.
  • Stock up on blankets.
  • Make sure you have a fully stocked first-aid kit.
  • Learn first-aid for hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher that works.
  • Get sand, ice melt, or kitty litter for icy surfaces.
  • Winterize your car. Fema.govhas more information on this.

What to do just before a storm:

After the National Weather Service issues a Winter Storm Watch, start taking precautions for a more significant storm.

  • You'll need to stock up on fuel for the generator.
  • Charge all phones, rechargeable batteries, and power banks.
  • Make sure flashlights at the ready.
  • Fill your gas tank and have spare gas ready.
  • Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable foods and toilet paper.
  • Let pets in and bring plants indoors.
  • Make sure your stoves are clean and work with no issues.
  • Let all faucets drip slowly and insulate exposed pipes with newspapers or other insulation materials.

To-Do Tip for Winter Storms

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

To-Do Checklist (With Electrical Power)

1) If you still have electricity in your home, try to keep your thermostat as high as possible for as long as you can. If you no longer have power in your house try to find a gas-powered heater

2) Unless there is an emergency STAY INSIDE. 

3) If you turn all your faucets to a slow drip, it can help prevent your pipes from freezing.

4) Wear dry or waterproof clothes, maybe even a few layers to preserve body heat.

5) Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.  It is recommended that we drink two quarts (64 ounces or about eight glasses) of water each day. Experts also suggest that, in emergenciesyou should drink two quarts (half a gallon) of water a day – more if you're in a hot climate, sick, pregnant, or a child

To-Do Checklist (If the Power Goes Out) 

1) Use a generator to power "essential devices," like the refrigerator and heaters.

2) Unplug computers and other non-essential electrical equipment to avoid a power surge.

3) To keep food from spoiling, try not to open the freezer or fridge.

4) Move frozen food and things that could go bad quickly to a garage to stay frozen if the power is out for a long time.

5) Use flashlights to avoid the risk of a fire.

6) Try not to use cooking devices that may emit carbon monoxide or other fumes.

7) Try to dress in layers, and use blankets and towels to help keep warm.

8) If you have a weather radio, periodically listen to weather reports for your area.

Damage To Your Home

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes
Pipes are more likely to freeze and burst when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Water can get into cracks and expand when it freezes. This freezing action causes larger cracks and damage. The resulting water damage can be severe. Outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas of the home can freeze if they are not insulated or if temperatures are frigid.

Outdoor pipes likely to freeze include:
Outdoor hose
Swimming pool supply lines
Water sprinkler lines

Pipes in unheated or partially heated areas might also freeze, including:
Basements
Crawl spaces
Garages

Ice Dams
An ice dam forms when snow melts unevenly on a roof and refreezes at the edge of the roof, near the eaves. This dam prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The standing water can back up under shingles, leak into a home, and cause water damage to ceilings, walls, and other areas. Ice dams can also tear off gutters and loosen shingles.

Roof Damage
Snow and ice can cause major damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice could cause a roof to collapse. When there’s a cold snap, water can get into cracks and small spaces and expand when it freezes, causing larger cracks and more damage. Freezing and melting over and over again can cause small cracks to become more significant.

A Few Ways Winter Storms Damage Homes

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

If you live in an area where temperatures drop quickly in the winter, it is best to educate yourself and be prepared. There are a few ways a snowstorm can affect you listed below.
Ice:
The weight of frozen rain on trees and power lines can have a severe impact. Damage can start with a quarter-inch of accumulation. There can be widespread destruction with power outages lasting for days with thick piles of a half-inch or more.
Wet Snow:
Snow sticks easily to trees and power lines when they're carrying a lot of moisture. Similar to ice accumulation, this adds extra weight and stress, which highers the possibility of damage.
Snow on Roofs:
Snow from multiple storms building up on roofs and can cause the roofs to collapse.
Flooding After the Snow:
Temperatures that rise quickly or heavy rain after a winter storm that had a lot of snowfall can set the stage for significant flooding when it begins melting.
High Winds:
When strong winds can enhance the potential for tree damage and power outages when accompanied by ice and snow. Strong winds from winter storms can also cause power outages and cause tree damage even in areas where there is hardly any snow or ice.

Mitigation for any size

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

MITIGATION AWARENESS AND RESPONSE SEMINAR

A water or fire damage is a traumatic event regardless of the size. It doesn’t matter if the loss affected one room or the entire structure; the client feels a loss of control.

What is Mitigation? “Reasonable and prudent” steps taken under the terms of an insurance policy to limit loss (preserve, protect, and secure property from further damage). Begin mitigation as soon as possible from damage caused by water, fire, vandalism, or other covered disasters. According to many carriers, policy coverage may not extend to you if you do not take action to mitigate a loss. Meaning “Neglect by or failure of any ‘insured party’ to use all reasonable means to save and preserve property at the time of and after the time of a loss or damage.” SPEED IS KEY.

What to expect from a Mitigation Vendor?

Within one hour, the loss should be dispatched to a mitigation vendor who will contact the customer.

Within four hours, the mitigation vendor should have a crew on site to begin emergency work.

Within eight business hours of the initial on-site visit, the mitigation vendor should complete a verbal briefing to the adjuster.

The most important job is helping each customer put their life back together- to help them regain control.

Why Ethics matter

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

What is ethics?

Well, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a federal law that set new standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms.

The bill was enacted as a reaction to several major corporate and accounting scandals. These scandals cost investors billions of dollars when share prices of affected companies collapsed and shook public confidence in the nation’s securities market.

Ethics is defined as

  • The principals of conduct governing an individual or a person the discipline dealing with what is good and evil or right and wrong or with moral duty and obligation

Ethical is defined as

  • Of or relating to ethics
  • Conforming to professionally endorsed principals and practices

We teach each other these about ethics because throughout time, not only do things change. As things change, we occasionally need to be reminded sometimes of how we should be behaving. As humans, we are not born being ethical or understanding what being ethical means. In these classes, we are taught that being ethical consists of having good judgment, being honest, loyal, compassionate, being trustworthy, having integrity, having accountability, and being respectful of others. These are important to know not only to function in society but also to function peacefully as an employee.

Soot Stains- Upholstry

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Upholstery

To clean upholstery, you will need detergent.

Steps to Clean

-Your first step will be to combine one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with two cups of water.

-The second step will be to use a white cloth and dab the stain with the detergent solution.

- The third step is to dab the stain until the liquid is absorbed.

-Your fourth step to remove the detergent solution is to dab the affected area with water and apply pressure until the area is dry,

*Continue repeating steps two and three until the stain is no longer visible.*

Or

For another way to clean upholstery, you will need an absorbent chemical and a dry cleaning solvent

Steps to Clean

-Your first step will be sprinkling baking soda, cornstarch, or another absorbent on the stain.

- The second step will be to allow the absorbent chemical to stand 10 to 15 minutes and then vacuum to clean it up.

-Your third step is to use a clean white cloth and dab the stain with a dry cleaning solvent.

- the fourth step is to continue dabbing the stain until the solution is absorbed.

*Repeat Steps two and three until the stain is no longer visible.

Soot Stains- Carpets

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet

What you will need; Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, Detergent, and Hydrogen peroxide.

Steps to Clean

-First, Vacuum using the crevice tool of vacuum cleaner to remove all or most the soot. If the smoke has not been removed, call a professional cleaner. If vacuuming has removed all particles go to the next step to remove any traces.

-Second, Try removing as much of the foreign material as possible. Blot the area with a white paper towel or use a dull knife to scrape the area clean.

-Third, prepare a clean white cloth, white paper towel, or cotton ball, wet with rubbing alcohol. Use a blotting motion if the spot is deep until no color is transferred to the cloth or until the spot is removed. Do not allow the alcohol to penetrate the back of the carpet because this will cause delamination or the destruction of the latex bond. Rub in one direction at a time if the spot is only on the surface because, by cleaning in a circular motion, you risk ruining the texture of the carpet. Stop if spot is removed. If the stain persists, continue with the next step. 

-Fourth, use a small amount of detergent solution directly on the spot. Use a blotting motion to work the detergent into the affected area. Make sure to keep putting the detergent solution until spot is removed using the blotting movement with a white paper towel. (To make the detergent solution mix 1/4 teaspoon of a hand dishwashing detergent which does not contain lanolin or bleach with 1 quart of water)

-Fifth, Rinse the area with clean water using a spray bottle, or a water bottle with a hole popped in the top. Blot the area to dry excess moisture.

-Sixth, Spray lightly with water, do not blot this time; apply pad of paper towels and brick and allow to dry.

-Seventh, If there is still a spot on the carpet then moisten the tufts of the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let the hydrogen peroxide stand for one (1) hour. Wipe up the peroxide by blotting and repeatedly reapply the peroxide until carpet is stain free. Light will cause peroxide to change back to water so you will not need to rinse off the rug.

-Eighth, using a heavy object, such as a brick, apply pressure to a stack of paper towels on top of the affected area.

Soot Stains- Washable Fabrics

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Treat stains as soon as possible after staining. The older the stain, the more difficult it is to remove.

All stain removal methods should be applied prior to laundering washable garments. Stains that have been laundered and dried are almost impossible to remove.

Washable Fabrics

What you will need; a pretreatment laundry stain remover, heavy-duty liquid detergent, chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach, dry-cleaning solvent, and absorbent paper towels.

You’ll want to saturate the area with pretreatment laundry stain remover, first. For greasy stains, aerosols seem to work better. Wait one minute for the product to dig deep to draw out the stain.

For stubborn stains, knead the area with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Launder immediately afterward.

If it is safe for the type of fabric you’re cleaning, soak/wash in chlorine bleach, or oxygen bleach if the color stain remains.

For stains that persist, apply a dry-cleaning solvent to back of the stain over absorbent paper towels. Let it dry, rinse it, and restart the process from the beginning.

We All Fit Test and It Can Be Fun!

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

In our business, EVERYONE needs to be fit tested. Each member of our crew gets fit tested, including marketing. You never know when you'll have to walk into a house with soot or other airborne spores floating around waiting for you to inhale them. Inhalation of soot and other spores can lead to long term breathing issues. A Fit Test checks that while we're wearing full masks or half masks, we can breathe properly without inhaling outside air. We even go so far as to check that our team members can breathe with no problems while touching their toes and that we can hear them through the mask by reading a short passage. We like to ensure our team's safety so they can provide for our clients, safely. #SERVPRO