Stars, Stripes, and SERVPRO
Summer is here and the 4th of July is approaching quickly! We know that the summer months bring lots of BBQs, swimming, and of course fireworks to celebrate. Sure, fireworks are fun and pretty to look at, but they do cause damage and injuries if not handled properly. We have put together a few simple steps for you to follow to keep you and your family safe this summer season.
1. Be sure to have a water source nearby to pour on any flames that might spark.
2. Never light your fireworks in a dry grassy area. This is a dangerous combination and will cause fires to spread rapidly.
3.Do not wear loose articles of clothing when handling fireworks.
4. Be aware of the wind conditions for the day you want to light fireworks.
If the unimaginable happens and you suffer a fire damage at your home or business, do not hesitate to give us a call. Our crews will be happy to come into your home or business and make it "Like it never even happened." Our office number is 205-387-7656.
Ways of the Wind
Wind is the unseen villain of Mother Nature. Most of the time damage from storms are very visible and easily identifiable; but wind damage can often be hard to identify. Many of us are familiar with tornadoes that cause wind damage, and what we call straight-line winds; but there are actually many different types of wind.
The importance of understanding what type of wind to expect, can help you significantly anticipate the type of damage that will happen.
According to The Weather Channel wind can be classified in these additional categories:
- Gust Fronts
- Bow echoes
It is also important to know what type of winds your insurance policy will cover. If you experience wind damage, call your insurance agent. If you notice you have damage from a storm, whether it be wind or rain, we can come out and start getting your property back to preloss condition.
4 Tips to Address a Burst Water Pipe
Dealing with bursting pipes is the nightmare of any homeowner. Whether a pipe breaks due to cold temperature, corrosion, or water pressure issues, both major flooding and water damage can occur as a result. If you discover a broken pipe in your home or business in Walker or Winston County, there are several steps you can take to stop the rush of water into your home and prevent further damage from occurring. Here are four tips for addressing a burst pipe right away.
1. Shut Off the Water
The first step to take if a pipe bursts in your home is to locate the main water valve and turn off the water. This switch is normally located underneath the kitchen sink, but it can be located elsewhere depending on how your home was built. As a precaution, you should know the location of the main valve before an accident happens so you can quickly turn it off.
2. Locate and Examine the Broken Pipe
Before you can try to fix the broken pipe, you will need to figure out which pipe burst and where the location of the leak is. Once you locate the burst pipe, examine the damage so you can identify the best plan of action.
3. Call for Help
If significant water has entered your home due to bursting pipes, you will need the help of a water restoration company to remove all water from your home or business and address any damage that has occurred. Act quickly and contact the experts right away.
4. Clean Up What You Can
While waiting for the cleanup company to arrive, dry any water you can to try and minimize the amount of damage that occurs. Grab towels, mops and whatever else you need to try and remove water from carpets and other surfaces.
What to Do After the Storm
This summer has been quite a wet and stormy one and with that comes weather related injuries and fatalities. This is why it is important to educate both you and your family about after storm safety.
Immediately after a storm where there was heavy rain, strong damaging winds, and lightening consider the following:
- Do not let children play near storm drains.
- Do not touch metal objects outside, there may be power lines down on the object which energizes the object. This could be a fence, guard rail, or baseball stop.
- Do not touch or pick up any wires that you see either laying on the ground or hanging low. They may be energized or could become energized at any time.
- Do not walk in flooded basements if your power is still connected. You could become electrocuted should water make contact with an electrical source.
- If your home is out of electrical power, use extra caution when using candles for light.
- Be careful using a gas powered generator which could cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning if not vented properly.
Please remember to keep you and your family safe and remember that SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is always available to help you with your restoration needs
Summer Storms Can Damage Your Business
Forming as a result of moisture and rising warm air in the atmosphere, severe storms are a common threat to property throughout the summer. Along with rain, thunder, and lightning, summer storms can also produce large hail and gusty winds. As a business owner, you may be worried about the danger that these storms can bring to your property. Major structural damage can be done by severe storms, with wind and hail breaking windows and hitting roofs. In order to avoid the hefty cost to fix structural damage, it would be beneficial to develop a plan to utilize during emergencies that will limit the amount of damage imposed upon your business.
Before you begin to formulate that plan, make sure that your business has invested in business insurance. Covering the expenses of any property damage caused directly by the storm, insurance can lift much of the financial burden. Taking matters into your own hands, a regular examination of the condition of your business’ roof as well as removing debris left by past storms in your gutters can prevent the damage from getting worse. Impact-resistant glass can also be installed in an effort to prevent windows from breaking and sending glass flying across the inside of your business. If you do have any valuables located near windows, be sure to move them to safer areas during storms just in case windows break. Safer areas can include any place that is elevated above the floor and distant from windows. Finally, keep outdoor equipment safe by hunkering it down to something stable.
Monitoring weather forecasts is a beneficial practice, especially if your business is located in an area that regularly experiences severe weather. With these guidelines in mind, you can protect your business as best you can from severe storms throughout the summer.
Summer Storms are on the Way
Thunderstorms are a very common occurrence in Walker and Winston county, and it’s important to be prepared in the event that they cause flooding in your home or business. Summer time thunderstorms typically bring a lot more rain than a typical shower that we see. Because of this, many homes may experience flooding when thunderstorms do occur.
When heat is paired with high humidity, that could mean thunderstorms. Check that your home or business is ready for rainfall, before it hits. Maintain regular maintenance of your roof, gutters, downspouts, etc., and take care of any needed repairs as soon as possible. When there is a thunderstorm in your area, keep an eye on your home for any signs of a water leak. If you do experience a leak, call someone to come out and have it fixed right away, and give SERVPRO of Walker and Winston Counties a call to begin the dry-out process. Water damage left untreated can become an even bigger problem.
How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire
There are a few fire prevention steps every Walker and Winston County, business should be aware of for protecting their employees and company property. These steps can not only help ensure that everyone makes it out of the building safely if there is a fire but can also help mitigate damage and the likelihood of a fire occurring. Follow these simple tips below.
1. Have an Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan can help ensure your employees know what to do in an emergency. Consider making this part of the handbook and posting safety maps in your business.
2. Know Emergency Tool Locations
Knowing where emergency tools such as alarm pull or fire extinguishers can help protect your company from a fire loss. Make sure your employees know where these things are, and that they know how to properly use them.
3. Maintain Equipment
It’s important to maintain any equipment your company may use as a method of fire prevention. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for keeping things clean, and call a professional if any repairs need to be made. Older equipment may need to be replaced.
4. Use Safety Precautions
Another way to prevent a business fire is to know the safety procedures for any equipment your business may use. This includes everything from a microwave or copier, to any manufacturing equipment kept on site.
5. Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
It’s a good idea to keep emergency numbers handy. This not only includes the number for the fire department or paramedics, but also for your insurance provider. You may also want to keep track of a number for a local fire damage restoration service who can help with cleanup and repairs if a fire does occur.
Using these fire prevention steps can help prevent a fire, and may also help mitigate damage if a fire does occur. Remember, after a fire restoration service can help with cleanup as repairs.
Summer Maintenance for Your Building
Sunny weather is the best time to spruce up your commercial property. Let’s go over a few maintenance tips that can help your Tacoma property.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts – pine needles, leaves and debris can build up gutters and clog downspouts over the fall and winter months. When the rainy season hits, the clogs will cause water to pool which can lead to water damage, including damp spots, mold growth, dry rot, and peeling paint.
- Get your roof inspected – getting your roof inspected once a year is one of the best ways to prevent roof leaks. If you notice any loose tiles or shingles call a roofing company for repairs.
- Wash off your property’s exterior – the wet summer weather can bring in dirt and moss to the exterior of your building. With a pressure washer, you can easily remove, dirt, dust, grime, moss and the like from walls, fences, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks to maintain the outside of your property.
- Apply a fresh of coat of paint – this will boost curb appeal for your property. The paint will provide a resistant layer against the elements, and could reduce the need for major exterior repairs in the future.
- Clean up vegetation around the building – the summer months can be dry and the heat can make flames spread easily. Remove any excessively dry plants, and trim back bordering plants to avoid a preventable disaster.
Preventing Mold Growth
Mold, the very word causes most people to cringe. It does not take much for mold to start growing, but there are ways you can help prevent the growth from starting and spreading throughout your home or business.
Here are some quick tips to help with mold.
- Stop water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing. Keep water away from concrete slabs and basement walls.
- Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are not windows available.
- Make sure that warm air flows into all areas of the home.
- Install and use exhaust fans in bathroom, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
- Ventilate and insulate attics and crawl spaces.
- Clean and dry water damaged carpets, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture within 24 – 48 hours, or consider removing and replacing damaged furnishings.
- Vacuum and clean your home regularly to remove mold spores.
- Check around your windows for signs of condensation or water droplets. Wipe them up right away so mold can’t grow.
Summertime Can Mean Mold
Summertime is right around the corner! This means it’s time to head out for cook outs, pool parties, and vacations. While you’re out having fun, mold could potentially be growing in your home or business. Mold will grow more frequently during the summer months mainly because of the warm temperatures and high humidity levels due to those afternoon storms. The reason for mold to show up would be because there was water build up that sat for a period of time and cause the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Some of the spots to check in your home for water build up would be under sinks, around the bathtubs/showers and toilets. It is important for you to check these places when you are about to leave for vacation, because the longer the water sits, the more damage occurs and mold will grow. Just because you cannot mold growing, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mold does give off a musty smell, so if you being to smell that, you might have mold growing in the walls, floors, or even in the air ducts. If you believe you have mold growing in your home, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties today!