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Water Damage Hazards!

7/5/2019 (Permalink)

Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 when disaster strikes from water damages!

The safety hazards and precautions associated with water damage restoration are as follows:

Electrical Hazards

Mixing water and electricity creates a potential for disaster, and electrical hazards exists everywhere on the typical water damage job site. Water that comes into the building from either a roof leak or from water pipes in the attic is likely to intrude into the wiring system. Floods may also cause water to intervene into the wiring system.

The first item to check is the power distribution box. Turning off all circuit breakers at the power distribution panel is the easiest way to protect you, your Crews, and building occupants from electrical shock hazards. If only a portion of the building is affected, then turn off all circuits that provides power to the damaged areas if water has intruded into wall cavities and electrical outlets, or when electrical outlets are located on the floor. Use either a lockout device or tagout device when circuits are turned off to prevent shock hazards.

Structural Hazards

Storm damaged structures might be weakened and pose hazards. Floods and earthquakes can cause considerable damage to a building foundation or to the bearing partitions under and around a structure. Storm surge and wave action from a hurricane can undermine foundations or damage pilings in pier-type construction. Long-term exposure to water may destroy the structural reliability of materials, such as particle board and drywall, which creates a hazard for workers and occupants. Determine the potential structural hazards before proceeding with mitigation and restoration services.

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous chemicals or hazardous materials, lead, and asbestos may be present in some water damaged buildings. Be alert for hazardous materials and do not try to handle or remove them unless you are certified to handle hazardous materials. Use qualified Subcontractors to remove and dispose of hazardous materials.

Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards

Water damaged structures and the restoration processes can create numerous slip, trip, and fall hazards. Wet surfaces are usually slick, equipment hoses, and power cords provide ample opportunity for workers and occupants to slip, trip, or fall. Post warning signs and brief occupants about the hazards. Slippery floors are a common hazard in water damaged situations. People may not recognize the potential hazard of walking from a wet carpeted surface onto a hard floor surface, such as vinyl tile. Wet shoes may not slip much on the carpet, but when the person steps onto the hard floor surface then a serious slip hazard exists. Ensure that occupants understand this hazard.

Hoses and power cords may become a tangled maze for occupants and workers to navigate during emergency services. During the drying stage, equipment power cords may be a problem for occupants. Secure dehumidifier and air mover cords to limit the hazard during the drying phase. Floating carpets also present a trip hazard. Ensure occupants understand that they should not be walking on carpet that is being floated.

Ways to Add a Pop of Color without Painting

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

These are great suggestions if you are thinking about selling your home and want to create a beautifully staged canvas for potential buyers.

Repainting a room or your entire house is a great way to bring a brand-new look to your home. But it can also be messy and time-consuming to do yourself and expensive if you hire professionals. Also, if you do not like the results, then you have to restart from scratch. Fortunately, there are other ways to add an exciting splash of color to your residence.

Review the following ways to add a pop of color without using one drop of paint. More importantly, you can make these changes for just a fraction of the cost of a professional paint job, and you can change your mind as often as you would like:

  • Wall Decorations—just because you are not painting your walls does not mean that they have to be bland. You can add a lot of color by using wall decorations. Find a large, colorful wall painting that takes up a lot of room on an empty wall. Hang a wall tapestry, or even invest in temporary wallpaper to create an accent wall. These alternatives not only add color and pop to your décor but also create an intriguing focal point for the room.
  • Furniture Accents—if you are not keen on buying brightly colored furniture, then use furniture accents to add color to your décor. Use a mix of soft tones and vibrant colors to create a unique look. There are a number of accents to mix and match such as afghans, throw pillows, and blankets. Actually, many professionals recommend mixing and matching patterns and colors to create a vibrant color scheme. What is the best part? You can change these furniture accents as the seasons change without the hassle of painting.
  • Table Accents—used in combination with furniture accents and wall decorations, table accents and other inspiration pieces can help to create flow. Picture how all the colors will work together. Look for accents such as vases, picture frames, and other trinkets that will add a pop of color without the commitment.
  • Floor Decorations—there is little risk and a lot of reward by using floor decorations to add color to your home interiors. If you have a neutral colored couch, adding a bright area rug can play off of your neutral furniture beautifully. Use multiple rugs in addition to the area rug to really jazz up the space and add dimension.
  • Window Decorations—your window treatments have a huge impact on the way that your rooms feel. Whether it is how much (or how little) light gets in or how big or small your windows are, getting creative with your window decorations is an excellent way to add color and texture to your home.
  • Colorful Furniture—maybe you don't want a bright red couch in your living room, but have you thought about a bright red armchair? Using strategically placed colorful furniture pieces will liven up any room. Even if the rest of your furniture is neutral, these colorful pieces will improve the overall aesthetic of the room. You can achieve this same look with textured and patterned pieces.
  • Plants and Flowers—often overlooked inside of the home are fresh plants and flowers that add dimension and liveliness throughout your space. A simple vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen counter or a potted palm in the corner of the living room can make a huge impact on the diversity of color in your home.

These are just a few of the many ways to add pops of colors to your home. What are some of the ways you have avoided painting in the past?

Fire or Smoke Damage Tips

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 if you encounter fire or smoke damages!

Severe fire damages can be the most devastating thing to happen to any property when disaster strikes. Consequently, you have most likely lost some personal belongings and areas of your home are completely destroyed. The following tips can assist you when notifying your insurance company about a fire loss claim:

Check Your Policy

Although you have replacement coverage for your home, you may actually only have "actual cash value" for the personal items that were lost. Therefore, ensure that your agent notifies you about this and suggests that you buy an endorsement so that your belongings will be covered under a replacement policy.

Secure Your Property

Most homeowners' coverage policies require you to take reasonable steps to minimize more harm on your property, which is essentially your duty to mitigate damages. These steps are relatively easy to do, such as either covering leaking areas with plastic wrap or turning off the water if you discover a huge pipe burst. Your insurance company will more often pay these costs when you make your claim.

File Your Claim Immediately

All homeowners’ policies require you to report your losses promptly. You are required to call your agent and submit a Proof of Loss claim in which you should itemize your losses in detail and list the values of each item.

Always Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses

All homeowners’ policies include a Loss of Use clause, which entitles you to adequate reimbursement for living expenses while you are out of your home. Subsequently, these expenses only include additional living expenses, which means the difference between what it costs you to live on a daily basis and what it is costing you thereafter. For instance, if you ate most of your meals at home and your groceries cost you $400 a week, and after a fire you are eating out and spending $500 a week, then you can only claim that additional $100.

How to Prepare for Winter Snow Storms

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 when disaster strikes from winter snow storms!

Take the time to prepare a winter survival kit for your home

The winter kits should include several days of non-perishable items, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits. An emergency supplies list should include an alternate way to stay warm during a power failure, such as kerosene for a kerosene heater or extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats.

Ensure that you have matches, a first aid kit with instruction manual, candles, flashlight or battery-powered lantern, battery-powered radio, battery-powered clock or watch, extra batteries, non-electric can opener, snow shovel, rock salt, any special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, and so forth)

Prepare your home for the coming storm

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, ensure that your chimney or flue has been inspected. Ensure that there is a working smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.

Make sure to have a communication checklist

Listen to emergency broadcasts and weather forecasts. Get your phone batteries charged, and all devices that you may use.

Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together during a winter event, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do during an emergency.

Look over your car and emergency checklist

Get gas in your car ahead of the storm. Check your antifreeze, oil, and wiper fluid.

Frozen Pipes Prevention and Thawing Tips

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

If you have already experienced a burst pipe, contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 to prevent structural damages and mold.

Water expands when it freezes, which is a unique characteristic. By allowing water to freeze and expand inside your pipes can lead to a tremendous buildup of pressure, which eventually causes your pipes to burst. You can save yourself from severe water damages if you learn how to avoid frozen pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before the harsh cold of winter sets in there are a few important steps to take to reduce the possibility of frozen pipes, which include:

  • Investigate your home and determine whether there are areas that are not being heated properly and are significantly colder than the rest of the home. Insulate any water pipes located in the area.
  • Ensure that you drain all water from swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines.
  • Close the indoor valves that supply your outdoor spigots, and then keep the outdoor spigots open and allow them to drain completely.
  • Keep the garage door closed if any water pipes are located in your garage.
  • If the temperatures outside plummets below freezing, then let water drip from your faucets at all times. By keeping even a small amount of water moving through your pipes significantly reduces the possibility of freezing.
  • Never allow the temperature in your house to plunge below 55 degrees.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you are only getting a small dribble of water from your faucet, then chances are you are experiencing a frozen pipe. Here are some simple ways to thaw your frozen pipe before it bursts:

  • Heat the pipe using a portable space heater, electric blanket, or hair drier.
  • Keep the water running. As the frozen pipe begins to melt, then water will flow through the frozen area and helps melt the ice.
  • If you have one frozen pipe, then you more likely have others. Check every faucet in your house and attempt to locate all of the frozen pipes. If you are unable to locate the other frozen pipes, then call a licensed Plumber before they burst and cause water damage.

Tornado Warning!

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

Contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 if you encounter tornado damages.

Although tornadoes can strike instantaneously, there are certain precautions and preventative measures that one can take to increase the chances of surviving tornadoes. When a warning is issued, going to a basement or an interior first-floor room of a sturdy building significantly increases the chances of survival. Many buildings have storm cellars on the properties in the areas that are prone to tornadoes.

It is often thought that opening windows will reduce the damages caused by tornadoes. Opening windows may actually increase the severity of the tornado's damage. A violent tornado can destroy a house whether its windows are open or closed.

Contact your Local Emergency Management Agency to learn how your community sends warnings. Some communities use sirens, others use a mass notification system, while others depend on the media to alert residents of severe storms. Ensure that you have multiple ways to receive warnings.

Tips for Winning Negotiations with Your Contractor

6/23/2019 (Permalink)

For even more ways to save on home improvements and repairs, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602 today.

Big home improvement projects can leave a big hole in your pocket, but you can lower your costs by negotiating the contract price and terms. If you are looking for ways to save money on home improvements, then review the following tips for winning negotiations with Contractors:

  • Research—always ensure that you verify Contractors' credentials and experience before you hire them. If you are comfortable working with a Contractor with less experience and less time in the trade, then you may be able to secure a much lower price. Understandably, that there may be quality and timeframe tradeoffs. You can also research the costs of the materials needed for the project for a bargaining chip. A material cost list will help you decide whether or not the Contractor is charging higher prices for the supply portion of the project.
  • Shop Around—it's hard to tell whether you are getting a great deal on your home improvement project without having anything to compare prices. Get at least three comparable bids or estimates for the project. Contractors may be willing to lower their cost or negotiate particular terms in the contract if they are competing for the work. Ensure that you provide the Contractor with as many project details as you can and read each estimate thoroughly.
  • Buy Your Own Supplies—many Contractors offer to buy the supplies needed for the project and tack the cost onto the estimate or bill you for them later. Contractors often buy supplies from the same supplier, therefore, they may not be getting them at the best price. Save yourself money by offering to buy the supplies yourself to ensure that you are getting the best deals.
  • Timing—the cost of your home project will depend somewhat on the season you want the work done. You might be able to save money by seeking estimates during a slow construction season when Contractors will be more willing to negotiate the costs. If you live in a cold climate and you want to add a room to your home, then consider contacting Contractors for an estimate in the winter. The work may be unable to start until warmer weather, but you may be able to lock in their winter rates.
  • Approach the Contractor as an Ally—if you approach the pricing as if the Contractor is against you, then you will establish a hostile relationship. Treat Contractors as Allies and they will work with you to find the right price for your budget. Show them respect and ask for changes that may help you save money on the projects. For instance, you may be able to find less expensive countertops or a different type of flooring at a better rate.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you comparison shop for a home Contractor.

Fire Safety Equipment

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Use these fire safety tools to protect your home, family, and pets from fire, smoke, and poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

Fires can start in a variety of ways, which includes faulty electrical wiring, lightning strikes, cigarette smoking, cooking mishaps, dryer vent ignition, gas furnace ignition, fireplace ignition, portable heater tip-overs, and so forth. Fires can smolder for hours before suddenly erupting into flame. If you have an electrical fire, a fire extinguisher, sand, and baking soda can be used once the electrical source of the fire has been disrupted. 

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified by ratings of A, B, and C. These ratings determine the size and type of fire that the extinguisher can put out as follows:

  • A type fires—they consist of burning wood, paper, and fabric.
  • B type fires—they consist of flammable liquids, such as gasoline and oil.
  • C type fires—they are electrical. 

The number that precedes the letter determines how big of a fire the extinguisher can put out in increments of 2.5 feet. For example:

  • A 10-B:C extinguisher—it can put out a 25-square foot fire from a flammable liquid or electrical source.
  • A 5-B:C extinguisher—it can handle a 12.5-foot fire from a flammable liquid or electrical source.

Smoke Alarms

There are two basic types of smoke detectors as follows:

  • Ionization smoke alarms—they are better at detecting small particles that are produced in greater amounts in flaming fires, which quickly consume combustible materials and spread in many directions.
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms—they are better at detecting large particles that are produced in greater amounts in smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame.

Both types are effective in detecting smoke and fire, but the best smoke alarms feature both technologies.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that comes from an appliance malfunction and burning fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal. A furnace crack, dryer vent clog, and a blocked chimney can all produce CO. Use carbon monoxide alarms to detect a leak quickly.

Under normal operation, a carbon monoxide detector is able to vent the small amounts of CO gas that is produced outside of your home. However, small amounts of CO gas can build up and become a life-threatening problem when the vents are blocked.

Carbon monoxide deprives you of oxygen that your blood depends on to sustain life. If you are exposed to even small amounts of CO, then it quickly bonds with hemoglobin in your blood and displaces oxygen. When this occurs, you experience flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. As more time passes, the symptoms can worsen to include vomiting, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and even death. Place a CO detector in every bedroom, living room, and basement in your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Choose a Professional Company to Clean your Ducts

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Do not skip your tune-up. Contact SERVPRO® of Panthersville at (678) 515-8602.

Are the ducts that send warm (or cool) air into your home causing breathing problems for your family? The interest in air duct cleaning has grown in recent years, particularly as homeowners become more concerned about their indoor air quality or look for better ways to improve energy use.

According to the EPA, there are several important health reasons you should consider having your ducts cleaned as follows:

  • Is substantial mold growth visible inside the ducts or other components of your heating and cooling system? If mold is present, then duct cleaning is not the only step to take. You would also want to correct whatever conditions that cause the growth of the mold. Additionally, if air duct insulation gets wet or has mold, then you will need to have it removed and replaced instead of cleaned.
  • Are your ducts clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and other particles, and are these substances being released into your home from your supply registers? This affects your indoor air quality as poor-quality air continues to be pumped back into your home.
  • Are your ducts infested with rodents or insects or other unwelcome critters? There are some reasons why you would want the ducts cleaned.

Duct cleaning is an as-needed service that supports routine maintenance on your system. Fuel-burning furnaces should be serviced and inspected annually to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning and to improve efficiency.

Trained Technicians who are Knowledgeable of the Mold Removal Process

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Visible signs of mold exists on this piece of board.

Mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business whenever there is a water intrusion, such as a roof leak, leaking water line, and busted pipe. Your local SERVPRO® of Panthersville has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problems. Mold can cause major health problems if left untreated. However, every mold damage scenario is different, which requires a unique solution. SERVPRO® of Panthersville helps satisfy the needs of insurers and property owners by providing reliable and consistent services. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process:

Call SERVPRO® of Panthersville

The mold remediation and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Panthersville. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment and personnel needed.

Inspection

The property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources.

Containing the Mold

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated areas with physical barriers to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Our Technicians use specialized filtration equipment that captures microscopic (mold that is invisible with the naked eye) mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments are also be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. By removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, such as drywall and flooring may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Restoration

Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. It may also require major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.