Water in the Winter
In an environment where the weather is constantly fluctuating between temperatures ranging from the 10s to the 40s, the occurrence of sporadic snowfall, melting snow, and subsequent freezing is a common challenge. These variations can pose potential threats to your property, leading to water intrusions through inadequately sealed areas like the roof, walls, windows, or even from leaking appliances or broken pipes.
Should you notice any signs of water damage, regardless of their apparent severity, it is essential to promptly address the issue. Water and moisture-related problems, whether visible or concealed behind insulation or within wall surfaces, have the potential to harbor bacteria, foster mold growth, induce rot, emit odors, or cause other unseen damages. Regardless of the magnitude of the problem, reaching out to our professionals for a complimentary initial assessment and estimate is strongly recommended.
Prioritizing safety during water cleanup is crucial. If feasible, take steps to prevent further damage while waiting for our professional team's arrival. In cases where self-intervention is not practical, our team will act promptly to:
- Identify the source and type of water.
- Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis.
- Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises.
- Perform emergency water extraction.
- Apply necessary treatments.
- Employ drying equipment and monitor the drying process.
Throughout the water remediation process, we work in collaboration with you and your insurance company, should you have initiated a claim. Remember, it is imperative not to let water of any type linger; give us a call, and we will be there promptly to assist!
What you need to know about winter water damage
At SERVPRO®, water loss is a big part of what we do, and we strive to make it “Like it never even happened.” A water loss can happen to a home or business at anytime or anywhere. In a home or business there are many different sources such as a hose from the washing machine, a pipe under the sink or under the house or maybe the sump pump fails during a storm. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water loss. On average the cost after deductible was paid was estimated at $5,092.00 per incident .
Winter months can be especially busy for SERVPRO because of the extreme dip in temperature. One tip for the winter months to prevent frozen pipe damage is to make sure all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls are sealed tightly with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.
Frozen pipes can cause big problems but there are steps you can take to reduce some of the stress and worry of that happening in your home or business.
Short-Term Steps for Preventing Frozen Pipes
Installing a Foam Faucet Cover. If you don't have much time to prepare, there are still steps you can take to protect your pipes. These measures help reduce the risk from subfreezing temperatures:
- Find your main water shutoff so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Locations vary — look in the crawlspace or basement where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
- Disconnect garden hoses from exterior faucets to prevent water from freezing in the hose and rupturing the faucet. Drain the hoses and, if possible, store them where they will be protected from cold weather.
- If your exterior faucets have cut-off valves, close them and drain the faucets. If they don't, insulate them with foam faucet covers.
- Close foundation vents.
- Fix broken basement windows.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air flow around the supply lines. Move any cleaners or other chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep your thermostat at the daytime setting during the night. If you'll be away for several days during subfreezing weather, keep it set above 55° F.
There may be other areas around your home that need attention. Irrigation systems, swimming pool supply lines and devices in unheated garages — such as washing machines, water softeners and pressure washers — are at risk. Follow the manufacturers' instructions for winterization. Information provided from https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/frozen-pipes-prevention-and-repair
With the Holiday season upon us statistics show that November-January are the months when fires are most prevalent. It's important to make sure that your family has a plan in place in case a fire of a fire. Here are some tips to keep your family safe during the upcoming Holiday Season.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
What is a Master Service Agreement (MSA)?
A Master Service Agreement (MSA) stands as a crucial contract binding two parties and outlining their relationship's terms and conditions. In the realm of facility vendors, an MSA typically covers a wide array of services like cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.
But let's get down to it – why should you even bother with an MSA? Well, around here, it's all about efficiency. Having just one contract in place means no more dealing with each vendor separately. That's a win-win that saves you both time and money.
Plus, it's all about communication and teamwork. An MSA spells out who's doing what, so there's no room for misunderstandings and delays. In this neck of the woods, we appreciate clear-cut agreements.
And then there's the protection an MSA provides. Your MSA usually includes provisions for stuff like insurance, liability, and resolving disputes. It's peace of mind, plain and simple.
Now, let's talk SERVPRO Team Nichols. We're a local standout near Chicago, and we're the ones you want for your MSA needs. Here's what we bring to the table:
1. **Local Expertise**: We're your neighbors, serving the Chicagoland area. We know the local scene and the unique needs of our community.
2. **Comprehensive Services**: Our team is well-versed in a variety of services that can be covered by an MSA, including water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, biohazard cleanup, storm damage restoration, and construction and remodeling. We're your one-stop shop for all things restoration.
3. **Round-the-Clock Service**: Emergencies don't wait for convenient hours. We're available 24/7 to tackle any disaster head-on.
4. **Customer-Centric Approach**: Your satisfaction is our top priority. We work closely with you to understand your specific needs and tailor a plan to meet them. Plus, we keep you in the loop throughout the restoration process.
So, if you're in the Chicagoland area and need a trusted partner for your MSA, SERVPRO Team Nichols is the way to go. We've got the local knowledge, expertise, and commitment to make sure you're taken care of.
To dive deeper into our MSA offerings or get your questions answered, just give us a call. We're here to help, 24/7/365.
Why Set Up an ERP? (Part 1 of 2)
How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope, and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.
Review Insurance Coverage
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed, or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage, and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.
Why Set Up an ERP? (Part 2 of 2)
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Your employees and co-workers are your businesses' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during, and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.
Practice the Emergency Plan
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, consumers, and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant, or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.
Improve Cyber Security
Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.
What is the Most Common Damage After A Fire? (Part 1 of 2)
It’s usually not the actual fire that does the most damage to a home from a house fire. What causes the most damage to homes that suffered a fire is the smoke from the fire and the water from the firefighters. Below we will cover common damages that occur in a home after a fire.
Where You’ll Find Most Damage from a Fire
Obviously, you’ll find the most damage to a home at the source of the fire. In the case of a stovetop fire, this would be around the range hood, back wall, and ceiling above. In the case of a space heater igniting a curtain, the damage would be around the curtain and on the ceiling above the curtain.
While there will be flame damage right near the source, the majority of the damage will be from the smoke of the fire. If you’ve ever blown out a candle or roasted marshmallows over an open fire, you’ll know that smoke rises. When a fire occurs in your home, the smoke will also rise up and to the ceiling. If the fire is near a wall you might see discoloration up the wall with most of the discoloration right above the source of the fire on the ceiling.
As the fire continues to create more smoke, the smoke will spread across the ceiling and look for a place to escape and go higher. This could be up a stairwell or through ceiling vents. If the smoke has no place to go any higher, it will start to build up and start to come down closer to the floor like a fog. With smoke having the tendency to go up, this is why they say to get nearest to the ground when escaping a fire since there is usually less smoke.
The last area where you’ll most of the smoke damage from a fire is around windows and doors. As the smoke builds up in a house, it looks for the easiest place to escape outside. While this could be a chimney, smoke will also slip out through any cracks or drafts in windows and doors. In homes that suffer a lot of damage, you’ll usually find heavy discolorations around drafty doors and windows.
The Two Variables That Can Spread the Smoke Even Further
While we’ve discussed the typical behavior of smoke from a fire and where you’ll typically find the most damage, there are two variables that can change the behavior of the smoke and help carry it and the damage it causes even further throughout your home. The two things that can help spread the smoke even further are your ceiling fans and your central HVAC system. If your ceiling fans are on or your HVAC blower is on, then the smoke can be blown and carried throughout the house.
If your HVAC system is running then the smoke will most likely enter through the return vents and be spread throughout the duct system. This will not only carry the smoke and the smoke damage throughout the house, it will also cause smoke damage to your ducts. Your ducts might have dust throughout the system which can absorb the smoke meaning every time your air conditioner or heater turns on, you’ll smell the residual smoke for weeks and months after the fire. To remove the smoke from your ducts and HVAC system, you’ll need to have them professionally cleaned.
What is the Most Common Damage After A Fire? (Part 2 of 2)
Battling Discoloration and Odor from Smoke
As you’ve read above, the most damaging part of a fire is usually the smoke. Smoke can discolor any surfaces it comes into contact with. This can include ceilings, walls, and floors but also furniture, clothes, toys, and other household objects. The smoke can seep through every little tiny crack and space discoloring everything in its path.
The second thing that smoke can do to many surfaces of your home is leave an odor. While surfaces that are smooth and not porous can be cleaned easily, the smoke odor can easily embed into porous surfaces like fabric furniture, clothes, curtains, carpets, sheets, electronics and non-sealed wood.
How to Clean Up Fire and Smoke Damage
Cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, isn’t as easy as cleaning up a spilled glass of liquid off the floor. Due to the chemical properties of fire and smoke, removing the discoloration can be difficult if not impossible in some situations. Removing the smoke odor can be even more difficult especially when dealing with electronics, fabric furniture, carpeting, and clothes.
The best step to take if you should regrettably experience a fire in your Indianapolis-area home is to call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO have the knowledge and equipment to remove all the fire and smoke damage and restore your home to how it was prior to the fire. They are a trusted leader in the restoration industry that business owners and homeowners have turned to for years restore and repair their property.
Worried About Odor In Your Home From Water Damage?
Flood damage hits homes hard in various ways. Through flash floods, microburst storms, and hydrostatic pressure all bring water into the house. When storm damage happens, it must be removed as fast as possible to avoid permanent damage, mold and foul odors.
Groundwater may contain contaminants, and before coming into contact with it during flood damage cleanup in Calumet City- Lansing properties, SERVPRO technicians test the water to determine what they are dealing with so they choose the best methods for mitigation.
When a severe water loss occurs in your home, it is crucial to utilize a professional restoration service with local, certified technicians. SERVPRO team members are residents of the local community, and they work hard using their extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment to assist our friends and neighbors in limiting loss from floodwater.
Complete Drying Limits Odor
Controlled demolition is a standard action during cleanup of flood damage. This type of building materials removal is exacting and only takes out the damage and leaves sheetrock and flooring unaffected by water loss. The removal of buckled and warped sheetrock allows for more airflow during drying, which not only inhibits mold growth but also diminishes odors in the home.
Musty Odors May Indicate Mold
Because it requires warmth over 70F-degrees and high humidity levels to flourish, mold also has a tell-tale musty odor that gives away its presence. Technicians monitor water loss areas during and after the drying process to ensure that the air quality is well below sustainable levels for mold. Areas where they find mold growing are abated and treated with antimicrobial sealants to inhibit any return.
Removal of Residual Water Odors
After flooding in a home and complete drying, sometimes there are residual odors left behind. When antibacterial solutions do not eliminate it, SERVPRO technicians have a diverse array of odor neutralizing applications to use until they eradicate the scent from the property.
You do not have to live with continual reminders of the flood damage to your home. Contact SERVPRO of Calumet City- Lansing at 708-627-0077 and our team of certified professionals can make the water loss and odor in your home "Like it never even happened."
Environmentally Friendly Products Used By SERVPRO
SERVPRO wants you to know that we are doing our part to help our Planet. That is why we want you to know about our Green Cleaning Products.
SERVPRO® Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, SERVPRO® can access the listing known formally as Clean Gredients. The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. With the assistance of larger chemical companies the EPA/DFE has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations. From the listing a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green” chemistry. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials.
So, next time you see our Green Vehicles, you'll know we are doing our part to sustain our Environment