“3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
If your property is affected by a firework call us at 515-244-5511, and we will have your property restored to the preloss condition.
It's about that time where everyone starts to make our new year's goals and plan our end-of-year festivities. We are here to help you end your 2021 on a good note as you celebrate safety with friends and family.
When Using Sparklers/Firework, Please be Responsible
Everyone looks forward to the ring of the midnight bells with all of the new year's kisses and the firing of fireworks. There is so much excitement in the air as many people live in the moment. We are here to remind you of all of the things you need to remember when shooting off fireworks.
- Be Cautious About Smoke From Firework
When you are shooting off fireworks, you should monitor the wind's direction and use that to find the perfect location to shoot off the fire. This is important because you will see an upwind spot where your guests can sit. This is not beneficial as the smoke from the fireworks can create unsafe conditions for people with breathing conditions. This is caused by the fine particles and gases left behind, which are hard on the lungs.
- Have Someone Supervise the Firework Setup
Having your firework show is a responsibility that one shouldn't take lightly. This is important because you are running the risk of having an accident occur when left unsupervised. By assigning the supervisor's task, you can ensure that someone is available if anything happens, whether fire-related or situational-related. This person can monitor the area to ensure that small children stay away from the launchpad.
- Storing Unused Fireworks is VERY Important
You might want to save some fireworks for another time, which is understandable. It would help if you were cautious about finding an area that can hold these contents safely. For example, you should see a place safe from direct fire. If a fire breaks out and reaches the fireworks, it could create a more significant problem faster. Finding the perfect location can ensure that your home is safe all year around.
From your team at SERVPRO, we want to wish you a Happy New Year!
No Job Site too Dirty
A town affected by widespread flooding can create conditions of a category 3 sewage leak.
Our clients will call for whatever they need us to take care of for them. Sometimes the call is regarding our general cleaning, whereas other jobs might not be as desirable. Our team will never turn down a job because we don’t want to leave our clients in their time of need.
Our team will use full PPE when a call comes in about a cleanup affected by a sewage leak. We do this so that our employees will not be exposed to harmful pathogens. We have categories used to place sewage leaks so our crew will understand what to expect.
Category 1: “Clean Water”
A category one sewage leak comes from a clean source such as a toilet containing no urine or feces. If this category doesn’t get treated, it can and will progress into category two or three.
Category 2: “Gray Water”
This category is when there starts to be a significant contamination level, which will create discomfort or illness if it gets ingested. This is caused by the harmful pathogens found in the contaminated water.
Category 3: “Black Water”
A category three sewage leak is considered the most dangerous as it comes from an unsanitary source. If it gets ingested, it can cause severe illness or, in extreme cases, death. We recommend that our clients not put themselves in contact with this category of water. Some examples of this category would be flooding from a body of water, water from beyond the toilet trap, a toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has microbial growth starting to grow.
Complete this Winter Checklist
By filling out this checklist, you are ensuring that your home is winter-ready.
Temperatures are just going to get colder and colder as we enter into the winter months. By following this checklist, you ensure that your family and you will be safe while spending more time in your home.
Turning off the space heater
Alliant Energy has mentioned that customers should expect an increase in utility bills this winter as the gas price has increased since last year. Many consumers are looking at alternatives to counteract the rise by looking into other heating alternatives such as space heaters. If you want to read more about our tips on using a space heater properly, please read "Heating Alternatives."
Cutting the bottom of the Christmas Tree's trunk
If you're like me, you might have a family tradition of going out to the local Christmas tree farm to pick out the best-looking tree. During our first year of having a real tree, my family learned the importance of cutting off a part of the trunk. This is critical because the sap will harden the bottom of the trunk, especially as it sits on the lot. When the sap hardens, the tree can't absorb any moisture from the stand. This causes the needles to dry out, making them very flammable.
Blowing out candles
Don't you love going down the isles and smelling all of the new season scents; Bourbon Pecan, Pumpkin Pie, or Evergreen are some of the best. When you mix in these longer, cooler nights, all you really want to do is snuggle up the couch with all of your favorite scents. When you forget to blow out the candles, which is an accident waiting to happen. This is because pets, especially cats, are rebellious and knock things off the counter. When using candles, you should use a candle warmer to help lessen the chance of a fire-related accident. Another practice that you should keep in mind is the 3-foot radius rule, which means you should move anything flammable away from the candle when in use.
Getting your chimney cleaned
Getting your chimney checked and cleaned is something that everyone likes to cut corners around. When a chimney settles during the summer, it becomes a perfect home for creatures such as birds, squirrels, and sometimes raccoons. Another risk you run into is that by not cleaning the chimney, there is a chance that toxic gases can enter your home.
By making it an effort to check off the list, you ensure that your home is prepared for the colder months ahead.
The space heater is waiting to be turned on, safely.
It is has been stated by Mid-American Energy Co. that heating bills for natural gas could rise by 46% to 96% over last year because of rising gas costs. Consumers who use propane for their heating source should expect their heating costs to go up to 69% over the previous years. This leaves many households to use alternative ways to heat their homes, such as electric heaters.
Dangers of Space Heaters
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are the leading cause of over a thousand house fires every year. Space heaters are a great alternative to heating when used correctly. Here are some easy ways to ensure that you are safely using your space heaters.
- Keep space heater on the floor:
In the middle of a snowstorm, it might feel aesthetic to place it on a countertop or on a nightstand to have it blow directly onto you. Please refrain from using the space heater in this manner by placing it on the ground, free from any flammable fabrics/Items.
As we know, water and electricity do not go together. When placing the space heater in a good location, keep in mind the area of the room. It’s best to keep it out of the kitchen and the bathroom to ensure that there is a chance of water access.
The biggest takeaway from this article would be to remember to not plug it into a surge protector, extension cord, or anything that isn’t the wall outlet. When plugging it into an extension cord, you’re adding extra electrical connections that increase your chance of creating resistance, allowing heat to build up. When inserting the space heater into the wall, you will want to take into account the 3-foot rule or place it 3 feet away from the wall. This gives the proper distance from the heater to the wall, ensuring that the wall isn’t getting heated.
We understand that the projected increase of propane and natural gas heating options might bring you closer to space heater alternatives. We hope that you place these heaters in a thoughtful and strategic location to ensure that you minimize the chance of creating a perfect scenario for a house fire
When putting clothes through the washer and dryer it is important to remember to not overfill them.
Laundry Room Fires
Whether you love doing laundry or you hate doing laundry, there are some essential things you need to keep in mind to ensure you aren’t putting your home at risk of a fire. Believe it or not, washers and dryers, on average, cause about 16,000 house fires each year, with dryers causing 92% of them, with 31% of the leading causes of these fires being failure to clean and perform routine maintenance.
Causes of Dryer Fires
- Mechanical and electrical failure:
Although these types of fires aren’t as common as the others, it is important to check to ensure the parts are working correctly. This allows any repairs that are needed to be made before it can lead to any significant problems.
Overfilling your dryer can potentially cause a fire because you are making the dryer work extra hard due to all the extra weight. By checking the clothing label you can have a better understanding of the material is intended for high-temperature heat. Some materials that aren’t suited for high temperatures are: plastic, rubber, or foam can heat and melt, leading to a fire.
- Dirty lint filters and vents
Clogged vents, ducts, and filters are the leading cause of dryer fires. Lint filters accumulate an excessive amount of dirt, grass, or other material left from the washer. Another cause of a dryer fire is when you don’t check the outside vent which causes improper airflow. Improper airflow leads to lint collecting on the screen which creates the perfect situation to start a fire. By cleaning this you aren’t allowing birds, insects, or rodents to nest in these perfect locations.
Although doing laundry is a tedious task, you must be following these steps to ensure that you aren’t creating perfect conditions for dryer fires.
Our Technicians wiping down all high touched surfaces.
With the colder months coming up relatively fast, let’s talk about disinfection. As we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus, we also have to think about those stomach bugs and common flu. When owning a business, you have to consider the health of your employees, customers, and the amount of traffic flow you have coming through your company. When a client calls for a disinfection job, we evaluate the current situation by asking insightful questions. Is this COVID-19 related or just a bug? Confirmed case or suspected case? How many confirmed cases?
These questions help prepare our team so they know what kind of PPE they should use to keep them safe and healthy. We place disinfection jobs into three different categories:
- Category 1: No confirmed case, preventative
We will send in technicians into the business with a face mask and gloves as they will mist the facility once. Since this is just a preventative action, they won’t wipe down every surface. Misting the facility ensures that the surfaces are disinfected for our client and their customers.
- Category 2: No confirmed case, suspected case
We will send our technicians into the business with a face mask, gloves, and goggles in category two. They will mist the facility once and wipe down all horizontal surfaces and high touched areas.
- Category 3: Confirmed case, full hazmat suit
For the safety of our technicians, we will send them in full PPE which includes a Tyvek suit. These are for businesses that had a confirmed case in which we mist twice, wipe down all horizontal surfaces, and wipe down all high touched areas.
With flu season right around the corner, if you’re looking for a professional team to come in and help disinfect your business, we hope you call us!
Would You be Ready?
The Emergency Ready Program has all the information that you need right at your disposal.
As a business owner, you put a lot of hard hours into the business to ensure success. You hire local professionals to do the components that aren’t in your skill sets. For example, you would hire a marketer to help your business stand out against your competitors. You hire the staff that relies on your business to be successful in making an income. All of these components are constantly on the mind of the business owner. Something that doesn’t get a lot of thought is if something were to happen. Would the business owner be prepared and ready for the unexpected?
Emergency Ready Program
Many times owners aren’t prepared for an accident at their business. At that moment, it’s too late for preliminary actions to be taken to help alleviate the stress on that owner. These steps should start when you get the keys to your new business. As a business owner, you should know that you can go to sleep at night without the unpredicted stress. That is what our Emergency Ready Program is all about. It’s a strategic app that holds all of the important contacts and information that will be at the owner’s fingertips.
First Steps to Success
The very first step to success is to call our SERVPRO and talk to one of the Sales and Marketing Representatives who will gather critical information about your business type. This is followed up with that representative coming to your business for 45 minutes. They will collect information such as building access points, utility contacts, shut-off information, emergency contacts, and more building specifics. All of this information will allow quick response times and easier access to critical information that can help save your business before it’s too late.
We hope that you will never need to use the Emergency Ready Program. Don’t you think a little preparation now can help save you some stress before it’s too late?
Tips on how to prevent your pipes from freezing
By keeping the faucet slightly running you prevent the chance of pressure building up in the pipe.
Last year we all witnessed the extreme cases of pipes freezing in a place you’d never expect, Texas. As we wrap up our warm Iowa months we want to take some time and remind our clients of the steps to take to avoid having their pipes freeze.
Tip 1: Keep the Heat On
One of the easiest ways to avoid having your pipes freeze and burst is to leave the heat on even when you’re not home. When not home it’s okay if you don’t keep the thermostat at the normal temperature that you usually keep it at. In fact, by keeping it set at 50 F or above, you’ll ensure the pipes will stay warm and the chances of them freezing is far less. Some residents will turn their heat off when they’re not home in an attempt to save money on the utility bill. Keep in mind, when a pipe bursts, the cost of the water damage will be far more than a utility bill.
Tip 2: Let the Faucet Drip
When you leave the faucet on just enough to keep it slightly dripping, you’re decreasing your chance of having your pipes burst. This happens when pressure is created between the frozen blockage and the faucet. By keeping the faucet dripping you are allowing the constraint to relieve itself which will prevent any buildup of pressure. Keep the faucet turned towards the hotter side to ensure that it will keep the drain pipes warm. Be conscious of drain traps and keep that constant flow of water so that the drain line doesn’t freeze as well.
What To Do When Dealing With Water Damage
Water pouring out on the hardwood floors causes stress to our clients.
It’s 5 pm, and you get home from a long day at work. You decide to go down to the basement to grab something from the freezer to make for supper. Get to the bottom and smush, water everywhere!
What do you do? Say some choice words and think “Ugh, not today.”
Call your insurance agent to let them know you have a claim to call in, then investigate where the water is coming from.
Water damage does not always come from heavy rain or a storm. It can come from a broken pipe, an overflowing toilet or sink, a crack in the foundation where water may have been pooling. Once you know where the water is coming from, you can begin the steps to stop it and mitigate it.
If the water is indeed coming from a pipe or overflow, it is important to know where your water shutoff is in your home or business. Emergency Ready Profiles are available, it’s a handy tool to know where it is and how to shut it off.
Once that is done, call a restoration and cleaning company, like SERVPRO. Unless you have a water shop vac and a few air movers and dehumidifiers, it may take you a while to clean it and we want to help you avoid microbial growth at all costs. The restoration company can do moisture readings and determine what is needed to dry the space, and get you back to where you were before. They can also determine if any drywall or insulation will need to be replaced or removed, all while working with your insurance and other vested parties. Any reconstruction that may be needed will need to be done by a company that specializes in that but luckily, SERVPRO offers reconstruction services as well as specialized subcontractors to help take care of the project from beginning to end.
It never hurts to do maintenance on any pipes or check on the water shut off, but in the case that something happens and you have water, those are some steps to take towards mitigation!
Floods are Unpreventable
SERVPRO knows the exact steps to take to restore to the preloss condition.
As Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana the state had to brace for impact as flooding, in particular, became a problem. When dealing with the issue of flooding, there are very few things that people can do to avoid water damage to their property. Efforts begin once the flooding has hit its crest and water starts to lower. Our expert Project Manager will come and evaluate the current state and make their decision on what approach they should go with. They will go over the scope of services with the client. Due to the unknown source of the water, a lot of the contents may need to be thrown out. Another factor that the Project Manager will take into account would be damage caused by the water source. We are unable to dry permanently damaged structures such as fallen ceilings, insulation, or some types of furniture. These are considered permanently damaged because no amount of drying would get those contents back to the preloss condition and their structural integrity.
Disruptive Drying Method
One of the common SERVPRO drying practices is called the disruptive drying method. This method is used more frequently on water damages that occur from non-potable water sources. This involves removing wet items, injecting air to speed the drying process, or perforating surfaces to allow water to evaporate. In this method, repairs have to be done after the structure has been dried completely. We use this practice when there are concerns about contamination, damage, or when the cost of drying is more than replacing the material.
Aggressive Drying Method
The aggressive drying method is when our technicians dry wet materials due to no concern of contamination and damage. This method occurs more commonly when the water damage occurs from a clean potable water source. Our technicians use warm, dry direct airflows to ensure that the materials will dry completely. This method is used when the cost of replacing the material is more than the cost of drying as well. When the water comes from a sanitary source or when adequate dehumidification is available the Project Manager will decide to use this method.