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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Recovering after storm damage in Mentor, OH

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mentor provides Emergency Board Up and Roof Covering/Tarps for Mentor homeowners.

SERVPRO of Mentor offers board up/roof covering service that can greatly help Mentor homeowners minimize potential damage to your property from a storm or help you secure your property after an unexpected disaster occurs such as damage from a car or tree. Water damage that goes untreated will eventually make its way from your roof to the very foundation of your Avon home.

Here’s how SERVPRO of Mentor can help you when disaster strikes:

  • Emergency Temporary Repairs: Help you minimize further damages, safely secure your property and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
  • Weatherization: Winterizing plumbing pipes is a process that prepares household plumbing for freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks in the home
  • Generators and Temporary Power: Ensure that you have the power you need when your primary source is shut down.
  • Emergency Heating and A/C: HVAC Specialist available 24/7
  • Tree Impact/Removal: Emergency Tree removal, haul away, & stump grinding available. If you have tree damage to your home, we will be there to help and board up or tarp your home so it is secure until reconstruction begins.

SERVPRO of Mentor is a full-service restoration company. We work directly with your insurance to restore you home back to normal. 

If you have an emergency causing water damage to your Mentor home, we will be there to help 24/7!

Water Damage Repair in Mentor, OH

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

When your Mentor, OH home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Mentor is your local water removal company. We specialize in water damage cleanup in Mentor, OH.

Our certified technicians will preform an advanced water damage inspection and utilize advanced equipment to help them find the moisture and so they remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal and are kept up to date every step of the way.

This time of the year homes are prone to flooded basements because of heavy rains. It’s important to make sure your gutters remain cleaned and clear to help draining water stay on the outside of your home where it belongs!

If you are faced with water damage call SERVPRO Mentor.

Preparing to Sell Your Mentor, OH Home

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Selling your Mentor, OH home can be an overwhelming experience as you coordinate between realtors, inspections and potential buyers. Despite the pandemic, we are living in a sellers market here in Cleveland so many homeowners are preparing to sell their homes.

SERVPRO of Mentor is happy to help clean your house and get it ready for showings and its sale. With our highly trained crews we are prepared to help with any cleaning task ranging from mold remediation to deodorization to general cleaning services.  If you experienced a water damage in the past and it wasn't taken care of properly, our crews can help restore your home so it is show ready! We have helped many homeowners prepare and sell their homes with a top to bottom cleaning.  Our thorough cleaning services can include wiping ceilings and walls, trim, the exterior of baseboard registers, and cleaning the inside and outside of kitchen and bathroom appliances. Window cleaning and floor cleaning are a great way to finish the project up and add the final sparkle to your fresh home.

We would be happy to set up a time for an estimator to come onsite to answer any questions you may have, and to get you a good idea of what the project would entail and cost. SERVPRO of Mentor is always here to help.

We are a full service restoration company in Mentor, OH

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mentor provides restoration and reconstruction services for residential and commercial spaces in Mentor, OH, and the surrounding areas. We serve those that have suffered water damage, fire damage, storm damage, and more. We’re a responsive, reliable team with more than 25 years of experience in the Northern Ohio area, making people and their homes whole again. We strive for excellence in everything we do. Let us do excellent restoration work for you.

Whether you have a flooded basement or fire damage from a kitchen fire, SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster. Our teams of certified professionals are available to help 24/7.  

SERVPRO of Mentor proudly serves the Mentor, Mentor-On-The-Lake, Fairport Harbor, Perry and Madison.

Basements in Mentor, OH are prone to flooding

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

Basements in Mentor, OH are prone to flooding, and there are water damage repair specialists in Mentor. Water always runs from high to low ground, and this means that under the right circumstances your basement becomes an unwanted swimming pool. But where does the water come from?

  • One common culprit behind basement flooding is rain. Excessive amounts of rain in a short period of time can overload basement waterproofing systems, saturating the earth around your basement and then pushing in through foundation cracks.
  • Even properly waterproofed basements fail because they can't handle the incoming water load, your basement will flood.
  • The slope of your lawn can contribute to flooding.
  • If you have flood insurance, call your insurance provider. If you're not sure, check your plan. Some companies deliberately omit floods and won't cover the replacement of any water-damaged items. Knowing this upfront is very important. A lot of people just assume they are covered from flood damage and are shocked when they find out they are not.
  • The insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage, take a list of all the items and call in a professional and many insurance professionals in our area will tell you to call SERVPRO of Mentor!

Whether you go with insurance or not, you'll want to call an expert like SERVPRO of Mentor. We will handle the mess and get you home back to normal quickly.

Restoring your most important belongings after Fire Damage in Mentor, OH

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

After a house fire or commercial fire in Mentor, OH our certified professionals will take inventory of what’s salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable. This will help communication with your insurance adjuster and your insurance settlement.

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Mentor fire damage professionals will work to determine what cleaning method is best for your contents. Once pretesting is done, our technicians will clean and deodorize all your restorable items and contents to their preloss condition. SERVPRO of Mentor is capable of restoring electronics, family photos, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more. SERVPRO of Mentor will provide you will an inventory list of all items that are being “claimed” if needed.

If you have fire damage in your home or business call SERVPRO of Mentor today so we can help restore your property.

SERVPRO of Mentor offers Restoration and Reconstruction

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Given that storms, natural disasters and accidents take place all the time in Mentor, OH it’s always good to have a skilled, reliable 24 hour restoration service you can count on. When we say we are available 24 hours, 7 days a week – we mean it. Our team of restoration experts will be at your home or business within moments of your phone call.

24 Hour Emergency Restoration & Construction Services

The owners and upper management of SERVPRO of Mentor have over 100 years of experience combined in the Restoration Industry. In this time, we have built a reputation which has earned us positions on some of the largest insurance company’s preferred contractor lists. Positions that are held to a much higher standard across the industry. Some of SERVPRO of Mentor’s restoration specialties include:

-Water Damage Repair

-Wind Damage

-Hail Damage

-Sewage Cleanup

-Tornado Damage

-Flood Damage

-Fire Damage

-Emergency Board up and Roof Coverings

SERVPRO of Mentor has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to handle your loss from start to finish and put you back to whole again.

Trust us with your most valuable asset!

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

A house fire in Mentor, OH can abruptly bring your entire life to a screeching halt. Fire Damage is not only devastating  but is can be incredibly dangerous. It is important for all smoke damage to be neutralized and deodorized to keep you and your family safe. 

Before fire damage restoration and repairs begin our crews will effectively board-up your home or business to protect your contents and belongings until the process of cleaning or claiming those begins. If you face a major house fire our fire restoration crews will help you pack out and move out your salvageable contents until the fire damage repairs are complete. 

After emergency services are finished, structural cleaning is usually the first step in the restoration process.  SERVPRO of Mentor can help reduce costs by cleaning areas that are only lightly affected by soot instead of completely having to replace them. Anything that cannot be cleaned to its original state will be cleaned so that it can properly be repainted. The process of structural cleaning is important because that’s where our professionals will begin the deodorization process. If odor is not handled correctly it can not only harm your health but linger for years to come. Our professionals utilize the right equipment specific to your fire loss.

If you find yourself with any type of fire damage call SERVPRO of Mentor so we can begin the fire restoring process today!

Restoring your electronics after fire damage

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

So your house flooded or you experienced a home fire, what happened to your damaged electronics?

When our certified professionals respond to a fire or water loss they are always attentive to what contents need to be restored. You should never try to plug in or turn on electronics that have been affected by water damage or fire damage. The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

SERVPRO of Mentor specializes in restoring electronics damaged by water or fire. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced.

Regardless of what kind of disaster your facing or what precious memories have been damaged, make SERVPRO of Mentor your first call and we will help make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Storm Damage Repair in Mentor, OH

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Mentor, we know how important it is to address water damage quickly after a storm rolls through Mentor. We have certified technicians ready to help when disaster strikes.SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster. All of our crews are certified to make the damage look “Like it never even happened.”

The longer water damage sits in your Mentor home, the more damage it can cause. It’s important to know where your water shut off is so you can immediately shut the water off to eliminate further damage.

A common mistake homeowners make when experiencing water damage is trying to extract the water themselves. Water damage is not a DIY job! Water can hide and cause a lot of damage costing you more money. Our technicians are trained to remediate the problem the first time. Leave the mess to us!

 If you are faced with water damage call SERVPRO of Mentor!

Cleaning up flooded basement after storm in Mentor, OH

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Without question, the most important step a Mentor, OH homeowner needs to take when faced with flood or other water damage is to waste no time in drying the damaged area out. Setting up all your house fans to dry out a flooded and water damaged area really isn’t very effective in the long run because water and moisture is very good at hiding.

You may think the problem has been handled on a surface level, but insufficient remediation and drying after a water damage can leave moisture in your walls and subfloors. When moisture goes undetected it can cause mold and bacteria to grow in as little as 24 hours.

To combat further costly damage; the best thing you can do is to call in your local certified water damage restoration specialists to tackle the job, like SERVPRO of Mentor. We are your flood damage and water damage specialists.

If you find yourself with a flooded basement in Mentor or Painesville after a storm, call SERVPRO of Mentor.

The SERVPRO of Mentor Difference

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

What sets us apart from other restoration companies? We have a network of over 1700 other franchises and Disaster Relief teams that are ready to help your business get back in business 24/7. We don’t rely on phone answering services after normal business hours. If you call us between 5pm and 8am you will speak directly with one of our staff members. Our business hours are 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. We understand the effects water damage can have on your business.  Our certified technicians will arrive on site and preform any emergency services necessary to minimize the damage to your commercial property. We will work directly with your insurance to relieve any added stress from you.

We have been serving Mentor businesses for the past 20 years. We are ready to help your business when water damage strikes.

SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster!

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been serving and restoring America Since 1967. SERVPRO of Mentor has been helping home and business owners recover from water and fire damages across the Cleveland area since 1996. With a network of over 1,700 Franchises nationwide means faster response when major disasters strike. You can rely on us to be faster to any size disaster.

SERVPRO of Mentor can usually be on-site within four hours to help and that fast response helps minimize damage. We have earned the trust of our local insurance agents by serving their policy holders with respect and integrity. The more we restore, the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year.

We offer 24-Hour Emergency Service, when you’re facing a disaster, you need us fast! The sooner we arrive, the better the chance we can reduce damage and save you money. SERVPRO of Mentor's certified professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. When you call us a trained, uniformed, certified professional will respond and will walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible.

Why choose SERVPRO of Mentor?

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

People often ask: “what is SERVPRO?” That’s a pretty loaded question because we do a lot. In short, we clean what you don’t want to clean. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration. We have teams of certified professionals that will respond to any size disaster 24/7/365. Most people hope that they never need our services but unfortunately unexpected disasters happen around the clock 365 days a year. That is why we have technicians ready to help when disaster strikes. Whether it's a house or business fire or water in your basement, SERVPRO of Mentor is your one stop shop for mitigation and restoration. 

Our number one goal is returning damaged areas to preloss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO of Mentor is dedicated to restoring both the property and the lives of the customers being helped. Like it was never dirty, like it never overflowed, like it never caught fire, like it never smoldered– whatever the case, with SERVPRO of Mentor our goal is to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The SERVPRO difference

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damages can come from many different things. But at the end of the day it’s a mess needing restoration. The most important phone call you will make is to SERVPRO of Mentor to extract the water and minimize the loss. While you could try to get rid of all of the water to save money, our teams of certified water damage professionals are capable of expediting the water extraction thereby minimizing secondary water damage. Fast removal not only saves you money in the long run but lessens the negative impact on the structure of your home while also protecting personal possessions.

We partner with all insurance companies and have great working relationships with them. When disaster strikes your home or business, make SERVPRO of Mentor your first and last call.

We're the company you can trust for fire and water damage repair in Mentor, OH

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Finding reliable service for water damage or fire damage restoration is easier than you think. We are highly recommended by several peers in our community. When asking your insurance agent for a recommendation for a water damage restoration company in your local area, chances are they will mention SERVPRO at the top. SERVPRO of Mentor has been insurance agents' go-to professionals since 1996.
 
SERVPRO of Mentor professionals will arrive on-site and preform an initial inspection where they use the necessary equipment to discover hidden areas of moisture that may lead to mold growth. Our teams have the necessary equipment for quick water extraction and drying. Make SERVPRO of Mentor your first and only call when faced with water damage! We will make your water damage look “Like it never even happened.”

What Sets SERVPRO of Mentor Apart?

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Storms and dangerous weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flood damage that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO of Mentor offers 24-hour emergency service 365 days per year.

Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency situation arises in your business, give our certified professionals a call and they’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Mentor offers your business 24 Hour Emergency Service. We are Faster to any size disaster. We are also a trusted leader in the Storm and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 franchises. All of our technicians are highly trained storm and water damage restoration experts.

We handle commercial losses in Mentor, OH

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Flood damage and water damage events to Mentor, OH commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and quick response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup or a large-loss, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue while we restore your facility.

When an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Mentor specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property to pre-water damage condition.

Commercial Water Damage Requires a Quick Response

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in Mentor, OH must be managed quickly and repaired completely to protect your capital investment in the building. Our technicians are trained to follow the path of water damage wherever it goes throughout your building. Once the source is fixed our crews can come in and make sure the water damage is repaired in every area affected quickly and with as little disturbance to your business as possible. 
 

Our SERVPRO team has the experience and the skills to restore commercial water damage no matter how severe. There is no job too big or too small for our crews. We have the specialized equipment and are trained and certified to minimize the inconvenience to your business while restoring the premises to its pre-water damaged condition.

If you have commercial water damage call us 24/7. We get you back into business faster!

Cleaning out your gutters in the Spring in Mentor, OH

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Here’s some benefits to keeping your gutters clear and avoiding storm damage this Spring in Mentor, OH:

No homeowner ever wants to hear the words “foundation damage.” To prevent water from leaking through your foundation, check your gutters. When gutters are clogged and we have heavy rain, it will often cause water to backup and enter your home or basement. If you don’t clean your gutters out at the end of Fall, your clogged gutters also increase your risk for ice dams forming during the winter leading to water damage as well.

The number one purpose of gutters on your home is to move water away from your home’s foundation and keeping your basement dry. But there are also other benefits to having gutters. Gutters help prevent water damage to your siding and help prevent cracked sidewalks, patios and driveways by properly moving storm water.

If you have storm damage this spring call in SERVPRO of Mentor for the cleanup!

Commercial Property Damage in Mentor, OH

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Being a property manager can be stressful. We understand that not all emergencies happen during business hours so whether a renter lets a bathtub overflow or failed to tell you that a toilet or pipe under a sink was leaking, we’re here for you. Our certified water damage restoration crews are ready to help 24/7.

As the property manager, you are responsible to both that tenant with the damage and the other occupants of the complex. SERVPRO is trained and certified to remediate water damage and make it look “Like it never even happened.”

It’s important that water damage is handled properly the first time because dangerous mold can grow if moisture isn’t taken care of. This is not just a risk to your future tenants but your business in general. Let SERVPRO handle the mess!

Fire damage restoration in Mentor, OH

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

A trained and certified fire damage restoration professional will first identify all affected materials and the source of odors, if possible. They will be extremely thorough. They will identify what can be salvaged and cleaned and what cannot be and must be completely replaced. They will then begin the clean-up process by removing built-up ash residue. Once the ash is cleaned, they can better identify the sources of odors, which they will treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. Once fire damaged materials are treated, they will be sealed to prevent future odors from emitting into your home.

If you or anyone you know is in need of smoke or fire damage restoration services in Mentor, OH we are ready to help!

We are here to help! Contact us today.

Importance of Renters Insurance in Mentor, OH

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

If there’s one thing I can honestly tell you about every job we respond to; it is that no one was expecting what happened to happen. Homeowners are required to have insurance but what about renters? We have responded to several home fires in Mentor, OH that were being occupied by renters and they were without insurance. Yes, the owner of the home had insurance but their policy will often just cover the structure, it will not cover your contents and all your personal belongings.

Renters insurance provides financial protection against damage to or loss of personal possessions due to hurricanes, fire, lightning, theft, explosion and other disasters listed in the policy. There is even coverage for water damage caused by burst pipes or a neighbor who forgets to shut off the water in the bathtub. Coverage is available to renters in many different ways. Reach out to your insurance professional and they can get you a quote based on the value of your possessions so if disaster were to strike, you can rest assured you’re covered.

Lake Erie Storms in Mentor, OH

3/29/2020 (Permalink)

Living so close to Lake Erie, it’s hard to know what kind of storms will roll in year-round in Mentor. Even though Spring is here, doesn't mean severe storms are done for the year! If your Mentor home has storm damage or water damage, give us a call! 

Winter brings lake effect snow that can cause bad damage to homes and spring brings the floods. Regardless of what kind of weather we are experiencing, our teams are always ready to help when disaster strikes. SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster. We are your water damage and storm damage experts. We are your go-to certified professionals for pipe bursts, frozen pipes, fire damage, basement flooding, and any type of water damage. If you need help with mold remediation after you experience storm damage, we’ll be there to help!

We are faster to any size storm disaster. Call SERVPRO of Mentor, we’ll be there to help!

Who to Hire after Fire Damage in Mentor, OH

3/29/2020 (Permalink)

A house fire in Mentor, OH is devastating. It can be overwhelming making decisions after such a great loss. We are your locally owned fire damage restoration professionals in Mentor and our goal is to help you get back in your home and ease the stress along the way. 

If you get fire damage restoration professionals in soon enough after a house fire, they can mitigate or eliminate the smoke and ash damage from the fire and prevent further damage to your property. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the pros in early, the damage becomes worse and worse and the costs to repair will begin to skyrocket within just a few weeks!

Know Who to Hire

Many companies claim to be fire damage restoration specialists, but they may not actually have the proper training and certification to do the job. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the primary oversight agency for the industry. Companies recognized, registered and certified by the IICRC will have taken extensive coursework to earn their certification.

Commercial Proactive Cleaning and Cleanup Services in Mentor, OH

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. SERVPRO® franchise professionals offer cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

We are offering proactive cleaning and cleanup services to businesses. The best thing we can do right now is be proactive. The CDC is recommending cleaning and sanitization of all high-touched surface areas in your business. 

Just as a reminder, we always offer commercial cleaning services. We understand you don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Mentor for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.

We custom tailor our services to your business needs. There’s no job too big or too small for our cleaning crews. All of our technicians are certified and highly trained to help restore your business back to its best condition. Let us partner with you in all your commercial cleaning duties. It’s our promise to make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Sewer Backup during heavy rains in Mentor, OH

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

During a storm or heavy rains, drains and sewers can backup. This can cause severe damage to commercial property if not taken care of immediately. Dealing with contaminated water in Mentor, OH is frustrating and can be dangerous. Sewer backups threaten your property as well as your employees and customers as it carries a risk for disease. 

Excessive rain causes water to back up from municipal sanitary sewer systems. If water is coming up through floor drains or sink drains in the basement, it is not rain water; you likely have a sanitary issue. If you experience water damage during storms, call us as soon as possible so we can begin mobilizing crews to get you back in business and that water damage "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage caused by Ice Dams in Mentor, OH

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

It's not uncommon to have water damage or mold from Ice Dams in Mentor, OH. 

Ice Dam Formation

Heat escaping into the attic can cause the roof to warm and snow to melt. External conditions may then cause melting snow to refreeze, potentially trapping water under a layer of ice. This entrapment can be problematic if water seeps into your building and causes damage.

Prevention Strategies

Although you may not be able to prevent snow and ice formation on your roof, you can take several proactive measures to help prevent an ice dam from forming:

  • Ensure adequate attic ventilation
  • Verify bathroom exhaust exists through the roof
  • Maintain clean gutters

Reducing heat seepage within your attic is an essential prevention strategy. To help accomplish this, your attic ductwork should be properly ventilated and free of leaks.

Because a clog can prevent proper water damage, obstructed gutters may cause water to pool and freeze along the edge of your roof, exacerbating your dilemma. Routinely inspecting and cleaning your gutters can help alleviate this problem.

Water and Mold Damage

Ice dams can be particularly destructive if trapped water leaks into your building and causes water damage. Because mold thrives in moist environments, a water leak can also increase the risk of black mold growth that necessitates extensive mold cleanup endeavors. For this reason, it’s essential that you inspect your building and address issues that may facilitate dam development.

A Manageable Problem

Winter can present numerous challenges, many of which you have little control over. You can, however, take proactive steps to reduce the risks of ice dam formation, water damage and mold contamination.

IF you have water damage in need of repair, our team can help! Just give us a call.

First steps after water damage in Mentor, OH

1/1/2020 (Permalink)

Suffering a water loss can be a hectic and stressful time. Emotions run high and often times you don’t even know where to start!

The first step should always be to identify the source of incoming water then shutoff or stop the water source if possible. We recommend having the source fixed before we arrive on site to avoid more damages from occurring. 

Next make sure to turn off all electrical appliances around the affected area to reduce electrical hazards and turn off the circuit breakers supplying electricity to the wet areas.

You will want to remove excess water by mopping or blotting and make sure to never use a regular vacuum to remove water! Keep furniture safe from additional damage by placing aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting/flooring. When disaster strikes, our team is available to come assess the damage and get the drying process started 24/7. When water damage strikes in Mentor, OH we are the company to call. 

Freezing pipes in Mentor, OH

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, water damage doesn’t take a holiday. Water damage in Mentor, OH can occur at any time of the year, whether it be from a severe storm, a leak, burst pipe, toilet overflow, a broken water supply line, knowing who to call when a water damage occurs is crucial. SERVPRO of Mentor is your local water damage repair professionals in Mentor, OH.  Our certified technicians are ready for whatever happens 24/7, 365 days a year.  We will respond to the 2am water damage emergency, water damage cannot wait. The longer you let water damage sit, the more expensive repairs will be.  With our trained professionals and state of the art equipment we are able to effectively dry out the structure of your home or commercial space.

We all know how cold Cleveland winters can get. Water damage can happen due to a burst pipe that occurred during freezing cold temperatures overnight. Our crews will respond quickly, minimizing the damage within the home or building.

When disaster strikes, Call SERVPRO of Mentor.

Basement flood cleanup in Mentor, OH

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Mentor basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

SERVPRO of Mentor specializes in basement flooding cleanup. From a small flood to a large loss, our team is here to help 24/7. Water damage repairs in Mentor can seem small but mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. So it's important to act quickly and call us as soon as water damage happens so we can help minimize damage costs! 

Water Damage Repair in Mentor

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

No matter the size of your water damage, it is nothing to be taken lightly. What may seem to be a small problem could cause large structural or air quality issues over a period of time. It’s important to have certified water damage professionals called in to handle the damage.

How a water loss is handled is the most important thing. Your quick action is important. Time really can be money when it comes to water damage repair in Parma, OH. Make SERVPRO of Mentor your first call. Our team is available to help 24/7. The last thing a property owner wants is for a seemingly small problem end up being a long-term threat to a home or business. That is where SERVPRO of Mentor comes in the picture. Using the proper tools and expertise to identify and dry unseen water will prevent further damage to your property. Technology and equipment combined with the knowledge and training of SERVPRO professionals will ensure that you and your property are getting the best treatment possible.

Do you know the Categories we use to classify water damage in your Mentor Home?

7/28/2019 (Permalink)

IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows: 


Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows. 

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants.  These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."

Examples of category 2 water are:  toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge. 

Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.

Examples of type 3 water are:  water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water. 

Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Knowing the classification of your water in your Mentor home may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.

If you have water damage, give us a call!

SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mentor provides restoration and reconstruction services for residential and commercial spaces in Mentor, OH, and the surrounding areas. We serve those that have suffered water damage, fire damage, storm damage, and more. We’re a responsive, reliable team with more than 25 years of experience in the Northern Ohio area, making people and their homes whole again. We strive for excellence in everything we do. Let us do excellent restoration work for you.

Whether you have a flooded basement or fire damage from a kitchen fire, SERVPRO of Mentor is faster to any size disaster. Our teams of certified professionals are available to help 24/7.  

SERVPRO of Mentor proudly serves the Mentor, Mentor-On-The-Lake, Fairport Harbor, Perry and Madison communities. 

Do you know about our upholstery cleaning services?

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you have kids or pets, frequently host friends and family or simply are at home a lot, you know your upholstered furniture is getting a workout.

Your furniture is as important to a room’s appearance as your carpet. That’s why we use the same process for upholstery cleaning that we do for carpet cleaning.

An upholstery cleaning service can give run down and tired looking furniture a new lease of life. Our upholstery cleaning service is capable of restoring life to the fabrics in the home and will specialize in more than just ridding the furniture of everyday grime and debris.

Your furniture is one of your biggest investments, so choosing who to do your upholstery cleaning is no small decision.

Our goal is to return your furniture to its original condition. Call us today to set up a time for your upholstery to be cleaned by our professionals! 

Drying Services by SERVPRO

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Does your home or business have important documents that are important to your well-being? In the event of a water at your home or business, SERVPRO® of Mentor offers document drying services for those important files or personal papers.


Vacuum Freeze Drying
Items containing moisture are frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation (direct conversion of a solid into gas without passage through a liquid stage – think dry ice).


Digitizing 
With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water and needs to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.


Gamma Irradiation 
Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (cobalt 60) producing ionization (electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a category 3 water loss situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only dealing with that water, but also are infected with all types of bacteria. If this is the case, decontamination is a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.


Certified Destruction
Unfortunately, many business and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

The SERVPRO way makes it “Like it never even happened.”

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Are you dealing with water damage in your home? SERVPRO of Mentor has a crew of certified water damage technicians ready to help 24/7. Here is how we can help you in times of disaster:

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

If your home or business is damaged due to water, call SERVPRO of Mentor.

Water Damage is not a DIY Job! Learn the different types of water

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

Leave water damage to SERVPRO of Mentor!

Controlling indoor moisture

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Controlling Indoor Moisture

When you see moisture accumulating, dry it promptly and deal with the source of the problem. Two basic elements of controlling moisture buildup are minimizing cool surfaces and reducing humidity.

Storm doors and windows minimize cool surfaces in the winter by separating the interior from cold, outside air. Double- and triple-pane windows also insulate interior glass from the cold. Pay attention to window treatments as well. Opening drapes and blinds in the winter allows warmth to reach the interior glass. Some condensation may occur, but the improved circulation makes it less likely to accumulate. Insulating cold-water pipes eliminates a common cool surface in warm weather. Straight and angled sleeves let you fit insulation to your pipes — just slide on the sleeves and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.

Your heating and cooling systems can also help control moisture in the home. Gas and electric furnaces reduce humidity with dry heat. Air conditioning lowers the moisture level in the air as it cools. Keep registers open and unblocked to allow good air flow, and have the systems inspected and serviced regularly to make sure they are functioning properly.

Caulking and weather stripping improve energy efficiency and prevent humid air from entering a home, but they also reduce the air exchange that allows moisture to move out of the house. Bathroom exhaust fans, dryer exhaust and ducted kitchen exhaust hoods that vent to the outside remove moisture that activities such as showering, bathing, clothes drying, dish washing and cooking create. Keep the devices free of dust, lint, grease or anything that could keep them from working efficiently.

Other simple ways to reduce air moisture include:

  • Covering pots while cooking, when possible
  • Leaving room doors open to allow good air circulation
  • Storing firewood outside
  • Covering aquariums

If high humidity is a problem you can't overcome by other methods, remove moisture from the air with a dehumidifier. They're effective in laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms and any room that isn't air-conditioned or has poor air circulation. Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified models, which consume less energy than conventional dehumidifiers.

Article source: https://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/controlling-moisture-and-humidity-in-the-home/project

How to use a space heater safely

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

How to use a space heater safely

Millions of people use space heaters to keep warm in winter. But according to a warning from the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are a leading cause of house fires.

According to Jamie Novak, a fire investigator with the St. Paul Fire Department in Minnesota, space heaters "are small, but they draw a lot of electricity." He stressed the importance of plugging your space heater directly into the wall, telling TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen in February that some people use cheap extension cords. The trouble is, many extension cords just can't handle that amount of electricity.

Novak said it was also important to keep your space heater 3 feet away from "anything that will burn — best to do it in the middle of the room."

Sometimes people accidentally let blankets fall right on top of space heaters. To show how quickly that can start a major fire, Novak set up a real-life demonstration inside a real house, with a team of firefighters standing by.

In mere minutes, the blanket caught fire. The flames quickly spread to a sofa, which sent out choking black smoke. Within just a few more minutes, the fire traveled from room to room to engulf the house in flames.

There are space heaters with an automatic shut-off switch in case the device gets too hot or is accidentally knocked over. But experts say even those heaters can be dangerous if used improperly, so you should still follow the 3-foot rule, and not plug them into extension cords.

It's also important to check the batteries in your smoke detectors, and to come up with a fire escape plan with your family.

Article source: https://www.today.com/home/space-heaters-can-cause-deadly-fires-what-you-need-know-t107848

5 of the most common causes of fire in the workplace

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Faulty Electrics

Faulty electrics are the biggest cause of workplace1 fires, loose wires, plugs that are over loaded and old equipment can all make for a potential death trap. Every workplace is legally obliged to take good care of any electric al equipment, and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is an absolute must. These tests, undertaken every year, will ensure that your electrical goods stay in good working order and are fit for purpose.

  1. Flammable and Combustible Materials

Flammable and combustible materials represent a dangerous hazard to your employees as well as your business; whilst every workplace should place fire safety at the forefront of their risk assessments, this is particularly true of premises that hold any number of materials that are flammable or combustible. Appropriate storage, correct disposal and in-depth processes for handling these materials and or substances should be put in place.

  1. Human Error

Another common reason for fires in the workplace is down to human error, accidents such as knocking liquid onto electrical equipment, burning food in the kitchen or spilling flammable or combustible liquids.4

  1. General Negligence

Negligence can be differentiated from human error by the fact that such incidents are caused by proper procedures not being followed, or a member of staff undertaking an activity known as a potential fire hazard. Such instances are, again, easily avoided, and staff training on the dangers of certain areas within the workplace cannot be underestimated.

  1. Arson

While many may get alarmed when they hear that arson is a common cause of workplace fires, it is indeed a relatively frequent occurrence. Factories and industrial estates are particularly prone to vandals and fires can spread quickly from unit to unit if proper fire control features aren’t installed.

If suitable, work places should fit fireproof shutters and a water sprinkler system to protect their property as far as possible; and deterrents such as CCTV and gating can all indicate to the would be intruder that your property is far from ideal for trespassing.

Article source: https://rabidofficemonkey.com/5-common-causes-fire-workplace/ 

Storm Chasers

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Chasers

Majority of storm chasers are meteorologists who study and predict weather patterns. They forecast where and when a particular storm is likely to occur. They analyze past and current data to determine a precise location. They also use visualization by looking at the patterns of the clouds. They commonly use a variety of sources to predict weather, such as daily outlooks, satellite and radar maps, maps of temperatures and dewpoints, computer models, wind charts, and watches and warning information. Storm chasers use a variety of equipment, including computers, satellites, portable weather stations, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), video cameras, and anemometers to measure wind. Typically while in the field, storm chasers use cell phones with data connections to view the latest weather information. Depending on the area, there are certain storm chasing seasons where severe weather occurs more frequently.

Some storm chasers have even developed special vehicles that they believe can withstand the strength of a tornado. For example, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 (TIV2) weighs about 8 tons and has other special features that would make it hard — but not impossible! — for a tornado to lift it off the ground.

Once in the path of the storm, storm chasers place scientific equipment that they hope will be picked up by the tornado. Then they retreat as quickly as possible to a safe place. If the storm picks up the equipment, the scientists can use the data it records to better understand what happens inside these dangerous storms.

 Article Source: http://www.emergency-management-degree.org/faq/what-does-a-storm-chaser-do/ and https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-some-people-chase-storms

Asbestos

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

It’s hard to imagine another word that has caused more concern when uttered for such a long time. This word has caused more project delays and cost over runs than any other that comes to mind. We are still constantly bombarded with advertisements from personal injury lawyers, promising you monetary relief from a product that was for the most part banned from use in 1989. In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit the manufacture, importation, processing and distribution of asbestos-containing products. The ruling was overturned in 1993, however, allowing for certain asbestos-containing products to be manufactured in the United States. Over 20-years later we are still dealing with government regulations to handle asbestos. Because asbestos presents a significant risk to human health when released to air, asbestos is considered a hazardous air pollutant regulated under the EPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations.

Employees' Rights to Protection From Asbestos Exposure

If you work with or around significant amounts of asbestos as part of your job -- or if you're worried about exposure to asbestos in the workplace -- talk to your supervisor or union about any health risks and the steps that are being taken to minimize those risks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other workplace safety agencies are supposed to carefully regulate and monitor asbestos exposure on the job -- they even set permissible exposure limits for different kinds of industries. So chances are, if your job does involve exposure to significant levels of asbestos, your employer is legally required to take certain steps to protect you and your coworkers from any health risks involving asbestos.

Depending on the industry you work in and the specifics of your job, you may be legally entitled to receive -- and your employer may be legally obligated to provide -- the following kinds of on-the-job protections from asbestos exposure:

  • training of employees who will be working with and around asbestos
  • properly ventilated workspaces
  • monitoring of employees for asbestos exposure levels (including daily monitoring for workers involved in the removal of asbestos-containing materials)
  • warning signs and instructions in areas where asbestos-related work is performed
  • protective clothing like coveralls, gloves, foot coverings, face shields, and goggles
  • protective equipment like respirators
  • showers and other post-exposure precautions, and
  • medical examinations for certain workers who are exposed to high levels of asbestos.

In your home or your business it is important to test for asbestos. Your health is important

Article source: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/asbestos-workplace-33066.html and https://thelawsongroup.com/asbestos-your-business-how-it-impacts-renovations/

Workplace safety

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Workplace safety

In the past 50 years, there has been a steady increase in workplace safety awareness and a steady decrease in workplace fatalities and injuries. Since 1970, work-related fatalities have decreased more than 66 percent, and occupational injuries and illnesses have dropped 67 percent, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During that same period, the US workforce has nearly doubled.

But despite this evident progress, the rate of improvement has slowed in recent years. The one essential ingredient that can sustain the downward trend in workplace fatalities and injuries is complete commitment to safety in the workplace.

Safety is a Team Effort

Educate everyone in the workplace about the safety requirements and consider posting a list of workplace safety tips. A workplace safety training will help them reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace.

Always keep the communication lines open with your co-workers, employers, or employees in order to promote and maintain a safe environment.

Immediately notify others of any (new or old) hazards that you perceive.

Be alert to hazards that could affect anyone— not just yourself; in this respect, maintain a team mentality at all times.

Report a hazardous condition immediately to your manager or supervisor.

Be conscious as to what others are doing around you, and do your best to ensure you don’t pose a hazard to them (and vice versa).

Every workplace and job is different and that will vary on job safety protocols but one of the most important things is to talk to your employees, make sure they feel safe in there work environment. Here at SERVPRO we do daily training exercises along with equipment training to ensure that employees follow safety guidelines.

Article source: https://safety.grainger.com/people/building-commitment?gclid=CjwKCAiA693RBRAwEiwALCc3u9ZwUJK10wjtPgheA7TAxwKkAzX2cDLbs_rtBxdmuvfMGokvoLJB-xoC_nUQAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PPC-_-WZLG3006&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!{creative}!{matchtype}!{placement}!{network}!!safety%20in%20the%20workplace%20tips&ef_id=WjfIpQAAAIj5knFi:20171218220819:s and http://www.atlantictraining.com/safety-tips/workplace-safety-tips.php

Why businesses should go green

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Why businesses should go green

Has your business gone green? It seems to be the popular thing to do now. and here's why

Legal and tax advantages: Florida businesses are also eligible for a sales tax exemption for using solar energy systems, equipment, machinery, and other renewable energy technologies. The Solar Energy System Incentives Program allows Florida companies to take rebates, and the Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Grants Program provides grants for Florida companies using solar and renewable energy sources to run the business. Additionally, the IRS allows businesses that use company cars such as Hybrids to take an alternative motor vehicle credit on federal taxes.

Public response: Companies such as Walmart and target have incorporated green changes such as composing and recycling, changing transportation routes to save gas, reducing packaging, and stocking their shelves with greener products. As a result, these companies have seen customers respond positively to the changes, with green product sales alone jumping somewhere around 20 percent as of 2010.  

Improved workplace: Green cleaning supplies can help employees. Some companies have taken going green a step further, by converting leftover food waste from the cafeteria into methane to supply the building with energy.

Reduced waste: Reducing unnecessary waste can trim operating costs for the business. Refilling ink cartridges instead of throwing then away. Which also reduces the amount of plastic being thrown away. Offering hybrid vehicles to company employees can also save money for companies that refund employee mileage on fuel prices.  

Article source: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/businesses-should-green-766.html

Mold and your Business

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold and your business

Mold is a favored word among lawyers and a feared word among building owners, employers and landlords.

Lawsuits arising out of mold. Multi-million dollar verdicts are not unheard of. Mold, in the words of some, is becoming "the next asbestos."

Mold has even reached the attention of the U.S. Congress. Last year, Representative John Conyers of Detroit introduced a proposed bill, the "United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2002," intended to set standards for indoor mold levels and to provide for related research.

Due to increased public awareness,

almost mounting to hysteria, the number of legal claims is sure to mount. Workers who believe they are being exposed to mold may not want to work, their productivity may decline and they may file worker's compensation and disability claims

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices since the 1970s, which resulted in tightly sealed buildings with diminished ventilation, contributing to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under a building, or unvented combustion appliance. Delayed or insufficient maintenance may contribute to moisture problems in buildings. Improper maintenance and design of building heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, such as insufficient cooling capacity for an air conditioning system, can result in elevated humidity levels in a building.

Mold prevention tips include:

  • Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
  • Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.
  • Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
  • Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
  • Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 - 60%, if possible).
  • Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
  • Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.
  • Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.
  • Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.
  • Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

If you have Mold present call SERVPRO today. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened." 440-887-9000

Article source: http://www.ehstoday.com/mag/ehs_imp_36553 and https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html

How to protect your business from being robbed

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Robbery prevention tips

If you own a business, particularly one that deals in cash, there is a good chance that one day it may be robbed. If you are lucky, the robbery will occur after the business is closed and all of your employees have gone home. If not, you, your employees and possibly your customers could be faced with a very dangerous situation.

There are effective measures that business owners, managers, and employees can take that will protect the assets of the business and make it safer for employees.

  • Always have two or more employees open and close the business.
  • Install an effective alarm system that is monitored.
  • Use surveillance cameras behind the cash register and facing out to the front of the counter.
  • Also, install surveillance cameras in areas where a person could hide.
  • Keep the outside doors in backrooms locked when not in use.
  • Have lockers or locked desks so employees can lock up any personal valuables, purses, or medications.
  • Do not release personal information about employees to strangers and shred all past employee records when trashing it.
  • Keep a low cash balance in the cash registers.
  • Make regular bank deposits of excess money or lock it in a safe.
  • Vary the times and the routes used to go to the bank to make deposits.
  • Avoid sending one person to the bank with a deposit.
  • Avoid making deposits late at night.
  • Do not carry the deposit openly in a deposit bag.
  • Avoid hanging signs or putting displays on windows or around the sales counter that will obstruct the view of the register.
  • In areas that are blocked by shelving, walls or other obstructions, hang concave mirrors.
  • Do careful reference checks on employees that are hired.
  • Have policies in place concerning employees' friends or relatives hanging around the business.
  • Customers should be greeted when they enter the business and train employees to make eye contact and engage with the customers. An alert staff can quickly deter a would-be robber.
  • Train employees not to take risks, but to call the police if they see suspicious people inside or lurking outside of the business.
  • Keep your business well lit both inside and out and focus on areas where someone could hide.
  • Trim trees and bushes so that they do not become hiding places for robbers by blocking light.
  • Become friends with the local police officers. Encourage them to stop by your business.
  • If possible, use only one cash register at night. Leave the drawers on the other cash registers opened and tilt the money tray so that it will show that it is empty.
  • Do not tempt robbers by balancing the cash register by the cash desk. Take it to a back office to count it.
  • Train employees to be alert when handling money. It is easy to make a one dollar bill look like a twenty dollar bill to an employee that is not paying attention.
  • Do not completely cover the windows of the business by closing blinds are pulling curtains at closing time. Always leave them only partially closed.

Article source: https://www.thoughtco.com/robbery-prevention-tips-for-businesses-972958

Fire safety tips for your business

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire safety tips for your business

Remove Clutter That Could Potentially Fuel a Fire

Keep your working areas clear of paper, trash and anything else that could act as kindling for a potential fire. You should make your garbage cans easily accessible, and be sure to empty them regularly. Similarly, you should make a conscious effort to ensure that there are no obstacles blocking access to emergency exits. Overall, you should perform a close inspection of your workspaces with an eye toward removing anything that could create sparks or fuel a fire.

Pay Special Attention to Extension Cords and Frayed Wiring

Extension cords are a common fire hazard because they're not intended for permanent use. The extension must be properly rated for the intended use, or it can cause frayed and exposed wires, thereby creating a fire hazard. Many local fire codes require extension cords to have surge protectors in case electrical circuits get overloaded. These surge protectors will automatically shut the power off if the electricity shorts out. To be on the safe side, you should always try to plug items directly into wall outlets, rather than relying on extension cords. And if you do have to use extension cords, you should inspect your wiring at least once a month to identify and fix any frayed wiring.

Escape Routes and Meeting Places: Determine and mark the fastest and safest paths to safety. Post maps (with “you are here” marks) in breakrooms and near exits — which should be clearly indicated with signs. Put up reminders that elevators cannot be used during most emergencies. Check emergency lighting in stairwells and make sure they aren’t used as storage areas. Create a procedure for evacuating employees and patrons with special needs, especially if the escape route includes stairs. Select a meeting place far enough away from the building to allow full access to the property by firefighters and other emergency personnel.

Emergency Procedures: Make sure employees know that the safety officer is in charge during emergencies. Identify by name and title (whenever possible) the people responsible for contacting the fire department, accounting for employees at the meeting place and assisting emergency personnel with information on equipment or chemicals housed in the building. Keep an up-to-date list of emergency contact information. Outline who notifies the next of kin of injured parties, and designate one person to notify emergency responders of people still in the office or unaccounted for.

Most “business and mercantile” fires occurred when the premises were less populated. One-third of the fires (31 percent) occurred between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am, but created two-thirds (67 percent) of the direct property damage. Nineteen percent occurred on weekends and created 31 percent of the damage. A lot of fires also broke out between noon and 2:00 pm.

Twenty-nine percent of commercial blazes were caused by cooking equipment and resulted in 6 percent of the direct property damage; 22 percent began in the kitchen or cooking area, causing just one percent of direct damage.

Prevent

  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for maximum volt/wattage load for surge protectors, power strips and adapters, and ask your electrician to periodically inspect these items and outlets for potential overload
  • Replace frayed power cords; never run them under rugs or carpeting, use cord protectors instead
  • Unplug appliances (coffeemakers, microwaves) and other equipment not in use at the end of the day and over the weekend
  • Replace appliances that feel warm or hot to touch
  • Ask the fire marshal to inspect chemical and equipment storage areas periodically to ensure proper ventilation and stowage
  • Store hazardous materials according to manufacturers’ instructions and OSHA regulations. Clearly mark these items to help emergency personnel identify and stabilize them
  • Don’t prop fire doors open or block exits with furniture or boxes
  • Don’t allow paper and other trash to accumulate outside of garbage or recycling receptacles, and never store this material near hot equipment, electrical outlets or the smoking areas
  • Don’t permit employees to burn candles, scented oils, etc., even in their personal work areas
  • Following the four P’s is the best way to protect your business and your employees.

Article source: https://www.adp.com/thrive/articles/5-fire-safety-tips-to-protect-your-business-1-1218.aspx and https://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/tips-for-fire-prevention-and-preparedness-at-the-office.html

How to Prevent Dryer fires

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Dryer Fires

Every year, firefighters across the country respond to around 14,630 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association. An accumulation of lint causes one out of four fires, which means that not cleaning your dryer is more of a threat than a mechanical or electrical malfunction.

Some dryers have indicators designed to alert you when lint has built up and blocked the vent. Our clothes dryer tests have found that LG’s Flow Sense and Samsung’s Vent Sensor detect completely blocked vents, but aren’t as good as detecting partially blocked vents. The same is true for the check-vent feature on Whirlpool and Maytag dryers.

“Dryer fires are responsible for nine deaths, 420 civilian injuries, and $222 million in property damage annually,” says Marty Ahrens, a spokesperson for the NFPA

Given these numbers—and the fact that more dryer fires occur in the fall and winter—we asked CR’s experts for advice on reducing your risk of a dryer fire. Below, four simple steps for laundry-room safety.

Clean Your Lint Filter

Not once a month, or even once a week: “Remove lint from the dryer’s lint screen every time you use your dryer,” says Emilio Gonzalez, the test engineer who oversees CR’s laundry appliance lab. It doesn’t matter if you take this step before or after running a load, but remove any lint from the screen at some point during each use. “This helps prevent a fire, but it also helps your laundry dry faster,” Gonzalez says.

Replace Accordion-Style Ducts

Generally, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which homeowners or installers connect to the exterior vent with a duct. But not all ducts are created equal.

If you see a plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your appliance to the vent, it's a good idea to replace it.

“These are risky because they can sag, allowing lint to build up at low points,” says Gonzalez. “And the ridges on this style of duct can trap lint.” He recommends using a metal duct, whether it’s flexible or rigid, since it won’t sag, and lint is less likely to accumulate. Use the shortest length possible, and refer to the manual’s instructions.

Inspect Vent and Exhaust Duct Periodically

If you notice that your dryer takes longer to dry laundry than it used to, it’s a clue that there may be a blockage. Another clue: When you’re drying a load, head outside, and take a look at the dryer vent, if you have access to it. Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct may be blocked with lint.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends disconnecting the duct from the dryer, cleaning it out, and reconnecting the duct to the dryer and outside vent. While you’re at it, clean behind the dryer and underneath it—lint builds up there, too. In winter, be sure that snow isn’t covering the outdoor vent.

Take Care When Washing Stained Items

Clothes stained with flammable chemicals or substances, such as gas, cooking oil, cleaning agents, or paint thinners, need special care. The CPSC recommends washing the clothing more than once to minimize the volatile chemicals, then hanging to dry. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that concludes with a cool-down period.

In the event that a fire does start, keep the dryer door closed, warns Ahrens—a fire needs oxygen to keep it going.

Article source: https://www.consumerreports.org/clothes-dryer/how-to-prevent-dryer-fires/

Hurricanes

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricanes

The strongest winds in a hurricane are generally found in the right side of the hurricane’s eye wall, the area closest to the center.

Once a hurricane makes landfall, wind speed will begin to decrease, and within 12 hours will have slowed significantly. However, winds can remain at hurricane strength well inland.

Hurricanes can also spawn tornadoes, which can increase destruction. These tornadoes generally occur in the right front quadrant of the storm, and in thunderstorms embedded in the hurricane, but not immediately near the center.

Not all hurricanes produce tornadoes, while some develop multiple tornadoes. According to the National Hurricane Center, “studies have shown that more than half of the land-falling hurricanes produce at least one tornado.

How Are Hurricanes Named? One reason hurricanes are named is because more than one may exist at the same time. Names make it easier to keep track of and talk about storms.

A storm is given a name if it reaches tropical storm strength. That name stays with the storm if it goes on to become a hurricane.

Each year, tropical storms are named in alphabetical order as they occur. The names come from lists of names that are maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.

There are six lists of names. Each year starts with the next list. The same lists are reused every six years. Names of storms that are very deadly or costly are removed from the lists and replaced with new names.

What Are the Parts of a Hurricane?

  • Eye: The eye is the "hole" at the center of the storm. Winds are light and skies are only partly cloudy, sometimes even clear, in this area.
  • Eye wall: The eye wall is a ring of thunderstorms swirling around the eye. The wall is where winds are strongest and rain is heaviest.
  • Rain bands: Spiral bands of clouds, rain and thunderstorms extend out from a hurricane's eye wall. These bands stretch for hundreds of miles and sometimes contain tornadoes.

Preparing Your Home

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

Article source: http://hurricanesafety.org/storm-stats/wind-damage/ and https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-are-hurricanes-58.html and https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Guide to Mold Colors and What They Mean

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Guide to Mold Colors and What They Mean

Green, brown, yellow or black, mold has no place in your home

Mold works non-stop to keep the planet going by breaking down organic matter — but we still don’t want it in the house, and for awfully good reason. Whether it’s black, brown, green or pink, experts agree you should get rid of it. “Any visible mold should be removed, no matter what its color or species,” says Tiina Reponen, PhD, professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. “In a healthy building, you don’t have visible mold.”

Like most fungi, molds grow best in damp conditions — think bathrooms and basements. If the spores find a moist surface to land on, they grow.

Although “toxic mold” is a misnomer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency notes some molds do produce toxic substances called mycotoxins.

Here, a color guide to molds commonly found in the house.

Green

If you see green mold, it could be just about any type of unwelcome fungus. There are more than a hundred thousand types of mold — and thousands of species of green mold. So what does the color green tell you? Not much.

Olive-green, brown, grey or black

These are common molds in the Cladosporium genus. Outdoors, they lurk on plant leaves. Indoors, they're often found on walls and insulation and can grow on damp carpet, too.

Blue, green, or white

These molds, also common, belong to the Penicillium genus. You’re right if you think that a type of this mold was used to make penicillin many years ago. It’s usually found on food and walls.

Yellow, green or black

These may be Aspergillus molds. People breathe in these molds every day.

Black or grey

These could be Alternaria, which is most common as an outdoor mold, growing around damp, dusty areas, soil and plants. But it has made its way indoors. In one study, Alternaria was found in more than 90 percent of house dust samples.

Pink

The pink “mold” often seen in the bathroom in the form of a slimy, pinkish discoloration on sinks and tubs is actually bacteria, not mold. Specifically, it's Serratia marcescens. It thrives on soap and shampoo residues.

Greenish-black

This mold, of the Stachbotrys genus, is the infamous “black mold”. It's less common than the molds described above — and possibly less dangerous than news reports would have you believe. It prefers to live on high-cellulose, low-nitrogen surfaces, which include drywall, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint that is regularly exposed to moisture. The CDC notes, "Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth."

Article source: http://www.safebee.com/home/guide-to-mold-colors-what-they-mean

Storm anxiety with pets

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm anxiety with pets

Clinical Signs Vary Based on Animal

While clinical signs vary, the most common reported include panting, pacing, hiding, drooling and following people through the home.2 Some animals, perhaps more severely affected, may be destructive to items in their environment. Although there have been several studies on dogs in storms, far less information is available on cats. In one study on firework anxiety, dogs exhibited more overt signs like pacing and panting, while cats hid and cowered.3 This difference is likely to occur during storms as well. While it is difficult to miss a 90-pound Labrador jumping on your bed during a storm at 2 a.m., it is easy to miss a hiding cat. This does not mean cats are any less afraid than their canine counterparts. Instead, owners have to be more vigilant for subtle signs of anxiety because cats are equally in need of treatment.

What about scolding or punishing my dog?

Do not punish your dog when he is scared, it only confirms to him that there is something to fear and will make him worse. In addition, if you are upset or anxious about your pet's behavior, this will also make your dog more anxious.

Can I do anything to reduce the impact of the noise and flashes from the fireworks or storms?

Treatment should focus first on reducing anxiety and providing an appropriate environment during storms. Once that is accomplished, the behavior can be modified through training. Behavior modification helps change the way the pet feels when it experiences the storms. However, without reducing anxiety, most pets have a difficult time learning how to be calm during storms. There are several different avenues to pursue for decreasing anxiety, including behavior training, creating safe spaces, pheromones, pressure wraps and supplements.

At the approach of thunderstorm season, try to ensure that your dog has access to a well-curtained or blacked-out room when the storm begins. Blacking out the room removes the additional problems of flashing lights, flares etc.

Provide plenty of familiar toys and games that might help to distract the pet.

Try to arrange company for your dog rather than leaving him alone in the room.

Close all the windows and doors so the sound is muffled as much as possible. Try taking your pet to a room or area of the house where the stimuli will be at their mildest and the dog can be most easily distracted. Sometimes placing nested cardboard boxes or a blanket over the cage can greatly mute the sound. Be certain however that there is enough air circulation so that the pet does not overheat.

"Ignore the noises yourself and try to involve your pet in some form of active game."

Provide background noise from the radio or television. Rap or similar music with a lot of constant drum beats does help. The volume does not have to be loud as long as the music has a strong beat that acts as a distraction and prevents him from concentrating on the noises outside. Other background noises such as a fan running or even "white" noise devices can help to block outdoor noises.

Article source: https://www.texvetpets.org/article/storm-anxiety/and https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/helping-dogs-with-severe-phobias-during-storms-and-fireworks

The Dangers of Fireworks

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

The Dangers of Fireworks

Fires   Fires are a huge risk when it comes to big festivities like Christmas, Bonfire Night and New Year. They take seconds to occur, yet they can leave a permanent mark on properties and individuals affected.   When it comes to fireworks, the biggest cause of fires is inadequate space. If you don’t have enough space to set off fireworks safely, you risk it hitting a tree or surrounding property. This will increase the risk of fire, especially if the firework hasn’t cooled down or is still lit.   These risks are not the only problems caused by fireworks, but they are the most common. To avoid them, it is best to prioritize safety and find a wide, open space for your fireworks display. If the worst happens though, you should enlist the help of a professional fire restoration service. At SERVPRO we specialize in Water Mitigation, Mold Remediation, and Fire Restoration.

Animals can also cause harm during fireworks

When frightened by fireworks, horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves and others by running away, potentially causing accidents and damage to property.

Fun but dangerous

Even if you have the right home insurance coverage, setting off fireworks on your property entails explosive risks. Fireworks are designed to shoot hot sparks in every direction and can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Fire Protection Association NFPA).

More fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day, according to NFPA, and more than half of these fires are caused by Americans shooting off rockets in their backyards. In 2008, fireworks caused about 22,500 fires and $42 million in property damage.

In addition to putting your home and your neighbors' homes) in danger, fireworks can cause serious injuries. In 2008, hospital emergency rooms treated about 7,000 fireworks-related injuries, according to NFPA. About 40 percent of these injuries happened to children younger than age 15. Hands, fingers and eyes were the most injured body parts -- and sparklers and small firecrackers were the most common culprits.

Things that can go wrong:

Fireworks tipping over

Shots going off at ground level

Part filled fireworks

Fall out over the audience

Cross ignition

A fuse lights but nothing happens

Article source: http://www.relkogroup.com/fireworks-what-are-the-risks/ and https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/explosives-fireworks/fireworks/effects-of-fireworks and https://www.netquote.com/home-insurance/fourth-of-july-firework-safety

How Long Does it Take Mold to Grow?

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

How Long Does it Take Mold to Grow?

Interesting question. As a technician who has performed many water damage mitigations and mold remediations, the answer to this question has always been elusive.

When performing water damage mitigation work on some projects that had been wet for two or three days when we arrived, there was minimal indication of microbial growth.

If there were any indications, it was usually that “musty” odor, which we know are microbiological volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). We normally associate these odors with mold growth.

But, with no visible signs of mold growth, was mold contamination an issue? Or could the problem have been something other than mold?

On other jobs, upon arrival it was immediately apparent that the building had more issues than just being flooded. In these instances, we observed visible growth, assumed it was mold and determined that the site would have to be properly remediated.

From the 2002 New York City Guidelines of Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments, the inference was that mold would begin to grow in 24 to 48 hours. That statement was removed in the 2008 version. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its publication, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, references the time line of 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth and states that “even if materials are dried within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred.”

While both publications do not specifically state that mold begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours, this is the generally accepted time frame used by water damage responders to determine when mold begins to grow.

So we have the inference from the guidance documents that mold can begin to grow in 24 to 48 hours. We also have personal conflicting evidence: On some losses mold seems to grow, and on other losses mold does not seem to grow.

Article source: http://www.cleanfax.com/restoration/how-long-does-it-take-mold-to-grow/

What is mold?

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

What is mold?

Molds are various types of fungi (singular = fungus) that grow in filaments and reproduce by forming spores that can travel through the air. The term mildew is sometimes used to refer to some kinds of mold, particularly mold in the home with a white or grayish color or mold growing in shower stalls and bathrooms. Mold may grow indoors or outdoors and thrives in damp, warm, and humid environments. Mold can be found in essentially any environment or season.

The most common types of household mold that are found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and sometimes referred to as "black mold") is a greenish-black mold that can also be found indoors, although it is less common than the other types of mold found in homes. Stachybotrys grows on household surfaces that have high cellulose content, such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. There are types of mold that can grow on substances as different as foods and carpet.

Molds reproduce by forming tiny spores that are not visible to the naked eye. Mold spores are very hardy and can survive under conditions in which mold cannot grow, such as in dry and harsh environments. These spores travel through outdoor and indoor air. When the mold spores in the air land on a surface where moisture is present, mold can then start to grow.

Outdoors, molds play a role in the decomposition of organic material such as dead trees, compost, and leaves. They are most common in damp, dark areas or areas of decomposing plant life. Indoors, mold is often found in basements or shower stalls. Indoor mold in residential areas has the potential to cause health problems and can destroy surfaces and objects where it grows.

Article Source: https://www.medicinenet.com/mold_exposure/article.htm

What to do if your roof is leaking

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

What to do if your roof is leaking

With winter coming upon us and snow sitting our roofs, there’s a chance for some possible roof leaks. A leaky roof can certainly cause a rain on any homeowner’s parade. Rainy weather or snow is often when roof leaks get discovered. That's when it's too late for anything but a repair. No time to contemplate, no time to plan with the rain causing interior damage right now, just get to the phone and get a roofer there as soon as possible. But what can you do to temporarily stop the leaks from causing more damage until help arrives?

First Things First - Deal with inside the house to minimize interior damage

In most cases, a leak will slowly pool at the ceiling until it finds an escape route -- usually a penetration point like at a light fixture or heat register. After several hours, the leak will start to find multiple escape routes, making the leak look much worse than it actually is. To minimize your ceiling damage, find the wettest spot or a bulge in the ceiling and poke a small hole in the middle. Use a bucket to collect the draining water. 

Second Step – Locate the point of entry Start with the inside, such as an attic. It will prove to be quite difficult to stop a leaky roof in the rain. Try to locate the leak but keep in mind that the leak in the ceiling and the leak in the roof may not align. If your roof covering is over a layer of plywood, then you should keep in mind that water will generally travel from the leak in the roofing material to the nearest joint in the plywood, depending on how the roof slopes.

Third Step – Maintain the situation until help arrives Once you locate the point of entry from the inside, there are a couple of options for temporary repair such as roofing cement, roofing tape or a tarp. Available for purchase at any home improvement store, roofing cement or tape can be applied to the inside of the roof decking inside your attic, as well as to the outside of the roof. If you feel confident enough scale your rooftop, tarping is a quick and easy option to control any further leaking until your roofing contractor arrives. When using a tarp to cover your roof, a good rule of thumb is to cut the tarp so that it adequately covers the damaged area. Leave at least an extra four feet of tarp on each end to cover the roof damage. Secure the tarp with 2 x 4 boards. You can staple or nail the tarp to the boards, but be sure to use nails that are not so long that they will go through your roof.

These steps will help you prevent further damage to your home until a professional can arrive. Keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor you want to have a reputable company, someone who is going to stand behind their work. Your roof will last a long time so you don’t want someone working on it who is not a local, reliable company.

Article source: http://blog.redriverroofing.com/what-to-do-with-your-leaky-roof-until-help-arrives

Why cold weather makes your water pipes burst

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Why Cold Weather Makes Your Water Pipes Burst

The cold weather is quickly approaching

Why Do Pipes Burst the Way They Do?

Why do water pipes burst, and why do they always fail the same way? These are two interesting questions.

Water pipes burst because the water inside them expands is it gets close to freezing, and this causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain, it ruptures.

We grew up with water all around us and so this expansion phenomenon seems natural, but interestingly, it is a chemical anomaly. Most liquids do not expand just before transitioning to solid. You should be thankful for this; it is one of the reasons that life exists.

When a liquid cools the molecules slow down (temperature really is just a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules). This slowing down allows the molecules to get closer together and increases the density of the liquid. This happens with water too, and when water is cooled down, it gets denser and denser, down to 3.98°C then, something interesting occurs; it starts to expand again.

Because of the shape of a water molecule, it is slightly polarized. The electrons buzzing around it are more likely to be on one side of the molecule than the other (called a dipole), and this asymmetry creates a slight potential. Water molecules are attracted to each others' opposite sides. These potentials create weak bonds that are called Hydrogen Bonds. Hydrogen bonds, whilst not as strong as covalent bonds or ionic bonds, are stronger that van der Vaals forces.

Water is a liquid at everyday temperatures and pressures (another one of the reasons life exists). Other chemical compounds similar to H2O, but without the benefit of Hydrogen bonds, are all gases in typical Earth temperature ranges.

The Hydrogen-bonds in water are also the reason why water has such a high specific heat capacity (the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of water one degree); this helps dampen our weather and stops the Earth changing in temperature too rapidly. It also means that water is great for carrying energy around (like in power stations and hydronic central heating systems). It's also why it takes a lot of energy to boil a kettle to make a nice cup of tea!

As water cools, like other liquids, the molecules slow down and get denser. A competing force, however, is the desire for the water molecules to align with other water molecules based on their Hydrogen bonds, and this causes expansion. Below the temperature of 3.98°C down to 0°C, this alignment expansion process wins out against the desire of slower molecules to get closer, and density decreases.

Whilst not completely understood, it is this expansion that causes beautiful snowflakes to form with their characteristic six points.

This decrease in density continues until the water finally freezes to form ice. Water expands to form ice which has a volume up to 9% greater than the water it came from. It is this reason that icebergs float (being less dense than the water they displace).

Again, it seems natural to us that ice floats, because we grew up this all effect all around us, but this is atypical.

Most other liquids, when freezing, do not form a solid 'crust' on top. As they cool, the solid formed, being denser, drops to the bottom of the cooling liquid and the solid grows up from the bottom!

This irregular behavior of water is yet another reason that life exists. When water freezes, it floats to the top, forming a skin which insulates the water below. When a river or lake freezes on top, life continues below in the liquid left underneath.

In other words, insulate your pipes this winter!

This post was originally published on Data Genetics, a site created by Nick Berry was educated as a rocket scientist and aircraft designer, graduating with a Masters Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and currenty works as a Data Scientist at Facebook. You can follow DataGenetics on Twitter here or on Facebook page here.

Article source: https://gizmodo.com/why-cold-weather-makes-your-water-pipes-burst-1480690222

Preventing root intrusion into pipes

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Preventing root intrusion into pipes

How to prevent sewer line problems before they start?

Know where your sewer line is before you plant! Contact a marking service that can locate and mark the location of your yard if you don’t know where it is.

Do not plant on top of or too close to the pipe. It could cause potential harm to the pipe in the future

Right plant, right place!

Ensure a tree has enough room for the root system to grow without coming in contact with pipes. Figure this out BEFORE planting any new trees.

Keep in mind, a young tree may be small at first and pose no threat to pipes, but may do so in the future.

Tree selection and placement

It is possible for any species of tree to cause damage to pipes, but some trees have certain physiological characteristics that make them more likely to intrude into sewer lines. Trees that grow quickly above ground also do so below ground.

If you must plant near a pipe, select a tree that is not known to be an aggressive or fast grower.

In general, trees should not be planted near sewer lines, but some trees have shown to have comparatively less reports of damage to pipes.

Many fruit trees including cherry, plum, and peach

Some evergreens including cypress

Diagnosis if tree root intrusion

If your home repeatedly experiences plumping stoppages, you may have roots impeding your sewer line.

If the land surrounding your home is heavily wooded, or large trees are present and are close to the sewer line, a root intrusion is possible.

Many plumbing companies can verify a root intrusion by inserting a video camera into the sewer line to view the blockage.

Controlling tree root intrusion

The best way to control tree root intrusion is to completely remove the entire sewer line, but other options are available such as:

Chemical herbicides, Mechanical root removal from pipes, sewer line repairs or installation of liner inserts. Many chemical herbicides can be routinely used to kill roots that may be growing inside pipes. This is typically a temporary solution, and will not eradicate the problem completely.

If a root intrusion has become too serve for herbicides, plumbers resort to “snaking” the line. A flexible metal auger is inserted into the pipe to mechanically remove the built-up roots. This is a temporary solution as roots will grow back and will need repeated removal. The only permanent method to solve a tree root intrusion is to completely remove the damaged pipe. If the problem is very server, complete removal of the tree may also be necessary, as the excavation of the pipe and removal of roots may have deadly consequences on the tree in the near future. If tree removal is necessary, plant a new tree farther away from the pipe that is known to be less invasive

Article source: https://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/videos_posters/breeze/tree_roots_and_sewer_lines.pdf

What to do if your roof is leaking

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

What to do if your roof is leaking

With winter coming upon us and snow sitting our roofs, there’s a chance for some possible roof leaks. A leaky roof can certainly cause a rain on any homeowner’s parade. Rainy weather or snow is often when roof leaks get discovered. That's when it's too late for anything but a repair. No time to contemplate, no time to plan with the rain causing interior damage right now, just get to the phone and get a roofer there as soon as possible. But what can you do to temporarily stop the leaks from causing more damage until help arrives?

First Things First - Deal with inside the house to minimize interior damage

In most cases, a leak will slowly pool at the ceiling until it finds an escape route -- usually a penetration point like at a light fixture or heat register. After several hours, the leak will start to find multiple escape routes, making the leak look much worse than it actually is. To minimize your ceiling damage, find the wettest spot or a bulge in the ceiling and poke a small hole in the middle. Use a bucket to collect the draining water. 

Second Step – Locate the point of entry Start with the inside, such as an attic. It will prove to be quite difficult to stop a leaky roof in the rain. Try to locate the leak but keep in mind that the leak in the ceiling and the leak in the roof may not align. If your roof covering is over a layer of plywood, then you should keep in mind that water will generally travel from the leak in the roofing material to the nearest joint in the plywood, depending on how the roof slopes.

Third Step – Maintain the situation until help arrives Once you locate the point of entry from the inside, there are a couple of options for temporary repair such as roofing cement, roofing tape or a tarp. Available for purchase at any home improvement store, roofing cement or tape can be applied to the inside of the roof decking inside your attic, as well as to the outside of the roof. If you feel confident enough scale your rooftop, tarping is a quick and easy option to control any further leaking until your roofing contractor arrives. When using a tarp to cover your roof, a good rule of thumb is to cut the tarp so that it adequately covers the damaged area. Leave at least an extra four feet of tarp on each end to cover the roof damage. Secure the tarp with 2 x 4 boards. You can staple or nail the tarp to the boards, but be sure to use nails that are not so long that they will go through your roof.

These steps will help you prevent further damage to your home until a professional can arrive. Keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor you want to have a reputable company, someone who is going to stand behind their work. Your roof will last a long time so you don’t want someone working on it who is not a local, reliable company.

Article source: http://blog.redriverroofing.com/what-to-do-with-your-leaky-roof-until-help-arrives

Toasters can be fire hazards

11/27/2017 (Permalink)

Toasters can be fire hazards

Under the right circumstances, just about any electric appliance can be a fire hazard. Lately, electric toasters are falling into that category.

Joni, of Cleveland, Ohio, suffered a house fire about a year ago. Once repairs had been made she received a Black & Decker toaster as a house-warming gift.

“Put a pita bread in it yesterday and set the timer for 10 minutes,” Joni wrote in a Consumer Affairs post. “Went to the bathroom and when I came out the thing was on fire. From all these posts, I don't think this is an isolated incident.”

An anonymous consumer from Edgewater, Md., posting under the name “Visitor,” reports having the problem more than once.

“My husband and I had one several years ago,” she writes. “It caught on fire, so we complained and took the free replacement. That one caught on fire and we took another free replacement. That one I left in the basement for a long time before being brave enough to try again. Guess what? That one caught on fire also. These were different models and each had the same problem. I give up. These are dangerous and need to be recalled.”

Black & Decker toasters aren't the only ones triggering complaints about fire hazards. Stacie, of Vancouver, British Columbia, reports purchasing a Kenmore toaster about a year ago.

Blew up

“Today I went to make some toast, and without any notice, it literally blew up, sparks flying and caught fire in my kitchen,” Stacie posted at Cosmographers. “I literally had to unplug it at the chance of getting injured, and while it was on fire run it out to my balcony and run back inside to get pitchers of water to put the flames out. I am very upset.”

December 2011 Hamilton Beach recalled about 14,000 chrome two-slice toasters because of a potential fire hazard. Safety experts found that when the appliances are plugged into an electrical outlet, the heating element can be energized although the toaster lifter is in the up or off position, which can pose a fire hazard if the toaster is near flammable items. The company said it had received five reports of the toasters causing fires.

Toasters have been around nearly as long as electricity. The first electric toaster was developed in Scotland in 1893. Before that people used metal frames to hold bread in place over a heat source, usually an open fire. Electric toasters replaced fire with heat generated by electric current. Westinghouse developed the first two-sided toaster in 1913.

By their nature, toasters can cause fires because of the heat they produce. They are, after all, designed to generate enough heat from electricity to brown pieces of bread placed in the slots. If the electric elements that generate the heat do not turn off on schedule, they can burn the bread.

Problem with crumbs

At the same time, toasted bread is fragile and tends to generate crumbs that often fall to the bottom of the toaster. If these crumbs are allowed to accumulate, they can easily catch fire during normal toaster operation. Most toasters have removable trays for easy cleaning. Consumers should make sure they clean their toasters on a regular basis.

While crumbs might explain some toaster fires, consumers insist others are related to mechanical faults. Several consumers posting at Consumer Affairs have mentioned that their toaster's timer did not shut off when it was supposed to.

“I was making a piece of toast and I smelled burning,” writes Joya, of Brooklyn, N.Y. “It wasn't toast burn I smelled though, it was the toaster burning. The toast setting had gone to the end of the cycle and didn't turn off. I had to unplug it to get it to shut off. I'm confident that if I hadn't gotten to it in time it would have caught fire.”

What to do

Just to be safe, consumers should probably unplug their toasters when not in use. When using them, it's also a good idea to monitor them and not walk out of the room.

Regular cleaning will also reduce the risk of a fire during normal use. In case of a fire, do not use water to try and put it out. Use a kitchen fire extinguisher or smother the blaze with a heavy towel or blanket.

You don't have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? You should.

The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house when it comes to fires, and it's not only objects that can burn. People often set their clothes on fire while cooking -- a life-threatening emergency that requires instant action.

Having a fire extinguisher mounted on the wall or someplace else in plain view is the best hope of meeting such an emergency effectively. Don't put the fire extinguisher in a cabinet or cupboard. It needs to be someplace you can see it and grab it immediately. 

Article s ource: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/toasters-can-be-fire-hazards-042313.html

How to identify common types of mold in your household

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

How to identify common types of mold in your household

Mold is an unwanted fungus. Untreated mold is a common problem in the average household. Do you know what type of mold you’re looking at?

Why bother with a Professional Remediation Company?

You may be able to clean up certain kinds of mold in small quantities, but most people are not equipped to perform a proper mold remediation no matter what the size. Simply wiping down the evidence is not good enough. Mold removal can involve setting up containment barriers, use of commercial size air filtration devices, wearing proper personal protective equipment, vacuums, and specialized cleaning agents. So give the SERVPRO team a call today at 440-887-9000. SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration or residential and commercial properties.

Alternaria

Alternaria grows in damp spaces, like showers and under sinks with leaky pipes. It sometimes grows in carpets that have been damp for a while, too. However, it can grow in areas with only minimal moisture. It can be found outdoors as well as indoors and spreads easily.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium grows on both wooden surfaces and fabrics, like carpeting. It can also be found outdoors, where it mainly grows on plant material. It typically enters the house through HVAC systems or simply through open windows or doorways.

Penicillium

Penicillium is frequently found in things like insulation, carpeting, wallpaper and rotting fabrics (things like old mattresses, couch cushions, etc.). It’s known to spread rapidly and easily from one place to another. It’s one of the most common of all the different types of mold, and is actually the substance from which the antibiotic penicillin is made.

Stachybotrys chartarum

Stachybotrys chartarum, sometimes referred to as “black mold” due to its slimy black appearance, typically grows in places with continuous moisture, like around a leaky pipe or in air conditioning ducts where there is a great deal of condensation. It can spread to other areas, though. Laboratory tests can determine which mold type you have in your house, but it may not really matter. Any type of mold that’s obvious to you needs to be removed. You may be able to remove small amounts of mold yourself, but we suggest you have a mold removal specialist assess the situation for you.

Article source: http://smkazoo.com/2017/04/28/how-to-identify-5-common-types-of-mold-in-your-household/ and https://www.black-mold-guide.com/types-of-mold.html

You can control mold. Mold prevention tips

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

You Can Control Mold

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

Controlling humidity levels;

Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;

Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;

Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

MOLD PREVENTION TIPS

Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.

Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.

Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.

Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.

Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.

Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.

Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.

Article source: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

How to prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire. Safety Tips

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

How to prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire. Safety Tips

It's hard to beat the speed of deep-frying a turkey-or the irresistible flavor and juiciness that result. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advise against using them.

If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  10. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  11. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  12. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  13. Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  14. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  15. Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

Article source: https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/residence/15-turkey-fryer-safety-tips

How to Prevent Sump Pump Overflow in the Basement

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Sump Pump Overflow in the Basement

We are now entering the time of year with the heaviest rainfall and many homeowners are concerned that their basements will flood.  Installing a sump pump in your basement is a great way to prevent floods during heavy rains, but there are a number of ways the sump pump can fail and eventually overflow.  The following are common problems that can cause sump pumps to overflow and the best solutions for solving these problems.  Keep in mind that you should unplug the sump pump from its power source before attempting to correct any of these problems.

The following tips will help prevent sump pump overflow in your basement:

  1. Debris in the Basin: Sometimes debris such as children’s toys and other household objects may fall into the basin and interrupt the float mechanism which can cause it to malfunction.  The float mechanism can also fail naturally over time.  To test this mechanism, fill up the basin with water to make sure the sump pump starts like it should.
  2. Check Valve: The check valve prevents water from going back into the sump pump in the event of a failure.  Make sure to check this valve because it is not always installed properly; the arrow should be pointing away from the sump pump.
  3. Weep Hole: Sometimes sump pumps may have a weep hole between the pump and the check valve.  You can clean the weep hole with a tiny object such as a toothpick, just be careful not to break anything off in the hole.
  4. Clean the Impeller: The impeller is a small filter that may become clogged and when this happens it can cause the sump pump to suddenly stop running or make a whining noise.  Cleaning or replacing the impeller can get the sump pump to function properly again.
  5. Back Up Power Source: Sump pumps are only useful when plugged into a power source and if the power goes out during a thunderstorm, the sump pump will stop working.  Installing a backup power source for the sump pump is the best way to prevent this from happening in the middle of a thunderstorm when the sump pump is needed the most.

As the season of heavy rains arrives, make sure to check your sump pump for these potential problems so that you are prepared when it rains.  If your home does experience some flooding due to heavy rain fall or a sump pump failure, make sure to call the professionals SERVPRO today to help limit the damages.

Article source: http://restorationmasterfinder.com/restoration/how-to-prevent-sump-pump-overflow/

Free Family Summer Activities

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Because if Anyone Needs a Time Out, it’s Your Wallet

Listen, we’ve been there. Family vacations can be an exercise in personal sanity for many parents. There’s the mini-van that took hours to pack, the endless Elmo videos playing on the DVD player, the fear of the impending temper tantrum and the desire to just have a vacation everyone will love.

But the need to spend an arm and a leg shouldn’t be on that list.

Thankfully, a visit to Cleveland ensures that you’ll get a fun (for kids AND parents) vacation that won’t require you to refinance your home. The city offers a series of free – yes we said “FREE” – family-friendly summertime events, attractions and activities that strike the perfect balance of cool and no-cost experiences.

Browns Training Camp
So, who is this Johnny Manziel anyway? And, why is my kid so obsessed with seeing him play? Head on over to the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio to watch Cleveland’s NFL team prep for the season. Watch the team gear up for the season on the outdoor training field at no cost.

Observatory Park
The Observatory Park, located in Geauga County, just 45 miles southeast of Cleveland, is a certified Dark Sky Park (it’s only one of nine in the entire world). This 1,100-acre park inhibits light pollution to create an unbelievably starry sky. This means that kids and adults can learn about how galaxies and the natural world connect in a completely one-of-a-kind outdoor setting. Observatory Park has a variety of fascinating educational programming, an on-site planetarium, outdoor exhibits and telescopes.

University Circle

Parade the Circle
Don’t be alarmed when elaborate puppets standing two-stories high cross paths with a steel drum band being mobilized by only human feet. You’re at Parade the Circle, an uncanny mix of art and music coming alive right before your eyes. This completely family-friendly parade is void of anything you’d expect with a typical parade, but filled with a fantastic array of whimsy and one-of-a-kind art.

Rockefeller Greenhouse
An afternoon walk through the Rockefeller Greenhouse offers the right escape from the rigamarole of the typical vacation sights and sounds. The greenhouse features a wide variety of exotic gardens, flowers and other plants indigenous to Cleveland.

Museums

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland – Learning Center & Money Museum
Ever wondered how we bought things before money existed? And, who makes our money anyway? All these answer and more answered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Learning Center and Money Museum. Kids can get a look at the Money Tree where they can track counterfeit money and follow the history of money through the ages.

Cleveland Police Museum
Got a kid who loves to play cops and robbers? Delve into the history of Cleveland law enforcement at the Cleveland Police Museum—free of charge. See confiscated firearms, uniforms, artifacts and more from Cleveland’s past including things from the legendary crime fighter, Eliot Ness.

International Women’s Air and Space Museum
The International Women’s Air and Space Museum at Burke Lakefront Airport documents women’s past and present accomplishments and contributions to the fields of aviation and space. A collection of memorabilia and historical artifacts preserve the memory of women aviation pioneers.

Exploring History – Outdoors

Take a Hike Tours
Ever wanted to meet John D. Rockefeller? Well, here’s your chance. Take a Hike Tours are unique walking tours of downtown Cleveland that come “alive” with costumed characters from Cleveland’s past. Enjoy the beautiful Cleveland summer, walk off some of those vacation calories and get schooled on the history of this destination.

Stearns Homestead
Turn off the electronics and start learning about life before YouTube. Get up-close with farm animals and learn about agricultural life from the early 1900s. Stearns Homestead is a working farm complete with animals, museums, gardens and a display of historical farm and household items.

Lake View Cemetery
Taking your family to a cemetery may not initially seem like a great idea. But Lake View Cemetery is different. This incredible place is filled with sculpture, architecture and tributes to those who made great contributions to the area’s industrial and civic development. Lake View Cemetery counts J.D. Rockefeller and African American inventor Garrett Morgan among its famous residents. And here’s a tip: on a clear day stand atop the memorial for President James A. Garfield for a fantastic view of the city. While there, be sure to take a tour of Wade Oval Chapel and the Garfield Monument (where you can take the stairwell down to the basement to see Garfield’s tomb).

Amish Country?
Perhaps what our children need is an understanding of life without technology. Enter: Amish Country. Geauga County, located just a 40-minute drive from downtown Cleveland, offers families the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in this unique culture. Think: horse-drawn buggies, homemade pies, handmade goods and exceptional craftsmanship.

Music

Lakewood Front Porch Series?
Do the kids need to burn off some of that post-dinner energy? Head on over to the urban neighborhood of Lakewood to enjoy music on the front steps of the Lakewood Public Library. Entertainers range from jazz and indie music to early 60s Americana and folk music.

Blossom Music Festival
Each summer, the internationally renowned Cleveland Orchestra takes its talents south – to the Akron area that is. The orchestra performs outdoor summer concerts at Blossom Music Center, situated in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. While there’s a small admission fee for adults, kids under 18 years old are admitted free for lawn access. Pack the picnic basket, grab a blanket and enjoy a really cool repertoire of family-friendly music (The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Sci-Fi, The Beatles).

Wade Oval Wednesdays
Every Wednesday this summer, enjoy live music in the heart of University Circle. Reggae, jazz, rock – Wade Oval Wednesdays (WOW) has it all. Bring a picnic basket or relax in the beer and wine garden with a great view of the stage. Great for little ones who need to let loose.

Convene With Nature

Many new visitors to Cleveland are often amazed by the impressive amount of natural greenspace the region has to offer. Take advantage! The Cleveland area has a number of nature centers that are FREE and perfect for kids. Why not learn a thing or two on summer vacation?

Cleveland Area Beaches?

While surfing in Ohio might sound crazy, the truth is that Cleveland offers a variety of accessible (and FREE) beaches along its Lake Erie coast with swimming, sailing, surfing and some of the best walleye, perch and bass fishing in the world. Check out some of these notable beaches:

 

blog credit: http://www.thisiscleveland.com/articles/view/free-family-summer-activities/742/

photo credit: http://www.redskeltonmuseum.org/sites/redskeltonmuseum.org/files/styles/top_image/public/parade%20pic_0.jpg?itok=OYuU8nCi

Winter Weather Damage

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

Winter and the snow and cold that it brings can do some serious damage to a home’s exterior.


There are several very common problems usually brought on by the winter months, including damage done to roofs, foundations and pipes.




 



Insurance agents can share this list with their clients to help them check their homes for damage and give them an idea of what the costs will be to remedy these common problems after winter:


 


1. The roof


Ice dams and winter storms can do a lot of damage to your roof.


An ice dam occurs when snow on the roof melts, runs to the edge and refreezes there, forcing water back up under the roof where it can cause leaks and shingles deterioration.


At the same time, high winds, hail and winter storms can tear off shingles or drive moisture beneath them, causing further damage.


If you’ve found leaks in your roof, you’ll need to repair them to help prevent a complete roof replacement.


Cost


The average cost to repair roof leaks on a 10 foot by 10 foot area of asphalt shingles is around $650.


The total costs range from $500 for simply replacing the shingles to $1,750 to repair and apply a sealant.


The costs to repair a tile roof are around $,1500 for damaged steel tiles.


The total costs for this type of repair range from $450 for repairing metal flashing to $8,000 if the underlayment needs replacing.


Money-saving tips



  • Minimize the damage to the roof by tacking a tarp over the damaged area until it can get repaired.

  • Remove ice dams as soon as possible to prevent water from backing up beneath the shingles and causing more damage.

  • Remove the snow on the roof as soon as possible to prevent new ice dams from forming and causing future problems.

  • Look into getting better attic insulation, as this will help to prevent ice dams in the future as well.


 


2. Gutters


Ice dams can do damage not only to your roof, but to gutters as well.


That’s because the heavy ice building up on the edge can pull gutters away from the roofline.


At the same time, water freezing inside the gutters and downspouts themselves can lead to separations in some areas, which means that they’ll need to be replaced.


 


Cost


The costs of gutter repair range from new downspouts to a complete gutter replacement.


The average cost of installing new downspouts is $160, with a total range of $4 for a do-it-yourself job to $160 for a medium-size house.


The average cost of installing new gutter guards to help prevent damage is $200 for do-it-yourself on 200 feet, with a range up to $3,600 for 200 feet of luxury product installed.


The average cost of replacing your gutters is between $1,050 and $2,400 for 200 feet, with total costs ranging from $625 for a do-it-yourself job to $2,400 for professional installation. Money-saving tips



  • You can help lower costs by cleaning the gutters before winter begins and removing ice dams in a timely way.

  • PVC gutters and downspouts cost less than aluminum or copper, but you should choose what best fits your house’s aesthetic.

  • Heating elements are available that can help melt ice in your gutters all winter long; you may want to invest in these while having repairs done to help prevent problems.

  • Gutter screens are the easiest thing to install do-it-yourself, which can save installation costs in the future as well.


 


3. House exterior


Cold, snow and hailstones can also take a toll on the outside of a house.



 


This can result in peeling paint, which if left long enough, could mean that your siding can become susceptible to moisture infiltrating it, which in turn can lead to wood rot and future repairs.


Repainting your exterior in the spring can help prevent these problems.


Cost


The average cost to paint a home’s exterior is between $2,500 to $3,000 for a 1,500-square-foot home.


The total costs range from $500 for a do-it-yourself paint job to $4,000 for homes that have a lot of trim and woodwork to paint.


Money-saving tips



  • Using multiple colors on your home can increase its aesthetic, but can also increase the total cost, as can having a lot of different architectural features or trim to paint.

  • Do-it-yourself jobs can save a lot of money. Be sure to scrape the existing surfaces well, then apply a primer and two coats of paint to avoid having to repaint again soon.

  • Aluminum siding and fiber cement can be painted to freshen up their colors and give a home a new look without replacing the siding.


 


4. Siding


If the paint has peeled enough on the siding of the house, moisture can begin to infiltrate, causing the wood to begin rotting.


In addition, hail stones or fallen tree limbs can damage siding, whether denting aluminum siding or cracking vinyl. Because the siding is a home’s first line of defense against the elements, it needs to be repaired in a timely way.


Cost


The average costs to repair siding range from $300 to $1,000, depending on the type of the siding being damaged, and the extent. Vinyl is the least expensive material to repair, as well as one of the easiest to do yourself, while aluminum is among the most expensive to repair with costs ranging from $500 to $900.


Money-saving tips



  • The cost to hire a carpenter to repair siding is around $40 to $50 an hour. If you are able to repair it yourself, you can usually save a considerable amount of money.

  • Both aluminum and vinyl are often replaced during repair jobs. Shop around to get a good color match so you don’t need to replace as large a section.

  • Repairing wood siding almost always will require the new section to be painted as well. Painting it yourself can help save on labor costs.


5. Driveway


A little known problem that can occur during the cold winter months is damage to a driveway.


Small cracks that develop naturally over time are the perfect place for water to collect. When that water freezes, it expands, causing what’s known as a frost heave. Frost heaves are responsible for large cracks, as well as potholes in your driveway, making just getting home a bumpy adventure.


 


Repaving your driveway can correct these issues and help prevent additional damage by eliminating those small cracks as well.


Cost


The average cost to pave a driveway in either gravel or asphalt ranges from $800 to $1,990 for a 38-foot by 16-foot driveway.


The total costs range from about $300 for a gravel do-it-yourself job to $14,880 for a driveway laid with brick pavers.


Money-saving tips



  • If you have a lot of curves or grades in your driveway, this can increase costs.

  • Sealing an existing driveway with tar can help prevent potholes and major cracks by filling up the smaller cracks before they have a chance to expand.

  • Gravel is a less expensive way to fill a driveway, but the small stones frequently get scraped away by plows, allowing rainwater to form potholes. Therefore, paving a driveway with asphalt may be a longer term solution, saving money in the long run.


6. The foundation


The same freeze/thaw cycle that causes cracks and potholes in a driveway can also affect a foundation.


Hairline cracks in the concrete of a foundation that develop naturally over time because of a home settling can expand during the winter months, causing major structural issues if they aren’t taken care of in a timely way.


Getting a foundation repaired in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing as time goes by.


Cost


 


The average cost to repair a foundation that has been badly damaged ranges from $5,000 to $7,000.


Costs can be affected by the need for an inspection, how widespread the damage is and what types of repairs that may needed. Small cracks that only require sealing can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while major cracks will require more extensive work.


Money-saving tips



  • If you need extensive work done on the foundation, you may want to get at least three estimates from different repair companies to try to find the best pricing for the job.

  • Remember that landscaping may be affected by foundation work. Nearby shrubs or plants may need to be replaced after the work has been done.

  • Having a trench dug for a well pump at the same the foundation work is done can help prevent problems such as flooding.

  • Always inspect the foundation each spring and seal any minor cracks you find to help prevent more extensive work.



 


7. Trees


Your home isn’t the only area that can sustain damage during a winter storm. Trees in your yard can also take a hit.


Heavy snow and high winds can knock down tree limbs, taking out power lines, damaging siding, and generally making your landscaping look a mess.


Getting your trees trimmed can help prevent this type of damage, as well as keep your trees healthy and looking great.


Cost


The average cost of tree trimming is around $591 per tree, assuming a total of five trees to be trimmed at once.


Costs range from about $227 per tree for a do-it-yourself job to $709 per tree for large trees during peak trimming seasons. All costs should include the equipment necessary to do the job and hauling away the cut limbs.




Money-saving tips



  • If you have a large number of trees on your property, and are considering having some of them removed, you can sometimes get your trimming done for free by allowing the company to remove a certain number of trees for their own use.

  • To ensure that the work is done properly, always hire a company that is registered with the Tree Care Industry Association. Do not allow workers on your property that wear spike-soled shoes, as these can damage the trees.

  • Check with your utility company before hiring someone to do the job, as some companies will trim trees located near power lines at no cost to you.


Take care of your home


Winter damage can become worse over time if you don’t take care of it in a timely way. Always make sure to inspect your home in both the fall and in the spring to repair any damage that could affect your home’s condition. By taking care of minor issues before winter, you can help prevent larger ones, while taking care of any damage after the cold weather has passed can help your home be ready for anything.



 

Severe Spring Weather – Prepare with Red Cross Tips

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Spring brings the threat of severe weather, which can mean heavy rain, flash flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes. The American Red Cross offers safety steps to follow if your area is affected.

 

 

FOLLOW THESE LIFESAVING SAFETY STEPS

 

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

 

blog credit: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Follow-Red-Cross-Safety-Steps-If-Severe-Weather-Possible

photo credit: http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/science-of-storms.htm

How to protect your home from burglaries: Thieves tell all

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

Nicholas Kyriazis estimates he's burglarized at least 100 homes, maybe as many as 150. So who better to explain how to protect your home from burglaries?

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen went inside the walls of New Jersey State Prison, where Kyriazis is serving a 70-year prison sentence, to get tips on how to keep your home from being a target for people like him:

10 Things a Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know

  • Have a neighbor collect your mail when you're away. Mail in the mailbox signals burglars that no one is home.
  • Leave your car outside. "If there's no cars in the driveway, there's a good chance there is no one home," Kyriazis said.
  • Thieves often strike in the morning. Kyriazis told Rossen he typically did burglaries between 8 a.m. and before 2 p.m. More than half of convicted burglars surveyed by WNBC in New York also said they target homes in the morning.
  • Don't assume an alarm system will protect you. "Alarm system alerts me that the people are not home when the alarm is turned on," Kyriazis said.
  • Don't assume home security cameras will protect you. "People got money for security cameras, they got something in there they're protecting."
  • Have a neighbor watch your house. Kyriazis called neighborhood watch "one of the best things they ever started for burglary prevention."
  • Lock up when you leave. Many people leave doors and windows unlocked, and thieves take advantage. "I've never carried burglary tools," Kyriazis said.
  • Dogs can be a good deterrent. Kyriazis said a barking dog would give him pause.
  • Never engage a burglar. Thieves and experts agree that if you come upon a burglary in progress, the best option is to leave, find a safe place and call 911 immediately

blog credit: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/how-to-protect-your-home-from-burglaries-thieves-tell-all/ar-AAnThQM

photo credit: http://www.kgw.com/news/investigations/we-asked-86-burglars-how-they-broke-into-homes/344213396

8 terrible places to be when lightning strikes

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

What’s the worst place to be during a lightning storm?

Standing in a wading pool at the top of the Burj Khalifa while holding a metal rod into the air would probably be the most correct answer to that question, but listed below are some more practical places to avoid when lightning strikes.

Under a tree

When a thunderstorm suddenly hits an open outdoor area, people naturally look for shelter. However welcoming a tall, isolated tree may seem during a downpour, it’s best to stay clear of it if you hear thunder.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lightning will typically strike the tallest object in a given space, as it requires the shortest distance between a cloud and the object with a positive electrical charge. Trees are also likely to be struck by lightning because the water and sap inside some of them acts as a conductor.

On a sailboat

Cruise ships and well-equipped yachts are no picnic to be aboard during a lightning storm but with a lightning protection system installed, the electricity will mostly be diverted to the water. However, less sophisticated boats like sailboats and rowboats are dangerous to be aboard when a storm hits.

The NOAA warns that when a boat’s masthead is seen glowing red, it’s a sign of an extreme electrical buildup that can attract a lightning bolt in minutes. That phenomenon, called “St. Elmo’s Fire,” is a sign to get below deck or off the water immediately.

Inside, talking on a land-line phone

Being at home or inside a building when a thunderstorm hits is the best place to be but it doesn’t mean immunity from lightning strikes. Weather safety experts recommend staying away from plumbing, walls that may have electrical wires and the telephone when lightning is in the area.

According to the National Weather Service, talking on a land-line phone during a storm is one of the leading causes of lightning-related injuries in the U.S. Using a computer that's plugged into a power source can also lead to injuries.

On open farmland

Any open space is a bad place to be during a lightning storm but farmers seem to be especially susceptible to fatal strikes. Some of the most common activities victims are engaged in include herding livestock and baling hay, according to the NWS.

Outside, a few minutes after a storm passes

Many lightning-related injuries occur once the weather has cleared, as people step back outside. Bolts can strike miles away from a storm and for this reason, it’s recommended to wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before going back outside.

On a covered porch

Covered shelters are fine for protection against rain but they don’t protect against lightning strikes. The same goes for open garages or carports, where it’s safer to be inside a car with the windows up. Any shelter that isn’t fully enclosed, with a roof, walls and a floor, isn’t a safe place to be during a lightning storm.

In a tent

Campers have limited options when a lightning storm hits but staying inside a tent is one of the worst options. According to Environment Canada, “Lying on the ground in a tent during a lightning storm would maximize the chances of being hurt.” Experts recommend getting inside a hard-top car with the windows up in one of these situations.

On metal bleachers in central Florida

There’s a reason outdoor sporting events are quickly postponed at the first sign of lightning. Metal bleachers would obviously be a bad place to be during a storm but this goes especially for people in central Florida. The state sees more lightning strikes each year than anywhere else in the United States. In fact, an area from Tampa to Orlando has been dubbed “lightning alley.”

 

blog credit: http://www.newsnet5.com/news/national/the-worst-places-to-be-when-lightning-strikes

photo credit:http://coinjournal.net/a-simple-explanation-of-the-lightning-network/

 

Rivers in the sky causing widespread chaos in California

2/21/2017 (Permalink)

Yes, there are rivers up in the sky, and they're responsible for up to 65% of the western USA's extreme rain and snow events — such as the storm that blasted Northern California on Monday — a new study finds.

Made visible by clouds, these ribbons of water vapor known as atmospheric rivers extend thousands of miles from the tropics to the western USA. They provide the fuel for the massive rainstorms and subsequent floods along the U.S. West Coast.

The study released Monday, which appeared in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Geoscience, said it's not only the USA that sees these weather troublemakers: Globally, up to 75% of extreme precipitation events come from atmospheric rivers, said study lead author Duane Waliser, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In western Canada, northern Europe, New Zealand and southern South America, atmospheric rivers occur on 30 to 35 days per year, Waliser said.

Though beneficial for water supplies in the western USA, these events can wreak havoc on travel, bring deadly mudslides and cause catastrophic damage to life and property, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

One well-known nickname for an atmospheric river is the "Pineapple Express," which occurs when the source of the moisture is near Hawaii.  A single strong atmospheric river can transport up to 15 times the water vapor compared with the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory.

This winter has been especially active for atmospheric rivers in the West, said meteorologist Jeff Zimmerman of the National Weather Service. As many as 10 separate rivers have been identified.  On average, Northern California gets five to seven atmospheric rivers per wet season, the weather service said

The onslaught has knocked out the five-year drought in Northern California. Much of the Sierra Nevada saw its rainiest and snowiest October-February period on record, the weather service said.

Though their influence on rain and snow has been studied before, one surprising new finding from the study is that up to 75% of extreme wind events in the western USA are due to atmospheric rivers.

In Europe, of the 19 windstorms that each did at least a billion U.S. dollars in damage from 1979 to 2003, 14 of those storms were due to damage from atmospheric rivers, Waliser said?.

 

blog credit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/02/20/atmospheric-rivers-california-storms-floods/98154504/

photo credit: http://rightweather.com/2012/09/severe-flash-flooding-in-fall-river-pictures/

Skier Goes Off 150-Foot Cliff, Survives Without a Scratch

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

A 25-year-old skier in Utah got the shock of his life when he accidentally went off a 150-foot cliff in a heart-stopping moment that was caught on his helmet cam. 

The harrowing situation occurred last week as Devin Stratton was following another skier’s track on Utah's Mount Timpanogos when he suddenly went over the cliff.

His helmet cam shows the complete fall before he hits the snow-covered ground. Miraculously, he walked away unscathed.

"I didn’t know that it was there and then mid jump and realized, ‘Oh, I am going to be paralyzed,' he told InsideEdition.com. "I thought I was dead for sure. In my head I was praying, and when I landed and was still alive I was pretty stoked."

Stratton, who has been skiing since he was 14, is still in shock.

“I can’t believe it. I was more than lucky, it was definitely a miracle,” he said.

The student from Utah Valley University credited his survival to his sister, Rachel, who he says “died a little over a year ago of cancer,” and “was probably looking out for me.”

The fall lasted 3.08 seconds, the equivalent of falling off a 15-story building.

Stratton, who is also an avid climber, was with his buddy when the accident occurred.

“I first started yelling at my friend, Matt, to watch out because I felt that if he landed on me we would both die,” he recalled.

Stratton said his friend skied around the cliff and was shocked to see his friend alive.

The video, which was posted by his cousins, YouTube stars Brooklyn and Bailey, has gone viral.

Following the accident, Stratton went to the doctor, who at first questioned why he wanted an X-ray since nothing was broken and he was fine.

Stratton said he showed the video to the doctor, who then ordered the X-ray and showed the video to the nurses.

Stratton recalled that the doctor said, “I can’t believe you didn’t get hurt” and, “It is a miracle.”

Following the accident, he had this advice for fellow skiers: “Know where you are going and don’t trust people's tracks.”

 

blog credit: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/skier-goes-off-150-foot-cliff-survives-without-a-scratch-it-was-definitely-a-miracle/ar-AAmhPrd?li=BBnb7Kz

 

photo credit:http://workoutheadphonespro.com/hit-the-slopes-hard-with-the-best-sports-headphones-for-skiing-or-snowboarding/

Preventing & Thawing Frozen Pipes

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Future Protection
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
  • Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.

 

blog credit:http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

 

photo credit: http://www.watersignal.com/thaw-frozen-pipes/

It’s cold but I can’t bring my pets inside! What do I do!?!

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

Once adopted, pets become members of our families and should be treated as such. This often means letting them come in the house to be with the rest of the family safe from the elements, cars, insects and other perils. However, we understand that every family is dealing with a unique set of circumstances.

For some families (families who do indeed love, care for, and worry about their pets) it is simply not feasible to bring them in the house all the time or even at all. Maybe you have a child who has developed a spontaneous allergy, but you’re also committed to your pet and don’t want to give them up. Or maybe you’re  renting a house and have a strict landlord who will allow pets in the yard but not in the house.  

During the winter, these families go through an intense moral dilemma. Do they leave their pets outside and subject them to the harsh elements? Or do they bring them in and risk eviction from their homes or even a hospital visit if their child’s allergy is bad enough? Whatever your situation, we want to help you care for your pets.

When should I bring my pets in? How cold is too cold?

If it is possible for you to bring your pets inside when it’s absolutely necessary, a good rule of thumb to follow is, “If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.” All dogs and cats need to be indoors when the temperature drops close to 32 degrees or below. At those temperatures, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite increase significantly. An animal’s fur coat is simply not enough to protect them from these frigid temperatures. Animals more vulnerable to the elements like puppies, kittens, shorthaired animals, and senior animals, need to be brought in when the thermostat drops to 40 degrees.

Look for a middle way.

The best possible solution for those who absolutely cannot bring their pets in is to find some sort of middle ground. Do you have a heated garage or tool shed ??  This way you can protect your pets from the elements, keep them warm, and protect your allergic child and/or your lease. You may also consider purchasing an outdoor rated heating pad. Many stores that sell pet supplies carry heated mats specifically for cats and dogs. You may also find a dog house heater created with cords already protected from chewing animals and automatic shut offs just for your pet.

Take special precautions.

If there is absolutely no way for you to bring your pets in at all, there are steps you can take to make sure they are safe in the winter weather. First and most importantly, you need to ensure that they have some type of shelter. You’ll need a dog house, preferably one that is insulated and will protect your pet from being blasted by the wind and soaked by the snow. Bigger is not better when it comes to dog houses. If your dog’s house is too big, it won’t retain your dog’s body heat and keep him warm. If your dog can stand up and turn around in his dog house but not much else, it’s the perfect size for him.

Your dog house needs to be several inches off the ground so snow and rain water do not leak inside. If you cannot find an insulated dog house, stuff yours with hay leaving just enough room for your dog to burrow inside. Do not insulate a dog house with blankets.  If the blankets get wet and freeze, they will only make it worse on your dog. Also make sure to keep the doorway covered with plastic or some type of waterproof canvas to prevent a draft.

Cats also need shelter in the winter. They are just as susceptible to the cold as dogs. You can learn how to make a shelter for outdoor cats out of a simple plastic tote and hay by clicking this tutorial: How to Build a Feral Cat Shelter

Second, fatten them up. Increase the amount you feed your outdoor pets significantly in the winter months. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food because they deplete much of their energy just trying to stay warm. Gaining a few extra pounds can help protect their insides from the cold weather.  Also make sure your pets have fresh water to drink. Check your pet’s water as often as you can to ensure that it doesn’t freeze. Prevent your pet from knocking over their water by digging a small hole in the ground to place their water bucket in. Also, be sure you are using plastic water buckets and food dishes. In the cold, your pet’s tongue could stick to metal dishes.

Lastly, check on your pets often and look for signs for frostbite and hypothermia. Watch to see if your dog begins:

  • Whining or acting anxious
  • Can’t stop shivering
  • Seems weak
  • Has ice on his body
  • Stops moving or slows down
  • Looks for a warm place to burrow

Also, check your dog’s ears, nose, and paws as these are areas usually not protected by thick fur.

If you notice any of these signs, bring your pet to a warm spot and call your veterinarian immediately.

 

blog credit:http://www.tupeloleehumane.org/2016/12/cold-cant-bring-pets-inside/

photo credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/175147872982558749/

Texas couple sues Apple because FaceTime is a distraction to drivers

1/4/2017 (Permalink)

If you clicked on the headline above thinking you were in for a tongue-in-cheek, fake news story, we're sorry to disappoint you, but it's all too real and all too tragic. This is #notTheOnion.

This is how the story goes: on December 24, 2014, Bethany and James Modisette were driving near Dallas in their Toyota Camry with their two daughters, Moriah and Isabella, in the car's back seat. Due to some police activity on the road ahead, traffic had all but stopped.

 

Behind the Modisettes, however, Garrett Wilhelm failed to notice that the cars around him had slowed. The Modisettes claim that that's because he was FaceTiming with someone on his iPhone. 

Wilhelm's Toyota 4Runner collided with the Modisette's Camry doing 65 miles per hour, causing the sedan to lurch forward and spin 180 degrees. The 4Runner then hit the Camry again, with the SUV driving up and over the length of the driver's side of the car.  

James Modisette, who was driving, and Moriah, who was seated behind him, were both rushed to medical facilities, but sadly, five-year-old Moriah died from her injuries shortly thereafter.

At the scene, Wilhelm told police that he'd been speaking with someone on FaceTime at the time of the crash. When police found the iPhone, FaceTime was still open.

Wilhelm has been free on bail since August, awaiting his trial for manslaughter, which begins on February 27, 2017.

In the meantime, however, the Modisettes have filed suit against Apple in a California state court. The suit argues that Apple had the ability to prevent FaceTime from being used on iPhones when the devices were in cars traveling at high speeds, but the tech company failed to do so. 

Our take

Let's be clear: if reports of the incident are accurate, Wilhelm is responsible for the crash. FaceTime aside, he rear-ended the Modisette's car, which would be a pretty clear indicator of his liability. The fact that Wilhelm was distracted and failed to brake before hitting the Modisettes only makes the effects of his actions that much more severe and tragic.

As for whether Apple can be held liable for the collision--either in whole or in part--that will be up to the court. To the best of our knowledge though, in the case of distracted drivers, the drivers themselves have typically been found responsible for crashes, not the distractions themselves.

That said, it's worth noting that this isn't the only distracted driving case Apple is facing at the moment. A second--also stemming from an incident in Texas--should go to trial soon. Depending on how the two cases go, and depending on how Apple's talks with U.K. regulators proceed, Apple could be forced to roll out some software updates soon.

 

blog credit: https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-couple-sues-apple-because-163700322.html

 

photo credit: http://www.bargainteers.com/author/admin/page/33/

9 Tips To Get Your Christmas Tree Home Safely Without Damaging Your Vehicle

12/7/2016 (Permalink)

Strapping a Christmas tree to your vehicle can be tricky, and many of us have witnessed some downright dangerous attempts during the holiday season. Not only is safety important, but an auto insurance claim because of scratched paint or a traffic accident may put a damper on your holiday spirit.

Each year, 30 million to 35 million American families celebrate the holiday season with a fresh, farm-grown Christmas tree, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. One of the main challenges many of these households face is getting their perfect tree home without extra expense, damage to their automobile, physical injury, or leaving unsafe debris on the roadway.

 

Avoid auto insurance claims and ensure the safety of your passengers, other motorists and pedestrians by following these 9 tips.

 

1. Take measurements

Make sure you know the size of the tree you can accommodate. Before you leave the house, measure the height of the room where you plan to display the tree; it should be at least a foot taller than the tree you buy. Know the width of the space to help you gauge how much tree you can handle.

Also, make sure to measure your vehicle's interior storage area and roof. It doesn't do much good to know you can fit an 8-foot tree in the living room but can only handle a six footer on your Toyota.

 

2. Dress properly

Wear jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, jacket or sweatshirt, and don't forget work gloves. The branches, needles and other sharp tree parts can poke you in all the wrong places. And wear comfortable shoes with nonslip soles. 

 

3. Items to take with you

You'll need a tarp, old blanket or heavy plastic sheets to protect your vehicle. Also, be sure to grab the right materials to secure the tree: good rope, twine, ratchet-style tie downs or bungee cords.

Many lots won't tie the tree on the car for you to avoid an insurance nightmare for the lot if an employee damages your vehicle, so bring a friend to help carry and secure your tree.

 

 

 

4. Wrap the tree

Most trees are sold in netting, which you should leave on so that the branches stay tightly bundled and so that carrying the tree is more manageable.

No net? Shake the tree to rid it of loose needles, then wrap it in a blanket or tarp.

 

 

5. Cover your vehicle 

To avoid paint scratches, lay your tarp or blanket out on the roof of your vehicle before placing the tree up there. Spread it out to cover the entire top to also protect from pieces that fly off while driving down the road.

If you’re hauling the tree in the back of your SUV or minivan, lay down a blanket or tarp to protect your interior from sap stains. 

 

 

 

6. Pick the perfect tree (for hauling)

Yes, that 10-foot Evergreen looks amazing on the lot, and it may even fit inside your living room with a bit of trimming, but will it fit on the roof of your SUV? Can you lift it once you get it home?

Be sure that you’re picking out a tree that is not only free of bare spots, but will also realistically fit on top or inside of your vehicle without extending too far past the bumper. 

 

 

7. Position the tree in the right direction

To keep your tree stable and avoid wind damage when driving, center the tree and arrange it so that the stump end faces the front of your vehicle. The best way to transport a tree is to cover it completely to keep the wind from drying it out, so if you have a second tarp handy, roll the tree up in it before hauling it onto the roof.

 

 

8. Secure the tree to your vehicle

If you have a roof rack, secure the tree from where the branches start to its tip, with bungee cords or rope.

It's not recommended that you put your tree on your car's roof unless it has a roof rack. However, if you do so, first open all their car doors—not the windows—then tie the tree snugly to the roof with rope. 

For trees that extend more beyond your car's bumpers, tie a reflective flag to the end to alert ?other drivers.

If you're hauling your tree in a pickup truck, there could be hot spots in the truck bed—from the exhaust pipe, for example. This can damage the tree's needles, so put something under it, such as an old blanket.

Before you leave the lot, make sure to give the tree a firm tug to ensure that it’s not going anywhere. If it budges, you probably need to pull the ropes tighter.

 

 

9. Take it slow and easy

Once you get on road, take it slow and put on your hazard lights. Avoid the highway, especially if you're not used to hauling heavy objects on your car's roof. Highways are not your friend when you have a potential six foot flying, green missile on top of your vehicle. 

Remember, roof cargo affects your vehicle's center of gravity and emergency handling.

 

blog credit: http://www.icontact-archive.com/pz2I-TZeO-2xz5ARDV5aGdQHNQ0Aww0G?w=3

 

photo credit: http://www.thecottagejournal.com/find-your-christmas-tree-fresh-from-the-farm/

Relatives have invaded your home!! Need help keeping everyone entertained? Read on for a fun Family Game.

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

This game comes with a warning.  You will laugh.  Hard. 

Here is what you need:

 

A bowl

Scissors

Paper

And something for everyone to write with

And a stopwatch – we usually use someone’s phone

 

 

Cut up the paper into slips and divide them evenly amongst everyone

5-10 slips per person

Then have everyone write down 1 name per slip of paper

They can be dead or alive, fiction or real

You just don’t want to write down a name in which you are the only person in the room who knows who that person is

 

 

Here are some examples

Then fold up every piece once and put them in the bowl

 

Now divide everyone up into 2 groups

Sit in a circle, and sit so you are between members of the other team

There are 3 rounds to this game

 

Round 1

Give the bowl to 1 person

They have 30 seconds to try and get their team to guess as many names as they can

They pull the names out one at a time and they can say anything to give clues to their team (except the name itself)

Once their team guesses the name, they keep that slip and then they reach in and get another name

Once 30 seconds is up, they throw whatever name they were currently working on back into the bowl, and then they pass the bowl clockwise and the next person (who is on the other team) does the same thing

Each team should keep a pile of the slips they have guessed

When all the names have been guessed, count them up and write down what the round 1 scores are

 

Round 2

Put the same slips back into the bowl

Start with whatever person would have gone next

Again, they have 30 seconds to get their team to guess, but THIS time they can only say one word

ONLY ONE WORD

If they say more than one word they have to put it back in the bowl

Choose your one word carefully

Wise players will use a word that was said in round 1

When the bowl is empty, count up the score and add it to the scores from round 1

 

Round 3

Put the same slips back into the bowl

Start with whatever person would have gone next

And again, they have 30 seconds to get their team to guess – but this time it is Charades – so you act out the name

No Talking!

Again, wise players will act out words used in round 1 and 2

When the bowl is empty, count up the score and add them up for a final winner

 

And the losing team has to do the dishes.

 

 

 

blog credit: http://www.icontact-archive.com/pz2I-TZeO-2xz5ARDV5aGTkBA5PVH5dN?w=3

 

photo credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/cf/97/e6/cf97e6ce4fc2e19051ec559dabb049df.jpg

11 Unusual Pet Insurance Success Stories

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Whether it’s purchased individually or acquired through an employer-based plan, pet insurance is still a perk enjoyed by only a tiny fraction of American pet owners.

Out of 174 million cats and dogs in the United States at the end of 2014, only about 1.4 million were covered by an insurance policy, according to a pet insurance trade group. That is nevertheless a significant increase from 2008, when only 680,000 were covered.

 

About 81 percent pet insurance policyholders are dogs. The majority of the rest are cats, but there is also a small group of people who have purchased plans for other types of pets.

Steady increase in U.S. pet population


Pet health insurance works pretty similar to human health insurance. The policies are priced based on a number of risk factors, including age and breed. Purebreds are often more expensive to insure because, ironically, they are typically anything but pure when it comes to health.

 

A report last year on pet insurance attributed its growth partially to increasing prices charged by veterinarians as well as the steady increase in the country’s pet population.

On its face, pet insurance may seem to be a product marketed uniquely to the wealthy. But in fact, its greatest appeal may be to middle income people who can’t bear the thought of having to put a beloved pet to sleep if they’re hit by a huge vet bill they can’t pay.

Most unusual pet insurance claims


A recent press release by Nationwide, which says it has nearly 600,000 insured pets, documented the most unusual (and occasionally comical) insurance claims that it processed for pet owners over the past year, nominating them for its annual “Hambone Award.”

The animal hospital that treated the winner of the award will receive $10,000 that it can use to cover the care of pet owners who can’t afford to pay their vet bills. 

 

Among the claims Nationwide nominated for the award:

 

 

A ruff encounter with Ruffles

A cocker spaniel nearly died after getting her head stuck in a bag of potato chips. She required a plasma transfusion and an overnight stay at the animal hospital. Miraculously, the near-suffocation the dog suffered did not leave her with brain damage.

Paying out the nose

A blue heeler mix shattered his snout after jumping into a cement barrier in a park, separating his nasal cavity from his mouth. The surgery called for veterinarians to reattach his snout with the assistance of a specialist and the entire process took hours, no doubt leaving his owners with a bill worth many thousands.

After six weeks of “grueling recovery,” the playful pooch was back at the park, although hopefully with a heightened sense of the risks of jumping off elevated platforms.

 

Too cozy for comfort

A Cavalier King Charles spaniel slipped between couch cushions while napping and dislocated his hips trying to get out. The dog required two major operations on both hips. Anything short of surgery would have left him unable to walk again.

 

 

Game of chairs

A Sphynx cat in Texas was severely injured when a reclining chair closed on her. The hairless feline had been hiding inside a reclining chair and was nearly crushed when her owner, unaware of her presence, put the chair back into the upright position. It turned out her injuries were not serious, although discovering that required X-rays. She was prescribed antibiotics for her bruises and cuts and made a full recovery.

 

He did inhale

A giant schnauzer picked up his owner’s asthma inhaler and made the near-fatal mistake of biting down on it. He inhaled almost the entire dose of asthma medication that had just been loaded, provoking his heart rate to double. Ultimately, after spending a night at the vet, the dog’s condition improved and he was able to return home without undergoing any major interventions.

 

Terrible taste in jeans

A Great Dane swallowed an entire pair of kid-sized jeans. At first there were no clues besides the sudden disappearance of the pants, but the dog began to vomit uncontrollably later on, prompting his owners to take him to the vet. He received emergency surgery to remove the jeans, which were as good as new after being washed.

 

A sucky injury

A border collie got her mouth caught inside the suction tool of a vacuum cleaner, breaking off teeth and injuring her mouth in the process. The wound required oral surgery, which ain’t cheap. Luckily the dog made a full recovery and her owners were sure to take precautions to keep her away from the vacuum in the future.

 

Stuck between a tree and a neck brace

A Tibetan terrier got her head stuck in an opening of a solid oak coffee table. The dog was contorting its body as it attempted to dislodge her head, to the point that her owner thought she was going to break her neck. The owner delivered the dog, still stuck to the table, to an emergency vet clinic, where the vet administered a sedative that relaxed the dog’s body to the point where they were able to squeeze the pooch out of her table.

 

A heroic dog

A Jack Russell terrier intervened during a home invasion, in which both he and his owner were stabbed by a burglar. Both underwent surgery and survived serious knife wounds. The dog likely saved the life of his owner by attacking and distracting the intruder.

 

Unsafe for all creatures

After a faulty carbon monoxide detector failed during a leak on a cold winter day, a cat and poodle suffered from major carbon monoxide poisoning, along with their owners. While their human owners were attended to by human physicians, the pets were placed in an oxygen chamber at the veterinary hospital. Both pets recovered the next day.

 

A pain in the tail

A cat jumped off his “cat tree” and got his tail caught in the blinds of a window. His owners’ frantic attempts to free his tail were successful, but they knew he wasn’t right when they finally got him free. His tail was severely wounded, although happily he did not suffer any nerve damage, something they discovered after taking him through extensive examination and X-rays at the vet.

 

 

blog credit: http://www.icontact-archive.com/pz2I-TZeO-2xz5ARDV5aGUHj31jaUSaG?w=3

 

photo credit: Bethaney Albright

7 Tips for Raking Leaves Like a Pro

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Raking is a fall task that, love it or hate it, has to be done.

These tips will help you achieve more efficient raking.

 

Work With (or Avoid) the Wind

If you have the leisure to choose your raking day, try to pick a calm one so there's no wind to interfere with your work. If you have only one day of the week to rake and it happens to be windy, rake your leaves in the same direction that the wind is blowing. Raking into the wind just helps the breeze pick up your leaves and blow them around.

Patience

Clear your pathways and high-traffic areas of leaves on an ongoing basis, but don't bother raking your whole yard until all the leaves are down. It might bother you to sit idly by and let the leaves pile up, but waiting until the branches are bare will save you hours of work. Be patient and get the yard work done when it's necessary, not every week.

Use the Right Tools

That rusty metal fan rake in your shed might seem like an old friend, but perhaps its useful days are over. Some great new raking tools out there, such as the Lee Valley Power Rake, and can save you lots of time on yard work. There are also rake alternatives, including push-power leaf collectors that help take some of the backache out of raking.

Take Care of Your Body

Speaking of backache, be sure to practice proper raking technique before, during, and after your work. Raking is a real workout, and you need to warm up your body by stretching before you start.

While you're raking, be sure to keep a good posture and stand upright. Switch your main (bottom) hand on a regular basis, and always bend at the knees (not the back) when you stoop to pick up a pile.

Also, don't try to do too much at once. Divide your yard into sections and work on them over a period of days. Or, if you have limited time, take breaks in between each section to drink water and rest.

Work Smart

This is the key to efficient raking. Rake your leaves into small piles on top of a tarp or a piece of plastic, then drag that pile to your main pile or compost. Raking all the leaves into a single, big pile takes extra time, and when it's done, you have to move the big pile off your lawn to another location.

Rake When It's Dry

This one is simple but important. Wet leaves are heavier than dry ones, so try to do your raking during a dry stretch of weather. This will not only save you time and energy, but also prevent you from handling a morass of slimy, wet leaves.

Use a Mulching Mower

This is kind of like cheating but is ultimately an effective way to clean up your leaves by turning them into mulch that's bagged by the mower. If you don't like the smell, sound, or environmental impact of gas mowers, there are some great electric mowers out there that have mulching capability.

 

blog credit:http://www.icontact-archive.com/pz2I-TZeO-2xz5ARDV5aGang1Oi2aHrX?w=3

 

photo credit: https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/fall-leaves-rake-27689917.jpg

We are now Total Contentz Program Certified!!

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Parma / Seven Hills, Northern Lorain County & Mentor is now trained and certified under the Total Contentz Program by the world renowned Barb Jackson. 

When a loss occurs at a home or business, the integrity of the structure is often the first concern addressed.  Personal property (aka Contents) can sometimes be overlooked or unfortunately, improperly handled. 

We at SERVPRO understand that your personal belongings are very important to you! We know that being the victim of a loss can be a traumatic experience and we do our best to minimize the stress you're experiencing.  We understand the monetary and intrinsic value of restoring lost items vs. replacing whenever possible.  When contents are affected at your home, we will evaluate, professionally pack-out, transport, clean/restore, store and return your belongings to you. We work with your claims adjuster to ensure your content are cared for. 

Rivers Still Rising in North Carolina

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

Rivers Still Rising in North Carolina

Rivers are still rising in North Carolina where river flooding has inundated much of the state. 

 

Story Highlights

Matthew's heavy ended over the weekend, but flooding will last for days in North Carolina.

Records have been broken and some locations will not crest until late this week.

Record-breaking flooding has occurred in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew dumped extreme amounts of rain on eastern parts of the state. 

 

Though the rain ended on Sunday, and it should remain dry for many days ahead, rivers are still rising in some locations or will at least remain high for many days.

 

In some cases, the flooding rivals that of Hurricane Floyd's in 1999.

This flooding is the result of 6 to 18 inches of rain that fell in eastern North Carolina from Matthew. The top total was 18.38 inches near Elizabethtown, followed by 15.65 inches at William O Huske Lock 3 and 14.82 inches in Fayetteville.

 

At least five river gauge locations have seen record flooding in North Carolina, including:

  • Lumber River @ Lumberton West 5th Street: Crushed previous record crest by roughly three-and-a-half feet, as of Monday.
  • Lumber River @ Lumberton: Exceeded record crest by nearly four feet on Sunday. This topped the previous record from the remnants of Hurricane Frances in 2004. The river is forecast to remain in record-flood stage into the weekend.
  • Lower Little River @ Manchester: Topped old record set Sept. 19, 1945, by more than two-and-a-half feet. Dropped below flood stage early Thursday.
  • Neuse River @ Smithfield: Exceeded record crest by over a foot-and-a-half on Monday. Dropped below flood stage Thursday.
  • Neuse River @ Goldsboro: Crested Wednesday at over 29.5 feet, topping the previous record set after Hurricane Floyd (28.9 feet).

One location in South Carolina has set a new record crest:

  • Little Pee Dee River @ Galivants Ferry: Crested Wednesday just above 17 feet. The old record was 16 feet.

Another record was set in North Carolina Thursday and the river continues to rise:

  • Neuse River @ Kinston: The record of 27.71 feet, set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, was broken late Thursday. The river is forecast to crest near 29 feet on Friday. The National Weather Service says "disastrous flooding" occurs at 27 feet.

Also notable is that the Tar River in Greenville, North Carolina, could reach its second highest crest on record.

The forecast calls for the river to reach about 25 feet Friday into Saturday.

According to the National Weather Service, here are some possible impacts when water reaches the following levels on the Tar River in Greenville.

  • 24 feet: Devastating flooding for all areas adjacent to the river and tributaries. Water will begin to flood the Pitt-Greenville Airport. Water will overflow into the city of Greenville. Nearly all major roads countywide will become flooded and impassable.
  • 22 feet: Water will overflow into the city of Greenville. Several secondary roads will also flood. Some homes along the river will flood. Evacuations will be needed. Water will begin to flood the Tar River Estates and Beech Street villas next to the river. On the north side of the river, water will flood up to the intersection of Mumford Road and Highway 33. Numerous tributaries will flood roads and homes countywide.
  • 20 feet: Water will flood several homes near the river. Water will begin to flood town commons and adjacent areas in Greenville. Many acres of farmland flooded.

The flooding caused by Matthew will still be a major concern for many days ahead. Please take action if you are in an area that is being affected and follow what local authorities instruct you to do.

 

 

blog credit:

https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/matthew-river-flooding-carolina-records

 

photo credit:

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/151004111058-07-east-coast-flooding---restricted-super-169.jpg

 

Call the CLEANUP TEAM that's faster to any size disaster.

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

October is Fire Prevention Month and serves as an excellent time to examine your emergency preparedness.

Do you have a fire escape plan?

Have you changed smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

Do you know the main causes of fire?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention as a way to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The tragic event killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.  The 2014 theme is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month.” According to NFPA, smoke alarms can cut the chance of dying in a home fire in half.  Meanwhile, NFPA data shows that home fires killed more than 2,300 people in 2012; many of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper smoke alarm protection.

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Your SERVPRO of Mentor Professionals wants you to stay safe and prepare now to ensure that you are ready for any disaster.  Please tune in for Fire Safety Tips this month and remember that if a fire does occur we are here to help twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at (440) 887-9000.

Blog Credit:http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/people-at-risk/people-with-disabilities/educational-materials/people-who-are-deaf-or-hard-of-hearing

Why Use a Professional Clean Up Service?

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

Professional Clean Up Company

Deciding to tackle a hoarding clutter situation can be a challenging feat. If you are a hoarder or want to help a loved one with hoarding tendencies, it is important to be aware of what to expect. In order to efficiently clean up clutter it is necessary to go through the belongings and sort them, deciding what to discard and what to keep. When attempting to start this sorting process solo, it can be difficult to truly evaluate the possessions and come to appropriate decisions. Let a professional clean up service help you. Here’s why you should look into hiring a professional:

  • A hoarding cleanup company is trained to handle the situation. The staff is professional, compassionate and effective when working with the hoarder, family, and the situation at hand.
  • Companies specialize in sorting, organizing, discarding and cleaning up the clutter. They will work with you to decide what needs to be discarded, what can be donated, and what is acceptable to keep.
  • A professional company is quick and efficient. Attempting to work without help can take a while and there can be many setbacks along the way, of which you may be ill prepared to handle alone.
  • Hoarding is a mental condition that needs to be addressed with patience. A professional will not only have patience but will also be equipped to explain and assist with the process.
  • Professionals also know how to handle the situation in a safe manner. A house of a hoarder could, in some instances, have hazards such as waste, sharp objects, etc. The professional clean up service will know how to treat the circumstance and discard the items without exposing people to potentially threatening situations.
  • It’s good to have support. A professional hoarding cleanup service is here to help and is understanding about the conditions.

If a hoarder is open to the idea of cleaning their clutter, do the research. It is helpful to be aware of the hoarding condition and how to help.

blog credit: http://www.hoardinghelp.com/use-professional-clean-up-service/

photo credit: http://lifeisfullofchoiceseurope.com/tag/hoarding/

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

8/2/2016 (Permalink)

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

blog credit: http://www.iicrc.org/why-professionals-should-clean-smoke-damage-from-fire-a-38.html

photo credit: http://chathamvoice.com/2013/10/11/water-and-grease-dont-mix/

Mold Inspection

7/19/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Inspection

If you see signs of mold in your home you need to have a mold inspection performed.

 There are two goals of a mold inspection. The first is to find any mold growing in your home. The second is to find the moisture problem which caused the mold to grow.

 Why You Should Have a Mold Inspection

When it comes to mold problems in the home, the earlier you can detect them the better. The longer mold is left the more it will grow and the harder it will be to remove. This is why it's best to have a mold inspection performed at the first sign of mold in your home.

One of the main reasons to have a mold inspection is if you smell moldy odors in your home but you can't find any mold growth.

 If you've had water problems, such as flooding or leaks, or if you notice signs of water damage it can also be a good idea to have a mold inspection. In these, and other, cases a mold inspection should be performed to find any hidden mold that might be growing.

 Even if you've already been able to find some mold growth in your home it is often a good idea to still do a mold inspection. This is because finding mold can often mean there is more mold hiding somewhere else. For example, mold growth on a wall, floor or ceiling can mean there is a mold colony on the other side of the material which has grown through.

 Even if there are no signs of mold in your home there can still be good reasons to have a mold inspection. If you're selling your house, for example, a thorough mold inspection could save you a lot of trouble in the long run. By finding any mold problems you can remove them before you sell your home, avoiding a potentially bigger problem later on.

Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

If at all possible you should hire a professional mold inspector to inspect your home. Professional mold inspectors know the best places to look for mold. They can also immediately recognize subtle signs of mold growth and signs of water problems.

Professional mold inspectors are not only experienced but they also use sophisticated equipment. This equipment is very effective at finding hidden mold with minimal impact to your home. Some of the tools and techniques professional mold inspector use are infra-red inspection, borescopes (fiber optics), moisture meters and hygrometers.

Many professional mold inspectors also have a developed sense of smell for mold or they use mold sniffer dogs to quickly sniff out hidden mold. By hiring a professional mold inspector you can be sure that if there is any mold in your home it will be found.

Equipment for Mold Inspection

Moisture meters are used by many professional mold inspectors. Moisture meters have a narrow probe which can be used to test moisture levels by inserting it into, or pressing it against materials such as carpets, drywall, bricks, wood or concrete. By finding damp areas the mold inspector can work out places in your home where mold is most likely to be growing.

 Another piece of equipment used in mold inspections is a borescope. Borescopes are useful for finding hidden mold behind walls and other surfaces. First a small hole is drilled in the surface and then the borescope, which is a fiber optics probe, is inserted to look for mold on the other side. This way borescopes can find hidden mold while minimizing the damage to the wall or other surface.

 Mold is more likely to be growing in areas of your home with high humidity. Hygrometers can measure the humidity of the air, giving the mold inspector a better idea of where mold might be growing.

 If it's not practical to hire a professional mold inspector and you have to perform the inspection yourself you won't have access to the above equipment. In this case your most valuable tools when it comes to finding mold will be your eyes and your nose to see and smell mold in your home.

History of Water Problems

Even the most experienced mold inspector cannot perfectly spot signs of every single past water problem in your home. This is why you should think of a list of any past water problems, such as leaks and floods, including how much water was released and how long before the water was removed. You should let the mold inspector know this information before they begin the mold inspection process.

Finding and Fixing Water Problems During the Mold Inspection

If you have mold in your home then it must have had a moisture source to grow in the first place. Make sure you've fixed any existing water problems you know about. After that you should look for new causes of moisture problems. Look out for things like leaks, humidity problems, condensation or floodwater.

 Finding moisture can also lead you to find new mold growth. And, vice versa, finding mold can lead you to the moisture problem that caused it.

 It is important that you find and fix the water problems which caused the mold to grow in your home before you begin the mold removal process. After all, you do not want to spend time and money removing mold only to have it return because there's still a water problem.

Finding Mold

Next it's time to find the mold. If you are performing the mold inspection yourself you should begin by thoroughly searching every room in the house. Carefully look for visible signs of mold growth and remember to pay attention to any damp or moldy odors.

If you are suffering allergic symptoms take notice of which rooms upset your allergies more. You may already have an idea of which rooms your allergies have been worst in in the past. If so then there is a good chance that mold is lurking in these areas.

 Also look carefully in places where water flows, such as near pipes and sinks, or places which you know have had leaks or flooding in the past. Check spots where moisture accumulates such as surfaces with condensation, humid areas or any other places where you often see moisture. Rooms where surfaces are regularly wet such as the bathroom, laundry and kitchen are common locations for mold growth too.

 You also need to look for signs of water damage. Water damaged materials usually have abnormal surfaces such as warping or bulging. Discoloration, stains, and cracked or peeling paint are also signs. Small dots of mold growth can be a clue there's a larger mold colony nearby.

 The materials most suited to mold growth are ones high in cellulose, like drywall. And finally, mold often grows in air ducts so check them out as well.

 If you do find mold make sure not to disturb it. Large mold colonies should not be removed without properly sealing off the room first and following best practice removal methods.

Inspecting for Hidden Mold

Most people have a mold inspection because they have hidden mold in their home. The above signs can help with finding visible mold, but they also help to narrow down where hidden mold is probably growing. If you think you have worked out a location where hidden mold is probably growing you will then have to use invasive inspection techniques to look into the area.

 Invasive inspection techniques usually involve removing parts of surfaces to look behind them for hidden mold, for example: a hole drilled in a wall to insert a borescope to look for mold in the wall cavity.

This is where it's a big advantage to hire a professional mold inspector since they can check for hidden mold with minimal damage to your home. You might also want to turn to mold testing to make certain you have hidden mold before you begin invasive inspection.

 If you are doing invasive inspection yourself you should wear protective equipment. This is because there is a good chance you could trigger the release of large amounts of mold spores into the air.

Invasively inspecting for hidden mold also includes lifting carpet to check for mold underneath, looking behind paneling, looking behind ceiling tiles, looking under wallpaper, looking inside air ducts and moving furniture or insulation to check behind.

Your house could have hidden mold if you've had flooding or leaks. Leaks in pipes which run behind walls are an especially common cause of hidden mold. Another sign of hidden mold is if you can smell mold or you have allergic symptoms but you can't see any mold growth.

After the Mold Inspection

After the mold inspection you have the option of either having mold testing performed or moving on to the mold removal.

Mold Testing

There are a few reasons you might want to have mold testing done after a mold inspection. One reason is if you could not find any mold - or you found some mold but suspect there is more. In this case mold testing can confirm whether you have mold in your home and help you locate it.

 Secondly, if you found what looks like a toxic species of mold then you need to have it tested by an expert to identify it. Removing toxic mold is dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. This is why you need to know for sure if the mold is toxic before you begin removing it.

 Lastly, sometimes you might not be sure if what you've found is actually mold. For example, soot or dirt can sometimes look like mold. You might want to test what you have found to be sure.

Mold Removal and Remediation

Once you have found all the mold growth in your home you can start to plan for mold removal.

blog credit: http://blacktoxicmolds.com/mold-inspection.php

photo credit: http://leap-va.org/energy-ed-center/moisture-mold/

What Happens When Your Sump Pump Fails?

7/19/2016 (Permalink)

Most houses with a sump pump rely on the pump to keep the basement from flooding.  When a big rain storm comes through, the sump pump will really be needed... and that's also the time that the power to a neighborhood is most likely going to get knocked out, disabling the sump pump and allowing the basement to flood.  I have a sump pump in my own house, and it's been going off about once every two minutes after the heavy storms last night, which got me thinking about this topic.

If your sump pump quits working, will you know about it before your basement floods?  Do you have a backup in place?  Does it work?  Are you sure? If you depend on a sump pump to keep your basement from flooding, it's important to have a backup system in place, just like it's important to back up the hard drive on your computer.  Possibly even more important.

It's one of those things that most people don't think about until it's too late.  If you want to protect your basement from flooding, get a backup system.  There are a few different backup systems available.

Secondary Electric Pump

A secondary electric pump would be a good option to keep your basement from flooding in the event that your primary sump pump failed.  The secondary pump would need to be installed a little bit higher in the sump basket than the primary pump.  The downside to installing one of these is that if the power to your house went out, the pump would be useless.

Battery Backup

By far, the most common type of backup is a battery powered system.  This consists of a big heavy battery that's about the size and shape of a car battery, as well as a backup sump pump that sits in the sump basket a little bit higher than the primary pump.  This system will save your basement from flooding if your sump pump fails or your power goes out.

If you already have a backup battery for your sump pump and it doesn't have a warning to tell you if the battery is dead, you should test it periodically.  You can simply unplug your standard sump pump and fill the sump basket with water using a garden hose to test the backup pump.

Hydraulic Pump

Another backup option for your sump basket is to install a pump that is powered by the municipal water pressure coming in to your home.  The nice thing about hydraulic pumps is that you don't have to worry about keeping a battery charged all the time, and if you have an extended power outage, you won't have to worry about the pump failing.

The downside to using a hydraulic sump pump is that they're not nearly as powerful; the video below shows just how slow they pump water.  The original video was nearly three minutes long, so I cut out the middle, as it got a little boring. If the water at your home is supplied by a well, a hydraulic backup pump obviously wouldn't be any good, as a power outage would also knock out your well pump.

High Level Alarm

No matter what type of system you have installed, it's a good idea to have a high level alarm installed in your sump basket.  These alarms will sound off if the water level in your sump basket gets too high, and you can buy one for under ten bucks at Home Depot.  If you don't have a backup system in place, these alarms will at least tell you that you have a problem and you need to jump in to action.

I inspected a very nice home last year with a completely finished basement that definitely could have benefited from one of these high level alarms.  This house had in-floor ductwork; when the sump pump failed, the ducts ended up filling up with several inches of water.  The water level in the sump basket never got high enough for the basement floor to get wet, but the standing water in the ducts acted like the worlds largest whole-house humidifier, which caused major condensation throughout the basement; even the outlet covers were dripping with water.  If the sump basket had been equipped with a cheap little high level alarm, this never would have happened.

If you want to have a backup sump pump professionally installed, hire a plumber to do it.

blog credit: http://www.startribune.com/what-happens-when-your-sump-pump-fails/153532145/

photo credit: http://www.echo-ca.org/sites/default/files/Rain%20on%20a%20House%20Roof.jpg

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