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Prepare your home before winter arrives

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

1. Protect your pipes. Frozen pipes are among the most common causes of cold-weather damage. Start by wrapping basement and crawl-space pipes with insulation. During protracted cold snaps, open cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from the faucets to prevent pressure from building up.

SEE ALSO: 15 Fall and Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Home

2. Reduce your polar ice cap. Roof ice dams caused by melting and refreezing can cause water damage to walls and ceilings. To minimize the danger, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Use a roof rake ($40 to $60 at Home Depot) to remove packed snow from your roof (don’t try to shovel your roof yourself). For more tips on how to protect your home, go to the Web sites of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

3. Prepare an emergency kit (or two). Keep one in your house and one in your car, suggests Tod Pritchard, of Wisconsin Emergency Management. Include shovels and road salt (or cat litter); first-aid items; food, water and medications; a cell-phone charger that plugs into your car; a battery-powered radio and a flashlight (with extra batteries); a sleeping bag; insurance and emergency information; and some cash. You can get pre-made kits at the Red Cross Store. Also, keep your gas tank at least half-full all winter.

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4. Install a home generator. Many insurers offer discounts for automatic backup generators (usually powered by natural gas or propane). A 7-kilowatt standby generator costs about $2,000 (not including installation) and can power a sump pump, a fridge, a heating system, a few lights and some electronics. Many manufacturers have online tools to help you decide how much power you need. A portable generator costs less than $800 for 7 kilowatts, but it probably won’t qualify for an insurance discount.

5. Get your insurer to pitch in. After all, the insurer saves money when you protect your home. Adding stormproof shutters may reduce your premiums by up to 35%. Snowbirds and frequent travelers, take note: You could get a break for installing a device that automatically shuts off your home’s water supply if it detects unusually high water flow—say, from a burst pipe ($499 at Home Depot).

6. Make sure you’re really covered. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water that seeps into your home from melting snow. For that you’ll need flood coverage; get price quotes at www.floodsmart.gov. Snow melt can also overburden the stormwater system; it usually costs just $50 per year to add a $10,000 to $20,000 sewage-backup rider to your home policy that pays if your sump pump stops working or your sewer line backs up. A battery-powered backup sump pump can help, too ($140 to $280 at Home Depot).

7. Stay warm safely. One of the biggest dangers from furnaces and other sources of heat is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper ventilation. Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Also, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.

What to do when water enters your home

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s Storm Response Team Offers Tips to Help Minimize Flood Damage | SERVPRO Industries, Inc.

The first several days after the disaster are critical to preventing unnecessary secondary damages. Consider the following steps you can take now to help minimize additional damage to your home, business and possessions. If the water is considered “clean” water – if it is not groundwater or sewage backup – follow these steps: Once the authorities have said it is safe to enter your home or business, ensure your electricity is turned off before entering the flooded structure. Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Remove any valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible. Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Through away all foods – even canned goods – that have come into contact with flood waters. SERVPRO has shipped more than $5 million worth of additional equipment to its Storm Response Team to help deal with the flooding. “The first 24 hours after a water damage or flood are just so crucial to keeping final costs of the damage down,” said Don Turner, SERVPRO Storm Response Team Manager. “A lot of flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate, but we want homeowners to know the steps they can take to help minimize damage until the professionals arrive.” SERVPRO has recently mobilized its elite Storm Response Team for such disasters as Hurricane Gustav, the 2008 Iowa floods, the 2007 Ohio floods and the 2007 California wildfires. For more safety and restoration tips, contact SERVPRO of Frankfort at (815)485-0075.

Emergency Ready Profile

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. 

Are you ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, weather it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever could happen?" 

The SERVPRO Emergency ready profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information, By working with SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO os a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. 

To find out more about this no cost assessment of your business please call our offices at (814)485-6901

Severe Weather Preparedness

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Now is the time to prepare....Don't wait until severe storms are forecast....it may be too late!!

Preparedness Saves Lives

There is nothing we can do to stop severe thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes or floods from developing. However, there are things that everyone can do to minimize the impacts of severe weather on our lives. 

What you can do to be prepared:

1. Stay informed 

This can be done by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio & TV broadcasts, NWS, web pages or various applications on computers and smart phones. 

Don't just rely on one method-especially storm sirens- which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone. 

2. Have an emergency plan

Do this for your home, business, schools and when you are traveling. Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Pick two places to meet in case you are separated from your family or co-workers. 

3. Prepare yourself and your home for an emergency

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, how to administer CPR, and how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies in your home. 

4. Have an emergency supply kit

-Bottled water

-Non-perishable foods

-Flashlights with extra batteries

-Extra clothes and blankets

-an extra set of keys and cash

-Medication and a first aid kit

-personal hygiene items

-Pet supplies

-A weather alert radio

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Sump Pump Failure Tips

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

You may ask yourself what is a sump pump and what it does? For those who do not know a sump pump is a pump that removes water to prevent flooding usually located in basements. Therefore, a sump pump failure can lead to flooding and damage of your basement.

These are the some of the reasons why sump pump failure happens:

No maintenance on Sump Pump:

It is recommended to keep maintenance of your sump pump to prevent from any backflow and causing flooding. Manufacturers recommend to keep maintenance of your sump pump every 2-3 months by:

  • Cleaning the air hole in the discharge line

  • Listen for unusual noises when the sump pump is running

  • Sometimes the pump can run but not pump any water. This means the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft or the check valve is installed backwards.

  • Check that the discharge line  is not clogged or backed up

Frozen or clogged Discharge lines:

It is important to keep the discharge line cleared so water can exit your home with no trouble, if a discharge line is clogged it can cause water to backup causing flooding. If you are having trouble clearing discharge lines and drainage pipes call an expert to help with your sump pump.

Summer Flooding

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Summer embodies perfect weather with long sunny days, yet it also includes thunderstorms and heavy rains. Nothing is worse than coming home from a long vacation and having water damage in your household. Water damage is one of the most common filed insurance claims. In order to avoid water damage after a relaxing vacation, here are a few tips and tricks to help protect your home.

Have Someone Check on Your Home While You Are Gone

It is a good idea to have someone check on your house when you leave for vacation because they can stop any leaks before it turns into a big problem. If flooding occurs, they can also warn you about the damage and have it fixed right away rather than waiting for you to come back.

If flooding does occur, there is a lot of safety risk involved in which the water can be contaminated with harmful organism that can cause different health issues. It is imperative to take the right precautions before removing water after flooding, which having an expert safely remove the contaminated water and take the right precautions to prevent future mold damage.

Prevent Future Damage

To minimize the amount of damage items, storing items at a higher level and using plastic bins can help save your belongings. It is important to always have a plan in case something unexpected happens, and being prepared with the right equipment and experts just in case the damage is out of your control.  

Water Damage Prevention and Your Frankfort Home

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Prevention and Your Frankfort Home 5 ways to protect yourself from water damage this spring

Melting snow and spring rains can mean serious flooding problems for homeowners this time of year.  However, there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from springtime flooding:

Cover your window wells.  Use plastic covers to keep excessive rain from pooling in the bottom of your window wells.

Keep your gutters clean and in good working order.  Extend your downspouts or use drain tile to direct water away from your foundation.

Inspect and repair your roof.  Replace missing and damaged shingles, and replace any cracked caulk/sealant around flashing.

Inspect your basement/foundation for cracks and holes.  The faster you fix cracks before they can grow, the easier and cheaper the repairs will be.

Check your sump pump.  Make sure your pump turns on and ejects water as it is supposed to.  An improperly functioning sump pump can lead to major flooding and water damage!

SERVPRO of Frankfort is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

Understanding Black Mold

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Understanding Black Mold Black mold a problem in your Frankfort home?

The term “black mold” is a generic term used to describes many different types of mold that appear black, or dark when they appear on the surface of walls, tiles and concrete.  Black mold has become somewhat infamous because it has been reported on in the media as a mold that can produce toxins and cause health problems. While this is true, it is also true of many other types of mold, and not necessarily worse in cases of black mold. 

If you identify any mold in your home it would be wise to remove it safely.  You can use bleach, borax or vinegar to do this. When removing mold wear a respirator or face mask and cover your arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores.  For bigger mold problems you may want to call on qualified professional to take on the job safely and thoroughly. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril”.  Check with your agent.

To prevent mold growth in your home keep away excessive moisture by making sure bathrooms and laundry rooms are well ventilated and using a dehumidifier in your basement.

SERVPRO of Frankfort is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.

Prevent flooding and moisture in your crawl space

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Prevent flooding and moisture in your crawl space Protect your Frankfort crawl space from flooding, moisture and mold

The most common cause of crawl space flooding is rain water.  When excessive rain water accumulates in the soil next to your foundation it will over-saturate the soil.  Unable to be soaked up by the soil, it will seek another place go.  The path of least resistance will be through your foundation, especially if there are any cracks in the walls.  But, you can protect yourself from crawl space leaks and flooding by taking a few preventative measures.  

Keep rainwater away from your foundation. Make sure your gutters, especially your downspouts, are working properly.  Clear out any clogs and repair any significant leaks.  Make sure your downspouts are draining rain water five feet away from your foundation.  If your gutters and downspouts are set up and working correctly, but you still notice water pooling near your foundation, you probably have an issue with the grade of your yard and may need to have a landscaper fix the problem.  

Use vapor barrier.  Crawl spaces are most commonly located where water runoff is common. They are also often designed with dirt floors.  This makes crawl spaces an ideal breeding ground for moisture and mold.  Vapor barrier can keep crawl space moisture/mold at bay.

Use a sump pump in your crawl space.  Sump pumps move water away from your foundation, and moving safely away from your house.  And of course, they work just as well in crawl spaces as they do in basement.  Be sure you have a backup power source for your sump pump and check it’s operation periodically.  

SERVPRO of Frankfort is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.  

Safely Clean Up Mold Problems

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Safely Clean Up Mold Problems Safely clean up mold problems in your Frankfort home

Consistent exposure to mold has a very negative effect on your family and your home.  The negative consequences of mold exposure can easily go undetected and cause serious problems.

Even if only a small amount of mold can be seen, it is likely you have a bigger problem below the surface.  Take action to remove the problem permanently and safely.  Here is what you need to know...

Bleach can kill virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with.  However, using bleach only works if the mold is growing on non-porous materials like tile, tubs, and countertops. That’s because bleach can’t penetrate porous materials such as wood and drywall. Using bleach on such materials can be deceiving because it will kill the mold above the surface, but mold below the surface will remain. Bleach can be useful but it can also cause damage; its a harsh, corrosive chemical that gives off harsh fumes.  There are safer alternatives, like borax and vinegar that can be used.

Borax is a natural, white mineral powder that has a low toxicity and does not emit dangerous fumes.  It can be mixed with water to kill and remove mold because it is a natural mold inhibitor.  

Vinegar is a mild acid that can kill 82% of mold species. It’s also natural and safe. Vinegar is non-toxic and doesn't emit dangerous fumes.

Removing mold can be serious business.  When removing mold wear a respirator or face mask and cover your arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. You should safely be able to take on bathroom mold or relatively small mold outbreaks in other areas if you take these precautions.  For larger problems, especially problems where hidden mold may be a problem, it’s probably wise to call a reputable professional. 

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation by a professional:

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration

SERVPRO of Frankfort is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. With the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs, we’re locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to your emergency.