What to do After the Storm
Research has shown the majority of storm related deaths occur within the first three hours following the passing of the storm cell. A quick search of the internet will lend plenty of advice on how to prepare prior to and during the storm.
For most individuals following a storm, we want to survey the damage that our community sustained. More often than not, by going out during these moments following the storm we are elevating the danger for emergency personnel.
Follow these three steps to ensure the safety of yourself and other following a storm:
- Remain inside until it has been deemed safe to go out
- Standing water and downed powerlines should be avoided at all cost
- Buildings may have incurred structural damage and should be entered cautiously
The above steps will increase the safety of yourself and those around you. If in doubt, do not go out!
Storm Damage Customer Service
If you have ever suffered through a storm that created wide spread damage in your area then you more than likely understand what it is like to feel helpless. Our office provides support to our storm teams within the SERVPRO franchise system and travels to affected areas to offer help and support to the many victims that are affected by the storms. Our office are constantly watching weather patterns and are put on alert or stand by when major storms are about to make landfall. By watching the weather patterns and having our own meteorologist on staff we are able to prepare to travel to the areas affected when we are called.
We send our teams and technicians to your areas to begin the process of mitigation. We know that the longer these damages sit the more likely there is to be secondary damage. Unfortunately, most storm damage is widespread and therefore it is difficult to assist everyone with the damages to their homes. Our offices and on the ground teams attempt to help as many people in one day as possible.
Our office staff is trained to obtain certain information regarding the damage to your home, but also additional information such as accessibility and power. We know that when you have a damage such as this you emotions are heightened and you are ready to begin the mitigation and repair process to ensure that things return to normal as soon as possible. Our office staff tries to remain empathetic and reassuring while still collecting all of the pertinent information needed to schedule services to begin. We are happy to help in any way possible and our main objective is to service your damage as soon as we possibly can.
If you find yourself in a storm situation call SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties at (618) 435-8200. The friendly staff will get you on your way to normalcy as soon as possible.
Familiarize Yourself with The Signs
SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties is no stranger to water damage. With a staff that knows lots about both the cause of water damage the correct procedure for clean-up and restoration, we would like to share with you the five most common reasons for water damage in your household.
Top Five Water Damage
- Bursting or leaking pipes such as those found in backed up toilets/drains. Damaged garbage disposal systems are another common location for bursting pipes.
- Issues with the plumbing system can be difficult or even impossible to detect. However, a common issue is hoses and joint pipes not being fully attached.
- Water build-up in susceptible areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and basements.
- Faulty household appliances. Every day appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers are all susceptible to deterioration, so keep watch on older machines.
- HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues- especially concerning your everyday AC.
When Inevitable Water Damage Strikes, Give SERVPRO a Call
No one is perfect and while possessing the knowledge to avoid water damage altogether makes the world of a difference, sometimes things just happen. Luckily, SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties possesses the resources to help you and your family recover quickly. When water damage finds its way into your home, give SERVPRO a call, sit back, and relax, knowing your home will be restored quickly.
Frozen Pipes Bring Disaster
Although we have experienced an abnormally warm start to fall, the Farmer’s Almanac is warning us to prepare for an extremely brutal winter.
Cold winters are something that we do not experience all to often here in Southern Illinois, but when we do it can bring with it a whole host of issues. One of the issues that is often over looked is frozen and busted pipes.
Three tips to decrease your chance of frozen and busted pipes:
- Ensure you have proper insulation
- Keep a steady drip of water during frigid nights
- Maintain a warm climate within your home
These three steps you will help you to eliminate the risk of having a frozen or busted pipe. Frozen or busted pipes can cause significant damage, so precautionary steps are highly encouraged.
The cold winter months are upon us and curling up by a nice cozy fire might be in the near future for many. Before you go gather wood and building a fire make sure to follow this checklist to ensure that your fireplace is safe for use.
It is recommended that all homeowners have their chimneys inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. Having your chimney inspected will ensure that there are not potential health and safety hazards.
Always inspect your chimney cap. If your chimney cap has been damaged it can allow moisture, animals and debris to enter your flue.
If the flashing around the chimney appears to be warped or bent it could be allowing moisture and water to enter the chimney. Long term damage caused by this could include deterioration and leakage.
Trim Tree Branches-
Ensure that there are no tree branches that could potentially damage the chimney during a storm and/or cause a fire.
Repair Missing Bricks, Chipped Bricks and Mortar-
Find them. Fix them. J
Clean the Flue-
Creosote is accumulated by burning fires and is the leading cause of chimney fires. Having your chimney inspected and cleaning should eliminate any creosote buildup.
Remove Leftover Ash-
A thin layer of ash can assist with starting a fire, but a large amount of ash will choke your fire out from the moisture content.
Make sure that the damper is in good working order and form a tight seal when shut. If the damper doesn’t close properly and form a tight seal it will allow outside air to mix with heated air and increase your energy cost significantly.
Install Batteries in Smoke Alarms/Detectors-
If you aren’t changing the batteries in your smoke detector out during daylight savings time, make sure that they are changed before beginning to build fires.
Be sure to store your fire wood in a ventilated area, off of the ground and away from exposure to water or moisture.
Stay warm friends! Call our office if you have any questions.
What to Do If the Oven Catches Fire
Watch your Food as it Cooks
It is very important to always monitor the food as you cook. Unattended cooking food in the oven is more likely to cause an unwanted house fire.
The Oven is on Fire. What do you do??
- If you do not have a fire extinguisher, leave the oven door closed.
- Turn off the oven and allow the fire to burn out on its own.
- If it does not go out or worsens, open windows and call 911.
- If it does go out, open your windows.
- Carefully open the oven door and remove any items that are burned. It will be smoky so be careful.
- Allow the smoke to clear before examining the area to determine the cause of the fire.
What is an ERP?
Most companies prepare for the unexpected, hence the reason most have insurance policies in place. However an insurance policy typically only comes into play after a loss has occurred. Which begs the questions, how can we be proactive in our approach?
Larger companies have develop contingency plans that upper management is aware of in the event of disaster. At SERVPRO, we work with our commercial accounts to create an Emergency Readiness Profile that even the least experienced employee can follow.
Our Emergency Readiness Profile is a tool created to more properly identify best practices to mitigating losses. Additionally it allows our crews to arrive more quickly on site; research has shown the quicker trained professionals arrive on site the less damage that your building and property will sustain.
To have your team properly prepared via an ERP, please contact our Sales Department!
Be Aware of Oven Fire Risks
The most common source for house fires is in the kitchen. Oven fires are very scary, but with preparation and proper care, they are easily prevented and contained.
There are several different reasons oven fires can occur.
- Food scraps or other items residing in the bottom of your oven can lead to a fire.
- Forgetting something in the oven can also lead to burned food, lots of smoke and in some instances, a fire.
- Grease can splatter and cause a flame
- The batter from food in the oven can overflow and cause a fire.
- Some people have reported fires starting when the self-cleaning feature is turned on.
Preventative Steps to Take
- Make sure the oven is clean before use
- Do not leave cooking food unattended
- When making cakes and pastries, place a slightly larger baking tray underneath your baking pan or cupcake tin
- Put a cover on food that might splatter. When roasting, carefully drain some of the hot grease by removing the pan from the oven every half-hour or so.
- Get your oven checked out by a professional to make sure it is working properly.
Don't Let it Sit, Call us Fast!
Did you know that timing is everything when it comes to fire, water, and storm damage. The quicker you can get the problem addressed, the less damage there is going to be. period.
Water leaks within a business can seep into flooring, carpets, baseboards and walls while moving throughout the structure, potentially creating mildew and staining walls. This might seem like a slow damage, but it can cause some of the most expensive damage.
Quick action is critical in avoiding costly repairs and expensive downtime. No business wants to have down time. The faster you call SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties the faster we can get there, and the cheaper it will be for you. Which is best for everyone.
Our SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties team understands that a damage event can not only disrupt your facility, but it can also interrupt day-to-day business functions- possible closing the business and ultimately affecting your revenues. Our goal is to get in there and take care of your facilities damage as quickly as we can.
We are here to make it "Like it never even happened."
Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing!
FROZEN PIPE PREVENTION
Short- and Long-term solutions for low temperature plumbing problems include:
- Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
- Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay special attention to areas where pipes are located.
- Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave gaps. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
- Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.
- Find your main water shutoff so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Locations vary — look in the crawlspace or basement where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air flow around the supply lines. Move any cleaners or other chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep your thermostat at the daytime setting during the night. If you'll be away for several days during subfreezing weather, keep it set above 55° F.