Freezing Water - The Science of Keeping Freeze and Water Damage at Bay
Prevent frozen water damage in your Northeast Ohio home.
Water begins to freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees celsius. Weather like this makes for the perfect snow day or ice skating day, but perhaps not the best day for your home or business. When the temperature outside begins to drop to below 32 degrees, you may end up with water or freeze damage if you are not well prepared. So, how exactly can you stay ahead of the freezing weather? Here are a few measures that you may want to consider this year:
- If this is your first time evaluating your property for freezing weather, it may be important to make sure that your structure is well insulated (especially if it is an older building). When the temperature drops below freezing, that old Vermiculite or mineral wool may not stand up to the cold. (make sure to check your attic’s insulation as well)
- Make sure that your pipes are well insulated. This is a fairly easy task and can be a DIY project. Taking this step to protect your home or business may help you in the long run by avoiding pipes bursting and breaking.
- Check your gutters before it gets too cold. The build-up in your gutters may create a blockage and prevent proper water drainage. If this happens the water will need to go somewhere, and the last place you will want it is inside.
- Examine your foundation and windows for holes and cracks. You may find small openings that do not look intimidating, but when it gets cold and wet enough they may be susceptible to expanding and further damage. If you notice these spots seal them up with spray foam insulation, caulk, or whatever other materials you may need.
Taking just a few simple steps and extra time may save you a big headache later on down the road. Some of the steps mentioned above are even projects that you can handle yourself - even if you are not the most experienced with home improvement. If you find yourself in an emergency situation with water or freeze damage this year, give SERVPRO of Canton a call any time day or night. We can come out to give you an evaluation, and help you get back to normal as soon as possible!
SERVPRO of Canton Technicians are AMRT Certified
Trust in your restoration provider; choose SERVPRO.
Finding mold in your home can be a scary experience for any homeowner. Mold can make you and your family sick, cause damage to your home, and is an unpleasant sight. All of the technicians at SERVPRO of Canton have been AMRT certified and take pride in being able to keep your home safe for you and your family.
What is AMRT certified?
The IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) course covers mold and sewage remediation techniques to individuals engaged in property management, property restoration, IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) investigations, or other related professions.
Emphasis will be placed on teaching mold and sewage remediation techniques to individuals who will perform these procedures in the field. Course graduates will be adequately equipped to perform remediation services while protecting the health and safety of workers and occupants.
Why is it important?
At SERVPRO of Canton, all of our technicians are IICRC AMRT certified. IICRC or The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit that helps to set globally recognized standards for these areas. Ensuring our technicians receive this training gives you confidence in knowing they have the training to provide the highest quality of work and utilize the most effective processes known.
Mold remediation needs to be handled professionally and by someone, you can trust to get the job done. At SERVPRO of Canton, we are committed to earning that trust. For over 35 years we have been helping to restore homes from any and all disasters or damage they may encounter. If you find mold in your home be sure to call SERVPRO of Canton first and let us give you back your peace of mind.
How to Vet a Professional Plumber Before Hiring
When hiring a plumber it isn't guaranteed that you will get a reliable one. Vetting a plumber before hiring can avoid many costly plumbing errors that can add onto the expenses you already have from the initial plumbing work. It is beneficial to vet your plumber prior to hiring.
To pick the right plumber you want to make sure they are licensed. Some plumbers are only registered rather than licensed which can be a big difference in their performance. You can check if your state requires a plumber to be licensed, which many do, but some only require them to be registered. This may also indicate how much knowledge or experience a plumber has in the trade. It is important to choose a plumber with an extensive amount of experience. This is because with more experience it is more likely for them to do the tasks well due to the past plumbing situations they’ve handled.
Another thing that you want to make sure to do before hiring a plumber is making sure they are insured and bonded. By having a bonded and insured plumber it helps to cover the possibility of accidents because even if they have experience it doesn’t eliminate the odds of mistake. When they are insured it covers contractor errors that can occur and injure people or even damage your property. Whereas, the bond is what will pay for any damage that isn’t covered by the insurance.
Be sure to hire the proper plumber to help ensure you don’t lose money on any services. We are here to provide you with any information you may need or even help repairing damages. Contact us today at 1-800-SERVPRO to help make sure you get the job done right.
Protecting Tech During Storms
WE know the drill – the tornado sirens go off and we head to our basements to protect ourselves.
A basic human instinct, unchanged throughout time, to search out and seek the safest refuge until the storm literally passes.
While caves have been replaced with basements, we also have other tools at our disposal to help us through harsh weather which can aid us in many ways.
First is protection of our property – if we have enough warning, we will seek to weatherproof our houses with boarded windows and move furniture and possessions to higher levels of our homes to protect against the risk of flood.
But what about our intellectual property? Our data on our computers and our passwords for bank accounts and insurance policies? Make use of modern technology and ensure your valuable data is backed up to a cloud service so it can be fully retrieved even if your computer and hard drive are destroyed.
As you head to the basement with food and water, make sure you grab your smartphone or tablet. This can be a literal lifeline to the outside world during – and after – a storm. Make sure your phone is fully charged and resist the temptation to pass the hours idly scrolling social media or watching a film – you may need that battery power and given the weather you should not rely on your power staying on. In fact, stay away from anything plugged into the electrical supply.
Invest in some cheap battery charging backs and keep them in your storm cellar along with bottled water -they could provide any top ups to your battery you need.
And there are a range of useful apps – but download them well before any storm to save battery power. Put your phone into a power saving mode as well so it lasts as long as possible.
Apps you may want to download include: Zello, which turns your phone into an old-fashioned walkie talkie to connect to emergency services in an old school tried-and-tested manner; Nextdoor, which uses your GPS to connect you with people nearby; and WeatherPlus, to get the latest updates on the storm progression. Add in your local television station for up-to-the-minute news and updates about the storm.
And if you must evacuate your home for the storm’s duration, the recent innovations in home security can help you keep a literal eye on your property.
There are now dozens of smart internet-connected devices available such as door cameras that people use to protect their homes from intruders – but the same devices can give you the reassurance your home is ok as you can literally get a live feed to your phone or tablet to see the storm’s progression. Other devices include water sensors, motion sensors, remote cameras, door lock sensors and smoke detectors all of which can feed you real time information and offer push alerts if they are triggered. In these cases, no news is good news.
Electrical Outlets & Home Fires - What to Look For
Need to charge your phone, plug in your hairdryer or mixer? Electrical outlet. Need to start a fire? Not an electrical outlet. Outlets are one of the top causes of electrical fires. Home electrical fires account for over five thousand fires a year, resulting in billions of dollars in property damage, injury, and death. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over a fifth of home electrical fires are caused by outlets. Electrical fires are scary, but how do you avoid them? What should you even look for?
Overloaded outlets not only look bad but are dangerous. When an outlet is overloaded, it carries too much electricity and will generate lots of heat. The heat will create wear on the internal wiring system and can start a fire. Avoid plugging in more than two appliances in an outlet, and I know what you are thinking, “what if I just plug in an extension cord? Then can I plug in more appliances?” Nope, that is called ‘piggybacking,’ and it’s not safer and can produce even more heat, making it exponentially riskier. One should only temporarily use extension cords and NEVER use a space heater or an air conditioner on an extension cord. If you really need more outlets somewhere, consult a qualified electrician.
Outdated outlets can also create issues. As the wires behind the outlet become older, they could loosen or break, causing a fire. The wiring system behind outlets will have a fuse or circuit breakers that will disconnect when the outlet is overloaded. However, an improperly installed fuse or circuit breaker could eliminate this safety focus. Ask an electrician to inspect your house to ensure that it meets safety standards.
Not only the wiring for the outlet wear, but the blades within the outlet can as well. This will be present if, after plugging an appliance in, the cord will fall out. Perhaps, this happening may seem just annoying, but it can be dangerous. The loosened blades will generate heat, potentially causing an electrical fire. If you notice this, your best bet is to replace the outlet as soon as you can.
Home electrical fires with the cause being outlets is an easily preventable worry. Precautions are the wise man’s protection. Checking for the telltale signs and guaranteeing that your home meets safety standards are simple ways to keep peace of mind. Danger may lurk, but you will be prepared.
Preserving a Historical Building
Building repairs, updates, and general maintenance can be taxing both physically and mentally. This is especially true when it comes to a historical building. Not only do you have to worry about guidelines and restrictions, but the building may also be a little more fragile than a structure that has been built in the past few decades. So, how exactly do you go about caring for and preserving a historical building without compromising the safety of its occupants? A good place to start is to understand the cultural significance of the structure and the history it holds.
Once you truly understand the structure’s story, it becomes easier to have direction in preserving and protecting it. In fact, depending on the significance of the building, you may be able to apply for grants and funding to help maintain and update the structure. If you are able to secure these, you can truly make the commitment to not cut any corners on supplies or experience. This will be an important factor not only for the safety of everyone, but also maintaining the most accurate image of the building.
If you have found yourself in possession of a historical building, take time to consider and do your research. Resources ARE available, and you may be surprised by how important preservation is to others who may be willing to help. You do not have to restore and preserve it all on your own, and you will be grateful you saved a piece of history when you do! If you find that you need a little extra help cleaning and sanitizing your building, give SERVPRO a call at (330) 677-4483 for help with all of your commercial cleaning needs!
Office Rental Maintenance: Who is Responsible for What
Educate yourself on the responsibilities of you versus your landlord.
Office rental maintenance relies on an agreement between the tenant and the landlord. Although these agreements can differ from one to another, they often follow many of the same basic principles. As a general rule of thumb, the tenant is responsible for keeping the office in good shape and the landlord is responsible for the structural aspects of the building.
The responsibilities of the tenant are focused on many of the cosmetic aspects of the rental space. This includes the cleaning and repairs of items such as the carpet, wall coverings (such as paint or wallpaper), lighting, and bathroom and kitchen fixtures. As the tenant, your responsibility is to fix any of these aspects of your rental office if you cause damage to them.
The landlord of the rental aspect is in charge of the structural integrity of the rental office. Some structural aspects are the shell of the building, the foundation, windows, roofing, electrical system, heating system, and ventilation system of the building. These responsibilities many landlords do not want to put in the hands of their tenants because they want to assure that they are maintained and repaired properly.
There needs to be a good balance between tenant and landlord responsibilities. For example, a tenant of the office space may not want to invest much money or effort into fixing the electrical system of the building because they are only renting the space and do not have any commitment to staying in the office space forever. Cutting corners on repairs of major systems of the building can be unsafe. On the other hand, if a lightbulb burns out, the tenant will be much more willing to repair it because it is a simple and inexpensive problem to fix.
Responsibility in rental office maintenance is something that needs to be addressed when signing a lease. Both parties must agree on the terms of the lease. If you need to address any repairs, make sure you contact a professional. SERVPRO of Canton is always ready to help whenever you are in need of a repair.
Lightning Hazards on Your Property
Be prepared when lightning strikes near your Canton home.
There are many myths that involve lightning, some of which tell you exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Getting struck by lightning is known as an extremely rare occurrence, comparable to winning the lottery, but looking at the number you are actually way more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery. It is more common than people think and it is important to know the potential hazard to make sure you and your home are as safe as possible.
Lightning presents 3 main hazards to your home if it were to be directly hit:
- Fire Damage- The biggest threat lightning holds to your home is starting a fire. Your home along with a lot of the items in it are made from flammable materials that could easily be ignited if struck.
- Power Surge Damage- If lightning chooses any of the home's electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. Even if most of the lightning current takes other paths to the ground, the home's electrical system will experience enough of a surge to cause potentially significant damage to anything connected to it, electronics in particular.
- Shock wave Damage- Lightning can easily break and crack brick, concrete, stone, and cinder block. Brick and stone chimneys usually will take a huge hit. Lightning's shock waves can blow out plaster walls, shatter glass, create trenches in soil and crack foundations.
Your home is a safe shelter during a lightning storm, but there are some precautions to take to ensure your safety.
- Avoid water - stay out of the shower and bath during a storm.
- Avoid electronic equipment,
- Avoid corded phones - Cordless and cell phone use is okay
- Avoid all windows, doors, porches, and concrete.
If lightning strikes your home you will want to call 911, lightning can spark fires that will take time to be known. Lightning strikes are an underrated weather hazard as well as unpredictable. There’s not much to be done that can prevent it from striking anywhere, but you can know how to keep yourself safe. SERVPRO of Canton is your storm damage specialist.
How to Prepare a Flood Plain Go Bag
Prepare your household for when the flood water hits your area.
IF a flood hits your home, you have to act quickly – the time is of the essence to get you and your loved ones and pets to safety.
Water is literally a force of nature and there is little you can do to prevent damage from taking place – but you can prepare to minimize damage and put yourself in the best position to pick up and repair when the floodwaters subside.
If you live in a flood plain, it is worth having a ‘grab bag’ ready to go so you can simply load your family and pets into the car, grab the pre-packed essentials and get yourself to safety – everything else can be sorted out later.
Your grab bag or box should be put together around the 5 Ps of Evacuation – Personal Needs, Priceless Items, People, Prescriptions and Papers.
For your personal needs, gather essentials like clothing, toiletries, food, cash, phones, chargers and first aid supplies. Priceless items are quite self-explanatory – whatever you own that cannot be replaced. These may be sentimental rather than valuable but will be unique to your family.
People – whom are you taking responsibility for? It may seem obvious, and probably is, but does your family unit include others that may not live with you or even a vulnerable neighbor? And – of course – we count our pets as family.
Prescriptions – gather all your essential medications and any equipment, and the paperwork too - if you are away for a while you will need refills and the pharmacist will need vital information.
And finally, Paperwork – ensure you have access to all your key documents. Some, like passports and birth certificates, you should take with you. Others, in today‘s electronic world, could be stored on the cloud such as bank details, insurance policy information, and suchlike – all ready for you to start the essential calls to get your home put right for your return.
Make sure you plan ahead and remember that SERVPRO of Canton is faster to any disaster.
SERVPRO of Canton Technicians are WRT Certified
Trust SERVPRO of Canton to be your go-to Water Damage Restoration Team.
Basement flooded? An ice dam on the roof? Water damage anywhere in the home can be devastating. It also becomes the breeding ground for mold and dangerous substances. When water damage occurs having someone knowledgeable and who cares can make a huge difference in getting your home back to being the safe haven for your family it always should be. At SERVPRO of Canton, all of our technicians are WRT certified to ensure you are receiving the service you deserve.
What is WRT certified?
The Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) course is designed to provide basic education for technicians and other materially interested parties in the science and practice of water damage restoration. This course is designed to teach non-restoration personnel that perform remediation work to give them a better concept of water damage, its effects, and techniques for drying of structures. This course will give residential and commercial maintenance personnel the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.
This course will cover:
- Basic containment
- Basic mold procedures.
- Essential knowledge of water damage and its effects
- Techniques needed for drying and restoration
- The spectrum of building materials and surfaces.
Why is this Important?
IICRC or The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit that helps to set globally recognized standards for these areas. Ensuring our technicians receive this training gives you confidence in knowing they have the training to provide the highest quality of work and utilize the most effective processes known.
At SERVPRO of Canton, we understand the importance of these certifications. Every technician that will enter your home holds all available certifications. We are committed to being the company you can trust with both our knowledge of restoration and the customer service standards we strive for. Visit our website or give us a call at SERVPRO of Canton today and let us take away the stress of restoring your home.