Recent Posts

What to Do if your Basement Floods

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

The basement. The room most vulnerable to flooding. Finished or unfinished, water doesn’t discriminate. Every year, thousands upon thousands of homeowners experience the nightmare of a flooded basement. But what do you do when water begins pouring into your basement? 

Your own safety comes first. If the water is above electrical outlets, unplug all appliances, and shut off the electricity. Once the risk of electricity is gone, you can begin removing your belongings from the flooded area to a dry, well-ventilated area, so they can dry out. 

With your belongings safely removed, you can now focus on extracting the water from your basement. Most basements have a sump pump, which is a system designed to push accumulating water from your basement to the outside. But what if your basement does not have a sump pump or the sump pump is not working properly? 

If your basement is only partially flooded, you can use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up the standing water, but if the flood is substantial, you may need to call a plumber or emergency service, like SERVPRO, to manually pump the water out of your basement. 

SERVPRO is equipped to remove standing water and begin the cleaning and drying process as soon as possible. Cleaning and drying should be done quickly to mitigate or prevent mold growth, which can be harmful to your health. 

Bonfire Safety During Fall

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Bonfires during the fall season can be so fun and a great way to bond with your friends and family. Sitting by the campfire can make for a time to tell scary stories, play games, share secrets, and create fun memories. Smelling the campfire and roasting marshmallows makes for great fun and a new adventure. While hanging out by a campfire is a fun activity, it can be easy to forget about the risk factors associated with having a bonfire.

Bonfire Safety tips:

Make sure to check the weather if you are planning to have a bonfire, if it is overly windy, you may want to reschedule for a clear day. Wind can make it hard to light the fire and it could also blow sparks around the surrounding bushes or trees. In addition, always check the direction of the wind before you start the fire. If you have a portable fire pit, you could move it to an area where there is a windbreak.

Store your firewood in a safe place. If you want to keep your fire pit going for a long time, you will have to keep feeding it firewood. Make sure that it is stored in a safe place away from the fire pit. Feed the fire pit at your place.

Build your fire out in the open, to ensure no chance of surrounding areas catching fire. You should never light a fire underneath a building or beneath trees. Make sure to keep the immediate area around the fire pit clear of any flammable objects as well.

Never leave your fire unattended. Even if a fire has weakened significantly or died down, it is still a hazard to leave it unattended. Even if you are going in for a quick bathroom break or to grab a drink, do not leave the fire alone under any circumstances. While small flames may appear to be harmless, they are still considered a threat to safety when left alone. Pour water over live embers, and make sure that all logs have fully stopped burning before you stop lighting them.

Keep chairs far away from the fire. Of course, most know to be careful around a fire, but sometimes when wanting to bundle up or make a s'more, a person can be closer than recommended. When you sit too close to a bonfire, the flames can touch your clothing, hair, or other flammable materials. Make sure that your sleeves are rolled up and your hair is tied back when you are tending to the fire, especially when roasting marshmallows or other foods.

Drink responsibly around a fire. While alcohol is flammable, overindulgence is also never a good idea, especially by fire. If you or your guests are planning to drink by a fire, do so in moderation and make sure that your judgment is never impaired.

Having a bonfire is so fun and a great way to make some fun fall memories. Make sure to follow these tips to stay safe during your bonfire, and have fun!

Fire at Home: What to Do before Help Arrives

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

When a fire breaks out at home, it can be easy to revert to a state of panic. However, it is integral that you remain calm and think with a clear head. House fires are responsible for over 2,600 deaths each year, but prevention is actually quite simple if you have the knowledge. Your local SERVPRO is here to help with some valuable tips on just how you should take action in the event of a house fire. 

If Possible, Extinguish the Fire

Firstly, inspect the situation to see if this is a manageable fire. If you can extinguish the fire yourself, ensure you do so quickly and thoroughly to prevent further spreading and damage to your home. Remember PASS: pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side. 

Ensure a Safe Escape

In the case that a fire is not manageable, immediately run to safety and call for help. If there is smoke in the home, make sure you stay low to the ground and try to avoid doors that feel hot on the other side. 

Get to Safety

As soon as you get outside, get a safe distance from the fire to ensure you remain unaffected should the fire spread to the perimeter of the house. 

Call for Help

Once you have made it to safety, CALL FOR HELP. If you don’t have your hands on a phone, get to a neighbors house to access communication as soon as possible. When you reach 911, give them all the information they need, and do not hang up until you are certain to help is on the way. 

If You Get Trapped Inside

Don’t panic. Make sure you cover all cracks around the doors with any material you can find, wet if possible. If you have access to a phone, dial 911. When stuck in the upper stories of the house, hang something out the window to alert help of where you are. Do not attempt to escape if you are in a safe room. Should you catch fire, remember: Stop, Drop, and Roll. Be sure you are continually covering your face.

SERVPRO is here to help with the aftermath, but our most important priority is that you stay safe, know how to prevent these fires from potentially spreading, and know the proper procedures.

Top 3 Ways to Address Flooding

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded Floor Top 3 Ways to Address Flooding

Nobody wants their home to flood, but we know that sometimes it happens. If you have a flood in your home, you know who to call-- SERVPRO! But here are a few helpful tips when it comes to what to do before we get there: 

  • Stop the water at its source. Unless your flood was caused by a force of nature, like a storm, the first thing you should do is stop the water source. The easiest way to do this is to turn off the main water valve to your house, turning off all of the water. 
  • Turn off the electricity. The last thing you need when your house floods is to risk electrifying the water. If it’s not possible to access the breaker without getting in the water, call an electrician! If there is a flood warning in your area due to weather, it may be best to turn off your electricity ahead of time.
  • Evacuate. If the flood was not a result of a force of nature and your yard is safe, evacuate your family, animals, and anyone else in the house to your backyard. If your yard isn’t safe, head over to a neighbor or family member’s house to wait for assistance. Always have a plan in place that includes meeting spots and a way to make sure everyone in the house is accounted for! 

Retail Cleaning Checklist

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

COVID has forced retailers to adapt in many ways remarkably quickly. And while it’s certainly been a difficult time and the future remains uncertain, it’s also been an eye-opening experience for changes that may be long overdue. 

When it comes to store cleanliness, COVID has perhaps pushed businesses in a good direction, pandemic notwithstanding. It’s important to pay extra attention to the details. Creating a thorough retail cleaning checklist is absolutely essential so that nothing is forgotten and to keep your entire team on the same page.

Retail Cleaning Checklist:

  • Clean High-Touch Surfaces Often - The most important parts of your store that need cleaning are the spots the get high traffic of touches. Of course, these are the areas that are most likely to pass a virus or other germs from one person to the next. For retailers, these likely include; Doorknobs and handles, Counter surfaces, Bathroom doors, Sinks and toilets, Shopping baskets and carts, POS machines, and credit card pin pads.
  • Disinfect Properly - There are many different solutions that work as a disinfectant. First, make sure to use soap and water before disinfecting. This helps reduce the dirt and grime beforehand, making the disinfecting round more productive.
  • Wash Soft Surfaces - Clean all carpets, rugs, chairs, couches, window drapes, towels, and apparel tried on by a shopper. Use soap and water or any other disinfectant cleaner on larger items to clean them and preserve their appearance. For small individual items, use a washing machine with hot water. 
  • Wipe Down all Electronics - Electronics are the most commonly touched items in any store, particularly around the point of sale area. Clean all POS hardware, including desktops, keyboards, scanners, tablets, credit card machines, receipt printers, keypads, and cash drawers. Many retailers have implemented a regular cleaning every 15-30 minutes.
  • Don’t Forget Outdoor Areas - Outdoor areas are safer than indoors, but they, too, need attention. Do not spray outdoor areas with disinfectant. It’s not proven to reduce risks of transmission and a waste of the cleaning material. Clean areas that are routinely touched with soap and water, such as railings, outdoor seating areas, sidewalk signage, or anything else at your storefront that can come into contact with customers or passersby.
  • Make all Retail Cleaning Checklists a Habit - As important as the items in the checklist itself, it’s critical that businesses implement a routine for their staff. Like mask-wearing, more frequent hand washing, or any other change we’ve had to make to adapt to the pandemic, changing your store’s policies requires that your staff find a habit. Start with a general staff meeting to go over a cohesive policy. Put the new policy in print so that all team members can access it and it can be shared with new employees.

Post checklists in opportune spots around the store. Ask shift leaders and managers to double-check with staff members throughout and at the end of their shifts, especially during the beginning.

SERVPRO offers commercial cleaning services backed by over 50 years of experience. They are knowledgeable and certified to ensure sanitation in line with CDC guidelines. Let us worry about the dirty work, call 1-800-SERVPRO today for a consultation. 

When Renting Office Space, What Is the Landlord Responsible for?

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

When you’re renting commercial office space, it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of what your landlord is responsible for. You don’t want to spend money on services that aren’t your responsibility. And you also don’t want to cause further damage to anything that you should not tamper with in the first place. This could be a transgression of your rental agreement and could lead to legal recourse. 

With that said, you should always check your rental agreement or lease contract. Have a copy on hand that you can reference when you’re unsure which responsibilities belong to you and which to your landlord. 

Generally, there are a number of aspects your landlord is responsible for. Structural repairs usually fall on the landlord. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to maintain and repair heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, as well as plumbing and electrical.

If there are any systems or machinery that come with the space, those usually fall under the landlord’s responsibility as well. In addition, your landlord is usually responsible for keeping common areas like stairways and elevators clean and functioning properly.   

If your lease contract does not specifically state these matters, then it’s worth having a discussion about. Otherwise, you could be held liable for building repairs that you’re not insured to cover. 

Whether you are a landlord or tenant in a commercial space, keeping your property clean and safe is important. If you need help cleaning and maintaining your commercial space, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO. Our trained professionals are there to help your business succeed. 

How to Teach Children About Fire Safety at Home

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

A parent’s biggest goal is to make sure that their child is always safe. We live in a world where there are many things to be fearful of, but the best thing that you can do is teach your child what to do in a dangerous situation.

One of the disasters we tend to teach children about earliest is fire. The key to introducing fire safety is to have a plan to teach your children if there is a fire at your home. 

Make sure your fire alarms are working properly.

Primarily, you need to make sure your fire alarms are functioning properly so you can introduce what a fire alarm is and how it works to your children.

Fire alarms are there to alert you that there is a fire, so in case there is actually a fire in your home you need to make sure your child knows what that sound is.

Plan your escape route.

You need to have a plan on how you and your children are going to get out of your home in the case of a fire. They need to be able to get out from their bedroom, so a window may be the easiest way for them to get out. You might need to get a rope ladder to assist them to get out of the house safely.

Decide on a family meeting point.

Once you make it out of the house, you need a safe place to be until help arrives. The point should not be too close to your own home. Some good places to consider are across the street, a neighbor a few doors down, or even walk to a neighboring road. Make sure that your child is comfortable with the location you choose as a safety point.

Put your plan into practice. 

The key to having a safe and successful plan for fire safety is to make sure you practice it. This allows you and your family to become comfortable with what to do in the event of a fire. It is best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. 

Fire safety is going to be something that your child has most likely never thought of, so it may be scary to them at first. The goal of teaching your child about safety is to make sure that your child is comfortable with knowing what to do in a dangerous situation.

SERVPRO is always happy to help with disaster prevention, so do not hesitate to contact us to help make your home a safer place.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home from Lightning

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

The CDC puts your odds of being struck by lightning at 1 in 500,000. But they also say, “Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities.”

Eitherway, you’re odds are much better than your home’s. 2020 saw 17 U.S. lightning fatalities. In contrast, insurance policyholders made 77,000 lightning claims in 2019. The claims resulted in more than $900 million in damages.

Protect your home from lightning

These statistics show that lightning is a serious problem for homeowners. So check out these tips for protecting your home in 2021. 

Lightning Protection System

Have a lightning protection system professionally installed. These systems give lightning a designated path to follow, so it doesn’t travel to unprotected wiring or piping in your home. They consist of air terminals (lightning rods), main conductors, ground rods, bonds, surge protectors, and even tree protection. 

Lightning protection systems should only be installed by contractors listed by Underwriters Laboratories and certified by the Lightning Protection Institute.

Surge Protection Devices (SPDs)

These devices redirect electrical surges that come to your home through powerlines. They protect your appliances by diverting the electrical surges into the ground. They should also be professionally installed. 

How to protect yourself from lightning

If you’re indoors, and you know lightning is coming, unplug electrical appliances. If lightning is already striking, stay away from all electrical appliances, windows, doors, piping, water sources like sinks and showers, and landline telephones. 

If you’re outdoors, find shelter, preferably in a lower elevation. Lightning travels by the path of least resistance, so the taller an object is, the more likely it will be hit. A vehicle with the windows closed is a safe option.

Never use a tree, as they're often the tallest structures and most likely to be struck. Also stay away from telephone and utility poles, and any metal objects. 

If you’re interested in learning more about protecting you and your home from lightning, contact the Lightning Protection Institute.

If you’re home or business suffered damages from a lightning strike, and you need emergency services, contact our 24/7 emergency service line. We have over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian locations, so we’re strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

SERVPRO: An Advocate Who Will Stand up to Insurance Companies for You

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Having a disaster happen to your property can be a stressful time for you as the owner. Not only are you required to handle the cleanup of the disaster, but you have to deal with filing a claim with your insurance company.

Insurance companies are typically very difficult to work with, as it is hard to understand some of their lingo if you are not familiar with restoration terms. 

The simplest solution is to hire an advocate that will fight your insurance company for you. Not only are you getting a top-of-the-line restoration specialist, but you are also hiring someone to work with your insurance company directly.

SERVPRO offers to handle your insurance company for you, therefore you do not need to have a middle man to pass along information to the insurance company. This prevents there being any chance of miscommunication between the company you have hired to fix your home and your insurance company. 

SERVPRO offers high-quality restoration services and is also able to work directly with your insurance company. We can help manage your insurance process and your paperwork. It is important to hire a company that is willing to advocate for you, not simply get the job done at a low standard. 

SERVPRO has a team of highly vetted professionals who want the best for your property. Our team is familiar with much of the language insurance companies use and will look out for you during the process. 

How to Secure Your Outdoor Furniture in Severe Weather

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

title over home in front of stormy sky Ensure the protection of your valuable outdoor property by taking these steps.

Finally, the weather is warming up and Ohioans are itching to get outside and use their outdoor furniture. But with warmer weather comes severe storms. Storms notorious for blowing away your furniture.

So how can Ohioans secure and protect their outdoor furniture? 

This is a great question since tornado season starts in April. 

Check out these five simple steps to keep your outdoor furniture where it should be.

Store it 

Seat cushions, pillows, plastic lawn chairs, and potted and hanging plants can blow away. Bring those light-weight and fragile objects inside your garage or home. 

If you have an outdoor umbrella, close and secure it. If you can’t bring it inside, make sure the umbrella has a heavy base and is firmly anchored. If it’s loose in the base, lay it on the ground in a safe place.

Cover it

Outdoor furniture covers come in many sizes and are great for wood and wicker patio furniture. Most hardware and big box stores carry durable weather-resistant covers. Find covers that fit your furniture. Invest in rope, bungee cords, ratchet straps, or even chains to hold the covers in place. 

If you don’t have furniture covers, and you need something quick, a tarp will get the job done. 

The best part about furniture covers is they keep your furniture dry and clean. Simply remove the covers and get back to relaxing!

Weigh it down

If your patio furniture is light, and you can’t bring it inside, the next best thing is to weigh it down. Sandbags can be helpful. Pile sandbags on your umbrella base. Stack light-weight chairs and top them with a sandbag. 

You can even use sandbags to hold down your furniture covers. 

Trim it

These last two tips take a bit of forethought but are important. Inspect your trees and shrubs for low-hanging or dead limbs. Especially limbs near your home. In a strong storm, these limbs can fall and damage your outdoor furniture, your home, and your vehicle.

Pro tip: add trimming dead limbs to your regular lawn maintenance to prevent future damage. 

Plant it

Plant a windbreak -- a row of trees or shrubs that blocks wind. They not only protect your property, they also provide privacy and look beautiful. From small shrubs to tall pines, you can find the perfect plants to fit your needs. 

Follow these 5 easy steps, and you’ll get years of use out of your outdoor furniture.