The vital importance of maintaining your home
Maintaining your home is often regarded as one of those tedious tasks that is easy to push to the side. However, as many homeowners have learned the hard way, every dollar spent on home maintenance has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars in total maintenance cost down the line. Here’s a couple of areas to focus on to save you money fast:
Look for Leaks
Water leaks are usually simple to fix but can easily lead to disastrous results if left unattended for too long. Mold and mildew can take root and grow in wet spots in your home and can be very expensive to remove. Get ahead of mold by conducting a sweep of your home and checking all plumbing for leaks. Walkthrough your residence and inspect for active dripping or water stains on ceilings and walls.
It is also important to check your roof after any major weather event to make sure no leaks have sprung. In the emergency event of major roof damage, have the contact information of a roof tarping specialist ready to mitigate further damage. This is a maintenance cost worth investing in.
Assess Your HVAC System
Having a well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of money in the long run. Heating and cooling systems that are in tip top shape run at peak efficiency, ensuring that you get the best value out of your energy costs. Routine monthly inspection of air filters should become part of your facility management plan for your home. Performing frequent maintenance on heating and cooling systems will help prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system.
Check the Gutters
Regular cleaning of your home’s gutters can help prevent devastating damage to your home. Gutters can become clogged with leaves, branches and other debris which could lead to wood rot, pest infestations and leaks. These costs can pile up quickly and can be avoided by annual maintenance of your gutters and downspouts.
Regular maintenance may not be the most enjoyable part of being a homeowner, but knowing that putting couple of extra dollars towards maintenance cost can save you thousands in remediation.
We have the safety equipment that is vital to do the job!
Along with being a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry, SERVPRO® of Western Lake County also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup.
A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, we help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe, homes and offices. We can help with a variety of biohazard, crime scene, or vandalism issues.
Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
Blood Borne Pathogens
Our technicians remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. We thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property and contents.
We provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
We offer 24/7 service; so don’t hesitate to call us day or night to start the restoration process. If your business experiences damage of any kind, we’ll make sure your property is cleaned up and ready for business.
Busted Pipe? Toilet Overflow? SERVPRO is Here to Help!
Whether you are dealing with a busted pipe or toilet overflow, water damage in your commercial building is never fun. When this happens, there are so many things to think about that people often become overwhelmed and miss some important steps. Preparing your team and yourself ahead of time and having a proper protocol in place can make a big difference. Be sure to follow these guidelines when dealing with this type of problem.
Identify the Source
Cleaning up the mess is extremely important, but if you don't identify the source, the issue will keep happening. One of the most common sources of the leak in a commercial building is broken pipes. Besides that, you may be looking at a flooded toilet or roof damage. Getting the problem fixed right away may help you avoid larger issues down the road.
Take Safety Measures
If you are dealing with contaminated water, you need to take the proper safety precautions. Sewage contains bacteria and viruses and should be dealt with accordingly. Clearly mark the area off and wear the right equipment when cleaning up. You may want to call a professional to come to help you in this situation.
Document the Damage
Do not try to leave the water damage in place for the insurance company to come look at. Instead, you should take photographs from every angle before you begin the water cleanup. Leaving it can actually lead to more problems, which the insurance agents may view as neglect. Be sure to call them as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.
Depending on the size and severity of the water damage, you may be able to handle it yourself. If you are dealing with unsanitary water, such as a toilet overflow, or if you are at all uncomfortable identifying and fixing the leak, you may want to call a professional water restoration company to come to help you.
So call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."
Ask The Experts: How do I know if my commercial building is a flood risk?
Dealing with water damage isn’t something that your neighbors will envy you for. It can be absolutely devastating for your commercial property, not to mention the possibility of being temporarily displaced, and business put on hold. In preparation for the possibility of a flood in your area, here are a few precautionary steps to ensure you are prepared. So if disaster strikes, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."
1. Know your flood risk.
It’s important to keep track of your region’s flood risk. There are a number of factors that can determine your flood risk, but keep in mind that nowhere in the United States is free of flood risk. If you live in a coastal city during hurricane season, your flood risk will dramatically increase. Other areas with typically high flood risk include low-lying areas near bodies of water or downstream from a dam or levee.
2. Know your insurance options.
When it comes to natural disaster-type flash floods, typical commercial insurance policies often will not cover the damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy purchased through FEMA, so it’s important to keep that in mind if you do live in an area with high flood risk. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with local disaster restoration companies and choose the one you prefer beforehand since the time to act must be immediately after the flood.
3. Know the signs of water damage.
Some floods are more severe than others, and in those cases, it will be obvious when your business has been affected. In other cases, however, water damage can be more insidious and it’s important to recognize the signs, as well as knowing the different types of water that can damage your home. Blackwater, for example, is highly contaminated and will cause severe odor and mold damage to your property if not treated immediately. Flood water is, in every case, considered black water. Grey water can also cause damage but is derived from appliances and pipes in your building.
Ask The Experts: How do I minimize water damage?
Here are some great tips on dealing with water damage! Don't forget through...the best tip of all is make sure you call SERVPRO should disaster strike!
- Don’t treat flood water (regardless of source) in unwanted places lightly.
- Water that comes in from the outside of your home can bring in harmful bacteria from outside into your home.
- Even if your basement only has an inch of water in it or is even damp it is the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Even if your damage seems like it just affected your carpet water can wick-up onto your walls and get them wet risking the growth of mold if not treated properly. If your walls are made of drywall water can wick-up as much as 30 inches!
Here are some great tips on minimizing water damage to your basement. You will thank us we promise!
1) Call your insurance company and report your loss right away.
- Have them assign a water mitigation company to your claim or call SERVPRO as soon as possible to take care of your mitigation needs and let your adjuster/agent know you have already called someone out.
2) Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics and remove electronics, furniture, and moveable items to areas that are dry.
- Remember, the faster you get items out water’s way the more likely you’ll be able to save them.
3) Get rid of the water.
- If your sump pump is the issue, have a plumber out right away to fix the sump pump and/or replace it and this will take care of any standing water.
- Note: You will still need a mitigation company to extract the water from your carpet.
- If you have a broken pipe, spigot, or a toilet overflow, shut off the water immediately. Have a plumber out right away to fix the issue.
- If you have a wet/dry vac you can use this to suck up the standing water. Be sure to plug it into outlets far away from water and do not use an extension cord as the connection could short out and give you a nasty shock.
- If you have several inches of water you may want to consider renting or purchasing a submersible pump to remove the water while you are waiting for the mitigation company to arrive.
- Pull wet carpet away from walls to prevent wicking up the drywall. This will minimize the damage to your walls
The faster that you can react and follow these tips as well as get a mitigation company out to your home the better chances you have of saving your flooring, drywall, and personal items, keepsakes, and the less time your home will be in disarray.
So give us a call if disaster strikes! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to make things "Like it never even happened."
Ask The Experts: What might winter weather mean for my business?
This time of year, a winter storm is imminent. While not every storm will cripple a business, it is still necessary to be prepared. Along with frigid temperatures and snow, winter can create problems with plumbing and operations. Therefore, it is essential to make a plan for the worst-case scenario.
1. Prepare Your Building
In an effort to prepare for potential storm damage, it is wise for a business to focus on plumbing and electricity. Outside plumbing should be shut off and cleared to prevent freezing and possible burst pipes. Additionally, it may be a good idea to secure a generator if your business does not already have one. If your company does have a generator, it is a good investment to have it serviced before the winter weather sets in.
2. Plan for Ice and Snow
Any winter storm is going to bring issues of snow and ice. Being prepared for this situation means having a plow service on contract and ensuring that all walkways and driveways are cleared and salted. It is vital to do everything in your power to ensure that customers do not get hurt on the way into your business.
3. Focus on Inventory
Also, as storms have the potential to cause significant business interruption as well as property damage, it is vital to take an accurate inventory of all your assets. This inventory will be used for insurance claims if property damage results in an inventory loss. You should move stock to a secure and climate-controlled area, photographing and documenting everything. This will help streamline the process if a claim is made.
4. Make a List of Contacts
While taking inventory is necessary, it is also crucial to make a list of emergency contacts. This list should include all personnel who are essential to your operations. Additionally, you should include a disaster restoration specialist in the Western Lake County area in case of an emergency.
Winter storm season can produce significant threats to business operations. Massive snowfalls and ice storms can wreak havoc on a business, so it is essential to have a plan like the one above.
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Ask The Experts: What Is A Web Soot?
Being fire restoration specialists we have seen a lot of fire damaged homes and businesses over the years. Sometimes the extent of the damage is very evident especially when the damage is on the walls and ceilings of homes. Other times the most extensive part of the damage is in the attics, or trapped between walls where it is unseen until we dig in with our inspection.
One of the most common visible instances of fire damage are the black spider webs that seem to spring out of nowhere after a fire. These spider webs are actually called “Soot Tags” and actually don’t have anything to do with spider webs. So you can put your worries to rest because there is no such thing as “fire spiders” as one customer put it.
Soot Tags form in areas of low circulation when petroleum/synthetic based sources burn. In a fire the heat of the fire moves into colder areas since the air seeks to create equilibrium. Since that soot is riding the air with that heat soot particles follow the air into those colder areas with low circulation and are able to concentrate. Since that soot is a product of combustion the particles themselves are charged which makes it quite easy for them to create long chains of soot or soot tags. So while it looks like a lot of soot got stuck on pre-existing spider webs it is actually a whole new structure.
If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call so we can start making it “Like it never even happened.”
We are faster to any disaster and are ready and waiting to put our experience to work for you!
Ask The Experts: Removing mold from a work of art
Many artists know very well that accidents can happen at any time, such as a careless brush stroke or knocked over paint palate. Unfortunately, some accidents are larger than others. An unexpected flood in your studio can force you to partake in some very necessary mold cleaning. Follow the steps below if your house in has recently experienced a flood that resulted in some moldy paintings.
1. Dry Any Remaining Moisture.
It's natural to want to remove the mold as quickly as possible. The best way to protect the painting is to prevent the mold from spreading any more than it already has. Do this by setting the painting out in direct sunlight to dry for a few hours.
2. Carefully Brush Away Dried Mold.
You must be very careful during this step to avoid brushing off the paint itself. Use a soft-bristled brush, such as a sawdust brush to carefully sweep away the dried bits of mold.
3. Create a Cleaning Solution.
Fill a spray bottle with clean water and add a few drops of bleach. It doesn't take a lot of bleach to erase the mold damage. Mist the painting where the mold was located on both sides of the canvas. It's important to note that this cleaning solution should only be used on canvas oil paintings. Acrylic and watercolor paints are water-soluble, and using this type of cleaning solution is likely to wash away the painting.
4. Dry the Painting Again.
Hang the painting on a rack to allow the mold cleaning solution to dry completely. You can place the canvas back into direct sunlight if you wish to speed up this process.
Mold cleaning is typically a tough job that you would tackle aggressively. However, this is not the case when you wish to preserve your precious paintings. The above technique should help you eliminate any mold growing on your canvas oil paintings without damaging the artwork itself. Remember to contact mold remediation experts for assistance with any unwanted mold growth.
Why SERVPRO? Faster to any disaster!
When your Business has incurred damage from fire, flood or a storm, you may need a local restoration team like SERVPRO who can be Faster to Any Size Disaster. These professionals are preferred vendors for many insurance providers for a number of reasons. Here are three you may want to know about.
1. Locally Owned
Choosing a local restoration team allows for a faster response time to your business. Not only do they know the area allowing them to arrive on scene quickly, but this will allow them to more quickly assess the damage and begin cleaning operations. Staying local also allows the restoration team quick access to any tools and materials they may need from their own office, without having to wait an extended length of time for their delivery.
2. Large Scale Resources
While they are a locally owned company, these professionals also have access to corporate resources. This means they can be Faster to Any Size Disaster, Whether that means handling a small leak, or calling in large scale equipment for a heavy-duty job, they can restore your business “Like it never even happened.”
3. Trained for Various Needs
These professionals are also often listed as preferred vendors by the company handling your insurance claim because not only can they meet industry restoration standards, but because they can deal with a variety of disaster types. SERVPRO professionals have gone through the training necessary for dealing with fire, smoke, soot, water, storm, flooding, and mold damage. This means that even if one damage type has lead to another they have the ability to take care of your company.
If you need a local restoration crew who can be Faster to any size disaster, choose SERVPRO. These professionals are already in your area allowing them to respond quickly. They also have access to larger resources if needed. In addition, your local restoration team has been trained to handle a variety of damage types.
SERVPRO Tips: Don't be a statistic!
Don't be a homeowner to come home from a vacation with a wet house! Turn off the water!
Frozen and broken water pipes are not thought of as a catastrophe or anywhere near the same scale as a natural disaster, but damage from water is the most prevalent, yet least recognized catastrophe. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 only behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of insurance claim costs in the U.S. In most cases, pipes break during freezing weather.
As temperatures fall, water expands and causes localized pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, a break occurs. This may create a pinhole leak, hairline break or large crack.
Damage from frozen and broken water pipes can be a homeowner's nightmare. When a pipe bursts, water gushes from the pipe like a fire hydrant turning a basement into a lake within a few minutes. Water from frozen and broken pipes causes the most damage while people are away from home or while they're on vacation and their home is vacant. Make sure you turn off the water before you leave so you can return to a safe and clean home! SERVPRO can help repair any water damage if you come home to a flooded house!