Ice Storms and SERVPRO Emergency Mitigation
Ice storms are caused by freeing rain. It starts with a layer of warmer air above a layer of sub-freezing temperatures. Frozen precipitation melts to rain while falling into the warm air layer and then becomes frozen again when falling into the cold layer. When the falling precipitation lands on surfaces it becomes a thin sheet of ice. The freezing rain will cover everything with heavy, smooth glazed ice. In the United States, ice storms happen most often in the months of December and January.
When ice falls on trees it can increase their weight by 30 times. This leads to fallen branches and entire trees to fall. This can cause roads to be blocked, tear down power lines and utility poles. This can lead people to be without power for days to weeks. Winter storms have been referred to as deceptive killers by the National Weather Service. Deaths are indirectly related to ice storms due to car crashes and death from prolonged exposure to the cold. It is recommended to stay inside for warmth and allow your pets to be inside or well taken care of if remaining outside.
Ice storms must be at least 0.25-inch of ice on exposed areas to be considered an ice storm. They are more common than blizzards and average 16 per year. Urban areas suffer the most due to the concentration of utilities and transportation systems. Each of these can be affected greatly by an ice storm and costing billions of dollars in repairs. Businesses are directly affected by the outages and can suffer significant loss.
No matter the weather or what Mother Nature brings our way, SERVPRO of the Quad Cities is here 24/7 to assist. We offer board up and roof tarping due to any damage sustained from the freezing precipitation. During the freezing weather pipes can easily freeze causing water damage to your property. We offer quick service so the structure of your home and contents do not suffer any further damage. This saves you as the homeowner on further repairs and out of pocket expenses. We work directly with your insurance carrier to speed the mitigation process along. Damage to your home is stressful enough so let your local SERVPRO of the Quad Cities oversee your mitigation needs due to weather related loss.
Space Heaters and Safety
Space Heaters and Fire Safety Precautions
Space heater fires account for almost 50 percent of home heating fires. In mere minutes blankets, nearby furniture and any other flammable items can catch on fire if near a space heater. Most fire safety specialists suggest heating up a room for two to three hours before you sleep and then turning it off.
Space heaters are only safe to place on a solid surface floor such as wood, laminate, vinyl, or tile. Never place a space heater on top of an area rug. They can trap heat and ignite if the area gets too hot. Do not use an extension cord or power strip due to them overheating and resulting in a fire. Place space heaters directly into a wall outlet.
Remember that space heaters are typically used to supplement a main heating source. This helps when heating one main room instead of an entire home, especially for those that are cold sensitive. When looking to purchase a space heater be sure it has a guard around the heating element. This will help with kids and pets from getting burned. You can purchase one with a safety switch that will automatically turn the heater off if accidentally turned over. Thermostat controlled for saving energy is another feature to consider.
Establish a 3-foot safety zone around the space heater. You should put 3 - feet away from walls, and make sure all combustible materials are at least 3 feet away as well. Never leave running space heater unattended. Be sure to turn off and unplug when leaving the room or going to sleep. Teach children that parts of the heater can become extremely hot, and they need to stay away.
Practice safety! Do a routine check to determine whether the heater plug, cord, or wall outlet is getting hot. Limit the number of appliances running at the same time as to avoid a circuit overload. Before using your space heater read the manual and follow all manufacturer's instructions. If lost, you can locate on-line under the make and model.
Practicing safety will go a long way. You can keep your home, kids, and pets safe while staying warm. Follow simple rules and teach your children the risk of fires and what to do in case of a fire. SERVPRO of the Quad Cities wishing you a safe, warm, and wonderful winter season.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Prepare you pipes for the wintery weather.
Freezing weather is upon us and the risk of freezing and bursting pipes is unfortunately a part of cold weather. Pipes bursting are one of the most common causes of water damage to property costing homeowners thousands of dollars. The most common areas of pipes freezing, or bursting are in the basements, attics, and garages. These areas are unheated and lacking insulation. You will need to be prepared for interior pipes in the cabinets or exterior walls to freeze as well.
Using pipe insulation prior to freezing weather can help avoid the possibility of pipes bursting. This step will avoid extra costs, loss of contents and having to file a claim on your insurance. Some ways to help with prevent frozen pipes are keeping the doors to your garage closed is water supply lines are located there. You can open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow heat in. Try keeping your thermostat set on the same temperature instead of adjusting. A considerable number of people travel during the winter months and should leave their heat on in the home at a temperature of no lower than 58 degrees F.
If you plan to prepare for the winter months earlier in the season this can be accomplished by adding insulation to the attic, basements, and your crawl space. The insulation will help maintain a higher temperature. To keep heat in the home be sure to prevent drafts by sealing cracks and openings around the windows.
An emergency can happen at any time and SERVPRO of the Quad Cities is your local emergency response team. We are ready to assist with your emergency 24/7. We provide excellent customer service, and our technicians are highly trained to give you the expert service you are expecting.
Winter Cleaning for your Commercial Business
Is your Commercial Business Winter Clean?
During the winter months our commercial business still needs to remain clean and appealing. With winter comes the freezing rain and snow. With the traffic of employees and customers the effects of the weather are brought into our place of business. The floors can become wet and slippery causing falls. The salt and sand residue used to melt ice can have a negative effect on your flooring as well. If you have carpet the residue is compacted and causes a dingy and dirty look.
Make sure the windows are kept clean to allow the outside light to bring in heat. Natural light uplifts employees and brightens the business.
Keeping your business disinfected is just as important during the winter months due to the rise in colds, flu, and virus strains. More people stay gathered inside during the cold months and germs are passed more easily amongst employees and customers.
SERVPRO of the Quad Cities offers Commercial Cleaning such as carpet, HVAC, and upholstery cleaning. Having your carpet and upholstery cleaned can bring new life to your area and be more attractive to potential clients or customers. The longer you wait to clean your carpets that have been soiled the deeper the dirt is penetrated and could cause permanent damage. Set a schedule to have them cleaned on a regular basis. This will help with the longevity of your flooring.
Keeping your HVAC unit cleaned will help with the air quality. When your system is not clean it can be circulating around dust, pollen, odors, dirt, and debris. Having your HVAC system cleaned will help with the performance and life of the equipment
Call your local SERVPRO to schedule your commercial cleaning. SERVPRO is a leader in the industry. Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week Providing you with excellent customer service.
Holiday Fire Safety
Practice Holiday Fire Safety
We are entering the five-week period of elevated fire hazards. Thanksgiving Day starts the five week hazard and goes to New Year’s Day. The top 3 things that cause fires during the holidays are cooking, holiday decorations, and candles. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas are the top days for cooking fires. The top days for candle fires are between Christmas and New Year’s Day. An average of 7,400 fires a year are caused by candles. Holiday decorations caused an average of 790 home fires per year. Fires started by decorations usually start because they are placed too close to a fire source.
Remember to never put water on a grease fire. When using a fryer be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and use outdoors. Using basic safety tips when cooking inside or outside can reduce the risk of a fire or injury. Never overload outlets, power strips, or allow cords to dangle off surfaces.
If you have children in the home, you will need to decorate with them in mind. Small ornaments that are placed on lower branches of tress can cause a choking hazard. Be sure to keep the lights out of their reach. Place exposed cords under a rug to reduce tripping hazards
During the holidays when having overnight guests, you should ensure they are familiar with the family fire escape plan. Have your SERVPRO of the Quad Cities contact information for any emergency fire mitigation needs. Our service is available 24/7 including holidays to ensure your emergency needs are immediately taken care of. The sooner your mitigation begins the less out of pocket cost and more structural damage that can occur. When a fire must be put out by the fire department and water damage has occurred, it only takes 48 hours dwell time to turn into category 2 gray water. Special steps will be necessary to return the structure to a pre loss condition. Category 3 water damage is considered to carry pathogenic agents, grossly unsanitary and will require many steps to return to a livable condition. Our technicians respond immediately to access the damage and start mitigation before further damage occurs. Trust your local SERVPRO team to provide exceptional customer service by keeping you informed as well as your insurance carrier with mitigation progress.
We at SERVPRO of the Quad Cities wish you and your Family the best of holidays during the next 5 weeks. Remember to practice fire safety and your fire emergency plan with your family and guest.
Smoke Webs form when the air flow in the fire slows down
Smoke webs can suddenly appear when you have a fire in your home. The webs are formed as the fire consumes oxygen and airborne soot particles begin to bond together. The webs will rise with heat and cling together. They can be found on light fixtures, corners of the ceiling and anywhere where the air flow in the fire slows down.
Hot air from the fire rises and goes up to the ceiling and expands out when it gets to the corner of a wall. When this happens, the soot goes down and links together like a magnet causing an entwined web. Smoke and soot can also make its way into wall cavities and the attic.
The soot is formed from the burning of the structure material to the contents of your home. The particles from the burnt items can settle through- out the home. SERVPRO of the Quad Cites is highly trained in Fire Restoration. We have the necessary equipment and products to eliminate smoke damage. Our team works to remove smoke webs and restore your home back to living conditions. We specialize in contents cleaning for salvageable items and odor in your home from fires. We offer move out and move back services while keeping your contents in our maintained warehouse. Your items can be stored and cleaned giving you the peace of mind that they will be returned once your home is restored.
There is no substitute for training and experience. As fire and water damage specialists, our business is built upon fire and water restoration expertise. We have the knowledge and the specialized equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO of the Quad Cites is your local fire restoration company offering 24/7 emergency services. Peace of mind and working directly with your insurance company to get your mitigation started immediately to avoid further damage and excess cost.
Preparing Your Commercial Business for Storms
Are you Prepared
When severe weather is in the forecast, we worry about our kids going to school, our pets at home, making it to the grocery store and if we will leave work early. We are in such a rush to get things done and back home that we sometimes forget our place of business. Preparing your place of business for severe weather should be just as important as your residential home. If you are not prepared and your business gets hit hard by downpours, electricity failure, and wind damage it can be a large loss. Without prior planning and employee communication the financial loss to your business could be devastating. Keeping your business running is our goal, and if storm damage has occurred you want to work quickly to get it restored. The sooner mitigation starts the sooner your doors are opened for your customers. The longer your business sets in damage the more money it is going to cost in repairs.
SERVPRO of the Quad Cities is your local mitigation franchise specializing in storm damage. We have highly trained technicians available 24/7 for your commercial emergency needs. Heavy rain fall causes flooding and we are equipped to extract and start drying out your business before more damage is done. We offer move out of contents and store in our warehouse for proper cleaning and drying. Our office personal works directly with your insurance agent and adjuster to ensure all documents for your claim are submitted in a timely manner. You as a business owner can focus on your business while we manage the rest. Our goal is to get your doors back open to the public and business running as if it never happened.
There are five essential things you can do for your business before severe weather strikes. Listed below are tips to get your commercial business prepared for an emergency:
- Prepare and Plan. Make sure you have an emergency plan that each employee fully understands. They each need to know what steps to take in case of an emergency or business closure for repairs.
- Make sure your employees have a list of contacts with working phone numbers. Each employee will need to be able to communicate with each other. It is important to keep your clientele informed.
- Make sure you have emergency items stored at your office in case employees become stranded for a time. Have a first aid kit, flashlights, drinking water, extra batteries, and food items.
- Baking up your data is very important in keeping your business running in case you need to access files away from the office. Be sure to save data to an external device as a backup.
- Having a backup power source as a generator can be very beneficial when keeping your business functioning.
Make SERVPRO of the Quad Cities part of your plan during or after any storm damage. We are here to mitigate and get you back in business!
What is a Hailstorm?
Hailstorms associated with severe weather
Hailstorms are formed when raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freezes. The hailstones grow by colliding with liquid water drops that freeze on the hailstone’s surface. The hailstones fall when the thunderstorm’s updraft can no longer support the weight of the stone. Wind driven hail can tear up siding on houses, break windows on cars and cause severe injury to people and animals. The speed of hail falling depends on the size of the hailstone the local wind conditions. Hailstones that you typically see in a severe thunderstorm are 1 inch to 1.75 inch in diameter and fall speed is between 25 and 40 mph. Hail is considered a type of precipitation but falls as a solid.
Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming have the most hailstorms. The largest hailstone recovered in the United States fell in Vivian, South Dakota on June 23, 2010. The stone was 8 inches in diameter and a circumference of 18.62 inches. It weighed 1lb and 15 oz. Most hailstorms are made up of different sizes and only the larger ones pose a risk to people. You have heard people say hail is a sign of a tornado. Hail, or any pattern of rain, calmness, or lightning is not a way to rely on predicting a tornado threat. Severe thunderstorms can produce destructive hail without a tornado. Hail caused $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year.
If you are caught outside during a hailstorm, seek shelter immediately in a sturdy building. Stay away from windows, skylights, and do not go outside until the hail has stopped. If you caught in a vehicle turn away from the windows and protect your eyes. The vehicle should provide sufficient protection from the storm. As with any storm take precautions and stay weather alert. Hail has formed due to instability in the atmosphere and severe weather can be present or forming.
When preparing your emergency contact list add your local SERVPRO of the Quad Cities. You can depend on an immediate response from our highly trained technicians, who are available 24 hours, seven days a week.
Fall Severe Weather
Fall brings 2nd wave of Severe Weather.
During the fall season the jet stream starts to shift southward in response to the Northern Hemisphere cooling off. This leads to a second severe peak in weather. The storms in fall can be just as severe as they are in the spring. With these storms can come high winds and down pours that cause flooding. The Southern United States is the area of greatest concern for server weather in the fall. The most severe weather is located from Teas to Georgia. Other areas of concern are in the central Plains and the Mississippi Valley.
The risk of severe weather from tropical systems diminishes during the fall due to hurricane season coming to an end in November. Fall severe weather season in Alabama typically runs from the beginning of November until mid -December. This weather system can sometimes start as early as October and run into the month of December. Most storm-related damage occurs with severe thunderstorm winds. We should keep in mind that severe weather can happen at any given time and always remain prepared. Treat a severe thunderstorm warning as you would a tornado due to the potential of strength and destruction it can bring.
SERVPRO of the Quad Cities and their professionally trained technicians are prepared year around for storm damage. We operate 24/7 for your emergency needs either from flooding from downpours to fires caused by lightning. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential, and commercial.
Water Damage from a Leaking Roof
Roof Damage that can lead to Water Damage.
It is important to determine if you have a water leak from your roof. A leaking roof can lead to water damage to your ceiling or your attic. Looking for any residue on contents or material can narrow down where the leak is coming from. If you notice that your ceiling is beginning to have cracks or sagging, there may be damage from the roof leaking. Once the leak has been determined, call our SERVPRO of the Quad Cities to help you determine what your next step of defense is to eliminate any further damage.
There are many causes that lead to a roof leak and water damage. The most common are listed below:
Gutters are clogged
Loss of granulation on the shingles
Not only can exterior damage cause a roof leak, but interior damage can lead to the same damage. Some common interior causes are listed below:
Condensation in the attic
Mold growth in the attic
Preventing roof leaks can be done by proper maintenance. Checking the exterior of your home for hazards, wear and tear, missing shingles and corrosion can help with water damage prevention. Check the surrounding areas for tree limbs, debris, buildup of leaves, and gutters that may need cleaned. These are all things that can lead to roof damage and then water damage. When shingles have holes, the wind can blow the rain in through them. If the hole is big enough the rain can go into the attic. During your routine maintenance check, be sure to look for any holes of missing shingles.
Serving the Shoals area since 1997, SERVPRO of The Quad Cities provides 24-hour emergency services for homes and businesses. Our highly trained technicians respond quickly to your water damage restoration needs.