Does your home have a fire extinguisher
Independence Day is fast approaching. That comes with the chances of fire hazards, accidents and injuries resulting from putting those fires out.
Follow these tips to make sure your fire extinguisher is ready, just in case something goes wrong.
When is the last time you checked your fire extinguisher?
How old is it? You will find an expiration date at the bottom of the label. If it is more than ten years old, it should be replaced. The pressure could be gone or it simply could not work.
Check the gauge to be sure it is pointing to the green area on the gauge.
Does it have a UL listing on the label to verify that is certified and ready to go?
Once these questions have been verified, make sure you know the location of your extinguisher in the home. Familiarize yourself with how to operate it as well.
To help you to remember, you can use the acronym P.A.S.S.
A-Aim at the base of the fire
S-Sweep from side to side
If there is more than one person in the home, have one call 911 and the other use the extinguisher. If the fire has reached a stage other than the start of the fire, it is very important to GET OUT of your residence and wait for the fire department.
TIP: Never add water to put out a grease fire. It could cause and explosion or make the fire even bigger. Try to smother with a lid, pizza pan or cookie sheet. Do not try to remove pan from the stove. Turn the heat off and smother.
CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE BUT ABOVE ALL STAY SAFE.
Rain, Rain Go Away!
Flood waters receding
It's spring and Mother Nature has a lot to say. Spring storms can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home, in a small amount of time, but it is not only storms that caused that damage. There are many reasons that water can cause damage to your home. According to the institute of business and home safety, homes over 30 years old are three times more likely to have a major plumbing or drain problems. Some studies have shown that 75% of water heaters also fail within the first 12 years. While this study only covered homes over 30 years, new homes are not excluded from issues either.
There are some signs to look for when examining your home or a home that you may be looking to purchase:
Look up- Look for water spots forming on your ceiling they may look like small to large brown rings. You can also press on these spots they will be soft to the touch. This is to see if they may be formed from a recent leak.
Feel for soft spots- While we do this for spots in the ceiling, it is also important to watch for these on the floor as well. The floor may sag a little when you are walking to the shower or be soft around the base of the toilet. This can happen not only in the bathroom, but anywhere within the house. This could be from current or previous water damage the wet floor or subfloor could be wet and causing the floor to rot.
Look for rust- Rust on your hot water tank could indicate a small leak. It is suggested to flush your hot water tank and it will prevent sediment build up.
Step Outside- After a good rain step outside and inspect the ground around your home. Is your home landscaped for proper drainage or does the water gather around the base of your home?
Inspecting your roof- Inspection of your roof is very important, particularly after a heavy storm. The combination of high winds, rain and sometimes hail could be detrimental to the life of your roof. Watch for missing shingles, damaged flashing and pools of water.
Smell- Odor caused by mold or mildew that could be linked to some kind of water damage inside your house that may have passed unnoticed or unintentionally mistreated.
Once water damage has happened the clock starts ticking. The water problem can quickly worsen, causing secondary damage like mold. When your property has a water damage you don't have the luxury of waiting around to hope that it dries out on its own so call the professionals to get help. Secondary damage can begin as early as 24 to 48 hours. Mildew spores are everywhere, but need moisture and a food source to develop. That is just what your wet carpet and drywall offers. So proper and timely treatment of the water damage is important.
It is important to note that not all water damages are treated equally. Each cause of origin has its own standards as far as treatment and coverage. It is always important to contact your insurance company immediately for them to determine your policy for coverage.
Are you ready?
Catastrophic weather is nothing out of the ordinary anymore for us. Recently the United States have been affected by many different types of disasters. Flooding, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards threaten homes, businesses, and communities. Statistically as many as 50% of businesses may not recover following a disaster, this is according to recent industry research. The businesses that do survive a disaster the majority of these businesses were prepared and had a preparedness plan in place.
Pre-planning can serve as an additional insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire can affect your business!
Preparation is an important component in making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or flooding as we have recently experienced in Charleston, Sissionville, Saint Albans, and Cross Lanes, WV. The best time for planning for such events is not when the disaster happens, but well before it happens it happens. Contact your local SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley Professionals to establish your Emergency Ready Program.
Emergency Ready Program
· A no cost assessment of your facility.
(This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.)
· Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
(Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”)
· A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
(It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects, but it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
· A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
(This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.)
· Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
(This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.)
Saving lives one home at a time.
Saving Lives One Home at a Time
This fall, Red Cross volunteers and our partners will install 100,000 free smoke alarms in high risk neighborhoods nationwide. Sound the Alarm installation and fire safety events will take place in more than 100 communities across the country, providing a lifesaving service in our quest to reduce death and injury from home fires.
Every day, seven people die in home fires. Most, in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. That’s why the Red Cross rallied an army of volunteers and launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Since then, they've accomplished so much.
Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25% by 2020.
If you or your companies are looking for a cause that you can be involved in and know that directly saves lives, I would suggest this one. Join us as we "Sound The Alarm" with the American Red Cross.
SERVPRO hats through the years
”Commercial buildings are not large houses!”
Our local SERVPRO franchise has 4 Commercial Drying Specialist on staff and this is one of the first things they learn when attending an Institute Of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) class.
Drying and restoring commercial properties can be very complex and pose a multitude of situations not typically found in residential properties. Some of the differences between commercial and residential properties are obvious, such as size and uses, but others may not be that obvious like intricacies in HVAC systems, and complex electrical systems.
Other differences in commercial and residential structures that may concern a restorer will be things like public access, multiple stakeholders, construction materials & building codes, as well as the potential for increased safety issues in a commercial property.
Our certified Commercial Drying Specialist know the differences between commercial and residential properties and can “change hats” instantly from one to the other with very little effort. This ability to understand and adapt to these differences is one of the many things that help our restorers stand out in the restoration industry. It is also the reason that the majority of municipalities, utility companies, property management firms, healthcare facilities, and school systems in our area trust SERVPRO for all their restoration and cleaning needs.
SERVPRO is also on the cutting edge of document drying science and have the ability to dry, clean, sanitize, and restore documents once deemed unsalvageable a few years ago. This can save a business thousands of dollars and major headaches if these documents are ever needed to be produced.
Another advantage SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley has over other restoration companies is although our local franchise can produce most commercial jobs on our own, if we get a job that is beyond our local capabilities, we can have our Corporate Large Loss Division assist us with staff and equipment to handle any size disaster.
Knowing the differences between residential and commercial properties is very important in our industry and if a restorer does not understand those differences, it could lead to catastrophic results from safety issues, or much higher cost of a commercial project than is necessary. Trust your business to the Pro’s in the know, SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley. We are standing by 24/7/365 for ALL your restoration and cleaning needs.
Serving those who serve
Thankful for our veterans and current military for the sacrifices made for us.
Every once in a while, we get the chance to run into a previous customer. This time, just so happened to be at one of our most recent continuing education classes. On this day while we were waiting for the instructor to start the second of two classes, a conversation was started about the military because several of the participants in the class were prior service veterans. Afterwards, when we were caught up in our conversations a gentleman began telling a tale about when he was called back to duty after 9/11, and how his household was hit with a catastrophe and need our assistance. Before being able to really tell his whole story the class started and cut his story short. Just the next day after returning to the office, we received and email finishing his story.
So we would like to share his story with you:
As always it was a phenomenal experience having your team provide us with our required ethics course. They represented SERVPRO extraordinarily well, much like my personal experience when I suffered a basement water loss in my own residence.
While I was retiring from an honorable career of military service, the Trade Center tragedy occurred and caused the services to reach out and return many of us back to active duty (Stop Loss). Having just retired and moved my family and belongings to our new home in Dunbar, West Virginia, I shrugged my shoulders and returned to service as ordered. No one knew when the Stop Loss would end. Two and a half years later, I was able to finally enter retirement and rejoin my family. Being away from home was what my particular service specialty became used to. Even the capability for others to help take care of my family’s needs while I’m away was something the military installations did well. In this rare Stop Loss condition, there was no one in the civilian world that we could count on, with the exception of a hand full of elderly family members.
About two or three months after leaving the family in Dunbar to once again deploy to the desert, my wife was able to contact me and our insurance agent, who recommended SERVPRO to remediate the flooded basement. Today we still tell everyone we know about our SERVPRO experience and try to provide your contact information. I was impressed, through my wife’s reports while I was deployed, that SERVPRO attacked the job like a well-oiled military machine. She explained that the entire team was friendly, supportive and they all appeared to know their roles and set out to ensure they saved our basement from further damage. One of SERVPRO’s technicians found the water heater pop off valve stuck in the drywall about eight feet away. It must have been quite the explosion by the brand new water heater that had been installed. Fortunately, no one was injured, and SERVPRO worked to get the water damage under control in just a few hours. It’s important to note that SERVPRO worked directly with our homeowner's insurance carrier to ensure our residence was once again made functional for our family to enjoy. My remaining family never had to go to a hotel or stay with another family member due to SERVPRO’s immediate responsiveness. They live up to their slogan, Like it never even happened®. You could tell their work ethic and customer centric culture means you can rely on them to walk the walk and talk the talk. The Cooper family cannot thank you enough or say enough about how satisfied we were that you had our backs!
Roof Damage Leads to secondary problems
There are lots of different issues that could cause damage to your home; Roof damage is one of those. Damage due to storms is the most typical, but there are several things that COULD cause the damage to your roof some being more visible than others. It is always good practice to have your roof inspected every 10-12 years, unless there has been a specific issue that may have caused a reason to check it sooner such as a severe storm, hail, or some other sort of natural disaster. Unfortunately, when your roof becomes damaged it can lead to bigger issues that may ultimately cause water damage to the interior of your home.
Here we mention a few things to look for when you are inspecting your roof:
- Loose or missing shingles: this could be caused by high winds, improper installation, or simply wearing out over exposure to the elements through the years. Loose nails can also leave a hole in the shingle that water can find its way through as well.
- Poor installation of the flashing. "Flashing" is the metal that is placed in the sections where the roof meets the walls, or in the valleys. This must be installed properly to divert water from the roof.
- Gutters that are not placed with the right pitch, or that have seems that are not sealed properly can also cause water to back up and then overflow into the house causing water damage to ceilings and/or walls. Not having gutter guards to keep leaves and debris from collecting in the gutters can cause overflow of water that can result in damage to your roof and other areas of your home as well.
- Rotted fascia or soffit can also be an area that allows water to intrude.
If you suspect that you may have roof damage causing water damage to your home please feel free to contact us at 304-755-9510 and we will be happy to assist you. SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley can also supply emergency tarping and board up if the need may arise.
SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley will be there for all of your home repairs or accidents.
Are your Ducts in a row....
Before and After duct cleaning
The Benefits of Cleaning Your HVAC System
There are many obvious benefits to cleaning just about anything, and that is especially true for the HVAC system in your home. Many people overlook the importance of regular cleaning of their air ducts because it’s not particularly the first thing that they see every day, nor is it the surface they eat on. However, your HVAC system is probably the most used equipment in your home. After all, it does have a lot to do with the quality of the air you breathe and the overall comfort of your home.
It’s simple, things get dirty over time. Airborne particles, dust, dirt, allergens and chemicals are pulled through the HVAC system each day and as much as the filter works to retain most of these particles, some still make their way through the air ducts. Did you know that dirt and dust trapped in your HVAC system can be recirculated through your home 5-7 times a day? No wonder allergies aren’t getting any better.
Why should you have your HVAC system cleaned?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still get dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
View NADCA's White Paper on Restoring Energy Efficiency Through HVAC Air Distribution System Cleaning
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is one concern that building managers and building inhabitants have when they decide to investigate HVAC system. Normal occupation in a building, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. Contaminants then pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.
While a contaminated HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
A good tip to remember is to check your filter at least once a month. This way you can determine the level of dirtiness, especially during months of heavy use. An unchanged, dirty filter slows down your HVAC system and makes it work harder to ventilate air through your home. This not only wastes household energy and causes higher utility bills, but can lead to decreased air quality filled with allergens or micro bacterial agents and can ultimately cause damage and repairs or system failure.
It’s also important to note that filters can only go so far, they do not catch everything. Ducts harbor and collect dust and allergens that air filters cannot deter. To prevent build-up over time, it’s no secret that HVAC systems and ducts need to be kept clean. It is important to regularly schedule an HVAC system cleaning. SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley is here to help. Please give us a call today to schedule your free estimate for HVAC cleaning. 304-755-9510.
Residential HVAC cleaning at SERVPRO starts at $399.00 for a three bedroom, one HVAC unit per household. There will be additional charges for an increase in bedrooms and units.
For Commercial owners please contact our office for an estimate.
"You eyes can deceive you. Do not trust them" - Obi-Wan Kenobi
May the force be with you when you choose a restoration vendor in Charleston, WV
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……….
Ok, we know this is a shameless ploy to play upon the release of the latest Star Wars film opening soon in a theater near you, but we just couldn’t help ourselves.
We all love these fantastic voyages into deep space where we can check out of reality for a bit and imagine we have Jedi powers to save the World. We can relate these classic and revered movies to real life, so that’s what we are going to do.
Using only quotes from the Star Wars saga, we will explain the difference between SERVPRO of North Kanawha Valley and our competitors in the restoration industry.
1.“Do, or do not, there is no try”- Yoda
With SERVPRO handling your disaster situation in the Charleston, WV area you will never have to worry about us giving you the best service possible. Our highly trained technicians will never have to make a guess when it comes to the proper way to handle the cleanup and restoration of your project.
2. “I’ll not leave you here: I’ve got to save you!” – Luke Skywalker
This is the attitude of every one of our technicians as they tackle the task of getting your emergency under control, no matter what time of day or night. We will always be there for you 24/7/365!
3.“We shall double our efforts !” – MOFF Jerjerrod
SERVPRO will always go the extra mile for our customers; if it means we have to call in reinforcements from one of our trusted SERVPRO Large Loss Recovery teams, then that’s what we will do. No loss is too large for us.
4.“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” – Yoda
With SERVPRO’s “Restore vs Replace” philosophy, we can keep the cost down on our projects by “saving” your property and contents by following very specific procedures in our restoration processes. These ideals keep us from having to perform excessive amounts of demo to the structure. Also, with the advances in technology in our field, we are able to restore content items that would have once been considered non-restorable a few years back.
5.“Great kid. Don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo
We do occasionally make mistakes, but unlike some of our competitors, we own up to our miscues and diligently correct any issues in order to restore your confidence in us.
6.“You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. “ – YODA
We always strive to leave you cool, calm, and collected when we restore your home or business. This can be a very stressful time for you, but with our help, you can have the peace that comes with knowing you have someone that truly has YOUR best interest in mind.
7.“You do have your moments. Not many, but you do have them. “ – Princess Leia
It is not our practice to run down our competition, but the following has been just too much fun for us to pass up. To be honest, there may be one or two restorers that we might recommend if it was a situation in which we could, for some crazy reason, not be able to respond.
8.“I wouldn’t be nice to you; it doesn’t pay much.” – Han Solo
Some companies in our field are only worried about landing the “big one”. They won’t bother themselves with “smaller jobs” that may not pay them what they think they are worth. This pious attitude is not found in our organization. We care about every disaster no matter what size it is or how much it pays.
9.“It’s not my fault.” – Han solo
You may hear this from another company, but never from us. As we stated earlier, we do make mistakes, but we try everything possible to resolve them.
10.“Mind tricks don’t work on me.” – Watto
Some contractors may try to run up the cost of a claim by doing what we call “upselling a job”. These companies spend so much time trying to find other ways to take your hard earned cash that it clouds their vision of why they are there in the first place. We will always be upfront with you and NEVER try to get more out of you, or your insurance carrier, than is applicable to your emergency.
11.“It’s a trap! “ – Admiral Ackbar
Some contractors will also try to tell you that you HAVE to use them because they are on a specific insurance companies provider list. This is NOT true! It is the homeowner, or business owner’s choice of who they use as their trusted vendor. SERVPRO is a trusted vendor for many insurance companies, municipalities, and corporations and we are able to service you no matter what insurance program you have. Don’t let others fool you by telling you that you MUST use their services.
12.“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent, now get out of here.” –Qui-Gon Jinn
Any company can spout restoration rhetoric; however, it takes a highly trained and certified technician to perform cleanup and restoration properly. All of our leaders are certified through The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). They also go through extensive SERVPRO continuing education and training during their time with us. Our technicians can not only talk the talk, but they can walk the walk as well.
13.“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
In conclusion, don’t take chances when it comes to your restoration project. Call the Pro’s at SERVPRO for an out of this World experience. You’ll be glad you joined forces with the most respected company in the restoration field.
Forensic remediation is a solemn but necessary practice in the field of restoration. If you have ever had the misfortune to discover a deceased family member or loved one, you may not realize how important it is to inquire about forensic remediation services. Forensic remediation can be necessary to restore a home back to preloss conditions. The three main causes of forensic damage are suicide, homicide, and unassisted deaths. An unassisted death occurs with someone expires and the body is not discovered for an extended period of time. When a body sits for an excessive amount of time the advanced stages of decomposition sets in. Unassisted deaths are unfortunately common and more damage to the home can occur the longer a body is allowed to decompose.
The biggest reason to have a professional company such as SERVPRO to perform this service is safety. It cannot be stressed enough how important safety is when it comes to any environment that may deal with blood or other bodily fluids. First and foremost blood is pathogenic. What that means is any fresh blood has the possibility to make you sick. SERVPRO technicians are donned in Tyvek suits, gloves, and full face shields. Having the correct personal protection equipment is crucial when handling any materials affected with blood. There are times when the bereaved enlist volunteers to help clean up the areas whom wear little or no protective gear and are subjecting themselves to a harmful environment. During extreme cases, any illness obtained by volunteers could potentially hold the bereaved liable for damages. When you hire SERVPRO, you needn’t worry about any such complications because SERVPRO educates their employees to be certified in all restorative fields, and each franchise carries various insurances necessary for the restoration field.
Another main reason to outsource this line of work to the professionals at SERVPRO is to insure that you are receiving the most quality of service. Certified technicians will understand what types of materials are salvageable or not depending on how affected the areas are. When blood is pooled on the carpet it is not safe to clean and sanitize the area. The most appropriate step to take is to remove the carpet and pad. Once the carpet and pad has been removed the technicians will now address the sub floor. The sub floor will be cleaned and sanitize with an E.P.A. registered disinfectant and sealed with an antimicrobial sealer. There have been scenarios where the bereaved have tried to clean and sanitized porous materials such as carpet, but then have become sick in the future. If porous materials are only lightly affected by splatter instead of being completely saturated they may be cleaned and sanitized. However, in many instances of cleaning and sanitizing these lightly affected areas still leave an unsightly stain.
After the damage has been assessed, and the areas properly mitigated any soiled materials are then bagged in bio hazard bags and properly discarded and hauled from the work site. A side effect of the deceased can be the odor. SERVPRO has several different pieces of equipment that are designed to handle many types of odors, especially odors that are protein base. Once the technicians are completely finished the affected area is now safe for the bereaved and will allow them to mourn properly without the added stress.