It's never too early to prepare for winter!
Prior to joining the Marketing department, Rich Ciarletta worked with us as a Production Manager and Estimator, which means he's seen a little bit of everything over the years. In his second blog post, he discusses several common problems homeowners face as a result of winter storms.
Each season has its own form of weather. Here in New England, our winter weather is unpredictable and can create some serious hazards that effect every homeowner differently. Snow can create ice dams on the roof and may cause water to seep into the structure below. Snow piled against the side of the house can lead to water in the basement. If a storm is severe enough that the power goes out, then the sump pump, which maintains a dry cellar, is no longer doing its job and flooding can occur. Flooding in the basement can cause your furnace to stop working, which, in turn, can cause the water pipes to freeze. If these frozen pipes break, they can cause water damage throughout your home. Generators have become very common in most homes due to the sporadic outages we experience during winter storms. They can be a very useful tool to get you through the winter, just be sure to use them responsibly!
Rich Talks Preparedness
The definition of the word is, “A state of readiness.” We spend most of our time in our houses or the buildings we work at, which today are often the same place. These buildings have emergency exit plans, but what about when a fire or water damage occurs? Is there a plan to get you back into the building, going about life as normal? SERVPRO has an Emergency Ready Profile, which highlights any emergency plans already in place for your office, and adds to that restoration information for a faster recovery plan. Wasted time at the beginning of a loss can have negative effects on the building and down time can spell disaster to the life of your business. Installing drying equipment and beginning to clean are important steps to take immediately. SERVPRO is here for you 24/7 in the event of an emergency and ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Written by Rich Ciarletta
Beware of your Dryer!
If someone was to ask you what causes a house fire, what would you say? Odds are you would think it would have something to do with a kitchen appliance, a candle, or maybe even lightning, right? Well there’s another danger that is often forgotten about and can have just as catastrophic results. Clothes dryers, if not properly maintained, can pose a serious risk to your home. Here is a brief checklist that you can follow to lessen the risk of a dryer-related disaster in your home.
- Clean the lint tray between every load.
- Do not run the dryer if you are not home.
- Clean the dryer vent duct work yearly.
- Check behind the dryer for dust (and be sure to clean it!)
Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 4
Dealing with Dangerous Weather
Tip 4: Don't Forget your Pets!
Taking care of yourself and your family members during a storm can be overwhelming in and of itself, and adding pets into the mix probably doesn’t help. Learning what to do to protect and care for your pets in case of an emergency ahead of time will make life easier for everyone involved. Don’t forget to pack extra food, water, and any other essential pet supplies, such as any medicine, treats, etc., when putting together your emergency kit. Maybe include a recent photo of each of your pets to show around in case you get separated amidst any chaos. Make sure your pets have some form of identification, a collar with tags, a microchip, or both, on them to make it easier for you two to be reunited in the unfortunate instance they get lost. If possible, crate your animals before the situation worsens so you know where they are and that they’re safe.
Keep Those Carpets Clean!
The appearance of your business speaks volumes to your customers and clients, especially in the current state of the world. Having a clean, fresh-smelling carpet is an important part of keeping your business looking it's best. Foot traffic and airborne impurities such as pollen, dust, and other contaminants can damage your carpet over time.
Tips for taking care of your commercial carpet:
- Frequent vacuuming
Be sure to vacuum your carpet multiple times a week. This will keep soil and debris from becoming embedded into the carpet fibers. This dirt builds up over time and shortens the life of your carpet. Frequent vacuuming is the best defense against premature damage.
- Removing stains
Treat spills as soon as possible. Blot the area with a paper towel or cloth. Do not rub or scrub the stain as this can cause more damage by pushing the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Use a mild, carpet safe cleaner to help remove the stain.
- Use walk-off mats
Use walk-off, or entry mats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpeting. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil and will help to minimize the amount of dirt that is tracked in. Water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting.
- Have your carpet professionally cleaned 1-2 times a year
A professional carpet cleaning will keep your business's carpets looking their best. If you would like to schedule a commercial carpet cleaning with SERVPRO of Stoneham/Wakefield, please call us at 781-245-0011.
Dealing with Dangerous Weather: Tip 3
Dealing with Dangerous Weather
Tip 3: Have an Emergency Kit Ready
You have probably heard this one a thousand times, but how many of us actually have one packed and ready to go? How about one that is up-to-date? When putting together an emergency kit, the general recommendation is to prep enough supplies to last each member of your household 72 hours minimum. Non-perishable foods, such as soup and other canned items, and bottled water are often a smart (and relatively cheap) investment to keep on hand in case of an emergency. To find an extensive list of things to include in your emergency kit, along with other helpful advice, check out Ready.gov and remember to check back often, as they update their list regularly.
Help with Hoarding
In his first blog post, our resident hoarding expert, Rich Ciarletta, talks about the beginnings of a disorder that grips many of our elderly population.
LIFE IS MESSY –
I have been to many losses caused by water, fire and natural occurrences. Most of the time the loss occurred due to external circumstances beyond the clients’ control. Hoarding Disorder, on the other hand, is a mental health diagnosis that happens slowly over time and prevents the disposal of items. The severity can be mild or extreme. The client may be somewhat aware that there is a problem according to their definition of what a hoarder is, or in complete denial that a problem exists. My interaction with hoarding clients occurs after an event has uncovered the hoarding. Their home is now either unsafe or unsanitary and some action is needed. Each case is different and each has its own unique beginning.
The journey to untangle the causes and aftermath of this disorder, however, is just beginning. A great resource has been written by Eileen Dacey LCSW, who has vast knowledge on this subject, and works at the North Shore Elder Services in Danvers, Mass. Her book, Reclaim Your Life from Hoarding, is available on Amazon.com.
We work closely with organizations such North Shore Elder Services, providing the packing and cleaning necessary to make their homes livable, while trained health professionals provide the emotional guidance. Understanding the emotions behind the disorder can help pave a smoother path to resolution. If you know someone that struggles in this area, getting support is key to a successful transition.
Is Your Business Prepared?
Are You Ready?
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster; whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the damage occurs, but well before it happens.
No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Am I ready for what could happen?”
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile, or ERP, is a startup approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference guide of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Having an ERP also means our team can get to work faster, putting those precious moments back towards remedying your situation.
SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Call us today for more details!
Hidden Water Damage
An example of a Moisture Meter in use.
Even Minor Water Damages Need Major Technology –
Small water damages can sometimes lead to big problems if it’s not handled properly at the onset. The key to avoiding costly restoration is to treat even the smallest of water problems as a real threat to your property. This means adequate technology & equipment should be a priority when mitigating any loss.
Some of these tools are not readily available, or easy to use. SERVPRO of Stoneham/Wakefield has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry hidden water before secondary damages occur.
Here are a few of the tools we use:
- Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets and baseboards.
- Moisture Meters (pictured) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. These moisture testers provide accurate readings that allows our trained professionals to monitor the drying process.
- Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, our team can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying your space.
A Thermal Fogger in use.
Love that Dirty Water…only in the Song!
When facing a contaminated water loss, it’s important to understand that disinfecting is just as important as drying. There are different levels of contamination, with the highest being a Category Three (or Black Water). According to owner, Pat Lavigne, this level of contamination could be considered a Biohazard and requires a more intensive process.
If you have a contaminated water damage, it’s imperative to pull in a professional remediation company such as SERVPRO of Stoneham/Wakefield. In addition to professional training and hospital grade disinfectants, we can also use state-of-the-art technology that is not readily available to the general public.
Two of the tools we use are:
- Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach places.
- Thermal Foggers (pictured) use heat to vaporize a fogging solution. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing molecules. Thermal foggers can produce very tiny particles, which range from 0.5 micron to 50 microns, so it is able to permeate even the narrowest of crevices.
If you have a water damage you believe to be contaminated, call in the professionals. We are open 24/7, so if you ever find yourself in hot (or dirty) water, we’ll be there, ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”