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Red Cross Safety Tips

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

We Have the Solutions!

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the unique ability to help property owners in a variety of ways. Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. With over three decades of experience we have seen most everything. We cannot say everything because even in the decades of helping our neighbors in the Carthage/ Joplin Area, we still see new things. But here are a few disasters we commonly take care of.

Water Damage – We see water damages from all kinds of sources. Busted pipes, malfunctioning appliances, human accidents or neglect, and ground flooding to name a few common sources. No matter the cause, or the epic story that explains it, we have a solution to return you to normal “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and Smoke Restoration – A fire can be very a huge inconvenience but it is not the end of the world. Many times, you would be surprised at how much of your personal property can be restored. We specialize in cleaning and deodorizing anything from family heirlooms, documents, to the very walls in your home or business.

Mold Remediation – With naturally high levels of humidity in the area of the country we live in mold can be an issue if a water intrusion is not properly taken care of. Not only do we offer remediation services but we also do mold testing and offer preventative measures such as crawl space moisture barrier installation.

Bio Hazard Clean Up – This area of our work is not enjoyable to talk about but many times it is necessary. We have the training and experience to properly clean up any area they may have the threat of blood born pathogens being present. These cases include trauma and crime scene clean up.

These are by no means the only services we offer. Frankly, whatever mankind or mother nature can throw at a structure, we can more than likely assist in the restoration.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

SERVPRO's Relationships

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Involvement by our SERVPRO at all levels in the community cannot be understated. One of these levels is at the city and county economic level. Every town and city has a vested interest in trying to help their local business survive and thrive, providing much needed jobs to the members of their communities and also providing economic stimulus and tax revenue generation. 

These needs get interrupted when disaster strikes a business and it is vital to get their operations back up and running, as quickly as possible, "Like it never even happened." This is where the relationships you form with SERVPRO prior to the disaster striking are so important. Does your business already have a SERVPRO Representative (SMR) assigned to you? If not, complete a internet search for your local SERVPRO franchise and ask for one to be assigned to you. This SMR will go through the process of educating your business about all that they can do in advance of the coming disaster, to help you prepare so that when it happens, it is not as costly to you in downtime and lost production.       

There are many different ways to get involved with your community business members. Building relationships with our local businesses is key for when large events happen at this level, those leaders run in small circles and great relationships are needed here, so those business leaders can get their business's back up and running and restore their communities to like it was before the disaster.... "Like it never even happened." 

What's in a Flood?

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends have found that out after recent flooding. The cleanup caused by recent flooding in much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.

What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line for example. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.

The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.

The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. The tragic flooding we experienced this spring would be considered black water. Yes, we said earlier rain water was considered clean but as this water flowed out of control through farms and cities it picks up contaminates. Flooding to this extent has mixed with local sewage systems, as well as been in contact with an endless list of chemicals and contaminates.

SERVPRO always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals but we cannot stress enough how harmful black water can be. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup. When handled improperly, it is easy to contaminate other areas of your home or business and instead of mitigating damage you may accidentally increase it. Black water should always be left to the pros.

Getting Prepared for Severe Weather

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, we have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible sever storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here is our annual spring sever weather reminders.

Be vigilant and aware. There are a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of sever weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radio stations covers entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information of specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.

Have an Emergency Kit ready. We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aide kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.  

Have a rendezvous plan. Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.

As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!

Spring Mold Prevention

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and temperatures are getting warmer little by little. It’s evident that spring is in the air. Spring weather motivates us to open windows and breathe in the fresh air, but it may be surprising to know that doing so can increase the chances of mold growth in your home due to the presence of moisture and humidity in the air. Many different surfaces, such as carpet, wood, and insulation, can serve as reservoirs for mold as long as moisture is present. It is also important to note that mold is capable of growing at any point during the year, but warmer temperatures and greater humidity in the spring increase the risk of mold growth during the season. Understanding what actions you can take in order to prevent mold growth will prove absolutely essential in protecting your home and those living in it from the harmful effects of mold this spring.
It is extremely important when protecting your home from mold growth during the spring to facilitate the circulation of air within your home so that warm air will not become stagnant in one area. Air can be circulated efficiently with the help of fans and moisture in the air can be decreased through the use of a dehumidifier. It is important to remember that humidity levels indoors should not be greater than 45%. It may also be beneficial to keep an eye on areas of the home that are cold or dark, which are especially susceptible to mold growth. To help prevent mold growth in these areas, do your best to expose these areas to natural or artificial light.
Finally, after rain showers or storms, which are prevalent during the spring, make sure to frequently check areas around windows and doors for mold growth. Moisture from rain water can gather around windows and doors, which can lead to mold growth if not dried immediately. Additionally, because temperatures indoors and outdoors differ during the springtime, condensation is often prevalent on doors and windows. Moisture from condensation, when met with humidity, can also lead to mold growth if the area is not dried.
If mold becomes visible on a surface in your home, be sure to diligently scrub the surface with water and detergent. After doing so, make sure that you dry the surface thoroughly in order to prevent further mold growth in that area. Small-scale, isolated mold growth is typically manageable, but larger-scale mold growth can be overwhelming and require professional remediation. Call the mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO in order to assess the situation and take care of your home’s mold infestation in a timely manner.

Commercial Fire Deodorization

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

This is a large commercial fire damage we produced as a result of an electrical malfunction. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville. had a first responder on site quickly to expedite cleaning, demolition, and deodorization scope and planning. As this was located at a gymnasium, the vast majority of space was warehouse, with built-in tiered offices and party rooms. Total affected space in the building was 15,500 square feet, which made for an enormous amount of volume to conduct final deodorization. After weeks of demolition and specialized cleaning, we conducted thermal fogging for the final deodorization. Our two technicians donned their proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and fogged the entire cubic area of the gym. The photo shows the fogging after disperse, with the capability of it penetrating into high and small cavities.

Trust Your Certified SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

In these times of stress and uncertainty, the best way to combat the threat of COVID-19 is to be prepared.

When it comes to disinfection and sanitization, SERVPRO cleanup practices follow CDC guidelines and use EPA-approved products. We’re here to help you protect your business and your employees – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.


This is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.


Specialized Training


We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.


The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:


Kitchen/Food Areas
Bathrooms
Schools/Classrooms
Offices
Retail Spaces
Water Fountains
Shelving/Racks
Sales Counters
Carpets and Rugs
Stair Handrails
Elevator Cars
Playground Equipment
Fitness Equipment


Specialized Products


The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.


Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning


If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville at 301-779-3662

Smoke Alarms

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire prevention is one of the most important things for you and your family. Ensuring that your home has smoke alarms are one of the first steps in fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused because of no smoke alarm or no working smoking alarm. Smoke alarm cut the risk of people dying. Hardwired fire alarms operated 94% of the time versus battery powered alarms. The battery may tend to fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and can detect a fire faster during the night hours when you are sleeping to give you extra time to safety assist or waken others to evacuate from a fire.