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What to do in a fire!

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Picture this: You’re sound asleep when you’re jolted awake by smoke, flames, and blaring smoke detectors. The scariest part? You and your family have less than two minutes to get out before smoke/flames engulf the building.

With so little time to think or act in the moment, it’s vital to prepare yourself with fire safety education. While we hope this scary scenario won’t ever happen to you, it could. In fact, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds in America and fires destroy almost half a million structures every year. To protect yourself, home, and loved ones, follow the fire safety guide below, so you’re prepared for the worst.

What To Do in a Fire

1. Plan an escape route. 

Emergency escape plans save lives. Do you have one for your home? First, start by drawing a map of your home including windows, doors, and hallways. Identify main emergency exits like the front and back door. Come up with a primary emergency escape route and then contingency routes to follow if one way is blocked. Remember, in an actual fire, flames and smoke can make certain passageways impassable, so it’s important you think this through when planning an escape route. For instance, if you have upper floor bedrooms, you can buy fire ladders that unravel to help people escape quickly.

  1. Once your fire escape plan is ironed out, have a fire drill. Again, use different scenarios to achieve better preparedness. For starters, have everyone lie in their beds to simulate a night fire. Then, practice escaping from common areas like the kitchen and living room. Also, consider the fact that smoke can decrease visibility significantly. Have a fire drill in complete darkness or with everyone’s eyes closed. Practice counting doors and sensing your whereabouts by touch instead of sight. The more practice you have in more scenarios, the better prepared everyone will be in an actual emergency.

    2. Extinguish the fire if you can.

    If a fire starts in your home, call the fire department immediately while also assessing if you can put the blaze out yourself. This is hard to advise on because the call will be up to you. However, as long as professional help is on its way, you could attempt to use a fire extinguisher to put out small flames, so they don’t flash into 5-alarm fires. Go with your gut here though. If there’s too much smoke and a lot of heat, get yourself to safety.

    3. Rescue humans and pets first, belongings second.

    In an actual fire, the only non replaceable items are those that are living. Resist the urge to grab your laptop or jewelry. Instead, attend to family members and pets first. Rank them in order of who needs the most help (ie. a baby or disabled family member).
    If there’s enough time, you can gather important documents like your driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificates, and photo albums. If there isn’t, forget about it. Preserving life is much more important than saving electronics or personal effects.

    4. Stop, drop, and crawl.

    Often times in fires, smoke and heat are more dangerous than the flames themselves. House fires can cause areas near the ground to reach 100 degrees or more and up to 600 degrees near ceilings. If there’s heavy smoke, drop to the floor where the air is cleaner and crawl to the nearest exit. Keep a piece of clothing or a towel over your nose to filter out the smoke and prevent yourself from passing out. Smoke rises, so more breathable air will be low to the ground.

    5. Never take the elevator.

    You should cover this in your fire escape plan, but let us reiterate: never take an elevator during a fire! You could become trapped or suffer a fall if the elevator fails or gives out. Always use the stairs or fire escape instead of an elevator.

    6. Test doorknobs.

    In an actual fire, you shouldn’t walk into any room without touching the doorknobs first. If there is heat, it’s probably not safe to enter. Opening doors can also increase airflow and accelerate the rate in which fire spreads. 

    7. Don’t panic.

    Panicking can cloud your brain and prevent you from thinking clearly. If you’re trapped in a room during a fire, take a deep breath and remember this:

    • Close the door and plug up any cracks or vents with a blanket, clothes, or a towel to keep the smoke out.
    • Call 911 if you have a phone to let the authorities know where you are in the building.
    • If you don’t have a phone, yell for help.
    • If there’s a window, hang a piece of clothing or a cloth out the window to alert emergency crews.

    Fires are undoubtedly terrifying, but keeping a clear head can keep you safer. Even if you’re not trapped, you should always take a second to calm yourself and think rationally about the proper steps to get everyone out safely.

    8. Get out and stay out.

    Once everyone in your family is out of your house, stay out. Don’t go back inside for anything—it’s too dangerous! The firefighters will be able to go back inside to save anything they can. That’s what they train for and they have gear to protect themselves. Also, remember to stay back 75 feet or more. Explosions are uncommon but could cause you to become injured if you’re too close.

How to prevent a fire...

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Now that you know what to do in an actual fire, you should know how to prevent one from happening. Here are some top tips:

  • Install fire alarms and smoke detectors. Early warning systems can help you get control of a fire before it spirals out of control. Smoke detectors can also help you get out safely. Install a smoke alarm on every level and in every room of your home, and test each alarm once a month to make sure it’s working.
  • Teach children the basics of fire safety and how to prevent, prepare for, and deal with a fire.
  • Always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything hot. (e.g., fireplaces, space heaters, and ovens).
  • Only smoke outside.
  • Stay in the kitchen. When you’re cooking, always stay nearby in case something catches fire.
  • Turn off appliances. Remember to shut off your stove when you’re done cooking.
  • Extinguish controlled fires completely. This includes fireplace fires and those in fire pits in the backyard.
  • Spray down surrounding areas before having an outdoor fire. If you live in a dry climate, don’t start a fire outdoors. If you do, make sure to spray down the surrounding area in case a spark lands outside of your fire pit.
  • Learn about electrical fires. Electrical fires are an entirely different beast. To learn more about them, read “How to prevent electrical fires.”

Storm Damage Restoration Process

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.

Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.

  • Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
  • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
  • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.

If contacted in time, the restorations professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues, by inspecting the roof and replacing the dilapidated areas. After sealing and renovating the roof, they will then address the ceiling and restore to its former condition.

As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something the experts can handle.  

Summer Storms and Emergencies

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Summer storms may be great for your lawn and garden or can be a perfect excuse to stay inside in pajamas while reading and napping the day away, but sometimes they can also cause damage to your house. Of course, your home is designed to withstand the ordinary storms expected in your area, but sometimes an extraordinarily heavy storm with extreme wind and hail can take a toll on your house's exterior. When such an event happens, it's important to have repairs conducted quickly and efficiently, so your house will be back in tiptop shape and ready for the next storm.

Exterior Home Damage

Hail can be a concern during a thunderstorm as it causes cosmetic damage to a roof and siding. More importantly is how it can damage the seals around exhaust vents, windows, or chimneys and allow water to enter. Worse yet are the winds associated with a heavy hail or thunderstorms which can remove a shingle or piece of siding, your home's first layer of defense against the weather. The problem with this type of damage is that once it occurs it compromises the linking systems of the shingles or siding, which means that not only can water penetrate to the interior of the house, even a minor storm is likely to exacerbate the problem by causing more damage.

Interior Repairs

Once the exterior of the home is damaged, water can and will enter the house and cause a different problem. Water damage is not a simple repair, as it penetrates through walls, floors, and all the hidden crevices inside the home. Without a professional who understands what to look for and how to efficiently conduct repairs, water will leak into places with no airflow and take forever to evaporate. Another problem caused by moisture is mold, which once formed will only get worse and never go away until properly cleaned out, which often means the expensive proposition of full replacement of drywall, framing, and insulation.

Enjoy the summer storms as they occur, but be sure to have your home inspected regularly to check for damage. When you do have damage, have it repaired immediately. In the unfortunate event that you receive minor or major home damage after a heavy storm, contact a professional specialist contractor with storm restoration experience such as SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties.

Preventing Mold with Quick Mold Mitigation

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation

Water Management and Mold

A man’s home is his castle, and while every care is taken to ensure that there will be no unlawful entry from the outside, equal attention should also be paid to the structural integrity of the home. You can have the best furniture and fittings, the latest consumer electronics that dazzle and bewitch, but poor water management is going to bring everything to ruin. Each homeowner should take the necessary precautions and steps to minimize the amount of moisture while redirecting water in order to reduce the risks of mold developing.Mold tends to become an issue due to water intrusion, and this has developed into a major thorn in the construction industry’s side. U.S. housing’s top indoor air quality problem is mold, which is why proper water damage mitigation ought to be taken before it runs into bigger and more serious issues such as compromised structural integrity,cosmetic problems and long-term durability issues. It would be highly advisable to obtain the advice and secure the services of one of many water restoration companies in order to begin the mold remediation process as soon as possible. 

Mold Growth in Homes

Poor water management of a home will encourage mold growth. As mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they tend to make their way through the home, and are always present in indoor and outdoor air. While modern homes are built in such a manner where the concentration levels are insufficient to cause issues for the home’s inhabitants, it tends to make a nuisance when it starts to grow.Mold colonies require a food source, the right temperature (above 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and plenty of moisture. These conditions are all part of a home’s make up,where plenty of organic materials abound within a temperature range that does encourage mold growth. The key to stop the spread of mold is to keep moisture levels under control, and this is where water management of a building is very important. By doing your bit to prevent water intrusion, you will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew making their presence known. 

Wood-based Products

If you love all things wood, then it is all the more important to have proper water management for your home to prevent the growth of mold. Wood-based products, while adding a sense of warmth into the home’s aesthetics, require plenty of attention as wood is one material that can absorb plenty of water, resulting in a higher overall moisture content in the surrounding area. It also requires far more effort and energy to dry wood than for it to get wet. With many wood-based furniture having concealed frames that has extremely limited, if any, exposure to air, it is all the more difficult to dry out. 

What is Water Management?

The thought of water management might not be on anyone’s mind when purchasing apiece of property. However, it is imperative that you get a reputable water restoration company take a look just in case there is a need for water damage mitigation works to be done. The whole idea of water management is to ensure all water will be directed away from the home. This is achieved through having a positive drainage system. It is always better that water is drained out and away from the home as fast as possible.Nothing should be left to chance, which means there should not be any part of the home that is sloped in the direction of the home’s interior.Always try to think of where the water is headed to as it moves down the exterior of the home – it should be on the outward path. Doing so makes sure that sensitive parts of the home do not remain exposed or come into contact with the water. One of the ways of doing so would be to make sure that the exterior surface of the home has water-resistant qualities, but that is just scratching the surface. It is important to bear the three basic drainage strategies in mind, that is, the drainage plane, shingling and flashing. 

Drainage Plane 

The drainage plane plays an important role, as it forms a barrier against any water. It ensures that the sensitive parts of the home will not end up wet and damp – which will surely lead to mold growth. Keeping this vulnerable segment of the home free from water will require materials such as felt building paper, house wrap, thin structural sheathing, and rigid foam sheathing. All of these are more than capable of offering protection at crucial joints and corners. It is advisable to keep these materials layered in a shingle fashion as and when possible. 

Shingling 

The roof is the primary form of protection against rain, and as rainwater subjects itself to the laws of physics and gravity, it will take the path of least resistance down the exterior finish and the drainage plane. Along the way, it will come into contact with the likes of the finish roofing and wall cladding, window flanges, as well as flashing. These materials will then need to be layered in a strategic manner so that water on the outermost layers will remain a distance away from the sheathing and framing. This kind of layering method is known as shingling. Hence, all drainage planes ought to have the shingle strategy applied. 

Who to call...

The list of grievances does not stop there at all if one does not go through proper water damage removal processes that are offered by water restoration companies, since it might lead to other headaches like a pest infestation. If you would like to make sure that your home is a place where happy memories are made and living in it is a joy, why not call SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties and have us do a once over in your home? We have the necessary expertise and wealth of experience to be able to let you know what needs to be fixed. 

Each Surface Type Warrants a Different Approach When it Comes to Mold

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Each Surface Type Warrants a Different Approach When it Comes to Mold Finding hidden mold is our specialty. Call SERVPRO so we can investigate the damage or smell on your property.

Mold can go undetected for days, weeks or even months, depending on where it is hiding. While small amounts of mold spores are everywhere and pose no threat, a large colony can destroy building materials and pose a health threat. 

Restoring property from the effects of mold damage in your home or office requires trained professionals. Every SERVPRO office maintains a crew that is trained to identify mold infestations and determines the best method available to remove or clean it off surfaces. 

We determine the method used to remove mold depending on the type of surface the mold is on. It is simpler to clean nonporous materials. These surfaces include glass, metal, certain kinds of plastics, marble, and smooth stone. We remove dry mold by vacuuming the surfaces with special HEPA filters that catch even a single mold spore. Wet mold is wiped off with a cloth dampened with water. If the mold is growing in a layer of soil, our team members use a detergent solution.

Porous materials with visible mold growth often should be removed from the home and disposed of according to state regulations. These materials include carpets, carpet pads, drywall, and insulation. Technicians can clean fabrics such as upholstery, drapes, and curtains using foam, spray, or immersion techniques depending on the thickness of the mold and the colors used. Before starting with those methods, crew members vacuum the items to remove loose mold fragments. If needed, they agitate the materials to loosen more mold and then vacuum them again. 

Semiporous materials require methods not usable on porous or even nonporous surfaces. The surfaces (wood and concrete) may require sanding, wire brushing, and other abrasive methods. The cleaners we use on these surfaces have abrasive agents mixed in to be certain the agent gets into and agitates cracks and grooves that non-abrasive agents miss. If exposed to mold for too long, the structural integrity of the wood might be compromised by rot. 

Restoring your home after a mold infestation is a long process. SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties is here to help you through every step. If you need our services or simply want to schedule an inspection to ally concerns, call us at (478)452-8000. 

Choose the right service to overcome flood damage in your home!

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Choose the right service to overcome flood damage in your home! SERVPRO can help you with any stage of flooding from prevention to remediation. Call right away for best results.

Professional Technicians Quickly Remove Standing Water From Your Property

Water damage in your home can be especially brutal, causing many different issues and leading to a variety of hidden damages. However, you hold all of the cards, so take the proper steps to help prevent these problems from developing into something you simply cannot afford. Help us help you get things under control quicker during an emergency. 

Start by contacting your insurance company to ensure that you have the proper coverage for common issues that plague the area. You can prevent flood damage, or instances concerning fire, water, or mold in your home by contacting a quality restoration company for help. So, that is what you should do next. Make it a priority to develop a relationship with them, before an emergency occurs on your property. 
 
A company, like SERVPRO, offers a variety of services to help prevent flooding in your home. Everything from a full inspection of your property to help identify common problems, to the installation of additional drainage, backflow valves, or submersible pumps for use during an emergency. Our technicians can help you prepare. Something as simple as providing your home with the proper grading in your yard can save you from damages that would otherwise occur on your property. 
 
SERVPRO has done all of the research and planning for you. We have a preparedness app available online to get things started and make ourselves available 24-7, 365 days a year. Without hesitation, our technicians answer your call and respond to any emergency situation you may be facing. We even assist you with filling out any paperwork required for your insurance claim and ensure that your entire restoration process is as stress-free as possible. 
 
SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained, have access to quality, industrial-grade equipment for water location and extraction. While also having the ability to perform quick drying services using air moving equipment and dehumidifiers to help prevent additional damages from forming, including pesky mold damages that happen rather quickly if not attended to right away. 
 
Our team provides you with a full-service solution to problems that occur on your property. We help you handle the entire event, from start to finish and return your home to a quality preloss condition in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Often exceeding expectations of customers just like you and saving a variety of contents and personal items you thought lost. 
 
SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties stands ready to assist you, contact us today. (478)452-8000

From Remediation to Reconstruction, We can Restore Your Home After Any Type of Storm Damage

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage From Remediation to Reconstruction, We can Restore Your Home After Any Type of Storm Damage SERVPRO Works Fast to Make It "Like it never even happened." Call For Storm Damage Rebuild in Atlanta

SERVPRO Has the Experience and Expertise to Rebuild Your Damaged Property

Disasters and emergencies that affect your home can range in size and severity. Many of these situations can keep you and your family from living at home until restorations are finished. Not only can these problems create safety hazards themselves, but repairs and other types of work can make it difficult to normal family life.

We provide all of the storm damage services needed to restore your home completely, from initial cleaning and remediation to complete reconstruction. We know having one company provide all of the services your situation requires not only reduces the time involved but that doing so can also save thousands of dollars. You can put these savings to use in beneficial ways for your family.

Our SERVPRO technicians are highly skilled in all phases of damage-repair, including reconstruction. Upgrading the features in your home after damage to meet the latest code requirements or to gain additional energy savings or safety features are options we can discuss with you.

Other options that reconstruction can provide include increasing room size, altering the floor plan, widening stairways, adding windows and exterior doors, and many others that can be extremely cost-effective. We can explain more when we make our initial assessment of your home. We add creativity to our experience and skills to provide you the best in reconstructing your home.

Rebuilding a home after being damaged may seem the best option if the structural and cosmetic damages cover only a small area, but when the area damaged is much greater, reconstruction can keep a home from becoming condemned and demolished. When a home is destroyed, insurance often does not pay enough to purchase another home of similar size, and this can lower your family's standard of living significantly.

When you need more than cleaning and damage repair, call us, SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties at (478)452-8000. We would love to make your home your dream home, one that is designed with your family in mind.

How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

According to the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification...

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid. Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special  procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay.

Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own.

Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

SERVPRO Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal.

These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.