How to Stay Safe and Prepare Your Home for a Winter Storm
SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin is here for you if a winter storm causes any damage. Call today for a quote (916) 632-2250
Even though it just became officially Fall, we all know that winter will be here before we know it! You can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if a severe storm hits. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a storm and some things to keep in mind as the weather begins to get colder.
- Clear limbs and trim trees - during a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home’s exterior or break a window
- Secure fences - ensure that fences are properly secured to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds
- Secure furniture - heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping
- Never use a generator, camp stove, or charcoal grill indoors as these can start fires, cause electric shock, and/or cause carbon monoxide poisoning
- Know your area's risk for winter storms
- Monitor local news and alerts for emergency information and instructions
Why to Board Up After a Fire
If your commercial property in Auburn, California, has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier.
Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.
1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.
3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (916) 632-2250.
Know the Facts about Business Fires
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. It’s true, overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, but with the right restoration company and team on your side, working hand-in-hand with your insurance company, the chance of your Indianapolis-area company surviving is pretty high!
Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, some businesses that have come to SERVPRO for help have reopened just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.
Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage
When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result.
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin will get you back up and running again. Give us a call at (916) 632-2250.
Business Fire Facts
Time of Day
- Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
- 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage, because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
- 19% of fires happened on weekends.
Cause of the Business Fires
- 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
- Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
- Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
- Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.
Containment & Putting it Out
- 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
- 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
- Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.
Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires
The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.
Planning for the Worst
As part of your emergency preparation plan, be sure to have a local, reputable restoration company – like SERVPRO– on speed dial. The sooner you get the professionals in cleaning up after the disaster, the sooner you can get back to business (916) 632-2250.
Staying Safe in the Summer
Each summer, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. In order to enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.
According to the United States Fire administration, just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood burning and propane grill fires, annually. A barbecue grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping off the grill.
If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.
Summertime should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will help keep you safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
- Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
- When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and setup camp far away from the campfire. Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
- Always build a campfire down wind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt or pour water over the fire.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
- Consider leaving firework use to trained professionals. Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise wishes you a safe and happy summer!
Steps to Take After a House Fire
A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it. First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.
We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire. This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!
(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire. The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.
(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin should also be one of the first calls made. We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be as if nothing happened!
(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.
(4) Make sure to secure your property. If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of its remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.
(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye. That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.
Call us (916) 632-2250.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Sioux Falls will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care. Any questions or to schedule an inspection give SERVPRO Auburn/Rocklin a call (916) 632-2250.
Odors caused from Fire Damage
Odors from smoke and fire damage can be hard to remove. At SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin, we understand the process of contents restoration. We take a restore vs. replace approach, saving our customers time and money. Ozone is one method that we use to deodorize items after cleaning them. When used properly, this is a very effective method. Used improperly, it can be dangerous or ineffective. Remember that who you choose to clean after a fire is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Preventing Bathroom Mold
What does mold need to grow? In order for mold to grow, it needs oxygen, moisture, warmth and food. The ideal spot for mold to grow would be a warm place (somewhere between 77 and 86 degrees), with a high amount of humidity or moisture, and organic matter, like cotton, paper or wood for the mold to feed upon. This makes our bathrooms an ideal spot for mold growth. Our bathrooms tend to be warm, they contain things like towels, toilet paper, and woodwork for the mold to feed upon, and they often have high levels of relative humidity from running water and steam from hot showers. So what can you do to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom?
First make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated. Poor ventilation is one of the most common causes of bathroom mold. Without proper ventilation, steam/moisture in the air from hot showers and running water, settles on bathroom surfaces and makes a perfect environment for mold growth. Every bathroom should have a clean and properly functioning ventilation fan permanently mounted in the ceiling and it should be turned on every time someone showers. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores. A properly installed and functioning, ventilation fan in your bathroom's ceiling will help move the air out of your bathroom and clear the humidity caused by hot showers and other running water. It is important however to ensure that your ventilation fan has been properly installed and is venting the moist bathroom air outside of your home versus into your attic or some other room. If it improperly vents into another area of your home, you are simply transferring your problem from one location to another. If your bathroom does not have a ventilation fan, instead of showering with the bathroom door closed, as most of us do, an alternative until a ventilation fan can be installed, would be to leave the bathroom door open while showering. This will allow the steam/humidity to dissipate over a larger area reducing its impact. Another alternative during warm weather months, or in warm climates, would be to open a bathroom window while showering or even putting a box fan in the window with the air blowing out of the bathroom versus in. And of course, abstaining from very long, hot showers is always recommended when trying to prevent mold.
Regularly cleaning your bathroom by wiping down all surfaces at least once a week will also help keep mold in check. And when it comes to cleaning/preventing mold, wiping is always the best approach. Molds are fungi that reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Spraying bleach on mold may look like an easy fix. When you spray bleach on mold it looks like it almost instantly disappears. Unfortunately, when you spray bleach on mold, you are releasing the mold spores into the air. Think of it like a mature dandelion that you have just gently blown upon and released the seeds floating into the air on their white dried flowers. The mold spores that you have just released by spraying bleach upon them, float through the air and settle onto new surfaces, where they can begin to grow again if the conditions are right. Wiping with soap and water, or another cleaner, and then throwing away any rags that may contain beginning mold spores is your best bet.
Also when it comes to mold in bathrooms, consider that caulk and grout are there to block or keep out water and moisture. If you have missing or broken caulk or grout, water and moisture can get behind the tiles and mold can form behind the tiles where it's impossible for you to see or clean. It's important to regularly replace and/or maintain your bathroom caulk and grout.
Lastly, painting your bathroom with a mold resistant paint and/or primer will help you battle mold in your bathroom. As indicated earlier, mold needs a food source of organic matter. Drywall paper can be a source of food for mold. Using a mold-resistant paint on bathroom walls can help stop mold before it starts by sealing off access to a food source.
And as always, if you do develop a problem with mold, SERVPRO of Auburn/Rocklin is here to help. Call us at (916) 632-2250.