Driving in Snow and Ice

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (TIPS), and that you know how to handle road conditions.

It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  1. Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  3. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  5. Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  6. Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going

Save a Little Money This Holiday Season

When your budget is already stretched from holiday activities, decorations, gifts and cards, try saving money with these energy-saving tips provided by the California Energy Commission:

  • Cook several of your holiday foods at the same time. Just make sure you leave enough room for the heat to circulate around each dish.
  • Microwaving foods rather than using a conventional oven uses around 50 percent less energy. Try using them to bake sweet potatoes, steam fresh vegetables or heat up leftovers.
  • Remove all needed items from your refrigerator or freezer at one time. Leaving the door open for a longer period of time while you take out the items you need is more efficient than opening and closing it several times.
  • Use your dishwasher. A load of dishes cleaning in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • Evaluate your holiday lights. While most C7 or C9 energy-efficient bulbs use 5-7 watts per bulb, some of the older strings use up to 10 watts per bulb.

 

Source: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/holiday.html

Remove Furniture Impressions in Your Carpet

As you try to make room in your home to accommodate your holiday decorations, you may find yourself moving and rearranging heavy pieces of furniture. The imprints that furniture can leave behind on carpet are unsightly and will not completely disappear unless you take action.

Our technical experts at ServiceMaster Clean recommend using a clothes steamer to remove the furniture dents. If you do not have a clothes steamer handy, you can use a kitchen towel and an iron. Place a damp towel over the carpet dent. Heat the iron to a medium heat setting then set the iron on the damp towel. You can use the steam button on the iron periodically. Remove the iron and towel to check the carpet. If it is to your liking, use your fingers to fluff the carpet. If the dent still needs work, place the warm iron on the damp towel and repeat.*

Another helpful tip to remove an impression is to place an ice cube in the dent and allow it to melt. The melted ice will revive the carpet fibers. Then use a toothbrush to remove the impression by brushing it in a backward-and-forward motion. Allow the carpet to dry naturally.**

*This process is not suitable for carpets made of olefin fiber.

**Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_7726253_rid-impressions-carpet.html

Do you think you may have Mold ?

When you have mold hidden away in your house, a moldy smell might be the only clue that it’s there. Don’t ignore mold odors if you can’t see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.

Common signs you may have mold:

You are suffering allergic symptoms

You notice a mold smell

You have had a water problem, for example: flooding, leaking pipes or a leaking roof

Water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings in your house

Surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper and/or If your walls are bowed, bulging or warped

If you can see mold growth, even if it’s only small, you should take action immediately. Small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is mold shows that the conditions in your home are right for mold growth.  Visible mold growth could be a sign that there is a much larger problem hidden away from view.  Common places where mold often grows is on substances high in cellulose such as drywall, under carpets, in insulation or in ventilation ducts.

Recognizing Mold

Some mold growth looks white and thread-like. Other mold appears as clusters of small black spots. Mold can be black, gray-brown, gray-green or white in color. Mold growing behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even appear orange, pink or purple.

It’s always best to hire a professional to do the mold inspection for you. Thanks to their experience and their knowledge of spots where mold most often hides, you can be sure that if there’s any mold in your home that they will find it.  Be sure to let them know about any leaks, floods or any other moisture problems you’ve had in your home.

Mold inspectors use special equipment like moisture meters and fiber optics as well as air quality tests. This way they can find any and all hidden mold while barely disturbing your home.  These tests allows them to find hot spots where mold is most likely growing and will aid in determining if they should be looking into hidden areas such as behind walls or in floor/ceiling joists.

ServiceMaster Assured Cleaning is a certified mold remediation company that can restore your home back to a clean safe environment while Restoring Your Peace of Mind. 

If you need assistance or just have questions, Call Us @ 610-374-1881

Cleaning Soot after a Fire….

…. is not an easy task. While it seems like it would be an easy job to get rid of the leftover residue, many times, improper cleaning can make an even bigger mess and sometimes destroy belongings. Before you try doing this on your own, it’s important to know a few facts about soot.

Soot appears dusty but is actually oily and very easy to smear. The best practice for removing soot usually involves a high powered vacuum and NOT touching the surface with it or any attachments. Even the slightest touch can grind the oily soot into the surface, which could cause staining.

How you clean your walls and ceiling depends on what type of walls and ceiling you have. With most finishes, using liquid will set in the stain of soot.  There are products out there that you can buy; one of which is a specially designed sponge for soot cleanup called a ChemSponge. You can also use paint thinner or rubbing alcohol.

If you are cleaning a wall or ceiling painted with satin or semi-gloss paint, use the mixture of one (1) gallon of water with one (1) tablespoon of a corrosive cleaning agent called trisodium phosphate, your local home improvement supply store would carry it. This is also good to clean soot from any kitchen surfaces. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles.

After the initial soot cleanup, prevent additional soot from spreading through your house by changing your filters in heating and air-conditioning systems. For the first year after a fire, change your air filters at least once a month.

Things you should not do:

  • Do not touch anything because the oil from your hands may cause additional      damage by infiltrating walls, woodwork and upholstery.
  • Do not try to wash walls as incorrect cleaning can add to any soot residue.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not use any appliances until you have them checked first.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
  • Do not wash clothing with heavy soot damage, send your belongings to a      qualified restoration dry cleaner for thorough cleaning.

Remember to call ServiceMaster Restore within the first 24 hours of a fire.  The corrosive fumes and soot from smoke/fire can cause permanent damage in less than 72 hours.

Happy Anniversary….. to one of our own ~~ Trucks !!

Warehouse on Wheels

Added to our fleet in 2012, our Warehouse on Wheels celebrates its first year of serving our Disaster Restoration customers.  The truck is a Chevy Express 4500 Cutaway, with a fully equipped interior to better handle all water/fire/mold remediation projects.  This truck hosts a butler truck mount extraction system, and plenty of shelving to hold dehumidifiers, air movers, and other miscellaneous equipment and supplies needed for our technicians to provide you with any emergency service at any time of the day or night.

On the exterior of the truck we had flood lights installed, so if you find yourself in the dark – no worries.  When we arrive on site extra lighting will be provided, if needed.

Our technicians keep the truck fully stocked at all times, which eliminates any down time for loading equipment prior to heading out for an emergency call.

Take a look……

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