SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG

April showers bring May flowers, and its already begun. Frequent, heavy showers can lead to flooding, which can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

To help minimize damage, use and share the following tips:

  • Fix leaky roofs and foundation cracks immediately.
  • Keep gutters and drains clear so they can do their job by carrying water away from the home.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly.  If you don’t have one installed, Invest in a battery-powered sump pump and a garden hose to pump water out of the home.
  • Move valuable items to a higher level of the home.
  • Prevent sewer backup by installing sewer or septic line check valves, which allow waste to only flow one way.

If you experience water damage due to flooding, ServiceMaster Restore® is available 24/7/365 to help you with:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Drying, dehumidification and water extraction
  • Mold remediation
  • Carpet, clothing, rug, and electronic cleaning

We also can help with Fire, Bio-Hazard, Re-Construction and Trauma.

We Offer Complete Reconstruction

We provide complete repair and reconstruction of Water, Fire, lightning, windstorm, vandalism, collapse, explosion or other property damage. Our staff is 100% dedicated and fully equipped for any emergency response, being available 24/7. We also offer Consulting, appraisals and inspections, Board Up, Repairs, Restoration, and Reconstruction for your Home or Business. With the professional services we provide ServiceMaster can help control the cost of the loss, minimize the period of interruption, all the while providing outstanding customer service.

Disaster can strike at any time and any building causing major upheaval to the occupants. Whether it is residential or commercial, sealing the building in order to make it safe as well as renovating and recovering the building are considered vital steps towards complete recovery from any kind of disaster.

WEEU Golf Outing

Skip Bell, Owner of ServiceMaster is the guy on the far left….   at A WEEU Sponsored Golf Tournament Event.

WEEU Golf Outing

 

Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace

Staying warm is especially important during this cold winter weather, but there’s a chance your furnace could make you sick.

Homeowners need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter when furnaces are working overtime and cars are warming up in the garage.  CO (carbon monoxide) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 170 people die every year from carbon monoxide that comes from household appliances. A poorly running furnace can not only fail but it can quickly fill a home with carbon monoxide.  Gas pressure can end up being too high which means its burning hot and whenever you burn hot in an appliance, there is a possibility the heat exchange could crack, which would produce carbon monoxide.

Fire officials also echo heating experts and say the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home is to have your furnace checked every year; to make sure it’s not emitting carbon monoxide into your home. A yearly examination usually costs less than $100.

Anything that’s a combustible material, that can burn, has the potential to put out carbon monoxide.

Homeowners should also regularly replace the air filter and make sure snow and ice aren’t building up on the vents outside, because if you don’t pay attention to the largest appliance in your home, it could create a dangerous and even deadly situation.

Another main source of carbon monoxide in your home is your car, and with this winter’s cold weather, you likely warm it up almost daily. If you are going to warm up your car before leaving, DO NOT leave it in the garage, especially without the outside door open. A garage fills up quickly with carbon monoxide which can lead to fatality.

Be on the SAFE side and Check with your furnace company to see the last time you had maintenance, and get that scheduled; winter is still sticking around for awhile!

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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4th of July Barbecue and Fire Safety

  1. Keep grills at least 10 feet from other objects, including the house and bushes.
  2. Keep children away from the grill and never leave the grill unattended.
  3. Never use the grill inside your home or garage.
  4. Check your gas grill hoses for cracks, holes and leaks.
  5. Store your propane tanks in the garage or shed, not in the house! Most fires are started by children when they are left alone or unsupervised.
  6. When using charcoal, Douse the grilling coals with water after use.

More than 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks every year ….  Review fireworks laws and call or visit the local law enforcement office and ask for a list of legal fireworks.

  1. Fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets.
  2. Never allow children to play with fireworks, even sparklers, as these can reach 2000 degrees.
  3. Always keep a portable fire extinguisher and a working garden hose close by.
  4. Do not point sparklers, or fireworks at yourself or others, doing so could turn into major burns or fatality.
  5. Only light the fireworks on the ground and in an area that is dry and fire  resistant.

Not sure what to do when you have Water, Smoke or Fire Damage??

Here is a checklist of what you should do……..

  • Immediately report water, fire, trauma, mold, soot damage to your insurance agent.
  • Call a certified restoration company to secure your property and to mitigate damages.  Your insurance company may provide names and phone numbers of referrals. You are not obligated to use a specific company. ServiceMaster Restore is a full service restoration company; from the initial clean-up to the re-construction process.
  • Document damage with photographs and a list of affected items.
  • Be cautious of the possible contaminants in the affected environment and contents.
  • Turn off any electrical items that may be in or near the affected area.
  • Do not allow children, pets or elderly in the affected areas.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Do not attempt to clean soot, smoke, and sewer damaged areas with any liquid. Your cleaning could set the soot or contaminant and cause additional damage.
  • Do not touch items without gloves. Oils in your hands can permanently set soot causing irreversible damage.
  • Do not enter the affected areas. Make sure children and pets do not enter the affected areas.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when on the scene and during repair process. The air can be contaminated, debris may be throughout the premises and overhead dangers may be present.
  • Once we come out and start the mitigation process, we will work with you on assessing damages to your structure as well as your contents.
  • Notify your ServiceMaster Restore® representative immediately of any concerns with items of high sentimental or real value.  The rate of survival of items that receive immediate restoration attention can be much higher.
  • ServiceMaster Restore® will, if needed, install equipment to dry-out the water affected structure.
  • Do not turn off or move equipment without contacting ServiceMaster Restore® as well as any power failure issues.

ServiceMaster Restore is committed to Restoring Your Peace of Mind !

 

A Summer Happy Roof !

Your home’s roof protects you, your family, and your entire house from nature’s elements. A roof requires regular care and maintenance in order to function properly and protect you for as long as possible. Of course, wear and tear is inevitable, all roofs wear out eventually.  Which means you should inspect it at least twice a year and after heavy winds and rain.  Some signs that your roof needs replaced are obvious, like water leaking through your ceiling.  Others are not as apparent and require a more thorough inspection to diagnose. Here are some telltale warning signs that you should look for.

Curling or Cupping Shingles

Curling is a common issue with roof shingles, some causes include: improper shingle storage or faulty shingles prior to installation, incorrect installation, excessively dry asphalt shingle bases, poor quality materials, or just natural wear. When shingles curl, they are no longer able to keep water from seeping through your roof, which could potentially cause serious structural damage.  It is also a good idea to check your roof shingles after extreme temperature changes.

Missing Shingles

Shingles can only protect your roof if they are all intact. Missing shingles create convenient openings, through which water can enter your home. Shingles can be pulled off your roof by strong winds or falling tree branches and can also be broken by repeated freezing and thawing. However, take special note if your shingles come off without any real provocation – if this happens they are definitely worn out and need replaced before causing damage.

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a layer of metal sheeting, usually made from copper, tin, or aluminum, installed at an angle or joint in your roof, which prevents water from breaching the roof. The most common place to find flashing is around your chimney or sewer vent pipe.

Asphalt roof shingles require “step flashing,” which are individual pieces of flashing covering each shingle and overlapping onto the shingle down slope. This application is usually needed where a sloping roof passes a vertical surface like a chimney. By using an individual piece of flashing for each shingle or row of shingles, a water tight seal can be maintained over a longer period of time, despite daily shingle expansion and contraction from temperature changes. A larger, single piece of metal would crack apart from this expansion and contraction, letting water into the structure.

Some TLC before and after the winter and summer seasons will help prevent  out of pocket costs and keep your family and your home protected.

Consult a roof expert before embarking on a maintenance project, or if you are unsure of your roof’s condition. ServiceMaster can help you with your roofing needs.