Electrical Safety During the Holidays
As the holiday season is upon us, it is important to remember a few tips to maintain electrical safety during the most wonderful time of the year. Below are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Inspect all of your holiday lights. To prevent accidental fires, throw out any strands of lights that have frayed cords. Also, replace any broken or cracked bulbs.
2. Use only UL - Listed lights and extension cords.
3. Do not overload electrical sockets, extension cords or power strips.
4. It is never a good idea to plug an extension cord into a power strip.
5. When hanging electrical decorations and lights, it is best to use a wooden or fiberglass ladder rather than a metal one for your own safety.
6. Always turn off holiday lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Living in Michigan, it is a known fact that the summer season brings around a fair share of stormy weather. Here at SERVPRO, we understand how unpredictable the weather can be and stress the importance of always being prepared for any weather emergency.
One way to be prepared for a weather emergency, such as a damaging storm or tornado, is to have an emergency supply kit on hand should the weather prevent you from leaving your home or keeping you confined to one area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a few items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water (at least one gallon per day, per person, for at least three days)
- Food (at least a three day supply of non-perishable items)
- Battery-powered radio/NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries.
- Flashlights with extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle that can be used to signal for help.
- Moist towelettes and garbage bags (for personal sanitation).
- Local maps.
- Wrench/Pliers to turn off utilities if necessary.
Aside from these basic necessities, some additional items you might want to consider adding to an emergency supply kit could include:
- Prescription medicine and glasses.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food and extra water for your pets.
- Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a portable, waterproof container.
- Cash/Change, or traveler's checks.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
- Full change of clothing for each person.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Matches in a waterproof container.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, paper towels.
- Paper and pencil.
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for kids.
As always, SERVPRO is prepared for any emergency you may have.
The Importance of a Dehumidifier
Reminder to all homeowners that have a basement to run a dehumidifier continuously in your basement, especially during the summer months. Running the dehumidifier works to prevent an accumulation of humidity in that space caused by lower temperatures on basement walls that are below grade. If you have a high level of humidity in your basement, it will come in contact with the cooler basement walls and cause condensation to form on the walls and sometimes, the floor. This condition holds true even if your basement walls are finished. By reducing humidity levels, your home will become less hospitable to allergens such as mold, mildew and dust mites. The allergens mentioned above thrive in humid environments, so adding a dehumidifier to your space can prevent their growth, and, if you or anyone in your family suffers from common allergies - a dehumidifier would be a great investment. In addition to lowering high humidity, dehumidifiers can help reduce the distinctive musty odors that come along with mold and mildew. There are various models of dehumidifiers depending on the size of your space, and even ones with unique features that are dependent on where you live or the type of allergies you have.
Helpful Hint for Homes with an Irrigation System
Here is a helpful hint for anyone with an irrigation system. It is important to have your sprinklers professionally checked at both spring turn on and fall shut down to make sure that they are properly winterized in the fall and that there are no leaks present in the spring.
Some insurance companies, depending on whether the water comes in your basement through the foundation as a result of an outside leak in the system or if the leak occurs within your basement walls from a pipe or supply line, will base their determination on coverage on what the water touched before it entered your house versus the source of the water. So, even if the water is from your system, if it touches the earth on the outside of the house and comes in, no coverage. Generally speaking though, if the break or loss occurs within the four walls of the basement, it is typically a covered loss.
In general, it is crucial to check your sprinkler system in order to prevent any type of water break or loss. A simple professional check can end up saving you the time and money spent on the unexpected and unforeseen event of water damage.
Importance of Checking your Sump Pump!
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling during hot summer months, and the idea of checking your sump pump before taking off on vacation is probably one of the last things on your mind. During the summer travel months, please be sure to check that your sump pump is operational before leaving the house for an extended period of time. Even if your sump pit is dry, you may considering using a hose or bucket to fill it with water to test the pump making sure that the pumps starts when the pit is full of water and also making sure that the discharge line is clear. Rains may occur during your absence and you will want to ensure that this system is fully functional before your departure to avoid a potential flood in your basement or crawlspace. If your home is more susceptible to water problems, it might even make sense to have a backup sump pump or a battery powered back up just in case the first one overflows or fails. A sump pump is crucial to preventing water damage - and it is always important to make sure it is properly functioning. No one wants to come home from a fun filled vacation to a wet basement!
SERVPRO of Novi & Bloomfield is Here and Ready to Help!
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 248-344-0044 or 248-855-8167
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Novi/Bloomfield has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
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 Novi/Bloomfield 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.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 248-344-0044 or 248-855-8167
Flash Flooding Myths and Truths
What is a flash flood?
A flash flood is the rapid flooding of a low-lying geographic area, typically caused by extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. They are the most dangerous type of flood, as they combine the destructive power of a flood with both unpredictability and speed.
MYTH: Large cars and sports utility vehicles should be able to navigate in deeper flood waters.
TRUTH: Just two feet of swiftly moving flash flood water is enough to float most vehicles - even larger cars and trucks.
MYTH: Flash floods occur only along rivers and streams.
TRUTH: Flash floods can occur nearly anywhere - even in urban areas.
MYTH: Homeowners insurance policies always cover flood damage.
TRUTH: The vast majority of these policies do not cover flood damage.
After the Storm
SERVPRO of Novi specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Novi, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 248-344-0044 or 248- 855- 8167
Winter is Coming!
Below are a few winter tips provided by The American Red Cross to stay safe in the upcoming cold weather season.
1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.