Why Tree Maintenance Matters
Trim your trees!
Trimming your trees before a storm can be the difference between damage to your home or not. A unmanaged tree is going to handle a storm much differently than a tree that has been trimmed and maintained. A well maintained tree will have all healthy branches and will be trimmed and much safer during a storm.
Things that increase a tree's chances of blow over:
- Trees on lots of homes that have been built in the last five years or so. Many of these trees will have root damage from lot clearing and home construction.
- Newly cleared areas with scattered trees remaining.The trees have not adjusted to the newly open grown conditions and higher winds.
Characteristics that increase a tree's chance of being damaged in a storm:
- Included bark where large stems meet (maple and ash).
- Rot in the roots, stem or branches
- Trees with numerous small branches and twigs that create a sail effect (topping/poor pruning often causes this). Never top trees.
Homeowners should examine their trees before the storm:
- Remove trees with large cracks or splits or severe root damage
- Remove tree branches with rot in them
- Advise power company of trees with branches interfering with power lines
- Contact a certified arborist
- Good branch angles are 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, closer together causes weaker branches
- Prune properly (do not flush cut to stem, but do not leave big stubs that will rot either)
Preventing Broken Pipes in winter weather
SERVPRO of Linn County offers tips to prevent frozen pipes this winter.
When the weather starts to get freezing, so do your pipes and so does your home. This means taking the proper precautions to cover your pipes on the exterior in preparation for prolonged freezing temperatures. With those precautions in place, freezing temps and snowstorms can still harm your pipes. Here are a few steps you can take.
- Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature, this could freeze your pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
If you have a pipe break this winter, SERVPRO can help you get the quick damage restoration that you need. We will make sure to protect your home from damage.
Signs and smells of mold
What to watch for if you suspect mold in your home
Quite often, constantly smelling a musty odor could be one of the only mold signs that your home has. If you can smell mold there is likely mold under something or mold in something. If there is a funky smell that you cant seem to get to the bottom of, it may be mold lurking somewhere hard to reach. SERVPRO can help find the mold and get rid of it in a safe and healthy way.
Mold can often present itself in the form of allergies. If you feel better when you’re away from home, but notice your allergies tend to flare up whenever you’re at home that can mean that you have mold somewhere. Mold can cause health effects for most individuals. Mold can be behind walls, in the basement, under the carpet, in damp areas of the house, surrounding roof leaks or in an area that experiences high humidity. If you think you might have a mold problem in your home, give SERVPRO a call. We can find the source of the mold damage and locate any water damage or leaks that are causing the mold. We will repair the problem and have your home back to preloss condition in no time.
Drying out your water damaged home to prevent mold
You have to protect your home from mold by drying out walls and carpets if you have suffered a water damage.
The longer water and moist air remain in your home following a storm, the greater the likelihood of increased damage to the house and health risks to your family. Within 48 hours, mold, mildew and fungus can begin to grow, producing a lasting musty odor. In addition, water can warp and rot wood, disintegrate wallboard, ruin most types of insulation, compromise electrical wiring and more.
This is why SERVPRO can help you dry out your home after water damage to help you prevent mold. We have commercial drying machines that will dry out your home in no time.
Main areas we aim to dry ensure are dry are walls and flooring, especially carpet flooring. This is a place that mold will thrive.
Here are some helpful tips to handle moisture until we get there.
During the day, when the weather is dry – open all windows and doors to exchange damp interior air for drier outdoor air. Close them at night or when outdoor humidity rises.
Also, open closet doors and drawers. If drawers are hard to pull open because of swelling, remove the backs from cabinets to increase air circulation and allow access.
What a fire clean up looks like
Where do you start when fire damages your home
After a fire often you will find that your property looks dark, stained and charred and likely will have a bad smell. The first job of your fire damage restoration company will be to clean up all this damage and get your property at least looking as normal as possible.
During this fire damage restoration process, you will also need to address any odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. This might involve carpet cleaning as well and you will need to address adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by fire damage. The smell of fire is very pungent and lingers.
The clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process will also involve the removal and disposal of items that are too badly damaged to be repairable. If you have furniture for instance that has absorbed a lot of contaminated water, or if you have carpet that has been badly burned, in these cases often the best case scenario is just to throw these things out and to replace them with new items. SERVPRO can help you with making those choices as well as restoring your damages and getting rid of those terrible smells that come with a fire.
Preventing Electrical Fires this winter
Learn what to look for around electronics this year.
When dealing with electrical fires you must know what to look for. This can protect you from an electrical fire disaster.
these warning signs include:
• Circuit breakers that repeatedly trip
• Shocks or tingling feelings as you touch an electrical appliance
• Flickering lights
• Discolored electrical wall outlets
• A burning smell or smoke coming from wiring, a plug or an appliance
Take action with an appliance by unplugging it immediately and cutting the power at the electrical panel. Pay attention to the voltage of the appliance you are plugging in.
Never Use Water By Itself
But speaking of water, it's imperative that you never, ever try to extinguish an electrical fire with water alone. Water conducts electricity and you could be badly shocked.
If you have electrical fire damage we can help you at SERVPRO. We come out and assess the damage and then work to make it like it never happened.
How a storm gets into your home
How a storm damages your home
There are a number of places in a home that are more susceptible to storm damage than others, such as the roof, windows and doors. These are the areas to protect and reinforce, which will most likely reduce the damage and make the storm cleanup process easier. While taking these precautions doesn’t guarantee your home and yard won’t endure some storm and water damage, they can certainly help minimize the degree of damage.
Protecting your home’s openings is one of the most important steps you can take to defend against strong winds and heavy rain that can potentially compromise these entryways. Check doors for missing screws/bolts or loose hinges. Keep your windows intact with upgrades such as shutters, high-impact glass, and double-paned models to protect against storms. Insulating your windows will also save you money on heating and cooling in the long run.
Have your roof inspected by a professional to identify any problem areas or leaks that could lead to water damage in the event of a storm. If you’re in the market for a brand new roof, consider purchasing an impact-resistant material that will stand up to extreme weather, reduce storm water runoff, and require fewer repairs than other types of roofs that are easily affected by hail, wind and water damage.
Doing these things can seem like a pain but you will thank yourself later after a storm hits and your home remains unaffected. If your home suffers a damage SERVPRO can help you repair it quickly before the damages get worse.
The Importance of cleaning your Air Ducts
Getting your air ducts cleaned is important for the health of you and your family. Air ducts can be filled with dust and particles.
In any given home there are a bunch of indoor air pollutants, from combustion sources such as oil, gas, coal or wood to deteriorating petrochemical products that off-gas toxins into the air your family breathes. Pollutants can cause health effects.
One simple way to protect yourself, your family, and your home from these toxic pollutants is to have your air ducts cleaned regularly. Dirty air ducts are one of the most significant sources of indoor air pollution in the home. SERVPRO can come out and clean your air ducts in any season to make sure that you are breathing clean air.
- You Suspect Mold:
As your ducts operate over the course of months and years, layers and layers of dust and other particles are slowly being deposited. This dust then absorbs any moisture in the air, creating perfect conditions for mold. The heating and cooling system in your home is a behind-the-scenes operator, meaning it is often not accessible or visible in order to check for mold growth.
If you suspect you may have mold, or just want peace of mind, a regular duct cleaning will help allay any fears. An expert can test for mold in your ducts, as well as give them a preventative cleaning, to keep your indoor breathing air mold-free.
- Your Ducts Have Never Been Cleaned:
If you cannot remember ever having your home’s ducts cleaned, you should schedule an appointment to have them checked. Imagine your ducts going years without a thorough cleaning. For years, dust, dead skin cells, dead insects, and toxic particles have contributed layers and layers of debris in your ducts.
- You Want Greater Efficiency:
There is plenty of research that suggests that cleaning the components of your heating and cooling system can lead to greater efficiency. When you have your ducts cleaned by a licensed HVAC professional, they will also clean your fans, cooling coils, and heat exchangers for a vastly more efficient system. Having your system cleaned regularly not only makes the more efficient but results in a longer operating life, and lower maintenance and energy costs.
- You Have Seen or Heard Insects and Rodents : –
Have you ever heard scampering through your ducts at night? Have you ever noticed trails of insects leading from your vents? If so, it is probable you have a vermin infestation. That fine layer of dust and debris in your ducts are a perfect nest for rats, mice, ants, and especially cockroaches. Having your ducts cleaned often will reduce the incentive for vermin to nest there.
SERVPRO can help you get your ducts cleaned and make your home safer for your family. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
Common Causes Of Fire
Electrical outlets are a huge cause of fire. They should not be overloaded with more than one or two plugs.
While there are many reasons why a fire can start, many business fires start as a result of not paying attention to many different fire hazards in the workplace.
While every workplace is different, there are some common fire hazards to watch for in your business.
Heat Generating Machinery
Hot machinery and heavy equipment can pose a fire risk. Be sure material that is combustible is kept away from sources of heat and are unplugged when not in use. Never leave equipment on overnight.
Broken Electrical Equipment
Fires caused by faulty equipment are the most common type in the workplace. Be sure to look out for loose or damaged wires. They need to be replaced immediately. Also keep your equipment checked and up to date.
Faulty Fire Alarms
Be sure to check fire alarm systems and equipment often to make sure they are still in working order. If batteries run out your fire alarms will not sound in the case of a fire or smoke. It is important to make sure you have functional fire alarms in your office.
Having too many things plugged in the same socket can be dangerous. Be sure to put one plug per socket and do not exceed 300 watts in the entire socket. This can reduce the risk of a fire in your workplace.
How to avoid fires in the winter months
Electrical fires reach an all time high in the winter months. Because of this we want you to be safe and give you tips to protect against fire.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year. These fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year.
The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights. SERVPRO of Linn County can help you clean up electrical fire damage. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Linn County on how to keep your house safe from electrical fires.
Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.
1. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.
2. Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.
3. Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.
4. Space heaters are a major cause of electrical fires. Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.
5. Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over twenty years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home. Breakers should be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire.
SERVPRO hopes that you never have to handle a electrical fire but if you do then call SERVPRO of Linn County to get a speedy clean up and get your house looking like new again.