Frozen Pipes: Tips to avoid frozen pipes
Frozen pipes are a very real issue. There are so many ways to avoid this issue. Take proper precautions to avoid having to deal with this issue.
When the temperatures start to drop, our pipes start to fall for a risk of freezing then bursting. When a pipe bursts, the results can be catastrophic. Pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during cold weather. The resulting water damage easily adds up to $5,000 or more.
Most risk areas are those in unheated spaces. Typically, these are basements, attics and garages-however, even pipes that run through cabinets can freeze. There are a few things that can be done to avoid any issues and additional cost.
*Pipe insulation is extremely inexpensive and easy to use. Use the insulation liberally and be sure to use it on any vulnerable pipes.
*Keep your garage doors closed, especially if you have any water supply lines that run through the garage. Just that little bit of barrier can make a large difference.
*Open cabinet doors in kitchen and bathrooms to allow for some warmer air to circulate if you have pluming behind those cabinets.
*Let the cold-water drip from a faucet linked to exposed pipes. Just a little bit of running water makes a large difference and helps prevent pipes from freezing.
*Keep the thermostat the same temperature at all times during the colder temperatures.
*Do not set your temperature any lower than 55° F, even if you plan on being away. Keeping the temperature stable will help prevent frozen pipes.
*Add insulation. This can be easily added to basements, crawl spaces and/or attics. What you are wanting to do is prevent drafts, seal cracks and eliminate any openings around windows, doors or anywhere air would come in. This will save on your energy bill as well!
*If you have a room that has pipes and seems to be colder, add a space heater to this room where pipes may be at risk. Please follow all safety regulations associated with the space heater and use caution.
If a pipe has broken-start by turning off the water at the main shutoff valve. This is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. Contact SERVPRO to begin the clean up process and contact a licensed plumber
Most Common Fire Safety Tips for Senior Citizens
Working together is the best way to keep our Senior Citizens safe.
We all have Senior Citizen family, friends or neighbors-that we all keep an eye on. These individuals are special to us and to our families and we like to do what we can to ensure that they stay safe. Doesn’t matter if it is clearing their sidewalk for them or setting up pills for them, everything little thing is important.
Something many don’t think of is going over fire safety. Many enjoy the comforts of home and we do everything in our power to keep them in their home. Part of that includes their wellbeing. Again, we add rails to the bathroom and grips to rugs. However, have you made sure their smoke detectors work? Do you know that they are safe cooking? What else needs to be done to keep them safe and give you peace of mind?
Test Smoke Alarms Regularly and Have Proper Alarms
Smoke can be a silent killer, especially for Senior citizens. Individuals with hearing problems who tend to sleep without a hearing aid could be a victim. Having a working smoke alarm in every room and hallway is a great start, but they should be effective for the individuals. Strobe alarms are a great option. Seniors also can install alarms that shake the bed to rouse them in the event of a fire. Most importantly of all, make sure to test smoke alarms every month. This keeps them in compliance and makes sure the alarms they have are proper so they are always in compliance.
If They Smoke, Please Remind Them the Proper Place to Do So
Smoking is the number one cause of fire deaths in the country. Please remind senior citizens never to attempt smoking in bed. Falling asleep with a cigarette lit or dropping ashes onto carpet, covers or even clothing can cause an instant problem. Another hazard is to smoke near flammable oxygen tanks. Seniors should be using deeper or heavier ashtrays and avoid ashes flipping or falling onto a rug. The best way to put butts out is with sand, water or dirt. Take great care to make sure our friends, family and neighbors are safe.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
Seniors tend to have less than three minutes to escape in the event of a fire. Everyone should have a fire escape plan and practice it, knowing all the accessible exits and meeting areas. For seniors, especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s who have escape proof doors, it is important they have a prearranged escort in the event of a fire. Making sure neighbors and family are aware of the plan and know where the escape routes are is to minimize injury.
Seniors need to be willing and able to respond to an emergency in the kitchen while cooking. There are so many things that can cause injury in the Kitchen-Fire being one. Most kitchen fires begin because food is left unattended. If they must leave the kitchen while cooking, they should always turn the burner off. The kitchen should never be left unattended while there is food cooking-even if it is intended to be a short period of time. If for some reason they need to leave the kitchen-have a plan to always take a pot holder, spoon, towel or anything to remind them that they have something in the kitchen. A great reminder for seniors is to never cook with loose or dangling clothing that can easily ignite and potentially start a major fire.
Have a Whistle
Have their phone and whistle at bedside. The whistle lets people know where you are and gives you a way to warn others of the fire. Escape is always the top priority. Call the fire department when you are out. If trapped- use the phone to call for help. Seniors with wheelchairs or walkers should check exit routes ahead of time to be sure they are accessible or plan an alternate route. If impairment makes it impossible to escape in the event of a fire, discuss this concern with the landlord, family, neighbors or check with the fire department.
Don’t Overload Outlets or Extension Cords
This is a major fire concern. Having too many extension cords and too many items plugged in can easily spark a fire. Make sure no more than one major appliance is plugged into an outlet at a time and all outlets are kept responsibly used. If more outlets are required for a particular area, hire an electrician to install proper outlets.
If you have questions about fire, smoke or soot damage, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500
Kitchen Fire Prevention
More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. Cooking is involved in over 100,000 home fires every year. This number could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.
Dress to cook
While you may look good wearing a suit or a long dress, you’ll be safer if you wear clothing that’s more kitchen-appropriate while you’re cooking. Loose and long clothing can accidentally catch on fire. If you ever noticed a cooking apron, it has cut-off or shortened sleeves, and it has string that is meant to keep the apron and your clothes tight to your body.
Use appliances carefully
Kitchen appliances can cause fires if not used and maintained correctly. Keeps your cords away from oil and liquids. Remove food debris and oil from the appliances. Replace your power cords if they are damaged in some way. If an appliance is malfunctioning, stop using it and get it fixed or replaced.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
In the event of a fire, an extinguisher can quickly stop it from spreading. Don’t have the extinguisher stored too close too the stove, as that can make it hard to reach during a stove fire. Ensure that you know how to use it, too.
In addition to having, and knowing how to use, a fire extinguisher, you need to know how to react in case of a fire. Don’t use water to put out the fire, and don’t attempt to transfer a burning pot or pan to the sink—doing so can unwittingly cause the fire to spread. Quickly use an extinguisher if you have one. If the fire is getting out of control, quickly leave the home and call the authorities.
Don’t leave the kitchen
The main culprit of kitchen fires is an unattended stove. If you have things cooking, don’t leave the kitchen. If you must leave, turn off the stove or oven, and remove your pots and pans from the heat. If your eyes are on the stove, you will vastly reduce the chances of a fire occurring in the kitchen.
Keep the stove top clean and clear
A cluttered stove area can cause a fire. Kitchen towels, paper, appliance cords, uncovered oil, and other flammable items need to be kept away from the stove top. Be sure to clean the stove top regularly. Food debris and leftover grease can easily ignite with enough heat. Also, before you begin cooking, remove excess oil and grease from the exterior of your pots and pans.
Be careful with cooking oils
Avoid using an oil with a low smoke point for high heat cooking, as it can catch fire. Also, don’t carelessly discard hot cooking oil. Many fires have been caused by putting hot oil in a garbage can with other flammable items.
Kitchen fires can occur for a variety of reasons. However, if you apply these kitchen fire prevention tips, you will greatly reduce the chance of your kitchen catching on fire.
If you have questions about fire, smoke or soot damage, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500
Interesting Storm Facts
Interesting Facts About Thunderstorms
- The first stage of a thunderstorm, called the developing stage, occurs when a cumulus cloud is pushed upward by air. In the developing stage there is not usually much rain but lightning can be seen.
- The second stage of a thunderstorm, called the mature stage, occurs when the rising warm air reaches warmer air and it spreads out into a 'cap'. This creates frozen water droplets that fall to the earth, melting along the way - unless the updraft is very strong which creates hail. It is during this stage that lightning and thunder and strong winds and rain occur.
- The third stage of a thunderstorm, called the dissipating stage, occurs when a downdraft pushes to the ground essentially cutting off the thunderstorm's inflow.
- The multi-cell cluster thunderstorm is the most common type, characterized by inner mature storms at the center and dissipating storms around the outer edge, and can include weak tornadoes.
- The multi-cell line thunderstorm is characterized by a line of severe thunderstorms that are either in front of or part of a cold front, and can include hail, strong wind, tornadoes and waterspouts.
- The super-cell thunderstorm is characterized by extremely strong wind, powerful updrafts, very severe weather, and strong tornadoes. Most tornadoes originate in this type of storm.
- The severe thunderstorm is characterized by strong winds, funnel clouds and sometimes tornadoes.
- The sound of thunder is made when lightning's heat flash causes the air to expand rapidly, and then shrink rapidly. This violent air disturbance causes the sound of thunder.
- To be classified as a thunderstorm lightning must be present.
- People often hide under trees to escape thunderstorms. It's a dangerous place because trees are often struck by lightning.
- Thunderstorms often occur in warm, humid conditions.
- Some thunderstorms look like cauliflower in the atmosphere.
- The hail produced in some thunderstorms breaks windows, kills wildlife, and even dents cars.
- Lightning isn't the only danger caused by thunderstorms. They can also produce flash floods, strong damaging winds, and fires.
- As soon as thunder is heard it is best to find safe shelter. Thunderstorms can begin very quickly and if you are able to hear the thunder then you are close enough to be struck by the storm's lightning.
If your central Illinois home has been damaged by storms call SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500.
Common Signs Of Leaking Pipes
Five Common Signs Of Leaking Pipes:
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 10 percent of American homes are losing 90 gallons of water each day due to leaky pipes. That is 177 billion gallons of water each year.
Sloshing some water out of the bathtub and onto the floor won’t cause enough water seepage to damage your ceiling. The internal pipes that carry water to that second-floor bathroom, however, definitely can if they’re leaking along the way.
Rusty pipes, fuse boxes or appliances
Discoloration, stains, dimpling, and flaking are all signs that your pipes may be corroding. If you notice rust occurring around pipes, this is a clear indication of water damage. If you notice your fuse box is starting to rust or collect moisture, that’s another big red flag that water is running free inside your walls.
Bathroom floors rarely suffer water damage unless there is a leak. However, if you notice your floor buckling, staining or cracking, hidden water may be the source.
Wet spots, spongy or soft flooring and loose tiles could all be signs of water damage. Whether the water came from a pipe underneath the floor or traveled there from another area, look into it as soon as possible before the current water damage causes a bigger issue.
Paint or wallpaper discoloring
As moisture seeps into your walls, the paint will start showing signs of damage. You may notice peeling, discoloration, blistering or even cracks and warping.
Since drywall and wood readily absorb moisture, water breaks down the fibers and causes them to feel spongy and soft. If you notice chalky textures, changing wall paint or signs of peeling, water damage is most likely the culprit.
The most common odor associated with water damage is a musty, mildew smell. While you may be able to detect the source of the scent, it’s not always obvious.
Contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac if you experience water or mold damage.
Why SERVPRO For Fire Restoration
Fire damage restoration is a task that should only be tackled by professionals.
The aftermath of a fire is not only a charred mess, but it can also include water damage and structural damage necessitated by firefighters to controlled and assure a fire is extinguished.
Fire-retardant chemicals, soot and smoke damage permeate the area and can create toxicity that must be handled with care to prevent health issues.
Professionals can maximize salvaging your belongings and prevent further damage.
SERVPRO of Bloomington/Normal will come to your aid as soon as the fire is extinguished by emergency personnel. We will work quickly to assure your property is secure through our board up services.
Why SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac for fire restoration?
Once the fire services are done controlling the fire, our experts carefully and efficiently inspect the site for damage. They will classify the damage according to the cause i.e. fire, water, chemicals, and smoke. After determining the type and level of damage, we shall create a custom detailed report and generate a restoration plan. We will work with you closely throughout the restoration process.
Eliminate smoke odors
We will eliminate smoke and odors from the site. Smoke is corrosive and may cause further damage to your possessions and so it is imperative to eliminate it first.
We remove soot from the entire structure as well as removing wet carpets to discourage mold growth.
Protect undamaged property
There may be parts of your property that were not affected by the fire. The restoration team will seal off these areas to avoid damage from smoke, soot, and odors. Items in these areas will be moved to a storage facility through inventory and packing to ensure their well-being and safety.
We will repair, replace, and repaint the affected areas. The items damaged beyond repair shall be filed in an inventory which we will follow up with your insurers. Belongings that can be cleaned are restored.
For fire restoration in central Illinois contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500
Why SERVPRO For Water Damage
Water damage in your home or business can be caused by a variety of things. From natural disasters to malfunctioning plumbing systems. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here to clean up water damage of any size.
Water damage can be very frustrating. Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety. We will remove the affected materials, deodorize, and restore your home or business to its original condition.
Our first step is to resolve the cause of the water. Whether it’s a leaky dishwasher, broken supply line, or sewage backup, the restoration process begins with fixing the problem. Without identifying and resolving the cause of the water damage, you will only have more problems in the future.
Once the cause of the water is fixed, we can remove standing water and sewage from the affected areas. Depending on the specific damage, water extraction may take place after removal and disposal.
Removal and Disposal
We then inspect the damage and remove materials that cannot be restored. This may include materials like plaster, drywall, ceilings, carpeting, and carpet padding as well as personal items affected by the damage. Unfortunately, furniture, paper-products like books, magazines, and newspapers, and other porous items may need to be discarded.
After disposing of materials that cannot be restored, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out areas and materials that can be salvaged. We closely monitor our equipment to ensure the fastest drying time possible and prevent further damage. Dry out may take several days depending on the extent of the damage.
The final step to water damage restoration is rebuilding and restoring your home or business to its original condition. This may include hanging new drywall, laying new carpeting, installing new cabinets, and refinishing hardwood floors. It may be necessary to replace damaged appliances or fix structural issues with your property as well.
When it comes to water damage in your home or business, SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here for you 24/7/ 365.
Fire Safety In The Workplace
Workplace fires injure many workers each year. Their injuries lead to untold tumult, disrupting their lives and their families. Even in those fortunate cases where no one is injured, the property damage caused by fire can be enough to bankrupt many businesses. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fires cost industrial and manufacturing employers alone over $1 billion in property damage each year.
Establishing and maintaining fire protection in the workplace
- Make a periodic clean-up of entire work site and keep grass and weeds under control.
- Regularly dispose of combustible debris and scrap from your work area.
- Use only approved containers and tanks for storage, handling, and transport of combustible and flammable liquid.
- Always perform evaluation procedures before performing operations that present fire hazards like welding.
- Never pile or lay material in a way that it covers or blocks access to firefighting equipment.
- Make sure to use only approved containers for the separation and disposal of combustible refuse. Remember to always replace the lid.
- Never store flammable materials within 10 feet of a building or other structure.
- Stack and pile all materials in orderly and stable piles.
- Never let unnecessary combustible materials get accumulated in any part of your work area.
Safety measures for workplace fire equipment
- Prohibit smoking at or around work areas where fire hazards are present. Put up signs, saying no smoking signs or open flames.
- Configure an alarm system that consists of both visual and audible signals (bells, sirens, whistles, blinking lights).
- Post reporting instructions and local Fire Department codes on info boards, common areas, and areas near the phone.
- First, inspect and maintain fire fighting equipment regularly.
- Place an adequate number of firefighting equipment in plain view in your work areas. When appropriate, label the location of each one and make sure it is properly rated.
- Provide employees with proper training in fire prevention and protection.
If your business or home has been damaged by fire, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac 309-827-7500
Thunderstorms And Your Electronics
A thunderstorm is an atmospheric disturbance that involves lightning and thunder. It may be accompanied by torrential rain, hail or high winds. A severe thunderstorm can cause flooding, fires, power failures and electrocution, and result in serious damage.
While surges due to thunderstorms are rare, you should at the very least unplug your high-ticket electronics, like your TV, computer and gaming console.
An important thing to remember when pulling the plug on your electronics, is that you can be electrocuted if you touch a cord during a surge. It's best to unplug items before a storm gets to your area.
Will a surge protector help?
Many people think that surge protectors that you plug into the wall will save their electronics from power surges due to storms, however that is not the case.
Surge protectors are meant to protect against common, small surges in the electrical grid that happen from time to time. They can help reduce the power surge before it reaches your device, but they are not designed to protect items from the massive surge of electricity that happens from a lightning strike during a storm.
What can protect your devices during a storm is a whole house surge protector or suppressor. These are much more expensive than an outlet surge protector and are meant to be installed on your house's main electrical panel.
If you experience Storm damage or flooding, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500
Water damage can cause big problems for homeowners. It can be a sneaky issue that many people don’t discover until it has become a big, expensive problem.
Water has the potential to damage your home beyond affordable repair, with heavy structural consequences that include mold, wood rot, and even foundation cracks. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch it early and stop it before it spreads. But even small leaks that allow rainwater into the house can cause major problems.
The best way to deal with water damage is to stop it before it starts. Here are some measures that you can take to prevent water from entering your home from outside.
The exterior of your house is its first line of defense against water damage. Protect your home from the outside in by maintaining the exterior.
Your roof should keep water out of your house. Neglecting it could lead to a whole host of problems, the worst of which includes extensive water damage that could compromise the structure of your home. Most roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, but that is no guarantee that it will last that long. Climate, weather conditions, and even nearby trees can cause damage to roof shingles. Periodically check for damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
Windows and Doors
Water can seep in through the space around window and door frames if they’re not properly sealed. Don’t wait for a leak. Inspect the outside of your windows and doors. Any large cracks between the frame and the house can be injected with insulating foam sealant. A fresh coat of paint on window and door frames can block moisture from penetrating the wood.
You can take measures to keep water out of your home, but waterproofing alone isn’t enough to protect your home from water damage. If water isn’t properly diverted away from the base of your house, your foundation could be at risk. And even the best waterproofing measures are no match for standing water that collects on or around your house in areas of poor drainage.
Depending on surrounding tree coverage, gutters need to be cleaned out two to six times a year to ensure proper flow of rainwater.Making sure your gutters function properly is critical to protecting your home from water damage. If your gutters are full of leaves and pine needles, or not angled properly to funnel water to the downspout, then water will run down the side of your house and collect at the base, which could put your foundation at risk.
Check Your Downspouts
Downspouts should direct water at least three feet from the exterior walls of a home.Gutters send water out through the downspout, which should funnel the water away from your home. If the downspout doesn’t extend far enough, then it could instead be funneling water directly into a puddle at the bottom of your house.Downspouts should extend at least two to three feet from the house. If your downspout is long enough, but you can still see water collecting at the base of your house, then you may need to install a drainage pipe.
If you suspect water damage in your home or business contact us today. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac 309-827-7500