Are you ready for winter?
Time to Winterize
Northwest Ohio is preparing itself for the first real snow of the season. The road crews are are getting their salt trucks ready to roll, grocery stores and such have stocked their shelves with salt and snow shovels. The snow is expected to come in two waves, the first just a small amount with the possibility for several inches hitting our area by the end of the weekend. So the question is what are some things we can do to prepare our homes for another long winter of snow and freezing or sub zero temperatures. A good place to start is on the exterior of your house. Here are just a couple of tips to get you started. Make sure your gutters are cleared of all the leaves so you don't end up with Ice dams which can cause flooding to your basement or damage to your roofs. Also be sure to disconnect your garden hoses from the spigots and drain them and store them away for the winter to prevent the hose from bursting. I myself would suggest purchasing a insulated cover to go over the spigot to help prevent the pipe from freezing. And in the unfortunate event that you do have water damage be sure you call SERVPRO of East Toledo and let our team of experts make it " Like it never even happened"
Maumee Holiday Lights Parade
Maumee Holiday Lights Parade
SERVPRO of East Toledo was a proud participant in the Maumee Holiday Lights Parade 2016! This year our Holiday theme was A Charlie Brown Christmas which included characters such as Snoopy and Woodstock , Lucy in Her psychiatric help booth, Schroeder playing the piano, Pigpen and his blanket, The lovely Peppermint Patty Just to name a few. Our very talented Michael Dario drew out all of the characters by hand and our lovely ladies Salesa, Heather and Sheila along with their children, painted them and brought them to life. It was a great night for all of our employees and their families to get together and pass out candy to the kiddies! We are very proud of our float and we love participating in such a great holiday tradition.
Spring is here and with that comes the rain. Sometimes more rain than what our storm sewers can handle. Rivers and streams rise above their natural boundaries causing the water to overflow. Flooding occurs and as the water travels across the ground it picks up all kinds of contaminates such as soil bacteria, decaying insects, animal droppings, fertilizers from fields, oil and roadway debris, and the list goes on. It is for this reason that even after the flood waters recede, what is left behind poses a host of health issues. Therefore it is very important that when cleaning up after flood it is imperative that certain precautions should be taken.
First on the list is to assess the situation before entering a building. Water and electrical don’t tend to mix very well. It is best to make sure the power is shut off.
Call in a professional who has been IICRC certified such as SERVPRO®. SERVPRO® is a professional water damage restoration company that has highly trained, certified technicians, specialized cleaners and antimicrobial agents to makes sure your home or building is properly disinfected. We have the extraction equipment to remove the water and the drying/dehumidification equipment to make sure the building is drying out in a timely manner. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test the materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the structure and salvageable items back to their pre loss condition.
Ohio's Severe Weather Awareness Week
In a coordinated effort with the Ohio Commission for Severe Weather Awareness (ACSWA), Governor John R Kasich proclaimed March 20-26 as Ohio’s Severe Weather Awareness Week.
On the Morning of Wednesday March 23rd Outdoor warning s sirens could be heard across Ohio. The outdoor warning sirens could be heard statewide at 9:50am and were active for more than one minute as part of a state -wide test to signal the start of Severe Weather Week and to remind Ohio residents to do their part to stay safe.
Lucas County alone has 131 outdoor warning sirens all of which were found to be functioning properly.
Schools, businesses, and households are encouraged that we take the time to prepare, practice their Tornado drills and emergency plans.
During a Tornado drill or actual tornado warnings, remember to Duck!
D-Go” DOWN” to the lowest level
U- Get “UNDER” something such as a basement staircase or heavy table or desk.
C-Be sure to “COVER” your Head
K-“KEEP” in shelter until storm has passed.
IICRC States why professionals should clean smoke damage from a fire
Let the professionals handle the job
Recenty I was reading an article written on the IICRC web site. I found it very informative. The Institute of Cleaning, Restoration Certification( IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting nonproft organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC serves serves the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, in partnership with regional and international trade asscoiations.
Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.
While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.
These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.
If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.
Green Means Clean
Green Means Clean
GREEN MEANS CLEAN
SERVPRO® Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, SERVPRO® can access the listing known formally as CleanGredients. The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. With the assistance of larger chemical companies the EPA/DFE has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations.
From the listing a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green” chemistry. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials. We have formulated three Green Cleaning Products that allow us to finish any cleaning project in an environmentally sound way.
Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean #251 is a product designed for cleaning both carpet and upholstery. It is truly a “one product does all” in that it can be used as a spotter, pre-spray, in-line cleaner for both truck mount and portable equipment, and in low-moisture bonnet cleaning. The product is pH neutral, biodegradable, contains no phosphates, solvents, dyes or fragrances.
All Surface Green Clean #250 is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional surface cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant and rapidly bio-degradable. The product is designed as a one product cleans all for surfaces that can be wiped or mopped. It can safely be used on walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, etc. The exclusive formulation contains both ionic and non-ionic surfactants that are naturally derived and provide excellent multi-functional cleaning.
Window Green Clean #249 is an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional glass cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, VOC-compliant and rapidly biodegradable. The product comes ready to use and is formulated with soft water to eliminate spotting and streaking.
Two areas the EPA/DFE does not address that are common in our restoration tasks are disinfectants and deodorizers. Disinfectants are “kill” agents and not considered green per the EPA/DFE. The EPA does though classify disinfectants by the overall toxicity. The lowest toxicity disinfectants get a rating of category 3. SERVPRO® provides Sporicidin® as a low toxicity disinfectant and it carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating of category 3. Therefore in the course of Green Cleaning it is recommended Sporicidin® be used for your disinfecting requirements.
The final area is Deoderization and the problem is the fragrances used in these products can cause reactions with certain individuals. The EPA/DFE does not currently have “Green” fragrances listed. SERVPRO® provides air scrubbers with activated charcoal to serve as a “Green” method of deodorization. This method will scrub the odor particles from the air and trap them in the activated charcoal filter.
Cathy and Julie from Great Lakes Insurance Partners
Here at SERVPRO of East Toledo we try to run a new and fun contest every month. For the month of February we decided to go with a contest that would help expose people to our Facebook page. It was a very simple contest actually. We asked people to go to our Facebook page and if they liked it just hit the like button, it was that easy! A like ='s an entry. Now if they really liked our page then they could share our page with their friends by hitting the Share Button and just like that they received a second entry! Every day we would check our page and write down who liked and who liked and shared. Then the day of the contest we chose our winner! This month our winner was Cathy from Great Lakes Insurance Partners! Cathy Received a Gift Certificate to Red Robin for Dinner for two and also Two Movie Tickets all wrapped up in a nice little vase packed with some other goodies. Cathy chose to include her coworker Julie to share her prize with! Congratulations Ladies!
Heating Fire Safety Tips
There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening. Like They say " An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure"!
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Tips to help keep the flu at bay
Don't let the flu bug get you down!
Well it's that time of year again. The weather is colder; we are all staying inside a little bit more. Windows closed, furnace on... nice and cozy right? Unfortunately we are not the only ones who seem to think so! Germs also love to hang out in our home and wreak havoc on our immune systems in these cold winter months! I am sure we all know the basics; Wash your hands, avoid sick people, leave your shoes at the door! But no matter what we do these sneaky little varmints seem to still find their way into our lives and our home. Well I say No More!! It is time to fight back! Here are a few cleaning tips that can help you stop germs dead in their tracks!
Let’s start first with the hand washing. A quick little run under the water is not going to cut it! You need to really lather up. Get some friction going, wash up above your wrists and make sure you are getting in between those finger!!! Make sure you are washing for at least as long as it takes to sing the ABC's.
Disinfect all the doorknobs inside and out. Light switches are also a hot spot for germs. Use disinfectant wipes as a part of your normal household cleaning routine. Remember lots of germy hands touch these surfaces.
Leaving your shoes at the door is huge. Think of all the surfaces your shoes have come across over the course of a day. Give them a spray down with some disinfectant and remember to spray the laces especially on the kid’s shoes. Who knows what those laces have touched. If they are washable toss them in the washer frequently.
To remotes are used by just about everyone in the house. You pick up the remote, change the channel, grab a bite of popcorn, yep you got it... little Bobby over there across the room who has the flu and was watching Tv all day flipping channels between coughs, all his germs just hitched a ride from the remote to your hand to the popcorn to your mouth!
Toilets, Showers, Bathroom floors, remotes, smart phones, tablets, computers, and the list goes on and on. But don’t let it overwhelm you! Just remember wash your hands well, disinfect often. Having a consistent and thorough routine can prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy and happy throughout the year. Especially during Flu Season!
New Years and Home Safety
With the start of a New Year many of us are focused on making resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. Many of us will try new diets or begin an exercise program, which is great start to a healthier, happier, you but a having a safe home can be just as important to your health. As you embark on this New Year try to keep a few simple things in mind.
1) First make sure you test your smoke detectors monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
2) Clean out the lint from the vents and the pipe behind your dryer. Check them often to assure they are clean. Although this may not sound like a big deal lint is highly combustible and is responsible for more than 15,000 structure fires each year.
3) Change your furnace filters at least every three months, more often if you have pets or allergies.
4) Make sure you have a fire escape plan and be sure to practice it with your family often.
5) Be prepared to handle any home emergency by keeping your local SERVPRO® franchise contact information on hand.