Fire Damages in the Winter
- Never leave the kitchen or hot appliances unattended while cooking.
- Keep paper products, towels, potholders and other flammable materials away from the stove.
- Clean your stove and oven often to avoid grease build up.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove while food is being prepared.
- Be sure to extinguish all candles before heading to bed at night.
- Never leave the room with any candles burning.
- Candles should be placed at a minimum of three feet from combustible materials such as your Christmas tree and/or decorations, curtains, blankets, etc
- There are a variety of flameless scent options available on the market today, such as: wax warmers, oil diffusers and plug in air fresheners.
- The warmth of your home may be tempting to smoke in during cold weather, but avoid smoking indoors at all costs. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and other smoking materials away from children, either high out of reach or locked in a cabinet.
- Always use a sturdy, deep ashtray to put out smoking materials. Never discard your cigarette in vegetation such as plants, peat moss, mulch or anything else that can ignite easily.
- Before you toss butts and ashes, ensure they are completely out. Douse them with water or sand to be certain.
- Never use lit candles to decorate your tree.
- Replace any string of lights that has loose bulb connections, frayed wires or a worn appearance with a new strand. Read the manufacturers instructions for how many light strands you can connect. Overloading your outlet and/or power strip can be very dangerous.
- Always turn Christmas lights off before you leave the house and before heading off to bed.
Dryers & Washing Machines
- Clean lint filters every time you use the dryer.
- You should also have your dryer vent and ductwork professionally cleaned once a year.
- In the interim of those cleanings, frequently check your vents and ductwork to ensure nothing is getting backed up. Make sure someone is home and awake while the cycle is going.
If using a real tree, be sure to choose one with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.Cut 2” off the trunk before you place it on the stand. Add water to your tree daily to ensure the needles don’t dry out, real trees are extremely flammable when dry.
As with other combustibles, keep your tree three feet away from any heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, etc. Make sure your tree isn’t blocking an exit out of the home, like a hallway or door.
Conserve Water this Fall
1. Adjust your sprinkler timer
Water during the early morning and evening hours to reduce evaporation and find out how much water is required to effectively water your lawn.
2. Check for leaks and building damage
Inspect all interior fixtures, as well as basements and crawlspaces and you may also want to inspect your building’s exterior for damage.
3. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas
To reduce the likelihood of freezing, wrap water pipes in unheated areas with insulation tubes and apply heat-tape prior to wrapping pipes with insulation.
4. Know the location of your property shut-off valve
Knowing the location of your shut-off valve could save you money on water and damage repairs. The faster you can turn off the water, the less goes to waste.
5. Install a smart water flow monitoring system
When excessive water usage is detected, it immediately notifies the property manager that water spike above the preset limit has occurred. The alert can be sent to both a computer and a smartphone for the manager to act upon, and can be customized for business hours, as well as after hours and weekends.
Leaks, Big and Small
Small or big leaks, they are all big! A leak from a hole that is 1/16" in diameter can pour 822 gallons of water a day into your home!
With any leak or spill, it is the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. In order to find what materials are wet we mainly rely on a Moisture Meter. There are two types, penetrating and non-penetrating. Penetrating Moisture Meters measure the resistance between test pins inserted into a piece of wood/building material and use that reading as a proxy for the object’s absolute moisture level. Non-Penetrating Moisture Meters rely on the ability of moisture to inductively distort an electric field created by turning on the meter. This sounds like a bunch of scientific talk, and it is! But mainly the moisture meters will tell you when something is wet and how wet, so you can find any hidden wet spots in your home. While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage that must be mitigated immediately.
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma has the tools to find where any water is lurking and we can come out and inspect to see how best to tackle any water damage. Call us today! 205-926-6010
Fire & Smoke Deodorization
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO also provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO technicians also do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of odor. (205) 926-6010
Water Damage From A Malfunctioning Washing Machine
One of the most well-known causes of water damage in your home, washing machines can cause costly damage. After the deductible is paid, the average claim nationally for water damage from washing machine malfunction is more than five thousand dollars.
Since washing machines have various ways of creating water damage to your home, many homeowners do not totally understand the prevention options, risks, or cleanup options. Knowing just a bit about how your washing machine can create water damage, you can save thousands of dollars and many headaches. When your washing machine does malfunction, SERVPRO, a professional water damage restoration company, can come to your rescue to fix the problem and clean up the water and damages.
Supply Hose Leaks
Over fifty percent of claims from washing machine water damage can be traced to the failure of your supply hose. It can be caused by an aging hose, a poor connection to the wall or machine, or the hose being pinched while it is installed, causing a hairline break. Intake hoses are high-flow lines and can put out more than six hundred gallons of water in one hour. If the supply hose on your machine is over five years old or is not steel braided, get it replaced as soon as you can.
Drainage Issues And Flooding
If there is a clog in your drainage pipe, the sewer backs up, or your drain pipe is not properly lined up, the drainage system of your washing machine causes some water damage at least. Most importantly, avoid a clog in the sewer line. When this backs up, you can be faced with water damage that is filled with contaminates and poses serious risks to health. You most definitely need the help of the professionals at SERVPRO if this happens to you since they have the proper equipment and training to clean up the mess safely.
Your washing machine doesn't have to be incorrectly installed, old, or built poorly to create an internal leak. Overloading your machine on a regular basis can cause valves, gaskets, and bushings to crack or loosen. Smaller loads, even if it takes longer to do the laundry, keep your machine from shaking itself apart.
Identifying Your Leak
If you have a leak that is constant, you likely have an issue with the supply hose. It is probably an internal leak if it happens during the wash cycle but before the spin cycle. With water on the floor during the spin cycle or right after the machine turns off, you probably have a drainage issue.
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can handle any washing machine leak in a timely and efficient manner. You can easily reach them at (205) 926-6010, so do not hesitate to get in touch with us if your washing machine is leaking.
Why Air Movement Is Essential For Repairing Flood Damage In Your Homes
For more than two decades, water damage restorers have been utilizing air moving equipment for the purposes of structural drying. The reason for this is because controlled drying processes depend on evaporation – the transition of liquid water to vapor.
Several different factors influence the rate of evaporation. Most are linked directly to changes in the air around damaged materials. Therefore, the application of air movement at the surface of wet objects is essential for the successful repair of water damage in Alabama homes.
The Control Of Microbial Growth
High powered air movers are very effective when it comes to drying surface water. At SERVPRO, they are a critical tool for preventing microbial growth. Practically speaking, if water activity (aw) can be limited to a level below 0.75, the development of microbes is slower. However, if held at a level under 0.65 aw, it is difficult for any microbes to grow, even on the most vulnerable materials.
It means that SERVPRO has to commit to drying all damaged materials in order to reach an equilibrium with an environment below the 0.65 aw cut off. The fastest way to do this is to install air movers and direct clean, dry air over wet surfaces. Crucially, if the exposed surface of hygroscopic substances (plasterboard) get dried quickly but their interior remains wet, microbial growth is still unlikely.
The Even Distribution Of Heat And Air
As the drying process progresses, SERVPRO tightly regulates the humidity, temperature, and airflow within the water damaged space. When air movers get used correctly, they must redirect clean air and support the even distribution of heat to any materials which are still intolerably wet. As the job is nearing completion, the technicians can start to relax humidity and airflow controls, but they must still maintain established drying goals. Moisture tests are carried out periodically to determine how much moisture the materials in the room contain and how long it is likely to take for them to be dried out.
At SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma, we take water damage restoration seriously. By using sophisticated structural drying techniques, our technicians ensure that all excess water, damp, and moisture gets eliminated. Call us 24/7 at (205) 926-6010 for fast, effective repairs.
When you need to get back to business quickly
As a commercial property management professional, your clients and tenants rely on you for efficient day-to-day operations of their property. They also depend on you to protect it. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma understands there is no such thing as a small emergency when it can negatively impact occupant safety, revenue loss and business continuity.
If you experience a loss in the following areas, we can assist you:
- Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration
- Fire, Smoke and Soot Restoration Services
- Mold Mitigation Services
- Commercial Large Loss and Storm Response Program
Timely mitigation is key to minimizing damage, business interruptions and recovery costs. You and those who depend on you will appreciate the rapid response, expertise and training that enables SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to help get your facility back into operation quickly.
Our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines help ensure timely communication and response and can reduce loss expense from secondary damages.
1 - You will be contacted within one hour from notice of loss to arrange for service
4 - A SERVPRO project manager will be onsite within four hours of loss notification
8 - Within 8 business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope of work will be communicated to the property manager or appropriate point of contact.
Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at 205-926-6010. With our trained professionals and specialized equipment, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
A clean clothes dryer reduces your chance of fire
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2010-2014 US fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 fires each year involving clothes dryers and washing machines. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of those fires, washing machines and washer dryer combinations accounted for the remainder.
Doing laundry is most likely part of your everyday routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? Failure to clean dryers is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. With a few simple safety tips, you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
And don’t forget…
Dryers should be properly grounded. Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by anything. Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, etc. Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.
If you experience smoke or fire damage in your home or business anywhere in The Blackbelt area, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at 205-926-6010 to clean and restore you to preloss condition. We have highly trained technicians and top of line equipment to help clean and repair your fire loss, no matter how large or small
Teaching children what to do in a fire.
In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths. In the United States Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. Make sure to have a meeting location outside the home.
How to help prevent flooding to your home in Helena or Great Falls due to a storm.
According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.
Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:
1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
3. Clear gutters and drains
If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.