Water Damage Recovery Tips For Your Furniture
The damage your furniture may sustain from water can seem serious, but is often very manageable and can be repaired easily by taking some DIY steps. If you do experience a flooding or weather-related event happen to your home or business and furniture has been affected, here are some tips you can follow to restore your furniture and carpeting.
Wood. When wooden furniture is soaked in water, the first step to be taken will be to let it dry completely. Place it in a room that is warm and one that enjoys good circulation. You may decide to turn on the heat and fans, as well, and that can help the drying process. If the outdoor temperatures are warm, place the furniture outside while taking care that the temperature is just warm enough - cooler weather will cause the piece to dry more slowly and mold can establish a colony, while air that is too hot can end up causing cracks to form in the furniture.
White Spots. If you find white spots on the furniture from drips or leaks, mix a solution of toothpaste and baking soda in equal parts. After dipping a wet cloth in this solution, rub it on the spots and polish the area with a dry piece of fabric made from cotton.
Mildew. Black spots indicate that water has seeped through the finish into the wood itself, and that leads to mildew. If this happens, it will require you to remove the finish, clean the mildew with a bleach solution and put on a new layer of finish.
Buckled Veneer. The veneer on your furniture may have buckled or warped through contact with water. In this case, soak the veneer with a moisturizer to cause it to lie down flat and then wipe it clean and dry. Then you will fill a syringe with veneer glue, place the needle between the veneer and the body of the furniture, and express the glue into the space slowly. After you have removed the needle, place a wood block on top of the veneer and wait for the glue to dry while being sure to follow all the manufacturer’s directions.
The SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties team is always here to help when it comes to the recovery of your possessions from water damage. We are skilled experts in the area of restoration from the damages of fire or water, and we also handle mold remediation and prevention.
Why You Should Maintain Your HVAC In Your Condo
As the owner of a condo, maintenance is something you are concerned about. You know that equipment failure and malfunction are annoying and costly, and you are also aware that it is often avoidable. One of the most important benefits of owning your own home is that you have control over your interior environmental climate. That is a great reason why you should maintain your HVAC thoroughly and regularly.
Changing filters and humidifier pads on a regular basis will go a long way to prolong the life of your system, that is something that you can do yourself. Keep notations so that you can be sure to do this chore regularly, and so that you always get the right brands and sizes. Regular upkeep will help you save both energy and replacement costs.
You might want to consider setting up a contract with a professional HVAC company if you don’t have the time or the skills you need to maintain your HVAC. A business that handles maintenance of this kind will have a predetermined schedule that will include tune-ups, clean-and-checks, and other services whose purpose will be to keep your HVAC system and units performing at their best.
When it comes to natural gas heaters, a professional can handle these easily and safely, alleviating the stress that can be a part of this particular maintenance. Your HVAC company will be able to test to see if carbon monoxide is being released into your living spaces due to gas not burning completely. This is a project that would be difficult for someone not familiar with this area. With the right equipment, they can determine oxygen levels as well as carbon monoxide levels and flue temperature, allowing your furnaces to be adjusted for optimum performance.
You will want to calculate costs and benefits before you engage a professional on a maintenance contract. Some companies will promise priority service and reduced rates for service calls to customers who have maintenance contracts, and then there’s the peace of mind you will have from knowing there is an experienced eye doing regular inspections, alleviating any guesswork.
Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we have the knowledge needed to evaluate your HVAC system inside and out, and we have the experience necessary to keep it at top functionality. We are water and fire damage specialists, as well.
Common Winter Fire Hazards For Your Business
Fire damage in your business is always a concern. Even the most moderate damage can result in your operation being closed for repairs, costing you both time and money. The unfortunate reality is that no business is immune to the risk of fire, with some facilities more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames throughout the day. There are many fire hazards that are present in most workplaces on a daily basis regardless of the type of activities that take place in the building, as well, and those risks can increase during the colder months of winter. Knowing what these hazards are will help you to take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage in the future.
ELECTRICAL. Damage to your electrical wiring can result in sparks, leading to damaging fires. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets, and can also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls. These may be damaged by pests or weather-related issues. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded through the use of space heaters or when equipment gets too hot. Periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed, and never leave independent heating units running while a room is unoccupied.
MAINTENANCE. Other hazards in workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in an accumulation of dust and other flammable debris, and a gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Maintain your furnace on a regular basis, and be sure to do a check of the system before severe weather hits. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS. Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of businesses often store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times. Ensure that your property is compliant through regular inspections and checks.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage to your business enterprise. If your organization has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties is your trusted source for quality repair services. We have the skills necessary to restore your building to its previous condition so that operations can resume in your place of business right away.
How To Protect Your Belongings If Your Home Floods
SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties is always looking for ways to help our community stay safe, and one of the best ways to ensure that your loved ones and your belongings are protected from disaster is to establish a mitigation strategy. (Mitigation means “The effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters and other hazards.”) For your strategy to be effective it needs to be established today, before the next disaster. Reports have determined that a homeowner will save up to $6 in damage expenses for ever $1 invested in protection - that’s a pretty good return!
Flooding is one of the hazards that can occur here in our area, so today we wanted to share a few mitigation projects that you may want to complete before bad weather sets in and creates issues.
- Keep your rain gutters and drains free of all debris to allow water to escape freely.
- Stockpile emergency protective materials and equipment, such as shop vacs, materials to soak up standing water, sandbags, and items that can be used to block water.
- Elevate your water heater, electric panel, and all heating and cooling systems if there is a chance they may be affected by rising water levels.
- Make your building watertight by using waterproof membranes and backflow valves, otherwise known as “dry flood-proofing.”
- Modify uninhabited areas of your home to let floodwaters enter and exit. This is known as “wet flood-proofing.”
Don’t be caught unaware. Be aware of your own unique hazards and do what you can to protect yourself. Make a disaster plan with your family and loved ones, and make sure to assemble an emergency supply kit to have on hand. Talk about designated shelters and ensure that everyone knows the best locations and sources for emergency information should the worst happen.
Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we care about you, your family, and your property. If you sustain damages from water or fire, we are here to help. We maintain the equipment and skills necessary to get you back to normal after any kind of disaster, no matter the size. We handle mold and mildew, too!
Cleaning Your Hotel Carpets
Dirt and germs that are tracked in by foot traffic and baggage accumulate on your hotel carpeting, accelerating the breakdown of fibers and matting. The clean and classy impression you want your hotel guests to experience is going to be negatively affected by unkempt carpeting. Today, we would like to share a few simple tips and reminders that can help you maintain your carpet to the highest standards possible.
SPOTS AND STAINS. There isn’t really much difference between spots and stains. All that it takes for a spot to become a stain is to forget about it for a while! Any spot should be immediately soaked up with a paper towel or another absorbent material to soak up as much of the spill as possible. This should keep the spot from becoming a more unsightly stain.
PRE-TREATMENTS. Carpet cleaning chemicals can leave behind residue that will actually collect even more dirt. The next thing you know, your carpeting is a dingy mess. Only properly diluted chemicals that break down these stains and rinse clean should be used for spots. Allow your pre-spray to penetrate the spots for a while so that they can do their work.
REGULAR (DAILY) CARE. Regular cleaning, such as daily vacuuming, can vastly reduce your need for deep cleaning when it is done with high-quality equipment. Shop for properly dated filters and backpack-style vacuums, and remember that correctly completing periodic deep carpet extraction cleaning in your hotel is essential to keep carpeting dry, which prevents mold growth. Daily vacuuming removes dirt and dust quickly before it has time to get wet and become embedded in your carpeting.
TEAMWORK. Make sure your team knows how to clean your hotel carpets correctly, using all the established machinery and cleaning solvents as per manufacturer’s directions. The most efficient way to ensure that your carpeting lasts is to establish a routine maintenance plan that is executed by properly trained cleaners.
DEEP CLEANING. Call a professional cleaning company to come in and help you when it’s time for large-scale deep cleaning of your hotel carpets. Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we have the expertise to ensure that your carpets are looking like new in a timely manner.
What To Do When A Pipe Freezes And Bursts In Your Home
Winters in this area can last a while, and when you experience more than a few days of frigid weather in a row, you can end up with burst pipes when they freeze. This kind of event often will cost a lot of money if not handled quickly and can be pretty damaging.
Be prepared ahead of time by educating yourself about what to do in case a pipe freezes and bursts in your home. One of the first things to know is the location of the main water shut-off valve. Make sure you and at least one other person in your house know where this is so that your personal property doesn’t experience more damage than necessary from that burst pipe.
If you suspect that you do have frozen pipes, here are some tips to handle the situation:
- Turn off your water immediately, using the main shut-off valve.
- Call the professionals. A professional company with the skills and equipment in place specifically for this kind of event is going to be able to help you quickly and efficiently. You may be tempted to try to defrost frozen pipes using a flame, but this is never a good idea. Any open flame in enclosed spaces is extremely dangerous, and this tactic also doesn’t actually work. A hairdryer might be a help, however. Apply the heat to the pipe gradually after you open the faucet. Begin near the end of the faucet and move towards the ice block. Ensure you don’t stand in water while using any electrical device, by the way.
- If any rooms in your house are flooded, check carefully for live electrical outlets or cords that could be submerged before you step into the standing water. If you aren’t sure, wait for the professionals to arrive.
The SERVPRO Huron & East Seneca Counties team is here to help any time you have a water-related disaster. We’re available 24/7 for assistance with any water damage and fire damage, and we can handle cleanups of all sizes. We’re also experts in mold remediation and prevention.
New Year’s Resolutions For Your Commercial Building
It’s the time of year when every commercial business owner is considering the future and deciding what they could do differently. One of the challenges any commercial building owner will face is that of keeping their property clean and in good repair so that their investment can be protected in the months to come.
Here are some tips for New Year’s resolutions you can make to help keep your property in great shape:
- Scheduled Cleaning. Establish a schedule for the year to have your commercial building cleaned. Contract a professional cleaning and restoration company to come in and do deep cleaning of floors, walls, and ceilings regularly. Deep cleaning of the public bathrooms and waiting areas will ensure that those who visit your building will want to come back. Your commercial building will be attractive to both tenants and their customers when it is sparkling clean and in tiptop shape, and that is just a great business practice.
- Flooring Refinished. The floors in your building will see a lot of traffic, so getting them redone at regular intervals will help save you money over time. If tile, linoleum, and wooden floors are not properly cared for, they will need to be replaced due to wear and damage. That can be an expensive proposition and will inconvenience your tenants. They may even lose money due to having areas of their space inaccessible while work is going on. A professional cleaning and renovation company will be able to care for your floors properly so that they will look great and last longer.
- Exterior Cleaning. Have your commercial building pressure washed after every season to ensure that your property presents a great image to everyone who passes by. Schedule a thorough cleaning of all exterior windows and doors, as well.
The SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca team is ready to help you with your commercial property needs. Call us today for a consultation! We are experts at cleanups both large and small, as well as fire damage restoration and water damage restoration, and we offer mold inspection and mold remediation services, too.
How To Prepare Your Employees For A Weather Emergency
As you head into the winter months, take a minute to prepare your business and your employees for any possible winter weather emergencies. Doing this will hopefully minimize the amount of property damage, financial loss, and potential injuries or accidents to your business and workforce.
When a weather emergency occurs, it will bring with it a lot of logistical and human resource challenges to your enterprise. Whether it’s a heavy snowfall or torrential downpour, the productivity of your employees will be affected, especially if they work outdoors or travel any distance to your location or outside of the area on projects.
Here are some ways to prepare your employees for a weather emergency:
- Policy. Set a fair and logical office policy that addresses the expectations you have for your staff when it comes to their attendance at work, and what allowances will be made when the weather has produced dangerous conditions for travel. If you require your employees to come in when the conditions are poor, that can, and will, adversely affect your employees’ morale.
- Plan. Ensure that you have an updated continuity plan for your business that clearly explains what will happen in the event of serious weather situations. It is important to address different weather scenarios and set the expectations for everyone involved. You should clearly spell out who is responsible for announcing any communication closures, for example, and you should have a clearly-defined place for everyone to go for further information. Your social media accounts or email threads need to be in the hands of a great communicator, someone who can be relied upon to keep everyone in the loop with correct information in a timely manner.
- Pay. If your office or business closes due to bad weather, the issue of payment will be at the top of everyone’s mind, especially if they are paid on an hourly basis. Under federal law, you can establish these rules as you see fit, but keep in mind that in a hot job market, employees are going to be far more likely to look for a new job if you aren’t focused on their retention. Create your policies and procedures with this most important business consideration in mind, and think back to those days in your own past when you may have struggled financially. Remember, a happy workforce is a productive one!
Here at SERVPRO of Huron/East Seneca Counties, we are always ready to help in any weather-related emergencies. If your business has sustained damage from a flood, fire, or other circumstances beyond your control, give us a call. We are damage repair specialists!
How To Use Your Fireplace Properly And Safely
One of the best things about colder weather is being able to curl up in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace. Such a fire is beautiful, cozy, and aromatic, of course, but it can also be extremely dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Almost half of all home-heating fire and emergency room visits every year are related to fireplace usage.
Today we would like to share some tips on how to use your fireplace both properly and safely:
- Inspection. Have your fireplace and its chimney inspected by a professional every year. They should examine:
- The flue and its ability to open and close, as well as its seal
- Whether there are cracks or loose bricks
- Whether the mortar is crumbling or missing
- If the chimney is leaning
- If the chimney cap is present to keep out rain, animals and debris
- Cleaning. Your chimney and fireplace should be cleaned before each winter by a certified chimney sweep. If any debris is present, inadequate venting can occur and toxic fumes may end up in the home. Soot and creosote buildup can also cause a chimney fire.
- Wood. Burn only dry and seasoned wood or fire logs that have been specially designed for the purpose.
- Spark Guard. Install a spark guard to prevent sparks or embers from coming out of the firebox and setting fire to anything near. Keep flammable materials, such as Christmas trees and decorations, at least three feet away from the fireplace and open flame.
- Build a safe fire.
- Open the flue before lighting for proper ventilation.
- Place logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate.
- Use crumpled paper and kindling that is no thicker than a human thumb to start a small fire. Don’t use an excessive amount, as this can over-build the fire and ignite any soot in the chimney.
- Use matches or a commercial firelighter to start your fire. Never use gas or any other fuel for this purpose.
- Add logs gradually as your kindling ignites and as the fire builds.
- Ensure that your fireplace isn't overloaded. This is actually more dangerous than even a controlled burn. A large fire can crack your chimney.
- Let ashes cool completely before you remove them, and add a bit of water to make sure no hidden embers reignite.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
If you should ever experience a house or building fire, be sure to call a fire and smoke damage restoration service for emergency cleaning. SERVPRO of Huron/East Seneca Counties is available 24/7 to help with all fire damage restoration emergencies, as well as cleanup from flooding and other water-related damage situations.
Steps To Take When Your Basement Is Flooded
If your basement is affected by wet weather or faulty equipment, it can be a real mess. We all store extra items in our basements, and boxes of soggy books, soaked carpets, ruined photos, and submerged electronics can be extremely daunting to face.
Acting quickly to remove the water and repair the damage is vital. Mold can take hold within two days, and many of your affected items can be saved if you act right away.
Make sure safety is your first concern, however. If you have a large amount of standing water in your basement, call your power company, electrician, or your professional water damage cleanup team immediately. They will help you and take precautions by disconnecting electrical service to the area before stepping into that water.
You can use a wet vac to remove standing water, but if it is not doing the job call your professionals here at SERVPRO.
Using dehumidifiers and fans will move air around, and that discourages mold and mildew. Keeping them at least 8 inches away from walls will allow for the best circulation. Your air conditioning can be a big help here, too, so keep it running.
Scrub hard surfaces with a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of water while wearing gloves and protective eyewear. Remember to keep the room ventilated, too.
If your valuable documents or papers have been affected, you can freeze them! This may stop the growth of mildew or deterioration until you can take a better look at them. In the future, it may be a good idea to not store anything valuable in the basement. If you don’t have space anywhere else, then using plastic bins should help protect your items if your basement floods again.
Here at SERVPRO of Huron/East Seneca Counties, we are ready to help if you are affected by water damage, storm damage, or other disastrous events. We are available to homeowners and commercial business owners alike, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.