If Your Pipes Freeze This Winter
Winter and freezing temperatures will soon arrive in the Huntsville area. It is the season where we start to see a lot of water damages due to pipes that freeze and burst.
When you realize that a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps to minimize your damage.
1. Stop the Water Flow
Turn off the water main as soon as you notice something is wrong. The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 106 gallons; that’s two full baths an hour. Once the water is off, make sure you drain the lines throughout the home
2. Locate, Inspect, and Repair the Damage
Once the damage is inspected, you will determine if this is something that you can handle on your own or if you need to bring in a plumber.
3. Call the Professional Drying Company
Once the repair is made and there will be no further damage, call a professional water restoration. Areas that have been soaked in water susceptible to mold, mildew, and can cause your family unwanted illness.
The longer you wait to make these repairs the more damage will be caused. In turn, higher cost for restorations and getting your home back to normal.
Water Damage From Sewage Backup
Sewage back ups can happen to anyone! Here are a few tips to keep you safe until SERVPRO arrives to assist you with cleanup.
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated from sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Toilets are not the only source of a sewage back up. Back ups can also happen in bath tubs and drains in the basement. If you're not sure if it's contaminated water, please call SERVPRO of North Madison County to check it out instead of inspecting it yourself.
Tips For A Power Outage
Weather-related power outages are a fact of life in North Alabama. Fortunately, most utility departments are able to respond quickly and return power as soon as possible.
Here are some tips to help you get through a power outage.
To Help Preserve your Food During a Power Outage
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
Protecting Electrical Equipment During a Power Outage
Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics. Turn off or disconnect equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on. Turn all other light switches off.
Don’t forget about Carbon Monoxide, Be Careful!
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
It’s always good to be prepared in the event that the power goes out. Your emergency kit should include items such as flashlights, flameless candles, matches, canned foods, water, granola bars, etc.
Huntsville and Madison County residents can check the status of a power outage online at https://www.hsvutil.org/outagemap/
What To Do If A Fire Starts In Your Home
If a Fire Starts:
- Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
- Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
- Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
- If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
- If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
- If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
- Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
If you need help after a home fire, please contact your local Red Cross.
A Clean Business Keeps Customers Coming Back
Your business represents you. A clean and attractive business keeps customers coming and leaves a positive impression. SERVPRO of North Madison County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine.
Our commercial specialty cleaning services include:
• Air Ducts and HVAC
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
• Biohazard and Sewage
SERVPRO of North Madison County is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
• Trauma and Crime Scene
Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of South Madison County will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
• Carpet and Upholstery
Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery.
• Drapes and Blinds
We carefully inspect and test fabrics to determine which of SERVPRO’s five cleaning methods is best suited to your fabrics.
• Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Your heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property.
• Odor Removal and Deodorization
SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.
We’re Here Whenever You Need Us
The team at SERVPRO of North Madison County also has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup.
Preventing Mold Damage In Your Home
Water damage, especially flood damage, can lead to mold growth in your home.
Mold damage, unlike fire, flood, and water damage, is often easily preventable. Regular maintenance and quality upkeep services such as those provided by SERVPRO can often prevent most or all mold damage in a home from occurring. However, to truly be prepared and know what treatments are necessary, you should probably first understand what factors can lead up to mold growth in your home.
Perhaps the most common event that can lead up to mold damage in Huntsville homes is water damage. It matters not what type of water damage or how intense the damages are; all water damage carries a significant risk of developing mold. Whenever we deal with either a water or mold damage case, we go through a thorough drying process to ensure that all moisture in the area is removed in order to prevent further or future mold growth.
The worst type of water damage, and the least preventable, is flood damage like many in Huntsville, Toney and Harvest experienced this August. This can cause large-scale mold damage and prove difficult to dry in time to prevent all mold growth. When flood damage happens, we can usually expect some form of mold remediation to accompany restoration efforts.
Clogged or Busted HVAC Systems
HVAC systems can often develop mold growth, if they've not been cleaned in a long time and developed stoppages or are in need of repairs. Mold damage in HVAC systems may also be an indicator of secondary or perhaps even larger mold colonies elsewhere in the home, as spores can easily be spread across the home through these systems and may be concentrated somewhere in the home.
Although HVAC systems may spread existing mold colonies, it is important to have suitable ventilation and airflow across your home. Mold grows faster in stagnant and stuffy air, and simply having air currents across your home can help to slow or discourage growth. Of course, if you have discovered a mold colony already, you should turn off your HVAC system as soon as possible.
SERVPRO of North Madison County is a local professional mold remediation company and can help with mold damage of all shapes and sizes in the Huntsville and Madison County area.
What Is Fire Damage Restoration?
When a fire occurs in your home, it causes more than just damage from flames. Smoke damage, water damage and chemical residues that remain behind after the fire can cause significant health risks for you and your family. A fire restoration company has the special knowledge, training, and equipment required to eliminate the unattractive and unhealthy residues left by a fire. These professionals can help to make your property livable again, as quickly as possible and at reasonable expense.
Techniques for Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage restoration for Huntsville/Madison County residents is done in a number of steps:
· A complete inspection of the property is done to assess areas of damage and to ascertain areas that require the most attention.
· Areas affected by water from fighting the fire are thoroughly dried using industrial dehumidifiers and heavy-duty drying machines.
· The HVAC system is dried and cleaned to prevent the growth of mold that can affect the health of the home residents.
· Areas of the home that were damaged by flames are rebuilt.
· Unsalvageable materials that have been damaged by fire and water are removed from the premises.
Correcting Water Damage
Water damage can cause as many problems as the fire itself. Furniture, construction materials and personal items that remain in standing water can become a breeding ground for mold spores. Mold growth can cause a number of health problems, including increased asthma symptoms, eye and throat irritation, coughing and lung infection. A Huntsville fire and water damage restoration company has the knowledge and equipment to thoroughly remove the moisture from all areas of your home, to restore it to a healthy environment.
Restoring Your HVAC System
A fire can cause significant damage to your HVAC, affecting the wiring, ductwork, filters and other components. The resulting soot and water damage can lead to your system being unusable until appropriate repairs are made. A professional fire damage remediation company can assess and repair the damage so that your system can be returned to service.
Rebuilding Damaged Structural Components
A fire can cause significant damage to construction materials and structural components in a home. This damage must be carefully evaluated to ensure the safety of the structure. A professional fire damage restoration company can ensure that all damaged areas are replaced, using independent contractors and ensuring that the work is done correctly and safely.
Disposing of Unsalvageable Debris
After a fire can result in a variety of hazardous materials left on your property. Water-soaked materials that breed mold can be left behind. Smoke-damaged furniture, drywall and other items can continue to contaminate other items. In some cases, these items can be cleaned and repaired. However, other items must be disposed of in a safe manner, according to local disposal regulations. A professional can ensure that these items are removed from your property, so that you do not have to worry about proper disposal.
Assessing Fire Damage and Restoration Issues
A fire incident brings concerns about odor problems, structural damage, lurking moisture problems and other unique issues. Fire damage restoration can correct these problems and restore your home to its former condition. An experienced fire damage restoration professional can do a thorough assessment of the damage to your property and initiate the appropriate corrective measures to bring your home back into use as quickly as possible.
If your home has been involved in a fire, contact a local fire damage restoration company to help get your property, and your life, back to normal.
Our Free Emergency Ready Profile Can Help Your Business
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research.
You can’t plan when an emergency will arise, but you can prepare for it before it does. This is especially important if you are a business owner. When a disaster occurs in your business, everything screeches to a halt. You are no longer able to help your customers and clients. You are no longer able to offer your services. You are no longer bringing in an income. Business has been interrupted and, depending on the extent of the damage, you may be looking at a long road to recovery – not just for remediation, but also to get your business back to where it was before the disaster happened.
So, what can you do to prevent an emergency situation from shutting down your business? While you can’t necessarily prevent disaster from occurring, you can prepare for what to do when it does. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can minimize how fire and water affect your business.
That is where SERVPRO of North Madison County can help. We can establish a plan for your business using our ERP, or Emergency READY Profile.
- A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A Profile Document containing only the crucial information you will need in case of an emergency. It doesn’t take very long to complete, but it will save you a lot of time if you ever need it.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. By having an immediate plan of action, you can help minimize downtime.
- Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so that we can begin the work of mitigating the damage immediately, which can save you both time and money.
- Provides important facility details such as priority contact information, priority areas, and shut-off valves. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Ready to set up an Emergency READY Profile for your business? Give SERVPRO of North Madison County a call today!
Ten Fire Safety Tips
1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.
6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."
Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. Flooding can also result from the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or dam. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. Recently neighborhoods in Huntsville, Toney and Harvest have all experienced flooding due to some of these causes.
Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the US, and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of North Madison County can help! We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.