Recent General Posts
What Does it Mean When Something Declared a 'Total Loss'
Essentially, when something is declared a "total loss", whether is be a car, house, commercial building, etc., it means that it is past the point of recovery and cannot be salvaged.
Often times in the restoration industry, it is easy to tell when a job will be considered a total loss. For example, if a house suffers a fire and there are multiple levels of structural damage, the roof has been burned completely, and contents are unrecognizable, we would consider it to be a total loss immediately. Insured parties will likely receive pay out for the complete repair cost of any and all effected items depending on coverage.
It is incredibly important to be in contact with your insurance company throughout the entirety of any loss, whether it be a total loss or not. SERVPRO also plays a vital role in salvaging what does remain and beginning the restoration process.
Turkey Frying Safety
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know what that means! Time to cook up the turkey. One way, arguably the best way, to cook a turkey is to fry it. While it's relatively easy and incredibly delicious, it's very important to take great precaution and be fully prepared for what goes into deep frying a turkey. Please note some of the most important safety tips below:
Fry Your Turkey Away From the House. This means NO garages, too! You never want to be closer than 10 ft to any structure, weather it be a garage your home, a shed, etc.
Find a Flat Spot in the Yard. Having a flat spot to place your fryer on can really help minimize any tips or accidents when you place the turkey in the fryer as well as remove it. Remember, that oil is HOT and if it were to tip over, it could do a lot of damage.
Never Leave Your Fryer Unattended. Even if you're certain it will be OK sitting for 2 minutes while you run inside for a drink- don't risk it! Anything can happen. It is especially important to make sure there are no children around the fryer at any time.
Always Be Prepared. Expect the unexpected! Be overly prepared for anything that could happen! Have a fire extinguisher near by incase of emergency. Be mindful that water and oil don't mix, so a hose won't do the trick should a mishap occur.
Happy frying & Happy Thanksgiving!
Firework Safety Tips
Happy Independence Day from SEVRPO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties!
As the 4th of July festivities begin, it is important to practice good, smart safety to protect you and your home. Accidents happen, but it is best to be prepared incase anything does go wrong.
You should never allow young children to handle fireworks. Even sparklers pose a huge risk to children. Make sure they maintain safe distance and are supervised at all times.
Consider protective eyewear. Especially if you are handling fireworks, eyewear provides great protection incase something were to go wrong or you come in contact with falling embers.
Maintain optimal distance from homes, people and any flammable materials. Embers fall fast and sometimes still lit- make sure there is water near by should anything catch fire.
Do NOT try to re-light faulty fireworks. It is best to just pour water over it incase any part of it is still lit so that it doesn't misfire later on.
Have fun & enjoy the show!
Fire works are a huge hit and incredibly fun. Make sure you are taking all necessary precautions to avoid any damage or accidents!
Have a Happy 4th!
The month of March here in Maryland can be pretty unpredictable. One day week we may get snow and the next it may be in the mid 60's! As we begin to welcome Spring weather, there are a few things we want home owners and property managers to keep in mind!
Basement pumps like sump pumps and sewer values can be a life saver. Snow melting at rapid speed or Spring rain can do a lot of damage! In case of a power outage, hand pumps are also great to have on hand.
Windows & doors are notorious for allowing moisture to seep in. Always make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed. Although it may not be at a noticeable rate, any moisture coming in (especially warmer, more humid air) will build up over time and can cause water damage/mold issues.
Your roof puts up with a lot throughout the winter! Be sure your roof is well maintained to prevent any moisture from getting in and leading to mold.
Here on the Eastern Shore we always predict a robust amount of mold to pop up in the Spring months. With the wetness that Spring brings partnered with the already low water table of the shore, warmer days are almost inevitably going to cause some sort of mold. It's important to keep an eye out for things within your home that may contribute to water damage and mold growth. If you or anyone you know becomes affected, give SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties a call- we are Here to Help!
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
Happy Halloween!! Although Halloween and other holidays may feel a little different this year, we are hoping you and your loved ones are still able to celebrate and have fun in a safe way! Aside from health safety, we are here to share some important fire safety tips for you on Halloween!
- Ensure that any decorations such as hay bails or dried corn stalks are away from open flames or any light fixtures including open light bulbs, string lights, etc.
- Consider switching flames our for LEDs. There are a TON of faux candles/flame options available and they are a much safer alternative!
- While your costume is likely not flame resistant, it is important to be aware of the details of your costume including long strings, tassels, tails, etc. that may easily catch fire if near one. If this does happen, make sure to stop, drop & roll!
- If having a bonfire, make sure that you are a safe standing distance, there are no low over hanging branches, and ensure you have a safety plan incase of any accidents.
As always, we are Here to Help and want to make sure you and yours have a fun holiday weekend! Happy Halloween from your friend at SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties.
Reducing Disaster Risk at Your Small Business | SERVPRO® of Queen Anne’s, Kent & Caroline Counties
If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.
Knowing the risks that are likely to affect your business is an important aspect of planning ahead as a small business owner. While you likely consider economic and market factors, it is also good to consider environmental risks as well—namely, natural disasters.
Because natural disasters have been happening more frequently in recent years than ever before, it is a wise choice to put a preparedness plan in place. Understanding what to do in the crucial time after a disaster is one of the best ways to lessen the risk one will pose to your business operations.
Preparedness for Disasters at Your Business
- Double-Check Your Insurance
While many business owners might assume that their general business policy is adequate, that is unfortunately not always the case. Many business owners find themselves having to purchase supplemental policiesto be fully protected from the types of damages that are likely from a disaster. Therefore, talking to your insurance agent in advance is a wise choice in order to ensure your coverage is adequate.
- Create Your Action Plan
Obeying evacuation orders quickly and safely is one of the most important things you can do in a natural disaster, and having an emergency action plan makes this much easier. Knowing what evacuation route to take, where to seek safety and medical attention if necessary and how to take provisions for your business in the moments before you leave will make all the difference in your personal and commercial safety during this stressful time.
- Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
Helping your employees be prepared for a disaster is a wise leadership tactic that will increase safety and decrease your liability at the same time. Prepare by having regular drills during work hoursso everyone within the company knows their roles and procedures in a natural disaster scenario.
- Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
A quick recovery after a disaster is the main focus for business owners, as they are well aware of how devastating even a small lapse in operations can be. That is why choosing a commercial restoration company in advance when you have time to do research and ask questions is such a wise choice. Seek out a company that can guarantee you a quick response regardless of when your damage occurs and perform the work efficiently and effectively so you can get back up and running as quickly as possible following a disaster.
Frozen Pipes: How To Avoid Freezing Pipes & What To Do If It Happens
It's not too late to prep your property for upcoming winter conditions!
As we all know, we recently had our first significant below freezing temperatures sweep over several areas in Maryland. It is not too late to better prepare for the risks that winter weather poses on your home and/or business.
As temperatures drop, water expands and freezes. Frozen water within pipes, whether they be plastic or metal, causes immense pressure build ups and can leave you with busted pipes and costly repairs. Although frozen pipes are a common occurrence, they are easily preventable.
SERVPRO offers these tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating any damage that they can cause.
Preventing Frozen Pipes:
- Disconnect any outdoor hoses
- Drain any in-ground irrigation systems
- Close any indoor valves that supply water outside and leave the outdoor valves open to allow for any excess water to drain out
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house as well as any visible cracks on the interior and exterior of the property
- Add extra insulation to exposed pipes around the property. Pay close attention to pipes that are in unheated areas such as the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, etc.
- Maintain a consistent temperature throughout the inside of the property both day & night. This will give extra protection to pipes.
- In significantly low temperatures, let the faucet slightly drip- running water is much less likely to freeze.
- If expected to be away for an expected period of time leaving the property unattended, leave the heat on at a temperature no lower than 55° F
- Identify locations of shut-off valves in case of a burst pipe to quickly attend to the situation and lessen the potential water damage
Mitigating a Frozen Pipe:
- Leave water sources flowing as you are treating a frozen pipe- as water begins to flow it will help melt the ice within the pipe
- Gradually apply heat to the effected pipe. Consider using an electric heating pad to wrap the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a space heater set up at a safe distance from any flammable material, or wrapping a towel soaked with warm water around the pipe. Although it seems easier, do not use a blowtorch, a kerosene or propane heater, or any open flame device. These tools can cause even more damage and potentially start a fire.
- Apply the heat until you have restored and maintained full water pressure
- Call a licensed professional if you are unable to identify the frozen pipe, if the pipe is not accessible, or if you are unable to thaw the pipe
If a Pipe Bursts:
- Shut off the main water valve. Your shut off should be clearly marked with a tag of some sort. If it is not easily located, call SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties to help.
It is critical that you treat any and all damage caused by frozen pipes- especially water damage. Water damage can lead to other issues including mold growth and structural damage. If your property has been effected by freezing temperatures, reach out to us right away! SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties is here 24⁄7 to help you recover.
Must-Ask Questions for Your Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Queen Anne’s, Kent & Caroline Counties
Property damage is always a complicated situation, but for a small business, it adds another layer of difficulty. In a recent FEMA report, it was stated that 40 to 60% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster.
Because rebuilding after a disaster is essential to business owners’ livelihood, it is important to work with a reputable commercial restoration company to get your doors reopened—but how do you know which company you can trust? We have some must-ask questions to help you determine just that.
- How Do You Handle Sudden Emergencies?
Most cases of damage can become more severe the longer they are left untreated, so a solid emergency response plan is the first thing you should look for. A company that has a dedicated emergency line and a solid emergency response time is a good indicator that you should plan on working with them.
Our own 24-hour emergency line allows us to begin taking action regardless of the time of day—meaning you can call us at any hour that you discover the damage. This allows us to respond quickly and allows business owners to get back to other recovery tasks for their business.
- How Do You Train Your Employees?
When your business is in the hands of the technicians, you want to make sure the work being done is of a high caliber. Asking how employees are trained will give you an indication of how much a company invests in its restoration staff.
Our employees are trained to the industry standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). After initial training, they are then provided with certification programs and e-learning courses to remain up-to-date and further their education.
- How Do You Choose Your Equipment?
Recent technological advancements have greatly impacted the restoration industry, meaning companies who do not keep an updated equipment fleet are immediately behind the times.
We choose our equipment based on IICRC recommendations, which guarantee our machinery is up to the industry standard. Whether we’re handling water damage, fire damage or something else at your business, we know we have the best tools for the job.
If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.