Recent Posts

August Ladder Safety

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

As the summer comes to an end and people are having work done to get ready for fall such as; paint jobs, cleaning gutters, one should pay careful attention to the following ladder safety tips.

Ladder climbing takes place in almost every home and workplace. 

Falls off ladders are near the top in causes of fatal work related injuries in the construction industry and the third leading cause in all industries combined.

- Be sure to inspect the ladder before using it. Check for broken or missing parts, as well as grease, oil or other substances that could result in a slippery surface.

- To ensure stability, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure it is not near any electrical wires or power lines.

 -  When setting up the ladder, use the 4 to 1 rule. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet away from the wall.

 -  Before climbing the ladder, make sure the braces are fully extended and locked in place. Never climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder, and never try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location. Descend and relocate the ladder instead.  

-When working from a ladder, stay in the center and do not reach more than a comfortable arm’s length away. Keep your feet braced against the side rails and lean slightly forward.

-Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

-Whenever possible, work within sight of someone who could provide assistance in the event of an emergency.

Back To School Home Safety

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

As we are nearing the end of August, and parents are enjoying their last few days before school we can only think of the many safety tips that parents should consider around the house.

In the Kitchen:

 -Are knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp tools in a drawer with a childproof latch?

 -Are glass objects and appliances with sharp blades stored out of reach?

 -Are matches and lighters stored in a locked cabinet

 In Bedrooms:

-Are window blind and curtain cords tied with clothespins or specially designed cord clips?

 -Is there a smoke alarm outside the bedroom?

 In Bathrooms:

 -Are razor blades, nail scissors, and other sharp tools stored in a locked cabinet?

 -Are all medication bottles, loose pills, coins, scissors, and any other small or sharp objects out of reach?

 - Are all bleaches, detergents, and any other cleaning products out of reach?

 Electrical:

 -Have you checked for and removed other potential electrical fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running under carpets?

 -Are all unused outlets covered with safety plugs?

Areas in your house that mold can hide from you

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Hurricanes

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are some of the most violent storms on Earth. ...

Tropical cyclones are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface.

Air from surrounding areas with higher air pressure pushes in to the low pressure area. Then that "new" air becomes warm and moist and rises, too. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air swirls in to take its place. As the warmed, moist air rises and cools off, the water in the air forms clouds. The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean's heat and water evaporating from the surface.

Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth's rotation on its axis.

As the storm system rotates faster and faster, an eye forms in the center. It is very calm and clear in the eye, with very low air pressure. Higher pressure air from above flows down into the eye.

To learn more go to :

https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/hurricanes/en/

Importance of Chimney Cleaning

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Keeping a clean chimney can eliminate the possibility of chimney fires. The issue that can lead to fires is the creosote can build up when the firewood is not burned completely.

A smoky fire without enough oxygen emits lots of unburned tar vapors that can condense inside the flue and stick to it, possibly leading to a chimney fire. You can reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace by providing adequate combustion air, which will encourage a hot, clean-burning fire.

To check for creosote, shine the light near the top of the firebox, in the smoke chamber and around the damper. And check the flue, too, especially on exterior chimneys, where creosote builds faster than on interior chimneys because of lower outside temperatures

For more information check out:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/

Flooding

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Spruce Up Your Space

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up – spring is finally here! Spring Cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.

SERVPRO of Washington, DC can help get your facility in tip top shape. In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO of Washington, DC’s Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and odor deodorization.

A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and work spaces this spring. SERVPRO of Washington, DC has the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!

Lightning Safety Tips

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips.

Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.

Go indoors. Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.

Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.

Avoid electronic equipment. Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio, and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.

Tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control; cdc.gov.

Why Trusting a Restoration Professional After a Fire Is So Important

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Soot Damage and IICRC Certification

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Swift action is the only way to minimize the destruction.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers.

For more information visit :http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html