Do you know where your supply shut off's are at work?
The water supply line to your commercial property is vital for ensuring you have a clean business that your customers will want to visit. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. If your water supply line bursts, you could find yourself with a large mess to take care of. Use these tips to help you get through the pipe burst cleanup process.
Shut Off the Water Supply
The first thing you need to do when you notice a burst pipe is to shut off the water supply. This may be found in several areas:
• Near the sink
• Behind the toilet
• In a basement or utility space
• At the main valve near your water meter
Clamp the Pipe Shut
Next, you’ll need to close off the burst in the pipe. Do this by applying a repair clamp to the area. While each package will have its own instructions, the process typically includes adding a rubber sleeve to the leak and then bolting a clamp over the sleeve. If you do not have a repair kit, you can use rubber from an inner tube or similar item with an adjustable hose clamp. This is only a temporary fix, so be sure to call a professional plumber as soon as you clamp the pipe to stop supply line leaking.
Have Questions? Call Today – (803)755-9774
Commercial Building Restoration Services
We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation.
Do you know the types of storm damage?
Here in the Lexington, South Carolina we can suffer from many types of storm damage. Some of those are wind damage, flood damage, and hail damage. Here are a few quick tips to consider should storm damage hit your home or commercial property.
Wind Damage Restoration
Hurricanes often cause severe wind damage. Your roof is particularly susceptible. Roof damage from strong winds may lift roof shingles, cause cracks, or remove part or all of the roof. Harsh winds and rains can shear away asphalt tiles. Flying debris can also cause cracks and holes in your roof and siding. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners and business owners after a disaster, especially because a roof leak may not be obvious.
Why are many roof leaks and roof damage hard to detect? The storm may loosen flashing without creating a problem that’s easily visible to the eye. Loose flashing can cause another roof leak even weeks after the initial storm damage. A small roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions inside your home or business. You best bet is to secure roof repair immediately after the wind damage. Doing so can prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage restoration expert, like the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington, will help assure the homeowner or business owner receives a comprehensive roof assessment and roof repair services when hurricane or wind damage hits.
Flood Damage & Recovery
If your home or business is near water or in a low-lying area, flood water damage is a risk. Heavy rains and flooding may cause water damage many miles from the coast or from any large body of water. If the land around your home or business cannot absorb the additional water flooding may happen. Even homes and businesses at higher elevations can sustain flood damage if frozen pipes break. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water too.
Flooding may also disrupt your municipal water system. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration professional, like SERVPRO of Lexington may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. And don’t forget-- cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.
By relying upon a trained water damage restoration specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.
Hail Damage & Recovery
Hail may be the most overlooked cause of major storm damage. Hail can damage not just your roof but also your siding, exterior walls, and any detached sheds or outbuildings. You may think you’ve survived a hail storm but do know that hail damage is difficult to identify. Again, you’re wise to hire a storm damage restoration professional to inspect your roof, exterior walls, and outbuildings for damage. Dark spots on your roof are areas where the roofing granules have been knocked away. These weakened spots can lead to other more extensive problems such as leaks and cracks. Cracked and chipped siding is also a sign of hail damage.
Impact Damage & Recovery
In a major storm practically anything can become a creator of damage to your home or business. Think about trees. Your home may survive storm damage only to have a tree on your property succumb to the wind, hail, or rain and fall onto your house. A neighbor’s outdoor lawn furniture can become wind-blown projectiles. Extreme wind pressure turns regular outdoor items into tools of destruction. After storm damage, the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington do a walk around to look for the signs of these types of unusual damage.
Help Is Here
The team at SERVPRO of Lexington has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and natural disaster cleanup. Our staff is highly trained in building services and property damage restoration. We study IICRC standards and best practices in cleaning and restoration. Call SERVPRO of Lexington (803-755-9774) anytime.
Using Technology During A Storm Event
These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology is working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile. SERVPRO of Lexington is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles (ERP) for free at our website that helps prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with SERVPRO of Lexington today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business! Call us (803-755-9774)!
Clean Gutters Prevent Water Damage in your Home
Do you tend to put off cleaning the gutters until as late as possible?
Maybe you even skipped doing it last year because it’s such a dreaded household chore.
No matter what time of year, gutters play a key role in preventing water damage to a home. Their purpose is to channel rainwater to the downspouts and away from the home. Because of this, it is important to make sure the gutters are working properly year-round in order to protect your property against potential water damage.
Clogged gutters can cause many issues for a homeowner. In the spring, summer, and fall, gutters are often clogged with fallen leaves. And in the winter, snow and ice can be the culprit. Water that is blocked by debris in the gutters will find the path of least resistance when it tries to drain. This often means it will find its way into the walls and ceilings of the home causing interior damage.
To help avoid water damage due to clogged gutters, the gutters should be well maintained and cleaned AT LEAST twice a year.
Following are the best tools that help you clean the nastiness out of your gutters.
Four Ways To Clean Gutters
Generally speaking, there are four ways to clean gutters:
1. Climb a ladder and use a variety of tools to grab and remove the leaves and debris at eye-level.
2. Attach tools to a wet/dry shop vac to suck up the leaves or to blast them out of the gutters.
3. Attach tools to your water hose to spray leaves out of the gutters.
4. Use a long-reaching pole to remove leaves from the gutters while standing at ground level.
Of course, there are some gutter cleaning tools that combine one or more of the methods mentioned above. And each has its pros and cons. In the end, it all comes down to your own personal preference and which seems like the safest and easiest option to you.
Are you candle aware?
Hmm.. the smell of a sweet candle, there is nothing like it.
If you are anything like me, during the holidays I love the smell of a burning candle. Heck, it doesn't even have to be a holiday, I just like to light the candle and enjoy the sweet aroma it brings into my home. But as someone who loves the smells, I also know that there is a lot of precautions I must take to keep my family and home safe. While candles may be pretty to look at, they are a cause of home fires and home deaths.
If you burn candles, make sure that you..
- Use a sturdy candle holder, make sure it won't tip over easily.
- Place the candle holder on a sturdy and uncluttered surface.
- If oxygen is used in home, DO NOT USE A CANDLE!
- During a power outage, never use a candle.
- Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from flame when lighting.
Emergency Ready Profile
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) will help insure you and your business are ready for whatever happens.
In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your commercial facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO's free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.
The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Lexington as your preferred SERVPRO franchise in the event of a disaster. Having a plan in place helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive following a disaster.
The ERP is a no-cost assessment that requires little time, and can same you a lot of time and money in the future.
Call SERVPRO of Lexington today and schedule yours!
The Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. We have found it useful to change the batteries when daylight savings time either begins or ends. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Just the Facts: Smoke Alarms
- Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working
- Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
- More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result in faulty alarms. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
- The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
SERVPRO of Lexington wants you and your family to be safe. If you have a home or business fire, we are here for you and are a phone call away. (803) 755-9774
Business Preparedness: why and how you should prepare; and personal preparedness: how to pack your Go Bag and sheltering in place.
Up to 50% of businesses never reopen after being affected by a natural or human-made disaster. Despite this statistic, 62% of businesses don’t have an emergency plan in place! Your customers expect delivery of their products or services on time, regardless of your situation. And larger businesses want to insure that their supply chain is not interrupted by a disaster either. Insurance is only a partial solution. It does not cover all losses and it will NOT replace customers. News travels fast and perceptions often differ from reality. It is up to you to plan now for a disaster to avoid some of these pitfalls. Many risks cannot be insured, but some risks can be reduced by investing in loss prevention programs, protection systems, and equipment.
According to FEMA’s Business Program Management,” A preparedness policy that is consistent with the mission and vision of the business should be written and disseminated by management. The policy should define roles and responsibilities. It should authorize selected employees to develop the program and keep it current. The policy should also define the goals and objectives of the program. Typical goals of the preparedness program include:
- Protect the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
- Maintain customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
- Protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information
- Prevent environmental contamination
- Protect the organization’s brand, image and reputation”
A word on environmental contamination—many times, smaller businesses without a plan in place will attempt to handle the work on their building on their own. Depending on the damage and the building in question, it may be safer and more cost effective to hire a professional company to help you. Why? Well, for starters, a cleanup company like SERVPRO of Lexington has the knowledge of environmental laws and regulations that you may be ignorant of. Our crew can dispose of potentially hazardous materials in a safe and compliant manner.
In order to prepare personally for a disaster, you should start by creating a Family Disaster Plan. To get started, contact your local emergency management office and your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Find out which disasters are likely to occur in your area by using the interactive map. Meet with your family and plan how you will stay in contact if separated by disaster. Because many disasters occur with little or no warning, you need to have a plan for what to do before you have instructions from authorities. Assess your situation. Decide to stay or change locations. If you are not in immediate danger, you should stay where you are and get more information before taking your next steps.
There are 3 types of sheltering, and different types are appropriate for different disasters. You can shelter in place, shelter for an extended stay, or enter a community shelter. When you shelter in place, you are sealing a room as a way to protect yourself from contaminants in the air for a short period of time. You should identify an internal room in your home or work, and store specific items such as snacks and water, a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, and pre-cut plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off vents and doors and windows. If you are sheltering for an extended stay, you may need to store enough supplies for 2 weeks. If you are using a community shelter, you should bring your 3-day disaster supply kit with you.
So what goes in your kit? Depending on the length of time you will be gone, the time of year of the event, and how many people and pets you have with you, your kit might change. The items recommended for your basic kit are:
- 3 day supply of non-perishable food
- 3 day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
- Portable, battery powered radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual.
- Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
- Matches and waterproof container
- Extra clothing (think warmth if in a cold climate)
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards
- Cash and coins
- Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eyeglasses, and hearing aid batteries.
- Items for infants and items for pets.
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe when you are ready to use them.
- Keep canned foods in a cool dry place.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
- Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
- Change stored food and water supplies every 6 months. Write the date on the containers.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
We recommend keeping a Go Bag in your car, and one in your house, as you will never know where you will be when a disaster hits. If you need help preparing your home or business for disasters, call us at 803-755-9774. We can help you create a plan for your building and tag your shut offs when necessary. And if something does go wrong, call us to help make it "Like it never even happened."
What's in flood waters?
A flood can cause physical hazards and emotional stress. You need to look after yourself and your family as you focus on cleanup and repair.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are serious health hazards.
- Listen for news reports to learn weather the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.
- Rest often and eat well.
- Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do jobs one at a time.
- Discuss your concerns with others and seek help. Contact Red Cross for information on emotional support available in your area.
Smoke and Soot Clean-up
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
· Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
· Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
· The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Lexington will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
· Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
· Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
· Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.