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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

4 Reasons Why You Schedule Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services with SERVPRO of Lexington

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

You likely schedule daily or weekly office cleaning service to keep your business tidy. However, even with regular sweeping and vacuuming, your carpets can accumulate stains. To ensure your office is presentable, SERVPRO of Lexington offers expert carpet cleaning service, including spot removal and upholstery stain removal, to get rid of stains that sweeping and vacuuming miss. They also offer dry cleaning service for areas where color-fastness is crucial. Below, they reveal some of the most valuable benefits of regularly having your carpets professionally cleaned.

4 Reasons Why You Schedule Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services

1. To Improve Air Quality

Carpeting collects a wide variety of air contaminants, including dust, pollen, mold spores, and bacteria, that can cause allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma and other respiratory problems. If not removed, these particles could end up back into the air you and your employees breathe, resulting in a lot of downtime and loss of productivity.

2. To Remove Stubborn Stains

Some stains are extremely persistent and cannot be removed without professional attention. For stubborn, unsightly carpet blemishes, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Lexington for help. They use powerful cleansers and state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to remove even set-in soils and spatter.

3. To Look Professional

Carpet stains simply don't look professional, and if you invite clients into your offices, they could be turned off by the dirty, grimy appearance. Moreover, even if your customers never enter your premises, the untreated stains could signal that sloppy work or carelessness is acceptable. To avoid sending that type of message, contact a professional carpet cleaning service.

4. To Extend Carpet Life

Deep-down dirt and grime can damage carpet fibers and cause the rug to wear out more quickly than it should. Regular carpet cleaning removes contaminants that cause damage and discoloration and extends the useful life of your office carpeting.

Commercial carpet cleaning offers some important benefits for your business. To schedule service, contact SERVPRO of Lexington. They also specialize in water extraction and mold remediation, and they offer 24/7 emergency service throughout Lexington County. Visit their website to learn more about their services or call (803)955-0342 to request a quote

3 Reasons to Hire SERVPRO of Lexington for Bio-Hazard Cleanup

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

The most common reason people hire a bio-hazard cleanup company is to deal with the aftermath of a crime, suicide, or similar traumatic experience. Each of these events can leave behind dangerous pathogens and other bio-hazardous waste that put you, your family, or your employees at risk.

SERVPRO of Lexington frequently helps property owners in South Carolina remove and dispose of biological and chemical contaminants. If you’re unclear about the importance of bio-hazard cleanup, here’s a closer look at why you should leave this task up to professionals.

It’s Best for Your Family

If bio-hazard cleanup is needed inside your home, having to handle the cleanup could put you or your loved ones at risk or add to the emotional trauma. The experienced team at SERVPRO of Lexington can respond within 24 hours to bio-hazardous situations, such as crime scenes, accidents, chemical spills, and sewage backups.

They Are Discreet

Many home and business owners don’t want their communities to know what’s happened to require cleanup, so discretion is importance. The cleanup crews at SERVPRO of Lexington will work efficiently without drawing unwanted attention from passersby.

They Have Experience

The team at SERVPRO of Lexington has the training, tools, and skills necessary to do a thorough job so you can rest easier and move on faster. They utilize the proper cleaning materials and equipment to decontaminate every scene so that it passes all health inspections that might be required.

Whether you’ve experienced a crime, death, hoarding, or chemical spill, the bio-hazard cleanup crew at SERVPRO of Lexington is highly qualified and trained to respond. Call (803)955-0342 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more

Why you should choose SERVPRO of Lexington

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington, we have an amazing staff who works hard for you every day. From our third generation owner, who guides our staff with experience and knowledge, to our office staff, who works diligently with your local and national insurance agents, and also to our production team, who are always on standby for you to get the job done ASAP.  SERVPRO of Lexington strives to provide top notch customer service. If you are looking for a local company to provide professional and timely services, SERVPRO of Lexington is the place, and we are  in your community ready to make things "Like it never even happened."  Give us a call today at (803)955-0342 and schedule a free estimate, with our experienced team.

Do you know why SERVPRO trucks are green?

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lexington vehicles are very noticeable when we are driving though your community. We have green cars, trailers, trucks and vans too. But have you ever wondered how SERVPRO chose this eye catching color? 

In the early 1970s, the founders of SERVPRO® used a color chip paint sample chart to identify the most eye-catching color.  It was a highly technical process.  The founders showed the chart to as many people as they could and asked, “Which color on this chart would be impossible to miss?”  By a wide margin, the color most identified was 1970 rally green, a color used on Porsche 911 automobiles.

 Now used on entire fleets of vehicles in every SERVPRO franchise across the nation from production vans to disaster recovery storm trailers, our vehicles are prepared for any size disaster.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Safe From Fires in Lexington

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Your kitchen has the potential to be the most dangerous room in your home. It holds many hazards which can cause unintentional fires and burns. There are some basic safety rules you can follow to keep your kitchen free from hazards. If you have experienced a kitchen fire, you need the professional help of our technicians at SERVPRO of Lexington. We are a trained and experienced fire damage remediation company who has the tools required to restore your home after a fire. 
 
The first thing you should always have in your Lexington kitchen to prevent fire damage is a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. A smoke detector also needs to be installed and maintained regularly. Any cleaning products should be stored away from children, and do not leave a heat source or fire unattended. 
 
Stove and Oven 
 
Clean your range and oven regularly and be thorough. Doing so prevents residual grease and food from catching fire. When you are cooking, keep handles of pots turned inward, away from the stove’s edge. Do not wear loose, long sleeves which can hang over the stove while cooking. Keep your eye on the oven at all times when it is on and ensure it is turned off when you are done cooking. 
 
Flammable items such as dish rags, towels, and curtains should not be near the stove. Also, be cautious with flammable liquids, since a small spark can ignite vapors from these fluids. 
 
Microwave Ovens 
 
Ensure all vents are clear of obstructions and the microwave has enough space for air circulation. Do not put foil or other metals in the microwave oven, as they can create sparks and fires. SERVPRO can help you restore your kitchen back to its former condition after a fire in your microwave. 

Appliances 
 
Do not use appliances which have not been tested and approved by a recognized facility. Keep electrical outlets from being overloaded as well and check for broken or worn wiring on a regular basis. Be sure to make any needed repairs in a timely fashion and keep cords on the counter, so they do not get pulled down accidentally. 
 
Deep Fryers and Frying Pans 
 
The best thing to prevent fryer fires is to use a fryer with a controlled thermostat. Do not allow grease and fat build up in pans or on the stove, since they can easily catch fire. When SERVPRO of Lexington arrives at your home, we assess the damage first, including any smoke or soot and water damage. Before we begin any remediation, we go over the plan with you so you can understand all that is happening. 
 
SERVPRO of Lexington is here whenever you need us. If you have experienced a kitchen fire in your home, just reach out to us at (803)955-0342 so we can help you clean up and repair your home.

Lightning Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning can be beautiful to see, but very dangerous. According to the US Federal Emergency Management Acgency (FEMA), an average of 60 people every year are killed by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured. Many times this injuries are due to misinformation.

Here are a few most common myths about lightning:

Myth: If it's not raining there is no danger from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can occur up to 10 miles outside of a rainstorm.

Myth: If you are inside, you are 100% safe from lightning.

Fact: A home or business is a safe place to seek shelter from a thunderstorm, as long as you avoid conduits of electricity, including phones with cords, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors, and windows.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly. For example the Empire State Building gets hit at least 100 times per year.

Myth: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you'll be electrocuted

Fact: The human body does not store electricity.

Tornado Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.
  • T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.
  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).
  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.
  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.
  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Low-lying rotating cloud
  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in South Carolina and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are. If you are ever affected by a tornado cal us at SERVPRO of Lexington (803)955-0342.

24 Hour Emergency Response: We Are Here if You Need Us!

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Lexington 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Lexington provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lexington County.

SERVPRO of Lexington is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today – 903-955-0342

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lexington has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

Your name and contact information

Your insurance information (if applicable)

The street address of the water-damaged home or business

When did the flooding or water damage occur?

What caused the water damage (if known)?

Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Lexington

SERVPRO of St Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO Storm Response

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it’s the SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. Our TEAMS work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy, and have one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss Like it never even happened.

No matter the job or the size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our Teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from frigid temperatures.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call. 803-955-0342

Mold Prevention

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Let’s face it, mold is never a good sign in any situation.
It can be extremely costly and hazardous to your health, if it’s growing in your home. We want to share some information with you on how to prevent mold growth in your home. Mold can grow anywhere, with that being said there is no way to completely remove mold. Once mold spores have been disturbed, they travel through the air contaminating other areas.  Do not worry, we are here to help should you discover a mold problem. We have a mold specialist on staff to address your mold issues and determine a remediation plan that works the best for you. Give us a call at 803-755-9774 to schedule a site visit. Here are some tips to help prevent mold in your home:

  1. Identify and fix any problem areas in your home. You can’t mold proof your home, you can make it resistant though.  Anywhere moisture is present, mold can grow. If you notice any condensation, water staining on your walls or ceilings, or leaky pipes you need to get it fixed as fast as possible. Sometimes there is moisture or water in areas that you are unaware of, mold can spread very quickly in these conditions.
  2. Dry any wet areas immediately. If your carpet is wet, make sure your carpet is thoroughly dried. Mold can develop quickly on your carpet and padding and will need to be removed if this happens.
  3. Prevent as much moisture as possible by using proper ventilation. Your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are high moisture areas. Make sure to vent your appliances that can cause moisture. Use dehumidifiers as needed.
  4. Equip your home with mold resistant products. There are now drywall and paint products that are manufactured with mold inhibitors.
  5. Inspect your gutters. Clean them out regularly and repair them if need be.
  6. “Bleaching” mold is not an effective way to get rid of mold, it does just that “bleaches” it. To effectively get rid of mold and mold growth you must use an antimicrobial.
  7. Having a vapor barrier in your crawl space will prevent moisture and keep mold growth to a slight minimum. If a little mold growth does occur the vapor barrier will also protect your family from the harmful fumes that come from mold.

Emergency Ready Profile

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

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 save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington to inquire about your ERP today (803)955-0342

Getting Back To Work: Commercial Water Damage Restoration

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage restoration not only restores a building. It restores jobs and income to the people employed there, products or services to customers, and a healthy environment for everyone who utilizes the structure. If it’s not done right, or on time, the ultimate result can be the closing of a facility, relocation elsewhere, and severe impact to a private business or public organization’s bottom line. Because the scope of water damage in commercial settings is frequently wider and more extreme than in a residential scenario, water damage remediation specialists with experience specific to commercial buildings are positioned to provide effective emergency service when the need arises.

Here’s a typical protocol utilized in commercial water damage restoration:

  • All areas contacted with water are inventoried, including affected building materials and furniture. Any wet carpet must be located and identified.
  • Wet ceiling tiles may be removed and discarded after the event. Ceiling tiles usually are not salvageable.
  • A moisture meter should be utilized to check for water-damaged drywall. Disinfection and mold control techniques may need to be initiated.
  • Wet electrical components are assumed to be hazardous. A qualified maintenance technician or electrician should cut off power to affected areas. Inspection by a building inspector or electrician is required to determine the need to replace wet wiring, circuit breakers, outlets and light fixtures.
  • Upholstered furniture wet by flood water, roof leaks, or sewage should be discarded. Furniture contacted by drinking water can be air-dried if done within 24 hours. Laminate or hardwood furniture can be cleaned with a disinfectant solution and reused; particle board furniture may be discarded.
  • Carpet contaminated by sewage must be disposed. Carpet wet by drinking water or rain water through roof leaks may have water extracted and then be sterilized.

For experienced commercial water damage restoration, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington(803)955-0342

4 Ways to Prepare for a Fire

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

No one expects a fire to envelop their commercial property. However, having a fire preparation plan in place can help you and your employees react smartly if a fire does happen. Here are four things you may want to do to prepare for a fiery disaster.

1. Create an Evacuation Plan: Everyone who spends time in a building should know how to get out in case of a fire. You may want to hold regular trainings to ensure everyone knows the best exit routes. You can also designate an area for people to evacuate to. This allows you to take a head count and make sure everyone made it out.
2. Have Inspections: If your building is up to code, you may be able to reduce the fire damage that takes place. You can have a professional come out and inspect your building. They can look at the sprinkler system and smoke alarms to ensure your safety devices are working.
3. Know Where to Turn: Part of fire preparation is knowing what you would do in the event of a fire. Flames can do serious damage to your building, so you need to know who you would call to fix up fire damage. Finding a reputable fire restoration team before a disaster is a great idea.
4. Prohibit Dangerous Activities: Some businesses may have a higher risk of fires, so disaster preparation is even more important. If employees smoke on the property, there is the potential of an improperly discarded cigarette starting a fire. As the building owner, you should ban dangerous activities that increase the chances of a fire.

Having a fire preparation plan can get you and your tenants ready for a disaster, but there still may be some challenges if a fire does ever break out. Remember, people react differently under stressful situations, so it's a good idea to make sure everyone knows what to do in the case of an emergency

Preparing Your Business for Bad Weather: 3 Helpful Tips

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

When bad weather comes, protecting your business from the elements can reduce the risk of costly accidents and damage. From a raging heavy storm to freezing rain and frigid winds, bad storms can be powerful enough to freeze your building’s pipes, damage your roof and cut off your power lines. However, there are a few actions you can take to shield your building and employees from harm once temperatures start to plummet. 

1. Allow Employees to Work From Home 

Shutting down your business due to bad weather can negatively impact your business’ finances. However, you can keep operations humming by allowing your employees to work remotely. Data wranglers, researchers and website designers can all work from the comfort of their homes and do not have to put themselves in danger in the event of a bad storm. You may want to have a remote contingency plan in place beforehand, so work can continue smoothly upon notice of a work from home day. 

2. Be Aware of Weather Warnings 

Using weather apps and streaming news services can keep you abreast of any possible bad storms and allow you to take action when it comes to protecting your business. For example, if temperatures are projected to drop into the single digits, a pipe burst in your building’s basement or bathrooms could cause a serious flood. Being aware of upcoming weather conditions can give you time to install additional insulation or contact a storm damage and flood cleanup service to retain their services as a precaution. 

3. Inspect Your Roof 

Knowing whether your building’s roof could withstand a powerful wind storm can help you avoid a costly repair bill in its aftermath. Heavy rains can cause weak sections of the roof to collapse, and missing shingles may cause moisture to seep into the attic. It is wise to have the roof inspected before bad weather arrives. 

Bad weather and frigid wind can affect your business in a variety of ways. However, being prepared in the face of an ice or snow storm may help you protect your property and employees.

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

3 Steps to Protect Pets from a Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Promote the safety of the people and animals in your home in the event of a fire emergency by planning ahead. From preventative caution to making an evacuation plan that includes pet safety, here are three pet preparation steps you can take today.

1. Avoid open flames. Cats or dogs may knock candles over or singe their tails in open flames. Try a flameless candle alternative instead. You should also consider the risk posed by knobs on a gas stove. If you leave your pets unconfined at home while you are away, you may want to block the kitchen entrance or install protective covers to prevent pets from accidentally turning on the gas. 

2. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Prepare to safely evacuate pets along with the rest of your family in a fire emergency. Obtain and put up a front window cling to inform firefighters of the number and types of pets living in your home.

3. Gather pet records and supplies in a fire box. Store this box near an exterior door so that you can quickly grab all of these items during an evacuation. Make sure to include ownership and vaccination records as well as spare collars and leashes in case you need to control or restrain a frightened pet.

These simple steps can help you prevent fires and promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency. You may also want to keep other home ownership or insurance records in a place where you can also easily find and take them in the event of an evacuation.

Can Mold Be Contained During Remediation?

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Just because you’ve found mold in one room in your home doesn’t mean your entire house is a lost cause. You can still stop the spread of mold contamination during remediation procedures by enacting containment procedures and stopping mold in its tracks.

What Exactly is Mold Containment?

Mold containment essentially involves sealing off the mold infestation so that no spores or growths can escape into other areas of the home and working to eradicate any free-floating spores from the air in un-infested areas. Mold containment during remediation usually involves:

  • Identifying the source. Mold won’t stop growing unless you remove the impetus for it to grow, which means removing the water damage feeding it. Identifying the source of leaks and flooding means conducting a thorough home inspection and taking effective remediation activities.
  • Sealing the area. You may need to shut off your HVAC systems to prevent mold contamination through the air vents, and fully seal off the area using air-tight methods to prevent further spread of spores. If the mold has penetrated your walls, however, this may be difficult.
  • Chemically treating uncontaminated areas. Many mold prevention and mold killer sprays work as an effective preventative treatment and can lay down a barrier that prevents mold from spreading to uncontaminated areas of the house. Determine which mold killer solution is safest for your home, family, and pets before applying it to surfaces in the home.
  • Air filtration. While it’s impossible to fully get rid of the billions of mold spores omnipresent in the air always, you can still use air filtration to cleanse the air as much as possible. When you have a mold infestation, the density of spores in the air is much higher – and professional air filtration can at least reduce the density to more reasonable, safe levels.

Many of these steps can be accomplished on your own, or with the aid of professionals. Professionals may be needed if mold contamination has penetrated too deep into the foundations of the home.

What To Expect When Your Home Has Water Damage

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it’s storms, a pipe burst or appliance failure, water damage can happen to anyone. While no one looks forward to dealing with leakage or flooding in their home, having some knowledge of what to expect beforehand can help make the process easier.

Critical First Steps

There are a few things you want to address immediately to help avoid further damage:

• Speak to your insurance provider to get the claims process rolling as soon as possible.
• If a pipe burst, ruptured water lines or a malfunctioning appliance are the water source, make sure that any necessary maintenance or repairs are performed.
• Contact a cleanup and restoration service that specializes in drying out, cleaning and sanitizing the affected area(s).

Inspection

As for the actual cleanup process itself, the first step requires professionals to inspect the damage and develop an attack plan. If you are unsure of the water source, they can also help you to identify it.

Removal

A full water extraction ensures an expedited drying process and helps to prevent the buildup of harmful mold. If needed, carpet and padding are cut out and removed from the home. Some specialists may provide move-out services to help protect your belongings during cleanup.

Drying

Due to the porous nature of many building materials, this step is critical to ensuring that all traces of water have been completely removed. Moisture gauges are utilized to monitor the process and guarantee dryness.

Sanitation

The final step involves the cleaning of clothes, upholstery, furniture, walls, etc. This eliminates noxious odors and can save you money by helping to avoid the need to replace expensive belongings or treasured mementos.

Dealing with a pipe burst, flooding or any other source of water damage can be a nightmare. Thankfully, seeking the assistance of a trusted professional will help you ensure that your home stays beautiful for years to come.

The Science of Drying

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

The Science of Drying

Did you know there is a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO Professionals will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment. 

What exactly does it mean to help "Speed up Mother Nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material - but only if the air is, indeed, drier. 

The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. 

Your SERVPRO Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your SERVPRO Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business. 

It's not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO has developed DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process. 

The bottom line? SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."

Benefits to Commercial Carpet Cleaning

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial cleaning can be a lot of work, especially if it’s a large carpeted area. Let us help you with that. Call us at 803-755-9774.

Having your carpets and rugs cleaned makes for a nice appearance for your customers.

The dust, dirt, and other debris that finds its way into the carpet fibers can eventually get into the air where it can cause odors and even respiratory infections. So therefore having your carpets and rugs professional cleaned improves the air quality of the office/building.

Rented carpet cleaning machines are not always effective as they are used over and over by many different people and clean with harsh chemicals that leave an unpleasant smell and a residue in the carpet that attracts even more dirt and debris.  It is always better to hire a professional for that reason alone.

SERVPRO of Lexington offers free quotes for carpet cleaning. We can come out, measure, give you a quote, and proceed with cleaning while we are there once we have your approval. We have a very flexible schedule and can usually get you scheduled the week you call.

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of Lexington has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.

Need Trauma or Crime Scene Cleanup? Call Today – (803)955-0342

Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Tear gas and pepper spray residues
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants

Common Trauma and Crime Scene Scenarios

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

Bloodborne Pathogens

We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Our trained Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Vandalism at a local church

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.

Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today 803-955-0342

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services:

Your Belongings and Fire Damage

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are the very things that make a house a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, 
Call Us Today 803-955-0342

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

April Showers, Bring More May Showers....

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is in the air for South Carolina, and with spring, comes spring showers- which may lead to flooding conditions. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your home, before the rainy season begins!

  Identify any existing roof or siding problems:A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.

Use shredded bark mulch as landscaping material:If you have rock or gravel landscaping, it’s a good idea to replace it with bark, which won’t cause damage if blown around in high winds.

Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard:Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or weak branches or remove trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Check trees and shrubs regularly to identify potential problems.

Ensure gutters aren’t loose or clogged:Clear your gutters of debris, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off roofs and away from the home, and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Strong winds can quickly tear loose gutters from your home and cause damage. Also, it’s important to make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement flooding.

Secure top-heavy furniture:Don’t forget about the inside of your home too. Walk around your house and secure large, top-heavy pieces, such as bookcases, to the wall.

 Install and maintain sump pumps: Sump pumps help to send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a sump pump or investing in a more portable version. If you already have a sump pump, inspect it to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.

 Catalog possessions: Using a digital camcorder or camera, create a home inventory for insurance. Inexpensive digital cameras start at about $100. Although traditional video and photographs are adequate, they can be bulky to carry and may get damaged if left in a flooded home. Digital files can be stored on a small USB drive and kept in your go bag, sent to a friend or relative for safekeeping, or stored on an online backup system.

Get you ducts in a row...

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for some time without much attention or upkeep.

Your HVAC system could be circulation odors, dust and other contaminants throughout your home or business. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. Benefits of serving HVAC unit include:

-Helps to restore peak energy efficiency

-May help to eliminate offensive odors.

-Help reduce the potential for mold growth

For more information on duct cleaning or to set up a written inspection and estimate call

SERVPRO of Lexington today at 803-955-0342.

Hoarding vs. Collecting

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding vs. Collecting

Hoarding is not the same as collecting. In general, collectors have a sense of pride about their possessions and they experience joy in displaying and talking about them. They usually keep their collection organized, feel satisfaction when adding to it, and budget their time and money.

Those who hoard usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. They have clutter, often at the expense of livable space, feel sad or ashamed after acquiring additional items, and they are often in debt.

What Is Hoarding??

The easiest definition of hoarding is when the amount of acquired clutter prohibits functionality in the home. This means that functional areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and dining rooms cannot be used for their intended purpose. There are 5 levels of hoarding, 1 being minor clutter and 5 being blocked rooms, pathways, animal/human waste, limited ingress and egress, etc. Remember level 5 hoarding cases do not happen overnight, so a level 2 or 3 can quickly become a level 5 if proper methods are not utilized to prevent it.

Hoarding affects all types of people, young and old, male and female. The type of clutter that is found within a household often times reflect the interests, hobbies or career of the individual, although sometimes the  type of clutter may seem completely random, also. Either way, the fact of the matter is that the hoarding is affecting the individual’s life, and may be affecting those surrounding them as well. In the end, the hoarder’s lifestyle may be dramatically altered, ranging from a limited social life to being cut off from family and friends as a direct or indirect result of hoarding. This ultimately leads to the hoarder becoming more and more attached to the clutter that surrounds them, relying on their “stuff” for social interaction and comfort. In the case of animal hoarders, this may be truer, with the hoarder finding solace and companionship in their pets.

Types of Hoarders

  • ANIMAL HOARDING
  • BIBLIOMANIA (HOARDING OF BOOKS) / INFORMATION HOARDER
  • SYLLOGOMANIA (HOARDING OF TRASH/GARBAGE)
  • LARDER HOARDING (HOARDING OF FOOD)
  • RECYCLERS
  • COLLECTORS
  • SHOPAHOLICS

If you or someone you know has a hoarding situation, give us a call to see if we can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tips for Handling a Home Insurance Claim

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Consider if the damage is worth filing a claim

Your first step should be to wonder, “Do I really need to file a claim for this?” Small home problems are known as “incidentals” by many insurers. These have the same deductible and potential to raise your premiums as a whole home replacement. Making frivolous claims or requesting claims that can't be honored trigger expenses that make claims cost more than they save.

Be familiar with your insurance policy.

Review your policy every year or every time you switch carriers. Look on the “declarations” page to find out the types of incidents that are covered. This page also has the maximum value you can get from a claim. Before filing a claim, take the time to look at your policy and see if your problem is covered.

Know a Licensed and Insured, Reliable Contactor

You'll want only the most reliable contractor to perform repairs on your home after it's damaged. Try to seek one out before anything happens to your house. This will ensure that you get the best work possible when the time comes. You have the right to choose who works in your home. You do not have to use anyone you do not want to.

Use your preferred contractor for a repair estimate

A dependable contractor will be able to make an accurate estimate, then perform the work correctly both on-schedule and on-budget.

Take photos of the Damages

 Your first step after calling your insurer and your contractor should be to begin documenting the damage as-is. Take clear, well-lit photos from as many angles as possible. 

Get in Touch with Your Mortgage Lender

Your mortgage lender will likely be part of the settlement process if you don't own your home in full yet. Ask your lender how they handle insurance claims, many have specific packets they will want filled out to endorse insurance checks. Get that paperwork filled out at soon as possible to speed up the process with the mortgage company.

Be Present During the Adjuster Inspection

After getting a contractor's estimate, be ready to give the adjuster in writing your personal assessment of the damage. You'll help make sure that they do not miss crucial details or underestimate the extent of the necessary repairs.

Leave a Paper Trail

The key to making claims as painless as possible is airtight documentation.

  • Make note of relevant phone conversations, or better yet use email to communicate since it's verifiable by both parties
  • Save all receipts for expenses
  • Never pay in cash, especially for your contract work
  • If your policy covers living expenses, save receipts for associated costs while waiting for repairs like hotel rooms, babysitting, etc.
  • Document value of existing assets prior to the damage. For example, save your HDTV purchase receipt and your invoice from a flooring replacement
  • Obtain a copy of the police report, if applicable

Mold Prevention Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Prevention Tips

  • When water leaks or intrusions occur, act quickly! Wet or damp material that is dried within 24 – 48 hours of the leak, in most cases, will NOT grow mold.
  • Remove wet carpet or furniture that cannot be dried within 24 – 48 hours.
  • Do not install carpet in areas of water usage such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Remove wet clothes from the washer promptly.
  • Do not leave damp clothes or towels lying around.
  • Keep indoor humidity levels below 60%. The ideal level is between 30 – 50%. Relative humidity can be measured by a moisture or humidity meter, a small and inexpensive instrument available at most hardware stores.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, act fast to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture or water source.
  • Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to keep humidity low.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines free of obstructions.
  • Be sure dryers, stoves, heaters and exhaust fans vent to the outside, not into the walls or attic.
  • Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open the window when you shower.
  • Dry shower walls after a shower.
  • When cooking or using the dishwasher, use an exhaust fan or open the window.
  • Keep furniture from blocking air returns and vents.
  • Dust and vacuum often.
  • Remove mold growing in the soil of houseplants.
  • Clean and repair gutters regularly.
  • Repair any roof leaks as soon as you discover them.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation so that water does not enter or pool around the foundation.
  • Insulate cold surfaces such as cold water pipes to prevent condensation.
  • Repair any plumbing leaks as soon as you find them.
  • Use mold-resistant building materials when available.
  • Install a vapor barrier in the crawlspace to prevent moisture from the ground.
  • Keep the crawlspace and basement well ventilated.
  • Ensure that the attic is properly ventilated and properly insulated.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 955-0342

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

Homeowners insurance does not usually cover mold damages. Although, there are instances when mold is covered. These instances are generally when the cause of mold is due to an incident that homeowners insurance does cover. For example, if mold has grown due to accidental and sudden pipe burst or if a recent fire has caused mold, your homeowners insurance will likely cover the mold damages. On the contrary, if mold has grown due to improper maintenance practices, such as on-going humidity exposure or a continuous leak, homeowners insurance will not likely cover the damages.

If you believe you may have a mold issue give us  a call today to have one of our experienced technicians come out and access your concerns!! 803-955-0342

Understanding Mold

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 803-955-0342

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Tornado Safety Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado Safety Tips:

1. Seek shelter in a sturdy building, or a pre-designated shelter. Go to the lowest level of the building, preferably in a basement, and get under a heavy desk or workbench or sit next to the wall and cover your head with your arms/hands. Best bet – have a safe room in the basement.

2. If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room/hallway – put as many wall between you and the outside of the building, and stay away from windows. Other possibilities: get into a bathtub or under a bed or sofa.

3. Get out of vehicles – they can easily be tossed around – do not try to outrun a tornado.

4. If caught outside – lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands. Remember, in tornado situations debris likes to settle in roadside ditches or other low spots. If heavy rains are falling in the area, ditches and low spots may quickly flood. Therefore, laying down in a ditch may not be your best choice.

5. Be aware of flying debris – most deaths and injuries are caused by flying debris.

6. Manufactured homes (mobile trailers) offer little protection, even if tied down. Leave these for a sturdy shelter before the storm approaches.

7. Do not seek shelter under a highway overpass. Wind blow stronger under the overpass due to the wind-tunnel effect. Additionally, flying debris (glass, wood, metal) can pummel you, and the tornado winds may suck you out from under the overpass anyway.

8. Don’t waste time opening windows and doors to equalize air pressure differences – this is a waste of time and buildings have enough air leakage to equalize air pressure differences anyway. Buildings are more likely to explode after the wind gets inside.

9. The southwest side of the basement isn’t necessarily the safest place to be – vehicles can be pushed into basements – you can still be crushed no matter where you are in the basement. Even the bricks/stones of a fireplace can crash into the basement and crush you!

10. Remember – the tornado can occur before there is a visible funnel cloud. A tornado is nothing more than a violently rotating column of air extending from the ground to the cloud base. You may not be able to see the tornado (can’t see the rotating air) until enough debris and dirt get swept into the vortex, and/or the visible funnel cloud develops all the way to the ground.

11. No place is totally safe from tornadoes (except for a safe room) – if weather conditions come together properly, the tornado will go over or through mountains, lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, bogs, and through downtown areas that have 1000 foot skyscrapers!

Lightning Safety Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning Safety Tips:

1. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead. The storm doesn’t have to be overhead in order for you to be struck.

2. Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.

3. If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.

4. Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.

5. If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!

6. 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder

Do's and Don't of a Water Damage

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

THE DO’S OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water damage from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying (in summer)
  • Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible
  • Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors

THE DON’TS OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors
  • Use a standard vacuum to remove water
  • Use TVs or other major appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water

We sincerely hope these experiences never happen to you but if they do we are standing by to help, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and can be reached at 803-955-0342.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the expertise and equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-water damage condition. They use a scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup that emphasizes monitoring and documenting the drying process from beginning to end.

Have Water Damage?
Call Today 803-955-0342

Every water damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO Franchise Professional respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction


Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 6 - Restoration

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

Do's and Don't of a Water Damage

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

THE DO’S OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water damage from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying (in summer)
  • Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible
  • Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors

THE DON’TS OF WATER DAMAGE

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors
  • Use a standard vacuum to remove water
  • Use TVs or other major appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water

We sincerely hope these experiences never happen to you but if they do we are standing by to help, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and can be reached at 803-755-9774.

The Truth About Mold

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall at a home in Lexington, SC.

Mold occurs naturally throughout the environment both indoors and outdoors. In fact, mold spores could be found in nearly every structure in the United States regardless of how new or clean the structure is. That’s because mold in normal amounts is no more dangerous than dust or pollen. Even through some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your office, your home or in your customer’s home it is important to be alert for:

-The presence of visible mold.

– Strong, musty odors which may indicate mold is present

-Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused mold growth

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems. If you think you or your customer might have a mold problem, check out our website for more information or give us a call: 803955-0342.

Sewage Emergency

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer backups are a common biohazard that can affect  businesses. Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.  SERVPRO of Lexington has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.

There are three types of contaminated water, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

  • Category 1: Clean water- Clean water is from a clean source, such as a broken pipe, or other water source. If clean water is left untreated, allowing bacteria to grow, it quickly can turn to category 2 or 3.
  • Category 2: Gray water- Gray water has significant amounts of contaminants that could cause illness. Category 2 water may come from washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, or a dishwasher overflow.
  • Category 3: Black water- Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

What to do after a Contamination:

  1. Stay out of affected areas.
  2. Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  3. Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  4. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  5. Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  6. Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

What Not to do after a Contamination:

  1. Don’t leave wet fabrics in place.
  2. Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  3. Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  4. Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  5. Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where the ceilings are sagging.

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits- these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance, call  of SERVPRO of Lexington, we will remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Employee Appreciation Day!!

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Our employees enjoying our cookout!!!

March 2nd was Employee Appreciation Day. We had a great cookout with all of our employees. We even broke out the prize wheel for everyone to take a spin. :)

Congratulations to our SMR

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Congratulation Phil!!

We want to give a big shout out to our SMR Phil Demery for winning Ambassador of the Year at the Lexington Chamber Awards Luncheon. We are so lucky to  have Phil on our team!!!

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

How To Put Out the Grease Fire You Might Have Started
1. Turn off the source of heat. Typically, this means turn off the stove your pot or pan is sitting on. If the dial is on the back of the stove, avoid reaching directly over the fire while you do so.
2. Cover with a metal lid or another pot, pan, or even cooking sheet. The idea is to remove as much oxygen as possible from the flame.
3. If you cannot get something on it to cover, throw on baking soda (tons of it) or salt.
4. Use a Class B fire extinguisher as your last resort. If you are unsure of what that is, it is better to simply follow the next step and forget this one.
5. If the fire is taking too long to contain or is larger than you feel comfortable dealing with, get out of the house. Shut the door on your way out to help keep the fire contained, and once you are a safe distance away, call 911.

In order to keep yourself and the rest of your property safe, do not do the following:

1. Use water or any fabrics to put out a grease fire. 
2. Use baking powder or any powders that looks like baking soda or salt. They might look the same on the outside but are made of different chemicals and can lead to a less-than-fun chemistry experiment.
3. Try to move the flaming pot or pan.

As much as you may want to save the cosmetics of the kitchen, safety is always more important than easy fire cleanup. The steps above may help you put the grease fire out sooner and with less damage, but if you have any doubts, you should always follow step #5 first and seek the help of professionals at SERVPRO of Cayce, West Columbia, and Lexington at 803-755-9774

Commercial Building Fires

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Top Causes of Commercial Building Fires

To reduce the risk of fire in your commercial workspace, it’s important to know the top causes of fires and take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk. Below we cover the top causes of fire in commercial and office spaces.

Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are common in office spaces, data centers, and server rooms where faulty electrical equipment, frayed wires, and overloaded plugs can easily cause fires. Hot running equipment like computers and heavy industrial equipment can also easily cause a fire by running too hot.

To prevent electrical fires, you can take several preventive steps. One step is not to overload electrical sockets. While an overloaded power socket could trip your breaker and cut off the power, it could also cause sparks that could catch papers or carpet or other combustible materials on fire.

If you use an extension cord, be sure to check it for any frays or damage. Never use a damaged extension cord as it can cause a short and start a fire. If you are using equipment that can get very hot, make sure they are well ventilated and that they aren’t dusty or dirty. Dust is highly combustible and can easily start a fire if a spark occurs in your equipment.

Flammable & Combustible Materials

Many Fort Mill businesses use flammable liquids and materials in their commercial spaces. It’s important to always store any flammable liquids in their proper storage containers. It’s even more important to make sure they are completely sealed as the vapors are what usually cause a fire.

If flammable liquids and materials aren’t sealed, vapors can build up in the space where they are stored. If a spark from turning on a light or from static occurs, this could not only cause a fire but an explosion.

Train your staff on how to properly store, use, and dispose of any flammable liquids and/or materials. If flammable liquids are spilled, make sure you properly clean them up as well as ventilated the space where they were spilled. Remember that it’s the vapors that are most dangerous.

Human Error

We all make mistakes, unfortunately, some mistakes can cause fires. Improper use of equipment, spilled liquids on electrical equipment, forgetting to turn off heat generating equipment, and mishandling flammable liquids are just a few ways that mistakes by your staff can lead to fires.

While mistakes will be made, you can reduce common ones by training your employees on the dangers of fire in the workplace. Common practices like never leaving food cooking in the microwave or on the stove unattended. Unplugging space heaters before leaving the office. Not placing drinks where they could spill on electronics. And if a fire should occur, it’s important to educate your employees on what to do.

General Negligence

Negligence isn’t the same as human error. Negligence in the workplace is not following proper safety procedures. Negligence can occur throughout your Fort Mill business. Improperly storing and sealing flammable liquids can cause a fire. Storing papers and flammable materials too close to heat generating equipment can cause a fire. Blocking ventilation of electronic equipment like computers can cause them to overheat and start a fire. Not properly disposing of cigarette butts can quickly lead to a fire.

Reducing the chances of fire caused by general negligence, and an understanding of potential risks, teaching your staff to work according to safety procedures can help. If you don’t have standard operating procedures for your work, you may want to create some. Standard operating procedures can include ways to reduce the risks and how to avoid them.

Arson

The last common cause of business fires is arson. While it may seem like arson from vandals seems unpreventable, you can take steps to reduce the chance of it occurring. Make sure your business is properly lit at night to discourage vandals from approaching your business.

If you have areas of the business that are hidden by bushes or trees, you may want to consider trimming them back. Surveillance cameras in areas that have little traffic can help keep trouble at bay.

Commercial Fire Damage? Call Us Today –(803)955-0342

Commercial Water Supply Lines

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

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)955-0342

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.

Fire Safety Tips

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

-Watch your cooking

Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.

-Give space heaters space

Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

-Smoke outside

If you must smoke inside, have sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

-Keep matches and lighters out of reach

Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

-Inspect electrical cords

Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

-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.

-Have a fire escape plan

Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

-Install smoke alarms

Install alarms on every level of your office  or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

-Test smoke alarms

Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

-Install sprinklers

Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving  your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.



Types of Smoke

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke.

-Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

-Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.

-They type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

-Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

Types of Smoke:

Wet Smoke Residues: result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke Residues: result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.

Protein Residues: are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot:  occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.

Other Types of Residue: include tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup.

Home damaged from frozen pipes in Lexington County, SC

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Pictures of home damaged after frozen pipes busted.

When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lexington, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)955-0342

Frequently asked flu questions!

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful this flu season!

What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness. Visit What you Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs for more information.

What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?
Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications, and their close contacts. Also, if you have a loved one who is at high risk of flu complications and they develop flu symptoms, encourage them to get a medical evaluation for possible treatment with flu antiviral drugs. These drugs work best if given within 48 hours of when symptoms start. CDC recommends that people who are at high risk for serious flu complications and who get flu symptoms during flu season be treated with flu antiviral drugs as quickly as possible. People who are not at high risk for serious flu complications may also be treated with flu antiviral drugs, especially if treatment can begin within 48 hours.

Do some children require two doses of flu vaccine?
Yes. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age will require two doses of flu vaccine for adequate protection from flu. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart. Children who have only received one dose in their lifetime also need two doses. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you if your child needs two doses of flu vaccine. Visit Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine for more information.

What can I do to protect children who are too young to get vaccinated?
Children younger than 6 months old are at high risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months old, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. See Advice for Caregivers of Young Children for more information. Everyone else who is around the baby also should be vaccinated. Also, studies have shown that flu vaccination of the mother during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth from flu infection for several months.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Storm Damage in a Lexington, SC. Home

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lexington, SC.

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO ofLexington specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lexington, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)955-0342

Mold Infestation in Lexington, SC.

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Moisture that was left undetected, caused a mold infestation in this crawl space in a Lexington, SC. home. This before picture shows some of the mold damage that was affecting the crawl space. 

SERVPRO of Lexington was called in to clean up and treat the mold problem. The customer was very pleased that we were able to restore their home to normal. 

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 955-0342

Storm Damage in a Lexington, SC. Home

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

A recent storm caused this Lexington, SC. home to have a water damage in their home. This before picture shows some of the damage that was caused by the flooding. 

SERVPRO of Lexington was called to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled that we were able to restore their home to normal. 

SERVPRO ofLexington specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lexington, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803) 955-0342

When Storms Hit Lexington, SERVPRO is Ready!

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO ofLexington specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lexington, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)955-0342

Lexington 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

Lexington 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Lexington is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (803)955-0342

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lexington has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Save A Life And Give Blood

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Save A Life and Give Blood

Donating blood is one of the greatest gifts that you could give yourself and someone in need. According to the American Red Cross, “Every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood.”

On July 13, from 2- 7, the Greater West Columbia Chamber is partnering with the American Red Cross for a blood drive. Consider joining and potentially saving many lives.

Here are some great reasons to give blood:

  • It helps in reducing risk of damage to liver and pancreas.
  • Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
  • Donating blood can help in treating patients suffering from cancer, bleeding disorders, chronic anemia associated with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other hereditary blood abnormalities.
  • Regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload.

So, now that you know some of the great benefits of giving blood, why not join the Greater West Columbia Chamber for their blood drive? Here is the link for more information: http://www.cwcchamber.com/

Tornado Basics

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Tornado Basics

Tornadoes have caused a lot of destruction in many towns, such as the devastating tornadoes that hit Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday May 22, 2011. Although, we cannot prevent a tornado, we can be more knowledgeable of what a tornado is and the signs of a tornado coming.

 Tornadoes are considered nature’s most fierce storms and is formed from a violently narrow rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A tornadoes location may be marked by a cloud of debris even if the funnel is not visible.  

 Tornadoes may cause devastating fatalities and damage to many homes and neighborhoods in the matter of seconds.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), “About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S yearly.”

Tornadoes are most likely to be seen during May into early June for the Southern Plains and for the Northern plains and upper Midwest, tornadoes are more likely to be seen in June or July. Although, these are the peak tornado seasons, tornadoes can happen at any time of the year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of the day or night, but are most likely to hit between 4-9 p.m.

Key Terms:

Tornado Watch: the conditions are favorable for a tornado.

Tornado Warning: a tornado has been reported, you should seek shelter.

Air Pressure: is the weight of a column of air that extends from the ground to the top of the atmosphere.

Funnel Cloud: a rotating column of wind that has not touched the ground (funnel clouds are called tornadoes when they reach the ground).

Multi-Vortex Tornado: a tornado that has two or more vortices that circle the center of a larger tornado.

Tornado Alley: an area in the United States where tornadoes are more likely to develop.

For more information on tornado safety and what to do in case of a tornado please visit https://www.weather.gov/ctp/TornadoSafety .

Grill Safety

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Happy Grilling!

Grill Safety

One of my all-time favorite things about summer is being able to fire up our grill and have a cookout, with our friends and family. If your family is anything like mine, we have a large group, and the one thing that we don’t want to have to worry about is someone getting hurt. That is why being knowledgeable about grill safety is so important!

The Do’s and Don’ts of grill safety:

Do:

  • Keep your grill at least ten feet away from your house.
  • Make sure to keep your grill clean.
  • Always check for gas leaks.
  • Make sure to keep decorations or anything that may be flammable up away from your grill.
  • In case of flare-ups, it is a good to keep a spray bottle of water near your grill.
  • Always keep a fire hydrant nearby.

Don’ts:

  • Never turn your gas on when the lid is shut.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.
  • Never use your grill inside your home.

Now that you know a few do’s and don’ts of grilling, here is a great recipe for you to enjoy with your loved ones: http://www.spendwithpennies.com/grilled-bacon-jalapeno-poppers/ :) 

Emergency Ready Profile

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure your business is prepared for whatever may happen!

Emergency Ready Profile

It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as a fire or flood, never reopen. Of the businesses that do survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Preparation is key for making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. By creating a plan and being prepared, you can reduce interruption and get back to business. 

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) is a tool that can help prepare your business for anything that may happen. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference document, detailing important building and contact information. It can be an ideal supplement to any existing emergency preparedness plan. Rather than simply reacting to a disaster, be proactive by establishing a relationship with a restoration company. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is a leader in fire and water damage response and can help you get your property back in working order. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile: 

- A no cost assessment of your facility. 

- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. 

- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. 

- Establishes SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. 

- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. 

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington and be "Ready for whatever happens." 

We Are IICRC Certified

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is IICRC Certified.

 We Are IICRC Certified 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet our Crew: http://www.SERVPROlexingtonsc.com/employee-photos 

Summer Sun Safety

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Summer is fun when you and your family are protected from the sun!

Summer Sun Safety

Whether you are planning a vacation or simply staying home to play in the sunshine this summer, you should protect your skin. The sun can damage your skin, hair, and eyes so don't forget to protect you and your family from the harmful rays of the sun. 

- 1 oz. of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body. You should reapply every two hours. 

- Only broad spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15+ can protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

- The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. So limit your time in the sun between these hours.

- It only takes ten minutes for a babies skin to burn, if possible keep babies out of the sun.

-  Sunscreen is only one level of protection against the sun, add clothing, hats, or sunglasses for added protection. 

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges.

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

Flooding and water damage events at Lexington commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Lexington

SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew: http://www.SERVPROlexingtonsc.com/employee-photos 

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Fire Damage Event

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Events Present Unique Challenges.

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Fire Damage Event

Fire and smoke damage events at Lexington commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small fire cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Lexington

SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Does Your Lexington Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

In Lexington, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

 Does Your Lexington Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)955-0342

Lexington 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lexington provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lexington, Sc.

 Lexington 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Lexington is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (803) 955-0342

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lexington has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Lexington

SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

 Meet Our Crew: http://www.SERVPROlexingtonsc.com/employee-photos 

Water Damage in Lexington, SC.

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

This water damage was caused by a leak.

A pipe leak in the bathroom caused this property in Lexington to flood. This before picture shows the water that was left after the water was stopped. 

SERVPRO of Lexington was called in to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled that we were able to quickly and completely restore their property. 

Call SERVPRO of Lexington when you experience a water damage- (803) 955-0342

When your Lexington home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Lexington uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.

Hurricanes and Their Categories

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricanes and Their Categories

Category 1: There will be very dangerous winds that could produce some damage. (Winds- 74-95 mph.)

Although, category 1 storms aren’t as severe as a category 3, it should still be considered dangerous. The winds will be very strong causing buildings to have damage to their roof, siding, and gutters. Extensive damage to power lines and poles can result in power outages that could last several days.

Category 2: There will could be extensive damage due to extremely dangerous winds. (Winds- 96-110 mph.)

In a category 2 the winds are much stronger, which could cause extreme damage to your property, such as, major roof and siding damage. Trees could snap or be uprooted and cause road blocks. Power loss is could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3: Devastating damage will occur. (Winds- 111-129 mph.)

Hurricanes reaching category 3 and higher are considered to be major because of their potential for significant loss of life and property damage. Your property may sustain major damage. Until the storm passes, electricity and water will be unavailable for several weeks.

Category 4: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- 130-156 mph.)

Buildings and homes may have severe damage with the loss of the roof and some exterior walls. Trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles will be down, causing residential areas to be isolated. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.

Category 5: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- More than 157 mph.)

There is more of a chance that most homes will be destroyed. There will be a considerable number of fallen trees and power poles. Most of the community may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Looking to for more information on Hurricanes:

Storm Information: National Hurricane Center- http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

American Red Cross- http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane

FEMA- https://www.fema.gov/

             https://www.ready.gov/

Photo Credit: https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/saffir-simpson-hurricane-wind-scale

Content Credit: S.C. Emergency Management Division

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

If you experience fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Home Emergency Tips: Fire and Smoke Damage

Your home is a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with your family. Our home is also where we spend a good bit of our time, which is why we are going to talk about some simple steps to minimize the risk of getting hurt. Below are some helpful tips to prevent serious injuries that are often completely preventable.

What to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Blow or brush vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpeted traffic areas.
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances with light coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What Not to Do in case of fire or smoke damage:

  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV’s, radios, etc. that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not use any canned or packaged foods or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water- they may have been contaminated.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be wet or damaged.
  • Do not send fabrics to an ordinary dry cleaner- improper cleaning may set the smoke odor.

For more advice on what to do after a fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

keeping that Office Clean Checklist:

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

If you need further cleaning, Call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at: (803) 755-9774.

Keeping that Office Clean Checklist:

If you are anything like me, your office sometimes gets the best of you! Well here is a great checklist to help get you started on cleaning, decluttering and getting that office looking and feeling tidy again.

  • Clean the bookshelves: Remove all books and belongings off your bookshelf and dust them, starting from the top to the bottom. Don’t forget to dust stuff off before placing them back on the shelf.
  • Clean the desk: Dust off any accessories on your desk, with a damp cloth, top to bottom. Make sure to dust off the top and bottom surface of your desk.
  • Clean your computer: Working from the top to the bottom, dust the screen and then move to the keyboard. Don’t forget to dust off the printer, fax machine, and any other electronics.
  • Dust off any other furniture: Such as filing cabinets, tables, and chairs.
  • Vacuum: Move furniture and chairs- vacuum and mop under everything.
  • Sanitize your telephone.
  • Clean the light fixtures: Dust the light fixtures with an extendable duster or a damp cloth; also, dust-off ceiling fans.
  • Clean the windows.
  • Clean the curtains or blinds.

Photo Credit: http://www.vaporclean.co.uk/cleaning-services/office-cleaning-services

When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is Ready!

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lexington, SC.

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Lexington property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lexington, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (803)955-0342.

Does Your Lexington Home have A Mold Problem?

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

In Lexington, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

 Does Your Lexington Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803)955-0342.

Summer = Grilling

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

BACON, PINEAPPLE, CHICKEN KABOBS

Summer = Grilling

Who is enjoying their summer time so far?

I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy a little bit of what the summer has to offer. One of the wonderful things that my family and I like to do to do over the summer is grill out. Thanks to Tablespoon.com here is a great recipe that you and your family are sure to love.

Ingredients:

  • Two Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • One large pineapple, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks.
  • Two large red bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • One large onion, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • Twelve strips of thick cut bacon.

For the Hawaiian Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups of pineapple juice.
  • ½ tablespoons cornstarch.
  • ½ cup brown sugar.
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Six long skewers.

Instructions:

  1. To make the Hawaiian sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Set-aside until ready to use.
  2. Thread the skewers. Weave the bacon around each piece of chicken and pineapple, stick the bell pepper and onion together and weave the bacon around both of those. You'll need two strips of bacon per skewer if using 4 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces each of pineapple, bell pepper and onion. Brush some olive or vegetable oil evenly over each kabob.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the kabobs for 10-15, turning a couple of times, until done.
  4. Slather with hot Hawaiian sauce and serve immediately.

If you have enjoyed this recipe, please visit http://www.tablespoon.com , for more great recipe ideas!

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Water Damage

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges.

Restoring Your Lexington Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

Flooding and water damage events at Lexington commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Lexington

SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Hurricane Preparedness

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Preparedness

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Hurricane Season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30.

No one can predict when a disaster will strike but as we are entering hurricane season, it is always a clever idea to be prepared just in case.

To be prepared each home should have a three-day (72 hour) disaster survival kit for each family member.

Here is a suggested list of survival kit supplies:

  • Drinking water:
  • The suggested amount for each person is one gallon per person/ per day. You should use unbreakable containers that will not break or decompose.
  • Don’t forget to add additional water for mixing formula if you have a young child and don’t forget to have extra water for your pets.
  • It is also a promising idea to have extra water for food preparation.
  • Water for sanitation use:
  • Store extra containers of water to be used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and bathing.
  • Non-perishable food: (Bring foods that you know that you and your family will eat even when there isn’t a storm).
  • Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of your family.
  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are great, you don’t necessarily have to heat this stuff up just in case you are without power.
  • High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, and trail mix.
  • Fresh bread.
  • Comfort foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereal, instant coffee, tea bags.
  • Food for infants.
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Plastic storage containers.
  • Sanitation:
  • Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, baby wipes, liquid hand sanitizer.
  • Liquid detergent.
  • Feminine supplies.
  • Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Bleach, disinfectant.
  • First Aid kit: (Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each car).
  • Band-Aids.
  • Germicidal hand wipes or hand sanitizer.
  • Gloves, Adhesive tape, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic spray.
  • Cold packs, scissors, tweezers, rubbing alcohol.
  • CPR breathing barrier.
  • Safety pins.
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, Benadryl, peroxide.
  • (If you are taking any prescription drugs make sure you have at least a 30-day supply).
  • Clothing and Bedding: (Include at least one complete change of clothing per family member).
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Rain gear.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Lawn chairs.
  • Extra things you may need:
  • Wind up battery operated clock.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Small sewing kit.
  • Map of the area.
  • Citronella candles.
  • Extra batteries.

For more great tips on how to make sure your family is prepared for a hurricane please visit: www.ready.gov/kit  

Home Safety Checklist

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Home Safety Checklist:

In honor of home safety month, here is a great checklist thanks to Real Simple, to make sure your home is safe for you and your family.

  • Check for frayed wires: Make sure to repair any frayed or loose wires on all electrical devices.
  • No cords should run under rugs or doorway.
  • Baby proof: place plastic covers all unused outlets.
  • Don’t overload any one outlet.
  • Examine your outside vents: Vents should be cleared of any kind of obstruction and be sure to check on them after a storm.
  • Inspect water heaters annually: Make sure the temperature is set at no higher than 120 degrees and that children stay clear of the water heater.
  • Install smoke detectors all throughout your home on each level near any sleeping areas.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.
  • Replace the batteries annually in your smoke detectors.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen: be knowledgeable on how to use it.
  • Create an escape route that has two exits in case of a fire.

There are so many things that you and your family may do to keep your home safe, for more great tips please visit: www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/home-safety-checklist

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

I don’t know about you but I am loving this warm weather! Summer is such a fun season, with swimming, cookouts, and lots of fun in the sun, who could not love summer time!?!

Well how about a nice cold refreshing drink to go with those days by the pool. Here is a great recipe for a frozen strawberry lemonade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
  • 1 Tbsp. Frozen lemonade concentrate.
  • ¾ cup of sprite.
  • 1 Tbsp. of Sugar.

(This is for 1 serving)

Instructions:

  • Add ingredients to your blender and blend thoroughly.
  • Serve in a mason jar or any cup to your liking and be ready to be refreshed! ?? Enjoy!!!

Yuck....Sewage!!!

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Lexington if you have a biohazard at (803)755-9774.

Yuck…. Sewage!!!

Dealing with sewage is not something that anyone wants to be faced with! I know personally, if I did happen to run into a sewage problem, that I would want to call someone that knows what they are doing to best ratify the situation.

Sewage backups are more than nasty and smelly, these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your residence. When you have a sewage damage, it is a biohazard, which should be considered very dangerous, as they can pose a serious health risk.

SERVPRO of Lexington, has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination. They will remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture; to help ensure that the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

So, when you have a sewage damage or have questions don’t hesitate to call on SERVPRO of Lexington to help make your sewage damage “Like it never even happened.”

We Clean Draperies...Too!

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Lexington at (803)755-9774.

WE Clean Draperies… Too!

Did you know that your local SERVPRO cleans drapes?

SERVPRO of Lexington surpasses at cleaning fine fabrics and difficult pieces using wet or dry-cleaning methods as required. We carefully inspect and test fabrics to determine which of our methods is best suited to your materials. We use state-of-the- art equipment designed for cleaning fine textiles.

When considering cleaning your draperies, make certain that they are dry cleaned only. Only a small percentage of materials can be laundered. When you are not certain, call us for advice.

SERVPRO of Lexington offers dry cleaning right in your home, so there is no need to go through the hassle of removing your draperies from your home and hauling them to the cleaners. We insert a specially formulated solvent on your draperies and then extract the chemical, leaving your drapes clean. This special process means no damage or shrinkage to the material.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington for quality cleaning at a reasonable price!!!

Summer Time

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Have a Great Summer!

Summer Time

Now that school is ending, you might be wondering what you are going to do with your kids?

Sometimes it isn’t easy coming up with ideas to keep the kids busy throughout the entire summer. So, here is a list of ideas that I have come up with to help you keep them active.

  • Create a Summer bucket list.
  • Have a picnic at the park.
  • Start a library summer reading program.
  • Go for a swim.
  • Go strawberry picking.
  • Make strawberry smoothies.
  • Go out for ice-cream.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • Water balloon baseball.
  • Go to a baseball game.
  • Make sand or dirt pudding.
  • Backyard water fun.
  • Visit a splash pad.
  • Finger paint.
  • Make silly putty.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Jump rope.
  • Go camping.
  • Start a garden.

Here are just a few suggestions for you and your kids to enjoy, but with a little bit of imagination and creativity, who knows what your summer will hold. Enjoy!

… And have a great Summer!! ??

Electrical Safety Tips

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Electrical Safety Tips

 

 

 

Electrical safety is definitely something you do not want to play around with. Messing with electrical hazards could cause burns, shocks and even death. Here is a comprehensive list of tips to consider, thanks to OSHA.

 

 

 

  • Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.

 

  • Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.

 

  • Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.

 

 

  • If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.

 

  • Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.

 

 

  • Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.

 

  • Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.

 

 

  • If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

 

  • Always use caution when working near electricity.

 

 

For more tips on electrical safety please visit: www.osha.gov/SLTC/electrical/

 

 

Fire Safety in the Workplace

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety in the Workplace

 

 

 

No matter the type of business that you are in, fire safety should always be your main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips to consider reinforcing into your daily routine at your workplace.

 

 

Fire Prevention:

 

  • Keep your work area free of paper, trash and any other items that can easily catch fire. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits.
  • Watch your electrical cords, if they are damaged in any way, replace them.
  • Don’t overload your circuits.
  • Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
  • Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn, such as: copiers, coffee makers, and computers.
  • Use and store chemicals safely.
  • Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

 

 

 

In Case of a Fire:

 

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
  • Never use an elevator.
  • Follow the escape plan and meet at a place outside of your building and away from danger. Do a headcount to make sure all your staff has evacuated.

 

 

 

Fire safety is very important, and could save your life. Make sure to discuss with your staff the importance of fire safety. For more information on fire safety in the workplace you can go to:

 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/firesafety/ .

 

 

 

 

 

Lead Poisoning

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

Lead Poisoning

 

 

How much do you know about lead poisoning? Could you and your family be at risk? What are things that you should look for if you were to have a lead problem?

 

Well these may be a few questions that you may have concerns about when you think of lead poisoning.

 

Lead poisoning occurs when you absorb too much lead by breathing or swallowing a substance with lead in it, such as paint, dust, water, or food. Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years.

 

Lead is a highly toxic metal and a very strong poison. Typically lead is found in the paint of old houses and toys but it may also be found in art supplies and contaminated dust.

 

Lead is more harmful for children because their brains and nervous systems are still developing. Too much lead in a child could cause lasting problems with growth and development, which may affect their behavior, hearing, and learning.

 

In adults, lead poisoning can damage the brain and nervous system, the stomach, the kidneys, and may cause high blood pressure.

 

The good news is that Lead poisoning is treatable, and although it is not normal to have lead in your body, a small amount is present in most people.

 

 

Common Symptoms of Lead Poisoning:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Constipation
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of developmental skills in children
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory loss
  • Kidney dysfunction

 

For more information on lead or lead removal please visit: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes .

 

 

 

 

How is the Air Quality in Your Home?

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

How is the Air Quality in Your Home?

 

 

 

 

When someone says air quality, what do you think about? What does air quality mean to you? Do you really know how the air quality is around you and in your home?

 

Well it turns out that our air quality inside our homes could be much more hazardous than the air quality outside. Through the years, homes are being built more air tight, to help with heating and cooling costs. Although, this is great for our energy bill, it does not allow our home to air out. When we trap in the hot or cool air, we are also trapping in pollutants and even potentially producing more pollutants.

 

Our home, which is where the average person spends the most time, is much more susceptible to having the most pollutants. Some of the more obvious pollutants are cleaning chemicals and pesticides. But did you know that pollutants can also come from cooking and bathing?

 

There are those who are more vulnerable to the indoor air pollution, than others, such as: children, people with asthma, the elderly, and pregnant women, but others could be effected years later, after repeated exposure.

 

 

Simple Steps to Improve the air quality in your home:

 

  1. Keep your floors clean. By vacuuming your floor with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, you can suck up pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. In high traffic areas, vacuum the same spot several times. For best results, vacuum two or more times each week and wash out your filter regularly.

 

Putting a large floor mat at every door will help keep people from tracking in chemicals and dirt. A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home. Also, removing your shoes when you enter your home is another effective way of keeping harsh pollutants out of your home.  

 

 

  1. Keep your home at a healthy humidity level. Keeping humidity levels around 30% - 50% helps keep dust mites, mold, and other allergens under control. A dehumidifier in the winter and an air conditioner during the summer, will help reduce moisture and will effectively control allergens.

 

  • When cooking or bathing, use an exhaust fan or open a window.
  • Don’t overwater your houseplants.
  • Fix any leaky plumbing to prevent mold.

 

  1. Don’t smoke in your home. Cigarette smoke contains up to 4,000 chemicals. Smoking in your home can cause drastic effects in the air pollution in your home. If you do smoke, consider smoking outside.

 

  1. Test for Radon. Radon is a radioactive gas, it comes from the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. It can move up through the ground and into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation.

Whether, you have a new or old home, you may still be at risk for radon. If you suspect that your home is at risk for radon, testing is easy and inexpensive. The Environmental Protection Agency offers information on Radon Reduction.

 

 

  1. Go Natural. Synthetic fragrances in laundry products and air fresheners emit dozens of different chemicals into the air. A simple way to eliminate the harsh chemicals in your home is to look for fragrance free or naturally scented products. To get that fresh scent in your kitchen you can you use fresh lemon or baking soda.

 

 

 

For more valuable information on the air quality in your home please visit www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/improving-indoor-air-quality.

 

 

 

 

Air ducts/ HVAC System

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington,and let us get those ducts back in order!

Air ducts/ HVAC system

                              

 

When was the last time you had your air ducts or HVAC system checked or cleaned? SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, is the right company for the job. We will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.

 

If your HVAC system has been operating for some time, without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odor, and other contaminants. Keeping your HVAC system and duct work clean can extend the life of your equipment, which could potentially save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

 

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

 

For more information on HVAC and duct cleaning, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington today at (803)755-9774.

 

Homemade Air Freshener

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Homemade Air Freshener

 

 

 

In honor of us discussing better air quality this month, I wanted to share with you guys a great DIY air freshener, thanks to The Prairie Homestead. It is super simple to make, better for the air, and it really smells great! ??

 

 

All you need is:

 

  • ¾ cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
  • One of the essential combinations listed below.

 

 

  1. CITRUS MINT AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 10 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. SWEET LAVENDER AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  • Use 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract in place of the 2 tablespoons of alcohol.
  1. SUMMER CITRUS AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 5 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil

 

  1. COZY HOLIDAY AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 6 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops cassia essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  1. FLOWER GARDEN AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
  1. HAPPY HOMESTEAD AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  1. DEODORIZING AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 4 drops melaleuca essential oil (aka tea tree oil)
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  1. SPICY CHAI AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 4 drops cardamom essential oil
  • 3 drops cassia essential oil
  • 3 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  1. WOODSY AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 7 drops white fir essential oil
  • 6 drops cedar wood essential oil
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  1. GET FOCUSED AIR FRESHENER SPRAY

(Ideal for when you’re sitting at your desk and need to concentrate)

  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops rosemary essential oil

 

Combine in an 8-oz. spray bottle, shake well, and enjoy!!!

 

Taking Care of Those Hardwood Floors

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at (803)755-9774, to get those hardwoods looking great again!

Taking Care of Those Hardwood Floors

 

 

Keeping those hardwood floors can definitely be a task that no one wants to be faced with. Unfortunately, your hardwoods must be cleaned and taken care of.

Maintaining your hardwoods is an essential part of protecting your beautiful investment, and once you learn how to maintain them, it will become like second nature.

 

Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain your beautiful hardwood:

 

Daily:

 

At least once a day you should sweep or dry mop your floors. Microfiber mops are great to use because they use static electricity that will help trap the dirt and allergens.

 

-Always remember when you have a spill, to clean it up right away with a damp cloth!

 

-Putting throw rugs near doorways and entrances is a wonderful way to avoid all the debris that can scratch up and cause your hardwoods to get dirty.  

 

 

Weekly:

 

Maintaining your cleaning during the week is important, it will help you reach those hard to reach areas that you don’t hit on your daily sweep. Vacuums and wet mops are ideal for reaching those corners and cracks that get missed. Be careful when you use a wet mop, not to use too much water, a fine mist will work great at getting your floors to look clean.

 

  • Water and steam can dull and mess up your hardwoods. Only wet clean your floors every 1-2 months.

 

  • When moving your furniture, it is best to pick the furniture up instead of dragging. Dragging your furniture across hard woods could scratch and damage. Putting stick felt on the legs of your furniture is terrific way to avoid scratches.

 

  • Avoid wearing cleats or high heels on your hardwoods, as they can dent your beautiful floors.

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly:

 

At least once a month you should polish your floors. Polishing is a fantastic way to bring back your woods shine. It helps renew and refresh the finish that protects the hardwood.

  • Do not use vinyl or tile cleaning products on wood floors.

 

  • Do not over wax your wood flooring. Avoid wax buildup under your furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.

 

 

Yearly:

 

With all the abuse that we give to our hardwoods, consider giving them a deep clean.

 

Soil tends to accumulate over time, and eventually you will need professional cleaning to remove this buildup. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has specialized training in time-tested and industry approved cleaning methods. Also, our exclusive cleaning system allows our professionals to properly clean and restore your floor’s original beauty.

 

 

Things to avoid:

 

  • Avoid using water and vinegar. Vinegar and water can dull your wood over time.

 

  • Avoid using Steam cleaners. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long term damage.

 

 

Happy Customers

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Thank you, From your friends here at SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

!!!!Happy Customers!!!!

 

 

 

Here at SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, we take immense pride in our customer’s happiness! We love what we do and look forward to making each one of our client’s home or business, “Like it never even happened.”

 

Without the loyalty that we have established with our customers we would not be where we are today. So, thank you for allowing us to serve you, your family, and your home/ business!

 

 

Here is just a couple of things that some of our wonderful clients have said:

 

 

 

“I am so glad we called SERVPRO when we had our unexpected disaster! They turned a hardship into a pleasant experience ! Taylor and his team were always on time and very respectful of my personal time and property!!!”

 

  • Jessica B.

 

 

 

 

 

“They were very prompt and courteous and did a great job and did everything they said they would do. This is the second time I have used them. Clay and Sam and the rest of the crew were great!”

 

 

  • Susan R.

 

 

“An amazing company to work with in all areas. Most trustworthy company I have ever worked it. Highly recommend them!”

 

 

 

  • Angie H.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Clean the Washing Machine

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

How to Clean the Washing Machine

 

 

 

The washing machine is definitely something I take for granted.

 

I don’t know about you and your home but it appears that I run my washing machine on a daily basis and I tend to forget that, it too, needs cleaning!

 

Technically, you should clean your washing machine every other week.

 

Did you know that?!

Well don’t feel bad if you didn’t know because now you do and now you can get that machine looking and smelling brand new again!!!

 

Ok here is what you will need to get that washing machine looking and smelling great again:

 

  • 1 quart of bleach
  • 1 quart of white vinegar

 

 

Here are your effortless steps:

 

  1. Fill your washer with hot water.
  2. Add 1 quart of bleach and agitate for one minute, let sit for one hour, and then let it finish running that cycle.
  3. Fill your washer with hot water.
  4. Add 1 quart of white vinegar and agitate for one minute, let sit for one hour, and then let it finish running that cycle.
  5. Wipe down the exterior.
  6. Enjoy doing laundry in your clean washer ??!!!

 

 

 

Soot? Now What?

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Soot? Now what?

Did you have a fire???

Did that fire leave you with an awful black mess all over your belongings???

Are you questioning why this has happened and what to do now???

Well hopefully I can help you with your questions and concerns.

So, what is soot damage, anyways?

Well that is a very good question! Soot by definition is, “a black powder that is formed when something is burned.” 

Obviously, we already figured out that the soot came from something that has burned, or we wouldn’t be in this current predicament, now would we!

But seriously, soot is nothing to play with, especially when it is involving your home.

When you have a fire, soot is the carbon particles that become airborne, leaving your property in disarray.

So, there is soot, is it safe to be around?

After you have a fire, you may have lots of emotions going through you right now, and you may be concerned about the soot that has taken over everything and if it is safe for you and your family.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue will settle onto your possessions.

 In certain instances, soot can be very toxic and hazardous to your health.

Soot contains elements of the burned material and during soot removal you should avoid exposure. Exposure to soot residue could be detrimental to your health: causing respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.

Your next thought may be:  to clean or not to clean?

If you are the type of person with patience and the drive to get something done, you may want to try your hand at cleaning your own belongings. Just remember safety always comes first!

It’s important to make sure you have the right protective gear when dealing with soot removal, such as: gloves, protective eye wear, face mask, and protective clothing.

Also, you should make sure you have proper ventilation to help clear the air of any soot and odors. (A box fan in the windows will help).

When cleaning your soot damage home, using soap and water, you should always start with the top of the room and work your way to the bottom of the room, making sure to wipe all knick- knacks along the way.

Additionally, using your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuum your upholstery, lamp shades, and carpet. This prevents the soot from being blown back into the areas you already cleaned.

For your clothing and linens, wash several times in your normal liquid detergent.

If your soot problem is a little too much too handle, you may want to call in the professionals!!! 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will pretest to determine the degree of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the diverse types of surfaces in your home.

Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, may be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense acquired with repainting or refinishing.

In other cases, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, will clean and get your structure prepared to paint, this process allows the paint to better adhere to the surface, as well as deodorize.

Things NOT to do when you have soot damage!

  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to a fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the incident.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

For more valuable information on soot and fire damage please visit http://www.IICRC.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html or don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

Why yes, SERVPRO does clean Upholstery!

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Why yes, SERVPRO does clean upholstery!

 

 

 

You might not know this, (I know I certainly didn’t) but SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington cleans upholstery!

 

They actually clean lots of stuff ?? (Like carpet, drapes, blinds, and upholstery)!

 

Another thing you might not know is that having your upholstery cleaned at least once a year can extend the life of your furniture. Not to mention it will help rid it of dust, allergens, and help give you back that new couch look!

 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington offers several cleaning options to match any type of your upholstery needs, so give us a call so that we may get your fabric looking brand new again!

 

Homemade Pizza Twists

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Homemade Pizza Twists


 


I don't know about your family, but my family absolutely loves pizza! Here is a great recipe to jazz up your pizza night, that I found on Pinterest!


 


The ingredients are super simple, all you need is: 



  • 1 package of Crescents (8 count)

  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend. 

  • Pepperoni.

  • 1 cup of Marinara. 


 


This would be a fun dish to get the kids involved in:



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. So that your twists don't stick, line your baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  3. Press two crescent triangles together to make a rectangle. 

  4. Brush your rectangle crescents with butter.

  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese in the center. 

  6. Place 3 pepperonis on top of cheese. 

  7. Fold each side over to the middle and press the edges together. 

  8. Twist your breadsticks and place onto your parchment paper. 

  9. Brush with butter. 

  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes. 

  11. Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. 

  12. Enjoy!!! 


 

Rhythm on The River

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Rhythm on The River

 

 

 

 

South Carolina is such a fun place to live and visit- we offer lots of free activities for everyone! One momentous event is the Rhythm on the River.

 

The Rhythm on the River Concert Series was created by the River Alliance in March 2002 after the opening on the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater that January. The West Metro Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center took over control of the series in 2004 and continues to produce the series this day. Rhythm on the River is a free concert series on Saturdays from 6 to 9.

 

There is a lot of fun to be had, so come enjoy yourself at the Riverwalk from April 8th to May 27th.

    

                         Get Directions

 https://www.google.com/maps/dir//33.9941433,-81.0523979/@33.9941433,-81.0545866,17z/data=!3m1!4b1

Severe Weather

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Severe Weather

                                             

 

 

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Approximately 98 percent of all declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

An emergency can happen anywhere and anytime and it can happen to you. In an emergency, it is vital to think clearly and react quickly. If an emergency occurs, it is essential for you to know what to do and what not to do. The time to find this out is before an emergency happens.

Once an emergency occurs, do not panic. Emergency information will be broadcast on the Emergency Alert System, on local radio and television stations, the NOAA weather radio and the Cable Interrupt System. But in an emergency, it is up to you to determine what action is appropriate.

THUNDERSTORMS:
Thunderstorms produce many dangerous and severe forms of weather. Lightning, destructive winds, heavy rain and hail can all be products of thunderstorms.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: the conditions are favorable for severe weather and you should continue normal activity, but monitor weather conditions closely.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning:  you should seek shelter immediately and monitor conditions on the radio or television.

What to Do:

  • If you are outside, get into a building, car or bus.
  • If you are in the woods, pick a low area under small trees. 
  • If you are swimming or boating, get out of the water immediately and onto land as soon as possible. 
  • If you are in an open area, head for low ground such as a valley or ravine, or crouch down. 
  • If golfing, leave the course as soon as possible and take shelter in the clubhouse.

What Not to Do:

  • Do not touch metal objects such as bicycles, fences, golf clubs, and equipment such as lawnmowers. 
  • Do not go near trees, poles, hills, clotheslines, overhead wires, metal pipes, or water.
  • If in a group, do not huddle -- but spread out. 
  • Do not use the telephone except in an emergency. 
  • Do not take a shower or bath.

TORNADOES:
Tornadoes are violent storms with spiraling high-speed winds. Tornadoes are usually accompanied by hail, severe thunderstorms and wind. The noise of a tornado has been described as a roaring sound -- like a train far away.

A Tornado Watch: there is a possibility of one or more tornadoes in your area. Continue normal activity but monitor weather conditions closely.

A Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted and may be approaching -- seek shelter immediately.

When a tornado threatens, immediate action can save your life!

  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Always protect your head!
  • In homes and small buildings, go to the basement or to an interior part of the lowest level -- take shelter in closets, bathrooms or interior halls away from windows. Get under something sturdy or lie in the bathtub and cover yourself with a blanket. 
  • In schools, nursing homes, hospitals, factories, shopping centers and malls, go to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest levels are best. Stay away from exterior glass doors. 
  • In high-rise buildings, go to interior, small rooms or hallways on the lowest floor possible with no windows. If you can see outside, you are not safe. 
  • In vehicles or mobile homes, vacate and go to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert with your hands shielding your head and neck. 

 

Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.

 

 

 

 

Tie Dye Easter Eggs

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Tie Dye Easter Eggs

 

It’s that time of year again, time to get things prepared for Easter! Here is a fun idea to do with your little one’s as you decorate those eggs. Enjoy! Happy Easter!

 

 

                                                                              

 

 

Ingredients

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Food Coloring
  • Paper Towel
  • Water Spray Bottle
  • Tiny Elastics or Twist Ties
  • Table Fan

Instructions

  1. Tear apart the paper towels into small rectangles. Place a cool, dry egg in the middle of the paper towel.
  2. Wrap the paper towel up and around the egg so it's completely covered. Twist the top of the paper towel so it's tight against the egg and secure it with a tiny hair elastic or a twist tie.
  3. Wearing rubber gloves, gently squeeze drops of food coloring directly onto the paper towel wrapped egg (3 or 4 drops at a time), leaving some white space between each color. Repeat until there are large food coloring dots around the whole egg.
  4. Using a spray bottle, gently spray a small amount of water into the center of each food coloring dot. Keep spraying until the colors bleed and there is no more white space. The less water you spray, the brighter the colors on the egg will be.
  5. Gently squeeze the wet paper towel wrapped egg over the sink to drain any excess water. Even if there's no extra water, gently squeeze the egg to make sure the color on the paper towel transfers to the egg.
  6. Place the wet, paper towel wrapped eggs in a baking dish. Point a table fan at the eggs and allow them to dry for 3 to 4 hours. (Without a table fan, you'll have to wait overnight for them to dry).
  7. When the paper towels are completely dry, remove the elastics and unwrap each egg.

Notes

It's best if you can make these the day you plan to serve them. If they MUST be refrigerated, place the eggs in an egg carton. Make sure you remove them from the fridge (and open the egg carton lid) at least 3 hours before you plan to serve them to give time for the condensation to dry.

 

Fire Extinguisher Safety

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Do you know what to do in case of a small fire? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do you own a fire extinguisher? SERVPRO offers some tips about fire extinguishers!

 

https://youtu.be/gFifToYGgto

April Showers, Brings May Flowers

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

April Showers, Brings May Flowers

 

                   

 

 

Spring is in the air for South Carolina, and with spring, comes spring showers- which may lead to flooding conditions. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your home, before the rainy season begins!

 

 

  1. Identify any existing roof or siding problems:A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.

 

  1. Use shredded bark mulch as landscaping material:If you have rock or gravel landscaping, it’s a good idea to replace it with bark, which won’t cause damage if blown around in high winds.

 

  1. Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard:Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or weak branches or remove trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Check trees and shrubs regularly to identify potential problems.

 

  1. Ensure gutters aren’t loose or clogged:Clear your gutters of debris, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off roofs and away from the home, and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Strong winds can quickly tear loose gutters from your home and cause damage. Also, it’s important to make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement flooding.

 

  1. Secure top-heavy furniture:Don’t forget about the inside of your home too. Walk around your house and secure large, top-heavy pieces, such as bookcases, to the wall.

 

  1. Install and maintain sump pumps: Sump pumps help to send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a sump pump or investing in a more portable version. If you already have a sump pump, inspect it to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.

 

  1. Catalog possessions: Using a digital camcorder or camera, create a home inventory for insurance. Inexpensive digital cameras start at about $100. Although traditional video and photographs are adequate, they can be bulky to carry and may get damaged if left in a flooded home. Digital files can be stored on a small USB drive and kept in your go bag, sent to a friend or relative for safekeeping, or stored on an online backup system.

How Often Should you Clean Everything?

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

How often should you Clean Everything?

 

     

 

 

Cleaning is a big chore that must get done! With everyone’s busy schedule, it is hard to get to everything, here is a list to help you know how often things should get cleaned:

 

 

 

Every Day:

 

  • Make Bed.
  • Sweep Kitchen floors.
  • Clean dirty dishes.
  • Wipe down kitchen counters and table.
  • Do laundry (as needed).
  • Clean coffee maker.
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces.
  • Sanitize your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

 

 

Every Week:

 

  • Mop kitchen and bathroom floors.
  • Scrub bathroom surfaces.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Dust Furniture.
  • Vacuum your floors and furniture.
  • Change bedding.
  • Toss expired food.
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances.
  • Clean inside of microwave.
  • Sanitize your sponges.

 

 

Every Month:

 

  • Vacuum vents and woodwork.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures.
  • Dust blinds.
  • Clean your dishwasher, washer and dryer, and vacuum.

 

Every Three- Six Months:

 

  • Wipe down inside of fridge.
  • Clean kitchen range hood.
  • Wash shower curtain liner.
  • Clean under and behind furniture.
  • Clean patio/ deck surfaces and furniture.
  • Wash pillows and comforter.
  • Vacuum Mattress.
  • Freshen drains and garbage disposal.
  • Clean inside of oven.
  • Clean out Freezer.

 

 

Every Year:

 

  • Clean Fireplace and Chimney.
  • Deep clean carpet and upholstery. (SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, can help you with this ??!)
  • Deep clean windows.
  • Clean around dryer and vents.
  • Clean curtains.
  • Clear out gutters.

 

 

 

For more tips or questions on cleaning your home, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at (803)755-9774.

 

 

 

411 on Carpet Cleaning

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

411 on Carpet Cleaning

 

 

Daily, we use our carpet, not even thinking about how dirty it is. Our carpets are like filters, trapping dust, gases, animal hair, and other soils. There are many preventative things you may do to keep your carpet clean, such as, regular vacuuming, spot removal, and having your carpets professionally cleaned.

 

Here are the top reasons to have carpets cleaned year-round:

 

  1. It prolongs the life of the carpeting. Cleaning your carpet regularly using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly.
  2. Having your carpets cleaned protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants.
  3. It makes your carpet easier to maintain. When carpets are regularly cleaned, vacuuming will remove most dry soils.
  4. Cleaning your carpet will remove spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.
  5. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants. Cleaning your carpets prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria.
  6. It will enhance the appearance of your home or business.
  7. It will make your work environment feel cleaner.
  8. Regular carpet cleaning makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.
  9. It removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in your carpet.
  10. If you have a warranty, it will maintain your carpet warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method usually every 12-18 months.

 

 

 

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington offers professional cleaning that can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets.

 

Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing that dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is below the surface down near the base, causing damage to the carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged. We will get the job done right!

 

 

We offer a range of specialized cleaning methods:

 

  • Bonnet cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
  • Hot water extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
  • Deluxe precondition and rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
  • Dry cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.

 

 

 

 

 

For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over forty years of experience and professionals trained to the highest standards, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington today!

                                              

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

 


According to NEPA, “ More than 1.3 million fires are reported in the United
States each year.” Nearly two-thirds of these fires are death related, occurring in homes with no working smoke alarms or no alarms present at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke Alarm Safety

 

These fires area also responsible for more than 17,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

 

  • Install Smoke Alarms in every bedroom.

Smoke alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

 

  • Not in the Kitchen.

Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. (Generally, they should be at least ten feet from a cooking appliance).

 

  • Test at least once a month.

It is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in proper working order.

 

  • Replace batteries.

Batteries in the smoke alarm should be replaced at least once a year. In the circumstance that the alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

 

  • Replacing Smoke Alarms.

Each smoke alarm should be replaced every ten years.

 

 

 

                                           Create a Plan

 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with an escape plan. Creating a plan for an emergency fire situation, allows for a safe and quick escape. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at (803)755-9774.

 

 

              

 

How to Make DIY Bird Feeders

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. The kids will be out of school soon and the summer will be in full swing. With many kids at home during the summer, parents can find themselves struggling to find things to keep the kids entertained while they are home. There’s plenty of activities to do with kids during the summer and getting outdoors should be on everyone’s to-do list.

If you are looking for a fun craft to do with the kids, create Pinecone Bird Feeders! These bird feeders are so easy to make, affordable, and exciting for all.

How to Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder

Supplies:

  • Pinecones
  • Small bowl of Peanut Butter
  • Bird Seeds
  • Plastic Spoon, Popsicle stick, or Spatula (to spread the peanut butter)
  • Paper Plate

Directions:

  1. Place the pinecone on a paper plate.
  2. Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spread peanut butter around the pinecone. Try to cover as much of the pinecone as you can with a thin layer of peanut butter.

 

  1. Once the pinecone is covered in peanut butter, roll the pinecone around in the birdseed until the pinecone is covered with birdseed.

 

  1. Tie a string at the top of the pinecone and hang from a tree in your yard.

 

Sit back and wait for the birds to arrive and enjoy the seeds from the pinecone bird feeder!

 

 

Content Credit: Pinterest: Momwifebusylife.com

Tips to Avoid Bursting Pipes

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Tips to Avoid Bursting Pipes

            

           

 

 

With South Carolina, you never quite know how the weather is going to be. One week it could feel like summer and the next we have a freeze warning. The damages, expenses and the messes that can be caused from a water line that freezes and bursts are nothing that anyone wants to experience. While we can’t stop, the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Here are some helpful tips.

 

 

Things to do outside:

 

  • Wrap outside faucets. There is a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as needed during cold weather.
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let the cold air inside your home, causing your pipes to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

 

 

Things to do Inside:

 

  • Let a stream of water run, if the temperature drops below freezing. It is advised that you let your water run in the farthest sink away from where your main water pipe is located.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days.

 

 

The Truth about Mold

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

The Truth about Mold

 

                       

 

Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. Mold can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Mold plays a very important role in nature- it helps break down dead leaves, plants, and trees. We are exposed to mold daily, meaning removing all mold is impossible.

 

In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they find a damp spot in your home or business, mold may begin to grow.

 

Mold can spread quickly, in as little as 48 hours. Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home or business through windows, doors, or AC/ heating systems. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor.

 

Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. If mold is found, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

 

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be taken care of, or the mold will return.

 

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas in your home or business.

 

Here is a helpful list of specific recommendations to limit your chance of getting mold:

 

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can- no higher than 50%.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

 

 

Every mold damage is different and requires different solutions. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington understands mold and mold growth, we are trained mold damage specialist who get started quickly to get your home, “Like it never even happened.”

 

 

 

How to Make DIY Bath Bombs

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

How to Make DIY Bath Bombs

 

Do you need something to help you relax? Here is a great recipe from Swanson Health Products to make your own bath bombs. Enjoy!!!

                  

 

 

Bath Bomb Ingredients:

Bath Bomb Tools:

  • Bath bomb molds
  • Bowl
  • Whisk

Bath Bomb Steps:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir together with a whisk.
  2. Add coconut oil, essential oil and food coloring (if using). Stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. When adding water, do it slowly and add only as much as needed because the mixture will fizz upon exposure to water. Stir vigorously to reduce fizzing while adding water.
  4. When the mixture is wet enough to stick together in clumps, press mixture firmly into molds until molds are filled. If using a mold with two pieces, such as a round mold, squish pieces together and remove any excess from the sides.
  5. Let the mixture sit in the molds for five minutes, then carefully remove bath bombs from the molds.
  6. Lay bath bombs on parchment paper or a towel and let them dry for 24 hours.

Recipe makes enough for two round 2.5 inch diameter bath bombs.

Simple, right? And so much fun!

Allergy Season

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Allergy Season


As the flowers start to bloom and trees start to blossom, we come to the realization that spring has finally sprung. Although, spring is a beautiful time of the year, with it brings pollen- and pollen brings allergies! If you are like one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, it means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms.


Allergy symptoms just make you feel simply awful. Fortunately, there are many options that may help you relieve your symptoms to all your allergies:



  • Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers.


     -   If you know the pollen count is going to be higher, try to avoid being outside as much as you can.


Keep doors and windows shut at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.



  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.

  • Don’t hang laundry outside- pollen can stick to clothing, sheets, and towels.

  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.

  • Take extra steps when pollen counts are high.

  • If you notice that your allergies are starting to bother you, you may want to start taking allergy medications.

  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

  •   Keep indoor air clean.

  •  Use your air conditioner in your home and car.

  • Have SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington check and clean your duct work. Even with frequently changing your air duct filters, dust and other allergens can get caught between your air conditioning unit and your air vents. It is recommended that you have your ducts cleaned at least once a year.

  •  Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.

  •  Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Vacuuming is great in helping with dust/pollen but it is also recommended that you should have your carpets professionally cleaned at least every 3-6 months to a year, at a minimum.


There are no miracle products that can eliminate all allergens, but I hope these suggestions will be helpful! If SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington can help rid your home of dust/ pollen, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (803)755-9774.

Irish Delight

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Irish Delight

 

 

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron Saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green!

 

For St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate with Irish inspired foods like this New England boiled Dinner and Caraway Soda bread recipe:

 

 

New England Boiled Dinner Recipe

 

             

 

  • Cook time:4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8

Corned beef can be pretty salty, so if you are making boiled dinner with corned beef you may want to put it in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and then discard the water before starting the recipe. If the broth ends up being too salty, you can serve just the meat and vegetables, without the broth, or add water to the broth to dilute it.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket or plain beef brisket
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, if using plain brisket
  • 2 medium sized turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 4 red new potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large carrots, cut into thirds and the thickest pieces quartered lengthwise
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into fourths

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Method

  1. Put corned beef in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings, simmer:Put the brisket in a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven and cover with an inch of water.

If you are using corned beef brisket and it does not come already packed in seasoning, add peppercorns, cloves, and a bay leaf to the pot.

If using plain brisket, add a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water.

Bring to a simmer and then cover, lower the heat until it is barely simmering. Keep at a low simmer for four hours or until the meat is tender (a fork goes through easily).

 

  1. Remove meat, add vegetables, simmer:Remove the meat and set aside, keeping the meat warm. Add the vegetables to the pot. Check the broth for taste. If it is too salty, add a little more water to taste.

Raise the temperature and bring the soup to a high simmer. Cook at a high simmer until done, about 15-30 minutes longer, depending on the size of the cut of your vegetables.

  1. Slice meat across the grain:Slice the meat in thin slices across the grain. You may find it easier to slice if you first cut the roast in half along the same direction as the grain of the meat. Then slice smaller lengths across the grain.

     

Serve in bowls, a few pieces of meat in each, add some of the vegetables and some broth. Serve with horseradish or mustard or both.

 



Caraway Soda Bread Recipe

 

 

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cook time:40 minutes
  • Yield:Makes one loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (1 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick) room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*

*If necessary, you can substitute buttermilk with a half cup of plain yogurt mixed in with a cup of plain milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar.

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds.
  2. Using your fingers (or a fork) work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

 

  1. 3. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the buttermilk into the center and using either your hands or a wooden spoon, fold the flour over the buttermilk and gently mix until just combined.

 

The dough should be neither too wet or too dry, so if it is a little too dry to work with, add a little more buttermilk. If too wet, add a little more flour. Roughly shape into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead just a few times to shape it into a round loaf. Do not over-knead or the bread will be tough.

 

  1. Place dough loaf onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or cast iron pan). Make 1 1/2-inch deep cuts, forming a cross, from side to side on the loaf. The scoring helps the heat get to the center of the loaf while cooking.

 

  1. Place in oven, cook for 15 minutes at 450°F, then lower the heat to 400°F and cook for 25 more minutes. One way to test for doneness is to take it out of the oven, turn it over and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done. You can also use a skewer inserted into the center.

Let bread sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to cool. Then remove it to a rack to cool a little bit longer. I think the bread is best when it is still warm and just baked. Quick breads like this, which rely on baking soda for leavening, are generally best eaten soon after they're baked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Friendsdriftinn.com and amazingribs.com

 

 

Content Credit: Simplyrecipes.com

Sewage Emergency

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Sewage Emergency


Sewer backups are a common biohazard that can affect homes and businesses. Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.  SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.


There are three types of contaminated water, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.



  • Category 1: Clean water- Clean water is from a clean source, such as a broken pipe, or other water source. If clean water is left untreated, allowing bacteria to grow, it quickly can turn to category 2 or 3.

  • Category 2: Gray water- Gray water has significant amounts of contaminants that could cause illness. Category 2 water may come from washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, or a dishwasher overflow.

  • Category 3: Black water- Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.


 What to do after a Contamination:


 Stay out of affected areas.



  1. Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.

  2. Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.

  3. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

  4. Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.

  5. Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.


 What Not to do after a Contamination:


 Don’t leave wet fabrics in place.



  1. Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.

  2. Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.

  3. Don’t use television or other household appliances.

  4. Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where the ceilings are sagging.


Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits- these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance, call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, we will remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.


 


Photo Credit: plumbing-pasadentx.com


 


 


 

Emergency Supply List

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Supply List:

                                                                                                

 

 

If an emergency arises, are you prepared? According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), “All Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs.” It is never too soon to be equipped for anything that may happen. It is best to store your emergency kit in an easy to carry bag, that way you and your family can be ready in case you must evacuate your home.

 

Here is a minimal list that one should keep in their supply kit:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation (3-day supply for evacuation and 2-week supply for home).
  • Food: you should have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that are easy to prepare.
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered or hand cranked radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible).
  • Extra batteries.
  • First Aid kit.
  • Medication (7-day supply) and medical items.
  • Multi-purpose tool.
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies).
  • Cell phones and chargers.
  • Family and emergency contact information.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Extra Cash.
  • Local map.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities. (Tools/supplies for securing your home).
  • Can opener for food.
  • Baby supplies (if applicable).
  • Games and activities for children.
  • Pet supplies (if applicable).
  • Two-way radios.
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys.
  • Rain Gear.
  • Work gloves.
  • Extra clothing.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, and paper towels.

 

 

Along with your emergency supply kit, also make sure your family has an emergency plan set up in case a disaster strikes!

 

 

 

 

 

Content Credit: redcross.org, ready.gov

 

 

 

Believe in Yourself!

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

You and only you are the author of your own life story!

Success is measured by character and integrity!

Live each day with courage!

                                             l l .     Take pride in your work!

                                        I l l .     Always finish what you start!

Do what has to be done!

  1. Be tough, but fair!
  2. When you make a promise, keep it!

Ride for the brand!

Talk less, say more!

  1. Remember some things are not for sale!
  2. Know where to draw the line!

Taking Care of Business

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

Taking Care of Business:

 

                                                        

 

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their business successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations.

 

As a business owner, you are a leader in your community and with that comes a lot of responsibilities. You must set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.

 

Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you right back in the building after a disaster.

 

You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with disasters, and creating a plan for action should a disaster strike.

 

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 business. The ERP will include critical information about your business, such as: Emergency contact information, Shut-off Valve locations and priority areas.

 

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it occurs. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you Ready for whatever happens?” 

 

The ERP is accessible to you at no cost. For more questions concerning the ERP and planning for a disaster call your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington and let us help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”

 

Kitchen Fires

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fires:

The kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Although, kitchen fires generally begin on the stove, the damage can affect the entire kitchen or even the entire house.

Dealing with a fire in your home can be very overwhelming and devastating, but there are some easy steps that may help you cope during your loss. These helpful steps will help prevent further damage to your home:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery to prevent additional soiling.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia offers a variety of services, such as smoke and soot removal, deodorization, water removal and dehumidification, to help restore your home to preloss condition when possible. Proper remediation, can help prevent further damage such as odors, mold growth and permanent discoloration of items.

SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to help get your life back on the right track.

How to Avoid Kitchen Fires

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

How to Avoid Kitchen Fires:

 

The American Red Cross offers great steps on how to avoid kitchen fires:

 

  1. Never leave cooking food unattended- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a second turn off the stove.

 

  1. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.

 

  1. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.

 

  1. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

 

  1. Keep the kids away from the cooking area.

 

  1. Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

 

  1. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

 

  1. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.

 

  1. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

 

  1. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

 

 

For more information, please visit redcross.org or contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia at (803)755-9774.

Relax! It's Friday!!!

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Relax! It’s Friday!!!

 

As adults, we tend to forget to let ourselves relax; with work, children, and homes, it is an easy thing to do! Even as adults we must learn to take time to relax, there are many options to do so, such as….

 

  • Take a bath.
  • Light a candle.
  • Listen to music.
  • Rest your legs up on a wall.
  • Take a nap.
  • Go to a body of water.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Watch the clouds.
  • Watch the stars.
  • Write a letter.
  • Sit in nature.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Take a deep belly breath.
  • Listen to a guided relaxation.
  • Meditate
  • Write in a journal.
  • Take a walk outside.
  • Call a friend.
  • Go for a run.
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Find a relaxing scent (Lavender is great!)
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Turn off electronics.
  • Drive somewhere new.
  • Go to a park.
  • Color with crayons.
  • Stretch
  • Read poetry.
  • Love on an animal.
  • Forgive someone.
  • Dance!!!
  • View some art.
  • Read or watch something funny.
  • Get a manicure or pedicure.
  • Curl up with a hot cup of something.
  • Find something to be thankful for.
  • Spend time with family.

 

 

 

Happy Friday!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster... Now What?!

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Disaster… Now what?!


 


 


Disasters seem to strike at the worst possible moments! A disaster to your home is a horrible loss to have to be faced with. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia has highly trained technicians and state-of-the art equipment ready to respond and to properly clean and restore your home, so that it feels, "Like it never even happened"!


 


The sooner that restoration and cleanup begins, the sooner you and your family can resume your normal day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a blizzard, flood, or another type of disaster, SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia offers 24-hour services to help restore your property.


 


 


So, when a disaster takes over your home, contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia at (803)755-9774, to help get you back on the right track!

Burn Awareness

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Burn Awareness

 

According to, the American Burn Association, “Approximately 450,000 burn injuries require medical treatment each year.” A burn is damage to your body’s tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. Burns, especially if left untreated can lead to infection. Burns cause swelling, blistering, and scarring.

 

When dealing with a burn you should treat it right away by putting it in cool water for three to five minutes and cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth.

 

The kitchen is one of the most common places in your home to get burned. To prevent burns from happening, place hot objects away from an edge, where they may be pulled down or knocked over and you should always turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.

 

Remember to use dry oven mitts, because hot cookware can heat moisture in a hot pad, resulting in a scald burn.

 

In order to, keep the little one’s safe, it is a good idea to have a “kid free zone” of at least three feet around the stove. Talk to your children about how important burn safety is and remind them of what not to touch. Let them know what the risks are if they were to touch something hot and how to handle that situation.  

 

For more information on burn safety please go to Ameriburn.org.

Fun Friday

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fun Friday:

 

                                      

              Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - diced
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp red liquid food color OR 1 tbsp red gel food color
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Frosting

  • 1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Valentine M&M's & 1/8 cup Heart Shaped Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Use either non-stick foil or just use regular foil & then spray with non-stick spray & line a metal 9"x9" baking pan. (please do this- as it helps remove the brownies from the pan later on.)
  3. Stir butter & chocolate in a heavy large saucepan over low heat until all is melted.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in sugar & then eggs- one at a time.
  6. Stir in vanilla, salt & food coloring.
  7. Sift flour & baking powder & stir in & blend well.
  8. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  9. Bake until puffed & dry looking- or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some moist batter attached. (about 35-45 minutes).
  10. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

Once Cool- prepare your frosting.

  1. In small saucepan combine sweetened condensed milk & white chocolate chips.
  2. Heat until completely melted & combined.
  3. Pour immediately onto brownies while they are still in the pan.
  4. Top with your M&M's & sprinkles
  5. Allow to set before cutting. I popped mine in the refrigerator overnight.

 

 

 

Content Credit: Pinterest: Kleinworth & Co.

Photo Credit: Pinterest: Kleinworth & Co.

Where it All Began

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Where It All Began

 

 

SERVPRO has been around for many years, since 1967 to be exact! Ted and Doris Isaacson started SERVPRO as a painting business in Sacramento, CA. Ted and Doris had a background in both cleaning and restoration and transformed the business in to the SERVPRO we have today!

                                        

 

To help meet the needs of more of the US population, SERVPRO relocated to Gallatin, TN., in 1988. When SERVPRO first relocated, it consisted of 647 franchises. Today more than 1,700 individually owned and operated franchises are functioning nationwide.

 

SERVPRO’s everywhere are responding to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. SERVPRO has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

 

SERVPRO sure has come a long way since it all first began!

Getting to The Heart of The Matter

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Getting to The Heart of The Matter

                        

                               

 

 

Love is in the air this beautiful month of February. Let’s start the month off right by loving ourselves and celebrating American Heart month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. but there are preventatives to heart disease- by making healthier choices about your well-being.

 

 

Here are some helpful heart healthy tips that can help get you on the right track:

 

  • Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health. There are many ways your doctor can check to make sure you are heart healthy; they can listen to your heart, take your heart rate, check your blood pressure, check your heart by doing a physical exam, and through blood tests.
  • Add exercise to your daily routine. You don’t have to be an athlete to get started, even taking a brisk walk for thirty minutes a day can make a big difference!
  • Increase healthy eating. Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts, and non-tropical vegetable oils into your diet.
  • Take steps to quit smoking. One year, after quitting smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker’s. After five years, your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
  • Take medication as prescribed. Failing to take your medication properly can have a negative impact on your treatment; By not taking as prescribed the drug won’t work like it should.
  • Limit alcohol intake. If you’re going to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

 

 

Content Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

It's Never Too Soon To Organize

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

It’s Never Too Soon to Organize

 

Who says you can’t get a jump start on that dreadful spring cleaning and organizing? Check out these great organizing tips from Woman’s Day!

 

                      

 

  1. Who would have thought you could make your closet twice as big… by doubling up your clothes on the hanger with a can tag! Just pop the can tag of your favorite soda and place on your hanger to hang another piece of clothing and Wala two hangers in one!
  2. Getting rid of unnecessary junk!!! Go through the things you no longer use anymore and donate or toss, like old technology, books you have already read, and clothes you no longer wear.
  3. Time to Organize. Unfortunately, bills must be paid but why not organize them until you do. Creating different organizers for each bill is a great way to clean up all the loose bills that you have laying around; such as, bills to file, bills to pay, receipts to save, and so on.
  4. Taking back control… Do you have those little makeup brushes laying all around your vanity or makeup bag? Well there’s a great solution- keep your brushes upright with coffee beans or decorative rocks in a glass jar. You can also organize your eye shadow in an ice cube tray or stash your nail polish in a fish bowl.
  5. The messy drawer… Everyone has at least one messy drawer in their kitchen- but in less than an hour you can organize it all by asking yourself two questions.

-Has it been over a month since I used it?

-Do I have something else that works better?

          If you answered “yes” to both, donate it!

  1. Attack those linens!!! Tired of your family grabbing towels and unfolding all the others? Well by rolling your towels, it can make it easier to grab. Also, clean up those lose sheets by storing each set in their own pillowcase.
  2. Make your door work harder… You can use pocket shoe organizers to add more storage to your room. It’s great for storing hair tools, makeup, and so much more!
  3. Say “NO” to clutter!!! Tackle those useful but cluttering grocery bags. Grocery bags can be very useful, rather you use them for bathroom trash cans or for whatever. An empty tissue box is a great solution for storing.
  4. Get a handle on your dry foods… Never lose your favorite spice blend behind your boxes of cereal again! Give your pantry a makeover with clear containers and lazy Susan’s.
  5. Organize to clean… By organizing your cleaning supplies, you make your spray bottles easy to reach and less of a battle the next time you go to clean.

 

Well I hope these organizing tips help get you in the swing of things!

                       

                                                 Happy Organizing!!!

 

 

 

Image Credit: Woman’s Day

 

Fun Friday: Snow Day!

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Photo Credit: FrugalFun4Boys.com

Today’s Fun Friday is geared towards some winter fun with your kids. Winter here in South Carolina doesn’t always feel like winter time but why let that stop you from having some fun in the snow! Here’s a fun activity that is great for you and your kids to create your very own snow slime.

 

 

                               

 

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Liquid Starch
  • Elmer’s white school glue
  • Artificial snow (This can be found at Hobby Lobby in the Christmas crafts.)

 

 

  1. In a large bowl, stir ¼ of the bag of snow into ½ cup of glue.
  2. Stir in ½ cup of liquid starch

- After stirring, mix with your hands, it should form a slime.

- If the slime sticks to your hands, add more starch.

- If your slime won’t hold together, kneed in a little more glue.

  1. If needed, you can add more snow!
  2. Now enjoy some winter fun with your homemade snow slime!!!

 

Have a marvelous Friday!!!

 

 Content Credit: Pinterest:Things to Make and Do, Winter

Ducts In A Row

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

Ducts in a Row    

           

 

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get all your ducts in a row.

 

What a great time to use SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia’s special for January!!!!

 

For the entire month of January receive 10% off all duct cleaning! (Just mention this blog or #DUCTS17).

 

Often, we don’t think about cleaning our ducts. Out of sight out of mind, right? Well unfortunately that is not the case. A dirty duct can cause bad odors, contaminants such as mold, and dust. By having your duct work inspected and cleaned, it can potentially extend the life span of your equipment. Which in the long run can save you money!!!

 

 SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia will inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) and make any recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.

 

For more information on duct cleaning, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia at (803)755-9774.

 

Contents Restoration

8/23/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lexington is a full service emergency and restoration company. We specialize in contents cleaning and restoration, and also offer structural and 24/7 emergency restoration services to return your property – and your life – to normal. Family owned and operated, we restore properties in Southern California.

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Potential Sources

Wind and Dust Storms, Smoke and Soot from Fire, Vandalism, Water

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

If you experience an unfortunate turn of events at your property, remember to SERVPRO of Lexington, your one stop shop for cleaning and restoration.

Ready for whatever

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be "Ready for whatever happens."

SERVPRO is always thinking about the future.  They are constantly creating new and innovative ways to not only make a disaster "Like it never even happened" but to also make sure that you, the customer, the one in need, is at least somewhat prepared for a disaster.  One of their newest innovations is the Emergency Ready Profile.  Never heard of it?  Well, that's just a shame!

The Emergency Ready Profile is necessary information that can be accessed either via website or mobile app in the midst of a disaster.  This profile contains where water shut offs are, all emergency contacts, and where electricity shut offs are.  Unfortunately, not everyone in your home or workplace knows this information.  Let's say that one of your coworkers decides to stay late in the office.  He or she is the only one there.  There is a plumbing malfunction and the toilet never ceases running.  The coworker does not notice this for hours until the water has seeped into his or her office.  Now, there is a problem.  The coworker panics.  They do not know who they should be calling, where the shutoffs are, etc.  Instead they frantically call their manager.  Meanwhile, the water is still seeping through the office because it has not been shut off.  More water damage is made and perhaps some items even become unsalvageable.  But, a plumbing malfunction did not have to lead to such a disastrous situation.  Some of the damage could have been elevated by one valuable mobile app.  

The Emergency Ready Profile is great for anyone and everyone.  But it helps businesses more than anyone.  50% of businesses that go through disastrous situations never reopen their doors.  If some of the damage could be prevented by having informed employees and employers, perhaps that percentage would be lower.  

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation."  So, why wouldn't you prepare yourself and your business for a possible disaster?  Unfortunately, disasters occur every day, both small and large.  By being prepared, when this day arrives, you will be preventing further damage.  

Call SERVPRO of Lexington today at 803-755-9774 to set up an appointment with Denea Laurier.  She will come by and set up the Emergency Ready Profile for you, your household or your business, free of charge.  As they say, the best things in life are free! 

5 steps to Mold Remediation

8/16/2016 (Permalink)

Five steps that each mold-removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation includes:

  1. Determine the degree of contamination. The first step for a mold remediation specialist to determine the extent of the mold damage and test for contamination within the facility. Because mold spores and other microscopic contaminants can travel easily throughout a building, they may collect and analyze samples from affected as well as unaffected areas of the building. Once finished the inspection they will develop a remediation plan for the mold removal specialist with steps to return the home to its pre-loss condition (Condition 1).
  1. Set up and verify containment. To make sure mold contamination does not spread to other areas of a facility, the mold remediation specialist will set up containment by creating isolation barriers. Once the barriers are set up, the specialist will need to verify the containment with a lower partial pressure differential (negative pressure) to ensure there is no air leakage between containment zones. Exit chambers would then be used to serve as a transition between the containment and the unaffected area of the building. Once the containment is verified and the correct amount of pressure is achieved, the removal process can begin.
  1. Remove non-salvageable materials. Porous materials and items that cannot be restored or cleaned effectively must be carefully discarded.  Non-salvageable items include but are not limited to drywall, insulation and other items with visible mold growth. It is important for the specialist to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include a full face respirator, disposable coveralls and nitrile gloves.
  1. Clean surfaces with a high-attention to detail. A mold remediation specialist will likely begin the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. He or she will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  1. Verify remediation. Once cleaning is complete, and verify the remediation was successful. The area must be returned to the dry standard and should be visually dust free with no malodor.

 Mold remediation requires mold removal specialists to perform techniques that promote source removal rather than relying on chemicals, paints and coatings as a replacement.  Understanding and managing air flow is also critical to the success of a mold remediation project. 

Flooding and Water Emergencies

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Lexington provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Lexington arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 803-755-9774

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
  • Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.
  • 48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
  • More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
  • About SERVPRO of Lexington

    SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    South Carolina's Peanut Party

    8/12/2016 (Permalink)

    In the spirit of South Carolina’s Annual Peanut Party in Pelion on 8/12/2016. Here is a yummy recipe for boiled peanuts.

    Boiled Peanuts Recipe

    Prep time

    5 mins

    Cook time

    24 hours

    Total time

    24 hours 5 mins

    Boiled Peanuts are a favorite southern treat! Get this delicious, easy boiled peanuts recipe that you'll love!

    Serves: 12

    Ingredients

      1. 3 pounds green peanuts
      2. ¼ cup salt
      3. 6 cups water

    Instructions

      1. Rinse peanuts until the water runs clear.
      2. Place into slow cooker. Add in salt and pour in water.
      3. Cook for 12 hours on high setting, checking occasionally to add more water if needed.
      4. Turn slow cooker to warm setting and allow to sit in slow cooker for another 9-12 hours.
      5. Serve straight from the slow cooker to keep warm, straining off brine and pouring into cups or bowls.

    Biohazard

    8/11/2016 (Permalink)

    Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk. Sewer backups and flood water are two common biohazard scenarios that can affect homes and businesses. SERVPRO of Lexington has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.

    Need Biohazard Cleanup? Call Us Today – 803-755-9774

    After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.
  • Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • What to Do After a Contamination

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.
  • What Not to Do After a Contamination

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
  • 24 Hour Emergency Service

    Biohazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Lexington has water damage restoration specialists and has specific training and expertise to safely remediate biohazard contaminants.

    HVAC Duct Cleaning

    8/10/2016 (Permalink)

    Has your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention? It could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates throughout your home or business. Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. You should make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business. Call SERVPRO of Lexington today, and we are more than happy to inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) and provide you with advice on what type of cleaning service your system should need.  Keeping your ducts and HVAC unit clean can extend the life of the equipment and make the system function more efficiently, saving you money on the heating and cooling costs as well as providing cleaner air to breathe in your home or business. 

    Shocking!!!!

    8/9/2016 (Permalink)

    According to the US Department of Energy, people use electricity to charge their cell phones and laptops, wash and dry their clothes, cook meals, brew their morning cup of coffee and heat their businesses. Electrical power keeps people connected and allows people to do what they need to do. Even though most Americans recognize the benefits that come with electrical power, they must also understand that there is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously to avoid injury or possible disaster.

    According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 50,000 fires in the home are attributed to electrical fires. These have resulted in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries. The damage that has been done has totaled to more than $1.3 billion. Obviously, being careless with electrical power has very serious consequences.

    The experts at SERVPRO recommend that individuals follow these safety measures in their business and home to reduce the risk of electrical fires: 

    • Inspect your home and business for loose wires, faulty wiring, and shorts. If there are any issues, contact a qualified electrician. Also, use safety covers on outlets to protect children. 

    • Make sure there are smoke detectors on each level of your home or business. Test them each month to make sure they are working properly.

    • If electrical equipment is making strange sounds or has a weird odor, turn them off. If there is water damage on your property, make sure that an expert inspects all electrical appliances. Do not plug them in or turn them on until they are safe. When water has damaged electrical appliances, they can be very dangerous.

    • Use safe cord practices. When cords are loose, frayed or cracked, repair them or replace them. Never place cords in high traffic areas, under rugs, or stapled to surfaces. Additional outlets can be installed by an electrician if necessary. Extension cords should only be utilized temporarily.

    • Light bulb wattage should be correct for the appliance being used.

    • During spring cleaning and while working near service meters or electrical lines, use caution. Consider hiring a professional to do the work if it is dangerous.

    • Flammable items should be kept away from electrical appliances.

    • Consider installing an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to reduce the chances of electrical fire in your home.

    • Avoid using electrical power tools outside after it has rained, or the area is wet. Never operate electrical equipment while barefoot.

    • Do not allow children to climb trees near power lines. Reduce the risk of electrical-related injuries by keeping balloons, kites, and other items away from overhead lines.

    Prevention is the best method to keep your family and property safe. If you have experienced property damage because of fire, you can rely on SERVPRO of Lexington.

    Summer Olympics

    8/8/2016 (Permalink)

    August 2016, time for the Summer Olympics in Rio!!!

    Did you know why the Olympic flag is a white background with five interlaced rings in the center?

    (Blue, Black, Red, Yellow and Green)

    Blue is for Australia, because it's surrounded by water.

    Black is for Europe, because it's in the center and that's where the Olympic Games started.

    Red is for Asia, because Chinese lucky color is red.

    Yellow is for Africa, because of Sahara desert.

    Green is for America, because we have a lot of National Parks. 

    This design is symbolic: it represents the five continents of the world united by olympism. While the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at this time. 

    National Friendship Day

    8/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Growing up, I spent countless hours making colorful friendship bracelets. What a wonderful way to celebrate National Friendship day on 8/7/2016. Here are instructions for one of my favorite patterns – hearts!

    You will need embroidery thread in two colors. Measure the thread using twice the length of your arm (from your fingertips to your shoulder and then back to your fingertips) for each string. Cut it. Do this two times for each color, fold them in half and knot them to form a loop. You should have a total of eight strings to work with, four of each color. Secure the loop using a clipboard or a safety pin attached to a pillow, your jeans… whatever works as long as it is held tightly and securely.

    The basics:

    Hold the second string with your left hand as you use your right hand to take the first string over and then under the second string. Pull the first string through so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding together the bracelet. Do this two times to make each knot. Hold on to that first string with your right hand! For the next knot going right, repeat these steps holding the third string in your left hand. Keep working with the first string as you work your way to the middle – for this pattern you will need to make three knots across in each direction. After three knots, make another knot to join the first and eighthstrings in the middle.

    Hold the seventh string with your right hand as you use your left hand to take the eighth string over and then under the seventh string. Pull the first string through so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding together the bracelet. Do this two times to make each knot. Hold on to that first string with your left hand! For the next knot going left, repeat these steps holding the sixth string in your right hand. Keep working with the eighth string as you work your way to the middle – for this pattern you will need to make three knots across in each direction. After three knots, make another knot to join the first and eighthstrings in the middle.

    The pattern:

    1:Lay your strings out as shown. The color of the first and eighth thread will be the color of the heart shape.

    2:Make your first row by following the instructions for making a row of knots going right and then left. Remember to join the two threads you were knotting with in the middle.

    3:Make a second row of knots in the same way, this time with the second color.

    4:Take the second string and knot it around the first string going left. Then, take the seventh string and knot it around the eighth string going right.

    5:Fill in the space between the knots you made in step 4 with the first color by knotting the second string around the third and fourth strings going right and then the seventh string around the sixth and fifth strings going left. Join them in the middle. This step forms the top of the heart.

    6:Take the second string and knot it around the first string going left. Knot the seventh string around the eighth going right. This step forms the outermost points of the heart.

    7:Fill in the heart with the second color by making two knots to the right with the second string and two knots to the left with the seventh string. Join them in the middle.

    8:To form the bottom of the heart, take the first string and knot it around the second and third strings going right. Next, take the eighth string and knot it around the seventh and sixth strings going left. Join the first and eighth strings in the middle.

    9:Keep repeating these steps until you’ve made a bracelet. Have fun!

    Back to School Drive Reminder

    8/4/2016 (Permalink)

    Back to School Drive Reminder

    SERVPRO of Lexington has partnered with Giles Insurance to host a Back To School Supply Drive for underprivileged children in Lexington County. Our goal is to fill 300 backpacks and we will be distributing the backpacks on August 6, 2016 at 10am at The Church of Christ on Sunset Blvd.

    For more information on SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington, please contact Denea Laurier at (803)755-9774.  

    Returning home after Summer break or Vacations

    8/3/2016 (Permalink)

    The spring semester ends and students head home to visit with friends and families.  When they leave their apartment, home, townhome, or condo, they assume that upon their return everything will be just as they left it.  That, unfortunately, is not always the case.

    With the return of college students and summer vacationers alike, we have had a massive influx in mold remediation jobs.  People return to their homes to either find their walls, floors and belongings covered in mold.  Most have no idea what caused it or what to do next!  That's where we come in.  

    Primary causes of Mold growth include but are certainly not limited to:  water intrusion, the improper dry out of water damage, flooding, high humidity levels, and a broken or turned off air conditioning unit.  In the case of a home that is left empty for the summer, finding mold upon returning is very common.  In general, the cause is a turned off air conditioning unit.  NEVER turn off your air conditioner.  South Carolina has an extremely high humidity level.  A high humidity level is the perfect condition for mold growth.  An air conditioner set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, at the very highest, will keep the cost of your electrical bill low all while circulating the air in your home and preventing mold growth.  

    The second most common cause behind mold growth is an unknown water intrusion.  If you plan to leave your home empty over the summer, have a friend or neighbor whom you trust periodically stop by to monitor the condition of your home.  For example, we experienced plenty of heavy rainfall this summer, as Florida normally does.  What if you have any unknown leak in your roof?  Water damage will occur.  Unfortunately if no one is in the home to catch this, the water damage will only get worse.  The wet walls, flooring, etc. are breeding grounds for mold.  While you are away enjoying your summer, mold is infesting your home.  But sometimes, you don't even have to have an uninhabited home for this to occur!  If water damage occurs in your home, whether it be from indoor or outdoor sources, handle it properly.  Water damage that is not dried properly will result in mold.  Water mitigation might not be the cheapest process, but mold remediation can certainly be more expensive.  The longer water damage lingers without being handled properly, the more damage that is created.

    Cleaning the Car

    8/2/2016 (Permalink)

    Most of us spend a lot of time inside our cars. Keeping your car’s interior clean is more than a matter of pride. It’s a health issue. Dirt contains grit and chemicals that can be harmful to breath and eat away the surfaces of your car’s interior. Generally speaking, the same procedures and products that you use at home work quite well in your car.

    Clean the interior before you do the exterior. The most effective thing you can do is vacuum the seats first, remove and clean the floor mats, and then vacuum the carpets. Dust the dashboard, rear window shelf, and other surfaces, and use swabs or a toothbrush to get into A/C vents, around dashboard knobs, and other tight places. Aerosol cans of air used for cleaning cameras and computers can force dust from tiny apertures.

    Never use a dry rag or paper towels to clean the plastic lenses on instrument panel gauges. Small, dry particles of dust and grit can scratch the surface. If the lenses are clouded, use a plastic cleaner sparingly with a clean, damp terry cloth rag or sponge. Excess moisture can damage electronic instruments.

    You can use the same products to clean car upholstery and carpeting that you use to clean your chairs, sofas, and rugs. Keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid using large quantities of water; you don’t want to get the padding under the fabric wet or rust the upholstery buttons, if there are any. Avoid sponges, working instead with damp rags wherever possible. If you think that you’ve gotten things too wet, use a portable hair dryer to dry the padding quickly and evaporate water from around buttons and seams.
  • To keep upholstery from fading and deteriorating, park the vehicle facing in a different direction as often as possible so that the sun doesn’t keep hitting the same surfaces. During dry seasons, keep a window or the sunroof open a crack to prevent heat from building up inside. It can dissolve fabric adhesives and crack vinyl seat covers.
  • Vinyl seats and interiors and plastic surfaces such as dashboards, steering wheels, and interior moldings usually respond well to water and a mild soap or dish detergent, but you may have to resort to special vinyl-cleaning products if you’ve let things get out of hand.

    Protect all vinyl and plastic surfaces from sunlight and heat with products designed for those materials. While you’re at it, use them or a spray silicone lubricant on dashboards, weather stripping, vinyl or rubber floor mats, and tires, too, to prevent them from cracking and drying out and to keep them supple. Avoid oil- and petroleum-based products that can damage vinyl and leave it brittle.

    If you’re lucky enough to have leather seats in your vehicle, take care of them. If properly cared for, leather can last a long time but, like all skin, it dries out and ages prematurely if it’s not kept clean and moisturized.

    Family Fun Month

    8/1/2016 (Permalink)

    Each year, Family Fun Month is celebrated throughout the month of August.  It is the opportune time to enjoy family with extra fun and activities.

    CELEBRATE

    Make some time this month for family fun. 

    You may want to:

    ·         Order pizza and watch a movie in the backyard

    ·         Go camping

    ·         Take a vacation

    ·         Go out for ice cream

    ·         Enjoy a backyard campfire

    ·         Build a backyard fort

    ·         Family bike ride

    ·         Day trip to the zoo

    ·         Fishing

    ·         Hiking

    ·         Day at the park

    ·         Make a talent show

    ·         Cook meals together

    ·         Have a karaoke night

    During a Tornado

    7/28/2016 (Permalink)

    If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

    During a Tornado

    If you are in:          

    A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)            

    Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

    In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

    Put on sturdy shoes.

    Do not open windows.

    A manufactured home or office               

    Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

    The outside with no shelter      

    If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision.

    Possible actions include:

    Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.

    Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

    Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

    In all situations:

    Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

    Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

    Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

    Tornado Preparation

    7/27/2016 (Permalink)

    Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

    To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

    Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

    Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

    Look for the following danger signs:

    Dark, often greenish sky

    Large hail

    A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)

    Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

    If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

    Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:

    They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

    They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.

    The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.

    The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.

    Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.

    Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

    Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.

    Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.

    Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

    Tornado 101

    7/26/2016 (Permalink)

    Tornado 101

    What is a tornado?

    A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

    Where do tornadoes occur?

    Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Even New Zealand reports about 20 tornadoes each year. Two of the highest concentrations of tornadoes outside the U.S. are Argentina and Bangladesh.

    How many tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year?

    About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.

    Where is tornado alley?

    Tornado Alley is a nickname invented by the media for a broad area of relatively high tornado occurrence in the central U.S. Various Tornado Alley maps look different because tornado occurrence can be measured many ways: by all tornadoes, tornado county-segments, strong and violent tornadoes only, and databases with different time periods. Please remember, violent or killer tornadoes do happen outside “Tornado Alley” every year.

    When are tornadoes most likely?

    Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.

    What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?

    Tornado WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center . Meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.

    Tornado WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office, meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area. This means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.

    Content Credit: nssl.noaa.gov

    The Best Ever Pie

    7/25/2016 (Permalink)

    We have had lots of birthday’s here at SERVPRO of Lexington in July. Here is one of our teammates favorite, summer, birthday treats.

    BEST EVER BLUEBERRY PIE

    INGREDIENTS

    Crust

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2/3 cup cold Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into chunks

    4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

    Filling

    3/4 cup sugar1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon5 cups fresh blueberries

    DIRECTIONS

    Heat oven to 400°F.

    Combine 2 cups flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.

    Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap 1 dough ball in plastic food wrap; refrigerate. Roll out remaining dough ball on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into ungreased 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan.

    Combine sugar, 1/2 cup flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl; mix well. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon blueberry mixture into prepared pie crust.

    Roll out refrigerated dough ball on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Place dough over filling. Seal, trim and crimp or flute edge. Cut 8-10 slits in crust. Cover edge of crust with 2-inch strip of aluminum foil.

    Bake 35 minutes; remove foil. Continue baking 10-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

    Cool pie 30 minutes; serve warm. Store refrigerated.

    Parent's Day Stress Relievers

    7/22/2016 (Permalink)

    July 24th is Parent’s Day. Here are some things to do to help take the stress off of parents after working so hard to provide for others.

    21 Stress Reducing Self Care Ideas

    1. Take a bath

    2. Go for a walk

    3.  Buy yourself some flowers

    4.  Indulge in your favorite treat

    5. Put on an uplifting song and dance around

    6. Read a book or a magazine that you like

    7. Curl up with a hot cup of something

    8. Go to the park and enjoy nature

    9. Get a manicure or a pedicure

    10. Get a massage

    11. Stretch

    12. Cook a new dish

    13. Watch a good movie

    14. Meet up with a friend

    15. Spend time with your pets

    16. Write an entry in a journal about how awesome you are

    17. Do something artistic

    18. Clean your environment (Call SERVPRO)

    19. Take yourself out on a date

    20. Find something to be thankful for

    21. Enjoy a nice clean carpet (Call SERVPRO) 

    Vote for your Favorite Teacher

    7/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Nominate your favorite teacher in Lexington School District 1,2,3,4 to win an Happy Planner Teacher Planner and Classroom Swag! Explain what impact they have had on their students and why they should win! Please include-- Teachers Name, School and Grade they teach!
    Please email entries to denea@SERVPROlexingtonsc.com Winners will be picked August 5!

    Cleaning Service Experts

    7/20/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO OF LEXINGTON ARE TRUSTED CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY CLEANING SERVICE EXPERTS. 

    We understand the wear and tear that your carpet is exposed to on a daily basis.  With regular cleaning service you will prolong the life of your carpet, prevent matting of the high traffic areas and promote a healthier environment – all while protecting your investment.

    What you get with SERVPRO’s Carpet Cleaning Services:

  • Hot Water Extraction
  • Truck Mounted Steam Cleaning
  • Bonded, Insured, Uniformed & Supervised Staff
  • Equipment, Supplies & Transportation Provided
  • Courteous and Friendly Staff
  • IN ADDITION TO STEAM CLEANING YOUR CARPETS WE CAN TREAT HARD TO REMOVE STAINS, MANAGE ODOR CONTROL, AND APPLY A PROTECTIVE SCOTCH GUARD LAYER

    Learn more about our Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services contact us at (803) 755-9774

    When the smell still lingers

    7/19/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Lexington is here when you’ve tried everything but the smell still lingers

    Nasty odors like cigarette smoke, pet urine and food permeates into our furniture, carpets, walls, windows, and just about every other nook and cranny in our homes, making it particularly difficult to eliminate.

    SERVPRO is able to pull the odors out of carpets, drapes, furniture, clothing and bedding. We also work in your car or recreational vehicle, pulling the odors from the carpet and upholstery.

    SERVPRO eliminates odors for a sanitized, pure, and healthy clean.  Odor removal … We got this.

    We literally clear the air and penetrate surfaces and objects within the space. Not only can we eliminate odors like cigarette smoke and strong food smells. We can also kill, eliminate & neutralize bacteria, allergens, viruses and mold.

    SERVPRO can come to your home, office, vehicle, recreational vehicle and anywhere else to remove lingering odors including:

  • Cigarette/tobacco smoke
  • Pet odors
  • Smoke and fire damage
  • Food smells
  • Stale smells
  • After water damage
  • Mold and musty smells
  • Allergens & Air Quality
  • F.U.N.G.I

    7/18/2016 (Permalink)

    While there are many differences between the two fungi, mold and mildew both develop and thrive in moist conditions. A leaking roof, a window that doesn’t seal properly, and a basement with water damage caused by a broken pipe can all lead to the growth of mildew and mold. In order to reduce the risk of health effects and damage to building materials, mildew and mold in the home or a business need immediate mold remediation.

    Mildew vs Mold

    Plain and simple, mildew and mold are fungi. Fungi can live in many different types of habitats such as in soil, on vegetation, and on surfaces exposed to moist conditions like a wall or ceiling after flood damage. Fungi reproduce by spores and quickly can spread.

    What is mildew? Mildew is mold in its early stage and often the term is used interchangeably with the word mold. That whitish-gray, powdery substance sometimes seen on the leaves of a plant is mildew. Mildew is a surface fungi that grows on organic material like plants and food as well as wood or fibrous items like:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Cardboard/paperboard
  • Wallpaper
  • Fabric
  • How is it different from Mold? Mold ranges in color from green to gray, brownish and black. It may appear fuzzy, flat or even slimy. Green slimy mold may develop in the damp, shady areas of decks and even vinyl siding, while indoors, mold can develop on grout, tile and other surfaces found in and around bathrooms and other areas with high humidity and inadequate ventilation.

    Pro Tip: Slimy mold on decks, fences and siding often can be removed using a pressure washer. Always wear proper safety protection when dealing with mold and working with tools.

    Dangers of Mildew and Mold

    In a battle between mildew vs mold, which presents more problems and danger? It depends on several factors.

    The powdery mildew often found on the leaves of a houseplant, typically poses little danger to you, but it can harm the plant. However, anyone that suffers from mold allergies should avoid touching that mildew. If contact occurs, wash hands thoroughly and never touch your face/eyes/nose after coming in contact with mildew.

    The Need for Mold Remediation

    Mold and mildew, if ignored, can cause long-term health issues and physical damage to a home or business. Mold found anywhere in a building, such as behind drywall, on insulation, around windows and along basement walls has developed because there is a moisture problem. To avoid further damage, it’s essential to locate and correct the source of the moisture and then remove all traces of mold.

    Any home or business that’s suffered any type of water damage (from firefighting efforts, roof leak, burst pipe or flood) needs professional assessment quickly. Contact SERVPRO of Lexington immediately after any water disaster; mold can begin developing within 24 to 48 hours. Trust our professional technicians for a comprehensive mold remediation plan. Call (803) 755-9774.

    Peach Overload??

    7/15/2016 (Permalink)

    Vanilla Honey Peach Butter

    This sweet vanilla honey peach butter is the perfect way to use up all those summer peaches. Easy to make and easy to follow canning instructions.

    Makes 6 HALF PINT JARS

    Prep time: 60 minutes 

    Cook time: 30 minutes 

    Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 vanilla beans, scrape the seed out
  • DIRECTIONS:

    In and 8 - 10 quart heavy pot, combine peaches and the water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer cover, for 10 - 15 minutes or until peaches are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

    Use a blender or food processor to puree peach mixture, in batches, until smooth. Return peach puree to same pot. Add sugar, honey and vanilla bean seeds and empty vanilla pod. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolve - reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and mounds on a spoon, stirring often.

    Take out vanilla pods and ladle hot peach butter into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids.

    Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner, cool on wire racks. (Makes 4 - 6 8oz. jelly jars of peach butter)

    Summer Home Upgrades

    7/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Here is a list of 7 easy summer upgrades you can do in your home this month.

    1.       Inspect porches

    You’ll want to check your porches for rotting, so that you can replace any old boards that might be damaged.

    2.       Organize attic

    This is a great way to de-clutter your home.  Throw away those items that have been stored up there for so long or maybe even sell them in a yard sale!

    3.       Head off spring allergies

    You can prevent allergens from spreading deep into your home by placing a door mat at each entrance of your home.  An even better way to be sure you aren’t bringing in allergens and pollens from the ground is to remove your shoes before entering your home.  This will also keep your carpets cleaner!

    4.       Check for termites

    And if you have a problem, call an exterminator!

    5.       Re-caulk around the tubs

    Ensure that no water is seeping behind the bathroom tiles by replacing your old caulk with new.  This can prevent extensive water damages.

    6.       Refresh old potting soil

    If your plants last year were healthy, then you can reuse the soil.

    7.       Plant a tree

    Refresh your front lawn, bring in the shade. 

    Hurricanes and tropical Storms

    7/13/2016 (Permalink)

    There were only four hurricanes and seven tropical storms in 2015. A typical hurricane season, which runs from June through Nov. 30, typically sees six hurricanes. The 2016 NOAA forecast calls for a total of 10 to 16 named storms, including both tropical storms and hurricanes. This year's Hurricane Alex, a rare January hurricane, counts as one of these named storms. Tropical Storm Bonnie, which made landfall in South Carolina on Saturday (May 28), is the year's second named storm.

    The forecast predicts between four and eight named storms may become hurricanes—organized, rotating storms with sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or faster. Between one and four could become major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 storms or above—or those hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph (179 km/h).

    If you don’t have a storm plan prepared or if you have one that hasn’t been updated in quite some time then now is a good time to revisit your plan and make adjustments accordingly.  It is also a good idea to put together a basic storm kit to have ready.  This should include water, non-perishable food items, and battery-powered weather radio along with extra batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, maps, and solar-powered chargers.  These are just some of our suggestions that can help you in a disaster.  As far as your business goes, SERVPRO can help you devise a plan to prepare your business for disaster and help get you back up and running quicker.

    Back To School Drive

    7/12/2016 (Permalink)

    LOCAL SERVPRO FRANCHISE HOSTING SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE


    West Columbia, SC -- July 11, 2016-- SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ and Lexington, a local cleanup and restoration company, announced today it has partnered with Giles Insurance to host a Back To School Supply Drive for underprivileged children in Lexington County. Our goal is to fill 300 backpacks and we will be distributing the backpacks on August 6, 2016 at 10am at The Church of Christ on Sunset Blvd.
    “As the owner of a family owned business and a new father, it’s important for the community to come together to help children in the community have a successful school year”, said Taylor Williams, owner of SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington.


    “We’re proud to be apart of this community, and this is our way to give back after so much has been given to us.”


    You can drop off all supplies and backpacks at 3 locations. Giles Insurance-- 2442 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205, Greater Cayce/ West Columbia Chamber Office-- 1006 12th St, Cayce, SC 29033 or SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia Office-- 1831 Pine Street West Columbia, SC 29170 .  


    The backpacks and supplies will be distributed on August 6, at The Church of Christ 1303 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia, SC 29169.


    For more information on SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington, please contact Denea Laurier at (803)755-9774.   

    Social Wellness Month

    7/11/2016 (Permalink)

    In the Spirit of July being Social wellness month SERVPRO of Lexington would like to share a quote that rings true with our SERVPRO family.

    “We believe in the power of determination, singleness of purpose and unwavering commitment to our most important goals and priorities”.

    We believe that our team, together and individually will continue to grow and attain new skills and techniques to become more effective not only in our professional lives but our personal ones as well. By investing ourselves we will improve our ability to lead our team to excellence.

    We encourage you to also maintain a never quit attitude. Never quit growing. Never quit reaching your goals. Never quit focusing on what’s important- our faith, family and friends. SERVPRO of Lexington “Here to help”.

    Picnic Time???

    7/8/2016 (Permalink)

    Its picnic season again!!! Whether you are headed to the beach, to a park or right in your own backyard. Here is a fun Picnic recipe from our SERVPRO family yours!!!

    Pasta salad meets green salad in this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. A great summer Picnic side but hearty enough to serve for dinner on its own.

    Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

    Ingredients

    Meat

  • 3/4 lb Chicken breast, boneless skinless thin
  • Produce

  • 1/3 cup Basil, fresh
  • 1 1/2 cups Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Green onions
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce
  • Condiments

  • 1/3 cup Caesar salad dressing, store bought or homemade
  • Pasta & Grains

  • 1 lb Fusili or rotini pasta
  • Baking & Spices

  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp Garlic pepper
  • Bread & Baked Goods

  • 1 1/2 cups Croutons, store bought or homemade
  • Dairy

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Instructions

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook thin sliced chicken for about 3 or 4 minutes per side, seasoning with garlic pepper as it cooks. When chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center, remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Chop chicken into small bite-size pieces, squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the top and toss to combine. Allow to cool while assembling the salad.
    2. In a large mixing bowl combine cooked and cooled pasta, romaine, tomatoes, green onion, and basil. Add Caesar salad dressing and toss to combine. Add cooked, chopped chicken (which should be slightly cool by now), plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and the croutons. Toss again, sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and serve.

    Content Credit: fromvalerieskitchen.com

    Better Insulation lowers cooling costs

    7/7/2016 (Permalink)

    During this heat wave is your air-conditioner working over time? Did you know that one of the most efficient ways of making your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic??  If you have an unfinished attic, pop your head up there and take a look around.  You should see about 6 inches of insulation there between the beams.  If you have an inadequate amount of it or if it appears to be damaged you’re going to install new.  Many states offer financial incentives, up to a 75% refund for instance, to encourage homeowners to better insulate their homes.  

    Severe Weather Awareness

    7/6/2016 (Permalink)

    While the summer season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the fall months as well, In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

    While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact your local SERVPRO of Lexington to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm. 

    Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.               
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  •  During the Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  •  Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  •  After the Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Below is a recommended items for basic emergency supply list

     Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  •  Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  •  Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Contaminated Water

    7/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.

    The three types of contaminated water:

    Category 1: "Clean Water"

    This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
  • Category 2: "Gray Water"

    This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
  • Category 3: "Black Water"

    This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
  • Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today (803) 775-9774

    Firework Safety

    7/1/2016 (Permalink)

    Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. 230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

    Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How?

    Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
  • Content Credit: fireworksafety.org

    Worry Free Vacation

    6/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of Lexington

    Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact

  • Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
  • A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
  • Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
  • Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail. 
  • The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back.
  • Take plumbing and electric precautions

  • Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
  • Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
  • Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60 in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.
  •  Right before you leave

  • Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
  • Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
  • Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.
  •  If you come back from vacation and encounter damage within your home, call SERVPRO of Lexington (803) 755-9774. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in Lexington and surrounding areas.

    Fire Alarms are important

    6/27/2016 (Permalink)

    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 resuSmoke 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 from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • 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) 755-9774lt from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • 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

    Summer Fun Safety Tips

    6/24/2016 (Permalink)

    Summer Sun Safety Tips

    Whether you are simply planning to spend some time in the sunshine at home this summer or you’ve got a vacation coming up, protect your skin from the sun and keep it healthy with sun safety tips and recommendations from SERVPRO of Lexington.

    ·         60% of adults reported being sunburnt in the past year

    ·         1 oz of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body and reapplied every 2 hours.

    ·         Only broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15% or higher can protect skin from UVA and UVB rays

    ·         The sun’s rays are the strongest from 10am to 4 pm. Limit your time in the sun during these hours

    ·         Sunscreen expires within two to three years but your bottle shouldn’t last for that long.

    ·         A family of 4 should use an entire bottle of sunscreen during a long weekend.

    ·         It only take 10 mins for a baby’s skin to burn, but sunscreen is not safe for infants under 6 months. Keep babies out of the sun.

    ·         30 mins is the average time it take for sunscreen to soak into the skin and work effectively

    ·         You will still need sunscreen on a cloudy day. 80 % of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and fog.

    ·         There is no SPF with 100% protection. SPF 15 blocks out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks out 97%

    ·         Sunscreen is only 1 level of defense. Add wide- brimmed hats, protective clothing and sunglasses for more coverage.

    ·         The risk of melanoma is 75% higher for those who have used tanning beds before the age of 35.

    ·         Water- resistant isn’t water resistant forever. You need to reapply after only 80 mins in the water.

    Content Sources: www.webmd.com and www.cdc.com 

    Specialty Cleaning

    6/22/2016 (Permalink)

    Did your tenants leave behind a mess when they moved out? 

    SERVPRO of Lexington is able to provide a wide verity of services. When the job gets too tough for the average cleaner and requires some special skill, SERVPRO is there to help get the job done. 

    Whether it's a hoarder’s home, or the elderly who are looking to downsize SERVPRO is able to apply their special skills to make a safe, clean and sanitary area for others. 

    Cleaning of Air Ducts

    6/20/2016 (Permalink)

    This is a photo of a filter after a duct cleaning was conducted in a commercial building. By completing the duct cleaning, the air quality has improved in the building for all employees. According to NADCA, "Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality."

    Call us today at 803-755-9774 for an estimate

    Ozone? What's that?

    6/16/2016 (Permalink)

    The use of ozone among restoration professionals has become widely accepted.  It is most commonly used in this field as a high grade deodorization technique that can combat strong odors like pet odor and even smoke. While proving successful in these areas, the practice of using ozone has expanded into microbial remediation as in certain concentrations of O3 proves lethal. The EPA has released recent information that Ozone use should not be used in mold remediation as hyphae and spores are not eliminated during the process, thus potential allergen agents still exist. The IICRC, our industry standard, even suggests against the use of nontraditional forms of mold remediation; however, countless professionals still insist that this technique is effective. This literary review hopes to shine some light on this particular subject and the potential for advanced technology in microbiological remediation.

    What is Ozone and how does it Work?                         

    Ozone is the triatomic form of oxygen. While atmospheric oxygen (O2) remains the more commonly known molecule, ozone, or O3, has an additional oxygen atom that reacts with other molecules. In this way, this unstable atom will react with other atoms to break them down, thus neutralizing odors.

    Building Ecology and the Effects of Indoor Pollution

    Building composition, activity, and use all relate to indoor environmental condition. While several baselines have been created to determine air quality, building ecology is relatively based upon its occupant’s sensitivity to their surroundings. Pollution generation within comes from any number of primary or secondary agents including bio effluents, mold, smoke, byproducts of HVAC systems, and various other Volatile Organic Compounds. In reality, VOC’s, by comparison, are consistently higher indoors than outdoors. Normal use (cooking, water heating, cooling and moving, cleaning products) produces VOC’s that pass through filters and HVAC units and can cause irritation or allergies to its patrons. For this reason, it is important to constantly monitor indoor environments, especially when considering your ventilation systems (Air Ducts, HVAC, Returns, and Vents). 

    The Transition of Ozone Use to Improve Indoor Air Quality

    Ozone has been used heavily in water purification efforts for some time to deter biological growth. In 1997, ozone use was accepted as generally safe for food contact applications (U.S. FDA 1997). Currently, it is used for the post-harvest treatment of fish and fruit, in order to remove the presence of mycotoxin contamination (mold growth) and insects. Eventually school of thought transferred to the restoration industry. If ozone could deter mold growth in fruit and vegetable processing, could it remove mold growth in homes?

    According to one study conducted in 2008, ozone was reported to have successfully inactivated colony-forming fungal units both in a laboratory and simulated field condition on various surfaces. The question then becomes does inactive mold still present a hazard to occupants and is this sufficient for remediation purposes?

    Modern Day Mold Removal, Remediation, and Treatment

    The EPA has completed several reviews on the current status of mold remediation processes and the use of ozone across throughout the industry (EPA, 1996). Current OSHA and EPA guidelines shy away from ozone use for indoor air pollution as the positives often outweigh the negatives. Both occupants and technicians could be at risk of respiratory issues if ozone is used improperly or at too high of a concentration. In addition, both inactive and active mold particulates can cause the same health affects if inhaled.

    If used properly however, ozone may be used in conjunction with other cleaning methods. A pre-ozone treatment could potentially limit hazards to employees prior to remediation. While source control should always be the number one priority in any hazardous remediation effort, shunning technology will limit the efficiency of air quality improvement.

    Other Technological Advances Used In Microbial Remediation

    Efforts have been made to reduce the impacts of mold removal through other means as well. blasting, hydroxylase, and even UV light disbursement have all entered into the restoration industry as means to assist in the sanitization of an affected area. These methods take additional training and in some cases additional safety precautions for technicians that are completing the projects. These techniques, while effective in disinfecting areas, still need to be combined with more traditional types of remediation (Containments, Negative Air Pressure, Air Scrubbing, etc.) in order to properly remove mold growth.

    Indoor air quality should be constantly monitored, as air pollution can be caused by a variety of issues. If you think you have a mold problem, please don’t hesitate to call in a professional as these problems get worse with time. Mold can hurt the value of a home, but it can be easily treated if the right company is hired to remediate the problem. Make sure that your remediation company isn’t doing more harm than good in your home

    Ohhh That Smell

    6/15/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is widely known for being the leader in Fire and Water Cleanup & Restoration in the Lexington area and we are tops in our field for Mold Cleanup as well, but our capabilities reach so much further than those three areas of expertise.

    Our local SERVPRO offers many other services that you may not be aware of. One of those services is deodorization.

    Over our 25+ year history, we have been called in to eliminate foul odors in many homes and businesses. These deodorizations have included such things as the simple burnt popcorn smell, changing hotels and homes from “smoking" to "non- smoking”, eliminating pet odors, and even odors associated with deceased animals have been rectified by our trained professionals. We have many different processes we use to eliminate these types of odors, from ozone treatments, to duct cleaning, and in some severe cases, hepa-vacuuming and cleaning & deodorizing an entire home or business.

    Sometimes we are called in to investigate a "mysterious smell" in order to determine exactly what is causing an odor.

    SERVPRO has specialized equipment, such as moisture meters, scopes to look into wall cavities and ductwork, and even infrared technology that can be applied to investigate areas for deceased animals.

    Deodorization is one of many areas we specialize in, so the next time you have a bad smell in your home, or business just give us a call, so we can "Make it Like it Never Even Happened"

    Indoor Air Quality

    6/13/2016 (Permalink)

    There is good news and bad news about indoor air: the bad news is that indoor air often contains higher concentrations of hazardous pollutants than outdoor air; however, the good news is that everyone can reduce indoor air pollution.

    How can the air inside our homes be so bad for us?

    Over the years, buildings have been made more airtight to conserve energy. A variety of methods have been employed to keep the hot or cool air from escaping from our homes: installing storm windows and insulation; applying caulk and weather stripping to seal cracks and other openings; and heating our homes with kerosene, wood, coal, and natural gas. Unfortunately, when we trap in hot or cool air, we also trap in pollutants and sometimes generate more.

    Why is this an issue?

    On average, people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. Sixty-five percent of that is spent at home. To make matters worse, those who are most susceptible to indoor air pollution are the ones who are home the most: children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses. Children breathe in 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults do. EPA studies have found that pollutant levels inside can be two to five times higher than outdoors. After some activities, indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times higher than outdoors.

    What are the sources of pollutants?

    There are many sources of pollutants in the home. Obvious ones are chemicals, cleaning products, and pesticides. Less obvious are pollutants caused by such simple tasks as cooking, bathing, or heating the home. Fortunately, there are easy steps that everyone can take to reduce the potential for indoor air pollution and to improve the quality of the air they breathe.

    How do you know if the air inside your home is dangerous to your health?

    Often, it is difficult to determine which pollutant or pollutants are the sources of a person's ill health, or even if indoor air pollution is the problem. Many indoor air pollutants cannot be detected by our senses (e.g., smell) and the symptoms they produce can be vague and sometimes similar, making it hard to attribute them to a specific cause. Some symptoms may not show up until years later, making it even harder to discover the cause. Common symptoms of exposure to indoor air pollutants include: headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, itchy nose, and scratchy throat. More serious effects are asthma and other breathing disorders and cancer.

    How does this affect children?

    Children may be more susceptible to environmental exposures than adults and, because of their developing systems, particularly vulnerable to their effects. Asthma is a case in point. About 4.2 million children in the United States, and more than 12.4 million people

    Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The National Safety Council makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.

    Maintain Property Value

    6/10/2016 (Permalink)

    Most Common Household Emergencies

    Burst washing machine hose- as rubber washing machine ages they eventually wear down and burst, causing costly flooding. Consider switching to a stainless-steel reinforced hose.

    Leaky Roof- Mother Nature is pretty tough on your roof. Regularly check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.

    Refrigerator Leaks- like your washing machine, the refrigerator is a common culprit in home floods. Ensure your water line is unkinked and in good condition.

    Tips on handling water damages

    How many of you know how to respond during a water damage disaster? Your first and most important step should be to call your emergency mitigation specialists at SERVPRO. The sooner we arrive on site, the more you and your insurance company save in restoration and construction services.

    These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper actions and precautions until WE arrive!

    Do:

    ·         Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

    ·         When access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of the building.

    ·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

    ·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

    ·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

    ·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

    ·         Any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture should be relocated to a safe, dry place.

    ·         Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

    ·         Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

    ·         Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.

    Don’t:

    ·         Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

    ·         Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

    ·         Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.

    ·         Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.

    ·         Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

    ·         Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

    ·         Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

    ·         Enter rooms where ceiling are sagging from retained water.

    Leak Prevention Tips

    Regularly check the following items for leaks:

    Exterior

    ·         Check roofing for deterioration.

    ·         Check gutters and down spouts for blockage.

    ·         Check basement and crawl space for moisture.

    Interiors

    ·         Check appliances in break room and cafeterias.

    ·         Check sinks and toilets in restrooms.

    ·         Check HVAC for leaks and blockage.

    Household Cleaning

    Carpet Cleaning-

    How often should you have a professional clean your carpets? The cleaning frequency for a home depends on several factors, such as the number of persons living in the home, number of children and pets, and whether any occupants are smokers.

    A combination of conditions may require your carpets to be cleaned professionally more often. The main consideration is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. The dirt hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile is what causes most damage to a carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

    Duct Cleaning-

    Unlike many duct-cleaning services, Server of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a portable ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. ?CLEAN SWEEP FOR DUCTS?*Improve the Air Quality of Your Business When addressing air quality inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminates like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Server uses a proven Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning system to help improve the air quality of your business. ?Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt- Reducing Potential Health Risks?Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. Often times the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building. A routine part of a SERVPRO service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money!

    If you don't think it is important to have clean air in your home, well here are a few fun facts!

    ·         Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptons-300% more than those in clean environments.          

    ·         Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated per 1,5000 square feet in a home.

    ·         Roughly 80 percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

    Something very important to keep in mind, though, is that when you see a little bit of mold in your home, it's likely that there is a lot you can't see. That's where we come in. The most important aspect of mold removal is to remove the water source, something that we're, well, experts at. Mold in your home can jeopardize your health, so step 1: Don't ignore it. Step 2: Don't use bleach. Step 3: Give SERVPRO a call.

    Home Maintenance Checklist

    6/8/2016 (Permalink)

    Home Maintenance Checklist

    There are tons of ways that you can keep your clean and safe and your SERVPRO of Lexington’s team is here to give you tips on how to do so!

    Weekly, you can:

    1.       Vacuum your carpet. (Rule of thumb: vacuum once per week per human inhabitant, twice per pet).

    2.       Feel plugs/ outlets for warmth. Call electrician if anything appears unusual.

    Monthly, you can:

    1.       Change air filters (if there are no pets, smoking inside the home, or inhabitants with allergies, you may change them quarterly at a MINIMUM).

    2.       Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by pushing ‘test’ button.

    3.       Check faucet and hose connections under sinks and toilets and behind laundry equipment and refrigerator.

    4.       Look for leaks at shut-off valves.

    5.       Check walls and ceilings for brown spots. Check painted surfaces for peeling, chipping or blistering. This can be indicative of water damage.

    6.       Clean dust from molding and baseboards to preserve value.

    Quarterly, you can:

    1.       Check inside basement walls for dampness or water stains.

    2.       Check to make sure crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and placed correctly.

    3.       Examine outside vents and gutters. Make sure properly sealed and clear of obstruction. Recheck vents during and after a snowstorm.

    4.       Check condition of caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers. For extra protection, replace with long-lasting material such as silicone or latex.

    5.       Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces, air grills and ducts.

    6.       Have dryer vent cleaned by professional or remove lent with leaf blower to prevent clogging or fire damage. Check vent if clothes aren’t drying properly.

    Bi-Annually, you can:

    1.       Have carpet cleaned by professional cleaner to preserve fabric or warranty.

    2.       Practice fire escape plan with family. Identify off-site meeting location/shelter.

    3.       Pull back floor insulation in basement or crawl space to check for leaks, wood damage around supply pipes.

    Annually, you can:

    1.       Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Clean detectors/vacuum each grill.

    2.       Have property inspected and treated for termites by professional technician.

    3.       Check roof for damaged shingles and flashing.

    4.       Replace washer/dryer and refrigerator hoses (steel braided hoses are recommended).

    5.       Have AC unit serviced by professional technician. Condensation drain lines need to be checked for clogging to prevent water damage.

    6.       Have fireplace inspected and cleaned by professional chimney sweeper.

    7.       Drain garden hoses and store for winter.

    Long Term Reminders:

    1.       Every 5 years, have ducts cleaned by professional technician.

    2.       Every 25 years, replace roof shingles.

    More general safety tips include:

    Store emergency contact information (police, fire dept., hospital, etc.) in physical and digital locations. Free apps are available as a resource (see SERVPRO.com/ready).

    Keep rescue ladder(s) for multi-story homes.

    Keep fire extinguisher in kitchen and on every floor. Have all house dwellers practice use.

    Plug a rechargeable flashlight into socket close to bed. May also be used to signal first responders.

    Trim back branches from roof and chimney to prevent fire or structural damage.

    Regularly clean fireplace ash pit.

    Never burn green wood. Burn only dry, well-seasoned hard wood that has been split properly.

    Use dryer sheets when drying clothes to reduce spontaneous combustion. Let clothes cool off before transferring.

    If a rotten-egg type smell is detected, check pipes for possible gas leak.

    Set water heaters no higher than 120 degrees. Keep combustible and flammable material away from heater.

    Consider a sprinkler system in home to prevent fire damage.

    Never plug more than one high wattage appliance in single outlet.

    Keep carpet stretched and healthy to prevent tripping on wrinkles. If wrinkled, check for delamination by pulling carpet back from corner of room. Delaminated carpet is not repairable and must be replaced.

    In case of water damage, you should know what to do and what not to do until help arrives. SERVPRO of Lexington got your back. Here are our tips:

    DO:

    ·         Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

    ·         When access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of the building.

    ·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

    ·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

    ·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushion for even drying.

    ·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

    ·         Any painting, art object, computers, document and other material that are valuable or sensitive to moisture should be relocated to a safe, dry place.

    ·         Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

    ·         Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

    ·         Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.

    DON’T:

    ·         Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

    ·         Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

    ·         Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.

    ·         Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.

    ·         Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

    ·         Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

    ·         Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

    ·         Enter rooms where ceiling is sagging from retained water.

    Business and Personal Preparedness

    6/6/2016 (Permalink)

    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 Bordentown/Pemberton 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
  • Whistle
  • 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. 
  • I 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!

    When there is water everywhere

    6/3/2016 (Permalink)

    Water leaks within a home or business can seep into carpet, flooring, baseboards, and walls while moving throughout the structure.  SERVPRO of Lexington Franchise Professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for a family. Water leaks in a business can not only disrupt the facility, but also can interrupt day to day business functions, which could possibly close the business and affect revenues. 

    Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process.  Quick response time helps ensure that damage is contained and the restoration process begins promptly. This saves on the amount of damage, cost of claims, and assists in reducing losses from business interruption due to a loss.  Timely and proper water mitigation will also help keep mold from developing which could cause people to become ill!  SERVPRO Professionals will be able to identify water regardless of where it hides. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals cover Lexington and surrounding areas.  We offer 24-hour emergency response from our trained professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened."

    Leak Prevention Tips

    1.   Check roof for deterioration.
    2.   Check gutters and downspouts.
    3.   Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.
    4.   Check appliances in kitchens, break rooms, and cafeterias.
    5.   Check sinks and toilets in bathrooms.
    6.   Check HVAC for leaks and blockages. 

    Smoke, Water damage? SERVPRO can help

    6/2/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO® of Lexington understands that no damage is small when it comes to your home.

    Your home is truly a reflection of you, your tastes and your personality. Suffering damage to your home can feel like a part of you has been damaged as well. We recognize a loss can make you feel vulnerable, invaded or robbed of part of your life. Your loss is unique—in how it started, the emotions experienced and the extent of the damage.

    When damage affects your home, you want it to be restored to pre-loss condition. You cannot afford to let the marketability of your home be affected. That is why SERVPRO® has professionally restored property for over 40 years.

    SERVPRO® is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know SERVPRO® of Lexington Professionals have the experience to do the job right.

  • Recognized Industry Leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration
  • SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals Serving America Since 1967
  • Over 1,500 Locations Nationwide
  • IICRC* Approved School for 5 Cleaning and Restoration Categories:

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Carpet
  • Upholstery
  • ASD (Applied Structural Drying)
  • Insurance protection
  • Exclusive products and equipment
  • Extensive training programs
  • Safety compliance
  • Complete documentation, no surprises
  • Defined work processes
  • Active customer communication
  • Fast work completion
  • SERVPRO® is a company with the resources and experience to be a national leader in cleaning and restoration.

     When you call SERVPRO® of Lexington, you can expect:

  • Fast Response. . . . . . . . . . Uniformed technicians will arrive on-site usually within four hours of notification.
  • Damage Containment. . . . . Timely response can mean the difference between restoring property and replacing it.
  • Extensive Experience.. .SERVPRO® has been a leading provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration for over 40 years.
  • Vast Resources. . . . . . . . . . SERVPRO® has large loss capabilities and can handle any fire or water damage—no matter how big.
  • CHECK US OUT! WE’LL DO IT RIGHT!

    Our Goal:

  • To make you feel Like it never even happened.®
  • Minimize customer interruptions
  • Complete the job properly
  • Provide regular updates on progress
  • Restore the property to pre-loss condition in most cases
  • Insurance protection
  • Exclusive products and equipment
  • Extensive training programs
  • Safety compliance
  • Complete documentation, no surprises
  • Defined work processes
  • Active customer communication
  • Fast work completion
  • When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back. 

    Keeping it cool with SERVPRO

    5/27/2016 (Permalink)

    Keeping it cool with SERVPRO, remembering that it is Heat awareness day and a few “Cool” recipes to enjoy.

    Smoked Turkey & Cucumber 'Sandwiches'

    Ingredients

  •  a wide cucumber
  •  spreadable cheese {such as cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese wedges}
  •  fresh or dried dill
  •  sliced deli smoked turkey
  •  salt & pepper
  • Directions

    ·         Remove ends of cucumber. Cut cucumber into 5- inch or 6- inch long pieces ( or longer if you’d like)

    Cut each cucumber piece horizontally into approximately 1/4 – inch slices to form the sandwich

    “Bread”

    ·         For each “sandwich” lay out one cucumber slice and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Spread with

    Cheese, sprinkle with dill and lay on some smoked turkey.

    ·         Top with another cucumber slice and sprinkle the top with additional salt, pepper and dill and enjoy!

    AND A

    Cherry Limeade Recipe

    Ingredients

    ·         1 can of frozen limeade concentrate, any brand

    ·         1 2 liter bottle of Sprite (or equivalent soda)

    ·         1 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, with juice

    ·         1 lime

    ·         pebble ice (optional)

    Directions

    ·         Chill all ingredients in fridge until cool.

    ·         Slowly pour Sprite, melt limeade and cherries into a large pitcher and mix slowly to

    preserve carbonation.

    ·         Fill glasses with pebble ice, then pour in your limeade.

    ·         Slice limes to garnish, and enjoy!

    Content Credit: thekitchenismyplayground.com and theidearoom.net

    Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Lexington Home

    5/25/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO of Lexington is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

    IICRC Certified Firms must

    • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

    • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

    • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

    • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

    • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

    The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

    The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

    Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

    SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    Faster to any disaster

    5/23/2016 (Permalink)

    Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Lexington provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

    Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Lexington arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

    Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 803-755-9774

    Water Damage Timeline

    Within Minutes

    Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

    Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

    Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

    Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

    Hours 1 - 24:

    Drywall begins to swell and break down.

    Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

    Furniture begins to swell and crack.

    Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

    A musty odor appears.

    48 Hours to 1 Week:

    Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

    Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

    Metal begins to rust and corrode.

    Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

    Paint begins to blister.

    Wood flooring swells and warps.

    Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

    More Than 1 Week:

    Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

    Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

    SERVPRO of Lexington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

    Red Cross Founder Day

    5/20/2016 (Permalink)

    May 21st is a day on which SERVPRO celebrates our partner; Red Cross’s Founder Clarissa Harlowe Barton, Clara, as she wished to be called. She is one of the most honored women in American history. She began teaching school at a time when most teachers were men and she was among the first women to gain employment in the federal government. Barton risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. At age 60, she founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. Barton first heard of the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Returning home, she campaigned for an American Red Cross and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882. Barton led the Red Cross for 23 years, during which time we conducted our first domestic and overseas disaster relief efforts, aided the United States military during the Spanish-American War, and campaigned successfully for the inclusion of peacetime relief work as part of the global Red Cross network–the so-called “American Amendment” that initially met with some resistance in Europe. Her understanding of the needs of people in distress and the ways in which she could provide help to them guided her throughout her life. By the force of her personal example, she opened paths to the new field of volunteer service. Her intense devotion to serving others resulted in enough achievements to fill several ordinary lifetimes.

    To learn more about Clara Burton visit-  http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history/clara-barton

    Is that Black Water?

    5/18/2016 (Permalink)

    Contaminated “Black” Water

    Any water damage in your facility is bad, especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of occupants and the value of your property. Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your building, as well as the moisture necessary to ensure their continued growth.

    Sewage damage poses serious health risks to anyone exposed to the contaminated water. The danger arises from various harmful substances, including parasites that can cause intestinal disease. Some common risks are Hepatitis A, E-coli and Salmonella. This grossly unsanitary water is often referred to as “black water.” Building occupants should practice precautionary and safety measures at all times when dealing with the threat of black water.

    Safety Tips For Building Occupants:

    Do:

    -Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

    - Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

    Don’t:

    -Don’t spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet area and by tracking the contamination elsewhere.

    -Don’t turn on the HVAC system if impacted by water. The HVAC system could spread contaminated air to other parts of the building.

    -Don’t use household fans to dry the structure which could possibly spread contaminants.

    -Don’t use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if they have been exposed to the contaminated areas.

    -Don’t consume food or drink that has been exposed to the contaminated areas.

    A mop and common cleaning products may not be enough for black water intrusions. SERVPRO is trained to safely clean and restore your building utilizing the following procedures:

    -Identify the Source/ Type of Water

    -Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis

    -Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises

    -Perform Emergency Water Extraction

    -Move and Block Furniture

    -Provide floor service

    -Inspect carpet and padding

    -Apply Necessary Treatments including disinfectants and deodorizers

    -Utilize and Monitor Drying Equipment

    -Dispose of Refuse

    SERVPRO understands how disruptive and dangerous contaminated water can be and offer 24 hour emergency response.

    For more information: http://www.SERVPROlexingtonsc.com/biohazard-crimescene-vandalism-cleanup

    Tornado/ Hurricane Preparedness Week

    5/16/2016 (Permalink)

    Tornado/ Hurricane Tips Preparedness Week May 15th through 21st

    Determine the best locations for shelter at home and work.

    The safest location is always a basement, below the deadly wind and projectile objects. If you can't go underground, find a small interior room or hallway on the lowest level of the building.

    Conduct tornado safety drills with your family.

    Make learning quick and fun, and children will remember the basics of what to do, especially if you go through the motions several times. Just as most kids know what to do if their clothes are on fire, the same drill could be applied for tornado safety -- instead of "Stop, drop, and roll" try "Run, duck, and cover!”

    Prepare an emergency supply kit.

    Experts recommend that each person (and pet) has supplies for at least three days, including bottled water (two quarts per person, per day), nonperishable food, and a first-aid kit that includes prescription items as well as aspirin and antacids. Make sure you have tools such as a can opener, utility knife, wrench (for turning power valves), whistle, battery-powered radio, several flashlights, and batteries. Each person will need blankets, clothing, rain gear, and heavy-soled shoes or boots. Lastly, stash away some cash and a copy of credit cards, passports, social security cards, phone numbers, and insurance information. Once a year, check your supplies and determine if family needs have changed.

    Make an inventory of your possessions.

    For insurance purposes, videotape or photograph everything you would need to replace in case you lose it all. When you're sure that you've included everything, keep the inventory somewhere away from the premises, such as a safe-deposit box.

    Know how your community sends its warnings.

    If it's a siren, stay inside and take cover. Know where the designated shelters are in the buildings where you and your family spend time.

    Know the difference between a "watch" and a "warning."

    There's a big difference in the danger level between the two terms used during stormy weather. A watch simply means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. Be alert, but you don't need to take shelter. If there's a warning, a tornado has been spotted. When a warning is posted for your area, take shelter immediately.

    Stay away from windows.

    At 320 miles per hour, shards of glass can be deadly. You can eliminate this risk if you make sure your shelter area is free of windows. If this isn't possible, protect yourself with a heavy blanket.

    Don't bother opening windows.

    It's true that air pressure equalizes when there's an opening in the building, but the American Red Cross says that it's far more important to get to safety than to open windows. If there's flying debris, the windows will most likely break on their own.

    Get in position

    Once you're in your shelter, find a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a workbench or table, and stay under it. Curl into a ball on the floor, and lock your hands behind your head to protect it from flying debris. If you can't find a table to get under, crouch under a door frame because the beams will offer some protection.

    Mobile home residents need to take extra precautions.

    If you live in a mobile home, never try to ride out a severe thunderstorm at home; go to a prearranged shelter. As a last resort, go outside and lie flat on the ground using your hands and arms to protect your head. It might be hard to believe that you're safer outside, but since your mobile home isn't built into the ground, it can be picked up and turned into an airborne missile.

    What if you're in a public building?

    The first choice is always a basement or lower level. If that isn't an option, avoid wide-open spaces such as cafeterias or auditoriums -- there's just not enough physical support for you there. Look for an inside hallway, or a small closet or bathroom (with no windows).

    What if you're in a vehicle?

    Never try to outrun a tornado. Get out of your vehicle and try to get inside a building. If there isn't time, lie down flat in a ditch or any low-lying area away from the vehicle. (Hiding below an underpass isn't safe because you're still exposed to flying debris.) Use your hands and arms to protect your head.

    What if you're outdoors?

    Finding a building is your best bet, but if there's no time, follow the same instructions in the next step.

    What to do when the storm has passed.

    Treat injuries with your first-aid kit, but don't attempt to move anyone who is severely injured. Use the phone only for emergencies, such as calling for an ambulance. Then, listen to the radio for emergency information. If the building you are in is damaged, beware of broken glass and downed power lines as you evacuate. Check on neighbors who might need assistance, but otherwise stay out of the way so that emergency crews can do their work.

    Beware of fire hazards.

    Never strike a match until you're sure you haven't had a gas leak. Anything that holds gas can rupture and be vulnerable to explosions if you see (or smell) leakage after a storm. If you think there might be a gas leak, open all doors and get out of the house. Also watch out for severed electrical wires, which can spark debris piles. Check appliances to see if they are emitting smoke or sparks.

    Red Cross has a great brochure about Hurricane Safety checklist at

    http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340160_Hurricane.pdf

    Celebrate Summer with SERVPRO

    5/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Nothing says Summer time like- Southern Peach Cobbler!

    Ingredients

    ·         Fresh Peaches, Peeled, Pitted and Sliced into Wedges - 8

    ·         White Sugar - 1/4 Cup

    ·         Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed - 1/4 Cup

    ·         Cinnamon - 1/4 Teaspoon

    ·         Nutmeg - 1/8 Teaspoon

    ·         Fresh Lemon Juice - 1 Teaspoon

    ·         Cornstarch - 2 Teaspoon

    ·         Cake Topping:

    ·         All-Purpose Flour - 2 Cups

    ·         White Sugar - 1/2 Cup

    ·         Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed - 1/2 Cup

    ·         Baking Powder - 2 Teaspoon

    ·         Salt - 1 Teaspoon

    ·         Cold Unsalted Butter, Cut into Small Pieces - 12 Tablespoons

    ·         Boiling Water - 1/2 Cup

    ·         Sugar Topping:

    ·         White Sugar - 3 Tablespoons

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    2. In a large bowl, fold the peaches, 1/4 cup each white and brown sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch until all ingredients are well combined.

    3. Pour fruit mixture into a 9X13 inch baking dish.

    4. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

    5. While peaches are in the oven, add all the cake topping ingredients, except the boiling water, to a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour in the boiling water and stir just until the mixture comes together and is just mixed through.

    6. After the peaches have baked the 10 minutes, pull them from the oven and drop large spoonfuls of the dough topping over peaches. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the 3 tablespoons of sugar evenly. Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet, in case the cobbler bubbles over and drips, and bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and baked through and the peaches are tender.

    Content Credit: gonnawantseconds.com

    Smoke and Soot Clean Up

    5/11/2016 (Permalink)

    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.

    Electrical Safety Month

    5/9/2016 (Permalink)

    May is National Electrical Safety Month and a good time review electrical safety practices. Increasing electrical safety awareness, following electrical safety guidelines, and using tools and technology designed to address electrical hazards are all components of a safety program. What causes the top electrical hazards? Many are the result of the growing use of electrical power, combined with electrical systems that are over 20 years old. Wiring hazards are both a major cause of electrocutions and home fires, killing hundreds and injuring thousands each year. Misuse of surge suppressors, power strips and extension cords is also a cause of electrocutions and fires. Contact with power lines and major appliances contribute to hundreds of deaths annually, both at home and in the workplace. Eliminating these electrical hazards will help reduce deaths and injuries. Eliminating electrical hazards begins with education and awareness. A focus on electrical safety, both at home and in the workplace, can prevent the hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in economic losses that occur each year because of electrical hazards. Use of tools and technology can also make our reliance on electrical power less hazardous. Investing in ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), circuit testers and where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), can significantly reduce risk.

    Electrical safety tips to help avoid tragic and costly injuries:

    Use appliances and equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

    Replace damaged electrical equipment or have it repaired at an authorized repair center. 

    Make sure power strips, cords and surge suppressors are designed to handle the loads for their intended use.

    Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many items into the same outlet.

    Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection when working where water is near electricity to protect against electric shock.

    AVOID OUTDOOR ELECTRICAL HAZARDS AT WORK AND HOME

    Warmer weather brings an increase in outdoor work in many parts of the country, both on the job and at home. Increasing electrical safety awareness can help ensure those activities do not result in injuries and deaths, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

    ESFI notes that following safety rules can reduce electrical deaths and injuries:

    Ladders—even those made of wood—that contact a power line can prove fatal.

    Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use.

    Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housing and repair or replace damaged items

    Water does not mix with electricity. Avoid damp conditions — including wet grass — when using electricity.

    Content Credit: ccd.fnal.gov/

    Celebrate Mother's day with Homemade Sunshine

    5/6/2016 (Permalink)

    Did you pick bouquets of dandelions for your mother or teacher when you were a child? They are widely considered weeds, but there is something so classically All-American about a Mason jar full of fresh picked dandelions. You may not want dandelions growing in your yard, but these pretty yellow and green dandelions are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

    HOW TO MAKE EASY TASSEL FLOWERS

    MATERIALS:

    Yellow yarn

    Green yarn

    Green pipe cleaners

    Fabric glue or hot glue gun

    Scissors

    Serving fork, 1-1.5 inches wide

    DIRECTIONS:

    Tassels are easy to make with a fork. It may take you a tassel or two to get the hang of this technique. Don’t get discouraged, you’ll soon be a pom pom making pro!

    Gather materials.

    Place a pipe cleaner along one side of your fork.

    Wrap the fork and pipe cleaner with yellow yarn. Be careful to keep the wrapped area of yarn about 1 inch wide.

    Wrap the yarn 25-30 times around the fork.

    Twist the pipe cleaner together around the end of the yarn. Wrap it 3 times down the stem and then back up toward the flower (you are forming the base of the stem).

    Cut a 4-inch piece of green yarn and tie it around the base of the flower (between the last tine of the fork). Remove the tassel from the fork.

    Not the green yarn tightly two (2) times.

    Trim the ends of the green yarn close to the knot.

    Cut an 8-inch piece of green yarn. Add a dot of glue near the green knot and attach the green yarn. Wrap the flower from the green knot down to the stem, wrapping the yarn close together so no yellow yarn shows.

    Wrap the green yarn until it is about 1/4 inch from the end, add a dot of glue to the flower base and secure the end of the yarn.

    Cut the loops of the yellow yarn with scissors.

    Use a fork or metal tool to fray the yarn slightly.

    Fluff the top of your flower and trim any stray threads.

    Enjoy your dandelion!

    Tip: Make a few dandelions with white yarn to look like dandelions that have gone to seed. (Wrap the white yarn 35-40 times in step 3 to make them extra fluffy.)

    Content Credit: Brenddid.com 

    Carpet Truths and Myths

    5/4/2016 (Permalink)

    Most people have carpet in some part in their house. It’s great to step on when your feet are cold, and it’s also great for those of us who don’t enjoy sweeping. There are common facts about carpet that we all know to be true. For instance: red drinks are dangerous. There are some facts though that are less known. These 10 interesting facts about carpet are sure to make your jaw drop.

    1.     The stomach bug virus can live in carpet for more than a month.

    2.     For a 150-pound person, vacuuming for 30 minutes burns 125 calories.

    3.     To brighten your carpet sprinkle salt in it. Let it sit for an hour and vacuum it up.

    4.     When carpets are properly maintained and cleaned, they may actually be good for allergy sufferers. Carpet traps the dust and allergens in its fibers, making them less present in the air. On the other hand, if carpets are not properly cleaned and maintained, they are worse for allergy sufferers.

    5.     A person loses around 1.5 million skin flakes in one hour. The majority of these flakes become embedded in the carpet.

    6.     The five-second rule is a lie (shocker). Bacteria can live longer than 4 weeks in carpet.

    7.      Most people’s carpets are 4,000 times dirtier than toilet seats, and they are about 7 times dirtier than average city streets.

    8.     Early vacuums were so large that they took 3 people to operate them.

    9.     When they first came out, Hoover vacuum cleaners were difficult to sell, because potential customers refused to believe that they could have that much dirt in their carpets.

    10.   Carpet should be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months.

     Has it been awhile since you had your carpet professionally cleaned? There are tons of myths out there that say “having your carpet cleaned ruins it,” or “I only have to clean my carpet if it is stained,” or “cleaning my carpet will shrink it.” Most of the myths out there about carpet cleaning are well myths. If you hire a true professional, there are absolutely no negatives to having your carpet professionally cleaned. If you are due for a good, professional cleaning, contact us today for a free consultation.  

    Clean Air Month

    5/2/2016 (Permalink)

    Supported by the American Lung Association, Clean Air Month educates people about the impact clean air can have on their lives.

    This observance also encourages people to take positive steps to help improve air quality.

    What exactly is clean air?

    Clean air, is air which has a natural balance of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Clean air does not contain pollutants or allergens.

    Clean air does not harm the environment, nor is it a cause or trigger of health problems.

    Consequences of poor quality air

    Poor quality air can harm the environment and can affect us all.

    Toxic air pollution is linked to serious conditions such as cancer and chronic bronchitis. Air pollution can exacerbate pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

    Air pollution can also harm the environment. The burning of fossil fuels (often for transport or electricity generation) releases high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. These gases react with other gases and water to create rain which is acidic.

    Acid rain raises the acid levels of water and disrupts the natural balance of life in lakes and rivers; acid rain can also damage plants and trees.

    Pollutants Which Can Affect Clean Air & The Environment Include:

    Acid Rain

    Ozone

    Toxic Air Pollution

    Lead

    Sulfur Dioxide

    Particulate Soot

    Carbon Monoxide

    Clean Air Month: Taking Positive Steps

    The Clean Air Act came into force in 1970. This Act has been successful in reducing air quality related health conditions and premature death.

    Clean Air Month is a time for many states to celebrate the impact the Clean Air Act has had on the way people think about the environment and on the overall health of its people.  Clean Air Month is recognized in many states across America. Events are held throughout the month of May to promote awareness. Some states offer Air Management Programs and timely reporting on state and federal air quality issues.

    We can all make positive steps to improve the quality of our air. Ways we can improve air quality are often based around reducing our use of electricity and using transport more efficiently. We can also support legislation which improves air quality.

    SERVPRO of Lexington, Cayce/ West Columbia professionals can help clean your air with our state of the art equipment and professional cleaning experience. Call 1-803-755-9774 to take care of your clean air needs.

    Content Credit: whathealth.com 

    Spring Is Here

    4/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Spring is here!!!!!!! Celebrate with BBQing.

    Here at SERVPRO of Lexington we are always safety cautious when it comes to fire. Here are some great tips for grilling outside and a great recipe.

    General grilling tips

    ·         Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

    ·         The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

    ·         Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

    ·         Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

    ·         Never leave your grill unattended.

    Before you use your grill:

    ·         Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

    ·         Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:

    o    Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.

    o    Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).

    o    If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.

    ·         If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

    ·         If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

    When the grill is on:

    ·         As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.

    ·         If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

    ·         If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

    Charcoal grills

    ·         There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

    ·         If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

    ·         Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

    ·         There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

    ·         When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

    The Best Grilled BBQ- Chicken Kabobs

    Ingredients

    ·         2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

    ·         2 teaspoons kosher salt

    ·         1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika

    ·         2 teaspoons smoked paprika

    ·         4 teaspoons sugar

    ·         2-3 slices raw bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

    ·         1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

    Instructions

    1.     Trim chicken of excess fat, then cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the salt. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

    2.     Turn all grill burners to high, close lid, and heat for about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on, but turn off other burners.

    3.     Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the paprikas and sugar. Place the raw bacon in a food processor and pulse for about 30-45 seconds, until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl twice throughout. Add the bacon paste and spice mixture to the chicken. Mix with hands or spatula until the ingredients are blended and chicken is coated. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, rolling or folding as needed to maintain 1-inch cubes.

    4.     Grill the chicken over the primary burner with lid closed, turning one-quarter of a turn every 2 minutes or so, until browned and slightly charred (about 8 minutes total for chicken breast and 10 minutes for thighs). Brush the top of kebabs with BBQ sauce; flip and cook until sauce is browned in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with sauce; flip and cook for another minute or so, until cooked through.

    5.     Remove kebabs from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining BBQ sauce separately, if desired.

    Contents Credit: fabulesslyfrugal.com/  and nfpa.org

    Does Your Lexington, Cayce/ West Columbia Home Have A Mold Problem?

    4/27/2016 (Permalink)

    April 25th – May 1st is Allergy Awareness Week. Allergens are caused by many things including microscopic mold spores. They naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
  • If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

    If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (803) 755-9774

    Autism Awareness Month

    4/25/2016 (Permalink)

    In Spirit of Autism Awareness Month here are some Sensory and Gross Motor Activities with Water Balloons. Have fun with the kiddos and water.

    How to Freeze Water Beads in Balloons

    Supplies:

  • water balloons
  • water beads
  • funnel
  • pumper
  • Directions:  Attach a water balloon to a funnel to get the water beads inside.  While being careful to not push the balloon off the funnel, you’re your finger to push the water beads inside the balloon.  Next attach the balloon to the pump to fill with water.  The pumper is not necessary, but it sure makes it easier to fill water balloons with added sensory materials.

    Every hour or so, you and your child can check the balloons to see how the water beads have changed.  Water beads start off tiny and expand when soaked in water.  It takes several hours for them to reach full size.

    Once they had fully expanded, you and your child can have a wonderful time squishy the water balloons and playing with them.

    This is one of those sensory activities that I have a hard time fully describing.  It is so cool!  The texture of the balloons was so unique and intriguing.  None can keep our hands off of them.

    After you are finally done squishy the balloons, put them all in a bowl and stuck the bowl in the freezer to play with another day.  When you are ready for some frozen fun, grab the bowl and peel the balloons off of the icy balls of water beads Also more sensory water fun for children. Enjoy this fun craft. Water can also be fun, but when it isn't so much fun, call SERVPRO for all your water mitigating needs. 

     Content Credit: learn play imagine.com

    Happy Earth Day

    4/22/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO deals with a lot of the negative impacts of fire and water, but today, we celebrate all aspects of nature!!!! Happy EARTH DAY from SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington.

    Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

    The first Earth Day was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” Earth Day kicked off the “Environmental decade with a bang,” as Senator Nelson later put it. During the 1970s, a number of important pieces of environmental legislation were passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.

    Since 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown. In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, according to EDN. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. According to EDN, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”

    The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.

    Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown or blue.

    Here at SERVPRO, We love all things green!!!!!

    Contents Credit: timeanddate.com and history.com

    Super Hero 5k

    4/20/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is proud to be a sponsor in this year’s Super Hero 5k run for ADOA. Come join us and support our community.

    Walk or Run to find a cure and don your SUPER HERO costumes as we Save Children with Optic Atrophy--Fun for the Entire Family! 

    What Is Optic Atrophy?

    The optic nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers that carry images from your retina to your brain.  Each fiber carries a part of the visual information to the brain. If these nerve fibers become damaged, the brain doesn't receive all of this vision information and sight becomes blurred. Optic atrophy means the loss of some or most of the nerve fibers in the optic nerve.  The effects range from visual change to severe visual loss.

    Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Abnormal side vision
  • Abnormal color vision
  • Decreased brightness in one eye relative to the other
  • The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have optic atrophy. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete exam.

    Causes

    Many diseases and disorders can lead to optic atrophy or damage to the optic nerve. Optic atrophy can occur in cases where the optic nerve did not develop properly. It may also result from inflammation of the optic nerve or from glaucoma when the pressure inside the eye remains too high. In unusual cases, poisons, vitamin deficiencies, or tumors may be responsible. Most commonly, optic atrophy simply occurs without a known or proven cause.

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors for optic atrophy depend on the underlying cause.

    Tests and Diagnosis

    A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to determine the cause of optic atrophy. This includes a complete medical history, assessment of visual acuity, color vision, side vision, and pupil reaction.  By looking in the back of your eye with an instrument called the ophthalmoscope, your ophthalmologist may determine that the optic nerve appears pale, indicating a loss of nerve fibers. Additional testing such as MRI of the orbits and brain and blood tests may be necessary.

    Treatment and Drugs

    Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for optic atrophy.  Once the nerve fibers in the optic nerve are lost they never heal or grow back. However, early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes of optic atrophy can help prevent further damage from the disease.

    For more information about Jillian's Cure and ADOA visit Jillian's Facebook Page

    For race or sponsorship information contact Carolyn at glamgal@marykay.com or 803.979.3258.

    Important Details

    Date:

    Saturday April 23, 2016

    Time:

    6:30 am: Race Day Registration Begins 
    7:30 am: Race Day Registration Ends 
    8:00 am: 5K Run Begins 
    8:05 am: 5K Walk Begins

    Cost:

    $25 until March 15, 2016
    $30 after March 15, 2016

    Location:

    The Beautiful Saluda Shoals Park 
    5605 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29212

    Packet Pickup:

    Fleet Feet 
    945 Lake Murray Blvd, Irmo, SC 29063 
    Friday, April 22 from 10am - 7pm

    Timing:

    The race will be officially timed by Run Hard

    Awards:

    Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners.

    Content Credit: Kellogg.umich.edu and runhard.org

    Save some time to do your taxes

    4/18/2016 (Permalink)

    Did you know taxes are do three days later this year? The tax return time is over TODAY the 18th. Here is a recipe to help you save some of your time in case you are in a tax crunch. You literally toss together some dry pasta, some frozen (fully cooked) meatballs, marinara sauce, and water in a big baking dish. Cover it and bake it in the oven while you deal with TAXES, laundry, homework, feeding the dog, and all of the 18909809832429508 other items on your “To Do” list. Sprinkle some cheese on top to melt at the end and dinner is DONE! 

    DUMP AND BAKE MEATBALL CASSEROLE

    Author: The Seasoned Mom

    Prep time:  10 mins

    Cook time:  40 mins

    Total time:  50 mins

    Serves: 4-6

    INGREDIENTS

    ·         1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta

    ·         1 (25 ounce) jar marinara sauce

    ·         3 cups water

    ·         1 (14 ounce) package fully-cooked miniature (cocktail-size) meatballs (if using frozen meatballs, make sure that they are completely thawed before using)

    ·         2 cups shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend) cheese

    ·         Optional: Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped herbs (such as basil, oregano, and parsley) for garnish

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1.   Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    2.   In a large baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, marinara sauce, water, and meatballs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

    3.   Uncover; stir.

    4.   Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).

    http://www.theseasonedmom.com/

    EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER Part Deux

    4/15/2016 (Permalink)

    More fun answers from TREY SHIREY about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER questionnaire.

    Miscellaneous:

    What is under your bed? Dust

    Favorite Hobby? Racing

    If you could have a super power what would it be? X-Ray Vision

    What is your biggest Pet Peeve? Don’t really have one, if I have to pick people who annoy me.

    Pick and Choose:

    Coffee or tea? Tea

    Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla

    Salty or Sweet? Sweet

    Trucks or Cars? Trucks

    Summer or Winter? Winter

    Hugs or Kisses? Kisses

    Morning or Night? Morning

    TREY SHIREY is an important member of our family here at SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington and always has a joke to brighten our day. I hope you enjoyed learning about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER as much as we enjoy having him as part of our team/ family. 

    Trey Shirey EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER

    4/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Every Quarter SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington chooses an employee that goes above and beyond, that excels at their job TREY SHIREY, is that employee, and has earned the honor of being EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER. Trey is a reliable, positive, family oriented member of our team, who makes every day at SERVPRO a fun day.

    In the next couple of blogs we will learn all about Trey and his story and why he is such an outstanding member of our SERVPRO family. I had the pleasure of talking a little with Trey and discussing our fun questionnaire to find out a few interesting facts about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER.

    Personal:

    Do you have any Nicknames? Trey is actually his nickname as Earl is his first name.

    Where were you born in raised: Right here in SC.

    Do you have any kids? I have one on the way.

    Are you married? No

    Work:

    How long have you been working for SERVPRO? Two years.

    What do you love most about your job? Being able to help customers in time of need.

    What do you consider a good day? Any day that I am racing.

    Entertainment:

    What is your favorite genre of music? Country

    What is your favorite sport? Racing

    Last movie you saw in the theatre? Straight outta Compton

    Favorite Movie or TV show? Six Pack Movie

    Be sure to check our next blog to wrap-up our questionnaire about our awesome Employee of the Quarter!

    Benefits of regularly cleaned carpets

    4/11/2016 (Permalink)

    1.    Most carpet warranties are void without regular cleanings.

    Professional carpet cleaners help improve the carpets durability and the length of time that occurs before damage starts to happen by properly installing and maintaining the carpet. These professionals will be properly equipped to restore any spots and spills as well as replacing any flooring that has been damaged beyond repair.

    2.    You can prevent Mold growth by cleaning your carpet.

    In areas of high humidity levels, dirty carpets are at high risk developing mold growth when exposed to moisture. During wet weather conditions, moisture frequently gets tracked into your home and can sink deep into carpet fibers if not dried and vacuumed right away. You can prevent mold and mildew growth by having your carpets cleaning regularly. Professional carpet cleaners have high powered drying tools that can annihilate moisture trapped in your carpet.  Mold growth can be harmful to your health if ignored for too long, by eliminating moisture you can prevent such growth.

    3.    You can improve Air Quality in your home by cleaning your carpet.

    Did you know that regularly vacuuming your carpet only removes surface dirt and dust? There is pounds of built up dirt and grime left embedded in your carpet fibers. It is recommended that you have your carpets cleaned professionally twice a year- more often for larger households and area of high traffic, to be able to effectively remove deeply layered dirt underneath your carpet. The equipment used by professional carpet cleaners is powerful enough to eradicate the unseen dry contaminants, therefore improving the air quality in your home.

    4.    Eliminate the trapped pollutants by cleaning your carpet.

    According to Environmental Protection Agency, a carpet that is dirty can contain several source of indoor air pollutants such as; lead, particle pollution, pet dander, cockroach allergens and everyday dust and dirt. Airborne gases that can also be toxic are able to adhere to these particles as well and get trapped within the carpet. These toxic gases and be released by doing everyday activities. Walking across the carpet and vacuuming can cause these gases to contaminate the air in your home. Professional carpet cleaning services kills the bacteria with their special shampooing formulas. They can remove deeply trapped pollutants with high-powered vacuums.

    5.    Save yourself some time by allowing a professional to clean your carpet.

    There is a lot to do when cleaning a carpet. You need to apply spot treatment to remove stains, move furniture, vacuum all carpet areas, apply pre-treat solution, fill and empty the cleaning tanks, carry the equipment and clean the equipment when you are finished with the carpets. WOW, that’s a lot of work!  When using a professional service, an experienced technician takes care of all those tasks for you. They can save you time and possible trip to the chiropractor.

    Duct Cleaning Know How

    4/6/2016 (Permalink)

    1.     If neglected, ventilation (HVAC) systems can collect and circulate mold spores, dust and other contaminants.Your HVAC system naturally collects these contaminants as it pulls air through your house to be conditioned. Once they collect, these contaminants will be blown back into your home, compromising your home’s air quality.

    2.     Poor air quality carries many health risks. Dust, mold spores and other allergens can harm your respiratory system, causing  nasal, throat and eye irritation, persistent exhaustion and cold-like symptoms, coughing, stuffiness and skin irritation. Infants, children, the elderly, pregnant women, people sensitive to allergens and weakened respiratory or immune systems are especially susceptible.

    3.    Cleaning HVAC systems can reduce odors and minimize health risks from mold growth, allergens and other contaminates.

    4.Regular cleanings keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency and extend its lifespan.Clean ducts cool and heat your home more efficiently and more effectively, reducing your energy bill and keeping you comfortable. You’ll also save money by putting off expensive HVAC repairs and replacement. 

    SERVPRO’s duct cleaning system is effective and cost efficient.Our process centers on a thorough sweep through your home’s ductwork, ensuring the entire system is spotless. 

    A walk in the park

    3/30/2016 (Permalink)

    March 30th is Walk in a Park Day

    One of the best known parks in the state of South Carolina, Finlay has hosted just about everything from festivals and political rallies to road races and Easter Sunrise services. 

    This beautiful 18-acre park has had two lives; first dedicated in 1859 as Sidney Park, named in honor of Algernon Sidney Johnson, a Columbia City Councilman, the park experienced an illustrious but short tenure.

    The park fell into disrepair after the Civil War and served as a site for commercial ventures until the late 1900's. In 1990, the park was reopened and has become a beautiful diamond in the downtown area, offering a green oasis in contrast to the glass, asphalt and concrete in the urban environment. It serves as the site for such events as Kids Day, The Summer Concert Series, plus many more activities. In 1992, the park was renamed Finlay Park, in honor of Kirkman Finlay, Mayor of Columbia who had a vision to reenergize the area known as the Vista, between Main Street and the river, and recreate the beautiful site known as Sidney Park. 

    The park is situated between the streets of Assembly, Taylor, Gadsden and Laurel and remains one of the treasures of Columbia. It is across the street from the Governor's Mansion and has one of the most photographed views of downtown.

    When walking in the Park be aware that allergies are a part of life but are nothing to sneeze at.

    If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you probably anticipate a certain level of misery when spring is in the air. Maybe you believe the annual battle with pollen is lost before it even begins.

    Allergies are more than a pesky inconvenience and symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. The effects can be severe or even life threatening — especially if you live with asthma. While there isn’t a simple cure, there are a number of ways to make allergy season much more bearable.

    Prevent Allergy Triggers

    Allergens are everywhere. There are actually more allergy-causing pollutants indoors than outdoors! Luckily, there are simple ways to allergy-proof your house and reduce exposure to these allergens.

    Dust and vacuum often to reduce dust mites. If needed, wear a mask when cleaning and then leave for a few hours to avoid allergens in the air.

    Animals with fur or feathers can trigger allergic reactions. If you have pets you can’t part with, at least keep them out of the bedroom.

    When pollen is in the air, keep your doors and windows closed and change the filter for your air conditioner often. If possible, stay inside during the peak pollen time, which usually occurs between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Take advantage of member discounts on allergy relief products, such as pillow and mattress encasings; air filtration products; anti-allergen carpet and furniture treatments; personal care products for sensitive skin; nasal irrigation devices and saline solutions for sinus relief.

    Don’t Suffer Through Symptoms

    There are many prescription and non-prescription medications to treat the symptoms of allergies. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that’s right for you.

    Antihistamines relieve rashes and hives, sneezing, itching and runny nose.

    Decongestants reduce stuffiness by shrinking swollen membranes in the nose.

    Eye drops provide temporary relief from burning or bloodshot eyes.

    Corticosteroid creams or ointments relieve itchiness and stop the spread of rashes.

    Immunotherapy (allergy shots) desensitize reactions to certain allergens over time by providing increasingly higher doses of allergen(s). They are not effective for all allergy types.

    AND Remember that SERVPRO can help clean your air and Allergy proof your home.

    Contents Credit: www.columbiacvb.com and www.southcarolinablues.com

    Springtime Pinwheels

    3/28/2016 (Permalink)

    It’s National Nutrition Month!  Here is a recipe that combines all five food groups for a healthy snack. Whether you’ve got work parties, club parties, or get togethers with family and friends, there’s always something going on during spring time. Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels are a perfect appetizer for bringing to any spring gathering. They’re quick and easy to make. And, they only require a few common ingredients. They’re stuffed with flavored cream cheese, dried cranberries, turkey, and spinach. The cranberries give the pinwheels a little pop of sweetness, which is fantastic! 

    Serves: 48 Pinwheels

    Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container of chive and onion flavored cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (5 oz.) package dried cranberries
  • 9 oz. thinly sliced turkey breast
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed
  • Instructions:

    1. Divide the cream cheese among the tortillas.  Spread the cream cheese in a thin layer to cover the tortillas.
    2. Sprinkle the cranberries over the cream cheese, covering half of each tortilla.
    3. Add thin layers of turkey and spinach leaves on top of the cranberries.
    4. Starting with the end that has the cranberries, turkey and spinach, roll up the tortillas as tightly as you can.
    5. Tightly wrap the rolls in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 1 day.
    6. Remove the plastic wrap.  Slice each roll into 12 pieces, making 48 pinwheels.

    Content Credit: Pintrest.com 

    Savor the Flavor

    3/25/2016 (Permalink)

    Is food really just fuel? Should it be used only medicinally or functionally to achieve a fitness, weight or sports related goal? It depends on who you ask. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are encouraging everyone this month to ask themselves “What is my relationship with food?”

    March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2016 is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right," which, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic  (AND), "encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat.”

    What is food outside of fuel? It is celebratory, social, nostalgic, comfort, medicine, flavor, culture, an act of love or kindness and the list goes on. With rising obesity rates in the United States, is it possible food is being consumed for the reasons listed above more often than for fuel? Short answer: yes. So how do we find balance and how to do we “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right?”

    The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends we “develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods.” According to the Center for Mindful Eating, “Mindful eating is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating, you can change your relationship to food.”

    You can incorporate mindful eating by performing the following steps:

    ·   Ask yourself, “How hungry am I? What could be contributing to this hunger? Am I in a mindful environment?”

    ·   Create a mindful environment free of distractions. This is usually achieved at a dining table with no television, phones, reading materials or Internet browsing.

    ·   Take a moment to consider where the food came from and the efforts of those who brought it to the table.

    ·   Consider a sense of thanks and praise.

    ·   As you engage in the meal or snack, be sure to smell the food well. This enhances flavor and satisfaction.

    ·   Take small bites and chew until the flavor is gone. Pay attention to flavor, textures and feelings as the food exits the mouth and travels to the stomach.

    ·   Put the utensils down a moment and assess how the hunger and satisfaction levels have changed with each bite.

    Mindful eating has been credited with everything from weight management to recovery from disordered eating. It puts the individual in the driver's seat and allows the body to decide internally when it is full and satisfied versus utilizing external cues such as a clean plate or a diet plan. 

    Content Credit: http://www.tennessean.com/

    Poison Prevention Week

    3/23/2016 (Permalink)

    In 1961, the United States Congress designated the third week in March each year as National Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it.

    This year’s National Poison Prevention Week will focus on two overarching themes: Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Additionally, daily themes will be observed during the week, including a day dedicated to recognizing the important role poison centers play in the communities they serve. And on Tuesday, March 17, Aapcc encourages the public to celebrate the value of America’s poison control system.

                    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning remains the leading cause of injury death in the United States. “In 2014, America’s poison control centers managed 2.9 million calls, about 2.2 million of which were about people coming into contact with dangerous or potentially dangerous substances,” said Jay L. Schauben, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, Director of the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center in Jacksonville, and current AAPCC President. “National Poison Prevention Week allows poison centers to emphasize poison prevention education to help prevent poisoning accidents before they occur and to raise awareness that health care professionals are available around the clock for assistance in our nation’s poison centers.”

    Jointly, America’s 55 poison centers provide services to the entire U.S. population in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Poison centers save lives and protect the health of Americans through direct medical services, data collection and monitoring, and educational outreach, at no cost to the public. “Poisonings can happen anywhere and to anyone. While the majority of poisonings happen at home, they can also occur in the workplace, schools, and healthcare facilities. Parents and older adults are not the only ones who benefit from poison control services. Health care providers in emergency rooms and hospitals rely on the experts at poison centers to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients as well,” said Dr. Schauben.                

    In 2014, approximately 68 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers were treated at the exposure site, saving millions of dollars in unnecessary hospital visits. Unfortunately, budget cuts continue to threaten the existence of poison centers. “Poison centers save Americans more than $1.8 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity, however, without continued funding, many poison centers could be forced to close their doors,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, AAPCC CEO and Executive Director. “The poison control system is extremely cost-efficient, as it takes just $0.43 a year per U.S. resident to fund the nation’s poison control system, a network of 55 poison centers working tirelessly to provide free services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round through the Poison Help line.”

    While most poisoning deaths are due to the misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs, poison exposures can involve a vast array of substances and occur in many ways. In 2014, almost 80 percent of exposures reported to poison centers involved people who swallowed a substance. However, people were also exposed through the lungs, skin, eyes, and other routes. Additionally, 57 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers involved medications, or pharmaceuticals. Other exposures are to consumer and household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, chemicals, and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances. “It’s important to remember that poisonings can really happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. While the majority of human exposures called in to poison centers occur at a residence, they can also occur in the workplace, schools, healthcare facilities and elsewhere. The good news is that many poisonings are preventable.

    Content Credit: http://www.aapcc.org/

    Danger with Asbestos

    3/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Continuing Studies are shedding new light on asbestos-related cancer

    US scientists analyzing tumor samples from patients with mesothelioma – a form of cancer linked with asbestos exposure – have mapped out the gene faults associated with the disease in unprecedented detail.

    "We still need to dig deeper into the genetics and work out how to exploit what we find." - Professor Dean Fennell, Cancer Research UK

    The findings, by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston working with colleagues at pharmaceutical company Genentech, suggest some patients may respond to existing experimental drugs.

    An expert from Cancer Research UK said the discovery, based on samples from more than 200 patients, were the most detailed analysis to date.

    “Mesothelioma is a cancer for which we're urgently searching for new treatments, and this study provides us with a map of how to find them,” said Professor Dean Fennell, a Cancer Research UK-funded expert in mesothelioma from the University of Leicester.

    “It's the most comprehensive analysis to date of the gene defects in mesothelioma cells, and confirms what previous, smaller studies have shown. Most notably it confirms the importance of several genetic flaws, suggesting that some patients could do well on a number of experimental drugs being tested for other cancers - this will now need testing in clinical trials.” 

    The researchers compared genetic data from normal and cancerous tissues from 201 patients’ tumor samples, unearthing more than 2,500 faults, and 10 genes commonly altered genes. 

    "By studying so many samples, we've been able to describe a spectrum of mutations for this rare disease. A small number of these mutations have been found previously in other cancers, and drugs have been developed to target these mutations," said study leader Dr Raphael Bueno. 

    "This new work suggests that patients with such mutations may benefit from certain existing drugs."

    Two patients appeared to have mutations that suggested they might have responded to a leukemia drug called imatinbib, which targets a gene defect called BCR-Abl. Others had tumors that produced high levels of a molecule called PD-L1, thought to confer sensitivity to new immunotherapy drugs.

    "We plan to continue this important research through investigator-sponsored trials evaluating the potential use of cancer immunotherapies for the treatment of mesothelioma," said Bueno.

    The research also identified hallmarks of several processes at play inside cancer cells as the disease developed. But what was still missing, said Professor Fennell, was detailed information about how asbestos triggered mesothelioma. 

    “What’s still not clear is the identity of the key gene faults responsible for mesothelioma’s initiation. Finding this out will be key to understanding how to beat this terrible disease. So we still need to dig deeper into the genetics and work out how to exploit what we find - something several research teams, including my own, are working on." 

    Quick pick up

    3/18/2016 (Permalink)

    Quick pick up after St. Patrick’s Day bash.

    It is 11:00 p.m. and all the guests have left. You are going to relax and unwind for a little while. As you look around at the living area you're about to relax in, you see a couch, bookshelf, coffee table, and floor in desperate need of help. With just a quick fifteen minutes, you can transform any living area in little to no time at all.

    Difficulty: Easy

    Time Required: 15 Minutes

    Here's How:

    1. Grab your supplies.
    2. This is the most important step. Having all of your supplies together before you begin means no distractions in the middle of cleaning up. Everything is handy when you need it. Put all items that do not belong in the living room in a container.
    3. Do not try to pick up each item and place it where it belongs. Even if you don't get distracted you will waste time running to all ends of the house multiple times.
    4. Tackle the couch.
    5. Brush off the cushions. Retrieve any missing items from the depths of the couch. Brush off the dirt from the interior of the couch onto the floor. Replace and fluff the pillows.
    6. Dust down the coffee table and arrange its contents properly.
    7. The goal here is to quickly brush off the table and neatly stack its contents. We're not shining the furniture meticulously, or alphabetizing coffee table books
    8. Neatly arrange the magazines and books.

    Don't try to weed out magazines and books that you've been thinking about storing or tossing. Just arrange them neatly and move on.

    1. Vacuum or sweep up the floor.

    Don't move furniture to do so. Don't try to vacuum the pillows and couch. Leave these more in depth items for when you have more time. Do, however, remember to get the dirt we brushed out of the interior of the couch.

    Put away your dust rag and vacuum or broom.

    Take a few moments to enjoy, and take some time for yourself.

    Tips:

    If you have a few minutes left over after vacuuming, grab the container and take the missing items to their homes. It will probably only take a few minutes, but save you time tomorrow morning.

    If the living room is relatively clutter free, use your extra time to vacuum the couch interior after finishing the floor.

    Unless you're extremely motivated, let yourself relax after doing this quick fifteen minutes. While getting a lot of things done tonight might help you be ahead tomorrow, constantly working and not taking time for yourself will do more damage in the long run.

    If things are too difficult to clean from the evening’s activities or you could just use some help, call SERVPRO we can clean carpet, upholstery and deodorize your home. The time AFTER St. Patty’s Day can be a chore.  

    Contents Credit: housekeeping.about.com  

    Jello that is Green (St. Patty's Day)

    3/16/2016 (Permalink)

    St. Patrick’s Layered Jell-O

    I love Jell-O, and this recipe is a St. Patrick’s Day variation of the popular strawberry pretzel Jell-O. Enjoy! 

    St. Patrick's Layered Jell-O

     Ingredients:

     Layer 1:

    2 cups pretzels, crushed

    3/4 cup butter, melted

    3 tablespoons sugar

     Layer 2:

    1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

    3/4 cup sugar

    1 (8 oz.) container cool whip (about 2 cups)

    Food coloring, green

     Layer 3:

    1 (6 oz.) box Jell-O, lime

    2 cups water, boiling

    1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

     Layer 4:

    1 8-ounce container cool whip (about 2 cups)

    Directions:

    Layer 1:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    2. Mix pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into 13×9″ baking dish and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. 

    Layer 2:

    1. Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in cool whip, and tint green with food coloring.

    2. Spread over cooled pretzel crust and refrigerate until well chilled. 

    Layer 3:

    Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add pineapple. Allow mixture to cool and set slightly before pouring over cream cheese mixture.

    Layer 4:

    Top with cool whip when layer 3 is completely set. 

    Contents Credit : http://www.celebratingholidays.com/

    Save some time

    3/11/2016 (Permalink)

    Save some time during daylight savings time, by throwing dinner in the crock pot first thing in the morning.

    Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

    Prep time

    10 mins

    Cook time

    4 hours

    Total time

    4 hours 10 mins

    This recipe is so easy to throw into your slow cooker and the honey teriyaki flavor is our of this world! The chicken cooks to perfection and will be one of the best things that you will make!

    Author: Alyssa

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    4 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds

    ½ cup soy sauce

    ½ cup honey

    ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

    ¼ cup onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    ¼ teaspoon pepper

    ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

    ¼ cup water

    3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

    Optional garnish: green onions, sesame seeds

    Instructions

    Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place the chicken breasts in the bottom. In a small bowl whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, onion, garlic, pepper and ginger. Pour over the chicken breasts.

    Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-5 or until chicken is cooked throughout and shreds easily. Once the chicken is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and shred on a plate.

    Pour the sauce into a medium sauce pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Slowly whisk into the sauce on medium high heat. Continue to whisk and let it boil until the honey teriyaki sauce starts to thicken. About 2 minutes.

    Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and pour the sauce on top stirring to coat. Serve over rice and garnish if desired.

    Contents and Picture credit: therecipecritic.com

    Scotchgard Woman

    3/9/2016 (Permalink)

    During Women’s History Month we would like to pay homage to Patsy Sherman.

    Who is Patsy Sherman?

    Patsy Sherman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1930. After college graduation, she joined 3M as a research chemist and was assigned to work on fluorochemical polymers. Patsy Sherman was one of very few women chemists to work for a major corporation when she was hired by 3M in 1952. Her work was an essential part of the introduction of 3M's first stain repellent and soil release textile treatments which have grown into an entire family of products known as Scotchgard protectors.

    Invention of Scotchgard

    Patsy Sherman regards the serendipitous discovery of Scotchgard as one of her most significant works because many experts had written that such a product was "thermodynamically impossible." Patsy Sherman said, "We were trying to develop a new kind of rubber for jet aircraft fuel lines, when one of the lab assistants accidentally dropped a glass bottle that contained a batch of synthetic latex I had made.

    Some of the latex mixture splashed on the assistant's canvas tennis shoes and the result was remarkable."

    That day in the lab is legendary. Patsy Sherman and her colleague, Sam Smith, were working on another project when they observed that the accidental spill on a white tennis shoe would not wash off nor would solvent remove it. The area resisted soiling. They recognized the commercial potential of its application to fabrics during manufacture and by the consumer at home. So go ahead and put your feet up… the dirt will wash off.

    Scotchgard was first sold in 1956, however, Patsy Sherman and Samuel Smith obtained U.S. patent #3,574,791 in 1973, for the method for treating carpets, now known as Scotchgard.

    The name Scotchgard is a combination of the words Scotch and a misspelling of the word guard.

    Patsy Sherman was inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame in 1983. Patsy Sherman and Sam Smith jointly hold 13 patents in fluorochemical polymers and polymerization processes.

    The Fluorocarbon Controversy - Scotchgard Revisited

    According to an Earth Times article, "Scotchgard ingredients belong to a family of fluorocarbon chemicals that degrade to form perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

    3M has manufactured PFOS since 1948, and in 2000 was expected to produce more than 10 million pounds of the compound for use in Scotchgard products." However, on May 16, 2000, 3M announced that it would phase out PFOS because of concerns over “new” data that the chemical had been “detected broadly at extremely low levels in the environment and in people.”

    The bottom line - our health and the environment were at risk. While there is controversy surrounding the issue, it is excellent that 3M decided to phase out chemicals proven to be harmful.

    Thank You Patsy for inventing the beginning of a product that we use at SERVPRO today

    Contents Credit: http://inventors.about.com/

    Be A Hero

    3/7/2016 (Permalink)

     Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross brings help and hope to people in need, thanks to heroes like you. Whether people donate funds, donate blood or volunteer, Red Cross depends on the community’s support to make a difference across the country.

    Each year, the president of the United States proclaims March "Red Cross Month.” Red Cross uses this month as a chance to honor and celebrate the everyday heroes who help them fulfill their mission. This March, we at SERVPRO encourage you to uncover your inner hero. Choose to Donate, Give blood, take a class or Volunteer. Be a hero today!

    The history of the American Red Cross is inseparable from the history of America itself. Since 1881, American Red Cross members and volunteers have been an essential part of our nation’s response to war, natural disaster and other human suffering. We’ve been witness to great tragedy, but more importantly we’ve seen the triumph of the human spirit as people work together to help each other rebuild their lives and communities. Through the links below, you can explore some of the key points when Red Cross history and American history intersect.

    Mission Statement

    The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.?

    Vision Statement

    The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that...

    ...all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;

    ...our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;

    ...everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;

    ...all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and

    ...in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.

    Fundamental Principles of the Global Red Cross Network

    Humanity

    The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors—in its international and national capacity—to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.

    Impartiality

    It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

    Neutrality

    In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

    Independence

    The Red Cross is independent. The national societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with Red Cross principles.

    Voluntary Service

    The Red Cross is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

    Unity

    There can be only one Red Cross society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.

    Universality

    The Red Cross is a worldwide institution in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other.

    Contents Credit: www.redcross.org

    In the Spring Cleaning Spirit?

    3/4/2016 (Permalink)

    In the Spring Cleaning Spirit?

    How to Clean Grease from Kitchen Cabinet Doors

    Little idea from SERVPRO on how to restore those wonderful cabinet doors. Grease stains have a tendency to go unnoticed, allowing them to build up to seemingly impossible proportions. This grime can damage the wood of your cabinets if allowed to remain for a long period of time. However, as unpleasant as these stains may seem, they are easily remedied. Try the gentlest method first and if necessary, move to more aggressive solutions until you find the best formula for your situation.

    Clean away the grime.

    Try the Easiest Solution First

    Mix 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap with 2 cups of warm water and scrub the cabinet with a clean cloth, following the grain of the wood. Rinse the area clean with a sponge, and dry it with a clean towel.

    Dish soap is mild and effective.

    Bring Out the Good Old Baking Soda

    Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean damp cloth and scrub the cabinet. Rinse with a clean sponge, and dry the area with a clean dry towel.

    Baking soda will not scratch the cabinets.

    White Vinegar is an Effective All Purpose Cleaner

    Add 1 cup white vinegar to the Dawn dish soap and water mixture. The solution is now 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1 cup white vinegar.

    White vinegar is a household wonder cleaner.

    Old Fashioned Borax Can Often Save the Day

    If you need to be still more aggressive, add half a cup of borax to the dish soap, vinegar and water mix. Repeat the scrubbing action with a soft cloth and wipe with a dry cloth.

    You might need to add more warm water to dissolve the borax.

    A Final Coat of Oil Will Make the Cabinets Gleam

    Finish by wiping the cabinets down with a small amount of orange oil, lemon oil or even mineral oil.

    Contents credit. www.pintrest.com

    Green means Clean

    3/2/2016 (Permalink)

    “GREEN MEANS CLEAN”

    Let SERVPRO assist you cleaning up the “messiness” that the winter season has brought to your home with a few spring cleaning tips:

     1. Defunk Your Fabrics: Wash the mattress pad, pillow coverings, and pillows from everyone's bed (all pillow types except foam can go into the washer, but check the labels for specific laundering instructions). Then do a second load with your bath mat, shower curtain, and even the curtain liner on the gentle cycle with color-safe bleach.

     2. Sanitize Your Work Station: Wipe down your computer screen with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth. Do the same with the mouse pad, then load a fun wallpaper on the screen.

     3. Manage Microwave Messes: Fresh lemons smell clean so try this: Cut one in half, put the pieces in a microwave-safe bowl with water to cover, and cook on High for two to three minutes. The steam will soften hardened food inside the oven while you enjoy the citrus scent. Then grate the fruit in the garbage disposal to eliminate any musty odor and greasy gunk.

     4. Shake It Out: Gather up throw rugs and take them outside for a good shake. Then air them on a clothesline or railing for several hours.

     5. Purge the Fridge: Pull the trash can over and dump lingering leftovers, spoiled food, and open bottles of condiments, like grill marinade from last summer. You could remove all the glass shelves and bins and wash them or give them a fast once-over with a wet cloth or sponge. Don't forget fingerprints and splatters on the door front and handle. A fresh box of baking soda absorbs odors, too.

     6. Cut Table Clutter: Switch from tablecloths to place mats, and arrange a bowl of fruit or a vase of fresh flowers in the middle of the kitchen table. The mats are easier to keep clean — plus, if your table looks set, it's a less likely landing pad for mail and other clutter.

     7. Bring Spring Indoors: Buy a few potted plants (pansies and gerbera daisies will be flowering soon), and tuck them into nicer pots. It's still too chilly for planting, but meantime you can enjoy their pretty petals.

     8. Banish Garbage Odors: Take plastic garbage cans outside for a quick hosing out, and leave them upside down to dry. Then sprinkle the bottoms with baking soda to keep cans odor free.

     9. De-Germ Sponges: Soaking a sponge in bleach killed 99.9 percent of the three bacteria strains from all our test sponges (scrub and regular cellulose), a benchmark based on the EPA's requirement for sanitization of non-food-contact surfaces. Mix 3/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water, and soak the sponge for five minutes.

     10. Clean the Corners: If you celebrate Passover — thought to be one origin of spring cleaning, since it's Jewish tradition to clean the home from top to bottom to get rid of any leavened bread forbidden on the holiday — you may have already done a number on your kitchen. But even if you won't be at a Seder, it's a perfect time to sweep up or vacuum crumbs wherever they lurk.

     11. Toss Old Toiletries: In the bathroom, see if your loofah or toothbrush needs replacing. You should get a new brush every three months and a new scrubber every 30 days, but toss immediately if the bristles are frayed or the loofah is mildewed. Also, check the cabinet for expired cold medicines and trash them.

     12. Zap Oven Spills: Burned-on blobs welded to the bottom of your oven can give off odors and smoke. If you have time to run a self-cleaning cycle — even a short two-hour one — it's your best bet (and you can go do something else while it works). If not, just focus on the worst stains. Take a metal spatula and gently chip off any loose pieces — with any luck, this alone might do the trick. If not, liberally spritz with full-strength ammonia from a spray bottle. Leave it for at least five minutes, then sprinkle on enough baking soda to completely cover the stain; add just a few drops of white vinegar. Let it bubble for a minute or two, then whisk away the grime with a scrub sponge. Rinse with a clean, wet, regular sponge.

     TELL US: What's the number one thing on your spring cleaning list?

     Contents credit: www.womansday.com

    Leap year

    2/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Leap year: 10 Interesting facts about February 29th

    The "leap day" of 29 February exists for purely astronomical reasons, but has always prompted less scientific curiosities.

    Here are 10 things to think about

    1. The leap year's extra day is necessary because of the "messiness" of our Solar System. One Earth year (a complete orbit around the Sun) does not take an exact number of whole days (one complete spin of the Earth on its axis). In fact, it takes 365.2422 days, give or take.

    2. Until Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar - with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a convoluted solution to the problem and feast days began sliding into different seasons. So Caesar ordered his astronomer, Sosigenes, to simplify things. Sosigenes opted for the 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. This is how the 29 February was born. It was then fine-tuned by Pope Gregory XIII (see below).

    3. Every fourth year is a leap year, as a rule of thumb. But that's not the end of the story. A year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not. So 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 are not leap years. "It seems a bit arbitrary," says Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics at Warwick University. But there's a good reason behind it. "The year is 365 days and a quarter long - but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years. But it is very slightly less." The answer arrived at by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers when they introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1582, was to lose three leap days every 400 years. The math has hung together ever since. It will need to be rethought in about 10,000 years' time, Stewart warns. But by then mankind might have come up with a new system.

    4. Why is February 29, not February 31, a leap year day? All the other months have 30 or 31 days, but February suffered from the ego of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, says Stewart. Under Julius Caesar, February had 30 days, but when Caesar Augustus was emperor he was peeved that his month - August - had only 29 days, whereas the month named after his predecessor Julius - July - had 31. "He pinched a couple of days for August to make it the same as July. And it was poor old February that lost out," says Prof Stewart.

    5. The tradition of a woman proposing on a leap year has been attributed to various historical figures. One, although much disputed, was St Bridget in the 5th Century. She is said to have complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. St Patrick then supposedly gave women a single day in a leap year to pop the question - the last day of the shortest month. Another popular story is that Queen Margaret of Scotland brought in a law setting fines for men who turned down marriage proposals put by women on a leap year. Sceptics have pointed out that Margaret was five years old at the time and living far away in Norway. The tradition is not thought to have become commonplace until the 19th Century. It is believed that the tradition of women proposing on this day goes back to the times when the leap year day was not recognized by English law. Under this theory, if the day had no legal status, it was acceptable to break with the convention of a man proposing.

    6. A prayer has been written by a female cleric for people planning a leap year day marriage proposal. The prayer, for 29 February, asks for blessings on the engaged couple. It reminds them that wedding plans should not overtake preparations for a lifetime together. The prayer has been taken from Pocket Prayers of Blessing by the Venerable Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich:

    "God of love, please bless N and N as they prepare for the commitment of marriage. May the plans for the wedding not overtake the more important preparation for their lifetime together. Please bless their family and friends as they prepare for this special day and may your blessing be upon them now and always. Amen."

    7. The practice of women proposing in a leap year is different around the world. In Denmark, it is not supposed to be 29 but 24 February, which hails back to the time of Julius Caesar. A refusal to marry by Danish men means they must give the woman 12 pairs of gloves. In Finland, it is not gloves but fabric for a skirt and in Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky, leading many couples to avoid it.

    8. The chance of being born on a leap day is often said to be one in 1,461. Four years is 1,460 days and adding one for the leap year you have 1,461. So, odds of 1/1,461. But Stewart points out that is very slightly out, owing to the loss of the three leap years every 400 years. In any case, babies are more likely to be born at certain times of the year rather than others, due to a range of other factors, he says. Babies born on 29 February are known as "leapers" or "leaplings".

    9. Other calendars apart from the Gregorian require leap years. The modern Iranian calendar is a solar calendar with eight leap days inserted into a 33-year cycle. The Indian National Calendar and the Revised Bangla Calendar of Bangladesh arrange their leap years so that the leap day is always close to 29 February in the Gregorian calendar.

    10. Explorer Christopher Columbus used the lunar eclipse of 29 February 1504 to his advantage during his final trip to the West Indies. After several months of being stranded with his crew on the island of Jamaica, relations with the indigenous population broke down and they refused to continue helping with food and provisions. Columbus, knowing a lunar eclipse was due, consulted his almanac and then gathered the native chiefs on 29 February. He told that God was to punish them by painting the Moon red. During the eclipse, he said that God would withdraw the punishment if they starting co-operating again. The panicked chiefs agreed and the Moon began emerging from its shadow.

    Also of a supernatural nature, on 29 February 1692 the first warrants were issued in the Salem witchcraft trials in Massachusetts.

    Are you prepared to take advantage of this extra day to do something different? Perhaps starting Spring Cleaning early? SERVPRO can help you leap into that.  It transpires there are a lot of people who're ready to use this day to take a leap. Let us assist you cleaning up the “messiness” that the winter season has brought to your home. 

    Contents Credit: www.wikipedia.org

    Heart Healthy Hungry?

    2/26/2016 (Permalink)

    HEART HEALTHY FRENCH COUNTY CHICKEN

    Dietitian's tip:

    These boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sautéed and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti or fettuccini with a steamed broccoli-carrot blend on the side.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each 4 ounces

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    4 shallots, thinly sliced

    1/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

    1 tablespoon all-purpose (plain) flour

    1/4 cup white wine

    1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock

    1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Directions

    Place the chicken breasts between wax paper and pound with a mallet to flatten. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

    In a small frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and wine until all the lumps are gone. Add the flour mixture to the shallots and mushrooms. Stir in the chicken stock and cook over medium-high heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rosemary.

    In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until no longer pink or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 170 F, about 5 minutes.

    To serve, transfer 2 chicken breast halves onto each plate. Spoon mushroom sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

    Nutritional analysis per serving

    Serving size: 2 chicken breast halves

    Total fat 9 g

    Calories 239

    Protein 28 g

    Cholesterol 66 mg

    Total carbohydrate 6 g

    Dietary fiber 0.5 g

    Monounsaturated fat 5 g

    Saturated fat 1 g

    Sodium 98 mg

    There are a lot of other HEART HEALTHY RECIPES ON: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/heart-healthy-recipes/rcs-20077163 to help take care of your heart. 

    Millions of Hearts

    2/24/2016 (Permalink)

    American Heart Month

    This February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is challenging men to start one new, heart-healthy behavior. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, and African American men are disproportionately affected more by heart disease than other races or ethnicities.

    Simple changes can make a big difference! Here are some ideas for getting started:

    Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.

    Add physical activity to your daily routine.

    Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.

    Quit smoking.

    Join the Conversation

    Follow Million Hearts® on Facebook and Twitter and share your #HeartMonth posts.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/millionhearts

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/millionheartsus

    Facebook Challenge

    Learn how to protect your future—and the people you love—by protecting your heart. Encourage friends and family to make healthy changes with you by being part of our #HeartMonth Facebook Challenge. Each week, Million Hearts® will challenge you to complete one action that can help you maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle—and to share your success!

    In our first 10 years, we’ve changed millions of hearts

    Ten years ago, the American Heart Association discovered that heart disease killed more women than men. And it took more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined. So we created Go Red For Women, a network of women dedicated to education, support, and research. Since then, we’ve educated millions of women on the dangers of heart disease, and made major changes in health care. Over these first ten years, we’ve tracked the progress for millions of women involved, and the improvements within the healthcare industry. Here are ten encouraging accomplishments that make all of those involved very proud.

    1. Lives are being saved

    34% fewer women now die from heart disease.

    More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved.

    2. Overall heart health has improved

    Nearly 90% of participants made healthy lifestyle changes.

    37% have lost excess weight.

    More than half now exercise more.

    60% now eat healthier diets.

    43% have had their cholesterol checked.

    3. Awareness of heart disease has increased

    23% increase in awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

    4. Unhealthy lifestyle risks have decreased

    Smoking decreased by 15.1%.

    Cholesterol levels decreased 18.1%.

    5. Diversity challenges have been identified and targeted

    Heart disease rates vary by ethnicity, with unique challenges for each.

    Targeted efforts are reaching African American and Hispanic women.

    6. Grassroots movement has grown substantially

    Enrollment has grown from 395,000 to 1,751,512.

    Women completing Go Red Heart Check-ups has increased from 127,227 to 1,960,704.

    Annual Go Red luncheons/events has grown from 65 to 1,377.

    Website hits have grown from 293K to 56.6 M.

    7. Advocacy efforts have been successful

    Congress passed the Heart for Women Act in 2012, requiring the FDA to report clinical trials based on gender.

    We helped increase funding from the Center for Disease Control to provide screenings for low-income women.

    We helped pass a law in 2010 to keep women’s health insurance premiums from costing more than men’s.

    8. Gender-specific guidelines have been developed for prevention and treatment

    We’re helping physicians recognize that women’s heart symptoms and treatment are different from men’s.

    Our “Get with the Guidelines” program has helped hospitals provide improved heart treatment for both genders.

    9. We’ve helped medical research become gender-specific

    Women have been under represented in clinical studies, but the FDA now requires results reported by gender.

    Increased gender-based research has revealed important differences in women’s symptoms and response to medications.

    10. Gender-specific inequalities are identified and targeted

    We’ve discovered that women aren’t receiving the same level of treatment for heart disease as men. But this is changing!

    The fight is not over. Heart disease is still the #1 killer of women. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve made great progress in our first ten years, and with your help we’ll keep working to change women’s hearts.

    Learn how to live healthy and sign up for Go Red For Women’s E-Newsletter on our homepage for heart disease news, research and advice just for you.

    Contents Credit: millionhearts.hhs.gov and www.goredforwomen.org

    World Thinking day

    2/22/2016 (Permalink)

    During World thinking day, let’s be ready for damage if it happens with these helpful SERVPRO tips with what to do until help arrives.

    During a fire or smoke damage

    DO:

    Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded in to upholstery and carpet.

    Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, wall and woodwork.

    Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

    If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to prevent odor.

    Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

    If heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

    Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.

    Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

    Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

    DON’T:

    Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERPRIO Franchise Professional.

    Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.

    Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

    Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to the fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)

    Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.

    Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

    During a water damage from clean water

    DO:

    Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

    Turn off circuit breakers for the wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.

    Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

    Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

    Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

    Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

    Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

    Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

    Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

    Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

    DON’T:

    Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

    Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

    Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.

    Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall to wall carpets to cause staining.

    Use your household vacuum cleaner to remover water possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

    Use TV’s or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

    Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

    During water damage from contaminated water 

    DO:

    Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

    Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

    DON’T:

    Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.

    Turn on 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 of exposed to the contaminated areas. 

    During vandalism damage

    DO:

    Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible

    Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.

    Save containers which reveal the ingredients for spilled inks, cosmetics and paints. 

    DON’T:

    Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.

    Operate damaged lamps or appliances.

    Discard furniture wood chips, broken pieces from porcelain, furniture or art objects.

    During harmful waste damage

    DO:

    Stay out of affected areas.

    Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.

    Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.

    DON’T:

    Attempt cleanup of any kind.

    Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.

    These tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO arrives

    Care for your Caregiver

    2/19/2016 (Permalink)

    Care for the Caregivers

    Over 50 million Americans are providing care to a family member. The value of these services, provided by family members caring for loved ones, is estimated to be $306 billion annually.  We recognize these unsung heroes during National Family Caregiver Day

    Sponsored each year by the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), focuses on the challenges facing family caregivers. Family caregivers provide a wide range of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking and other services on a daily or intermittent basis. While some family caregivers provide 24/7 care for loved ones who require assistance for all daily living activities, others may provide care on a part-time basis. Family caregiving can extend for a few years or a lifetime.

    It’s time to thank, support, educate, and celebrate family caregivers who are America’s primary long-term care providers. Families or friends provide Eighty percent of long-term care. 

    Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Family Caregivers Day 

    Offer a few hours of respite time to a family caregiver so they can spend time with friends, or simply relax.

    Send a card of appreciation or a bouquet of flowers to brighten a family caregiver’s day. Encourage local businesses to offer a free service for family caregivers through the month of November.

    Help a family caregiver decorate their home for the holidays or offer to address envelopes for their holiday cards.

    Offer comic relief! Purchase tickets to a local comedy club, give a family caregiver your favorite funny movie to view, or provide them with a book on tape.

     Find 12 different photos of the caregiver’s family and friends. Have a copy center create a 2008 calendar that the family caregiver can use to keep track of appointments and events.

    Offer to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a caregiving family in your community, so they can just relax and enjoy the holiday.

    Take a few minutes to write a letter. Encourage your faith community to ask for prayers not only for those who are ill, but also those who care for them.

    Encourage family caregivers to become a part of the National Family Caregiver Story Project. It’s a great place to not only share but read about others in like situations.

    Help a family caregiver find new educational materials and support through family caregiving web sites or by calling local social service agencies for help. 

    Visit the National Family Caregiver Association website to learn more about National Family Caregiving Day and for additional resources and information.

    Here is a fun craft to complete for your special caregiver:

    Materials Needed:

  • Felted wool
  • Rice
  • Pinking shears
  • Muslin fabric
  • Template
  • Heart Hand Warmers Tutorial:

  • Make a heart template and cut out
  • Cut out 2 hearts out of muslin and 2 hearts out of wool
  • Layer the 2 muslin hearts, wool heart on top and bottom
  • Sew all the way around the heart, leaving a 1″ opening for rice filling
  • Use a funnel and fill with rice
  • Sew the opening closed
  • Using pinking shears, trim the edges
  • Warm in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. 
  • Mold, Moisture and your home

    2/17/2016 (Permalink)

    Picture and Content Credit: enlightenme.com and nachi.org

    Mold, Moisture and Your Home

    Mold Basics

    The key to mold control is moisture control.

    If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

    It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    Why is mold growing in my home?

    Molds are part of the natural environment.  Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves and dead trees.  But indoors, mold growth should be avoided.  Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.  Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. 

    Who should do the cleanup?

    This depends on a number of factors.  One consideration is the size of the mold problem.  If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3-foot by 3-foot patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, following the guidelines below. 

    If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult SERVPRO.

    If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider- SERVPRO) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold.  Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations of the EPA, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.

    Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold.  This could spread mold throughout the building.

    If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water. 

    Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips:

    Moisture control is the key to mold control, so when water leaks or spills occur indoors, ACT QUICKLY.  If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases, mold will not grow.  

    Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.  

    Make sure the ground slopes away from the building's foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.  

    Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

    Keep indoor humidity low.  If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60% relative humidity (ideally, between 30% to 50%).  Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, which is a small, inexpensive instrument (from $10 to $50) that is available at many hardware stores.  

    If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

    Actions that will help to reduce humidity:

    Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters, to the outdoors, where possible.  (Combustion appliances, such as stoves and kerosene heaters, produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)  

    Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.  

    Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering.  Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.

    Actions that will help prevent condensation:

    Reduce the humidity (see above).  

    Increase ventilation and air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical.  Use fans as needed.  

    Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.  

    Increase air temperature.

    Things You Should Know About Mold

    1.  There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

    2.  If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.

    3.  Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

    4.  Reduce indoor humidity (to 30% to 60%) to decrease mold growth by:

    a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;

    b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;

    c. increasing ventilation; and

    d. using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.  

    5.  Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    6.  Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials that are moldy (such as carpeting and ceiling tiles) may need to be replaced.

    7.  Prevent condensation.  Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof and floors) by adding insulation.

    8.  In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting.

    9.  Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

    Top 10 Tips for Preventing Mold after Your Home is Water Damaged

    When a home is flooded, due to either a natural disaster or a major water leak within the house, mold can set in fairly fast, sometimes in as little as 48 hours.

    1.       Open all windows and doors to increase ventilation and help dry things out. If you have power and you know it is safe to use, set up fans to speed up the process.

    2.       Wall to wall carpeting and padding should be removed and thrown away. Wet carpeting may be very slow to dry and can ruin the floor underneath.

    3.       Upholstered furniture, mattresses and pillows should be disposed of. These are very hard to clean completely and can take a long time to dry and this is exactly the conditions that mold needs to take hold.

    4.       If the wallboard has come in contact with water, it will need to be removed. Wet wallboard will swell and deteriorate and mold can set in very quickly.

    5.       Dispose of any wet books and papers that aren’t valuable. Make copies of important documents and throw the originals away if possible.

    6.       Mop vinyl or ceramic floors with a disinfecting cleaner. Make sure that the underlayment is dry.

    7.       Wash draperies and curtains or have them dry cleaned according to the manufactures’ instructions.

    8.       Remove as much moisture from hardwood floors as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the process but avoid using heat as it may cause the floor to warp.

    9.       If ceiling tiles are wet, remove and discard them. Allow the space to dry and air out completely before installing a new ceiling.

    10.   You may need to hire a water remediation service if the damage is extensive so the house can be dried out as soon as possible. Remember that when it comes to preventing mold, the sooner you can tackle the water damage the better chance you have of preventing mold.

    Random Acts of Kindness Week

    2/15/2016 (Permalink)

    101 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

    During Random acts of kindness week SERVPRO would like to give you some wonderful ideas.

     1. Be there “We are here for you” to help others in time of crisis and help make it “Like it never happened”.

    2. Bring doughnuts (or a healthy treat, like cut-up fruit) to work.
    3. While you’re out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
    4. Don’t write the angry internet comment you’re thinking of writing.
    5. When everyone around you is gossiping about someone, be the one to butt in with something nice.
    6. Cook a meal or do a load of laundry for a friend who just had a baby or is going through a difficult time.
    7. If you walk by a car with an expired parking meter, put a quarter in it.

    8.  Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now
    9. Hang out with the person who just moved to town.
    10. Offer a homeless person your leftovers bag from the restaurant.
    11. Each time you get a new piece of clothing, donate an old one.
    12. Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking. (Surprisingly few people master this.)
    13. Email or write an old teacher who made a difference in your life.
    14. Compliment someone to their boss.
    15. Leave a nice server the biggest tip you can afford

    16. Smile at someone on the street, just because.

    17. Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you.

    18. Forgive someone, and never bring up the issue again.
    19. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at a party.
    20. Leave your New York Times or Us Weekly behind for someone else to read at the coffee shop, the doctor’s office, or on a plane.
    21. Cut someone some slack.
    22. Help a mother with her baby stroller.
    23. Become a big brother or big sister.
    24. Let the person behind you at the supermarket checkout with one or two items go ahead of you.

    25. Write someone a letter. Like a real letter, on paper. And mail it!
    26. Give away stuff for free on Craigslist.
    27. Make a “breakup playlist” on Spotify for your friend who’s going through heartbreak.
    28. Give someone a book you think they’d like.
    29. Be the person who puts a tip in the tip jar at the coffee shop. (Fewer people tip than you’d think!)
    30. Bring in fun office supplies to liven up the workday for everyone.
    31. When you go somewhere to get or do something, ask the people around you if you can pick up anything they need.
    32. Give someone a hug.

    33. If you spill creamer or sugar on the counter at Starbucks, wipe it up.
    34. Call your grandparents. Call them!
    35. Donate your old eyeglasses so someone else can use them.
    36. When you’re throwing something away on the street, pick up any litter around you and put that in the trash too.
    37. Write something nice on that person’s updates who posts on Facebook constantly. They’re probably lonely.
    38. Sincerely compliment your boss, who probably doesn’t often get feedback from her reports.
    39. Put sticky notes with positive slogans on the mirrors in restrooms.

    40. Let them have the parking space. 
    41. Relay an overheard compliment.
    42. Volunteer to read to kids at an after-school program.
    43. Bring your partner coffee in bed tomorrow.
    44. Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included.
    45. Stop to talk to a homeless person.
    46. Answer that email you’ve been avoiding.
    47. Send anonymous flowers to the receptionist at work.
    48. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
    49. Donate or recycle your old laptop and electronics.

    50. Write a nice comment on your friend’s blog.
    51. Play board games with senior citizens at a nursing home. Sixty percent of them will never have a visitor during their stay.
    52. Give someone a tissue who’s crying in the public, and offer to talk about it, but only if they want to.
    53. Listen intently.
    54. Babysit for a single mom for free.
    55. Adopt a rescue pet. 
    56. Compliment someone in front of others.

    57. Hold the elevator.
    58. IM or email that person you’re afraid to talk to because you don’t want to “bother them.” They’re probably thinking the same thing about others!
    59. Remind yourself that everyone is fighting their own struggles.
    60. Leave some extra quarters in the laundry room.
    61. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
    62. Put together a small herb garden for someone.
    63. Empathize.

    64. Say thank you to a janitor.

    65. Talk to someone at work whom you haven’t talked to before.
    66. Frame your friend’s favorite lyric or quote and give it to them with a nice note.
    67. Send dessert to another table.
    68. Text someone just to say good morning or good night.
    69. Help your elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn.
    70. Give up your seat to someone (anyone!) on the bus or subway.

    71. Tell your siblings how much you appreciate them.
    72. Bring a security guard a hot cup of coffee.
    73. Plant a tree.
    74. Purchase some extra dog or cat food and drop it off at an animal shelter.
    75. If you’re a good photographer, take photos of your friends and make them into a digital album.
    76. Send mail to a children's hospital.
    77. Smile when you feel like scowling.

    78. Wash someone’s car.
    79. Dog or cat sit for free.
    80. Keep an extra umbrella at work and let someone borrow it on their way home if there’s a sudden downpour.
    81. Make two lunches and give one away.
    82. Reduce air pollution by carpooling.
    83. Say yes at the store when the cashier asks if you want to donate $1 to whichever cause.
    84. Be encouraging!

    85. Help someone struggling with heavy bags.

    86. Take all your change to Coinstar and donate your collection to charity. 

    87. Give your friend a hug, touch their arm, or pat them on the back. So many of us are starved for human touch!

    88. Buy lemonade from a kid’s lemonade stand.
    89. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
    90. Be kind to the customer service rep on the phone. It’s not their fault. 
    91. Do the dishes even if it’s your roommate’s turn.

    92. Print out this gift pillow box and leave someone special something special.

    93. Give someone the rest of your pack of gum.

    94. Be patient.

    95. Clean someone’s windshield.
    96. Every night before you go to bed, think of three things you’re grateful for.
    97. Make plans with that person you’ve been putting off seeing.
    98. Call your mom.
    99. Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading groceries in their car.
    100. Have a clean-up party on the beach or at a park.
    101. When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone — you deserve kindness too!

    Picture and Content Credit: Buzzfeed.com 

    Candle for your LOVE

    2/12/2016 (Permalink)

    CANDLE FOR YOUR LOVE
    Here’s the easy step-by-step tutorial…

    SUPPLIES

    Empty jar

    Candle wax

    Candle wick

    Candy sprinkles

    Corn syrup

    Tip: Make sure your candle is already melted when you begin.

    STEP 1:  Add a small amount of corn syrup inside your jar. Turn your jar to coat the entire inside of the jar. Turn the jar upside down to let the excess run out.

    STEP 2:  Add in your sprinkles. They will stick to the corn syrup. Add a little or a lot or a lot at the bottom and less at the top. It’s fun to be creative!

    STEP 3: Have your candle already melted. Put it in a double boiler or set the candle on a candle warmer until it’s melted.

    STEP 4:  Fill you jar with melted candle wax.

    STEP 5:  Insert the wick and hold it in place with a toothpick until the wax dries.

    This year celebrating Valentine’s Day with your love. When creating the warm glowing atmosphere with candles, because there isa special beauty and tranquility to candles, keep in mind that a lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. In fact, accidental candle fires account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.

    A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed three basic safety rules:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • The National Candle Association urges consumers to always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.

    HOW TO BURN A CANDLE SAFELY

    BEFORE LIGHTING

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use.
  • WHILE BURNING

  • Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
  • Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
  • WHEN EXTINGUISHING

  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
  • Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
  • Contents Credit: www.candles.org

    Picture Credit: www.safewise.com

    Year of the Monkey

    2/10/2016 (Permalink)

    Chinese New Year Facts

    Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in China. It is a time for annual family reunion, which is as important as Christmas Day in western countries. Here are some fun facts about this holiday:

    2016 New Year falls on February 8th (Monday), and the celebration will last for 15 days till February 22nd (Lantern Festival).


    When is exactly Chinese New Year?
    The festival dates change every year as it is defined by the lunar calendar, falling on a day between mid-January and mid-February.


    How long is the festival?
    It starts from the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar and continues for 15 days to the Lantern Festival. The peak time of the entire celebration is on Chinese New Year's Eve and the first day.
    Longest public holiday in China
    Most employees will have 7-12 days off the work, and students have one month winter vacation off.
     

    It is a worldwide festival for a sixth of the globe.
    It is not only celebrated in China, but also observed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world.
     

    Why is red color so popular?
    House decorations for the holiday use red widely in pictures, paper cuttings as well as spring couplets. The fact is that red though considered a warning color in western countries, is the token of fortune, wealth and prosperity in China, which can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

    Why the celebration is also called “Guo Nian”?
    “Nian”is the Chinese word for year. In folk culture, the Spring Festival celebration is also called “Guo Nian” (meaning “passing a year”). In Chinese New Year story, “Nian” is a fierce and cruel monster which eat livestock and kids, but it is scared about red color and cracker sound. Therefore, people use red decorations and fireworks to drive away “Nian”.

    Spring Festival starts a new zodiac year.
    Every year comes with a new zodiac sign. Based on the lunar calendar, an entire cycle of the lunar calendar is completed every 60 years, and 12 years is regarded as a small cycle. Each of the 12 years is defined by a different animal sign: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. To make up the full 60 year cycle, each year is also associated with ‘Yin’ or Yang, and one of ‘Wood’, ‘Fire’, ‘Earth’, ‘Metal’ or ‘Water’.

    The whole country is on the move.
    No matter where someone is, they will attempt to return home for a family reunion. The world's largest human migration takes place annually in China famously known as Spring Festival Travel Rush. A billion people take planes, trains, buses and cars to reunite with their families.

    Different festival foods in south and north China
    This is a very interesting fact – in northern China, people used to having dumplings served at the reunion dinner; while people from southern China prefer rice cakes (Niangao) made of glutinous rice flour.

    Lantern Festival marks the end.
    The Lantern Festival comes on the 15th day of the first lunar month, with people usually enjoying a lantern fair or watching a Shehuo folk performance on the streets.

    New clothes and red underwear
    On New Year's Day, everyone will dress in new clothes to welcome a brand-new age in all respects. Red underwear is also a must, believed able to bring good luck, wealth and longevity, especially for middle-age people.

    Kids get red envelopes as gifts.
    Red envelopes stuffed with cash are the most popular gifts during the festival. Children will receive lucky money from grandparents, uncles, aunts and other elders who have started to earn their way. The amount of money varies according to the giver's financial status.

    House cleaning on Dec. 24th
    There will be a year-end cleanup taking place in every household on the 24th of the last lunar month before the holiday, which is an activity to expel misfortune and poverty.

    Reunion dinner is a ritual.
    The reunion dinner on New Year's Eve is a feast to commemorate the past year. This is the most important time to be with families.

    Largest usage of Firework on this Planet
    According to the legend, the monster “Nian” is afraid of loud sounds, so people set off fireworks to scare it away. Today, fireworks are an indispensable part of the celebration to liven up the air of Spring Festival, creating the biggest firework show on New Year's Eve.
     

    The most watched TV gala on New Year's Eve
    As the most watched TV program, the gala is a must after the reunion dinner for a Chinese family. The four-hour long program collects various well-selected performances, targeting audiences in different gene.

    While watching all of the wonderful displays of fireworks be aware of fire safety:

  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Always read and follow the directions on the label
  • Always have an adult present when handling fireworks
  • Never give fireworks to young children, even sparklers!
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooden area
  • Having a working garden hose or bucket of water handy
  • Keep everyone a safe distance away from fireworks
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Never re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time or one that has finished its display
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Don’t throw fireworks at another person
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Keep spectators at a safe distance
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks
  • Contents and Picture Credit: www.americanpyro.com and www.travelchinaguide.com

    Mardi Gras 2016

    2/8/2016 (Permalink)

    ORIGINS OF MARDI GRAS

    According to historians, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

    Did You Know?

    Rex, one of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes, has been participating in parades since 1872, and established purple, gold and green as the iconic Mardi Gras colors.

    Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the meat, eggs, milk and cheese that remained in their homes, preparing for several weeks of eating only fish and fasting. In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” The word “carnival,” another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, may also derive from this vegetarian-unfriendly custom: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat.

    MARDI GRAS IN THE UNITED STATES

    Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisana, just south of the holiday’s future epicenter: New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.

    On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day. In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city. Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene throughout Louisiana. Other lasting customs include throwing beads and other trinkets, wearing masks, decorating floats and eating King Cake.

    Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama and Mississippi. Each region has its own events and traditions.

    MARDI GRAS AROUND THE WORLD

    Across the globe, pre-Lenten festivals continue to take place in many countries with significant Roman Catholic populations. Brazil’s weeklong Carnival festivities feature a vibrant amalgam of European, African and native traditions. In Canada, Quebec City hosts the giant Quebec Winter Carnival. In Italy, tourists flock to Venice’s Carnevale, which dates back to the 13th century and is famous for its masquerade balls. Known as Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching, the German celebration includes parades, costume balls and a tradition that empowers women to cut off men’s ties. For Denmark’s Fastevlan, children dress up and gather candy in a similar manner to Halloween–although the parallel ends when they ritually flog their parents on Easter Sunday morning.

    WHEN IS MARDI GRAS? MARDI GRAS DATES:

    ·         2014: March 4

    ·         2015: February 17

    ·         2016: February 9

    ·         2017: February 28

    ·         2018: February 13

    ·         2019: March 5

    ·         2020: February 25

    Contents Credit: www.history.com

    Fire safety cookies

    2/5/2016 (Permalink)

    Be aware and ready for fire safety while working in the kitchen

    No Bake Cookies

  • Prep 10 m
  • Ready In 45 m
  • Recipe By: Denise

    "Tasty no-bake cookies made with oatmeal, peanut butter and cocoa. Start timing when mixture reaches a full rolling boil; this is the trick to successful cookies. If you boil too long the cookies will be dry and crumbly. If you don't boil long enough, the cookies won't form properly."

    Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Directions

    1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

     Content credit: allRecipes.com

    Be Prepared

    2/3/2016 (Permalink)

    Burn Awareness Week is also a great time to refresh ourselves on the ways to prevent fires by being prepared. So the first step is plan and get ready.

    Fire is one of the most common disasters to hit the average family. Did you know fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster? But fire doesn’t have to be deadly. Especially if you have early warning from a smoke detector. Another thing everyone in your family should know is how to escape calmly. Please take this seriously. As parents it’s your responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.

    To help you with this we have prepared a checklist which you’ll find below. As you’ll see it is pretty easy to do and a fun family activity because it gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in the protection of your house and loved ones. If you have small children it’s great because they feel a sense of accomplishment. Plus, they take pride in the responsibilities of taking care of family. It helps build their self-esteem.

    We suggest you install dual sensor smoke detectors outside each bedroom and on each additional floor of your residence. Remember to keep new batteries on hand.

    When were new smoke detectors installed: ________ (date)

    When were the Batteries purchased: ________ (date)

    What day of the month are you going to check your smoke detectors: ________ (date) (remember they should be checked every month).

    Create a chart. Make sure there’s a place for the family member in charge to sign their name or initials after each of the tests they’re responsible for.

    ______________ (family member name) checks smoke detectors.

    Look at the fire extinguisher(s) you have; check it to make sure they are properly charged. There’s nothing worse than depending on a fire extinguisher that is out of date. Just imagine how it would feel if you or your loved ones pushed the button. Nothing happened.

    If your house has more than one floor you should have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor. Check the pressure on the gauge. Some fire extinguishers have a test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded in any way, replace it. Some fire extinguishers can be professionally serviced. Find out which kind of fire extinguisher you have.

    Did you know that many fire departments have training on how to use a fire extinguisher? Call your local fire department and ask them when they are holding classes. If they don’t offer this training, ask how you can get involved in helping them create one. That way you not only help your family but many others, too. You can also check with your local Community Emergency Response Team about training in how to use the fire extinguisher. If you live in the United States you can contact your local emergency manager. Every city has one._______________ (family member name) examines extinguisher.

    ______________________________________________________ (family member names) have been trained to use the extinguisher.

    Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.

    Floor plan completed: _____________ (date)

    Remember to pick a safe outside place away from the house to meet after escaping from a fire.

    Meet up place outside: __________________________________

    Remember to teach your children: Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. After everybody’s done it a few times, try doing it with your eyes closed. That way you can see how well each of you would do in thick smoke.

    Smoke escape drill conducted: __________________ (date)

    Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.

    Home fire drill conducted: ______________________ (date)

    Make your home fire safe:

    Fact: Dual sensor smoke detectors save lives. Dual Sensor smoke detectors have both ionization and photoelectric sensors in them. This offers maximum protection from two primary types of fires: flaming and smoldering. Dual photoelectric and ionization smoke sensing technologies offer optimal sensing of smoke particles produced in both flaming and smoldering fire. Remember to install a battery-powered dual sensor smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.

    Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, be sure to replace batteries immediately. Remember all the batteries in your smoke alarms need to be changed at least once a year.

    Don’t forget to have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Did you know that’s where most buyers happen?

    You and every member of your family need to know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. It’s the wrong time to learn when you’re trying to fight a fire. If you don’t know how you can get from the fire department on how to use it. After you’ve gone through the training make sure there is written instructions in your kit on the way to attack a fire. Also you need to make sure that everybody knows when the right time is to get out and quit fighting.

    Remember, we want everybody to survive to play another day.

    Also have instructions how to turn off all the utilities in your house.

    Practice Every Month: Periodic Fire Drills.

    We suggest you practice them at least once a month that way everyone remembers what to do when there is a fire.

    Remember, don’t forget to make plans for your pet.

    Each member in your family needs to have an Emergency Go Bag.

    Here Are the Basic Things Each of You Should Have in Your Emergency Go Bag:

    A Couple Days Supply of Any Needed Medications

    House and Cars Keys

    Cash

    Copies of Important Documents

    Important Phone Numbers

    Change of Cloths

    Emergency Space Blanket

    Have a Current Picture of All Who Live in Home

    Have Activities for Your Children to Do and Yourself

    Food

    Water

    Anything extra you think you’ll need. (Remember you know your family better than anyone else.)

    Plan Escape Routes:

    Know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.

    Select a safe zone outside your home where everyone will meet after escaping.

    Practice your full escape plan at least twice a year. (We suggest you try to do it every other month.) Remember, once you are out, stay out!

    Please escape safely. We really enjoy having you around. And we’re not the only ones. This business is serious but you can have fun doing it.

    If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out.

    If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.

    If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.

    If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help by using a bright-colored cloth at the widow.

    If there is a telephone in the room, call 911 (Use this in the United States. If in a different country check with your local fire department on how to get a hold of him in an emergency.) When you call them remember to tell them where you are.

    If you catch on fire stop, drop, and roll.

    “Once out stay out.”

    This concludes this week’s blog. We hope you found it informative. We also hope that you make this part of your family conversation and implement this so you and your family can be prepared.

    Contents Credit: www.ergeeks.org

    Be Burn Aware

    2/1/2016 (Permalink)

    Burn Awareness Week
    February 1-7, 2016

    Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. Burn Awareness Week, celebrated early in the year, is an excellent opportunity to “kick off” a year full of burn awareness education.

    The Epidemic of Liquid and Steam Burns

    Children and Older Adults Most At-Risk

    Each year, over 450,000 burn injuries occur in the United States that are serious enough to require medical treatment.

    Between 2007 and 2013, the proportion of burn center admissions due to scald burns increased from 29.8% to 33.7%.

    Join us in the fight to prevent severe burn and scald injuries!

    The average annual cost of scald injuries is $44 million

    Over 136,000 children were seen in emergency rooms for burn injuries in 2011

    1,100 children die each year from fire and burns

    Older Adults are at higher risk of suffering an injury from burns

    Adults ages 65+ are twice as likely to die in home fires

    Adults 85+ years are four times more likely to die from a burn injury

    Tips to Stay Safe

    DO’S

    Set your water heater at 120 degrees F/48 degrees C or just below the medium setting.

    Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.

    Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.

    Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.

    Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.

    Use oven mitts, not towels, to handle hot pots and pans

    Use caution when cooking with grease – keep burner on a low to medium setting and keep a pan lid in reach

    Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.

    Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a 3-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.

    Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.

    Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.

    Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.

    Make sure smoke alarms are in place on each level of your home and replace batteries every 6 months Have an escape plan if fire breaks out in the home – “two ways out” should always be available

    DON’T’S

    Wear clothing with loose or large sleeves while cooking

    Leave food cooking on the stove unattended

    Pour water on a grease fire – use a lid to smother the flames

    Cook when you are sleepy or have taken medications that make you drowsy

    Ever heat your home using the warmth from a kitchen oven or stove

    Leave a child unattended in the bathtub; if you must leave, take the child(ren) with you

    Allow young children to adjust the water   temperature or sit near faucet handles

    Set anything hot on tabletops within reach of young children who can pull them down

    Allow appliance cords (slow-cookers, deep- fryers, coffeemakers) to dangle over the counter edge

    Contents Credit: www.ameriburn.org

    Good for Body and Soul

    1/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Hot Cocoa can help you feel better this flu season, after donating blood AND is a great recipe to make while mentoring a child.

    There's nothing quite like warming up with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. It may seem like an indulgence, but the chilly day treat actually has a whole host of health benefits. Cocoa powder contains powerful antioxidants and many studies have shown its beneficial effects on heart health, insulin levels, memory and more. Best of all? It just plain makes you happy.

    1. Cocoa Is Nutritious

     According to the USDA, cocoa powder is a good source of fiber and iron. Dark chocolate (70-85 percent cacao solids) contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.

    2. Cocoa Contains Antioxidants

     Cocoa is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids. According to Cornell University scientists, cocoa has twice the antioxidants of a glass of red wine and three times as many as found in green tea.

    Flavonoids have been connected with plenty of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to boosting immune systems, Live Science reports. These antioxidants have been associated with a longer life, weight management, cancer prevention and more.

    Dark chocolate makes a difference, the USDA says. The higher percentage of cacao the better when it comes to bars. Antioxidants are also higher in less processed cocoa powders, meaning that Dutch-processed cocoa powder, while delicious, is not the healthiest option.

    3. Cocoa Promotes Heart Health

     According to the American Heart Association, cocoa's effects on cardiovascular effects are wide-ranging and, overall, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

     These same antioxidants go a long way in promoting heart health. According to the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), cocoa's flavanols have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, combating LDL cholesterol, increasing blood flow and reducing blood clotting.

    4. Cocoa Aids Memory

     A 2013 study published in the journal Neurology found a correlation between drinking hot chocolate and boosted memory, suggesting that drinking two cups a day could help stave off Alzheimer's.

     "As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer's," Dr. Paul Rosenberg of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine told the Daily Mail. Cocoa's ability to increase blood flow is thought to be at the root of its memory-enhancing abilities.

     In 2014, researchers provided the first direct evidence that cocoa consumption can increase cognitive function in a study published in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers narrowed down the benefits to a boost in activity in a specific region of the brain called the dentate gyrus and tracked the effects of a high-cocoa drink on this region, ultimately finding a significant difference in cognitive function.

     "When we imaged our research subjects' brains, we found noticeable improvements in the function of the dentate gyrus in those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink," the study's lead author, Dr. Adam Brickman of the Taub Institute, said in a statement.

    5. Cocoa Makes You Happy

     Chocolate contains many secrets to happiness. Not only does it taste delicious, but it has quite the positive effect on your brain. It releases certain neurotransmitters that make you feel comfortable and happy, and can even reduce pain and stress.

     Chocolate makes you feel good because it contains energy-boosting caffeine, mood-lightening serotonin, and relaxing tryptophan, the Washington Post explains.

     For the healthiest hot cocoa, the key is to make your own using unsweetened cocoa powder or 85 percent dark chocolate. For a lower-fat version, go with a plant-based milk. Sweeten to your taste with natural sweeteners like honey and pure maple syrup, but don't go overboard. Last but not least, enjoy your guilt-free treat!

    The World's Best Hot Chocolate

    *serves 2-4

    Ingredients:

     1 cup whole (or 2%) milk

    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

    1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon granulated sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoons dark chocolate, grated

    1 1/2 teaspoons milk chocolate, grated

    1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

    1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

    whipped cream

    ground cinnamon (optional)

    Directions:

     Pour milk and heavy cream into a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat. Do not allow to boil or scald.

     In a large bowl, mix: cocoa, sugar and both chocolates. Whisk together. Add this dry mix to the milk/cream mixture in saucepan. Whisk to combine. Reduce heat to medium.

     Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

     Remove from heat and ladle into serving mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

    Contents and photo Credit: www.weather.com and www.disneydiner.com 

    Donating Blood Saves Lives

    1/27/2016 (Permalink)

    January is designated as “National Blood Donor Month” because it is often a challenging time for maintaining the area’s blood supply. Winter weather tends to keep people indoors, discouraging them from visiting the blood center to donate. Illness and holidays can also interfere with donating. Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood. A reduction in turnout can put our nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.

    Do you ever wonder what makes up blood? Unless you need to have blood drawn, donate it or have to stop its flow after an injury, you probably don't think much about it. But blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood. Understanding blood will help you as your doctor explains the results of your blood tests. In addition, you will learn amazing things about this incredible fluid and the cells in it.

    Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All but plasma are made in the marrow of bones, especially the vertebrae, ribs, hips, skull and sternum; these essential blood cells fight infection, carry oxygen and help control bleeding. Everyone’s blood falls into one of four types. Blood types are an inherited trait.

    Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.

    Interesting facts:

    MORE THAN 15 MILLION pints of blood are transfused in the U.S. each year

    EVERY 2 SECONDS someone in the U.S. needs blood

    Red blood cells can be stored FOR ONLY 42 DAYS

    LESS THAN 10% of the population donates blood.

    Where to go to ask questions and start the donating process in South Carolina

    www.thebloodconnection.org

    www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

    or

    www.americasblood.org

    Content Credit: www.thebloodconnection,org

    Battle the Flu

    1/25/2016 (Permalink)

    How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu?

    Colds and the flu cause many of the same symptoms. But colds are usually mild, while the flu tends to be more severe.

    A cold often starts with feeling tired, sneezing, coughing, and having a runny nose. You may not have a fever, or you may run a low fever—just 1 or 2 degrees higher than usual. You may have muscle aches, a scratchy or sore throat, watery eyes, and a headache. 

    The flu starts suddenly and hits hard. You will probably feel weak and tired and have a fever, dry cough, a runny nose, chills, muscle aches, a bad headache, eye pain, and a sore throat. It usually takes longer to get over the flu than a cold.

    What causes colds and the flu?

    More than 100 different viruses can cause colds. There aren’t as many viruses that cause the flu. That’s why there is a shot for the flu and not for colds. To keep from getting the flu, all children between six months and five years of age, adults older than 50 years, and people with asthma or lung problems should get a flu shot every October or November.

    What can I do to feel better?

    There is no cure for a cold or the flu. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Unless you have the flu and see your doctor within two days after your symptoms start, all you can do to feel better is treat your symptoms while your body fights off the virus. You can also use over-the-counter cold medicines to help you feel better. Do not give children cold medicine without checking with your doctor first. People who take prescription medicine also should check with their doctor before taking over-the-counter cold medicine.  

    WAYS TO TREAT YOUR COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS

    Stay home and rest, especially while you have a fever.

    Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.

    Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices, and clear soups.

    Do not drink alcohol.

    Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day if you have a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help with the pain.

    Use a nose spray to help loosen mucus and moisten the skin in your nose.

    Can also treat symptoms by:

    1. Sipping tea- Drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia—the hair follicles in the nose—to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial."

    2. Get a Protein Fix- Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system

    3. Zinc It- Cold-Eeze lozenges with zinc for a few days. They relieve symptoms and can get you better faster.

    4. Get what you knead- I receive massages once a month to increase my circulation, which boosts immunity by nourishing cells with more oxygen and blood. It also makes me relaxed and less stressed, and when you're less stressed, you're less likely to be a germ magnet.

    5. Sweat It-  Sweating can help release toxins

    6.Call it a day- Sleep is my most reliable defense against illness.

    Should I call my doctor?

    Most people do not need to see a doctor when they have a cold or the flu. But if you have any of the symptoms in the box below, call your doctor. 

    EMERGENCY COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS

    In children:

    Fever above 102°F (38.9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

    A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

    Trouble breathing, fast breathing, or wheezing

    Bluish skin

    Not drinking enough fluids

    Earache or drainage from the ear

    Mental changes (such as trouble waking up, irritability, or seizures)

    Flu-like symptoms that get better but come back later with a fever and a worse cough

    Chronic medical problems (such as diabetes or heart disease) that get worse

    In adults:

    Fever above 102°F (38.9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

    A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

    Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

    Pain or pressure in the chest

    Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint

    Confusion

    Severe vomiting

    Very bad pain in your face or forehead

     Hoarseness, sore throat, or a cough that won’t go away

    Contents Credit: www.health.com and www.aafp.com 

    Make a Difference

    1/20/2016 (Permalink)

    National Mentoring Month is a campaign held each January to promote youth mentoring in the United States. It was inaugurated in 2002, and is spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Each year since 2002, President George W. Bush has endorsed the campaign by proclaiming January as National Mentoring Month. The declaration has been endorsed by both chambers of the United States Congress. The campaign's media partners have included ABC, CBS, Fox News, and NBC; Comcast; the National Association of Broadcasters; Time Warner; and Viacom.

    Participants in the National Mentoring Month campaign include leading nonprofit organizations and numerous governors and mayors. Designated nonprofit and governmental agencies are responsible for coordinating local campaign activities in communities across the country, including media outreach and volunteer recruitment. Local lead partners include state and local affiliates of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, America's Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities in Schools, and United Way of America.

    A highlight of the campaign is Thank Your Mentor Day, in which Americans thank and honor their mentors. People are encouraged to contact their mentors directly to express appreciation, become a mentor in their own community, make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program, or post a tribute on WhoMentoredYou.org.

    These are simple ways you can thank your mentor:

    Contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation;

    Express your gratitude on social media.

    Pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community;

    Make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program in your mentor’s honor

    *Thank Your Mentor Day™ is an initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    Contents Credit: www.nationalmentoringmonth.org and www.wikipedia.com 

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    1/18/2016 (Permalink)

    Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream." 

    Martin Luther King, Jr./ Quotes

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

    Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

    Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

    We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

    Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

     Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    Contents Credit: www.biography.com

    Be aware Be ready

    1/15/2016 (Permalink)

    Home Fires

    Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!

    To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

    Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

    Every day Americans experience the horror of fire but most people don't understand fire.

    Fire is FAST!

    There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

    Fire is HOT!

    Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

    Fire is DARK!

    Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.

    Fire is DEADLY!

    Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

    Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.

    Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process.  When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.  Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

    The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
  • For more information on what you should do after a home fire, including valuing your property, replacing documents, and salvage hints, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.

    Most home fires occur in the kitchen while cooking and are the leading cause of injuries from fire. Common causes of fires at night are carelessly discarded cigarettes, sparks from fireplaces without spark screens or glass doors, and heating appliances left too close to furniture or other combustibles. These fires can be particularly dangerous because they may smolder for a long period before being discovered by sleeping residents.

    Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

    Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Smoking

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. Put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Check for cigarette butts. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.
  • Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
  • Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.
  • Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.
  • Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.
  • More Prevention Tips

  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.
    Content Credit: www.ready.gov/home-firesPhoto Credit: www.facebook.com
  • Winter Foods That Will Help Warm Your Body And Spirit

    1/13/2016 (Permalink)

    What you eat (and drink for that matter) can make a big difference in how warm your body is. There are certain winter foods that will help warm up your body (and your spirit). There are also certain foods you should stay away from during these chili months. Let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t eat in the winter.

    Foods that Warm the Body

    Adding certain foods to your diet on a daily basis can make a difference in your body temperature. Some of these items may not come as a surprise to you, but others may have you asking yourself if they really do make a difference?

    Nuts & Seeds

    Peanuts and almonds are easy to incorporate into a diet. 10 soaked almonds or a handful of peanuts can give the body deep warmth that lasts.

    Seeds such as sesame, pumpkin and fennel are great body warmers. Sesame seeds can be incorporated into many dishes, such as green beans or chicken. Pumpkin seeds are great as a snack when roasted. Fennel seeds can also be added to foods. These seeds are great for the digestive system and help to warm the body no matter how you choose to use them.

    Spices & More

    Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper are warming spices. Ground cinnamon can be added to add flavor to many of our baked foods. Cinnamon sticks give a wonderful taste to many warm beverages, such as tea.

    Cloves are not only warming but they are a great mouth freshener. Because they have antiseptic properties, they not only help with bad breath, but can also keep other parts of your body healthy. Ginger can be added to soups or vegetables to help incorporate this spice into our daily diets.

    Pepper just yells out warmth. Sprinkle a little pepper onto your foods in place of the extra salt.

    Honey is effective when it comes to warming the body. Honey is a natural sweetener that can be added to just about anything sugar is used in. Honey is also great for the complexion.

    Onions and garlic are easy to incorporate into most meals. These little gems not only help in keeping the body warm but can also be helpful in keeping the body healthy. Have a cold? Try a little garlic to open up those stuffy noses. Lowering cholesterol is also one of the benefits of garlic and onions.

    Fruits & Veggies

    Fruits and vegetables will also give the body the warmth it needs. Add a serving of fruits and vegetables to each of your meals every single day. It’s just what the doctor ordered. We all know fruits and vegetables are healthy, but when added to your daily diet in the winter time, they help to warm your entire body by boosting your immune system, blood flow and much more.

    Foods to Avoid in Winter

    Not all foods are the greatest if warmth is what you’re after. There are some foods that should be avoided in order to stay toasty in the winter. First things first, remember not to overeat on a cold winter night. Overeating can jump start your metabolism which burns off the extra calories needed to keep the body warm. It can also extinguish digestive fires which help in fending off the chill.

    Certain foods that should be avoided include:

    • White breads
    • Cucumbers
    • Too much butter
    • Cold drinks
    • Rice (especially at night)
    • Alcohol
    • Processed chips

    These foods can also heighten metabolism and add to your blustery feeling.

    These are just a few of the foods to eat and to avoid during those cold winter months. The next time you curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket to fight off the winter chill, try snacking on a few of the foods listed above to help keep you warm. You might be surprised at how well it works.

    Content Credit: www.hillbillyhousewife.com

    America's PrepareAthon

    1/11/2016 (Permalink)

    FEMA has a grassroots campaign for action to get families, organizations and whole communities better prepared for emergencies. The campaign offers easy-to-use preparedness guides, checklists, and resources to help individuals prepare for common natural hazards and to take action, including downloading alerts and warnings, holding a drill, or safeguarding critical documents. Despite the devastation that tornadoes, wildfires, and other natural disasters have caused in recent years, nearly 60 percent of surveyed Americans have not participated in a preparedness drill or exercise at their workplace, school, or home in the past year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) is encouraging the whole community to participate in the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign by performing one of these simple preparedness actions:

    1. Sign up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather apps to your smartphone.
      Stay aware of worsening weather conditions. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Be Smart: Know Your Alerts and Warnings to learn how to search for local alerts and weather apps relevant for hazards that affect your area.
    2. Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place.
      Have all of your personal, medical, and legal papers in one place, so you can evacuate without worrying about gathering your family’s critical documents at the last minute. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Be Smart: Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables for a helpful checklist.
    3. Create an emergency supply kit.
      Bad weather can become dangerous very quickly. Be prepared by creating an emergency supply kit for each member of your family. Visit ready.gov/kit for information on what to include in your kit.
    4. Develop an emergency communication plan for your family.
      It’s possible that your family will be in different locations when a disaster strikes. Come up with a plan so everyone knows how to reach each other and get back together if separated. Visit ready.gov/make-a-plan for communication plan resources.            

    For more information about America’s PrepareAthon!, visit ready.gov/prepare. Follow America’s PrepareAthon! on Twitter using the handle @Prepareathon and #PrepareAthon. 

    Contents Credit: www.fema.gov

    Toasty tips for staying warm during this cold season

    1/8/2016 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit- bbc.com/news/magazine-24757144

    1. WARM YOURSELF FIRST. It's easier to change your body temperature than room temperature, not to mention more eco-friendly. Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer of clothing.

    2. WEAR A HAT. Your mom may have said that you lose 80 percent of your body heat through your head, but that's not actually true. If you're otherwise clothed, you'll lose heat from any surface that's exposed. So put on your hat, even if you're inside.

    3. TURN ON THE CEILING FAN. Warm air rises to the ceiling. Run your fan on its lowest setting in a clockwise direction to push the warm air back down to where you can feel it.

    4. SWITCH BETWEEN HOT AND COLD WATER IN THE SHOWER. Hot showers immediately warm you up, but cold showers improve blood circulation between your skin and organs. Cold showers are also correlated with a stronger immune system.

    5. BLOCK DRAFTS WITH A POOL NOODLE. Keep heat in and cold out by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise, wrapping it in fabric, and sliding it under your door. It'll stay put all winter, and you can re-use it at the pool come summer. (But we recommend you spring for a new one.)

    6. TWO WORDS: PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT.Another two words: Obvious, right?Stay toasty on schedule, so you never go home to a living room that's colder than outside. You can even do it with your smartphone.

    7. TRICK A LOCKED THERMOSTAT. Not everyone has access to adjust the thermostat in their apartment or office building. If that's the case, you may need to outsmart the device by making it "think" the room is colder than it actually is. Putting ice near it often does the trick.

    8. DRESS YOUR WINDOWS UP IN WARMER CLOTHES. If you're not wearing a tank top or going sleeveless, your windows shouldn't, either. Replace thin curtains with heavier wool or fleece drapes in the winter. But be sure to open them on sunny days for free heat.

    9. GO AHEAD, BAKE ALL DAY. Using your oven heats up the whole house. You'll feel even cozier if you invite friends—and all their body heat—over to eat four dozen cookies.

    10. START COMPOSTING. If you're already interested in composting, here's another reason to do it: The microbial breakdown of organic material produces heat. Some people use it to warm up showers and greenhouses, but even small-timers in studio apartments can feel a difference.

    11. LAYER YOUR COVERS WITH THE THINNEST, DENSEST ONES ON TOP. It's intuitive, but fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin. Thin, dense blankets should be on top to prevent convective heat loss. Bonus tip: Don't put your bed directly against an exterior wall. You'll be warmer if you leave a little space. 

    12. STUFF YOUR COAT POCKETS WITH DIY HAND WARMERS. You could just buy hand warmers, but you'll radiate pride and self-sufficiency if you make them yourself. All it takes is two Ziploc bags, water, and calcium chloride ice melt pellets from the hardware store

    Content Credit http://mentalfloss.com/article/60076/12-toasty-tips-staying-warm-cold-weather 

    Avoid Busting pipes

    1/6/2016 (Permalink)

    With the upcoming cold front here are some tips to help prepare your home from winter mayhem

    1. Wrap outside faucets.
    2. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. 
    3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    4. Drain in ground sprinkler systems.
    5. Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing. 
    6. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. 
    7. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days. 

    Last and final post getting to know our Employee of the Quarter, CLAY HUTTO

    12/23/2015 (Permalink)

    In the last and final blog about our December EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER, CLAY HUTTO we discussed his favorite sport of football. Clay has played football and encourages his children to do the same. He believes with a smile that he would be able to coach this sport. He has been interested in football since he was ten years old and likes the competition of the game. Clay’s favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers and will always remember the time his favorite player, Cam Newton flipped over the defender to score a touchdown. He has always enjoyed the Panthers and does not jump on the bandwagon to like a team just because of who plays on the team.  SERVPRO in Lexington, Cayce/ West Columbia is about working in a family like atmosphere, service with a caring nature and a smile. SERVPRO prides ourselves on being more than a team in order to provide the best service possible, we are a family. CLAY HUTTO is an intricate member of our family and was a joy to interview. I hope you enjoyed learning about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER as much as we enjoy having him as part of our team/ family. 

    More interesting facts about our Employee of the Quarter

    12/23/2015 (Permalink)

    Humble Clay states that he doesn’t do much but work, BUT we found out:

    1)  What was the last movie you saw? Green Lantern

    2)  What is your favorite book to read? IICRCS520

    3)  What is your favorite hobby? Farming/ Chicken kicking

    4)  What is something about you that most people would not know? I was ran over at 16 years old and survived.

    5)  If you could have one super power, what would it be? X-Ray Vision

    6)  What is your favorite activity to do during the summer? Camping or Fishing.

    7)  If you could trade places with someone living or dead, fictional or real, who would it be? Michael Jordan

    8)  Describe yourself in three words- open, funny and adventurous.

    9)  What is your dream car? Pinto, uhhhh no not really, 1969 Chevy Nova.

    10)              When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A police officer.

    11)              What is your biggest fear? Heights

    12)              What is your biggest pet peeve? People who do not treat others with respect.

    13)              What type of movie do you prefer? Comedy and Drama

    14)              What is your favorite color? Blue

    15)              What is your favorite genre of music? 90’s on 9 (XM radio)

    16)              What is your guilty pleasure? Nutter Butters and Milk at Midnight.

    17)              When you are not at work, what are you most likely doing? Piddling on the farm

    18)              Do you volunteer anywhere? If so, where? Yes at my house every day.

    19)              Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it and where is it from?  The Bible

    Isaiah 6:8

    Also, I heard the voice of the Lord saying

    Whom shall I send and who will go for us?

    Then said I, Here I am, Send Me.

    Stay tuned tomorrow, for one more interesting and final blog about CLAY’s most favorite sport. 

    Clay's time with SERVPRO (Employee of the Quarter)

    12/22/2015 (Permalink)

    In the spirit of the holiday and making sure we get to know all we can about our Employee of the Quarter, i will post twice today and twice tomorrow. In continuing to get to know CLAY, I asked him about his time at SERVPRO. Clay stated that he was excited about becoming Employee of the quarter. He believes that being a little competitive, being proud of what you do and goal driven is how he became Employee of the quarter. He has been with SERVPRO for all together three and a half years. He applied at SERVPRO because Darrell and Sam, whom also work here at SERVPRO are his friends and they talked about what a great team it was to work for. Clay thinks that every day at SERVPRO is a great day at work, he enjoys talking with the customers and working with the guys. He says that he aspires to be the best mold expert around, enjoys his job because he can help others in time of need and thinks everyone around him should be positive with all things in life instead of negative. Stay tuned for 2 more blogs filled with fun filled facts about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER; CLAY HUTTO.

    The family man, Clay (Employee of the Quarter)

    12/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Employee of the Quarter, Clay was born in Aiken, SC but raised in Wagner, SC. He has four children, Blake- age 11, Miles- age 9, Claire- age 4, and Remington- young age of 5 months. He said that he loves being a good role model for all of his children and the most important thing he teaches them is respect for others. He has been married for 5 years and his biggest accomplishment in life was being able to marry his best friend, Liz. He enjoys that he can be who he is and be real with her because they are best friends. He enjoys playing football in the front yard with his family and taking them to the Cracker Barrel for family fun time. He would love to take his family to Gatlinburg, TN in near future on vacation. Stay tuned for tomorrow when we learn a little bit more about CLAY’s time at SERVPRO.

    Introducing Employee of the Quarter

    12/21/2015 (Permalink)

    Every Quarter SERVPRO chooses an employee that goes above and beyond, to excel at their job. CLAY HUTTO, is that employee, and has earned the honor of being EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER. Clay is an upbeat, positive, goal- driven member of our team, who makes every day at SERVPRO a great day. This week we will learn all about Clay and his story and why he is such an outstanding member of our SERVPRO family. Stay Tuned. 

    Summer Safety

    6/9/2015 (Permalink)

    With summer here, many families are looking forward to summer fun including vacations, camping, picnics and barbecues.  Unfortunately, summertime may also bring increased risk of fires and injuries due to campfires and outdoor grills.

    • Build campfires away from dry grass and leaves, and where they are not likely to spread.
    • Keep campfires small and dont let them get out of hand.
    • Keep water and a shovel close to the fire to douse the fire when you're done.  Stir the fire and douse it again with water to help ensure it is out entirely.

    for more information, vist the USFA website

    www.usfa.dhs.gov

    When Disaster Strikes, So Do We!!!

    6/8/2015 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO has the largest national footprint...always!

                      COMMERCIAL LARGE LOSS PROGRAM

    • Best of our best, SERVPRO's Large Loss Response Team recruited to serve your commercial large loss needs.
    • Elite group of large loss specialists pre-qualified and strategically postitioned throughout the United States.
    • Substantial resources through network of 1,500+ locations nationwide.
    • Six and seven-figure projects routinely assigned to our Large Loss Response Team members.
    • Clients include: Insurance Companies, Manufacturing Facilities, Hospitatlity Industry, Restaurants, Property Managers.
    • Corporate oversight and communication on every large loss file called in through 1-800-SERVPRO
    • Buisness interruption minimized due to our timely response.
    • Unit pricing utilized on routine losses, Time and Material recommended on losses excedding $100,000.

    Rip Currents

    6/1/2015 (Permalink)

    The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors.  When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents- even at large distances from the storm.

    Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

    In 2008, despite the fact that Hurricane Bertha was more that a 1,000 miles offshore, the storm resulted in rip currents that killed three people along the New Jersey coast and required 1,500 lifeguard reuses in Ocean city, Maryland, over a 1 week period.

    In 2009, all six deaths in the United States directly attributable to tropical cyclones occurred as the result of drowning from large waves or strong rip currents.

    For more information on Hurricanes and Rip Currents visit:

    www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/hazards.php 

    AFTER A HURRICANE

    5/28/2015 (Permalink)

    • Continue listening to a NOAA Wather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
    • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane to tropical storm has ended.
    • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
    • If you cannot return home an have immediate housing needs.  Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 to find the nearest shelter in your area
    • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
    • Keep away from loose dangling power lines
    • Walk carefully around the outside of your home
    • Stay out of any building if you smell gas.
    • Inspect your home for damage.
    • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark.
    • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
    • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure its not contaminated.
    • Check refrigerated food for spoilage.
    • Wear protective clothing and be cautious.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

    DURING A HURRICANE

    5/27/2015 (Permalink)

    If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

    • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
    • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
    • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
    • Turn off propane tanks
    • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
    • Moor your boat if time permits.
    • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary pupose such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
    • Find out how to keep food safe.
    • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
    • Close all interior doors
    • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
    • Take refuge in a small interior room
    • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object
    • Avoid elevators

    Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready

    5/26/2015 (Permalink)

    The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

    Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 
  • Are your ducts in a row?

    5/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Did you know, your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality?  Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminant such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

    A routine part of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit.  (HVAC).  Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.  Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.  

    In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process.

    THE PROCESS:

    The process begins by using patented equipment including a ror-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuumining begins.

    Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from teh ducting to a 16-gallon container.

    Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in teh airstream.  HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.

    As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

    Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

    * For more information or to schedule a duct cleaning appointment, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals today. 

    Memorial Day

    5/22/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: handsonsuburbanchicago.org

    Every year we gather around with friends and family, put some burgers on the grill and just enjoy a national holiday aka a day off from work for most.  But there is something more to this day, something bigger than just putting your American flag out on your front porch, its about remember what the day is, to honor our fallen soldiers.  

    Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War.  It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead.  After World War l, it was extended to include all men and women who died in war or military action.

    Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.  The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War ll.  Decoration Day and then Memorail Day used to be held on May 30, regaurdless of the day of the week, on which it fell.  In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends.  This meant that  from 197 Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.  However it did take a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.  

    Memorial Day is a federal holiday.  all non-essential Government offices are closed, as are schools, businesses and other organizations.  Most public transit systems do not run on their regular schedule.  Many people see Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to go on a short vacation or visit family and friends.  

    It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorails, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.  Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

    Tips and Tricks to Help Declutter Your Office

    5/21/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: closet world
  • Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:
  • Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions.  You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives.  This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.

  • Keep Only What You Need At Arm's Length:  
  • Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go.  Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only.  Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you have established for them.

  • Create A Daily Paper System:
  • Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled "To Read," "To Do," and "To File." Establish set days for each, so that you dont get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.

  • Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:
  • Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands.  Go through the drawer every sic weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn't being used.

  • Eliminate Digital Clutter:
  • Digital clutter can be just as stressfu8l as physical clutter.  Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper-files with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders.  Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders.

  • Disinfect Regularly:
  • Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprint.  Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.

    Wildfire Safety Tips

    5/20/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: Washington post

    • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks.  Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet of the house.  This prevents embers from igniting your home.
    • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.  Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris from accumulating.
    • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuilding.
    • Wildfire can spread to treetops.  If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
    • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained.  If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity.  Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

    American Red Cross Guide

    5/19/2015 (Permalink)

    How is blood used? Blood that is generously donated goes through many steps to ensure that it is as safe as possible and is then given to patients in need.  There are different components of blood and each serves a distinct purpose.

    Red Blood Cells

    Red blood cells carry the body's oxygen supply and are needed for patients such as accident victims, those undergoing surgery or people with conditions such as anemia or kidney disease.

    Platelets

    Platelets are vital to life, because they help prevent massive blood loss resulting from trauma, as well as blood vessel leakage that would otherwise occur in the course of normal, day-to-day activity.

    Plasma

    Plasma severs a variety of functions, from maintaining a satisfactory blood pressure and volume to supplying critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity.

    SAM TEEM

    5/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Getting to know our new employee of the quarter..

    SAM TEEM

    1) Do you have any nicknames? yes, fathead

    2) Where were you born and raised? Born in Florida, Raised in Germany

    3) Do you have any kids? Yes-2 a boy and a girl

    4) Are you married? Yes, 9 years in counting

    5) How long have you worked at SERVPRO? 10years in Oct.

    6) What do you love most about your job? Helping people

    7) what do you consider a good day? No crying customers.

    8) Coffee or Tea? TEA

    9) Chocolate or Vanilla? BOTH

    10) Salty or Sweet? BOTH

    11) Summer or Winter? Summer

    12 Hugs or Kisses? Kisses

    13) Morning or Night? Night

    14) What is under your bed? My wife's shoes

    15) Favorite hobby? Cooking

    16) If you could have one super power what would it be? Mind Reading

    17) What is your bigges pet peeve? Traffic

    Before, During and After

    5/14/2015 (Permalink)

    BEFORE A TORNADO: Have a disaster plan.  Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado threatens.  Make sure you know which county or parish you live in.  Prepare a kit with emergency food for your home.  Have enough food and water for at least 3 days.

    DURING A TORNADO: Go to a basement.  If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest floor such as a bathroom or closet.  If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table.  If you live in a mobile home get out.  They offer little protection against tornadoes.  Get out of automobiles.  Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, leave it immediately. If you're outside, go to a ditch or low lying area and lie flat in it.  Stay away from fallen powerlines and stay out of damaged areas.

    AFTER A TORNADO:  Stay indoors until it is safe to come out.  check for injured or trapped people, without putting yourself in danger.  Watch out for downed power lines.  Use a flashlight to insepct your home.

    ** If your in school during a tornado- every school should have a disaster plan and have frequent drills.  Basements offer the best protection.  Schools without basements should use interior rooms and hallways on the lowest floor away from windows.  Crouch down on your knees and protect your head with your arms. 

    KNOW THE FACTS about tornadoes

    5/13/2015 (Permalink)

    • Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
    • No terrain is safe from torandoes.
    • Never open windows in severe weather situations.  This allows damaging wind and debris to enter the structure.
    • 69% of all tornadoes are labeled "weak tornadoes" meaning they have a lifetime of 1-10+ minutes and winds less than 110mph.
    • 29% of all tornadoes are labeled "strong tornadoes" meaning they last 20 minutes or longer and winds reach 110-205 mph.
    • 2% of all tornadoes are labeled "violent tornadoes" and can last over and hour.

    F0- 40-72mph (light damage: branches broken off trees; minor roof damage)

    F1- 73-112mph (Moderate damage: trees snapped; mobile home pushed off foundations; roofs damaged)

    F2- 113-157mph (Considerable damage: mobile homes demolished; trees uprooted; stong built homes unroofed)

    F3- 158-206mph (Severe damage: Trains overturned; cars lifted off the ground; strong built homes have outside walls blown away)

    F4- 207-260mph (Devastating damage: Houses leveled leaving piles of debris; cars thrown 300 yards or more in the air)

    F5- 261-318mph (Incredible damage: Strongly built homes completely blown away; automobile sized missiles generated

    When & where

    5/12/2015 (Permalink)

    When:

    Tornadoes can happen at any time of the year and at any time of the day.  In the southern states, peak tornado season is March through May.  Peak times for tornadoes in the northern states are during the summer.  A few southern states have a second peak time for tornado outbreaks in the fall.  Tornadoes are most likely to occur beween 3p.m and 9p.m.

    Where:

    The geography of the central part of the United States, known as the Great Plains, is suited to bring all of the ingredients together to forms tornadoes.  More than 500 tornadoes typically occur in this area every year and is why it is commonly know as "Tornado Alley". Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missori, Arkansas and Louisiana all make up Tornado Alley.

    TORNADO

    5/11/2015 (Permalink)

    photocredit:Johnstonhealth

    Several conditions are required for the development of tornadoes and the thunderstorm clouds with which most tornadoes are associated.  Abundant low level moisture is necessary to contibute to the development of a thunderstorm, and a "trigger" is needed to lift the moist air aloft.  Once the air begins to rise and becomes saturated, it will continue rising to great heights to produce a thunderstorm cloud,m it the atmosphere is unstable.  An unstable atomosphere is one where the temperature decreases rapidly with height.  Atmospheric instability can also occur when dry air overlays mois air near the earth's surface.  Finally, tornadoes usually form in areas where winds at all levels of the atmosphere are not only stong, but also turn with height in a clockwise or veering direction.

    Tornadoes can appear as a traditional funner shape, or in a slender rope-like form.  Some have a churning, smoky look to them, and other contain "multiple vorticles", which are small individual tornadoes rotating around a common center.  Even others may be nearly invisible, with only swiriling dust or debris at ground levels as the only indication of the tornado's presence.  

    The Experience

    5/8/2015 (Permalink)

    With over 40 years experience, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have restored flood-damaged homes and businesses from coast to coast.  SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and the highest floodwaters.

    If a flood does strike your home or business, give your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional a call.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly.  and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task.  The SERVPRO system is prepared to handle any size disaster and help make it "Like it never even happened." 

    Don't go on vacation with stress

    5/6/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: prnewswire.com

    It's a conundrum many small-buisness owners face.  You want to take some time away from work and go on vacation.  But you dread what will happen when you are gone and what you will face when you return.  You may come back to unhappy clients, a stalled project, or piles of paperwork that didnt get addressed while you were out.  What's worse, your employees may not have done their best without your supervision and now you'll have to deal with the fallout.  Don't let this happen to you.  Instead, follow the three tips below and relax.

    1) Appoint a person-in-charge.  In your absence he or she will:

    • Be the go to person for employees
    • Communicate with clients on your behalf
    • Take care of the daily tasks you normally handle
    • Communicate with vendors and suppliers
    • Be your contact person

    2) Start planning in advance.

    • Your finances
    • Unfinished projects
    • Employee tasks
    • Make a plan of what you need to tackle when you return

    3) Prepare your clients for your absence.  You should let your key clients know in advance that you will be on vacation.  For smaller clients, you wont need to contact them individually, but you should set up and out-of-office email or phone message.

    Info graphic on Biohazards

    5/5/2015 (Permalink)

    Check out our info graphic that answers the most commonly asked questions about bio-hazard cleanup services.  We are here to make any size disaster " like it never even happened"

    All about FIRE

    4/30/2015 (Permalink)

                                   TYPES OF SMOKE

    • Wet Smoke - Plastics and Synthetic Materials Low heat, pungent odor, sticky residues
    • Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood Fast burning, high temperatures
    • Protein - Food, Virtually invisible residues, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor
    • Fuel Oil Soot - Furnace Puff Backs

                             Fire Mitigation Procedure

    • Pretesting - What can be cleaned?  What cannot be cleaned?
    • Restoration Begins
    • Contents Claim Inventory Service - Accurate replacement lists lower adjusting expense.
    • Deodorization

    Disinfectant & Sanitizers

    4/29/2015 (Permalink)

    Disinfectant-Any chemical or physical process used on objects that destroys more than 99% of microoganisms capable of causing human disease.  Disinfectants may not be effective sporicides.  In many countries, government registration of disinfectants provides assurance of performance when the product is used on specific strains of microoganisms according to label directions.  registraion as a disinfectant applies to hard surfaces only and does not include textiles.  

    Sanitizer-A sanitizer is regarded as the lowest level of anti-microbial or biocidal activity provided in that it significantly reduces the number of bacterial contaminants to safe levels as judged by public health requirements.

    Why Mitigate?

    4/28/2015 (Permalink)

      As mitigation specialists, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals focus on reducing loss, enabling quick recoveries and lessening costs inolved with restoration of prperty damage events.

    • Mitigation reduces losses of life and property.
    • Mitigation enables people to recover more quickly from a disaster.
    • Mitigation lessesns the financial impact of disasters.

    When to Mitigate:

    • Water
    • Fire
    • Vandalism
    • Crime Scene

    "Like it never even happened"

    ALL ABOUT WATER

    4/27/2015 (Permalink)

    Types of Water

    • Clean-broken pipe, Icemaker, Drain Overflow NO waste or contaminants.
    • Gray- Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Roof Leak some soil  and contamination.
    • Black- Raw sewage, Floods, High degree of waste and contaminants.

    Water Mitigation Procedure

    • Extraction of excess water
    • Mold and microbial prevention
    • Drying Process: Dehumidification and evaporation
    • Monitoring the drying process
    • Rebuild and final cleanup

    EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT

    4/24/2015 (Permalink)

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance polocies, identification and bank account information.
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container 
  • CONDENSATION

    4/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit:nbdnano

    • Keep humidity levels as low as you can-no higher than 50%- all day long.  An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low.  Humidity levels change throughout the day as changes occur in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so check the humidity levels more than once a day
    • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
    • Be sure your home has enough ventilation.  Use exhaust fans, which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom.  Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
    • Fix any leaks in your home's roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
    • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24-48 hours) after flooding.
    • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly.  Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.

    Understanding wireless alerts

    4/21/2015 (Permalink)

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delievered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities.  The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area.  Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.

    A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in the harm's way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.  WEAs may be used to share:

  • Extreme weater warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action.
  • AMBER alerts
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
  • A WEA will look like a text message.  The message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.

    Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine if your mobile device is WEA capable. 

    STORM

    4/20/2015 (Permalink)

    So far this spring has been very stormy here in South Carolina.  Water damage as well as mold removal has been a problem for many homeowners.  We thank all of our customers for choosing SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington.

    In case of a flood, here are some useful tips to protect yourself and your home.

    TIPS:

    1. Do NOT walk through moving water.  Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
    2. If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet.  Mud from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.  Dispose of any food or personal hygiene items exposed to floodwaters.
    3. Do not drive into flooded areas.  If floodwaters rise around your car, move to higher ground.
    4. Avoid floodwaters because they can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.

    STAY SAFE 

    We want to help

    4/16/2015 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: artofmorning.com

    Anyone who suffers a loss due to fire or water damage knows all too well that it is not just the home's structure that is damged, but also the contents of the home; the sentimental items, family heirlooms, and other personal belongings.  In many cases, these things can also be restored.  Give us a call 803-755-9774 and let us see what our professionals can do to help you.

    EXTINGUISHER

    4/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: CityofWatsonville.org

    The U.S Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals be properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.  USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

    1. You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
    2. The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
    3. You are safe from toxic smoke produced by the fire.
    4. You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
    5. Your instincts tell you that is safe to use an extinguisher.

    ERP

    4/14/2015 (Permalink)

    Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile:

    • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    • A concise Profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    • A guide to help get back into your building following a disaster.
    • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    • Identification of the line command for authorizing work to begin.
    • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

    It is probably NOT what you think.

    4/13/2015 (Permalink)

     Most people see SERVPRO and automatically think of a faceless and large corporation.  Many do not know that while SERVPRO is a nationally known corporation, its over 1600 franchises are all individually owned and operated.  This, in part is what makes us better than the rest.

     One of SERPRO's biggest advntages over it competition is that no job is too large or too small for us.  Due to the fact that we are a coproation, we have access to unlimited supples.  If a large loss occurs, we call call in as many "sister" franchises as we need.  SERVPRO even has both a Large loss team and a Storm Team for such cases.  On the other hand, as before states, SERVPRO franchises are supporting your community.

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia, Lexington and surrounding areas for the past 40+ years.

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington is therefore not only a brand you can trust, but a family you can trust.

    " Like it NEVER even happened"

    DO NOT LET MOLD BE YOUR ROOMATE

    4/10/2015 (Permalink)

    Health and safety risks are essential to ensuing liveliness for the construction of your business or home.  This includes taking proper attempt to solve already existing problem and having proper preventative measures to avoid any issues.  growth of mold, particularly black mold requires huge proactive actions to prevent your health and building occupants.  Get rid of mold at the first indication of growth instead of allowing it to affect structure of your building and your health.  

    Performing regular inspection for mold and taking suitable mold mitigations is the ideal way to maintain your commercial or residential property as protected as possible.  It is best to have regular professional inspection to identify mold formation, but there are a few sigs that can make you aware about the mold growth on the building. These include:

  • Puddles
  • Musty smells
  • Moist spots on ceiling floor
  • Continuous incoming water
  • Visible mildew or mold spots
  • If your building structure shows any of the above listed signs, it is essential to take instant action before situation spread or worsen.

    Mild growth can affect your health particularly the respiratory.  If you have any breathing problems in your home recently, it is a sign of mold growth in the home.  Mold particularly black mold or Stachybotrys are allergen for people and can cause respiratory disorder.  Symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Hiring a professional is the permanent solution for mold removal. Even though the mold removal companies charge a little more the result would be worth your spending.  The professional mold remediation process involves the following:

  • Sealing off the mold affected area in order to prevent it from spreading.
  • Scraping the patches of mold and clean the affected region thoroughly.
  • Pinpointing the moisture source that leads mold formation.
  • Discussing the waterproofing option.
  • SERVPRO is the best company that provides great support in mold remediation. 

    BioHazard

    4/10/2015 (Permalink)

    Credit: Dreams time

    Keeping your environment clean is the primary need of any person.  There are some very risky poisons and harmful bacteria that can impact the health of people.  It is strongly suggested to seek the services of biohazard cleaners that make use of the right resources and cleaners they use.  

    There is an abundant of biohazard caompaines that are available all of over the world, one of them being SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington.

    Generally the blood vessels propagate all over the area, where a criminal activity has occured.  An appropriate cleaning needs to make the location sanitary and secure.  Whenever you experience this scenario it is important to get in touch with a knowledgable company.  Our specialists use state of the equipment, most advanced technology, high end providers and will not leave the scene until the cleaning is finished efficiently.  We have more than 40 years of experience in this area, we are available 24*7 and ensure 100% satisfaction of our customers. 

    NOBODY HAS TIME FOR MOLD

    4/8/2015 (Permalink)

    PHOTO CREDIT: baney construction

    With the recent heavy rains and thunderstorms, it has caused a lot of damage to roofs as well as ground water in basements.  We have been extremely busy keeping up with thte damage these sorms have caused.  some people, who had water in their basements and attics, are now experiencing mold provlems.  Mold can begin to grow withtin 48-72 hours of a water damage issue.  If you have water in the basement or attic your should definitely contact a professional water mitigation company to assess the damge.  The longer it waits the more expensive the cleanup can get. 

    Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Floods Resulting in Water Damage?

    4/7/2015 (Permalink)

    wikipedia

    Home insurance is most useful in times of an emergency. Insurance allows you to not have to pay out-of-pocket for expenses that are related to damage to your home.  However, it is important to know that filing a water damage claim with your insurance company has its ups and downs.

    Insurance companies will only cover certain types of water damage in South Carolina.  If temperatures get to below freezing and the pipes burst, homeowners insurance will cover. If your dishwasher experiences a malfunction, your insurance company will cover unless, it was in result of negligence and lack of maintenance.

    Insurance companies will not cover damage that is in the result of improper maintenance.  These types of water issues occur gradually and can be avoided with home maintenance. Homeowners are often in shock to find that issues that they believe are covered under their policy are not covered.

    Flood damage is another problem that most home insurance policies will not cover.  You will need to purchase a separate policy to cover flooding.  

    An accident that occurs suddenly will likely get covered. However, issues that arise from poor maintenance will not. 

    OPENING DAY

    4/6/2015 (Permalink)

    The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters or The US Masters, is one of the four major championships in professional golf.  Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year.  Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club.

    The Masters was started by Cliffor Roberts and Bobby Jones.  Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie.   The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour.  This is also an invitational event, so the field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships.

    In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at the age of 21.  Recently, the club was targeted by Martha Burk, who organized a failed protest at the 2003 Masters to pressure the club into accepting female members.  Burk planned to protest at the front gates of Augusta National during the third day of the tournament, but her application for a permit to do so was denied.  A court appeal was dimissed in 2004.  In 200 the tournament was won by Mike Weir, who became the first Canadian to win a men's major championship, and the first left-hander to win the Masters. 

    Last year the total prize moeny for the toruanment was $9,000,000 with $1,620,000 going to the winner.  In addition to a cash prize the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, formally awarded since 1949.

    SERVPRO & AMERICAN RED CROSS GOLF CLASSIC

    4/3/2015 (Permalink)

    Event Date & Time: Thursday, April 23, 2015

    11:00 a.m Shotgun Start

    Site: Golden Hills Golf & Country Club

            100 Scotland Drive

            Lexington, SC 29072

    Entry Fee: Individual:$75         Team:$300

    Proceeds from the Parnters in Disaster relief Golf Classic will benefit the programs and services of the American Red Cross Columbia Region.

    The Red Cross is proud to have SERVPRO as a community partner in fulfilling our humanitarian mission.

    The following SERVPRO franchise are sponsors of this tournament:

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia

    SERVPRO of Lexington

    SERVPRO of Richland County

    SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork

    SERVPRO & PGA

    4/2/2015 (Permalink)

    PHOTO CREDIT:PGA

    SERVPRO is proud to be the Official Cleanup and Restoration Company of the PGA TOUR.

    Founded in 1967, The SERVPRO Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire, water cleanup, restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation.  SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,650 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events.  Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, The SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

    With the SERVPRO Ready Plan APP and Emergency Ready Profile, tools created for property managers and owners, having an immediate plan of action can minimize business interruption.  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 home or business. 

    Leak Prevention Tips

    3/30/2015 (Permalink)

    Regularly check the following items for leaks:

    EXTERIOR

    • Check roofing for deterioration.
    • Check gutters and down spouts for blockage
    • Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.

    INTERIORS

    • Check appliances in break rooms and cafeterias.
    • Check sinks and toilets in restrooms.
    • Check HVAC for leaks and blockage.

    Cleaning up and repairing your home after a flood

    3/23/2015 (Permalink)

    • Turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That was you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
    • Get a copy of the book Repairing Your Flooded Home which is available free from the American Red Cross or your state or local emergency manger.
    • The Red Cross can provide you with a cleanup kit: mop, broom, bucket, and cleaning supplies.
    • Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
    • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
    • If you hire cleanup or repair contractors, check references and be sure they are qualified to do the job.  Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home.

    Staying healthy

    3/20/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: huffingtonpost

    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. 
  • What to do After the Flood

    3/19/2015 (Permalink)

    arbitenonline.com

    After the Flood

    Your home has been flooded. Although floodwaters may be down in some areas, many dangers still exist.  Here are some things to remembering the days ahead:

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless police, fire, or relief organization has specifically requested your assistance.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas.  You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Play it safe.  Additional flooding or flash floods can occur.  Listen for local warning and information.  If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • If you must walk or dive in areas that have been flooded-stay on firm ground.
  • Stay out of ay building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations. 
  • During A Flood!

    3/18/2015 (Permalink)

    o.canada.com

    During a FLOOD be sure to:

  • Move to a safe area quickly
  • Move to a higher ground, like the highest floor of your home.
  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding like low spots and canyons.
  • Avoid already flooded areas.  If a flowing stream of water is above your ankles stop, turn around and go the other way.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.  The depth of the water is not obvious and the road may be washed away.
  • If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground.  Rapidly rising water may engulf the car, pick it up and sweep it away.
  • Kids should never play around high water, storm drains or viaducts.
  • Be cautious at night, because it’s harder to see flood dangers.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. 
  • BEFORE A FLOOD

    3/17/2015 (Permalink)

    • Have a disaster plan
    • Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car.  Include a first aid kit, canned food, can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing and written instructons on how to turn off electricity, gas and water.

    Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S Nearly half of flash flood deaths are auto related.  Know beforehand if your area is a flood risk.  Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.

    ** A FLASHFLOOD WATCH means a flood si possible for your area.

    ** A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding is taking place in your area or will soon

    Photo credit: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.donaanalepc.org%2Fflash_floods.php&e

    FLOODS

    3/16/2015 (Permalink)

    photo credit: Wikipedia

    Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike.  Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain.  Floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

    Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam.  Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris.  Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater or a possible levee breach and cause flooding in surrounding areas.  It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry floodwater away from urban areas.

      Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam.  Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.

    For more information please go to: www.ready.gov/floods 

    THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

    3/11/2015 (Permalink)

    RED CROSS LOGO

    The Red Cross is well positioned to be a leader in all of these areas.  With the help of our partners, donors and volunteers, our vision for the future is one where:

    • All people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope.
    • Our communities are ready and prepared for disasters.
    • All members of our Armed Forces and their families find support and comfort, whenever needed.
    • In an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby and an AED close at hand.

    THE RED CROSS IS NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER

    American Red Cross - MISSION STATEMENT

    3/9/2015 (Permalink)

    The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization let by volunteers and guided by its Congressional charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. 

    Duct Cleaning

    3/4/2015 (Permalink)

    Unlike many duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

    What you can do until help arrives:

    3/3/2015 (Permalink)

    DO

    • Limit movement in the home to preven soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occuring.
    • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and uphostery.
    • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.                    

    DO NOT

    • Wash any walls or painted sufaces.
    • Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
    • Clean any electrical equipment.
    • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

    A wrap up of our week.

    2/27/2015 (Permalink)

    It has been a Busy week here at SERVPRO West Columbia/Cayce and Lexington.  The freeze last week brought in so many water damages. Our crews have been working so hard around the clock to take care of our amazing customers.  Here at our SERVPRO we are more than a team, we are a family, every person in the building has a huge part in getting our customers the best care possible and with out one person our team would not be the same.  This week we have also been sitting down with our Marketing Director also known as our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER and have gotten the chance to get to know her better.  Denea Duran is so much fun to have around and is always ready to help.  Today we finished up with our interview with her.

    DAY 5 of questions

    What is under your bed? My child’s toys

    Favorite hobby? Writing

    If you could have one super power what would it be? FLY

    What is your biggest pet peeve? Tardiness 

    DAY 4

    2/26/2015 (Permalink)

    DAY 4

    What is your favorite genre of music? EVERYTHING except COUNTRY

    What is your favorite sport? BASKETBALL

    Last movie you saw in the movie theater? TAKEN 3

    Favorite movie or TV show?  FRIENDS

    DAY 2 & 3 of getting to know DENEA DURAN

    2/25/2015 (Permalink)

    DAY 2 & 3 of getting to know our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER!

    1) How long have you been working for SERVPRO? 3 Years

    2) What do you love most about your job? Interacting with different people.

    3) What do you consider a good day? Connecting with someone we have helped.

    Coffee or Tea? COFFEE

    Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

    Salty or Sweet? SWEET

    Pearls or Diamonds? DIAMONDS

    Summer or Winter? SUMMER

    Hugs or Kisses? KISSES

    Morning or Night? MORNING

    Get to know our Employee of the Quarter

    2/23/2015 (Permalink)

    Every quarter we choose an employee who is always exceling at their job. This Quarter the winner is Denea Duran.  She is always bringing new ideas to the table and never says no when asked to take on a new task.  Stay tuned throughout the week as we get to know her a little bit better.

    1) Do you have any nicknames? NOPE

    2) Where were you born and raised? San Francisco, California

    3) Do you have any kids? 1 with another on the way

    4) Are you married? Nope, but i am engaged

    ELSAPALOOZA

    2/18/2015 (Permalink)

    The Midlands will be rocked with freezing temps this week.  Last year when temps reached such lows, we recieved hundreds of calls in Lexington County alone!  Take all necessary precautions to prevent water damage from busted pipes.  Utilize our free app to prepare for emergencies and minimize damage.  Search "SERVPRO" in the app store or go to www.SERVPRO.com/ready

    Frozen Pipes

    2/17/2015 (Permalink)

    A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage causes the rupture.  A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.  Your SERVPRO Franchise Professional is faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to help make your water damage "Like it never even happened." 

    Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

    2/16/2015 (Permalink)

    • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells.  This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
    • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
    • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets.  Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
    • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure.  Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
    • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

    PUFFBACKS

    2/12/2015 (Permalink)

    A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business.  It can happen all at once, covering an interior in grimy soot, or a puffback can leak soot particles more gradually.  Equpped with the training, tools and experience to quickly and efficiently clean and restore your home or business, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help make your puffback "Life it never even happened"

    ARE YOU PREPARED?

    2/10/2015 (Permalink)

    From a burst pipe in an office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex - fire and water losses are never planned, but they do occur.  SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know there's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and the revenue of the property owner.

    ITS A FACT

    2/9/2015 (Permalink)

    Even a small fire can cause odors in your home for years to come.  Any fire in your home is bad.  But when you try to clean it up yourself, it can be a disaster.  Especially considering that smoke and soot from even a small fire can cause odors that may resuface for years.  So, before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call us, your local fire, smoke and soot cleaup and restoration experts at SERVPRO!!!

    ENJOY THE WEATHER!!!!!

    2/6/2015 (Permalink)

    While you may be tight on cash, you should still be able to enjoy the weekends of nice weather that are fastly approaching.  Venture outdoors, it can be all too easy to spend money!  So we rounded up 50 things to do outside the home.

    1. Attend a free concert in your area
    2. Go on a hike
    3. Go on a photography adventure
    4. Walk your dog
    5. Go to your favorite park
    6. Attend a free museum
    7. Do some amateur star gazing
    8. Meditate
    9. Go for a run
    10. Go on a bike rid
    11. Sunbathe
    12. Watch a sunrise
    13. Climb a tree
    14. Play frisbee with friends
    15. Walk across your citys bridge
    16. Climb a tree
    17. Fly a kite
    18. Window shop
    19. Daydream
    20. Stage a water balloon fight
    21. Go camping
    22. Go fishing
    23. Make S'mores
    24. Go on a scenic drive
    25. Attend a Home Depot workshop
    26. Learn how to skateboard
    27. Go open house hopping
    28. Attend a free mixer
    29. Check our local garage sales
    30. Play volleyball with friends
    31. Play Softball at a local park
    32. People watch
    33. Jump rope
    34. Perfect your football spiral
    35. Visit a farm
    36. Go on a blind date
    37. Go to the community library
    38. Attend a free yoga class
    39. Go to zoo on a free day
    40. Write your own poetry
    41. Play flashlight tag
    42. Sell old clothes to a consignment shop
    43. Explore your city's downtown
    44. Explore a creepy haunted house
    45. Host a potluck picnic
    46. Go to karaoke night
    47. Tour a factory
    48. Help out a disabled or elderly friend or family member
    49. Garden in your neighborhood
    50. Window shop

    Pick whats best for you.

    2/5/2015 (Permalink)

    When picking out an insurance agent, it is always a good idea to do some homework!  Go with some personal recommendations, ask co workers. Ask friends. Asking a perfect stranger is better than relying on ads or the yellow pages.  People tend to refer people with whom they have had a positve experience.  Ask what their experience was in dealing with the agent.  Yelp, Linkedln, Facebook and other social media tools can help you gauge good service and quality businesses.  These sites can be helpful, but a face-to-face with an agent is one of the best ways of figuring out if they will take good care of you.  Every state has an agency (or "department") that keeps track of insurance companies doing business in the state. You will find your states insurance department website link in the State by State Assistance section of www.uphelp.org.

    Questions to ask?

    1. How long have you been in business?
    2. Are you "captive" agent?
    3. If I  cancel the policy mid-term will there be an "earned mimimum premium"?
    4. If I have a loss and need to file a claim, how will you assist me?

    The bottom line is the "right company"  for you is the one that provides you with appropriate recommendations, products and prices, has a record of outstanding customer service, and the financial capacity to meet its financial obligations to you and your beneficiaries when they come due.

    But I dont feel like it....

    2/4/2015 (Permalink)

     I am NOT a professional at any of this procrastination business, I am just a life long procrastinator who thinks about this topic all of the time.  I am still in a total battle with my own terrible habits, but since having my daughter 11 months ago, I think I am starting to overcome this thing called procrastination.

      Procrastinators love planning, quite simply because it does not involve doing, and doing is the procrastinator's kryptonite.  For me, I always make a list example:

    1) Fold Laundry

    2) Call and make a doctor appt.

    3) Call SERVPRO to get my carpets cleaned (from my always on the move baby who takes her diaper off and crawls around the house naked)

    There is always a list I am working on.  Its not that we as procrastinators don’t like the concept of doing, its that we look at the bricks on our calendar and think, "Great, this will be fun".  So here is what I have been trying to do.  Try and visualize yourself completing the list, create methods to help you defeat the list, aim for slow steady progress.  You need to show yourself you can do it, not just tell yourself.  Things will change when you show yourself you can. 

    "Its just the flu"

    2/3/2015 (Permalink)

    "Its just the flu"

    I seriously cannot tell you how many times I have heard that expression.  Yet each time i hear it, I cringe.  "Its just the flu" is high across most of the country with flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths elevated.  Flu season will probably continue for several weeks.  It is a disease that makes those of us who work with the public very nervous.  The only real certainty is that there will be a flu season each winter.  Other than that, there are many unknowns: When will it start? What strains will be circulating? Who will be at great risk? How severe will it be? How well will the vaccine work?

    Unfortunately, the flu season is in full swing, so we will tell you what we do know.

    We know that the number of flu cases started to spike first in the southeastern United States.  Visits for flu like symptoms start to rise in December and have continued to rise and spread.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 states have high levels of flu activity.  Although the flu season is in full swing, it often continues into March.  What is the best flu prevention? Get vaccinated! While the flu vaccine is not working as well as usual against some H3N2 viruses, vaccination can still protect some people and reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and will protect against other flu viruses.

    Influenza antiviral drugs can treat flu illness.  CDC recommends these drugs be used to treat people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications with flu symptoms.  Early antiviral treatment works best.

    If you are sick, stay home. Set an example so maybe others will do the same.

    And please, whatever you do, don’t say "Its just the flu" 

    Nobody wants to swim in their house..Here are some tips

    2/2/2015 (Permalink)

    Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your homes foundation and the very core that holds your house together.

    You've heard about core strength for your body.  Well, damage hits at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage.  Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew.  The causes of water damage can range from a simple pipe burst, to an extreme storm.  Water damage can be classified as a tragic event to most people.  Water spreads very fast and gravity does what it is supposed to and pulls it to the lowest point.  The longer water remains, the more damage it will cause.  The effects you will not be able to see can be rotting of wood, metal materials rusting, and the growth of mold.  When water damage leads to mold it can cause allergies, headaches, sinus problems along with heavy constant sneezing, and discolored rashes to name a few.  These health concerns is why it is important to not let water damage go untreated and why it is important to hire a professional.  not only is the restoration of your home a main concern, but your personal well-being and feelings are a main priority.

    WAYS TO HELP PREVENT WATER DAMAGE:

    #1- ENSURE GOOD DRAINAGE

  • Clean your gutters
  • Direct downspouts 5-10 feet from the house
  • Slope your yard away from the foundation
  • #2- TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP

  • Check your sump pump once a year
  • Test more frequently during storm season
  • #3- FIX WATER LEAKS

  • Repair any noticeable dripping pipes
  • Check for dark spots under pipes and on ceilings
  • Repair any cracked caulking
  • Inspect the roof for missing, loose or damaged shingles 
  • CANDLE WITH CARE

    1/27/2015 (Permalink)

    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 doesnt 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.

    For more information please visit: www.nfpa.org/education

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    1/19/2015 (Permalink)

    “We cannot walk alone. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was one of the most quotable speakers of the 20th century. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is a key event that changed the course of civil rights and American history.  He was born January 15th, 1929. He was born the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. The King family was rooted in rural Georgia. Dr. King married Coretta Scott King and they had four children. In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. Throughout the years, Dr. King has become an icon of promise. Justice and hope for millions. In the spring of 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Entire Families attended. City police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators. Martin Luther King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew nationwide attention. On August 28, 1963 the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of Lincoln Memorial.  It was here that made King’s speech famous “I Have a Dream”. During his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement through nonviolent acts of protest and helped end legal segregation of African American citizens. He was known for his fight for equality and service to others. To honor him, the 3rd Monday of January is recognized as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Dr. King has now been dead longer than he lived, but what an extraordinary life it was. His name will always be a name that is known for his fight to change America, the land of the free.

    “Free at last! Free at last!”

    Sooo Cold...

    1/9/2015 (Permalink)

    Photo credit to: https://michellegregg.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-fine-the-winter-solstice-2012-and-th

    Whether your area is colder or warmer, keeping warm is a basic need that we all share.

    Dress in layers, Bundle up! I recommend a polyester undershirt next to your skin versus cotton.  I gave a polyester t-shirt to my dad and he keeps talking about the amazing difference as if I had invented sliced bread.  Keep your feet  warm, I highly recommend "house slippers" indoors.  I know it sounds a bit old fashioned but having the rubber sole does make a noticeable difference.  Also, keep changing your socks, everyone seems to forget your feet do sweat and THAT can make you cold even when you are layered up.  For outdoors, it really helps to insert foam liners in your boots or hiking shoes to give your toes an extra layer of insulation.

    Turning on the stove for heat is NOT a safe option.  Have at least one of the following heat sources in your home:

    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace with plent of dry wood or a gas fire log

    During Freezing Weather, Take Preventative Action

    1/7/2015 (Permalink)

    freezing weather can take disastrous toll on pipes

    Winter weather can create havic and severe property damage when water pipes burst. Follow these tips to prevent damage:

    Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

    Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

    When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

    Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

    If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

    If you DO experience a water damage, give us a call (803-755-9774) just before you report your claim so that we can put you on a list. Keep your insurance policy information handy. You can also use our free app to store your insurance information along with water/gas/electric shut off photos and instructions. Search "SERVPRO" in the app store. More info on the app at: www.SERVPRO.com/ready.

    Leave No Tree Behind!

    12/5/2014 (Permalink)

    Ahhhh Christmas! You take the family out to pick the perfect fresh Christmas tree. You found it! You cut right through the trunk, the tree is loose and it's yours! You triumphantly carry it to the car. It's time to tie the fresh Christmas tree down onto the car. Holiday music fades and cursing ensues! Follow these easy steps to securely tie your tree down to the car for a safe and stress free ride home!

    The first step to tying the tree down onto the car is to place the fresh Christmas tree on the car, trunk of the tree facing forward. Open your car doors so that they do not get tied shut!

    Take the end of one side of the rope and tie a bowline knot. Throw the end with the loop over the top of the tree and wrap it around the trunk right in the middle of the tree.

    Take the rope through the inside of the car and pass one side through the loop made from the bowline knot. Pull all slack through and pull tight. Repeat this process at least twice more, once in the front of the tree and once in the rear of the tree. The rope should pass through the inside of the car 3 times.

    Use the rope to tie half hitches around the base of the trunk. Then tie half hitches along each of the ropes passing into the car on the way back. Pass the rope under the open trunk and close it. Tie half hitches along each of the ropes passing into the car on the other side of the car.

    Take the remaining part of the rope inside the car and secure it. The Christmas tree should be securely tied to the car.

    Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_4677440_christmas-tree-top-of-car.html

    Winter Driving Tips

    12/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Driving your car while the roads are snowy and icy can be a stressful ordeal. While some vehicles are well-suited for the snow, some are not and require preparation and know-how to keep the car under control.

    Get your car serviced regularly. Preventive maintenance is key. Make sure your battery, cooling system, and windshield wipers are in tip-top shape. You'll spend less money servicing your car than you'll spend towing and fixing it if your car gives out while you're on a dark, snowy road.

    Buy snow tires or add chains to your existing tires if you live in a very snowy climate. Snow tires have special treads that cut through the snow and allow the vehicle to have better traction. They're also made of a more flexible type of rubber, so that they don't freeze and become hard in cold temperatures. It is best to get snow tires for the drive wheels. For rear-wheel drive, add snow tires to the rear. If your car is equipped with tires that have predominantly thin tread lines, they will clog easily, making steering or getting traction difficult.

    •Some all-season tires do not rid themselves of snow properly and become clogged in deep snow. These tires may be unsafe to drive with in extreme conditions.

    •Most tire stores will insist on snow tires or studded tires to all four wheels of a front wheel drive vehicle. The rear tires should have adequate or equal traction as the front tires for proper handling and preventing fish tailing, especially when making turns. It isn't critical to have studs on all four ties of a front wheel drive car, but highly recommended so the traction is equal.

    Thanksgiving is nigh. Be mindful and take necessary prep precautions.

    11/25/2014 (Permalink)

    The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

    Safety tips

    • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
    • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
    • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
    • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
    • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
    • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
    • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
    • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
    • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
    • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

    http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/thanksgiving-safety

    Check your pipes before the freeze

    11/24/2014 (Permalink)

    Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

    Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:

    • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
    • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
    • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
    • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
    • http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes 

    Preparing your Sprinkler System for the Winter

    11/14/2014 (Permalink)

    November 13, 2014

    Without proper preparation your sprinkler system might be damaged by freezing temperatures. Here are some tips from Rain Bird on how to prepare your irrigation system for winter conditions if you live in a region where it freezes. Please download the Rain Bird Homeowner's Guides to Winterization at the bottom of this page for detailed instructions on how to prepare your irrigation system for the Winter months.

    1. Insulate your assets: shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. The main shut off valve for your irrigation system needs to be protected against freezing. Make sure it is wrapped with insulation (foam insulation tape and a plastic bag) to protect it from harsh winter temperatures and prevent it from freezing. If you do not have a main shut off valve, you might consider installing one as a preventative investment. Also, any above ground piping needs to be insulated. Self-sticking foam-insulating tape or foam insulating tubes commonly found at home supply stores are fine.

    2. Stay in control: If you have an automatic system then you will need to "shut down" the controller (timer). Most controllers have a "rain-mode" which simply shuts off the signals to the valves. The controller continues to keep time, the programming information isn't lost (start times, valve run times, etc.) and the clock continues to run throughout the winter. The only change is that the valves will not activate. If your controller is responsible for activating a pump, as a precaution you should remove the wires that are connected to the MV (Master Valve) and common terminals. This will prevent the possibility of the pump being accidentally activated which could cause damage from overheating. An alternative to using the rain mode is simply to shut off the power to the controller. If you do, you'll need to reprogram the time and potentially all your other settings as well, in the spring.

    3. Drain the pipes: Now you need to remove the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won't freeze/expand and break the pipe. There are several ways to drain your pipes: a manual drain valve, an automatic drain valve or the compressed air blow-out method. However, since there could be potential safety risks we recommend contacting your local irrigation specialist. Many offer sprinkler winterization services this time of the year.

    4. Protect valves and backflow preventers: Insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground. You can also use insulation tape for this. Be sure not to block the air vents and drain outlets on backflow preventers.

    Blog Credit: http://help.rainbird.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/428/~/how-do-you-winterize-your-sprinkler-system%3f

    Having trouble with your Thermostat?

    11/13/2014 (Permalink)

    A thermostat is a highly sensitive control instrument that responds to even the slightest changes in temperature. While it has fewer parts to malfunction than the other components of your heating and cooling system, it can be a source of problems.

    A thermostat cover that's improperly installed or inadvertently bumped can cause the heater or air conditioner to fail to start. Or the thermostat base may slip out of level, causing it to operate incorrectly. A far more common problem, however, is dirt. Dirt can affect the thermostat's calibration and interfere with its operation. If a thermostat set for 70 degrees Farenheit, for example, is really maintaining the temperature at 73 degrees Farenheit, the additional energy used can increase your fuel bill by as much as 7 percent. To prevent this, check your thermostat for accuracy every year before the heating season begins.

    Other problems with a thermostat can often be traced to switches on the base and wires near the bimetallic element that loosen and become corroded. Tighten loose connections with a screwdriver, and use a cotton swab to clean away corrosion.

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/thermostat-maintenance-tips.htm

    Gutter Cleaning Tips

    11/11/2014 (Permalink)

    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.

    Well, there’s no need to put it off anymore thanks to some helpful products that make cleaning gutters easier than ever!

    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.

    The link below has some products that might make your gutter cleaning easier as well as being credited for the above blog.

    http://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/2011/08/cleaning-gutters.php

    Where does our Employee of the Quarter like to travel?

    11/7/2014 (Permalink)

    Today we will go even more into detail with Heather who is our Employee of the Quarter.   When asked what her favorite vacation spot to go to be, she replied with a trip to Boston to see her family, or going out on the water with her family somewhere.  While Boston is nice and a favorite spot, Heather says that if she could vacation to any place in the world, she would visit Hawaii for the amazing weather, gorgeous beaches and landscape, and amazing natural wonders like Mauna Loa.

    Heather’s favorite type of food is Italian food, and I must say I have to agree.  Her favorite sport is baseball, so naturally her favorite team is the Red Sox.  I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone from Boston who would give a different answer than that.  

    Our Employee of the Quarter's artistic tastes

    11/6/2014 (Permalink)

    I asked Heather, our Employee of the Quarter, questions involving her artistic tastes.  Currently she is reading Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  I've personally read this novel, and I must say it is quite the story.  It’s about a writer suffering from writer’s block who has to confront his nightmares while secluded as his lake house in rural Maine.  Stephen King also happens to be her favorite author, and I don’t know if there is a better choice than the master of horror himself.  

    Heather’s favorite movie is Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppela based on the novel of the same name.  This coming of age film is a cult classic and highly revered throughout film buffs everywhere.  When asked about favorite genre of music, she states that all genres of music are present in her house, but through personal experience of listening to whats playing at her desk, its either classic rock or the popular hits of today. 

    Her favorite quote is:  “A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all.”

    --Washington Irving

    More from our Employee of the Quarter!

    11/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Heather, our Employee of the Quarter, was very surprised when it was revealed that she had won the honor.  She didn’t really think that she deserved it because she just goes about her business doing her job, but we love that humble attitude.  Heather has been working at SERVPRO for just over 6 years and she attributes her start in the company to Ms. Billie who Heather says “worked here for years and I grew up with her daughter and she was like family.”  Her favorite thing about working here at SERVPRO is the family atmosphere, and I must say during my brief time here so far I can absolutely confirm the family atmosphere around here that she holds so dear. 

    Heather’s day mainly consists of invoicing, scheduling, speaking to customers on the phone, and collections, but her job is much more nuanced than that.  Almost everything that the company receives goes through her, and she acts as the de facto gatekeeper for SERVPRO.  She is the grease that keeps the gears turning, and no here could do her job better.  

    Introducing our Employee of the Quarter!

    11/3/2014 (Permalink)

    This week’s blogs are going to be all about our second ever Employee of the Quarter, Heather Young!  This whole week’s blog theme will be interesting things about Heather so that you all can get a little taste into what makes her such a great part of the team and why she was chosen as the Employee for the Quarter this quarter.  Each one of the five days this week will focus on different categories of question with the purpose of giving you all a little bit of insight into Heather’s personality and a little bit of insight into why our office is such a tight knit group and so much fun.  

    Heather was born is Boston, Massachusetts. She then moved here to Lexington when she turned 14 and attended Airport High School.  Heather now has a family of her own in Lexington that consists of her 3 children, all boys of the ages of 18, 13, and 10.  She loves being a mother and uses her own mother as her biggest inspiration in life.

    Flu Season is on its Way!

    10/31/2014 (Permalink)

    Influenza viruses are constantly changing. They can change in two different ways.

    One way they change is called “antigenic drift.” These are small changes in the genes of influenza viruses that happen continually over time as the virus replicates. These small genetic changes usually produce viruses that are pretty closely related to one another, which can be illustrated by their location close together on a phylogenetic tree. Viruses that are closely related to each other usually share the same antigenic properties and an immune system exposed to an similar virus will usually recognize it and respond. (This is sometimes called cross-protection.)

    But these small genetic changes can accumulate over time and result in viruses that are antigenically different (further away on the phylogenetic tree). When this happens, the body’s immune system may not recognize those viruses.

    This process works as follows: a person infected with a particular flu virus develops antibody against that virus. As antigenic changes accumulate, the antibodies created against the older viruses no longer recognize the “newer” virus, and the person can get sick again. Genetic changes that result in a virus with different antigenic properties is the main reason why people can get the flu more than one time. This is also why the flu vaccine composition must be reviewed each year, and updated as needed to keep up with evolving viruses.

    The other type of change is called “antigenic shift.” Antigenic shift is an abrupt, major change in the influenza A viruses, resulting in new hemagglutinin and/or new hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins in influenza viruses that infect humans. Shift results in a new influenza A subtype or a virus with a hemagglutinin or a hemagglutinin and neuraminidase combination that has emerged from an animal population that is so different from the same subtype in humans that most people do not have immunity to the new (e.g. novel) virus. Such a “shift” occurred in the spring of 2009, when an H1N1 virus with a new combination of genes emerged to infect people and quickly spread, causing a pandemic. When shift happens, most people have little or no protection against the new virus.

    Sometimes the easiest things are the most important

    10/30/2014 (Permalink)

    Handwashing is easy to do and it's one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.

    Learn more about when and how to wash your hands.

    When should you wash your hands?

    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • After using the toilet
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
    • After touching garbage

    What is the right way to wash your hands?

    1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
    4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. 
    5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    Stay Healthy this Fall!

    10/28/2014 (Permalink)

    Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

    Don’t forget to receive your flu vaccine this year!  The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a yearly flu vaccine. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

    Enhance Your Home network!

    10/27/2014 (Permalink)

    A home network allows you to share data between all your home computers, phones, printers, etc. from your home Wifi connection.  This powerful took can be very useful for syncing your work and home devices, sharing pictures, videos, music, and other data with other family members, having a combined storage center for all your files, and using the network as a home file backup service.  There are many step by step instructions online that are very sufficient in help you set up your home wireless network.

    Here are some steps that should help you in setting up your own home network:

    1.      Purchase your networking supplies. Most technology today supports 802.11g so purchase a router and wireless card with those specs. 802.11g is compatible with all other current networking technologies. If you purchase both the router and card, look for the two items bundled together. You might save some money. Also try to buy the same brand router and network card.

    2.      Print these directions for installation. You must temporarily disconnect from the Internet. Keep the instructions that came with your modem handy as well.

    3.      Unplug your cable, DSL or other broadband modem, or turn it off. Connect the wireless router to the cable modem. Do not disconnect the modem from the jack. Move the computer's Internet connection cable from the modem to the router. Plug it into the port labeled "Internet," "WAN" or "WLAN" on the router.

    4.      Reconnect the cable modem. Give it a few minutes to re-connect. Next plug in the wireless router. The "Internet," "WAN" or "WLAN" light should light up if you have a connection.

    5.      Configure the wireless router. Follow the directions that came with your router. After each step remember to click "Save," "OK" or "Apply" so the router will keep your settings. Write down any passwords or keys.

    6.      Set up the wireless card. Insert the card into an empty PC card slot in your laptop. You may need to insert the CD that came with the card. Follow the prompts to install the card.

    7.      Connect computers to your home network. Right-click the wireless network icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. Click "View Available Wireless Networks." The name you chose when you configured your wireless router should appear. Highlight that name, and then click "Connect." You may need to provide a network key and confirm network key.

    8.      Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_2098433_set-up-home-network.html

    Halloween Safety Tips

    10/23/2014 (Permalink)

    Decorating for Halloween can bring out creativity in everyone, but many elements of Halloween decorating can pose hazards to unsuspecting visitors. Here are a few safety tips to keep handy when preparing for Halloween:

    • Clean up your mess: Do your pumpkin carving on absorbent newspaper and scoop those pumpkinseeds and slimy innards into a bowl.
    • Say “No, no,” to knives: Don’t let your children handle sharp carving knives and keep an eye on them while you’re carving. If possible, purchase specific tools that are geared just for pumpkin carving (for your safety, too!). If the kids really want to participate in the carving, you can let them make the pattern or poke the pumpkin flesh in after you’ve done the carving.
    • Reconsider the candles: If you’re going to have many children around, nix the candles. It’s just too much of a fire hazard. Buy a bunch of glow sticks readily available at any party supply or discount store and place them inside your jack-o’-lanterns. They cast an eerie green glow and are safe all around.
    • Pay attention: Never leave a candle anywhere unattended, and never leave burning candles where children (or people who act like children) can reach them or accidentally knock them over.
    • Blazing fires aren’t allowed: Keep a fire extinguisher handy. You never know when a gourd will go up in smoke (no, dear, that’s not a special effect).
    • Secure the perimeters: Make sure that all props hanging, dangling, draped, staked, or set are steadily secured. Where there will be foot traffic, tape down loose wires with duct tape. You don’t want people to trip. And check these places often during the course of the evening for any loose edges that need retaping.
    • Follow the package directions: If a package of lights says that they’re only for indoor use, don’t string them outside. Read the fog machine directions. Take every precaution when it comes to decorating with materials you’re not familiar with.

    Why is it necessary to rake leaves off the lawn?

    10/21/2014 (Permalink)

    Question: Why is it necessary to rake leaves off the lawn?

    We spend a lot of time in fall raking leaves (or, if not actually raking leaves, then using blowers, etc. to clean them up). Did you ever wonder why...?

    Answer:

    Is there a sound reason behind raking leaves pertaining to lawn health, or is it simply an aesthetic choice?

    You’ve probably heard that lawns, too, have to "breathe," and that they can be smothered if a thick layer of non shredded leaves is left on top of them over the winter, causing problems such as snow mold. That is true, but it is only part of the reason why we rake lawns.

    Most lawns in the Northern U.S. are composed of one or more cool-season grasses. "Cool-season" lawn grasses are so called because they're most active during those periods of the year when moderately cool weather predominates. Fall is one of those times. Blessed with sufficient sunlight, nutrients and water, and enjoying temperatures that are neither too cold nor too hot, cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass revitalize them in fall. This is when they must "make hay," strengthening their root systems.

    But a thick layer of fallen leaves can impede the growth of these grasses. Why? Because they can deprive the grass of one of the key elements I mentioned: sunlight. If not raked up in time, a thick and/or matted layer of fallen leaves casts excessive shade over the grass below. You don't have to rake up every last leaf; a shortcut is to mow, so as to shred left-over leaves.

    Credit: http://landscaping.about.com/od/landscapecolor/f/why_rake_leaves.htm

    Upcoming Events close to you!

    10/20/2014 (Permalink)

    Looking for something to do in your local town during the fall?  Well Lexington and West Columbia have a ton of great family friendly events that you can attend in order to bring in that fall and Halloween spirit and enjoy your local community first hand!

    Lexington:

    Deceased Farm

    October 3-5, 10-12, 16-19, 23-26, 29-31, 2014 | November 1, 2014

    Featuring two complete haunted houses, Deceased Farm is fast becoming the Midland’s premiere haunted attraction. Conveniently located in Lexington, South Carolina next to the corn maze at Clinton Sease Farm, you can spend the day wandering the corn maze and when darkness falls come over to test your bravery in one or both attractions. The main haunt encompasses three buildings that are crammed full of state of the art props and sets inhabited by over 30 live characters surrounded by a 2 acre haunted corn maze. Deceased Farm is a very intense attraction and is NOT recommended for small children. Recommended for children 12 years of age and up, but younger children are allowed if accompanied by an adult.

    Boo at the Zoo

    October 17 - 30, 2014 from 6PM - 9PM

    Riverbanks Zoo and Garden presents Boo at the Zoo - a 2014 Halloween Spooktacular event! Featured attractions include the trick-or-treat trail, Moonlight Magic with Ray, a nightly costume parade, marshmallow roasts, Frankenstein's Foam Zone, the Spooky Safari, Haunted Carousel, Spooky Hay Maze and more. Tickets are only $9 for the general public and children younger than 2 are free! Make plans now to attend this family friendly Halloween event in Columbia, SC.

    Halloween Hustle at Saluda Shoals Park

    October 30, 2014

    Dress in your Halloween best for this run held on a fast, fun course that runs through Saluda Shoals Park. The festivities continue after the hustle with a laser light show, DJ, and fun activities. Costumes are encouraged. Prizes will be awarded to Best Youth, Best Adult, Best Group, and Best Overall Costumes. T-Shirts available for purchase. Click here for additional information.

    39th Craftsmen's Christmas Classic Art & Craft Festival

    November 14 - 16, 2014

    Features original designs & work from hundreds of talented artists & craftsmen from across the nation. Something for every style, taste & budget with thousands of choices from traditional to contemporary, functional to whimsical and decorative to fun & funky. Patrons visit with the actual artisans as they browse the booths to find those one-of-a-kind treasure only found at the Craftsmen's Classics.

    Cayce/West Columbia:

    Hall of Horrors

    Cayce, SC

    2014 brings yet another exciting season of screams this October. Hall of Horrors, the longest running haunted attraction in the Midlands is proud to unveil Xperiment 13!! Like nothing you've ever experienced, you'll venture through the halls of pure hospitHELL!! Also new this year will be the addition of our outdoor maze of terror. You'll run from crazed, needle-wielding doctors, angry patients and come the closest you have ever been to death.

    Harvest festival

    West Columbia, SC

    Come celebrate the season at Varner-Hogg Plantation’s Harvest Festival and learn about harvesting on a 1800s plantation! Visitors can view tools and wagons used in harvesting sugar cane, see and taste real sugar cane, and learn how it’s gathered and processed. Take a hayride and search for our plantation scarecrows. There will be storytelling, games, craft activities, and free refreshments.

    How Secure is Your Password?

    10/17/2014 (Permalink)

    Is your password secure enough?

    Make sure that your personal information is secured away from all sorts of internet predators by following these simple tips in making your password.  Avoid having your password as the top most used passwords in the world.

    • password
    • 123456
    • qwerty
    • abc123
    • admin
    • letmein
    • adobe123
    • 111111
    • azerty
    • iloveyou

    If your password is any one of the above 10 passwords, or even close to any one of those, then I strongly suggest that you change it and all accounts that it is bound to.

    Most people who will be trying to steal your password will use a method called “brute forcing.”   This is a program that very quickly and efficiently comes up with all possible combinations of characters until it matches your password.  The way to beat this is to have a password that is so difficult to brute force that no one will ever take the time to do so.  Someone might wait 4 days to crack your password, but no one can wait over 400 years to crack a password!  The best and easiest way to make your password more difficult to brute force is to

    1. Lengthen it
    2. Mix uppercase and lower case letters
    3. Add numbers
    4. Add punctuation
    5. Add special characters
    6. Use this nifty calculator to determine how long it would take a brute force program to crack your password. 

    http://lastbit.com/pswcalc.asp

    Electronics Overheating?

    10/16/2014 (Permalink)

    Prevent your expensive electronics from overheating. 

    Many people don’t realize how easily electronics can overheat when there is no proper airflow for the device.  Electronics need to breathe just like us living things too!  The insides of your electronic appliances heat up with use, and storing them in small shelves or tight spaces will not let them get the proper airflow that they need.  Electronics that use fans as a means of cooling are especially susceptible to this type of failure. 

    If your desktop has a tendency to overheat then the fan in your computer might need cleaning.  This is a very easy and cheap fix that should be done routinely.  Go down to your local electronics or hardware store and pick up a can of compressed air.  When home, turn off your computer, then carefully spray that air along your computer fan to clean the dust all off the vent cover and the fan itself.  For a more thorough cleaning, you probably should take the hard case off your computer for easier fan and vent access.  If it’s your laptop that needs cleaning, then to do so you will more than likely need to remove the battery and unscrew the access panel off of the bottom of your laptop.

    Myth Busting: Lightning

    10/14/2014 (Permalink)

    Lightning is one of the most understood phenomenons in our world today.  There is as much not known or irrationally feared about lightning as there is that is not taken seriously enough.  Many myths are perpetuated about the unknown, and lightning is no different.  It is important that you know the facts about lightning so that you can prepare for it and know what to do when it occurs.

    Myth: lightning never strikes the same place twice

    False: Lightning often strikes the same place twice, especially if it’s a tall, pointy object.  The Empire State building is struck nearly 25 times per year.

    Myth: If clouds aren’t over my heads and it isn’t raining, lightning poses no threat to me. 

    False: Lightning often strikes more than three miles outside of the thunderstorm and has been known to travel as far as 10 to 15 miles before striking the ground.

    Myth: “Heat lightning” occurs after a very hot summer day and poses no threat.

    False: “Heat lightning” is just a term used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard. 

    Myth: Lightning always strikes the tallest object.

    Fact: Lightning strikes the best conductor on the ground, not necessarily the tallest object. In some cases, the best conductor might be a human being.

    Myth: A car's rubber tires give protection from lightning.

    False: Actually, the car itself is very well insulated and offers more protection than being outside in the storm. Of course, the exception to this is the convertible, which provides virtually no protection

    Invest in a UPS

    10/13/2014 (Permalink)

    Working on your home computer when the power goes out?  Don’t lose all that work you’ve been working on and have time to save everything.  Invest in a UPS.  UPS stand for Uninterruptible Power Supply, and it is an emergency battery that keeps anything plugged into it on long enough for you to save your work, check the news to find out emergency information, use your home phone to call relatives during emergencies, charge any of your home appliances, or any other use that might need electricity for a small amount of time. 

    For more tips and a small buying guide for a UPS, visit this site:

    http://www.smps.us/uninterruptible-power-supply.html

    Home Fire Do's and Dont's

    10/10/2014 (Permalink)

    If you experience a fire in your home there a few things you should and should not do to help yourself in minimizing damages and the cleanup process.
    Do:
    Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
    Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
    Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
    Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    Do not:
    Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
    Shampoo carpet or upolstry.
    Clean any electrical equipment
    Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor in clothes.

    Fire Extinguisher Maintenance and usage

    10/9/2014 (Permalink)

    Are you aware of how to property maintain and use your fire extinguisher?
    Not every fire extinguisher is made equal.  Check your extinguisher’s manual on how to properly care for and maintain the extinguisher regularly.
    Be aware of the proper technique in using an extinguisher.  The leading successful way to use an extinguisher is the P.A.S.S. method
    P – Pull the locking pin on the handle that prevents the extinguisher from being improperly discharged.
    A – Aim your extinguishers nozzle so that it affects the base of the fire.  Extinguishers do not last long, so its important that you affect the most important part of the fire for as long as you can
    S – Squeeze you extinguishers lever towards your palm once its been properly aimed in order to start its use.
    S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the fire in order to make sure that all host spots are affected.  Do not shy away from using the extinguisher until it runs out.

    Things You Didnt Know About Your Fire Extinguisher

    10/9/2014 (Permalink)

    Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, but did do you know the different tips and safety tips surrounding your fire extinguisher?  Portable home fire extinguishers are not meant to fight big and fast spreading fires.  They are meant for small in home fires that are able to be controlled. 
    There are 3 different classes of fires, and as a result there are three different classes of extinguishers: A, B, and C. Which class of fire is your extinguisher rated for?  A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class fire. A missing symbol tells you only that the extinguisher has not been tested for use on a given class of fire.  
    Class A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
    Class B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
    Class C: Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.
    Many home fire extinguishers are multi-purpose, so you might see multiple letters on yours at home.  That being said, if all you have is a Class C fire extinguisher for a class A or B fire, do not be hesitant to use it.  

    Smoke Alarm Safety Facts

    10/7/2014 (Permalink)

    National Fire Prevention week

    Smoke alarm safety facts:

    1. Usually when a smoke alarm fails to operate it is because the batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
    2. Three out of every five fire deaths occur result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
    3. NFPA’s 2014 Fire Prevention week theme is “Working Smoke Alarms save Lives.  Test yours Today!”
    4. You should test a smoke alarm by pushing the button with your finger.
    5. You should test your smoke alarms at least once every month.
    6. A smoke alarm should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. 
    7. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years from manufacture. 
    8. If your smoke alarm sounds whenever you cook you should replace the smoke alarm with a photoelectric type alarm and be sure that the alarm is at least 10 feet from the stove. 
    9. If your smoke alarm makes a chirping sound, you should replace the battery.
    10. With today’s modern furnishings and construction, you may have as little as 3 minutes to escape a home fire.
    11. If the smoke alarm sounds you should stop what you are doing and get outside. 
    Facts Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2014 NFPA.

    NFPA Fire Prevention Week

    10/6/2014 (Permalink)

    This week of October 6th 2014 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week!  This year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms save Lives!”  Test yours every month!

    Accoring to statistical data from the NFPA, in 2012 an estimated 1,375,500 fires were responded to in the United States.  These fires caused 2,855 deaths and 16,500 civilian injuries while costing more than 12.4 billion dollars in damages.  Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable.

    Here are some 10 key fire safety tips that you should adhere to:

    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 broken 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 your smoke alarms once per month.  Replace batteries once per year as needed. 

    10.  install sprinkles – Sprinkles can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

    Back to School Preparedness

    8/13/2014 (Permalink)

    School is right around the corner. Make sure your children are able to get in touch with you at all times. Develop a communication plan and have back up numbers that they can reach you at or even another relative's number in case of emergencies!

    Not preparing is preparing to fail.

    How to Clean Your Dishwasher

    8/5/2014 (Permalink)

    You would probably think, "Why would I need to clean my dishwasher? It's already clean since it cleans my dishes." Well, think again. The dirty dishes can leave food and all types of smells in your dishwasher. Here are some steps to get your dishwasher fresh and clean.

    Step 1: Start by filling a spray bottle with a cup of white vinegar.

    Step 2: With your dishwasher completely empty, slide the racks out, and disconnect them from the tracks. Use the spray bottle and a dry rag to give the visible interior a wipe-down. Remember, to reach up to the ceiling, and clean any top-mounted sprayers as well.

    Step 3: With the drawers still extracted, spray the vinegar to clean around the base of the main drain as well. Use a toothbrush to get in between the holes in the drain.

    Step 4: Finish by spraying and wiping down the racks using the vinegar and a sponge, and cleaning the rubber seals around the edges of the door, and the silverware holders, which are both notorious for capturing crumbs and getting a little icky.

    And before you know it, you have a SPARKLING clean dishwasher! That wasn't too bad, was it?

    Blog Credit: Quick Tips: How to Clean Your Dishwasher 

    Family Fun Month

    8/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: http://sciencemadefun.net/blog/august-2013-e-news-celebrate-family-fun-month/

    August is Family Fun Month!

    It's a month that I'm sure you and your kids will enjoy! There are so many things that you and your family can do for fun. Some suggestions would be:

    • Having a game night! Have the kids pick out their favorite game and have everyone join in on the fun!
    • Have a bake night! Who doesn't love sweets? Bake some cookies, cakes, or anything that your family loves and enjoy the bonding time.
    • Go to the park! Get some fresh air and go to the park. You could have a picnic, throw the frisbee around, or just enjoy the outdoors.

    There is nothing better than spending time with family! Get more ideas on what to do with your family here: August is Family Fun Month

    Admit it... You're Happy!

    8/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Image Credit: http://tinatruelove.hubpages.com/hub/Bulletin-Board-Ideas-for-Admit-Your-Happy-Month-August

    August is National Admit You're Happy Month, declared by the Secret Society of Happy People.

    Ways you can celebrate the month include:

    • Have conversations about happiness. Let others know what makes you happy and ask them what makes them happy.
    • Create a Happiness Treasure Chest with your family. Write down things that bring a smile to your face and put them in the treasure chest.
    • Suggest a "Happiest Employee and/or Customer Award" at your job to promote everyone to be happy.

    To get more on National Admit You're Happy Month, visit http://sohp.com/society-celebrations/happiness-happens-month/

    Fun Friday: Chicken Kebabs

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    It's Friday, and we all love something fun on Friday (and might I add delicious)! Check out this amazing dish: Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto!

    The ingredients you'll need are:

    • -2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
    • -4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
    • -2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
    • -2 teaspoons olive oil
    • -1/2 teaspoon salt
    • -1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • -8 (1-inch) pieces yellow bell pepper
    • -8 cherry tomatoes
    • -1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • -1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    • -Cooking spray
    • -2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
    • -2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
    • -1 tablespoon commercial pesto

    And then there's the preparation.

    First, preheat the broiler.

    For the kebabs:

    1. Combine lemon rind, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
    2. Toss your mix with the bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken, and onions.
    3. Thread vegetables and chicken onto 4, 12-inch, skewers.
    4. Place skewers on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
    5. Broil 12 minutes, or until chicken is done, turning occasionally.

    For the creamy pesto sauce:

    1. Combine 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, yogurt, sour cream, and pesto.

    Last, but not least:

    SERVE this yummy meal and ENJOY!

    Blog credit: Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto Recipe

    After a Flood

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    After a flood, it is important to stay up to date on things that may still be going on around you. 

    Here are some things to remember:

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless police, fire, or relief organization has specifically requested your assistance.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
  • If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded.
  • Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Get these tips and more at http://www.ready.gov/floods

    During a Flood

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/photos/car-washed-away-during-flood

    If a flood is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers, or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Blog credit to: http://www.ready.gov/floods 

    Before a Flood

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    There has been lots of rain lately, and plans for rain the rest of the week.

    Are you prepared???

    Even if you feel you live in a community with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future. Flood risk isn't just based on history; it's also based on a number of factors including rainfall, topography, flood-control measures, river-flow and tidal-surge data, and changes due to new construction and development.

    Get prepared by call or visiting you local SERVPRO franchise so our professionals can help you with emergency planning by establishing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)!

    Partial Content Credit: http://www.ready.gov/floods

    Employee of the Quarter: Family Life

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    Just recently, we at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington have started recognizing our outstanding employees with “Employee of the Quarter.” Vanessa Willis is the first person to receive it. Everything about Vanessa screams exceptional, so the least we could do was recognize her. Our SERVPRO team loves her great personality and amazing cooking skills, so we would like for you all to get to know her also.

    Today, we want to give you all an insight on Vanessa’s family and life. Vanessa was born and raised in Wagener, South Carolina. She feels that her biggest accomplishment in life has been having kids. Vanessa has a son the age of 32 and a daughter the age of 29. The one thing she loves about being a mother, is being able to be a grandmother. She says that her favorite thing to do with her family is to go camping on Dreher Island and if she could take them on any vacation in the world, it would be to Hawaii. The motto that Vanessa lives by and teaches her kids is to always respect others and know that you have to give respect to get it.

    Employee of the Quarter: Life With SERVPRO

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    Vanessa has been with SERVPRO since 2009, so today we would like to give you an insight on her work here.

    What drew Vanessa to SERVPRO was the fact that she loved to clean and with her job, she is able to do just that, by restoring what people could have lost and putting smiles on their faces at the same time. Vanessa says that what she loves the most about working with SERVPRO are the people that she comes into contact with.

    A typical day at work for Vanessa would be coming into the office and getting everything prepared to go out and get the day started. Sometimes, she doesn’t even know what they day consists of, but she never complains and is always ready to tackle whatever comes her way. She considers a great day at work just simply being able to get her job done well. Vanessa was not only surprised, but happy to be named the Employee of the Quarter. She believes that she received this recognition from just simply following the work ethics. Although that plays a big part, Vanessa’s ability to just do things without asking and her great attitude so early in the morning just brightens everyone’s day played another huge part in making it effortless to recognize her for her outstanding work. Vanessa hopes that she will continue to grow with the company and feels like there is nothing that should be changed in her work environment. She loves SERVPRO.

    Fun Question and Answer Session w/ our Employee of the Quarter

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. What is the last movie you saw?

      Think Like a Man Too

    2. What is your favorite book to read?

      The Bible

    3. What is your favorite hobby?

      Cooking (which we can all tell she does a great job at by the delicious baked goodies she brings to work)

    4. Who is your favorite basketball and/or football team?

      The Lakers, I am not too much into football.

    5. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

      I know how to paint and draw and I actually went to Atlanta Art School to be a graphic designer.

    6. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

      To be INVISIBLE!

    Stay tuned, because we have more fun facts about our terrific Employee of the Quarter coming tomorrow!

    Employee of the Quarter: Fun Facts

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. If you could trade places with anyone, living or dead, fictional or real, who would it be?

      Oprah Winfrey, most definitely!

    2. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

      An Architect

    3. What is your biggest fear?

      Not seeing my grandson grow up.

    4. What is your favorite activity to do during the summer?

      Going camping or fishing, just  because it is so peaceful. Whether I catch anything fishing or not, just being in peace is wonderful.

    5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

      Dirt. OMG, I just do like like dirtiness at all!

    6. What type of movie do you prefer? Comedy, Romance, Scary, or Action?

      Definitely Comedy.


    Be sure to check our blog tomorrow for our wrap-up on our wonderful Employee of the Quarter!

    Employee of the Quarter: More Fun Facts

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. What is your favorite color?

      Blue

    2. What is your favorite genre of music?

      I would have to say it’s a mixture, because I like some Rap, some R&B, some Pop, so it’s definitely a combination of all types.

    3. What is your guilty pleasure?

      Bingo

    4. When you’re not at work, what are you most likely doing?

      Playing Bingo

    5. Do you volunteer anywhere?

      I used to volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

    6. Describe yourself in 3 words.

      Reliable, Dependable, Honest

    And if I had to describe Vanessa in one word, it would be remarkable! She is such an awesome and warm-loving woman and that is what we all love about her!

    Congratulations, once again, to our Employee of the Quarter, Vanessa Willis!

    Social Wellness Month

    7/2/2014 (Permalink)

    Image Credit to: http://www.bondseniors.org/archive.html

    July is Social Wellness Month!

    This is the month to nurture your relationships! Get involved and be social! Join a club that does a hobby you enjoy! Volunteer and help others! Rekindle your relationship with an old friend!

    Research shows that:

    • People who have a strong social network tends to live longer.
    • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
    • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
    • Healthy social networks enhances the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases.

    So build your social network, not only this month, but every month, and stay healthy!

    Credit: Social Wellness Month

    Safety Tips for Independence Day

    7/1/2014 (Permalink)

    Image Credit to: http://www.4thofjulyimages.com/4th-of-july-family-party-2014-usa-independence-day.html

    The most important thing on Independence Day is to stay safe! SERVPRO has a TON of tips for staying safe so check them out and have a wonderful 4th of July! 

    • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
    • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
    • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
    • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
    • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
    • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
    • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
    • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
    • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
    • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
    • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
    • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
    • Know your fireworks.  Read the caution label before igniting.
    • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
    • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
    • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department
    • Always remain standing while using sparklers.
    • Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
    • Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
    • Never throw sparklers.
    • Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
    • Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.
    • Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
    • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
    • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.
    • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
    • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
    • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
    • Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
    • Sparklers burn at extremely hot temperatures from 1200 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Glow sticks make an excellent, safer alternative to sparklers, especially for young children.
    • Keep fireworks away from watermelons, dolls and mannequins. The dangers of allowing fireworks near these objects are clearly demonstrated every year on television around the 4th of July.
    • Do not use fireworks on grass or any soft, uneven ground. Only use fireworks on hard, flat, level surfaces. This is very important, to prevent the fireworks from tipping over.
    • Ground spinners such as "Ground Gloom Flower," etc. need a large, flat, smooth, hard, level surface to work. The same goes for traveling novelty items such as "Tanks," etc. Bring a large board if no hard, flat surface is at the shooting site.
    • Flying Spinners and helicopters such as "Plane Flying at Night," etc., need a flat, smooth, hard, level surface to spin on before they lift off. Make sure the printed side is up and the fuse is underneath a wing. Do not stand them on end.
    • Skyrockets must be launched from a narrow tube or a rack designed for them, not from your hand or by sticking them into the ground.
    • Roman Candles must be set in a stable rack or other support. Do not hold roman candles in your hand!
    • Light the firework with a long-handled lighter such as for barbecues, or a jumbo punk or a road flare.
    • Step back after lighting the fuse, to at least 10 feet away from the firework you just lit.
    • Never, ever, look into a tube that has a shell loaded into it, and never place any part of your body over a tube.
    • Always clean up the area after the show. 

    Credit: http://fireworksland.com/free-fun-stuff/articles/fireworks-safety-tips , http://www.in.gov/dhs/3375.htm , http://www.safekids.org/tip/fireworks-safety-tips , http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/fireworks.html , http://fireworkssafety.org/?p=41 , http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

    Places to Watch and Enjoy Fireworks on Independence Day

    7/1/2014 (Permalink)

    1.    Lexington County  

    ·       Lexington County Peach Festival - Gilbert, South Carolina

    §For a peach of a celebration, head to this annual festival, which is held every year on July 4th (or July 3rd in years when the 4th falls on a Sunday.) Throughout the day, enjoy entertainment, arts and crafts and plenty of yummy peach creations such as peach ice cream, peach tea, peach sundaes, peach cobbler, peach slush, fresh sliced peaches and more. In the evening, there is a street dance and fireworks display.

    2.    Kershaw County

    ·       July 4th

    §Lake Wateree Fireworks Celebration
    Next to Shaw AFB Recreation Area
    At Sunset (probably around 7 o'clock)

    3.    Fairfield County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fireworks show at Lake Wateree at Twilight
    Rain Date will be July 5th
    Directions: Call 803-635-4242

    4.    Newberry County

    ·       July 4th

    §6pm Newberry College - **  fireworks begin about 10 PM
    -Live Band
    -Free rides for children
    -Carshow
    -Skydiving
    -One of Southeast's largest fireworks show: 20 min show

    §Mt. Nebron Church, 8801 Bluff Rd., Eastover

    3:00 July 4

    Gospel jamboree, cookout & fireworks

    5.    Clarendon County

    ·       July 3rd and 4th

    §Big Water Lake Club, off I-95 at exit 102 (considered North Santee)
    Five Bands on the 3rd from 1pm until 10pm
    All Gospel Sunday on the 4th from 1pm until 5pm
    Also a Family Fun Fishing Tournament, Boat and RV Show
    Fireworks on Sunday night

    6.    Orangeburg County

    ·       July 4th

    §Orangeburg County Fairgrounds
    Gates open at 6:30; Program starts at 8:30pm
    Fireworks at approximately 9:20 pm, when dark
    Sponsored by Dept. of Public Utilities

    7.    Lancaster County

    ·       July 4th

    §Camp Creek Independence Day Celebration
    Powerpoint Patriotic Celebration set to music, during the service 
    Church-wide cookout after the service

    §First Baptist Church in Lancaster, Fourth of July Celebration
    Fellowship BBQ in Family Life Center
    Cost of lunch $5 for adults, $2.50 for children

    8.    Darlington County

    ·       July 4th

    §Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Located on the campus of Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Begins at 6pm, Family Fireworks Festival, Entertainment, BBQ and Vendors
    Rain Date: July 5th

    9.    Florence County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fireworks Spectacular at Florence Motorspeed Way
    Gates open at noon, Entertainment and food

    10.Horry County

    ·       June 28 through July 4

    §Star Spangled Celebration at Broadway at the Beach
    21st and 29th Avenues North and U.S. 17 Bypass, Myrtle Beach
    Live entertainment, street performers, and waterski demonstrations
    Fireworks July 4
    For more information: 800-386-4662, Broadwayatthebeach.com

    ·       July 4th

    §Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade starts at 11am 
    Begins at Garden City point moving through the main channel of Murrells Inlet
    View from waterfront locales
    For more info: 843-357-2007

    §Murrells Inlet Fireworks Display over the inlet, approximately 9pm
    Can be viewed at Garden City Beach
    For more info: 843-357-2007

    §Independence Day Celebration at Barefoot Landing
    4898 US 17 S. North Myrtle Beach
    Boardwalk entertainers 7-11pm
    Fireworks over the Intracoastal Waterway at 10:15pm
    For more info: 843-272-8349, ext. 104

    §July 4th Independence Day Celebration, 7-11:30pm
    Cherry Grove Pier, 3500 N. Ocean Blvd. North Myrtle Beach
    Concert and Fireworks

    11.Bamberg County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fourth of July Celebration in Bamberg
    Fireworks (Phoenix Specialty and Tobul Accumulators)

    Home Emergency Tips

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Here at SERVPRO we clean and restore fire and water damage, but our desire is that you never need to call us.

    Harmful Waste (Sewage, Bloodborne Pathogens, Etc.)

    Here are some home emergency tips:

    Do:

    • Stay out of affected areas
    • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life threatening.
    • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated
    • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.

    Don’t:

    • Attempt cleanup of any kind
    • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.
    • Eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or handle contact lenses in affected areas. 

    *If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post- exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

    Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    These are the perfect treats for Independence Day. After all of the good grilled food, finish off with something sweet and enjoy these great Independence Day themed Oreo cookies!

    Ingredients

    -24 Oreos

    -4 oz White Melting Candy

    -2 oz Red Melting Candy

    -2 oz Blue Melting Candy

    Instructions

    • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    • Melt white candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in white chocolate and flip to coat. Remove from chocolate allowing excess to drip off and place on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • You can take a knife and shave any excess off of cookies to keep nice shape.
    • Melt red candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in red chocolate to coat one end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • Melt blue candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in blue chocolate to coat opposite end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.

    Blog Credit: Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    BACON! Seriously, who doesn’t love bacon? Check out this fun appetizer and wow your family and friends’ taste buds!

    Makes about three dozen bites

    Ingredients:

    1 pound small or medium red potatoes
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Freshly ground pepper
    12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
    1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
    1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
    Salt and pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.

    Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

    Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.

    Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

    Blog Credit: Baconwrapped Potato Bites

    How to Build a Pond

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    How cool would it be to have a pond in your own yard? And even better, wouldn't you love for it to be cost efficient?! Here’s how to build your own pond, and tips on easy maintenance as well.

    Step one- Rough out the area the size you want your pond. A pond can be as large as you wish, but I chose to make mine approximately 4×8 feet. Check with your local code if you plan to place the pond in an unfenced area…some towns limit the depth of the pond if it is unfenced, usually to 12 inches.

    Decide if you just want a decorative pond, or a complete water garden with live plants and fish. I chose a decorative pond with a fountain feature, but keep in mind a water garden will require a deeper pond with more maintenance.

    Step two- Once you have the pond shape marked with either paint, chalk or a spare hose laid out on the border, it’s time for the hard work! Dig! My original pond was 18 inches deep to allow for some goldfish my children wanted. Goldfish are tough as nails, but keeping up with the algae was tougher! When doing some repairs the following spring, I removed the fish and backfilled my pond until it was only 12 inches deep. Whatever you choose, excavate the pond to the desired depth and try to keep the sides as vertical as possible. This will make it easier to hide the liner later.

    Lay some material in the bottom of the pond to cushion the liner against rocks, sticks and other items likely to punch holes. Good low budget ideas are newspaper, old carpet or even sand.

    Step three- Purchase a pond liner from your local supplier or discount store. Measure your pond depth x 2 and add to the length plus 2 feet- that is the length of your liner. Your pond depth x 2 added to the width plus 2 feet- that is the width of your liner. The extra 2 feet allows for fitting and cutting away of the excess.

    Lay the liner over the pond and fit into the bottom, fill halfway with water and allow to sit several hours or overnight to settle the soil. Trim the liner to hang just 3-4 inches over the lip of the pond…that few inches is important, better to trim too little than too much, you can always go back later and re-trim. If you are going to add a fountain pump, place it in the pond now.

    Step four- Now you want to hide the edges of the pond liner with rocks. Flagstone in my part of the country is pretty expensive, so I figured out a way to get the flagstone look for only $25. I picked up a case of slate floor tiles, and used a hammer to break them into pieces. I lay the slate over the lip of the pond with the broken side facing the pond center. I then hid any smooth edges of the tiles with river rocks from my yard, simply layered on top of the slate. You can also use the local rocks to hide any excess pond liner as well. Plug in your fountain pump, and set it onto a brick to achieve the right height if necessary. Make sure you have a GFI outlet to plug into, if not, consider a solar pump.

    Step five- Add plants and accessories around the pond to make it a welcoming place for all your visitors! Be sure there is seating nearby, and a birdfeeder in the nearby trees will ensure a steady supply of feathered friends to enjoy your pond oasis!

    There are many algae controls available for those not interested in learning the complexities of creating a natural biological environment in their water garden. Even discount stores carry such supplies the garden section. A small amount of bleach will also keep the water clean, though you must be careful to use small amounts, and avoid this method if wildlife frequents your pond.

    This is fast, easy and a showstopper that will add real value to your garden and your home.

    Blog Credit: How to Build a Pond

    Spicy Sausage Rolls

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This delicious recipe is great for a game day treat! And even though many people prefer beer on game days, wine would be perfect for the appetizer. So on the next game day, pull up this recipe and show your friends and family a great time by giving them some great food!

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 sheets thawed puff pastry (see notes)
    • 1¼lb sweet Italian sausage meat
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, diced
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon all-spice
    • 1 large egg beaten with ½ tablespoon water

    For the dipping sauce:

    • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon Gallo Family Vineyard Pinto Grigio
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

    Instructions

    1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. n a large bowl, combine the sausage meat, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and all spice. Mix well to combine and transfer to your food processor.
    3. Pulse the sausage mixture until the onions break up and the sausage is smooth and almost paste like – about 10-15 pulses.
    4. Transfer the sausage mix to a disposable pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the tip cut off to pipe about ½ inch in diameter.
    5. On a lightly floured surface roll out one sheet of puff pastry so that it is one large piece – about 10-12 inches long.
    6. On the long edge pipe out 4 rows of sausage mix, leaving 1 inch between each section.
    7. Using a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 4 sections and roll over the sausage making sure to seal the edges.
    8. Brush the puff pastry logs with egg wash and cut into 1inch sections.
    9. Transfer to the baking sheet.
    10. If using the section sheet of puff pastry repeat the filling instructions. If making sausage balls, roll the leftover meat into 1inch size balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
    11. Cook the sausage rolls for 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown.
    12. Cook the sausage balls for 20-25 minutes.
    13. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, pinto grigio and hot sauce to make the dipping sauce.
    14. Serve the sausage rolls and balls hot with the sauce on the side.

    Blog Credit: Spicy Sausage Rolls

    Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This is seriously strawberry shortcake heaven! They are the perfect dessert for kids after dinner, perfect for parties, and perfect just to whip up and eat on your own! Take a look at this recipe and be blown away that you'll be able to make these delicious strawberry shortcake cookie cups on your own!

    Ingredients

    • Refrigerated Sugar cookie Dough
    • Whipped Cream
    • Fresh strawberries

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350.
    • Wash and remove stems from strawberries.
    • Form cookie dough into 1" balls. Press each ball into the openings in the muffin pan and press down in the middle with your thumb to form a cup shape.
    • Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.
    • Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove from pan.
    • Take a few strawberries and puree them to make a drizzle.
    • Place a strawberry or piece of a strawberry in each cup. - I used half of a small strawberry in each
    • Fill cup with Whipped Cream.
    • Top with a strawberry slice and drizzle of strawberry puree.

    Blog Credit: Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    Pizza Casserole

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Who doesn't love pizza and spaghetti?! This is a great casserole idea and don’t forget to add in your favorites to make it your own special recipe! When you want to fix an easy casserole recipe that you know will be a hit, give this dish a try! Your family and friends will love you for this delicious dish!

    Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of egg noodles
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pound hamburger meat
  • 1 package of pepperoni
  •  Instructions

    1. Brown the meat and drain the grease.
       
    2. Boil Noodles until soft.  Drain the water.
       
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
       
    4. In a 9x13 casserole dish, start layering by first spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
       
    5. Second layer half of the noodles over the sauce.  Then half of the meat and the rest of the noodles.
       
    6. Next layer half of the cheese, the rest of the meat, the rest of the sauce, and then the rest of the cheese.
       
    7. Lastly, top with pepperonis.
       
    8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
       
    9. Once it is done baking, take it out and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.  Enjoy.

    Blog Credit: Mama's Pizza Casserole

    Professional Wellness Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: http://rebootbreak.com/2011/06/17/june-professional-wellness-month/

    June is Professional Wellness Month!

    Professional wellness is about promoting a healthy work environment, building relationships among employees, and improving personal work performance. Employers should show they care about each employee’s well-being, encourage less stressful professional practices, and help employees become more efficient.

    Exercise at Work

    It’s hard to find time to exercise, especially for those of us who work in an office. Exercising at work may seem impossible, but it’s one option for staying fit and keeping your energy up. It takes some creativity, but there are opportunities to exercise at work if you pay attention. All it takes is a little planning and some inspiration to squeeze in a little movement all day long.

    The Basics

    You probably know a few tricks for staying active at work. Taking the stairs when you can, parking further away from the door and walking around the office when you can are good places to start. Beyond that, there are a few other options to keep you moving:

    • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you’ll work on your posture without even trying.
    • Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you’ll feel more alert.
    • Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs
    • Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
    • Leave something important in your car (your lunch, your briefcase, etc.) so you have to run out to get it (and take the stairs)
    • Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email
    • Go to the mall for lunch and park on the opposite end of the food court. Don’t forget to buy something healthy.
    • Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.

    Be creative. Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when she piles more work on you.

    Credit to: Professional Wellness Month

    Let's Talk Lightning

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit: http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=1109

    Some people think lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, lightning often strikes the same place twice. Reportedly, the Empire State building is struck nearly 25 times a year. It is also believed that lightning only poses a threat when it’s cloudy or raining. The truth is lighting often strike more than three miles outside of a storm and has been known to travel as far as 10-15 miles before striking the ground. Many people are confused by the term “heat lightning” and think it occurs as the result of a very hot summer day. The term “heat lightning” is used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard. 

    For more information, visit http://www.servprolexingtonsc.com/

    National Rivers Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Photo Credit to http://dirtyhippieproductions.tumblr.com/post/88385460772/june-is-national-rivers-month

    Did you know that more than 250,000 rivers and streams run throughout America? Together, these waterways flow for nearly 3.6 million miles, providing drinking water to over 65% of Americans. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that nearly 175 million Americans ages six and older participated in outdoor activities on local waterways. Together, they pump more than 86 billion dollars into the economy every year!

    But the truth is you can’t put a price tag on a river-especially when illegal dumping, litter, sewage and industrial runoff threaten the communities and ecosystems that depend on them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 290 million scrap tires are produced in the United States each year. That’s enough tires to circle the Earth 1.6 times! Unfortunately, many of these tires, along with other unwanted items, are dumped into rivers every year. To give you an idea, National River Cleanup®volunteers removed more than 36,000 tires from local waterways in 2012 alone.

    In honor of National Rivers Month, we’re calling all paddlers, fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts and humans alike to organize or volunteer with National River Cleanup. By participating in a river cleanup, you help preserve these invaluable resources that make life on Earth possible. So what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to give back to the rivers that do so much for us!

    Credit to National Rivers Month

    From Wildfires to Hurricanes: Here's Why You Want SERVPRO

    5/19/2014 (Permalink)

    In the midst of the drought-related wildfires that are devastating the West and the hurricane-induced water and wind damage hitting the East Coast, people everywhere are having to make tough decisions about where to go from here. Particularly in large-scale disasters, being taken advantage of is a threat that faces many homeowners. On the other hand, taking on fire and water damage cleanup yourself can be overwhelming and not entirely possible without the right equipment. So take it from a neighbor you can trust: here are 7 reasons to choose SERVPRO.

    Timely mitigation is key to controlling damage, downtime and recovery costs. The training of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help limit damage and get your facility back in operation quickly. You can count on our nationwide coverage, full line of restoration services, and the 1-4-8 service guidelines.

    They key to a good relationship is good communication. With SERVPRO, you’ll know what is happening every step of the way. From the first telephone call within the first hour following damage notification, until the job is complete, we are dedicated to effectively communicating with you. You will be aware of the job status and the progress toward project completion.

    Jobs are documented with itemized estimates, digital photographs, signed work authorization forms and regular progress reports. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals, utilizing technology developed for documenting insurance claims, electronically collect and store project information which is accessible to you via a secure e-mail link 24 hours a day. Upon project completion, a signed customer satisfaction form is the final piece of information entered into the file.

    When fire, water or mold damage strikes a commercial facility, it has a negative impact on everyone — the owner, the management team, employees, tenants and even customers. Even small fire or water damages must be addressed quickly in order to limit secondary damage. We understand the urgency in responding to your facility or home following a disaster. By arriving quickly, mitigating damage to the structure and contents, and providing effective cleanup and restoration services, we will get you back in business as soon as possible.

    We help you save money: Emergency mitigation services help minimize secondary damages; proper restoration versus replacement of contents is less expensive; faster recovery lessens loss; pre-approved pricing and procedures; and comprehensive cleanup and restoration services help prevent future problems and potential liability risks.

    Commercial properties probably have an emergency exit plan in place with illuminated signs leading occupants to safety and even facility maps strategically placed to identify alternate routes out of the building. But have you developed a thorough Contingency Plan? Is the emphasis on the first 24-48 hours, to help you get back in your building as quickly as possible?

    Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional can provide you assistance in developing an Emergency Response Profile. As part of a well-thought-out Contingency Plan, your Emergency Response Profile will contain information you need in the event an emergency situation occurs.

    An added advantage to utilizing SERVPRO in the development of your Emergency Response Profile is the opportunity to coordinate a preferred provider relationship including pre-arranged pricing and procedures for handling emergency response for your facility before damage occurs.

    We have the solution to your cleanup needs. Utilizing the right equipment and supplies, SERVPRO can handle all of your cleanup needs. In addition to our superior fire, water and mold restoration services, we provide cleanup services for those special needs that surpass the capabilities of your regular maintenance staff: Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration; Water Removal and Dehumidification; Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup; Mold Mitigation and Remediation; Contents Claim Inventory Service; Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning; Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care; Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications; Odor Identification and Deodorization; and Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods.

    In the event of a major catastrophe, SERVPRO has a nationwide Large Loss Response Team comprised of trained and equipped professionals capable of responding to your facility. While most systems have a waiting list, you get priority service with SERVPRO. Call us today to find out how.

    Each of SERVPRO’s over 1,400 nationwide Franchises is independently owned and operated by trained professionals committed to providing the highest level of emergency cleanup and restoration services and customer satisfaction. What this means to you, the commercial property owner or manager, is that should fire, water or mold damage occur in one of your local facilities or a facility across the country, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will provide quality professional service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

    Wireless Emergency Alerts

    5/15/2014 (Permalink)

    WEA- Alert Message

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government- alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service. 

    Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harms way, without need to download app or subscribe to a service. WEA may be used to share: 

  • Extreme weather warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action. 
  • AMBER Alerts
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
  • A WEA will look like a text message will typically show the type and time of the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters. 

    Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, inclusing how to determine if your mobile device is WEA-capable. 

    When Life Gives You Lemons- Clean Your Sink

    4/23/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. 

    2. Wash it down with 1/2 cup of vinegar and spritz of lemon. 

    3. Let this set for a few minutes while it fizzles. 

    4. Rinse with hot water. 

    Spring Cleaning Tips

    4/22/2014 (Permalink)

    Spring Cleaning Tips: 

    Clean your workspace. It doesn't take long for clutter to pile up. Begin spring-cleaning by decluttering and organizing your workspace. Sort files and determine what you really need. Removing excess clutter will not only allow you to find things easier, but will also create a more productive environment.

    Start an archive. While organizing your workspace, you may come across files you don’t use daily but still need to keep. By creating an archive, you can save these files and keep your desk clutter free. Maintain your archive by scheduling one day a month to sort through files and keep files organized. 

    Organize your inbox. Is your inbox overloaded? Organize e-mails by creating folders within your inbox. Organizing files may require an initial time investment but will be a tremendous timesaver in the future. Consider backing up important electronic files and programs as well. 

    Deep Clean your facility, including the floors. Over time, floors bear the brunt of your daily business. If not properly maintained, they can become dull and dingy. Having floors deep cleaned can improve the overall look and cleanliness of your facility. 

    Hit the hidden areas. We all avoid the hated, hidden area in our areas in our homes, but now is the time to face the monster dust bunny under the bed. Be ruthless! 

    Tackle the big projects first. We start with the best intentions to scrub down our down our homes from top to bottom, but somewhere in the middle we run out of stream. Tackle the biggest projects first, or you may never get to them. 

    Yard sale time! Don’t just chuck your unwanted items. Put them up for sale! You may be surprised to see what could bring in a couple bucks. 

    Facts About Flooding

    3/24/2014 (Permalink)

    Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. 

    Just because you havent experiences a flood in the past, doesn't mean you wont in the future. In fact 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were for policies in low risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000. 

    According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the US every year than any other weather relates disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips. 

  • Stay away from floodwater. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet. 
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. 
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.  
  • Smoke Alarms Save Lives

    3/24/2014 (Permalink)

    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. 

    Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

  • 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. If an alarm "chirps", the battery is low and should be replaces right away. 
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 
  • Spring Cleaning

    3/20/2014 (Permalink)

    Spring Cleaning

    Begin with an action plan

    One of the hardest parts of spring cleaning can be deciding where to begin and what to tackle first. Not to mention figuring out who will do what.

     

    So why not approach the big job like a pro this year: create an action plan, assign tasks to specific family members (or even to a professional) and then reward everyone for a job well done. Don’t forget to hold a family meeting to brainstorm enticing and fun rewards that will inspire everyone to work hard!

    downloadable checklists ease your way

    To help you out with your big spring clean, we’ve created seven handy and easy-to-use spring cleaning checklists: one for each room in your home, plus an extra to cover outdoor cleaning.

    Each list contains tasks, suggestions for who can best handle each task (adult, child or professional), tool and product recommendations, helpful tips—and even some of our favorite articles on related topics.

    To download a checklist, locate the checklist names shown in the right-hand column of this page. Then simply click the name of the checklist you’d like to use.

    Once you have your checklist, print it and use it as a guide to keep you and your family on track throughout your big spring clean. Here’s a suggestion: tape the appropriate checklist to the door of the room you’re cleaning and check off tasks as they are completed. That way everyone can track the progress of each room and share in a sense of accomplishment as you get closer to your goals. It will make the chores seem more manageable too.

    make safety a priority

    As always, read the labels of any product you use so you fully understand all directions and precautions. Consider, too, whether you’ll need special equipment, like safety goggles or rubber gloves, to protect your eyes and skin.

    Children can often help out with spring cleaning and on our checklists we’ve indicated cleaning tasks that might be appropriate for them. However, some cleaning products should be kept out of reach of children (and pets too), so check labels to make sure. Be sure that you supervise them as appropriate for their age.

    celebrate a job well done.

    Once the last checkbox has been ticked and your house is gleaming from roof to basement, treat the whole family to the agreed-upon reward. Whether it’s dinner at a favorite restaurant or maybe a new hammock for backyard relaxing, it’s certain to be a well-earned spring bonus!

    http://www.rightathome.com/Cleaning/Articles/Pages/SpringCleaningRoombyRoom.aspx

    Danger Signs of a Tornado

    3/3/2014 (Permalink)

    • Dark, often greenish clouds- a phenomenon caused by hail. 
    • Funnel Clouds- a visible rotating extension of the cloud base. 
    • Wall Cloud- an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm. 
    • Large hail- Roaring noise. Cloud debris. 

    During the storm Outdoor Safety

    3/3/2014 (Permalink)

    • If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley. 
    • If you are on open water, get land immediatly and seek shelter. 
    • If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under thick growth of small trees. 
    • If you are in a car, keep the windows closed. 

    Tips: Spot Cleaning

    2/4/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Always blot or scape up as much material as possible before it soaks into the carpet. 
    2. For scraping solid matter, use a table knife or a SERVPRO scraper. Never use a sharp instrument.
    3. For blotting liquids use white paper towels or tissues instead of a cloth. If a cloth is used too long, the fibers may be re-deposited in the carpet and spread the stain. 
    4. Never use soap. This frequently leaves a sticky residue that causes rapid resoling. 
    5. Do not allow solvent- based products to penetrate to the backing of carpets. Solvents may damage and soften the latex compounds used to strengthen the carpet. 

    Quick ways to prevent water damage in your home

    2/4/2014 (Permalink)

    • Repair peeling paint around the doors and windows, which can be a sign of water getting into wood. 
    • Look for roof leaks around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents. Trace the source of a ceiling leak by measuring its location from the nearest outside wall and then locate this point in the attic using a measuring tape. 

    7 Tips to avoid bursting pipes

    2/4/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Wrap outside faucets.
    2. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. 
    3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    4. Drain in ground sprinkler systems.
    5. Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing. 
    6. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. 
    7. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days. 

    Ducts

    1/7/2014 (Permalink)

    It's the season when homes have their highest energy demand of the year. Heating accounts for 34% of all annual utility usage and is part of what makes an average home twice the emitter of carbon dioxide emissions as a vehicle. Here is a way to reduce the demand for expensive space heating.

    Check the ducts. To ensure that as much warm air as possible is delivered through your central system, check the ductwork and wrap any leaks with duct mastic. Distribution losses (what's lost while air is transported from your furnace through ductwork to the vents) often amounts to 30%. So, sealing ductwork could increase efficiency and the warm air you receive considerably ... keeping you warmer and lessening the burden on your furnace. 

    More Tips for Weathering the Winter

    1/7/2014 (Permalink)

    •  Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals. Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to your pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment. Antifreeze that leak from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways, roads, and runways can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil. 

    •  Winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tires for tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.

    •  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away. Cold wood ashes can be mixed in your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.

    •  Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones. While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases. As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.

    •  Close the recycling loop. Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials. Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.

    •  Winter storms often cause power outages. Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights. If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.

    •  Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace. Roll newspaper sheets around a broom stick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water. Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. Always follow proper safety precautions when burning anything around your home.

    •  To make sure your heating system (boiler, furnace or heat pump) is operating at its most efficient, it is a good idea to have a contractor perform a routine check-up and any necessary maintenance on the equipment before freezing weather drives up your energy bill.

    Fight the Flu

    1/7/2014 (Permalink)

    Don't be fooled, influenza (or, the flu, as we commonly call it) is fairly likely to impact your holidays, as one in five Americans suffer from it every single year. According to Pride Staff, the flu, combined with pneumonia, is the nation's 8th leading cause of death. So what can you do take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and shield yourself (and others) against the flu?

    One of the first and most important preventive actions you should take is getting a yearly flu vaccine. Don't know where to get one? Flu.gov has a flu vaccine finder that is very helpful!

    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Aim your cough/sneeze into the bend of your arm.

    Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This, my friends, is how germs are spread.

    Those are the basics, but what about everyone else? How can you help others do the same? Try these actions:

    • Encourage great hygiene among your family members and coworkers.
    • Put up posters addressing prevention: how to stop germs from spreading, how to recognize cold/flu symptoms, etc.
    • Identify local resources for flu shots and make this information available to coworkers.
    • Stock up on hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial wipes and make these available to others.
    • Wipe down all flat surfaces: keyboards, mouse, phone and common areas daily.
    • Use hand sanitizer after shaking hands with others.
    • Contact your office janitorial service to see if they offer any special treatment or processes to prevent the spread of cold/flu germs.


    • Don't wait.

    Winterize your home

    1/6/2014 (Permalink)

    Keep Your Home Safe!

    Since the severe weather has made an appearance across the country, it's only right if I give you Awesome Tips on keeping your home and business safe!

    Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

    • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes
    • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or un-insulated areas of your home.
    • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
    • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
    • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.

    Winterize Your Business

    12/26/2013 (Permalink)

    The winter months may call for businesses to take some standard precautionary measures to help protect their property. These measures include basic maintenance checks and preparation to help ensure your business and employees remain safe. Some basic precautionary tips include:

    • Check your business property for down tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
    • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leave or debris accumulates causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
    • Inspect property, especially walkaways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
    • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non- slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

    CE CLASS SCHEDULE

    12/17/2013 (Permalink)

    Good News! Our CE Classes are scheduled for the entire year of 2014! 

    2014 CE Classes (Between 6-8 credits offered per day)



    • March 5

    • May 15

    • Aug 7

    • Nov 6


    Where - Wingate Hotel: 108 Saluda Pointe Ct, Lexington, SC 29072

    Feel free to go ahead and RSVP with me if you are interested in any or all of those dates. For those of you who were interested in the first class, please let me know if the new March 5th date works with your schedule. We will be getting official invitations out to the offices at least a month before each class. 

    Holiday Mail for Heroes 2013

    12/17/2013 (Permalink)

    While you reflect on this past year and give thanks throughout the holiday season please do not forget our men and women in uniform. Many of those who volunteer to wear this nation's cloth and defend our freedom will be worlds away from their own families. To show their appreciation the American Red Cross hosted their seventh annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program.



    SERVPRO participated by educating two local schools, Saxe Gotha Elementary and Carolina Springs Middle School, on great sacrifice our service members make daily and the importance of extending support during the Holidays. The kids then spent the class period writing heartfelt messages and drawing pictures for our troops. We always enjoy explaining what this program is about and seeing the children's faces light up as they fill out the cards. 



    "The simple act of receiving a card with a holiday greeting or message of thanks is an enormous morale booster and can have a great impact on a military member" said, Bill Cronin, Chapter Executive of the Central South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.

    Exercising Caution with Alternative Heat

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    Everyone wants to keep his or her homes and workspace warm during the winter. In an effort to keep heating costs down, many residents and employees will turn to an alternative heat source, such as fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and portable space heaters.

    When used and maintained as directed, these methods can effectively warm your home or office. However, there is also an inherent danger, as heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months.

    In 2008, the most recent years statistics were available, heating equipment caused more than 66,000 fires and led to more than $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Portable space heaters were responsible for nearly one third of these fires. Some authorities believe the public is at an increased risk of alternative heating fires this year as residents search for ways to cut heating bills in tough economic times.  

    Statistics to share

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    Based on 2006-2010 annual averages:



    • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in home cooking fires.

    • Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

    • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

    • Ranges accounted for the largest share (58%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.

    • Three of every five (57%) reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.

    • Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.


    Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

    Choosing a Tree

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    The difference between the most wonderful time of the year and a call to SERVPRO can be in the choosing of this year's tree. Christmas trees are involved in approximately 400 fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These typically result in more than a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and more than $10 million in property loss and damage. In short: circuiting tree lights are cited as the leading cause.

    Since the holiday season has begun, take a few of safety tips courtesy of the State Fire Marshal's Office on choosing and preparing Christmas trees for decoration that will minimize the risk of fire and injuries.

    • If you're buying an artificial tree, it should bear the "Fire Resistant" label. While this type of tree can catch fire, it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
    • If you're buying a natural tree, buy the freshest you can find. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
    • Watch out for trees with a greenish cast to their trunks and branches; many growers spray trees with green paint to make them look more appealing.
    • Cut at least one inch off the trunk's base to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump in four to six hours if water drops below the base of the tree, preventing the tree from absorbing water later when the tree stand is refilled. If a seal does form, another fresh cut will need to be made.
    • To maximize freshness and minimize fire risk, keep the tree outdoors for a few days in a bucket filled with water before bringing it indoors to decorate. The tree stand should hold at least one gallon of water.

    Because heated rooms dry out natural trees rapidly, keep the stand filled with water; check the water level daily. A six-foot tree will absorb one gallon of water every two days.

    Avoid Holiday Fire Disasters Through Safe Candle Use

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    Candles lend a special light to the holiday season: Halloween jack-o-lanterns, Thanksgiving dinner tables, Advent wreaths, Menorahs, luminarias, and Kwaanza Kinaras. If not for a seasonal purpose, then perhaps the romantic lighting or the smell of sugar cookies has convinced you that candles are an undeniable asset to ambiance. Whatever the reason, candle safety is important, particularly during the holiday season when their use is particularly common. Here are some basic guidelines to help keep you safe. Commit these to memory and avoid the embarrassment of last year's flaming cheese fondu (the result of a single candle... and might I add, not my fault).

    Who

    Children should be taught to stay away from lit candles. Try to keep them out of reach of young children and pets. Candle lighting is not an appropriate activity for small children, so keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.

    Where

    Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials. In other words, never use candles near windows or exits. Don't place them on Christmas trees, real or artificial (I know, it's tradition, but setting the house on fire isn't). Keep burning candles away from curtains, wrapping paper, paper, combustible decorations and displays (including Aunt Juanita's hair), flammable liquids, and aerosol sprays (please see Aunt Juanita's hair), such as hair spray, which can explode. Never allow a candle flame to touch any glass surface.

    When

    Don't burn candles for more than four hours at a time. Unattended candles are an invitation to disaster, so don't forget to snuff out candles before leaving the room or going to bed (that's right, falling asleep to candle light: bad idea). Blowing out candles doesn't do the trick: extinguish them by wetting the wick.

    And some other quick tips:

    • Candles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-tipping, non-flammable holder made of tempered glass or made with a proper glaze.
    • Place candles on a safe, heat-resistant dry surface. If possible, place glass chimneys or shades over them.
    • For Christmas luminarias, use 15-hour votive candles in holders placed in paper bags filled with at least 2 inches of sand. The candle must be of a size that will allow adequate space between the candle and bag so as not to ignite the bag.
    • Remove labels and tags from candles before burning.
    • Keep wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch at all times. This inhibits smoking and carbon build-up at the tip of the wicks and provides a cleaner burn.
    • Sometimes a layer of liquid wax forms that causes the wick to fall to the side. To maintain an even burn, keep the wick centered. This will also protect the candle holder, since a flame that's too close for too long may crack the holder.
    • Keep the wax pool free of foreign objects such as wick trimmings and matches. They will interfere with proper burning and are flammable.
    • Extinguish taper or pillar candles when they get within 2 inches of their holders. Discontinue use of candle containers when 1/2" of wax remains. 

    Are you really prepared?

    12/6/2013 (Permalink)

    If a natural disaster were to strike today would you really be prepared? If the answer is yes, then  CONGRATULATIONS!  9 times out of 10 a household is not prepared for a disaster. After my last blog, I wondered if I was prepared for a disaster. Living in California our teachers and parents prepared us on what to do in case of an earthquake.

    "DUCK AND COVER."

    To be honest "duck and cover" is all that I am prepared for, which isn't saying much. Here is a helpful list to get you and your family prepared!

    Please go through this list and make sure that all of these items are in your emergency kit. You never know when an emergency can strike you or your community!

    • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3 ­day supply for evacuation, 2­ week supply for home)
    • Food—non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­ day supply for evacuation, 2 ­week supply for home)
    • Flashlight
    • Battery­-powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
    • Multi­purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Emergency blanket
    • Map(s) of the area

    Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two­-way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

    Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

    The Danger of not having a Emergency Kit:

    Though most households are located in reasonable proximity to an emergency respondent, access to an emergency kit is often critical in securing the health and safety of residents before help arrives. For those located a significant distance from emergency assistance, or homes that contain injury-prone children or older adults, an emergency kit is non-negotiable.

    Now ask yourself are you prepared for a natural disaster to strike?

    When Fire Strikes

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)

    Fire damage in a home can be a stressful event for a homeowner. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help you restore your home and personal belongings.

    So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 1-800-SERVPRO. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have worked for over 35 years to make fire damage like it never even happened.

    Clean Air in the Home

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)


    • Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptoms - 300% more than those in clean environments.

    • Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated per 1,500 square feet in a home.

    • Roughly 80 percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

    Cleaner Air Means a Healthier Home

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)

    Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the home. Your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a proven Portable Ventilation and Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

    The Truth About Mold

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)

    Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit.

    An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites and other organisms.

    So You Can Focus on Your Customers

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)


    • Quick response may help avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize inconvenience to tenants

    • Restoration services can help you resume normal business functions quickly while avoiding costly construction downtime

    • Professional equipment and industry-approved techniques


    Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will work hard to restore the property and its contents to pre-loss condition helping you become the hero in a disaster situation.

    Contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional or call 1-800-SERVPRO.

    Time Is A Precious Commodity

    9/25/2013 (Permalink)

    When you need it done right and done fast, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional for all your commercial cleaning needs. Did you know when you hire SERVPRO Franchise Professionals for maintenance cleaning; you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response -- that's the SERVPRO way.

    Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call your local Franchise Professional for all your emergency restoration needs. Because when you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring your business can get back into operation as fast as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs.

    Minimize Vacancies, Maximize Income

    9/24/2013 (Permalink)

    Property owners rely on you to enhance the value of their rental property by maintaining occupancy rates and increasing revenue.

    The fact is, tenants will come and go. The longer it takes to clean a space after they move out, the longer it takes to move a new tenant in. Each day the space is empty is one less day of income.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer a variety of services to help bring the unit to move-in condition quickly:



    • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care

    • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning

    • Deodorization

    • Air Duct & HVAC Cleaning

    • Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods

    Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt - Reducing Potential Health Risks

    9/9/2013 (Permalink)

    Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. Often times the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building.



    A routine part of a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially expand the life span of equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money.

    Clean Sweep for Ducts

    9/9/2013 (Permalink)

    Improve the Air Quality of Your Business

    When addressing the air quality, inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional’s first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional uses a proven Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to help improve the air quality of your business.

    SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process

    9/9/2013 (Permalink)

    ·       The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.

    ·         Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.

    ·         Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.

    ·         As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

    ·         Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

    Proper Maintenance Saves Money

    9/9/2013 (Permalink)

    Estimates made by the World Health Organization say that poor indoor air quality costs $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production.

    Part of your responsibility to the tenants, workers and students who work and play in your buildings includes proper maintenance and prompt response to any situation that could cause illness or health concerns. A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional is available when it matters.



    Learn more about Indoor Air Quality on the web at servpro.com or www.epa.gov.

    Leak Prevention Tips

    9/9/2013 (Permalink)

    Regularly check the following items for leaks:

    Exterior

    ·         Check roofing for deterioration

    ·         Check gutters and down spouts for blockage.

    ·         Check basements and crawl spaces for moisture.



    Interiors

    ·         Check appliances in break rooms and cafeterias.

    ·         Check sinks and toilets in restrooms.



    ·         Check HVAC for leaks and blockage.

    Preparing for a Flood

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Rain clouds have been obscuring our sunshine in Lexington and West Columbia for awhile now, but in Florida they have been dealing with a few more problems than a missed chance at a tan.
    Floods have been upending the lives of many Floridians.

    Though damage is unavoidable in flood situations there are some steps you can take to help avoid as much damage as possible to your home or business.

    Before the Flood:

    Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding. -Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business. -Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

    During the Flood:

    Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. -Disconnect electrical appliances. -Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. -Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.

    After the Flood:

    Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink. -Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. -Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. -Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

    Having flood damage in your home or business can be a difficult situation to deal with, but remember, your SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia/Lexington is here to help you 24/7.

    Call (803) 755-9774. We make it 'Like it never even happened.'

    Check Your Home!

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    HEALTHY HOME CHECKLIST [ ] DO YOU SMOKE IN YOUR HOME?



    [ ] Do your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room have adequate ventilation and exhaust fans?
    [ ] Do you change your air filters once a month?
    [ ] When cleaning or doing laundry, do you use bleach, ammonia or aerosol spray cans?
    [ ] Is your gas fireplace and or gas stove checked yearly for emissions?
    [ ] Was your home built before 1978? If so, has it been checked for lead-based paint?
    [ ] Do your bathrooms have carpet?
     
    Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the home. SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a proven portable ventilation and duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. We can eliminate embarrassing offensive odors in your home. 

    You can't clean everywhere, but we can!

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO'S PROVEN DUCT CLEANING SYSTEM IS COST EFFICIENT!

    Unlike many duct cleaning services, Servpro of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a portable ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
    CLEAN SWEEP FOR DUCTS
    *Improve the Air Quality of Your Business When addressing air quality inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminats like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Servpro uses a proven Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning system to help improve the air quality of your business.
    Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt- Reducing Potential Health Risks
    Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. Often times the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building. A routine part of a SERVPRO service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potientially extend the life span of equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money!

    Your Possessions Could Be At Risk

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    An accurate record of your possessions is worth more than you think. A videotape recording is not enough to protect your contents.

    Reasons to Inventory Your Home Contents:

    Before damage or disaster strikes

    -Better information to settle claims quicker

    -Add legitimacy to loss

    -Assist with burden of proof for claims

    For estate planning and will preparation:

    -Less stress for your family and heirs

    -Efficient estate closing can lessen expenses

    -Ensure your heirs recieve possessions

    -Factual records to fight bureaucracy

    -Better information to reduce taxes

    Servpro Contents Inventory Means:

    -Complete preloss list and value of contents

    -Detailes and accurate report filed with insurance agent or court

    -Peace of mind

    Educating Kids about Fire

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Have you educated your kids about fire safety? Do you know how to talk about fire safety with your kids? 

    Here are a few tips:

    •  Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
    • Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
    • Develop a home fire escape plan. Practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
    • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
    • Take the mystery out of fire by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
    • Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
    • Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch fire.
    • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
    • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help. 

    10 key Fire Safety Tips

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home. 

    Watch your cooking
    Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food.

    Give space heaters space
    Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

    Smoke outside
    If you must smoke inside, have sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

    Keep matches and lighters out of reach
    Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

    Inspect electrical cords
    Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

    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.

    Have a fire escape plan
    Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

    Install smoke alarms
    Install alarms on every level of your office  or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

    Test smoke alarms
    Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

    Install sprinklers
    Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving  your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.

    Your Recipe for Cooking Safety

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    It is common tradition in the United States for the holidays and cooking to go hand in hand. But more time in the kitchen brings an increased chance for cooking–related fires.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking has long been the leading cause of residential fires and fire injures, and Thanksgiving is the peak for residential cooking fires. 

    Did You Know?

    • Cooking fires account for nearly half of reported home fires.
    • In 2010, cooking fires resulted in 410 deaths, 5,310 injures and over $993 million in property damage.
    • Three of every five reported, non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the individual attempted to fight the fire themselves.
    • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan. Keep it covered until the pan cools completely.
    • You can reduce the risk of a cooking fire by: Staying in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Check on food regularly and use a timer to remind you of cooking food. Keeping children three feet away from cooking surfaces, also keeping cooking surfaces clean to prevent food or grease build up.

    Smoky Success Story

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Actual Letter from a SERVPRO customer

    “Recently, I listed a 1-bedroom condo that had been owned by a smoker. She moves out and we removed all furniture and anything that might have absorbed smoke. We washed the walls and ceiling and repainted, change the carpet and installed new kitchen appliances. The place looked great but still smelled stale. It went on the market. After the first 3 showings, the buyers declined to make an offer because the condo still smelled strongly of smoke. I called my local SERVPRO Franchise. I knew of them because they had done a water damage cleanup in my neighborhood.

    The team came out and we made a list of things to do to “detox" the condo. After the first few measures, there were still a few SERVPRO team kept at it, taking the tiniest details into account until the place smelled fresh and brand new. The team honestly seemed as interested as I was in completely eliminating the odor; they were like hound dogs with their nose on the scent!

     As SERVPRO wrapped up, an agent and his buyer looked at the unit and it resulted in a sale. Immediately! Certainly I could smell the difference but the “Sold” status of the condo is even stronger proof of SERVPRO success in ridding the home of the smell of smoke. There’s no question who I’ll call if I ever list a smoker’s home again!" 

    3 Common Home Emergencies

    7/24/2013 (Permalink)

    What are the most common household emergencies that happen? 

    1. Burst washing machine hose- as rubber washing machine ages they eventually wear down and burst, causing costly flooding. Consider switching to a stainless-steel reinforced hose.

    2. Leaky Roof- Mother Nature is pretty tough on your roof. Regularly check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.

    3. Refrigerator Leaks- like your washing machine, the refrigerator is a common culprit in home floods. Ensure your water line is unkinked and in good condition.

    If you are faced with a common household emergency, let the professionals handle it!

    Smoke 101

    7/24/2013 (Permalink)

    • Fire damages are complex due to the unique nature of different types of smoke. Some things you may not know about smoke.
    • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
    • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
    • They type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
    • Once at a fire scene, a SERVPRO Professional tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.

    Types of Smoke:

    Wet Smoke Residues: result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky and smeary with a pungent odor. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.

    Dry Smoke Residues: result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are normally dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.

    Protein Residues: are virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. They have an extreme pungent odor.

    Fuel Oil Soot:  occur when furnaces puff back, distributing fuel oil soot.

    Other Types of Residue: include tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residues, all requiring cleanup. 

    The Truth About Mold

    7/24/2013 (Permalink)

    Mold occurs naturally throughout the environment both indoors and outdoors. In fact, mold spores could be found in nearly every structure in the United States regardless of how new or clean the structure is. That’s because mold in normal amounts is no more dangerous than dust or pollen. Even through some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your office, your home or in your customer’s home it is important to be alert for:

    • The presence of visible mold.
    • Strong, musty odors which may indicate mold is present
    • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused mold growth

    These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/ Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems. If you think you or your customer might have a mold problem, check out our website for more information or give us a call: 803-755-9774. 

    Vandalism Damage

    7/24/2013 (Permalink)

    We want to equip you to minimize home injuries with brief tips that go a long way. Stay tuned for more tips!

    Do:



  • Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible

  • Blot freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (but don’t overwet). Scrape and blot; don’t rub since it can damage fibers

  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.

  • Save containers that reveal the composition of spilled inks, cosmetic and paints.


  • Don’t:




  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.

  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.

  • Discard wood chips, broken pieces from furniture, porcelain or other art objects.

  • Get Your Ducts in a Row

    7/19/2013 (Permalink)

    Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for some time without much attention or upkeep.

    Your HVAC system could be circulation odors, dust and other contaminants throughout your home or business. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.



    SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. Benefits of serving HVAC unit include:



    -Helps to restore peak energy efficiency



    -May help to eliminate offensive odors.



    -Help reduce the potential for mold growth



     For more information on duct cleaning or to set up a written inspection and estimate call



    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington today at 803-755-9774

    Why Have a Professional Clean Your Carpet?

    7/18/2013 (Permalink)

    How often should you have a professional clean your carpets? The cleaning frequency for a home depends on several factors, such as the number of persons living in the home, number of children and pets, and whether any occupants are smokers. Outside factors also determine cleaning frequency, such as weather conditions, industrial pollution or dusty conditions, humidity, type of surface on outside entryways, etc.

    A combination of conditions may require your carpets to be cleaned professionally more often. The main consideration is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. The dirt hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile is what causes most damage to a carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals employ six methods of carpet cleaning. The best method for a carpet cleaning situation depends on the type of carpet, type of fibers, age and condition of the carpet, how the carpet is soiled, the type of soil, and other factors including your own needs as a carpet owner.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals follow the highest quality standards and workmanship. You need not worry about shrinkage, over-wetting, mildew, rapid resoiling, and many other problem areas.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the loose grit from the pile of the carpet. The sharp edges of gritty soils cut the carpet fibers - this dry, loose grit must be removed before cleaning solution is applied.

    SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the atmospheric soil created by cooking, smoking, heating, auto exhaust, etc. Removal of this oily, sticky residue will brighten your carpet color.

    Back To School Supply Drive

    7/15/2013 (Permalink)

    We have seven bins out to collect school supplies for families in need! Visit Flight Deck Restaurant, Misty Stathos - State Farm Agent, The Little Gym of Lexington, SC, Minuteman Press of Lexington, SC and Bi-Lo (378) or the Greater Lexingt...See More
    Richard Smith of SERVPRO prepares for their "Back to School Drive"

    Thank you SERVPRO for helping LICS provide the tools needed for our students to succeed.
    For additional information about how you can help, please contact SERVPRO at 803-755-9774

    Who will pick up the pieces?

    7/11/2013 (Permalink)

    The leading causes of fire in a home include



    • Cooking

    • Heating Units

    • Electrical

    • Smoking


    No matter how the fire started a rush of emotions and feelings of panic seem to follow. After calling the Fire Department to put out the fire, who do you call to help you clean up the damage caused by the fire?

    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia are trained in the cleanup and care of your home and personal belongings following a fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage yourself, contact us 803-755-9774.

    Recovery Before Disaster Strikes

    7/10/2013 (Permalink)

    Your facility probably has an emergency exit plan in place, with illuminated signs leading occupants to safety and even facility maps placed strategically to identify alternate routes out of the building. But, have you developed a thorough contingency plan with heavy emphasis on the first 24-48 hours, to help guarantee you can get back into your building as quickly and painlessly as possible?

    SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington can provide you with assistance in developing an Emergency Response Profile for your facility to do just that. As part of a well thought out Contingency Plan, your Emergency Response Profile will contain information you will need in case an emergency situation occurs within your facility.

    Call us 803-755-9774

    Science of drying

    7/5/2013 (Permalink)

    The knowledge of psychrometrics ("the field of engineering concerned with the determination of physical and thermodynamic properties of gas-vapor mixtures" -- thanks Wikipedia) is essential to restoring a structure to its preloss condition. Where the average Do-It-Yourself homeowner (guilty) or business owner might be tempted to grab a few beach towels to mop up the mess and place a box fan or two around the damaged area, your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals follow strict, industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.

    Just for starters, a trained restorer will:

    • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, preventing damage from happening because wet components were overlooked.
    • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
    • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

    So what exactly does "speed up Mother Nature" mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because our environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material -- but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is nature takes a long time, and secondary damages occur while the building is drying out.

    For this reason, your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help the drying process, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls (pictured botom-left) and much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment (pictured bottom-center) and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

    The bottom line? Your local SERVPRO of Lexington Professionals have the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

    There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

    Firework Safety

    7/1/2013 (Permalink)

    With the 4th of July approaching, firework safety is appropriate. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during this holiday. 

    • Use fireworks outdoors only.
    • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
    • Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
    • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
    • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
    • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
    • Alcohol and Fireworks do not mix. Please have a designated shooter.
    • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
    • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

    The Right Stuff

    6/27/2013 (Permalink)

    We understand that our equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, the right technology and equipment are vital. So not only do we answer your call with fast action and trained, uniformed personnel, but also with the right equipment for the job!

    When it comes to fire damage, we train our teams thorougly. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration.

    Wet Smoke -- Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
    Dry Smoke -- Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, nonsmeary residues.
    Protein -- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
    Fuel Oil Soot -- Furnace Puff Backs
    Other Types -- Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

    Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items (what really matters).

    Two amazing pieces of deodorization equipment include ultra low volume (ULV) foggers and thermal foggers. ULV foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants. Thermal foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.

    We've got the right stuff.