According to the Insurance Information Institute lightning strikes cost $790 million in insured losses in 2015. A majority of the time lightning strikes can land on or near residences which can wreak havoc on the home's electrical system, appliances, or electronics. Listed are several ways you can protect your house from lightning damage.
- Invest in lightning protection such as a lightning protection system which creates a pathway for lightning bolts, guiding them safely into the ground.
- Make sure you install surge protection devices. Lightning strikes on or near a power line or utility service are a frequent cause of power surges. Surge protection devices such as a point of use or service entrance don't suppress or arrest a surge but instead they divert the surge to the ground.
- Make sure you hire a professional to install this kind of system. This is not a do-it-yourself task due to all the intricacies involved in completing the job accurately.
- Make sure the person who installs your system uses only products that bear proof of UL certification. This ensures the equipment complies with national industry standards.
- If you move into a home that already has this type of system in place or you want to do structural repairs that could compromise your system you should have it checked out by a third-party independent follow-up inspector to ensure it still properly stands up to strikes.
- Last but not least make sure you safeguard yourself. During the storm, inside is the safest place to be and don't touch anything that can conduct electricity such as electrical appliances, metal surfaces, anything connected to your plumbing system, or anything severed by gas lines such as your water heater or stove.
Should you find yourself in a situation where your home is damaged by lightning during a storm call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will make the damage "Like it never even happened."
Mold Removal Process
Mold can be ugly and also hazardous to your health. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have the training and professional equipment to help remedy your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is a little different the process remains the same. Below are the "typical" mold removal steps for this process:
- Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington at 319-754-8050Since mold can spread so quickly in such a short amount of time it is important that you call us as soon as you see any signs of mold so we can respond and remedy your problem in a timely and efficient manner.
- Inspection and Mold Damage AssessmentWe will thoroughly inspect your home for any signs of mold. Some mold can be hidden from plain view so we use different technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
- Mold ContainmentOne of our containment procedures involve using negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading.
- Air FiltrationOur professionals will use "air scrubbers" and HEPA vacuums to help prevent the spread of mold spores while they are dealing with the remediation of the mold.
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested MaterialsWe use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new ones from forming. If there is heavy mold growth we may have to remove mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to help remedy the problem.
- Cleaning Contents and BelongingsWe can not only bring your house back to normal but we are also trained to clean furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We can also remove odors from these items as well.
- RestorationThe last and final step may entail minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet or major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Let us help you remedy your mold problem and make it "Like it never even happened."
With the warmer weather comes grilling season and therefore an increased chance of fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average 8,900 home fires are started by grills each year. These type of fires peak in July, followed by May, June, and August. The following are some tips to help keep this type of fire from happening to you.
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
- They should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
- Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the grill area
- Clean your grill regularly
- Never leave your grill unattended while cooking
- Check regularly for gas leaks
- Don't move the grill once it is lit
- Wait until the grill is cooled before storing or covering
Should your house catch on fire due to a grill, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We are available 24/7 to respond to your home and can help get your property back to pre-fire condition.
Water and Hardwood Floors
Damage to your hardwood floors due to water can happen in a variety of ways such as from a faulty dishwasher, a flood from a broken pipe, or kids spilling water just to name a few. Because of this hardwood floors can warp, heave or crack and it can also discolor the hardwood floors.
In order to fix your floors it may require a professional. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have advanced drying equipment to help remove the water quickly and efficiently. We then dry the area with powerful dehumidifiers and once done our technicians will clean the area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing products to give you peace of mind. The following are some tips that you can do while you wait for us to arrive onsite.
Remove all wet items from the area and then use a wet vacuum to remove as much of the water as possible. Make sure you go over it multiple times to ensure that you get the water out of cracks and crevices also. Once done vacuuming clean the surface with a disinfectant floor cleaner that doesn't foam or suds.
According to the EPA, mold can start growing in moist areas within 48-72 hours so time is critical when drying out hardwood floors. You can start the drying process by putting either a dehumidifier or fan in the affected area and let it run for at least a full day. As long as it is not raining or humid outside you can also open windows to help with the drying process.
Call us at 319-754-8050 if you find yourself in this situation and feel that the job is in a large area or is something you don't think you can handle yourself. We will make it "Like it never even happened."
Emergency Supply Kit
With storm season coming up it's best to be prepared in case of an emergency. One way to be prepared is to put together an emergency supply kit so that you and your family can survive on your own if need be for a few days. The following are just some recommended items that should go in your kit.
Make sure you have on gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid Kit
Whistle to signal for help
Sanitation and personal hygiene itmes
Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
Cell phone with chargers
Important family documents in a waterproof container
Any other items for unique family needs such as food and water for pets, medications, and infant formula or diapers just to list a few
Make sure you maintain this kit by keeping canned food in a cool, dry place. Replace expired items as needed. You should also re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.
Should you find any damage after the storm has cleared call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington who will respond immediately to help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
Vandalism to a Commercial Property
Vandalism is an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property without the owner's permission. According to the Urban Institute, vandals typically strike during the late evening hours when business property is unattended. A majority of acts of vandalism are crimes of opportunity and buildings are usually hit because they are unprotected and easily accessible.
Vandalism can affect your property in many ways. It can damage your property which in turn requires time, effort, and money to repair. It can also cause your business to lose income if what was vandalized is essential to your operations and cannot be used. Graffiti and other types of defacement can have a negative effect on your company's image. Damaged property may be unattractive to potential buyers or tenants which can lower the value of your property.
The following are some ways you can help prevent vandalism happening to your property.
- Make sure you fix the problem as soon as possible. Doing this sends a message that you care about your property and won't tolerate the vandalism.
- Your police department can't respond to crimes if they don't know about them so make sure you contact them as soon as you discover an act of vandalism.
- By sharing information with other business owners that have been vandalized you can find out if there are patterns like whether they are striking at a certain time of day or certain days of the week.
- You could start a business watch group which is about the same thing as a neighborhood watch group. Members can help reduce crime by keeping an eye on each other's property.
- Properties that are kept clean and free of trash may not be as appealing to vandals as properties that aren't well maintained.
- Making sure your property is well-lit at night can help prevent vandals from defacing your property.
- Installing cameras can help police should a vandalism happen to you. Police can use the recorded video to help catch the perpetrators.
- Installing break-resistant glass can make it difficult for vandals to penetrate.
- Consider installing fencing or planting shrubbery to deter individuals from striking your property.
- Should a vandalism happen to you call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our trained professionals will respond quickly and along with removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. We can make it "Like it never even happened."
Mold in your Bathroom
Due to the amount of moisture that comes from showering, taking a bath, using the sink, etc. your bathroom can become a breeding ground for mold. Not only does mold not look good on your walls, tub, and shower it can also be a hazard to you and your family's health. Even though there is constant moisture in a bathroom there are a few things you can do to help prevent mold from appearing on your bathroom surfaces.
- You should wipe down your shower walls and sinks after each use. Using a dry towel to wipe down wet surfaces can minimize the moisture left on those surfaces.
- Make sure to fix leaks if there are any. Don't forget to check under your sink and around bathroom windows. Fixing these leaks can help keep the moisture level at a minimum.
- Good circulation is also key. One of the biggest reasons moisture stays trapped in bathrooms is due to poor air circulation. Using an exhaust fan or even opening a window can help to circulate the air. Dehumidifiers and portable air conditioners are also other great options to help with air circulation.
If your mold has gotten out of hand or is something you think would be better left to the professionals, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our trained professionals will respond quickly to your place of residence and will remediate your mold problem in a timely and efficient manner.
Spring Has Arrived
Spring is finally here!
Now that Spring has arrived it's time to do some maintenance on your home. Following is a list of things you should check out and fix/repair if needed.
Gutters and Downspouts- Remove leaves and debris and also make sure to check for leaks
Siding- Clean siding with a pressure washer and check wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure
Window Sills, Door Sills, and Thresholds- Fill cracks, caulk edges, and repaint or replace if necessary
Foundation- Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration
Roof- Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits
Decks and Porches- Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose pieces and deterioration
Landscape- Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures
Sprinklers- Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads
Heat/Air Unit- Change filters and clean the air purifier as needed. Have your ducts professionally cleaned. It'll make your indoor air quality healthier and your furnace more efficient
Importance of Sump Pumps
A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. They are typically used in homes where flooding in the basement happens regularly. Sump pumps send water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic.
Along with helping with flooding in your basement sump pumps can also help to prevent rust and corrosion of metal appliances, prevent wall coverings and paint from peeling, and prevent termite and insect infestation. Sump pumps also helps to remove moisture, which can be a breeding ground for fungus, molds, and mildew.
In order to keep your sump pump working properly for years to come make sure you check it regularly to ensure that it is ready for flood conditions.
Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives
Research on fires has demonstrated that fires can spread much more quickly today due to modern furnishings than in the past when more natural materials were used. Due to this it is important to have the right number of smoke alarms that are placed properly throughout your home so you have ample time to escape should a fire happen to you.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. More than one-third 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.
Here is some useful information when it comes to installing smoke alarms in your home:
- Ideally you should install smoke alarms inside each bedroom and on every level of the home, even the basement
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet away from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings
- Installing smoke alarms near windows, door, or ducts may cause drafts to interfere with their operation
- Never paint smoke alarms
- Keep manufacturer's instructions for reference
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. If the alarm chirps on a smoke detector with a non-replaceable 10 year battery you need to replace the entire smoke alarm right away. Other smoke detectors need a new battery at least once a year and if they start chirping replace the battery right away.
- Last but not least make sure everyone in your home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows what to do in case it sounds