Cleaning Your Gutters Is Like Brushing Your Teeth
Clogged gutters cannot not serve their purpose when they look like this.
As your local SERVPRO of Clayton County franchise, our professionals are ready and available 24/7/365 to assist you when you need us most, as it relates to water damages to your home or place of business. While it is extremely important to our organization to be that helping hand to you, it is just as important that we play a part in helping you prepare for the unknown. Unfortunately, no one knows when disaster will strike, but there are some things you can do each year to be prepared, especially as storm season comes and goes.
In our business, we have seen far too many valuables become ruined because they were not properly stored in your home. Google offers great options for storage containers and taking a few minutes to online-purchase several of these is well-worth your time. Once you receive your containers, we recommend going through your home and placing photo albums, books, family heirlooms, and other precious valuables in the containers-- dry, of course.
Even though this may seem obvious, schedule an semi-recurring calendar reminder on your phone to remind yourself when it's time to clean. More often than not, those seasonal, decorative items that get tucked in that unseen corner of that room on the other end of the house. In the event of a water damage, you will likely not have time to clear these areas that collect items throughout the year.
And your gutters! While it comes at the expense of a couple hundred dollars typically, having your gutters periodically cleaned out each year is essential to protecting your home from heavy rains. If your gutters are clogged, they cannot serve their purpose in funneling water away from the foundation of your home. Take the time to schedule a professional to come out and clean your gutters for you. Cleaning your property's gutters is like brushing your teeth! Think about it!
SERVPRO of Clayton County technicians are trained to deal with any water damage disaster.
Water damage? Call us today at 678-432-3003.
Business Owners, You Can Avoid Being a Part of An Ugly Statistic
50% of business may never reopen after suffering a disaster, such as a water or fire damage. You can avoid being a part of that statistic!
If you are a business owner, the absolute, most important step you can take to ensuring your business is prepared for the unfortunate (and most often, unpredictable) event of fire, water, mold, and biohazard events from occurring is scheduling a time for your local SERVPRO of Clayton County pros in green to come out and offer our free, at-no-cost assessment of your facility.
During this visit, we are not there to show you every flaw of your building. Your time is valuable, and let's be honest, who wants to hear about everything structurally vulnerable to your building. Instead, we simply gather all of the pertinent information regarding your building, such as the locations of all of your main water shut-off valves, for instance. We also take the time to take photos of these valves with descriptions of where they are located in your building, as well as establish a proper chain-of-command of who your SERVPRO professionals should be communicating with when having work authorizations signed, and more.
Your property manager and team will receive a physical copy of this Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) as well as a free app for those approved in your building to access at any given time to ensure the proper response to any unfortunate event that has taken place at your building. A whopping 50% of business may never reopen after suffering a disaster, such as a water or fire damage. Alternatively, the businesses who took us up on establishing an ERP for their building are able to reopen quickly because of this preparation. We do the work for you in creating your ERP as a token of our appreciation for being your dependable, local team of disaster restoration professionals.
Give SERVPRO of Clayton County a call today to schedule your ERP! You will never regret it!
Have You Considered a Family Emergency Kit?
An example of items in your storm kit
The Southeastern US is quite a hot spot for severe storms, especially those areas near the coastal areas. Having an emergency kit to survive a bad storm containing power outages for days as emergency personnel make their way to fallen trees on powerlines is always a good measure to follow. And as with any item you rarely use, it is important that you store it in a location that is easily accessible in the time of an emergency. If you are keeping up with the news regarding Hurricane Ian, you have probably seen news clippings of families expressing how much they wish they had this or that and how it would have helped them in a tremendous way in dealing with the aftermath of the storm. Please do not wait for an event to happen—instead, get out ahead of it.
Items to consider for your family’s emergency kit:
- Storage: Purchase a heavy-duty plastic storage tub with latching lids. Store smaller items inside the tub in air-tight plastic storage bags. Make sure this storage container is easy to access on a moment’s notice.
- Water: Store unopened water bottles in a cool, dark environment next to your emergency kit. You want to figure enough water for 1 gallon per day for each family member. It is also a good idea to plug a bathtub and fill it with water to use for basic hygiene and sanitation procedures.
- Food: Store a three-to-four-day supply of nonperishable food in your emergency kit. Keep an eye on expiration dates. Food items with longer shelf lives include but not limited to canned veggies, soups, energy bars, and unsalted nuts. Remember this is an emergency, storm-survival kit—not trying to win a cooking show here.
- First Aid: Essential to any survival kit is having first aid handy and ready to use, if needed. You will want the necessities to a First Aid Kit, so of course Motrin/Tylenol, and any store supplies to treat injuries like cuts, wounds, pain and burns.
- Toiletries: All the type of items you tend to forget about in a normal day having plenty of supply. You will want to include the basics in your kit: toilet paper, tissue, soap, toothpaste, diapers and hand sanitizer.
- Radio: We live in a day where an AM/FM radio is nearly foreign to children today, so this is a perfect time to run to Walmart (with your child for educational purposes) and purchase a battery-powered or hand crank radio so you can tune in to important storm warnings and other emergency information that would normally be available at your fingertips. To avoid corrosion, store your batteries for the radio, uninstalled, in a plastic baggy labeled “Radio.”
- Flashlight / Lantern: Being in the fire restoration business, it is encouraged to steer clear of using burning candles for light, especially with pets and children present in the home. Instead, make sure and pick up a flashlight or lantern along with an extra set of batteries!
- Heat: An indoor propane heater or a camp-like stove can act as much needed comfort when the power is out for an extended period. But whatever you do, please make sure the heater (or stove) is safe for indoor use.
- Cash-on-Hand: Even when the storm is over, ATMs and credit/debit card machines could still be down. Make sure to keep a backup supply of cash for emergency supplies needed when stores are unable to accept plastic.
When Experiencing a Flood Loss, Respond Quickly!
With SERVPRO's top-of-the-line water extraction and drying equipment, we can make your basement like this "Never Even Happened."
You cannot always predict a water loss occurring at your home, but you can take measures of being prepared to deal with the damage efficiently, and this preparation can be the difference of being displaced from your home for several weeks, as opposed to a few days.
Even though residents from the Clayton County area of Georgia do not experience real threats from flood damage as the annual precipitation measurements are on the low end of 16 inches per year. However, flooding can occur from a myriad of situations. Basements to homes are especially known for experiencing the most damage from such tragic events as flooding from a heavy rain. The hard truth: a flooded basement, if not handled quickly and properly, can jeoparize the health of your family and loved ones. It is worth making a call to your local SERVPRO professionals here at SERVPRO of Clayton County, as we are "Faster to Any Disaster."
Things to remember about your Pros in Green:
- We are available to assist 24/7/365.
- We are a Preferred Vendor to most National Insurance Carriers.
- Our industry-certified, SERVPRO Technicians are highly-trained in Water Restoration techniques and procedures.
- SERVPRO is home to your advanced inspection and Water Extraction Equipment
Has your basement or other parts of your home experienced a flood loss? Call us today.
As your local SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding, Butts and Clayton Counties franchise, we're ready to help-- 678-432-3003
Why is Cleaning Your Air Ducts Important?
The average air duct system should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years.
There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes with taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of your household, or clients in and out of your place of business. A great way to consider starting the journey in ensuring your home or place of business has a clean environment, consider having your air ducts cleaned on a regular basis. The average air duct system should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, but if you are unsure, it is good practice to at least begin by having a visual inspection of your air ducts performed to ensure there are no large deposits of dust or mold. It is also important to make sure there are no must odors or visible mold growth.
A general overview of when you should consider having your air ducts cleaned is when there is visible mold growth inside hard surfaces, when there is evidence of vermin infestation (rodents, bugs, etc.), and the more obvious: when your ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris. It is also important to note that many sections of your HVAC may not be accessible for a DIY, visual inspection, so it is a good practice to schedule a service provider to show you any mold they feel exists in and around your heating and cooling system. If you want to take it a step further, grab a piece of household tape, lay it across an accessible surface in which your service provider says contains mold, and send off the sample to a microbiology laboratory so they can determine if it is indeed mold, or simply a substance that resembles mold.
Fire Pits and Open Burning Safety
Safety measures for enjoying your outdoor fire pit this Fall
The hot and humid summer months in Georgia leave families yearning for those cool, Fall days that quite frankly can never seem to get here soon enough. We begin daydreaming about sitting around the fire pit you installed in your backyard a few months prior. You can even start to smell the aroma of toasted marshmallows and can hear the rumble of an SEC college football game playing over your shoulder on your back deck, outdoor television. Some of us go so far as to projecting the game on a white bedsheet draped on the backside of your house. Guilty. We love our Fall in Georgia!
But just as you keep tabs on your fireplace inside your home, you should treat outdoor firepits with the same attention to safety. While these reminders may seem obvious, one would be surprised at how often safety measures pertaining to firepits are ignored. The tidbits we are sharing here seem fairly obvious, but it is always surprising when you see case studies of how many people in the US ignore these safety measures! The National Fire Protection Association offers some great reading material on ensuring the safety of your friends and family members longing for the invite to gather around that new firepit of yours:
- Check the wind direction before lighting a fire.
- Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, lighter fluid, etc. to light a fire, or to even “liven the fire up a bit,” as folks say.
- Don’t wear flammable clothing, such as nylon products or loose-fitting clothing.
- Mama, keep the children at least 3 feet from the firepit, and Dad, make sure the dog does the same!
- Avoid using soft woods for the fire, such as pine or cedar, to prevent erratic pops and sparks.
- And always, keep a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, or a garden hose nearby when enjoying your firepit.
Clean or Replace Smoke Detectors... or both?
Give your smoke detectors a fighting chance
Smoke detectors are generally out of your normal vision and typically positioned on or near the ceilings in the interior of your home. Like any other common, household item, it is easy to forget they are even there… until that ear-piercing chirp starts up in the middle of the night waking up your children who finally fell asleep after singing a 4th song. Then, you know the drill. You have by now pulled a chair or stool with the only goal of removing the batteries so you can go back to sleep.
The truth is smoke detectors are one of the most valuable fire safety tools on the market. If you speak with your service provider, they recommend that by regularly cleaning and maintaining the detectors, you are helping ensure they come through for you when you need them most.
Clean or replace? Nearly unavoidable airborne dust and other contaminants directly affect the smoke detector’s ability to accurately detect smoke. An easy way to tackle any contaminants such as household dust that has collected in the cobwebs around your detector is simply using the wand from your vacuum cleaner around the device. Going a step further would be removing the shell of the detector and reading the manufacturing instructions on vacuuming the inner components of your detector. It is encouraged to gain a grasp for how old your detectors are, as they are not designed to last forever. A consistent, scheduled change-out of the batteries is a must, but it would be worth your time to determine approximately when the detectors were originally installed in your home, especially if you have lived in your home for less than 10 years but are unsure of the age of the existing detectors. It may be time to play it safe and replace all units so you can start fresh with scheduled cleaning and maintenance.
Storm Damages: Wind, Flood and Lightning
SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding & Butts Counties working to help families affected by Hurricane Ian
Back in May of this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted elevated chances of a hurricane, and just when storm restoration professionals thought that perhaps they may have missed it as we near the end of hurricane season, Ian, a large, deadly, and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane made its way across western Cuba and into the southeastern United States—specifically Florida and South Carolina.
Until we are safely through the month of November, there is still risk of a tropical storm, and it’s important to know the differences among the common types of storm damages. Wind damage. Weather professionals reported wind speeds upwards of 155mph from Hurricane Ian as it made its way into Florida. Wind damage from a storm can range from causing missing shingles which, in turn, can result in a major water damage, or a small roof leak that can later, if undetected, produce damp, moldy conditions inside your home or place of business.
Whether it is from a hurricane or a common storm causing heavy rains for longer than normal periods of time, flooding damage is a monster in and of itself. Even if you were not in the eye of Hurricane Ian, it is not uncommon for a rainstorm to cause smaller bodies of water, such as rivers, to flood your area. Our team at SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding and Butts Counties can assist in the cleanup process after flood damage has occurred.
We must not forget about lightning damage. Lightning damage can come with a bevy of other related hazards caused by the lightning strike. Perhaps the largest threat from lightning results in a fire damage to your home or business. With a power of 300 kilovolts, lightning can heat air up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit! That is some serious power! According to the National Fire Protection Association, the average number of lightning fires reported to fire departments is 22,600 annually. Each year, an estimated $451 million is lost in property damage resulting from lightning-related fires.
Hidden Water Damage
The problem with water damage is that even a small leak has the potential to cause huge and expensive issues if left untreated. The damage can affect your home’s air quality, sagging problems, structural issues, etc. Our professional advice is to handle any water damage right away, no matter how small it may seem. SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding, Butts and Clayton Counties has the necessary training, equipment and experience to mitigate any water damage. Utilizing the right kind and number of equipment on a job makes all the difference. Our crews can start the drying process immediately after arriving at your door. Some of the most common equipment used are moisture meters, moisture sensors, foggers, air movers, dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, injectdry and other specialized equipment. All of this is used by our Technicians to make it “like it never even happened.” If you have water damage, please call SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding, Butts and Clayton Counties at 678-432-3003.
What is a Flood Risk Zone?
Do you know if your home is in a flood risk zone? According to FEMA, a flood zone is defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. There are three different risk zones, High, Moderate, and Minimal.
If you are not sure if your house is located in a flood risk zone, FEMA has resources available to check by address, place, or longitude/latitude coordinates here.
Water can be extremely destructive to a home or business. It is important to prepare and understand insurance costs associated with these types of properties, especially flood insurance since conventional home insurance typically does not cover damages caused by a flood.
If you recently experienced flood damage, SERVPRO of Henry, Spalding, Butts and Clayton Counties can help you with the mitigation and reconstruction. No job is too big or too small for our crews. Call us at 678-432-3003.