The cold winter months are upon us and curling up by a nice cozy fire might be in the near future for many. Before you go gather wood and building a fire make sure to follow this checklist to ensure that your fireplace is safe for use.
Chimney Checklist (Say that 10 times fast)
It is recommended that all homeowners have their chimneys inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. Having your chimney inspected will ensure that there are not potential health and safety hazards.
Always inspect your chimney cap. If your chimney cap has been damaged it can allow moisture, animals and debris to enter your flue.
If the flashing around the chimney appears to be warped or bent it could be allowing moisture and water to enter the chimney. Long term damage caused by this could include deterioration and leakage.
Trim Tree Branches-
Ensure that there are no tree branches that could potentially damage the chimney during a storm and/or cause a fire.
Repair Missing Bricks, Chipped Bricks and Mortar-
Find them. Fix them. J
Clean the Flue-
Creosote is accumulated by burning fires and is the leading cause of chimney fires. Having your chimney inspected and cleaning should eliminate any creosote buildup.
Remove Leftover Ash-
A thin layer of ash can assist with starting a fire, but a large amount of ash will choke your fire out from the moisture content.
Make sure that the damper is in good working order and form a tight seal when shut. If the damper doesn’t close properly and form a tight seal it will allow outside air to mix with heated air and increase your energy cost significantly.
Install Batteries in Smoke Alarms/Detectors-
If you aren’t changing the batteries in your smoke detector out during daylight savings time, make sure that they are changed before beginning to build fires.
Be sure to store your fire wood in a ventilated area, off of the ground and away from exposure to water or moisture.
Stay warm friends! Call our office if you have any questions.
In the aftermath of disaster, some of your most valued contents, (documents, photographs and books), could be lost forever. As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO® of Sumner County knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover your papers before it is too late.
The SERVPRO® Document Restoration Facility Is:
We use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
Managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
We use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
We can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
We offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing and deodorization
SERVPRO® document restoration team uses innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques; in fact, we use the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Here to Help® With
- Paper Documents
- Books and Magazines
- Manuscripts and Files
- Photographs, Films, Negatives and Microfiche
- Blueprints and maps
Document Cleaning and Disinfecting
In many water damage situations, like sewage or flood water, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.
In the digital age, converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. With the help of SERVPRO’s restoration professionals to digitize your documents, you can save storage space and have access to your records at the touch of a button. Perhaps most important of all, you will have digital copies of your valuable documents that can’t be lost in a flood or fire.
SERVPRO® of Sumner County will get the job done right. For document restoration backed by state-of-the-art equipment call us today!
Holiday Fire Safety
Did you know that holidays bring more than joy with them each year? They also bring a greater risk for fire. Make sure that you and your family are following some simple tips to ensure that you have a SAFE and HAPPY holiday this year.
-Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
-Keep lighters and matches up in high locked cabinet.
-Test you smoke alarms and advise guest of all exits and your home fire escape plan. If you need assistance in creating a plan you can go here.
-Stay in the kitchen when cooking and baking.
-Provide large deep ashtrays for smokers and ask smokers to keep their materials with them so that children can’t get them.
-Some lights are intended only for indoor OR outdoor use, but not both.
-Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
-Use clips and NOT nails to secure lights and cords. This ensures that the cord will not be damaged.
-Choose decorations that are flame resistant OR flame retardant.
-Replace lights or decorations that have broken cords or loose bulb connections.
-Read manufacturer instructions for the proper number of lights that can be connected.
-Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
Before Heading To Bed Or Leaving The House
-BLOW OUT lit candles
-TURN OFF light strings
More than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles and more than 2 of every 5 decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. If you find yourself in need of our services over the holidays call our office. We are here to help.
One of the Top Homeowners Insurance Claims
As a homeowner you secure homeowners insurance for a multitude of reasons. It is the smartest way to prepare for losses that could potentially occur in your home. The policy that is best for you and your family depends on your needs and your homes geographic location. A top rated insurance carrier rated water damage and weather related water damage as two of the Top Five most common causes of damage.
Water Damage can occur from appliances, plumbing and sewer failures and can cause a lot of damage to your home. According to the data from this carrier, non-weather related water damages make up roughly 20% of claims.
Water Damage can also occur from frozen pipes, leaky roofs and ice dams. These damages are costly and can cause extensive damage to your home as well. These are considered weather related and make up roughly 11% of the claims based on this carrier’s data.
If you find yourself with damage from one of the top five causes, give our office a call to begin remediation.
Turkey Fryer Safety
With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching I’m sure that there are many people beginning to plan their Thanksgiving menu. In the South we like to fry turkeys to enjoy with our families during Thanksgiving dinner. Here at SERVPRO® of Sumner County we want you to be able to attend your Thanksgiving dinner and provide a beautiful fried turkey in the process. We have listed some tips below to ensure that you are frying your turkey safely.
Turkey Frying Safety Tips:
- Keep outdoor fryers off of decks, away from houses and vegetation and out of garages.
- Watch the weather. You never want to operate your fryer in the rain or snow.
- Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. When ice mixes with hot oil it causes combustion and will create a large flame.
- Ensure that the fryer is placed on a solid surface.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Leave at least 2 feet between the tank and burner when using a propane powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly fill the fryer with the correct amount of oil. Overfilling can cause the oil to ignite.
- Choose a smaller bird for frying. An 8-10 lb. turkey is best.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, watch the oil temperature carefully. If the fryer becomes too hot it will smoke and can catch fire at a certain point.
- Wear googles to protect your eyes, gloves to protect your hands and keep a hose nearby in case of a fire.
- Skip the stuffing when deep frying a turkey and avoid water based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner. Let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil to cook the turkey.
What Can Affect Repair Cost After a Water Damage?
Whether you have water damage from a storm or a faulty appliance, mitigating that damage and starting repairs in a timely manner is important. Depending on the cause and severity of damage the cost can range significantly to mitigate and complete repairs. Below are some factors that could affect the cost of repairs.
-The Areas Size-
As one might think, the larger the area of damage the larger the area of repairs. The larger the damage the more labor and material it takes to repair it correctly. Although, there are instances in which a smaller area of damage could result in more repair cost. Such as, working within a confined space or having to purchase more material than needed for the area due to the way in which it is sold.
-Whether the Water is Still Present-
Make sure that you have hired a reputable company to mitigate the water damage and ensure that the structure is completely dry before beginning repairs. You should not attempt to begin repairs until all of the structure has been dried thoroughly and all equipment removed.
If your home or business has costly materials and upgrades within then your repairs will be more costly. For instance, if you have sand and finish hardwood that was removed and needs to be replaced it will cost more than that of carpet for the same area. This is a big reason why it is a good idea to review your policy as well. If you have completed a lot of upgrades and done remodeling to your home over the years you want to ensure that you have the proper amount of coverage to cover any damages that might occur.
Different areas have a different cost of living. The cost of living in California is much different than that of Kentucky or Tennessee. Make sure that you are hiring a trained professional from the area that you live or need the repairs to be completed.
It is important that you begin mitigation to your damage as soon as you have discovered the damage. The longer you wait to mitigate the damage that occurred the more likely you are to have secondary damage occur that will result in a higher mitigation cost and therefore a higher repair cost.
If you find yourself in need of mitigation from water damage, fire damage, mold damage or storm damage call our office to schedule a free inspection today.
Which Washer Hose Is Right For You?
Most homeowners are not particularly picky when it comes to washing machine hook up. Is it hooked up? Does it work? Okay great! Unfortunately, the components that you choose to hook your washer up can impact your home and family more than you would like to think.
There are three different kinds of washing machine hoses that you can choose from.
These are the hoses that people are most familiar with. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. They are made of a polyester mesh that makes the rubber stronger and less likely to burst.
If your machine is located inside of your home these hoses are not recommended as they can burst. If your machine is located outside of the home these are a good solution for you.
A stainless steel hose is the minimum hose style recommended for indoor use. They are not the cheapest that you can find as far as hoses are concerned, but the added safety is worth the extra money. A stainless steel braided hose is better than the basic rubber hose and meets a minimum standard when your washing machine is located inside.
For a few more dollars you can have additional peace of mind using auto-shutoff hoses. These hoses have an auto shut off at one end as an added safety feature. These hoses provide the best safety features for added peace of mind.
Here are some helpful tips on hose installation and maintenance to help avoid hose failure.
-Ensure that you have the proper length hose. Do not force the hose to fit.
-Always allow ample space between the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinks.
-Inspect your hose regularly. At minimum you want to inspect your hose once yearly. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your hose when you inspect your smoke detectors at Daylight Savings Time.
-Shut water off when you are on vacation or away from the home for an extended period of time.
-Replace your washing machine hoses regularly. The manufacturer of your hose will state the average life expectancy and recommend when the hoses should be replaced.
I you find that your machine has been leaking over time when checking your hoses. Call our office to have an inspection of the damage.
Wildfires happen quickly and are unpredictable at the very least. Here are some tips to help if wildfires become a threat in your area.
Measures to Prevent Wildfires In and Around Your Home
-Clear leaves and debris from around your home and your gutters.
-Screen in or create a barrier underneath decks and porches to aid in preventing combustible materials to accumulate.
-Remove dead vegetation from around your home or structure.
-Keep your lawn maintained and well hydrated. Cut any dead grass down as low as possible.
-Ensure that your trees are maintained, pruned and topped.
-Dispose of any debris or lawn clippings as quickly as you can after they accumulate.
-Inspect shingles and/or roof tiles and make any necessary repairs.
-Create an emergency supply kit and keep it in a safe place. Remember to include any important documents, medication lists, phone numbers, etc.
-Plan two separate routes out of your neighborhood and choose a designated meeting place for your family.
-Create an emergency evacuation plan and practice that plan with your family to ensure that everyone is aware of what it includes.
-Contact your local city offices to check if your home is located in a high risk area.
-If you are a part of a homeowners association make sure to go over a plan to assist with shut ins or families with disabilities. Any assistance that friends and neighbors can provide is crucial to ensure everyone’s safety.
-Speak with your local fire department and ask them what their plan is in case of wildfires.
If you have any questions, would like more information or need assistance with fire/smoke damage in your home call our office today.
Customer Service Through Storm Damage
If you have ever suffered through a storm that created wide spread damage in your area then you more than likely understand what it is like to feel helpless. Our office provides support to our storm teams within the SERVPRO® franchise system and travels to affected areas to offer help and support to the many victims that are affected by the storms. Our office are constantly watching weather patterns and are put on alert or stand by when major storms are about to make landfall. By watching the weather patterns and having our own meteorologist on staff we are able to prepare to travel to the areas affected when we are called.
We send our teams and technicians to your areas to begin the process of mitigation. We know that the longer these damages sit the more likely there is to be secondary damage. Unfortunately, most storm damage is widespread and therefore it is difficult to assist everyone with the damages to their homes. Our offices and on the ground teams attempt to help as many people in one day as possible. Many days they are out at calls from sun up to sun down and if there is electricity, no curfew being enforced and we have the homeowners permission we have stayed until 10PM – 11PM.
Our office staff is trained to obtain certain information regarding the damage to your home, but also additional information such as accessibility and power. We know that when you have a damage such as this you emotions are heightened and you are ready to begin the mitigation and repair process to ensure that things return to normal as soon as possible. Our office staff tries to remain empathetic and reassuring while still collecting all of the pertinent information needed to schedule services to begin. We are happy to help in any way possible and our main objective is to service your damage as soon as we possibly can.
If you find yourself in a storm situation call your local SERVPRO® franchise. The friendly staff will get you on your way to normalcy as soon as possible.
Tips for Preparing Your Evacuation Plan
Keep panic away with an evacuation plan. When you are faced with an emergency situation, the last thing that you want to do is panic. Having an evacuation plan in place helps you to keep some control during an unexpected and difficult situation. Planning ahead gives you a plan and a course of action.
Understanding Your Insurance Coverage
Many business owners are unaware of the coverage's that are laid out in their insurance policy. Unfortunately, there are certain naturally caused disasters that would not fall under their coverage. Make sure that you review your policy and are aware of the coverage's within. During an emergency situation the last thing that you want to be worried with is money. Having an insurance policy that you understand and fits your needs gives you peace of mind.
Include All Employees
Make sure that all of your employees are aware of the evacuation procedures that are put in place and review it regularly. Include in your plan, whom within the company will be assigned with certain tasks.
Keep It Flexible
Having a plan in place in case of an emergency is the first step, but always be open to change within the plan when complications arise. Always try to stick to the plan, but know that if something were to go wrong the plan can be changed to accommodate the situation at hand.
Set Up a Practice Schedule
Practice makes perfect! Once you have discussed a plan and have it put in place for your company make sure that you practice the plan with your employees often. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the plan and any necessary changes can be made according to trial and error. Practicing the plan without an actual emergency looming will help to ensure its un-flawed execution during an emergency.
Talking about creating an evacuation plan and implementing an evacuation plan are two totally different things. It’s easy to talk about creating a plan and continuing to put it off. Make sure that you take the time needed to create a plan for your company and employees.
Set Up Emergency Alerts
Be sure to set up alerts on your phone to let you know of an impending emergency situation. You can also get weather alert radios for different areas of the building. Knowing about what is happening around you is the only way to keep your employees and business as safe as possible.
Attention to Detail
No detail is too small. Don’t overlook tiny details because you believe that they might not make a difference in the plan that you would like to put in place. Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest difference.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for one of our representatives to create and Emergency Response Plan (ERP).