How Seasonal Affective disorder can impact the work place
Keep reading to learn how S.A.D can impact the workplace, and what you can do to reduce symptoms!
The winter months are commonly called “The most wonderful time of the year.” Holiday parties and the excitement of the first snowfall leave people buzzing with anticipation for the festivities to come. While good tidings of comfort and joy may be the theme this season, many people are stuck feeling the exact opposite. In fact, over 10 million people suffer from Seasonal affective disorder during the cold months, according to themuse.com. Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, causes hormones to change during the winter, reducing the brain’s serotonin levels due to lack of sunshine. Serotonin is commonly nicknamed “The happy chemical”, because it regulates mood. It’s important to be aware of SAD and how it affects people, so themuse.com complied a list of symptoms to watch out for. Sadness, fatigue, insomnia, and weight gain are common symptoms of SAD. Other symptoms include inability to concentrate, irritability, increased desire to be alone, and a greater need for sleep. Because of these symptoms, SAD can have a negative impact in the work place. Mood changes and tiredness can cause coworkers to become argumentative, and the inability to focus can make it hard for employees to meet deadlines and get work done in a timely manner.
Although there is no set cure for SAD, there are many ways to reduce its impact in the work place. Encouraging open and honest communication between coworkers and supervisors is a great place to start. If an employee feels they are able to talk to a supervisor about their struggles, it eases feelings of stress and irritability. It also helps the supervisor understand what is going on with their employees. If a supervisor notices work not being completed as quickly, or a general sadness with their employee, open communication will allow employees and supervisors to come together to find a reasonable solution. Another way to reduce the impact of SAD at work is to take regular breaks. Breaking up the day with a quick walk or a step outside can do wonders to combat SAD. Another effective tool is to change your diet. Around the holidays, people tend to overload on sweets and carbs, which can negatively impact your mood. According to integrativepsychiatry.net, foods rich in omega 3 fats will help serotonin work better by reducing brain inflammation. Last but not least, getting a light therapy lamp for your home or office can help reduce the affects of SAD. These lights mimic rays from the sun, which helps the brain produce serotonin. Therapy lights, sometimes called “happy lamps”, are not a cure all for SAD, but they are known for improving mood and increasing energy levels.
Unfortunately, SERVPRO can’t cure seasonal affective disorder. However, we can make your life easier by restoring water, fire, and mold damage done to your home or business. Our expert teams take pride in the cleaning and restoration process, and work diligently to make the damage disappear, “Like it never even happened”.
Prepare your home for Michigan Snow Storms!
Michigan Winters are undoubtedly beautiful, but can also be extremely brutal. From polar vortexes, black ice, and multiple snow storms, the harsh winters can cause severe damage to our homes. Winter will be here sooner than we think, so it’s best to prepare your home now before the snow hits!
According to the Washington Post, it’s important to paint, caulk, and seal exterior wood before the winter season hits. Typically, the wood trim around doors and windows is only one inch thick and can be ruined pretty quick if not protected. Keeping it painted and calked will prevent it from rotting, but if you’re already past that point, it will require replacement.
Another way to prepare your home for winter is to check your drainage. In doing so, the Washington Post recommends investigating the soil around the foundation to make sure it hasn’t settled or created space for water to gather. If you do find a low spot, filling it with soil is a great wait to prevent water from pooling there. Make sure you inspect your rain gutter downspouts as well to ensure water is moving away from the home. If needed, add downspout extender! Wet soil around a foundation can cause big problems if it freezes and thaws throughout winter months, so don’t forget to check it!
Next on the winter home preparedness list is Cleaning your gutters! When the leaves fall from the trees and land in the gutters, it can cause backups. Backups cause overflows, and overflows cause water to rush down your home and saturated the soil around the house. This can speed up deterioration of the home exterior. Additionally, it can lead to water seeping in through the basement which causes a whole other set of issues.
Our final tip for preparing your home for winter is to insulate your pipes. When the weather gets cold, pipes can freeze and burst. Directenergy.com advises putting insulation on entire length of pipe from the point where your home’s main water line emerges from the ground to the point where it enters the heated space of your home. They also recommend insulating any pipes that are outside the heated portion of your home, like those in attics, unheated basements and outdoor hose bibbs.
For more tips on how to prepare your home for winter, check out our winter safety pinterest board!
Helpful flood prevention tips for your commercial property!
Running and owning a business is stressful enough, and the last thing you want to think about is flooding. Thankfully, we’ve provided some tips and tricks to help your business stay clear from flood damage! Keep reading for prevention ideas that can save you time and money!
- Insulate exposed pipes---Michigan winters get COLD, which means there is a chance your pipes could freeze and burst! We don’t want this to happen, so insulate those pipes! The more insulation the better!
- Avoid drastic changes in temperature. Make sure the temp in your business / commercial building doesn’t get lower than 50 degrees. (even when nobody is there!) Low temps = a greater chance of frozen and bursting pipes.
- Survey gutters and drainage---Fallen leaves and other rubble that gets into your gutters can cause water damage to the interior and exterior walls of your building! Regularly check the gutters and drainage system to make sure things are working properly. Remove any build up. It’s also a good idea to get the gutters professionally cleaned. This ensures that water is properly draining away from your building.
- Keep the roof clear---Snow and ice build up on top of your building can cause the roof to weaken resulting in leaks. It can also create ice dams, which prevent water from being drained correctly. Be aware of your roof’s loading capacity, and routinely check to make sure snow and ice build up aren’t surpassing the loading capacity.
- Know where to find the shut off valve---if your pipes burst, you’ll need to move fast. Make sure you know where the main shut off valve is in case this happens! Turning off that valve temporarily stops the water flow to your building which gives you time to fix the problem or call for help.
- Close off any gaps or cracks---sealing all holes, gaps and cracks reduces the risk of cold air coming inside and freezing your pipes. Caulk, weather stripping, and other sealants can be used to make your building more energy efficient and reduce this risk.
- Keep details on valuable items--Know the prices of your important items in case of water damage. This is useful for insurance purposes and for helping you replace items after the event. If there is potential for flooding, move these items off the floor of your business.
- If these tips and tricks aren’t enough to keep your commercial building from flooding, give us a call! SERVPRO is happy to help and ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Call SERVPRO at the first signs of Mold
Mold can grow on anything!
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.
What is a Smoldering Fire?
Smoldering fires have no flames, spread slowly, and have lower temps compared to flame fires!
When most people think of a fire, they picture tall orange flames, extremely hot temperatures, and maybe a marshmallow or two.
However, there is another kind of fire that can be just as dangerous as the regular fires we see. These fires are called Smoldering fires. Smoldering fires differ from flame fires in a few ways. Where flame fires have visible flames, smoldering fires are flame-less. Flame fires start in the gas phase, where smoldering fires start on the surface of a solid. Flame fires reach high temperatures, where smoldering fires have lower temps. Flame fires spread fast, where smoldering fires are up to ten times slower than the latter. Smoldering fires also produce more toxic gasses than flame fires do. According to sciencedirect.com, smoldering fires are defined as “Slow, low temperature, flames form the combustion of a solid fuel.” To put it in layman's terms, smoldering fires are a flame-less, low temperature burn. Once these smoldering fires are ignited, it is a challenge to put them out. This makes them one of the top leading causes of residential fires.
If you experience a smoldering fire in your home or business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! The team at SERVPRO of Ionia & Montcalm counties is happy to help you through this process, and restore any damage done to your home or business. Call us today at 616-527-5470!
SERVPRO visits animal Shelters!
SERVPRO had the BEST time visiting Bellwether Harbor animal shelter!
A few months back, SERVPRO of Ionia and Montcalm counties had the incredible opportunity to visit two wonderful animal shelters and drop off donations. One of SERVPRO’s favorite activities is connecting with the local community. Everyone in our office loves animals, so we were excited to meet a need and visit these awesome shelters! The staff at both shelters were great! They gave us tours, provided us with helpful information, and let us play with the animals! It was great to see people in our community working hard to make a difference for abandoned, neglected, and abused animals. It was difficult to leave the shelters at the end of the day, but we left knowing our donations were given to two amazing facilities! A big thank you to Caitlin from the Kent County Humane society, and Carmen from Bellwether harbor! Your dedication to helping animals has not gone unnoticed!
If using fireworks this 4th of July, use caution!
With the warmer months of the summer comes times to celebrate events with barbeques, family events and everyone’s favorite firework displays. These times where we use fireworks for celebrations do we take the necessary safety precautions to prevent injury or property damage needed? In all years studied, Independence Day has more incidents reported in NFIRS than any other day of the year. The number of incidents in the NFIRS database associated with July 4 and July 5 were 2.4 times the average daily number of incidents on other days of the year. Brush and outside fire incidents were nearly four times higher during this holiday than on the average day. Structure fires increase on July 4 and July 5th as well. As would be expected, fireworks were responsible for a considerable portion of the increase in fire incidence on Independence Day. In fact, 31 percent of the total annual number of fireworks−related fires occur on July 4 and 5. These fires individually were less severe than fires generally, with lower average dollar loss per fire, less than half of the injuries and one third the deaths per fire.
Cleaning your Commercial Building
If your commercial building needs professional cleaning, SERVPRO can help!
An important part of owning a commercial building is keeping it clean. If a building is not maintained, the risk of mold, external damage, internal damage, and health risks dramatically increase. When you take care of your commercial property, you will attract and keep customers, make the building look nicer, and keep occupants inside happier and healthier. Another reason to stay on top of your commercial property is the improved productivity a clean environment brings. When there is less clutter around to distract employees, they will in turn work faster and harder. Consider this list from woodard247.com of essential cleaning supplies to keep in your building:
-Broom and dustpan
-Stainless steel polish / powder
-Mold and mildew cleaner
Using these supplies regularly will keep your commercial space tidy. However, if the mess gets out of hand, SERVPRO can help. If your commercial property is in need of any type of restoration, call the professionals at SERVPRO. Our crews are expertly trained in mold, fire, water, and general cleaning restoration. With our phone lines open 24/7, we are ready to serve you make the damage “Like it never even happened”.
Don't let stormy weather ruin your summer!
Be prepared for Summer storms!
Severe Weather can affect your property in multiple ways. With Summer in Michigan is full effect there’s always things to prepare for Thunderstorms to keep yourself safe. These tips listed below will help you know what to do to save your property and love ones from damage.
How to Prepare for Thunderstorms
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
- Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit
- Review the Be Red Cross Ready - Thunderstorm Safety Checklist
River flooding stages
Beautiful Flat River in Lowell, Michigan
One of the many great things about living in Michigan is that we are surrounded by multiple bodies of water! Rushing rivers and winding streams make their way through our cities and towns and eventually pour into the great lakes. However, because so many rivers and streams flow through our towns, it is important for us to be informed about their water levels and be on the lookout for signs of potential flooding. An easy way to keep up with the water levels in Michigan’s rivers is to pay attention to their stages. According to weather.gov, a river stage refers to the level of the water surface in a river or stream. That being said, there are three different stages to be aware of: The bankfull stage, the action stage, and the flood stage.
The bankfull stage is when a rise in water surface level causes the stream/river to overflow. It doesn’t necessarily mean flooding, but it does indicate that the higher water levels will spill over into the banks of the river.
The action stage refers to when a stream or river is raised high enough that some sort of mitigation efforts must be taken.
The last stage is the Flood stage, which is when the rise in water levels becomes dangerous and the water negatively impacts people and property. At this stage, flood warnings should be released.
Knowing these river stages, as well as paying attention to the weather forecast is a good way to stay informed on potential flooding situations. However, if you find yourself dealing with flood damage, call our experts at SERVPRO! We can make it “Like it never even happened.”