Is your home clothes dryer hiding something?
Always make sure your dryer vent is clean!!!
Facts about home clothes dryer fires
- 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
- The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
- More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
Clothes dryer dos
- Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
- Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
- Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
- Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
- Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
- Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
- Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
- Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
- Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
- Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
- Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
- If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.
March is American Red Cross Month!
Where can you make a difference?
Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Weather it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certifications the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it the most. You probably hear about the impact the Red Cross has on TV when it comes to major disasters like hurricanes, wildfire and tornadoes. The American Red Cross shows hard work and dedication day in and day out that doesn’t become covered in the media. With over 70,000 disasters a year they respond to the public with support after many emergencies that they face. Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the “everyday heroes” who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross network.
The Red Cross depends on generous contributions of time, blood, and money from the American public to support the lifesaving services and programs. To learn more about the American Red Cross, or about how you can get involved, visit redcross.org
Sewage back up in your home!
Got sewer problems? Give us a call! We are available 24/7!
When it comes to water damage there is important things to remember about the different hazards that can contaminate the water that is in your home. Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents.
Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups and how to handle the situation with caution:
- Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
- Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
- It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
- Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
- Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.
SERVPRO Ionia and Montcalm counties is always available 24 hours a day when a loss becomes overwhelming from a Water Loss or Sewage Backup in the workplace or in your home. These simple tips will help you with prevention and awareness where its most important so seconds don’t turn into disaster.
When a house fire strikes what do you do after
House Fires happen every day. Are you prepared?
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.
Warning signs of lead paint
Know what to look for and where to look for lead paint.
2/21/2020 - Future Scheduled Date
Where to Look
While virtually any painted surface in an older home could have been treated with lead paint, there are a few particular places where it might be more likely to appear. These include any exterior surface, surfaces that are regularly exposed to weather (like windows and doors), interior trim, stairs, and railings. Also consider that older furniture and toys could contain lead paint as well.
What to Look For
Lead paint typically cracks and chips in a distinct “scaly” or geometric pattern. This is probably the best indication of the presence of lead paint, although bear in mind that oil and latex paints can crack, flake, and chip as well. A secondary indicator that you might be dealing with lead paint is that it rubs off with a chalky residue.
If You Suspect It’s Lead Paint
If you think you might have lead paint in your home, it is best to confirm it with a lead paint test. You can purchase a test kit for around $10 at your local paint store or big-box hardware store. There are a couple of different types of test kits available at this price, so be sure to read the label before you purchase it. The first, and my chosen method, is the disposable swab kit. One kit typically comes with two swabs, each of which contains non-toxic chemicals that turn a specific color when they come in contact with lead. This test yields results within one minute. If you feel uncomfortable interpreting the results of a swab test, your other option is to purchase a kit that allows you to collect a sample of the paint in question and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Typically these results will be mailed to you within a week of the lab’s receipt of your sample.
If Your Paint Tests Positive for Lead
First, don’t panic. Some experts agree that if your paint is not cracking, chipping, chalking, or flaking off and is not in a high-traffic or child-accessible area it is best to leave it alone and simply monitor it for future signs of damage. However, lead paint in heavy-use areas like windows, doors, stairs and railings should be addressed even if it is not clearly chipping off. The friction resulting from the regular use or operation of these surfaces can create airborne lead dust. In addition, any cracking, flaking, chipping, or otherwise compromised lead paint should be addressed immediately.
About SERVPRO of Ionia and Montcalm counties:
SERVPRO of Ionia and Montcalm counties 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 employees at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
We know you have many options when it comes to choosing a restoration company. SERVPRO believes in providing outstanding service, as well as treating every customer like family. But don’t take our word for it, check out these quotes from our amazing customers!
“Amazing team and an amazing job!! When our washer flooded our basement, they were quick to help and did a truly amazing job! It really is “Like it never even happened.”
“These guys are Awesome! Quick, thorough, knowledgeable and Professional.”
“Very professional, great time management, answered all our questions, and very sympathetic in a stressful situation.”
“Our church had a pipe break sending a large amount of water into our children’s area. SERVPRO worked around the clock to get us back up and running. Hands down amazing service!”
“Great service. Came late on a Thursday afternoon and spent 4 hours hauling away carpet backer and baseboard. Everything was dried up by the weekend.”
“I was very impressed with the work that SERVPRO did for us. They were prompt, friendly, and professional. They took the time to fully discuss the scope of the work before they started. After the work was complete, they did a thorough walk through and made sure our expectations were met before they left. Great work!”
We are incredibly thankful for each and every customer who chooses SERVPRO for restoration work. If your home or commercial building is in need of damage clean up, give us a call! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
The importance of Mold containment!
Mold containment chambers isolate the mold spores to keep them from spreading to unaffected areas!
The importance of mold containment
Weather it’s a flood, sump pump failure, or roof leak, we can safely assume that mold growth stems from some form of excess moisture. To ensure the mold remediation is done well, one of the most important parts of the process is containing the mold. Containing the mold is important because it stops mold spores from spreading to other areas. It also makes the cleanup process easier because it keeps the dust and other debris away from areas that aren't affected. Consider the following quote from mastertechmold.com on the importance of mold containment. “Mold is a living organism, meaning that its main purpose in life is to grow. It wants to continue to grow and spread. Containment is meant to limit the spread of mold growth within the area”.
When it comes to containment, a common, effective way to isolate mold is to create a containment chamber. These chambers are made up of polyethylene sheets and are set up to separate the mold from other parts of the building or house. The next step would be to close off all entry points to the contaminated room until the mold is removed with an air scrubber, which purifies the air. Next, all the debris should be properly disposed of. Then, a HEPA vac should be used on all previously exposed surfaces before tearing down the containment chamber. It’s also helpful to spray an antimicrobial agent on the previously exposed structure.
When it comes to removing mold the correct way, look no further than the experts at SERVPRO! Our teams will set up the proper containment and restore your home! SERVPRO will make the damage disappear, “Like it never even happened.”
Know what to look for to prevent a fire in your home.
SERVPRO Technicians are BOTH Certified and Properly Equipped to Restore Fire Damage in Your Home
Electrical fires are one of the top five causes of fires in manufacturing plants. Here is a non-exhaustive list of specific electrical hazards:
- Wiring that is exposed or not up to code
- Overloaded outlets
- Extension cords
- Overloaded circuits
- Static discharge
The damage caused by these fires can quickly compound thanks to several of the other items on this list. Any of the above hazards can cause a spark, which can serve as an ignition source for combustible dust, as well as flammable liquids and gasses.
How to prevent electrical fire incidents
As with the previous risks, the key to preventing electrical fires is awareness and prevention. This involves training, maintenance, and following best practices. Here are a few to put into practice right now:
- Don’t overload electrical equipment or circuits.
- Don’t leave temporary equipment plugged in when it’s not in use.
- Avoid using extension cords, and never consider them permanent solutions.
- Use anti-static equipment where required by NFPA or OSHA.
- Follow a regular housekeeping plan to remove combustible dust and other hazardous materials from areas that contain equipment and machinery.
- Implement a reporting system so that anyone who observes an electrical fire risk can report it without consequences.
For more information on electrical safety, consult NFPA 70: National Electrical Code and OSHA’s “Electrical Safety in the Workplace.”
SERVPRO of Ionia and Montcalm counties is always available 24 hours a day when a loss becomes overwhelming from a fire in the workplace or in your home. These simple ideas will help you with prevention where it's most important so seconds don't turn into disaster.
Water is everywhere!
SERVPRO is FASTER to ANY SIZE disaster! Give us a call if you're dealing with water damage!
With any situation that involves water damage big or small it can be devastating to say the least. The good news is that with a flood plan and basic safety precautions you can keep yourself safe.
Make a Flood Plan
- Make a flood emergency plan.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Consider buying flood insurance.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
- Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
Basic Safety Tips
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
After the Flood
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
These easy steps to take could save your life and other things that are important to you.
When a water issue becomes too much for you to handle let our team help with your restoration services due to Water Damage Call SERVPRO of Ionia and Montcalm counties! (616) 527-5470! Service is available 24/7!!!
Winter Driving Safety
Traveling in the snow can be dangerous! Read this article for tips on staying safe!
On the road in a snowstorm: safety and precautions
Nobody likes to hear the words “Snow Storm”, or “blizzard” when they’re heading out the door, as traveling in them is often treacherous. Forceful winds, blinding white outs, and black ice are just a few reasons to stay home during a Michigan snow storm. In fact, Winter storms contribute to more than 2,000 road deaths every winter and nearly half a million crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. While avoiding the roads is best way to stay safe, if you absolutely must drive, here are some precautionary tips to help you stay safe!
Before heading out, take some time to prepare an emergency kit to keep inside your vehicle. Stock your kit with blankets, gloves, snow boots, flashlights and batteries. Also include a shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter. If you find yourself stuck, abrasive materials like the sand or litter will help your tires gain traction so you can get yourself out. Other items to include are first aid kits, food and water, cell phone chargers, antifreeze, and window washer fluid. Once you’ve got all your emergency items, fill up the gas tank, windshield wiper fluid, oil, and antifreeze before hitting the road.
When you’re actually on the road, drive slowly to avoid skidding and sliding! Don’t slam the brakes, and take it easy going up and down hills. If your route leads you over a bridge, use caution. According to NbcBayarea.com, highway exit ramps and bridges freeze first and are extra slippery. It’s also important to avoid using cruise control during a snowstorm. Even the faintest tap of the brakes to turn off cruise control can cause you to spiral and lose control of the vehicle!
While we hope everyone stays safe this winter, (On AND off the roads!), we know that Michigan Blizzards often result in damage. Snow storms wreak havoc not only to roads and vehicles, but to family homes and commercial buildings. If you find yourself with excess water from frozen pipe bursts, roof leaks from ice dams, or any other type of winter storm damage, give SERVPRO a call. Your homes and businesses are important to us, and our professional teams will work hard to restore your property and give you peace of mind during these cold months. Stay safe out there, and don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’re available 24/7!