Snow Covered Roof, Majestic or Dangerous?
It's not so beautiful anymore...
Did you know one square foot of compacted snow can weigh close to 50 pounds?!! Think about how much weight is sitting on your roof. Many roofs, especially, older, flat, or structures such as carports, garages, and sheds are not always rated to support this kind of weight. It is important to remove as much of it as you can safely from the ground.
** We advise you review your insurance policy and check with your agent before you have a problem. Basic insurance policies do not cover collapse of a structure due the weight of snow or ice.
Check out this article from Travelers about safely removing snow from your roof before it is too late.
What to Expect When You Call SERVPRO with a Water Loss
The restoration process begins as soon as you pick up the phone to call us. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your water emergencies whether you have a small water loss like your washer leaked or a large loss where you come home to several inches of water filling your basement. Whenever you are dealing with water in your home it is important action is taken ASAP. The longer the water sits the more damage it causes and the more dangerous it can be.
Water damage in your home can be very stressful and cause a lot of chaos. Feel confident when you call SERVPRO knowing that our technicians have the training specific to water damage and the experience needed to get you through this stressful time. Water Damage is the cornerstone of our business.
What should you expect when you call SERVPRO? When you call we will ask you several questions regarding your water loss. These questions will help us be prepared with the equipment, resources, and number of technicians needed. Be prepared to answer these questions when you call:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (including agent name) if applicable
- The street address of the damaged home
- When did the flooding/water damage occur?
- What caused the water damaged, (if known)?
- Is there electricity available for our use?
When SERVPRO arrives at your home they will do a detailed inspection including a damage assessment. At this point our technicians are trying to determine the extent of the damage and develop a plan of action. We will check for the source of the moisture and make sure it is stopped before the restoration process and drying can begin. We will then determine the contamination level of the water
- Category 1: “Clean Water”
- Category 2: “Gray Water”
- Category 3: “Black Water”
After this category of the water has been determined SERVPRO can them go forward with our plan of action and begin the cleanup process.
What You Need to Know About Mold
Mold may be in the air but you definitely don't want it in your walls.
The CDC states molds as:
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. 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.
How can people decrease mold exposure?
Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas. If there is mold growth in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label).
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
What is air duct cleaning and why should be have it done?
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
If not properly installed, maintained and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the air of your commercial business. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them.
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
For more information on air duct cleaning, call us at SERVPRO today, (801) 785-5228
The Importance of Smoke Alarms
Don't Wait, Check Yours Today
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Let’s get straight to the point Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Here's what you need to know
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. If the alarm still does not work replace the batteries, and if it still doesn’t work replace it.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Don’t wait, the life you and your family may be on the line.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years whether they are still working or not.
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
- In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
- No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.
- The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
The moral of the story is make sure you have the proper number of smoke alarms in your home and they are all properly working.
For more information on smoke alarms and other fire protection related information visit the website for National Fire Protection Association.
We can help you "restore not replace" after a fire
You've just had one of the worst days of your life due to a house fire and you finally get to go in and inspect the damage. Luckily the fire started in the kitchen and the fire department got there before the whole house went up in flames... but the entire house is now filled with smoke and soot. As well as all of your belongs, they are covered and stinky. Did you know that SERVPRO can help with that? We can get rid of the smoke smell and clean your belongings!
SERVPRO specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
Have you Considered upgrading your commercial HVAC system?
If you are a business owner you know how important it is to have a fully functioning HVAC system. If you don’t your employees and customers will let you know. It will be hot or cold and you really are trying to keep it going and keep people comfortable. Maybe your HVAC system is older and not functioning properly? You may be thinking to yourself that is too expensive… but in the long run it may be worth it.
Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your HVAC System from
Increase The Energy Efficiency
Lower operating costs should be one of your biggest goals. Even if it isn’t as much of a priority now, there’s still time to resolve to change now that the New Year has begun. One fantastic way to increase energy efficiency is to upgrade your current commercial HVAC system. Did you know that a newer system can allow for smaller energy consumption – by about 30%, in fact.
Maintain Your Good Reputation
Many businesses depend on a stellar reputation to ensure that they thrive. Reputation is important for your public image, especially in the customer-service sector. Aside from downtime that could rob you of future profits, an uncomfortable building environment due to aging HVAC system can also harm customer and client perception of how you run your organization.
Make and Keep Employees Comfortable
When the interior of your building is kept at reasonable temperatures, your employees will be comfortable. When employees are comfortable, they will be happier and more motivated. When they aren’t distracted by the office being too hot or too cold, they can focus on getting more work done, improving their overall productivity. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality, either. How often are your employees missing time from work due to being sick? A little-known condition called sick building syndrome exists, and if this syndrome goes unaddressed, it could affect how your business is perceived throughout your industry and cause highly-qualified candidates to find employment elsewhere when you are actively recruiting.
Reduce Repair Costs
Newer commercial HVAC systems will have better warranties attached to them. Whether you choose to overhaul your existing system with brand new components or only add the latest technological advancements to the framework that is already in place, these warranties can help you avoid paying significant repair costs when such repairs are needed.
Begin Switching Refrigerant Now
The refrigerant that is most commonly used in many older models of commercial HVAC systems is being eliminated. R-22 refrigerant will be fully prohibited in January of 2020, and if you think that’s still plenty of time to have your current supplies replaced, remember it’s just two years away.
12 Things to Do During a Power Outage
Prepare Now, Before You're Left in the Dark
Surprisingly, power outages are even getting worse in the USA. According to Inside Energy, the annual average of power outages doubles every five years! The reason for this has to do with aging infrastructure, more frequent storms, and problems sustaining the electric grid as populations grow.
Despite how common power outages are, few people are prepared for them and even fewer people know what to do if the power goes out.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Power Goes Out
Step 1: Turn On Your Emergency Lights
Make sure your emergency lights are somewhere accessible in case you have to find them in the dark. Ideally, keep a flashlight in each room of your home.
In general, it is better to use battery-operated lights instead of candles because of the fire risk.
Step 2: See If Your Neighbors Have Power
If your neighbors still have electricity, then the problem is likely inside your home. Start by checking the main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown.
Step 3: Check the Extent of the Problem
If your neighbors also don’t have electricity, you’ll want to see how wide-spread the problem is. You can do this by calling your power supplier. It might take a while to get through to them if a lot of people are trying to call.
You can also try calling friends who live nearby to see if they have power or not.
Step 4: Contact Family Members
During large power outages, stoplights and streetlights can go out too – making it unsafe to drive.
If your family members aren’t at home, get in contact with them. It might be best for them to remain at their current location until it is safer for them to come home.
Note that your family should have a contact plan in place.
Step 5: Unplug Appliances
When the power comes back on, it can cause a huge power spike which may damage electronics.
Hopefully all of your sensitive electronics are on surge protectors.
Even if they are, it is still smart to unplug all of your sensitive (expensive) electronics from the wall so they don’t get damaged when the power comes back on.
Step 6: See if Water is Safe to Drink
When the power goes out, water treatment centers might not work. You could still have clean-looking water coming from the tap, but it might not be safe to drink!
Call your local authorities to see if the water is safe to drink. Or, you can listen to your emergency radio to see if there is a “boil alert” in place.
**If you are unsure whether the water is safe to drink, always play it safe! Treat water before drinking it or use bottled water.
Step 7: Keep Fridge and Freezer Closed
According to Ready.gov, food kept in an unopened refrigerator will stay cold for about 4 hours.
A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. You can learn more about this on their food safety page.
Step 8: Save Your Phone’s Battery
Turn off any power-consuming apps on your phone to save its battery. Do this even if you have a solar charger because you might not always be able to charge it.
Step 9: Stay Cool (Summer Power Outages)
If the power outage occurs during a heat wave and you have health conditions, then you might need to evacuate your home to a cooler location, such as a shopping mall or church.
Step 10: Stay Warm (Winter Power Outages)
If the power outage occurs during winter, now is the time to start using your emergency heating method. A wood stove is my personal favorite off-grid heating method.
Be cautious about using generators, camp stoves, or grills for heating as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
You can get some passive solar heating during the daytime by keeping all curtains closed except those on south-facing windows. Close all drapes at night to trap some heat, and line windows and doorways with towels to prevent heat from escaping.
Step 11: Prevent Pipes from Freezing (Winter Power Outages)
Hopefully your pipes are well insulated so they don’t freeze. The easiest way to prevent pipes from freezing during power outages is to let a small stream of water flow through the faucets.
For long-term power outages during extreme weather, you’ll want to drain your hot water heater. You will also need to winterize the drainage system by putting antifreeze into the drain traps below toilets, sinks, washing machines, etc.
12. Stay Sane!
Play games, make shadow puppets, hang out with the neighbors in the dark… You might even enjoy the power outage and the digital detox it gives you!
How to Prevent Ice Dams on your home
An ice dam is a problem of house and building maintenance on sloping roofs in cold climates. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof, under the insulating blanket of snow, until it reaches below freezing temperature air, typically at the eaves. When the melted water reaches the freezing air, ice accumulates, forming a dam, and snow that melts later cannot drain properly through the dam.] Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.
The melting of roof snow comes from two reasons: Heat from inadequate roof insulation and heat leaks, and inadequate ventilation. This condition is called a warm roof and the heat conducted through the roof melts snow on those areas of the roof that are above heated living spaces, but the snow does not melt on roof overhangs. Also, a small amount of ice damming can occur from the normal freeze- thaw cycle melts snow on warm or sunny days.
The key to preventing ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cold. After a snowfall, a cold roof will have a thick blanket of snow. A warmer roof, however, will soon have clear spots where the snow has melted off, and may well have icicles hanging from the eaves.
To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:
- Stop warm air from reaching your attic and roof. This typically stems from air leaks through your ceiling into your attic. Most of that comes from air leaks caused by gaps in the drywall, cracks around light fixtures, unblocked walls, plumbing pipes, chimneys, and access hatches. These can be hard to fix but can be done through the attic by plugging leaks with foam and caulk.
- Go into your attic and check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12 to 14 in. of fiberglass or cellulose. Add more if you have less than 8 in and have had ice dam problems in the past.
- Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process. If you don’t have enough ventilation in your attic this could be causing ice dams and you might want to look into adding come ventilation vents.
Mold Remediation at your Business
Don't let mold set you behind
Mold at your place of business?
Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call SERVPRO of North Utah County, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation. We offer 24 hour emergency service and have highly trained mold and water damage restoration specialists.
SERVPRO starts working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition.
If you have or suspect you have a mold problem at your commercial business call SERVPRO to clean it up and make it "Like it never even happened."