Spring Severe Weather 2020 Awareness
Prepare for Spring Severe Weather
April 29th, 2020
With the unusually warm weather upon us, and the heavy amount of rain that has fallen over the course of the Winter, it is imperative to understand the implications this combination of weather events could potentially bring, mainly severe weather and flooding.
Severe Weather in and of itself can consist of high winds, torrential rains, tornadoes and flooding. The part most concerning is flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flooding is the most common natural disaster. While flooding from a broken pipe, faulty dishwasher, or other household appliance presents clean water into the home, water from a flood poses significant concern when it comes to what’s “in” the water.
The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) explains that water from a flood, or outside source could potentially contain disease, chemicals, bacteria, human waste and other contaminants that could bring about long-term health risks if exposed to for extended lengths of time. When your home is exposed to outside flood water, it is imperative that you contact SERVPRO of LBL North immediately so that we can minimize the effects of this damage. Our offices can be reached at (270) 753-1160.
Brooks, K. (2020, March 16th). SERVPRO encourages property owners to prepare now for severe spring weather. Retrieved from Global Newswire: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/16/2001201/0/en/SERVPRO-Encourages-Property-Owners-to-Prepare-Now-for-Severe-Spring-Weather.html
Businesses Adapting to Work at Home Models
Business Adaptations Post COVID-19
April 27th, 2019
From every crisis in history, there are lessons to be learned, and adaptions that can be implemented on just about every level. For businesses (large and small) this will likely result in a shift in the operational business model for many. The emergence of COVID-19 has permitted some businesses to see just how well they can operate, even if only for a short period of time, with their employees working remotely.
At SERVPRO, one of the biggest concern’s businesses have following a major loss, is how long the operation will need to be shut down in order to mitigate the issue. Granted working from home is not conducive for retail outlets and restaurants, but for offices which do not provide a physical product, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that while the loss is being mitigated, that operations may continue, albeit from remote locations.
Once a business suffers a loss, the time in which SERVPRO needs to get in, adequately assess the loss, and mitigate it, is often dictated by when the company will need to reopen, close down, etc. It is not always as simple as shutting the doors, however, now with what we have taken away from the COVID-19 pandemic, it could provide quicker response times by SERVPRO, and a smooth temporary transition on the part of the business while SERVPRO mitigates the issue.
Hern, A. (2020, March 13th). The Guardian. Retrieved from Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/13/covid-19-could-cause-permanent-shift-towards-home-working
SERVPRO Continues to Adapt
SERVPRO Continues to Adapt
April 27th, 2020
As of the date of this blog posting, the world continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken center stage in just about every facet of American life. There is no element of our nation that remains untouched by this virus, including the many SERVPRO franchises scattered throughout the nation. One thing that is for certain as Forbes magazine puts it, businesses will fail, and new businesses will emerge. Those that survive, will have shown the ability to adapt to change, rather than take a stalled approach, or a “wait and see” tactic.
SERVPRO quite simply, adjusts. Going from operations heavy on fire and water mitigation to a sudden/rapid shift to biohazard cleaning has been the focus of the company for the past two months. As the new hashtag adapted by SERVPRO, and other companies as well, we stand by our Vision Statement, in that we strive “to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world”.
When the Nashville flood hit, SERVPRO responded. When hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboards, SERVPRO responded. Now, with COVID-19 ravaging our nation, SERVPRO has again answered the call.
Whether big or small, SERVPRO of LBL North is here to help! It is imperative that all businesses take a hard look at the preventative measures they have in place to minimize as much as possible the infection of its workers as the State of Tennessee begins its pursuit towards some form of normalcy again. SERVPRO of LBL North stands ready to help with this. Give us a call at (270) 753-1160 to discuss our preventative cleaning measures with you and your staff.
SERVPRO Industries, Inc. (2020, April 27). Our mission, vision, purpose, values, & long term goals. Retrieved from SERVPRO Industries, Inc.: https://www.SERVPRO.com/our_mission
Zukis, B. (2020, March 30). Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from A ceo cheatsheet for business strategy after covid-19: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobzukis/2020/03/30/a-ceo-cheatsheet-for-business-strategy-after-covid-19/#6b70db68330c
SERVPRO Pet of the Week
March 21, 2020
SERVPRO of LBL North Pet of the Week
Do you want your pet featured on our Facebook page, as the SERVPRO pet of the week? Make sure you like our Facebook page and submit your pet photos and fun facts to us. You can submit this information via Facebook messenger or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have included a form below for you to get an idea of what fun facts to send. Pets will be selected at random and posted each Friday.
Owners Name (optional):__________________________
Fun Facts/Anything you want shared:
Please email the photo and information to email@example.com , or message it via our SERVPRO of LBL Facebook Page.
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home
Disinfecting Your Home
April, 20th, 2020
What Disinfectant to Use and How to Use It?
With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the issue has caused concern for the manner in which Americans behave in terms of cleanliness. How long do we wash our hands? Do we use warm water and soap, or does cold water have the same effect? Is Lysol better than a multipurpose cleaner? What you may be surprised to know is that many are using the right disinfectant incorrectly. Many of us simply take Lysol for instance, spray a surface and immediately wipe it dry. This is entirely the wrong way to use the disinfectant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center’s for Disease Control (CDC), the dwell time in which a chemical (Lysol for instance) ranges from thirty seconds, to upwards of ten minutes depending upon the bacteria or virus you are looking to minimize exposure to. That list of household disinfectants is available by clicking HERE. If the link does not work, refer to the full reference listed at the conclusion of this blog.
Where do I need to Focus?
According to the CDC, high touch areas in the home are of primary concern when it comes to routine cleaning/disinfecting. High touch areas include but are not limited to; tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets/handles, desks, phones, keyboards, faucets, sinks, etc. Be careful when cleaning soft surfaces and electronics. Make sure to consult the instructions on the product prior to using it on each different type of surface, and consulting with the EPA’s Registered Household Disinfectant Guide to see how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface before wiping it dry.
Always make sure to use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when using household or other chemical disinfectants. Generally, standard rubber gloves will be sufficient, and it is always recommended to wash your hands in warm soapy water for no less than 20 seconds once cleaning has been concluded and cleaning chemicals have been properly stored away from the reach of young children. You can view other cleaning recommendations by visiting HERE. If the link does not work, you can review the full link provided in the list of references below.
Center's for Disease Control (CDC). (2020, April 20). Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home. Retrieved from Center's for Disease Control : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020, April 20th). List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. Retrieved from United States Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
When Fire Strikes
March 6th, 2020
Fire!! What to Do Next??
When disaster strikes, and your home is involved in a fire, your mind is frantic, and you have no idea what the next step is. You never pictured this would happen and you probably never thought what happens now. Below we have provided some of those next steps for you to take once your home has been involved in a fire.
- First and foremost, safety is the most important. Find a safe place for your family and pets to stay. This should be a place that can help ease your mind and give you a place to think about what you need to do next. If you don’t have a family member or friend to stay with, check with a local disaster relief program like the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army as they can often provide you with free temporary housing. Accomplishing this one minor goal can help feel like you have some control of the situation.
- Your next step should be to contact your insurance agent. The faster you contact your insurance agent; the faster things can begin whether it is repairs or looking for a new home. They also may be able to help you with your expenses due to losses in the fire. Insurance companies can also help you find a cleaning or mitigation/restoration service.
- Contact the Police. To ensure the safety of your home, the windows and doors should be boarded up to ensure the building and belongings are left alone.
- Plan out finances. Ensure you are prepared to pay your bills and it may even be best to suspend your cable and internet bills since you will not be in your home for a while. Some insurance companies will assist with these payments during this time.
- Get a list of damaged items and be sure to report them to your insurance agent, also make sure you report all important documents that were loss and need to be replaced. These should be of high priority.
- Before reentering your home, make sure it is reported to be safe by a fire marshal. Also, make sure you have spoken with your insurance agent to be sure that it does not void any of your policy if you are to enter your home. Always check with your agent before doing anything.
- Finally, you may feel like it is your responsibility to go into the home and start packing up and collecting undamaged items. This can take weeks and can take away from the important things that are of higher priority. At SERVPRO we can pack up all belongings, clean them, and store them with us, until we have completed all our steps to ensure it looks "Like it never even happened." Then we will return all your cleaned items back to where they were. This process can be long and drawn out but with our elite team of professionals we are able to complete these tasks with ease. We also can assist with communication between insurance agents/adjusters to help put homeowners at ease.
If you have any questions check out the link below or if you or someone you know is in the process of going through any of these tasks and need help, feel free to call SERVPRO of LBL (731) 642-1284 and we will be happy to assist you during this difficult time.
8 Things to Do After a Fire
Living With Mold is Simple, Don't
February 7th, 2020
Living with Mold is Simple……. Don’t
Suppose your house suffered some wind damage recently due to the high winds that came through back in October (2019). You patched the roof with plans to “fix it yourself” when the seasons change and the temps warm up. A temporary tarp or other covering it currently being utilized to minimize further water from leaking into your house. You assume everything will be fine, and come Spring, one weekend you and perhaps some friends and family will simply remove the temporary covering and patch the roof. Everything is then good to go…..right? Not exactly.
See the entire time you have had the temporary patch on the house, water could have leaked in. Not to mention, what happened to all the water that leaked in before? Did you simply mop up what you could find, spray a little Kilz or similar product on the roof in order to remove the visible reminder of your misfortune? Well, when the season warms, and your attic space heats up, mold will begin to form, if it hasn’t already.
The type of mold that forms will cause problems, but what those problems are is hard to tell. Every type of mold runs the potential to cause health issues. As the mold grows, spores are released into the air, eventually getting into your HVAC lines and negatively affecting the air quality in your home. Since mold requires moisture to grow, the moisture it absorbs also absorbs into the wood, potentially causing wood rot. It should be noted that mold itself does not rot wood, but the moisture it attracts does. This is why it is very important to contact SERVPRO if you suffered water damage from any type of storm event in the past.
According to FEMA, using the residents of Hurricane IRENE as an example, once you see you have water damage, you should do everything you can to dry out immediately. If you do not have the proper tools and resources to do it, SERVPRO of LBL North does, and will respond to your call within four hours or less with the proper drying equipment. If you see mold, the general rule of thumb is DON’T DISTURB IT! Contact SERVPRO of LBL North and let us examine the mold, determine the type, and safely remove it from your home. Improperly disturbing/removing mold from your home could give it more moisture/room to grow. It is best to let professionals get rid of it the moment it is detected.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2011, September 18th). Be safe, don't stay in a home infested with mold or mildew. Retrieved from Federal Emergency Management Association: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2011/09/18/be-safe-dont-stay-home-infested-mold-or-mildew
Getting an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)
February 7th, 2020
It happens more than you think, but is one of the most seldom discussed subjects at meetings and/or training sessions. What happens when a main water line bursts inside the building, or, when someone detects the smell of gas in the air while the building is being heated? When severe weather strikes, do your managers know where to go, and where to send your customers? What happens when a tornado, hurricane, or flood impacts your business directly? Communication is the key of course, but without the proper plan, there is nothing to communicate on a consistent level.
An Emergency Ready Profile is what separates guessing from an actual plan of attack should something detrimental happen to your business. Here at SERVPRO of LBL North, we have an entire team of professionals who, upon request, will come to your business, and complete your Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for you. We will ask you some questions in reference to points of contact, service providers, etc., and then we will take care of filling in the remainder of the form. Once completed, you will be provided a copy to share with your managers, and insurance providers, and we will keep a copy as well. In the rare event disaster does strike, you will be prepared, and SERVPRO of LBL North will already know how to respond.
To get your ERP completed, please contact our office at (731) 642-1284 for more information and to schedule a visit by our Sales and Marketing Manager, or a Sales and Marketing Representative.
Residential Fire Readiness
February 7th, 2020
Residential Fire Readiness
Ever wonder what the chances of your home catching fire actually are? Well, according to the United States Fire Administration, it depends on how well you are at cooking! Yes, we said cooking. Accord to the USFA, 51.6% of residential fires come from cooking. Generally, this is a grease fire, and once a flame emits from grease running down onto an eye on the stove, someone incorrectly tries to put it out with water. The other causes are Heating (9.1%), Unintentional/Carelessness (7.1) and Electrical 6.5%. So, while there are other reasons, most fires do begin in the kitchen. Let’s discuss a few tips in the event the bacon decides to catch fire one Saturday morning while you are cooking breakfast.
- Get everyone out of the house (remember, have everyone assemble at a rally point).
- Contact 9-1-1
- If the fire is contained to the pan/pot, cover the container with a lid (not a plastic lid).
- If possible, shut off the heat source. This will not immediately put an end to the flame, but it will help in the continued fueling of heat from the source. You will still have to contend with the fire already started.
- If small enough, pour generous amounts of salt and/or baking soda on the flames.
- If available, use a Class B fire extinguisher. These are readily available for purchase at any local Lowe’s, Walmart or other home store.
- DO NOT use water on an oil-based fire. This will cause the oil to splatter, expanding the flames rapidly which will likely result in your home being consumed in flames before the emergency responders can arrive.
It is also recommended that you do not place fire extinguishers in the kitchen, but rather, just outside the kitchen. In the event your kitchen catches fire, you will need to access the extinguisher, and if your kitchen is engulfed in flames, it could render getting to the extinguisher next to impossible. Do what you can with what you have, but most certainly do not put yourself or others in harms way. You and your family’s safety are the most crucial element to dealing with a fire. Educate everyone in the home on the plan in the event a fire breaks out. Make sure they know how to safely exit the home, what to do and not to do, and where to meet up once safely outside of the home. Everyone, down to the youngest child, should be familiar with it.
Should you experience fire damage, contact SERVPRO of LBL North to come inspect the residence and begin work on restoring it “Like it never even happened.”
United States Fire Administration
How to Put Out a Grease Fire
Are You Sure the Toilet Isn't Leaking?
February 7th, 2020
Are You Sure the Toilet Isn’t Leaking?
Do you see stains around the base of your toilet? Notice standing water or damaged tile? How about stains on the ceiling below where your toilet is located (multi-level home)? These can all be indications of a leaking toilet seal. A toilet seal is what connects the toilet to the main drain waste pipe flange in the floor. Typically, you find that if your toilet is rocking, that means that the seal is faulty and needs replaced. However, even if it is not rocking you still may find the toilet seal to have been installed incorrectly, possibly not aligned correctly, or not installed at all.
How to Replace Leaking Toilet Seal?
- TURN off the water at the shutoff valve. (typically located behind the toilet or possibly in the basement or crawlspace)
- REMOVE the toilet lid, hold the handle down, and drain all the water out of the toilet. You will also need to remove the water from the supply tank as well (using a sponge or cup may be helpful to get all the water out).
- DISCONNECT the water-supply tube. This is done by removing the compression nuts off the shutoff value.
- REMOVE the toilet by gently rocking back and forth to break off the pre-existing seal. (Use a putty knife to remove the old seal)
- CHECK the condition of the flange that holds the seal to ensure there are no cracks or broken pieces. (If so, this part will also need replaced)
- CENTER the new seal within the closest flange
- CONNECT the water-supply tube to the fill-valve shank that is located on the bottom of the toilet tank
- PRESS down on the toilet to compress the seal and tighten the bolts (do not over tighten)
- TRIM the tops of bolts, tighten bolts, and replace caps
- CONNECT the supply tube to the shutoff valve, open the valve, flush the toilet
- INSPECT for any leaks
A leaking toilet can seem like a minor issue, but if left unrepaired can turn into a large, costly issue. If the leak is caught in a timely manner, and repaired the homeowner is looking at low costs, and about an hours’ worth of work. However, if left alone to continue to leak, it can cause major damage to the sub-floor of the house or even the walls. Once the floor begins to rot, it continues to spread and before anyone is aware of it, it can destroy an entire bathroom floor, causing showers, cabinets, sinks, and such to have to be removed in order to fix the damaged floor. This then turns into hours of restoration work, and costly materials.
For more information relating to the inspection of, removal or installation of a toilet gasket, please click on the link provided below. If you find that you do in fact have water damage as a result of a leaky/faulty gasket, please contact SERVPRO of LBL North at (270) 753-1160.
Easy Fix for a Leaky Toilet