Flashback: ‘The Storm of the Century’
Here in the South, we are not as well equipped to handle significant snowfall as our fellow Northerners who experience it every year. Some may even joke that we can’t handle snowfall, period.
One year, we didn’t have a choice. We are sentimental today and decided to reminisce. Do you remember the ‘The Storm of the Century’, ‘granddaddy of ‘em all’, the ‘Superstorm of 1993’? If not, let us refresh your memory...7 inches of snow fell on Huntsville! As strong as a category 3 hurricane, but with freezing temperatures and snow, the ‘snowicane’ hit all 67 counties in Alabama with snow.
Don’t worry, the winter-time feels didn’t last long. It was below freezing that Sunday and back into the 60s by Tuesday. For a brief moment in time, we got to experience what some Northerners see as a normal winter.
Now, back to our scolding summer...
Fall = Fire Pits
It’s that time of year again. Summer has come and gone. Ah, Fall...you are our favorite. Colorful leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkin spice. Now that we can spend more time outside in the enjoyable weather, it’s time to break out the fire pit.
Some safety tips to keep in mind while using your fire pit...
When using your fire pit, make sure it is a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures, trees, fences and power lines.
Do not start a fire if it is very windy. Sparks can be blown onto nearby flammable materials, starting a fire you did not intend.
Burn dry material. Damp/wet material causes excess smoke.
When starting the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumbled pieces of paper covered with small sticks.
Do not leave the fire unattended. Keep children and pets from getting too close.
Be proactive. Keep some type of fire extinguishing equipment nearby. This could be a water hose or a bucket with sand.
Ready to head in for the night? Make sure the fire is completely out. As it dies down, spread out the ashes to allow them to cool. Slowly pour water over them and make sure no burning embers remain.
And of course...enjoy it!
If you ever have fire or smoke damage to your home, call us here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, 256-533-5335. We are here for you 24/7.
Friendly Reminder: Test Your Smoke Alarms
In 2018, there were 379,600 residential building fires according to FEMA*. A house fire can happen to any of us. It can be a devastating loss, cost thousands of dollars and potentially very deadly. As a proactive measure, we install smoke alarms in our homes. But how many of us forget to test them to confirm they are working properly?
A few quick tips**:
Test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Remember this: Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half**.
**Resource: The National Fire Protection Association
Commercial Losses Hit Hard
Here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, we handle both residential and commercial losses. We understand that commercial losses are significantly different due to any down time having an impact on business. We want to help you get your business up and running again as quickly as possible.
Has your business fallen victim to water damage? Whether caused by a leak in the AC, pipes, or toilets, call us! The quicker we are able to arrive on site, the quicker you will be back to running like a normal day. Typically, water damages take around 3-4 days to dry out.
Fire can cause a lot of damage. Not only the fire itself, but when the fire department responds, they may break windows and kick in doors to quickly access the fire. In order to secure the building, our first step would be to board up windows and doors to protect from outside elements, as well as anyone who may try to access the building.
With 2020 and the coronavirus, SERVPRO® of South Madison County now offers commercial COVID cleanings. We use FDA approved chemicals sprayed as a fine mist and wipe down/sanitize touch points.
Have a commercial loss? Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 256-533-5335.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Carpets!
How often do you clean your carpets at home? We do weekly. Sometimes twice a week because...dogs. Vacuuming weekly seems to be a pretty common metric. And how often do you have your carpets deep cleaned at home? The recommendation is once per year.
Now, think about the carpets in your office/place of business? How often do you have those cleaned? It is recommended that you have them professionally cleaned anywhere from every 3 months to once per year. This truly depends on your type of business and the amount of traffic.
We don’t tend to think about the affects soil has on our office carpets. Obviously, it can make the carpet appear dirty, but there are other factors at play. The not-so-obvious is that soil particles act as a grinding compound. As the carpet is walked on, the particles can cut the fibers, leading to fiber loss and potentially bare spots in the carpeting. Also, soiled carpet can become a breeding ground for mold and other microbes.
Sticking to regular professional carpet cleaning helps reduce the risk of repeated illness in the workplace, as well as reduce symptoms of allergies or asthma.
Ready to have your office carpets cleaned? Call SERVPRO® of South Madison County today at 256-533-5335.
Restoring Belongings After Flood Damage
When a flood damages your home, it can also effect personal property such as books, photos and documents. We know that these belongings may be important to you and we want to do everything we can to help restore them.
It is necessary to understand that water-damaged books and documents are not fully recoverable. This means they will not reach pre-damage condition, as some damage will always exist. Time is of the essence though. The faster the restoring process gets underway, the better each book or document will look after restoration.
Our SERVPRO® of South Madison County technicians use the vacuum freeze-drying method. Vacuum freeze drying is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and also the General Services Administration. This process involves freezing an item containing moisture and then it is dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation. In order to prevent further damage it is important that your water damaged documents be frozen as quickly as possible.
Freezer storage facilities at SERVPRO® Corporate give us the ability to store your paper products. We maintain a log of items moved into storage and where they are within the facility so we can return them easily after restorations are complete.
SERVPRO® of South Madison County is dedicated to assisting you with restoring these personal property items. Call us if you have a water damage at 256-533-5335.
SERVPRO® of South Madison County Becoming Storm Team Certified
We are excited to announce that SERVPRO® of South Madison County is now a proud franchise of the SERVPRO® Storm Team!
What is the Storm Team? When a tornado, hurricane or flood devastates an area, it can be difficult for the local businesses to keep up due to the influx of services required. This is exactly why SERVPRO® created the Storm Team, a network of strategically positioned teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO® is prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Storm Teams include:
Mold Prevention Tips
Mold is a common household problem, and certainly an unwelcome one. Mold develops in warm, damp environments that have little/no air flow. The most common location to find mold growth is your shower or bathroom, but it is possible for mold to grow anywhere in your home. Other common locations include the kitchen, laundry area and crawlspace.
If water damage occurs in your home, be sure clean up occurs quickly. Using air conditioners during humid seasons and exhaust fans in the kitchen can help prevent mold from growing.
Also, it is a great idea to monitor moisture at the most common culprits. This includes checking for leaks around the toilet, tub, refrigerator, kitchen sink, and washer. Check air conditioner drip pans, any where you know condensation can build and ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated.
If you discover mold growth in your home, SERVPRO® of South Madison County provides mold remediation services. Call us anytime, 256-533-5335.
Meet Our Newest Team Member: ProMaster
The SERVPRO® of South Madison County has a new team member and she’s a beaut! The new ProMaster van still has our iconic green SERVPRO® color, but is also bigger and a bit more stylish. It is a huge upgrade in terms of our vehicle department.
With more storage space and larger towing capacity, these vans don’t have any issues storing our heavy duty equipment. They are taller too, giving our technicians enough height to easily stand upright inside. The interior walls are nearly vertical, ensuring no wasted space. And the vehicles rear doors swing open 260 degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van allowing optimum loading capability.
Not only that, this ProMaster comes with a HydraMaster dual capacity vacuum and water outlet for steam cleaning and extraction. You may not know exactly what that means, but for us, it’s like Christmas morning with new toys!
With all of these features, it was a no-brainer for us to make the upgrade!
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? In order to help prevent a fire from spreading larger, it is important to know how to use it.
There is a simple acronym that may help you remember...PASS. This stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Now, for a breakdown:
Pull the pin: this depends on your specific model. Some have a locking pin on the handle/lever, while other models may even have a button.
Aim low: direct the hose nozzle at the base of the fire. Aiming at the flames is ineffective.
Squeeze the lever: squeeze the lever above the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent. Depending on your model, this may also be a button.
Sweep the nozzle: sweep the hose from side to side at the base of the fire. Repeat sweeping from side to side until the fire is completely out.
Once the fire is out and the situation has been assessed from your Fire Marshall, give SERVPRO® of South Madison County a call to begin the fire remediation process. 256-533-5335.