Frozen Pipes: Everything You Need to Know
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, pipes can freeze.
Winter weather is as pretty as it comes but, for commercial businesses, it can pose some serious property damage risks. No matter the scope of the damage caused by winter weather, SERVPRO Team Wall is standing by with the resources, experience, and expert knowledge to remediate your commercial property and prevent further damage. In this blog, we will discuss a common cold weather issue for commercial properties, frozen pipes, and ways in which you can protect your property from any storm damage that might result from frozen pipes.
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, pipes can freeze. It is only with proper insulation that pipes located outdoors or in unheated areas of your business can be at increased risk of bursting. Indoors, pipes in basements and crawl spaces are at the highest risk of freezing. During cold snaps, it is important to watch for frost, a lack of water coming from your faucet, and other signs of frozen pipes.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
The American Red Cross offers a few different suggestions to prevent pipes from freezing during cold periods. First and foremost, they assert that it is important to let water drip through your faucets. For pipes in unheated areas, consider adding insulation, which will help keep the pipes at higher temperatures than the rest of the room. It may also help to keep your nighttime thermostat temperature the same as your daytime temperature. Even though this hikes your heating costs, it will be worth it in the long run if it can help keep your pipes warm enough to protect against freezing and bursting.
Dealing With Frozen or Burst Pipes? Call SERVPRO Team Wall
If your commercial property’s pipes freeze and burst, SERVPRO Team Wall is here to help with our cutting-edge restoration equipment, as well as our expertise in storm and water damage restoration. Read more about our commercial storm and water damage restoration capabilities on our website. At first notice of burst pipes, call your local SERVPRO Team Wall office, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, at (410) 229-0012 right away to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Avoiding Cooking Fires
Cooking fires are more prevalent during the holidays.
The kitchen is often a popular gathering spot during the holidays. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that, in 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. This information tells us that cooking fires are more prevalent during the holidays. Understanding potential fire hazards and being aware of fire safety best practices can help keep your gatherings safe this holiday season. Keep reading for 3 proactive fire safety tips to keep in mind while cooking.
1. Create Space
The National Fire Protection Agency recommends having a “kid-free zone” around particularly dangerous areas of the kitchen. This tip is actually helpful for everyone in the kitchen – not just children. For areas like stovetops and ovens, consider creating a buffer of at least 3 feet between cooking equipment and guests in your kitchen.
2. Keep a Lid Nearby
Cooking fires, according to the NFPA, most frequently involve the kitchen stove. In the event of a small fire, especially when cooking with a pan over the stove, having a lid at arm’s reach can help facilitate the process of smothering a fire. If the fire is small enough to contain on your own, you can carefully slide a lid over the pan before turning off your burner. For oven fires, however, a lid is not as helpful. Instead, it is best to keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat.
3. Be Prepared to Handle a Fire
Upon first discovery of a fire while cooking, a quick decision must be made: fight it or call for help? While action of some sort should be taken quickly, it is important to make a thoughtful, smart decision. If there is any doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to sufficiently handle the fire on your own, call 911, get everyone out of your home quickly, and close the door behind you to prevent the fire from spreading. If you think you can handle the fire, however, assess the situation first and foremost. Is the fire small enough that you could smother it? Do you have a fire extinguisher nearby? If the answer to these questions is yes, you might be able to extinguish the fire on your own. Being prepared to handle a fire means understanding when it is time to prioritize your safety and that of everyone else in your home. At the end of the day, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Residential Fire Damage Restoration
After any fire damage situation, know that you can turn to SERVPRO Team Wall. We are available 24/7 to provide our professional residential Fire Damage Restoration services. Learn more about the ways in which we can protect your fire damaged belongings, remove smoke odors, and provide building services in the aftermath of a fire by checking out our website. Give our SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County office a call at (410) 229-0012 today for more information. Trust SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened” after any fire emergency.
3 Things You Can Do: Commercial Storm Damage
Storms can leave commercial buildings with significant storm or water damage, which makes minimizing further damage of the utmost importance.
In the event that your commercial property endures a storm that leaves your building with storm or water damage, minimizing further damage is of the utmost importance. Focusing on being proactive during the downtime before help arrives can be especially beneficial. Continue reading to learn more about 3 things you can do to protect your commercial property before the storm damage restoration experts get there.
1. Stay Away from the Affected Area
When standing water and electricity meet, there is a risk for electrocution. Therefore, it is imperative that people stay out of areas that have experienced water damage, especially if there are electrical appliances, wiring, or outlets in the space, which is common for rooms in commercial buildings. While keeping people out of affected areas, it is also important to refrain from turning on the lights or even unplugging electrical appliances, as these actions can be dangerous.
2. Turn Off the Water Source & Breakers
Another way to protect yourself and others working in your commercial building safe from electrical shock is by shutting off the water source and turning off the breakers immediately upon discovering water damage from a storm.
3. Protect Your Building’s Belongings
Commercial properties house many valuable items, including documents, equipment, retail items, and other products. In order to prevent further water damage to these items, it is beneficial to move valuables away from water damaged areas to facilitate drying and assess them for damage as soon as possible.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Commercial Storm Restoration Services
Whenever a storm – big or small – strikes, commercial property owners have valid cause for concern due to the stress and challenges that storm damage can cause. However, you can find peace of mind by trusting SERVPRO Team Wall and our storm damage restoration professionals. Call your local SERVPRO location, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, at (410) 229-0012 for more information about our Commercial Storm Restoration offerings. Looking to learn more about how SERVPRO can help your commercial property? Check out the pages dedicated to our other related offerings, from Commercial Water Restoration to general Commercial Restoration services, on our website. Lastly, our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team can be of assistance in the event of larger storm events, as we have an extensive network of teams located across the country, offering services 24/7. Don’t hesitate – call SERVPRO right away to restore your commercial property to its preloss condition and prevent further damage.
Florida and Hurricane Season 2022
Hurricanes – and strong storms in general – can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November.
Towards the end of year’s Atlantic hurricane season, Florida received the bulk of the action. As we’ve seen in the news, Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole left their mark on Florida communities. SERVPRO Team Wall had the opportunity to serve affected communities in Florida, made possible by our Disaster Recovery Team. Making landfall in Florida within a relatively short time of each other, Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole wreaked havoc on residential and commercial properties alike. Keep reading to learn more about where Florida’s 2022 hurricanes fit in the grand scheme of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Florida 2022 Hurricanes
Hurricane Ian, after making landfall in Southwest Florida in mid-September, caused significant damage, left many without power, and resulted in a devastating number of casualties. Just 43 days later, Florida was hit with yet another hurricane, Hurricane Nicole, once again caused power issues and sent first responders on search and rescue missions. This double-whammy may seem to be an anomaly, but something very similar happened in 2004. Hurricanes Charley and Jeanne, which both made landfall in Florida in 2004, affected nearly the same areas of the state as Ian and Nicole with the same amount of time in between the two storms. But what does this mean for property owners in Florida and across the country?
Call SERVPRO with Any Storm Emergency
Hurricanes – and strong storms in general – can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November, which we see in the case of Hurricane Nicole. A November hurricane isn’t a rare occurrence; it is a very real possibility, especially for coastal states like Florida. For any emergency, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 for professional Storm Damage Restoration services. For commercial businesses, we also offer storm damage restoration services tailored to commercial properties. On our website, you can also learn more about our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team and our other storm-related offerings like residential and commercial Water Damage Restoration services. Let SERVPRO Team Wall make it “Like it never even happened” after any emergency.
Water Damage to Your Commercial Roof
It is important to learn ways to spot water damage in commercial properties' roofing.
As they say, “out of sight, out of mind.” Roof damage is difficult to detect for precisely this reason. Since we can’t see our roofs, how can we possibly know if it experiences damage? Today’s blog will focus on spotting water damage in commercial properties' roofing. Knowing what to look for on both the inside and outside when inspecting your commercial property’s roof can help prevent the problem from festering and causing further damage.
On the inside of your property, there are several things you can look for as indicators of water damage. First, be on the lookout for any leaks or spaces where water is accumulating. You may even see water spots on the ceiling, which are areas of discoloration and are often damp to the touch. Lastly, if you see or smell mold, this can be a sign that mold is growing as a result of a roof leak, caused by roof damage.
On the exterior of your property, when inspecting your roof, you may find cracks and tears, which are typically the result of aging. Water can seep into these small areas of damage. Additionally, if you spot puddles of water on your commercial property’s roof, it may be indicative of an issue with your roof’s draining system. This is not a problem to ignore, as the water must move or else, your property will be at risk of roof and water damage. Finally, if water is visibly leaking into the seams of your roof, which can occur when your roof seams loosen, be sure to get professional help right away. The more proactive you can be and the sooner you can take action after spotting a problem, the better you can avoid sizable roof damage and repairs.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall with Water and Roof Damage
For more information about our Commercial Restoration and Building Services, you can visit our website or give us a call at (410) 229-0012 to speak with one of our knowledgeable SERVPRO Team Wall team members. On our website, you can also learn more about the Water and Storm Damage Restoration that we offer in the event that any of the aforementioned topics in this blog occur on your commercial property. At the first sign of damage, don’t hesitate. Call SERVPRO Team Wall for trustworthy, professional service. We’re committed to making it “Like it never even happened.”
Quarter 3 "Employee of the Quarter" Recipients
We are excited to congratulate Team Wall’s Q3 EOQs, Brian Barry and Mike Kelso!
Every quarter, we select one exemplary employee from each area of SERVPRO Team Wall to be recognized as Team Wall’s “Employee of the Quarter.” This quarter, we are excited to celebrate Team Wall’s Centralized team’s EOQ, Brian Barry, and our SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County office EOQ, Mike Kelso. Keep reading to learn more about Brian and Mike.
A member of our SERVPRO Team Wall for the last 2 years, Brian Barry is a valued member of our centralized team. Prior to his current role as Construction Estimator, he was Fire Production Manager. Brian is always willing to help, even when tasks that need to be accomplished fall outside of his job description. During his time with Team Wall, Brian has assisted with project management on large construction jobs and has made many estimating trips to Pittsburgh. What makes Brian an exemplary employee is that, on top of all this, Brian always takes time to look out for customers and ensure that we are addressing their concerns so that we know customers find peace of mind in their unique times of need. Thank you for all you do, Brian!
Mike Kelso has been a member of SERVPRO Team Wall for almost 7 years, as he started in 2015 as a warehouse helper and water mitigation technician before working his way up to the role of Crew Chief. For the past 4 years, Mike has been a Production Manager with SERVPRO Team Wall. Recently, Mike attained the status of IICRC Master Water Restorer, which is an impressive qualification. Mike also stays up to date with new treads, equipment, and methods in the Restoration Industry, which he passes on to his fellow team members. He even helps lead our Water Department in semi-regular training sessions. Additionally, Mike is a consistent, dependable team member upon whom we can trust to get the job done day in and day out. If a call with a serious issue comes in at midnight, we can count on Mike’s willingness to help. Taking great pride in the quality of his crew's work and the amount of knowledge he has acquired over his years in the restoration industry, Mike leads by example. Outside of Team Wall, Mike is a father and football coach. Thank you for being such an incredible asset to our team, Mike!
Heating Equipment Safety
Any time we use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety in order to decrease your property's fire risk.
It’s getting to be that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we begin to feel a chill in the air. It is this time of year when many homeowners and business owners start thinking about turning on their property’s heating system. Any time we use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety. In today’s blog, we’ll consider 3 statistical observations on the subject of heating safety risks from the National Fire Protection Agency and discuss ways in which you can prevent your property from becoming part of the statistics.
In a report based on annual averages between 2014 and 2018, the NFPA found that…
1. “Most home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.”
To prevent fires from portable heaters, be sure to keep them at least 3ft away from people and combustible objects, like blankets and upholstery.
2. “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”
Chimneys and other solid-fueled heating systems should receive professional cleaning services on an annual basis. Getting into the habit of having your chimney inspected and cleaned once every year can help decrease your property’s fire risk.
3. “Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.”
It can get extremely cold during the winter months, which makes it easy to want to keep portable heaters on 24/7. However, it is important to turn heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed, as fires can ignite when heaters are unsupervised.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Fire Damage Restoration Services
For more Fire Tips, in addition to more information about our Fire Damage Restoration services and Fire Restoration Process, and check out our website. If your home or business experiences fire damage this fall or winter, call SERVPRO Team Wall right away at (410) 229-0012 to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Storm Safety: Lightning 101
An important part of storm safety is understanding different types of lightning that you may see in a thunderstorm.
With almost any storm event, lightning is a serious human safety concern, but it also poses risks to residential and commercial properties. Even hurricanes sometimes produce lightning near the eye of the storm. An important part of storm safety is understanding different types of lightning that you may see in a thunderstorm. In today’s blog, informed by NOAA’s “Lightning Types” article, we’ll describe 3 different kinds of lightning and the property safety risks associated with them so that you can best protect yourself, as well as your home or business.
The type of lightning with which the majority of people are familiar is cloud-to-ground lighting, which means that a channel of negative charge descends from a storm cloud and is met with a positive charge from tall objects nearby, which can include trees and power lines but- most important with regards to our topic today- tall structures like homes, office buildings, and other commercial buildings as well. The unification of the negative and positive charges causes an electrical current to flow. If the catalyst of the positive charge is a home or commercial property, the electrical current generated can pose safety risks to the property and people inside of it, as it can impact the electrical system and ignite fires. One way to prevent extensive damage from a lightning strike is equipping your property with surge protectors. Additionally, if you know that there is lightning in the area, stay away from electrical appliances and refrain from activities involving water, like taking a shower or washing dishes.
Sometimes, lightning does not reach the ground. Cloud flashes describe lightning that usually remains in the clouds through what NOAA calls “intra-cloud lightning flashes.” This type of lightning is caused by “an electrical discharge between oppositely charged areas within the thunderstorm cloud,” according to The National Weather Service. While cloud-to-ground lightning may be the most dangerous type of lightning, if you see cloud flashes, a safety risk is still present. Cloud flashes still indicate that the storm is producing lightning, which means that there is risk of cloud-to-ground lightning developing.
You are probably familiar with the term “heat lightning,” but there is actually no such thing as heat lightning. According to The National Weather Service, if you see cloud flashes without thunder, what you are seeing is faint lightning flashes from a thunderstorm far enough away that you can’t hear the thunder or see the cloud-to-ground lightning generated by it.
Experience Lightning Damage? Call SERVPRO
If your residential or commercial business experiences lightning damage during a storm, call SERVPRO Team Wall. Our professional, experienced storm damage restoration specialists are equipped with the tools that will help make your property’s lighting damage “like it never even happened” after a storm. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 to get in touch with one of our team members or visit our website to learn more about our Storm Damage Restoration capabilities, such as storm restoration services tailored specifically to commercial properties, our Disaster Recovery Team for large losses, and our water restoration process. To find peace of mind after any storm emergency and restore your property to its preloss condition, call SERVPRO Team Wall today.
Why Is September Peak Hurricane Season?
Property owners should continue preparedness efforts for storm activity, even as we enter the latter portion of hurricane season.
Just last week, weather.com posted an article referring to September as the “annual peak of Atlantic hurricane season.” According to the author, a senior meteorologist at weather.com, September 10th marked the statistical, climatological peak of hurricane season, which is “when the Atlantic Basin has had the most hurricanes and named storms over the course of history.” We know that hurricane season in the northern hemisphere lasts from June 1st through November 30th, according to NOAA. September 10th does not fall exactly in the middle of hurricane season, so what makes September peak hurricane season? Additionally, this blog will also explore the options property owners have when protecting their homes and businesses during peak hurricane season.
What Makes September Peak Hurricane Season?
The weather.com article points to several factors that increase the likelihood of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic during September, including “ocean water reaching its highest temperature, the atmosphere's ability to generate thunderstorms hitting its peak, and hostile shearing winds declining to a minimum,” as well as “tropical waves,” which peak in July and carry into September. Additionally, the author includes statistical data that illustrates the peak of hurricanes on or around September 10th, as well as 77% of named storms and 87% of hurricanes in an average hurricane season occurring in August, September, and October. From this information, it is clear that, while we are currently in the most active portion of hurricane season, hurricane prevalence stretches well into the next month. This means that residential and commercial property owners should continue preparedness efforts for storm activity, even as we enter the latter portion of hurricane season.
The American Red Cross recommends that property owners prepare for two things before a hurricane: wind and flooding. To prepare for damaging winds caused by hurricanes, consider cutting back trees and bushes close to the property and secure windows with storm shutters. The best way to prepare for intense flooding is making sure that your gutters and drains are clear before the storm. Hurricanes, however, are a powerful force of nature and can cause unexpected property damage despite preventative measures. In the event that your residential or commercial property experiences storm damage in the aftermath of a hurricane, know that SERVPRO Team Wall is just a call away. At the first sight of damage, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 or visit our website to learn more about our professional Storm Damage Restoration services, Commercial Storm Damage Restoration, and our experienced Disaster Recovery/Large Loss Team. Trust SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened” after any emergency, large or small.
Fire Safety at the Fire Pit
Fire pits can cause mishaps that may lead to accidents when fire safety procedures are not followed.
Though it might be difficult to imagine right now with the summer heat still pounding down, temperatures will soon get colder. As we head further into fall, a season associated with s’mores, apple cider, and spending time outside, we approach prime fire pit season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, campfires and fire pits can cause mishaps that may lead to accidents when fire safety procedures are not followed. In this blog, we will discuss fire hazards associated with fire pits, as well as ways in which you can safely use a fire pit this fall.
Fire Safety at the Fire Pit
Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground fire pit on your residential property, it is important to have it a safe distance away from your home, as well as any other flammable objects, such as trees, bushes, sheds, and brush. Additionally, your fire pit should be made of heavy metal, brick, stone, or other non-combustible materials. A responsible adult should always be present when a fire is active in the fire pit in order to make sure that the fire does not get out of hand or leave the fire pit.
Make Safety a Priority
Be sure to abide by the safety guidelines of your fuel type, such as a propane fuel tank, and, if you’re using firewood, make sure that it is clean and dry. These precautionary measures can help prevent unwanted fire emergencies from occurring. Lastly, in case of emergency, be sure to always have fire extinguishing equipment nearby when using a fire pit. In addition to a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or bucket of water are both beneficial to have on hand when operating a fire pit.
Have a Fire? Call SERVPRO
In the event that you encounter a fire emergency this fall, know that SERVPRO Team Wall is always just a call away. Our team of trained and experienced fire damage restoration professionals will make it “Like it never even happened” and quickly restore your residential property to its preloss condition. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today at (410) 229-0012 to speak with one of our team members. Additionally, be sure to check out our website, which includes a variety of fire damage restoration resources, such as our Fire Damage Restoration services overview, Fire Restoration Process, and Fire Damage Tips pages, all of which can be helpful while you are waiting for help to arrive.