Electric Heater Safety
As winter begins to hit and temperature begins to drop, you may choose to buy a space heater for warm up your home, apartment, or work space. Space heaters are a good alternative if you do not want to turn up your thermostat to heat up your home. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent any disaster caused by a space heater:
- Leave the heater on level floor, don’t place on carpet - it can overheat and start a fire.
- Do not use in bathroom, unless it is designed for it - moisture can damage the heater.
- Keep three feet away from flammable materials and out of the way of children and pets.
- Should always be plugged directly into wall outlet, don’t use with extension cord because it can cause overheating.
- Don’t leave heater unattended, make sure to unplug when not in use.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor.
Space heaters, if not used correctly, can cause fire damage to your property. Give SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties a call today at 864-916-4160.
Scared of frozen pipes
Below a few steps, you can take to help decrease your chances of dealing with pipe bursts as a result of the cold weather:
- Leave the Heat On - This may seem self-explanatory, but if you’re away overnight or gone for long periods of time, setting your indoor temperature no lower than 55°F helps ensure your pipes aren’t as exposed to the cold.
- Insulate Pipes - Though you should always ensure your attic and crawl space are properly insulated year-round, a makeshift quick, and inexpensive way to insulate your pipes would be to wrap pipes in heat take or heat cables with thermostat control. This will work in a pinch, but we recommend properly insulating these high-risk areas.
- Seal Cracks and Opening - To prevent drafts, seal or caulk cracks and openings around windows, doors, dryer vents, water pipes. and sill plates.
Let Faucets Drip - Letting cold water drip from a faucet helps to keep water flowing throughout the pipes. As the water flows, even if it’s just a trickle, it helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
If you do find yourself in a water issue due to busted frozen pipes, make sure to call SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson, our water damage professionals are trained and certified to handle any disaster you find yourself in during these colder months.
Hoarding Clean up
What is Hoarding?
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
How can SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Help?
We communicate with the insurance company regarding the customer's contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored in our temporary storage in our warehouse so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, caseworkers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well. Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties.
Give us a call at 864-416-9160
This house was hit by a tree, which caused water damage to the inside of the structure
While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.
While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.
How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage
Backup of clogged gutters
Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.
Leaks around windows and doors
Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.
Poor drainage around the foundation
If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.
Leaks in and around the roof
Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.
Malfunctioning of a sump pump system
For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.
Leaks around chimneys and skylights
Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.
Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Oconee/south Anderson Counties is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at 864-916-4160.
Three types of water damage
This flood was caused by a recent storm in Oconee County
The phrase “water damage” is an umbrella term that describes a variety of different situations and conditions. Every incident involving water is unique and its resulting water damage varies. It may come as a surprise that even the water itself can be categorized into a variety of classifications. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification details three different “Categories of Water” that are involved in water damage in homes and businesses alike. In this blog, we’ll break down these three categories of water, which can help you assess the severity of any water damage that should occur in your home or business.
The IICRC’s 3 Categories of Water
The three water categories presented by the IICRC in its “S500 Standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration” article aim to classify water by its contamination level, “considering both its originating source and quality after it contacts materials present on the job site.” The document also asserts that the amplification of the water’s contamination level can be increased or decreased by both time and temperature.
Category 1- Clean Water
Water that is classified as Category 1 is commonly referred to as “clean water,” as the water’s source is sanitary and does not pose any risks from exposure. Category 1 water examples may include melting ice or snow, rainwater, and broken water supply lines. While it does not appear as though Category 1 water poses a significant risk, this water can deteriorate depending on how long microorganisms remain wet after exposure and the environment’s temperature. If the water develops an odor, its sanitation has likely worsened, dropping its classification to category 2.
Category 2- Gray Water
When water falls under Category 2, it is significantly contaminated. Upon exposure or consumption, humans can experience symptoms ranging from discomfort to sickness. A wide variety of circumstances fall under Category 2, including common household water damage situations like dishwasher discharge, washing machine overflow, and toilet bowl overflows. Category 2 water also includes a few surprises, such as punctured water beds and broken aquariums. Like Category 1 water, this water can also deteriorate to Category 3, also known as “black water.”
Category 3- Black Water
The most severely contaminated category of water according to the IICRC, Category 3 water, is commonly known as “black water.” Water of this category is “grossly contaminated,” according to the IICRC, and sometimes contains pathogens, toxins, or other “harmful agents.” Category 2 water is known to occasionally cause health effects, but upon contacting or consuming Category 3 water, humans can experience very serious health effects. Types of water that fall under this category include sewage, flooding that originates from seawater and rivers, as well as wind-driven rain from tropical storms or hurricanes. It is important to understand that Category 3 water is capable of carrying harmful substances like toxins and pesticides, so it is best to allow a professional to handle the situation.
We Have the Expertise That You Need
Our team of water damage professionals at SERVPRO Of Oconee/South Anderson Countiesabides by the IICRC’s S500 Standards, as every team member undergoes training with SERVPRO Industries Inc., an -IICRC-approved school. When you call us at (864) 916-4160, our team will arrive onsite immediately, identify the category of water damage onsite, and tailor the water damage restoration services to your home or business’ specific needs in accordance with industry guidelines.
This Hydroxyl is treating a kitchen that had a small fire.
Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include:
- Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors.
- Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors.
- Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors.
Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority. Fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties is proud to offer emergency board-up services. If your home has experienced a fire, or other major damage causing it to be unsafe or unsecure; we’re happy to help. Secondary damage, caused by Fire Departments attempts to extinguish the flames can leave you with broken windows, missing doors or portions of walls that can allow unwanted guests to enter your home. After you’ve experienced a loss in your home or business, it’s important to protect what remains salvageable. We provide the materials and manpower to close off any access to the structure.
- Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
- Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
- Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Causes of Indoor Flooding
This is a picture of a pipe that broke on the water heater.
Water damage usually has one major leading cause: indoor flooding. Some of the most common causes of indoor flooding are:
- Leaky or Broken Pipes: The most obvious cause of indoor flooding is leaky or broken water pipes. Pipes can burst from changes in water pressure or even a faulty setup, but regardless of the cause, pipe problems often cause a ton of damage. Leaky pipes are usually a warning sign of more problems to come. Hidden floods caused by broken pipes in your walls can even create the perfect environment for microbial growth.
- Faulty Washing Machine Hose: The most common problem with watching machines are faulty hoses. A leak in your intake hose can worsen over time and can cause flooding in your home.
- Water Heaters: Even a small leak in your water heater can cause major flooding due to its endless flow of water. Make sure to inspect your water heater on a regular basis, keeping up with maintenance to ensure it doesn’t spring a leak.
- Clogged Sewer or Drain Lines: The flow of water to and from your house can be disrupted when you have clogged sewer or drain lines. Some clogs might be benign, allowing for a slow drain that is merely an inconvenience. But those clogs can get worse over time. The clog can cause your sinks, toilets, and showers to overflow with water, resulting in major damage. This can even include backed-up sewage, causing a hazardous environment for anyone or anything that comes in contact with the affected water.
If you find flooding inside your home, call us and we will be there to help.
Air Duct Cleaning
This vent is full of dirt
Did you know that air ducts are typically the number one reason for poor indoor air quality? You can’t see them, so they’re often forgotten about. Regular inspection and maintenance could help prolong their lifespan and improve your air.
Air ducts move most of the air throughout your home, bringing warm and cold air from the HVAC unit to various areas. While they’re moving this air they’re collecting dust, pollen, dirt and debris, odors and other contaminants.
By having your air ducts professionally cleaned you can:
- Increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC unit
- Reduce the potential for mold growth
- Eliminate offensive odors
Why is PPE so Important?
Two workers getting ready to start a bio job.
Why is Personal Protection Equipment so important?
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
At SERVPRO of Oconee/South Anderson Counties we always wear full PPE, to ensure safety from and to limit the exposure of any hazards.
So no, we aren't wearing suits to look like marshmallows or a big huge banana, we are doing it for protection!!