Why SERVPRO for a Severe Weather Preparedness Plan
Coming Up With a Severe Weather Preparedness Plan | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
We count on advanced warning for some types of severe weather, but there are also those occasions where we get caught off-guard by some severe weather events.
To ensure your family is prepared for different types of severe weather situations, there are steps you can take and safety tips to follow.Creating a Family Emergency Plan
One of the best ways to be prepared for these weather situations is to create a family emergency plan.
If your family does have an emergency plan in place, so that everyone knows what to do, it is important to practice, discuss and review it at the start of various weather seasons.
If this step has not yet been completed, here are some things to take into consideration when creating it:
1. Receiving emergency alerts
Today’s technologies make it easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone that is equipped with a weather app or Google. This can provide you with valuable time in severe weather situations, in addition to the warnings and alerts that are broadcast over radio and TV.
2. Knowing storm shelter options
When living in an area where tornadoes are common, you should shelter in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement if you have one. If there is no basement, use an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes are not the only situations that require some form of storm shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.
3. Having multiple evacuation routes
A mapped out evacuation route is good, and having several routes is best as there is that possibility a route could become impassable. Hurricanes, floods and fires can cause you to evacuate quickly and knowing the routes ahead of time is a plus. Find routes with places that will allow you to stay with your pets along the way.
4. Making sure communication remains open
Cell phones are an excellent form of communication for families in an emergency, however, in some circumstances that may not be entirely possible. Cell phone towers can be damaged, phones may be lost or left behind, and phone batteries will die if there is no power to recharge them.
Your family should have an emergency communication plan in place and a safe meeting place after evacuation so that you can all meet there if separated.
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Piscataway to get the cleanup and restoration process started.
SERVPRO of Piscataway understands your situation. Whether it be Fire, Water Or Mold related we are always here to help.
Our certified trained technicians will make you feel at ease when you speak to them regarding your concerns.
We at SERVPRO of Piscataway work with all types of claims and will work with your insurance company to give you peace of mind.
Emergency Response to Claims
Restoring property is SERVPRO of Piscataway first priority. You will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.
Pretesting to Reduces Claims Expense
Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." SERVPROof Piscataway makes sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability.
Claims Inventory Service
SERVPRO of Piscataway professionals can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.
Superior, Time-Tested Training
Effective training is the best way to receive the service every customer deserves. SERVPRO of Piscataway technicians are fully trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. .
Serving Adjusters and Their Clients
At SERVPRO of Piscataway our technicians job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service and to report to you quickly with any findings. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic files are available to you within hours.
Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO of Piscataway is a trusted company for water, Fire and mold cleanups and restoration needs.
So Give us a call for all your water fire mold and restoration needs
SERVPRO of Piscataway 732-752-4445
The Importance of Your Business Being Prepared for a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
The Importance of Your Business Being Prepared for a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes? The most important key to surviving these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations.
Being prepared for those scenarios involves building a natural disaster plan for your business. This blog will cover some aspects to consider when designing that plan.<3db3e2d4d5e5ddb6bbe0ad2871435e8a>Consider This
There are many different factors you will need to consider when building a disaster plan for your business. This includes your employees as well as your assets such as equipment and merchandise.
Some of those considerations to include should be:
- How to safely protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
There have been many checklists made available to us by sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that will assist you identifying areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also show you just how unprepared you are.<3db3e2d4d5e5ddb6bbe0ad2871435e8a>Employee and Visitor Safety Is Crucial
In case a disaster were to strike without warning, a plan needs to be in place that lists procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors to follow and is extremely important.
Make sure evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all clearly marked, mark a shelter space within the building for people to use as a shelter, consider installing emergency lighting, and have designated volunteer “safety wardens” who are properly trained and ready to guide and assist with all emergency efforts.
When making a selection for a shelter space, it is always recommended to use a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. This is not always an option, so if you have no basement space, identify a small interior room on the lowest level of the building or a closet or interior hallway also located on the lowest level of the building.<3db3e2d4d5e5ddb6bbe0ad2871435e8a>The Importance of Asset Protection
If you have a business that is located in a brick and mortar building, you’ll still want to make provisions for protecting the assets that are inside. From equipment to merchandise, you stand to lose thousands of dollars when a natural disaster strikes.
Be sure to have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of these items, and yes, having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If your assets are based on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is working and the storage system cannot be damaged.
If you own your building, you can talk with a contractor to uncover areas that could be improved on in regard to structural integrity. The contractor can walk you through possible safety upgrades and advise on any areas that may not make the grade in certain weather situation.<3db3e2d4d5e5ddb6bbe0ad2871435e8a>Back to Business
When a natural disaster does occur, it is possible that your business will have to be closed due to damage, and every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is wise to have a “rainy day” fund saved to help with additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Take some time and talk with a contractor to locate areas that could be improved on with regard to structural integrity. This contractor can also walk you through possible safety upgrades and identify any areas that may not meet code certain weather situation.
Compile a list of contractors that would be available for construction concerns, and find a cleanup and restoration service that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of Piscataway, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our expertise and trained professionals are fully prepared to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Piscataway to be there for you.
Why SERVPRO Of Piscataway for Mold Remediation
What You Need to Know About Mold Remediation | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
If you ever incur a water damage situation in your home or commercial property, mold growth will likely follow. It is a known fact that mold growth can begin within 48 hours of exposure to moisture.
If you are faced with a mold issue, knowing what next steps you should take is vital, which is why we’re offering an overview of mold remediation in this blog.<5229b7261ca1f16955c7e00c5e40c5bb>Important Info on Mold Remediation
There are many companies out there that advertise for mold remediation and mold removal, but the latter of the two is false. Removing all mold from a home or business is simply impossible. A qualified restoration company focuses on mold remediation and, thereby, brings the mold levels back to normal and natural levels.
Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both inside and outdoors. Mold spores only become an issue when a minor problem is left untreated, which, in turn, creates a major mold infestation.
During mold remediation, the technicians isolate the contaminated areas. Depending on the level of remediation, this is accomplished by either closing all doors and windows or completely sealing off all doorways and openings with a polyethylene sheeting. Dust in the contaminated areas is then suppressed through misting.
Wet and mold-damaged materials are removed and discarded using plastic bags, and then all areas exposed to and affected by the mold are thoroughly cleaned and completely dried. A HEPA vacuum can be used for some cases to help remove the contamination and debris.
Once the debris is removed, the mold-affected area is then treated with a biocide and left overnight to kill the mold spores. The next day, the mold remediation technicians return and encapsulate the affected area and beyond.<5229b7261ca1f16955c7e00c5e40c5bb>What to Look for in Mold Remediation Services
If you feel your home or business may have incurred a mold problem, please act quickly and safely. Evaluate the size of the problem. If the mold-affected area is greater than 10 square feet, that is when it is time to call the professionals.
These professionals you use for your mold problem should be highly trained and certified in areas like:
- Applied microbial remediation
- Water damage restoration
- Applied structural drying
While it is true that some minor mold issues can be successfully resolved by home and business owners on their own, it is always wise to contact the professionals to ensure a quick and safest resolution to the problem.
At SERVPRO® of Piscataway, our mold damage specialists are trained and certified experts in mold remediation. If your home or business is experiencing a mold issue, contact us to begin the mold remediation process.
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Holiday Fire Safety Tips
The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires,
Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Piscataway to help your household from being a holiday fire Statistic
Residential fires during the holiday season are more than usual, with people not realizing these few simple precautions. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.
To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.
Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. The most common is food that is left unattended. It is very easy to get distracted. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.
If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.
The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)
To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn.. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames.
To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.
No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.
Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip.
When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers.
When you are cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.
6 Great Tips to Keep Pipes From Freezing
6 Great Tips to Keep Pipes From Freezing
Cold temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Freezing in a pipe creates a lot of pressure inside the pipe and can cause the pipe to burst and likely lead to serious flooding, especially when there's no one around to turn off the water. The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point. You can do this with any one of six simple steps or, better still, a combination of measures.
Not Just for Cold Climates
It is a common misconception that frozen pipes are an issue only for homes in typically cold climates. However, the homes that are actually more vulnerable to frozen pipes are those in typically warmer climates because the pipes may not be properly insulated against frigid temperatures, or they may be located in unprotected areas (or even outdoors). Abnormally cold weather puts these pipes at risk.
Wherever you live, you need to worry only about the water supply pipes, not the drain pipes. Water pipes are small, only about 1 inch in diameter or smaller. Drain pipes are 1 1/2 inches and larger and are usually made of plastic. Drain pipes carry waste water, but they do not hold water and are not pressurized like water pipes, so freezing inside drains is not a concern.
Keep the Heat On
If you or your tenants are leaving for a long period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on in your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utility bills. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipe freezes and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set above 50 F is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
Allow the Faucet to Drip
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet (such as a kitchen faucet) to warm.
Keep Interior Doors Open
Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
Seal up Cracks and Holes
Seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors, especially where the hole is letting in cold air. Use caulk or spray foam insulation (such as Great Stuff) to fill the gaps. If possible, seal holes on both the interior and exterior side of wall or floor. Cold outdoor air that gets in through holes and gaps can make a cabinet compartment, which is usually pretty cold, even colder.
Apply Heating Tape
Heating tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm curing cold spells. This can be a good solution for short sections of pipe that are at high risk for freezing and are easily accessible so you can install the tape and can monitor it for problems.
There are two types of heating tape. One type turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type must be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use; it does not have an automatic or manual on/off switch. Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.
Add Extra Insulation
Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper Insulation such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be a good answer
Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.
The Lowdown on Damaging Winds | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
The Lowdown on Damaging Winds | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
There are many concerns that come with severe storms, and damaging winds are one of them. These winds often happen with minimal warning and can wreak havoc, causing long-term structural impacts.Breaking Down Damaging Winds
Tornadoes and hurricanes are probably what first comes to mind when thinking about damaging winds; however, those are not the only ones to be concerned about.
Traditionally, damaging winds are those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be the result of a strong thunderstorm. You will commonly hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds, which differentiates them from the winds stemming from a tornado.
Damage caused by these winds can be especially devastating and destructive, causing loose objects to become projectiles. The windows and the roof can take the brunt of this damage, and if it’s extensive, can cause water damage to the home as well as the outside elements come indoors.
Anyone living in a thunderstorm-prone area can be vulnerable to damaging winds, but there are some structures that are especially at risk. Mobile homes, even while anchored, could be seriously damaged by wind gusts exceeding 80 mph.How to Protect Your Home
There are many suggestions that will help you protect your property from damaging winds, but keep in mind “reinforce and remove, the “Two R’s” of protecting your property against damaging winds.
Make sure to have your garage door professionally reinforced.
Remove and/or anchor any loose items on your property that could be moved or tossed around by the wind, such as trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture.
If you have a large or dying tree near your home, have a professional remove it and any large branches that could be blown over onto your home or break away and come through the window.
Often, damaging winds do not come when it is convenient or with advanced warning. Being proactive and practicing the above suggestions can prepare you for just those times.
Also, if you are building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure that all windows, walls and doors are compliant with the building code for your area.
If your home has been hit by damaging winds and resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Piscataway are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.
Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? SERVPRO® of Piscataway
Are You Watching for These Fire Hazards in Your Home? | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards. Because no one wants to experience the unfortunate possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, it’s important to learn and understand how you can protect your home from this harsh reality by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them.<142a5763903b2806b6236dd42c362791>Be Mindful When Burning Candles
Candle usage caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 candle-related home fires reported per day during those five years, with December having the highest number of calls during the year for home candle fires.
Of the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent and 51 percent, respectively, of the associated deaths and injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States answered calls to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candle use. These fires were responsible for 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
Never use a candle if oxygen is being used in the home. Always blow all candles out before leaving a room or going to sleep. And be sure candles are kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over.<142a5763903b2806b6236dd42c362791>Disaster Can Stem From Indoor Smoking
While cooking is the main cause of home fires, smoking is the main cause of home fire deaths. Approximately 17,200 home structure fires caused by smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes and cigars, were reported in 2014. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
All cigarettes should be doused in water or sand prior to throwing them out—and keep in mind that one out of four fatalities from smoking-material fires is not the actual smoker whose cigarette started the fire.<142a5763903b2806b6236dd42c362791>Dust Bunnies = Fire Hazards
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.
Were you aware that some kinds of glassware in your home could pose a fire risk? When sunlight passes through the glassware, the concentrated ray may ignite flammable materials. It is best to keep glass accessories away from windows and out of sunlight.
Dust bunnies are also a fire risk if left to collect near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind entertainment centers can help prevent buildup.
Check for loose electrical outlets in your home. The movement of these loose electrical outlets could possibly loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing and sparking, which could ignite a fire.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, is accompanied by water damage from the firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire, smoke or water, SERVPRO® of Piscataway is here to help you restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Fire Safety Basics For your Family
Fire Safety Basics for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
Every year in the United States, more than 350,000 house fires occur, adding up to more than $5.5 billion in property damage. These fires also lead to nearly 3,000 deaths and another 10,000 injuries.
Your best defense is to prepare in advance for a fire. That’s why it’s important for every person in your family to know how to prevent fires and understand what needs to be done if a fire occurs.
Start by teaching your kids basic fire safety guidelines at a young age. Also take a look at these three other fire safety precautions you can practice as a family:<669018f8b50995e1ce0b9333048810f5>Finding Fire Hazards in the Home
If you were to walk through your home looking for fire hazards, you might be surprised at how many you spot! Take some time to check every room as well as your outdoor space to spot and correct these hazards.
<669018f8b50995e1ce0b9333048810f5>Fire Safety for the Kitchen
- Appliances should be in good working condition.
- Check to be sure electrical cords aren’t damaged.
- Ensure electric outlets and/or extension cords aren’t overloaded.
- Light fixtures should be used with the correct light bulbs.
- Electrical wiring should never be covered up by rugs or carpet.
Home fires are often caused by cooking. That’s why it’s important to be especially careful in the kitchen.
Anyone who’s cooking needs to follow some basic cooking safety rules:
<669018f8b50995e1ce0b9333048810f5>Design a Fire Safety Plan
- Never cook when distracted or tired.
- Supervise kids and teens at all times when they are cooking.
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking on the stove. In the event of a grease fire, smother it with the lid.
- If the oven catches fire, keep the door closed and turn the oven off.
- If a kitchen fire occurs and starts to spread, leave the room and close the door.
Should a fire spark, every person in the family must know how to react and what to do—which includes how to get out of the house and where to go once they’re out.
But don’t just create a plan and not practice that plan.
You’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” Regular practice of your fire plan will make everyone involved more likely to remember the steps if an actual fire occurs.
If your family has experienced a fire and needs help restoring your home, SERVPRO® of Piscataway can help! Give us call to learn about our fire restoration services and what we can do for you.
HVAC Maintenance for Every Home | SERVPRO® of Piscataway Trivia time: Most homeowners don’t know that, according to Energy Star, half of the energy
HVAC Maintenance for Every Home/Office | SERVPRO® of Piscataway
Trivia time: Most homeowners don’t know that, according to Energy Star, half of the energy expenses for a home are a result of energy from the heating and cooling system. We all enjoy the comforts of an HVAC system, but there is definitely an investment associated with operating them—thankfully, with some basic maintenance, your investment goes much further.
Because an HVAC system is so important, it’s necessary to do regular maintenance to stop problems before they start.
Below is helpful information about how your HVAC works and how to care for it.
- As the AC runs, the cooling coils absorb water from the air and drain it away. If the drainage becomes obstructed, contamination and mold growth will build up. Regularly check drain pans and nearby surfaces for moisture accumulation to ensure water damage isn’t happening.
- For maximum air quality and efficiency, it’s recommended for you to change HVAC filters every 30 to 90 days depending on the quality and type of filter. Other ways to improve heating and cooling include ensuring a snug, secure fit when filters are installed and using the highest efficiency filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends.
- Simply keeping up with routine dusting and vacuuming in your home can do wonders for your HVAC system. By clearing this debris out, you’re stopping it before it’s able to invade the air flow system and dirty up your vents. Further the benefit by always using the highest efficiency filter for the vacuum, and purchasing one with a HEPA certification if possible.
Tip: If you’re planning to do construction or renovations, always seal off both supply and return registers. Wait to unseal them until all the dust has been removed.
- Schedule regular maintenance checkups and cleaning. While there are quite a few things homeowners can do to maintain their HVAC system, they should be done in addition to having a professional survey your system two times per year. A professional cleaning can improve air quality and allow your unit to run more efficiently, allowing your family to breathe cleaner air and see a reduction in energy usage.
If you’re interested in how getting your ducts cleaned can help with your HVAC maintenance, contact SERVPRO® of Piscataway today to schedule a consultation!