As the weather begins to change, this should be a time to review and ensure that you and your family are ready in case an emergency should occur.
In addition to your family, there are many local and community organizations that work closely on a daily basis to ensure that proper planning is in place.
CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) train volunteers to prepare for many types of disasters that may occur in your local or surrounding areas. These individuals are trained in CPR/AED, first aid & emergency response.
Remember too, if you have a disability, there are several organizations throughout communities that keep lists so that these individuals can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency. Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging or Emergency Management Services offices.
If you have questions about what services and/or organizations are available in your community or on how to become involved, contact your local Emergency Management Services office for more information.
More Than Just Remediation
Here at SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties, we are more than just your fire & water restoration company to call to get the job done. We also offer the following services:
CLEANING - Ceiling and wall cleaning should be a part of your maintenance of your home or business. Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt, dust, pet dander, cooking oils, grease & other contaminants. Whether preparing for painting or just keeping it looking professional, we can help!
DOCUMENT DRYING - When documents or photographs get wet extreme caution needs to be taken to ensure tat the water doesn't damage or destroy the document. We offer five different types of drying techniques to help restore and minimize the damage done.
DRAYWALLY REPAIR - Repairs are often required after accidents, remodeling, water or fire restoration. Did you know that your local SERVPRO offers not only the mitigation of damages to your home, but we can also repair the affected space and return it to it's original state? We offer several specialists on hand to tend to your carpentry, electrical & repair needs.
What Is a Puff Back?
Furnace 'puff backs' occur most often in the winter. A puff back is a misfiring of your furnace that can send soot throughout your home, covering furniture, cabinets, walls, linens and everything in between. The consequences can be severe, but SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties can work closely with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home.
A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car. The explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace or boilers exhaust system throughout your home.
The soot is not just a powder-like substance, but is black and sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to start a claim, which will usually cover your home and contents affected by the puff back.
Here are some helpful tips on what you should do, should a puff back occur in your home: (1). Assess the situation and the amount of damage that was done; (2). Wash all affected clothing and fabrics in the house - some may require professional cleaning; (3). Throw away all exposed foods; (4). Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning furnace; (5). Call SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties to take care of the cleaning of the soot and chemicals.
SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties will work closely with you, your insurance agency and your adjuster to ensure that the job is done as quickly as possible to get you back to your normal, daily routine.
Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Professional cleaning can address moderate & heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you schedule a cleaning depends on the soil build up, traffic, type & color of carpeting. A good rule of thumb would be to call SERVPRO to scheduled your professional carpet cleaning every 12 months.
Even the highest-quality items can soil over time. Today's carpet & upholstery materials vary drastically. Your local SERVPRO offers several options to match any type of upholstery. There are a large range of cleaning methods available to suit your particular needs.
Getting Ready for Colder Temperatures
With Winter approaching there are several steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures. Most steps that are taken are inexpensive, and take little time, but can help avoid property damage. Following are a few tips to consider before Winter arrives: (1). Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic; (2). Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature to the 'warm' setting; (3). Replace your furnace filter; (4). Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home; (5). Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean; (6). Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets (7). Remove any window air conditioners; (8). Close off rooms that are not used and shut the vents.
Fall Has Arrived!
As the Fall season has quickly approached, there are a few things that homeowners can do to be ready for the upcoming Winter season that will be creeping up on us before we know it!
(1). Keep those rain gutters and spouts clear of dirt & debris. Be sure to clean out the old leaves, stick and dirt before the first storm. This can help to cut back on ice dams forming on your home that could lead to water damage to the interior of your home.
(2). Be sure to have your heater serviced by a professional. It's recommended that once a year you have your heater checked by a professional to ensure that the filter is clean, gaskets aren't worn and all water lines are secure.
(3). Maker sure that piping that may become exposed to severely cold temperatures is wrapped in insulation and ready for winter.
(4). Be sure to replace weather stripping, and seal any windows and/or doors that may need done.
Although we can take every step necessary, there are still times when damages can occur. Be sure to call your local SERVPRO should any situation arise. We are available 24/7.
Mold Remediation Services
Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source (i.e., rain water, broken pipe, sewerage backup, etc.)
Mold can spread in as little as 48-72 hours and can produce allergens and irritants. If you suspect that your home or business may be infected, our trained technicians here at SERVPRO can come out and inspect your property and inform you of the requirements and steps to take to properly handle your situation. It is very important to repair/fix the source of the water since mold spores thrive on moisture and can quickly grow into colonies.
With the amount of rainfall and snow accumulations in the Allegany & Garrett County areas, it's important for our customers to know that we are equipped with the training, equipment & expertise to handle the situation.
Steps To Take
If you find yourself in need of our services for a water emergency, here are some steps to take:
1. Inspection & Water Assessment-we will carefully inspect your property's water damage determining the type of water damage and the areas affected.
2. Water Removal/Water Extraction-Gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. We will start this as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.
3. Drying and Dehumidification-After the bulk of the water has been removed, we use specialized equipment to target the water that's harder to access including air movers and dehumidifiers.
4. Cleaning and Sanitizing-Items like furniture, clothing and personal items can also be damaged. We can clean restorable items as well as sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
5. Restoration-The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. This can be a minor or major project depending on the damage incurred.
CE Class Information
Recently Held CE Class
Several CE classes are offered throughout the year by SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties. Here are two of the courses provided with a brief description of "What You Will Learn".
ETHICS-The premise for this ethics course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried or otherwise disengaged.
Each and every day we are faced with decisions that could cause harm to others or ourselves. Facing ethical decisions can be very difficult, especially when we make decisions that may seem correct at first, but we later find out were not so great. As part of this course we will become involved in group activities that will help reinforce what has been learned, as well as the ability to better deal with ethical decision-making in our own lives.
RESTORATIVE DRYING FOR WATER DAMAGE- This course has been designed to provide a better understanding of the restorative drying process that takes place after a water damage loss occurs.
Key elements of this class include: (1) How water damage impacts the insurance industry; (2) Understanding water damage; (3) Inspection services & emergency services; (4) Monitoring the drying process; (5) Psychrometrics (the science of drying); and (6) Water restoration services.
What Is The IICRC?
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. It serves as an independent, nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards of ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.
The IICRC offers certifications in several categories of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration. As well, there are Journeyman certifications available to those individuals advanced levels of recognition which are achieved by having several certifications in select categories and a minimum of three to five years of experience in the cleaning/restoration industry.
Here at SERVPRO of Allegany & Garrett Counties our technicians are IICRC certified and contiue their education and certification throughout their employment. As new certifications become available through the IICRC, steps are taken to ensure that our technicians are certified in the latest techniques and services.