Preparing for a Flood
With heavy rain comes the possibility of a flooding, whether it be caused by the sudden downpour, a nearby river spilling out over its banks, or a storm surge overfilling. Flood plains and other low-lying areas near a body of water have a high chance of flooding. The subsequent water can cause a great deal of damage that requires extensive and prompt clean up. Being prepared for a flood is in the best interest of not only your family, but also to protect your valuables and to minimize water damage. Below are some tips on how you can do that.
- Elevate Electrical Wiring
It is especially important to be prepared if your home is in a flood zone in the event of a worst-case scenario. If your home is in a flood zone, consider having a professional install or move electrical outlets, panels, and wiring to a foot above any flood levels. Ensure that appliances and heating systems are raised to a similar level, if possible.
- Waterproof Your Basement
It is recommended if you are in a place that is vulnerable to flooding, to consider making changes and renovations to the basement. Doing so could possibly deter further damage from occurring. You can begin by waterproofing the basement walls with a sealing product. Another option could be installing a sump pump and having a battery-powered backup for the removal of standing water. It is vital to ensure that your plumbing has back-up or backflow valves installed to ensure that floodwaters won’t enter you home in the wrong way. If you do not have those valves, it is recommended to call a plumber to make the installations. A water alarm in the basement is also recommended as it can sound a warning if water is accumulating.
- Store Outdoor Possessions
Keep your eyes on the news when heavy rain is expected. If you have enough time before a natural flooding event, gather any outdoor belongings that could be swept away in a flood. Such things could include: loose lawn furniture, bicycles, gardening tools, toys, trashcans, and more. It is recommended that everything be stored indoors.
- Clear Drains and Gutters
Regular maintenance of drains and gutters is suggested, especially more so in when heavy rain is anticipated. The overflow may cause more damage to your home as flooding occurs. Clearing the drains will help let the water run through the gutter spout and away from your home.
- Move Valuables to Upper Levels
Any furniture that you can move upper floors to protect them from any potential damage. Wrapping them in waterproof tarps as an extra precaution. Place large sentimental items you cannot take with you into waterproof protection. If you are evacuating you should take irreplaceable photos, documents, insurance information, and vehicle permits with you.
- Turn Off Water and Utilities
In case of an unexpected power surge, you should unplug appliances and turn off the propane take. If you are evacuating, turn off electricity, gas, and water services, especially if you see downed power lines.
If you have experienced water other damage associated with a flood, SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties is always make it “Like it never even happened. ®” Give us a call at 706-843-1990 to schedule and remediation or restoration needs.
Commercial Water Damage: The Steps to Take
Water damage is one of the most, if not the most, frequent and expensive disaster a small business can experience. Once a water loss occurs, if it is not taken care of quickly, it can easily create other damages such as microbial growth. Often these types of losses originate or are related to plumbing, roof leaks, HVAC systems, or appliances.
The First Four Steps to Take
- Locate the source of the damage. Water intrusion can happen in many places, be sure to check the pipes, plumbing, and appliances. It is also a good idea to look for any holes in the walls or roof as well. If you can locate the source, it is recommended to call a plumber to fix the problem first. However, if you cannot locate the problem, call a leak detection service as they have the proper equipment to identify the invisible issue.
- Shut the water main off if needed. If you have a leaking or busted pipe, shut it off as soon as you can to prevent further damage.
- Contact your insurance company right away. Notify your insurance company about the water damage as early as possible. Be sure to take pictures of the damages and document it as well.
- Give SERVPRO® a call. As an emergency mitigation service, we are ready to hop into action to ensure that the damage is limited. Our trained technicians are respectful, professional, and well versed in the many nuances that comes with a water loss.
Our team at SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties can walk you through the necessary steps when dealing with a water loss. Contact us at 706-843-1990 if your commercial property has experienced a water loss, we are “Here to help. ®”
SERVPRO® Can Eliminate Pet Odors
Don’t Be Embarrassed!
Is fear of lingering odors from pet dander and waste holding you back from hosting a movie night with friends and family? Have rodents or other pest animals entered into your home, leaving a not-so-pleasant scent behind? Are you at your wit’s end trying to clean up after those smells? You do not have to put up with these pesky, annoying, and embarrassing odors any longer, SERVPRO® is “Here to help.®”
The Importance of Pet Odor Removal Services
If you’re living with any type of fur covered animal, you will likely recognize that there is some type of odor to your pet. Unfortunately, many people live with pets and don’t realize they have a pet odor problem until they leave for vacation and come back, or id a guest mentions the odor. Living with odors, people can often become immune to them and no longer seem to notice them. This is known as “odor blindness” which can be embarrassing to be confronted with.
Our SERVPRO® professionals are trained in services that can eliminate strong odors with the use of our equipment and product. We will remove unpleasant and potentially harmful at the source, without harming your children or pets. From pet dander, fur, to urine deposits, we can handle all sorts of odor causing problems in your home, giving you cleaner air to breathe.
Feeling fed up with pet odors in your home? SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties can help eliminate the problem! Give us a call at 706-843-1990 to schedule an inspection today.
Fire Safety Precautions
Fires are never an experience anyone truly wants to experience. The toll it can cause a family is insurmountable. As trained professionals, we have helped in numerous instances of fire losses, here are some tips we believe can help you!
Do the Following:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as candles, stoves, and space heaters
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire; keep matches and lighters out of reach from them.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Use flashlights when the power is out, not candles.
- If you are a smoker:
- Smoke outside
- Choose fire-safe cigarettes
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butt with water before disposal.
Do NOT do the Following:
- Leave burning candles unattended, even for a minute.
- Excessively use plug ins at the same time.
- NEVER smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
Ways to Guard Against Kitchen Fire
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops - fur is flammable!
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food.
- Stay in the house while simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food.
- Keep the stove area clean and clear of things that can catch fire such as pot holders, towels, curtains, bags, and other appliances.
- If you are cooking and a fire starts in a pan, slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool as moving the pan can cause injury or spread the fire.
- Never pour water on grease fires!
If you experience a fire of any type, SERVPRO® of Augusta South can help you! For more information, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 706-843-1990.
Beware of Hurricanes
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and early forecasts are predicting another above-average year of storm activity this year! Being prepared will keep your family safe in the even you are faced with disaster.
Make a Plan
It is vital to your household’s safety to have a detailed plan organized ahead of time. Here are some guidelines to have when setting up a plan.
- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them somewhere visible at all times, as well as programmed into your phone.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit
- Locate the nearest shelter and all the alternate routes you can take from your home.
- Pet owners: pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town person that can accommodate you when your household evacuates.
Gather Emergency Supplies
- Nonperishable food and water
- Medicine supply
- Emergency power sources such as flashlights (and batteries)
- Personal items
- Important documents such as medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identifications
- A fire extinguisher, and make sure your family knows how to use it!
Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible in a stated area. Typically, experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect the winds to start. A hurricane warning is more serious, it means hurricane-force winds are expected in the area. Experts normally issue these in 36 hours in advanced to give people in the area time to prepare for the storm.
Are you experiencing the aftermath of storm damage? Don’t stress, SERVPRO® is “Here to help. ®” Our trained staff can take your call at 706-843-1990, no matter the time.
Happy Father’s Day from SERVPRO®
Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday, June 19th! It is a chance to celebrate the men in your life, whether it be your actual father, father-figures, and other paternal bonds, honoring all that fatherhood entails. It is annually celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
To complement Mother’s Day, Father’s Day was inaugurated during the 20th century of the United States. It was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd in 1910. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 – the same date it is this year! Her father, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War veteran and was a single parent that took care of six children. After hearing sermon about Anna Jarvis’ Mother’s Day at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, she became motivated to have a similar holiday that honors fatherhood. Originally, she suggested June 5th, her father’s birthday, the pastors, however, did not have time to prepare their sermons, and such the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June.
Unfortunately, the new holiday did not have much success initially. In 1913, a bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced to Congress. Three years later, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration, and wanted to make it official. However, Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation, as two earlier attempts had been thwarted by Congress. In the year 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal that accused Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus singling out just one of the two parents. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers in 1966. Six years later, the day was made a permanent holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
Don’t let the grill get out of control this year for Father’s Day! But, if it does happen, SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties is the one to call! Contact us at 706-843-1990, we are always ready to help.
Experiencing Sickness at Your Office? SERVPRO® Can Help!
A little over two years ago, the entire world as we knew it changed. Many businesses were forced to close down because of the coronavirus, a few have never been able to reopen. It has changed the way everyone goes about their daily lives, until recently. While some things appear to have gone back to normal and regulations have all but disappeared, it is still important to recognize that the virus is a part of our new normal, it has not gone away. With SERVPRO® there is no need to worry, as we offer services that can minimize the spread the potential threat of COVID-19 and other pesky viruses.
The Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned Program
Due to the coronavirus, we have developed the CSC Program, which is centered around our three C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify. Once scheduled, we will send a qualified and equipped team of technicians to fog every inch of your building. Additionally, they will wipe down and disinfect “high touch point” areas that include doorknobs, light switches, countertops, key boards, and the like. It is important to keep your customers and staff safe as much as you can.
Properties We Can Sanitize:
- Apartment buildings
- Universities and schools
- Manufacturing and industrial warehouse facilities
- Office buildings
- Government establishments
- Personal homes
If you would like to schedule a sanitization spraying, SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties can help you. For pricing and scheduling, call our office team at 706-843-1990.
Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week
In 1962 President John F. Kennedy issued a declaration for Peace Officers Memorial Day to be observed annually on May 15th, and the week of the 15th would be recognized as National Police Week. It pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died or disabled in the line of duty. President Bill Clinton would later make an amendment through Public Law 103-322 that directed the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff to honor the day of May 15th. The event is sponsored by the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and it is implemented by the FOP Memorial Committee. The day honors fallen Officers across the nation and offers support to their surviving family members and officers.
How to Observe the Holiday
There are many ways organizations, private citizens, and government agencies can observe the holiday. The most common way is flying American flags at half-staff in memory of fallen officers. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. features the names of more than 22,000 law enforcement officers (LEO) who have fallen in the line of duty. Other events during National Police Week include an annual Blue Mass, Candlelight Vigil, Wreath Laying Ceremony, National Police Survivors Conference, Honor Guar Competition, and the Emerald Society & Pipe March Band and Service. The events normally draw in about 25,000 to 4,000 LEOs, their families, and other visitors. If you are posting on social media, please use: #PeaceOfficersMemorialDay.
Don’t forget to celebrate and thank your local Police Officers! SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties wants to recognize these everyday heroes – thank you for your service!
Water Damage to Furniture
Many things happen when a water loss occurs. Flooding can be a very stressful, messy situation. Determining what, if anything, can be saved is an enormous task and it truly depends on the type of furniture you have and the magnitude of the water damage. Solid furniture is less porous and therefore has a better chance of being salvaged than particle board or upholstered furniture. If you do experience a water loss, SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties can aid with the restoration of your items.
The SERVPRO® Way
Our first step in restoring furniture is the inspection. SERVPRO® will examine and assess the furniture, taking plenty of photos and documenting the damage. Any furniture that cannot be restored will be separated immediately and the salvageable items will be moved to a dry area to prevent further damage. Then the area would be properly sanitized and dried to the IICRC standards to avoid microbial growth and the like from forming. Additionally, the type of water also has influence over how the piece of furniture can be restored.
As previously stated, wood is less porous, thus giving it a better chance to be salvaged. However, have you ever placed a cup of cool water on a wooden table, leave it there for a few minutes, and when you come back to it there is a ring of water left on it. Water takes very little time to penetrate wooden furniture. On a much larger scale, extensive damage to wooden furniture is easily accumulated within hours of a water damage. If the furniture has been saturated for more than a day, it may be permanently ruined and need to be thrown out. Wood furniture also contains glue and bindings that keep them together, if they are soaked from the water, they will need to be properly restored at length which is a time and labor-intensive process.
There is a certain difficulty that comes along with upholstered furniture, they must be first cleaned and then dried to professional standards. Often pieces can be gently pressure treated using high temperature water that kills any bacteria or other pathogens present. After cleaning the piece of potential harmful microbes, the piece is then properly dried using SERVPRO® equipment, such as an air mover and dehumidifier. Air movers are strategically placed to pass dry air over and through the furniture, as the moisture then evaporates it gets pulled into the dehumidifier.
Like with upholstered furniture, the fabric absorbs moistures and fosters optimal conditions for microbial growth. It is often recommended that a wet mattress is discarded, as is may contain hazardous material. However, if the mattress was exposed to water for a very short amount of time, it may be able to be salvaged. SERVPRO® would first start by cleaning the surface of the mattress, then resting the mattress on blocks, and placing in the sun to thoroughly dry. An air mover may also be placed to speed up the drying process. If odor is noticed, it may be an indication of mildew. Mildewed mattresses must be handled by a professional, like SERVPRO®, to properly sanitize it, if there is a possibility it can be salvaged at all. If the odor persists after cleaning, the mattress should be promptly discarded. Unfortunately, if the box-spring or mattress has been fully submerged or has been sitting in stagnant water for a long period of time, the only option is to replace it. Microbial growth is inevitable with a soggy mattress and there is a risk that it has absorbed contaminants.
SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties has certified technicians equipped with training and expertise to get the job done right. We can make the damage to your home and furniture “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call at (706) 843-1990.
Thank You Firefighters of Augusta!
This May 4th, the world celebrates International Firefighters’ Day. It is a day to thank the local firefighters for all that they do and to remember those that have laid down their lives for the sake of the safety of their community. May 4th was designated for this honor when in 1999, a wildfire occurred in Victoria, Australia, tragically taking the lives of five firefighters. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is encouraging members of the community to take place this year, below are some of their recommendations!
Shine Your Light for Firefighters
The NFFF is asking the public to light their homes in “red” to celebrate International Firefighters’ Day and share with them on social media by using the hashtag: “#Shine4Firefighters”. If you see any buildings, bridges, and landmarks across the country, please share those photos as well! They are anticipating to beautiful red lights from the Philadelphia International Airport, the Navy Pier in Chicago, and the Helmsley Building in New York City to show their support.
Share a Thank a Firefighter Art
Another thing you or you child can do to show your support is make a card for the local firefighter station. A simple thing such as this can truly brighten someone’s day. NFFF has invited people to draw, color, and share your work with them by emailing a photo of your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are posting them to social media, please use the hashtag: “WeThankFFs”.
SERVPRO® of Augusta South / Wilkes & Burke Counties would like to thank the tremendous efforts of our local fire departments, as wells firefighters across the world. Your strength and bravery do not go unnoticed!