Winter Warnings vs. Advisories
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants to help you to be prepared for the upcoming winter weather. The National Weather Service will issue advisories and warnings. It is important that you understand these and know how to prepare for winter and to be Winter Safe.
- Blizzard Warning- Winds or gusts to 35 mph or more for at least 3 hours and lots of falling or blowing snow reducing your visibility to less than ¼ mile.
- Winter Storm Warning- 6” or more of snow, or a combination of winter weather types with major impacts.
- Ice Storm Warning- ¼” or more of ice accumulation.
- Winter Weather Advisory- Less than 6” of snow, Less than ¼” of ice accumulation from freezing rain, Visibilities reduced in blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph, Combinations of these.
- Wind Chill Warning- Wind chills of -25°F or colder with winds of 10 mph or higher.
- Wind Chill Advisory- Wind chills of -15°F to -24° with winds of 10 mph or higher.
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is here 24/7, 757-934-8404.
Winter Weather- Be Prepared
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following actions before the harsh winter weather hits.
Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow, can cause damage to the property as well as potential personal injuries.
Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can cause roof damage and interior water problems.
Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave cabinet doors open, allowing warm air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting the water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
Ask your SERVPRO of Suffolk professional about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin
Winter Car Safety Tips
Snow is a lot like liver and onions. You either love it or hate it. But, if you find yourself stranded in your vehicle in the middle of a snow event, you can either hate the fact that you weren't prepared for it or love that you are.
Mother nature can be a real beast. In fact, she's a killer. And when it comes to a snow event, the best idea for safety is to stay off the roads and keep warm and safe at home. However, that isn't always possible. When you find that you must venture out on snowy and icy roads, you know to stay alert, drive a little slower, brake according to road conditions... But what if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck and you must wait for help in a disabled vehicle in dangerously cold, wet weather?
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin wants you to be prepared in the face of any hazard that may cross your path, whether flood, fire or treacherous travel conditions.
Please take a moment to look at the list (below) of the suggested items to keep in your vehicle. Just a little bit of preparation can keep a little emergency from becoming a catastrophe.
Stay warm and carry on! And tune in to AM 1310 on the radio to stay alert to the latest weather conditions.
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin
Keep These Things in Your Vehicle:
Bag of rock salt
Wool blankets/one for each passenger
Leatherman or Swiss Army knife
Two quarts of oil
First aid kit
Prescription and OTC medications
Winter boots, scarves, hats and heavy winter clothes for each passenger
Music/games for young passengers
Ice Dams - Winter Weather Hazard
Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. Cold weather, snow and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or your office.
Ice dams form when the heated air melts the roof snow downward and the melted water runs into ice that is still frozen causing the water to dam up. When this water is trapped, it cannot flow or run into the gutter system and can back flow under the roof shingles and into the interior structure of your house or business.
Ice Dam damage:
- Water can seep into your home or building’s walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior areas.
- Ice dams can lift roof shingles causing water to leak into your home.
- Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off your gutters and lead to structural damage.
Our friends at Nationwide blog about Preventing Ice Dam Damage to Your Roof and Home.
If this disaster strikes, you need to take immediate action to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin franchise professionals have the winter storm experience and expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. Call 757-934-8404 today.
Prepare Your Home
Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather
- Keep your cabinet doors open during cold spells as this will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep a slow trickle of water running through your faucets, especially those that run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
- Consider shutting off your outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn to “off.”
- If you do shut off your outdoor faucet, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
- Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good shape, secured. Leaves and such can clog and cause a damming effect which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
- Proper maintenance of your furnace, HVAC system can help reduce the risk of puff backs.
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin is available 24 hours a day, 757-934-8404.
What is Efflorescence, and is it harmful?
According to The Masonry Institute of America, Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues. Efflorescence (which means "to flower out" in French) is the dissolved salts deposited on the surface of a porous material that are visible after the evaporation of the water.
Porous materials like brick, stone, concrete, and wood have the ability to wick up water. If the water contains salt, once the water evaporates from the building materials it leaves behind efflorescence.
Efflorescence can often be confused with mold. However, not to worry, this is not something that is toxic or harmful.
The best way to remove efflorescence is by acid washing the area. After the wash is complete, neutralize the area with baking soda. You want to make sure to neutralize the area because acid residue can be harmful to plants and animals.
If you have efflorescence that you would like to have looked at and cleaned up we are here to help. Give us a call, SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.
Commercial Maintenance Needs- Be Sure to Keep Them Up
It’s very important to keep up with your commercial maintenance needs because this can prevent damages to your property. Things like checking your hot water heater to see when the last time it was replaced or checking the condensation lines coming from your air conditioning unit are quick and easy preventative measures. These are just some of the things you can check to prevent damages to your home.
Most water damages come from a preventable source such as your hot water heater or air conditioning condensation line. With hot water heaters, you should replace them every 8–12 years. A replacement will vary with the severity of your local weather, the design of the unit, quality of installation, and the maintenance your unit has received. With an air conditioner condensation line we would recommend cleaning it once a year to maintain a blockage free line.
There are plenty of websites that explain how to do these things yourself but we would recommend that if you are not a professional, you should hire a professional to perform maintenance on your home. Performing these two quick and easy checks can go a long way in preventing any potential issues.
If you should encounter any problems, remember to Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.
Cool Fall Temps Can Bring an Increase Risk in Fires
There is a chill in the air, beautiful colors outside, football on the TV, and an abundance of decorations to be put up. With everything going on in the fall, it is easy to forget that autumn can be a dangerous time for fires. It is very important to be prepared and aware of your surroundings.
As you start to put up the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, remember that dried flowers, cornstalks, and bales of straw are all highly flammable. Pair this with the candle-lit Jack-O-Lanterns along with other open flames and there is a recipe for disaster. It is very important to be careful and think about the way you decorate. Be sure to keep any flames far away from anything even remotely flammable. It is also very important to keep all exits clear of all decorations.
SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin isn’t the only one stressing fire prevention in the Fall. Each October, the National Fire Protection Association observes Fire Prevention Week. It is a week designated to encourage people to evaluate their surroundings and make sure that they have a plan in place in the event of a fire. It’s a great time for schools and families to teach children about fire safety.
Even if you don’t have children, take some time this month to make sure you have a plan in place. Make sure you have up to date fire extinguishers at the ready and fresh batteries in your smoke detectors. Always remember, no one ever expects a fire to happen. A good plan and fast action can turn a total loss into a small claim.
Call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin with any fire-related needs, we are here 24/7, 365 days a year, 757-934-8404.
Residential Water Damage
Water damage can happen at any time of the day and anywhere within your home. Examples of possible water damages are toilet clogs, dishwasher leaks, refrigerator line leak, hot water heater, and pipe bursts to name a few. When a disaster happens in your home, our team of trained and licensed technicians will walk through the disaster with you along with the entire drying process.
At the end of the day, your home is the biggest purchase/investment ever. We are here to help you in a time of need when you need us the most and we understand the amount of stress that a loss can do to a person. Any type of disaster to your home can easily be the worst day of your life.
If a tragedy ever happens to your home, whether its a basement flood, water heater burst or sewage backing up into your toilet, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin, 757-934-8404.
Primary vs. Secondary Water Damage
When waters flood your home or business, you may not worry about how the resulting damage was caused. However, understanding the difference between secondary and primary damage can help you make smart decisions about the cleanup process. Black mold, for example, may not grow in your flooded home if you act quickly.
Primary damage is anything that happened at the time of the flooding. This can include the following:
- Broken pipe
- Damaged building materials
- Waterlogged furniture
Many residential water cleanup professionals consider primary damage to be anything done at the time of the flooding before the waters stopped flowing.
Secondary damage, therefore, is anything that happened once the initial flood stopped. Often, this type of destruction takes place when flooding is not noticed for days. Black mold can start to grow if stagnant water is left unattended, for example. Slow reaction times aren't the only thing that could cause your home to continue being damaged after flooding has stopped. A poor cleanup technique can also attribute to this destruction.
For example, if your home is not completely dried out, there may still be a higher-than-normal humidity level. This high humidity can degrade fabrics, warp wood floors or encourage the growth of mold spores.
For any of your water damage concerns, call SERVPRO of Suffolk/Smithfield/Franklin at 757-934-8404.