How to Prepare Your Home for a Winter Storm
There’s nothing quite like a blizzard warning to send homeowners into panic mode. To avoid fear and frenzy, start preparing your home for severe weather conditions in the Fall. Follow these five tips and you’ll have peace of mind once a winter storm comes our way:
Trim back trees. Heavy snow can cause branches to snap and come crashing down on your home. Avoid a compromised roof by tending to your trees. Remove weak branches and those situated close enough to break a window in high winds. (If a branch cracks your window, weatherseal tape will provide a temporary seal.) Consider hiring a professional company to cut back limbs and remove sick or dying trees.
Protect your pipes. Frozen pipe bursts are one of the leading causes of property damage during winter months. To avoid a costly damage, protect your pipes from freezing conditions. Inspect pipes for visible damage such as rust or cracks and have them replaced if necessary. Protect exposed plumbing using foam pipe insulation. This cost-effective solution will guard against freezing air. You can promote warm air circulation to exterior areas of your home by leaving interior doors and cabinet’s open. Visit our blog article “Prevent Frozen Pipe Bursts” for more tips.
Use alternative sources of heat and power safely. If you plan on utilizing alternative heat sources during a power outage, it is important to have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in your home. Combustible heat sources produce CO, which has no smell. It can cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death. All fuel-burning equipment must be used outside and kept away from windows. Avoid using a chimney if it has not been regularly cleaned, as this may present a fire risk.
Prepare for melting. After the storm subsides, rising temperatures quickly turn snow to water. This may put your home at risk for flooding. Elevate critical utilities, furniture and belongings to avoid potential damage. In the event of a power outage, a sump pump will be unable to drain floodwater. Consider keeping a battery-operated sump pump on standby.
Make a plan. While certain precautions may lower your risk of encountering unsafe conditions, not all emergencies are preventable. If your home is significantly damaged by winter weather, do not attempt to ride out the storm. Instead, seek a public designated shelter. To locate the nearest shelter, text “SHELTER” and your zip code to 43362, which is FEMA’s dedicated text line.
If your home is damaged by a storm, SERVPRO of Society Hill is available 24/7 to help. We provide emergency roof tarping and board ups to prevent further damage. Our professional restoration team has the tools and expertise to repair your home. We strive to make storm damage “Like it never even happened.”
Prevent Frozen Pipe Bursts
Winter weather is rapidly approaching here in Philadelphia. As temperatures drop, the risk of frozen pipes surges. In fact, frozen pipe bursts are a common cause of property damage during winter months. These damages can cost several thousands to repair. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to lower the risk of a frozen pipe burst in your home.
Before temperatures fall, identify which of your pipes may be at risk. Those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics and garages are most likely to freeze. But subzero temperatures can also freeze pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls. Inspect these pipes closely for visible damage such as rust, cracks or leaks. Even slight damage raises the risk of a burst exponentially.
Once cold weather sets in, follow these steps:
Promote warm air circulation around your plumbing. Keep garage doors closed. Leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open. This is especially important if your sinks are located on an exterior wall.
Insulate water line pipes. Adequate insulation in attics, basements and crawl spaces will maintain warmth and slow the onset of freezing temperatures. Prevent drafts by sealing cracks around windows and doors.
Think ahead. If you plan to be away during cold weather, set the heat in your home to no lower than 55 degrees. This is especially important if forecasts predict sustained temperatures below 20 degrees.
Thawing frozen pipes:
If you suspect a pipe has frozen, take caution. If the pipe has cracked or burst, water will come flowing out and flood your home once it has thawed. Turn off your water at the main shutoff valve.
If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, take the following steps:
Turn on the faucet. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it may be, will help to melt ice in the pipe.
Carefully apply heat to the pipe. Wrap an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the pipe. Introduce warm air using a hair dryer or portable space heater, but keep these as devices far away from water and flammable materials. Never use an open flame to heat frozen pipes, as this may damage them or even start a fire.
If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe, call a licensed plumber.
In the event one of your pipes has frozen and burst, contact SERVPRO of Society Hill. We provide 24/7 emergency response. Our expert employees can swiftly repair the damage and restore your home.
How to safely heat your home this winter!
With Winter fast approaching, you already know cold temperatures are right around the corner. This means you will be heating your living spaces. Which increases the chances of possibly starting a fire. Two of the most common sources of these fires are space heaters, and fireplaces. SERVPRO of Society Hill would like to provide you with some safety precautions to take this winter when using either one of these sources of heat.
In an effort to help cut energy costs or to accommodate roommates many people use space heaters during the winter months. They are an excellent way to warm up cold rooms or provide extra heat. Space heaters can also be hazardous if not used properly. Never leave a space heater unattended especially when children and pets are around, and don’t place it near drapes, shades or bedding. Always keep them out of high traffic areas, and doorways. This will lower the risk of a tripping accident. If your heater is more than a few years old, replace it with a new model that has more current safety features such as tip-over protection. This way it shuts off automatically if it happens to fall over. Never use an extension cord to plug in a space heater. Always plug directly into an outlet on the wall. While space heaters come in very handy they can also pose serious risks. So follow these tips to stay warm safely!
Winter is a notorious time for house fires and it is vital to have working fire alarms around the house to alert everyone, but one of the main culprits is faulty fireplaces. The best way to prevent a disaster is having a professional properly inspect it. If your flue or chimney are blocked by debris or contain cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order. You should also have your fireplace and chimney cleaned before your first use every year. Always make sure your fireplace is out and cooled before going to bed, and just like the space heaters never leave the fire unattended.
SERVPRO Society Hill wants everyone to take the right steps to prevent house fires from happening. So if you take all these precautions and steps this winter you will be safe and warm in the comfort of your home!
Providing Commercial Buildings With A Reliable Resource
One of SERVPRO of Society Hill's major focus points is the large commercial buildings in the city of Philadelphia. Seeing that these buildings can be so large, you never know when, where, or how a damage may occur. That's why our Marketing Representatives are always looking to build new solid relationship's with Property Managers, and Chief Engineers of these properties. This way we can provide them with a direct contact for when disaster strikes. Just having that person to reach out to 24/7 can save a lot of time, stress, and money. Every minute you waste trying to search for the right company to call the more likely the damage gets worse. That's why the whole SERVPRO of Society Hill team is ready to respond. From the first call, to the crew being shipped out, to a full cleanup for any damage that has occurred. We know commercial buildings take a lot of work to manage, and maintain. Knowing that you have someone to call from SERVPRO of Society Hill when the time comes makes your job a lot easier!
Important Steps To Follow When Dealing With an Active Fire!
Here at SERVPRO of Society Hill we care about you and your families well being. In the terrible case that you have to deal with an active fire here are some safety tips to get you and your family to safety as fast as possible!
- Always have an escape plan/route mapped out that everyone in your family knows if a fire should ever occur.
- Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
- Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
- If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
- If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
- If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.
Following these steps will greatly increase your chances of getting to safety quickly and no harm. SERVPRO of Society Hill is available 24/7, and ready to help with the aftermath of a fire!
Preventing Water Damage During the Fall & Winter Seasons
Imagine leaves falling, or the first beautiful snowfall of the season. While these may be some wonderful sights of nature, they could also become problems for your home. First off when the weather gets cooler we will all see the leaves begin to fall from the trees, most of which make it to the ground. While some get trapped in the gutters of homes, left unattended, gutters and drains will become clogged. This leaves nowhere for water to flow, and could potentially leak into the house. The same of which can go for snow and ice. If snow is melting, and then refreezing it could be causing ice dams to build up, and doing further damage to the gutter. Ice dams put weight stress on gutters this then could also pop up shingles, which leads to water damage to the roof, and ceilings in the home. Water damages, left untreated, can then bring the risk of mold growth and health effects. So it's always important to have your gutters properly cleaned, and secured before the leaves begin to fall. Especially before the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Just know that if any of these problems do occur, SERVPRO of Society Hill is ready no matter the damage or weather!
One Team One Goal When it Comes to Water Damages
SERVPRO of Society Hill has dealt with our fair share of storms over the years. We all know how devastating something such as a hurricane can be especially when you may live by the water. Flooding and then mold occur and can completely ruin your home, building, or business. SERVPRO of Society Hill takes pride in how we come together across the country to help those in need. We have traveled far and wide for the largest of damages. We understand how important it is to get your life back together so with all the franchises across the country we band together to get towns, cities, states back up and running. With our tractor trailers of equipment and vehicles filled with employees ready to repair everything as soon as possible. We understand your property hold value to you in more ways than one and we want you to have that comfort knowing we care and we go the extra mile to handle a disaster recovery. Just know that you can call SERVPRO of Society Hill for any job no matter how big or how small. We can handle it!
The Dangers of Floodwater
With all these tropical storms and hurricanes affecting our country during these times, your health and safety is SERVPRO of Society Hill's top priority. According to the Centers of Disease Control, floodwaters can pose several health risks and cause injuries, infections, chemical hazards, and more. Never drive through flooded roadways, and avoid contact with floodwater when possible as it may contain downed power lines or electric currents from a home or business; human or livestock waste; household, medical, or industrial hazardous waste; debris; or wild animals such as rodents and snakes. If the water has entered a structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is also to be considered black water and could be hazardous to your health. This is why it is very important to act quickly and contact SERVPRO of Society Hill to cleanup all the damages and health risks that come with floodwater.
Dealing With Inner City Vandalism
One thing about SERVPRO of Society Hill is that we are a “one stop shop”. Not only do we specialize in fire and water damage restoration and cleanup; we specialize in vandalism and graffiti cleanup! In many areas of Philadelphia vandalism can happen on a reoccurring basis and require a lot of time set aside to cleanup, paint over, or tear down the damaged area. As we know vandalism can range from small pranks like throwing eggs at someone’s front yard to completely destroying someone’s house from breaking windows or spray painting on their private property. Luckily, SERVPRO of Society Hill specializes in both minor and large vandalism and graffiti cleanup and restoration. If you ever encounter such a damage please know you are in good hands when you call us here. We care about you getting back up and running. Don’t worry when someone intrudes and tries to destroy your personal property, SERVPRO of Society Hill will act fast and efficient to restore your personal items and remove all vandalism and destruction from your home or commercial building.
Commercial Fire Damages
Living in or working at a commercial building can be a nice luxury. It can also bring on some dangers that are out of your control. A careless tenant or employee could cause some serious damage not only to there property but everyone surrounding them as well. Fires can be the biggest threat to everyone in the building depending on the size of it. If this disaster were to occur SERVPRO of Society Hill is here to help out with any damage the fire may done to the property. Even if you do not have any structural damage, smoke damage is very likely. Soot on walls an a lingering odor are some of the issues you may have to deal with after a fire. This is when are certified trained staff comes in to get rid of these problems. We have all the chemicals needed to clean any affected areas and remove the smoke odor. Don't let someone else's mistake bring you down and destroy your life. Call SERVPRO of Society Hill to help put it all back together!