7 Home Maintenance Tasks To Tackle In October
Temperatures are dropping and the days are growing shorter. But before you go hog wild with the Halloween decorations and settle in for that horror movie binge session, take some time to prep your home for winter’s onslaught.
1. Clean your dryer vents.
2. Seal your outdoor surfaces.
3. Stow that hose.
4. Inspect your gutters and downspouts.
5. Have your chimney inspected for cracks, breaks or even bird nests before your first use.
6. Test and upgrade any fire protection inside your home.
7. Be sure if using any portable heaters, they are placed safely. Look for heaters that have automatic turn offs when tipped or timers for duration.
With freezing temps just a month or so away, now is the perfect time to ensure your house is safe from any fire dangers.
Contributing To Your Local Charities During Holiday Months
The holiday season is fast approaching! It is crazy how just yesterday it felt like we were celebrating New Years and now it is close upon us again. It is very true what they say...as you get older the time just flies by! I say this as a reminder that we all need to slow down and take a look at what goes on around us. All our local communities have individuals who are struggling to make ends meet, especially with so many out of work from the pandemic. People are starting to get back on their feet but it is slower for some. Take time to reach out to local organizations who work year round to supply the needs of the less fortunate. Take time to realize that there is so many people who struggle daily. It may be out of your circle of friends, it may be out of your neighborhood. Our office is small but each year we try to donate what we can to a local charity close to our home office. Our employees bring in turkeys during the holiday season; blankets/coats during winter. Find ways to give your employees a little boost to help others; we do it on a daily basis anyways when cleaning a fire or drying out a house! One of our managers is also a part owner of a local CrossFit gym. Each holiday season, the gym puts on CF Bingo and has one square dedicated to "donate 5 items to ..." We collect and deliver to the local charity. Each gym member then gets entered in for a gift card drawing. It is as simple as that! Find ways to get your employees involved and offer incentives for donations. A very simple gesture that can help so many during the holiday season!
February 2021 Artic Freeze
Water damage from the February freeze, not mitigated by the customer. 2 months later, several areas of the home have mold present.
This last February, our state experienced an unprecedented freeze that crippled much of our state. On top of the Covid 19 Pandemic, homeowners were dealt this loss of electricity in some areas and pipes bursting from the week long freeze. Many people were left waiting for a mitigation team to assist them, some deciding to just take care of the damage themselves. As our temperatures begin to rise and areas not mitigated fully; homeowners may soon start to see areas of mold growth. Contact SERVPRO of North Tulsa at the first sign.
If you’ve ever been curious about where a certain odor was coming from and almost went crazy looking for the source, there’s a chance it might have been caused by water damage. But how does water damage cause such foul smells, and what can you do about them? SERVPRO of North Tulsa provides large-scale restoration services and has experience dealing with this issue. Here, they explain a few ways odors can occur and how you can handle them.
Although it often starts out as merely a nuisance, water damage worsens over time. Seeping water can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which is when foul odors start to emerge. Water triggers mold to release spores, creating a sickening stench. Odors can also be a result of other contaminants. For instance, when a sewer backs up, the resulting smell comes from the sewage that’s inside your home.
So, what can you do about it? Well, this is one mess you definitely shouldn’t try to clean up yourself: Water damage, especially at the level where it’s producing odors, always calls for a professional touch. Additionally, if there’s any form of sewage present, you’ll need professional sewage cleanup services to remove all the hazardous and toxic materials. The same is true for mold cleanup. And remember: It’s important to call an expert right away. So whether you just noticed a leak or your home recently sustained a flood, now’s the time to contact a specialist. If you wait, the damage could become more expensive to repair and may cause health effects.
If you have water damage and need a crew that can handle large cleanups with ease, get in touch with SERVPRO of North Tulsa. Their friendly staff can help with all types of large-scale damage. To find out more about the services they offer, call 918.371.0222. Our team will complete a thorough moisture check with approved meters as well as infrared camera to determine cause, level of damage and begin to take care of the damage.
Be prepared during our Oklahoma storm season
Oklahoma storm season is fast approaching, and with it, comes the reminder of what has happened in the past storm seasons that has left many without power, property damaged and even loss of lives. This time however, we need to take sometime to prepare ourselves. It’s the responsible thing to do. Like a wise man once said, To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Here is a broad list of ways that you need to prepare for the storm season in Oklahoma. While this article is specific to Oklahoma, I’m sure you can apply it other areas of the US.
Have a Plan
Sounds simple but if you don’t have a plan of response you may find yourself panicking and doing all the wrong things. The first thing you need to do is sit down and discuss with your family or friends about the best actions to take. It may surprise you to find that although this is a tornado state, many people have not taken time to plan for a possible tornado storm.
Let your family know where to seek shelter, where the emergency kits are (you’ll need to put one together), and how to stay connected during the storm. At the same time, discuss different scenarios that can occur during a storm and how one would react to it.
Prepare Emergency Kits
The next thing you need to do is put together an emergency kit for you and each member of your family. This emergency kit should, at a minimum, contain non-perishable food, emergency blanket, water, pocket knife, first aid kit and a change of clothes, a flashlight, and an emergency radio. Have all this in individual bags that are easily accessible by members of your family. Sometimes a tornado can develop very quickly when you are at work while your kids are at home so make sure they know where these kits are.
Families with pets need to take extra caution to also have emergency kits for their pets. Depending on the type of pet, you may need the following:
- make sure your pet has a tag and that the information on the tag is current,
- have a recent photo of your pet for identification purposes,
- pet food
- first aid kit
There’s a more complete list of items you need for your pet here: https://www.ready.gov/animals .
Know Where To Take Shelter
Where you shelter during a storm in Oklahoma is very important as it may mean life or death. You need to think of shelter in a number of scenarios:
- when you’re at your home: you need to figure out if your home is safe enough for you to shelter there or not,
- when you’re at work: most commercial buildings are not built to withstand the kind of tornadoes in the state so it’s better to find a shelter near your workplace,
- when you’re on the road: it is strongly advised that you try and get to a shelter as soon as you can or if it’s too late, find a ditch to hide in
Communicate with your loved ones about these scenarios so they’re also aware about what to do before the storm.
Importance of keeping your gutters clean!
Customer's first indication was the backsplash was pulling away from wall. Mold was found during mitigation work.
It certainly isn't the most fun weekend project, but it's an important one nonetheless. While it's certainly easier to procrastinate cleaning out your gutters, there are a number of problems that can arise from debris building up.
People don't often stop to think of the issues that can arise from clogged gutters, but there are actually many. If water is not able to properly flow away from your house, then damage can result in a number of different locations, from your roofing to your foundation. There are number of reasons to make sure that your gutters get cleaned out. Here is a look at a few of those reasons.
When leaves and other debris clog up your gutters to the point that water is flooding over, you can end up having issues with rot on your roofing. This is one of the main reasons that it's important to keep your gutters clean.
Keep Out Pests
Clogged up gutters can be appealing to a number of critters as a nesting site. From birds to mosquitoes, a bed of damp leaves can be alluring.
Damage to Fascia
The fascia is that board that runs right behind your gutter. Overflowing water can damage this important component of your gutter system.
Each of these areas can cause water to enter your home during heavy rains, snow storms or ice storms causing issues that may not be seen for some time.
Importance Of Fire Safety In the Fall
October 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week. As summer turns to fall, it's a good idea to refresh your memory on fall fire safety tips.
*Ensure all smoke detector batteries in your home or office have been checked.
*Get your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC contractor every year before using it.
*Be especially careful when using space heaters. Ensure you have at least 3 feet of empty space. Also make sure you turn off when leaving your home.
*Have your chimney inspected and if needed cleaned before using in the cold weather. Repair any cracks present and have all debris removed from your chimney.
*Go over with all members of your household your fire escape plan and practice several times.
Your Immediate Call And Our Quick Arrival
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls and contents. SERVPRO of North Tulsa arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. The quicker your call to get a mitigation team started, the less damage and cost to you or your insurance company.
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and contents.
- Water damaged contents can leave furniture stains in carpet, which in turn can ruin the flooring and have to be removed.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture can begin to swell and crack.
- A musty odor appears in carpet and clothing/linens.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, baseboards, casing and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
Immediate action on the customers part is essential as some insurance companies will deny your claim if they find during their inspection that the loss was sitting for a long period of time.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem:
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From FreezingBefore the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
SERVPRO of North Tulsa Biohazard Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, SERVPRO® of North Tulsa County Professionals offer fast, reliable biohazard cleanup to residential and commercial property owners. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. Your local SERVPRO® of North Tulsa County Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® of North Tulsa County Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
SERVPRO® of North Tulsa County Professionals can help with:
_ Bloodborne Pathogens
_ Sewage Backups
_ Black Water Intrusions
*State and local regulations vary. Contact your local SERVPRO® of North Tulsa County Professional for 24-hour Emergency Service.
Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup
Service Response Guidelines*
Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service.
Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services.
Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.
*Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation. 918.371.0222
24 Hour Emergency Service
SERVPRO of North Tulsa County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of North Tulsa County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today 918-371-0222
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of North Tulsa County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of North Tulsa County
SERVPRO of North Tulsa County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.