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Increasing Fire Safety Around the House | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

After helping hundreds of local families recover from the devastating impacts of a house fire, we have seen the importance of practicing fire safety firsthand. While we all hope to never be a victim to a house fire, it is important to do what we can to prevent the devastating impacts of one.

In order to help families practice fire safety more easily, we have taken some of the most important fire safety tips and put them in a single article for your ease of reference. By understanding how to increase fire safety, we can all be a more prepared community.

Essential Tips for Fire Safety

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. The single most important thing to do for fire safety is installing smoke detectors throughout the home. Experts recommend having one in each bedroom and making sure the system is connected, so they will alert the entire household when one unit detects smoke.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Making sure everyone in the house knows how to escape a fire once the smoke alarm sounds is the next step. Designate two exits from each room and ensure everyone practices their escape route regularly so it is memorable even in a panic.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Buying and learning how to operate a fire extinguisher is a great way to prepare for putting out a fire before it becomes a disaster. Make sure to research the different extinguisher classes so you are getting the one that will best suit your family’s needs.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Because having an open flame in a household is so common due to cooking and heating, it can be easy to forget that they still pose a very real danger and should be utilized with caution. No matter how small a flame is, never leave one in an empty room unattended.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. Some of the most alarming fires are the ones that occur while families are sleeping, and this type is also the most deadly. The good news is that sleeping with bedroom doors closed is a fantastic way to slow down the spread of the flames and give your family more reaction time when the smoke alarm sounds.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

Prevent Appliances From Causing Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can occur in the home for a number of reasons, all of which can be equally devastating. However, one of the more insidious causes of water damage comes from objects we use every day: our household appliances.

The water damage that appliances cause can go unnoticed if not guarded against, which is why it is essential to be aware of how to combat it.

Common Appliances That Cause Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
Though a complete hot water heating unit will typically last over 10 years, having to do intermittent repairs is common. Individual components can break down and lead to leaks, making it important to perform regular checks for leaks and signs of wear and tear.

Refrigerator
The lines connecting the refrigerator to a household’s water supply can often experience micro-tears or seal issues that can create leaks when they are used. While these leaks are typically small, because refrigerators are rarely moved, the damage they cause can compound and lead to far more serious issues. Check behind the refrigerator as part of your regular home maintenance to be sure that all is well.

Dishwasher
Dishwashers are similar to refrigerators in that they are rarely moved, and they also utilize a much larger volume of water, which can lead to larger leaks. Insurance coverage is not always applicable to damages from older dishwashers, so catching leaks early is key to preventing being stuck with a large bill.

Washing Machine
Hoses that run to the washing machine also uses a large volume of water and are known to leak—in fact, it is recommended that they are checked every month and replaced every five years, even if there are no signs of wear and tear to the hoses.

Air Conditioner
Air conditioning units are generally self-contained systems, as they both create moisture and drain it away as they run. However, any issues with this drainage system can cause trouble, leading to water damage both to the unit and surrounding areas. Scheduling your regular maintenance checks on time and keeping an eye on your unit is the best prevention method to keep your house cool and water damage-free.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

SERVPRO - When response time is of the essence

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville we understand the importance of responding quickly.

Recently we  received a call from an area hotel that just opened. Not only had one of their guest rooms flooded but their exercise room also. Making both areas inaccessible to their customers. Within 45 minutes, SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville was on site, extracting the water, placing equipment and commencing the drying process.

By responding quickly and providing emergency services efficiently the hotel was able to utilize it's own work out facility within 96 hours versus issuing vouchers for use at a public gym several miles away.

"We appreciate the professionalism and response time demonstrated by SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville. Their quick response to our problem minimized the disruption in service to our customers".

Remember, when you need a quick response to your emergency, call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville.

Reducing Risks for Local Small Businesses | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Keeping track of the risks to your business can feel overwhelming, as it can be difficult to know exactly what to plan for. However, one thing business owners should certainly plan to prioritize is disaster preparedness.

Natural disasters have continued to become more prevalent in recent years, and it is important to be prepared as a business owner.

Being prepared for a natural disaster has a few components that are important to master. Reviewing your insurance policy, creating a master plan and sharing it with staff, and rebuilding in the aftermath are all important elements to consider in order to reopen your business as quickly as possible.

How to Prepare for Disasters as a Small Business Owner

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and quite a few business plans do not extend coverage to the extreme damages often left in the wake of natural disasters. Understanding what your policy covers and determining if you should purchase specific coverage types in your area can prevent you from getting surprised with a costly repair bill following a disaster.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When a disaster is imminent and it is time to spring into action, it is important to know just what actions to take. Instead of getting overwhelmed in a stressful time, an emergency action plan will allow you to remain calm and go through the steps you have already decided on in order to stay safe. Be sure to take note of evacuation routes and local medical facilities in case they are necessary in your situation, as well.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
It is important to not only make an emergency action plan for yourself but to also include your staff in the procedures. Once you have your details determined, sharing it with your employees and designating those in leadership roles to host regular and varied disaster drills with the team can help everyone stay safe and know what to do in a frightening scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a disaster can make the biggest difference in how quickly you can resume operations in its wake. It is encouraged to do your research on commercial restoration companies in advance so you know exactly who to call and can ensure you will get a quick response time when it is time to begin the restoration process.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Reasons for an Increase in Cold-Weather Fires | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

While colder weather brings on many good things, many do not realize that it also brings on an increase in the likelihood of a house fire. Winter is the most common time of year for a house fire to occur, so while fire prevention is important year-round, it should be something given extra focus as the temperatures drop.

Why Are Fires More Common in the Winter?

An Increase in Cooking
Regardless of the weather, cooking is always the top cause of residential fires throughout the year, and in winter, this only increases. Because more baking, entertaining and holiday dinner celebrations happen in the winter, there is more of an opportunity for fires to occur within the kitchen.

The Risk of Heaters
The use of small heaters and fireplaces to heat the home is a great way to save on your heat expenses, as long as it is done safely. Unsafe heating is the second most common fire starter during the winter months, but ensuring any small heaters have safety features on them and always using the fireplace grate can do wonders for fire prevention.

Candles and Decorations
Holiday decorations are a fun way to bring a festive touch to your home, but it is important to exercise caution as well. Many electronic decorations have components that can deteriorate in storage, increasing the opportunity for an electrical fire. Additionally, candles always present an increased hazard, so it is essential to never leave open flames unattended.

How Can I Avoid Common Winter Fires?

Because winter fires do happen at such an increased rate, understanding the why and how of prevention is vital to protecting your household. With these wintertime-specific fire prevention tips, you can ensure you are doing everything you can to lessen the rate of cold-weather fires:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

The Impact of a Flood on Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Impact of Water loss Flooding and water losses to your home

There are many disasters homeowners must be aware of that can occur, but flooding is one of the often-overlooked events. With the rate of flooding on the rise, though, homeowners are wise to be aware of its effects.

Many scenarios can lead to a flood and flood damaged can be multifaceted. To provide you with an overview, we have compiled a list of common damage types to allow homeowners to be better prepared.

The Ways Flooding Affects Homes

Foundational Damage. The foundation of a home sets upon the soil, which can move and swell in unpredictable ways when it becomes saturated with a high volume of floodwater. This can cause the foundation to shift unevenly, leading to problems within the home’s structure.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Drywall that has been damaged by a flood will often lose its structural integrity, but that is not a clear indicator of what has been impacted. Any panels that you believe have come into contact with floodwaters should be replaced due to how well drywall can hide mold.

Insulation Saturation. A home’s insulation resides within the walls and ceiling, but if the drywall becomes soaked through, the insulation can, too. Most insulation is highly absorbent, which will not only reduce its effectiveness but also encourage mold to grow within the walls.

Temporary Frame Swelling. A house’s frame is one of the most structurally integral elements, and because they are typically constructed from solid lumber, they are not particularly vulnerable to flood damage. Once the swelling of the wood resides, they will typically remain intact after a flood.

Appliance Ruining. The appliance types with insulation will typically have to be replaced after a flood as they are vulnerable to water exposure. However, not every appliance is constructed the same way, meaning a professional should be able to evaluate the situation and give you guidance on what to keep and what to discard.

Furniture Damage. Solid, non-porous furniture such as metal and wood pieces can generally survive a flood following a thorough cleaning. However, upholstered furniture is often difficult to completely dry, presenting health concerns if it has become saturated with floodwater.

Tips for Choosing a Home Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

House is burning Whether it's your home, smoke or fire damage or a restoration need. In Lawrenceville call the experts at SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville.

It is never unwise to check up on your fire preparedness, but as winter approaches, it might be an especially good time to consider it. According to Red Cross reporting, winter sees the highest number of house fires out of any season, with instances peaking in December and January.

One of the best things you can do to keep your household safe is to create a fire escape plan. Additionally, one of the best things you can do to get your household restored quickly is to choose a company in advance to handle your restoration.

<h3techniques-for-fire-restoration">Our Techniques for Fire Restoration

When you experience a fire, you want to have your home and belongings restored back to their pre-fire conditions as quickly as possible by a company you can trust. That is why we have a three-step system to tackle restoring your belongings, so you can rest assured knowing that things will be taken care of soon. Here are the cleanings we perform:

Structural Cleaning

A fire can impact many of the structures that make up a home, including floors and subfloors, drywall and studs, and ceilings and support beams. By testing the area for damage indicators, we are able to understand exactly what work needs to be done to keep your structure sound. Once the extent of damage is found, we thoroughly clean and repair what has been effected.

Content Cleaning

Restoring contents is often more ideal than replacing them—not only is it more cost-effective, but it also keeps items that are priceless or sentimental within your home. We have tools for both wet and dry cleaning of items, meaning we can handle a variety of materials, such as upholstery, wood furniture and even artwork, as part of your cleanup.

Deodorization Services

The visible damage after a house fire is dramatic enough, but the smoke and soot left behind can also cause serious health consequences if not properly treated. We use air scrubbers that are thorough in order to remove all smoke and soot from the area instead of simply covering up lingering odors with fragrances.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

Business Owners Water Damage

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Office Business Owners and Flood Preparations | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

For business owners, one of the most important things they can do when practicing preparedness is to prepare for every type of disaster. Even if you are not in a known flood plain, considering that natural disasters involve flooding a majority of the time, it is wise to consider the possibility and plan for it.

While planning for a flood is similar to planning for other disasters, there are also flood-specific considerations to keep in mind. By taking care of these things before an emergency situation begins, business owners can prepare themselves to reopen more quickly after a disaster.

What You Should Know About Flood Preparations

In disaster planning, it is important to ensure you are considering all possibilities and planning well for possible scenarios. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Research flood maps such as the one from FEMA’s, which will allow you to find your location and further understand your risks.
  • Determine a secondary location to store copies of all your documents, making sure it is secure both against flooding and theft.
  • Get organized by using OSHA’s guidelines to create an official emergency action plan for training purposes.
  • Plan disaster drills regularly so staff has a chance to practice evacuation.
  • Be educated about your insurance coverage, as many companies require flood insurance to be a separate policy.
  • Plan for what to do if you are stranded until help arrives, and consider making an emergency kit.
  • Elevate computers on high shelves if possible.
Keeping Documents Secure

It is important to copy your essential business documents and keep them in a secure location. Be sure to include essential papers such as:

  • The outline of actions to take as you work toward reopening
  • A list of suppliers, vendors and any other colleagues that should be contacted
  • Details regarding your general and flood-specific insurance coverage
  • An instruction manual for recovering files from computer backups
  • Relevant financial documents, such as lease agreements, bank records, etc.

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

24/7 Service in Lawrenceville, Call SERVPRO

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville's green work van with SERVPRO logo at clean up site” A quick response from SERVPRO of North Lawrenceville ensures your Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Discovering damage in your home is never a fun process, regardless of the severity. However, working with a restoration company that you can trust will make a big difference in the post-damage process.

Having the reassurance that your home will be restored well and efficiently will give you one less thing to worry about during a difficult time.

What to Search for in a Restoration Company

Researching restoration companies can feel like an overload of information, but there are a few key things to look for that will be helpful in your search. It is important to get to know your restoration company in order to be sure you make the right decision on who will work on your home.

Here are our top tips for things to know about your restoration company:

The Scope of Their Work

Because there are so many damages that can compound upon one another, it is important to work with a company that is comfortable with a variety of tasks. Whether it’s fire damage that leads to hazardous air quality or water damage causing mold, we’re prepared to handle every type of damage you might wind up facing.

Their Emergency Response

There’s no time of day when homeowners are immune from damages, so being aware of the after-hours emergency response is good. With our 247 emergency line, we can respond at any hour in order to start your restoration right away.

The Way They Train

Knowing your restoration will be handled by well-trained technicians can help put you at ease while your home is being restored. That is why we train according to the restoration industry standard to ensure our technicians are well-educated in current procedures.

Their Plan for Large Disasters

Though we are a local business, we have the benefit of a nationwide network to call upon after large natural disasters. If a large-scale emergency occurs, we can join forces to provide the same level of care to the entire region.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

The Hidden Places Water Can Accumulate | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Water behind baseboards and walls How Water finds places to accumulate that are not easy to see or find. Let the professionals find it

Water damage sometimes occurs after heavy rains, but this is not the only thing that can cause it. Many issues around the house can give rise to water damage, often manifesting in secluded areas of the home.

Discovering water damage is not only inconvenient, but it is also costly. Many homeowners’ insurance policies do not consider water damage claims, and for those that do, claims are generally over $6,000. Understanding the hidden places where water can accumulate will go a long way in protecting homeowners.

Where Water Damage Might Lurk

  • Under windows. The deterioration of a window’s exterior seal can allow water to leak into the wall, causing damage that goes unnoticed until it is severe.

  • Under siding. The various overlapping points of siding panels can become leaky if not sealed properly, causing damage to the exterior walls underneath.

  • Under door thresholds. Exterior doors often have a metal base plate, which serves to protect the wood but not weatherproof it. If it is often exposed to water, the wood underneath can become soggy and weak.

  • Between exterior paint. The exterior pieces of a home that are painted many times are extremely susceptible to water damage given that moisture can seep in between the layers.

  • Under the dishwasher. Dishwashers can leak from a number of places, and this combined with the fact that they are rarely moved can be a recipe for hidden water damage.

  • Inside interior walls. Around bathrooms and kitchens, leaky pipes can begin to cause damage to the walls they are within.

  • Beneath an unstable toilet. A toilet’s seal can become worn and leaky, which is typically only noticed when the toilet itself becomes unsteady due to the water-damaged flooring.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.