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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.

How Thunderstorms Give Rise to Lightning | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can cause damage in a variety of ways, with lightning being one of the most dangerous. The violent discharge of a lightning bolt can start fires, damage appliances and wiring, and even cause damage to a home’s structure when it strikes.

Between high temperatures, electrical charges and shock waves, everyone should be educated about lightning and how to prepare for it.

How Do Thunderstorms Give Rise to Lightning?

All thunderstorms have an electrical charge, which is the catalyst for claps of thunder and bolts of lightning. A quick discharge of this electrical energy can either strike across the clouds or toward the ground, manifesting as what we know as a lightning bolt.

Because oxygen is not an effective conductor, lightning often chooses to strike toward objects on its journey to the ground. In the case of this object being a building, it will use the water pipes and wiring as a conduit for travel, which is why it can cause such severe damage to a home.

How Does Lightning Cause Damage?

It is important to be aware of how lightning damages a home and what homeowners can do to stay safe.

Lightning can start fires. Because they reach temperatures of up to 500,000 degrees, a bolt of lightning can instantly ignite the wood of a home or building. As it travels through the electrical wires, its heat can also damage them and lead to the start of fires inside the walls. The local fire department should be called if your home is struck to test your wiring for hot spots and potential threats.

Lightning can damage electronics. Because lightning travels through the wiring in a home, it can transfer its charge to that wiring and anything connected to the circuit. This can cause damage to anything plugged into the wall, but can be avoided with a surge protector.

Lightning can cause property damage. Thunder is created by shock waves, which occur from the force of a lightning strike across the clouds. If lightning strikes the ground, shock waves occur then as well, which can explode masonry and shatter windows. If lightning strikes anywhere in the vicinity, it is important to inspect the home for structural damage.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Picking the Right Company for Restoration | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Business owners who have experienced a natural disaster that affects their commercial property are in a precarious position. In a recent FEMA study, they found that up to 60% of businesses are unable to reopen after a disaster.

Because of the poor reopen rate of businesses, if your commercial property has suffered fire or water damage, it is important to work with a company that understands the nuances of commercial restoration to restore the damage. Here are a few ways to know you are picking a reputable commercial restoration company:

1. They Have a Fast Response Time

In most instances of damage, the longer it goes without being treated, the more time and money it will take to restore it. That is why we have a 247 emergency line, so we can be there at whatever hour you call to start the process. Not only does this give business owners peace of mind, but choosing a company with a quick response time also allows business owners to focus their resources on other aspects of disaster recovery so they can get back in business.

2. They Invest in a Highly Trained Team

When your business has suffered damage, you want to know you can trust the team of technicians tasked with its restoration. Our technicians are fully trained in accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), as well as given access to continuing education materials and certifications to remain up-to-date in the restoration field. This allows them to be leaders in the commercial restoration industry and always continue to learn.

3. They Use the Recommended Equipment

Technological advancements have brought changes to everything in the past decades, and the restoration industry is no different. Thankfully, the IICRC has developed recommendations for the best equipment on the market, so we can ensure that the tools we are using are up to date and use the latest technology.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

House Fire Prevention

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

House fires can cause serious property damage, but they can also be dangerous or fatal to members of the household. While the most important thing is making sure smoke alarms are always operational, there are other methods for preventing house fires as well.

House Fires in Numbers

Many people would likely underestimate how frequently house fires happen. The National Fire Protection Association reports that house fires occur at the rate of nearly three per minute.

Cooking incidents are the most common house fire cause by far, but there are many other things that can lead to a flame.

House Fire Prevention Guide

Because house fires can so rapidly spread, the dangers of a simple mistake can be grave. Methods for stopping a house fire from happening are important to be aware of:

Smoke alarm maintenance. Smoke alarms are the fastest way to make everyone aware that a fire could be starting. Perform battery tests monthly to ensure they are operational, and update the unit every 10 years.

Lint disposal. The inside of a dryer can get extremely hot, and if there is a build-up of lint in the collection tray, it can easily combust. Empty the lint tray after each load to prevent this.

Open flame precaution. Most people are around open flames each day without even considering it. Cooking or candle flames can easily get out of hand and should never be left out of sight.

Wiring checks. When frayed or compromised, everyday objects such as extension cords or phone chargers can become a fire hazard. Look at wiring frequently and replace once they are worn.

Chemical caution. Flammable chemicals are often in household products, which will typically be indicated on the label. Keep these products away from direct light or heat sources.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Things You Should Know About Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water is vital for our survival, but it can also turn into a highly destructive force when conditions are right.

There are many possible ways water can damage your property—how many of them are you familiar with?

The Deal With Water Damage

During a six-year span from 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. found that the five most common causes of home claims were:

  • Exterior wind damage
  • Non-weather-related water damage
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Theft

As you can see, water damage appears on this list twice, but in two different ways. You can classify water damage as non-weather-related and weather-related.

Damage not caused by weather will be the most common and is generally caused by plumbing and appliance problems. Water damage caused by the weather can be as damaging but is not as common. This type of damage is caused by rain, snow and ice melt.

The most popular reasons for water damage in your home are malfunctioning plumbing, appliances that leak, insufficient water pipes, aged water heaters and, of course, weather.

Intervening to Prevent Water Damage

You already know that water damage is very expensive, now can you imagine if none of it was covered by your homeowners insurance? It’s best practice to review your policy so that you know exactly what is covered. Covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • Water from discharge and overflow, including accidental
  • Disintegrating or damaged pipes for a steam heating system
  • Frozen plumbing

Luckily, preventing some water damage conditions is possible—this means less muss and fuss for you.

Make use of these preventive maintenance ideas and you can help keep your home as dry as possible:

  • Hire a plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes in basement drains.
  • Raise your appliances and personal items up off the basement floor.
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts.
  • Never place grease down the kitchen drain.

By following some of these suggestions, you will be taking positive steps to protect your property.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of North Lawrenceville on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.