Preventing Ice Dams on Homes
Learn how to reduce your risk of ice dams.
During freezing weather, heat from your home or business can escape through your roof and melt snow on your roof. The snowmelt can then trickle down to the roof’s edge and refreeze, creating an ice dam that leaves additional snowmelt with no place to go but possibly under your roof. The following IBHS guidance will reduce your risk of ice dams.
- Keep all drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts free of debris and vegetation that may restrict proper flow.
- Remove or relocate heat sources that are installed in open attic areas directly under the roof, such as an attic.
- Insulate light fixtures in the ceiling below an unheated attic space.
- If you have penetrations into the attic, such as vents, seal and insulate them so that daylight cannot be seen and airflow is minimal.
- If ice dams form around the drains, connect heating cables to the drains to prevent ice buildup. Heating cables can also be placed on the roof, connecting them to the drainage system so a path is created for the melting ice to follow.
Space Heater Safety Tips
Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Remember, if disaster does strike, SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is Here to Help!® Give us a call 24/7 at 217-528-7775.
Annual Commercial Duct Cleaning with SERVPRO® of Sangamon County
Check your ducts regularly to avoid scary buildup!
SERVPRO® of Sangamon County knows that a business owner has a lot of maintenance issues to juggle. Ensuring the building is safe and functional takes continuous diligence and effort. One thing that can often be overlooked is keeping up with the cleaning and maintenance of the air ducts.
Air ducts sometimes don’t get the proper attention they need because they aren’t as noticeable as a leaky pipe or a cracked window. However, just because a problem can’t be seen doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
Dirt, allergens like dust and mold, and other debris gradually collect in your air ducts and HVAC system over time. This is especially true in areas where the temperature fluctuates almost daily like it does here in Central Illinois. If the air ducts aren’t regularly cleaned, then the air quality within the building could start to suffer. Mold can even develop in the air ducts if left untreated.
Not only can dirty air ducts cause health issues, they can also cost money. Air pollutants can become trapped in air ducts which then will require the HVAC system to work harder to heat and cool the building, resulting in a bigger energy bill.
Ideally, you should have your air ducts cleaned at least once a year. However, this isn’t a job you should try to tackle yourself. To make sure it’s done right, it’s a good idea to hire professionals, like the team SERVPRO® of Sangamon County.
Curious about the process or interested in an estimate? Contact our duct cleaning technicians from SERVPRO® of Sangamon County at 217-528-7775.
Staying Safe in A Tornado
Do you have a weather plan and emergency kit prepared?
To stay safe during a tornado, prepare a plan and an emergency kit, stay aware of weather conditions during thunderstorms, know the best places to shelter both indoors and outdoors, and always protect your head.
Tornadoes continue to impact locations across the country every year, bringing massive winds and destruction in their paths.
The 2016 tornado season claimed the lives of 18 individuals and injured another 325. Seventy-eight percent of those victims were in a mobile home or trailer park at the time of the tornado. These storms caused an estimated $183 million in property damage.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA)there is no guaranteed safety during a tornado. Even the possibility of a tornado must be taken seriously. Although the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and those within it, extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare. Most tornadoes are much weaker. You can survive a tornado if you follow safety precautions. Here are three important tips to help keep you safe.
TIP 1: Be prepared.
The best way to stay safe during a tornado is to be prepared with:
- fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device to listen to the latest emergency weather information;
- a tornado emergency plan including access to a “safe shelter” for yourself and for people with special needs;
- an emergency kit (including water, non-perishable food, and medication); and
- a list of important information, including telephone numbers.
Make sure your children know what a tornado is, what tornado watches and warnings are, what county or parish they live in (warnings are issued by county or parish), and what constitutes a location as a “safe shelter,” whether at home or at school.
TIP 2: Stay aware of weather conditions.
To protect yourself and your family from harm during a tornado, pay close attention to changing weather conditions in your area. If you know thunderstorms are expected, stay tuned to local radio and TV stations or an NOAA weather radio for further weather information. Some tornadoes strike rapidly without time for a tornado warning. The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
- a dark or green-colored sky;
- a large, dark, low-lying cloud;
- large hail; or
- a loud roar that sounds like a freight train.
If you notice any of these conditions, take cover immediately, and keep tuned to local radio and TV stations or to a NOAA weather radio or check the internet.
TIP 3: Know where to shelter.
Falling and flying debris cause most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
- Go to the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway).
- Avoid windows.
- For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
- Do not stay in a mobile home.
If you are outside or in a mobile home, find a nearby building preferably with a basement. If you are in a car, do not try to outrun a tornado but instead find the nearest sturdy building. NOTE: You may need to change your plans and change locations when the tornado watch is issued.
No one can know a tornado’s strength before it touches down, so keep up with local weather information, especially when thunderstorms are forecast. Prepare your home and family for the possibility of a tornado. Moving to shelter quickly is easier when everyone knows where to go, whether in your home or outdoors. Following these tips will give you the best chance for staying safe in a tornado.
SERVPRO® Service Policy
We are Here to Help!®
SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is here for you! Our highly trained specialists have the training and experience to get you through any size disaster. We know that when the unexpected happens, it is important to have someone on your side that you can rely on for an immediate response. And SERVPRO® of Sangamon County knows that a quick response time can play a key role in getting things back to normal.
Our service response guidelines ensure that we:
- Contact you within 1 hour from notice of loss to arrange for your service.
- Are on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
- Provide verbal briefing of services needed within 8 hours of on site arrival.
Exceptions to our service response times may apply if a storm event occurs.
Remember if a disaster occurs, we are here for you! Call us 24/7 at 217-528-7775.
Preventing Fires in the Break Room
Keeping a close eye on food while it cooks can help stop a catastrophe before it begins.
Keeping your employees happy and safe is an important aspect of owning a productive business. One key place that this principle goes into effect is the Employee Break Room. In making safety a high priority, you can prevent the unthinkable from happening.
Tips for a Safe Break Room:
- Review proper microwave and oven operating procedures. As they are both heating elements, they can cause serious fire hazards if left on unattended or if used improperly.
- Set up guidelines for break room capacity. By staggering lunch and break times, you can limit the number of people in the breakroom to safe numbers. This will prevent overcrowding and reduce the possibility of a safety hazard in case of an emergency.
- Be sure there is a fully operational smoke detector in the break room. Checking the smoke alarm monthly to ensure it is operational may be the first step in proactively preventing an emergency.
Remember, if disaster does strike, SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is Here to Help!® Give us a call 24/7 at 217-528-7775.
Content Storage After a Disaster with SERVPRO® of Sangamon County
We will safely box and store your items.
SERVPRO® of Sangamon County offers content storage services after a disaster occurs. We know that in your time of need, eliminating the stress of the safety of your personal items is essential. We can offer peace of mind by saving you time, providing an all-in-one service as well as a meticulous storage environment. As we are already on site to provide restoration services, we can begin the content storage process at the same time. We will log each and every one of your items into inventory with a photo so you know exactly what is being stored and where. We will then place your items in our climate controlled storage facility that provides a stable environment for your property so you never have to worry about the safety of your property. Remember, we are here for you. If you need our services, call 217-528-7775. SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is Here to help.®
Tips to Winterize Your Home
Are you prepared for when the snow starts falling?
Winter storms can range from a brief period of extreme cold temperatures, to days of snow, blowing wind and white-out conditions. Preparing in advance helps you tackle winter weather before it even begins. Run through these tips to make sure you stay cozy during this winter season.
- Seal exterior doors with weatherstripping if you feel any cold air leaks. You can use a candle to detect even the smallest of leaks.
- Door sweeps are an excellent way to stop drafts from entering the home from exterior doors.
- Seal leaks in the attic paying close attention to electrical outlets, fixtures and pipes. Also check wiring that comes into the home from outside.
- It is also a good idea to go ahead and add some insulation to the attic that will not only help keep the home warm during the winter but will help keep it cooler in the summer.
- Close the damper on your chimney when the fireplace is not in use.
- Heating ducts can leak a lot of the much needed warm air so be sure to make sure they are sealed properly. Duct cleaning is beneficial as well and is one of the many services provided at SERVPRO of Sangamon County.
- Servicing your furnace regularly will help prevent major breakdowns in the future.
- Replace the filters in your furnace monthly to optimize air flow.
- Insulate the pipes in the basement or crawlspace to prevent frozen pipes.
- Window coverings are a great way to conserve heat in the home.
For more information on winterizing your home, visit https://www.moneytalksnews.com/16-low-cost-ways-prepare-your-home-for-winter/
If you would like any information on Duct Cleaning please give us a call at (217) 528-7775.
SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is Quick to Respond
We are quick to respond to any size disaster!
SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is open 24/7, 365 days a year because we know that quick response time can make all the difference. Fast response to a damage can make the difference between restoring and replacing your business’ property and belongings. The first 24 hours are the most critical time when a major damage happens as after this first window of time subsequent damage can occur. The sooner an assessment of the damage can be made, the sooner the clean up work can begin and the sooner other problems can be prevented.
We know that closures for your business don’t just impact you, they also impact your customers and employees. So, before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean the damage yourself, call SERVPRO® of Sangamon County at 217-528-7775.
Avoid Moldy Appliances with Tips from SERVPRO® of Sangamon County
Propping the door open on your washing machine will allow it to dry.
Moisture has the potential to lead to mold and many of our household appliances work with water. If there is poor ventilation, leaks or a clogged drain, your washer, dishwasher and fridge all become susceptible to mold growth.
Here are some tips to help you stay in control of your appliances.
- Front load washers have two places that mold can grow: the detergent drawer and door seal. Make sure that you leave the door and drawer open when not in use and never let laundry sit!
- Top load washers can develop mold between the drum and interior walls. Run a Clean Washer Cycle once a month if your washer has one, do not use too much detergent with your laundry and leave the lid open after each use.
- Refrigerators can grow mold between the door seals and on neglected food. Clean spills immediately and wipe down with vinegar once a month.
- Dishwashers develop mold in the filter, silverware basket, interior panels and door gasket. Use the heat-dry function and leave the door open for awhile after use.
Taking proactive steps to prevent mold growth will lengthen the life of your appliances and keep your home healthy. Remember SERVPRO® of Sangamon County is Here to Help!® We are available 24/7 at 217-528-7775.