Everything You Need to Know About Frozen Pipes
Pipes can freeze in the event that temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Winter weather, as appealing as it may be to the eye, poses its fair share of serious property damage risks. Regardless of how much damage winter weather causes, SERVPRO Team Wall is always ready, standing by with the resources, experience, and expert knowledge to restore your commercial property to its preloss condition. This blog will discuss one specific, cold weather issue that commercial properties frequently face: frozen pipes. We will also share tips from the American Red Cross about ways in which you can protect your property from the water damage and property damage that can result from burst frozen pipes.
Pipes can freeze in the event that temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Uninsulated pipes located outdoors or in unheated areas of your business can be at increased risk of bursting. Pipes in basements and crawl spaces are at especially at risk of freezing. When temperatures get cold, be sure to look for signs of freezing, like frost or no water coming out of your faucets.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
According to the American Red Cross, there are a few different ways to prevent pipes from freezing when temperatures drop. Letting water drip through your faucets periodically is one such suggestion. They also suggest adding insulation to pipes in unheated areas. This will help maintain a safe temperature for the pipes. In heated areas of your property, consider keeping your nighttime thermostat temperature and your daytime temperature the same. While lowering temperatures at night can save money, maintaining a steady indoor temperature can help keep your pipes warm enough to prevent them from freezing.
Dealing With Burst Pipes? Call SERVPRO Team Wall
In the event that your commercial property’s pipes freeze and burst, SERVPRO Team Wall is standing by with our expert storm and water damage restoration team and our cutting-edge equipment. To learn more about our commercial water and storm damage restoration capabilities, visit our website. The moment you discover frozen or burst pipes in your commercial property, immediately call your local SERVPRO Team Wall office, SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, at (717) 510-6779. Breathe a sigh of relief and trust SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Kitchen Fires: How to Be Prepared
Developing an understanding of potential fire hazards in the kitchen and becoming aware of fire safety best practices are both ways to be prepared.
The kitchen is often a popular gathering spot year-round, but especially during the holidays. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that in 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, which illuminates the prevalence of cooking fires during the holidays. Developing an understanding of potential fire hazards in the kitchen and becoming aware of fire safety best practices are two critical steps to take in order to help promote fire safety in the kitchen this holiday season. Keep reading for 3 proactive fire safety tips to keep in mind while cooking.
1. Create Space in Your Kitchen
The NFPA recommends creating a “kid-free zone” around certain dangerous areas of the kitchen in order to keep children away from cooking areas. However, this is a helpful tip for everyone spending time in the kitchen – not just children. Consider keeping at least 3 feet between guests in your kitchen and cooking equipment like stovetops and ovens.
2. Keep a Lid Nearby
The kitchen stove, according to the NFPA, is involved in the majority of kitchen fires. If a small fire ignites while cooking on the stove, it is beneficial to have a lid at arm’s reach, as it can facilitate the process of smothering the fire. By having a lid for your pan nearby, you can quickly reach for it, slide it over the pan, and turn off the burner upon first notice of a fire. This tip, however, is not helpful with oven fires. In the event of an oven fire, it is best to keep the oven door closed and the oven off.
3. Be Prepared to Handle a Fire
When you discover a fire in your kitchen, it is important to make a quick decision to either fight it or call for help. While action must be swift, your decision should be a thoughtful one. If you have any amount of doubt in your ability to sufficiently extinguish the fire, call 911, move everyone out of your home quickly and safely, and close the door behind you to prevent the fire from spreading. On the other hand, if the fire is small or if you have a fire extinguisher nearby and you feel confident in your ability to extinguish it, you may be able to handle it on your own. When in doubt, do not hesitate to call 911.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Residential Fire Damage Restoration
In the aftermath of any fire damage situation in your residential property, SERVPRO Team Wall has your back. Available 24/7 for professional residential Fire Damage Restoration services, Team Wall is here to help quickly restore your home to its preloss condition. For more information about the ways in which we can remove smoke odors, protect your fire damaged belongings, and rebuild fire-damaged structures, check out our website. Give our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West office a call at (717) 510-6779 today to learn more about our Fire Damage Restoration offerings. After any fire emergency, know that you can trust SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened.”
What You Can Do: 3 Ways to Minimize Damage After a Storm
It is of the utmost importance to prevent further damage if your commercial property endures a storm.
If your commercial property endures a storm, leaving your building with storm or water damage, it is of the utmost importance to prevent further damage. Being proactive during the downtime before help arrives can be especially beneficial in this regard. In today’s blog, we’ll share 3 tips that can help in protecting your commercial property from unnecessary damage while you wait for the storm damage restoration experts to arrive.
- Stay Away from the Affected Area
The mix of standing water and electricity poses a risk for electrocution, which makes it imperative that people stay away from rooms that have experienced water damage until professionals have restored the affected areas. Electrical appliances, wiring, and outlets, which are common for rooms in commercial buildings, can pose additional safety risks if they are located in water damaged areas. Keeping people out of affected areas is a critical first step, but it is crucial that you refrain from turning on the lights or unplugging electrical appliances, as these actions can threaten the safety of those occupying the commercial building.
- Turn Off the Water Source & Breakers
To best protect yourself and others working in your commercial building from safety concerns such as electrical shock, shut off the water source and turn off the breakers as soon as water damage is discovered after a storm.
- Protect Your Building’s Belongings
Valuable items, such as documents, retail items, equipment, and other products, are commonly housed in commercial buildings. Moving valuables away from water damaged areas facilitates drying. Additionally, it is beneficial to assess them for damage as soon as possible in order to prevent further water damage.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Commercial Restoration Services
Storms – big or small – and the damage that they leave behind can cause tremendous stress and challenges for commercial property owners. Trusting SERVPRO Team Wall and our storm damage restoration professionals, however, can help you find peace of mind. Don’t hesitate – call your local SERVPRO Team Wall office, SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, at (717) 510-6779 to learn more about our Commercial Storm Restoration offerings. Wondering how SERVPRO can help your commercial property after a storm? Check out the pages on our website dedicated to our other related offerings, from general Commercial Restoration to Commercial Water Damage Restoration services. Finally, in the event of larger storm events, our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team can be of assistance, as we have an extensive network of teams located across the country, offering services 24/7. Call SERVPRO Team Wall immediately to make it “Like it never even happened” and prevent further damage.
A Recap of Florida's Hurricanes and Hurricane Season 2022
Strong storms, like hurricanes, can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, hurricanes can even make landfall as late as November.
The end of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season left its mark on Florida, as both Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole impacted Florida communities. SERVPRO Team Wall and our Disaster Recovery Team had the opportunity to serve affected communities in Florida. Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida within a relatively short time of each other, wreaking havoc on residential and commercial properties alike. To learn more about where Florida’s 2022 hurricanes fit in the grand scheme of the Atlantic hurricane season, continue reading.
Florida Hurricanes 2022
Upon making landfall in Southwest Florida in mid-September, Hurricane Ian resulted in a devastating number of casualties, left many without power, and caused significant damage to properties. Only 43 days later, another hurricane, Nicole, hit many of the same Florida areas without power once and sending first responders on search and rescue missions. The hurricane double-whammy of Ian and Nicole may appear to be an anomaly, but something similar happened in 2004. 18 years ago, Hurricanes Charley and Jeanne, which both made landfall in Florida in 2004, impacted almost the same areas of the state as Ian and Nicole. Additionally, the same amount of time lapsed in between the two storms. Considering this information, what can property owners in Florida and across the country learn from this information?
Call SERVPRO with Any Storm Emergency
Strong storms, like hurricanes, can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, hurricanes can even make landfall as late as November. As we have seen in the case of Hurricane Nicole, a November hurricane isn’t a rare occurrence. Rather, it is a very real possibility, especially for coastal states like Florida. In the event of any emergency, call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West at (717) 510-6779 for professional Storm Damage Restoration services. We also offer storm damage restoration services tailored to commercial properties, perfect for commercial businesses. Our website also includes information about our other storm-related offerings, such as our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team that aids communities following strong storm events such as hurricanes, as well as our residential and commercial Water Damage Restoration services. You can count on SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened” after any emergency.
Commercial Roofing and Water Damage
Having a clear idea of what to look for on the interior and exterior of your commercial property’s roof can help prevent further water damage.
We often say, “out of sight, out of mind,” which directly relates to today’s blog topic: Detecting water damage to commercial roofing. Since our roofs are not something we see on an everyday basis, how can we tell when it has experienced damage? In today’s blog, we’ll share tips for how to spot water damage in commercial roofs. Having a clear idea of what to look for on both the interior and exterior when inspecting your commercial property’s roof can help prevent further water damage. Keep reading to learn more.
On the interior of your property, you may see several indicators of water damage to your roof. Leaks and puddles of water are classic signs of water damage. If you see water spots, which are damp areas of discoloration, on the ceiling, this may be a sign of roof damage. Seeing or smelling mold is yet another sign that there could be a leak emanating from your property’s roof.
When inspecting your roof from the outside, it is possible that you might find cracks and tears on the exterior of your property. These are often the result of aging, but water can seep into these small areas of damage, which risks water damage to your property. Puddles of water on your commercial property’s roof may also indicate an issue with your roof’s draining system. It can be easy to ignore this but, if the water doesn’t move, your property will be at risk of roof and water damage. Lastly, if water is visibly leaking into the seams of your roof – this happens when your roof seams loosen – make sure to get the help of a professional right away. Being proactive is crucial in this case, as the faster you take action, the better you can prevent further roof damage.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall with Water and Roof Damage
Learn more about our Commercial Restoration and Building Services by visiting our website or giving us a call at (717) 510-6779 to speak with one of our knowledgeable SERVPRO Team Wall team members. Our website is also the place where you can find more information about our Water and Storm Damage Restoration that we offer for commercial and residential properties alike. Upon your first discovery of damage, don’t wait – call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West. Trust our professional restoration and construction services to make it “Like it never even happened” for your commercial property.
Employees of the Quarter: Q3 2022
This quarter, we are excited to celebrate Team Wall’s third quarter EOQs, Brian Barry and Bobbie Wylie!
We select one exemplary employee from each area of SERVPRO Team Wall every quarter to be recognized as Team Wall’s “Employee of the Quarter.” This quarter, we are excited to celebrate Team Wall’s Centralized team’s EOQ, Brian Barry, and our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West office’s EOQ, Bobbie Wylie. Keep reading to learn more about Brian and Bobbie.
A member of our SERVPRO Team Wall for the last 2 years, Brian Barry is a valued member of our centralized team. Prior to his current role as Construction Estimator, he was Fire Production Manager. Brian is always willing to help, even when tasks that need to be accomplished fall outside of his job description. During his time with Team Wall, Brian has assisted with project management on large construction jobs and has made many estimating trips to Pittsburgh. What makes Brian an exemplary employee is that, on top of all this, Brian always takes time to look out for customers and ensure that we are addressing their concerns so that we know customers find peace of mind in their unique times of need. Thank you for all you do, Brian!
SERVPRO of Harrisburg West’s Office Manager, Bobbie Wylie, is this quarter’s “Employee of the Quarter” for Team Wall’s Harrisburg office. Since starting with Team Wall almost a year and a half ago, Bobbie has been an integral part of our team. Despite being with us for only a short time, Bobbie has about 16 years of experience in the restoration and insurance industries. What makes Bobbie a truly exemplary employee is the fact that she goes above and beyond, surpassing expectations every day. She lends a helping hand to other departments in administrative training and supports her teammates whenever help is needed. Bobbie is skilled at maneuvering around hurdles and solving problems in order to ensure that our customers receive the best possible customer service. We are grateful to have you on our team, Bobbie!
Fire Safety With Heating Equipment
Whenever heating equipment is used, fire safety is important to discuss, as even small oversights can result in devastating accidents.
There’s a chill in the air, which means that it’s getting to be that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we start thinking about turning on our home or business’ heating system. Whenever heating equipment is used, fire safety is important to discuss because of the number of fires heating system malfunctions and accidents cause every year. By taking into consideration 3 statistical observations on the subject of heating safety risks from the National Fire Protection Agency, today’s blog will discuss a few different ways in which you can prevent your property from becoming part of the statistics.
An NFPA report on the subject of fire safety with heating equipment, based on annual averages between 2014 and 2018, found that…
1. “Most home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.”
Keep combustible objects like upholstery and blankets 3ft away from portable heaters in order to decrease fire risks.
2. “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”
Solid-fueled heating systems like chimneys should receive annual, professional cleaning services. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned once every year can help decrease your property’s fire risk.
3. “Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.”
During the winter, when the weather is cold, it can be easy to want to keep portable heaters turned on 24/7. When you leave the room or go to bed, turn off your portable heaters, as fires can ignite when heaters are unsupervised.
Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Fire Damage Restoration Services
You can find more Fire Tips, as well as more information about our Fire Damage Restoration services and Fire Restoration Process, on our website. This fall and winter, call SERVPRO Team Wall at (717) 510-6779 in the event that your home or business experiences fire damage this fall or winter. Trust us to make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 Types of Lightning in a Storm
Becoming familiar with these 3 different types of lightning is an important part of storm safety.
Nearly every storm event presents lightning and, with it, serious concerns for human safety. All the while, lightning also poses risks to residential and commercial properties. Hurricanes, which we do not often consider to be storms capable of producing lightning, do sometimes have lightning near the eye of the storm. During a thunderstorm, there are 3 common types of lightning you may see. Becoming familiar with these 3 different types is an important part of storm safety. Today’s blog will explain the 3 common types using information from NOAA’s “Lightning Types” article, but we will also discuss safety risks associated with each lightning type so that you can be informed, which is the best way to protect yourself and your home or business from lightning dangers.
Cloud-to-ground lighting is the most dangerous type of lightning for properties. This type of lightning occurs when a channel of negative charge shooting down from a storm cloud meets a positive charge from tall objects like nearby trees, power lines, and tall structures like homes and commercial buildings. In the event that the positive charge comes from a tall property, the unification of the positive and negative charges causes an electrical current to start flowing, posing safety risks to properties and people inside of them if a fire ignites as a result of an electrical surge. To prevent damage from a lightning strike, it is best to protect your property with surge protectors. If a thunderstorm is in your area, even if you don’t see lightning, it is beneficial to step away from electrical appliances and avoid activities involving water, such as taking a shower or washing dishes.
From time to time, lightning never reaches the ground. When you see flashes of light in the clouds but no lightning bolts, what you are observing is known as cloud flashes. In cloud flashes, the lightning usually remains in the clouds through what NOAA calls “intra-cloud lightning flashes.” According to The National Weather Service, “an electrical discharge between oppositely charged areas within the thunderstorm cloud” causes cloud flashes. Even though we know that cloud-to-ground lightning is a more dangerous type of lightning, cloud flashes still pose safety threats, as they indicate that the storm is producing lightning, so cloud-to-ground lightning could develop at any time.
It may come as a surprise to learn that there is no such thing as heat lightning. So why are we including it in this blog? The National Weather Service states that if you see cloud flashes without thunder (what we normally call “heat lightning”), what you see is actually faint lightning flashes from a thunderstorm just far enough away that your eyes can’t see the cloud-to-ground lightning it is generating or hear the thunder that accompanies it.
Experience Lightning Damage? Call SERVPRO
If lightning from a storm causes damage to your property, call SERVPRO Team Wall as soon as possible for fast, 24-hour service that will restore your home or business to its preloss condition. With top-of-the-line resources and professional, experienced storm damage restoration specialists, we specialize in making your property damage “like it never even happened” after any storm. At the first sign of damage, pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West at (717) 510-6779 to speak with one of our team members. Be sure to also check out our website for more information about our Storm Damage Restoration capabilities, including storm restoration services tailored specifically to commercial properties, our Disaster Recovery Team for large losses, and our water restoration process.
Did You Know?: September Is Peak Hurricane Season
Property owners should continue to take proactive actions to protect their properties even as we enter the last portion of hurricane season.
An article declaring September as the “annual peak of Atlantic hurricane season” was posted on weather.com just last week. The author, a senior meteorologist at weather.com, explains that September 10th marked the statistical, climatological peak of hurricane season, a time in which “the Atlantic Basin has had the most hurricanes and named storms over the course of history.” Hurricane season in the northern hemisphere begins June 1st and ends November 30th, according to NOAA. As we know, September 10th does not fall exactly in the middle of hurricane season. Therefore, we might ask: what makes September peak hurricane season? In today’s blog, we will answer this question and share options that property owners have when seeking to protect their homes and businesses during peak hurricane season.
What Makes September Peak Hurricane Season?
According to the weather.com article, among the factors that increase the likelihood of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic region during the month of September are “ocean water reaching its highest temperature, the atmosphere's ability to generate thunderstorms hitting its peak, and hostile shearing winds declining to a minimum,” as well as “tropical waves,” which peak in July and carry into September. The author also references statistical data illustrating the peak of hurricanes on or around September 10th. Additionally, the data shows that 77% of named storms and 87% of hurricanes in an average hurricane season occur in August, September, and October. Based on this information, we can deduce that, while we are currently in the most active portion of hurricane season, heightened hurricane prevalence stretches well into the rest of September and October. As a result, residential and commercial property owners should continue to take proactive actions to protect their properties from increased potential storm activity, even as we enter the last part of hurricane season.
According to the American Red Cross, property owners should prepare for two primary things before a hurricane: wind and flooding. Cutting back trees and bushes close to your property and securing windows with storm shutters are two steps you can take to protect your property from damaging winds. With regards to flooding prevention, it is imperative that your gutters and drains are cleared before the storm, as this will allow for increased drainage. All the while, hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that can cause unanticipated property damage even when preventative measures are taken in advance. If your residential or commercial property undergoes storm damage in the aftermath of a hurricane this hurricane season, SERVPRO Team Wall has your back. Pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West at (717) 510-6779 at the first sight of damage. You can also visit our website to learn more about our professional Storm Damage Restoration services, Commercial Storm Damage Restoration, and our experienced Disaster Recovery/Large Loss Team. After any emergency, take solace in knowing that SERVPRO will make it “Like it never even happened”for your residential or commercial property.
Fire Pit Fire Safety Tips
Focusing on fire safety when operating a fire pit this fall can help decrease the risk of unwanted fire damage.
With summer heat still present in the September air, colder temperatures seems far off in our future. However, fall is right around the corner, which means that, alongside the s’mores, apple cider, and time spent outdoors that we associate with the season, fire pit season is also upon us. The National Fire Protection Association tells us that campfires and fire pits can cause accidents that may lead to injury. Today’s blog will share a few ways in which you can safely use a fire pit this fall, while avoiding fire damage to your property.
Fire Safety at the Fire Pit
There are two different types of fire pits: In-ground and above-ground. Regardless of which type you have on your property, it is always crucial to keep the fire pit situated a safe distance away from your home, as well as any other flammable objects, such as trees, brush, bushes, and sheds. Material is also important in reducing fire risk. Your property’s fire pit should be made of a non-combustible material, like heavy metal, brick, or stone. Lastly, whenever a fire is actively burning in a fire pit, a responsible adult should be present at all times in case the fire gets out of hand.
Make Safety a Priority
If your fire pit is not wood-burning, make sure that you follow the safety guidelines of your fuel type. Likewise, if you are using firewood, ensure that it is dry and clean. While these precautionary steps may seem trivial, they can have a tremendous impact on the safety of your property, as they can prevent fire emergencies. However, accidents happen, and that’s why it is beneficial to always have a fire extinguishing device on hand when using your fire pit. A fire extinguisher is a helpful tool, but a garden hose or bucket of water sitting nearby can also be a helpful tool that can quickly douse a fire if needed.
Have a Fire? Call SERVPRO
Focusing on fire safety when operating a fire pit this fall can help decrease the risk of unwanted fire damage. However, there are always fire risks and hazards present when igniting a fire in a fire pit. If your property experiences a fire emergency, SERVPRO Team Wall is available to your 24/7. Working diligently to restore your property to its preloss condition, our team of trained and experienced fire damage restoration professionals will make it “Like it never even happened” after fire emergencies large and small. For more information, call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West today at (717) 510-6779 or peruse our website, which features a plethora of our fire damage restoration resources, including our Fire Damage Restoration services overview, Fire Restoration Process, and Fire Damage Tips pages.