It’s that time of year again, where we decorate for the holidays. We here at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, love the lights. But, we always make sure to check for safety issues. We wanted to share some tips with our customers we found below:
Before Hanging Holiday Lights
There are several things you need to do to ensure that your Christmas lights are safe before you hang them up.
- Verify Proper Rating- Bargain lights aren't a good deal if they pose a fire hazard. Only use lights that have been tested and rated by Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) or Intertek (ETL Semko). Strings of lights that have a safety rating are clearly marked, both on the packaging and with labels attached to the electrical cords.
- Check for Fraying- When you remove your holiday lights from storage, check the cords to make sure they are not frayed or otherwise damaged. Hanging lights with damaged cords can lead to an electrical short. This can damage your other lights and holiday decorations, as well as potentially lead to a fire. If you discover damaged strings of lights, throw them away.
- Use as Directed- There is a big difference between indoor holiday lights and outdoor holiday lights. Before hanging lights, make sure that you are using the fixtures only in the environment in which they were designed to be used.
- Choose Locations Carefully- Avoid hanging holiday lights near any item that poses a potential fire hazard, such as candles, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. Make sure bulbs aren't too close to loose paper or any other flammable materials that present a safety hazard.
- Hang Carefully- Never use tacks, staples, or nails to hang up your holiday light display. Instead, use insulated holders designed especially for this purpose.
Please stay safe and enjoy the holidays! If you need us, we are here 24/7 for your emergency needs. Yes, even on the holidays.
Extension Cord Safety
The holidays are right around the corner, and the lights are going up. As the holiday lights go up, so does the chance of electrical fires from faulty cords and such. At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, SC we check our extension cords to make sure they used properly and in good working condition. We wanted to take the time to remind you to check those cords, and make sure you are using them properly.
“The following are do’s and don’ts provided by TDI/DWC for working safely with extension cords:
- Check cords for damage before use.
- Ensure all equipment and extension cords have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
- Fully insert the plug of an extension cord into an outlet.
- Keep extension cords away from water.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters in damp environments.
- Store extension cords indoors.
- Unplug extension cords when not in use.
- Only use extension cords temporarily; permanent wiring should be installed when use of the cords is no longer temporary.
- Use an indoor extension cord in outdoor environments.
- Attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
- Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
- Overload cords.
- Force a plug into an outlet.
- Use a wet extension cord.
- Overheat an extension cord.
- Drive over a cord.
- Drag an extension cord.
- Place cords under rugs or carpets or in busy areas.”
As always, we do not want to see any of our customers suffer a fire, so feel free to call us anytime at 843-884-2258, for any help.
Steps to Restore
SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant wants you to know the steps we take to make your home “Like it never even happened” after a fire.
- We first assess the property, see how far the smoke went, check the materials on the property, get measurements, and make a list of what needs done to restore the property.
- Once we have a clear scope of the damage to the property, we sit with the crews and go over a plan of action.
- Once the crews arrive at the property, they get to work to promptly restore the property. This can be anywhere from cleaning walls, carpets, to packing the whole home up, having all fabric materials washed, and taking out burnt materials.
- One the steps we use is deodorization, this helps to get out the nasty smoke smell.
The one thing we want our customers to know is they can ask us anything, no question is too small or too big. We will give or get you the answers. If you ever have a fire emergency, feel safe in calling us at 843-884-2258
We cannot stress enough the importance of being ready!
Does your business have an Emergency Ready Plan? Did you know 50% of businesses do not re-open after a loss? Usually the ones that do re-open had an Emergency Plan in place. As a business owner ask yourself the following:
- Who contacts the fire department
- Who contacts management
- Who gives building entrance
- Who will clean up the mess
With a plan in place, these things are listed. This way your staff knows what to do. At SERVPRO, we offer a free ERP to all our local businesses. Did you know that, an ERP saves time and money?
An ERP contains details like:
- Facility details such as shut-off valve locations
- Key employee and emergency contacts for the building
- Mechanical information about the building
- Priority areas in the building
- Secured areas and access points in the building
- Insurance contact information
- Property over view information
- Line of communication for authorizing work to begin
Call us at 843-884-2258, and let us talk to you about what we can offer. We are here 24/7 for emergency needs.
We at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, team up with some of the best companies out there to handle your mold needs. We have a company that we recommend for testing. We often get asked ‘why we don’t do the testing ourselves?”. Well, that could be a conflict of interest, since we clean the mold up. We want you, as our customer, to be in god hands. Once it is confirmed to be a mold problem, we assess the damage. If you have clothes or fabrics that need mold removed, we have a textile place to get them done too. So, we want our customers to know we are here from beginning to end, to make it “Like it never even happened”.
If you suspect mold or are just have questions, call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24-7 for your emergency needs, and 8am to 5pm, weekdays for anything else.
Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July! We hope our community has a safe and fabulous holiday. We have found some tips, to help stay safe with fireworks. First, we want you to know some statistics. “Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.” That is just fires, not including injuries. So, please stay safe and follow these tips.
“Recommended Safety Tips
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.”
As always, if by some chance you have a fire; which we hope you don’t, call us at 843-884-2258. We are here 24/7 for your emergency needs.
Good News For Hurricane Season 2018
Good news! New studies show 2018 Hurricane season will be less active than originally thought. “The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is increasingly expected to be less active than average, according to an updated seasonal outlook released by Colorado State University.” We do our best at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, to watch all these conditions, so we can prepare ahead of a possible storm. The reasons for the new predictions are listed below:
“There are several reasons these outlooks are calling for lower numbers in 2018:
- Atlantic Ocean Temperature Patterns
A pattern of cooler-than-average water temperatures has persisted and expanded in the eastern Atlantic and in the central northern Atlantic.
The Weather Company compared sea-surface temperature anomalies in June for inactive vs. active hurricane seasons and found that the current pattern more closely represents inactive hurricane seasons.
Atlantic Basin sea-surface temperature anomalies as of July 2, 2018.
Temperatures between the Lesser Antilles and Africa are supportive for tropical growth nearly year-round, but the warmer the water in that region, the more likely a tropical cyclone is to develop, all other factors (wind shear, atmospheric moisture, forward speed, etc.) held constant.
Should this pattern of cooler-than-average ocean temperatures continue into the heart of hurricane season (August, September and October), we can expect less tropical activity east of the Caribbean.
The Gulf of Mexico, while supportive of tropical storms and hurricanes, has cooled relative to average since May. Subtropical Storm Alberto was able to develop over these waters in late May.
- Transition Toward El Niño Becoming More Possible
Waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean have warmed above average but are still short of El Niño conditions as of early July.
The latest outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, released June 14, forecasts neutral conditions to last through much of the summer, if not into the autumn, before El Niño conditions potentially take over later this fall. This is a few months earlier than forecast in earlier outlooks.
The atmospheric component of this global atmospheric and oceanic phenomena is, so far, also leaning toward a less active season than originally thought. Dr. Michael Ventrice, The Weather Company meteorological scientist, noted model guidance suggesting the atmosphere's response to this warming water may finally be shifting toward what you'd expect from an El Niño.
FEMA atmospheric scientist Michael Lowry also noted wind shear over the Caribbean Sea was abnormally strong in June, taking on the overall look of a hurricane season feeling the effects of a developing El Niño.
Conditions across the Atlantic this June were reminiscent of #ElNino years, with high Caribbean wind shear and cool waters in the deep tropics. Let's hope these hostile conditions persist into the heart of #hurricane season.
11:11 PM - Jul 1, 2018
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Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist and head of the CSU tropical forecast team, emphasized in the CSU July outlook that while a weak El Niño may develop, the main reason the team adjusted its late-May forecast down was the cooler tropical Atlantic water, rather than the equatorial Pacific warming.
A faster warming of the Pacific, or a quicker transition toward El Niño, could mean fewer storms and hurricanes, especially toward the end of hurricane season.
- Increasing North Atlantic Oscillation
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), defined as a pattern of pressure gradients over the northern Atlantic Ocean, is expected to remain positive through the next few months.
Both the Azores-Bermuda high-pressure system and the Greenland low-pressure system are strengthened in the positive phase of the NAO. This creates a stronger pressure gradient and increased wind between the two systems. This also creates more wind around the Azores-Bermuda high
Typical setup for the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation.
In the winter, this means a quicker storm track for winter storms crossing the northern Atlantic, but in hurricane season, it may bring a few less-than-favorable conditions:
- Gustier winds across much of the subtropics and North Atlantic.
- Cooler water temperatures.
- A slightly faster tropical wave track across the Atlantic.
The positive phase of the NAO decreases the chances of an active year.”
Even though, the season is supposed to be less active; always be prepared.
If you need any help, call us at 843-884-2258
Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season
Hurricane season 2018, started June 1st. Are you and your loved ones prepared? FEMA offers many tips, for preparing and even has an app, you can add to your phone. We start a list of homes that are in high flood areas, before a storm hits. It’s better to be prepared.
“Make A Plan
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household”
If you need any help,call usat 842-884-2258
Resources by: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
We often get asked questions about mold testing. “Mold testing can tell you if you have a mold problem in your home. Mold tests can also help you find hidden mold, measure your indoor air quality and identify what species of mold is in your home.” There are a couple different types of testing available.
Mold Test Kits
You can purchase mold test kits which you can use to collect mold samples yourself. This is a less expensive option than having a mold tester test your home. The samples you collect will be sent away to a professional mold testing laboratory which will get back to you with the results.
Multiple Mold Tests
A mold test gives you a snapshot of the amount of mold particles in a certain area at a certain time. But the amount of mold spores fluctuates over time and from place to place.
Because of this it's a good idea to test at several different times and in different locations in your home. This way you will get a more complete and accurate picture of the mold problem in your home.
Types of Mold Tests
The three main types of mold tests are:
- Air testing
- Surface testing
- Bulk testing
Ideally you should use all three types of tests since each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Air Testing for Mold
Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home's air. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope.
Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. However the amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.
Surface Testing for Mold
Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are collected by swabbing, tape lifting or other methods. The sample is then examined in a laboratory.
Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren't spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can't identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.
Bulk Testing for Mold
Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home. The material is then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the material can then be examined under a microscope. Bulk tests can tell you if you have a mold problem and give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.
Culture Tests for Mold
Culture tests are where mold particles in a sample from the home are grown into larger mold colonies in a lab. This way culture tests identify the species of molds in houses.
Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. However dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can't always identify the species of molds.
Why You Should Test for Mold
The main reasons for having mold testing performed in your home are:
- You notice signs of mold such as a mold smell or mold symptoms
- To identify the species of mold in your home
- To help you find where mold is growing
- To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
- To test if mold in your home has been fully removed
As always we are here 24/7, for your emergency needs at 843-884-2258
Resources by: https://moldpedia.com/mold-testing
Signs of water damage
We often get calls about water spots on ceilings. This is a tell-tale sign you have a water leak somewhere. So, how do you know if you have water issue elsewhere, if you don’t see puddles of water?
“What to Look For
Water damage can take on different colors, textures, and even smells, depending on the type of location of the damage. For instance, ceiling water damage is usually easier to spot than water damage in a basement because you will see stains and discoloration on a ceiling, but may not know that a musty odor can be a sign that there is a problem on the lower level of your home. Learn these telltale signs so that you can identify an existing problem and be prepared to spot it in the future.
The most obvious sign that you've got water damage on your hands (or that it will become a bigger problem) is areas of standing or pooling water. These can result from old or malfunctioning appliances including washers, water heaters and toilets. A puddle could also occur from a leaking roof, or from drainage pipes if the water is on the outside of your home.
With ceiling water damage, look for water spots and stains. The area may appear wet or dry and can be a yellow, brown or copper color. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper in addition to staining.
CHANGES IN TEXTURE
While flooring can also show discoloration like ceilings and walls do, the main sign of water damage in floors is detected by changes in texture. This is a result of water seeping into the floor boards and areas underneath them. Some common texture variations include:
- Warping - caused by changes in humidity and temperature, resulting in gaps between floorboards or curling at the edges. (Ceilings may also become warped from water damage.)
- Buckling - Occurs in wood floors when one side of the wood becomes detached from the substrate and "tents," or faces upward.
- Sagging/Sinking - You may notice soft spots in hardwood floors due to rotten wood, which feels spongy compared to normal wood. Water can seep into subflooring of all types of flooring material and cause sagging.
- Expansion - Wood and laminate floors will "expand" when they absorb too much water because the material swells and then separates.
Odors caused by mold and mildew could implicate a water damage problem. The smell may come from basements, walls, or other areas where water has been accumulating for a while. Certain drywall materials can act like a sponge and become full of moisture because there is low air circulation. This is the perfect condition for mold to develop, which will eventually result in visual discoloration (usually black spots) and a detectable odor.
Water damage can occur in any part of your home; however, there are some areas that are more high-risk than others. Make a checklist and inspect each area in your home to know where and what to look for when it comes to identifying water damage.
Ceiling water damage can come from a few sources. If the room is on the top story of a home, it could be from a leaky roof caused by rain or melting ice/snow in the winter months. If there is a bathroom above the ceiling with wall damage, it could be from a burst pipe or cracks in the floorboards.
One of the easiest ways to spot water damage is water stains on walls (and ceilings). Make sure to also check around door and window frames. An unusual stain could be a sign of a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall.
There are many things that can cause water damage to floors - overflowing sinks/bathtubs, flooding from faulty appliances and bad pipes. Hiring a water damage restoration company is the best way to pinpoint the exact cause of flooring water damage.
The exterior of your home can also experience water damage. If there isn't proper drainage in the yard or if the gutter spouts don't carry runoff water far away from the house (or if the gutters leak), water can pool next to the house and if left untreated, cause even more damage to your home's structure.
Stains, mold and wet or swollen installation are signs of a leak in the attic. If your roof has cracked, curled, or missing shingles, damaged flashing or signs of wind/rain damage, it could be vulnerable to leaks, which could result in water damage. Weather in colder climates can cause ice dams to develop on the roof, which can leak into the attic when snow and ice melts. Pay attention to possible problem areas including around roof vents and chimneys, the flashing (where the roof connects with the walls) and the valleys (where two roof planes connect) to help prevent water damage.
Check behind refrigerators, washers/dryers, hot water heaters and toilets/sinks for any sign of pooling or leaking water. An appliance or bathroom component (toilet/sink/shower) will most likely cause water damage because of a faulty piece of equipment that isn't easily seen. For example, a cracked hose or loose connection means that these parts may fail soon and could cause leaking in your home - which could lead to water damage.
What to Do If You Find It
If your home has water damage or even if you suspect that you may have a problem, there are professional water damage restoration companies that can help you. First, if you can, locate the problem area. Next, take any necessary steps to prevent any further damage. You may need to soak up standing water on the floor with towels or shut off your home's water supply.
Then, call your home insurance company to report the damage and contact a licensed professional to begin the cleanup process. You'll receive an assessment from the water damage restoration company and can determine your next steps.”
Call us at 843-884-2258
Resources by: https://www.resolvebylowes.com/guidance/flood/how-to-detect-water-damage/115000633508