Recent Posts

Wind Storm Blew Off Your Shingles! What Do You Do Now?

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

title over wind blowing through window curtains Know how to react when a wind storm hits in NE Ohio.

Ohio roofs take a beating in every season. But spring can be the most destructive season. With dramatic changes in atmospheric pressure, strong winds can kick up at a moment’s notice.

If your roof has vulnerable spots, especially along edges and corners, strong winds can sneak under your shingles and blow them off. Once your shingles loosen, your roof is compromised. 

To avoid wind damage, have your roof inspected and updated regularly. The key is to have this done before storm season sets in. 

If you can, use impact-resistant materials. Also, keep the trees surrounding your home trimmed to prevent loose or dead branches from falling on or being blown onto your roof. 

But what if a wind storm has blown off your shingles? What do you do? 

  1. Document the full extent of the damage. Do not clean up or making any temporary repairs.
  2. Call a roofing company or contractor to inspect the roof and get an estimate for repairs. If you aren’t sure who to use, contact your public adjuster for help finding a trusted contractor. Remember, you don’t have to take the first estimate you receive, so try different contractors if you’re not happy with the first estimate.
  3. Call your homeowner’s insurance company to report the damage and file a claim.
  4. Depending on the extent of the damage, contact a reliable company, like SERVPRO to tarp your roof and prevent further damage. 

If you find yourself in need of storm damage repair and cleanup, give SERVPRO a call at 1-800-SERVPRO. With 1,700 locations in the U.S. and Canada, we respond faster to any size disaster. Representatives are available 24/7.

Be safe!

Building an Emergency Plan for Your Workplace

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

title over red emergency light Have a plan in place for your employees' safety when disaster strikes.

Disaster can strike anytime and anywhere. Mother Nature is unpredictable, and fires don’t stick to a convenient schedule. Emergencies at work are just as likely as emergencies at your own home. Creating a comprehensive emergency response plan can save lives.

The actions you take within the first few moments of any emergency are critical and can change the course of how the events unfold. Emergencies in the workplace can include Robberies. Cybersecurity Incidents, Natural Disasters, On-Site Accidents, etc. It is important to have a plan to battle any and all of the possibilities. 

Steps to Creating an Effective Emergency Plan in the Workplace

Step one: Assemble the Team -  The strength of the plan depends on the commitment of your team. Seek out the participation of everyone in the office in the early stages. 

Step Two: Conduct Risk Assessment - Conduct a risk assessment to identify potential hazards and vulnerabilities within your organization. People should always be your first consideration in a risk assessment, but risks to physical assets and the environment should also be included in your assessment.

Step Three: Establish Objectives - Performance objectives are quantifiable and tangible milestones that you’ll achieve as you develop your emergency preparedness program. Key recommendations: 

  • Reach out to public emergency services and regulators.
  • Conduct a business impact analysis (in addition to your risk assessment) to identify the operational and financial impacts from an interruption or disruption of your business.
  • Identify opportunities for hazard prevention and risk mitigation.
  • Protect the safety of your employees by developing evacuation, sheltering, and lockdown plans.
  • Conduct employee training and drills.
  • Install an emergency generator to power the data center during a power outage.
  • Install a fire sprinkler system.
  • Phase-out the use of highly toxic or flammable chemicals.
  • Build a culture of preparedness in the workplace and encourage employees to have a plan at home.

Step Four: Create Written Policy -  OSHA’s minimum requirements suggest that your plan should include the following elements:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments.
  • Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
  • Accounting for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed.
  • Rescue and medical duties for employees performing them.
  • Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Step Five: Develop an on-site Emergency Response Team - Designate cool-headed and well-respected emergency response leaders within your organization to lead evacuation (as necessary), coordinate communication, conduct a headcount and communicate detailed information to 911 dispatch and emergency responders. These team members should also be responsible for making sure that minors, disabled employees, or at-risk residents are safely sheltered or evacuated.

Step Six: Practice and Review - Your Emergency Response Plan is only as good as the people who are carrying it out. Every six months, conduct emergency drills and schedule a one-on-one with your in-house ERT members to make sure they’re still up for the job.

Hopefully, this exercise will be done as a preventative measure and a just-in-case plan that will never need to be used. Unfortunately, Emergencies do happen, and in the case that they do, the first (or second) call you to make is extremely important. You should always call 9-1-1 first, but making your second call to SERVPRO can mean saving a lot of time and money restoring your office to its previous condition. Be sure to add 1-800-SERVPRO to your Emergency Response Plan, or reach out for help in creating one for your business.

Why are Certifications Important When Hiring a Restoration Professional?

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

title over people exchanging documents Your SERVPRO technicians are certified professionals in their industry.

It is always an inconvenience when there is damage to your home. However, hiring a professional can lessen this stress. Here are some reasons why it is important to hire a restoration professional with certifications. 

There are many people in the industry today who pose as a professional in restoration. Oftentimes they may not have experience as well as little to no training within the area of service. The businesses where people may be posing as restoration professionals do perform in other types of home repair which leads them to appeal to people that don’t know much about the requirements or the area of service. They do not, however, have the necessary skills, experience, knowledge, or equipment to restore a home/property. This leads to the area not being fully restored to the preloss conditions, but only causes the salvageable structures to be torn out and replaced.

There are many pros to making sure a restoration professional has the proper certification. The key to restoration is to find what can be restored within the damage that has happened. This allows replacement costs to be avoided and more cost-effective. Also if many things within the area of damage can be repaired then it can help one to avoid making an insurance claim for the costs if everything was needing to be replaced. 

Be effective with your restoration and guarantee it's done right. Here at SERVPRO, we have the certified professionals you need to help restore your space. Contact us today at 1-800-SERVPRO for more information.

What is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Title over sponges on top of plain background Trust SERVPRO to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness in these trying times.

Slowly, but surely things are beginning to return to normal. We are at the point where one year ago the entire state and country were being shut down. All nonessential businesses were forced to close, all employees that had even the slight ability to work from home were doing so. Now as most things are reopening and most restrictions are being lifted, going back to the office and keeping it clean has a whole new meaning. 

In keeping up with the times, SERVPRO has introduced a new standard of cleanliness that is meant to put confidence back in the hearts of employees returning to work in the office. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, is our new defensive pathogen cleaning program that takes the standard janitorial cleaning practices to the next level following the uniquely designed 3 C’s:

  • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we’ll tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.
  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions and always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.
  • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers, and community.

SERVPRO of Northern Summit County has over 50 years of experience in decontamination and because of this, you will know when you see the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield you can believe you had your space cleaned and decontaminated by true professionals. SERVPRO cares about the health and safety of all its clients and does not cut corners. They hold all the alphabet certifications; CDC RIA, IICRC, RRP, HST, etc., and uphold their work to these standards at all times. If you are returning to the office or in need of deep cleaning, Request the help of SERVPRO online today!

Proper Tree Maintenance to Prevent Storm Damage on your Property

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Title over gloved hands pruning tree branch Take these tips into consideration to protect your home from storm damage.

Oftentimes when a storm hits there are tree branches scattered all over the place. During a storm the wind and rain cause branches to break off which may even cause damage to your home. To help prevent the chances of a storm causing damage to your home follow these tips. 

Proper Trees to Plant

Something that needs to be considered before planting a tree is the location of where you live. It is crucial to plant trees that are native to the location where it is being planted. This is because native trees are better suited for the environment and weather conditions in its native area. It will help the tree stay healthy and strong longer, preventing it from causing damage to your home during a storm. 

Also when you are looking to plant trees make sure it is grown properly. It can help guarantee it grows to be strong enough to withstand the weather conditions. Rather than having a bunch of support around the young tree being grown minimize the support and let it become adapted to the wind and environment. This will help the tree to have a stronger base and roots which will support the grown tree and allow it to withstand the environment. 

Removing Dangerous Trees

It is important to remove trees that appear hazardous, especially before your location's stormiest season. This is because they will likely fall and cause a lot of damage to your home. There are things to look for when trying to identify what may be a hazardous tree on your property. Things like cracks in the trunk, decay of half or more of the tree, dead branches, etc. These are some key indicators of a tree that can be dangerous to have near your home, on your property, or even near a powerline. Be sure to keep a close eye on trees that may be showing any of these indications. If unsure contact a specialist, and remove if necessary.  

Pruning Your Trees

It is common for homes to have damage due to dead or broken branches that come down in a storm. Even without heavy winds weak branches can still break off and cause damage. This is why pruning your tree is important because removing all the weak and dead branches can prevent damage further down the line as well as keep your trees healthy. 

Be cautious of the damage trees can do to your property. It is important to have the proper maintenance and upkeep of your trees. Here at SERVPRO, we are here to help provide you with any cleanup or consulting you need. Give us a call or visit our website for more information. SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is here to help!

The Meaning of the 100-Year Flood

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Title over flooded land of barren trees Knowing some of the antiquated terminology surrounding storms can be important to understand how you need to prepare.

If you have never heard the term “100-year flood”, what was the first thing that came to mind? Most probably think that it is a great flood that happens every 100 years or a flood that lasts for years and years. What this term is actually used for is to describe a momentous flood. Because floods can vary in severity and cause, this is a term that is commonly used for those natural disasters that we see on the news. If it does not actually refer to a flood that occurs every 100 years, then how did this term come into play, and is how factual is a “100-year flood”?

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), this term came from the US government in the 1960s. To set a basis for the National Flood Insurance Program, they decided to use the 1-percent annual exceedance probability (AEP), which is “the probability of a flood event occurring in any year”. At this time, the government believed that it would be a fair balance between protecting citizens and overly rigid regulations. 

So, the next time you hear someone refer to the “100-year flood”, take peace in knowing that we will not be enduring a flood that lasts 100 years. It is, however, not a myth, and floods still occur, and they can be devastating. With the 1-percent probability (or 1 in 100), it could happen to you. If you find yourself in over your head (pun intended) with flooding and water damage, give us a call. SERVPRO of Northern Summit County can help you get your home or business restored in no time.

Backyard Bonfires & Fire Safety

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Title over crackling bonfire Stay safe when the warm weather backyard activities commence.

You have the perfect s’more in your hand, toasted golden brown marshmallow on 2 perfect squares of graham cracker, and chocolate on top and bottom. You can hear your uncle’s voice, telling his favorite ghost story for the umpteenth time. Raw throat from the top of your lungs rendition of Kumbaya. Life doesn’t get much better than sitting around a bonfire with your friends and family on a cool fall evening. However, if you do not follow safety precautions the best night ever could become the worst with no warning. 

Before the Fire 

  • Only build fire in enclosed, contained areas. 
  • Clear the area around the pit of dry paper, grass, leaves, or pine needles 
  • Make sure the pit is on a flat surface in an open area, away from any trees and the home
  • Move furniture away from the fire pit
  • Keep flammable materials away from the fire pit
  • Check wind direction and be prepared to make any adjustments

During the Fire

  • NEVER leave a fire unattended
  • NEVER use garden waste or trash in a fire
  • NEVER leave children unattended
  • Keep your distance, sparks can fly unexpectedly
  • ALWAYS keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby

When the night is coming to a close, you must put the fire out completely before leaving the area. To do this you will want to douse the fire with water. Once the flames are extinguished use more water and stir with a stick or shovel to confirm all ashes, wood, and sparks have been successfully put out. Be sure to store any flammable items safely and away from children. 

A backyard bonfire is one of the best ways to enjoy a warm or even cool night with friends and family. If you follow these safety tips, your only worry will be running out of marshmallows. Remember fire is dangerous, but handled with care and safety enjoying a night by the fire should remain a timeless tradition.

Things to Look for When Buying a Commercial Building

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Title over city of buildings Know the tricks of the trade when it comes to purchasing your commercial property.

Looking for the perfect place to fulfill your lifelong dream of opening a bakery or a toy store? Looking for a new location to help your current business grow? No matter the reason, buying commercial property is a huge investment and should not be treated lightly. It is important to do your homework to ensure the purchase is the right one for you. Buying commercial real estate is a lot more challenging than purchasing a home and there are many things to be considered before pulling the trigger. 

Location

When buying any property the location is a big factor, especially when it is a business. The infrastructure and surrounding neighborhood can either raise or lower the value of the property.

Some questions to consider:

  • Are there any similar businesses located nearby?
  • Will you have access to any support services like parking?
  • What are the market trends for that area?
  • What are the zoning laws where the building is located?

Knowing the answers to these questions and making sure they match your needs can save you from potential problems in the future.

Building Classifications

A commercial building is a property that’s used for business purposes. But there are different classifications for different types of property. For instance, office buildings are typically classified as Class A, Class B, or Class C. Class A buildings present the lowest level of risk, while Class C buildings come with the highest level of risk. Industrial buildings and retail stores have their own designations as well, so it’s important to understand how the property you’re considering buying is classified and what it means for you as a business owner.

Building Condition

The last thing you want to do is buy a property and then uncover a mold infestation that will cost you thousands of dollars to remediate. Avoid this by having the property thoroughly inspected before purchasing. Consider also what was the building previously used for and what kind of wear and tear has it been through over the years?

Team of Experts

There is a lot that goes into the purchase of a commercial building and having a team of experts in your corner can increase your odds of securing financing and spotting potential problems from the beginning.

Some of the experts that can help this process run as smoothly as possible:

  • CPA
  • Contractor
  • Commercial real estate attorney
  • Commercial realtor
  • Mortgage broker
  • Tax attorney

Financing Options

You’ll need to find the right financing options to purchase the building. The type of financing you’re able to secure will depend on your personal and business credit scores, the type of property you’re buying, and your lender. It is a good idea to get pre-approved before making an offer and your accountant can help. 

Types of loans to consider for purchasing a commercial building:

  • Conventional mortgage
  • Bridge loan
  • SBA 504 loan
  • Hard money loan

Having all the information as well as a good team on your side will go a long way in making sure the property you choose to purchase will continue to be a dream come true instead of turning into a nightmare. Create a wish list of what is important to you and your business using these tips and that will give you a starting point to find the very best match for you. 

5 Tips to Prepare for the next Northeast Ohio Storm

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Storms can be an inconvenience, but also a danger. Knowing what to do can be of help to you and your family. It’s as the Boy Scouts say ‘Be Prepared’! Here are some tips to help you this winter: 

  1. Keep a close eye on the weather reports and warnings for winter storms 
  2. Sign up for the local warning system. Such as the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 
  3. Equip your household to stay warm, install insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Educate yourself about freezing pipes and how to avoid them. Fit carbon monoxide and smoke alarms into your home.
  4. Collect the necessary needs for the home in the case of no power. Be sure to include what each person requires, especially medication. And don’t overlook pets! Keep spare batteries, primarily for radios and flashlights. If the budget allows, keep soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and other household cleaning supplies. 
  5. Keep an emergency equipment kit for your car. Jumper cables, sand, flashlights, extra clothing, blankets, water, and food that will not go bad. 

While storms can be daunting, look them right in the face and tell them that you are not worried because you, like a boy scout, are prepared. 

Warning Signs of Dangerous Outdated Wiring

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Before bed each night and maybe even multiple times throughout the day, you plug in your phone to charge. You may have a watch, headphones, tablet, laptop, or any other electronic charging right alongside it. In today’s world with all the technological advancements your home is required to supply power to so many more devices than ever before. There is not much thought given to what goes on behind the walls as long as the light switch turns the light on and the charger works as it should, but old or damaged wiring can cause big problems. Overloading an older home's wiring can start a fire. 

Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly than 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. Many of these fires can be prevented if you know how to recognize and address common warning signs.

  • Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips - It is common for your circuit breaker to trip on occasion, that is what they are designed to do. In most cases, you will be able to flip the switch and continue going as usual. However, if the circuit breaker begins tripping multiple times a month or more it’s a sign of a deeper more serious problem.
  • Flickering, Buzzing, or Dimming Lights - If any of these things happen when you plug in or use multiple appliances this is a sure sign you are needing a professional upgrade. 
  • Frayed or Chewed Wiring - Wires can fray or crack from age, heat, corrosion, or bending. They can also be nicked, pinched, or pierced by nails or screws. Damaged wires are dangerous and should be replaced by a pro. Rodents will also chew through wiring. 
  • Discolored, Scorching, or Smoking Outlets - Keep an eye open at the outlet points in your home. If you notice any discoloration or scorch marks on your outlets, that is a sign that the wiring in your home has been damaged in some way and is releasing heat. That heat is already damaging your home and has the potential to do much worse if left unchecked.
  • Warm or Vibrating Outlets - Another way to find out if the wiring in your home has gone bad is to check by feel. Without touching any wiring directly, feel your home’s electrical outlets for heat or vibrations. In the case of either, have an electrician check for and replace any loose or damaged wiring.

Working with electricity is best left to the professionals, as it can be dangerous when not handled properly. Even with taking all necessary problems, disaster can still strike. If it does, SERVPRO is here to help. With over 50 years of fire restoration experience, the technicians at SERVPRO will make dealing with the results of a house fire as easy and manageable as possible.