Recent Posts

Dangers of Standing Water in a Home

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Title over water damaged ceiling exposing pipes Prevent water damage in your home and business.

Whether it is your home or your business, preventing water damage and intrusion is crucial. When a hard rain hits, it won’t be hard to tell if you have sitting water in your basement, or near your foundation. However, oftentimes, water will intrude your home or business in spaces that you cannot see on your own. The good news is that when this happens there are usually a few red flags to look out for. 

One telltale sign that you have hidden water damage is an unpleasant smell. Although the water may be invisible, the smell of mildew is not. If you begin to smell this in your home or business it is likely that there is also fungus growing somewhere. In a situation like this, not only is it bad for the foundation of your home or business, but it can also cause health issues. 

If you start to notice that musty smell, it is a good idea to begin to keep an eye out for visual signs of water damage. In addition to being able to see mold growing on your walls, you may notice a stain. And, while discoloration may not seem like a big deal, chances are that it is only the beginning of your troubles. As the damage gets worse you may begin to see sagging ceilings and walls, as well as peeling paint. 

Once you know what to keep an eye out for, it is easier to recognize if you have water damage. Taking care of the problem sooner rather than later can help to prevent further issues including safety hazards, structural issues, and health problems. If you notice any of these signs in your home or business, you should contact a professional right away so that you can find the source of the water invasion. For an advanced water inspection by a highly trained water restoration technician, give SERVPRO a call today.

Preventing Kitchen Fires at Your Holiday Dinner

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

The holidays are a great time of year but cooking in the kitchen can get dangerous fast. It’s important to exercise safety and caution at all times in the kitchen in order to prevent the common kitchen fire. The majority of house fires actually start in the kitchen. Make sure you and your family are taking these precautions this year.

Watch What You’re Cooking

Leaving hot pots and pans unattended is a recipe for disaster. Even if you are just leaving the kitchen for a second, make sure you’re turning the stove off

Keep Your Area Clear

Make sure your preparation and cooking areas stay clear of any stray towels, bags, boxes, and drapery. Keep children and animals out of the kitchen to minimize the risk of accidental bumps and shakes.

Avoid Loose Clothing

Make sure your shirt and sleeves are clinging to your body and not draping over the oven or stovetop. Clothing fabric can easily catch fire.

See Smoke? Turn it Off

If your stove or oven starts to smoke, turn it off and cover it. Remove pans from burners and keep the oven closed until the smoking ceases.

Always Have a Backup

Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire; this can be used put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled and no longer smoking.

If a fire does break out, make sure you have an evacuation plan in place so that you and your guests can get out safely. SERVPRO is on standby for any of your fire damage needs.

Avoid Fall Property Damage in Northern Summit County

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Gloved hand pulling leaves out of gutters. Do a little maintenance around your home now and avoid disaster later.

Spring is the season with the most rain, so it only makes sense that it would be the season that results in the most water damage at properties, right? Well actually, water damage property claims go up by about 30% in the fall and early winter. Fall storms can wreak just as much havoc as any other time of the year, and often even moreso because we aren’t prepared for the bad weather

Rain itself isn’t usually the main culprit that causes damage and disaster, it’s the lack of preparation or issues with maintenance that typically result in big issues. For instance, when heavy rains come in the fall, or even mild rains, that water is competing with debris as it tries to move away from your home. Your gutters, for instance, can easily become clogged with all of the falling leaves and if water can’t move away from your home it might end up inside of it. Additionally, if the gradient around your home isn’t sloping down and away from your home, it could mean that water is collecting around your foundation and seeping into your home.

Another common fall problem is frozen and burst pipes. It is very important that you winterize and outdoor faucets or spigots to make sure that they don’t freeze with the sudden temperature drops. Of course, the fall is typically mild until late November or so but you can never predict when the temperature might plummet to freezing, causing snow and ice. Make sure that any vulnerable pipes that are exposed to the elements are properly insulated to prevent freezing and bursting. You should also make sure to keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees or higher to make sure that you are maintaining enough warmth in your home to prevent dips that can cause freezing.

You should always take whatever steps you can to ensure that your property is safe from damage, but if the worst happens to you, you can count on SERVPRO of Northern Summit County to have your back. We are faster to any disaster.

Your Business Needs a Contigency Plan

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Looking up at skyscraper buildings Make sure that you know what to do if your business faces a disaster.

WHEN disaster strikes, it can often deal a fatal blow to a business – but those that survive often do so because they have a plan in place.

And a good contingency plan is well worth taking the time and effort to prepare so when the worst happens everyone knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

People buy home insurance not because they expect their house to burn down – but just in case it does.

The same is true for contingency planning – taking the time to work out how you will keep operational when faced with the sudden loss of access to your building is simply essential.

For example, can staff work from home? Have you the ability to reroute suppliers? Can you switch to an alternative location? Is your information technology infrastructure backed up remotely? How do you communicate with your customers?

And all the while you are picking up and carrying on with the day-to-day of your business, what plans are in place to repair and restore the damaged facilities?

SERVPRO of Northern Summit County can be an ideal partner in your contingency planning – by talking with us when there is nothing going wrong means our experts can be fully prepared and ready to step in the very moment something does go wrong.

Our teams are experts in cleaning up post-disaster and repairing and restoring your facilities to full operational capacity quickly – and we can do this to maximum effect if we know before it all goes wrong. Call us today for help in putting together your contingency and continuation plans.

Avoiding Electrical Fires in Your Northern Summit County Home

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Someone plugging electrical cord into outlet Make sure that your home is safe by checking your electronics.

ELECTRICITY is essential to the modern home and we rarely think twice about it when we flick a switch.

But with our homes having ever more machines, devices and equipment hooked up to the main supply – many running 24/7 – we cannot afford to be too cavalier in our approach to electricity, as if things are not running properly a fire can soon break out.

Check electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs or exposed wires, never force plugs into outlets or remove the third grounding pin to make it fit a two-prong socket, and do not overload outlets with adapters.

Cords should not be frayed or cracked or hidden under carpets or rugs, and do not nail or staple them into place. Extension cords are designed for temporary use only, not permanent fixtures.

Light bulbs should be the correct wattage for the fixture’s design – do not put higher watt bulbs in as they can overheat – or replace with low power LED bulbs. Make sure they are screwed in tightly.

And wherever possible install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters – GFCIs – especially anywhere water could be present, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry, workshop, garage, basement, and outside.

Check fuses are the right rating for what they are doing and check circuit breakers are working. Check wiring regularly for defects – loose wires or fixtures are common flashpoints for fires and popping or sizzling sounds in walls are a warning sign.

And if appliances start to act up, regularly blowing fuses or tripping breakers, it is a sign something is wrong – unplug immediately and get it checked or replaced.

But if the worst does happen and a fire starts in your home, SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is on standby 24/7 to clean up and repair your home.

Plumbing Problems in Your Northern Summit County Home

9/26/2020 (Permalink)

close up of valve on pipe Don't let leaky pipes and other plumbing problems cause issues in your home!

WATER is a powerful and relentless force of nature – as well as being essential to our everyday lives, it can also cause a lot of damage.

We cannot live our daily lives without using the miracle of running water in our homes – a shower to start the day, tap running to clean our teeth, water for the coffee machine in the kitchen, set the dishwasher running as we head to work, throw a laundry load in when we get back, and of course flushing the toilet a few times.

But when water comes out of our plumbing system in a place you do not want it to, you have big problems on your hands – water will simply keep coming 24 hours a day until the problem is fixed, whether it is a high-pressure burst or a slow but continual drip - drip - drip.

And it will always take the path of least resistance – working its way through units, downpipes, along floor joists, through the floorboards until it cannot go any further when it will start pooling and backing up.

Flooding damage is expensive – it will ruin not just carpets and floors but soak into the drywall like a sponge meaning extensive and expensive repairs.

And if it is your foul water pipes that have been compromised, dealing with sewage could increase damage exponentially.

The top ten most common plumbing problems are: dripping taps, slow draining sink, clogged bath drain, a clogged toilet, running toilet, faulty water heater, low water pressure, jammed garbage disposal, leaky pipes, and a sewer system backup.

If you are unlucky enough to suffer a flooding disaster, it is vital to act quickly to minimize the impact of the damage – damp fixtures and fittings soon become moldy ones too. SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is on hand 24/7 to help you clean up and then restore your home to the way it should be.

Why You Need a Restoration Specialist and Contractor on the Same Team

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

blurry close-up of hard hat, tape measure, and writing materials Trust a company that can do it all for you and return things to normal for you faster.

WHEN you find yourself needing restoration and cleanup services after a disaster, it is often only stage one of the complete job.

Returning your home or business to the way you need it after a flood or fire or storm is many times going to require renovations and repairs which cannot even be properly assessed until after the debris is cleared up. That’s where SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is ideally positioned to help.

We do not just pack up our equipment and disappear once we have cleaned up as many firms do – we are on hand to help through the entire restoration process.

Our expertise in handling the immediate aftermath of a disaster means we can feed vital information and knowledge into the restoration teams that follow behind our initial work.

As a complete one-stop solution we are uniquely positioned to handle the repairs after the cleanup operation is complete.

And as you are dealing with the same people throughout the whole process you have a clear and direct channel of communication, avoiding having to act as a liaison between different firms and contractors trying to get your home or business up and running as you need it again.

Project technicians can assess the situation on hand during the early cleanup phase and keep the construction staff informed of what is needed. This allows our construction experts to be estimating budgets, planning for materials, obtaining permits, and organizing team coverage.  All this is done to avoid causing you time, trouble, and effort coordinating multiple contractors during an already stressful time.

SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to help you get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Protect Your Home From Disaster with Good Grill Safety

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

close-up of round grill loaded with food Everyone enjoys grilling, but make sure to protect yourself with good safety practices.

We love our barbecues, cookouts, and grills – summer and fall just would not be the same without the smell of someone nearby grilling up a tasty meal.

But a grill can be a potential disaster waiting to happen if you do not take the time and trouble to look after it and its surroundings – grillmasters can get a little complacent which can end in a fiery disaster.

It may seem obvious, but your grill is literally a fire, whether gas-powered or traditional charcoal and they can soon move from controlled to uncontrolled.

Start by keeping your barbecue well away from your home – at least 10 feet or more if possible. Fire can and does spread rapidly.

Keep your grill clean – many of us get a bit lazy in a way we would never tolerate in our kitchens, and fat can soon build up, creating a reservoir of fuel and the opportunity for sudden flare-ups.

Check for gas leaks – is your piping old and worn, are seals cracked, are connectors as tight as they should be?

Always make sure your barbecue lid is open before you turn the gas on – or you are creating an explosion in the waiting.

Do not overload the grill with food – all that dripping fat is literally fuel to the fire and flare-ups become much more likely.

Here at SERVPRO of Northern Summit County, we want you to enjoy a good grill out safely – but if the worst does happen we will be there to get your house back in shape and back to being your home.

Take Time this Fall to Get Ready for Winter

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

a candle, two pumpkins, and some cranberries in front of a snowy scene Make sure that you're ready for the harsh weather on its way this winter.

LEAVES are showing signs of turning and pumpkins are appearing on front porches – fall is definitely well on its way.

Which is the ideal time to think a little further ahead and make sure you take advantage of the last of the nice weather to give your home the once-over and ensure you are prepared for the harsh winter weather?

And given this is Northeast Ohio, that means making sure you – and your house – are prepared to withstand a snowstorm.

When the snow falls hard and fast, you need to be ready – make sure you have snow shovels on standby and a good supply of rock salt ready to grit your driveway. If you have pets, make sure you have a safe variety as regular salt can burn paws. Stock up on winter fuel if you rely on wood, coal, oil, or gas supplies to heat your home. Even if you usually use central heating, it is a good idea to have some supplies in case power goes down.

Make sure you have a ready supply of blankets and warm clothes in case the power does go out, along with suitable food supplies, flashlights, spare batteries, and candles in easy to find locations.

But while you need provisions, so does your home if it is to – literally – weather the storm.

Take the time to check your insulation to winterize your property – check insulation levels in attics, basements, and walls, and maybe consider plastic over your windows. Make sure any exposed pipes are lagged and insulated to prevent freezing – and maybe even leave a tap on dripping to help keep water moving in the pipes.

Have your heating systems professionally checked and serviced to make sure they are working properly, efficiently, and safely – you do not want to find out you had a faulty thermostat during a snowstorm.

Check for draughts and find where they are coming from – time for a little bit of caulking to seal them up – and get the roof checked for leaks or holes, and that it is up to bearing the weight of the snow.

But if the worst does happen and the winter weather finds its way into your home, your experts at SERVPRO of Northern Summit County are on hand throughout to help rescue and repair your property.

Are Winter Storms Worse than Summer Storms?

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Pine forest covered in snow during snow storm Winter storms bring a whole different set of problems from summer storms.

All storms are not the same – one of the joys of living in Northeast Ohio is the wide variety of our weather.

And while storms happen all year round, a summer storm is quite different from a winter one.

In the summer we have to deal with lightning, thunder, hurricanes, and tornadoes. But the winter brings ice, snow, and extreme cold.

Which is worse? On one hand, it is a matter of opinion – but on the other, the impact of damage can be more easily identified.

Both can cause catastrophe to a home or building – summer storms bring the risk of flooding or even in rarer cases complete devastation by a tornado or lightning hit.

But winter storms bring snow and ice – which lasts much longer than the storm itself, with huge numbers of homes affected at the same time.

Snow is heavy and turns to water slowly, finding its way into cracks and crevices in the fabric of your home.

The cold – which can be extreme in Northeast Ohio – causes pipes to burst and windows to crack.

And repairs can take much longer as roads are blocked and its harder to work outside.

But no matter which type of storm impacts you and your home, SERVPRO of Northern Summit County is on 24/7 standby to help you clean up the devastation caused by Mother Nature, identify the repairs needed, and get them underway fast and efficiently.