Vacation Tips for Your Home
We hope you have a wonderful relaxing and enjoyable summer no matter where the road may lead you.
School is out and summer is officially here. It’s vacation season!
No matter if you are choosing a staycation and making daily road trips, traveling across country or venturing overseas; it always seems to be top of mind to stop the mail and newspaper (or have a trusted neighbor gather them), have a plan for our pets, and clean out the refrigerator. But what about the important parts of our homes? The water, fire alarms, and smaller appliances. We tend to see an increase of water losses in the summer months because people go away and then come home to overflowed toilets, broken hot water heater tanks and washer pipes. We don’t want to see your return to home after a nice relaxing time turn to chaos. Below are some tips on preparing your home for vacation to hopefully make your return a little less stressful.
Just like life there are so many pros and cons to this and you need to use your best judgment and what you are comfortable with in your home while you are away. But here is the deal, unless you shut off the main supply of water coming into your home, the water will sit in pipes, toilets, and faucets. Without anyone home to notice, if any of the pipes or lines fail, water will continue to run as if the source has been turned on and is running. This could leave you with a flooded home causing serious water damage and headache upon your return. Once you locate the main water shut off, it is an easy on and off, and bring you a little peace of mind.
We live in a social media world where we want to share everything the minute we are doing it. This also lets criminals know when your home will be vacant and for how long. It’s tempting to post pictures of your fun carefree time in Cabo or amazing ski trip in the mountains. Police will advise against this. You never know who might have access to your social media feed even if it is private. Police also suggest altering them to your vacation. In many towns they will add your street to their patrol route as a precaution. As much as you want to share, it’s better to be safe than sorry and post once you return home.
No one will be home and you never know what might be lurking behind your walls. Electrical fires happen every day! Before you head out, check your smoke alarms and be sure your batteries are new. No one wants to get a call from a neighbor that their house caught fire while sipping an ice cold beverage on the beach.
Trash & Dishes
While many of us keep it top of mind to make sure we have an empty dishwasher, sink, and trash barrel. In the rush to get out the door to catch a flight or beat the traffic we will brush off these items. Leaving a full waste basket in your house or dirty dishes is an open invitation for rodents to enter. Save yourself the hassle and take the extra 5 minutes so you can return to a rodent free house.
Unplug the coffee maker, television, toaster, alarm clocks, etc. No one will be home to use them anyway! This will help save energy in your home as well as help prevent any fire that might occur if there was a power surge while you are away.
These are just a few suggested tips to consider when preparing for your home for vacation. We hope you have a wonderful relaxing and enjoyable summer no matter where the road may lead you. If upon your return, you do find yourself in a situation requiring a little assistance, SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow is always here to help.
Are you traveling to an area affected by hurricanes?
Whether you travel to an area strongly affected by hurricanes, or you feel the after affects of the storm, it is important to be vigilant.
Hurricane season typically runs between June and November. Whether you travel to an area strongly affected by hurricanes, or you feel the after affects of wind and rain, it is important to be vigilant during this storm season.
Below are some tips to follow whether you own a home, RV, boat, car or all of them! You can see a storm coming by the change in color of the sky (often greenish), large hail, low-flying clouds and a roar like a freight train.
- Your basement or under a set of stairs are great places to wait out the storm. If this is not available, the bottom floor of any building will work.
- During an emergency, gas stations will often be closed, so always make sure you have at least half a tank of gas to get away instantly
- Have enough supplies on hand to wait out 72 hours, just in case help cannot arrive right away. These supplies can also be stored in the trunk (items like a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and medication can stay there at all times.)
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep your charger with you.
- Avoid driving in deep waters
- For your boat, remove non-secure items, electronics, excess gear, valuable, and important documents.
- Make sure all openings are clear of debris
- With your RV, do not drive it during the storm as it is more vulnerable to higher/stronger winds
- Make sure all documents are in a waterproof bag and with you at all times
Life can be unpredictable, but having plans in place help you with whatever may come. For more information, please check out these hurricane tips. As always, once the storm passes, contact your SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
It happens fast and can happen anywhere.
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. It happens fast and can happen anywhere. Having a plan for your home or business is critical for any severe weather event. Keep reading to learn more about protecting yourself, your business, and your property.
Develop a proper evacuation plan: Map out routes and mark areas or roads that might become unpassable due to flooding. If you approach a road or area that is flooded, turn around. Most cars can be swept away by less than 2 feet of moving water. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and move to higher ground.
Build an emergency care kit: Water, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlights, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phones and chargers, blankets, rain gear, extra clothing, baby supplies, copies of personal documents, and extra cash are some of the items to pack for you and your family. If you have pets don’t forget their supplies too!
Keep children out of the water: Kids are often curious and lack judgment or fear when it comes to water. Down powerlines and contaminated flooded areas add additional safety risks. Keep children close to you for their safety.
Did you know?
Your disaster may not always be fire and water related, but the professionals at SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow are still Here to Help® when it comes to other situations.
Biohazard, crime scene cleanup, and vandalism services.
These are services you may never think of until a related disaster strikes your home, business, or property. Equipped with the knowledge, experience, and training, SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow will start helping the moment you call.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. SERVPRO® can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
Contact SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow at 603-893-9700 opt. 9 today for 24-hour emergency service. No matter how big or small, your SERVPRO® Professionals will be ready to help make your property damage “Like it never even happened.”
Small Business Week Appreciation
From May 5th to May 11th, America will celebrate Small Business Week, an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). According to Gregg White, owner of SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow, Small Business Week is an opportunity for national and community leaders to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners to the country’s economy. White emphasizes there is nothing “small” about small business when it comes to its importance to the nation’s economic health. According to statistics from the SBA, 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales; of those 28 million businesses, the 600,000 U.S. franchised small businesses, like SERVPRO, account for 40 percent of all retail sales and provide jobs for some eight million people. As these local business people work to grow their businesses, they help create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.
For entrepreneurs like White, becoming a franchise owner is one path to small business ownership. “Entrepreneurship is at the heart of a successful small business—the drive to own and grow a business through your own efforts,” said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. “Franchise organizations like SERVPRO give entrepreneurs a framework for their ambitions, access to state-of-the-art tools and processes, and a road map for sound financial management and growth.”
Some franchised small businesses offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to own and run their own small business while providing a service to the community they live and work in. With SERVPRO, for example, franchise ownership helps entrepreneurs combine their hometown knowledge and the emotional investment they have with their community with access to the latest disaster remediation technology and products. This combination creates a community asset that could prove invaluable to home and business owners who are struck by the unexpected. "I’m proud to be a small business owner in my community,” says White. “But, as a SERVPRO small business owner, I know that the unexpected can happen – a flood, a fire, an explosion, a storm, a mudslide, whatever the event might be – big or small. When the unexpected does happen, I’m also proud to know that my staff and I are ready to respond immediately and effectively to limit the damage to property and disruption to lives in my community. Having both an emotional and financial stake in the community is what distinguishes small businesses with local owners from other businesses. And that’s what makes small businesses such an important thread in the fabric of this country.”
SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services,
helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and
residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow, please contact
Mold Doesn't Have to Hold You Down!
When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home or business.
This Windham company discovered an extensive mold infestation in their place of work, due to a leaking pipe that went undetected for a lengthy period of time.
SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow worked around the clock to remediate the problem, so that business could be restored as quickly and seamlessly as possible. This allowed the company to have little to no down time and kept productivity going. We know that commercial mold infestations can cost a business thousands of dollars in productivity; therefore it is always our goal to get you back up and running right away.
If You See Visible Mold
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home or business. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home or business.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 603-893-9700
Preparing for Any Storm
Creating a business plan for disaster will help protect employees, shorten the amount of time you may have to be out of work, and possibly lessen the
The ERP also establishes your SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow as your disaster restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years of experience.
When it comes to your business, it is your pride and joy. You pray that a disaster never strikes, ruining all of your hard work.
Questions that run through your mind when disaster strikes, but is helpful to think of before that:
- Do you have an emergency plan in place? Does your staff know about it?
- Can you access your business records if they were destroyed?
“Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations." An estimated 50% of business do not reopen after a disaster has happened.
Creating a business plan for disaster will help protect employees, shorten the amount of time you may have to be out of work, and possibly lessen the financial impact it will have on you.
- Identify critical business systems – how long can they be down and what is needed to keep everything functioning.
- Create an emergency communication plan with all those who have a stake in your business.
- Build a supply kit that will keep your business and employees safe should you be at work when disaster strikes
- Work with SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow to build an Emergency Ready Profile. This will provide the information for all emergency personnel that need to be contacted when disaster strikes and when our Team arrives on site, it gives the knowledge of your building before we even step in the door. This provides efficient and faster service for you!
For more information on how to help prepare your business for disaster, please contact us at 978-688-2242 or SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow.
Mold Containment: It's Importance & Why We Use It
While remediating this mold, we will build containments to prevent it from spreading while we are working.
This information was taken fromRestoration and Remediation, an online magazine. It is beneficial to share information with you regarding mold and why we use containment in the remediation process.
"The great mold warriors we meet and work with on a daily basis all have a common advantage- like the greatest generals in history, they know their enemy. More specifically they know and understand that the greatest strength of their enemy is its invisibility.
Before your own battle begins, you have to understand that you must strategically approach the enemy by devising systems to discover, collect, and contain it which will work despite your inability to visualize its presence.
Erecting containment and generating and directing the air flow within that containment will enable us to win the air war, by controlling the enemy's movement.
Where is the most strategic location of this containment? It should be placed as close to the source of invasion as possible while still permitting us to gain access and accomplish our work.
Taken to its extreme, if it allows you to do what you need, it can be as small as a glove bag over a pipe, such as is used by our asbestos warrior brethren.
One of the most common flaws in mold remediation projects is a containment structure that is larger than it needs to be: Larger containments require more equipment for managing airflow, have more possible leak points, and require more time and effort to decontaminate prior to de-mobilization. While erecting a containment, one must carefully balance the trade-offs between size and work access.
To do so, one can rely on the knowledge of experienced mold warriors and follow the established principles."
When mold affects your home, call SERVPRO of Salem/Plaistow to help guide you through the process. From bringing in an Industrial Hygienist, to cleaning, to disinfecting, we will be here.
Fireplace Safety in Windham, NH
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com
With cold weather upon us, your fireplace becomes more than just a focal point of your home. Before you throw a log on the fire and light a match to keep your family toasty and warm, consider these 8 tips to keep them safe.
- Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional. There could be soot build up, cracks, or loose bricks.
- Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to help avoid fire and smoke damage. It is a good practice to replace the batteries every spring and fall when we change the clocks.
- Ensure your chimney is capped. This keeps rain, birds, squirrels and debris from entering.
- Use kindling to start the fire instead of flammable liquids. Also be sure to burn well-seasoned wood.
- Don’t overload your fireplace. A fire that is too hot can crack your chimney, and could get out of control very quickly.
- Use a spark guard to keep any ambers from shooting out damaging your floor and possibly igniting a fire.
- Have a metal container nearby to remove and store hot ash. These ambers can stay hot for a while so be sure to keep it a safe distance outside away from your home.
- Even if you had your chimney inspected, look for signs of creosote and soot buildup. Creosote is a dark substance that can build up if wood isn’t burning completely.
No need to get the chills this winter! By following these simple tips, you can help keep your family safe until warmer temperatures return.
When disaster threatens a community...
No matter what part of the country you call home, we want to ensure you are prepared for any type of disaster.
When disaster threatens a community, it is often too late to take the necessary steps to prepare homes, businesses and family members for the situation. Whether it's a blizzard, flood, hurricane or wildfire, disasters of all types often give little to no warning before they strike. The time to prepare for a storm is not as it approaches-the time to prepare is now.
No matter what part of the country you call home, we want to ensure you are prepared for any type of disaster. Whether you have damage caused by a hurricane, tornado, flash flood, or any other reason, SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow have the resources, experience and training to help get your doors reopened for business as soon as possible.
If your property suffers a fire or water damage, SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow will be ready to help you make it "Like it never even happened."
We recommend always having an emergency kit on hand whether it is for your home or business. These can even be kept in your car. Here are some items to help you build your own emergency kit
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
As always, to learn more about how SERVPRO® of Salem/Plaistow can help your business survive a disaster, please call us 603-893-9700.