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Generators 101 (Part Two)

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Portable Generator Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447!

Part Two: What are the Pro's and Cons?  

Still not sure if your home would benefit from a generator?  Below are the pros and cons to consider before buying a generator

Pros

Maintaining essential equipment during a power outage, including medical equipment and communication devices

Keeping your home temperature comfortable, especially during the winter if you live in a lower temperature area

Keeping food refrigerated, potentially saving thousand of dollars in food loss

Cons

They need fuel

Portable generators are generally powered by gasoline, so you need to have a decent amount of gasoline in storage ready to use in the case of a power blackout.

But then you also need to consider that gasoline does not last forever. It goes bad (or stale) and needs to be changed over at regular intervals

They are noisy and give off fumes

Generators are not quiet, nor do they put out sweet smelling fresh air!

Keep this in mind when deciding where you might place your generator to power your house or essential equipment. Keep it away from open windows and away from sleeping areas.

There are some models of generator that are quieter than others, so if this is a factor for you be sure to do your research.

Generators Need Maintenance

For most people, generators are devices that are rarely used – which means for extended periods of time without being started up. It is recommended that you start your generator every 3 months and let it run for about 20 minutes.

Generators also require the same maintenance that any motor does, and it is recommended that this is done by a qualified professional.

Merry Christmas!

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Santa in SERVPRO van Santa making a special delivery!

To all our customers, colleagues, friends and crew:

 It’s been quite a year!  We’ve all come to appreciate some of the smaller things in life, like spending time with our families and friends, haircuts and quick runs to the grocery store.  We have found heroes in our medical workers, front line employees and teachers.  We’ve found new hobbies, adopted pets and learned to enjoy the outdoors.  As this unprecedented year comes to an end, we’d like to thank all our customers for entrusting their homes and businesses to our care, our crews for all their hard work, dedication and sacrifice and to our associates and vendors for their support and friendship throughout this year. 

SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is looking forward to 2021, in which we will be celebrating our 20th year of business!  

Generators 101

12/19/2020 (Permalink)

Different sizes of generators Storm Damage? Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County today at 860-887-0447!

Part One-  Do You Need One? 

Here in Connecticut, power outages can be a regular and unavoidable occurrence.   Storms from hurricanes to blizzards often have homeowner wondering if now is the time to invest in a generator for their home.   Generators can be an expensive investment for your home that some might consider a luxury, however to some households they can be a necessity. 

 Medical Equipment On Site

If you have life saving medical equipment on site that requires power to operate and it may be needed in an emergency, then it goes without saying that you need some sort of backup power.

Some of these medical devices may include:

  • Home dialysis machine
  • Suction devices
  • Breathing machines

It is possible that such equipment has battery backup, but how long does it last?

If your average power blackout last for longer than the batteries on your emergency medical devices (or they don’t have backup at all) then you probably need a backup power source.

Essential Equipment

It’s possible that you have other non-lifesaving equipment in your home that is almost as important to keep running.

One example that spring to mind is a sump pump. Many houses rely on these devices to ensure they aren’t flooded and moisture levels are kept to a minimum.

Emergency Communications

For some of people, being able to communicate with the outside world is essential. Not just to be able to check Facebook or Instagram, but to be able to contact emergency services in the event of an emergency.

If you rely on power to keep your communications up and running (charging phones, CB radios, internet) and you simply MUST have the ability to contact the outside world at all times then you might need to look into a generator.

Large Amounts Of Frozen/Refrigerated Food

Most food is not cheapo, and If you keep large amounts of frozen or refrigerated food (meats especially) then it might be worth investing in a generator.

According to foodsafety.gov A full freezer will keep food frozen at a safe temperature for around 48 hours during a power outage (assuming you don’t open the door). After this time you will need to defrost it and consume it or dispose of it.

Maintaining Your Chimney

12/19/2020 (Permalink)

Chimney at Night Photo by Anthony Intravera via Upsplash

Nothing is better than sitting by your fireplace on a snowy day, keeping toasty warm.  Below are some tips on keeping your chimney and fireplace in tip top shape to run safely during the winter months

  • Get Your Chimney Inspected
    • Ideally an inspection should be done during the spring and summer.  A chimney professional will check your chimney inside and out looking for deterioration or damage
  • Chimney Cleaning
    • The Nation Fire Protection Association suggests that an annual cleaning of your chimney is best.  The cleaning will remove creosote build up which can lead to dangerous conditions for your home. 
  • Have a Chimney Cap Installed
    • Chimney caps keep rain, snow, sleet and debris from falling directly into your chimney.  If critters are a concern add a mesh covering.  
  • Waterproofing
    • Water is your chimney's number one enemy.  Waterproofing adds extra protection.  If the masonry of your chimney is compromised the chimney could begin leaning or could collapse altogether.  

Fire Damage?  Call SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County at 860-887-0447.  Our skilled technicians are available 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened"

My Tank Runneth Over

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Green hued bathroom Call us today at 860-887-0447

We all know the dreaded feeling... the water is going to high and not flushing properly.  Panic sets that a large mess is going to be on your bathroom floor.  What do you do?

  • Shut off the Water Supply
    • This will prevent more water coming in
  • Remove the Tank Lid
    • Carefully set it aside to avoid breakage
  • Adjust the Flapper
    • The rubber flapper is at the bottom of the tank.  Press down on the flapper valve to secure it.  This will prevent more water from entering the bowl
  • Lift the Float
    • Raise the tank fill valve float ball.  The water in the bowl should start going down
  • Shut off the Toilet Supply Valve
    • If the water level is still high, hold up the float as you shut off the water supply at the toilet valve.
  • Use a Plunger
    • Use a plunger to break up clogs in the drain

If you do have a water damage in your home, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is here to help.  Call us at 860-887-0447 and our skilled technician will make it "Like it never even happened."

Vandalism Clean Up

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Colorful heart shaped graffiti Photo by Renee Fisher via Upsplash

Vandalism Clean Up

You take pride in your businesses' appearance, which make vandalism frustrating and upsetting.  From minor pranks to mischievous destruction of property, vandalism should be taken care of in a timely fashion.  SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County can help with boarding up of broken windows, spray-painted graffiti from walls, driveways, sidewalks, asphalt, metals, plastic, wood, glass and masonry.  We also offer the following commercial services

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Debris Removal
  • General Cleaning
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Smoke Restoration
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Mold Remediation
  • Bio-Hazard Clean Up
  • Pathogen Cleaning

Our trained technicians are available 24/7 for all your commercial business needs.  Call us at 860-887-0447 and SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County will make it "Like it never even happened."

Winterizing Your Home

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Winter City Scene Photo by Jeffrey Blum via Upsplash

Old Man Winter is knocking on Connecticut’s door.  There are things both homeowners and renters should consider doing to prepare their home for the cold winter months.

  •  Check the gutter
    • This will help to prevent ice dams
  • Protect the Pipes
    • Insulate pipes that are in exterior walls and susceptible to freezing.  If a severe temperature drop is in the forecast, keep a stream of water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting 
  • Seal the Cracks
    • Caulk around holes and openings to help prevent cold air from getting in.  Install weather stripping and seals around windows, doors, and air conditioners 
  • Stop the Slips
    • Keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow and check hand rails and steps for any defects
  • Have the Heating Checked
    • Furnaces, boilers, and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to clear up any buildup and keep them running efficiently.

Should They Stay or Should They Go?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a water damage to your business, you’re probably considering if you can still keep your carpeting or if it should be replaced.  For carpeting that has water damage, full replacement is the best option.  Figuring our when a full flooring replacement is required can depend on a few questions

  • How much water got onto your carpeting?
    • The more water that is soaked into your carpet, carpet pad, flooring and subflooring, the harder it will be to dry, clean and save.
  • How long did the water sit on the carpet?
    • According to FEMA, you need to begin the cleaning process before the 24-48 hour window when mold and mildew begins to grow.  If you miss that window you will probably need new carpeting
  • What was the source of the water that got on the carpet?
    • If your carpet was soaked by suspicious water, toilet backflow, floodwater or any sewage contaminated source, the carpeting and padding need to be replaced. 
    • Carpets should only be cleaned if you would consider the source safe to drink

If you need assistance with a water damage in your commercial business, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is here to help 24/7.  Just call us at 860-887-0447.  

Water Damage Doesn't Take Vacations

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Sunglasses on a beach Photo by Ethan Robertson via Upsplash

This past year, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County had more calls regarding water damages occurring while people were away from their homes for extended periods of times, then the past three years combined.  Once the pandemic has passed, let's face it, we are all going to need vacations.  We'd like to suggest the following for keeping things dry while away.

  • Have a friend, family member or house sitter frequently check your home
  • Shut off the main water supply valve next to your water meter. After shutting off the valve, then drain all pipes of water
  • Pour Marine grade anti-freeze into the toilet if leaving during the winter
  • In colder months keep the thermostat set to a minimum of 55 degrees
  • Clean gutters before leaving to make sure water is flowing freely off the roof
  • Leave cabinets under sinks open which will allow air to circulate around the pipes

If you do come home to a water damage SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County is on call for you 24/7.  Just call us at 860-887-0447 

Giving Thanks in 2020

11/29/2020 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving Dinner Photo by Jed Owens via Upsplash

Thanksgiving is probably looking very different for all our friends and family this year.  Celebrations are scaled back due to Covid-19, but at the same time we are more thankful than ever after what 2020 has dealt us.  Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. 

Please remember to

  • Keep knives out of the reach of children
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working
  • Be sure electric cords from electric knives, coffee makers, plate warmers or mixers are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children
  • Never leave lit candles unattended
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, towels, curtains, food packaging or wooden utensils away from the stove top

SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County wishes all our friends, family and customers a happy and safe holiday!

 Need more recipe inspiration?  Check out our recipe from last year for dry rubbed deep fried turkey here:https://www.SERVPROnorwichwindhamcounty.com/blog/post/180883/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/avoid-a-recipe-for-disaster

 To go along with your deep fried turkey, give up the jelly in the can and try some fresh cranberry sauce instead! 

¾  cup White Sugar

½ cup Orange Juice

½ cup Water

12 oz Fresh Cranberries (rinsed and picked through)

Pinch of Salt

1 Cinnamon Stick

Zest of One Orange

 Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon and zest.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have popped.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be made up to three days in advance.