Keep Your Lights Bright and Your Home Safe this Holiday Season
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, friends, share a wonderful meal together and is often when many people put up their Christmas lights and tree. Something about lights makes the season seem to twinkle just a little bit more.
Did you know that every year 150 home fires start with holiday lights and other decorative lighting and another 260 home fires begin with Christmas trees, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
So, before you get out the ladder and start stringing up your own holiday lights, here are some helpful tips to keep your holiday twinkle from turning into a holiday disaster.
Check the label on your lights to make sure they have been safety tested and approved from an OSHA-certified laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and are appropriate for your intended use outside or inside.
When hanging your lights, use caution on ladders, stay clear of power lines and do not drive nails, staples or tacks through the wiring insulation.
Check previously used lights and extension cords for fraying, broken bulbs, loose connections or any other kind of damage.
Do not overload extension cords or circuits and make sure your outdoor lights are plugged into a GFCI grounding outlet.
Always unplug your lights when you are not home and considering putting your lights on a timer so you don’t forget.
We hope these tips help to keep your holiday safe and bright!
5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Winter
Snow is just around the corner and here in New England an early snow storm can catch even the most prepared off guard. With just a little amount of time and preparation, you can be prepared easily and enjoy the dropping temperature and falling snow.
- Inspect your roof and remove any leaves or debris that could potentially cause an ice dam, damage to your roof or water damage.
- Make sure your windows are sealed, use window coverings and weatherstripping for drafty areas around windows and doors. Also make sure that pipes in unheated spaces are properly insulated to prevent a pipe from freezing and busting which can cause significant water damage.
- Change your filters regularly so the air in your business stays clean and your systems are running efficiently
- Stock up on ice melt, sand and shovels to prevent any accidental slips and falls for your customers, you and your employees
- Lastly, make sure your business insurance is up to date and you have the proper coverage for your business. If you don’t have insurance now is a good time to invest in coverage and help to prevent lost income.
Whether you love winter or can't wait until it's over, this few tips can help save you and your business from the winter blues!
Prevent Ice Dams Now
Although it is a bit early for ice dams to be forming on your roof, now is the time to prevent ice dams from happening and leaving you and your family out in the cold!
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is chunks of ice that form at the edge of your roof and prevents the melting snow from draining off your roof.
How do ice dams form?
Ice dams form when there is snow on the roof. Your roof temperature is not always even. When the higher parts of the roof are above 32ºF and the lower parts of your roof are below 32ºF and the temperature outside is also below 32ºF over a period of time the water from the top flows down and then freezes at the colder part, the lower part of your roof, and forms a dam. The longer these conditions continue, the larger the dam can form. This dam then blocks the rest of the snow that is melting from draining off the roof.
What damage can an ice dam cause?
The water that has backed up needs to go somewhere. When this water is trapped, it can leak into walls, attics, ceilings, insulation and other areas. This water unnoticed or not taken care of can leak to mold in your home causing allergy, respiratory and other health problems.
How can I best prevent an ice dam from forming?
- For immediate action, clear the snow from your roof by using a roof rake or hiring a professional
- Clear your gutters from leaves and debris during the fall, before the colder temperature start to set in.
- Roof ventilation can help keep the temperature of your roof more uniform. Ridge and soffit vents can help with this
- Make sure your attic is sealed and insulated
- Make sure that your ducts for the kitchen, bathroom or laundry are sealed, insulated and lead outside through the roof, walls and never though the soffit.
- Install steel flashing around chimneys
- Use a fire-stop sealant to caulk and seal electrical cable and vent pipes
Fall is the best time to take preventative action now to preventing ice dams from forming and causing damage to your home this winter.
Should an ice dam form on your home this winter and cause water damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County has the equipment and professionally trained team to clean up the damage and make it “Like it never even happened.®”
How to Spot Mold In Your Home
Mold is classified as a fungus and can grow in all different types of places in your home. The important thing is to know what to look out for and what to do about it.
The most common places you might see mold is on your food, especially breads, cheeses and other items that are in your pantry or refrigerator. If you see any food with mold on it, dispose of it immediately. This is the easiest mold to take care of.
Mold that is on the inside or outside of your home can be much more serious and sometimes you do not even know how long the mold has been growing.
Mold can grow inside and outside your home, car, shed, deck or basement. Mold tends to thrive in damp and dark environments where temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When mold goes unnoticed and widespread it is very difficult for a homeowner to properly and safely eliminate and remove the mold completely.
The effect of mold on you and your family’s health can be highly toxic and have long term health effects. For this reason it is important to quickly eliminate the mold in your home. The most harmful molds fall into three categories:
- Allergenic - molds that cause allergies, allergic reactions and asthma
- Pathogenic - molds that can cause health problems
- Toxigenic - molds that produce toxic substances that can lead to severe or deadly health conditions, these are known as toxic molds.
The most common places in your home where mold can thrive is: bathrooms, basements, roofs, window seals, attics and kitchens. Check often for the growth of mold, especially during the hot and humid months. If you spot mold, call one of our professionals to do a mold inspection. SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County has the proper equipment and trained professionals to identify and eliminate the mold growing in your home and make your space safe again.
Keep you and your family safe buy keeping watch for mold and taking the proper measure to eliminate and remove the mold in your home.
SERVPRO of Norwich & Windham County Helps Victims of Hurricane Michael
On October 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael made landfall as a high-end Category 4 hurricane in Mexico Beach, Florida.
Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United Sates. This hurricane was the strongest storm in terms of maximum sustained wind speed in the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Additionally, Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm on record in the Florida Panhandle and in terms of wind speed, is the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane.
Hurricane Michael was a massive storm causing catastrophic damage to life and property.
SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County wanted to help the people impacted by the storm and is proud to be in the Panama City, Florida area to help the residents in the restoration process. We have several storm crews that have traveled and are working diligently to help the hurricane victims rebuild and make it “Like it never even happened®”.
How can you help?
There is much need in the areas affected by the storm, you can help in your own local community by donating to local food, clothing and supplies to drop off points.
The victims of this massive hurricane will be in our thoughts and prayers for a swift recovery.
When Trees Fall
No matter the season, any storm can stir up strong winds powerful enough to topple down electrical lines, block roads or even fall on your car or home.
Evacuate your home and get you and your family to a safe location and call 911. If you are unable to evacuate your or in doubt of electrical or structural stability, call 911 immediately for help.
Be cautious of any downed wires and debris while evacuating your home that the tree may have also taken during its fall.
Call Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the situation so you can begin restoring the damage as soon as possible and using the proper procedure in accordance with your specific policy.
Protect Your Home
Parts of your roof and interior may be exposed when a tree falls. After everyone is safe take the necessary steps to prevent further rain, wind, temperature and theft damage. Secure your valuables, cover anything that could be damaged with tarps or other weather-resistant materials, lock your doors and make sure to stay away from the area until it is safe from falling debris, electrical hazards or unstable flooring.
Tree Removal and Damage Restoration
Call a professional and insured tree removal company to clean up the damage and for tree removal and disposal.
Begin the process of repairing your home and the damage. SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County offers full service for any water damage to the home and can manage the home restoration as well, making the fallen tree, "Like it never even happened®".
Preparing Your Home for Fall Weather
Photo by Craig Tidball on Unsplash
It's that time of year when the leaves are creating their beautiful color display across New England and are rapidly falling to the ground in preparation for winter. Here at SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County we are also preparing for the Fall season, although we have no colorful leaves to offer, we do have some tips to help prepare your home for the Fall weather ahead.
While we cannot prevent the leaves from falling on your roof, patio, lawn, walkways and driveway, here are a few things you can do to keep your home safe.
- Clean out your gutters before too much piles up and clogs your gutters causing a potential ice dam during the winter months.
- Raking isn't fun, but keeping your walkways, patio, driveway and yard clear of leaves will keep everyone safe, especially wet leaves which can easily cause a fall.
- Consider planting a colder-weather garden in the ground now and clean up any plants that have overgrown during the hot summer months.
Now is the perfect time to inspect and service your furnace, hot water heater and any duct work before you need them. Replace any filters and make sure that all connections are tight. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, now is a great time to get your flu serviced before the temperatures dip too low
Daylight is getting shorter, so check and replace the burned out light bulbs on the inside and outside of your house.
- Go around your house and check to make sure all your windows are properly shut so no heat is escaping and your home is staying warm and energy efficient.
- Stock up now on sand, ice melt, shovels and anything else you might need once the temperatures get below freezing and the snow starts flying and those items start flying off the shelves!
For many of us, Fall is their favorite time of year. So, visit an apple orchard, carve a pumpkin, decorate with some mums and enjoy everything pumpkin spice, after all it only comes around once a year, so don't miss it!
The Start of a Great Race Season!
Johnny O with his first win on May 30th
Every year SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham County sponsors our own Johnny O in the #51 Legend car and the SK Lite Modified race cars. The season started out rainy, but is now if full swing.
Wednesday we race the Legend car and so far, the #51 has had a good season. John is in 3rd overall in the season points standings. He has been in the top 5 twice, the top 10 four times and has his first win of the season on May 30th!
Saturdays are for the SK Lite Modifieds. John is also in 3rd in the overall season standings. He has been in the top 5 two times and in the top 10 three times.
There is a lot of racing yet to come and we are hoping for more wins and a great race season. If you are in the area, come on down to the Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesdays and Saturdays to cheer on our own Johnny O in the #51!
10 Fast & Easy Spring Cleaning Tips
Have your cleaning supplies ready!
Spring is here and in New England it is more than welcome after a cold and snowy winter!
Spring weather means spring cleaning! We all want to enjoy the outdoors, so here are a few tips to help get you enjoy both the outdoors and the indoors.
- Make a schedule and tackle a room a week or if you are ambitious, a room a day!
- Make sure you have the supplies you need so there is no reason to procrastinate.
- Have a donate and trash bag ready as you are cleaning so you can immediately dump the trash and put your donations in the car.
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum to help get rid of even more impurities and allergens in the air.
- Get green and save money by mixing your own cleaning supplies. A quick search online with give you tons of easy recipes with items you already have in your home.
- Use old socks as dust rags, wrap a towel around your broom for hard to reach spaces and use newspaper to clean windows and mirrors and try using a wet dryer sheet to clean your ceramic stove tops.
- Now is a good time to wash all your bedding while you change out to lighter sheets and comforters.
- Assign each member of the house a different task so you can divide and conqueor your spring cleaning even faster!
- Make sure to clean your sofas and carpets after lots of winter show binging!
- Open the windows, put on some music and have fun!
Have some carpets or furniture that got some extra love this winter? Call SERVPRO of Norwich & Windham County to get all the dirt and grime out! We make it "Like it never even happened."
Quiet Corner BNI Visitors Day, May 2, 2018
If you are local business owner looking to grow your business and would like to join our networking group, we are having a Visitor's Day on May 2nd from 7:30am - 9am.
SERVPRO of Norwich and Windham county is represented in the cleaning category.
Be sure to bring plenty of business cards.