When floodwater enters your home or business, it can cause "standing water". Standing water is a pool of water that does not flow. This can be a dangerous thing if it is not handled correctly. Standing water should be dealt with right away. The cleanup can sometimes take up to 10 or 11 days to completely disappear unless it is mitigated immediately.
Here are some protective measures to take into consideration when dealing with standing water:
Stay Away from Standing Water
- Sewage, debris, and other unpleasant things can be in the standing water leftovers
- Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and other parasites
- Swimming, wading, or rafting can make you sick
- Wash your hands after contact with standing water
- Do not drink the water
- Water conducts electricity. Underground power lines can give you a dangerous shock
Standing Water vs. Animals:
- Snakes and other animals may get into your home or building. Wear work boots and heavy gloves when you clean up
- Mosquitoes can breed and grow in standing water
- Some animals might find your home or business a cozy place to live
- If tap water is unsafe to drink, it is unsafe for your pets
If you find yourself dealing with standing water of any kind, we are here to help make it “Like it never even happened."
Going Out After COVID-19 Shutdown
As communities and businesses reopen, you may be eager to get out of the house and resume your daily activities. Although there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is crucial to understand the possible risks and types prevention measures to protect yourself.
What You Need to Know:
- The closer you interact with others and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
- Keep a face masks, tissues, and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol on you at all times.
- If you decide to participate in public activities, practice preventative measures such as:
- Wear a face mask
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid close contact with others
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Stay home if you feel sick
Before going out to eat, check the restaurant’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go.
- Call to see if their staff are wearing face masks while working
- Check the restaurant’s website and social media to see if they have updated their information regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines.
- Remind guests to stay home if they feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19
- Host your gathering outdoors if possible
- Arrange tables and chairs for social distancing. Try to keep everyone 6ft apart.
- Wear face masks if possible
- Avoid close contact with guests upon arrival. Instead of shaking hands or giving a hug, wave and verbally greet them instead.
- Clean hands often
- Provide hand sanitizers
- Use paper towels for drying hands, avoid guests from sharing a towel
- Limit people going in areas where the flood is being prepared
Going to Gyms
- Attend outdoor classes or virtual classes to avoid close contact with others
- If you attend indoor classes, try to maintain 6ft apart from others
- Avoid close contact with others
- Ensure equipment is clean and disinfected. Wipe down machines and equipment before and after use.
- Bring hand sanitizer for extra protective measures
Going to Salons
- Book services in advance to avoid waiting in a lobby with others
- Wait in your car until the time of your appointment
- Always wear a face mask
- Avoid paying with cash
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before receiving services.
Spot Hidden Water Leaks
When was the last time you moved your appliances to inspect for hidden leaks? Leaks are trouble, that is why it is important to be alert and spot water leaks before they drive up your water bills and cause damage to your home.
Here is where to find hidden leaks in your home:
Check your water meter: Turn off all the water in your home and record the number on your water meter. Wait at least 20 minutes, return to check your meter again. If the meter reading has changed, that means you have a leak.
Check your usage: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highly recommends checking your winter water usage to find out if a leak is occurring somewhere in your home. If a family of four is using more than 12,000 gallons of water per month, it is likely that there is a serious leak problem somewhere in your plumbing system.
Check your bill: If your bill is rising consistently but your water usage has not changed, a leak may be to blame. Collect bills from the past few months and compare them to see if there is a steady increase. Your water bill should remain within the same range month to month.
Check exterior usage: Leaks not only happen inside your home – they can occur outside as well. Check your outside spigots by attaching a garden hose; if water seeps through the connection while the hose is running, replace the rubber hose gasket and check to see all connections are tight.
Routine check: Regularly check places such as the toilet base, shower door, ceilings, cabinets, and basement corners for mold or pooling water. Being alert and proactive is in checking for water leaks is key for avoiding potential problems.
Spotted a hidden water leak and have damage? SERPVRO is here to help! We are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment. SERVPRO uses moisture monitoring equipment to effectively measure and document the drying process to ensure your property is dry.
Prove Your Commitment To Clean
Getting back to business relies on getting your customers back through your doors. And that will only happen if they feel safe and secure in your space. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean with 40% of consumers citing store cleanliness as a top concern. Are you ready to not only help keep your customers and employees safe but to communicate that you have chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans?
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes way beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration,we stand on over 50 years of experience and expertise so you can rest assured that you have selected a higher standard of clean for all Americans – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry-leading and proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. The program is grounded with our unique 3 Cs: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
- CONSULT: A TAILORED CLEANING PROGRAM TO MEET YOUR NEEDS.
- We will assign you a Cleaning Protocol Specialist who understands your business.
- Programs are based on a range of factors: type of industry, business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
- CLEAN: PROACTIVE AND COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE CLEANING PROGRAM.
- Trained and experienced in biohazard cleaning and decontamination for porous and non-porous surfaces – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards for your facility set by the CDC.
- EPA-approved products, including our proprietary cleaning agent SERVPROXIDE, a hospital-grade disinfectant that is NSF certified for direct food surface use.
- CERTIFY: A COMMITMENT TO CLEAN FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES AND CONSUMERS.
- Leverage SERVPRO’s trusted brand to reassure your customers and employees that you are taking the steps needed to keep your space at a higher level of clean.
- Communication touchpoints include a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned window emblem, signage, marks for your digital footprint and more.
DISPLAY YOUR COMMITMENT TO CLEAN WITH THE CERTIFIED: SERVPRO CLEANED LOGO.
Customers and employees will know that SERVPRO, the nation’s #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, was there.
Did you know most home fires happen right in the kitchen? According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to 173,200 home structure fires per year started by cooking. That is as average of 470 home cooking fires per day.
Oven fires are frightening but can be contained and prevented. Pay attention when cooking or baking and make sure that your oven is clean before each use.
An oven can catch fire for many different reasons:
- When cooking something with a lot of fat and grease, it can splatter and cause a flame
- Forgetting something in the oven
- Food scraps or other items left in the oven
- When baking, the batter can overflow, dripping to the bottom and can start a fire
- Turning on the self-cleaning feature
What to do if your oven catches fire:
- Leave the oven door CLOSED
- Turn off the oven and allow the fire to burn out on its own
- If it does not burn out on its own, leave your house and call 911
- If the fire does go out, open your windows
- Carefully open the door and remove the hot pan from the oven (be prepared, it will be smokey!)
- Let the smoke clear before determining the cause of fire
If your oven does catch on fire, step 1 is crucial to containing it. By leaving the door closed and turning off the oven, you are starving the fire. Opening the door will only cause the fire to expand and cause more damage.
How to prevent oven fires:
- Make sure your oven is clean before each use
- Do not leave cooking food unattended
- When making cakes, cookies or pastries, put a slightly larger baking tray underneath your baking pan to prevent batter dripping onto the bottom of the oven.
- Cover your food that might splatter
- When roasting, drain some of the hot grease by removing pan from the oven every 30 minutes
- Get your oven checked out by a professional to make sure it is working correctly
Keep the heart of your kitchen happy and healthy with these oven maintenance tips! If you happen to suffer from a kitchen fire, do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help when disaster strikes.
Are You Ready To Be Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?
Being open for business is just the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patron are safe. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Are you ready to communicate to your customers and employees that you’ve chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans? Are you ready to be Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned?
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that SERVPRO offers to commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 global pandemic. This is a level of clean that goes far beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. When you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on over 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.
From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will help ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy begins to reopen.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – Program
When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. Expertise borne out of cleaning up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects the unique experiences and capabilities of America’s #1 clean-up and restoration brand. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
Not all businesses are the same, which is why we will assign you with a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a bespoke cleaning program to meet your specific needs. SERVPRO has worked in a wide variety of industries with businesses ranging from start-ups to global, multinational organizations. That’s why we know to begin such a critical cleaning process with a consultation.
Your specific program will be developed based on a range of factors including business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touch points, foot traffic and congestion points. As a result, you’ll know that Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is not just an industry leading standard in clean, you’ll know that the clean you receive is customized to your need.
Based on the specific needs of your business, your location will undergo a thorough, expert deep clean rooted in the pillars of People, Process, and Product. Combining our proprietary training, cleaning solutions and processes creates an industry leading solution that will help provide your business, employees and customers the peace of mind that you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
People. SERVPRO Professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform.
Process. SERVPRO professionals are trained to perform proactive or emergency responsive cleanups that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
Product. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned has more than 100 exclusive cleaning products to meet any need including our proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, which is a hospital grade disinfectant that carries the Environmental Protection Agency’s lowest toxicity category and is National Sanitation Foundation certified for direct food contact surface use. All our products carry the Environmental Protection Agency’s registered emerging pathogens claims and meet the standard set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for hospital-grade disinfectant.
We’re going to extend our credibility as a premier biohazard cleaning company in the country to your business – to give assurance to your employees and customers that only SERVPRO can deliver. Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to on propriety signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.
Here to Help® With more than 1,800 franchises nationwide, SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. SERVPRO professionals have been on the front lines of proactive and reactive COVID related cleanup and are Here to Help® as your business begins to reopen.
At SERVPRO it is our duty, not our job, to inspire confidence by ensuring your business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Making community possible again. We’re here to help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities, we all call home.
Storm Damage? We Are Here To Help!
Heavy rainfall causing floods and storms can lead to damage to your home or business in no time. SERVPRO of Saginaw / Bay City wants residents of Mid Michigan to know that when a storm damages your home or business, our highly trained professionals will respond to cleanup and restore your property to pre-damage condition. Our ability to immediately respond to a storm emergency helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Here are some of the services we provide:
- Emergency contact 24/7
- Inspection and damage assessment
- Water removal and water extraction
- Drying and dehumidification services
- Cleaning and repair
- Odor removal
What To Do Until Help Arrives:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, Mid-Michigan residents and business owners can expect us to respond immediately to your water emergency.
Bad Habits That Can Start a Fire
House fires are more common than you may realize, with potential fire starters like dust, laptops and lint traps hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless but can be deadly.
Are you guilty of these bad habits that could start an unexpected fire in your home?
Misusing electric blankets: A warm and cozy electric blanket is a welcome comfort in the winter but, it also poses a potential fire hazard. Never allow pets to snuggle on top and do not pile extra covers over the electric blanket. Excessive heat buildup may lead to fire. Never bend the coils, always keep your blanket at its lowest setting and always turn it off in the morning.
Piling up dirty rags: A wood stain may be the perfect finishing touch on a DIY project, but later, that pile of oil-soaked rags you tossed in the corner could trigger the perfect storm. Those rags are a very real fire hazard if left unattended. The rags could oxidize and spontaneously combust, causing a house fire. Two proper ways to dispose of oily rags are to lay them flat outside to dry or to put them in a metal can filled with water and a tight-fitting lid.
Lingering dryer lint: We're sure you know emptying the lint screen increases your dryer’s efficiency, but did you know that lint is flammable? The combination of lint buildup and excessive heat is a recipe for disaster. Make sure to clean the interior of the dryer frame as well as the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly to clear away lint and clogs and to reduce the risk of fire.
Letting your laptop overheat: If you own a laptop, you know how hot it can get, Leaving your computer on your bed, chair, rug or other soft flammable surface, you increase the risk of restricting airflow through the cooling vents. This can cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire. Keeping your laptop on a desk or table will help prevent fires.
Using too many extension cords: Extension cords are meant to be a temporary response to a lack of electrical outlets; not a permanent solution. The reason why is this: connecting many cords for a significant amount of time causes an overload that will lead to a short circuit - which could start a fire. Hiring a qualified electrician to install additional outlets could help you avoid this problem altogether.
Disregarding dust: Built up dust can be a fire hazard if it collects in and around electrical sockets, electronics and even floor heaters. Vacuuming on a regular basis, especially behind electronics, will significantly reduce the chance of dust particles catching fire.
Improperly storing batteries: Storing 9-volt batteries in your kitchen junk drawer might be putting your home and family at risk. When loose batteries roll around with other metals such as paper clips or screws, the two terminals could short out, possibly generating enough heat to ignite flammables nearby. If storing the batteries in the original package is not an option, place a piece of electrical tape over the terminal to prevent this possibility.
Unwanted guests: Rodents like mice and rats like to chew on electrical wires to control the length of their teeth. Over time, they can remove the sheathing, this leaves the wires exposed. The electrical current travelling through the wire generate heat and if the wire is exposed this could lead to sparks, which in turn could ignite the surrounding surface. Call an exterminator if you suspect you have rodents.
Forgetting the chimney sweep: There are common cause of chimney fires, such as, dead birds, raccoon nests, cracked mortar and built up creosote. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a professional chimney sweep at least once a year. Also, when building a fire in your fireplace, never light it with kerosene. Always use an approved fire starter.
Overlooking the range hood: Ovens and cook tops are the most common sources of kitchen fires. But range hoods are also a potential threat. Grease builds up over time and can drip down onto the cook top, possibly starting a fire. These flames could easily reach your cabinets and before you know it your kitchen could be engulfed. Regularly clean and maintain your range hood to keep your kitchen out of harm’s way.
Furniture arrangement: Furniture placed too close to a wood stove could spontaneously ignite. Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a combustible item. This occurs when an object is continually exposed to a heat source and dries out. This leading-yet seldom considered cause of fires does not even require a direct flame. It only takes heat and time.
Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. In many instances, your Mid-Michigan property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. We specialize in both fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business. SERVPRO of Saginaw / Bay City has specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to pre-fire condition "Like it never even happened."
Tips on Battling Extreme Heat
Summer has just begun, and Michigan has already dealt with high temperatures. As temperatures continue to rise, survive the summer heat by following the tips below:
- Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as you can. If your home does not have air-conditioning, go somewhere that does such as a store, restaurant, etc.
- Take cool shower or bath to cool off.
- Schedule outdoor activities with caution: Try to limit outdoor activities when it’s coolest, such as morning or evening. Find shady areas to rest in so your body has a chance to recover.
- Pace yourself: Limit exercise during extreme heat.
- Wear sunscreen: Protect your skin from sunburn and sun damage. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down, leading to dehydration.
- Avoid hot and heavy meals: They add heat to your body.
- Drink fluids: Drink plenty of fluids, no matter how active you are. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- No sugary or alcoholic drinks: These drinks can make you lose more body fluid. Also, drinking cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.
- Replace salt and minerals: Sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that needs to be replaced. Sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade can replace salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- Keep your pets hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets to keep them cool and hydrated. Leave their water bowl in shady areas to help cool them down.
Beat the heat this summer with these helpful tips! For more information about extreme heat, visit cdc.gov.
Learn About Sandbags
When faced with flooding, you may be considering the possibility of a sandbag wall to protect your business. It is recommended that taking steps to mitigate damage before it occurs to protect the property and reduce clean up times and costs by several restoration companies. A flood dam is one way to do this. Here is what you need to know about flood dams.
Where to Find Them
Sandbags can be purchased from local hardware stores or landscaping suppliers. During times of severe floods and storms, quantities may be supplied by your local council. You can contact your local council or visit their website for more information. When there is significant flooding, sandbags may in limited supply and may only be issued State Emergency Service. It is better to be prepared and purchase sandbags prior to or when made aware of a flood event.
How They Work
In most cases flood dams work by directing water flow away from the threatened area. Many people choose sandbags because they are easy to build protective barriers. Dry sand is loaded into the bag, and the bag is then folded and placed to create a wall. When the water reaches the wall, it is absorbed by the sand which then becomes heavier, harder to move, and creates a tighter seal.
Where to Place Them
When creating a sandbag barrier to protect your business it is recommended to construct it in a way that directs the flow of water rather than trying to block it. This will put less force on the wall, and keep the water moving to a safe drainage location. Consider setting the barrier up so that the water flows downhill and away from the property, or into a drainage ditch or open field where it can disperse safely.
Sandbags should also be placed over floor wastes and drains to prevent backflow of grey water entering the building. They can also be used in front of doorways/roller doors.
When to Use Them
One of the best ways to reduce flood damage is to know when to use a flood dam. In most cases you may want to consider the use of sandbags any time you believe flooding may pose a high risk to the property.
When making a sandbag wall or using another flood dam type to protect your company it is important to understand how they work and where to place them to direct water flow. Using these tools properly may help you reduce the amount of damage your business could face in the next big storm.
In case of a flooding event, SERVPRO is always here to help. Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our businesses an easy target for storm damage. That’s why we are ready to help 24/7. We will get your business back to pre-damaged condition with our specialized equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”