An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure- Preparing Your Home for the Coming Cold Months
Benjamin Franklin famously advised fire-threatened Philadelphians in 1736 that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Clearly, preventing disasters is preferable to living with the aftermath, but to what extent can we protect our homes from natural disasters? Winter is coming so what can you do this fall to prepare your home and property to prevent as much damage as possible?
- The bulk of calls we receive in winter stem from exposed water pipes. The worst of these come from unconditioned spaces like attics, garages and crawl spaces. So this weekend check your crawlspace, your attic and your garage for exposed pipes. Insulating pipes is an easy enough job for the typical homeowner to tackle using spray insulation foam for pipes or foam tubing you can find at your local hardware store. Or, you can hire a handyman or plumber to tackle this chore. Check the condition of the pipes and insulation yearly. Pipes and fittings wear out over time. Replacing worn out pieces before failure is a huge cost saver.
- Check to make sure your outdoor garden hoses are disconnected and insulate the hose bib from frost.
- Check to make sure your attic is insulated to the proper R rating. Then, check to make sure the water supply pipes are insulated and that the insulation tubes, or foam, are well secured and in good condition Check for cracks, splits or weak areas in the tubing or foam.
- If you have a crawlspace close the vents from the outside. Then go into your crawl space with a good flashlight and check to make sure those water pipes are insulated and that the insulation tubes, or foam, are well secured and in good condition. Keep your heat on during the coldest months, even if you’re going away. You can keep it lower than when you’re home to save on energy costs, but make sure to open up cabinet doors on outside walls where there are water pipes just in case there’s a cold snap while you’re away.
- Get a fall/winter tune up for your furnace and change your air filters. Your HVAC contractor will make sure all the parts are in good working condition so you don’t lose heat when you need it most. Changing your air filters regularly will prevent your system from having to work too hard. That will not only save you money in the short term it will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system.
- Clear out all your gutters from leaf debris and roofing gravel. If your gutters are full of debris the water cannot flow out. Gutters full of frozen material and ice are very heavy and can cause expensive damage to your home. So pull out some waterproof work gloves, safety goggles and a tall ladder this weekend and get them cleaned out. Or go ahead and hire an insured handyman to tackle this laborious chore. Bonus… Hang your Christmas lights while you’ve got the ladder out!
- Trim away tree limbs that hang over or near your home, especially if they’re dead or damaged. Not only will trimming the trees make them beautiful in the spring, your home will be better protected in case we have an ice or wind storm this winter. The last thing you’re going to want to deal with when it is cold out and icy is a tree limb through your roof or window.
The North Carolina Piedmont Region winters are unpredictable. We might just get rain and just a few days under freezing or we might get an ice storm that coats the entire region or we might get an inch or two of snow and weeks of below freezing weather. It’s best to play it safe and get as prepared as possible. In the case of ice and snow our roads become impassable and dangerous, even for emergency crews. If there is a flood in your home or a tree through your roof we will do our best to get to your home as soon as safety allows. Here are a few things you can do if a disaster should occur at your home.
- Shut off the source of the water at the water main if you can. If you cannot get to the water main shut the water to that pipe off.
- Turn off the circuit breakers for wet areas of your home, when access to the power panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Move any valuables out and away from the damaged or wet areas.
- If a tree falls into your home block off access to that part of the home. Create a barrier to block drafts.
Even with careful planning and preparation things can, and do, go wrong. From old plumbing to household accidents flooding keeps us here at SERVPRO of Johnston County busy all year long.
If you need help finding a trusted and insured plumber, HVAC technician or handyman in our area give us a call 919-359-2599 we are here to help!
By: Juju Clayson-Feld, Director of Customer Service, SERVPRO of Johnston County
Financing Available Now!
We have an avenue for you to now finance your repairs and remodel of your home! Go to www.greensky.com/consumer to learn more!
Insurance Agents - Get Your CE's with SERVPRO!
SERVPRO of Johnston County is proud to host two CE courses for North Carolina Insurance Professionals on August 14, 2018!
Come attend "Ethics to Work by for Insurance Professionals," and "Don't Be Taken to the Cleaners" and earn 5 Continuing Education hours.
No cost to you; however, if company guidelines require you to pay, each class is $15. Lunch will be provided.
Happy Independence Day!
Happy Independence day from our team to you!
While you enjoy cookouts and family fun, please keep in mind fire and water safety. Especially with grills, fryers, sparkers and fire crackers. Keep these items at least three-feet from the wall of the house and out of the grass to prevent fire.
We are so grateful to celebrate another year here, thanks to our community and you!
Happy Fathers Day! Golf and Grill!
Thanks to https://tinyurl.com/yaxnhja4 for the image
Happy Fathers Day to all the great folks our children call Dad!
This weekend is full of golf and fun for the guys here at SERVPRO, a well-deserved break from the storms that have kept us engaged within the community and helping others. They are playing in the 10th Annual Captains Choice Golf Tournament in Garner, hosted by the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
Are you grilling this weekend? Some family favorites here are burgers, dogs, BBQ, and corn on the cob! How about some fresh local produce from farmers out here in Clayton, Garner, Smithfield, Selma, and Raleigh? I've enjoyed fresh strawberries from a farmer in Archer Lodge, some watermelon and cantaloupe from others in the area. What a bounty our Spring has given us!
Enjoy this coming weekend and the beautiful weather that is promised and stay safe!
Top photo, before drying process. Bottom photo, after drying process.
Water damage to a home or business can be devastating. The quicker we can get in to take care of the issue, the better and less likely we’ll have to come in and demo. That isn’t always the most ideal option for business and home owners and can draw out the repair process. The photos of the hardwood floors attached to this blog are a perfect example of that. The homeowner called about a burst pipe on the second floor during extremely cold temperatures. Water was beginning to stand on the floor as a result. Beautiful hardwoods on the entire first floor of the home were affected. The first photo shows the floors beginning to cup from the standing water. Once we came in and extracted the water and dried the floors, tenting the floor with plastic became a focus to dry the hardwoods in order to salvage them. They then used a desiccant dehumidifier and wood floor drying units to slowly dry the floors. Slow drying prevents us from over drying the hardwoods or drying too fast. Once drying is complete, the hardwoods need to acclimate at least 30 days before they can be refinished to bring the back to their original state. The second photo is after the drying process. The hardwoods are already looking excellent and on their way back to their original state.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
North Carolina has been experiencing abnormal below freezing temperatures that have never been seen, or felt, for such a long period . The 1-2 inches of snow locally in the Clayton area left everyone home for several days due to the freezing temps sticking. With the abnormally low temperatures we’re seeing, our office is getting a lot of calls about frozen pipes bursting. More snow is due today. So, before those cold temps come back let’s go over some tips to prevent your pipes from freezing.
· Remove all hoses from your outdoor faucets.
· Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
· Adding insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces will help keep them warmer. Hot and cold water pipes should also be insulated in places such as garages, kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets.
· Let cold water drip from faucets. Even a drip can prevent pipes from freezing.
· Use electrical heating tape on exposed pipes.
· Never let your heat go below 55 degrees.
· Protect outside faucets with foam faucet covers.
If you suspect your pipes to already be frozen please call a licensed plumber to come and take the of the problem.
Happy New Years!
Welcome to 2018! New year, fresh start! Can you feel it? We're all excited for what 2018 has in store for us. Who has exciting New Years resolutions? I've come up with a few myself. Nothing extraordinary. Running had become a love of mine over the summer. I committed myself to running every other day. However, with winter months having shorter days, and December being so busy, my running took a back seat. I'm excited about getting back into my groove.
I've shared mine! Time for whatever staff I could corner to share their New Years resolutions.
James, our General Manager, does a lot of Brazilian jujitsu, and is making a goal of getting back into shape. So to get back to that means healthier drink and food choices- specifically drinking more water. This also requires working out more. His goal is to have morning work outs prior to heading into the office.
With so much going on in our Owners life, meatballs subs from Fire House subs have found their way into John's heart. He's recently had to break up with meatball subs, and started to choose healthier food options. Along with those healthier food options, he plans on hitting the gym to get back into better physical shape.
Our Office Manager, Daniella, has a goal of putting more focus on herself. As moms and women, we tend to gear our focus towards our children, families and careers. Daniella plans on taking more breathing time, her time, which includes, but not limited to, more manicures and pedicures. I love that she's taking more her time, and hope we as women can follow her lead and remind ourselves to take a moment so we can come back refreshed, ready to be the best us!
Happy New Year everyone! We hope it's an amazing one!
Here at SERVPRO we’re hoping you remember this season to enjoy each and every moment. This time of year is so busy that most of us can get caught up in its chaos. Remember to take things slow, and to enjoy all the extra time with your loved ones. We are all so blessed, and sometimes that can easily be overlooked. Don’t forget to show kindness and love to those around you. It’s so easy to give a smile, a “Hello” or a “Merry Christmas”. We know there have been times where someone’s kind words have changed our entire outlook for a day. Don’t forget that someone could be you. We should all be making it our goal to spread as much love as possible.
We hope you and your family continue to have a safe and Merry Christmas!
Fire Safety tips for the Holidays
The holiday season is an exciting time of the year for most families but that excitement can quickly be extinguished if a fire occurs in the home. The U.S. Fire Administration says that almost 47,000 fires occur during winter holidays taking more than 500 lives. The National Fire Protection Association and U.S. Fire Administration have found that 1 of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death and candle fires are four times likely to occur during the winter holidays. These are only two of several frequent occurrences during the holiday season for too many families. To help keep your family safe this season, below are some safety tips to follow.
The most common cause of household fires are from cooking. Leaving food unattended is a big reason for this. Before kicking off the holiday cooking season at Thanksgiving be sure to check all smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly. It’s also always important to keep a fire extinguisher in the home. When you’re cooking keep all paper or plastic bags, kitchen utensils, pot holders and dish towels are kept away from the stove. If you’re going to be cooking with a deep fryer put it at least 10 feet away from your home.
Candles, decorative lights and other seasonal decorations are a big thing for decorating around the holidays. All items should be placed at least 3 ft from any type of heat sources. Prior to using decorative lights check each strand for frayed or cracked wires. Avoid hanging lights on nails or with staples as it could lead to damage to the wiring. If you’ve had lit candles, walk around your home to extinguish them at the end of the evening. The same goes for decorative lights. Prior to leaving your home or going to bed always unplug all lights.
Christmas tree fires are more likely to occur in January after the Christmas season. However, you can never be too safe following these steps to ensure your homes safety. Make sure your tree has fresh, green needles that don’t break easily. Keep your tree fresh by continuing to keep it watered. Never use candles that are lit to decorate your tree. Always unplug your tree lights before leaving for home or going to bed. Have a sturdy tree stand to ensure your tree is stable and won’t fall over.
From our SERVPRO family to yours, we're wishing everyone a safe and joyous season!