Recent General Posts
At SERVPRO of Johnston County we see all sorts of water damage caused by all kinds of plumbing disasters. Whether the damage is caused by mechanical failure, human error, storms or accidents we are equipped to deal with them all. However, some are preventable.
Today we are focusing on a preventable disaster that starts in the kitchen. Greasy clogged pipes. YUCK! Never pour any type of fat or grease such as butter, cooking oil, ice cream, gravy, or bacon fat into your pipes or toilets. Not only to save our local sewage pipes and water treatment plants but to save you big bucks on repair costs to your home. Nobody wants raw sewage to back up into your house or yard and cost you big money for the cleanups and plumbing repairs!
Let's all do our part to avoid this! Here are a few tips:
*Do NOT pour grease down the sink or toilet!
*Do NOT use hot water to rinse fat, oil, or grease off pots/pans/plates! Even degreasing soap & hot water cannot eliminate fats, oils or grease. Sure it melts into an easy to remove liquid, but then, it re-forms in the pipes as a hard gunky mess. Over time this can build up and completely clog your pipes.
Instead Do this!
- Scrape ALL food scraps in the trash or catch them with a sink strainer.
- Wipe greasy dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing.
- Pour hot fat, oil, or grease into a can or container. Allow to cool or harden then toss it in the regular trash.
If your drains are running slowly and you think there may be a greasy clog it's best to call in a professional to remove the clog before damages occur. If you need help finding a trusted professional give us a call.
Why Freezing Pipes Are a Problem
Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions for how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
GreenSky Financing Available
Disaster often strikes at the most inconvenient time. I have yet to speak with a homeowner that was completely prepared to deal with the aftermath of storm, water, fire or mold damage. You may or may not have the emergency funds to cover that deductible. Or, perhaps, since your home is already being worked on, you think now would be the perfect time to upgrade to those finishes you’ve been dreaming of but the insurance only allows the funding to replace what you had before and you just don’t have enough money stashed away right now for that.
We have an option for you.
We now offer an avenue for you to finance the repairs and restoration for your home. Go to www.greensky.com/consumer to learn more!
Call us SERVPRO of Johnston (919) 359-2599
Preparing for Vacations - Home Edition
We often get calls from customers who have just returned home after a vacation to find their home has sustained damage. When you are packing your bags and packing up to leave, don’t forget to prepare your home for your absence as well! Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Turn OFF water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine, sink, and toilets
This will help to decrease the chances of a supply line issue while you are gone and help prevent water damage.
- Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps, but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture.
By setting your thermostat closer to outside temps, you are helping your unit(s) to not have to work as hard while to you are gone
- Make sure all smoke detectors have new batteries and are working properly
Properly working smoke detectors will help in the event a fire might occur while you are away.
Hurricane Season is Approaching
A hurricane as seen from outer space as it makes its approach toward the Eastern coast line of North Carolina.
As a resident of a state that is on the East coast, hurricane season is something we know is on its way. We know it is from June 1st to November 30th. Even though it is a yearly occurrence, you might not always remember what you should have and know in case we are in the path of one of these storms.
- Have a portable radio, cellphone, TV or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather conditions. Make sure you have chargers, spare batteries or rechargeable battery packs for devices.
- Know your evacuation route and have a plan to move to another location in case of evacuation or extended power outages.
- Put gas in your car and generator before the storm begins.
- Build an emergency kit with a supply of water (one gallon per person per day); non-perishable, easy to prepare food; first aid-kit; battery-powered or hand-crank radio; flashlights and batteries; multipurpose tool; sanitation and personal hygiene items; extra clothes; copies of important documents in a zip-lock bag; cellphones and chargers; extra cash; emergency contact information; blankets or sleeping bags; and a map.
- If you have pets, make sure you have a supply of water and pet food and prepare collars, leashes and carries for transport. Make sure you have rabies vaccination documents or tags and have your pet wear an ID tag, if possible.
- Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency water supply in case power to electric water pumps is interrupted.
- Bring inside anything that could become a projectile in high winds. Anchor anything too big to bring inside.
- Find an interior room on the lower level of the building or home to wait out the storm unless directed to evacuate.
Officials also asked that people create an emergency plan ahead of storms, including: how to contact or find each other; setting two meeting places (one near home and another outside the neighborhood); what evacuation routes to take; pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the route; and planning alternative routes in case roads are blocked or washed out.
Members of every household also should know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning to be able to plan how and when to respond.
A hurricane watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued and stay informed.
A hurricane warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s time to complete your storm preparedness and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
Tropical storm watches and warnings: Take these alerts seriously. Although tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, they often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.
Spring is Near - Do Not Fear Spring Cleaning
With spring right around the corner it is safe to say many people are partaking in their Spring cleaning. This can mean anything from just refreshing some home décor and fresh air to a deep clean of every inch of your home. While it means different things to different people we have come up with a short list of tips and tricks to help anyone get spring started in a clean way.
Often time spring cleaning can appear to be very daunting and like too much to tackle. The best way to beat the overwhelming feelings that come with spring cleaning is to make a schedule for your cleaning. If you make a schedule you are able to visually see that it is broken down and no long have such a large task that is looking back at you. You can do one room a day or one task a day, whatever works best for you!
Cleaning the same thing multiple times can add unneeded work and stress to your cleaning. By working from the top down, you prevent giving yourself extra work and you can clearly see the progress. This is best understood as cleaning the fan off then moving to the horizontal surfaces before moving to the floors. Work smarter not harder!
- Don’t forget the windows, sinks, mirrors, and toilets
When doing a major clean people often focus greatly on the surfaces that can collect random stuff and dirt. While this will help make your home look instantly tidier, we can’t forget the windows, sinks, mirrors, and toilets. This is because even if our whole home has been cleaned if these items have not gotten their needed attention they will stick out like a sore thumb.
- Change AC filters and clean vent covers
Spring cleaning is a time to get all the dust and stale air out of your home from the winter months. Although filters and vents often go ignored during cleaning, this will help ensure you and your family is breathing cleaner air. AC flirts should be changed: roughly every 90 days if you do not have pets, roughly every 60 days with only one pet, and roughly every 30 days with two or more pets. This will keep your system from having to work as hard too!
Why is Continuing Your Education so Important?
When working on your CE credits you might ask yourself why is this important? That is an easy question for us to answer!
With any license in the insurance field, you have to show you are still in the industry and actively participating within the field you have chosen. When you are given your license it is understood that these requirements will be met to keep an active license. In order to keep an active license you must be willing to put in some work!
- Continued education helps keep you in the loop
When you are working towards completing your required credits, you are learning about the newest methods and ways of the industry. You're investing in continuing education; you have the ability to fill some of the gaps in your workplace's skills and knowledge.
In your CE classes you will get the chance to network with people who are also in your field of work along with people who do other aspects of your industry. This is a great time to get to mingling and network like you mean it. Networking is a great way to keep connected within your industry and also have someone you can reach out to if you have questions.
The A,B,C’s of being A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County
Our AMAZING production team!
Here we “grow” again! We love our current technicians here at SERVPRO® of Johnston County and so do our customers and clients. So much so that we’re growing our team of technicians! Exciting times here in Clayton NC!
As you might imagine the job of a SERVPRO® of Johnston County Production Technician isn’t for the faint of heart. However the pay is good and there is potential for growth. Add to that the bonus of working with an amazing fun team and being the hero on somebody’s worst day!
So when we’re interviewing candidates here’s the ABC’s of what we’re looking for…
#1 – Adaptable - adjective
- Capable of being or becoming adapted to new or varying situations.
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to be adaptable to situations from the dirty to the mundane. On any given day they may go from cleaning smoke and soot from a fire job to a water loss job extracting water and setting equipment to dry out. Or they may be shoveling out after a sewage backup or cleaning mold growth or moving contents from a home or business after a fire or water loss. Any of these situations may require our technicians to work in a tight crawlspace or attic or may require they perform demolition or any combination of the aforementioned.”
#2 – Aptitude - noun
- capacity for learning
- general suitability
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to have an aptitude for general cleanup and construction; Needs to be capable of learning industry specific applications and systems and; Needs to be suitable to the physical demands of the required duties.”
#3 – Attitude - adjective
- a mental position with regard to a fact or state.
- a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state.
- a bodily state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (such as an object, concept, or situation).
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to have a positive mental attitude when working with customers in crisis; when working on a large job and; when working during inclement, cold or hot weather.”
#4 – Awareness - noun
- the quality or state of being aware : knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists.
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to be aware of their surroundings in their words, deeds and actions, for safety, successful job completion and customer service and satisfaction purposes.”
#5 – Balanced - adjective
- being in a state of balance : having different parts or elements properly or effectively arranged, proportioned, regulated, considered, etc.
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to be able to balance home and work life to accommodate for on-call schedules, home life and personal recharging activities.”
#4 – Bright - adjective
- intelligent, clever
- auspicious, promising
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to be able to use their resources to figure tricky situations out.”
#4 – Communicate - verb
- to convey knowledge of or information about: to make known.
- to reveal by clear signs.
- to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood by two or more parties.
“A Production Technician at SERVPRO® of Johnston County needs to be able to convey relevant information to customers, teammates and superiors, either verbally or using written communication. Our technicians also need to excel at listening during training, when with customers and when working with teammates and superiors.”
Financing now available
Disaster often strikes at the most inconvenient time. I have yet to speak with a homeowner that was completely prepared to deal with the aftermath of storm, water, fire or mold damage. Even with superior insurance coverage you may have to cover a deductible. And you may or may not have the emergency funds to cover that deductible. Or, perhaps, since your home is already torn up, now would be the perfect time to upgrade to those finishes you’ve been dreaming of but the insurance only allows the funding to replace what you had before and you just don’t have enough stashed away right now.
Well…we have an option for you…
We can now offer an avenue for you to finance the repairs and restoration for your home. Go to www.greensky.com/consumer to learn more!
Call us SERVPRO of Johnston (919) 359-2599
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
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.
Continuing Our Investment
Newest Fleet Addition
With a hot, new, wrap, today we rolled out the latest addition to our fleet of services vehicles.
The message we want to convey as we roll around Johnston County is that we are continuly investing in equipment, training, and, vehicles that will enable us to deliver superior, emergency services to the citizens of Johnston County.
HONK when we pass you by to let us know how you like the new wrap.
Had They Only Turned Off The Water
Easter weekend is a few days away and many of us will be leaving town to visit with friends and family or just taking a brief respite from reality. The 3 and 4 day weekends like this require a little more thinking beyond packing what you want to wear.
More often than you might think, returning from a 3 or 4 day Holiday trip, it is not unusual for a home owner to find an enormous mess in their home from a sudden water leak or small fire...
Some things to think about before you close the door behind you:
1. Turn off the water to the house,
2. Make sure that all of the toilets that were flushed have refilled properly,
3. Unplug all of the appliances such as the toaster, and, coffee pot,
4. Do not turn the dishwasher on then leave,
5. Do not turn on the washing machine or dryer before you close the door behind you..
These are just a few things to think about before you jump in the car and head out. They are pretty simple and can save an avalanche of headaches when you return.
Are you ready?
With National Preparedness Month approaching fast in September SERVPRO of Johnston County asks: Are you prepared for whatever life throws at you? Go check out the site at http://www.ready.gov/ to help you be ready when things go wrong.