Recent Posts

Avoid Disaster with Good Grill Safety

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire coming out of outdoor cooking grill Don't let an out of control grill fire ruin your cookout or your dinner!

What is there NOT to love about getting outside on a beautiful day and firing up the grill! For thousands of years, our ancestors have answered the same call to cook our food on an open fire. Fire has been our greatest companion, but can also be our deadly enemy. Unpredictable and rapid, fire often seems to have a mind of its own.  So, let’s be prepared!

The season is right, warm days lingering into cool nights, but there are some things to be aware of before stacking the charcoal or opening the propane valve. Our homes are where we store our memories, where we shelter our families, where we invest our earnings. It is underestimated how frequently small grilling mishaps become major disasters. We have these many things and more to protect. Let us be wise on how to keep them safe while enjoying the sacred rite of cooking out!

It will come as no surprise to read that children account for the majority of accidents involving outdoor cooking and grill fires. Thousands of people are treated for severe burns each year and property losses are extreme. Thankfully, only a few steps are necessary to keep this from happening to us.

Always keep the grill as far from the home as possible, at least 15 feet. Stay attentive of the grill or fire until you are sure it is completely extinguished. Keep a bucket of sand nearby and never use water on a fire involving grease or fat. The correct fire extinguisher is critical and should be close at hand. Keep grills from brush or tall grass, and always make sure to test your propane lines for leaks. Small handheld chimneys are great for getting charcoal grills started safely and quickly.

SERVPRO of Portage County wishes all the residents of our community a great time with family and friends outside by the grill. We hope that you will take these vital precautions and prepare yourself against accidents. 

Moisture in the Air Could Lead to Mold

9/20/2020 (Permalink)

Rubber duck sitting on bathtub ledge with water and mold on wall Take care to make sure that too much moisture in the air doesn't cause damage to your home.

As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about, Covid has placed an extreme weight on our need to understand how tiny particles in the air can be directly harmful to our health. The air all around us is literally exploding with the seeds of life, most of which would never cause us any more than the hassle of a sneeze. But as the summer months fade, and the rain picks back up, moisture and breaking down plant matter create the perfect environment for mold and fungus spores.

Research has proven that simple steps to decrease the level of moisture in the home, in order to decrease the spread of molds, has tremendous health benefits. Many of us are unaware of the myriad of health effects that allowing molds and fungi to gain a hold in our homes can cause. Young children and the elderly are especially at risk.

As if that weren’t enough, untreated moisture issues in the home can attract cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites. Moisture laden building materials can also, when exposed to moisture, exhale volatile organic compounds that can cause health problems as well.

So, what can we do? It is not possible to eliminate all traces of mold and fungus from the air: there are far too many and are carried even by our pets and ourselves. So it’s critical to treat the moisture issue to keep the spores from settling in and becoming harmful. SERVPRO of Portage County’s highly trained mold removal and remediation specialists are on call to make this added problem a distant memory, so we can get back to living safely and happily at home!

Preparing for Winter in Portage County

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Snow covered trees and field Don't let winter sneak up on you. Get your preparations done this fall.

September has already brought along with it just enough cool weather to remind us of another winter coming. None of us wants to be freezing in knee-deep snow trying to imagine what we forgot to do to keep the heat in and the cold out. And that’s only one element of preparing for winter around the home that we need to remember. A few slightly inconvenient chores now, however, are a far sight better than having to deal with major issues in the midst of the next Northeast Ohio winter.

     Probably the most overlooked and yet critical steps in preparing our homes for winter are to run a test on the heating system. Turn the thermostat to the heat position and make sure there is free-flowing air. Check and replace any necessary filters, and that the fuel supply is unobstructed and not leaking.  Carbon monoxide readers should be tested for optimal function and all vents should be clear of obstruction.

     Another place we sometimes forget that can cause serious energy loss, and that can even pose a real danger, is the chimney and fireplace. Have a professional out to make sure no mortar joints are damaged in the firebrick.  Loose or damaged brick and mortar in this area may allow a fire to start in the walls of your home, a disaster we must try to prevent!

      Keep in mind also that a great deal of our energy loss, which can represent a major hit to our wallets, are leaky or drafty windows and doors. From winterizing water pipes and reviewing insulation, to inspecting the roof and shutting down the sprinkler system, there’s a great deal to consider. At SERVPRO of Portage County, they specialize in making sure your home is safe and properly prepared for all seasons. They are always available for emergency repairs and clean-up, but specialists are on hand also to come out and review and assist in any preparations that help avoid disaster! Stay warm and dry this winter.  

SERVPRO of Portage County is Your Restoration Specialist and General Contractor

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of a contractor with tool belt Trust a team that can restore and rebuild all together for you!

When unforeseen disasters wreck our homes and disturb our way of life, the stress and anxiety we experience is through the roof! What do I do now? Who should I call? These and many other questions are racing through our thoughts, and it can be a real hassle. What if instead of having to call multiple companies, talk to various specialists for one job and the other, we could make one phone call and have everything taken care of? Never having to experience accidental damage or disasters at home would be ideal, but things happen outside our control all the time. That’s why we are always better off prepared.

One of the biggest obstacles to project completion is poor communication. One of the easiest solutions to communication problems is to have everyone on the same team! Lots of companies offer services to contract jobs, restore and repair, but at SERVPRO of Portage County we employ contractors, disaster preparedness specialists, and restoration crews all under the same roof. What this allows is for customers to reach out in a stressful time to one of our team members, so they can relax a little while the job gets done!

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

flooding living room filled with furniture If you're in a high-risk flood area, you might be in danger of big losses if you don't have flood insurance.

Did you know that homeowners and renters insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage? Many of us may now be wondering if it is a good idea to be insured for flooding as well. Well, according to Ohio.gov, 98% of US counties have been impacted by flooding events. Once water damage has set in, it can easily set off a domino effect of expensive and hazardous problems. There are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of having your home damaged by flooding. For example, make sure your sump pump is working correctly, store critical documents in a safe, dry location, and always have a plan in place for the swift evacuation of family members and pets. You can also check the FEMA (federal emergency management agency) to see if your address is in a flood zone, which will show your home’s risk level for flooding, and any nearby waterways that may present a threat.

In 2010, federal officials expanded flood plain maps, making it necessary for many more Ohio residents to have flood insurance than ever before. This has caused concern about additional bills, but the cost of repairing damage from flooding is extensive, and liability flood insurance for low-risk homes can be as low as $135 a year. While any additional cost is a burden on working-class families, it is always a good idea to defend ourselves against the larger cost of sudden disasters.

Flooding is the most expensive natural hazard in the nation. Because Ohio rests in the middle of the row on the occurrence of natural disasters, however, there is a low likelihood of experiencing heavy damage to your home. This is also the reason why insurance costs for disasters caused by nature are relatively low in our area; in fact $350 lower than the national average. In the end, a little research and some knowhow may offer insight into the best options for making sure our homes stay safe and secure.

Water Damage Comes From More Than Just Weather

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

living room with couch with and inch of water on the floor Don't be surprised by in-home disasters causing water damage.

Many home and business owners know that extreme weather can cause damage to their properties. But sometimes, people don’t realize that water damage isn’t just a threat when there are heavy rains falling. Old and faulty plumbing can cause major issues for a property. In fact, plumbing is a much more common cause of water damage for homeowners, especially from devices like water heaters, ice machines, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets.

Having your plumbing system regularly maintained is a big factor in keeping your home or business free from water damage. One of the most troublesome factors of plumbing water damage is that it can often go unnoticed for long periods of time, leading to bigger problems with the integrity of your structure as well as dangerous mold damage.

Taking the time to regularly service the devices connected to your plumbing could save you much strife in the long run. Checking your sump pump, for instance, is an easy way to ensure that you don’t experience flooding your basement. Additionally, homeowners with a water heater that is more than 15 years old are at a high risk to experience water damage in the property due to faulty equipment.

Other than performing regular maintenance, there are some emergency water alert systems that a home or business owner can invest in to make sure they do not experience water damage. Some systems will alert people that water is running in a place or fashion that it is not supposed to, and other systems will automatically shut off the water if and when leaks or issues are detected. These systems could be very helpful in the event of a disaster in your home.

If you ever do experience water damage at your property, it’s important to remember that a quick response is vital to mitigate the damages. SERVPRO of Portage County will be there any time, day or night to help return your space to normal. We are on your side, faster to any disaster.

Is Your Sump Pump Ready for a Storm?

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

Sump Pump overhead view Look out for common problem with your sump pump before they cause big problems for you.

Your basement – you might not feel like it’s the most important part of your home but if you’ve ever experienced a basement flood then you know just how devastating it can be. We often think of our homes as invincible; they do such a good job of protecting us from the elements most of the time. But if the little contraption in your basement that drains water away from your foundation isn’t working, you could be in store for a major disaster.

Did you know, for instance, that a sump pump is only good for about 10 years? That’s right, everything has a shelf-life and your sump pump is no exception. After a good solid decade of work, that little machine will be due for a change. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize or think about replacing their sump pump until it fails to do its job and you have to deal with some measure of flooding in you home. But if you’ve been in your home for a while and you’re not sure how much life your sump pump has left, you should call a plumber to come out and inspect it. They can let you know if it needs to be replaced or repaired before it’s too late.

Additionally, if your sump pump doesn’t have a lid, there is a chance that dirt and debris have gotten in and clogged it. You should inspect your sump pump on a regular basis to make sure that it isn’t clogged and that it drains the water effectively. Also, you should think about investing in a lid for that sump pump to prevent further troubles.

If your sump pump is running a lot or making excessive noise when it runs, that’s another good indicator that something is wrong. Grinding and thumping noises are definitely unusual for a sump pump so if you start to hear these noises it's probably time to call a professional.

And finally, it is of the utmost importance that your sump pump actually has power. If the circuit that the sump pump is on blows, you might not immediately notice unless it is also connected to something you frequently use. Even more common than that, however, is the instance where your sump pump was harmlessly unplugged but never plugged back in. You would be surprised at how many times this exact situation has spelled disaster for a home. Simply double-checking that the cord is safely plugged into the outlet could make all the difference in the world.

Sump pump testing is fairly easy so there is no excuse not to check yours out and ensure that you are protected. If something isn’t working properly, you will know to call a plumber and get yours in ship-shape before it’s too late. And if you don’t catch your working sump pump in time, SERVPRO of Portage County will be there to pick up the pieces. We are faster to any disaster.

SERVPRO of Portage County is Your Trusted Partner

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees cleaning Trust us to get you back up and running efficiently.

Living in this strange time in our lives has been a challenge for many of us. For business owners especially, things have been fraught and difficult to navigate. Most businesses were closed for several months and, when they reopened, it was with new rules and restrictions in place to keep both employees and customers and clients safe. Keeping things clean has been of the utmost importance since the pandemic began and it has only become more of a focus for people. That’s why you should make SERVPRO your partner in the event that you have a confirmed COVID-19 case at your business.

A swift and thorough response is absolutely necessary when a COVID event is identified. The CDC recommends:

  • Immediately report to the local health district
  • Work with them to facilitate contact tracing
  • Shutdown the shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible
  • Professionally clean and sanitize the site/location
  • Reopen in consultation with the local health department

Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is a defensive program that goes way beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning - always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC. SERVPRO professionals have been on the frontlines of proactive and reactive COVID-related cleanup and are here to help as your business begins to reopen. We are working to create a higher standard of clean for everyone. You can trust us to get you back to work swiftly and efficiently. Contact us to talk about Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned for your business.

Unnoticed Water in Your Home Could Lead to Damage and Mold

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of water dripping off of concrete Stay alert for signs of water damage in your home.

Water is our main life-force as humans. We are mostly composed of it and we need to drink it to survive. We use it to clean ourselves and our homes and remove our waste – the advent of bringing running water into our homes truly changed the way we exist within the world. But water can also cause problems. This powerful force can eat away at things we love, damage structures, and cause a silent issue: mold and mildew.

Sometimes, when you have water damage in your home, it is easily apparent – situations like a flooded basement or a puddle on the floor next to the sink or the toilet. Of course, when these things happen you know that a quick response is important and cleaning thoroughly after the necessary repairs have been made is crucial. Other times, however, water damage can happen without you having any idea.

There are a lot of places around your home where water could easily be collecting without you noticing it. On the outside of your home, window and door frames, siding, and chimneys are all common places where water can enter and cause damage. Inside, anywhere there are pipes could become an issue. Most commonly, you will want to keep your eye on the area under your dishwasher, around your toilets, under sinks, and behind washing machines. Air conditioning units can also cause problems because of condensation. If you have a window unit, make sure you are looking under and around it, or if you have an HVAC unit, try to keep it regularly maintained and serviced.

If water is collecting in the walls of your home, however, it can be hard to tell unless you rip out the drywall and take a look. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs that something might be wrong. Musty odors, stains or discoloration, peeling paint or wallpaper, and warping walls, ceilings, or floors are all signs that there is an underlying issue that needs to be handled. Perhaps the most obvious sign, however, is visible mold. If you can see mold in your home, there is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

If you have water damage in your home, a quick response is vital to effectively address the situation. SERVPRO of Portage County has a team of highly-trained technicians who can help restore your home to perfect condition. From water damage repair to mold remediation, we can handle whatever problems you’re having. Call us at (330) 677-4483 and let us help make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Portage County is Dedicated to Training All Personnel

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Man in suit teaching room full of adults Training is a vital part of ensuring that we do the best job possible.

At SERVPRO of Portage County, we care about making sure that you receive the best service possible from us. We know that trusting the right company to put your home or business back together after a disaster is an important decision and we don’t take it lightly that you put your faith in us. That’s why we make sure that every one of our technicians is highly trained to be able to do expert level work for your restoration needs.

As a company, we are IICRC certified and we make sure that every one of our technicians gains that certification also. The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certifications sets universal standards for cleaning, inspection, and restoration that all of our technicians are trained to achieve. Additionally, every technician is WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician) certified and all of our supervisors are ASD (Applied Structural Drying Technician) certified as well. Our management team has gone through the even further training of Biohazard, Air Quality, and Mold cleaning as well. All of these certifications come through the IICRC as well, the absolute highest quality training available in our industry.

You should have every bit of confidence in the team that you ask to come into your home or business in your time of need. We spare nothing in the training and certifying of our technicians, supervisors, and managers to get the job done right. Call SERVPRO of Portage County for your restoration and cleaning needs and breathe a little easier knowing that we’ve got your back.