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Ways You Can Prevent Water Damage in Portage County

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ways You Can Prevent Water Damage in Portage County If you need help with any water damage clean-up, don’t hesitate to call our well-trained professionals at SERVPRO of Portage County.

When you own a home, maintaining can seem  tiresome. That maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent water damage. Consider it a way to avoid a more costly outcome as water damage ranks among the highest for cost. 

What can be done to prevent water damage? Here’s a list to add for maintenance for a start:

  1. Proper Drainage: This step is vital. Poor drainage can lead to many issues such as cracks in your foundation, uneven settling, and allowing ways for water to seep into your home. Gutters and downspouts are included in this preventative measure. Clean them regularly to keep out leaves and other debris. Gutter guards can help if your gutters tend to clog easily and often.
  2. Inspections: The following areas should be inspected well and often; refrigerator, water heater, air conditioning unit, attic, hoses, faucets, sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. All of these pieces may develop leaks or damage that needs to be taken care of before disaster strikes. Stay ahead of those by checking them to catch any danger before it starts or spreads.
  3. Installations: Some tools to install that may be beneficial are an emergency pressure release valve in plumbing system, water leak detection devices or alarms, a water flow monitoring system, and floor or drain pans. The latter helps with slow leaks while the others work as an extra set of eyes on your home in case of excess pressure, water flowing where it shouldn’t, and any leaks you may not have detected yet.
  4. Test, Check, and Fix: By testing your sump pump and checking your pipes, you will be on top of any leaks, cracks, or repairs that are necessary. If you get caught in a storm with your sump pump out of commission, you will be in a world of trouble. Fixing any issues right away avoids mold, mildew, dry rot, or any detrimental water damage problems.

These are just a few of the measures you can take to prevent water damage from occurring.  If you need help with any water damage clean-up, don’t hesitate to call our well-trained professionals at SERVPRO of Portage County. We are available for assistance 24 hours per day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends. 

Top Fire Safety Tips for Portage County

7/7/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Top Fire Safety Tips for Portage County Accidents DO happen. If you find yourself needing emergency services, SERVPRO of Portage County is there to help you 24 hours, 7 days per week.

The National Interagency Fire Center have been confusing and somewhat contradictory as of late. While they said that spring 2019 wildfire activity should be normal, they also stated that late summer wildfire activity may be especially severe in some areas. 

Forest Service claims that each year, the season for wildfires becomes longer, hotter, and, in turn, more expensive.

Do Your Due Diligence: Cooking remains top of the list for residential fires. Continue to be aware of your surroundings, and use caution when you prepare meals. Accidents happen, but safety measures can help prevent some accidents.

Another area on the rise is rental property structural fires. Vacation rentals using places like Airbnb are not held to the same standards as hotels and the like. Look for these safety precautions in the places you visit and stay as a traveler. And, renal owners, equipping your facility with fire-prevention tools and information is protection for both you and your guests that may be well-worth the investment.

Here are the top fire safety tips for you to follow:

  1. Keep the stovetop clear of anything that could catch fire (i.e. towels or curtains)

  2. Electrical outlets should remain free of adapters and multiple cords.

  3. Pathways around the home need to be clear to avoid tripping (including holiday decorations).

  4. A designated outdoor smoking area (when allowed) should be placed far enough away from the building with a specific, safe discard bin for butts (i.e. a deep, sturdy ashtray).

  5. Teach children 9-1-1 or local emergency number, how, and when to call from cell phones or outside telephones.

  6. Create a designated family meet-up place a safe distance from the home in case of an emergency.

  7. Doors and windows leading outside should have the ability to open.

  8. Identify escape routes from each room in the house, and routinely go through them, in the event of an emergency.

  9. Memorize the address of your home and any vacation rental you visit (each member of the family).

  10. Ensure vacation rental has printed and visible floor plan of property with escape routes, exits, and emergency contact information.

  11. Place carbon monoxide alarms in various locations throughout the home as required by law, codes, or standards such as every level of the home and outside each bedroom.

  12. Portable fire extinguishers should be easily found and reached in the home.

  13. Install smoke alarms on every level, in rooms, and outside bedrooms (look into requirements) and check them regularly; interconnecting them works best so when one sounds, they all sound.

Accidents DO happen. If you find yourself needing emergency services, SERVPRO of Portage County is there to help you 24 hours, 7 days per week. We even help on holidays because we know accidents aren't planned. Our well-trained professionals are here to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

The History of Meth & Future of Decontamination

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Methamphetamine is not a new drug, although it has become more powerful in recent years as techniques for its manufacture have evolved. The History of Meth According to DrugFreeWorld.org, Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany and methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was developed in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection. In the 1930s, doctors began using amphetamines in the United States to treat asthma and narcolepsy. Methamphetamine went into wide use during World War II, when both sides used it to keep troops awake. High doses were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before their suicide missions. And after the war, methamphetamine abuse by injection reached epidemic proportions when supplies stored for military use became available to the Japanese public causing post-war Japan to experience the first meth epidemic.  In the 1950s, methamphetamine was prescribed as a diet aid and to fight depression. Easily available, "pep pills" or "bennies" were sold as a nonmedical stimulant to college students, truck drivers and athletes and abuse of the drug spread. This pattern changed markedly in the 1960s with the introduction of home manufacturing of the drug, worsening the abuse. Then, in 1970, the U.S. government added methamphetamine to the Controlled Substances Act regulating the drug. After that, American motorcycle gangs controlled most of the production and distribution of the drug.  During the 1980s, Mexican drug manufacturers began producing forms of the drug that could be smoked and towards the end of the decade, new ways to cook methamphetamine began to appear. In the 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations set up large laboratories in California. While these massive labs are able to generate 50 pounds of the substance in a single weekend, smaller private labs were springing up in kitchens and apartments, earning the drug one of its names, “stove top.” Rural locations became ideal for cooking meth because of geographic isolation.  Meth Today Today, most of our meth in North America comes out of Mexico or is produced in soda bottles known as the "Shake n' Bake" method. Most of the contaminated properties become contaminated through usage rather than from production. It is estimated that more than 2.1 million Americans are currently using methamphetamine. The problem is that users can contaminate anywhere from one to 50 properties per year, leading to an estimated 12 million properties contaminated in the U.S. and another 800,000 properties contaminated in Canada. Users move from house, to apartment, to hotel, to car, to new relationship, to the next motel, etc. Everywhere they go, they continue to use or smoke meth. Nothing inside this drug is natural. Most of the ingredients contain carcinogens and poisons leaving a dirty trail behind that enters into the cold air returns circulating throughout the property. Studies indicate that just smoking meth two to four times can contaminate a property above habitable standards. Meth residue is sticky and clings to surfaces and inside the ducting system until it is physically decontaminated and removed.   The Decontamination Process Here's a quick outline of the process:

  • Remove Porous Materials 
  • Dry Clean
  • Wet Clean
  • Rinse
  • Test  
Decontaminating a property starts with removing all porous materials including furniture, carpet, carpet pad, soft ducts, etc. Next, the furnace and duct work is cleaned using duct cleaning equipment to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Dust and dirt also needs to be vacuumed from the floor and surfaces throughout the property. Once everything has been dry cleaned, we bring up the heat and humidity in the home before applying a meth remover product. It is important to use a product that can remove the bio-film from the surface, making physical removal easier. The product can be applied with a ULV fogger, foamer (most recommended) or a paint sprayer. Once product is on the surfaces, scrub it into the surfaces and allow to remain moist up to four hours. This process is repeated two to three times depending on the amount of methamphetamine in the property. Lastly, we rinse. The meth remover product rinses easily with water. Once the surfaces are dry, the home is ready for testing.    There are less than 1,000 remediation companies that actually advertise that they remediate methamphetamine and there are nearly 12 million contaminated properties in North America. This means our industry could easily add another 20,000 remediation companies that could complete 50 to 100 jobs a year. The best part about meth remediation is that there are no such things as meth emergencies. Meth remediation calls aren’t made in the middle of the night and the jobs can be scheduled. Contrast this with water damage work. The profit margins are good (35-55% depending on your efficiency). This problem is not going away. 

Top Three Tips for Fire Safety in Portage County

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Top Three Tips for Fire Safety in Portage County Our team of professionals will get your home or business back to normal in a timely manner.

Fires escalate quickly, it is important to know before hand how to handle any fire that might happen in your home or business. Having an escape route practiced (committing it to muscle memory) and working smoke alarms can be literal life savers. What else can you do for fire safety in your home?

Here are our top three tips for fire safety that can keep you and your loved ones as protected as possible.

  1. Every level of your home should have a smoke alarm installed. Place them inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas, including the basement, in living rooms and/or near stairways for optimal use.

  2. Test and maintain smoke alarms regularly. Each month, you should check that they are in proper working condition. If they need new batteries, change them right away. Smoke detectors are critical components to alerting you in time to get out before a fire spreads too much.

  3. Twice a year, you should practice your fire escape plan with your family. Feel free to talk and plan the route together more than twice a year. However, at least two times every year will ensure it stays fresh in your mind if ever you should need to implement the steps.

BONUS TIP: Remember to never go back inside for anything at all. If you experience a fire in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP.

For any fire damage repair or restoration needs, call SERVPRO of Portage County (330) 677-4483. Our team of professionals will get your home or business back to normal in a timely manner. 



Swift Arrival to Any Disaster in Portage County

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Swift Arrival to Any Disaster in Portage County SERVPRO of Portage County will take care of all of your emergencies!

Emergencies happen whether you are ready or not, count on SERVPRO of Portage County to help with professional emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, including holidays. Our promise is to return your property to “Like it never even happened.” Day or night, you can rest assured thatSERVPRO of Portage County  will respond immediately to your call.

No Emergency Too Big or Too Small

Many cleaning and restoration situations call for immediate action. SERVPRO is strategically positioned to quickly reach any size emergency with over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations. A prompt response helps to reduce the damage and the costs for cleaning and restoration.

One particularly invasive disaster is water. It rapidly spreads throughout your property and absorbs into floors, walls, furniture, etc.SERVPRO of Portage County arrives swiftly and begins the water extraction method in an instant. Below, you’ll find a timeline for reference to show why reaching and treating as soon as possible is imperative.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water rushes over your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings absorb water.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed and cause permanent stains on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to expand and break down.
  • Metal surfaces start to tarnish.
  • Furniture bulges and cracks.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • Musty odors emerge.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and disperse.
  • Doors, windows, and studs expand and warp.
  • Metal proceeds to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture distorts and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint forms blisters.
  • Wood flooring balloons and bends.
  • Possibility of serious biohazard contamination.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Time and cost increase exponentially for restoration; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be considerable.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard pollutants present extreme risks to occupants.

SERVPRO of Portage County will take care of all of your emergencies! 

About SERVPRO of Portage County

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO About SERVPRO of Portage County We service the Northern Summit County area including Kent, Streetsboro, Ravenna, Brimfield, Garrettsville, Randolph, Mantua, and Aurora.

SERVPRO of Portage County, including Kent and Ravenna, understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage, and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly return your home or business to preloss condition "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Portage County, including Mantua and Aurora specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property following fire, smoke, or water damage. SERVPRO of Portage County can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business in a flash.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our extensive training and opportunities beyond the required training only boosts our team players and the professionalism we bring to every job.

Beyond training, SERVPRO uses the best and most advanced technology and techniques to cleanup and restore the damage left in the wake of disasters. Each machine and product allows our well-trained restoration specialists to perform their duties in a quicker, more efficient manner. When you have already dealt with so much, the time it takes to cleanup and restore your home or business should not be another load to bear.

With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Portage County. SERVPRO supports you when your emergency hits. We know that can happen any time, anywhere, day or night. Call us for immediate assistance, available to you 24/7 including weekends and holidays.

We service the Northern Summit County area including Kent, Streetsboro, Ravenna, Brimfield, Garrettsville, Randolph, Mantua, and Aurora.

Serving you since 1967, SERVPRO is the cleaning and restoration brand you know and trust.

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists Guaranteed in Portage County

6/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Highly Trained Restoration Specialists Guaranteed in Portage County We at SERVPRO of Portage County take pride in restoration process on your home or business. We will provide a timely and professional experience.

Emergencies you might experience, you will be in good hands with SERVPRO of Portage County. Our staff receives extensive training for property damage restoration. They will have your home or business back to it was before.SERVPRO takes pride in their restoration process on your home or business for a timely and professional experience.

What kind of training do they obtain?

Initial Franchise Training: In this 15-day hands-on course at theSERVPRO Corporate Training Facility, the foundation of the SERVPRO training program takes place. Primarily for new Franchise owners, this course covers many restoration topics:

  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
  • Mold Mitigation

Employee Certification Training

As a voluntary, self-paced program, this training is designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Following successful completion of course materials and an examination, a certification will be awarded. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

IICRC Training and Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our professionals must study IICRC standards and best practices in these areas:

  • Water restoration
  • Fire restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning
  • Other cleaning and restoration courses

Continuing Education Classes

SERVPRO of Portage County provides both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and Franchise staff. Intended to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation, these sessions include:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Loss Control
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar (non-credit course)

e-Learning

Access to web-based training is also available to all of our staff. While completely voluntary, this program is designed to be an ongoing, self-paced coaching series for a Franchise's employees. After video presentations and support materials, a knowledge test concludes each module. This additional information keeps our technicians and office staff updated on industry standards and the professional quality you deserve.

We at SERVPRO of Portage County take pride in restoration process on your home or business. We will provide a timely and professional experience.

Expect Advanced Technology and Techniques in Portage County

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Expect Advanced Technology and Techniques in Portage County SERVPRO can restore your property swiftly, reliably, and more effectively to its preloss condition.

Expect Advanced Technology and Techniques in Portage County

At SERVPRO of Portage County we stay up-to-date and provide the most advanced technology and techniques for businesses and houses in Portage County With these advancements, SERVPRO can restore your property swiftly, reliably, and more effectively to its preloss condition. You can count on a timely turnaround whether using SERVPRO  for business or home needs. Practical standards for cleaning and restoration are put in place by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC); The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide even incorporates the field of psychrometry into its specific set of practical standards.

Some of the equipment that helps SERVPRO  adhere to the standards and stay true to the technological advancements are as follows:

Moisture Detection and Measurement

Specialized equipment detects, measures, and monitors a property’s moisture levels to fit certain scientific drying principles. Recent technology, like infrared cameras, helps us find water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.

  • For thorough water removal, an infrared camera may be used to identify water location.
  • To measure the extent of saturation, we use sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters.

Water Extraction

Powerful extraction equipment removes the majority of the water from your home or business which in turn accelerates the drying process.

  • For continuous draining of high-level water, we use submersible and gas-powered pumps.
  • For efficient water removal, we prefer truck-mounted and portable extraction units.

Drying

The remaining moisture from ceilings, walls, and floors of your home or business can be removed using industrial strength fans and dehumidifiers. Proper drying techniques help to avoid swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.

  • High-speed fans quickly evaporate excess moisture
  • Industrial-grade dehumidifiers extract water vapor from the air.

Odor Removal

With water and fire damage, often powerful odors follow. Our advanced machines eliminate airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup procedure.

  • Air scrubbers
  • Thermal foggers and deodorization cleaners

Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Antimicrobial Treatments

To fully clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property, OSHA-approved cleaning agents may be required.

  • Deodorization products control smells from an abundance of moisture.
  • Disinfectants ends bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms growth.

SERVPRO of Portage County can restore your property swiftly, reliably, and more effectively to its preloss condition. 

Top 5 HVAC Problems and Solutions for Portage County Ohio

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning Top 5 HVAC Problems and Solutions for Portage County Ohio Regular maintenance is critical for the health of your HVAC system.

Your HVAC system houses many parts and pieces. When you need to troubleshoot an issue, that means finding the source can be difficult. With this common list, hopefully, you’ll have a bit of an easier time.

Here are the top 5 problems and solutions with an HVAC system:

Refrigerant:

Air conditioning and cooling not working properly? You may be looking at a refrigerant leak. Usually, this issue can be resolved by simply refilling or replacing the refrigerant liquid. Without refrigerant, you will likely end up with other issues as the condenser will be working overtime.

Filters:

If your air quality seems less than great, take a look at the filters. Not only will you reduce the dust, pollen, and other pollutants, but a clean filter helps your HVAC machine run more smoothly. Change the filters regularly to avoid future mechanical issues.

Thermostat:

If the unit becomes unresponsive or the temperature fluctuates, the problem may very well be the control pad itself; the thermostat. Restore your heating and cooling needs by trying a couple of routes. First, changing the batteries could be the ticket. You could also check to see if the breaker has been tripped. Otherwise, a replacement thermostat may be in order.

Drainage:

Another issue that causes more problems than just a part that needs changed is if a condensation pump goes out in your HVAC system. This piece results in a lack of proper drainage, so water pools in the unit. If located near your foundation, major water damage could occur. Your machine will be working hard to compensate for the broken pump until fixed.

Maintenance:

Regular maintenance is critical for the health of your HVAC system. If you maintain your system and check it regularly, you’re likely to keep any of the above problems from happening in the first place. Stay on top of keeping it running before any issues arise.

No need to sacrifice your comfort. Be aware of the above problems and solutions to remain as warm or cool as you want to in the event of an HVAC mishap. For any of your air duct and HVAC cleaning needs, call SERVPRO of Portage County at (330) 677-4483. We stand by our word, it’ll be “Like it never even happened.”

What To Do When A Flood Hits in Portage County, Ohio

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do When A Flood Hits in Portage County, Ohio What To Do When A Flood Hits

Flooding can happen anywhere and is a common natural disaster. The aftermath can cost a pretty penny. Whether floods hit suddenly or more slowly, they can be dangerous and leave a mess in their wake. Don’t underestimate the power of flood waters.

Keep yourself and others safe by following some guidelines of what to do when a flood hits:

  1. Due Diligence: Check to see if you’re in a flood-prone area. Your local floodplain administrator should be able to help you determine this. Here is a list from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Resources of the floodplain administrators in Ohio. Installing check valves or having sump pumps installed when necessary will help prevent backing up into sewer traps and homes. Also, ensuring you have comprehensive insurance that covers flood damage is a good idea.
  2. Proper Preparation: Plan and practice an evacuation route. Having this, disaster supplies, and a communication idea in place will help tremendously in the event of a flood. Be ready to use a radio or TV to stay up to date on the latest information on the storm (status, emergency level, and evacuation readiness). If you have an upstairs and the time to do so, move items of value and possessions you can to higher-ground. Filling the tub, sinks, and vessels with clean water will be beneficial if contamination occurs. Turn off utilities if requested to do so by authorities. Most importantly, never attempt to go through flood waters on foot or vehicle. A split second and two feet is all it takes to be swept away; the waters may be deceiving, as well. Listen closely to the updates and follow any instructions given.
  3. Aftermath Measures: Depending on the severity of the flood, the county emergency management agency and local government handle everything to meet the immediate needs of the public. The main information you need to remember are merely to be aware of any gas leaks, check the foundation and inspect homes with flood-damage before entering, and any appliances and motors that may have gotten wet should NOT be used until they are appropriately cleaned and dried.

Your state or local emergency management agency can help answer any of your other flood or flood safety questions: the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources; the National Weather Service; or your local American Red Cross chapter.

Stay safe, and keep SERVPRO, Portage County, Ohio, (330) 650-4486, in mind for any water damage issues, clean-up, or restoration insurance needs you may have!  SERVPRO, “Like it never even happened.”