Archived Blog Posts
Maintenance Tips for Commercial Buildings
Whether you own a commercial building or manage many commercial buildings, they present unique challenges when something goes wrong. Proper maintenance can prevent little problems from becoming large-scale problems. If they do, SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City is ready help make it “Like it never even happened.” And while we are available 24/7 for your repair and restoration needs, we’ve compiled three tips from professionals across the industry that can prevent your commercial building structure from incurring a major loss:
- Maintain your roofing structure. Fixing leaks as soon as they arise instead of putting them off to deal with later will significantly decrease your chances for a major loss. Whether the issue is minor or major may only be detectable by professionals. Either way, it’s imperative to address the problem sooner rather than later.
- Regularly check your fire control system. Whether it’s a communication line in your system that has gone down or fire suppression sprinklers aren’t working, your fire control system should be checked regularly to make sure it’s functioning properly. Responsible action and routine maintenance check can prevent significant damage to your building structure.
- Schedule regular HVAC maintenance. Commercial HVAC systems differ significantly from home HVAC systems. Which means they are significantly more complicated and usually require professional assistance. Proper planning and scheduling routine professional exams will allow parts to be replaced when needed, as well as checking for any major faults.
As you can see, the old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ definitely applies to your commercial building structures. However, even with regularly scheduled maintenance and quick action on the part of the building manager, things can go awry. SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City has professionals that will answer your call immediately and begin taking actions to limit the damage. Our trustworthy and confident staff will develop a plan, move quickly, and execute flawlessly. We are a leader in the restoration industry, and our professionals are faster to any size disaster.
Holiday Fire-Safety Tips
The holidays are upon us and decorating for Christmas is something we all love to do. Pretty lights, candles, and decorations enhance the holiday spirit - however, if they are not used carefully, your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season:
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
- Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or before going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire - like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains - away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your home or business to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City professionals wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!
Properly Prepare for Seasonal Travel
If you will be traveling this holiday season, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City recommends to leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure a warm enough temperature inside to help prevent freezing pipes. But what about the trip itself? When you hear the phrase “emergency kit,” do you think of a first aid kit? A collection of supplies nestled in a closet somewhere, just in case they are needed? What about an emergency kit for your vehicle? Do you have one? Do you know what to put in one, should you decide to make one?
The NSC (National Safety Council) recommends including:
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods
- Drinking water
- Reflective vest in case you need to walk to get help
- Car cell phone charger
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Rain poncho
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Cold weather items: snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid, warm clothing, cat litter for traction • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, and tripod jack
- A Tool kit and/or multipurpose utility tool
- Reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth to make your vehicle more visible
- First aid kit with gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers, and instant cold compress
Do consider what you might need and assess what you should add or remove, depending on your destination, weather conditions, or the duration of your trip. You should check your emergency kit at least every six months, and restock items that you use or that have expired.
Deep Fried Turkey, Safety Tips Edition
Deep fried turkey is tasty, but always remember safety first.
It’s nearly a tradition of its own. Deep Fried Turkey has become a widespread delicacy, and is usually on the menu somewhere for Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that deep frying a turkey is a quick method of cooking that provides a crispy and flavorful bird. However, deep frying a turkey is a more dangerous method of cooking. Having gallons of hot cooking oil over an open flame can be a recipe for disaster. The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor, gas-fueled deep fryers due to their risk of injury and damage to your property. If you still choose to use a deep fryer for your holiday feast, please follow the following safety measures provided by the National Fire Prevention Agency:
- Set up your deep fryer on a flat surface, more than 10 feet away from any structures.
- Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry before slowly placing it in the hot oil.
- Do not leave the fryer unattended. Continuously monitor the temperature of the oil.
- Protect yourself. Lids and handles can become very hot and cause burns. Wear proper personal protective equipment.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times. A multipurpse, dry-powder unit is best. Be sure to keep children and pets away from the area while cooking.
PASS Fire Extinguisher Tips
Fire extinguishers can save lives and limit property damage.
A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the word PASS.
- Pull the pin, pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with it before a fire breaks out. Encourage your family members and coworkers to do the same. Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility. A fire can happen at any time, but being prepared and knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can not only save lives, but also save money in repairs to property damage.
Professionally Service Your Heating Unit Before Winter
Maintaining your furnace will ensure the safety of your home and family throughout the winter weather season.
Most Moore residents don’t generally think about their heating unit until it’s time to crank up the heat or there's an impending ice storm of doom heading our way. However, neglecting this crucial piece of home equipment when it’s not in use could wind up costing you in the long run. Higher heating bills while inconvenient are manageable, but fire cleaning and smoke cleaning costs tend to be more expensive. Here are some tips to keep your furnace in good working condition.
Get Your Heating Unit Professionally Serviced
The general rule of thumb is to get a professional to inspect and service your heating unit once a year, typically in the early fall. This timing gives you the opportunity to fix any problems a technician finds before temperatures drop and you need to turn up the heat. Professional furnace technicians typically do the following during an annual inspection:
- Clean your furnace
- Test for operational efficiency
- Tighten loose hardware and replace any broken parts
- Check the wiring for fire hazards
The last action is essential to preventing home fires and avoiding additional fire cleaning costs, including flooding and smoke remediation.
Perform Simple Heating Unit Maintenance Throughout the Year
While it is best to have a professional take on more complex heater maintenance tasks, there are some easy things you can do throughout the year to keep your heating unit in prime condition. The most critical thing is to replace your filters regularly — every 90 days is standard for some filter types. If you have pets, however, it is best to switch the filters every 60 days.
You also need to check your thermostat to ensure it is working in tandem with your furnace’s electrical system. Circuits can get tripped and if they aren’t fixed, it can cause a larger, more expensive issue down the line. Finally, make sure you choose a sensible temperature for your home so as not to exhaust your system and keep your heating bills down.
Avoid the need for fire cleaning. If you diligently maintain your furnace, it will thank you with years of worry-free and fire-free warmth.
Why You Need Professional Cleaning After Fire Damage
Restoration and cleanup from even the smallest fire is no simple chore, which is why our experts are trained to make it "Like it never even happened."
After a fire happens, the first thing you want to do is get your household back to normal as soon as possible. It’s tempting to think small fires have little impact and can easily be cleaned up or restored.
However, it’s necessary to understand that even the smallest fires can have the worst impact. Not only that, but fire restoration and cleanup is nothing like weekly household chores. It takes a lot of time, effort, equipment, training and knowledge to be able to safely clean your house after fire damage.
This is why it’s crucial to call a professional cleaning service after a fire has damaged your home. Yes, there may be some things you can do on your own to mitigate the damage but it’s always best to phone a professional first so you don’t put your household at more risk.
After a fire happens, there is a lot more damage than meets the eye. Your house may have water damage as well from firefighters putting out the fire, which can lead to mold and other health hazards. Fire damage also almost always means there will be smoke and soot damage, which can have long-term effects on your health if not resolved properly.
Smoke and soot can settle in your home in the most unlikely of places and leave a lot of items within your property unsalvageable. If not cleaned immediately, they can even cause more damage, sometimes permanently. Burned debris can release harsh chemicals damaging your lungs and if ash comes into contact with your skin, it can irritate you.
Some of these health effects may not even show up immediately but can take a few months or years to make a difference if your house isn’t cleaned properly.
Ultimately, attempting to clean your house after a fire on your own exposes yourself to danger, especially if you don’t have the right attire or equipment.The common vacuum cleaner won’t filter out small particles but instead blow them into the air where they can be breathed in, and store-bought odor eliminators may only work temporarily and smoke will probably return.
Luckily, you don’t have to go through this cleaning process alone. Professional cleaning services like SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City want to put you and your household’s safety first, and we have the means to do so.
We have smoke deodorizers that actually target the smoke and soot to specifically eliminate them from hidden places. We are trained to do this, and we have the time and resources to help you properly clean and restore your property.
Our goal is to assess the damage, secure the building from other elements and people, and improve your home’s air quality and ventilation so your life can get back to normal.
With Fire Damage, Expect Water Damage, Too
Fire damage can take a toll, but so can water damage incurred from putting out the original fire.
Imagine a restoration company shows up at your house after you’ve had a fire, and the first thing they check for is water damage. Doesn’t that seem a little counterintuitive, especially considering how fire and water are opposites?
However, fire and water are much more like kindred spirits than you would think, especially when it comes to how they impact each other in damaging structures, spaces and belongings.
When there is fire damage, there is almost always going to be water damage. Think about when the fire department is involved in a house fire — most likely, your space will get hosed down. Or if your building has a sprinkler system that can be triggered by smoke or intense heat, the structure that has been burned will be immediately soaked with water. Consider the way fire can bend and damage structures, including pipes that may leak within a building.
All of these scenarios can occur because of fire damage, so it is necessary that whatever restoration company you’re working with must understand the ins and outs of fire damage restoration but be well-versed in other categories of restoration as well.
This is especially true because water restoration is a major part (and the first task) of the fire damage restoration process. Before someone can effectively treat your fire damaged household, you must first mitigate the water damage. This includes examining and evaluating the damage that may have been done to your drywall, floors, ceilings and/or belongings.
Also, did you know that if water stays around long enough, it can result in mold growth and damage? So fire damage can start the domino effect causing your space to be damaged by other elements.
That’s why SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City provides experts and services for all types of damage restoration — fire, water, mold storm and commercial. This way, you don’t have to wait for the water restoration company to show up before you can start the fire restoration process. You can have them treated simultaneously!
If you ever have damage from not only one but multiple causes, make sure to invest in a company like SERVPRO® of Central OKC that has its hand in all aspects of restoration. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending a lot more time and money than necessary.
Learn the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
Did you know there was more than one kind of fire extinguisher? Now you do!
Maybe you’ve never used one. Maybe you’ve never seen one or owned one (which, in that case, you should). Whatever the case, fire extinguishers are crucial to understand in terms of safely preparing for the unexpected.
At SERVPRO® Central Oklahoma City, we hope to educate you so you feel confident and prepared to fight any fire before it causes too much damage. With this in mind, you should know the basic types of fire extinguishers.
There are five types — A, B, C, D and K (or F) and each class signals the type of fire the extinguisher can be used to put out.
These are typically used to put out fires on ordinary combustible materials such as paper, rubber, wood, cloth and plastics. Class A extinguishers are usually found in homes or businesses and use water (red label), dry powder (blue label), foam (cream label) or wet chemicals (yellow label) to absorb the heat or coat the fire.
These extinguishers are used on fires that originate from flammable liquids and gases such as oil, fuel, solvents, lacquers or alcohols. They can be found in homes or businesses as well and can use dry powder, foam and carbon dioxide (black label) to put out the fire.
These are used against electrical fires from wires, panels or circuit breakers and can be found in homes and businesses. They release material like dry powder to stop the conduction of electricity so the fire cannot continue to ignite.
These extinguishers are used on combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, aluminium, titanium, potassium and zirconium. They are typically found in factories and use dry powder to put out the fire.
Class K (or F)
These extinguishers are reserved for commercial use such as in restaurant kitchens. They are effective on fires that were caused by cooking fats, greases or oils and use a process called saponification which releases an alkaline agent foam to trap vapors and put the fire out. Inside these are wet chemicals (yellow label).
How to use a fire extinguisher
All of this information is pretty useless unless you know how to use a fire extinguisher, which is why this little acronym PASS should help you remember how to put out a fire.
Pull the pin in the extinguisher to break the seal.
Aim the extinguisher low with the nozzle pointing toward the bottom of the fire.
Squeeze the extinguisher’s handle to release whatever agent is inside.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side, still pointing it toward the base of the fire until it is fully extinguished.
If the fire continues to re-ignite, repeat the last three steps until the fire is completely out. Remember to keep your distance, act swiftly and always stay safe in the event of a fire.
Customer Communication and Why It Matters
Communication is vital when tackling restoration projects, and we want to help you help us.
At SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, we value communication both on our end as well as the customer’s side. Without clearly communicating the problem, we will not be able to find an effective solution.
That’s why we hope to provide you with some tips on how to best take advantage of communication:
- Call immediately. The longer you wait with water, fire or mold damage, the worse the situation will become. That’s why it’s best to act as soon as you notice something wrong in your household. Luckily, our emergency services are open 24/7, ready to answer any burning questions and rush to your side for assistance in any area.
- Be ready for questions. When you call our emergency services, our professionals will ask you questions, which will help us figure out what equipment or resources will be necessary to bring as well as how many trained experts will be needed at the site. In preparing for these questions, think of the typical Who, What, When, Where and How prompts — who are you (your name and contact information), what happened (present the issue or problem), when did it happen (if you can provide the time the issue occurred), where it happened (the home address where the damage occurred), and how it happened (if you know the cause, provide it).
- Provide essential information. Our professionals may also ask you about your insurance plan and everything it covers. Make sure to have that information on hand as well as let them know if there will be electricity on site.
- Be as detailed as possible. The more information we have, the better we can help and provide effective services. Before we arrive, provide all necessary information so we know what we’re getting into. During the visit, feel free to guide us around and provide more contextual information.
- Follow up if necessary. If another issue arises after we finish our restoration process, make sure to immediately contact us so we can return and figure out what went wrong. Our goal is to make life easier for you.
- Give feedback. Nobody wants to take the post-service survey or leave a review because it takes time, but it helps both us and potential customers in the future. Giving feedback lets us know what we could improve on and affirms services and processes that we should continue for our company.
You’ve heard it tons of times, but communication truly is key. Without it, we would never know how to effectively provide quality services to our customers and connect with them in a way that matters.
Types of Odors Impacting Your Business
Flood damage is one of three common causes of foul odors in your commercial property.
Lingering odors can cause a lot of problems for your business, so it’s important to know the different types of odors and what their main cause is so you can identify and eradicate them.
Odors are typically the product of a fire, flooding or infestation of mold, each having their own causes, attributes and ways to remediate them. The important part to remember is you must discover the cause of the odor before you do anything else. Only then can you find the appropriate response and solution to the problem.
At SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, we hope to not only serve you in all of your restoration needs but also be an educational resource so you can be prepared in the case of an unfortunate event. Here are some different types of odors and what their typical cause is:
Odors from fire
Odors that result from fire are often smoky smelling and can be caused by soot, smoke damage to materials such as wood or entrapped smells within walls, furniture or even clothes. If the cause is soot, it is typically easy to identify as it appears black and powdery in appearance. Smoke can also be the underlying issue from burned food or a larger building fire and can consist of different fumes and chemicals, so it’s best to act quickly in eradicating this odor. Those who work or reside in the building can have their health compromised from these lingering odors.
Odors from flooding
These odors are typically pungent smelling and can be caused by sewage, growth of bacteria and mold/mildew. An example of this occurs if there is a burst pipe in which the sewage and wastewater will diffuse this odor. This flood water also contains bacteria that can absorb into porous furniture and provide a health hazard to those in the building.
Odors from infestations of mold
This odor is described as earthy, stale and damp. Mold that is left alone for too long can grow, which results in the production of gases that are known as microbial volatile organic compounds. These gases are basically the waste products of mold, leaving a musty odor to disperse through the building.
Overall, it’s best practice to act quickly when you notice an odor, even after the restoration process is complete. You never know how the bacteria within these odors can impact you and the people within the building.
The Science Behind Putting Out a Fire
When it comes to controlling, and ultimately extinguishing, a fire, it's helpful to know what you're dealing with.
As the summer goes on, the chance for a fire to ignite continues — whether it be from a grilling accident or the heat of the sun.
Fire can easily destroy a home or business in minutes, so it’s important to understand the basics behind putting out a fire.
At SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, we value your safety and hope to educate you on potential threats to your safety.
What is fire?
First, we must understand how fire works. Fire is a chemical reaction — combustion, to be exact. Flammable substances will combine with the oxygen in the air to produce water, carbon dioxide and waste gases, creating a lot of heat.
This doesn’t happen spontaneously. Typically, there must be something to ignite fire, which is found in activation energy (produced by a spark, match, the sun or an overheating machine).
The fire triangle and how to break it
It’s important to understand that there are three elements that must be present for a fire to ignite:
- Fuel (the substance that will burn, like wood or coal)
- Oxygen (from the air)
To stop a fire, you have to remove one of these elements.
In order to remove heat, it’s best to dump some water on the fire. This cools the fuel down to below the ignition temperature, putting a pin in the combustion cycle. If you want to remove oxygen, you can smother the fire to prevent its exposure to air. You can do this by covering the fire with a heavy blanket or dumping nonflammable substances on it such as sand or baking soda. Removing fuel is much more difficult, especially in house fires as the house itself counts as fuel. Typically, fuel will only be removed after the fire has burned it up.
The usual way of putting out a fire is by using a fire extinguisher, which is basically a giant aerosol. Though there are different types of extinguishers, most of them fight the fires by separating the fuel from the oxygen.
In all circumstances, make sure to take preventative and proactive measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. And be sure to call SERVPRO® of Central OKC with any fire restoration needs: (405) 252-9400.
Lightning Fast Facts for Oklahoma City Residents
Lightning strikes are no laughing matter, and as always it's important to know what we're dealing with.
As one of the leading weather-related causes of death or injury in the nation, lighting deserves to be understood better so we can be both awed and avoidant of it.
At SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, we strive to be knowledgeable, proactive and preventative in approaching the stormy seasons of Oklahoma.
Here are some flash facts about lightning:
- While the speed of light (when we see the bolt) is 670,000,000 mph, the actual speed of a strike is only 27,000 mph. Need help visualizing this? Imagine traveling to the moon in only 55 minutes.
- Everyday, there are over 3 million flashes of lightning (about 44 strikes each second). The earth is struck by lightning more than 100 bolts each second.
- Lightning can help plants grow through creating nitrogen oxides by its heat and combining with moisture to provide nitrate-rich water for plants.
- The width of a bolt is only about 2 to 3 centimeters (about the size of a thumb) but it spans a length of about 2 to 3 miles.
- Lightning can reach up to 50,000°F, which is about 5x hotter than the sun’s surface.
- Thunderstorms aren’t the only source of lightning; it can be found in volcanic eruptions, forest fires, nuclear detonations, snowstorms and hurricanes.
- Using surge protectors won’t actually protect your appliances against direct strikes, so make sure to unplug all of your equipment.
- Using the phone while indoors is actually the leading cause of injuries by lightning within a household.
- You can easily be struck by lightning even if the eye of the storm is 10 miles away.
Lightning isn’t something to mess with or worth taking any chances at the risk of death or injury. It must be taken seriously, but we can admire the beauty and nature of lightning without compromising our safety.
And should your home or commercial property incur any damage from a lightning strike or other severe weather event, we're on call 24/7 and faster to any disaster. Just give us a call at (405) 252-9400 and we'll be on our way.
Why Replace When You Can Restore?
Our motto is restore rather than replace, and we have a few reasons behind it.
Here at SERVPRO® of Central Oklahoma City, our motto is that it’s always better to restore than replace.
Why do we believe this so firmly? Let’s first understand the difference between restoring and replacing. Restoring means to bring back to its original condition, while replacing means to substitute the original with an equivalent.
At first glance, replacing may seem like the way to go but we’re here to show you the raw benefits of restoration.
Restoration maintains the character.
Older houses and buildings oftentimes have iconic historic elements, whether it be vintage cabinets or doors. If these items are destroyed by a flood, any replacement you find will never compare to the original elements. By restoring these keepsakes, you’re able to preserve the look and feel of your home or business.
Restoration is cost-effective.
It may seem like replacing would save more money as you may have to purchase tools and products (or a service) to restore your home items, but in reality, restoration is much cheaper in the long run. You need to be critical when thinking of getting rid of a time that is made from older, more durable materials that have proven to last through the generations. When you replace an item, you will often be required to continue to replace it frequently over time.
Restoration takes less time.
Restoration happens as quickly as you want it to, as you’re taking the matter into your own hands. However, replacing items like windows or doors has a much slower turnaround and can take a few months until they’re made (and remember, you have to think of installation time too).
Restoration is better for the environment.
Restoration is a much greener solution as it reduces the amount of waste. Think of all the landfills that are packed with discarded doors, windows and cabinets that easily could’ve been restored.
All things considered, your return on investment is much greater when you restore items, especially when measured over a long period of time.
Call Us Today
Before you replace, give SERVPRO® of Central OKC a call 24/7 for any restoration needs: (405) 252-9400.
A Guide to Equipment Used in Our Water Damage Restoration Process
SERVPRO of Denton pulls back the curtain and explains the equipment it uses in its water restoration process.
You understand our water damage restoration process from one of our previous blogs, but have you ever wondered what equipment SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City uses during this process and how it works?
Luckily, for you, we’ve compiled a complete guide to the equipment we use during the restoration process!
- Moisture Detectors, Hygrometers and Other Meters: These are used in the third step of the resolution process — water removal and extraction. They measure the extent of moisture saturation in the space.
- Infrared Cameras: These are also part of the third step and are used to find the “hidden” or water that makes its way behind the walls and ceilings of your property.
- Submersible and Gas-Powered Pumps: These use industrial strength to continuously pump high-level water out and help reduce drying time and prevent bacterial growth. They are also used in the third step.
- Truck-Mounted and Portable Extraction Units: These are used in the third step to efficiently remove water from the property.
- Industrial-Grade Dehumidifiers: These are used during the fourth step of the restoration process — drying and dehumidification. They help prevent less obvious water damage that doesn’t happen immediately, such as swelling or warping of floors, walls or furniture.
- High-Speed Air Movers: These create a flow of air across the space including around walls, carpets, pads and furniture. It also helps accelerate moisture evaporation. This is used in the fourth step as well.
- Industrial Air Grade Scrubbers and Fogging Equipment: These are typically used in the fifth step of the process — cleaning and sanitizing. They help mask odors from the former water damage.
- Antimicrobial, Antibacterial and Disinfectant Treatments: All of these are used also in the cleaning and sanitizing stage to help disinfect the space and prevent bacterial and mold growth.
Thanks to SERVPRO of Central OKC, we can be sure that our properties can be safely restored in the event of water damage and that they know what they’re doing with this equipment.
What Do The Hurricane Categories Actually Mean?
When it comes to severe weather events like hurricanes, it's always good to know what we're up against.
Hurricane season in Oklahoma typically begins around June 1 and lasts until November 30, with an increase in August and hitting its peak in September.
Hurricanes are categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is rated 1 to 5 based on maximum ongoing wind speed. The scale was developed in the 70s by Herbert Saffir, an engineer in Miami, and Robert Simpson, a meteorologist and former director of the National Hurricane Center.
The scale doesn’t factor other hazards that result from hurricanes such as storm surges, flooding and tornadoes, but it does estimate the probable damage of property. Although category 3 or higher are known as major hurricanes, all categories have the ability to result in major damage.
At SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City, we’re committed to understanding the storms our communities are enduring and finding practical solutions and preventative measures for each scenario. Here’s a rundown of the different categories of hurricanes to watch out for:
CATEGORY 1 — Winds are 74 to 95 mph
Winds are considered very dangerous and expected to produce some damage. Homes with well-structured frames might suffer roof damage, large tree branches could snap or trees with shallow roots may fall over. If power lines or poles are damaged, it could result in power outages lasting up to several days.
CATEGORY 2 — Winds are 96 to 110 mph
Winds are considered extremely dangerous and expected to cause extensive damage. Houses may endure major roof damage and trees could easily snap or be uprooted, blocking roads. It is expected for an almost total power outage to occur and last up to a few weeks.
CATEGORY 3 — Winds are 111 to 129 mph
Winds are expected to cause devastating damage. Framed homes will suffer major roof damage including removal of parts of the roof. Trees are easily snapped and uprooted, blocking major roads. Electricity and water expected to be unavailable up to several weeks post-storm.
CATEGORY 4 — Winds are 130 to 156 mph
Winds are expected to cause catastrophic damage. Houses will experience severe damage including a loss of the majority of the roof structure as well as exterior walls. Trees will be snapped and uprooted along with power poles, isolating areas in the community. Power outages can last up to months and the area will remain uninhabitable for weeks to months.
CATEGORY 5 — Winds are 157 mph or more
Severe winds are expected to cause catastrophic damage as well. Houses will be destroyed, including total roof failure and collapse of walls or structure. Trees and power poles that have fallen will isolate communities. Outages are expected to last for weeks or months as well as the area being uninhabitable for quite some time.
SERVPRO of Central OKC hopes to serve the community by providing this knowledge for people to understand and take action in protecting them against potential storms. The best thing to do to protect yourself and your loved ones is evacuate these areas vulnerable to dangerous storms.
Preparing Your Business for a Flood
Because flooding never schedules an appointment, it's smartest to stay ready all the time.
Flooding occurs more commonly than we think. In fact, flooding has been named the most common disaster in the country, and people should know this and understand how to live with it. It’s wise to stay prepared for floods at your business or commercial property. Those caught unprepared when a flood arrives can pay dire consequences because of it. And with that in mind, your neighbors at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City have pulled together some steps you can take to alleviate flood damage:
Of course, the story starts with insurance. Flood insurance is valuable and worth every penny. Many don’t realize that they need insurance for a natural disaster like a flood until that disaster strikes and it is too late. Flood insurance will help your business deal with unexpected damages or losses.
A flood shield, also known as flood barriers, are panels made to protect all different kinds of openings from storm damage. The main purpose is to make buildings water resilient rather than trying to figure out a way to block out water. By doing so, water damage will be less severe and the recovery time will not be as long. The fittings are made specifically for commercial applications, so you can trust these shields can adhere to any commercial space. An alternative would be to consider boarding up all of the windows, doors, ventilation shafts, and any other openings that will prevent damage for cheaper. If you are able to afford a flood shield, we recommend that this is the best option in the long run.
Backflow Prevention Valves
Backflow prevention valves are plumbing fixtures that make water flow in one direction. When these are installed in drains, it is not possible for flood water to enter the building through those pipes, which mitigates how much damage a flood can deliver in your commercial property. There are many options when it comes to deciding on these devices, so it is best to let the experts decide which one is good for your application.
And, as always, call us 24/7 in the event of a flood and we’ll dispatch a team of experts to your commercial property right away. We’re faster to any disaster! Just call: (405) 252-9400.
How to Prepare for a Safe Fourth Of July
Fireworks are a fun tradition on the Fourth of July, but only if you're safe!
It’s that time of the year again — barbecue, parades and, of course, fireworks and sparklers! But with great celebrations, especially ones involving fire, comes great responsibility. That’s why SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City has you covered when preparing for a safe Fourth of July.
Though fireworks are legal, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe. In fact, the National Safety Council advises people to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by professionals. But if you do choose to use them at home, make sure to follow some essential tips to ensure a safe Fourth of July:
- Keep children safe by never allowing younger children to handle fireworks and ensuring that adults supervise older children.
- Stay sober minded when using fireworks and never try to use them while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Protect your body parts by wearing protective eyewear and avoiding holding lighted fireworks.
- Light them in the right place and avoid using them indoors and in close proximity to people, houses and other flammable materials.
- Keep a safe distance from others by not pointing or throwing them at people and maintaining a safe distance after you light them.
- Be careful with malfunctioning fireworks and never re-light or try to handle them but keep a bucket of water nearby to extinguish them (or in case there is a fire).
The same seriousness should be taken when using sparklers as they burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. The National Fire Protection Association states that sparklers account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for firework-related injuries.
Consider using safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers and colored streamers, or just sit back and watch the experts do it. But most of all, have fun this Fourth of July and do it safely!
And remember that we are a phone call away, 24 hours a day: (405) 252-9400.
How to Prepare For Summer Power Outages
When summer brings about power outages, it's good to stay prepared.
As we continue our trek into the iconically hot summers of Oklahoma, we remember that the risk of a summertime power outage comes with the benefits of vacation time and poolside rendezvous.
In light of this, we must be prepared to safeguard against these summer power outages so we can try our best to enjoy the cool air all summer long.
Spotting a Brownout
When the weather conditions are severe, electric companies often implement a brownout — a reduction of electricity in a specific area — to keep from overloading the power grid. You can catch these signs by observing your lights and electric appliances to see if they are flickering or turning on and off rapidly. There may also be power interruptions intermittently. Make sure to turn them off so you can protect your appliances from this abnormal voltage as they can easily be damaged.
What To Do
If you suspect a power outage could be coming your way eventually, take these precautions to avoid the situation altogether:
- Try to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, if possible
- Keep lights and pool pumps off
- Limit your use of large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers
- Turn off and unplug devices that aren’t currently being used
When It Happens
Sometimes we aren’t so quick to avoid power outages, and sometimes, even though we have exhausted all of our options and best practices, we still experience them. In this case, there are some things we can do to prioritize our safety and comfort and sustain our possessions:
- Call your electricity company immediately. Report the outage and stay patient as they’re probably working as quickly as they can to fix the issue.
- Keep the fridge and freezer closed so the inside stays cold. A full freezer, without being opened, can keep food frozen for about two days. If half-full, the food only lasts a day. The fridge will keep food good for 4 hours if unopened.
- Don’t open the windows and doors. It’s tempting to keep from feeling trapped inside but opening the doors and windows will only let the outside air come in, making it much hotter. Also, close the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your property to keep the home from overheating.
- Use a surge suppressor. This can be purchased at any local hardware store and will protect your devices and electronics from getting fried when the power comes back on.
Whether you are pre- or post- power outage, it’s best to be prepared for the next (or first) potential one. Consider getting a backup generator or stock up on battery-powered fans and other necessities.
Summer power outages may be inevitable but we can do our best to lessen the negative effects on our households.
Have more questions? Call your neighbors at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City: (405) 252-9400.
Preparing a Commercial First Aid Kit
You'll never know when you might need a first aid kit at your commercial property, but when you do you'll be glad you have one.
Protecting your commercial property is important, and, of course, protecting the people inside it is even more vital. You know that if the unforeseen happens to your commercial property that SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is faster to any disaster and experts in making it "Like it never even happened."
But there are also ways to protect your employees, customers, or really anyone in your structure should an emergency take place. That begins with an on-site First Aid Kit.
If you don’t already have one in your property, you should take steps to procure one for the benefit of everyone involved. It is easy and fairly cost effective to put the kit together, and you never know when it could come to someone’s rescue.
Here are some tips for putting together a commercial property first aid kit:
Use OSHA’s First Aid Kit Checklist
Search online and you’ll quickly find a checklist for commercial first aid kits as put together by OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As their department name indicates, they’re experts in these matters.
And when you take a look at the checklist, you’ll see that many of the items are easily accessible at local drug stores or pharmacies. Items like gauze pads, bandages, tweezers, adhesives, and more are as important as they are commonly found on the shelves at local retailers.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even if you think emergency response is straightforward, you can never do too much training to ensure the safety of the people in your property. Ensure all necessary parties know where the first aid kit is stored, and ensure people on-site are trained in how to proceed. For instance, things like cleaning wounds before applying bandages can be the difference in healing the wound or developing an infection.
If and when an emergency occurs, your staff should be a well-oiled machine ready to jump into action. Even if an emergency requires further medical attention off-site, the steps you take in the initial moments after the emergency are a big difference-maker.
To find more information on putting together first aid kits or how to use them when needed, consult the OSHA website. And remember, once you can ensure the health of all the people on-site, you can call SERVPRO of Central OKC 24/7 to respond to any restoration emergency at (405) 252-9400.
Steps to Prevent a Fire
We're experts in fire damage restoration, but we've also got some tips to help mitigate the risk of a fire in the first place.
Our experts at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City are trained to be faster to any disaster, and to restore fire damage "Like it never even happened." You know we’re always a phone call away.
With that said, however, there are still a number of easy steps you can take around your home or commercial property to mitigate the risk of a fire before it happens. Take a look:
Check Your Smoke Detectors
Be sure to regularly check the fire detectors throughout your home or property to ensure they have working batteries and are operating properly. You can do this fairly easily by pressing the little button on your smoke detectors. If the alarm is loud and striking, that means it’s working properly. If the sound is weak and faint, or, worse yet, there’s no sound at all, then that means you’re in need of a battery change.
Regularly Clean The Lint Trap in Your Dryer
It can be easy to forget, but when lint backs up in your dryer it can create a dangerous fire hazard. Every so often it’s also a good idea to check behind your dryer to ensure no lint or articles of clothing have fallen back there and created a fire risk.
Clean Your Stove and Oven
One of the leading causes of stove or oven fires are food bits left behind from past meals that can combust the next time you’re cooking, so it’s important to clean your stove and oven regularly to ensure there’s nothing that could suddenly spark a kitchen fire. In that same line of thinking, be sure to always make sure things like towels or oven mitts are far enough away from your stove and/or oven that they won’t accidentally catch on fire.
And be sure to never leave the kitchen while cooking, because a fire can start quickly and can escalate even faster if you’re not there to take action right away. Remember that attacking grease fires will only further feed the flames, and that the best way to subdue a grease fire is to cover it and trap it.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher In Your Home or Property
You never know when you might need it, but when you do you’ll be glad you have it. Keep it somewhere that’s both safe and easily accessible in the event of an emergency, and be sure you and/or someone in your home or commercial property is properly trained to use a fire extinguisher.
Call Us If you Need Us
If you do sustain fire damage, give us a call 24/7 at 405-252-9400 to speak with our experts and have a team dispatched to your home or property.
What to Expect This Hurricane Season
Stay one step ahead of hurricane season with some helpful info from your neighborhood restoration experts.
Summer has arrived in Oklahoma, which means hurricane season is officially in full swing. And after last year broke records for number of storms (according to The Farmer’s Almanac and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University), another active hurricane season is anticipated in 2021.
Scientists anticipate 17 named storms in 2021, eight of which are categorized as hurricanes. These numbers are based on forecasts from April 2021 that are subsequently updated throughout hurricane season through the end of August. Since 1981, the average number of hurricanes per season is 6.4, meaning this summer is likely to continue a recent trend of above-normal storm seasons in the USA.
In 2020, much of the hurricane-caused flooding in the U.S. occurred in Louisiana, Texas, and other gulf states. However, hurricanes can persist as severe storms as they make further landfall into inland Texas and Oklahoma.
You already know that SERVPRO is faster to any disaster, and that no matter the storm damage our restoration experts can make it "Like it never even happened." But the more you know about hurricanes, the better you can prepare before they hit.
Here are a few hurricane facts that could come in handy this summer:
What Criteria Qualify a Hurricane
A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that are at least 74 mph. They’re usually weakened when they make landfall, which is why states bordering large bodies of water (like the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico) are often the most impacted. However, even if after making landfall it falls below the threshold of an active hurricane, it can still cause wind damage and flooding from the intense rain that persists.
There Are Different Classes of Hurricanes
Hurricanes can be classified from 1-5 depending on the speed of wind of that particular storm. A Class 1 hurricane ranges from 74-95 mph, while a class 5 hurricane is a storm with 156+ mph winds. The last class 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States was Hurricane Maria in 2017.
How Meteorologists Predict Hurricanes
Thanks to modern satellite technology, meteorologists are able to identify and track hurricanes that develop and travel more easily than ever. Hurricanes usually take a few days (or even more than a week) to fully develop and ultimately make landfall. That’s why it’s vital to heed hurricane warnings if a storm threatens our area!
And, as always, call us 24/7 for expert advice or to have a team of specialists dispatched to your home or commercial property: (405) 252-9400.
Tips for Summer Storm Preparedness
Although we can't prevent a storm from happening, there are ways to prepare and increase safety when they do.
Summer is the height of storm season in Oklahoma, and with it comes, of course, a greater risk of storm damage to your home or commercial property.
You already know that if your property floods, is struck by lightning, or sustains any other kind of wind or storm damage, that the experts at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City are faster to any disaster. But what can you do to protect yourself and your property as a storm is approaching?
Here are a few tips:
Get To Lower Ground
If a storm is approaching that promises to bring strong wind and even the possibility of a tornado, it is wise to avoid higher stories of your home or property. If you have a basement, that is an optimal place in which to wait out a storm.
If not, try and find a place on the ground floor of the building, ideally in an interior room that has limited, if any, windows to the outside. This reduces the risk of broken glass injuring someone inside the property.
Have Supplies Handy
It’s not uncommon for a severe summer storm to knock out power for an unknown amount of time. That’s why it’s important to have supplies like a flashlight and extra batteries handy before a storm arrives so you can be prepared for whatever comes next.
Try and avoid relocating immediately before (or during) a storm, as not only will rain impact visibility but high winds and lightning strikes can be the downfall of even the most defensive drivers.
Try to Unplug
Even if you don’t lose power, lightning strikes can cause power surges, so try and unplug non-essential electronics that you’re not using as a storm bears down on your property to reduce the risk of a surge or even an electrical fire. This can include anything from spare televisions not in use to kitchen appliances to unused phone chargers or gaming consoles. Unless it’s essential, it’s not a bad idea to unplug it.
And, again, should a storm do damage to your home or commercial property, call our team at (405) 252-9400 and a team of SERVPRO specialists will make it "Like it never even happened."
Cleaning the Mess You Can’t See
SERVPRO experts are trained to tackle any mess, including the ones you might not be able to see.
You take pride in your home or commercial property, and work hard to keep it safe, clean, and comfortable. But what about the messes that might be hidden to the untrained eye; things like dirt and dust beneath the surface, or mold that can create foul odors and deteriorate the condition of your property?
That’s where SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City comes into play. We’re not just experts in restoration, but in cleaning and mold removal as well. Take a look at a few ways our experts can help you maintain a cleaner home, be it with a visit from our team or just a few pointers you can use around the house.
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
Our team attacks dirt and dust beneath the surface of your carpeting or upholstery with top-of-the-line equipment and industry leading expertise. The difference a clean carpet, or clean upholstery, can make in your home is noticeable. If you think the color in your carpet is beginning to fade, give us a call to bring your home back to life!
Air Duct Cleaning
For homeowners, “cleaning the air ducts” is a chore that often goes forgotten. As the old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” But keeping your air ducts clean is vitally important for a number of reasons. Not only can it keep dust and other allergens from spreading throughout your home, but it can improve the heating and cooling efficiency of your home if air is flowing through clean ducts.
Remember to regularly run a feather duster along your ducts, and to change your air filters as often as is necessary; most homes need a change every 90 days, but some homes with pets can require a change as often as once every 30 days.
Most cleaning services can’t top SERVPRO’s expertise in effectively deodorizing your home. Our residential cleaning services can rid your home of unwanted odors coming from sources you might not even be able to see.
Commercial Cleaning Services
If most of this blog sounds like it is written specifically for homeowners, rest assured that SERVPRO experts are trained to tackle commercial cleaning as well. Normal wear and tear in your workspace is normal, and sometimes it can pile up beyond the scope of your janitorial service.
When this happens, give SERVPRO a call and our specialists will head right over. We can handle cleaning jobs, odor problems, and more, so you know your workspace will look its very best.
How We Become Experts
The Training House at the SERVPRO Corporate Training Facility gives our specialists a chance to apply what they've learned.
We don’t call our SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City restoration professionals things like “specialists” and “experts” for nothing. And they certainly don’t get to be that way overnight.
So what exactly does go into training the experts who time and time again uphold our promises of being faster to any disaster and making your restoration project look "Like it never even happened."
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification: The IICRC sets the bar for the entire cleaning and restoration industries, and it’s our priority to not only meet but exceed those standards. Our specialists take to heart the IICRC’s best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and more.
Employee Certification Training: Our program is designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. It includes SERVPRO crew training and additional training in fire and water restoration and carpet and upholstery cleaning.
The Training House
The true foundation of our Franchise training is a 15-day hands-on program at our SERVPRO Corporate Training Facility.
Here, team members get to work in the Training House, a model home where they can apply what they’ve learned in cleaning and restoration in simulated real-life situations. Taught by certified instructors, the course ensures our SERVPRO specialists are indeed experts who can handle anything because they’ve seen everything.
You can learn more about the Training House on our SERVPRO YouTube page.
e-Learning and Continued Education
Even after joining one of our Franchise teams, SERVPRO experts have plenty of resources to keep them at the forefront of new technologies or processes in the industry.
Our library web-based training courses sharpen the skills and expertise of all our specialists. And SERVPRO of Central OKC even offers credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate adjusters and franchise staff, to improve their skills in emergency mitigation.
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
- Restorative Drying for Loss Control
- Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar (non-credit course)
Contact Our Team
If you’re ever facing a restoration emergency, find peace of mind with SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City. Call us at (405) 252-9400 or request help online.
Tell Me More: Commercial Restoration
If an unexpected emergency leaves your business' equipment and information in jeopardy, call SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City for help.
There’s never really a “good time” for a commercial restoration project. Often they come out of necessity, without any warning, bringing your business to a screeching halt. With that in mind, we work fast - without sacrificing quality or thoroughness - to get your business back up and running after sustaining water or fire damage.
Commercial Water Damage Restoration
Commercial water restoration can present unique challenges, but it’s nothing we haven’t already conquered before. Our on-site team is comprised of Water Damage Restoration Technicians, Applied Structural Drying Technicians, Odor Control Technicians, and Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technicians, and each plays a key role in our process.
These technicians are expertly trained and equipped with top-of-the-line equipment to limit water damage and jumpstart the restoration process.
Learn more about SERVPRO Professional Franchise Training and Certifications.
Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Like with water damage, our fire damage restoration process involves a highly skilled team of expert technicians, armed with top equipment and unmatched training. The team includes Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians, Odor Control Technicians, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technicians, and even Water Damage Restoration Technicians to restore any damage caused by putting out the initial fire at your commercial property.
And, whether it’s a fire or water damage restoration project when all is said and done we will not only keep our “Like it never even happened,” promise, but we can affirm that your commercial property is SERVPRO Certified clean, leaving no doubt around the cleanliness and safety of your property.
Disaster Recovery Team
It’s important to act fast when a natural disaster strikes your commercial property, and that’s why we have strategically placed storm teams who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They’ve dealt with damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards; you name it, they’ve seen it before, and no job is too large for our teams.
And beyond commercial restoration, in the event of a storm or natural disaster, our SERVPRO Large Loss Division will come to your rescue. We know damaged equipment or products can not only cost you money but cost you time in re-opening your business, which is why we ensure every large loss is overseen by a Commercial Operations Manager. This person a seamless communication in replacing damaged equipment or goods.
Learn more about our Disaster Recovery Team.
How Clean is ‘Clean?’
The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned badge let's visitors to your business know you've prioritized safety and cleanliness.
The world in which we live, and our collective way of life, have changed dramatically in the past year with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Chief among those changes is a heightened focus on cleanliness, particularly as it affects personal safety and public health.
So how do we define ‘clean’ in 2021? If you know us at all, you know we have experts on the team who can answer that question.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
Our SERVPRO experts faced the pandemic head-on, developing a specialized viral pathogen-cleaning program that prevents the spread of Covid-19. We believe in it so strongly that we’ll certify your safety when we’re finished.
The process is built from our three C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
First, our professionals - covered head-to-toe in a safety suit - will consult the situation to determine a plan of action. Every business is unique, and in these delicate times, we think every cleaning plan should be unique, too. The team will check out the space and ask questions to ensure no nook or cranny is missed.
Then it comes time to clean. We go to work using our hospital-grade cleaning solutions - which are EPA-approved and adhere to all CDC standards - relying on a variety of techniques depending on the surface, space, and other circumstances affecting your business.
Last comes the most important part: certification. You don’t want to just be “pretty sure” about cleanliness in these times; you want to certify your safety and the safety of your employees and customers. We will do a final, thorough review of your business to ensure our high standards for cleanliness and customer satisfaction have been met. If they have, we’ll slap a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned badge on your business to let customers know you’ve made cleanliness and safety a priority.
Residential Cleaning Services
Our cleaning services don’t stop with our commercial property owners. Our pros are experts in residential cleaning as well!
From carpets and upholstery to air ducts, sewage backup or mold build-up, we’ve seen it before and we know what to do next. We’ll clean the dirt and grime you see on the surface but will go deeper to attack the dust and odor build-up living beneath the surface. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference when all is said and done.
Check out more on our residential cleaning services.
Whether you’re a business owner, a homeowner, or simply a proud member of the community, the next time you see the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield you can proceed to know that the No. 1 choice for cleanup and restoration was there.
Caring For Your Belongings After an Emergency
Standing water damage in a residential living room threatens to damage home electronics and other precious belongings.
SERVPRO experts understand that your home or commercial property is more than just a structure; fire, water, and storm damage can affect your belongings as much as they affect the structure itself.
So what do you do to care for your belongings after an emergency? The answer is multi-faceted.
First, with the help of SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City experts, assess what items can be restored. Our teams can pretest your belongings to determine what can be restored via one of a handful of safe and effective cleaning methods.
- Dry Cleaning - Used to clean light residues or to pre-clean items that will ultimately need a deeper cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - Used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe - Effective for items that cannot withstand wet or dry cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned by other means.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves deep scrubbing to create agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Belongings are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
SERVPRO experts always seek to “restore” rather than “replace” whenever possible. This not only helps preserve your precious keepsakes but can also save you the money to replace items not covered by your insurer.
Learn more about our restoration cleaning methods.
Of course, some of your most vulnerable possessions when water damage strikes are your electronics, and water-damaged electronics can present a dangerous hazard in your home or commercial property.
First and foremost do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. Allow an expert to coordinate the restoration of impacted electronics like televisions, and computers. We work with qualified electronics technicians who are trained to safely clean and inspect your damaged electronics.
And when it comes to salvaging water-damaged electronics, time is of the essence. Those experts act swiftly, starting with a thorough cleaning of the exterior to prevent further corrosion and damage. However, to reiterate, urgency should never take precedence over personal safety. Our teams at SERVPRO of Central OKC are faster to any disaster, and we take calls 24 hours a day.
Documents & Photographs
Important documents and photographs should be handled with great care if damaged. Mishandling of these items can exacerbate damage beyond the point of restoration.
While some documents might not be restored to perfect condition, SERVPRO experts can do a tremendous amount to minimize damage by employing a combination of…
- Air Drying
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
Learn more about our document restoration services.
At SERVPRO of Central OKC we understand the stress that comes with recovery from an emergency. Our experts can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS).
Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.
First Steps to Take in an Emergency
When the unforeseen happens, it's good to have a plan in place.
Flooding from a burst pipe. A grease or electrical fire. A natural disaster.
You hope it never happens to you, but what if it does? What do you do first, and when does your neighborhood SERVPRO team come into play?
First And Foremost
Do not panic. Stay calm and remember that safety is the most critical factor in these situations. Belongings can be replaced, but people cannot.
Tell everyone to calmly evacuate the premises to a safe distance, obtaining only essential belongings, and only if safely accessible upon evacuation. Once outside, make sure everyone on site is safe and accounted for.
If a fire or a collapsing structure, or if someone on-site needs urgent medical attention, make 9-1-1 your first call. After that, call your insurance agent.
In the event of a flood, try and move more important belongings to higher places or even higher stories of a multi-story home or commercial property. However, if floodwaters are moving fast enough, they can take you off your feet, so assess the severity of the flood to determine how urgently you need to evacuate.
What To Document
Write down any and every detail you can recall, and remember that no detail is too insignificant. Note anything that seems damaged or out of order. Any further information pertaining to a potential cause is essential.
And once it is safe to do so, don’t forget to capture visuals for your insurance agent. They will usually advise you on when is the right time to do this. Take photos, or even shoot video, on your smartphone if you can.
After ensuring everyone is safely evacuated and contacting your insurance agent (and emergency services if a fire dictates it), call your local SERVPRO experts at (405) 252-9400.
Our phones are manned 24/7, and we can advise on how to proceed, thanks to our free consultation policy. If it’s a small job you can handle yourself, that’s great! If not, there’s never been a job too tough for our team to tackle.
Save our phone number, and remember that we’ve got your back!
The Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaners
Many commercial building owners use chemical drain cleaners to flix a clogged drain.
Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Dangerous
Many commercial building owners use a chemical cleaner to fix a clogged drain. However, this could just cause more harm to the premises. Here are some reasons your clients should only use chemical products as a last resort. These cleaners can actually cause harm in several ways.
1. They Can Hurt Pipes
The heat produced by chemical cleaners can harm certain pipes. Older metal or plastic pipes are particularly prone to damage from chemicals.
2. They Can Hurt the Environment
The chemicals from drain cleaners do not stay in pipes forever. They eventually end up in landfills, lakes and rivers, where they could poison various animals.
3. They Can Hurt People
Cleaners can even cause adverse effects to humans. Simply breathing them in while trying to clear a clogged drain could irritate the throat and eyes.
Since chemical drain cleaners can be dangerous, your clients should first try to clear the clog with mechanical options such as an auger or plunger. If that does not work, they can use non-toxic cleaners that use bacteria or enzymes to eat the clog. These cleaners work best on clogs that result from organic materials such as soap, hair, or grease.
To prevent damage to your clients' The Village, OK, buildings, you should tell them to avoid pouring chemicals down a clogged drain. An auger or enzymatic cleaner can safely remove the clog without harming the pipes.
If a broken or deteriorating pipe does harm your client's property, you will need to call sewage cleaning specialists to dry the premises and remove any mold. SERVPRO franchise professionals will respond quickly to the emergency and do what they can to thoroughly restore the property while keeping costs down. The franchises have the corporate resources to tackle big projects yet remain locally operated and owned.
SERVPRO is thus a preferred vendor for numerous insurance providers. Whether your client's water loss resulted from a chemical drain cleaner or a frozen pipe, SERVPRO can assist with the repairs.
Tell Me More: Water Damage Repair
Homeowners aim to limit water damage caused by a leak or burst pipe in their ceiling.
If you’re dealing with water damage in your home or commercial property, it’s important to remember that immediate action is crucial. The sooner you act, the easier mitigating damage and restoring your property will be.
Call your local SERVPRO team at 888-888-8888 for 24/7 assistance in any water damage cases.
What exactly do we do? Allow us to explain.
When you call, you’ll be a specialist who will guide you through several questions that will help us address your water emergency faster and more efficiently. Like we said before, calling us as soon as you can upon identifying a water damage emergency is crucial to the restoration process.
We’ll arrive on-site with a team of Water Cleanup and Damage Restoration Technicians and Applied Structural Dying Technicians. The team will assess the situation to determine the extent of the damage and what steps are necessary to ensure a thorough, high-quality restoration of your home or commercial property.
Next, we’ll bring in our powerful pumps and vacuums to remove hundreds or even thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth. Then we’ll use specialized equipment to remove any remaining water before we begin drying and dehumidifying.
Our experts use data like room measurements, inside temperature, and relative humidity to determine the proper number of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your home or business. It’s a science, and one we know intimately.
We thoroughly clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water, using several techniques we’ve perfected over the years. Our professionals are masters in sanitizing treatments and deodorizing your property.
Last comes the restoration, or the stage in the process in which we restore your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. This might involve minor repairs like replacing drywall or installing new carpet or warranting major repairs or even reconstructing an entire room. Whatever the situation necessitates, we’ve seen it before.
You can always reference our Water Damage Emergency Tips Guide for more info on what to do in a crisis.
Avoid Common Plumbing Issues
Toilets and drains tend to get blocked more often in commercial settings than in homes.
There are many unpleasant things that could bring business to a halt in your commercial property but leaking pipes and a puddle in the bathroom are some of the most annoying. One of the keys to avoiding plumbing issues in your property is preventative action against the most common problems.
Identifying Common Concerns
Naturally, it's best to identify the problems that tend to be common in Warr Acres, OK, and across the country:
Leaking pipes and faucets are very common. After all, there are a lot of pipes running through large buildings, supplying water to sinks, toilets, and drinking fountains.
Toilets and drains tend to get blocked more often in commercial settings than in homes. This sometimes happens because inappropriate items are flushed or sent down the drain.
It's often difficult to keep water temperatures within a comfortable range because there's a heavy demand for water.
Clogs, leaks, and other types of damage, such as a pipe break, often cause a foul odor that escapes from drains throughout the building.
Your property insurance agent is a good source of information about the plumbing problems that you are most likely to experience.
After you identify the issues with the highest risk factor, the next step is learning how to prevent these common problems:
Avoid leaks by regularly checking faucets and watching for slow drips. Visually inspect pipes for signs of cracks, rust, lime deposits, or moisture.
Avoid clogs and a toilet backup by providing flushable toilet paper, napkins, and towels. Provide an appropriate and convenient way to dispose of waste. Place hair traps in the sink drain.
It's important to find the right balance when it comes to water temperatures in commercial settings. This means carefully selecting the size of your water heater or heaters. You may also need to use a combination of thermostatic mixing valves and tempering. Don't forget to check the pressure valve on a regular schedule.
When you can't avoid plumbing issues and leaking pipes, contact water damage cleanup and repair technicians to get your business back to its original condition. Remember that an early response prevents widespread damage.
Understanding and Eliminating Mold and Its Odor
Commercial mold damage in Oklahoma City, OK
One of the surest ways to know your business in Oklahoma City, OK, may be experiencing a mold problem is a potent musty odor. Why does that smell of rotten wood or wet socks happen? This living organism experiences different stages of growth. During that process, mycotoxin, which may or may not be harmful, is produced. These chemical products impact the growth cycle, resulting in the fungi releasing odorous gases.
The Growth Cycle
Mold spores may be everywhere, but they need the right conditions to grow. Unfortunately, the only requirements are the right temperatures, moisture and food. Once those are in place, the spores go through four stages.
Growth starts with thread-like cells feeding on porous materials. Enzymes are released that decompose food sources for easier absorption. That soon leads to a cluster.
As that cluster develops, spores begin to form on the ends. When the environment is right, they will continue to flourish. At this point, the mycotoxin may be forming, which may lead to the first signs of an odor.
The spores eventually are released into the air. They travel to other areas to begin the process again, but only if the conditions are right.
If the spores find an ideal environment, they will reproduce and germinate. That means a new infestation somewhere else on the property.
Complete Odor Removal
Knowing that mold is both a surface and airborne issue, eliminating and preventing future outbreaks go hand in hand. Seeking help from a mold remediation and restoration company is often the best solution. They have the latest tools to find hidden issues, kill the mold and prevent its spread. They also have industrial-grade devices, such as HEPA filtration devices, that filter out tiny particles and ensure a clean-smelling environment.
While not every mold may produce a mycotoxin, each kind will create a pungent odor. Taking action at the first signs of the smell makes it easier to get rid of the problem.
How Water Damage Affects Building Materials
Damaged wooden floor in an Oklahoma City, OK home
Any category of water damage ruins building materials. Damp drywall crumbles and swelling wood often becomes distorted. Find out more about the effects clean or contaminated water can have on the porous, semi-porous, and hard non-porous building materials used to build a home in Oklahoma City, OK.
Porous Building Materials
Porous materials absorb water. The level of contamination and exposure determine the extent of the damage. Several types of building materials get ruined by exposure to water:
While being exposed to either clean or contaminated water undermines the effectiveness of insulation, other porous materials saturated with clean water from a supply line can be dried following water pipe repair. Contaminated water is the worst enemy of porous materials, as disinfecting any porous substance thoroughly can pose a challenge.
Materials that are somewhat porous may be cleaned or restored with more or less ease depending on the level of contamination and extent of saturation. In these cases, it is important to make sure that disinfectant can penetrate beyond surfaces and eliminate mycelium, or the roots of mold growth. Swelling wood exposed to contaminated gray or black water may require extensive disinfection or need to be torn up and replaced.
Hard, non-porous materials are the most likely to stand up to any cleaning method. Restoration professionals use techniques ranging from blasting to immersion in cleaning solution paired with the application of ultrasonic waves to clean building materials and contents that are non-absorbent.
Assessing the porosity of materials is critical for determining the best approach to cleanup and restoration. Delicate porous materials such as insulation may be ruined by exposure to water. Swelling wood and certain other materials may be cleaned or disinfected if necessary and dried after exposure to clean or contaminated water from a pipe break, flood, or sewer backup at a residence in Oklahoma City, OK.
Protect Your Home By Protecting Your Roof From Wind Damage
When roof damage happens, it is crucial to protect your home with tarping
A roof is a vital protective feature of your home in Warr Acres, OK, but you lose that protection when strong winds cause roof damage. These are some features of a roof that can determine wind damage and tips for preventing it.
Factors Contributing To Damage
Protecting your home's roof means understanding its vulnerabilities, which may include:
- Construction materials
- Construction quality
Some materials are better suited to withstand the elements than others. For example, slate roofs are significantly more durable than asphalt roofs, though roofs over twenty years old should have routine inspections for hidden damage that could worsen after a storm.
When wind hits your home's sides, it starts to move upward, creating pressure as it goes, until it reaches the edges of your roof, where it exerts a maximum force. It then travels along your roof's surface, where it creates a suction-like pull against roof materials that can be strong enough to loosen or dislodge shingles. Sound construction can help a roof withstand these forces. Roof damage is also avoidable when roofs consist of multiple panels having 30-degree slopes.
How To Prevent and Reduce Damage
Routine roof inspections are critical for protecting your roof from wind damage. Scheduling inspections during mild seasons can ensure that you have plenty of time to perform repairs before severe weather hits.
Wind can also indirectly damage your home if it carries debris that it deposits on your roof. The weight of tree limbs and other objects, including laws furniture that strong winds are capable of lifting to your rooftop, can puncture, crack and loosen shingles. Clearing objects and debris from the ground surrounding your home can help prevent them from landing on your roof during a storm.
When roof damage happens, it is crucial to protect your home with tarping and begin repairs as soon as possible. If a storm results in damage to your home's interior, you can count on a storm restoration service to handle the clean-up.
3 Tips for Managing Water Damage Cleanup
Water damage in a utility room
Is There Something You Can Do To Salvage Your Belongings?
You hear running water and when you go to investigate, you discover your washing machine pumping gallons of water all over your floor. You rush to the basement to turn off the water source, only to discover water pouring down the walls. What a disaster! Of course, the first thing you do is call the emergency line for your local water mitigation and repair company in Nichols Hill, OK. They'll be there within an hour, but you're thinking about the possible water damage to your house.
1. Pick Up Items
If there are rugs or carpets in your laundry room that you can pick up, remove them. Weather depending, you may want to take them outside and drape them over a clothes line or a chair to let the water drain out. Shoes, bags, and pet gear, and especially anything that has color that can run, like books or magazines, should all be picked up and moved. Most things can hang to dry and won't suffer ill-effects from water damage, but a bag of dog food should probably be replaced since you don't want to run the risk of feeding your pet anything contaminated.
2. Sop Up Water
Once the floor is clear, you can concentrate on sopping up some of the standing water. A handful of towels or a mop may be enough to get the mess under control, or you may want to use a shop vacuum. While the mitigation team will be able to help with water cleanup, the sooner you can remove standing water, the better.
3. Prop Up Furniture
Broken pipes may have gotten the better of your washing machine but they don't have to claim your furniture, too. Use aluminum foil or small wooded blocks to raise furniture up off of wet floors, especially if it's carpeted. By doing this, you're protecting your furniture from prolonged water exposure.
You can expedite your recovery from water damage by taking steps to clean up even before help arrives.
Can a Fire Mitigation Company Help With the Whole Restoration Process?
Commercial fire damage in Warr Acres, OK
After a fire at your business in Warr Acres, OK, you have a long list of tasks to take care of. Once the fire trucks leave, you are left with fire damage as well as smoke and water damage. You might be wondering exactly where to begin. It's a good idea to consider hiring a restoration company to handle everything from start to finish.
Why Should I Hire a Restoration Company?
A professional mitigation company specializes in disaster assessment, cleanup, and restoration. Technicians can begin the process from the moment you make a call, any time of day or night. They will go through the steps that will get your building back to the way it was before the fire. They can take care of:
- Inspecting and assessing the damage
- Boarding up and tarping the roof
- Removing and drying the water
- Removing smoke and soot
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Building restoration
What Is the Restoration Process?
First, technicians will visit your property to assess the fire damage. The fire area will be inspected along with adjoining areas to check the extent of repair needed. To maintain security, professionals will board up compromised windows or doors and cover the roof with a tarp to prevent further water or storm damage. Water removal will begin right away. Technicians will clean walls, carpet, window treatments and items of smoke and soot. Throughout the process, the company will provide your insurance adjuster with documentation.
Once your building is clean and sanitized, restoration can begin. Professionals will make smaller repairs where needed, such as installing drywall, laying new carpet or repainting surfaces. They will clean your belongings and restore items whenever possible rather than replacing them. Fire mitigation for areas with major damage may include rebuilding. Professionals can reconstruct rooms where needed.
Trusting a professional restoration company can help you through the process of repairing fire damage and ease the burden on you.
Here are Three Simple Tips for Maintaining Your Sump Pump
Sump pump system
Here are Three Simple Tips for Maintaining Your Sump Pump
Many basements in Oklahoma City, OK, are installed below the top of the water table. Others are built in areas where storm water collects. Once water starts pooling around the foundation, it’s essential to remove the excess water before it can cause damage. Typically, the best way to do this is with a sump pump.
The sump system works automatically and in the background. They can last more than a decade without problems and are customized for your particular conditions. However, it does require pump maintenance for it to work seamlessly. Fortunately, just doing a few things a year will increase longevity and prevent problems:
- Quarterly or monthly screen cleaning
- Annual pump cleaning
- Annual Testing
Screen Cleaning Intervals Will Vary
The Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturer's Association recommends cleaning the sump pump screen or inlet opening regularly. If you don’t have a washing machine, clean it every three or four months; if you do, clean it monthly.
Annual Cleaning Is Critical
Remove the pump and hand clean it. Clean out the sump pit, paying particular attention to sediment that’s collected. Also, clean the pump screen. If the water was oily, you may have to wipe the pit out. Also, check the sump discharge pipe for clogs and make sure it’s still draining in a good location.
Inspect the pump for rust or defects. Most pumps will not require lubrication, but each is different, so consult your manual. If you aren’t sure, you can contact local water damage restoration specialists who have experience with maintenance and cleanups that become necessary if the pump fails.
Testing Helps Prevent Catastrophic Failures
The float switch is what turns your pump on and off. It’s sensitive to debris, so it should be tested. Pour some water in and observe it while functioning. Does it move jerkily or bind? Does the pump start and stop smoothly and do so in time with the switch?
Identifying problems early helps prevent water damage and black mold from developing. When done correctly, your sump pump can mostly stay out of mind and out of trouble.
How To Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Cleanup
Mold remediation in Oklahoma City, OK
How To Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Cleanup
After discovering mold growth at your office in Oklahoma City, OK, you have taken the proper steps to manage the situation. You've stopped water flow to the area, you've blocked it off, and you called a mold removal and remediation team to come and handle the cleanup. Mold can be scary for people who don't know much about it. Black mold in particular looks intimidating, and only an expert knows for sure whether or not mold is actually toxic. Your employees want to know what is being done to keep them safe during work. Here are a few things that the cleanup team will do to keep you and your workers safe during the process.
Containment barriers make sure that the mold is contained only to the work area. Heavy plastic sheeting and other materials are hung around the work area and sealed top to bottom so that the mold particles don't migrate to other areas of the office building.
2. HEPA Filters
HEPA filters create negative air pressure which prevents mold from dispersing to other areas. This also helps to maintain the air quality during mold removal as the air is vented outside of the containment area.
The cleanup team will wear personal protective equipment including full body suits, boots, shoe covers, gloves, eye protection, face masks with ventilators, and hoods. In addition to keeping the workers safe, it helps to contain the mold to the appropriate area as that equipment will be removed in a safe area to prevent additional mold spread.
Consider offering your team the option of working from home, if possible, if they are very concerned about the mold cleanup process. It is better for everyone to feel safe so that they can focus on their work.
When done by professionals, mold removal prevents further mold growth and is a pretty safe process. Communicate with your team to let them know that the mold cleanup is being handled with their wellness in mind.
3 Ways To Protect Your Property From Spring Flooding
Keep your gutters clean
Steps To Protect Your Commercial Property
As the winter months give way to spring, the weather is often unpredictable. There may be days when the temperature drops below freezing and days filled with rainstorms. Any snow buildup begins to melt quickly, sometimes overwhelming the local drainage systems. Too often, the capricious changes in weather and the abundance of moisture cause flooding problems for Warr Acres, OK, businesses. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to protect your commercial property.
Move Snow Away From Buildings
One of the main causes of spring flood problems is melting snow. After removing snow from sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas, the snow should be piled up away from the foundations of your buildings. When possible, put the snow on ground that can absorb the spring runoff.
Check Your Interior and Exterior Pipes
Hopefully, you made sure your pipes and hoses were empty during the fall before the first major freeze. Even if you did complete this preventative step, however, it's often possible for water to freeze in the pipes. As spring brings warmer weather, any frozen pipe is likely to thaw. Unfortunately, as water froze in those pipes, the developing ice could have created cracks or weak areas. As the ice thaws, it releases water into your building – sometimes dripping into your walls or down the foundation.
Inspect the Gutters and Other Elements of the Drainage System
Just as the pipes are weakened by ice, so the gutters can also become damaged when snow or ice flows build up. During the winter, be sure to keep the gutters free of debris and double-check to be sure that drainage areas can accept the flow of water from melting snow or spring flooding.
Each season is full of change, but some are predictable. Melting snow, early rainstorms, and frozen gutters or pipes can cause flooding. If you aren't sure what to expect or if your property has suffered damage from too much water, contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals.
Maintaining Your Furnace for a Warm, Worry-Free Winter
Perform regular maintenance to your furnace
Most residents of The Village, OK, don’t think about their furnace until it’s time to crank up the heat. however, neglecting this crucial piece of home equipment when it’s not in use could wind up costing you in the long run not only in higher heating bills but also in fire cleaning and smoke cleaning costs. Here are some tips to keep your furnace in good working condition.
Get Your Furnace Professionally Serviced
The general rule of thumb is to get a professional to inspect and service your furnace once a year, typically in the early fall. This timing gives you the opportunity to fix any problems a technician finds before temperatures drop and you need to turn up the heat. Professional furnace technicians typically do the following during an annual inspection:
- Clean your furnace
- Test for operational efficiency
- Tighten loose hardware and replace any broken parts
- Check the wiring for fire hazards
The last action is essential to preventing home fires and avoiding additional fire cleaning costs, including flooding and smoke remediation.
Perform Simple Furnace Maintenance Throughout the Year
While it is best to have a professional take on more complex furnace maintenance tasks, there are some easy things you can do throughout the year to keep your furnace in prime condition. The most critical thing is to replace your filters regularly — every 90 days is standard for some filter types. If you have pets, however, it is best to switch the filters every 60 days.
You also need to check your thermostat to ensure it is working in tandem with your furnace’s electrical system. Circuits can get tripped and if they aren’t fixed, it can cause a larger, more expensive issue down the line. Finally, make sure you choose a sensible temperature for your home so as not to exhaust your system and keep your heating bills down.
Avoid the need for fire cleaning. If you diligently maintain your furnace, it will thank you with years of worry-free and fire-free warmth.
Hidden Dangers of Hoarding
Hoarding can have implications for the safety of those that live in the home in the event that a fire occurs.
Here at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City, we deal with all sorts of damage and disasters. SERVPRO is proud to offer biohazard cleanup and remediation services. One specialized cleaning service we offer is the cleanup of hoarding sites. Hoarding refers to the persistent difficulty to part with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Hoarding behaviors can increase the likelihood that fire damage might occur in a home, and can put those who live in the household at a heightened risk of an accident or injury in the event that a fire does occur.
Hoarding is a major fire hazard due to the amount of items and clutter present. Items may be too close to sources of heat, which increases the likelihood of a fire starting or spreading more quickly. Cooking may also be unsafe in the homes of hoarders, as flammable items may too close to the stove, oven, or other smaller kitchen appliances.
Hoarding may impede the firefighter’s ability to do their job. The excessive amount of objects and clutter in the home makes it difficult for firefighters to put out the fire and to locate occupants within the structure. Additionally, falling objects and blocked entrances & exits make working in the structure more dangerous in general.
Hoarding increases the risk that the homeowner or dweller can be will killed or injured. Many individuals who exhibit hoarding tendencies are more likely to die in a fire due to exits being blocked, which results in them not being able to escape the structure quickly enough. Additionally, falling objects put individuals within the structure at an increased risk of injury.
If you or someone you know struggles with hoarding behaviors, reach out to SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City for help. We treat each and every customer with the utmost respect and understanding. Our team understands that this type of biohazard cleanup may be an emotionally stressful time for some people, but we are here to help you every step of the way.
Fireplace Safety Tips for Fall
Fireplaces are a great way to relax and unwind in the cooler months.
As colder weather beings to roll into Oklahoma City, it is appealing to light up your fireplace to invite some warmth into your home. Fireplaces are a leading cause of house fires. Here are some tips regarding fireplace safety so that you can enjoy your fireplace with less worry this fall and winter.
Give your fireplace some space. Arrange the area around your fireplace with care. Do not place any furniture too close to the fireplace. If the fireplace overheats, it can cause nearby items to ignite. Make sure that you, your family, and your friends maintain a safe distance from the fireplace as well.
Reduce your risk of chimney fires. There are several ways you can (and should!) do this. First, you should have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year by a certified chimney sweep. Second, you should use a chimney cap, and regularly assess that the chimney cap is securely attached to the chimney and is not blocked by any leaves or any other debris. This ensures that smoke and carbon monoxide can exit your home properly. Additionally, you can use a spark arrester, which will decrease the chance that a spark will fall off the chimney into the lawn and start a fire.
Be mindful of what you are burning. You should only use wood in your fireplace. Do not put anything treated with chemicals in your fireplace, as the toxins will be introduced into your home as the wood burns. Do not use any moist or wet wood. Wet wood creates more smoke as it burns, which will likely causes more creosotes to build up in your chimney. Creosotes are extremely flammable, and increase the risk of chimney fire. Ensure that leftover firewood is properly stored while you are saving it so that it can safely be used the next time you do want to use it.
No matter how careful you are, things can still wrong. And if they do, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help you. Our award-winning team is a trusted leader in the fire damage restoration and repair industry. Our team is standing by 24/7 so help will be on the way as soon as you call!
Benefits of Boarding Up Your Building
Boarding up your business can protect you from a variety of other risks.
Owning a commercial property requires a high level of care and consideration. Aside from routine maintenance and upkeep, you also have to decide what to do when unexpected events do occur. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City offers board up services, which can be an essential for properties in our geographic area considering how prone it is to strong winds and thunderstorms. Read on to learn benefits that come along with boarding up your commercial property.
Protect your property from the elements. Windows are the most vulnerable part of your property. Even if you only have damage to one window, it is important to board up this window to prevent further damage. This broken window could serve as an entry point for water and cause damage to the inside of your building. This will leave you more problems to deal with than you had initially, and will create a bigger hassle for you.
Protect your property from vandals and thieves. Broken windows may be an entry point for more than just water or dirt-thieves and vandals often see broken windows as an easy access point. Boarding up your windows protects your assets. If an intruder did enter your building and sustained an injury, you could be liable. Boarding up also protects you from this potential risk.
Maintain your insurance coverage. Many insurance providers require you to board up your property after damage to ensure that more damage is not done. If you do not comply with this part of your insurance policy, you may lose coverage, which will create a whole other set of problems for you, especially if your property is already damage.
Contact SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City for any board up services that you may require. Whatever your commercial property needs, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help!
When to Board Up Your Building
There are a number of reasons why you may want to board up your business.
There are a number of reasons that a commercial property might pursue board up services. Board up services may be preventative or protective. This blog will cover some of the situations and scenarios where it may be beneficial to seek out board up services.
Before a storm. If a storm is headed to town (which is quite often here in Oklahoma City), it might be a good idea to board up your building to prevent initial damage to the windows and glass doors. Boarding up your windows as a preventive measure can help protect your home from internal exposure to other elements that the weather could bring with it.
After a property has been vacated. If you are a landlord or a property manager and you had to evict tenants at one of your properties, you might consider boarding up the property if you know that the property is going to be vacant for a length of time. If you are an urban area with a homeless population, vagrants may break through a window in search of shelter. Additionally, thieves might try to break in through a window to see if there is anything of value. Boarding up your property protects both your property and any large standing assets.
After a storm. If you did board up your building prior to a storm and are now dealing with broken windows or glass doors, your building is now exposed to the elements. Protect the inside of your building by boarding up your broken windows while you await repair.
After a fire. The heat from a structural fire may cause your windows to break. Windows broken by fire lead to the same problem as all broken windows-an entry point to natural outside elements and intruders. Protect yourself and your property from further damage by boarding up any broken windows you may have after a fire.
These are just a few of the instances in which it might be wise to seek out board up services for your commercial property. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help you with any board up services you may need, no matter the circumstances.
Protect Your Property From Lightning
Lighting can damage your roof externally, or can cause internal damage to your home or business if the lightning starts a fire.
Severe thunderstorms can happen anytime if year in Oklahoma City. These storms often bring lightning along with them. Lightning causes buildings (both residential and commercial) billions of dollars in loss every year. Though you cannot do anything to stop the lightning itself, there are several precautionary measures you can take to protect your home or business against both the direct and indirect effects of lighting strikes.
Install a lightning-protection system. Standard homeowners insurance covers lightning related loss, but it is still a good idea to protect your property from the initial strike. If you live in an area that is often hit by thunder and lighting (such as Oklahoma City), you may receive a discount on your homeowners insurance if you install a lighting-protection system.
Call the fire department immediately, even if you do not see flames. If your house is struck by lighting, chances are there is fire somewhere in your house. Fire can “hide” in the attic or in the insides of your walls. Do not wait until you see flames, to call the fire department-call them immediately. This is will minimize potential damage.
Unplug your electrical items during storms. This will protect these valuable items from damaged in the rare event that your house is struck by lightning. Unplug computers and landline telephones first.
If lightning does strike, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help. Our team can help to restore your property and any affected belongings back to preloss condition!
Preparing Your Property for Tornado Season
Oklahoma City residents live with the risk of tornadoes all year round.
The threat of tornadoes loom over Oklahoma City year-round. There are several precautionary measures you can take to protect your property against tornadoes or even just the strong winds that are often seen in Oklahoma City.
Check your insurance coverage. Make sure that your insurance policy is up-to-date and comprehensive. You may want to assess your belongings and take an inventory of your items so that you have you a record of what you own in the case that something does happen to your home or business.
Secure high-risk items. High-risk items are those that have a high risk of falling over. This includes top heavy items such as tall cabinets or bookshelves. Secure them to the wall with heavy duty brackets or molding. Also secure large appliances which could easily become damaged or cause extensive damage to other parts of your property easily.
Protect the exterior of your property. Lessen the chance of water and wind entering your home by making sure that all roof shingles are secure, installing an impact resistant garage door, and/or installing shutters on your windows.
SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help deal with any damage that tornadoes or storms may wreak on your home or business. But be sure to keep checking out our blogs for more tips on how to keep your property protected from both natural and unnatural disasters!
Common Warning Signs of Mold
There are certain signs that you can train yourself to look out for so you can catch mold damage in its early stages.
In one of our previous blog posts, we reviewed some of the common causes of mold. Mold often accompanies water damage. This blog post will go over some of the common warning signs of mold so that you can call SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City to come help you with your mold problems (and the associated water damage, if applicable) as soon as you have a suspicion.
Condensation on windows. High levels of condensation on windows could indicate that your home has a high level of humidity. Mold growth thrives in high humidity, so it is likely that mold could be growing somewhere in your home if the humidity level is already this noticeably high.
Odor. An odd, musty smell often accompanies mold. This smell is similar to that of damp clothes that have been left overnight in a dryer after the cycle completed. If you persistently notice this smell in your home, you may want to have your home checked for mold growth.
Water problems. Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in buildings, as water creates ripe conditions for mold growth. Whether you had just a leak or full fledge flooding, you should have your home checked for mold growth. Regularly check leaky pipes or areas outside your home that tend to pool standing water for signs of outdoor mold growth.
Discolored walls or wallpaper. Mold can grow between your walls and wallpaper. If you notice that your wallpaper is beginning to display odd colors (particularly orange, pink, or purple) you may want to have your home assessed for mold growth.
If you suspect that your home may have any mold growth, call SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City. We can check your property for early signs of possible mold growth after water damage as well!
Tips for Cleaning Electronics
The concept of clean has taken on a new meaning and importance over the recent months.
Here at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City, we are dedicated to helping our community in whatever capacity we can. The novel coronavirus is bringing about new challenges for everyone. Keeping our belongings clean has taken on new meaning and importance. It is important that we are frequently cleaning our belongings, especially those that are high-contact or those that frequently leave the house with us, such as phones and other electronics. Here are some tips for cleaning your electronics thoroughly and effectively.
Make sure that you are using the proper cleaning products. A 50/50 mix of distilled water and 99% isopropyl (standard rubbing alcohol) does the trick for cleaning and disinfecting most electronic devices. A microfiber cloth is what is recommended for wiping down most such items. Try not to be tempted by products such as electronic cleaning wipes. Though they may work, they are generally much more expensive than the products you would need to easily make your own cleaning solution at home.
Do not spray any liquids directly on your electronics. Rather, spray the cleaning solution onto a microfiber cloth, cotton swab, or lint-free cloth. These soft cloths are recommended over paper towels since they are far less abrasive.
Make sure that the device is unplugged from the power source and that the batteries are removed. Though USB ports tend to attract dirt and debris, this can be an easy place for cleaning solution to enter the device and harm it. Be sure to pay special attention to these openings when you are cleaning them.
Hopefully these general tips can give you an idea how to clean your electronics. Be sure to check each devices respective manual for tips and advice on how to best clean it. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City offers a deep-cleaning program, our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, and is here to help with your cleaning needs!
Looking Out for Your Laundry Room
There are a number of different things that can cause a fire to start in your laundry room.
In one of our recent blog posts, we went over some of the ways to protect your home from fires. We briefly mentioned the importance of taking care of the appliances of the laundry room. This blog post will further discuss the ways you can protect yourself from fires that start in the laundry room. This is especially important, as 15,000 fires per year are started in the laundry. That is an average of 42 laundry room fires per day! Here are some tips that can help you prevent laundry room fires in your household!
Regularly remove lint from the dryer screen. Even try to make it a habit to do this after every load of laundry that you remove from the dryer. Additionally, be sure to clean behind your appliances, removing any lint from there and in any exposed vents. 92% of all laundry room fires start as a result of lint, so this seemingly obvious action can be of grave importance.
Remove clothes from the drier immediately. If the conditions are right (pile large enough, material has the correct physical properties, etc.) the heat inside the pile could build up faster than the heat could leave the pile which could result in spontaneous combustion.
Make sure that your appliances are plugged in correctly. The outlet needs to be of the appropriate wattage for the associated appliance. Additionally, you should never use an extension cord to power a washer or dryer. Make it a rule not to overload outlets in general.
If you do experience a house fire for any reason, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help! Give us a call at (405)252-9400 and our crew will be dispatched and began restoring your home and belongings to preloss condition!
Leading Causes of Residential Fire Damage
Both the fire itself and the aftermath needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible in order to minimize possible damage.
The team here at SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is no stranger to housefires. In 2018, there were 379,600 fires, which resulted in over $8 million dollars of loss. Between 2009 and 2018, there was a 4% increase in fires at residential properties.
Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires, accounting for 197,200 fires in 2018. Heating systems were the second leading cause of residential fires. Electronic malfunctions caused 25,700 fires in 2018. Aside from unintentionally/carelessly started fires, these were the three leading causes of residential fires over a ten year period.
It can be hard to protect your home from all the dangers lurking out there, but SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help in the instance that anything does happen to your residence. Give us a call at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form!
How to Protect Your Home From House Fires
There are many ways a fire can start in your home. Try to protect your home from every angle that you can!
The amount of house fires that SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City works on is unfortunate. Our team does everything we can to help you get your home, belongings, and life back after a fire, but we also want you to know how to best protect your home. This blog will provide homeowners with tips for how to protect their homes from fire damage.
One easy way to protect your home is by regularly testing your smoke alarm. That way, in the event that a fire does occur, fire fighters can be dispatched immediately. Fire alarms have a test button on them so you can know whether or not you need to change the batteries in the device. Don’t let a fire be how you find out that your smoke alarms are not working!
Considering that most residential fires are started in the kitchen, it would be wise to check your oven and stove for food particles regularly so that they do not get burnt and start a fire. Similarly, you should also regularly check your laundry room appliances and clean your dryer’s lint trap every time you do a load of laundry. Finally, make sure that all flammable items such as household cleaners, hair spray, and many common cosmetics are properly stored. This means keeping them away from heaters and keeping them in a safe, cool place.
SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help if a fire does strike your home. Our team will get to work on cleanup and mitigation immediately, and assure that your home is restored to its former glory.
Fires in Commercial Properties
It is important to protect your commercial property from the threat of fires.
There are many different risks that come along with a owning a business. Some risks are a result of human error while others may arise out of natural (or unnatural) disasters. In 2018, 103,600 fires occurred in nonresidential buildings, resulting in over $2 million of loss. Data collected and analyzed by the U.S. Fire Administration shows that nonresidential fires increased by 26% between 2009 and 2018.
The most common cause of nonresidential fires is cooking and kitchen appliances, with 25-30% of nonresidential fires being cooking-related. Human error accounts for about 10% of nonresidential fires. This category includes forgetting to unplug appliances and electronics, improper disposal of cigarettes, and forgetting to blow out candles. The number of intentionally set fires is not far below the number of fires that were started intentionally or carelessly. In 2018, 10,200 fires were intentional. Finally, electric malfunctions account for about 7% of nonresidential fires.
The best way to protect your property from the threat of fires is to have smoke and fire alarms installed throughout the building. Make sure to test and have them serviced regularly to ensure that they are working and ready to go in the event that a fire does occur. Additionally, it can help to have motion sensor cameras set up around your property so you can respond quickly if you are a victim of arson. Most arson occurs in trash cans or dumpsters, so we sure that these areas of your business have a monitoring system in place so you can move quickly and minimize the damage.
If you did have a fire occur at your commercial property, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help you get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. Call us today at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form online. We are here to help!
Contents Cleaning Explained
Many different types of belongings made from a myriad of materials can be restored to preloss condition if properly handled.
If disaster affects your property in a major way, your belongings may have been impacted as well. When working with your insurance company or speaking with SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City, you may have heard the phrase “contents cleaning” thrown around. There is more to contents cleaning than just the actual cleaning of your belongings. This blog post will break down the contents cleaning process for you so you know what is happening to your beloved belongs every step of the way.
Step One: The Contents Analysis. Before the contents are able to be cleaned, the restoration company will determine what is salvageable and what is non-salvageable. Salvageable items are those that can be cleaned and restored to preloss condition while un-salvageable items cannot be restored and will need to be replaced.
Step Two: The Pack Up. The SERVPRO technician in charge of your contents will begin by photographing all of your salvageable items, then add barcodes to each of your items (or each box of your items). This will ensure that your items can be tracked at any time and that nothing will get lost. Once all the items have been accounted for, they will be packed up and transported to the restoration facility for cleaning.
Step Three: The Pack Out. Back at the warehouse, the items will be unpacked and prepared for the actual cleaning.
Step Four: The Contents Cleaning. Once unpacked, our technicians will go through and examine every item to determine the best way to clean each one. Several factors are considered, such as the material that the item is made of (generally meaning whether they are hard or soft contents), if they should be washed by hand or by machine, and what type of chemicals can safely be used on each item. Most hard items can be cleaned in a machine, like the UltraSONIC cleaning machine used by SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City. Delicate items and electronics will undergo specialized types of cleaning to ensure that they are handled correctly
Step Five: Contents Storage. If your contents are cleaned before the work on your property is completed, your belongings need to be safely stored somewhere. They will be kept in our climate controlled warehouse until the work on your property is finished.
Step Six: The Pack Back. Your property is now ready, and your contents are transported back to your home or business.
Step Seven: The Unpack. The final stage of the contents cleaning process! Once at your property, the boxes containing your contents will be unloaded and unpacked. Our technician will go over the contents inventory with you to ensure that everything was returned and allow you to inspect the quality of your items.
And that’s it! Trust that SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City can give you post-disaster peace of mind by allowing us to handle your content need! Give us a call at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form today!
What Being Biohazardous Really Means
Given the potential harm that biohazardous waste can have on humans and other animals, it is important to deal with it as quickly as possible.
One of the many services that SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City offers is biohazard clean up and restoration services. Biohazard is short for biological hazard, which refers to a biological substance that is known to have a direct (negative) affect on humans or animals. Biohazardous waste is most commonly produced by medical facilities (hospitals, doctor’s office, pathologies, laboratories), nursing homes, veterinarian’s offices, and tattoo parlors. Large amounts of biohazardous waste is produced every day, as they are simply a by-product of a number of commonplace cultural practices and procedures. Common examples of biohazardous waste include used syringes, used needles, and contaminated paper such as used tissues or toilet paper. Biohazardous waste can and should be picked up by a biohazard waste removal company so that it be properly dealt with.
There are several instances in which biohazard cleaning is appropriate. One example of this is crime scene clean up, where bodily fluids or dangerous substances (such as illegal drugs or potent chemicals used to produce illegal drugs) may have been leftover in the aftermath. Biohazard clean up may also be needed after an industrial spill such as a chemical spill at a plant or factory. This type of cleaning may also be needed in the event of animal biohazard contamination.
Whatever the reason may be that your property needs biohazard clean up services, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is fully equipped and ready to help. Give us a call today at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form so we can better understand your situation!
The Source of Soot Webs
This type of soot damage may look similar to spider webs, but the two are actually entirely unrelated.
Fire brings with it many unexpected consequences. Of course, you will immediately see the toll it takes on your property and belongings when you are assessing the damage. While taking a look at your home or business, you may notice something unexpected. In the corners and along the ceiling lines of your home or business, you might observe something that looks like black spider webs. This phenomena, commonly called “soot webs” has a more interesting origin than meets the eye. Read on to learn about what the true cause of these “cob webs.”
People think that soot webs occur after smoke has attached itself to pre-existing spider webs and turned dark as a result of the fire damage and resulting smoke. However, this is a misconception. Soot webs (also called soot tags) are new, unique chains of soot that gather in areas of low concentration. Air moves (or at least attempts to move) from hot areas to cold areas. As flames from a fire cause the temperature of the surrounding area to increase, the air tries to seek out cooler spaces to achieve atmospheric equilibrium. If the air is not circulating properly and cannot escape the structure, the smoke and soot will continue to travel around the enclosed air. Soot webs form in areas of lower circulation, which is why you typically see them up in high places and in corners.
SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is happy to help you clean up soot webs and all the other damage that a fire might have left behind in your home or business. Give us a call at (405) 252-9400 or submit an information form.
Common Causes of Mold
Mold is highly contagious and can easily take over an area when the conditions are right.
No matter how clean a home you keep, mold will always be present in your home. Mold serves an important part in nature and does serve an important role when very low levels are present. However, when the conditions are just right, mold can thrive and take over an area, which can cause significant damage to your property. Here is a list of common causes of mold and some appropriate preventive measures that can be taken for each:
Leaking. Moisture attracts mold. That is essential to remember when working to prevent mold on your property. Leaks that can cause mold an occur in many places in your home. One such common cause of mold are leaking pipes. It is important to remember that your property is full of both visible and non-visible piping. Mold may be growing on an out-of-sight leak. Water could also be leaking into your house form an external source, such as rainwater that comes along with a storm. Regularly check your attic for structural damage and standing water, and keep an eye on the ceiling for signs of water damage.
Poor ventilation. When clean air is not properly entering your home and contaminated air is not adequately exiting your home, a number of complications can arise. This can create pockets of moist air, which is a condition that mold thrives in. This issue commonly occurs in kitchens or bathrooms, as activities carried out in these rooms often create large amounts of steam. Fans can help with ventilation by allowing the air to better circulate in the room. Keep all the appliances in each room well-ventilated by maintaining their vents, and keep your air filters clean in general.
Humidity. Your home can be exposed to humid conditions naturally due to the area weather or a particularly stormy season. Mold feeds off humidity, but humidity also prevents puddles and damp materials in your home (think laundry) from dying properly and thoroughly. These wet or damp places create ample opportunities for mold to grow and spread. If you used a humidifier in your home, be sure that your humidifier is running below 55%, as anything higher than that is the level needed for mold to start growing. Ensuring that your home is well-ventilated can help ensure that that the humidity level does not increase indoors.
SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is proud to offer mold remediation services. If you know you have a mold problem give us a call! If you suspect that their may be growth after water damage, we have several types of checks we can perform to assess the extent of the damage. Give us a call today at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form and we will get back to you shortly!
How Heat Can Damage Your Property
Heat and sun damage can potentially cause both aesthetic and structural issues.
Summer in Oklahoma City can be intense to say the least. With temperatures consistently breaking 100° Fahrenheit, it is important to understand how high temperatures may affect your property. Here are the some of the various parts of your property that heat can cause damage to.
Paint. Excessive heat can cause damage to the paint on the exterior of your property.. Be sure to check your exterior paint for bubbling, chipping, and flaking. This is not just a cosmetic issue. Rather, this type of damage can create an opening for moisture. Uninvited moisture could even allow mold to begin forming in your home. A quick check during hot summer months could save you a great deal of hassle (and money) down the road.
Roof. Sun exposure can cause a number of different types of damage to your roof, which could affect both the lifespan, performance, and durability of your roof. The coating that protects your roofing materials may be dried out by the sun, which may cause the coating to crack or break completely, leaving the top of your house exposed to the elements. The bleaching of your roof could also occur, though this is largely an aesthetic problem. Depending on what type of material your roof is made of, it may be more susceptible to different types of heat damage, so you may want to explore this topic further so you know what warning signs to be on the lookout for.
Foundation. Soil acts as a support system to your foundation. When your soil has a lack of moisture, it begins to shrink and pull away from your foundation. This creates space for movement and settlement, which can cause cracks in your foundation. Soil shrinkage can be caused by periods of excessive heat, as the sun dries out the soil. Be sure to regularly assess the amount of moisture in your soil in the summer months.
Pipes. Water use typically increases during the summer months, which places extra pressure on your pipes. If your foundation shifts even slightly, your water lines could disconnect or even rupture due to movement. You can regularly check for leaks yourself, and have a plumber regularly check the caulking and sealing around your pipes.
Try to beat the heat as best you can,but remember to care for the well-being of your property too! If you do end up needing any repairs to your property, be sure to give us a call at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form. Hot or cold, we are here to help!
The Different Types of Weather Alerts
Official logo of the National Weather Service, which has been providing weather forecasts and alerts since 1870.
There are several types of severe weather that impact Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas that can cause the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue an alert. Alerts are issued in order to make the population of the impacted area aware of the potential dangers that they could be facing, and hopefully allow them time to adequately prepare for the impending acclimate conditions. There are several different types of alerts that can issued, varying in degree by the potential risk associated with that type of weather. The three most common classes of alerts issued by the NWS are watches, warnings, and advisories. Watches, warnings, and advisories can be triggered by a number of different types of weather phenomena, such as floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even excessive heat. Below are the definitions of each alert to help you better understand the distinctions between them:
A watch is issued when there is chance this condition will occur, and generally covers a larger geographic area over a longer period of time.
A warning means that the weather is already occurring or has a high likelihood of occurring in the near future, and advises the population of the impacted area to take proper protective measures.
Advisories are issued when a certain type of weather has a fair chance of occurring, but advisories are typically used for less severe types of weather conditions (i.e. the issuance of a wind advisory rather than a high wind warning).
Now that you understand the differences between watches, warnings, and advisories here are the criteria for some of the issues that are most commonly issued for our region by the governing NWS office, which is located in Norman, OK:
Freezing Rain/ Drizzle Advisory Issued when freezing rain is predicted to cause travel problems, but not exceed an accumulation of ¼”.
Ice Storm Warning Issued when freezing rain is expected to produce ice accumulations of 1/4” or greater, and significantly disrupt traffic and utilities.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning This type of alert occurs when there is a reliable report that a thunderstorm is producing or will soon produce gusts of wind of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail with a diameter of 1” or greater.
Flash Flood Watch Issued when an area is facing the possibility of flash flooding within the next 36 hours.
Flash Flood Warning Issued when a flash flood is predicted to occur in the next future, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours.
Hopefully knowing the difference between these weather alerts can help you adjust your expectations and better prepare for the occurrence of acclimate weather. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here to help you restore your home or business in the event that disaster does strike. Whether it was water damage caused by a flood or you are needing roof repairs after a hail storm, we will make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at (405)252-9400 or submit an information form and we will follow-up with you!
AC Water Damage in the Summer Months
Your air conditioner can provide much needed relief, but it can also cause much hassle if not properly maintained.
The hot summers that plague Oklahoma City are no secret. Thankfully, air conditioning allows home and businesses to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, regardless of how unpleasant the conditions outside may be. Unfortunately, air conditioners do have the potential to damage your home when they are not properly maintained. Here are some tips for keeping your air conditioner in good working condition, and some advice for what to do if you do suspect or see water leaking for your air conditioner:
-Inspect your air conditioner’s filter regularly, and clean it as needed. A large amount of water damage caused by air conditioning units is a result of a clogged air filter. Regularly cleaning and replacing your air filters may seem very inconsequential, but the amount of damage done by these can cause detrimental structural damage to your home or business. This structural damage could take the form of warped floors or sagging ceilings but could even cause the entire ceiling to cave in if the damage occurred over a long enough period of time.
-Check and clean your air conditioner’s condensation line. Check the entire length of the line for moisture and, while your conditioner is running make sure proper flowing is occurring. You should clean the condensation line every three to six months to ensure that there has not been a build up of debris. Clogged condensation lines are another leading cause of water damage caused by air conditioners.
-Make sure that you have enough refrigerant in your air conditioner. Low refrigerant can also cause your air conditioner to leak, as your air conditioner cannot function properly without it. Avoid potential water damage by regularly checking the amount of refrigerant in your unit, and keeping the level high enough for optimal functioning.
-Be on the look out for any leaks. Depending on a variety of factors such as the size of your property or the location of your air conditioner, maintenance and self-service of your unit could become something you forget it-out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, the longer a leak goes unnoticed, the worse the damage gets. Try setting outside time to glance at your unit at least once a week. Set an alarm on your phone, or jot a reminder in your planner or on your to do list. This is a very quick and easy task to complete, and can end up saving you a huge amount of money, time, and hassle in the long run.
Hopefully these tips were practical and applicable. In the event that you do experience water damage caused by your air conditioner or from any other source, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is happy to provide our services to you. We work on both commercial and residential properties, so do not hesitate to contact us for more information. No job is too big or too small! We are here to help Oklahoma City!
Preparing Your Business for Emergency
Natural disasters or horrible accidents can cause severe structural damage to your place of business.
Unfortunately, in life, accidents happen and disasters strike. All too often, these types of events happen when we least expect it. Luckily, we can prepare in advance to defend ourselves against things getting to the absolute worst point they possibly can.
Business owners face a special type of risk when considering accidents or disasters. If they do not prepare for mishaps and consider how they will respond in trying times, they could face even more loss and expend more resources than necessary. Unfortunately, as many as 50% of businesses close following a disaster. When it comes to creating an emergency preparedness plan for your business, there are several elements that every business owner should consider in order to best protect their property, assets, and employees. Here are several steps you can take so that you are prepared in the event that misfortune does strike:
-Conduct a risk assessment of your business. Consider what threats you business is most vulnerable to. Take into account a number of factors, such as what type of business you conduct and environmental factors so you can make informed decisions when considering the costs and benefits of different plans to implement.
-Create an action plan for emergency. If you own a business where employees or customers could be present when an unfortunate decision takes place, we sure that all your employees are aware of the emergency exits in your building. Make sure that they understand all expectations and responsibilities that may be placed on them during an emergency, given the specific circumstances.
-If you live in an area where you are especially susceptible to natural disasters such as tornadoes or hurricanes, make sure that everyone knows where the appropriate place to take shelter is. Additionally, keep an appropriate amount of essential supplies on hand. Encourage your employees to create their own emergency kits.
-Regularly review your insurance policy. Make sure you have emergency coverage. This can help protect you from potential extreme (and sometimes, unnecessary) financial loss.
SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is here for whatever happens, but we are also here to help you be “ready for whatever happens.” We can help you develop an Emergency READY profile so that you have an immediate plan of action to help you minimize business interruption and to complete mitigation in a timely manner.
Getting Ahead of Laundry Room Leaks
A clean and well-organized laundry room is one of the simplest ways to protect yourself from potential water damage.
You rely heavily on your washer and dryer to help maintain the cleanliness of you and your family. Unfortunately, a large number of homeowners are affected by water damage that started in the laundry room. Luckily, water damage that springs from this source is preventable in many such cases. Here are some tips for minimizing water damage that could result from your washer:
-Set up your laundry room thoughtfully and intentionally. Make sure that there are at least three or four inches between the wall and your washer to allow adequate room for the water supply lines without placing any unnecessary tension or strain on them.
-Do not start a load before leaving. Ideally, you (or someone else) should be present in the house while the washer is running just in case something does happen. That way, you can catch any mishap right away, and minimize potential damage and further complications.
-Check your washing machine water supply lines regularly. These supply lines are the number one cause of water damage in the laundry room. Examine these lines, noting if are any blisters, cracks, bubbles, or breakage in the line. If any type of damage is present, you should replace the line immediately (preferably with a braided stainless-steel flex line). However, the general rule of thumb is that if the line is badly worn, the washer probably is too.
-Perform routine maintenance on your washer. Regularly check your washer’s drain and drain filter to make sure that they can are free from debris. A clogged drain can swiftly cause large amounts of flooding. Additionally, you should consult your washer’s owner manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding how often a plumber should inspect your appliance. This will allow you to replace and repair your washer’s parts before they break and cause a leak.
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and are able to utilize some or all of them to protect your home. In the unfortunate event that this or any type of water damage does impact your home, SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is fully equipped to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Protecting Your Home During Storm Season
Storm skies and a tornado over downtown Oklahoma City.
Protecting Your Home During Storm Season
Residents of Oklahoma City are no stranger to thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, and strong winds. Tornado season is really all year in Oklahoma, but a peak does occur late March through August. This is when the prime conditions for tornadoes are met in Oklahoma. AccuWeather has predicted that there will be a five percent increase in the number of tornadoes that touch down in Oklahoma this, which could mean anywhere from 1,350 to 1,450 tornadoes. Tornadoes and the other acclimate weather associated with them mean that areas all over Oklahoma are at an increased risk of facing severe weather events during this period of time. Here is a list of preventive measures Oklahoman home and business owners can take to protect themselves and their properties against the challenging weather ahead:
-Keep the trees and branches near your home trimmed. This will make them more resistant to wind. Excess water can weigh down smaller and/or weaker branches, causing them to break off at a higher rate than larger branches. Take this into account when maintain your foliage.
-Secure fences and outdoor furniture. Heavy winds often accompany storm season. Protect the exterior of your home by ensuring that anything that could potentially turn into flying debris during acclimate weather is properly secured or stored.
-Protect critical areas. Storms and winds are a major threat to doors, roofs, and windows. The installation of temporary protection during a stretch of time where acclimate weather is predicted to occur again and again can prove to be incredibly beneficial to both business and home owners. SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City is happy to provide board up services to both commercial and residential properties.
-Check your gutters. Be sure to clear your gutters of any debris and to ascertain that your downspouts are draining away from your home. Buildup in your gutters can cause storm water to overflow which cause both internal and external damage to your property.
It is our sincere hope that these tips will help to protect your home or business during storm season. In the event that your home is affected by storms, fires, leaks, flooding, mold, or any other sort of undesirable incident SERVPRO of Central Oklahoma City offers reconstruction and restoration services to help you manage the damage and make it "Like it never even happened."