Getting Your House Ready for a Hurricane
Install and maintain a generator
Preparing for Hurricanes
A hurricane can hit your home at any time, so you need to be prepared for it. Here are some things you should do before the storm hits:
Protect and Clear Gutters
Leaves and other debris can accumulate in your gutters, blocking the flow of water that's supposed to get rid of it. If this happens, you may end up with leaks around your house and even flooding on the ground floor. Remove any obstructions from your gutters so they can do their job properly! If you have a gutter guard installed, make sure it is secure so water doesn't get trapped behind it. Consider installing one if you don't already have one—it's an easy way to keep your gutter clean without having to climb up onto a ladder every time something falls into them!
You should also secure loose rain gutters or extensions with brackets. If you don't have enough brackets, you can use plastic zip ties to secure your rain gutters. Fasten brackets to the fascia board (the board that runs across the top of your exterior wall). Secure both ends of the gutter strap over each bracket's screw hole and then tighten down each screw.
Install Storm Shutters
The first step to protecting your home from hurricane-force winds is to install storm shutters on all windows. When shopping for storm shutters, you'll find that there are two kinds: permanent and removable. Permanent storm shutters are installed by professional contractors and should last for as long as your home does. They're made with strong materials like metal or plastic, which makes them more expensive but also more durable than their removable counterparts.
You can install removable storm shutters yourself if you have the time and energy (or money). This type of shutter usually attaches to the window frame with screws, but some come with adhesive strips or suction cups instead. If you choose this option, make sure that the instructions are clear; otherwise, it's easy to accidentally damage both windows and frames when installing your temporary protection against hurricanes!
Install a Generator
One of the most important things you can do to make sure your home is ready for a hurricane is to install and maintain a generator. A generator will keep your refrigerator and freezer running, as well as power lights and other appliances that are essential during an outage.
If you don't have a permanent generator installed at home or work yet, now is the time to look into getting one. Generators should be tested every month with fuel added as needed so they will start immediately when needed during an emergency situation or power outage.
Protect your Garage Door
Garage doors are particularly vulnerable to high winds because they're large, heavy, and often double-sliding. The best way to secure your garage door is to brace it against the frame, using a length of lumber at least 2 feet long and 1 inch thick. If you have a chain or rope available, tie it around the door track above the garage door’s top hinge so that it can't be lifted out of its tracks by strong winds blowing into the garage.
Sandbags are commonly used for flood protection, but they can also be used to protect your garage door. The sandbags should be placed on the exterior of your garage door so that if water comes in from a hurricane it will flow around the sandbags and not directly into your home. To do this, place several bags along the perimeter of your garage door so that they form a barrier between it and the house. The bags should be filled with either soil or sand (not concrete) and stacked two high, with no gap between them and the garage door.
Inspect your Roof
It's probably a good idea to inspect your roof before the storm arrives, so you know what to look for when it does.
Check for loose shingles or tiles. Loose shingles are easy to spot, but if you don't have time to climb up onto your roof and check for them, look for any signs of water damage on the outside of your house (e.g., brown spots that could indicate leaking from a bad roof).
Check for damage to the roof—especially around pipes and chimneys. If you see any signs of damage like cracks in flashing or missing shingles, call experts in roof repairs immediately!
Check for damage to gutters and downspouts—more important than it might seem at first glance because they're designed with angles that allow rainwater runoff away from your home when there's no wind pushing against them (which means less risk of flooding).
If you have a large tree that's close to your house, trim it back. Make sure there's plenty of clearance around all power lines and stakes, and never cut branches that are too close to power lines. If you're not sure how to trim a tree safely, consider hiring a professional arborist or landscaper.
Cover the air conditioning system.
To protect your air conditioning system, cover the entire unit with plywood and seal it with tape or plastic wrap. This will not only protect your system from wind-driven rain or wind-blown debris but also keep it from being damaged by water that may come in contact with the AC condenser coils.
There are certain steps that you can take to prepare your home, and yourself, for hurricane season. These tips will help you get ready in case of an emergency. With these steps, you can make sure that your home is ready for hurricane season. Remember to keep an eye on the weather and stay safe! If a storm is coming your way, don’t forget to take proper precautions so you can ride out the storm safely in your own home.
If you do experience damage to your home after a hurricane, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call! We will get your Williamsport home back to normal quickly!
Preparing Your Business For a Snow Storm
Get your business ready for a snowstorm.
Protect Your Business and Employees from a Snow Storm
The winter months can be a challenging time for your business, but the risks of damage and potential loss can be minimized with some preparation. There's no such thing as a typical snowstorm, but there are steps you should take to protect your business and employees before they start falling.
Create an Emergency Plan
The first step in preparing your business for a snowstorm is to create an emergency plan and make sure that all of your employees know about it. You should also have a plan for where to go if you are stranded, how to communicate with employees and customers, what to do if the building floods, and how you will get supplies.
Establish a Communication Plan
Make sure everyone knows what to do if they can't get to work, or if they can't get home. Use text messages, email, and social media to keep in touch with your employees and customers and let them know how the storm is affecting business. This is often the best time for people to check their voicemail anyway—so make sure you have an automatic message set up explaining why you're not answering the phone right now.
When creating an emergency plan for your business, be sure that everyone knows what their role will be during an extreme weather event. In addition, assign someone who has access to the Internet or other resources so that they can find out about any updates in case power goes out or roads become impassable. Here are some other responsibilities to consider:
- Who will be responsible for communication? Perhaps you've already prepared a plan for how your team will communicate with one another during the storm, but it's important to review this plan again before the snow starts falling. Make sure everyone knows what their role is and how they should respond during an emergency situation.
- Who will be responsible for supplies? You may have an established list of items that need to be stocked up on before severe weather hits, and those items should still be available if there's a blizzard in your area, but extra things may need purchasing as well. This might include food, batteries or flashlights, heavy blankets, water bottles, and more. The list varies depending on your industry (and whether your employees are working remotely).
Identify an Alternate Location, If Necessary
The next step is to plan for your business to be closed. If you have a backup location, identify it and make sure it is ready to receive customers. If not, consider having employees work from home on days when the office will be open late or closed completely.
If you’ve decided that your office will be partially open or fully open during the storm, have a plan in place for anyone who needs transportation between locations (if applicable).
Consider Safety for Community and Employees
You should keep your employees updated on the latest information about weather conditions, including whether or not you will be closing early, so they can plan accordingly. If you have staff who work from home, make sure they have access to the internet and electricity if needed. It's also a good idea to provide food and water for your staff in case power outages occur during the storm that prevents them from driving somewhere else for supplies. Prepare for road closures if necessary by stocking up on cleaning supplies such as shovels, brooms, trash bags, and mops for when you reopen after clearing off any ice or snow from sidewalks outside your business premises (if applicable).
Getting your business ready for a snowstorm is a matter of preparing supplies, equipment, and emergency procedures.
Prepare Insurance Policies
Take inventory of your insurance policies and make sure they are up-to-date. If you have employees or depend on others to work in your business, check their health insurance plan as well.
Prepare Supplies and Equipment
Stock up on all the supplies that might be needed during the storm such as food, water, and drinks for employees who will be working at home or in other locations away from the office building during a storm.
We hope these tips help you prepare for the next snowstorm. Remember that there is no one right way to handle a storm, so use your own judgment and take care of yourself! The most important thing is to have everything ready before it hits so you don’t have to worry about anything else once it does hit.
If you experience storm damage from a snowstorm in your Muncy, PA business, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call.
Is Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Burst Pipes?
It's important to know if your homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage.
Homeowners Insurance and Burst Pipes
When it comes to frozen and burst pipes, you want to know that your home insurance policy will protect you from costly damage. However, not all policies cover the same things. To help you navigate what is and isn't included in your plan, we've put together this guide.
Frozen and Burst Pipe Insurance Coverage
In the winter, frozen and burst pipes can occur. If you have a pipe that bursts, it's important to know if your homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage. In many cases, it does—but it's not always clear what exactly qualifies as a "burst" pipe. Many people assume their homeowners’ policy should cover this type of damage but aren't sure what kinds of pipes are covered or whether there are any limitations on how much coverage they'll receive.
Preventing a Frozen Pipe
As with all things related to your home and belongings, prevention is key when preventing frozen pipes—and there are some simple steps you can take:
- Make sure that all exterior faucets are turned off during freezing temperatures so they don't freeze up (or use anti-freeze products).
- Be sure to check outdoor spigots regularly during cold weather months; never leave them unattended while in use!
- Also, keep outdoor spigots cleaner than indoor ones so they don’t clog up from dirt buildup over time (which also causes blockages).
- Insulate any exposed pipes in crawl spaces under houses.
Water Damage Insurance Coverage
Under the Water Damage section of your policy, you will find that your insurer covers water damage from burst pipes. A burst pipe is defined as a break in any part of the pipe system that transports water to or from a building.
If a pipe breaks, causing flooding and/or damage to property within your home or building, this is considered a covered claim under this section.
Examples of covered claims include burst water pipes (including frozen) Leaking toilets, overflowing bathtubs or sinks, and damaged sump pumps.
In addition to covering damage resulting from burst pipes and leaks, your policy also provides coverage for things like sewer backups and flooding if it happens outside (for example if there’s heavy rain).
Reasons for Frozen Pipes
There are several causes of frozen pipes. The first is that the water in your home may have been turned off, which will cause the pipes to freeze and burst. This can happen if you have a leaky faucet or toilet, and you forget to fix it. Another cause could be if there's a power outage in your neighborhood, causing all appliances that use electricity—including heaters and water heaters—to stop working.
If you've experienced any of these situations, it's important to act quickly to prevent damage from occurring further down the line. If you suspect that your pipes are frozen but aren't certain whether there's been any internal damage yet, make sure they're not leaking before calling an emergency plumber out so they can assess whether or not there's any risk involved in turning them back on again (e.g., electrical hazards). It's also vital that homeowners know what kind of coverage they have before making any repairs themselves. Identifying what type of plan works best for their needs will help protect them against future expenses related to damages caused by frozen pipes during winter months when temperatures drop significantly outside.
When it comes to frozen and burst pipes, insurance companies may have different policies on what is covered by your policy. It’s important to know what is and isn't covered so that you can plan ahead for an emergency. If you aren’t sure, call your insurance company and find out.
When a pipe bursts in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call! We will be quick to mitigate the water in your home, and get your Muncy property back to normal.
How do You Estimate a Fire Damage?
We understand how devastating a commercial fire can be to your business.
Estimating Fire Damage
The first step in estimating fire damage is to take a look at the affected area and determine what kind of damage has been done. This involves looking at the structure itself and the contents within, including any furniture or equipment that might have been damaged by smoke or water. It also involves making sure that there is no hidden damage (such as mold growth) that can't be seen at first glance but could become visible later on down the line.
Scope of Damage
The first thing we need to do is determine the scope of the damage. Is it contained, or did the flames spread throughout the building? We will look at specific areas of the damaged property. During this step, we will determine how big the affected area is. The affected area will include the building and its contents, as well as the exterior of the building. This also includes any other areas that have been damaged by fire, such as roofs or landscaping.
If your home or business has been completely consumed by flames and burned down to its foundations, then our job will be much simpler than if only part of your home has been destroyed by a fire. In this case, we will write down all visible damages as well as any structural components that appear structurally unsound (such as cracked walls or crumbling floors).
When estimating losses after an extensive fire damage situation, remember that there may be hidden dangers lurking behind walls and under floor coverings that could cause further danger once removed from their original setting.
Assessing the Condition of the Structure
If you're assessing a building that has been damaged, it's important to evaluate whether or not the structure is salvageable. If the building can be salvaged, rebuilding will likely cost less than replacing it entirely. If not, demolition may be necessary and a new building will need to be constructed on-site.
Determining Whether to Restore or Replace
While the ability to restore your property after a fire is a huge benefit, it's not always possible. In fact, more often than not, restoration is not an option.
Before you make any decisions about which items should be restored and which should be replaced, you'll want to consider whether or not they can be restored.
Restoration is generally only recommended if the item in question has sentimental value or is important for your livelihood (for example, a guitar). If not, it may be time for some fresh air and new memories.
Call the Professionals
We understand how devastating a commercial fire can be to your business. An estimate is the first step toward recovering from the damage, but it’s also an important part of knowing what to expect and making informed decisions.
Our experienced technicians can help you get back on track after a commercial fire in your Muncy, PA business—and in some cases, they may even be able to save your property from total destruction. We know how complex this process is because we have experience with various types of fires, including electrical fires (which are surprisingly common), grease fires, gas explosions, and more.
When you work with us for fire damage restoration services after a disaster strikes your company or business location you will have access to our specialized knowledge base about all things related to fire damage restoration for commercial properties like yours.
At SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville, we have the experience, training, and skills to help you through this difficult time. We understand that your business is more than just a building or an inventory list—it’s what keeps your family fed, clothed, and happy. That’s why we take pride in being able to restore your property back to its original state so that you can continue doing what you love most: serving customers!
How Often Should You Service Your Furnace?
Properly service your furnace
How Frequently Should Your Furnace Be Serviced?
When cooler weather comes in Montoursville, PA, you'll be grateful for a properly functioning furnace. However, if you neglect routine maintenance and upkeep, your furnace won't do a good job of keeping you warm. Worse, problems could arise that could lead to fires. To avoid fire cleaning and other disaster mitigation, you need to properly service your furnace.
1. Replace the Filters Regularly
Your furnace relies on an air filter to work efficiently. The filter will keep dust, dirt and other debris from getting into the appliance and hampering airflow and other performance issues. Too much buildup can also cause fires. To avoid fire cleaning and an inefficient system, make sure you replace the filters often.
2. Have an Annual Inspection
Sometimes, you can pinpoint signs that your furnace is acting up and needs some repairs. But often, problems start small and are difficult to detect unless you take a closer look at the unit. This is a job that a professional can handle. At least once a year, call a heating and air conditioning technician to inspect your furnace. This will give you peace of mind. Also, the technician can identify areas that you need to address before they get worse.
3. Act Immediately When There Are Problems
Pay attention to your furnace and indications that it may not be performing well. If the air coming out is not warm or if the airflow is weak, you need a professional to service it. Also, pay attention to odd sounds or smells coming from the unit or the vents. Don't delay in calling for help. This will allow you to avoid having to call a professional fire mitigation company for smoke cleaning.
Fire cleaning can be expensive and stressful. If you keep up with furnace maintenance, you can reduce the risk of fires and poor HVAC performance.
4 Fire Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Grilling
Remember to grill away from the HVAC intake system or your home may smell like BBQ for a long time
When Grilling, Consider These Four Fire Safety Tips
Cooking a great meal on the barbeque is a staple for many homes. However, it's important to understand how to safely operate a grill in order to avoid a home fire. Here are four essential tips to employ in your Loyalsock, PA, home to avoid a grill fire.
1. Inspect Gas Grill for Leaks
If you have a gas grill, it's important to check it before every use and make sure there is no gas leaking. Always be wary of the smell of propane gas while grilling, as this could soon turn into a dangerous grill fire.
2. Be Mindful of Proper Charcoal Grill Practices
Like gas grills, charcoal grills also require safety measures. When lighting one up, don't overuse any starter fluid. Subsequently, never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids once flames have been established. Take caution after use as well and let coals cool entirely before disposing them into a metal container.
3. Place Barbeque Away From Home
Keeping your grill too close to your home is not advised. Doing so not only risks the chance of a home fire but will likely result in smoke damage on the exterior of the house. If this occurs, a fire damage restoration company will likely need to intervene to clean the smoke and repair any damage.
4. Always Clean After Cooking To Avoid a Grill Fire
More often than not, a barbeque fire will spark due to the grease and burnt residue that remains after previous use. Always scrape away this residue from the grill grates as well as the underneath tray to best avoid out-of-control flames the next time you cook.
Keep your barbequing safe from fire hazards by checking for leaks on a propane grill, knowing the best practices for a charcoal grill, cooking away from the house and always cleaning the grill after use.
How To Remove Cigarette Smoke From Your Home
A popular method of home deodorization is ozone generation.
How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smoke In Your House
If your Williamsport, PA, home has a lingering smoke smell from cigarettes, home deodorization can be tricky. Smoke particles travel far and are difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are reliable odor removal techniques. One popular option is ozone generation.
Cigarette Smoke Odor
Thirdhand smoke is when chemicals and odors from cigarettes linger in the air or on surfaces. Eliminating this entirely can be tricky because the emissions from cigarettes tend to adhere strongly to surfaces. The following are some of the many chemicals released with cigarette smoke:
- Carbon monoxide
Many individuals find the odor of thirdhand smoke unpleasant, so getting rid of it can make your home more enjoyable for you, your family, guests and even potential buyers.
A popular method of home deodorization is ozone generation. Ozone is a reactive compound that has three molecules of oxygen. Normal ambient air has two oxygen molecules, and ozone has three. Ozone generators take normal air and apply an electrical charge to create ozone. The extra oxygen molecules created react with the smoke particles in the area to create a new compound that does not have a smokey smell. A professional restoration service knows how to properly run these machines and air out the space afterward so that occupants return to a safe, non-smoky environment.
Other Deodorization Methods
Ozone generation can be combined with other deodorization techniques to produce even better results. Scrubbing hard surfaces with a mixture of water and white vinegar removes the buildup of tar and nicotine. White vinegar can also be added to washing machines to deodorize washable fabrics.
Whether you have recently quit smoking or just moved into the former home of a smoker, getting rid of the lingering smell is likely to be difficult. Fortunately, using ozone for home deodorization has proven effective in many cases.
Do You Have Business Interruption Insurance?
If you own a business, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your investment by purchasing property insurance. However, while property insurance can help you get your business running again, it doesn't pay for the income you lose while your business is inoperable. Interruption insurance can help keep your business from suffering financial distress while you wait for needed repairs. See what business interruption insurance can do for you:
- Replaces Lost Income
Depending on how severe your damage is, it could take weeks or even months to fully restore your business to preloss condition. During this business interruption, you may not be able to operate at all, or may only be able to operate at reduced capacity. This coverage replaces income lost based on your past financial records, as long as is a covered cause of loss
- Helps You Pay the Bills
You will need to pay the mortgage or rent on your facility, as well as any utilities that still need to be connected when your business isn't operating Don't forget about making payments on any business loans, paying your taxes and any other business expenses.
- Provides Money To Pay Employees
Your employees probably can't afford to go without a paycheck while your business is shut down due to a loss. This insurance helps you keep employees on the payroll so that you don't need to hire new employees after you reopen.
Dryer Vent Fire Prevention
As a homeowner or business owner, it is imperative that you are aware of, and perform, the preventative maintenances that help keep your property safe. One of the lesser known maintenances is to keep your dryer vents lint free. Here are some tips to keep your dryer working efficiently and to reduce your risk of a lint fire:
- Regular Dryer Maintenance- Make sure that you clean your dyer's lint filter after every use. Quarterly you should clean out any built-up lint where the filter is housed and as well from your dryer into your vent pipe.
- Outside Dryer Vent- Remove the cover over the access to where your dryer vent is piped outside. Check that the cover is free of debris, and clean inside the exhaust to ensure that there are no nests or lint build up.
- Pay Attention to Warnings From Your Appliance- Any unusual noises or smells, as well as longer than usual drying times, need to be handled handled by a professional repair person that is qualified for your specific appliance.
Call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville for your dryer vent cleaning today!
2022 Hurricane Seasons is Fast Approaching
Hurricane Safety Tips From Weather.gov
"Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.
While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.
- Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
- Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
- Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
- Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
- Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
- Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore."