Recent General Posts
Getting Ready for Fall
As Fall seems to be approaching quickly, there are a few things that homeowners can do to be ready for the Winter season that will be creeping up on us before we know it.
(1). Keep those rain gutters and spouts clear of dirt & debris. Be sure to clean out the old leaves, sticks and dirt before the first storm. This can help to cut back on ice dams forming on your property leading to water damage to the interior of your home.
(2). Be sure to have your heater serviced by a professional. It's recommended that once a year you have your heater checked by a professional to ensure that the filter is clean, gaskets aren't worn and that all water lines are secure.
(3). Make sure that any piping that may become exposed to severely cold temperatures is wrapped in insulation and ready for winter.
(4). Be sure to replace weather stripping, and seal any windows and/or doors that may need done.
Although we can take every step necessary, there are still times when damages can occur. Be sure to call your local SERVPRO should any situation arise. We are available 24/7.
As National Preparedness Month comes to an end, this should just be a time to review and ensure that you and your family are ready in case an emergency should occur.
In addition to your family, there are many local and community organizations that work closely on a daily basis to ensure that proper planning is in place.
CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) train volunteers to prepare for many types of disasters that may occur in your local or surrounding areas. These individuals are trained in CPR/AED, first aid & emergency response.
Remember too, if you have a disability, there are several organizations throughout communities that keep lists so that these individuals can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency. Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging or Emergency Management Services offices.
If you have questions about what services and/or organizations are available in your community or on how to become involved, contact your local Emergency Management Services office for more information.
National Preparedness Month is in week three, and it's important that we've reached our youth and have them prepared in the case of an emergency occurring whether they are home or away from home.
With social media today, it allows us to keep in better communication with our children when they are at school or away from home. Be sure that your children has a family group text set up on his/her phone to include all family and friends in order to keep in touch with them should they be separated from you during such an emergency.
Have your child pack up his/her own emergency kit as a practice run to ensure that they will have all the items that they need. Be sure that they have included their favorite stuffed animal, board game, books, music or sentimental items.
Most schools have emergency plans in place and practice those drills throughout the school year. Be sure to have your children talk to you about how the school is handling such situations to ensure that they are fully aware of the steps they will need to take.
Most importantly as a parent, is to be sure that your children and your family are ready if an emergency should occur.
Making A Plan
As part of our continued relationship with FEMA and National Preparedness Month, we'd like to talk about how important it is to have plan in place for your family if such a disaster were to occur.
It is important to include children within your plan and your discussion. This can begin as a simple conversation over dinner in which you simply ask "what would they do, if.....". Children are a very crucial part of the planning, particularly so that they know what to do just in case there are no adults at home at the time of a disaster.
Be sure to practice your fire drill and emergency plan at least twice a year when everyone is at home. Another helpful tool is to have a family group text that includes your family and friends, in order to keep in touch throughout the emergency.
Also, don't forget to include your pets as part of your evacuation and pack up plan. Even practice the evacuation with them so that you and the children are more familiar with the evacuation process should it occur.
Another useful tip is to learn how to turn off utilities within your home, particularly natural gas during an emergency situation.
Be sure to have enough food, water & medications to last at least 72 hours should an emergency occur.
Save and Prepare
As part of our ongoing relationship with FEMA and National Preparedness Month, this week we'd like to talk about how to save and prepare early for a disaster.
One important step is to know if your homeowner's or renter's policy includes flood damage. Most don't these days, unless you request or your property is in a 'flood zone' upon purchasing. Pick up the phone and give your agent a call just to be sure that you are covered. Most flood insurance policies can take up to 30 days to go into effect!
Be sure to take pictures of your important documents and upload them to another server or cloud in case they would happen to get lost or destroyed during the disaster. These can include birth certificates, driver's licenses, social security cards, insurances policies, etc.
You'll want to be sure to have some cash on hand too. During most storms, power may go out and be out for days which can cause problems with ATM's and cad readers not being available. It's also best to have cash set aside for things such as lodging, food & gas if needed.
Most importantly, stay in touch with family, friends and neighbors and much as you can throughout the storm and after. Be sure to follow local weather reports & public service announcements for the latest updates supplied by your local Emergency Management Services.
More Than Just Remediation
Here at SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont, we are more than just your fire & water restoration company to call to get the job done. We also offer the following services:
CLEANING-Ceiling and walls cleaning should be part of the maintenance of your home or business. Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt, dust, pet dander, cooking oils, grease & other contaminants. Whether preparing for painting, or just keeping it looking professional, we can help!
DOCUMENT DRYING-When documents or photographs get wet extreme caution needs to be taken to ensure that the water doesn't damage or destroy the document. We offer five different types of drying techniques to help restore and minimize the damage done.
DRYWALL REPAIR-Repairs are often required after accidents, remodeling, water or fire restoration. Did you know that your local SERVPRO offers not only the mitigation of damages to your home, but we can also repair the affected space and return it to it's original state? We offer several specialists on hand to tend to your carpentry, electrical & repair needs.
After 11 years and helping with projects up and down the East coast, it's time to say good-bye to a chapter or our history. We've decided to sell our Tractor and Command Trailer, as well as three other trailers to an Extreme Team in Alabama.
These valuable resources were pivotal in our growth and we enjoyed donation their use to several organizations to utilizes for events throughout the years.
Don't worry, we only sold the truck and the trailers! We still have our large inventory of drying equipment, air scrubbers, small trailers & the capacity to move everything quickly! AND, we're still available 24/7!
CE Class Information
Several CE Classes are offered at our location throughout the year. Here are two of the courses provided with a brief description of "What You Will Learn":
ETHICS - The premise for this ethics course is that although we may have solid ethical foundations and usually make rational ethical decisions, ethical lapses are likely to come when we are stressed, angry, upset, worried or otherwise disengaged.
Each and every day we are faced with decisions that could cause harm to others or ourselves. Facing ethical decisions can be very difficult, especially when we make decisions that may seems correct at first, but we later find out were not so great. As part of this course we will become involved in group activities that will help reinforce what has been learned, as well as the ability to better deal with ethical decision-making in our own lives.
RESTORATIVE DRYING FOR WATER DAMAGE - This course has been designed to provide a better understanding of the restorative drying process that takes place after a water damage loss occurs.
Key elements of this class include: (1). How water damage impacts the insurance industry; (2). Understanding water damage; (3). Inspection Services & Emergency Servies; (4). Monitoring the drying process; (5). Psychrometrics (the science of drying); and (6). Water restoration services.
What is the IICRC?
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. It serves as an independent, nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards of ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.
The IICRC offers certifications in several categories of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration. As well, there are Journeyman certifications available to those individuals advanced levels of recognition which are achieved by having several certifications in select categories and a minimum of three to five years of experience in the cleaning/restoration industry.
Here at SERVPRO of Somerset County & Westmont our technicians are IICRC certified and continue their education and certification throughout their employment. As new certifications become available through the IICRC, steps are taken to ensure that our technicians are certified in the latest techniques and services.
Getting Ready for Colder Temperatures
With winter approaching, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures. Most steps that are taken are inexpensive, and take little time, but can help avoid property damage. Following are a few tips to consider before winter arrives: (1). Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic. (2). Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature to the "warm" setting. (3). Replace your furnace filter. (4). Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home. (5). Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean. (6). Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets. (7). Remove any window unit air conditioners. (8). Close off rooms that aren't used and shut the vents.