Extreme Cold Safety Tips
EXTREME COLD SAFETY TIPS
- Only travel if you have to. In extreme cold, you shouldn’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you drive, make sure you have a flashlight with fresh batteries and a full tank of gas.
- Dress warmly. If you have to leave the house, wear several layers of loose-fitting clothes. The air trapped between each sweater or coat can retain your body heat and help keep you warm.
- Protect your extremities. Keep your earlobes, fingers, toes and the tip of your nose covered when you go outside. These areas have the highest risk for frostbite if they aren’t properly protected. To keep your fingers warmer, opt for mittens instead of gloves.
- Take it easy on ice. If you venture outside, watch out for ice – which can cause you (or others) to slip and fall. Rock salt loses its effectiveness below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, so use ice melt on surfaces like sidewalks, stairs and driveways. You can also spread sand on your walkways to provide a little more traction.
- Watch over babies, pets and the elderly. Babies have a harder time maintaining their body temperature than adults, so it’s best to keep them bundled up and away from extreme cold. It’s more difficult for the elderly to regulate their temperature, too. Check on your neighbors and keep your pets inside
Portable Space Heaters
Space Heater Fire
Portable Space Heaters
Portable space heaters are a potential source of fire if not used properly. The manufacturer’s recommendations must be followed to maintain a safe environment.
- All heaters must be Underwriters Listed (UL) or Factory Mutual approved for their intended use.
- Heaters should have a thermostat to automatically shut down the unit when the desired temperature is achieved.
- Heaters must have a tip over automatic shut down feature.
When using a portable space heater, ensure you follow these safety tips:
- Do not place heaters under tables or other enclosed areas.
- Heaters should be monitored when in operation.
- Plug heater directly into a wall receptacle. Never plug it into an extension cord.
- Keep space heaters away from doorways, walkways and paths of travel.
- Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens.
- Do not use portable space heaters if small children are expected in the area.
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is able to handle any fire mitigation - restoration that you may have
Dryer fire can cause extensive damages to your home
The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff from clothes, lint can gradually build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct.
Further compounding the problem is the fact that many people now install dryers outside of their basements. This typically results in dryer vent pipes being much longer. Those longer vent pipes have a greater likelihood of being twisted and turned to accommodate the structure of the home—and that creates spaces for lint to collect.
Tips to prevent Dryer Fires
- Clean out the lint every time you use the dryer. Also clean out the vent pipe to reduce the chance of fire and to maintain the efficiency of the dryer.
- Give the outdoor vent a peek. Make sure that the outdoor vent flap isn’t covered by snow or debris.
- Install with care. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe.
- Use solid metal dryer duct. Research shows that flexible foil or plastic ducts can sag and lead to lint buildup at low points. Metal ducts of any variety don’t sag.
- Read tags. If the care label reads tumble dry low, don’t turn the dryer up to high. Also use caution with certain items that may contain rubber that shouldn’t be exposed to hot temperatures.
- Your clothes can help diagnose a problem. Clothes that no longer feel dry or that are extra hot to the touch after a normal dry cycle are a telltale sign that something’s wrong.
- Don’t dry and dash. Turn off your dryer if you need to step out during the laundry cycle.
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is able to handle any fire mitigation - restoration that you may have
A rainy day can do more than just dampen your mood – it can cause damage to your home
While it may be impossible to stop every water issue, there are things you can do to protect your home from water damage caused by heavy rain. They include:
•Install a sump pump. Sump pumps drain water from the inside of a structure to the outside. Make sure you opt for a battery backup sump pump system so that electrical power failures don’t cause your sump pump to fail.
•Install a backwater valve. This device prevents city sewers from backing up into your basement plumbing fixtures.
•Have your chimney checked. Cracks in your chimney let water seep in, so hire a professional to check yours.
•Have your roof inspected regularly by a professional. Fixing issues as they arise can spare you from big repairs down the road. •Clean your gutters. Backed up downspouts and gutters can cause damage to your roofline, soffit, or other areas of your home.
•Make sure the seals around your windows, doors and other openings are in good condition. If they aren’t, reseal them with caulk. Make sure any wood window and door trim is painted to help prevent wood rot and structural damage to your home.
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is here to assist you with preventing problems from arising. We are also here to take handle the damages caused by water intrusion
Don't let this happen to you!
One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, head first to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.
If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:
- Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
- Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.
How to Fix Frozen Pipes
If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well.
- Know what not to do. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
- Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.
- Take swift action if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
While you can’t control the weather, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing. To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
- Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
Should your pipes burst.... Turn off you water and call SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin
Before the First Snow Falls
Are you ready for this?
Before the first snow falls, you’ll want to freshen up your car emergency kit, check the antifreeze and throw in that bag of kitty litter in case you need a little extra traction.
And speaking of traction: How are your tires?
If you think your tires aren’t up to the job of winter driving, it’s time to swap them for a set of snow tires. Here’s what you need to know.
How do snow tires work?
Winter brings some of the most difficult driving conditions including slush, black ice and snow. Unlike regular tires, snow tires were created to endure these harsh conditions. Snow tires have a deep tread and special pattern that provides extra grip and traction. The design packs the snow while they’re moving to avoid slipping.
While they are great at withstanding snow, they are even better with weathering the cold. A snow tire’s rubber formula allows them to remain flexible, even at the lowest of temperatures, which helps ensure optimal performance in snow and ice. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to slow down or stop on an icy road.
Tread depth, pattern and tire compound are three things you’ll want to consider if your car needs snow tires.
Spring is trying to get here!!!!
Winter takes its' toll on your roof
As the weather begins to change for the better, take some time to look into your roofing needs before they become larger problems.
Roofing problems may cause problems on the inside of your home. slow leaks into your home will result in water remediation and or MOLD remediation.
Performing some preventative maintenance will help prevent bigger problems down the road.
If you can't do the preventive maintenance on your own, then call your local roofing company.
Spring Preventative Maintenance
? Walk the roof and look for foreign debris and excess dirt build up
? Check gutters to ensure leaves or other debris are not causing back-up or leakage
? Look for cracks, splits, or tears in roofing material
? Inspect roof mounted units, pipes, and vents for cracks or failed termination
? Ensure sealants and flashing are secure
? Remove overhanging tree limbs to eliminate possible damage to the roof surface
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin Says Keep the Focus on Fire
The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 showing nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
SERVPRO® of South Park / West Mifflin cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire.
- Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat
sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
- Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure
that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as
possible by giving them plenty of water.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not
use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s
- If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains
and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah
or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch
the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and
always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to
help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your property. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. The ARC is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information. http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire #Our-Partners
The disaster response professionals at SERVPRO, a national leader and provider of fire and
water cleanup and restoration services, witness the devastation that home fires can cause far too
often. They also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no “remediation” possible. To
keep the focus on fire prevention, rather than fire restoration, SERVPRO has teamed up with the
American Red Cross by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder2 program, and in particular the
Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. 2 http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire
Water damage service in Pittsburgh
Water trapped in a ceiling from a broken pipe in the upstairs bathroom
Water Damage Restoration
When your home is flooded by nature or a broken water line, it would be best to call only the professionals. They in turn have the expertise to mitigate the effects water damage can do to your home. Aside from that, they will also preserve and even restore.
We have the necessary equipment and also the expertise to handle just about any challenging water damage situations. Plus, we are available 24/7.
We carry a variety of water removal equipment that is top of the line. We have moisture detectors to measure moisture saturation. We also use infrared camera to identify where the water comes from. Plus, we also have submersible pumps to get rid of the water and portable extraction units.
Most important is our technicians are thoroughly trained and certified by the IICRC, the most respected organization in our industry
Remember that when you call SERVPRO there is no job too big or too small and when we are done it is
"Like it never even happened"
SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin Figure Out the Cause of the Mold growth before Beginning the Remediation Process.
Moisture problem not corrected and MOLD Flourished
Even when residents find evidence of mold, many of them ignore it or try to cover it up. Most people believe that a little mold is not a problem and can be covered up with paint. This belief is wrong and may affect the integrity of a home’s structure. Mold needs moisture to grow. When you remove the source of the moisture, the mold will not continue to flourish. There is no point in starting the mold remediation until the source of the moisture has been eliminated. After years of experience in the Pittsburgh area, SERVPRO knows what mold can do to a home. Each year, millions are spent to clean out mold growths and to restore or repair damage to structural and personal property. If the problem is identified and corrected in the early stages, the amount of damages can be minimized.
By the time homeowners first see or smell it, there is the possibility of contamination which has permanently compromised the structure. When this happens, our technicians quickly isolate the affected area. We seal off entry points with plastic sheeting and the air conditioning vents to prevent the spread of mold spores in the air. Removing affected property is simple, but time-consuming. Our technicians carefully remove affected building materials. To prevent a spread of the contamination, all affected debris is bagged, taped and removed from the structure. Stopping and removing mold from your home is a process that needs to begin at the first sign of a problem. Regardless of how far the mold may have grown, SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin is here with the experience and training needed to restore your home to its original condition. Call today at (412)653-3388 for an inspection and estimate.