5 Things NOT To Do During a Hurricane
Hurricanes are hard to completely be certain what path they will take. Even if the weather meteorologists come close to predicting the path, the hurricane can quickly shift or turn at the drop of a dime. Because of the amount of uncertainty hurricanes bring, here are 5 things not do to when riding out a hurricane.
1. Don’t tape windows
It does almost no good, and it is an absolute mess to try and take off.
2. Don’t run generators indoors
The carbon monoxide the generator’s emits can become deadly within minutes. Also you shouldn’t connect a generator into your home’s electric system directly, because it can affect electric lines outside and endanger your neighbors, emergency responders, and /or utility workers.
3. Don’t use charcoal or gas grills indoors
The carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great. The grill’s carbon monoxide can easily build up and poison anyone inside the house, including your pets.
4. Don’t walk or drive in flood waters
The waters can contain snakes, downed power lines and sewage, which can all be dangerous and deadly. If you drive a vehicle in flood waters that are six inches or more, the waters can cause a car to float.
5. Don’t stay after an evacuation order is given
Rescuers might not come out in the height of the storm, but if they do you are putting your life and their lives in danger. Your life is not worth the same amount as your home or anything in it. A home can be replaced; your life can not.
If you have any water or fire emergency call SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County @ (803) 324-5780.
Dirtiest Items In Your Home.
how many people have touched your door knobs in your home?
Anyone who comes into your home and uses the bathroom may or may not wash their hands properly, therefore leaving behind germs all over your bathroom sink’s faucet handles. To wash mix 2 cups of warm water with 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. Soak a washrag into the mixture and scrub the faucet. Use an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda to scrub areas with hard mineral deposits. Lastly, rinse the faucet and shine with a microfiber cloth.
How often do you clean your door knobs? Most people simply do not think of their door knob when cleaning the house. Take a moment and think about how many people have touched your door knobs in the last month or two. That’s a lot of dirty hands. To wash spray the surface with vinegar and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Our pets are part of our family and we love them but we don’t have to love your beds. Their beds should be cleaned as often as we change our mattress sheets, right? Especially since our pets are outsides using the restroom several times a day and then go lay down in the beds. To wash, first vacuum the bed of all the hair and debris. Then remove the cover from the base of the bed (most beds have one) and put both in the washing machine (wash on sanitize cycle). Once washed, switch to the dryer and use a dryer sheet to reduce static electricity and remove excess hair.
Our cutting boards need a little more attention than we think, since its purpose it to cut the food that we eat on them. If not washed properly, bacteria can grow and affects our food. To wash properly scrubbing the wooden or plastic cutting boards with a paste made from baking soda, salt, and water (1 tablespoon each). Then Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
Sponges are used to clean, but how often to you actually spend time cleaning the sponges, themselves. To wash, mix ¾ cup of bleach in one gallon of water, and soak the sponge for five minutes.
Remote controls are one of the most hand held items in your house and with all those hands touching them how often are they cleaned? To clean use a lint-free cloth to wipe down the remote with rubbing alcohol (or use an electronics cleaning wipe). Make sure to clean the top, bottom, and sides of the remotes. For the buttons on the remote and any hard to reach areas, use a cotton swab.
What You Need To Prepare A Hurricane Prep-Kit
Make Sure you Prepare a Hurricane Kit.
Hurricane season is here and it is important to take steps to prepare Hurricane kits.
Hurricane season comes every year and it is as common to us as the changing of seasons. But this year may be different. This season scientist's have predicted Hurricane's to be above-normal, meaning warmer waters, more activity, and higher level storms.
Knowledge and preparation is key, especially knowing that this season may be more active than those of the past.
Start a Hurricane Kit
Prevent your family from potential stress and chaotic, and start gathering supplies that will be useful when affected by a storm or forced to evacuate. First make a list of the supplies specific to your family’s needs. For example if you have children that needs diapers and bottles or elderly relatives that live with you that may have medications they cannot go without. Be detailed when creating this list. Keep this list in your hurricane kit, and when a hurricane approaches, you can focus on gathering these items and won’t worry about forgetting anything essential.
After the specific supply list, gather supplies you and your family will need if your home loose power for a few days. Some recommended items include:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Once you collect all the supplies, put everything is a bag or box and label it your Hurricane Kit.
Common Household Molds
Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter our homes easier than you would think. Most types of mold grow quickly, if they have a water source, an organic food source and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit. Since many homes may have 1 or 2 of these characteristics, especially in the bathrooms, we need to know what to look for in regards to common household molds, and how they affect our health.
- Characteristics: green, brown, grey, or black; powdery appearance.
- Where it Grows: on food, dead plants, wood, insulation, and dark, damp environments.
- Health Effects: can cause severe allergic reactions, and harmful for people with asthma, allergies, or weakened immune systems.
- Characteristics: grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black and grows quickly.
- Where it Grows: on walls, insulation, soil, clothing, and humid, moist areas.
- Health Effects: can cause infections in people with weak immune systems, or produces a carcinogen called aflatoxin.
- Characteristics: green, white, or blue; fuzzy appearance.
- Where it Grows: on food, walls, insulation, and moist, organic matter.
- Health Effects: irritates the stomach if ingested; airborne spores can cause congestion, coughing and/or eye irritation.
- Characteristics: dark green, grey, or black; long, velvety hairs; doesn’t need much water to grow.
- Where it Grows: on carpets, clothing, around windows, and damp areas such as flooded houses.
- Health Effects: can cause respiratory problems, asthma, or hay fever.
Stachybotrys, known as “Toxic Black Mold”
- Characteristics: dark green, or black; slimy
- Where it Grows: on walls, ceilings, floorboards, and any moist area.
- Health Effects: may cause cancer, headaches, asthma, dizziness, or joint pain.
- Characteristics: dark green, or black; smaller than stachybotrys
- Where it Grows: on cotton, canvas, wool, ceilings, walls, or damp areas.
- Health Effects: can cause respiratory problems, headaches, or coughing.
3 Reasons You Should Never Use Bleach To Clean Microbial Growth
Chlorine Bleach is often regarded as the answer for stopping mold growth and removing the mold. However, this is a myth. Bleach does not exonerate mold. Here are three reasons why bleach is not the answer to mold, and should never be used to clean a mold contaminated area.
1. Bleach Loses Effectiveness Over Time
Chlorine bleach can dissipate rapidly, causing the bleach to be less effective. Over time this occurs because chlorine can evaporate and even faster in areas that are above room temperature. When the chlorine disappears, the bleach bottle turns into a bottle of salt water.
2. Bleach can actually contribute to mold growth
Chlorine bleach was made to clean surfaces, therefore can only kill surface bacteria and mold. This is due to bleach’s ion structure, which prevents the chlorine from penetrating porous material such as wood and drywall. When mold grows in porous areas, the enzyme’s roots grow deep within the material, rendering the bleach ineffective of exterminating the mold. The bleach can only remove the green stain from the mold, allowing surface to appear clean. But underneath the surface, the water component of the bleach penetrates and helps the internal roots to continue to grow, causing mold to reappear.
3. Bleach is Toxic
Bleach emits harmful fumes that pollute the air we breathe and can become harmful to humans and even pets. Over a period of time, inhaling the gases bleach emits can deteriorate the lungs and esophagus lining in addition to the scarring of the respiratory tract, which occurs in earlier stages. Also research shows that household bleach is one of the leading causes of accidental poisonings in the United States.
Two reasons you can get mold in your home is… heat and humidity. Mold thrives in dark, moist areas, and humidity only helps that process. That’s why if you experience water damage and don’t take care of it the right way and in the first 48 hours; mold will begin to grow.
Grilling Means More Then Tasty Food
According to the National Fire Protection Association Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
Each year an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August.
The following fact sheet gives stunning information on structural fires caused from grilling.
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County urges our friends and neighbors to practice safety while grilling this summer.
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County is available 24/7 (803) 324-5780.
What is Mold?
This is a picture of mold due to extensive moisture.
Mold is a fungus that reproduces by spreading tiny spores everywhere. Each and every day, there are millions upon millions of mold spores just drifting through the air, both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, molds plays a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matters, such as leaves and dead trees, but indoors mold growth should be avoided. Mold may begin to grow indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. Although there are many different types of mold, none of them can grow without water or moisture.
Remember mold is everywhere and has been around a long time, so living with mold is a nature process, it's only when mold levels grow beyond the normal levels that they can cause problems. So, knowing the basics about mold can help you and your family.
The key to mold control is moisture control
If mold is a problem in your home, you should have the mold cleaned promptly and properly and have the water problem repaired.
It is important to dry water damaged areas and items with 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
If you have visible mold in your home, contact us at SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County today 803-324-5780. Our technicians are friendly, well-trained, and knowledgeable to determine the problem and course of action remediate the problem.
Water Damage - What You Should Do Until Help Arrives
A break in a small pipe like this can lead to a big problem. Call SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County at 803-324-5780. We are always here to help.
When winter arrives and it brings low temperatures it typically ushers in a high volume of frozen pipes, sometimes leaving property owners waiting hours for help to clean up their property.
At times like these, we receive several calls seeking advice on what to do until help arrives. The answer depends on whether the water is clean or contaminated. Generally speaking, water from a supply line is considered clean, while water from drains is considered contaminated. There are exceptions to this general guideline.
If you are unsure of the classification of water affecting your property, consult your water damage experts at SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County at 803-324-5780 and we will help as best we can.
CLEAN Water Damage Tips
- Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangars to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas of electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
CONTAMINATED Water Damage Tips
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have any questions or require help; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County at 803-324-5780. We are here to help 24x7.
Carbon Monoxide - A Silent Killer
Be aware of Carbon Monoxide
You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, etc. burn incompletely.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of improperly used or malfunctioning fuel burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars.
The EPA says prevention is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself with these tips:
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season.
- Install audible CO detectors; in homes, place them outside of each sleeping area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi or generator in an enclosed area, like a garage. Even if the door is open, the CO may not be properly ventilated.
- Do not idle a car inside a garage.
- Before using a fireplace, make sure the flue is open of proper ventilation.
We are an IICRC Certified Company
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County is an IICRC Company. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County
SERVPRO of Rock Hill & York County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.