Cleaning Tips from the Varsity
Changing batteries in your smoke alarms is too important of a thing to remember to put on a list with anything else. Daylight Savings is the perfect, proven day.
So what about everything else? Here are a few tips from the SERVPRO Team Randolph varsity cleaning squad:
Wipe down your walls and ceilings: vacuum from top to bottom and remove dust. If your walls are dirty (parents!) a mild detergent can bring new life. SERVPRO Wall’n All is our House Favorite and if you call us, we’ll bring you some . We can even clean the walls for you. A mild detergent will add a subtle spring fresh scent to the room.
Vacuum and Shampoo rugs: 80% of what is coming out of your rugs is coming out from vacuuming. We can help with the steam cleaning. If you want to do it yourself, make sure you know what type of carpet you have and that it won’t be damaged by the process. Call us either way if you have any concerns.
Change your Power Strips. If they are older than the equipment plugged into them or if you can’t remember when you bought them, get new ones. This is a big deal in fire prevention.
Inspect your Ducts: If your ducts haven’t been cleaned in a few years, or if you have pets, unscrew a duct, stick your phone in and take a picture or two. If you don’t like what you see, Call Us. We’ll schedule a duct cleaning.
We know you have plenty to do come Spring. If you do these few things, your home feel as fresh as the Great Outdoors. We’re here to help.
Mold Tips... Don't be Afraid to Ask
The wet winter and fluctuating temperatures create a favorable environment for mold issues this spring. Changes in weather create stress on structures. Structures that are stressed are prone to moisture and water issues. Mold is a secondary damage to water damage or excessive moisture. Preventing mold is a matter of keeping a structure dry by quickly repairing or cutting off a source of moisture and when you have a leak or larger issue, having it properly repaired.
Here are some Mold basics from Team Randolph:
- Mold exposure can cause health effects.
- The best way to control indoor mold growth is to eliminate sources of moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Do this by fixing the source of leaks; reduce humidity in the atmosphere with proper ventilation and dehumidification if necessary; properly dry all building materials and furnishings if you have a floor or major leak.
- Insulate around windows and piping to minimize condensation on cold surfaces.
- Mold can only grow on organic materials (wood, paper, carpets and foods).
- The EPA recommends that homeowners limit their mold cleaning to small effected areas, 3ft x 3ft. The reason is mold spores are very difficult to kill and it is very easy to cross contaminate an area with the invisible spores.
SERVPRO Team Randolph is certified to clean and remove mold and we are happy to answer any questions you have. Give us a call if you want to discuss a mold issue or are in need of help.
Flood or Water Damage: What Do You Do
When you have water damage, you will quickly decide “Do I need help?” and “Who do I call for a flood?”
Consider these common scenarios: A second floor supply line leaks and water pours through the downstairs ceiling and soaks hardwood floors; A pipe bursts on first floor and water soaks carpets and the tile on the kitchen floor; You come home to a house soaked with humidity with wet walls, saturated a saturated ceiling and standing water in the basement.
Clearly in these cases, you call SERVPRO Team Randolph for help.
But what if the damage is not as obvious and you are tempted to mop, towel and fan. Here are a few things to consider:
Wet Seeks Dry: This means that water is always trying to seep into dry building materials and contents. Depending on how long the water has been there the moisture can cause warping, delamination and the staining. Just as it takes time for moisture to find its way into flooring and drywall, it takes time and a strategy to get the water back out. The Experience, Education and Equipment of a professional mitigation company are often required.
Secondary Damage from a Water Loss Can Exceed the Original Damage: The Insurance Industry has a thick book of suggested guidelines for contractors dealing with water damage. Experience has shown that house floods ruin finishes, compromise the bones of a home and create a health hazard.
Team Randolph Has Seen It Before: We address variations of the situations described above hundreds of times a year. The only common factors are water and the worry that things are going to be fixed. We understand water and we understand that no matter how familiar your issue is to us, it is scary, frustrating and upsetting to you.
In the rare case we come across a situation we have not seen before, we can reach out to our SERVPRO network for guidance and advice. SERVPRO is the largest and most trusted company by consumers nationwide.
For SERVPRO Team Randolph there are no impossible messes. The cleanup begins with a call.
Don't Forget Your Agent
When you face unimaginable damage at your home or business, Team Randolph and your insurance agent are ready to help.
If you suffer a property loss, your agent is your ally.
Your agent is the person who is trained and licensed to help you buy appropriate coverage for repair or replacement of your stuff if you suffer a disaster, like a fire, flood, burst pipe or mold.
While you may not give your agent much thought over time, Team Randolph sees them in action every day.
Agents understand your policies. This alone provides valuable reassurance during a disaster and the mitigation process. Consider: your condominium (rugs, walls, ceilings, furniture) are soaked by flood in a neighboring unit. In this case, there likely are three policies in effect: yours, neighbors and owners’ association.
The lines of coverage are not always clear. Your agent knows this and knows your policy. You just want your stuff dried, cleaned and repaired; and to get on with your life.
Team Randolph lives in the disaster world and we know what to do and who to speak with to minimize the disruption to you. That is why we are such fans of engaged agents.
Property Manager Partnerships: A Win-Win
Property Managers as Partners
The winter months can create significant challenges for property managers. Snow and ice don’t have the predictability of grass and shrubs. Further, grass and shrubs don’t cause ice damming and pipe freezes.
How you react to the challenges of winter can set the tone of your relationship with HOAs and association boards come spring and summer. Your clients are likely to forgive you for that which you can’t control so long as they constant progress toward restoration of their lives, starting yesterday.
Team Randolph recognizes the urgency to react and to immediately build a recovery plan when we partner with property managers. Winter months aren’t the time for training in front of upset tenants. Our crews receive technical and service training to identify a situation and do the right thing and to be sensitive to a situation.
Our office works with our partners to make sure documents flow through the right channels which simplifies settlement whether there is a claim or the job is a direct pay. We also anticipate and recognize coverage issues so that tenants and owners understand how the claim will be settled.
The SERVPRO brand is the most recognized and respected brand in the mitigation industry so your first decision to call on Team Randolph should be an easy one. No one gets fired for hiring the industry leader.
Keep Summer Safe
Public Service Announcement – Keep Summer Safe
Q: How many fires has Team Randolph mitigated in the last year that started in potted plants?
Potting soil is comprised of peat, bark, perlite and coconut coir. This highly flammable mix can turn a lazy afternoon on a deck to tragedy with the tamping of a single cigarette butt. If you doubt it go to the Wizard of Oz (or Google) and type in “fire potting soil”. The picture is not pretty.
Dry potting soil requires only a tiny catalyst to begin smoldering and this is significantly underappreciated hazard. What’s worse the embers can expand unseen and burn out the bottom of a plastic hanging planter box.
Avoid tragedy by using ashtrays, keep your plants watered, use clay pots, keep combustible material away from plants, and dispose of potting soil carefully.
Team Randolph technicians are trained to clean virus infected areas, including those affected by Norovirus, C. Diff, and Mersa. The viruses can bring productivity in a workplace or school to a standstill.
Norovirus alone affects between 19 and 21 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces,” according to the CDC.
Clostritium Difficile, C. Diff is a bacterium that causes colitis. People who take antibiotics for an extended period of time are particularly vulnerable. The bacteria originates in feces and is spread by healthcare workers or by contact with any surface that are contaminated, such as toilets and other places in bathrooms.
MRSA is a staph infection resilient to many antibiotics. MRSA is spread by skin to skin contact. At risk populations include high-school wrestlers, child care workers or people who live in crowded conditions. Symptoms include painful red bumps that can turn into abscesses, according to the Mayo Clinic. If the bacteria burrows into the body it can cause potentially life-threatening infections.
MRSA can be spread by contaminated items so once detected it is important to sanitize any potentially affected areas.
If your workplace, home or school is affected with these or other viruses, call SERVPRO for New Haven/Waterbury/Naugatuck Valley or No. Westchester County. We will work with you developing a cleaning strategy that causes the least interruption.
Damgage from a Storm: Go Big and Go Green
If you have ever had a weather related emergency, such as a flood, tree fall, pipe burst you may have experienced the frustration of calling for help only to find you would be put on a list and gotten to when you’re gotten to. If you have not had a weather or event related issue at your home or business, good. If you ever do, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
1) Everyone you reach out to, whether a plumber, tree company or SERVPRO wants to help you and as quickly as possible.
2) When an area is affected, whether by a microburst, hurricane or deep freeze, the damage is common. In other words, if your pipes freeze when the temperature drops from 40 to seven over a 24 hour period, the same thing is happening all around you.
3) Immediate response resources in an area are always limited. Your plumber of 15 years can not hire additional crews overnight, as much as he would like to.
So when this occurs, it pays to Go Big.
At SERVPRO of Naugatuck Valley, our first question is always: Is the source fixed or do you need help fixing the source? As the largest SERVPRO in Connecticut, we work with a huge network of trades people and labor and can often recommend someone to help out. Once the source is fixed, our large trained staff supplemented by experienced labor and euqipment sources from all over the tri-state area will be rolling.
Whether its factory fire, burst water heater or a tree on a house, We are Ready for Whatever Happens.
We're Ready, Are You?
If you are a commercial or residential property manager or condo association member, you should be dreading the swirly wind emoji on the accuweather app every bit as much as the single and negative termperatures we face this weekend.
Here are a few remiders from SERVPRO of Naugatuck Valley and Connecticut Reconstruction Services:
Make random inspections of heat and air units, particularly those with external access. Specifically, look for insulation that has settled and no longer covers pipes as intended.
Reinspect any plumbing or external work to make sure proper installation is in place and that there are no vents where cold air can blow in.
Check doors, windows and heat in vacant units.
Remind tenants of protocol for reporting any water situation and not to ignore any signs of water intrusion or leaking. Let them know you are prepared for anything that happens.
If you have vacancies, you should consider relocation options for renters in the event there is displacement.
Make sure your on-call crews are ready to roll and that there is back up. There should also be clear protocol for structural emergencies that includes calling TEAM RANDOLPH at 203-234-1100 or 914-241-8100.
Food Disasters... We Aren't Talking Mom's Meatloaf
Whether it is a smoke condition caused by a fire in the prepared food section, an oven fire in a manufacturing facility, or fire suppressing chemicals spread over 40 tons of fresh fruit, the disasters that effect food companies present some pretty awesome challenges.
Wrong decisions early on can open a Pandora's Box of liability issues even before the matter of cash flow and fulfillment come into play.
-- Companies with sophisticated business system back ups can be stymied when they realize two days after a small fire that their regular staff lacks the knowledge to clean soot and deodorize after a small fire.
-- Distribution companies turning 50 tons of fresh fruit every week trip when they fail to secure hauling capacity and a destination for destruction of a warehouse brimming with imported product during high import season.
-- A small chain store manager must decide in hours whether to do a partial open of a store or incur the cost of extended, nighttime cleaning time. nighttime cleaning mitigation.
These are a few of the many real-world challenges we have solved over the past year. There are many more.
Our approach to commercial losses is to stabilize and then meet with affected parties to understand the goals of all affected constituencies.
SERVPRO of the Naugatuck Valley is comprised of business and mitigation professionals that understand the financial, cultural and structural challenges of any disaster.
In a perfect world we meet, discuss and put a communication chain and decision tree in place. Regardless, when the wheels come off, we've got your back.