Winter Preparedness for Central Auglaize, Hardin, and Logan Counties
We received these great tips from the CDC on how to stay safe this winter and wanted to share them with you.
Prepare Your Home
Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
- Winterize your home.
- Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
- Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
- Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
- Check your heating systems.
- Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
- If you do not have a working smoke detector, install one. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
- Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning emergencies.
- Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check or change the battery when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
- Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
- Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
- Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
- Items to stay warm, such as extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets, or sleeping bags;
- Food and water;
- Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
- Compass and maps;
- Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
- First-aid kit; and
- Plastic bags (for sanitation).
Take Precautions Outdoors
Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
- Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
- Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
- Work slowly when doing outside chores.
- Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
- Carry a cell phone.
We hope these tips have helped you and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you ever have any more questions or needs, please call us at 937-354-3540.
Fire Safety: Christmas Edition
While we love decorating for Christmas, fires related to either Christmas trees or lights is a huge problem each year. Use these tips to help prevent the Christmas Fire.
- Connect no more than 3 strands of mini light sets together, plugged into the same power outlet.
- Make certain no more than 50 bulbs are used simultaneously in screw-in light bulb sets.
- Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, including space heaters, radiators, fireplaces, candles and even heat vents.
- Keep candles at least 12 feet away from anything that is flammable.
- Consider using electrical candles instead of flame-producing candles.
- Keep your tree well-watered. Dry trees account for the vast majority of Christmas tree fires.
- Get rid of your Christmas tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
- Use the right type of extension cord. Two-wire extension cords are usually fine for indoor lights, but be certain to use a three-wire, grounded extension cord for any outdoor light display.
- Do not overload outlets by using mutiple-plug adapters.
- Check for damage or deterioration to any extension cords and discard if any damage or deterioration is evident.
- Do not connect extension cords together for longer runs. It is safer to use a single cord of the correct length.
- Always turn off festive decorations, both indoor and outdoor, when you leave the house or go to bed.
- As always, instruct your family on appropriate fire safety rules and procedures. Make sure you have fire escape routes planned throughout the home and that all family members are properly instructed in their use. Test your fire alarms weekly.
We hope these helped. If you do need us for any smoke or fire damage clean up, please call anytime at 937-354-3540.
Hardin County Fair is Happening! Support our Junior Fair Members
Kolt Buchenroth, the Marketing and Communications Director for the Hardin County Fair gave us the following insight about what is happening this year for the fair.
The Hardin County Fair is getting ready for their junior fair only show this month and the board is thankful that youth will have the opportunity to exhibit the time, money and hard work they’ve invested in their livestock projects this year.
“We are thankful for the financial support from Ohio Department of Agriculture waiving the matching portion of the facilities improvement grant, the legislature providing financial support for fairs and local support from our county commissioners in the form of the CARES act,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair board president.
The fair is using the various funding sources to provide the youth an opportunity to show this year, but also to keep the gates open for next year, too.
For more information on the fiar and how to support it please visit https://hardincountyfair.org/junior-fair/
Whether or Not You should Remove Mold Yourself
Many homeowners are interested in do it yourself mold removal. They want to know how to clean mold themselves because they want to save money. Some also like the satisfaction of doing a job themselves. In some cases, it makes sense to handle a household mold problem yourself. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to call in a professional that knows how to clean mold, like SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties.
When Is Removing Mold Yourself a Good Idea?
Cleaning up mold yourself may be a good idea if:
- The mold only covers a small area.
- The mold is growing on easy-to-clean surfaces like glass, metal, tile, tubs, or sinks.
- The mold is growing on hard-to-clean materials, like carpet, that are easy to remove and replace and you know how to do it properly.
Of course, you always have the option of hiring a professional for the job if you don’t want to do it yourself or simply don’t have the time or energy for what can be a time-consuming process.
When Is Do It Yourself Mold Removal Not Such a Good Idea?
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. Cleaning up mold yourself is probably not such a good idea if:
- The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
- Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (most homeowners have neither the knowledge nor the equipment needed to properly remove mold from their HVAC systems).
- You aren’t sure how to do all parts of the job correctly (if, for instance, there is mold inside your walls and you don’t know how to remove and replace drywall) or you don’t have all the tools required to do the job (such as a drywall saw, if you need to remove moldy drywall).
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced, so the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead (it’s recommended that only mold remediation professionals sand moldy wood since it significantly increases one’s exposure to mold, which can lead to potentially serious illnesses).
In some instances, homeowners handle part of the job themselves while calling in a professional for other parts of the job, like removing mold from their HVAC system.
For Help with Mold Removal
If you need help with mold removal, or if you’d just like some professional advice before beginning do it yourself mold removal, we suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist in Central Auglaize, Hardin and Logan counties. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can get some free expert advice and then determine whether or not it’s a job you’re prepared to tackle yourself. There is no charge and no obligation, so there’s nothing to lose.
If you suspect mold that you cannot handle or want advice on contact SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties at (937) 354-3540.
How to Reduce Flood Damages to Your Home
Flood damages in our homes is something we all experience at some point in our lives. It could be caused from something as simple as an overflowing bathtub or something more serious such as a burst pipe or sewerage pipe rupture. Flood damages to your home can range from minor to severe and dealing with the issue can be tiresome and even dangerous. While some water issues cannot be foreseen, there are a few things you can do to prevent Flood damages to your home from factors you have some control over.
Clean your down-spouts and gutters: Make sure to clean out your gutters at least once every six months or more often if you have a lot of trees in the area. When water collects in the gutters it can cause damage to your roof and the gutters themselves. Down-spouts that aren’t clean and checked to ensure the water is running off properly and is running away from your house, can cause damage to walls and even your foundations.
Remove hoses from taps when not in use: When the water does not drain out of your hose, it could freeze inside of it. This in turn could freeze back into the tap and pipes. The solid ice could cause an ice block, preventing water from moving through the pipe but it could also cause the pipe to burst, which could cause damage to your property.
Switch off the mains: If you are going on vacation or you are going to be away for a length of time, switch the water off at the mains. This will stop any dripping or other water issues while you are away. You wouldn’t want to come home to water rushing out your front door to greet you.
Keep your garden in check: Trees and shrubs can cause damage to your pipes from the roots wrapping around the pipes. Keep your garden maintained and no large plants near piping. In a smaller garden it is often best to avoid trees all together.
Fix the leaks: A small leak can become a big water damage problem if not dealt with as soon as possible. Even tiny drips can cause mildew and mold in your home and even lead to structural damage and dry rot over an extended period of time. If you fix the leaks as they occur, you have less likelihood of the small issue becoming a huge problem later. If you have a sudden spike in your water bill, make sure you investigate for underground water leaks as well.
Check the appliances: Monitor appliances for leaks and replace any cracked and brittle piping. Things like a dishwasher or washing machine can flood your house out quickly if the appliance is not maintained adequately.
How Does Mold Get Into Your Home?
What can Increase the Risk of Mold Growth?
Interestingly enough, the more people in your home, the higher your risks of mold growing there. The reason for this, is because we release a lot of moisture into the air when we breathe.
Also, things such as long hot showers, cooking with uncovered pots, drying clothes on an indoor clothesline, and use of humidifiers, contribute to placing moisture into the air.
Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and keeping many vegetables like potatoes and squash can create a mold problem too.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Not only does Mold need that moisture, but also food sources too. By food sources I mean materials they live on.
Food sources such as drywall, wood, insulation, cardboard and paper, as well as, invisible bio-film on hard surfaces, carpet backing, wallpaper adhesive, many fabrics, leather, and especially house dust are mold havens for spores.
Can We Live in a Mold Free World?
Mold is ever present, we cannot expect to live in a mold free world. However, mold is not a problem most of the time, until you can see or smell it, or if you are having ill affects that are not normally present in your home.
This is when a call to action is needed. Delay in these matters will worsen the problem at hand.
Always remember, when Mold is an issue.. Deal with it promptly, do not wait.
How to deal with smoke damage in commercial buildings
When a fire occurs, SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties works to assist business owners and proprietors to move forward and put their lives and businesses back together. It can be overwhelming. The restoration process after a commercial fire is laborious if not time-consuming. It includes:
- damage assessment
- debris removal
- odor, soot, and residual water mitigation
Fire and smoke damage restoration professionals are there to advise and direct business owners to sift through the damage and greatly aid in rebuilding their businesses and commercial properties.
Once undertaken, the goal of commercial fire damage restoration is to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of a business or commercial property after a fire. In a fire’s aftermath, much of the damage restoration focuses on eliminating the persistent smoke odors and the accompanying soot and residual water. Every trace of the contaminants responsible for odors must be scrubbed clean and deodorized. High-powered equipment such as air scrubbers can help clear the air of particulates and odors. Industrial air movers and dehumidifiers mitigate residual water and moisture from putting out the fire.
It all hinges on taking action quickly. In doing so it’s possible for smoke and fire restoration professionals to minimize damage and loss. Here are several steps to anticipate how your restoration professional deals with smoke damage after a fire occurs on your commercial property.
As with most fires, commercial fires leave a pungent odor that permeates the building, furnishings, fixtures, and air throughout the property. Those odors are in large part a result of the fire source itself—the debris from the fire, the soot and residual water and chemicals that were used to extinguish the fire. The debris must be dealt with first.
Once the fire and insurance company have determined an origin and cause of the fire, restoration crews move to quickly remove the debris and soot from the premises. Materials such as charred furnishings, rugs, and ceiling tiles are carried out until the property is emptied of any burned remnants of the fire. Debris removal also mitigates odors by removing microscopic dust particles, airborne and settled, that derives from soot deposits and burned debris. Debris removal reduces the intensity of odors, but will not completely eliminate them. Soot and residual water also combine to contribute to smoke odors, and they must be dealt with.
Thick layers of soot mixed with moisture cover a good portion of commercial fire sites. Soot is the black, powdered carbon and chemical byproduct of the burned material after a fire. Depending on the material burned in commercial fires, the chemical or acidic composition of soot can cause further damage on its own to just about any surface it is in contact with. Soot can stain porous and textured surfaces, permanently discolor granite, plastics, grout and the un-burned fixtures made of wood or textiles.
Removal of soot can reduce the likelihood of permanent soot staining discoloration and may reduce the costs of replacement. As an important step in fire damage restoration, industrial vacuums are very helpful in removing the layers and bulk of powdery soot after fires.
Not only is mold a problem after flooding but after fires as well. Residual water from extinguishing the fire can lead to mold spreading throughout the property if it is not properly mitigated. The increased moisture in the air interacts with mold spores. In a confined space this allows mold to grow rapidly, covering and staining porous surfaces. The smoky odor after a fire rapidly combines with mold to further contaminate the air and interact with surfaces. The longer such odors interact with surfaces the more difficult it will be to completely eliminate the odor.
Commercial fire damage restoration entails industrial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers to remove water and moisture that can lead to airborne mold spores. All interior walls must be checked for water damage. All surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly and wiped down with anti-bacterial agents throughout the process.
If you have a commercial building with fire damage, give us a call to help get you back and running. Our number is (937) 354-3540.
We are IICRC Certified
SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties is an IICRC firm. 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 Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties
SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties 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.
Where does mold come from?
A mold situation begins with those small, dark, little dots that, with ample moisture and nutrients, gradually spreads and grows across a wall or on a surface. You may open a closet door and see a dark circular pattern growing on the back wall and can only wonder how it got there?
Mold has to come from somewhere and the reality is, it’s no mystery. Mold found indoors comes from the outdoors. There are many types of mold found in the environment—tens of thousands of species in a wide variety of colors, in fact—and many ways it can get in your home. Mold spores can drift indoors through a screened window or open door, or it can be carried in on shoes, a golf bag, a backpack, or a coat that gets hung in a closet, and then spread through the ventilation system. Mold spores can also enter your home through leaky roofs, foundations, door frames or window casements. Once the spores that are carried in or drift in are exposed to dampness, moisture or water, mold usually begins to grow there. The spores that come in through a leak somewhere in the structure of your house are already primed to grow.
Water Categories and Definitions
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as "grey water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
Have questions about a water situation that you may have? Give us a call at (937)354-3540!