Water Classifications - Black vs Gray
Water is an important resource, but it can also be the source of damage and stress. When water causes damages, it is imperative that you know the different water classifications. Knowing the differences between rainwater, gray water, and black water can make it possible to respond to the damage quickly and correctly.
First thing’s first - What distinguishes each water type from the others? Rainwater of course is the naturally occurring water that falls from the sky, eventually making its way to lakes, creeks, rivers, and other water sources. Rainwater, though natural, can come into contact with air pathogens and can collect dirt and other content when it lands on the ground or on rooftops. Gray water is a little more complicated. Gray water, while not particularly clean, is not dangerous. Gray water is water that usually come from household appliances such as clothes washers, dishwashers, showers and other similar areas. The water usually contains leftover chemicals (i.e. soaps, detergents, cleaning solutions, oils). As long as the chemicals that are being flushed through gray water are environmentally friendly or organic, this water can be filtered and reused. While accumulated rain or gray water can be an issue for a home or business, it is black water that should be avoided at all costs. Black water is water that has come into contact with human waste and/or other biohazards. This water could cause health issues in humans and other living things, and cause damage to the surrounding land. This water needs to be cleaned out by professionals who know what their doing and who have the equipment to handle the job safely and in a sanitary manor.
The three above mentioned water classes can be taken care of, some more easily than others. The important thing to remember is that you can try to dry and clean up some rain or gray water damages before calling in the professionals to dry it and look for mold or other issues left behind; But when it comes to black water, there is nothing you can do except get to a safe spot and wait for people who know how to safely remove it to come in and do just that. Property damage can be repaired and items can be replaced, but the health of you and your loved ones is not worth risking.
Information retrieved from:
If you have a problem with rain water, gray water, or black water, you can always call SERVPRO® of Peoria to handle the property cleanup and restoration. 309-637-7300
Commercial Specialty Cleaning
When you own and/or operate a business, you put excessive amounts of effort into making sure that the building is clean. You do this not only to make sure that the place is presentable, but also to make sure that your employees and your clients are taken care of as well. Having a daily or weekly cleaning crew come in to clean the things that more frequently need cleaning (vacuuming, toilets, dusting, etc.) is important. However, there are other things that require a different type of professional with a different set of skills. SERVPRO® has professionals that can help with that kind of cleaning.
Whether it is a restaurant, apartment complex, a mom-and-pop shop, or any other businesses, there are certain extra measures that need to be taken to keep everything in working order. Air vents need to be cleaned out to prevent issues with air quality and prevent fire and mold issues. It is important to get a professional in to check everything out, because they will be able to spot any issues that an untrained eye might miss. These professionals will also be able to identify any issues with mold in walls and carpets. Annual maintenance is the best way to keep your business in good shape and avoid any problems with the air or cleanliness of the business.
Commercial cleaning with SERVPRO® doesn’t only include annual cleaning. Commercial cleaning also takes care of any damages that come from storm, fire, water, and other damages that can harm a business. When unexpected circumstances affect a business, it is important to get a team of people who know what their doing in to help as soon as possible. The success and stability of a business after damage occurs depends on the speed at which the cleaning and restoration process begins.
If your business is in need of professional cleaning, reach out to SERVPRO® of Peoria at 309-637-7300. We are, “Here to Help®”.
It seems as though there are an excess amount of warnings and alerts when it comes to winter months in Central Illinois. It can become overwhelming, but all of the alerts are more than warranted. Winter comes with a laundry list of risks, and not all of them have to do with the freezing temperatures. Severe winter weather can last for 24-hours or more and heightens the risks of:
- car accidents
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- heart attacks from overexertion
- heat, power, and communication services loss
- health issues in older adults, young children, and previously sick individuals
Through all of this, there are still things you can do to keep you and the people you care for safe throughout the storm. The basics, of course, start with finding shelter. That means stay off the roads, staying indoors, and dressing warmly. Invite your friends and neighbors to stay with you if your home will be safer than theirs. There are still so many actions you can take before any storms hit:
- Be Prepared:
- Know what to expect from the area you live in.
- Get your home ready.
- If you can afford outdoor generators, buy them ahead of time.
- Build kits with enough supplies to last you days and a way to keep track of the weather reports (ie: a battery powered radio).
- Keep a kit in your home and in your car.
- Know how to identify and treat hypothermia and frostbite.
- Layers upon layers of clothing will help whether you have generators/heaters or not.
- Speaking of generators, only use them outdoors, never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven, and follow all safety measures. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger.
- Avoid heart attacks and other health problems by avoiding any overexertion.
- Keep a close eye on any loved ones who are elderly, particularly young, or had a preexisting condition that could be exacerbated by the cold.
When the storm passes, it is important to check your home, business, and vehicle identify any damages that may have occurred. Once everything is checked out, hopefully these tips will have made it possible for you and your loved ones to recover as quickly as possible.
Information retrieved from: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
If you do experience damage from a winter storm this year, remember that SERVPRO® of Peoria is “Here to help®.” 309-637-7300
Portable Space Heater Dos & Don'ts
This helpful item can be a major hazard if not used with caution.
During these winter months it is important to remember that the portable heater you keep by your bed or at your desk could cause a fire. Here is a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to reduce the risks.
Portable Heater Do’s:
- Know your space heater. By reading the manual before use, you are more likely to know what to expect from the heater and be able to identify if something is seriously wrong with it or not.
- Location is everything! Place the heater where no people or pet will bump into it. If this is something you are particularly worried about, find a heater that will set off an alarm when it’s bumped over.
- Make sure to supervise pets and children when they use the heater. If the pet or child is a risk for knocking it over or playing with it, it might be best to place it out of reach in a spot where it won’t be bumped or set anything on fire.
- When you are asleep turn off the heater to avoid any accidents while you and the rest of your family sleep.
- Remember the three-feet rule. Heaters should be placed at least three feet away from any objects.
- Clean heaters are safe heaters. Make sure to routinely clean out your heater to prevent dust or dirt from collecting and burning up on the heat source.
- Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. By illuminating the use of extension cords or power strips, there is less of a chance of a fire starting due to a secondary power source.
- Make sure that the heater is the correct size. Heaters that are too small may not give the desired effect, while heaters that are too large might pose a threat.
Portable Heater Don’ts:
- Don’t place heaters on anything flammable or that might have strands of fabric that could accidentally catch fire. Rugs, furniture, and wood surfaces are not suitable for heater placement.
- Leaving children and pets unsupervised around a heater should be avoided at all costs. Not only could they bump it and cause a fire, but if they touch a heater that is burning hot enough, they could end up with severe burns on their bodies.
- Moisture can cause burns, but could also ruin the appliance. Don’t handle a space heater with wet hands and avoid putting them in places where they may come into contact with water or any other liquids.
- Don’t let the cord of the heater get damaged. If the cord gets cut or frayed, you could end up dealing with an electrical fire.
- Space heaters are not meant to thaw pipes or dry clothing and should not be used for either of those purposes.
- Don’t leave space heaters on when you leave the room or the house. It’s better to come home to a cold house than to a house engulfed in flames.
By following these tips, you will be able to warm your house or business without any worry.
Information Retrieved from:
If you do experience a fire, you can always contact SERVPRO® of Peoria to help with the cleaning and restoration of the damage. 309-637-7300
Home Fire Escape Plans
The last thing you want to happen is to be coming up with a fire escape plan when a fire is already taking place. Home owners should always have a plan in place to get their loved ones out of the building quickly and safely. There are multiple things that should be kept in mind while developing these plans. The National Fire Protection Association has laid out a list of things to do to accomplish this. This list includes tips such as:
- Make a plan with everyone in your household. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes and identify the locations of smoke alarms. Draw a floor plan of the home for children showing at least two ways out of each room (windows and doors).
- Closed doors can slow fires and the accompanying identifiers. Smoke alarms should be in or outside of every bedroom and on every level of a home.
- Make sure all identified escape routes are clear and that doors and windows can be opened quickly and easily.
- Pick a place outside that is a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make note of this spot on the escape plan.
- Make sure your address is visible from the street for first responders to see.
- Make sure everyone knows the emergency phone number of the fire department so anyone in your home can call in the emergency.
- Make sure that one or more people is capable of and assigned to the task of helping infants or elderly family members out of the home.
- Make sure that security bars have emergency release devices inside for a quick escape. They will still keep your house secure, but in case of an emergency, they will be less likely to catch or stick.
- Make sure that your guests know your escape plan and that when you are a guest you know your host’s escape plan.
- Whenever a smoke alarm sounds be prepared for it to be a real fire.
- Never go back into the building. If you have a family member or pet missing from your outside meeting place, alert the first responders of this when they arrive. If you go back in you risk getting stuck inside yourself, so let the professionals do the rescuing.
In the event of a fire, being prepared is key. By making a plan and practicing what to do before the situation occurs, you and the people you love are much more likely to make it out with little to no injuries.
If you experience fire damages, be sure to contact SERVPRO® of Peoria at 309-637-7300. We are here to make the damage, “Like it never even happened.”
Preventing & Handling Ice Dams
Don't let your home be damaged by winter water!
In the winter, ice forms on the ground making for slippery and dangerous conditions. What people tend to forget though is that that ice forms in other places too, like the edges of rooftops. Ridges of ice form on the edges, forming what are called ice dams.
Cold temperatures will freeze the water along the edge of the roof to form and sustain the ice dams. However, on some homes the roof will be warmer in certain areas (generally due to chimneys, heat from the house, and exhaust systems). This will melt the snow from the top of the roof but not the edges. When the water pools above the ridge, it can cause the roof to leak, and in severe cases can cause it to collapse. Although you can’t control the weather or the temperature, there are ways you can handle and prevent ice dams.
- Remove snow from the roof using a "roof rake" and push broom.
- If water is already flowing into the building, a temporary solution is making channels through the lower edge of the dam. This will allow the dam to drain some of the water
- Prevent ice dams by making the ceiling air tight so no warm air can melt snow at the higher part of the roof.
- Increase the ceiling/roof insulation to reduce heat loss.
- Use a natural roof ventilation system.
- Make sure that once heat on the roof is reduced that you keep an eye on how much snow is being collected.
Ice dams can be prevented and damages from them can be fixed, but it is important to know the risks of handling them yourself. Don’t risk your home or your safety; hire a professional to deal with the situation for you.
Information retrieved from https://extension.umn.edu/protecting-home-rain-and-ice/dealing-and-preventing-ice-dams
If you end up with damages from an ice dam this winter, be sure to call SERVPRO of Peoria for the cleaning and restoration of your home and its contents at (309) 637-7300.
Continuing Education Classes
Insurance professionals (agents, brokers, producers, etc) have an obligation to keep their licenses and certifications up to date. To do this, they are required to take certain courses and earn credit hours towards those certifications. Courses in ethics, legal information, insurance trends, and so much more are provided through SERVPRO® through our Continuing Education (CE) Classes for insurance professionals to attend at no cost to them. Recently, SERVPRO® of Peoria held a couple of these classes for professionals in and around our community. The Ethics Bootcamp course and the Essentials of Legal Liability and Insured Status course were just two of the many informational courses that we have and will continue to have taught within out facility.
SERVPRO® sponsors these courses for a number of reasons, the most important being the fostering and strengthening of our relationships with the insurance professionals in the communities we service. When we make it clear that we care about the people who help insure the home and business owners in our area, it will make choosing SERVPRO® for the cleaning and restoration needs of those clients an even easier choice. We want to make sure that people dealing with water or fire damage and the professionals advising them know that we are making efforts to help them with the process even before the event happens.
If you or someone you know is an insurance professional and would like more information on how to sign up for any of our upcoming CE Classes, you can contact SERVPRO® of Peoria at 309-637-7300.
If you experience water or fire damage and need someone for the cleanup and restoration of your property, just remember that we are, “Here to help.®”
New Year Resolution: Set-Up Business ERP
The new year is coming. While everyone is making their resolutions to work out more or to spend less money, as a business owner, you can make a resolution that could actually help beyond the first month of the year.
SERVPRO offers businesses free Emergency Ready Profiles (ERPs). If you haven’t heard about these profiles yet, it's important to know that they contain:
- An emergency action checklist
- Utility contact & shut off
- Property overview
- Primary contacts
- Insurance information
Having all of this information in one place makes it possible to act more quickly in a crisis situation. The faster you respond to any damage situation, the more likely it is that the loss with be smaller. Not to mention that the cost to clean or restore what was lost will likely be lower as well.
50% of businesses that shut down after damages and loss will not end up opening their doors again. The businesses that do reopen usually do because they had some sort of preparedness plan. We at SERVPRO are offering to build your business a plan for no cost to you. We are in the business of making sure that people are ready for whatever might come their way.
That being said, make your 2019 resolution one that will count. Get prepared with a SERVPRO ERP.
If you do experience damages in this or the new year, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Peoria at (309)637-7300
One of the most stressful parts of dealing with any loss is realizing that the electronics that you spent so much money have been damaged as well. Technology is expensive, and we take all sorts of steps to protect them. Before you spend the money to replace your electronics, contact the closest SERVPRO. They might be able to restore the objects and save you the trouble of replacing them.
SERVPRO is a proud user of Fireline and their impressive contents restoration tools. Their approved solution to electronic friendly cleaning included modified water, special detergents, and heat and mechanical action. With this solution they have been able to save many types of electronics in both residential and commercial losses.
The types of items that can be cleaned in each type of loss include:
- Computer Systems
- Entertainment Centers
- Gaming Consoles
- Cable & Satellite Receivers
- Large Appliances
- Sewing Machines
- Vacuum Cleaners
- Fitness Equipment
- Digital Video Recorders
- Computers & Servers
- Cash Registers
- Fax Machines
- Automotive Analyzers
- Telephone Switchers
- Medical & Dental Equipment
- Security Equipment
- Machine Equipment
- Rail Equipment
- Small Appliances
SERVPRO understands that while electronics are not our lives, it’s very inconvenient when they stop working for us. That is why when a disaster occurs, SERVPRO will do the best they can to make it, “Like it never happened.” ®
If you do experience the loss of your electronics in the Peoria area call SERVPRO as soon as possible! (309) 637-7300
Does Your Peoria Business Have An ERP On File?
ERP's can be a business saver!
Where is the shut-off valve? Where are the breaker boxes and control panels? What do we do first?
These are just some of the questions that you could be left asking and NOT knowing the answers to if there is a sudden emergency at your commercial office building.
SERVPRO has a program called ERP. That stands for Emergency Ready Profile and here are 4 quick benefits some of the benefits to setting one up for your commercial space:
- It is FREE. This means there is no need to stress about cost, giving you a great value at no financial requirement.
- All of your emergency information in one easy to read document. It will only take a small fraction of time to complete and will not require you to leave your current projects.
- A follow-up guide to get you back on track after a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
To learn more about having SERVPRO setup the ERP for your commercial business call us now, (309) 637-7300.