What Is Defensible Space? | SERVPRO® of Macon
If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Macon is ready and able to repair any damage.
You may not think about wildfires often, but they’re becoming more common. They are a big cause of property damage, probably more so than most of us realize.
Wildfires can spread at alarming rates because of the combustible materials that we have in our world, and it’s amazing we can get them stopped at all.
Nothing is 100% preventable when it comes to Mother Nature, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. You can do that by simply being more careful, but you can also take other steps, such as adding defensible space.
How Do I Achieve Defensible Space?
“Defensible space” is a buffer you create between your home and the landscaping, grass or trees that surround it. You can carve out defensible space by removing anything that can add fuel to a wildfire, such as dead trees or leaves.
You can also use landscaping elements such as flame-resistant gravel to help lower your chances of being affected.
Defensible space is needed so that it can add a barrier of protection, which is designed to protect your home from wildfires by slowing them down or stopping them altogether. It also allows for firefighters to have their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it takes over your home.
Defensible space is now required of property owners in many places, and even when it’s not required, it’s still highly recommended.
The Number of Wildfires
When we think of wildfires, California often comes to mind, but in reality, wildfires occur everywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.
California did account for 10,000+ of those 59,000 wildfires; however, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was right under 1,000. In Georgia last year, we experienced 1,699 wildfires, burning 5,677 acres of land.
That’s a lot of damage! It’s important to take steps to protect your property and limit the spread of wildfires. Defensible space is one way to do that.
If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.
North American Winter Storm 2021
The year 2021 started out with a bang! Winter Storm Uri was an unforgettable and unimaginable event that impacted over 170 million Americans. Winter Storm Uri was an ice storm that came over from the Pacific Northwest and covered most of the southern United States and even dipped as far as Northern Mexico, from February 13, 2021 through February 17, 2021. However, the after affects of what was left behind lasted through the end of April 2021.
Temperatures plummeted to an all-time low of -20F in parts of the Arkansas and over 2 feet of snow in most places across the country. As a result of the powerful winter ice storm, power grids were unable to keep up and as a result, failed across the entire state of Texas. Over 4.2 million people across the state of Texas were left without power. People were not able to heat their homes nor were they able to heat water. Water was not available across most of the affected areas because power companies and water treatment plants had water line breaks. Busted pipes caused significant damage to homes and businesses across the country.
SERVPRO was contacted with over 41,000 leads and dispatched over 1250 crews from across the country to help assist residents of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. This event of this magnitude had not ever been seen in SERVPRO history! This was by far, the largest storm event in the history of SERVPRO! When SERVPRO arrived they quickly got to work! Crews went into homes and businesses and got any standing water up and placed our specialized drying equipment in to speed up the drying process. By getting there quickly, saved insurance companies thousands of dollars!
Ice Storm Preparedness
By being proactive, you can protect yourself, family, friends, neighbors and your employees.
- Stay weather-ready. Winter storm watches and warnings are given out in advance to give time to prepare.
- Protect your family, pets and animals. Provide a safe place so that everyone is protected from wind, snow, ice and rain.
- Learn how to protect pipes from freezing
- Make sure your home or business is will insulated that include, attics, crawlspaces and window seals.
- If you have a wood burning stove or fire place, keep an extra supply of firewood
- Keep supply of warming blankets, water resistant clothing, batteries, flashlights, nonperishables and weather radio for updates
- In case of an evacuation or emergency, keep vehicles full of fuel, tires inspected in good condition, and fluids are checked and in working order.
- Winter equipment such as shovels, blowers and kitty litter to make driveways or walk ways much easier to walk on.
Although this was by far, the largest storm event in SERVPRO’S history, our crews are ready and available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Should your home or business suffer from any storm event such as ice, snow, tornado, flood or hurricane, contact the pro’s at SERVPRO! We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
For more information on how to protect your loved ones, visit the American Red Cross, ready.gov and NOAA Weather Radio
The Costs of Severe Weather Are Steadily Rising | SERVPRO® of Macon
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Macon to start the restoration process.
So much can be said for the year of 2020, but in terms of the weather, we can safely say, it was a record-setting year. Of all the years in history for which we have data, 2020 was the most financially destructive.
For the year 2020, we saw 22 official weather disasters (which are defined as events that cause at least a billion dollars in damages), along many other damaging storms that weren’t counted in that total. There were so many named hurricanes and tropical storms that the NWS had to refer to the Greek alphabet just to name them all.
How Costly Can Severe Storms Be?
We all know and have seen how disastrous hurricanes can be for families and businesses, and sadly we are starting to see other types of severe weather have the same effect. In fact, the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Out of the official 22 weather disasters, 14 of these were severe thunderstorms, some of which brought along tornadoes.
Just how quickly can they turn? In eastern Nebraska in August 2020, what seemed to be a typical line of thunderstorms exploded into something called a derecho (think of something like a tornado, but with straight-line winds instead of swirling ones, combined with a heavy thunderstorm), which destroyed more than 10 million acres of corn fields, almost half the state’s corn crop. That’s over 11% of the entire country’s corn fields.
Here in Georgia, we see more than our fair share of thunderstorms, most of which bring really strong winds and hail! In 2020 alone, we saw 12 severe thunderstorms and the effects of one tropical storm.
Costs Are Steadily Rising
Statistics are showing that the steady climb of storms is becoming normal for us. 2020 was the 10th consecutive year with at least eight billion-dollar disasters.
During 2018 and 2019, there was a combined total of $136 billion in damages, and 2017 saw damage of over $300 billion, the highest total on record.
When you own a home or business, it’s important that you take whatever precautions are possible to minimize any damage to your property.
While precautions don’t totally prevent damage, knowing your risk can help! If you still manage to get a stroke of bad luck, it’s important to know you have a friend in the restoration industry whose goal it is to recover your valued items and restore your property "Like it never even happened."
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.
Taking Commercial Cleaning to a New Level | SERVPRO® of Macon
If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, reach out to the SERVPRO of Macon team.
Hope is here! Even a month or two ago, many areas of the country had major COVID-19 outbreaks, with high numbers of cases and deaths. But now, thanks to increased vaccination, the country is experiencing a major turnaround.
As we return to a level of normalcy, more and more people are returning to in-person shopping and dining. As they do, they bring with them new expectations. With a new understanding of how fragile health can be, they now expect that businesses they patronize will prioritize their health and well-being.
You can do that with a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program.
Experiencing the SERVPRO Difference
The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program takes care of sanitizing and cleaning your facility. Essentially, we are here to help you rest easy knowing you have gone to great measures to care for customers and employees alike.
Having and maintaining a clean business can make all the difference in the world, but double that feeling and add in our advanced biohazard techniques and technologies that go beyond the traditional cleaning and janitorial services.
Here’s how the program works:
1) Consult. Our first step is to sit down and discuss your business’ unique needs, including the size of your facility, the type of work you do there and the people who visit your space. We already have a leg up. Since our business is locally owned and operated, we are very aware of the intricacies and needs of the area.
2) Clean. Our specifically trained technicians show up armed with proprietary, hospital-grade cleaning solutions that you won’t find anywhere else. Using these types of cleaning products gives your building the clean of a lifetime, always adhering to CDC standards.
3) Certify. Once the job is finished, you get to proudly display the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your business window or door. This badge is a beacon to potential and current customers that you have gone to great lengths to ensure their well-being is your top priority. You’ll also have a digital emblem to place on your website and social media profiles.
If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.
Fire Safety Tips You Need as the Weather Warms Up | SERVPRO® of Macon
Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Macon @ 478-474-6700
Most of us look forward to the warmer months! It’s a time where new life starts, life slows down and you get to enjoy more family and friend time.
Warmer months include fun activities like cookouts, family reunions and so much more. The downside of that is the warmer months also bring an increase in fire activity.
In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of the year.
The question to ask is what can you do to help prevent becoming a statistic?
Below are three main areas that you can pay attention to.
The grill. Barbecue is a summer staple! With that said, the grill gets a bad rap as being the biggest risk—because, well, it is! With a combination of flame, heat, grease and gas, it gives way to danger easily. Before grilling, do a quick little inspection, making sure it’s in good working order with no leaks, placed at least three feet away from anything flammable and is cleaned in between uses. While cleaning in between uses seems to be common sense, improper cleaning causes around 20% of grill fires.
The fire pit. Fire pits create the perfect ambiance for gatherings of friends and family, fun and memories. Safety is typically the farthest thing from your mind, but it’s a good idea to give yourself a quick refresher. Never leave kids unattended around a fire pit. Keep a bucket of water close to the pit. Don’t add leaves or pine needles to the fire, and when you’re ready to put it out, do it slowly to keep from scattering embers.
The chimney and dryer vent. The dryer vent can get trapped or clogged pretty easily, so make sure you clean these out at least once a year. This not only prevents fires, but it helps maintain your dryer in good working condition. It’s also a good idea to do some fireplace maintenance during the spring or summer, when it’s not In use. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned out, and avoid a dangerous ash buildup.
Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 24⁄7 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.
Fireplace Safety and Maintenance
Knowing how to properly keep your fireplace clean & safe will save lives!
Here are some things to keep in mind when keeping and using a fireplace in your home:
- Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
- Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
- Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
- Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
- Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
- Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
- Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
- Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
- Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
- Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
- Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
- Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
- Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
- Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
- To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.
For more information contact us at 478-474-6700
Preventing Basement Water Damage by Knowing the Signs | SERVPRO® of Macon
SERVPRO of Macon is a full restoration company. Our team of experts are on call and ready to help you determine best course of action.
If you have a home with a basement or are considering buying one, you are likely quite familiar with just how beneficial they can be. Unfinished basements are fantastic storage areas and provide shelter from threats of severe weather, and if you are able to finish your basement, it adds quite a bit of living space onto the home.
While there are many beneficial elements to having a basement, it is important that homeowners are aware of their potential drawbacks, too. Water damage often has its way of working into basements and causing issues, and if left untreated, these can become serious problems.
Fortunately, by knowing the sign of basement water damage, homeowners can tackle the problem quickly and mitigate any issues that may arise.
What to Watch for in Your Basement That May Indicate Water Damage
Unpleasant, musky odors. The water that leaks into a basement is often clean water, but that does not mean that musky odors can’t still develop. Water leads to mold and mildew growth, and as the water evaporates and leaves the bacteria behind, a musty odor can develop. Oftentimes, this odor is the very first thing that homeowners notice when they have water damage on their hands.
Flaking paint on masonry or walls. We frequently see well-intentioned homeowners paint cinderblock walls or flooring in their basement as a tactic to prevent water damage, but unfortunately, this just serves to mask the issue temporarily. If there is an underlying issue causing water to seep in, paint will only temporarily provide a buffer. Eventually, it can begin to peel, crack and bubble due to the water damage working its way in underneath.
Foundational cracks. As a house shifts and settles over time, it is normal for some hairline cracks to develop throughout the basement. These cracks are tiny and of no concern, usually. However, if there are cracks running along the ceiling, the walls or the floor that are larger than a hairline, that may be an indicator that a serious water damage issue is lurking under the surface.
If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.
Commercial Services SERVPRO of Macon Offers
This Middle Georgia church suffered storm damage after a F-1 tornado breezed by it. Contact us should you experience storm damage to your business.
When fires or water damages happen, they happen when you least expect it and may occur at your office or business. Who do you call? Knowing the right company to help in an emergency is important to get your Macon business back up and running as quickly as possible. Trusting your local restoration company to handle your emergency will help put you, your employees and even your insurance company at ease. We work with hundreds of insurance companies and are a preferred vender for most!
SERVPRO of Macon are available 24/7 to help you restore your Middle Georgia commercial property and get you back to business! We have the education, experience, specialized equipment, and highly trained personnel to handle your commercial water, fire and even mold damage. We also have access to other resources of our national network of over 1,700 Franchises to handle large commercial projects and storm events.
Our Commercial Services Include:
- Commercial Restoration
- Commercial Water Restoration
- Commercial Fire Restoration
- Commercial Mold Remediation
- Commercial Storm and Major Events
- Disaster Recovery Team
- Commercial Cleaning
As an emergency service, we’re available 24/7!
Call Today @ 478-474-6700
Let’s get you set up for an ERP!
To schedule your appointment, contact us at 478-474-6700
Do you have an emergency ready plan in place? What about your employees? What if you were out of town on vacation or on a business trip 300 miles away and a disaster happens? What would you do? Who would you call? Are you ready for whatever happens?
Disasters and resulting business interruption can devastate companies. It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen! Of those that reopened, the majority had some type of contingency plan in place. No one plans on a disaster but you can plan on it. By preparing now, you demonstrate excellence in readiness planning by compiling a comprehensive information resource to use in case of a disaster.
A timely response in a crisis can:
- Minimize business interruption
- Save thousands of dollars in reduced secondary damage
Why the SERVPRO ERP?
At no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. The ERP was purposely designed to contain only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete, however, it will save you a lot of time if ever needed. This gives you a peace of mind that should you ever need disaster cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Macon is your local provider that will be there for you 24/7.
What does the ERP actually do?
The ERP identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigation the damage faster, which can save you both time and money. It provides facility details, such as shut-off valve locations, important areas, and priority contact information. It also identifies local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts. And establishes main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Once all the information is captured, SERVPRO of Macon will provide you will a digital copy of your facilities information via our Mobile APP/Web Portal.
SERVPRO of Macon is no stranger when disasters strike a home or business. Having the ERP App at your finger tips will save you hundreds of dollars and time! Are you ready?
Please visit SERVPRO.com/ready or contact our office to set up your appointment today!
Fire Loss in Middle Georgia
Fire originated from an attached patio that caught fire from a BBQ in Middle Georgia.
They say, “Hope for the best but expect the worst”. As a commercial business owner, you tell yourself this after a fire that started on the top floor of your business. The fire department is working tirelessly getting the fire out and a million things are running through your mind. The aftermath can be very overwhelming. But for the pro’s at SERVPRO of Macon, we are the #1 choice for fire and water cleanup and restoration! We’re here to help you get through this difficult time from the beginning to the end. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
No matter the size of the fire damage the lingering affects can quickly become absorbed into the walls, floors, ceilings, furniture and the entire structure of the building. Contacting SERVPRO of Macon is the best choice to do an inspection and check all areas of the affected and nonaffected structure that could be easily overlooked. We’ll begin where the fire originated from and work our way up, then all the way down to ensure all areas have been covered.
In most commercial fire loss cases, the first thing we would do begin to board up the area to keep people, animals and potential bad weather out. Our trained professionals will begin to assess the fire, smoke, soot and water damage throughout the facility. Once the assessment has been complete, we’ll begin to bring in specialized industrial equipment to remove all smoke odors and begin the drying process. By performing emergency services, this helps reduce your insurance claims expense.
Emergency Services Include:
- Boarding up the structure to help prevent any intrusions
- Drying the affected areas by using specialized industrial equipment
- Deodorizing all rooms and affected areas
- Checking HVAC systems as soot can creep its way through the vents
- Cleaning affected areas by removing smoke or soot residues
After a fire loss, you should contact your insurance company for specific instructions regarding a filing a claim. SERVPRO of Macon works with 100’s of insurance companies and are even a preferred vender for most. Every fire damage event can be a unique and differ from one to the other but the outcome is the same. Getting your business to its pre-fire loss condition is our #1 goal.
Contact us day or night at 478-474-6700!