Recent Posts

Home maintenance: Smoke alarms and Carbon monoxide Detectors

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Spring home maintenance should include checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check out these valuable tips for keeping your home safe.

  • Each spring the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be changed. When it is time to spring forward, it is time to change those batteries.
  • Test GFCI outlets to make sure they are in good working order. These outlets are found in the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen. They will stop the flow of electricity to the outlet if it gets wet. This is very important.
  • Attic fans should also be checked in the spring. Make sure the fan is running properly, it will help cool a house in the summer and cut down on the air conditioning bill.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.

Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.

If a hurricane is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.

You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.

If you need to evacuate:

  • Grab your emergency supply kit and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).
  • Unplug your appliances. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
  • Follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked or flooded. Never drive through flooded areas—cars and other vehicles can be swept away or may stall in just 6 inches of moving water.
  • Contact your local emergency management office and ask if they offer accommodations for owners and their pets. Learn more about evacuating with your pet.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

What to do in a fire

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Check doors and doorknobs for heat

If you must go through a door to get to an exit, check if the door is hot. If the door (or doorknob) is warm to the touch, there could be fire raging on the other side, so do not go through it. If you open a door and see fire or smoke, shut the door and go to a second exit.

Run to safety

Once you make your way outside, run away from the fire to safety. Part of the house or apartment, like the roof or siding, may catch fire and fall around the perimeter of the building, so run across the street or down the block to safety.

Call for help

Once you have made it away from the fire, call 911If you don’t have a cellphone, go to a neighbor’s house and ask to borrow a phone. Tell the operator that there’s been a fire at your address, and then keep the line open to see if they need any other information.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Tips for preventing water damage at your business

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Inspect gutters and drainage

Fallen leaves and other debris in gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage to the exterior and interior walls of a building. Regularly inspect your business’s gutters, downspouts, and drainage system, and remove any debris or buildup. Have gutters professionally cleaned on a regular basis to ensure water is draining properly and away from the building.

Clear your roof

Snow and ice accumulation on your business’s roof can result in weakened roofing materials and create “ice dams,” which prevent melted ice and snow from properly draining. Regularly remove snow and ice from your business’s roof to prevent structural damage. Know your roof’s load-bearing capacity, and periodically check to ensure that snow and ice aren’t accumulating beyond its weight limits.

Locate your shut-off valve

If a pipe breaks, you’ll need to act quickly. That means you should know the location of the main shut-off valve for your building’s water supply. Shutting off the main valve will temporarily cut the flow of water to the building, preventing flooding until you are able to fix the problem.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Preparing for a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”

Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:

  • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possiblein a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
  • A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.

For more information about hurricane watches and warnings, Check out the National Weather Service's Hurricane Center. If you hear that there is a hurricane watch or warning in your area, you can take steps to get ready.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Filing A Claim

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

The sad truth of the matter is that if your home has been hit by lightning, you’ll need to file a claim.

The good news is that this is exactly the reason why you have insurance, and your agent, company and adjuster will work together to help get you back to where you were before this happened.

Filing a claim is easy, and you can do it as soon as you realize you are safe. Or you can wait until the next day when you’re in a better state of mind.

  • Report the claim to your insurance carrier. While your agent would like to know that you are safe, the first order of business is to let your insurance company know that there has been lightning damage. They are the ones with the claims department and will be in charge of getting you the funds you need to repair or rebuild.
  • Tell your agent. You can call, email, text, use the app – whatever method you prefer to let them know. Some agents even have an online form for reporting claims. This would be a good time to discuss the damage that you’ve had, any dangers that might still be present, and what advice they have for keeping you safe.
  • Communicate with your adjuster. Once your adjuster has called you back, make sure to get them the information that they need so you can get the claim handled correctly. Give them all of the pictures you took of the damage so they can see what happened and maybe note any items that were damaged that you forgot about.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you will be well on your way to getting your homemade whole again.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Ways to Remove the Smoke Odor

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke damage restoration will not be complete if the permeating smoke odor is not eliminated. The following are some tips on how to eliminate this irritating odor.

 * Use a disinfectant or cleaner with an orange smell. Wipe down all surfaces from walls, countertops, sinks, cabinets, drawers, windows, and even switch plate covers. Invisible odor can attach to these surfaces.

 * An alternative cleaner is to use deodorizers used in carpets and heavy fabrics.

 * While cleaning surfaces, it would be good to put small bowls of vinegar in various locations to help absorb the smell.

 Apply the water-vinegar mixture on persistent surfaces that give off distinct smoke smells even after wiping with cleaners.

 * In severe cases where the smoke smell is very difficult to eliminate, you may need to bring in an inexpensive ozone generator.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

What to Do During a Hurricane?

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

First, evacuate if you are directed to do so or if you feel it might be unsafe to remain in your home. If you remain in your home, follow these tips to help you and your family stay safe during the storm:

  • Use a portable radio to listen to important storm updates, information and instructions.
  • Stay inside and keep away from all windows, skylights and glass doors. Go to a safe area, such as an interior room, closet or downstairs bathroom.
  • Never go outside the protection of your home or shelter before there is confirmation that the storm has passed the area. The eye of the storm could create a temporary and deceptive lull, with high winds still approaching.
  • If power is lost, keep the refrigerator closed to keep cold air trapped and delay spoilage of perishable food.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. Generators should be properly grounded to prevent electrical shock and should never be operated indoors, in garages, basements or outdoors near any windows, doors or vents. Because generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), make sure you have a working CO detector in your home

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Ways to Clean Smoke Damage

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

* Using a large sponge, proceed with cleaning affected areas using the TSP solution. Do this in sections and repeat areas as necessary.

 * Avoid getting too much water on walls. You might end up with water damage to your drywall.

 Avoid getting water run down between baseboard and the inner wall, as this could be a source of mold infestation.

 * When using TSP on painted walls, check first for dulling. Use an alternative cleaner if this occurs.

 Some painted surfaces may not be completely cleaned of smoke and soot residues. These surfaces need to be refinished by applying primer and paint.

 * If you find TSP too harsh, there are available cleaners, which you can use. Other alternative homemade cleaners, which can be used to clean smoke residues, include a water-vinegar mixture.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

How to clean up after a grease fire

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

  • A grease fire creates a quick, very intense flash of heat. If the fire is put out quickly, there is a good chance much of the kitchen can be repaired. The most important thing is to clean up the soot and grease as quickly as possible so other parts of the house won't be contaminated, and to ensure full removal of the odor.
  • Even though the fire occurred in the kitchen, the entire house must be cleaned. Smoke and soot will travel through air ducts and into anything fibrous including furniture, bedding and clothes. Replace the air filter in the furnace and scrub down all parts of the house as quickly as possible. Use dry sponges for cleaning walls and wood paneling. Use vertical motions to clean the soot off of the surface.
  • In the kitchen, the inside and outside of each cabinet must be wiped down. Clean off as much soot as possible, then sand, reseal and repaint the front of the cabinets to ensure the odor is removed. The cabinets may have to be removed to access the back. Soot and smoke will find their way behind the cabinets and drawers.
  • As far as food goes, anything that is opened or made of cardboard must be discarded. The toxins from the fire will contaminate these. The only salvageable items are those that are canned.

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.