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Winter Checklist

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Brrrrr… freezing temperatures are starting to spread throughout parts of Southeast Nebraska. Preparing your home or business for winter doesn't have to be hard, a little maintenance now can prevent a big headache later. Learn how you can prepare today for the cold weather that will be here before you know it.

One of the most important things you need to do is prevent freezing pipes! Did you know a burst pipe due to freezing weather can cost you more than $5,000 in water damage? Don’t let a burst pipe soak your wallet, take the time now to prepare to prevent costly damage this winter.

  • Insulate all accessible pipes using pipe insulation.
  • Prior to the winter months, ensure that all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls are sealed tightly with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.
  • Disconnect all hoses from hose bibs and install insulating covers over the hose bibs.
  • Keep all exterior entry, exit and garage doors to unheated spaces closed as much as possible during the winter months.
  • If the temperature drops lower than usual and any pipes are located adjacent to exterior walls or within base cabinets or in closets, leave the cabinet/closet doors open or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around the pipes.
  • When extreme cold weather is predicted, let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.
  • Be sure to drain your water supply system before leaving the home unoccupied.

Finish off the winter maintenance checklist by completing the following tasks:

  • Clean gutters to allow water to drain freely.
  • Seal windows with caulking or weather stripping.
  • Insulate pipes in bathrooms and laundry rooms with exterior walls.
  • Seal doors with weather stripping.
  • Insulate pipes in cabinets on exterior walls.
  • Add insulation in your attic.
  • Cut back branches from hanging over roof and gutters.
  • If you are leaving your home, do not turn the thermostat below 55 degrees???????. 

 Winter is coming whether we like it or not Southeast Nebraska!  We might as well be prepared.

Emergency Water Damage Service 24/7

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lincoln provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in several areas of Southeast Nebraska.

SERVPRO of Lincoln s available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to help. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call Today 402-466-4004

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Lincoln has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Lincoln

SERVPRO of Lincoln 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. 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.

Faster To Your Lincoln NE Water Damage Event

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lincoln provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Lincoln NE.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Lincoln arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 402-466-4004

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Things You Need To Know About Smoke Damage

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

http://www.SERVPROlincolneast.com/fire-smoke-damage-restorationWhen the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction.  While fire may be the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration not to mention powerful lingering odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. This entire process is very detailed. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration.                                                                 

Things You need to Know About Smoke Damage  

1. Smoke Migrates to Cooler Areas: The behavior of smoke during a fire is largely dependent on temperature. Smoke is typically hot and migrates to cooler regions of your home. Unfortunately, the cooler regions of your home are often hard to reach places, like cabinets and the underside of furniture. This makes the cleaning process much more difficult and is one of the major consequence of smoke damage. 

2. Smoke Uses Plumbing to Migrate Through Your House: Smoke naturally travels through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to travel from floor to floor. This is the best way for smoke to travel throughout homes and buildings and cause further damage. Vents and plumbing systems are cleaned and often replaced if smoke damage is great enough. 

3. Wet, Smoldering Fires Produce the Most Damaging Smoke: The type of fire and the type of smoke produced by the fire make a huge difference when it comes to cleaning smoke damage. Wet, smoldering fires produce highly volatile and noxious smoke, the effects of which can persist for years if not cleaned properly.  

4. High Temperature Fires Produce Easier to Clean Smoke Damage: Contrary to what you might believe, high temperature fires tend to be less damaging than smoldering fires. That is because they burn very quickly and produce a different type of smoke that contains less damaging soot. As a result, even though the high temperature fire may seem like it would produce more damage, you may just get lucky. 

5. A Very Damaging Component of Smoke is Invisible: While the billowing clouds of dark smoke may seem the likely culprit, it’s the invisible protein residues of smoke that can also cause server damage. These residues can break down metal, wood, paint, and even porcelain, and their highly volatile chemical make-up allows them to penetrate deep into almost any substance while remaining totally invisible. Beware of this invisible enemy!

6. Smoke Damage Can destroy Metal and Wood Items: You might think that hearty substance like wood and metal would not be affected by smoke as much as upholstery and textiles. You’d be wrong. The noxious protein residues in smoke can break down brass, copper, wood, and even stone, causing them to decay at an ultra rapid rate. Be sure to let a professional know about the exposure of wood and metal items to smoke and the duration of the exposure. 

7. The Number 1 Rule to Prevent Lasting Smoke Damage: Get Air Moving: If you want to get a head start on cleaning up your home after smoke damage, follow the cardinal rule. Get air moving.  Use fans and open windows to keep air circulating throughout your home. This will prevent any remaining smoke residues from penetrating even deeper into your house and property.

What Are Molds and Where Do They Grow?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

What are molds and where do they grow?

Molds, like most fungi, break down plant and animal matter in the environment. They can grow almost anywhere there is moisture and organic material such as in soil, on foods and plants, and in people's homes. To reproduce, molds release spores, which can spread through air, water, or on animals.

What should I do to prevent mold growth in my Lincoln Nebraska home?

The key to preventing mold growth is to identify and control moisture and water problems. Mold spores are everywhere, including your home, and they can grow on any surface that has sufficient moisture.

Common sources of moisture are:

  • Roof leaks
  • Indoor plumbing leaks
  • Outdoor drainage problems
  • Damp basements and crawl spaces
  • Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
  • Condensation on cool surfaces
  • Humidifiers
  • Wet clothes drying inside the home
  • A clothes dryer venting indoors
  • Poor or improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances
  • Flooding

How do I know if I have a mold problem?

You can usually see or smell a mold problem. Mold can appear as slightly fuzzy, discolored, or slimy patches that increase in size as they grow. Most molds produce musty odors that are the first indication of a problem. Mold can grow anywhere there is adequate moisture or a water problem. The best way to find mold is to look for signs of mold growth, water staining, warping, or to follow your nose to the source of the odor. It may be necessary to look behind and underneath surfaces, such as carpets, wallpaper, cabinets, and walls. There are some areas of the home that are always susceptible to mold growth and should be part of routine cleaning to control mold growth. These are:

  • Bathrooms especially shower stalls, bathroom tiles, and shower curtains
  • Window moldings
  • The seal on the refrigerator door
  • Surfaces on and around air conditioners

How do I get rid of mold in my home?

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL LABEL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ANY CLEANING PRODUCTS

  1. The first step to mold cleanup is to control the moisture problem. The source of the water or dampness must be identified and corrected.
  2. Porous materials with extensive mold growth should be discarded (e.g., drywall, carpeting, paper, and ceiling tiles).
  3. All wet materials that can't be cleaned and dried thoroughly, should be discarded.
  4. Hard surfaces that are not decayed (rotten) can be cleaned. Small areas can be cleaned with detergent and water. An experienced remediation company should do the work if it is a large (greater than 10 square feet) mold problem or if you are highly sensitive to mold. Rubber gloves and an N95 dust mask are recommended for jobs other than routine cleaning.
  5. In areas where it is impractical to eliminate the moisture source, detergemt can be used to keep mold growth under control. In areas that can be kept dry, cleaning should not be necessary, as mold cannot grow in the absence of moisture. When using any cleaner, ensure that enough fresh air is available to prevent eye, nose, or throat irritation.
  6. Inspect the area for signs of moisture and new mold growth. These may indicate the need for further repairs or material removal. High moisture areas like bathrooms need extra attention to prevent excessive moisture and water problems from causing mold growth.

Will Extension Cords Cause Damage or Injury At Your Business?

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year, about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms. About half of the injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions or sprains from people tripping over extension cords. CPSC also estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage and/or misuse of extension cords. The Do's and Don'ts of using an extension cords. Do's 

  •          Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis.
  •          Use extension cords that are the correct size or rating for the equipment in use. The diameter of the extension cord should be the same or greater than the cord of the equipment in use.
  •                   Keep electrical cords away from areas where they may be pinched and areas where they may pose a tripping or fire hazard (e.g., doorways, walkways, under carpet, etc.).
  •          Always inspect the cord prior to use to ensure the insulation is not cut or damaged, exposed conducting wires can put you at risk for fire, burns and electrical shock.   Discard damaged cords, cords that become hot, or cords with exposed wiring.

 Don'ts 

  •          Do not use extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
  •          Never unplug an extension cord by pulling on the cord; pull on the plug. 
  •          Do not remove the prongs of an electrical plug. If plug prongs are missing, loose, or bent, replace the entire plug.
  •          Do not use an adapter or extension cord to defeat a standard grounding device. (e.g., only place three-prong plugs in three-prong outlets; do not alter them to fit in a two-prong outlet.)         
  •          Do not run cords above ceiling tiles or through walls.

      Extended exposure to outdoor conditions can cause cords to deteriorate, so whether they're rated for indoors or outdoors, store all extension cords inside when they’re not in use. Regardless of whether or not it's being used, as long as a power extension cord is plugged into an outlet, it's conducting electricity. To avoid potential safety hazards, always remember to unplug extension cords when they're not in use!  

Protect Your Business From Frozen Pipes!

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Beware the unexpected cold snap or deep freeze! Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture most any pipe filled with water which provides no place for the ice to expand.  When the pipe bursts, it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located: 

  • In an outside wall
  • Under a sink on an outside wall
  • In an unheated crawlspace

 Frozen But Not Burst? Then It's Time to Thaw! Pipe Thawing PreparationWhen pipes are frozen turning on the faucet may yield no water, or it will flow out in a trickle. As soon as you realize a pipe is frozen, you need to take immediate action. 

  • Shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the water main.
  • Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe even if you do not yet know where  it is frozen.
  • Identify the frozen water supply pipe and find the location of the blockage
  • Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
  • Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical, the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.
  • When you find that the frozen (but yet un-burst) pipe serving the faucet is behind a wall or ceiling, you've got a challenge on your hands. You have three choices:

    1.  Turn up the heat in the building and wait.    2.  Tear out the wall or ceiling section to get at the frozen pipe.    3.  Use an infrared lamp to heat the wall section in front of the pipe.                                          Techniques for Thawing an Exposed Frozen Pipe

  • Hair Dryer
  • Heat Lamp
  • Small Portable Heater
  • Electric Pipe Heat Tape

 Preventing Frozen Pipes

  • Leave the faucet drip slightly as a trickle. The dripping water will keep the water in the   pipe from freezing.
  • Open cabinet and let room air circulate.
  • Open cabinet and place a small portable heater near or in it to heat the pipes
  • Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
  • Insulate the problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces.
  • Temper the currently unheated crawlspace by placing a heater in the crawlspace. You just need to elevate the crawlspace temperature to modestly above freezing, about 40°F.

Everything You Need To Know About MOLD!

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Due to all the moisture that we have had in Southeast Nebraska, mold could be growing in your home!

What are molds and where do they grow?

Molds, like most fungi, break down plant and animal matter in the environment. They can grow almost anywhere there is moisture and organic material such as in soil, on foods and plants, and in people's homes. To reproduce, molds release spores, which can spread through air, water, or on animals.

What should I do to prevent mold growth in my home?

The key to preventing mold growth is to identify and control moisture and water problems. Mold spores are everywhere, including your home, and they can grow on any surface that has sufficient moisture.

Common sources of moisture are:

  • Roof leaks
  • Indoor plumbing leaks
  • Outdoor drainage problems
  • Damp basements and crawl spaces
  • Steam from the bathroom or kitchen
  • Condensation on cool surfaces
  • Humidifiers
  • Wet clothes drying inside the home
  • A clothes dryer venting indoors
  • Poor or improper ventilation of heating and cooking appliances
  • Flooding

How do I know if I have a mold problem?

You can usually see or smell a mold problem. Mold can appear as slightly fuzzy, discolored, or slimy patches that increase in size as they grow. Most molds produce musty odors that are the first indication of a problem. Mold can grow anywhere there is adequate moisture or a water problem. The best way to find mold is to look for signs of mold growth, water staining, warping, or to follow your nose to the source of the odor. It may be necessary to look behind and underneath surfaces, such as carpets, wallpaper, cabinets, and walls. There are some areas of the home that are always susceptible to mold growth and should be part of routine cleaning to control mold growth. These are:

  • Bathrooms especially shower stalls, bathroom tiles, and shower curtains
  • Window moldings
  • The seal on the refrigerator door
  • Surfaces on and around air conditioners

How do I get rid of mold in my home?

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL LABEL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ANY CLEANING PRODUCTS

  1. The first step to mold cleanup is to control the moisture problem. The source of the water or dampness must be identified and corrected.
  2. Porous materials with extensive mold growth should be discarded (e.g., drywall, carpeting, paper, and ceiling tiles).
  3. All wet materials that can't be cleaned and dried thoroughly, should be discarded.
  4. Hard surfaces that are not decayed (rotten) can be cleaned. Small areas can be cleaned with detergent and water. An experienced remediation company should do the work if it is a large (greater than 10 square feet) mold problem or if you are highly sensitive to mold. Rubber gloves and an N95 dust mask are recommended for jobs other than routine cleaning.
  5. In areas where it is impractical to eliminate the moisture source, detergemt can be used to keep mold growth under control. In areas that can be kept dry, cleaning should not be necessary, as mold cannot grow in the absence of moisture. When using any cleaner, ensure that enough fresh air is available to prevent eye, nose, or throat irritation.
  6. Inspect the area for signs of moisture and new mold growth. These may indicate the need for further repairs or material removal. High moisture areas like bathrooms need extra attention to prevent excessive moisture and water problems from causing mold growth.

More information is available at epa.gov/mold

Protect Your HVAC Unit From Mold Growth

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Across Seward, NE, we have experienced consistently high heat and humidity levels.  This has wreaked havoc on the propensity of air handlers to keep up with customers’ demands. While a little dampness on a unit or a duct may sound harmless, the resulting effects on your insulation, drywall, and other building materials may be detrimental. Often times these issues go unnoticed and when they are discovered, mold growth is usually an issue. Please follow a few of these easy rules to make sure that you don’t end up with a larger problem.

  •         Inspect HVAC units often. We aren’t just talking about taking a peak up at your vents every once in a while, take a ladder and go inspect your return and handler frequently. Note any discoloration, corrosion or standing water. Look for water staining around the area that may have been caused by condensation or faulty components.  Also make sure the condensation drain line is open and flowing into a drain that is working.
  •           Get Your AC Unit Serviced. Once a year, your unit should be serviced by an HVAC professional. They will be able to help identify any potential issues that you may encounter and curb water damage in your home or business.
  •           Get a moisture inspection using a hygrometer. Testing your indoor air quality can often times be as easy as knowing the indoor relative humidity and temperature. Any sharp fluctuations in relative humidity are a large indication that there may be a problem with your system.   Regardless of where you set your thermostat, if you have relative humidity levels higher than 60% you are putting your home or business at risk of secondary damage including mold or condensation.
  •           Watch windows and vents. Mildew and condensation should not build up on these areas if your HVAC unit is properly sized for the area in which it is trying to condition. If you are seeing discoloration around your vents or noticing mold buildup on window caulking you may need to call a mold remediation specialist.
  •         Don’t ignore your senses. If you walk into your home and smell an earthy or musky odor you may have a mold issue. If you walk into your business and your skin instantly feels sticky and wet, your AC system may not be operating properly. If you see staining or discoloration that wasn’t seen before, don’t turn a blind eye. Using common sense and listening to your instincts are often the best ways to prevent further damage.

Call SERVPRO of Lincoln If You Have Storm Damage!

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lincoln, NE specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lincoln, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams (http://www.SERVPROlincolneast.com/disaster-recovery) that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at 402-466-4004