Winter Weather Worries: Frozen Pipes
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like to keep you aware of the possibilities of freezing conditions in San Antonio and the possibility of frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your home, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take according to The American Red Cross:
*Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pools and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
*Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
*When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from the faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
*Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold-Weather Killer
San Antonio is not known for cold weather, but believe it or not, we get our fair share of it. SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like to keep you informed of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide in this cold season.
Carbon Monoxide is a gas that you can not see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide(CO) poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine powered equipment, such as portable generators.
Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in a well ventilated area away from doors, windows, vents, and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional CO safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov.
Source: SERVPRO® Restoration Newsline Volume 30, Issue 1
Fireworks! Don't let them ruin your holiday!
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch realizes that much fun is had when shooting fireworks. We ask that you pay attention to the following guidelines when you are participating in fireworks fun and don't ruin your holiday.
* Select an area free of dry grasses and other dead vegetation.
* Do not shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
* Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
* Do not use fireworks when the weather forecast calls for winds above 10 mph.
* Have an adult present and never give fireworks to children.
* Only use fireworks outdoors.
* It is against state law to shoot fireworks from a motor vehicle.
* Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
* Make sure that you only use fireworks purchased from a reliable licensed seller.
* Light only one firework at a time.
* Never relight a "dud" firework. If a firework does not work properly, wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water and dispose of it properly.
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch wishes you a Merry and safe Christmas.
Source: Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office
Power strip Fire Hazard!
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like to inform everyone of the dangers of using power strips. Power strips have become a necessity in the world we live in. Everything runs on electricity and we just plug it in and let it go never realizing how many amps or load that the power strip can handle
At this time of the year with the temperatures dropping, some may want to use their small space heaters. If so, DO NOT plug them into a power strip. These devices are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat causing a fire hazard.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.
Source: Fire Marshal, Richland Carolina Fire Department
Christmas Fireplace Safety
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch says, never toss anything but logs into your fireplace.
Don't try to burn evergreens or wreaths in a fireplace or wood stove. Greenery and tree needles burn much faster than logs, creating sparks, which can fly into the room or onto the roof. They can also cause a build-up of creosote, a highly flammable compound, in the chimney. Don't burn wrapping paper because it can contain metallic materials that could be hazardous to breathe in.
Make sure the fire is out and the embers have cooled before you leave the house or go to bed. Put ashes in a metal bin that is at least 25 feet away from the house.
Have your chimney inspected at least once a year.
Source: National Safety Council
Candle Related House Fires
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like everyone to be aware of the dangers of candles in the house.\
Candles are pretty, but they are still open flames. December is the peak time of year for candle related house fires, says the National Fire Protection Association. Sure, they set a glowy holiday mood, but lit flames and Christmas decorations don't exactly mix. In one 5 year study, theNFPAfound that 52% of decoration-related fires were started by candles.
Keep lit candles at least 12 inches away from surrounding objects. Trim wicks to a quarter of an inch before you light them and only let them burn for one hour for every inch of diameter, so the wax can melt evenly. So, if you have a three inch candle, it shouldn't burn for more than three hours.
Never leave lit candles in a room that's unattended. "The bathroom is particularly worrisome because people go in and out, and hand towels get moved around a lot.
Tips To Avoid Mold While You're On Vacation
Mold prevention is a year-round affair, and there are plenty of useful steps you can take to keep the black stuff away from your home. You practice good housekeeping and pay attention to critical maintenance to your plumbing, HVAC systems and other structures to avoid water damage. Mold growth doesn’t take a vacation, however, just because you do. With that in mind, you should adopt some useful procedures to sidestep this nasty, destructive fungus while you’re away from your home in San Antonio, Texas for your much-needed getaway.
Turn Your Water Off
Unexpected pipe leaks while you’re gone can prove to be disastrous. Mold prevention relies on you sidestepping the possibility of water damage, so cutting off your home’s water supply ensures that your plumbing isn’t to blame. The main water valve will either be in your basement, inside a closet in the front of your home, along an outside wall or behind a removable panel indoors.
Rethink Your HVAC Settings
The conventional wisdom is to shut off your AC if you’re away during the summer, but that may not be your best option to inhibit mold growth. Since warmth can encourage it to flourish, keep in mind that you can raise your temperature to cut back on energy usage, but don’t turn off your AC completely. For the best mold prevention, set your AC to around 78 degrees.
Keep an Eye on Your Humidity
Since excess moisture is a prime ingredient for mold propagation, you must keep your home’s humidity levels in check. Purchase a humidity monitor, and ensure that your readings stay between 35 and 55 percent. Moreover, start your monitoring well before you leave for your getaway. If levels rise to 60 percent or higher, it’s time to find the source of the extra moisture.
Following these steps should give you some peace of mind while you’re away, but don’t forget to keep your water damage restoration experts in San Antonio, Texas on speed dial. In addition to providing more mold prevention tips, they can perform cleanup and restoration should the unthinkable happen during your trip.
Visit http://www.SERVPROalamoranch.com for more information on mold.
Christmas Lights! Don't Overdo It.
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like to remind you to be safe during the Holiday season.
As much as you may want to cover every inch of your house with twinkles, you may have to scale back depending on your outlets. Check the lights' packaging for the power output and never plug in more than what a power strip or outlet says it can handle. Also, never connect more than three strings of lights in one series.
Always look for the UL symbol when buying electrical items and pay attention to its color: Green means it's approved for indoor use, and red means it can be used indoors and outdoors. If you're using old lights, check the wires to make sure there are no signs of fraying or cracking. Even if you've followed all of these precautions, you should still unplug all indoor lights when you leave the house. Yes, even the ones on your tree in the bay window.
Source: Good Housekeeping Institute
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch offers financing!
SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch has partnered with a company called GreenSky to offer several financing options to help our clients pay for deductibles and other needs that they may have.
GreenSky loans are unsecured loans with fixed interest rates. Unlike a revolving credit card, your monthly payment amount is always the same.
GreenSky can be used for all services provided by SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch in it's entirety or partial amounts. There is no prepayment penalty, so you, the customer are in control of when you will pay the loan off. Payments can be made online or by phone, or schedule automatic payments to be drafted from your bank account. The choice is yours.
Call us today at 210-670-9591 for more information or to submit an application
Christmas Decorating Safety Tips!
The staff at SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch all agree that the holiday season is a magical time, but Christmas traditions, decor, and celebrations can lead to accidents or worse if you are not careful. Here's how to keep your family safe and healthy through to the New Year.
According to theNational Fire Protection Association(NFPA), tree fires aren't super common, but when they do happen, they are more likely to be serious.
Keep your tree at least three feet away from all heat sources ( like fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents). If you have a real tree, remember to keep it watered; the drier the tree, the more easily it could ignite. Your stand should have a water reservoir that can hold one quart of water per inch of the stem's diameter according to theGood Housekeeping Institute's technical and engineering director.
Make sure to choose a sturdy stand so that the tree will not tip over.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, or if we can be of any help, please contact SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch at 210-670-9591