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Grilling Tips for a Safe Holiday Weekend

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Community Grilling Tips for a Safe Holiday Weekend It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up.

Brought to us by our friends at Nationwide, here are some tips to help keep you safe when grilling this Summer.

It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, the association adds. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 61 percent of households own a gas grill, 41 percent own a charcoal grill and 10 percent own an electric grill.

Regardless of the type of grill you own, here are 9 BBQ safety tips that will keep you and your home safe for barbecuing season:

1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

2. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

6. Take care around the grill

Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid

If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

8. Wear the right clothing

Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

9. Be ready to put out the fire

Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

These easy-to-follow tips will help you and your family to enjoy a safe summer barbecuing season. For those grilling over an open fire, check out these fire pit do’s and don’ts to keep you and your guests safe.

If you do have a problem, SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is here to help.

SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties Honors Father's Day

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Community SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties Honors Father's Day Happy Father's Day to all our dads. Thanks for all you do!

Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd thought that it might be nice to honor fathers. Her father, William Smart, had raised his SIX children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child.

Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.” She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday. 

The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers.

The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June), and became an annual event there. Soon, other towns had their own celebrations.

Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event, nor was the idea promoted.

Finally, in 1972, when President Richard Nixon was president, Father’s Day was signed a law declaring that it be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.

Father’s Day Quotes

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
Clarence Budington Kelland, American writer (1881-1964), about his father

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
–Umberto Eco, Italian novelist (1932-2016)

“My father will leave me nothing to do.”
–A young Alexander the Great, future king of Macedonia (356-323 B.C.)

“A father is a treasure; a brother, a comfort; a friend is both.”
–Benjamin Franklin, American statesman (1706-1790)

“His heritage to his children wasn’t words or possessions, but an unspoken treasure, the treasure of his example as a man and a father.”
–Will Rogers, Jr. (1879–1935)

“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”
–Unknown

No matter how you choose to celebrate the fathers in your life make it a safe holiday. If you choose to use the grill remember proper safety techniques. A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered.

The SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties wants to wish all our dads a “Happy Father’s Day”, thanks for all you do for your families.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Community May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month May is Skin Cancer Awareness use this information to help spread awareness.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.

The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early — even melanoma. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.

This May, spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

How can Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take action to prevent or detect it, both at home and in the community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to adopt good habits together, like wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and limiting their time in the sun.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to teach kids about the harm of UV radiation and why it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Identify youth leaders in your community who can talk to their peers about taking steps to prevent skin cancer.
  • Partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host a skin cancer screening event.

How can I help spread the word?

We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

Tips and Tricks for Mold Remediation for Newberry and Laurens

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Tips and Tricks for Mold Remediation for Newberry and Laurens Got Mold? Use these tips to avoid further damage.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • DO stay out of affected areas.
  • DO turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • DO contact SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Do NOT touch or disturb the mold.
  • Do NOT blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Do NOT attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Do NOT spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

We are prepared to help you face this issue when it arises.  Our team is prepared to deal with microbial growth and will help you take care of this issue quickly.  If you have any questions about microbial growth or have any concerns about your home or business, let SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties put your mind at ease.  Call us today at 803-276-0290 for any mold or mildew issues you are dealing with in your home or business! 

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks Cleaning is in season and if you need help call the professionals at SERVPRO.

We have been on a #springcleaning drive around the office. Reader’s Digest Editors had a great article regarding how to give your home a top to bottom treatment. These simple tricks will make a big impact.

Ready to give your home a top-to-bottom buffing? Try focusing on furnishings, appliances, and carpeting. Once you’ve covered these major tasks, you’ll have your home spring-cleaned in no time.

Make doormats welcoming

Shake 'em, wash 'em, swat 'em with a broom. Give them the toughest cleaning they can take. They’re your front line against tracked-in dirt—so keep them clean enough to function at peak efficiency.

Clean carpets and upholstery

Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil, and germs will need a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear—and for that close inspection by your relaxing guests. Move furniture just slightly—not out of the room or against the wall, as the old rules dictated—and place the legs of each piece back on top of small wax paper squares after shampooing. The wax paper will protect your carpet and keep the furniture legs from getting wet as the carpet dries. Open the windows to speed the drying process, which can take a day or more. If you’re not the furniture-shifting and machine-renting type, use a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner like SERVPRO.

Finish your floors

To protect the floors in your kitchen from another year of wear and tear, wax or apply a sealer following label directions. The simplest method: Use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner. No-wax floors don’t need a polishing treatment, but an occasional makeover will keep them looking fresher and add a protective buffer that could help them last longer. Use a floor cleaner that cleans, shines, or both. If you have wood floors, move furniture and rugs aside, then apply a wood cleaner and either liquid or paste polish to clean and add a new wax coating.

Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards, and woodwork

The walls may not look as if they need a bath—dust and soot fall to the floor, right? Most of it does, but just enough clings to vertical surfaces to warrant a seasonal or pre-holiday bath. Use a sponge and hand dishwashing detergent, washing the surface in sections. A sponge mop makes it easier to reach higher spots. Use two buckets: one for dishwashing detergent solution and another for wringing your sponge. Dry the walls and woodwork with a clean cloth.

Vacuum with intelligence

The old rules mandated that you go through the labor-intensive task of dragging every stick of furniture off the carpet, just so the vacuum cleaner could cover every nook and cranny. Instead, simply move those big items a little to the left or to the right. Vacuum the area previously occupied by the furniture and then move it back into place.

Clean ceiling fixtures

Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment.

Clean your light fixtures

A few minutes with a stepladder, all-purpose cleaner, a sponge, and a polish cloth will give new light to your life. If your home has skylights or tall ceilings, consider investing in a stepladder and extended-reach dust-and-dirt-removal tools, all of which are available at your local hardware store and at home supply stores.

Check your coils

You should clean the refrigerator’s condenser coil, usually found behind the toe grille, with a long-handled bottle brush and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove dust and lint. Built-up dust can shut down the unit by causing it to overheat. To remove dust from coils attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet (newer models roll on casters) and vacuum thoroughly; finish by sweeping or vacuuming the floor area you’ve revealed. Expect to rediscover coins, bottle caps, and twist ties that you and the cat knocked over the past year.

Need help getting your home "spring" clean? How about SERVPRO clean? You can see what services we provide at our website, or call us 24/7 at 803-276-0290 or 864-833-4411. Our team will gladly work with you to get your home fresh and clean for spring!

Get Spring Clean with SERVPRO

3/11/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Get Spring Clean with SERVPRO Call your local SERVPRO to get your carpet and upholstery spring ready!

Life happens and with life comes dirt, gunk and spills. Even the highest-quality items can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional.

SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties has the expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service. Our residential cleaning services will ease the burden of the constant maintenance cleaning of your home, but will also create a safe, clean and comfortable living environment for you and your family.

You already recognize SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration industry but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."

Trying to get your home "spring" clean? How about SERVPRO clean? You can see what services we provide at our website, or call us 24/7 at 803-276-0290 or 864-833-4411. Our team will gladly work with you to get your home fresh and clean for spring!

Cleaning and Deodorizing Your Rental

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Cleaning and Deodorizing Your Rental One of the best ways to keep your rental spelling great and looking amazing, call the professionals at SERVPRO.

You've decided to jump on the AirBnB bandwagon or you just invested in a new rental property for the first time. You have the space - it’s perfect. You’ve updated the shades and lamps, added a small fridge, and gotten all new bedding. Now it’s time to start renting!


Or is it?


You’ve started this business to make money, of course. And money in this industry means traffic.  You are going to have groups of strangers in and out of your living spaces all hours of the day or night, from many different parts of the world, with all different types of lifestyles. Which means….odors. If you have a small kitchen in your unit, that presents another odor issue; some types of food when cooked can leave behind strong smells, and sometimes they can be extremely unpleasant.


The first thing a new guest will notice when they step into your AirBnB is odor. It may look really great, but if it smells bad, you might just lose a customer, and they might write a bad review...and then what?


So before you take in your first guest, lay out a plan for deodorizing your space.


Air fresheners are a good idea, such as plug-ins. And refreshing your carpet with baking soda or a dry carpet cleaner with a great scent will really help, too. Many of these products are made with ingredients that fight against mold and mold-damage, which is one of the things that creates bad odors.


If you plan on having guests during the times of the year when it can get wet, such as spring or winter, you will have to keep an eye out for water damage and damp in your unit, caused by leaks and foot traffic. If carpets stay damp, mold sets in, and your AirBnB can get pretty musty with that moldy smell! It won’t make a great impression on your guests, that’s for sure.


During warmer weather, leaving doors and windows open between guests can really help the odor issue. Sunshine is a great deodorizer for many unpleasant smells.


One of the best ways to keep your AirBnB smelling great and looking amazing is to hire SERVPRO professionals to come in and do the job. They can de-odorize your carpets and draperies, check for mold or water damage, and if mold has started to grow and spread they can stop it in its tracks.


The team at SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is waiting for your call! Contact them today. Their website is: http://www.SERVPROnewberrylaurenscounties.com/

This Valentine’s Day Show Your Carpet Some Love

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning This Valentine’s Day Show Your Carpet Some Love A great way to spoil your significant other and yourself is to invest in a professional carpet cleaning.

This Valentine’s Day show your carpet some love with these easy steps.

On Valentine’s Day, according to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $136.57, while total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion. A great way to spoil your significant other and yourself is to invest in a professional carpet cleaning.

  Use doormats. The humble doormat does wonders to reduce the amount of sand and dirt tracked into the home. Invest a few dollars in doormats to expand the life of your carpet and keep it clean longer.

Vacuum daily. Yes – daily. If you have difficulty getting to the daily task of vacuuming, then consider purchasing an inexpensive robotic vacuum like those made by iRobot. Daily vacuuming helps pick up dirt and debris before it sinks deep into the carpet. Less dirt expands the life of your carpet.

Clean spots and spills immediately. Not only will a quick clean reduce the rate of absorption but it also helps reduce the bacteria and other problems associated with a spill.

Avoid the hype. A lot of products on the market claim to remove stains, spills and odors but simply mask them or drive them deeper. The stains eventually re-appear looking worse than ever. Don’t spend your hard earned money on inferior products when for just a little more money you can have your carpets professionally cleaned with top quality products by SERVPRO professionals.

Use deep extraction. Deep carpet cleaning is essential to remove deep set dirt, dust, pollen, and other pollutants but don’t add to the problem by allowing the use of harmful chemicals. Instead, ask us about our environmentally friendly “green” carpet cleaning solutions.

Deodorize. Even when a carpet looks clean it can harbor harmful bacteria that give off unpleasant odors. Ask about enzymatic cleaning products capable of eliminating – not masking – odors.

Grooming your carpet. Over time carpets tends to become impacted due to constant traffic and dirt so it is a good idea to have the carpet raked and groomed after a deep cleaning. You might be surprised to find out how good your carpet looks after it has been professionally cleaned and groomed.

The team at SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is waiting for your call! Contact them today. Their website is:    http://www.SERVPROnewberrylaurenscounties.com/

Southern Homes Particularly Vulnerable During Cold Temperatures

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

For those of us south of the Mason Dixon line we count on traditionally mild winters. Houses are often built on slab foundations and frequently have water pipes running through the attic, an especially vulnerable location.

Southern homeowners should be aware that pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all subject to freezing and bursting. If these pipes don’t have insulation or heat to protect them, a strong overnight freeze can cause trouble.

Homeowners in the south need to be alert to the damages of freezing and bursting water pipes when the outdoor temperature threatens to drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Although 20 degrees Fahrenheit is well below the freezing temperature of water, two factors make this the critical outdoor temperature:

  1. The temperature of an unheated portion of a house is almost always at least a few degrees above the outdoor temperature.
    For example, an insulated attic may be at 37 degrees or 38 degrees Fahrenheit when the outdoor temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
  2. Water “supercools” several degrees below freezing before any ice begins to form.
    In research tests at the University of Illinois, water pipes placed in an unheated, insulated attic consistently started forming ice when the outdoor temperature dipped just below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The 20 degrees Fahrenheit threshold is primarily for homes in the south and other areas where freezing may occur only once or twice a season.

These suggestions for homeowners in southern states will help them prevent freezing pipe damage:

  • Pipes in attics and crawl spaces should be protected with insulation or heat. Pipe insulation is available in fiberglass or foam sleeves. Home centers and hardware stores have sleeves providing one-eighth-of-an-inch to five-eighths-of an inch of insulation; specialty dealers have products that provide up to two inches of insulation. (Check the Yellow Pages under “Insulation” or “Plumbing Supplies” for sources.)
  • Heating cables and tapes are effective in freeze protection. Select a heating cable with the Underwriters Laboratories label and a built-in thermostat that turns the heat on when needed (without a thermostat, the cable has to be plugged in each time and might be forgotten). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Doors on cabinets under kitchen and bathroom sinks should be left open during cold spells to allow the warmer air of the room to circulate around the pipes.
  • Exterior pipes should be drained or enclosed in two-inch fiberglass insulation sleeves.
  • Pipes leading to the exterior should be shut off and drained at the start of the winter. If these exterior faucets do not have a shut-off valve inside the house, have one installed by a plumber.
  • Hoses should be removed and stored inside during the winter.
  • Let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. Ice might still form in the pipes, but an open faucet allows water to escape before the pressure builds to where a pipe can burst. If the dripping stops, it may mean that ice is blocking the pipe; keep the faucet open, since the pipe still needs pressure relief.

Information contains in this blog was provided with the help of our friends at Farm Bureau Insurance.

 If you should need assistance your friends at SERVPRO are here to help.

Important Business Lessons from Winnie The Pooh

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Community Important Business Lessons from Winnie The Pooh Winnie the Pooh is a children’s classic tale about a honey – loving bear and his adventures with Christopher Robin.

National Winnie the Pooh Day is January 18.

Winnie the Pooh is a children’s classic tale about a honey – loving bear and his adventures with Christopher Robin. Generations of kids and adults have been inspired by the lovable bear and his friends. In honor of National Winnie the Pooh Day here are some quotes that can be used by every business owner and their employees.

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Listen to the customer, no really listen to the customer. Sometimes we feel like we have been doing this for so long and we know exactly what the customer will say. You might be right but by listening to what the customer has to say you can address their concern and you might learn additional information that could either help with other services or offer additional insight.

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Persistence will eventually be rewarded. Everyone has heard the old adage patience is a virtue. Unfortunately it is one that not many of us have. It’s easy to write someone off after the third or fourth time you’ve taken the time to quote a job only for the customer to not call you back. When the right time comes or after a few mishaps with less experienced companies the customer will be ready to invest in you. 

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

There is a reason why people like to say keep it simple. Customers and potential partners like to feel comfortable with what you are doing especially if they are paying a lot of money for the service. In the office our professionals often talk about the dehuge but in front of customers we always use the proper name of dehumidifier. If you use industry jargon it can be difficult for the customer to understand what you are doing and have the faith that it is being done correctly.

“You never can tell with bees.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Customers can be fickle and every single one of them is different. Stay in touch with your customers and keep a finger on the pulse. If you notice your customers are asking about a facebook page and you don’t have one, you should consider getting one today. We like to stay on top of recent trends in the industry and up on the latest advances on technology to stay relevant to our customer base. The quicker and less painful you can make the process for the customer the happier they will be.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Marketing is one of the very best tools you can have in your business. One of the benefits of being a franchise owner is that SERVPRO has a whole arsenal of marketing collateral for you to use. Not only do they provide national advertising but they provide the tools for you to market your business locally. If you haven’t been taking advantage of what is currently available we encourage you to do so for 2018.