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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- 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.
- 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
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.
Tips to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
Freezing temps turns lead to frozen pipes. Use these tips to help get the water flowing and avoid burst pipes.
Thawing a frozen water pipe quickly is important. However, it is just as important to thaw the frozen pipe correctly. Here are seven tips to follow to help you get the water flowing and to help you avoid a burst pipe and potentially damaging flood at your property.
Tip 1: Locate the Frozen Pipe
In order to thaw a frozen pipe, you must first determine which pipe or pipes are frozen. Turn on the faucets in your property.
If no water comes out, or only a slight trickle escapes, then a pipe leading to the faucet is likely frozen. If one pipe is frozen, there is a chance others have frozen also.
If the pipes are exposed, such as pipes under sinks, in basements or along the exterior of the house, you may be able to see the frozen portion of the pipe. Frozen pipes often have frost on them or may have a slight bulge. If the blockage is located in part of the pipe that you have access to, you will have more options for easily thawing the pipe than if the frozen portion is enclosed behind a wall.
Tip 2: Open the Faucet
Before you begin attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, you will want to open the faucet that the pipe feeds water into. Make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. This will help to relieve pressure in the system and will allow the water to escape once you begin to thaw the pipe.
Tip 3: Where to Begin the Thawing Process
You should always begin the thawing process near the faucet then work your way down to the blockage.
This will help ensure that the melting ice and steam is able to escape through the open faucet. If you start the thawing process closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage, creating more pressure in the pipe and increasing the chances the pipe will burst.
Tip 4: Thawing Exposed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area you can easily access, you have several options for attempting to thaw the pipe.
You should continue to apply the heat until the water escaping from the faucet returns to full strength. Here are four options for thawing an exposed pipe.
- Hair Dryer- One of the easiest ways to thaw a pipe is by using a hair dryer. Simply turn the dryer on and point the heat at the pipe, beginning with the portion closest to the faucet. As with any electrical product, take the proper precautions and avoid coming into contact with water when operating the device.
- Heat Lamp or Portable Space Heater- Another method to thaw the pipe is to use a heat lamp or portable space heater. Position the device so that the heat is able to reach the frozen pipe. This indirect heat can help to quickly thaw a pipe. Again, make sure to comply with the safety measures and precautions on the device you are using and keep the device away from water..
- Hot Towels- Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap towels that have been dipped in hot water around the pipe. This can help to slowly thaw the blockage.
- Electrical Heating Tape- A final option is to apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipe. This tape distributes heat throughout the pipe. You can purchase electrical heating tape that you plug in and unplug as needed or you can purchase heating tape that shuts off on its own.
Tip 5: Thawing Enclosed Pipes
If the frozen pipe is located in an area that you cannot easily access, you have three options for thawing the pipe.
- Turn the Heat Up in the Property- You can attempt to thaw the frozen pipe by increasing the temperature in the property. Turning the thermostat up may be all that is needed to allow the ice blockage to melt.
- Infrared Lamp- If you know where in the wall the frozen pipe is located, you can attempt to thaw the blockage by placing an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the pipe is located. The heat from the lamp may be able to penetrate the wall and allow the pipe to defrost.
- Cut Out a Section of the Wall- If you are comfortable doing so, you can cut out the section of the drywall in front of the frozen pipe so that you can easily access the pipe. You can then use one of the methods for thawing out an enclosed pipe listed above.
Tip 6: Things to Avoid
Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame, such as a propane torch. This can not only damage the pipe, it can also start a fire in your property.
Tip 7: If the Pipe Bursts
If a frozen water pipe does burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the main water line into your property. This will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. You should know where the shut-off valves are for each of your properties and for each unit. There are usually smaller shut-off valves located near sinks and toilets, but the main shut-off valve is often located near the water meter.
Call a Professional
Call a Professional- If you are unable to thaw the pipe, unable to locate the frozen pipe, do not feel comfortable thawing a pipe yourself or if a pipe bursts, you should call a plumber or other professional. They will be able to remedy the problem for you.
Risks of Thawing a Frozen Pipe
There are two main risks you should be aware of when attempting to thaw a frozen water pipe.
Fire- When using any heat source to thaw the frozen pipe, you can run the risk of starting a fire. Make sure to follow all safety instructions and never leave the product unattended.
Burst Pipe- If you do not begin the thawing process correctly, you could cause the pipe to burst. Always start thawing closest to the faucet.
SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is available 24/7 to help with your water and fire damage needs. If you have questions, give us a call at 803-276-0290.
Great tips for Christmas Lights
Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
Newberry and Laurens county houses are all lit up with Christmas lights. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Whether stringing lights across your roof and around your home or using them indoors, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.
- Before you string up a single strand of lights, carefully check them for cracked cords frayed ends or loose connections.
- The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.
- Modern lights have fused plugs, preventing sparks in case of a short circuit. Ditch old strands of lights that don’t have fuses and get a set of newer, safer lights.
- Don't connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs.
- Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks. Hire a licensed electrician if you need to install GFCI outlets.
- Keep an eye on extension cords, as they can occasionally overheat. Just touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it.
- Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead.
- When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
- Tape down any ground-level extensions cords to prevent people from tripping over them.
- Check to make sure lights have been rated by a testing laboratory. You can see a list of federally recognized labs on the OSHA website.
- Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
- When you put your lights back into storage after the holidays, make sure to place them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block hungry rodents looking to turn the cords into lunch.
These tips will help you stay safe and prevent fires. Of course, if you do have a fire, call 9-1-1. Follow these fire safety tips and call SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties at (803) 276-0290 if you need help with professional clean-up.