Leaves and Mold
Old Leaves n Mold
Many forms of mold grow and live in grass, on rotting logs, compost piles and falling leaves left on the ground and trapped in your gutters. While they do not die with the first frost like several other allergens, they lay dormant during the winter. In the spring, they grow on plants that were killed by the winter's cold temperatures. For those who enjoy composting, the soil-enhancing leaf mold is a welcomed part of fall. Even on their own, fallen leaves will still grow mold. If you are cleaning up this Spring from the leaves of Fall - Wear gloves and a protective mask - this will help protect you from coming in contact with any mold that may be growing from the leaves of Fall! Your allergies will certainly Thank You too!
Are your Ducts in a Row?
Before and After
Do you have your Ducts in a Row? Is Duct Cleaning Necessary?
Air quality in your home is important but unfortunately this is something we probably don’t think about as often as we should! Keeping dust, pollen and pet dander or what I like to call “Magical Fibers of Joy and Love” out of the air you breathe involves more than changing your air filters on a monthly basis. Do you ever think about your air ducts? I sure didn’t until I found myself dusting daily! Who has time for that?? Contaminants collect in the duct system too so that $10 air filter cannot not do it all…Who knew? Listed below are 5 top reasons to Clean Your Ducts.
- Improves your health – poor indoor quality is a risk to your health
- Energy Consumption – clean ductwork helps lower your utility bill, helps your HVAC unit function better and last longer
- Smelly Air – Ever found a dead mouse in your house? Without clean air ducts the smell can linger for months
- Mold – Who wants that? Microbial growth can grow in your duct system without you even knowing it! Especially if your home as been affected by water damage from flooding or foundation cracks.
SO… Who ya gonna call?? News flash ..Ghostbusters can’t handle air ducts… but SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties can!! Call us today at 803-276-0290 or 864-833-4411 to schedule an appointment!
Clean Your Gutters
Clean your Gutters!
Be sure to remove leaves and debris from your gutters on a regular basis. Something as simple as a heavy rainfall or melting snow (not that we get much of the white stuff in South Carolina) can get backed up and cause severe and unnecessary water damage when it has no way to drain from your roof! Clogged gutters and the weight from heavy rainfall can also rot the fascia boards and pull the gutter from the roof structure causing water to enter your home and damage your ceilings, walls and attic space. Overflowing gutters saturates the ground and forms pools of water that penetrate cracks in the concrete and deteriorate the foundation which can result in water damage to basement walls.
Check your gutters regularly - If you need us -SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is here!
Ambassador Spotlight - Kimberly Kitchens
Mel and Kimberly Kitchens
Kimberly Kitchens was intereviewd by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce for her service and commitment to her community - get to know your local SERVPRO Ambassador!
"Originally from South Florida. My husband and I were both native Floridians. His family is originally from Augusta. His cousin who is like a brother to him, lives in prosperity on the Lake. Through many vacations on Lake Murray, we came to the realization this was where we knew we wanted to grow old. So, we moved our family up to South Carolina to enjoy Lake Murray."
- Tell us about your family.
"We have been married for 27 years. We have a daughter, Ashlee, 29, who has graced us with two lovely granddaughters that are 2 and 4. Our son Mel III is 24 and is proud to carry on the family name. He has been an integral part of our business for the last 5 years. "
- Share a couple of interesting facts about yourself.
"Growing up in South Florida my husband and I both have a love for the water and being outdoors. We love football, always proud to sport our colors: fans of the Miami hurricanes and the Miami dolphins (in good times and in bad)."
- What do you like about where you work?
"My husband and I are co-owners of the SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens County. Providing restoration services when residences and businesses have water and fire damage. Previously in the transportation industry for 30 years, where we provided a service, we understand the importance of relationships. We have owned our SERVPRO franchise for 7 years and have enjoyed establishing roots in the communities that we serve, taking care of people during their difficult times. We go into our customers' homes and businesses, and they become family and friends. "
- Tell us about your roles with the Chamber.
"Not being from the community, being involved with the Chamber has been a great opportunity to foster relationships business wise and personally, making Laurens County feel like home. And at the same time has educated me about the organizations that service individuals in the Community and allowed me to offer my time and talent to volunteer to help make a difference."
(Kimberly has served as an Ambassador for 6 years, is a Graduate of Leadership Laurens County Class XIX (2014) and has been involved with the Board of Regents ever since, has served on the Events Committee for the past 4 years, serves on the 100 Club Board, and is currently serving on the Chamber Board of Directors. She was awarded Small Business of the Year 2016, Spirit of the Chamber 2015, and Volunteer of the Year 2013.)
- Why you love Laurens County!
" The people. They believe in and support one another. "
- Anything else you would like to share?
"Being a graduate of Leadership Laurens County, I am truly excited to be part of having our Class project come to fruition. I am currently the Vice Chair for the Family Promise of Laurens County, creating a homeless shelter for families in Laurens County."
February is Heart Awareness Month- Love Your Heart
One Love - One Heart
February is all about love and hearts. What better way to remind us to take care of our heart than to celebrate American Heart Month! This month is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about how to prevent it from happening to you.
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure is responsible for nearly one and four deaths, and represents the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
Nearly half of all Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, but many don’t recognize the risks or know what to do to minimize the effect on their heart. This is why heart disease is often referred to as a silent killer. There are many risk factors associated with heart disease and some are uncontrollable, but many can be prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Some risk factors for heart disease include a family history, race or ethnicity, age, tobacco use, high cholesterol, obesity caused by an unhealthy diet, physical activity and diabetes.
You can prevent heart disease naturally as there are simple modification that can go a long way in preventing or reversing heart disease. Eat a healthy diet, enjoy foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – Fish is the best natural source. Incorporate fiber in your diet this helps reduce cholesterol levels. Maintain a healthy weight -this is one of the most powerful defenses against heart disease. Get regular exercise – studies show that exercise also helps manage your stress level that’s a two for one deal! Ditch the bad habits - Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are key risk factors in heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting regular check-ups from your doctor will help you live a long, loving healthy life!
Take care of your heart!
Cold Weather = Frozen Pipes - Are you Prepared?
Living in the South doesn’t always mean warmer weather and Old Man Winter is planning a visit to the Carolinas this weekend - bringing artic air that can be brutal to your water pipes. SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties want you to be prepared! The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to protect vulnerable pipes with inexpensive, easy-to-install insulation. There are also last-minute preventative measures you can use in a pinch, and if your pipes should freeze, there are safe ways to thaw them before permanent damage occurs. Use these tips to avoid this messy and costly household disaster.
Insulating Your Pipes
It only takes a small amount of time and money to insulate the most exposed sections of your home’s plumbing system. Insulating foam sheaths are available at most hardware stores and they easily attach to pipes with adhesive strips or pipe clamps. Locating your main water line from the point is emerges from the ground to the point where it enters the heated area of your home should be insulated. Locate your main water shut-off valve and make sure it opens and closes easily. In the event of a broken pipe due to freezing the first thing you’ll want to do is close this valve. Insulate any pipes that reach outside the heated environment of your home.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
If you have uninsulated pipes implement these tricks to prevent a disaster. Run a continuous trickle of water from the water fixture farthest from the water main. If your fixture has separate handles for hot and cold slightly open both valves. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night.
Using these simple tools can prevent a water disaster in your home but know if this should happen SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties are here to help! Like it never even happened!
7 Fun Things to do after Thanksgiving Dinner
After Thanksgiving dinner, many families usually head to the living room to relax and watch football games on television. Since quality time with friends and family can be hard to find these days, consider spending the time after dinner creating a new family tradition and making memories.
After you have finished eating the turkey this year, enjoy one of these fun activities together.
Have a Game Night
When you invite guests to your house for Thanksgiving this year, ask them to bring their favorite board game.
Be sure that you have games on hand that are appropriate for all ages of kids that will be at your house, including teenagers and preschoolers. After dinner is cleaned up, pull out the games and help everyone find a game to play. You can also do a group game, such as Trivial Pursuit, Charades or Pictionary.
Play touch football in the front yard after Thanksgiving dinner." Divide up your guests into teams, clearly communicate the rules and then have fun playing a friendly game of football together.
You could also play a group game of Hide and Seek or Kick-the-Can. If you have a large area, Capture the Flag can also be a lot of fun.
If you are feeling adventurous, head to a nearby or explore local hiking trails together. You can find hiking trails in your area on www.trails.com. You can also take a family walk or bike ride in your neighborhood. Be sure to have guests to bring walking shoes or bicycles when you invite them to dinner.
Create a Family Scrapbook
Have each adult and child bring a few of their favorite family pictures to Thanksgiving dinner. Provide some cardstock, pattern paper, glue sticks, sticker, pens and scissors. Have each person create a scrapbook page using the pictures and write their memories about the picture on the scrapbook page.
When everyone is finished, add the pages to an album. Be sure to include the date and artist on each scrapbook page. Next year, create more scrapbook pages and add to the album each year.
Write Thankful Letters
Have each guest think of one person that they are especially thankful for this year. Hand out pens and paper and encourage your guests to write the person a letter telling them why they are special.
You can include preschoolers in this activity by having them dictate the letter to an adult or an older child. When each person is done, give them an envelope for their letter and a stamp.
Decorate for the Holidays
Consider decorating for the holidays on Thanksgiving evening to include your guests in the festivities. Some families pick out their Christmas tree together on Thanksgiving to decorate later in the weekend.
Another idea is to make holiday decorations together after dinner. Some simple ideas include paper chains, salt dough ornaments and bead ornaments. When coming up with a project, be sure to include young children who might want to participate and provide alternate crafts if you have guests who celebrate winter holidays other than Christmas.
Consider heading to a soup kitchen or food shelter together as a family to help serve meals to other people.
Another option is to use the time after Thanksgiving dinner for your family to help an elderly neighbor with a special project, such as painting or raking leaves. You can also use the holiday afternoon to organize your own food drive by having each guest to your house bring canned food. Have each guest collect food from their friends and neighbors before Thanksgiving. After dinner, you can take a field trip to the food pantry to deliver the food.
Have a Talent Show
Kids and the grownups took turns performing talents, such as quoting Shakespeare, singing and playing the violin. Someone can be awarded a trophy for the best performance.
When you invite guests to your Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to let them know ahead of time about the talent show. Encourage everyone, including children, to share their talents. Remind everyone to bring any props or costumes they will need for their performance.
Whatever you do with this down time on Thanksgiving, be sure that you spend the time with your family and friends. In addition to have a good time together, you may find yourself starting traditions that everyone looks forward to throughout the year.
Living Room Fires in a Laurens SC Property
Protect Your Home in Laurens SC From Fire Damage Caused by Chimneys and Candles
Although fires in living and family rooms are less frequent than those in more hazardous kitchen areas, they can grow to large sizes more readily and more often than those in kitchens. Many living room fires start with an accident in the fireplace, when a candle is knocked over, or when an electronic device comes into contact with water or otherwise severely malfunctions. Regardless of their cause, these fires quickly find sufficient fuel in the surrounding area. If the fire is not extinguished quickly, it can create some of the biggest restoration projects SERVPRO finds in residential developments.
How They Start
Fire damage in Laurens living rooms typically starts from one of three sources: the hearth, candles, or electronic malfunctions. Fireplace accidents are easily created if proper safeguards such as containment bars are not in place, and can produce heavy amounts of smoke in addition to larger blazes. Clogged or unclean chimneys lead to many flare-ups and roof fires. Candle fires are often relatively benign if they start while someone is in the room, but can sometimes start silently when the room is left unattended, blossoming into a large disaster. Electrical fires usually require some accident on a resident's part to start up, so while those can become large very quickly, they are typically hit with fire extinguishers before they get out of hand.
Problems Faced in Restorations
The main challenge SERVPRO faces in restoring these fires are in their size. Living rooms may contain fabric carpeting and furniture, flammable bookcases, and numerous small objects that quickly spread fires out from their origin. Also, when dealing with hearths, large volumes of smoke may present additional hurdles. Before we begin any work beyond standard mitigation, we develop a clear action plan to tackle significant problems that arise. Through our expert training and superior equipment, we can deal with fires of any size given time.
SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties has battled many fires since its founding. If your home has taken fire damage, call us anytime at (864) 833-4411 or (803) 276-0290
How To Begin the Insurance Claim Process in Newberry or Laurens County SC After Water Damage
An insurance policy is a document that lists the conditions, terms, and details of a contract between you and your insurance company. The contract can protect you by clearly outlining your obligations when you are ready to file an insurance claim in Newberry or Laurens Counties SC. On the other hand, the contract also clearly states the terms under which the policy becomes void, and the insurance company does not have to pay. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you follow the terms of your contract.
Insurance Company Requirements
The first step in protecting your interests may be to review your insurance policy and note your legal obligations. If the pipe burst damage requires a police report, speak to law enforcement officers. Most insurance companies ask for a copy of the report if the flood or water damage is a result of:
The next step may be contacting your insurance company to report the insurance claim. Please note that reporting a claim and filing a claim are not the same. When you report the damage to your agent, you are notifying him or her of the damage and asking for an adjustor to review the situation.
Homeowner Insurance Obligations
Protecting your interests can also include documentation. First, contact a professional water repair and remediation service to remove the water. Ask the team to document their efforts, if possible. You may want to record the damage as well. Although your policy will probably not require you to take pictures of the damage, doing so can help you establish a solid claim.
To begin the actual claim process, fill the claim forms out and promptly return the papers to your insurance company. Make copies for yourself in case the documents get lost in the mail.
Beginning the Legal Process
Once you fill in the insurance claim forms, you are starting a legal process that is clearly defined by the terms of your insurance policy. If you fulfill the terms of the policy, the insurance company is legally required to pay. It’s the law.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofnewberryandlaurenscounties.com for more information on water damage.
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.