In the biggest winter storm Texas has seen in several years, SERVPROs across the country responded in aid. For days, millions of Texans went without power due to subfreezing temperatures that overwhelmed the state’s electricity infrastructure and caused massive power outages. As a result, at least 57 people died across the state and, at the height of the crisis, nearly 4.5 million Texas homes and businesses were without power. With the capability and capacity to provide aid, SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe felt it was our responsibility to offer help. Therefore, we set up a base-of-operations in Austin, TX and began to reach out to households throughout Travis County; offering our services to those who's homes or commercial properties incurred damage.
To date, we have crews located in Austin working around the clock to mitigate the disastrous effects of the 2021 winter storms and we intend to remain in the area until the need for assistance returns to levels more manageable for local cleaning and restoration companies to address. It is because of our dedication to our neighbors and our aim to provide efficient and effective services in times of need that people choose SERVPRO.
For more information or assistance, please call us at (480) 558-7620 or visit our website.
Why SERVPRO? Our Employees
At SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South Ahwatukee and South Tempe, we took an afternoon to ask our staff why they like working at SERVPRO. In addition to serving as a representation of our team’s culture and the nature of our work, the responses we received exemplify the dedication, compassion, and pride had by each of our crew members.
Ashley: “I love being a part of a team that makes a difference in other people’s lives.”
Brett: “I like working at SERVPRO because I like to help people after a catastrophe. When they don’t know what’s going on with their house or how to navigate the insurance process, it brings me great satisfaction to be able to help them.”
Carolina: “We have a great team, we all work well together, and we do our best to help our customers every day. Fire and water damage can wreak havoc on people in their daily lives and in their homes, so being there to help them really means a lot.”
Fernando: “I like working at SERVPRO because I learn something new every day. And, I enjoy helping people and appreciate the services we provide.”
Joey: “I like working at SERVPRO because we are out in the field genuinely assisting people in a time of need. And, because we all work great together as a team.”
Julie: “We get to help people in their time of need. After a flood or fire, we go in and make sure they’re comfortable and know everything is taken care of.”
Kari: “I like to work at SERVPRO because I love to help people and teach others what I have learned here. I, myself, still learn daily."
Kila: “I like being a part of a team that genuinely cares about its customers and makes such big efforts to help them in situations where their homes or businesses are damaged.”
Kyle: “I like working at SERVPRO because of the team that has been built, it’s a blast coming in every day and working with everyone. There are always laughs, and smiles and jokes going around; never really a bad day when you’re a part of something like that.”
Lawrence: “I like to demo people’s houses – it relieves stress and gets the job done.”
Lindsay: “At SERVPRO, everybody is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.”
Mara: “I like working at SERVPRO because I love to help people with problems in their home related to fires and floods, or deep cleaning!”
Maria: “I like working at SERVPRO because every day is a new day, it’s always different; and we are able to help people with water, fire, and cleaning jobs.”
Megan: “I appreciate that, at SERVPRO, our team shares the same vision and dedication, which allows a seamless process for our customers.”
Naomi: “I love working at SERVPRO because I work with a really great team.”
Rosie: “I love that I get to help customers through their disaster and that I work with a wonderful team that helps us get there.”
Tre: “I like working at SERVPRO because I enjoy being a helping hand in a customer’s time of need.”
Vanley: “I like making people feel good and just helping them out because that puts a smile on my face and, also, just seeing someone else with a smile on their face makes my day.”
It is because of our outstanding team members that people choose SERVPRO. The combined knowledge, skill-sets, and experience of each individual offers considerable aid in mitigation, cleaning, or restoration efforts. However, it is the unique character and priorities of each member that inspire trust and relieve the stress of handling damage to a home or business.
Reasons to be Excited for 2021
For all the difficulties that 2020 brought, there are still many reasons to be excited for the new year to come! At SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe, we think it is important to recognize all of the events and opportunities to look forward to in 2021. In no particular order, here are 10 things we are hopeful for:
- Your birthday is this year! Don’t worry, you don’t look a day above 25.
- A COVID-19 vaccine has been released. We are hopeful for the COVID vaccine to be widely distributed; saving so many lived in the process.
- We can finally see all of our family under one roof. After extensive social distancing measures to protect your friends and family, it is a relief to know that it will soon be safe to gather under one roof.
- Music, bands, and touring, oh my! As we gain the resources necessary to prevent outbreaks, we are hopeful for the large gatherings that come with music releases and performances.
- The 2021 Tokyo Olympics have been confirmed. The approval of the 2021 Olympic Games was an exciting announcement for our athletes and sports fans alike.
- All the movies! With theaters closed for the larger part of 2020, many movies’ release dates were postponed. However, as we expect movie theaters to reopen this year, we are excited about the surge of films sure to follow.
- Travel, travel, travel! With international travel bans, restrictions, and health concerns throughout 2020, we are very excited about what a COVID vaccine could mean for public safety and travel.
- We are soon to be meeting with classmates in-person next semester. Students across the globe have felt the harsh effects of virtual learning, and we are happy at the prospect of returning to class.
- Who isn't excited to be eating out again? Although dining options have been available with varying levels of restriction across the U.S., we are looking forward to dining out without implementing extensive precautions in the future.
- Broadway is back! Whether theater is a passion or a pastime in your life, the promise of Broadway’s return is a definite highlight of the year.
It is without question that there is a lot to potentially look forward to in 2021. And it is a promise by SERVPRO, that alongside all of the great things to come, we will also be there for you should you be faced with adversity. Specifically, regarding damage to your home or business. Be it fires, floods, or otherwise, we are there to help; (480) 558-7620.
Happy New Year!
Back to Class
Depending on the agent that fuels them, fires can predominately be classified into five different categories. Each type of fire involves different flammable materials and requires a special approach. Therefore, it is important to understand the five classes of fires and how to properly extinguish them without causing further damage.
Involving solid combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, or plastic, Class A fires are the most common types of fire. In addition to being the most common fire, Class A fires are also the easiest t extinguish. To do so, it is recommended to use a water or foam fire extinguisher, or water to douse the fire.
Class B fires involve flammable liquids like oil, alcohol, or gasoline. More specifically, liquids or gasses like petroleum grease, alcohol, paint, propane, or gasoline; not cooking oils or grease. When faced with a Class B fire, it is very important not to use a water extinguisher as the stream of water might spread the material rather than extinguish it. Instead, use a foam, powder, or carbon dioxide extinguisher to cut off a fire’s oxygen supply.
Class C fires require a source of electricity. Therefore, they may be started by old wiring, worn-out breaker boxes, frayed electrical cords, or faulty appliances. Common in both households and industrial settings, it is important to, first, disconnect the appliance or item from its power source as long as it is safe to so. Then, if possible, extinguish the flames using a carbon dioxide or dry powder fire extinguisher. Do not use water or foam to put out an electrical fire, as both materials can conduct electricity and potentially make the situation more dangerous.
Most rare among each class of fire, Class D fires can happen when metal ignites. This typically requires high levels of heat and is most common when alkali metals such as potassium, magnesium, aluminum, and sodium are exposed to air or water. Although you are unlikely to encounter a Class D blaze in your home, it is advised that such fires be extinguished with a dry powder extinguisher only.
Termed as Class K fires, this classification is comprised of fires involving cooking oils such as vegetable oil or animal fats. The high flashpoints of cooking oils and fats make Class K fires most likely to start when a pan is left unattended on a stove. If possible, it is important to turn off the heat on any cooking appliances and remove them from the heat source. Then, similarly to how Class B fires are treated, avoid using water to extinguish the fire. Instead, opt for a wet chemical extinguisher.
Regardless of its classification, SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe is capable of cleaning and restoring your home or property should it be affected by a fire; “like it never even happened.” Call us at (480) 558-7620 or visit our website for more information.
Managing a Water Loss as a Tenant or Property Owner
Handling a water loss can be extremely difficult and confusing; especially, when both a tenant and property owner are implicated. Although SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe strives to provide clear and consistent communication to ease the stress of restoring property damage, we understand that the added variables can create further confusion. Therefore, we make all possible efforts to prevent miscommunication and protect clients, as well as ensure that water cleanup and restoration efforts are performed as effectively as possible.
Below, are notes and recommendations beneficial to homeowners and tenants regarding water losses:
- It is beneficial to address water losses immediately to ensure the safety and security of tenants, as well as maintain the structure’s integrity. Additionally, it is important to note that failing to address water damage appropriately could result in the loss of tenants in the future.
- Renter’s insurance, often, does not cover structural damage, only contents. Therefore, the homeowner is responsible for financial costs determined by damage.
- We require the homeowner’s signature to begin work; tenants cannot provide a valid signature.
Water losses are never easy, especially when cleaning and restoration efforts involve collaboration between a homeowner and tenant. At SERVPRO, we seek to provide efficient and effective work, while minimizing difficulty or confusion.
Should you be faced with water damage to your home or property, call us at (480) 558-7620 for an immediate mitigation response.
Mold in the Workplace
As public awareness of the health effects and symptoms caused by mold exposure increases, so too, does concern about indoor exposure and the need to reduce contact. Therefore, it is important to understand basic practices to prevent or minimize mold growth; specifically among those overseeing the maintenance of commercial properties.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Throughout the year, molds can be found anywhere - inside or outside. However, mold growth should be avoided inside if possible, as problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials; affecting the look, smell, and possibly, the structural integrity of buildings. Mold growth will often occur when excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, particularly if the moisture problem remains uncorrected. If left unchecked, molds gradually damage building materials and furnishings, and can eventually cause structural damage to a wood-framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members.
SERVPRO’s familiarity with water cleanup and mold remediation makes us highly knowledgeable in areas pertaining to mold prevention. Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act promptly. Any initial water infiltration should be stopped and cleaned promptly (within 24-48 hours). Thorough clean-up involving drying, and/or removal of water-damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth.
Mold prevention tips include:
- Repairing plumbing and building leaks as soon as possible.
- Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture infiltration as quickly as possible.
- Increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air to prevent moisture from condensing Surface temperature can be increased by insulating or increasing air circulation. Whereas, to reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid), or increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry).
- Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, unobstructed, and flowing properly.
- Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
- Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70%. If possible, 25 - 60% humidity is ideal.
- Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Referring to local code requirements when venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms.
- Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots within 48 hours of discovery.
- Providing adequate drainage around buildings; sloping the ground away from building foundations.
- Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.
Preventing Turkey Travesties
Directly followed by Christmas Day, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires. Unfortunately, a packed house, massive meals, and holiday festivities make the holiday fire-prone and invite a plethora of turkey mishaps and kitchen misfires. As we approach the annual celebration of thanks, we have compiled a list of safety tips to keep you and your family safe and ensure that festivities ensue without a hitch.
- When cooking food on the stop top, make sure that there is always someone in the kitchen to keep an eye on the food.
- When cooking turkey, stay in the home and check on it frequently.
- Unless highly experienced, avoid frying the turkey as it puts you at an increased risk of sustaining a cooking fire.
- Keep children away from the stove.
- When handling hot food or liquids, keep children away. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, coffee, or other high-temperature materials can cause severe burns.
- Keep knives out of children’s’ reach.
- Be cognizant of electric cords as they should not lie within the reach of children.
- Store matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children and away from flames.
- Keep lit candles out the reach of children and away from curtains or other flammable materials.
- Keep floors clear, especially those in the kitchen or dining areas, to prevent tripping or slipping.
- Test smoke alarms to certify that they are working before company arrives.
As a cleaning and restoration company, SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe has seen its fair share of Thanksgiving fires. To ensure an enjoyable holiday with friends and family, please be cognizant of your surroundings and take the proper precautions. And, if there is an incident, call us at (480) 558-7620 to restore your home to its prior condition, “Like it never even happened.”
The Strange Forces of Friday the 13th
Seen as an unlucky day in Western superstition, Friday the 13th seems like the perfect day to discuss bad luck. Or rather, how SERVPRO is always there to help when misfortune touches your home or business. With our referral network, we can provide service from start to finish, minimizing interruption and ensuring results in a timely and effective manner.
However bad luck presents itself, we are prepared with services such as:
- Fire and water cleanup and restoration
- Mold remediation
- Asbestos abatement
- Biological or crime scene cleanup
- Carpet and tile cleaning
- Duct cleaning
- Smoke and odor removal
- Post-construction cleaning
- Air quality testing
- Building disinfection
Our emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, whether it be damage caused by the strange forces of Friday the 13th or any of the other mishaps that affect our lives, we are always available to help when your luck is down.
Electrical Safety After a Flood
Unlike in a fire or storm, the potential safety hazards associated with a flood are often less apparent. However, they are present nonetheless. Specifically, in regards to proper handling of electrical devices.
Because we all value our belongings, we may rush to handle electrical appliances, chords, or other devices without taking the necessary precautions to do so safely. In the case of a flood, please prioritize caution and refer to the guidelines listed below.
- Never step into a room where water is in contact with electrical outlets, appliances, or cords.
- If you must stand in water to do so, do not attempt to turn off power at the breaker. Furthermore, if you can’t reach the breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.
- When you’re wet or when you’re standing in water, never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches, or fuses.
- Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces.
- If an electric appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.
At SERVPRO, we are closely familiar with flooding protocols and the potential dangers associated with high-wading water inside commercial or residential properties. Therefore, we hope to provide you with the information necessary to approach similar situations safely and confidently.
Additionally, if your home or business does experience a flood, please call us at (480) 558-7620 or visit us at https://www.SERVPROgilbert.com/ for information and restoration services. “Like it never even happened.”
Halloween in Quarantine
Amidst the current restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Halloween will look a little different this year. However, there are still several ways to celebrate the holiday in safe ways; whether by implementing social distancing precautions or maintaining a full quarantine. With consideration to a variety of comfort levels, we have collected a short list of alternative ways to celebrate Halloween 2020!
- Trick-or-treat at home – Treat each room in your home as its own unique house! Decorate the doors to each room and leave a small bowl of candy at the entrance for trick-or-treating.
- Host a Zoom party – Dress up in your best costume and schedule a Zoom party with all your friends. Organize a costume contest, drinking games, or a fun Halloween trivia night to get everyone involved!
- Plan a mask contest – Whether the contest remains strictly among family members or includes friends over Zoom, collect supplies to design unique Halloween masks! Alternatively, if you decide to partake in traditional trick-or-treating, customize your mask to match your costume and wear for Halloween. For methods and ideas, check HERE.
- Ghost your neighbors – In the days leading to Halloween, create a goody bag full of Halloween candy and treats to leave on the doorstep of your friends or neighbors. Tape a sign to the bag that says, “You’ve been booed!” along with your name and instructions to “Boo” someone they think needs a good scare.
- Organize a reverse trick-or-treat – Choose a worthy organization and find out what nonmonetary donations they need. Then, ask people in your neighborhood to drop those things off. You can watch a family Halloween movie while you prep the items for donation.
- Parade your pets – Dress up your pets for a Halloween walk or at-home fashion show!
- Leave a bowl of candy on the porch – For those still participating in traditional trick-or-treating, leave a bowl of candy on your porch for children to grab on their way through the neighborhood.
- Consider trick-or-treating within your social group – To maintain normal Halloween activities, consider organizing a small, socially distanced, Halloween party among your social group. Or, for those with a close-knit group within their neighborhood, develop a route to trick-or-treat at the homes of those you are familiar with.
As we approach Halloween, it is important to be aware of what your neighborhood is doing. Some neighborhoods are participating in trick-or-treating activities while others are not, and social distancing guidelines are being developed and enforced within various communities. Therefore, it is necessary to become informed before planning holiday festivities.
From SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe, Happy Halloween and safe trick-or-treating!