Polar Vortex Awareness
As winter sets in, the polar vortex is becoming a much stronger force to be reckoned with. The polar vortex is an immense low pressure and cold front that encompasses both of the Earth’s poles. Around this time of the year, the polar vortex may expand and generate cold air towards the southern areas of the earth. And though it’s a natural and normal occurrence of the earth, you should still be more aware of the colder temperatures this upcoming weekend, so here are a few tips on how to conquer this winter season.
- Check the Forecast at govor your favorite weather app, station, etc.: Make checking the forecast part of your regular routine so you'll know when to expect cold weather.
- Adjust Your Schedule: If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning. Try to find a warm spot for your children while waiting for the school bus outside.
- Protect Your Pets, Livestock and other Property:If you have pets or farm animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold. Take precautions to ensure your water pipes do not freeze. Know the temperature thresholds of your plants and crops.
- Fill up the tank:Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded.
- Dress for the outdoors even if you don't think you'll be out much.
- Update Your Winter Car Survival Kit: Make sure your car survival kit has the following:
- Jumper cables: flares or reflective triangle are great extras
- Flashlights: Replace the batteries before the winter season starts and pack some extras
- First Aid Kit:Also check your purse of bag for essential medications
- Baby, special needs gear:If you have a baby or family member with special needs, pack diapers and any special formula or food
- Food:Stock non-perishable food such as canned food and a can opener, dry cereal and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
- Water:Have at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
- Basic toolkit: Pliers, wrench, screwdriver
- Pet supplies: Food and water
- Radio: Battery or hand cranked
- Cat litter or sand:For better tire traction
- Shovel:To dig out snow
- Ice scraper:Even if you usually park in a garage, have one in the car.
- Clothes: Make sure you dress for the weather in warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
- Warmers:Pack extra for body, hand, feet
- Blanketsor sleeping bags: If you get stranded in traffic on a lonely road, you'll be glad to have it.
- Charged Cell Phone: Keep a spare charger in your car as well
For more information, go to https://www.noaa.gov/
A Snowed-in Home Improvement weekend
Most would believe that the best time for home improvement projects is only during the warm seasons, but contrary to popular belief, there are many projects that work best during the winter! Even better, here are two projects for your home this season that cost less than $500!
One thing to tackle this winter is applying new paint to the interior of your home. Not only is this a fun indoor project, but it also adds value to your home by providing a blank slate to any potential buyers if you are planning to sell, or even for yourself! With a fresh coat of paint, your home can be rejuvenated and have new paint shimmer.
Technology has greatly influenced home appliances in recent years, especially when it comes to programmable thermostats. This winter home improvement project lets homeowners customize the heating and cooling of their home to fit their needs, automatically regulating the temperature in their home. With different programming options available, including the ability to control some thermostats remotely, this improvement project will not only enhance your quality of life but save you money in the process!
For more winter projects to do this year, check out this awesome article from Fortune Builders
How We Handle Mold
When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation. If you suspect that your Bowie home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Bowie can inspect, assess and mediate your property.
A minor mold problem can quickly become a major infestation if left untreated. We can start the remediation process immediately after you contact us. A faster response lessens the mold damage, limits additional damage, and reduces the remediation cost.
Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution. So be sure to get in contact with SERVPRO of Bowie if you suspect any threat of harmful mold in your home!
Preventing Frozen Pipes
One of the most annoying problems that come with winter weather is dealing with frozen pipes. If the temperature is cold enough, the water running through your system can freeze, expand, and break your pipes. Location plays a role in what causes the issue, including: pipes exposed to severe cold, water supply pipes in unheated places, or pipes that are placed on the exterior of your home.
One thing you can do to stop the problem before it starts is to take preventative steps. For example, when the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
If your pipes are already effected, there are also methods to thaw them. For example, apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
For more helpful tips and information, check out the American Red Cross below!
When To Replace Your Smoke Detectors
Your home smoke detectors and fire alarms are some of the most important features in your home especially concerning the safety of you and your family. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one should regularly test their smoke detectors at least once a month. Since your home's smoke alarms are electronic it only makes sense that the life of their batteries come to an end eventually. It is fairly common that when your smoke detectors battery run low you will hear a loud high-pitched beep to let you know its time for replacement. Along with reviewing your alarms manual, regular false-alarms, and frequent beeping are good indicators. Another major factor to consider is the type of smoke detector you have- battery powered or hard wired- depending on that, you will have to replace and fix them accordingly.
For more information check out the link below for more detailed steps on what to do when taking care of your home's fire alarms and smoke detectors!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re not too careful, a dangerous fire can come with your family meal. In fact, in 2016, Fire Departments responded to approximately 1600 home cooking fires during the Thanksgiving holiday. Leaving cooking items unattended for periods of time is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths according to the National Fire Protection Association. So before you get ready to prepare for the big meal ahead, here a few tips to keep in mind for you and your family’s safety.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
For more info, go to https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Thanksgiving-safety
Fall Home Tips
With Autumn coming in strong this year, it is only right that everyone does their best to prepare for the chilly season ahead. From clogged gutters to messy lawns there is always measures that can be taken to ensure a comfortable fall experience.
For starters, as temperatures decrease, it is now time to check your home heating system. It's in your best interest to schedule annual heating system check-ups. Additionally, it would be very beneficial to survey your homes vents and make sure none of them are blocked. Cleaning and replacing air filters would also be to your benefit.
Another tip for your home during the fall season would be to check for drafts. Make sure to go around your house to see if any of your windows or doors are letting a draft enter your home and do your best to close it up. Caulks or heavier drapes are a couple of helpful methods.
There is so many things one can do to make their home life easier during Autumn.
For more information, check out this link where additional tips can be found: https://weather.com/safety/news/fall-home-preparation-tips
Flu Season is here!
It’s that time of the year where the leaves fall, the cool air sets in, and the kids are already well into the school year. Everything seems to be in place, until the flu creeps up on you and your family! Flu viruses, though common around this time, can be a very serious issue, ESPECIALLY if it’s left untreated. No need to fret, here are a few tips from the CDC to face the flu head on!
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- See Everyday Preventive Actions[257 KB, 2 Pages]and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for more information about actions – apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine – that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like influenza (flu).
For more information regarding Flu season, go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm
Hurricane Season: What to know and how to prepare
Hurricanes are one of the most dangerous types of storms out there, trailing behind powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. So many people are greatly affected each year, especially during the month of September as they become more active. Here’s how to protect your home and family during this season!
IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
- Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
- Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
- Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
- Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
- Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
- Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
To learn more, go to:
Storm Damage Repair Tips
If you have been watching the news lately, you must have come across the hurricane damage that is affecting certain parts of the country. You may be wondering the water restoration and home restoration steps the people affected by the storm damage and ice damage are going to follow. You could also be amongst those who are affected by the hurricane damage or are in an area projected to suffer storm damage and flooding in the coming weeks or months. In both cases, it is important that you know how you can carry out storm damage restoration as well as storm remediation. to prevent against flooding. There are various storm restoration and home restoration tips that you can find useful. You will note that a flood pump is an essential tool to have for storm restoration.
Before flooding occurs, there is often roof damage in the house caused by ice damming or other factors. An ice dam is when frozen water accumulates in a place. Since an ice dam is heavy, it can lead to breakages on the roof. The strong winds can blow debris around causing roof damage. A roof leak caused by ice damage increases the chances of flooding since there are more avenues for water to come in. Storm remediation. requires that you check your roof for weak spots and strengthen it. However, should the storm damage occur, roof repair needs to be among the first steps of water restoration taken. Identify the roof leak and find ways of trapping or redirecting the flood water so that it does not accumulate and cause more flood damage. Roof damage can be identified by a visible roof leak or water stains on walls and ceiling. The wind damage and ice damage can occasion a tree to fall on your house causing roof damage. In these cases, once the storm subsides, you should check the damage caused by the roof leak and begin roof repair immediately. Sometimes, though, the roof repair process may be complicated hence necessitating professionals to come in. Be sure to call experts with extensive roof repair experience.
If you live close to a river, you should be prepared for river flooding. This means taking storm remediation. steps early in order to prevent flood water from getting into your home. You can build barriers with sacks of sand to act as a fence against flood water. You can also dig drainage trenches around your home to direct the flood water away. Such storm remediation. steps can help to lower your river flooding insurance premiums. They can also lower the costs of home restoration. You should also know that with the river flooding, some of the reptiles such as alligators may be displaced from their natural habitat. In this case, ensure you have an impenetrable fence.
The river flooding may contribute to the rising of ground water. If the soil cannot absorb enough, the ground water begins to swell around the home. If there are openings, it will get in and destroy furniture and other appliances. If you put enough defenses, the ground water may not rise to an extent that it is a threat to your home. However, in case of severe hurricane damage, the ground water may breach the defenses and enter the house. You should use a flood pump to remove as much of it from the house as you can. A flood pump is specialized to have enough power to remove the water at a faster rate than it is coming in. This is often the first step of water restoration and storm restoration since you need a dry home to work off from. For the flood pump to be effective, ensure you have enough fuel to ensure the home restoration process does not stop once it starts.
The storm restoration process may be hampered by wind damage. There is likely to be debris that is carried by the currents and this only adds to the extent of the hurricane damage. Some of the items that cause wind damage include tree branches, electric poles and other fixtures, and garden furniture. While you can take steps to secure what is around your home, some others may be blown from far away. The hail damage can also be exacerbated by the wind. The hail damage can occur when there are weak spots in the house. This can be the roof or the windows and doors. Ensure that you have fortified these areas by boarding them up with plywood. This limits the extent of both wind damage and hail damage.
Hail damage can be accompanied by ice damage. This might result in frozen pipes and ice dam. With frozen pipes, it means that your water supply is essentially cut off. Ice damming can encase some of your furniture and appliances while making some areas inaccessible. Before starting on water restoration ensure that all the ice damage is removed. You should leave the work of repairing the frozen pipes and removing the ice damming to professionals to avoid further damage. Do not use heat for the ice dam or frozen pipes.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObowie.com for more information on storm damage.