Recent Posts

Pet Safety During the Winter

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of a little white dog with a gray jacket in the snow. Pet Safety During the Winter

At SERVPRO of Fayette County, we know that your pets are an important part of your family. Most pets are indoor animals, but it is a common sight to see pets outdoors also. Animals are prone to the same winter hazards as human beings, especially cold and ice. Here are some tips for keeping your family pet safe. Limit outdoor time on bitter cold days. Try to go out when the sun is shining. Even with fur, animals can become too cold and go into hypothermia. Avoid the ice. Animals can slip and fall just like you. More importantly, animals cannot recognize the danger of breaking through thin ice on frozen water. It is always better to keep your pet on a leash during the winter to help them steer clear of hazards. Wipe their paws when you come inside. Things in front of your home are often treated with salt or other de-icers. These substances can irritate your animal's paws. Some can be toxic, which is especially dangerous if your pet licks its paws. People and pets want a safe place inside for the cold months. If a winter emergency like a burst pipe makes your home unsafe, contact SERVPRO of Fayette County. We are here to help the residents of Fayette County quickly get their homes back to normal.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Disposing Items After A Fire

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of a women in shock standing in her kitchen after a fire. Disposing Items After A Fire

Items to Throw Away After a House Fire Exposure to heat and smoke can ruin delicate or perishable contents. While some items can be cleaned and restored, others should be disposed of and replaced. Here are five items to throw away after a house fire in Fayette County.  

1. Food  

  • Open food packages may become contaminated by smoke, ash, soot, or fire suppressants. It is important to get rid of: Open packages or containers   

           *Open pet food    

           *Cans exposed to extreme heat   

           *Canned or packaged food that was not exposed to high heat may be safe to consume.                   ~Remove the label, clean the can, and write the contents and expiration date on the can in permanent marker.

2. Porous Kitchen Contents 

  • Not only food items pose a re-contamination risk. It is also important to dispose of:  Plastic cutting boards   Plastic dishes, cups, or utensils   Baby bottle nipples  Plastic is porous and may absorb toxins. Throw away and replace these items after a fire. 

3. Medicine 

  • High heat and smoke can ruin medicine. Examine each product and consider:   

           *The safe temperature range  

           *Whether the packaging is open   

           *Any visible damage  

  • It is safer to dispose of and replace medicine after a fire. Extremely high temperatures may make any formula less effective. 

4. Cosmetics 

  • Heat can also destabilize beauty and personal care products. Continued use can result in:  

            *Absorption of toxins through skin 

            *Discoloration

            *Irritation   

  • You should dispose of and replace products exposed to smoke or high temperatures. Throwing these items out is safer than risking re-contamination. 

5. Burned Clothing  

  • Clothing damaged by smoke or soot may be restored. Burned clothing should be thrown away. This is particularly the case for:

           *Charred or singed items   

           *Babies' or children's clothing    

           *Burnt linens  

  • If you are not sure whether clothing can be cleaned, consult with a restoration professional. You should dispose of items with extensive damage. 

All of these contents may pose re-contamination risks. If you are not sure whether to throw away or attempt to clean an item, ask fire damage restoration experts in Fayette County.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Extension Cord Misuse

9/30/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of am Extension Cord being misused with multiple cord plugged into one. Extension Cord Misuse

An extension cord can come in handy from time to time to help you solve a temporary power issue, however they should not be used for a long-term solution. Extension cord misuse can cause damage to your home or business. 

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) here are some tips to keep your extension cords safe: 

  • Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground. 
  • Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring  
  • Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. 
  • If the cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.  
  • Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance.  
  • Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in.  
  • Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way.   
  • Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots for the plug. Do not cut off the ground pin to force a fit. This defeats the purpose of a three-prong plug and could lead to an electrical shock.  

If you experience fire or smoke damage, please call us! No job is too big or too small.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

SERVPRO Tools

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

It’s the water you don’t see! Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property.

SERVPRO® of Fayette County professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. 

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of  professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.

Here are a few of the tools used by our SERVPRO® professionals.

  • Moisture Sensors-  Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters- Used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing us to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohydrometers- Measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we here at SERVPRO® of _____can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized. 
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers- Atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers- Dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solutions that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.    

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Fayette County professionals have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened."

Tracie " Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Flooding and Electrical Outlets

9/16/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of water rising to an electrical outlet. Flooding and Electrical Outlets

When flooding occurs in your home or business you need to worry when the water rises to the height of electrical outlets. This can result in a loss of power. However, in some cases the results can spark and damage can create a fire in a house, apartment, or commercial building. There are restoration companies that specialize in water damage, but very few have the experience that can handle fire damage and water damage like SERVPRO of Fayette County.

For decades we have been in the business of restoring homes to original condition. Our expert response teams can pump out a basement and scrub away smoke residues with equal ease. Fortunately, fire damage that is caused by a flooded outlet is usually small and is mainly just smoke damage. In either disaster, removal of drywall is critical so that the workload is not as difficult to deal with.

However, the rising smoke can leave residue higher up on the walls, requiring more panels to be removed. Ceiling tiles can also require cleaning after a fire as well. When an outlet is damaged by water, it needs a replacement from the hardware store, which typically costs less than $5 apiece. The spot where the fire begins, the point of ignition, would be the outlet in this case. The wires leading to the outlet are melted to the outlet box and may require cutting from above where there is any damage.

It is important to inspect the rest of the building as well to ensure that the fried wires did not compromise any other building materials. If the damage runs very far back along the wires, then they require replacing so that the new outlet is in the original location. Our technicians are trained to run new wiring from any point in the structure back to the breaker box if it is needed to rebuild the wiring system of your home or business. This task is extremely easy!

A different team member removes the flooded drywall; exposing the drywall for easier access. Dealing with damage from a flood can be a very difficult and stressful process. Restoring your home and property from both requires professional treatment and care from experts with a nationwide support network or equipment.

SERVPRO of Fayette County is ready to help you whenever disaster strike.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Conserve Water

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of hands washing with soap. Conserve Water

Unlike your home, your commercial building has various employees and clients/customers. You and your family might make conscious efforts to conserve water, but oftentimes, those in your building may not. How often do you use your bathroom sink and walk out with the water still running? Probably never! Now consider this. How many times have you visited an empty public restroom with a running faucet? Probably a few times a year! 

One solution would be to install touch-free faucets. This saves businesses a lot of money, even if the initial cost isn’t very low. 

Additionally, you can make an easy switch of replacing your faucet aerators with newer ones of lower power. After companies make this switch, they typically notice the new aerators only use a fifth of the water the older ones did.  Another money-saving, bathroom investment is purchasing new flush valves.

Today, there are some great options to choose from. You can buy water-saving flush valves that use 20 percent less water than newer toilets and 70 percent less water than pre-1992 toilets. If you operate a restaurant or any other facility that calls for a dishwasher, you may want to upgrade to a water-saving dishwasher. Although they cost about the same as normal dishwashers, these washers use 40 percent less water, not to mention less energy too. A few more tips for saving water in your commercial building include planting shrubs, bushes, flowers, etc. that require less water instead of growing plants that demand water.

Additionally, you should make sure your irrigation device is positioned practically. The sidewalk shouldn’t be drenched after a watering session. Also, check for leaks or drips. You'll need them repaired to save water (and money).  If you’ve noticed rainfall and your irrigation schedule collide, you may want to invest in a rain or soil moisture sensor. You can save a lot on your water bill from what nature has to offer. Plus, if it has rained or the soil is damp enough, the plants could potentially drown. 

Lastly, meter your irrigation separately, as unless you do so, your water company will send all the water coming from the property to a wastewater treatment plant. If you do choose to meter, your sewer bill will plummet.

We at SERVPRO of Fayette County encourage you to incorporate a few of these tips into your commercial business and see how much water (and money) you can save!

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Accountability

8/19/2022 (Permalink)

Why choose SERVPRO?! 

Why is that even a question?

SERVPRO of Fayette County Is very into accountability. We want you as a customer to feel good about working with us and want you to be able to rely on us. There are many guidelines that we are accountable for. We have all insurance requirements and receive certification of insurance. We do background checks on all employees. SERVPRO of Fayette County follows guidelines and procedures. Each franchise response with 24- hours services. We mountain all status on each job. So you as a customer can relax through the process while the work can fall on us. 

If you have any questions, please call us today! 

"Like It Never Even Happened"

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022 

How To Unclog Your Sinks

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of a woman using a plunger to unclog her sink. How To Unclog Your Sinks

When you notice your sink draining slower or not at all, it’s more often than not a sign that your sink has a clogged drain. Whether you can see it on the surface of your drain, or it’s lodged somewhere in the pipes, it’s something that needs to be dealt with as soon as they can. Otherwise, the blockage can become bigger and even harder to remove. If you notice your water drainage starting to slow, try one of these tricks provided by the Home Depot;

  • Carefully pour boiling water into the drain and allow it to flush out the clog and repeat as needed
  • Pour baking soda and white vinegar, use a sink stopper to plug the drain for about 20-minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain slowly and repeat until the block has been cleared
  • Use a plunger in a small puddle of water in the sink
  • You can use a plumbing snake to clear a clogged bathroom sink
  • Attach a wet-dry vac hose to the stopper pipe and connect the other end to a vacuum, pulse the power on and off a few times to help get the clog moving, and then sucked out

If none of these methods work, call a plumber or another qualified professional to help. And never try to continue using a sink when it’s badly clogged. Always be prepared and make sure you’re aware of your drain ahead of time. If it starts to slow, try one of these tricks right away. It might save you some hassle later on.

As always, if disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Fayette County are always here for you.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Fire Pit Safety.

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

A picture of a fire pit. Fire Pit Safety.

Fire pits are a great way to accessorize your yard and they are perfect for gatherings! When you use your fire pit, make sure you are keeping you and your property safe by following these safety tips!

Location: Make sure you keep your fire pit AT LEAST 10 feet away from any structures. This may help prevent sparks from hitting your home and excessive smoke from entering your or your neighbor’s home. Do NOT put your fire pit under tree branches or on a covered deck. Make sure your fire pit is in a location where the flames and sparks will not hit any objects.

Under the Pit  If your fire pit is not built into the ground, make sure you have stone, brick, gravel, or concrete under the pit. This will help prevent the area below the pit from burning. You should NEVER place your pit over dry grass or over a wooden deck. This is because the heat from the base of its pit may spark a fire to the ground below it. 

Weather  Do not use your fire pit if it is windy. The wind may push sparks from the fire to an area that is flammable.  When you are using your fire pit, you should notice the direction the breeze is blowing. You should move any object out of the way of where the breeze is blowing to help prevent a fire from occurring. 

Lighting the Pit When lighting your fire pit, use a commercial fire starter pack. Do NOT use lighter fluid or gasoline to light the pit or to relight fires. You should always keep water nearby just in case the fire inside of the pit spreads. Before you use your fire pit, you should check your town’s laws on fire pits. Some towns require a permit and an inspection.

If the unfortunate happens, call the experts at SERVPRO. We will restore your property and make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022

Disinfecting Drinking Water After A Disaster

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

EMERGENCY DISINFECTION OF DRINKING WATER AFTER DISASTER USE ONLY WATER THAT HAS BEEN PROPERLY DISINFECTED FOR DRINKING, COOKING, MAKING ANY PREPARED DRINK, OR FOR BRUSHING TEETH

1. Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.

2. If you don’t have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.

3. If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.

4. If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Tracie "Dusty" Nichols

724-628-3022