Once again it’s hurricane season in the southern United States. Luckily western Michigan doesn’t get hurricanes but we do get storms that can knock out power for several days at a time. When this happens people often turn to generators. The news from the gulf coast last week says that Hurricane Laura killed more people from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators than died from the storm. This is sad since it is totally preventable.
Although using power generators is useful and often necessary to prevent food spoilage, provide lights, and water, it must be done safely. Never use a generator inside a building or partly enclosed area such as a garage or covered deck. Keep generators away from open windows and doors. Wind can force the exhaust back into your home. Keep generators dry and out of the rain and be careful how you cover them. Try to keep them at least 5 feet from any combustible materials (including tarps).
Never start or stop a generator without first unplugging all cords and making sure there is no load on the unit. Use proper fuel, never leave them unattended, and keep children away from the units. Make sure you don’t overload the generator, do use heavy duty (outdoor rated) extension cords, and let the unit cool completely before adding fuel. Store fuel away from generator if possible.
Carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless. You will not even know it is there until it is too late. The experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help with the storm damage, but the only thing we can do about generator safety is to remind you to be careful. Call our crews located at our offices in Ludington, Manistee, and Cadillac at 877-350-4872 for 24 hour help.
What can you put in your toilet
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac has noticed a significant increase in sewage losses in the past weeks. We are not sure if it is resulting from the toilet paper hoarding/shortage but we thought it may be a good time to review the rules on what you can and cannot flush. According to Jim Ervin, who was compliance manager for a major wastewater treatment facility for 27 years, the Golden Rule of Flushing is: "If you wouldn’t put it down your garbage disposal, don’t flush it." There are only certain things you should be putting in your toilet, which is why they were made.
The list of what not to flush is much longer.
- Baby wipes, facial tissues, disinfectant wipes, moist wipes (even if the label says it is flushable)
- Napkins, (paper or cloth) paper towels, swifter’s and cleaning pads often have a plastic mesh to keep them from falling apart and don’t dissolve.
- Q-tips and Cotton pads tend to clump and can clog pipes
- Menstrual products can expand and again can clog pipes
- Diapers, a no brainer, just don’t do it
- Dental floss, just does not go away and can cause real problems.
- Medication or vitamins do not cause drain issues but are very bad for the environment.
- Kitty Litter, egg shells, nut shells, coffee grounds, nope
- Cooking wastes like fats, oils and greases can cause major issues
- Socks, rags, hand towels, sponges…don’t even think about it
The experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can certainly help clean up the mess when you clog or blow apart your sewage drains, but we would much prefer if you kept the lines clear.
We can handle the big stuff
A local Manistee chain motel recently found out what happens when a main water line to its fire suppression system freezes and bursts. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac was called during the night when the front desk night manager noticed water pouring from the ceiling in one of the wings. The experts at SERVPRO quickly helped the quests relocate and started extracting water to begin the drying process. The wet insulation in the ceiling was removed, drywall cut, baseboards removed and some carpet pad removed. Most of the carpet was able to be dried in place. The motel was approved to remain open for guests after drying equipment was set, the fire suppression system was repaired and inspected, and containment built to isolate the affected rooms. With the quick response by the experts of SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac it kept any customers from having to find another place to spend the night.
COVID-19 in Western Michigan
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac is fully operational and responding to all normal work and Covid-19 emergencies. We are always here to help.
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. Obviously there are multiple levels of cleaning required depending on the level of contamination. The lowest level is proactive cleaning. This level usually requires two passes. The first cleaning removes the dirt and involves scrubbing with soap and water. Normal household cleaning should be done at least daily.
Specialized training is needed for cleaning when confirmed Covid-19 positive events are encountered.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if you encounter positive tests. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.
Once the normal dirt and grime has been removed the next step is to disinfect the surface with an EPA registered cleaner. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, the EPA has hundreds of approved products listed on their web site and most commercial products will work fine. Read the product labels carefully and be sure to allow the required dwell times for the cleaning product to work.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. If disinfecting is being completed due to a positive case; cleaning of walls and floors should be included in the scope. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Locker rooms
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
If you need specialized cleaning help, don’t hesitate to call the experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac.
When a storm hits, how safe is the water in your basement or crawlspace?
When a storm drops a foot of rain you quickly find out your homes weak areas. It may be the roof or gutter system, or skylights, or possibly the foundation or sump pump. Because of the laws of gravity, eventually the problem will end up in your basement or crawlspace. When this happens, you must be very careful how you deal with the water. Aside from the obvious issues with electricity and water there can be another problem; the water may be contaminated.
The IICRC and the EPA standards state that all groundwater is considered Category 3 which “is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic toxigenic or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; waste line backflows that originate from beyond any trap regardless of visible content or color; all forms of flooding from seawater; rising water from rivers and streams; and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events.” This water and everything it touches can make you sick.
Making matters worse is you probably have limited or no coverage help from your insurance company. The experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help you understand what steps you need to take to protect your home and family. As a general rule, hard surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected while porous surface items should be discarded. This includes carpeting and pad, wet drywall and insulation, and affected clothing and bedding. And of course, the sooner you call, the higher on the waiting list your name will be. So don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac, we are always here to help.
There in a flash!
Last week SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac was called to help a local Cadillac business when an adjacent building had a water pipe burst. SERVPRO was on site within an hour and the business was able to re-open the same day. Because of how quickly the water loss was discovered and mitigated, damage was confined to less than 25% of the showroom. SERVPRO set containment to separate the affected areas from the rest of the building, extracted the water, moved and blocked wet contents, and set drying equipment. Within 3 days the experts at SERVPRO were able to remove all the drying equipment and start the restoration process. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac always here to help our community in their time of need.
What to do when you have a loss and get placed on a waiting list.
When a storm event hits your home or community it can be devastating. To make matters worse you may not be able to get help quickly. There is nothing worse than having a loss and being put on a waiting list. This is where SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help. While a storm event is usually local, it still may affect hundreds of homes. Most restoration companies can handle only 2-3 losses a day and put the rest on a waiting list. SERVPRO has over one hundred sister franchises in Michigan that can scramble crews to any event. Whether the problem is wind, rain, flooding, or even a polar vortex SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac can help make it "Like it never even happened."
Back to school early!
There is never a good time for a fire. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac recently was called to a local Reed City school over Christmas break. A contractor was stripping and refinishing the gym floor when the cleaning rags self-combusted causing smoke damage to the gym, locker rooms, halls, and cafeteria. While this was a very large loss SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac was able to partner with our sister franchises in Grand Rapids to get enough crews on site to work multiple shifts and complete the cleanup in 4 days. School was able to open on schedule after New Year’s Day and no time was missed. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac always here to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Is it smoke or mold?
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac often gets calls about mold staining on painted surfaces that keeps coming back even though the home does not have moisture issues. We remind the homeowners that you cannot have a mold problem without also having a moisture problem. Using moisture meters and infrared cameras to rule out moisture issues allows us to zero in on the next most likely cause: soot. Having a wood or pellet stove in the house can often result in grey or black streaks near the tops of the walls, in the corners, or on the ceiling. Pellet stoves must be cleaned regularly or they will soot up your home. Filling wood stoves or fireplaces without first opening the damper will also allow smoke to escape into the home. This smoke contains tiny liquid droplets of soot that condenses on the cold surfaces of the walls and ceiling leaving streaks called “Ghosting”. Often the nails or screws holding the drywall will also attract the soot as the particles are magnetically charged and stick to the metal. Even burning candles can leave a layer of soot on painted surfaces. If you notice black screws or streaks on the walls, give SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac a call to see if we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Furniture store fire
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac recently helped a local Mason County furniture store after a major fire in their warehouse. When the attached warehouse caught fire, it not only damaged the building and stored contents but also filled the sales floor with smoke and odor. SERVPRO had a crew on site within an hour setting containment between the buildings and allowing cleaning to begin. Within 3 days, the main store was able to open for customers while SERVPRO worked on the warehouse. All contents were removed, the structure was cleaned by blasting with baking soda and all surfaces were HEPA vacuumed and sealed with an oil based paint. After final Ozone deodorization and replacement of the overhead doors, the structure was ready to be used. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac was able to help get this local small business up and running in just a few days which is critical for cash flow.