Disaster in Stanley
It is estimated that over 300,000 gallons of water fell through the broken ceiling pipe in this Stanley church.
Just before Christmas, SERVPRO of Minot received a call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stanley, ND. Above the Church’s indoor basketball court, a sprinkler pipe had burst cascading hundreds of thousands of gallons of water down on the church. This water spread throughout the building and spilled into the parking lot and nearby streets before being discovered.
This is one of the worst disasters we have seen this year. Due to the pipe burst not being discovered for a period of time, it meant that the water had time to soak into materials and contents throughout the church. Besides the collapsed ceiling, there was significant damage to the floors, walls, doors, and contents throughout the church.
Once we had received the call and had staff on site to assess the damage, technicians began working over the weekend to begin removing damaged materials and starting the drying process. With a job of this size (over 16,000 sq. ft.) it requires almost our entire staff along with additional temporary workers to make sure we are meeting deadlines for drying and saving as much of the existing structure as quickly as possible.
With a loss this devastating, it will be a while before normal operations in the church can resume. It will take a couple of weeks for drying to be completed, followed immediately by application of anti-microbial products to prevent mold growth. Once that is completed, a construction company will be brought in to build back and repair the building’s damaged and removed components until it is restored like new and ready to reopen. This will involve repairing the flood cuts in the drywall, replacement of damaged carpeting, repairs to the ceiling and, of course, replacement of the basketball court flooring.
This is a devastating loss for the Stanley community and people of the church, but SERVPRO of Minot is here to help get things back to normal and are glad that nobody was hurt in the loss.
How to Reduce Health and Safety Hazards in Your Home
photo via Burst
Blog post contributed by Lisa Walker of neighborhoodsprout.org
Your home is a symbol of comfort and stability. We all want a cozy, safe place to live. Unfortunately, some common threats put your family at risk. For maximum comfort, remove any health or safety hazards. Here are some ways you can protect your home and your family.
Water quality is a common hazard that is often overlooked. However, neglecting to test or treat your water could potentially make you sick, so consider purchasing a home test kit. Home water test kits are extremely affordable and can be found for as little as $10. In order to be considered safe, your water’s arsenic level must be less than 10 parts per billion. It’s vital to understand that you can’t purify arsenic-contaminated water by boiling it. Because arsenic does not evaporate like water does, boiling the water increases the concentration of arsenic. Instead, stop drinking or cooking with your tap water until you can install a water treatment system.
In-home mold can cause health issues. To help eliminate mold from your home, it’s often best to call an experienced professional who specializes in mold remediation. For instance, SERVPRO of Minot provides a mold remediation service that includes inspection and assessment, followed by mold containment, air filtration, mold mitigation and remediation, and cleaning. If you suspect your home has a mold issue, the mold remediation process can help.
Fires are another home threat that could strike at any time. Place smoke detectors in each room and a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Replace the batteries annually, and be sure to test the smoke detector monthly.
Another way to keep your family safe in the event of a fire is to have a carefully planned escape route. The National Fire Protection Association provides online guides that will walk you through the steps for creating your own at-home fire escape plan. Because fires spread in as little as one to two minutes, it’s vital to practice your escape plan as a family so that everyone knows what to do. If you don’t have them already, it’s also wise to purchase several fire extinguishers, with one specifically for the kitchen, as well as a fire-proof safe so documents and valuables are protected. Although you may not want to think about the possibility of a house fire happening to you, preparing in advance will help protect your family.
You deserve a safe, comfortable home. By taking the proper precautions, such as detecting and eliminating any potential safety hazards throughout your house, you can protect yourself and your loved ones. You’ll sleep better at night with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family, belongings, and assets are safe and secure.
Contributed by Lisa Walker of neighborhoodsprout.org
Tips to keep you and your home safe this Christmas
As we come towards the end of 2020, many of us are looking forward to Christmas, with the bonus gift of it being on a Friday this year. Although some of us may be celebrating a little different this year, many Christmas traditions will remain the same and it is important to keep safe while doing so. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe.
Prepare your car for winter travel
As North Dakotans, we are used to bad winters, but it never hurts to be reminded of the basic winter travel necessities. Remember to keep plenty of gas in your vehicle, to keep your heat running, in case bad winter conditions leave you stranded on the side of the road. In your vehicle you should also have:
- Extra blankets or coats
- Jumper cables
- Snow shovel
If Traveling on Christmas:
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
- Watch for icy or dangerous conditions on the roads
- Call ahead to tell someone you are on your way and when to expect your arrival
For your home:
- If you plan on leaving for an extended period of time, make sure your home is heating properly and turn the water supply to your home OFF.
- Never leave open flames unattended. Whether it is a candle, fireplace, or someone is cooking, don’t leave those heat sources alone.
- If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dry
- Inspect lights for frayed or damaged wires
- Make plans for your pets to be taken care of
Christmas and the holiday season is a wonderful time of the year and if you stay smart and safe, you can have a wonderful time.
3 Ways to Save Heat in Your Home this Winter
As winter is fast approaching, all North Dakotans know that saving heat is important. Between saving money on energy bills and increased home comfort, these tips below are well worth the time and effort to get your home prepared for winter.
- Turn fans on. Circulate air throughout your home during the cold months. We tend to turn our fans off when it gets cold but turning them on can actually have benefits. As your furnace heats the air, that warm air eventually rises to the ceiling and cools off or escapes through windows and imperfections in the roof. Turning fans on, and if angling them towards the ceiling if possible, forces that trapped warm air back down and heats your home.
- Use a humidifier. Moist air retains heat better than dry air, so running a humidifier can save money in heating cost while also adding many health benefits.
- Sealing leaks. The easiest and best way to retain heat in your home, and save energy costs, is through sealing leaks. Your home releases hot air through imperfections in building materials and construction design. Common areas to find leaks include around doors, windows, near the attic, where wires and cables enter your house, and around electrical outlets. Seal gaps around any pipes, wires, vents or other openings with caulk or weather stripping. This costs as little as $5 and can save up to 10-20% of your heating bill.
Our first ever Virtual CE Class
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, here at SERVPRO of Minot, we have been doing our best to keep things as normal as we can. As an essential business, we are continuing to provide our disaster cleanup and restoration efforts to the local community. We have also been providing cleaning and disinfecting services to local businesses to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
One way that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted us, was the loss of our continuing education event. SERVPRO provides free continuing education (CE) classes to those who may need credit for maintaining their insurance license. This is an excellent class for us to show our appreciation for our local insurance agents and adjusters by giving them free education to improve their professional lives. Unfortunately, we were not able to provide this event last March due to the state shutdown.
While we were disappointed by not being able to host this event, the news that these classes could now be done virtually was exciting news. Our instructor, Dan Luttrell, was able to teach the class from his home in Dallas to local insurance agents here in Minot.
This class on Ethics was an extremely informative class, with one experienced agent saying afterwards “That was by far the most fun CE class I have ever taken!” Participants in the class were taken through scenarios that could come up in their professional and personal lives and shown that most situations don’t always have a clear right answer. Over the course of the three-hour class, it was shown that sometimes the ethical choice isn’t always the easy one and what sometimes seems like the unethical choice, really is the best option.
This was an excellent class and we would like to thank Dan for doing a great job in being our instructor and also thank everyone who signed up and participated in the class.
Why Every Business Needs an Emergency Ready Profile
Life throws challenges at us all the time, and as a business owner, you know are constantly overcoming new challenges that arise throughout the day. Most of the time, these challenges don’t slow down your everyday operations, but when disaster strikes, your entire company can be put on hold until it is resolved. A pipe bursting, break room fire, or flooded first floor can put business on hold for days, weeks, or months depending on severity. Oftentimes a business can never recover after major building damage.
While you never know what disaster will strike, preparing for the worst can mitigate secondary damage and reduce the time doors are closed. A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a free assessment strategically designed to: 1) Prevent damage from any disaster 2) Establish clear communication and authorization for work to begin and 3) Help your business recover from any unexpected event. The ERP is not a full contingency plan but rather an addition to your existing plan.
An ERP is a free assessment of your company’s facilities and potential threats to their structural integrity. This profile is established by identifying high risk events that are specific to your facilities and addressing response options. An example would be a restaurant being at a high risk of fire damage, do to cooking and hazardous conditions in a kitchen, therefore planning where a fire would take place, identifying key access points such as switches to turn off gas and power lines and then having contact info for the local fire department, insurance agents, and SERVPRO of Minot to clean any damage that occurs.
As a restoration company, the sooner we receive a call, the sooner we can have staff on site. Establishing SERVPRO of Minot as your Priority Service Provider means we can respond to your emergency faster than normal and get your business open ahead of schedule.
To learn more details about a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, call our office today, or email Ben at benjaminr@SERVPROminot.com
5 Steps for Preparing for a Big Storm
Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death. Below is a checklist to make sure your home and family are best prepared for any storms, so that you, your loved ones, and your home can stay safe.
Prepare a storm shelter.
Include essential supplies such as food, water, a first aid kid, flashlights and batteries to last a few days in the case of a severe storm or tornado.
Clear branches and dead trees around your home.
The high-speed wind of storms can send dead branches or even trees crashing through your windows, siding, and roof. Clearing these objects away from your house is an easy way to make sure they don’t cause any damage.
Secure outside objects
The benefits of technology is we have weather apps and stations that give us warning before a storm arrives. If a bad one is coming up, move large outdoor objects inside to prevent damage to your house and those objects.
Document your valuable items.
Take pictures of valuable items that you can use to show insurance later. If they are damaged or lost in the storm, you have better luck with your claim if you have documentation. Include date of purchase and purchase amount if you have that as well. Bonus points for saving receipts!
Protect Your Pets!
When preparing for storms, oftentimes pets are forgotten about. Make sure to have a plan in place for your pets, whether that is in your storm shelter or if that means having them in a separate safe location for when the storm hits.
The Danger of Smoking to Your Home
For years, smoking has been known to have negative consequences on your health, but what about the health of your home? Although smoking inside in public areas has been outlawed for some years, smoking inside is still common in many households across the U.S. Besides the Health consequences from smoking, your home can also suffer damages as well.
Smoking is the leading cause of death in home fires. With an average of 590 deaths annually and 1,130 injuries. Fires caused by smoking materials happen mostly in bedrooms (34%) and living rooms (43%) these are areas where flammable materials such as blankets, carpet, and couch fibers are liable to catch fire if they are exposed to a flame from a cigarette.
Smoking is generally viewed as only harmful to oneself, or through secondhand smoke. However, if a fire breaks out from smoking, this damages the home and endangers the lives of everyone who lives there.
When trying to resell a home, one that has been occupied by a smoker can be a tough sell. The smell from cigarettes is a tough one to remove and simply cleaning the carpet is not always the solution. The smell from smoke can get trapped in cupboards, vents, and even the ceiling. All of this combines to reduce home value by almost 29%. This reduced value is sure to keep rising in severity as smoking becomes less common in society.
How to Clean
Smoke is one of the most challenging smells to get out of your home. Anyone who has burnt their dinner knows the smell can linger for hours. Years of smoking inside is even harder to restore a fresh smell. When dealing with smoke, simply spraying an air freshener or cleaning the carpet will likely not do anything to help.
Cleaning the walls and ceilings with a cleaning solution is a great start, followed by a deep cleaning of the carpets and floors. Oftentimes you may need to professionally clean your air ducts. The smoke smell can get stuck in your ducts, furnace, and air conditioning units, which will need to be fully removed to keep the smell from circulating throughout your home.
NFPA (Jan. 2019) Home Fires Started by Smoking. NFPA.com. Marty Ahrens.
Realtor Magazine. (July, 2018) How Much Cigarette Smoke Decreases Resale Value.
What to Do When You Find Mold in your Home
Discovering mold in your home can be a frustrating event. Not knowing how bad the problem is, how to remove it, the cost of a professional and whether or not your home is safe are just some of the thoughts you’ll have. To help relieve some of those worries, below are some tips to help manage your mold problem.
The first step to do is to call the mold experts at SERVPRO of Minot, we will immediately respond to your call and have staff on site to provide help and advice. Every discovery of growth is different and having experts take a look at it is important in deciding what to do next.
Until we are able to get staff on site, here are some tips on what to do.
Try and contain the area
If the growth is in a room that can be sealed off from the rest of the house. Air movement will spread the spores around and can lead to further growth throughout your home. Staying out of it until technicians can determine the extent of the problem is a good way to keep you and your family safe.
Stop the Source
Mold growth is accompanied by moisture from a leak or other water source. See if you can stop the leak or remove the source as this will help reduce further mold growth. If the area is wet and needs to be dried, do not turn on fans as that will spread mold growth further around the room and house. Call SERVPRO and we can remedy both the water damage and mold growth.
Contact Your Agent
Contact your insurance agent and see if your home has a mold policy. This will go a long way towards saving you money on the remediation. If you don’t have a policy, call your agent and talk to them about adding it to your existing coverage.
The best tip on how to handle the discovery of mold in your home is to remain calm and let the trusted experts at SERVPRO take care of you and your home, providing you with all the information you need to remediate the problem.
SERVPRO of Minot Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
SERVPRO of Minot was welcomed into the Minot Chamber of Commerce! As new owners, the chamber wanted to honor the purchase of the franchise by Ryan Conklin and Lance Larson that occurred back in September.
Due to scheduling, the COVID-19 outbreak, and busy times here at SERVPRO® we were unable to have the ribbon cutting ceremony until June 23rd. Although it was a wait to cut the ribbon, we were glad to take part with the Minot chamber.
As local owners, being apart of the Minot community is important. We love being able to go out to local residents’ homes and businesses and repair them from the disasters they face. Giving peace of mind to those we live with here in the Magic City.
To see the Facebook live of the ribbon cutting, click here.