Keep your natural tree fresh this Christmas
The following tips can help trees last until the final present is unwrapped and the last of the egg nog has been consumed.
Natural Christmas tree aficionados love the authenticity such trees provide during the holiday season. Natural trees also provide a unique aroma that can make holiday celebrations feel homier.
When purchasing natural trees, holiday celebrants, especially those who like to buy their trees in early December, may be concerned about keeping their trees fresh throughout the holiday season. The following tips can help trees last until the final present is unwrapped and the last of the eggnog has been consumed.
- Buy a freshly cut tree. Whenever possible, celebrants should cut their own trees. This ensures that the tree they bring home is fresh, increasing the chances it will remain so throughout the season. If it’s not possible to cut your own tree, the National Fire Protection Association notes that fresh trees should have green needles that do not come off when touched. Trees that appear to be dried out or those that shed needles when touched should be avoided.
- Protect trees on the way home. The Tree Care Industry Association advises consumers to protect their Christmas trees as they transport them home. Wrap the tree in a plastic wrap so it makes it home damage-free. A damaged tree might not make it through the holiday season.
- Cut pre-cut trees before leaving the lot. Pre-cut trees can make it through the holiday season looking their best, but buyers should request that employees cut as much as two inches off the bottom of the tree before leaving the lot. Once trees are cut, sap begins to seal their base, making it hard for them to absorb water. By requesting that between one and two inches be removed from the bottom of the tree at the time of purchase, buyers are ensuring their trees will be able to absorb the water they’ll need to make it through the season when they get home.
- Place the tree in water the moment you get home. To prevent the base of the tree from drying out, place it in water the moment you get home. Freshly cut trees may initially need the water in their tree stands filled in the morning and then again in the evening. As the season progresses, trees likely won’t need their stands filled more than once per day.
- Place the tree away from heat sources. Placing trees away from heat sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, heating vents, and lights, reduces the likelihood that trees will dry out and also reduces the risk of fire.
A few simple strategies can help holiday revelers ensure their Christmas trees make it through the holiday season unscathed.
Stay safe when stringing holiday lights
Holiday lighting can make your home a magical place but don't forget to use caution when decorating for the holiday.
Lighting displays are one of the many things that help make the holiday season a special time of year. Often awe-inspiring, holiday lighting displays present a perfect opportunity for communities and individuals to showcase their festive sides. Safety should always be a priority when stringing holiday lights both inside and outside a home. The National Fire Protection Association notes that, between 2009 and 2014, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. Lighting displays strung on home exteriors also can pose safety risks if homeowners do not exercise caution. Fortunately, various strategies can help homeowners safely decorate their homes' interiors and exteriors this holiday season.
¥ Choose a fresh tree. The NFPA recommends celebrants who prefer natural Christmas trees choose ones with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Dry trees are more likely to catch fire than freshly cut trees. Adding water to the tree stand each day will keep trees fresher longer. When placing the tree, avoid placing it too close to heat sources, making sure it is at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Check all lights before stringing them. All lights, including those going on trees inside a home and those being strung outside, should be inspected prior to being strung. Look for any worn or broken cords and replace any defected lights.
- Employ the buddy system. When stringing lights, always work with at least one other person. This makes it safe for homeowners who must climb ladders to string lights on especially tall trees and/or on their home exteriors.
- Avoid working in inclement weather. The weather during the holiday season can sometimes be unpleasant or unpredictable. Check the forecast before stringing exterior lights to ensure Mother Nature won't pose a threat. Avoid hanging lights if the forecast predicts wet, icy or windy conditions that can make ladders unstable.
- Turn lights off when going to bed and/or leaving the house. Interior and exterior holiday lights should not be left on when no one is home or everyone inside is sleeping. If left on overnight or when no one is home, lights may contribute to fires that damage homes and may even prove fatal. Holiday lighting displays help make this time of year special. Following some simple safety procedures when decorating with lights can ensure everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday season.
If the worse should happen call the experts of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville at 336-224-2565. With our 24 hour emergency services we are faster to any disaster
Helping Insurance Agents Help Their Customers
Agents attending a continuing education class taught by SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville's owner, Craig Harmon
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville recently held several continuing education classes for several insurance agencies across the Triad. Our goal is always to be of services to our community. By providing continuing education to agents, adjustors and realtors SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville can ensure these professionals have the latest education to help their customers will help their customers with their needs.
Our company goes through rigorous training to be able to teach a wide variety of classes. Another way SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville helps their community is offering no cost assessments for their customers. Insurance deductibles can be very expensive. So, before filing a claim SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville will come by your property and scope the problem/loss to:
- Determine if you have a problem
- If the loss would be expensive enough to justify filing a claim with your insurance
- Explain what the problem is and how it can be repaired.
As you can see the goal of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville is to be a resource to our friends and neighbors in Davidson County. If you suspect your home or business has experienced a loss due to fire, water and mold give us a call today at 336-224-2565.
The threat posed by ice dams
Old man winter has finally reached Davidson County and cold, snowy weather can present various issues for homeowners to contend with. One such problem, ice dams, can cause damage to walls, ceilings and other areas.
The University of Minnesota Extension says that an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof and prevents melting snow from draining properly. A complex combination of heat loss from a home, snow cover and outside temperatures can lead the formation of ice dams. An ice dam will be fed by melting snow above it and cause a backup at the edge of the roof.
Dams can cause gutters to tear off and loosen shingles and may lead to water backing up and pouring into the home, advises This Old House. Ice dams also can contribute to soggy insulation, making the insulation lose its protective R-value and becoming a magnet for mold and mildew.
Homeowners can do several things to temporarily prevent the formation of ice dams. Heated cables clipped to the roofs edge in a zigzag pattern can help prevent dams that lift shingles. Pushing snow off the roof can help. Laying an ice melt product in gutters to help melt the ice that forms also can prevent ice dams.
More permanent solutions involve keeping the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves by increasing ventilation, adding insulation and properly sealing air leaks that can warm the underside of the roof. This may involve calling in a professional contractor. Such an investment is well worth it, as it can prevent much more costly damage down the line.
Rebuilding After A Devastating Loss In You Arcadia Home
When your home or business has experienced damage by fire, water, mold or storms knowing who to call is critical. SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville is available 24/7 and that speedy response is critical in protecting your property. Any major structural damage should be the first priority. We can provide roof tarping and emergency board ups to help prevent secondary damage and secure your personal property. Once the damage is scoped and documented our highly trained team of professionals can being the restoration process. We can do as little as cleaning your carpets to structure reconstruction. Our team is well versed on all types of restoration services and having one company handle everything can save time and help reduce costs.
We best part of SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville’s services is that we offer no cost assessments on any property damage you may have. So, if you would like to learn more about SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville or schedule your no cost assessment give us a call today at 336-224-2565.
Mold: What Does Your Insurance Cover?
Water damage in this basement is an example of a"covered peril" creating a mold colony.
Homeowner’s insurance varies with each insurance carrier so it’s best to talk to your agent to get the specifics of your policy but there are some generalizations about homeowner’s insurance when it comes to mold damage in your home.
Mold damage is usually covered by homeowner’s insurance if it was caused by a “covered peril”. According to insuance.com an example of a covered peril would be and water supply line leaking under a cabinet that produced mold. However, that same situation may not be covered if the leak can continue a few weeks because it would then be classified as a maintenance issue. Maintenance issues are generally not covered because the insurance companies feel the damage could have been avoided if regular maintenance and repairs had been completed in a timely manner.
If your policy covers mold it will usually have a “cap” or a maximum amount the policy will cover. Since mold remediation can be expensive preventative home maintenance or quick mitigation response is critical to save you both time and money.
At SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville our team of trained professionals are experts in mold remediation as well as fire and water clean-up. If you suspect your home or business has a mold problem, give us a call at 336-224-2565 for your free assessment today.
The team of SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville takes training seriously
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries.
When it comes to employee training SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville believes in keeping up to date on the latest training in the restoration industry. Founded in 1967 SERVPRO Industries set the gold standard in restore vs. replace and a big component of that is employee training which is still emphasized today.
Our entire team goes through a wide variety of inhouse, online and offsite continuing education which includes
This training is to ensure each employee knows exactly what to do in a wide variety of situations. Certifications are awarded when classes are completed, and exams passed. ALL of our employees are required to be IICRC certified in water restoration
What is the IICRC?
IICRC stands for The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a non-profit organization that sets guidelines and policies in the cleaning and restoration in the industry. So all stands that shape the industry are upheld. To be IICRC certified means you are highly trained and skilled.
So, if your Davidson county home or business experiences a loss due to fire, water, mold, or a bio-hazardous situation give SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville a call at 336-224-2565 for piece of mind knowing your property is being taken care of by highly trained professionals.
Prevent growth of mold/mildew in colder months
It is essential to address mold before it becomes problematic.
Mold and mildew are not only unsightly, but unhealthy. These fungi grow readily in damp areas and are found in the air breathed both indoors and outside. If left unaddressed, mold and mildew can threaten the health of a home's inhabitants. Mildew is a type of mold that remains relatively flush with the surface it grows on. Other molds can grow puffy in appearance. Molds serve the purpose of destroying organic materials, but in high amounts, these microorganisms can cause respiratory problems, sinus congestion, throat irritation, headaches, and other issues, particularly when mold grows unchecked indoors, says Better Homes and Gardens. As a result, it is essential to address mold before it becomes problematic. According to Polygon, a drying technology and temporary climate solutions company, the wet season in winter is when molds often grow and expand. Mold can break down the integrity and strength of the surfaces where it grows. Homeowners can employ the following strategies to prevent mold growth.
- Keep all surfaces clean, using proper cleaning products. Diluted bleach solutions are highly effective at killing microscopic fungi, viruses and bacteria on nonporous surfaces.
- Reduce moisture and humidity by ensuring sufficient air circulation in rooms, particularly bathrooms and kitchens. An exhaust fan will help remove moisture quickly.
- Fabrics covered in mildew that can be laundered should be carefully removed and washed in chlorine bleach and hot water. An oxygen bleach product also can be effective.
- Invest in a dehumidifier that can reduce moisture in the home in problem areas, such as damp basements or garages.
- Fix plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
- Remove damp leaves and snow from areas around the foundation of the home. Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and can shuttle water away from the house effectively.
- Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements.
- Make sure all seals on windows and doors are not compromised and are in good working condition.
- Be sure an HVAC in-line humidifier is adjusted to the right setting and isn't pumping too much moisture into the heated air; otherwise, the added humidity can contribute to mold.
If there is a flood or water infiltrates a home in other ways, hire a professional service to help clean and dry the home effectively. Mold and mildew are problematic, but with diligence they can be kept at bay.
How to protect wood floors from inclement weather
Homeowners need not give up on hardwood if they live in an area that sees all four seasons.
Wood floors are a worthwhile investment that can improve the beauty and function of just about any room in a home. Even though wood floors are durable, and new protective treatments help seal out many of the things that may have damaged floors in the past, homeowners still need to prioritize protecting their hardwood floors. Certain seasons of the year can be more harsh on wood floors than others. For example, seasons characterized by moisture and precipitation, particularly the early spring, winter and fall, can be hard on wood floors. Cold, snowy days can damage wood floors Homeowners need not give up on hardwood if they live in an area that sees all four seasons. They just need to take a few steps to keep floors looking beautiful.
Clean up the salt. Salt that keeps sidewalks and streets clear of snow and ice inadvertently gets tracked inside a home. Hard chunks of salt can scratch wood floors, and, if left to sit, that salt can eventually cause white marks and other stains. Routinely vacuuming and sweeping up salt is necessary to protect wood floors.
Invest in shoe storage. Wet or snowy boots can create puddles around the house. Have a special mat or tray by the front door where wet shoes can be kept. A nice bench in the entryway makes it easy for residents and guests to remove their shoes until it's time to go back outside.
Use water-wicking mats. Homeowners will probably need a few extra mats around to tame errant drips and wipe shoes. Any entrance that might be used by people or pets should be protected. Try to avoid petroleum-based, rubber-backed mats, as they could discolor the wood floor.
Control humidity indoors. Cold, dry air in a home can be problematic because the moisture in the wood can eventually evaporate into the air. The heat will suck that moisture from the flooring, causing it to shrink, creak and splinter and become more brittle. Think about investing in an in-line humidifier for the home's HVAC system that can keep a moderate amount of humidity in the home. Hardwood floorboards are installed to accommodate minor temperature and humidity fluctuations. This is typically a range of between 60 and 80 degrees F with a relative humidity range of 35 to 55 percent.
Use the right cleaning products. Avoid excessive water to clean wood floors, and select soaps that are specially designed for wood flooring. Consult with the flooring manufacturer for a list of detergents that are safe to use. With proper care, hardwood flooring can survive rain, snow and cold weather.
Prepare for the financial impact of natural disasters
The fury of Mother Nature's wrath is displayed in vivid color during stormy times of year, including hurricane season. And even though the Atlantic hurricane season is winding down being aware of what can happen it always important. It seems no area of the planet is safe from such furor. In September 2018, Hurricane Florence battered the southeastern coast of the United States while Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong. Just a few months earlier, California saw devastating wild fires, and in August torrential rain flooded many areas of Taiwan. After the flood waters recede and the rain or smoke has passed, people affected by storms must face the financial ramifications. Whether storms touch down nearby or overseas, the globalized economy means the financial fallout from natural disasters can be felt near and wide. The National Centers for Environmental Information estimates that hurricanes cost an average of $21.8 billion per event in damages for the United States. Since 1980, when data started to be collected, NCEI indicates hurricanes (tropical cyclones), drought, flooding, wildfires, freezes, and winter storms tend to be the most costly events. ItÕs easy to underestimate the scope of the financial burdens caused by natural disasters. Here are a few ways to protect one's financial interests in advance of natural disasters.
- Experts at Property Casualty Insurers Association of America advise consumers to review and update their insurance policies regularly. Many homeowners are underinsured for natural disasters, particularly for flooding or earthquakes, which are not included in most policies.
- Adjust insurance shortfalls based on what insurers provide and the type of weather that tends to affect the area in which you live.
- Policies should reimburse for hotel rooms or meals out if a home is uninhabitable after a disaster. In a Consumer Reports survey of people who experienced property damage after a hurricane, 5 percent said they had to stay elsewhere, while 42 percent needed to relocate temporarily after damages from wildfires.
- Remove valuables and store them in a bank safety deposit box or another location that's outside the path of the storm. Theft, vandalism and looting can occur after storms.
- Have a backup employment plan and savings strategy if storms come through regularly. It is not uncommon for local businesses to shut down for some time to recover. This can mean temporary or permanent loss of employment.
- Recognize your portfolio may suffer as commodity prices and stocks take a hit if regions are decimated by natural disasters. Think ahead in regard to how your investments may be affected and make changes accordingly to mitigate the financial damage. Storms cause structural and economic damage when they roll through. Be prepared to protect your financial interests.