Tornadoes are not all that common in this part of the state, but they do exist. When a tornado strikes in Wyoming, it is usually in an open space like a field. However, they have touched down in towns before. In the unlikely event of a tornado occurrence near you, here is what to do if you are in a mobile home versus a traditional home:
Have a radio for weather alerts and updates nearby, and make sure you have fresh batteries on hand.
Get to the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have a basement, go to an inner hallway or a closet, or the bathtub in a bathroom.
Stay away from all windows and glass doorways.
Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
Use stairs only. Do not use an elevator because the power may fail, leaving you trapped inside.
Keep pets on a leash or in a crate close by.
Before going outside, be certain the storm has passed.
Stay in the building you are in. Attempting to out run a tornado to get to a different location is dangerous.
Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado. You need to evacuate. Even mobile homes equipped with tie-down systems cannot withstand the force of a tornado's winds.
Listen to all local watches and warnings, and take them seriously. If need to, try to get into the basement of a near by home or building.
If no shelter is immediately available, find the lowest-lying area near you and lie flat down in it, covering your head with your hands. Do NOT try to outrun the tornado.
Commercial Sprinkler System
A commercial sprinkler head
A commercial sprinkler system is a critical protective system in a variety of buildings. They are in hotels, restaurant, schools, and other facilities. The following are 4 reasons why it is important to have a sprinkler system in a commercial or multiple-dwelling setting.
Sprinklers Save Lives:
Having a sprinkler system can help buy time for people to evacuate from the property safely. The National Fire Protection Services has no more than two deaths per year on record with a building that has a functional sprinkler system.
A functional sprinkler system can not only save lives, but it can save the property as well. There will still be some fire, smoke damage, and the obvious water damage, but the property will still be standing and the damage will be limited.
Reduces Insurance Premiums:
Not only can a sprinkler save lives, and the property, but some insurance companies will offer a discount on the premiums due to reduced risk.
After the system has been installed, the required upkeep is very low. The requirement for a sprinkler system is to do an annual inspection. A qualified profession will make sure all the heads and the rest of the system are in good working order.
If your sprinkler system should go off, it is important to remove the water quickly. SERVPRO of Casper can help you get your facility back in good order.
Flood Watch, Warning, Emergency Definitions
A sign that says flood
Spring is here, and so is the rain. There are some years we don’t get a whole lot of rain, and then there are years we deal with intense storms known as microbursts.
A microburst is a localized thunderstorm that is accompanied by significant precipitation. In Wyoming, our soil and drainage systems are not designed to take on a lot of rain at one time, compared to other parts of the country. Because of this, flash flooding may occur. So it is important to understand what a flash flood watch, flash flood warning, and flash flood emergency is. With this knowledge, will better understand how to handle the situation. According to the National Weather Service, this is what they mean.
Flash Flood Watch: When conditions look favorable for flash flooding. A WATCH usually includes several counties. This is the time to start preparing for possible flooding. Consider where you would go if water began to rise.
Flash Flood Warning: When dangerous flash flooding is happening or will happen soon. A WARNING is a smaller, more specific area. It can be issued if the excessive heavy rain is going to cause failure to a dam or levee. You need to act quickly. Flash floods are an imminent threat to you and your family. You could have only seconds to move to higher ground.
Flash Flood Emergency: For the exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain is severe and is a threat to human life, and cause catastrophic damage. Emergency officials are reporting life-threatening water rises, requiring water rescues/evacuations.
Care for Your Water Heater
A homeowner that is maintaining his water heater.
Most people think that once their new water heater is installed, that it does not require routine maintenance. But that is incorrect. There are a few things you should do to maximize your water heater’s efficiency and longevity.
Here are some maintenance tips:
1. Test the Temperature-Pressure Release (TPR) Valve
Shut off the power (or gas control) and the cold water supply valve. Place a bucket under the pipe connected to the TPR valve. Lift the valve’s tab to let some water out, then let it go. If the water keeps flowing, drain a little bit more water and install a new one.
2. Check the Anode Rod
Connect a hose to the tanks drain cock and let out a few gallons of water. Get a 1 1/16-inch socket and place it on the rod’s hex head on top of the water heater, and unscrew the rod. If its less than an ½ inch thick, or coated with calcium, it is a good time to buy a new one. If you install a new rod, make sure you apply teflon tape the threads, and securely tighten the new anode rod.
3. Flush the Tank of Sediments
As you are working on the heater and already have some of the water drained, drain the rest of the tank into a bucket. Stir up the sediment on the bottom of tank by briefly opening the cold water supply valve. Drain and repeat until clean water comes out.
4. Adjust the Temperature
When you have located the temperature dial, unscrew its cover. Adjust the dial to 120 degrees. For every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered, you can save up to 5 percent in energy costs.
If you are not going to be home for a few days, turn the water heater down or off. This will help save money as well.
5. Insulate the pipes and water heater body
Buy 3/8 – inch thick foam pipe insulation that fits the pipes. Buy enough to cover the hot and cold water pipes. Insulating the cold pipe will help with condensation during the summer time. When wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket, do not cover the top of the unit.
Be sure to check on your water heater regularly for any rusting, calcium build up, or malfunctions. It is easy for the bottom to rust out, or one of the fittings to rust on the top of the unit and cause a water damage.
Contents Affected By Water Damage
Water Damaged Contents
When a water damage happens, it can be devastating. The flooring, walls, and sometimes contents can get wet and damaged. Unfortunately, if a water damage should happen, any contents in contact with the floor typically get affected as well. I’m going to give you tips on how to protect your home’s contents until help arrives.
If there is furniture sitting on wet carpet, place aluminum foil, tupperware lids, or unfinished wood blocks underneath the feet. This will help get the furniture out of direct contact with the carpet, and will help prevent futher damage to furniture legs, and protect the carpet from furniture stains.
If there are affected contents that are nonporous (items that can not soak up water, such as plastics, glass, etc.) use a towel to wipe the items off. With fabric materials, get as much water out of them first. Then, if they are machine washable, run them through the washer and dryer. If there are contents that are porous (items that can soak up water, such as wood, paper, area rugs, etc.) it is best to get them laid out in an unaffected area so they can start air drying. Porous materials that contain organic materials need attention right away so the damage does not get worse. If allowed to stay wet, these materials have a high risk of developing mold growth.
The tips that where given above is based water damage caused by clean water. Flood water and sewage backups potentially contain hazardous substances, and should not be handled without proper protection and safety precautions. If you have a loss that is from sewage or flooding, please consult the professionals first. Your safety is our top concern.
Commercial Water Sources
Water lines for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
Commercial properties contain a myriad of water sources. Kitchens, restrooms, laundry rooms, and utility areas have an assortment of sinks, fixtures, supply lines, appliances, and drains. Each of these items can potentially fail, resulting in water damage.
Good maintenance and inspection practices can help reduce the risk of water damage. But despite the best preventative measures, indoor water leaks and breakages are inevitable. When water damage occurs, timely response is critical.
Water spreads quickly throughout commercial structures. It tends to follow cracks, and creases in flooring. It also readily soaks into absorbent materials, such as carpet, pad, and drywall.
Never wait to get help. The sooner water removal services begin, the faster everything will dry. It will also reduce the amount of damage to materials by limiting water migration, and will help save you money.
Having a water damage or sewer back up can be overwhelming and stressful. Finding all hidden water, and properly drying out your facility, is very important. That is where SERVPRO of Casper comes in. We have IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified technicians on call 24/7, that can respond quickly to mitigate the damage and save your property.
It's a desk setting with a laptop, cup of coffee, notebook, pen, and pencil, and phone, with sign that says work Safety
In manufacturing or industrial settings, businesses are very mindful of safety in the workplace. “Safety First” is a common phrase, because of the hazardous nature of these types of work. But it is very easy to forget the office environment, and the safety concerns there. Safety issues that get overlooked the most include ergonomics, the walk from the car to the office, the headset that being worn all day, and others. Here are some office safety concerns, and tips on how to fix them.
Physical Inactivity / sitting too long: Sitting for extended periods of time without movement puts office workers at risk for numerous health concerns. Going for small walks around the block, and doing leg, arm, and back exercises will help keep the circulation in your body moving.
Entering and leaving the office: watch for debris, such as rocks, trash, and uneven ground. Winter can bring on icy roads and parking lots. Shuffling your feet, or walking flat foot with slow short steps (like a penguin) will help prevent slipping.
The use of a headset: Wearing a telephone headset all day, or cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can cause back and neck pain. Try taking off the headset periodically, and switching the phone between different shoulders will help. Doing neck and back exercises can be helpful as well.
Keeping your area cleaned up: Clean up spills right away. Keep piles of clutter away from walking paths. Keep electrical and phone cords tucked away so they don’t get tripped on.
Know your emergency procedures: Make sure you know where the exits are, and the location of fire extinguishers throughout the building.
A wood ceiling in an attic showing signs of a roof leak for a long period of time.
There are many sources in a home that can create water damage. There could be a broken pipe, washing machine malfunction, a water heater failure, among others. But another source some don’t think about until it happens is the roof. Typically, home or business owners do not climb their building to visually inspect their on a regular basis. Until there is water dripping, or dark discoloration forming on the ceiling, it’s easy not knowing if there is missing shingles or areas that have worn over time.
Performing inspections on the property from time to time would help identify problem areas in advance. A good place to start an inspection is the attic (if the building has one), as it rarely gets checked. Look at the decking and trusses, and see if there are any signs of water staining or water dripping. When cleaning out the gutters in the fall on some roofs, it is a great time to look at the overall condition of the roof. Inspect the shingles for any damage, as well as the edges.
The most common sign of roof leaks are water marks or stains on the ceiling, water running down the wall, or bubbling paint on the ceiling or wall. If there is a slow leak for an extended period of time, there could be a musty odor. This can be a sign of fungal growth or rot.
If you had a roof leak and need structural drying, call SERVPRO of Casper today!
Space Heater Safety
A space heater that is properly placed heating that area up.
During the coldest months of winter, it’s not unusual to have areas in the home or office that are not adequately warmed up by your heating system. Space heaters are a common solution to adding heat to cold areas without increasing the temperature throughout the building by turning up the thermostat. But if it is used incorrectly, a space heater can create additional risks and hazards. If misused, it can cause fire or smoke damage to the property.
Following these tips this can help prevent a disaster caused by a space heater:
Make sure the heater is on a level, hard floor. Don’t place on carpets or area rugs.
Keep at least three feet away from flammable materials .
Keep away from loose fabric, such as drapes or hanging towels.
Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Always plug directly into the wall. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
Don’t leave heater unattended.
Always unplug when not in use.
Make sure there are smoke alarms on every floor of the property.
We at SERVPRO of Casper hope you have a safe and warm winter.
Getting Ready for Winter
A squirrel getting ready for winter.
During the cold months of our Wyoming winter, the low temperatures can wreak havoc on your home. Ice damming on roofs, and pipe breakage from freezing, becomes a greater risk.
Here is a list of things you can do to help get your home ready for the winter:
In the fall, be sure to inspect the exterior of your home for any potential problem areas. Inspect your roof for any missing or damaged shingles. Check your windows for cracks and gaps.
When it is cold, heating your home becomes considerably more expensive. Making your home more energy efficient can help reduce this expense. Sealing door jambs, windows and openings to the home with weather stripping will reduce air drafting in and the heat going out. If you have any gaps on the exterior of your home, be sure to fix those with some caulking.
Clean and inspect your gutters. During the fall, leaves and twigs land and accumulate in the gutters, causing the gutters to lose their draining abilities. With the leaves building up, there is a risk of standing and freezing water.
Before temperatures start to drop, have your heating system checked by a professional. Whether it is a forced-air or boiler heat unit, a system that is running well is almost always more efficient and will save you time and money in the end!
Whether you have a water damage from the freezing temperatures or you need your ducts cleaned, SERVPRO of Casper is here for you anytime.