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.
Disasters in the Healthcare Facilities
Wet tile that fell from the ceiling on a wet floor.
Disasters at healthcare facilities are complex. So when it comes to flood or fire in a medical facility not only does affect the employees, but it also affects the patients. So we like to get in and out as fast as possible to so there is little disruption. We understand that there is special training to handle regulated medical waste and comply with HIPPA regulations. Whether we’re dealing with a small medical office or a large hospital campus, SERVPRO of Casper works quickly and efficiently to assess your needs.
Types of facilities we can work on:
Regardless of the cause, size of the loss, or the size of your facility. SERVPRO of Casper are available day or night to help you with the damage. 307-235-6558
Water Damage Time Line
A black and white clock
Water emergencies come at the most inconvenient time. So when you have had a long day at work and come home to a soggy basement, it’s the last thing you want to deal with. Just know that SERVPRO of Casper is here to help. We provide emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Flooding and water damage can be very invasive. Water can quickly spread throughout your home and absorb into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Casper will arrive quickly, and start the water extraction process almost immediately. Our rapid response helps minimize the damage and the restoration costs.
Water Damage Timeline
Water quickly spreads throughout your property
Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
Drywall begins to swell and break down, and paint begins to blister.
Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
Furniture begins to swell and crack.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
Mold may grow and spread.
Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
Metal begins to rust and corrode.
Wood flooring swells and warps.
Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
Restoration time and cost increase, walls and flooring, and possibly other building materials will need replaced.
Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
If you have questions about your water damage, please call SERVPRO of Casper today at 307-235-6558.
One of our technicians cleaning ducts.
When it comes to cleaning the home, duct cleaning is the most frequently-forgotten service. It’s not something you really look at everyday, such as windows, floors, and counters. But getting your ducts cleaned is just as important as getting your carpets cleaned, because it has a direct effect on the cleanliness of the air in your home.
There can be health benefits from getting your HVAC cleaned. Your HVAC systems have been shown to collect a variety of contaminants such as fungi, bacteria, dust, pet hair and dander. All these can be irritants, especially if you have allergies. Removing the contaminants will help the indoor air quality overall.
Doing a visual inspection of your ductwork is very simple. Remove a register, slide your smartphone into the duct (with the flash enabled), and take a picture. You may be surprised at how much loose debris is lurking in your ducts!
How often should you have your ducts cleaned? It depends on several factors, such as:
- If anybody smokes in the house
- If pets live in the house (especially those that shed high amounts of hair and dander
- If water damage has occurred in the ductwork
- Residents with allergies or asthma
- Recent home renovations or remodeling
- Moving into a home that had prior occupants
When picking an HVAC contractor, several factors should be considered. See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience. Get proof that the company is properly licensed (if applicable in your state) and adequately insured. Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components. Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks. Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
If you are interested in a FREE duct cleaning estimate, call SERVPRO of Casper at 307-235-6558.
A Fire Alarm Pull
When running a business, your top priority should be the safety of your employees and patrons. Having a safety plan in place will help your employees know what to do in case of an emergency event. Doing drills such as a fire drills will help your employees know what to do and where to go if a fire should happen. Doing regular fire drills with different scenarios is important, because of the many variables that could occur. So it is best to be prepared as much as you can. When putting together an emergency plan, remember the Seven P’s (Proper prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance). There should be one person per shift that is in charge during an emergency.
For a commercial building, there should be some key points in a fire plan: You will want to establish roles and responsibilities for a fire evacuation team. Make sure there is a communication plan, such as mapping out routes. Make sure you know the locations of all fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. It is best to run your employees through a fire drill at least twice a year.
When setting up standards for you fire drill, it becomes easier after the first one. You will have a better idea what needs to be done, routes, and acceptable times.
You should have goals, such as how much time does it take to shutdown critical equipment, how long does it take for everyone to get out of the building, and do a check-in. Once the first one is done, have a sit down with the leaders and have them give you a report. Then re-adjust either your goals, routes, or routines on getting out.
Once you have things established, rehearsing fire drills regularly is important. Changing the routine is important too. People can start getting complacent, so when the time comes, everyone will be on top of their game.
Appoint independent observers during drills. You want people that are not on your team to keep an eye out during a fire drill. Things they should be looking out for: large groups moving slowly and talking to each other, people using cellphones, people grabbing coats, purses, or bags, doors that are hard to open or slippery floors that could cause problems with people that have a disability, or anyone that chooses to use a different exit rather than the one close to them.
After a fire drill is done, there should be an AAR(After Action Review). Things that should be reported include: did employees close the door after exiting the room? Was everyone calm and confident? Did everyone go where they are suppose to go? Did all the alarms work properly?
Christmas Tree Safety
A decorated Christmas tree in a decorated living room.
One of the best parts of Christmas is the Christmas tree. But there are responsibilities involved with having a Christmas tree, whether it is a natural or artificial tree. If you are purchasing a real tree, don’t just grab the first tree on the lot. Carefully inspect the tree before buying. You want to make sure the tree is fresh with green needles, and that the needles do not fall off when touched.
When placing your Christmas tree in your home, cut at least 2 inches from the base of the trunk. Once the tree is secured in its stand, add enough water to keep at least the bottom inch of the trunk submerged. You will want to add water daily, because the tree will soak up a lot of water. Make sure that your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heating vents, or lights. You want to make sure that your Christmas tree is not blocking any exits. If an emergency should happen, you don’t want to have to fight your tree.
When it comes to lighting the tree, use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Be sure to pay attention to the details on the box, as some lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use only. Replace any strings of lights that are worn, broken, or have loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for how many lights you can string together, and do not overload the lights or outlets.
Be cautious of toddlers and pets. They can pull the ornaments and lights down, and possibly put them in their mouth. The ornaments are a choking hazard, and the lights can be an electrocution hazard. You may have to set up a barrier for their safety.
After Christmas, it is good to get rid of the tree before it starts to dry out. A dried-out tree is a fire hazard. They should not be tossed in your garage, or near the side of your home.
Some facts from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):
- Almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes more than one in every five of the fires.
What To Do Incase Of Hypothermia
Signs of Hypothermia
In the winter months, hypothermia can be a very serious health hazard. It is important to know the basics of hypothermia, how to prevent it, and what to do if you or someone you know develops it.
Hypothermia – Is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. Exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than its produced.
Body temperature that is too low can affect the brain, making it hard to think clearly or move well. This is why hypothermia is so dangerous. The person may not know what is happening to them, and won’t be able to do anything to help themselves.
Who is most at risk?
- Older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
- Babies that sleep in cold rooms
- People who remain outdoors for an extended amount of time such as homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.
- People that drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs
Signs and Symptoms -
- Shivering - Exhaustion or feeling very tired - Confusion
- Fumbling hands - Memory loss - Slurred speech
- Bright red, cold skin
- Very low energy
When someone shows signs of possible hypothermia, take their temperature. If it is below 95 degrees, it is critical that you take immediate action.
If getting medical help is not possible right away, try warming the person up.
- Get to a warm room or shelter
- Remove wet clothing
- Warm the center of the body (chest, neck, head, and groin)
- Use electric blankets if possible, or skin-to-skin contact under loose blanket, clothes, etc.
- Drink warm liquids, not alcohol. It will help warm the person up, Do not attempt to give an unconscious person liquids
- Most importantly: when possible, get medical attention
A person with severe hypothermia could be unconscious. If that is the case, move the person gently and get them to medical assistance right away.
If the person is not breathing, or does not have a pulse, start CPR immediately. Continue with CPR until medical personnel arrives. Continue warming them up while giving CPR. In some severe cases, the person may still be resuscitated successfully.
A caution sign about wearing hearing protection.
The 5 senses are important to a human. When you lose one of them, it can make things hard. Gradual loss of hearing is common for working people. It can create difficulties in both a person’s professional and personal life. It’s not impossible to still have a good quality of life if you lose one your hearing, but it does come without its challenges. While some factors in hearing loss may be out of your control, there are many mitigating measures that can be taken to preserve your hearing.
Some indicators that you may be suffering hearing damage in the workplace:
- Hearing ringing or humming in your ears when you leave the workplace
- Having to shout to be heard by a coworker an arm’s length away due to ambient noise
- Experiencing temporary hearing loss when leaving work
How to protect your hearing:
- Identify noise-producing tasks
- Wear hearing protection
- Make hearing protection conveniently available in the workplace
- Reduce equipment noise
- Limit your exposure, if possible
- Have your hearing tested regularly by a qualified audiologist
- Do not allow children to enter noisy work areas
Types of hearing Protection:
Do everything in your power to protect your hearing, because once its gone, its gone.
Frostbite Prevention and When to Take Action
The different steps for frostbite.
Frostbite is caused by freezing. The affected areas will have loss of feeling and color. The most common extremities that get affected are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and in the most severe cases, lead to amputation.
Who is most at risk?
- Poor blood circulation
- Not properly dressed for extremely cold temperatures
Signs and symptoms of frostbite:
If there is redness or pain on any parts of the skin, get out of the cold and protect the exposed skin. Some of these other signs may point to frostbite:
- white or grayish-yellow skin area
- skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
Someone may not know they have frostbite until it is pointed out. The frozen parts of their body are numb, and have no feeling.
When to take action:
If you see signs of frostbite on yourself or others, seek medical care. Make sure you also check for signs of hypothermia, as it can also be caused by exposure to cold temperatures. If anyone is showing signs, get emergency medical care.
- Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
- Do not walk on feet or toes that are frostbitten unless absolutely necessary. This could increase the damage.
- Don’t rub the frostbitten area or massage it, as this can cause more damage.
- Put the frostbitten areas in warm water, NOT hot water.
- If warm water is not available, use body heat. For example, if your fingers are frostbitten put them in your arm pit.
- Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, stove, or fireplace. When areas are frostbitten, it is numb, and you can easily get burnt because you don’t realize how close you are.
Don't substitute these first aid steps for proper medical care. Frostbite injuries need to be examined by a qualified healthcare worker.
How to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes
A water faucet that is dripping water, with an explanation on how to keep pipes from freezing.
Living in Wyoming, it’s common knowledge that during the winter, freezing temperatures will happen. Depending on the duration and severity of a freeze event, frozen and broken pipes can be a common problem. But there are a few precautions that can help keep your pipes from freezing.
Leave faucets dripping-
Having a trickle of cold water flowing through your pipes will keep water moving. Moving water is more resistant to freezing.
Open Cabinet Doors-
When temperatures are freezing, opening the cabinet doors on sinks such as kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, or laundry wash tubs will help reduce risk of freezing. This measure is especially important if the sinks are located along an exterior wall. Sometimes there could be a cool breeze finding its way in through the pipes, or a crack in the foundation. Opening the cabinet doors introduces heated air into the cabinet space, and warms the exposed plumbing.
Wrap Your Pipes-
Pipes that are at risk for freezing should be wrapped in heat tape, or pipe insulation. This will help add extra freeze resistance to your pipes.
Keep heat to 55F or higher-
If you plan on leaving your home for a day trip, vacation, or vacating your house for any reason, you should not leave your temperature any lower than 55 degrees F. This temperature provides a base level of warmth to prevent freezing in the home.
If your pipes freeze and break and it causes a water damage, SERVPRO of Casper is here for you 24/7. Call us anytime at 307-235-6558.