The Legend of Groundhog Day
The tradition of Groundhog Day began in Germany during the celebration of Candlemas on February 2nd. It began in the United States as a tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch, who emigrated from Germany, and was used to predict the planting season.
The original, and most famous groundhog, is Punxsutawney Phil. The tradition became widespread after an article in the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper published the even in 1887.
Up to 40,000 spectators visit Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania every February 2nd. If Phil sees his shadow and retreats back to his den, there will be six more weeks of Winter!
Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes When There Is No Heat
Freezing temperatures can mean disaster if you are not prepared
Winter brings snow and ice storms and frigid temperatures. The easiest way to prevent frozen pipes is to keep the heat set to at least 55 degrees in your home. But what do you do when the heat goes out?
Frozen pipes burst due to pressure in the pipes. Prevent freezing and pressure by opening both hot and cold faucets and allowing them to trickle until the heat comes back on in the home.
If the heat is off for longer than a day, it may be necessary to Winterize your home. Shut off the water to the home at the main valve. Flush all toilets and pour 64 oz of non toxic propylene glycol antifreeze. It is also a good idea to pour non toxic propylene glycol antifreeze into sinks and drains to prevent freezing.
If water damage happens, call SERVPRO immediately! We are here to help!
SERVPRO technicians cleaning soot on ceilings and walls.
It's that time of the year again! The smell of pumpkin is everywhere! As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, people are lighting fires in their fireplaces and turning on their heaters. It's also the time of year for puffbacks.
Puffbacks occur in an oil or gas heater as a misfiring or explosion, and usually caused by lack of regular cleaning and maintenance. They can send an oily, smell film throughout the home, covering walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, and curtains. The soot can get into closets, and even drawers! Because the soot is petroleum based, it can be very difficult to clean, and is best left to the professionals. Attempting to clean it on your own can make the situation worse.
To prevent a puffback, have your heater cleaned and serviced at least once a year and replace the filters regularly. Make note of any unusual sounds or odors. If you have experienced a puffback, call your HVAC professional immediately to have your heater cleaned and repaired, then contact SERVPRO to begin the cleaning process.
Frozen Pipe Break
- Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. The raindrops move into a thin layer of below-freezing air right near the surface of the earth, allowing them to freeze on contact to the ground, trees, cars and other objects.
- Ice accumulates when super-cold rain freezes on contact with surfaces that are below freezing point. That can be dangerous, especially for older adults. You can walk a senior’s dog to keep them injury free! Sign up for Dog Days of Winter.
- Throughout the US, ice storms occur most often during the months of December and January.
- Ice storms have the bizarre effect of entombing everything in the landscape with a glaze of ice so heavy that it can split trees in half and turn roads and pavements into lethal sheets of smooth, thick ice.
- Ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times.
- Urban areas tend to suffer more economic and physical damage than rural areas because of the concentration of utilities and transportation systems (aircraft, trains, vehicles) — all of which may be affected to a great degree by the ice storm.
- The Midwest and Northeast are prime areas for freezing rain. In the high frequency band in the Midwest, an average of 12 to 15 hours of freezing rain occurs annually.
- Driving during an ice storm is extremely hazardous, because ice can cause vehicles to skid out of control, leading to devastating car crashes.
- The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “deceptive killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. In addition to car crashes, people die from hypothermia which is prolonged exposure to cold.
- In 1998, an ice storm in northern New York and northern New England damaged millions of trees and caused $1.4 billion in damage. Accumulations were as much as three inches thick!
- The ice storm that struck the northeastern US in December 2008 left 1.25 million homes and businesses without power. Described as the worst storm of the decade, a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and parts of Maine.
SERVPRO understands the stress when you have a water damage in your business or home. That is why we are available 24/7 to help. Our team is fast and quick to any job at any size.
Our certified technicians will mitigate the damage to prevent mold, mildew or bacteria. Using EPA disinfectants, we will make your business or home safe to reenter and occupy. We make sure our team is trained and up to date with all of their credentials.
SERVPRO has been trusted by local business's and insurance companies to assist with their water damage projects. We are there when your family needs help the most. Any type of damage in your home can be a devastating time and can cause a lot of stress in the household. Working with true professionals can definitely help the process and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.
In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,280 civilian deaths, 15,700 civilian injuries, and $14.3 billion in property damage.
- 501,500 were structure fires, causing 2,685 civilian deaths, 13,000 civilian injuries, and $10.3 billion in property damage.
- 204,500 were vehicle fires, causing 500 civilian fire deaths, 1,875 civilian fire injuries, and $1.8 billion in property damage.
- 639,500 were outside and other fires, causing 95 civilian fire deaths, 825 civilian fire injuries, and $252 million in property damage.
The 2015 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 63 seconds.
- One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
- One civilian fire injury was reported every 34 minutes.
- One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.
- One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 1 seconds.
Fire Damage In Your Home
Fire can cause large amounts of damage on your property. However, there are other damages that can seriously affect the building as well. Smoke odor invades building materials and personal belongings of every kind. Smoke soot damages walls that have not been burned by flames. Experiencing a fire can be devastating, and SERVPRO understands that your cherished possessions and memories are at stake. As fire restoration experts, we specialize in soot and smoke damage as well.
If your home is damaged by fire, it is critical to contact a company that specializes in the fire and smoke restoration process as soon as possible to prevent additional damage. Your local SERVPRO is available 24/7 to help minimize the cost of fire and smoke damage to your home.
Our fire restoration process includes:
- 24/7 emergency services – onsite and assisting you within hours
- Prompt damage assessment, pretesting and estimates
- Emergency board-up and structural stabilization
- Environmentally friendly methods for cleaning soot and other residue from fire damage
- Smoke odor removal, sanitation and air purification
- Careful removal and securing of damaged household goods, personal possessions and other contents for cleaning and restoration
- Industrial grade water extractors, dehumidifiers, air movers and other equipment used to efficiently remove water resulting from fire extinguishing efforts
- Reconstruction of the affected areas
- Disinfectants and antimicrobials used to prevent mold and mildew
ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.
An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.
Ice Dams are a common sight in Northern New England winters, and Home Partners has dealt with quite a few. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.
HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?
An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.
The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.
WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?
When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot
DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS
1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.
2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.
3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.
A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free