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Should I or Shouldn't I?

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

Community Should I or Shouldn't I? Flu Season Still Here

Will you catch pneumonia if you go outside with a wet head in winter?? Ever wonder what are really health tips and what are old wive's tales? Well this article from WebMD answers those questions about some common practices we do to try and keep us germ free.

Use hand sanitizer: Worth it

“Hand sanitizers have gotten better in recent years,” explains Charles Gerba, PhD, a germ expert and environmental biologist at the University of Arizona. Look for one that contains 60% alcohol. That's the amount needed to kill germs. 

You don’t have to overdo it, Gerba says. Use it once or twice during a typical day, as well as after using public transportation, when you get home, or before you eat (if you can’t wash your hands).  

Wash your hands constantly: Not (necessarily) worth it 

Turn off the faucet with a paper towel: Worth it

“The faucet handle is the most contaminated surface in a restroom,” Gerba says. Using the same towel to open the restroom door on the way out is also a good idea. 

Skip the hand dryer: Worth it

These machines aren’t only annoyingly loud, but they could be hazardous to your health. Studies find that a jet air dryer spreads 1,300 times more germs than paper towels . Use paper towels if available, or air dry your hands.

Use a paper toilet seat cover: Not worth it

The porcelain throne is actually one of the cleanest spots of a public restroom because they’re often cleaned with disinfectants, Gerba says. 

If it gives you peace of mind, go for it, but that thin piece of paper isn’t going to do much good, since fluid can go right through it, says Philip Tierno, PhD, microbiologist and clinical professor of pathology at New York University. But chances are good you’re not going to come in contact with anything that can infect you, he says. 

Touch elevator buttons with your knuckle or sleeve: Worth it

The ground-floor button, which everyone touches, can get especially grimy, Gerba says. 

Avoid shaking hands or hugging people who appear ill: Worth it

Explain that you’re not being rude; you’re protecting your health. Both experts say they avoid touching friends and relatives who are sick, especially if they’re coughing and sneezing.

Keep your fingers off your face: Worth it

Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with germy hands is a surefire way to get sick. And you may be doing it more than you realize. One study found the average adult touches their face about 16 times per hour.

Bring your own yoga mat to class: Worth it 

Doing downward dog can deliver plenty of health benefits, but your yoga mat can also be a prime place for germs, Tierno says. Make sure to clean it with antibacterial wipes after every use.

Wipe down gym equipment: Worth it

Working out can play a role in boosting your immune system, but exercise equipment is pretty dirty. One study found the virus that causes the common cold is present on 63% of gym machines. Protect yourself from germs as you work out by wiping gym equipment with a towel before using it. (Tierno suggests using your own towel and marking an X on the “dirty” side.) 

Wear a surgical mask on airplanes: Actually worth it!

It’s not overkill, Tierno says, especially if someone behind, beside, or in front of you is sneezing and coughing. Any further away, you’re probably safe. 

 

Being Prepared for Possible Water Damage

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Being Prepared for Possible Water Damage What Water Damage sometimes looks like.

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters.  Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground.  This is especially true when the ground is still frozen or too dry.  Flash floods can occur in the country or city, where runoff from buildings, parking lots and streets can overwhelm municipal storm water sewers. Fortunately, you can help prevent the water damage that floods can cause your home.  Here are several flood control fixes you can make to help manage storm water runoff and prevent flood damage to your home:

  1. Slope soil away from your home's foundation.               
  2. Clean out gutters and downspouts in the fall and spring.  You can also use downspout extensions to carry water farther away from your foundation.           
  3. Plug holes or cracks in you gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions.                                                
  4. Set up a downspout to empty into a rain barrel.            
  5. Look for holes or cracks in your foundation and completely fill them.                                                  
  6. If your home is prone to flooding, having a sump pump installed is the most convenient flood control.      
  7. Review with all family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.                                                        

You will be better prepared to withstand a flood, or any disaster, if you have an emergency plan in place.  Plan and practice an evacuation route and have an emergency kit packed and ready to go.

 

IICRC Certified and What that Means

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

General IICRC Certified and What that Means IICRC Certified logo

SERVPRO of Aurora is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Aurora

SERVPRO of Aurora specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

4/21/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event Commercial water damage at an apartment complex.

 


Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.


Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges


Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.


About SERVPRO of Aurora


SERVPRO of Aurora specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.


 

Severe Weather Safety-General

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Hundreds of people die each year in the United States due to heat waves, hurricanes, lightning, flash floods, powerful thunderstorm winds, and winter storms or winter cold. Additionally, thousands of people are injured by these weather events each year.  If you are aware of what weather event is about to impact your area, you are more likely to survive such an event. To stay on top of the weather, utilize NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver units that can be purchased at most electronic stores. Make sure the model you purchase has a battery-backup. You should also obtain the latest weather information from commercial TV/radio, cable TV, the internet/web, and newspapers. It’s your responsibility! 

What else can you do to prepare for severe weather?

  • Develop a disaster plan for you and your family at home, work, school, and when outdoors. The American Red Cross offers planning tips and information on a putting together a disaster supplies kit at www.redcross.org.
  • Identify a safe place to take shelter.
  • Know the county in which you live or visit – and in what part of that county you are located. The National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings on a county basis.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors. Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young, or physically or mentally disabled. Don’t forget about pets and farm animals.

Severe Weather Safety - Lightening & Flash Floods/Flooding

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Safety - Lightening & Flash Floods/Flooding Severe weather safety tips

Lightning Safety Tips:

  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead.
  • Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.
  • If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.
  • Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.
  • If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!
  • 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

For more information on lightning safety go to www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

Flash Flood/Flood Safety Tips:

  • Nearly half of all fatalities in a flash flood involve a person driving a vehicle. Do not drive into a flooded area – Turn Around Don’t Drown! It takes only 2 feet of water to float away most cars. It’s amazing how powerful we feel when we get behind the wheel – don’t do it!
  • It takes only 6 inches of fast-moving water to sweep a person off their feet – don’t walk through a flooded area!
  • If you are camping in a river valley, move to higher ground if thunderstorms with heavy rains are in the area. Do not attempt to drive away.
  • Don’t operate electrical tools in flooded areas.
  • Most flash flood deaths occur in the middle of the night when it is more difficult to see rising water levels judge the depth of water covering road surfaces.

Severe Weather Safety - Straight Line Winds/Large Hail

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Safety - Straight Line Winds/Large Hail Car damaged by large hail

Severe Thunderstorm Straight-line Winds:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of strong thunderstorm winds known as straight-line winds – they can reach speeds of 100 to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds start at 74 mph. Illinois does experience these kinds of winds!
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning contains hurricane-force wind speeds seek shelter immediately (as you would for a tornado situation).Stay away from windows and go to the basement or interior room/hallway. Do not use electrical appliances.
  • Be aware that tall trees near a building can be uprooted by straight-line winds – that tree can come crashing through the roof of a home and crush a person to death.
  • Powerful straight-line winds can overturn a vehicle or even make a person air-borne when they get up over 100 mph!
  • One type of a straight-line wind event is a downburst, which is a small area of rapidly descending rain-cooled air and rain beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado!

Large Hail:

  • Although it is rare, people have been killed by large hail stones after sustaining head injuries. Additionally, several people are injured by large hail stones each year in the U.S.
  • Some thunderstorms can produce large hail stones that can reach the size of baseballs, softballs, or even as big as computer compact discs (CD) or DVDs! These large hail stones can fall at speeds over 100 mph! – that’s why they are dangerous!
  • If a severe storm is producing large hail stones, seek a sturdy shelter and stay away from windows that can easily be smashed.
  • If you are in your vehicle before the hail storm starts, get out of it and go to a sturdy shelter. Glass windows in vehicles can easily be smashed by the hail stones. If you can’t get out of your vehicle, then come to a stop and cover your head with your arms and hands.  

Emergency Water Damage Tips

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Emergency Water Damage Tips Water damage to your home can be overwhelming. Use these tips until help arrives.

 


There are a variety of events that can cause water damage in your home. From a sump pump failure during a rain storm, a pipe break, appliance malfunction, to a toilet overflow. And that's just a few! We wanted to share some important tips and things to do and don't do in case of a water damage emergency. (These tips are for clean water situations only.)


*Shut off the water source if possibe and can be done safely


*Remove excess water by mopping and blotting


*Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying


*Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs


*Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature


*Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting


*Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water


*Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water


*Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting

Fire Fears

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Fears A commercial kitchen fire at a local school. SERVPRO of Aurora was called in to minimize downtime and restore it back to preloss condition.

A backdraft of emotions often sweeps over the homeowners after a fire ravages a home. Fear, uncertainty, stress and doubt can overwhelm the homeowner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared. The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Aurora can help prevent fire damage from creating long term problems. SERVPRO of Aurora provides timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.


So after the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Aurora help you restore it. With the industry approved training to employ rapid response, the utmost professionalism, cutting edge technology and open communication, we strive to restore not only the home, but the customer's peace of mind as well.


SERVPRO of Aurora is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.

Tornado Awareness

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Awareness Tornado watch vs tornado warning...know the difference.

All kidding aside, April is Tornado Awareness month. Are you prepared? Check out www.ready.illinois.gov for some great preparedness tips. If you have a business and no emergency plan in place, contact us at (630)862-3930 to set up your no cost Emergency Ready Profile.