Fall is Here!
As the air starts to turn cooler, and the leaves start dropping from the trees, it is important to keep a few fall safety tips in the back of your head. With the proper precautions and safety awareness, you and your family can enjoy that crisp autumn air that comes with this lovely season.
Fire Safety Tips
- Service your furnace
- Use fireplaces safely
- Use caution with space heaters
- Reconsider leaf burning
- Use caution when burning candles
- Change smoke alarm batteries
Driving Safety Tips
- Be aware of poor visibility
- Watch for children
- Slow down on wet pavement
- Be prepared for bright sunlight
- Watch out for ice
Home Maintenance Tips
- Look up before trimming trees
- Use caution on ladders
- Clean up fallen leaves
Enjoy the beauty of this season! There are so many great things to do and see during the fall. By keeping these tips in mind, you and your family will be able to enjoy all the fun that surrounds this season!
Where It All Began...
The Log Cabin of our dreams with our 3 children. (Jordan, Heather, & Jake)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
When Greg and I were certain we were going to buy a SERVPRO franchise, we began praying. “Where do You want us to buy, Lord?”. We visited a few areas, but knew they weren’t “right”. David Wilson, our trainer, friend, and mentor, told us to look at Cullman. So one day, Jake, our youngest son, and I took a day trip to visit Cullman. We were equipped with our cassette recorder. Jake (11 years old) was in charge of running that. As we took the exit at Good Hope, and began traveling towards Cullman, I would point out things in the town to Jake, and he would record it. I remember distinctly as we came down Highway 31 saying “they have a Taco Bell and a Blockbuster video!”. Oh how things have changed in twenty years. The other thing I remember saying is, “this town is very clean.” I noticed the roadways had no litter beside them, and that impressed me. All I can say was that my Spirit was at rest here. There was peace. So, Greg, the kids, and I drove up on a Sunday afternoon. We drove all over the town, and even bought a newspaper to see if there were any houses for rent. In the want ads, we found, “Log house for rent: 4 BR, 2 ½ baths”. It sounded perfect. When we decided to sell our house to buy this business, we knew we would not have enough money to buy another house. I began to pray. It is hard for a woman to give up her home where she has settled her family. I prayed that God would give us a log cabin in the woods, that we could live in the country- which is something I have always wanted to do. When I read those words “log house”, I thought, “is this it?”. Not sure, I asked Greg if we could go look at it. He agreed and we called, the Hudsons, and they said they would meet us to look at it. We drove out Highway 278 passing the most beautiful farmland. We turned at ‘The Pig’, and drove past more farms. We turned again, onto a gravel drive with a split rail fence surrounding the log home. The yard was full of maple trees- my favorite! In the back was a big, red barn; so picturesque to me. We drove up to the house, and I told Greg,”this is what I have been praying for”. He said, “do not tell them that, they will charge us double.”. We stepped into the house, the front had old mill stones as steps. It even had 70’s shag gold carpet- but it was clean. There was also a front porch swing! There were three bedrooms upstairs, a full basement with a partially closed in bedroom. All of our children would have their own bedroom, which is something I also prayed for. There was even room in the basement for an office. The barn would hold our equipment, which at the time was 3 dehus and 12 airmovers, and our cleaning chemicals and supplies. It was perfect. We also would use the barn for our first “moveout”. There was one problem- it was February. We had not finalized anything yet. It would be at least June before we could move, which would be the end of the school year. We told the Hudsons our dilemma, and they said, “we would love for you to have it, but can’t hold it because we need to rent it out ASAP”. There was nothing we could do, but God could! I prayed somehow that house would not rent! In May, I called Mrs. Hudson to ask if the house was still available, and she said yes! I asked if she could hold it, and she said she would as long as we could send her the first month’s rent. PTL! Our next obstacle was that we had to sell our house. We had a bathroom that needed some work, so we tiled, put up wallpaper, and even installed a new tub. The azaleas I had planted in the backyard were in full bloom. It was beautiful. We put the house on the market, and our realtor went out of town for a week. I told Greg, “I hope you’re ready because this house is going to sell fast!”. The house showed every day, multiple times. The realtor called us and said, “you have two offers, and one is for OVER asking price!”. When God moves, He moves big. The house sold, and we packed our things to head to Cullman. It was night time when Jake and I got in the van. He was crying. He was leaving behind all his friends and teammates that he had known since he was four years old. I started crying, too. We drove in silence for a long time. I told him, “God will bring new friends into your life.” Little did I know, what a change our lives were about to make- his and mine. I had been homeschooling him since he was four years old. Now, I would be working full time, and he would start school. I would be working very long hours, and we would be apart more than we ever have been in his lifetime, and my other two children’s, too. The older ones were eager to start something new, but Jake wasn’t quite as eager, and neither was I. Even now, it makes me cry thinking about the time I lost with my children, especially Jake, as he was only eleven. I know God led us, so He had a purpose in all of that.
Building a business is not easy. Sometimes you wonder is it really worth it? I can always go back to when we made the decision to start. I know God led us to this, and it is all in His hands. This business has and always will belong to Him- we are only stewards of it. Never, in all my imagination would I dream we would own not one, but three franchises, and employ thirty people. Our oldest son owns his own two franchises. All of our children have worked in this business Our son-in-law works in the business, too. Greg’s mother was our office manager for over five years, and our sister-in-law has worked with us for over fourteen years. God has used this business to meet the needs not only of our customers, but our physical family, and our business family. I thank God for allowing us this privilege. It has not been easy these past twenty years, but oh how our faith has grown!
We Get Odors Out
Fire, smoke, and soot damages can cause unpleasant and permanent issues if they are not properly addressed.
As various materials start to burn, the smoke that is produced can travel through the building and leave odors, residues, and deposits on surfaces in many of the hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these odors, residues, and deposits can cause permanent damage to items and contents and can result in periodically resurfacing those odors. Unfortunately, these types of damages are often made a little bit more severe when unprepared property owners attempt to perform the cleanup by themselves.
All of your restorable items in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. All of this includes furniture, curtains and other draperies, upholstery, electronic, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and so much more. We at SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties do not simply cover up the lingering odors with a nice fragrance, we seek out the odors and get rid of them completely.
Crawl Space Fires Can Happen
The crawl space is usually where the drain pipes and wiring runs, as well as where the air handler for your HVAC is housed. Because of the possibility of malfunctions with electrical wiring or mechanical equipment, it can cause a fire to break out. In addition to fire hazards, you may have water or mold that you are unaware of. Fires in the crawl space occur on an infrequent basis, but can still have the same result: displacement of occupants.
We always recommend to have the adequate amount of fire alarms in your home. In most cases with fires in crawlspaces, the fires will burn undetected for a while since there is not typically a smoke detector in crawlspaces. Such a fire could burn for hours or even days until the smoke rises through the HVAC system or you notice from the outside.
No matter how much of a pain it may be, make it a point to go under your home periodically to check for fires, water, mold, or other issues.
While it may not be top of mind, be cautious of the space under your home. Be aware of the signs of fires in your crawl space and check it regularly for fire hazards. If you experience a fire in your crawl space, call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties at 256-736-2036!
What If Lightning Strikes Your Home?
Lightning is definitely an amazing natural phenomenon that scientists are still trying to figure it out. With the bolt temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun, and voltages sometimes greater than 100 million volts, lightning is one of the most dangerous and deadly forces on Earth.
If your home happens to be struck by lightning, you will hear a very loud, and powerful boom that could shake the entire house. Most homes are built to endure a lightning strike without taking too much damage. If lightning strikes your home, you might experience a power surge, or even a fire.
Follow these simple tips in the event that your home is struck by lightning:
- Call 911 whether a fire is detected or not
- Once the home is deemed safe, you will be able to go back inside
- Call your insurance company
- Call an electrician to inspect your home’s wiring
Watch vs Warning
A storm warning can pop up anywhere: TV, cell phone warnings, radio, etc., but do we really understand what these warnings are trying to tell us? Know the differences between each one so that you can be better prepared if one is issued for your area.
- Tornado Watch: Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
- Tornado Warning: A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!!
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning: There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
- Flash Flood Warning: Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
- High Wind Advisory: Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
- High Wind Warning: Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
It's Mold Allergy Season
We are starting to enter into the season where Fall allergies are going to start hitting people pretty hard. If you are someone who is allergic to ragweed, then fall is probably not a fun time for you. During the fall months, dry leaves, grass, and hay harbor allergens such as mold spores and pollen. Ragweed pollen is one of the most common reasons for fall seasonal allergies. Ragweed grows everywhere in the United States, but mainly in the Northeast, South, and Midwest regions. Peak ragweed season starts mid-August and lasts through all of October. If you are allergic to mold, the autumn months can really ramp up with that. Molds can be located either indoor or outdoor. Here are some tips to manage your fall allergies:
- Use a dehumidifier
- Clean visible mold with diluted bleach
- Keep windows shut
- Shower after being outdoors
If you are noticing mold growth in your home, call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties so that we can assist you!
Keep Your Eyes Opened for Water Damage
The longer that water sits after a pipe bursts, or a roof leaks, the more damage you are actually causing to your home or business. When you notice a water emergency, the first thing to do is to shut off the water source that is causing the damage. If the water is coming from somewhere that you cannot get to shut it off, you might need to call a plumber. Once the water is shut off, you need to call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties. We can asses the problem. No job is too big or too small, we will be able to handle it all. Water damage can sometimes be difficult to spot, but here are some signs you can look for:
- Water rings on your ceiling or walls
- Soft or sagging in your ceilings or walls
- Wet or soggy carpets
- Warping in your wood floors
It is imperative that you call a professional right away to get the situation under control before it gets worse. Our trained technicians are on stand by and waiting for your call any time, day or night. Call us today at 256-736-2036! We are here to help.
Why is My Basement Flooding?
Your basement could flood at any given time, and sometimes without warning. Basements usually flood after a heavy thunderstorm with lots of rainfall. Basements are more prone to flooding because they are the lowest part of a building. A few reasons why your basement could be flooding include:
- A blocked/failed sewer pipe
- Heavy rainfall coming in
- Sanitary sewer back up
- Foundation drainage issue
- Water supply line breaking
- Hot water tank failure
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can easily put your health and safety in danger. It can also cause severe damage to your home. The longer the water sits, the worse it gets. It is definitely worth making the call to SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties to get the issue taken care of quickly. You will be met with prompt service with a smile. Our crews are highly trained to take care of any water damage they are faced with.
Don’t hesitate to call us today. We are available 24/7/365.
Know Your Coverage
From an insurance adjuster’s standpoint, damage from mold- rust, rot, and mildew- is usually not included in the homeowner’s policy.
The Insurance Information Institute says mold is covered under the homeowner’s policy, if it is a result of a covered danger. An example would be, the costs of cleaning up mold caused by water from a busted pipe are covered. The mold that develops from humidity or flooding, for instance, would be classified as a maintenance issue that the property owner would be responsible for.
The insurance industry argues that in order to keep homeowners insurance affordable and available to the masses this coverage would end up being excluded. If the policyholder does want mold coverage, then there would be an additional premium for it. There have been fewer claims made because since insurance is not covering these things, no one is going to file a claim.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties can mitigate and remediate the original damage, giving you a peace of mind while making it “Like it never even happened." Call us today at 256-736-2036!