We're launching our Employee Spotlight Series today and who better to begin with than the person you're most likely to speak with if you call the office.
Meet Donna Sutherby.
Donna Sutherby, a veteran of the US Army, has been with SERVPRO for 22 years and counting. As the Office Administrator, she will often be the person who answers your questions when you call. During her tenure, she has juggled most front office functions while fielding calls and handling billings. She is certified through the IICRC in Water Damage Restoration which means she can provide knowledgeable answers, valuable insight and guidance through what can sometimes be a confusing and stressful process for homeowners and business owners after suffering a damage loss. Her depth of knowledge, caring personality and willingness to help make her a vital member of our SERVPRO family.
When asked what inspires her to come to work every day, Donna replied that the office atmosphere, comradery of her co-workers, and family values of the business are at the heart of it. “We are a caring group of people and want to help. That makes me feel good at the end of the day!”
When Donna isn’t working, you will often find her with her family of 4 children & 6 grandchildren.
What Causes a Nor'Easter?
This photo from FEMA shows a car that is covered in snow from a Nor'Easter in Massachusetts.
Living in New England , we are all too familiar with Nor’Easter storms. But what exactly causes these types of storms that we experience year after year? And why are they unique to the Northeast region of our country? According to weather.com, Nor’Easters form between Georgia and New Jersey within 100 miles east or west of the east coast. They move northeastward near New England, where they reach maximum intensity. They bring with them strong winds, coastal flooding, rough seas, and heavy rain and snow.
Polar jet streams transport cold air southward from Canada in the U.S., then eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. Simultaneously, warm air moves northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico also go into our waters along the northeastern coastline, causing Atlantic ocean water to warm up and acts to warm the cold air above it. This temperature difference between warm air from the water, and cold air over the land provides energy to create a storm.
If a Nor’Easter is coming, it’s best to prepare for the worst. Stock up with at least 3 days worth of food and water and keep plenty of warm clothing and blankets in case you lose heat and power. If you are in need of flood or storm damage restoration, SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich has the experience and specialized equipment to restore your home or business to pre-storm condition.
SERVPRO Goes to Danvers Fire Open House!
Our SERVPRO duck, Figuero came with us to Danvers Fire's Open House! Isn't he so cute on his little truck?!
Fire Prevention Month
October is Fire Prevention Month and every year, local fire departments host an open house to educate the community about fire safety. It’s a great family event to meet the firefighters and see them demonstrate best safety practices. The smoke house demonstration was a favorite of the children, where they got to walk through a fire and smoke simulation, learning to crawl under the smoke to safety. The firefighters also had a jaws of life demonstration that was really amazing to watch!
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich is always happy to be part of this great event and support our local fire departments. We appreciate the brave men and women that serve our community and help keep us safe. Papa Gino’s generously donated pizza for this event, and we donated lollipops, water and apples from Connor’s Farm. We also gave out cute little SERVPRO rubber ducks to the children (and some adults too!)
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.
SERVPRO'S Emergency Ready Profile
Help is at your fingertips. Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan app on your smartphone.
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessary have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO Emercency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage:
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency, you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
If you would like more information or to have an Emergency READY Profile created for your commercial business, call SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help.
Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at North Shore 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 Danvers/Ipswich
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich 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.
We're here to help. Call us at 978-356-7077 for your commercial property water removal and restoration needs.
Commercial Carpet Care Tips
Call SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077 to schedule a commercial carpet cleaning for your business.
The appearance of your business speaks volumes to your customers and clients. Having a clean, fresh-smelling carpet is an important part of keeping your business looking it's best. Foot traffic and airborne impurities such as pollen, dust and other contaminants can damage your carpet over time.
Tips for taking care of your commercial carpet:
- Frequent vacuuming
Be sure to vacuum your carpet multiple times a week. This will keep soil and debris from getting embedded into the carpet fibers. Over time, dirt builds up and shortens the life of your carpet. Frequent vacuuming is the best defense against premature damage.
- Removing stains
Treat spills as soon as possible. Blot the area with a paper towel or cloth, do not rub or scrub the stain. This can cause more damage by pushing the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Use a mild, carpet safe cleaner to help remove the stain.
- Use walk-off mats
Use walk-off mats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpeting. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil and will help to minimize the amount of dirt that is tracked in. Water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting.
- Have your carpet professionally cleaned 1-2 times a year
A professional carpet cleaning will keep your business's carpets looking their best. If you would like to schedule a commercial carpet cleaning with SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich, please call us at 978-356-7077.
What To Do After a Home Fire
Photo of one of the many homes damaged from last week's gas related fires and explosions.
Our hearts go out to the victims of the Merrimack Valley gas fires that struck the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover last Thursday. Often, the hardest part for residents after a home fire is knowing where to begin and who to contact. These tips taken from FEMA provide information on what to do after experiencing a tragic home fire.
Checklist for Next Steps After a Fire
Here are the steps to follow after a fire in your home:
- Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross. This will help you find a place to stay and to find food, clothing and medicine.
- If you have insurance, contact your insurance company. Ask what you should do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up your home. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.
- Check with the fire department to make sure that your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. Floors and walls may not be as safe as they look.
- The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity and gas) are safe to use. If not, firefighters will have your utilities shut off before they leave. Do not try to turn them back on by yourself. This could be very dangerous.
- Contact your landlord or mortgage company about the fire.
- If you leave your home, call the local police department to let the police know that the site will be vacant.
- Begin saving receipts for any money that you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and to prove any losses claimed on your income tax.
- Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
Preventing Cooking Fires
Kitchen fires can be devastating. You can prepare and prevent cooking fires by following some simple safety tips.
Cooking Fire Preparedness
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in your house. Here are some facts and tips from mass.gov to help prevent kitchen fires.
Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to MFIRS statistics.
Cooking Safety Tips
- Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, then turn off the heat. Baking soda will also work.
- Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned or spread the fire.
- Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
- Stand by your pan. Don’t leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
- Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
- If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL to put out the flames. Put burns in cool running water. Call 9-1-1 for help.
- Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents. • Create a three-foot “child-free zone” around the stove. Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds. Cooking Safety Tips (cont.)
- Keep combustible objects such as pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.
- For fires inside an oven or microwave, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance, and call the fire department.
- Don’t place any metal inside a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.
- Microwaved foods and liquids can become very hot. Use caution to avoid scalds.
- Unplug appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, when not in use.
- Don’t use the oven to store items.
Following these tips will help you to prevent kitchen fires. However, should your home experience an unexpected disaster, contact us at SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich at 978-356-7077. We’re here to help restore your property, like it never even happened.
When Storms or Floods Hit
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.
SERVPRO of Danvers/Ipswich specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978-777-3498
September is National Preparedness Month. Devastating storms remind us of the importance of preparing for disasters. You can prepare now in the case of an emergency with these helpful tips from FEMA.
- Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
Project Estimators Best Tips
This is an example of mold damage that occurred after the homeowner suffered water damage on the floor level.
Summer brings lots of outside activities and happy memories, lazy days at the beach and nights by the campfire. But it can also bring severe storms, like we saw last night, in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley area. Although these can move out as swiftly as they move in, we often experience heavy rains that the ground simply cannot absorb quickly enough. When that happens, water will find the downward path of least resistance, which can often be your basement.
We asked our Project Estimators, Brian Carifio and Ross Martin, what their best advice was to homeowners after heavy rainstorms. Here are their top tips:
- What’s the first thing you would advise a homeowner to check after a storm?
Brian Carifio: The Basement. Water will find its way there. Ideally, if they’ve been pre-emptive, they’ll have their contents up off of the floor on plastic shelving and/or in plastic containers. Keeping contents 2–4 inches off the floor will help to avoid most flooding concerns. If the water reaches above that, they have a whole other set of problems. Plus, content damage is not generally covered by insurance when due to flash flooding.
- Okay, they’ve done that but they still have water in the basement. What should they do next?
Brian Carifio: Call SERVPRO. Not to sound self-serving but the longer the homeowner waits…or tries to mitigate it themselves, the greater the probability of mold beginning to grow. Most DIY attempts at mitigating water damage fail simply because the necessary equipment is not available to consumers. You need strong extraction systems, high capacity dehumidifiers, and air movers (not to be confused with oscillating fans).
- What’s the worst thing a homeowner can do when they find water in their basement?
Ross Martin: Put an oscillating fan on the standing water. First of all, you can run the risk of electrocution. Beyond that, fans only whisk the air off the top of the water’s surface and move it into the air. Doing that without proper dehumidification in place can lead to mold on other surfaces.
- Can you explain that process more?
Ross Martin: Sure. When you have a flood, if left alone the water will eventually evaporate. But that doesn’t mean it disappears. It simply changes from a liquid to a gas and moves into the air. Moisture in the air is relative humidity. That humid (moisture heavy) air is then able to touch & attach to every single surface in that space and beyond. This is the “perfect storm” for mold growth.
Our process is to first extract the water with truck mounted vacuums, then use our air movers and dehumidifiers simultaneously. The movers circulate the air, keeping it from absorbing into surfaces while the dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air.
- Can’t homeowners do this themselves?
Ross Martin: Yes and no. There are several points to consider. First, consider the weight of water (not the movie!). A gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs and most shop vacs hold 10 gallons. That means you’re carrying 83.4 pounds upstairs, multiple times.
Secondly, most people have fans in their home and will put several on the affected wet areas, thinking this will dry it out. It won’t. Fans are not strong enough and they don’t actually dry anything. They just move the moisture off the top surface, dispersing it throughout the air.
And lastly, most consumer bought dehumidifiers are too small to effectively dry the air in an average sized basement. Most are purchased rated at 30 PPD (Pints Per Day). That’s how many pints of moisture it can handle per day. Our smallest is 70 PPD and goes up to over 133 PPD.
There are some steps you can take before help arrives though.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.