Recent Posts

DRYBOOK Documentation

2/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business. 

DRYBOOK™ DOCUMENTATION 

SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas professionals use the latest technology to help ensure your property is dried quickly and efficiently.  

DryBook™ is a proprietary tool that:

  • Manages industry drying requirements.
  • Provides real-time documentation on the drying process.
  • Validates that services are executed to standard.
  • Reports to all stakeholders involved. 
  • Allows real-time updates through DryBook™ Mobile integration. 

This improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home or business sooner. The bottom line? SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas have the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Understanding the Fire Restoration Process

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

It is imperative that IICRC-approved fire restoration should be implemented as soon as possible after a house fire is out. The longer the delay in contacting a restoration company, the more opportunity there is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. A homeowner’s insurance company should be able to refer an approved and experienced restoration firm. It is surprising just how well restoration works in light of how destructive a fire can be. Depending on the damage, a home can often be restored to its before-fire state. A restoration team has a difficult task to perform, and a great deal of responsibility, but IICRC-approved technicians are well equipped to return a home to its original condition.

The fire restoration process involves the repair of any structures damaged by smoke, fire, or water. Carpets undergo a chemical process to remove smoke odor. Sub-floor materials undergo inspection for damage and may need to be replaced. Upholstery and curtains are subject to a similar process. Furnishings are taken to a separate location and restored to pre-fire condition. The home is aired out for as long as needed to diminish the effects of odor and mildew, and deodorization efforts continue throughout the process. Through the cooperation of the insurance company, the restoration team, and the homeowner, a home can be restored and made safe to live in once again.

SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas is an IICRC certified firm.  Call us if disaster strikes your home or business at 702-656-0203.  

Information provided by IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning, and Restoration Certification). 

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event.  In 2013 (1), there were more than 440 weather related fatalities and nearly 2,800 injuries (2). Deadly weather caused more than $8 billion in property damage (3). Many businesses affected by major disasters never reopen–especially if they do not have an emergency plan in place. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

KNOW YOUR RISK. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family or employees. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

TAKE ACTION. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. 

BE AN EXAMPLE. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same. 

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call us at 702-656-0203 to establish an Emergency READY Profile® for your property and be “Ready for whatever happens.” [1]

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

Suggested items to include in basic emergency kit

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

(1) Most recent information available from ready.gov

(2) Statistics provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

(3) Statistics provided by National Weather Service

What Are Safe Moisture Levels?

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most common questions people have about moisture measurement is “What are safe moisture levels in walls, floors, etc.?”

The answer is: “It depends.”

Types of Wall Materials and Moisture

What constitutes a “safe” level of moisture in a wall will change depending on what the wall is made of. In most modern construction, interior walls tend to use a surface layer of gypsum (a.k.a. drywall) because it’s a relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and long-lasting material that’s easy to work with. However, older buildings may use other interior wall surfaces, such as wooden paneling or plaster.

Generally speaking, for drywall, a safe moisture content (%MC) would be less than 1% MC. Anything above 1% MC in drywall would indicate a level of moisture that could compromise the integrity of the gypsum board.

Exterior walls may use a variety of materials, from wooden siding, to vinyl, aluminum, brick, and stone. Of these exterior wall materials, wood is generally the most susceptible to moisture—which is why wood siding is usually treated to resist rain. However, water repellent finishes can only prevent moisture from getting past the surfaces where the wood has been treated. If water reaches an untreated surface, such as the backside of the wood, then it can still be absorbed and cause problems.

With wood, it can be harder to generalize what a safe amount of moisture is. This is because the humidity conditions can have an effect on what the ideal moisture content of wood can be—not to mention that “safe” moisture levels can vary from one species of wood to the next.

How Humidity Impacts “Safe” Moisture Levels

The ambient humidity and temperature conditions where your walls are located can have an effect on what could constitute a “safe” amount of moisture in the wall when dealing with hygroscopic materials like wood. If wood wall materials aren’t in equilibrium with their surrounding environment, then they will absorb or let out moisture until they are—which can cause swelling or shrinkage that impacts the look and integrity of the wood.

So, knowing the relative humidity (RH) conditions is a must when trying to determine what a “safe” moisture content for wood walls is. For example, if the temperature in the room is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the RH is 50%, then a “safe” level of moisture in the wall would be about 9.1% MC.

Measuring Moisture in Walls

So, how can you be sure if the walls in a structure have a safe level of moisture? One way to check is to use a moisture meter that is optimized for building inspection work like the BD-2100.

This particular moisture meter is ideal for checking the moisture content of walls because it has reading scales for both drywall and wood that allow for precise, quantitative moisture measurements in these materials. A separate reference scale setting can be used for getting qualitative readings of moisture in other wall materials (like plaster).

The BD-2100’s drywall moisture meter readings are accurate in gypsum to moisture content percentages as low as 0.2% and as high as 50%. In the wood scale, the meter can detect moisture accurately over a range of 6% MC to 40% MC. The ability to detect moisture accurately in both wood and drywall makes this device particularly suited for building inspection work.

Learn more about measuring moisture by checking out Delmhorst’s restoration guide, which has information about the different kinds of moisture meters, the main causes of water damage, and how to best use moisture meters.

Source: Delmhorst Instrument Co

https://www.delmhorst.com/

What is Your Exit Plan?

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire. In a matter of moments, a small flame can turn into a major fire, making it critical to be prepared by having an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan for your family. 

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. 

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floor. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used. 

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan. 

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. 

Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. 

Escape Planning for Your Business

Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation. OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan. 

Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans. You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan. 

Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees. Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times. 

Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills. Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.

Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fire places, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fire place, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

  •  Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

  •  Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.

  •  Test smoke alarms monthly. If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association.

The Importance of Cleaning out Dryer Vents

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. 

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

For more information on cleaning dryer vents contact your us today.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.*

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Northern Las Vegas

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

JUST THE FACTS: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association

Kitchen Cautions

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove top. 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stove top. 

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO® of North Las Vegas wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

What is Black Mold?

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

How Do I Tell If It's Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas immediately.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today (702-656-0203)