Holiday Travel Tips to Lessen the Stress
If you are traveling during the upcoming holiday season, don’t let the stress of the hustle and bustle get you down. Realize ahead of time that there are millions of others that are also traveling and take steps to help cope with the situations that may arise due to the busy holiday traveling season. Travelchannel.com has provided the following tips to help you survive and calmly get to your destination.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS
- Do Your Research: Plan alternative routes when traffic gets overwhelming. Maybe there is a more scenic route that might take a little longer but has less traffic. When flying, be sure to check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time. Know the fees for carry-on luggage and checked bags.
- Stay Connected: Load your smartphone with all the latest travel apps before leaving home. There are apps to provide updates on flights, airport lines, cheapest gas, cleanest bathrooms, etc. You name it and there’s probably an app for that!
- Pack Light: If possible, avoid checking bags at the airport altogether.
- Pack Earplugs: The best way to escape stressful surroundings is to escape to a quiet place. Pack earplugs to turn down the crying babies, loud music, or loud talker sitting in the next aisle!
- Pack Snacks & Drinks: It’s more difficult to remain calm and make good decisions when you are hungry and your belly is growling. Always have snacks handy for when the need arises.
- Ship the Gifts or Give Gift Cards: For lighter travel, ship your gifts ahead of time or give gift cards.
- Travel on Off-Peak Days: The day before the holiday is always the most highly traveled. Try traveling on the actual holiday to avoid crowds and traffic.
- Travel Early or Late in the Day: Flights that leave early in the day are on-time more often. And avoid heavier traffic on the highways by traveling by car through the night.
Busy holiday travel is much easier to cope with if it is expected and planned for accordingly. While the hectic crowds and stress may not be completely avoided, one can definitely overcome the challenges by considering these tips when planning travel. Happy Holidays from SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati!
Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati!
Well, it’s that time of year again to reflect on what we are thankful for! As Thanksgiving approaches, we at SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati would really like to take this time to thank our dedicated employees and trusting customers.
We are very thankful for our dedicated employees. Our office staff and the water and fire crews put in long hours day after day. They are willing to put themselves in messy situations in order to help families and businesses get their lives back in order. They are eager to learn new processes so that we can continue improving on our services to our customers. We are very appreciative of their continual efforts.
We are thankful for our customers. We appreciate the confidence that our customers place in us to help them through their difficult times. From homeowners, to business owners, to agents and adjusters, we appreciate their trust in us to handle the job right.
During the hectic, chaotic times when disaster events are occurring, it is difficult to take the time to give thanks. So for this Thanksgiving season, we want to be sure that our employees and customers know that we appreciate them!
Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati!!
Let the Professionals Do the Work!
After facing a fire damage situation, some homeowners might think they can save some money by handling the cleanup themselves. But what many do not realize is that exposure to soot can possibly have negative effects on health.
Soot is the fine black particles composed of carbon and produced by the incomplete combustion of coal, oil, wood, or other fuels. It can consist of toxic acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The toxic composition coupled with the fact that soot particles are extremely tiny is what can make it dangerous. The airborne particles are virtually invisible so one can unknowingly be affected by inhalation or ingestion. It can travel into the lungs and bloodstream.
So unfortunately, safety risks from a fire do not end once the fire is out. During the fire damage restoration process, it is important to have proper safety equipment and ventilation procedures to ensure the safety of those exposed. The SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati technicians have specialized fire damage restoration training and expertise to handle the cleanup in a safe and effective manner. So if you are faced with a fire damage situation, let the professionals do the work! Call us at (513)541-3200 and we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Thank You Veterans!
SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati would like to take this opportunity to thank our American Veterans!
Veterans Day is a special day set aside to honor American veterans, both living and dead, who have devoted themselves to serve our great country. This day is dedicated to showing our American veterans that we appreciate the sacrifices they have made to preserve the freedom of our country.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday and some Americans will even benefit with time off work or school. As we enjoy this break from the daily grind, we should definitely make an effort to thank veterans and show our appreciation for the sacrifices they have made.
How about sending a note or a card to a veteran either in the hospital or living in a retirement home? A brief, in person visit would be even better! Asking a veteran about his service and just listening to his story is a great way to show appreciation. Attending a Veterans Day event, proudly flying the American flag and donating to a veterans organization are also all ways to show appreciation.
So this year, be sure to remember and appreciate those who have sacrificed to provide our freedom! Find a way to thank a veteran!
Controlling Odors After a Fire
One of the most important concerns for complete restoration after a fire is controlling or eliminating the odors. When attempting to eradicate the odors after a fire, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration during the restoration process. These factors all impact the strength of the odor that is left behind.
Factors that Affect Fire Odor
- Size – Larger fires burn more objects and bring more smoke. With more smoke, there is stronger smell.
- Length – The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply the odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space – The smaller the room where the fire occurs, the more intense and concentrated the smoke odor becomes.
- Items – Not all items smell the same when burning. For example, wood and plastic have very different smells and consistency. This needs to be considered during the restoration process.
Where the fire damage occurred and what items burned are the two main concerns in the fire restoration process. The technicians at SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati are fire restoration specialists and have the training, expertise, and equipment to analyze the damage and restore your property back to pre-fire condition.
Keep the Fun in Halloween this Year..Tips to Avoid Fires
Creative costumes, pumpkin carving, and spooky decorations all make Halloween fun for the kids. But what could spoil a good time more than a fire accident?!
NFPA.org provides a few simple fire safety tips to help keep the kids out of fire danger on Halloween.
- Keep costumes flame-resistant or flame-retardant. And for home-made costumes, choose materials that will not easily ignite.
- Many fall themed decorations, like cornstalks and dried flowers are highly flammable. Always keep them away from open flames.
- Use a battery operated light inside of carved pumpkins instead of a real candle.
- Keep pathways and exits clear of decorations so that nothing is blocking escape routes.
- Stress to the kids the importance of staying away from open flames.
- Review and practice with the kids how to stop, drop, and roll just in case their clothing would catch on fire.
SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati wishes you a very happy and SAFE Halloween!
SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati is Available for Emergency Service!
When severe storms hit, they most often hit unexpectedly and can be devastating to a home. Hail storms, tornadoes, floods and blizzards all have the potential to damage a home.
Roofs are most commonly affected by storms and can be very costly for homeowners to repair. Tornadoes and high winds can cause fallen trees and branches. Shingles can be blown off leading to water leaking into the home and causing water damage. Vents, gutters, downspouts and flashing are all susceptible to damage during storms as well.
Following a storm, in order to prevent further damage, it is always important to look for signs of roof damage. Some things to look for are holes, missing or dented shingles, and dented or cracked gutters and downspouts.
SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati is available 24/7 for emergency service if your home is damaged by a storm and you need help immediately. We understand the importance of responding quickly to help prevent secondary damage and reduce restoration costs. Some of the emergency services that we provide include temporary board up, temporary fencing, tarping, and tree removal. So if you find yourself in need of emergency service, give us a call any time day or night! (513) 541-3200.
Why I've Decided a Finished Basement is Not for Me...
Cassie taking a call from a customer with water damage.
From the perspective of Cassie Kohrs – Administrative Assistant, SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati
When you think of buying a new home what do you envision? When I was younger I dreamed of the perfect basement where I could host parties and my future kids could play. I wanted to be able to walk out of my basement and right into my backyard. What I didn’t think of though, are the disasters that can happen that may make my picturesque home an expensive project to fix! As an administrative assistant at SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati, answering customer calls day after day, I have learned a few things! While I don’t own a home yet, I definitely hope to in the future. That is why I am thankful to this industry for teaching me what to look out for when I finally get to buy that dream home.
One of the very first things I noticed when I started working for SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati is a trend of storm damage to basements. When Cincinnati gets hit with heavy storms the most common place we clean up is the basement. We see damage all the time from sump pump failures, sewage backups, water flooding in from window wells, and underneath doors. Many times these basements are finished and we have to tear out carpet, padding, and drywall. These are often expensive to clean up and then put back together and in some cases the damage isn’t even covered by insurance. It didn’t take long for me to become disillusioned from that perfect finished basement! That however, doesn’t mean that this has to become wasted space.
Basements, even if unfinished can be a great place for many things. For instance, a basement makes the perfect laundry room. Growing up I didn’t have a finished basement but my dad built a great table that made the ideal work bench for folding laundry. A work bench like this could also be perfect as a crafting or tool table. Unfinished basement space can also be utilized as storage. But I have learned to make sure that items stored on the ground should always be in a deep plastic container so that, in the unfortunate event of a flood, the stored items are safer from water. Another good idea is to store the contents on racks that are at least a foot or two off the ground. And as an extra precaution, I would advise placing these in waterproof containers as well to help prevent water damage. This is especially essential if you are storing important papers, or family photos.
I personally am not disappointed that I won’t have a big fancy finished basement someday. I am perfectly happy to adjust that part of my future home. (It just means that I get to claim that as my crafting room!) I also don’t want to discourage others from having a finished basement. These are very nice spaces if you are willing to risk the possibility of flooding. However, I will say that if you have a finished basement or are interested in having one in the future, talk with your insurance company and find out what kind of coverage you have and what coverage is available. Also, make sure that you are prepared for this situation by keeping the SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati phone number handy. We are always here to help!
Causes of Water Damage
There are many different causes of water damage in a home. Much of the time it is impossible to predict or prevent water damage from occurring, but just knowing the most common causes might just help!
Broken Pipes and Hoses
Burst pipes, broken water lines and cracked hoses often lead to water damage in the home. Periodically checking these can prevent a water loss before it ever happens. Maintenance is key!
Accidents do happen! Overflowing sinks, toilets and bathtubs all commonly cause water damage in the home. And who is most guilty of this? The children! To help prevent an accident in your home, always check that faucets are turned off and make sure the kids aren’t overflowing the tub!
Sewer Back Ups
Sewer back-ups can cause a lot of nasty damage! Watch for tree roots growing into drain lines!
Basement Moisture and Leaks
Leaky foundations and moisture in the basement often result in damage as well. Dehumidifiers, waterproofing, and sump pumps can all be very helpful in warding off major water damage occurrences.
Interior water damage also occurs as a result of weather. Flash flooding happens when least expected. High winds and hail can cause roof damage. Regularly cleaning the gutters and inspecting the roof for damage can definitely help prevent a future water damage incident.
Knowing what causes most water damages in a home can definitely help with prevention. Take a look at your home for signs of potential problems. A few preventative steps today might just save you from a larger water disaster in the future!
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS at the Office
Are you prepared for an emergency at the office?
- …have an evacuation plan in the event of a fire?
- …know where the nearest emergency exit is located?
- …have someone appointed to provide direction in the event of an evacuation?
- …practice fire drills at least once a year?
- …know to take the stairs instead of the elevator during disasters?
- …realize that you should move away from windows during a tornado?
- …have specific plans for disasters common to your location? (ie. Earthquakes)
- …have strategies to deal with power outages?
- …have a plan to handle computer network failures?
The safest workplaces are those that plan ahead and prepare before an emergency ever strikes. Take a moment now to evaluate your emergency preparedness at work. Putting just a little time and thought into preparation now can improve your safety later if you find yourself in an emergency at work.