Recent Posts

Prevent Your Holiday Delights From Becoming An Untimely Disaster

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Traditional holiday meal Follow these fire safety tips to prevent property damage this holiday season.

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s easy to fantasize over the delicious delights that reign as tradition in your family: casseroles, pies, stuffing, potatoes, cookies, and of course, that mouth-watering turkey! No celebration is fully furnished without a decadent feast and loved ones to share it with. Before digging in, it takes ample time, effort, and care to cook up such a scrumptious meal and all its embellishments. Ensure that you’re taking the necessary precautions in the kitchen to prevent a planned evening of fun and fine dining from turning into a fire emergency.

Here at the SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati, we know just how hectic the kitchen setting can become during the holidays. Ingredients, pots, and pans cluttered in disarray while the parade or football game plays on the TV. Young ones running around with anticipation to stuff their faces later. 

Kitchen Safety

It is said that cooking is the #1 cause of home fires, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross to ward off any unwanted mishaps and possible fire dangers in the kitchen:

  • Move flammable items such as grocery bags, kitchen towels, cooking sprays, and oven mitts away from the stove and oven
  • Keep children and curious fingers away from overhanging panhandles and the heat of the stove
  • Clean up greasy, oily, or any spills as you go to prevent slips and fire hazards
  • Keep fryers, air fryers, and other appliances away from liquids, decorations, and other flammable items; Make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions carefully for your fryer
  • Use a timer for check-in reminders about what’s cooking
  • Check and test that your smoke alarm works properly


Practicing these basic safety measures will help prevent a scary disaster from looming over your favorite festivities. But, rest assured, that just in case there is an accident, we at the SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati are “always here to help”! We hope you celebrate all of the joys of the season and indulge in all of your favorite comforts and traditions. Stay safe, and well-fed, this holiday!

SERVPRO of Northwest & Northeast Cincinnnati & The Season Of Giving

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

A box with SERVPRO logo full of donation ideas Time is running out. Donate today!

The pandemic has taken an emotional and financial toll on all of us. Our employees lost family members. 114 million US citizens lost their job. For Ohioans, these factors resulted in a 20% increase in food insecurity. Homelessness has increased across America by 55%. Now, more than ever, SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati is asking our community of business partners and neighbors for help.

According to OSU, over 40% of Ohioans have come to rely on food banks to feed their families. We can make an enormous difference in the lives of our fellow Americans by spreading awareness of this disparity. That’s why we are asking you to help us with our donation drive today. Our office is working with Matthew 25 Ministries to collect nonperishable food items, personal hygiene supplies, school supplies, baby products, and so much more. 

So far, our office has collected over $50 in food, cleaning supplies, clothing, and breastfeeding supplies. You can help too by donating your unwanted products today to 2115 Schappelle Lane, Cincinnati, Oh 45240. If Matthew 25 Ministries is closer to you, feel free to drop your donations off directly at their facilities. Their address is 11060 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, OH, 45242. If you do, be sure to drop a selfie on our Facebook or Twitter page so we can fill our social media with joy. We are delivering donations on November 15, 2021. Any little bit you can give will help Americans and others affected by Covid-19. Our office and our community thank you for your kindness in advance.

Prevent Commercial Property Damage This Holiday Season

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

A child lighting a menorah Prevent commercial fire damage by keeping all open flames at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.

Between November 1st - February 1st, there are over 20 religious holidays from all around the world. When we think about holiday fire safety, we don’t often consider the risks in a commercial setting. According to iii.org, decorations like Christmas lights are a reason or concern. They state, “Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of five (40 percent) of the home Christmas tree structure fires.” This statistic is specifically for residential properties, but this could easily be applied in a commercial setting.  

Live Or Artificial Christmas Tree

If you’re decorating your office for Christmas this year, you may have already decided between a live or artificial tree. If you're still contemplating what you want, consider these potential fire hazards. It may help you make that determination. 

Live Christmas Trees

Live Christmas trees come with a myriad of risks. If they are not properly cared for live trees can cause a devastating amount of property damage. They ignite quickly and create a lot of heat. That’s why you should keep them away from heat sources like heating vents and lamps. 

Artificial Trees  

In general Artificial Christmas trees are safer. Modern trees are made from fire-resistant materials. Note that fire resistance doesn’t mean fireproof. Damaged lights can ignite the tree from electrical malfunctions. You still want to keep it away from heat sources like fireplaces and space heaters. Overall if you’re picking your tree based on safety, artificial trees are the way to go.  

Safety Measures

Before decorating your office with any holiday lights, be sure to check them. After a year of disuse, anything can happen. A mouse could chew through the cords, the plastic covering could dry rot, or lights could have been smashed when packing them away last year. You never know that's why it’s smart to inspect all electrical decorations before putting them up this holiday season. 

Traditionally Christmas trees were decorated with candles. Whether your tree is live or artificial this is not recommended. USFA states that more than 1 in 3 fires that ignite in the winter are caused by candles igniting decorations. If lighting candles are part of your holiday ceremonies, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn to prevent fire damage.  

As we get together to celebrate the Holidays, SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati wishes a blessed season. We hope these Fire safety tips prevent any property damage to your businesses. If any accidents should happen, remember, “we are always here to help.”

Life's More Fun Without a Good Scare

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

3 ghosts hanging above a kitchen counter Don't let fire damage rattle your bones. Our skilled professionals will alleviate all of your fears.

If you’re anything like the staff at SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati, you decorated for Halloween at the beginning of September. Our office gets so excited to decorate for all of the holidays we just can’t help ourselves. Something most people don’t think much about is the risks involved in holiday decorations. You can prevent fire and property damage by adhering to the safety measures discussed below.

Candles

NFPA states that around 800 fires start because of candles. Replacements are easy to come by these days. Consider using flameless candles instead. They are much safer in a jack o’ lantern than an open flame. You can even save battery life by purchasing some candles with timers. 

Flammable Material

Decorations made from paper products, dried plant foliage, and fabric aren’t inherently dangerous but can be in certain situations. When staging your decorations take into account that incandescent lights can get hotter than 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your flammable materials like crepe paper and dried cornstalks away from direct contact with porch lights.  

Do Not Obstruct Exits

We know how tempting it can be to put that prop in front of the door to make your home just that little bit more spooky. The risk isn’t worth it. In case of an emergency, you’ll want easy access to all exits. Keep your holiday decorations out of the way for your safety. 

SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati hopes you have a smashing good time this spooky season! Stay safe, ghouls and boos. And don’t forget should you need us, “We are always here to help.”

Practice Fire Safety this Holiday Season

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

A large group celebrating the holidays Before you leave for the holidays make sure you follow these fie safety tips.

Remember traveling for the holidays when you were a kid? The only prep you had to do was make sure you had enough outfits and your favorite toy. The Holidays are quickly approaching, and as adults, we have way more responsibilities when planning a trip. SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati wants to make sure that you travel safely this year. That's why we put together a list of safety measures to check off before you leave.

Before You Leave Your House

Safety starts at home. Statistically, 7.7% of all residential fires start unintentionally or due to carelessness says FEMA. These fires can start while is no is home. For this reason, you should make sure that all devices and unused chargers are unplugged before you leave. If you use a charger that didn’t come with your phone, it may not be up to code with safety regulations. Leaving these cords plugged in and unattended could lead to fire damage. 

Your holiday lights can also be a fire hazard. Turn them off before leaving your home. Don’t forget to set all of your alarms before heading out. Finally, if you plan on being out for several days, don’t forget to ask a friend or close neighbor to check on your house while you’re away. This not only wards off potential burglars, but your housesitter can also inform you if the furnace has stopped working. A broken heater on a cold night could lead to frozen pipes which cause water damage.

Reaching Your Destination

Whether you pick an Air B&B or a hotel, there are still safety precautions you should take. Follow these steps while you’re planning your trip and after you arrive.

Air B&B

Due to regulations, Air B&Bs are not held to quite the same standard as hotels. Before you book the house, ask your potential host the following questions.

  • ask about locations of smoke detectors
  • ask if they have a sprinkler system
  • ask if they have escape plans
  • ask if they have carbon monoxide detectors

If any of these items are missing, you could be putting yourself and your family at risk. Please consider booking your stay elsewhere. 

Hotels

Safety measures for hotels are more tightly regulated than those of Air B&Bs. It is required for every hotel room to have an escape route posted. Legally several escape routes are required. Make sure to look those over. Familiarize yourself with all the ways to escape in the case of a fire. Locate all of the stairwell options. Always use the stairs when there is a fire. Elevators are one of the most dangerous places to be during a fire. 

The idea of not being able to escape your hotel room is frightening but a real possibility. If you cannot escape from the hotel room, NFPA says, “SHUT off fans and air conditioners. STUFF wet towels in the crack around the doors. CALL the fire department and let them know your location. WAIT at the window and signal with a flashlight or light colored cloth.”

One temptation you may have in your hotel room is to hang your clothes on the sprinkler head. Remember, sprinkler systems are there for your safety, not your convenience. Please, do not hang your clothes on these sprinkler heads. You could be held liable for any damages accrued and have damages to your own belongings. 

Above all else, SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati hopes that you have a great holiday season. Stay safe and remember, should disaster strike, “we are always here to help."

It's Thyme You Knew Our Cleaners

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

A person's hands spraying disinfectant on a faucet. Cleaning services that keep your loved ones safe.

Picture this, you’ve just suffered devastating sewage damage to your finished basement. Your child plays down there all the time, and he has an auto-immune disorder. You’re worried because the harsh chemicals typically used to sanitize can potentially be just as hazardous to your son as the bacteria from the sewage damage. You’re distraught because this feels like a lose, lose situation. Take a deep breath. Let the panic dissipate because; this is where SERVPRO of Northwest & Northeast Cincinnati steps in. 

We understand because we have family members and friends with similar worries. That’s why we’ve partnered with Benefect. Your health and safety are our number one priority. That’s why we are transparent about the products we use. 

Benefect

Benefect was made with auto-immune disorders in mind. It was founded by parents who were concerned about their child’s wellbeing. This is the first government-registered hospital disinfectant in the world that uses essential oils. Derived from Thyme, it leaves your home with a fresh, herby scent that almost no one could object to! 

While this product is gentle to your immune system, it is an exquisite antimicrobial! Hospitals use it against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It's even used to clean carpets. It is the only disinfectant that SERVPRO of Northwest & Northeast Cincinnati uses when we clean buildings after Covid-19 exposure.  

Sporicidin

Sporicidin may not use essential oils like Benefect but, it is still a plant-based disinfectant. If you have small children and pets, this cleaner has a low toxicity level. This makes it the perfect option for our mold remediation cases. It kills the mold while keeping your family safe from harsh chemicals. 

We have a variety of cleaning services that may require different products but, these two are our favorite. We want you to feel comfortable. If you have any questions about the products we’ll be using in your home, please don’t hesitate to ask us for the Material Safety Data Sheets. We’ll be happy to provide them for you.

Arm Yourself against Covid-19

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Person in PPE wiping down Surfaces Stop the spread of Covid-19 by taking preventative cleaning measures.

Like you, we wish life could go back to normal. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is making that difficult. As covid-19 cases soar in Hamilton, Boone, & Kenton County SERVPRO wants to ensure your health and safety. Keeping your facilities clean is crucial to your health and the health of your employees. Here are some of the steps we will take to ensuring your health and safety.

Routine Cleaning

SERVPRO uses cleaning products that are CDC certified to disinfect the Covid-19 virus. If you are looking for preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of your employees give us a call. We offer regular cleaning services that will disinfect all surfaces so you and your employees can feel comfortable coming to the office day in and day out. Whether you are looking for weekly or monthly preventative cleaning we have the services that you need.

Cleaning After a Positive Case

If you or an employee have received a positive Covid-19 infection the CDC also recommends that any employee that could have had potentially close contact with the infected individual quarantine for 14 days. Before your employees return you’ll want to clean the facilities. Continue using certified disinfectants that kill Covid 19. Wipe down any and all surfaces especially phones, keyboards, mouses. Each employee should have their own station so that they aren’t using anyone else’s electronics. 

When vacuuming wear a mask. Most vacuum cleaners will blow air up towards your face potentially exposing you to the virus. When using cleaners be sure to wear gloves. When dealing with a positive case of Covid-19 it’s a good idea to consider wearing full PPE to protect yourself and others from the virus. And remember make sure the area is well ventilated and don’t mix chemicals like ammonia and bleach the fumes are toxic and could cause serious illness and injury. 

Above all else our office wants you to stay safe and healthy. That’s why we offer free, no contact estimates for all of your covid cleaning needs. If you need assistance sterilizing your office call us at (513) 541-3200 “we are always here to help.”

End Your Job Search Here and Join Our Team!

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Crew Member with 6 arms Be a helping hand. Join our team!

We're Hiring! If you love helping people during tumultuous times, we've got the career for you! We have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." Our Franchise is looking for someone comfortable working hard in difficult situations, enjoys meeting new people, has strong communication skills, and can multitask effectively.

The Fire & Water Production Technician prescribes, coordinates, controls, and performs work activities on restoration projects to successfully fulfill service needs and facilitate a positive customer experience.

  • As the front-line representative of the SERVPRO® brand, the Technician demonstrates to customers and clients the company’s Here to Help® commitment.
  • The successful candidate should be well-groomed with a highly professional image
  • Valid driver’s license and a good driving record
  • Great verbal and written communication
  • leadership and organizational skills
  • knowledgeable in project estimating, and quality control
  • Previous experience in fire, water, smoke, mold mitigation/restoration is desired
  • Professional certifications from IICRC, RIA, ACAC, NADCA, and others are a plus

As a valued SERVPRO® franchise employee, you will receive a competitive pay rate, with the opportunity to learn and grow. Training and development programs are available, which can include industry certifications.

If this sounds like the career for you, please email your resume to jmckinney@hartkes.com by 10/1/2021.

5 Reasons Modern Buildings Have more Mold Issues

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in the corner of a wall This customer suffered heavy mold damage on their drywall. We made it "Like it never even happened."

Mold is an organism that appears naturally outdoors and indoors. Many property owners worry about it growing in their homes and commercial buildings. While mold can cause a significant amount of property damage, it still needs a specific type of atmosphere to grow. That’s why roof leaks, pipe leaks, or faulty window seals are so problematic. They create the perfect breeding grounds for fungi.

Here at SERVPRO we make it a point to learn something new every day. During our research, we found an interesting statistic that we'd like to share. Mold damage wasn’t as prevalent in residential and commercial buildings 100 years ago as it is today. We did more research and sussed out the top five reasons modern properties are more likely to experience mold damage than older homes and commercial buildings.   

Time

According to The Collection Plan in 2018, the average house took about 7 months from the beginning of construction to the end. These construction goals still hold true today. Shorter construction times aren’t inherently bad. Technological advancements have allowed us to finish construction projects must faster. There is also a higher demand for more houses now than there was in the 1920s. The consumer plays a role too. As a society, we expect faster build times.

The issues that cause mold damage happens when builders shorten the construction time by cutting corners. Builders may use unskilled laborers. They might use less material where more is required to get the job done right. They might not have the architect oversee the project to ensure the house is being built correctly. Keep in mind this isn’t the case for all builders. It is, however, more common now than it used to be.   

Materials

The types of materials have changed as well. Now builders use Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and particleboard. Materials like this are more porous than the timber used 100 years ago. Modern building supplies hold on to moisture longer. It leaves your house susceptible to possible mold damage if the humidity gets too high. 

HVAC system

100 years ago, central heating and air conditioning was an expensive luxury few could afford. They were also too large for residential homes. According to Energy.gov, they weren’t widely available for residential properties until the early 1930s. It wasn’t until the 70s that forced-air HVAC systems were installed on newly built properties. 

HVAC systems create condensation. Ideally, it drips into a condensation pan. However, clogs happen and, condensation pans can potentially overflow. Additionally, condensation can build up in the ducts. When left untreated ducts, and vents are the perfect breeding ground for mold. That is why cleaning your ducts is so important. It can clean out the mold and therefore improve the overall air quality.  

Architecture

Houses come in all shapes and sizes. Did you know that those shapes and sizes are usually designed for a specific climate? Flat roofs are intended for dryer climates like Arizona. Whereas Capecods and Ranch style homes are ideal for rainier parts of the world. When a property is built based on design trends instead of practicality, roofing leaks and clogged gutters are more likely to occur. If the subsequent water damage is not treated, it can cause mold.

Lower Tolerance

According to Diane Hoffmaster, a microbiologist, and writer of the blog Turning The Clock Back, American culture has a decreasing tolerance to dirt. Cleanliness is seen as a moral value. Therefore if mold is present in or on the property we fear being shunned by the community. 

The aforementioned factors may have a relatively low impact on the number of mold damages we see today. Could it just be that 100 years ago, property owners didn’t worry as much about mold damage? If only walls could talk! If you’d like to talk to us about mold damage on your property call us today at (513) 541-3200 to schedule a free estimate.

Are You the Hero We're Looking For?

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee speaking with a homeowner Are you looking for a rewarding career where you can make a difference in the world? Then look no further!

Are you passionate about helping people during rough times? Then you've come to the right place! We're looking for individuals that have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." Our Franchise is looking for someone comfortable working hard in difficult situations, enjoys meeting new people, has strong communication skills, and can multitask effectively.

Primary Role:

  • Manage production crews and jobs according to SERVPRO procedures.
  • Assign and coordinate jobs with crews.
  • Keep General Manager/Owner updated on production.
  • Supervise job scheduling, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job files, supervise production, and monitor jobs from start to finish.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Perform production work as needed.
  • Provide and communicate clear and accurate pretesting, scoping of services, and job estimates.
  • Monitor and follow-up on all assigned jobs ensuring that customer needs are met.
  • Communicate and establish rapport with commercial, insurance, and residential customers.

Results Expected:

  • Crews are effectively managed to maximize production.
  • Production processes are performed according to guidelines.
  • Documentation is completed in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Production costs are maintained at the established rate.
  • Additional sales are made to customers.
  • Both internal and external communications are timely and effective.
  • Jobs have completed either meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
  • Experience with Xactimate is a plus.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, national origin, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you'd like to join our SERVPRO family, please email your resume to jmckinney@hartkes.com. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! The deadline is 10/1/21.