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New Year Could Present Damages to Your Home

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Animated image of a snowghlobe with tiny snowman and 3 Christmas trees inside. Find yourself needing SERVPRO this Winter season? Call our friendly team of experts at 706-750-0200 for advice and scheduling.

As the New Year begins, it is important to not let New Years Resolutions, new hobbies, or plans for a 2022 vacation distract from the potential threat of a water damage.

As you plan for vacation, it is important to note that vacation-time is an opportune time for a water damage to strike against your home. Why may you ask? Simply put, there is no one home to monitor if an emergency water leak occurs. For example, toilet supply lines could fail, refrigerator supply lines may burst, and your hot water heater in the attic may have an issue you can’t detect. At SERVPRO® of Augusta, we find it important to be a resource for our community, to try and help prevent such damages from occurring.

To help, please view the following list of steps to take to hopefully prevent these disasters.

  • Shut off the Main Water Valve. This is the best defense against flooding in your home caused by a burst pipe or other plumbing failure.
  • Check Your Supply Lines. You can check your supply lines, but do not over tighten. Overtightening can cause metal threads to become warped and later allow water to slip through.
  • Inspect Your Appliance and Fixtures. You can unplug smaller appliances while away to save on electricity as well as avoid any issues should there be an electrical storm while you are away.
  • Test the Sump Pump. You can check your sump pump by pouring a 5-gallon bucket of water over the pump, it should then turn on and begin to work. This is important to check as the sup pump could help should flooding in your area occur.
  • Invest in a Smart Leak Detector. This is a great investment for being notified if there is a water leak. If there is, you are notified, and SERVPRO can be called to help clean the damages immediately.

Have a Water Leak Issue? We can help. As the experts in our industry of restoration and mitigation of water damages, we are more than capable of helping restore your property to make it "Like it never even happened."  Our teams are knowledgeable and equipped with industry-leading equipment and resources. Coupled with both the most advanced equipment and a powerhouse of restoration experts, at SERVPRO of Augusta we can serve and solve any sized disaster. Call our team for help at 706-750-0200.

Fire Safety Just in Time For Christmas Season

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of dark winter sky, with snow covered ground with the Christmas tree covered with lights and home in the background. In case of fire emergency give us a call at 706-750-0200 and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."®

Don’t FA-LA-LA- Fall Victim to Holiday Fires  

Lights around a Christmas tree, candles burning favorite holiday scents and warm fireplaces are typical family practices during the holiday season. Your home is never quite as cozy and warm feeling as it is during Christmastime, which can aid in the magical feeling that this time of year brings. Although your home may feel warm and safe, pretty decorations and traditions could pose a risk for fire to your household, so it is important to be mindful of fire hazards.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire hazards increase 85% percent between the months of October to January. But do not worry, SERVPRO of Augusta is here to keep you safe with 14 Christmas Fire Safety Tips! 

  1. Do not use your stove for storage or as a heat source. 
  2. Water real Christmas trees daily. 
  3. A safer alternative to real trees is fire-resistant artificial trees.
  4. Inspect all lights on your tree as you are placing them.
  5. Never throw wrapping paper in your fireplace. 
  6. Follow the ‘rule of three’ when it comes to power strips to avoid risk of electrical fires. (Meaning only 3 electronics should be plugged into a singular strip at a time)
  7. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything in the room they are being used in. 
  8. Do not use indoor lights outside or vice. 
  9. Set timers when baking or cooking. 
  10. Pay attention to where you place décor. 
  11. Place fire extinguishers all around the house, and make sure your family members know how to effectively use them.
  12. Use caution when it comes to using candles. 
  13. Make sure you have functioning fire alarms with fresh working batteries.
  14. Have an emergency escape plan in place just in case and run through it with your household.

SERVPRO of Augusta has you covered while you deck your halls with boughs of holly. In case of fire emergency give us a call at 706-750-0200 and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."®

How New Year’s Came to Be

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Night photo of Time Square in New York on New Years Eve. Need SERVPRO services? Call our team at 706-750-0200

Ancient History of The New Year

Most civilizations around the globe celebrate the start of a new year. Most celebrations begin December 31st (New Year’s Eve), which is the last day of the Gregorian calendar. Parties consisting of friends, food and fireworks can go late into the night and early into the morning of the 1st. New Year’s celebrations are a widely known practice... but where exactly did they originate from? 

The earliest recorded observance of New Year’s date back to the ancient Babylonians. The celebration would typically begin the first full moon following the vernal equinox, usually a day in the latter part of March with equal parts of sunlight and night. The Babylonians would have a huge religious festival called Akitu. Akitu would have a different ritual for each of the 11 days that it lasted. Akitu also was a symbol of the Babylonians sky god Marduk defeating the evil sea goddess Tiamat- which became a tool for early political use. It was during Akitu that a new king was crowned and put on the throne, or the current ruler was symbolically re-established. 

Did you know? In Egypt the New Year began with the annual flooding of the Nile River, which occurred simultaneously with the star Sirius. 

So, How Did January 1st Become New Year’s Day?

The founder of Rome Romulus created a calendar that consisted of 10 months and 304 days, which began at the vernal equinox as was tradition. In 8 BC King Numa Pompilius added the months Januarius and Februarius. As time went on the calendar fell uncoordinated with the sun, Emperor Julius Caesar solved this problem by conferring with the most accredited astronomers and mathematicians of his time. Together they created the Julian calendar, which bears the closest resemblance to the Gregorian calendar that is most in use around the world today. 

In medieval Europe Christian leaders replaced January 1 as the first day of the year. They temporarily replaced it with days carrying higher religious importance, such as December 25th (the day they believed to be Jesus’ birth) and March 25th (the feast of the annunciation). Pope Gregory 13th reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582. 

Did you know? Julius Caesar had to add 90 extra days to his calendar in 46 B.C. to align his Julian calendar with the sun. 

New Years in the United States

In the U.S. the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of the ball in New York Times Square at midnight. People all over the world watch this event which has taken place almost every year since 1907. 

However, you celebrate New Year’s, you can feel safe knowing if an accident occurs SERVPRO® of Augusta is Here To Help® Give us a call at 706-750-0200

The Intricate History of Christmas

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

3 new SERVPRO vans at a facility, outside has a blue, cloudy sky Need SERVPRO this Holiday Season? Call us at 706-750-0200

How Did Christmas Start? 

Christmas is celebrated every year on December 25th and is considered a huge religious holiday as well as a commercial extravaganza. For 2 thousand years people around the world have observed the holiday by practicing traditions that are both secular and religious. People of the Christian faith celebrate Christmas as the anniversary of Jesus of Nazareth birth. While more secular practices and customs involve exchanging gifts, decorating trees, sharing the holiday with friends and family and of course- waiting to hear Santa Claus’s jingle bells on the roof.  December 25th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. 

Did you know? In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.  

Yule and Saturnalia

The middle of winter has long been a celebration around the globe. People rejoiced during the winter solstice because the worst of winter was behind them, and they could look forward to longer days and more sunlight. In Scandinavia the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21 through the month of January. In observance of the return of the sun fathers and their sons would bring home logs and create fires, the people would feast for as long as the log burned. The end of December was also a cause for celebration because a vast majority of people would slaughter their cattle so they would not have to feed them throughout the winter. This meant this was typically the only time during the year that people had fresh meat. Meat also coincided with the timing of beer and wine being fermented and ready to be consumed. 

Winter were not as harsh in Rome, therefore the Roman people celebrated Saturnalia, a holiday that honored Saturn the god of agriculture. Saturnalia was a sybaritic holiday, food and drinks were plentiful and strict Roman practices were halted. For a month slaves were given temporary freedom and treated as equals, and businesses and schools were closed so everyone could participate in the holiday. 

Did you know? Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.  

Christmas Cancelled?

In the 17th century religious reform swept over Europe. Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan followers took over England in 1645 and they vowed to rid England of debauchery, meaning Christmas was cancelled. When Charles II retook the throne, Christmas was re-established by popular demand. 

The Pilgrims in America in 1620 possessed even stricter religious Puritan beliefs than Oliver Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a celebrated holiday in early America. In 1659 Christmas was outlawed in Boston and if anyone was caught exhibiting any Christmas spirit, they were fined five shillings. On the other hand down in the Jamestown settlement, John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all the settlers and passed without issue. After the Revolution English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas and it wasn’t until June 26, 1870 that Christmas was declared a federal holiday. 

Did you know? The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.  

Christmas Reinvented

The turn of the 19th century brought about a fresh outlook on Christmas for American people. Americans re-invented the holiday and changed it from a noisy and disturbing carnival holiday to a peaceful family- centered day. That brings us to the invention of Santa Claus. The legend of Santa can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey in 280 A.D. St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth to the poor and sick which branded Old Nick as the protector of children and sailors. 

In 1822 an Episcopal minister Clement Clarke Moore wrote  poem called “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas”, well known because of its first line “T’was the night before Christmas”. The poem depicted Santa Claus as a jolly old man who flies to each home on a sled driven by flying reindeer to deliver toys to good girls and boys. 

Christmas is a jolly time. If an emergency does occur you can count on SERVPRO® of Augusta to be there for you. We are always Here To Help® 24/7/365. Give us a call at 706-750-0200 today. 

Prepping Your Augusta Commercial Business for Snow and Ice

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of apartment ceiling collapse from winter storm damages Need emergency help for ceiling damages experienced from winter storms such as this? Call us for help at 706-750-0200.

Start Your Search for Winter Contractors Early

Often during nice, enjoyable days of Summer, we often don’t consider what the winter chill could bring. During the warmer, Summer season this is the best time to start checking your commercial business or home to make sure you are ahead on potential disasters due to structural threats.

Many things can happen during the Winter months, and you should be to fully prepared in order to stay ahead of damages. Commercial properties are not exempt from the necessity of preparing for harsher temperatures. Low temperatures and winter storm can cause critical damage, resulting in expensive repairs and potential disruption to business.

Here are Five Winter Prep Must Do’s for Commercial Property Owners:

  • Start by keeping your gutters clean and ensure that they are working properly. Lack of gutter maintenance or clogged gutters can lead to water accumulation on your roof, causing leaks and internal water damage.
  • Make sure you inspect your roof. Checking you roof during the summertime can save you an enormous amount of money. It can mean the difference between replacing a few shingles or replacing the entire roof and clearing up water damage or mold.
  • Maintain consistent temperature. Keeping the thermostat set between 50-60 degrees prevents freezing pipes, even in vacant buildings.
  • Keep a routine check of your property. Keeping eyes on the property can allow small issues to be seen and resolved before they become larger problems.
  • Eliminate drafts. Frigid air can enter your property through gaps in doors and windows, ensure all exterior doors and windows have weather stripping and caulking before winter starts.

In the state of a water disaster, call SERVPRO® of Augusta and we’ll Make It "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 706-750-0200 today.

Avoiding Storm Damages for Your Home

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Yellow and black generator on the ground outside of a home during an approaching storm Take steps towards protecting your home before a storm strikes. Need storm damage help? Call us at 706-750-0200.

Ten Easy StepstoProtect Your HomefromStorm Damage 

  1. Replace missing or damaged shingles.

When a shingle is damaged it is much more cost efficient to replace it immediately. As waiting until the damages are so severe that you must replace an entire section of roof, or the whole roof.

  1. Repair or replace loose siding.

The same rule of thumb applies here with siding as it does roofs.

  1. Ensure proper sealing of doors and windows

If your home isn't properly weather-proof, seeping water can pose a huge threat.

  1. Ensure water flow is directed away from your home.

Make sure all water is flowing away from your home and towards a ditch, drain, or other proper retention area.

  1. Keep your gutters clear.

Clearing gutters for free flow of water and proper downspouts are helpful in extending the life of the foundation of your home. Water damage by flooding is one of the quickest ways to devalue your home. Making sure the gutters are clear is the first line of defense in avoiding water damage.

  1. Check for loose or damaged fence posts.

Wind can be an unexpected danger. Posts that are not nailed down could be a liability. Checking your fence posts is typically easy, Tip: Walk to each post and give a firm shake to each one to check for any needed repairs.

  1. Regularly trim your trees.

Tree limbs can damage your home, and surrounding neighbor’s homes. Keeping trees trimmed and well managed is an excellent way to protect your roof and windows.

  1. Keep yoursump pumpin working order.

Spring often brings a lot of excess rain, so before rain season starts, check that your sump pump is in proper working order. If you want to feel secure, having a backup sump pump is a guaranteed way to avoid flooding in your home.

  1. Walk around your property.

If you know a storm is coming, take some time to check through basic maintenance steps to protect your home. Identify any items around your property that could pose as projectiles. These items could include lawn furniture, tools, or yard debris. Avoid damage by moving potential threats to a garage or shed to be safely stored.

  1. Keep a generator on hand.

A bad storm could potentially knock out power to your home for hours or even days. Having a generator on standby could save you time and money ensuring you don’t have to throw away refrigerated foods or create water leaks from unpowered appliances.  

Storm season brings a lot of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. If a disaster does occur, feel safe knowing you can call SERVPRO of Augusta at 706-750-0200.

How To Protect Your Augusta Home Against Rainwater

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Group of men top of a roof doing maintenance repairs Routine maintenance and repair work can help to extend the life of your roof and protect against damages from heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Waterproof the Exterior Of Your House 

At SERVPRO® of Augusta we understand that the aftermath of water damage is one of the most stressful things that a homeowner can experience. It can be a very big and expensive problem if not treated properly and in a timely fashion. The best way to deal with water damage is to stop it before it starts. The exterior of your house is the first line of defense against water damage.  

Maintain Your Roof 

The roof’s primary purpose is to keep water out of your shelter. Not making sure your roof is taken care of can lead to a host of problems- the worst being extensive water damage that could permanently damage the structure of your home.  Most roofs have a 20-30 year lifespan, however climate, weather conditions and even trees could cause damage to your shingles and create a leak. It’s best to periodically inspect your roof for damaged or missing shingles. Replacing compromised shingles is a quick and inexpensive fix that can extend the shelf life of your roof.  

Add Sealant to Your Windows And Doors  

Entryways to your house are common sites that promote water damage and leakage into the home. Water can seep through the cracks around your windows and doors if they aren’t properly secured. Instead of waiting on the leak to happen, go ahead and make sure these areas are weather-stripped and have fresh sealing. You can easily repair large cracks with insulating foam sealant or dd some caulking where the window meets the siding.  

Make Sure Your Home’s Exterior Is Protected  

If you’re spotting some signs of water damage on your interior walls but aren’t seeing a source of leakage, it’s highly likely that water is entering through holes in your exterior walls. If your siding or exterior paint aren’t well managed water could seep through inside your home. Common sidings such as stucco, aluminum siding or wood siding has to be painted in order to protect the home against water properly. Paint is more than a pretty feature, it seals your siding and protects your home from weather related issues.  

Making sure your gutters are properly functioning and aren’t clogged is also a huge part of protecting your home from water damage. If your gutters are full of leaves, sticks and pine needles or not angled correctly, water will be redirected down the side of your house and collect at the base of your home. Start by clearing out all the junk in your gutters and ensuring that they are not damaged.  

Correctly functioning gutters should send water through the downspout, which shoots water away from your home. When checking gutters make sure that your downspout extends far enough at the bottom to redirect the water drainage to a safe distance away from the base of your home.  

Pro Tip: Downspouts should direct water at least three feet from the exterior walls of your home.  

For emergency water services give us a call at 706-750-0200, we are Always Here To Help 24/7/365  

Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fire fighter putting out a Thanksgiving dinner kitchen fire Cooking for a crowd can be overwhelming and distracting. Follow these Thanksgiving Day Tips for a safe holiday celebration!

Stovetops, Ovens and Fryers 

Thanksgiving is the day where American families come from all over to be together and celebrate the most important thing there is- love for each other. With the influx of family, cooking can become dangerous if you allow it. The National Fire Protection Association displayed in a national study that the number of cooking fires is three times higher on Thanksgiving than any other day in the year.  Jammed stovetops and crowded kitchens aren’t the only potential dangers, turkey fryers and candles are elevating fire risk more and more each year.  

Remember to always keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use it.  

Whomever is cooking can easily become distracted by preparing dishes while also trying to entertain guests. Preventing fires is simple when following some basic guidelines:  

  • It’s always a great start to the holiday when you begin with a clean oven and stove. Removing buildup from old food and grease on your burners and in your oven can save you from a holiday disaster. 
  • Don’t get distracted by guests and leave food cooking unattended.
  • Always make sure someone is in the home and keeping a close eye on the kitchen if you do have to step away. 

Pro Tip: Setting a timer when cooking a large turkey can make the difference in holiday cheer and holiday oh dear.  

  • Keep children away from the kitchen, if you do have young ones running around- try to only utilize the back burners if possible. 
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and immediately close the oven. 
  • Have working smoke alarms and have an emergency evacuation plan in place. 

Turkey Fryer Pro Tips  

Never use a turkey fryer inside the home, in the garage or even under a covered patio. Don’t overfill the oil in the fryer, as it can easily tip over. Most turkey fires due to a fryer happen when the oil is being heated, but turkey fryer accidents can be avoided when following the following turkey fryer safety tips: 

  • Always read the fryer instruction manual.
  • Make sure turkey is completely thawed out before throwing it into the fryer.
  • Don’t overfill the oil in the fryer. Before filling up the fryer with oil test it out with water. Place the turkey in the fryer and fill it with water until the turkey is covered. Mark the water line and then repeat the process with your frying oil. 
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer and never leave your fryer unattended. 
  • Only use oil that is recommended by the brand of fryer you’re using. 
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas supply off. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and NEVER use water to try and extinguish an oil fire. 

Final Pro Tip: According to the USFA, candles are responsible for an estimated 15,600 residential fires a year, causing 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries, and $539 million in property damage. More than half of candle fires are a result of a candle being placed too close to flammable holiday decorations. Always keep children in mind when decorating. 

If a fire does occur, give us a call at SERVPRO® at 706-750-0200 and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."® 

SERVPRO is Faster to Any Disaster

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

3 SERVPRO vans outside of garage and ready for deployment SERVPRO professionals here in Augusta, GA are ready for your call should you need us. Call 706-750-0200.

When dealing with Water, Fire or Mold – SERVPRO is Faster to Any Disaster.

When water damages occur, the wrong response team can cost you plenty. When water damages occur in your home, avoid the frustration of waiting for a team that will not show on time, or even worse, be a team that will not properly restore your home that later will lead to secondary damages and more headache. SERVPRO has the people, processes, and equipment necessary to execute the restoration process for every loss.

SERVPRO professionals will respond quickly with the appropriate equipment to help dry and protect your property. Our 1-4-8 process holds our teams to a highly regimented system that set expectations of the fastest industry response times. Why does showing up fast matter? When mitigating a water damage, standing water can quickly become a home’s worst enemy, affecting floor coverings, base boards and all your belongings that are touched by standing water.

Immediate water Damage Tips for a Property Owner:

  • Shut off the water source if possible.
  • Remove all excess water you can.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture to protect the furniture from rusting or swelling from moisture and water absorption.
  • Hang furs and leather goods away from water damaged areas.
  • Do not leave sentimental items, books, or other colored items on wet carpeting.

How SERVPRO Restores Properly

Other than crews attending and becoming certified through IICRC standards – the combination of the SERVPRO difference in Fast Action and Thorough Drying helps SERVPRO remain the leader in our industry in ability and quality of service.

Even small water damages have the potential to create serious structural issues over time. If you have question, need to call for scheduling for mold testing or fire damage help, call our team at 706-750-0200.

December Fun Starts in Augusta - Stay Safe!

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

White snow covers the walkways in downtown Augusta, Georgia on the Riverwalk Area There is plenty of fun to be had in Augusta during the Winter! Stay safe from Winter Storms and call SERVPRO for storm help if needed at 706-750-0200.

Starting in December, Christmas bells will ring, and Santa Clause will come to town!

Augusta is full of holiday cheer and activities for families. Evans Towne Center Park will have an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Lights in the South will be fun for all ages, the Augusta 5k will be in full swing, hunting for the perfect Christmas tree on Washington Road in Augusta, GA is a part of many family’s traditions.

Be Careful of Unforeseen Dangers

On your way to having fun or commuting back and forth to work, beware of “black ice.” Although Augusta does not typically see snow, ice on the roads is still a threat. Black ice is invisible to drivers as the ice is transparent. The ice forms a glaze over the roadways, sidewalks, and driveways causing drivers to pause for caution.

Knowing When to Expect Black Ice

Black ice tends to form in the early hours of the morning and evening when sun temperatures are at a low. Occasionally, black ice can be seen in the right light conditions. In this case, it is important to not panic, simply slow your vehicle and stay alert. Do not hit the brakes and keep your steering wheel straight, be careful not to jerk the wheel as you may overcorrect. *Pro-Tip: Find an area of traction, like the side of the roadway where there is snow and/or grass.

Tips from the Professionals:

  • Have snow tires fitted for your vehicle
  • Stay off the phone while driving – Always! Especially during winter months where black ice is an added threat.
  • Drive slowly to avoid quick movements of the steering wheel and do not harshly press brakes.
  • If weather conditions are not safe, do not drive! It is better to wait and stay off the roadways than to be in, and/or cause a wreck.

Need Winter Storm Damage Help? SERVPRO of Augusta can help. Call our teams, 24/7 – 365 at 706-750-0200