4th Quarter Business Excellence
"Our Fourth Quarter Business Excellence Award winner provides 24 hour emergency fire and water cleanup, mold, and biohazard remediation, as well as complete rebuild services on residential and commercial buildings.
It all started in 2003, when Sean and Kellie Grier turned their dream into a reality. It was their vision to grow a company that would not only provide jobs for citizens of Bay County, but most importantly, provide careers. Careers that not only provided a living, but that would grow families, and better our community.
As many dreams do, this one started small, with just a few vehicles and a handful of employees. It took a lot of hard work, dedication, and a little luck but eventually, it grew into a successful business that currently has a fleet of vehicles, 35 employees, and 3 buildings. This growth has enabled the company to travel to other communities in time of disaster, and help with, as well as achieve “Large Loss Team” status. They were named one of the companies Top 100 franchises out of 1,700 in 2016 and 2017.
Sean Grier will be the first to tell you that he couldn’t have done it on his own. He strongly believes in teamwork and is involved in all aspects of the business. It’s his hands on approach that he is most admired for among his staff.
This company has been a supportive member of the Beach Chamber for 8 years. Members of their team are very active in our Ambassador program, as well as our IdeaCamp and Women’s Symposium committees.
This organization is a valued member and we are proud to present them with this award this morning. The 2017 fourth quarter Business Excellence Award goes to SERVPRO of Bay County"
-PCB Chamber of Commerce
3 Early Signs of Mold Growth
It’s no secret that mold is one of the most hazardous forms of damage that can happen to your home. It infiltrates homes easily, grows rapidly, and can be harmful to your house and your health. If you’re worried about finding mold in your home, be on alert and look for these three signs that could indicate early stages of mold growth:
1. The first indicator of the presence of mold are water spots. Any surfaces dampened by water create the perfect environment for mold to flourish. Water spots that begin appearing on your walls, ceiling, or floors should be a major red flag. Wherever you see water spots, try finding the source of the moisture causing them and get it taken care of as soon as possible.
We recommend hiring remediation professionals like our team here at SERVPRO of Bay County to help fix the problem as well as take preventive measures to keep it from happening again.
2. The second sign to look for is discoloration. If you find spots of discoloration on surfaces of your home, it could mean fungus is growing. If there is a green or black tint to it, mold is even more likely
3. Third, mold can cause a bad smell. Depending on the type of mold and how fast it is growing, the aroma could be strong or faint, can smell pungent, musty, or earthy. If you experience any of those smells coming from your home, it needs to be inspected.
When mold is ignored, it becomes harmful and dangerous. It’s important to take action immediately in removing it in order stop the infestation and prevent future spreading. If you have mold in you home, call us today for our remediation services.
Tips For Keeping Your Water Bill Low
We’ve talked a lot about how to prevent and reduce the risk of water damage in your home, but what about reducing the cost of water in your home?
Here are a few tips from our team of experts here at SERVPRO of Bay County that will help you keep your water bill lower while helping your home and the environment in the process:
1. First and foremost, it’s important to identify and then fix any water leaks you may have. Not only can leaks potentially drain thousands of gallons worth of water, they can lead to major water damage problems for your home. Check faucets, drains, and plumbing around the house to look and listen for any signs that could indicate a leak. If you find one, get it fixed right away!
2. Use your dishwasher! That’s right – running a full load of dishes in the dishwasher is actually a much more efficient use of water than washing dishes individually by hand. The key here though is running a full load, that’s how you’ll get the most out of your water usage.
3. Take shorter showers, or switch to a low-flow shower head. Reducing your shower time by even a couple of minutes makes big cuts in the amount of water you use from month to month. As an alternative, low-flow shower heads use 2.5 gallons per minute, which according to the US Department of Energy could end up reducing you water bill by 25-60 %, saving you a significant amount of money in utility bills.
4. Insulate your water pipes. One trip to the hardware store for some foam insulation cut in the shape of a pipe and your half-way there! Taping insulation to your water pipes will help them heat up water faster, which in turn means less time running water from your sink or shower waiting for it to warm up.
5. Limit your use of the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. Instead, scrape whatever excess food that’s on your dishes into the trash, then place them in the dishwasher – remember? We want a full load! Disposals use a lot of water to flush things down the drain, so reducing its use will reduce the amount of water you’re using in your kitchen.
With these tips to get you started, you should start seeing a drop in your water utility bill in no time. By being mindful of your water usage and aware of the condition your pipes, faucets, and appliances are in, you can help prevent any costly water leaks or damaging water spills.
National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month! Our very own SERVPRO of Bay County office manager Crystal Arnold is taking big strides for our Bay County community by participating with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida to help provide mentorship to youth.
Currently, roughly one in three children are growing up without a positive role model to look up to. By taking some time each week, Crystal is changing that statistic by spending quality time with Torrina, whom she has been matched with for over two years. Crystal and Torrina spend their time together taking trips to the local library, reading, cooking, and doing other fun activities.
We are so proud of Crystal and her efforts to help better the Bay County community and make a difference. If you are interested in becoming a mentor with Big Brothers and Sisters of Northwest Florida, call 763-KIDS.
To learn more about Crystal and Torrina’s journey, click here.
How To Safely Put Out a Grease Fire
Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. Often times, cooking fires are ignited by grease, which can be dangerous for both your home and the individuals inside your home. In an effort to keep everyone safe, here are our tips for safely containing and putting out grease fires in your kitchen:
1. DO NOT USE WATER! Trying to extinguish a grease fire with water can be catastrophic. Also stay away from flour, baking powder, or any other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt. While baking soda and salt can help (we’ll touch on this later), powders that merely look like them can have very different chemical makeup and will not react well to the grease. They can actually making the fire worse.
2. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Do not remove cover until it has cooled. This will help contain the fire and suffocate the flames.
3. TURN OFF the heat source! When a grease fire starts, heat fuels it and can make the flames spread and grow stronger. Turning off the heat will cut that main source of fuel.
4. Here’s where the salt and baking soda come in. If possible, pour some salt or baking soda onto the fire – the substances will help smother the flame and significantly reduce its strength.
5. If none of the previous steps are successful in putting out the grease fire, spray the fire with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher.
An important note - IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO EXTINGUISH THE GREASE FIRE, GET OUT. Please keep in mind that your safety and the safety of those around you is most important. A grease fire can become very dangerous very quickly. Evacuate, and once everyone is safely out of harms way, call 911. Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.
If your home is damaged by grease fire or any other type of disaster, SERVPRO of Bay County is ready to help with the restoration process. Give us a call at 850-785-1077.
Fun in the Sun Mud Run
SERVPRO of Bay County is proud to present along with partner Panama City Toyota the Inaugural Fun in the Sun Mud Run!
The heart and mission of Fun in the Sun Mud Run is to bring a new event to our community and its guests, giving us the ability to raise funds for Charity. 100% of the proceeds will “Help Charities overcome obstacles one at a time”.
We believe in and encourage by example the spirit of team work, and as a team we envision everyone pitching in to do the dirty work. We have a dedicated committee, a swarm of volunteers, eager sponsors and the support of Bay County Inc. Together we will provide a family friendly environment with entertainment for spectators and a challenging muddy course for participants
Find out more about our event by visiting Funinthesunmudrun.com or visit our Facebook page.
5 Common Causes of House Fires
Fire is one of the most hazardous types of damage that can wreak havoc on your home. While safety measures can be put in place to combat fire (like having a fire extinguisher handy or a fire alarm system installed), knowing what the common causes are can be a good first step in preventing fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are ranked as the number one cause of house fires in the United States. It’s important to always be alert and aware when cooking in your kitchen, and to not leave items unattended. Pots and pans can easily overheat, food can burn, and any time large quantities of grease or oil are involved they can spray and splatter, taking only seconds to ignite into flame. Be sure to keep an eye on your cooking area at all times, and remove any combustible items like dish towels, paper towels and oven mitts so there are no flammable objects within range.
Electrical fires are one of the most common threats homeowners face. From overloaded electrical outlets to malfunctioning appliances, fires can start quickly and grow strong. Be careful not to overload your circuits or leave lights on overnight, and if you can, start conducting an annual inspection of your home’s electrical systems. This will help you identify and locate any faulty wiring, damaged outlets or other issues your system may have.
Smoking is a major contributor to house fires that occur in the United States each year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped somewhere in the home can quickly ignite its surroundings and build to dangerous levels of fire and smoke. The best way to significantly reduce the risk of this happening is to stop smoking altogether or by smoking outdoors. However, if you choose to smoke inside your home, take proper precautionary measures: don’t smoke in your bedroom or forget to extinguish your cigarette if you become drowsy. Use large, deep ashtrays, and keep them away from anything that will burn. And finally, check around for any fallen embers and properly dispose of them as soon as possible.
This one may surprise some people, but your dryer could pose as a major hazard for your home if not properly maintained. When lint and dust build up over time, the dryer vent becomes clogged with highly flammable materials. When you run your dryer, it exposes the vent to high temperatures that can cause the build up to combust. Regularly cleaning your dryer’s lint trap and routinely inspecting the vent for blockage is the best way to avoid this potential danger.
Candles provide wonderful aromas and stunning ambiance to any room, but can be hazardous the moment you neglect them. Always blow out a candle before you leave a room – an unattended open flame is asking for trouble, and can quickly lead to a house fire. In addition to blowing it out, be sure to clear away any flammable materials from the vicinity of the candle prior to lighting it. Trimming the wick can also help reduce the size of the flame, better containing it.
If you are worried about any of these hazards that may exist in your home or have any questions, feel free to call our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Bay County. We’ll be happy to assist you!
Red Flags to Look for When Buying a Home
Whether the house is ten years old, fifty years old, or brand new, it’s always important to look for red flags indicating signs of possible home damage that needs restoration before making your final decision. Nobody wants to make the mistake of buying a home, only to discover hidden problems later on that require expensive restoration services and maintenance.
Here’s what we recommend keeping an eye out for when considering a home to buy:
Potential Foundation & Structural Problems
A poor foundation can cost homeowners thousands of dollars to correct, making it one of the most expensive fixes you could potentially have. Be sure the walls, doorframes, and the house itself aren’t leaning in any way or cracked. Also, be sure to check if the yard and other land around the home slopes toward it. If it does slope, that could be a big indicator of damage – water can easily run and collect at the foundation of the house causing severe water damage and compromising its structural integrity.
Speaking of water damage, another big red flag when buying a home is how well its drainage system is working. Signs of a bad drainage system could include overflowing gutters, water stains on walls, cracking in the foundation, and pooling water around the yard. If any of these sigs are present, you’ll want to be cautious about that property and how prone it is to water damage if it’s not already experiencing the affects.
The Presence of Mold
Mold spells bad news for the home and your health. While not always easily detected, it’s important for any home to be inspected for mold prior to buying and moving in. Check areas like basements and attics, as well as drains around the house like showers and sinks.
Issues with Electrical Systems
This is where the age of the house comes into play. Electrical system issues can be some of the hardest red flags to detect, so we recommend testing light switches throughout the house while doing a walk through. See how well the lights are working and test the electrical yesterdays. You may even consider hiring a professional inspector to run diagnostics to make sure everything is up to code and avoid potentially hazardous and damaging problems to your home.
New Years Resolutions: Creating an Emergency Evacuation Plan
Emergency preparedness is key to keeping your family safe during a disaster
With the new year almost here, many find themselves at a time of reflection, renewal and resolution. As we prepare for the start of 2018, one resolution we recommend is creating an Emergency Evacuation Plan for your family and/or business. Having an Emergency Evacuation Plan in place both at home and at work can make the difference in keeping everyone safe when an unexpected emergency situation arises.
Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Bay County to help you prepare:
Have a Designated Meeting Place
In the event of a fire or other disaster, it’s important to have a Designated Meeting Place that’s close enough to your location to be easily accessible, but far enough away to be out of range of any danger. Make sure all individuals are aware of this meeting place, and are physically able to access it.
Design an Evacuation Route
Depending on the size and layout of your home or office, an Evacuation Route could have many variations. Make sure you plan safe routes for individuals to take based on their locations during a given moment when disaster could strike. Each route should lead to your predetermined Designated Meeting Place.
Consider Individual Needs
As you solidify your plan, take into account any individual needs that may require special attention. This could include care of children, pets, medical needs, and having necessary supply items. Discuss these needs with your family or employees, create emergency kits with required supplies, and assign responsibilities to members accordingly.
Learn Basic CPR Skills
It is not uncommon for individuals to get hurt during a disaster – they can become injured, faint, or worse. That’s why it’s important to know basic CPR skills in case lifesaving measures must be taken before paramedics are able to arrive. If possible, make sure each family or team member attends a CPR class.
Disaster can strike at any time, and the safety of your family and employees should be top priority when it does. Having an Emergency Evacuation Plan in place will help you be more prepared to handle any emergency situation that may occur.
If you are creating an Emergency Evacuation Plan for your home, ready.gov offers helpful resources to help you and your family prepare, including a downloadable Emergency Checklist.
If you are a business designing an Emergency Evacuation Plan for your company, follow the OSHA Emergency Action Plan guidelines here.
Mold: The Nitty-Gritty Facts
It’s safe to say the no one wants mold growing in their home. It’s a form of fungus that can run rampant and not only cause damage to your home but to your health. We’re laying out the facts about mold so you can keep your home and family safe this year.
Mold loves moist, warm, and humid environments.
So, basically all of Bay County, Florida. When mold spores land on spots that are damp, they start to grow by digesting materials around them.
There are four common indoor molds.
The first is called Alternaria, often found in damp indoor spaces likes showers and faucets. The second, Aspergillus, thrives on dust – think powdery food items and drywall. Cladosporium, the third common mold type, is a double threat growing in both warm and cool areas. This is the type of mold you would typically find on fabric and wood surfaces. The fourth mold is Penicillium, known for its blue and green appearance and often appearing on water damaged materials.
Mold grows FAST.
The moment spores attach to an item they begin feeding, allowing mold to grow within a 24 to 48-hour period. It only takes 1 to 12 days for mold to colonize, which is why it’s important to remove it as soon as possible upon discovering it.
There are many ways for mold to get into your home.
Although invisible to the naked eye, mold spores can be found everywhere indoor and outdoor. They can travel through the air or attach themselves to objects, pets, and even people. Mold only begins to grow and become a problem when the spores land somewhere with ideal environmental conditions. This usually means anywhere with warmth and moisture, such as windows where condensation builds up, areas where leakage and flooding has occurred, damp paper products and cardboard, insulation materials, and more.
Mold should be dealt with immediately.
With its rapid growth and harmful effects on both health and home, mold should be dealt with immediately and professionally to ensure its complete removal.