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ICC Building Safety Month Week 1
ICC Building Safety Month Week 1 focusing on following codes to reduce preventable disasters.
The International Code Council’s Building Safety Month is back. And 2019’s theme is “No Code. No Confidence.” With week one focusing on how building codes proactively help a community be proactive in disaster recovery. Preparing for disasters: Build strong, build smart.
But why do I need someone else to tell me what and how I can build on my property?
The simplest definition of building codes is that they are the minimum safety standards when building a structure. Electrical wiring, sanitary systems, structural, and other aspects of building construction each have the potential for incident. Building codes do not entirely remove the possibility of an accident, but they do significantly reduce risks and improve safety.
Building codes also protect you, your family, your community. Let’s say that you decide to build a patio that wraps around your house. You could forgo getting the proper permits and build without following any codes whatsoever. You could also face fines and be subject to local jurisdiction’s decisions on criminal charges, or be held liable if anyone is hurt due to part of the patio collapsing. Following building codes can help to protect you from legal action in the event that something goes wrong. As stated earlier, building codes are the minimum safety standard, so why would you not want to follow them to protect your family. They can ensure that proper wiring or plumbing is used, significantly reducing the chances of something terrible happening. Codes help to protect the community if a disaster does occur. Going back to the patio example, let’s say the add-on to your home is not built to code and is too close to a neighbor’s house. And the grill starts a fire that spreads to the roof of the patio, and because the structures are now so close, the fire spreads to their home. And if codes were not followed during the construction of their home, it could continue to spread across the entire neighborhood. While it seems unlikely, it has happened before, and that is the reason building codes exist.
So to answer the question of why you need someone to tell you what and how you can build on your property; previous experience. Learn from others’ mistakes and reduce your risk. Following building codes allow you to build with confidence.
Taking Care of Your Dryer Can Prevent a Fire
FEMA recommends cleaning your dryer vents at least once per year. But you may have to do it more often based on your family's needs.
History is full of notable duos; Lewis and Clark, Sonny and Cher, and Batman and Robin. But only one pair makes a difference in our lives almost daily: The Washing Machine and the Dryer. We’ve gone over a simple way that you can take care of your washing machine to prevent water damage, and now the dryer should share the spotlight too. After all, it does so much for us besides just dying clothes. Wrinkly shirt pants the morning of a job interview and you don’t have time to iron, or you just want a warm and comfy to snuggle under while you binge watch a certain show that talks about Winter all the time. The Dryer is there for you, be there for it.
One of the easiest ways that you can take care of your dryer is to clean the lint screen after every load. This ensures that your dryer is working efficiently and safely. If you use dryer sheets, you may have to do more than just a quick wipe down of the filter. Experts have said that the sheets can cause a slight build up over time that is not easily removed, and you can test your lint filter by pouring a small amount of water over it, and if the water pools anywhere you can gently clean the screen with a brush in warm, soapy water. Just be sure to thoroughly dry it before the next use.
But dyer filters are not the only part that you need to clean, those screens filter lint and other material, but it does go somewhere and exits out of the dryer vents. And those do need to be cleaned on occasion; the frequency depends on the load sizes and how much you use the dryer. Start with the exit vent, as these can be inviting to animals of all kinds. Lower vents can attract small rodents, and higher vents can make nifty places for birds’ nest. Once the exit is clear you can focus on the link inside of the vent pathway. There are a few ways that you can do this. You can use an air compressor to blow it out, but that can be messy. There are vacuums that have brush attachments but are limited by the length of the hose on the vacuum. You can purchase flexible brushes with extendible wands; these can work at both ends of the vent. There are even professionals that can provide this service just search “Dryer vent cleaning near me” to find one for you.
Keeping a clean dryer vent will help to improve the efficiency and lifespan of your dryer, but the ultimate reason is for safety. Lint can build up in the vents, and according to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 15,000 dryer fire happened in the US during 2010 with clogged filters being the leading cause. Our franchise has had to perform our fire and smoke restoration services to homes affected by fires that started because of a dryer. And several years ago, I lived in an apartment community when the laundry facility caught fire because several of the dryer vents were clogged. So dryer fires are a serious issue.
Making the investment in cleaning or having your dryer vents cleaned is one way that you can take care of your dryer and keep your family and property safe.
The Bathroom Exhaust Fan. Your New Best Friend.
The primary purpose of the bathroom exhaust fan has been lost over time. It is actually there to control the moisture levels in the bathroom.
Homeownership can be exhausting. So many things beak or need updating, regular maintenance, and the bills. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you own your home or if your home owns you. And it can be very easy to think a small repair can be put off and ignored, that is until it turns into a huge unavoidable issue. Let’s take a look at one such item; the bathroom exhaust fan.
The bathroom exhaust fan is the best friend you never knew you had, and you will miss him when he is gone. But it is only a small problem, right? Yes, it does help control odors in the bathroom, and when you spray all of those cleaning solutions in the sink and tub, it helps to pull those odors out too. You can buy candles and air fresheners, and open the nearest window while you are cleaning, that is cheaper and more convenient than paying to have it repaired or replaced. But what about the real purpose for the bathroom exhaust fan, the one that can help save you thousands in repair cost? I bet you are listening now.
Odor control is the most noticeable function of the exhaust fan, but it is moisture control that is the real benefit that it provides. Those long, hot showers after a long day that fog up the mirror, well they also “fog” up the walls and doors. The fan helps to quickly adjust the moisture levels in the bathroom, making the bathroom a less ideal environment for mold to develop. Some wooden doors and flooring types may also be prone to warping if they absorb too much moisture, the fan works to keep those intact too. A warped door can be a pain, but if the floor warps in the wrong spot, it can lead to the toilet leaking and even more water damage throughout the house.
So, although it may seem like an insignificant item that is easy to keep at the bottom of the “to-do” list, you should give the bathroom exhaust fan a little MVP treatment every once in a while. Dust it when you clean the bathroom, and if it breaks, get it fixed ASAP. After all, it is working in the background to save you money, just like a good friend.
Stories Winter Storm 2018: Pools in the Attic
There was so much standing water in the attic of a Greenville, SC business that it was pooling behind the paint on many of the walls.
There is never a good time to discover that you have a leak in your roof. That being said, there is also never a good time to discover that you have several leaks in your cigar shop’s roof. Add several inches of melting snow and ice to come running down your walls and through your light fixtures, and you’d have a pretty bad day.
Luckily when the business owner called his landlord, his landlord called SERVPRO of East Greenville County, we were already in the area handling another emergency call. Our production team leader rushed over to scope out the full situation, and our team was there with air movers, drying mats, and ready to extract the standing water in less than 90 mins after getting the call.
Our production team leader noticed that the shop’s ceiling was shallow compared to the height of the building, and even though repairing roofs is not our specialty, he thought he better check on how severe the damage is and try to identify the source. This was when he discovered that there were several pools of standing water in the attic of the building and took swift action to extract the water and prevent a potential catastrophe if the ceiling was to cave in or more spots began to leak on the merchandise in the store. The drying process took several days, so, unfortunately, the business did have downtime, but because our team was able to respond quickly and take swift action, several thousand dollars of inventory and sales equipment was able to be saved. So the store may have a week with no sales, but they will only have to replace a minimal amount of inventory, and that is a drastic reduction to the negative financial impacts.
Our team’s rapid response and experience limited the potential impacts to both the business and the building.
Employee Holiday Recipes Part 2
This isn’t a picture of Jason’s recipe (because no one is willing to wait for a photo), but everyone should see ACBP in all of its glory.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers all kinds of great information about prevention, safety, and procedures during fire and water disasters. But during this time of year, we want to share some of our team’s favorite recipes. So please enjoy Jason’s Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding.
Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding
3 cans of cinnamon rolls
¾ cup milk
1 ½ Tbs cinnamon
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs of butter
2 Granny Smith Apple
1 Red Delicious Apple
1 cup brown sugar
Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl until slightly creamy, and set aside. Dice each Uncooked cinnamon roll into 6-9 pieces and set aside. Dice the apples (dealer’s choice if peeled or unpeeled). Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, apples, and brown sugar. Cook until the apples are tender and the butter and sugar have caramelized and allow to cool for 10-15 mins.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium sized casserole dish with butter or cooking spray and add the diced cinnamon rolls and spread evenly. Then pour milk mixture making sure to get even coverage. Spread the apples over the top, but do not press them into the cinnamon rolls, and then finally pour the icing over the uncooked bread pudding. Bake for 30-45 mins. Use the toothpick method to make sure is done.
Add any topping you like or eat it plain. It makes a great dessert or a fantastic breakfast.
Employee Holiday Recipes Part 1
The first batch of soup for the season. A tasty addition for a cold Saturday tailgate or weeknight meal.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers all kinds of great information about prevention, safety, and procedures during fire and water disasters. But during this time of year, we want to share some of our team’s favorite recipes. So please enjoy Jason’s Chicken, Sausage, and Pepper Soup
The holidays are coming up and with them lots of parties along with tons of fabulous friends and fantastic food. You may find yourself scrambling to find something to bring, or so busy being social that you do not have time to cook for yourself at one. Luckily, we have a soup recipe that is easy to make, even with all the ingredients. And best of all it is actually healthy. It can be its own meal, or an appetizer, which is why it can be great for parties. Adding the cheese sauce listed at the end thickens it up and makes a perfect for bread bowls.
Chicken, Sausage, and Pepper Soup
2lbs pork sausage (any flavor but maple)
3/4lb slow cooked chicken (with butter and coconut oil)
1 green pepper diced
1 can Rotel
1 bag frozen pepper stir-fry
1 10oz bag spinach or spinach kale mix
4 cups beef STOCK (not broth)
2Tbs cayenne pepper
2Tbs Italian seasoning
2Tbs onion powder
2Tbs season salt
2Tbs kosher salt
1Tbs chipotle garlic salt
2Tbs olive oil
Gather all spices in 1 container
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over med heat. Add sausage (don’t break up yet and let seer for 1 min). Break up sausage and cook through (don’t drain grease). Add peppers, wait 3 mins then add chicken, Rotel, and spices. Mix well. Add spinach and cover for 10 mins to wilt. Mix everything together. Add stock. Stir. (If you are going to add the cheese sauce, do it before bringing the soup to a boil). Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30mins.
1 small container heavy whipping cream
1 stick unsalted butter
8oz shredded cheese (your choice)
1 cube chicken bouillon cube
1Tbs black pepper
Stir chicken cube into the cream. Add butter then place over med heat. Keep stirring to melt butter. After butter has melted, slowly add cheese in small amounts until it melts. Place heat on low and simmer for 10 mins.
We hope that you enjoy this delicious soup, and if you do make it share it with us on Facebook, we’d love to see it.
The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship
An information table for a SERVPRO Lunch and Learn.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County had the opportunity to interact with the That Realty Group sales team during a lunch and learn earlier this week. Both teams had a great time and shared a delicious meal form Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House. The focus of the lunch and learn was to highlight the benefits of SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s residential service to both buyers and sellers of homes in the upstate of South Carolina.
One such benefit is the knowledge that any water or mold damage that is discovered during an inspection will be mitigated by a professional company with an excellent reputation and level of customer service. This can add peace of mind for the buyer, seller, and realtor throughout the transaction.
Realtors can also further develop a level of trust with their clients by being proactive with SERVPRO’s contact information in anticipation of an event. These events do not have to necessarily disastrous in nature either. A great example is a home was vandalized with tattoo ink on the front porch, windows, and some exterior walls, and this was within three months of purchasing the home. The homeowners felt angry, victimized, and embarrassed. And they were completely new to South Carolina, so they were not sure whom to call after speaking with the police, so they reached out to their realtor. Their realtor contacted our office to see if there was availability to assist her former clients quickly, and SERVPRO was on site that same morning to determine the best action plan. The home was cleaned up and only a few pieces of wicker furniture needed to be replaced, saying the homeowner a significant amount. But more importantly, the homeowners and realtor relationship grew stronger even though their transaction had been completed. A month later when friends of the homeowner were looking to relocate to Greenville, they immediately reached out to that same realtor because they trusted them to take care of those they cared about.
Realtors that utilize SERVPRO of East Greenville County get the immediate benefit of quality, reputable work. But they also get the long-term benefit of adding value to their client relationships as well.
Pack-Out Services for your Greenville, SC Home Remodel
A living room in Greer, SC mid-pack-out.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in emergency services for water, fire, and storm damage. But you do not have to have an emergency to take advantage of our service. In fact, a few of our services can be a part of your remodel plan.
Remodeling your home can be an exciting way to truly make your house your home. The concepts of expanding living spaces, adding a garden tub, or getting the perfect kitchen can all get the imagination racing. But often it’s the tiny details that are overlooked and bring large amounts of stress and frustration as they insert a little reality into your dream. Especially the ever so small detail of “Where are we going to put all of our stuff while we do this?”
Having the contents of your home packed-out by SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s professional team can help answer that question and significantly reduce stress. We can provide you with an efficient and organized pack-out based on your needs. This will help reduce the amount of time the remodel can take, protect your belongings from unexpected damage from accidents or construction debris, and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your project. We have local business partners that can facilitate moving and storage as well, helping to lighten the burden even more.
So if your remodel and renovation is to finalize your dream home or a necessity because of damage, we are prepped and #ready to be there for you.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County Nominated for Best of the Upstate 2018
The Best of the Upstate is sponsored by the Greenville News
We have some EXCITING news, SERVPRO of East Greenville County has been nominated for Best Carpet/Upholstery Cleaner as part of The Greenville News’ Best of the Upstate 2018!
Our carpet cleaning system includes specialized cleaning methods to match the needs of commercial and residential customers alike.
- Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
- Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
- Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.
SERVPRO of East Greenville County’s professional cleaning is the optimal way to protect your carpet and upholstery investment.
How to Register and Vote
Voting opens at 12 a.m. (EST) June 18 and closes on June 28 11:59 p.m. (EST). Head to the Best of the Upstate 2018 ballot page to place your vote. Just register with your name, email address, and phone number to be eligible to cast your vote. Per the official rules, there is a one vote per person per category limit, but you can share the link with friends, family, and co-workers.
We would like to say thank you for helping us to get us nominated and thank you again for your support to win this award.
Clear Communication and Customer Service
Developing strong communication skills is essential for many levels of personal and professional success. Those same skills can be applied to assist in creating exceptional customer experiences. Practicing a communication skill will make that skill second nature and reinforce the benefit clear communication will have. Many communication skill drills involve role-playing, and while that can be helpful it is not necessarily retainable, and “retainability” is a significant part of training.
One of the alternatives to role-playing exercises is the “building block challenge.”Which involves breaking up participants into groups of three and having them work together to build a small set from a building block toy line. The catch is that only one person can see and read the instructions, one person is allowed to build the set, and the “middle person” identifies the pieces based on the description. You set a time limit and rotate roles so that each participant gets an opportunity with providing and executing the instructions and change out block sets each rotation to ensure each experience is different. The purpose of this activity is to build skills based around providing instructions and directions without having any physical input on the project. The challenge has been used to train over the phone technical support specialists and provided measurable positive changes to efficiency and customer service metrics.
You may not provide support over the phone, but practicing conveying a message clearly while having tactile tools for the exercise to view progress, can improve your ability to communicate and provide benefits to personal, professional, and customer relationships.
How Critical Thinking Can Help Communication
It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” And if you have tried to make an eight-year-old do their homework or walk someone through a full system restore to their cell phone, then you may feel that this in fact true. So how do you get a message across when the most direct way is not working, or the other party isn’t exactly receptive? You have to change the delivery of the message without changing the message. Simple right, not so much.
The concept of making a message more receptive isn’t the same as hiding pet medicine in a treat, the point of adjusting the message is so that the other party comprehends the message not just accepts it. It can take a lot of creativity and critical thinking skills to “customize information for the audience,” but how do you practice that? Puzzles? Puns? Math? Well, yes. But there is a way to do so that doesn’t require an investment in school supplies.
Years ago, there was a hashtag on Twitter #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly that centered around describing a film’s plot without any significant details. It was just as much fun to decipher the movie as it was to come up with a description all of your own. I then tried using it to train a group of support reps on how to deliver a message to a customer if they did not seem to understand or accept it: saying no without using “no,” describing directions on a computer or phone, etc. And this method seemed to click with those that I trained even more so than the standard “say this not that” lessons. So the idea was itself an example of how it worked.
Some of the examples are simple and easy to guess:
Moody billionaire works out his abandonment issues by arguing with clowns (Batman).
And some were more complex and required a great deal of thought:
A widower’s son is kidnapped, and the only person that will help him has short-term amnesia (Finding Nemo).
These exercises helped to jumpstart the trainees critical thinking on how they can change the message and improve their customer service skills and increased efficiency. And are a great way to see you can help get your message across the next time you feel like you are stuck in a loop with a customer, coworker, or family member.
Don’t let coffee stains compromise excellent customer experiences, check out SERVPRO of East Greenville’s Commercial Cleaning Services
Years ago I worked for a company that prided itself on its customer service; they called it ‘legendary.” They didn’t just view customer service as the interactions between employees and guests or the quality of their food, but also as the cleanliness of the building. It was all part of the customer experience. One of the illustrations used to convey why cleanliness is part of customer service was The Coffee Stain Story.
A person books a flight across the country and they were able to get a great price and no layovers. The flight boarded on time, the seats on either side were empty, so there was plenty of room to be comfortable, the movie was good, and the headphones were complimentary. Flight staff was courteous and brought the passenger a free drink. The plane even landed on time. It was an incredible flight.
But, when they lowered the tray table, they noticed a small coffee ring stain. And even all of the free stuff, extra room, and no inconveniences, it was all they could think about. When they were asked “how was your flight,” they would respond with “It was OK, but my tray table was dirty. Had a big old nasty coffee ring on it.”
The story shows how the perception of their experience was hugely impacted by such a tiny detail, and customer perception is customer experience. It was taught to us to show how important every detail can be, and we must do all that we can to control the controllable.
You can never be certain what may be viewed as a “coffee stain” by your customers, so be proactive and take care of areas that need the most attention. SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers professional cleaning and preventative maintenance for upholstery and carpet. We have a number of specialized cleaning options for air ducts and HVAC units, deodorization, and many services. Call us at (864) 292-3495 to set up a maintenance schedule. Let us worry about the small details so you can focus on your business and your customers.
Restoring Your East Greenville County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Flooding and water damage events at Greenville area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of East Greenville County
SERVPRO of East Greenville County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Document Drying and Restoration Services for Greenville Businesses
The SERVPRO document restoration team uses the same innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques as the Library of Congress to dry historical documents
SERVPRO of East Greenville County offers a variety of services from water/fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and commercial/residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?
Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).
Our Document Restoration Facility:
- Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
- Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
- Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
- Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
- Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization
SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.
Types of content:
- paper documents
- books and magazines
- manuscripts and files
- photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
- blueprints and maps
For more information about SERVPRO of East Greenville’s Document Recovery or other commercial services visit our website or call 864-292-3495
SERVPRO of East Greenville Celebrates Mom All Month Long
SERVPRO of East Greenville County is happy to celebrate moms and all other caregivers all month long
Mother’s Day has come and gone, and we hope that you had a fantastic day with your loved ones. But that is just it; one day is not enough. So we are happy to announce that we are extending our Mother’s Day contest until the end of the Month! That is two more weeks to leave a review on our Facebook page for your chance to win SERVPRO carpet cleaning services for UP TO 4 Rooms, a $175 value.
And if you totally rocked this year's Mother’s Day, then you can use the cleaning for your home or business. (Don’t worry we won't tell.)
Rules and Conditions
- Reviews must be submitted by May 31, 2018
- One entry per person per review
- Prize is not redeemable for cash
- Prize must be redeemed for residence within 25 miles of our location and must be redeemed before August 31, 2018
- Prize must be redeemed at one time, and only for 1 location, service is for traffic areas only and must be scheduled in advance (regular business hours only)
- Prize amount value covers 4 rooms, but service for additional rooms can be purchased (Contact SERVPRO of East Greenville County for pricing details)