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Baby it’s Cold Outside!

12/26/2017 (Permalink)

Snowstorms & Extreme Cold

This explains what actions to take when you receive a winter weather storm alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a snowstorm or extreme cold.

A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice. A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures.

Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walkways extremely dangerous or impassable and close or limit critical community services such as public transportation, child care, health programs and schools. Injuries and deaths may occur from exposure, dangerous road conditions, and carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions.


Winter storms and colder than normal temperatures can happen in every region of the country.


Winter storms can occur from early autumn to late spring depending on the region.

During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
Stay indoors during the storm.
Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.
Cold Related Illness

Frostbite is a serious condition that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures.

a white or grayish-yellow skin area
skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.

Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.

Warnings signs of hypothermia:

Adults: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech drowsiness
Infants: bright red, cold skin, very low energy
If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.

Carbon Monoxide

Caution: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.

Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.

The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.

Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.

Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
Stay or Go


If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or when rescue is likely

If a safe location is neither nearby or visible

If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside

If you do not have the ability to call for help

If the distance to call for help is accessible.

If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.

If you have appropriate clothing.

Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your local transportation department and emergency management agency to determine if it is safe to drive and, if so, which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.
After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)

Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.

Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

How to recover after a fire

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a fire damage in your home or business let SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac’s professional team will come to your rescue. We use three key elements to eliminate damages made by fire, smoke and soot.

-Structural Cleaning- Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a through cleaning after a fire. We will perform a protest  to determine the extent of the damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your facility. Depending on the amount of soot, we may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing.

-Contents Cleaning- All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested.

-Deodorization- We provide specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

If you have any questions about our processes do not hesitate to call our office at (248) 377-2220.  Someone is available 24/7 to take your call!

Do you know where your water shut off is?

3/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do you know where your water shut off is? When disaster strikes minutes matter and can save time and money. Call SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac at (248)377-2220 if disaster strikes your home

When a pipe bursts in your home minutes matter; hundreds of gallons of water can enter your home within minutes when this happens.  Combine that with findings from a recent survey which showed that less than 45% of people knew where their water shut off was located.   (source:

  SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac  take great pride in protecting your home. Simply attach this tag on or near the shut off valve. Having your shut off valve clearly marked can save precious time in stopping water from entering your home, potentially saving you time and money in clean up and repair. You will find a guide on how to find your shut off valve below:

How to Find Your Home's Water Shut-Off Valve

If a pipe bursts in your home or springs a leak, knowing where the main water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off can save money and the headache of having to clean and repair the water damage. The main water shut-off valve can be outside or inside the home, and its location varies depending on the age of the home and local building codes. The easiest way to find your main water shut-off valve is by knowing whether the home was constructed on a slab, basement or crawl space.

Where Is My Shut-Off Valve If My House Is on a Slab?

If your house is on a slab, your main water shut-off valve should be near your water heater tank. It should be under the water heater or at the top of it. It could be shaped like a ring, called a gate valve, or it could be a lever type, called a ball valve. If it’s a gate valve, turn the valve right to shut the water off. If it’s a ball valve, turn the valve perpendicular.

Where Is My Shut-Off Valve If My House Has a Basement?

If you have a basement, that’s probably where you’ll find your shut-off valve. Most water shut-off valves in a basement will be on the opposite side of the wall of your hose bib. The easiest way to find the valve is to picture where the hose attachment is located on the outside of the house. When you picture that, find the corresponding spot on the wall inside the house, and that’s where your main water shut-off valve should be located.

Where Is My Shut-Off Valve If My House Has a Crawl Space?

Your main water shut-off valve could be located under the crawl space. Usually you can find it along the front wall of the house underneath the crawl space.

What Do I Do If I Can’t Find the Shut-Off Valve?

If you still can’t find the main water shut-off valve in an emergency, the water can be shut off from the main city water line. It’s usually located at the front of the house in a covered box. Be careful opening the box, since insects and spiders might live in there.

Knowing where your main water shut-off valve is located can save precious time in the event of an emergency, so we suggest you take some time to figure out exactly where the main water shut-off is located in your home.

If your main water shut-off is in an awkward place that is difficult to access, your plumber should be able to relocate the main water shut-off valve to an easier to access area, such as under the kitchen sink or nearer to the main city line. Call your local plumber today if you need assistance locating your main water shut-off valve or would like to relocate it.

What to know when you live in Michigan, where seasons suddenly change

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to know when you live in Michigan, where seasons suddenly change Even with every precaution, pipes can still break and create a headache for homeowners. Call SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac at (248)377-2220 for help

Do you live where the seasons suddenly change?

How often have you heard the term "Michigan Weather"? Wearing shorts one day and then winter jackets the next is a normal occurrence here. Extreme changes in temperature affect more than our choice in clothes.

   Water lines are more susceptible to breaks at times of extreme temperature swings, both hot and cold. The American Society of Civil Engineers advises that just a 10-degree change in temperature can increase stress on water mains and service lines, and increase their risk of damage.


  Pipes become brittle when water temperatures get below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while air temperatures at or below freezing cause the ground to freeze. However, water main breaks often don’t occur until one or two days after the freezing temperatures arrive.  This is because water temperature takes more time to decrease than air temperature.

 You may not be able to control the weather but there are steps you can take to limit your exposure to any issues that arise:

1. Use a Water Main Shut Off tag on your home- After a pipe break it is imperative to stop the flow of water from entering your home. You can easily have hundreds of gallons of water in your home within minutes.

2. Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape- This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.

3. Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents- Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.

4. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine-  Shutting off your water supply to your washer helps prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Look at the rear of your washing machine and you’ll see two knobs: one blue and another red (usually). Turn both of these knobs in the opposite direction to disengage the water.

4. Keep an emergency list of numbers near by- Even if you take every precaution, emergencies can still happen. Have a list of emergency numbers include a plumber, your insurance agent, and a restoration company like SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac.

 Hopefully these tips will help you steer clear of a disaster in your home. If, even after your best efforts, you still have a pipe break, call SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac at (248)377-2220 in your hour of need. We want to be there for you and make it "Like it never even happened"


Our 1-4-8 Promise

2/10/2017 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac we are committed to serving you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. We are also committed to contacting you in a timely manner, showing up promptly, and notifying your insurance company of the status of the loss efficiently and quickly.

  The numbers 1-4-8 have a particular meaning to us. Our commitment, when called by an Insurance Carrier or by our Call Center for a loss, is to contact the property owner within 1 hour of the First Notice of Loss, be on site within 4 hours, and contact the Insurance Carrier or property manager within 8 hours to report on the condition of the loss.

  We are judged on these three numbers, but frequently we beat these numbers. It is not unusual for us to call the property owner within minutes of receiving a request and for us to be on site within the hour. Make no mistake, minutes matter after a disaster strikes your home or property. We care about your property and helping you through your difficult time. At SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac we look forward to helping you at every opportunity. Call us at (248)377- 2220 to make it "Like it Never Even Happened."

Be ready for whatever happens

12/28/2016 (Permalink)

  A new year often signifies a fresh start. Many people make resolutions to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be ready. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

  In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. SERVPRO also works hand in hand with local police and fire departments to share the information gathered in the ERP.

  The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.

  Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

  Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call SEVPRO of Greater Pontiac to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be “Ready for whatever happens.”

 Call SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac today to set up your no cost assessment at (248) 377- 2220.

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • Identification of the line of command in the event of an emergency
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority area and priority contact information

FIRES occur every 18 seconds in the U.S....Only One Matters to You!

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage FIRES occur every 18 seconds in the U.S....Only One Matters to You! Fires occur every 18 seconds in the U.S. Only one matters to you. SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac will be there for you including when you need us most!

Following the events of September 11, 2001, SERVPRO was called upon to assist with the cleanup and restoration of the Pentagon. In spite of the emotions and difficulties involved in the restoration effort, SERVPRO dried nearly 300,000 square feet in addition to providing fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration services. Upon completion of the drying assignment, SERVPRO  provided mold remediation services in other sections of the facility. SERVPRO  met the challenge and completed the process in just 90 days.

  We saw first hand some of the devastation that occurred that day. We salute and honor the service men and women than ran into dangerous conditions to help others.

Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO of  Greater Pontiac understands the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help take it back. Our number one goal is returning damage to its pre-loss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” Every SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac professional who steps onto a job site has this goal in mind. It is about total restoration of the damage and about the life of the customer being helped. 

Faster to any size disaster

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to any size disaster SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Metro Detroit

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (248)377-2220

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac

SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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 staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

What to do when water damage happens

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

If you are grappling with the aftermath of residential water damage, you want the problems resolved as quickly as possible. Keep handy the name and number of a local cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO. Our job is to provide state-of-the-art service to our customers that are in need of expert water damage restoration. And we do so with rates that won't break your budget. 

What You Can Expect From a Water Damage Restoration Service 

When you contact us to assess the character of your problem, we will respond by sending a team of friendly, knowledgeable service technicians and leaders to your home. We will make a full inspection and assessment of your property, making sure to note where all of the damage and future potential trouble spots lie. We find the source of the water intrusion, if not visible, for repair. We must identify the water to determine if it is contaminated (such as Black Water from a sewage backup or groundwater intrusion), to use a correct and safe extraction method. Once we have completed this initial diagnosis, we provide you with a full estimate of the cost involved.  We will even help you with the insurance claims process.

How We Deal With Water Damage

Once water damage has taken its toll, engage the path to a solution as soon as possible. This means hiring a professional cleanup and restoration service to drain all of the unwanted water out of the building. We have truck-mounted pumps and portable extractors to quickly dispatch water. Our Applied Structural Drying Technicians (ASD) can dry out your home with the additional aid of air movers and dehumidifiers, both desiccant and refrigerant. Our trained WRT-Water Damage Restoration Technicians, adhere to the cleaning standards of the IICRC . We ensure, by testing with moisture meters, infrared cameras, and hygrometers, that the affected areas are dry. 

if you ever have any issues rest assured that SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Are you "Emergency Ready?"

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

 As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. 

 How quickly and efficiently would your staff deal with a broken pipe, flooded basement, or even a fire? If you have an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) from SERVPRO, their response to such a disaster may be quick- saving you damage to your building AND your bottom line.

  The ERP is a FREE service one of our representatives can initiate and produce for all of your properties. It includes the mapping of crucial building infastructure, photos and locations, key personal contact information, and so much more. To top it off it is entirely mobile and shareable to all of your designated staff.

  Become "Emergency Ready" today. Contact SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac at (248) 377- 2220 today!