Summer Lightning Storms
Here in New Mexico, we have to keep a close eye on the weather, as we are all too familiar with how quickly things can change. So now that monsoon season has really started (the actual start date is June 15, but nothing really happened then), we need to be aware of what is happening outside. We celebrate the rain when it comes, and it is a sign of relief for our drought-stricken state. For several of us, we like to sit outside and watch the rain as it comes down. Just give me a cup of coffee and let me sit in peace, so needless to say, but I will anyway, all the rain we got over the weekend set the stage for peaceful moments.
Something else I love about summer is watching the lightning storms over the city—some of my favorite local photographers capture pictures of lightning that leave me speechless. However, as beautiful the lightning is, there is also a danger. Lightning can travel from miles away to find its target. This year some of the concerns are an increase in lightning strikes while people are out hiking. This is more of a concern this year as more people are taking advantage of all the wonders that New Mexico offers since there are still so many restrictions everywhere else. Lightning can also start fires and cause other damage to structures.
Here are a few tips to follow during a lightning storm.
If you’re caught outside during a storm:
- Try to find shelter
- Get as low as possible, but do not lie down
- Stay off your cell phone
- Get out of your tent
- Toss away any metal objects
- If you’re with a group, separate from each other
If you’re inside during a storm:
- Stay inside
- Stay off corded phones (I know these aren’t really around, but there are still some)
- Stay off other corded electronics or electrical equipment
- Stay away from windows and doors
- Do not lie on concrete floors or against concrete walls
Stay safe, New Mexico, and be aware of your surroundings.
Until next time,
Your Local SERPVRO® Marketing Gal - Brandy
Disaster Preparedness Kit
Disaster Preparedness Kit
This year has proven to be a roller coaster of crazy so if you do not have a disaster preparedness kit ready for you home, you can follow these steps to make sure you are ready when disaster strikes.
What should be in your Disaster Kit?
- Battery-operated radio and flashlight
- Plenty of batteries
- Portable phone charges, with full charges
- Food and water for at least a few days (make sure you account for the number of people in your household)
- Non-electric can opener
- First aid kit
- Essential medicines (it’s also good to have a list of essential medicines)
- Extra clothing and blankets
- Hand Sanitizer
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Small tool kit
- Duct Tape
- Copies of personal documents, such as ID or passport (this is if you are unable to access or reach your original documents)
- Family and emergency contact information printed out
- Extra cash
- Paper map of the area (this is good to have on hand if you cannot access the map app on your phone or if you do not have access to your phone)
- Permanent marker
Water...Why so Finicky?
Water Leak from a Pipe
When we first notice a leak, often time we immediately assume that the source is where the water is currently leaking from. However, water is a very finicky thing; it likes to travel in ways that you might not realize. For instance, if there is a leak in from your bathroom pipe, it might seem that the water would travel by way of the pipe; however, that is not always the case. It could very well end up on the opposite side of the room. In some cases, a leak detector is needed to determine where the source of water is coming form to repair the leak before the area can be dried out. Once the repair is made, it is time for the restoration company to dry out the area. Now when you call SERVPRO® of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County, our crews will not only focus on the main area that is visibly wet; we will also do random checks with our moisture meters to ensure we capture and dry all wet areas.
Injectidry System used on Hardwood Floors
We received a call from a customer stating that the line from the refrigerator was leaking and caused the flooring and walls around the leak to become wet. Once on-site, our crews saw that the floors affected were hardwood floors, which is the perfect opportunity to use our Injectidry system, not only to dry the floors but to prevent permanent damage. Wood floors are very delicate, as excess drying could also cause damage. This is why the crews at SERVPRO® of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County are IICRC Water Certified to trust that the proper water drying process is executed. As you can see in the picture, three injectidry mats were placed in the area where the water from the refrigerator line traveled. Our certified technicians check the job site daily to take moisture readings and ensure there are no issues with the drying process. Because we were able to get on-site right away and start the drying process, we will be able to save the hardwood floors from additional damage.
Water Damage Categories
When it comes to water damage, there are three levels of categories to describe the water. IICRC water certified technicians learn the different degrees of contamination so that when they respond to a call, they know exactly what type of category they are dealing with and what to do. For the different categories, there are different procedures.
Category 1 – The best way to describe this is clean water. There are no substantial risks to contaminates.
Category 2 – The water has come in contact with other surfaces and has a potential cause illness to humans if they come in contact with the water or if they consume it.
Category 3 – This level is the worst, it means that it is highly contaminated with pathogens, toxins, or other harmful material.
There are many factors in how to decide what to categorize the water, this is why it is so important to work with a restoration company, such as ours, that is IICRC Certified.
New Mexico Risk Factor
When most states talk about natural disasters they are referring to earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Well, we definitely do not have hurricanes, as for the other to we are pretty lucky in New Mexico with our minimum risk factor. On average New Mexico has about 10 tornadoes a year. As for earthquakes, the largest earthquake hit Socorro in 1906. Although we still experience minor quakes in parts of the state, none of which cause too much damage. So if we do not have major disasters, what do we have.
In New Mexico our “natural disasters” include:
- Hail Storms
- Lightning Storms
- Wind Storms
- Ice Storms
- Snow Storms
Each one of these happens sporadically throughout the state, and each year the experience and threat level is different. While in the last two years, with the monsoon seasons we saw significant rainfall, but this year has started off pretty minimal. Our marketing rep, Brandy, was recently talking about the snowstorm that hit at the end of 2006 and carried through the start of 2007. It was the most she was forced home from work, that was before this pandemic, of course, those were for different reasons.
In the restoration industry, we look at all of these situations just a little differently than most. For us, those things create busy seasons for us. We are there for those who are affected by a disaster, each and every time. In the SERVPRO® family we have what we call Extreme Teams. These teams really fight the aftermath of major storms. Typically chasing tornadoes and hurricanes to help people get back to a certain level of normalcy. And even though we do not experience those extreme storms, we are part of the SERVPRO® family, so we can call on them when we need it.
Summer Hail Storms
Hail Damage to a Roof
The last thing you want to think about during the summer are hailstorms, but that’s what happens around New Mexico. Now, I think we all have our game faces on, due to the amount of unexpected everything this year, so we just want to make sure you are prepared when the storms come.
Hailstorms are much like windstorms in the damage that they cause to roofs. The larger the hail, the more risk to your home. Not only does it damage the house, but it wreaks havoc to your plants and your vehicles. To protect your cars, there are coverings you can purchase. We’ve also see cardboard placed over windshields to at least protect the glass from breaking. Unfortunately, there is not a cover large enough or simple enough to throw over your home to protect it. However, we should remind you, do not go outside during a hail storm to protect your property; the last thing we all want is for you to get hurt. Watch the weather and prepare the best you can. Property can be replaced; however, you cannot be replaced.
Kitchen Exhaust Hood Cleaning
Dirty Kitchen Exhaust Hood
All professional kitchens have regularly scheduled checkups for the equipment, which also includes the kitchen exhaust hoods. The kitchen exhaust hoods, or what some may call vent hoods, should be cleaned at a minimum on a quarterly basis; however, this honestly depends on how much food is prepared in the kitchen and the type of food that is prepared. For some restaurants, monthly cleaning is needed. Foods that are higher in fat and grease, dirty up those hoods quickly. So why should you be concerned with your kitchen exhaust hoods and their cleanliness? Well, the most important is for fire prevention. If you fail to have your hoods cleaned regularly one large flame could shout up while cooking and ignite on the grease. Depending on how dirty they are, the grease build-up could then act as further fuel to help spread the fire through the rest of the exhaust, putting the employees and customers at risk. Other reasons are for improved indoor air quality, commercial compliance, and to prevent further breeding grounds for other bacteria and mold.
If you are uncertain about how frequently you should clean your vent hoods you can reach out to the local health department or just give us a call at 505-891-2345 and we can tell you the health of your hoods.
Being surrounded by mountains mean that we can often experience some extreme windstorms that feel like they come out of nowhere. On Monday, it felt like we had of those storms in Albuquerque. Now it is not like we are in Texas or Oklahoma, places that experience tornado, but windstorms can still cause damage to our communities. We have all seen the tumbleweeds racing across the freeways during extreme windstorms. It makes you feel like you are in an old western.
Windstorms in New Mexico have more chances of causing damages to homes. Typical damages include, but are not limited to, roof damage, which could lead to future water leaks in the house, and numerous other issues. If water leaks go undetected for a while, it could lead to a mold issue. Strong winds could even uproot trees. Uprooted trees could fall onto the home, which could cause a lot more than roof damage; there could also be structural damage. It is always good to clean inspects on your roofs up to date to know what your risk level is during a windstorm.
That's Just Who We Are
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
Times are definitely different; cleanliness is the new cool thing to do. People are learning how to wash their hands properly, and businesses are continually cleaned to maintain a higher level of cleanliness. Here at SERVPRO® of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County, we’ve seen it all firsthand, as that is the business we are in.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we have received more calls for cleaning services, whether it is for a proactive clean to a confirmed case clean, meaning someone in the business or a customer of the business has tested positive for COVID-19. We clean all kinds of things, that is just what we do! And honestly, we are glad that we have the means and ability to help. Now we’ve had people ask, “Aren’t you scared you’ll get sick?" Well, people in the restoration industry know what they are getting into when they first get into it. So although we are not necessarily scared, we are extremely cautious. We implemented policies from the very beginning of this to ensure the safety and health of our crews. So our teams are taking the highest level of safety measures not just for themselves, but also for our customers.