Sump Pump Tips

Posted on May 19, 2014.

ServiceMaster this time of year receives a high volume of sump pump related water damage calls.

Here are some tips Via the American Family Insurance website for preventing this type of loss.

Inside the home:

  • Install a battery back up for the sump pump
  • Check the sump pump yearly to make sure it is working by following these simple steps;
    • Remove the cover from the sump pump pit
    • Make sure the drain hose is connected properly
    • Slowly pour water into the pit
    • Fill the pit until the float rises high enough to activate the pump
    • If the pump does not work, call a professional to repair
  • Install a sewer backflow check valve if sewage has ever backed up through the floor drain

Outside the home:

  • Install window well covers
  • Have proper drainage away from the foundation of the home
  • Remove all trees growing next to the foundation – the roots can crack the foundation walls allowing water to enter
  • Install gutters and downspouts – keep them clean
  • Install downspout extensions if water from the downspout collects near the foundation

Check out our latest sump pump related tips here:

Servicemaster Tips Preparing Sump Pump Winter

For coverage related information consult this previous blog:


How often should I Vacuum?

Posted on May 19, 2014.

The answer?

It depends.

The recommendation given by the carpet and rug institute is one time per week per person and per pet.

For example: a household with 4 people and 2 dogs should be vacuuming their carpeting 6 times per week.

Is this realistic? Probably not. But this does give a baseline for routine carpet maintenance. And maintaining a healthy carpet, in regards to the removal of soil particles and pet dander, not only lends itself to the aesthetic value of your home, but it also will help to increase the indoor air quality of your home. Carpeting is the biggest indoor air-filter you have. Keeping it free of soil particles and pet dander helps you breathe easier. It will also help you protect your pricey investment and aid it in lasting beyond the average lifespan of 8-10 years.

The next best way to protect that investment and help ensure your indoor health? A periodic deep carpet cleaning.

The recommended schedule for this?

Every 12-18 months. Again, this is a baseline. Depending on indoor foot-traffic and depending upon the number of pets within the household, this may be required more often, in order to uphold the lifespan and the value of the carpeting.

For these tasks, trust your professional cleaning experts at ServiceMaster.

Disaster Restoration, Worldwide

Posted on May 19, 2014.

Fall of 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit, 4 technicians and 1 manager from ServiceMaster Minneapolis volunteered to help assist the Stamford, New London franchise with their considerable workload. The wreckage from the storm was great. It spanned much of the coastline for the Upper Northeast. Still, even today, things are not fully restored to all of the affected cities and regions.

There was work to be done in Minneapolis, for certain, but the necessary sacrifices were made for the 5 members of the Minneapolis franchise to accommodate these rather dire needs. In the end, it was a miracle that there was even a hotel with vacancies. Many of the surrounding areas took up temporary residence in hotels on the outskirts of the damaged areas. Other restoration franchises as well.

The worksites visited spanned from: downtown New York commercial properties, and all the way out to homes in Greenwich, Connecticut, along the Atlantic coast, where the water line had filled the entire basements of entire neighborhoods and 2-feet up on the main level of each home. Each site presented its very own specific types of challenges, fried electrical and other types of severe damage. All job sites were hazardous, in terms of the run-off from the ocean and in terms of the sewer system being overflown. Dumpsters were weeks, maybe months out also.

In the end, the work provided a valuable experience. The knowledge of knowing your work is going to help those in great need. In some cases, it was a first glimpse of New York, and at its most vulnerable state. Nighttime in certain areas was martial law, whole sections of the great city were shaded black in the night. The work itself was a 2-week trip for most involved, lending time away from family and the familiarity of everything and home.

The area is still working its way toward being restored, and it has been a long and trying process for all of whom had to endure. And endure they have.

It was a rewarding experience being called upon to help.

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