- August 2011: Welcome to Cleanrite-Buildrite Monthly Newsletter
- January 2011: Roof Maintenance
- December 2010: Carbon Monoxide & Holiday Safety
- November 2010: WIND, WATER, FIRE & MOLD
- October 2010: Here Come the Storms!
- September 2010: Fire And Smoke Safety
- August 2010: Customer Satisfaction and Evaluation
A letter from the President
As the owner and president of CRBR I am proud of the content we can offer to our readers. This newsletter is your vehicle for sharing information, education, industry updates, business links and fun. Look forward to every month where we will bring you an insightful and informative article concerning the industry we serve. Additionally we will feature news related events, key partnerships within the industry, community happenings and a recipe contributed by our readers.
Our intent is to provide you with content that you can rely on and find most interesting. Our CRBR staff will be publishing a monthly article; however we would welcome and encourage any informational/educational article from you for consideration in our newsletter. We would appreciate the article to be 300 words or less. Include a picture or logo of your company. It must be related to our industry and something we can share with all our readers. This is our way of connecting the people of this industry so we can all benefit from shared knowledge and information.
As an example, did you know that in 1752 Benjamin Franklin helped begin the Insurance Industry in the US when he helped in founding the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. Then in 1851 the first insurance commissioner in the United States was appointed in New Hampshire. Finally in 1945 Congress passed the McCarran-Ferguson Act declaring the regulation of the industry by state.
This year has been one of strong relationships and compassionate understanding of each community. With our newsletter we hope to highlight some of the positive influences and messages that are coming to us daily as we serve the North State.
With over 50 years of committed service to the North State, Cleanrite-Buildrite truly believes in building strong partnerships and relationships that help us all deliver world class service to those we serve. Through communication and awareness we can all benefit in strengthening our abilities within the industry we all are so very proud to support.
Let’s Raise the Roof in 2011!
As we enter into a new year and make new commitments, one of those commitments should be to inspect your roof. We make resolutions about all types of things but when it comes to home protection we sometimes ignore the obvious…the single largest structure between you and the elements is your roof! In the emergency response business we see all types of roofing issues that cause damage. Especially in this time of year with heavy winds and weather. Many of these damages could be avoided with proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips from Cleanrite-Buildrite in considering your roof and its surroundings:
INSPECT THE ROOF:
- Is your roof free of any falling debris such as branches from trees either on your property or your neighbors?
- Are your rain gutters clean and free of obstructions with proper drainage at the downspouts?
- Are there any missing shingles or tiles or “bald” areas in the roof composition due to delaminating layers or rot?
- Check valleys for proper installation, wear, cracks and deterioration.
- Are all the joint areas properly sealed with water resident sealant and free of dirt?
- Is the roof properly vented?
- Does your roof “pitch” adequately defect heavy rains, or are there puddles of standing water?
- Is there any “moss” build up that needs to be extracted?
- Inspect skylights and chimney flashings for proper seal and installation. Look for any cap conditions.
- Check the electrical strike and any wires that may come from or toward your roof.
- Inspect rubber boots at top of pipes for dry rot & deterioration.
- Inspect storm collars at pipes for proper seal.
INSPECT THE CHIMNEY:
- Are there any cracks or areas pulling away from the roof structure?
INSPECT THE ATTIC:
- Check the interior for any moisture and/or dry rot.
- Look for damaged or broken rafters and vents.
All of us at Cleanrite-Buildrite wish you and yours a Safe and Healthy New Year. Please take time to inspect your property!
A message from North Valley Property Owners Association (NVPOA)
Please join us on January 13, 2011 for our 2nd Annual Expo. This year we are featuring nationally known marketing speakers, Kate Good and Mindy Williams. Guests will learn new and beneficial marketing ideas for their properties and create valuable networks. If you are interested in being a guest at our event or one of those networks, please call NVPOA at 530-345-1321 and visit us at www.nvpoa.org
About North Valley Property Owners Association:
Since 1981 we have been dedicated to the education of our members, to the advocacy of the rental housing industry, and to improving the quality of rental housing in the North State. We specialize in offering support services for professional property management companies and rental owners who self-manage their residential income properties. NVPOA’s
Mission: The North Valley Property Owners Association, representing over 7,000 rental units, is an association founded to promote, protect, and advance the rental housing industry, and to enhance and promote the relationship between property owners and residents for their mutual benefit.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America by killing about 500 people yearly. High levels of CO can kill in a matter of minutes; moderate levels can cause permanent neurological problems. Unfortunately, most people are not aware that they are being exposed to CO until it is too late because carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. Natural gas, oil, kerosene, wood, coal, and charcoal all produce CO. When appliances that burn these fuels are maintained and working properly, they will not produce hazardous levels of CO, however, problems can arise if the appliances are not working properly or not maintained.
The number one protection against CO poisoning is installing a carbon monoxide detector or alarm in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are relatively inexpensive - about $35 to $45. Do not confuse carbon monoxide detectors with CO fire detectors, which are electronic detectors that sound against a fire by sensing CO levels in the air. These fire detectors are not designed to protect people from carbon monoxide poisoning. However, there are detectors that can do both. They usually cost about $5 to $10 more and are labeled as a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Whichever type you choose, make sure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines for installing and maintaining it. The best detector money can buy will not work if it is installed incorrectly or if it is not maintained. Lastly, make sure the detector is certified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and meets voluntary UL standard 2034.
You should never totally rely on your carbon monoxide detector for protection. Preventing CO poisoning is as important as installing a carbon monoxide detector. However, once they are installed, they become an effective safeguard for you and your family. Carbon monoxide detectors will cost only a few cents per month, but the benefits are priceless.
Please read the following excerpt on more ways to protect your home and family donated by Chico Association of Realtors, “Ways To Winterize Your Home” by Paul Bianchina: As the seasons change and we get ready to move inside once again, there are a number of things you want to take care of in order to improve comfort, ensure safety and keep those winter utility bills as low as possible.
Check fireplace safety and efficiency:
For conventional fireplaces, give some serious thought to installing airtight glass doors to improve efficiency and reduce drafts. If you already have doors, check and replace the door seals as needed, and adjust door latches and hinges. Also, now is the time to have the chimney cleaned and checked for problems, and to check spark arrestor caps. (Cleanrite-Buildrite also wants to remind you that the residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote, if this builds up in sufficient quantities and ignites in the flue, a chimney fire will be the result. With proper chimney system care, chimney fires are 100% preventable).
Check smoke detectors:
As always, fall and spring are the times to replace your smoke detector batteries, as well checking that the detector is operating correctly. If you have an older house with a limited number of smoke detectors, you also need to install additional detectors outside each bedroom.
Check the heating system:
A heating system tune-up is always in order this time of year. This should include changing the filter in your furnace; having your ducts cleaned; checking and possibly increasing insulation over ductwork running through the attic or crawlspace; clearing debris and overhanging shrubbery from around outdoor heat pump equipment; and having faulty or inefficient thermostats repaired or replaced.
Winter is a dry time inside your home, and many people choose to use a portable or central humidifier to put much-needed moisture back into the air. Now is the time to check your humidifier to make sure it's operating properly, that all necessary plates and filters are in place, and that the system is clean and the water supply is correct. Check your operating and maintenance instructions for more information.” Cleanrite-Buildrite wishes you a safe winter season!
The movement of air that is generated by effects of the sun and the spin of the Earth on our atmosphere. A cool breeze is one thing, a damaged home or business due to tortuous debris is another. High wind speeds can cause significant damage to property. Hurricanes, cold fronts, strong areas of low pressure and even simple thunderstorms can produce winds strong enough to cause damage and threaten homes and businesses.
Gale Force Wind (winds 39-54 mph) are considered to be non-server but can cause FOD (flying object damage). A Violent Storm (winds 54-72 mph) is classified as severe. Weak structures and shingles can be damages as well as chimney’s and mobile homes. Wind speed is not the only factor when estimating potential property damage. Wet soil and proximity to water can result in significantly more damage from less wind. Trees standing in wet soil can be overturned with less wind than they would if the soil conditions were dry.
From a leaky dishwasher supply line to a sewage backup, these categories of water damage are always a potential threat to your home or business:
- Fresh (Clean) Water: (Category 1) Leaks originate from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk. Water sources can include water supply lines, tub or sink over flows with no contaminants.
- Grey Water (Category 2) Contains significant contamination and has potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted by humans. Water source maybe from dishwasher discharge line or washing machines.
- Black Water (Category 3) Water is grossly contaminated and contains pathogens, toxins, or other harmful agents. Sources can include sewage, toilet backflows, and all forms of flooding.
Inside the home, the greatest dangers are in your kitchen and your fireplace. It is very important for you and for those you love to be responsible and prepared when using heat and fire in the home. MAINTAIN FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND SMOKE DETECTORS THROUGHOUT THE HOME, this is a must! FEMA states “The residential structure fire problem represented approximately 86 percent of all fire deaths and 77 percent of the injuries to civilians in 2009. Between 2000 and 2009, there were an estimated 399,200 fires annually resulting in 2,960 civilian deaths and 14,265 injuries each year. These fires resulted in an average dollar loss of $6,715,100,000.” Residential structures include one and two-family dwellings (including manufactured homes), apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, boarding houses, etc.
Let’s get straight to the point; it’s not just your house, it’s your home. Not to mention your family’s health is contingent on what is within your four walls. Mold spores exist nearly everywhere – in the air we breathe, and on virtually any surface. However, mold spores cannot colonize and reproduce unless they have oxygen, moisture, and a food source. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) maintains that to prevent mold growth it is crucial to dry waterdamaged areas and items within 24 to 48 hours. This means that the battle with mold can be won or lost within 2 days of the water damage.
Cleanrite-Buildrite is proud to offer 24-hour emergency service with immediate response. And when it comes to our Wind, Water, Fire, Mold, and other services, we have the ability to work directly with ALL Insurance Companies and their claims personnel to both expedite processes and to guarantee satisfaction to all parties.
California’s climate varies widely, from arid to subarctic, depending on latitude, elevation, and proximity to the coast. Here in the North State we typically get cold rainy winters and long dry summers, and as we all know here at Cleanrite-Buildrite, here come the storms! (See news video below)
Storm damage causes a significant percentage of overall naturally-caused property damage in our state, with a really big storm hitting every couple years, causing real damage and danger to life. The Department of Homeland Security's website reports 76 nationally declared disasters in our state over the last 50 years, second only behind Texas at 84. That's almost 2 major national disasters a year in our state caused by severe winter storms, flooding and mud flows, wildfires, severe freezes, heavy rains and high winds.
Most of the time California storms are routine, but some obviously cause serious and dangerous problems. As the premier emergency wind, water, and fire damage responder in the North State, we see a lot of property damage, as well as injuries, that could perhaps have been avoided.
The first rain of the season hit Chico hard, with downtown seeing the most dramatic effect of the torrent that dropped an inch of rain as measured at the Enterprise-Record's weather station. “Thursday morning, crews from Cleanrite-Buildrite were working to clean up the water damage, with company spokeswoman Jill Cooper saying Cleanrite-Buildrite crews were called to over a dozen locations throughout Chico. "It's been pretty intense," said Cooper, “some of the company's employees started cleaning up businesses Wednesday night, working to mop up water until 4:30 a.m. Thursday, returning at about 7 a.m.”. She said crews were brought in from the company's Yuba City and Redding offices, noting that about 30 Cleanrite-Buildrite employees were taking part in the downtown Chico cleanup efforts.
”Standing in the warm Chico sun Thursday, Cooper said she was shocked to see the level of water damage that hit businesses, saying the heavy rain was a fluke event. "It's just a really weird weather pattern," Cooper said. "Most businesses would be ready to see this in November or December, but definitely not September." The full story is available at: www.crbr.com/news.php
As Cleanrite-Buildrite is available during these times, we are also available as a partner in preparing for storms and weathering them safely.
Here are a few tips to be proactive
during this time of the year:
- In an accessible location, have working flashlights, a battery-operated radio equipped with extra batteries, a plug-in telephone, a supply of non-perishable foods (cereal, canned fruits, canned meats, and drinking water), utensils, manual can opener, and first-aid kit.
- Be sure smoke detectors have battery backups and are operating properly. Replace batteries annually.
- Keep an eye on large trees, even healthy ones, that could damage your house if felled in a storm.
- Secure loose objects outside your home that may become flying objects during high winds.
- Have fire safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and baking soda available.
- As a safety precaution before leaving the house on vacation, unplug all electrical appliances except for those lights connected to automatic timers.
- And of course, keep Cleanrite-Buildrite's contact information on hand near your emergency numbers so that if any storm damage happens to your property, you can call us right away for fast response and experience in service.
- Call us in an Emergency: 1-800-870-0030
- Contact Us Online
Where to find us in October:
9-10: Fall Home and Holiday Show, Shasta District Fairgrounds
20-21: California Independent Adjuster Association, Rohnert Park
Preventing Fire Damage - Inside the Home
Inside the home, the greatest dangers are in your kitchen and your fireplace. There are on average 114,000 reported home fires associated with cooking equipment every year, resulting in an annual 290 deaths and 4,380 injuries. It is very important for you and for those you love to be responsible and prepared when using heat and fire in the home. MAINTAIN FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND SMOKE DETECTORS THROUGHOUT THE HOME, this is a must!
Cooking Safety is Always Important
- Keep stove tops and counters clean and uncluttered, free of flammable objects and any greasy build up.
- Have pot holders or a high temperature-safe product within easy reach of the stove to handle hot items.
- Keep pot handles turned inward from any walkway to prevent them from being bumped.
- Keep a kids-free safe zone of three feet around the stove.
- Never leave cooking oil on the stove top unattended.
- Never throw water on a pan fire! Cover with a lid!
Additional areas to consider
- Burning candles
- Portable fans – watch those electrical cords!
- Air conditioning units – electrical connections
- Electrical power strips will over heat in this climate
- Combustible liquids stored in a hot place
- Propane used for the barbecue – exercise caution (turn valve off)
- Dirty rags (used to clean flammable liquids) piled in a hot area
Preventing Fire Damage - Outside the Home
A fire outside can threaten your home in three ways: direct flame contact, radiant heat and flying embers.
Protect Against Flying Embers
- Remove pine needles and dead leaves from roofs, gutters, decks, and under stairs.
- Remove dead vegetation from landscaping immediately adjacent to your home. This includes the leaves and pine needles that get caught in landscaping as well as the dead and dying leaves and limbs of the landscaping itself.
- Place lawn furniture, wooden handles and other flammables away from the homes siding.
- Assess attic screens and vents for leaves and debris.
- Move BBQ’s, lawnmowers, motorcycles and gas cans away from all structures.
- State law requires 100 feet of defensible space around the home.
- Chimney and stovepipe openings should be screened with one inch or smaller wire mesh or an approved spark arrestor cap.
- DO NOT stack the wood up against the home. It should be at least 30 feet from the house.
- Make sure your decks underside is enclosed with a fire-resistant material. You can also enclose it with 1/8 wire mesh to keep it free from easily combustible materials.
Make Sure the Family is Prepared
- Make copies of all important papers and store them in a Safety Deposit Box or Fire Safe Box.
- Take video and pictures of each room and special items, put it on a CD-ROM for Insurance purposes.
- Post the emergency numbers! Review how to use 911.
- Plan an escape route. Have 2 ways to escape from upstairs.
- Home Fire Drills. Test the process. Practice makes perfect!
- Have a physical meeting place outside of the home, far enough away to be safe. Also be sure to create a virtual place to meet using E-mail and Internet.
- Get Out and Stay Out! Never go back into a burning structure!
You can expand on this Fire Emergency Readiness by including the whole family into the plan and develop it with everyone’s input.
These are some websites for fire safety:
- Sparky.org - Geared for Children
- U.S. Fire Administration for Kids - Geared for Children
- Cleanrite - Buildrite - Helpful Tips
- Be Fire Smart
- Firewise Communities Program
- National Fire Prevention Associaiton (NFPA)
- Fire Prevention Officers
- CAL Fire
Knowing Where You Stand
When our economy slows down, the phones stop ringing for many of the smaller restoration and remodeling firms. Over our 50 years in business we have learned from our evaluation that in the long run, this can actually help larger companies to grow because when the economy returns, and people start spending on their homes again, there is usually less local competition, at least for a while. It’s the same in many local industries, how does it effect yours?
As a local business, it is important to always know where you stand when it comes to your competition, but even more importantly, you must know how your customers feel about your company and services if you are to grow. In response, we have many evaluation systems in place at Cleanrite-Buildrite. Among them is a survey brochure we use to continually assess where we stand with customer satisfaction. Statistically, the results have overall been very positive through the economic downturn. So positive in fact, we wanted to compare our evaluation with current national averages to gauge our real-time effectiveness in our specific industry nationwide.
Qualified Remodeler Magazine recently released their Sixth Annual Remodeling Customer Satisfaction Survey results for 2010 by asking restoration and remodeling customers about their experiences post-project. Like us, they submitted a brief “rate 1-10” survey to the study’s subjects and then averaged their responses in the same categories that Cleanrite-Buildrite regularly tracks through our own survey brochures. First, we notice the overall numbers suggest that Cleanrite-Buildrite is performing above national averages in the surveyed industries, and second we see similarities in trends between the categories. This consistency across the board tends to add validity to the idea that we are doing well and that our evaluation systems are working correctly from our customers’ responses, not from our own opinions.
The below graph shows the survey findings vs Cleanrite-Buildrite, we are quite pleased to find that our survey ratings in the below categories seem to exceed national averages in restoration and remodeling. Many local industries have similar publications so it’s a good thing to find them and see what they say about what should be expected in your industry. But first you need something to compare, and that is valid statistical data that answers the questions for you, so you don’t have to guess.
How are your company’s evaluation systems? Do you know where you stand? Do you monitor your website activity in detail? Do you ask customers where they heard about you? These are all very important things to implement if your company is to grow in a recovering economy. Cleanrite-Buildrite does, and we hope to continue to lead by positive example across the board here in the North State.