Recent Posts

The "I" of the Storm

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

Satellite view of a hurricane system "I" storms usually arrive at the peak of hurricane season.

What's in a name?  Specifically, the names used for hurricanes.  The World Meteorological Organization releases a list of the hurricane names ahead of each year's hurricane season.  In 1979, a  permanent list of names was established by the WMO.  The names rotate on a six-year cycle and are reused unless a name has been retired.

A name is retired when it is associated with a storm that was particularly costly or deadly, like Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  

Which letter has the most retired names?

"I" can tell you that, as of the beginning of the 2022 Hurricane season, the letter I has 13 names that have been retired from use:

Ida (2021), Igor (2010), Ike (2008), Inez (1966), Ingrid (2013), Ione (1955), Iota (2020), Irene (2011), Iris (2001), Irma (2017), Isabel (2003), Isidore (2002), and Ivan (2004).

The 2022 I name is Ian.

Here's hoping he's gentle.  Though, should it turn into a major storm, SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale is ready to hit the road and help make it "Like it never even happened."  

We're always here to help.

Tornado Season 2022

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

A tornado crosses an empty field Stay safe this tornado season!

The 2022 Tornado Season has already been incredibly active in the south, and as we enter May, there doesn't appear to be many signs of slowing down.  May has traditionally been the month with the most tornadoes, as the tornado season hits its peak. 

That statement hits a bit different when you look at where our tornado season stands when compared to last year. 

  • March 2021 - 139 tornadoes recorded in the United States
  • April 2021 - 79 tornadoes recorded in the United States
  • May 2021 - 259 tornadoes recorded in the United States

Here's where we are as of May 1st:

  • March 2022 - 226 tornadoes recorded in the United States
  • April 2022 - 193 tornadoes recorded in the United States
  • May 2022 - ???

You see the cause for concern. 

People who have spent at least a few years in the South have an idea of what to do when a tornado watch or warning is issued for their area.  But a refresher never hurt anyone, especially when the population has grown so much over the past few years! 

  • Many properties actually have storm shelters.  These are ideal, but if that isn't an option, go to an interior room of the home.  Bathrooms without windows tend to fare a bit better than rooms with outside walls. 
  • Keep cell phones charged to receive weather warnings and in the event of a power outage.
  • Have a plan for yourself and your family in the event of a tornado.  Don't forget your pets!

Tornadoes are a part of southern life during the spring.  Should your home experience water damage from a tornado or wind event, SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale is always here to help.  Give us a call at 662-281-1881.

Getting Ready to Sell Your House? Read This First!

4/29/2022 (Permalink)

A sold sign overlaps a real estate sign advertising a house that is for sale Don't leave money on the table!

Attention real estate professionals!  We don't need to tell you that the market is on fire right now.  That's fantastic, but don't leave money on the table!  Buyers typically know within 10 seconds whether or not they're interested in a listing.  If your listing features stained carpets and dingy windows, a potential buyer only sees a list of projects.  Projects cost money, and your buyer could back out and look for something more move-in ready.  So if your listing isn't where it needs to be, a good top-to-bottom cleaning could work wonders!

We can help you with that.  SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale works with real estate agents to make their listings shine.  We clean windows, walls, high-touch surfaces, carpets, rugs, ceilings, and appliances.  Call today at 662-281-1881 to discuss your needs and tailor a make-ready cleaning package to bring your listing to the next level.  With homes frequently selling above list in this market, that means more money in your pocket.

A make-ready clean from SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale could make a real difference for your real estate listings. 

We're always here to help.

Kitchen Safety for your Oxford, MS Home

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher sits on a kitchen counter. Follow proper kitchen safety precautions to keep that fire extinguisher looking shiny and unused.

People have been getting more and more creative in the kitchen over the past two years. The pandemic kept everyone home for most of 2020 and 2021. Restrictions relaxed quite a bit in 2022, so people were excited to get out of their homes and head to restaurants. Then came unprecedented inflation. Prices shot through the roof on basically everything, so a lot of people had to forego the luxury of dining out. There's a pretty good chance that home cooks throughout the South are going to fry something on the stove more than once. Give us our comfort food and understand that's just how it goes in Mississippi!

So, let's revisit some basic kitchen safety tips to keep the good food coming with none of the nasty grease fires!

Kitchen Safety 101

Always give your full attention to cooking. It's sometimes difficult to do when family members are home and everything is hectic, but it is essential. Forty-nine percent of home fires begin with cooking equipment, and thirty-three percent of those are from unattended equipment! A moment's distraction could end in tragedy.

A grease fire is the most common type of kitchen fire. Smoking oil is a sign that your burner is too hot! Should a fire develop, turn off the heat immediately! When frying on the stovetop, always have a lid nearby to suffocate a fire. It is also important to keep a large box of baking soda on-hand to put out a small grease fire. Never pour water on a grease fire – it will only make it worse! Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher as a last resort.

Once you've finished cooking, always clean up any grease splatter on and around the stove. Thoroughly clean the heating elements or glass top so remnants cannot catch fire the next time the stove is in use.

Cooking is a fun and relaxing activity, but sometimes things do go wrong. Should your kitchen become damaged from a fire or water, give us a call! SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale is available 24/7 at 662-281-1881. Call in the professionals and we'll make it “Like it never even happened.”

We're always here to help.

Church Fires are More Common Than You Think

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

Several red pillar candles burn in a dark room There are an average of three church fires a day in the United States.

A church holds a special place in the hearts of its parishioners. Often, communities come together as one to erect a new place of worship for the residents. Once the church is built, it is especially important to understand that contributing factors could lead to the new church becoming susceptible to fire. Donated labor, while appreciated, could often unintentionally overlook important safety guidelines required for construction.

There is an average of three church fires per day in the United States. While the number is relatively small in regards to the thousands of American churches, a church fire often causes tens of thousands of dollars in damages, resulting in the church being declared a total loss. Almost 35% of these church fires can be attributed to defective furnaces and stoves. The second leading cause of church fires is a result of defective wiring. Churches should have protection against lightning and quality installation of light and heating elements.

SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale understands that your church is an extension of your home.  Should the unthinkable happen and your church suffer fire damage or water damage, give us a call at 662-281-1881 and we'll make it “Like it never even happened.”

We're always here to help.

Dorm Cleanups in Oxford, MS

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

A girl wearing headphones sings into a karaoke microphone while standing on a clothes-covered bed in a messy dorm room We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

The end of the semester will be here before you know it.  Do you have a son or daughter in campus housing?  Finals will be here soon, and the deadline for checking out of their rooms is within 24 hours of their last final exam.  Their rooms need to be clean at checkout, or the school will assess charges to their account.  You know how that goes in most cases -- you wind up with the bill.

Your student should have received a Room Condition Report at move-in.  This is what will be used to assess damages to the rooms and the resulting fees. 

Final exams for the Spring semester are May 2-6, 2022.  Your student has hopefully started preparing for finals, but it's easy for the room cleanup to get lost in the chaos of it all.  The student is expected to thoroughly clean the room, wipe down all of the furniture and appliances, wipe down the closets, window sills and blinds.  Mirrors and windows need to be cleaned, and the room needs to be swept and mopped.  If the room is left unclean or unsanitary, including the furniture, the school will not consider that as normal wear and tear.  It will be classified as damaged and fines will be assessed.  The same goes for large marks on the walls beyond scuffs.  The most recent fee listing for an unclean room assesses a minimum fee of $25 per bag of trash removed.  That could add up very quickly!

What if there was another way?  Leave the cleaning to us!  SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale is always here to help.  Give us a call at 662-281-1881.  We would be happy to discuss your needs and come up with a plan to get your student's room back up to school standards.  Your child could study for their final exams and prepare to move out in peace.

Living on campus can be wild.  We'll help make the mess "Like it never even happened."

Faulty Wiring Fires in Water Valley, MS

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Melted plastic surrounds a wall outlet Watch for signs of an impending electrical fire.

An electrical fire in the home is often unpredictable, which makes it one of the more dangerous kinds of house fires. Fires caused by faulty wiring often happen in the middle of the night, which can quickly lead to a tragic situation if the home doesn't have functional smoke alarms. Electrical fires represent 10% of home fires, but sadly, are responsible for 19% of home fire deaths. While faulty wiring inside the home needs to be repaired by a professional, other types of electrical fires occur in the home as well. These can be prevented with a little maintenance and by keeping some tips top-of-mind while using the electrical items.

Extension cords can be useful but think of them as a temporary solution to a problem. Before using an electrical cord, check for any damage, and if there is any, don't use it!   Also, remember to never overload an extension cord because you could quite literally be playing with fire.  

It's also a good idea to only plug in appliances that generate heat when you need to use them. This includes household items like toasters, irons, hairdryers, curling irons, and hair straighteners. Should one of these devices malfunction and heat up unexpectedly, it could cause a fire.  

Sometimes, trouble lets you know that it's on the way. 

Don't ignore it. Should you see burn marks around a light, this could become an issue. Have you noticed a cord that feels hot to the touch when it wasn't like that before? 

Stop using it. Has a device started sparking when you plug it into the outlet? Take it as the huge sign that it is that something is wrong and the item should either be repaired or tossed. If the problem is at the outlet, consult an electrician.

Keeping fire safety at the top of mind when you use the electrical appliances in your home goes a long way to keep a fire from happening. 

Though should the unexpected happen and you experience a fire loss in your home, we're always here to help. 

Give the professionals at SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale a call at 662-281-1881. 

Available 24/7, we're always here to help. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

My Oxford, MS House Smells Like Nicotine!

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

Used cigarettes spell out the word "NO" Treat left-behind nicotine and tar before moving in, or it will almost certainly return!

Photographs tell a story, but sometimes the story leaves out a few details.  This is especially true with the current real estate market.  Properties are often snapped up based solely off the listing photos.  What a surprise when the new homeowner gets their first good look at what they bought and realizes the former owner must have been a heavy indoor smoker.  For decades.

Now what?

The smell left behind after years of heavy smoking isn't something that goes away without assistance, and sometimes it is next to impossible to get all of it out, but there are some things you can do to lessen the severity.  No, we don't mean plugging in an air freshener and calling it a day.    Before beginning any nicotine cleaning, it's a good idea to have the air ducts cleaned.  Air is recirculated throughout a home, so possible years of buildup could be lurking in your ducts. 

Once the ducts are clean, the inside needs a thorough scrubbing and encapsulation (sealing).  This means that cabinets, vanities, and other hard surfaces need to be cleaned to remove the tar left behind after a smoker leaves.  Walls and ceilings should be repainted with a stain-blocking primer after washing the walls with a strong cleaner formulated to combat tar and nicotine.  Simply painting over a smoker's walls will not work because stains will eventually bleed through. 

It is important to make sure all of the steps are performed, otherwise, the smell will almost definitely return.  It can be a bit overwhelming.

Why not make one call and have all of it handled?

SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale has it covered!  Air duct cleaning, encapsulation, fogging, and anything else needed to get your new home smoke-free, we've got you.  Give us a call to discuss your needs at 662-281-1881.

We're always here to help.

Crime Scene Cleaning in Clarksdale, MS

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Criminal with crowbar is spying through the window blinds. Should something bad happen, we're always here to help.

Local crime rates are skyrocketing all across the nation.  Crimes can happen anywhere, but when it happens at home, it's personal.  Once your home has been designated a crime scene, many important decisions have to be made.

Who cleans up the mess?

This generally falls to the homeowner.

People often feel violated after a crime is committed on their property, no matter the size or type of crime that occurred.  Someone could easily become overwhelmed at the idea of cleaning and restoring their home after such a traumatic experience.

Additionally, specialized cleaning processes are often required to remove the chemicals left behind after police gather evidence, as is the case with fingerprint powder.  Should the crime involve bloodshed, the area must be properly cleaned and sanitized to eliminate any bloodborne pathogens that could transmit infectious diseases.

SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale is a local provider of Crime Scene Cleanup services.  Our technicians utilize the proper PPE and are trained in the proper cleaning techniques.  We are always sensitive to your needs and strive to quickly and discretely restore your property from the "crime scene" to the place that you call home.

We hope it never happens to you, but should you need a Crime Scene Cleaner at your home, call SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale at 662-281-1881.

We're always here to help.

Have You Found Mold or Mildew in Your Oxford, MS Home?

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Fuzzy mold spots rest on a purple background If it's fuzzy, there's a good chance it's mold.

Have you found something growing in or on your home?  It can be a bit unsettling!  Mold growth in a home is often a cause of concern for a homeowner, and a lot of times, they automatically assume the worst.  Mold and mildew are often used interchangeably, but they are two different things with different treatment protocols.  You need to know what you're dealing with before attempting to treat a spot. 

Here are a few of the major differences between mold and mildew: 

Do you see a flat spot or is it more three-dimensional?  Mildew is always flat, but mold is often raised. 

What color is it?  Mildew is usually white or grey.  It looks dry, or sometimes even has a  powdery appearance.  Mold is either red, blue, green, or black.  It can look slimy or even fuzzy. 

How does it smell?  A musty smell like damp socks generally indicates mildew, but a pungent odor is more commonly found with mold.   

It's important to remember that mold and mildew need to be stopped at the source, otherwise the problem is likely to return!  Moisture is the key to their survival and reproduction, so the source of the excess moisture needs to be located and repaired.   

Think you have a mold issue?  We're always here to help!  Give SERVPRO of Oxford/Batesville/Clarksdale a call at 662-281-1881, and we'll be happy to schedule an inspection and plan a course of action.   

We'll make it "Like it never even happened."