MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - January 12, 2015) - As much of the United States experiences freezing temperatures and extreme winter weather conditions, ServiceMaster Restore, the industry's leading restoration company and part of the ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) family of brands, experts warn home and business owners how to prevent -- and manage -- some of winter's most costly damages.

Weather experts are prompting people nationwide to prepare for the coldest weather since last year's polar vortex. With freezing temperatures come many costly damages, such as burst pipes, ice and snow damage, and much more.

Peter Duncanson, director of disaster restoration system development at ServiceMaster Restore, says it's critical for home and businesses to know what to do in the event they experience any damage. "When cold weather strikes, it's important for home and business owners to follow proper steps to prepare their properties and know what to do in the event they experience any damage related to cold weather," said Duncanson. 

Just as the polar vortex was an unprecedented storm, the recent freezing temperatures are impacting the nation, bringing much of the same damage for home and business owners.

Cold Weather Safety Precautions:

  • Cover exposed outdoor water faucets to prevent freezing. Use a cover available at any hardware store to insulate and protect them.
  • Ensure down spouts are clear to allow melting snow and ice to run through freely.
  • Leave cabinet doors under sinks open to help circulate air and prevent freezing.
  • Leave water running (slow trickle) to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Use only approved space heaters to prevent fires in homes.
  • Keep drapes and flammable items away from space heaters.
  • Don't use ovens or stoves to warm homes.
  • Avoid snow build up on roofs:
    • Melting and freezing of ice on roofs can cause "ice dams" that lift shingles and can cause water to seep into the home.
    • Heave built up can cause roof collapse -- remove snow build up by using push brooms from a safe location on the roof.
  • Snow and ice melt from roofs can refreeze in rain gutters. Ice buildup can damage the gutter by pulling it off the structure or cause seepage into the structure.

What to do if your home or business has suffered water damage:

  • Use fans to circulate air and assist the drying process until an expert can arrive.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe furniture dry.
  • Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs.
  • Remove wet area rugs and open furniture drawers and closet doors to enhance drying.
  • Move photographs, paintings and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
  • Call for professional help immediately. Damage from the water and bacteria growth can begin within hours.

"Emergencies are never planned and are especially unpleasant in extremely cold temperatures," said Duncanson. "Even when people prepare their properties and follow the proper steps to prevent winter-related damage, they can still be caught off guard with damage. Knowing what to do before -- and after -- is critical to keeping property safe." 

ServiceMaster Restore, the industry's leading restoration and cleaning franchises for more than 60 years, has a nationwide footprint, local crews, equipment and mobile command centers to assist homeowners and businesses impacted by the severe winter weather. The company's residential response line for homeowners is 1-800-RESPOND and for businesses, the commercial recovery line is 1-866-RECOVER.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with ServiceMaster, visit or call 1-800-230-2360.

About ServiceMaster Restore
With more than 1,800 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management serve customers through a global network of franchises available 24/7/365 to provide residential and commercial restoration services resulting from damage caused by water, fire or smoke. ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) is the large scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management have operation and consulting experience on countless disasters, including clean-up after Hurricane Katrina and the Pentagon after September 11, 2001. More information can be found at ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of the Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, which brands include Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Restore, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Terminix (termite and pest control), American Home Shield (home warranties), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), Furniture Medic (furniture repair) and AmeriSpec (home inspections). During the last 12 months, the company served approximately 5 million residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at or

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Alison Bishop
901-827-6956 (mobile)
901-597-8978 (office)