SERVE Letter December 2020

As we come to the end of this very difficult year for all of us, there is no doubt the world as we knew it has changed. One thing that has not changed is customers’ expectations of services rendered. As a service-oriented company, we are mindful of this and work to meet those expectations. One of our core values is to “Knock Their Socks Off.”  Experiencing a natural disaster is a traumatic event. At Brookstone, we strive to make sure that the process of putting a home or business back together is not a continuation of that trauma.

Many successful companies have learned that to retain customers, you must give them a great experience. Whether it is a hotel stay, buying shoes, groceries or fast food, people return to places where they had a great experience with the service. Companies that achieve this are way ahead of their competition, which sets them apart. It is not easy and has to be done with intentionality, but the reward is a very satisfied customer.

—Mike Whitcomb 

The most predictable thing about the weather down South is that it’s going to be completely unpredictable. You may start your morning in a coat and scarf, but by the afternoon you’re in shorts and a T-shirt. One thing many people aren’t thinking about yet is the threat of frozen pipes, but the reality is pipes can burst and cause flooding in both cold and warm temperatures. As the temperature goes below 32 degrees for an extended period of time, the water in pipes not insulated will freeze.  As water freezes it expands and splits the pipe.  As the temperature rises the ices thaws and blockage is gone resulting in flooding.

It is important to take steps before the cold arrives to protect your property from frozen pipes. It is a well-known fact that as the temperatures begin to drop, the cost in insurance claims begins to rise.

  1. Clear your rain gutters and downspouts. That pile of leaves and debris can block drainage, causing water to back up into your walls and resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. Rain water can also freeze into heavy blocks of ice which will pull the gutters away from your home, shortening their lifespan and creating an overhead ice hazard.
  2. Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
  3. Put a “sweater” on your outside faucets. Pick up a few Styrofoam faucet insulation kits from your local home improvement store. They’re very inexpensive, easy to install and they protect against freezing temperatures
  4. Take care of dripping or leaky faucets. Either do it yourself or call a plumber, but make sure they’re fixed before freezing temperatures arrive. When leaky pipes freeze, water pressure can build, causing cracks in plastic, copper and even steel pipes. Just a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
  5. Do you have interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets? If so, close them and drain water from the outside lines.
  6. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
  7. Caulking and weather-stripping drafty doors and windows goes a long way in keeping out the cold air and moisture, making them much more energy efficient.
  8. Get your water heater ready—it’s going to be quite busy during winter months.
  9. Make sure your sump pump is working properly by inspecting and cleaning it. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing them from operating.
  10. Going away for a few days? Shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Don’t turn your heat off! Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55°F.

*If you are going away for the winter, many additional steps should be taken to winterize properties that sit empty for weeks or months at a time.

If a water loss does occur in your home or business, Brookstone Restoration is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Simply call our Emergency Services line at 1+(800) 699-1790 and we will be there for you!

On Sunday, November 29, Brookstone held an open house where family, friends, colleges and local representatives from the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family ministries (ABCH) were able to see the completed “Mann Homestead” project. After more than a year of renovating this beautiful historic home, Brookstone is proud to have complete the work and we look forward to turning it over to ABCH later this month.

At the Open House, ABCH representatives expressed their gratitude.  “Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries is beyond blessed and honored to be the recipients of this beautiful homestead,” they said. “We have served children and families for 129 years and this property and home provide us with a unique opportunity to offer respite, rest and fellowship in a way we have never been able to before. We are excited about all of the healing and love that will be shown on these grounds.”