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Frozen Pipes a Problem? Not to ServiceMaster Franchises


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One person’s polar vortex is another’s business opportunity, as ServiceMaster franchises are learning. Sub-freezing temperatures engulfing much of the country this month are leading to frozen pipes, and costly clean-up afterward.

The Michigan Insurance Review reports damage from a single frozen pipe (if it subsequently bursts) can easily reach $5,000—a number this Minneapolis-based blogger can personally verify is on the low end.

Ice damage and deep freezes and other effects of winter storms accounted for more than 7 percent of all insured catastrophic losses over the past 19 years, making them the third-largest cause of losses behind hurricanes and tornadoes.

ServiceMaster says the effects from brutally cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest were so great, the franchisor mobilized at least 20 franchise crews from the West Coast to help respond.

ServiceMaster set up two hotlines, 1-800-RESPOND for homeowners and 1-866-RECOVER for businesses, and is receiving record numbers of calls. Calls fielded by ServiceMaster’s customer service unit during the second week in January surpassed the number of calls typically received in a full month.

ServiceMaster has more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, under the names Terminix, ServiceMaster Restore and more.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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