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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO Makes Their Own Products

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO formulates and manufactures its own proprietary line of cleaning products?  SERVPRO Corporate has a team of chemists on hand, that make up the Professional Cleaning Products Team.  Listed below are some of the chemical categories:

  • Spotting Agents
  • Carpet and Upholstery Products
  • Wood & Leather Care Products
  • Decontamination Products
  • Deodorization Products
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning Products
  • Hard Floor Care Products
  • Specialty Products
  • Coatings & Sealant Products
  • Environmentally Friendly Products

We feel this is just one aspect of our company that sets us apart from our competition.  SERVPRO knows what works and is always looking to better our products and come up with new ideas. Did we mention that they smell great too! Our products are for the exclusive use of SERVPRO franchises and are not for resale, but if we are working for you, we are using these wonderful products.

Call us today! We are here to help you.

After a Storm Hits, Check Your Roof!

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

1. Check your Landscape

After the storm is over, take a walk around your house to look for damage. Heavy winds can cause branches to fall from trees, as well as it is common for homeowners to find roof shingles in the yard. If you find either, you can assume your roof has been damaged and requires further inspection.

2. Check the Outside

If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting the top of your house, call a roofing company. However, a lot of damage can potentially be observed from a distance. Here are three common problems to look for:
- Curling, cracking or missing shingles
- Flashing on the chimney is loose or cracked
- Debris on your roof, such as tree branches
It is also smart to assess the gutter system if the gutters have standing water or are heavy (sagging), call a roofing company to repair them. If roofing problems aren’t addressed, the structure of the house may suffer.

3. Check the Inside

In many cases, there is no apparent damage on the outside, however, compromised roofs may form leaks that allow water in the ceiling or attic area. If there are moist spots on the ceiling or wet marks on the walls, there is a leak on your roof. Leaks must be fixed promptly, preventing further damage to the structure of the home and the belongings inside.

We Make the Claims Process Smooth

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you have suffered a disaster at your home or business the last thing you want is to worry about is how to handle the process of moving forward. For this reason, our team ensures they make the claim process as stress free as possible. SERVPRO of Russellville, Hamilton, and Fayette will help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Our goal is to make the insurance process as smooth as possible. Therefore, we will:

  • Create thorough visual and written documentation of the damage to your home or business
  • Document the condition of each item we remove for cleaning or storage
  • Work directly with your insurer, communicating with you at all times
  • Handle the paperwork to make sure the processing and payment of your claim is as fast as it can be

We are so proud that so many insurance companies recommend SERVPRO to their clients. They are fully aware of the benefits that come along with our partnership. We do everything we can to make the entire process as easy as possible.

Our trained professionals are here for you if you experience a disaster. Our technicians have specialized training and years of experience in water, fire, mold and bio-hazard clean up and restoration services.

Enjoy the Last Little Bit of Summer....

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is starting to slowly wind down, and school is about to start for many students. While you're getting those last minute BBQ parties in, there are several safety tips to keep in mind.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill. 

Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. "These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage," according to the National Protection Association (NFPA). 

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks. 
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off for the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water. 

Best Storm Shutters For Your Home

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to protecting your home or business, from damaging winds, there are many things to consider. If you want to add storm shutters to your home, it can be overwhelming to review the numerous types. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for protecting your home, learning the basics can help you choose wisely. Here are some of the options you may consider:

  • Accordion
  • Bahama
  • Colonial
  • Fabric
  • Plywood
  • Rolling

Permanent Fixtures


If you live in an area with frequent storms and severe weather, you may consider adding permanent storm shutters to your home. Permanent mounts add protection and aesthetic flair to your home. You can choose from accordion, Bahama, Colonial, or rolling shutters, all of which provide both storm protection and an element of design. Prices and styles vary within each category. Manually-operated accordion-style options generally cost $15-$25 per square foot of window area, while rolling shutters, generally made of high-quality metal or polycarbonate, will cost approximately $20-$30 per square foot of window area. Bahama-style awnings protect your home against the sun and high winds alike and are sold in standard window sizes for $15-$20 per square foot. Colonial-style varieties offer the most diversity as they come in numerous materials and are sold in sets for $200-$500 per window.

Temporary Fixtures


Though temporary fixtures may be less visually appealing, they are equally functional for storm protection. Fabric storm panels, made of PVC or mesh, are a budget-friendly choice that generally costs $75-$300 depending on the size of your windows. A sturdier and more protective option is plywood. Though less pleasing to look at, plywood costs only $1 per square foot and is an effective temporary way to protect your home from intense storms.


Preparation is important when you're facing tornadoes and high winds. When the storm passes, know who to call for help with clean up and restoration to get your home back to a clean and safe state.

Clogged Dryer Vents Can Be Dangerous to Your Home

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Dryers come equipped with a lint trap to catch and collect the lint and tiny threads that come off of clothing when residents in Fort Collins do their laundry. Over time, larger items, such as broken zippers, can wear tiny holes into the trap. These holes can permit lint to pass through the trap and into the duct. When clogs develop in the interior of the duct, heat can build up and result in a fire.
 
When a home suffers a fire damage because of a clogged duct or exterior vent, fire damage can occur. This is not the only way that a fire can occur, though, and clothing that ignites while in the dryer causes almost as many fires. Our technicians can help you undo the damage and restore your home.
 
Just like we remove charred materials like burnt drywall sections, wooden trim, and destroyed personal belongings, we also remove and replace ducts and vents. SERVPRO helps homeowners prevent such fires by cleaning out ductwork and all related vents. A fire can start in other ducts, unrelated to the dryer, and we can reduce the risk in these areas, also.
 
Cleaning up and removing any destroyed materials makes it much easier for repair work to happen. Doing so also removes any dangers present that could harm you or your children. Pets can also end up injured when they wander into areas that contain fire damage. A fire, no matter how small, can cause a family to experience enough stress without the added crisis of an injury.
 
Sorting through the laundry, both unwashed and already laundered, reveals which items suffer from fire-related defects. We can often remove smoke damage on unique or one-of-a-kind clothing items. The fire's heat can also cause other problems to items in the immediate area. Drying racks and shelves can become unsightly messes, but the small endeavor of installing new ones can help make everything "Like it never even happened."
 
SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties serves the residents of our beautiful city and the surrounding areas when any fire damage adversely affects a home. 

Peak Hurricane Season is Among Us

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

As we are at the peak of Hurricane Season 2020- we are urging everyone to prepare now. The National Weather Service is predicting this hurricane season to be very active.

Emergency Preparedness Kits are a crucial part of hurricane preparation, but what does a kit need to include?

According to Ready.GOV - Basic Emergency Supply Kits include:

  1. Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  2. Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  3. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather
  4. Radio with tone alert
  5. Flashlight
  6. First aid kit
  7. Extra batteries
  8. Whistle to signal for help
  9. Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  10. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  11. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  12. Manual can opener for food
  13. Local maps
  14. Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Find a supply kit that best fits your family or business to be better prepared for severe weather. 

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is also helping local businesses get prepared by creating FREE Emergency Ready Plans - tailored to fit your business disaster recovery and remediation.

Causes of a Musty Basement

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

So what causes musty smells? In most cases, a musty basement smell is caused by the growth of mold or mildew. Mold and mildew thrive in basements because they are attracted to dark, damp locations. Many basements suffer from high levels of moisture, leaving them very vulnerable to the growth of mold and mildew, and subsequently a musty smell. To confirm that mold or mildew is the cause of your musty basement smell, you’ll want to search for the source of the odor. Scan the walls and floor of your basement searching for water stains and other indications of moisture build-up. You might also see discoloration of wood or drywall, as well as bulging or bowing of surfaces. Bowed walls are linked to mold smell in the basement because they cause shifts in the foundation, making it easier for water to seep into the home. Further, check for cracks or any large gaps in the floor or walls of your basement where moisture and mold can gather.

Another location where water might be trapped is in floor drains. Check the trap below the floor drain to see if there is water at the right level. If there is no water in the trap at all, fill the trap with fresh water until it is full. When no water is present in the trap, sewer gas can leak into the drain and into the basement causing an unpleasant smell. In addition to checking floor drains, check the drains of any appliances or bathroom fixtures that drain down to the basement. Leaks from appliances can lead to severe mold growth and even damage, again causing a musty basement smell.

If you notice any signs of the warning signs above, you have a moisture issue in your basement. When this happens, mold and mildew are likely to present and the cause of your musty basement smell.

Standing Water! What Should I Do?

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is an emergency and saving time is very important. Contact our restoration specialists to identify all areas that have water and moisture issues. Our team can help you avoid severe secondary damage in your Los Angeles home.

What are the necessary precautions to take after water damage?

As you wait for SERVPRO to perform the needed mitigation services, you should take some necessary precautions. Begin by stopping the leak by turning off the main shut off valve. Another safety concern is the electronic equipment. If water has risen to the electrical outlets, switch off the power source. After turning off the power source, unplug all electrical equipment. Unplugging the equipment quickly increases the chances of saving it. You should also wear protective clothing and rubber gloves if you choose to remove waterlogged items from your home.

How do certified technicians handle water loss incidents?

Our technicians usually remove the ruined materials that can either be discarded or restored. These materials may include carpeting, baseboards, furniture, insulation, carpet padding, drywall, fragile woods and upholstery. After removing the ruined materials, our crew can start removing the water using wet/dry vacuums or portable pumps. We can then use specialized equipment such as axial air movers and Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers to dry the affected areas. We also handle mold damage during the restoration process. We disinfect mold-infested surfaces and restore them as fast as possible to keep the mold from spreading.

How long does a typical home take to dry?

Several factors determine the amount of time it takes a house to dry. They include:

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • How fast emergency services start
  • Type of affected materials
  • Amount of saturation

Our SERVPRO team manipulates the relative humidity and temperature to dry a home faster. We monitor and evaluate the drying process consistently to determine when drying is complete. We use equipment like moisture meters, moisture sensors and infrared cameras to monitor the drying process. It is time-consuming to inspect for moisture. Infrared cameras enable us to check large areas of a house more quickly. Even though there are no rules to determine how long a home can take to dry, a typical water loss takes 3 to 5 days to dry.

Should I turn off the drying equipment at night?

No, the drying equipment should remain running on a 24-hour basis. The more hours the equipment remains on, the faster buildings dry. We place the equipment strategically to encourage optimal drying.

When you have a water loss problem in your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties! Call us today.

Categories of Water

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Without warning, emergencies can strike.  A toilet overflow or a sewage back up is possible issues in a home.  Immediate response is critical especially when water damage strikes. SERVPRO will come to your home and inspect the contaminated water to determine the classification and the necessary steps needed for the situation.  There are three different major classifications of water which are the following:

Category 1: Clean Water

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: Gray Water

  • May contain bacteria and viruses - may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
  • It can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.

Category 3: Black Water

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

When it comes to toilet overflows or sewage back up, call a professional immediately.  Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is available 24/7 to help you when disaster strikes.

Storm Safety Tips

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

A few common safety rules and precautions suggests that the public should generally try to stay inside of a safe area or building when a lightning storm or thunderstorm occurs. There are many commercial buildings in Boulder. SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties wants to share the following safety tips for staying safe during a thunderstorm while inside of a commercial building:

  • Unplug appliances if possible
  • Pay attention to all alerts and warnings, as a thunderstorm can develop into a tornado if powerful enough
  • Avoid running water if possible since electricity can travel through plumbing
  • Stay away from all windows or glass walls, especially during a lightning storm

Although the weather can be predicted, it can also change in an instant without much warning. If a thunderstorm does happen to turn into tornado weather in Boulder, consider the following tips:

  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck in the event of flying debris or shattered windows
  • Do not leave the safe area until the local alerting system says it is safe to do so
  • If the commercial building has a basement or storm cellar, head there immediately

Remember, we are here to help. Our trained technicians will show up ready to go to begin the cleanup and restoration process after a thunderstorm, lightning storm and even a tornado. If you experience water damage, fire damage, or mold damage from a storm, we are Here to Help.

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is independently owned and operated.

Tips for Handling Mold

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most difficult types of home damage to deal with on your own in your home or business is mold damage. Mold, like other types of fungi, can cause severe long-term damage to your home while simultaneously being hazardous and nearly impossible to remove with standard household cleaning products. Taking the wrong steps can potentially make the problem worse or even run the risk of causing ill health effects for you. Here are a few things you should and should not do after coming into contact with mold growth in your home.
 
Do:
If you find signs of mold in your home, you should first attempt to verify both whether the infestation is still active and to what extent it has spread. Gathering this information early on can help to get a more accurate response from SERVPRO technicians. However, you should never go beyond the bounds of what you feel is safe. Many types of mold can cause health effects with both direct and indirect exposure, making them hazardous to interact with in close proximity. In addition to attempting to gather more information about the problem, you may also be able to identify any sources of water that may have allowed the fungus to grow. Knowledge of these sources allows us to stamp out the root of the problem immediately and prevent further damage from happening.
 
Don't:
Do not underestimate the ability of black mold and other types of spores to become safety hazards. Never put yourself in what could be a dangerous situation without the direct guidance of SERVPRO technicians. In addition, you should not attempt to remove the mold on your own, as your efforts may only serve to spread spores around, even with the aid of specialty mold cleansing products. Our specialized equipment and mold remediation techniques are designed to avoid the many eventualities that can result from unprepared mold damage treatments.
 
SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties provides mold removal and remediation services to homes across the local area.

SERVPRO is There When Disaster Strikes

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Disasters can strike your commercial property while you are sleeping! We understand the urgency for immediate repairs and can act fast to help minimize further damage. SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties emergency response helpline is always open and standing by to take your phone call 24/7!
 
Regardless of the cause, we will fast respond and help you assess problems or issues the water damage produced and start the mitigation and recovery process. Before emergency repairs are started, we remove any salvageable items, assess the extent of the damage and contamination to put together a repair plan.
 
SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties has professionals with the training, experience, and equipment to manage water and flooding damage. Whether you have a large water emergency or a small water damage event, we will respond fast to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties provides a wide scope of services. Some are biohazard cleanup and removal, general construction for rebuilding and remodeling structures. Those are in addition to the fire, water and mold cleanup and restoration services you may already be familiar with. Below is a list of some of our services offered.

  • Fire, Smoke, and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care
  • Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
    Upholstery and Drapes: Wet and Dry Cleaning Methods

Fire Damage in Walker & Winston Counties

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

A house fire in Reading, PA, or any other small town, big city or sprawling suburb, could range from a nuisance to a nightmare, depending on the severity of the blaze. A fire of any size is likely to cause smoke damage, but it is reassuring to know that professionals can work quickly to get you back to your comfortable routines more quickly than you might expect.

Fires can cause many kinds of damage to a house. After seeing to everyone’s safety, the next priority is to assess the type and extent of the damage and to secure the structure, all of which can be handled at any time of day or night by professionals.

• Repairing structural damage to the house may require partial demolition.
• Water removal will usually begin quickly and progress to the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to completely dry the environment.
• Smoke damage and soot damage require the specialized equipment and techniques that professionals use to treat walls, ceilings and any other surfaces that have been compromised.
• Structures and items that are able to be restored will usually receive special cleaning, such as steam cleaning of carpets and upholstery and dry cleaning of other fabrics such as window treatments. Fogging equipment is highly effective in smoke cleaning and can be part of the remediation process.
• Restoration work may entail replacement of drywall and carpets or other types of flooring, depending on the extent and type of damage.
• Painting walls and ceilings can restore the beauty of your home and prepare for the return of your furnishings and treasured belongings.

A home is a safe space for you and your loved ones, and the thought of being displaced by fire can certainly be scary. With today’s technological expertise, reclaiming your home from smoke damage and soot is more easily achievable than it has ever been.

Mold Problem?

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts: 

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors. 
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet. 
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas. 
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent. 

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation. 

Stars, Stripes, and SERVPRO

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is here and the 4th of July is approaching quickly! We know that the summer months bring lots of BBQs, swimming, and of course fireworks to celebrate. Sure, fireworks are fun and pretty to look at, but they do cause damage and injuries if not handled properly. We have put together a few simple steps for you to follow to keep you and your family safe this summer season. 

1. Be sure to have a water source nearby to pour on any flames that might spark.

2. Never light your fireworks in a dry grassy area. This is a dangerous combination and will cause fires to spread rapidly.

3.Do not wear loose articles of clothing when handling fireworks.

4. Be aware of the wind conditions for the day you want to light fireworks. 

If the unimaginable happens and you suffer a fire damage at your home or business, do not hesitate to give us a call. Our crews will be happy to come into your home or business and make it "Like it never even happened." Our office number is 205-387-7656.

Ways of the Wind

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Wind is the unseen villain of Mother Nature. Most of the time damage from storms are very visible and easily identifiable; but wind damage can often be hard to identify. Many of us are familiar with tornadoes that cause wind damage, and what we call straight-line winds; but there are actually many different types of wind.

The importance of understanding what type of wind to expect, can help you significantly anticipate the type of damage that will happen.

According to The Weather Channel wind can be classified in these additional categories:

  • Cyclone
  • Downdrafts
  • Downbursts
  • Microburst
  • Gust Fronts
  • Derechos
  • Haboobs
  • Bow echoes

It is also important to know what type of winds your insurance policy will cover. If you experience wind damage, call your insurance agent. If you notice you have damage from a storm, whether it be wind or rain, we can come out and start getting your property back to preloss condition.

4 Tips to Address a Burst Water Pipe

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with bursting pipes is the nightmare of any homeowner. Whether a pipe breaks due to cold temperature, corrosion, or water pressure issues, both major flooding and water damage can occur as a result. If you discover a broken pipe in your home or business in Walker or Winston County, there are several steps you can take to stop the rush of water into your home and prevent further damage from occurring. Here are four tips for addressing a burst pipe right away.

1. Shut Off the Water

The first step to take if a pipe bursts in your home is to locate the main water valve and turn off the water. This switch is normally located underneath the kitchen sink, but it can be located elsewhere depending on how your home was built. As a precaution, you should know the location of the main valve before an accident happens so you can quickly turn it off.

2. Locate and Examine the Broken Pipe

Before you can try to fix the broken pipe, you will need to figure out which pipe burst and where the location of the leak is. Once you locate the burst pipe, examine the damage so you can identify the best plan of action.

3. Call for Help

If significant water has entered your home due to bursting pipes, you will need the help of a water restoration company to remove all water from your home or business and address any damage that has occurred. Act quickly and contact the experts right away.

4. Clean Up What You Can

While waiting for the cleanup company to arrive, dry any water you can to try and minimize the amount of damage that occurs. Grab towels, mops and whatever else you need to try and remove water from carpets and other surfaces.

What to Do After the Storm

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

This summer has been quite a wet and stormy one and with that comes weather related injuries and fatalities. This is why it is important to educate both you and your family about after storm safety.

Immediately after a storm where there was heavy rain, strong damaging winds, and lightening consider the following:

  • Do not let children play near storm drains. 
  • Do not touch metal objects outside, there may be power lines down on the object which energizes the object. This could be a fence, guard rail, or baseball stop.
  • Do not touch or pick up any wires that you see either laying on the ground or hanging low. They may be energized or could become energized at any time.
  • Do not walk in flooded basements if your power is still connected. You could become electrocuted should water make contact with an electrical source.
  • If your home is out of electrical power, use extra caution when using candles for light.
  • Be careful using a gas powered generator which could cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning if not vented properly.

Please remember to keep you and your family safe and remember that SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is always available to help you with your restoration needs

Summer Storms Can Damage Your Business

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Forming as a result of moisture and rising warm air in the atmosphere, severe storms are a common threat to property throughout the summer. Along with rain, thunder, and lightning, summer storms can also produce large hail and gusty winds. As a business owner, you may be worried about the danger that these storms can bring to your property. Major structural damage can be done by severe storms, with wind and hail breaking windows and hitting roofs. In order to avoid the hefty cost to fix structural damage, it would be beneficial to develop a plan to utilize during emergencies that will limit the amount of damage imposed upon your business.

Before you begin to formulate that plan, make sure that your business has invested in business insurance. Covering the expenses of any property damage caused directly by the storm, insurance can lift much of the financial burden. Taking matters into your own hands, a regular examination of the condition of your business’ roof as well as removing debris left by past storms in your gutters can prevent the damage from getting worse. Impact-resistant glass can also be installed in an effort to prevent windows from breaking and sending glass flying across the inside of your business. If you do have any valuables located near windows, be sure to move them to safer areas during storms just in case windows break. Safer areas can include any place that is elevated above the floor and distant from windows. Finally, keep outdoor equipment safe by hunkering it down to something stable.

Monitoring weather forecasts is a beneficial practice, especially if your business is located in an area that regularly experiences severe weather. With these guidelines in mind, you can protect your business as best you can from severe storms throughout the summer.

Summer Storms are on the Way

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are a very common occurrence in Walker and Winston county, and it’s important to be prepared in the event that they cause flooding in your home or business.  Summer time thunderstorms typically bring a lot more rain than a typical shower that we see. Because of this, many homes may experience flooding when thunderstorms do occur.

When heat is paired with high humidity, that could mean thunderstorms. Check that your home or business is ready for rainfall, before it hits. Maintain regular maintenance of your roof, gutters, downspouts, etc., and take care of any needed repairs as soon as possible. When there is a thunderstorm in your area, keep an eye on your home for any signs of a water leak. If you do experience a leak, call someone to come out and have it fixed right away, and give SERVPRO of Walker and Winston Counties a call to begin the dry-out process. Water damage left untreated can become an even bigger problem.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

There are a few fire prevention steps every Walker and Winston County, business should be aware of for protecting their employees and company property. These steps can not only help ensure that everyone makes it out of the building safely if there is a fire but can also help mitigate damage and the likelihood of a fire occurring. Follow these simple tips below.

1. Have an Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan can help ensure your employees know what to do in an emergency. Consider making this part of the handbook and posting safety maps in your business.

2. Know Emergency Tool Locations

Knowing where emergency tools such as alarm pull or fire extinguishers can help protect your company from a fire loss. Make sure your employees know where these things are, and that they know how to properly use them.

3. Maintain Equipment

It’s important to maintain any equipment your company may use as a method of fire prevention. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for keeping things clean, and call a professional if any repairs need to be made. Older equipment may need to be replaced.

4. Use Safety Precautions

Another way to prevent a business fire is to know the safety procedures for any equipment your business may use. This includes everything from a microwave or copier, to any manufacturing equipment kept on site.

5. Keep Emergency Numbers Handy

It’s a good idea to keep emergency numbers handy. This not only includes the number for the fire department or paramedics, but also for your insurance provider. You may also want to keep track of a number for a local fire damage restoration service who can help with cleanup and repairs if a fire does occur.

Using these fire prevention steps can help prevent a fire, and may also help mitigate damage if a fire does occur. Remember, after a fire restoration service can help with cleanup as repairs.

Summer Maintenance for Your Building

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Sunny weather is the best time to spruce up your commercial property. Let’s go over a few maintenance tips that can help your Tacoma property.

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts – pine needles, leaves and debris can build up gutters and clog downspouts over the fall and winter months. When the rainy season hits, the clogs will cause water to pool which can lead to water damage, including damp spots, mold growth, dry rot, and peeling paint. 
  2. Get your roof inspected – getting your roof inspected once a year is one of the best ways to prevent roof leaks. If you notice any loose tiles or shingles call a roofing company for repairs.
  3. Wash off your property’s exterior – the wet summer weather can bring in dirt and moss to the exterior of your building. With a pressure washer, you can easily remove, dirt, dust, grime, moss and the like from walls, fences, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks to maintain the outside of your property.
  4. Apply a fresh of coat of paint – this will boost curb appeal for your property. The paint will provide a resistant layer against the elements, and could reduce the need for major exterior repairs in the future.
  5. Clean up vegetation around the building – the summer months can be dry and the heat can make flames spread easily. Remove any excessively dry plants, and trim back bordering plants to avoid a preventable disaster.

Preventing Mold Growth

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Mold, the very word causes most people to cringe. It does not take much for mold to start growing, but there are ways you can help prevent the growth from starting and spreading throughout your home or business.

Here are some quick tips to help with mold.

  • Stop water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing. Keep water away from concrete slabs and basement walls.
  • Open windows and doors to increase air flow in your home, especially along the inside of exterior walls. Use a fan if there are not windows available.
  • Make sure that warm air flows into all areas of the home.
  • Install and use exhaust fans in bathroom, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
  • Ventilate and insulate attics and crawl spaces.
  • Clean and dry water damaged carpets, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture within 24 – 48 hours, or consider removing and replacing damaged furnishings.
  • Vacuum and clean your home regularly to remove mold spores.
  • Check around your windows for signs of condensation or water droplets. Wipe them up right away so mold can’t grow.

Summertime Can Mean Mold

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Summertime is right around the corner! This means it’s time to head out for cook outs, pool parties, and vacations. While you’re out having fun, mold could potentially be growing in your home or business. Mold will grow more frequently during the summer months mainly because of the warm temperatures and high humidity levels due to those afternoon storms. The reason for mold to show up would be because there was water build up that sat for a period of time and cause the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Some of the spots to check in your home for water build up would be under sinks, around the bathtubs/showers and toilets. It is important for you to check these places when you are about to leave for vacation, because the longer the water sits, the more damage occurs and mold will grow. Just because you cannot mold growing, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mold does give off a musty smell, so if you being to smell that, you might have mold growing in the walls, floors, or even in the air ducts. If you believe you have mold growing in your home, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties today!

Do You Have Mold in Your Walker/Winston County Home?

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it almost impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is false. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Fire Damage is Costly

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Fire is one of the most most valuable resources that we have. We use it to cook our food, heat our homes, power our world and so much more.  When it comes to our homes and businesses, fire can also be one of our worst enemies. At SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties, we have seen first-hand the devastation that fire can cause. We take pride in helping our customers get their lives back on track in the wake of a disaster. Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention and we want to share information that can help you protect your home. 

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires followed by home heating. When cooking be sure to never leave anything on or near the stove and use caution when frying.

If you have central heating, make sure to have ducts cleaned regularly to prevent buildup and reduce the chance of fire.

Dryer vents should also be cleaned annually. Clothes dryers cause an estimated 2,900 fires each year, causing over $35 million in property losses.

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO has a specialized storm team and large loss response network to provide the resources to your property when others can’t?

In the event of a disaster, SERVPRO professionals have the resources to relocate crews with equipment to take care of all of our customer’s needs. SERVPRO strategically places mobilization teams across the country to travel when needed to support in recovery after large storm events such as hurricanes. Our job as water damage restoration professionals is to limit the amount of business interruption. We understand that fast mitigation is key to getting your business back up and running. SERVPRO provides the resources in the event of a large storm event to make sure that the right equipment, procedures and training are in place to ensure that the structure is dry the first time and saves you time and money.

Smoke and Soot

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate many different areas within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. 

Big or Small- We Handle it All

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

No job is too small or too large for us. SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties can handle any size loss. From a small water leak to a roof being removed from the commercial structure due to wind. We have a team of professionals ready to respond. Our trucks are always loaded and backed into the building, ready to respond quickly. We also work with temporary labor companies that specialize in our industry and they can supply as much of a workforce as needed. We are ready to help you with your commercial clean up needs and you can trust that we know how important it is for you to get your business back to business as quick as possible.

If your business has experienced a water, fire, or mold loss. Don't hesitate to give us a call. We are always here to help!

Injectidry Could Save Your Walker & Winston County Floors

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

There are many reasons that you want to call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties, and one of those reasons is the equipment that we use on the job site. Not only do we use air movers and dehumidifiers, but we also have specialty drying equipment as well. 

One of those pieces of equipment that we have is our Injectidry system. SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is the only mitigation company in this area that uses this kind of system. The Injectidry system is used when a loss has occurred on a hardwood floor. Unless the floor has begun to buckle, the Injectidry can be used to potentially save the hardwood flooring instead of having to pull and replace it. The Injectidry system contains a series of mats that are sealed tight to the floor, and these mats have hoses attached to the top that are hooked up to a vacuum that pulls the water out from underneath the floor. The water travels to a filling tank where it can then be dumped out.

We have used our Injectidry system to save many customers from having to replace their hardwood floors. If you would like to inquire more about our specialty drying equipment, please give us a call at 205-387-7656.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties at 205-387-7656!

Odor in your Walker County Car? Call us!

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

A bad odor in your car can become extremely annoying and bothersome. There are endless causes for a bad smell in your car, however, when trying to get rid of the odor there are less possibilities. 

Common suggestions for getting rid of an odor in your car are to vacuum the seats while sprinkling baking soda on the affected area, leaving a charcoal chunk in there for a few days, or using a natural deodorizer. If none of those options work, that’s when you need to call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties. Our technicians will take care of your car and get to the root of the problem and eliminate it.

We have specific machinery and products that we use to safely and effectively remove odors after identifying the source. We have many methods of deodorizing a space including ozone machines, solvents, and even as far as professional upholstery and carpet cleaning. Call us today at 205-387-7656!

Great Work that We Can Guarantee!

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO we guarantee the quality of our work and aim to deliver the best possible outcomes to our customers.

One way we deliver great results is by letting the construction materials used in the rebuilding process acclimate for the necessary amount of time. When a material acclimates, its physical temperature changes to match that of the room in which it is scheduled to be used.

This practice is of paramount importance for a few reasons. Not only is the material much easier to work with once it is properly acclimated, but it diminishes the chances of problems occurring in the final result. The fact that materials will expand and contract as their temperature changes becomes less of a worry.

If materials are used before acclimation is complete, a variety of issues can potentially occur. Gaps can form between separate sheets of drywall, floor boards can buckle, and paneling can get a rippling effect. These problems not only cause the final product to lose its aesthetic look, but the material itself is ruined and must be totally replaced.

Also, different materials need to acclimate for varying amounts of time. The minimum for every type of material is twenty-four hours. However, some materials need to acclimate for much longer.

Two examples of this are hardwood plank floor (three to four days) and snap-lock laminate flooring (minimum of forty-eight hours). As a local construction company, it is incredibly important to us that we provide the very best in quality for our customers and community in Walker & Winston Counties.

Our construction project managers are always here to help and answer any other questions you may have, so feel free to ask!

In need of repairs or remodeling work? Call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties!

Slow Leak, Lots of Damage

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

A slow leak in your home can cause more damage than you might realize.

It is never a good sign when water spots appear on the ceiling. It is a safe bet there is some level of water damage that has occurred.

In the case of a home in Walker or Winston County, caused by a slow leak in the ceiling accumulated over time until it ruined the sheet rock panels and the taped seams. This resulted in the need for controlled demolition in the form of a partial tear-out of the ceiling down to the raw joists and sheathing so the necessary plumbing repairs could occur.

Purpose of Controlled Demolition

When building materials require removal from the home, SERVPRO technicians cut them cleanly away to make the repairs as fast and easy as possible for both the plumbing and the cosmetic renovations necessary to restore the ceiling to its preloss condition.

Drying the Water Loss Area

To be sure all areas of excessive moisture get attention, SERVPRO technicians use their advanced moisture detection equipment to scope the room and make sure there are no other areas that show elevated water vapor levels. After removal of the damaged sheet rock panels, the technicians use air movers aimed upwards to dry the ceiling and also drying mats above to force warm, dry air downward to ensure the affected area dried completely. 

Mold Treatment

SERVPRO technicians found no signs of mold growth, but when a surface has exposure to water over a lengthy period, proactive treatments to avoid mold are a smart course of action. The techs used an antimicrobial sealant on the joists and open area as soon as it was dry to inhibit any mold growth. 

Assisting Homeowners After Completion

A standard part of service is ensuring homeowners are happy with the work done. Once the mitigation completes, a technician walks the homeowner through the process and shows them the necessary actions. They also note any necessary repairs needed to restore the home entirely. 

When water damage happens to your property, call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties. The certified technicians can clean up and restore the home to its preloss condition, "Like it never even happened."

Is it Time to Replace Pipes?

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

If your Walker or Winston County commercial property was built or re-piped sometime between 1978 and 1996, there’s a good chance that it has polybutylene pipes. What once was hailed as a great new plumbing technology eventually turned into a bunch of burst pipes and flooded properties. Then, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was introduced. So, which is the best decision, keeping the old pipe system and risking a disaster or paying to re-pipe the building with PVC? The old pipes:

1. Degrade

What they didn’t realize about the material of this type of pipe is that it degrades over time. Water treatment chemicals, such as chlorine, can break down the material making it brittle. Over time, mini-fractures will form in the pipe, eventually causing it to rupture under the water’s force. Unfortunately, there’s no way to detect a problem with the pipe since the deterioration starts from within the pipe.

2. Affect the Water

Brittle, degrading pipes can affect the quality of the water. Chemicals can leach into the water.

3. Aren’t Repairable

There’s no way to repair a damaged polybutylene pipe since it degrades from the inside out. Replacement is your only option to protect your building.

4. Aren't Up to Code

Building codes in the United States and Canada no longer recognize these pipes. If you want your building to be up to code, you’ll have to get your building re-piped with PVC.

5. Won’t Be Covered by Insurance

More than likely your insurance won’t cover your building if it has these old pipes. At the very least your insurance premiums may be a lot higher than they would be with newer pipes.

6. Lower the Building’s Value

No one is going to want to buy a building that’s not up to code. If they do, it’s going to probably be for a lot less than your building is worth. Getting your building up to code will make it much more appealing to potential buyers when it’s time to sell.
Getting new plumbing for your building could get expensive. If your building sustains water damage due to degraded polybutylene pipes, restoration professionals can return it to its preloss condition.

Fast Response is Key!

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Who should be first on the job?

To reduce claims costs in a fire or water damage situation, timely response is crucial. In most cases, the first person who makes contact with the customer be a restoration vendor rather than a contractor. A restoration vendor’s focus is restoration and a contractor’s focus is replacement. Most contractors do not have the expertise or training to determine if a surface can be restored to preloss condition. Since they can not make this determination, contractors may recommend replacement. Once an insured hears replacement, they are often not receptive to restoration.

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties  trained professionals will demonstrate to the insured the restorability of an item. Our technicians never commit the insurance company to replacement. Even if it is obvious during pretesting that an item cannot be cleaned or restored, our technicians will not imply the insurance company is responsible for replacement. We cannot interpret the policy. Adjusters adjust, SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties cleans and restores. If it is determined that an item cannot be cleaned or restores, the adjuster will be contacted so that he/she can make a determination as to what the policy will allow.

By responding to claims quickly and professionally, SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties professionals can save insurance companies money that may have been spent on replacement.

Mold is No Match for Us

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties will service your home or business that is suffering from mold damage. Mold is present almost everywhere all the time. However, there are times that mold grows to be too much to handle. That’s when you would call us.

Mold thrives in moist areas. When mold grows too much, it can cause allergy and other irritant problems. So if you are starting to develop allergy problems in your East Prairie home or office, maybe it’s time to call SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties humidity, maybe you need to get your HVAC system inspected. It’s recommended that you keep your indoor humidity at 45% or less.

Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties to remediate your mold problem.

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