Recent Posts

Electrical Tips To Use In Your Office

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Consumer electronic products are more
prevalent than ever. Research indicates that
the average household owns more than
twenty-five consumer electronic products.
With all of today’s technology, it can prove
challenging to safely maintain power to all
of our electronic devices. Electrical outlets
are easy to overload and as a result, may
become hazardous. While adding a power strip
or extension cord seems like an easy solution to
a lack of electrical outlets, the wiring in some
buildings often isn’t capable of supporting too
many high-powered electronic appliances.

Older office buildings and homes, in particular,
often suffer from lack of electrical outlets. The
temptation is to simply add a power strip or plug
in an extension cord from across the room. Even
in newer office buildings and homes, it can be all
too easy to overload a single outlet with power-hungry machines such as computers, printers,
scanners and monitors.

When an employee or resident overloads an
electrical outlet, that means more current is
running through the outlet than it can handle.
This causes the outlet to overheat, which may
lead to an electrical fire. According to a 2008
National Fire Protection Association study,
electrical distribution and lighting equipment
are involved in more than 24,000 home structure
fires per year. These fires resulted in an average of 320 deaths per year and an estimated $700 million in property damage per year.1

If an electrical fire should occur, get safely away
from the fire and call your fire department. If you
choose to use an extinguisher on the fire, never
let the fire get between you and a safe exit, and
never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. The risk of electrical shock is far too great. Class C fire extinguishers use a non-conductive extinguishing agent and should not cause electrical shock.

To help prevent this and other electrical hazards,
refer to the list below (provided by Electrical
Safety Foundation International).


  • If you must use a power strip, use a name brand
    product from a reputable retailer.
    Low-quality or counterfeit power strips
    may contain wiring that isn’t adequate to
    carry the load.
    
  • Place power strips where there is plenty
    of air circulation to disperse the heat.
    
  • Never attempt to plug grounded (three prong)
    cords into an ungrounded (two prong)
    outlet.
    
  • Do not bind, kink or knot electrical cords.

Should you encounter the aftermath of an electrical fire, call SERVPRO to help you get your life to normal again

10 Ways To Save Energy At Your Commercial Property

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is here and before we know it, the hot summer will arrive! Below you will find ten inexpensive and practical steps you can take to save money and energy as things begin to heat up:

  1. When cool nights allow, turn off the cooling system and open the windows while you sleep.
  2. In the hot summer months, set your thermostat to a temperature as high as you can comfortably stand.
  3. Use ceiling fans to cool the room that you are in and turn them off when you leave the room.
  4. Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to remove heat and humidity while you shower or bathe.
  5. In the hotter summer months, grill outside as opposed to using the oven.
  6. Make use of the natural lighting that is provided during the daylight hours.
  7. When washing clothing or dishes, avoid washing partial loads, when possible.
  8. Air dry clothing and dishes as possible.
  9. Instead of taking a bath, take a short shower.
  10. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.

Put these strategies to work and being to enjoy the savings!

Dry Climate Does Not Deter Mold Damage

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Look to Figure Out the Source of the Mold in Addition to the Remediation Process

The myth that mold cannot grow in a dry or cold climate is easy to debunk. With a list of 100,000 plus different strains of mold possibly causing problems, each has its own requirements to flourish, even in relatively arid or chilly conditions. SERVPRO mold remediation crews train in proven ways to abate any mold problem regardless of the conditions where the infestation happens. 
 
You recently bought a multi-unit property near the University and hope to rent to students next semester. When painters started working on the upper floors, they reported mold damage and ceased painting until the building receives treatment. We are mold remediation specialists and use proven methods developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abate the outbreak and limit further infestation, well positioned to help you with this issue. 
 
The triplex has antiquated bathrooms and no exhaust fans. A previous owner rigged up showers without further remodeling, and the spray and steam left enough moisture to encourage mold growth on tile and painted surfaces. Attempts to eradicate the mold with bleach only lightened the staining, with the high water content of the bleach actually increasing the outbreak. 
 
SERVPRO technicians contain the affected areas above the bathtub, with sheeting and remove the mold from the tile and wall. The roots of the mold extend through the grout and gypsum board, so a portion of the wall is removed as a precaution, and the moldy material is disposed of according to local regulations. We then use appropriate antimicrobial products that deactivate any mold spores remaining. Repair to the wall and tile follows. 
 
Commercial mold remediation is incomplete until the SERVPRO locates the water source and arranges for its disappearance. This is tough to do in bathrooms, but until an exhaust fan is installed, we suggest the window must remain open during use of the bath. We recommend a more complete remodel before showers recommence in your rental units. Mold spores are everywhere, indoors and out, and another significant outbreak is possible if the moisture continues to be present. 
 
Find competent and trustworthy mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO. Start planning for solutions to your mold issues today.

We Specialize In Flooded Basement Clean Up!

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today -205-387-7656

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Walker County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

What Is Water Damage Restoration?

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration is the act of responding immediately and using advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. SERVPRO professionals use innovative equipment to monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly. SERVPRO professionals have the tools and resources for faster and reliable service.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business. At SERVPRO, no job is too big and no question is too small.  So when fire or water damage strikes your home or business, call on SERVPRO of Walker County at (205)-387-7656

Ready For Whatever Happens

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO® System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing
experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team® assists your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the
aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective: to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

2016 East Tennessee Wildfires: One of the largest in the history of Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires burned more than 17,000 acres and about 2,500 structures in November 2016. The 12 crews that were dispatched worked a total of 78 jobs, where they mitigated over $1 million in damages.

2016 Hurricane Matthew: Following the East Coast from Florida up to North Carolina, this hurricane caused major flooding, primarily as rivers rose in Eastern North Carolina. SERVPRO®
had 169 crews dispatched. These crews took on more than 1,050 jobs and over $7.5 million in damages.

2016 Louisiana Flooding: Catastrophic flooding occurred in Southern Louisiana where rainfall measured 20 inches or more total, falling at a rate of more than 2-3 inches per hour in some places. This caused rivers and inland waterways to rise to record levels. The Disaster Recovery Team® responded to over 830 jobs with 185 crews.

2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed
over Houston, resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic
flooding event for Harris County, which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs, mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record subzero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperatures, resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO® Franchises completing nearly 2,000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore,
Maryland, were also impacted, creating over 1,381 jobs for the Storm Team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO® Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while
assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, panning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO® Franchise System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder, and surrounding Colorado mountain communities. The Disaster Recovery Team® responded with 109 crews from 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO® Franchises in the emergency response.

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine. The Disaster Recovery Team®
placed nearly 1,000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO® Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 15, Iss 7

The Mold & Remediation Process

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call SERVPRO!!

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO’s Call Center. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 15, Iss 6

Being Prepared For A Blackout During Storm

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for a blackout? Here are 10 tips to help prepare in the event of a power outage.

Watch the following video from FEMA for the 10 tips:

https://youtu.be/4eH7VbMXir4

The American Red Cross suggests the following:

Coping with Power Outages
Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible. 
Energy Conservation Recommendations
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer's lint trap after each use.
  • When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights

While blackouts are not fun, if you are prepared, they can be a lot less stressful for the family. If you have pets, children, anyone with disabilities, senior citizens, or anyone else who may have special needs staying in your home, make sure you have supplies, medicine, and comfort items that will help them cope through the blackout time also.

Thank you for reading!

Avoiding Kitchen Fires

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Avoiding Kitchen Fires

Cooking fires are the most common household fires, and you do not have to have a huge, commercial-sized range for a fire to start. From stray dishtowels to grease spills, even a very small cook top in a studio apartment can create a blaze. You should know tips ahead of time to keep you and your family safe in the kitchen.

When cooking, remain in your kitchen. It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but most cooking fires and fire damage occur from unattended cooking. If you must step away from the stove for any reason, first turn the heat off and move the pan to a burner that is cool.

When a cooking fire has flared up in your kitchen, be sure to contact SERVPRO after the fire is out. We are a professional and experienced fire damage restoration company, and we can repair and clean your home thoroughly for you.

When cooking, use a timer. Regularly check the food, whether you are baking, roasting, simmering, or boiling. When you use a timer, it helps remind you to check on your dish. You also need to keep the stove top clear of any oven mitts, dishtowels, paper towels or anything that can catch on fire.

Keep your stove top clean and wipe up any spills. When a stove top or oven is dirty, cooking with them is an invitation for potential fires. The buildup of grease is very flammable, so clean your stove each time you cook and wipe up any spills right away.

You should also avoid overheating your oils. Cooking oil which is overheated can start to bubble up and smoke, causing it to ignite and spill out. If you are not sure of the smoking point for your cooking oils, you can find charts online. Also, do not dispose of any oil before it has had time to cool. Tossing hot grease into your trash can could make it go up in flames. Putting it in an old food can after it cools is safer before tossing it out.

Our SERVPRO technicians can help you after a fire to put your house back together again. We do an initial inspection and fire damage assessment, plus immediate board-up services if needed. Water removal and drying are done to clean up firefighting efforts, and we remove smoke and soot from all affected services.

SERVPRO knows what works when it comes to fire damage remediation. Give us a call at (205)-387-7656 whenever you need our help after a fire.

Reduce The Risk Of Mold In Your Laundry Room

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Your laundry room is an ideal breeding ground for mold. The combination of a damp environment with high humidity and the heat from a washer or dryer makes an environment that spores just love. Mold can damage soft materials beyond repair and can also cause structural damage or even health effects. That is why it is important to do all you can to deter mold growth in your home. 
 
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of mold damage in your laundry room. SERVPRO experts recommend the following actions. 
 
Do Your Laundry Promptly 
Damp and dirty laundry is an inviting prospect for mold spores to grow into patches. Do not give them a place to grow. Make sure that laundry is done regularly and not allowed to pile up. Thorough drying is also important. Wet laundry is still a potential home for fungus even if it is clean. Hang clothes outside to dry or use a dryer. 
 
Clean Regularly 
Keep surfaces clean and dry as much as possible, so that mold has less chance to breed. Be diligent for signs of mold. A disinfectant solution is an effective cleaning option that also helps reduce the chances of mold proliferation.
 
Check Your Appliances 
Laundry room leaks or drips provide even more of an opportunity for fungal growth. A leak that seeps into carpets, walls or floors encourages mildew to grow in those places and cause structural damage. Check your appliances regularly and fix any leaks and replace broken drainage hoses or fixtures at once. 
 
Call In The Experts 
Once mold is present expert help is the best way to deal with it. As soon as you see signs of mold growth we recommend you put in a call to SERVPRO. Upon arrival, our IICRC-certified experts establish a containment zone. Plastic sheeting keeps mold from spreading throughout your house. Our teams come equipped with negative air machines which pull contaminated air through ducts and exhaust it outside your home. 
 
After establishing containment, our experts set to work thoroughly cleaning your laundry room. Powerful HEPA vacuums remove loose spores. Vacuuming is followed by cleaning using abrasion, scrubbing, detergents and damp wiping, depending upon the surface to be cleaned. We also try to clean and restore, and not replace mold damaged elements as a cornerstone of our remediation service.