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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration
Monroe, Madison & Monticello: (770) 267-0023

Archived Blog Posts

Rookies join the Storm Team!

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

group getting ready to head to Texas First crew to hit the road!

When disaster strikes, it isn't always in our back yard.  Recently, our team had the honor of assisting the National Disaster Recovery Team (Storm Team) in Texas following the 2021 Polar Vortex.

Most of us had never been to Texas, and some had never even flown in an airplane.  None of that detracted from the mission - to help families and businesses recover because life must go on.

Some flew, most drove the 19 hour haul. Some of us missed time with kids and all of us missed our families.  All in all, it was quite an experience to remember, and I urge you to call on the professionals when disaster strikes in your backyard. We not only know how to do the job and do it right, we do it with our hearts because we truly care.  We are always here to help.

Don't forget to do your homework!

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

equipment We have what it takes. No job too big!

With access to the internet SO easy these days, most people rely on reviews and content to help make the decisions they must make.  For instance, if you needed a plumber and didn't currently have one, chances are you will use a search engine to find one and lean towards those with 4-5 stars, great reviews and good content.  In most cases, you get what you pay for.  At least that's what Mama used to say. 

When it comes to restoration, it's no different.  No one expects for disasters to happen to them, but let me tell you, it's quite common.  A busted supply line, frozen pipes, toilet line leaked, septic tank backs up...the list GOES ON AND ON.  

Choosing a company to perform the necessary clean up, repairs and reconstruction is vital.  These people are in your home/business and you should be able to trust them without question.  They should communicate effectively so you maintain peace of mind.  They should deal with the insurance company if a claim is filed.  They should have the proper equipment needed to mitigate the disaster.  

When it comes to water, fire mold, bio and Covid - Choose the ones who are ready 24/7 - SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.

Keeping Your Pet Fire Safe

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

sweet puppy dog in fire gear Prepare your pet for a fire emergency!

Keeping Your Pet Fire Safe

Your pets are a part of your family, and as such, it’s only natural that you’d want to protect them in the event a fire occurs in your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to include their dog, cat, or other pet in their family fire emergency plan, leading to heartbreaking outcomes. However, by preparing your pet for fire emergencies early on, you can keep your furry friend safe from harm. These extra precautions are sometimes as simple as:

  • Taking a few common fire prevention precautions
  • Training your pet to respond to your voice
  • Setting up a proper safe space for your pet while you’re away.

Reducing Fire Hazards

It’s estimated that unattended pets are responsible for almost 1,000 house fires annually. Ensure that you’re not leaving any open flames, such as candles, unattended, remove your stove’s knobs while you’re away so they can’t be turned by curious paws, and consider securing your pet in a safe place while you’re not around to supervise them.

Prepare for Disasters

If a fire does start on your lot, you and your pet both need to be prepared. First, ensure that you have fire emergency supplies such as food and medication for your pet on hand. Pet preparation can also be made just a bit easier if you take the time to teach your pet to come running when they hear you call their name.

When You’re Not Home

Fires happen when you least expect them, including when you’re not at home. That’s why you need to make it easy for rescue services to help your pet if this situation does arise. Keep your pet on a collar, keep a leash nearby and secure them somewhere near the door while you’re away. Furthermore, keep your vaccination and pet ownership records in a fire box.

Preparing your pet for a fire emergency can take a bit of time and patience, but in the end, it’s well worth it if it means keeping your companion safe.

Protect Your Hotel With These Fire Prevention Tactics

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

hotel fire in stairwell A hotel fire can be devastating for your business

Prevent A Fire Before They Become A Problem

A hotel fire can be devastating for your business. It endangers guests and staff, causes expensive damage, and ruins your reputation within the Monroe, GA community. These consequences are why it is important to not just combat fires but also prevent them. The following practices can help you stop fires before they become a problem.


Create a Risk Assessment Plan
Just as you would make an emergency plan to respond to an ongoing fire, you should also work on a prevention plan. The biggest part of prevention is risk assessment, which is carried out through the following steps:

  • Detect hazards such as malfunctioning appliances and flammable objects
  • List the most vulnerable people
  • Apply different prevention methods
  • Record the results
  • Continue tests and updates


The more risks you detect and neutralize, the more you will reduce the chances of a fire. Keep your guests and workers safe with proper planning.


Train Staff and Assign Roles
fire prevention plan is only effective when your staff knows how to execute it. Your employees should know how to find potential hazards and report them, as well as proper housekeeping and repair techniques that can prevent a hotel fire. They should also know other basics such as alarm operation, evacuation routes, and contact information for firefighters and fire restoration services. Appoint some of your safety-trained employees as fire wardens who can lead the guests during a fire.


Maintain Equipment as Necessary
Your hotel has plenty of electrical and mechanical equipment that serves multiple purposes. Unfortunately, it can also malfunction and create a fire. This possibility is why your staff should always maintain the facility's devices in a timely manner. Keep records of these procedures to know when the next service is due. Maintenance and repairs should also be prioritized on emergency exit doors, fire alarms, and extinguishers.
As someone in the hospitality industry, it is your responsibility to keep everyone safe from dangers like a hotel fire. Take the initiative in preventing fires to accomplish this goal and ensure your facility's success.

What You Need To Know About Water Damage

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

mold on baseboard Water damage in Loganville, GA

Water damage in Loganville, GA can cause many issues for your home. Although some water damage can sometimes be avoided, things like a pipe burst or natural disaster can cause unavoidable damage. It's important to act quickly and know how to deal with water damage so that you can begin the restoration process as soon as possible. Water damage is a homeowner's worst nightmare, but referring to this quick guide about water damage can help you stay prepared in case of an emergency.


Why It Happens
In order to understand how to deal with water damage, it's important to know how it happens. Water damage can occur for a number of reasons or situations. Some common causes of water damage include:

  • A plumbing issue such as a pipe burst
  • Basement or attic water collection
  • Natural disasters, such as floods
  • Dishwasher or other appliance issues


In order to deal with water damage, you must first understand where it is coming from. Identifying the source of the issue will help you determine the next steps.


Clean-Up Process
Cleaning up after water damage caused by flooding or other issue will depend on the issue and the level of severity. You can begin by removing any damaged belongings, such as household items or furniture, and leaving it out to dry. However, things like building materials may take more restoration than this.
As you begin to clean up damage, consider calling a water restoration company to help you assess damages and start the restoration process.


Beginning Restoration
If you have significant damage, there will be a longer restoration process. A professional water restoration company will bring specialized equipment to help you dry out your home and avoid mold growth. Building materials such as drywall or carpets may need to be replaced or restored. You should also document all damages for insurance purposes during this time.
Although water damage from a water line, pipe burst, or other issues can be a hassle, having basic information about it will help you act quickly to avoid any lasting issues.

Ways To Protect Your Commercial Property From Mold

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

flood cut drywall Commercial mold remediation in Social Circle, GA

Frequent inspection and upkeep in your building in Social Circle, GA are the keys to keeping it structurally sound and maintaining good air quality. Hidden leaks and excess moisture, however, can quickly lead to mold growth. Knowing the answers to common questions about mold can help you protect your commercial property.


What Causes Mold Problems?
Just like other living organisms, mold needs food and drink to thrive. The main culprit in fungal growth in a commercial building is usually some type of unmitigated water damage:

  • Busted pipe
  • Supply line leak
  • Overflowing toilet
  • Clogged sewer line
  • Storm flooding


Any surface exposed to excess moisture has the potential for mold to grow. Keeping watch for damp areas or damage is essential for stopping fungus in its tracks.


How Do You Know You Have a Mold Problem?
The first sign that there may be mold growth in your building is the telltale musty odor in your building. You may be able to see the mold on your walls, floor or ceiling. If you smell mold but can't find it, a professional inspection is necessary to locate the issue.


How Do You Get Rid of a Mold Problem?
If there is just a small patch of mold on a nonporous surface, washing it thoroughly with a strong detergent is likely to get rid of it. For large problems, however, you need to call mold remediation specialists for a thorough cleaning.


What Can You Do To Prevent a Mold Problem From Returning?
Controlling moisture is your best bet to keep mold from coming back. Even if you don't have water damage, high humidity can also cause mold to collect on surfaces and grow. Improve the ventilation throughout the building to encourage proper air flow, and invest in a dehumidifier if necessary.
Even with frequent inspection, you still could find the occasional patch of mold growth in your building. Quick, professional remediation is the best way to solve the problem and keep it from returning.

Is Mold Cut Out of Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

mold remnants in crawlspace Mold damage in crawlspace

More homeowner’s policies exclude mold than cover this form of secondary damage. Fungus growth occurs when water damage is not cleaned quickly or thoroughly enough to avoid leaving time for fungal growth. Property owners can take three measures to determine whether coverage for mold is available under the property insurance policy for a residence in Georgia.


1. Confirm the Terms of Your Policy
The terms of each insurance policy differ. It is the responsibility of a policyholder to go through these terms before signing up for coverage and paying premiums. If you have not checked the status of mold under your property insurance, you should do so sooner rather than later. A rider on an existing policy or additional coverage may be needed to offset the cost of mold remediation.


2. Consult With an Insurance Agent
A representative of the insurance company that covers your home can explain the circumstances under which fungus growth could be considered a covered peril. Keep in mind that some insurers require agents to report that a customer is considering filing a claim. Seeking independent advice may be preferable if you are experiencing a mold problem and do not want the rate to rise.


3. Supplementary Residential Mold Coverage
Obtaining an endorsement can restore some amount of coverage for mold to a primary property policy. Another approach might be to obtain a separate mold insurance policy. Make sure the limit of any policy will cover a substantial amount of the expense associated with remediating mold, which can range up to thousands of dollars.
Fungus growth occurs when mold spores settle down on surfaces where access to sufficient moisture and nutrients is available. Homeowners may be able to reduce the risk of mold growth by arranging for timely mitigation and cleanup within 24 to 48 hours of water damage.

Keep or Discard? Items That Can and Cannot be Saved from Mold Damage

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

moldy food Moldy food must be thrown away

Mold and floodwater can inflict devastating amounts of damage on your home.  Picking through the wreckage can be heartbreaking, especially when sentimental items have been affected. While all hope might seem lost, there are certain mold cleaning techniques you can use to save your possessions.

Items to Throw Away

It's important to know which items simply cannot be saved when attempting to expedite your mold cleaning efforts:

Porous Objects: Because of their tendency to absorb water quickly, it's unlikely that you'll be able to save objects with porous surfaces. This includes items made of cardboard, padding, stuffed animals, upholstered furniture, carpeting and mattresses.
Paper Products: While it is possible to restore these items, the process is rather costly and should be saved for sentimental items. Place any possessions you wish to preserve in the freezer to prevent mold damage from spreading.
Food Items: Moldy or water damaged food must be thrown away. The same goes for any water damaged food preparation appliances.

Items to Keep
Likewise, there are many types of objects that you can easily disinfect and keep:

Glass, Metal or Plastic Materials: Clean these items using either antibacterial hand soap or a homemade mixture comprised of 1 gallon of water and 1/2 cup of bleach.
Most Clothing Items: Time is of the essence with clothing, so make sure to wash them using regular laundry detergent as soon as possible. Leather clothing needs to be taken to a cleaning professional.
Electronic Devices: Appliances exposed to mold damage vary on a case-by-case basis. Any water damaged electronics or appliances are potentially dangerous and need to be thrown away. You should consult a professional if you wish to restore these types of items.

Knowing which items to keep and which you need to get rid of can certainly help expedite your mold cleaning efforts. If you have any further questions, or require additional help getting rid of mold, contact mold remediation experts as soon as possible.

What To Consider Before Meeting a Commercial Fire Insurance Adjuster

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

fire damage to commercial building Commercial fire damage in Walton County, GA

A blaze in your commercial building can be a stressful experience. The fire damage could appear overwhelming. While emergency restoration specialists can assist with the cleanup, you may need to file an insurance claim to pay for the remediation. This can lead to additional frustration. To help things go more smoothly, consider the following before meeting with your insurance adjuster.

Types of Damage

The heat and flames from a fire can harm various parts of your property. The water used to suppress the fire can cause damage, as well. The disaster could thus affect:

  • The structural integrity of the building
  • Important equipment
  • Valuable electronics


Your adjuster will likely want proof of the damage to your building. Look for photos of the property that you took prior to the fire. You can then present those images alongside pictures from after the blaze. If you do not have any “before” pictures, use blueprints and receipts to demonstrate the previous structure of the building and the assets that were inside it.


Extent of Coverage
Ideally, your insurance will pay for most or all of the fire damage restoration. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If your policy only offers limited coverage, try to get help from a public adjuster or your agent.


Trusted Contractors
Be sure to approve the contractors used by the insurance company before the repair work begins. Do not allow the insurer to hire workers who use dangerous materials such as lead or asbestos.


Required Documents
Finally, ask the insurance adjuster if you need to provide any additional documents as part of your claim. If the provider works with a forensic auditor, you may need to produce certain financial statements.
Before you make your fire damage claim, make sure that you understand your policy and gather the evidence and documents you need. You should also check that your insurance provider uses trusted and reliable contractors for the repairs. This should make the fire mitigation process more efficient.

The Effects of 3 Categories of Water Damage On Contents

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

water text on liquid background Restoration professionals break down water damage into three categories

Water Damage Categories

The level of contamination in water from a leak or flood determines the severity of the damage. Restoration professionals break down water damage into three categories. Category Two and Category Three water are both contaminated. Here’s what you need to know to assess the full extent of damage at a flooded company.


Category 1 Water Damage
Category One damage involves clean water from a broken pipe and only requires extraction and drying within 24 to 48 hours. There are a limited number of possible sources of treated water in a finished commercial structure:

  • Fire suppression system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water-based appliances


Supply lines that run to commercial bathrooms, water features, fire suppression or appliance systems can all pose a risk of causing Category One damage. Cleanup experts recommend fast drying of a flooded company and extracting moisture with a dehumidifier.


Category 2 Water Damage
The second category of water damage is contaminated, but does not contain solid waste. Biohazardous materials such as chemicals or microbes may be present in Category Two water damage. As a result, a backup of bathroom facilities, major roof leak or any other incident that leads to this type of damage requires disinfection followed by specialized techniques such as dry cleaning delicate contents that have become stained and drying.


Category 3 Water Damage
Two common sources of Category Three water damage include a sewage backup into a commercial structure that has filled with water from one or more external sources. This type of damage calls for thorough disinfection and may require restoration workers to tear out ruined building materials and dispose of irreparably contaminated contents.
Cleanup and restoration measures may vary based on the unique conditions at a flooded company or commercial building. Comprehending the distinctions between these three categories of water damage can help building owners and managers determine mitigation needs.

How To Mitigate Water Damage

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

busted pipe spewing water Water damage due to bursting pipe

One of the most common causes of property damage is water. Most water-damage claims are caused by bursting pipes or a supply line leaking. A pipe burst cleanup can be very extensive.

Preventing Bursting Pipes

When temperatures start to drop, frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of commercial property damage. Many pipes are located in the basement of a building where there is no heat. Before temperatures start dipping down below freezing, take some preventative measures. Insulate all pipes that are outdoors or in unheated areas of your building. You can also use heat tape for an extra layer of precaution if you live in an extremely cold climate.

Allowing the water to run at a slow drip helps relieve pressure if the pipes do freeze. Inspect your pipes regularly for any small leaks. Undetected leaks can lead to major damage.

Steps To Take If Pipes Burst

A pipe burst cleanup is no laughing matter. You could potentially be dealing with large amounts of water. As soon as you discover a problem, turn off the main water supply. If you are unable to turn off the water supply, tell your plumber it is an emergency. You may need to shut down the power if water starts seeping from the ceiling or walls.

If you have an immersion heater or central heating system, it is wise to turn it off. This will prevent any damage from trying to heat an empty system. Now that you have taken measures to prevent the problem from getting worse, try to save any important documents or content inside the building that could get damaged.

The pipe burst cleanup may require water mitigation professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe. You need to remove all the water and dry the building out completely. Depending on the extent of the damage, it could require the use of special equipment.

When dealing with major water damage, speed is important. You want to get things dry before the damp has a chance to set in.

Understanding and Preventing Roof Hail Damage

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

hail damaged roof Hail damaged roof in Monroe, GA

Your home can take a beating during severe weather with hail. Hail damage roof specialists can advise homeowners about how hail damage can occur and how their roofs can withstand mother nature's pummeling.

How Hail Damage Occurs

Hailstones are irregularly-shaped ice particles that form when water droplets freeze together in large clouds. They fall to the earth when they become too heavy to remain in the atmosphere. The velocity of heavy hailstones increases as they fall, leading to the subsequent damage when they land on a roof, including:

  • Holes and cracks in shingles
  • Loosening and loss of shingles
  • Granulation of protective shingle seals
  • Cracking of the shingle underlayer


If severe weather compromises your roof's integrity, a hail damage roof professional can assess the problem and suggest appropriate measures to prevent further complications. Undertaking hail damage repair immediately will ensure that water from snow, ice, and rain does not penetrate your home. Water that enters your home can promote mold, requiring professional remediation services if it contaminates the space within walls and ceilings or the air.


Measures To Protect Your Home
You can take various protective measures to ensure that your home withstands a hailstorm. Start by scheduling routine roof inspections before the winter. Repairing and replacing shingles, gutters, and possibly an entire roof can protect your roof and your whole house from the harshest hailstorms. In some regions, homeowners who choose hail-resistant roof materials may qualify for lower home insurance premiums.
You can also check the interior ceilings and walls directly below your roof routinely for stains, which are telltale signs of leaks. Your roof's age or sun exposure can cause small fissures and shingle deterioration that can worsen during a hailstorm. Addressing leaks at the earliest signs can help reduce hail damage repair.
Hail damage roof repair can protect your home from leaks and floods, but if water damage occurs, you can count on help cleaning up from the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to assist ASAP! 

3 Things You Should Do After a Major Storm

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

tarp on roof Roof tarp services in Milledgeville, GA

Three Steps To Take After A Storm

Enduring a major storm is a stressful experience. High winds, hail, and rain can be a destructive combination, causing damage to your landscape, vehicles, and home. One of the most important things to do after a storm is to check your roof for damage. If your home needs roof repair, you’ll want to address this right away. Here are three steps you can take as a homeowner after a storm.

1. Visually Inspect Your Home
First, examine areas of your home that may have been compromised by the storm. Start with the interior ceilings and attic, noting any leaks or standing water inside the house. If you see areas where insulation is wet, that’s a sign that you’ll need professional water damage repair. Next, visually inspect the outside perimeter of the house, including the walls, gutters, and windows. You may also find roof damage from the wind, such as lifted or curled shingles, which are important to repair as soon as possible.

2. Get a Professional Inspection
After you’ve done a basic assessment of your property, call in a professional to inspect your home. Your provider tells you what steps they need to take to mitigate damage and begin roof repair. If water has leaked into the ceiling, they also need to address the interior. Storm remediation usually comprises drying and restoring the building materials such as insulation, drywall, and floors. This prevents mold growth because of too much moisture.

3. Take Steps Toward Prevention
You can’t control the weather, but you can take steps to prevent major repairs to your home because of wind damage. Consider getting a professional roof inspection twice a year in the spring and fall and after each major weather event. This will enable you to repair minor damage before it becomes a major problem. You can also perform your own regular visual inspection so you’re familiar with the state of your property and any changes that may happen.
When it comes to roof repair after a storm, acting quickly is the best course of action. If you inspect your property regularly and follow the steps above, you’ll be prepared to keep a cool head no matter the weather.

How To Prevent a Grease Fire and What To Do When One Happens

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Home accidents most commonly occur in the kitchen. Among these incidents, a grease fire is particularly destructive. Here are a few ways to stop one from happening in yours, along with how to proceed should a fire break out.

Prevention Tips

Inhibit a greasy inferno from erupting in your cooking space by:

  • Always attending an operating stove
  • Removing anything flammable from the immediate area
  • Only cooking while sober and fully awake
  • Having pan lids and an extinguisher nearby
  • Restricting children from entering the stove’s proximity
  • Heating oil gradually
  • Adding food slowly to minimize grease splatter
  • Removing moisture from food before submerging it


Ignorance of safety measures could result in an unruly blaze. If an out-of-control grease fire causes damage to your house, hire a company specializing in residential fire restoration to repair the charring and conduct a professional fire cleanup.


Extinguishing Procedures and Related Safety Tips
Place a metal lid or cookie sheet over wayward flames to smother the burning, leaving it untouched until it has cooled. If your fire is manageable, baking soda or salt can be used to snuff it out. Have a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher within reach for instances where neither of these options is available or adequate.
Never attempt to extinguish an oil-based fire with water. Such attempts make splashes that can easily spread flames. Flour and baking powder are equally dangerous, as they feed fires instead of ending them.
As soon as your burn zone is contained, switch off the heating source. Let full pots and pans remain in place since scorching oils could easily spill. Shepherd everyone outside, remembering to close the door behind you. Bring your phone and dial 911 once everybody has reached safety.
Even minor grease fires have the potential to create severe structural damage. In addition to knowing how to react after such a crisis erupts, become familiar with how to prevent one.

How Commercial Insurance Can Help After a Fire

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

How Commercial Insurance Can Help After a Fire

If a fire damages your business, the loss can be devastating. Fortunately, commercial insurance can ease the financial burden.

Coverage
Coverage varies depending on your provider and particular policy. It is important to discuss your policy with your agent so that you know exactly what is covered. In general, though, insurance is likely to cover expenses stemming from the following causes:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Fire-extinguishing efforts: broken windows, water damage, etc.
  • Fire-fighting fees

When purchasing or updating your policy, make sure that it covers everything you would want to replace if damaged by fire, including the building itself, machinery and inventory. Remember that there are likely exclusions to your coverage. For example, your policy may not cover liability. This means it would not pay for damage to your neighbor’s building caused by a fire originating on your property.

Claims
After incurring fire damage, you should call your commercial insurance provider for specific instructions on filing a claim. However, there are certain steps that will apply in most situations. Before you experience a loss of any kind, it is important to make an inventory. Make a list of purchase dates and prices of equipment, software, machinery and everything else covered by your policy. Take video or photographic evidence of all the items. Keep the photos and list in cloud storage or in a secure off-site location. After the fire has been extinguished, take photos or video of the damage before beginning repairs. Be sure to get as much detail as possible. If you are doing a video walkthrough of the damage, it may help to narrate and explain what the damaged items are. Accurate records of the covered property before and after damage ensures the insurance company has the information that they need to adequately reimburse you.
While commercial insurance can help your business recover financially, you may also need help with the cleanup and repairs. A certified restoration company can help you get your business back to preloss condition.

3 Ways Water Leaks Could Cost Your Business Thousands of Dollars

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

There are many ways that water issues can harm your business, but few are more potentially damaging than a water leak. Whether caused by some kind of weather event or malfunctioning plumbing, leaks can ruin building materials and lay a breeding ground for mold. Knowing the harm leaks might cause may help you protect your business and its future.

1. Stained and Warped Wooden Walls

Some water damage may be more visible than others, such as when it affects wood. Walls, in particular, tend to be especially vulnerable, as moisture warps and bends them out of shape over time. If a leak occurs behind an interior wall, it could warp and weaken the wood and cause the wall itself to buckle. If you detect any discoloration at the base of your wooden walls, you may want to call to have them inspected.

2. Mold Growth

The area around a water leak can attract fungi spores, which then might multiply and allow black mold growth. This type of mold is typically both fast-growing and difficult to remove by cleansers you can buy at the local supermarket. You may want to call a water damage remediation and restoration company to deal with this fungus to ensure it is removed completely, as well as any odors it causes.

3. Flooding

Old building plumbing can cause a pipe break, which is likely to cause flooding inside your business. This event may damage building materials, electronics, inventory, and important paper documents. Even with flood insurance, the resulting damage could total in the thousands of dollars. Having your businesses’ pipes inspected annually by a qualified plumber may prevent this from happening.
No matter the size of the water leak in your business, it could ruin wooden walls and flooring, encourage mold growth and leave you with a hefty reconstruction bill. Knowing how to spot and prevent them may help you protect your greatest investment.

The Ins and Outs of Basement Flooding

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

If you have a basement, you probably are well aware of the looming threat of flooding in this infamous room. Sometimes it can't be avoided, so it's in your best interest to arm yourself with knowledge in preparation for this damp event.

Causes

In order to prevent a basement flood before it occurs, or prevent more flooding after an initial incident, you will need to locate the source. There are many ways for water to pool at this lowest point in your house, so you will want to make a thorough inspection. Some usual suspects are:

  • Hurricanes or heavy rain
  • Poor drainage
  • Inadequate sealing
  • Pipe or appliance rupture
  • Sump pump failure

Professional Solutions

Often, homeowners don't have the time or equipment to deal with flooding thoroughly. In this case, do your best to stop the flooding if it is coming from inside the house, and turn it over to the professionals. Try to have a water damage remediation service picked out beforehand so you can be sure they are a company you can trust. In the meantime, remove as much contents as you can to a drying area outside and turn off the electricity in your basement.

Pumping

It is possible to pump out the water yourself, especially if your basement is bare and any pipe repair is already done. You can rent a submersible pump from your local hardware store. You will need to use a generator and extension cord so that the electricity can remain off in the water damaged area. Be sure to point the hose carrying the water out of the basement away from your house, ideally into a storm drain.
Flooding isn't the end of the world if you properly dry it out, or call people who can pump and ventilate for you. If you have a plan, you won't have time to panic while you are efficiently restoring your home. Be the best homeowner you can be!

Frozen Pipes in Your Commercial Business

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs. While our team will always be there to help mitigate these emergencies when they occur, we want to do what we can to provide information to you that can potentially help keep your business out of these situations. Tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.
  • Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.
  • Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate uninsulated pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes:

  • Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.
  • Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.

 Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe as soon as possible.

Commercial Mold Damage Tips

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Birmingham, AL.  

  1. Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
  2. Protect Yourself  - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
  3. Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. 

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at (478) 452-8000.

Commercial Damage Levels

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

One of the areas SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has the capability to handle all commercial damages.

There are so many factors that can contribute to commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage which puts wear and tear on your property, down to the most basic water damage. No matter the source of the damage, this downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers.  When damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent? Below we have a grading system we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.  

Level 1

Small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.” Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have damage at your Commercial property. Give SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe at call at (478) 452-8000.

Bursting Pipes Are Terrible for Homes

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Modern construction techniques do an amazing job of keeping the elements outside of your home and the inside cozy, warm and dry. A building envelope is designed to prevent water damage and last for a good number of years.
Unfortunately, bursting pipes bypass the envelope and usually leaves a disaster in their wake. If it happens to you, here’s what to do right away and the best way to deal with the resulting damage.

Your First Step
If you have a pipe break, there are a few immediate actions that can save big problems later:

  • Turn off the electric.
  • Shut off the water.
  • Clean up clear flooded water.

Before you shut off your water, turn off your electricity! If the water reaches exposed wiring, it could cause severe wiring damage – or a fire! If you can safely turn it off, do so, but be careful. If you’re not comfortable shutting it off, skip this step.

Your Next Step
Then, shut off the water. Do so wherever it’s quickest; bursting pipes aren’t going to wait for you to make a decision. You can incrementally turn it on later to unaffected areas, if necessary.
Remove any flooded water as long as it hasn’t mixed with sewage. Dry the area quickly with a mop and towels, then set up a fan to facilitate airflow. You want to reduce humidity as much as practical.

Insurance Claims
If a plumbing problem is sudden and accidental, all common homeowner’s insurance policies should pay for the damages. However, if it’s been an ongoing problem – or the result of improper or lacking maintenance – your insurance claim may be denied. It’s your responsibility to take reasonable care of your property.

The Aftermath
Bursting pipes can cause a huge mess. If water has soaked into the walls or worked its way behind them, the damage can be extensive. You need an experienced water damage specialist who can:

  • Fix broken pipe
  • Locate hidden damage
  • Help with insurance claim

They’ll then restore your home to its former condition. SERVPRO makes it “Like it never even happened.”

Protecting Yourself & Others From COVID-19

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the country, it is more important now than ever to take precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe. Make sure you follow the CDC guidelines to ensure you are being as safe as possible. That means wash your hands often – especially when you are preparing food, after you use the restroom, after leaving a public place, and before touching your face or mask. Make sure you are avoiding close contact and wearing a mask when around others. If possible, try to maintain 6 feet (or two arms’ length) between yourself and anyone who does not live in your household. Following these guidelines will help keep you and others as safe as possible.

If you come in contact with someone that contracts COVID-19, begin a quarantine period and monitor yourself for symptoms. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe follows a three-step process for confirmed COVID cleaning. First, we clean all surfaces 7' and down. Second, we use our EPA registered disinfectant to mist throughout the entire cleaning area. We use an electrostatic sprayer to apply our disinfectant. The fogger gives the solution an electrostatic charge, allowing it to wrap conductive surfaces with an effective and even coverage. Last, our crew will do a final wipe down, and ensure no residue is left behind. SERVPRO tailors the cleaning scope to match the needs at hand. Each job can vary depending on if it's a confirmed case or preventative cleaning and the space that needs to be cleaned and disinfected.

Call the cleaning specialists at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe County for all your cleaning needs at (478) 452-8000.

Why SERVPRO is the BEST choice!

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

collage of SERVPRO pics We are always here to help!

If you have ever had a disaster in your home whether it was flooding and water damage, fire or smoke damage, discovering mold in a hidden corner, or you have a bat infestation in your attic you might wonder who among all the restoration and clean up companies to call. SERVPRO has 50+ years of experience, highly trained certified technicians, 24-hour emergency service, is locally owned and operated, and is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. If you do not believe SERVPRO is the best check it out these testimonials left by some of our customers!

“We woke up to water coming from inside the wall in the laundry room. It was a nightmare! SERVPRO came in and cleaned up the mess. Very professional. I highly recommend this company!” – Rob (Gray)

“We are more impressed with this company than we can possibly convey to you in a Google review, but we are going to try. We worked with three different people from this company -- Chris, Jeremy and Wes. They were incredibly knowledgeable about water damage and gave us lots of useful information (which we needed -- I am the kind of person who asks ten million questions). These men put their hearts into what they are doing. Also, they came on time, answered phone calls promptly, and were just generally amazing. If anyone has water damage, call immediately, and they will be at your house within two hours. We are so, so, so appreciative. Without their help, we would have had a major mold problem on our hands.” – Ava (Eatonton)

“Efficient, courtesy call prior to arrival, and sent me before and after photos of the mold remediation. I definitely recommend these folks highly! 10/10!” – Jean (Social Circle)

“I especially like their timeliness. Timeliness in calling me back & timeliness in getting the job done. A quality not always seen today.” – Peggy (Loganville) 

“SERVPRO did a certified, proactive COVID-19 cleaning at the church preschool to ensure a healthy start to our school year. Fast, flawless, perfect! Thank you SERVPRO for the amazing cleaning using EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectants that give our families piece of mind.” -Colleen (Milledgeville)

If you find your home in need of a restoration and clean-up company, do yourself a favor and call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe!! (478) 452-8000. We are always here to help!

Heavy Rainfall Brings Water Damage

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at (478)452-8000. Call us!

Home Fire Pit Tips

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Here in Middle GA, it's a tradition to enjoy the cooler nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of moonlit nights and toasted marshmallows, take a moment to check out some of these tips from Allstate to remember.

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:

  • Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
  • Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
  • Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
  • Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
  • To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning. 
  • Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke. 
  • Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can. 

We Can Handle Multiple Types of Restoration for Your Home or Business | SERVPRO® of Baldwin and Monroe

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

If you have damage to your home or business, finding a restoration company as quickly as possible is probably at the forefront of your mind. While it is understandable that you will want to make a fast decision, you should also make sure that you are making the best decision for your needs. 

After a fire, flood or storm, there is often more than one type of damage present that your restoration crew will have to contend with. That is why we always recommend working with a company that is a leader in all types of damage restoration and follows the guidelines of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification so you can be sure that no matter the situation, your damage will be restored to its previous condition. 

Here are the types of damages we handle: 

Residential and Commercial Fire Damage 

Fire damage can be nuanced and there are no two situations that are identical. After a fire, you will typically experience damage from smoke, soot and charring, but you will also often have to contend with water damage from the fire being extinguished and even some reconstruction if the fire has compromised the structural integrity of your home or business. The good news is, we can handle all of this from start to finish so you can be certain your damage is taken care of. 

Residential and Commercial Water Damage 

Water damage can come from a variety of places, such as a clogged drain, a burst pipe or a weather event. When we are called to the scene of water damage, we can quickly evaluate the extent of the damage and what classification of water is present, and then move in our commercial dryers and dehumidifiers in to get the moisture out. 

Residential and Commercial Storm Damage 

Storms can be terrifying events and cause extensive damage to your home through various means. Water damage, wind damage, hail damage and even fires can be common after storms—but because we can handle all of these things at one time, you can count on us to quickly and comprehensively respond to your storm damage and begin taking action. 

Residential and Commercial Building Services

We pride ourselves as a "one stop shop" for customers who have experienced a disaster.  We boast a flooring showroom fitted with the best flooring expert around.  We also have a dynamic pair of project managers who will guide you throughout the reconstruction piece of the project.  On top of that, the owners, Josh and Jason, are both licensed general contractors with decades of experience, so you can trust without a doubt you're in the best hands.  We make it look "Like it never even happened." Guaranteed.

If your home or business has been impacted by fire, water, mold or storm damage, you can count on us to handle it all! Contact us today to learn more. 

It happens - Call the experts for help.

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Accidents happen, but when it occurs at a business, it can be a complicated situation.  No matter the biohazard situation, a workplace accident, trauma event or crime scene there are state and federal regulations that must be followed.  

Any attempt for the customer to handle the cleanup on their own will not only be emotionally scaring for those involved, but it will also put them at risk for pathogens and contaminants from blood, tissues and/or bodily fluids.  Blood cleanup alone could spread infectious diseases such as AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and more.

While the majority of biohazard jobs will have significant after effects for those involved, some could be as routine as a sewage backup in a bathroom, an animal dying in the ceiling, or spoiled/rotten food from a failed freezer in a restaurant.

By using specialized equipment, protective suits and following OSHA & EPA guidelines, SERVPRO® can removed the hazardous materials for disposal and isolate, clean, disinfect and decontaminate each surface properly.

If you experience something like this, don't hesitate to call 478-452-8000.

Fire Damage Statistics that will blow your mind!

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the top five causes of fires in commercial facilities are issues with cooking equipment, heating units, electrical/lighting issues, smoking materials and intentional fire starting.  

Here’s a brief look at fire damage statistics, courtesy of the NFPA:

Food Services
From 2010-2014 there were an estimated 7,410 fires in food services facilities, which caused annual losses of $165 million in property damage.  Cooking equipment was the root cause of over 60% of those fires with electrical malfunctions the next highest cause.

Retail
On average, 13,570 structure fires in stores and merchant properties each year, resulting in $604 million in property damage.  The average fire damage comes to $73,800 per facility.  Electrical issues are the primary cause of these fires.

Hospitality
Each year the NFPA estimates there are 3,520 hotel/motel fires.  The main source of hotels fires the kitchens.  Whether it’s the individual rooms’ kitchenette or the main kitchen of the hotel, 2 out of every 5 hotel fires start here.  Annual property damage estimates for the hospitality industry are around $84 million.

Education
Education facilities have on average 4,980 structure fires resulting from cooking equipment issues in the cafeterias to intentionally set fires.  These fires cause around $70 million annually.  Seventy percent of educational facilities that have fire losses are nurseries, elementary, middle and high schools. 

Healthcare
5,750 healthcare facilities succumb to fire damage each year, with an astounding $50.4 billion in property damage.  A breakdown of healthcare structure fires show 48% are in nursing homes, 22% in mental health facilities, 20% in hospitals and 11% in doctors offices.

Property Management
While they don’t have information specially for Property Management companies, they do have information about office properties which include several general businesses such as banks, engineering firms, research office and more.  Office property fire damage has an annual estimate of $112 million with the top 3 fire sources being cooking equipment (6%), intentionally set (20%) and electrical/lighting (12%). 

SERVPRO is here to help you recover from life's disasters.  Don't hesitate to call! We are always here to help.

Thunderstorm Safety

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

According to The Red Cross, a thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Know the Difference

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. 

Every year people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. While some did not hear the warning, others heard the warning and did not pay attention to it. 

How to Prepare for Thunderstorms
  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
  • Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  • Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods

When disaster strikes, the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are a phone call away and ready to assist.

Impacts of Residential Water Damage

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

A flooded basement, a leaky roof, a burst pipe, and a backed up sewage system all have one major thing in common – they cause water damage. Whatever the cause of water damage to your home, it is something that needs to be taken seriously and acted upon quickly to mitigate the extent of the damage and ensure the safety of you and your family.

But what exactly are the dangers of water damage? How does it affect different parts of your home?

Three categories of water:

  • Category 1: “Clean” water from sanitary sources, most notably the pipes in your home. This water has not yet been used for anything within your home, but is still fresh and clean.
  • Category 2: “Grey” water from outside of your home, such as ground water that has seeped into your basement, and post-use water from home appliances.
  • Category 3: “Black” water from unsanitary sources that could contain human or animal waste. This water includes flood water from rivers and lakes, and any water containing sewage. This water should be treated as toxic.

If you are dealing with Category 3 water, you need to take a step back and call in the professionals immediately. This water can be unsafe to even touch or breathe around, and anything it has touched needs to either be disposed of or professionally cleaned and sanitized. A professional water damage remediation company will be able to determine whether contaminated belongings can be salvaged.

Even if they do not contain raw sewage, flood waters from outside of your home can carry a vast array of bacteria, toxins, mold, and even fungi. If your home was flooded by anything but clean tap water, your family may be exposed to these contaminants, and sterilization efforts must be undertaken.

The most commonly recognized danger of water damage is mold growth. Mold spores begin to form in as little as 24 hours after the water damage occurs. Mold isn’t something you want to mess with, and if you suspect that you have mold growing as a result of your water damage, or water was allowed to sit for more than 24 hours, the best thing you can do is bring in a mold remediation company like SERVPRO to address the problem.

Clearly these contaminants aren’t things you want to sit around and multiply in your home, and it is imperative to deal with water damage right away. When your home is compromised by water damage, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to make it look "Like it never even happened."

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe today at 478-452-8000 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Fire Damage Repair Process

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire, homes and businesses usually have several kinds of damage — not just from the flames and smoke, but also from the water used to stop them from spreading. Our certified experts know how to turn back the clock on your damaged property and get it looking and feeling like the safe haven it once was.
While each fire scenario is different and requires a custom battle plan, some steps in our restoration process remain more or less consistent.

1. Assess the Degree of Damage

A SERVPRO professional will examine the scene, paying attention to every detail. It’s vital that all the damage be discovered before a plan is made, as restoration work has to happen in a certain order. For example, flooring that appears fine to the naked eye might be warped due to water damage, or fire may have weakened underlying support beams. Covering up problems such as these would lower property values and lead to mounting expenses in the future, and costs may not be recouped by insurance. Our thorough inspection will make sure the restoration work is thorough.

2. Isolate Unsafe Areas

Water and fire damage can weaken foundations and structures. We will strengthen or block off unsafe areas and make sure any exposed parts of your property are protected from further damage from the elements.

3. Remove Water and Dry the Area

If water remains in the area, it must be removed as quickly as possible or further damage will accumulate. Our technicians will efficiently get the water out and set about drying everything immediately so that mold and rot won’t have time to set in.

4. Remove Soot and Smoke Residue

Next, we use specialized equipment to clean soot from ceilings, floors, walls and other structure surfaces, as well as all salvageable items. This includes the use of air-scrubbing technology to remove the pervasive smoke odor that almost every property fire leaves behind.

5. Sanitize and Clean

We then turn our attention to cleaning and sanitizing all property that was damaged in the fire, as well as hauling away unsalvageable materials and preparing the location for full-on restoration work.

6. Fire Damage Restoration

Once the cleaning is finished, it’s time to start the damage reversal process. Our certified professionals are skilled in a wide range of repairs and reconstruction, including drywall replacement, painting, carpet or floorboard removal and installation, and even major carpentry and remodeling projects.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe Right Away

The sooner a trained professional assesses your fire damage, the quicker and more affordable the repair and restoration will be. Contact us immediately so we can get started on a -restoration road-map. We're always here to help! 478-452-8000 

Knowing these Fire Prevention Tips could Save a Life!

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Guide: Fire Prevention and How to Prepare for a Fire Emergency

Waking up to smoke and flames is one of the worst things that can happen to your family and home. Over 365,000 fires and 2,650 civilian deaths occur every year, resulting in $7 billion in property damage. The worst part is that most home fires are preventable. Keep your family and your home safe with just a little fire safety preparation and prevention. From creating a fire escape plan to making sure your smoke detectors are working properly, these fire safety tips are easy to learn and practice in your home.

How to prevent home fires

U.S. fire departments respond to a home fire every 86 seconds. That’s over 1,000 fires a day. Home fires can occur for a variety of reasons, but many are preventable. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires, accounting for over half of home fires in 2015, followed by heating equipment, electrical malfunction, intentional fires and smoking materials. Home fires are not 100 percent preventable. Though, you can take necessary steps today to reduce your risk of home fires. Here’s how:

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor of your home and within every bedroom. Roughly 50% of home fire deaths occur during the night while people are sleeping.
  • Never leave food cooking unattended, especially deep fryers and other frying equipment.
  • Avoid using portable and fixed space heaters, as heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Have a fire plan that gets you out of your home in less than two minutes and practice it.
  • Avoid smoking in the house.

Electrical safety & home fire prevention

Electrical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of home fires. Make sure that you hire a qualified electrician to make any changes in your home. In addition, be sure to check electrical cords regularly, and make sure cords do not run across doorways or under carpets where they could be damaged. Remember to limit the number of plugs you have in an electrical outlet or power strip. Overloading an electrical outlet can not only trip a breaker, but it could also start a fire. Additionally, only use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for each lamp. Your lamps and light fixtures should have a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb you may use.

Testing your smoke detector could save your life

Every smoke alarm should be tested monthly by pushing the “test” button and batteries should be changed when needed. It is best to always have at least one spare battery. If your smoke alarm ever “chirps,” it is time to replace the battery immediately. Most smoke alarm failures occur because of a missing or disconnected battery or a dead battery.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires where there were non-working smoke detectors or no smoke detectors at all. Having the proper fire safety equipment in your home can truly save your life. There are many brands and types of smoke alarms you can choose from. You can purchase a smoke detector with a full home security system and have it monitored through a provider’s monitoring center. When choosing the best smoke alarm, look for one that meets the Underwriters Laboratories Standard with the UL label on the packaging.

Where to install smoke detectors

The NFPA recommends installing a smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement, and inside every sleeping room. Smoke alarms should be mounted high on a wall not more than a foot from the ceiling or on the ceiling. Remember, smoke rises.

  • Kitchen: It is critical to mount smoke alarms in the kitchen at least 10 feet from any cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
  • Basement: Smoke alarms in the basement should be installed on the ceiling near the bottom step of the stairs up to the first floor.

How to use a fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are helpful for putting out small fires. You can contact your local fire department for fire extinguisher training. Or, follow these simple recommendations from the U.S. Fire Administration. To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word “PASS:”

  • Pull the pin. Hold the fire extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and remove the pin to unlock it.
  • Aim low. Point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly and tested by a professional every few years.

Different types of fire extinguishers

It’s also useful to know that there are five different types of fire extinguishers for putting out different kinds of fires.

  • Class A extinguishers: for use on materials like cloth, wood, and paper.
  • Class B extinguishers: for use on combustible and flammable liquids like oil, gasoline, and grease.
  • Class C extinguishers: best for electrical equipment and appliances like stoves, televisions, and computers.
  • Class D extinguishers: for use with flammable metals.
  • Class K extinguishers: best for cooking oils commonly found in commercial kitchens, including vegetable oil.

Most dwellings have a multipurpose extinguisher that covers Classes A, B, and C. You can purchase these types of fire extinguishers at any home improvement store.

Create an fire escape plan with your family

Home fires can rapidly spread, and every second counts. Having a plan in place where you and your family can get out of the house in under two minutes once the alarm sounds is critical for your family’s safety.

Everyone in your family should know how to dial 9-1-1 in the case of emergency. In addition, teach your children what a smoke alarms sounds like and what to do if they hear one. You should also establish and practice a fire escape plan, especially if you have small children. Here some tips for creating your fire escape plan:

  • Draw a floor plan of your entire house that shows all the doors and windows.
  • Show and discuss the plan with everyone in the house.
  • Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible. This could be through doors or windows.
  • Once outside, everyone should meet at an agreed upon meeting place a safe distance from the house. It could be the mailbox or the neighbor’s fence. Just make sure it is easy for young children to get there.

You can also download a kid-friendly fire escape planning worksheet from the National Fire Protection Association and complete it with your family.

Basic fire safety tips for kids and families

Help your family stay safe in the event of a fire. Do not let children play with matches, lighters or candles. Keep these items up and away from young children. In addition, teach your kids these basic fire safety tips to help ensure they know what to do during a fire emergency.

  • Teach children that if a doorknob is hot, you should NOT open the door.
  • Teach children how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”
  • Teach your kids to crawl on their hands and knees if they see smoke.
  • Take your child to the fire house to meet a firefighter. This way, they learn what a firefighter looks like in their fire gear.
  • Teach your child to never hide under the bed or in the closet.

There’s no 100 percent guarantee that a fire will never happen in your home. That’s why it pays to be prepared and take steps to reduce the risk of a home fire. Follow the three “P’s” – prevent, plan, and practice. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms, your family has a fire escape plan, and you have practiced it.

Source: Safety.com

House Cooking Fire Prevention Tips

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. Ranges or cooktops cause 62% of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association. Learn how to stay safe with these tips.

  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
  • Always unplug counter top alliances when not in use. 
  • Make sure you have, and test, GFCI receptacles in your kitchen to prevent shock and electrocution.
  • Double check that everything is off when you finish cooking.
  • Prevent fires by keeping your oven and stove top clean of grease and dust.
  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking.
  • Never cook while sleepy, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that makes you drowsy.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking.
  • Never use a cooking stove to heat your home.

If you experience a grease fire, soot damage or worse, fire damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.  We are always here to help.

About Water Damage Insurance

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

DEFINITION of Water Damage Insurance

Water damage insurance is a type of protection provided in most homeowners insurance policies against sudden and accidental water damage. Water damage insurance does not cover damage resulting from homeowner's negligence or failure to maintain the home in good repair. Moreover, flooding usually requires a separate policy if available.

BREAKING DOWN Water Damage Insurance

As water damage insurance does not cover negligence, many types of water damage to real property can and should be avoided through proper maintenance. This can be anything like watching out for drippage from the ceiling during a rainstorm or a fixing a leaky pipe under the kitchen sink before mold becomes prevalent.

Time and Tide

Water damage is a major factor in homeowner insurance claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water was the third-leading cause of claims from 2012-2016 with an average of $9,633 per claim. Water damage and freezing was the second most-frequent claim after wind and hail damage. About one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year. It's five times more likely your home will be damaged by water than you'll have a claim for theft, and water damage is seven times more prevalent than fire.

There are two common types of plumbing supply system failures, according to a study by Disatersafety.org. "The first involves frozen pipes, which can burst due to a buildup in water pressure caused by freezing water in an adjacent section of pipe. These accounted for 18% of all plumbing supply system claims in the study. The second and most common type of failure occurs when the supply system material fails and results in a leaking or bursting pipe. This type of failure represents two of every three plumbing supply system claims in this study."

Plumbing supply system failures are the top reason for water damage claims, with 48% greater losses in dollar terms, averaging $5,092 per incident after the deductible. Of these, 65% were caused by a failure of the plumbing supply system material, while 18% were caused by frozen pipes. Drain system failures are another top source of claims with $4,400 per incident paid in claims. Sewer backups in finished basements was a top source of claims as well.

Toilet failures were the second-leading cause of water damage, either from the water supply line or from the toilet backing up into the house, followed by water heaters failing and causing water to enter the home. Washing machine supply lines were another top cause of damage. To mitigate water damage, have older homes inspected by a licensed plumber every five years, replace older water heaters, use steel-braided supply lines on washing machines, and turn off the supply lines when the machine is not in use. Don't run the dishwasher or washing machine someone's not at home. If you arrive home to a water damage, call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.  We have the expertise, equipment and training to make it look "Like it never even happened."

Washing Machine Flood Prevention

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

I can't tell you how many times we've fielded frantic phone calls from people who went to leave the house and innocently started a load of clothes.  No one ever expects that device to malfunction, let alone the amount of damage it can reap.  Save yourself a headache and make sure you have secured a preventative measure.

WASHING MACHINE FLOOD PROTECTION STRATEGIES (starting with least expensive)

1.  Washer floor tray – If you can’t afford to replace or repair your leaking washing machine right away or want to protect against future leaks, slide a water catching tray under your washing machine to catch drips and leaks. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to prevent water damage to your floor from a leaky washing machine. Purchase price around $20.

2.  Replacewater supply hoses – Over time, water supply hoses can become brittle and burst. Check them periodically and replace your old hoses with the newer types that consist of flexible plastic tubing encased in a stainless steel braided exterior. Better still, upgrade to the new auto-shutoff connector hoses that protect against catastrophic water damage by automatically shutting off the water supply to the washing machine if excess water flow is sensed. These ingenious hoses cost only about $20 each and can be used on washing machines, dishwashers and other plumbing fixtures and appliances.

3.  Single-lever shutoff valve – If you are a conscientious launder like my mother and can remember to turn the water off after each load of wash, replace your dual faucets with a single-lever faucet that lets you controls both hot and cold water at the same time. A low cost solution that’s easy to use! Pick one up at any hardware store for about $25.

4.  Flood protection device – An automatic water leak detection device prevents flooding by immediately shutting off both the hot and cold water supply to the washing machine when sensors detect a water leak. These devices are quick and easy to install by homeowners and provide 24/7 protection against damage caused by washing machine floods. Some even sound an audible alarm. Price tag is less than $150.

5.  Automatic Washing Machine Water Shutoff Valve and Leak Sensor – This “intelligent” valve does it all to protect against catastrophic water damage from a burst inlet hose connected to a washing machine that is in use or unattended! It allows water to flow only when it senses that the washing machine is turned on and stops water from flowing if the machine is turned off. It also stops water from flowing if it senses excessive water flow or detects a leak. Easy to hookup yourself. Can be found online for under $200. A great investment to prevent all washing machine leaks regardless of the cause.

On the Front Line to Combat COVID-19

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

The pandemic of CoVID-19 has put our country in a difficult position, primarily in the workforce.  Millions of people have lost their employment and because everyone is trying to access federal assistance, the web has shut down all too many times.

While SERVPRO's team are not trained medical professionals, first responders, or grocery workers, we are highly essential as the team people count on to clean, sanitize and disinfect where COVID-19 has made its debut.  Nationwide, SERVPROs have accepted the challenge to be there when our wildly important cleaning services are needed. 

If your business needs our cleaning, be it proactive, exposure confirmed or one with a confirmed case, call the team at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.  We are always here to help, 24/7-365.  478-452-8000

COMMERCIAL SEWAGE BACKUP CLEAN-UP SERVICES

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

More than damaging your business, sewage backups and flooding can be a health hazard. Sewage and floods can contain bacteria, viruses and other germs that can cause disease and illness. While sewer back-ups are most commonly found in private service lines, they can also be the result of problems in the main sewer line in the street. At SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe, we have the process, the training and the experience to not only clean up, but to help eliminate bacteria and germs.

What causes sewer backups?

  • Soil settlement
  • Misaligned joints
  • Root infiltration
  • Pipe collapses
  • Grease buildup
  • Items flushed down a drain

Flooding results when the volume of water runoff from a storm is greater than a drainage system’s capacity.

When this occurs, two types of problems can result:

  • The overland flow of storm water enters a property through an opening such as a door, window or cracks in the building’s foundation.
  • Heavy rains increase the water elevation in the sewer system and cause backflow through the sewer pipeline and into a business.

What Kind of Damage Do Thunderstorms Cause?

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property. It is important to keep a sharp eye on the weather as it turns bad and take appropriate safety precautions, as severe storms can indirectly and directly lead to injuries or death.

 

Tornado Damage

Tornadoes are one of the most destructive forces that can be produced in a thunderstorm. Most tornadoes have winds that reach speeds of 110 miles per hour, while stronger ones can exceed 200 miles per hour. When a tornado strikes, its strong winds and the debris that it carries can cause major structural damage to buildings. If it is strong enough, a tornado can even make a car, truck or other large vehicle airborne.

Flood Damage

When a thunderstorm rolls through, it can bring torrential downpours of rain with it. This rainfall can occur within a very short period of time, causing flash floods. According to NOAA, flash floods kill 146 people annually. A flash flood can cause damage to a structure, tear trees out of the ground and damage bridges. Flood water that is 2 inches deep can sweep away a car or a large truck.

Hail Damage

Hail damage can escalate to $1 billion annually, according to NOAA. Thunderstorms can produce hail of various sizes that can be devastating to personal property. For example, smaller hail can destroy a farmer's crop in a very short span of time, tearing the plants to pieces. Larger hail can dent the body of a car, break windows and cause extensive roof damage. A strong enough hailstorm can even kill livestock left in the open.

 Source: www.sciencing.com

Dealing with Storm Damage to Your Home

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with wind or water damage to your home caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, or other severe storms can be both difficult and dangerous. Here are some tips on how keep your family safe and begin to get your life back together after a storm hits.

Staying Safe After a Storm

    • Listen to the radio for advisories and other instructions.
    • Do not venture outside until it has been declared safe to do so.
    • Stay away from downed power lines and avoid standing water or metal objects near downed wires.
    • Leave and do not enter buildings that have sustained structural damage.
    • Stay away from damaged trees and dangling or broken limbs.
    • Do not swim or wade in flood waters.
    • Check on neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
    • Watch out for snakes or other wild animals.
    • Turn the gas off at the meter if you smell gas.
    • Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.
    • If you must drive, watch for undermined roads and damaged bridges.
    • Do not attempt to drive through flooded streets or bridges.
    • Avoid using candles or other open flames indoors.
    • Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times.
    • Test battery powered smoke and CO alarms.
    • Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets.
    • Keep pets indoors and use a leash when taking them outside.
    • Operate generators outdoors in the open away from windows and doors.
    • Don’t eat perishable food that has warmed to over 40° F.

Cleaning Up After a Storm

    • Be very careful climbing ladders or working on roofs.
    • Use extreme caution if using a chainsaw to cut trees or branches.
    • Cover leaking roofs before the next rain to prevent further water damage.
    • Remove wet rugs and carpet from floors.
    • Open windows and run fans if you have water damage in your home.

Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Storm

    • Document damage to your home before clean up with photos or video, and compile a written list of damaged items.
    • Read your homeowner insurance policy thoroughly to see what is and isn’t covered before contacting the insurance company.

Lastly...

Choose a company with over 50 years of expertise in storm clean up and restoration.  Call the pros at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe 24/7 - 365 days a year 478-452-8000

Covid-19 Tensions continue to rise

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

microscopic view of Covid-19 CoVID-19 is no match for what SERVPRO can do.

The SERVPRO franchise network plays a vital role in protecting public health and safety. As the current COVID-19 crisis unfolds, orders have been promulgated to shelter in place and limit movements. All of these orders have recognized the vital importance of service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of critical infrastructure, residences, and businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce dated March 19, 2020, the SERVPRO professional service providers are designated as “essential critical infrastructure workers” under the following provisions:

• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other services providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

• Workers to ensure continuity of building functions;

• Workers who support hazardous materials response and cleanup; and

• Workers supporting the operation and maintenance of facilities.

As providers of essential services, the SERVPRO franchise network is prepared to address the most pressing disaster restoration, cleanup, and disinfection issues facing our customers, whether it involves emergency mitigation and recovery, or cleaning and disinfecting homes, schools, healthcare and quarantine facilities, public institutions, and businesses.

We are Cleaning Experts!

3/17/2020 (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 Baldwin and Monroe 478-452-8000.

THE TOP 3 CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A RESTORATION PROVIDER IN LOGANVILLE, GA

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to selecting a disaster restoration provider, decisions often quickly gravitate toward price.

Of course, price is an important consideration in any business decision, but usually you get what you pay for. And it’s important to remember that cost savings can disappear in the face of shoddy work, accidents or other issues. Moreover, when insurance is paying the bill, what’s most important is that you are getting a fair price and your insurance company recognizes the value of the contractor doing the work and agrees to pay the bills.

So, price aside, what are important factors when evaluating restoration providers? This post explores 3 important criteria you should consider and why.  You'll see why SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is the best in the industry.

#3 – Certifications
When it comes to cleaning and restoration work, there are a lot of technical aspects that must be handled correctly. That’s why you want to make sure your restoration provider’s employees have the requisite skills that are necessary for the types of disasters you are likely to face. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) establishes standards and certifications for drying, remediation and fire and smoke damage. A good restoration provider will have many staff members with one or more IIRC certifications. 

#2 – Experience and Customer Service
If you’ve never been through a disaster, dealing with the recovery and insurance claims process can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Working with an experienced and reputable provider can help reduce stresses and confusion in a couple of ways.

First, a good provider can help you better understand and prepare for disasters you’re likely to face, making sure you get clear answers to questions about the restoration process.

Second, expert insights from your provider can be invaluable for making educated decisions that keep the claims process moving along smoothly, so you can restore operations faster.

Tip: Look for a provider with deep experience doing extensive insurance restoration-related work rather than just drying and remediation.

#1 – Safety
Compared to a construction job site, restoration job sites often present unique challenges for business and homeowners and the restoration providers alike. For example, at a restoration site it may be possible to keep parts of the business operating while specific areas or features of a building are being restored. In these situations, ensuring the safety of customers, employees, passersby and the work crew is critical to limiting potential liabilities. That could mean anything from properly securing electrical cords so they don’t create tripping hazards to figuring out how to protect residents of a high-rise from falling debris.

Going the Extra Mile
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe employs professionals with a vast array of remediation and general contracting skillsets, as well as a plethora of certifications from IICRC. If you’re looking for a trusted, local restoration provider, call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe (478) 452-8000.

3 Simple Facts About Smoke Damage

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

A house fire is terrifying. After evacuating the home and calling the fire department, you and your loved ones are forced to wait outside as the rescue team fights to extinguish the flames and save your home from burning down. Once the firefighters are able to put out the fire and have determined that it’s structurally sound enough for you to go back inside, you breathe a sigh of relief, believing that your home is safe again. Unfortunately, this probably is not the case. In fact, smoke damage can be a serious hazard to your health and can create problems for your home – both now and down the road. In order to demonstrate this point, we’ve put together a list of three important facts about smoke damage, and what you should do to secure your home after a fire.

Smoke Damage Can Make You Sick

House fires lead to thick, heavy smoke and soot because there is so much upholstered furniture, carpeting, curtains, clothing, and other household items that act as fuel. This soot and smoke can linger inside of the home for a very long time after the fire has been extinguished and can lead to serious health problems. Not only is soot very toxic, but it is also quite tiny in size at just 2.5 microns (compare that to a dust particle which is 40 microns in size!). Because they are so small, these particles can easily penetrate an inhabitant’s lungs, skin, and even eyes. The most minor problems may include watery eyes or a runny nose, while others may develop a persistent cough, upper respiratory problems, complications related to heart conditions, and a compromised immune system. If you want to make sure that you and your loved ones are able to safely return to living inside of your home, you absolutely must seek out the assistance of a professional fire restoration service like SERVPRO. Companies like these have the ability to come into your house and evaluate the level of damage done by smoke and other combustion by-products. From here, they can safely and effectively remove smoke particles from the home so that the air is clean and safe once more.

Smoke Damage Causes Discoloration

If you want your home to look great even after a fire, you can’t afford to sit around and ignore the effects of smoke damage. After just a few days, ash and soot will lead to the permanent discoloration of walls and ceilings, including wood and vinyl. In addition to this, the ash can also cause any metal within your home to start corroding, both leading to discoloration and decreased structural integrity. In order to prevent this from happening to your home, it’s important that you hire a fire restoration company like SERVPRO as soon as possible. The earlier the service is able to start working on your home, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to prevent permanent damage.

Smoke Damage Stinks – Literally!

If you’ve ever been to a bonfire, you know how pungent the smell of smoke can be. Even after washing your hair, you may still be able to detect the odor of the bonfire for days after the fact. Imagine how strong the smell of a house fire can be – and how long-lasting! Because of the intensity of these types of fires, the smell of smoke can linger inside of a home for years if it isn’t addressed right away. This is not only unpleasant for you and your family, but it can also decrease the overall value of your home, making it much more difficult for you to sell in the future. Once again, it’s absolutely vital that you seek professional help in cleaning and removing smoke damage from your home immediately after a fire occurs.

Storm Damage Is No Match For SERVPRO

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Is No Match For SERVPRO

In catastrophe situations following a community-wide disaster with widespread need, SERVPRO's ability to quickly rally manpower and equipment to respond to any-sized storm is unrivaled in the industry. Resources can be mobilized from our Disaster Recovery Team and our 1,700 locations in North America.

SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has successfully provided storm damage restoration in almost every major catastrophe in the United States over the past five decades.  If storms cross your path, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe (478)452-8000.

We service the lake country area, including Greene County, Walton County, Jasper County and Morgan County.  

Preventing Your Small Business from Becoming a Statistic

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

open sign in a window How will you keep your small business open after an emergency?

Monroe loves small business. We love patronizing our homegrown stores and restaurants, and as a locally-owned franchise, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe can appreciate that love. We also understand the risk involved with opening the doors of your own business. It doesn’t take much to close those doors again.

According to FEMA 25% of small businesses that shut down operation due to a disaster never open them again. That’s a mind-boggling percentage! 

We may not be able to stop disasters from happening, but we can prepare ourselves so that they’re less disastrous.

Plan

Take time before a destructive event happens to think about what needs to be done if things go wrong. If the pipes burst, if a fire breaks out, or if a storm strikes, what steps need to be taken and who will take them? There are multiple tools available to guide you through these questions.

Research

Talk to your insurance agent to learn the details of what is covered and what isn’t. Find out what information you will need to have on hand if you need to file a claim.

This is also the time to find out what companies are available in your area to restore your business after something goes wrong.

When an unexpected event forces your business to close, time is of the essence. FEMA statistics tell us that if a business is closed for more than 5 days, there is a 90% chance that it will fail within a year. It’s important to know who you can trust before you know you even know you need them.

Maintain

Prepare your facilities as well through maintenance. Make a checklist of every element in your building that could compromise service—plumbing, electrical, structural—and routinely review your assets to make sure that they’re fully functioning.

Your time is valuable, but your business is worth the investment. Prepare now for a disaster later.

Winter Storm Preparation

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

ice formed on tree limb When icy weather hits Walton County, will you be prepared? (Photo by Rafa G. Bonilla)

A Beautiful Social Circle February

This winter has been beautiful in Walton County. Kids are playing in Social Circle Park, downtown Monroe is filled with strolling shoppers, and restaurants still have diners choosing the patios. 

It’s a refreshing change of pace considering what Georgia went through December of 2017 when we had a record setting ice storm blanket the entire state. Here's a quick reminder of how quickly we Georgians begin to lose our cool when an ice storm rolls into town.

Ice Storm Preparation

But don’t let the sunshine and clear roads give you a false sense of security. Use this as an opportunity to prepare for when a storm does come into town. There are three important steps to preparing for an event that forces you to go without electricity, water service, or a supermarket:

  1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care until you can get back out on the roads or HEB is restocked: water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, and a flashlight.
  1. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For homes, work together with your families and neighbors to help build community plan. For companies, contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to develop an Emergency Ready Profile ® to get you back in business after a storm.
  1. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you at ready.gov and redcross.org. In a situation where roads are dangerous or phone lines are down, it can take longer for emergency services to reach those in need quickly. We all need to know how to take care of a sick or injured person until help arrives.

About SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has been specializing in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after storms since 1988. In good weather or bad, we’re Here to Help®.

Water, Water, Everywhere!

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

basement flood Water from a flooded upstairs bathroom damaged this whole house. Leaking through the ceiling, dropping drywall on furniture, electronics, and clothes.

An Unwelcome Surprise

Imagine coming home to your home in Social Circle, GA from vacation, opening your front door, and seeing water on the floors and drywall scattered across your furniture and electronics as the ceiling is crumbling down. As you walk through your home, going up squishy stairs, you realize your whole home is flooded.

Your home is where you take refuge from the world. Home is where you're surrounded by memories. When your home is threatened by water damage, it can be a traumatic event. What do you do next? 

When we asked SERVPRO customers to describe our team, the one word that kept coming up was “hero.” We are here to help, with compassion, expertise and urgency.

About SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is a full-service restoration company.  We provide emergency 24/7 mitigation services and complete reconstruction services. We make it “Like it never even happened.”  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.

Allow us to stress your small stuff.

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicle on rainy asphault Give SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe a call, and leave the water restoration to us!

Damaged structures can lead to severe and complicated problems, especially if they are not treated promptly and professionally.

When your business or your home is ankle-deep in water, you don’t want to hear about problems. You want solutions.

Allow SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe professionals to be your solution. With over 50 years of leadership in the cleaning and restoration business, SERVPRO can help get homes and businesses back in working order, helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Due to the potential risk associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained, equipped and experienced professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying. Proper and professional cleanup and restoration can help prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination. So the next time a water disaster strikes, whether it be your home or business, leave it to SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to handle it promptly and professionally. We have all the experience and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Do’s and Don’ts with Fire and Smoke Damage.

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

commercial building on fire SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe specializes in Fire restoration.

Fire damage can be scary , until help arrives here are some tips to help minimize damage.

Do’s:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on the house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’ts:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, Radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Call the cleanup team in Monroe, GA that is faster to any size disaster.

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings. Rapid response and timely mitigation can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe Franchise Professionals understand returning to normal is your primary concern. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your property. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe franchise professionals can help you get your home or business back up and running quickly and help protect your property and belongings. If your home or business suffers a fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe franchise professional to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Stay prepared for any disaster.

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Ben Franklin quote Stay Prepared!

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself, your family or your employees is by having a weather radio in your home or office. Did you know having a NOAA Weather Radio in your office is just as important as having a fire alarm.

A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts. It is designed to alert you to dangerous weather situations such as an approaching tornado, allowing you to be warned ahead of approaching storms providing time to seek shelter. In 2012, a new nationwide text emergency alert system was launched, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The WEA system is a huge step toward keeping our nation informed in crisis situations, however it does not alleviate the need to own weather radios. The new WEA system relies on cell towers to send alerts – if cell towers are knocked out during bad weather or are no longer sending a signal, you will not receive alerts. Television and radio broadcasts can also go down during a destructive event. Having a backup such as a weather radio is critical to ensure you still receive information in the even media outlets can no longer broadcast or you are unable to receive the broadcast.

Why SERVPRO Water Removal Surpasses Expectations in Monroe

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

washing machine flooded Don't let excess water ruin your day. Call SERVPRO, we will take care of it for you!

Don't let excess water ruin your day. Call SERVPRO, we will take care of it for you!

When Our Technicians Arrive, They Immediately Take Action Using SERVPRO’s Methods for Properly Handling Water Events on Your Monroe Property

Everyone has a cleaning scenario that sticks out in their mind as the worst, but a water loss in Monroe is an entirely different level of chaos. Although a minor spill can be managed with a bucket and mop or consumer-grade shop vac, many home water emergencies involve hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water if a burst pipe or broken appliance operates for even a few minutes before someone shuts the water off.  

Despair Turns to Hope

When standing ankle-deep in your utility room after the water heater ruptures, give new meaning to the need for water removal in Monroe. Most homeowners do not know what to do next, that's why we exist as a resource for our community. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained employees learn about the science of water extraction and structural drying, using proven, research-based techniques to dry your home promptly and thoroughly.

Many Hands and Tools

Speed is of the essence when managing water losses, why SERVPRO adjusts the number of technicians and the inventory of equipment used at each site. Water removal projects share similarities, but we assess every scenario individually, accounting for differences in layout, building materials, and the source of the damaging water. Once we put a plan in place, our crews extract the liquid water rapidly, far faster than a DIY effort. Several crew members managing appropriate equipment facilitate the tasks in a matter of hours rather than days or longer.

Detecting, Measuring, and Monitoring

Throughout the water removal project, water can migrate to building cavities and into structural components. The spread of moisture to “invisible” spaces is why SERVPRO uses sensitive detection and measuring devices. It takes training and time to learn how to use these tools properly. We try to have the same technician sample using the tools throughout the project so that data is consistent. We use the initial readings to set drying goals and then monitor to make sure we achieve but do not overshoot the mark. 

Experience using cutting edge equipment is why SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe exceeds industry standards and customer expectations. We answer when you call twenty-four-hours a day every day of the year.

770-267-0023

Smoke Damage Clean Up in White Plains

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Image of fire Got Fire Damage?

When it comes to cleaning smoked-damaged contents after a residential or commercial fire, the variety of contents in a typical job requires restorers to utilize a variety of cleaning methods.

Here is a quick description of each method of content cleaning:

  • Dry Cleaning - Removes light to medium nongrease-based soils.
  • Wet Cleaning - Removes moderate to heavy residues. The process involves cleaning using water, with or without a cleaning agent.
  • Spray and Wipe - Apply a cleaning product using a spray bottle. After spraying, wipe the surface with a clean white towel. This method is effective for materials possibly damaged if saturated with cleaning product.
  • Foam Cleaning - Effective for light residues or delicate materials. Clean with the foam of a cleaning agent rather than the liquid
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Agitates the surface being cleaned. Apply a cleaning product containing abrasive ingredients
  • Immersion Cleaning - Dipping contents items into a bath of cleaning product. This bath is an ultrasonic tank filled with water and cleaning solution. High-frequency sound waves then create high temperatures and microscopic jet streams of fluid to agitate and scrub contents.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe recommends that you DO NOT attempt to clean smoke-damaged surfaces or contents yourself, and call the professionals at 770-267-0023.

We Can Get You Back In Business In Madison After A Water Damage Disaster

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Cleanup We provided water extraction and dried the damaged floor covering so the sub floor could dry completely.

Why Professional Commercial Water Cleanup is a Must for Madison Properties

Many buildings employ professional janitorial services for the routine upkeep and cleaning of the property. When situations happen that need commercial water cleanup, the job may be more significant than the scope of service your regular clean up crew can handle.

The type of commercial water cleanup Madison business properties choose to use can affect the outcome of their structure and contents from water loss. Incomplete removal of moisture leaves the property open for a range of issues from softened, warped drywall, loose tiles, or mold.

Water Removal Makes the Difference

While your janitorial service may have wet/dry vacuums, it cannot compare to the diverse array of extraction equipment used by SERVPRO. The technicians arrive on-site with everything needed for the job in their green service vans, including generators, if power is out at the location. The portable pumps, submersibles, and truck-mounted units in cases of a wide area of water damage, make fast work of extraction of the moisture from the structure.

Professional Drying Equipment

SERVPRO uses air movers that blow as high velocity and work to pull embedded moisture to the surface where their dehumidification equipment removes it and ports it off-site. Even large-sized industrial fans cannot match the drying power. Careful monitoring of ambient humidity ensures that the area dries completely. In cases where they need to dry behind walls or under floors, the use of specialized equipment such as drying mats or the Injecti-Dry to force large quantities of air into wall cavities.

Option for Deep Cleaning

The technicians wipe down surfaces with their cleaning agents, including antimicrobial solutions, but also offer a deep-cleaning service that cleans and sanitizes building above and beyond what the standard janitorial service does. Even when water loss is not an issue, it is a good idea to get the office deep-cleaned at least once a year. The final element of restoration involves ensuring the office smells as fresh and clean as it looks. The techs perform any needed odor control applications to remove any residual musty odors left behind.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe when your property requires commercial water cleanup. The technicians have the skills and equipment to make the water loss "Like it never even happened."

770-267-0023

5 Reasons To Board and Tarp After Roof Damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Roof Damage Tarped To ensure the boarding and tarping are properly done, work with experienced restoration specialists.

Roof damage in Loganville, GA is not uncommon after a major weather event, such as heavy storms. Unfortunately, some homeowners do not take steps immediately after an event to prevent the damage from worsening. However, tarping or boarding could potentially help mitigate the damages. In addition to preventing further damage to the roof, there are five other reasons to use boards or tarps.

1. The cost of the repair can increase. The longer the damaged roof is left exposed to environmental elements, the more damage can occur. Potentially preventable problems could lead to a balloon in your costs.

2. The home is vulnerable to vandals. Depending on the extent of the damage to your roof, there is a possibility that vandals and robbers could gain access to your home and destroy or steal your possessions. Tarping and boarding your home could be the deterrent you need.

3. Unwanted pests could enter your home. Pests, such as roaches and rodents, can sometimes find their way into your home through openings that are left by wind damage and roof damage.

4. Guests could be injured by the roof. Until the roof has been professionally assessed by restoration specialists and properly boarded and tarped, anyone who visits your home could be at risk of injury from falling parts from the roof. One incident could lead to a lawsuit or a claim against your homeowner’s insurance.

5. Your insurance provider may require mitigation. Depending on your insurance policy, there could be a provision that requires you to take steps to mitigate the damage to your roof. If you fail to act, your claim may be denied or the settlement offer reduced.

By acting immediately to mitigate your roof damage in Loganville, GA you could potentially save on the costs of repairs and avoid more serious consequences that can result from waiting. To ensure the boarding and tarping are properly done, work with experienced restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.

Call 770-267-0023

Toilet overflow and the restoration process

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

toilet Water damage from a toilet is more than any of us wanna handle. Let the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe take care of it the right way.

Nobody wants to have to deal with a water damage in their home or business, but this is especially true when the water damage is a result of a toilet backing up. When things in the bathroom go awry it can be overwhelming to figure out what your first step should be, but have no fear, SERVPRO is here to help. The following steps describe both what you should do in this situation, and what the restoration process looks like.

  • When a toilet starts to overflow, the best and first thing you can do to protect your home is to turn the water off.
  • Try to avoid the contaminated wet area as much as possible to prevent sewage from being tracked into any other rooms.
  • Call your insurance agent and SERVPRO to begin your restoration process as much as possible.
  • Highly trained SERVPRO professionals will tear out anything that may have been contaminated by the toilet water, including flooring, drywall, and ceilings.
  • Once all infected materials have been removed, our professional’s will disinfect the area. The disinfectant chosen depends on the job and the equipment needed to clean the space.
  • Finally, our crew will put in dehumidifiers and fans to remove any excess water that remains.

If you experience a water damage at your home, especially those that are created by a toilet or sewage backup call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe anytime at 478-452-8000.                                                                                              

Winter Fire Safety

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

fireman on roof Maintaining safety during the winter months is very important. Don’t let the cooler weather get your guard down.

Many people may not realize, but the risk for house fires increases dramatically during the winter months. As we spend more time indoors, particularly during the holidays, our activities put us at a higher risk. These activities include everything from decorating with lights, cooking, burning candles, and even heating our homes. Follow these winter activity tips to create a safer environment in your house this season:

  1. Place any heating device at least 3 feet away from anything combustible (paper, clothing, etc.)
  2. Don’t leave heaters on when you are home alone or while you sleep. They should never be unmonitored.
  3. Check cords for frays or breaks, and always turn off the heater if the cord or outlet begin to feel hot.
  4. Have chimneys inspected by a professional before use each year.
  5. Always make sure your smoke detectors are installed and working, but especially when you are going to be burning a fire.
  6. Keep any candles in sturdy containers that cannot be easily knocked over, and be sure to extinguish them before leaving the room.
  7. Be careful when using candles in decorations, make sure the flame isn’t too close to something that could ignite.
  8. Consider using battery operated candles to reduce your risk even further.
  9. Always unplug lights, or have them set up on a timer to automatically turn off.
  10. Keep trees away from heat vents and other heat sources.
  11. Make sure your tree stand can hold your tree securely, and that it can also hold about 3 days’ worth of water.

If you experience a fire at your home this winter call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe anytime at 478-452-8000.

Kitchen Fire Safety and Awareness

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

firefighters in kitchen fire Safety in the kitchen is very important. In the worst case scenarios give SERVPRO a call.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Follow these tips to create a safer cooking environment: 

  • Be alert! If you are tired or have consumed alcohol don’t use the oven or stove.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from the stovetop.
  • Keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher somewhere in your kitchen. 

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave a pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never add water to a grease fire!

If you have experienced a kitchen fire call the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe at 478-452-8000.

Understanding Your Water Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

air movers 2 out of 3 times when experiencing water damage, it's not safe for you to remove the water yourself. Give SERVPRO a call for professional assistance.

We are not talking about phone water damage because the whole world knows you put the phone in a bag covered in rice, the rice absorbs the moisture and your phone is almost as good as new (key word: almost). But we are talking about a large scale water loss like what comes after a flood.

Water damage can be so many things but you know if you have water damage if there is rooting of wood, growth (mold), rusting of steel, and delamination of material such as plywood. For some folks, it is a minor water damage like a stain in the ceiling from water coming in after a rain, but for others it is a bit more catastrophic like with a flood where water comes in and there is no stopping it.

Other than a flood, there are more causes for water damage. There can be a broken dishwasher hose, or maybe a washing machine overflow. It could also be broken or leaking pipes or maybe a clogged toilet. All of these and more could be causes of water damage. I recommend checking all pipes, drains, toilets, and anything that has waterflow or access to water to avoid this loss.

But be careful when going to fix water damage on your own. There are three categories of water and one is safe for you to clean without professional help.

There is “Clean Water” which is water that comes from a broken water supply line and a tub or sink overflowing. This is safe to clean on your own. The second it “Grey Water” which is water that comes with some degree of chemicals and microorganisms that contaminate and can cause health problems if consumed in any way. This water can be coming from toilets overflowing, a sump pump failure and water discharge from a dishwasher or washing machine. The last category is called “Black Water” and this is the gross, unsanitary water that comes from sewages, rising waters from streams and rivers, and standing water. “Grey Water” if not properly cleaned up can become “Black Water.”

In sure there are other cleanup companies that can do all the work but I can tell you with certainty no one will make it look "Like it never even happened."SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is at your service! If you have any questions or concerns about potential water damage in your home or business, give us a call at 478-452-8000 and we will gladly come out and figure out what you need. If you need our services, we will make sure it looks "Like it never even happened.

Communication is key!

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

fleet The fleet at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is always ready for whatever happens!

Here at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe, we take pride in our communication with our clients.  In fact, did you know that we provide both written and oral daily communication to all our commercial clients! Co-Owner Jason Latimer stated recently “When a business suffers a loss and is dealing with potentially loss of income, employees and customers complaining; the last thing they should have to deal with is a mitigation company that does not provide daily updates with a high level of professionalism.”

As a business owner or property manager this should be your expectation.  You need a company that will get your building restored correctly and quickly and during this time you need excellent communication throughout the process.  Included in the daily communication, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe provides before, during and after pictures, a daily burn rate of the cost and a daily journal of the work that was performed and the work that will be performed in the future.  Additionally, a scope of work is provided and if any change orders are needed the scope of work is updated once approval is received.

Anthony Robbins once said, “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

If quality of life is important to you then SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is your answer…..

Why should you select an IICRC Certified Firm to Mitigate your damages?

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

stamp Contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe 24/7 next time disaster strikes your property 478-452-8000.

According to Wikipedia  “The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, more commonly known as the IICRC, is a certification and standard-setting nonprofit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. The organization formulates health and safety related industry standards for built environment. As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standard-development organization (SDO), the IICRC works with the Restoration Industry Association(RIA) to develop consensus-based standards.”

With an IICRC certified firm you have the peace in mind that the correct guidelines are being followed to restore your property.  In the commercial world health and safety concerns are of utmost importance.  As an IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe follows the proper guidelines to restore your property to its preloss condition while at the same time providing you with the peace of mind that SERVPRO takes on the liability of doing so.

Along with being an IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has individually IICRC certified technicians that are background checked and uniformed.  Why is this important? As a business owner or property manager this provides additional peace of mind that not only is your property going to be properly restored, but that your employees, tenants and contents will be safe.

Save yourself some heartache and contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe the next time disaster strikes your property. Give us a call at 478-452-8000.

Types of damage for commercial properties

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

group of people Never a job too big for SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe. We are ALWAYS here to help.

Any damage that can affect a residential property can also affect your commercial building. Below are types of damages that can affect your business.

Types of Damage:

Water: This damage can be caused by a flood, burst of pipes, rain or a number of other things. In any case, this can then result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture. This type of damage can cause mold growing and items being eroded. Electricity and water damage are volatile when combined.

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds, hail and heavy rain which can remove roof tiles, break windows and more. Storm damages can be very devastating and can cause your business to be put on hold.

Mold: Mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from getting out of hand. This is highly unhygienic as well as being unappealing to look at. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually cause mold growth.
Mold grows in any moist environment.

Fire: This type damage can come from a gas stove, faulty outlet, lightning strikes or a cigarette that isn’t properly put out. This can then cause severe destruction to your property which requires cleaning and restoration services.

 If you have any questions or in need of services please don’t hesitate to call
SERVPRO Baldwin and Monroe (478) 452-8000.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe offers carpet cleaning recommendations! Check them out!

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

carpet cleaning Call the professionals anytime for a quick carpet refresher!

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe recommends commercial building owners who have carpeted areas or rugs to have them cleaned at least once a year. SERVPRO professionals are specialists in assisting commercial building owners with cleaning as well as water and fire restoration.

The value of properly cleaning and maintaining carpets:
 
1) Prolongs the life of the carpet fiber. Regular carpet cleaning using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly, protecting your floor-covering investment.

2) Protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants; however, eventually those pollutants must be removed in order to protect the carpet and maintain indoor air quality.

3) Makes carpets easier to maintain. Most carpet soiling is made up of dry soils; when carpets are kept thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, most dry soils can be removed with regular vacuuming.

4) Removes spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.

5) Prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants.

6) Enhances the appearance of any room. Clean, well-maintained carpets speak volumes about the overall cleanliness of a home or facility.

7) Improves worker morale. Workers feel better about their work environment when it is clean. This includes the carpeting.

8) Makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.

9) Removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in carpets.

10) Maintains the carpet’s warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 to 18 months.

For more information call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe at 478-452-8000.

Hotels Need Water Cleanup Also

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

toilet water damage You never know when disaster will strike. Be prepared. Know who to call!

Hotels in and around SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe, know to call the experts! Partners with a large loss response team, we are able to respond quickly and get to work on your water restoration needs as soon as we arrive on site. 

Hotels, often times, have water damage and hotel flooding due to guests and their uses of the facility. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has recently responded to a toilet supply line that ran while the guests were away, affecting four floors, displacing dozens of guests. Using a local water and fire restoration company that works with hotels, hospitals and government facilities can provide the level of expertise and professionalism which are needed in the hotel industry. 

We understand that after a water loss, whether it's one room or four floors - This can cost your hotel loss of revenue and make for some very unhappy guests. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will be quick, discreet and do the work the right away! 478-452-8000

2020 Resolution: Plan Ahead

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

truck at site SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe can easily be your disaster mitigation, restoration and reconstruction go-to.

2020 Resolution: Plan Ahead

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure your business is “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes your SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe team as your disaster mitigation, restoration and reconstruction provider, giving you access to more than 50 years of experience and a system of more than 1,700 franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY by contacting SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe today to establish your Emergency READY Profile and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold Weather Killer

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

exhaust pipe on car Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups including unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for a consultation! 478-452-8000

Planning for Disaster in Commercial Buildings

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

folder on desk No one plans on disaster, but we can help plan for disaster.

An Emergency READY Profile, or what we like to call an ERP, is one of the best things that SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has to offer the community. This is a pre-planning guide to help Commercial businesses prepare for anything that could happen to their facility. One of our professionals takes the time to come walk the property with whoever has requested this assessment and take all of the information and turn it into a concise document that call be printed into a folder to keep in the building and set up within an app so that the information can easily be shared with multiple people within that business. An ERP consists of the following.

  • A property overview: photos of where this is for verification, property details such as an address, phone number, etc.
  • Building Access Points: where SERVPRO employees are supposed to enter and exit the building, where they can park the SERVPRO vehicles and where they can not, plus floor accesses
  • Information on utilities
  • Information on building personnel
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Any additional information that the business owner would like to be included. (Ex. Any SERVPRO employees that are working on this property must check in at the front office every day to get a badge.)

All of this information prepares our team ahead of time, so that when the time comes for services, we are full prepared and have already asked all of the tedious questions and can focus completely on restoring the damage and taking care of the bigger issues. Call our office to set up an ERP consultation today! 478-452-8000

Who is SERVPRO?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

air movers stacked on each other Our teams are on call 24/7 to be available for emergency services.

SERVPRO is a franchised company with other 50 years of leadership in cleanup and restoration. Our track record of results has earned us the trust of the insurance industry, countless homeowners, and in one unforgettable instance, even the Pentagon.

You may be aware that SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is part of a franchise system that has been helping make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened," since 1969. But did you know that system has grown to include more than 1,700 franchises nationwide in 48 states? SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is just the tip of the bright green iceberg.

Wherever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, you can count on SERVPRO professionals to respond quickly.

Are you Winter Weather Ready?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

frozen pipe Frozen Pipes never end well.

Are you prepared for the upcoming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before the cold weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in the proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior wall problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery of hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe. 
  • Ask any of the professional at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business faster following a disaster. Preparation is key to making it through any disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well beforehand. No one ever plans on disaster, but now, you can plan and prepare for it.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to strike back and help make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO is your One-Stop-Shop

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

high rise building Our turnkey operation leaves you in safe hands through the entire process.

Here at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe, we have a FABULOUS Reconstruction division. This is exciting news for many different reasons. As a fire and water damage restoration company, we had everything we needed to be able to come in and restore what we could and tear out what had to be removed due to damage. With our reconstruction team in place, we have the ability to be a full TURNKEY operation. Not only can we remediate the damages, but we can also replace what was lost. There is no obligation to use our reconstruction team if we perform emergency services. However, if you as the customer so chooses, we have the services available on hand to make it “Like it never even happened.”  

Our reconstruction team is not only for use after fire, water, or mold mitigation services are performed. This team can take on any project that you might have. It does not matter the size. We handle Commercial Reconstruction as well as Residential Reconstruction. If you’re in the market for a remodel on your home, we can make it happen. If there are a few places on the roof that you need repaired, we can make it happen. If your business needs a fresh, new look, inside and out, we can make it happen. Please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call our office. Our team would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have about reconstruction.

Allow us to sweat the small stuff

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

commercial building with big rig in parking lot Commercial Fire is no match for the Disaster Recovery Team!

Damaged structures can lead to severe and complicated problems, especially if they are not treated promptly and professionally.

When your business or your home is ankle-deep in water, you don’t want to hear about problems. You want solutions.

Allow SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe's professionals to be your solution. With 50 years of leadership in the cleaning and restoration business, SERVPRO can help get homes and businesses back in working order.

Due to the potential risk associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained, equipped and experienced professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying. Proper and professional cleanup and restoration can help prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination. So the next time a water disaster strikes, whether it be your home or business, leave it to SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to handle it promptly and professionally. We have all the experience and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Let us help you minimize and prevent further water damage.

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

There’s no such thing as a small disaster, especially when you have water damage in your home. Water damage can affect the value of your property and if not cleaned properly, may cause major problems over time. Don’t leave your property to chance, call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Remove as much excess water possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not enter rooms with standing water; electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas.

Insurance Tips for Storm Damage

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

According to United Policyholders, big storms bring heavy rains and wind.  On the insurance front, people who suffer property damage and losses from a large storm face possible complications collecting policy benefits to pay for repairs. 

Home and renters policies exclude some but not all types of water damage.  "Flood" damage (your policy should define what the insurer considers a "flood") and earth movement are excluded.  Water damage from sewers and drains that back up may or may not be covered, depending on the wording in the specific home/renters policy.  If wind or falling trees cause damage to pipes or contribute to water getting into a dwelling, there may be coverage under a home/renters policy.  If you have a separate flood policy,  flood insurance may cover damage from inundations and mudflow with a number of limitations and exclusions.

What to do before and during a severe storm:

  • If you live on or at the foot of a hillside, place sandbags around the perimeter of your home.
  • Place rolled up towels along the inside of exterior doors to prevent water from getting in.
  • Do your best to keep your gutters clear but stay safe throughout the storm. 
  • Move valuables and items up from lower levels and away from doors and windows.
  • Find a copy of your insurance policy.  Check the wording on water damage and the amount of your deductible
  • Use the free UPHelp Home Inventory App to photo document key features of your home that could be damaged (windows, siding, roof and interior) and your possessions.

What to do after the storm:

  • If your home was damaged, focus on creating a scope of everything that was damaged and what it will cost to repair or replace. 
  • To keep a clean record and avoid premium increases, don't file a claim until you review your policy and you think your loss will exceed your deductible and be covered.  
  • If the damage was sudden and accidental and triggered by the storm, don't accept a claim denial argument from your insurer or agent that it was due to faulty construction or maintenance.  The insurer cashed your premium checks and insured your property "as is".    
  • If you file a claim and your insurer rejects it, make sure you get a clear and detailed explanation of their position.  Claim and coverage disputes are rarely as clear cut as your insurer makes them out to be.
  • The answer to whether your town or city will pay to repair flooding damage to your home is..."it depends."

Beware and be ready for damaging severe weather

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

5 Tips to Avoid Storm Damage Repair Scams

Each Spring consumers across the country experience billions of dollars in storm damage. The combination of warm, moist air colliding with cool, dry air, can easily result in severe weather and within moments, strong winds, damaging hail or a tornado can batter or complete destroy your home, car or business. The good news is that most severe weather-related events like tornadoes and hail storms are covered under a homeowners, renters, automobile or commercial insurance policy.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), which represents the broadest cross section of insurers, urges homeowners to take steps to:

  1. Conduct a yearly insurance review of your insurance policy and limits
  2. Talk with your insurance company or agent about purchasing additional coverage options such as flood or earthquake insurance
  3. Consider things you can do to reduce damage to your property
  4. Make a home inventory of your home’s contents
  5. Prepare for power outages, inconveniences and scams that often occur following damaging severe weather  

When property damage does occur, and property owners move forward with repairs and the recovery process, we encourage residents to be alert to unscrupulous contractors. Contact your insurance company, agent or local chamber of commerce for references on potential contractors and ask for certificates of liability and workers compensation before signing contracts.

APCIA encourages individuals with damaged property to use their insurance company or agent as a resource in helping to access the services needed to handle a claim and take the proper precautions to make sure they are hiring a reputable contractor to complete the job.

Commercial Fire Sprinklers...How much Water do they release?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

FAQ: Sprinklers

What are automatic fire sprinklers? Automatic fire sprinklers are devices that are installed in the ceilings or on the walls near the ceilings that are essentially nozzles that will spray water on a fire - automatically.

What sets a sprinkler off? Sprinklers are activated by heat, generally 135°F or higher. The only way there is going to be this much heat in a room is when there is a fire.

How quickly will a sprinkler activate? Within minutes, possibly seconds, after a fire breaks out a sprinkler will activate, much faster than any fire department can get on the scene. With many fire departments, once you add up the time for the call to 911, processing the call, dispatching the fire fighters, driving to the fire, and advancing a hose line into the building about 10 minutes will pass by. All this time, the fire continues to grow, and grow and grow...

How many sprinklers are set off by a fire? A vast majority of the time only one or two sprinkler heads activate. It is not like in the movies where you see all of them go off. Each one operates independently of the other ones and opens only if more water is needed to control the fire.

Will a sprinkler go off all by itself if there is no fire? No. In residence halls, campus fire marshals say that the most common reason for sprinkler heads going off when there isn’t a fire are Frisbees and footballs. Sprinklers are pretty rugged, but even a direct hit with a football can be more than it will stand.

Are sprinklers only in residence halls, hotels, and places like that? No, sprinklers can be everywhere--off-campus apartments, houses, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and movie theaters. Look for them when you are out and especially in places where you are living or staying.

Are sprinklers used in houses? Residential sprinkler systems are designed specifically for one- and two-family homes.

Do sprinklers cause a lot of water damage? Typically you hear about the water damage that is caused by a sprinkler. What you don’t hear about is the damage that was avoided by not having a fire, or the lives that may have been lost. Wet contents can be dried out. Burned ones cannot be saved. Lives cannot be replaced. Burn injuries are forever. Water damage from a sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighting hose-lines or smoke and fire damage if the fire goes unabated. Quick response sprinklers release 8 to 24 gallons of water per minute compared to 50 to 125 gallons per minute released by a firehose.

Source: USFA Sprinkler Myths and Fact Sheet

Travelers Finds Water Damage 10 Times More Likely than Fire

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

While fire may be a common worry among homeowners, claims data from Travelers suggests their homes could be as much as 10 times more likely to be damaged by water than by fire.

Fortunately, much of this water-related damage can be prevented, and taking a few simple home maintenance steps can help increase the chances of keeping a property safe.

Travelers recently analyzed its homeowners insurance claims, excluding claims related to catastrophes, and found that damage caused by water accounted for 28 percent of its property claims, compared to three percent for fire. Furthermore, of those water damage claims, weather accounted for only five percent, meaning that proper maintenance within the home may help homeowners avoid some of these problems.

“When considering annual household cleaning projects, it’s a great time to inspect and perform maintenance on household systems and appliances,” said Ron Stephens, Regional Vice President for Travelers. “Checking washing machine hoses, ice maker connections and the plumbing around water heaters are a few simple actions you can take to prevent both damages and a lot of headaches.”

After examining the most common causes of water damage for Travelers customers, claim and risk management professionals from Travelers have developed a number of easy steps homeowners can take to help avoid many of these non-weather-related water problems. The following list provides preventive measures to help avoid the top four common causes of non-weather related water damage:

Leaks from washing machine hoses: Washing machine hoses should be inspected annually and replaced every five years – or immediately, if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.

Leaky plumbing around water heaters: Plumbing should be inspected annually and repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, water heaters should be installed in an area with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Leaks from refrigerator ice machines: Ice maker connections, usually located behind the refrigerator, should be inspected annually and hoses replaced if they appear cracked or corroded.

Clogged drain lines on air conditioning units: Air conditioning drain lines should be checked yearly.

Why Should You Choose SERVPRO?

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Why should I choose a professional restoration company for water intrusion/ damage?

  • Homeowners should not risk doing the work themselves as there may hidden water or moisture that may go undetected to the untrained eye. Taking into account that mold growth can occur in as little as 24-48 hours in the presence of moisture, undetected water damage can pose long term problems if not properly handled.
  • Due to the potential hazards associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained and equipped professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying to prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination.
  • Improper cleanup could hinder property resale value.
  • Professional restoration companies have essential tools and techniques to measure moisture in the area to ensure proper and complete drying in a timely manner.
  • Water technicians should be fully aware of water or moisture-related characteristics to locate leaks or water damaged areas that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Homes and other properties are large and often expensive assets. Why run the risks associated with improper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting which can lead to potential secondary structural damage? Help protect your property’s value by calling upon a Professional.
  • According to a “Residential Water Claims” article on the International Risk Management Institute website, restoration companies and contractors are often an asset in a water claim situation. The article states, “a major concern in today’s insurance climate is the problem of mold and mildew. When most restoration companies deal with water claims, every effort is made to prevent any problem with mold and mildew”. Restoration companies are in the business of salvaging rather than replacing, which could serve as a benefit to the insurance company.

Why should I choose SERVPRO for water cleanup and restoration?

  • SERVPRO recognizes the necessity for prompt and accurate response and offer 1-4-8 Response Guidelines to help minimize additional, secondary or permanent damage and contamination. In addition, SERVPRO is available for emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Knowledge and training are key elements in effective water removal and moisture damage. SERVPRO applies their industry knowledge, training and understanding of how relative humidity, temperature, vapor pressure and air movement influence drying conditions.
  • Powerful and professional equipment is essential for proper mitigation and efficient restoration of water damaged areas. SERVPRO is outfitted with state-of-the-art industrial grade equipment and products to measure the extent of moisture saturation and offer proper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting of water damaged areas.
  • SERVPRO offers content restoration to restore water damaged contents and personal belongings. Often when water damage occurs, personal possessions are also damaged by water or moisture. SERVPRO technicians work diligently to try and return personal contents to preloss conditions.
  • SERVPRO works with insurance, real estate, contracting and property management companies to offer complete file management, estimates and detailed explanations of work, including status updates, changes and feedback to keep companies fully aware of a property’s drying, cleaning and restoration status. At SERVPRO we know you want quality information and proof of results. SERVPRO technology is designed to support your efforts!
  • Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process. Restoring property is the SERVPRO Professional’s first priority. You will appreciate the immediate response, and you will know everything possible is being done to limit the damage. Even if a loss is below the deductible amount, fast action helps assure the event will stay small!

Water Damage in Commercial Residential Properties

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the major causes of loss in commercial residential properties. Each year there are numerous insurance claims for damage to residential buildings and their contents caused by water. The problem has increased in recent years through our increasing use of water in our daily lives. In the average residential property water is used in a range of domestic appliances, including: washing machines, dishwashers, water coolers, refrigerators with chilled water dispensers, etc. Also, showers with multiple heads and power showers are now commonplace. Premises adapted for people with disabilities often include wet rooms. All of these facilities represent a potential water damage risk if a failure occurs. Many modern residential buildings are now constructed from lightweight materials which are unlikely to withstand severe exposure to water. Ornate building features and contents such as carpets, curtains and valuable paintings are particularly sensitive to water damage. Mold or corrosion can develop and they may easily be damaged beyond economical repair or salvage. The unusual rainfall pattern seen in recent years has caused flooding in areas historically considered to be at low risk, and both the frequency and the size of flood losses has increased significantly. Many other losses are caused by failure of the building’s internal water supply system (eg. burst pipes). Buildings which suffer regular problems of water damage, whether it be from external sources such as rainwater ingress or flooding, or internal leaks from pipework, etc, are less attractive to tenants. They are likely to be more difficult to let and may well command reduced rental income compared to other similar buildings which do not suffer the same problems. This information is intended to assist property owners by providing information on the various ways in which water damage can occur in commercial residential buildings, and to suggest ways in which the risk of an incident and the magnitude of any subsequent consequential loss may be prevented or reduced. Although the guidance is aimed specifically at commercial residential buildings, the general principles apply just as much to most types of other commercial properties.

Smoke Alarms can save your life!

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 
Here's what you need to know!
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
  • In 2012-2016, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no working smoke alarms (17%).
  • No smoke alarms were present in two out of every five (40%) home fire deaths.  
  • The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (12.3 deaths vs. 5.7 deaths per 1,000 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five (43%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures.

Fire safety

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

General fire safety hazards

According to the HSE, fires need three things to start – a source of ignition (heat), a source of fuel (something that burns) and oxygen:

  • sources of ignition include heaters, lighting, naked flames, electrical equipment, smokers’ materials (cigarettes, matches etc), and anything else that can get very hot or cause sparks
  • sources of fuel include wood, paper, plastic, rubber or foam, loose packaging materials, waste rubbish and furniture
  • sources of oxygen include the air around us

What do I have to do?

Employers (and/or building owners or occupiers) must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and keep it up to date. This shares the same approach as health and safety risk assessments and can be carried out either as part of an overall risk assessment or as a separate exercise.

Based on the findings of the assessment, employers need to ensure that adequate and appropriate fire safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire.

To help prevent fire in the workplace, your risk assessment should identify what could cause a fire to start, ie sources of ignition (heat or sparks) and substances that burn, and the people who may be at risk.

Once you have identified the risks, you can take appropriate action to control them. Consider whether you can avoid them altogether or, if this is not possible, how you can reduce the risks and manage them. Also consider how you will protect people if there is a fire.

  • Carry out a fire safety risk assessment
  • Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart
  • Avoid accidental fires, eg make sure heaters cannot be knocked over
  • Ensure good housekeeping at all times, eg avoid build-up of rubbish that could burn
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people quickly if they start, eg installing smoke alarms and fire alarms or bells
  • Have the correct fire-fighting equipment for putting a fire out quickly
  • Keep fire exits and escape routes clearly marked and unobstructed at all times
  • Ensure your workers receive appropriate training on procedures they need to follow, including fire drills
  • Review and update your risk assessment regularly

Water Damage at Home

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day, and 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime.

The costs are just a staggering as the frequency. Water damage and mold cost the insurance industry $2.5 billion dollars per year, and the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6,965.

Water leaks alone leave incredible amounts of damage and immense waste in their wake. Water leaks from homes in the US can exceed 1 trillion gallons of water in a year. That's equivalent to the annual water usage of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined! These individual leaks often seem tiny, but over time they can generate enormous waste and damage to a home. For example, a continuously running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day, and a 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day.

Although water damage can happen quickly and cause immense damage, there are ways to prevent a lot of it. If you live in a flood prone area, learn about steps you can take to prepare for a flood, including having flood control devices like sandbags or flood barriers on hand. If groundwater saturation is an issue for your property, ensure that your basement is protected with a high quality sump pump and a dependable backup system, like a battery backup sump pump or a water powered sump pump. Get in the habit of monitoring and maintaining areas in your home prone to water damage.

*based on information from Water Damage Defense

Should You Invest in Crawlspace Encapsulation?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Crawlspaces are a common occurrence in homes. If you have a crawlspace, keep in mind that it is more than just a place to store your holiday decorations. The crawlspace is the portion of the foundation that supports the entire structure. That is why it is important to keep the crawlspace in good health. If excess moisture is allowed to collect in the crawlspace, it can cause mold growth and may also lead to wood rot or rust formation, weakening the supporting structures in your crawlspace. That is why it is important to protect your crawlspace with crawlspace encapsulation with a vapor barrier (a kind of plastic or foil sheeting designed to keep moisture out).

The main question is, is crawlspace encapsulation really worth the cost? 

Both having your crawlspace encapsulated with a vapor barrier and sealing off crawlspace vents will work in different ways to keep moisture out. While it may be more expensive, crawlspace encapsulation is the more effective of the two options.

Vapor Barrier Encapsulation Vs. Crawlspace Sealing

The most common method used to seal a crawlspace without the installation of a vapor barrier is simply to close the vents and have them sealed shut. One might also physically remove the vents and patch and seal the area where they were. Normally, this option is not very expensive. Other options to seal the crawlspace without vapor barriers include vapor retardant paint. This can be applied to the crawlspace interior rather affordably. However, vapor retardant paint is not nearly as effective as an actual vapor barrier. In addition, if the paint becomes damaged in any way, its ability to resist moisture seepage is compromised.

Closed crawlspaces offer a lot of advantages to open crawlspaces. They do not allow humid air to enter the crawlspace, they are more resistant to insect and pest infestations, and they save on heating and cooling costs for your home.

However, when it comes to whether or not merely sealing off your crawlspace is as good as installing a vapor barrier, the answer is no. While sealing your crawlspace reduces moisture entry, sealed crawlspaces still allow moisture to seep into them through the walls. This is because the walls and floor of crawlspaces are made of porous material. Water can seep through this porous concrete and end up inside your crawlspace. Vapor retardant paint reduces this occurrence, but will not eliminate it as well as a crawlspace vapor barrier. If you want to maximize the results of a closed crawlspace, you should invest in a dehumidifier as well, since this will help remove some of the moisture that seeps into the home. The effects will likely not be as effective as total crawlspace encapsulation, but they may be improved by a dehumidifier. 

Why Have a Vapor Barrier Installed?

There are a few drawbacks when considering whether or not to install a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. One drawback is the cost. Vapor barrier installation costs vary, depending on the condition of the crawlspace (preparatory work may need to be completed beforehand) and the size of your crawlspace. Another disadvantage is that vapor barriers are not a do-it-yourself job. In order to ensure that your vapor barrier works correctly have it installed by a professional. 

Despite these downfalls, there are several advantages to installing a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: Vapor barriers can act as a sort of insulation for your crawlspace, helping to regulate temperatures and lowering heating and cooling costs in your home and reduce your energy bill up to 20%.
  • Improved Air Quality: Because vapor barriers keep moisture out, they reduce the chances of mold growth in your home. This will keep mold spores from circulating through the air in your crawlspace to the rest of your home, improving the overall air quality.
  • Eliminated Condensation: Because vapor barriers are highly effective at preventing moisture seepage through the porous concrete that makes up your crawlspace walls, they can greatly reduce humidity levels in your crawlspace. This keeps condensation from forming on pipes in the crawlspace.
  • Keeps Floor Temperatures Constant: Not only does increased energy efficiency in the crawlspace lead to lower energy bills, but it can also help to keep the above floors warmer during the cold months.
  • Increase Home Value: Encapsulating your crawlspace will also improve the value of your home since it reduces moisture issues such as wood rot and mold in your crawlspace. This is a plus if you would ever need to consider selling your home.

While there are some drawbacks to investing in crawlspace encapsulation, they are far outweighed by the benefits. If you have a damp or moldy crawlspace, call SERVPRO today. We can clean your crawlspace and install a vapor barrier to keep moisture out. 

13 TIPS TO PREVENT STORM DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

How to prevent storm damage to your home:

1. Clean your gutters.

Okay, gutters and downspouts are gross. We get that. There are soggy leaves and dirt in there. But the thing is that the grossness can block the water that needs to run off your roof during a storm. If the water builds up, it can settle around your roof and house, which isn’t good. That can cause water damage to your home.

So, even though this might not be your favorite chore, cleaning the gutters should definitely be on your summer home maintenance checklist.

2. Inspect the foundation of your home.

If there are any gaps or cracks in your house’s foundation, water could seep into your home during a heavy rain and cause major water damage. Water is crafty and will find entry points. Repair any cracks you find and call a professional if you need backup.

Also, don’t forget to check the sealing on your windows and doors. This is another place where water might sneak in.

3. Check your yard for dead or diseased trees.

This is a big one for preventing storm maintenance. You may want to call in a trustworthy tree expert to check your yard for dangerous trees.

How can a tree be dangerous?

Well, if the tree is dead, hollowed, or diseased, it may not be able to stand up to the strong winds and rains of a summer storm. Meaning that you may end up with a tree crashing into your house…which is not good. Fortunately, home insurance typically covers falling trees, but it’s best just to get the unsafe trees removed so they don’t put anyone in danger. Or smash your home.

4. Secure furniture that could fall.

If you’ve got heavy, tall furniture that could fall, such as bookshelves or cabinets, make sure to anchor them to the wall so they’re secure and won’t fall. Also, move furniture away from the doors or windows.

5. Have your roof inspected every year.

It’s important to have your roof inspected and maintained each year. This will help you catch any issues and correct them before they get too serious. It’s best to fortify and strengthen your roof so it’s ready to take the walloping of a summer storm. Roof maintenance can even help you save money on your home insurance rates.

6. Think about your landscaping.

Having creative landscaping designed to guide water away from your home’s foundation can help prevent flooding in your home.

It’s important that the ground slopes away from your house. There should be a slope of a quarter-inch per foot heading downhill away from your home’s foundation. If you need to, add some soil to create this grade. Take advantage of gravity to pull the water away from the house and prevent summer storm damage.

7. Pack up outdoor furniture.

Here’s the deal:

Your patio table and chairs look great. But in a storm, they can get turned into missiles if they get picked up by a strong gust of wind. And then they can get thrown right into your house. Ouch.

Anyways, be sure to pack up all your outdoor furniture and decorations to prevent that from happening. Avoid the chair-smashes-a-window scenario and spare yourself the headache of dealing with the storm damage.

8. Know how to shut off your utilities.

If the weather gets really severe, you may need to turn off your utilities. Know how to do this ahead of time so you’re not guessing and saying “umm” a lot when a storm hits.

9. Unplug electronics.

You can protect your electronics by unplugging them before a storm hits. You don’t want your TV or computer to get fried.

10. Identify safe rooms in your home.

It’s a good idea to take some time to consider what the safest rooms in your home are. Ideally, you would pick an interior room with no windows. If there’s a tornado watch or warning, you’ll want to be in an interior room in the basement or lowest level of the house.

Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan and where they should find shelter in the house.

11. Shutter your windows.

Close the shutters and secure the doors. If you don’t have shutters on your windows, close any blinds or curtains you have.

12. Create a disaster kit.

A disaster kit can really help your family if you have to weather a severe storm. Think about what to include in a disaster kit for your family, make a list, and assemble your kit.

13. Watch the weather.

Be sure to keep an eye on the weather by listening to the radio, watching TV, or getting weather alerts on your phone. Find out how your community communicates a weather emergency and heed their warnings.

Remember:

A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are perfect for a big storm. A bad storm could be imminent.

A severe thunderstorm warning means that there is a severe storm in your area and you need to seek shelter immediately.

The summer is prime time for huge storms. So, it’s probably a good idea to take some time to prepare your house so you can prevent storm damage. Your house is a major investment, and by taking a few simple steps you can protect it from storm damage. Don’t put it off – be sure to prepare your home before the summer storms hit.

Commercial Mold Removal

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why do I have mold on my premises?

Mold in a commercial property can be caused by water damage or water intrusion from various sources such as a roof, window or plumbing leaks. The humidity caused by the presence of moisture combined with the warmth and poor ventilation in a property gives mold the perfect conditions to develop, and it can spread quickly if left unchecked. This can cause damage to internal structures, damage to products in storage and is also a serious health risk for you, your customers and your staff.

Should I Clean Mold Myself?

It may be tempting to clean the mold off of surfaces yourself, however, this will only remove the surface mold. Although an area may look clean of mold, there will be spores within the surface that you will not be able to reach with household cleaning items. The spores that are left will continue to multiply and grow and the surface growth will soon be visible again. A few things you can do in the case of a mold infestation are:

  • Turn off your HVAC system if you have one
  • Make sure that movement in the area is limited to prevent spores from transferring elsewhere
  • Do not touch or disturb the affected areas
  • Make sure that you vacate the property

What Will a Mold Removal Team do?

If you have a mold infestation on your premises, you should call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe certified mold removal professionals as soon as possible. They will be able to determine the cause of the mold growth and remove all spores from the property ensuring that it is fully eliminated.

Our team will carry out a preliminary assessment of the problem to ascertain the severity of the infestation and the underlying cause. Mold isn’t always visible to the human eye so our experts will use special equipment to clean areas that are affected or that have high moisture levels that will encourage future mold growth.

Once the assessment and containment of the mold are complete, our team will then remove the mold at the source ensuring that there are no mold spores present within the premises to safeguard against further infestation. Finally, the team will remove the underlying cause of the infestation by repairing the affected area to stop the further intrusion of water.

If left untreated, mold can cause serious structural damage to your commercial property such as brickwork and drywall which could lead to more serious issues that will take longer and cost more to correct in addition to the loss of business while the premises are being treated and repaired. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe today at 478-452-8000 for a consultation.

Make your Appliances a Priority

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage, burst pipes, and storms, OH MY! It feels like, between all the crazy weather we have had in the past two years, we have enough to worry about when it comes to potential water damages affecting our businesses.

However, there is a hidden danger that lies within your business' walls that needs to be given attention. Leaking and blocked appliances may not seem like a big deal, but it does not take a lot of time for a little leak to cause a lot of damage to your business. Taking the time to pay attention and keeping your appliances up to date not only saves you money in the long run, it also ensures you are keeping your business doors open and operating. Here are some helpful tips on how to make sure you're making your appliances a priority.

Mark Your Calendar

When you purchase new appliances, make sure you write down the expiration dates and recommended replacement dates on their parts and hoses. You have enough to remember throughout your busy days, so write it down and forget about it (until the time comes to make replacements that is).

Make a Date Every Friday Afternoon

Cut out 30 minutes every Friday afternoon and walk around and check all your appliances that are hooked up to a water source. Check for blockages, the hoses, and any leaks, so that you can make sure you are not leaving them unattended for a whole weekend. A small leak over a two-day span could not only create a large amount of damage, but it could be the cause for you having to close your business's doors for a few days. Keeping up with your appliances will help keep your weekend as stress-free as possible.

Don't Put it Off

When you find the problem, fix the problem. Replace a leaky hose, or call a plumber to clear the blockage in your drains or sinks before it is too late. Finding and fixing an issue early on will save you a lot of trouble, time, and money, so don't put it off!

If you do find yourself with a water damage due to a faulty appliance, make sure you give SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe a call at 478-452-8000!

The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Workplace Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at 478-452-8000 for fast help.

7 Top Fire Damage Restoration Tips

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (478)452-8000.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s properly cleaned all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO  recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (478)452-8000.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Why Immediate Fire Damage Restoration is Important

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - contact the professionals at SERVPRO and they can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Then contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:

  • Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
  • SERVPRO will document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
  • SERVPRO will return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
  • SERVPRO will work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible, and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.

What is Fire Damage and How Restoration Works

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can lead to serious and significant property damage and any number of problems that will negatively impact your quality of life and cost you a lot of money until you get them repaired. Many people don’t realize the full extent or nature of fire damage or a large number of different services offered by fire damage restoration.

Here we will look at what fire damage actually does to your property and at all the different ways it can affect you. From there, we will then look at how fire damage restoration helps to address each of these resultant issues.

In the case of a fire, the first thing you are likely to notice is that your items have been burned leading to them being destroyed. This can ruin walls, cabinets, counter tops and much more leaving them looking dilapidated and not fit for purpose.

This is the most obvious type of damage that SERVPRO will help to address. They offer full renovation services and be able to help you to redecorate your home and to replace all of your furniture, fittings, and upholstery so that your rooms look actually better than they did before the fire in many cases.

When it comes to repairing the obvious and immediate damage to your property, fire damage restoration companies will prioritize damage that could lead to further damage. A good example of this might be a burned stair case that is in danger of collapsing unless it is seen to quickly. Likewise, if you have a hole burned in your roof or in your wall then this might risk wind and rain blowing into your property and could even leave you vulnerable to trespassers and thieves. Again, this will be a very early issue that SERVPRO will look at.

In some other cases, there may be fire damage that is beyond the scope of repair companies to fix. If your furniture has been badly burned for instance, then SERVPRO may recommend that you simply dispose of it. Thankfully, SERVPRO offers this service and will remove your items for you so that there is one less job for you to do.

Signs of Storm Damage

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

While your roof is designed to withstand the elements, some storms are more intense than others. There are signs to look for when you believe there may have been damage to your roof. Please be safe when inspecting your roof—possibly view from a window inside the house or use binoculars from the ground. SERVPRO can assist with assessing any damages that may exist. 

Wind Damage

Significant wind can cause shingles to blow off the roof deck. Missing shingles can lead to leaks and other interior damage. Other wind damage may not be easy to see, especially if the adhesive seal that provides a water-shedding surface is broken. Always be safe when checking for roof damage. 

All manufacturers publish a wind warranty on their shingles; it is important to compare the wind coverage when making your shingle selection on a new roof. If the winds that caused the shingle damage were above the manufacturer’s wind coverage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. If they were not, contact the shingle manufacturer to file a claim.

Potential signs of wind damage:

  • Missing shingles.
  • Thin horizontal lines where granules have been worn off about 1-2 inches beneath the shingle above; this could indicate that the shingle seal was broken and the shingle was flapping in the wind rubbing against the shingle above it. To be effective against the elements, shingles must be sealed to each other as one water tight roof deck.
  

Hail Damage

Usually hail is not something that you can miss—it is typically a widespread weather event in a neighborhood and not isolated to just one house on the block. Hail can bruise a shingle causing an indentation that may be hard to see but that can crack the shingle allowing water to infiltrate over time. You may need the assistance of a professional roofing contractor to determine the scope of the damage. If you have hail damage, you will need to file an insurance claim.

If your hail event was significant in terms of widespread damage, you will have roofing contractors who specialize in “storms” knocking on your door within days of the event. As always, you should use your best judgment when selecting a contractor. SERVPRO has a network of Preferred Contractors. 

Potential signs of hail damage:

  • Other collateral hail damage around the house; dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard.
  • A distinct pattern of small round-shaped divots on the edges of the shingles.
  • Indentations in the shingle where granules are missing.
  • A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially on new shingles.
  

Falling Debris

During some storms tree branches or other failing debris can land on your roof. Some items are small and won’t cause an issue—other items are so large that you will naturally be concerned about damage. Use your best judgment. You may need to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof for damage.  If you have damage from debris on your roof, you will need to file an insurance claim.

Potential signs of debris damage:

  • Visual identification of debris on the roof deck.
  • Missing shingles.
  • Cracked shingles.
  • A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially for new shingles.

SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is comprised of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the nation to handle any size disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • The Pentagon

Should a storm or major event strike, call 1-800-SERVPRO

Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2018 Hurricane Michael
  • 2017 California wildfires
  • 2017 Hurricane Irma
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew
  • 2015 Carolina floods
  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

What to do if you have a Water Damage

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do When You Have Water Damage

SERVPRO has restored countless water losses and know exactly what needs to be done to get you back to preloss condition quickly.

It’s important to act fast because any delay in responding not only can cause additional damage to occur, but many insurance policies require that you do everything you can to protect the property from additional damage.

SERVPRO will bill your insurance company directly and all necessary work will be performed with as little inconvenience and intrusion as possible. So call our 24-hour emergency line and we’ll be on our way fast.

Until we arrive, here are some things you can do to minimize additional damage and speed the process of getting you back to normal.

  • If circuit breakers are safely accessible, turn off power in the affected areas.
  • Turn off the source of water if safely accessible.
  • Blot the water with towels or mop the wet area if possible.
  • Remove wet rugs, newspapers, books and magazines. These items can cause staining.
  • Remove lamps and other items from wood furniture. If surfaces are damp, wipe them dry.
  • All moisture sensitive items should be removed from wet areas and propped up in a dry, safe place.
  • To prevent further water damage to furniture, place foil or plywood under the legs.
  • Furniture skirts should be lifted off of damp floors with clothespins.
  • Wet draperies should be hung to dry at room temperature, as well as any affected furs and leather goods.
  • Avoid all contact with wet areas if the water clearly came from a contaminated source.
  • Wash yourself immediately if you have come into contact with contaminated water.
  • Avoid spreading contaminated water from room to room.
  • Do not turn on heating or air conditioning units, as contaminated air can be spread this way.
  • Stay away from any room where there is a shock hazard from exposed electricity outlets or equipment.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures, fans or any other electric devices while standing on wet flooring of any type.
  • Do not attempt to remove water with a standard vacuum cleaner or dry the area using household fans. These machines could get damaged or you could be injured.

4 Critical Steps in Preventing Commercial Water Damage

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

We’ve all been asked the question, “In a fire, what would you grab first?” For a homeowner, that’s an easy answer. Most of us would choose precious keepsakes, photos, and a few prized possessions. However, when disaster comes knocking on the door of a business, there can be dozens of critical documents, files, records, and technical equipment that are indispensable in the smooth flow of business operations. Each item has a specific function and importance. When commercial buildings undergo a natural disaster of any sort, it can be an intricate and complicated process to recover critical information. Commercial water damage is a huge blow and needs to be both prevented and prepared for. This article explores realistic and simple tips for commercial building owners to help them keep their business free from the destruction of water damage.

1. Conduct Regular Inspections


The components of a commercial building are diverse and complex. Unlike residential property, commercial buildings tend to have major external HVAC components, roofs decorated with an array of pipes and fans, and large utility rooms. This equipment can be intimidating for many. The best way to keep the harrowing weather outside is to hire a professional to conduct frequent and thorough inspections. Although the building may be in great condition four times out of five, the occasional adjustment or repair can save hundreds in water damage restoration costs.

3. Locate shut-off valves

Without peeking at an emergency plan, are team members in the building able to identify where major water shut-off valves are? If they aren’t easily accessible, does every employee know who in the building to contact in case of an unexpected water
overflow or pipe burst? In a high-stress situation, most individuals are only able to recall previously learned information rather than think on their feet. A few minutes to locate shut-off valves will ensure proper performance when it counts. SERVPRO offers a no-cost solution referred to as an Emergency Ready Profile to help aid in this measure.

4. Keep Valuable Stock Secure

Even with intensive preparation, water doesn’t pick favorites. Naturally, the last items you want to jeopardize are your business’s critical documents, paperwork, and brainstormed plans. This can be as extensive as purchasing a company safe or as simple as obtaining waterproof file cabinet that sits a few feet above the ground. If documents are damaged, SERVPRO offers a specialized document restoration process.

5. Have a Plan B

If your business undergoes extensive flooding, what temporary plans are in place? Ideally, each commercial building should have options for temporary office space and plans to inform clients of temporary changes in the case of severe water damage.
Additionally, it’d never be a poor use of time to electronically back up critical paperwork. By being prepared, businesses can quickly adapt to changes without experiencing the common hiccups associated with water damage. Commercial water damage restoration in shouldn’t be completed by a regular residential restoration company. With experience in restoring commercial buildings from the ground up, SERVPRO can be fully trusted to deliver quality results. Keep our number in your back pocket if your commercial building has undergone any degree of water damage...478-452-8000!

Storm Damage - When Mother Nature Strikes

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is a major problem that comes with any type of storm. Most people only have time to board up their windows and make a quick run to the grocery store for the essentials to ride out the storm.

No one really thinks of the devastating flood damage and water soaked property that storms can leave behind. Within as little as 48 hours, water damage can set in and start the process of destroying your home, business, and valuables. Storms can be stressful enough without having to think about the after-effects of flooding.

Blizzards and Snow

Flooding can happen anywhere at any time. No one is excused from storm damage and all of the repercussions that comes with it. Northern states have to deal with snow and blizzards, which eventually melts and turns into water, which can lead to issues. Pipes can also freeze which can cause them to crack.

Hurricanes and Tornadoes

In the southern states, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, and even really intense rainstorms that cause devastating flooding that leave tons of damage in their wake. Hurricane winds can reach up to 155 miles per hour, and can push the sea water several hundred miles inland due to storm surges.

Slow Onset Floods

Even the slow acting floods are a problem. River banks can overflow causing severe flooding and mudslides, which can carry rocks and other destructive debris, causing further damage along the way. People may be aware that the water is coming, but they aren’t sure the extent of destruction it can actually cause.

With time to prepare, people may think that the water can be somewhat halted and the devastation won’t be as bad. Unfortunately, the more pressure that builds up, the faster the water can move. So not only does the flooding cause severe water damage, but the water current can be so strong that it can actually pick up and move items such as cars and houses, which can further destroy anything that is caught in its way.

No matter how large the loss, SERVPRO is always prepared to respond and return the property to its original state "Like it never even happened."

It doesn't cost a lot to be prepared!

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared? Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come. Here are a few tips on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.

Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. 

Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.

Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.

Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. 

Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.

Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.

Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight,

Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.

Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.

• *The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!

Causes of Water Damage

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage.

When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage.

The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Issues with the plumbing system
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

No matter what the issue, you can call the experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to make it look "Like it never even happened"!

4 Ways to Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks

Dishwashers are extremely convenient kitchen appliances that many busy households may use frequently. However, if not properly installed or maintained, these machines can cause significant water damage. To help minimize the risk of a leaking dishwasher and reduce the need for extensive flood cleanup and restoration, you should employ the following four strategies.

1. Ensure Proper Installation

In order to operate efficiently, a dishwasher should be level with all four legs securely planted on the floor. An unbalanced machine can result in expedited wear and tear and internal warping that may contribute to leaks. 

2. Use Recommended Detergent

There are numerous brands and formulas of dishwashing detergent available on the market, but it’s essential that you consistently utilize only products formulated for these appliances. Other solutions, such as liquid dish soap, may produce excessive suds. This can increase pressure on the door gasket and damage the water-tight seal, resulting in a leak.

3. Routinely Inspect Under Unit

Because many critical components reside under the unit, you may not notice symptoms of a leaking dishwasher until significant water damage has occurred. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely remove the front kick plate while the machine is operating and inspect for drips and dampness. If you discover a broken or loose clamp, seal or hose, you should promptly repair or replace it. 

4. Evaluate Door Gasket

If you notice pooled water in front of your machine, a damaged door gasket may be the culprit. Water lubricates this important component and helps prevent it from cracking. For this reason, you should use your dishwasher at least once a week. It’s also important to routinely inspect the seal for signs of deterioration and replace it as necessary. 

No homeowner wants to endure a messy flood cleanup. Employing these strategies can help you prevent or detect a leaking dishwasher before extensive water damage occurs.

3 Things YOu May Want to Discard Following a Fire Damage

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

The loss you experience after a fire devastates your home can be painful. There is much to do and consider, especially when it comes to recovery efforts. As you start to sift through your belongings, you will likely have to decide what you must throw away. The urge to hang onto some items will probably be strong; however, there are a few that can put your health in danger once they have been exposed to the heat of a fire, and knowing which they are might protect your well-being during the recovery process.

1. Packaged or Affected Food 

Food packaged in thin or porous packaging, such as cardboard, is probably not salvageable because smoke or soot may have penetrated the material and affected the food. While sealed metal cans or jars may look undamaged, the food inside them could have been heated by the fire and develop harmful bacteria. If any items like this in your pantry came into contact with high heat or flames, it is a good idea to discard them. 

2. Medicine 

Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can be affected by fire. If your medicine cabinet is located close to where the flames broke out, go through them carefully and looked for any warping or charring on bottles. Heat can also change the efficacy of some medicines, so you may have to throw away those that have visible damage. Contact your pharmacist or physician about having costly prescription drugs replaced. 

3. Cosmetics 

Makeup and other cosmetics that have suffered fire damage should be discarded because they may have taken on soot or been chemically altered by the heat. Warped containers or those covered in fire extinguisher foam are likely no longer usable. Ask your fire damage and restoration specialists about any item you are not sure about. 

Knowing which items to throw away after a fire affects your home can be challenging. However, when you learn the facts about fire damage, you can protect your health as you move through the recovery process. 

Tips for Preventing Wind Damage

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

During storm season, business owners are most likely to be concerned with hail and rain that might cause a roof leak or flooding. High winds can also impact your building, though. Wind damage is often the result of debris or larger items that are flung against the building, on top of the roof or through windows during the storm. Here are some tips for preventing some of the problems that could be caused by high winds.

Prune Trees

The trees and shrubberies on your property should be regularly maintained to avoid a damaged roof. Many problems can result when trees are not pruned properly:

  • Decay or disease in trunk
  • Leaning sideways rather than growing upright
  • Errant branches hanging too far down or over a structure
  • Sharp, v-shaped angles in tree forks
  • Crowded or crossed branches

If branches are near a power line, it is advisable to have the city or utility company remove them so that they don't fall and break the line when under duress. Responsible maintenance keeps trees healthy and well-shaped so that they are less likely to break and cause a roof leak during a storm.

Limit Debris

Take an inventory of your outdoor property, looking at it through the lens of storm preparation. Loose shingles can become missing shingles when breezes speed up. Gravel from the driveway can break windows more easily than mulch or dirt. Decorations, trash cans, signs and potted plants can be broken or hurled through windows. You can also consult storm restoration experts to help you identify potential projectiles and advise which items to bring inside when high winds are expected as part of your storm readiness plan. 

Overall, preparing for the high winds that often accompany storms is a matter of limiting the objects the wind can pick up and fling at your building. Trim trees and limit lawn debris, and you will likely limit the probability of a roof leak or other wind damage.

Tips for Homeowners Facing Fire or Smoke Damage

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, severe fire damage can be the most devastating thing to happen to any property. As fire becomes an increasingly prevalent threat, insurance companies are constantly trying to cut corners on fire insurance claims in an attempt to save money. After a fire, you've most likely lost some personal belongings and areas of your home are completely destroyed. The last thing you need is a homeowners' insurance company giving you a hard time regarding your claim. 

First Things First, Check Your Policy

Even if you have replacement coverage for your home you actually may only have "actual cash value" for the personal items that were lost. When you call your insurance company, your agent should notify you about this and suggest buying an endorsement so that your belongings will be covered under a replacement policy. 

Secure Your Property 

The majority of homeowners coverage policy requires you to take reasonable steps to minimize more harm on your property. In short terms, this is known as your duty to mitigate damages. These steps are fairly small and easy to do, such as covering leaking areas with plastic wrap or turning off the water if you discover a huge pipe burst. Your insurance company will most likely pay these costs when you make your claim.

File Your Claim Immediately 

Every homeowner policy will require you to report your loss as soon as possible. You will need to make a call to your agent and submit a "proof of loss claim" in which you will itemize your losses in detail and list the value of each. The longer you wait, the faller you fall down the list when it comes time for the company to send an adjuster to deal with your claim. 

Always Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses

Every homeowners policy will include a loss of use clause, which entitles you to adequate reimbursement for living expenses while you're out of your home. Keep in mind, these expenses only include additional living expenses, meaning the difference between what it costs you to live on a daily basis and what it is costing you now. For example, if you ate the majority of your meals at home and your groceries cost you $400 a week and now, after a fire, you're eating out and spending $500 a week, you can claim only that additional $100. 

Main Causes of Sewage Damage

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage damage is one of the most costly and dangerous catastrophes that could happen to a home or business.  Sewage damage to a property can cause irreparable damage to the property's structure, carpeting, padding, furniture, appliances, and personal items. Raw sewage can also contain a plethora of dangerous pathogens, viruses, and bacteria that can spawn major illness in those who are exposed to the waste water.

One of the most frequently asked questions about sewage damage is, How does it happen?  Sewage damage can happen for many reasons. Whether the damage is minor or severe, it is important for property owners to understand that sewage damage restoration must be handled by highly-trained, certified professionals in order to ensure the safety of the property and the people who have been exposed to the raw sewage.

Toilet or Bathtub Seepage

Wax gaskets around the base of a toilet as well as connecting hoses and pipes leading from toilets and bathtubs should be inspected regularly.  Any of these vital pieces can deteriorate or break at any time.  It is recommended by water damage experts to inspect these items on a semi-annual basis at least.  The time invested in checking these important parts of a septic system can save property owners thousands of dollars in the long run.

Bursting, Deteriorating or Broken Pipes

While most water damages involve bursting or broken pipes, some water damage events happen over time without property owners finding out until it is too late.  Deteriorating or leaky pipes can not only cause water damage and mold growth if they are not addressed immediately, but sewage damage can occur as well.

During any water damage event it is imperative for home and business owners to turn the water supply off until a water damage service professional arrives on the scene.

*Tip.  Property owners can monitor invisible leaky pipes by checking their water bill.  Should there ever be an unusual spike in water usage, it is possible that a broken or leaky pipe is causing damage behind the scenes.  This scenario will more than likely require professional mold removal service.  Consult with your water or sewage damage provider to make sure they are certified to handle mold remediation.

4 Warning Signs of a Burst Pipe

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

4 warning signs of a burst pipe in your home/business

It usually doesn't take long to figure out if you have a busted pipe. From atypical sounds to weird smells and visible leaks, here are a few ways you can use your senses to detect hidden plumbing problems.

1. Listen up

If you hear bubbling, whistling, or banging and clanking when you use the sink or flush the toilet, it could be a sign of a broken pipe.

2. Do a sniff test

If drains, sinks, or other areas of your house emit weird odors, there's a possibility that sewage isn't being properly transported from your house through its pipes. And if the water from your faucets has an unpleasant smell, it could be a sign of corrosion or contamination in your plumbing system.

3. Take a look around

Bulging and discoloration of your home's walls and ceiling can signal a burst pipe. If you notice damp drywall or ceiling tiles, puddles of water, or any other visible leaks, it's wise to get a professional inspection as soon as possible.

4. Other signs

If you've been using the same amount of water as usual but your water bill suddenly skyrockets, it might be an indicator of a busted pipe or other plumbing issues. The same can be said for frequent backups or clogs, as well as little to no water pressure when trying to use the dishwasher, laundry machine, or any other faucet in your house.

How to prevent burst pipes

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

how to prevent burst pipes

Freezing temperatures can be the most common culprit of burst pipes. Since water expands when frozen, it can cause the pressure inside the pipe to increase until it bursts. That being said, there are a few preventive measures you can take before cold weather overwhelms your plumbing system, causing a pipe to burst in your home:

  • If you have a sprinkler system and/or swimming pool, drain it per the manufacturer's or installer's instructions.
  • After removing and storing your garden hoses in the garage, turn off the water valves to outdoor faucets. Keep the outside valve open, however, in order to let any remaining water escape. This also allows water sitting in the pipe to freeze and expand without busting it open.
  • Check for any exposed pipes in unheated areas of your house — like your basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under bathroom and kitchen sinks. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape, which you can find at a hardware store.
  • Try to keep your garage door closed as much as possible if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • If you go on vacation during the winter months, leave your heater on, set to 55 degrees at minimum.

Put a FREEZE on Winter Fires!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA, heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months. The NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration are teaming up to help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide and electrical fires.

Heating

Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%). More statistics on heating fires.

Carbon Monoxide

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. More statistics on carbon monoxide incidents.

Winter storms

Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.

Generators

Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools. 

Candles

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day. More statistics on candle fires.

Electrical

Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.

Christmas tree disposal

Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious. More statistics on Christmas tree fires.

Fire Hazards in the Kitchen!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, and it provides a great way to showcase your creativity and love of good food.

But cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Being mindful while you cook, however, can go a long way to helping prevent these fires. 

Cooking fires by the numbers

Based on 2011-2015 annual averages:

  • Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 47% of home fires that resulted in 20% of the home fire deaths and 45% of the injuries.**
     
  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. 
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 18% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths. 
  • Ranges or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents. 
  • Unattended equipment was a factor in one-third (33%) of reported home cooking fires and half (43%) of the associated deaths.. 
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.
     
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report
Source**: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires" report

Top Reason You Have Mold in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Top Reasons You Have Mold in Your Home

There is always talk about how dangerous mold is and how you should ensure you do not have it in your home, especially black mold. Doing a check of your home on a regular basis is important to spot any black mold issues and to get mold cleanup started right away. However, the key to really ensuring you do not get mold in your  home is knowing why mold grows in the first place. 

The main instigator for mold is moisture. In a home, there are plenty of sources that can create a moisture problem. Some common issues include:

High humidity
Broken pipes
Flooding

If you have any of these issues, it is essential to address them right away and get rid of the excess moisture before black mold even has a chance to begin growing. 

High Humidity

High humidity is typically a weather or season issue. You can take steps to reduce the humidity in your home. Using an air conditioning unit will remove excess moisture in the air and reduce your homes humidity. In areas that tend to attract moisture, such as attics or basements, you may want to run a dehumidifier.

Broken Pipes

If you have a plumbing issue, you should get it fixed asap. You also need to check for water leaks to ensure the plumbing issue did not lead to water getting in your walls, floors or ceilings. If water did leak out, then you should clean it up immediately. Never let water sit too long.

Flooding

If you experience flooding in your home, you should take steps to stop it from occurring again, if possible. Anything that was damaged from the flood waters should be removed, such as bedding, drywall or furniture. 

Your best bet when tackling mold is to call in professional help. You can find mold removal professionals or others who can assist you with your moisture issues and ensure mold is not growing in your home. 

If you're unsure, call our office for more information on mold.

What to do if you find mold in your home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Finding mold in your home can be a stressful situation. We want to make sure you know what to do and how to handle it. First things first, call SERVPRO!

If you discover mold or any kind of microbial growth growing in your home, it is important to get a hygienist to test the substance. Once the growth is determined, the proper recommendations can be written for how to remove and treat. It is very important to make sure each step is taken into account. This way the job can be completed and not have to be redone for a second time. 

Overall, if you need more insight on mold remediation, visit our website!

Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.

After a loss to fire, a restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to board up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.

After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke smell will quite often never come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires.

When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke smell the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical solutions may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.

What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;

Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss, contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe!

Deodorizing following a fire damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

After a small fire in your home or business, you quickly start to assess the damages to the area. You visually inspect the furniture and walls. Even if there is no real lasting damage, there is one problematic element that tends to linger for weeks after a fire: the smell. Odor removal is an often overlooked, but significant aspect of fire restoration services.

While our SERVPRO team is well educated in restoration techniques and cleaning processes to restore areas of your home that have been damaged aesthetically by an unexpected fire, the lingering odor that remains is often something that homeowners are less concerned with initially. It becomes more and more problematic as the home is being restored, but the smoke and charring scent of the fire’s destruction remains as powerful as ever.

Fortunately, our team of technicians has state-of-the-art equipment for removing foul smells from a residence or business. Deodorizing happens through the use of dense fogging machines. The machines are capable of producing a heavy chemical fog that is sprayed throughout the entire affected area, ensuring that all of the affected structure and contents are also affected by the fog.

Though this chemical has no scent, it reacts on a molecular level with the foul-smelling odor molecules lingering in the air after the fire gets extinguished. This new chemical compound is entirely neutral, leaving behind no smell at all. The process is a far cry from traditional deodorizing techniques, which merely overpower the harsh smell with an overbearing new scent for the damaged areas. Fogging leaves the room smelling like nothing has ever happened, even if you are still in the process of restoration efforts for the damages.

Since formidable smells (like those left behind after a fire) are challenging to live with, be sure to speak with our technicians assigned to your residence about deodorizing the area as soon as possible. Fogging can happen alongside our cleaning and restoration efforts, which makes the entire process more streamlined and efficient.

Recovering from a recent fire, regardless of its size, can be a complicated process. Contact us at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to walk you through the entire restoration process and help to bring these damages back to their preloss conditions. 

Places Mold Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Focus on Remediation and Prevention of Mold in Your Home

The media is exceptionally full of stories about the rise of mold damage following storms and floods. A Central GA home that has no recent history of these disasters still can struggle with mold issues. Deterioration of building materials and personal property linked to mold growth caused by less sensational events is no less frustrating a problem. Our mold remediation services are available for microbial growth due to any source. 
 
The common denominator for mold damage in Georgia is moisture. Where there is persistent moisture, mold follows. Educating yourself about the places mold growth hides helps you improve your interior air quality and protect your home’s structure. Since mold is not selective about where it will grow as long as it has a water source, oxygen, and food, you may also have the unpleasant surprise of finding it quietly but persistently contaminating personal property or any space in your home. Our technicians learn many strategies to clean a wide variety of items affected by mold. 
 
A musty smell in the kitchen often signals a small leak under the sink, but other water issues can fuel a mold outbreak. The line to the refrigerator/freezer that fills the ice machine and chilled water reservoir may drip under cabinets or in the walls just enough to support a hidden colony. Steam from cooking raises the humidity in the room if not vented, and mold may grow near the stove. 
 
The bathroom is traditionally a steamy place, encouraging mold growth. Efforts to kill the reappearing black growth ironically often make it worse, especially if the cleaning solution contains diluted bleach. Bleach even when full strength is 90 percent water. It lightens the staining but does not reach far enough into the surface where the mold is growing to kill the roots. Its high water content feeds the mold. Laundry rooms shelter mold in the bottom of baskets, clogged dryer vents, and around the seal of the front loading washer. 
 
SERVPRO technicians offer answers to these mold problems and more. Once leaks in plumbing or appliances are located and repaired, affected areas can be remediated, the moldy materials removed and the spaces sanitized. Humidity and condensation disappear when exhaust fans are installed near stoves and showers. Professional antimicrobials penetrate to kill mold at the roots. AC and dehumidifiers keep air moisture levels below 50 percent, unappealing for most common mold strains. 
 
Vent cleaning is a SERVPRO specialty, and we can help remove the moldy residue in the washer as well. Our crew members guide you as you review cleaning and maintenance routines to keep your working, storage, and living areas dry and free of mold damage. 
 
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is your answer for mold hiding in any or all areas of your home. Call for efficient mold remediation and helpful advice to avoid mold damage in the future. 

Mold can be anywhere!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage

Mold spores are microscopic and can be located everywhere. There are thousands in every home and are dormant, causing no problems, for the most part. It takes an open source of water or high levels of moisture in the air to cause these spores to expand and grow. If untreated or removed, mold can quickly destroy building material and other property, costing hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in damage.

If you are concerned there may be mold damage in your home, call a professional mold damage restoration company for assistance. SERVPRO has extensive training in handling mold and cleaning up property that has been infested by it.

We start by finding the source of the mold and determining just how far it may have already grown. Our technicians use air testers to determine the exact levels which help us plan how to neutralize and remove it. Once we find it, the next step is to isolate the affected room or area. Our response team seals off all entrances and exits using plastic sheeting and duct tape to prevent further contamination of your home. The vents and ducts of your heating and air system will be sealed off as well.

Next, technicians begin to clean the area using anti-fungal and anti-microbial sprays to destroy active spores. Every surface will be sprayed and then wiped down; if the growth is exceptionally thick in some places, we use special scrubbing tools to remove it without damaging the surface underneath. Areas difficult to reach may be cleaned by using anti-fungal foggers that get into every surface and crack mold may hide. These foggers are also used in case your heating and air system has been compromised by the mold. After the ducts have been exposed to the anti-fungal agents, technicians will use specially designed exhaust fans to blow the spores out of your home. When this is finished, we wipe down all of the vents and replace the air filters.

To prevent new mold growth, our technicians also test the air to see if the air moisture levels need to be reduced. If they do, dehumidifiers will be set up at key points to draw water from the air. Once the levels test out to under 12 percent, your home is considered to be safe against new growth. If you are worried about mold in your house, call us at 478-452-8000 today to schedule an inspection. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe  is here to help restore your home and put your life back together.

Getting Professional Help For Water Removal In Your Home From A Hidden Bathroom Leak

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Professional Water Removal

A hidden water leak in your bathroom, if left untreated, can cost you, especially if it leads to serious damage to walls, flooring, and paint. There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to figure out whether you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a massive leak, you need a certified remediation company to help you clean up the damage.

One sign of a hidden leak and the need for professional water removal is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Most of the time, steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and start to separate the two, making the paint rise from the wall and all off in bits. It is the same case with wallpaper.

A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your bathroom.

At SERVPRO, our technicians have tools like moisture meters to find any hidden moisture and leaks in your bathroom and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks. We first figure out what is causing the leak, fix the problem, and eliminate the water with industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your bathroom out is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your bathroom is dry again, repairs are made, including replacing any damaged drywall, and the affected area is sanitized.

Sometimes your flooring can be damaged as well if the leak was bad enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or spongy depending upon the material it is made of. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quick enough, we can dry it out and salvage it without having to replace it, but we may need to put new subflooring in as well where the water damaged it.

Don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe when you believe you have a hidden leak in your bathroom. We are available to help you at any time, day or night!

Flood Damage From Appliances in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Steps to removing water and drying your home after a failed appliance causes a flood

Most flooding problems in homes come from the inside, rather than from a rising creek or river. In many of these cases, the problem results from a failed dishwasher or a split intake hose for a clothes washer.

Appliance flood damage in a home sounds simple, but the truth is very different. A failure of either of these machines can drop over five gallons of water on the floor every hour. SERVPRO knows that if this happens in the morning after everyone leaves for work, that means an entire, three-bedroom room can be under an inch of water before the homeowner or renter walks in to find a disaster.

The only advantage to dealing with flooding from such an inside source is that it is clean water. There is no contamination to have to worry about, so there is no need for special protective gear and since cleaning the surfaces is not required, the overall time necessary for the job is far less as well.

The first step we take is to stop the flow of water. If a resident has not turned off the water main, we do it immediately after arriving on the property.

Next, we get to work removing standing water. For any amount over an inch, we start with commercial grade water pumps. These machines can empty out an average home in an afternoon, allowing us to bring in more equipment and inspect for damage to floors, carpets, and walls. If the power is out, we bring in our generators for uninterrupted electrical support.

If there is no permanent damage, we draw out remaining water trapped on carpets and floors. Technicians use extraction wands which are designed to bring out the water without harming wood surfaces or damaging the nap of the rug. This part of the job is more time-consuming and can take up to a full day or more.

With the water removed, we now lower the moisture levels in the surrounding air. To do so, we use dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air. Each device can remove over twenty gallons every day depending on the humidity and size of the dehumidifier we use. We perform this task to prevent the possibility of rot or mold growth in the walls and floors.

Drying out your home is not an easy process, but the right restoration company can do it quickly and safely. The experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has decades of experience helping our neighbors put their homes back together after a flood. If you need our help, call today!

Rapid Water Removal Mitigates Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO' s Expertise Saves Homeowners Money with Fast Water Extraction

Water damage from weather, broken plumbing or improper drainage can be a crushing blow to a homeowner. At this time in winter, Georgia weather brings the constant threat of freezing temps at night. During the summer months, we are constantly hit with thunderstorms which often lead to flooding.

At SERVPRO, we understand how important water removal is to get back into your home. Depending on the amount of water and how much of your home has been flooded, this process may take only a day or two. Under severe volumes of standing water, the process may take over a week for complete drying. Our team of technicians will work to make the process as painless as possible for you. 

Our locally owned offices maintain a 24-hour response team specializing in flood water removal. Damage (regardless if it is rainwater or otherwise) will begin in less than a day if any standing water is not pumped out as quickly as possible. SERVPRO owns and keeps on site, an extensive inventory of pumps and water extractors designed for private homes. Each office also maintains its generators to support our teams and equipment. Having some of the best equipment in the removal business is useless if you can't use it when the city electrical grid may be knocked out. 

After the water has been removed, our technicians use a series of blowers and exhaust fans to remove any remaining, excess moisture. To remove excess humidity and hopefully prevent the growth of mold, we also use specialized dehumidifiers when needed. Drywall and floor trim are particularly vulnerable to mold infestation if they are not dried out or removed quickly. Some of the same equipment we use for removal is also useful to restore carpets and carpet padding. In addition to the fans and blowers, our teams also maintain a specialized set of vacuums, mat wet vacs and heaters to extract water from carpets and wood flooring. In just a few minutes after getting soaked, dyes and inks begin to bleed from cloth and paper. It is usually too late for those goods to be salvaged, but our highly trained technicians can recover and restore furniture to prevent it from losing paint or varnish. If water is removed quickly enough, floor staining and carpet color can be saved as well. 

If you are concerned about preventing damage, you can contact us for a free assessment or if you have need of our services now, call us at 478-452-8000. As a locally owned business, SERVPRO is dedicated to restoring the homes of our neighbors.

Water Damage Issues

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Issues with Water Damage

When your business has been hit by any water damage, you will want to act quickly to get a professional restoration company like our experienced team at SERVPRO to your property. The process of restoration for commercial water damage is critical, and water damage is one of the most common forms of damage seen in commercial properties. We will use industry-proven techniques for drying out your property to ensure that the most efficient commercial water damage restoration is done. We make sure to reach the moisture that is deep within the walls and floors so that your structure is properly dried out. 

The key to a successful commercial water damage restoration is coordination. Our experienced project managers and crew chiefs at SERVPRO are valuable resources during your time of crisis, no matter if it is water damage from pipes that burst, hurricanes, flooding or other natural disasters. Our restoration process for water damage begins the moment you call on us. From commercial water damage to the removal of sewage, we’ll restore your building fast, cost efficiently and professionally. 

We will also work alongside adjusters, building owners, property managers and risk managers to put into place a water damage restoration plan that is seamless with the primary goal of attaining limited interruption for your business. We will work with you individually to figure out the best path for your water damage restoration, including the scope of work, timeframe for recovery and your budget. 

We Can Assist You Any Time You Need 

We understand that time is money, and when it is your business on the line, your livelihood is as well. This is why our commercial water damage restoration professionals give you 24/7 emergency services. We always have our trucks fully stocked and ready to come out to your property, so that we can be on your site quickly in a majority of circumstances. 

Why Choose Us  

  • We will come out quickly with our IICRC-backed and fully trained technicians, any day or time.
  • We have plenty of state of the art, professional grade equipment
  • We’ll give you secure and itemized content storage for all of your equipment, furniture, and appliances
  • We can restore expensive equipment and appliances which some companies cannot
  • We will work with your insurance company so you can concentrate on your business

When disaster strikes your commercial building, it can very much affect the ability of your business to operate effectively as usual. Our team will respond fast and complete the repairs needed to get your business up and running as soon as possible. We understand that this kind of event can be very stressful, so we will take care of your restoration needs and take care of your business. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

When your business experiences water damage, call us at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe right away so that we can restore your property and you can get back to business as usual. 

Heavy Torrential Rains often Bring Flood Damage to Local Homes

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storms Call for Rapid Water Removal to Mitigate Damages

Homes in the Central Georgia area can sustain tremendous damage when rainfall cannot flow away correctly. Many reasons exist for this problem. One of the most common reasons, clogged storm drains, can prevent water from draining away after accumulating in the street. Gutters around your home, if you fail to maintain them properly or they become damaged, can allow rainwater to collect too closely to your home and cause flooding that way. 

When local homeowners face flood damage, experts should perform the much-needed mitigation. SERVPRO professionals receive training and ongoing education, becoming certified by the IICRC in several types of post-disaster home restoration. This training includes the latest technological advances while covering the high-tech equipment used during the mitigation process. We invest in the purchase of top of the line pieces of equipment to serve your all your mitigation and restoration needs. 

Because flooding can happen slowly or rapidly, past floods can provide you with only scant information about current conditions. Homes that have always remained dry can suddenly become swamped with water. Your home might flood for entirely unpreventable reasons. However, SERVPRO's technicians are always ready to remove the water, get your home dry again, and restore it so your family can enjoy it once more, “Like it never even happened.” 

Flooding, even when localized and solely affecting your home, brings parasites and pathogens into your home. A cleaning regimen that includes sanitizing and proper treatment to eliminate living microorganisms makes it safe for your family. Other hazards like sharp objects that can cut or puncture the skin, allowing those microorganisms to cause possible health hazards. We remove these by bagging and disposing of them properly, so you never need to worry about children discovering them later. 

Drying your home out thoroughly with the use of air blowers, heaters, and air scrubbers restore humidity levels to normal while also eliminating airborne microorganisms. Heated pads that also suction up moist air can dry floors out more rapidly than other devices are capable of doing. Because carpeting rarely survives a flood and acts as a sponge, removal, and disposal of carpets and pads always occur first, before drying floors can begin. This removes contaminated water from the premises and also some of the excess moisture--less drying time.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is a locally owned and operated service, dedicated to serving our neighbors. Contact us for 24-hour service that can restore your home after any size flood damage event. 

How to Prepare to Control Flood Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s Steps to Mitigate Flood Damage

No one knows when flood damage incidents are likely to occur, and we want to be sure you are as prepared as possible. Learning what to expect can help you minimize the resulting challenges to a large extent. It all starts by knowing the different options you have at hand.

Seeking for the services of certified companies like SERVPRO is one of the top decisions you can ever make after experiencing flood damage. That is why it is so important to understand how professionals in this field work to mitigate the challenges and restore your property.

When our technicians arrive at the flood damage job site, the first thing they perform is an inspection. After that, dangerous situations such as deteriorated subfloors, falling ceilings, and any notable electrical hazards are secured. Then any standing water on your property is removed by pumping it out with the help of suitable pumps. Extra attention is given to walls and floors below the affected area to be sure no standing water is within the property.

Water extraction is another step that our SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe specialists perform during the restoration process. During this stage the extent of water penetration in the ceilings, walls, floors, and carpets is determined. A moisture meter is a device used to do all that. Then water from hard surface flooring and carpets is extracted.

Treating the surfaces is a step which should never be ignored. It begins by examining the back of the carpet for visible mold, bad seams, and delamination. Whenever the damage to the mats is beyond restoration; they offer appropriate advice. At this point, they do the removal of the problematic stains before they can dry them. IICRC certified SERVPRO experts treat the back of the carpet and floor by using appropriate antimicrobial and deodorizers.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe urgently responds to all forms of water damage, fire damage, mold damage, and storm damage. Call us for reliable restoration services.

Flood Damage Insurance Policy For Your Dallas Area Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Insurance

You carry auto insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, and even pay for appliance warranties, yet you fail to protect your home against costly water line damage or in-home plumbing emergencies.

Pipes in the attic of your home can cause flood damage that you might not recover from easily. Clogs, leaks, or broken pipes, release hundreds of gallons of water into your home within minutes. Whether the leak is large or small, over time, it can affect unprotected building materials, insulation, and the structural stability of your home.

Do you know how old the water lines in your attic are? The average lifespan of a water pipe in your home is 20-years, with the majority of homes throughout the United States containing water lines older than 47-years. Knowing the age of your pipes can help you assess whether professional assistance from a company like SERVPRO is necessary.

However, having an expertly trained flood damage specialist from SERVPRO perform an inspection never hurts. You may have water lines from your water heater running through your attic that distributes hot water throughout your home. If even one of these lines has a problem, you can find yourself dealing with extensive flood damage. Thinking that you are safe because you purchased a new home can leave you ill-prepared for what might happen as well.

Your ventilation system also poses extreme problems when not maintained properly. The condensation lines or drain pan of your HVAC system receive damage over time, and major malfunctions in the unit can send water spewing everywhere, without warning. All it takes is a single leak to cause excessive damage; it never hurts to make preparations to deal with these types of problems.

You should look at calling SERVPRO like having a flood damage insurance policy that helps protect your home against accidents that might happen. We provide you with valuable information to maintain a safe, healthy home for your family. Giving you an opportunity to catch issues before they become major problems and access to someone who can be there for you should a disaster occur.

Contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for additional information about available services or to schedule your home inspection today!

SERVPRO Flood Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Flood Damage and SERVPRO

Say the words flood damage and people rightly think of foot deep water in their basement or entire neighborhoods underwater. During the summer, it can be a common occurrence in some parts of Georgia.

SERVPRO is an expert in reducing the obvious flood damage to our neighboring homes. What surprises our clients are just how many ways a flood can destroy a home even after the water has been removed. Here are the most common ways your home can be dry as a bone and still be unlivable. 

Odor - This may seem like a minor thing, but some folks can be allergic to just the smell. If you don't get rid of it, you won't be able to live in your home, and you certainly won't be able to sell it. The smell is also indicative of a worse problem.

Mold and Mildew - If not found and immediately treated and removed, mold and mildew will cause respiratory problems that will drive you out of the house. If the mold and mildew get into sheetrock and cannot be destroyed by industrial cleaners, then walls will have to be replaced.

Electrical System - If flooding reached high enough to reach electrical outlets, then those have to be inspected by our SERVPRO professionals and possibly be replaced before the power can be turned back on. If they have been compromised, then there is the possibility of a fire hazard when the lights are turned back on. 

Plumbing and Sewage - Flooding can overwhelm and damage a home's plumbing system. If it stays under water too long, there is also the possibility that raw sewage can flow backward into your home through the toilets. Septic tanks can also be compromised in the same manner. The cleaning process now becomes much more extensive.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Flood water in a home is a dangerous threat and needs to be removed quickly. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe understands that this is only the first step. Other hazards have to be addressed before you are safe again in your own home. To begin the process or if you want to schedule an inspection to help prevent problems in the future, call us today.

Drying Out Your Hotel After Plumbing Failure And Water Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Plumbing Failure And Water Damage

Almost every business owner has had to deal with minor plumbing emergencies at some point. However, when your hotel has experienced significant water damage from a more substantial plumbing issue, such as a burst pipe, you need to act fast. Once the water is shut off, you have a big mess on your hands to clean up.

Since you cannot afford downtime in the hotel business, you want to get the help of professionals for your commercial water damage. SERVPRO has the staff and tools you need who can come to your aid anytime you need. We move quickly and do our best not to disturb any of your guests who are already in the hotel in other areas.

Drying out your hotel and the contents quickly is essential. Four things determine the amount of time needed for drying which includes the amount of water that needs to be evaporated, the temperature, humidity, and air movement.

Drying happens faster when rooms are heated between seventy to ninety degrees since hot air holds more moisture. If heat is not available, we may use portable heaters. The temperature in the affected areas should ideally be between seventy and eighty degrees. Temperatures over eighty-five degrees on the first days of drying could create too much moisture in the air, causing secondary damage if there are not enough dehumidifiers.

The more water SERVPRO techs can extract or pump out of the structure, the less we need to remove with dehumidifiers. Liquids are easier and faster to remove than gas, and extraction physically is twelve hundred times as efficient than dehumidification is. We use a submersible pump if the water is two inches deep in the area affected. We spend extra time extracting, as it reduces drying time considerable.

Relative humidity is how much moisture the air currently is holding at a given temperature. For us to lower the RH to a comfortable and correct percentage, some of the water in the air has to be moved. We use dehumidifiers to do so, as it is the most efficient way of lowering relative humidity. They remove the evaporated moisture from the air.

Air movement is also crucial for drying. In a water-damaged room, air usually is humid and damp, slowing evaporation. Blowing damp air out and bringing in warm, dry air speeds up the process. We use air movers set in the proper positions to do so, and move where the air movers are as drying progresses to ensure thorough, even drying.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are experts at drying out water-damaged buildings and move quickly so that your hotel has as little interruption as possible. Give us a call as soon as you realize there is a problem in your business.

Restoration of Commercial Fire Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Thoroughly Restore Your Business Damage to Prevent Secondary Issues

Facing a fire damage situation can cause tremendous problems for the businesses in your area. Some fires may start relatively small, but all types of fire damage carry hidden consequences. Without the proper assistance, you may end up causing significant harm to your property. Fortunately, you have the opportunity here to contact reliable experts to assist you with getting your fire damage under control. Being knowledgeable of the steps involved in our restoration process will help you understand how to interact with the expertly trained technicians that we dispatch to your property.

Our headquarters, located in Milledgeville, specializes in commercial fire damage restorations. As a locally owned business, our expert staff works hard to provide our customers with the fast, efficient, and quality services that they deserve. The size of your fire damage event does not matter, we work with you and do our best to restore your property, "Like it never even happened."  Our franchise partnerships and resources are nationwide.

Inspection and Assessment - Our SERVPRO technicians begin the restoration process by inspecting the affected area to determine the extent of damage to your property. We use this examination to draw up a plan of attack, explain the necessary procedures to our customers and answer any questions that you might have about the restoration process that we are about to perform.

Preparation - After reviewing the required services with you and agreeing on a schedule, SERVPRO's expert technicians will begin preparing the equipment to needed to complete your restoration. When work begins, we will cordon off the affected area and make all the necessary preparations to ensure proper safety during the entire process.

Removing Odors - Burn odor removal is one of the most difficult parts of any cleanup procedure. These odors may linger in the air, causing additional damage to many surface areas. SERVPRO uses advanced cleaning technology to remove these pesky odors found within the affected area and stop them from having a chance of returning.

Our specialists take their time to address every detail of your restoration, making sure that any lingering smoke, residue, and fire damaged areas are taken care of and give you suggestions for preventing any future problems that may occur.

Contact our offices at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe immediately with any questions you may have or if you would like to make an appointment today. 

You Need The Best Results When Your Warehouse Experiences Commercial Water Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Experiencing Commercial Water Damage

We know that your main concern is getting your business operations back to normal as soon as possible after any catastrophe, but commercial water damage is much more complex than most problems experienced by businesses today. Categories of water can quickly change from non-hazardous to very dangerous quickly. Water can spread in almost any direction, including up if conditions are right, and remaining flood waters can instantaneously ruin some certain products with even minute amounts.

Commercial water damage presents unique challenges because of the environment involved. From warehouses storing agricultural products to leather processing plants, inventory protection, and worker safety is both important to any business. Different types of water can cause damage, and even the cleanest water, category 1, can turn into the worst, category 3 when contaminants are present. These can happen when clean water is mixed or combined with another source of category 3 water, even if it is not causing any damage by itself (such as sewer water) or when bags of previously dry substances such as fertilizers or pesticides become saturated, and their contents leach into the water.

The damage to your inventory can also rapidly multiply. When products at the bottom of a stack can be a conduit for water by wicking it upwards toward other product that has not been damaged, it's common sense to get those products on top removed to a safer location. We have team members who can provide this service while our technicians work in other areas, protecting your business from increased inventory loss.

Stacked bags of concrete and other dry products that are designed to be mixed with water, oil, or other liquid just prior to use may seem to be in saleable condition until they are examined on their undersides where water has accumulated. These ruined items need to be removed and accounted for on inventory loss sheets. For insurance purposes, all products need to be re-inventoried and noted as to their condition before the conclusion of our restoration work.

After you've made the initial call to us, we can begin the restoration process. Returning your business to normal operations is important, and we understand the complexities involved in keeping your employees safe while protecting your business's bottom line. Call us, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe any time, day or night, 365 days a year.

What You Need To Know About Commercial Fire Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO for Commercial Fire Damage

Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that a business owner can experience. In addition to doing severe damage to the structure of the building, fires can lead to excessive, standing water on the property as well as mold invasions. For these reasons and more, business leaders find it difficult to recover from a natural disaster or man-made accident. This is even the case when the business owner is an industry expert who manages the daily operations prudently. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damages and preserving your equilibrium in the face of the disaster. Gather information you need regarding how to grapple with a fire by reviewing the data outlined below:

Fire Threats. There are several factors that can place a commercial property in harm's way leading to burning and fire damage. Some of the more prevalent factors include:
• lightning strike
• electrical fire
• blown fuse, overloaded circuitry
• adjoining business fire

The Importance Of Obtaining Business Fire Insurance

Unfortunately, some companies find that the losses endured due to a fire leave them unable to continue operating. Typically, companies who are not able to resume operations following the fire-damaging event did not maintain business interruption insurance. While any company impacted by a fire will have challenges with the fire damage restoration process, those that have business interruption insurance find it easier to keep their organizations functioning effectively. Because no company is invulnerable to fire and the damage it can cause, purchasing the insurance is important and advantageous. The insurance will cost roughly 10% more that the business owner's current premium. SERVPRO is well known for working with insurance and property management companies to expedite and mitigate the downtime and costs of the restoration.

Preventing Commercial Fire Damage: Strategies You Can Use

In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several strategies you can implement to decrease the impact of fire damage to your business. Some of them include:
- Avoiding the storage of flammable items on-site
- Checking your smoke alarms to ensure that they are functioning optimally, having fire extinguishers strategically placed
- Implementing a fire evacuation plan, no blocking of exit doors
- Turning off appliances and machinery when no one is present
- Ensuring that all machinery is in good condition
- Placing backup drives and important paperwork in a fireproof safe, utilizing the cloud for document backup

Call SERVPRO Today

Assessing and implementing fire damage preventative strategies are important for your Dallas business. You should also know who to call if a fire strikes your commercial property. A premier fire damage restoration company nearby is SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified technicians offer 24/7/365 emergency services to ensure that your commercial fire damage services are addressed and resolved immediately. We're ready to assist you if the need ever arises. Our aim is to get your business back up and running.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. Call us to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What to do in a fire!

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Picture this: You’re sound asleep when you’re jolted awake by smoke, flames, and blaring smoke detectors. The scariest part? You and your family have less than two minutes to get out before smoke/flames engulf the building.

With so little time to think or act in the moment, it’s vital to prepare yourself with fire safety education. While we hope this scary scenario won’t ever happen to you, it could. In fact, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds in America and fires destroy almost half a million structures every year. To protect yourself, home, and loved ones, follow the fire safety guide below, so you’re prepared for the worst.

What To Do in a Fire

1. Plan an escape route. 

Emergency escape plans save lives. Do you have one for your home? First, start by drawing a map of your home including windows, doors, and hallways. Identify main emergency exits like the front and back door. Come up with a primary emergency escape route and then contingency routes to follow if one way is blocked. Remember, in an actual fire, flames and smoke can make certain passageways impassable, so it’s important you think this through when planning an escape route. For instance, if you have upper floor bedrooms, you can buy fire ladders that unravel to help people escape quickly.

  1. Once your fire escape plan is ironed out, have a fire drill. Again, use different scenarios to achieve better preparedness. For starters, have everyone lie in their beds to simulate a night fire. Then, practice escaping from common areas like the kitchen and living room. Also, consider the fact that smoke can decrease visibility significantly. Have a fire drill in complete darkness or with everyone’s eyes closed. Practice counting doors and sensing your whereabouts by touch instead of sight. The more practice you have in more scenarios, the better prepared everyone will be in an actual emergency.

    2. Extinguish the fire if you can.

    If a fire starts in your home, call the fire department immediately while also assessing if you can put the blaze out yourself. This is hard to advise on because the call will be up to you. However, as long as professional help is on its way, you could attempt to use a fire extinguisher to put out small flames, so they don’t flash into 5-alarm fires. Go with your gut here though. If there’s too much smoke and a lot of heat, get yourself to safety.

    3. Rescue humans and pets first, belongings second.

    In an actual fire, the only non replaceable items are those that are living. Resist the urge to grab your laptop or jewelry. Instead, attend to family members and pets first. Rank them in order of who needs the most help (ie. a baby or disabled family member).
    If there’s enough time, you can gather important documents like your driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificates, and photo albums. If there isn’t, forget about it. Preserving life is much more important than saving electronics or personal effects.

    4. Stop, drop, and crawl.

    Often times in fires, smoke and heat are more dangerous than the flames themselves. House fires can cause areas near the ground to reach 100 degrees or more and up to 600 degrees near ceilings. If there’s heavy smoke, drop to the floor where the air is cleaner and crawl to the nearest exit. Keep a piece of clothing or a towel over your nose to filter out the smoke and prevent yourself from passing out. Smoke rises, so more breathable air will be low to the ground.

    5. Never take the elevator.

    You should cover this in your fire escape plan, but let us reiterate: never take an elevator during a fire! You could become trapped or suffer a fall if the elevator fails or gives out. Always use the stairs or fire escape instead of an elevator.

    6. Test doorknobs.

    In an actual fire, you shouldn’t walk into any room without touching the doorknobs first. If there is heat, it’s probably not safe to enter. Opening doors can also increase airflow and accelerate the rate in which fire spreads. 

    7. Don’t panic.

    Panicking can cloud your brain and prevent you from thinking clearly. If you’re trapped in a room during a fire, take a deep breath and remember this:

    • Close the door and plug up any cracks or vents with a blanket, clothes, or a towel to keep the smoke out.
    • Call 911 if you have a phone to let the authorities know where you are in the building.
    • If you don’t have a phone, yell for help.
    • If there’s a window, hang a piece of clothing or a cloth out the window to alert emergency crews.

    Fires are undoubtedly terrifying, but keeping a clear head can keep you safer. Even if you’re not trapped, you should always take a second to calm yourself and think rationally about the proper steps to get everyone out safely.

    8. Get out and stay out.

    Once everyone in your family is out of your house, stay out. Don’t go back inside for anything—it’s too dangerous! The firefighters will be able to go back inside to save anything they can. That’s what they train for and they have gear to protect themselves. Also, remember to stay back 75 feet or more. Explosions are uncommon but could cause you to become injured if you’re too close.

How to prevent a fire...

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Now that you know what to do in an actual fire, you should know how to prevent one from happening. Here are some top tips:

  • Install fire alarms and smoke detectors. Early warning systems can help you get control of a fire before it spirals out of control. Smoke detectors can also help you get out safely. Install a smoke alarm on every level and in every room of your home, and test each alarm once a month to make sure it’s working.
  • Teach children the basics of fire safety and how to prevent, prepare for, and deal with a fire.
  • Always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything hot. (e.g., fireplaces, space heaters, and ovens).
  • Only smoke outside.
  • Stay in the kitchen. When you’re cooking, always stay nearby in case something catches fire.
  • Turn off appliances. Remember to shut off your stove when you’re done cooking.
  • Extinguish controlled fires completely. This includes fireplace fires and those in fire pits in the backyard.
  • Spray down surrounding areas before having an outdoor fire. If you live in a dry climate, don’t start a fire outdoors. If you do, make sure to spray down the surrounding area in case a spark lands outside of your fire pit.
  • Learn about electrical fires. Electrical fires are an entirely different beast. To learn more about them, read “How to prevent electrical fires.”

Storm Damage Restoration Process

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.

Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.

  • Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
  • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
  • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.

If contacted in time, the restorations professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues, by inspecting the roof and replacing the dilapidated areas. After sealing and renovating the roof, they will then address the ceiling and restore to its former condition.

As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something the experts can handle.  

Summer Storms and Emergencies

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Summer storms may be great for your lawn and garden or can be a perfect excuse to stay inside in pajamas while reading and napping the day away, but sometimes they can also cause damage to your house. Of course, your home is designed to withstand the ordinary storms expected in your area, but sometimes an extraordinarily heavy storm with extreme wind and hail can take a toll on your house's exterior. When such an event happens, it's important to have repairs conducted quickly and efficiently, so your house will be back in tiptop shape and ready for the next storm.

Exterior Home Damage

Hail can be a concern during a thunderstorm as it causes cosmetic damage to a roof and siding. More importantly is how it can damage the seals around exhaust vents, windows, or chimneys and allow water to enter. Worse yet are the winds associated with a heavy hail or thunderstorms which can remove a shingle or piece of siding, your home's first layer of defense against the weather. The problem with this type of damage is that once it occurs it compromises the linking systems of the shingles or siding, which means that not only can water penetrate to the interior of the house, even a minor storm is likely to exacerbate the problem by causing more damage.

Interior Repairs

Once the exterior of the home is damaged, water can and will enter the house and cause a different problem. Water damage is not a simple repair, as it penetrates through walls, floors, and all the hidden crevices inside the home. Without a professional who understands what to look for and how to efficiently conduct repairs, water will leak into places with no airflow and take forever to evaporate. Another problem caused by moisture is mold, which once formed will only get worse and never go away until properly cleaned out, which often means the expensive proposition of full replacement of drywall, framing, and insulation.

Enjoy the summer storms as they occur, but be sure to have your home inspected regularly to check for damage. When you do have damage, have it repaired immediately. In the unfortunate event that you receive minor or major home damage after a heavy storm, contact a professional specialist contractor with storm restoration experience such as SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.

Preventing Mold with Quick Mold Mitigation

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation

Water Management and Mold

A man’s home is his castle, and while every care is taken to ensure that there will be no unlawful entry from the outside, equal attention should also be paid to the structural integrity of the home. You can have the best furniture and fittings, the latest consumer electronics that dazzle and bewitch, but poor water management is going to bring everything to ruin. Each homeowner should take the necessary precautions and steps to minimize the amount of moisture while redirecting water in order to reduce the risks of mold developing.Mold tends to become an issue due to water intrusion, and this has developed into a major thorn in the construction industry’s side. U.S. housing’s top indoor air quality problem is mold, which is why proper water damage mitigation ought to be taken before it runs into bigger and more serious issues such as compromised structural integrity,cosmetic problems and long-term durability issues. It would be highly advisable to obtain the advice and secure the services of one of many water restoration companies in order to begin the mold remediation process as soon as possible. 

Mold Growth in Homes

Poor water management of a home will encourage mold growth. As mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they tend to make their way through the home, and are always present in indoor and outdoor air. While modern homes are built in such a manner where the concentration levels are insufficient to cause issues for the home’s inhabitants, it tends to make a nuisance when it starts to grow.Mold colonies require a food source, the right temperature (above 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and plenty of moisture. These conditions are all part of a home’s make up,where plenty of organic materials abound within a temperature range that does encourage mold growth. The key to stop the spread of mold is to keep moisture levels under control, and this is where water management of a building is very important. By doing your bit to prevent water intrusion, you will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew making their presence known. 

Wood-based Products

If you love all things wood, then it is all the more important to have proper water management for your home to prevent the growth of mold. Wood-based products, while adding a sense of warmth into the home’s aesthetics, require plenty of attention as wood is one material that can absorb plenty of water, resulting in a higher overall moisture content in the surrounding area. It also requires far more effort and energy to dry wood than for it to get wet. With many wood-based furniture having concealed frames that has extremely limited, if any, exposure to air, it is all the more difficult to dry out. 

What is Water Management?

The thought of water management might not be on anyone’s mind when purchasing apiece of property. However, it is imperative that you get a reputable water restoration company take a look just in case there is a need for water damage mitigation works to be done. The whole idea of water management is to ensure all water will be directed away from the home. This is achieved through having a positive drainage system. It is always better that water is drained out and away from the home as fast as possible.Nothing should be left to chance, which means there should not be any part of the home that is sloped in the direction of the home’s interior.Always try to think of where the water is headed to as it moves down the exterior of the home – it should be on the outward path. Doing so makes sure that sensitive parts of the home do not remain exposed or come into contact with the water. One of the ways of doing so would be to make sure that the exterior surface of the home has water-resistant qualities, but that is just scratching the surface. It is important to bear the three basic drainage strategies in mind, that is, the drainage plane, shingling and flashing. 

Drainage Plane 

The drainage plane plays an important role, as it forms a barrier against any water. It ensures that the sensitive parts of the home will not end up wet and damp – which will surely lead to mold growth. Keeping this vulnerable segment of the home free from water will require materials such as felt building paper, house wrap, thin structural sheathing, and rigid foam sheathing. All of these are more than capable of offering protection at crucial joints and corners. It is advisable to keep these materials layered in a shingle fashion as and when possible. 

Shingling 

The roof is the primary form of protection against rain, and as rainwater subjects itself to the laws of physics and gravity, it will take the path of least resistance down the exterior finish and the drainage plane. Along the way, it will come into contact with the likes of the finish roofing and wall cladding, window flanges, as well as flashing. These materials will then need to be layered in a strategic manner so that water on the outermost layers will remain a distance away from the sheathing and framing. This kind of layering method is known as shingling. Hence, all drainage planes ought to have the shingle strategy applied. 

Who to call...

The list of grievances does not stop there at all if one does not go through proper water damage removal processes that are offered by water restoration companies, since it might lead to other headaches like a pest infestation. If you would like to make sure that your home is a place where happy memories are made and living in it is a joy, why not call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe and have us do a once over in your home? We have the necessary expertise and wealth of experience to be able to let you know what needs to be fixed. 

Each Surface Type Warrants a Different Approach When it Comes to Mold

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Finding hidden mold is our specialty. Call SERVPRO so we can investigate the damage or smell on your property.

Mold can go undetected for days, weeks or even months, depending on where it is hiding. While small amounts of mold spores are everywhere and pose no threat, a large colony can destroy building materials and pose a health threat. 

Restoring property from the effects of mold damage in your home or office requires trained professionals. Every SERVPRO office maintains a crew that is trained to identify mold infestations and determines the best method available to remove or clean it off surfaces. 

We determine the method used to remove mold depending on the type of surface the mold is on. It is simpler to clean nonporous materials. These surfaces include glass, metal, certain kinds of plastics, marble, and smooth stone. We remove dry mold by vacuuming the surfaces with special HEPA filters that catch even a single mold spore. Wet mold is wiped off with a cloth dampened with water. If the mold is growing in a layer of soil, our team members use a detergent solution.

Porous materials with visible mold growth often should be removed from the home and disposed of according to state regulations. These materials include carpets, carpet pads, drywall, and insulation. Technicians can clean fabrics such as upholstery, drapes, and curtains using foam, spray, or immersion techniques depending on the thickness of the mold and the colors used. Before starting with those methods, crew members vacuum the items to remove loose mold fragments. If needed, they agitate the materials to loosen more mold and then vacuum them again. 

Semiporous materials require methods not usable on porous or even nonporous surfaces. The surfaces (wood and concrete) may require sanding, wire brushing, and other abrasive methods. The cleaners we use on these surfaces have abrasive agents mixed in to be certain the agent gets into and agitates cracks and grooves that non-abrasive agents miss. If exposed to mold for too long, the structural integrity of the wood might be compromised by rot. 

Restoring your home after a mold infestation is a long process. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is here to help you through every step. If you need our services or simply want to schedule an assessment, call us today. 

Choose the right service to overcome flood damage in your home!

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can help you with any stage of flooding from prevention to remediation. Call right away for best results.

Professional Technicians Quickly Remove Standing Water From Your Property

Water damage in your home can be especially brutal, causing many different issues and leading to a variety of hidden damages. However, you hold all of the cards, so take the proper steps to help prevent these problems from developing into something you simply cannot afford. Help us help you get things under control quicker during an emergency. 

Start by contacting your insurance company to ensure that you have the proper coverage for common issues that plague the area. You can prevent flood damage, or instances concerning fire, water, or mold in your home by contacting a quality restoration company for help. So, that is what you should do next. Make it a priority to develop a relationship with them, before an emergency occurs on your property. 
 
A company, like SERVPRO, offers a variety of services to help prevent flooding in your home. Everything from a full inspection of your property to help identify common problems, to the installation of additional drainage, backflow valves, or submersible pumps for use during an emergency. Our technicians can help you prepare. Something as simple as providing your home with the proper grading in your yard can save you from damages that would otherwise occur on your property. 
 
SERVPRO has done all of the research and planning for you. We have a preparedness app available online to get things started and make ourselves available 24-7, 365 days a year. Without hesitation, our technicians answer your call and respond to any emergency situation you may be facing. We even assist you with filling out any paperwork required for your insurance claim and ensure that your entire restoration process is as stress-free as possible. 
 
SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained, have access to quality, industrial-grade equipment for water location and extraction. While also having the ability to perform quick drying services using air moving equipment and dehumidifiers to help prevent additional damages from forming, including pesky mold damages that happen rather quickly if not attended to right away. 
 
Our team provides you with a full-service solution to problems that occur on your property. We help you handle the entire event, from start to finish and return your home to a quality preloss condition in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Often exceeding expectations of customers just like you and saving a variety of contents and personal items you thought lost. 
 
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe stands ready to assist you, contact us today. 

From Remediation to Reconstruction, We can Restore Your Home After Any Type of Storm Damage

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Works Fast to Make It "Like it never even happened." Call For Storm Damage Rebuild!

SERVPRO Has the Experience and Expertise to Rebuild Your Damaged Property

Disasters and emergencies that affect your home can range in size and severity. Many of these situations can keep you and your family from living at home until restorations are finished. Not only can these problems create safety hazards themselves, but repairs and other types of work can make it difficult to normal family life.

We provide all of the storm damage services needed to restore your home completely, from initial cleaning and remediation to complete reconstruction. We know having one company provide all of the services your situation requires not only reduces the time involved but that doing so can also save thousands of dollars. You can put these savings to use in beneficial ways for your family.

Our SERVPRO technicians are highly skilled in all phases of damage-repair, including reconstruction. Upgrading the features in your home after damage to meet the latest code requirements or to gain additional energy savings or safety features are options we can discuss with you.

Other options that reconstruction can provide include increasing room size, altering the floor plan, widening stairways, adding windows and exterior doors, and many others that can be extremely cost-effective. We can explain more when we make our initial assessment of your home. We add creativity to our experience and skills to provide you the best in reconstructing your home.

Rebuilding a home after being damaged may seem the best option if the structural and cosmetic damages cover only a small area, but when the area damaged is much greater, reconstruction can keep a home from becoming condemned and demolished. When a home is destroyed, insurance often does not pay enough to purchase another home of similar size, and this can lower your family's standard of living significantly.

When you need more than cleaning and damage repair, call us, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe. We would love to make your home your dream home, one that is designed with your family in mind.

How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

According to the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification...

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid.

Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special  procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay.

Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own.

Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

SERVPRO Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal.

These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

How Are Mold Remediation Courses Online Not The Best Option?

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Though it is possible to find mold remediation courses online, as well as in local classrooms, this is one time that online is not the best way to acquire knowledge.

Technicians that repair water damage work in time-sensitive environments that require knowledge as well as practical expertise. The best way to accrue this experience is with hands-on guidance from a certified expert in the industry. However, locating a certified expert for this purpose can be extremely difficult without some help.

This is where the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, comes in.

This organization is one of the most respected oversight agencies in the world when it comes to carpet treatment. Among its many certification programs, the IICRC offers mold remediation courses. While not taught online, the IICRC’s site can help a technician locate a nearby approved school. Instructors approved by the IICRC uphold the agency’s standards and are well-versed in the latest techniques and methods available in the industry.

During the class, the student will learn how to identify and assess the scope of a microbial infestation in a water-damaged home

Both clean and contaminated water can foster microbial growth within hours of contact, so nearly every flooded and water damaged home will be compromised to some extent. The student will also learn how to isolate and contain the microbes and prevent them from spreading further. The instructor will demonstrate how to physically remove compromised material and properly dry everything so the microbial infestation won’t reappear. Where there is water there can be mold and bacteria growth, so technicians will also learn where to look for excess moisture and how to detect its presence. Water has a tendency to collect in hard to reach areas, so a professional will need to be thorough when performing the job.

You can trust that our expertly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are ready to help you recover when disaster strikes.

What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration?

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field.

Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.

After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site.

In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.

This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur.

Most companies use a combination of industrial  air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.

The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens.

These contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause insidious health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.

Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again.

This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is staffed with Water, Fire and Mold Remediation certified professionals who are here to tackle anything that may arise.

It's Never to late to Clean Mold!

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Common Indoor Mold: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria & Aspergillus

Here in the middle Georgia area, we have the ideal climate for mold to develop and thrive. Since mold can start to develop in as little as 48 hours after water damage, it is imperative that any damage due to a fire, flood, broken water pipe, or leaky foundation be cleaned up promptly and properly. 

After Spring storms and Summer showers, comes the damp, and moisture forecast, and the result of mold infestation is high. It is important to address any signs of mold immediately and correctly. Homes in our area are often affected by mold in bathrooms and basements, mold can develop anywhere in your home, especially if you have experienced any type of flooding. 

Mold spores spread through the air, so even areas that were not directly affected by floodwaters can soon become home to serious mold infestations. Mold is often found in air ducts, which can cause it to spread quickly. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is always ready to help you restore your home after a water damage or in the event of mold.Time is of the essence: the longer you postpone cleanup, the longer the mold remediation process, the more expensive,  and more inconvenience for you and your family.

If you are starting to see or smell mold in your home, a thorough cleaning and disinfecting is required, and the sooner the better. Mold has the potential to cause health effects, so cleanup should be conducted with proper protective clothing, masks and gloves. Bleach and water should be used to kill the mold in all affected areas. Scrub the solution into the area, rinse, and dry thoroughly. If saturated drywall and insulation was not removed after storm damage, you likely need a thorough evaluation by a professional emergency water damage restoration team.

Water damage that was not properly remedied prior to rebuilding may have caused mold to start growing behind your new walls or under your new carpeting. If the structure of your home was not properly disinfected, dehumidified, and dried, mold may be thriving. Your local SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties team see this frequently. In a rush to make properties habitable, steps are often skipped, leading to mold infestations. If you believe you have mold growth from recent floods or other water damage, call us immediately. We can quickly help you identify problem areas and start the mold remediation process.

Our mission is to help our neighbors, friends, and community members quickly recover from damage caused by natural disaster, fire, sewage backup, or other events. Regardless of the size or type of damage, we can quickly respond and start the evaluation and investigation into the cause, as well as the best way to restore your property  to its original state. Call us today at (478)452-8000. we work directly with insurance companies and carriers to help relieve a portion of the burden of the rebuilding process in order to make your loss "Like it never even happened."

Every Second Counts When It Comes to Restoring Your Property

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage, no matter the size, can affect every square inch of your property. It can travel through air ducts, burn through ceilings and floors, and damage countless pieces of equipment and documents.

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has access to thousands of pieces of equipment and hundreds of personnel to help mitigate even the largest fire damage. Our experienced technicians utilize industry knowledge, training, experience, high-tech equipment, and proprietary cleaning products to perform emergency services to meet our customer’s cleaning and restoration needs.

Performed immediately following a loss in order to reduce property and content damage, our emergency services reduce claims’ expense, and minimize customer disruption.

While the types of emergency services we provide vary, our emergency response includes:

  • Boarding up the structure and securing the property to help prevent intrusions.
  • Drying the structure and mucking out if necessary. Water is often used to extinguish a fire, so excess water or moisture must be monitored and removed.
  • Deodorization of the affected areas.
  • Pre-testing and initial cleaning. Initial cleaning may help prevent additional damage caused by soot residue, and pre-testing allows the technician to determine what can be restored to help eliminate needless and costly expenses.
  • Conducting building inspections to evaluate the loss site for any safety or health hazards.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for all your Fire Restoration needs!

Facts about Mold and Dampness

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

There is always some mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. Mold grows where there is moisture.

Mold and Your Home

Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.

Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

You Can Control Mold

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

MOLD PREVENTION TIPS

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
  • To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency's publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html.

Commercial Losses-What to do when it happens to you.

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

A water, fire or mold damage to your commercial space is the last thing you want to deal with. Unfortunately, it does happen but if it happens to you, know that SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is "Here to help!" 

Here at SERVPRO, we know that your daily business is of the utmost importance and we are ready and willing to work with you to get your business back to working order with minimal disruption to your daily routine. From the first notice of loss, to the final day of drying, we will do our best to accommodate any special requests that your business may need. Whether that means providing services after your business is closed, working within strict time frames to meet deadlines, or just maintaining open communication with you and your insurance company, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has what it takes to make your commercial loss less of a nightmare. 

The Levels of Commercial Damage

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe handles not only residential damage and restoration, but commercial as well.

There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:

Level 1

Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include, but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include, but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”

Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®

Commercial Loss Challenges

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire losses account for approximately $2.3 billion in commercial and industrial direct property loss each year.  At times you can have large-loss fires that affect buildings such as apartments, facilities, and places people work. These types of losses affect multiple lives. It can take a lot of effort on everyone's part to provide support. Here are some tips for the property owner to consider during this time.

  • Make sure everyone is safe and away from the property. Safety is the number one concern.
  • Get the community involved in helping families or workers that may be affected
  • Bring your adjuster in early to help manage things such as photos, mitigation, documenting anything they need to.
  • Analyze your policy, including all clauses, additions, extensions, and exclusions.
  • Bring in experts to check out the damages
  • Communication is key. Everyone should stay in good contact to get the job done as smoothly as possible.
  • Know that the process can be long and require a lot of patience.

Commercial Loss - We're here to help!

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Damage doesn't just happen at residential properties- it can strike your business, too! Thankfully, we are close by and ready to respond when disaster strikes.    

Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Cleaning Services
  • Commercial Storm and Major Events

SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today! 

Horrific House Fire

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

The fire's point of origin was the attic.

A house fire can happen to anyone and what this family experienced was tragically unexpected and needless to say scary.  As you can see by this picture, a fire can consume your home in seconds and leave a path of destruction. This picture shows one of many rooms consumed by this nasty fire. After speaking with the fire department, they estimated more than 14 regulation size swimming pools worth of water were used to extinguish the fire.  Thankfully, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe were called immediately and quickly sent the fleet to the rescue.  Although the owners were devastated, they were humbled and thankful to have a company come help them in this unfortunate event.  They've recently rebuilt a brand new house and have come back several times to thank us for all we did.

Baptismal Overflows!

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Choir room effected from ceiling caving.

Local church experienced something nobody saw coming...

Following an Easter Sunday service, someone accidentally forgot to shut off the water which filled the baptismal. When they arrived Monday morning, much to their surprise, the entire choir loft had flooded and overflowed into the choir room, leaving the hallways and classrooms devastated. Without hesitation, they immediately notified SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe and our fleet showed up to help save the day!

The Pastor of the church thanked SERVPRO for being so helpful and walking them through the process. Times like these leave you speechless and oftentimes, you don't know where to turn, but our crew knows just how to make it "Like it never even happened."

Stay Healthy: 6 Tips for Avoiding Cold and Flu

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

People who are exposed to cold and flu germs every day -- doctors, flight attendants, teachers -- know a thing or two about how to stay healthy when everyone around them is sick. Their suggestions can help you, too.

Get a flu shot. It's the No. 1 thing you can do to prevent the flu.

Wash your hands -- a lot. No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands over and over, says Alan Pocinki, MD. Pocinki practices internal medicine at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.

“Wash your hands as much as you can stand, and then some more -- especially after wrapping up a visit with someone who’s sick,” Pocinki says.

It sounds so simple, but soap and water are the constant companions of doctors and nurses. To completely get rid of viruses from your skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. A good way to time yourself is to sing "Happy Birthday" twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. It doesn't matter if the water's hot or cold -- the very act of scrubbing will physically remove the germs.

Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you can’t get to soap and water, sanitizer can kill cold and flu germs.

Avoid getting close to people who are sick. For example, don't shake hands.

“Doctors tend to be very cautious about hand shaking,” says Terri Remy, MD, medical director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria, VA. “Just explain, ‘To keep transmission of colds and flu down, I’m not shaking hands. But hello! Nice to meet you!’ They understand.”

Keep your surroundings clean. Arlington, VA, massage therapist Amanda Long asks clients to stay home if they feel bad. But to be safe, she sanitizes doorknobs and light switches between sessions. It's a practice she swears by.

“My hyper-vigilance has paid off,” Long says. “I was sick more often when I worked in an office, where people pawed into shared candy dishes and generally just mingled in a crowded space without much attention to germs. Now that I don't have sick days, I don't get paid if I don't work. And I know my job is to heal, not pass on a cold or the flu.”

Beth Geoghegan, a paramedic in South Florida, says she starts her day by cleaning her work space with virus-and-germ-killing soaps.

“It may sound like overkill, but it’s not -- it’s awareness,” she says. “It’s a matter of looking at your environment and thinking, 'What could be contaminated?' All it takes is a tiny droplet. What could have a droplet on it? And I know someone was in my ambulance for 12 hours before I got there -- both patients and other paramedics. It may already look clean, but it might not be.”

It’s also a matter of context. When Geoghegan gets home from a shift where nothing much happened, she launches into her normal activities. If it’s been a day filled with sick patients, she follows a different routine.

“If I saw 10 patients today, and eight had flu symptoms, I’m likely to take my uniform off the minute I get home, put it in the wash, and get right in the shower. Because you just never know,” she says.

Keep up a healthy lifestyle. It's important to look after your own health, says Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, KY.

“Do all the things we all should be doing on a daily basis anyway,” Hoven says. “Get adequate rest -- which people underestimate -- get good nutrition, don’t smoke, and keep your allergies controlled, because if they’re out of control, then your upper respiratory tree is already inflamed, which sets it up to more easily acquire a virus.”

Sewage Backup - That's no good.

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today –(478) 452-8000

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

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

Category 2: "Gray Water"

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

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

24 Emergency Service

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.

Don't wait - you can get very sick.  Call us immediately!

Fire - When you least expect it.

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

It'll never happen to me you say.  In a Utopian world, yes - but in reality, it can happen to the best.  It shows no favoritism towards ethnicity, religion, stature in the community or bank account balance.  It can consume the multi-million dollar home as quickly as it can consume the run-down, abandoned shanty. 

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?

The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

Fire Safety Tips
  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

SERVPRO has an expertly trained workforce prepared for any disaster, any time of day.  You can count on us to assist in life's greatest tragedies and make it look "Like it never even happened".  Here are the steps you should take to get things moving back to normal.

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today!

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. 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.

Don't hesitate to call - we care and we're here to help.

To see or not to see, that is the question!

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

When it comes to dirt, it often masks itself in very inconspicuous ways, making it very hard to see when things are getting tainted.  Most commercial carpets come in a blended pattern or knit making it difficult to see even the heaviest of stain.  Although you're not able to see the traffic areas, they're there, screaming for you to clean them.  Lying between your shoe sole and the carpet is a melting pot of germs, bacteria, mold spores, pollution and chemicals.  All of these are naked to the human eye, but out of sight doesn't mean out of mind.  In fact, the air you breath inside your home and office is filled with this contamination, so it's imperative to your health and the health of those around you that you have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis.  

The following list is courtesy of Carlo Ruggiero, a social blogger and “green” aficionado.

“Here are the top 5 potential health issues associated with not cleaning your carpets.

1. Damp carpets can cause asthma.

The Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health conducted a recent study which conclusively found that damp carpets increased the incidences of asthma in an environment where people were constantly exposed to the carpet. Organisms known as volatile organic compounds and microbial growth were found able to flourish in an unclean, damp carpet, and the results were increased cases of bronchial asthma, one of the deepest forms of the disease.

2. Dirty carpets house dust mites.

Dirty carpets are well known to be a breeding ground for dust mites, in the same way that dirty hair is a breeding ground for lice. Dust mites feed off of the same fungi, bacteria, and human skin cells that naturally filter into a carpet and stay if the carpet is not cleaned on a regular basis. Studies have also shown that most people are allergic to dust mites, and as they die, their carcasses are inhaled by humans who come into contact with the dirty carpet. Inhalation of the dead bodies has been known to cause rashes, and eye and nose irritation.

3. Dirty carpets house mould.

Mold has not been proven to link to asthmatic attacks, but this does not mean that mold does not cause humans great discomfort if left unattended. Bacteria and allergens which live on the mold can build up on uncared-for carpeting, and when ingested, can cause allergies to surface via the respiratory system. Worse problems can arise if the body succumbs to the bacteria which live on the mold spores, which it is especially prone to do if already weakened by another disease. If you are experiencing cold-like symptoms more often than normal, it is most likely time to get your carpet cleaned.

4. Athlete’s foot.

As before mentioned, dirty carpets house an incredible number of parasitic organisms which, if ingested into the respiratory system, can cause a number of health issues. The dust, fungi, and other organisms are kicked back into the air by movement on the carpet. However, another risk arises even if the movement on the carpet is not violent enough to move the organisms into the air, they can still cause athlete’s foot by entering the body through tiny cuts in the foot.

5. Mycotoxins.

More serious health issues can arise if the body is exposed to too many mycotoxins, which dirty carpets are an attractive environment for. Buildings are a source of mycotoxins and people living or working in areas with mold increase their chances of adverse health effects. These can range from stomach infections to fatality, depending on the initial health of the exposed person, or over time, as the mycotoxins wear down the body’s defenses. For example, Stachybotrys chartarum contains a higher number of mycotoxins than other molds grown in the indoor environment and has been associated with allergies and respiratory inflammation.”

SERVPRO recommends a seasonal cleaning, and we can guarantee a cleaner, healthier environment to work and play.  Our highly trained professionals use a hot water extraction thus eliminating any unwanted germs and funk that's been tracked in on your floors.  We service all types of carpets and even clean hard floor surfaces as well!  

If you've not scheduled a carpet cleaning lately, give us a call and let us help.  Make the environment around you a healthy one!

SERVPRO partners with Rotary International

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Ashley is pictured on left.

Sales and Marketing professional, Ashley Bacon, was recently inducted into our local chapter of Rotary Club International, pledging to uphold the mission of "Service Above Self".  We are confident this is a great fit for her as she serves those in our territory who battle disaster from water and fire damage or just need someone to manage their commercial floor cleaning.  We're proud to have her part of the team!

About Rotary:

"Rotary International is comprised of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our impact starts with our members—people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities' toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization's mission and values in their elected roles."

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