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Commercial Systems Prone to Water Damage: SERVPRO of North Atlanta

4/28/2022 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO Disaster Response Truck filled with restoration equipment SERVPRO of North Atlanta is ready for whatever happens! We'll restore your business after any size of property damage.

Commercial properties present unique risks when it comes to water damage. Unlike residential homes, which are usually one story and have easily accessible crawl spaces and attics, commercial buildings can be many stories high with flat roofs and multiple storefront windows. They also often have expensive specialized equipment that can be very costly to repair or replace if damaged by water. In this blog post, we will discuss the different parts of a commercial building that are at risk for water damage, as well as some tips on how to prevent it.

Plumbing Systems

The first and most obvious risk for water damage in a commercial property is the plumbing system. Because commercial buildings have more bathrooms, kitchens, and other water-using fixtures, they also have larger and more complex plumbing systems. These systems are often located in hard-to-reach places, making them difficult to repair if they spring a leak.

One of the main water damage challenges according to The Hartford Insurance is an improperly maintained sprinkler system. By law, most commercial buildings must have a fire sprinkler system, but many building owners forget to regularly maintain and test these systems. While a well-maintained fire sprinkler system can help prevent extensive fire damage in the event of a fire, improper maintenance or disaster planning can cause extensive water damage that can flood multiple floors.

Another plumbing risk is burst pipes. Commercial buildings, especially high rises tend to run at a higher pressure than residential buildings. Therefore, a burst pipe has the potential to release significantly more water than a home.

One of the ways in which we help commercial property owners prevent catastrophic property damage before it happens is through our app-based Emergency Response Planning program (ERP).

Roofing Systems

In addition to the plumbing system, there are a number of exterior commercial building components that can experience water damage. One of the most common is the flat roof. Because flat roofs are not sloped like traditional pitched roofs, they tend to pool water instead of shedding it. This can lead to leaks and eventually, if left unaddressed, major water damage.

Some common commercial roofing systems include:

  • Built-up Roofing (BUR): Often called tar and gravel roofs, these commercial roofing systems are built with a semi-continuous membrane installed in layers, then covered in aggregate. While they are usually simple to maintain, best practices suggest inspecting the roof for deterioration and possible leak points at least twice yearly.
  • Thermoplastic Single-Ply Membrane Roofing (PVC & TPO): These roofs are installed in large rolls that are then welded together at the seams with heat. The material is very durable and oil-resistant. However, the heat-welding methods require skilled installation, which can lead to weak points and leak-prone areas if not performed correctly.
  • EPDM Roofing: Some roofers call these "rubber roofs" because the material they are made of, ethylene propylene diene monomer is very rubber-like. This kind of roof is derived from oil and natural gas, and appears dark gray or black. When installed correctly and with the highest thickness available, this type of commercial roof will last a very long time with little to no issues. Unless you experience storm damage in your area, an annual check for leaks around the roof penetrations should suffice.

Window Systems

Commercial window systems are built for durability and use, however, they can often present a unique water damage challenge for commercial facilities. Most aluminum glazing systems aren't intended to be 100% waterproof. Most commercial window systems are meant to limit water penetration during extreme circumstances while also weeping water back out to the exterior.

By directing all moisture to the sill flashing, storefront systems limit water penetration. It's critical that the sill flashing be installed correctly in order to avoid water damage. Making sure that sealant is put on the top of the rear leg before installing the sill is one of the most important aspects of a good installation.

The most essential aspect of maintaining water penetration with a storefront is end dam fastening and sealing. Water will enter the building through the jamb locations if end dams are not properly fastened and sealed. Improperly (or missing) end dams can cause significant water damage to the interior drywall or flooring around commercial storefront windows.

Like anything else in a building, time and the elements can cause wear and tear and failure of these commercial window water control systems.

Commercial Water Damage Inspection Services

So if you notice moisture or water damage around your storefront windows, you should consider calling SERVPRO of North Atlanta to inspect for potential water damage issues. Our technicians are trained to identify, troubleshoot, and restore all types of commercial water issues.

Call today to schedule your commercial service!

(404) 261-2925

How to Respond to a House Fire: The Most Effective Strategies

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green Disaster Recovery truck trailer parked outside of a property restoration project with four workers around it. No matter how serious the property damage is, SERVPRO of North Atlanta/Buckhead has the crew and the expertise to restore your home after a fire.

It's that time of year again - fire season. Between the months of February and May, the weather gets hotter and drier, while the risk of house fires goes up. A fire can start from any number of sources: a faulty wire, an overloaded outlet, a kitchen accident, or a bonfire left unattended. If your home catches fire, it's important to know how to respond quickly and effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss the most effective strategies for responding to a house fire. Stay safe!

If a Fire Starts, Here Is What You Need To Know:
The first line of defense against a fire is to know how to safely use the right fire extinguisher for a house fire. This simple step can save lives and tens of thousands in property damages. If the fire loses control, immediately get out and stay out, then call 9-1-1. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.

If your clothing catches on fire, remember the old phrase: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

If you live in a building with elevators, it is important to use the stairs in case of a fire. A fire can short out the elevator electrical system, and the shaft can act like a chimney and rapidly fill up with dangerous smoke.

Understanding how to use doors to your advantage during a fire can mean the difference between life and death. If the door or handle is warm, do not open it. If you can't escape through the primary way, find another way out. Do not open any doors that are warm to the touch.

If some, heat, or flames block your exits, close any doors around you, place a wet towel under the doors and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Tell them exactly where you are so they know where to find you.

If you're near a window that you can't use as an escape, open it and wave a brightly colored cloth or use your phone flashlight to signal for help.

What To Do After a Fire

After a fire, it is important to contact a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of North Atlanta. We have the training, experience, and equipment to properly restore your home - "Like it never even happened."

If you try to clean up the fire damage yourself, you could end up making the situation worse both in your home and with your insurance company's process.

Trust the experts, and call today!

Spring Weather to Watch Out For In Georgia | SERVPRO® of North Atlanta/Buckhead

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

an image with a cloudy, rainy, sunny and snowy sky Extreme temperature changes can lead to severe weather. SERVPRO of North Atlanta/Buckhead is just a phone call away if you need immediate assistance.

The United States is a big country. It's the third largest in the world, after Russia and Canada. But if you don't count all of the US territories, China is bigger.

The USA has many different areas, each with their own weather. The weather can be very different from one area to the next. Each area faces different weather threats throughout the year.

In the spring, you can expect different weather in different parts of the country. In Georgia, we need to be aware of what will happen when two warm and cold air masses meet.

The Pacific Northwest is known for a lot of rainfall during the spring. This can cause floods and water damage to houses. Snowfall will continue at higher elevations, and the melting and runoff from that will bring new concerns of their own.

The Upper Midwest and Northeast have the longest winters. The temperatures stay cold for a long time. People in these parts of the country can expect snowstorms and blizzards throughout late spring or early summer in places from Maine to South Dakota, when temperatures start to rise.

Residents of the southern West Coast should be wary of intense heat waves. They should also be aware of possible safety concerns and tsunamis on Hawaii's South Pacific coast. This is because of tectonic activity.

The heartland of America (Iowa to Texas) is a region that will be affected by many different types of storms. These storms can include tornadoes, droughts, and wild fires. These events can be dangerous and cause a lot of property damage.

Extreme weather is a big concern in the Southeast, especially in Georgia. This includes tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in landlocked states, as well as hazardous rip currents on the coast and hurricanes during the spring. Georgia is often affected by thunderstorms and tornadoes in the spring and summer. These are often caused by remnants of tropical storms that have crossed the sea.

No matter where you live in the United States, it is always important to be prepared for the weather. Your state might have different weather than your friend's state, but you should always be ready for anything.

Luckily, help is only a phone call away if extreme weather causes you to suffer property damage from water, fire, or other agents. For prompt and professional restoration, contact SERVPRO of North Atlanta/Buckhead.

3 Easy Home Maintenance Tips to Help You Prevent a Water Damage Event: SERVPRO of North Atlanta / Buckhead

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

5 Green SERVPRO trucks in a warehouse in Atlanta waiting to be dispatched to a water restoration project. SERVPRO of North Atlanta / Buckhead keeps its trucks ready to respond immediately to your water damage emergency.

Water damage can be a costly and devastating event. At SERVPRO of North Atlanta / Buckhead, we have often found that careful maintenance can diminish the risk and costs of water damage restoration. The water damage restoration process can be stressful, but by following some simple home maintenance tips, you can help prevent flooding from structural or maintenance issues in your home.

1) Assess your water heater to minimize water repair risk.

Water heater issues are common when it comes to our emergency water cleanup calls in Buckhead, GA and Peachtree Hills, GA. With regular maintenance, you can prevent a surprise water heater flood in your home. Make sure the water heater's thermostat is regulating the temperature properly to prevent pressure buildup that can cause a water leak.

If you notice an odd taste or odor in the water from your water heater, it may have rust or sediment buildup inside. Also, if your water starts to make strange noises, it could need inspection or replacement to prevent a surprise flood.

2) Inspect your appliance hoses and connectors for leaks and replace them if they start showing wear.

Look for any cracks, kinks, unraveling, wear, or corrosion on the hoses and connectors. If you find any damage, replace them immediately. Most manufacturers and plumbers also recommend replacing water hoses and connectors every 3-5 years to prevent surprise water damage issues.

3) Replace old caulking in your windows and doors to prevent wet areas and moisture around the windows.

We often get calls for mitigation work in Atlanta, GA and Sandy Springs, GA for this kind of mitigation work. Caulking your windows can not only stop water leaks but also help to keep out drafts. It is a simple process that you can do yourself. Most window caulks should last about five years, but you should inspect your caulking every year and replace it if you notice any cracks developing or if you see it pulling away from the window.

You should also check your exterior door flashings for holes or rust that can allow water entry. If your doors are properly caulked, you can also help prevent premature flashing failure.

We are Here to Help for All of Your Water Repair Needs

If you or someone you know needs water damage restoration service, our team at SERVPRO of North Atlanta / Buckhead is Here to Help!

Save our number for the future or call today for rapid response from our IICRC trained water restoration technicians.

Call today! (404) 261-2925

Lightning and Risk of Fire to Your Home

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. Electrical storms and strikes can develop quickly, wreaking havoc on your life by causing your home to catch fire.

Electrical Storms and Potential Risks To Your Property

Lightning is one of the most dangerous natural forces in the world, and this phenomenon has the ability to cause significant damage to the homes that it strikes. One of the major hazards that it poses is the threat of lighting fire to your residence. If you are a homeowner in Morningside, GA, read on for more information about electrical storms and the potential risks to your property.

How Does It Enter Your Home?

A bolt of lightning will always find the quickest path to enter the ground, and unfortunately, homes can sometimes be part of that path. Your home can be entered a number of ways.

  • Direct strikes
  • Power, cable or phone lines
  • Electrical gates or doors
  • Metal pipes

How Do Fires Start?

Once a strike occurs, the risk of a house fire is considerable. A bolt is a current of electricity that can reach temperatures comparable with the surface of the sun. The intense heat is enough to ignite a flame, especially in highly flammable parts of the home, such as the attic or within the walls where insulation is present. Electrical charges can also create dangerous sparks responsible for lighting fire to homes and buildings.

Stay Safe During Storms

Remember, you are within striking distance if you can hear thunder. During storms, stay inside, away from doors and windows, and avoid using items that place you in contact with plumbing or electricity. If your home suffers a strike, contact the fire department to check over your property. If you detect smoke, call 911 and evacuate everyone from the premises immediately.

Electrical storms and strikes can form quickly and wreak havoc in your life by lighting fire to your home. If your dwelling is a victim of this type of blaze, don’t hesitate to reach out to an emergency restoration service to assist you.

3 Steps to Take After a Pipe Break

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water all over a living room flor Water damage due to a bursting pipe in Lenox Square, GA.

After a Pipe Break, Follow These 3 Steps

Many homeowners in Lenox Square, GA  worry about a flash flood when the weather outside gets a little too wet. However, one commonly overlooked source of flooding is bursting pipes. A homeowner should contact a professional to fix a broken pipe immediately. It is the only way to curtail the level of water damage from getting any worse.

1. Stop the Flow of Water

The first thing you as a homeowner can do is prevent the flooding from getting any worse. You will need to shut off the main water line. After you do so, you still need to drain the pipes of all water. This will require you to run every sink and flush each toilet in your house at least once. You will also need to turn off your home’s water heater. Once there is no running tap water left, the leak should stop entirely.

2. Inspect the Damage

Next, you will need to locate the burst pipes. If you are able to find the broken pipe, then you should take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. If you cannot find the culprit, then you will need to bring in a professional crew as soon as possible.

3. Contact a Professional Drying and Remediation Crew

For homeowners in Lenox Square, GA who think they are fairly handy around the house, it is always a good idea to call a professional team to take care of any water damage just to be safe. There is a lot of remediation that needs to take place, such as drying any damaged structures and preventing mold growth. Professionals also know how to safely work around water to prevent electrocution or illness.

It only takes a matter of minutes for bursting pipes to wreak havoc on your home. The faster you can respond to such an emergency, the better off you and your family are sure to be.

What Should You Do in a Property Damage Crisis? You Hire SERVPRO of North Atlanta.

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Damaged Home and Burnt Car in a Garage Fire Damaged Home and Burnt Car in a Garage

Introduction

You may have heard the expression "when it rains, it pours." Well, when you're staring at a flooded property with damage to your building's contents, that idea takes on new meaning. Running water can cause havoc in homes and commercial buildings alike. A minor issue like a slow drip from an overflowing sink or toilet can turn into tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

What to do when a property damage emergency happens 

Most importantly, be sure everyone including your family and pets are safe. If the building is compromised, tell everyone to get out of the building immediately and call 911. Call our SERVPRO of North Atlanta team immediately at (404) 261-2925. Our IICRC approved technicians will arrive at your home or business within 2 hours for an immediate response, day or night! The sooner we arrive on-site the faster we can begin mitigating the damage.

Next, be sure to call your insurance company to explain the situation. This is the best way to get started with any potential claims process. Because of our deep restoration industry knowledge and experience, our technicians will be sure to document everything according to your insurance company's specifications.

How SERVPRO of North Atlanta can help you through a property crisis 

If you find yourself in the midst of a building damage crisis, don't hesitate to give us a call. The sooner we respond and begin our mitigation tasks, the less expensive and more effective our service will be for you. Because our focus is property restoration, our teams are trained to assess any kind of property damage to quickly plan and execute an efficient and effective restoration strategy to protect and restore as much of your home, business, and personal belongings as possible. We employ IICRC certified technicians who understand your predicament and know how to quickly help get you back on your feet.

The benefits of working with our SERVPRO team 

Working with our SERVPRO team means that you'll get the help you need to get your property back in proper working order faster. For example, here are several things that we do when you choose to work with our team:

Rapid, Advanced Structural Drying - We have the proper restoration equipment for ANY size property loss. From a single affected bathroom to a flooded or burnt 100,000+ sf industrial facility, our teams know exactly how to set up the right equipment at the right time.

Fire & Smoke Restoration - We eliminate smoke damage odors using industrial air scrubbers, fogging equipment, & several specialized cleaning compounds. Just ask us about our Ozone treatment! Whether it's smoke or fire damage in an apartment building or smaller scale of residential, workplace, or vehicle restoration needs, SERVPRO of North Atlanta is here to help and capable of it.

Mold Cleaning & Remediation - All molds are not created equal. SERVPRO of North Atlanta technicians know how to quickly and safely remove any mold species from your property. In many cases the affected area must be isolated, a containment system put in place, and special equipment brought out to assure that all mold spores are destroyed. Our team has the knowledge and experience to quickly stabilize any dangerous mold infestations.

Employee IICRC Training - SERVPRO of North Atlanta employees are trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This is an international certification organization that ensures our technicians are qualified to serve you in your time of need the way you need it.

The Most Advanced Technology - Our cleaning and restoration equipment & supplies are top of the line. We utilize state-of-the-art technology to properly restore your home, office, or other commercial property back to preloss condition.

Emergency Board Up Services - In many cases it's necessary to board up a building that has been damaged by either a storm event, fire, or water. Our teams know exactly what needs to be done to protect your home or business from further damage.

Commercial Damage Restoration - If you're looking for an experienced commercial damage restoration company in Atlanta look no further! With our Disaster Response Team certification, we are one of the top 5 franchises in the number 1 brand in restoration. And we work hard to grow and maintain that reputation of excellence.

How we can help you get your life back on track after a property damage emergency

The fire, the flood, or the storm can leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. You need help now to get your life back on track as quickly as possible without having to worry about all the details. SERVPRO offers a range of services designed to help your property return to its preloss condition faster than ever before. And, our service is backed by decades of industry experience and advanced training in how best to restore business value after even the toughest property loss. No matter what kind of damage you're faced with (big or small) we are here for you!

If you hire SERVPRO of North Atlanta, you can trust that your property damage crisis is in good hands with our knowledgeable, highly trained technicians on the job. We'll work fast to assess the situation, establish what needs to be done (and how best to do it), and get your home or business back to its former glory.

Call us today to see exactly why SERVPRO of North Atlanta is the number 1 trusted property restoration team in:

24/7/365, We are Here to Help.

Deductibles and Storm Damage: Can You Claim Losses as Deductions?

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse, contaminated water on the floor. Storm damage can cause significant losses for a business.

Deductibles and Storm Damage

Storm damage can cause significant losses for a business. However, the answer to whether those losses are tax-deductible or not depends on several factors, the biggest of which is whether items or potential claims are insured. There is a term, casualty loss, which refers to the sudden or unexpected loss of something due to an unusual or sudden event. These losses can be deducted; however, there are several stipulations that may prevent you from using this deduction.


1. Reimbursable Items

You likely cannot claim a casualty loss deduction for items that are considered reimbursable, meaning items that are already insured and protected from loss. Therefore, anything covered under your commercial policy cannot be used as a deduction.

2. Routine Use or Neglect

Also, claiming storm damage loss for items that were already beyond their expected life or not adequately maintained will likely not be accepted as a deduction. For example, claiming an HVAC unit, which has been on the fritz with no routine maintenance checks, has unexpectedly failed due to a storm is not likely to pass muster.

3. Business Interruption

A casualty loss deduction also cannot be applied to projected future profits, meaning that if a storm causes business interruption, you cannot claim a loss on those profits you expected during the shutdown. The reason is due to actual loss and predicted loss. Deductions work by proving actual losses, meaning proven losses. Projections of future income are not proof of that income.

4. Restoration Work

Additionally, a casualty loss deduction will likely not encompass the costs of restoration work unless the work is not covered by your business policy. You can contact your insurer or a disaster restoration specialist in the Peachtree Battle, GA, area to find out more information on coverage and payment options.

Storm damage is an unfortunate occurrence, but one that your business is hopefully protected against through adequate insurance coverage. If not, you may be able to claim a casualty loss deduction, but you will want to review the list above to ensure your deduction claim can make it through scrutiny.

3 Steps of the Fire Cleanup Process

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Three electric scaffolds used to clean smoke on a commercial ceiling Fire cleanup experts in Paces Perry, GA.

The Fire Cleanup Process

A fire in your commercial property in Paces Ferry, GA, can cause multiple kinds of damage to almost every part of the affected area. It is not uncommon for a building that has burned to have just as much water damage as smoke damage. You also may need to have soot removed, and there is likely to be an unpleasant odor throughout the space. It’s smart, therefore, to hire fire restoration specialists who are trained and certified to handle all the steps of the fire cleanup process.

1. Fire Damage Remediation

The first part of the smoke cleaning process usually starts with the structural damage caused not only by the fire but also by the water used to put it out. Experts may need to employ several techniques to fix your building:

  • Extract standing water
  • Remove damaged items, including walls, insulation, flooring and ceiling tiles
  • Clean and dry the whole area
  • Replace parts of the structure that were destroyed
  • Match new parts to existing frame to restore the proper aesthetic

Once the smoke damage to the structure has been remedied, technicians can move on to ridding your property of soot.

2. Soot Removal

After a fire, every square inch of the space where it occurred is probably covered in a layer of soot. The tricky thing about these carbon flakes is that they are highly transferable, so experts must be careful to keep the area closed off. Safety gear is necessary during soot damage remediation so that it doesn’t come into contact with skin, hair and lungs.

3. Odor Elimination

Smoke can be pervasive. It can get into tiny cracks and crevices, so the odor tends to linger. An ozone machine that releases molecules that bond with and neutralize smoke particles may be used. Another popular technique is thermal fogging. This process works by heating up a deodorizing chemical and disseminating it in the same basic way the fire spread the smoke. Both methods can help get rid of smoke odor.

Smoke damage often requires professional restoration. Experts can make your building look "Like it never even happened."

The Three Categories of Water Damage

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

Bathtub overflowing, clean water flooded a bathroom. A bathtub overflowing is considered category 1.

The Three Categories of Water Damage

Dealing with flooding in your home in Peachtree Battle, GA, can be one of the most difficult things imaginable. The first step involved in remediating the issue is learning what the three categories of water damage are. It is important to know what stage you are dealing with and the proper way to handle it, particularly if there is contaminated water. Here are the three categories.

1. Category 1. The first category of water damage is the least severe and the simplest to handle. It is caused by clean water that usually starts from a supply line that has broken, or from a bathtub or sink overflowing. This water is not contaminated. Category 1 can advance into category 2 and 3 if it is not promptly taken care of.

2. Category 2. The second category of water damage, frequently caused by what is referred to as grey water, is the result of contaminated water that can be harmful if you are exposed to it or it is swallowed. Some sources are a leaking dishwasher or a toilet with urine that overflows. There may also be microorganisms present.

3. Category 3. The third category of water damage, is the most severe. This water is extremely contaminated and unsanitary. Common sources are from flooding bodies of water, sewage or standing water that has been stagnant for long periods of time. This type of water is usually full of viruses, bacteria and parasites. You will need emergency water damage repair services as soon as possible.

Discovering flooding in your home can be overwhelming, especially if there is contaminated water. Understanding what the categories of water damage are is the first step to getting your home clean and returning it to a safe condition.