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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

What To Do When Floodwater Gets in the Furnace

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

A burst pipe behind a wall in an Atlanta, GA business. Dealing with flood water.

When floodwater gets into the furnace of your Atlanta, GA property, everything the water touched must be cleaned and restored, so you can avoid further damage. One area of damage that can be easily overlooked is a furnace flood. When the flooded furnace and any affected HVAC ducts aren't professionally restored, the secondary damage could be even more of a problem than the original flooding.

Act Quickly To Avoid Further Damage

There are several steps you should take as soon as you notice water, whether it's a furnace flood or a burst pipe:

Shut off the water to your building from the main stopcock. This prevents more water from spreading throughout your building. It also reduces the risk of water and electricity combining.
Turn off the electricity. Even if a small amount of water can cause serious electrical trouble.
Move items away from the water. You may have large pieces of furniture that you can safely move to a dry location. Don't move electrical appliances; leave these items to the professionals.
Remove as much water as possible. The longer the water sits, the more damage you could experience.

When water damage and cleanup professionals arrive, they will use powerful water extraction tools and chemical cleaners that have been developed specifically to protect your flooded furnace and other appliances from further harm.

Contact Professionals for Necessary Repairs

These professionals can also complete air duct cleaning, address soggy carpets, and repair other parts of your property. If the services of a plumber are required, the cleanup technicians or your insurance provider may suggest a reputable professional in your area.
A furnace flood can cause a lot of upset and inconvenience, but with quick action and the help of professionals, you won't have to wait long for a solution. As you have the furnace and ductwork cleaned and maintained, you'll breathe much more easily in the days to follow.

Mold Removal Expectations

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold quarantine and fogging in Atlanta, GA. Mold remediation in Atlanta, GA.

Finding mold in your Atlanta, GA business is frustrating. As a savvy business owner, you know how vital it is to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. On the flip side, time is money for continued business success. Understanding the mold removal process and getting the right help are keys to a faster recovery.

The Remediation Process

When it comes to mold growth, every situation is different. In most cases, the remediation process takes three to seven days. Depending on the location and extent of damage, it may require moving operations off-site during the cleanup. Once an inspection and assessment are completed, you can have the following expectations for mold removal:

  • Technicians will be outfitted with safety gear, including a face mask, goggles, gloves and protective suit.
  • The affected area will be sealed off with a containment barrier, ensuring spores don’t spread to unaffected areas.
  • Unsalvageable materials will be removed, such as portions of drywall, insulation and baseboards.
  • Surface areas are treated to kill the mold.
  • After physical removal, high-tech air scrubbers or other tools are used to clean the air of any potential spores.
  • A sealer or encapsulant may be used to increase resistance to black mold and water damage, as well as control odors.

Expertise Matters

Knowing that mold may easily return if not properly taken care of, finding the right help is essential. If the damage is extensive, it's best to find a certified remediation and restoration company. That ensures they are up to date on the latest standards and processes. It is also important to verify that their technicians are also certified. Along with having the tools and techniques needed for cleanup, they will also be able to make any structural repairs.
While mold removal may mean some downtime, not getting it properly taken care of may mean much more downtime in the future.

4 Candle Alternatives for Fire Safety

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

outdoor string lights hanging on a line in backyard Strings of lights are designed with fire safety in mind

Here are Four Fire-Safe Candle Alternatives

Candles are used to create decorative lighting effects or release fragrances. Whether you are looking for safer mood lighting or a way to diffuse a scent without any risk of a candle fire, here are four fire-safe candle alternatives.

1. Battery-Powered Candles

A flameless electric alternative to candles can be placed anywhere for decorative or lighting purposes. Electric candles come in a wide variety of colors, heights, thicknesses and designs. Some battery-powered models are also designed to release fragrances.

2. Strings of Lights

Another way to get a candle-lit look is to string up Christmas or fairy lights. Strings of lights are designed with fire safety in mind. Choose from strands of single-color or multicolor bulbs. It is also possible to set up lights to blink or flicker if desired. Ultra-efficient LED bulbs make replacements affordable and keep energy costs low.

3. Candle Warmers

A candle warmer may be the best option among these candle alternatives for fans of scented candles. A warmer makes it possible to enjoy these fragrances with a much lower fire risk. A warmer may be a base on which a candle sits or resemble a lamp.

4. Diffusers

Reed diffusers do not resemble candles. For a different look, reeds in oil can be an attractive, creative and flameless way to release a scent. Diffusers have an even lower risk of fire than an electric candle warmer.

Most candle fires occur around the holidays. Battery-powered candle alternatives and strings of lights are safer options for illuminated decorations. Warmers and diffusers are useful for spreading a fragrance throughout a home with a lower risk of fire. If a fire starts due to a candle or any other cause, you should attempt to extinguish the flames or contact the fire department. Fire damage restoration experts can restore or replace damaged building materials at a residence in Atlanta,GA.

4 Tips for Getting Water Out of Your Crawl Space

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing Removing water from your crawl space is a serious process that can require some equipment

Following These Tips Will Get You Started On The Right Path

When there is water under your home, you must get it out. While it may not be easy, removing the water will prevent mold from causing structural damage. However, a lot of people don't know the best ways to remove excess water. Most people think you need serious equipment, such as a sump pump and a trash pump.

1. Identify the Problem
You should identify the problem that is letting the water into your home in Ridgeview Park,GA. Common issues include foundation cracks and leaky pipes. You may also find water seeping through the floor around your toilets. Before removing the water, you need to fix the problem.

2. Buy a Submersible Pump
A submersible pump is a valuable piece of equipment that removes standing water. They are available at any home improvement store. Dig a hole and install the pump into that. This is generally only necessary if there is excessive flooding. In this case, it may be better to have a remediation team fix the damage than trying to do it yourself.

3. Suck Up the Water With a Shop Vacuum
Also known as a wet and dry vacuum, this is the most common tool for removing standing water. This is because it can suck up water and let you dump it outside easily. Use this to suck all the water up. Keep vacuuming until the plastic vapor barrier on your floor is visible.

4. Install a Dehumidifier
Humidity can allow mold to grow in your crawl space. It can also cause the structure of your home to rot. Therefore, you should try sealing the vents on your crawl space and installing a dehumidifier. This is an easy fix you can make on your own.
Removing water from your crawl space is a serious process that can require some equipment. Generally, you will be able to do this on your own. However, serious cases may require that you get help from a professional.

A Few Answers Related to Home Water Damage

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

wet floor, water damage in a home Water damage in Vinnings, GA

When water overruns the interior of your home, you are likely to have many questions. Your first impulse might be to try and fix things on your own, but any significant flood event requires professional help. You might wonder, "Who should I call?" For major plumbing problems, a plumbing contractor can come to your home and repair the problem. For help with the cleanup and restoration, a local water mitigation company in Vinings, GA, will have the resources and the personnel to minimize property damage. Technicians will arrive at your home in a matter of hours. They will use advanced equipment and hard-earned knowledge to restore your home to its proper condition.

The Question of Insurance Coverage

Water damage in your home inevitably becomes a financial issue. You will need to repair and replace items and there will be expenses for restoration services. To get the best information, it is vital that you call your insurance agent. In general, though, so long as the water mishap was unexpected and sudden, your homeowner's policy will cover some or all of the following expenses:

  • Damage to the structure of your home
  • Damage to personal items
  • Costs to fix broken pipe
  • Costs for restoration services

A flood that originates from the outside of your home is typically not covered. For this you need specific coverage for the overflowing of water into your house.

The Question of a Complete Restoration
How do you determine when your home has been completely restored after water damage? You should make sure all standing water has been removed from impacted areas. It is important to ensure the area has been dried out properly. This can be difficult to determine, so be sure to ask the company doing your cleanup. A reputable franchise will give you an honest answer. Also, pay attention to any lingering odors and insist those are addressed.
A flood in your home is a troubling event. You can overcome this temporary problem with quality help from professionals.

What to Look for in an Effective Security Fence

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Private property in the forest angle shot To protect your business, you are going to want an effective security fence

What to Look for in an Effective Security Fence

A lot of companies will install any fence around their property. They think this will keep vandals away from their damaged building until the remediation professionals arrive. However, that is not the case. Some fences can actually appeal to criminals. The best thing to do is to look for several traits that make a security fence effective.

Always go with a see-through security fence. This allows people to see inside the lot, deterring criminals. A solid fence will provide cover that can attract vandals.

Hard to Climb
You want a fence that is hard to climb. Here are some things you should look for:

  • At least 8 feet tall
  • Few horizontal rails
  • Spiked top

The height may be obvious as a frighteningly high climb will deter most criminals. However, you may have height restrictions, so you will want to make sure you meet codes before installing one. Avoid horizontal rails since these can work as a ladder for people who want to get onto your property.
As far as a spiked top, there are lots of options. Some fences will have points built into the vertical rails. Others will have a flat top, and you will need to install barbed wire or anti-climb spikes.

If a vandal can go through or under your fence in Sandy Springs, GA, it does you no good. To prevent them from going under, you should secure the fence to the ground with concrete. Ideally, you will have the entire bottom secured. In some areas, this may not be possible. In those cases, make sure all the posts are in concrete.
You must also make sure they cannot go through your fence. Opt for heavy-duty metal so it cannot easily be cut through. Also, be sure your gate is just as secure. This is the weakest point in your fence. Therefore, you want to make sure it is made out of the same heavy-duty material as your fence. A padlock can add an extra layer of security.
To protect your business, you are going to want an effective security fence. Looking for these features can help you pick the right one.

3 Steps To Prevent Damage After A Pipe Bursts

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Gym suffered from water damage, drying equipment all over the room Water damage in Atlanta

Steps To Take For Preventing Long-Term Problems

You may be fortunate enough as a business owner in Atlanta, GA, to not have to think about floods as a risk on a regular basis. However, flooding isn't only the result of natural disasters. Bursting pipes are one of the main causes of damage to businesses. Whether a pipe burst due to old age, freezing weather, or hard water buildup, a broken pipe can do real damage.

1. Call For Help
As soon as you can, call a water damage remediation specialist to come and evaluate the problem. Whether a large flood or a small one, water damage can cause long-term problems if it isn't dealt with correctly. Water can permeate all types of materials, allowing mold to grow behind solid drywall. Using a professional to fix broken pipe provides the additional benefit of them being able to assess any damage to the surrounding area.

2. Clean Up Safely
Once you've been told that there are no safety hazards, such as exposed electrical wiring, you can begin to handle some of the cleanup process yourself. Pumps and shop vacuums can be used to remove standing water. If you're able, move furniture and rugs, preferably outdoors, so that they can dry out completely. Running fans or dehumidifiers will help to dry out wet indoor areas and mitigate the spread of mold caused by bursting pipes.

3. Prevent Future Problems
Once you've chosen your remediation team, they will work with you to evaluate the full extent of damage. There exists a technology that enables professionals to check the moisture level behind walls so that you know the potential risk of mold growth without needing to tear down walls to check.
Proper drying and ventilation after water damage from bursting pipes will help to make your business a safe place for you and your employees to work.

Why Mold Grows in HVAC Air Ducts

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth around air duct system Mold growth in HVAC Air duct

Mold can grow in most areas of commercial buildings in Atlanta, GA, especially if they provide the right conditions. Its effects are dangerous for building materials, causing severe damage if left untreated. HVAC systems circulate mold around the building and provide the humid conditions it needs to thrive. HVAC cleaning is especially important for commercial buildings to prevent the growth of unwanted mold.

The Conditions for Mold Growth in HVAC Systems

You can find mold growth in the humid and dark areas of your HVAC system, such as:

  • The drip pan
  • The AC evaporator coils
  • The air ducts

Mold thrives in moist environmental conditions where it can find a host with the right nutrients. The dust in the ducts provides mold with nutrients and the dark, humid environment gives it the preferable conditions to grow. If the drip pan and AC evaporator coil are not cleaned regularly, they can also provide fungus the essential conditions for growth. It is important to conduct routine HVAC cleaning to prevent these parts from becoming worn or damaged.

Mold Prevention for HVAC Systems
To prevent mold growth on HVAC systems, make sure the air filters are routinely cleaned or replaced. HEPA filters are capable of filtering out the smallest air particles, making them ideal for filtering mold spores. Regular professional HVAC maintenance is also an essential part of mold prevention. It is recommended that this be done twice a year for commercial buildings. Routinely inspect your HVAC system for mold on air vents. Cleaning vents regularly will also prevent additional mold particles from circulating through your HVAC system.
Regular HVAC cleaning is necessary for mold prevention for commercial buildings and should be done by a professional mold cleaning service at least twice a year. If you have mold damage in your building, it is likely the mold is traveling through your HVAC system. Good filtration and regular maintenance can prevent mold growth and make your commercial building a cleaner, health-friendly environment.

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

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Kitchen fire in Atlanta, GA

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 in Atlanta, GA, 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.

Understanding the True Costs of Mold Remediation

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage in walls Mold damage in Atlanta, GA

Understanding the True Costs of Mold Remediation

When you discover mold in your home, it’s not just a minor nuisance. It’s a serious problem that only gets worse if ignored. Mold removal requires the experience of professionals, an inspector and a team of trained mold remediation experts. A homeowner in Atlanta, GA, may pay anywhere from $500 to $6,000 to properly deal with mold damage; however, extensive remediation can be significantly more expensive, running into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you have a mold problem, the sooner you hire pros to address it, the better.

Hiring a Mold Inspector
A professional mold inspector or investigator can determine the extent of any damage and make recommendations about the level of mold removal necessary. Not only do professional investigators have the appropriate equipment to take samples, but they should have the right knowledge and meet other criteria:

  • Be credentialed to offer inspection services and able to show documentation of industry-specific education
  • Have no official affiliation to a mold remediation provider for an objective recommendation
  • Produce an informative and detailed report based on samples taken
  • Provide objective findings about the degree of mold damage

It’s important to check for these criteria, as the mold inspection industry is not heavily regulated. Usually, a mold inspector charges from $200 to $600 for a job that lasts from two to six hours.

Fully Addressing Mold
You should know that a mold inspector may have to cut your walls to properly assess where mold removal is necessary. Air samples can cost up to $150 per sample, which may or may not be included in the overall price. Be sure to ask this question up front.
The right provider won’t recommend black mold removal if it’s not needed. That person can direct you to a professional mold cleanup company that has the experience, tools, and know-how to restore your home to pre-damage conditions. Depending on the source of the mold growth, your property insurance may cover some or all of the costs for cleanup.

Bursting Pipes Are Terrible for Homes

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Burst pipe with water Bursting pipes are terrible homes

Bursting Pipes Are Terrible for Homes

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.”

How Commercial Insurance Can Help After a Fire

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

businessman signing partnership agreement concept While commercial insurance can help your business recover financially, you may also need help with the cleanup and repairs

How Commercial Insurance Can Help After a Fire

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

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.

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.

4 Tips To Stay Safe During Flood Cleanup

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Wash your hands. Health- cleanliness concept. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling anything that has touched floodwater

Follow These Tips To Stay Safe During Flood Cleanup

After a business flood, you’ll likely want to start cleaning up your flooded company as soon as possible, but you should fight the urge to jump in with both feet. Flood situations can pose serious health hazards. 

1. Understand the Risk
Even clean-looking floodwater can be highly contaminated. Water from outside contains bacteria and other microorganisms and may be tainted with chemical pollutants. Floodwater from a broken pipe can contain human waste or other organic matter. Even clean water can become contaminated if it touches floors and other areas of your business, or mixes with contaminated water.

2. Call in the Pros
Before attempting any cleanup efforts yourself, call a professional flood damage restoration company in Morningside, GA. These experts have the proper training and equipment to deal with your flooded company quickly and safely. In addition to cleaning up the building, they can restore many contents of your business through freeze-drying, dry cleaning and other methods.

3. Wear Protective Gear
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that anyone who is exposed to floodwaters should wear waterproof gloves, rubber boots and goggles to prevent contact with harmful bacteria. The CDC also suggests wearing a splash-proof face shield and liquid-repellent coveralls, if possible. Remove all protective gear and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before getting into your car or leaving the site of the flood.

4. Practice Safe Hygiene
Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling anything that has touched floodwater. Never eat, drink, smoke or chew gum during flood cleanup. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating, and before and after using the restroom.
The best practice is to leave flood cleanup to the professionals, who have experience working with potentially contaminated floodwaters. However, if you must enter your flooded company, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Flood Damage

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse, black water damage Commercial flood damage in Atlanta, GA

Prepare To Face A Flood 

As a business owner, you need to make sure that you're prepared to take on any type of disaster, including flooding. Failure to address or remediate water damage in a timely manner can result in devastating amounts of secondary damage. Protect your business in Atlanta, GA, by preparing to face a flood before disaster strikes.

1. Assess Your Location's Risk.
There are multiple ways to assess your building's flood risk. The Federal Emergency Agency can provide you with a map that displays locations that have a higher flood risk.

2. Create and Discuss a Disaster Plan With Your Employees.
It's a good idea to implement a couple different disaster plans for your business. It is vital that you inform and train your employees on the specifics regarding any type of evacuation plan. This can help ensure everyone's safety in the event of a major black water flood.

3. Install Alternative Energy Sources.
Less severe storms or floods might not warrant a complete evacuation. If a business can continue safely, then you should make every attempt to do. Installing backup generators and air conditioning units can help expedite recovery time and reduce the amount of income lost.

4. Protect Important Records.
Your business's most important files should have multiple backups regardless. In case of flooding, you should make steps to waterproof these backup copies. Store physical documents in waterproof containers that are elevated at least one foot above the projected flood level. Electronic documents should have multiple backups stored in the Cloud.

5. Purchase Commercial Flood Insurance.
According to FEMA, almost 40% of small businesses are unable to recover from even the smallest of floods. Insurance coverage can help prevent flood damage from killing your business.
Don't let your business succumb to water damage caused by flooding. Take the time to ensure that your building, employees and personal property are all prepared to face any type of disaster. Make sure to contact storm remediation experts if your business has fallen victim to flood damage.

Cleanup Procedures Following a Flood

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

flood waters overtake house Flooded home in Paces Ferry, GA

Steps To Take To Ensure Safety Following a Home Flood

For many residents in Paces Ferry, GA, the potential for flooding is always a risk. They've likely become flood experts since they've been through it a few times already. For people who are new to flood-prone areas, they may not yet the proper steps to take to ensure safety following a home flood. There are some basic things you should do no matter where you leave. 

1. Assess the Damage
You should never enter your home immediately following a flood or while flood water is still standing. Call a restoration company to assess the damage for you. These service professionals can also start mitigation efforts to save anything that can be salvaged.

2. Crawlspace Damage
If sewage entered into your home's crawlspace, it is going to have to be removed before any other cleanup occurs. This may require waiting on the ground beneath the home to dry.
The process can be helped by employing the assistance of ventilation, and if possible, fans. This is part of the storm damage cleanup should not be attempted by yourself due to the bacteria and health risks associated with raw sewage.

3. Dry What You Can
Once you're cleared to re-enter the home, anything that needs to be saved needs to be dried as soon as possible. Perhaps the biggest risk following a home flood is the potential for mold growth. Mold is everywhere and it is always waiting to find a moist environment to grow. This growth can occur in as little as 24 hours.
It's possible you're going to have to let some things go during this phase of the cleanup. Home materials such as flooring and some dry wall will have to be replaced.
Experiencing a home flood is never easy, no matter how major or minor the damage. Things will be lost, but most things can be replaced. Always be familiar with your insurance policy so you know what to expect if you do experience flood damage.

Timely Bathroom Maintenance Can Prevent Leaks

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber performing maintenance to bathtub Bathroom maintenance can prevent leaks

Timely Bathroom Maintenance Can Prevent Leaks

If you own a home or rent, it's a good idea to become familiar with your plumbing system. This could save you time and money as well as prevent a major problem. The mainline brings freshwater into your building, and from there, you have several supply lines that eventually bring water to individual faucets and appliances, often by way of smaller branch lines. Supply line damage, since it usually carries a large amount of water, can quickly flood your home in Buckhead, GA. Therefore, a smart homeowner pays attention to the condition of the supply lines.

The Need for Maintenance
If you have resided in your location for years, you might even know the history of your supply lines and when they last received maintenance. Knowing the following facts will help you keep tabs on the potential for a supply line leak:

  • The age of the pipes
  • The material of the pipes
  • The date of the last major plumbing upgrade
  • The length of any warranty from the plumbing contractor or the pipe manufacturer

Some materials last longer than others. Plastic piping becomes vulnerable to supply line damage after about five to eight years; of course, it could last much longer, but it usually will be not be warrantied for any longer. On the other hand, steel braided piping often has a lifetime warranty on materials.

The Need for Water Cleanup
Whether it is from supply line damage or a bathroom leak, water escaping into your home is a serious problem. A professional water remediation team can act quickly to limit the damage. Trained technicians will arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster and remove standing water before it has had time to cause structural damage to floors and walls. They will use powerful vacuums and air dryers to rid the home of excessive humidity, which is often a condition that invites mold growth. If you suspect your supply lines are worn, it might be time to have a plumbing contractor check things out.

4 important Facts All Homeowners Should Understand About Black Mold

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Pipe mold growth on wall Mold growth in Virginia Highlands, GA

Here Are Four Things You Should Understand About The Organisms

Black mold is a hazard to your home. The microscopic spores reproduce quickly, attacking organic material. Left alone, they could spread among rooms, creating a major sanitation and rebuild project. When this situation happens, owners could face time-consuming reconstruction as well as massive costs. Residents, therefore, should understand that fungus is a serious concern, requiring swift and proper treatment. 

1. Household Cleaners Won't Do the Job
You may want to grab a bottle from your closet to handle the mold cleanup. This isn't advised. Organisms can permeate into porous objects, digging in quite deep. Sprays and liquid chemicals may not reach the entire contamination, leaving the surface looking better but not eliminating the trouble. Eventually, it returns and could be even uglier. Instead, you'll want to consult a mold restoration company in Virginia Highlands, GA. The experts can assess the damage, determining the appropriate repair services.

2. The Spores Are Everywhere
People may get upset about black mold. These very common microbes, though, exist everywhere, far too small to see with the naked eye. Most likely they grabbed onto you while outside and then hitched a ride inside via your shoes, entryways or clothes. Because you are often the source, remember to leave footwear in a mudroom and close doors promptly. In addition, maintain proper air circulation. These actions reduce the house's exposure levels.

3. They're Nature's Decomposers
Fungus has a major role in the life cycle. It breaks down matter. In nature, the spores eat away at logs and branches. Inside, this is troubling as the organisms could feed off of paper, drywall, ceiling tiles and some flooring. When that happens, mold remediation should occur, tearing out absorbent items that show infestation.

4. They Love Moisture
Mold can't spread without water. It is the essential ingredient; thus, strive to keep flood exposure and humidity levels low. Run fans and the air handler. Wipe up spills immediately.
Black mold is unnerving. Maintain a dry environment, and work with professionals when conditions develop.

How Do You Put Out a Grease Fire?

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a kitchen oil fire. A firefighter investigating the cause. Kitchen fire in Ridgeview Park, GA

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home injuries. A grease fire happens when the oil or fat gets too hot, starts to boil, smokes, and catches fire. The smoking point of vegetable oils is around 450 degrees Fahrenheit; for animal fats, it’s about 375 degrees F.
Prevent cooking accidents by:

  • Staying in the kitchen when using the stove
  • Removing moisture from food before frying
  • Never dropping frozen food in hot oil
  • Heating the oil to the recommended temperature
  • Having a lid handy in case the oil catches fire
  • Keeping kids and pets away from the oven while cooking

Follow These Steps If You Have a Grease Fire

Step 1
If the blaze is contained in a pot or pan, cover the flames with a metal lid or baking sheet. If you still see fire, pour baking powder or salt on the area to smother it. Don’t use flour, baking powder, or biscuit mix as they’re flammable and will aggravate the problem.

Step 2
Turn off the burner if you can do so safely. Don’t try to move the pan; the motion can make the flames stronger. For a fire in a microwave or oven, don’t open the door. Turn the appliance off and call 911.

Step 3
Use a dry chemical fire extinguisher as a last resort. Use the PASS method: pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. Don’t use water to put out the blaze. When it hits the hot pan, the water will turn to steam, which will spread the oil and the fire.
If you can’t put out the fire, evacuate your home and call 911. Stay at a safe distance and don’t go back in until directed by the firefighters.
A grease fire can do more than ruin your meal. If you find damage in your Ridgeview Park, GA, home, and need whelp with fire cleanup, get in touch with a local fire damage restoration company.

What Is Causing Ceiling Tile Discoloration?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling Water and mold damaged ceiling in Atlanta, GA

Three Causes Of Ceiling Tile Discoloration

Most commercial facilities have drop ceilings with ceiling tiles. It is not uncommon for these tiles to become damaged over time and require replacement. However, many facility managers may be disheartened to find a single tile or several tiles with stains and assume tile mold. While your mind may immediately jump to mold growth, any remediation service in Atlanta, GA, will likely explain that mold is possible, but there are at least three other causes, especially if the staining is recent.

  1. Plumbing problem
  2. Roof leak
  3. HVAC system issue

Plumbing Problem
If your facility is multi-story, then the tile discoloration is likely the result of plumbing issues and not tile mold. Ceiling tiles are incredibly porous and will soak in the water, causing a stain to appear on the other side. Fresh water stains typically look damp; they will likely turn the tile a shade of gray, especially if the tile is a lighter color naturally.

Roof Leak
If your facility is a single-story, then you may have a more significant issue than a minor plumbing leak. A roof leak can also result in the discoloration of ceiling tiles because of water damage. You may want to inspect your roof around the area of the staining to ensure that there is no existing external damage.

HVAC System Issue
If your facility has roof-mounted HVAC units, it is possible that the staining is a result of leaking from the condensation line or system and not mold. If you have an A/C unit above or near where the staining appeared, then you may want to contact an HVAC repair specialist.
While tile mold is a concern for any business because of the inevitable business interruption, it is not always the reason for tile staining. If you are genuinely concerned about the possibility of mold and cannot find any other likely causes for the staining, then contact a mold remediation company for a property assessment.

How Do I Create a Business Continuity Plan?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Paper with words BCP Business Continuity Plan A business continuity plan helps you protect your employees and assets during a stressful time

Planning for an emergency saves time and money. Having insurance to help cover expenses after a disaster is one step. Putting together a business continuity plan gives you an outline to follow to keep your business moving forward.

What You’ll Need

An emergency response plan for your business includes thinking about managing assets such as the following during a disaster:

  • Employees
  • Buildings, equipment, and furniture
  • Computers, printers, phones, and other technology
  • Inventory (raw materials, finished product, paper goods)
  • Important paperwork and records
  • Information about utilities, including phone numbers and account information

Ready.gov has tools to help you create a business continuity plan. You also may want to include your insurance policy number and the contact information for a disaster recovery company in Vinings, GA, in your worksheets.

How To Plan
Create a business impact analysis. Identify how your business would be affected by an emergency. Think about decreases in sales and income, increases in expenses, and loss of customers. You’ll get a better picture of which important processes need to keep going no matter what.
Since so many businesses depend on computers, it’s vital to plan for your business to be able to run offline. You’ll want to access your servers and software, so think about how you’ll recover information if you can’t reach your network.
Consider what will happen if you need to move your business or have your employees telecommute. If you’re in manufacturing, think about having access to equipment in a different location. Some companies make agreements with other organizations so they can support each other during a disaster.
Finally, put together a team to guide the emergency response plan during a disaster. Train your team on any procedures and have them practice to see if there are any issues with your strategy.
Catastrophes can strike at any moment. A business continuity plan helps you protect your employees and assets during a stressful time.

5 Ways Urban Areas Are Taking on Flooding

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

green roof on urban building Green roofs absorb the water and reduce runoff

Below Are Five Methods Of Gaining Traction Locally And Globally

Storms with torrential rain and steadily rising high water have affected many businesses in Sandy Springs, GA. While personally being prepared and reinforcing structures to minimize damage may help avoid the need for a water damage and restoration expert, other factors play a role, including a city’s flood prevention measures. With more technology available, many urban areas are working to curb flood issues. 

1. Sponge Spaces
This ecological approach involves placing features that can naturally hold, clean, and drain water to be used within a city for irrigating farms and gardens, replenishing aquifers, or replacing water used for flushing. Along with reducing flood issues, it can enhance overall water quality.

2. Green Roofs
One way to stop flooding is to prevent rain from cascading off of buildings. Roofs covered, or partially covered, in vegetation, which has an underlying waterproof membrane, absorb the water and reduce runoff.

3. Sustainable Drainage
Cities are covered in concrete, which is not a permeable material. When the rain falls, it flows toward the drainage systems, potentially creating high water. Many cities are replacing materials that block moisture with ones that absorb it. Along with more green spaces, there have been advances in concrete itself to make it more permeable.

4. Warning Mechanisms
Although a storm can come on fast, advanced warning systems can help people be prepared for the worst. While some communities do regular monitoring of rainfall amounts, stream levels, and flow data, many are moving to real-time telemetry systems for enhanced data collection and faster response times.

5. Enhanced Sewer Systems
The first step is keeping existing sewers clean of debris, tree roots, and other buildups. On top of that, many cities are improving water management via upgrading underground piping and drainage systems to separate the rainwater.
Although high water that leads to a flood may not be completely avoidable, communities, residents, and business owners can make a difference in preventing a disaster.

4 Things Your Property Insurance Should Cover

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

4 Things Your Property Insurance Should Cover

The commercial building you own in Morningside, GA, is a big investment. It is wise to make sure that it is protected in the event of a fire or some other catastrophe. When you purchase commercial insurance, your package should include a property policy. Here are five things that you should expect such a policy to cover.

1. The Property Itself

Property insurance is designed to pay for fire restoration services for the structures you own that have fire damage. There are several structures it includes:

  • Building
  • Signs
  • Satellite dishes
  • Fencing

It also includes damage to the part of the property that you own that surrounds your building. Your landscaping, sidewalks and driveway are also included in the coverage.

2. Manufacturing Equipment and Supplies

If you produce goods in your building, the machines used to do so can get damaged by fire just as easily as the building. You may also lose some of the inventory of completed products in storage or the materials used to make them. If any of these items are in the building and get damaged, the property policy of your commercial insurance package can reimburse you for the loss.

3. Office Equipment and Furniture

During a fire, your furniture, phones, computers and other office equipment can be damaged. Even if it's not burned by the flames, smoke and soot can damage sensitive equipment. The items you and your office employees use every day are protected by your property insurance. 

4. Documents and Records

The recovery of important documents may be on your to-do list after a fire. Unless they are completely destroyed, it is likely that restoration experts can restore accounting records, payroll documents and other important items.
The specific policies found in a commercial insurance package may vary slightly from business to business, but any business owner who has property needs a property policy. It covers damage to your building and the important items inside it.

What To Do After a Flood

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

groundwater getting in under the French doors and ruining the carpeting and padding Storm damage in Morningside, GA

How To Minimize Flood Damage

When a major storm hits your home in Morningside, GA, you may have a lot of flood damage to handle. While you need certified flood restoration specialists to mitigate your home flood thoroughly, there are a few small steps you can take to minimize the damage it causes.

One of the main concerns with storm damage is the potential for mold growth. Mold damage can occur in as little as 24 hours after excess moisture has set in, so it's important to take steps to prevent it. Start by sorting the soggy items in your home into several categories:

  • Textiles
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Metal
  • Plastic

Nonporous items such as metal, plastic, and glass will probably be okay. Even if mold grows on the surface, it is easier to mitigate. Textiles, carpet, and wood, however, may have to be thrown out if they have mold damage after a home flood. The spores grow into the fibers and may be impossible to remove.

Flood waterfalls under the Category 3 contamination level. This means it is likely infested with bacteria and microbes. A thorough cleaning that disinfects everything the water touches is necessary. The restoration company will handle most of this process, but you can clean some items. Clothing, for example, should be washed in hot water with a fabric-safe bleach. Surfaces should be considered contaminated until they have been properly cleaned.

To prevent secondary damage, you must get rid of extra moisture. The technicians may use several techniques to accomplish this. They pump the standing water out of your home and use industrial fans to dry surfaces. A dehumidifier may also be used to get the humidity level in your home back to the normal 40-50% it's supposed to be.
A home flood after a storm may cause a lot of damage. With quick action and the help of qualified professionals, you may be able to prevent further problems.

The Protective Gear Used in Mold Cleanup

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Mold remediation in Lenox Square, GA

When technicians arrive at your Lenox Square, GA, home to tackle a mold issue, you may be surprised to see those professionals wearing face masks and other protective gear. You may wonder what's going on and whether you should be worried. The good news is that protective gear is often used to prevent mold spores from traveling through your home.

Personal Protective Equipment

The correct use of PPE makes it easier for professionals to complete their cleanup and repairs. Don't be surprised when you see technicians wearing a full protective suit:

  • Coveralls with a hood
  • Boots or booties covering shoes
  • Disposable hair coverings
  • Gloves
  • Face masks

There may be slight variations in these items. For example, the disposable hair coverings may not be worn if the coveralls have a hood. Some technicians may wear disposable gloves and others may use gloves that are washed thoroughly.

Beyond Personal Gear
Protective equipment doesn't end with the gear that technicians wear. In addition to their protective clothing, mold damage cleanup and remediation professionals may also carry some heavy equipment with them. This equipment may include vacuums with HEPA filters, heavy plastic for containing mold spores, and a negative air machine that pulls spores from the air.

Containment Steps
There are many reasons to be careful when working around mold, and one of the most important is making sure that spores are contained. A single bit of mold traveling outside of the affected area can lead to new growth. Technicians are very careful not to allow this to happen.

A Professional Touch
When it comes to cleaning up mold safely, it's important to contact Lenox Square, GA, professionals. These technicians have completed training, worked with experienced mentors, and gained access to the tools and supplies necessary to respond to mold damage without spreading it to other areas of the home. When you see technicians wearing face masks, remember that they are just one piece of the safety equipment used in cleaning up mold.

How To Deal With Smoke Damages From Adjacent Businesses

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flames of fire coming out of the window of a building Fire and smoke damage to a building in Peachtree Battle, GA

Even a small fire can cause a lot of smoke damage and those damages aren't just confined to the immediate building. If your commercial property has suffered smoke and/or soot damage because of a fire in the building adjacent to yours, there are steps you can take.

How To Respond to Damages From Smoke

Begin by talking with your insurance agent to determine how damages will be covered. Smoke damage is commonly covered by most policies, and you can improve the strength of your claim:

Thoroughly document damages by noting the date of the fire, the types of damages and losses, any injuries, and descriptions of the damages. Add photographic evidence of the damages.
Understand that many of the items in your building may need to be thrown out and replaced even if they don't appear smoky.
Pay professionals to clean and restore your property. After you've thoroughly documented the damages, turn the rest of the work over to professionals. There are often hidden dangers and hazards associated with soot and ash. Smoke damage cleaning and reconstruction technicians have specialized equipment and gear to protect themselves and your belongings.
Consider talking to a public adjuster if the damage is severe. Insurance companies are often determined to pay the lowest about possible, but you may be eligible for a higher amount of reimbursement.

There are many factors that determine the extent of damage to your building when an adjacent property suffers from fire damage. Without the experience and knowledge that comes from dealing with many fire-damaged properties, it is possible to overlook problem areas or cause further harm when trying to handle smoke cleaning on your own.

Your First Response to Smoke and Flames
As soon as you notice a fire in a neighboring building, take steps to keep your employees and customers safe. Next, contact emergency authorities. When it is safe for you to return to your building, contact your insurance company and Peachtree Battle, GA, smoke damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

How To Safely Recover From a Basement Flood

6/13/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A basement flood can lead to a tremendous amount of property damage

How To Safely Recover From a Basement Flood

A basement flood can lead to a tremendous amount of property damage. The quicker you act when a flood occurs, the better off you may be with your recovery. For significant water disasters, call one of several water mitigation companies in Ridgeview Park, GA, for help. If the flood is minor, you can do the cleanup yourself by following three steps.

Remove water
Discard appliances
Implement preventatives

Remove Water
When dealing with a flooded basement, the first step is to remove the water. However, it may not be so simple. First, if a broken water fixture causes the flood, you need to shut off the water supply but consider safety. If flood levels reach a depth of greater than one inch, turn off the electricity to the affected area to minimize the risk of injury. Use shop vacs and pumps to remove the excess water.

Discard Appliances
For deep floods, discard contaminated appliances. All matters of bacteria can call a basement flood home. Removing water from the area will not automatically eliminate all contaminants. Devices may also suffer from electrical issues because of the water damage sustained during a flood. You are better off buying new appliances, and, depending on the circumstances of the flood, your insurance coverage may supply enough funds to replace equipment.

Implement Preventatives
After resolving the original water or plumbing problems, implement preventative measures, ensuring a dry basement. Install sump pumps, backwater valves, and other equipment to prevent groundwater and external floods from penetrating the interior of your home.
A basement flood can lead to significant expenses if not dealt with quickly. For minor floods, a DIY approach may work, but for substantial damage, contact professionals to safely mitigate and restore your property. Deep floods, even higher than a few inches, can lead to life-threatening conditions. Do not risk yourself or your loved ones when there are safer options available.

What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas

6/13/2020 (Permalink)

Gas leak detector on cement wall Make sure you know how to work the meter, so you can shut it off if you suspect a gas leak

What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas

Many Buckhead, GA, homeowners use gas of some kind to run their heaters, warm water, clean clothes, or cook meals. Unfortunately, a gas fire at home is more common than you might think. These explosions may be caused by

  • Improper installation of gas lines and appliances
  • Defects in appliances
  • Improper use of gas appliances
  • Incorrectly turning gas appliances on or off

When natural gas comes into contact with a spark, an explosion will occur. This spark could result from something as simple as flipping on the light switch. If you notice the telltale rotten egg of gas or hear a hissing sound, there are several things you can do to avoid a gas explosion.

Know Where the Gas Meter Is Located

This meter is usually located outside of your home. Make sure you know how to work the meter, so you can shut it off if you suspect a gas leak. You may need a wrench to move the valve from its on and off positions. If possible, store a wrench so that it's convenient to use during an emergency.

Don't Turn Anything On or Off

If it's plugged in or uses electricity, don't turn it on. One tiny spark is all it takes to ignite the mixture of gas and oxygen. If you have a flashlight convenient, you can use that to safely light your way out of the home.

Check the Stove

If you aren't at risk, check the stove to be sure that all burners are off. One common cause of gas leaks in the home happens when someone bumps into the stove and doesn't notice that the gas has turned on. If the gas is on, turn it off and open windows to ventilate the home. If it isn't on, open the doors and windows and evacuate right away. Contact the gas company immediately.
It is possible to avoid the risk of a gas fire in your home, especially when you're aware of the situations that cause this type of explosion. If you want to know more about avoiding fire damage and keeping your home and family safe, reach out to local authorities, such as property damage cleanup and restoration experts.

Three Facts About Chemical Drain Cleaners

6/13/2020 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration A chemical cleaner is supposed to work on a clogged drain

Three Facts About Chemical Drain Cleaners

Maintaining the building of your Paces Ferry, GA, business involves many different processes and procedures. Daily cleaning and regular maintenance are consuming tasks. If you’ve never experienced problems with a clogged drain, you may not know the best way to handle it. Here are three facts about drain cleaner so that you’re prepared for this type of situation.

1. Damaging
If you’re unfamiliar with clogs in pipes, your first reaction may be to just pour drain cleaner in the pipe. Unfortunately, what you may not know is that the cleaner can cause damage to pipes. This is because the chemicals produce heat which may damage vulnerable pipes. A powerful chemical pipe cleaner may cause more harm than good, especially with pipes and situations such as the following:

  • Old metal pipes
  • Plastic pipes
  • When used incorrectly

2. Ineffective
A chemical cleaner is supposed to work on a clogged drain by creating an electron transfer to the substance causing the clog. This transfer produces heat which should disintegrate the clog. Unfortunately, when the substance is composed of fat, oil, or grease, many times the chemical is unable to break up the substance. The chemical and clog simply sit in the pipe or move down to another area of the pipe.

3. Harmful
Chemical cleaners are some of the most harmful substances available to consumers for sewage cleaning. Just opening the bottle and smelling the cleaner can cause stinging to your eyes and an irritated throat. Chemical cleaners can also burn human skin; therefore, it’s best to keep these types of cleaners away from inexperienced individuals.
If you experience a clogged drain at your business and want to take care of it on your own, try an auger or a biological cleaner. If you want to take care of the problem quickly you can also call a professional cleaning and restoration company to safely and effectively handle the problem.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We will sanitize any commercial or residential property.

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 North Atlanta/Buckhead, (404) 261-2925


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