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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Commercial Fires

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial facilities operate on a different level than our house-holds. Commercial businesses usually have more chemicals, hazardous materials, light and heavy-duty equipment, more employees/personnel, and generally more movement throughout than a residential home. All of this combined with high-levels
of activity, and in some cases, neglect or lack of maintenance, can sometimes lead to disaster.
Below are some factors in many cases of commercial fires.
Cooking - Many of us like to enjoy a delicious meal at our favorite local restaurant or try a new location outside of our usual hang-outs. Cooking is a major factor in commercial fires. A significant portion of business property fires are started in the kitchen by cooking while preparing food. Thirty percent of office fires, 50% of hotel fires and a full 61% of restaurant fires are caused by cooking. Many of these could be
prevented by simply staying in the kitchen area until the food preparation is complete.
Unintentional and Careless Behavior - better known as accidents, this is also a main cause of
commercial fires. While it's hard to stop foolish human behavior, business owners and property
managers simply can't afford to let these accidents happen.
Electrical Malfunction - faulty wiring, unchecked issues that are simply, "fixed quick," or not having a licensed professional on hand can be a major mistake. These mistakes cost business owners millions of
dollars per year.
Arson - this usually involves fire investigators and law enforcement. In some cases, it can be a
disgruntled employee(s), or customer(s), or simply someone out to cause damage.
HVAC - problematic HVAC systems can also cause a fire. In most cases, these systems work harder
than a residential unit, cooling thousands of square feet, while entry, or loading doors are constantly
opened/closed throughout the day. It is important to have these systems checked by a professional

Spring Showers In The South

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

As we eagerly await the springtime, warmer weather, end of school year, graduation, vacations, beach
visits, or to the lake, always keep in mind, a spring shower, along with hail, or high winds, and heavy rain,
can cause quite a bit of unwanted damage to your home or business.
When water enters your home or business, it brings all kinds of issues with it. Standing water poses
serious issues, starting with ruined furniture, floors, walls, carpet, and in some cases, when it drains to
lower levels, can add to the trouble listed above. Mold also begins once moisture enters the home in the
form of water. Mold has no limits on it's reach; exterior walls, inside walls, carpets, attics, basements,
bathrooms, (due to consistent high temp showers, baths, water splashing about, etc.).
The amount of damage mold can do is serious as well.
Check your roof regularly, or have it inspected. Wipe-up standing water in bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
Check water lines to your appliances; dishwasher, clothes washing machine. Check showers for leaks,
toilets for leaks and check your fridge if it has an ice-maker, water dispenser, etc. Don't forget to check
under sinks too.
We are the Number #1 provider of disaster related services in the country. Fire, Water, Mold, Bio-Hazard,
Cleaning, etc., utilize our highly-trained technicians, our experience and our advanced technology to care
for your home or business.

"Like it Never Happened!"

Power Outage Preparation

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

With our severe weather in teh Southeast, power outages are a regular occurance. There are several
ways to help you and your faily during a power outage, and a few steps that can easily help make the
time wihout power easier on you, your appliances, and your home.
-Always make sure there are adequately charged mobile phones readily available; this goes for extra
batteries as well, in the needed sizes for your equipment., such as flashlights, radio's, etc.
-Make sure gas tanks are full, (Remember, gas stations rely on power to pump gas!).
-Sign up for weather alerts, and early warning systems, this is both easy and helpful when preparing for
an incoming storm/power outage.
-Have flashlights available for every family member, with extra batteries on-hand. Headlights are also
-Avoid using candles or an open flame for lighting your home during power outages. They can be toppled
over, especially if there are pets and/or young children in the home. This is a major fire hazard and can
cause not only extensive damage, but possible loss of life.
-Have non-perishable food, and water for every member, with extra. In some cases, power may remain
off for an extended period of time.
-Check medications; this is especially important for senior citizens and those family members that rely on
medications for comfort, pain, allergies, diabetics, etc. Also check with your medical professional on how
to store or if certain medications need to be refrigerated. (Of course, keep your refrigerator closed during
the power outage).
-Unplug your appliances to avoid possible lightning damage.
-Reach out to family, neighbors prior to the storm if possible, share information on where you will be,
(storm room, basement), and what you have on hand in case there is an emergency need.
-Never use gas buring range to warm your home.
-Only use generators outside (Carbon Monoxide can kill).
-When power has been restored, check your fridge with a thermometer to see what foods need to be
Also, after the storm, always remember to:
-Check with neighbors after the storm

Thunderstorm's in the Southeast

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

Everyone here in the South understands our severe weather season; springtime storms can cause
havoc on homes and businesses, some of his damage can be minor, and of course, some can be major.
Roof's blown-off, hail damage, lightning strikes, falling trees/limbs, etc., can not only damage your car, or
you, they can also cause significant damage to your home, or your business.
There are a few steps to take that can help minimize the damage and can also possibly save your home,
your business and in some cases, your life.
Seek covered shelter suring a thundersstorm, be prepared.
Always have an emergency kit easily available when thunderstorms approach. This kit can include;
flashlights (more than one), fresh batteries, water, first aid kit, non-perishable snacks, blankets, a radio
and a working cell phone.
The above kit can help you call for help, keep you warm while help is on its way, keep you nourished
during a power-outage, keep you informed of any other storms approaching, render light first-aid, as well
as reaching out to family and friends in an extreme emergency.
If your power goes out, the food in your emergency kit can keep you prepared and fed. If your fridge
temp prises above 40-degrees for more than 2-2.5 hours, or more, the items should be discarded.
Unplug your electronics or plug them into a surge-protector. As lightning strikes a home, it can render all
of your electronics uselass as it sends a powerful electrical currnet thru your house's system. Simply
unplugging, or switching to a surge-protector cord can save your TV's, computers, plug-in appliances, all
they way down to your favorite stereo system. It is worth the effort.
Always stay away from power lines, especially downed power lines from storm damage. These are
extremely dangerous and can cause severa damage and even death if contact is made.

Commercial Buildings

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance costs vary from home to home, but in a commercial facility/building, they can be an entirely
different element.
Businesses that are set-up differently can be more costly, usually due to hazardous and/or flammable
chemicals on-site, and/or various types of equipment used in the manufacturing process. Due to the
chemicals, and some of the liquids, products, gases, etc., used in the manufacturing process, these
facilites pose a greater fire risk than an average home.
Buildings that are constructed of wood rather than a fire-resistant material are more costly, due to the
greater combustability, as the fire can spread quite quickly. In most cases, you will see industrial
buildings, manufacturomg facilites, petrol based plants, processing plants, machine shops, and many
others constructed of metal, with all fire suppression systems in place. Many cites, county's and
municipalities have strict fire suppression codes that must be followed. These codes are in place to not
only limit the spread of fire, but to also limit damage to the building and of course, to save lives and
Also, business owners should have the proper equipment on-site, such as; fire-alarms and detectors, fire
suppresion systems; sprinklers, fire extinguishers, etc., and of course the proper first-aid kit. Owners
should always have bavk-up systems in place for the alarms and fire-suppression system. If a power
outage occurs, battery back-up is a popular option.
Geographically speaking, the proximity to a loca fire station can also play a role in insurance premiums.
How close is your facility to the nearest fire station?
A 3-minute repsonse time, or a 12 minute response time? This factor also plays an important role in
considering the location of your business facility.

Flooding Event

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

Floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. In
some years, floods can easily exceed over $1 Billion in damage to properties and crops.
A study of over 700,000 commercial businesses and residential properties were surveyed and concluded
that flooding, annually, can cost over $22 Billion in direct loss output and over $24 Billion in lost output
due to downtime. The value of buildings decreases in flood-prone areas as structure damage occurs,
and this also affects the area economically as well.
Most areas prone to flooding aremainly around the eastern and the southeastern United States, with
Florida, Pennsylvania and New York as high-risk areas.
A few ways to safely handle floods are as follows:
-Stay away from running water. Never try to cross a fast moving stream of water. It only takes 6-inches of
rapidly moving water to cause a human to lose ground and be swept away. This is especially the case
while trying to cross on foot, as it is difficult to see or know what is under your feet under the flood water.
-Keep children away from flood areas, contaminated water and fast-moving water. Children are naturally
curious, and likely don't have the ability to determine the safety issues with foul water or a fast moving
stream of flood water. They can be swept away in an instant.
-If you encounter water while driving, DO NOT attempt to cross. In may cases people believe the weight
of their vehicle will keep them safe. This is not the case; due to flood waters rising and moving quickly,
usually there is no way to determine the depth of the water. With less than 2-feet of fast moving water,
you and your passengers can be swept away.
Unfortunately, the national average for annual flood deaths in the United States is 33 per-year. Always
follow the strictest safety guidelines when dealing with flood waters; this can assure you, your family, and
friends make it home safely without injury.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Clean Up

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning up after a fire, smoke, or soot damage can be hard to handle and emotionally overwhelming for homeowners. The stress with wondering where to start, what is salvageable, and what steps should be taken sometimes proves to be too much to take on by yourself. 

Here at SERVPRO, our first step is to meet the homeowner on site to do a walkthrough with the homeowner to evaluate the damage to the structure and personal items. We want to ensure that we address any major concerns and develop a game plan for the restoration process. Doing the walkthrough on sit with the customer allows us to be able to narrow down which rooms were affected and helps narrow down the areas which require detailed cleaning.

Once the restoration process begins, demolition of building materials such as sheetrock, flooring, cabinets, and other materials may need to be removed to ensure that all particulate material is removed from the structure during the cleaning process. Fire cleanups do take more time than some other damage cleanups, but that is because of our attention to detail. We want to ensure that we set up our reconstruction with the best possible scenario to restore your structure to preloss condition.

Should fire, smoke, or soot, take over your structure, contact your local SERVPRO to schedule an appointment so we can help restore your home and your peace of mind as soon as possible. 

Air Scrubbers

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Have you ever wondered why SERVPRO restoration professionals use air scrubbers, or negative air machines during a fire, water, or mold cleanup?  

These machines are used to remove particulates in the air that we breathe inside of a structure. These particulates can float in the air for an extended period of time. You can not see these particulates with the human eye.

These specially designed devices allow us to create a safe working environment for our crews as they work to restore your home or business. They also reduce the risk of secondary damage by removing the particulates, so they do not spread to unaffected areas of the structure. 

Air scrubbers are designed to turn over the air in what we call "Air Exchanges" at a minimum of 4 times an hour. Negative pressure is when set containment around an affected area and exhaust the over-changed air outside of the contained area. Negative pressure keeps affected air from moving outside the affected area. 

Post Construction Cleanup

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties can assist you in the cleanup after your latest remodel or brand new construction.

Post construction debris can affect your HVAC system can leave debris in the ducts, returns, and can affect the efficiency of the system. No need to worry though, because your local SERVPRO is licensed to clean your entire HVAC system along with cleaning any other debris that may occur because of the reconstruction process.

No matter what circumstances got you into reconstruction; whether water, fire, smoke, smoot, or a new build, we can handle the cleanup from top to bottom. During reconstruction, there will be dust, dirt, and debris that will need to be removed. Your local SERVPRO is always available to provide an estimate and get you scheduled. 

Severe Weather Damage

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

Many people enjoy watching passing storms from their porch of covered structures. What about happens when a severe storm passes over that is a little too close for comfort? Strong storms can produce straight line winds that can cause trees to fall and roofs to be damaged. What would you do if this were to happen to you?

After the storm has passed and if it is safe to do so, inspect your house for signs of storm damage. If there is damage to your home, contact your insurance provider to see if they can help provide you with a tree removal company. If possible and safe, remove any limbs you can from the structure. Take as many pictures as you can for documentation for your insurance company. After the fallen tree and debris has been removed, your roof may need to be tarped or boarded up by a licensed contractor. Once the tarp has been installed you may need to contact a structural engineer to ensure the house is still sound, as well as contact your local SERVPRO to schedule a moisture check to see if any water has made its way into structural materials that need to be dried out. 

The water mitigation process could possible include demolition of any wet sheetrock, flooring, or any personal items that are deemed unsalvageable. Should Storm damage affect your home, contact your local SERVPRO to assist with the mitigation and reconstruction process. 

We Can Get Water Out Of A Flooded Basement

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

If your basement has flooded, you may be at a loss regarding what you should do. No one wants to deal with an issue like this, but facing reality and following these four steps will help you to recover your property with as little residual damage as possible.

1. Call Your Insurance Agent

You may have insurance coverage for floods in your home. Because of this, you should always check over your homeowners policy and call the agent who handles your account to ask questions and make a claim if you can do so.

2. Wait for Conditions to Settle

Before you decide how to handle water removal, you will need to make sure that the water is under control. If it seems to be limited to the basement, and any outdoor water has receded, you can safely move on to draining your basement flood.

3. Choose Your Removal Method

All water removal methods are typically handled by water damage technicians. Two typical solutions are pumping for large floods and vacuuming with a wet/dry machine for smaller ones. It is a good idea to research all of your options so that you make the best decision possible.

4. Decide on a Drying Method

Most homeowners will find that the majority of their damaged property and valuables will need to be dried, dehumidified or otherwise salvaged, as old flood water can cause irreversible damage to your investments if left to sit. The service that you hired for water removal can likely help you with drying and restoration, as well.

A basement flood is a big deal to any concerned homeowner, but being prepared can help you be less overwhelmed if this unfortunate situation is occurring or should occur in the future.

We Have Professional Equipment To Get The Job Done Right

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

A water damage is something that all business owners and homeowners do not take lightly. Water damage is when moisture and excessive amounts of water have collected in an area. Water damage clean-up is most effective when a professional with the right equipment is called. 

Here are a few of our water damage restoration equipment names and uses: 

Air Movers

The most common type of water damage clean-up equipment, the air mover pushes moisture to evaporate more quickly. Air movers can help dry water-damaged flooring and other surfaces.


Dehumidifiers  help maintain humidity in the air to a certain degree. This type of equipment helps with water damage that has a lot of moisture. 

Air Scrubbers

When water damage leads to other damages, an air scrubber is necessary for clean-up. Air scrubbers help with odors from microbial growth and other airborne contaminants. 

Moisture Meters 

A moisture meters are a restoration technician's best friend. Moisture meters can gauge the water damage severity in a building, and they help with water damages on surfaces.  

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties Responds Immediately

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

After a water or fire emergency, a fast response is crucial. Water from a leaking pipe or a firefighter hose can start causing damage in a matter of minutes. Even a short delay can thus make the restoration process more costly for you and your clients.

Of course, not every water loss occurs during normal business hours. Sometimes a disaster occurs on a weekend or holiday. Your clients should not have to wait until the next business day to start the drying process. They need a 24-hour commercial cleanup company.
That is why SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for most insurance providers. A representative from the company will respond to your clients' calls right away. In fact, each client should receive:

  • A call within one hour
  • A visit within four hours
  • A verbal brief within eight hours

The Consequences of a Delayed Cleanup
Paper items such as books and photos may start to swell within a few minutes of a water loss. Furniture can bleed and stain carpets, as well. Over the next day, wet metals may begin to tarnish, and musty odors may start to spread. Water could also cause the, building's drywall to break down. A 24-hour cleaning company can start the restoration right away and prevent many of these issues.

The Company That Responds Immediately
While SERVPRO is always open, that is not the only reason it can respond to emergencies right away. The company also has more than 1,700 franchises in Canada and America. At least one of these franchises is likely close to each of your clients' buildings, making it easier for SERVPRO to survey any damage in a timely matter.
SERVPRO understands that a fast response to water damage is so important. That is why its employees reply to all calls immediately, no matter the time or day. Choosing a company such as SERVPRO that provides 24-hour response can help minimize the damage your clients sustain following a water loss.

We Get Odors OUT

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO utilizes several techniques to remove odor from properties. In our line of work many times we are referring to odors remaining from smoke or soot damage. The first step to odor mitigation, is cleaning or removing the source. In the instance of a fire loss, it would mean removing charred structural materials, and cleaning soot and smoke from surfaces.

Often done as a last step, our technicians may choose one of several options to remove offensive odors from your property. While many times people first think of fire odors coming from a fire that happened to your own property, smoke odor can also be caused from fires happening at another property nearby or wild fires. Whether the source of the odor inside your home is from outside or inside, experts are trained to safely identify the origin of the problem and eliminate any lingering odors. Here are three techniques that are commonly used by professionals to remove smoke odor.

  1. Air Filtration Devices
    Air filtration devices work by circulating the air through a powerful HEPA filter. These filters are an excellent choice for smoke cleaning because they remove 99.97% of particulates from the air. As the particles get trapped, so do the molecules causing the smoke odor.
  2. Ozone Machines
    Ozone generators are especially effective with protein-based smoke that is difficult to neutralize. Because these machines release additional ozone into the air, it is not safe to enter the home while this process is taking place. Your smoke damage professional will let you know when it is safe to reenter your residence.
  3. Thermal Foggers
    Thermal fogging uses a petroleum-based fragrance to neutralize odors. Smoke from a fire can reach into tiny crevices. Since thermal foggers produce a fine mist in the form of a fog, they can reach just about anywhere odors could be hiding, including inside drawers, closets, or carpet fibers. Once the fog makes contact with the molecule causing the smoke smell, it absorbs it.

My Pipes Just Burst! What Now?

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding in your home from a busted pipe, what is next-

A busted pipe is one of the last things you want to come home to. The mess and damage it causes is not an easy cleanup. It definitely is going to be easier with some professional help…

Follow the steps below to control damages from a broken pipe:

  • Immediately turn off your home’s water supply using the main cutoff valve.  
  • Drain your pipes by running cold water through the faucets and flushing the toilets. 
  • Thoroughly dry affected areas by running fans for approximately 2-5 days depending on the severity.
  • If repairs and cleanup turn out to be more than you can handle, contact your insurance company. Most homeowner policies cover burst pipe water damage, and you should let your agent know you'd like to hire SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties!

Don't wait to give us a call!

We have enjoyed a warm winter so far here in Walker and Winston counties, but February is best known as busted pipes season, so it is important to be ready for the unexpected cold we know very well. By knowing what to watch out for, what to do and who to call, you can minimize the problems from ruptured pipes on a cold winter day.

And remember, our team is always ready to help you clean up a water damage and complete the necessary repairs. We take care of it all, start to finish and we even offer our certified mold remediation services if necessary. When a broken pipe in your home or business tries to ruin your day, give us a call here at SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties and let us get your life back to normal as fast as possible. 

Water Travels Fast!

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

It's a frustrating scenario, where the water ends up after a leak occurs. When a leak is discovered from an appliance or an entryway (window, door, hole), it's important to find out the next steps.

In the case of multiple-units, like hotels or apartment buildings, it's even more frustrating. You need to find the travel of water to determine a water restoration solution. Apartments are not an unexpected location for such detective work, as every apartment is typically plumbed separately, yet shares walls, ceilings, and floors with other living spaces. It is not correct for a landlord to respond only to the complaint of one tenant when it is very likely that the water from the leak eventually spreads throughout the building.

Is It Easy to Follow the Migration of Water from Space to Space?

Water is often characterized as moving along the path of least resistance. The truism does not always hold up to scrutiny, as a number of other factors weigh in. For example, if water runs along the outside of a pipe, think condensation on a cold water supply pipe parallel to the floor in a warm, damp basement, some water will drip in a line along the expanse of the pipe to the floor. Instead of just one wet spot below the pipe, there will be many damp areas, tracing on the floor over the length of the pipe. If, on the other hand, the cold pipe is perpendicular to the floor, the condensation will tend to run down that pipe, depositing in a circle around the bottom. Other examples can result in even more varied answers. 

How Do Trained Technicians Follow the Water?

Since water follows pathways not quite as straightforward as some might think, SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties must find more reliable ways to discover where water travels and hides. Our technicians master basic moisture detection strategies during the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training. We use detectors with and without prongs to locate the presence of moisture, helping us trace the outline of a water incursion. For added data, we also use moisture meters to determine levels of water absorbed by permeable materials. The moisture levels become baselines for our Applied Structural Drying (ASD) technicians when we move on to determining drying goals after we remove all standing water.

What About Infrared Imaging?

We also pursue advanced training from the IICRC in Building Moisture Thermography. This higher-level course teaches technicians to use the elements of infrared radiation, thermodynamics, and psychrometry, the science of drying, in an interdisciplinary approach. Developing competence in how these elements work together supports our ability to locate hidden water and moisture when inspecting and restoring building envelopes. Interpretation of the temperature fluctuations is an art, as well as a science and, it helps when tracking down where the water might have moved.

Why Does It Matter? Doesn’t the Water Just Dry Up Inside the Building?

One of the concerning factors to consider is the possibility of mold growth if all water is not removed from every space within an apartment building. Mold spores need only a small amount of moisture to “germinate” and begin their growth curve. Only oxygen, water, and an organic surface upon which to multiply are necessities for molds. No light is required so that mold colonies can breed in between walls, above ceilings, and in any building cavity. Because of the potential of mold damage when wood framing, drywall, ceiling tiles, and other building materials are just slightly wet, landlords must find and make arrangements to remove all water after a leak.

How Do Professionals Get Water Out of Confined Spaces?

Portable extractors can be brought far inside the units of even a large apartment building. The mobile units are much more flexible in uses, fitting in tight spaces much easier than the large yet more powerful truck-mounted variety. The equipment can be carried like a backpack, capable of extracting up to 12 gallons of water before needing to be drained to begin a fresh attempt to remove all the water practical. If the extractor cannot reach moisture, even with extenders, we have to consider some controlled demolition techniques. Options can include:

  • Drilling holes in drywall
  • Cutting out or removing sections of drywall or paneling
  • Taking down ceiling tiles to gain access to a building cavity

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties has a team of trained professionals ready to put their training and experience to the test when on the lookout for hidden water in a multiple-family residence.

Spring is Not Far Away, So Get Your Business Ready!

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Spring is fast approaching. The season brings challenges, including flooding from either snowmelt and heavy rains. The following are four steps you can take to prepare your commercial building for spring.

Clean the Gutters

The gutters on your building are responsible for diverting water away from the structure. Make sure they are clear of any debris so that they function their best.

Check the Sump Pump

If your business experiences flooding, whether it be from heavy rains or a frozen pipe burst, a sump pump can help. If the building has a sump pump, it will be located in either the basement or the crawl space. To test it, simply pour in enough water to activate the pump. After you test it, clean out any debris that might be built up.

Protect Important Documents/Items

No one expects their company property to have a water damage. Anticipating these disasters can help you avoid future stress and headache if you do your best to protect your building’s contents before it happens. Although an experienced restoration company can usually help you get your business back to preloss condition, it is generally easier to prevent damage in the first place. Make sure there are electronic copies of all critical documents. Move important equipment to higher ground. Put smaller items in waterproof storage bags.

In many cases, flooding happens without much warning. Spring floods, can sometimes be predictable. This gives you the opportunity to be proactive in protecting your business.

Mold & Mildew: What's The Difference?

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

The thought of finding mold in your home or business can be quite frightening, especially when you’re unsure how to get rid of it. Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. This will make it difficult to be able to get rid of it on your own.

Mildew (which is mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths (also known as "colonies") can start growing on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air.

 Mold can digest organic material, eventually destroying the material that they are growing on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health effects if left untreated.

If you or someone you know has discovered growth in their home or business, give us a call! We are always here to help. 

Centrifugal Air Movers

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

This integral drying tool has a distinct purpose in water damage restoration projects. 

Water damage can be one of the most challenging situations that your home or business faces in its life. Because water disasters can get out of control quickly, it is vital to get mitigation and restoration services started as soon as possible.

While water mitigation might hinge on removing standing water, restoration encompasses multiple tasks from cleaning to thorough drying. Several tools are involved in drying your property after surface water removal, including:

  • Air movers 
  • Desiccant dehumidifiers
  • Portable heaters
  • Positive pressure systems 

How Centrifugal Air Movers Help Damaged Homes 

Centrifugal air movers provide a concentrated blast of warm air directed at a specific point unexposed building materials or contents. These units promote surface moisture evaporation, specifically at the spots where they are directed.

There are multiple tools and strategies involved in complete water restoration. When your home requires mitigation or recovery, you can trust SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties team to help.

The Time is NOW to Make a Plan

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Statistics show you will likely have less than 2 minutes get out of your home, if a fire breaks out.  Every family should have an escape plan worked out, in advance, to help prevent injury to family members and pets. 

Here are few things to remember when creating your plan:

  • All rooms need 2 exit strategies, if possible. 
  • Take into account the physical abilities of all family members and pets. 
  • Make sure all windows and doors function properly.
  • Choose a safe meeting space outside, a safe distance from the home.  
  • Never go back into the house once you are out! 
  • Make a drawing of your plan, showing all rooms, windows, doors and share with everyone in the home.
  • Practice, practice, practice! 

FEMA's website has plenty of information and ideas on how to put your escape plan together.  

Stay safe out there! If you have a fire damage in your home, you take care of getting your family out safely, and we will take care of the aftermath. 

Is Your Business Prepared for A Fire?

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

We Minimize Disruption to Your Business

We hope your business never experiences commercial fire damage, but if you do we want to help. We know that any disruption to your business can be costly so we will work to get you back to business as usual as soon as possible. No matter what size of job, we can be on site within four hours of your call. We can even help with the insurance paperwork and process. Some examples of commercial properties we work with are:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Call Us Today!

Our team of trained professionals are ready to respond to your fire damage- 24 hours a day. We have the training and state-of-the-art equipment to take care of your needs, no matter what size job.

We Can Remove Fire and Smoke Odors

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire cleanup, home deodorization can be an important next step to making the area livable again. When setting up the cleanup process SERVPRO professionals recommend these three steps for successful odor removal.

  1. Identify the Source

Knowing the source of the smoke odor can help determine the best cleanup plan. Odor can come from cigarette smoke, a house fire, or even extended use of a fireplace. In the event of a house fire it may be important to know what type of materials were burned, how long the fire lasted, and how long it’s been since the fire occurred. Smoke odor from cigarettes may also be stronger the longer it has been allowed to settle.

  1. Use the Right Tools

When it comes to home deodorization, masking the smoke odor is only a temporary fix. Things may seem fresh for a while but over time the odor will reemerge. This is why it’s important to use the correct tools and cleansers from the start. The method used may depend on the severity of the smoke damage, but in most cases an ozone machine or thermal fogger may be the best tool for the job.

  1. When in Doubt Call a Professional

Whether you’re dealing with cigarette smoke or fire cleanup, you may want to consider contacting a professional for your smoke removal needs. Many professional teams already have the tools needed to successfully remove the smoke odor from your home. They also have the knowledge they need to access the odor’s source and determine the best cleaning plan.

The process for home deodorization requires knowing the source of the odor, and which tools are best for the problem. Knowing these thing can help you formulate a plan for smoke odor removal. In many cases it may be best to contact a professional as they already have the tools and cleaning solutions needed for the job. 

Many factors determine the needs of your home following a small fire. Our team's rapid response team has the experienced personnel and industry-leading equipment designed to make restoration as efficient as possible in a traumatic time like this.

A Good Name That's Been Around..

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that the SERVPRO brand has been around since 1967? Pretty impressive, huh!

We all know those companies that come and go. They get a truck and put their name on the side and you think they must be pretty good. Just because they have a name and a truck doesn't mean they have the background and expertise you want working at your home or business.

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is proud to be one of 1,700 franchises nationwide. Did I mention that SERVPRO has won numerous awards? There are far too many to list here, but feel free to check out the company website and see them all!  

SERVPRO has the trust of all the top insurance companies in our country. We can also help with your claim to make the situation as seamless and stress free as possible.

Call us today, our crews are always ready to help!

An ERP Will Help Protect Your Business

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs. SERVPRO can provide:

  • Over 40 years of experience as leading fire and water cleanup and restoration providers.
  • A SERVPRO franchise nearby - more than 1,500 franchises services 48 states.
  • More locations which means faster responses.
  • Quick response time to help ensure the damage is contained and the restoration process begins as soon as possible.
  • Large loss capabilities -  no fire or water damage is too large.

As many as 50% of businesses close down after a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. Knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event that your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you are able to help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Know what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is helpful in receiving timely mitigation and can help minimize the affects water and fire damage can have on your business

Winter Time Can Bring About Chimney Fires

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Each year in the United States there are more than 25,000 chimney fires. On average these yearly fires can cost more than $125 million in property damage.

These tragedies are able to be prevented. A regular inspection, cleaning, and repair of your chimney can help prevent any issues or malfunctions that could cause dangerous build-up that could put your family at risk for fire.

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe this winter:

  • Minimize creosote build-up in the chimney
  • Get an annual chimney inspection
  • Clean your chimney or have it professionally cleaned when you discover a 1/8-inch layer of build-up on the walls
  • Install an appropriate fitting chimney cap
  • Use safe, approved fire starters
  • Practice clean burning techniques

If you experience a chimney fire that causes smoke or soot damage throughout your home, call the cleaning professionals at SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties to clean your home properly. We are available 24/7/365. Our crews are on call nights, weekends, and holidays. We are always here to help.

We Are Headed For The Holidays!

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Now that Halloween has come and gone, we are in full speed ahead towards the holiday season! This means that family gatherings are at the top of everyone's list. It’s as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday gathering. We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or other holiday decorations, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster.

  • The top three days for home fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
  • More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death. In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives.

To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines:

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.

Fire? Vandalism? Storm? We Can Board Up Windows

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties has the capabilities to board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Vandalism Board-Up

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner. SERVPRO of Denver West Professionals will act quickly to remove broken glass from inside & outside your home or business and effectively board up all windows securing the inside of the building.

What About Other Types of Vandalism?

In addition to boarding up, our professionals can remove spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls. They can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.

Our trained technicians can offer the following services: 

  • Temporary secure enclosure
  • Roofs will be temporarily secured with tarps; fencing can be provided as an extra measure
  • All openings will be temporarily secured 

We Are an IICRC Certified Firm

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm. IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC creates standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies and their employees. Some of the standards are as follows.

IICRC Certified Firms Must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up to date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations on arbitration.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace as well.

Let Lunch Be On Us!

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Lunch is on us! Our marketing team at SERVPRO of Walker/Winston Counties will hold an event for business owners, agents, brokers, office managers and/or insurance agents. Our Lunch and Learn event will give you an opportunity to learn more about our company, including how we can be of service to you and your company when you need it the most. Additionally we will review what services we offer for your customers and clients. Our scheduling is very flexible for those who are interested: we schedule based on your availability!

During lunch we will do a short 20-30 minute presentation focused on a predetermined topic of your choice. You can choose any of the following topics:

Topic 1: General Overview of SERVPRO of Walker/Winston Counties including our services, training, certifications, & equipment we use to get the job done.

Topic 2: SERVPRO of Walker/Winston Counties Emergency Readiness Profile. Our no-cost service that helps restore operations to your business building faster after you’ve experienced a disaster

Topic 3: Commercial & Industrial Large Loss: Capabilities, Response, and Preparing your Commercial Clients for Whatever Happens (Emergency Ready Profile for disasters that affect multiple businesses, for example a mall or shopping center)

Topic 4: Water Damage. This covers water damage timelines, categories of water damage, flood damage, mold damage, indicators of water damage, and how water damage affects your client's properties.

Topic 5: Fire, Smoke, & Soot Damage. This covers types of smoke, how it affects your client’s properties, statistics of fire/smoke damage,  fire safety tips, and what to do until help arrives.

Contact your local SERVPRO Sales Representative to get on the schedule!

Keep an Emergency Kit Handy

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

This year has been filled with the unexpected, one thing that we have learned is that it pays to always be prepared. After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days.

Your basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Walker & Winston Counties is here to help.

After A Fire, Call Us

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire, the spread of smoke and other destructive effects can quickly compromise a home or business. Protecting your property means much more than reducing structural damage and focuses most heavily on what our crews can do to ensure that your personal belongings, treasures, and possessions do not become irreparably damaged by lingering smoke, soot, and debris. Content management is one of the cornerstones of our fire recovery efforts, and that begins with a team of qualified technicians.

Scoping the job before the bulk of our field technicians arrive can designate the full measure of the damage in the residence and what efforts must get taken to get the growing threat under control. The more extended contents and belongings remain exposed to these hazardous conditions, the less likely successful restoration becomes.

Content management is a safe solution for undamaged and even soiled contents from your home. Homeowners authorize our SERVPRO professionals to work to recover and restore these belongings through various techniques, including immersion cleaning, deodorization, and other practices. In some situations, we must dispose of your possessions that are too severely damaged to preserve – this only happens when any restoration practices would not improve the condition of these items.

Fire recovery is inevitable after a loss incident, and our team of trained professionals can help however you need. We have cleaning and content management professionals that can reduce restoration costs and overall losses after a fire emergency.