Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO when it comes to storm damage

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Although no one can stop the rains, there are ways to limit flooding in your home. Overland flooding or backups due to overwhelmed storm sewage systems are but two of the sources of floodwaters in the lower levels of your home. Regardless of the source of the water, we have the technicians and the equipment to help you recover. 
 
Even though the water causing flood damage to your home may be drawing your eyes down as it seeps into the foundation or lower levels, the problem often is at the roofline. Clogged gutters and damaged downspouts cause water to pound down near the perimeter of your home, saturating the soil and ultimately invading through the slab, poured, or cinder block foundation. We can respond to and restore the damage but expect suggestions from our managers or production crew to minimize or even eliminate future flooding. 
 
The grading and landscaping around your home can also contribute to the seepage of floodwaters into the foundation. Over time even correctly graded ground can erode and shift, encouraging rainwater to drain into your home rather than away from it. SERVPRO crews also see scenarios where plantings surrounding your home contribute to excess water moving into the porous materials making up the base and protecting the lower levels of your house. Irrigation systems or merely an overdone watering of foundation gardens have the unhappy result of a wet home. 
 
SERVPRO evaluates the characteristics of the water flooding into your home to determine whether it needs to be contained and disposed of according to local regulations. The sooner you get our team to your home the more likely that the water checks out as Category 1. If the soil around your home is loose, dirt particles can flow in with the water. Lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and even pet wastes can taint the water, requiring careful handling. Gutter overflow can also contain bird and animal waste and mold, threatening the flooded area with microbial growth if not disinfected and dried out after the flood water evacuates. 
 
Submersible pumps and water extractors pull most of the flood water out of your home. If Category 1 we can drain it outside, but take care to deposit far from the house to prevent it from flooding again. We use moisture meters and infrared scanners to locate hidden pockets of moisture and to set a baseline for drying goals. SERVPRO crews position air movers, heaters, and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected space. The moisture numbers are monitored to ensure we achieve standard levels. 
 
The team at SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties has the necessary training and experience to remediate seepage-based flooding. Do not hesitate to call us if we can help!

Why SERVPRO when it comes to fire damage

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.

Board-ups - In some cases firefighters may break windows and cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. It is extremely important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.

Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot

Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.

Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

What to do after a fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

What NOT to do after a fire:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may damage garment further.

SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties has what it takes to restore your home back to pre loss condition.

 

Why SERVPRO when it comes to restoring your business!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

There's nothing quite as difficult for a commercial establishment as dealing with water damage. However, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can prevent you from experiencing unnecessary emotional upsets for yourself, your employees, and your customers and mitigate the economic strain of lost business. There are many steps you'll need to take to get your commercial property back in order following a water damaging event. Contacting a team of skilled water damage restoration experts from SERVPRO is a good first step.


Quick Water Removal Mitigates Monetary Loss 

The longer excess water remains on your commercial property, the more likely you are to suffer from costly water damage repairs to structural properties like ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Then there is the concern of water damage to your capital investments: inventory, furniture, carpeting, electronic equipment and paper documents. Having a team of skilled water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO to begin immediately removing standing water can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on repairs.

Quick Remediation Prevents Secondary Water Damage.

Another benefit of a quick reaction to the pressing problem of water intrusion is that fast extraction helps prevent secondary water damage. Unfortunately, water damage creates a moist, wet environment within your business. Moisture and high humidity offer mold an opportunity to grow and spread throughout structural materials and wood furniture and fabrics. If your business deals with food distribution, high inventory loss may be a costly negative effect. For this reason, it's critically important to have standing water removed as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can arrive, usually in about one hour, with water removal equipment to meet any problem. 

Fast Restoration Helps You Get Back In Business

If the water intrusion, by way of a storm, flood, leak, or the aftermath of fire extinguishing causes severe water damage to your commercial business, you may have to relocate temporarily while water damage restoration work is being completed. Closed doors affect customer traffic, employee earnings, and your bottom line.  Insurance companies normally work hand-in-hand with SERVPRO to come to a working agreement allowing the water extraction process to commence immediately. 

Contact SERVPRO Today

If your commercial property has been subjected to water damage, getting fast, effective water damage restoration services is a must. Here at SERVPRO, we specialize in optimizing and expediting each component of the restoration process to ensure that you can get your business back in business. Moreover, each of our IICRC-Certified technicians will provide you with the personable care and excellent customer service that keeps you in the loop throughout the water damage restoration process. We can quickly reopen your doors like it never even happened.

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties responds quickly to a water or fire, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,650 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources. Call us for assistance today!

Why SERVPRO when it comes to sewage backup!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Cleanup

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a task or question you probably head to the internet for answers…that’s how you found this article! And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find hundreds of articles describing how to clean-up sewage.

It goes like this:

** Put on some rubber gloves

** Scoop out the waste

** Take some water and bleach solution and apply it to the affected areas

** Let it dry

Most articles will throw out a warning saying “if you’re not sure whether you can do it, or don’t have the proper equipment, it is best to call a professional”. That’s where you would call SERVPRO.

We’d like to throw out another warning!

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 
Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – Any SERVPRO crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO has, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO  clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!


So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together.

Why SERVPRO When It Comes To Biohazard Cleanup!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Dissecting Biohazard Cleanup: Understanding the Process and Reducing Risk

By Tim Reifsteck

When compared to a fire or water loss, property damage resulting from a suicide, murder or unattended death poses greater risk and complexity for the adjuster, the biohazard cleanup company, and of course, the policyholder. Many cleaning and restoration companies will offer bioremediation services, but only those that specialize in this area, like SERVPRO truly understand the science and intricacies of the bioremediation and decontamination process. In order to minimize risk for the insurance carrier and ensure the safety of the policy holder, it’s important to realize the inherent challenges of bioremediation and the processes and standards that every biohazard cleanup professional must adhere to.

Am I liable for an improper biohazard cleanup?

At some point in their careers, insurance professionals may have experienced sticker shock from a bioremediation claim. How could the biohazard cleanup of a single room cost more than recovering an entirely flooded home? It might be tempting to retain a trusted property damage restoration company at a lower cost, but doing so may put the insurer at risk for a lawsuit.

Consider a recent case where a general cleaning company was hired to sanitize a home after 600 pounds of deer meat rotted in a family’s garage due to a power outage. Following the cleaning, the homeowners reported that the rotting stench still remained throughout the house and that some family members became ill. Experts who were brought in to investigate the situation determined that the enduring smell and sickness resulted from inefficiencies in the cleaning process, such as the failure to seal concrete surfaces.

Why is bioremediation so complex?

Many biohazard situations pose grave health risks to policy holders and cleanup companies because of the potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. One out of every 24 people has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV and these pathogens can survive in a deceased person for a considerable amount of time – up to 16 days after death, depending on the temperature and surrounding environment. Exposure to bloodborne viruses can occur due to direct contact with non-intact skin, accidental injury from biological fragments, inhalation and exposure from splashes of blood or bio fluid to the eyes, nose, or mouth. Considering the health risks, bioremediation specialists must follow stringent employee safety regulations and meticulous decontamination procedures that most cleanup crews are not accustomed to.

Separately, biohazard situations can lead to hidden dangers that an average property restoration technician might not even consider. For example, in a water damage emergency, floor boards and drywall might be removed because they are visibly warped and unsalvageable. Then the rest of the structure can be dried out. In contrast, blood can seep through grout and in-between floorboards, even through subflooring. There is no other way to clean the damage but to remove all affected materials – if new wood floors are installed over the blood spill or if tiles are simply wiped down, the remaining bio matter can spread disease, release odors and further damage the property.

How do I evaluate a bioremediation provider?

To determine whether or not a company is qualified to handle a biohazard situation, insurance professionals need a deeper understanding of proper bioremediation standards and what it takes to fully decontaminate a property. These are the key things to inquire about when choosing a vendor for a biohazard cleanup:

OSHA Compliance – These regulations are in place to protect the biohazard company employees and to prevent injury and potential liability for all involved. All supervisors and field technicians should be trained in the following OSHA programs: Bloodborne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety. A common misstep among restoration companies is that they only comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards, instead of all the aforementioned areas.

EPA and State Environmental Agency Compliance – The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations. Not all biohazard remediation companies are licensed to transport or store medical waste so it’s essential to understand if/how they comply with the local and national standards. The cleaning company can incur hefty fines if medical waste is not disposed of properly. Also, employees need to be trained in the proper use of cleaning agents – this can be more complicated than it seems, as many agents will become inactive if not measured and diluted properly.

Reporting/Testing – A reputable company should be able to deliver a detailed report which catalogs every step of the cleanup process. This should include photos of the entire process as well, so the policy holder and adjuster understand why some structural materials needed to be removed, what was disposed, why the employees went through a certain amount of protective equipment, etc. They should also have equipment available to check for non-visible but active biological fluids and other contaminants so that it is certain when an area is considered disinfected.

Sensitivity Training – Dealing with a flood or fire can be extremely traumatic, but it does not compare to the loss of loved one. During these traumatic situations, the family members often stay at home so it is imperative that the workers in their home are compassionate and considerate. The biohazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO understand the need for the family to deal with only one point person in order to avoid confusion or conflicting updates. They have been trained to eliminate alarming language from their vocabulary and speak empathetically with the policyholder.

When it comes to biohazard remediation, there is no quick solution. The fact that there are no laws protecting policy holders through a biohazard cleaning process puts the responsibility on the insurance carrier to work with bioremediation specialists who follow strict safety standards and cleanup procedures. If the insurance carrier directs the cleanup process and even one of the above points is neglected, they might be held liable for any further health and property damages resulting from the improper cleanup. It is important to remember that you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that a policy holder needs after a traumatic crime or death occurred in their home or place of business.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today! 

Information provided by: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2013/10/22/238753.htm

Why SERVPRO When It Comes To Carpet Cleaning?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

The Importance of Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners

Professional carpet cleaners are the only people who should be trusted to do the job. Anyone with less experience or certification will likely not do the job correctly. And their carelessness could end up costing a lot more in the end. 

Carpeting is typically one of the most long-term investments in the home. Most people associate high-cost flooring with tile, marble or hardwood, but carpet can carry a high price tag as well. There are various fibers and matting to choose from, as well as the padding beneath it. When it’s all said and done, it can cost just as much if not more than some other options. Once that investment is installed, great care should be taken to keep it in the best condition possible. This will mean regular vacuuming in high-traffic areas and regular maintenance from professional carpet cleaners.


Why should someone always hire professional carpet cleaners?

Professionally trained technicians have certification in all types of fibers and construction, so they know which products and equipment to use and how to employ them properly. The technician can assess the area for any spot treatment that may be necessary and will know which tools and specialized products to use. They will also be aware of the correct methods to complete the job effectively. Technicians will also inform the customer of ways that they can prolong the life of their carpeting and how to properly treat spills and accidents should they occur.


What can happen if someone doesn't use professional carpet cleaners?

A lot of damage can occur if a certified technician or firm is not hired to do the job. They can over-saturate the fibers and promote an environment that may foster mold and other microbial growth in time. If using improper equipment, the fibers can be damaged, which would result in replacement being required much sooner. If the wrong cleansing agents are used, or they are not properly rinsed out, they may damage the fibers or make future soil adhere quicker, which will require cleaning more often than would otherwise be necessary.  


What should a customer expect when they hire professional carpet cleaners?

Upon arrival, the technician will assess the carpeting. Once that is complete, the process can begin. First they will vacuum the floor during a process called dry soil removal. This removes any loose items in the flooring. Then soil suspension and extraction will take place. The technician uses a preconditioning agent that is mixed to separate the soil from the fibers. Various methods are employed to extract the soil from the flooring. Grooming may also be done to improve the fiber piles, matting, and to equally disperse protectors or conditioning agents. Then the drying process can begin. Carpets that have been professionally cleaned should be dry in less than 24 hours. Homeowners can assist in this process by ensuring the right temperature is maintained, and there is adequate ventilation. 

When hiring a carpet cleaning technician, make sure that they have received their certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC is a globally-recognized organization that is the leader in certifying technicians and firms in the restoration, cleaning and inspection industry.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today!

Mold in Insulation

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

About a year ago, a terrible natural disaster hit. SERVPRO responded and headed down south. After SERVPRO responded to calls of storm and water damage, they addressed evidence of mold in multiple locations. Initially, one thinks that a bad storm is going to cause destruction due to heavy winds, rains and flooding. However, the average customer doesn't even think about the mold until the rain water and flooding has done it's damage.

SERVPRO responded to several jobs with mold issues after the long hours they put into storm repair. 

By this time, SERVPRO had been out of state for almost three weeks helping with the aftermath. They were going to stay longer if it meant addressing more issues such as mold.

This picture shows water damage in a customer's ceiling, which has insulation. Since insulation has to be removed for the drying process, the SERVPRO team could take the steps needed to address the mold issue. No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO.

Mold In Your Home

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. If you are in need of mold remediation please call our office today! 

Facts About Flooding

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather-related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.

Sewage Cleanup

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO also cleans up sewage backups?

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO has specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our specialists are always here with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.