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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Proven Ways To Prevent a Commercial Fire

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in a long hallway of a store Department store in Cedar Bluff, TN suffered a fire in their fitting rooms.

Ways to Prevent a Commercial Fire that Have Been Proven

commercial fire is one of the biggest calamities that can strike a business. Therefore, it makes sense to spend some time, money, and energy on fire prevention. It is much easier to prevent a fire in the first place than it is to deal with the cleanup, expense, and business interruption of a fire to a factory, retail building, office, hotel or other business entity. The principles of guarding against a business fire have been known for a long time.

The Basics of Prevention

There are several basic steps every business should undertake to stand the best chance of avoiding a costly fire. These include the following:

  • Every company should schedule a visit from the fire department in Cedar Bluff, TN
  • It should have a plan in place
  • It should have fire equipment, such as alarms and extinguishers, on the premises
  • A business should have a clearly labeled evacuation route for employees

These basics of fire prevention will go a long way toward making a place of business safe. They may be able to prevent or significantly reduce fire damage from a commercial fire. It would also be smart to know fire remediation experts in Cedar Bluff, TN, to contact in the event of a fire.

The Next Level of Prevention

For a company that has a lot of assets or that may be at a higher risk of a fire, there are more advanced precautions to take. Since employee knowledge is important, it makes sense for a company to have a safety officer. This person would be responsible for making sure a current plan is in place and that fire equipment has been inspected and is located in the right spots. An automatic sprinkler system could be a worthwhile investment, as well.

Fire prevention is an important thing to consider for most companies. With a little initiative from management and workers, a costly fire can be prevented.

After a Home Fire, There Are Plenty of Cleaning Jobs To Go Around

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of window of a home. Fire damage in a home in Walker Springs, TN.

Fire Cleanup

Fire damage in a home is often less of a problem than smoke damage. The reason is simple. The fire may be small, but smoke travels everywhere. Everything smoke touches need cleaning. Luckily, dry-cleaning solves this problem for many fabrics. They include:

  • Drapes and other window dressings
  • Tapestries and Persian carpets
  • Clothing that you would dry clean
  • Any other exposed material which requires dry cleaning

Removal and Cleaning Applies to More Than Fabrics

The general rule after a fire is to remove everything from the home that’s not nailed down. Attempting to clean anything in place only makes the situation worse. All content cleaning should happen outside the home, but where? Dry-cleaning is only part of the answer. Others are:

  • Electronics cleaners for home entertainment equipment, computers and appliances
  • Sonic cleaners for window blinds and other non-porous non-electric items
  • Art restoration specialists for paintings, sculptures and other artistic pieces
  • Laundry service for everything washable

Don’t Bring Anything Back to Your Smoke-Damaged Home

Your home is still suffering from the effects of the fire. Don’t return your newly-cleaned items only to have them contaminated again. If your things are ready to pick up, you need to solve the problem of content storage. Before you go out looking for storage, try the following:

1. See if the cleaner will hold your items as a courtesy. Free storage is the best of all the alternatives. Be appreciative.

2. The cleaner will hold your items for a storage charge. You are going to pay someone for storage. Why not pay someone who knows how to take care of your items?

3. The cleaner will not hold your items. Ask for any recommendations on storage conditions or facilities. Perhaps the cleaner would be willing to package your items for safe storage.

If your home has a fire, you will want the services of fire remediation experts located in the Walker Springs, TN, area. They will deal with the smoke and other damage and get you and your mountain of dry-cleaning home quickly.

How Does SERVPRO Support Insurance Claims?

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a living room You can always trust our SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville team for all your water damage cleanup and drying needs!

Claim Services Preferred Vendors Provide

SERVPRO is a damage mitigation and restoration company with franchises across the country. Only locations that meet the requirements of a Participation Agreement can receive insurance client referrals. Find out more about the claim services Preferred Vendors may provide.

Certification and Participation Agreement

Whenever an insured homeowner or insurance company representative calls to report damage, their information is only forwarded to a franchise that meets Participation Agreement requirements. Each location must agree to operate in accordance with rigorous guidelines:

  • Business insurance coverage
  • Employee background checks
  • Proper job documentation

This agreement includes 21 points in total. Franchise owners and employees are also encouraged to achieve and maintain Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Insurers prefer to work with IICRC-certified vendors.

Electronic Resources

SERVPRO also maintains a Claims Information Center to make it easier for insurance representatives to access estimates and data. Agents and adjusters can use electronic claim services to view:

  • Estimates
  • Collected data on losses
  • Company comparisons

This service supports communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers. The availability of information can make it easier to process and settle claims.

Fast Response Times

Insurers are more likely to cover a claim if immediate action is taken to mitigate damage. A fast response time can make an insurer more likely to cover work done by a damage remediation company. Seek call response times within an hour, on-site visits scheduled within four hours and a verbal briefing within eight hours. Insurers may also want to compare average emergency response times and job file costs.

All of these factors set SERVPRO apart as a Preferred Vendor. An insurance agent or homeowner should not hesitate to contact the company in the event of any type of damage at a residence in Pleasant Ridge, TN. An estimate will be made available to insurers, and other claim services will support timely processing and successful settlement.

The Three Categories of Water Damage

2/27/2022 (Permalink)

Air fans in kitchen Kitchen water damage in Solway, TN

Understanding the Three Different Categories

If your commercial property has suffered damage, one of the first things professionals in Solway, TN do is assess the extent of the damage. They examine the flood water and place it in one of three categories. Read more about the safety implications of each to learn about what to expect if your business or rental residence is victim to a broken pipe, natural disaster or heavy rains.

Category 1

Water in this category doesn't pose a significant threat to humans. Some professionals call it "clean water." Sources can include broken water supply lines, tub and sink overflows or appliance malfunctions.

Category 2

Category 2 water carries a significant amount of toxins, chemicals and biological contaminants that pose a risk to health. Some people may feel sick or uncomfortable if exposed. Typically, experts will recommend you temporarily close down your property if this type of water has flooded your floors or walls.

Category 3

This is the most dangerous type of water. The number of bacteria and microorganisms is such that it may cause harmful bacteria to grow. Category three flood water includes:

  • Sewer backup
  • River or stream water
  • Toilet water with feces
  • Stagnant liquid

Also known as "black water", water restoration experts will usually take extra care in cleaning up the damage. They'll wear safety clothing and googles and use sophisticated equipment to eliminate the harm. The most important thing to remember if confronted with category 3 water is to not approach it at all, not even to salvage your possessions. If the water has a dark color or enough excessive particulates floating in it to raise suspicion, best to call the pros with the knowledge and expertise to tackle the problem.

Every year, many buildings in Solway, TN are subjected to flood water. Understanding the three different categories can help you anticipate what work will need to be completed to make your property safe again.

What Can Professionals Salvage After a Commercial Fire?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

wall with smoke damage Smoke and soot damage can be difficult to clean up without expert help.

What Can Professionals Recover After a Business Fire?

Fires are disastrous for any business, but it does not mean your business in Cumberland Estates, TN, has to be inconvenienced for long. Many items can be salvaged following a fire. Occasionally, all you need to do is take the item in for dry-cleaning. As professionals look at the walls and floor of your building, make sure to ask about content cleaning.

Textiles

Certain items are prone to absorbing soot. These include:

  • Clothing
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Carpets
  • Drapes

You want to leave these in the hands of professionals. The reason is that if you attempt to wash them on your own, then you could end up doing more harm than good. Washing incorrectly only causes the soot and smoke to go deeper into the fabric. This will make the ultimate remediation more difficult, so always give these products to dry-cleaning professionals.

Electronics

In many cases, professionals will be able to salvage electronics. However, you need to take care to unplug the electronics as soon as the fire is put out. You should also avoid turning the items on until a professional looks at them because there could be interior water damage.

Documents

It is possible to salvage some books and documents, depending on the extent of the damage. However, it is extremely difficult and not always possible. Therefore, commercial property owners need to remain proactive and retain backups of all critical documents. This includes bank statements, insurance policies and other important records. Having backups will be a lifesaver if the original copies cannot be saved. It is recommended to keep these backups in another location outside of the office building.

Remediation experts who offer content storage and dry-cleaning will do everything in their power to salvage as much as possible. Ultimately, it is a good idea to have a solid insurance policy and to begin the claims process as soon as you can.

Top 3 Things To Do After Your Home Floods

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Carpet removed due to water damage Damaged floors in Walker Springs home.

The Top 3 Things To Do If Your House Is Flooded

A house flood in Walker Springs, TN, can happen out of nowhere. Whether the cause is broken pipes or heavy rains, recovering from this household disaster requires lots of work. The biggest issue you face is water damage. It wreaks havoc on everything from carpets to furniture. Getting your life back in order requires a major water cleanup. There are steps you can take to make this process run smoothly.

1. Turn Off the Power

Entering a home post-flood has potential risks. The combination of water and electricity can result in serious injury. So, shutting off the power is needed for your safety. It’s best that you have an electrician do this for you. However, you can do it yourself as long as the power source you’re turning off isn’t wet or located in standing water. Make sure you wear gloves and rubber boots for additional protection.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent

Your homeowner's policy may help cover the cost of the water damage. A claims adjuster will come to your home and assess the damages. Before the adjuster arrives, have before and after photos of your belongings. This helps the insurance company determine the cost of damages. Additionally, the agency may recommend a repair and restoration company to help return your home to its pre-flood condition.

3. Start Cleaning Up

Wet items must be dealt with immediately. Excessive moisture in your home can lead to mold and mildew. Remove your valuables from the water and let them air dry. Porous items such as pillows, box springs and mattresses are usually thrown away because they hold lots of water. Professional restoration services handle major projects like removing flooring, insulation and drywall.

Broken pipes, floods and water damage can turn your life upside down. By taking the right steps you can return things back to normal. One of the most important things you can do is to have trained remediation technicians in Walker Springs, TN, assist you with the water cleanup.

5 Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Drywall removed from bathroom area Inspect your bathroom for signs of mold.

Mold Could Be Hiding in These 5 Places in Your Home

Few things can destroy the comfort, value and appearance of a house faster than mold. Unfortunately, spotting mold growth is not necessarily easy. Here are five places mold may be hiding in your home.


1. Drywall

The drywall that makes up most of the surfaces of your home can attract mold. That is, mold loves to eat the cardboard that holds drywall together. If you have mold in a room, you may need to remove the affected drywall to prevent spores from moving into other areas of your house.

2. Subflooring

Mold needs an organic food source to grow and spread. While there are likely hundreds of organic things in your home, mold may first settle on wood. As you may suspect, mold on wood can be a serious problem, as mold spores can work themselves deep inside your subflooring, trim and other wooden surfaces.

3. Carpeting

Carpet and padding can be a hotbed for mold growth. If you have carpeting that routinely retains moisture, you can probably assume mold is growing beneath your feet.

4. Grout

You probably don’t think much about the grout between tiles. You should, though. Mold loves to cling to the porous surface of grout. Spraying your grout with bleach, though, may not address the problem. After all, bleached mold may continue to live, despite seeming to disappear.

5. Moist Places

If you want to find mold in your Pleasant Ridge, TN, home, check out the moist areas. After all, because mold needs humidity to thrive, it often lives in wet places. Specifically, inspect your kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, basement and attic for signs of mold. If you notice any, work with an experienced mold removal service to be sure you completely eradicate it from your home.

With a bit of effort, you can likely find hidden mold in your house. If you lack the expertise or equipment to locate mold, though, you may need a professional team to help you stop mold growth.

What Commercial Property Owners Should Know About the Mold Remediation Process

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation in Duquesne, MO.

Mold Remediation

From major flooding events to minor leaks left to drip unchecked, water damage is one of the top reasons that commercial buildings in Duquesne, MO, face issues with black mold infestation. When it comes to addressing mold remediation, time is of the essence; the longer mold cleanup is put off, the greater the risk that significant portions of the building may need to be restored. Here are the steps to expect when reaching out to professionals.

1. Finding a Professional Restoration Team

There are a variety of companies that maintain 24-hour call centers with representatives who can connect you with a local team of technicians. When calling, make sure to have some basic information ready:

  • Insurance contact information
  • Time the damage occurred or was first noticed
  • Street address of affected building
  • Source of water damage

2. Assessing Damage

Once you have contacted a team, technicians will perform a thorough inspection of the damage, including identifying strains of mold or mildew that may be present, assessing immediate repair needs to stop water at its source and removing or blocking off furniture to stall further deterioration.

3. Pumping Out Standing Water

In cases of severe flooding and standing water, industrial pumps may be needed to extract it. Carpeting and carpet padding as well as affected portions of drywall and insulation may also need to be removed at this time to prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

4. Dehumidifying

Once standing water has been removed, residual moisture soaked into porous building materials still poses a serious risk of inviting black mold infestation as well as structural warping. Industrial dehumidifiers and air movers are used to minimize humidity levels.

5. Removing Odor, Disinfecting and Rehabilitating

Once humidity levels have been normalized, fogging equipment and air scrubbers are used to sanitize and deodorize affected areas. Personal items such as papers, photographs, or clothing may also be salvageable. However, in cases of prolonged or severe water damage, mold remediation measures may require tearing out significant portions of the existing structure to prevent aggressive black mold infestation.

What To Do After Commercial Water Damage

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Two air movers and a dehumidifier placed in the hallway of a building. Dehumidification and ventilation to control moisture and prevent secondary damage.

Commercial Water Damage

Commercial water damage often involves larger spaces, pipes, or roofs, and it may be more costly to fix than damage in a residential structure. If your commercial property in Karns, TN, has sustained damage from broken pipes or a leaky roof, you should take steps to reduce the amount of excess water and contact a commercial restoration service that specializes in water cleanup.

Cleaning up after a leak can be a messy process, but there are several ways to limit the extent of the damage and the potential for secondary damage. Immediately after a leak occurs, you should:

• Use buckets, mops, or towels to prevent water from soaking into building materials, carpet, furniture, or other items.

• Contact a plumber or roofing company to handle the leak as soon as possible.

• Contact a cleanup and restoration service that’s certified to handle leaks and prevent secondary damage within 24 hours of the leak.

Once you have dealt with the broken pipe or any other source of excess water in your commercial property, you should contact a certified commercial restoration service to dry, clean, and restore the affected areas to their original conditions.

A water damage restoration company can provide several services, including:

• Water mitigation by removing standing water from your commercial property
• Dehumidification and ventilation to control moisture and prevent secondary damage, such as mold growth
• Restoration of property damaged by storms, burst pipes, or roof leaks

If broken pipes or a leaky roof have caused damage to your commercial property in Karns, TN, you should contact a local or regional service that specializes in water damage cleanup and restoration. The sooner you fix a leak and address any damage that has resulted, the more affordably, effectively, and quickly you will be able to restore your property to a functional and safe condition.

What To Expect From Fire Restoration Professionals After a Fire

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Walls of a home covered with smoke after fire damage Fire damage in a West Hills, TN home.

Fire Restoration Process

After a fire in your home, fire restoration services can reverse the damage left behind, so you're able to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Usually, there's a predictable order to the services professionals provide.

1. Emergency Damage Control

After the fire department puts out the fire and gives you the okay to reenter your home, contact fire and smoke damage restoration professionals right away. A quick response from these experts will protect your home from further damage, such as rain blowing through a hole in the ceiling.

2. Damage Assessment

After professionals take care of immediate needs, they'll want to measure the extent of the destruction, inspecting fire, smoke, and soot damages, and recording how badly your home and furnishings have been affected. This information can then be shared with your insurance company.

3. Cleanup

During this step, standing water and odors are addressed. You and the professionals may work together to remove items that are too badly damaged to save. Some furnishings, such as carpeting and memorabilia that can be saved, may be sent to the appropriate restoration professionals. Much of the destruction can be minimized through appropriate damage cleaning efforts.

4. Renovation

Many fire restoration companies handle immediate repairs and deeper renovations, such as repairing or replacing cabinets. Some professionals can leave your home looking better than it did originally through their renovation efforts.

5. Prevention Recommendations

One of the most valuable aspects of these professional services is the prevention education you'll receive. Sometimes residential fire damages are preventable or could have been avoided. After repairs have been completed, professionals from the restoration company may discuss fire prevention practices, such as choosing the best smoke detectors and using appliances safely in the home.

Even after fires have been put out, dealing with home fires in West Hills, TN, can be overwhelming. The more you know about fire restoration services, the easier it is to feel that you can regain control over your life.

Understanding Business Interruption Insurance

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance form and red pen for signing. Commercial interruption insurance can offer a life raft as you rebuild.

Few business owners would operate without insuring their building assets, yet fewer consider protecting the operation of their business. Do you have a plan for relocating should a storm make your building temporarily unusable? Could your business weather such a disruption? Fortunately, business interruption insurance exists to cover you in exactly these circumstances. Here’s a primer on just what this cover entails and how it can help you rebuild in Blaine, TN following a disaster.

What Income Interruption Insurance Is?

Interruption policies help replace lost income and cover extra expenses when a business is impacted by a covered peril. Policies typically cover theft and a variety of weather-related circumstances, from fire and wind to falling objects and even lightning. Fallout from such interruptions can include

  • Lost revenue from a temporary closed business
  • Destroyed merchandise
  • Temporary relocation
  • Expenses to rebuild

A common scenario might involve a fire damaging a business, destroying merchandise. An interruption policy could reimburse you both for the lost income from the destroyed merchandise and for expenses that come from temporarily relocating your closed business.

What an Interruption Policy Is Not

Before you buy a policy, understand what isn’t covered. This type of policy does not cover flood damage. Business interruption insurance also is not a separate policy, but rather, an add on to a property insurance policy. Moreover, like any insurance policy, this type of policy has limits to how much coverage you can get and for how long. How long would it take to rebuild and get your business back to normal? Think about this when deciding on coverage.

However it comes, a blow to your business is stressful. Commercial interruption insurance can offer a life raft as you rebuild. Arm yourself with the right knowledge about these policies as you prepare for the unexpected and you’ll be sure to choose the right policy for you.

How Do Experts Restore Items With Fire Damage?

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Black pots, pots covered with smoke The professionals at SERVPRO can take care of soot and smoke damage.

4 Content Cleaning Treatments

Restoration professionals use a wide variety of treatments to clean items damaged by soot and smoke. From dry-cleaning to abrasive blasting and immersion to ultrasonic waves, there are many ways to remove every trace of staining and odor from the contents of a home that has suffered a fire. Any burnt or charred items should be disposed of to avoid recontamination. Here are four general categories of content cleaning treatments that experts use to treat items damaged by fire.

1. Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning involves the application of water or cleaning solution or the immersion of small to medium-sized contents in a bath of solution. This method is most effective for hard, non-porous materials. The application of high-pressure ultrasonic waves can remove stubborn residue.

2. Damp Cleaning

Spraying and wiping is a technique that is most useful for cleaning soot and smoke residue off of some delicate surfaces. This method of cleaning may be recommended for items such as artwork or upholstery.

3. Dry-Cleaning

Restoration professionals use a version of the same treatment that applies to clothing and textiles. Other techniques that do not call for the use of cleaning solutions or water include chemical sponges and abrasive blasting. A chemical sponge is made of natural rubber and does not contain chemicals. Blasting involves the use of specialized abrasive powders that are each suitable for different types of materials.

4. Foam Cleaning

Foam cleaning may be ideal for materials that are likely to shrink, such as upholstery. This treatment is effective for eliminating stains and odors.

Homeowners generally do not have access to the commercial-grade content cleaning solutions and dry-cleaning equipment used by restoration professionals. Experts with IICRC credentials can mitigate, clean and rebuild a structure while treating the contents. These items will be held safely in content storage until restoration work is finished at a residence in Knoxville, TN.

Using Drain Cleaners: 3 Important Facts

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration If the drain cleaner doesn't work n 24 hours call a plumber.

Drain Cleaners - Three Important Facts

When a clogged drain stops up your Walker Springs, TN, home’s plumbing, you may reach for one of several drain cleaners you have handy. These products are adept at handling small sink or toilet clogs and can help water drain more smoothly. However, before you use these liquids, it is important to know where they can be used and when they might do more harm than good.

1. The Chemicals May Damage Older Pipes

If you have an older home, using a drain cleaner to clear a clog may harm your pipes. These liquids can contain several caustic ingredients that are designed to dissolve hair and waste, and the heat they create once they are introduced in the line can warp older metal pipes. If this happens, your plumbing problems may potentially multiply instead of being resolved.

2. The Compounds May Not Remove Clogs

While some drain cleaners can be effective in clearing a clogged drain or bathroom sink, they do not always work on larger toilet clogs. If the chemicals are unable to deal with the mass, the product can remain in the pipes and can sometimes cause warping or other damage, leading to a massive toilet overflow and the need for a visit from a sewage cleaning and removal company. If a drain cleaning product does not produce results within 24 hours, it is wise to call a plumber.

3. The Cleaners Can Sometimes Be Hazardous

Clearing a drain with a liquid cleaner can be convenient, but these products could pose a threat to you, your pets and wildlife. They sometimes contain toxic ingredients which can be harmful when inhaled and can have a negative effect on the local environment if they find their way into natural water sources. As such, it is important to handle these products carefully.

Dealing with a clogged drain in your Walker Springs, TN, home can be frustrating. However, before you reach for a bottle of liquid drainer cleaner, it may be important to know all the facts concerning the cleaner, and its use, to keep your home and family safe.

The Invisible Impact of Smoke Damage

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Cumberland Estates, TN.

Smoke Damage

No property owner wants to experience a commercial building fire. The fire can be devastating, not only because of the damage the fire does but from the odor and discoloration the smoke leaves behind. Furthermore, while the building is closed, you can lose a great deal of money. However, before you hire a professional service in Cumberland Estates, TN, to begin smoke cleaning, it can be important to understand exactly how the smoke damage can impact your building, your clients, and you.

Invisible Assailants

Although smoke can often be seen during a fire, the damage causing the lingering smoke odor can often be a result of components that are not always visible. These can include:

• Invisible and toxic gasses can contaminate the air. These gases can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and phosgene. The gases can be a highly foul-smelling contribution to the smoke.

• Particles of carbon called soot can cover the floors and walls. The fragments can float long distances from the fire and be deposited in unusual areas such as the cracks of bricks or under the heads of nails.

• Vapors of poisonous smoke can look like mist. The gaseous droplets can be poisonous and can cover items in your building with contaminates.

Covert Particles

Signs of smoke are often evident after a fire. Black stains covering the walls and ceiling of some rooms, soot-covered floors, and an unpalatable odor are often visible signs of pollution left behind by the fire. But the acrid smell that lingers for weeks after a fire is often caused by a cloud of invisible particles leftover from the flames. That is why smoke cleaning can be a tedious and unpleasant job.

Timely Restoration

Removing the smoke damage that can be seen may be easily done by a fire restoration and smoke cleaning team. On the other hand, removing the often acrid and unpleasant odor left behind can be difficult even when using scientific means. Sadly, the longer the odor lingers, the more difficult it can become to remove it completely.

How To Keep Your Home Mold Free: 3 Simple Preventative Actions

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white wall. Mold growth on a wall in a Karns, TN home.

Steps To Keep Your Home Mold Free

Whether your Karns, TN, home was affected by water damage, seasonal high humidity or other moisture issues, battling mold caused by these problems can be a challenge. There are many different types of fungi that can grow indoors, especially in damp, dark places. If you have recently had your home treated by a mold remediation and removal company and want to prevent any fungi from returning, there are several simple actions you can take to keep it at bay.

1. Maintain Your Home’s Plumbing

One of the most common causes of mold growth is the presence of moisture in your home, particularly from leaking pipes or water appliances. Old or corroded plumbing may develop slow leaks and attract mold spores, which can attach and multiply quickly. Having your pipes checked annually and updating older systems can prevent leaks that may contribute to moisture problems and fungi growth.

2. Maintain Consistent Humidity Levels

While water damage is a common cause of mold growth, high humidity levels can also cause damp conditions that make an ideal environment for spores to thrive. If you live in an area where humidity levels rise during the summer, it is wise to monitor indoor conditions and use your air conditioner, fans and kitchen exhaust system to prevent dampness in every room of your home.

3. Avoid Creating Excess Humidity

You can practice mold prevention by being mindful of how much humidity you and your family creates. Avoid running your clothes dryer during the day and encourage everyone to take short, cool showers, as using hot water may contribute to high humidity levels. Take your houseplants to the patio to catch some sun and where they can release water vapor.

Preventing water damage and other moisture issues in your Karns, TN, home can go a long way when it comes to battling mold. Even minor leaks can attract spores, so being mindful of excess indoor moisture and humidity can prevent mold from making itself at home.

3 Items To Toss Away After a House Fire

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Medicine thrown in a basket If your medicine has been exposed to heat they need to be thrown away.

Items To Replace Once They Have Been Affected by Fire

When a fire affects your West Hills, TN, home, you may be left wondering how to restore your valued belongings and what to throw away. While circumstances vary, there are a few possessions that may need to be tossed to ensure the safety of your family. As you work to return your home to normal, there are several common household items you should consider replacing once they have endured a fire.

1. Medicine

The effectiveness of some medicines may be impacted once they have been exposed to high heat. When you can re-enter your home safely, check your medicine cabinet or other areas where you store prescription medications. If the plastic bottles appear warped or have been exposed to fire extinguisher dust, they should be thrown away. Ask your pharmacy about replacement options and whether you can be compensated for lost meds.

2. Cosmetics

When some cosmetics suffer fire damage, they may no longer be safe to apply to your skin. Any cosmetics left out on vanities or dressers in rooms affected by fire should be disposed of, as they might be coated with soot or ash that is difficult to see. It’s better to err on the side of caution, even if you take a loss on what you spent for your makeup.

3. Canned Foods

While you may be able to sanitize canned foods after a flood, fire and extreme temperatures can change the contents in ways that water cannot. Inspect your pantry’s contents carefully and throw away cans, dried goods and packages that have been visibly burned, appear warped or are coated with dried extinguisher foam.

Items inside your West Hills, TN, home can be affected by fire in different ways. Knowing what to throw away after a blaze can protect your family from the possible contaminants that may be lurking in everyday items.

How to Handle a Burst Pipe in a Commercial Building

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

Water leaking out of valve. After a pipe burst in your building, whether sewer or water line, there are individual steps you may want to take to prevent any further damage.

After a pipe burst in your building, whether sewer or water line, there are individual steps you may want to take to prevent any further damage. Below are six of the most common cleaning and damage tips to use prior to full building restoration.

1. Ensure Personal Safety

Before any cleaning tips, it is crucial that you and anyone working in the flooded area take certain safety precautions. As the type of water you will be dealing with is likely unknown, you may want to use water-repellent gloves, coveralls, and rubber boots. It is also a good idea to wear eye protection.

2. Shut off Main Power

After a flood from a burst line, it is a good idea to shut off the main power. While your building may not have power, it does not mean that electricity has stopped moving through outlets and other appliances.

3. Create a Photographic Record

In the plethora of damage tips out there, the tip to make a photographic record of the damage sustained is a good one. Pictures allow you to prove loss to insurance companies, thereby making the claims process a little easier.

4. Mitigate Further Damage

Another important tip after a burst pipe is to mitigate further damage. In an effort to protect your building from further devastation, you may want to shut off the water supply to your building to stop any further flooding.

5. Remove Water and Damaged Material

Once you take the above precautions and steps, you can begin removing any excess water using wet vacs and pumps. In addition to the removal of water, you can discard any damaged materials, like carpeting and drywall.

6. Dry out Facility

After the facility is free of water and damaged goods, you can begin the dry-out phase. If you want to streamline this process, you can use dehumidifiers, industrial fans, and other air movers.

While the damage tips above may seem daunting, they are necessary to restoring operation; however, if the process of water damage cleanup seems too much, you can check with the Knoxville, TN, emergency management office for further tips and assistance.

6 Things to Never Do After a Flood

9/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded bathroom. If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

If you're dealing with a flooded home, it's understandable that you want to act fast to minimize damage, and while that's the right mindset, your can-do attitude may cause more trouble than it prevents. Flood water cleanup must be done with great care, otherwise, you risk causing more harm to both your home and yourself. Your local flood remediation team shares a few tips for what NOT to do post-flood:

• Do NOT stay in your home.
• Do NOT wade into standing water.
• Do NOT touch the water.
• Do NOT forgo protective gear.
• Do NOT forget to call your insurer.
• Do NOT forget to call your Knoxville, TN, water damage restoration team.

It is important that you don't do any of the above, as failure to listen to the professionals could put you, your home, or your loved ones in harm's way.

Get Out of the House and Away From the Water ASAP

Depending on where the flood water came from, it could be contaminated with human feces, chemicals, or other harmful materials. For this reason, you should not go anywhere near the water, let alone touch it. Ideally, if you can, get out of your home as fast as possible and call for help.

If You Must Stay in the Home, Wear Protective Gear

While you should not attempt cleanup efforts on your own, if you plan to stay in the home, make sure you're equipped with all the right protective gear. This includes flood boots, which may protect you against electrical shocks, a full-body suit, gloves, and face mask.

Contact All the Necessary Parties

If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The company will likely need an estimate of the restoration costs, so schedule your Knoxville, TN, flood water restoration team at the same time. Your swift action in these regards could minimize damage and therefore the costs of restoration.

Protective Gear for Mold Remediation

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth. Face masks, goggles, gloves, and other protective gears are necessary when you are cleaning up after mold in your home.

Mold is in the air all the time, but it is especially concentrated when you are in the process of remediating mold damage. While it is advisable to call in professional mold technicians when the area affected is larger than 30 square feet, you may decide to tackle smaller problems on your own. If you are cleaning mold in your home in Knoxville, TN, you can protect yourself from the extra spores in the air with face masks and other protective gear. There are four main areas that need coverage the most.

1. Body

Before you begin to clean up the mold in your home, don clothing that covers most of your skin. It needs to be clothing that is washable. As soon as you are through cleaning, undress and wash what you were wearing immediately so that the spores that attach to your clothing don't multiply.

2. Nose and Mouth

Face masks cover your breathing passages, improving the quality of the air you actually take into your body. A mask with a respirator is an important piece of protective equipment that filters out the spores, trapping them before they get to you.

3. Eyes

Goggles are necessary to protect your eyes. Eyes can be sensitive to any irritant, including dirt, hair, and mold. Keep spores away from your eyes by putting goggles on before you start cleaning.

4. Hands

Although your hands are going to be doing most of the work, you may not think of needing to protect them. After all, you can just wash your hands thoroughly after the cleaning is done, right? On the contrary, it is important to avoid contact with mold if you can. Gloves help protect your hands and forearms from the mold while you scrub.

Face masks, goggles, gloves, and other protective gears are necessary when you are cleaning up after mold in your home. Follow the example of remediation professionals and dress appropriately.

What You Should Do if You Think Your Building Has Mold

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

If your Knoxville, TN, building is has suffered mold damage, you should act quickly to make sure that it doesn't get any worse. Spores can be present everywhere, and excess moisture may cause them to proliferate. Aside from the significant damage an infestation can do to your property, stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can pose even greater issues. If you've detected a potential problem, make sure to:

  • Keep out of any affected parts of the building
  • Turn off any fans, heating or air conditioning
  • Call a mold remediation professional

Seek Professional Help

Mold cleanup is not something you should try to deal with on your own. It's important that you don't disturb the spores or try to dry the affected area by blowing air over it. Also, don't attempt to disinfect the damage yourself by using bleach or other cleaning products.

A professional remediation company should be able to handle the cleanup efficiently and identify whether or not black mold is present.

Prepare for the Remediation Process

Once the expert team arrives, a complete inspection can be done to determine all areas that are infested. Using advanced procedures like negative pressure chambers and air scrubbers, the mold is then isolated to contain any further spread. At this point, any sources of moisture are removed. Specialized cleaning and disinfecting agents are used to sanitize any infected surfaces. Salvageable materials, such as furniture and curtains, are removed, along with any damaged drywall and carpeting. Once this part of the process is completed, restoration of the affected areas can begin. This can range in complexity from replacing a few sections of sheetrock to reconstructing entire rooms.

Get the Job Done Right

If you suspect that you have a moisture problem, it's important to have a professional take care of it for you rather than trying to handle it on your own, especially when pathogens like black mold may be involved. By taking the steps outlined above, a remediation professional can safely and efficiently get your building back to its original condition.

What is an Ice Dam?

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

In the latest round of winter storms in Knoxville, TN, ice dams are forming on roofs all throughout the region, resulting in some substantial water damages. Which begs the question, just what exactly is an ice dam?

Simply put, an ice dam occurs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, preventing any melting snow from draining as it should, in to the gutter or off of the roof. Water backs up behind the ice dam and can leak into the home, possibly damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior building materials. (See a diagram of a typical ice dam to the right.)

What are the causes of ice dams? In most cases, once the roof is covered with snow and ice, it's the result of heat and warm air released into the attic or roof space. Once enough heat and warm air builds up, it can begin melting the bottom layer of moisture on the roof. With no place to drain, water can find its way into the roof, backing up under the shingles.

Most importantly, it's critical to understand that while ice dams can cause water damage to your home, it's not advisable to ever get on a roof to try and "fix" the problem, as a wet, frozen roof is an extremely unsafe environment, even for the trained professional.

Once ice dams are present, there is little to be done that is not potentially harmful to the roof. Using tools to break the ice can result in holes in the roof and damage to shingles. There are professional companies that use steam to mitigate ice dams, but here in Knoxville, TN, it's not a common enough occurrence to warrant companies here to have that expertise.

The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure proper ventilation and insulation within your attic. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has the capability to mitigate and clean up water damages from the ice dam, but not remove the ice dam itself. It's best to let all the water stop infiltrating before cleaning, as there may be additional extraction and damages that occur. 

We Want to Help Our Community Stay Safe

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

If a fire erupts in your Knoxville,TN, business, you may end up with a lot of damage. Taking special fire preparation steps can help minimize the harm done by a fire. Use these tips to help you protect your commercial building.

1. Know Who To Call

If a disaster should occur, you need to know who to contact. Get in touch with the first responders immediately. They can help put out the fire and minimize the destruction. Depending on the amount of fire damage, you may also need to call a fire restoration team. Picking out a restoration expert prior to a disaster can help you get back to normal faster.

2. Get Familiar With Fire Codes

Following fire codes can keep flames from erupting in your commercial establishment. This fire preparation step is essential for the safety of everyone in your building. The codes you have to follow may depend on the type of business you own.

3. Install a Fire Suppression System

Emergency systems can serve two purposes. A sprinkler system, for example, helps put out flames. An alarm, however, can alert residents to potential danger. Installing a fire suppression system is an important disaster preparation step. Even if your building never has a fire issue, you may need to have this protective equipment.

4. Create an Evacuation Route

Teaching those who use your building how to exit in the case of an emergency may not diminish the damage done, but it can keep people safe. Your evacuation plan should incorporate several important elements, including the following:

  • Multiple exit points
  • Meet up spot
  • Location of safety gear

Make sure to post a diagram with these directions in several places. When people have this information, it can make a fire less stressful.

While you never want to plan on your commercial building going up in flames, fires can happen anytime. Creating a fire preparation plan may help reduce the damage done to your space.

Water Damages in Northwest Knoxville

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it happens as the result of a flood due to heavy rains. Other times, it may be due to an inside flood, such as when a pipe or a water heater bursts. Whatever the case may be, if you are dealing with water damage or water-damaged electronics, appliances, or other devices, you need to proceed with extreme caution. The best thing you can do, after water damage has occurred, is to call on Nashville professionals who are familiar with dealing with such damage, such as our skilled pros at SERVPRO of North Knoxville. In the meantime, make sure you practice some good safety tips with the water damaged devices.

First things first, before you start thinking about possible water damage restoration, you need to make sure that you are not in immediate danger and that the devices that you own are not going to cause a fire or another serious incident.

After water damage has occurred, check your home to see if you have any damaged devices plugged in. If you find that you do, shut off the electricity at the breaker level. This will keep damaged devices from being able to start a fire. You should not touch, go near, or inspect any devices that are plugged in until you are certain that the electricity is off. Following this important tip will help you to avoid electric shock.

Believe it or not, it is not only plugged in water damaged electronics that pose a risk. Any device that contains a battery can also pose a serious risk. Thus, it's best to let our pros at SERVPRO of North Knoxville handle any such devices if you think they may have been damaged. At the very least, before touching any battery operated device, ensure that it is not giving off heat or smoke, bulging, melting, or making strange sounds. All these types of things are major warning signs that something serious and potentially dangerous is wrong with the battery!


As you can see, you're not always in the clear once the water subsides! To keep safe, contact the experts at SERVPRO of North Knoxville before you do anything. At the very least, follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

You Can Be Ruined Or You Can Be Ready

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO emergency ready profiles SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles.

Be Ready In The Event Of A Disaster

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of a disaster.

Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word Document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records and information about your pets, if necessary.

Follow The News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.

Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in an affected area at that time.

Get In Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and email for communication with your family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.

Get an Emergency READY Profile

SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles for free and ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business.

3 Ways To Keep Mold Away from Your Restaurant

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Severe mold contamination inside a building Mold growth in Karns, TN.

What To Do When You Find Mold In Your Restaurant?

 For restaurant owners in Karns, TN, one of the last things they want to see is mold growth in their facility. There are several ways to prevent this problem. Here are some of the steps many business owners take.

1. Use Proper Ventilation. The presence of high humidity in the kitchen can not only lead to food mold but other types of mold as well. This is why it’s important to keep humidity levels low. One way to do this is to make sure the property had enough ventilation to keep air circulating and reduce the buildup of water vapor in the air. Water vapor in the kitchen can come from a variety of places including boiling liquids or dishwashing.

2. Take Care of Leaks. Mold also likes to grow in areas where water has damaged the property. Water damages can come from leaky pipes, roof leaks, the buildup in poor ventilation, and even unattended spills. To prevent mold growth in these areas, it’s best to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Mold and water damage restoration professionals may be able to help.

3. Remember Food Safety. The Department of Agriculture has released several food safety steps that may help prevent a food mold problem. These include having proper food storage areas with a humidity level under 40 percent, regularly cleaning refrigeration units, keeping food in sealed containers until ready for use, keeping all sponges and other cleaning tools fresh, and examining food items received by the restaurant to ensure they are up to your quality standards.

Using proper ventilation, fixing water damage quickly, and following food safety guidelines are all ways to prevent mold growth in a restaurant environment. If you think you may have a mold problem, it’s best to call a professional as soon as possible so that the issue can be handled safely and quickly.

2 Landscaping Tricks To Protect Your Home From Flooding

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

Both hands holding dark mulch Heavier mulch will protect your home throughout the flood.

2 Landscaping Tips to Keep Your Home Flood-Proof

When outside flooding occurs in West Hills, TN, it’s never a fun time, especially when you’re running around to check every five minutes to make sure your house isn’t the first landbound Titanic. Here are two easy tricks to ensure the next rain storm doesn’t end up in your basement.

Try Heavier Mulch

Lighter mulch is easily washed away by outside flooding, and it is then difficult to clean up and can clog drains. Heavier mulches will stay in place more easily and will continue protecting your home throughout the flood. Heavy mulch options include the following:

• Hardwood: This material is long lasting and easy to spread, and it provides nutrients to the soil. It might raise the soil pH over time, which is not necessarily bad but is something to be aware of for the health of your plants.

• Stones: Pebbles, gravel, and rocks are a solid, natural solution that can be as heavy as you want. However, they can sink into the soil and require a little touching-up. Some people use landscaping fabric in these cases to prevent this from happening.

• Shredded rubber: While manmade, rubber stays in place the best and maintains its color for many years. The only drawbacks are the price and that it will not provide soil with any nutrients like mulch will.

Divert Rain Spouts

A leaky rain spout can be a home-flooding disaster waiting to happen. There are many strategies now with the rise of permaculture for creating better rain drainage away from your house. Some people connect a pipe straight from the house to the sewer, which creates nicer-looking curb appeal as the spouts are not sticking straight out into the yard.

Another solution is to hook up a rain barrel to each spout or divert the rain into basins with plants. This not only decreases runoff during a flood but can also store water for a garden to be used during a dry spell.

Outside flooding can become dangerous depending on where you live. Call your local flood experts to learn other ways you can prepare your home for the next storm.

Tips for Keeping Your Bathroom Free of Mold

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Bathroom damaged by mold containment, drywall removal A toilet leak can cause water damage and turn into a mold problem.

How Do I Stop Mold Growing In My Bathroom?

Your bathroom may be one of the cleanest rooms in your house in Knoxville, TN, but that doesn't mean that fungus can't grow there. All bathroom mildew and mold need to grow is excess moisture and a place to land. There are a few things you can do to discourage mold growth, though.

Keep Linens Dry
Anything you use to wash or dry yourself after a shower may be prone to mold. There are several types of bathroom linens that can mold easily:

  • Bath towels
  • Bath mat
  • Hand towel
  • Washcloths

When you are finished with any of these items, don't just toss them into a pile. Hang them on a towel rack to dry thoroughly before putting dirty linens into the hamper.

Increase Airflow
One issue that makes bathrooms particularly susceptible to mold is a humidity problem. The room is relatively small and confined with very little room for air to circulate. Make sure your exhaust fan works properly and use it on a regular basis. You may even consider a small portable fan to move air around and reduce moisture and minimize the risk of bathroom mildew.

Fix Problems Quickly
If a leak from your toilet, sink, or shower causes water damage, that can quickly turn into a mold problem. As soon as you notice the leak, call your plumber and water restoration specialists. You must address both the cause and the damage to stop mold in its tracks.

Replace Moldy Grout
If the grout between the tiles on your floor or in your shower show signs of mold, you may be able to clean it with a mild detergent. If this doesn't work, however, replacing the grout completely is the only way to ensure it doesn't spread.
Bathroom mildew is a problem that is common to homeowners, but it doesn't have to be inevitable. If you take the necessary precautions and address problems early, your bathroom should remain fungus-free.

How To Mitigate Fire and Water Damage

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house House fire in Knoxville, TN.

How Do You Fix A Fire Damaged House?

Firefighters rely on hoses that are capable of dispensing between 300 to 800 gallons of water per minute or more, depending on the hydrant and fire hose. As a result, fire suppression efforts often lead to a combination of extensive fire and water damage in homes in Knoxville, TN. Specialized mitigation and restoration methods are necessary to prevent the primary fire damage from becoming rapidly compounded and exacerbated by water. A company that specializes in both types of damage should pursue these three measures to mitigate damage.

1. Remove Water
The water used to put out a fire starts as clean, treated Category One water. Exposure to ash, soot, and smoke quickly degrades this water to Category Three flood water. A mitigation service will start by pumping out the water used for fire suppression.

2. Replace Materials

When no standing water remains, restoration experts can determine which building materials are capable of being cleaned or repaired and which need to be replaced. They will have to assess materials damaged by fire, water, or a combination of these two factors. This process will take longer than restoring either type of damage alone, as water can rapidly intensify the staining that results from fire damage.

3. Prevent Damage

In addition to concerns about structural integrity and air quality, water damage also introduces the risk of mold growth. A service specializing in both types of damage can take measures to ensure that no rebuilding occurs until the location is clean and completely dry, which can lower the likelihood that mold will develop.

If your home has been exposed to damage from both fire and water, rely on skilled restoration professionals with the experience and equipment to address all of the factors involved. Act quickly to notify your insurance provider and contact a water and fire damage restoration service in Knoxville, TN.

What's the Proper Way To Use an Extinguisher?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

A persona putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher. Using a fire extinguisher can help you tame the flames and mitigate the harm done to your house.

How Should You Use a Fire Extinguisher?

As a safety conscious homeowner, you have a fire extinguisher in your Norwood, TN home. Even though you hope to never need it, you should still know how to properly wield this safety device. In some cases, the proper use of an extinguisher can help mitigate the damage and make the fire cleanup a little easier.

Know the Operation Method

The first thing you need to know when it comes to putting out a living room or kitchen fire is how to run the extinguisher. Most residential models use a simple technique known as P.A.S.S.:

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side as you continue to aim at the base.

You can repeat the last three steps until the fire is extinguished.

Consider Appropriate Use

Now that you know how to run a fire extinguisher, you need to know when to use it. If the flames are too big or the air is not safe to breath, it is better for you to simply locate an escape route and leave the house rather than try to fight the fire. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is in its incipient stage.

Learn When To Leave

There are many factors that can tell you it's time to leave. First, if your extinguisher runs out of solvent, you should evacuate as soon as possible. Second, if the fire has spread more than 60 square feet or encompasses parts of the wall and ceiling, it may be time to go. Third, if the fire damage includes high heat you easily feel on your skin, it may be time to leave the firefighting to the professionals.

If a fire breaks out in your house, you want to do what you can to minimize the damage. Using a fire extinguisher can help you tame the flames and mitigate the harm done to your house.

Tips and Tricks for Preventing Mold Growth

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on a white wall. When it comes to mold growth, prevention is the best strategy.

Preventing Mold Growth: Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking to protect your business in Norwood, TN, one of the best things you can do is take preventative steps. Even before the building incurs any sort of water damage, there are various things you can do to keep mold out before it has a chance to wreak havoc on your building. Here are three main steps to take:

1. Repair and Clean Gutters

Clogged gutters are common culprits of mold growth. Leaves and other debris can block the water flow and cause it to spill over the sides. It can then stream onto the building below and in through foundation cracks, causing water damage. Once moisture leaks into the building, mold can develop over the next 24 to 48 hours. Depending on the number of trees near the building, you may want to clean your building’s gutters several times a year.

2. Watch the Indoor Humidity

Another mold prevention technique is to keep the humidity inside the building low. Ideally, the humidity should be between 30 and 50 percent. To measure the humidity, you may want to invest in an inexpensive humidity meter. If your business uses appliances that produce moisture, such as stoves and clothes dryers, make sure to vent them to the outside if possible. If your building has a high humidity level, you can also use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to bring that level down. If your business involves stoves or dishwashers, you can use exhaust fans or open windows.

3. Prevent Condensation

Buildup of condensation on windows can be a trigger for mold growth. Window condensation is a sign that your building is not properly ventilated. If you notice your windows sweating, quickly dry the surface to prevent water damage to the surrounding area. A simple trick to combat this is to just open the windows a little. If you can’t do this, turn on a fan or increase the air temperature.

Prevention is the best policy when it comes to mold growth. Use these tips to keep any fungus from forming inside your commercial building.

What to Do In Case of a Storm

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of these following intense storms.

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms

  • 5,000 floods or flash floods

  • 1,000 tornadoes

  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-works and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)

  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

  • Manual can opener

  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Clothing

  • Dust masks or bandanas

  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Hygiene items

  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information

  • Cash

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof contain

Simple Tips for Sump Pump Maintenance

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Pumping System

Many homes require a sump pump to prevent water retention on the lowest floor. This is especially true of regions with high seasonal rainfall or spring snow melt. Ensure that when the time comes, your equipment stays functional by checking the various elements of your pumping system.

1. Remove Blockages

A frequent and obvious cause of sump pump failure is a buildup of debris in the pump basin, around the impeller, or on the screen. Dirt or residue can also affect the output pipe or hose and prevent water from exiting. Clear these areas and perform a test run to demonstrate that water can move freely.

2. Provide Reliable Power

Many home pump systems plug directly into an outlet and use a battery as temporary backup power in case of an outage. Ensure that the main power supply is properly grounded and all fuses are intact. Ideally, the pump system should have its own circuit breaker to ensure adequate power to the unit and to isolate problems in a troubleshooting scenario. Routinely test the backup battery, since many flood events are accompanied by temporary power losses.

3. Test Activation Mechanisms

Usually, the pump is triggered by a floating bulb similar to the device in a toilet tank. Determine that upward pressure on the float and rod is properly turning on the pump and that the float is correctly positioned in relation to the basin. This is another case where a brief test with a few gallons of water can save time and money in the long run. Pump maintenance is less costly than replacing flooring or drywall. In the event that your home does flood despite the above precautions, contact a qualified professional that specializes in flood cleanup and home restoration.

In Knoxville,TN preventing property damage can seem like a constant chore. However, with the above simple tips for sump pump inspection, you can keep your system working and prevent critical failures during extreme weather conditions.

3 Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Sewer cleaning. A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage in a sewer line. A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage in a sewer line.

3 Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

There are various sewer issues, from a blocked sewer to a broken pipe, that can affect businesses in Solway, TN. Though certain problems may require help from professionals to resolve, others are fairly simple to fix, and it's often useful for business owners to know what common sewer issues may affect their properties.

1. Toilet Overflow

An overflowing toilet is a common problem in businesses and can be a major inconvenience to customers and staff at your business. One of the primary causes of an overflowing is a clog in the toilet bowl or in the toilet's pipes. Fortunately, both of these issues are normally relatively easy to fix by using a plunger or a toilet auger (also known as a drain snake) to remove the clog.

2. Blocked Sewer

A sewer that is blocked can cause various issues in your business, such as water backing up in drains. There are many reasons that your business's sewer may be blocked, and the cause will generally determine how the issue is fixed. Since fixing the main sewer line can be complex and time-consuming, it can be useful to contact emergency restoration services for assistance.

3. Pipe Breaks

A broken pipe is a common issue that affects many businesses in Solway, TN. Cold weather or a change in water pressure are just a few reasons a pipe can break. Likewise, older pipes are also more prone to breaks. In many cases, a plumber can catch minor issues before they result in a burst or broken pipe, which is why it's often useful to have regular inspections on your pipes.

Though a blocked sewer or broken pipe can be overwhelming for business owners to handle initially, it's generally helpful to know what issues commonly occur in businesses. With an understanding of common sewer problems in businesses, you can prepare yourself for sewer issues and learn to mitigate the damage if a problem occurs.

Renters Insurance Provides Comprehensive Fire Coverage

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen, windows with white curtains, cabinets, kitchen items damaged by fire Fire damage in Knoxville, TN.

Rental Insurance

As a renter, you may feel that you don’t need rental insurance. After all, your home isn’t full of valuables. You reason that:

  • It’s not your building.
  • Your personal belongings aren’t worth much.
  • You don’t need another bill.

All this becomes moot when your new landlord points out that your lease requires that you have a rental insurance policy. After hearing that, you purchase one. When the coverage letter arrives, you put it away with your other important papers, unread. You should have read that letter. It’s fascinating what your rental policy covers.

Renters Insurance Protects You From Liability Claims

Even if your negligence caused the fire, your liability coverage is there to help. For example, it covers other tenants who suffer losses and injuries. Coverage also extends to structural damage.

Insurance Pays Temporary Relocation Expenses
Unless it was only a small fire, you would need to move out until the fire restoration process is complete. Your policy will cover the cost of a hotel in or around Norwood, TN, and other temporary relocation expenses until your home is ready for occupancy.

Most Submitted Claims Include a List Damaged Personal Property

In a fire, personal property can be damaged or destroyed in several ways including:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Water
  • Fire suppression chemicals
  • Other damage caused while extinguishing the fire

Your renter's insurance policy covers all costs related to fire damage. Reimbursement of the replacement cost is the norm, not the exception. If a fire destroys your three-month-old television, the insurance company will replace it. You won’t receive a lesser amount and be responsible for the difference.

Put the Fire Behind You as Quickly as Possible

After the fire, you will want to minimize your inconvenience by completing the fire restoration quickly. A team of local fire damage mitigation specialists can help you get out of the hotel and back into your home quickly. Just remember that it’s renters insurance that makes this all possible.

How Long Does Water Damage Cleanup Take?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Wet wood flooring. Flooring damaged by water Hardwood flooring should be dry all the way down.

Water damage cleanup can take anywhere from two to 10 days. You should account for the type of building materials and source of water, such as bursting pipes, leaks, or flooding. The extent and duration of the damage may also prolong the cleanup process.

The Building Materials

Certain building materials require special consideration. Hardwood floors, in particular, can prolong the duration of cleanup when there are several factors involved:

  • Water permeating the polyurethane coating
  • Damaged planks
  • Sanding, scraping or retrofitting of solid hardwood
  • Wet plywood subfloor
  • Moist concrete under the subfloor

Hardwood flooring should be dry all the way down to the concrete prior to restoration. Other building materials must also be completely dry before being repaired or replaced.

The Type of Water Damage

The source of the water that has caused the damage can add steps to the cleanup process.

  • Category One water from bursting pipes is clean and only needs to be dried.
  • Category Two gray water should be dried and disinfected.
  • Category Three black water requires removal of solid waste, drying, and disinfection.

Once you fix the broken pipe or the other source of damage, call a restoration service. 

The Extent of the Damage

Extensive damage due to flooding will probably take longer to restore than a smaller area affected by a backup, broken pipe, or leak. Account for the square footage exposed to water when estimating the length of the restoration process. 

The Duration of the Damage

The longer building materials have been exposed to water, the more extensive the restoration process. Standing water that goes unnoticed for hours or days can lead to more severe secondary damage.

Regardless of the conditions in your home in Cedar Bluff, TN, you can count on the expertise and equipment of restoration professionals. Call a plumber to fix burst pipes and hire a residential restoration company to eliminate water and mitigate secondary damage.

Steps to Take After Your Commercial Property Has Water Damage

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

When your commercial property has water damage, you want to get it repaired as soon as possible. Bursting pipes and flooding can wreak havoc on your building’s structure, and if the problem goes unresolved for too long, it can lead to secondary damage such as mold growth. To prevent as much damage as possible, swift action is needed.

1. Block the Water Source

When pipes break, they can spew many gallons of water into the surrounding area very quickly. To minimize the damage to your building, turn off the water main that supplies the broken pipe. The smaller the amount of water that has to be removed before repairs can begin, the better. Cutting off the water at the source can help you prevent some damage.

2. Call for Help

At the first sign of bursting pipes, you need to make a few phone calls. Rather than try to complete the repairs yourself, hire experts who are trained and certified. You need to contact a plumber to fix a broken pipe. You will probably also need water mitigation experts who specialize in water damage in West Hills,TN, to replace the parts of the structure that are destroyed and restore your building to the way it was before the flooding. You also need to place a call to your insurance agent to find a way to pay for all the repairs.

3. Enact Your Continuity Plan

It will probably not take more than a few days to clean up the water and the damage it causes. Rather than shut down during that time, however, you can maintain your productivity by following your business continuity plan. Don’t fall behind just because your building floods. As an added bonus, the short time frame allows you a real-world test of your plan with minimal risks.

Bursting pipes require immediate attention. Shut off the water source and call professionals who can help you get your building back in working order.

3 Facts That Will Make You Want To Buy Flood Insurance

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. To protect yourself against this, you need to add flood insurance.

Is Flood Insurance Good For Your Business

If your business has a high risk of flooding, your commercial insurance agent has probably already talked to you about flood insurance. However, those who live in low- and moderate-risk zones on the FEMA maps can also purchase policies. If you're in these lower-risk areas, you're probably wondering if the cost is worth it. Even though some policies can be steep, paying for a storm restoration company can be even higher. Here are some facts you can use to decide if flood insurance is a good option for your business in Cumberland Estates, TN.

1. Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Storm-Related Flooding
Standard commercial insurance only covers water while it is in the sky or leaking from your pipes. In other words, it's not going to pay for flood damage. For instance, they will cover water damage from a window that broke during a storm. However, your insurance will not cover damage from the rising creek behind your office buildings. That can leave you paying for a lot of damage even though you have property insurance.

2. Your Business Is at Risk of Flooding
It's more how much, not if. Flood maps tell you your business's risk of flooding. In short, zones V and A have a high risk. Zones C, B, and X are moderate- to low-risk. Zone D hasn't been mapped yet, although there is still a risk of flooding.

3. Government Aid Isn’t Free
The majority of government aid for businesses is loans that you need to repay. Plus, you have to live in a federally declared disaster area to get this money, meaning buying a commercial insurance policy is a better option.
Buying a flood policy is your only chance to protect your business. Without one, you could be facing steep monetary losses for cleanup costs. On top of this, you would have to replace any damaged items associated with the flood. This can add to your losses. Crippling totals can bring your business to its knees. To protect yourself against this, you need to add flood insurance. This small step can do great things for protecting your business.

Emergency Kit for Your Commercial Property

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Be prepared at your business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days.

Below are some suggested items to include at your commercial property in case you are dealing with an emergency!

-3-day supply of non-perishable foods
- Water (one + gallon per person day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
-Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
-Hygiene products
-Flashlights
-Extra batteries
-Cell phone charger
-Matches in a waterproof container
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
-Whistle to signal for help
-Pet supplies
-Infant formula and diapers
-Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container.

How to be Flood Smart

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Floods are one the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along with city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert- there is always the potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas. On average, floods cost 3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following 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 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 rising 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 does strike your home or business contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help you take it back.

Commercial Property Insurance Guide

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must to sign Commercial insurance is an essential tool for business owners who need to protect their investment and ensure their business.

Commercial property insurance covers many of the same causes of loss and types of property that residential property insurance covers. However, there are a few differences. This guide provides an overview of commercial insurance.

Causes of Loss

Commercial property insurance may be either an all-perils policy that covers any peril not specifically excluded or a named perils policy that only covers the particular perils named in the document. Typically, business property insurance protects against the same kinds of calamities and natural disasters listed in residential property insurance:

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Theft

The policy may also be packaged with other policies that provide additional types of coverage such as business interruption or general liability. An insurance agent in Karns, TN, can help explain the explicit details of your specific policy.

Premiums
Premiums for commercial insurance are primarily based on the coverages provided and the value of the property protected. For some types of coverage such as fire damage, other factors may influence premiums. These considerations might include the kind of material used in the construction of the building, the distance of the building from the nearest fire department and whether combustible materials are stored in the facility.

Types of Property Insured
A commercial policy typically covers the building where your business is located, equipment such as computers, furniture and phone systems, records and documents, inventory kept on-site, manufacturing equipment, and signs, satellite dishes and exterior landscaping items such as fences and trees. In some cases, property belonging to other people, including customers, that is in your custody may be protected. Your policy may also provide compensation for restoration services, such as fire, water or storm cleanup.
Commercial insurance is an essential tool for business owners who need to protect their investment and ensure their business can continue operating after a fire, natural disaster or another event. Understanding how your coverage works helps you keep your business adequately safeguarded from unexpected disasters.

Smoke Alarms & Your Commercial Structure

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury by half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals.

Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from cooking appliance.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Top Alternatives to Using Sandbags

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Close-up inflatable dam and industrial pump to diverting water Inflatable flood dams are interesting because they use water to prevent flooding.

When you expect a flood in West Hills, TN, you might automatically think of using a sand bag to stop floodwaters from creeping into your business. This might not be your best solution, but there are plenty of alternatives.

Why Seek an Alternative?

Sandbags have many issues when it comes to preventing water from creeping in and the need for water damage remediation. Some of these issues are:

  • Weight
  • Difficulty storing
  • May become environmental hazards

When you use them for flood prevention, storage, setup and disposal are all cumbersome. They also are not the best way to prevent flood damage.

Transportable Flood Fence
These barriers keep the water out by encircling whatever you need to be protected. You can encircle your entire business if you need to. They are harder to prepare than the more traditional sandbag. Unfortunately, this solution is not practical if you have a small area like a doorway or your business is part of a strip complex. They also can be fairly costly.

Poly Tube Flood Barriers
These work on a similar concept as sandbags do. They consist of a long tube that can be filled with any heavy substance, including sand. You then stretch the tube across something as small as a doorway or as large as a bay door. This is a type of dam that can be lengthened or shortened to suit your needs. You just fill it as high as you need it and then put it into place. The only problem comes in when it is at full length. It can be difficult to move on your own.

Inflatable Dams
Inflatable flood dams are interesting because they use water to prevent flooding. You lay it out and fill it up. Unfortunately, this type can be cost-prohibitive if you are trying to cover a large area. Still, if you have a large area that floods frequently, it might just be worth it.
Consider these solutions to protect yourself. You don't need the hassle of filling a sandbag to prevent floodwaters from entering your business.

Spring Storm Season!

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Storm season is underway! Storm season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific storm season began in mid-May and also ends November 30.

Storms can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas. many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home and business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website www.ready.gov.

Understanding Water Types

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

dark water Types of Water Are Critical to Proper Cleanup!

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the follow precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water in Knoxville, TN


-Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
-Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table items.
-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
-Do not leave books, newspapers magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water in Knoxville, TN


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

Causes and Solutions for Bursting Pipes

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

pipe Bursting pipes can be extremely intimidating to deal with.

As the weather gets colder, your home is in danger from bursting pipes. If you've ever put a full bottle of soda or water in your freezer and forget about it, you are familiar with this concept. When water becomes ice, it expands and overflows or breaks its container. The same thing can happen with your pipes. No matter what the cause, a burst pipe can cause a lot of damage very quickly.

Understand Why Pipes Burst

A pipe can crack or burst when the pressure builds up. This is sometimes caused by:

  • Freezing water in pipes
  • Corrosive buildup
  • Clogs that cause pressure on joints

Pipes can also crack if your plumbing is loose. When pipes shake or move as water passes through them, it can cause stress fractures.

Do This First
Bursting pipes can be extremely intimidating to deal with, particularly when they are throwing chunks of ice or water around. Your first step is always to turn off the electricity and water to the area where the pipe is leaking. If you cannot safely reach the electrical panel, turn off the water first and stay away from the wet area.

Call Those Who Know
After stopping the water, the first calls you should make are to your insurance company to see if the pipe is covered, a plumber who can fix broken pipe or lines and a water damage remediation company in Cedar Bluff, TN, to help you with the repairs. After these conversations, you can begin to work on recovering.

Take Steps To Protect Your Property
Drain your faucets and remove any undamaged electronics, furniture or appliances. Clear away what water you can if a remediation company cannot come right away. If it is not too cold, open your doors and windows to help with the drying process. You can also turn on fans and heaters to prevent further water damage.
Fortunately, freezing, broken or bursting pipes are not the end of the world. A good remediation company and quick cleanup is the key to making your home safe and dry again.

A Closer Look at Types of Fire Alarms

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light A photoelectric alarm uses a beam of light in a chamber and a light sensor.

Two Main Types Of Alarm In The Market

Home fires in the U.S. cause many injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. These devastating fires come from many sources, with the following causes among the most common each year:

  • Cooking
  • Heating appliances
  • Electrical
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Chemicals

The good news is that all of these fires can be detected by a modern fire alarm. When installed in a home in Knoxville, TN, these units alert occupants of the presence of danger by loud noises and sometimes by visual signs. Many types can be purchased online and in stores. All are effective in reducing fire deaths and minimizing fire damage to property. Here is a closer look at the two main types of alarms on the market.

An Ionization Alarm
This type of fire alarm excels at detecting fires with open flames. It operates by using a bit of radioactive material inside the unit that sits between two electronically charged plates. A current of ionized air runs between the plates. When smoke enters this area, it breaks the current and sets off the alarm. These units should be installed in every bedroom and at least one on each floor of the house, including basements and attics.

A Photoelectric Alarm
This type of fire alarm is better at detecting smoldering fires. It uses a beam of light in a chamber and a light sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, it reflects the light toward the sensor and triggers the alarm. This technology is a solid choice to prevent smoke damage to a home. For even more protection, a person can get a combination alarm that uses both technologies just described. In the case of fire damage, a professional fire mitigation company can restore a home to its original condition. An experienced crew employs advanced equipment and proven techniques to clean and restore a home. Along with working fire alarms, a mitigation franchise is part of a solid protection plan against fire damage.

What Causes Smoke and Soot Damage

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

House with fire damage We are ready to serve YOU!

Smoke Damage in Your Knoxville Home

Smoke and soot can cause serious damage in hard to reach areas in your home. The National Fire Protection Association reports an average of 354,400 households experience house fires in the U.S. every year causing $6.9 billion in direct property damage, so don’t think it can’t happen to you and your family. If a fire loss does occur in your home or business our trained professionals will assess the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive plan of action. SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville is ready to serve our community! 

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and the upper level of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke, wet and dry. As a result, there are differing types of soot damage that can occur after a fire. Before our restoration process can begin, we test to find the specific type of soot that has built up. The cleaning procedures may differ depending on the results, here's some additional information on that;

Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Wet Smoke - Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean. 

Protein Fire Residue - produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor. 

Even going through a loss that causes smoke and soot damage is stressful and taxing, our goal and promise at SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville is that we will make your home or business “Like it never even happened.”  We are available to our customers and community members 24/7, 365! 

Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Fall pumpkins, harvested corn, gourds Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville!

Thanksgiving in Knoxville TN

As the holiday season quickly approaches,  remember that   Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve. In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires. Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville we know that the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home. We wanted to provide our customers and community with information from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) to make sure you and your family are a safe as possible when cooking:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. 
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns. 
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children. 
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

One tip to if you have children at your Thanksgiving gathering, have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen!

Happy Holidays from Our Team to your family!

For Immediate Services in Knoxville Tennessee, Call SERVPRO

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo and vehicles Knoxville Residents: We provide immediate service day or night!

SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Knoxville. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (865) 691-3253

Residential Services

Whether your Knoxville home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Knoxville commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services by clicking here!

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Put a FREEZE to Winter Fires

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

snow covered home Put a FREEZE to Winter Fires!

Put a FREEZE to Winter Fires

Even though it isn’t truly winter yet, temperatures are dropping and SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville wants you to know how to prevent winter fires in your home.  Home fires occur more in winter than in any other season.  As you stay cozy and warm this winter be fire smart!

Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 7 home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths.  In order to minimize your risk

  1. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters. 
  2. Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away from your home as possible.
  3. Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  4. Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
  5. Plug only 1 heat-producing appliance (like a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time. 

SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville wants our community to be safe and jolly this winter, so take time this month to prepare your home for the winter season.  If a fire does occur in your home,  we will be there and will make it like it never even happened. We will be there and be ready to assist our customers no matter the time of day. SERVPRO is here to serve you 24/7, all year long!

For more information about winter fires from U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA click here! 

Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: Servpro Cleaned seal on window Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

Even though we are learning more about COVID-19,  it is still a threat that is still changing our way of life. As businesses have been opening and we are paving a new way of life.  

Even though in this new normal customers still want feel safe and secure in your business’s space.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean with 40% of consumers citing cleanliness as a top priority.  Are you ready to not only keep your customers and employees safe but to communicate that you’ve chosen a higher standard of cleaning for all Americans?

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes way beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning.   This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning.  As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville wants to provide our customers with a higher standard of cleaning, so that your business will be Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville will provide you with a unique program centered around the 3 C’s

  • Consult- A tailored cleaning program to meet your needs
  • Clean- Proactive and COVID-19 Emergency Response Cleaning Program
  • Certify-  A commitment to clean for your employees and consumers

Click here to learn more about this program.  If you are interested in this program call our office at (865) 691-3253

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

Tips to be More Prepared during a Storm

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Lighting in the Sky Stay Safe and Stay Prepared during a Storm.

Thunderstorms can happen at any time of the day. 

Although they mostly occur in the summer, occasionally they can occur during other seasons.  They are magnificent to watch, but it’s wise to be extremely cautious when around thunderstorms since they are often associated with lightning, flash floods, hail, high winds and sometimes tornadoes which can all be incredibly dangerous.

To help protect yourself, it’s best to follow these suggestions:

  • Trim or remove trees (especially that are dead) that could fall on your home, especially the branches near power lines, your roof, and gutters.
  • Know your power provider and contact them if there is an outage.
  • Stay inside
  • Know the risk for thunderstorms in the Oak Ridge area, for example, roads that flood.  It takes only six inches of moving water to knock you over and only one foot of moving water to sweep away your car

In the event of a thunderstorm, try practicing these safety precautions:

  • Unplug appliances
  • Do not use landline phones in office or home
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings
  • If you are playing areas with water, get to land immediately, and seek shelter.
  • Get inside your car if you aren’t near a physical building. 

To read more about thunderstorm safety from The Red Cross click here.

If your home is affected by a storm SERVPRO of Oak Ridge will help you through it and bring your home back to the state it was in prior. 

Call us 24/7 365 days a year!

Be Fire Smart with Electricity in Your Home

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

cartoon picture where there is an outlet saying "I'm not feeling well, I'm burning up!" Be Smart. Stay Safe. Choose SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville

Electrical fires are one of the top causes of a fire along with, grilling, candles, heating, and smoking.

Per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2014-2018, electrical distribution or lighting equipment, such as wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs, were involved in an estimated average of roughly 34,000 (10%) reported home structure fires per year. These incidents caused an average of 470 (18%) civilian deaths, 1,100 civilian injuries (10%), and $1.4 billion (19%) in direct property damage annually.

Additionally, the peak months for electrical fires are November through March, so SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville wants to provide some safety tips to our community and customers!

  1. Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.
  2. Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords.
  3. Use a light bulb with the right number of watts. There should be a sticker that indicates the right number of watts.
  4. Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock. GFCIs shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. They should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements. All outdoor receptacles should be GFCI protected.

If you want to read more about the other top causes of fires, click here!

SERVPRO of Northwest Knoxville is always here to help if a loss does occur, but we strive to educate our customers about potential risks to minimize the chances of a loss happening.  We are available 24/7, 365. 

3 Ways To Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing cooking safety tips can help you enjoy cooking in your home.

Cooking is an enjoyable activity that brings many families in Knoxville, TN, together. However, cooking can also come with hazards, including the risk of a kitchen fire. There are several tips you can take to reduce the chance of fire hazards when cooking.

1. Don't Leave Items Unattended
When you cook, it can be tempting to walk away to complete other tasks or talk to someone in another room. However, it's generally wise to stay in the kitchen while you are cooking. If you leave the room when cooking, you are less likely to notice a smoking pan, malfunctioning appliance or other issues that may require your immediate attention. Staying in the kitchen while you cook will allow you to react quickly if necessary, and will ensure your dish comes out just right.

2. Clean Your Kitchen Appliances Often
One of the best tips you can take to prevent a kitchen fire is to frequently clean your kitchen appliances. Though it may sound like a daunting task, cleaning your appliances often will mean you don't have to scrub off excessive amounts of grease. This can also help to reduce the likelihood of a grease fire. These types of fires spread rapidly, and it's sometimes useful to contact fire damage restoration experts if your home does sustain damage. However, your appliances clean will make for a more pleasant, and less hazardous, cooking experience

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Though you will hopefully never need to use a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, it's often best to keep a fire extinguisher close by in case you need to quickly douse a fire. Extinguishers are labeled by the type of fire they are capable of putting out. Since there could be various causes of a kitchen fire (grease, burning food, malfunctioning appliance, etc.), it's often wise to purchase an extinguisher that can put out multiple types of fires, known as a Type A-B-C extinguisher.

Knowing cooking safety tips can help you enjoy cooking in your home. To limit hazards, you can stay in the room when cooking, clean your appliances often and keep your extinguisher nearby.

How To Clean and Prevent Bathroom Mold and Mildew

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Bathroom mildew is a common household issue and one that can be resolved with both natural and commercial cleaners.

Bathroom mildew and mold likely stem from an underlying humidity problem. Fortunately, most of these issues can be resolved using a bathroom fan. However, even after installing preventative measures, your bathroom might still develop mildew in the form of soap scum and other minor issues. Thankfully, there are at least three ways to clean and remove the typical mold and fungus found in bathrooms.

Natural solutions
Chemical solutions
Professional services

Natural Solutions
If you are looking for a natural solution, then look no further than baking soda, vinegar, and lemon. For a simple remedy to cleaning mildew from grout and tile, you can sprinkle the surface with baking soda and then apply a generous amount of white vinegar. Wait at least five minutes, and then scrub the grout with a tile brush. The combination of these two ingredients creates a cleaning compound that makes the mildew easier to remove. Another option is to use the same two ingredients above and add lemon juice. Mix the three ingredients into a paste. Rub the compound over the tile grout and wait five minutes before scrubbing with a brush. The paste is excellent for vertical surfaces. However, do not use this mixture on marble because it can stain or damage the stone.


Chemical Solutions
Next, if you don't want or need a natural remedy, or your bathroom mildew problem is extensive, then you might prefer a commercial chemical cleaner. However, while these products are effective and readily available, you should only use them in well-ventilated spaces.


Professional Services
Some mildew and mold problems are too extensive for a typical home remedy. If your problem seems too large for you, then contact a mold remediation service in Knoxville, TN. They are trained, licensed and certified for such a task.


Bathroom mildew is a common household issue and one that can be resolved with both natural and commercial cleaners. However, some problems are beyond the capabilities of over-the-counter remedies, which means a professional service might be needed.

Quick Tips to Shut Down Bathroom Mildew and Mold

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold in a Solway, TN bathroom

Mold loves moisture, so it’s no surprise that household bathrooms are some of its favorite places to form. Indeed, many homeowners have just come to accept fungus is lurking in their showers or beneath their sinks. But you don’t have to live with it. You can minimize bathroom mildew and mold in your Solway,TN, home by following these steps.

What is Mold and Mildew?

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi. They love dark, humid environments. The average bathroom, with its tendency to be dimly lit and humid, is one of mold’s favorite hideouts. Look for slimy brown patches or chalky white spots on or around:

  • Bathtub grout
  • Beneath sinks
  • Around faucets

The longer mold bathroom mildew are around, the harder the problem can be to get rid of, so it’s crucial to take preventative steps early.

Dry Things Out

The top way to stop bathroom fungus is by changing the bathroom environment. Start with small things like wiping down glass doors and tiles after each shower or bath. Next, run your bathroom fan for 30 minutes after each shower. Another good step is investing in a swamp cooler. Also known as an evaporative cooler, these devices help evaporate water in the air, cutting the humidity problems that encourage mold growth.

Seal It Up

Add another layer of protective by applying grout sealer. This product works by minimizing the amount of water your grout can absorb, curbing mold and mildew spores from growing. Dab some onto your new or newly cleaned grout once a year for the best results.
Bathroom mildew and mold can make your bathroom anything but inviting. Use the above tips early to minimize its effects and keep your bathroom clean and attractive. Or, if mold has already gotten too bad, contact a mold cleanup company. They’ll help you get on the road to clearing the fungus and reclaiming your bathroom in no time.

The Need for Water Repairs After a Fire

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in a West Haven, TN house

Three Steps To Get Your Place Back To Normal

If you've endured a home fire in West Haven,TN, you now need to consider the proper fire damage cleanup methods. After all, you may be staring at drenched walls and smoky belongings. There is a great deal to do, so tackle issues not just from the heat but from the rescue efforts. Consider the following three steps to help get your place back to normal.

1. Extinguish the Flames

Fire personnel work hard to protect your home, saving as much as possible. To do that, they must stop the growth of the blaze as quickly as possible. Often, a fire hose is used, applying pressurized water to cool the conflagration and remove oxygen. Taking this element away helps diminish the flare, but it could drench areas of the residence. Therefore, when it's all done, the home might need assistance from a fire and water restoration company.

2. Clean Up the Mess

Call in an expert crew to inspect the situation, taking care to look at water and fire damage. The moisture from the rescue attempt may linger, becoming a breeding ground for mold. You'll need the place dried up quickly. Discuss the use of dehumidifiers and moisture absorbent products. Run the devices for several days and have people monitor the humidity levels. Do not try to vacuum it up on your own. In fact, for your safety, avoid any use of electrical equipment.

3. Restore the Room

Discuss water damage repairs with your restoration company. As they dry the rooms, they may take pictures of ruined materials to determine what needs replacement. They also may need to cut out part of the drywall, ensuring that mold and water did not penetrate through. If this is the case, the workers can then patch and repaint the sections as needed, leaving the area looking "Like it never even happened."
When the flames settle, evaluate both water and fire damage, calling in expert help. Focus on removing moisture and repairing anything charred or smoky.

Controlling Black Mold Growth in Your Shower

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning it up immediately can prevent a mold disaster.

You may have enough to clean off your shower walls with residue from soap, shampoo, conditioner, and dirty fingerprints. Unfortunately for some in Knoxville, TN, there is the additional worry of cleaning away the black shower mold that may darken corners around the edges of a shower stall, sliding door track or ceiling. As long as the mold is on the surface, there is something you can do about it.


3 Ways To Clean Surface Mold
There are a few ways a homeowner can perform surface mold cleanup from non-porous areas themselves. Here are some guidelines to that regard.


1. Vinegar Solution. Use a mixture of one-part water to two parts white vinegar – a natural anti-fungal. Mix in a spray bottle and apply liberally to the affected area. You can also use the vinegar straight and leave it to dry without rinsing, and the smell will dissipate shortly.


2. Borax solution. Mix one cup of Borax and one gallon of warm water. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to the moldy surface. As a natural fungicide, Borax can be effective in the cleaning of shower mold.


3. Bleach solution. Household chlorine bleach is effective in removing black mold from non-porous surfaces but can be quite toxic, and care should be taken to minimize breathing the fumes or contact with skin. No need to rinse away unless children or pets might come in contact with treated areas.


Cleaning Instructions
For each of these methods, spray the solution liberally on mold and scour with a scrub brush or toothbrush to loosen mold from grout and corners. Wipe down with a cloth or sponge and discard the item afterward. Rinse and wipe away. Repeat as needed.


Occasionally you may discover that the mold damage is more than surface deep and needs attention from professional black mold cleanup or mold remediation specialists in Knoxville, TN. When cleaning your bathroom, however, keep your eye open for shower mold. Cleaning it up immediately can prevent a mold disaster.

Stay Away From These Things Following a Flood

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Pleasant Ridge,TN

Avoid Doing the Following After a Flood

During and after an emergency, it's natural to feel confusion and fear. If flood water has entered your home and caused damage, you need to keep a level head and act wisely. Avoiding typical mistakes can save you a great deal of stress. Here are four things to avoid doing after a flood.

Procrastinating

If your Pleasant Ridge,TN, home has suffered water damage, you probably think it's a no-brainer to act quickly. However, some people wait too long to get help, especially if the incident was mild. In any type of flood, prompt action is necessary.

Get everyone, including pets, safely away from the water and out of the home.
Contact your insurance company.
Alert emergency crews or the utility company as appropriate.
Consult an experienced water removal company.

Getting Into the Water

Water may look harmless, but your flooded home could be a dangerous place. If your home is flooded with tap water, you may not have health concerns. However, if a sewage backup has caused the flood, you need to stay away from the flood water. This type of water, commonly known as black water, may contain bacteria, human waste and other hazardous materials.

Failing To Call the Right People

In addition to calling a cleanup crew and your insurance company, you should also get in touch with your landlord or mortgage company. If massive amounts of water have damaged your home, it probably won't be livable for a time. Most landlords and financial institutions will understand the situation and will work with you on modifying your payments for a time.

Giving Up on Belongings

Even severely damaged items can sometimes be salvaged. Cleanup crews have the tools and skills to preserve electronics, documents and furniture in many cases.
Flood water is a scary sight, but you can overcome this disaster with the right help. Avoid these mistakes, and you can make it through the ordeal.

What To Know About Mold

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

If you believe you have mold in the home then it’s best to schedule a mold inspection as quickly as possible.

If you believe you may have a mold problem at your Knoxville, TN, home, then it’s important to schedule a mold inspection with your local mold remediation service as quickly as possible. These professionals can deal with all types of mold, including the dreaded black mold that so many people tell stories about. Fortunately, mold in the home doesn't have to be as scary and rumor suggests. Here are a few things you may want to know.


1. Mold is a Fungus
One of the first things to understand is that all mold is a fungus. This means they live off of absorbing other organic materials and reproduce via spores. Mold is often found in dark areas with high moisture levels such as a bathroom, attic, kitchen, or basement. Fortunately, there are a few tests your professional can run to find and identify any mold that may be in your home.


2. Not All Molds Are Toxic
Just because you’ve decided to schedule a mold inspection doesn’t mean you need to panic. Mold may be pesky, but not all molds are toxic. Some have even helped researchers create medicines like penicillin. While it’s true other molds have been known to cause allergies, it’s best to allow the professional inspecting your home to determine the spore type, and listen to any recommendations they have for removal and future mitigation.


3. Mold’s Identifying Traits
When identifying house mold there are several tests your professional may run. These may include taking a sample to send to a lab, but they may also look at the mold’s color and growth pattern, as well as the growth location and conditions when determining what type it is.


If you believe you have mold in the home then it’s best to schedule a mold inspection as quickly as possible. These professionals can find this fungus if it is growing and identify what type it is. Remember, just because you have a little mold growing doesn’t mean it’s toxic. Let your professional know about any concerns you may have, and follow their recommendations for remediation and future mold prevention.

5 Tips for a Avoiding a Cigarette Fire in Your Home

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

The good news about smoking materials and the residential fire is that, in most cases, a cigarette fire is very easy to prevent.

While the number of cigarette smokers is on the decline, unattended cigarettes and other smoking materials are still a very common cause of residential fires in Cedar Bluff, TN. Here are five tips for avoiding a cigarette fire at home.


1. Smoke Outside
From drapes to coffee creamer, your home is filled with flammable materials. If you confine your smoking to the backyard, for example, there's virtually no way you can light those items inside your house on fire. Keep an ashtray or another safe container for disposing of cigarettes outside, such as a bucket filled with sand, in order to avoid starting an outdoor fire and to prevent littering.


2. Use a Sturdy Ashtray
It doesn't matter if you're smoking inside or outside: Your ashtray should always be placed on a level surface and positioned so that it's difficult to knock over. The heavier the ashtray, the better — and the lower your risk of inadvertently starting an ashtray fire.


3. Put Your Cigarettes Out Completely
It's imperative that you fully extinguish smoking materials when you're done. Leaving a butt that's still burning behind can easily lead to a cigarette fire if your ashtray is knocked over or if the discarded end itself is stirred by a gust of wind or an indoor current, such as a draft or the breeze from a ceiling fan.


4. Don't Smoke When You're Sleepy
Falling asleep with a lit cigarette in your hand can lead to disaster. Don't smoke in bed, and don't smoke anywhere if you're seated or reclined and feeling drowsy.

5. Don't Smoke Near Oxygen Tanks
There are a variety of medical conditions that may necessitate the use of a home oxygen tank. If someone is your household uses medical oxygen, do not smoke anywhere near them. These high-pressure tanks are extremely combustible.

The good news about smoking materials and the residential fire is that, in most cases, a cigarette fire is very easy to prevent. In the event that you do suffer fire damage at home, however, enlisting the help of a trusted fire cleanup company can get your home back to normal quickly and with minimal stress.

4 Things You Should Do During a Building Inspection

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles from a roof in Walker Springs, TN

Things You Should Look for and Repair During Your Inspection

Because storms can be unpredictable, it is important to perform regular exterior maintenance on your Walker Springs,TN, building, including thoroughly checking for issues. This can help to prevent water damage that could cost your business both time and money. The following are some things that you should look for and repair during your inspection.

1. Look for Cracks in the Walls

While you should always keep your building maintained, it can be particularly important to address certain issues, such as cracks, if you are expecting severe weather. Even small openings in the exterior can allow water to become trapped inside the walls. This can result in rotting and weakened materials as well as mold growth.

2. Check Window and Door Frames

These areas often become damaged more quickly than others, so you should always include them in your building inspection. Check for deterioration in these places, and make sure that the seals are functioning properly. If the doors or windows are not properly insulated, moisture can get inside the building.

3. Inspect the Roof for Damage or Missing Tiles

If your roof is damaged, it is easy for a leak to develop. While leaks may seem like a small problem, they can cause a lot of trouble. Similar to cracks in the wall, roof damage can allow water to pool in the area above the ceiling and can contribute to the growth of mold. If this happens, you will likely need to replace the materials in this area.

4. Make Sure Gutters and Drains Are Clean

When performing exterior maintenance, it is important to inspect all areas of the building, so don’t forget about the drains and gutters. If these are clogged by leaves, dirt or debris, water will not be able to drain properly. Backed-up water can then damage the building.
While you will likely be able to find obvious damage on your own, it can be helpful to have exterior maintenance done by a professional as well. If the building has been damaged during a storm, a cleanup and restoration company can make any necessary repairs.

What To Do When the Basement Floods

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in Cumberland Estates,TN

3 Things To Consider After Your Basement Floods

Experiencing a basement flood in Cumberland Estates,TN, can leave you wondering what the next steps are. Fortunately, with a little help from a professional, and some time, your home can be restored back to pre-flood conditions. Here are three things to consider after your basement floods.

1. Contact a Restoration Service

One of the first things to consider after a flood in the basement is to contact a local water damage restoration service to help with water removal and repairs. Not only may the step be recommended in your insurance coverage, but these professionals already have the tools necessary for the job.

2. Wear Proper Safety Gear

When dealing with a basement flood it's important to wear the proper safety gear for every step of the process. This may include waterproof boots and gloves, a face mask, and coveralls or waders over your clothing so that potentially contaminated water does not come in contact with your skin. It's also important to wash thoroughly after doing any work in the affected area.

3. Remove the Water

One of the most important things you can do if your basement has been flooded is to remove the water quickly, as doing so can help prevent long-term damage as well as potential mold issues. In many cases a water rated shop vacuum or pump maybe used, but in cases of extreme flooding your restoration service may use larger equipment. Once the water is removed, a dehumidifier can help dry out the area. In some cases your restoration team may also sanitize the area to prevent the growth of bacteria.
After a basement flood it's important to remove the water as quickly as possible. You may want to consider contacting a professional water damage restoration service to help with this process as well as any necessary repairs. It's also important to wear the proper safety gear for every step of the procedure.

What's Your Noisy Water Heater Telling You?

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water heaters certainly have their own language, and a responsible homeowner should learn to speak it.

You may take a talkative water heater as a matter of course, especially if you live in an older home in Cedar Bluff, TN. However, it's probably giving you important clues about what kind of maintenance it needs. Take the time to listen before you're stuck with no hot water and a water damage remediation service in your home.


Tick Tock
There are some sounds that are considered normal or benign to your water heater. It's important to know these sounds, as well, so you don't bring in a repairman for no reason. Some examples are:

Ticking- comes from a working heat trap
Tapping- comes from a working heat trap
Humming- the sound of water flowing around the element tube

Snap, Crackle, and Pop
A rumbling sound coming directly from your water heater is most likely indicative of sediment in the tank- they rumble as they are stirred by moving water. You should perform a water heater flush and use a de-liming mixture to clean the tank. A crackling or popping sound usually means that sediment is collected in the element tubes, it will get louder as more particles build up. This is a common issue with older units. You will either need to clean or replace the tube itself.


Knock, Knock- Who's There?
If you hear what sounds like metallic knocking coming from your walls, it's probably the pipes heating internally. This is known in the plumbing world as water hammering. It's not dangerous to your water heater, but could eventually cause damage to your walls. You can solve this problem with something called a "water hammer arrestor", placed at the junction of the water heater and the pipe.


Water heaters certainly have their own language, and a responsible homeowner should learn to speak it. Tankless water heaters have their own set of noises, so you might need to research further if you have one of these.

Tips for Managing Water in Your Crawl Space

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

If you find a wet crawl space in your Knoxville, TN, home, don't delay in taking action.

If you've experienced flooding in your Knoxville, TN, home, you may be wondering how to handle the issue quickly and safely. You should address the situation as soon as possible. Water that enters your house can create a wet crawl space. Here are some common ways that this issue can occur and some tips for controlling it.


1. Oversaturated Lawns and Gardens
Broken gutters and downspouts, unattended hoses, and severe storms can all lead to a flood in your yard. When the ground is oversaturated, the water's next stop may be your crawl space. You can help prevent this type of water damage by ensuring your yard has proper drainage, using plants with deep roots, and placing proper base layers in gardens.


2. Issues With Your Gradient
It is very important to have a slope away from your home. This drains water away from your foundation and is key for preventing a wet crawl space. Leaving the water to pool in this part of your house can lead to increased humidity levels. Humidity trapped in your crawl space has only one place to go, and that is into the rest of your home. This may lead to problems such as mold and wood rot. Keep your foundation safe with a proper slope of around 5%.


3. Ruptured Water Lines
Broken water lines both inside and outside your home can be troublesome. If a pipe bursts or leaks inside your home, the water will drain to the crawl space. If a city line breaks, it can lead to excess subterranean water, which can then seep into your home. If either of these situations occurs, you will need to contact the city to fix its line, and you will need to contact an expert in water damage remediation to control the flood issues.


If you find a wet crawl space in your Knoxville, TN, home, don't delay in taking action. The water will lead to extra humidity, structural issues, and mold development. Get your home safe and dry again so you can enjoy it for years to come.

2 Types of Fires Not Covered By Your Homeowner's Policy

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Vacant house fire in Karns, TN

2 Types of Fires Not Covered By Your Homeowner's Policy

Your number one priority is your family. You want to keep them safe and secure. Your job helps provide the money for a roof over their heads, food to eat and sometimes a vacation. There are times, however, when no matter how many precautions you take, something can go wrong.
Your home burning down because of a fire is one of those instances. Some causes are inadvertent like not completely extinguishing a cigarette or the stove catching on fire. Some people intentionally set fires. Your homeowner’s policy does cover a home fire, but do you know what types of fires it doesn’t cover?

Arson

It is a criminal act of deliberately setting fire to a property. If you live in Karns,TN, a person could receive a felony charge which might turn into a prison sentence. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program shows that in 2017, law enforcement agencies reported 41,171 arsons.
Some people believe burning down their own home will give them an insurance payout. Insurance companies may contact an investigator to confirm an accident destroyed the house. If the investigator finds evidence of arson, the insurance company may not pay the claim for the home fire.

Vacant home fire

There is a difference between a vacant home or an unoccupied home. A vacant home does not have the furniture for a person to reasonably live there. For instance, there are no beds or dishes in the kitchen. An unoccupied home has these things. But if your home is either vacant or unoccupied for more than 60 days, the insurance company may not cover a vacant home fire.
Some insurance companies have policies for vacant or unoccupied homes. Someone may have a good reason for leaving a home vacant such as having to stay in the hospital for an indefinite period of time or owning a vacation home.
Speaking with a fire cleanup specialist may direct you to the right person to talk with about different types of insurance coverage. Being aware of these types of fires may save you money in the long run.

Flood Black Water Explained

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A source of black water can come from sewage

Dealing with flood cleanup in West Hills,TN, can be costly, stressful, and potentially dangerous depending on how extensive the water damage was and where the water came from. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate (IICRC) categorizes water into three levels, separated by the level of toxins in each. Category 1 is clean water, which is safe to handle. Category 2 or “gray water” can cause health concerns when ingested and should be handled with caution. Category 3 is called “black water” and is the most toxic and is always considered dangerous at every level of contact.

What Does Black Water Contain?

Black water is defined as containing high levels of bacteria, viruses, other pathogens, chemicals, and other toxins. Sources include:

  • Toilet overflows
  • Sewage
  • Natural flooding including oceans, surface water, and rivers
  • Rain carried by weather events such as tropical storms and hurricanes

Clean Water Can Degrade Quickly

If you know the source of the water damage was not a natural disaster or sewer backup and was instead from a clean water source like a pipe break or something similar, this is usually an easy cleanup. However, after leaving water sit for a period of time, this clean water can degrade into Category 2 and then into Category 3. For the water to degrade depends on a few details:

  • How long the water sits and how long it takes to dry the area
  • The temperature at the flood site
  • The quality of the water after it contacts the materials at the site
  • Whether the water mixes with soils or other contaminants present
  • The use of the building (hospital, manufacturing, nursing home, etc.)

Rebuilding

If your home has experienced contaminated flooding, it’s recommended that you consult with a professional flood remediation company. They have the equipment and ability to quickly dry, decontaminate, and rebuild the area that has water damage, and give you peace of mind that the problem will not resurface later on in the form of mold or structural damage.

Mold in the House When It Rains

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water leaking from ceiling due to roof damage

Being a homeowner in Karns,TN, comes with a large set of responsibilities for maintaining or increasing the value of the house. If you start noticing mold growing or smell a musty smell when it rains, it’s important that you figure out where the moisture problem is located as soon as possible.
Dampness can create large issues when left alone for too long. You might be tempted to think that wiping up what water you can see is enough to fix the issue. Unfortunately, unless you know for sure where the water is coming from, there is a good chance you have a leak somewhere unseen that could potentially lead to future disaster.

Mold Locating

Seeing black mold consistently show up in one area makes your job easier when it comes to figuring out where your house is leaking. If it’s only growing in a corner in the upstairs bedroom or in the basement after it rains, you can rule out plumbing issues and go right to the source, be it a leaky roof, foundation, or crawlspace. Check these common places to for leaks:

  • Chimneys
  • Old window frames
  • Cracked basement walls/floors
  • Areas around the house with poor drainage

Of course, if you have a new home that you know was built solidly, there is a chance that there is too much humidity in the air inside, causing the mold to grow.

Mold Cleanup

Once you figure out where the water is leaking in, it’s time to clean up the black mold mess before it causes structural damage. If you know the problem is new and it’s a quick fix, clean up the mold using a disinfectant like bleach and repair the leaking area.
However, if you don’t know when the problem started or there’s a chance the mold has gotten inside the walls of the home, it is recommended that you work with a professional black mold cleanup company. The pros can ensure that your home is fully restored, including any needed wall replacement, structural drying, and leak repair. Give yourself peace of mind that your home is clean and ready for the next big downpour.

What You Can Expect From Your Property Policy

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

This knowledge allows you to plan better by purchasing other policies to supplement your coverage.

A musty smell in your warehouse or office building in Knoxville, TN, is a good sign that mold is present somewhere in the building. You know you need remediation but may not know how you're going to pay for it. Your property coverage may pay for some of the damage, but it's good to know exactly what your commercial insurance policy says before you need it. Two terms to look for are fungus exclusion and limited fungus coverage.


Fungus Exclusion


If your policy has a fungus exclusion, mold damage may not be covered. As with most caveats, there are typically a few exceptions:

-Mold that occurs as the result of fire or lightning
-Mold that results from a specified cause of loss detailed in the policy
-Mold that results from a covered loss

While mold is unlikely to occur because of fire or lightning, other exceptions may be the key to getting your mold claim accepted. These exceptions usually fall under a limited fungus coverage clause in your commercial insurance policy.


Limited Fungus Coverage
Many property policies will serve as mold insurance if the growth is a direct result of another loss that is covered by the policy. For example, your building could sustain water damage from a roof leaf. As long as you do everything in your power to mitigate the damage, including calling certified remediation experts as soon as you know there's a problem, the cost of fixing the issue is probably covered by your policy. If mold grows before the remediation process is finished, the fungus mitigation is probably covered as well.


It is unwise to just assume your commercial insurance policy will automatically cover mold problems that occur in your building. You should read the policy thoroughly and direct any questions you have to your insurance agent. This knowledge allows you to plan better by purchasing other policies to supplement your coverage.

How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

To avoid flooding inside, consider shutting off your water main for longer vacations

How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away

Going on holiday can be a very exciting time and a much-needed break especially for those with a hectic weekday schedule. After all, temporarily leaving behind everyday life in West Haven,TN, to explore, relax, learn and experience what the world has to offer firsthand can be a welcome way to recharge. While many people may not look forward to their vacation coming to an end, it can also be a relief to come back to the comforts of your home. However, being greeted by a flooded home with water damage can make that difficult to do.

Damage can be the result of a slowly leaking faucet, faulty equipment, something requiring a full-on water pipe repair or a compromised water source. The effects can range from inconveniencing to downright devastating and can either be noticed immediately or over the course of time. Some types of water damage include the following:

  • Irreversible damage to paper-based items
  • Warping, disintegration or discoloration to furniture and drywall
  • Staining on carpeting, window treatments and other fabrics
  • A broken pipe or plumbing system
  • Permanently damaged electronics
  • Unpleasant odors magnified
  • Bacterial growth

Recovery Process

While the recovery process will depend on the severity of the situation, professional remediation will likely be recommended for many procedures. This can include anything from water pipe repair to large-scale removal of flood waters and damaged goods in addition to home repair. Since the effects of water damage may take time to develop, it is helpful to have a professional evaluation that enables you to be proactive and avoid further issues that can worsen over time.

Tips Before You Leave

Instead of dealing with a flooded home or an unexpected water pipe repair when you come back from your getaway, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of water damage happening in West Haven,TN. To minimize damage from weather-related causes, keep downspouts and gutters clear as well as your yards neat to prevent water from pooling and damaging your home’s exterior. To avoid flooding inside, consider shutting off your water main for longer vacations, and verify that appliances and hoses are maintained or updated as necessary.

5 Ways Your City Can Help Prevent Flooding

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

A retaining wall is designed for flood prevention

Steps Cities Can Take To Prevent Flooding

You can have the best flood prevention strategies in your commercial building, but if a levee breaks, your personal efforts are unlikely to make much of a difference. Your business in Pleasant Ridge,TN, is only as well protected during a flood as the city itself. There are several steps cities can take to prevent mass flooding.


1. Good Drainage Planning

One of the simplest ways your city can prevent flooded streets and buildings during a storm is with an efficient, well-maintained drainage system. Openings must be covered to keep out debris that can clog it and impede water flow.

2. Walls

Several types of walls can be constructed where the city is most vulnerable. A retaining wall or dam is designed for flood prevention during storm season. This block can prevent drainage systems from becoming overtaxed and keep buildings such as your commercial property safe.

3. Reservoirs

If your city is in an area that floods often, you don't just need reliable local flood cleaning experts. You need to have a designated place for water to flow. While a reservoir may not hold all the water that floods the area, it can keep streets from flooding long enough for everyone to evacuate safely.

4. Green Areas

Not only are parks and other places with ample plant life beautiful, they can also aid in controlling flooding. Vegetation slows the flow of water. It also can prevent erosion, which is particularly important if you area is prone to mudslides.

5. Community Education

The city can plan great strategies for preventing floods, but it's up to every citizen to protect those strategies. Community education on the importance of clear drains and public parks can teach people their role in keeping floodwaters at bay.
Flood prevention isn't just the job of individual business owners. It is the responsibility of the whole city. When the city bands together to prevent flooding, everyone is safer.

Proper Care for Your Fire Suppression System

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure you provide the proper maintenance to your fire sprinkler system

A fire sprinkler system in your commercial property is basically an insurance policy that protects your building and everything inside. An effective fire suppression system with sprinklers puts out fires before they can destroy your business, using a small amount of water. For your protection and the well-being of your business, make sure you provide the proper maintenance.

Maintenance Ensures Proper Operation

Routine maintenance is key to ensuring that your system works efficiently during any emergency. There are specific tasks to carry out on a regular basis:


Become familiar with components, such as the shut-off valve, gauges, inspector test valve, and interior alarm devices. Some components, such as the riser, should be labeled for immediate identification during a fire.
Inspect gauges and control valves every week. A visual inspection and reading of the air and water pressure displays should be adequate.
Visually inspect alarm valves at least once a month.
Every three months, run a test on alarm devices and inspect the hydraulic nameplate.
At least once a year, have a licensed fire sprinkler cleanup professional inspect all components of your system.


Naturally, there are other steps to consider, such as training all staff on the location and use of the system shutoff valve and the importance of the system control valve. At least once a year, train employees how to respond when the fire sprinkler system activates.

Compliance With Sprinkler System Standards

The National Fire Protection Association has issues standards regarding compliance with the use of fire suppression systems, their inspections, testing, and maintenance. As a business owner or management professional, you should be familiar with these standards to ensure that your facilities are in compliance. If you're not sure your system is working effectively, contact a local fire damage remediation company for more information.

Focus on the Safety of Your Employees

When fires happen, the safe evacuation of your property should be your top concern. While you focus on evacuation, your fire sprinkler system should prevent serious damage. Wait for firefighters to arrive and assess the safety of your Walker Springs,TN, property before you return to the building.

3 Signs You May Have Mold in Your Commercial Property

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy attic in Cumberland Estates,TN

Three Signs of Mold Growth

There are some generally musty places in commercial properties, especially in basements, attics or garages. However, the nature of these spaces does not necessarily mean that you have a mold problem. While a mold smell can be indicative of a problem, it can also be a result of humidity and improper ventilation. Although, as a property owner, it is crucial to know and understand at least the following three signs of mold growth.

1. Smell

The first sign, while not definitive proof of a problem is a fungus smell. As mold develops and eats, it releases Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, and many of these chemicals smell especially musty or pungent. However, mold can smell different depending on the type and who smells it. For some, the scent is like acetone, nutty or meaty.

2. Sight

Aside from mold smell, you can sometimes tell you have a mold problem by sight. If you notice a textured green and black growth on your walls or ceilings, then it might be mold. However, as there are several varieties or species of fungus, sight alone is not a definitive way to diagnose a mold problem.

3. Water

Now, if you have a mildew smell combined with the visual of a textured growth on your walls and an existing water leak in the same area, then mold is likely. However, again, sight and smell alone are not definitive, and at this point, you should call in a specialist.
Mold testing and removal services in the Cumberland Estates,TN, area are companies dedicated to diagnosing mold issues, testing for results and resolving the problem for the property owners. For commercial property owners, using such a service is necessary to ensure compliance with all city and state regulations.
While mold smell is not enough to verify an infestation, that combined with the visual of a growth and an existing water problem make a mold diagnosis likely. Therefore, to continue operations and remain compliant with regulatory bodies, contact a specialist and have your property tested and cleaned.

4 Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage due to oil not cleaned in a Karns, TN home

4 Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

While there are many benefits of cooking at your home in Karns,TN, it is important for novice and professional cooks alike to practice fire safety tips any time they step into a kitchen. With grease, high temperatures, and open flames around every corner, the kitchen is no place to get careless or negligent. Here are four common causes of kitchen fires to be aware of whenever you cook.

1. Unsupervised Cooking

Not only can leaving food cooking on the stove unsupervised lead to the start of the fire, but the flames can also easily spread and cause extensive fire damage before you are even aware of what is happening. Always keep an eye on food on the stove, and never leave the house with food in the oven.

2. Flammable Objects

Neglecting to put away or move flammable objects while you're cooking is one of the fire safety tips you should never neglect. Oven mitts, towels, power towels, and other objects can all catch fire if placed near a stove top or open flame.

3. Excess Grease

A grease fire can start if oil is not cleaned off cooking surfaces or splattering is not prevented. Grease fires can grow quickly and be made worse if water is used to try and extinguish the flames. It is important to let the fire department or fire cleanup company know if grease is the cause of a house fire so they can address the situation properly.

5. Cooking While Tired or Impaired

It is never a good idea to cook if you feel extremely fatigued or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If either of these situations applies to you, you're probably better off having food delivered for the night.
Keep these tips in mind whenever you decide to cook a home meal. Even on nights where you plan to whip up something quick, always keep fire safety in mind and don't take any shortcuts.

Common Sources of Solar Panel Damage

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Protect against panel damage on your Pleasant Ridge,TN, home

How to Keep Your Solar Panel Safe from Weather

The technology behind solar panels is constantly improving. Today the panels can stand up to a lot of damage and may last up to 20 years. However, they are still made of glass and there are things that can cause panel damage. Before getting into those, take a look at a few things you can do to keep them safe from the weather:

  • Trim overhanging tree branches
  • Clean panels with a microfiber cloth and clear water
  • Reseal panels regularly
  • Contact roof damage and repair professionals for quick repairs

Your consistent efforts to protect your panels can go a long way toward protecting the efficiency of your solar power.

Moisture and Corrosion

One of the major causes of solar panel damage is internal corrosion. This happens when moisture gets inside the panel. Visually inspect each panel for corrosion on the metal parts that could allow water inside the glass layers. Corroded areas on the panel will appear dark, and the larger the dark spots, the less efficient your solar power will be. You can avoid this and some other problems by installing several smaller panels, rather than a few larger panels. Damage to a small part of the section could put the entire panel at risk.

Hailstorms and Debris

You can't do much to protect your solar paneling from hail, but you can take the preventative step of installing several small panels. When you lose a panel, you'll still have the remaining parts to provide energy to your home. Additionally, the small sections are less expensive to replace than larger ones. Windblown debris, tree branches, and other dirt can leave small scratches across the surface of the protective glass and eventually reduce solar efficiency.

Causes of Roof Damage

The glass layers, solar cells, and other elements of the panels are vulnerable to the same exposures that affect other roofing materials. Conduct routine inspections and maintenance to solar panels just as you do for the rest of your roof.
Protect against panel damage on your Pleasant Ridge,TN, home with preventative actions. Watch out for common sources of damage and learn how to recognize the need for repairs.

What Is Partial Fire Damage?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

The content of your building can be restored if it hasn't been too damaged

When you imagine a building that has experienced fire loss, you probably picture a pile of ash or a blackened building full of holes. Thankfully, a lot of fires don't actually get that bad in Walker Springs,TN. However, that doesn't mean there isn't any damage to deal with in the aftermath.

Hidden Damage

There are plenty of types of damage that aren't as obvious as a being burnt to a crisp. If left to fester, they can become much worse and more expensive to fix. You should have an expert asses your building for any signs of the following:

  • smoke damage
  • ash and soot
  • effected air quality and air ducts
  • water damage and mold

Recoverable Items

Sometimes fire loss doesn't have to be a total loss. The content of your building can be restored if it hasn't been too damaged. Similar to the nature of the hidden damages listed above, you should smell your furniture for smoke, feel surfaces for soot and check carpeting and items under sprinklers for water damage. Even important documents have a chance if you find a good restoration service. There are plenty of methods for drying and cleaning almost any sort of material.

Leftover Problems

If you did happen to experience an intense fire that left more extensive and structural damage, but the fire restoration was less than perfect, you may still be left with partial damage. Be sure to check with your insurance about their policy for addressing an improper cleaning, they may be able to cover additional services. It can never hurt to inspect your property yourself after it has been remediated.
Fire loss can linger beyond the fire event itself, if you are not careful. Especially if the fire was small, you should be extra vigilant for signs of damage. Although partial damage is better than the alternative, it should not be written off as something you can let go, to save yourself from bigger problems down the road.

4 Useful Steps To Take When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers should be given regular inspections and a proper maintenance to keep the system in top operating condition.

While fire sprinklers are an important and effective safety measure anywhere in Knoxville, TN, an accidental system discharge can be costly if not appropriately addressed. To help minimize water damage, flooding, and other difficulties in your commercial building, here are four simple steps that can help effectively handle an accidental sprinkler malfunction.

1. Control the Situation

The first step is to disengage the fire sprinklers, which are typically controlled by a water valve; the sprinkler system’s installation company can be contacted for the location. Once the sprinklers have been disengaged, it is crucial to gather all of the pieces of any sprinkler head that malfunctioned.

2. Contact Your Insurance Provider

It is important to contact an insurance provider right away to report the incident and make any necessary claims. During this time, the pieces of the malfunctioning sprinkler may be inspected to determine the cause of the incident, as well as whether or not the cause has an impact on any claims. Causes may include the following:

• Overheating
• Mechanical damage
• Corrosion
• Frozen pipes
• Deliberate tampering

3. Call a Restoration Company

Once the situation is under control, a professional restoration company can help investigate any flooding or water damage that may have occurred as a result of the sprinkler malfunction. Technicians specializing in many forms of professional repairs are available to make the cleanup process quick and efficient.

4. Prevent Future Damage

The final step in the process is to take preventative measures, thereby reducing the risk of future incidents. It is highly important to ensure that the type of sprinkler system in the facility meets the business’ safety needs; if not, corrective action may need to be considered. Regular professional inspections and proper maintenance are also crucial in keeping the system in top operating condition.

While fire sprinklers can be lifesaving, understanding the necessary procedures in case of a malfunction are crucial to getting the most out of your system. Following this simple response plan can help protect your business from water damage and flooding.

Do You Have Mold in Your Air Ducts?

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

You can trust SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your mold removal and remediation needs in your air ducts.

Keeping ahead of maintenance problems is an everyday part of owning a building in Knoxville, TN. The possibility of finding mold is always a concern. While it's not hard to detect on surfaces like walls or ceilings, it could be lurking unseen in your air ducts. While types of mold and their effects vary greatly, a toxic kind, such as black mold, could lead to issues for your tenants, client, or workers.

What To Look For

The signs of mold in ducts include:

• Black dust around the air vents
• Musty smells when you run the AC
• Itchy eyes and sneezing when indoors

Call a Professional

While it's possible to take steps to clean air ducts yourself, it's a good idea to consult with a professional mold remediation company to make sure the problem is eradicated safely and completely. Professionals will be able to inspect the ducts to determine the type of mold (and whether or not black mold is involved), and then use specialized treatments and equipment to handle the problem.

Keeping the Mold Away

Once the professionals have eradicated the problem, there are steps you can take to make sure the mold doesn't return. First, make sure to change the filters on your air conditioning system every 30 to 60 days. This will help to keep spores from building up in your system. Also, have a professional clean out the ducts at least twice a year. Besides giving you clean ducts, a professional HVAC technician will be able to spot any potential new problems before they start.

As a property owner, the last thing you want to worry about is mold, especially the more dangerous varieties like black mold. The best way to keep it out of your ducts is to be diligent. If you detect a problem, a call to a mold remediation professional may be your best bet.

You can trust SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your mold removal and remediation needs in Knoxville, TN.

Steps for Handling a Burst Pipe in Your Business

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Bursting pipes in Walker Springs, TN

Steps for Handling a Burst Pipe in Your Business

In business, there is no shortage of ways to ruin your day. Somewhere near the top of that long list is bursting pipes. The amount of damage this plumbing failure causes depends on how you respond. The following steps will help minimize the damage and speed the recovery.

Stop the flow of water

Imagine all that water you won’t have to clean up by turning the shutoff valve. Hopefully, you can shut it off quickly.

Start the recovery

The repair of bursting pipes is not something that can wait until later. You should attack this problem concurrently on five fronts.

Remove standing water

Put your maintenance personnel to work with wet vacs to remove standing water. Standing water spreads, complicating the cleanup.

Begin the drying process

Bring in all available fans and ventilation equipment to help remove the moisture that the wet vacs can’t handle. You won’t get it all, but every bit helps.

Fix the broken pipe

It’s a good bet that shutting the water off affected the operation of your business negatively. Make sure that the plumbing repair happens promptly.

Contact your insurance agent

Making this call is an excellent job for the person in your business who deals with your commercial policy. That person should open a claim and arrange for an adjuster to evaluate your situation.

Take plenty of pictures

The insurance adjuster will want as much information as possible. Showing the damage in pictures is a great way to document the problem. Finding a photographer shouldn’t be a problem because it seems like everyone has a smartphone with a built-in camera.

Contact water damage remediation experts to finish the job. After water damage in Walker Springs,TN, it’s essential to remove residual moisture that can invite mold. Specialists have equipment and training that enables them to complete the drying process.

Hopefully, bursting pipes are not in your future. If one occurs, the above steps will help you deal with them quickly and thoroughly. When it’s over, you will realize that business as usual never looked so good.

Keeping Your Kitchen Safe From Fires

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire is often caused by basic carelessness. Call SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your fire damage cleanup.

A house fire in West Hills, TN can be devastating, and fire damage professionals report that most house fires begin in the kitchen. A kitchen fire can spread throughout the house in just a matter of minutes. Because a kitchen fire is often caused by basic carelessness, taking note of some simple tips for fire prevention in the kitchen can save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches.

1. Never leave the stove unattended. Do not leave the kitchen while pots and pans are heating on the stove. Always turn off the heat before taking a phone call or answering the front door.

2. Watch your heat source. Carefully monitor what you are cooking, especially if you are cooking with grease. A grease fire can happen suddenly if the grease is overheated. Never cook grease on high heat, and if grease begins to smoke, turn off the heat immediately.

3. Remove flammable items from the stovetop. Pot holders and kitchen towels can easily catch fire. Do not set utensils too close to the heated range. While it may seem like one of the most obvious tips, food packaging and paper towels should never be placed on the stovetop itself.

4. Be mindful of your clothing. Loose fitting or long flowing sleeves can be a fire hazard. Do not wear anything that could get caught on a pan or fall into the heating range.

5. Be ready to extinguish a fire. You should always have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in your kitchen. You can also quickly extinguish some fires by smothering them with a lid or a cookie sheet. If there is a grease fire, do not use water. Instead, immediately douse it with baking soda or salt. Be sure to turn off the heat.

Cooking in the kitchen should be fun and enjoyable. Following these tips for fire prevention in the kitchen can remove unnecessary anxiety and keep your focus where it should be — on the joy of preparing food for family and friends.

Tips for Dealing With Wet Building Materials

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Replace swollen subfloor

How to Deal With Excess Water and Restore Your Home

When exposed to moisture, building materials can react in different ways and cause varying degrees of water damage, from swelling wood to sagging walls. Understanding how different types of material can be impacted by water is important for you to properly address any problems that may arise. Here are some guidelines to help you deal with excess water and restore your home in Knoxville,TN.

Replace Swollen Wood

Wooden materials in your home that have been impacted by water typically exhibit signs of swelling. Most objects that are made of wooden materials that have been swollen can be replaced, including:

  • Cabinets
  • Wood furniture
  • Subfloor
  • Wooden doors

Replacing any swollen wood when you first notice a problem can help reduce the risk of damage in your home. If there are any signs of water damage around your living space, be sure to contact residential water restoration services as soon as possible.

Preserve Drywall and Real Wood

While swelling wood should be replaced, drywall and real wood can be saved once they have been dried. Take some time to assess the degree of water damage before contacting a professional so that you can be well prepared once help arrives. Professional services can dry any excess water and help your home return to its normal state. When dealing with any kind of water damage, remember that immediate action is crucial.

Check Your Supply Lines

A supply line, which is a central waterway that reaches from the plumbing behind your wall to your faucet, should be checked at least once a year to ensure that it’s working properly. When one of these waterways breaks down, it might mean that a pipe has broken and should therefore be taken care of immediately. Schedule a water pipe repair as soon as you come across an issue to keep your home secure.
Whether you’re dealing with swelling wood or damaged drywall, don’t wait to fix the problem. Any water damage caused by wet building materials should be taken care of quickly in order to preserve the state of your home.

4 Ways To Reduce the Spread of Mold Inside Your Home

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores can travel easily through the air.

Mold thrives in moist environments and can be extremely destructive. Extensive contamination may require professional mold remediation. However, because the fungus is prevalent throughout the environment, eliminating its presence from your home may be extremely challenging. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to control the problem and avoid spreading mold.

1. Control Humidity

Controlling moisture is a key prevention strategy. A humid environment indicates the presence of a high volume of water particles. Condensation on window sills and bathroom mirrors are symptoms of this issue.

To alleviate this problem, you should ensure windows are adequately sealed and employ a dehumidifier. You can also utilize bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to reduce additional moisture buildup while bathing and cooking.

2. Utilize an Air Purifier

Mold spores can travel easily through the air. HEPA air filters are designed to capture microscopic organisms, including mold particles. Utilizing an air purifier that contains this type of filter can help you capture and kill spores, alleviating concerns about spreading mold inside your home.

3. Investigate Damp or Stained Areas

Mold can often breed undetected. Because many pipes are hidden behind walls, a large portion of your residence may be vulnerable to this issue. For this reason, you should promptly investigate any potential signs of a concealed leak, such as damp or bubbled walls, stained ceilings or warped flooring.

4. Promptly Clean up Damp Areas

If you detect a leak, promptly removing any wet items, including carpets, drywall and insulation, is vital. You should also quickly soak up pooled water and utilize fans to dry the affected space.

Routinely drying and cleaning damp areas around your kitchen and bathroom sinks is another important containment strategy. To prevent black mold infiltration inside your shower, you should also wipe down this structure after every use.

Spreading mold may be a concern for many homeowners in Cedar Bluff, TN. Efficiently controlling moisture can help everyone safeguard their homes from potentially destructive contamination requiring mold remediation.

What to Know About Wind Damage and Your Property

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Dead or loose branches can fall into the building

Flooding is not the only form of damage of storm can bring to your Cedar Bluff,TN, business. High winds can lead to missing shingles or a roof leak. Here are a few things you may want to know about wind damage and your property.

There are a Number of Ways Wind Can Cause Damage

There are a number of ways storm winds may lead to a damaged roof. Here are a few of them.

  • Winds can pry up loose shingles
  • Debris may be picked up and thrown into the property
  • Dead or loose branches can fall into the building
  • Unrepaired wear and tear of wind damage can grow over time

You Can Take Prevention Steps to Protect the Property

In many cases there are steps you can take to prevent a roof leak, missing shingles, or other damage that commonly occurs with storms. These may include cutting back trees away from the roof, clearing the yard of any degrees that could be caught by the wind, and covering over areas that may be prone to damage before the storm arrives. If your business has suffered storm damage its best to contact a professional as quickly as possible.

Wind Damage to Your Business Can Be Repaired

Sometimes damage occurs to spite the best precautions. Fortunately, in a situation like this a storm damage restoration service may be able to help. This team of professionals can handle everything from cleaning up water damage from a leak in the roof, to making sure no mold to sets in. They can even to help restore any storm damaged items inside the building. Your company building can be restored so it looks like nothing ever happened.

High storm winds can cause damage in a number of ways that can lead to a roof leak. This can include beating away shingles or thrown debris into your company building. Fortunately, you can take preventive steps in order to protect your property. This may include trimming trees, or covering areas that could potentially be damaged. If you do experience damage to your company property a restoration service may be able to help.

Storms: Prepare Your Home

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

If you do not already have flood insurance, now is the time to consider purchasing it.

Are you worried about the damage that flood water from a West Haven, TN storm could cause to your house? There are a few actions that you can take to defend your home against these powerful weather events:

1. Install a sump pump. A battery-operated model is ideal, as it can be used during power outages. A sump pump can be a very good defense against excess water that can lead to a flooded building.

2. Get flood insurance. Did you know that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover floods? If you do not already have flood insurance, now is the time to consider purchasing it. If you have forgotten to renew your policy, you will want to do so before a storm hits.

3. Use check valves. Installing check valves around your house can be a relatively simple way to prevent flood water from becoming an issue. They prevent reverse water flow and are automatic, so you do not have to operate them by hand in order to prevent flooding.

4. Clean gutters and drains. Many homeowners forget to clean their drains and gutters, which can lead to water backup outside and inside your home. Complete regular inspections and clean any buildup that you find. Scheduling periodic checks can help you keep your home in the best shape to prevent floods year-round.

Remember that no matter how hard you try to protect your home, there is still always a possibility of storm-related destruction. Fortunately, water damage restoration specialists in the West Haven, TN area can usually arrive on-scene - often on a 24 hour emergency basis - and survey any damage from flood water that has occurred. They can also put together and typically initiate a cleanup plan that will give you the best chances of restoring your property and possibly even salvaging your water-logged belongings. Storms are scary, and damage from them is even scarier. Help ease your own mind by planning ahead and knowing where to turn for help if it should be needed.

Commercial Toilet Won't Stop Flushing? Here’s How To Fix It

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

It’s important to learn how to deal with stopping a commercial toilet from constantly flushing.

While there have probably been any number of small plumbing and toilet issues you’ve fixed on your West Hills, TN property, it becomes a whole different story when you’re dealing with toilet overflow. After all, even if you learn how to stop a toilet, the water damage has already left its mark. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to deal with stopping a commercial toilet from constantly flushing, and how to handle the toilet flood that follows suit.

Become Acquainted With the Flushometer

Despite having seen plenty of flushometers in public settings, including in your own commercial building, you might not have ever taken the time to understand how they function. However, you’ll quickly see something is amiss when you notice the toilet overflow that comes with a faulty flushometer that doesn’t stop flushing. When you need to make a quick fix before calling on professionals for help, you can follow a few easy steps that involve:

  • Taking a flat screwdriver and shutting off the flow of water to the flushometer;
  • Loosening the top lid with a wrench before unscrewing it off;
  • Taking out and cleaning the gasket and the interior weep hole; and,
  • Replacing everything back to its original condition.

If these steps don’t stop a toilet from flushing immediately, it might be time to replace the gasket. Whatever the culprit, these steps can help stop the swell of water from rising until help arrives.

Contact Experienced Restoration Specialists

Even if your skills as a handyman have stopped the issue for the time being, it’s best to call on a team of expert water damage repair technicians to work on cleaning up the toilet flood that remains. This ensures that your commercial carpeting or other flooring is sanitized and won’t lead to possible mold growth.

Do Away With Toilet Problems

After learning how to fix a flushometer and stop the spread of toilet overflow, you can now feel more prepared to handle any other toilet issues that may arise at your West Hills, TN building.

Commonly Used Equipment and Procedures Used in Mold Remediation

4/14/2019 (Permalink)

When you notice mold in your business it’s likely that you will want to begin the remediation process as soon as possible.

When you notice mold in your business in West Haven, TN it’s likely that you will want to begin the remediation process as soon as possible. However, it’s often important to understand the types of equipment and methods that are used to protect everyone throughout the process.

1. Covers

Small spores can easily spread if they are caught in someone’s hair or on someone’s clothes, which is why a variety of covers are commonly used during mold remediation. Before entering a building with mold, people often put on covers for hair, clothes, shoes and hands. Generally, disposable covers are preferred since reusing covers of any kind can make it easier for mold to spread.

2. Containment Methods

In addition to using covers to prevent the spread and regrowth of mold, containment methods are often important during mold remediation. Experts in mold removal will work to contain the area affected, which helps to protect the unaffected parts of the building. All fans are turned off to minimize the airflow and physical barriers are also often used to make it difficult for the mold to move further in and around the building.

3. Face Masks

A respirator, or face mask, is often an important piece of equipment used during mold removal. In order to thoroughly assess a business, professionals often must get close to the source of the issue, which means exposing themselves to mold. A face mask that filters the air is especially useful if black mold is present in a building. However, even if less harmful types of mold growth are present in a business, it’s often wise to use face masks as a precautionary measurement. Overall, the face masks help to minimize any adverse effects of mold.

The right equipment and procedures can protect everyone involved in the mold remediation process. Covers, containment methods and masks are often used to keep people involved in mold removal safe.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

3/31/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prevention

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the group replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps are signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.

Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of the fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professional.

3 Ways Pretesting Can Lower Insurance Claims Expense for Your Business

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Experienced disaster response professionals have the tools and know-how to find leaks, identify their source and grade the water quality.

3 Ways Pretesting Can Lower Insurance Claims Expense For Your Business 

As a West Hills, TN business owner, you probably do all you can to ensure your building and property does not suffer damage from preventable danger. However, not all potential problems are apparent to the naked eye, and when issues like fires and floods do happen, the expense of raised insurance premiums and making a claim can be considerable. However, calling in a professional disaster response team to pretest your business could lower those risks.

1. Thorough Investigation

As well as you know your business, there may be dangers you are not aware of. Even small problems can cause major damage, such as slow leaks causing a burst pipe and a major flood in your employee restroom over the weekend, when plumbing services may be difficult to obtain. A thorough inspection of your building can prevent these circumstances and make you aware of what potential problems need attention before they have the chance to grow.

2. Identifying Water Sources

If you suspect you have a leak somewhere in your building but want to avoid having to file a large insurance claim, calling for pretesting services may be a solution. Experienced disaster response professionals have the tools and know-how to find leaks, identify their source and grade the water quality. This may prevent damage to floors, drywall and inventory, as well as the need to contact your insurance agent.

3. Preventative Care

A disaster response and mitigation service can perform preventative testing on your building to gage the likelihood of a fire or flood occurring as the result of aging plumbing pipes or dangerous storage practices. The more you know about your building and how your business practices might be affecting the possibility of disaster, the faster you can take steps to prevent it.

Your West Hills, TN business is likely your greatest investment. Calling in a service that specializes in pretesting can help protect it and lower the risk of you having to file costly insurance claims.

3 Simple Steps To Making a Water Damage Claim

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Upon discovering a water incident in your residence, you should investigate the cause and contact your insurance consultant.

3 Simple Steps To Making A Water Damage Claim

When faced with a residential water mishap in West Haven, TN it can be helpful to understand the process of filing an insurance claim. Water damage is caused by varying circumstances. Flooding can come as a result of a natural disaster or by simple human error. In many cases, water moves quickly and can leave extensive damage. By working closely and immediately with your insurance company, you can do your part to correctly file a claim and potentially receive reimbursement.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

Upon discovering a water incident in your residence, you should investigate the cause and contact your insurance consultant. Gather essential information, such as the following:

  • What is covered
  • Deductible amounts
  • Time frames for filing and processing claims

Ask about the procedures for opening a claim and request all necessary documentation. Once you have received the needed forms, complete and submit them as soon as possible. This can help with the timeliness of processing your insurance claim.

2. Visit With an Insurance Adjuster

Many insurance companies will send a local adjustment agent to your home to inspect and assess damages. An adjuster’s job is to gather information and predict reasonable costs for repair or replacement of the affected household goods or structure. To make this visit more efficient, be prepared to show and explain the cause and effects of the water damage event.

3. Keep a Running Expense Report

Because of the time needed for filing, inspection, and reimbursement, many homeowners have to begin the cleanup and repair process on their own. If you choose to hire a flood clean-up professional to help you get the water under control, be sure to document the damage with photographs and keep receipts. You can submit these later for repayment after your insurance claim gets approved.

As you hope to get a refund for residential water damage in West Haven, TN be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in your home insurance policy. Stay on top of the insurer-specified timeline to obtain prompt compensation for a pipe burst or other water emergency.

Call The Cleanup Team That is Faster to Any Size Disaster

3/10/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately, five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
• Flash Flooding
• River Flooding
• Storm Surge and Coastal
Inundation from Tropical
and Non-Tropical Systems • Burn Scars/Debris Flows
(Caused by Wildfires)
• Ice/Debris Jams
• Snowmelt
• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy
rainfall in dry areas)
• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you will not live in the future. 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States.
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in your home as soon as possible.
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

PREPARING FOR A FLOOD

3/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Knoxville

Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.
• Water—3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
• Food—3+ day supply of non- perishable, easy-to-prepare food
• Flashlight
• Battery-powered or hand-crank
radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if
possible)
• Extra batteries
• First Aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and
medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation/personal hygiene items
• Copies of secret documents
(medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact
information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula,
baby food, diapers)
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food,
carrier, bowl)
• Tools/supplies for securing your home
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
• Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes
• Rain gear
• Insect repellent and sunscreen
• Camera for photos of damage

3 Important Mold Damage Emergency Tips

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

It’s important to begin the mold cleanup process soon after mold is noticed in order to reduce the amount of damage that occurs.

3 Important Mold Damage Emergency Tips

If you spot mold damage in your home in West Haven, TN it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. However, reacting appropriately to black mold in your home can help to prevent major damage from occurring.

1. Keep Your Home Dry

A moisture problem is often a primary cause of mold growth in a home and eliminating the flow of water or decreasing the amount of humidity in a home can be helpful. To prevent water from causing more damage, it is sometimes helpful to turn off the water entirely. Using old towels to soak up large amounts of water can be helpful, though it’s often wise to throw them away after they’ve been used.

2. Contain the Mold

Although it’s not possible to contain every single spore of mold, preventing mold from spreading and growing in other areas of your home is important. Containment methods to prevent black mold growth can include turning off your home’s HVAC and not using fans to lessen the airflow in the home. Often, professionals in mold remediation can use more advanced methods to contain mold.

3. Begin Cleanup Quickly

Often, it’s important to begin the mold cleanup process soon after mold is noticed in order to reduce the amount of damage that occurs. Professionals can assist in removing damaged items from your home and can attempt to restore your belongings, though restoration isn’t always possible, and many items may need to be replaced if the damage is extensive. Providing information to your insurance company can often be helpful during the claims process, and it can be helpful to document the damage by taking photographs and writing down items that are damaged.

Although black mold can be detrimental to your home, knowing how to react can help you feel more in control of the situation. Keeping your home dry, taking steps to contain the mold and quickly starting the cleanup process are helpful steps to take if your home has been damaged by mold.

3 Ways a Restoration Company Can Help Adjusters and Their Clients

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

If you think you might have mold damage in your home, give SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff a call.

A Restoration Company Can Often Help Adjusters and Homeowners

An insurance adjuster often serves as a go-between for homeowners and insurance companies, providing both parties with information about the damage that has occurred. A restoration company can often help adjusters and homeowners throughout the process of restoring damaged homes in Knoxville,TN.

1. Share Important Information

When a disaster occurs, communication between homeowners, adjusters and the restoration professionals is often essential. A restoration company can provide adjusters and homeowners alike with relevant information about the approximate costs of restoring the affected areas and can also suggest a variety of solutions. Armed with helpful information about the state of the home and potential fixes, adjusters and homeowners can make informed decisions as they move forward in the claims process.

2. Quicken the Process of Making a Claim

The quality of a restoration company can greatly impact the time it takes to make an insurance claim. If a company takes a long time to begin assessing a home, this can increase the amount of time it will take for a claim to be made. Alternatively, a restoration company that is able to respond to a disaster in a timely manner can present findings to the insurance adjuster and homeowners, therefore allowing a claim to be made quickly and ensuring restoration can begin quickly as well.

3. Lessen the Costs of Claims

Whether a home has been impacted by a fire, mold growth or flooding, leaving a damaged home untouched can be a costly decision. Within hours of a disaster occurring, items within a home can become badly damaged, and the structure of a damaged home can become impacted soon after a disaster as well, ultimately increasing the cost of the claim. An experienced restoration company can often lower the cost of the claim by mitigating damage to personal belongings and to the structure of a home.

An insurance adjuster and homeowners can benefit from choosing a reliable restoration company after a home is affected by a disaster. SERVPRO can share important information with adjusters and homeowners and can make the claims process quicker and less costly.

Heating Safety Tips

2/17/2019 (Permalink)

Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
-Test smoke alarms monthly.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff.

How To Mitigate Wind Damage to Your Business

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Frequent inspections can catch issues, such as a roof leak or a leaking pipe.

How To Mitigate Wind Damage To Your Business

Making repairs to your business in Haven, TN due to a roof leak or other issues caused by wind damage can be frustrating and costly. However, there are several ways you can minimize the impact that strong winds have on your business.

1. Use Tarps

Storms with high winds often result in major damage to a building’s roof, and after a strong storm, it’s not uncommon for a roof to be missing shingles. If you know that a storm is coming, it can be helpful to take precautions that can help to protect your roof. Placing a durable piece of tarp on the roof can help to prevent wind, rain and debris from causing damage to your building’s roof.

2. Have Frequent Inspections

Often, a minor issue that is present before a storm can turn into a major problem after a storm occurs. However, in order to fix a minor problem, you have to first be aware that the problem exists. Frequent inspections can catch issues, such as a roof leak or a leaking pipe, before a storm occurs. By having frequent inspections, you can decrease the likelihood of your business sustaining major damage if a storm does occur.

3. Make Adjustments Outside

In addition to using tarps and having frequent inspections, it can be useful to assess the plant life near your business. Trees with large limbs are a common cause of damage to buildings if wind levels are high. It’s often helpful to cut large limbs that are close to your building before a storm. Additionally, it can be useful to remove fallen limbs around your business to prevent them from causing damage to your business.

Using tarps, making sure your building is inspected frequently and making adjustments to the area surrounding your business can help you prevent issues such as a damaged roof or a roof leak if a storm occurs. If your business has been damaged, however, it may be helpful to work with storm and wind damage restoration professionals.

Refrigerator Line Bust in Knoxville Home

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Knoxville Home

Water damage can happen at any time; it is often at inconvenient times. This was the case for Mrs. Gilmore. Thankfully SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff was available. Mrs. Gilmore's refrigerator line broke which lead to massive amounts of water damage throughout the kitchen and the dining room. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff was able to come out that night and set up drying units to limit the damage.

After further assessment and consulting with Mrs. Gilmore we decided the best course was the replace all of the flooring in the kitchen. Mrs. Gilmore was able to pick out the style that she wanted and new kitchen's appliances With the help of SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff a terrible situation was turned into a good one.

How Do Experts Clean Contents Damaged By Fire?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage can be cleaned and restored

Restoration experts use a variety of treatments for contents damaged by fire or smoke. The best content cleaning method for any item or material will depend on its condition and composition. Hard, non-porous materials may withstand abrasion or immersion, while delicate textiles may be better suited to dry-cleaning. Learn more about how professionals treat contents with different degrees of damage.

Charred Contents

Burnt or charred contents may or may not be candidates for cleaning. The severity of the damage and the durability and porosity of the material should all be considered. If cleaning is an option, experts may recommend one or more of the following treatment methods:

  • Abrasion or blasting for durable, non-porous contents
  • Immersion cleaning for non-porous items
  • Ultrasonic cleaning for non-porous items

Immersion in cleaning solution can be combined with the application of ultrasonic waves. This type of treatment is ideal for removing residues from ceramic, glass, metal, plastic, or rubber contents.

Smoke-Damaged Contents

Items with smoke damage are viable candidates for a variety of different cleaning methods. Restoration professionals will factor in the type of material and degree of damage before recommending one of the following treatments:

  •  Dry-cleaning textiles such as bedding, clothing or upholstery
  •  Foam cleaning materials prone to shrinking
  •  Spraying and wiping to remove smoke residue
  •  Wet cleaning durable materials

Electronics

Off-site cleaning and content storage are advisable for damaged electronics. Circuitry and other internal components may develop a black film that will increase the risk of overheating or corrode and become prone to short-circuiting. Specialists can remove build-up and determine whether an appliance or device should be restored or replaced.

Many items with smoke damage can be cleaned and restored. Burnt or charred contents or building materials may need to be disposed of and replaced. Residential damage restoration experts can recommend dry-cleaning and other content cleaning treatments after a household fire in Knoxville,TN.

Wave Goodbye to the Mold in Your Front-Loader Washer

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold in your front loader washer

3 Steps To Get Rid Of Mold And Nasty Smells In Your Front Loader

When you think of laundry, do images of line-dried sheets wave on a gentle breeze in your mind? Can you smell a trace of your favorite laundry detergent? You probably even have a favorite dryer sheet. All of these scents are designed to make your clothing smell fresh and clean. So, is it the end of spotless laundry from now on because you discovered that your washing machine is moldy or musty? No, it doesn’t have to be. Simply try the following steps to get rid of the mold and nasty smells in your front-loader in Cedar BluffK,TN .

1. Reach for the vinegar.

Run white vinegar in an empty machine to remove the mold smell and the residue attached to the inside of your machine’s drum. Use two cups of the liquid and the hottest water setting your machine has to kill the odor, mold, and mildew.

2. Select the baking soda.

It has long been known that baking soda can help brighten graying, dirty laundry, but did you know it can also help remove the residue hidden on the drum and top of the drain pipe of your washing machine? It only takes about a fourth of a cup in a cup of water. Just add it to your laundry, or put the solution in the detergent slot, and run the machine as normal.

3. Use some elbow grease.

After the vinegar and baking soda cycles, if you still find a few stubborn spots of discoloration, mold, or mildew, use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water to scrub them away. If the mold is present on the gasket, make sure to rinse with water after you gently scrub.

Yes, keeping your washing machine clean can be as easy as following these three simple steps. Even more surprising is the fact you can use vinegar once a month as a gentle mold preventative for maintenance. If you are unable to remove the offensive odor, consider calling in a professional mold specialist to find out where the fungus is growing. Don’t let mold take your clothing hostage, fight back today!

A Helpful Guide to Water Heater Flushes

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

A well functioning water heater is a key component inside most homes in Knoxville, TN

A well-functioning water heater is a key component inside most homes in Knoxville,TN. Like other appliances and systems inside your residence, this important piece of equipment requires routine maintenance. In fact, most professionals recommend a tank flush approximately every one to three years. Although it may sound intimidating, the process is usually straightforward and offers several benefits.

Benefits of a Water Heater Flush

Your home’s hot water source works consistently to maintain an adequate supply. Performing a water heater flush can benefit this device in several ways:

  • Rids tank of built-up mineral deposits
  • Helps unit run more efficiently
  • May prolong heater’s life

An efficient water heater may also reduce energy costs, saving you money in the long run.

Initial Steps

To begin the cleansing process, you should complete a series of essential steps:

  • Turn off the thermostat
  • Disconnect heater’s power source
  • Shut off cold water supply valve
  • Open pressure release valve

To help prevent an air vacuum inside your lines, you may want to also turn on a hot water faucet in a sink or tub and keep it open throughout the water heater flush.

Drainage Procedures

To drain the tank, connect a hose to the drainage spigot and open the valve. Placing the other end of the hose inside a large bucket or laying it outside away from your home’s foundation may prevent accidental water damage.

Once the unit is empty, open the water supply valve and allow fluid to flow through the system until all the sediment is removed and the liquid runs clear.

Finalizing the Project

When you’re ready, close the pressure relief and drainage valves and allow the tank to fill. Once it's full, you should reopen the pressure valve to release any air pockets. Then, reconnect the power source and wait approximately 20 minutes for the water to warm.

A Useful Maintenance Procedure

Replacing a water heater can be very expensive. Although every device eventually fails after extensive use, completing a routine flush can prolong the life of your appliance, helping to ensure you have a consistent supply of hot water available.

Commercial Fires: Cleaning Computers

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Keep computer files backed up on cloud in case of fire damage in Cedar Bluff, TN

Computer Cleanup After a Commercial Fire

Computer cleanup after a commercial fire can be intimidating. This is especially true if an electrical fire occurred that directly affected your equipment, or if your building suffered extensive damage in other areas that also needs prompt attention. However, there are three steps you can follow to get your computer back in working condition as soon as possible:

  1. Remove memory or storage. The first cleanup step you should take it to remove your computers’ internal hard drive, memory or other storage components. This step is especially important if you have important business files stored on any of these devices, as you want to make every effort to preserve these documents.

  2. Transfer documents and files. Move the files on your computer components to a working computer as soon as possible. You can even transfer them to cloud storage if needed, as long as you feel comfortable using an online service and have access to one after your electrical fire.

  3. Call restoration professionals. While there are some steps, like the ones above, that you can take to protect your company computers after a fire, the truth is that commercial smoke damage restoration professionals are usually better prepared to handle any kind of damage an electronic sustains in a fire. They have special equipment to clean and restore almost any kind of gear you could have. They can also arrive quickly on the scene to assess the situation in most cases.

It can be challenging to put your computer’s fate in the hands of a stranger, but most Cedar Bluff,TN, fire damage technicians understand the complexities and consequences of an electrical fire at your place of business and know how to help you restore your workplace computers. They will also likely be able to keep you updated on every step of their cleanup plan, so you won’t have to wonder about the future of your equipment.

Winter Weather Worries

1/6/2019 (Permalink)

Winter Weather

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.

FROZEN PIPES
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the obstruction. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross.
-Be sure to thoroughly drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
-Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
-When the weather is frigid, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
-Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

ICE DAMS
Ice dams can be a little-known, but a significant problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of the exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to help prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

Water Damage Strikes When You Least Expect It

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Knoxville Home

Water damage can happen at any time, often when you least expect it. This was the case for Mr. Watson and his family in Knoxville, TN. Their washing started to leak while they were away on vacation. His first call was too SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff. The water damage had affected the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and bedroom. We were able to respond within the hour and preserve most of the flooring in those rooms. We set up drying units throughout the rooms. We then replaced a small portion of the tile in the bathroom. Because we were able to come out so quickly the water damage was cleaned up within two days. 

From Flooding to Flowing: Clogged Toilets

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Stop the flow of water into the bowl by removing the lid of the tank

There's a certain unpleasant feeling, common to many, when you flush the toilet only to see the level of water rise toward the lip of the bowl. When this happens to you, breathe in a few calming breaths, and take comfort in knowing that this particular potential for sewer damage doesn't have to last.

Take Quick Action

As soon as you notice the water rising, stop the flow of water into the bowl. These first steps are pretty simple.

  • Remove the lid of the tank.
  • Press the flapper valve down.
  • Secure the valve and lift the float. (The water in the tank is clean.)
  • Hold these in position for about a minute or until you see the water return to normal levels.

If these steps don't work, reach behind the base of the toilet and turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water.

Simple Clogs

A clog within the toilet itself is probably the most common source of trouble. After the water level is stable, you can use a plunger to clear away the blockage. Usually, a few plunges are all it takes to release the trouble and allow the water to flow smoothly.

Complicated Clogs

If plunging the toilet doesn't correct the problem, there may be sewer damage further along the line. It may be in the drain pipe or deep within the sewer line. If this is the case, you may need to call the sewage company for further help. If you have a private septic system, the tank may be full, and this could also lead to a flooded toilet. Fortunately, there are many water cleanup professionals in Cedar Bluff,TN, with the appropriate training to deal with all of these problems.

Clear Solutions

That first sinking feeling you get when you see the water rising in the toilet doesn't have to last. After quickly acting to turn off the water, you are prepared to either resolve a simple clog yourself or contact a professional to resolve more complicated clogs and the possibility of sewer damage.

2019 Resolution: Plan Ahead

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

The Emergency Ready Profile Application for commercial properties.

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff will help ensure you are "Ready for whatever happens' in 2017.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document contain critical information about your business including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place man help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes resolve to be READY.

KNOXVILLE'S FASTEST CLEANUP TEAM

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Large Desiccant ready for commercial water damage problems.

There is no such thing as a small disaster-especially when the water you do not see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot and other unforeseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you try to clean and dry it up yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff knows how disruptive water damage can be for your home and business. We at SERVPRO are trained and equipped to manage the drying process of any size water loss. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, you home or business will be quickly and thoroughly dried helping to prevent secondary water damage. With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff can help you regain control quickly, ensuring your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local SERVPRO the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

Ready for Whatever Happens

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Disaster Ready Profile Application

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 franchise, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms.

2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall at the rate of 2.4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the county stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing 2000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchises System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in the Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities, The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine, The Disaster Recover Team placed nearly 1000 crews in the affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Tools For Keeping You Safe

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

A home destroyed by wind damage.

One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.

Weather radios have made any advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.

When shopping for a weather radio look for the following key features.

  • Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)
  • Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)
  • Alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your country)
  • Ease of programming

If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for you state, visit NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.gove/nwr

Managing Mold Damage

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage in Knoxville, TN

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water lines. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.

Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and deposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

What happens if my stuff gets moldy?

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Contents and Belongs

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Mold spores are everywhere and will be in your home when you have a water damage. If you have a water damage in your home you may be prone to mold damage if you don't act right away and call SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff.

Using A Portable Fire Extinguisher

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher

A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National

Fire Prevention Association suggests remembering the word PASS:

-Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release
the locking mechanism.

-Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar
with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have
limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. For more information
on the different types of fire extinguishers and to ensure you have the proper one, visit nfpa.org.

Safety First Before You Eat

11/26/2018 (Permalink)


Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires.

Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

-Never leave cooking food unattended–stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.

-Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.

-Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

- Keep anything flammable–pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

-Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

-Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.

-Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

-Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff wishes you a safe
and happy holiday season.

What to do when water damage strikes Knoxville Home

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Knoxville Home

Life is busy and sometimes mistakes can happen. Maybe one morning you are rushing around to get out of the house and accidentally forget to turn off the water. This the scenario for what happened to Mr. Ramsey, thankfully SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff was there and ready to help.

Mr. Ramsey forgot to turn off the water in the sink of the upstairs bathroom by the time he returned from work his ceiling had collapsed into his living room. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff's highly trained professionals hopped into action to preserve the house so no further damage was done. We were able to set up dryers to ensure everything was properly dried and checked. The carpet was removed and the ceiling was restored as quick as possible.

Keeping Wind Damage in Check

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

When the weather turns ugly in Knoxville, TN, homes aren’t the only structures are risk. Business owners know they must take steps to protect their companies. While preventing a roof leak is a good strategy for protecting inventory and equipment, you can’t afford to ignore the risks of high winds. Here are four ways to protect your business from them.

1. Reinforce Garage-Style Doors

Garage-style doors often do not fare wear during inclement weather. These doors are usually large and flimsy. If your business has one, you should think about reinforcing it. Lumber or metal rods can increase the chances that your company’s garage doors will ride out the storm without damage. Moreover, if you are expecting heavy rains, you should ensure all doors are securely closed before evacuating ahead of a storm. 

2. Clear Trees and Other Debris

Damage to roofing systems can cause a roof leak. If you can keep trees and other debris from crashing through your business’s roof, you are ahead of the game. Consider trimming overhanging branches and removing landscaping waste a few times each year. 

3. Anchor Projectiles

Before severe weather hits, you should consider walking around the outside of your business. Pay special attention to possible projectiles. If you see anything that may fly freely through the air during a storm, you should anchor it. Moving hazards inside or using tie-down straps is often an effective approach. 

4. Use Tarps and Plywood

Water damage can destroy the inside of your business. If you have a damaged roof or missing shingles after a wind storm, tarps and plywood can help control water damage. Use these until you have time to schedule a total roof repair. 

If you have a roof leak or other storm damage, a reputable restoration service can likely help you return your business to its pre-storm condition. Still, with a bit of effort, you can keep wind damage in check.

What To Do Until Help Arrives

10/7/2018 (Permalink)

Home Fire Damage

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
  • DON'T:
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first
    contacting your SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
  • If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
    in smoke odor.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH PREPARE NOW

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.

Make and Practice Your Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit?

Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.

Learn Life Saving Skills
Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life-saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.

Check your Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.

Save for an Emergency
Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether its flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared. Contact your local SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff to find out how they can help make it “Like it never even happened” if disaster strikes in your life.

National Day of Service and Remembrance SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

9/11

In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans did following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.

On this day and every day, SERVPRO® salutes those heroes who arrive in the greatest times of need and stand strong in the face of disaster. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times.

Give back and make a difference in your community this year. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, or to register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, visit nationalservice.gov/911day

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for storm damage

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disasters, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even
worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”

Do You Have Dirty Ducts?

8/5/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of your local SERVPRO® Cedar Bluff Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect
against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® Franchise
Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.

Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfer the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.

Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.

As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact your local SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professionals today.

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected
areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot
damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially
permanent problems. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® Of Cedar Bluff provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Of Cedar Bluff do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® Of Cedar Bluff. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Celebrate Summer Safety

6/30/2018 (Permalink)

Campfire

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

-When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills: do not add fluid after coals have been lit. When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hose will easily and safely reveal any leaks. When camping always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.

-Always build campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.

-Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling freshen a campfire.

Be Prepared This Summer

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Gril Fire

Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of the mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.

According to a recent study by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans were injured by fireworks in 2015., with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. A grill should always be supervised when in use. Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.

Grills also cause an average of 8,9000 home structure or outdoor fires. "These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage," according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in approved areas and supervise children at all times when near water.

The summer season should be time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don't become a statistic. Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on your summer months!

What to do when mold strikes

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage Knoxville

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call the Team in Green
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff. A representative will ask a series of
questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the
cleanup process.

Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out
of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA
vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold
colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Contents and Belongings
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other
building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor
repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or
it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home.
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff understands mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home.

Faster To Any Disaster

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to help!

There is no disaster that hits home quite like a disaster to your property, home or business. When you have suffered a fire and water or mold damage, you don't have time to waste searching for a company to fix your property. When disaster strikes, depend on SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff to fix it.

Whether the job is big or small, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff will be there to help make it "Like it never even happened" so you can get back to your home or business and on with your life.

SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff has experts who deal with mold mitigation and remediation process and what may take place if you are dealing with mold loss. As well as expertise in biohazard, crime scene, and vandalism cleanup. Whatever it maybe you can count on SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff.

Hoarding: A Serious Situation

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding

According to The Mayo Clinic,“Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distresses at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of
items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look
at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard. SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff encounter hoarding situations in several different ways. Often, SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. A

SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by the SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, caseworkers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will
come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Professionals are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff today

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Clean Your Dryer Vents

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not
restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.
Our certified professionals will come out for a free estimated. For more information on cleaning dryer vents, contact
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff.

Improve Your Air Quality

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

HVAC Cleaning

The ventilation system is often
the biggest culprit in poor
indoor air quality, but you
can help change that! Inspecting the
ductwork in your home should be a
high priority. In most cases, the HVAC
the system has been operating for some time
without much attention. Dirty ducts
can circulate odors, contaminants such
as mold, and irritating dust throughout
your home.
A routine part of
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff’s
service is inspecting the heating,
ventilation, and air conditioning unit
(HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and
ductwork clean can potentially extend
the life-span of the equipment by
allowing it to operate at peak condition,
which may help save you money. Duct
cleaning may not always be necessary.
SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff
will inspect your HVAC system and
ductwork and make recommendations
about the best way to address any indoor
air quality concerns. This inspection can
help save you money and provide peace
of mind on the health of your HVAC
system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as
after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold
growth, duct cleaning becomes an
essential part of the cleanup process.
In these cases, SERVPRO®
of Cedar Bluff can often restore
the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage
condition.
If you have a fuel-burning
furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) recommends they be inspected
for proper functioning and be serviced
before each heating season to protect
against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff Duct Cleaning
The system is proven and cost-efficient.
Unlike the majority of duct cleaning
services, SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep,
removing years of dust and grime.

The process begins by using
patented equipment, including a
roto-scraper, which automatically
adapts to the duct’s shape and
diameter while traveling through
the duct, removing debris and filth
before vacuuming begins.

Next, a powerful push-pull air
delivery and collection system
transfers the debris from the
ducting to a 16-gallon container.

Air is filtered through a HEPA
filtration system, removing 99.97
percent of the particles in the
airstream. HEPA filters capture
debris and keep the indoor
environment clean.

As an optional process, a sealant or
coating product may be sprayed to
address odor or microbial concerns.
n Filters will either be cleaned
or replaced to remove odor
and dirt.

For more information on duct
cleaning or to schedule an appointment,
contact your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville.

Busted Pipe In Knoxville Home

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Knoxville Home

Water damage can happen at any time. Most of the time it is when you least expect it.  Mr. Summner experienced this when he was away on vacation. A pipe burst in his ceiling, but it was not until two weeks later that a neighbor noticed the damage. The pipe had been leaking from an 18-foot ceiling. His first call was to SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff. Our highly trained professionals came out immediately to asses the damage. Since the pipe had been leaking for an extended period of time there was a lot of damage. 50% of the entire ceiling had to be torn out and replaced. All of the hardwood floors in the house had to be removed. The subfloor was either dried or removed. We were able to replace the flooring. All in all, over 5000 square feet of the house was damaged. Mr. Summner was extremely pleased with how quickly and professionally our team was. 

Severe Weather Safety

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Sever Weather Knoxville

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms.

- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
-5,000 floods or flash floods
-1,300 tornadoes
-2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain an NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook and Twitter Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Water Damage Knoxville

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Knoxville

There are many homes in the Knoxville area that suffer from water damage. The first 24 hours following a water loss is the most important in
preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Cedar Bluff will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION

SERVPRO® Of Cedar Bluff will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage
and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

SERVPRO® Of Cedar Bluff will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal
belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed
emergency services to you step-by-step.

MONITORING

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO® Cedar Bluff will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.

RESTORATION SERVICES

SERVPRO® Cedar Bluff will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walkthrough of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.

EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS

Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source. Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. Remove as much excess water as
possible by mopping and blotting. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks of furniture legs and wet carpeting. Move any paintings, art objects,
computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place. Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always
avoid electrical shock hazards. Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this
could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enters rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

For more information on
recovering from water damage,
contact your local SERVPRO®
Cedar Bluff

Answering the Call

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage

When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction in Texas the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff  answered the call sending teams to Kingwood, Texas. Taking supplies and equipment our teams went down to help the residents and were humbled by the generosity of a community that didn’t have any clue how they were going to recover financially, much less emotionally from the impact of the storm. Rescuees were evacuated by boats from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving everything behind, but the spirit of giving and resilience impacted the teams from Knoxville.

The long-standing relationship between SERVPRO and the insurance companies helped our teams make a big impact and quickly. The insurance adjusters were recommending people call SERVPRO because it was a name that they could trust. Our teams were able to start water mitigation quickly and come alongside homeowners and other countless volunteers to help these families begin to get some semblance of recovery started.

Imagine your home with six to eight feet of standing water with the rescue boat pulling up outside and telling you it was the last call. Our team was humbled time and time again meeting over a hundred different families that had met that fate and yet met our team with smiles on their faces. Unanimously our team was impacted by Texas Strong, and have spoken so highly of these families since their return.

“We are humbled and we are changed by so many families and their generosity, not only with their resources but their encouragement and their prayers”, said Nathan Lloyd, our Business Development Manager.

SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff, are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Knoxville

How to Minimize Fire Damage

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Knoxville

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Damage Knoxville

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly problems in the future is to handle every water damage as a threat to your property. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff has the equipment and training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff 
Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
Moisture meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO of West Knoxville can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
Ultra-Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate.
This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The go consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attached to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

Flooding Can Happen In Knoxville, TN

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Knoxville

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from
  • Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, flood cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile, or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

Ready for whatever happens.

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Ready for whatever happens.

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 franchise, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms.

2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall at the rate of 2.4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the county stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing 2000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchises System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in the Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities, The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine, The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in the affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Be Storm Smart

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Knoxville

Be Storm Smart

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of these following intense storms.

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,000 tornadoes

2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-works and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

Water (one gallon per person per day)

Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

Manual can opener

Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Clothing

Dust masks or bandanas

Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Hygiene items

Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information

Cash

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof contain

NADCA FAQs

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

NADCA had some fantastic frequently asked questions so I had to share...

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to collection a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health, The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flashlight and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following the Residential Cleaning Checklist can help to ensure a top quality job.

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • smokers in the household
  • pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
  • after home renovations or remodeling
  • prior to occupancy of a new home.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?

Antimicrobial chemicals are applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information. 

What criteria should I use when selecting an HVAC system cleaning contractor?

You should interview as many local contractors as possible. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quote. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of NADCA.
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
  • Get references from neighbors if possible.

You can also use the Residential Cleaning Checklist as part of the contractor selection process. 

What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning, as such claims are unsubstantiated.

Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

What kind of equipment is best for cleaning - truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?

NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to ACR, the NADCA standard. All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)

Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and follow ACR, the NADCA Standard, for cleaning to the best of their ability. Find a NADCA professional near you. Air duct cleaning companies must meet strict requirements to become a NADCA member. Among those requirements, all NADCA members must have a certified Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who has taken and passed the NADCA certification examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. View the NADCA Code of Ethics.

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

Courtesy of nadca.com

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Knoxville Commercial Water Damage

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

Hotels experience various types of water damage, including; plumbing leaks, malfunctioning fixtures, or storm damage that allows water to enter unprotected areas quite often and need professional assistance to help them recover fast. 
 
When your building is affected by these kinds of water damage incidents in Knoxville, it may be comforting to know that someone trustworthy is available to provide you with the services you need to keep your business running. 
 
SERVPRO technicians who respond to your service request live in the same area, giving us an opportunity to provide you with rapid response times, and a unique solution to your problem. With several years of experience in the restoration industry and quality equipment at our disposal, we have the ability to handle water damage incidents affecting a single unit, or your entire building. 
 
The information you provide during your initial call, helps us determine the amount of equipment and personnel needed to address your situation properly. So that once we arrive on your property, we can address any possible hazards and fully inspect the affected area for damages, getting to work immediately to solve your problem. 
 
After communicating your situation to your insurance company and agreeing on which services to implement, SERVPRO technicians mobilize as quickly and efficiently as possible, making every attempt to return your business to a quality pre-damage condition, in the least amount of time possible. 
 
We have access to both hand-held and truck mounted water extraction equipment, each with three main elements, a heater, pump, and vacuum system. Portable extractors hold anywhere from five to twelve gallons of water, while the truck mounted version handles up to 100 gallons of water or more, making it easy to remove excess water from various types of flooring, including carpeting and other upholstery items, such as rugs, and curtains. 
 
Our technicians use a variety of equipment to locate hidden moisture pockets, in walls, attics, and crawl spaces; water cannot hide from a quality infrared moisture detection device. Making it possible for us to dry hard to read, or hidden areas throughout your building and prevent secondary water damage from developing. 
 
During the drying process, SERVPRO technicians place the proper amount of air moving equipment and dehumidifiers into the affected area. We also use detection devices to check the vicinity for moisture and monitor relative humidity to ensure a proper drying environment exists to complete the water damage restoration and limit any interruptions to your businesses daily operations. 

Holidays Can Be Fun, But Also Dangerous

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

FIre Damage

It's the holiday season again. Brightly lit decorations, elaborate meals, and large gatherings are all a part of holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these annual traditions also cause an average of 230 homes fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries, and $17.3 million in property damage.

There are about 3 times as many cooking related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there on no holidays. Luckily, homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts from SERVPRO

Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.
The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tips from SERVPRO

Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.
Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.
Don’t let the lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.
Holiday Decorating Fire Facts from SERVPRO

Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.
Holiday Decorating Safety Tips from SERVPRO

Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.
Use flameless candles
If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.
Christmas Tree Fire Facts from SERVPRO
50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
14% involve decorative lights.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips from SERVPRO

Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
Don't leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

Prevent Frozen Pipes from Causing Water Damage

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water pipe busting

Frozen pipes are a leading cause of water damage in the colder months of the year. Why?

Water has the unfortunate property in that as it freezes, it expands. This can affect all types of water lines, whether metal, plastic, or PVC. Simply, all pipes are subject to bursting given the right amount of pressure. As the water freezes, it can expand the pipe, eventually, cause a hairline crack or a complete break. At that point the portion unfrozen will then provide a continual stream of water until shut off, causing water damage throughout the property.

How can I prevent my pipes from freezing or bursting?

If possible, make sure that all pipes and supply lines on exterior walls are insulated. Exterior walls will be much colder than interior walls given their location. Additionally, all water lines in basements and crawl spaces need to be insulated as they will be subjected to very cold temperatures. Simple foam insulation wrap can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
Make sure all outdoor hoses are removed from exterior hose bibs.
Always keep your heating unit on and operational, even when away on vacation. If leaving for an extended period of time, set your thermostat to no colder than 55 degrees to ensure that your home has enough heat to properly keep interior pipes from freezing.
Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines located in that area. In extreme cases of severe cold for extended periods of time, ensure that exposed pipes are insulated. Space heaters (placed away from anything flammable) can provide heat and warmth to combat cold environments in garage areas.
If you notice very low water pressure from water supply areas, a frozen pipe could be the cause. Immediate action should be taken to identify the problem.
What should I do if my pipes are already frozen?

Turn on all the faucets with warm water, not hot, to a slow drip. This will help in supplying warmer water to the area without causing an abrupt temperature change. It will also help you in determining the location of the freeze.
Apply exterior heat to the frozen section of pipe. This can be done with a hair dryer, electric heating pad, space heater, towels soaked in warm water wrapped around the pipe. NEVER use open flame devices as this can be a major fire hazard.
Keep continual heat on the area until water flow is restored to normal.
Once restored, try to determine why the area froze. It may be as simple as adding insulation, sleeve wraps, UL listed heat tape, or another form of insulation.
If you cannot locate, find, or properly thaw your pipes, call a professional plumber to assist.
What if my pipes burst and caused damage?

If your pipes have busted, cracked, or began leaking, immediate action should be taken to ensure that water damage can be minimalized to your property. Soak up as much water as possible with towels or extract with a shop vac. It's often necessary to have professionals like SERVPRO come in and completely mitigate the water. Home drying efforts can help reduce damages, but will not get rid of all moisture and humidity. It's important to ensure that your property is completely dry and dehumidified to prevent secondary damage from ruining your home, flooring, furnishings, or building materials. Call SERVPRO today if you've had water damage from a pipe leak, and we'll work with you and/or your insurance company to make sure that your home is restored correctly!

Cold weather can wreak havoc on your plumbing.

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Tips to avoid water damage

Let's face it, if you live in the south, building codes are not quite what they are in the north in regards to weather proofing. That means that we're just not that used to sub-zero temperatures. And we're fine with that!

But when it does get into the single digit temperatures or less, it means that we are at more of a risk for frozen pipes, and the likelihood of water damage from those same pipes. While our building codes and insulation values might not be as prepared, we can be. In Knoxville, TN right now, it's 3 degrees. What should you do to try and help prevent frozen pipes?

1. Disconnect all outdoor hoses.

2. Wrap all exterior spigots and faucets. Towels and newspaper work well in an emergency.

3. Leave your interior faucets on a slow drip.

4. Wrap any exposed pipes you can see, whether they're in a crawl space, attic, or garage.

5. Open all cabinetry doors, especially those on exterior walls.

Science of Drying

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Drying Water/Mold Damage

Exploring the Science of Drying

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and places a fan or two around the damage is.

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air on the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed dryer. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO is proud to utilize a newly developed tool SERVPRO DryBook.

The SERVPRO DryBook is a proprietary tool allowing us to capture and track the steps of restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This ensures your restoration is done properly and efficiently. It also improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you backing your home sooner.

RECIPE FOR SAFETY

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage In A Knoxville Home

Each November families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires. Review the following safety tips to ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

Never leave cooking food unattended-stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.

Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.

Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

Keep anything flammable-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains- away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.

Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up

Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers.

Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

The Silent Killer

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure you check your smoke detector!

The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide, considered “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly CO fumes.

Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.

To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.

Avoid Holiday Hazards

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Home Fire Damage In Knoxville

Avoid Holiday Hazards

Candles, pretty lights, and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season, however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening very quickly.

Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that is flammable

Use sturdy candleholders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles.

Make sure your tree and decorations are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters candles or heat vents.

Make sure you have the correct type of lights for your home. Some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

Carefully inspect light strands before hanging them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of light sets.

Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.

Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Holiday Fires In Knoxville

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the Nation Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Fire Prevention Month

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Knoxville, Tennessee

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” designed to educate the public on the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom outside a separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Did you know that roughly half of the home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 pm and 7 am when most people are asleep? Smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Flooding Can Happen In Knoxville, TN

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Damage

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

Flash Flooding
River Flooding
Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
Ice/Debris Jams
Snowmelt
Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, flood cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile, or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplace cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires caused an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.

- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.

- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in metal containers. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters.

- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.

-Test smoke alarms.

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