Recent Posts

Fire Damage to Structures

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

vacant house fire Severe fire damage incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of your property.

In the wake of a residential fire, the primary focus is on repairing the damage done to the inside of the house. However, moderate to severe incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of the building too. It is why SERVPRO conducts a full inspection of fire-damaged properties before we start any restoration work. 

The good news is that stains on masonry, concrete and other structural materials are almost always superficial. While brick and concrete are not impervious to fire damage in Knoxville homes, they are extremely sturdy and don’t succumb easily to heat. It means that, in most cases, we can use straightforward cleaning techniques to restore the outside of the property. 

Light Stains 

If there is no structural damage to the masonry, the SERVPRO technicians use mild cleaning agents to wash soot and smoke deposits from the surface. Where the staining is very light, dry sponging is enough to wipe away grime on block, brick, and concrete. Stubborn marks get lifted with alkaline detergents and direct scrubbing. Sodium hypochlorite is highly effective when it comes to soot removal, and it leaves no residues. 

Moderate Stains 

The difficult thing about soot is that it can be highly acidic. If it is not removed quickly, particularly from structural materials, there is a chance of corrosive residues becoming embedded deeper and deeper into the masonry. It is why SERVPRO pays close attention to cracked joints. 

They are delicately cleaned and repointed to dislodge any soot deposits which may be trying to move into the capillaries. Once this is complete, larger areas are dry sponged and vacuumed. Then, they are jet washed with a high powered pressure cleaning device. 

Heavy Stains 

The most severe staining occurs when heavily combustible materials have caught fire and burned for some time. In some cases, jet washing is still a suitable method of cleaning. We can add soot dissolving formulas like high PH degreasers, dry ice, or soda ash to increase optimal results. 

SERVPRO rarely recommends sand blasting for brick, block, and concrete because it is a very abrasive process and can cause additional damage. If there are smaller patches of masonry which are heavily soiled, the technicians may apply a poultice (sodium hypochlorite and diatomaceous earth). It takes 24-48 hours for the formula to take effect. 

The great thing about a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO is that we offer a complete package. We are part of a huge network of contractors, so there is no repair job too big for our team to handle. 

Tools for Keeping You and Your Family Safe

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

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 your state, visit NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.gove/nwr

The Specialized Equipment Needed for Mold Remediation

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Face masks and many other types of equipment are needed to do the job safely.

While it might be tempting to consider cleaning a mold outbreak in your home by yourself, in most cases this is a job for trained professionals. If the outbreak is minor, you might be able to clean the area and hope for the best. Quite often, though, the mold will return in a short time. For most jobs, highly-trained technicians and specialized methods are needed to defeat mold. The use of PPE such as face masks is often necessary. Breathing in microscopic mold spores is never a good practice. A local mold remediation team in Blue Grass, TN, will seek to remove mold in the safest way possible for its employees and the people in your home.

The use of Protective Equipment

In addition to properly fitting face masks, professionals will use a number of measures to avoid inhaling particles of mold. Best practices often call for workers to wear the following PPE:

  • A face covering such as a N-95 respirator
  • Long gloves that extend to the forearm
  • Goggles that are sealed against leakage

The goal is to prevent mold spores from entering through the mouth or the eyes. The gloves and other equipment also helps make sure any cleaning agents do not touch the skin. Mold technicians know the best equipment to wear as well as how to wear the equipment.

The Restoration of Mold Damage
Mold in your home can create an eyesore and impair indoor air quality. It can also break down the materials it feeds on, including drywall, furniture and carpeting. A mold remediation crew can do several things: locate the mold, remove the cause of mold (usually excess moisture) and repair the damage caused by mold. This might include rebuilding walls, replacing carpeting and repainting areas of the home.
Mold restoration is a complicated process. Face masks and many other types of equipment are needed to do the job safely.

Storm Damages in the Knoxville, Tennessee Community

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Knoxville has been cleaning storm damages in the local Knoxville, TN market for over 40 years. From broken tress, pipe bursts from winter storms, basement floods, and much more, SERVPRO of West Knoxville has been providing Knoxville with quality cleanup and restoration work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's over 332,880 hours of being on call to help our clientele!

SERVPRO understands that even the smallest of storm problems can be a major catastrophe for the average homeowner. Whether it be damaged property, mold growth, health concerns or other problems, SERVPRO has all the right tools to make it "Like it never even happened."®

With over 190 years of combined experience with our technicians, SERVPRO will promptly arrive at your business or residence after a storm to assess the damage, provide a solution, and begin work to ensure that secondary damages do not occur. From extracting water, dehumidification, decontamination, mold remediation, full repairs and construction, SERVPRO is here to help day or night.

With free estimates and consultations in Knoxville, insurance billing availability, we're standing by to be of assistance to anyone in need. 

Top 3 Tips for Commercial Roof Maintenance

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Skilled roof technician worker working Repairing the roof with screws drive tools on the top of the roof Roof maintenance in Hardin Valley, TN.

Commercial Roof Maintenance

Roof damage can negatively impact your Hardin Valley, TN, business. Even if the issues are not immediately noticeable, the damage can escalate over time and leave your establishment vulnerable to the elements. A strong maintenance routine can not only detect and repair potential flaws fast, but it can also extend the roof's life for years.

1. Schedule the Necessary Inspections
It is difficult for anyone to notice any water and wind damage on the roof until it escalates beyond control and requires an emergency restoration service to handle the situation. The best way to detect any problems on time is by scheduling the necessary inspections. Hire a professional roofing company to check the area every six months for cracks, leaks and other weaknesses. It is also recommended to run an inspection if you suspect a major storm or weather event could have damaged it.

2. Unblock and Repair Drainage
Your business is more vulnerable to roof damage if it has a flat roof or if the slope is too slight. During these cases, excessive rainwater gathers and damages the area to the point where you will need a roof rebuild. The gutters and other similar systems safely transport the water from the roof to the ground, preventing such damage. However, they cannot do if debris builds up inside them.

3. Remove or Trim Trees Near the Roof
The trees that surround your business provide pleasant shade and contribute to the building's aesthetic appeal. They can also greatly damage your roof if they are too close to it. High winds can move the trees and cause them to clash against the area, breaking it and wearing it down. Tree debris can also further damage the establishment and clog the gutters. Trim or entirely remove the trees as necessary depending on their height and closeness to the roof.
Storms usually create strong roof damage that can lead to greater issues down the line. Maintenance practices like these ensure your roof will remain strong for several years.

The Science of Commercial Drying

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

water on laptop Exploring the science of commercial drying!

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damage structure to its pre loss 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, professional service may be necessary. 

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 at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville has 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 back in your home or commercial property sooner.

Tips for Stopping Plant Mildew in its Tracks

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Mildew on a plant Plant mildew may not kill your favorite fern immediately, but over time it can cause some serious damage.

Whether a chic cactus or a beautiful begonia, plants are attractive, air-clearing additions that generally brighten the atmosphere of our homes. But like many things in the home, plants are susceptible to mildew. While plant mildew can seriously harm foliage, there are ways to prevent it from taking hold. Follow these tips to keep the plants in your Bluegrass, TN, home from becoming victims of this household menace.

What is Mildew?

Like mold, mildew is an unsightly type of fungus. It feeds on organic materials like clothes, paper, ceilings and walls, thriving on moist air. Unlike mold, however, mildew isn’t black. Instead mildew growth:

  • Appears like white or gray spots
  • Looks dusty or chalky
  • Takes hold when plant foliage is dry

Mildew can quickly coat foliage, blocking the sunlight your plant needs. The result is a plant that stops growing and eventually dies. Fortunately, solving a plant fungus problem can be easier than you think.

Clean It Off

Luckily, some of the best tools against plant mildew are right in your cabinet. Start by mixing baking soda with liquid soap to form a spray. Spritz your plants to neutralize existing mildew and prevent new mildew from forming. Spray foliage with mouthwash or mix and spray a solution of one part milk and three parts water to further paralyze mildew spores.

Water Your Plants

While mildew likes moisture, it tends to form on dry plants. Powdery mildew proliferates on dry leaves, in areas with low lighting and high humidity. Keep a regular watering schedule to ensure your plants aren’t becoming dry breeding grounds for this powdery fungus.
Plant mildew may not kill your favorite fern immediately, but over time it can cause some serious damage. Use these simple kitchen tricks to shut it down, or contact a mold specialist to learn more about stopping this and other household fungi in their tracks.

5 Places Mold May Be Lurking Inside Your Home

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Mold behind Drywall and Studs The fungus can proliferate behind walls.

Areas Where Mold Can Proliferate

Damp environments often create ideal locations for mold and mildew growth. Although both can be unsightly, mold tends to be more invasive. To alleviate the risk of mold damage, every homeowner in Farragut, TN should control moisture levels inside their residence and promptly address any existing leaks. Understanding common areas where the fungus may proliferate can also help everyone safeguard the integrity of their homes.

1. Under Appliances and Sinks

Supply lines allow easy access to water throughout your home, including the bathroom and kitchen. Appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers also utilize the liquid. Over time, connections can loosen and components can deteriorate, resulting in leaks. Because of this, you should routinely inspect under sinks and around appliances for dripping or pooled water and promptly commence any necessary repairs.

2. Inside Your Refrigerator

Because it’s often damp, your refrigerator may be susceptible to mold growth. Routinely cleaning this appliance and removing old or spoiled food can prevent this problem.

3. Beneath Carpets

Carpets are another area of your home potentially vulnerable to mold damage. If any of your home’s carpeting becomes saturated, removing it may be the only way to prevent extensive contamination.

4. Behind Walls

The fungus can proliferate behind walls. In the event of water damage from a flood or burst pipe, remove any soaked drywall and insulation. You should also promptly investigate damp, bubbled or stained walls and ceilings for hidden leaks and mold growth.

5. In Your Bathroom

Your bathroom may be one of the dampest areas of your home. Regularly cleaning the space and drying the area around sinks is important. You should also wipe down your shower after every use and utilize the bathroom fan while bathing to reduce condensation buildup.

Sustaining mold damage can be a nightmare for any homeowner. Taking proactive measures can reduce the risk of substantial growth and minimize the need for professional mold remediation services

3 Reasons To Purchase Business Interruption Insurance

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Rocky Hill, TN.

Three Reasons To Purchase This Coverage

If you own a business, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your investment by purchasing property insurance. However, while property insurance can help you get your business running again, it doesn't pay for the income you are losing while your business can not operate. Interruption insurance can help keep your business from suffering financial distress while you wait for needed repairs. These are three of the reasons to purchase this coverage.

1. Replaces Lost Income
Depending on how severe your damage is, it could take weeks or even months to fully restore your business to preloss condition. During this business interruption, you may not be able to operate at all, or may only be able to operate at reduced capacity. This coverage replaces income lost due to a covered cause of loss based on your past financial records.

2. Helps You Pay the Bills
Even if your business is shut down, you probably still have bills. You will need to pay the mortgage or rent on your facility, any utilities that still need to be connected when your business isn't operating, make payments on any business loans, pay your taxes and other business expenses that may not stop just because you are not making money. Interruption insurance helps you cover those bills while you are not operating.

3. Provides Money To Pay Employees
Your employees probably can't afford to go without a paycheck while your business is shut down for fire restoration. This insurance helps you keep employees on the payroll so that you don't need to hire new employees in Rocky Hill, TN when you are ready to reopen.
When a fire or other disaster occurs, it is important to protect not only your property but your income. Without the protection afforded by interruption insurance, you may find it difficult to keep your business from closing permanently.

Disaster Response: Plan with the SERVPRO ERP

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster strikes. But never when you expect it to. Be smart and plan ahead for water or fire damage.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville is proud to offer the Emergency Ready Plan (ERP), a great tool in preparing your commercial business for the worst-case scenario. The ERP works as a data collection source, storing all your important and vital information in one place: at your fingertips.

Never be lost or without key account, contact, and utility information again. The ERP app works seamlessly on computers, smartphones, and tablets. And since it's cloud based, all platforms are constantly synced together.

SERVPRO representatives will implement this service free of charge at your place of business. We will help you gather all information you may need in the event of an emergency, have all company contacts on file, and include pictures and locations of all shutoffs for utilities.

Water and fire damage can wreak havoc, but SERVPRO and the ERP app help you get back into business quicker, safer, and with less worry of losing vital information. Call today for a live demonstration over a computer, or live in person at your facility. 865-690-9658

Learn more about commercial services and disaster recovery here.