Recent Posts

3 Steps to Recover from a Flooded Basement

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

two air movers placed in a basement Drying flooded area in a basement in Bearden, TN.

Three Steps to Get Rid of a Flooded Basement

When you arrive at your Bearden, TN, property and discover a basement flood, immediate action increases the chances of minimizing the loss. After calling your insurance provider to file a claim for insurance coverage, the next call should be to a water damage restoration company. As you wait for help to arrive, take the following steps to minimize the loss.

1. Start Extracting the Water
The most important step is to start removing the water. The longer it sits, the increased odds of secondary damage, such as mold. Different methods may be used to start this process, such as using a wet-dry vacuum and mops, but it may be worth investing in renting an industrial-grade pump to speed up the process.

2. Dry Flooded Area
Basements are often damp places to begin with, which means it is an area of your property prone to mold growth. When you have a basement flood, a standard fan likely won’t do much. Along with using industrial fans and blowers, dehumidifiers should be used to extract water molecules from the air to prevent mold growth.

3. Remove Waterlogged Items
A key to the basement properly drying is removing any items that are waterlogged. In some cases, this may require removing carpeting and furniture. Any items that are removed should be taken to a safe, dry location to properly dry out. While not everything may be salvageable, a restoration company may be able to clean and restore more of your belongings than originally thought, such as documents, artwork and electronics.
A basement flood should never be ignored. As the water sits, it means the potential for secondary damage. After making the necessary calls to get the property back to “Like it never even happened,” the three steps above give you a headstart to recovering as fast as possible.

3 Ways To Get Help For Uninsured Flood Damage

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. As the risk of flooding continues to rise, more individuals are purchasing flood insurance for peace of mind.

Uninsured Flood Damage: 3 Options for Assistance

An inch of water has the potential to create $25,000 worth of damage to a home. That makes it no surprise that homeowners with mortgages who live on a flood plain in Knoxville, TN, are required to have flood insurance. If your uninsured home sustains flooding damage, you may feel helpless to cover the costs of water damage cleanup and restoration work. Luckily, if the event has been deemed a federal disaster, there is help available.

1. FEMA Grants
These grants provide households an initial $36,000 to help cover some of the costs associated with repairs, construction and temporary housing, as well as other disaster-related issues. This may include replacing damaged belongings and medical care assistance. These grants typically last up to 18 months and do not need to be paid back. Although it may not provide what flood insurance would, the program has kept many homeowners afloat.

2. SBA Disaster Loans
Even if you aren’t a business, the SBA may be able to help. These are designed specifically for uninsured residences that have sustained damage. Loan amounts available included up to $200,000 to replace or repair the home or refinance the mortgage. You can also obtain up to $40,000 to cover replacement costs of your belongings. These loans typically have 30-year terms and low-interest rates.

3. Other Government Services
Along with federal aid, many states, counties and local governments offer relief services. While they may not cover repair costs, they may be able to help with food during recovery, unemployment benefits and assist with applying for federal aid. Most cities and states have a website available that includes a resources page.
With flooding risks continuing to rise, many more people are getting flood insurance for peace of mind. If the unexpected happens before you can get a policy, there is help out there to help you through the chaos.

How a Fast Response to a Disaster Benefits Everyone

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Green trailer on the road SERVPRO storm response team

How a Fast Response to a Disaster Benefits Everyone

If your business in Deane Hill, TN, experiences a weather disaster, you want a storm restoration company that can arrive on the scene in just a few hours. This will minimize damage, result in a faster cleanup and mitigate the impacts of a business interruption.
If you are an insurance provider, you know a fast response limits your company's exposure to exorbitant claims. Also, when working with a SERVPRO franchise, you can rely on a proven process that provides you with clear and complete documentation of damages and services. This allows you to better serve your clients during difficult times.

A Hallmark of Effective Storm Response
Waiting for days to begin the cleanup and restoration process after a damaging storm is not an option. This will only lead to increased damages and higher costs. An immediate response is made up of several essential factors:

The arrival at the property in less than two hours
The presence of highly-trained technicians
The availability of advanced equipment for cleanup
The reliance on a proven plan for remediation
The commitment to restore the property to its original condition

Storm restoration is a complex process that hinges upon many factors. Working with a company that is the leader in the cleanup and restoration industry offers the best chance of success.

A Plan for Satisfaction
Whether your business is dealing with wind or flood damage, a comprehensive cleanup is just as important as the initial response. While each situation is unique, this could entail removing all excess moisture from the facility to prevent future mold growth, and it might include the restoration of damaged structures. The end goal is to make your building look "Like it never even happened."
Successful and efficient storm restoration begins with a fast response and takes into account insurance considerations. It then continues to a comprehensive cleanup that allows your business to resume operations again.

Can You Clean Smoke-Damaged Electronics?

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Keyboard of a computer on flames Computers can suffer from smoke damage.

The aftermath of a fire at your Northshore Town Center, TN, home can feel overwhelming. Many of your belongings may have suffered untold damage, including your valuable electronics. Fire cleanup efforts for these items are usually different from other belongings because of their delicate components, but there are several ways a professional restoration service may be able to help.

The Effects of Smoke on Electronics

Computers, televisions, tablets and even cell phones can suffer from smoke damage, even if they were not outwardly affected by the heat from a fire. There may be problems you cannot see, including:

  • Wiring and insulation damage caused by soot
  • Corrosion of internal components
  • The possibility of a short circuit from magnetic charge

These unseen problems may pose a danger to you or other users, so having the electronic items examined by a fire cleanup and restoration service may help you salvage them properly.

The Cleanup Process
The first step your restoration technicians may take is to gauge the amount of visible damage and manage that first. For example, if your laptop has visible soot on the keyboard and screen, your techs will probably use commercial-grade cleansers to clear it away. Allowing your techs to examine your electronics and perform fire cleanup on them may prevent the items from shorting out and rendering them useless.

Listing the Damage
Most electronics carry significant value, so you may want to keep a running list of which can be salvaged by your restoration service and which cannot so you can enter a claim to recoup your losses. Remember to include a copy of the sales receipt for each item and a photo so your insurance company can compensate you properly.
When your Northshore Town Center, TN, home suffers fire damage, your electronics may need different fire cleanup techniques than your other belongings. Having them examined and cleaned by a restoration service can give you peace of mind when it comes to caring for these valuable items.

3 Signs of Black Mold in Your HVAC System

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on an HVAC system Black spots of mold on an HVAC system

Three Signs of Black Mold In Your HVAC System

Mold spores are living microscopic particles that attach themselves to hosts and develop into colonies. There is no commercial facility in Westmoreland Heights, TN, that can be cleared of mold spores. However, there are ways to prevent mold growth such as:

  • Keeping humidity levels at or below 40-60%
  • Cleaning frequently
  • Addressing water damage immediately

Your HVAC can be a major contributor to the circulation of mold. 

1. Mold on the Evaporator Coils
Black mold colonies manifest as dark green, black, or gray-colored slime. If you notice this type of fungus developing on the evaporator coils and the drip pan, it is likely mold spores are being circulated. Mold can originate in the condenser unit and travel through the air ducts.

2. Mold on the Air Vents
A fungus that is circulated through the HVAC system will manifest as black and green spots on the air vents throughout the facility. These spots are difficult to scrub off and can corrode the air vent. If you find mold spots on the vents, it is likely mold colonies are developing inside of your HVAC.

3. Musty Sell When You Turn On the HVAC System
A musty smell that becomes stronger when you turn on the HVAC system is a clear indicator that there is mold growing inside of the ducts. The air ducts provide fungus with the humid and dark conditions necessary for it to thrive while the accumulated dust provides a source of nutrients. The colonies will then release more mold spores into the air and contribute to a mold problem.
If you believe you have black mold inside of your HVAC system, contact a professional HVAC cleaning service to aid in clearing it. Clean ducts are essential to keeping your building mold-free. A problem that has persisted and spread throughout the building should be addressed with mold remediation services.

The Do's and Don'ts of Electronics Cleaning After a Fire

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

burned computer Not all computers can be saved after an electrical fire.

The Aftermath Of A Commercial Fire

Sensitive components need precision cleaning techniques after a commercial fire. This applies to computer systems and sensitive electrical equipment. The right measures can salvage critical systems, protect records and save money. An erroneous process after an electrical fire can result in more damage to some of the most important resources a company owns.
The first step involves contacting a trusted fire cleanup company in Ebenezer, TN. Trained technicians are there to help in the aftermath of a commercial fire.

The Computer Cleanup Process

Any time fire comes close to computer equipment there is cause for concern. Untrained individuals should not attempt a repair without first consulting with an authorized repair service. A fire could result in smoke, soot and even water harming the computers. The best process involves several important steps:

  • A close inspection of each item
  • A determination of optimal cleaning options
  • A consideration of sending the item off to the manufacturer

Not all computers can be saved after an electrical fire. The good news is the recovery process can work if the proper procedures are followed.

The Recovery Process for Other Electrical Items

In addition to computer systems, a fire can damage the building's electrical infrastructure as well as the HVAC system. All of these areas fall under the province of specialty cleaning and should be approached only by trained technicians. Immediately after a fire, untrained workers should not attempt to clean these items of smoke damage, nor should they turn on the equipment.
If possible, before the technicians arrive, the equipment should be unplugged or disconnected from the power source. Once on-site, technicians use specialized equipment and proprietary cleaning products to restore what is salvageable. This makes sure sensitive electronics have a chance after a fire.
A hands-off approach is often the wisest course of action after an electrical fire. Trained technicians will know what to do and what not to do in a complicated restoration situation.

Answering 3 Common Questions About Commercial Flood Insurance

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flood insurance protects your property from flood damage.

Commercial flood insurance can be a bit confusing. You have to purchase it separately from your regular property insurance. There are also some exclusions to most flood policies. Here are the answers to some common questions about this type of insurance.

What Is a Flood?

Essentially, a flood occurs when water accumulates on dry land. However, the NFIP has a more detailed definition. The NFIP describes a flood as the complete or partial inundation of water on a normally dry area that contains either two or more properties or two or more acres. It can result from mudflow, runoff, or an overflow of tidal waters. Common causes of floods include:

  • Broken levees or dams
  • Heavy rain
  • Fast-Melting snow
  • Post-hurricane storm surges

What Does This Insurance Cover?

As its name implies, flood insurance protects your property from flood damage. You can only purchase it from the NFIP, which offers up to $500,000 in-building coverage and up to $500,000 in personal contents coverage. This money can go toward emergency restoration services.
Building coverage includes harm that occurs to the actual structure, including the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. Contents coverage, meanwhile, pays for damage to furniture, equipment and other items inside the property.
While flood policies are fairly thorough, there are certain exceptions. Any property outside your building, including company vehicles, is typically excluded. Insurance also will not cover damage to precious metals or currency.

Who Has To Buy This Insurance?

Many business owners should consider purchasing flood coverage since it is not included in typical commercial insurance policies. However, if your company is in a high-risk flood zone and has a mortgage from an insured or federally regulated lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
The NFIP lets business owners purchase flood coverage for both their building and the items inside it. This insurance could keep your Blue Grass, TN, company afloat following a storm.

This Is the Smoke Alarm You Need

4/17/2022 (Permalink)

Photoelectric smoke detector Pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly.

How To Choose The Right Smoke Detector

You probably think that simply installing any smoke alarm in your home is enough. However, there are several options to choose from. Read on to find out how to choose the right smoke detector for your particular residence.

1. Consider the Size of Your Home

A bigger home will need more units. When purchasing, consider:

  • Number of rooms
  • Square feet
  • Sleeping location
  • Special needs

You need to put a smoke alarm in each room, as well as the hallways leading to bedrooms. Also factor in attics, basements, and both ends of staircases. Essentially, make sure you'll be able to hear the alarm at any time of the day.

2. Choose a Type

If you have a larger residence, you should look into devices that can be wired along with the same network.

Ionization
Photoelectric
Dual-sensor
Air-sampling
CO2 combo

There may be regulations in Hardin Valley, TN, so make sure to check before installing. Often, these regulations can require hard-wired devices. If this is the case, you have to have them installed by local fire prevention and remediation specialists.

3. Make Sure It Works

This may seem obvious, but you need to test your smoke detectors. Think about fire safety. You may only have 2 minutes to evacuate. Does your alarm do its job in time? Check if batteries need replaced. If your system is hard-wired, it may also have backup batteries. Make sure these are in working condition. Keep in mind that placement should also be conducive to monthly testing. If you can't reach the alarm or don't have a ladder, reconsider placement. You should also keep units free of dust and grime that may inhibit usefulness.
Further, look for the circle logo on your units or their packaging. There should be a "UL" denoting that they have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. This is the most common certification, but there are others. Always do a quick internet search to verify your alarm's standard testing.
If you pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly, you are doing the best that you can for fire prevention. Practice how to turn off the alarm without dismantling it from the wall or ceiling. Stay safe.

4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet Toilet overflow in a home in Rocky Hill, TN.

Four Potential Sewage Sources in Your Home

Your home's plumbing system brings in clean water and discreetly clears away the used and dirty water. Occasionally, pipes break, and sometimes those pipes are in the process of taking away contaminated water. When this happens, professional sewage cleaning is a necessity. A number of situations in your home in Rocky Hill, TN, could result in a black water spill.

1. Toilet Overflow. While this might seem minor, any time water from a toilet that contains urine or feces overflows it is a serious situation. The water potentially contains harmful bacteria and microbes that are detrimental to human health. Plus, the water can contaminate flooring and other materials.

2. Clogged Pipe. A discharge line that is obstructed could result in a sewage backup, spilling out contaminated water into an area of the home. As with all other types of spills requiring professional sewage cleaning, a water damage mitigation team should be called. Trained technicians will work safely and quickly to remove the dirty water and clean and sanitize the home.

3. Pipe Burst. Older pipes tend to weaken with age. After forty or fifty years of use, many piping materials are at or near the end of their lifespan. This is especially true of galvanized steel piping. If the pipe that breaks is carrying used water, the spill should be considered potentially harmful to human health.

4. Flood. Though this situation has nothing to do with the plumbing system, it is still an issue important to homeowners. Outside water coming into a home from overflowing streams or lakes or heavy rains is often contaminated with germs, chemicals and other substances. As such, it should be treated with the highest level of concern.
No matter what the source of the spill, sewage cleaning is best handled by a professional company. It will have the appropriate equipment and training to deal with the situation safely and efficiently.

Removing Soaked Building Elements

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on drywall, drying equipment set up to dry damage area Water restoration services in a Farragut, TN residence

Building Elements That Have Been Soaked

Getting your home back in order after a serious flood in Farragut, TN can be a daunting task. The following guide will inform you of the usual procedures employed by qualified restoration professionals, such as ventilation and insulation tear out.


1. Assessment

The first step in any water damage scenario is to assess the extent of moisture entry. After all standing water has been removed and the area is generally safe to enter, the work of bringing the home back to its original condition is only just beginning. Damp materials, such as drywall or carpet padding, can harbor mold growth and may cause surrounding wood surfaces to lose structural integrity. Because these water-retaining elements are often not easily visible, professional identification may be necessary.

2. Removal and Replacement

A professional restorer may opt to tear out affected drywall that has been sufficiently damaged, especially if the insulation behind it is also soaked. Some modern insulation materials made from basalt and steel slag have improved draining properties. These likely won’t need complete replacement as long as they are exposed to sufficient ventilation during the cleanup process to remove all water vapor. Plaster-based wall and ceiling spackling might dissolve and flake away if flooded, and it may also need to be scraped off and replaced at a relatively low cost.

3. Sanitizing and Drying

The final step for most flood or storm restoration processes involves decontamination and vapor expulsion. Any loose belongings that contacted flood water will need chemical or UV decontamination. Your chosen cleanup service will also usually elect to set up ventilation points with air movers and dehumidifiers to ensure that no lingering damp air remains.

With a little extra know-how, homeowners can be prepared for any sort of flood situation. The tear out and replacement of a few building materials can save a lot of money in the long run.