Recent Commercial Posts
3 Signs of Black Mold in Your 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
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.
3 Reasons That Property Managers Could Face a Mold Damage Lawsuit
Commercial mold damage in Knoxville, TN
3 Reasons Why a Mold Damage Lawsuit Might Be Filed Against a Property Manager
As a commercial property manager in Knoxville, TN, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to issues of mold in the buildings that you manage. Mold can be a touchy subject, because mold insurance claims tend to be nebulous. Many insurance companies have riders that exclude mold damage so you have to have a secondary insurance plan of some sort—it can be confusing! Here are three reasons why you as a property manager could face a mold damage lawsuit. Understanding the possibilities will help you to ensure that you have the proper coverage.
1. Property Damage
If it is discovered that mold has damaged the tenant's property or products, the mold claim will likely be over who is responsible for paying for damages and how much things are worth. One way to avoid this issue is to have the building inspected before you rent it and come to a formal, written agreement with the tenants about who is responsible for what in the event of damaged property.
2. Commercial Fitness
Commercial buildings don't have to be inhabitable the way residential buildings do, but they do have to allow for the intended business to function. If a tenant feels that the building is no longer fit for its intended use, then lawsuits over mold insurance claims could result.
3. Prevention and Remediation
Preventing mold growth and remediating existing mold are probably the most common reasons that property managers could find themselves involved in a lawsuit. Mold prevention looks like responding to concerns about leaks and dampness while remediation is about repairing an existing problem.
Especially if you've agreed with your tenant about who is responsible for what aspect of mold remediation and prevention, keeping up your end of the bargain and maintaining good records will help you if you are faced with a legal dispute. When in doubt, hire a professional mold remediation specialist to provide an assessment.
Although mold insurance claims that result in a lawsuit at a commercial property are less common than at a residential one, it's important to know what responsibilities you have and how to prepare for them.
3 Tips for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Every commercial building in Hardin Valley, TN, needs an effective fire sprinkler system in place.
Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Every commercial building in Hardin Valley, TN, needs an effective fire sprinkler system in place. In the event of a fire, these sprinklers can drastically reduce the amount of property damage. It is also possible to receive some deductions on your insurance premiums if you have such a fire suppression system in place. If the time comes when a fire breaks out in your building, you need to be certain your sprinklers are fully operational.
1. Hire Someone to Come Out and Maintain Them
It is best to leave inspections to professionals who know what to look for. You should hire someone to come out at least once a year to make sure everything still works as it should. A fire sprinkler professional will most likely conduct a flow test to ensure water flows adequately out of the system to subdue fires.
2. Keep Sprinklers Free of Obstructions
It can be easy to take sprinklers for granted and cover them up. You should never leave boxes of other items in front of a sprinkler that would prevent it from spreading water over the premises. In the event someone accidentally paints over the sprinkler, then you will need to have a professional test it again to make sure it still works.
3. Do Not Misuse Sprinklers
Finally, you should teach everyone in your office what they should not do to sprinkler heads. For example, it is common in some circles for people to place a coat hanger on the sprinkler when someone is changing. This is dangerous, and it could cause the sprinkler to go off, ruining items in the vicinity for no reason.
After the water has suppressed the fire, you can call in a fire sprinkler cleanup crew to handle the moisture damage. With regular maintenance, you can have the peace of mind that your fire sprinkler will work when you need it.
3 Reasons Flooding in Commercial Buildings Should Be Addressed ASAP
Commercial water damage in Hardin Valley, TN.
Three Reasons Commercial Building Flooding Must Be Addressed Immediately
Commercial buildings are some of the most challenging spaces to maintain year after year in Hardin Valley, TN. Avoiding high humidity and fixing sources of water damage as soon as possible are essential steps toward preventing the need for major restoration. Here are three reasons why time is of the essence when remediating damage from mildew, mold growth and excess moisture.
1. Preventing Fungal Growth
Remediation specialists categorize water into three general groups: clean, gray and black. Clean water is considered uncontaminated and is fit for human consumption, while gray water includes wastewater from home or offices, excepting that which is contaminated with feces (example sources might include sinks, washing machines or sprinkler systems). Black water is the most contaminated category; water caused by storm-related flooding belongs to this group.
However, while black water's high pollution content makes it the most problematic to clean up, even clean water provides the moisture needed to prompt rapid mildew and mold growth. This can happen within 12 to 24 hours after the flooding event.
2. Minimizing Restoration Costs
The longer that excess water is present, the more time it has to seep into drywall, insulation and porous structural elements of the building. Stopping the source of the flooding, removing water and thoroughly venting affected spaces as soon as possible is crucial for preventing damage from spreading to other areas and minimizing restoration needs after the fact.
3. Preserving Electrical and HVAC Systems
Moisture and standing water also pose a risk to electrical equipment, and fungal and bacterial contaminants can quickly take foothold in HVAC systems, even when these systems have not been submerged in floodwaters. These ventilation systems in turn can spread bacterial and fungal material throughout the building, diminishing air quality and making future mildew issues much more likely.
Whether you have noticed a relatively minor leak that has caused visible water damage or mold growth or your building has experienced a flooding event, a professional remediation company should be able to assess damage risks and draw up an immediate plan of action.
How Can My Business Survive a Fire?
A fire in your commercial building can have devastating results.
How Can My Company Survive a Fire?
When a fire breaks out in a commercial building in Rocky Hill, TN, it can have devastating results. You may lose inventory, equipment or important documents. Your building could even be deemed unsafe for occupancy after the fire. This delay means you have to put your company on pause, but will your customers still be there when you get back? The fire cleanup specialists can help you clean and repair your belongings and building, but you may need interruption insurance to help with the rest. With a few carefully planned steps, you can make sure your business survives a fire or another disaster.
• Turn to your business interruption policy. This type of coverage helps cover the loss of income you may have after a fire. Because you may not be able to continue your daily business routines, you could lose customers, miss sales or fall behind in production. Your coverage can help bridge these losses while you're waiting for the fire restoration to be completed. In some cases, you may even be able to use this policy during the first few days back at work.
• Use a contingency space. If possible, you may want to rent a temporary office space while your building is being repaired. This can help cut back on your losses while giving you time to continue building your company. If you have a contingency plan set up, it might include a temporary space. Otherwise, you may have to scramble to find a suitable area.
• Take care of repairs quickly. The faster your repairs are done, the less you'll have to rely on interruption insurance. You may not be able to control how long it takes for the restoration to be completed, but if you work with a one-stop-shop company that helps with everything from inspections to repairs, you may be able to speed up the process.
It can be scary to go through a disaster as a business owner. Interruption insurance can help alleviate some of the financial worries you have when your business cannot operate as normal.
Mold Damage 101: What Business Owners Need To Know
Mold damage in Rocky Hill, TN property.
What Business Owners Should Know About Mold Damage
Mold is a four-letter word for both business property owners and commercial insurance providers. A combination of heat and moisture can spark the invasion of fungi, which can grow on and eventually destroy almost any building material. Tearing down, cleaning up and rebuilding after such an event in Rocky Hill, TN, can cost thousands of dollars. As a business owner, it is important for you to know just how much protection your insurance affords—and what actions you should take to ensure your claims are paid.
Exclusions and Exceptions
A flurry of lawsuits in the 1990s prompted commercial insurance companies to add a standard fungus exclusion clause denying coverage of damage and/or replacement costs due to mold. However, exceptions exist which do permit some coverage:
- Fungus caused by fire
- Fungus caused by lightning
- Fungus triggered by a specified cause or loss (other than by fire or lightning)
Known as Limited Fungus Coverage – basically mold insurance – it is the third exception that provides the most common form of compensation. It is important to read the “specified cause or loss” definition in your policy, but two events generally are included as exceptions: water damage and leakage from an interior sprinkler system. (Note: Water damage from floods is not usually covered unless the policy includes a flood endorsement.)
Once a fungus issue has been identified, it is vital to take immediate action. Call a restoration specialist in Rocky Hill, TN, for an inspection and assessment. Insurance providers often demand proof that you have made a concerted effort to secure the property before agreeing to pay claims.
Most policies provide up to $15,000 in coverage per specific event (with one event annually). Coverage includes costs for the following:
- Removal of damaged material
- Replacement of damaged material
- Testing or inspection after treatment
Understand what to do and just what protection your commercial insurance policy provides. Doing so can make dealing with mold damage a less stressful process.
How to Restore Damage When a Toilet Floods Two Floors
Overflowing toilet in Farragut, TN.
Five Steps To Clean Up Sewage Damage
When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary condition.
1. Clear the Clog or Backup
Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed-up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.
2. Remove Standing Water
Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings.
3. Consult Restoration Specialists
Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.
4. Clean and Disinfect the Area
Toilets that flood tend to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
5. Dry the Affected Area
Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.
When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property in Farragut, TN, rely on the skills of professional plumbers and restoration experts. These specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.
The Science of Commercial Drying
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.
3 Reasons To Purchase Business Interruption Insurance
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
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.
How To Limit Hurricane Damage to Your Business
Gather supplies and store them in a safe location.
Limit Hurricane Damage To Your Commercial Premises
If you do not properly prepare, hurricane damage may cause your Farragut, TN, business to close permanently. The high winds alone could result in major harm to your property. However, by following the below steps, you can ensure your company survives an impending storm.
1. Purchase Supplies
Disasters do not wait to strike until business hours are over. The storm may actually occur while you and your employees are in the building. You should thus gather supplies and store them in a safe location. The items will keep everyone safe and let you continue running your company during the storm as much as possible. Essential items for your emergency kit include:
- Basic tools
- Battery-operated television or radio
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for you and your employees
- Duct tape
- Plastic bags
- Cleaning supplies
- Pillows and blankets
- Chairs and cots
- Camera for documenting the hurricane damage
- Flashlights with batteries
- First-Aid supplies and manual
- Signal flare or whistle for calling help
- Electric generator
Be sure to keep extra smoke alarms and fire extinguishers among your emergency supplies, as well. They will be necessary if the storm sparks a blaze in or near your building.
Finally, post key emergency contact information near the supply area. List the phone numbers for the Small Business Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, your company's insurance agent and your local commercial restoration company.
2. Protect Key Documents
Next, make extra copies of hard-to-replace documents such as tax returns and legal contracts. Store all of this paperwork in waterproof containers.
3. Secure the Premises
Finally, secure as much of your property as possible. Use Velcro or straps to attach important equipment to the floor. Similarly, add anchors to any large pieces of furniture. Consider putting the most valuable items in higher locations or moving them off-site.
By purchasing supplies and protecting your key documents and property, you can limit hurricane damage to your commercial premises. This, in turn, should prevent the storm from closing your business.
Changing the Game with Matterport Technology
Our team has recently been utilizing the Matterport camera to capture a 3D walk-through video of commercial losses. We use this technology for many reasons, including:
1. Documentation before and after restoration
2. To get exact measurements and floor plans that we can use in Xactimate for pricing
3. A tool for business owners to use in the future
On any large commercial loss, we send our Emergency Readiness Coordinator to complete an ERP and Matterport scan before work is started. We are able to capture the damage before work is started for insurance purposes. For example, we completed several Matterport scans to send to insurance agents and adjusters when the tornado occurred because they were unable to travel due to COVID-19. We see many benefits with the Matterport camera and we're excited to see how we can further use it to benefit our customers. If you are in need of water, fire, or mold damage restoration services, give us a call at (865) 690-9658.
Key Questions that your Business Should Consider when Planning for Disasters
Call SERVPRO before a Disaster, and if a loss does occur, SERVPRO will be there!
Having a disaster impact your business is more than just a minor inconvenience—it is a significant event that can impact your livelihood and even permanently close your business if you are not prepared. Fortunately, through key disaster preparations, you can ensure your recovery will have a much smoother process.
While planning for a disaster isn’t the highlight of a workday, it is definitely important. We know at SERVPRO of West Knoxville it is impossible to predict what type of disaster will occur and when it will occur, but by planning for potential disasters in your workplace you are in a better position to be ready for any kind of loss and/or disaster.
We have come up with 3 key questions that will put your business ahead of others when being prepared for a disaster.
What to Consider When Preparing for a Disaster
Do you have safety efforts in place? The most important thing to consider when it comes to disaster planning is the safety of you and your staff in the moments before and during a disaster. This means it is smart to plan for key things such as evacuation procedures, emergency supplies, and communication plans so you can be certain you are keeping everyone as safe as possible if they are at your business when disaster strikes.
Do you have a restoration team picked out? Starting restoration as quickly as possible after a disaster is key to preventing any secondary damages from occurring due to untreated disaster issues. The faster you can call a restoration company, the better, so it is wise to plan ahead in regard to which company you will trust to get your business back on track. Look for companies that can provide a response at any hour, as well, so you do not have a delay in service.
Do you have a plan for financial recovery? If a disaster is declared in your area, there will be many financial resources available to business owners such as the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program. It is wise to be aware of the financial options available to you so you can apply immediately in the aftermath of a disaster. These funds can be used for all sorts of expenses and are offered at low-interest rates, so they can be of major assistance.
Why Use a Professional for Fire Damage
Knoxville fire damage
What isn’t burned or destroyed in a fire is often in need of serious repair. Fires often leave behind soot, smoke, and water damage. The types of damage you have will ultimately affect the cost of repair.
Comparing the Cost of a DIY Cleanup vs. Hiring a Professional
Things to note when considering whether to clean and repair on your own should include the following:
- If attempting to clean or repair items yourself, safety should be your top priority. Mold from water damage, soot, and other contaminants are toxic and may cause long-term health problems if you don’t protect yourself from exposure. There can also be structural damage or exposed building materials such as asbestos after a fire that present hazards.
- Consider the health risks carefully. While it may seem efficient to clean some items yourself (and you sometimes can take extreme precautions), you should know that asthma and other respiratory conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to toxins.
- Consider the costs of DIY cleaning. If you fail to clean water damage properly, mold can return. If you fail to clean soot thoroughly from air ducts or vents, it can spread throughout your home, re-infecting rooms. If this happens, you will have to pay for a professional to do the job correctly.
Estimating Costs for Types of Fire Damage
The cost of fire damage repair depends on several factors, including whether the affected area is a commercial or residential location, whether there’s both water and fire damage, and the size of the affected area.
Water damage repair in Knoxville can cost between $3 to $4 per square foot to repair. This can include extracting water, removing damaged carpet, and dehumidifying the area. If you have mold from the water damage, repair costs could significantly increase.
Soot damage cleanup often costs an estimated $2,000 to $6,000+. Soot is the residue left from the organic matter that burned. There are two types of smoke-dry and oily. You may be able to launder items affected by dry soot yourself, but a professional must clean oily smoke. *It’s best to have an expert review the damage and type of smoke before completing any DIY laundering, mainly to prevent clogging washing and drying machines with soot.
Smoke damage cleanup can range from $800 to $5,000+ depending on the treatment you select and the extent of the damage. You will likely need a professional to complete a thermal fogging or ozone treatment to remove the smell of smoke from your home, furniture, and fabric materials.
What You’ll Need to Compete a DIY Cleanup
If you decide to clean up fire damage yourself, first read our cleanup tips for fire damage.
If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to clean walls with a disinfectant. If the residue is oily, it will need to be professionally cleaned.
If you have tile flooring, you can likely clean it yourself with a general cleaner. Laminate floors, carpet, and carpet padding will probably need to be replaced. Hardwood floors may need professional refinishing.
Vent and Duct Cleanup
You or a professional will also need to clean air ducts, furnace, and air-conditioning filters to prevent the further spread of soot.
If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to launder drapes, pillows, and fabric as you would frequently, but you should first consult a professional to avoid damaging laundry appliances. If it’s oily soot, you must utilize professional fabric restoration services.
For items that were only exposed to smoke, such as books, you may be able to remove the smell by enclosing them in a plastic bag with charcoal for a few days. The charcoal will absorb the scent.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional
Soot and mold are toxic. When a fire ravages a home or office, it can leave behind the smoke, which can harm your health if you don’t handle it properly. We know how to clean residue and mold effectively, which can help ensure you can get back into your home or office as safely and quickly.
Insurance can be challenging. Our experienced staff members will work alongside you to ensure the insurance process is equitable. We have decades of experience navigating the nuances of insurance claims – plus, we’re an approved smoke and fire damage contractor for many Knoxville insurance companies.
After a fire, make sure you hire a company you can count on to help restore your office or home. You can rely on SERVPRO of West Knoxville to help you restore, repair, and rebuild any residential or commercial property.
If you have a fire, water, or smoke damage, call our experienced professionals at 865-690-9658 to schedule a free estimate.
HOW LONG CAN GERMS LIVE ON SURFACES?
Germs have been rough this year and continue to hit during spring. Reports on the potential dangers of antibiotic-resistant superbugs mingle with discussions of the effectiveness of vaccinations and various other medical interventions. While germs may be too small to be seen with the naked eye, encountering them can have a significant impact on your health, and these microscopic menaces can lie in wait on a wide array of joint surfaces. How long can germs live on surfaces? And what can you do to protect yourself and your health?
HOW LONG CAN GERMS LIVE ON SURFACES?
When germs are on the prowl, no place is safe. Buses, commuter trains, rental cars, and private vehicles transport both people and virulent bacteria. Retail establishments, health clubs, educational institutions, restaurants, hotel rooms, and even cruise ship cabins can shelter germs. Practically anything that you touch can expose you to viruses, putting your health at risk. According to the National Health Service, the lifespan of a germ varies depending on the type of germ and the surface that it is on. How long can bacteria live on surfaces? Below we explore a few common examples.
The common cold is a frequent source of misery. A variety of viruses can trigger it, and like other viruses, cold germs tend to survive for more extended periods on hard, nonporous surfaces like desktops and handrails. On suitable indoor surfaces, cold germs can linger for days, but fortunately, they rarely remain infectious for more than 24 hours. Cold viruses can also thrive on the skin, but their survival time there is generally measured in mere minutes or hours.
Viruses that cause influenza can survive in the air as droplets for hours and live on hard surfaces like phones and keyboards for up to 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses clinging to a tissue can last for about 15 minutes, but germs on the hands tend to fade quickly. Most will be only a minimal threat after five minutes. It may be a small window of time, but influenza germs don’t warn you of their presence and can make you very sick if you’re unlucky enough to encounter them when they’re infectious.
A highly contagious virus that triggers stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea in those unfortunate enough to catch it, a norovirus can spread through small droplets that travel through the air before settling on surfaces like elevator buttons, tabletops, and clothing. While they don’t thrive as successfully on porous materials like tissues and fabrics, noroviruses can survive on hard surfaces for days or weeks if the conditions are favorable.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, the culprits behind dangerous MRSA infections, are unfazed by many of the antibiotics that are effective in combating other staph infections. Like viruses, these germs tend to survive for shorter periods on porous surfaces than they do on nonporous ones, but they’re capable of living for days or weeks on surfaces if the circumstances are right.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM GERMS
Everyone has seen it. If you’ve worked in restaurants or other public venues, you may even have wielded it: the dreaded wet, grey rag. Habitually passed over tabletops between customers with a few desultorily swipes, it is an inadequate weapon when it comes to eradicating germs. But what is required to disinfect a surface?
If you want to kill the germs lurking on a surface, you need to choose an appropriate disinfectant. You also have to apply it correctly. That means saturating the surface with enough of the germ-fighting chemical to get the job done and ensuring that there’s enough contact time (the time when the chemical is on the cover) to allow it to eliminate any germs present. Choosing a low-grade disinfectant or skimping on either saturation or contact time can compromise your germ-fighting efforts, so it’s vital that you select your products carefully and read and follow their directions.
How to get rid of Mold
Mold Damage Knoxville
Have you ever heard anyone exclaim, "I love mold!" and then proudly give you a tour of their home, pointing out the spots where the beloved mold exists? No. No, you have not. That's because no one likes mold, and people sure as heck don't want it in their home!
But it happens. Mold is everywhere! Literally. And there's just one element that helps mold manifest itself into those ugly black spores that most people are familiar with. That one thing—is moisture.
One solution to thwarting a potential mold problem is ventilation. Here are some suggestions on where to ventilate and how to do it properly.
Steps To Take:
Now dehumidifiers can help control the moisture, but eliminating any water leaks or standing water throughout the house is a must. It's a good idea to inspect your home to see if you've had any recent water damage that would lead to producing mold. (For what to look for regarding possible water damage in your home, read here.)
Controlling the moisture in your home is a good start because, as we know, moisture = mold. However, proper ventilation will help keep your home, and those areas are known to love moisture, such as your bathroom and attic, dry.
Where To Ventilate:
Speaking of your bathroom, being that most are typically small and enclosed, the moisture from hot showers and baths (especially if you keep the door closed) can be a breeding ground for mold. This is one room where fans and vents should be a given. Luckily they're easy to install too. Just make sure that the vent, if it goes through the attic, that it doesn't stop there—it continues through the roof. Otherwise, you're just guiding the air to another enclosed area.
The attic is another spot where you will need ventilation, or you could end up with mold throughout your insulation, wood, and duct space. Some tips for attic ventilation are:
- Make sure your ductwork is sealed to prevent blowing warm moist air into the attic.
- Seal off where your recessed lights are or purchase sealed recessed cans.
- If portions of your insulation have eroded down, don't pile more on top of it, remove it and place new insulation in its place.
- Instead of a turbine or fan venting system, perhaps go with a soffit and ridge system. Soffits allow air intake at the lowest point of the roof, where a ridge vent is a ventilation strip placed along the ridgeline of the roof and allows heat to escape up and out of the attic. Plus, there are no moving parts with a soffit and ridge ventilation system.
Similar to the bathrooms, kitchens also need ventilation systems, and they need to go up and out of the home, rather than into the attic or the walls. You also want to make sure you choose the best hood for your stove. Whether you have a standard or high-performance stove, or if your oven contains a grill, the shade best suited for your furnace will vary.
Due to the difficulty of keeping air moving and proper ventilation in basements, they are a common area for mold growth. An unvented basement will produce condensation, forming puddles, which in turn will become a breeding ground for mold. To combat this issue, concentrate on maintaining the moisture levels in your basement by using a dehumidifier.
On top of all the tips above, make sure you educate yourself about your area's climate and how it responds to moisture. And remember, mold and mold prevention is not one-size-fits-all; sometimes, moisture problems require more complex solutions, and sources of moisture may be hidden.
If you discover you have mold in your home, for goodness sake, DON'T let it go untreated. Also, be sure to call the professionals to remediate your home correctly. If you believe you have a mold problem, call a company that is licensed and trained in mold remediation, such as SERVPRO of West Knoxville
When fire, flood, or storm damage occurs to your Knoxville residential or commercial property, contact SERVPRO of West Knoxville—a restoration company you can trust to get the job done professionally and efficiently, to your expectations, satisfaction guaranteed.
Prepare Your Business
Knoxville Fire Damage
8 Steps to Prepare My Business for a Disaster
Roughly 40% of businesses impacted by a disaster won’t survive because they didn’t have a recovery plan in place. The stunning wave of problems that arise in the aftermath of an accident can derail the unprepared. Please don’t get caught off guard when it comes to being well prepared for disaster. Although nobody likes to think about it, disaster can strike—from the devastating aftermath of a destructive tornado to the inconvenience of a burst pipe or hot water heater, and disaster can come.
At SERVPRO of West Knoxville, we know that you want to be a successful business owner. In order to do that, you need to minimize the risk of downtime that a disaster can cause. The problem is that without a plan disaster could have a detrimental effect on your organization. That’s a stressful position to be in, and it’s avoidable with some forethought and planning.
Don’t get caught off guard. Get disaster plan steps in place before disaster strikes.
1. Take an objective look at your overall risk
Look internally and externally at your risk.
- Common risks—Power outage, human error, and failed technology can all present disasters that put your business at risk.
- Weather-related risks—Storms, tornadoes, and floods are all a possibility when you live in Knoxville—and businesses need to be prepared.
- Fire—The risk of fire should be planned for no matter your location in the U.S. The devastating effects of smoke damage alone can hit a business hard.
2. Evaluate your business’s most critical daily operations
Make a note of all vital aspects.
- Payroll, billing, and service fulfillment constitute critical functions.
- Determine a process for restoring them in case of disaster.
- What equipment and materials are vital to your daily operations?
3. Decide where you can relocate if the need arises
“Plan B” needs to be in place.
- To continue your primary business operations, where can you locate that if your building suffers a disaster?
- Make a note of your alternate location such as your home, another branch, or a nearby business vendor, and decide on a plan for recovery.
4. Stay current on backing up your data
Avoid devastating loss of data.
- A daily backup is a good idea to keep your information safe.
- Keep your data offsite, so it remains secure if your business experiences disaster.
- Test your data retrieval capabilities to verify your backup system is working.
- Plan how you would replace vital technology such as computers and printers if they were destroyed.
5. Talk with your vendors
It’s always better to make a disaster plan and not need it than it is to need a plan and not have one.
- Talk through what you would do to continue receiving the materials your business needs after a disaster.
- Develop a relationship with additional vendors in case it is necessary.
6. Store emergency food and water in case of disaster
Get practical things in order.
- It’s wise to keep nonperishable food and bottled water on hand in case of an emergency.
- In addition to food and water, gather the following and have them located in an emergency kit in case of disaster: flashlights, batteries, a radio, cash, passwords, other vital documents, and a first aid kit.
7. Admonish your employees to have a disaster plan in place
Ask employees to prepare an emergency plan for themselves and their loved ones.
- Your greatest asset is your employees. When planning for disasters, if you get everything in place for your building, but not your employees, there’s trouble ahead.
- Please work with your employees on their disaster plans so their recovery time from disaster will be minimized.
- Implement a plan for communicating with your employees if disaster strikes.
8. Develop a communication plan in case of disaster
Be sure to deliver the program in advance so everyone is aware of it.
- You, your staff, and your vendors should implement a plan for communication in case a disaster causes your phones to stop working.
- Make a hard copy of email addresses, phone numbers, and, if necessary, physical addresses of your staff and vendors. Store it away from your building in case disaster strikes.
At SERVPRO of West Knoxville, we’ve seen how a disaster can bring significant downtime. We’ve also worked with hundreds of business owners and property managers to ensure they are prepared and covered in case of an emergency.
We believe that businesses should be able to recover quickly and effectively in the case of disaster. Here’s how simple it is to implement our services ahead of time, so you’re ready if disaster strikes:
- Call and talk with our team.
- Get a complete assessment and recommendation.
- Be covered in case of disaster.
Restore your commercial property and recover your business
SERVPRO of West Knoxville is prepared to address your commercial property’s emergency restoration needs promptly, and our team draws from over 50 years of experience. We provide a variety of commercial property restoration services, including:
- Storm damage restoration—We remove fallen trees for your safety. We provide quick, temporary, safe roof repairs, and offer a temporary power supply when needed.
- Cleaning and contents management—We preserve relevant paperwork, clean fabric, and protect fragile items in the aftermath of the disaster.
- Water damage restoration—We restore your business after water damage, including water extraction, drying, and dehumidifying.
- Fire and smoke restoration—Our team eliminates smoke residue and deodorizes commercial buildings.
- Mold remediation—We eliminate mold and prevent any future mold growth.
WEATHER WARNINGS ON THE GO
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. There is no sign-up required. Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during a threatening weather emergency.
When you receive a WEA, follow any action advised by the emergency message, especially if it involves an immediate evacuation. Seek more details from your preferred television or radio station, NOAA Weather Radio, or another trusted source of information.
How Proactive Plumbing Maintenance Can Save You Money
Taking care of your plumbing system on a regular basis also helps everything run more smoothly
Being proactive in avoiding plumbing problems is crucial to the well-being of your Rocky Hill, TN, business. When you give your plumbing system the attention it needs, you can avoid paying for costly repairs and replacements. Regular plumbing maintenance therefore helps you save money in a number of ways. Here are some of the main ways you can reduce your expenses by being proactive about plumbing maintenance.
Solves Problems Right Away
Any plumbing issues that arise can cause serious damage to your business. Even if they seem like minor concerns at first, they may cause bigger problems if you don’t address them right away. Some major problems that may lead to significant repairs include:
- Burst pipes
- Toilet overflow
The faster you detect these problems, the faster you can solve them. Taking care of plumbing problems as soon as possible helps you cut down on costs significantly.
Helps Plumbing Run Smoothly
Taking care of your plumbing system on a regular basis also helps everything run more smoothly. When you promptly address any leaks or blockages, you can help water travel from the water main to your pipes more quickly. This increased flow rate causes your appliances to work more efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
Prevents You From Losing Customers
If your business is riddled with constant plumbing issues, your customers may eventually begin to notice. If you have an overflowing toilet or a broken pipe, they might choose to visit another business that has a properly functioning plumbing system. Practicing regular plumbing maintenance can therefore help you avoid losing money as a result of your customers leaving.
No matter what type of plumbing problems you’re dealing with, they can lead to severe damage in your business if they aren’t properly taken care of. If you’re dealing with any form of loss as a result of plumbing issues, contact emergency restoration services as soon as possible.
Recovering From Water Damage After a Commercial Fire
Fire damage in Northshore Town Center, TN
When fire strikes your commercial building, the results can be devastating for any number of reasons. Flames, extreme heat, and smoke damage can cause extensive damage to a building and its contents, but the efforts from extinguishing the fire can be equally detrimental. Firefighters will indiscriminately spray the area with thousands of gallons of water, and fire sprinklers will saturate entire rooms to put the fire out. Working with professional water cleanup experts in Northshore Town Center, TN, can help get your building up and running more quickly after a fire.
Water Restoration Process
While fire cleanup and smoke cleanup are imperative parts of the fire recovery process, water cleanup offers unique challenges due to the possibility of mold growth. Ensuring proper cleanup from water damage involves a number of steps, including:
- Inspection: determines the extent of the damage and helps lay out a unique cleanup process
- Water extraction: removes all surface flooding plus saturation of furniture and other items
Drying: ensures the space and all items are thoroughly dehumidified to reduce the risk of mold growth and warping
- Cleaning: sanitizes all affected areas for safe, odor-free occupancy and usage
- Restoration: repairs any weakened areas in walls, flooring, or other areas
Water Removal Equipment and Methods
The water cleanup process is a highly technical procedure that is imperative to the restoration of the building and its contents. Industrial-strength wet vacuums are almost always needed, and in extreme cases submersible pumps will be used. Moisture detectors and hygrometers will help determine if additional water is hidden out of sight. Industrial air circulators and dehumidifiers will then be used to remove excess moisture hidden in walls and other porous surfaces. Finally, industrial air scrubbers, antimicrobial treatments, and disinfectants will clean the air and affected areas by removing mold spores, odors, and other potential germs.
Commercial fires can be a major financial burden well after the incident. Ensuring proper cleanup can get your business up and running again quickly and safely.
How To Guard Against Flooding During Construction
When constructing a new building in Hardin Valley, TN, it is important to watch out for flooding
When constructing a new building in Hardin Valley, TN, it is important to watch out for flooding, as it can lead to time-consuming and costly delays. The use of quality materials and quick water pipe repair can help you ensure the safety of your workers, the building and the overall project.
Every step of the construction process needs to be monitored for high quality materials and practices. This can help you foresee potential flooding issues and help you prevent problems caused by a broken pipe. Quality control can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Devise a formal plan. Consult engineers and other experts to make sure your building materials and water system will work together well, and have an emergency plan just in case a leak occurs.
- Set up a drainage system. The time for planning how water is to be directed is before you need it, not after.
- Hire a quality manager. There needs to be someone whose main job is to make sure everyone, including subcontractors, are sticking to the quality control plan throughout the whole project.
During construction, a building is in its most vulnerable state. Be in a position to make necessary water pipe repair quickly. Have a trusted plumber and water mitigation experts on speed dial.
Test your building's susceptibility to water damage at every phase of construction to avoid a flooded building in the future. When pipes are going in, make sure your pumps are functioning properly and directing excess water where it needs to go. Make sure that pipes along exterior walls have extra insulation to prevent them from freezing in winter, and test to ensure they are equipped to withstand it before you close the wall completely. Once the roof is on, test to see if it's waterproof and make necessary repairs.
How well your building withstands water damage after it's built is a direct result of how much effort you put into making sure the necessary water pipe repair and adjustments are made during construction. Monitor and test for weaknesses throughout the process.
What Causes Mold Regrowth?
Moisture, high levels of humidity and the structure of mold spores can all affect mold growth.
Mold growth is a major problem in many businesses in Farragut, TN and many business owners are frustrated to see mold growing back in certain areas after it has seemingly been removed. However, there are various reasons mold tends to grow back in businesses.
One of the primary reasons mold regrows in particular areas has to do with the amount of moisture. If a particular area has been affected by water damage, quickly removing the water often isn’t enough. It’s often helpful to ensure that areas stay dry long after the initial water has been removed, as moisture left behind can make it significantly easier for mold to return.
The airflow in a business can affect whether or not mold regrows. With too little airflow in a building, levels of high humidity can occur and accelerate the rate of mold growth. However, too much airflow can also increase the rate at which spores spread. In order to know what level of airflow would benefit your business and make it more difficult for mold to regrow, it’s often helpful to speak with mold remediation experts.
3. Structure of the Spores
In addition to high levels of moisture and humidity and significant airflow, the structure of the mold spores also affects mold’s ability to regrow in a particular area. Hyphae are thin, strand-like structures that are present in fungi. The hyphae are solid enough to shield the spores of mold from dissipating and the hyphae’s thin strands also help to promote the spread of the mold spores. Removing every individual mold spore is neither possible or beneficial, but the combination of a humid environment with too much or too little airflow and the spores’ structure makes it easy for regrowth to occur.
Moisture, high levels of humidity and the structure of mold spores can all affect mold growth. By understanding the factors that make mold more likely to grow, you can take measurements to prevent both growth and regrowth in your business.
Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance?
Smoke damage in a Knoxville, TN building
If your commercial building or one adjacent to yours recently sustained a fire, and you are left dealing with smoke-related damage, you may be worried about making a claim with your insurance company. Is smoke damage a covered loss? Read on to learn everything you need to know about smoke claims to put your mind at ease.
Soot Damage and Insurance
In most cases, damage from smoke will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. This is even the case if the fire occurred at a company right next to yours. However, there are some steps you need to take to properly file your claim and increase the chances of it being accepted. They are as follows:
- Contact your insurance company to report the smoke damage and file a claim.
- Assess your loss and prepare a smoke cleanup plan with the help of professionals.
- Record proof of any damage and repairs through photographs, receipts and other documents.
- Prepare for the insurance adjuster to arrive for surveying purposes.
Following the steps above will increase the chances of restoring your property as best as you can. Having a solid plan in place will also make it more likely that your insurance company will approve your claim.
Smoke Cleaning Assistance
As you can see above, creating an action plan for cleanup is one of the most important parts of this entire claims and restoration process. A reliable Knoxville, TN, fire damage restoration company should be able to arrive on an emergency basis, assess the situation and help you build a cleanup plan that will likely include reducing odors and eliminating smoke from your building.
Smoke damage isn’t always easy to deal with, and communication with your insurance provider can be even more frustrating. Following the steps above and knowing where to turn for cleanup help can make your business’s post-fire future more positive.
Under Construction: How To Prevent Water Damage
Water damage in Farragut, TN
A building doesn’t have to be fully constructed to have water damage. Construction projects are often delayed by water pipe repair and the subsequent damages a busted pipe causes. To keep your construction business in Farragut, TN, as profitable as possible, you want to prevent the flooding you can and mitigate the rest quickly.
The Cost of Damage
Any delay during a project can cost you money. When you have to stop construction because of a broken pipe, there are several expenses involved:
- Extra labor needed to conduct the repair and rebuild the damaged area
- Mitigation charges from professional water remediation services
- Additional materials needed to rebuild the damaged section
Non-monetary costs of the delay may include damage to your reputation and potentially impatient client response. Your insurance may cover some of the financial burden, but repairing the relationship with your client is your responsibility alone.
The Prevention of Damage
Timely water pipe repair is a great solution, but it’s even better to avoid flooding in the first place. Before construction begins, create a plan for careful on-site water management. Institute a drainage system, and test pumps and plumbing before major work begins. During construction, it’s easy to let your plan fall to the wayside, so hire people to make sure your team follows the guidelines you set forth. They should monitor piping systems and help keep the air pressure in the pipes under control. Finally, keep water mitigation specialists on speed dial to ensure that, if there is a problem, you can get it resolved before a large area of your site is flooded.
Preventing water damage at your construction site increases the chance that you may never have to worry about water pipe repair. By keeping water sources closely monitored and structuring drainage systems wisely, you are more likely to stay on schedule, and that helps you please your client.
Keeping Wind Damage in Check
Cover your roof with a tarp to help control water damage in your Bearden,TN building
When the weather turns ugly in Bearden, 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.
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH PREPARE NOW
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 West Knoxville 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
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
Standards for Mold Cleaning
Remediating mold can be a serious matter in Knoxville, TN, or anywhere mold grows.
Remediating mold can be a serious matter in Knoxville, TN, or anywhere mold grows, and actually, that is anywhere indoors or outdoors where there is darkness, nutrition, moisture and a surface for it to spread. Some professionals are allied with Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), a nonprofit organization of industry professionals that develops and upholds mold standards. Moreover, OSHA and the EPA offer guidelines for mold remediation but offer no federal certification programs. Some states, however, may require particular training and/or certification.
Regulatory Agencies for Mold
• Though there are no federal regulatory standards with regard to mold or established safe levels, publications from the EPA can be helpful in learning about why it is important to mold clean and the most effective and safe ways to do so in public buildings.
• OSHA publishes bulletins that offer guidelines and recommended procedures when undertaking mold remediation in commercial buildings. The use of personal protection equipment and containment of contaminated materials are subjects covered in OSHA publications.
Industry Professionals Set the Standards
Mold standards, then, are subject to ongoing examination and development by experts in the field of mold remediation. Professional knowledge of best practices informs the methods used by businesses contracted to do this kind of work, and the IICRC is the recognized body for certification. Hiring a firm designated by the IICRC can offer the peace of mind building managers seek when confronted with a mold problem that requires the services of professionals. Black mold can be particularly alarming, but like any of the other hundreds of mold found throughout the country, it can be safely and effectively remediated by experts in the field.
The good news is that in the absence of government-designated mold standards, there is a deeply reputable independent organization of industry professionals dedicated to the integrity of the field of mold remediation. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwestknoxvillefarragut.com/.
Winter Season is Here
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. Many people use alternative heat sources like
fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to help keep homes cozy. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a
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 your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
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 West Knoxville encounter hoarding situations in several different ways. Often, SERVPRO® of West Knoxville is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. A
SERVPRO® of West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO® of West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville today
Improve Your Air Quality
HVAC Cleaning Knoxville
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 West Knoxville’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 West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville Duct Cleaning
The system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of West Knoxville 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
- 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
For more information on duct
cleaning or to schedule an appointment,
contact your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville.
Prioritizing Commercial Cleaning During the Winter in Knoxville
Keep your Knoxville business clean during the winter months and your customers and employees will thank you!
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL
The winter months pose challenges to keeping your Knoxville business clean and dry. Snow and ice from winter storms affect floors, windows, parking areas, and roofs, while the cold and sickness affect how your staff feels and can slow down their ability to be productive.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN
You may be tempted to skip window washing services during the winter due to those frequent storms in the Knoxville area, but the aftermath of those storms is the very reason you need to keep them clean. Dirty windows are cloudy, reducing the amount of sunlight allowed into the office and customer spaces, while less passive heat will make it inside when exterior windows are not clear. Natural light boosts the moods of both your employees and customers and promotes healthy productivity and activity levels, while any passive warmth your business receives will lower heating costs. A boost of bright sunlight from the windows can breathe new life into your workspaces during those gloomy winter months, and that's not all! Sunlight also helps to dry any slick, wet floors and helps to keep excess moisture under control. Maintaining the cleanliness of your windows during the winter months will lighten the mood and make a good impression on your customers.
KEEPING THE TEAM HEALTHY AND HAPPY
Spread by viruses, flu and the common cold run rampant during the winter months. Cleaning and disinfecting your office equipment regularly, especially those handled routinely by your staff, such as phones and keyboards, countertops, tables, doorknobs and public areas, is vital to preventing the spread of germs. Commercial cleaning services can get the job done for you with eco-friendly products that will leave your office smelling fresh and clean while alleviating concerns about noxious chemicals lingering in the office atmosphere. Keeping viral and bacterial germs under control prevents sickness and reduces the loss of productivity due to employee absences.
A BIT OF GREEN
An office here in Knoxville can get stuffy and suffer from air quality issues during the winter while the windows and doors remain closed, but the problem can be handled by installing an air cleaner and adding plants to the office. Research done by NASA in 1989 showed that houseplants remove toxins from the air, keeping it fresh and healthful. Many plants thrive in the low-light conditions common in offices, and placing live green plants in work areas, customer areas and break rooms brings a touch of nature inside, helping to lighten the mood while also preventing poor air quality.
Wet, dirty floors can pose safety hazards for both your customers and your staff. Having your bare floors mopped and carpets vacuumed on a regular basis will help to avoid mishaps. Not only does it prevent people from slipping and falling on floors that may be wet or dirty, but it also keeps air moisture levels down, which can help greatly prevent mold growth! While your own office team may need to mop customer areas frequently throughout the day to prevent any safety issues, a cleaning service here in Knoxville can shampoo carpets or polish floors after business hours. They can also share best practices with you on how to keep your floors hazard-free and looking good during the day.
Keeping your business clean could be the best New Year’s resolution you will make! We here at SERVPRO of West Knoxville/ Farragut are here to help with all of your commercial cleaning, water damage, fire damage, and mold clean up needs in 2018. Give us a call at (865) 690-9658 or visit http://www.SERVPROwestknoxvillefarragut.com/ and let us help you get off to a great, clean start this 2018!
Answering the Call
Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage
When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction in Texas the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut 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 West Knoxville, are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.
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
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 business's daily operations.
Removing Pathogens and Hazard Communications From Your Business
SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has added to its long list of certifications, by attending the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists, sponsored and certified by the IICRC. Max Pope, Operations Manager with SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord, attended the four-day training course, which covered Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazard Communications, Respiratory Protection, and Lockout/Tagout Awareness.
SERVPRO cleans all kinds of losses in Knoxville, TN, including crime scenes and trauma scenes, where bloodborne pathogens and dangerous contaminations can present a risk for clients, tenants, technicians, and the general public. Even if a loss of life did not occur, there can still be dangerous risks when bodily fluids are present.
Strict adherence to OSHA guidelines and IICRC standards must be met when dealing with these circumstances.
Find out more about these services here.
2017 Resolution: Plan Ahead
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 West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville 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.