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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Safely Dealing With Contaminated Water

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet in Smith Springs, TN.

Tips for Dealing With Contaminated Water Safely

When water enters your home uninvited, it can be tainted with any number of unwanted pollutants. Some types of water damage might be relatively harmless to you and your family, but others may pose a real threat and require professional intervention. The three categories of contaminated water include:


• Category 1 – Water that is clean and free from contaminants that could be harmful to humans.
• Category 2 – Sometimes called grey water, this water contains physical, chemical or biological impurities that can be considered hazardous.
• Category 3 – Also known as black water, this water is heavily polluted with any variety of dangerous toxins, including human waste.

Source Before Color

While each classification may include references to color, do not judge the problem on color alone. The source of the water entering your residence can be crucial when it comes to determining which category of contamination is present. For example, a seeping toilet may appear to be only leaking clear water, but that water could be flowing from a tainted supply line. There may be unseen fecal contaminants that could place this water damage firmly in Category 3.

Safety Before Solutions

Finding the source of the contaminated water is a great way to determine what kind of problem you may have, but it may not be the safest course of action for you and your family. Discovering you have a Category 1 water issue from an overflowing bath may be straightforward, but safely assessing the source of a Category 3 leak can be hazardous work, and consulting with a professional is always prudent. If your bathtub is overflowing, for example, feel free to step away from this article and turn off the tap, but if you suspect (or are unsure) that your water leak could be polluted, take more cautious measures and contact the professionals immediately.

It is important to remember that there are several different categories of water contamination, and while you may feel confident in handling some problems on your own in Smith Springs, TN, it is always prudent to consult with a water contamination expert when dealing with contaminated water.

Protect Your Commercial Kitchen From Fire Damage With These Tips

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Fire in Commercial Kitchen While Cooking Fire in a Commercial Kitchen While Cooking

If you own a restaurant, bar or commercial kitchen in Antioch, TN or Nashboro Village, TN, reducing fire risk is critical to continued profitable operation. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fire departments responded to over 7,410 structure fires in the kitchen of restaurants and bars in 2017 alone. Most of these fires were preventable, resulting in three deaths, 110 injuries, and $165 million in property damage annually in commercial kitchens. These tips will help keep you and your staff safe while preventing shutdowns due to fire code violations.


What Are My Ducting and Air Movement Requirements to Prevent Fire?

While Chapter 7 of the NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations covers this extensively, here are a few key items to keep in mind.

First, commercial kitchen ducts should never pass-through firewalls, share an exhaust system with the building ventilation, or have obstructed access panels. While doing these things on a commercial kitchen remodel can save costs in the short term, the fire risk increases significantly. If disregarded, your commercial kitchen work will likely not pass inspection.

Make sure to maintain a minimum clearance of 18 inches between combustible materials and the kitchen ducts. This standard is based on Section 4.2 of the NFPA 96, however is one of the easiest to disregard once the kitchen is operational. Ducts can build up high levels of radiant heat that can ignite combustible materials like boxes, cups, plates, utensils, or other kitchen materials.

If you would like additional information on the types of combustible and non-combustible materials that should and shouldn't be kept near the duct, consult Chapter 3 of the NFPA.

What Are My Commercial Kitchen Fire Extinguisher Requirements?

"The NFPA 96 requires automated fire suppression equipment for all grease removal devices, hood exhaust plenums, and exhaust duct systems in a commercial kitchen, as well as any cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors." - Koorsen Fire & Security

The NFPA 96 requires use of class K fire extinguishers in conjunction with automatic fire extinguishing systems. These extinguishers also require installed placards stating their extinguisher class. However, in the case of a commercial kitchen fire, it's critical to activate the automatic fire extinguisher system before using portable-type extinguishers. This is because high-efficiency cooking appliances in many modern commercial kitchens are capable of achieving high temperatures that can raise the vegetable oils to intensely high temperatures. When oil ignites at these high temperatures, it can already be so hot that a portable extinguisher is not enough to stop the flames.

Another standard that you should familiarize yourself with is the UL 300 standard.

According to this article by Insureon, a kitchen’s cooking equipment must meet these UL 300 requirements:

  • Fire-extinguishing nozzles in the hood, ducts, and above each cooking appliance
  • An automatic fuel shut-off capabilities for both gas and electric power sources
  • A manual fuel shut-off pull for all power sources
  • A wet-chemical fire-extinguishing system that meets UL 300 criteria (one of which is undergoing semiannual checkups by a certified professional)

If you need immediate assistance after a fire, our teams are available 24/7/365. With our promise of being Faster to Any Size Disaster, you can count on SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville to be there when it counts. Call us today at (615) 731-4222 for rapid assistance.

Easy Steps To Take To Stop a Constantly Flushing Toilet

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Constant toilet flushing A toilet that won't stop flushing can be frustrating.

Simple Steps to Stop a Constantly Flushing Toilet

Whether it is a toilet overflow or a toilet that will not stop flushing in Nashboro Village, TN, both can be equally frustrating problems to deal with. Here are the steps to take for both an automatic and manual flushometer to stop a constantly flushing toilet.

1. Shut Off the Flushometer

The first step to resolving the issue for a manual flusher is to shut the flushometer off. There will be a spot where you can use a flat screwdriver on both sides of the flushometer. Using the screwdriver, turn the slot to turn off the water completely; this will help you avoid a toilet flood as you work to fix the problem.

2. Remove the Top

The next step is to remove the top of the toilet. If you are dealing with a manual flushometer, you must use a wrench to unscrew the lid. It is wise to do this as soon as possible to avoid toilet overflow.

3. Clean the Gasket

Remove the flange cover. Once you do that, you will see a gasket loaded with sediment. Take the gasket out and clean it thoroughly, including the weep hole found on the gasket. Follow all the two preceding steps in reverse order now that the gasket is clean, and this should stop a toilet from flushing.

4. Clean the Diaphragm

If you are working with an automatic flushometer, you simply hold down the chrome button until you hear two clicks that are two seconds apart. If you hear the clicks, you need to clean out the diaphragm kit, which is found when you remove the top of the flushometer.

5. Tighten Solenoid

The final step is to tighten the solenoid. Then observe whether there are any missing bowl rings or if any of them are double stacked. If so, you’ll need to replace or remove them.

Follow the steps above to fix an automatic or manual flushometer that won’t stop running. However, if you have experienced a toilet overflow or a flooded bathroom in your property, contact commercial building restoration services as soon as possible.

Why Trust SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville’s Restoration Team

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Trucks on the jobsite SERVPRO Trucks on a jobsite

Here at SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville we pride ourselves on getting and keeping quality, qualified team members that can be trusted with large loss jobs on the smallest scale to large-territory catastrophic loss in Nashville, TN, Smith Springs, TN and more. Maintaining an average of 150 personnel over three divisions, and multiple states – here are the strategic ways that we maintain the talent that you need, when you need it so that we can always be….here to help.

Restoration Team Onboarding

One of the things that makes SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville an industry leader in commercial large loss restoration, starts with our extensive onboarding program. Every new employee goes through onboarding which includes the history of SERVPRO (did you know we have been around since 1967?) Our family-grounded roots, on-the-job training (OJT) with other divisions, from when you first call about property damage, until we walk the final job with you and make sure that you are happy, and all of the logistics that go on in between.

Quality Property Damage Repair Training

All our restoration professionals attend, complete, and pass IICRC training – the science behind drying. We also have in-house training bays, where new technicians can learn the proper way to test and remove drywall, learn how our equipment operates, and practice restoration skills before they are moved into live property damage events. 

Continued Restoration Certifications

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery is a career path for our industry professionals, as our certified experts continue with training throughout their SERVPRO careers. Here is a sampling of some of the many certifications that we offer to our staff to ensure that you have the highest level of adept professionals, restoring your business quickly and safely so that you can get back to doing, what you do best.

WRT – Water Damage Restoration Technicians

AMRT – Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians

ASD – Applied Structural Drying

CDS – Commercial Drying Specialist

FSRT – Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician

ICRA – Infectious Control Risk Assessment

Our experts are trained in advanced restoration technology and techniques.

Property Restoration Team Coaching

We tend to attract lifetime learners because that is what we are! With every day and every job being completely different (from the pigeon that caught a building on fire with a lit cigarette – True Story! to the bride on her wedding day, who hung her wedding gown on a sprinkler head on the 17th floor of her hotel – TRUE STORY!), we must stay on our toes!

Our technicians are coached daily in safety meetings (before entering your property) along with weekly, scheduled coaching sessions. We want our guys and gals to have the confidence and expertise to handle any mold, water, or fire damage situation, no matter how unique, so they are empowered to do whatever it takes to keep your business doors open, if possible, in the event of a disaster.

Commercial Restoration Management Expertise

Our management team is one of the best in the industry, don’t take our word for it either! Our employee reviews and quarterly SWOTs give us this information on an ongoing basis. Don’t be surprised if you see a Director, President, or CEO walking your affected area with one of our skilled Project Managers. Our management team’s willingness to get in the trenches with our crews is one of the many things that make us exceptional and set us apart.

Family Work Environment

While we may be a large-scale $40M Disaster Recovery Team uniquely qualified to handle any size loss, our strong beliefs and value systems are built on our grass-roots family environment. And we care for our customers with that same “family” heart.

Growth Opportunities for Restoration Professionals

Because we hold the lifetime learner in such high regard, there are growth opportunities available to every SERVPRO employee! Our current President and Vice President started with a SERVPRO in their teenage years as water technicians. We understand our industry unlike any other, we created the blueprint, and we have been recreating it ever since.

Here to Help for All of Your Property Damage Needs

Our team members have been built, like a machine with a heart to respond fast, to care, to do the right thing, and do it with excellence.

We are proud when our team is called to respond to one of your bad days. Because personally, we know you are in the best hands in the industry, and it is about to get better.

If you or someone you know wants to start an amazing career OR if you simply want to know more about protecting your facility from a disaster, contact me via email.

Heather Featherstone – Director of Sales and Marketing

7-year SERVPRO Lifetime Learner

Heather.Featherstone@here2help.com

Nashville Christmas Tree Fire Prevention

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Christmas Tree in Nashville Christmas Tree

Christmas is here in Nashville, TN and fully loaded with the wonderful sights, sounds, and aromas! Music fills the house with the melodic joys of years gone by and those to come. Traditionally, a Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the family’s holiday. The tree is colorful and adorned with memories and beauty that we wait all year to see. If your family purchases live trees, the fragrance of Christmas fills the room with holiday cheer. The gifts underneath say that family is the real present of the season. SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville celebrates that treasure with you, because we believe that family is everything!

The Fire Damage Threat

The National Fire Prevention Association (nfpa.org) states that Christmas trees are the cause of an average of 160 house fires per year. The trees and needles are rich with highly flammable oils that can combust easily. Couple that dynamic with the oxygen in the large surface area, and porous structure of the tree, and you have a beautiful natural threat to your home without the proper caution and care. Additionally, short circuits in cheaply made Christmas lights are capable of igniting a fire that can quickly get out of control and cause real fire damage to your home and family. Even LED lights can get hot enough to catch fire.

Christmas Tree Safety Measures to Prevent Fire

If you enjoy live Christmas trees, make sure to take the appropriate safety measures to limit the possibilities of home fire damage this season. Keep your tree appropriately watered as the dryer the condition, the more flammable. Purchase quality lights and make sure that they are safely connected to each other and the electrical source. Install trees away from wood burning fireplaces, candles, heaters, and stoves. Also, keep your trees as far away as possible from hent vents. Turn off the lights when you sleep or are away from home. Finally, keep a fire extinguisher in the rooms where your trees are displayed.

Rock Around that Tannenbaum

At SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville, we hope your season is truly joyous and peaceful. In the hustle and bustle of the season, remember to be present and fully take in every sweet moment.  As you enjoy your family and friends, rest in the fact that you took every precaution to protect what is most important to you this holiday season! We wish all our valued SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville customers and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How to Keep Your Office's Toilet From Clogging and Overflowing

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet Clogged toilet.

How to Keep the Toilet in Your Office from Clogging and Overflowing

Every office becomes inconvenienced when there’s a clogged toilet. You can prevent this from happening at your business in Nashville, TN by following some key recommendations. Overflow Causes

If it’s already too late, these major causes may be the source of your problem:

  • A blocked vent pipe. When external air is unable to enter, flushing becomes impossible. This can usually be cured using a plumber’s snake.
  • A jammed up drain. In these instances, the bowl can overfill. Such obstacles are typically handled with plungers.
  • A broken float mechanism. When this device becomes too high, your tank fills with excess water, causing spillage. Solving this may require a simple adjustment. Otherwise, the entire component could need replacement.

An overflowing or otherwise clogged toilet can always be repaired, but your best option is to avoid the messy situation altogether.

Overflow Prevention
Flushing items other than toilet paper is one major cause of toilet overflow. Common culprits include paper towels, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Post signage that reminds employees of proper disposal procedure. Excessive toilet paper can also trigger sewage catastrophe, so include wording that encourages multiple flushes. To reduce temptation, equip your bathrooms with ample wastebaskets. Additionally, consider stocking thinner toilet paper. While less comfortable, it will also save you money.
Blockages sometimes stem from compromised sewer lines, often caused by tree roots. When this happens, a plumber becomes necessary. Eliminating growths is expensive and time-intensive, so use an off-the-shelf solution to inhibit roots before they arise. Stoppages can also be caused by hard water, which creates difficult-to-remove calcifications. Regularly use water softeners to alleviate this issue. Low flush commodes can be problematic because they generate low water pressure. If clogging persists, you might need to install different toilets.
Easy, preventative measures can keep your company’s toilets running smoothly. Should a clogged toilet disable your restroom, however, hire a commercial cleaning team to get your facility looking “Like it never even happened.”

Three Types of Smoke Cleaning

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal Thermal fogging directly addresses removing smoke.

Three Methods of Smoke Cleaning

Smoke damage can be a lingering problem for your Nashville, TN business. Fortunately, there are a variety of smoke removal techniques on the market today. The following are three of the most common methods of smoke cleaning:

1. Air Filtration
Air filtration devices are a method of smoke removal that generally does not require professional help. There are a variety of machines available. Ones with HEPA or activated carbon filters are particularly effective. Unlike air fresheners and candles that simply mask the odor, filters trap the smoke particles so that they are no longer circulating throughout your property. Make sure to clean the filter according to the manufacturer's directions for best results.

2. Ozone Treatment
Ozone treatments are another popular method of smoke cleaning. Ozone eliminates smoke odor through a process known as oxidation. Due to the chemical structure of ozone, there are extra oxygen atoms available to attach to smoke particles. When the oxygen atoms and smoke particles combine, a new molecule is created. The new molecule does not emit a smoky smell. Ozone can be dangerous, so you may want to hire a professional. They have the knowledge and experience to make sure your property is protected and that it is safe for you, your employees and customers to return to the building.

3. Thermal Fogging
The heat from a fire causes porous surfaces to expand. After the fire is extinguished, the surfaces contract. Smoke particles often get trapped within these surfaces. Thermal fogging directly addresses this problem by re-heating the area being treated, causing the affected surfaces to expand once more. This allows the deodorizing material to reach into all areas that the smoke was able to penetrate.
Smoke cleaning and other aspects of the fire restoration process may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced restoration service can help you get your business back to preloss condition quickly and safely.

How Bad is Water Damage to my House? Understanding the Important Factors

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

In a water damage event in Hickory Hollow, TN, there are several factors that contribute to whether water damage will be bad for your home. This quick guide is meant to shed light on the factors to consider when determining whether the water damage in your home or business may be serious enough to require professional attention.

The first factor to consider is the category of water intrusion. There are 3 main categories of water, and they are each determined by how contaminated the water is.

Category 1 would be water from a clean water source with little to no risk of causing sickness.

Category 2 water contains a certain degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. This could be water from a dishwasher drain line for example.

Category 3 water is grossly unsanitary water that may contain pathogens such as a sewage backup.

The quantity of water and potential rate of material evaporation can also be a critical factor in determining how bad the water damage may be to your home. These are typically divided into 4 main Classes.

Class 1 water damage is the least damaging. This type occurs when less than 5% of building materials have absorbed or been affected by water. This class can be cleaned up quickly and easily. This class of water damage may not require professional assistance unless mold is involved.

Class 2 water damage occurs when the water in affected building materials can evaporate quickly, however water in this class has penetrated materials and can begin to show signs of permanent damage if not treated swiftly. Typically, a class 2 water intrusion affects between 5%-40% of an affected area's surfaces. 

Class 3 water damage is when water intrusion has affected greater than 40% of an area's surface, and low evaporation materials have also absorbed water. Class 3 water intrusion should always be handled by professionals to limit permanent damage to building materials.

Class 4 water intrusion is called a specialty drying situation. These materials take the longest to dry because water becomes bound with the material's molecules and requires specialty drying equipment to dry properly. Class 4 intrusion usually takes the longest to occur, but also the longest to dry.

These factors along with the types of affected building materials may increase the potential for hazardous pre-existing conditions to be worsened by the water damage.

Hazardous materials like asbestos or lead may be harmful to your health and definitely require professional attention. It’s also important to consider the risk of electrical shock or gas leaks when wiring junctions or joints are involved.

While there are many more factors to consider when determining how bad water damage may be to your house, our team of professionals is Here to Help if you need immediate assistance. With our team of trained technicians at SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville, we’ll make sure to leave your home "Like it never even happened."

Call us today at (615) 731-4222

How To Stop a Fire Alarm From Beeping

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

Changing battery to a smoke detector Change the batteries of your smoke alarm every six months.

How to Turn Off a Fire Alarm

A fire alarm that starts beeping when there is no fire or smoke requires maintenance. The specific steps to reset your alarm or change the battery depend on the alarm design. Here are three ways to determine what is wrong with an alarm and ensure that it is functioning properly to limit fire damage.

1. Reset and Clean the Alarm

If you are using an alarm powered by a nine-volt battery, detach the unit from the mounting bracket and remove the battery. Press and hold the reset button on a sealed 10-year model with a lithium battery. If the alarm is hardwired, turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker, detach the detector from the mounting bracket, and disconnect the power supply (if present). Press and hold the test button for 15 to 20 seconds. You can also use an air blower to clean out the vents prior to reinstalling the alarm.

2. Change the Batteries

If a fire alarm powered by a replaceable battery starts beeping again, you probably need to change the battery. Switch out nine-volt or other replaceable batteries every six months to one year.

3. Deactivate and Replace the Alarm

If an alarm keeps beeping after being cleaned and having the battery changed, you may need to replace the unit. Remove the batteries from models that rely on them before purchasing and installing another alarm unit. If the model has a sealed 10-year long-life battery, disconnect the alarm and use a screwdriver to pierce the icon of a straight line next to an arrow on the back. Turn the screw to the off position to permanently deactivate the model and drain the battery.

A functional fire alarm can help you limit the amount of fire damage to your residence in Hickory Hollow, TN. If a fire breaks out, contact a fire and smoke damage restoration company.

How To Restore Your Home Post-Fire

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

walls are covered with smoke, ceiling damaged, ceiling collapsed, debris on the floor Severe fire damage in an Antioch, TN home.

How to Restore Your Home After a Fire

In Antioch, TN, there are quick and easy steps every homeowner and renter can take to begin cleaning the home. While you should wait to clean any surfaces or items thoroughly until a restoration professional has surveyed and tested the space, here is what you can do right away to decrease smoke damage.

1. Purify the Air

The first task is to replace the HVAC filters to help clean the air in your home. Other ways to begin this process is to allow air to circulate by opening windows and to wipe down any houseplants so they can also aid in purifying the air. For more persistent odor, placing a bowl of white vinegar in the room may reduce the smoke smell. These are small actions to take that can make a big difference in the time leading up to a professional reaching the site.

2. Cleaning of Soot To Reduce Damage

Soot coating the walls and floors add to the odor from smoke damage. Soot and smoke cleaning should be postponed until a professional technician is on-site to care for these tasks personally. However, a light gloss of oil or petroleum jelly on chrome can prevent further soot damage.

3. Limit Foot Traffic

Minimizing movement through the house keeps soot and smoke stains from being ground into the carpets and rugs. The key to reducing the damage in your home is to decrease contact with the stains and stagnant air, so lay down protective coverings in areas where you need to walk. This also helps to prepare for when a survey of the area is done by a professional.

Experiencing a fire in your home can be daunting, but taking these simple steps against smoke damage can make restoring the space easier. Your safety is most important so, while you can take action to clean your home, consulting a professional is likely to ensure the safest restoration possible.

Have You Tried These Top Air Purifiers?

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house A great air purifier can really improve your life.

Which Air Purifiers Do The Best In Different Categories?

When buying an air filtration device for your Hickory Hollow, TN, home, there are a number of factors to take into account. Those factors include cost, ease of use, filter efficiency, and air flow. You may need to choose one factor over another depending on how you plan to use your system, or you may be looking for an air purifier that combines high scores on all. 

Best for Cost Efficiency

When it comes to cost efficiency, the GermGuardian AC4825 won’t put you out of pocket at a smooth $100 and no more. While it’s one of the cheapest air purifiers on the market, how does it stack up on other factors?

  • Middling on filter efficiency
  • The very low rating on airflow
  • Decent rating on ease of use

Overall, it’s a good starter filtration system but may have to be replaced fairly soon for a more high-end model.

Best for Filter Efficiency

For filter efficiency, you can’t do much better than the Amway Quixtar Atmosphere. It rates nearly perfect on filter performance – meaning you’ll clear the most particulates from the air, including mold spores that could become mold growth.

Best for Air Flow

The Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier hits a perfect score for air flow, allowing the most possible circulation to handle air filtration efficiently and neatly. However, it falls a little short in filter efficiency – meaning that it may need that air flow to capture more spores and other particulates on each pass.

Best All Around

For the best air purifier that combines cost-efficiency and great performance, the Oransi Max is a great value for the dollar. At $479, it’s a good cost investment when it hits nearly perfect scores on all factors, including filter efficiency, air flow, and ease of use. You won’t get much better outside of commercial-grade air filtration devices.

What Goes Into a Fire Damage Estimate?

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Commercial fire in Hickory Hollow, TN

What Does a Fire Damage Estimate Entail?

After a fire on your commercial property, one of the first steps is having an insurance adjuster out to evaluate the damage and determine what you can claim on your insurance. You may also have a commercial fire professional from Hickory Hollow, TN, out to determine exactly what you can salvage, and how. But what exactly does a fire damage estimate entail?

Evaluating What Can Be Saved, and How

While an insurance estimator is determining how much you can be reimbursed for your losses, a fire damage estimator’s job is to:

• Provide immediate emergency response to prevent secondary damage through mitigation
• Fully assess the extent of the damage and give an accurate picture of remediation efforts
• Determine what can be cleaned and restored
• Determine what should be torn out/destroyed and rebuilt/replaced from scratch
• Provide a cost breakdown for cleaning and teardown services
• Deliver an approximate timeline for completion

Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration?

The amount of a fire damage estimate may not match with the amount of an insurance claim, but only the fire damage professional and insurance adjustor can provide accurate information on that depending on the extent of the damage to the property. The claim may fully or partially cover the cost of fire remediation. Unless you intend to pursue further claims with your insurance company, anything not paid by the claim would come out of pocket.

Does Cleanup Include Deodorization?

If you’re working with a qualified company, yes. Smoke odor can permeate items with a lasting stench, often associated by yellowed smoke stains. If the odor is strong enough, it can last years and create an unpleasant effect on anyone in the vicinity of the smoke-damaged, contaminated items. A reputable, qualified company will include deodorization in your fire damage estimate, and will have the tools and chemicals necessary to remove smoke odor from even the most porous items without damaging them.

The SERVPRO ERP: The Importance of the Emergency Ready Profile

9/26/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO van. An ERP is an excellent way to protect your business and your interests.

As a leader in restoration and disaster prevention, the professionals at SERVPRO have your business’s best interest at heart. One of the ways they are looking out for your business is through Emergency Ready Profiles. The creation of an emergency profile allows you to work with a qualified representative to develop a plan of action for when disaster strikes.

1. What Is It?

An Emergency Ready Profile is a file created for your business that contains an emergency plan of action. This profile allows you to minimize any prolonged business interruption by ensuring that SERVPRO is ready and prepared to help with a simple phone call.

2. How Can It Help?

The ERP helps provide you with a level of security that many do not have after experiencing a disaster. After assessing your facility, identifying a line of command, and establishing an emergency profile, you will know that when disaster strikes, a qualified professional has your back and knows just what to do and who to contact.

3. Does It Matter for Your Business?

The research doesn’t lie: After a disaster strikes, many businesses — about 50 percent — have to close down. Having an Emergency Ready Profile in place allows SERVPRO to take action immediately following a disaster. By taking fast action, you can limit business interruption, meaning that you can get back to doing what you do best as quickly as possible.

4. How Can You Get Started?

You can get started creating your emergency profile by contacting a SERVPRO representative in the Smith Springs, TN, area or logging onto the ERP app. Once you have initiated contact, a representative will reach out to find out the best time to schedule your facility’s free assessment.

An ERP is an excellent way to protect your business and your interests. You can call a local representative for help in creating your business's Emergency Ready Profile today.

Sewage Backup: Are You Covered?

9/19/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage system. Contact your local restoration team today to get started.

Most home insurance companies require homeowners to carry a rider policy if they hope for perils such as flood damage or fire damage to be covered. However, many companies offer an exception, and that is if the flooding or water damage is caused by a covered peril. In most instances, sewer backup is a covered peril.

What To Do When Your Toilet Backs Up

Not much is worse than dealing with a backed-up sewage line, yet, as a homeowner, you're bound to encounter a backup every once in a while. This is especially the case if you live in a flood plain, have large trees near your home or live in an older home with older plumbing. When your toilets back up and leave you with a disgusting mess, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation with as little pain and fanfare as possible.

• Remove spillage and wet vacuum the entire area.
• Disinfect all surfaces and mop up the floors.
• Disinfect plumbing fixtures and flush out the system.
• Remove and dispose of wet carpets and steam clean the ones that are salvageable.
• Perform a flood cut on damaged drywall.
• Clean up ductwork.

You should not attempt to clean up a sewer backup on your own. Ideally, you should call in the help of a professional Antioch, TN, water damage restoration team for safe and swift help.

How To File a Claim

There are certain steps you should take before beginning restoration efforts, during, and after a claim. Your documentation is key to making a full financial recovery. Take photos of the affected areas and the damage. Itemize property losses and take photos of damaged belongings as well. If necessary, have your cleanup crew contact your insurance company on your behalf to explain the damage in detail and what it will take to restore your home.

Dealing with a sewer backup can be a headache, but with the right team on your side, you can make it through the issue with as little pain and cost as possible. Contact your local restoration team today to get started.

5 Steps of the Mold Mitigation Process

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on wall. A black mold problem in your home is best handled by certified professionals who specialize in mold remediation.

It is not uncommon for a home that has sustained water damage to also develop black mold. If you discover mold in your home in Nashville, TN, you will likely need the services of mold remediation experts. These certified technicians take care of your mold problem and get your home back to normal, and they use the following five steps to do so.

1. Protection

Before they begin the mold cleanup process, technicians don protective gear to cover their eyes, nose, mouth, and skin. This keeps the increased number of spores in the air out of their airways and sensitive membranes.

2. Containment

To take control of the black mold problem, the specialists must make sure it doesn't contaminate other areas of the house. They restrict airflow from the damaged section and seal it off with thick plastic sheets.

3. Demolition

If mold has attacked a wall or other porous surface, the area will have to be replaced, but first, it must be torn out. Clearing out the parts that have mold damage is essential to fixing the problem.

4. Sanitation

The remaining structures must be sanitized before it's safe for family members and pets to reenter the home. Technicians may use anti-microbial chemicals to neutralize any germs that are present. They may also use gamma irradiation to sanitize documents or books.

5. Dehydration

This term is bad news when applied to a person, but when applied to a house, particularly one that has prior mold issues, it can be a godsend. A dry environment is less likely to be hospitable to mold.

A black mold problem in your home is best handled by certified professionals who specialize in mold remediation. They have the knowledge and the tools to work through the steps of the process efficiently. They can quickly assess the situation, answer any questions you have, and decrease the chances of mold growth returning.

The True Cost of Mold Damage and Remediation: What You Need To Know

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Team member working in PPE. If you suspect that you have black mold in your home, or if a mold inspection reveals its presence, contact your local mold removal experts.

Mold damage is costly, and remediation efforts can run anywhere from $500 to $6,000. If the problem is extensive, the cost can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars price range. For this reason, it is imperative that you work with a Nashville, TN, mold removal expert as soon as you suspect or discover mildew growth in your home. The sooner you take action, the less damage you'll have to pay for.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Black Mold Removal

The cost of mold damage cleanup varies considerably and is dependent upon a number of factors. Some factors that may influence the cost of remediation include the following:

• The size of the area affected by the mildew
• Whether mold materials can be cleaned or need to be disposed of
• Whether mold has invaded your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
• Whether mold developed after a flood that may have been contaminated by waste or other hazardous materials
• Your geographical region

That said, you can control the cost by hiring a professional to remediate the problem as soon as possible.

The Cost Is Well Worth the End Result

Black mold is toxic to a home's health, and if you discover it in your home, mold removal is a necessity, not an option. Mold of any kind can wreak havoc on a home's structure and irreparably damage drywall, lumber, and other materials. If allowed to go untreated, mold can even impact a home's very foundation.

Depending on the extent of the growth and damage, mold remediation can take just a few days or require months of your time and even demolition. However, the effort and cost are well worth it, as it means that the toxic growth is out of your home and no longer impacting its health.

If you suspect that you have black mold in your home, or if a mold inspection reveals its presence, contact your local mold removal experts. Your swift attention to the matter is in the best interests of your home and loved ones.

Four Essential Steps To Follow When Making a Flood Damage Claim

8/8/2021 (Permalink)

Extracting water with a vacuum, wet carpet. Wet carpet due to a recent storm in Antioch, TN

What To Do If Your Home Is Damaged In a Flood

Tune in to the morning or evening news during certain times of the year, and you will likely see coverage related to flooding in some parts of the country. Now imagine if that flooding happened to your home or property in Antioch, TN. Would you know what to do to make a flood claim? Having a step-by-step plan can ease your angst.

1. Report Loss Immediately

Once you have checked your insurance policy to see if it covers flood damage, you should contact your insurance agent or carrier as soon as possible. Information that you will likely need to have on hand is a telephone number and/or email address where you can be reached, the property location and your policy number.

2. Document All Damage

Before removing any damaged items from your home, you should take pictures and videos of each item and make a detailed list to include dates of purchase, value of the items, model numbers and serial numbers. Receipts can be very helpful to have as well. Additionally, any structural damage, standing water and damaged vehicles should be photographed or videoed.

3. Make Minor Repairs

While waiting for an adjuster to assess the damage for your flood claim, you may need to address issues such as mold and wet carpet immediately. By having a professional manage the water damage and mold restoration process, your home can remain habitable while you go through the insurance claim process.

4. File Proof of Loss

After the adjuster inspects your property and home, he or she will more than likely provide you with a proof of loss document to complete, which is required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Within 60 days of the flooding, this completed, signed to and sworn to proof-of-loss form, along with supporting documentation and the estimate provided by the adjuster, should be filed with your insurance company for review.

Take the time to learn what to do if your home is damaged in a flood. By following these four steps, you can prepare yourself beforehand on how to make a flood claim.

How To Recognize Mold and What To Do Next

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold spots on white wall Black mold damage in Smith Springs, TN.

What To Do If You Find Mold and How To Recognize It

In Smith Springs, TN, there are many hazards that a small business owner or landlord has to take into account when maintaining their buildings and places of work. One of these hazards is mold and the smelly mycotoxin that always accompanies it. When allowed to go unchecked, this hazard can potentially ruin the hard work that has gone into a building or grind the business conducted within to a halt. To help prevent this, here are a few steps for renters and maintenance workers on how to recognize and fix mold growth.

1. Use Your Eyes

Mold can easily be mistaken for dirt or dust if not thoroughly inspected. Depending on what fungus present, the mold could take on a variety of different shades and textures. However, mold may not have a visual presence.

2. Use Your Nose

Spores often incubate where small hidden leaks show up or where condensation builds as a result of a possibly broken air condition unit or something similar. When this happens, investigators can rely on their noses. Mold growth is often revealed by a variation of a musty odor.

However, it's important to take note of any new smells. This is due to the scent of mold changing based on the spore count and where it is in its life cycle. After all, the smell is formed by the mycotoxin released by mold eating and multiplying.

3. Fix the Problem

Once the mold has been found, whether it’s out in the open or recently excavated, it’s important to immediately focus on mold remediation. This is because mold spreads quickly, often manifesting within 48–72 hours. If it looks like the mold is relatively contained and has only covered a small surface area, it is possible to get it cleaned up. In this case, cleaners should use the proper equipment and maintain safety standards during the process.

When maintaining a building, it’s good to be perceptive. If the mold has spread, remember that it’s important to call in a professional cleaning service. Safety should always be a priority when dealing with mold and its mycotoxin.

Improve Dryer Efficiency and Reduce Fire Risk by Cleaning

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning a dryer vent Proper dryer maintenance and cleaning protects your home from the danger of a lint fire.

Cleaning Your Dryer Will Increase Its Efficiency And Reduce The Risk Of A Fire.

If you notice your dryer is not functioning properly, you should act immediately. Your Hickory Hollow, TN home is at risk of fire when the dryer cannot properly redistribute heat. Proper dryer maintenance and cleaning protects your home from the danger of a lint fire.

Know the Symptoms of a Dryer Vent Clog

There are several telltale signs that you should clean and inspect your dryer:

  • Unusually long time for clothes to dry
  • Clothes much hotter than they used to
  • A burning smell
  • Lint spilling out of the hose

These warning signs mean you should immediately stop using the dryer and clean it. Running the dryer when it shows any of these signs could cause a dryer fire.

Remove Excess Lint From the Lint Trap

Depending on the model, you should be able to find a lint screen on the bottom, top or side of the dryer. The screen may come out fully but should not be forced out.

Once you have the screen out as far as it’ll go, lint can be cleaned up using your hands, a brush or vacuum. The lint needs to be fully removed from the sheet to prevent a potential lint fire. Before putting the screen back, it’s advised to vacuum out the empty lint trap area.

Check the Exhausts for Lint

After disconnecting the dryer and removing the exhaust hose from the wall, the hose should be checked for any lint. If there is lint, a lengthy cleaning brush tool from a vent cleaning kit should be snaked through and back to fish up any lint until no more comes out.

If there is an exterior vent in your home, it is good practice to regularly clean its screen of lint too.

Prepare for the Worst Regardless

Your home can be protected from a lint fire, but fire damage always needs a plan. A local fire restoration company can assist you with a fire and should be kept as an emergency contact. Thankfully, cleaning the dryer regularly saves you from fire damage to worry about.

Should All Plumbing Noises Be Investigated?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers inside a home, plastic carpet placed on floor, drying equipment, drywall removal. Water damage to a home in Nashboro Village, TN.

Are Noisy Water Pipes Dangerous?

As a homeowner, you know that your Nashboro Village, TN, house can make some strange noises. You've noticed creaking and groaning in the middle of the night, but you don't know if these noises should be concerning to you. The truth is some noises could be precursors to other issues, such as a pipe break, damaged walls, or malfunctioning water heater. When you hear strange noises that could be coming from your piping, it may be best to call in a residential water damage professional. You can also use this quick guide to help you figure out if the noise you hear should be concerning to you.

Recurrent Sounds

If the noises coming from your walls are repeated frequently, it could be a sign of an upcoming pipe burst. Common sounds you may hear include:

  • Whistling
  • Knocking
  • Ticking

Whenever sounds are heard regularly, it may be a good idea to call in a plumber to have your pipes inspected. What type of issues do these common noises point to? Whistling is often associated with clogs, knocking is tied to pressure changes, and ticking is linked with heat-related expansion. Getting to the cause of the noise may help you fix a broken pipe before it bursts.

One-Time Sounds

If you hear a banging one time after you turn off a faucet quickly, it may not need to be investigated. Isolated noises coming from your pipes often aren't linked with a pipe break. Instead, these singularly occurring sounds are often associated with the settling of your house. Of course, it doesn't hurt to be safe. You can still call in a plumber or water damage expert to make sure the noises are not indicative of a bigger problem.

You may not think of your plumbing as being noisy, but sounds can emanate from this internal structure of your house. Some noises could point to an upcoming pipe break, so it may be a good idea to have a professional inspect the noises.

How to Handle Fire Damage and Water Damage to Your Home

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

The walls inside a home are burned, ceiling has collapsed, debris on the floor, chairs Fire damage to a property in Smith Springs, TN.

How Do I Deal With Fire and Water Damage In My Home?

If the unthinkable happens, and your home catches on fire, the first thing you want is for the fire department to do whatever is necessary to put out the fire. You don’t want it to spread, and you want as little fire damage as possible. However, once the fire is out, you have to worry about damage from the smoke as well as water damage to your walls, floors, electronics and many other belongings in the home. A firefighter will use a lot of water to put out a fire with his or her fire hose, so the cleanup effort can be massive. Fortunately, you have help in Smith Springs, TN, to get things under control.

1. The consequences of fire damage and water damage are nothing to take lightly. It’s obvious that the fire can destroy parts of your structure, but even the acidic soot from the fire can ruin your possessions and precious belongings. Because so much water comes from a firefighter’s fire hose, the water can completely ruin your carpet or hardwood floors as well. Walls and metals can become discolored and rusted, and many of your electronic devices will no longer be useful.

2. There are a few things you can do on your own to minimize the problems. If you act quickly and begin to thoroughly clean your floors and walls with soap, you may be able to salvage these areas to some degree. However, you won’t likely do as well as a professional would.

3. It’s best to get in touch with an expert in fire restoration. In Smith Springs, TN, you can hire experienced, skilled experts who have the know-how and tools to help remove the bad odors and salvage your belongings following a fire. Research carefully so you hire a company that has all the necessary training and certifications you want in a professional.

Fire damage and water damage from a fire hose can be extensive. When you hire the best companies to help restore your home, you can have peace of mind.

How Necessary Is Flood Insurance for My Business?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Flood insurance can be necessary for your business.

Like any natural disaster, a flood can become very problematic as a disruption to business operations. It’s imperative that it is handled efficiently, so business can continue as soon as possible. While considering the best process, you likely think of commercial insurance for floods. To know if commercial flood insurance is worth the cost for your Antioch, TN, business, you must first understand its scope.

What Does a Typical Flood Policy Cover?

Flood insurance covers any water damage that was nonexistent before the flood event. There are several flood events where losses are covered:

  • Overflowing bodies of water
  • Excessive or extended rainfall
  • Storm draining blockage
  • Broken dam
  • Broken levees
  • Storm surge
  • Melting snow

If the damage is due to a pipe burst or precipitation overfilling gutters, the flood policy is not necessary. Those events are covered by regular commercial insurance if negligence cannot be determined.

Is Flood Coverage Standard in Business Insurance?

Flood damage is not traditionally rolled into a baseline package. The federal government offers coverage through the Nation Flood Insurance Program, known by its abbreviation of NFIP. NFIP is offered by FEMA alongside private options in the market.

There is a caveat to the necessity of flood insurance. Any business mortgaged by a federal lender in an area with a major flood risk is mandated to buy flood insurance. Outside of flood-prone areas, it is not required.

How Do I Remedy Flood Damage Once Insurance Takes Effect?

A local commercial storm recovery company will send out experts to evaluate and create a plan to repair the damage. If you have flood insurance, the policy provider will work with connected partners to fix up your business from the storm damage.

Even if you don’t have an appropriate commercial insurance policy, you can contact a restoration company for estimates of repair costs. Depending on the area, it may be more economical to keep a flood policy rather than wait for a costly disaster to hit your business. Checking the flood risk and prices in the area gives you a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it’s appropriate for your business.

Are you Prepared for a Business Interruption From a Storm?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet inside a business. Vacuum extracting water from carpet. Concept flood damage in a Nashville, TN business Flooding in Nashville, TN

How Can You Be Ready For A Storm

When disaster strikes in Nashville, TN, the odds of a business surviving are not good. Being prepared and getting a prompt rebuild may be the difference between bankruptcy and success. So how can you get ready for the storm?

What Are the Odds?

FEMA statistics show that 40% of businesses never reopen following a disaster, 65% will fail within a year, and a stunning 90% permanently close within two years. If you have a closed business for as little as two days, your odds of remaining open after two years is one in ten.

What About Insurance?

Insurance is your saving grace – assuming you have the right coverage. A commercial policy can pay for a rebuild of your building and usually covers a few perils, including

Fire
Water (excluding flooding)
Liability
Wind
Snow

However, there are exclusions to the standard policies. If you started a fire, that wouldn’t be covered. If water damage is from flooding, you need a special flood policy. Plus, your lost business income is not included. You need business income insurance for that.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance?

While your business is closed, you may have all your normal expenses (plus additional ones) while seeing either reduced or eliminated revenue. It’s also not unusual for a business to be closed during the rebuilding process.
Probably the best way to survive a major disaster is to have good commercial insurance with interruption insurance. It’s so effective at preventing insolvency that it’s recommended by the experts if you can afford it. Also, if you’re in a flood zone, you should have flood insurance. You can check the flood zone maps to determine if you’re in a high-risk area.

What About the Storm Damage?

Immediately after the storm, contact a storm damage restoration expert to inspect your building and tarp exposed areas. Most interruption insurance has a limited time for coverage, so you’ll want to begin the process as soon as possible.
If you have the right insurance and planning, you can weather any storm. Having property damage and income coverage through the rebuild is a fantastic way to dramatically raise your odds of survival.

Properties With Black Mold Contamination Require Immediate Containment

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Air vents set up to dry water and mold damage in Nashville, TN Commercial water and black mold remediation

Black mold contamination is being reported in more Percy Priest, TN, homes than ever before. Mold damage can be quite severe if the issue is left unchecked, and ignoring it usually means you’re also ignoring the cause. Homes that have a severe infestation usually require some degree of containment as part of the mitigation process.

What Is Black Mold?

Actually, it comes in three standard colors:

  • Black
  • Green
  • Yellow

It tends to be a little shiny, and it’s always found on porous substances, such as drywall and wood. If you see some mildew growing on tiles or grout in bathrooms, that’s typically indicative of a temporary excess of moisture, whereas colonies growing on wood or gypsum are due to a serious, ongoing issue.

What Causes Mold Contamination?

Indoor humidity needs to be maintained at 30 – 50% to create ideal conditions for both human comfort and building materials. A brief excursion of humidity is harmless, but when it remains above 50%, it means something abnormal is happening that can lead to water and mold damage.
If the cause is hidden, the damage often will remain so, too, until it’s shockingly expansive. Hidden pinhole leaks in water lines, roof leaks and septic line leaks are all potential causes of explosive black mold growth.

What Is Containment?

It sounds much more serious than it is. The purpose of containing an area is to prevent the mold from spreading. This can save an enormous amount of money in the mold restoration process. Negative airflow is applied to the infected area until the mold can be removed.

What Happens Once It’s Contained?

Mold remediation experts have commercial mold restoration techniques that can save personal property and eliminate mold. After the containment, they’ll locate what’s causing mold growth and fix that, as well.
Next, they attack the mold with custom disinfectants that starve mold colonies and break down their cell walls. By applying super-dried air and a consistent negative pressure environment, they kill the remaining colonies and inhibit further growth.
When all the mold contamination has been cleaned up, your home will look (and smell) just like it did before the problem. Containment is an important part of the process.

3 Things You Can Do To Prepare for a Flood

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water on the ground of a Nashville, TN warehouse We are experts in storm water removal

Three Things You Can Do To Help Avoid This Chaos

As a business owner in Nashville, TN, you're aware that flooding can grind your work to a halt. After all, what you need is drenched, preventing you from tackling tasks. As the news warns of impending storms, then, it's best to consider ways to keep your company and staff protected. Here are three things you can do to help avoid this chaos.

1. Seal and Border Low Areas

Minimize flood damage by filling in small cracks and establishing a structural barrier. Walk around inside and outside, particularly noting areas around windows, door frames, and the lower wall. Anything, even minor, should be re-caulked, preventing moisture from squeezing through. Then, you can add sand bags to the perimeter, hoping to avert water elsewhere. When doing this, consider placing a plastic lining underneath. Then, layout the bags much like you would bricks, overlapping them to offer a stronger seal. Make sure the flaps are down. 

2. Rearrange the Inside

As flooding enters, it will affect the materials inside. Therefore, shift valuables to higher ground. Look around the building. Where would provide the most secure location? You should particularly relocate electronics, expensive merchandise, and necessary files. Cloth items such as rugs and curtains easily absorb moisture. Remove them.

3. Shut Down Utilities

If storm damage occurs, your power supply could worsen the situation; thus, turning off the gas and electricity could alleviate undesirable stress and destruction. As fluid overtakes the rooms, it could hit the electrical lines and become a catalyst for fire. Before leaving the property, have a plan in place to lesson this event. When everything calms down and you return to the premises, don't go alone. Contact a water restoration company to come with you. The professionals can ensure the property is safe. Should a hazard exist, the professionals can begin to work on it immediately.
When flooding impacts your place, it's devastating. Structure is compromised. Business stops. Take action early to try and ward off trouble.

Smart Advice for Cleaning After a Storm

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech extracting water from a Nashville, TN business. Removing flood water in Nashville, TN

Smart Advice for Cleaning After a Storm

One of the biggest fears for homeowners and renters is the flooding of a property. All of that water coming into a house is scary and it creates an enormous mess of dirty water, sand, and debris. The temptation for many people is to begin the cleanup at once, but here is some better advice: stop for a moment and focus on safety. The aftermath of a storm creates the following hazardous conditions:

  • Contaminated water that contains dangerous substances
  • Shock hazards from wet electrical systems
  • Loose materials that could fall on people
  • Wild animals that could bite or sting

If you are unsure of the safety of your home in Nashville, TN, call for help. Allow the authorities to identify and clear out safety hazards before reentering your property.

Water Damage Cleanup

Any flooding event will likely require the services of an experienced storm remediation team. A team of trained technicians can arrive on-site in a matter of hours and will quickly follow a process that is adaptable to all forms of disasters. It begins with an inspection and assessment of the flood damage and then moves onto a plan of action. Water removal and extraction begins at once, followed by a drying and ventilation process. The next actions include cleaning and sanitizing all affected surfaces in the home. Depending on the damage, restoration services could include the repair of damaged walls, flooring, and contents.

Storm Restoration and Recovery

A home that is restored according to the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry should appear "Like it never even happened." This includes the elimination of odors associated with flooding and the removal of all hazards from the home. An efficient process works to keep expenses low and a restore versus replace philosophy also works to lower costs. A big storm or a heavy flood can be handled by following a few smart steps.

3 Problems You Might Face After a Commercial Fire

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Air scrubber placed inside a building to remove smoke odor in Antioch, TN Commercial fire restoration in Antioch, TN.

What To Expect After A Fire

Dealing with a fire at your Antioch, TN, business can be an extremely stressful experience. Knowing what to expect in the aftermath of a fire — including plans for water cleanup, smoke damage and other effects — can be very helpful in your efforts to rebuild and get back to normal.

1. You May Deal With Significant Water Damage

Though it sounds paradoxical, water cleanup may be a large part of the post-fire restoration process. Water from sprinklers or firetrucks, while necessary to control the blaze, may do harm to the building and you and your employees' personal effects. Be prepared to deal with soggy items, water-saturated furniture and even structural damage due to water.

2. Smoke May Be as Damaging as Fire
The need for smoke cleanup is often overlooked or seen as less important than fire cleanup. Unfortunately, the fact is that smoke alone can do significant harm to your workplace. Odors from smoke can linger in building materials, equipment, furniture and personal items long after the fire is over. Severe smoke can stain or discolor walls, ceilings and other surfaces.

3. Structural Integrity May Be Compromised

In ideal circumstances, a fire will be sufficiently controlled, preserving the majority of the building and contents. However, you may be left with structural damage from the fire itself, or from attempts to fight the fire. Flames may weaken your property's floors, foundation, or other supports. In desperate situations, firefighters may need to cut holes through the walls or roof to release smoke or gain access to certain areas of the building.
It is always useful to have a phone number for fire restoration services in your workplace contingency plan. A qualified company can help with water cleanup, smoke remediation and other restoration efforts. The better you prepare for the potential aftermath of a fire, the more quickly you'll be able to recover should one occur.

Preventing a Dryer Fire: 4 Safety Tips

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in Nashville, TN. Clint the lint trap of your dryer after every use.

Tips To Reduce The Possibility Of A Dryer Fire

Safeguarding your Nashville, TN home from fire damage means reducing clutter, installing smoke detectors on every floor and keeping lighters and matches away from children, but one potential fire cause you may not consider is your clothes dryer. A lint fire can spread quickly because of the dryness of the material and blaze out of control before you know it. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to reduce the possibility of this type of fire.

1. Clean the Filter With Each Use

Lint buildup is often the main cause of a dryer fire, so remind each family member who uses the unit to completely empty the filter after each use. Wipe it clean with a soft cloth and dispose of the lint in another room, far away from any heat source.

2. Check the Duct Pipe Weekly

Lint may collect in other areas of the dryer other than the filter, such as the vent or duct pipe. Using the high heat setting during a load could ignite the lint trapped there and cause a serious fire to spread throughout your home. It is wise to check the duct weekly, after you finish your wash, to clear away any trapped lint.

3. Keep the Dryer Area Clean

Dust, cobwebs and clutter around your dryer could increase the chances of a lint fire. A small fire could spread faster when it has more items to consume, so practice proper fire safety by cleaning around your dryer at least once a week. Sweep away hair, dust and lint, and then move the dryer to clean underneath it as well.

4. Call in a Professional

If you are unsure about how to maintain dryer fire safety, calling in a fire restoration and mitigation service for advice about placement and cleaning may offer you peace of mind. This can be especially important if you keep your dryer on the ground floor of your home where a fire might cause more damage.

Keeping your home safe from a lint fire does not have to be difficult. Proper operation of the unit and keeping these tips in mind can safeguard your home and family.

Key Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

The exterior of a sports building, commercial generator set up, and two black vehicles are parked in Nashville, TN. Commercial flood cleanup in Nashville, TN

Business owners in Nashville, TN know the unexpected will eventually happen, which is why staying on top of insurance coverage is essential. When the next big storm hits, understanding what your unique policy covers ensures a smoother process. An important element of that is knowing the difference between flood damage and storm damage.

Storms vs Floods

While both may unleash excessive amounts of water, which often requires the help of a storm and water damage restoration professional, the source of the water and other factors determine the type of damage. The following are considered aftereffects of a storm and are typically covered:

  • Torrential rains and thunderstorms
  • High winds
  • Tornadoes
  • Ice, hail and snow

When it comes to flood damage, most businesses will need extra insurance to cover the damage. Flooding happens from:

  • Inland rivers, lakes or other waterways overflowing
  • Tidal waves and hurricanes
  • Rapid and extreme rainwater accumulation
  • Ice or snow suddenly melt
  • Surface water runoff
  • Landslides or mudslides

Dirty Nature of Floods

While any unexpected water may have contaminants, floodwaters are considered Category 3 water, also known as black water. This type is highly contaminated and may pose health risks. Depending on the source of the flood, it could be carrying sewage, organic matter, pesticides and other substances that require careful cleanup. According to FEMA, it is considered a flood if two or more acres of land that is usually dry is partially or completely saturated or it affects more than two properties. Since the cleanup and restoration is often much more extreme, it is recommended that businesses in flood-prone areas get additional insurance coverage.

After the storm hits, it's not also easy to tell if you are dealing with storm or flood damage. Knowing a few basics of how they are categorized makes it easier to prepare for the cleanup process and helps the claims process be clearer.

The Impressive Power of a Hail Storm

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in the ceiling of a Nashville business due to a storm SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville are storm damage restoration experts.

Fortunately, hail storms don't come along very often. They require a precise sequence of weather patterns—an unstable air mass and a steep temperature gradient, for starters—that happens more frequently than a blue moon but less often than a regular thunderstorm. If you are like most people, you probably remember most of the hail storms you have witnessed. They are notorious for causing damage to cars, boats, windows and siding. A powerful hail storm also can cause roof damage, especially if the pieces of hail are large. As hail stones forcefully bombard the roof of your building it is not unusual to see shingle damage in the form of cracked or missing shingles.

Dealing With Hail Damage

If your company in Nashville, TN faces an onslaught of hail stones, the roof might not be the only problem you face. Along with roof damage comes water damage in the following forms:

  • Water in the attic
  • Wet insulation and walls
  • Wet electronic components
  • Mold growth throughout the building

After a big storm it is always essential to shore up your roof with repairs. This could come in the form of damaged shingles, battered gutters and missing chimney caps. A roofing contractor will make sure the roof is capable of keeping water from rain, snow, ice or hail.

Taking Care of Water Damage

If water penetrates your building envelop, it's critical to eliminate any excess moisture in your building. A professional storm mitigation company like SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville will have the resources and training to dry out your building and its contents. This task requires powerful fans, wet vacuums and air dryers to remove any standing water as well the moisture in furniture, paper documents, and clothing. Electrical systems may be compromised and need expert attention. If the roof damage to your building is extreme it is possible board up and tarp services will be needed to secure your building from additional storms.

3 Categories of Contaminated Water Explained

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, drying equipment and plastic barrier used to contain damaged area in Nashville, TN Drying services in Nashville, TN.

If you have flooding or water damage in your Nashville, TN home, it's important to understand what category of water caused it. The source determines the category of contaminated water and will affect how it is cleaned up.

Category 1 Contamination

Water in the first category is the cleanest. It comes from sanitary sources like:

  • A broken supply line
  • Overflowing water from a sink or tub
  • A leaking ice maker

Category 1 water generally does not pose a risk to humans. It can be removed using vacuums, dehumidifiers and air movers. Even though Category 1 water is mostly clean, you should begin the drying process as soon as possible to avoid mold growth and secondary damage, such as warped floors, wet drywall or ruined furniture.

Category 2 Contamination
Water in Category 2 is also known as gray water. It includes dirty water from dishwashers and washing machines, aquariums, toilet overflow with urine and water beds. Water from Category 1 may become Category 2 water after 48 hours. It's best to remove affected carpet and padding because the organic material in gray water, along with moisture, can encourage mold growth.

Category 3 Contamination
Another name for Category 3 water is black water. This type of contaminated water results from an overflowing toilet containing feces, a sewage line or rising floodwaters. Floodwaters are considered Category 3 because they might contain chemicals like fertilizer, or organic material like animal feces or sewage backup. Category 2 water becomes Category 3 water if left untreated for more than 48 hours. Black water contamination is an emergency situation. A professional restoration company with special equipment can remove it and replace or restore your home's affected contents.
While no one likes to think of the possibility of flood damage or contaminated water in Nashville, a restoration company can help you safely remove and clean up water damage if the need arises.

How To Use SERVPRO To Help with Insurance Claims

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building damaged by fire in Nashville, TN Commercial fire in Nashville, TN.

How To Use SERVPRO To Help with Insurance Claims

When you call a claim services agent about your business in Nashville, TN, after a disaster, you want a quick response. You also want to be sure that everything is being done correctly. You're still running a business, so keeping track of the project shouldn't be your job, but whose job is it? Your local SERVPRO franchise is uniquely qualified to help you keep on top of the work that is happening throughout the entire process.

1. Prompt Response in an Emergency
When you think of emergency response, one of the most crucial aspects is the speed in which you get help. How supported you feel often shapes the entirety of the restoration experience. It's important that the person on the other end of the phone is confident, competent, and considerate, and that whoever comes to your property is prepared and professional. A SERVPRO team has a rigorous documentation process to adhere to that tracks your project from the first phone call.

2. Thorough Claims Inventory Service
The emergency remediation team keeps a record of every single thing that has been damaged and turns it into a detailed, itemized document with photos and descriptions. They can advise you as to whether something can be restored rather than replaced. You get copies of this document, as well as of everything else, throughout the remediation process, and they are also shared directly with your claim services representative.

3. Complete Pretesting Process
A complete pretesting process is undertaken to determine the extent of the damage to your business and to provide an accurate restoration quote before the work begins. This is an important step because it helps both you, the client, and your claim services agent know that you're receiving high-quality work at a fair industry price.
An emergency response doesn't have to be daunting if you choose to work with a company that understands the importance of organization and communication as its professionals help you get back to work.

How To Keep Toilets From Overflowing

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of foot pressing a pedal to open cap of garbage bin. Have trashcans available.

Tip To Keep Your Toilet From Overflowing

Every business has struggled with a clogged toilet at some point. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use these tips to keep your toilet from overflowing.

Use Signs and Plaques
Many people do not know what is flushable and what is not. Some things that claim to be flushable can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Non-flushable items include:

  • Wipes and tissues
  • Feminine products
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Oils and plastics

All of these can and will cause toilet overflow and blockage problems. Having signs about what is flushable and what can't be flushed not only informs people but can help prevent them from putting odd items into your toilets.

Have Trashcans Available
The simple placement of trash receptacles in each stall and the bathroom's main portion can help prevent a clogged toilet. Remember, you also have to keep these receptacles clean so that they don't overflow and stop patrons from using them.

Correct Slow Drains Promptly
If you have a major overflow problem, you will have to involve a sewage remediation company in Nashville, TN to take care of it, but if your drains are just slow, you might be able to do it yourself. Use proper drain clearing techniques and consult a plumber if necessary. Correcting slow drains helps to stop major issues later on.

Use the Right Toilet Paper
Although it might not seem like it, the very thing that is supposed to be flushable might not be. To check if your toilet paper meets the requirements, you can use a bowl of water. Put a small amount of the tissue in the bowl and leave it for an hour or two. If it mostly dissolves, it's good. If it doesn't, you might want to consider changing brands.
A clogged toilet is a serious issue for any business. Although nothing can completely prevent it from happening, there are a few things that can help you mitigate your risk.

3 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Wall in Nashville, TN covered with mold due to humidity Mold growth in Nashville, TN

Mold Prevention Steps

You might think that mold growth only appears in the wake of severe water damage, such as the damage inflicted by a flood or broken pipe. In reality, however, such seemingly inescapable factors as high humidity or nearby plumbing fixtures such as sinks and showers can lead to mold contamination. Luckily, there are three simple mold prevention steps you can take to protect your Nashville business' building:

  • Install an air filter and dehumidifier
  • Install a humidity meter
  • Fully treat any moisture problems right away

Air Filters and Dehumidifiers
Air filters and dehumidifiers are available for purchase at any home goods store and are both worthy investments. Air filters comb through your building's air and trap the mold spores that exist in almost every environment, and dehumidifiers help make your building inhospitable to potential mold growths.

Humidity Meters
Working in conjunction with dehumidifiers or on their own, humidity meters will also help you manage the humidity levels in your building by alerting you if they reach a certain threshold that is inviting mold growth. Knowing there's a problem is always the first step toward fixing it, and this device will give you peace of mind that your building is not at high risk.

Water Damage Remediation
Mold spores are incredibly fast-acting and can start to spread on a surface with a moisture problem within 24-48 hours. If you have a broken or leaky pipe, don't wait to call the plumber and clean up the mess, and if a flood strikes, make sure to remove all wet materials and set up a dehumidifier immediately.
Mold prevention might feel like a lot of trouble, but you'll be glad you did it in the long run. Mold remediation can be a lengthy and intensive process and requires the assistance of your local mold cleanup specialists. In the event that you suffer water damage and notice a mold growth in your building, however, don't worry too much — SERVPRO of Nashville will make it seem "Like it never even happened."

How To Pick and Use the Right Fire Extinguisher

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher on a gray wall in Nashville, TN Putting the right fire extinguisher on each floor of your home can keep your house safe

A fire extinguisher is an important feature of any home. Yet not everyone knows what type of extinguishers they should buy. There are three main types of extinguishers, each of which has a different function:

A
B
C

Picking the Right Extinguisher

Extinguishers labeled A are designed for ordinary combustible fires. Meanwhile, B extinguishers are meant for flammable liquid fires, and C extinguishers are for use on electrical fires. You should look for an extinguisher labeled A:B:C, which means it can fight all three types of fires.
Extinguishers also have numbers next to the A and B designations. The higher these numbers, the more effective the extinguishers are.
Stove-top extinguishers can go on the hood of your range. Two-pound extinguishers are ideal for the car, and five-pound ones work best in the laundry room or kitchen. A 10-pound fire extinguisher is designed for areas such as a workshop or garage where a fire may not be noticed right away.
Make sure that all of your extinguishers are placed in easily accessible locations. They should also be close to the exit of the room so you can leave quickly if the home fire gets too intense.

Using and Maintaining Your Extinguisher
Of course, having an extinguisher is pointless if you don’t know how to use it. There is a simple acronym you can remember:

  • Pull the safety pin
  • Aim toward the flame
  • Squeeze and hold the trigger
  • Sweep near the flames

After you use your extinguisher, you should refill or replace it immediately so it is ready for any future emergencies. Keep in mind that an extinguisher can also lose pressure on its own over time. You should thus check the pressure gauges regularly.
Putting the right fire extinguisher on each floor of your home can keep your house safe. However, extinguishers alone aren’t enough. You should also create a fire preparedness plan and go over the various escape routes in your home. You may also want to have the contact information for a fire restoration company in Nashville, TN, readily available.

The Scourge of Black Water

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flood water on the floor of a Nashville, TN home. Flood damage in Nashville, TN

A home can face many different types of water damage. Minor leaks from clean water pipes are usually fairly manageable and can be taken care of without too much trouble. The next step is when a home experiences something like a broken pipe that discharges copious amounts of water into a home. This can do significant damage to walls, ceilings, floorboards, and even upholstery. As with all cases of released water into a living space, fast action is called for to clean up the problem and to minimize additional harm. The most complicated problem is when water contaminated with chemicals and other harmful substances pour into a home.

Dealing With Contaminated Water

Water that is dark in color may contain pathogens, microbes, sewage, and other noxious materials. This is often called black water and is the most serious water threat to property. It can damage a home in many different ways:

  • The contamination of household items
  • The creation of unpleasant smells
  • The making of stains on walls
  • The ruination of insulation and drywall
  • The contamination of the HVAC system


This type of dirty water can come from broken discharge pipes, backed up sewer lines and from a flood. It should be taken care of by trained professionals.


Handling a Complicated Cleanup
Each instance of water damage to a home has its challenges, and even the simplest situation is likely to have some complicated issues. A local storm remediation company in Nashville, TN, is capable of handling both straightforward and complex jobs. The SERVPRO team is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Certified workers have been trained in many aspects of water restoration, from a clean water leak to a flooding situation that brings in gallons of dirty water. They have impressive resources to lean on and can call in for reinforcements for the toughest jobs. They will reduce damages and limit costs.

Reconsider Reaching for the Drain Cleaner

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing kitchen sink, clogged drain. Plumbing problems in Nashville, TN. A clogged drain is one of those hassles that eventually happens

A lot happens in your Nashville, TN and it’s not always something wanted, such as a clogged drain. While it may be easy to reach for the drain cleaner to get things flowing down as they should, it may not be the best option. It’s important to consider what these cleaners are made of and the potential damage they may cause.

Types of Cleaners

Most off-the-shelf cleaners are formulated with ingredients that produce heat to help break up clogs. There are three main types:

  • Caustic – Lye and caustic potash
  • Oxidizing – Bleach, peroxide, and nitrate
  • Acid – Sulfuric and muriatic


Each of them is designed to transfer or remove electrons to organic substances, such as hair and food, to produce the heat needed to break them down. Unfortunately, you may not always know the true reason for the clogged drain. If oils, grease, or fats are the culprits, the cleaner only pushes the clog further down and may not resolve the problem. For homes with older metal or plastic pipes, the chemicals can begin to warp or melt the piping, which may lead to a burst pipe that requires the assistance of water damage and restoration specialist.

Save Your Pipes

Instead of grabbing a chemical solution, it’s often better to consider a mechanical or biological one. A plunger or drain snake is often more efficient in clearing out the clog without doing any damage. Another option is an enzymatic cleaner. It contains natural living bacteria that eat away at the clog and are more environmentally friendly. For situations in which a clog keeps returning or it won’t come unclogged, it may be time to call in a professional for proper sewage cleaning. As experts in their field, they will be able to solve your problem without damaging your pipes.
A clogged drain is one of those hassles that eventually happens. Even though it seems like a small ordeal, unclogging it the right way is important to avoid a much bigger problem down the road.

How To Clean Electronics After a Fire

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Computer keyboard with fire flame and the words DO NOT USE SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville can clean electronics after a fire

After you've experienced a fire at your business in Nashville, TN, the cleanup to-do list can be pretty long. One element that requires special attention is your technology. Whether an electrical fire is how the larger fire started or your electronics were damaged by a fire caused in some other way, there are important considerations that you need to know about if you hope to recover any of your electronics.

Understand the Damage

When a fire occurs, computer cleanup is not as simple as wiping off the monitor and the keyboard. Smoke gets into the interior of your machines and leaves a film. That film can hold a magnetic charge, turning soot damage into a short circuit that can permanently damage your device. Without proper cleaning after a fire, your technology can pose a danger to you and you risk losing all of your data.

Transfer Your Data

In an effort to save the data on your computer, remove the hard drive, and see if you can transfer your information to a different computer. Never turn on your devices after an electrical fire. Smoke damage can cause your device to malfunction.

Call a Professional

If you hope to recover your data and your devices after a fire, depend on a professional. You're likely working with a commercial fire restoration company, and they will be able to connect you with an individual who is trained to salvage and restore electronics that have been damaged in a fire. The upfront cost of working with a professional to restore your devices will pale in comparison to the cost of replacing all of your technology if you insist on attempting a DIY approach.
During cleanup after an electrical fire, pay special attention to your computers and other devices. Proper cleaning by a professional increases the likelihood that you won't need to spend a lot to replace all of your technology.

The Fascinating Secret Life of Mold

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall in Nashville, TN Black mold damage

The Fascinating Secret Life of Mold

While you don’t want black mold moving into your building, the mold’s life cycle is actually fairly intriguing. It has all the elements of an epic miniseries: suspended animation, invisibility, gluttonous eating, wanton reproduction, and maybe even a battle scene. For the big finish, the mold dramatically releases its offspring into the world just before it dies.


1. Episode One: Suspended Animation
Mold begins its life invisible and airborne, floating through time and space like a scene from a sci-fi novel, waiting until conditions are right. The air in Nashville, TN is full of tiny mold spores, which can remain dormant for years or even decades. Mold spores do not begin to grow until they encounter moisture.


2. Episode Two: Feasting Colonists
When airborne mold spores land on a moisture source in your building, such as a plumbing leak, the spores begin to feed, grow, and multiply. As mold colonies grow, they consume and digest whatever surface they are growing upon. This period of eating and reproducing as much as possible continues for as long as the moisture source is present.


3. Episode Three: Battle for Moisture
Some types of mold, such as black mold, give off gas-like compounds called mycotoxins. Scientists believe that mold releases mycotoxins when it competes with other organisms over the same moisture source. In a building with a moisture problem, mold may have to battle off dust mites, bacteria, and/or insects to maintain control of the water.


4. Episode Four: Impending Doom
If the mold loses the battle for resources, or if the moisture source dries up, mold releases spores into the air right before it dies. These airborne spores can remain in your building for years, waiting to find moisture so they can grow. This is why merely killing visible mold is not sufficient mold cleanup. Professional mold remediation is usually necessary to extract mold spores from the air.
Black mold may be the “international microbe of mystery,” but you still don’t want mold colonies growing in your building. Understanding how mold lives and grows can help you prevent a mold outbreak.

Which of Your Pipes Need To Be Repaired or Replaced?

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

The plumber in Nashville connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Replacing your old pipes with new plumbing can help prevent water problems in the future

Which of Your Pipes Need To Be Repaired or Replaced?

Older commercial buildings are more prone to water damage. That is because they often have defects in the below systems:

  • Roofing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing


Your insurance company may charge you higher premiums for premises that are more than 30 years old or poorly maintained. You are also more likely to require water cleanup and restoration services for these properties. To prevent a future leak or flood in your Nashville building, you should update your plumbing system.


Polybutylene Pipes
These pipes are particularly prone to problems and need to be replaced. Many commercial properties built from the 1970s to the 1990s utilized these pipes. Back then, this piping was seen as cheap and easy to install.
However, it soon became clear that chlorine and other water-treatment chemicals make these pipes brittle. This leaves the pipes prone to breaks and cracks. These pipes are thus no longer recognized by American building codes and must be replaced.


Other Problematic Pipes
Pipes can malfunction due to corrosion or erosion. Erosion occurs when the water wears down the metal of the polybutylene or other pipes.
When the metal reacts with the water in the pipes, corrosion occurs. Older iron, copper and steel pipes are particularly likely to experience corrosion.
Because many of the pipes are often hidden under concrete or behind walls, it can be easy to forget about them. By the time you notice that something is wrong, water may have already seeped into an office or apartment.
If your property does contain outdated pipes, hire a plumber who has the technology to locate and inspect them. The plumbing expert should discover any issues and can fix them before they cause a major water disaster.
Replacing your old pipes with new plumbing can help prevent water problems in the future. Polybutylene pipes, in particular, will degrade over time and need to be changed.

An Explanation of the Fire Restoration Process

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Home damaged by fire in Nashville, TN Fire damage in Nashville, TN

No two fires are exactly alike. Each fire takes its own path to destruction of a home or part of a home. Nonetheless, the fire restoration process follows a blueprint that is similar in many circumstance. The first thing to take place is often the arrival of firefighters. They work diligently to put the fire out and to save as much of your home in Nashville, TN, as possible. Once the fire is out, this is the time to bring in a professional fire remediation team. For many reasons, speed is of the essence, so the workers arrive to your home within hours of being called.

The Steps for a Successful Fire Cleanup

One of the first things the crew will look at is the security of the home. Is it open to additional damage from the elements? Is it vulnerable to vandals and thieves coming into the home? If the answer is yes, the crew will either put a tarp over the roof or board up exposed areas of the home. The rest of the fire restoration process follows this outline:

  • Shoring up structural weaknesses
  • Cleaning up any water damage
  • Washing away any soot damage
  • Engaging in practices to remove smoke damage
  • Repairing structural damage


Trained technicians will use a variety of techniques as well as sophisticated equipment to restore your home. They will also keep an eye open for future problems such as mold growth.


The Value of Damage Cleaning
Professionals will use all means at their disposal to clean items affected by the fire. This may necessitate the need for dry cleaning, immersion cleaning, wet cleaning and other methods to get out soot and smoke odors that tend to be stubborn. In some cases, the materials might not be restorable so they will need to be replaced. That is part of dealing with a home fire. A quality fire restoration returns your home to you the way it was before the fire.

3 Tips for Avoiding Homeowners Insurance Rate Increases

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. Home insurance claim form

3 Tips for Avoiding Homeowners Insurance Rate Increases

Filing a homeowner's insurance claim cannot only lead to an increase in your current insurance rates but also may affect the premiums of future insurance policies. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances your insurance rates will go up due to collecting on the policy.

1. Do Not File Claims for Minor Damage
The more claims you make, the more likely your insurance company may increase your rates, cancel your policy or refuse to insure your property. One way to decrease the chances of this happening is to avoid filing claims for minor damage. For example, if your home has water damage from a broken pipe that caused a few kitchen tiles to peel up, it may be better to replace the tiles out of pocket than to file for reimbursement.

2. Keep Your Home in Good Condition
A poorly maintained home is more likely to be damaged in a home flood or other disaster. Keep your roof patched and replace it when needed. Seal any leaks around the windows and doors. Fix any leaking plumbing and repair or replace broken appliances. If you need to file an insurance claim, be sure to mitigate your damage by cleaning up standing water promptly and covering holes in the roof, windows or siding with plywood or tarp. If there is a lot of water in your home, you may want to consider having a water remediation company in Nashville, TN, dry it out thoroughly.

3. Consult Your Insurance Professional
If you are unsure whether to file a claim or not, ask your insurance agent. Your policy is there to be used when you need it so do not be afraid to ever file a claim.
Rate increases are affected by several factors, including how often you file an insurance claim. Reducing the number of times you file can help you avoid rate increases.

How To Prevent Mold Damage

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores, and on the top of the picture it says ANYWHERE Mold can grow mostly anywhere

Black mold and other fungi can be detrimental to your home. Fortunately, serious damage is often preventable.

Preventing Mold Growth

Mold spores are almost everywhere, but they do not all result in an infestation. This is due to the fact that not all areas are conducive to fungal growth. Mold needs three things in order to thrive:

  • Food
  • Warmth
  • Water

Homes often have many food sources for mold, including dust, pulpy items and other organic material. Additionally, most homes are warm enough for mold to grow. Therefore, controlling the moisture in your Percy Priest, TN, home is the best way to prevent a mold infestation. Check regularly for signs of a moisture problem, such as a leak or spill. Resolve any such issues as soon as possible. Keep the humidity in the home below 50%. In humid areas, such as bathrooms and basements, you may need to run a dehumidifier.
In addition to controlling the moisture levels in your home, you can also take steps to minimize the number of mold spores present. HEPA air purifiers are good at trapping spores. Regular carpet cleaning can control the spores that are tracked in on shoes and pet paws. There are also mold-resistant paints and fabrics on the market that are inhospitable to mold and can keep the spores from growing.

Removing Mold Growth
Even the most well-maintained homes can suffer black mold or other types of fungal infestations. If you catch the problem early, it is generally possible to prevent serious damage. Homeowners may be able to address very small areas of mold growth using baking soda or vinegar. Larger infestations generally require professional remediation. In addition to mold cleanup, experienced restoration professionals can help you spot problems and prevent future mold growth.
Black mold is scary but preventable. Thankfully, keeping your home clean and dry and addressing signs of mold early are often all it takes to keep your home safe and clean.

How To Clean Up After a Fire

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Firemen putting out fire in old building Fire damage in Nashboro Village, TN

Take Cleanup One Step At A Time

Having a business fire is devastating and both physically and mentally exhausting. Although you may know what to do when your business is actively ablaze, you might be at a loss after the fire. There are many factors involved when you are dealing with things like smoke and water cleanup. To get your business back in shape, you need to know how to clean up after a fire. 

Wait Until the Fire Department Says It's Safe
As hard as it is, you should wait to begin your fire cleanup. The fire department might have:

  • Punched holes in walls, ceilings, floors
  • Broken windows
  • Soaked the roof, floor, and electrical appliances
  • Broken furniture or doors

All of these actions can cause hazards and may not be safe. You may also want to wait until an inspector or insurance adjuster comes. If the damage is too great, consider a fire damage restoration company in Nashville, TN.

Start With Smoke Damage
Tackle smoke cleanup before working on water cleanup because you will be putting more water onto things like floors and walls. Start by spraying down the house's exterior if it was damaged in the fire, cleaning gutters, and deciding what needs to be rebuilt and what holes need to be fixed.
You can clean walls and other surfaces with trisodium phosphate. TSP reduces the smell and binds to ash particles on hard surfaces without damaging them further.

Move to Water Damage
Water cleanup is more involved than smoke. Throw away any electronics, furniture, or badly damaged items. Consider hiring a professional for drywall or ceilings, particularly if you need to replace them. Wash all clothing and bring undamaged shoes, leather, and other items outside to dry.
You do not have to be overwhelmed by fire cleanup. Just remember to take it one step at a time, and don't be afraid to call in professionals when necessary.

Why Do Older Rental Properties Have Drain Problems?

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Man crouching in trench with shovel showing an old terracotta sewer line broken open to reveal a solid tube of invasive tree Tree roots that have grown into pipes may cause clogs in your drains

Older rental properties in Nashville, TN often have clogged or slow-moving drains. These problems are often caused by aging plumbing systems. In some cases, the material used in the pipes is to blame. Between 1978-1995, polybutylene pipes were used extensively, and it's estimated that they were installed in 6 to 10 million homes. It is believed that oxidants, such as chlorine, in the public water supply react with the piping and cause them to flake and become brittle.

What Causes Clogs in Older Homes?

Each older home is different, but common reasons for drain clogs in older homes include:

  • The angle of the pipes to the main line
  • Tree roots that have grown into the pipes
  • Sludge buildup from soap, hair or debris from remodeling projects

Homes built before 1995 may experience drain clogs more frequently. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid water damage.

How Can Old Pipes Be Maintained?
If you have a clog, try cleaning the drain with a pipe snake, clean the drain trap if one exists or use a chemical drain cleaner. If you are unable to resolve the problem, call a professional who has experience working with older plumbing.
For regular maintenance, enzyme treatments can be used as a method for preventing slow or clogged drains. Enzyme treatments contain a form of bacteria that feeds on drain-clogging materials such as hair, algae and food waste. They will grow and multiply, spreading beneficial bacteria throughout your drain system. Harsh chemicals can kill the bacteria, so treatments will need to be repeated occasionally. Enzyme treatments will not harm pipes and are safe to use on a regular basis.
If you suspect you have polybutylene pipes in your rental property, call a professional to see what steps to take next.
If you have rental properties with older plumbing or polybutylene pipes, regular maintenance can go a long way in preventing water damage. If clogged drains cause flooding, a flood restoration specialist can help you mitigate any damage.

Commercial Building Damage Caused by Hail

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster marked the hail damage on a insureds roof. You can't eliminate the possibility of roof damage from a hailstorm

Hailstorms can wreak havoc on your commercial building in Nashville, TN. Roof damage caused by hail can create leaks inside the structure, but it's not the only way hail can harm your building.

Ways That Hail Can Damage Your Building

There are many ways that hail can damage your business.

Roofing materials and equipment - The roofing materials can crack or become loosened during a hailstorm. HVAC equipment and skylights are prone to hail damage if they aren't properly protected.
Leaks inside the building - Once hail has caused roof damage, water can easily leak into your building, causing structural damage and ruining flooring, furniture and equipment. When that happens, you must call a storm damage restoration service right away.
Outer building materials - Siding can sustain damage and windows can break.

Preparations To Protect Against Hailstorms
Make sure your roofing materials are resistant to strong impact. If they aren't, consider installing new roofing. Hail guards or shields can be installed around HVAC equipment to reduce the risk of damage. Just make sure the materials meet the uplift pressure requirements of ASCE 7.
Skylights must comply with specific standards developed by the American Society for Testing Materials and the American National Standards Institute, more commonly known as ASTM and ANSI, respectively. Solar panels must also be designed to meet the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission. These standards have created rigorous testing methods to ensure that equipment can withstand hailstorms.
It's important for your maintenance department to conduct routine inspections on the materials and equipment on the roof. You should also inspect the roof right before and immediately after a hailstorm. Many business owners also schedule an annual inspection with a professional to ensure there are no hidden problems.
You can't eliminate the possibility of roof damage from a hailstorm, but if you follow some important steps you can reduce the risk of serious damage to your building.

Understanding Flood Cuts and Their Usage

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Any situation that involves contamination is one where a flood cut is needed

If a torrential downpour or other disaster has resulted in the flooding of your home in Nashville, TN, then your walls are probably waterlogged and require repairs. In the case that your home was constructed after the year 1960, you most likely have drywall. Homes with drywall afflicted with a sudden influx of flooding may need to have a flood cut performed on them, either by the homeowner or a professional restoration service. What does this mean exactly? Read on to find out.

What Are Flood Cuts?

In many cases, you might not want to tear out soaked drywall; having to remove the walls is inconvenient and replacement can be costly. However, this is not realistically possible all the time. Instead, sections of drywall may need to be cut out. These sections are usually removed a foot to a foot and a half above where the damage caused by the water ends. This is what is referred to as a flood cut.

When Are Flood Cuts Needed?
Drenched drywall does not always need to be cut out. So when is this process needed? Any situation that involves contamination is one where a flood cut is needed. Times when a flood cut must occur include:

  • If the affected area was backed by insulation
  • If a mold infestation has claimed your walls
  • If the tide of water in your home is from an outer water source like river overflow or runoff that might contain chemicals, sewage or other contaminants.

When Aren't Flood Cuts Needed?
However, there are situations where a flood cut is not necessary. Specifically, a flood cut is not required when two conditions are met: There is no insulation or mold present and the water in the drywall is clean and contaminant-free. Avoiding employing a flood cut means the wall may be able to be saved without dry wall removal.
Not every flooding incident will end up requiring a flood cut. Many will, but not all. There still exists hope for wall preservation in some situations, so it's best not to automatically assume flooded walls are doomed.

5 Signs You Have a Leaky Shower

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged Shower leak in Percy Priest, TN

Five Signs You Have A Leaky Shower

A shower or bathtub leak may seem like a small issue, but the residual water damage can wreck havoc on your home if left untreated. If you suspect that your home in Percy Priest, TN, is dealing with a shower leak, then you need to act quickly in order to prevent subsequent issues, such as unwanted mold growth. Here are five tell-tale signs that you have a leaky shower.

1. Water Stains on the Ceilings
Check the ceilings on the floor directly below your bathroom. If you notice ugly, brown water stains spreading across the ceiling then you probably have a leaky shower. If your ceiling is sagging or noticeably bulging, then you need to contact professional help immediately.

2. Cracked or Stained Bathroom Tiles
Bathrooms face a lot of moisture and water on a daily basis, so their flooring is naturally able to resist a bit of splashing. However, they can only handle so much water. Cracked or stained bathroom tiles are indicative of problems such as a shower pan leak or other types of water damage.

3. Mold or Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew both thrive in moisture, making your bathroom the perfect place for them to grow. While occasional mold growth isn't necessarily indicative of a larger problem, you may want to start investigating if you notice that the fungi are reappearing regularly.

4. Warped or Stained Walls
Check for damaged paint and wallpaper on your walls. Any cracks or chips could indicate a shower or bathtub leak. In extreme cases, the walls might bulge or warp as a result of the excess water building up behind them. If that's the case, you need to contact professional help.
A shower or bathtub leak can cause irreparable water damage if left untreated. If you notice one or more of the above signs, then you need to contact water remediation experts to help resolve the issue.

How To Find the Right Air Purifier to Reduce Mold Spores in Your Home

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house Make sure you're ready to take on that cost, as this is what makes the air purifier effective

Features You Should Look For When Shopping For An Air Purifier

After you experience water damage in your home in Percy Priest, TN, or even if you just live in a humid climate, you've probably encountered mold in your house. After you've used a mold cleanup company to get rid of the damage, air filtration can be a good way to continue to reduce the number of spores that can create another problem. Here are some features you should look for when shopping for an air purifier.

1. True HEPA Filter
A high-efficiency particulate air filter will trap the majority of mold spores that flow through it. Avoid air filtration systems that say they have a HEPA-type filter, as these will not trap as many of the minuscule mold particles.

2. Appropriate for the Size of Your Space
Look for a purifier that has an Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers certification so that you can see what size of room the purifier can handle. Make sure you get one big enough to thoroughly process the air in your home or the affected room. You may have to get several units if you can't find one that can handle your space.

3. Filter Replacements
While you're probably going to have to replace the filter in whatever unit you use, check to see how much replacements cost and how often you'll need to change them out. Make sure you're ready to take on that cost, as this is what makes the air purifier effective.

4. Noise Level
If you are going to put the air purifier in your bedroom, you'll want to make sure it's quiet enough that it won't disturb your sleep or produces the right level of white noise for your comfort. Even if you're going to have the unit in your living space, you'll want to make sure it isn't disruptive to your conversations and other activities.
While these are just a few of the features of air filtration systems you should take into account, keeping them in mind will help you find the right unit for you.

Protect Every Part of Your Business from Hurricanes

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water, food, shelter, light source, first aid kit are just a few of the items needed to survive. Prepare a first aid kit in case of a disaster

Create A Plan To Protect Your Employees, Building, And Documents

Your business is composed of multiple parts that need protection from natural disasters such as hurricanes. Your employees are exposed to danger, the building can suffer from hurricane damage and important documents may get destroyed. Before such an event hits Nashville, TN, you will need to create a plan that protects these essential parts as much as possible.

Employees
The safety and wellbeing of your crew is the most important task at hand. As you think about the emergency plan, assemble the following items:

  • First aid supplies and manual
  • Emergency contact information
  • Basic tools and equipment
  • Three days' worth of food and water
  • Flashlights and battery-operated radio

These are some of the essentials, but you can always add more resources like an electrical generator and bedding items. Highlight escape routes towards the storm shelter and inform your personnel about them.

Property
The storm's high winds can leave behind a significant amount of hurricane damage on your property. Both the building and the equipment inside are essential to your business. Prepare for a potential storm by using sandbags to absorb floodwater and blocking doors and windows with plywood to prevent the wind-breaking them. Turn off and secure utilities and electronics since they can complicate matters during the hurricane. Contact commercial storm damage specialists to make any necessary repairs.

Documents
The documents that contain information critical to your establishment are also the most vulnerable. Even the slightest water damage can ruin them. Determine which documents are the most important and the most difficult to replicate. Keep them in an alternate location outside the premises or under waterproof protection. Additionally, try to back up these documents digitally so you can download and print them in case the originals are destroyed.
Every aspect of your company is in peril when a hurricane arrives, from your hard-working employees to the building itself. Create a plan that accounts for hurricane damage, document recovery, and everyone's health.

Safety Practices for Removing Mold

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal in Nashville, TN

Protect Yourself During Mold Removal

There are crucial steps you must take to ensure your safety when you are removing mold from a building. Before beginning to remove mold, you must know a few of the steps, so that you can protect yourself.

Wear PPE
You should always wear PPE when removing mold to protect yourself from spores, dust, and any other dangers that may arise. The PPE that you should always wear includes:

  • Hard hat
  • Eye protection
  • Job appropriate gloves
  • Protective footwear
  • Respiratory protection

Use Safe Practices
Aside from wearing PPE, you must also take necessary precautions to minimize your exposure to spores while performing mold remediation. You should throw away any items you find that have water damage, have been wet for 48 hours, or have extensive mold growth and cannot be cleaned. Wrap any items that you intend to discard in plastic bags or sheets. Once they have been properly sealed, you can throw them away as usual. Remember to be cautious while performing these tasks to avoid disturbing the mold. Since you will end up disturbing some of the mold spores during your removal, have natural or local exhaust ventilation at all times.
Clean any salvageable materials with a mild detergent. If you notice that mold remains after rinsing the detergent off, use bleach or another strong cleaner to disinfect the items. However, you should never mix bleach with cleaning products that contain ammonia. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, you should vacuum all surfaces with a HEPA vacuum. You may also use a HEPA vacuum in surrounding areas to ensure you have removed all of the mold and spores. At no point during this remediation should you eat, drink, or smoke in the workspace. Because of these necessary precautions, it is often best to let mold remediation professionals come and remove your mold for you.
During your mold removal project, you must take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Wearing PPE, such as eye protection and a respirator mask, avoiding disturbing mold, and thoroughly cleaning salvageable materials will allow you to safely remove any mold from your business in Nashville, TN.

Preventing Water Damage With a Sump Pump

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

New sump pump with an attached yellow emergency backup pump The best way to keep the bottom of your house dry is by practicing pump maintenance

Your house in Percy Priest, TN, is vulnerable if you live in a flood-prone area or if you go through frequent precipitation. The sump pump in your basement is one of the best measures against potential water damage from these occurrences. Learn about how these devices stop humidity, some maintenance tactics, and what to do when the basement becomes flooded.

Benefits of Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are composed of two parts: the sump pit and the pump. Excess water flows to the pit via drains or the ground. The pump is a device installed inside the pit that works alongside it. When the water reaches a certain level, the pump moves the water from the pit to areas outside your property. This function keeps the building dry and prevents water damage, which is not always easy to resolve.

Maintenance Tips
The best way to keep the bottom of your house dry is by practicing pump maintenance. You will keep the sump pump in great shape by:

  • Testing the unit every spring by dumping a bucket of water into the pit
  • Removing debris and other obstructions from the pit and the pump
  • Inspecting the ground fault circuit interrupter's connection to the pump
  • Replacing the back-up battery every two years

By performing these maintenance tasks, you will ensure the system works as intended. If you notice something is wrong with it, call a plumber immediately to fix it before the problem escalates.

Handling Water Damage
At rare times, your unit can malfunction and you will have a flooded basement. Prioritize the safety of everyone in your household by turning off the power to the area. After that, salvage whatever items you can and call your insurance company and emergency remediation services. These professionals will help you repair the area and your belongings from any water damage.
Your sump pump is the best measure against potential flooding. Remember its purpose, install one if you do not have it yet and keep it well maintained to protect your home.

The Surest WayTo Find Out If You Have a Mold Problem

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on the corner of ceiling Mold growth in Nashville, TN

If you have had any moisture issues in your home, you might be concerned about the growth of mold. After all, mold loves to grow in damp conditions. Many times it can be spotted by the growth of green or dark colonies on walls or ceilings. Other times, though, its presence can be hidden behind walls and can be difficult to find. Even though the mold is out of sight it can be still be causing damage to your home in Nashville, TN. An indoor environmental specialist working with a professional mold remediation company is an effective way to find out for sure if you have a mold problem.

The Benefits of a Professional Mold Test

It's possible to purchase a home mold test kit, but these DIY kits have a number of drawbacks. An indoor environmental specialist has been trained and certified to conduct a reliable test and to interprets the results. This approach produces many benefits:

  • A clear indication of if and where mold is present
  • A reduced chance of misinterpretation of results
  • A possible identification of the type of mold present

Once the results of the test are known, a team of technicians will develop a plan of action to deal with mold growth. One of the first steps is mold containment, which makes sure the fungus does not spread any further throughout your house.

The Advantages of a Quality Cleanup
The solution to a mold problem often involves the location and treatment of a water problem. Since mold thrives in moist conditions, the remediation process seeks to eliminate excess moisture in a house. This can be done by finding and treating the source of moisture and then drying and ventilating the area with vacuums and fans. After the property is cleaned, an indoor environmental specialist can retest the area and determine if the mold count is low enough. While it is impractical to eliminate all mold spores in a home, it is important to eradicate mold colonies.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We can help sanitize residential and commercial properties.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville, (615) 731-4222

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