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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Connection Between Mold and Moisture

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of a window Mold appearance in a Dunwoody, GA home

If mold appears in your home in Dunwoody, GA, it is a good bet you have a moisture issue somewhere in the house. The two go hand in hand, like a fire and smoke odors or like high winds and missing shingles. Therefore, mold prevention often hinges on taking care of excess moisture or humidity in the house. The following situations are often the precursors to the presence of mold:

  • A roof leak
  • A dripping pipe
  • Standing water in a shower
  • Faulty hose connections on washing machines and dishwashers
  • A damp basement or attic

Taking care of the water issue is a good start to slowing down mold growth. Additional steps, though, should be taken.

Mold Containment and Cleanup

It is important to act quickly and for several reasons. When extra moisture is present, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours. More time allows the mold spores, which are tiny, to spread to other areas of the home. One key aspect of mold prevention is to limit its spread by trying not to use the heating and cooling system in your home, which can spread spores around. A professional mold mitigation franchise can be on site in a matter of hours and will begin mold containment and cleanup actions. The company can also address any issues with water damage at the same time.

Mold Mitigation

The keys to mold prevention include a professional response from a trained company, the addressing of any water issues, and a thorough cleaning and sanitizing process in accordance with current standards. Failure to properly respond to mold leaves your home vulnerable to damage to drywall, tiling and your belongings. Mold also has an unpleasant musty odor that can permeate rooms, and it can be an allergen and irritant to some people. A clean home free of water leaks and with a low level of humidity is a good recipe for keeping mold under control.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We can handle commercial and residential jobs

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 NW DeKalb/Dunwoody/Brookhaven, (770) 396-3883

How To Get a Tax Deduction for Storm Damage

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Outside from a building flooded Storm damage in Mount Vernon, GA

The CBO estimates that storms cause $54 billion in storm damage every year. The federal government has attempted to make it easier for taxpayers to recover by allowing them to take a deduction on their taxes in some circumstances.

Casualty Loss Deduction

The casualty loss deduction was written into the tax code as a way to help taxpayers who had suffered financial losses due to property damage. Losses must meet these requirements to be tax deductible:

  • The loss must result from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected or unusual
  • Value of the loss must exceed the amount recovered through insurance
  • A claim must be filed on all insured property

Value of Your Loss

The value of your loss is considered to be the difference between what your property was worth before it was damaged by the storm and then compared to what it is worth afterward. This calculation is based on the lesser of either the fair market value or the adjusted basis of the property. Different methods may be used to determine the value of your loss, but commonly include the estimated sales price of your property in preloss condition and the cost to repair or remediate the storm damage. Replacement value is not considered.

Amount You Can Deduct

To determine your tax deduction, you must specify the value of your loss and then subtract any compensation you have received or expect to receive from insurance for that loss. You then need to take that amount and subtract $100, plus 10% of your adjusted gross income. However, the $100 deduction, and deduction for gross income, are sometimes waived if the damage is caused by presidentially declared disasters.
If you have sustained storm damage that was not fully compensated by insurance, you may qualify for a tax deduction. A tax professional in Mount Vernon, GA, can help you determine whether your loss qualifies and the value of your tax deduction.

How To Avoid Starting Fires in the Kitchen

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Pot on flames A grease fire in Briarcliff, GA

When you think of a kitchen, preparing and enjoying meals no doubt comes to your mind. Your kitchen is one of the most popular spots at home. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most common places for fires to stop. It's important to pay attention to fire-prevention tips so you can safely cook and avoid this terrible ordeal.

Pay Attention

Much of avoiding fires in your Briarcliff, GA, home involves common sense and being conscientious. The following hints can spare you a lot of grief and heartache:

  • Never leave the room when you're cooking on the stove.
  • Keep pot and panhandles pointed away from walking areas and toward back walls.
  • Turn ovens and stoves off when you're finished.

Dealing With Grease

A grease fire is a different animal than other types of blazes. If too much grease is in a pan, it can spill out onto the range and start a fire. Your first reaction may be to put water on it. However, this will only increase the size of the fire. Instead, smother it with baking soda, or put a lid over the pot or burner.

Maintain Your Appliances

If you're like most people, you probably rely on your kitchen appliances just about every day. After years of use, however, these appliances can wear down and become faulty. A poorly maintained oven, stove or microwave can spell disaster and cause fire damage. Inspect these units annually and replace them as needed promptly.

Be Careful of Metal

As you consider fire prevention tips in the kitchen, remember that metal and the microwave don't mix. You may know this, but make sure your kids do. This includes aluminum foil wrap as well as clips and fasteners that may be on wrappers.
If you want to avoid calling a professional disaster cleanup team to restore your home from a fire, follow these tips. A few simple actions can spare you a lot of grief.

Toilet Care 101: How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Female fixing a toilet tank Fixing a leaking toilet can be pretty expensive in Gainsborough, GA

Fixing a leaking toilet can be pretty expensive in Gainsborough, GA, as most licensed plumbers charge steep hourly rates. However, most bathroom problems are easy to fix. All you need is a basic understanding of how a toilet works, a few hand tools and this step-by-step guide.

Finding a Bathroom Leak

The first step in fixing any bathroom leak is finding the source. Take a mop and clean any puddles that might be around the toilet, dump in some food color in the tank, and wait a few minutes. You should see where the leak is coming from quite easily.
Some of the most common causes of toilet leaks include:

  • Problem with the wax ring
  • Broken tank flange
  • An inefficient flush valve system
  • Fill valve issues

Fixing Wax Ring Issues

Wax rings are durable, inexpensive and can fit in most toilets and drains. Even so, they sometimes fail, resulting in a leaking toilet. First, close the valve and drain the bathroom to avoid any more accidents. Loosen all the bolts using a wrench then remove the toilet carefully. Once it's off, you should see the device that connects the throne to the sewer line. Replace all the old wax with a fresh coat, then install the lav to complete the job. If that does not work, consider replacing the wax ring.

Solving Tank Flange Issues

Sometimes, the problem goes deeper than a simple wax change. The tank flange should sit ¼ inch above the finished floor to allow adequate space for the wax ring. Anything less than that could result in a leak. To fix this issue, use a flange extension to increase the allowance for a better grip. However, you might need to replace the entire fitting if it's broken.
Using these tips, you can diagnose and fix a leaking toilet without spending a dime on labor. Anyone can do it in less than one hour if they have the right tools and a little motivation.

Signs You Have a Sewer Problem

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in basement caused by sewer backflow due to clogged sanitary drain Sewage issues can be sneaky

Signs To Recognize Sewer Issues in Your Commercial Building

Sewage issues can be sneaky. A blocked sewer isn't something you can usually see with a cursory glance. There are several signs you can watch for, however, to recognize sewer issues in your commercial building in Doraville, GA.

Drain Speed

Commercial drains can easily get blocked by obstructions. For example, if something other than waste and toilet paper are flushed, it could result in a toilet overflow. There are several issues that could be indicative of a larger problem, though:

  • Frequent toilet backups
  • Backups in multiple toilets or drains
  • Slowly draining sink

If slow drainage seems to be a widespread problem throughout your building, you may need to have your sewer lines inspected. Tree roots or line deterioration could be the reason for the blockage.

Lawn Issues

When you have a blocked sewer, the substance in the pipes doesn't just magically disappear. It has to go somewhere. Keeping an eye on your landscaping can alert you to a problem. If one patch of grass looks particularly lush, it could be due to a sewer leak underneath it. Look for swampy areas around your property, as this can be a symptom of a leak, too.

Pest Sightings

Mice, cockroaches and other pests tend to live in the sewers. If you have pipe breaks somewhere, they can get into your building through the lines. An outbreak of vermin in your building can be a sign that you have sewer issues, particularly if repeated visits from pest control can't get rid of them.

Secondary Damage

Undetected sewer issues can lead to extensive damage. Foundation problems can stem from undiagnosed sewer leaks. If you see mold growth, it may be due to excess water from a sewer issue. Mold remediation experts can identify the cause of the problem.
A blocked sewer may not be immediately apparent. There are several symptoms to look for, however, to detect a problem so you can get it fixed.

Helping People Rebuild After a Natural Disaster

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Building flooded Flooding from storm

When Mother Nature unleashes her fury in North Atlanta, GA, a catastrophic loss is an unimaginable situation no one wants to find themselves in. Unfortunately, flooding or storm damage can devastate an entire community. While at first it may seem that recovery is impossible, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Teams are ready to mobilize to help people rebuild and get back to normal life.

Safety First

Safety before, during and after the storm is vital. Once it subsides and everyone is safe, a first inclination may be to access the damage while waiting for help to arrive. Before doing so, consider the following to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Stay up to date on the latest news. Some areas may not be safe to travel through. Tap water may also be contaminated.
  • Structural damage or gas leaks are likely outcomes when there is a catastrophic loss.
  • Do not enter any structures until it has been verified safe to enter.
  • Electrical hazards should be a top concern. Along with downed power lines, if water has entered the home, it may have affected electrical circuits and equipment. If safe to do so, turn the power off at the main source.
  • Any kind of flooding can result in black water. It is best to avoid any standing waters. Wear protective clothing, goggles, boots and gloves if you decide to enter the water.

Rebuilding

After the professionals arrive and a property has been deemed safe to enter, cleanup and rebuilding can happen. In large loss situations, the process can take time. SERVPRO’s disaster teams are elite, highly trained and experienced professionals who will make the process go as smooth as possible. They will provide the assessment, cleanup and restoration services needed in the fastest amount of time possible to make the disaster a distant memory.
As its name implies, a catastrophic loss can suddenly turn your world upside down. No matter the type of disaster, remember that you aren’t alone. Disaster specialists will quickly arrive to help you through the process.

3 Tips for Preventing Mold After Flooding

1/11/2020 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier with the words DID YOU KNOW? A dehumidifier can be set up to pull any remaining water out of the air

3 Tips for Preventing Mold After Flooding

If flooding has been an issue at your Brookhaven, GA, business, then you may be concerned about the possibility of black mold, growth on the property. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prevent this positional problem for your business. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Act Quickly

It’s important to act quickly if there is flooding at your place of business. The faster water removal can begin the less likely subsequent mold problems are to occur. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that a local water damage restoration service be contacted to help with repairs. These professionals can also perform a mold cleanup if necessary.

2. Remove the Water

The first step you may see the restoration service do is remove the water from the affected area. Doing so can help prevent the conditions that could lead to black mold growth. This process will often involve the use of a pump for large amounts of water, but professionals may also use squeegees or sponges to pull water out of difficult to reach areas.

3. Dry the Area

Because mold most often appears whenever there is a moisture problem, it’s important to thoroughly dry the area. After the water has been removed equipment such as a dehumidifier can be set up to pull any remaining water out of the air. Your restoration service should have access to these tools and be able to set them up where they will be most effective.
Preventing black mold on the business property can involve several steps. If flooding has occurred it’s best to act quickly and contact a professional as soon as you can. Remove the water from the affected area, and then use a dehumidifier or similar tools to make sure everything has been thoroughly dried. Doing so can help prevent the conditions mold prefers to grow in.

Understanding How Fire Sprinkler Systems Work

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Factory roof structure and automatic fire protection in building system. Fire sprinkler system in a Dekalb, GA building

A fire in your Dekalb, GA, business can cause serious damage. Fortunately, a fire sprinkler can help minimize the fire damage.

How the Sprinkler System Works

Sprinkler systems are very effective, in part, because they are so simple. Here's how they work:

  • Heat activates the sprinkler.
  • The sprinkler releases water to control the fire.
  • The fire department turns off the sprinkler after the fire is fully extinguished.

Sprinkler systems may have slight variations, but most work in essentially the same way. Heat, usually between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit, causes a special material in the sprinkler head to expand. When this happens, the bulb, inside the sprinkler, breaks and the sprinkler releases water. Only the bulbs exposed to the high temperatures break. The water comes through a pipe that is connected to an outside water source. Due to the rapid response of modern sprinkler systems, they have excellent fire-suppression capabilities. However, it is still important to contact your local fire department. They will ensure that the fire has been fully extinguished and the building is safe to enter. They will also turn off the fire sprinkler system once it is safe to do so.

How To Clean Up Afterwards

Unfortunately, all fire-suppression techniques result in at least some water damage. With a sprinkler system, though, the water damage is usually less severe than if fire hoses had been used. Fire sprinkler cleanup follows the same basic steps as any other water damage cleanup scenario:

  • Remove standing water using specialized pumps or vacuums.
  • Remove all items that cannot be salvaged.
  • Dry out remaining moisture using dehumidifiers or fans.
  • Restore and replace damaged items.

Although a fire sprinkler can prevent a business fire from doing maximum damage, there will still be some fire damage and water damage from the sprinkler itself. A professional restoration company can get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

Smoke From a Fire Can Cause More Damage Than the Flames

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke with a sign that says SMOKE DAMAGE STINKS Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage. Call SERVPRO

Smoke From a Fire Can Cause More Damage Than the Flames

Fire damage is easy to spot. Fires burn, char, melt and destroy everything they touch. Remediating fire damage is simply a matter of restoring damaged items to their former condition. Once restoration is complete, everything will look fine, but it won’t smell fine.

Smoke damage is nastier than fire damage in many respects. Particulates created by the fire spread throughout the home, leaving the telltale smell of the fire everywhere. There is nothing simple about smoke cleaning. Complete the following steps, and your home will smell fresh and clean.

  1. Begin air filtration immediately after the fire. Don’t give the smoke odor the chance to permeate everything. It will settle in fabrics, carpets, flat surfaces and every crack and crevasse. The best way to avoid that is to capture particulates out of the air before they have a chance to settle.

  2. Clean everything while air filtration is still in process. Clean carpets, fabrics, ceilings, walls and floors. Some of the particulates will be captured in cleaning while others may go back into the air. Air filtration will capture them.

  3. Ozone removes odors that you cannot reach. You’ve done as much smoke cleaning as you can. Close up your home, load your family and pets in the car, and disappear for a few days. Local smoke and fire remediation specialists in Chamblee, GA, will bring in their ozone generators and do the rest. They will let you know when it is safe to return.

  4. Thermal fogging is the final step. Any odor that survives the above three steps is in your home to stay. Masking that odor is the only remaining option. Thermal fogging is the process of heating a special deodorizer and spreading it as dry smoke, permeating your entire home.

As you can see, effective smoke cleaning requires special equipment and odor removal specialists with the skills to use it. If you have a problem with odors caused by a fire, it’s time to get some help.

Writing Off Commercial Losses From Storm Damage

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

Outside of a building flooded Flooded building in Chamblee, GA

Writing Off Commercial Losses From Storm Damage

Commercial taxes are always a sticky subject, and what's true today may not be true tomorrow. However, when it comes to business losses due to storm damage, the law seems surprisingly simple. Your ability to write off losses depends on the steps you followed in processing the loss. It is the result of a multi-step process with intermediate results of each step along the way.

1. File an Insurance Claim

If you have insurance, whether, flood, commercial or both, you need to file a claim on time. Failing to do so may cause the insurer to reject the claim. If the denial is due to something you did or failed to do, this may affect your ability to write off the loss.

2. Calculate Your Net Loss

The Total Loss is the amount of money that you need to return your business to its pre-storm condition. You will have submitted some portion of this amount to the relevant insurance companies for reimbursement. When you receive a payment from those insurance companies, subtract that amount from your Total Loss; this figure is your Net Loss.

3. Write Off the Net Loss

Your Net Loss is not tax deductible; it’s better than that. For your company, a loss is the same as an electric bill, property taxes and other business expenses, and your company can write it off. If your business had a Net Income of $100,000 also had a Net Loss of $40,000 due to storm damage, the Net Income subject to taxes would be $60,000.

4. Get the Business Up and Running Again

You can always leave the financial aspects of storm damage to your financial professionals. Getting your Chamblee, GA, business back on its feet is your job. There are local disaster recovery specialists who have the equipment and experience to get the job done quickly.

What to Check On if Your Toilet is Leaking

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Leaking toilet in Dunwoody, GA

A leaking toilet can be a big problem, especially if it is allowed to continue. Damage to the flooring, subfloor and even the joists below can occur if allowed to stay wet. You may also develop issues with black mold growth.

How To Find a Leak in Your Toilet

There are many solutions to a bathroom leak that you can fix yourself, rather than calling a plumber in Dunwoody,GA to take care of it, but first you must discern where the problem is coming from. The following guidelines can help you discover what type of a leak you are dealing with.

Water that pools at the toilet’s base may lead you to suspect the wax ring. Check to see if it has dried out and shrunk with age – it may need to be replaced
You may need to tighten the tank flange or it may be broken or cracked. Check to make sure it is seated properly and fastened properly.
The toilet bowl may have a crack or hairline fracture and you may need a new toilet.
A loose supply line could cause dripping whenever water is drawn into the toilet. Tie a dry rag around it and watch to see if it becomes saturated over time. Replace any faulty parts.

Make the Repairs Immediately

Try not to panic if it is the first time you have seen water, unless it is a lot. Even condensation from the bowl can run down and puddle on the floor, imitating a leaking toilet. If it happens repeatedly and you are able to discern the source of the problem, fix it right away. If you are unable to do it yourself, do not hesitate to call a plumber, as letting it go could result in water damage or even black mold growth.
If your leaking toilet does cause water or mold damage, call the water damage restoration professionals in Dunwoody,GA to clean and dry things out completely. Although no toilet is exempt from developing problems, keeping an eye on your plumbing can help you catch symptoms of a leak early on.

What To Do About Wet Wood Flooring After a Pipe Burst

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water falling on wooden floor Water falling on wooden floor

Tips for Taking Proper Care of Wet Wood Flooring

A pipe burst can lead to many serious forms of damage. If you’ve noticed that the wood flooring in your Mount Vernon, GA, business is wet as a result of a burst pipe, make sure you call a professional immediately. In the meantime, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate as much water damage as possible. Here are some tips for taking proper care of wet wood flooring.

Clear the Floor

Before you start cleaning up the excess water, be sure to remove any items that are still on the floor. Leaving objects on your wet floor can cause them to become severely damaged. Some examples of objects that you should remove are

  • Furniture
  • Rugs
  • Upholstery
  • Cushions

Items that are already soaked will continue to allow water to seep into the wood floor. Remove loose objects right away to prevent further damage from taking place.

Remove Excess Water

While you’re waiting for professional services to arrive, it’s a good idea to remove any excess water from your floors before it continues to spread. You can use a clean rag, mop or towel to clean up small puddles. If the pipe burst caused more widespread damage, use a wet vacuum to remove larger areas of excess water. By taking this step, you can stop additional damage from taking place.

Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can help to dry any excess water that is left on your wood floor. Simply run the dehumidifier at its highest setting and keep it running for at least 24 hours to safely remove all traces of moisture. If you still notice signs of water after running the unit, turn on some fans and point them towards the wet areas to dry them completely.
Mitigating further water damage after a pipe burst is only the first step in the process of restoring your business. To safely bring it back to its original state, call a professional restoration company as soon as you can.

3 Important Differences Between Mold and Mildew

12/1/2019 (Permalink)

Hand pointing at mold growth on the wall Mold can cause serious health issues

If you have experienced water damage or high levels of humidity in your Dunwoody, GA, home, then it is possible you may also have some mold damage. This is a common problem that occurs in many buildings with too much moisture. There are two types of fungal growth that often develop in this case: mold and mildew. It is important to determine which you have, and there are a few key differences that can help you do this.
1. Where It Grows
Mold damage can occur in a variety of environments, so if you have a fungal growth in the building, this is most likely the culprit. It can grow inside walls, furniture, clothing and many other locations. Mildew, on the other hand, is more common on plants. It can sometimes be found on other organic materials, however, such as paper, leather and wood.
2. What It Looks Like
Mildew and mold growth will develop distinct appearances, which can make it easier to tell them apart. Mold can come in a variety of colors, from black to green, and often has a fuzzy appearance. It can grow in a large infestation and cover significant areas of the home. The appearance of mildew is more powdery and is limited to a gray or white color. It usually grows in smaller patches.
3. How Difficult It Is to Remove
Another big difference between these two types of fungus is how difficult it is to remove them from your home. Mold is invasive and will often spread beneath the surface of the material it is growing on. Mildew growth remains on the surface which makes it much easier to get rid of. Scrubbing it with an antibacterial cleaner is often enough.
If you have a fungal growth in your home, particularly if it involves mold damage, you will need a professional to remove it. A mold remediation company can inspect your home to find all areas of growth before removing it safely and thoroughly.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Children for a House Fire

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke surrounding a smoke alarm that's going off Protect yourself with fire alarms.

Unfortunately, fires are a common cause of devastation to homes in Dunwoody, GA. However, many parents are unsure of how to teach their children to escape a fire. There are several ways you can focus on your kids' safety and prepare your children for a home fire.

1. Show Your Children Know How To Get Out of Bed
During a fire, your children's first instinct may be to sit or stand upright. However, it's frequently more difficult to see when standing and can also make escaping more difficult. Instead of sitting or standing, it's often safer to roll out of bed if a fire occurs. You can practice this maneuver with your children to ensure they know how to safely roll out of their bed and onto the floor in the event of a fire.

2. Practice Crawling with Your Kids
Often, an important part of a fire escape is safely crawling to a doorway. Crawling is considered safer than standing, as temperatures can be drastically higher closer to the ceiling. When you focus on kids' safety while preparing your children for a fire, show them and practice how to crawl low to the floor. It's often also helpful to tell your children not to bring anything with them when escaping. Emergency restoration services can often assist in restoring damaged homes, and their safety is most important.

3. Teach Your Children How To Check the Doors
Another important element of fire preparation involves teaching your children how to check whether or not they can safely leave their rooms during a fire. Show your children how to check whether or not it is safe to leave their rooms by touching the door while still crawling. If the door is hot, then it's generally unsafe to open the door. However, if the door is cool to the touch, then it's usually safe to open the door.

Preparing your children for a fire is often an important part of kids' safety. Teaching your children how to roll out of bed, how to crawl and how to check doors can help them keep safe if a fire does occur.

Protect Roofs from Wind, Storm Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Missing roof shingles If shingles are damaged or missing, repair as soon as possible

Homeowners in Briarcliff,GA, know how strong storms can be. Protecting your home means taking preemptive measures to mitigate against roof damage. While having a proper inspection done regularly can keep the small problems from turning big, taking your own measures before a storm may result in only needing storm damage cleanup instead of a roof replacement.

The Power of Water

While not all roof damage may be avoidable during a storm, a few extra steps before the next one hits can provide some peace of mind.

Keep trees near the home trimmed and remove any limbs touching or hanging over the home.
Regularly clean gutters and spouts to ensure proper water flow. When inspecting a downspout, check for shingle granules.
If shingles are damaged or missing, repair as soon as possible. If the storm is coming before it can be properly repaired, use boards or a tarp as a temporary solution.

Extra Protection

Depending on the location of your home and the direction your roof faces, wind damage can easily become an ongoing problem. If it is time to get a new roof and extreme wind is an ongoing issue, it might be worth considering some additional wind and water mitigation. Some of the techniques available include:

Roof Coverings – In some cases, asphalt shingles may not be able to handle extreme winds. Other alternatives include metal, clay or tiles. It’s important to do your research before making a change.
Roof Connection – Metal clips or wraps are used to securely attach the roof to the walls.
Roof Deck Attachment – Typically a plywood structure, this method ensures the roof deck is secured to the main roof structure.
Water Barriers – Additional layers of protection are installed in the attic and on the roof deck to further keep water from infiltrating if shingles are missing.
Opening Protection Devices – These are wind- and impact-resistant coverings that reinforce doors, garage doors, windows, skylights and other openings.

Your roof is vital to protecting you and your home. Take the extra time to avoid roof damage and avoid expensive headaches down the road.

4 Tips for Avoiding an Explosion During a Gas Leak

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Natural gas burning on kitchen gas stove in the dark. A gas fire is a disastrous incident, but you can avoid it using the right measures.

4 Tips for Avoiding an Explosion During a Gas Leak

As a homeowner in Doraville,GA, you likely use natural gas in your home as an important resource. However, this substance is also incredibly volatile and flammable, which can turn a simple open flame or spark into a destructive gas fire. While your priority should be evacuating all inhabitants from the house, you can always reduce the chances of triggering an explosion and needing the services of a fire damage cleanup company. Once you find out there is a leak, you can take the following actions.

1. Avoid Using Electronics

As you create an escape route, you might be tempted to turn on the lights to allow better vision or use a cellphone to ask for assistance. Unfortunately, even the slightest heat or spark generated by these devices can start an instant fire. Do not use any electronic items while you are still in the building.

2. Let the Gas Out

One way to mitigate the risk of gas fire is to let it out of the building. Carefully open doors and windows around the house. While this practice will not stop the problem entirely, it will reduce the possibility of sparking a fire.

3. Inspect the Stove

An appliance that heavily relies on natural gas is the stove. The burners alone emit open flame, and even the smallest of mistakes can allow gas to leak out to the rest of the home. Take the time to check the stove and ensure there is no leak or an open flame that causes a gas explosion.

4. Locate the Gas Meter

The location of your residence's gas meter is important to know, particularly for an emergency like this. Find and remember where the gas meter is, as you will use this knowledge during a gas leak. You can shut the meter off once you evacuate the house.
A gas fire is a disastrous incident, but you can avoid it using the right measures. Pay attention to the signs, reduce ignition scenarios and leave the house as fast as possible.

Properly Snaking a Clogged Pipe

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Man start using sewer inspection camera. Monitor showing picture from camera head that inspector is holding. Snaking a clogged pipe in Gainsborough, GA

When a drain or pipe becomes clogged sufficiently that a dose of drain cleaner does not do the trick, it may be that a plumbing auger, or snake, in needed to break up the blockage. Snaking a drain may be intimidating to the average person, but in many cases a simple tool from the department or home improvement store may do the trick.

How To Use a Snake

There are just a few tips to using an auger that can help you avoid worsening the clog or making an unnecessary mess. Consider the following:

  • Push the end of the auger into the drain until you feel it make contact with the blockage.
  • Turn the crank while offering some resistance against the clog until you feel it begin to give way.
  • Withdraw the snake – you may need to reverse the cranking direction. You will then see whether you pushed the clog on down the drain or whether it comes out on the end of the auger.
  • Try running some water into the drain to see if it is draining properly. If not, repeat the process.

When to Call a Professional

If the pipe is still stopped up, call a plumber in Gainsborough, GA  to bring their commercial auger. They will check whether there is more going on. A plumber knows when to stop snaking in order to avoid a pipe break.
In the event that the toilet is clogged, and it overflows or backs up, it can create a sewage disaster. Even a small flood from a toilet can expose your home to contaminants and bacteria, and you would be safest to call a cleaning and restoration specialist in Gainsborough, GA  to ensure that all sewage and residual bacteria are completely cleaned.
Try snaking your clogged drain yourself, but if it doesn’t work or your do not have a snake, do not hesitate too long before calling in professional help.

Effective Business Continuity Planning Can Carry Your Company Through Major Disasters

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Business impact analysis (BIA) on a office desk. The BIA is essential to create an effective continuity plan

As both man-made and natural disasters increase around the world, they should be considered a part of doing business. Having a solid continuity plan can be the difference between success and insolvency. There are a few steps you can take to prepare for a wide range of business disrupting incidents in Gainsborough, GA, to reduce both stress and losses.

Prepare a Business Impact Analysis

The BIA is essential to create an effective continuity plan. To build one, start with a risk assessment by identifying potential business disruptions:

  • Natural disasters likely in Gainsborough, GA
  • Riots or civil disorder
  • Loss of key personnel
  • Information security catastrophe, such as a serious hacking

Your goal is to predict the consequences of possible disruptions and develop a workable recovery strategy. While it’s impossible to foresee all potential calamities, some are going to be far more likely than others. A disaster could be as simple as having to move to a new location or as complicated as a major hurricane and widespread flooding. It could be just as bad in the virtual world; businesses both large and small have been shut down for weeks due to malware locking them out and demanding a ransom. Without a continuity plan, this can easily mean liquidation.

Consider Duration and Timing

How long will the issue take to be resolved? Your planning will be entirely different for a few hours versus a few weeks. Perhaps more important is the timing of the incident. A short disruption from something as simple as a power outage at a particularly bad time can devastate a business. A great example is the impact large storms have had on total yearly retail sales when it hits right before Christmas.
Whether it’s a disruption from storm damage or a bored kid at his computer, being prepared with a written plan can make your life much easier. Part of the proposal should be to choose a good cleanup company to get you back in the game after a natural disaster. Restoration specialists can help prevent further damage and are often covered by commercial insurance policies.

How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

White vent fan in a bathroom on the bottom there are words that say "some homes" The best way to get air moving in your bathroom is to install a fan

How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew mainly due to the presence of all the conditions that are needed for them to thrive. High humidity levels are often present in bathrooms, but that’s not the only cause of bathroom mold. Poor ventilation, water damage and damp materials can also cause mold to grow.

Get the Air Circulating

Air circulation is paramount in preventing mold growth. The best way to get air moving in your bathroom is to install a fan. A bathroom fan sucks the moisture from the environment and out of your home. Properly maintaining your fan ensures you get the most out of keeping your bathroom moisture free. Leave it running after your shower until all the mirrors are defogged for the best results.

Keep the Bathroom Clean

Water damage is not the only source of mold. Simple mold prevention can be done by keeping an eye on cleanliness in the bathroom. This means timely changing of linens which when left damp for too long becomes a breeding ground for mold. Towels, bath mats and rugs should be laundered regularly – at least once per week.

Keeping a squeegee handy can also be very useful in managing the lingering moisture in your shower. Run a squeegee across your walls after every shower or bath to prevent moisture from stagnating and developing into mold or mildew.

Watch Out For Leaks

Lastly, avoid water damage and mold growth by keeping an eye on your faucets, shower and toilet for any leaks that might spring due to wear and tear. Fixing leaks immediately greatly reduce the chance of mold developing in your bathroom.

Your home in North Atlanta,GA, deserves the best care. Putting these simple tips in action can go a long way toward making sure your home maintains a safe and comfortable living environment. Of course, if mold gets the best of you, don’t be afraid contact a mold remediation expert in your area for a consultation.

What Not To Do During and After a Flood

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Car submerged in flooded water Most cars can be washed away by only a foot of water.

Here's What Not To Do During and After a Flood

Thankfully, it’s not every day that Brookhaven,GA, experiences flooding. On the upside, that means that contending with flood water isn't a way of life for your household. The downside, of course, is that you may not be prepared to deal with a flooded home when it happens. Here's what not to do during and after a flood.

1. Don't Take a Stand and Try To Save Your House

For many, your home is your castle. If the moat suddenly rages out of control, however, you need to leave. Your safety is far more important than the well-being of your home and possessions. Head to the home of a friend or relative or check into a hotel to wait things out. Establish a safe headquarters for you and your family; then discuss next steps.

2. Don't Navigate the Flood Water

Don't drive through it in your car. Don't walk through it in your home. Just avoid it, period:

Standing water on the road is often significantly deeper than it appears.
Most cars can be washed away by only a foot of water.
It takes even less water to stall your vehicle's engine.
Debris moving downstream can trap or crash you or your car.
Downed power lines and waterlogged appliances carry the risk of electrical shock.
Standing water in your home could be contaminated with a variety of materials.

3. Don't Take a Do-It-Yourself Approach to Mold

While you may be able to flex those DIY muscles with smaller repairs around your home after a flood, larger-scale repairs and absolutely all mold remediation should be left to a water damage restoration company. It has the experience and equipment necessary to thoroughly dry your home and safely remove mold.
Flood water may seem harmless. After all, it’s just water, right? In actuality, flooding presents a unique set of challenges, some of which may not be readily apparent. Remembering what not to do may spare you time, headaches, and expense the next time water is on the rise.

3 Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance for Your Enterprise

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire restoration company cleaning up after fire damage Commercial fire damage in Mount Vernon, GA

Whether you own a small mom and pop shop or lead a corporation of dozens of employees, you worked hard to make your dream a reality. A disaster such as a commercial fire can cause significant damage to your property. Business interruption insurance, also known as business income insurance, can protect your enterprise from the large loss of revenue that often results from an emergency. Familiarize yourself with this type of insurance to discover if this investment is right for you.

How To Qualify for This Type of Business Insurance

Business income insurance in Mount Vernon, GA, is not typically sold as a stand-alone plan. It is often added to property insurance coverage or a business owner’s policy. This type of insurance is ideal for:

Property owners who have older buildings susceptible to a business fire
Owners of restaurants, factories, hotels or other businesses with kitchens or large machinery
Businesses located in areas with hot summers

Almost any enterprise can reap the benefits of business interruption insurance. The best way to see if you qualify is to have an in-depth consultation with an insurance agent.

Minimize Your Profit Loss

Business income insurance goes beyond a standard property insurance plan. Property insurance can reimburse you for fire cleaning expenses to the interior and exterior of your building. Business income insurance, however, can recover your profits from the clients you lost while restoring your property to working order.

Temporary Relocate With Security

The fire damage restoration process can be lengthy, so many enterprises temporary relocate to a new building. Whether you relocate for a few months or a year, business income insurance can cover the extra expenses of the move.

Fixed Costs? No Problem

Many properties still have fixed costs even if a business is not operating within it. Business income insurance is great for covering overhead such as rent or utilities while you work to make your commercial space good as new.
Business interruption insurance can help mitigate the negative consequences of a fire. Understanding the perks of this type of coverage can help you decide if it’s a right fit for your enterprise.

5 Ways To Prevent Commercial Storm Damage

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Outside of a business preparing for a storm with orange and white sand bags. By unplugging your electronics you may save your business

5 Ways To Prevent Commercial Storm Damage

Spring is many people's favorite season — and with good reason. The weather is warmer. Leaves are returning to the trees, and it's finally time to retire your snow shovel, at least for a few months. Of course, with all this warm weather often comes rain, rain, and more rain. Before the next spring storm arrives, take these five steps to prevent storm damage at your Chamblee, GA, property.

1. Keep the Gutters Clean

Your building's gutters have one job: Diverting water. If they're blocked with leaves, twigs, and other debris, that water isn't relocated and instead pools around your roof and foundation, looking for a way to get inside.

2. Schedule a Regular Roof Inspection

While you're up there checking the gutters, take a look at the roof, too. Or, better yet, have a trained professional do so. The earlier you identify cracks, holes, and other routes for water to get into your building, the easier and less expensive they will likely be to fix.

3. Keep Your Trees Healthy and Trimmed

To a spring storm, dead trees and limbs are playthings. If a tree is weakened, it can easily be knocked over and into your building. Dead branches can also be forcefully tossed about by high winds.

4. Check the Foundation for Cracks

Regular inspection of your building's foundation can prevent costly storm damage. Look for cracks and gaps where water can sneak into your building and fix them promptly.

5. Unplug Your Electronics

If your building is home to any electronics, such as computers, turning them off before extreme weather hits may save their lives and your business. Knowing how to shut off your building's utilities is worthwhile, too, not just to power down lights and electronics, but also to stop the flow of water in the event of a pipe break or other emergency.
It's true: April showers usually bring May flowers. If you practice prevention, however, they don't have to bring destruction or the need for a storm damage cleanup company to your building the next time it weathers a spring storm.

4 Tips To Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

Outside of townhomes flooded from the street up. Do a yearly checkup to your washing machine to avoid water damage in your home

4 Tips To Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage is expensive and time consuming to clean up. You don’t have to be a professional to take preventative measures against malfunctions. Anyone can complete these four DIY tips to keep water in home mishaps at bay.

1.Check for Smells and Stains

The bathroom is one of the most common area for pipe bursts or leaks. Check your bathroom for musty smells or stains on the walls or ceilings. These are often an indication that something is wrong with the pipelines to your tub, toilet, shower or sink.

2. Maintain Your Appliances

Call professional service companies to maintain your major appliances, such as:

• Water heaters
• Dishwashers
• Refrigerators
• Washing Machines
• Furnaces
• Humidifiers

Yearly checkups are more cost-effective than contacting emergency residential water experts for a pipe cleanup. It may be challenging to remember to maintain every appliance, but it is definitely worth it. A small drip or clog might not look like anything serious, but could point to a broken pipe or faulty hose connection.

3.Install a Water Leak Detection System

Prevent water in home accidents by installing a water leak detection system. It alerts you when there is a leak so you can take action instead of waiting for the problem to worsen. There are many water leak detection systems available for different appliances. The best way to determine which one is right for your home is to speak with a plumbing expert in Dekalb,GA.

4.Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

An undetected leak can cause you to pay more for your water consumption. A sudden price hike might mean you need to inspect your pipes and drains, so monitor your utility bill closely.

A kink in a hose or clog in a pipe can turn into expensive and home-destroying water damage. Keep these four simple tips in mind to prevent water in home disasters that can ruin your peace of mind.

What To Know About Mold Prevention in Your Place of Business

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on bathroom faucet Leaky pipes can create the environment in which fungi grows best

Mold Prevention

When you have a business in Perimeter Center,GA, then mold prevention may be on the list of your maintenance needs. To properly prevent mold there are a few things you may need to know about it. Continue reading to learn more.

1. What Mold Is

One of the most important things to understand about mold growth is that mold spores are fungal in nature, and prefer to grow in wet or humid environments. They usually feed on organic compounds such as paper, wood, cloth, or drywall. They also grow better in darker areas. Fortunately, while mold does grow in colonies, the growth rate is rather slow, making it easy for a professional to catch and mitigate the problem.

2. What Causes Mold

In many cases knowing what mold prevention steps to take can be helped by knowing what the possible causes of mold spore growth are. Water damage such as a flooded area, or leaky pipe can create the environment in which this fungi grows best. If you have areas that have been damaged by water it's best to get them repaired as quickly as possible to help prevent problems.

3. What to Do About Mold

If you do find mold in your place of business then you may want to contact a mold remediation professional. These professionals can help you locate any potential problem areas, check for additional damage, and remove the problem. If you're unsure if mold is growing on the property, your chosen professional may also have several tests they can perform in order to be sure. They may also be able to recommend some potential mitigation steps to help prevent further issues.
When it comes to mold prevention at your place of business, it's important to know what mold is, what the potential growth causes are, and what you can do about any mold you may find. Fortunately, if you do find spores on your property a professional may be able to help.

5 Safe Candle Alternatives

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Spread the sweet aroma of melted wax through your home by using a wax warmer

Candle Alternatives

While candles are great for setting a mood, they aren't so great at keeping fires out of your home in Briarcliff,GA. This is especially true if you have curious, rowdy pets or young children. It only takes one accident before you'll be making calls to the fire department and a fire damage restoration company. Fortunately, there are many great candle alternatives that make your home smell great or create a relaxing ambiance.

1. Battery-Powered Candles

While electric candles might not look or smell exactly like the real thing, they might be able to fool some unexpecting guests. Plus, you don't need to worry about turning them off when you leave the room or house to prevent a candle fire.

2. Wax Warmers

Spread the sweet aroma of melted wax through your home by using a wax warmer. These candle alternatives use battery power or electricity instead of an open flame to heat up the wax. Plus, they often come in decorative holders that can match your home's decor.

3. Fairy Lights

If your main goal is to add relaxed lighting to your home rather than release a scent into the air, fairy lights a great way to quickly light up a room or outdoor area. Fairy lights may be powered by battery or electricity, making them a much longer-lasting option than a candle.

4. Stick Diffuser

Reed or stick diffusers are flameless and add a unique look to any room you put them in. They simply involve placing sticks into a container with scented oil.

5. Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils can help add a scent to the room and might benefit your health too. There are many different diffusers to choose from, so you can easily find one that matches your home.
Consider these candles alternatives to make your home a safer place for everyone in it. There are many options to choose from, so you can find an alternative that best meets your needs.

Commercial Roof Maintenance Can Save You Money

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

It's important to have a routine roof maintenance for your business to save money and avoid further damage.

A commercial roof can protect the building that supports it from rain and snow in Dunwoody, GA, but the covering can be much more than a giant structural umbrella. The roof can be the building’s first line of protection from fire, hail, wind, and extreme heat. Battered by elements every day for many years, the rooftop can begin to deteriorate and decay. To prevent a roof leak and protect the contents inside the building, it can be important to establish a routine maintenance program.

Tips for Commercial Roof Maintenance 

Routine Inspection

Although torrential rains and gale wind storms are probably not pummeling your commercial roof every day, the roofing fabric can be exposed to extreme weather conditions such as heat, hail, and snow. To limit the risk of damage to your building, consider a regular operational plan to help prolong the roofing material’s useful life. The program may include:

  • Inspections
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance

Inside the Building

Some of the first signs of roofing problems can often be seen from within the building. This includes ceiling stains, mold, and roof leak puddles. At the first sign of stains or puddles, consider contacting a commercial water restoration specialty team to help assess the situation and prevent further damage to the building and its contents.

Outside the Building

An inspection of the rooftop can also show signs of leakage such as rusty spots, bubbles under roofing materials, or damaged flashing. Inspecting joints, seams, and gutters can also help detect early signs of possible material breakdown that could increase the potential for leaks and wind damage. This can include tears, cracks, and worn areas.

Additional Areas

Fireplace chimneys, lightning protection links, and sky lights can all be potential leak problem areas. Gutters can also be a potential cause of flooding when they become clogged and overflow. 

To avoid roof-related issues, consider regular preventative maintenance. With proper care, you can prolong the life of your roof by repairing it long before it needs replacement. Don’t let a roof leak sidetrack your tenants or close your building. A little maintenance can often result in a great deal of savings.

Tropical Storm Season: Are You Covered?

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Tropical storms bring heavy rains

Are You Covered?

As the weather changes and homeowners brace for the new tropical storm season, many may wonder if the standard home insurance policy is enough for the potential high winds and heavy rainfall. Unfortunately, the standard policy, while good for roof damage, some mold growth or the occasional sewer backup, does not offer much comfort when it comes to flooding. True, flood insurance is not required in every area, but if you live in a region prone to tropical storms, a flood claim is not only possible, it may also be probable. Therefore, it pays to understand the potential risks of being in a tropical location without adequate insurance.

Increased Rainfall

Tropical storms bring heavy and sustained rains, which lead to potential water damage. If close to the coast, these storms can bring about swells and surges, leading to rising water and significant floods.

Sustained Winds

Beyond the flooding, seasonal storms can lead to intense and continuous winds. If a homeowner does not board up their property correctly, they may leave their home exposed to projectiles, like rocks and branches, which may cause structural damage. You may be held liable if you did not take the necessary precautions before the storm hit.

Potential Mold Damage

Flood damage may also include mold development. When a flood occurs, you have no choice but to leave your home until the water recedes. Unfortunately, during this time, the dampness creates the opportunity for mold growth, and without flood insurance, you likely aren't covered.

Emergency Mitigation

Time is everything after a storm, especially for insurance claims. An emergency mitigation service in the Gainsborough,GA, area can respond within hours to your disaster. They will board up your home with plywood storm shutters and tarps, ensuring no further damage occurs, providing the best chance for approved insurance claims.
The probability of tropical storms resulting in high winds and flooding are greater in some parts of the country than others. However, for those in these areas, protecting yourself from storm loss, like roof damage, mold growth, a sewer backup or floods, is essential. Therefore, securing a specific policy for a flood claim, like flood insurance, is wise.

3 Methods Used for Smoke Cleanup

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

A thermal fogger facilitates the smoke cleaning process

Three of the Most Common Methods for Smoke Cleanup

When your commercial building in Doraville,GA, catches fire, charred materials and water damage are not the only problems that require mitigation. Fire restoration experts also have to employ smoke cleaning procedures for removing lingering smoke particles and odor from your building. Here are three of the most common methods they use to do so.

1. Industrial Air Filtration

Smoke particles are small, so when technicians clean up smoke damage, they have to use air purifiers that don't let the particles escape back into the room. A filtration device with a HEPA filter can remove smoke from the air. In addition to the HEPA filter, these machines often have an activated carbon pre-filter. The carbon traps the odor and chemically neutralizes it. When left in your building for a few hours or overnight, these purifiers can make a huge difference.

2. Thermal Fogger

A thermal fogger facilitates the smoke cleaning process by replicating the condition that allows smoke to permeate a building. A deodorizing agent is heated to create a fog that is similar in size and consistency to smoke particles. The fog can then reach into cracks and crevices where the smoke may be hiding. It attaches to the smoke particles and gets rid of the odor.

3. Ozone Machine

To use an ozone machine, technicians seal off the affected area so the ozone can remain concentrated. The machine produces a compound with three oxygen molecules. The extra molecule in the compound attaches to particles and alters their chemical composition. This process eliminates the smoke odor.

No matter what smoke cleaning technique the technicians use, it is important to get rid of residual smoke and the smell it leaves behind before they begin the restoration phase of cleanup. These methods are designed to help mitigate the damage caused by the fire and improve the air quality in your building so that you can get back to business.

Can Electronics Be Cleaned Up After a Fire?

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

An electrical fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building.

As you try to pick your business back up after a commercial fire near Dunwoody, GA, you have a lot to think about. You need to find a trusted fire restoration company that can help you through the entire process. This team knows how to clean damage walls, furnishings and even electronics. An electrical fire can cause a lot of damage to computers and other electronic devices, but sometimes this equipment can be salvaged after the flames are gone. With the proper steps, some electronics can become as good as new.

Steps to protect your electronics after a fire.

Avoid Power: While you may be tempted to turn on a computer to see if it works, the truth is this can cause more harm than good. If smoke clings to the metal surfaces in your device, you can start a terrible corrosion by adding power to the mix. Leave any electrical devices turned off.

Get Them Cleaned: Remember that smoke residue? That has to be removed from every inch of the device. For this reason, a computer cleanup can take a while. The professionals will go over every inch of the hardware to ensure the potentially dangerous residues are gone.

Have an Inspection: After the initial cleaning, you may want to have the electronics inspected one last time before adding power. This final inspection can look over the computer for more signs of fire or smoke damage. An electrical fire can cause unexpected smoke residue buildup on internal parts of the computer, so a second inspection is a good idea.

Many businesses rely on computers and other electronics to get business done. Restoration professionals may be able to help you restore computers, television sets, DVD players, cash registers, security systems and other electronics key to your day-to-day activities. 

An electrical fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building. Restoring your belongings after the disaster can help you get back on your feet.

Need Fire Damage Services for Your North Atlanta Home? SERVPRO Can Help.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Don't let fire damage take over your residential property. Trust SERVPRO to get it back to preloss condition!

Fire Damage Restoration

Most restoration costs do not come from demolition and replacement of property destroyed by heat and flames. It is the smoke and soot residues that cause hundreds, even thousands of dollars in damages.

Restoring a North Atlanta home with fire damage requires a professional company that specializes in cleaning up the effects and returning your home and property to its preloss condition.

SERVPRO of NW DeKalb/ Dunwoody/ Brookhaven has developed a set of principles and key cleaning elements to help restore almost any home.

Principles of Cleaning:

Locate smoke residues with a thorough inspection. Our inspectors find the source of the fire to determine exactly how far smoke has moved throughout a home.

Identify the type of residues. Identification provides the needed information to select a cleaning method which removes the residue.

Identify the type of surface. To remove the residue without harming the surface of the affected item, restoration team members need to know the composition of the surface. Certain chemical cleaners are not compatible with porous surfaces such as upholstery or plastic.

Capture and remove residues. Smoke residues quickly bond with surfaces. Response team members use the most efficient dry or wet cleaning elements to loosen residues and make them easier to remove.

Dispose of residues. We safely dispose of all residues according to state and federal regulations.

Elements of Cleaning:

Temperature. Depending on the surface of an affected item, technicians may raise the temperature of a cleaning solution to speed up the process.

Agitation. If the residue is set deep in a surface such as rock or marble, technicians use air or water pressure to loosen residue from the surface. For other surfaces, they use brushes to dislodge the residue. Both methods allow cleaning agents to penetrate deeper into the residue and clean the surface underneath.

Chemical action. Restoration personnel selects chemical cleaners depending on which action they want. Our extensive inventory removes smoke residue by dissolving it, changing its pH number, oxidizing it or even digesting it.

Time. This element refers to the amount of time need for each type of chemical agent to be effective as well as the labor time required to complete each restoration task.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

By combining these principles and elements, SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven works to put your home back to its preloss state as quickly and safely as we can. If you need our help, call us today at (770) 396-3883.

How To Respond to Commercial Water Damage

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water removal after large loss

How To Respond to Commercial Water Damage

Commercial properties in North Atlanta,GA, suffer losses for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is water damage. Damaged pipes, old and worn roofing materials, and overflows from toilets can all cause a lot of destruction. The two most common types of plumbing system failures are frozen pipes and material failure. There are several statistics that illuminate this situation:

  • More than half of water loss claims were caused by material failures and only 18 percent by frozen pipes.
  • Frozen pipe failures cost about twice as much as material failures.
  • Properties in the range of 16 to 40 years are most likely to suffer material failure claims.

These figures should warn property owners to regularly maintain the plumbing systems in their properties and to take steps to protect against frozen pipes.

Act Quickly and Safely

Whether water seeps into the basement from just barely damaged pipes or rushes in from a broken main, it's essential that property owners act quickly to prevent further destruction. The first step is to cut off the water supply, if possible. Before entering a water-logged environment from leaking pipes or natural flooding, you must make sure the building is safe to enter. Gas leaks or electrical problems could be dangerous.

Identify the Category of Water

When you're first confronted with the destruction caused by leaking pipes or flooding, you should identify the type of water. For example, clean water from a broken faucet looks like tap water, running clear without odors. This category of water doesn't pose the same health risks as black water which may contain bacteria, parasites, and toxic materials.

Contact Professionals

After turning off water to the property, it's time to contact professionals. Depending on the circumstances, you may call the insurance company, a water damage remediation company, and/or municipal water authorities. All further actions will be affected by the response of these professionals.

Commercial losses from damaged pipes can be minimized by quick action. Take necessary steps to prevent losses, act immediately when necessary, and work with experts to deal with damage appropriately.

How To Handle a Sewer Backup in Your Home

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer cleanup is a process that can seem overwhelming, but it must be dealt with immediately

Sewer Backup In Your Home

No homeowner in Dekalb, GA, looks forward to dealing with a sewer backup problem. Whether the leaking water is from a clean or contaminated source, it can quickly become a difficult situation to manage. Sewer cleanup must be confronted head on, and the following steps will help guide you through the process.

1. Address the Situation Immediately

Any sewer backup situation should be addressed as soon as it is identified. There is no convenient time to find a problem, but specialists in water remediation should be contacted immediately. Many of them are available 24 hours a day and on weekends. Even if you believe the moisture is from a clean source, the situation could quickly escalate and cause expensive mold or water damage to your house.

2. Stop the Leaking and Survey the Damage

Not surprisingly, the first step a professional will likely take is to identify the source of the leakage and stop it. If a clean pipe has burst, the water should be turned off and experts will need to fix the damage. If the sewer cleanup problem is from a flooded toilet or basement water, it could be a bigger issue due to the bacteria present.

3. Remove the Water and Dry Out the Area

Technicians should immediately start drying out the home with professional equipment. They can ensure water is not only taken from visible areas, but also from within the walls and subfloor. Once water is cleared out, they may use large dehumidifiers and air movers to make sure all moisture evaporates and moves outside of the home.

4. Start Cleanup

The length of the cleanup process depends on the extent of the damage. Professionals can make sure that all rooms, as well as furniture and personal items, are sanitized properly. Any items that can’t be salvaged should be disposed of quickly.

Sewer cleanup is a process that can seem overwhelming, but it must be dealt with immediately. Call professionals to stop the leaking and remove any water. They can help dry out the area and walk you through the cleanup process, making a bad situation much more manageable.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold from moisture in a Mount Vernon, GA home

A patchy, slimy growth on your wall may be an indication that you have black mold. Just because you can't see mold, though, that doesn't mean it's not present. It can grow anywhere in your home where there is excess moisture. Learning the facts about mold is a step toward preventing it from becoming a problem.

How Does Mold Get in the House?

It is impossible to remove all the mold from your home. Spores get tracked in many ways:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Hair
  • Pets

Once the spores enter your home in Mount Vernon, GA, they are in the air. They typically stay there unless they have a reason to land and grow.

What Causes Mold Growth?

Mold loves moisture, and excess moisture can lead to mold damage. All fungus needs to thrive is moisture and organic matter to eat. Black mold can grow rapidly in any place those two conditions exist. If you have a leak or excess humidity that goes unchecked, you may find yourself needing mold cleanup.

How Do You Prevent Mold Growth?

After the cleanup, you can take steps to prevent future mold growth. Inspect your home for water damage on a regular basis, and have it mitigated as soon as you find a problem. Look for leaks or condensation on pipes. Mold remediation experts recommend keeping the humidity level in your home between 30-60 percent by having proper ventilation throughout the house, particularly in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. You can also use a dehumidifier, particularly when the weather outside is especially humid. If you rob mold spores of moisture, you can discourage growth.

The presence of mold spores in your home are inevitable, but black mold growth is both treatable and preventable. Professional remediation can resolve the problem, and keeping a close watch on the moisture levels in your home, particularly in areas that use the most water, can keep it from coming back.

What is the best way to handle a commercial water loss?

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of NW Dekalb/ Dunwoody/ Brookhaven is prepared with the proper equipment to help you with your Commercial Water loss.

When experiencing a commercial water loss it is critical to make sure you do not skip any steps in the process.

3 ways to handle a commercial water loss.

Here are some thoughts to think as you start to go through the cleaning process:

  1. Contact SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven immediately to get on site and start the extraction process. In many cases this is called "emergency services." The point of this is to minimize secondary damages like mold from forming.
  2. Once all of the water is extracted the drying process can begin. SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven can start to place green equipment everywhere to quickly get the structure dry.
  3. Monitor the drying process daily. Once dry the equipment can be removed and the reconstruction process can begin.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact SERVPRO of NW DeKalb / Dunwoody / Brookhaven at (770) 396-3883.

How Do Experts Restore Fire Damage?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Briarcliff, GA

Four Stages of Fire Restoration

A home that has recently sustained damage from a fire should be cleaned and restored by certified professionals. This process starts with damage cleaning and continues through rebuilding to the finishing touches. Learn more about the four stages of fire restoration.

1. Inspect

Experts will examine the location of a fire to determine which building materials and contents need to be cleaned or replaced. This assessment will also identify the mitigation measures that should be taken and the scope of restoration. An all-in-one company can provide a verbal briefing within hours after inspecting damage followed by a single estimate that accounts for mitigation and restoration.

2. Mitigate

Mitigation should begin as soon as fire damage specialists have a clear idea of the extent of damage and homeowners have photographic or video evidence to provide to an insurer. The primary goal of this phase of the process is to prevent damage from getting worse prior to cleaning and restoration. Mitigation may involve boarding up broken windows or structural breaches, tarping over holes in the roof or putting up security fencing.

3. Clean

Cleaning is a critical step toward fire restoration. Professionals use commercial-grade equipment to remove soot and any standing water remaining after fire suppression. After eliminating water and debris, experts may tear out damaged building materials or wipe down stained surfaces. Restoration can proceed after cleanup is complete.

4. Restore

Restoring a fire-damaged residence can range from cleaning and replacing a few components all the way to a full rebuild. This process may take days or weeks, depending on the extent and severity of the damage. Finishing touches may include cleaning smoke damage and odor mitigation.

Homeowners should rely on a one-stop shop that provides all of these services with a single estimate and schedule. Insurance companies prefer to work with an IICRC-certified fire restoration company located in Briarcliff, GA.

What to Know About Storm Shutters

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Shutters not only protect against wind and rain, but they may also help prevent storm damage to your windows.

If your home in Briarcliff,GA, experiences high winds on a regular basis then you may want to consider shutters for your home. Not only can these protect against wind and rain, but they may also help prevent storm damage to your windows. Here are a few things you may want to know.

There Are Several Types

Storm shutters come in a variety of styles, types and materials. Styles can include the following.

  • Colonial
  • Storm panel
  • Roll down
  • Accordion
  • Bahama

The materials they are comprised of may include

  • Polycarbonate
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Wood

They Can Function in Several Ways

Depending on the nature of the high winds in your area you may want to consider several different shutter styles. Accordion shutters unfold to cover the windows, while roll down storm shutters pull down from above or up from below. Colonial and Bahama Styles unlocked from their position either to the side the window or above it. They can then be bolted in place in the event of a storm.

They Can Help Prevent Storm Damage

Many storm damage restoration companies recommend protecting your windows in the event you know a storm is coming. Doing so can help stop debris from causing damage to the window, which can then lead to leaks and further water damage in your home. Shutter installation is one possible way to protect your windows.

If you're looking at shutters to protect your home from high winds then you may want to consider the shutter style and material you like best for your needs. Keep in mind that storm shutters can function in several ways from the ability to roll them down over your windows, too unhinging them and bolting them in place in the event of a storm. They can also help protect your windows from getting hit by flying debris in the event of a severe storm. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.

3 Ways To Lower a Business Interruption Insurance Claim

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting your DeKalb, GA, business from fire, flooding and other disasters is probably a high priority for you. Different types of insurance, such as a business interruption policy, can help you reduce monetary loss in case you must close temporarily due to water or other types of damage.

There are a few steps you can take that may reduce the total cost of your claim and lower out-of-pocket expenses as well.

  1. Act Quickly

Contacting your insurance company right away can be a major factor in the cost of your claim. Filing quickly, sending photos of the damage and giving a detailed account of what caused the incident can prevent filing and payout delays. If you do not hear from your insurance company within 24 hours of filing a claim, it is wise to contact it again to ensure your claim has already been recognized and filed.

  1. Call for Mitigation

Serious floods can result in large water damage that may spread throughout your building. However, calling in a flood cleanup and restoration company to perform mitigation may prevent mold growth, water damage to electrical systems and a loss of inventory. When flood professionals can prevent widespread destruction within the first 24 hours of an incident, the overall cost of your business interruption claim may drop.

  1. Have Standing Water Removed Quickly

Whether a flood in your building was caused by a broken pipe or torrential rains, the resulting standing water can be as problematic as the initial flooding. Even clean water can degrade if it is allowed to sit, as bacteria and mold may grow rapidly due to high humidity in affected areas. Having standing water removed quickly can reduce the amount of damage your building suffers, and your insurance company may even investigate whether you took steps to remove standing water, as it is often the responsibility of the business owner to do as much as possible to prevent further water damage after a flood.

Flooding in DeKalb, GA, can be costly, even if you have business interruption insurance. However, taking steps to prevent further damage may help you keep claim costs low. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnwdekalbdunwoodybrookhaven.com/.

Water Removal and Restoration Services Available in Chamblee

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Prevent water damage from inconveniencing your guests by calling SERVPRO to remediate.

SERVPRO Technicians Understand Commercial Water Damage

Your hotel receives visitors from all over the world, giving guests a second home while on the road for business or while visiting family and friends. When you have a water leak, events tend to get out of control and safety becomes an issue.

When facing this sort of incident on your property, you need the ability to maintain a healthy safe environment for the guests of your Chamblee hotel. Even if your commercial water removalinvolves gray or black water, a professional service can perform their services with limited interruptions.

SERVPRO technicians address any immediate hazards before beginning water removal and restoration work. Maintaining a safe environment for everyone involved is crucial, especially if customers may be at risk. Therefore, the first and last thing that our technicians think about while performing water removal or restoration work is safety.

We pay close attention to particular hazards caused by water exposure including saggy ceilings, warped floors, light fixtures containing water and other potential electrical hazards, while also searching for possible mold growth. Depending on the length of exposure, your property may need additional cleaning and reconstruction services performed to return things to normal.

SERVPRO technicians use GFCI protected sockets on all electrical equipment, wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, boots, masks, and full-body suits when necessary to limit exposure and avoid transferring contamination to other areas. We also post the appropriate signs to warn guests about possible hazards that exist and maintain safety protocols throughout the entire process.

Time is essential when attempting to restore particular items. If caught early enough, water extraction equipment can be used to eliminate most of the problem. Both hand-held and truck mounted extractors make it possible for us to handle water removal from any size area. This can eliminate all of the water within your building, even pockets hidden within your walls.

SERVPRO has access to air movers and dehumidifiers that help speed up the overall drying process and aid in returning things to normal rather quickly. Using specific services, our technicians can save a variety of items exposed to water in your hotel including dressers, cabinets, beds and bedding, lamps or even televisions provided to your guests for comfort.

Contact SERVPRO of NW DeKalb - Dunwoody - Brookhaven today for additional information on how we can assist with your water removal in a quick and efficient way. (770) 396-3883

Protecting Your Building During a Flood

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm in Gainsborough, GA area

How to Protect Your Building From Flood Damage

If a hurricane, severe thunderstorm or overflowing river strikes in your area, your commercial building may suffer some flood damage. There are several things you can do, however, to lower your risk of major problems. Storm cleanup experts recommend a few ways to protect your building from overwhelming damage.

Maintenance

A lot of storm preparation can be incorporated into your regular maintenance schedule. To minimize potential storm damage, add the following items to your to-do list:

  • Clean the rain gutters.
  • Repair cracks in the foundation and outside walls.
  • Inspect the roof when seasons change.
  • Reinforce the seals near windows and joints.

You also want to make sure that your building’s emergency pumps and backup generator are in good working order. If you resolve issues as they occur, your building is more likely to withstand flood damage.

Barriers

A good way to avoid flooding in your building is to keep the water from getting to it in the first place. Set up barriers around the perimeter that can block, or at least slow, any potential floodwaters. Your landscaper can build earthen terraces that look attractive but also redirect water to where it will cause fewer problems. You may also consider inflatable barriers that create temporary levees around your building in Gainsborough, GA, during a flood.

Elevation

Despite your best efforts, your building may still flood. Flood cleanup may go more smoothly if you take measures to protect items and equipment in your building. Elevate machines off the floor so that they aren’t immediately flooded as soon as water invades the area. Store important documents in waterproof containers on high shelves. Move anything valuable to as high of an area in the building as possible.

You may not be able to avoid all flood damage during a storm, but you can take precautions to make sure that it is as manageable as possible. By preparing your building, the area around it and the items inside it for potential disasters, you may be able to salvage everything important after the storm.

What You Should Know About Mold Odor in Your Business

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

A strong musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall

Often, one of the first signs of mold growth in a business in Doraville, GA, is the unpleasant odor caused by mycotoxin. Understanding more about mold odor can help you better understand the process of mold growth and remediation.

Does All Mold Have an Odor?

Though not all types of molds have a noticeable odor, especially when the mold is just beginning to grow, many types of mold do have a musty odor, including:

  • Stachybotrys, known as black mold, which can grow on wood and other common building materials
  • Chaetomium, which is often found indoors, especially in areas affected by water damage
  • Fusarium, a type of mold that tends to grow on curtains, carpet and other items made of cloth

What Causes Mold To Smell?

The reason that certain types of mold have a musty scent has to do with mycotoxin, a compound produced by some molds. This compound can have a different odor depending on the type of mold that is present. Regardless of the type of growth, however, the mold can rapidly spread if organic material, such as food, wood, cloth or other materials, are present; the spread of mold can make this potent compound more noticeable.

How Is the Odor of Mold Removed?

There are various methods mold remediation professionals can take to remove the odor of mold in a business. After assessing the property, experts will use various containment methods, such as reducing or eliminating the flow of air, to ensure the mold doesn’t spread to unaffected areas of the building. Once the mold has been contained, unique air filtration devices are used to bring the spores down to a level that is safe.

Knowing which molds tend to have a scent and what mycotoxin is can make it easier to identify mold growth, and identifying the growth soon after it begins can result in a less expensive and time-consuming remediation. Additionally, knowing how mold odor is removed can give you a better idea of what to expect in mold remediation.

4 Reasons To Pretest Damage

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Pretesting Damage

While some damage may be obvious after a disaster, other types of primary and secondary damage may not be apparent without close examination. Preliminary tests may identify the presence of soot or smoke damage in portions of a structure that were not directly affected by fire or identify hidden water damage that could lead to mold. Here are four reasons why clients and insurers should request pretesting.

1. More Complete Estimates

Early testing can increase the accuracy of an estimate. This is particularly the case if a property owner or insurance agent plans to rely on a single service for mitigation and restoration. An estimate based on more extensive knowledge of the type and degree of damage that is present will be more complete.

2. Expedited Mitigation

Preliminary tests can also speed up the mitigation process. Damage cleanup professionals need to determine which issues are present and take measures to limit and begin to address damage in a timely manner. Pretesting goes beyond a basic assessment to identify all of the types of damage a commercial property has sustained.

3. Thorough Restoration

Increased awareness of the full extent of damage can limit the severity and result in a more successful restoration job. Professionals can provide the expertise and equipment necessary to get the job done right. This is particularly the case with a one-stop mitigation and restoration shop.

4. Lower Insurance Claims

An accurate initial estimate can help clients and insurers avoid surprises later in the restoration process that can significantly increase an insurance claim. Agents and adjusters should rely on a service that makes it easy to access estimates and compare claims based on the type of damage and location.

Pretesting damage allows for a more accurate initial assessment and estimate. Commercial clients and insurers should request preliminary testing services from a mitigation and restoration company in Dekalb, GA.

3 Steps To Prevent Water Damage at Home While You're on Vacation

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Clean out your gutters before you head off to your vacation

Preventing Water Damage 

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, and learning that your home in Chamblee, GA, has sustained water damage, or that your house needs a water pipe repair while you are gone, can leave you feeling stressed. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your residence while you’re away.

1. Examine Your House Well Before You Leave

Checking certain areas in your home before you leave can alert you if there are any minor or major issues that need to be taken care of quickly. If you notice a leak that can’t be fixed immediately, then it can be useful to turn off the water in your dwelling. Alternatively, you may also find an issue that can be fixed before your vacation. Knowing what state your home is in before you leave can give you peace of mind.

2. Have Someone Check on Your Residence While Away

Even if you take steps to keep your home protected from water damage, disasters cannot always be prevented. If a broken pipe causes damage and you need a water pipe repair, knowing about the issue when it happens can help prevent a major catastrophe. Having a friend or family come by your house while you’re away can ensure that you will know if there is an issue and can ultimately prevent flooding in your home.

3. Prepare Pipes and Gutters

Before you leave your house for your vacation, it can be helpful to take precautionary steps to prevent water damage. By keeping your cabinets open, you can decrease the likelihood of your pipes freezing and bursting due to cold temperatures. Debris stuck in gutters can make water damage more likely, so it can be useful to clean them out before you head off to your vacation.

Checking for issues before you leave, having someone come by your home when you’re gone and preparing your pipes and gutters can prevent cutting your vacation short or needing to make a quick water pipe repair while away. If any problems occur, water damage restoration experts can often help homeowners whose homes have been flooded.

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