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How to Handle Damaged Belongings After a Flood

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Documents damaged by water Documents damaged by water

How to Handle Damaged Belongings After a Flood

If your building was damaged during a storm in Memphis, TN, the items inside may have been affected as well. If this is the case, it can be difficult to determine how you should proceed. If you are unsure about how your belongings should be treated, the following content cleaning information may help you.

1. Curtains and Other Fabrics

Because these materials are porous, they can absorb a lot of water. This can be especially troublesome when black water is involved. It carries a high level of contaminants such as waste, mud and bacteria that can be difficult to remove. While you may be able to salvage some porous items with a thorough cleaning, some of them may need to be thrown out.

2. Hard Surfaces and Non-Porous Items

Content cleaning for objects with hard, non-porous surfaces is generally much easier. Because the contaminated water is not absorbed, you don’t need to worry about bacteria lingering beneath the surface. With these items, scrubbing them with an anti-bacterial cleaner will likely be enough to sanitize them.

3. Artwork and Paper Items

These items can be important and sometimes irreplaceable, so it can be upsetting when they are damaged in a flood. The good news is that they are not necessarily ruined beyond repair. A professional service will likely have access to high-quality equipment that will be able to dry these items and remove the bacteria and other contaminants.

4. Electronics and Equipment

Like porous materials, electronics can be difficult to save if they have been damaged by contaminated water. For the best results, you should have them taken to a professional right away for inspection. Do not attempt to use these items before you know it is safe as you may cause more damage.
If your items have been damaged by contaminated water, then the best thing to do is have content cleaning done by a professional. A cleanup and restoration service can salvage many of your belongings and can perform any necessary repairs on your building as well.

5 Things To Know About Water Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden floor of a home wet due to a broken pipe Water damage in a Germantown, TN home

5 Things To Know About Water Damage

Your Germantown, TN, home may be at risk for a pipe burst which could lead to water damage. Fortunately, there are a number things you can know ahead of time that may help you take the proper mitigation steps. Here are five important pieces of information.

1. It Has Various Sources

It's important to note that water damage can come from various sources. These may include storm rains, a broken water line, sewage overflow, and pooling from rain water against your home's foundation.

2. Long Term Damage Can Occur

If any flooding if your home has left unattended I can lead to long-term damage. This may include structural damage as well as potential mold issues.

3. It’s Important To Act Quickly

To avoid long-term damages it's important to act as quickly as possible in the event you have a pipe burst or other source of water damage. Doing so can help you prevent possible long-term problems. If you find water damage in your home you may wish to contact a restoration service as quickly as you can.

4. Cleanup May Require Several Steps

You may also wish to know that the cleaning process can require several steps depending on the type of flooding. Water must first be removed, the area thoroughly dried, sanitation steps may be required, and then repairs can be made.

5. Restoration is Possible

If you do find water damage in your home it's important to contact a local water damage restoration service. These professionals can help you restore your home to look like none of the damage ever occurred.
There are a few things to know about water damage that could help you take the proper mitigation steps against a potential pipe burst. Water damage can occur in a number of ways, if left unattended long-term damage may be a problem, and it's important act quickly whenever you find any damage of this type. Fortunately, a local water restoration professional can help you make repairs.

Charcoal Grill Fire Safety

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Beef steaks on the grill with flames For many people, the arrival of nice weather in Cordova, TN calls for grilling out with friends

Follow These Tips To Avoid A Barbecue Fire

For many people, the arrival of nice weather in Cordova, TN calls for grilling out with friends and family. Unfortunately, a grill fire is a real safety hazard in the right combination of circumstances. A fun get-together can turn into a disaster in a hurry. You can avoid a barbecue fire by following these tips:

1. Keep the Grill in a Safe Location

Keep the grill outside on a level surface at least 10 feet from buildings and other flammable objects. Never grill under an overhang or in an enclosed area. Be sure to monitor it closely until it cools.

2. Keep Children and Pets at a Distance

Children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the grill. Make sure that pets on tie-downs cannot reach the grill; they can wrap their line around the grill and pull it over. It will keep them at a safe distance in the event that a grill fire occurs.

3. Be Mindful of Loose Clothing

Make sure that you wear appropriate attire when you grill. You can tie back everything with an apron. For added safety use long tongs and spatulas and wear heat resistant grill gloves.

4. Use a Chimney Starter

A chimney starter is a much safer option than lighter fluid. It will also light the coals more evenly.

5. Practice the Two-Zone Method

This simple, versatile method creates a much safer grilling experience. Put the hot charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If a flare-up occurs, move the food to the other side until the flame subsides, then move it back to continue cooking. The two-zone method can improve the quality of your food because it creates a side for searing and another side for flame-free slow cooking.
Keep a fire extinguisher close by. Do NOT use water; it can make a grease fire flare up. Instead, close the grill lid until the flare-up subsides. If your house sustains fire damage or smoke damage from a grill fire, fire cleanup experts can return it to its original state.

Why You Should Hire a Mold Remediation Specialist

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Three men and two women, in black t-shirt uniforms, they are the SERVPRO team Hire the right company to successfully take care of the mold problem in your home

Sometimes the removal of mold from your home is not a DIY situation. No amount of scrubbing and bleaching and elbow grease is going to get rid of it. When it’s time to call in a professional in Bartlett, TN, how do you know which company to choose? A business with certified mold removal and remediation specialists should be your top choice.

The Benefits of Hiring a Certified Mold Remediation Company

A mold removal and remediation company should have certified mold specialists on staff. These are technicians who understand the way mold operates. Those who work in the restoration industry should be qualified.

Training – Specialists holding a mold certification take courses to become experts in this field. They continue their education to stay up to date on the newest techniques for removal and remediation.
Standards – The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is the industry’s certification agency. A certified technician is held to the IICRC's high standards.
Expertise – A person can sit for the exam after working in mold remediation for a year to receive certification. A certified and experienced technician can answer your questions about mold removal and remediation in a way you can understand.
Insurance – Most likely your insurance company will want to work with a company with certified specialists. Your insurer may give you a list of specialists. Make sure they are reliable companies.

The Mold Removal Specialist

Check that the technician is certified and that you are comfortable with the level of expertise demonstrated. Keep asking until you are comfortable that the person coming into your house can take care of the problem. The professional who works for you should have a certificate showing proof of training. Verify the training, standards and expertise of the company you hire.
You can receive peace of mind when you work with a certified mold removal and remediation specialist. Hire the right person to successfully take care of the problem of mold in your home.

3 Facts About Category 1 Water Damage at Your Business

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial carpet soaked with water Commercial water damage in Cordova, TN

Experiencing water damage at your Cordova, TN business can be stressful, especially when it affects equipment and inventory. Many water emergencies are the result of a plumbing mishap and are graded into different categories. A Category 1 water emergency originates from a clean water source; however, there are a few facts you may want to be aware of to ensure proper cleanup.

Water Appliances Are a Common Leak Source

When a Category 1 flood occurs, the origin point is usually an appliance that dispenses water, such as a breakroom sink, an automatic ice maker or a water cooler. Supply line leaks and breakage are often responsible. You can stem the flow of water by shutting off the main water supply valve and sealing off the area until help arrives.


Sanitary Water Can Degrade Quickly


Although Category 1 flood events have a clean water source, such as a broken pipe in your restaurant’s kitchen, the resulting standing water can break down rapidly due to bacteria formation, humidity and the introduction of dirt and debris from people’s shoes as they attempt to clean up the mess. It is a good idea to call in a flood damage and remediation service as quickly as possible to prevent water stagnation.


Mold Growth May Still Occur


Unlike Category 3 water, which contains toxins and unsanitary debris, Category 1 can be simpler to deal with in terms of cleanup efforts. However, it is important to remember that mold growth may still occur days to weeks later if the area is not properly cleaned and dried. Mold grows in humid, moist areas and can flourish undetected behind drywall and underneath carpet padding. Ask your remediation technicians about how to prevent this issue and whether your building is vulnerable after a Category 1 flood.

Clean water flooding at your Cordova, TN business may not seem too serious at first. However, there are a few dangers connected with such an event, and knowing what to expect can help you protect the future of your commercial building.

How Does FEMA Assist in Disaster Relief?

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Blue paper with FEMA title and U.S Department of Homeland Security Logo FEMA provides a number of disaster relief services and financial assistance

How Does FEMA Assist in Disaster Relief?

A natural disaster can be so overwhelming that victims are left bewildered as to where to begin. In the wake of a flood, tornado or hurricane people who have lost virtually everything need help from wherever they can find it. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a number of disaster relief services and financial assistance. Generally, it acts as a liaison between the federal government and the affected area.

Some Assistance Specifics

The disaster relief agency provides direct services and financial assistance for damages and other disaster-related expenses that are not covered by the victims’ insurance. Specifics that the federal agency provides include:

  • Coordinates with law enforcement on procedures for evacuation
  • Coordinates food distribution
  • Coordinates medical assistance
  • Provides temporary fixes for houses such as roof tarps
  • Seeks and provides temporary shelter for victims
  • Provides financial assistance (e.g., unemployment, replacement, repair, lodging)
  • Provides crisis counseling

FEMA not only provides help after a disaster but also before a storm hits and when it’s underway. For example, they will help prepare as much as possible for a major flood, assist with evacuations before and during the flooding and provide financial assistance for damage afterward.

Prepare Ahead of Time

It is helpful to take before and after photos of your property (residence, vehicles, and other personal property) in case you begin the repair process before an adjuster comes out to assess the damage. You could possibly be reimbursed for some of these expenses. Know what your property insurance covers and does not cover. After the storm, you will need to apply for disaster assistance and make an insurance claim. Some forms of financial assistance are income-dependent.
If your residence in Memphis, TN sustains damage such as flooding from a major storm, you will require storm damage mitigation professionals too quickly and thoroughly restore your property to its original state. FEMA should provide help with some of the costs incurred.

3 Clues You Have Hidden Water Damage

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage on walls

How to Spot Hidden Water Damage

The worst thing about water is that it goes wherever it can, seeping into cracks and causing all kinds of trouble. Whether you have a pipe burst or you have some flooding in Germantown, TN, you need to know what to look out for to spot hidden water damage.

1. Waterlogged Appliances

There are a few culprits that are often the cause of water damage. Toilets and sinks are used often, and even a small leak can lead to major problems.

Search under sinks for standing water or water spots, signs that moisture has built up before. Also, look behind your toilet and sink as well as the ceilings below them for discoloration. If your toilet tank never stays at its water line, that’s definitely an indication of some kind of leakage.

2. Pooling Water = Wet Walls

Many times, the simple act of hanging a picture can eventually make a pipe burst or even spring a small leak. Check for soft spots and discoloration in drywall to help locate any possible damage.

Another possible way to spot water in your walls is by investigating the floors below. Puddles or signs of flooding in the basement or the crawlspace of your home can mean you’ve got a leak. Investigate these quickly since damp drywall can create dangerous mold conditions that can be difficult to clean up.

3. Bubbles Everywhere

A small leak doesn’t always get absorbed by wood or drywall. When water encounters a barrier, it will begin to pool. This leads to bubbles in the ceiling or walls, and can look like the paint is literally melting away.

If these bubbles are punctured, you could have a huge mess on your hands. Even worse, it can become a safety issue, due to buckling or collapse. If you find any signs of water damage in your Germantown, TN, home thanks to a pipe burst or another reason, you should contact a professional as soon as possible. This will mitigate further damage and make your home as safe as possible!

What To Know About Mitigation and Restoration

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

By installing storm shutters in your building can you can prevent storm damage

3 Things To Know About Mitigation and Restoration

Many companies in Cordova, TN, experience the risk of flooding after a heavy storm. Fortunately, a flood cleanup company can help with restoration after the fact. However, there are also some mitigation steps you can do before flooding happens that may help you protect the company property. Here are three things you may need to know about mitigation and restoration.

1. Mitigation Helps Prevent Damage

Mitigation is the term often used when referring to preparation steps before a storm that may help reduce damage. These steps may include building dams around areas prone to pooling water, inspecting drainage for any clogs that can lead to water back up, and placing tarps or boards over spaces where wind damage can occur. More permanent forms include installing storm shutters or a sump pump.

2. Restoration Occurs After Damage

Restoration is a term used for any repairs after a storm, often performed by a flood cleanup company. These are done to get the property back in working order. It's recommended that restoration occurs as swiftly as possible as doing so can help prevent further damage. You will often see your restoration team take additional protective steps to prevent damaged areas from being further exposed to the elements.

3. Both Are Important Steps

Taking mitigation steps before storm, and contacting a restoration company to quickly repair any damages afterwards, are both important steps to keeping your business property in top condition. Reducing the damage possibility beforehand, and making quick repairs, may help you avoid long-term problems when it comes to property upkeep and maintenance.
You can take some mitigation steps to help protect company property before the storm arrives. If your business does experience flooding, then a contacting flood cleanup company quickly can help the repair process start before additional damage can occur. These two options used together may help you prevent the necessity of costly repairs down the road.

How To Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Plan your evacuation route

How to Create a Contingency Plan 

Very few people expect to see their commercial property engulfed in flames. Virtually no one expects to see a grease fire in the break room, either. No matter what size fire occurs at your place of business, having a contingency plan in place can help save lives, valuable records and equipment, and money. Here's how to make one.

1. Assign Roles

Delegating tasks and responsibilities now, when things are calm, can reduce the confusion and chaos that often accompany an event such as an office fire. Consider assigning roles such as the following:

Fire extinguishers who use the actual fire extinguishers to snuff out small blazes
Get-out guides who keep exit routes clear and make sure everyone is out of the building before they leave
Attendance takers who perform a roll call outside to ensure that everyone is accounted for

Having a job to perform, as well as having others to point you in the right direction, may reduce the urge to panic.

2. Plan, Post, and Practice Your Evacuation Route

Obviously, it's important to have multiple ways to exit your building in the event that a fire occurs. Plan these escape routes ahead of time so that your contingency plan can be posted and regularly practiced by all employees. That way, if the unthinkable happens, you and your staff will know exactly where to go thanks to your well-rehearsed evacuation plan.

3. Set Up a Clear Chain of Communication

In a fire, knowledge is power. In order to keep misinformation from spreading, it's often wise to devise a clear communication plan ahead of time. One simple method is to create a chain of command not unlike an old school phone tree, where individuals are tasked with relaying important information to those underneath them on the tree. It's also a smart idea to have a single spokesperson who communicates with the public or news outlets.
A fire doesn't have to spell catastrophe for your commercial property in Bartlett, TN. By creating a contingency plan in advance, you can better protect your employees' safety. After everyone's safe and sound, you can leave the fire cleanup to the professionals.

How To Get Rid Of Mold

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Keep inside humidity below 45%

Many business owners have experienced mold growth in their place of business. It seems to congregate in one area. You clean it, think you got rid of it for good, and a few days later it starts to reappear. Left unattended, it will slowly take up more and more space or show up in another location. This is a common scenario for many people, and it can happen anywhere there is humidity. If you suspect that your business in Memphis, TN, has a recurring mold problem, you may need to perform mold remediation procedures.

Why Mold Keeps Coming Back

Mold has some unique characteristics that make it a hardy organism that thrives in moist environments. It is these special qualities that make mold so difficult to eliminate:

  • Microscopic mold spores naturally exist in both indoor and outdoor air.
  • Spores can enter through windows, on clothing or on shoes.
  • Spores begin to grow into colonies when given a moisture-rich environment.
  • Mold growth thrives if the moisture persists.
  • Colonies release new mold spores.

Ways To Eradicate Mold

There are many species of mold. Some are easier to spot and simpler to get rid of than others. All thrive in high humidity. If your mold problem is not severe, you can try to get rid of it yourself by keeping inside humidity below 45%, removing moldy items and using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to kill the spores.

When More Is Needed

Any time you experience water damage, you should be suspicious of mold. Sometimes it lurks where it cannot be seen, such as behind drywall or underneath carpet. Mold remediation specialists use equipment that finds mold in unseen areas. They can also prevent the spread to other areas by using negative air chambers, running special HEPA vacuums, and replacing damaged materials. In the end, your property will be restored to its original condition.

If you find mold, you may find you need a professional mold inspection. Experts have the tools to solve the problem and keep mold growth from spreading.