Recent Posts

SERVPRO Can Handle Biohazard Cleanup

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blood, bodily fluids, and other biohazards can endanger anyone who comes in contact with them. Even trace amounts so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye can pose serious health risks. When a site in your home or business has been contaminated, how do you make it safe again? Rely on the professionals at SERVPRO for top-notch biohazard cleanup and restoration services.

Avoiding Health Risks 

Is it necessary to seek professional assistance in cleaning up a location impacted by crime, trauma or death? With the risks posed by blood-borne pathogens and dangerous communicable diseases, cleaning a scene contaminated with biohazards like blood is a perilous undertaking for anyone who lacks the proper training and equipment. It is unpleasant to think about, but blood and bodily fluids are prone to splattering so that minute amounts can affect a wide area. The air at these scenes can be hazardous since small particles can become airborne if dried material is disturbed. Anything removed from the scene must also be disposed of properly to avoid spreading the contamination. Besides, you cannot assume the area is safe again just because the visible traces have been removed. If a space contaminated with blood or other biohazards is not appropriately cleaned, sanitized and restored, these unseen hazards can linger, posing a threat to anyone who enters it. Ultimately, the best way to make sure that a place is once again safe is to use a professional organization like SERVPRO that is experienced in biohazard restoration.

Preventing Legal Repercussions 

As if the health risks created by biohazards are not dire enough, failure to have a contaminated space properly cleaned can also have serious legal consequences. The responsibility for cleaning up after a crime, trauma or death falls on the property owner, and there are regulations and laws regarding how biohazards are handled that must be followed. These rules are designed to safeguard everyone, and ignorance is not considered an acceptable excuse for disregarding them. Individuals and businesses that do not follow these rules may find themselves facing hefty fines. They might even be held liable if someone else is injured by their actions. Using a professional team that understands what is required to comply with the various rules and regulations governing biohazards in your area can shield you from both health risks and legal issues.

Focusing on Your Safety At SERVPRO, we are committed to the well-being of our customers. Offering emergency services 24 hours a day, we will rapidly respond whenever you request our assistance. Our technicians follow the protocols established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so you can be confident that they have the expertise and training to remove all biohazards and dispose of them properly. We use specialized equipment that allows us to detect the presence of even a minute trace of a biohazard, and we do not stop until your scene is thoroughly sanitized. As biohazard restoration professionals, we can often salvage items that others might have to discard, and we ensure that any material that does need to be removed from your location is disposed of appropriately. Dealing with a crime, trauma or death is undoubtedly difficult, but you can depend on SERVPRO for courtesy, empathy, and the quality biohazard cleanup and restoration services that you need. Safety-minded, we are ready to do our part in restoring your space and your peace of mind.

Training is the Key at SERVPRO

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Training is vital in our industry. Things are constantly changing. Our team needs to stay up on the newest technology as well as the newest information and requirements from insurance companies. 

We trained on the use of our proprietary software program that we utilize in the field to collect and record data in regards to clients losses. This information forms the story of the loss for insurance companies and the client for documentation. It is vital to record the information in regards to affected materials and the process of restoring the affected materials. 

Our team has weekly Monday production meetings to go over any thing of importance but we also do more in depth trainings like these as needed to keep us up to date on information and well informed to make sure we are always ready to help our clients with the most up to date information.

Water Migration Detection is Why SERVPRO Delivers Success

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

When a homeowner tries to determine the extent of a water loss, both instincts and common sense can fall short. When water gets loose inside your home, it can migrate far from the original plumbing break, roof leak, or appliance breakdown. Without the tools to detect the path the water followed, significant damage can go unnoticed. Our investments in education and innovative moisture identification tools help avoid additional expense and secondary damage, why we offer our help. 

Water Detection is a Science and an Art

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) courses our managers and production technicians master covers the expected and unexpected behavior of water damage inside a bungalow. The lathe and plaster and stucco construction of signature Arts and Crafts structures are both charming and capable of hiding water damage when it is minor and manageable. Our training and experience in tracing water meanderings behind walls and built-in fixtures explains why we are skilled in finding and solving water problems before the integrity of your historic home is compromised.

Aging Heating and Plumbing Plus Temperature Extremes Equal Water Damage Challenges

When your dining room oak floor develops cupping and crowning the search for a water source can be daunting. Bungalows often retain their 100-year-old gravity heating, with old radiators filled with hot water from the boiler in the basement warming spaces. Rusted pipes and failing valves can slowly saturate the floor, unnoticed at first as the issue begins and then spreads from behind the radiator at the wall. Mold development on a main level wall or ceiling can trace to ice dam development the previous winter, moisture seeping in the attic from clogged gutters eventually traveling downwards. Our familiarity with this type of insidious damage is why SERVPRO can respond quickly and reliably to your water damage challenges.

Sensitive Moisture Meters and Infrared Cameras

The availability of and skill in using water detection tools are why SERVPRO crews can outline water damage with accuracy and confidence. Infrared technology indicates the presence of water through temperature variations. Moisture meters establish relative levels of absorbed water in building materials. Periodic use of these tools throughout a water damage remediation project ensures we find and release liquids. Then our Applied Structural Drying (ASD)-certified technicians create an effective drying plan using the data, moving water out of structural components with temperature adjustments and air movement. Dehumidifiers capture the vaporized water for disposal. Moisture measurements continue until we reach designated levels, avoiding over or under drying.

Training and innovative equipment are two reasons why SERVPRO efficiently mitigates and remediates hidden water damage.

SERVPRO's Trained Restoration Specialists

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

We have always put a high priority into educating our team. That need is more important than ever today. SERVPRO is an IICRC certified firm with certified technicians. That means you can expect the very highest in standards and protocol to be used in your home or business.

IICRC Training and Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Employee Certification Training

The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Advanced Structural Drying

SERVPRO Document Restoration Services

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Document Restoration Services

After any major disaster, restoring your business and mitigating losses is essential for returning your company to an operational state in a timely manner. In addition to clean-up and repairs, you should add document restoration to your list of recovery action items. Using a professional restoration service can help you protect and save many of your important documents, including:

  • Books, journals and magazines
  • Patient records and employee files
  • Blueprints and maps
  • Photographs, film and negatives

Professional document restoration services can save your business because they follow through procedures for preserving and protecting critical paperwork that is often irreplaceable. Insurance companies trust SERVPRO because of the following state-of-the-art offerings.

  1. Modern Technology

SERVPRO uses vacuum freeze-drying, a document drying technique that has been approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. They also use gamma irradiation technology to clean and sterilize items. This is particularly useful if your documents have been exposed to chemicals or bacteria during the incident.

  1. Security

Documents are handled by HIPAA-certified technicians, ensuring compliance with privacy requirements. Your documents are also kept under 24/7 surveillance.

  1. Digital Organization

Converting your files to digital files is a wise choice for protecting them against future incidents. In the event of a fire or flood, your contracts, files and paper materials will stay safely stored and out of harm’s way. Digital files are much easier to organize and access using a computerized inventory system, and they can free up storage space that used to house paper files.

In addition to the services above, a full-service restoration option is available to handle every step of the restoration, from drying and sanitizing to rejacketing and digitizing. This full-service option can save you time and money since the document drying is performed by SERVPRO and is not outsourced to a third party.

After disaster strikes, it is normal to feel overwhelmed about the cleanup process. However, being prepared and having a reliable document restoration service you can trust will save you time and ensure your business is protected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Damage

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

  • How long will the fire restoration process take?
    Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your SERVPRO Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
  • Can I clean the fire damage myself?
    We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your SERVPRO Technician. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained SERVPRO Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results.
  • What are some safety concerns?
    At SERVPRO, occupant and worker safety is a top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separate out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of the safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
  • Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
    We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.
  • What items do I keep in my possession?
    Cash, Medications, Valuable Jewelry, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Paintings, Flammables, Pet, Weapons/Ammunition, Gasoline, Cans, Stamp/Coin Collections, etc.
  • How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
    We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format like a sample below, or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.
  • Do I need to move out of my property during the fire restoration process?
    This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, Cable Company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
  • Do I need general contractors?
    There are some items that may require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. Please talk with a SERVPRO representative as we have the ability to provide these services to you through our own in-house facility.
  • Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?
    Depending on the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.
  • Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
    Yes, with advance notice we can schedule a time for you to access your requested items.
  • What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
    Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.

Who is responsible for payment for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing repairs and payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, SERVPRO generally collects the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by the insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

6/12/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.

If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips from SERVPRO

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

You have several appliances, systems, components and products in your home, many of which you use and depend on every day. Perhaps the most important one is something you hope to never need: a smoke alarm. This device is a critical warning mechanism that will alert you if smoke is present in your home. However, if you don't have enough in your house, or if you don't properly maintain them, you could suffer awful consequences if a fire does start.

Proper Alarm Placement, Care

If you move into a new home, you shouldn't have to worry much about whether you have enough alarms. On the other hand, older places might not be up to smoke detector standards. Make sure you adhere to the following:

  • Have one alarm in every sleeping room of the house.
  • Have one alarm outside each sleeping area.
  • Have at least one alarm per floor.
  • Make sure you properly install each alarm; have a professional help you if necessary.

Replacement

For years, fire damage restoration experts have advised homeowners to replace the batteries in each alarm at least once a year. This is a good guideline to follow if you have an older alarm. Newer alarms, however, have a much longer battery life. With these, you'll only have to change the batteries once every 10 years. It is wise to test your alarm monthly. Most models have a function where you can push a button on the device, which will sound the alarm, letting you know the battery is working and that the sound is sufficiently loud.

Don't Disconnect

Whatever you do, never disconnect a smoke alarm. Some homeowners get annoyed when the alarms go off if something is burning on the stove or in the oven. It's unwise to unhook your alarm under any circumstance.

A smoke alarm could save your life someday. Make sure you have the right number in your home and that you replace the batteries properly.

Summer Fire Prevention Tips from SERVPRO

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

We here at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia deal with many house fires throughout the year, they are the most common disaster throughout the U.S and with the summer rolling in, here are some ways you can help prevent these: 

#1. Don’t use fireworks at home

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it’s always best to leave fireworks to the professionals and attend public fireworks displays instead.

#2. Be careful when grilling outdoors

Practice safe grilling this summer with these grilling fire tips:

  • Always use your grill outdoors and far away from any structures. 
  • Clean your grill after every use to prevent a buildup of fat or grease that can cause a grease fire.
  • Stabilize the grill on a flat surface to prevent it from tipping.
  • Watch for gas leaks. 
  • Use charcoal starter fluid carefully. Don’t add starter fluid to the fire if it starts to go down.
  • Have baking soda, a bucket of sand, or a fire extinguisher handy if you need to put out the fire. Never add water to a grease fire.

#3. Beware of lawn mower fires

You may use your mower with no signs of trouble then put it away in your garage without realizing the potential danger. If the fuel flows from the tank into the engine while the engine is turned off, it will eventually cause a buildup of flammable vapors and a heat source can spark a fire in your garage. To reduce this risk, replace your fuel line every other year, inspect your carburetor for damage, and add fuel stabilizer every fill up.

#4. Have your air conditioner inspected

Regular maintenance and tune-ups of your heating and cooling systems can help prevent a fire. 

#5. Reduce your risk of a kitchen fire

Throughout the year, kitchen fires are responsible for most home fires. The stovetop is the usual starting point for kitchen fires, not the oven. To reduce your risk of a fire, always remain in the kitchen when grilling, frying, or cooking on your stovetop. Make sure there are no flammable materials near the heat such as a paper towel dispenser or dish towel. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not too close to the stove and oven in case of fire and remember to suffocate cooking flames with a lid, not water.

#6. Check your dryer

Most dryer fires are the result of failing to clean the dryer vent ductwork as highly flammable lint will build up over time and may be ignited by the heat of the dryer. Clean your lint trap between every load and clean your dryer vent at least once a year with a special vent cleaning brush. Make sure the outside dryer exhaust vent allows hot air to escape.

#8. Make sure your smoke detectors work

You should have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your house in an area where it can be heard from every room of the house. Inspect your smoke detectors regularly to make sure they work and develop an escape plan that your entire household can practice in case of emergency. The escape route should have two possible exits from every room and these paths should be as free of clutter as possible.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Every fire extinguisher is assigned a class. The suppressant in a Class A extinguisher differs from a Class B, C, D, or K extinguisher. Homeowners should consider where each piece of home fire safety equipment will be kept and choose the most effective suppressant for the fire risks in this area. The following fire preparedness measures can help homeowners purchase the right extinguishers.

Consider the Location

Certain extinguisher classes are better suited for different parts of a residence. Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Home extinguishers should be able to put out fires involving standard combustibles
  • It is a good idea to put an extinguisher rated for electrical equipment near appliances
  • Class B extinguishers can be used on flammable liquids in a garage or work space or kitchen grease fires

Some extinguishers, such as Class D or K, are less common for residential use. Even though a Class K extinguisher is designed to suppress grease fires, using this extinguisher improperly can cause grease to spatter and spread the fire.

Check the Suppressant Class

Each fire extinguisher class is determined by the suppressant. Here are the contents of each major class of extinguisher:

  • Class A uses monoammonium phosphate
  • Classes B and C combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate
  • Class D uses sodium chloride or copper powder
  • Class K uses potassium compounds

Multi-class extinguishers are also available. A-B-C extinguishers are popular for residential use.

Choose One-Time Use or Refillable

Homeowners can save money up front by purchasing a single-use extinguisher. A rechargeable extinguisher costs more, but refills are less expensive than buying a new extinguisher designed for one-time use.

All of these factors determine which class of fire extinguisher is the best choice for various areas of a residence. If a fire is too large to suppress, home fire damage restoration specialists can rebuild structural damage and clean contents.