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5 Reasons to Hire a Fire Mitigation Specialist

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Machine cleaning hardwood floor Mitigation specialists have industrial-grade tools to remove smoke and soot from your property.

5 Reasons to Employ a Fire Mitigation Expert

While you hope a fire never breaks out in your Chattanooga, TN business, there is always a possibility. After the event, you are left with fire damage and other issues that require proper cleanup and restoration. Since most business owners are experts in their field, it’s often best to have a professional fire damage company. Below are five reasons to use an expert.

1. Insurance Adjuster Recommended
The insurance company sends out an adjuster to assess the damage. Their assessment determines the extent of damage and how much will be covered. Hiring a fire mitigation company means getting an additional assessment of the damage. A licensed contractor will provide the adjuster with a detailed list of the work that needs to be done and work with the adjuster on your behalf.

2. Proper Odor, Smoke and Water Damage Cleanup
Along with the visible fire damage, there will also be smoke and odors. Since water was likely used to extinguish the flames, that also means potential water damage. A trusted professional will be able to locate hidden damage, ensuring it is repaired right the first time.

3. Specialized Equipment Needed
While you might think getting the soot off will be tedious but possible on your own, it is often a substance that smears or penetrates surfaces. Mitigation specialists have industrial-grade tools to handle that, as well as odors and water issues.

4. Salvage More Items
Once the fire is out, it is often a chaotic time. After the adjuster leaves, you may be overwhelmed and think nothing can be saved. With technology and specialized methods and equipment on its side, a restoration company will likely be able to salvage more than you thought was possible.

5. Faster Recovery
Getting back to business is essential. If your business isn’t restoring damaged property, it may mean extra-long downtime. Using a service provider helps ensure the process goes faster and more smoothly.
When a business experiences fire damage, it doesn’t have to go it alone. Obtaining the services of a mitigation company provides many benefits.

Before You Buy: What You Should Know About Mold Inspection

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth found behind baseboards Mold behind baseboards is really common.

If you’re purchasing a commercial property in Birchwood, TN, you’re probably aware of the many steps you must take before closing on the loan. Did you know that a mold inspection is recommended as part of the building inspection process? That’s because mold isn’t just a problem in and of itself, it’s an indication of water damage or other underlying issues you should address before you proceed.

What You Need to Know About Mold

Mold needs these conditions to grow: water, a nutrient source, oxygen and an environment where the temperatures are between 40-100 degrees.
Mold spores are almost always present in any environment.
The color of mold comes from its nutrient source and the age of the colony.
Mold will reoccur if its source of water isn’t removed.

Where To Look For It

The most common spaces to find mold during a mold inspection are in bathrooms, basements, kitchens and around windows or doors — wherever water is most likely to be found. In bathrooms, look for visible mold in tile grout and caulking, especially around bathtubs and showers. In basements, check the corners of the floor and ceiling, paying particular attention to outside walls. Kitchens can grow mold anywhere around the sink or stove, especially if the range hood isn’t working properly.

What Are Common Causes of Mold in Commercial Buildings?

Roof leaks
Clogged gutters
High humidity levels indoors
Leaky pipes
Poor drainage around the foundation

How To Get an Inspection Done

Hire a commercial real estate inspector that will check for mold and provide a risk assessment for potential water damage or mold problem. Inspections of this nature can be expensive; however, it is a cost worth undertaking to protect your investment. The inspector should check each unit and room of the building to provide an accurate assessment.
If your commercial mold inspection reveals existing water or mold damage, hiring a mold remediation specialist is the next step to make the building safe and sound for your new purchase.

How to Save Money On Your Water Damage Insurance Claim

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on wet carpet Water cleanup in Harrison, TN.

How To Save Money With Pretesting

If you operate a business in Harrison, TN, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. In the event of water damage, you will want to seek out a restoration service company that can get the property back to a safe and tidy state. In addition to getting a thorough cleaning, you will also want to consider how to keep your insurance claim from costing more than it needs to. Here’s how you can save money with pretesting.

Go to the Source

The restoration service professional will first locate and stop the water source, whether it be an overflowing toilet, broken supply line or sump pump failure. This step prevents additional damage from occurring.

Survey the Damage

Once water is no longer flowing, it is time to take account of the damage sustained. This includes inspecting all affected areas and determining the appropriate mitigation strategy.

Fix Rather Than Replace

The advantage of pretesting is that it provides the business owner and the insurance agent with a more detailed and accurate picture of the damage. Where it is possible to fix the damage, the cost of replacement can be avoided.

Identify Dangers

While assessing the water damage, your cleanup professional can also test the water for contamination. They will determine if you have any gray or black water so that the restoration meets industry specifications. Additionally, they will note other dangers such as asbestos and lead.

Prepare for Water Removal

After conducting a comprehensive assessment of the property, they will begin to prepare the area for water removal and restoration. This includes moving or removing rugs, furniture and other times that may interfere with the cleanup or sustain damage during the restoration.

Dealing with water damage is not something any business owner looks forward to, but being prepared can make it as painless as possible. Selecting a restoration like SERVPRO will help you save money by conducting pretesting.

What Makes Category 3 Water Damage So Severe?

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of a drywall growing mold growth on the bottom Water damage can lead to mold growth.

Why Flood Water Is Referred To As Black Water

When flooding enters a commercial building in Birchwood, TN, restoration professionals identify the incident as Category Three water damage. Learn more about what this categorization means and find out why flood water is referred to as black water.

Contaminants In Water

Category Three water is grossly contaminated. The reason this type of water damage is called black water is that it may contain any of the following substances:

  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens
  • Solid waste
  • Toxic chemicals

The presence of solid waste along with these other hazardous materials distinguishes Category Three damage from Category One water damage caused by clean, treated water that gets released from a broken or leaking supply line. Category Two gray water may be contaminated with chemicals or microbes, but does not contain solid waste.

Saturated Porous Materials

Porous building materials and contents that become saturated with flood water may be difficult to disinfect. Even after treating the surfaces of these items, contamination may linger deeper down and lead to ongoing contagion or mold infestation risks. For this reason, restoration professionals often recommend tearing out drywall, insulation and carpeting.

Flooding Causes Mold

Storm damage that involves flooding can introduce all of the elements necessary to support mold growth. Mold requires moisture and organic, carbon-based food sources in order to multiply. Category Three water can provide sources of nourishment and introduce spores into a structure. It is important to extract water, tear out ruined materials, disinfect and dry any areas exposed to flooding within 24 to 48 hours.
The contents of Category Three water can pose contamination risks to building materials, contents and occupants. It is important for property owners and managers to act quickly to remove floodwater, disinfect areas exposed to black water and tear out damaged materials. Mold may start growing in a commercial building within just 48 to 72 hours after flooding in Birchwood, TN.

5 Steps To Develop a Business Interruption Plan

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Two air movers and two dehumidifiers placed in a long hallway of a building Storm damage in a Chattanooga office building.

Business Interruption Plan

Flooding and other natural disasters can cause businesses in Lakesite, TN, to shut down for good. However, implementing plans to deal with certain situations, such as a broken pipe and getting water restoration professionals quickly, can help your company survive. This is known as a business interruption plan, and there are several different steps to help you develop it.

1. Determine Your Risks

When calculating the risks that could interrupt your operations, examine both environmental and human-caused risks, such as flooding and a running faucet. Consider which ones you can prevent and the unavoidable ones. Once you have identified them, you should delve deeper into each hazard. Then, rank your disasters based on their likelihood of occurring and their severity.

2. Calculate the Costs

Once you have analyzed all potential risks, calculate the costs they would bring. For example, flooding could cause lost income, extra expenses, contractual penalties, and business closure.

3. Read Your Insurance Contract

The next step is to examine your insurance policy. Interruption insurance can be filed for when there is property damage or a government shutdown that prohibits your business from operating. These funds are available during the period of restoration. However, each policy can differ, so you must closely examine yours to understand any restrictions, such as exclusions, waiting periods, and coverage limits.

4. Implement Prevention Strategies

There are several strategies that you can develop to reduce your interruption. This includes preventing risks, deterring criminal activity, and planning to mitigate unpreventable hazards.

5. Create Communication Plans

Having a communication plan is the best way to keep customers and employees informed about your business's status during a disaster. A good plan will include a command chain, scripted messages, and open communication channels.
Taking these steps helps minimize the interruption of your business from large water damage and other disasters. This is the basis for creating a business interruption plan.

Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Fire

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Sheetrock burned. Fire damaged a business When you have a fire in your business, it can be absolutely devastating.

Smoke Cleaning After a Fire

When a fire happens to your commercial property in Tyner, TN, there's a lot to handle in the aftermath. One aspect that is not immediately obvious is the task of smoke cleaning. This is an important step that should not be skipped, so be sure to add it to your to-do list.

What It Harms

Smoke damage doesn't just mean seeing some dark smudges on the ceiling. Smoke and soot spreads quickly and can manifest on almost everything in your building. It will affect different items and surfaces in different ways. Some common problem areas can include:

  • electronics
  • documents
  • furniture
  • fabric materials

How It's Cleaned

Depending on what needs cleaning, there can be a method for every scenario. Specific items, such as those listed above, each requires their own customized type of smoke cleaning, that should be conducted by a qualified remediation specialist. Surfaces such as walls and solid furniture can handle the process of dry to wet cleaning. For upholstery and fabric than will shrink if exposed to wet cleaning, there is an option called foam cleaning. Immersive cleaning is a form of wet cleaning in which smaller objects can be totally sunk into a cleaning solution. The list goes on for many more categories.

How It's Reported

If you've hired a smoke odor and cleaning service, they most likely can help you with your insurance claim, as well. You will probably need to inventory all your content that has been damaged by fire or smoke and gather all you can to verify each item's value. Then you can contact your insurance to determine your coverage. If you don't already have coverage, this moment would also be a good time to consider adding it.

Fire damage is a dynamic problem that needs to be approached from multiple angles. One of these angles that shouldn't be dismissed is that of smoke cleaning. Smoke damage can hinder functionality and cause a strong odor. Give it proper attention for complete rehabilitation of your commercial property.

Jumping a Water Damage Category

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on the corridor of a building, drying carpet and walls Water damage in Apison, TN.

Industry's Categorization of Water Damage

If your business in Apison, TN, has ever needed water pipe repair, then you might be familiar with the industry's categorization of water damage types:

  1. Clean water: Category one
  2. Contaminated water: Category two
  3. Filthy water: Category three

These are oversimplified descriptions: A water damage recovery company should have a more detailed description available. One of the problems with category one issues, such as a broken pipe, is that water can easily move up from the first category, becoming more and more contaminated. Here are a few examples of that process in the real world.

Multiple Floor Buildings

Buildings with more than one floor easily contaminate water, even if it's a simple loft or second story. Any flooded areas on the higher floors have the potential to leak down to the lower levels, picking up contaminants along the way.

Violent Water

If the initial flood event is extreme enough, it might have enough force to knock items off of shelves. Even contamination with everyday chemicals, such as soaps or disinfectants, increases the category level of water damage. While cleaning products might not seem dirty, their presence raises the difficulty of the cleanup process and the extent of the damage.

Time

Procrastinating water pipe repair or flood damage mitigation is likely to lead to contaminated water. Standing water is the worst offender: Algae, mold and even insects spawn in these indoor pools. However, even moisture leftover from improper cleanup could fester, likely leading to category increases on subsequent floods.

Businesses in Apison, TN, don't make money by paying for water pipe repair, but water damage almost ends up costing more if you let it be. The increase in costs is two-pronged: You have a harder initial cleanup job and your chance of secondary damage is greater, requiring more extensive mitigation. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the water could be placed in the most dangerous category.

Why a 24 Hour Response Matters

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Small hallway of a home, wet wooden floor. Concept of water damage in a home Water damage to a home in Collegedale, TN.

Why a 24 Hour Response Matters

As an insurance adjuster in Collegedale, TN, you are part of the front line for residential disasters. Some events, like those involving water, require an immediate response to slow or stop the course of damage. SERVPRO has a 24-hour response because they understand that every hour of exposure has a crucial impact on the extent of damage, and cost, since the chance of restoration goes down as the clock ticks away. Here is the typical progression of water damage to a home:

First 24 Hours

  • Porous items such as drywall, upholstery, carpets and floors begin to absorb the water immediately.
  • Stains from finishes and pigments may occur from contact between items.
  • Documents and photos absorb water and warp.
  • Materials become saturated with water and begin to break down or crack from swelling.
  • Metal begins to tarnish.
  • Molds begin to grow.

After 24 Hours

  • Wood studs, flooring, windows and doors warp.
  • Paint bubbles and peels.
  • Metal corrodes.
  • Mold and mildew multiply.
  • Sitting water becomes “black water” due to exposure.

To minimize costs and damage, a 24-hour response is critical. As an insurance adjuster, you know that damage increases dramatically in a matter of hours and the costs increase exponentially during that time.

How a 24 Hour Response Is Possible

With the power of a national company, SERVPRO is always open. The national call center operates every day of the year, 24 hours a day. With this first contact being crucial, your customer will talk to a professional on the phone within the first hour and, thanks to the power of local reach, on-site work will be able to begin within four hours of that initial call. As an adjuster, you will receive your first verbal briefing within eight hours.

Selecting a national vendor with more than 1,700 locations ensures a 24-hour response for your customers. You also know you can count on consistent standards and procedures, and big company quality. That fast response is why they are the preferred vendor for many national insurance companies.

The Top 4 Causes of House Fires and How To Prevent Them

2/25/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen area, sink washer, window frame damaged by fire, also a microwave damaged by fire. Kitchen fire damage in East Brainerd, TN.

House Fires: The Top 4 Causes and How to Avoid Them

There are over 350,000 residential fires reported annually in the United States. Although the rate of occurrence has fallen by over 50 percent in the last four decades, property losses still top $6 billion each year. A home fire in East Brainerd, TN, can be one of the most devastating events a person encounters in his or her lifetime. Awareness of its four leading causes can be an important step toward reducing instances of this disaster.

1. Cooking Gear

Nearly half of all house fires originate in the kitchen. Overheating pots and pans and splattering grease can quickly spark a fire. Grease is highly flammable and notoriously difficult to extinguish once it ignites. Combustible items such as dish towels and paper products should be stored away from sources of heat. It is important to never leave the stove unattended while in use.

2. Heating Equipment

Space heaters are a convenient source of extra warmth in a room but need to be operated safely to prevent a home fire. Keep portable heaters away from flammable property such as furniture, window coverings and clothing. Consider having your furnace inspected annually, as well as yearly chimney cleaning if you utilize a fireplace.

3. Smoking Indoors

Smoking inside the home, particularly in bed, can be a risky behavior. Of the leading fire causes, this one is completely preventable. Caution should be exercised with indoor smoking. Sleepy smokers should always try to extinguish smoking materials before they nod off. The best ashtrays are deep and oversized and should be placed far away from anything that will burn.

4. Electrical Systems and Equipment

From overloaded outlets to faulty wiring, there are many ways an electrical fire can start. Professional inspection of your home’s wiring, particularly in older residences, is an important part of keeping your living spaces safe. Avoid excessive use of extension cords and adaptors, and refrain from overburdening circuits.

With heightened awareness and precautionary measures, a home fire does not have to be in your future. If disaster does strike, enlisting the help of professional fire cleaning services can help you restore your home to its original state as quickly and smoothly as possible.

2 Steps for Using a Fire Extinguisher

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers You should have the proper fire extinguisher in your building

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher in Two Steps

Every business owner needs to train its employees on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. It is not as easy as it looks. In the event a kitchen fire breaks out in your building, you should always contact 9-1-1 so that professional firefighters in Ooltewah, TN, can address the situation promptly. However, you may be able to contain smaller fires and prevent more fire damage from taking place by using an extinguisher the right way.


1. Use the Right Extinguisher

Many people do not realize that there are several different kinds of fire extinguishers available. They are categorized as follows.

• Class A: Meant for paper, cloth and wood
• Class B: Meant for flammable gases and liquids
• Class C: Meant for electrical fires
• Class D: Meant for flammable metals
• Class K: Meant for grease fires and oils

You should have the proper fire extinguisher in your building meant for the type of fire most likely to break out. A majority of businesses will benefit from a Class ABC extinguisher. However, if you work out of an industrial plant, then you may need the other variations readily accessible.

2. Follow the PASS Method

PASS is an acronym to tell you how to operate an extinguisher. First, you need to pull the pin. Next, you need to aim the nozzle toward the base of the flames. Hitting the flames directly will not help. After that, you need to squeeze the trigger. Finally, you want to sweep the extinguisher from side to side to ensure complete coverage. You will only have between 10 and 20 seconds to use the device until it is out of flame retardant.

After you use a fire extinguisher, you need to get it refilled in Ooltewah, TN, immediately. You do not want to risk needing to use it again in the near future only to discover it is empty.