Recent Posts

Stove Top Fire Clean Up in Chattanooga, TN

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

The fire in this Chattanooga home happened in the on the stovetop, burning the cabinets above and damaging the back wall behind the stove. It was a small fire, but smoke and soot affected the kitchen, dining room, entry, and hallway. Just as there are different methods of extinguishing a fire based on the type of fire, there are also different methods to cleaning up fire damage. Knowing the source of the fire is beneficial in determining what kind of fire clean up we will be remediating. Below is a list of different types of fire damage:

  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.
  • Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.
  • Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue.

In this case, we were cleaning up wet smoke damage. Interior walls, ceilings, furniture, and flooring that is salvageable will be cleaned using IICRC approved techniques. Non-salvageable items will be wrapped and safely discarded to limit contamination. Complex cleaning can be done at our facility by packing and shipping out documented and inventoried items. Smoke, soot, and ash removal is a two-step process. Soot, an oily based residue, requires special sponges, detergents, and techniques for cleaning without staining walls, ceilings, and wood furniture. HVAC system, especially the ductwork, may require special vacuuming and fogging to remove smoke particles and odors. Special foggers are used for final odor removal before an additional application for deodorizing. A fire in your home is a devastating loss, but we are here to make sure the restoration process is as easy as possible.

Esporta Machine- Cleaning and Restoring Soft Goods

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Meet Tammy! Tammy is our Textiles Manager. She collects soft goods from water or fire damaged homes and brings them back to our warehouse to clean. Our textiles room houses our Esporta machine that helps clean and restore textiles and other soft goods that have been affected by soot, sewage, mold, water damage, and bio-contaminants. Soft contents include items such as footwear, linens, outerwear, leathers, bedding, outdoor items, athletic equipment, survival gear, sleeping bags, life jackets, stuffed toys, and almost all of your personal clothing. Additionally, we have 4 sets of washers and dryers for less damaged goods, as well as a commercial-grade dryer. According to the Esporta website, "the latest ultrasonic cleaning systems use high frequency sound to vibrate water molecules. In short, they ‘clean by bubbles’ through a process called cavitation, or gas bubble implosions in liquid. An example being the moving blades of a boat propeller. Essentially, the sound waves create cavitation bubbles that multiply quickly and eventually implode due to the return of high pressure, producing a cleaning effect." Learn more about the Esporta machine here.

The patented system breaks down unwanted organic materials and kills bacteria, viruses, and mold spores on contact. Additionally, the system is five times more effective than traditional front-loading washing machines. 

If you have experienced damaged soft goods, we have the personnel and equipment to get your contents back to their original state, "Like it never even happened." 

Storm Damage for Beginners: What You Need to Know

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage for Beginners: What You Need to Know Storm Damage in a Home

Storm Damage for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Facing storm damage can be an overwhelming experience. No one wants to consider the possibility that their home might experience ice damage, water damage, or even hail damage. Unfortunately, many homeowners will experience hurricane damage, water damage, or hail damage that will require storm damage remediation. A home restoration or water restoration company can perform storm remediation. 

When you notice that your home has experienced some sort of storm damage, make sure you contact a storm damage restoration expert as quickly as possible. Regardless of how much flood damage, wind damage, or roof damage your home has, the right storm restoration expert will be able to help you with your home restoration.

Flood water can also happen due to pipes bursting in your home. Busted pipes may be something you don't even notice until they burst and you find ground water in your home. If you suspect that a water pipe has busted, make sure you get a water damage restoration company out as quickly as possible to use a flood pump and repair your frozen pipes.

Unfortunately, flooding is one of the most challenging problems since it requires a flood pump. A flood pump is something your professional remediation expert can help you with. Whether you experience river flooding or ordinary flooding, ground water should be avoided and a flood pump can help. A flood pump will remove standing ground water in your home as a result of river flooding or flooding caused by other factors.

Remember that flooding can occur for a variety of reasons and can even be caused by hurricane damage. Hurricane damage can lead to broken windows that enable flood water to get in your home. Flood water can be treated by a professional who will help you to restore your house. Click here for more information on storm damage. 

How Do I Prepare My Chattanooga Home For a Storm?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How Do I Prepare My Chattanooga Home For a Storm? How do you protect your home for a storm?

It is always nerve-wracking when the weather channel warns about a large storm coming towards your city. Of course, your main concern should be the personal safety of yourself and your family. You shouldn't need to worry about your home or belongings- that can all be replaced. If a storm does occur in your hometown, SERVPRO of Chattanooga focuses on ways to help you learn about and prepare your home for the worst. 

Secure Outdoor Items

The first thing that you can do in preparation for a storm is secure all of your outdoor items. This includes outdoor furniture like chairs, tables, and umbrellas, and other items like lawn mowers and grills. These items can cause damage if they are picked up by winds or swept away in a flood. Move these items indoors or in a garage or take measures to secure them in place.

Clear Out Gutters

Additionally, keep you gutters and downspouts clear. If heavy rains hit your city, it's important to create paths for water to flow away from your house. As long as the water has somewhere to go, it won’t stream into your home. Occasionally check your drainpipes for debris and clutter.

Sealing Your Home

Let's discuss sealing your home to prevent water leaks. Even if the rain water has a path away from your home, you should still take precautions. First, check the seal on your windows. The waterproof sealing around the outside of a window may need to be replaced over time. Also, check for holes in your siding. When electric or cable companies attach wires to the side of your house, they often drill small holes that can allow water to sneak through in the event of a flood or heavy rain water. Fortunately, these holes can be easily repaired using an affordable waterproof caulk. Small cracks that don’t cause problems during a normal rainfall can easily become a leak during flood conditions. Every year or so, take a walk around the outside of your home and check the foundation for any cracks or weakness that may allow water into your home.

If you’ve sustained storm damage recently, give us a call 24/7 at (423) 326-1406. Our team of professionals can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

3 Fire Hazards to Look Out for This Spring- Chattanooga, TN

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Fire Hazards to Look Out for This Spring- Chattanooga, TN Spring time is such a fun, beautiful time of year. Stay safe out there!

The weather is warmer, the trees are blooming, and my allergies are killing me. Spring has officially sprung! That being said, there are still a wide variety of fire hazards that you should watch out for, even during the warm months.

1. Grills: Whether you’re cooking burgers for the family event or grilling up kabobs for dinner, you will inherently deal with fire. Most are gas grills, which presents an even greater risk. In fact, the NFPA (https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Home-Grill-Fires) reports that an average of 9,600 home fires are caused by grilling each year. Here are some fire safety tips for the grill:

  • Always check for any potential fire hazards before firing up the grill.
  • If the grill does not light the first time, let the gas dissipate for at least 5 minutes before attempting to light the grill again.
  • Be sure the grill is clean before using to get rid of oil and gas residue.
  • Make sure the grill is set up in an open, outdoor area and keep it a good distance from the house and railings.

2. Dryers: This is a fire hazard year round. In fact, the leading cause of clothes-dryer related fires is a failure to keep the lint baskets clean. Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. It takes seconds to clean out the lint basket, so just make a habit of it when you get your clothes out of the dryer. If you have space for a clothesline in the spring and summer months- use it! There’s nothing better than fresh, air dried clothes. The NFPA also recommends cleaning out the vent pipe at least once a year so lint or other flammable particles do not get stuck in the vent pipe. 

3. Outdoor Fire Pits and Bonfires

The necessary safety precautions for an outdoor fire pit are pretty obvious, but keep these in mind when you’re having a party on a cool spring night.

  • Always have an adult present around a fire- never leave children unattended! 
  • Always have a bucket of water or a water hose available nearby if things get out of hand. 
  • Build the fire away from homes, porches, low-hanging trees, or any other fire hazards. 
  • Monitor how much leaves, pine needles, pine needs, paper, and other contents into the fire since these itms catch fire quickly and result in high flames and floating embers. 
  • Always put the fire out completely before leaving the fire unattended. Don't expect it to die down on its own!

We are always Here to Help when you need us. Call us any time at 423-326-1406! Happy Spring!

Why Did I Get Mold Damage in My Home?

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

In Your Property, SERVPRO Remediates Mold Damage

Homes of all shapes, sizes, and locations share some common enemies, one of the chief ones being mold infestation. Mold spores are naturally occurring almost everywhere on Earth, but given the right conditions for growth, can multiply exponentially and cause major problems for your home. Some types of mold may even cause health effects. Here are some of the conditions and causes for a mold infestation in your home.
 
Damp or Wet Fabric and Wood
Mold damage in Harrison typically needs two things to get pressing: wet conditions and an organic food source. Both of these are often found in homes, where outside water can seep in, or a leak can cause wooden floors, walls, and structural elements to soak up water. Additionally, fabrics such as carpets, drapes, and shower curtains are also commonly affected. An important step we take in halting any mold colony's growth and preventing future ones from forming is dehumidification, whereby we take almost all the moisture out of a room and its air. We reduce the RH, relative humidity.
 
Dark, Warm Areas
Some types of mold can only grow in dark areas, and preferably in warm places. Unfortunately, residences also commonly provide this environment, and many mold colonies end up growing behind walls or in attics and basements. These are some of the first places we check for moisture and mold when responding to any call to a home, via moisture sensors, hygrometers, and infrared devices.
 
Spoiled and Forgotten Food
Spoiled food almost always grows mold at some point; most people know that. However, if not disposed of, this food can be a catalyst for future growth elsewhere in the home. Once matured, mold colonies release large amounts of spores which travel across a home through the air, and these may take up residence in another room or the ducts. This is one reason why we offer mold remediation rather than removal: it is impossible to rid a home of mold spores entirely, due to there being so many and their tiny size. Once again, they are naturally occurring, and so will be found in your home regardless.
 
Expert in mold remediation and cleanup, SERVPRO of Chattanooga is a tried and true solution to any mold problem, large or small. With proper accreditation, certification, and training for all of our crew members, we feel confident we can tackle your residential mold problem. Call us today at (423) 326-1406 for 24/7 emergency service.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga Helps a Local Chattanooga School After Water Damage Strikes

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO of Chattanooga Helps a Local Chattanooga School After Water Damage Strikes Air pushers and dehumidifiers on site of the flooded school.

In 2018, we received a call from a local roofing company who was in the middle of re-roofing a school. They had tarped the roof after a days work and planned to come back to finish the job two days later. That night, we had a storm come in with heavy rains and strong wind. The wind had pulled the tarp up and water leaked through the holes in the roof, ultimately flooding the top floor of the school. The roofing company immediately called SERVPRO of Chattanooga when they were aware of the situation. We were able to get to the school that day and begin restoration services. We had all hands on deck to ensure that this school would be able to stay open for their students and we were able to clean up/dry out all the water damage within a week.

The roofing company commented on our response time and efficiency, saying “They were very good at sorting everything- drying what they could dry. It helped save costs as well. The maps that you provide are very well written to where anyone that doesn’t understand what’s going on can see where the problem areas are. You always have someone on site to answer questions.” He goes on to say, “After seeing the response time with you all, we know that when we run into an issue, we will call you. We looked really good because of the response time that you guys had.” We’re thankful for our loyal customers and the opportunity to help those who need us everyday!

If you run into water, fire, mold, biohazard, or any other issues at your commercial property, give SERVPRO of Chattanooga a call at (423) 326-1406. We are Here to Help 24/7!

5 Ways to Prevent Pipes From Bursting in the Winter

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Ways to Prevent Pipes From Bursting in the Winter Be aware of frozen pipes during freezing weather.

When water freezes, it expands, and weak metal or plastic pipes that aren't insulated are more susceptible to bursting or leaking. As the weather gets into freezing temperatures, follow these tips to keep your pipes running.

1. Allow the faucet to drip: When pipes freeze, the pressure created by the blockage and faucet causes the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open and drip will relieve pressure in the system. If the faucet has both hot and cold water pipes, turn both handles slightly so that each pipe is open. If it is a single-handle faucet, turn it to warm.

2. Keep the Heat On: Always keep the heat on in your home to keep your pipes warm and prevent the water from freezing. If you leave for a long period of time, keep your home between 50-55 degrees. 

3. Apply Heating Tape: There are two types of heating tape for water pipes. One turns on and off by itself when it senses that heat is needed. The other type requires a plug when heat is needed. Heating tape acts as an electrical blanket for pipes during cold spells. These can be very useful when you do not want to think about keeping your faucets dripping. However, much like space heaters, these products can be dangerous so you must use safety precautions.

4. Seal Up Cracks and Holes: Seal the gaps and holes that are letting cold air where pipes run through walls or floors. You can use spray foam insulation or caulk to fill the gaps. If possible, it is best to seal the holes on both the interior and exterior side of wall or floor.

5. Add Extra Insulation: Pipes that are located in attics or basements that may not be insulated will likely require extra insulation to keep them warm. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. 

If you are in need of water damage mitigation services, call SERVPRO of Chattanooga at (423) 326-1604. 

3 Reasons Your Basement is Leaking- Hixson, TN 37343

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Reasons Your Basement is Leaking- Hixson, TN 37343 Understand where the water in your basement is coming from to avoid future issues.

Every time we have a significant amount of rain, I find a puddle of water in the same space in my garage. You might have the same issue in your garage, basement, or crawlspace (that you may not be aware of). Understanding where this water comes from and knowing how to monitor it is vital in ensuring that you will not have unexpected issues.

Reason #1: Ground Water – Ground water is one of the main causes of water in your basement. The water either accumulates from excessive rainwater, or through horizontal strata in the ground. If the water in your basement get worse when it rains often, this can likely be the a cause. If the water accumulates in puddles, the best solution is to squeegee out the sitting water and find the source of entry to seal up.

Reason #2: Backed-Up Sewer Pipes – This is a bit more serious than rain water. This will likely take a professional to diagnose exactly where the sewer line is backed up, but it can have numerous causes such as clogged toilet, clogged bath tub drain, washing machine back up, or even a floor drain back up. If you have discovered sewer water drainage in your basement, you will need to call a professional to thoroughly and accurately clean the biohazard. Our SERVPRO of Chattanooga professionals are equipped with the knowledge and tools to clean the sewage water in your basement.

Reason #3: Leaking Pipes – Because many of the pipes in your home are concealed inside the walls, you may be unaware when they begin to leak or even burst. If you notice dampness in your walls and floors, it is best to call a professional to inspect the moisture within the walls. SERVPRO of Chattanooga has specialty equipment to assess the unseen damage.

While these are only a few reasons why you may find water in your basement, always feel free to call a SERVPRO of Chattanooga professional with your questions and concerns. We are available to serve you 24/7, 365 days a year. Give us a call at (423) 326-1406.

Fire Strikes a Commercial Building in Hixson, TN

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Earlier this week, a commercial building in Hixson, TN experienced a fire that left their building full of smoke and soot damage. SERVPRO of Chattanooga was called out immediately to assess the damage. When you experience a fire in your home or business, the smoke and water damage from the firefighters' extinguishing efforts will likely cause additional damage. If you experience a fire loss in your home or business, here are some tips to better understand the fire restoration process. 

  1. Emergency Contact 

    When you call us, you will be asked questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate team, equipment, and resources.

  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment 

    SERVPRO of Chattanooga carefully inspects the entire home or business- not just the immediate area. Sometimes, soot and water affect areas that are not always seen. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

  3. Immediate Board-up and Roof Tarp Service 

    Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs, as seen in the photo of the commercial property. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water is present) 

    The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. Most of the water occurs if pipes melt and leak, or from the firefighters' efforts to extinguish the fire. We use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the water complete the drying process. 

  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces 

    We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

  6. Cleaning and Sanitizing 

    We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire.  We’re also trained to remove several types of odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

  7. Restoration

    Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO of Chattanooga has a reconstruction division that focuses solely on getting your home or business back to normal, "Like it never even happened."