Recent Posts

What Kind of Content Can Be Saved After a Flood?

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Plants and debris in the stairs of a home Storm damage to a home in East Brainerd, TN.

Content Cleaning After Flood Damage

There are many questions that go through your mind after a destructive flood takes hold of your East Brainerd, TN, home. However, one of the most consistent inquiries often relates to the state of your personal belongings and whether or not content cleaning can effectively save them from being removed for good. Here’s a common list of household items that often need to be removed from the home immediately, as well as others that can potentially be saved if black water hasn’t completely consumed the home.

Porous Materials

More often than not, porous materials and furnishings in your home are going to be the most affected by excess water in your living space, simply due to their absorbent nature. Belongings that are most difficult to save include the following:

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Carpets
  • Drapes or curtains
  • Saturated woodwork
  • Artwork or paperwork

While there’s no definitive answer that applies to every situation, the majority of these materials can become the most densely saturated and therefore the hardest to clean and restore. However, the result depends on the extent of the water damage overall and how long it takes for you to contact professional restoration services after an event.

Nonporous Materials

Nonporous belongings, such as anything made of plastic, metal, etc., are often the best for content cleaning purposes. Such materials don’t absorb water, making them easy to simply clean off and restore in no time. Electronics or appliances can become unusable if they’re submerged for a significant amount of time, but the result depends on the severity of the water damage.

The biggest factor in determining the survival of any home furnishings is whether or not dangerous black water has come into play. This mixing of sewage and flood water can be far more difficult to clean and can lead to fewer items being salvageable, regardless of their material.

Despite what may initially seem like a lost cause, there’s always a possibility of saving your home’s belongings in East Brainerd, TN. Therefore, content cleaning should always be handled by professional restoration specialists who can do their best to save as much as possible. 

4 Ways to Clean Belongings After a Fire

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning contents after a fire After a fire, you want to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. You can contact SERVPRO of Chattanooga for professional help.

After a Fire, How to Clean Your Belongings

Watching your Tyner, TN home burn can leave you with an ache in your heart. Not only do you have to deal with a massive insurance claim, but there's a good chance you'll end up losing some of your treasured possessions. When you work with a residential fire damage cleanup crew, some of your smoke-damaged belongings may get saved. Content cleaning is a delicate art that can take the following shapes.

1. Dry-Cleaning: Clothes, furniture and other porous items often have to be cleaned with a dry-cleaning method. This helps remove the smoke and soot that built up during the fire. If you try to wash your clothes on a normal cycle, you may end up causing more damage. The soot has to be removed from the textiles before you can return to a typical cleaning method.
2. Ultrasonic: Non-porous items can go through a more vigorous cleaning than materials that soak up water. The ultrasonic treatment incorporates ultrasound and a cleaning solvent to rid your belongings of soot.
3. High-Pressure Water: If the ultrasonic machine is not big enough for some of your non-porous furniture, the professionals may choose to use high-pressure water. This only works on non-porous items because they won't soak up the excess water.
4. Odor Removal: Smoke isn't the only thing that can cling to your possessions. The odor after a fire can be a long-term reminder of what you went through. After dry-cleaning, ultrasonic or high-pressure water methods have been put in place, you may want to do some sort of odor removal too. Professionals often use thermal fogging or ozone treatments to rid your home of the funky smell.

After a fire, you want to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. This means you need to clean your belongings. If the cleaning process takes longer than expected, you can also use content storage to get your dirty, smelly items out of the house until they're clean.

The Facts About Mold Removal

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in the bottom of a drywall. Mold damage in Chattanooga property

Facts About Mold

Any property can quickly become infiltrated with mold when there is an unwanted water source such as a leak. That is why it is so vitally important to understand the steps involved in mold removal. Here are some facts about mold:

  • Mold is present in almost any location, inside and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic.
  • They float in the air and could come into your home through doors, windows, and HVAC systems or even attach themselves to your pet or your clothes.
  • Mold spores flourish in moisture.
  • Mold spores can rapidly bloom into colonies when water is present.
  • Before any mold repairs can start, the source of the unwanted moisture or water needs to be dealt with.
  • Mold often produces a musty, strong scent.

Dealing With Mold

There are countless reports and marketing efforts regarding mold growth, so it is easy to get confused about how to treat it. You may hear the term “black mold” and think that this is an especially dangerous type; however, it should be treated with care like all mold, and should not be touched. The key to preventing the growth of mold is to keep unwanted moisture out of your property and contact a professional mold remediation company at the first sign of an intrusion.

The Difference Between Mold Remediation and Removal

It is important to understand that mold exists almost everywhere in nature. When a cleanup company suggests “mold removal,” know that it is impossible to remove all spores. A competent restoration company knows the science, and it has the requisite knowledge to remediate the mold in your property. Remember that mold remediation does not focus on eliminating mold, but rather getting mold back to its ordinary amounts.

Dealing with a mold issue and subsequent mold removal at your property in Collegedale, TN, can be overwhelming. That is why it is important that you contact a professional mold remediation company promptly to assess any damage and perform a professional cleanup at the first sign of trouble.

Levels of Water Damage

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are three types of water damage.

Oh no! You had a pipe break or a supply line break or you have flood damage in your home from something else. It's easy to look around at everything that needs mitigation and restoration and panic. However, a better idea is to contact a water damage restoration company. The first thing they will do is determine just how much damage the water in your home or business has done, so they can get you fixed and back to normal life as soon as possible.

Water Damage Classes

Most water damage restoration companies classify your flood damage according to three categories. These help them determine the kind of mitigation you will need, and how much restoration will be necessary.

Class 1 water damage in your flooded home or business means that only part of one room was affected and that relatively little water has been absorbed. This is the easiest to fix when it comes to water cleanup and drying.

Class 2 damage means that the water in your home or business affected an entire room, and has probably gotten into the walls and carpet. The restoration company will have to use more drastic methods when it comes to drying and mitigation.

Class 3 water damage means that the water in your business or home has absorbed up the walls, and even potentially into the ceiling. It can also mean that the pipe break or water supply line break that caused the flooding may have gotten water inside the walls, where water cleanup is more difficult.

What Kind of Water is in Your Flooded Home or Business?

After your restoration company assesses the amount of damage, they will also assess the type and cleanliness of the water in your business or your home. This tells them how concerned they need to be about bacteria and other microbes growing in the water.

Category 1 water in your home means that your flood damage was caused mostly by clean water. Water from a pipe break or supply line break is generally of this sort. There is little danger of microbes in your flooded home or business, as long as it gets cleaned up quickly.

Category 2 water requires more mitigation. This is water that may be slightly dirty, like a toilet that overflows with urine in it. The water also may contain chemicals, like laundry detergent after your washer leaks. This category can require a different kind of water cleanup or drying procedure.

Category 3 water is dirty. If your sewage pipe breaks or the water in your home or business came from a river overflow, this is the category it will fall into. This can be dangerous and requires immediate water cleanup for your flooded home or business.

Responsibly Using a Fire Extinguisher

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration Use the PASS method when using a fire extinguisher.

How To Handle a Fire Extinguisher

By now, fire extinguishers have become staples in most disaster-ready homes and provide billions worldwide with a quick, straightforward way to respond to sudden blazes. Generally, if you’ve used one fire extinguisher, you’ll use them all, as they typically follow the same usage procedure known as PASS:

  • Pull the pin to break the tamper seal
  • Aim the nozzle at the bottom of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle and release extinguisher chemicals
  • Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire until it’s extinguished


Knowing these steps can save you a ton of hassle with instances like the average kitchen fire in Harrison, TN but to really mitigate as much fire damage as possible, there are a few other things you need to take into account.

Choosing Your Extinguisher

The first thing you should always be aware of is that not every fire extinguisher is good for every job. For example, when dealing with a grease fire, you’ll need a class B extinguisher to really get the job done safely. It’s a good idea to research different extinguisher uses before deciding where to allocate these appliances around your home.

Emergency Services

Just because you have an extinguisher on your side doesn’t mean you won’t need emergency services. Ideally, you should have someone calling 911 as you attempt to extinguish the flames. This ensures you’re able to get the assistance you need in the event that your attempts are unsuccessful.


Furthermore, know when to leave the house. If the blaze becomes too large or your extinguisher runs out of juice, it’s time to get outdoors. You can pass over the firefighting responsibilities to emergency responders and work with a fire cleanup crew afterward to get your home back to normal again.


Keeping proper fire extinguisher handling tips in mind may be able to save your home and your family in the coming years. Be sure to discuss the above tips with every member of your family.

Top Tips for Implementing an Evacuation Plan

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor Creating a fire escape plan for your commercial building can help keep you and your employees safe.

Commercial Fire Escape Plan

Thinking about a fire tearing through your Ooltewah, TN office building can leave you anxious. After all, fires can cause a lot of harm, including:

  • Destroying buildings
  • Damaging equipment
  • Injuring people

As the building owner, you need to prepare the workers inside for evacuating in an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan can help ensure everyone knows how to get out during a fiery blaze.

Create Maps

Mapping out the layout of your building can help panicked employees remember which way to go in an emergency. You may want to include an emergency escape plan map in every room of the building. This allows visitors to know where to go in the case of a fire too. Your maps should highlight different ways people can leave the building. Fires may block off hallways or break downs stairs, so having more than one way out is essential.

Train Employees

After you have created a map, you need to make sure your employees are aware of the evacuation routes you have laid out. You also need to make sure everyone can recognize the fire alarm. You may want to have regular fire safety training to remind employees what they should do if a fire breaks out. Make the best routes out of the building clear. Don't forget to tell everyone where they should meet once outside. A fire restoration professional may be able to help you assign the best evacuation spot on or near your property.

Practice the Escape

Part of your regular training may be practicing the fire escape plan. You can encourage employees to think on their feet by setting up obstacles across the easiest path out, so they have to take an unexpected route out of the building. Even during practice, you should make sure everyone meets at the designated spot.

Creating a fire escape plan for your commercial building can help keep you and your employees safe. While you never want a disaster to strike, it is best to be prepared. 

Industrial Hygienists: Experts at Finding Hidden Mold

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold colonies Mold colonies in Apison, TN

How To Find Hidden Mold In Your Home

Your Apison, TN, home may be your castle, but you certainly don’t want it smelling like one. If there are visible signs of mold growth, you know it is time to call a mold remediation and restoration professional to take care of the problem and ensure proper mold cleaning. When there are no visible signs, but the smell keeps permeating in different areas, it is worth considering have a mold test completed by a certified industrial hygienist. They are highly trained professionals who will conduct air and surface testing.

Air Testing
Since mold quickly grows and sends spores out to form new colonies, the spores in your home may continually change and move. An inspector will conduct various tests to take back to the lab, which helps ensure that mold cleaning is done where it needs to be. They will first take air samples. Three common methods for this include:

Impaction Samplers: A calibrated air pump impacts spores on a microscope slide.
Cassette Samplers: Often only used once, it uses forced air to impact spores for collection.
Particle Collectors: These contain spores onto a culture dish.

Surface Testing
Surface samples will also be taken and sent back to the lab, which provides better insight into your home’s mold damage problem. Common methods for taking these samples are:

Bulk: A section of an area, such as drywall, is removed and send to the lab.
Swab: Similar to medical methods, a cotton swab is swept over an area, sealed and sent for testing.
Tape: A piece of tape is adhered to a section and gently removed, bringing with it any mold to test.

Once both tests are completed and the molds analyzed, you will have a scientific understanding of the scope of your issues. These tests also can pinpoint the type of mold. After you have had remediation done, an industrial hygienist will conduct industry-standard testing to ensure your problem was taken care of.
While mold cleaning may be an obvious task when visible mold is present, sometimes it is lurking out of sight. Professional testing can you help find the problem and eradicate it.

Finding A Reputable Water Damage Restoration Company in Chattanooga

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in a bathroom Sewage damage in Chattanooga, TN.

Chattanooga Homeowners Can Rely on SERVPRO for Complete Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can strike at any time. From natural disasters to plumbing issues, water damage may cost you lots of money. It can cost you even more without a reputable company that you can trust. When you need someone to repair your leaky roof, flooded workshop, or even remove mold, use these tips to find a company that will help you get back on track.

Where to Start
If you have water damage at your residence, you can do these simple things to ensure a positive result when dealing with water damage restoration professionals. Be sure to communicate with your insurance company immediately. Ask them about your policy coverage and requirements that they have on filing a claim. Ask your agent if they work with particular water damage restoration companies. SERVPRO of Chattanooga is a preferred vendor for numerous insurance and property management companies. In the meantime, use fans and dehumidifiers to start drying them out. 

Find a Company You Trust
Before you select a water damage restoration professional or company, check on their work history and references. Remember your insurance agent or adjuster? References will help determine if the contractor is familiar with your particular water damage problem. A contractor can easily give you names and phone numbers of at least three clients with projects like yours. Talk with each customer about how the project was done and whether it was completed on time.

Check Out Your Contractor
Determine if the contractor is insured. Don’t be afraid to ask for copies of current insurance certificates, so you don’t become liable for any injuries that transpire during the project. Reputable companies will carry personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. This is a sharp point to select SERVPRO--to rely on a Corporate Franchise, one of 1,800, that are ranked by "Entrepreneur" Magazine as a top 10 for seven consecutive years. Why look any further?

Get It in Writing
Develop a written contract with anyone you hire. It will need to be explicit about the work to be performed, the techniques to be used, and the price of labor and materials. Additionally, it is a good idea to have a timeline that is agreed on by both parties.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga will provide the following as needed:
--CCIS--Contents Claim Inventory Service to inventory all water damaged items
--Service Authorization Form to begin work immediately to mitigate water damage
--Ongoing paperwork detailing the water removal and restoration process
--Written documentation of thorough drying down to normal moisture levels
--Final Walk-Thru to ensure your complete satisfaction with our efforts to restore your home to preloss condition "Like it never even happened."

Remember, you don’t have to feel pressured into making a quick decision. Although you may feel nervous about getting the water damage repaired, don’t act with haste. You could make temporary repairs while you check out the contractor and develop a written contract. You can trust the SERVPRO technicians to follow IICRC guidelines and surpass industry standards to restore your water-damaged Chattanooga, TN home.

Water Damage Services You Can Trust in Chattanooga

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Under Sink leaking All of our SERVPRO technicians are fully insured and licensed, as we take pride in the work that we provide you, our customers.

SERVPRO is The Company You Know and Trust

Unless you are always able to avoid things such as malfunctioning appliances, pipes and faucets, flooding, and tornadoes, you will at some point in your life experience water damage, as horrible as it can be. Water damage restoration is the process of restoring your home in such an instance to its condition before the loss, and you want a professional company like SERVPRO to help you in your time of need.

Your Chattanooga home can experience water damage for various reasons, including sewage backups, storms, malfunctioning appliances, broken pipes, and human error like overflowing toilets and sinks. No matter the reason or how large the project is, SERVPRO’s staff has you covered. We are a full-service restoration company with the experience and knowledge needed to perform a thorough restoration on your home.

We put our customers first at SERVPRO and begin by giving you a free estimate with no obligations. We come to your home and review the water damage to your property, then provide an estimate of what would take for your property to be restored to a like new condition. You have no obligation to act upon this estimate.

It is not common to see water damage happening on your timeline, else it would likely never occur, which is why we are available for support 24/7. Time is of the essence when you have water damage. Each minute that water sits in your home is time for more and more damage to harm your possessions, leaving more opportunity as well for mold and increasing the time and effort needed to fix the damage. Therefore, when the damage happens, call us as soon as possible.

All our technicians are fully insured and licensed, as we take pride in the work that we provide you, our customer. Regular training and upkeep are needed for licensing to make sure we use tools and methods which are the most up-to-date for drying out your water-damaged home. As professionals, we put our customer’s needs above our own and treat them with respect.

We also work with your insurance company, so you don’t have to worry. With years of restoration experience, we have worked with many insurance companies out there, so rest assured we help you to get the coverage you need.

When a Commercial Fire Damages Your Business, Call SERVPRO

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler Don't let a fire damage your business in Chattanooga.

Repair Your Business Property After Experiencing Commercial Fire Damage

When a fire ravages your business property, you may wonder how you will be able to repair all of the fire damage. Some Chattanooga, TN commercial fire damage will result in a full loss, but others may only impact a small area of the property and business. Regardless of how large or small the fire was, you may need the property repaired as soon as possible so that operations can resume. Until this happens, you and your clients may be inconvenienced, and the business profit will decrease. With a few important steps, you can rectify commercial fire damage in Chattanooga, TN and get your operations back to normal as soon as possible.

Surveying the Damage
An important first step to take in the Chattanooga, TN commercial fire damage restoration process is to survey the damage to your property. Through a quick overview of the damage, you will get a better idea of the scope of a repair project, and you can estimate how long it will take to get the damage repaired. Keep in mind that a fire often inflicts more damage than just the area affected by the flames. Smoke damage, for example, may spread throughout a property even when the fire was contained to a particular room of the building. Water damage incurred from the firefighters putting out the fire may also be present. Each of these types of damage will require a different overall repair process and may lengthen the overall restorative job.

Cleaning the Property
Clean the property and removing the ashes and soot is a high priority to limit damage and odors. In some cases, water extraction is necessary. Afterward, you will be able to determine other areas that may need to be cleaned. For example, carpeting or furnishings may require special professional cleaning techniques if they have been damaged by smoke or water.

Repairing the Area
While some areas impacted by the fire will need to be professionally cleaned, others will need to be repaired or replaced. For example, any charred areas that have been burned by the fire often will need to be entirely replaced and will not be salvageable. It can be difficult to determine which areas can be repaired or replaced and which can be cleaned, but a professional team of fire damage remediation professionals from SERVPRO can assist you in this area. We can inventory and document all salvageable and non-salvageable business items such as computers, copiers, furnishings, retail stock, and documents. Our team can also interact with your insurance provider to mitigate damages, costs, and downtime.

If your business property has been affected by a fire, our team of fire damage specialists can help. As a locally owned company, we can respond quickly to your request for assistance with fire damage repair services.