Recent Posts

Do You Know Where Your Water Shut Offs Are Located?

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

You have probably heard of our SERVPRO ERPs (Emergency Ready Profiles). As we conduct ERPs in commercial buildings, we also add water and gas shut off tags to the appropriate shut offs. We add these tags as a helpful indication if you ever have an emergency in your home. For example, if a pipe bursts or a leak happens in your home or business, the first thought to cross your mind should be to turn off the water. 

Next step? Call SERVPRO of Chattanooga!

If the leak is from a sink or a toilet, it is easy to turn off the water for that line by turning the valve that is located beneath or beside the fixture. What if you're not sure where the leak is coming from? It could be a pipe behind your wall, under your home, or somewhere that is hard to locate. In this case, you should turn off the water to the whole house. This means locating the water main shutoff. Ask yourself this question, whether in your home or business. Do you know where the shutoff is located and could you locate it in the case of an emergency? If not, don't feel bad. Many people do not know where to locate their water and gas shut offs.

Typically, these shut offs lie on the exterior of the home or business around the perimeter of the building. Once you have found the shutoff, make sure that all members of your household know where it is. This is exactly why we tag these main shut offs during the creation of an ERP. The quicker you are able to turn off the water, the less damage is caused. 

If you experience water damage in your home, whether from a busted pipe, leaky roof, or natural occurrence, you can give SERVPRO of Chattanooga a call at (423) 326-1406. We are always here to help!

The Five-Step Process of Flood Damage Restoration

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage from storms is common in our area due to the low-lying areas that are surrounded by mountains and hills. Unfortunately, water damage is one of the most serious issues that a property owner can face. Even small amounts of water damage can lead to serious repercussions, such as out-of-control mold growth or structural compromise. When dealing with a flood damage situation in your home or business, it is crucial to call a professional to mitigate flood damage. You are dealing with unsafe, category 3 water damage. 

Understanding the Flood Damage Restoration and Mitigation Process

Over the years, a well-established protocol for the restoration and mitigation of water damage has taken hold. This is a proven and effective means of mitigating flood damage. Generally speaking, the restoration process follows five steps. Let's take a look at the water cleanup process and what steps are involved in dealing with potential flood damage.

If the restoration company can begin the water cleanup process within the first five hours of damage, the chances of a total restoration of the property are higher. On the other hand, waiting more than 24 hours will cause the chances of permanent damage to rise, with every passing hour.

1. SERVPRO of Chattanooga will begin assessing the extent of water in the home or water in the business. Through the use of advanced detection devices, they will be able to see if there is water in the structure that has seeped into spots not visible to the naked eye. If there is an active pipe break or supply line break, the flow of water will be stanched, and the pipe break or supply line break will be closed, with a welder, if necessary.

2. The next step is to remove the water using high-powered pumps and specialized vacuum equipment.

3. Next, the flooded home will begin undergoing the drying process. This involves the use of industrial-strength drying equipment, similar to that used in large car washes. The team will also deploy powerful dehumidifiers, which are capable of removing thousands of pounds of moisture from the atmosphere each hour.

4. At this point, with the drying process complete, there will be no further risk to the property, assuming the root causes of the supply line break, pipe break, or other source of flooding have been properly addressed.

5. After the property has been dried, any items that were removed from the premises will be thoroughly cleaned. Using a process similar to dry cleaning, special chemicals will be deployed that are capable of cleaning and restoring such items as photos, books, and furniture. The cleanup team will also use special sanitization products, which are capable of eliminating any nascent mildew or mold growths as well as eliminating unpleasant smells that often result from the water logging of materials, even after they have been completely dried out.

Now the cleanup process will be complete. The property will be completely restored to its prior condition, and the entire process will usually have taken no more than 24 hours, from phone call to the team leaving for the last time.

Visit for more information on water damage.

3 Dangers of Soot and Smoke Inhalation - Chattanooga, TN

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire is diminished and the smoke settles, you may think that you can buy a few bottles of bleach and clean the soot yourself. The issue with this particular DIY project is that smoke and soot following a fire are more than just smelly and unsightly. When combustion occurs during a fire, not all materials burn cleanly, resulting in smoke and soot. Smoke and soot are considered waste products since they contain various chemicals which are harmful to your health. Because modern structures hold an array of chemicals not found in early homes, soot could result in health hazards that make fire restoration a difficult and dangerous task. 

Exposure to smoke and soot during fire restoration may occur via inhalation through the mouth and nose, exposure to the skin and eyes, and ingestion. Because airborne soot particulate is invisible, you may unknowingly be affected. 

1. Respiratory Problems

After a fire has occurred but the smoke and soot have not been cleaned properly by a professional, the occupants are likely to breathe in the tiny soot particles that can eventually embed deep into the lung cavities. The prolonged exposure to soot unleashes a host of breathing problems, including asthma. Bronchitis is also a likely consequence. Respiratory infections are no stranger to those frequently exposed to soot.

2. Cancers

Studies over the years have shown that long term exposure of soot can cause lung, bladder esophageal, and skin cancers due to the toxins that it carries.

3. Decreased Air Quality

A home’s indoor air quality is severely compromised with the presence of soot. Because of the microscopic particle size of soot, it has the ability to travel through the air and tendency to stick to hard surfaces. Soot contamination is very challenging to clean up. 

It is best to call a professional after you have experienced a fire in your home or business. We have the professional experience and equipment to safely clean your home. Call us 24/7 at (423) 326-1406. 

Causes of Fire in Your Crawl Space

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

The crawl space is usually where the water drain pipes and wiring runs, as well as where the air handler for your HVAC is found. Because of possible malfunctions with electrical wiring or mechanical equipment, it can cause a fire. We recently cleaned a job where the wiring caught fire under the house. Smoke and soot filled the HVAC systems and thus the home. This is one of the reasons why we recommend periodically checking your crawl space. In addition to fire hazards, you may have water or mold that you are unaware of. Fires in the crawl space occur on an infrequent basis, but can still have the same result: displacement of occupants. 

We always recommend to have the adequate amount of fire alarms in your home. In most cases with fires in crawlspaces, the fires will burn undetected for a while since there is not typically a smoke detector in crawlspaces. Such a fire could burn for hours or even days until the smoke rises through the HVAC system or you notice from the outside. 

No matter how much of a pain it may be, make it a point to go under your home periodically to check for fires, water, mold, or other issues. 

While it may not be top of mind, be cautious of the space under your home. Be aware of the signs of fires in your crawl space and check it regularly for fire hazards. If you experience a fire in your crawl space, call SERVPRO of Chattanooga at (423) 326-1406. 

How Can I Restore My Belongings After Flood Damage?

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

As we're entering the season of thunderstorms and floods, it is important to know what to know if your home is flooded. You can read more about our storm damage restoration services here, but I want to focus specifically on restoring books, photos, and electronics that have been damaged by water. As flood damage restoration experts, it is our job to determine which of your belongings are important to you and do everything we can to help restore those items for you.

Whether you have a library full of damaged books or documents that you'd like to save, or you have a highly advanced electronic household, our professionally trained staff will go above and beyond to assist with recovering your meaningful items. 
It is necessary to understand that water-damaged books and documents are not fully recoverable; meaning they cannot receive pre-damage condition restoration, because some damage will always exist. However, the faster we get started on restoring the items, the better each book or item will look after restoration. 
SERVPRO technicians have access to use five different methods for drying your water-damaged paper products. The method used to restore your items depends on the items value, type of exposure, extent of harm, time of exposure, and how much money you are willing to pay.
Drying your documents relies on a sublimation process, which consists of changing a solid into a vapor without taking on a liquid state first. Air-drying, Dehumidification, Freezer drying, Vacuum Freeze-drying, and Vacuum Thermal-drying are all methods that we can use to limit the damage to your paper items
Freezer storage facilities give us the ability to store wet paper products, and we have one very close to home- at SERVPRO corporate! Once we receive your items, we can immediately transport them to corporate where specialists will carefully handle your personal items.
SERVPRO maintains a log of which items get moved into storage and where they are within the facility so that we can return to them after the restorations are complete. As with all of our services, our IICRC certified technicians thoroughly explain the situation and seek feedback from you on how you would like to move forward. 
At SERVPRO of Chattanooga, we have professionals dedicated to assisting you with restoring these types of items. Make the call if a disaster occurs in your home at (423) 326-1406.

Flash Flood Damage in Chattanooga

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

A flash flood in Chattanooga last week caused this commercial building to experience flooding in many parts of their facility. Because the damage came from flood waters, it was considered a category 3 water damage. Category 3 water damage is known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents like harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness if you come in contact with it or ingest it. When you have any type of water damage, it is important to call the professionals right away. The commercial building called SERVPRO of Chattanooga as the flooding was happening and we were able to assess the damage and help stop further damage. 

Our trained technicians use state-of-the-art equipment and technology during the mitigation process. In instances like the flash flood where water may get behind walls, in ceilings, and under floors, we utilize infrared cameras to detect moisture that we cannot see. Our industrial strength equipment effectively removes and dries the water. After each day of drying, we use moisture sensors and other instruments that measure and monitor the moisture and humidity levels so that the restoration of the property is complete and thorough. The use of such equipment keeps mold and other lasting damage from occurring.

If necessary and in this situation, we will sanitize the property by using OSHA approved cleaning products to disinfect and stop the growth of mildew, bacteria, and other harmful micro-organisms. By working quickly and thoroughly, we can lessen damage and save you money, "Like it never even happened."

As you can see, it is vital for commercial property owners and maintenance directors to act quickly to prevent additional damage as a result of floodwaters. If you have questions or need to schedule a service, call SERVPRO of Chattanooga at (423) 326-1406 today.

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Chattanooga's Disaster Recovery Team is dedicated to helping customers who have experienced tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood damage. Much like our local production teams, the storm team is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, always prepared for the unpredictable. We currently have a team cleaning up the flood damage in Virginia. 

According to the SERVPRO corporate website, "The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster." We are proud to participate on this team!

To be invited to participate on a Storm Team, a franchise has to be in compliance of all corporate Storm Team requirements and then accept the invitation when a storm event requires our services. When a loss occurs, whether it is a hurricane, flood, or tornado, we send a commercial Production Manager (or two) with a production crew with trucks full of appropriate equipment. The Production Managers ensure that there is seamless communication and timely mitigation during the chaos of the loss. 

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. We are proud to be a part of this team and help our community during the most devastating times. 

What Are The Odds That My Home Gets Struck By Lightning?

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

According to National Geographic, lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States. You may think that it is unlikely that you or your home will be struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, but it is more common than you think. In fact, I have been in a home when it was struck my lightning. It was during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. I was asleep when suddenly the loudest "bang" woke everyone up. There was smoke coming from the outlets and the power was out. We didn't know what to do! Luckily, the house did not catch on fire but it was extremely unsettling. So, what do you do if your home gets struck by lightning? 

When lightning strikes your home, it often connects to a source first, then jumps to another source.  For example, it can connect to gutters, then jump to a window frame as a 'stepping stone' to the electrical system or water pipes. It can jump from wall outlets to sink faucets, depending on how strong the current is! Lightning presents three main concerns when it hits a home: 

  • Fire danger: The biggest danger lightning poses to a house is fire. Often times the damage isn't seen, rather the currents pass through the wiring and create fires within the walls, which burn slowly and dangerously. It is most common for lightning to start a fire in the attic or roof of a house, which is what happened in the photo on this blog. The lightning passed through the structural material in the roof before it reached the wiring/pipes. 
  • Power surge damage: If lightning chooses any of the home's electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. Lightning can destroy electronics without you even knowing. 
  • Shock wave damage: Lightning can easily fracture concrete, brick, cinderblock, and stone when it produces an explosive shock wave. The shock waves that lightning create is what produces the thunder that we hear. These may damage your house and produce shrapnel pieces that create further damage. 

If your house gets struck by lightning, the first thing to do is call the fire department. As mentioned before, lightning can spark a fire in the wiring within the walls, and you may not be aware of the fire until it is visible. After the fire department inspects your home/eliminates the fire, you should take steps to restore your home. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need an electrician to rewire your home. If the lightning did severe damage, it may be necessary to call a fire restoration company to clean your home and your contents.

The customer whose home is in the photo above was extremely grateful with the swiftness and kindness of the SERVPRO of Chattanooga staff who is working on restoring his home to preloss condition. Lightning may seem like one in a million, but like many disasters, you do not know until it happens to you. Be prepared when disaster strikes! 

Commercial Chattanooga Fire Damage Requires Fast Restoration

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Tackles a Fire Damaged Business in Chattanooga

A small business owner may have his whole life's investment in his commercial dream. Any Chattanooga fire damage event that occurs can be devastating for a small business owner.  A common issue for business owners is fire damage. Flames can damage your enterprise. There are many steps you can take to help mitigate any damage that a fire may cause. 

To help prevent a fire from causing major damage to your business, build or remodel with quality products and building materials. Newer and higher quality materials are more stringently regulated and are more fire retardant. It can save thousands of dollars in fire damage when you invest money up front to protect your business space and profits generated by good will. However, even if you have a preventative plan in place, thus reducing the chances of a fire, and used high-quality materials, you still may end up with fire and costly, or even devastating fire damage. Use fire damage and prevention professionals from SERVPRO to help you restore your place of business. 

Fire damage restoration professionals from SERVPRO are experts in helping homes and businesses clean up after a fire or other natural disaster. They possess the equipment, knowledge, and experience to get the job done right as quickly as possible. Fires can cause several levels of damage to a company. Flames can cause damage to the structure. Smoke, soot, and water damage can be significant on the interior of a business causing fire and smoke damage to inventory, office assets, records, and documents. Time is of the essence in reopening your business to generate revenue and to satisfy your customers and clients. SERVPRO will work around the clock if necessary to help.

In safeguard against a fire, outline steps ahead of time for employees and customers of your business to evacuate the premises safely. By law, you must post emergency exit routes and important contact information for all emergencies in locations throughout your business. Talk with your local fire marshall to outfit your building with the equipment you need to warn you and put out fires. There are many types of smoke detectors, fire alarms, sensors, fire extinguishers, and fire-suppressant sprinkler systems to provide warnings and extinguishing features. If you invest in prevention, it can save you a lot of money, alleviate stress, and maybe save lives. 

If your doors are closed for business because of Chattanooga fire damage, call SERVPRO right after you call your insurance company. We will dispatch crews to assess the damage and formulate a professional, cost-effective plan of action to mitigate losses and revenue. Our IICRC certified technicians, having received extensive, supplemental corporate and eLearning instructions, can grapple with all aspects of your loss. We work to reopen your business establishment quickly "Like it never even happened."

What You Need To Know About Water Mitigation And Restoration in Chattanooga

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

When tragedy strikes, it can be difficult to know what to do. Accidents involving water can be quite challenging. Water damage can be quite detrimental and it can be helpful to know how a professional water mitigation and restoration company can help with the situation.

Our trained SERVPRO staff can reduce the possibility or likelihood of a building receiving further water damage after there is a water leak or a natural disaster. It is important that water mitigation begin as soon as possible after the loss occurred. A professional knows what to do in terms of getting rid of the water quickly. These a few actions he or she will take when arriving on scene:

Assessing the situation

Water can get under walls and seep into rooms. Not only that, but water can become attached to drywall, wood, and other places within a home or business that can create mold damage. Professionals have numerous tools that can use to identify where the water and moisture is inside of a building. Moisture meters and special detectors are specifically designed to identify and locate moisture. Once the water and moisture has been identified, professionals may take photographs of the areas that have been impacted by the water. This can be very beneficial to a homeowner and an insurance company in terms of record keeping and evidence of a problem.  

Alleviate the Water and Moisture

After these things have been addressed, professionals will use equipment and tools that can alleviate the water and moisture. Some of the equipment they will use are air movers that can dry a floor or a wall in a brief amount of time. A specialized dehumidifier can do a fantastic job in reducing the amount of moisture that is within a building.  

Restoring your Home

Once the water mitigation in your Chattanooga home has been done, that is when the process of restoration begins. When people think of restoration, they may only think of the structure of the building. However, the walls may have begun to display mold. The basement ceiling may have shown signs that water damage. Carpeting may need to be replaced because of dirty water that has covered it. All of these things need to be repaired, replaced, or restored. It is good to hire a professional to take care of the restoration process and to ensure that mold and bad smells have been eliminated from the building. Although the process may take a day or two, the results are absolutely worth it.

After the structure has been addressed, there is much more to be done. Perhaps cabinets to a kitchen or bathroom have been damaged and have to be replaced. Furniture may need to be replaced or receive a thorough cleaning. In addition to this, there are personal items that need to be considered. Items may include electronics, books, clothing, and more. Taking care of these things pertains to the restoration process, and it needs to be done correctly. SERVPRO of Chattanooga has a Reconstruction division that will complete these services, as well as a textiles department to restore your damaged soft goods and contents. 

Whatever the situation is, help is available from SERVPRO of Chattanooga professionals. Call us today at (423) 326-1406.