The Importance of Regular HVAC Maintenance
The main function of the HVAC system, whether in a commercial building or residential home, is to exchange air and regulate comfort. Putting off routine maintenance of the HVAC system impacts not only building operations, but occupant safety as well. If the filters are not regularly changed, they become dirty and clogged- thus restricting air flow and static pressure. When this occurs, it is harder to regulate the temperature and humidity in the building. The buildup may also get damp and becomes a food source for bacteria and mold. Mold brings in foul odors and allergens that cause headaches, sinus congestion, and eye irritation of its occupants.
Additionally, HVAC units that are under constant stress are more likely to fail due to wear and tear of belts, bearings, and bushings. Clogged drain pans may overflow and cause water damage- something we’ve seen often in our industry (click here to see what we're talking about.) Wiring may overheat or short circuit, which could result in fires. These are only a few of the risks associated with deferred maintenance of the HVAC system in your commercial building. So, how do you avoid these issues? Keep an inventory list of the HVAC equipment in your building. A good inventory list provides insight into the specifications, age, and history of equipment. This is helpful for routine maintenance and planning for replacement.
HVAC systems are key to maintaining optimized building operations and occupant health. It is highly recommended to contact a professional when dealing with duct cleaning and air handling units because of the risk of cross-contamination. The certified professional will know how to clean every component associated with the duct system, including reheat coils and VAV terminals. SERVPRO of Chattanooga specializes in duct cleaning for both residential and commercial buildings. Make sure you are checking your HVAC system regularly and hiring a professional to perform routine maintenance. To read more about our HVAC cleaning services, visit https://www.SERVPROchattanooga.com/airduct-cleaning.
You'll Always Be in Good Hands with SERVPRO of Chattanooga
Here at SERVPRO of Chattanooga, your belongings, whether that be a property, furniture or antique bowls, will be taken care of. Our technicians are IICRC certified and receive training in water mitigation, mold remediation, fire restoration, and general cleaning. This allows us to perform at the standards that you deserve.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. Throughout the certification process, our technicians will study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
In turn, this training provides our professionals with knowledge and critical thinking skills to understand the best course of action when any type of loss occurs.
Initial Franchise Training
SERVPRO Corporate Training Facility provides new Franchise owners training in Fire Restoration, Water Restoration, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, and Mold Mitigation. This is the foundation of the training program designed by SERVPRO. The process is a 15-day hands-on course that provides the owners with valuable information.
Employee Certification Training
The Employee Certification Training is a series of course materials and examination process that SERVPRO Franchise employees complete to receive certification in the following:
- Crew Training
- Fire Restoration
- Water Restoration
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
Technicians and office staff have access to learn and test their knowledge of industry standards and professional quality. These courses often are video presentations as well as support materials that challenge our technicians to be the best they can be for our customers.
At SERVPRO of Chattanooga, we encourage personal growth among our staff. As our company grows and learns, we want our staff to follow suit. This course of action will in turn better our services to our customers.
Why SERVPRO is The Best Choice This Holiday Season
We all have that memory where either a pipe burst or something was left on the stove for too long. With the holidays just around the corner, SERVPRO of Chattanooga wants to ensure that you and your family have an unforgettable holiday season. We know this time of year is very fast paced, from picking friends and relatives up from the airport, shopping for presents, hiding the presents from the kids, to decorating and cooking. In the spirit of the holidays, some things that may be overlooked could become a hazard. SERVPRO of Chattanooga has a few tricks up our Christmas sweater sleeve that we want to share with you!
- Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than that may not only blow a fuse but can also cause a fire.
- Keep living trees fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.
- When decorating use battery powered candles. Candles start almost have of home decoration fires
- Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
- Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to bed or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between 11pm and 7am.
For more holiday safety tips click here!
Most losses that happen are unexpected, so even following the steps above doesn’t guarantee that a pipe won’t burst or a fire won’t start, but here at SERVPRO of Chattanooga we understand that and want to be the first one you call. We offer our services 24/7, 365 days of the year! For all losses, give us a call and we promise to schedule a meeting promptly as well as communicate everything happening! Give us a call at (423) 326-1406.
Check our last blog post “How to Have a Warm Winter Safely” to pick up a few tips about having a space heater during the cold months!
Happy Holidays, we hope SERVPRO of Chattanooga made your nice list!
Bringing Antique Bowls Back to Life
At SERVPRO of Chattanooga we promise to go over and beyond until the job is done. We ensure that you are updated in a timely manner about the status of the work that is being done. Our team strives to have professional yet relatable interactions with all our customers.
One job that our team recently worked on was where the house was struck by lightning and caught fire. During the job our team faced the initial issue of soot damage. Our customer had lost hope about saving these antique bowls that were passed down in the family because they didn't think we could save them. We were able to clean them and our customer was so appreciative that we could bring back something of meaning after having to deal with all the other losses from the fire. To learn more about the effects of soot and smoke inhalation click here!
We used something called an ultrasonic tank to clean these items. Ultrasonic energy causes the rapid formation and collapse of small bubbles in the liquid; known as cavitation. A huge burst of energy creates bubbles that quickly increase in size until they burst against the surface of the item. As you can see from the before and after picture the bowl looks good as new!
How to Have a Warm Winter Safely
Everyone loves to be cuddled up on the couch with your favorite blanket feeling the warmth of your beloved space heater, right? According to NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, released in 2018, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths.
What if I told you that more than half (53%) of all heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
SERVPRO of Chattanooga wants to ensure your holidays are merry and bright, and your homes are filled with joy. Here are seven precautionary tips you can take when using a space heater:
- Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable materials, including furniture, blankets, and wastebaskets.
- Buy a space heater that includes an automatic shutoff.
- Do not plug space heaters under your desk on in other enclosed areas.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater..
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn off and unplug heaters when not in use.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
If you do happen to experience fire loss of any sort in your home or business, we are here to help. Give us a call at (423) 326-1406, where we are available 24/7! Happy Holidays!
SERVPROXIDE - What Is It And How Does It Clean Contaminated Water?
Many people don't know that SERVPRO corporate employs its own chemist, who formulates and manages the company's own line of cleaning products. This is to ensure that the products we use are safe and friendly to the customers we serve in Chattanooga, Ooltewah, Hixson, and beyond. SERVPRO of Chattanooga regularly uses one of our newer products, SERVPROXIDE, on job sites that have contaminated water or mold. SERVPROXIDE is an EPA-registered, stabilized chlorine dioxide-based disinfectant and sanitizer.
Because many of the jobs we work on involve contaminated water or sewage, we use this cleaner to eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and molds. SERVPROxide effectively removes any remaining contaminants from hard surfaces and sanitizes soft surfaces. It leaves a faint odor that quickly dissipates with air circulation. This product contains a PH level of 8.5-9.5, which means it carries the EPA's lowest toxicity rating and is safe for everyday use. For the cherry on top, the product is a 100% biodegradable surfactant. Among many of the cleaning agents we use, SERVPROXIDE is one of our “go to" products in a long line of specialty products that SERVPRO offers.
What Is In-Facility Storage And Why Is It Important?
What most people don't consider when thinking about a fire or water loss is where their things go to be stored before and during the cleaning process. Here at SERVPRO of Chattanooga, we have in-facility storage. This means that when your contents leave your home, they are brought here to be securely housed in the vaults in our climate-controlled storage facility.
The 10x10 vaults are used to physically store the contents. When it is time to clean the affected contents, they are removed from the vaults, cleaned thoroughly by one of our textile professionals, and then placed in a new vault with a label stating they have been cleaned and which of our technicians did the cleaning. When all of your contents have been cleaned, they are then transported back to your property to be reorganized into your home.
Rather than being in a self storage facility where it is susceptible to mold growth, theft, and overall deterioration, your contents are safe and secure in our in-house storage facility while your home is being restored. We understand first-hand the panic and confusion when you have to move your contents out of your home after a fire or water loss. You can rest assured that our trained staff will take care of your belongings like it’s their own.
Check out this link to see a walkthrough of our Ooltewah facility:
Do You Know Where Your Water Shut Offs Are Located?
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
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 http://www.SERVPROchattanooga.com for more information on water damage.
3 Dangers of Soot and Smoke Inhalation - Chattanooga, TN
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.
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.