Recent Posts

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.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga Can Get Your Business Back Up and Running After a Loss

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

A few months ago, our team received a call that a commercial property had a fire that was contained in one room, however, a sprinkler malfunction caused them to spray water in surrounding rooms and hallways, causing water damage throughout the building. We first arrived on scene to assess the fire damage contained in the single room. We found that there was heavy smoke damage to the room and contents inside that room that would need to be packed out and transferred to our office for cleaning.

Additionally, we would need to remove the flooring and affected drywall in order bring in air movers and dehumidifiers to clean up the water-damaged areas. Our team worked hard to get the water and fire damaged building back to new in a matter of 6 days.

We understand the importance to getting your business back up and running after a loss. Our SERVPRO of Chattanooga team is equipped with the facility, tools, and trained staff to do just that. Give us a call at (423) 326-1406!

Commercial Water Damage Impacts More Than Your Chattanooga Facility

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in your Chattanooga commercial building can cause problems in many more ways than just the physical structure. Water damage can come from a variety of sources, such as a flood from a river or stream or a broken pipe, often in the overhead, or from one of the many appliances or systems that provide all of the services for your building. This photo shows water damage in a local school from an overhead pipe bursting. about 3 inches of standing water flooded the gym, cafeteria, offices, and classrooms on the first floor. 

The important thing to remember is that after water damage often comes molds and mildews, even if the water is cleaned up right after the loss occurred. Imagine if this occurred in a restaurant? If the building was declared 'unsafe condition’, it would cause a definite fall-off in customers, not even mentioning the mold and the bad smell associated with a lot of wet things. All of this to say that just simply mopping the water up does not do the job without the restoration that a commercial water damage restoration company can provide. 

A commercial restoration company will complete an  inspection to determine all damaged areas and how to get them cleaned, repaired, and back to working order. 

The inspection is followed by any or all of the following tasks or activities that must be accomplished very quickly: 

• The establishment of temporary power, if needed.
• Free standing water removal and extraction from carpets, furniture
• Sewage cleanup, which carries its own dangers so must be handled by personnel trained and certified in this work.
• Structural drying
• Verification of dryness through the use of testing equipment such as Thermal Imaging and
• Dehumidification
• Disinfection and Deodorization
• Carpet cleaning
• Reconstruction (SERVPRO of Chattanooga has a reconstruction division to fit these needs)

Water damage in your Chattanooga commercial building needs the immediate attention of the professional services of SERVPRO of Chattanooga. Reach us at (423) 326-1406, or via chat box on our website.  

Storm Damage Restoration Requires Experienced Professionals

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

When natural storms or man-made disasters occur and cause flood damage in a Harrison home, the flooding itself is only the beginning of the catastrophe. Subsequent damages to flooring, walls, and furniture will escalate for weeks or months if left unattended. Wood will swell and crack; carpets will rot; walls will weaken. Within hours, mold and mildew take hold and the very air becomes dangerous to breathe. 

Seek Professional Restoration

The time to act is immediately. The homeowner needs to contact a professional cleaning and restoration company such as SERVPRO of Chattanooga to attack the situation and bring the risk of further damage to a halt. However, it's important to understand that not all cleaning and restoration companies are equal. Only the best are qualified and certified by the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is an agency dedicated to ensuring that companies offering disaster cleaning and restoration, like SERVPRO, for example, are professional, qualified, and reputed to deliver what they promise.

Stop Contamination and Deterioration

While one might think that flood damage restoration is a simple, straightforward process, but that is hardly the case. Certainly, throwing away damaged furniture, carpeting, and décor is often a necessary first step, but with the proper professional restoration tools many household furnishings and items can be recovered. The presence of hidden moisture and the potential for mildew must be detected and remediated. Special drying and dehumidifying equipment is utilized to stem mold and mildew proliferation. Dangerous microbial agents in walls, flooring, and clothing must be rooted out and removed. If caught quickly, the contamination and deterioration may be limited- saving the homeowner a lot of money.

SERVPRO is an Excellent Option

The process of restoration includes the inspection of literally everything in the house, whether it was directly in contact with the water or not. Mattresses, drywall, and anything exposed to the same air where flood-water damage occurred should be inspected. Even the sewage system needs to be inspected for possible contamination into the living area or water supply and neutralized if necessary. To perform those necessary tasks safely, professionals utilize hand and eye protection as well as respirator equipment. It is only with trained, qualified professionals like SERVPRO that proper containment and restoration can be achieved safely and effectively.

Only after the entire process has been completed is it safe for the homeowner and family members to rebuild and move back in. Flood damage is a serious, complex catastrophe to be inspected, evaluated, and handled only by experienced professionals.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community- we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Chattanooga is close by and ready to respond to your storm or flood damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Chattanooga community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Call us at (423) 326-1406.

How to Get the Smell of Cigarette Smoke Out of Your House

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Have you just moved into a home or apartment with a strong nicotine smell? There are some home remedies to try, but these will only work under certain circumstances. There are many questions to consider, like how long the cigarette smoke has been impacting the area, how strong the smell is, and where the smell is concentrated.

If the home remedies are unsuccessful, it is best to send a professional out to inspect it. Once we can establish the extent of the damage, we begin to plan action steps for ridding the home of the stench. Often nicotine residue can cling to the HVAC system, so a full duct cleaning could be the answer to residual odor that seems to outlast other odor removal methods. If the ducts have been cleaned, then we will ozone the affected areas. We will bring it air scrubbers to remove the airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.

After the ozone process is complete, we will use a thermal fogger, which uses a special solvent-based deodorizer that is heated and applied as a dry fog/smoke. Thermal foggers rely on a deodorizing solution that is vaporized in the fogger then blown into the room permeating all of the contents and structural elements. This process will ensure that the nicotine odor is gone for good.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule an odor assessment, give us a call at (423) 326-1406.

The Dangers of Water: Three Main Classifications

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Water Classification Overview

There are three main classifications of floodwaters: clear water, gray water, and black water. Although their names imply it, these aren't wholly determined by the color of the water, but instead by a few factors related to how many contaminants are in the water. Clear water is somewhat rare, as most of the time it picks up enough contaminants to become at least gray, but black water is by far the most hazardous and damaging of the three. Never try to deal with black water yourself, as its interaction necessitates the kind of heavy gear and training that SERVPRO equips its technicians with. Here are a few key facts about each type of water. 
 
Clean Water 
 
Clean water originates from water mains, pipes, and other sources of relatively untampered water in your home. Flood damage with clear water is lighter and easier to restore than other types of damage, due to both reduced volumes of water and lighter safety procedures during the task. This water is usually identifiable as being clear and unclouded. However, time is important, as without quick removal clean waters can progress and become gray. 
 
Gray Water 
 
The awkward middle child of flood damage, gray water concerns water that may or may not have significant contaminants in it, and thus pose a potential health risk. More care is required in these waters, and they can be deceiving, as they too may sometimes be clear in appearance. 
 
Black Water 
 
The most dangerous and damaging type of water is black water, which can originate from a storm flood, a major health hazard such as a septic tank overflow, or when gray water is left untreated. This water contains dangerous contaminants, including fungi and microbes that may cause health effects. Black waters stain surfaces easily and are often more violent in their damage, so in addition to having the most restrictive safety precautions, this type of water also often causes the most damage. 

If you have experienced water damage in your home or business, call the water damage restoration experts at (423) 326-1406.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga- Document Restoration

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO of Chattanooga- Document Restoration We have the ability to transport your documents to be restored in a state-of-the-art drying chamber at our corporate office.

Along with our water, fire, mold, and biohazard cleanup services, did you know that we offer document restoration services? Our document restoration is: 

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPAA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity: we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization 
  1. Drying- the process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
  2. Cleaning- we offer onsite cleaning. This is cleaning each document front and back to remove debris and any surface particulate. 
  3. Sterilization- Gamma Irridation is a process that is used for disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. 
  4. Deodorization- once paper has been wet, an odor can begin to form. Letting us deodorize your documents will reduce the odor and sometimes almost completely eliminate it. 
  5. Destruction- we offer destruction onsite.
  6. Digitization- digitizing documents makes them easier to access as well as easier to store. We use state-of-the-art equipment to turn your paper copy into a digital file. 

The types of documents that can be restored are: 

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO knows that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, SERVPRO’s restoration professionals will help you recover your paper goods before it is too late.

Contact us should the unexpected happen to your business.

Water Damage Tips: 8 Things to Do Before Help Arrives

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, getting out of bed to get a glass of water from the kitchen, and immediately stepping in a puddle of water when you enter the hallway. You can imagine the gasp I let out when that happened to me last year. It was 2 am and I had no idea what to do after a water pipe had burst. Luckily, I knew who to call. The severity of damage escalates the longer the water sits and the contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of water damage. Here are 8 actions you can take before a mitigation company arrives:

  1. Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  2. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  3. Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  4. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  5. Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  6. Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  7. Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  8. Gather loose items from floors.

If you find yourself in a puddle of water at 2 am, we are always Here to Help. Call us at (423) 326-1406.