Recent Posts

Tips for Filing a Renters Insurance Claim After a Fire

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Removing lint from filter Clean the screen to prevent a dryer fire.

Three Ways You Can Remove Lint From a Dryer

Almost 3,000 residential fires happen each year due to dirty lint traps in a dryer, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Preventing a lint fire in your Collegedale, TN, home takes little time and effort, and it can help save you thousands in fire restoration services costs. Here are three ways you can remove lint from a dryer. 

1. Clean the Screen To Prevent a Dryer Fire
After every load in your dryer is done, pull out the lint trap and clean it. Gently start in one corner of the trap and pull the lint away from the screen. Ensure that you don't have any lint left on the trap that might get into the vents. It's also helpful to clean the screen in warm, soapy water every two weeks to help remove built-up dust and small bits of debris that could cause a lint fire. Be sure to thoroughly dry the screen before putting it back into the dryer. 

2. Clean the Vents
Over time, pieces of lint get trapped in the vents and can eventually block airflow from the dryer. When that happens, you are at a much higher risk of fire damage happening to your home. Unplug your machine and remove the exhaust hose from the dryer. Use a vacuum to completely clean the inside of the hose and remove all of the accumulated lint. It's also helpful to access the exhaust hose from the outside vent and use a cleaning rod to remove the lint in the hose from that side. 

3. Deep-Clean the Interior of the Dryer
Because lint pieces can be small and light, they often make their way to the dryer's interior. If not addressed, the pieces of lint can quickly build up and cause blockages, which can be a fire hazard for your machine. While your machine is unplugged, remove the back of the dryer. Wipe down all surfaces with built-up lint and use a vacuum to access hard-to-reach places. 
Taking adequate care of your dryer and its components doesn't take a lot of extra time, and it can keep you and your family safe from a lint fire. 

4 Flameless Alternatives to Candles

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Wax warmer - candle alternative Using candle alternatives is just one way that you can reduce the chances of an emergency in your home.

Candle Alternatives

Many people like to use candles in their homes. They can provide pleasant scents and create an inviting atmosphere. However, they can sometimes present a danger. If you are unable to use candles in your East Brainerd, TN, home or would just prefer something safer, there are several candle alternatives to consider.

1. Wax Warmers
For some, the primary appeal of using candles is the fragrance. Scented candles are an easy way to add a nice aroma to a room. Electric wax warmers are able to do that without the use of a flame. Because they use heat and electricity, however, they should still be used with supervision.

2. Oil Diffusers
Another way to avoid the risk of a candle fire is to use a diffuser. Electric diffusers and reed diffusers both use scented oils to add fragrance to the environment. If you want something hassle-free, a reed diffuser may be the best option for you.

3. Warm Lighting
If for you, the appeal of a candle is its lighting instead of its scent, then you may only need to invest in a warm lighting fixture. There are a variety of candle alternatives that will serve this purpose. You could opt for a LED lamp that has multiple settings or even just a soft white lightbulb.

4. Flameless Candles
Don’t want to sacrifice any part of the candle experience? Try a battery-operated candle. These items look like regular candles but don’t put your home at risk. Some battery-operated candles come in various scents and some have a flickering light reminiscent of a flame, so you can easily create the atmosphere that you want.
Home fires can be devastating and fire damage remediation services can take a long time to complete. Using candle alternatives is just one way that you can reduce the chances of an emergency in your home. There are several options that you can use while still getting the experience that you are looking for.

3 Things You Need To Know About a Flood Cut

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on drywall Flood cuts can prevent future damage to your property

Three Things to Know About Flood Cuts

If you have experienced a flood and it has damaged your home, you are likely under a lot of stress. A flood can cause significant damage, leading to a lengthy repair process. The following three guidelines can help you understand more about this process and what it consists of, which may help reduce some of the strain you're feeling.

1. You Might Need a Flood Cut if There Has Been Flooding in Your Home
If there has been a flood in Ooltewah, TN, and your home has sustained extensive damage, you may need to call a company that provides flood restoration services and speak to a specialist. These professionals can tear out materials in portions of your house and have a flood cut performed. This repair process involves cutting out the drywall that has been water-damaged so it can be replaced.

2. The Height of a Flood Cut Can Vary
Depending on how much flooding there is in Ooltewah, TN, the height of the flood cut may differ. Typically, drywall will be cut out 12 inches above the flood line, which means the materials ruined from the flood will be gone, and some extra material will be removed as well. This process ensures that everything remaining in your home is reliable to rebuild with.

3. Flood Cuts Can Prevent Future Damage
In some cases, if the affected portions of the wall were not thoroughly removed, there could be contamination, which means some negative effects of flooding, such as mold, could linger even after it seems that everything has been taken care of. A flood cut ensures that you are being thorough and getting off to a fresh start.
If your home has been damaged by a flood, you may feel uncertain about what to do or what the clean-up and repair process will look like. The more you know about how things such as flood cuts work, the less stress you will feel as you get your home back in shape.

Why Hidden Mold Causes Odors and How To Detect It

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold found inside drywall. Mold was found behind the walls of property in Harrison, TN.

How to Detect Hidden Mold and Why It Causes Odors

An odd smell in your commercial building that you can't locate the source of can be an extremely frustrating experience. There are several reasons why you may be noticing a mold smell on your property, even though you haven't seen any mold. If you discover any, it is important to have mold remediation professionals deal with it before the problem grows.

Reasons You May Smell Mold But Not See It
Fungus smell is often described as a musty odor. If you are smelling mold but not seeing any, it is probably because there are a variety of hidden places mold may grow:

  • Behind walls
  • Under flooring
  • In ceiling tiles
  • Inside storage areas
  • Under fabric on upholstered furniture

Causes of Mold Odor
Mold smell occurs because these fungi produce and release compounds, called microbial volatile organic compounds, that have strong odors and are quickly released into the air. If you are noticing mold or mildew smell in your building, you should investigate any surfaces that have recently been wet and current sources of moisture.

Detecting Hidden Mold
You can find some hidden mold by simply looking for it. However, mold that occurs behind walls, under flooring and other areas may not be able to be detected by visual inspection without tearing out material. Test kits are available that may detect the presence of mold, but usually are not very helpful at identifying its location of it. A mold professional in Harrison, TN, can inspect your property and use advanced detection systems, such as infrared cameras, to locate mold that is hidden behind surfaces.

Preventing Mold
To prevent future mold problems, dry out anything that is damaged by water within 24 to 48 hours. Repair any leaking plumbing or equipment. Take steps to control excess moisture from condensation in HVAC systems and other sources.
If there is a mold smell in your building, chances are you have mold growing somewhere. A professional inspection can help you identify and remove sources.

5 Reasons to Hire a Fire Mitigation Specialist

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Machine cleaning hardwood floor Mitigation specialists have industrial-grade tools to remove smoke and soot from your property.

5 Reasons to Employ a Fire Mitigation Expert

While you hope a fire never breaks out in your Chattanooga, TN business, there is always a possibility. After the event, you are left with fire damage and other issues that require proper cleanup and restoration. Since most business owners are experts in their field, it’s often best to have a professional fire damage company. Below are five reasons to use an expert.

1. Insurance Adjuster Recommended
The insurance company sends out an adjuster to assess the damage. Their assessment determines the extent of damage and how much will be covered. Hiring a fire mitigation company means getting an additional assessment of the damage. A licensed contractor will provide the adjuster with a detailed list of the work that needs to be done and work with the adjuster on your behalf.

2. Proper Odor, Smoke and Water Damage Cleanup
Along with the visible fire damage, there will also be smoke and odors. Since water was likely used to extinguish the flames, that also means potential water damage. A trusted professional will be able to locate hidden damage, ensuring it is repaired right the first time.

3. Specialized Equipment Needed
While you might think getting the soot off will be tedious but possible on your own, it is often a substance that smears or penetrates surfaces. Mitigation specialists have industrial-grade tools to handle that, as well as odors and water issues.

4. Salvage More Items
Once the fire is out, it is often a chaotic time. After the adjuster leaves, you may be overwhelmed and think nothing can be saved. With technology and specialized methods and equipment on its side, a restoration company will likely be able to salvage more than you thought was possible.

5. Faster Recovery
Getting back to business is essential. If your business isn’t restoring damaged property, it may mean extra-long downtime. Using a service provider helps ensure the process goes faster and more smoothly.
When a business experiences fire damage, it doesn’t have to go it alone. Obtaining the services of a mitigation company provides many benefits.

Before You Buy: What You Should Know About Mold Inspection

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth found behind baseboards Mold behind baseboards is really common.

If you’re purchasing a commercial property in Birchwood, TN, you’re probably aware of the many steps you must take before closing on the loan. Did you know that a mold inspection is recommended as part of the building inspection process? That’s because mold isn’t just a problem in and of itself, it’s an indication of water damage or other underlying issues you should address before you proceed.

What You Need to Know About Mold

Mold needs these conditions to grow: water, a nutrient source, oxygen and an environment where the temperatures are between 40-100 degrees.
Mold spores are almost always present in any environment.
The color of mold comes from its nutrient source and the age of the colony.
Mold will reoccur if its source of water isn’t removed.

Where To Look For It

The most common spaces to find mold during a mold inspection are in bathrooms, basements, kitchens and around windows or doors — wherever water is most likely to be found. In bathrooms, look for visible mold in tile grout and caulking, especially around bathtubs and showers. In basements, check the corners of the floor and ceiling, paying particular attention to outside walls. Kitchens can grow mold anywhere around the sink or stove, especially if the range hood isn’t working properly.

What Are Common Causes of Mold in Commercial Buildings?

Roof leaks
Clogged gutters
High humidity levels indoors
Leaky pipes
Poor drainage around the foundation

How To Get an Inspection Done

Hire a commercial real estate inspector that will check for mold and provide a risk assessment for potential water damage or mold problem. Inspections of this nature can be expensive; however, it is a cost worth undertaking to protect your investment. The inspector should check each unit and room of the building to provide an accurate assessment.
If your commercial mold inspection reveals existing water or mold damage, hiring a mold remediation specialist is the next step to make the building safe and sound for your new purchase.

How to Save Money On Your Water Damage Insurance Claim

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on wet carpet Water cleanup in Harrison, TN.

How To Save Money With Pretesting

If you operate a business in Harrison, TN, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. In the event of water damage, you will want to seek out a restoration service company that can get the property back to a safe and tidy state. In addition to getting a thorough cleaning, you will also want to consider how to keep your insurance claim from costing more than it needs to. Here’s how you can save money with pretesting.

Go to the Source

The restoration service professional will first locate and stop the water source, whether it be an overflowing toilet, broken supply line or sump pump failure. This step prevents additional damage from occurring.

Survey the Damage

Once water is no longer flowing, it is time to take account of the damage sustained. This includes inspecting all affected areas and determining the appropriate mitigation strategy.

Fix Rather Than Replace

The advantage of pretesting is that it provides the business owner and the insurance agent with a more detailed and accurate picture of the damage. Where it is possible to fix the damage, the cost of replacement can be avoided.

Identify Dangers

While assessing the water damage, your cleanup professional can also test the water for contamination. They will determine if you have any gray or black water so that the restoration meets industry specifications. Additionally, they will note other dangers such as asbestos and lead.

Prepare for Water Removal

After conducting a comprehensive assessment of the property, they will begin to prepare the area for water removal and restoration. This includes moving or removing rugs, furniture and other times that may interfere with the cleanup or sustain damage during the restoration.

Dealing with water damage is not something any business owner looks forward to, but being prepared can make it as painless as possible. Selecting a restoration like SERVPRO will help you save money by conducting pretesting.

What Makes Category 3 Water Damage So Severe?

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of a drywall growing mold growth on the bottom Water damage can lead to mold growth.

Why Flood Water Is Referred To As Black Water

When flooding enters a commercial building in Birchwood, TN, restoration professionals identify the incident as Category Three water damage. Learn more about what this categorization means and find out why flood water is referred to as black water.

Contaminants In Water

Category Three water is grossly contaminated. The reason this type of water damage is called black water is that it may contain any of the following substances:

  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens
  • Solid waste
  • Toxic chemicals

The presence of solid waste along with these other hazardous materials distinguishes Category Three damage from Category One water damage caused by clean, treated water that gets released from a broken or leaking supply line. Category Two gray water may be contaminated with chemicals or microbes, but does not contain solid waste.

Saturated Porous Materials

Porous building materials and contents that become saturated with flood water may be difficult to disinfect. Even after treating the surfaces of these items, contamination may linger deeper down and lead to ongoing contagion or mold infestation risks. For this reason, restoration professionals often recommend tearing out drywall, insulation and carpeting.

Flooding Causes Mold

Storm damage that involves flooding can introduce all of the elements necessary to support mold growth. Mold requires moisture and organic, carbon-based food sources in order to multiply. Category Three water can provide sources of nourishment and introduce spores into a structure. It is important to extract water, tear out ruined materials, disinfect and dry any areas exposed to flooding within 24 to 48 hours.
The contents of Category Three water can pose contamination risks to building materials, contents and occupants. It is important for property owners and managers to act quickly to remove floodwater, disinfect areas exposed to black water and tear out damaged materials. Mold may start growing in a commercial building within just 48 to 72 hours after flooding in Birchwood, TN.

5 Steps To Develop a Business Interruption Plan

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Two air movers and two dehumidifiers placed in a long hallway of a building Storm damage in a Chattanooga office building.

Business Interruption Plan

Flooding and other natural disasters can cause businesses in Lakesite, TN, to shut down for good. However, implementing plans to deal with certain situations, such as a broken pipe and getting water restoration professionals quickly, can help your company survive. This is known as a business interruption plan, and there are several different steps to help you develop it.

1. Determine Your Risks

When calculating the risks that could interrupt your operations, examine both environmental and human-caused risks, such as flooding and a running faucet. Consider which ones you can prevent and the unavoidable ones. Once you have identified them, you should delve deeper into each hazard. Then, rank your disasters based on their likelihood of occurring and their severity.

2. Calculate the Costs

Once you have analyzed all potential risks, calculate the costs they would bring. For example, flooding could cause lost income, extra expenses, contractual penalties, and business closure.

3. Read Your Insurance Contract

The next step is to examine your insurance policy. Interruption insurance can be filed for when there is property damage or a government shutdown that prohibits your business from operating. These funds are available during the period of restoration. However, each policy can differ, so you must closely examine yours to understand any restrictions, such as exclusions, waiting periods, and coverage limits.

4. Implement Prevention Strategies

There are several strategies that you can develop to reduce your interruption. This includes preventing risks, deterring criminal activity, and planning to mitigate unpreventable hazards.

5. Create Communication Plans

Having a communication plan is the best way to keep customers and employees informed about your business's status during a disaster. A good plan will include a command chain, scripted messages, and open communication channels.
Taking these steps helps minimize the interruption of your business from large water damage and other disasters. This is the basis for creating a business interruption plan.

Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Fire

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Sheetrock burned. Fire damaged a business When you have a fire in your business, it can be absolutely devastating.

Smoke Cleaning After a Fire

When a fire happens to your commercial property in Tyner, TN, there's a lot to handle in the aftermath. One aspect that is not immediately obvious is the task of smoke cleaning. This is an important step that should not be skipped, so be sure to add it to your to-do list.

What It Harms

Smoke damage doesn't just mean seeing some dark smudges on the ceiling. Smoke and soot spreads quickly and can manifest on almost everything in your building. It will affect different items and surfaces in different ways. Some common problem areas can include:

  • electronics
  • documents
  • furniture
  • fabric materials

How It's Cleaned

Depending on what needs cleaning, there can be a method for every scenario. Specific items, such as those listed above, each requires their own customized type of smoke cleaning, that should be conducted by a qualified remediation specialist. Surfaces such as walls and solid furniture can handle the process of dry to wet cleaning. For upholstery and fabric than will shrink if exposed to wet cleaning, there is an option called foam cleaning. Immersive cleaning is a form of wet cleaning in which smaller objects can be totally sunk into a cleaning solution. The list goes on for many more categories.

How It's Reported

If you've hired a smoke odor and cleaning service, they most likely can help you with your insurance claim, as well. You will probably need to inventory all your content that has been damaged by fire or smoke and gather all you can to verify each item's value. Then you can contact your insurance to determine your coverage. If you don't already have coverage, this moment would also be a good time to consider adding it.

Fire damage is a dynamic problem that needs to be approached from multiple angles. One of these angles that shouldn't be dismissed is that of smoke cleaning. Smoke damage can hinder functionality and cause a strong odor. Give it proper attention for complete rehabilitation of your commercial property.