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Answering the Call

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Answering the Call Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage

When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction in Texas the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff  answered the call sending teams to Kingwood, Texas. Taking supplies and equipment our teams went down to help the residents and were humbled by the generosity of a community that didn’t have any clue how they were going to recover financially, much less emotionally from the impact of the storm. Rescuees were evacuated by boats from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving everything behind, but the spirit of giving and resilience impacted the teams from Knoxville.

The long-standing relationship between SERVPRO and the insurance companies helped our teams make a big impact and quickly. The insurance adjusters were recommending people call SERVPRO because it was a name that they could trust. Our teams were able to start water mitigation quickly and come alongside homeowners and other countless volunteers to help these families begin to get some semblance of recovery started.

Imagine your home with six to eight feet of standing water with the rescue boat pulling up outside and telling you it was the last call. Our team was humbled time and time again meeting over a hundred different families that had met that fate and yet met our team with smiles on their faces. Unanimously our team was impacted by Texas Strong, and have spoken so highly of these families since their return.

“We are humbled and we are changed by so many families and their generosity, not only with their resources but their encouragement and their prayers”, said Nathan Lloyd, our Business Development Manager.

SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff, are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.

Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage Ice Damage Knoxville

SO JUST WHAT IS AN ICE DAM?

In the latest round of winter storms in Knoxville, TN, ice dams are forming on roofs all throughout the region, resulting in some substantial water damages. Which begs the question, just what exactly is an ice dam?

Simply put, an ice dam occurs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, preventing any melting snow from draining as it should, in to the gutter or off of the roof. Water backs up behind the ice dam and can leak into the home, possibly damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior building materials. (See a diagram of a typical ice dam to the right.)

What are the causes of ice dams? In most cases, once the roof is covered with snow and ice, it's the result of heat and warm air released into the attic or roof space. Once enough heat and warm air builds up, it can begin melting the bottom layer of moisture on the roof. With no place to drain, water can find its way into the roof, backing up under the shingles.

Most importantly, it's critical to understand that while ice dams can cause water damage to your home, it's not advisable to ever get on a roof to try and "fix" the problem, as a wet, frozen roof is an extremely unsafe environment, even for the trained professional.

Once ice dams are present, there is little to be done that is not potentially harmful to the roof. Using tools to break the ice can result in holes in the roof and damage to shingles. There are professional companies that use steam to mitigate ice dams, but here in Knoxville, TN, it's not a common enough occurrence to warrant companies here to have that expertise.

The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure proper ventilation and insulation within your attic. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has the capability to mitigate and clean up water damages from the ice dam, but not remove the ice dam itself. It's best to let all the water stop infiltrating before cleaning, as there may be additional extraction and damages that occur. To find out more about our services and storm response, click here.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Minimize Fire Damage Fire Damage Knoxville

How to Minimize Fire Damage

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Knoxville

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Knoxville Mold Damage Knoxville

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly problems in the future is to handle every water damage as a threat to your property. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff has the equipment and training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff 
Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
Moisture meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO of West Knoxville can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
Ultra-Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate.
This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The go consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attached to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

How to prevent Electronics from causing extreme water damage

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to prevent Electronics from causing extreme water damage Water Damage Knoxville

Water damage can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it happens as the result of a flood due to heavy rains. Other times, it may be due to an inside flood, such as when a pipe or a water heater bursts. Whatever the case may be, if you are dealing with water damage or water-damaged electronics, appliances, or other devices, you need to proceed with extreme caution. The best thing you can do, after water damage has occurred, is to call on Nashville professionals who are familiar with dealing with such damage, such as our skilled pros at SERVPRO of West Knoxville. In the meantime, make sure you practice some good safety tips with the water damaged devices.

First things first, before you start thinking about possible water damage restoration, you need to make sure that you are not in immediate danger and that the devices that you own are not going to cause a fire or another serious incident.

After water damage has occurred, check your home to see if you have any damaged devices plugged in. If you find that you do, shut off the electricity at the breaker level. This will keep damaged devices from being able to start a fire. You should not touch, go near, or inspect any devices that are plugged in until you are certain that the electricity is off. Following this important tip will help you to avoid electric shock.

Believe it or not, it is not only plugged in water damaged electronics that pose a risk. Any device that contains a battery can also pose a serious risk. Thus, it's best to let our pros at SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff handle any such devices if you think they may have been damaged. At the very least, before touching any battery operated device, ensure that it is not giving off heat or smoke, bulging, melting, or making strange sounds. All these types of things are major warning signs that something serious and potentially dangerous is wrong with the battery!


As you can see, you're not always in the clear once the water subsides! To keep safe, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff before you do anything. At the very least, follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Flooding Can Happen In Knoxville, TN

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooding Can Happen In Knoxville, TN Flood Damage Knoxville

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from
  • Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, flood cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile, or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

Ready for whatever happens.

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Ready for whatever happens.

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 franchise, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms.

2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall at the rate of 2.4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the county stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing 2000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchises System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in the Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities, The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine, The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in the affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Be Storm Smart

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Storm Smart Storm Damage Knoxville

Be Storm Smart

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of these following intense storms.

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,000 tornadoes

2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-works and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

Water (one gallon per person per day)

Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

Manual can opener

Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Clothing

Dust masks or bandanas

Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Hygiene items

Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account information

Cash

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof contain

NADCA FAQs

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

NADCA had some fantastic frequently asked questions so I had to share...

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to collection a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health, The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flashlight and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following the Residential Cleaning Checklist can help to ensure a top quality job.

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • smokers in the household
  • pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
  • after home renovations or remodeling
  • prior to occupancy of a new home.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?

Antimicrobial chemicals are applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information. 

What criteria should I use when selecting an HVAC system cleaning contractor?

You should interview as many local contractors as possible. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quote. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of NADCA.
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
  • Get references from neighbors if possible.

You can also use the Residential Cleaning Checklist as part of the contractor selection process. 

What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning, as such claims are unsubstantiated.

Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

What kind of equipment is best for cleaning - truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?

NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to ACR, the NADCA standard. All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)

Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and follow ACR, the NADCA Standard, for cleaning to the best of their ability. Find a NADCA professional near you. Air duct cleaning companies must meet strict requirements to become a NADCA member. Among those requirements, all NADCA members must have a certified Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who has taken and passed the NADCA certification examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. View the NADCA Code of Ethics.

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

Courtesy of nadca.com

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions Knoxville Commercial Water Damage

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

Hotels experience various types of water damage, including; plumbing leaks, malfunctioning fixtures, or storm damage that allows water to enter unprotected areas quite often and need professional assistance to help them recover fast. 
 
When your building is affected by these kinds of water damage incidents in Knoxville, it may be comforting to know that someone trustworthy is available to provide you with the services you need to keep your business running. 
 
SERVPRO technicians who respond to your service request live in the same area, giving us an opportunity to provide you with rapid response times, and a unique solution to your problem. With several years of experience in the restoration industry and quality equipment at our disposal, we have the ability to handle water damage incidents affecting a single unit, or your entire building. 
 
The information you provide during your initial call, helps us determine the amount of equipment and personnel needed to address your situation properly. So that once we arrive on your property, we can address any possible hazards and fully inspect the affected area for damages, getting to work immediately to solve your problem. 
 
After communicating your situation to your insurance company and agreeing on which services to implement, SERVPRO technicians mobilize as quickly and efficiently as possible, making every attempt to return your business to a quality pre-damage condition, in the least amount of time possible. 
 
We have access to both hand-held and truck mounted water extraction equipment, each with three main elements, a heater, pump, and vacuum system. Portable extractors hold anywhere from five to twelve gallons of water, while the truck mounted version handles up to 100 gallons of water or more, making it easy to remove excess water from various types of flooring, including carpeting and other upholstery items, such as rugs, and curtains. 
 
Our technicians use a variety of equipment to locate hidden moisture pockets, in walls, attics, and crawl spaces; water cannot hide from a quality infrared moisture detection device. Making it possible for us to dry hard to read, or hidden areas throughout your building and prevent secondary water damage from developing. 
 
During the drying process, SERVPRO technicians place the proper amount of air moving equipment and dehumidifiers into the affected area. We also use detection devices to check the vicinity for moisture and monitor relative humidity to ensure a proper drying environment exists to complete the water damage restoration and limit any interruptions to your businesses daily operations.