Recent Posts

5 Ways Your City Can Help Prevent Flooding

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

A retaining wall is designed for flood prevention

Steps Cities Can Take To Prevent Flooding

You can have the best flood prevention strategies in your commercial building, but if a levee breaks, your personal efforts are unlikely to make much of a difference. Your business in Pleasant Ridge,TN, is only as well protected during a flood as the city itself. There are several steps cities can take to prevent mass flooding.

1. Good Drainage Planning

One of the simplest ways your city can prevent flooded streets and buildings during a storm is with an efficient, well-maintained drainage system. Openings must be covered to keep out debris that can clog it and impede water flow.

2. Walls

Several types of walls can be constructed where the city is most vulnerable. A retaining wall or dam is designed for flood prevention during storm season. This block can prevent drainage systems from becoming overtaxed and keep buildings such as your commercial property safe.

3. Reservoirs

If your city is in an area that floods often, you don't just need reliable local flood cleaning experts. You need to have a designated place for water to flow. While a reservoir may not hold all the water that floods the area, it can keep streets from flooding long enough for everyone to evacuate safely.

4. Green Areas

Not only are parks and other places with ample plant life beautiful, they can also aid in controlling flooding. Vegetation slows the flow of water. It also can prevent erosion, which is particularly important if you area is prone to mudslides.

5. Community Education

The city can plan great strategies for preventing floods, but it's up to every citizen to protect those strategies. Community education on the importance of clear drains and public parks can teach people their role in keeping floodwaters at bay.
Flood prevention isn't just the job of individual business owners. It is the responsibility of the whole city. When the city bands together to prevent flooding, everyone is safer.

Proper Care for Your Fire Suppression System

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure you provide the proper maintenance to your fire sprinkler system

A fire sprinkler system in your commercial property is basically an insurance policy that protects your building and everything inside. An effective fire suppression system with sprinklers puts out fires before they can destroy your business, using a small amount of water. For your protection and the well-being of your business, make sure you provide the proper maintenance.

Maintenance Ensures Proper Operation

Routine maintenance is key to ensuring that your system works efficiently during any emergency. There are specific tasks to carry out on a regular basis:

Become familiar with components, such as the shut-off valve, gauges, inspector test valve, and interior alarm devices. Some components, such as the riser, should be labeled for immediate identification during a fire.
Inspect gauges and control valves every week. A visual inspection and reading of the air and water pressure displays should be adequate.
Visually inspect alarm valves at least once a month.
Every three months, run a test on alarm devices and inspect the hydraulic nameplate.
At least once a year, have a licensed fire sprinkler cleanup professional inspect all components of your system.

Naturally, there are other steps to consider, such as training all staff on the location and use of the system shutoff valve and the importance of the system control valve. At least once a year, train employees how to respond when the fire sprinkler system activates.

Compliance With Sprinkler System Standards

The National Fire Protection Association has issues standards regarding compliance with the use of fire suppression systems, their inspections, testing, and maintenance. As a business owner or management professional, you should be familiar with these standards to ensure that your facilities are in compliance. If you're not sure your system is working effectively, contact a local fire damage remediation company for more information.

Focus on the Safety of Your Employees

When fires happen, the safe evacuation of your property should be your top concern. While you focus on evacuation, your fire sprinkler system should prevent serious damage. Wait for firefighters to arrive and assess the safety of your Walker Springs,TN, property before you return to the building.

3 Signs You May Have Mold in Your Commercial Property

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy attic in Cumberland Estates,TN

Three Signs of Mold Growth

There are some generally musty places in commercial properties, especially in basements, attics or garages. However, the nature of these spaces does not necessarily mean that you have a mold problem. While a mold smell can be indicative of a problem, it can also be a result of humidity and improper ventilation. Although, as a property owner, it is crucial to know and understand at least the following three signs of mold growth.

1. Smell

The first sign, while not definitive proof of a problem is a fungus smell. As mold develops and eats, it releases Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, and many of these chemicals smell especially musty or pungent. However, mold can smell different depending on the type and who smells it. For some, the scent is like acetone, nutty or meaty.

2. Sight

Aside from mold smell, you can sometimes tell you have a mold problem by sight. If you notice a textured green and black growth on your walls or ceilings, then it might be mold. However, as there are several varieties or species of fungus, sight alone is not a definitive way to diagnose a mold problem.

3. Water

Now, if you have a mildew smell combined with the visual of a textured growth on your walls and an existing water leak in the same area, then mold is likely. However, again, sight and smell alone are not definitive, and at this point, you should call in a specialist.
Mold testing and removal services in the Cumberland Estates,TN, area are companies dedicated to diagnosing mold issues, testing for results and resolving the problem for the property owners. For commercial property owners, using such a service is necessary to ensure compliance with all city and state regulations.
While mold smell is not enough to verify an infestation, that combined with the visual of a growth and an existing water problem make a mold diagnosis likely. Therefore, to continue operations and remain compliant with regulatory bodies, contact a specialist and have your property tested and cleaned.

4 Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage due to oil not cleaned in a Karns, TN home

4 Common Causes of Kitchen Fires

While there are many benefits of cooking at your home in Karns,TN, it is important for novice and professional cooks alike to practice fire safety tips any time they step into a kitchen. With grease, high temperatures, and open flames around every corner, the kitchen is no place to get careless or negligent. Here are four common causes of kitchen fires to be aware of whenever you cook.

1. Unsupervised Cooking

Not only can leaving food cooking on the stove unsupervised lead to the start of the fire, but the flames can also easily spread and cause extensive fire damage before you are even aware of what is happening. Always keep an eye on food on the stove, and never leave the house with food in the oven.

2. Flammable Objects

Neglecting to put away or move flammable objects while you're cooking is one of the fire safety tips you should never neglect. Oven mitts, towels, power towels, and other objects can all catch fire if placed near a stove top or open flame.

3. Excess Grease

A grease fire can start if oil is not cleaned off cooking surfaces or splattering is not prevented. Grease fires can grow quickly and be made worse if water is used to try and extinguish the flames. It is important to let the fire department or fire cleanup company know if grease is the cause of a house fire so they can address the situation properly.

5. Cooking While Tired or Impaired

It is never a good idea to cook if you feel extremely fatigued or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If either of these situations applies to you, you're probably better off having food delivered for the night.
Keep these tips in mind whenever you decide to cook a home meal. Even on nights where you plan to whip up something quick, always keep fire safety in mind and don't take any shortcuts.

Common Sources of Solar Panel Damage

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Protect against panel damage on your Pleasant Ridge,TN, home

How to Keep Your Solar Panel Safe from Weather

The technology behind solar panels is constantly improving. Today the panels can stand up to a lot of damage and may last up to 20 years. However, they are still made of glass and there are things that can cause panel damage. Before getting into those, take a look at a few things you can do to keep them safe from the weather:

  • Trim overhanging tree branches
  • Clean panels with a microfiber cloth and clear water
  • Reseal panels regularly
  • Contact roof damage and repair professionals for quick repairs

Your consistent efforts to protect your panels can go a long way toward protecting the efficiency of your solar power.

Moisture and Corrosion

One of the major causes of solar panel damage is internal corrosion. This happens when moisture gets inside the panel. Visually inspect each panel for corrosion on the metal parts that could allow water inside the glass layers. Corroded areas on the panel will appear dark, and the larger the dark spots, the less efficient your solar power will be. You can avoid this and some other problems by installing several smaller panels, rather than a few larger panels. Damage to a small part of the section could put the entire panel at risk.

Hailstorms and Debris

You can't do much to protect your solar paneling from hail, but you can take the preventative step of installing several small panels. When you lose a panel, you'll still have the remaining parts to provide energy to your home. Additionally, the small sections are less expensive to replace than larger ones. Windblown debris, tree branches, and other dirt can leave small scratches across the surface of the protective glass and eventually reduce solar efficiency.

Causes of Roof Damage

The glass layers, solar cells, and other elements of the panels are vulnerable to the same exposures that affect other roofing materials. Conduct routine inspections and maintenance to solar panels just as you do for the rest of your roof.
Protect against panel damage on your Pleasant Ridge,TN, home with preventative actions. Watch out for common sources of damage and learn how to recognize the need for repairs.

What Is Partial Fire Damage?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

The content of your building can be restored if it hasn't been too damaged

When you imagine a building that has experienced fire loss, you probably picture a pile of ash or a blackened building full of holes. Thankfully, a lot of fires don't actually get that bad in Walker Springs,TN. However, that doesn't mean there isn't any damage to deal with in the aftermath.

Hidden Damage

There are plenty of types of damage that aren't as obvious as a being burnt to a crisp. If left to fester, they can become much worse and more expensive to fix. You should have an expert asses your building for any signs of the following:

  • smoke damage
  • ash and soot
  • effected air quality and air ducts
  • water damage and mold

Recoverable Items

Sometimes fire loss doesn't have to be a total loss. The content of your building can be restored if it hasn't been too damaged. Similar to the nature of the hidden damages listed above, you should smell your furniture for smoke, feel surfaces for soot and check carpeting and items under sprinklers for water damage. Even important documents have a chance if you find a good restoration service. There are plenty of methods for drying and cleaning almost any sort of material.

Leftover Problems

If you did happen to experience an intense fire that left more extensive and structural damage, but the fire restoration was less than perfect, you may still be left with partial damage. Be sure to check with your insurance about their policy for addressing an improper cleaning, they may be able to cover additional services. It can never hurt to inspect your property yourself after it has been remediated.
Fire loss can linger beyond the fire event itself, if you are not careful. Especially if the fire was small, you should be extra vigilant for signs of damage. Although partial damage is better than the alternative, it should not be written off as something you can let go, to save yourself from bigger problems down the road.

4 Useful Steps To Take When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers should be given regular inspections and a proper maintenance to keep the system in top operating condition.

While fire sprinklers are an important and effective safety measure anywhere in Knoxville, TN, an accidental system discharge can be costly if not appropriately addressed. To help minimize water damage, flooding, and other difficulties in your commercial building, here are four simple steps that can help effectively handle an accidental sprinkler malfunction.

1. Control the Situation

The first step is to disengage the fire sprinklers, which are typically controlled by a water valve; the sprinkler system’s installation company can be contacted for the location. Once the sprinklers have been disengaged, it is crucial to gather all of the pieces of any sprinkler head that malfunctioned.

2. Contact Your Insurance Provider

It is important to contact an insurance provider right away to report the incident and make any necessary claims. During this time, the pieces of the malfunctioning sprinkler may be inspected to determine the cause of the incident, as well as whether or not the cause has an impact on any claims. Causes may include the following:

• Overheating
• Mechanical damage
• Corrosion
• Frozen pipes
• Deliberate tampering

3. Call a Restoration Company

Once the situation is under control, a professional restoration company can help investigate any flooding or water damage that may have occurred as a result of the sprinkler malfunction. Technicians specializing in many forms of professional repairs are available to make the cleanup process quick and efficient.

4. Prevent Future Damage

The final step in the process is to take preventative measures, thereby reducing the risk of future incidents. It is highly important to ensure that the type of sprinkler system in the facility meets the business’ safety needs; if not, corrective action may need to be considered. Regular professional inspections and proper maintenance are also crucial in keeping the system in top operating condition.

While fire sprinklers can be lifesaving, understanding the necessary procedures in case of a malfunction are crucial to getting the most out of your system. Following this simple response plan can help protect your business from water damage and flooding.

Do You Have Mold in Your Air Ducts?

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

You can trust SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your mold removal and remediation needs in your air ducts.

Keeping ahead of maintenance problems is an everyday part of owning a building in Knoxville, TN. The possibility of finding mold is always a concern. While it's not hard to detect on surfaces like walls or ceilings, it could be lurking unseen in your air ducts. While types of mold and their effects vary greatly, a toxic kind, such as black mold, could lead to issues for your tenants, client, or workers.

What To Look For

The signs of mold in ducts include:

• Black dust around the air vents
• Musty smells when you run the AC
• Itchy eyes and sneezing when indoors

Call a Professional

While it's possible to take steps to clean air ducts yourself, it's a good idea to consult with a professional mold remediation company to make sure the problem is eradicated safely and completely. Professionals will be able to inspect the ducts to determine the type of mold (and whether or not black mold is involved), and then use specialized treatments and equipment to handle the problem.

Keeping the Mold Away

Once the professionals have eradicated the problem, there are steps you can take to make sure the mold doesn't return. First, make sure to change the filters on your air conditioning system every 30 to 60 days. This will help to keep spores from building up in your system. Also, have a professional clean out the ducts at least twice a year. Besides giving you clean ducts, a professional HVAC technician will be able to spot any potential new problems before they start.

As a property owner, the last thing you want to worry about is mold, especially the more dangerous varieties like black mold. The best way to keep it out of your ducts is to be diligent. If you detect a problem, a call to a mold remediation professional may be your best bet.

You can trust SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your mold removal and remediation needs in Knoxville, TN.

Steps for Handling a Burst Pipe in Your Business

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Bursting pipes in Walker Springs, TN

Steps for Handling a Burst Pipe in Your Business

In business, there is no shortage of ways to ruin your day. Somewhere near the top of that long list is bursting pipes. The amount of damage this plumbing failure causes depends on how you respond. The following steps will help minimize the damage and speed the recovery.

Stop the flow of water

Imagine all that water you won’t have to clean up by turning the shutoff valve. Hopefully, you can shut it off quickly.

Start the recovery

The repair of bursting pipes is not something that can wait until later. You should attack this problem concurrently on five fronts.

Remove standing water

Put your maintenance personnel to work with wet vacs to remove standing water. Standing water spreads, complicating the cleanup.

Begin the drying process

Bring in all available fans and ventilation equipment to help remove the moisture that the wet vacs can’t handle. You won’t get it all, but every bit helps.

Fix the broken pipe

It’s a good bet that shutting the water off affected the operation of your business negatively. Make sure that the plumbing repair happens promptly.

Contact your insurance agent

Making this call is an excellent job for the person in your business who deals with your commercial policy. That person should open a claim and arrange for an adjuster to evaluate your situation.

Take plenty of pictures

The insurance adjuster will want as much information as possible. Showing the damage in pictures is a great way to document the problem. Finding a photographer shouldn’t be a problem because it seems like everyone has a smartphone with a built-in camera.

Contact water damage remediation experts to finish the job. After water damage in Walker Springs,TN, it’s essential to remove residual moisture that can invite mold. Specialists have equipment and training that enables them to complete the drying process.

Hopefully, bursting pipes are not in your future. If one occurs, the above steps will help you deal with them quickly and thoroughly. When it’s over, you will realize that business as usual never looked so good.

Keeping Your Kitchen Safe From Fires

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire is often caused by basic carelessness. Call SERVPRO of Cedar Bluff for your fire damage cleanup.

A house fire in West Hills, TN can be devastating, and fire damage professionals report that most house fires begin in the kitchen. A kitchen fire can spread throughout the house in just a matter of minutes. Because a kitchen fire is often caused by basic carelessness, taking note of some simple tips for fire prevention in the kitchen can save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches.

1. Never leave the stove unattended. Do not leave the kitchen while pots and pans are heating on the stove. Always turn off the heat before taking a phone call or answering the front door.

2. Watch your heat source. Carefully monitor what you are cooking, especially if you are cooking with grease. A grease fire can happen suddenly if the grease is overheated. Never cook grease on high heat, and if grease begins to smoke, turn off the heat immediately.

3. Remove flammable items from the stovetop. Pot holders and kitchen towels can easily catch fire. Do not set utensils too close to the heated range. While it may seem like one of the most obvious tips, food packaging and paper towels should never be placed on the stovetop itself.

4. Be mindful of your clothing. Loose fitting or long flowing sleeves can be a fire hazard. Do not wear anything that could get caught on a pan or fall into the heating range.

5. Be ready to extinguish a fire. You should always have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in your kitchen. You can also quickly extinguish some fires by smothering them with a lid or a cookie sheet. If there is a grease fire, do not use water. Instead, immediately douse it with baking soda or salt. Be sure to turn off the heat.

Cooking in the kitchen should be fun and enjoyable. Following these tips for fire prevention in the kitchen can remove unnecessary anxiety and keep your focus where it should be — on the joy of preparing food for family and friends.