Recent Posts

What's Your Noisy Water Heater Telling You?

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Green background with 24/7 in the middle and the SERVPRO logo in the bottom left corner. Water heaters certainly have their own language, and a responsible homeowner should learn to speak it.

You may take a talkative water heater as a matter of course, especially if you live in an older home in Cedar Bluff, TN. However, it's probably giving you important clues about what kind of maintenance it needs. Take the time to listen before you're stuck with no hot water and a water damage remediation service in your home.

Tick Tock
There are some sounds that are considered normal or benign to your water heater. It's important to know these sounds, as well, so you don't bring in a repairman for no reason. Some examples are:

Ticking- comes from a working heat trap
Tapping- comes from a working heat trap
Humming- the sound of water flowing around the element tube

Snap, Crackle, and Pop
A rumbling sound coming directly from your water heater is most likely indicative of sediment in the tank- they rumble as they are stirred by moving water. You should perform a water heater flush and use a de-liming mixture to clean the tank. A crackling or popping sound usually means that sediment is collected in the element tubes, it will get louder as more particles build up. This is a common issue with older units. You will either need to clean or replace the tube itself.

Knock, Knock- Who's There?
If you hear what sounds like metallic knocking coming from your walls, it's probably the pipes heating internally. This is known in the plumbing world as water hammering. It's not dangerous to your water heater, but could eventually cause damage to your walls. You can solve this problem with something called a "water hammer arrestor", placed at the junction of the water heater and the pipe.

Water heaters certainly have their own language, and a responsible homeowner should learn to speak it. Tankless water heaters have their own set of noises, so you might need to research further if you have one of these.

Tips for Managing Water in Your Crawl Space

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

White ceiling with cracks and damage after a water loss. If you find a wet crawl space in your Knoxville, TN, home, don't delay in taking action.

If you've experienced flooding in your Knoxville, TN, home, you may be wondering how to handle the issue quickly and safely. You should address the situation as soon as possible. Water that enters your house can create a wet crawl space. Here are some common ways that this issue can occur and some tips for controlling it.

1. Oversaturated Lawns and Gardens
Broken gutters and downspouts, unattended hoses, and severe storms can all lead to a flood in your yard. When the ground is oversaturated, the water's next stop may be your crawl space. You can help prevent this type of water damage by ensuring your yard has proper drainage, using plants with deep roots, and placing proper base layers in gardens.

2. Issues With Your Gradient
It is very important to have a slope away from your home. This drains water away from your foundation and is key for preventing a wet crawl space. Leaving the water to pool in this part of your house can lead to increased humidity levels. Humidity trapped in your crawl space has only one place to go, and that is into the rest of your home. This may lead to problems such as mold and wood rot. Keep your foundation safe with a proper slope of around 5%.

3. Ruptured Water Lines
Broken water lines both inside and outside your home can be troublesome. If a pipe bursts or leaks inside your home, the water will drain to the crawl space. If a city line breaks, it can lead to excess subterranean water, which can then seep into your home. If either of these situations occurs, you will need to contact the city to fix its line, and you will need to contact an expert in water damage remediation to control the flood issues.

If you find a wet crawl space in your Knoxville, TN, home, don't delay in taking action. The water will lead to extra humidity, structural issues, and mold development. Get your home safe and dry again so you can enjoy it for years to come.

2 Types of Fires Not Covered By Your Homeowner's Policy

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Home destroyed by fire with caved on roof Vacant house fire in Karns, TN

2 Types of Fires Not Covered By Your Homeowner's Policy

Your number one priority is your family. You want to keep them safe and secure. Your job helps provide the money for a roof over their heads, food to eat and sometimes a vacation. There are times, however, when no matter how many precautions you take, something can go wrong.
Your home burning down because of a fire is one of those instances. Some causes are inadvertent like not completely extinguishing a cigarette or the stove catching on fire. Some people intentionally set fires. Your homeowner’s policy does cover a home fire, but do you know what types of fires it doesn’t cover?


It is a criminal act of deliberately setting fire to a property. If you live in Karns,TN, a person could receive a felony charge which might turn into a prison sentence. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program shows that in 2017, law enforcement agencies reported 41,171 arsons.
Some people believe burning down their own home will give them an insurance payout. Insurance companies may contact an investigator to confirm an accident destroyed the house. If the investigator finds evidence of arson, the insurance company may not pay the claim for the home fire.

Vacant home fire

There is a difference between a vacant home or an unoccupied home. A vacant home does not have the furniture for a person to reasonably live there. For instance, there are no beds or dishes in the kitchen. An unoccupied home has these things. But if your home is either vacant or unoccupied for more than 60 days, the insurance company may not cover a vacant home fire.
Some insurance companies have policies for vacant or unoccupied homes. Someone may have a good reason for leaving a home vacant such as having to stay in the hospital for an indefinite period of time or owning a vacation home.
Speaking with a fire cleanup specialist may direct you to the right person to talk with about different types of insurance coverage. Being aware of these types of fires may save you money in the long run.

Flood Black Water Explained

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

sewer water coming out of pipe in ground A source of black water can come from sewage

Dealing with flood cleanup in West Hills,TN, can be costly, stressful, and potentially dangerous depending on how extensive the water damage was and where the water came from. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate (IICRC) categorizes water into three levels, separated by the level of toxins in each. Category 1 is clean water, which is safe to handle. Category 2 or “gray water” can cause health concerns when ingested and should be handled with caution. Category 3 is called “black water” and is the most toxic and is always considered dangerous at every level of contact.

What Does Black Water Contain?

Black water is defined as containing high levels of bacteria, viruses, other pathogens, chemicals, and other toxins. Sources include:

  • Toilet overflows
  • Sewage
  • Natural flooding including oceans, surface water, and rivers
  • Rain carried by weather events such as tropical storms and hurricanes

Clean Water Can Degrade Quickly

If you know the source of the water damage was not a natural disaster or sewer backup and was instead from a clean water source like a pipe break or something similar, this is usually an easy cleanup. However, after leaving water sit for a period of time, this clean water can degrade into Category 2 and then into Category 3. For the water to degrade depends on a few details:

  • How long the water sits and how long it takes to dry the area
  • The temperature at the flood site
  • The quality of the water after it contacts the materials at the site
  • Whether the water mixes with soils or other contaminants present
  • The use of the building (hospital, manufacturing, nursing home, etc.)


If your home has experienced contaminated flooding, it’s recommended that you consult with a professional flood remediation company. They have the equipment and ability to quickly dry, decontaminate, and rebuild the area that has water damage, and give you peace of mind that the problem will not resurface later on in the form of mold or structural damage.

Mold in the House When It Rains

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A living room with towels on the floor and four buckets because water is leaking from the ceiling, there is a tv stand Water leaking from ceiling due to roof damage

Being a homeowner in Karns,TN, comes with a large set of responsibilities for maintaining or increasing the value of the house. If you start noticing mold growing or smell a musty smell when it rains, it’s important that you figure out where the moisture problem is located as soon as possible.
Dampness can create large issues when left alone for too long. You might be tempted to think that wiping up what water you can see is enough to fix the issue. Unfortunately, unless you know for sure where the water is coming from, there is a good chance you have a leak somewhere unseen that could potentially lead to future disaster.

Mold Locating

Seeing black mold consistently show up in one area makes your job easier when it comes to figuring out where your house is leaking. If it’s only growing in a corner in the upstairs bedroom or in the basement after it rains, you can rule out plumbing issues and go right to the source, be it a leaky roof, foundation, or crawlspace. Check these common places to for leaks:

  • Chimneys
  • Old window frames
  • Cracked basement walls/floors
  • Areas around the house with poor drainage

Of course, if you have a new home that you know was built solidly, there is a chance that there is too much humidity in the air inside, causing the mold to grow.

Mold Cleanup

Once you figure out where the water is leaking in, it’s time to clean up the black mold mess before it causes structural damage. If you know the problem is new and it’s a quick fix, clean up the mold using a disinfectant like bleach and repair the leaking area.
However, if you don’t know when the problem started or there’s a chance the mold has gotten inside the walls of the home, it is recommended that you work with a professional black mold cleanup company. The pros can ensure that your home is fully restored, including any needed wall replacement, structural drying, and leak repair. Give yourself peace of mind that your home is clean and ready for the next big downpour.

3 Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage in a sewer line. A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage in a sewer line

3 Common Sewer Issues That Affect Businesses

There are various sewer issues, from a blocked sewer to a broken pipe, that can affect businesses in Cumberland Estates,TN. Though certain problems may require help from professionals to resolve, others are fairly simple to fix, and it's often useful for business owners to know what common sewer issues may affect their properties.

1. Toilet Overflow

An overflowing toilet is a common problem in businesses and can be a major inconvenience to customers and staff at your business. One of the primary causes of an overflowing is a clog in the toilet bowl or in the toilet's pipes. Fortunately, both of these issues are normally relatively easy to fix by using a plunger or a toilet auger (also known as a drain snake) to remove the clog.

2. Blocked Sewer

A sewer that is blocked can cause various issues in your business, such as water backing up in drains. There are many reasons that your business's sewer may be blocked, and the cause will generally determine how the issue is fixed. Since fixing a main sewer line can be complex and time-consuming, it can be useful to contact emergency restoration services for assistance.

3. Pipe Breaks

A broken pipe is a common issue that affects many businesses in Cumberland Estates,TN. Cold weather or a change in water pressure are just a few reasons a pipe can break. Likewise, older pipes are also more prone to breaks. In many cases, a plumber can catch minor issues before they result in a burst or broken pipe, which is why it's often useful to have regular inspections on your pipes.

Though a blocked sewer or broken pipe can be overwhelming for business owners to handle initially, it's generally helpful to know what issues commonly occur in businesses. With an understanding of common sewer problems in businesses, you can prepare yourself for sewer issues and learn to mitigate the damage if a problem occurs.

What You Can Expect From Your Property Policy

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth present behind removed drywall. This knowledge allows you to plan better by purchasing other policies to supplement your coverage.

A musty smell in your warehouse or office building in Knoxville, TN, is a good sign that mold is present somewhere in the building. You know you need remediation but may not know how you're going to pay for it. Your property coverage may pay for some of the damage, but it's good to know exactly what your commercial insurance policy says before you need it. Two terms to look for are fungus exclusion and limited fungus coverage.

Fungus Exclusion

If your policy has a fungus exclusion, mold damage may not be covered. As with most caveats, there are typically a few exceptions:

-Mold that occurs as the result of fire or lightning
-Mold that results from a specified cause of loss detailed in the policy
-Mold that results from a covered loss

While mold is unlikely to occur because of fire or lightning, other exceptions may be the key to getting your mold claim accepted. These exceptions usually fall under a limited fungus coverage clause in your commercial insurance policy.

Limited Fungus Coverage
Many property policies will serve as mold insurance if the growth is a direct result of another loss that is covered by the policy. For example, your building could sustain water damage from a roof leaf. As long as you do everything in your power to mitigate the damage, including calling certified remediation experts as soon as you know there's a problem, the cost of fixing the issue is probably covered by your policy. If mold grows before the remediation process is finished, the fungus mitigation is probably covered as well.

It is unwise to just assume your commercial insurance policy will automatically cover mold problems that occur in your building. You should read the policy thoroughly and direct any questions you have to your insurance agent. This knowledge allows you to plan better by purchasing other policies to supplement your coverage.

How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

To avoid flooding inside, consider shutting off your water main for longer vacations

How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away

Going on holiday can be a very exciting time and a much-needed break especially for those with a hectic weekday schedule. After all, temporarily leaving behind everyday life in West Haven,TN, to explore, relax, learn and experience what the world has to offer firsthand can be a welcome way to recharge. While many people may not look forward to their vacation coming to an end, it can also be a relief to come back to the comforts of your home. However, being greeted by a flooded home with water damage can make that difficult to do.

Damage can be the result of a slowly leaking faucet, faulty equipment, something requiring a full-on water pipe repair or a compromised water source. The effects can range from inconveniencing to downright devastating and can either be noticed immediately or over the course of time. Some types of water damage include the following:

  • Irreversible damage to paper-based items
  • Warping, disintegration or discoloration to furniture and drywall
  • Staining on carpeting, window treatments and other fabrics
  • A broken pipe or plumbing system
  • Permanently damaged electronics
  • Unpleasant odors magnified
  • Bacterial growth

Recovery Process

While the recovery process will depend on the severity of the situation, professional remediation will likely be recommended for many procedures. This can include anything from water pipe repair to large-scale removal of flood waters and damaged goods in addition to home repair. Since the effects of water damage may take time to develop, it is helpful to have a professional evaluation that enables you to be proactive and avoid further issues that can worsen over time.

Tips Before You Leave

Instead of dealing with a flooded home or an unexpected water pipe repair when you come back from your getaway, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of water damage happening in West Haven,TN. To minimize damage from weather-related causes, keep downspouts and gutters clear as well as your yards neat to prevent water from pooling and damaging your home’s exterior. To avoid flooding inside, consider shutting off your water main for longer vacations, and verify that appliances and hoses are maintained or updated as necessary.

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.