A Professional Response to Fire Damage
Fire has a tremendous capacity for destruction and is one of the most widespread and common risks when it comes to commercial properties. As a result, most businesses have insurance coverage that includes protection against fire losses. When flames do break out, business owners contact professionals to respond to the fire and smoke damage. With the right equipment, these professionals help business owners get their properties back into working condition.
The Scope of Destruction
Experienced fire and smoke cleaning technicians understand that fire damage goes beyond the direct destruction. They take quick action to respond to several fire-related issues:
- Stains left behind by soot resting on porous surfaces
- Mold and mildew growth after the use of water to put out flames
- Corrosion on metal surfaces exposed to water and oxygen
- Poor air quality as smoke and mold particles hang in the air
The longer commercial properties sit after smoke damage occurs, the more likely it is that the extent and scope of the destruction will increase. The best response to fire and soot damage is to act as soon as possible.
Assessment of the Damage
As professionals arrive at a commercial property to respond, they'll assess the amount of fire, smoke, and water damage. As they begin their inspections, technicians also focused on safety. There are several safety risks inherent in the destruction left after a fire. Experienced fire damage cleanup and remediation professionals are certified and licensed to enter the property. In addition to training and authorization, they have the proper protective equipment to enter weakened structures.
The Cleanup Process
With safety procedures underway, cleanup and restoration professionals are ready to secure entry points and property breaches (such as broken windows and holes in the roof), establish security against further destruction, and begin removing debris. Technicians also remove as much equipment and inventory as possible. At this point, water removal and deep cleaning can begin.
The end goal of the cleanup work is to remove all evidence that a fire took place. When your properties are affected by the fire and smoke damage, the work of professionals begins with safety and results in pristine buildings.
The Science of Drying
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland is trained in the science of drying and follows strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of secondary damages, like mold. If your home or business suffers water damage, SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor weather the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment
What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are we, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material—but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland has the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces, inside walls, and much more. SERVPRO also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying process of your home or business.
The bottom line? SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland has the training and equipment to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”
Severe Weather Preparedness Plan
Severe weather is an absolutely terrifying thing to be faced with. Not only can it cause severe damage to your home, but it is also extremely unpredictable, meaning conditions can turn hazardous in an instant. The costs of having storm damage restored can also be exorbitant, but the most important thing is making sure your family is safe.
As with any difficult life scenario, one of the best things you can do is to have a plan in place in case server weather moves into your area. That way, instead of panicking or being unsure of what to do, you can be certain of how to proceed to keep your family safe.
By knowing where to go, where your supplies are and that you have made sure you can stay in your shelter, you can have much more peace of mind surrounding your family’s well-being.
Elements to Consider for a Severe Weather Preparedness Plan
Where Will You Seek Shelter?
It is always a good idea to have a designated shelter spot in your home where everyone can head if the weather turns severe. Ideally, this would be a basement, but you can also choose an area of your home that does not have windows and few exterior walls if a basement is not available.
Do We Have Food and Water?
Once you seek shelter, it is wise to make sure you do not have to leave until the weather event has passed. It is a good idea to keep nonperishable foods and plenty of water in your shelter spot so you can stay put for the duration of the storm.
What Will Your Light Source Be?
Power outages are extremely common during severe weather, so it is smart to keep flashlights and lanterns in your shelter area in case you can’t use your home’s electricity. Be sure to pack batteries, too, as they can lose their power with time.
If your home is damaged by a severe weather event, we are here for all your restoration needs. You can contact us as soon as you discover the damage for the quickest response possible, and with our 24/7 emergency line, you will never have to wait to get in touch. Contact SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland at (662)846-1700.
Risks Associated with Lighting Candles
Burning candles in the home is an extremely common practice, whether it is for scent, ambiance or holiday celebrations—but with the regularity of an activity like this, it can be easy to forget the fire hazards that candles can pose in the home. While small, it is important to remember that candles are still an open flame and present the same dangers that any other type of fire would when in use.
Candles are responsible for nearly 10,000 fires every single year, many of which are entirely avoidable.
Many fires caused by candles are a result of people placing them too close to flammable objects, especially if they leave the room or fall asleep while the candle is still burning. Below, we will go over some candle safety tips so you can be certain you are decorating and celebrating safely.
Top Tips for Candle Safety in the Home
While candles can be a great way to decorate your home and add pleasant scents, you should still treat them as carefully as you would any other open flame. Here are some helpful safety tips:
- Keep candles at least a foot from anything flammable, such as drapes, upholstery or blankets.
- Rely on flashlights or lanterns for light sources instead of candles in case of a power outage.
- Make sure candles are always out of reach of young children.
- Do not place candles anywhere that they could be accidentally knocked over, especially if you have pets in the house.
- Do not leave the room if a candle is burning and extinguish a candle if you think you may fall asleep.
- Trim your candle’s wick before lighting to keep the flame low and prevent it from flickering or flaring up unpredictably.
- Avoid placing your candle in a place that is drafty as this can blow the flame.
If your home is damaged by flames or smoke, you can count on our expert technicians to handle every aspect of the restoration. We are here 24 hours a day to take your call, give you more information or dispatch quickly to begin your restoration. Call us today to learn more.
Water Damages in Restaurants
Owning a restaurant can be a very rewarding experience, but also filled with many obstacles. With multiple sinks, toilets, and a dish washing machine, as well as natural weather occurrences, the potential for water damage within your business is high. Water or flood damage in your restaurant can cripple your business and make it unsafe for you to continue standard operations until specific safeguards are in place. Contamination threats, such as bacteria or mold, that can arise from standing water, could close your doors immediately. To protect your restaurant and keep business flowing after a water damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland. We have water restoration experts capable of addressing standing water and implementing drying solutions, as well as cleaning technicians and biohazard specialists if needed to ensure the safety of your restaurant.
Timely response to a water damage is essential in minimizing the disruption of business. SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland offers 24-hour emergency water damage response, allowing us to address saturation and exposed materials quickly, and identify which areas are most prone to mold and microbial threats. We have a full line of potent antimicrobial products that can help to eliminate mold spores present on surfaces and protect them from potential colonization.
Removing any standing water in a timely fashion is necessary to not only protect the building your business operates in, but also your investment in the furniture, fixtures, and equipment in the restaurant. From wooden legs of chairs and tables, to bases of booths, and carpets & upholstery, prolonged exposure to excessive moisture can warp and distort these structures to the point of requiring replacement. SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland has industry leading drying and extraction equipment and to give your restaurant the immediate attention it needs.
Call SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland today at (662) 846-1700 for your Clean Up and Restoration needs, We’re Here to Help!
Flooding is defined as “an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry.” Flooding can be caused by a multitude of different occurrences, the two experienced most frequently in the Florida Panhandle being tropical systems and heavy thunderstorms. Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters, therefore it is important to understand the different types of flooding possible in your area.
River Flood – a river flood occurs when water rises over the top of a riverbank. This can immediately affect structures located near the river, and if water levels continue to rise, affect homes and businesses downstream.
Coastal Flood – a coastal flood occurs when land areas along the coast are inundated with rising waters. A combination of factors, including tidal patterns, rainfall, and land elevation can all play a role in coastal flooding issues.
Storm Surge – Storm surge is a variation of coastal flooding in which the wind, atmospheric pressure, and waves of a severe storm greatly increase the water level in coastal areas. Highly common during hurricanes, storm surge can occur very quickly, and pose serious property and safety concerns.
Flash Flood – a flash flood is usually caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time. Flash floods can occur with very little warning and be extremely dangerous. Clogged draining systems and standing debris can contribute to the likelihood of flash flooding occurrences.
Understanding different types of flooding, those that are most common in your area, and how to prepare, can help to protect both your and your property in the event of a flooding disaster. In the unfortunate event that flood waters have caused property damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Greenville/Cleveland is Here to Help. For more information about our services, give us a call at 662-846-1700.
When you are dealing with a clogged drain at home, it may sound tempting to just pour a chemical cleaner to eliminate the problem. However, this is not always the right solution. Drain cleaner has some properties that can damage your pipes and wreak havoc on your home in Sunflower, Bolivar, or Washington County. Educate yourself about this type of cleaner to use it appropriately.
The Basics of Chemical Cleaners
Liquid cleaners used in sewage cleaning can be either oxidizing, caustic or acidic. No matter the type of chemicals, they create heat that dissolves organic blockage such as food, hair, or grease. Specifically, the cleaner triggers an electron transfer that either adds to or removes electrons from the organic matter. The heat generated by this exchange then weakens the clog, making it easier to flush away.
Potential Damage and Consequences
Despite the convenience of these cleaners, they are not ideal for every clogged drain case. There are specific situations where they can damage the pipes.
- Plastic pipes
- Older and weaker metal pipes
- Complete drain blockage
The strong chemicals can diminish the pipes, leading to extensive water damage that only an emergency remediation service can fix. They also have secondary effects on both your health and the environment. Prevent these consequences by limiting use to partial blockage made of organic materials and only as a last resort when alternatives fail.
Alternatives to Cleaners
There are a couple of solutions to try before deploying a drain cleaner. First, you can go the mechanical route by using tools to manually unclog the drain. Augers and plunges are the most common devices for this method. If it does not work, try enzymatic cleaners. These products contain enzymes, or bacteria, that break down the clog. They usually take a day to unblock the pipe, but they are a safer option.
While chemical cleaners are a fast solution for a clogged drain, they are not always effective and should be used when out of options. Ensure your situation meets the right criteria before using this agent.
Should I have a fire extinguisher in my home?
Home fire safety should start with a working smoke detector and a fire safety plan. If you already have those in your home, though, you may consider a fire extinguisher as the next step in fire preparedness.
A fire extinguisher works to put out a small fire by removing one of the three components of the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, and fuel. The most common fire extinguisher removes oxygen from a fire by smothering it in a dry chemical foam. In a way, it’s a high-powered version of pouring baking soda on a grease fire, which makes it particularly relevant in the kitchen.
But if you’re going to invest in a fire extinguisher to help protect your home and family—which luckily isn’t a huge investment, with most home units coming in between $10 and $40—you don’t want a one-hit wonder. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a multipurpose extinguisher, which works to suppress fires from ‘ordinary combustibles,’ grease fires, and electrical fires.
Once again, having a working smoke detector in each room of your home should be your first priority in home fire preparedness. Two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends checking the batteries in your smoke detector once a month, changing them at least once a year, and replacing the unit altogether once it is 10 years old. Once you’re confident with this routine, you can consider adding a fire extinguisher to your home arsenal!
5 Common Sewer Problems
Your building’s biggest drain is its sewer line. Major problems can occur as a result of a damaged or blocked sewer line. These issues can wreak havoc on a commercial building if they aren’t discovered and solved early on. Beware of the following potential problems.
1. Substances Building Up
Never put grease down a drain; it’ll solidify and build up in the pipes. Coffee grounds are also one of the worst substances for a drain.
2. Foreign Objects Getting Stuck
Sanitary sewer lines and bathroom drains — both residential and commercial — are designed to handle only human waste and toilet tissue. Nothing else should be put down the drains. Even paper towels and “flushable wipes” are harmful to septic systems.
3. Tree Roots Growing
In their search for moisture and nutrients, tree roots will invariably find your sewer system. They’ll even grow into the line by infiltrating cracks that develop in the pipes. This can cause serious problems such as pipe breaks, as well as leaking or blocked sewer lines. A toilet overflow is often the first sign of a sewer blockage.
4. Lines Failing
Freezing and thawing cycles in the ground, shifting soil, tree roots or the settling of a structure can cause pipe breaks, cracks or collapse. When damaged sewer lines leak, the water will saturate the ground surrounding the pipes, causing more damage to the line when it freezes. Piping that isn't made of PVC is at risk of deteriorating and can give way, obstructing flow through the pipe.
5. Pipes Sagging
Over time, parts of pipes will sag deeper into the ground. Water, waste, and sediment will then collect in this “bellied” area and get trapped, blocking the line from flowing properly.
Always be mindful of signs of a leaking or blocked sewer line at your building. If a problem occurs, water damage clean up experts will return your property to its preloss condition as quickly as possible. Prevention is key, so have your sewer line inspected every three to five years.
Preparing for the Next Storm
Professional meteorologists can't often accurately predict the upcoming weather, so it's not likely that you'll be able to. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be ready for severe storms. Your commercial building could suffer significant damage if you are not prepared. Flooding and other water damage, along with mold, broken windows and materials, and other issues could occur. There are some helpful tips you can follow to prevent disaster and practice good storm preparedness.
Common Storm Damage
Like in other places around the country, weather in Mississippi can be unpredictable. Thunderstorms, downpours, heavy winds, and other examples of Mother nature's fury can unleash on your building. Results from these storms can include:
- Leaky roofs, leading to flooding in upper levels
- High winds blowing over trees onto the structure
- High winds breaking windows, blowing off roof shingles or ruining the siding
Bad weather can hit at any time. Good property management looks out for the building's tenants, especially when rough storms occur when the building is occupied. Putting together an escape strategy is vital. Make sure everyone in the building knows where all the exits are, especially the closest ones. Identify a gathering place outside the facility. Also, assign key roles to responsible people.
Inspect the Roof and Rain Gutters
It doesn't take a deluge of water to leak through the roof and start to damage your building. In your storm preparedness activities, make sure the roof is sound and is free of weak spots. You should also take a look at the rain gutters and downspouts to ensure that they are diverting water away from the property.
If you live in an area where large wind gusts are common, you should consider installing window shutters. You can find various types, including those built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
If you are not taking storm preparedness seriously, it's time to start putting these tips into practice. Before you have to call a professional cleanup company to the rescue, you can avoid some potential problems.