Recent Posts

3 Ways To Save Your Belongings After a Fire

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

room with two black chairs inside, debris all over the floor, ceiling has collapsed due to fire event Fire damage in Cumming, GA.

How To Proceed In The Wake Of A Fire

Experiencing a structural fire is undoubtedly a nightmare realized. Not only is the affected building potentially destroyed, but your belongings inside appear to be beyond restoration. If your personal possessions are affected by smoke damage, there is hope for recovery. 

1. Determine What Is Restorable
Ideally, restore the majority of your possessions harmed in the fire versus replacing them. Family heirlooms and irreplaceable keepsakes specifically should be carefully treated to avoid total ruin. Several techniques exist to combat smoke damage and smoke odor:

  • Dry and Wet Cleaning
  • Spray and Wipe
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Abrasive and Immersion Cleaning

Depending on the damage, many or all of these smoke cleaning methods can assist in the restoration process.

2. Prepare To Move Out
Often, a structure in Cumming, GA, remains unlivable until the extent of necessary smoke cleaning is complete. In this case, companies exist to assist you in a temporary relocation during your home's refurbishment.
Not only is it unsafe to live in a house laden with smoke odor, but it is much easier for the professionals to complete the fire restoration process without working around other individuals and their schedules.
Once the cleaning is complete, the same company can help you move back into your clean, safe home. This assistance provides comfort and ease in a time of crisis and trauma.

3. Beware Of Electronics
Fire presents a host of dangers where your electronics are concerned. As such, never attempt to plug in or operate any of your appliances following a fire. Always contact an electrician to inspect your wiring, outlets, and electronics before activating them post-fire. If necessary, a professional can accurately and safely clean any remaining smoke residue, allowing you safe use of your personal devices.
While damaging and frightful, fires do not always cause ruin beyond repair. By following the correct smoke cleaning steps, your belongings can survive even the most dangerous of blazes.

How To Get That Weird Smell Out of Your Microwave

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

man covering his nose when opening a microwave oven Microwave maintenance is an important element of fire safety.

Smoke Removal From Your Microwave

You know how it goes: There was that one time you popped popcorn, got a little distracted, left it running a little too long... and now your microwave has that distinct burnt popcorn smell that loves to linger. It's time to give it a good deep clean. If you want to know how to get that smoke smell or any other weird smell out of your microwave, follow these three steps.

1. Interior
Start with the interior using the vinegar method: Essentially, you want to mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high until boiling, and then let it sit for a few minutes so that the steam can loosen up any grime inside. This will make it much easier to then wipe out the entire inside of the unit.

2. Exterior
You can also use a vinegar-and-water mixture to wipe down the door and exterior parts of the unit. Tackle the gaskets and little pieces along with the door as well. Use an old toothbrush to help you get into the nooks and crannies. Try to remove all food splatters that could be retaining that smoke smell.

3. Vent and Filters
Don't forget about the vent grill, where oil and buildup can stay trapped, keeping that smoke smell in with it. With some styles, you can remove the vent in order to better clean it. Use a degreaser to loosen stuck-on oil so that it wipes off easily. Check for filters as well. These can be soaked in hot, soapy water or, depending on manufacturer specifications, run through the dishwasher.
Maintaining your microwave won't just help it smell better; it is an important element of fire safety too. Tackling the weird smells is a whole lot easier than handling fire cleanup in Marble Hill, GA, for which you'd definitely want professional help. It's worth it to put in a little elbow grease now.

Flooding Versus Storm Damage: 3 Differences

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flood waters surrounding a building Flooded building in Holcombe, GA.

How Do Storm And Flooding Impact My Business

When you own a Holcombe, GA, business, the risk of storm and flooding damage may be high on your list of worries, especially when certain times of the year are known for violent weather. Storms may produce flooding, high winds and power outages; however, there are several differences between flood damage and other types of issues that result from storms, and understanding each may help you recover more quickly afterward.

1. Floods Contain Black Water

When flooding occurs at your business due to storms, the resulting influx of water is likely to come from a contaminated source, such as an overflowing creek or sewer. As a result, the porous building materials inside your business, such as drywall, may absorb this dirty water and cause stains and an unpleasant odor. You may have to replace such items.

2. Storm Damage Is More Varied

When storm damage occurs, it may be more varied and extended than flooding. High winds can break windows, tear away building materials and cause damage to your property's roof. When these types of problems occur, your storm repair and restoration service may have to spend more time ensuring all types of damage are repaired before you can reopen your business.

3. Insurance Differences

Some insurance companies define flood damage differently than that caused by storms, especially when the flooding came from an internal source, such as a broken pipe. Flooding caused by heavy rains may be covered under your policy; however, it is best to contact your local insurance representative and send photos of the damage before attempting to open a claim. You can protect damaged areas of your building by blocking broken windows with wood planks and using tarps to prevent rainwater from entering a damaged roof.

Flood damage and storms can severely affect your Holcombe, GA, business in a variety of ways. Understanding how each might impact your bottom line may help you put you on the path to reopening more quickly and reducing downtime for your employees.

What To Do When Sewage Water Contaminates Your Home

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Split drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots Tree roots may grow into the exterior pipes, breaching them and blocking the flow.

Sewer cleanup is not simple. The water is quite dirty and can create several concerns for the home's structure; therefore, when wastewater invades a house's space, it's best to act quickly, working with professionals to understand the cause and begin proper cleanup measures. Be aware of the answers to the following three questions.

How Does Sewer Water Get Into the Home?

A sewer backup may occur from several factors. Tree roots may grow into the exterior pipes, breaching them and blocking the flow. Toilet lines clog when large or harder substances go down the tubes and cannot leave the system. During intense storms, overflows may displace fluid. No matter the cause, the effect is the water cannot correctly exit; thus, it flows into the home through the closest portal (often the commode).

How Should You Handle Sewer Contamination?

Sewer cleanup requires meticulous and prompt attention. The dirty liquid quickly contaminates the space. Focus on two things: dry out everything and sanitize as best as possible. The following steps should be completed:

  • Fix the source of the trouble
  • Contact a water remediation company in  Amicalola, GA
  • Check for mold and bacterial growth
  • Remove saturated items
  • Create flood cuts in the drywall
  • Pull out wet carpet
  • Run industrial dehumidifiers
  • Monitor humidity levels
  • Replace damaged or lost structures

What Should Be Replaced?

A flooded toilet from a backup issue delivers category three water into the home. This fluid contains high levels of waste and bacteria. As it spills onto the floor, it seeps into the materials and eventually reaches the walls. These porous materials are unlikely to be cleaned with traditional methods because they absorb so much. It’s best to toss these sponge-like items to ensure proper cleanup occurs.

Owners may choose to keep nonporous objects, but they should still be scrubbed with warm water and soap. Spray with antimicrobial spray.

For effective sewer cleanup, homeowners must carefully inspect everything for water infiltration. Lower moisture levels and get rid of contaminated belongings, then, call SERVPRO of Forsyth and Dawson Counties.

How To Recover Documents From a Flood

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Box with lid, office boxes and folders for storing documents and files Document restoration is possible.

If your business in Ludville, GA, experiences a flood, you may think that your documents are lost forever. Fortunately, document restoration is possible. SERVPRO can dry, sterilize and even digitize your damaged documents.

Document Types

SERVPRO, a document damage restoration service in Ludville, GA, can recover all kinds of documents:

  • Photographs
  • Papers
  • Books
  • Parchment
  • Files

Their innovative methods of restoration can accommodate nearly all paper types. No matter what types of documents were effected, you should contact a professional as quickly as possible to minimize the damage.

Flooding can damage documents in several ways:

  • Water damage
  • Chemical exposure
  • Contamination by bacteria or viruses

Document drying and sterilization can repair structural damage to the documents and remove any harmful substances.

Freeze Drying
Freeze drying is a method of document restoration that dries the item without harming it. The documents are frozen in a special vacuum convert the water straight from its solid to a gaseous state, meaning the documents don't get wet in the process. This method is a safe and effective method of document drying that can be used on many different types of items.

Flood water can contain harmful substances that can contaminate documents. These documents can be cleaned using gamma radiation. This removes chemicals and kills microorganisms without damaging the documents.

Technicians can help you digitize your documents during the restoration process. This ensures that you have backup copies of important papers that are accessible virtually. This will also help you get rid of unnecessary clutter and organize all the documents you need.
Whether you lost photos, papers, books, files, or other items, SERVPRO understands that your documents are important to you and your business. They use advanced document restoration techniques, including freeze-drying and sanitizing with gamma radiation, to help you minimize losses. They can even create digital copies of all of your documents so you never have to worry about losing them again.

4 Ways To Dry Soaked Documents

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be restored.

Four Methods For Salvaging Your Company's Records

If your business in Talking Rock, GA, experiences flooding, it is possible that your building suffers enough damage to require the services of expert water restoration professionals. Additionally, archives may become soaked. Fortunately, wet documents can be recovered. 

1. Freezing
Wrap reports in wax paper, parchment, or sealable plastic bags and then place them in a freezer. If you have time, apply separators between each piece of paperwork. Once your materials have thawed, follow up with one of the below procedures.

2. Air Drying
This option is best for smaller bundles of compromised files. Begin by spreading your items on flat tables. Place fans near your papers, but be sure that the airflow is indirect; otherwise, they may go flying. Blot dampened pages with a soft cloth or towel and then hang them on a clothesline with plastic clothespins. Note that it may take up to two weeks for some wet documents to completely dry.

3. Vacuum Freezing
Vacuum freezing is a better choice when a lot of document drying becomes necessary. Freeze your papers as outlined above and then place them in a vacuum chamber. This piece of equipment can be obtained from a salvage vendor. By using a process known as sublimation, ice crystals vaporize without melting. This assures a minimum of additional stress on the affected reports.

4. Vacuum Thermal Drying
Records that have suffered watery ravages ranging from minor pipe leaks to intense flooding can benefit from vacuum drying. Items are placed within one of these enclosed devices and dehydrated via moisture evaporation. Only use this method with records that do not need to be kept for long periods, as this strategy accelerates aging.
Wet documents are a severe problem for any business, but all is not lost. There is a good chance that a majority of your data may be able to be saved with one of these approaches.

4 Common Causes of Tile Mold

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling with black mold growth Mold damage on ceiling tile

4 Common Causes of Tile Mold

Finding tile mold in your Mcdaniel, GA, building can be disconcerting. While it reveals a fungus problem, you may be in the dark as to how it began. If you want to know how the mold could have formed, here are four common causes of moldy tiles.

1. HVAC Systems
One of the most common causes of tile discoloration is HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) leaks. These are a few possible causes for such leaks:

  • Clogged drain pipes
  • Incorrect maintenance
  • Flawed installation

If you find this source of mold, the first step is to turn off your HVAC systems. This prevents further leakage and minimizes the spread of moisture.

2. Vents
Your building may have roof vents for plumbing or air. If this is the case, the area around these vents might be less secure than the rest of the roof. You can pinpoint this cause of water damage by looking for stains around the openings.

3. Roof Flashing
If your roof has a horizontal surface that meets a vertical surface, chances are that you have roof flashing. These are thin pieces of metal that protect important sections of the roof by guiding water away. Flashing may also be installed around holes such as chimneys and skylights. If your flashing isn't working properly, you may get tile mold from these protected areas.

4. Leaking Pipes
The mold on your tiles may be continuously growing over time. This could be due to a leaking pipe, which might consistently drip small amounts of water onto your ceiling tiles. It's especially possible if your building is in a temperate climate or has old pipes. While moldy tiles are generally caused by roof leaks, this could also be an explanation.
Tile mold is never pleasant to find. However, it may be simple to fix. Remember to call a mold remediation company to be certain that it's eradicated.

Do You Have the Right Home Fire Extinguisher?

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher must be full and sealed to maintain pressure.

3 Factors That Will Determine the Effectiveness of a Home Fire Extinguisher

Homeowners should take measures to increase their fire preparedness. These three factors will determine the effectiveness of a home fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

1. Check the Class

There are several common extinguisher classes distinguished on the basis of fire suppressant compounds. Class A extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate for ordinary combustibles. Class B and C extinguishers combine monoammonium phosophate with sodium bicarbonate. Class B is intended for flammable liquids or gases other than cooking oils or grease, while Class C is formulated for electrical fires.

Homeowners may want to obtain multi-class fire extinguishers for all of these risks. It is less likely that they will need a Class D extinguisher for combustible metals or even a Class K extinguisher for cooking oils and grease. Extinguishers may actually spread a cooking fire. It is better to douse a kitchen fire in baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and salt and smother the flames with a metal lid or another pan.

2. Make Sure the Extinguisher Is Filled and Sealed

A fire extinguisher must be full and sealed to maintain pressure. Refillable extinguishers usually have metal valves and cost more up front, though refills cost less than a new disposable model. Disposable extinguishers are more affordable, but are made for one-time use.

3. Check the Expiration Date

An extinguisher may or may not have an expiration date, but this safety equipment does not last forever. An extinguisher should work for anywhere from five to 15 years. Check the pressure gauge to determine whether safety equipment is ready to use.

A fire extinguisher that has insufficient pressure or one that has been used before and has not been replaced or refilled may not function as intended. If a fire damages building materials or contents at a residence in Cumming, GA, mitigation and restoration professionals can clean up damage and complete a rebuild.

Frequently Asked Questions About FEMA

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup FEMA has grants that could provide financial assistance to the uninsured

If you have recently experienced a storm, you may be interested in FEMA individual assistance. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions, so you know a little more about the program.

Who Is Eligible for Assistance?

There are a few qualifications you must meet to get individual assistance. Here are the general qualifications:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien
  • You must be able to verify your identity
  • You cannot meet your needs with your current insurance
  • A Qualified disaster has caused your needs

Are You Eligible if You Already Have Insurance?
Insurance is the main source of money you should rely on to put your life back together after a storm. Therefore, you are going to want to contact them immediately after the disaster strikes. However, if they do not offer you enough funds to rebuild, you could be eligible for additional assistance from FEMA.

Will FEMA Rebuild Your House?
The individual assistance offered by FEMA is designed to help uninsured or underinsured people pay for necessary expenses after a flood. However, this program is not a substitute for insurance. It is designed to get you back on your feet after a disaster. It cannot completely rebuild your house.

What Low-Interest Loans Are Available?
If you run a small business out of your home, you may be able to borrow enough money to pay for hiring remediation professionals and cover your economic losses. However, this money is designed to come from the Small Business Administration as a low-interest loan.

What Happens After You Apply?
Once you have filed a claim for a disaster in Jasper, GA, you can check on your application's status online. You will be notified of a decision via the online portal and through your primary contact information.
If you have recently experienced flooding, you could be eligible for individual assistance. This can help you get back on your feet after a disaster and ready to rebuild your life.

4 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

wooden floor damaged by water Wooden floor damaged in a Dawsonville, GA home

4 Ways Water Can Damage Your Home

Is your home in Dawsonville, GA, prone to flooding or heavy rains? It's important to know what kinds of damages, such as swelling wood, water can cause to your home.

1. Walls and Supports
If hail or heavy wind often accompany rainstorms near you, water can quickly get past the standard plastic siding. The hail can break big holes, and the wind can blow water up and behind the siding. Once this happens, there's only a small, thin sheet of wrapping that separates the water from the plywood of your home's structure. Other supports like wooden porch beams are also vulnerable. A common issue after heavy rains is swelling wood. This occurs when the wood is saturated with water and starts to expand and swell. This can compromise the structural integrity of your home.

2. Windows
While it's exciting and fun to watch rain pound against windows while you're safe and cozy in your home, windows are a big structural weakness that require consistent maintenance. The caulking, a type of rubber-like sealant used by workers when your windows were installed, can sometimes come loose, especially if you own an older home. If this happens, water can slip through the cracks between the window and its frame, which will cause water to directly enter your home.

3. Water Pipes
Water pipes: the tangled rat's nets of copper that everyone likes to put out of their mind. Yes, these can be impacted by heavy rains, too. The issue of swelling wood can put pressure on pipes, especially where water enters your home through the exterior in a supply line. It's best to keep an eye on your pipes and consider beforehand how a heavy rain might impact you. If you have the unfortunate luck to suffer a pipe break, however, you can always contact a water damage specialist to quickly clean up the damage.

4. Yard
Your kids might love to splash and play in the mud after a heavy rain, but these downpours can have other, less entertaining, side effects. If there is enough rainwater, or if your home has an inefficient gutter system, rushing water can wash away the dirt around your foundation. This can lead to basement leaks or even crack your foundation if the water freezes after it seeps through the concrete.
As an informed homeowner, you can help prevent water damage before it happens and avoid costly issues such as a water pipe repair.