Recent Posts

Unseen Water Can Cause Major Damage

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Unseen water can cause some of the most invasive damage that can happen to a structure. The longer the water damage goes unnoticed or unresolved, the higher the repair costs will be. This is because when water is left to its own devices, it will seep and soak into everything that stands in its way.  Floors, subfloors, floor joists, drywall, insulation, are just some of the areas that water can travel.  After the water leak is identified and corrected, there may be several structural repairs that will need to be addressed.

We have extensive experience in mitigating water damage, and we have a team of highly trained water restoration technicians available 24 hours a day to respond to your call.  Cullman and Blount county home owners and business owners know that they can count on us to quickly and safely restore their water-damaged property to preloss condition quickly and efficiently.  

If your home or business needs water damage restoration services, call us today and we will be happy to assist you!

Be Safe While Using Extension Cords

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

An extension cord can come in handy from time to time to help you solve a temporary power issue, however they should not be used for a long-term solution.  Extension cord misuse can cause damage to your home or business.  According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) here are some tips to keep your extension cords safe:

  • Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground.
  • Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
  • Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors.  If cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
  • Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance.
  • Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in.
  • Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way.  
  • Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots for the plug. Do not cut off the ground pin to force a fit.  This defeats the purpose of a three-prong plug and could lead to an electrical shock.

If you experience fire or smoke damage, please call us! No job is too big or too small.

Commercial Fire Causes

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Preventing fires in commercial buildings, especially some of the more common ones, is relatively straightforward. For example, many business owners are surprised to learn that a fire started in a common area, or near a water heater. The fire's damage and the loss of business while the restoration is underway can significantly impact the business.

Our teams have seen many fire sites where the fire could have been prevented. Rest assured that we can be on-site to begin cleanup and restoration in less than four hours and return your business to normal operations as soon as possible.

Several of the more common causes of commercial fires include:

  • Misusing equipment by untrained or careless employees
  • Improperly discarded cigarettes
  • Poorly maintained boilers, water heaters, or heating systems
  • Combustible trash placed near heating systems
  • Electrical and heating systems maintained by unlicensed technicians

Our team is available 24/7 to begin restoration and mitigate further damage caused by materials utilized by the fire department to control the fire.

How Long Will the Process Take?

Every fire restoration project can vary and be different in terms of the extent of the physical damage, the impact of water and fire retardants used by the fire department, and smoke/soot that may have spread throughout the building. One of SERVPRO's team leaders assesses the damage before developing a plan to restore your business. Details are discussed with the business owner and the insurance company if required.

Fire restoration can include the following actions:

  • Removal of all materials that cannot be repaired
  • Smoke and odor damaged materials are removed for cleaning and deodorization
  • Professional cleaning of all surfaces
  • Restoration of damaged structures and commercial materials

Call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties for help with fire damage to your commercial building or business.

Gas Water Heaters Can Cause Fires

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

While electric water heaters generally are rarely the cause of residential fires unless they overheat, gas water heaters have more potential to be the center of a fire damage due to their open flame. There are some actions homeowners can take to ensure their water heater operates safely.

    • Do not store clothes or papers near the water heater
    • Flammable liquids and cleaning products should be away from the water heater
    • The flame cover should be in place at all times

Where Do I Start to Cleanup Fire Damage from a Water Heater?

When a water heater in a home causes a fire, the most likely area is in the basement. On the upper floors, some homes have utility closets, and those come with their own challenges for cleanup. The key to limiting loss with either location is to begin the mitigation efforts as rapidly as possible.

Basement Water Heater Cleanup Post-Fire

Upon arrival to a home after a fire, our technicians get to work removing any water and putting up containment to diminish the chance of soot spread anywhere else in the home. The damaged water heater and any charred items too far gone for restoration services get removed with the approval of the homeowner or adjuster.

The smoke damage on the walls may require the removal of the sheetrock on the walls down to the plywood or even brick or cinder block. Because of the potential for these porous areas to hold smoke odors, our technicians use cleaning agents specially formulated for this type of surface cleaning without the use of acids that can harm the surfaces.

Utility Closet Cleanup After a Fire Caused by a Water Heater

The damage can be far more significant when the water heater has a location in the home outside of the basement. The smoke may have spread to different areas of the house, more than one place may have water loss due from the fire department putting out the fire, and both carpet and sheetrock require mitigation.

Water can equal fire in the potential for damage after a fire, it runs downward flowing through the carpet and padding or under the tile and gets into floor joists and drips through below. It can pick up soot and dirt along the way and stain the walls and ceilings when it comes out. Once water wicks into sheetrock, it begins to buckle and warp and needs cutting away to halt the deterioration.

Carpet gets inspected on a case by case basis for restoration. The water may cause shrinkage, dye bleed, or in the case of acrylic and polyester fibers with a low melting point; they may have too much damage from the heat of the fire for restoration through cleaning applications. Whenever possible, the technicians try to extract any remaining water and deep clean the carpets to eliminate odors and stains to save the homeowners the cost of replacement.

The restoration potential for hardwood flooring depends on the materials that make up the floorboards and how much exposure they had to heat and water.

Ceramic tiles tend to come out of this type of loss situation with the best potential for full restoration if the grout line sealant is intact. It generally needs cleaning with one of the professional-quality agents to remove any smoke residues, and little else is required.

Odor Control is a Big Part of the Fire Loss Cleanup Process

Doors and windows can get left open, and it will not diminish smoke odors within a home after something as significant as a water heater fire. Soot produces odors, and the motes can be smaller than the human eye can see, which makes removing them a challenge without advanced devices to capture the airborne particles. SERVPRO technicians have a broad array of odor control methods that include:

    • Specific equipment like hydroxyl generators and thermal foggers
    • Applications such as gel pellets or sprays for light, residual odors
    • Deodorizing cleaning agents for surfaces
    • Sealants to apply over painted surfaces to halt odors

SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties Does Re-Construction

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Here in Alabama we are no stranger to severe weather. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insured losses in the United States attributed to natural disasters amounted to $25.5 billion in claims in 2019. Severe thunderstorms had approximately $20 billion in insured losses, winter storms, cold waves, and tropical cyclones accounted for about $2 billion, and floods, earthquakes, and other disasters accounted for the rest of the insurance claims. SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties has a general contractor license that allows us to manage commercial and residential reconstruction projects through to the successful return to preloss condition. We work on commercial projects including:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • Manufacturing & Industrial

Call Us Today

We understand how important it is to get your business back up and running and to minimize the disruption to your customers and employees. Our team of highly trained technicians are on cal 24/7/365 to respond to any size disaster in Cullman or Blount county. We will restore your residential or commercial damage “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is ALWAYS Ready!

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is committed to providing fire and water cleanup and restoration services to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs. SERVPRO can provide:

  • Over 40 years of experience as leading fire and water cleanup and restoration providers.
  • A SERVPRO franchise nearby - more than 1,500 franchises services 48 states.
  • More locations which means faster responses.
  • Quick response time to help ensure the damage is contained and the restoration process begins as soon as possible.
  • Large loss capabilities -  no fire or water damage is too large.

As many as 50% of businesses close down after a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. Knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event that your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you are able to help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Know what to do, who to call and what to expect in advance is helpful in receiving timely mitigation and can help minimize the affects water and fire damage can have on your business

Keep Your Restaurant Mold Free

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Restaurant owners have some of the busiest lives of any other type of business owner. With so many responsibilities and pending issues on your plate, mold growth is the last thing that needs to be added to their busy plate. Prevention is the best offense, so follow these pointers to help keep your restaurant clean.

1. Perform routine and thorough mold inspections.
Mold can be sneaky and is capable of growing almost anywhere, as long as conditions are right. Lots of areas in a restaurant are capable of being home to mold spores, so it's important that a regular mold inspection is performed to stay on top of the issue. Don't forget to check each and every corner.

2. Maintain safe humidity levels.
Restaurants naturally produce high humidity among the space. From the stoves and ovens to the dishwasher, there's almost always an appliance working to generate heat and moisture. This is why it's extra important to manually maintain proper humidity levels in the building.

3. Keep surfaces as dry as possible.
Water damage is an open invitation for mold growth, so it's absolutely vital that you dry standing puddles and building condensation as soon as you discover it. You won't always be able to keep your restaurant super dry, but even the smallest bit of effort can make a huge difference.

4. Clean out spoiled food.
Mold loves old food that has been out for a while. What's worse, fresh food that comes into contact with mold like ingredients that can become contaminated. Take the time to regularly clean out your walk-in refrigerator and freezer to make sure you're only serving fresh ingredients.

5. Enlist professional help.
If you do manage to stay on top of everything, asking for a professional's help can never hurt. Schedule professional inspections with your local remediation specialists a couple times a year just to be absolutely safe. Mold growth can seriously hurt a restaurant owner's business, so it's important to perform the correct preventative measures. 

Be Safe This Holiday Season

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

In a year where large holiday gatherings may not be able to happen, focusing on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on more importance. It’s as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday gathering.  We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or other holiday decorations, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster.

  • The top three days for home fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
  • More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death. In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives.

To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines:

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.

SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties Boards Up Broken Windows

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties has the capabilities to board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Vandalism Board-Up

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner. SERVPRO of Denver West Professionals will act quickly to remove broken glass from inside & outside your home or business and effectively board up all windows securing the inside of the building.

What About Other Types of Vandalism?

In addition to boarding up, our professionals can remove spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls. They can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.

Our trained technicians can offer the following services: 

  • Temporary secure enclosure
  • Roofs will be temporarily secured with tarps; fencing can be provided as an extra measure
  • All openings will be temporarily secured 

We Offer Lunch and Learns for Your Business!

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Lunch is on us! Our marketing team at SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties will hold an event for business owners, agents, brokers, office managers and/or insurance agents. Our Lunch and Learn event will give you an opportunity to learn more about our company, including how we can be of service to you and your company when you need it the most. Additionally we will review what services we offer for your customers and clients. Our scheduling is very flexible for those who are interested: we schedule based on your availability!

During lunch we will do a short 20-30 minute presentation focused on a predetermined topic of your choice. You can choose any of the following topics:

Topic 1: General Overview of SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties including our services, training, certifications, & equipment we use to get the job done.

Topic 2: SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties Emergency Readiness Profile. Our no-cost service that helps restore operations to your business building faster after you’ve experienced a disaster

Topic 3: Commercial & Industrial Large Loss: Capabilities, Response, and Preparing your Commercial Clients for Whatever Happens (Emergency Ready Profile for disasters that affect multiple businesses, for example a mall or shopping center)

Topic 4: Water Damage. This covers water damage timelines, categories of water damage, flood damage, mold damage, indicators of water damage, and how water damage affects your client's properties.

Topic 5: Fire, Smoke, & Soot Damage. This covers types of smoke, how it affects your client’s properties, statistics of fire/smoke damage,  fire safety tips, and what to do until help arrives.

Contact your local Sales Representative to get on the schedule!