Always Have an Emergency Kit On Hand
This year has been filled with the unexpected, one thing that we have learned is that it pays to always be prepared. After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days.
Your basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties is here to help.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties Does it ALL!
When your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, or a storm, the main concern should be temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, and boarding up to secure the building and remove water and debris.
After protecting and securing the structure, our trained professionals can begin the restoration process. Your home or business may need reconstruction work to get your property back to its preloss condition.
The professionals here at SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and help keep costs low.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.
We are the area leader in smoke, fire and water clean up and restoration. We can handle any size disaster. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties Works With Your Insurance
When disaster strikes in Cullman or Blount County, just about everyone in the community is involved in some way. If you're an insurance agent serving this community, you may have concerns about your own home and business place, as well as the responsibility to handle an insurance claim for each of your clients. We can make your job easier.
Completing an insurance claim accurately can be a time-consuming task and may be overwhelming if you have your own properties to worry about. With the SERVPRO claims inventory system at your fingertips, you can enjoy many benefits.
Working through an insurance claim for someone else who requires the services of property damage reconstruction professionals while your own home or business has been affected by a disaster can be tough. With a lot of facts and comparisons all in one place, you may find the claims process has been streamlined and simplified.
Fires in the Workplace
An office or store fire can be devastating, not only to the owners but to the community as well. People could lose their jobs and the community could lose a vital service, but more importantly, people could lose their lives and property could be lost.
The uncertainty of COVID-19 has worsened the economic effect of a fire on a business. Some businesses will have a hard time recovering after being shut down for several months due to the pandemic. The loss from a fire will make it that much tougher to recover. Every year there are 17,000 office and store fires in the U.S., causing over $800 Million in property damage. Add to that the monetary loss caused by the pandemic and many businesses will never reopen.
However, there are important fire safety practices that employers and employees should follow to prevent workplace fires, keep them all safe and keep their businesses open.
- Check for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords or cables.
- Never leave portable heating devices unattended.
- Keep workplace and equipment clean, dry and well ventilated.
- Plan and practice multiple escape routes.
- Ensure windows can be opened and screens can be removed.
- Make sure smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are installed properly and working.
- Post clear fire escape plans on every level.
- Conduct regular Emergency Drills.
If there is a fire...
- Call 911
- Notify co-workers of the fire
- Walk, don't run! Use the stairs and never the elevator.
Preventing Storm Damage to Your Home
The dog days of summer are on us, which means pop up afternoon thunderstorms. Being from Alabama you know that the weather is constantly changing. As the weather changes, what can you do to protect your home against water damage?
Start with the outside first
- Clean your gutters: when gutters are full of leaves, they don’t allow rain water to flow naturally and can result in an overflow of water. This water might find it’s way into your house via your walls, roof, or accumulation that results in ground-floor flooding.
- Check trees around your house: any trees that are close to your home could ultimately fall in a windy storm, breaking your roof and allowing water to seep into your home. Trees that are too close to your home can also allow animals to climb into your attic, further breaching your roof’s integrity.
- Check your roof: We have been speaking about the importance of maintaining your roof to keep the inside dry. Now is the time to make sure you don’t have any loose shingles or tiles.
Time to Check Inside
- Check your windows and doors: weather-stripping around doors and windows can help to make sure rain doesn’t come indoors. You will want to look for obvious cracks, spaces, and loose hardware. These items can allow droplets to rain into your home.
- Check the foundation: Look for any cracks in the foundation or in the walls. If any are found, deal with them immediately.
- Check your garage door: it is important to ensure that it closes fully and properly to prevent water from entering during a storm.
Stay Safe While Grilling Out
Grilling at home is something that nearly everyone enjoys and that can be done safely with a few precautions. Now and then a grill fire breaks out and more often than not the only casualty is the food on the grill. However, if a person is not careful or does something unwise, the fire can get out of control and involve the home. Keeping the following things in mind should avoid a disaster when cooking outdoors:
- Do not cook too close to the home
- Do not operate the grill near flammable items such as a gas can
- Never operate a faulty grill
- Secure the connections from the gas tank to the grill
- Never leave the grill unattended
It is a good idea to clean the grill on a regular basis. This keeps oils and fats to a minimum and avoids the flaring up of flames.
What To Do During a Grill Fire
It is important to keep calm. Panic only makes things worse. So long as you are not too close to your home and there is nothing combustible nearby, the grill fire should stay contained. If it is not too hot, turn off the burners and then turn off the line from the gas tank. In a short time, the fire will simply go out. It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire gets serious. You might ruin your food, but you could save your home.
What To Do After a Home Fire
A grill fire that spreads to a home can be a devastating event. Calling in a professional fire remediation company can help you recover quickly. A trained team will have the experience and the resources to put your home back together again. Fire damage will soon be a thing of the past. The repair and restoration process is completed with as little disruption as possible to your family.
Entering a Flooded Home Can Be Dangerous
Floodwater is noticeably dirty and often carries visible pieces of garbage, organic matter like tree branches, and other debris. Dissolved chemicals and liquids might include acids, oils, and pesticides. The residual mess can harbor pathogens long after floodwaters leave your residence, adding to the health risks now in existence inside your property. Drying out your home and replacing damaged items must happen only after the elimination of such risks.
Contamination is not the only risk that residents face when entering their property occurs. Weakened floors can collapse, as can ceilings in basements if they contain floodwater. The weight of people and water can warp flooring tiles and crumpled carpeting, thus creating trip hazards. Waterlogged walls made of drywall or covered in plaster can also collapse sideways. Electrical hazards exist throughout a property after even a minor flood, including cords, appliances, outlets, and inside walls.
We rely on our building specialists to handle drywall tear-outs, carpet and tile removal, electrical testing, and repairs. Also, clearing out the main drain line and ensuring the sump pump works correctly, as we work on removing soil and silt dumped into corners and closets.
When we finish clearing a floor of debris, we rinse it with clean running water. While we do not power wash it, it has a similar effect of removing the finer sediments that our shovels and squeegees did not remove. Then we can apply a disinfectant that kills any leftover pathogens.
Once we have cleared floors of debris and we have removed contaminated materials like drywall, we can start drying out the house for you.
Mold Growth! What Do I Do?
If you have had water damage and attempted to cleanup the standing water and dry out the area, you might still be at risk for mold growth and causing a much more expensive problem.
In the event of a water damage, the visible water is not only easy to see but usually pretty easy to get out. A combination of extraction techniques, air movement and dehumidification, will usually take care of visible water that is on the surface. The water that has soaked into hard to dry structures or bound water is easily overlooked and much more difficult to dry. SERVPRO has several tools that we utilize to find this hidden water including penetrating and non-penetrating moisture meters and thermal imaging (FLIR) cameras.
Once the bound water is identified, we use engineering controls, directed heat, air movement and low grain or desiccant dehumidification to remove this trapped moisture.
We often receive calls to re-mediate mold that appeared well after a water loss was cleaned up by the homeowner or another contractor because they failed to locate and remove bound water.
You can count on SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties if you have a water damage in your home or commercial building. We will make every effort to locate any hidden moisture during the initial drying phase to avoid costly mold work later.
Your Pipes Make Noise
Part of avoiding a pipe break at your home or business may include knowing when your plumbing is making odd noises. Understanding these sounds can help you know what is normal for your home system, as well as which sounds can indicate the danger of a possible pipe burst.
Noises the Pipes May Make
Each of these sounds is caused by a different aspect of your plumbing system or the water as it moves through the system, meaning that each sound will need to be analyzed and treated appropriately. It’s highly recommended that a professional be contacted if you have concerns about your plumbing.
What These Noises Mean
These noises may not always mean you are at risk for a pipe break. However, they may indicate possible problems that should be looked into. A rattling sound could indicate that a pipe has come loose from its wall fastenings. Gurgling often means that a drain is clogged and may need to be fixed before it causes a backup, while humming may mean that your water pressure is too high. Hammering occurs when the water flow is stopped suddenly forcing it back through the pipes. A whistling sound could be a valve that isn’t fully open.
If you hear these sounds in your plumbing system you may want to contact a plumbing professional to find the exact cause. They should be able to fix broken pipe issues while a restoration company can help with any flood cleanup and repairs to your home.
Oh No! An Overflowing Dishwasher. What Do I Do?
When it comes to an overflowing dishwasher in your Cullman or Blount County home or business, finding water cleanup services as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do for your property. Water damages wait for no one and come at the most inconvenient times. Without immediate attention, excess moisture can cause mold.
Imagine a scenario where you did not realize regular dish soap cannot be used in a dishwasher, and the resulting overflow left you in need of urgent water restoration services. As the suds pop and deflate, leaving a puddle behind, the tile of your floor can become endangered, as well as your cabinetry. When you call SERVPRO for help, our technicians can come to your home quickly.
At SERVPRO, we pride ourselves on being experts at water remediation. To find hidden pockets of water, we can:
• Use thermal imaging cameras, to locate pockets between walls and under the flooring
• Remove the toe kicks from below your counters to look under them
• Use moisture meters to measure levels inside of your home
Using some advanced technological devices, we can reach difficult places in your home!
Our SERVPRO technicians can use the following advanced technological devices to remove excess water:
• Wet/dry vacuums
• Flood drying mats
Our technicians always aim to leave your home feeling like it did before your water-related problems began. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster, so give us a call. We're dedicated to leaving you feeling happy about the service you received.
Call SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount Counties by today. We're always open to help you!