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What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Project

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Has your home or business recently been affected by a fire? No matter the size of the fire or affected area, it is important to practice caution while waiting for the restoration company to arrive. Here is what to do and what not to do after a fire:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open. Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash any houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over the air register.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service. Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

Once the restoration team has arrived on the scene, this is what you should expect from a fire damage restoration project. Every situation is different and requires different ways of solving the problem, but the process generally stays the same.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to their pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. It may also entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us here at SERVPRO of North Nashville! Our employees are professionally trained in property damage restoration to guarantee each job is fully completed and done well. Fire damage is especially difficult to handle, so don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting to take on the job alone!

Steps to Take If Your Hotel Floods

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Has your hotel been affected by flooding? This is a serious issue and the right steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of the residents along with the integrity of the building. If there are high levels of flooding in your hotel, call SERVPRO of North Nashville immediately to ensure that there is no additional damage being made. If the levels of flooding are not severe, here are the steps to follow so your hotel can be up and running in no time. While it is hard to be prepared for flooding, know that it can happen at any place and at any time. 

  • Evacuate everyone from the premises as soon as possible once the flooding starts. Find a dry, safe spot outside of the hotel occupy while waiting for the flooding to stop. Make sure everyone is accounted for. If flooding is caused by a natural disaster, call the authorities or listen to the local news to find a temporary shelter and relocate to that shelter when possible.
  • Call 911 if anyone needs medical attention. Ensure that everyone who was evacuated is safe.
  • Attempt to find the source of the flooding if it is not from a natural disaster. Stop it at the source, and if possible, try to turn it off or seal it up. Turning off the main water valve may also solve the issue.
  • Turn off the electricity, but do not attempt to reach the fuse box if you have to walk through water. Water is a conductor of electricity and you could be shocked. If you cannot reach the fuse box without stepping on water, call an electrician.
  • Document everything: take photos and videos of all the affected areas. Use this information for insurance purposes.

Once the flooding has stopped, you can start the clean-up process.

  • Do not touch the water without the proper equipment as it may be contaminated with sewage or other hazardous material. If you have to enter the establishment, at the very least wear waders and waterproof boots.
  • This will be a long, difficult process. All of the water has to be removed, then a wet vacuum or a pump can be used to dispose of any standing water.
  • Attempt to salvage any items that were not seriously damaged. Do not eat any food that has been contaminated by floodwater.
  • If the water damage is not too bad, dry the space out with fans and dehumidifiers. Anything that was touched by the water also needs to be disinfected.

Warm, wet spaces are a breeding ground for mold growth, such as a flooded hotel. Act as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth.

  • The property needs to be as dry as possible to prevent mold spores from growing. Once it starts growing, it is difficult to remove. This includes toxic black mold that is dangerous to one’s health. To avoid mold from growing, keep the affected areas as dry as possible and treat it with a strong cleaner, such as a bleach solution. 
  • If it is not humid outside, open any windows and doors to let fresh air in and circulate. 

Flooding does not mean the end of the world. Even if your hotel was flooded, it can still be salvaged. If the damage is critical or you are not capable of fixing the issue by yourself, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Nashville to aid you in returning your hotel back to peak condition. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts at water damage repair and restoration along with mold removal and remediation. We are here to help!

Prevent Mold in Your Business This Winter

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is a serious issue, and it can be exacerbated in the wintertime when precipitation is common. The melting of the snow and ice is the cause of heavy moisture, and when paired with the warm temperature indoors, it can be deadly to your business. Mold spores are all around us and it is difficult to completely remove them. Mold thrives in moist, warm environments where it breaks down material and dead matter, but it can also just as easily damage your business which may result in a costly repair. However, if you take early action, mold growth can be stopped. Your top priority is to make sure there is no excess moisture in your business, and that humidity levels are low. Leaks and high humidity levels are common sources of condensation which may lead to mold growth. Below are some preventative measures you can take to ensure that your business is safe from mold growth this winter:

  • Pipes can be a source of moisture. Make sure they do not freeze as that can cause flooding. This can be done by fully insulating your pipes.
  • Keep all areas clean. Control moisture by drying leaks and any other wet areas immediately. Vacuum and clean regularly to remove sources of mold growth. 
  • Repair any leaks as quickly as possible. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned regularly.
  • Have adequate air circulation and ventilation. The use of fans for ventilation is beneficial, but make sure to clean them regularly.
  • It is a suggestion to have well-insulated walls which can not only prevent condensation and mold within your walls, but it will also cut down on heating and cooling bills.
  • Check to see if your doors and windows are properly sealed and that moisture is not coming in through the cracks.
  • Avoid carpets or having carpet in the entire room - especially in rooms that are prone to moisture, they can easily trap moisture and be a breeding ground for mold.
  • Try not to store paper, books, and clothing in humid areas because they can be sources of mold growth.
  • If there is a room in your business that is prone to humidity, use a dehumidifier to counter it.

If you take these steps to prevent mold growth in your business, your chances of it occurring will greatly decrease. It is easier to take action early to prevent it than having to remove it. However, even with taking preventative steps, it is not 100% guaranteed that it will not grow. Mold growth can be dangerous, and if you spot any in your business, call the professionals! To guarantee that mold growth doesn’t endanger your business, be sure to contact us at SERVPRO of North Nashville. We are experts at mold removal and remediation, and can make sure your business is back to normal if you do find mold growth!

Smoke Damage Removal from Your Kitchen

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Have you recently had a kitchen fire where smoke damage left stains and a bad smell? Smoke damage is hard to remove but it is not impossible. Soot stains can stick anywhere from your counter to your walls or even to your ceiling. So what do you do when everything is covered in soot and smells smoky? The wrong techniques can spread soot throughout the rest of your house and make stains permanent. Even worse, soot is detrimental to your health, so it is important to wear protective clothing while handling it such as gloves and goggles.

The first step you should take in fixing smoke damage is creating good air circulation in your kitchen by turning on the fans, along with opening doors and windows. But be sure not to run the AC because it will circulate the contaminated air throughout the rest of your home. However, if the damage is severe then call a professional to properly remove the soot.

Next, assess the damage. Can the surfaces be cleaned? Surfaces with a satin or semi-gloss paint cover can usually be cleaned, washed, and restored easily. Walls with flat paint may be more difficult to clean completely, and you may have to clean as much as possible and then repaint or replace the wallpaper. Once you have followed these steps, follow the tips below to clean smoke damage and removing smoke odor from your kitchen.

Cleaning Smoke Damage:

  • Clear the area that needs to be cleaned, move items so that the affected area is more accessible. Any food exposed to soot should be thrown away, exercise caution by throwing away food if you have any doubt. Clean and wipe down other items that were affected by soot.
  • Create a solution of one gallon water and one tablespoon of trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is a harsh but effective chemical because it works well on sticky soot residue. Since it is an irritant, wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves and avoid getting it on your skin. Less harsh alternatives to TSP exist, such as degreaser products and dry soot sponges.
  • Use a sponge soaked with the solution to clean the affected areas. Try not to get too much water on non-water-resistant walls, as this can cause water damage to the home’s drywall or become a source of mold.
  • Wipe down every surface in your kitchen to ensure that all of the soot is removed. Make sure to also wipe down the insides of cabinets, pantries, and even drawers.

Removing Smoke Odor:

  • Even after the stains are removed, you may still find a lingering smoke odor in your kitchen that makes it hard to breathe.
  • Remove the unpleasant smell by wiping down and disinfecting every surface with an orange-scented cleaner. Odor can attach to virtually every surface, so be sure to wipe down areas from walls to cabinets to windows.
  • You can also leave bowls of vinegar out to absorb the smell. If there are areas with persistent smoke smell, create a water-vinegar solution to remove it.
  • For carpets and other fabrics, sprinkle baking soda then let it sit for several hours before vacuuming.

These tips are suitable for jobs that you can attempt on your own but do not hesitate to call the professionals if the damage is severe. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts when it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration and can help you with everything from odor control to fabric cleaning! Your kitchen can be as good as new with our help!

Preparing Your Business for Winter Storms

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Winter weather is upon us. Are you taking the right precautions for your business to be prepared this winter season? Make sure winter storms don’t take you and your business by surprise by following these simple tips:

  • Stay alert for storms by monitoring your local weather channel. Know your weather terminology and listen for these three terms:
  • Winter Storm Watch: Severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, are possible in the next 12 to 36 hours. Prepare now. 
  • Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter conditions are expected in the next 12-24 hours; 4-6 inches of snow or sleet, or 1/4 inch or more of ice is expected. Seek shelter. 
  • Blizzard Warning: Snow and strong winds (gusts up to 35 mph or greater) can produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and a life-threatening wind chill that is expected to occur for three hours or longer.
  • Stay prepared by having a stockpile of emergency resources. These may include flashlights, first aid kits, battery-operated radios, water, blankets, food, extra toiletries, cell phone chargers, and food just in case the storms get severe. 
  • Invest in a backup electric generator. It is also beneficial to have sandbags, road salt or ice melt, and shovels. Keep any walkways and driveways clear of snow, and salt the sidewalks to prevent mishaps.
  • In severe winter weather, establish space on your property for sheltering. There should be room for all persons currently on your property, such as employees, customers, and so forth.
  • Have a contingency plan. Be prepared for power outages, and determine essential equipment that would require the use of a generator.
  • Stay warm indoors and have a backup heating source. But guarantee that the room you are heating is well-ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Use battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Once the storm has passed, assess any possible damage to your business. Make sure that there is no damage that could possibly hurt customers or employees.

Stay safe and warm this winter season. If the weather is unfavorable, it is ideal to stay indoors until the storm passes. After the snow melts, make sure your business stays mold and water free as mold grows easily when there are high levels of moisture. If you encounter any mold damage or water damage to your business after the weather clears, contact us, SERVPRO of North Nashville, so that we can take care of it for you.

How to Keep Mold Out of Your Nashville Business

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Are you concerned about mold infesting your Nashville business? Do not fear, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce the possibility of it happening. Mold spores are everywhere, spread easily and cannot be completely removed. It can grow anywhere, from ceiling tiles to clothing to food to inside walls. Not only is mold hard to remove, but it can also be toxic and may cause health effects. It is important to stop mold before it starts or it will be more costly in the long run. Here are tips to prevent mold growth in your Nashville business!

  • Moisture control is important as mold cannot grow without it. Mold growth is also sped up by warmth. Keep mold growth at bay by controlling moisture, heat, and humidity.
  • Identify the problem areas in your business where it is prone to moisture such as areas around pipes or appliances. Address the issue as soon as possible so it does not cost you in the long run. It may be just as easy as installing mold-resistant products or removing carpet. However, it might be as serious as excavation or major waterproofing depending on how prone your business is to moisture.
  • Dry any wet areas immediately, and clean up after messes as soon as possible. Monitor any areas that are susceptible to moisture and make sure they stay dry. Signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.
  • Use proper ventilation in your business to prevent moisture. To prevent moisture build-up and mold growth, use fans, AC units, and dehumidifiers. Be sure to clean them regularly so they do not develop moisture themselves. It is beneficial to even open a window to create fresh airflow. However, do not open your windows or doors if the AC is on or it will bring humid air into the home. Improving airflow is important, and it can be improved by removing clutter. Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air.
  • Monitor your humidity levels indoors, which can be measured by a tool found at any local hardware store. The EPA recommends indoor relative humidity to be kept below 60 percent, or ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent. 
  • Clean or repair roof gutters.

By following these steps, you can prevent mold growth in your Nashville business. While these steps are a good start, it is not 100 percent guaranteed to keep mold out. If you encounter mold in your business, be sure to contact us here at SERVPRO of North Nashville. We are professionals when it comes to mold removal and mold remediation, and we will safely solve the problem for you if it escalates beyond your control.

Dealing with Commercial Water Damage

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a serious issue and it can lead to even more serious problems. It is important to assess the damage and determine if you are capable of fixing it single-handedly or if you should call the professionals. Depending on the level of water damage and if you have the right equipment then it is possible to clean it up by yourself rather than calling a professional. However it is safer to refer to experts, and here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts on removing and fixing water damage. Give us a call if your facility suffers from serious water damage. However, if the water damage is at minimal levels, here are some steps on how to fix it!

  • First figure where the source of the water that is causing damage, then determine what type of water it is. There are three types:
    • Clean Water - comes from rain, leaky pipes or condensation. This does not have harmful bacteria and is safe for you to clean up.
    • Gray Water - comes from dishwashers, washing machines or clean toilets. This water may be contaminated, but it is possible for you to clean up as long as you exercise precaution and use the right safety gear.
    • Black Water - comes from sewers or flooding from a nearby body of water. Do not attempt to clean it up on your own as it could be dangerous due to highly infectious organisms or other health hazards.
  • After assessing the level of damage and what kind of water it is, if it is safe to clean up, then it is important to turn off all water and electrical sources in your facility. If needed, you may have to call in an electrician to turn off your electricity. 
  • Ceiling water damage is hazardous, and if it is present, try to focus on that first. Consider the level of damage, as light damage may be fixed. If it escalates then it will be in your best interest to call a professional. Significant water damage can cause an unsafe environment. Always call an expert when the damage is beyond your ability to repair. Also, consider possible damage to your electrical and HVAC systems.
  • How to lower levels of water damage:
    • If the amount of water is small then use a wet vacuum. Larger amounts may require the use of a water pump to efficiently get it out.
    • Dry out the affected area as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. You need to act fast to ensure mold growth is stopped. Using fans or a dehumidifier is beneficial.
    • Mold can begin growing in as soon as 24 hours. Be careful around mold and mildew, as they can be toxic. If there is serious mold damage, call a professional to resolve the issue.
    • Remove any porous materials that were damaged such as carpet, insulation, fabric and similar items. You may have to cut it out and replace it. Replace rotting and/or warped wood. Check underneath your floors to make sure there is no moisture trapped underneath.
    • Disinfect the affected area and make sure everything is properly sanitized. 

Always remember to practice safe methods of removing water damage. If not done properly, it may result in mold growth. If you are incapable of removing it by yourself, do not worry because here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we’ve got you covered with cleanup and restoration!

Cleaning Your Hotel Carpets

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Does your hotel have carpeted floors? It is not easy keeping them clean, with dirt and other particulates being tracked indoors often. However, to ensure the happiness of your customers, it is important to keep your carpets looking fresh and clean. Depending on the type of carpet you have, it will require different kinds of cleaning methods compared to wood flooring or even an area rug. Regular vacuuming does help clean up the dust and dirt but your carpets also need regular deep cleaning to ensure they look brand new. It is recommended to deeply clean your hotel carpets professionally at least once every year, and clean more often in areas that are experience higher volumes of foot traffic. Clean even more frequently if it is a light-color carpet.

Even then, use precaution when cleaning. Do not use the same cleaning technique on all of your carpets, multiple kinds of flooring require multiple ways of cleaning. Unless the carpeting is the same throughout your hotel, avoid using the same method for all of your flooring.

The National Carpet Cleaners’ Association has a basic guide on how to remove different stains from carpets.

Before you can start cleaning, you need to ensure that you have all of your needed materials on hand. This carpet cleaning kit should contain clean white cloths, baking soda, plain white vinegar, carpet detergents, along with your vacuum cleaner.

A good basis for cleaning is vacuuming regularly, around three times a week, however vacuuming at least once a day is recommended. If there is a spill first try scrubbing the area gently with a wet cloth and depending on the stain, it can usually be removed. Another option is sprinkling baking soda on the affected area, letting it sit, then vacuum up the excess. It is highly recommended to have a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or brush. Rental carpet cleaners can save you money in the long run, but will not have the same power that professional carpet cleaners have.

It is important for the integrity of your carpet that you clean it frequently and clean spills once they occur. Plan your deep cleans ahead of time, and plan them regularly whether that be with a rented or bought carpet cleaner, or with a professional to enhance the experience of the customers. Do not wait until your carpets are excessively dirty to clean them, or you may not be able to restore them to their former glory.

If you have difficulty in removing dirt and stains from the carpets of your hotel, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Nashville. Dirt builds up in layers, and it will be difficult to remove the deeper layers of dirt. Our professional cleaning can remove all layers of dirt, and is capable of addressing moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. If you need professional cleaning, our specialized methods are sure to get the job done!

Storm Damage in Nashville

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

It can be deceptive to how much damage water really does.

When you have suffered any flood damage in  Nashville, whether it was from backups in the basement sewer or from a large-scale disaster from a major storm, you’ll need certified technicians who know how to handle best flood damage, especially storm related. The last thing you want to have to do is search for a flood cleanup company that is reliable after you are dealing with a flood. Knowing who to call beforehand is important and will make things move much faster in the event of a problem. 

It can be deceptive to how much damage water really does. It will penetrate structural cavities, making pockets of trapped saturation. Finding water in these areas can many times only be discovered with moisture meters. Moisture which goes undetected will keep causing damage, and this damage at a minimum will result in unpleasant odors. Even more, the damage will surface when materials shrink, delaminate and split, further deteriorating to where you will need very costly repairs. Plus, dangerous bacteria and mold can grow, causing very serious health problems for you and the members of your family.

What You Can Expect: 
Once you call a professional water damage cleanup service like SERVPRO, we will first come and remove all the water in your residence with tools such as vacuums. The professional equipment that we use will allow the company to get all the water out of your home without creating a larger mess while doing so. Large air movers can also be used to finish getting rid of the water and dry out the rooms in your home. The primary goal is to dry your home out as fast as possible to prevent further secondary water damage

Once the water is visibly dried up, SERVPRO will go through with water meters so we can assess the damage. This will make spotting the source of any other water or moisture much easier, and once we’ve conducted any work which needs to be performed, we’ll take another reading to make sure your home is completely dry and back to its normal state. We also use thermal foggers, ozone machines, and air scrubbers as needed to ensure that all odors have eliminated and all debris as well. Sanitizing the affected areas after a groundwater flooding is critical to remove any pathogens or other harmful agents

Not all companies are the same, that is why if you do have any Nashville water damage, you will want to contact the professional services of SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County right away. We can be reached anytime of the day or night and any day of the week by calling 615.876.9551.  We arrive at your residence promptly night or day since we are available 24/7 and are Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

Top 5 Common Causes of House Fires

1/27/2019 (Permalink)

Their is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

Top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.

  1. Candles

From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
  • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
  • Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
  • Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
  1. Smoking

While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there was still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
  • Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
  • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
  • Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
  1. Electrical & Lighting

According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.

Safety tips:

  • Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
  • Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
  1. Dryers & Washing Machines

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage. 

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
  1. Lightning

From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.

Safety tips:

  • Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.

You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Northwest Davidson County 615.876.9551