Cleaning Up Your Home After Smoke Damage
A fire will affect everything in your home through the flames, heat, soot, and smoke, and the actual structure itself can even be compromised. You’ll need the assistance of professionals who have the expertise and equipment that is needed to get your work or personal space back to normal as soon as possible, following fire damage. Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we understand that smoke damage can last for a long time, so here are some first steps to think about as you are cleaning up your home after smoke damage:
Inhaling smoke can have an immediate negative effect on you, so avoiding a smoky situation is really important, even if it’s only for a short time. With that in mind, make sure you don’t enter your home or business until all the smoke is cleared from your premises. Hiring a professional fire and smoke damage restoration contractor will ensure that your property is free from the after-effects of a fire.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we specialize in restoring the contents of a home or business that has suffered from fire or smoke. Our team will assess all your belongings carefully to determine which items can be restored to their original condition, and they will use several cleaning methods to do just that. These can include:
- Foam: used for upholstery; it can shrink or the colors may bleed if water is used.
- Dry: used to get rid of light residue.
- Wet: used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion: used for heavy residues and overwhelming odors.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire and the accompanying smoke often present a serious hazard. Never turn your electronics on after they have been damaged by fire. Smoke residue contains acids that will corrode metal and can cause electronic failure in a device. Computers, televisions, and CD/DVD players should be assessed and cleaned by a professional before they are used after a fire.
If the smoke and fire damage to your home is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, requiring you to move to other accommodations temporarily, SERVPRO of North Nashville can organize your move-out process. Removing your items from the area will move any remodeling process along a lot faster, as well as protect your items from any further potential damage. We can then coordinate and organize your move back into your premises once it is safe to do so.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire or smoke, our team here at SERVPRO of North Nashville is ready to handle it. We’re experts in cleanup projects of all sizes, and we are mold prevention and remediation experts, too. We can get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Eliminating Odors From Your Home
SERVPRO of North Nashville offers many services to the North Nashville community, such as cleanup after both large and small disasters and mold prevention/remediation. But did you know that we are also experts in odor removal?
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experts in deodorization and trained to identify the source of unpleasant or offensive odors and eliminate them. These kinds of odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure, and masking them or using other shortcuts won't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions where it contacts surfaces, we can often remove it over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize any unpleasant odor thoroughly.
Odors that can make life miserable can be caused by:
Rot. You may be dealing with rot in your structure, perhaps from a previous flood or a wet season. The framework or foundational areas of your home could have become wet and stayed wet, and what you are smelling is wood that is decomposing.
Mold. You could be smelling mold, which is very unpleasant and can cause health effects. If you are experiencing that familiar musty odor, call the professionals right away. We can find the colony and start the remediation process to handle the issue and its odors.
Animals. You may have some visitors on your property who are living in your walls or your attic. When that happens, odors can result, especially if an animal dies. SERVPRO of North Nashville can come and discover what you may be dealing with, and once Animal Control comes to remove the creatures, we can begin the cleaning process to get you back to normal.
Smoke. If someone in your house smokes, that can create a very unpleasant situation. We are able to come in and alleviate this issue using our specialized methods. Or perhaps you have experienced a fire event that left smoke residue behind; this is one of our specialties, and we’re happy to help.
SERVPRO of North Nashville is here to help with all your odor issues, and we can assist with restoration if you have experienced flooding, fire, or a mold infestation. We can get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Keeping Your Commercial Business Fire Ready
It’s good business to keep your commercial property fire ready and avoid disaster. Your livelihood depends on your business, as well as that of your staff, and we know you will want to protect it. With that in mind, we want to share some tips here that can help you get your property ready in the event of a fire:
- FIRST RESPONDERS. Ensure that your building or suite is visibly lettered and numbered so that emergency responders can easily find your location in a timely manner. Numbers should contrast with the background used, such as black/white, while the numerals should be no less than six inches in height. Ensure that your local fire department has your updated contact information on file, as well.
- FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Fire extinguishers should be no more than 75 feet from work areas for easy access, and they should be mounted in a highly visible spot that is easy to get to. Make sure your extinguishers are continually maintained and serviced properly at least once a year by a licensed fire extinguisher company, as well.
- EXITS. Exits need to be clearly marked and illuminated at all times, with a battery backup for power outages. They also need to be clear of any obstructions at all times, so that people can get out safely and quickly. Emergency lighting should be kept in working order, and the area around the building outside clear of debris and plant material, reducing the fire risk outdoors as well.
- STORAGE. Stored materials need to be stacked at least two feet below the ceiling and be orderly. For buildings with an automatic sprinkler system, 18 inches of clearance is required, allowing smoke to collect up high, which gives people adequate time to exit and the sprinklers a clear area for their spray pattern. Trash receptacles need to be kept at least five feet away from combustible materials, windows, and door openings - do not store trash in exit paths.
- OUTLETS. Electrical outlets should have no more than one item per outlet plugged in, which may include a power strip with a circuit breaker. All electrical cords should be kept in good repair and replaced when needed.
- SPRINKLER SYSTEM. Have your sprinkler system tested and serviced every 12 months or less by a licensed fire sprinkler company. This practice should also be used for your fire alarm system.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are experienced in all cleanup projects after fires, whether they are large or small. In the event of water damage we’re ready to help, as well We are committed to getting your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too.
3 Tips For Dealing With Commercial Water Damage
Being aware of situations that may end in commercial water damage is the best way to prevent these things from happening. Take the time to check for signs of any issues that could spell trouble, especially after wet weather. Damage to basements or the foundational or low-lying areas of a building are extremely important to repair as soon as possible so that larger structural and property damages can be avoided. Issues of this kind can end up costing a business owner both time and money.
Here are 3 tips for dealing with commercial water damage:
- NOTICE DETAILS. In a finished basement or a warehouse, surface finish or paint might be peeling away or appear discolored, so taking the time to notice details like changes in textures or colors of surfaces will alert you to a problem quickly. Check for bowing in the walls, which can be a result of long-term seepage. You will want to look for a white, salty substance that can appear on foundational walls that’s known as “efflorescence.” This will tell you how high any water has risen from the base. If flooring is swollen or removed from the subfloor, that is another indicator of water damages.
- KEEP UP WITH REPAIRS. Cracking can occur in the foundation and/or the floor, and it is often due to water damage. Look for cracks in window seals and door panes, as well. Handle any repair issues immediately, especially those that could allow water damage to happen in the future. Replace appliances that have seen better days, and inspect hoses and pipes regularly; don’t wait until disaster happens to start.
- FIND THE SOURCE OF SMELLS. Odors are an indicator that there is an excess water problem. Oftentimes, it’s mold or mildew that causes those smells, which means you have water damage on your hands. This can cost a commercial property owner a lot of money, both in remediation repairs and in possible loss of business or business disruption. Keep drainage areas well-maintained in expectation of summer storms; directing water away from your buildings will stop any problems before they even start.
Once you have found that you have experienced water damage, it’s probably time to call a professional cleaning company. They are experienced and trained to handle spaces that have extensive damage from excess water due to leaky pipes, flooding, and weather-related damages.
The team here at SERVPRO of North Nashville is the team to call for cleanups and repairs to your commercial property after water damage or other disasters, and we’re experts in mold prevention and remediation. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too.
How To Prepare Your Business For Storm Damage
Heavy weather and storms can happen any time of year, but here in Middle Tennessee the summers can be especially challenging. Storms and all the water they create can be devastating to a commercial building and can cause damage that can take a significant amount of time and expense to repair. There are several steps you can take to prepare your North Nashville business ahead of storm season, and taking such preventive measures will reduce the amount of damage your business may experience.
- Well-maintained gutter systems will divert excess water to proper drainage areas. If your gutters are clogged with dead leaves and debris, rainwater can overflow and saturate the ground around the foundations causing damage there, while backed-up water can spill into wall structures, so a regular cleaning schedule for your gutters is going to be vital in preparing your business for storm damage. Keep in mind, too, that a mold colony can get established quickly and is impossible to eradicate completely, so removing issues that encourage damp conditions will stop this from happening.
- Storm drains need to be maintained properly, as well. These are in place to alleviate excess water from accumulating around buildings and parking areas. Your local government is often responsible for this but keeping an eye on them around your property will allow you to be able to report a problem right away and to be ready for storm waters.
- Have an emergency response plan in place for your employees. In the event of flooding or other storm damage, a system that allows you to communicate with your staff will help to keep people safe. No one should be driving through flood waters, so be sure everyone is aware whether it is safe to return to your premises. Listening to weather updates is a good idea, and you’ll want to make sure you keep an emergency preparedness kit on site as another way to prepare your business for storm damage.
Responding quickly to damage to your business will get you back to work right away. If you have experienced water damage from storms or fire damage, or if you have a mold issue, our SERVPRO of North Nashville team is ready to help. We are experts at large scale cleanup projects, and we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Fire Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
In every home or business, fire extinguishers are an invaluable tool to use against small fires and can also be very effective to protect evacuation routes. The most common emergency any home or business owner should plan for is a fire, according to OSHA.
Everyone should take the steps necessary to learn how to use the fire extinguisher kept in their home, while OSHA requires all employers to train their staff thoroughly on how to use a fire extinguisher correctly and to accurately assess the situation if a fire is to occur. We all also need to be able to properly determine when an evacuation should take place for the safety and well-being of all those in danger. OSHA has established annual training for employees as a minimal requirement for all places of business, and this training is helpful for homeowners as well.
The PASS fire extinguisher training technique is recommended:
- P - Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- A - Aim the nozzle of the hose at the base of the fire.
- S - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side, directed at the base of the flames until the fire is extinguished.
Once someone knows how to properly operate a fire extinguisher, they should then also be trained to follow fire safety protocol. They should know how to:
- Locate and activate the fire alarm.
- Call the fire department and emergency responders immediately.
- Determine a safe evacuation route that will direct people away from flames, excessive heat, and smoke. They should also know how to keep the route from becoming blocked,
- Use the PASS technique for discharging a fire extinguisher as outlined above, and know the importance of backing away from the area if the fire flares up again.
- Evacuate the area immediately if the fire is still going and the extinguisher is empty, or if the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled without fire department personnel.
Fire extinguishers are only made to handle small fires, so keep that in mind. If a fire is getting out of control, call the fire department immediately. Excessive smoke and heat, impaired evacuation routes, and poor visibility are all conditions that can arise quickly. Safety comes first and foremost; always be prepared to evacuate if the fire grows to excessive levels.
SERVPRO of North Nashville is here to help you if you have experienced fire damage, water damage, or damage from mold. We also handle mold remediation and prevention.
Preventing Mold Growth In Your Storage Unit
Your storage unit could easily develop an issue with mold growth, especially during those times of the year when it is damp and hot. You’re not going to see the inside of your storage unit very often, and if things get wet or damp, a mold colony can become established pretty quickly. Practicing preventive measures will ensure that you don’t develop a mold issue in your storage unit, and we’ve got some great tips that can help you do just that:
- Paint. If your storage unit is on your own property, you can paint it using mold-resistant paint. This type of paint is readily accessible at your local hardware or home goods store, as well as many other materials and products, too. When doing any type of repair or renovation, you can always check with a professional to find available products that contain mold-resistant ingredients.
- Dry. Avoid standing water in your unit. If there has been a big rainstorm, take a trip to your unit and see how things look. If there is standing water of any kind, make sure it all gets cleaned up and aired out.
- Smell. If you visit your unit and you can smell that telltale and familiar musty odor, check all the walls and corners to see if a mold colony has established itself. Any damp and dark area is prime mold real estate.
- Location. A storage unit company will most likely offer interior and exterior units, so if you are storing items that are valuable or that could be adversely affected by mold, you may want to pay the extra leasing fee and rent an interior space. These will almost always be climate-controlled, so mold will be unlikely to make an appearance here. Make sure that the location you are using is in good shape, with proper weather stripping and roofing that will withstand wet weather. If the property at large is unkempt, take that into consideration.
- Prevention. Wrapping your items in plastic if at all possible is going to help a great deal in preventing mold growth. You can obtain large rolls of bubble wrap for furniture and other large items.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we have all the necessary expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage.
HVAC Maintenance For Your Commercial Property
As a commercial property owner, you are very aware regular maintenance is a vital part of keeping your business running efficiently. Equipment and machinery need to be cared for so that you don’t lose business, time, or money. Scheduled maintenance will ensure that this is done. An important maintenance aspect of your business is the interior environmental climate you provide for your staff and clientele, so proper HVAC maintenance should definitely be high on your list of maintenance projects.
You may want to consider setting up a contract with a professional HVAC company to save you time. The owner of a smaller business may decide to maintain their system themselves, but larger companies could probably benefit from professional assistance.
A professional that handles large-scale maintenance of this kind will have a set schedule that will include tune-ups, clean-and-checks, and other services that are needed to keep your HVAC system and units performing at their best, such as changing all the filters and humidifier pads on a regular basis. These are important maintenance tasks that will prolong the life of your system, and your HVAC company will include that in your contract.
Your natural gas heating system will need to be tested ahead of colder weather, to see if carbon monoxide is being released into spaces in your building. This is a project that would be difficult for anyone without training. With the appropriate equipment, a professional HVAC maintenance company can determine oxygen levels, carbon monoxide levels, and flue temperature, all of which will ensure that your furnaces are adjusted for optimum performance and safety.
Before you sign any maintenance contract, consider both the costs and the benefits. You may enjoy priority service calls at reduced rates when you have a maintenance contract with some companies, and if you choose this option, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing there is an experienced team doing all those regular inspections and necessary maintenance on your behalf.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are HVAC experts, and we have the experience and equipment necessary to keep your system functioning properly year-round. We are fire damage and water damage specialists, and we handle mold remediation and prevention, too.
What To Do When Your Basement Floods
If your basement is affected by a flood as a result of stormy weather or malfunctioning machinery or appliances, it can create a lot of problems for the homeowner. Basements are very often used for storage, and items such as books, photos, electronics, and textiles can be difficult to manage when they are water-logged and damaged. We here at SERVPRO of North Nashville have some tips to help you out!
Act quickly to handle the situation, but make sure safety is always your first concern. If you have a large amount of standing water in your basement, call your power company, electrician, and/or your professional water damage cleanup team immediately, while keeping everyone away from the area to avoid injury. Exposed wires in water are not to be tampered with, for obvious reasons! Experienced professionals will be able to determine the best, and safest, steps to take in beginning the cleanup process without increasing the risk of fire damage from the exposed wires..
While you are waiting for the pros, you can do a few things that can be helpful. A shop-vac can clean up smaller amounts of standing water while using dehumidifiers and fans will move air around, and that discourages mold growth and mildew. Make sure to keep them at least 8 inches away from walls to allow for the best circulation. Your air conditioning can be a big help here, too, so it should stay running in the rest of the house. Don’t turn on a window unit in any basement windows if it’s flooded.
Scrub hard surfaces with a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of water while wearing gloves and protective eyewear. Remember to keep the room ventilated, too.
If your valuable documents or papers have been affected, you can actually save them by placing them in the freezer. This may stop the growth of mildew or deterioration until you can take a better look at them. Storing important items in the basement may not be your best practice, but if you don’t have space anywhere else, then using air- and water-tight plastic bins should help protect your items if your basement floods again.
Here at SERVPRO of North Nashville, we are always ready to help if you are affected by water damage, fire damage, or other disastrous events. We handle large cleanup projects for commercial business owners and smaller projects for area homeowners. We’re mold remediation specialists, too!
Protect Your Home From Summer Storms
A smart homeowner will take the steps necessary to be ready for any kind of inclement weather. Today, we here at SERVPRO of North Nashville would like to focus on some vulnerable areas of your home and share some tips that can help you protect your property from the damages that can happen during those Middle Tennessee summer storms:
Roofing Inspections. Inspect your roofing on a regular basis to help you identify issues like minor leaks or missing shingles. If you do find issues, make sure that you get them repaired as soon as possible, and definitely before summer storms hit the area. If your home does suffer storm damage, remember that SERVPRO of North Nashville is here to help you with your repair and cleanup.
Landscaping Upkeep. Heavy rain and high winds are expected during the storms of summer, and dead tree branches, unhealthy vegetation, and unstable trees can often cause serious damage when they are uprooted or broken off. Be sure to cut back your plants and trees properly, and dead or dying limbs and plants wherever necessary.
Storm Windows. Investing in high-quality storm windows to prevent leaks and other storm damage is a smart idea that will help you protect your home from summer storms. In addition to adding another layer of protection to your home, they are also energy-efficient, so you will enjoy savings in your energy costs over the coming years.
Driveway/Entranceway. Your driveway and your entrance need to be in good repair ahead of inclement weather. Replace buckling concrete and other hazards before large amounts of water produce an even bigger issue, to help avoid accidents and injuries to anyone entering or leaving your home.
Basement. Basements are a place in your home where leaks will show up and often go unnoticed, so doing an inspection both before and after wet weather will help you spot a problem and allow you to fix it, readying your property before a summer storm.
If you need some more information on how to prevent storm damage to your home, contact us here at SERVPRO of North Nashville. We specialize in cleanup from water and fire damage, no matter the size, and we’re mold remediation specialists. Visit us online for a complete list of our services.