Storm Damage: Your Next Steps Are Here.
Damage after a storm came through the city.
We have all been there. That moment we have buckled down because the weather radio and emergency broadcast system have broadcasted that a storm is on its way. The aftermath can sometimes be devastating. However, storm damage in TN doesn't seem to have any shortage of supply.
Here are steps that can help navigate you:
1. What is the damage?
Take an evaluation of the storm damage. Check your siding, roofing, and structure of the home.
2. Find someone to help you.
You will need 3 people here: A contractor, SERVPRO, and an Insurance Agency.
3. Obtain all your reports and submit your claims.
4. Line up and schedule the work and cleanup.
Remember, SERVPRO is here to help for all your storm damage needs. Thank You!
Commercial Structure Damage From Mold
Faucet and Wall Mold
Mold primarily grows because of indoor moisture and spreads on your walls, furniture, floor, carpet, etc. It can cause significant damage. The reason is that wherever mold grows, it weakens that structure, and eventually, it rots. As a result, it can cause heavy structural damage. So, below we will discuss some of the dangerous aspects of mold and how it damages buildings.
1. Building material and structural components
Wherever mold grows, it causes irreversible damages. It’s because when mold grows, it feeds on organic matter by breaking it down. As it spreads, it creeps its way towards the pipes, insulation, carpets, etc. Therefore, whichever office item gets plagued by mold, you need to discard it immediately.
Groundwater or standing water can be a significant cause of mold in crawl spaces or in the basement. As seasons change, you will have air coming in your vents into your crawl space. In the summer, hot, humid air will raise the humidity level in your crawl space, leading to issues like moisture in the wall. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective ways of preventing mold damages caused by indoor humidity.
2. Damages property
A mold is like a parasite you can never really get rid of properly. Unfortunately, the cases of mold are worse in states that experience heavy rain.
Sometimes mold seeps into the object so deeply that it is impossible to remove its spores entirely. As a result, even if you clean it on the surface, the mold will grow and spread again in a matter of days.
3. Spreads in the heating and vent system
Mold contamination is not limited to walls and carpets. It can grow and spread into your ventilation and heating systems as well. Consequently, it becomes tough to clean the mold in such small and cramped systems thoroughly. As a result, the air ventilation or heating system carries the mold towards other parts of the building, where it can spread.
4. Cause rotting and decay
There are various types of molds, some more dangerous to the health and structure than others. The worst part is that molds can grow on any surface. Whether beams, sill, windows, etc., they are all susceptible to develop mold due to excess moisture.
If you do not take appropriate action promptly, it can cause your wood to decay and rot. It will eventually ruin your structure, and its strength and integrity become questionable.
Taking preventive measures will help prevent the growth. In case you still find mold growing in a neglected corner, hire professionals immediately. A professional can adequately assess the situation and use bio-friendly chemicals to remove your property’s mold and excess moisture. Call SERVPRO.
Classroom Cleaning Tips
Picture of a classroom after it has been cleaned.
In East TN you find yourself knowing everyone. Especially if you are a teacher. So we wanted to give all you educators out there some tips on keeping that classroom save and sanitized.
Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Know the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
Use the right product for the task:
• CLEANING removes dirt and most germs. Use soap and water. Choose green cleaners certified by a third party such as Green Seal or EPA’s Safer Choice. In the classroom, cleaning is the focus.
• SANITIZING reduces germs to safe levels, for example in food service environments. Food code regulations have specific requirements for sanitizers in the cafeteria and kitchen.
• DISINFECTING kills most germs, depending on the type of chemical, and only when used as directed on the label. In schools, custodial staff use disinfectants and sanitizers regularly only in high-risk areas – nurse’s office, bathrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, and athletic facilities; preferably, when students are not present. Overuse does not provide any additional protection and can expose students and staff to harmful chemicals. Students should never use disinfectants. Disinfectant wipes shouldn't be used to clean hands. This includes Clorox wipes. If students are helping to clean:
• They should only use soap and water.
• Fragrance-free baby wipes could be used for quick cleaning.
• Most store-bought cleaning products are not safe for children to use.
Disinfecting your Workspace Properly
Factory worker cleaning workspace.
Many germs and virus are found on the surfaces in your workplace and home. It is important to keep all your work surfaces clean, especially during a pandemic or emerging disease event. Work surfaces that should be cleaned and disinfected regularly include telephones, computer equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces. Be sure that any cleaner you use is safe to use and will not damage office equipment. Use only disinfectants registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and follow all directions and safety precautions indicated on the label.
How long can viruses and germs live on surfaces in the workplace?
Influenza virus can survive on surfaces and still infect a person for up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.
What kills viruses and germs that live on surfaces in the workplace?
Most viruses are destroyed by heat (167-212°F). Several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodine-based antiseptics, and alcohols are effective against human viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time.
- If a disinfectant product is not available, you can clean surfaces with a chlorine bleach solution made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart (4 cups) of water; use a cloth to apply this to surfaces and let stand for 3 – 5 minutes before rinsing with clean water. (For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon [16 cups] of water.)
- Wear gloves to protect your hands when working with strong bleach solutions or strong disinfectants.
What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs and viruses spread when someone touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and carry viruses with them. A person can become infected by touching a surface where these droplets land before touching their eyes, mouth, or nose. Frequent hand washing prevents virus transmission from infected surfaces.
Coronavirus Cleaning? Yeah we do that!
SERVPRO employees in hazmat suits cleaning.
Here to Help® and Ready to Respond
Beginning in 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection is termed COVID-19.
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.
Expert Level Cleaning Services
SERVPRO® franchise professionals are uniquely prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. Our professionals are trained to perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims.
Minimize Your Risk
Tips and Best Practices to Reduce Your Risk
Cities and states took drastic measures to curb the severity of the pandemic, including the closing of bars, restaurants, and public venues. In some areas, officials issued “shelter in place” orders in order to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement. To protect yourself, minimize your exposure with the following tips:
Practice Good Hygiene
- Clean hands with sanitizer and wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face and cover coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, tables, doorknobs, and handrails regularly
- Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
At The Office
- Stop shaking hands – use other noncontact methods of greeting
- Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
- When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
- Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like desks, keyboards, light switches, doorknobs, and telephones
Stay Home if...
- You are feeling sick
- You have a sick family member in their home
Restoration and Cleaning up Sewage
Sewage overflowing into yard and house.
Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO has the specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.
Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?
Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.
The three types of contaminated water:
Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- May contain bacteria and viruses
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
We offer 24-Hour Emergency Service
Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. A SERVPRO team near you is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.
Have a Biohazard Emergency?
Lady in biohazard suit with cleaner in her hands.
Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous. Sewer backups and flood water are two common biohazard scenarios that can affect homes and businesses. SERVPRO has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination.
What To Do After a Contamination
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
- Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.
What Not To Do After a Contamination
- Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don’t use television or other household appliances.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
24-Hour Emergency Service
Biohazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO professionals are water damage restoration specialists and have specific training and expertise to safely remediate biohazard contaminants.
Need Help With That Crime Scene?
Two guys at a crime scene prepping it for cleanup.
After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants. SERVPRO can respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
SERVPRO technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business.
Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services
- Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
- Tear gas and pepper spray residues
- Fire extinguisher residue
- Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.
SERVPRO can remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO team members clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
Methamphetamine Labs: We do that too!
SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO franchise professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
What to Do When You First See A Water Leak
Water leaking from a faucet.
It happens to everyone. A toilet. A leaky faucet. A busted pipe. Hey its manmade and we know that it breaks. The question however, is what actions do we take first.
1. Find and shut of the water source. Now mater where it is, find it and stop it. Even if that means bringing in the professionals.
2. Turn off all the circuit breakers. You never know where that water has traveled or is. Last thing you want to do is electrocute yourself.
3. Now try and move as much water as possible.
4. Removed and prop up wet upholstery so it can dry.
5. Try and remove as much valuable stuff to a dry safe area.
6. Take pictures of everything.
7. Contact your insurance agent and SERVPRO.
Also don't try and dry it with your fans or vacuum cleaners. That is only going to make things worse and cost you a new vac. Call us and our professionals can handle the hard parts.
How To Stay Safe In During A Flood.
Street flooding and people trying to drive.
- Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
- Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
- Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.