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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Tips for Preventing a Cigarette Fire

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Steps To Prevent A Cigarette Fire

Did you know that, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, a cigarette fire is still in the top five leading causes of home fires? There are several ways to reduce the chance of this happening in your home. If you have suffered a home fire already, it's best to contact a fire cleanup and restoration specialist.

1. Smoke Outdoors
The easiest way to prevent an ashtray fire is to smoke outdoors. Not only does this prevent smoke odor from soaking into your furniture and carpets, but it also ensures that a fire is much less likely. Ideally, if you're smoking outside, your surroundings are either concrete or gravel, not grass or brush. If a fire does start, it's easy to quickly stomp it out if the surroundings are fire-resistant. In the colder months, instead of moving back indoors, consider buying a small portable heater that plugs into a wall outlet or extension cord. This way, you stay warm and continue to keep your risk low.

2. Keep Flammable Objects Away
The main goal of fire prevention is to make sure that a fire has nothing to burn. Besides ensuring that you're not wearing extremely loose-fitting clothing, you should also not smoke near any rugs or other cloth. Additionally, when you extinguish your cigarette, be sure to do so either in an ashtray or thoroughly stop it out on the concrete. If you use an ashtray, be sure that it, too, is not around any flammable objects on the chance that your smoke wasn't put out all the way. This is one of the leading causes of a cigarette fire.

3. Ashtray Safety
In addition to ensuring that your ashtray is in an appropriate area, also be careful when you empty it. Check that it is cool and that all cigarettes are completely extinguished. Waste bin fires are extremely common, and you'd be surprised by how easily they start. There is a surprising amount of easily flammable or explosive materials in the trash: paper, leaves, batteries, and aerosol cans.
Be prepared. Take steps to prevent a cigarette fire.

What To Do When You Smell Natural Gas

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

A gas fire or gas explosion runs the risk of destroying property and poses a threat of serious injury. If you smell natural gas, there are five steps that you should take to promote your own safety and that of other people or pets in your home and the surrounding area.

1. Check stoves and gas appliances. If you smell gas, you should make sure that all of the burners on a gas stove and the oven are turned off. Listen for hissing noises around other gas appliances.

2. Keep the lights off. If a large amount of gas is present in your home, turning on a light or powering on an electrical appliance may cause a spark that starts a gas fire or explosion. You may use a battery-operated flashlight when inspecting appliances and potential sources for a leak.

3. Shut off the gas meter. If you cannot stop the source of a gas leak in your home, you can shut off your gas meter by turning the main valve from on to off.

4. Ventilate the interior. Open all of the doors and windows of your home and use fans, if you have them, to remove gases from the interior. This will reduce the risk of explosion, fire, or prolonged exposure.

5. Evacuate and call emergency numbers. Leave your home and call 911 and your gas company to report a leak from a safe distance away, at least across the street.

A leak can cause a gas explosion if a spark is created by electrical equipment in your residence. For this reason, you should have a plan for what to do in the event of a leak and proceed as cautiously as possible. If you do experience a gas fire, you should have residential damage restoration experts assess the damage and develop a remediation plan. 

How to Clean a Gas Range

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

How to Clean a Gas Cooktop

A gas range may seem more difficult to clean than a glass top electric stove. In fact, these ranges typically require less scraping or specialized tools. Follow these seven range cleaning steps to safely clean your stove and eliminate any smoke smell.

1. Clean As You Go

Remove spatters and stains with a damp paper towel or washable cloth during and after cooking. This is the easiest way to prevent a range from becoming grimy and more difficult to deep clean.

2. Remove and Soak Grates

Take the grates off of the gas range and soak them in a sink filled with hot, soapy water. Wait several minutes before using a cleaning brush or old toothbrush to scrub off debris.

3. Spray and Wipe

Wipe off any crumbs or debris and then spray the surface with a mixture of one part white vinegar to one part water. Wait several minutes before wiping. Use soap or a specialized cleaning product for severe stains.

4. Scrub Stains

Make circular motions with the small cleaning brush. Wipe up debris with a damp paper towel or cleaning cloth.

5. Remove and Soak Burner Caps

Once the rest of the stove is clean and dry, remove the burner caps. Soak and scrub stains off of these components.

6. Lift and Clean Burner Heads

Lift straight up on burner heads and clean underneath. Use a needle or pin to clear out notches.

7. Lift and Vacuum the Range

Release the spring hinges or pins to lift the range. Use a vacuum attachment to remove crumbs from the inside of the range.

These seven range cleaning methods can help to keep your gas range clean and reduce the risk and severity of grease fires. If a fire does start in the kitchen of your home, seek the equipment and expertise of mitigation and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Fort Smith!

Yuck! There's Mold in the Washing Machine

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Mold can creep up in unlikely places in your house. Sometimes it shows up on shower walls, under sinks, around AC units, underneath flooring or in the washing machine. If your clothes washer gets moldy, you don't want to put your laundry inside and regret the fact that it comes out smelly. Instead, you need to clean it. Thankfully, you can get help from residential mold cleaners who know exactly how to tackle this issue.

How To Clean the Washer

Your mold experts will come in to help you remove the fungus from your washer. The main steps for removing the mold smell include the following:

  • Wipe away the surface mold, mildew and grime.
  • Use odor-removing mixtures to kill the smell.
  • Make sure the fungus is killed by using a commercial-grade cleaner.

After the team has cleaned your machine, you will be able to resume washing your dirty laundry without the fear of it coming out smelling musty.

How To Keep the Washer Mold Free

Even though the mold is gone, it could come back. After all, you still have to wash clothes, so what can you do to make sure the moisture doesn't build up in your washing machine? You need to do a little preventative work. Most front-load washers use a rubber gasket to seal the door. This seal does exactly what it was designed to do; it traps in water. You can help air out the machine by leaving the door open when you're not using it. You may also want to wipe the drum and behind the gasket with a clean, dry towel when you're done with laundry for the day. Switching to a high-efficiency detergent could also help stave off mold buildup.

Your washing machine creates the perfect environment for mold growth. Giving the appliance a thorough cleaning can help get rid of fungus, but you need to change a few habits if you want to keep mold growth away.

Getting Rid of Mold After a Flood

2/2/2022 (Permalink)

Keep Your Home Safe From Mold

When a storm hits, flooding in your home could cause some serious issues. While the water alone is a problem, mold growth can create further difficulties that may remain or return if not properly handled. Untreated water damage can be a growing source for the fungus, and musty smells can be an indication of mold already growing inside your house. Here are some steps you can take to keep your home safe from mold.

1. Act quickly. Within just a couple of days, mold growth can spread across your house. Mold is present nearly everywhere. It is distributed as small spores too tiny to be seen by the naked eye, so it can grow even where you may not see it. It’s important to work as quickly as you can to ensure the cleanup of water damage to prevent this.

2. If you find mold, avoid direct contact with it. Disturbing the mold yourself may cause further problems if you do not have the proper equipment and training. Touching it and attempting to dry it can cause it to release more spores into the air.

3. Get rid of all of the mold. What mold you may be able to find is likely only a small amount of the entire infestation, so trying to handle it all by yourself can make matters worse. Professionals with proper training and equipment should be able to safely locate all of the mold, even if it’s deep beneath layers of drywall.

4. Make sure it doesn’t come back. Mold removal is only half of the job, as this involves getting rid of the mold that has already grown. However, mold spores are almost everywhere and cannot be seen. This is when mold remediation is important. This ensures that mold doesn’t grow again from other sources of water or high humidity.

While flooding can be a harmful problem in Barefoot Beach, FL, there are ways to ensure that mold growth doesn’t persist after the flood. If you are careful in handling the problem, you can ensure that you continue living in a mold-free home for many years to come.

Ensuring Security: Steps To Take After a Fire

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Ensure Your Building Is Secure After a Fire

A fire in your commercial building will likely leave you with a long task list. One of the first things on that list should be security. Fire damage can make your property vulnerable to inclement weather, vandalism and theft. There are three main steps to ensure your building is secure after a blaze.

1. Make Necessary Calls

One of the first contacts you should make after you call your insurance agent is to a fire restoration company. Not only does this get the fire cleanup process started quickly before secondary damage can occur, it also enlists experts who can advise you on how to best secure your building. While you may have thought to lock the doors and board up the windows, you may not be thinking about the damage a rainstorm could cause through the new hole in the roof. Certified specialists are trained to identify every step needed to protect your property well.

2. Enact Protection Plan

The safety plan for your building should include securing it after fire damage occurs. Know who is in charge of completing the walkthrough with emergency personnel and preparing the subsequent report. Delegate a specific person to make sure the structure is boarded up. It’s also a good idea to have a watch team that acts as a guard against would-be intruders until experts can secure the area properly.

3. Remove Valuables

Some people look at buildings in vulnerable states as targets for their next crime. Looting is a real possibility after a fire. Fortunately, there is an easy way to prevent this problem. The best way to protect your valuables is simply to remove them from the compromised structure. Thieves can’t steal something that isn’t there.

Fire damage is enough of a problem itself. You don’t need to add to your worries by leaving your building open to other issues. Securing your property while it is being restored may protect it from further risk.

Tips for Homeowners After a Fire

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Actions Homeowners Should Take After A Fire

Many homeowners can easily relay tips to prevent fires. Most can communicate the actions to take when a house in on fire. But, how many know what to do after a fire? How do you file a fire insurance claim? What does fire restoration involve? What are you, the homeowner, expected to do? Take the following actions after a fire to begin the recovery process for your home and personal effects.

How Do I File a Fire Insurance Claim?

• Coverage and procedure depend on your specific policy, so call your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the details.
• The agent and adjuster walk you through the necessary steps and paperwork.

What Is Fire Restoration?

• Immediately contact a reputable fire and smoke cleaning company. The professionals communicate with you and your insurance adjustor throughout the process.
• The course to restore your home and belongings starts with inspection and assessment of the damage.
• For your safety and to reduce the risk of further damage, do not touch or attempt to clean your home yourself. If the area is exposed, the restoration experts may cover your home with a roof tarp or board up windows.
• Firefighters use a lot of water to put out the flames. The professionals will remove the excess water and use specialized equipment to dry your space.
• After your home is dry, professional soot and smoke cleaning commences. The area is then cleaned and sanitized.
• Finally, the process of restoration begins. Depending on the amount of damage, this may include minor touchups such as painting or major construction such as replacing walls. The goal is to return your home to its pre-fire condition.

Do everything you can to prevent fires in your home. If your home catches fire in call the fire department to put out the blaze. After the initial shock of your house fire wears off, call your insurance agent and a fire restoration company to help you put your home and life back together again.

Helpful Puff Back Prevention Tips

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Puff Back Prevention Tips

A puff back is a lot like a small explosion. It’s usually confined to the furnace or boiler you’re using to heat your home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to cause some serious problems for you inside the house. When a situation like this occurs, soot often spreads out throughout the home, causing an undeniably strong smell that makes it difficult for you to breathe. It’s not a good situation for anyone and you’re going to want to prevent it from happening. These are three steps you should follow as precautionary measures.

1. Always clean out your system. Don’t wait too long to clean out your furnace or boiler. One of the main reasons puff back occurs is because homeowners have neglected their systems, causing dust and debris to accumulate. Clean both the vents and filters. Schedule routine maintenance to keep your system in good working condition.

2. Pay attention to unusual odors. If you’re smelling oil or soot inside the home, you shouldn’t take any chances. Rather than trying to find what is causing such a smell in your home, contact heating professionals to inspect the equipment and check for any possible leaks.

3. Listen for strange noises coming from the boiler. Before the puff back happens, a boiler will often make some strange noises that sound a lot like thunder rumbling. If you’re hearing this, it’s not a good sign, and you should get help for the problem before something more serious occurs.

If you do end up with the soot in the home, a professional restoration company could assist you with eliminating the odor and properly cleaning out the place for you. However, the best way to prevent this type of problem from occurring is to follow these simple yet beneficial prevention tips and keep you from dealing with frustration caused by puff backs.

Tackling Toilet Overflow While Running Water

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage Cleaning

If your toilet begins to overfill or spill while you’re taking a shower, this indicates a blockage issue between your toilet drain and the sewer system. Assuming that you’ve taken care of any obvious problems that a simple plunger can handle, the next step involves more specialized pieces of sewage cleaning equipment.

1. Using a Pipe Snake

A pipe snake is a flexible, reinforced steel coil, typically around an inch in diameter. They are used to break up and move drain clogs that cause toilet overflow and other sewage backup issues. Many clogs are not deep enough to require professional intervention and can be removed simply by snaking from the toilet bowl. If the U-bend or other feature of the toilet proves to be an obstacle to snaking, then the entire toilet can be moved to expose the drain. In either case, be prepared to absorb any excess water that may leak out as a result of the snaking process.

2. Deeper Clogs

Sometimes the toilet backup is the result of a clogged pipe closer to the sewer and will require venturing out of the bathroom and into the crawlspace or basement. Removing the main drain and inserting the snake will likely require additional tools such as a pipe wrench. Depending on the design of your home, the required direction and distance for proper snaking may vary. If the backup is severe or has persisted for a long time, additional sewage cleaning may be necessary beneath the home.

3. Plumbers

Sometimes the nature of the clog can require professional intervention. If the apparent distance of the clog is too far for a homeowner-grade snake or if you believe the cause is related to damage or root-blocked pipes closer to the sewer, call a local plumber.

The above strategies ensure proper maintenance and function of your sewer system. If water backup becomes extreme and sewage cleaning becomes necessary in your living space, contact a certified cleanup professional.

Broken Pipes and Water Cleanup: Cleaning Your Business After Water Damage

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Broken pipes often lead to extensive water damage, and the water cleanup process can be all-encompassing, especially for a business that has to remain shut until all is restored. Luckily, the cleanup process is pretty straightforward, and, while only suggestions, the steps below can help to make an overwhelming process a manageable one.

1. Ready the Pumps

You are likely aware of this first step, as it is common knowledge that the longer water stays in a building, the more damage it inflicts; therefore, you should get rid of any excess water as soon as possible. Many home improvement stores will allow you to rent large water pumps and wet vacs, which can help in reducing water levels quickly.

2. Clear Out the Waste

After removing the water, there will be items and materials that may need to be discarded. For instance, if sewage contaminated the excess water, you will likely want to throw away any porous items. Additionally, it may be necessary to remove drywall up to the level that the water rose, because insulation can lead to mold and mildew growth.

3. Dry and Dehumidify

Once all of the water and damaged items have been removed, preventing further water damage, you can begin the process of drying the space. You can take another trip to the home improvement store of your choice and rent air movers, dehumidifiers, and possibly industrial fans. These tools can help speed up the drying process, which can take a couple of days.

4. Call In the Experts

If you find that this process may be too overwhelming, you can check with emergency management offices to see about a list of potential restoration specialists that specialize in flood damage.

Water damage, especially from burst pipes, can be stress-inducing. However, when you break the cleanup process into manageable pieces and maybe decide to call somebody in, it becomes a little easier to deal with. This process can help you cope with the temporary loss of business.

Cleaning Up Your Contents After a Flood

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning After Water Damage

The water inside your property can be a headache, and cleaning up can be an even bigger one. Where do you start? Whether you haven’t found the right water remediation company or prefer to handle content cleaning yourself, here are some key ways to effectively clean after water damage.

Gather Supplies

There are a few items you will want to gather and keep handy as soon as you get started. These include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Mops
  • Sponges and cleaner
  • Buckets

Get Rid of the Water

Whether your property has had an inch of water or several feet, it can be a breeding ground for mold, which can ruin personal items as well as property. This makes early water removal and content cleaning vital.

Flood water is considered black water, so it’s best to have professionals remove this. If you can’t wait, the old-fashioned way of water removal works. Once you’ve turned off all electricity to the area, use buckets, mops, and towels to soak up as much water as possible.

Dry Things Out

Once you’ve gotten everything initially dry, use a dehumidifier and fan to remove whatever moisture remains. Opening windows can also help you dry the area out quickly before mold or insects take hold.

Disinfect Your Items

When everything’s dried, use a disinfectant to remove any bacteria that the water may have carried inside. Wipe down walls, wood and non-upholstered furniture. Prevent mold growth by applying antimicrobials.

Dispose of Damaged Goods

Non-porous materials can be saved but porous materials may have to be thrown away. These can include electronics, paper and other delicate items. Organize those items into piles and take them to recycling centers when possible.

Flood content cleaning can be hard work, but it’s necessary. Use these tips to get your space back to normal, or better yet, call a remediation company to make things like new.

How a Post-fire Board Up Can Protect Your Home

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

How a Post-Fire Board Up Can Keep Your Home Safe

If your home has suffered a fire then you may be wondering if it’s necessary to board up the building. Many fire damage restoration professionals recommend using tarps or boards to cover the damaged areas of your home for several reasons.

1. Helps Prevent Further Damage

On its own fire damage may leave you with costly repairs, but it can also leave your home open to other elements that can cause further damage. Using tarps and boards to cover the damaged areas can help prevent flooding from rain or snow, wind damage, and even animal intrusion. Covering damaged areas may also make it easier to conduct repairs one section at a time.

2. Helps Maintain Your Insurance Coverage

When you board up your home after a fire you may also be following the requirements of your insurance provider. Protecting your home against additional damage can be considered part of your responsibilities as the homeowner. Failure to do so could cause problems with your claim. In many cases your insurance provider may have professionals they recommend for the job.

3. Helps Prevent Additional Loss

Using an emergency board up to protect your home can help prevent other kinds of loss as well. Boarding over the damaged areas may dissuade intruders from taking advantage of the opportunity to get inside via an unprotected opening. Boarding over damage is also one way to show that the home has not been abandoned, and will be receiving repairs.

Constructing a board up over the damaged areas of your home after a fire can help you in a number of ways. This practice can help protect your home against further damage, help dissuade intruders from taking advantage of damaged areas, and in some cases help maintain your insurance coverage. If you are unsure how to properly cover the damaged area, a professional may be able to help.

Protect Your Family and Home from a Fire

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

A home fire can happen in an instant. One occurs in the U.S. every 86 seconds, according to National Fire Protection Association data. Prevention is the best way to protect your family and your home.

What Are the Leading Causes of Home Fires?

Knowing the primary fire causes can help safeguard your treasures:

1. Did you leave cooking unattended? On the list of causes for home fires, cooking takes the lead. Be especially careful when you are frying; always stay nearby, as this type of cooking is the likeliest to start a fire.

2. Is that heater getting too hot? Portable and stationary heating units are the second most common causes for fires. Keep all heating units a safe distance away from other objects in a room and on stable surfaces (per the units’ instructions).

3. Should an electrician be doing that? You want to reconsider fixing something yourself when it comes to electrical issues. Fires caused by lighting equipment or electrical distribution are ranked third.

4. Is arson an issue? Help protect your family from home fire cause number four by checking your environment. Reduce hiding places around your home, keep your gardens watered and make sure no flammable liquids (e.g. a mower gas container) are left outside.

5. Are you sure you placed that cigarette on the nightstand? Keep ashtrays available in each room and point them out to your guests who smoke. Move nightstands and tables where cigarettes will be placed away from the couch, bed, curtains and other fabrics. Taking these precautions will help prevent your family becoming a part of the fifth cause for and number one reason for deaths by home fires: smoking.

Even when you take precautions, a home fire can still occur. Ensure that your family is equipped with a fire extinguisher, smoke detector and escape plan. Include in your plan what professional you should call to assess the fire damage and do the fire cleaning. Taking time for prevention and planning can go a long way, so if a fire does happen, you and those you value most will be ready.

Understanding Mold Growth in Commercial Property

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Growth in Commercial Properties: What You Need to Know

Upon noticing the smell or sight of black mold in your business, you probably wonder what caused it to appear. Despite so many different varieties, molds have a single process of growing and spreading. Knowledge of how and why these fungi infest businesses teaches how to prevent them from taking over yours.

Knowing the Water Where Mold Often Grows

Mold needs time, temperature, food, and moisture to thrive. A moisture problem is often the cause of mold growth. Water that gets into building materials, utilities or flooring comes from plenty of sources:

  • Burst or leaking pipe
  • Flooding from nearby overflowing bodies of water
  • Humid weather
  • Broken supply line
  • Defective sprinkler systems
  • Clogged gutter drainage systems
  • Defective HVAC systems accumulating condensation

Once identified, any broken utility or component should be fixed by an appropriate professional. This prevents additional water damage and the mold that comes with it.

Preventing Spores From Finding Ideal Conditions

Microscopic spores float through the air looking for a suitable place to settle. Even if the spores are floating in the air of a room, no mold species will grow without a place to settle that has food and water. The parasitic nature of black mold and other organisms means that they can be stopped from being a problem by denying the environments they desire.

Treating the Mold That Grows

Proactive water cleanup can prevent the need for mold cleanup. Fixing any existing water damage stops the airborne mold from ever finding a place to survive inside your property.

Contacting a professional water cleanup crew with mold expertise is advised to make sure any water is completely removed with the power of their industrial-grade tools. Additionally, experts can find mold and water hiding in unnoticeable locations that most people miss. This prevents mold from quickly recolonizing.

Getting a Hold on Mold

Black mold may seem daunting at first, but prevention can make it seem like a nonissue. Even if mold does take advantage of a water accident at your property, there are ways to remove it without much hassle.

How To Protect Your Business in a Power Outage

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Suddenly, the room goes dark. When you are at home during a power outage, you light some candles. When the electricity goes out and impacts your business, your concern level rises far above looking for light. Depending on your type of industry, you could lose a significant amount of inventory or machinery may malfunction. Investing in a generator is a smart way to protect your commercial property.

How To Choose the Best Generator

There are a variety of choices to keep your business running in the event of a power outage. The most common commercial options have the following features:

  • There are portable and standby generators. Commonly, stationary businesses use the standby variety as it is always on site when needed. If you run a mobile business, the portable type is more relevant for you.
  • For standby, use a single-phase for small operations, such as a retail location or office. For larger spaces that are multi-level or occupy a large building, a three-phase is a good fit.
  • Generators can be turned on manually or have an automatic transfer switch. If your property is unsupervised for a period of time, such as overnight, a switch that recognizes when the power supply is interrupted is a helpful feature.

How To Prevent Generator Problems

With proper maintenance, you can reduce generator problems. Generators can last up to 30 years, depending on the amount of usage. Help it run smoothly with the following tips:

  • Run the device weekly, and visually inspect for any leaks or other problems.
  • Monthly, check all relevant fluid levels.
  • Twice a year, have a qualified technician conduct an inspection.
  • Annually, have a qualified technician change the necessary parts and test the device.

When inclement weather hits having a generator at your commercial property is one way to plan ahead and protect your business. Unfortunately, regardless of planning, sometimes storm damage occurs. In that case, contact a storm restoration specialist as soon as possible.

Water Damage Is One of the Most Common Reasons for Business Loss

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

3 Common Reasons for Commercial Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common reasons for insurance claims made by businesses. Take just a few minutes to learn more about damaged pipes and other sources for water trouble, as well as some steps you can take to reduce risk for your building in Fort Smith, AR.

Commercial building water damage usually comes down to one of three main reasons:

1. Winter Troubles. Frozen temperatures can be a disaster to pipes indoors and out. Ice can also build up on roofs and block drainage channels.

2. Sewage and Drainage. Sewer systems are the unseen heroes of a commercial building, but if they aren’t getting routine attention they can cause big problems. Blockages, wear and foundation settling can all cause trouble with this important system.

3. Poor Pipe Maintenance. Many damaged pipes start as small leaks that are best addressed early to prevent large-scale floods. Routine inspections of pipes for symptoms like drips, excessive moisture and mold can be useful to catch problems before they get big.

Knowing where the most common problems are can help you take steps now to reduce the risk of damaged pipes in your building.

Simple Steps to Reduce Water Damage Risk

If you could make just five changes to help reduce your risk of flooding, these are the ones to give you make the biggest impact:

1. Keep heat on throughout the winter, at a minimum of 55°F.
2. Insulate exposed pipes.
3. Keep gutters and roof drainage clear of debris.
4. Know how to shut-off the main water supply.
5. Regularly inspect pipes appliances, and don’t ignore small leaks.

Knowledge is Power

It really doesn’t take long to learn a little about the most likely areas for leaking pipes and ways to reduce your risk for damage. Sometimes damage is sudden and unexpected, so if you need water cleanup in your building you can count on a commercial building restoration expert to help you recover.

5 Steps to Commercial Fire Safety

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

map of a commercial building Establish an evacuation plan.

5 Commercial Fire Safety Steps

It is impossible to guarantee that a fire will never break out in your commercial property in Fort Smith, AR, but you can increase fire safety. If you do not already have a contingency plan in place for employees or other occupants to follow in the event of a fire, here are five simple steps you should take.

1. Establish an emergency plan. This plan should include a method for reporting fires as well as an evacuation plan. You may want to hold a mandatory meeting on a regular basis in which you inform employees or occupants about their roles and responsibilities.

2. Post maps with emergency escape routes at strategic locations. People may panic in the event of a fire and forget the specifics of the contingency plan. It is a good idea to post the best evacuation routes in strategic places throughout a building, such as near stairs or elevators. Make sure that these plans indicate that elevators are not safe to use during a fire.

3. Create a contact list. This list should include the names, titles, departments, and contact information for all employees.

4. Identify essential services. Depending on the businesses in the building or the needs of the facility itself, you may want to specify which services require attention and who will perform these tasks in the event of an emergency.

5. Store important records in a secure location. Keep important documents such as accounting, employment, or insurance records in a safe location on- or off-site.

These five steps are intended to help you create a contingency plan to promote the safety of all employees or occupants in a business or commercial property. Following these steps will make you better able to account for all of the people in your building. If you do experience a fire, contact your local certified commercial restoration service, SERVPRO of Fort Smith at 479-452-8282.

What To Do When Water Gets In Your Crawlspace

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

man under a wooden deck Water in a crawlspace can come from a variety of sources.

Three Methods For Fixing a Wet Crawl Space

Water in a crawlspace can come from a variety of sources. Some of these causes are preventable, whereas others call for quick action to eliminate standing water caused by flooding. Here are three methods for fixing a wet crawl space and preventing the issue from recurring.

1. Identify the Source

A crawlspace may flood for a variety of reasons. Conditions brought about by overflowing surface or subterranean water can be difficult to prevent, but should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Grading problems, clogged gutters, and improperly installed downspouts can also lead to crawlspace and foundation issues. A broken water line or sewer backup can also cause water to collect in a crawlspace.

2. Pump Out Water And Dry

Residential water damage restoration services have all of the expertise and equipment needed to quickly restore a wet crawl space. Professionals rely on pumps to get rid of water and blowers and dehumidifiers to speed drying. This equipment can limit the extent of damage and mitigate mold.

3. Fix the Cause

You may be able to prevent water from collecting in a crawlspace by adjusting the grading of your landscaping and carefully monitoring watering in beds near the foundation of your home. Clear your gutters and make sure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation and have a two-foot splash block. Have plumbing regularly inspected to prevent pipe breaks and take measures to prevent bursts due to freezing temperatures by heating your home and allowing a faucet to drip.

Mold may have already started to develop if water has been standing or moisture has lingered in your crawlspace for 24 to 72 hours or longer. Conditions in a wet crawl space are ideal for mold growth. You may want to hire a water damage restoration service with certified mold prevention, testing, and mitigation experts on staff at SERVPRO of Fort Smith at 479-452-8282.

Save Money and Natural Resources by Maintaining Irrigation Systems

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

water sprinkler, spraying water on grass When was your irrigation system installed?

Ways To Save Money And Natural Resources With Regular Irrigation Maintenance

When you decided to put in an irrigation system at your business you had hoped that it would save you some time on landscaping so that you could focus on other business matters. While an automatic sprinkler system is indeed efficient, it will not remain so without proper and regular maintenance. 

1. Adjust to the Seasons
Have you ever driven by someone's home or business and seen the irrigation system running in the middle of a rainstorm? Not only is this inefficient, but it also adds unnecessary cost to your bottom line and could cause flooding. Know the seasons in your area and adjust your irrigation schedule accordingly. Too much water isn't only bad for your landscaping, it can be bad for your business. If too much water collects along with your building, it could lead to flooding, in which case you should call a commercial restoration service for help.

2. Inspect Often
Your sprinkler system is intended to withstand some normal wear and tear but that doesn't make it indestructible. If a nozzle gets bumped out of place by a passing dog or by a landscaper trimming weeds, it might need to be repositioned to do its job correctly. Worst case, the nozzle or the line that connects to the nozzle has been damaged which can lead to sprinkler flooding. If you've adjusted your irrigation schedule for the season but your water usage bill seems high, check your system to see if it has sustained any damage.

3. Update Your System
When was your irrigation system installed? If you aren't sure or if you know that it has been a number of years, you may want to consider an upgrade. Upgrading your system can save you money and resources, as well as prevent flooding from damaged lines. Frequent irrigation maintenance helps you to know when it's time for an update.
Keeping a regular irrigation maintenance schedule will ensure that your system is working for you and not against you.

3 Steps To Take After a Fire

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

3 Steps To Take After a Fire

A fire can be devastating for any house. One of the first things you should do as a homeowner is to contact a fire restoration service to begin the remediation process. However, that is just the beginning. From calling your fire insurance provider to finding a good smoke cleaning service, you should carry out certain actions to get your house back to pristine condition soon.

1. Call Insurance Company

Your house should have a comprehensive insurance policy in place that covers fire damage. You can expect to receive phone calls from other agents offering you a great deal, but you should be wary of such calls. The only person you need to talk to is your insurance agent. It is also good to provide the fire restoration company you hire with your insurance information so that they can work directly with your provider.

2. Salvage Without Touching Anything Too Damaged

You want to leave things as they are for the most part or else your insurance provider may not cover as much. However, when it is safe to re-enter the building, you may be able to go inside and salvage equipment, photos and documents to prevent soot from damaging them. However, if something is clearly damaged, then let it be. Leave these items to professional restorers who may be able to salvage your property.

3. Board up the Building

Another way an insurance company can avoid paying out your fire insurance policy is if you fail to take certain actions to protect your building in North Naples, FL from additional damage. For example, if you do not board up the building and tarp certain areas, then your building may suffer from vandalism or theft. Your insurance company may pay for smoke cleaning but not those acts. It is also a good idea to shut off the main water valve and put up a safety fence to assist the fire restoration team.

Dealing With Smoke Odor After a Fire

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Four-Step Cleaning Process

Beyond the damage of a commercial fire, the aftermath usually includes the odor of smoke. While it may not seem like the most pressing issue immediately following the disaster, smoke smells can become a persistent problem in your business if not dealt with. Thankfully, there are methods to remove the smoke odor from your facility. A smoke cleaning company will often follow a four-step process.

1. Airing Out the Facility
The first line of defense for smoke cleaning is to air out the facility. You want to open all windows and doors. It's also beneficial to use ceiling fans, window fans, and air Movers to expedite the process. A knowledgeable restoration service will likely be way ahead of you on mediating odor problems.

2. Cleaning All Fabrics and Materials
Smoke can penetrate porous surfaces, meaning that furniture, rugs, curtains, and other materials will need to be professionally cleaned to eliminate the potential odor. The restoration service you use can use ozone machines or thermal foggers to eliminate any pervading smells.

3. Cleaning Non-Porous Surfaces
While smoke damage will not penetrate a hard surface the same way it will fabric, the remnants of soot and ash can lead to odors. The best way to eliminate the smells is to clean and disinfect the surfaces as soon as possible. The longer the soot sits on a surface, the more time it has to permeate the air around it.

4. Assessing and Cleaning the HVAC System
Smoke can infiltrate your heating and cooling system. It collects in vents throughout the facility and the air filter of the main unit when it does so. You want to have a professional technician service the equipment and replace the air filters.
While most business owners are concerned with the damage to their property, it is also essential to pay attention to the smells after a fire. With fast response times and adequate smoke cleaning techniques, the odor can be eliminated.

4 Tips for Maintaining a Commercial Roof

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Maintaining a Commercial Roof

A roof is something that can easily be overlooked, but your property relies on it to keep everything underneath it safe and dry. Once roof damage happens, it may mean more than needing a roof rebuild. Missing shingles, damaged membranes and other issues lead to issues that may require the services of a water damage and restoration professional. Although the unexpected can happen, the following four tips make it easier for your roof to weather the storms.

1. Preventive Maintenance
The top way to avoid roof damage is to stay on top of maintenance. Business owners should regularly check for any leaks, standing water and blocked drains. These often lead to other issues. Any signs of missing pieces indicate there may be hidden trouble lurking.

2. Regular Inspections
Along with visibly checking the roof, it should be professionally inspected annually. A professional will have the expertise to look for other issues, such as weak spots, sagging and structural issues. Scheduling this inspection may mean the difference between an inexpensive repair and a costly new roof.

3. Keep It Clean
Especially after a storm, it is important to check for wind damage and ensure the roof is clean of leaves and branches. Along with potentially clogging a drain, debris piling up invites the growth of algae. If that happens, it can start to deteriorate the roof faster. It may also lead to mold growth.

4. Inspect Roof Equipment
Most commercial properties have some time of equipment on the roof. Whether an HVAC unit, ventilation or skylights, these items should be regularly checked to ensure they are functioning properly. If any damage is discovered, repairs should be immediately made to avoid a leak.
Although Mother Nature may eventually lead to some kind of roof damage, staying on top of maintenance and inspections increases the chances of the roof lasting longer.

How To Decide When To Call In The Pros

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

wooden board covered in black mold spores Mold spores have grown and spread on an inner wood structure.

How To Decide When To Call In The Pros To Clean Up Water Damage

Water damage in your home can occur from a number of different sources ranging from outdoor flood damage, roof damage that lets in precipitation to interior causes such as a burst pipe or overflowing washer causing flood damage. Obviously, the longer water sits, the more water damage it is likely to cause. In addition, damage mitigation of water that comes from a clean interior source such as a pipe or washing machine is also easier than damage mitigation from flooding or a sewer issue. In some cases, whether it is water in your home or water in your business, you absolutely want to call in professionals to deal with the issue. However, there are some types of water damage restoration - particularly if it is water in your home - you might want to tackle on your own. For water in your business, there is the additional issue of valuable electronics, which are more susceptible to water damage and require different restoration and mitigation techniques. For water in your home, however, here is brief overview of how drying and water cleanup should occur.

1. Lift furniture

Once you have cleaned and evacuated the majority of the water, your best friends in the final stages of water cleanup, restoration and drying are air and heat. For restoration and damage mitigation in floors in particular, getting the best airflow possible means getting furniture up above the surface of the floor so as not to block the airflow. In addition, you will also want to protect the legs and lower surfaces of furniture from wicking up the water and leaving stains once it dries. Drying out carpeting and flooring is also important and lifting furniture will aid in the drying process.

2. Remove baseboards and drill large holes in the bottom of drywall

Drywall is not only dry, it also acts like a sponge, which means it will wick water high up into the walls where you can't see it because it's covered by paint. The paint also acts as a protective barrier that will keep air from being able to dry out the drywall. Drilling holes in the bottom of the drywall allows air to get inside the walls and dry out the drywall from the side that is not covered by paint. Drilling the holes in the bottom of the drywall also means they will be covered up once you replace the baseboards.

3. Spray a strong disinfectant on the walls

Mold, mildew and bacteria thrive in moist environments. To make sure that you do not have long-term mildew damage, be sure and spray any carpets and walls with a strong disinfectant or anti-bacterial spray. Also keep in mind that many insurance companies will cover flood recovery, but they will not cover mold and mildew damage, since that should have been taken care of in the initial recovery. This is something to consider when deciding whether or not to call in pros to recover from flood damage.

4. Set up industrial fans, an industrial dehumidifier and crank up the heat

While regular household fans might be enough to create a cool breeze, they are not powerful enough to create a strong enough wind current to climb up high into your walls. Heat will help water evaporate, and dry air will absorb the water as it evaporates, but you have to then remove the water from the saturated air so it will absorb more moisture, which you do with the dehumidifier. You want to keep doors and windows tightly sealed during this process, so you may want to leave the house while the heat and fans do their work.

Water in your home will create damage if left standing long enough but water in your business has the potential to create even more damage due to the presence of more electronics. For water in your business, you will most likely want to call in the pros to do the water cleanup. Even in your home, however, water cleanup from flood damage can be pricey even if you do all the work yourself.

The cost of renting industrial fans and an industrial dehumidifier might be comparable to hiring professionals to do it for you and you can be sure if you hire professionals that it is done properly and does not result in even costlier mold damage.

Common Causes of a Leaking Toilet and Their Fixes

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Common Causes of Toilet Leaks

A leaking toilet is absolutely no fun. From having to clean up gross toilet water to having to deal with secondary water damage, there are countless reasons you need to suck it up and either invest in professional plumbing services or figure out how to fix the leak yourself. Which you choose to do all depends on the cause of the leak. Below are just four common causes of toilet leaks:

  • The wax ring is dry.
  • The toilet was improperly installed.
  • The tee bolts are loose.
  • The flange is broken.

If you don't feel confident in your ability to make an accurate diagnosis and repair the issue yourself, call a plumber. Otherwise, keep reading for repair solutions.

Solutions to a Bathroom Leak

The solution to your leaking toilet all depends on the problem. If the problem stems from a dry-rotted wax-ring, you may have to remove your toilet and exchange the old ring with a new one. This can be kind of a pain to do, as toilets are heavy and what lies beneath them is generally not very pretty. However, if you're strong, and if you can get over the gunk that rests at the base of a toilet, you can save big on making the repair yourself.

If the toilet was improperly installed, you may need to, again, remove the toilet and reinstall it. This is also something you can either do yourself or have a handyman take care of for you.

Loose tee bolts is the best-case scenario. Tightening tee bolts involves nothing more than taking a wrench and twisting the nuts with all your might. Hopefully, tee bolts are your only concern.

If possible, fixing a broken flange is worse than fixing a rotted wax ring. It's also a much more complex process than any of the above fixes, which is why, if the flange is the problem, you should allow your local plumber to do the job for you.

Once the Repair Is Done, It's Time To Cleanup

Once you've fixed the leaking toilet, contact your water damage restoration team to clean up around the leak site and ensure that there is no residual moisture that can cause secondary damage. This final step can save you money and your home.

Consider These 3 Tips When Dealing With a Canceled Flight

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

Black board showing 'cancelled flights' A flight cancellation is an unexpected event.

Storm Tips

Severe thunderstorms can severely disrupt any planned air transportation. A canceled flight can delay your plans and make you uncertain over what to do next. You will need to prepare for potential incidents like these to ensure you can resume your schedule safely. The following storm tips can help you go through tough situations like these.

1. Stay Safe and Calm
A flight cancellation is an unexpected event that can be either a minor inconvenience or a major plan wrecker. No matter what, you will need to stay calm throughout it. You can make sound decisions with a clear head. Understand that the cancellation will protect multiple lives, including yours. If the event is taking place do not stress about property damage. A call to storm damage restoration can resolve any issues once you return safely.

2. Call the Airline Immediately
One of the first actions you should take after a canceled flight is calling the airline. While it seems tempting to get in line and rebook the flight in person, the airline's phone service is a faster, more convenient solution. This tactic also helps gate agents who may be overwhelmed with several travelers. Gather your previous flight's information, preferably with a specialized smartphone app, and call the company to reschedule easily and without the wait time.

3. Ask for Reimbursements
Depending on the situation, you might entitled to some reimbursements. Investigate the airline's policy. If your flight was bumped without your consent, you should receive some reimbursement. Meanwhile, a traditional delay or cancellation will have different reimbursements depending on the company's rules. Some will refund you for rescheduling, but if your delay is significantly long, they can help you get meals and a hotel stay.
While a canceled flight can seriously affect your agenda, remember that this is done to keep you and others safe. These tips can help you make the best out of an unfortunate situation and recover as soon as the storm clears.

3 Advantages of Using SERVPRO's Document Restoration Service

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

wet paper Wet documents can cause devastating and costly losses.

3 Advantages of Using SERVPRO's Document Restoration Service

One of the most devastating effects of a flood or other disaster in a commercial setting is damage to — or the loss of — valuable documents, such as client files, accounting ledgers, contracts, books, photographs, blueprints, documents with original signatures, and other important papers. SERVPRO is the industry leader in water damage remediation, including document restoration. Its acclaimed document drying process features several unique elements that stand out from the competition.

1. Specialized Restoration Facility
First, water-damaged documents are transported to a secure, specialized restoration facility where they are entered into an advanced digital inventory system. Each restoration facility is managed by specially trained technicians who have received HIPAA Master certification. These secure facilities are closely always monitored and have the capacity to accommodate even large commercial recovery needs.

2. Advanced Cleaning and Drying Techniques
At the document facility, a team of experienced restoration specialists evaluate the damage to documents and then utilize state-of-the-art document restoration methods to repair the damage. SERVPRO’s inventive vacuum free-drying technique, for example, is the same method that the U.S. Library of Congress uses to restore priceless historical documents and is the only document drying technique that has been approved by the General Services Administration and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Technicians then employ an advanced gamma irradiation procedure to disinfect and deodorize documents.

3. Digital Archiving Service
One highly valuable but sometimes overlooked benefit of the restoration process is the digital archiving process. At the drying facility, each water-damaged document becomes a part of a computerized document inventory. The restored documents are also scanned into this inventory. The result is that all paper documents that enter the facility are converted into a high-quality digital format. These digital versions can then be uploaded and stored, safe from any future physical damage.
Wet documents can cause devastating and costly losses. Fortunately, SERVPRO’s document restoration professionals are always ready if disaster strikes.

What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Read On To Learn More About Flood Insurance

The recent spike in hurricanes had made business owners aware of the dangers of flooding. However, it doesn't take a hurricane to flood your home. Many natural disasters can cause flooding. When this happens, you have to pay storm restoration professionals to fix the damage. This makes many business owners wonder if they need commercial insurance that covers flooding. The answer to this is yes. While it may not reduce your risk for flooding, having this insurance can prevent a financial crisis.

What to Know?
In recent years the number of businesses with commercial insurance policies that cover flooding has declined. In fact, flood insurance has become rare. This is shocking, especially since no one is safe from flooding. Here are some facts about flooding you should know:

  • One inch of standing water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
  • Flash floods can raise water to twenty feet.
  • Six inches of moving water can carry away an adult.
  • Water moving at 10 mph can do more damage than hurricane-force winds.
  • Flooding can occur outside of flood plains.
  • If your business floods, you could wind up with damage costing more than your building's value.
  • Flood insurance is required for businesses in high-risk areas.

Are You at Risk for a Flood?
Many people mistake low-risk areas as meaning flood-proof. But flood maps are fluid, and the zone can change, your low-risk zone could become a high-risk area. Fortunately, it is easy to find out what your current zone is. All you have to do is look at the FEMA flood maps, which are updated annually. These are the same maps commercial insurance companies look at when determining the costs for policies that cover flood damage.
As many people have seen, you don't have to be in a flood zone to face flooding. Fortunately, having a flood policy in place can give your business the boost it needs to survive a disaster.

Why Your Restoration Service Looks for Secondary Damage

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Why Your Restoration Service Looks for Secondary Damage

After a flood at your place of business, it’s possible for secondary damage such as black mold, warped wood, or rusting metal to occur. Fortunately, your local water damage restoration service is already trained to look for these types of damages. Here are a few things you may want to know about why they do this.

1. What Secondary Damage Is

This type of damage is any damage that occurs as a result of the original damage. For example, high humidity after flooding can lean to mold problems, or could cause softening and crumbling of drywall. Wood can have warping from soaking in floodwater, and metal can rust leading to compromised integrity of plumbing fastenings.

2. How It Affects the Property

There are a number of ways this can affect your business property. Any type of mold, including black mold, can feed on the organic components of the building material weakening it. Warped wood can lead to uneven flooring, and rusting metal may cause issues with areas such as plumbing leading to additional long term problems. All of this can also cause the property to lose value.

3. What a Restoration Crew Can Do

A restoration team has been trained to deal with a variety of damage types. These include the damages that may be classified as secondary. In many cases they can clean the area and begin repairs, both restoring and replacing materials as needed. With a little time that can have the business looking “Like it never even happened.”

Secondary damage can take a number of forms, including black mold. This can negatively affect the property and reduce both it’s integrity and it’s value. Fortunately, your local restoration service can help conduct clean up, repairs, cleaning, and sometimes can help with prevention as well. If you have any questions the restoration team should be able to help.

Do You Have a Mold Problem?

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Do You Have a Mold Problem?

Sometimes something just seems off. As a business owner you know your building. You understand how it works, and you can feel when the premises are different. In fact, your chances of spore growth are likely if you can answer yes to any of the following three questions below. If you do, then reach to an indoor environmental specialist for guidance in locating and eradicating the hazard.

1. Do You See Spots?
One of the more common signs of fungal growth is the development of blackish spots, signs that spores are reproducing. Using a household cleaner is a common first line of defense. However, those spots are only an external sign of an internal problem. Chances are you have a leak inside the walls. If that's the case, the spots are a signal of a serious issue that needs attention. Have the source fixed, and call in a mold restoration company to complete a mold test. These professionals can determine the extent of the infestation.

2. Is There a Strange Odor?
Not all contamination is visibly evident. In fact, sometimes one of the first signs is a musty odor, a by-product of spores breeding. In this situation, you'll need to uncover the location of the trouble. Work with an indoor environmental specialist. This expert has high tech equipment systems and can conduct a thorough investigation into the situation, pinpointing where you need to attack.

3. Have You Experienced a Flood?
Anytime water exposure increases mold growth could happen. Flooding, particularly, leaves businesses vulnerable. The deluge not only brings a dramatic increase in moisture, but the fluid also transfers high levels of microorganisms. It's the perfect storm for pollution. Those little microbes just dig on deep into anything porous. It may not be noticed at first, but you'll want a mold and water remediation crew to immediately attend to the premises. They should dry out the humidity and tear ruined materials.
If you suspect mold development, look for signs. Spots, odor, and water accumulation are primary indicators. Then, work with an indoor environmental specialist to find the extent of the invasion.

3 Ways To Eliminate a Moldy Smell

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Use The Following Three Tips To Remove Mold Odor

The signs of mold are not always so simple: It's not always a crumbling wall or the gathering of black fuzzy spots. Often, it's the subtle hint of a strange odor, a byproduct of the fungus's mycotoxin release. If your nose senses something off, you can try to take care of it. Homeowners can tackle the problem using the following three tips.

1. Have the Air Unit Cleaned

Sometimes the musty odor develops from mold growth in the air unit. All of those vents help pull in moisture from your home, keeping the place cool; however, sometimes, that humidity sticks in there, allowing microbes to grow; thus, you get a smell. Call out a service to inspect and scrub the system.

2. Purchase a Filtration System

Concerned about what you're inhaling? You can pull out the mycotoxin from the air using a HEPA air filtration device. By removing the chemical release, you decrease the funk, allowing you to breathe easier. Just be aware that this doesn't eliminate it from the source, though. Explore further to find where it's coming from.

3. Remove Contaminated Materials

While the smell is irritating, the main issue is that you have spores growing in the house. You need to find them and remove them; otherwise, the scent could only grow worse. Call a mold remediation company in Naples Lakes, FL, to assess the premises, determining the source of the trouble. A leaky pipe behind a wall could be the complication. Once it's found, tear out everything with mold on it. Allow the crew to sanitize the section and restore it to its initial condition.
It's unpleasant to get a whiff of mycotoxin, filling the house with stuffy smell. Attack it by seeking help from professionals. Work with your air conditioner company and mold team to find the growth, remove it and rebuild. Then, purchase a HEPA air filtration unit that maintains a healthy circulation for your entire family.

3 Effective Ways To Minimize Your Business Interruption Claim

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

White paper that says 'business interruption insurance' on it Business interruption insurance has a restoration period that lasts while you repair the aftermath of flooding, leaking or other incidents

Take The Following Measures To Make The Recovery Process Easier

Flooding and other similar disasters can damage your business so severely that it affects your operations and endangers employees and customers. As a result, you may need to close while specialists repair the building. A business interruption addition to your insurance plan can cover related expenses. However, you still want to keep claims low through the following methods.

1. Create Prevention and Mitigation Plans
While you cannot stop every business disaster, you can take the steps to lower risk and mitigate existing damage. Identify potential hazards throughout the facility and estimate their costs. Create plans that prevent, deter or mitigate each hazard as needed with the assistance of maintenance and repair professionals. Additionally, you need to establish an emergency response plan that accounts for people's safety and controls the impact of large water damage.

2. Repair Damage Fast
Business interruption insurance has a restoration period that lasts while you repair the aftermath of flooding, leaking or other incidents. The faster the repair and recovery process goes, the more you can stick to the allotted time and avoid growing claims. Hire a water damage remediation company as soon as you can. These licensed and experienced professionals can find flood sources such as a leaky roof or a broken pipe and execute the best solution available.

3. Consider Off-Location Business
This type of insurance is designed to help keep your business alive during a time where significant revenue decreases. Minimize this loss by considering alternatives to your usual business model. If the damage is not extensive, you can resume reduced operations in the current space. If the building is too damaged, you can reopen at an alternative location until the recovery is complete. See if outsourcing some functions to other parties is also an option.
Though interruption coverage is supposed to keep your establishment strong after flooding or storm damage, it is best to reduce the overall claim. Take these measures to make the recovery process easier on everyone.

5 Essential Mold Prevention Tips

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

guttering on a house full of leaves Keep your gutters clean.

Use These Essential Tips

Mold is one of the most feared infestations for homeowners. Where there's moisture, water damage and organic matter to snack on, mold will inevitably appear. That doesn't mean that you make the necessary precautions to keep this home invader out, however. Use these essential tips to help keep your home clean.

1. Control your home's humidity: Humid conditions can create an excess of moisture that attracts mold. If you notice condensation forming on your windows and walls, then your home's humidity is definitely too high.

2. Keep your home properly ventilated: Routine household activities, such as cooking and showering, can generate moisture. It's important to properly ventilate this moisture, not only to prevent mold growth, but to also avoid unwanted water damage.

3. Opt for mold-resistant products: Believe it or not, there is such thing as mold-resistant drywall and paint inhibitors. Installing these products can help you avoid a costly mold remediation session further down the road.

4. Protect your household plants: You might think your plants are there to help keep your air clean, but they aren't completely safe from mold. Overwatering your plants can result in a buildup of excessive moisture, which is an inviting place for a wayward fungus to settle down.

5. Manage your gutters: Neglecting to clean out your gutters regularly can cause water to build up and potentially leak through your roof. Prevent this issue by taking the time to routinely scoop out gunk and repair any damage as soon as you discover it.
Mold prevention is manageable when you take the time to set the proper precautions. Even so, you might still fall victim to a mold infestation. If you've experienced any type of recent water damage, it's a good idea to contact mold remediation experts to perform a thorough mold inspection. You can never be too careful when it comes to keeping your property clean.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

foam tubing One of the best ways to protect your pipes is to add insulation around exposed pipes

Heavy rain isn’t the only source of storm damage; frigid winter storms can also lead to flooding and other serious water damage. For example, if the plumbing throughout your property isn't insulated, installed, or maintained properly, you could end up with a burst pipe.

Which Pipes Are Most Likely To Freeze?

Your sprinkler lines, supply lines to swimming pools, or outdoor hose bibs
Exposed lines in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and attics
Pipes installed against exterior walls, especially without insulation
Plumbing lines in uninsulated kitchen and bathroom cabinets

When temperatures drop and water freezes, the developing ice expands and puts added pressure on pipes. Even very strong pipes will crack or burst under the pressure as standing water expands while freezing.

Insulate Exposed Pipes
One of the best ways to protect your pipes is to add insulation around exposed pipes. Be sure to check inside cabinets, along exterior walls, in the garage, and in the basement. If you don't know where the pipes run, it's best to hire a plumber to help. After the construction of your building is complete, it can be hard to track down the original plans, and there's no guarantee that the contractor followed the plans precisely. A plumber, however, can usually let you know within an hour or two where the pipes are located.

Drain Water Before Temperatures Drop
The next step in protecting against a burst pipe is draining water from all of the pipes that aren't used during the winter, such as swimming pool supply lines and the sprinkling system. After draining hoses, wrap them up and store them until warmer weather. Don't put antifreeze into any of your water supply lines; it is very dangerous to humans, animals, and the environment.

Catch Damage Early
If you see condensation around your windows, on the walls, or on interior pipes, contact a water damage mitigation and repair team as quickly as possible. You may avoid serious damages if you catch a developing crack or minor leak before it becomes a burst pipe. If you do need to deal with a frozen pipe, SERVPRO professionals work quickly to keep damage under control.

Finding Mold in Your Air Conditioner Ducts

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Air vent in ceiling with black spots around it. Mold growth in air duct system

Know The Signs Of Mold

Most offices, stores and other businesses clean their carpets, bathrooms and have regular pest control. One important task that gets missed is HVAC cleaning. Since it only has to be done twice per year, it is an easy task to forget. Unfortunately, forgetting can cause mold to build inside your ducts, which reduces your HVAC system's efficiency. Since you cannot see inside your ductwork, you should know the signs of mold.


Look for Moisture
If you have moisture, chances are you have mold. You will need to look for moisture in/on your:

  • Air ducts
  • Indoor unit
  • Outdoor unit
  • Vent covers
  • Drainage pipe

Moisture can include standing water or sweating on the surface of your unit.


Look Inside Your Vents
Although you cannot look inside your ductwork, you can look inside your vents. Start by cleaning vents and opening them as wide as possible. If you want, you can remove the vent covers entirely. Then look inside. Look for white, grey or black spots inside the vent. If you see any of these, you need an HVAC cleaning due to mold buildup.


Follow Unusual Smells
When you turn your HVAC unit on for the first time in the spring or fall, it is normal to smell burning dust. It is not normal to smell anything earthy. Mold smells similar to rotting wood or leaves. If you have an unusual smell, track down where it is coming from, and you should find the problem.


Call In the Professionals
If you are unsure whether you have mold or not, it is time to call in the professionals. Not only can they help you find out if you have an HVAC mold problem, they can also take care of it for you.
A good HVAC cleaning is beneficial, particularly if you suspect that you have a mold problem. It also helps your system run more efficiently and prevents future issues.

Salvaging Belonging with Mold Damage

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Rug folded over covered in black mold spots Mold damage

When unexpected water penetrates your home, it can quickly lead to mold damage. If not caught in time, it can spread to precious belongings that may seem unsalvageable. Before tossing cherished items or figuring out how to budget to replace expensive items, know that a professional mold cleaning service may help you save more than you thought.

Professional Cleaning Methods

Seeking the help of a mold remediation and restoration expert means placing your belongings in the hands of certified experts who have to the tools and know-how to get your home back in order. Along with assessing the damage and finding potential hidden fungus lurking in the structure, they have high-tech industrial techniques to clean and sanitize sensitive items. Depending on the severity of damage and type of item, the following mold cleaning methods are used:

Dry Cleaning – Pre-cleaning and light residue removal
Wet Cleaning – Removes heavy residues
Spray and Wipe – Used when wet cleaning isn’t possible
Foam Cleaning – Cleans fabrics that may bleed
Abrasive Cleaning – Agitation method for surface cleaning
Immersion Cleaning – Items dipped in a cleaning solution bath

Along with cleaning more durable items, more sensitive possessions, such as artwork or electronics, can also be cleaned. For TVs, computers, DVD players, and similar devices, the cleaning process starts with the exterior to prevent corrosion and then is inspected and further cleaned by a technician certified to handle electronics. Photographs and documents may not always be salvageable, but a professional uses various drying techniques to restore them.

Keeping Belongings Safe
In many cases, some belongings will need to be removed from the home and taken to a safe, secure cleaning facility. Along with the confidence that many items won’t have to be tossed, the experts also keep a secure inventory of all items to be cleaned.
Mold cleaning is an extensive process, but saving your prized belongings is worth it. For many items, using a professional can help you get back to “Like it never even happened.”

6 Places You Can Get Assistance After a Disaster

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

blue paper that says FEMA FEMA offers government assistance

If your home and personal belongings are damaged by a disaster and aren't covered by your insurance policy, many organizations can help. Many organizations offer assistance for any recovery task from FEMA to the SBA, including temporary housing and hiring remediation professionals.


1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA is one of the best-known relief organizations in the United States. If you have experienced a flood, storm, or another disaster, this organization can offer several relief options.

2. The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program
Like FEMA, DAIP offers government assistance. It is slightly different because it can help people meet their unique needs instead of lumping them into different relief categories. For instance, it can offer you money for buying food, temporary housing, and restoring your home. It can also help you find funds to cover lost wages, medical expenses, and legal fees.


3. The Internal Revenue Service
The IRS offers tax relief to people impacted by qualifying disasters. For instance, they could allow you to deduct disaster-related expenses or have an extension on your filing period. Talk to a representative or your accountant to see what specific relief you could qualify for.


4. The Department of Labor
The DOL offers unemployment benefits to anyone who has had their employment or business interrupted due to a disaster. This is extremely helpful if you own your own business, worked as a contracted employee, or lost your job.

5. The Small Business Administration
The SBA has helped many people, start and grow their small businesses. To add to its support of small business owners, the SBA offers low-interest and long-term loans for people who have been impacted by a disaster.


6. The American Red Cross
The Red Cross offers a long list of assistance after a disaster. They can contact your loved ones for you, evaluate your home's structural integrity, provide counseling, and offer financial assistance.
If you have suffered from flooding or another type of disaster, you know how difficult the situation can be. Use this list to find assistance to help you get through this time.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

a person using a tool on a white water heater Your water heater flush is now complete

How to Flush Your Water Heater

Much like any other appliance in your home, your water heater requires routine maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush, can help keep your appliance running smoothly for years to come. The good news is that this process is quite simple to execute, even if you lack prior plumbing experience.

1. Turn Off the Machine.
This process varies depending on which type of model your home is equipped with. For gas models, simply cut the gas and extinguish the pilot light. Electric models can be switched off via your home's circuit box.

2. Empty and Flush the Tank.
Open your device's drain valve and allow the water to flow freely for several minutes until the tank is completely drained. You can switch on the faucet in your kitchen sink to help the water drain more smoothly and efficiently. Wait a few minutes before turning off the supply valve. Switch the supply valve back on once the water flow ceases entirely. Flush the water heater quickly before cutting the supply once again.

3. Refill the Water Tank.
Once you feel satisfied that all of the water and debris left in the tank has been drained, you may close the valve. Switch the water supply back on and closely watch the flowing faucet in your kitchen sink. The stream will start flowing smoothly again once the water tank is completely full.

4. Reactivate the Power.
After the tank has been refilled, you can switch the power by on. Do so by repeating step one in reverse order. Double-check to make sure the water tank has been filled completely before restoring the power. Doing so with a half-full tank can damage your appliance. Your water heater flush is now complete.
Performing a successful flush on your water heater is a simple way to help maintain a crucial appliance in your home. Make sure to contact water remediation experts for assistance if you encounter any problems during your flush.

5 Tips for Your Home Fire Escape Plan

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Green map showing escape route Making a fire escape plan now can save lives later

Here Are Five Things To Consider In Your Plan

When did you last think about a fire escape plan for your home? In the rush of moving to a new home or keeping up with your kids' schedules, this may be the last thing on your mind. However, it's important for every home to have a plan in the case of an emergency.

1. Escape Routes for All
Each member of your household needs to have their own escape plan. Consider any barriers that may keep you from accessing your escape route. Do any of your windows or doors have bars? Are there any barricades or locks? What will you do if you need to escape from a higher-story window? Ensure that each person can complete their exit strategy independently.

2. Fire Safety Review
Talk to your family about how to safely crawl beneath smoke, how to check doors for danger before going through them, and what to do if they are trapped inside. You can also discuss the importance of getting out quickly and remind everyone, especially small children, that firefighters are there to help.

3. Family Meeting Spot
Where will your family meet to ensure that everyone is out safely? Identify this spot by actually going there. Emphasize the importance of staying at that spot until help arrives.

4. Exit Strategy Practice
While many people have a fire escape plan, fewer have practiced them. Practicing may seem silly, but you may make important discoveries during a run-through that you wouldn't want to make during a fire, such as finding a window that jams.

5. After Fire Preparation
The final part of your emergency escape plan should include what you will do after a fire. Where will you stay? Which fire mitigation professional will you call to restore your home? Thinking about these things now will lessen the burden during a crisis.
Making a fire escape plan now can save lives later, and you will have peace of mind knowing that you're helping to keep your family safe.

Regularly Inspect your Fire Sprinkler System

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Gold sprinkler head A fire sprinkler is an important safety component of any business

If your business has a fire sprinkler, you may have peace of mind that you are ready for the unexpected. While they are designed to last and work like a charm, that only happens if they are properly maintained. If regular inspections and testing aren’t complete, they may accidentally go off, which may require a water damage and restoration professional for the fire sprinkler cleanup. Even worse, they may not go off when they need to, which no business wants to happen.

Inspection Schedule
A fire suppression system needs regular visual inspections. The following schedule is recommended:

  • Dry, pre-action and deluge sprinklers should be check weekly while wet pipe ones can be done monthly.
  • Regardless of type, inspect flow alarm, valve supervisory alarm and supervisory signal devices every three months. Include a check of the control valves and hydraulic nameplates.
  • Check bracing, pipes, fitting, signage and spare sprinklers every year.
  • An internal inspection is recommended every five years.

Testing Schedule
Along with inspections, a fire sprinkler system should be regularly tested. These are in-depth checks to ensure all components are in working order.

The mechanical elements should be tested every three months.
Van and pressure switch devices should be thoroughly checked every six months.
More comprehensive testing should be completed annually. It is best to have a certified professional help. The process involves checking every facet of the system, including water flow, antifreeze concentration, alarms and trip tests.

If you have dry sprinklers, testing or replacement is recommended after 10 years. Fast response systems need a full test every 20 years while standard response sprinklers need it after 50 years in use. Both should have 10-years tests completed after that.
A fire sprinkler is an important safety component of any business. Be sure to stay on track with inspections and testing to ensure they work when they need to.

Avoid These Four Common Causes of House Fires

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Four Common Causes of House Fires

Experiencing a home fire is the last thing any homeowner wants to experience, but the presence of so many fire hazards in most houses leaves little room for error. While some fire causes might seem unavoidable, many of the homes addressed by a fire cleaning and restoration company are affected by preventable reasons. It is essential you are proactive and intentional in preventing a fire from starting in your home. A great place to start is by avoiding these four common causes house fires.

1. Cooking Fires

Whether caused by leaving cooking unattended, cooking while fatigued, or broken appliances, the kitchen is a common place for fires to start. Cooking with lots of oil can also lead to problematic grease fires that can be difficult to put out. It is important to always read the instructions when heating food and to keep flammable objects far away from the stove or oven when turned on.

2. Smoking Indoors

Lighting a cigarette indoors, especially in a bedroom, is a quick way to cause a home fire. Many belongings and furniture are flammable, which can be dangerous if butts aren't put out correctly or not placed in an ashtray.

3. Heating Appliances

Both portable heaters and home furnaces are major fire causes that can be prevented with proper use and maintenance. Heaters should never be placed in close proximity to flammable objects or used around pets and children. Make sure to get your furnace inspected yearly and quickly address any issues.

4. Candles

Candles might look and smell nice, but they can lead to a fire if not used correctly. Keep candles away from cats and young children, never leave lit candles unattended, and keep candles far away from curtains, carpet, and other flammable materials.
Being vigilant in removing potential fire hazards from your home and always being aware of your surroundings is the first step in keeping your house and family safe from a home fire. Start with these four common house fire causes.

The Importance of Regular HVAC Maintenance

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

The main function of the HVAC system, whether in a commercial building or residential home, is to exchange air and regulate comfort. Putting off routine maintenance of the HVAC system impacts not only building operations, but occupant safety as well. If the filters are not regularly changed, they become dirty and clogged- thus restricting air flow and static pressure. When this occurs, it is harder to regulate the temperature and humidity in the building. The buildup may also get damp and becomes a food source for bacteria and mold. Mold brings in foul odors and allergens that cause headaches, sinus congestion, and eye irritation of its occupants.

Additionally, HVAC units that are under constant stress are more likely to fail due to wear and tear of belts, bearings, and bushings. Clogged drain pans may overflow and cause water damage- something we’ve seen often in our industry. Wiring may overheat or short circuit, which could result in fires. These are only a few of the risks associated with deferred maintenance of the HVAC system in your commercial building. So, how do you avoid these issues? Keep an inventory list of the HVAC equipment in your building. A good inventory list provides insight into the specifications, age, and history of equipment. This is helpful for routine maintenance and planning for replacement.

HVAC systems are key to maintaining optimized building operations and occupant health. It is highly recommended to contact a professional when dealing with duct cleaning and air handling units because of the risk of cross-contamination. The certified professional will know how to clean every component associated with the duct system, including reheat coils and VAV terminals. SERVPRO specializes in duct cleaning for both residential and commercial buildings. Make sure you are checking your HVAC system regularly and hiring a professional to perform routine maintenance. 

Why is there water in my basement?

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

You walk down to the basement and turn on the lights — and you see water coming in. This is a challenge that is most likely to occur during springtime, so don’t be surprised if you have this experience in March, April or May when the weather is rainiest. This can happen in an unfinished basement, but cleanup and the related challenges are even more intensive when you have a wet basement that’s also finished with wet carpet, wood or tile.

When you do have water coming in a basement, it is important first to identify the reason for a wet basement floor — which will help you prevent it from happening again. It is equally as important to know how to clean up water in a basement so there’s no lasting damage.

REASONS YOU SEE WATER IN YOUR BASEMENT

When you have water coming in a basement, there is a long list of places to check for the leak. Here is what you should look for first:

  • Window Well: It is always nice to have windows in your basement, so you can enjoy a little bit of natural light. Groundwater and rainwater can accumulate, though, and make it more difficult for the integrity of your window wells to hold up. Examine your window wells for signs of leaks, and also check your gutters and downspouts. Overflowing gutters and downspouts can often lead to leaky window wells as water collects around the foundation of your house.
  • Honeycomb: If poorly mixed concrete was used to create your basement walls, honeycomb-like air pockets could form and allow water to leak in. You should be able to see these honeycomb formations, and they are relatively easy to treat as part of your basement waterproofing process.
  • Water Pipe Conduits: Water pipes need holes to get into your basement. These holes are typically sealed with a water plug, but those plugs only go so deep — about two inches on average. There may be a gap between the plug and the opening that allows for water to gather and leak into your basement.
  • Floor Drains: Water backups related to your own drain system or even the municipal water supply may lead to flooding up through your floor drain. Your basement’s waterproofing system should include a filter that draws this type of water away from your home. If you have one, and you are still experiencing water backups in your basement, it may be time to have the system serviced and checked for problems.
  • Wall Leaks: This is a challenge mostly in older homes. Water gathers in low spots after the soil settles over time. This lower settling level allows for water to begin leaking over the top of the wall of your basement. Water may also leak in through cracks in the middle of your walls, which is one of the more severe basement leaks. Middle-of-the-wall leaks appear because of massive pressure buildups in the ground and water pushing against the wall over time.
  • Sewer Pipes: Smaller sewer pipe leaks are the most difficult to deal with because they can go undetected for so long. You may first notice a sewer pipe leak of this variety by seeing stains on walls below the drain, ceiling staining or even signs of mold formation.
  • Floor Cracks: Basement floor cracks are often the result of a home settling over time. As your home settles, water begins to collect in spaces underground, applying pressure to your basement floor. Water can then leak into your basement through these cracks, or it can even enter as humidity that creates mold and mildew.
  • Sump Pumps: Sump pumps can fail for a number of reasons, including but not limited to poor installation, maintenance needs, clogged or frozen discharge lines, power failure, etc. A backup sump pump can help prevent leaking in most cases.

Protect Your Home Against Flood Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Clean your downspouts and gutters

Make sure to clean out your gutters at least once every six months or more often if you have a lot of trees near your Bradley County home. When water collects in the gutters it can cause damage to your roof and the gutters themselves. Down-spouts that aren’t clean and checked to ensure the water is running off properly and is running away from your house can cause damage to walls and even your foundation. At SERVPRO, we have seen this issue from many customers. Clean those gutters and spouts!

Switch off the mains

If you are going on vacation or you are going to be away for a length of time, switch the water off at the main. This will stop any dripping or other water issues while you are away. You wouldn’t want to come home to water rushing out your front door to greet you! If you have a drip system or sprinkler system, it may make sense to ask a neighbor, house sitter or your landscaper to turn these on and off manually. There are some systems you can control from your phone to water your landscaping too!

Keep your garden in check

While we’re on the topic of landscaping, trees and shrubs can cause damage to your pipes from the roots wrapping around the pipes. Keep your garden maintained and avoid planting large plants near piping if at all possible.

Take care of those small leaks immediately

Found a little leak? It may seem like a harmless drip, but a small leak can become a big water damage problem if not dealt with as soon as possible. Even tiny drips can cause mildew and mold in your home and even lead to structural damage and dry rot over an extended period of time. If you fix the leaks as they occur, you have less likelihood of the small issue becoming a huge problem later. If you have a sudden spike in your water bill, make sure you investigate for underground water leaks as well.

Check the appliances

Most people think toilets are the cause of most home floods but don’t forget about your appliances! Monitor appliances for leaks and replace any cracked and brittle piping. Things like a dishwasher or washing machine can flood your house out quickly if the appliance is not maintained adequately.

Flood damage in our homes is something most of us experience at some point in our lives. It could be caused by something as simple as an overflowing bathtub or something more serious such as a burst pipe or sewerage pipe rupture.

Flood damages to your home can range from minor to severe and dealing with the issue can be overwhelming. While some water issues cannot be foreseen, there are a few things you can do to prevent flood damages to your home from factors you have some control over. If you experience flooding in your home, call the water damage experts at SERVPRO to get the help you need.

How is SERVPRO Assisting in the Fight Against COVID-19?

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

COVID-19. It is on everyone's mind daily and the height of most people's concerns. How is SERVPRO assisting in the fight against this virus? SERVPRO is providing proactive cleaning services to customers that want to take measures to protect themselves, their families, and their employees in this fight against Coronavirus. This is not the first time that SERVPRO has taken to the front lines in a pandemic. We have encountered everything from the common cold to the swine flu, and now Coronavirus. Our highly trained professionals have been fighting pandemics for years and adhere to all CDC Guidelines when doing it. We are a firm believer in helping the members of our community stay healthy and ahead of the curve when it comes to health hazards. 

Proactive cleaning takes many forms, all of which should be performed by a trained professional. We have many cleaning products including sterilizing and disinfecting solutions that we use to combat airborne and direct contact diseases. Some are fogged into buildings and others are sprayed directing onto surfaces and wiped off. Dwell time is the duration a product is allowed to sit on a surface in order to perform its function. We always allow for proper dwell time and cleanup of all solutions in order to provide maximum effectiveness in sterilization and disinfecting of buildings.

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. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. If you or anyone you know is interested in proactive cleaning for their home or business, please contact us and we will be happy to assess your needs and provide you with some peace of mind during these trying times. 

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

How Can I Restore my Belongings After Flood Damage?

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

As we're entering the season of thunderstorms and floods, it is important to know what to know if your home is flooded. You can read more about our storm damage restoration services, but I want to focus specifically on restoring books, photos, and electronics that have been damaged by water. As flood damage restoration experts, it is our job to determine which of your belongings are important to you and do everything we can to help restore those items for you.

Whether you have a library full of damaged books or documents that you'd like to save, or you have a highly advanced electronic household, our professionally trained staff will go above and beyond to assist with recovering your meaningful items. 
 
It is necessary to understand that water-damaged books and documents are not fully recoverable; meaning they cannot receive pre-damage condition restoration, because some damage will always exist. However, the faster we get started on restoring the items, the better each book or item will look after restoration. 
 
SERVPRO technicians have access to use five different methods for drying your water-damaged paper products. The method used to restore your items depends on the items value, type of exposure, extent of harm, time of exposure, and how much money you are willing to pay.
 
Drying your documents relies on a sublimation process, which consists of changing a solid into a vapor without taking on a liquid state first. Air-drying, Dehumidification, Freezer drying, Vacuum Freeze-drying, and Vacuum Thermal-drying are all methods that we can use to limit the damage to your paper items
 
Freezer storage facilities give us the ability to store wet paper products, and we have one very close to home- at SERVPRO corporate! Once we receive your items, we can immediately transport them to corporate where specialists will carefully handle your personal items.
 
SERVPRO maintains a log of which items get moved into storage and where they are within the facility so that we can return to them after the restorations are complete. As with all of our services, our IICRC certified technicians thoroughly explain the situation and seek feedback from you on how you would like to move forward. 

What is Water Extraction?

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

WATER EXTRACTION

When your house has suffered from a flood or if your house has water that you can’t figure out where it is coming from, water extraction is a must-have process to prevent secondary and extensive damage. If water is seeping excessively through the tile flooring or carpet, it could be because of leaking pipes, damaged grounds, or flooding. The cracks and gaps in the floor also allow the rainwater to penetrate underneath the flooring. Drainage issues could be one of the reasons, too.

Water extraction should be performed quickly but it should be done professionally and efficiently. Whether you are looking for emergency water extraction to control the leak or to protect the property, it will be an advantage if you know what water extraction is and how important it is to do the necessary action as soon as possible.

WHAT IS WATER EXTRACTION

What is water extraction? Before you agree on the contract, get to know what it is and why it is important. Water extraction is a kind of process recommended for the removal of excess water from the flooring and grounds of the house or property. It is a tough job that has to be left to professionals only because they have the expertise, the necessary tools and water extraction equipment, and the most efficient methods for water extraction.

The purpose of the water extraction process is to reduce the risk of damages to property, to prevent the growth of molds, and to restore the quality condition of the property. The methods used by the experts include stopping the source of excessive flow of water, draining of water, removal of non-visible water, drying of the grounds, dehumidifying the entire area.

Pumps can be used to pump out the water, and drying systems are used to dry the wall, ceiling, and cavities of the building. A high-end vacuum, on the other hand, is used for water extraction from the carpet. If you do not know how to extract water from the carpet, you can rely on the experts and their high technology methods.

Whether excess water is caused by flooding and natural disaster, or it is because of a bursting pipe underneath the ground, immediate action and attention should be given to your property. Water extraction is your most urgent response to this. Contact the experts at SERVPRO of Fort Smith and let the professionals do the job.

479-452-8282

SERVPRO Restores a Property After Water and Storm Damage

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Restores a Property After Water and Storm Damage

Despite everyone's best efforts, storm damage can happen. Removing the flood water isn't the end; cleanup is just getting started. On top of the flooring and walls, every bit of furniture, clothing and other items exposed to the storm will have to dried, cleaned, deodorized and probably even sanitized.


SERVPRO utilizes a variety of cleaning equipment and chemicals to return your carpets and floors to a usable state. Depending on the size, material, and color-fastness, the options range from simple spray and wiping to immersion cleaning.

Storm damage can leave odors as well as a damp carpet. We use industrial grade air scrubbers and specialized fogging equipment to remove the musty smell and rather than just covering it up. While removing the odor is important, getting rid of the mold which causes it is even more so. The application of a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial agents is necessary. Our personnel is trained to use the product that will not only restore your property but do so in a manner that is safe for your family and employees as well as the environment.

Once the mold has been remediated, each item should be either disinfected or sanitized depending on its function. Kitchen, breakroom, and bathroom equipment must be sanitized to ensure the health of anyone who may use them. Standard office spaces such as conference rooms would not need that level of cleaning unless the contaminated floodwaters wetted the flooring and walls. Our IICRC certified technicians can be relied upon to provided the highest level of professionalism and courtesy.

SERVPRO does its best to help you restore your home or business to its pre-storm damage condition as quickly as possible. As a locally owned franchise, we value our customers as neighbors and not just a job to be completed. If you want to schedule an inspection or believe you may need our restoration services, please call us today!

Recovering From a Tornado

12/6/2020 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are a terrifying, often devastating, weather event. They can turn houses into dust, and flip lives upside down. Living through a tornado can be traumatizing, and sometimes the aftermath is just as bad. Parts of your home may be destroyed, and the idea of fixing it can be overwhelming. Recovering from a tornado could be a huge task, depending on how bad the damage was. However, there are steps to take toward recovery and people ready to help along the way. There are steps that should be taken right after the storm passes, and other steps to take down the road when it is time for repairs and cleaning.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

The first step is to stay in your safe place until the storm has completely passed. If you are able, try and wait until you get the all clear from local officials. After the storm, check yourself and those with you for any injuries. If someone is hurt, the next step is seeking out first aid. After everyone has been checked and is okay, you should see how bad the damage to your house is. Make sure to watch out for anything that is unstable and likely to fall. If you go outside, look out for any downed power lines. They can be life threatening, so if you see downed power lines stay inside.

Protect Your Property

After you make sure yourself and your loved ones are protected, start protecting your property. You can make temporary repairs in order to prevent further damage. Many insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost, so make sure to keep receipts just in case. In addition to temporary repairs, living expenses may also be reimbursable. If your house is damaged to the point of you having to stay in a hotel, keep the receipts. Your policy may pay you back for the cost of it. Make sure to make a list of anything that was damaged, and don’t throw out damaged belongings. An adjuster will need to assess them for value if your policy covers replacing them. You should also inspect all utility lines and appliances. Any damage could lead to a gas leak or electric shortage. Damaged electric wires may also cause a fire. You may even have to turn off the main valve in order to prevent more harm to your house. Once these steps have been taken, contact your insurance company. From there, they can work with you to see what your policy covers. Most of the time, they will hire services to come out and repair damages.

Clean Up and Repair

SERVPRO has highly trained storm damage specialists, and your insurance company may choose to work with them. We have an incredibly fast response time when it comes to disasters. We have equipment and personnel ranging across 1,700 franchises. Our experience and training will allow us to restore your property quickly and efficiently. In addition, we will document the entire process. Please give us a call if you are in need of assistance. 

4 Steps for Handling a Fire Claim

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Here Are Four Steps For Handling A Claim

A fire can cause damage and destruction to your home or business, and it is imperative to take the necessary recovery steps and file a fire claim to maintain your operations. Acting quickly and staying organized helps prevent your business from experiencing any major downtime or interruptions.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurer as quickly as possible to report the fire and schedule a meeting with the adjuster. Be sure to have your policy number and the address of your business ready, and provide your contact information so your insurance company knows how to reach you.

2. Start Repair and Cleanup
Do not wait for the adjuster to arrive before beginning cleanup. If you can handle any temporary repairs and secure your property, you should do so to avoid any additional damage or loss. Calling a professional fire restoration and cleanup service is recommended to make sure the process is done properly with the right equipment.

3. Document and Record the Damage
Take photographs of any fire damage before discarding debris or damaged items, and keep records of any costs incurred to repair and restore the property for your fire claim. If the damage is severe enough to temporarily close your business, keep track of any ongoing expenses that you cannot suspend while your business is shut down. If you conduct business at a temporary location, document those expenses as well to submit them with your claim.

4. Provide Financial Statements
For any items that require replacement or repair, provide records to verify the value of the items before they were damaged. You need documents that support any lost business income due to the fire. Be prepared to show bank statements, tax returns and contracts to your insurer.
Filing a fire claim can seem like a lot of work, but staying organized and knowing how to proceed can substantially minimize financial losses. If you are prepared, you can have your business back up and running in no time.

3 Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires in Your Home

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Preventing a Cigarette Fire In Your Home

There are several ways a fire might break out in your home, but one dangerous circumstance is the risk of those caused by cigarettes. A cigarette fire can spread quickly and cause untold damage to several rooms in your home, including scorch marks and smoke damage. You can prevent these types of fires by practicing a few safety measures each time you or your visitors use cigarettes.

1. Smoke Outside
You can reduce the risk of fire completely by asking that family members and guests smoke outside. Place weighted ashtrays on your porch or patio, and ensure that cigarette butts are completely extinguished before you go inside for the evening. Empty the ashtrays completely on windy days to prevent smoldering butts from igniting a cigarette fire near trees or dry grass.

2. Do Not Smoke in Bed
Many cigarette fires start when people fall asleep in bed while smoking, as blankets and mattresses can catch fire quickly. If you feel sleepy, avoid lighting a cigarette, and do not keep ashtrays in your room so you are less tempted to light up in your bedroom. If you take medications at night that make you drowsy, leave your cigarettes in another room. This can also help prevent an ashtray fire from a pile of cigarette butts that could ignite if left unattended.

3. Use Sand To Extinguish Butts
Adding sand to your home’s ashtrays can help you prevent fires and the need for a fire cleanup damage and restoration company. Snuffing butts out in an inch or so of sand can extinguish them completely and prevent them from causing bedding or curtain fires. You might be able to find small bags of clean, chemical-free sand at your local home hardware store.
Preventing a cigarette fire at your Shenandoah, TX, home can be simple. Remain vigilant about snuffing out butts completely and keeping smoldering cigarettes away from flammable surfaces.

Common Questions About Category 2 Water Damage

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you are stuck with a broken pipe at your commercial establishment, you may have heard about Category 2 water damage and are finding yourself left with a lot of questions. Will water pipe repair address the issue? How damaging is this type of water? Fortunately, we have the answers you are looking for. Here are three common questions about Category 2 damage and responses to each.

What Is It?

There are three categories of water damage. They include the following:

• Category 1 damage, which is also known as “white water.” This is clean, fresh water.
• Category 2 damage, also known as “gray water.” This is water that sat too long.
• Category 3 damage. This is also known as “black water.” This water is contaminated.

In other words, Category 2 damage started out as clean water damage, but sat too long and became somewhat contaminated. Water from a broken pipe would be gray water of this kind. If you haven’t completed the water pipe repair and the moisture has sat for a couple of days, it may now be Category 2 water.

What Causes It?

As mentioned above, water that sits too long simply becomes gray water on its own. It usually comes from a higher level and seeps through building materials after your building becomes flooded. For example, water that starts on the second floor of your building is usually Category 1 water but then becomes Category 2 water as it trickles down to the first floor.

How Can I Address It?

If you handle your water pipe repair quickly, your clean water will not likely turn into Category 2 water or cause significant damage. Seek help as soon as your building is damaged to prevent a huge catastrophe. If significant damage is already present, your local commercial water damage restoration company should be able to help you complete remediation and drying processes in a timely manner to help salvage your property.

How to Handle Roof Damage After a Fire

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you're on the unfortunate wrong end of a fire at work, the building's roof is one of the most vulnerable parts. You may not be able to salvage it, but a professional fire restoration team will help you with fire cleanup. In the meantime, there are things you and the technicians can do to minimize the damage and protect the building from harm.

Your First Steps

Facing a fire in the workplace may be a nightmare scenario, but it's important to act calmly wisely. Before you think about fire cleanup, take the following actions:

  • Make sure everyone in the building safely evacuates.
  • Call 911 to report the fire.
  • Notify your insurance company of the incident.
  • Contact a fire mitigation team to assess the damage.

Tear-out and Removal
Crews should remove any wet or damaged materials from the building. Technicians may be able to salvage some items. Ruined roofing materials should be discarded before the roof repair can begin.

Tarping Options
While crews clean inside your building, team members will enlist tarp services to cover the roof. After a fire, there will likely be gaping holes in the roof, which exposes your building to the elements. The restoration team will cover these areas with durable tarps until it is time to start rebuilding. This will protect your workplace from rain, snow, and wind.

Board-up Services
Fire cleanup will also include a concerted effort to protect your building, and everything you have inside that is still intact. By boarding up windows, doors, and gaps, you can have peace of mind knowing that vandals or other intruders won't have easy access to your building. Once the crews have rebuilt the roof and finished all other restoration work, you can safely return to your office.


The fire cleanup process can be complex. Luckily, you can rest assured that professional technicians will have you back on your feet soon.

Home Fire Tips!

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States. But unlike other disasters, home fires can be prevented! It’s important to know this: Fire is fast! There is no time to gather anything or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire could kill you. In five minutes, a house could be swallowed in flames. Fire is hot! Heat and smoke could be even more dangerous than the flames. Fire is dark! It can be hard to find your way out of your house in a fire.

BEFORE:

-Create a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year.

-Have smoke alarms in every bedroom and every floor of the house.

-Remind your parents to test the smoke alarms in your house every month.

-Find two ways to get out of each room. A window might be a second way if the door is blocked by fire or smoke.

-Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.

-Sleep with your door closed. It helps prevent fires from spreading quickly.

DURING:

-Get low and go! Crawl under the smoke to an exit. Heavy smoke and deadly gases collect along the ceiling.

- If you hear a smoke alarm, get out fast! You may only have a few seconds to escape.

-If smoke is blocking the door, use your second way out of the room or house.

-Feel the doorknob and door before opening it. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use the second way out. If you see smoke coming around the door, use the second way out.

-If you do open a door, open it slowly and be ready to shut it quickly if there’s smoke.

-Don’t hide from firefighters! They may look scary with all of their equipment, but they are there to help you.

- Tell firefighters if there are any pets trapped in the house. Don’t try to get them yourself!

-If your clothes catch on fire, stop-drop-roll! Stop, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Then roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.

AFTER:

-Don’t go back into any building unless a firefighter or your parents say it is safe.

Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith to restore your home after a fire. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Commercial pipes frozen? SERVPRO can help.

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

The colder months are coming and from what we hear it is going to be a cold snowy winter. We live in a colder climate. Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs.

Some helpful tips to prevent frozen pipes:

Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.

Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.

Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate around uninsulated pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes

Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.

Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.

Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Fort Smith as soon as possible.

479-452-8282

Our Restoration Process!

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

When your home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

Our Restoration Process

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

  1.  Emergency Contact

When you call us, our consultant will guide you through several questions that will help us respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.

  1. Inspection and Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage is crucial to developing a plan of action. We inspect and test the damaged area to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

  1. Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

  1. Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water which is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. We can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. We also disinfect with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

Prepare Your Home for Winter Storms Before it's Too Late!

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again, time to prepare ourselves and homes for the brutal cold of winter storms. It is not something anyone looks forward to but it is best to be prepared.  

Follow these tips recommended by  www.ready.gov/winter-weather to prepare yourself and your home for winter.

Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.

Prepare You Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
    • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
    • Plan to bring pets inside.
    • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.

Follow these recommended tips and you will be prepared for those cold winters days.

Your Belongings and Fire Damage

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Fort Smith understand your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings are the very things that make a house a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today 479-452-8282

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specialize in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Fort Smith can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. A SERVPRO of Fort Smith will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Fort Smith can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. Learn more about our document restoration services.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of Fort Smith can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding. Learn more about the Contents Claim Inventory Service.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

Faster Water Cleanup

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

When your home becomes a victim of a disaster that is spreading quickly throughout the property, you want to know that a phone call can retrieve experienced professionals with the ability to clean up the mess before your home becomes irreparably damaged. You need effective solutions to the water loss incident fast, and our franchise professionals can respond quickly to offer real-time results to the emergency in progress.

When a water disaster occurs, you need prompt water cleanup services. Many homeowners can quickly discover that recovering their home from substantial water loss situations can be overwhelming, and even stopping the source of the damage can prove problematic. For example, many residents have shut off valves for the water supply into the plumbing for their home, but few know where this shut off is, let alone how to access it if it is not out in the open. In these scenarios, you need a professional crew that can arrive shortly after you call with the expertise and experience to shut off the source of the water damage and begin effective strategies to preserve the property through extraction, drying and cleanup efforts.

Our SERVPRO of Fort Smith professionals are a wise choice for restoring your home and mitigating the initial loss you could experience due to our commitment to having highly trained technicians available to our customers. Through the steps required to obtain the water restoration certification through the industry standard-setting organization IICRC, to our continued online and in-house educational opportunities, we can offer technicians prepared for a wide range of potential effects from significant water loss incidents to a property.

You often do not have the time to spare to get the damage and excess cleaned up when facing water loss incidents on the property. Instead of spending valuable time clicking through reviews on the internet, you can trust in the fast response and vast experience of our SERVPRO of Fort Smith water restoration specialists. Give us a call anytime that you need us at (479) 452-8282.

Did Your Business Have Water Damage?

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most challenging issues that a property owner can face because of different factors. First, they can cause severe damage to one’s establishment and belongings when left unresolved. Second, it can cause the growth of mold.

WHAT IS WATER DAMAGE?

In a nutshell, it is the type of damage done on a structure and the belongings within due to excessive moisture and collected water. This usually happens in least-visited spaces of the establishment where water can collect without notice. They are also usually the lowest depths of one’s property like crawl spaces and basement.

Here is some equipment that might be needed for water damage…

AIR MOVERS

As the name suggests, it is an equipment used to move air, but in its process, it actually helps dry water-damaged flooring and surfaces by forcing moisture to evaporate more quickly.

DEHUMIDIFIERS

Another piece of equipment that can help in water damage restoration is the dehumidifier since it is specifically designed to deal with excessive moisture. Aside from that, it can also help maintain the humidity of an area to a set level.

AIR SCRUBBERS

You would probably have to deal with airborne contaminants as well, especially if you can smell the musk of mold in the air. You will need an air scrubber for that which filters out any particles in your indoor air.

RESTORATION MOISTURE METERS

Finally, you will need a restoration moisture meter. It is a device that gauges the severity of water damage on a surface or an area by assessing the moisture present. It is a must for you to have if you’re planning to do all the restoration on your own.

Here at SERVPRO of Fort Smith we have all this equipment to help get your business back up and running and leave it “Like it never even happened.”

Why is there water in my basement?

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

You walk down to the basement and turn on the lights — and you see water coming in. This is a challenge that is most likely to occur during springtime, so don’t be surprised if you have this experience in March, April or May when the weather is rainiest. This can happen in an unfinished basement, but cleanup and the related challenges are even more intensive when you have a wet basement that’s also finished with wet carpet, wood or tile.

When you do have water coming in a basement, it is important first to identify the reason for a wet basement floor — which will help you prevent it from happening again. It is equally as important to know how to clean up water in a basement so there’s no lasting damage.

REASONS YOU SEE WATER IN YOUR BASEMENT

When you have water coming in a basement, there is a long list of places to check for the leak. Here is what you should look for first:

  • Window Well: It is always nice to have windows in your basement, so you can enjoy a little bit of natural light. Groundwater and rainwater can accumulate, though, and make it more difficult for the integrity of your window wells to hold up. Examine your window wells for signs of leaks, and also check your gutters and downspouts. Overflowing gutters and downspouts can often lead to leaky window wells as water collects around the foundation of your house.
  • Honeycomb: If poorly mixed concrete was used to create your basement walls, honeycomb-like air pockets could form and allow water to leak in. You should be able to see these honeycomb formations, and they are relatively easy to treat as part of your basement waterproofing process.
  • Water Pipe Conduits: Water pipes need holes to get into your basement. These holes are typically sealed with a water plug, but those plugs only go so deep — about two inches on average. There may be a gap between the plug and the opening that allows for water to gather and leak into your basement.
  • Floor Drains: Water backups related to your own drain system or even the municipal water supply may lead to flooding up through your floor drain. Your basement’s waterproofing system should include a filter that draws this type of water away from your home. If you have one, and you are still experiencing water backups in your basement, it may be time to have the system serviced and checked for problems.
  • Wall Leaks: This is a challenge mostly in older homes. Water gathers in low spots after the soil settles over time. This lower settling level allows for water to begin leaking over the top of the wall of your basement. Water may also leak in through cracks in the middle of your walls, which is one of the more severe basement leaks. Middle-of-the-wall leaks appear because of massive pressure buildups in the ground and water pushing against the wall over time.
  • Sewer Pipes: Smaller sewer pipe leaks are the most difficult to deal with because they can go undetected for so long. You may first notice a sewer pipe leak of this variety by seeing stains on walls below the drain, ceiling staining or even signs of mold formation.
  • Floor Cracks: Basement floor cracks are often the result of a home settling over time. As your home settles, water begins to collect in spaces underground, applying pressure to your basement floor. Water can then leak into your basement through these cracks, or it can even enter as humidity that creates mold and mildew.
  • Sump Pumps: Sump pumps can fail for a number of reasons, including but not limited to poor installation, maintenance needs, clogged or frozen discharge lines, power failure, etc. A backup sump pump can help prevent leaking in most cases.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU CALL A PRO

A professional can arrive at your home, assess the damage and make recommendations about the best course of action. A professional also has the experience and tools needed to navigate the situation safely and ensure you get the quickest, most effective solutions for your unique situation. Not only will SERVPRO of Fort Smith know how to dry a wet basement, but they can also provide solutions that help prevent future issues and long-term damage.

12 Things to do During a Power Outage

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Surprisingly, power outages are even getting worse in the USA.  According to Inside Energy, the annual average of power outages doubles every five years! The reason for this has to do with aging infrastructure, more frequent storms, and problems sustaining the electric grid as populations grow.

Despite how common power outages are, few people are prepared for them and even fewer people know what to do if the power goes out.

Steps to Take Immediately After the Power Goes Out

Step 1: Turn On Your Emergency Lights

Make sure your emergency lights are somewhere accessible in case you have to find them in the dark.  Ideally, keep a flashlight in each room of your home.

In general, it is better to use battery-operated lights instead of candles because of the fire risk.

Step 2: See If Your Neighbors Have Power

If your neighbors still have electricity, then the problem is likely inside your home.  Start by checking the main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown.

Step 3: Check the Extent of the Problem

If your neighbors also don’t have electricity, you’ll want to see how wide-spread the problem is.  You can do this by calling your power supplier.  It might take a while to get through to them if a lot of people are trying to call.

You can also try calling friends who live nearby to see if they have power or not.

Step 4: Contact Family Members

During large power outages, stoplights and streetlights can go out too – making it unsafe to drive.

If your family members aren’t at home, get in contact with them.  It might be best for them to remain at their current location until it is safer for them to come home.

Note that your family should have a contact plan in place.

Step 5: Unplug Appliances

When the power comes back on, it can cause a huge power spike which may damage electronics.

Hopefully all of your sensitive electronics are on surge protectors.

Even if they are, it is still smart to unplug all of your sensitive (expensive) electronics from the wall so they don’t get damaged when the power comes back on.

Step 6: See if Water is Safe to Drink

When the power goes out, water treatment centers might not work.  You could still have clean-looking water coming from the tap, but it might not be safe to drink!

Call your local authorities to see if the water is safe to drink.  Or, you can listen to your emergency radio to see if there is a “boil alert” in place.

**If you are unsure whether the water is safe to drink, always play it safe!  Treat water before drinking it or use bottled water.

Step 7: Keep Fridge and Freezer Closed

According to Ready.gov, food kept in an unopened refrigerator will stay cold for about 4 hours.

A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. You can learn more about this on their food safety page.

Step 8:  Save Your Phone’s Battery

Turn off any power-consuming apps on your phone to save its battery.  Do this even if you have a solar charger because you might not always be able to charge it.

Step 9: Stay Cool (Summer Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during a heat wave and you have health conditions, then you might need to evacuate your home to a cooler location, such as a shopping mall or church.

Step 10: Stay Warm (Winter Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during winter, now is the time to start using your emergency heating method.  A wood stove is my personal favorite off-grid heating method.

Be cautious about using generators, camp stoves, or grills for heating as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can get some passive solar heating during the daytime by keeping all curtains closed except those on south-facing windows.  Close all drapes at night to trap some heat, and line windows and doorways with towels to prevent heat from escaping.

Step 11: Prevent Pipes from Freezing (Winter Power Outages)

Hopefully your pipes are well insulated so they don’t freeze.  The easiest way to prevent pipes from freezing during power outages is to let a small stream of water flow through the faucets.

For long-term power outages during extreme weather, you’ll want to drain your hot water heater.  You will also need to winterize the drainage system by putting antifreeze into the drain traps below toilets, sinks, washing machines, etc.

12.  Stay Sane!

Play games, make shadow puppets, hang out with the neighbors in the dark…  You might even enjoy the power outage and the digital detox it gives you!

https://www.primalsurvivor.net/steps-after-power-outage/

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. 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 hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith today at 479-452-8282 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Hailstorm Preparedness

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

In a matter of hours, we can place emergency roof tarps and board ups on damaged properties.  While it’s impossible to prevent hailstorm damage to our homes, you can still be prepared.

Hailstorm Preparedness

Before the Storm

  • Do you know what your property insurance covers?  Check out your policy and make sure you know your deductible.  You want to be sure you can cover your deductible in case of an emergency.  If you’re not sure about your hailstorm coverage, give your insurance company a call if you have any questions.  
  • Keep up with weather forecasts.  Turn on your local news, download a free app from the Google Play Store, App store, or visit any national weather website.
    • A storm watch means the conditions for a hailstorm are right, but no one is absolutely sure if one will really happen or not.  Keep an eye on the forecast.
    • A storm warning means a hailstorm is approaching and you need to take shelter.
  • If you have items outdoors that you don’t want to get damaged, bring them inside or put a protective covering on them for the duration of the storm.  This commonly includes glass outdoor furniture and vehicles.

Reducing Hail Damage

Being proactive is always the best way to prevent storm damage.  If the forecast is calling for a possible hailstorm, take a look at your roof or call us for a roof inspection.  Taking care of your roof’s problems may prevent serious damage from the storm, such as a badly damaged roof, water intrusion, and an indoor water damage.

Look out for:

    • Damaged shingles.
    • Missing shingles.
    • Clogged water drains.  If your drains are clogged and rain also falls with the storm, you are risking water buildup that could enter your home and cause a water damage

During the Hailstorm

These balls of ice can fall between 50 to 100 miles per hour.  The velocity mixed with size is what will determine the amount of damage.

If a hailstorm is happening, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Bring all pets indoors immediately.
  • Stay indoors!  If a piece of hail can break through your roof, it can also hurt you!
  • Keep away from skylights and glass objects that the hail is hitting.
  • In case a window breaks, close your drapes and curtains.  It won’t prevent damage, but it’ll help prevent the broken glass from spraying into your room.

After the Hailstorm

We are ready to respond to any home or business.  For the safety of our technicians, we must wait for the storm to pass to begin emergency services.  However, giving us a call while the storm is progressing will allow us to prepare and be ready as soon as it’s over.  

As soon as you notice damage to your home, give us a call.

Our 24 hour emergency line is (479) 452-8282.  

Storm Damage Services

We are a full service storm damage restoration company.  We can provide you with the following services:

  • Emergency Roof Tarp

    We will tarp your roof and skylights with thick, waterproof plastic sheeting to prevent any weather from getting inside your home and causing more damage.  Many insurance companies will not cover secondary damage that is caused by neglect on the behalf of the property owner. Secondary damage includes water damage and mold growth.
  • Board up Services

    If any other part of your home was damaged by the hail, we will perform board up services.  We commonly see broken windows and glass sliding doors.
  • Water Damage Restoration

    If any water has gotten into your home from the storm, we will immediately perform water removal services.  Our technicians will also place professional drying equipment and begin monitoring your property. Mold growth can begin as quickly as 48 hours after water intrusion, which is why we are available for water damage restoration services 24 hours a day.
  • Insurance Claim

    We will document all damage to your roof and interior of the home.  All documentation will be forwarded to your insurance provider to support your claim.  An Estimator will be assigned especially to your file. It’s their job to bridge communication between you and your insurance to make sure you’re taken care of.  
  • Reconstruction and Roof Restoration Service

    A Reconstruction Manager will be assigned especially to you.  They will inspect the damage to your roof and create an estimate to rebuild it.  They will work directly with your insurance provider and rebuild your roof once your claim is approved.
  • Full Service 3 Expert Team

    You will be assigned our Full Service 3 Expert Team.  This means that if you ever have a question or concern about your project, one of the three experts that are managing your job will help you from beginning to end.  They include:
    • Estimator - this person works directly with your insurance company to make sure your claim is processed.  They handle all documentation.
    • Project Manager - this person performs all restoration services your property needs, from debris removal to cleaning and water damage restoration.
    • Reconstruction Manager - this person rebuilds any portion of your property that was permanently affected.

Storm Damage Restoration Specialists

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company.  With our crews responding immediately to jobs, we are faster to any size disaster. You can trust us to restore your home or business.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24 hour emergencies every day of the year. We can be reached 24/7 at (479) 452-8282.  Call us any time!

“Like it never even happened,” only happens here.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Coronavirus COVID-19

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

Across the nation and the world as a whole, coronavirus is the top headline as everyone tries to comprehend the situation.

Experts are saying the virus seems to be hardest on the elderly and health-compromised populations, while children and young people are not affected as seriously. However, it is important we all do our part to help stop the spread of this illness.

Because the situation is changing rapidly, it is important to continue referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date information related to the response. 

  • SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
  • SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.
  • There is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus.
  • Proactive cleaning will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, we can minimize the spread of germs with a proactive cleaning for your home or business. Give us a call at 479-452-8282

Why SERVPRO? The Professional Packout & Content Restoration Company for Your Home or Business

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO®? We’re the professional packout and content restoration company for your home or business. 

You’ve had a minor fire at your place of residence or establishment. One of the many things that crosses your mind is all your sentimental valuables. Everything is affected: your autographed balls, cards, and photos from your favorite sports team, your family heirloom, your framed picture frame that contains all your degrees, and the list goes on. Just ruined. Or so you think. 

When you’re faced with something as overwhelming and stressful as that, you need someone to come in to turn that into a stress-free situation. That’s where our heroes here at SERVPRO® of Fort Smith come in. Our heroes save the day by making it "Like it never even happened."® 

When you have fire damage at your home or business, our team can properly pack out your belongings and perform content restoration. We’ll treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home or business and belongings with care.  

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO® Fort Smith can conduct an organized, efficient move-out/pack-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Content Restoration 

If your belongings are affected by fire damage, we can restore them with content restoration. SERVPRO® of Fort Smith’s expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

If you ever wonder why SERVPRO®, it’s because we’re the professional packout and content restoration company for your home or business. We have specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment. We can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. Allow us to take on your next fire damage job. Call our One Team MVPs at 479-452-8282.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need


During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are
specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training


We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. 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.


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
• Bathrooms
• Schools/Classrooms
• Offices
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Shelving/Racks
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and Rugs
• Stair Handrails

• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment


Specialized Products


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. While there is currently no
product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local
authorities.


Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning


If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Fort Smith, 479-452-8282

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-preventspread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F
%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-preventspread.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why SERVPRO? Deeply Invested in You, Your Family, Your Business, Your Community

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

When you need a leading franchiser of residential and commercial property damage restoration services, you need and want the best. So, why SERVPRO®? We’re deeply invested in you, your family, your business, your community. And that’s exactly who and what SERVPRO of Fort Smith is.

Speaking of deeply invested, Blackstone is deeply invested in SERVPRO®. On March 26, 2019, according to SERVPRO’s blog post, “SERVPRO® and Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have recapitalized SERVPRO®, a leading franchiser of residential and commercial property damage restoration services. Blackstone is acquiring a majority stake in SERVPRO® as part of Blackstone’s Core Private Equity strategy, which is designed to hold investments for much longer periods of time than traditional private equity.” This is just one other reason “why SERVPRO®.” If Blackstone, one of the world's leading investment firms, a multi-billion dollar investment company, strategically chose to invest in SERVPRO®, why wouldn’t you?! This speaks volumes. In fact, Peter Wallace, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “We are excited to make this investment…”

SERVPRO® of Fort Smith is continually investing and reinvesting our resources so we can better serve our customers, to fulfill our vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company, which affords us the opportunity to be there for you, for your family, for your business, for your community in your time of need. We are constantly making strategic decisions and moves for our continued success, and future growth. It’s all about growth. David Kestnbaum, Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “SERVPRO® is a high-quality company with a strong management team and great long-term prospects. We look forward to working with SERVPRO® and its franchisees to help fuel the business’ next phase of growth.” We are humbled and blessed for this strategic partnership with Blackstone.

The next time your home or business needs property damage restoration services, give us the opportunity to best serve you, your family, your business, your community, so you can tell us your why. Your next fire damage, water damage, mold damage, storm damage … we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."® Why SERVPRO®? Because we are deeply invested in you, your family, your business, your community. Will you give us your next restoration job? Call 479-452-8282 to do so. We thank you in advance.

Expereinced Storm Damage Professionals

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

When water damage, flood damage, hail damage, or any other types of storm damage hits your home or business, you need experienced storm damage professionals. And that’s what our heroes are at SERVPRO® of Fort Smith. You can call on them to make that disaster at your residential or commercial property "Like it never even happened."®  

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured, our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home or business and restore it back to pre-storm condition.

Storm and flood damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. Some of our equipment includes the following:

Moisture Detection & Measurement Equipment

Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.

  • An infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.
  • Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.

Water Extraction Equipment

Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.

  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water.
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Drying Equipment  

Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from ceilings, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.

  • High-speed air movers cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace.
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO® of Fort Smith provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. We can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our heroes are your experienced storm damage professionals. Call on us. Our number is 479-452-8282. Will you give us your next storm damage job?

SERVPRO Offers Commercial Cleaning in Fort Smith

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

If you are the owner of commercial business you probably don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, tag us in. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning your flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look, smell, and feel it’s very best.

SERVPRO of Fort Smith will get the job done right and get it done quickly because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

We also offer these specialized services:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
  • Document Restoration
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Vandalism

Go ahead, Give us a call, Tag us in, We’ll make it "Like it never even happened."

479-452-8282

How Fast Can Water Damage Happen?

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Utah County Water Damage News And Updates

When it comes to water damage in your home time is not on your side.  In most cases the longer the water remains an issue the more at risk your home is for water damage.  Water damage can turn into mold within a few days, especially in warm environments.  Water damage is much easier and less expensive to mitigate before mold starts to grow.

Within a few minutes to a few hours, the water damage starts to spread and can damage flooring, furniture, and other items near the water.  Flooring can start to warp and lift, cloth furniture absorbs the water making it hard to extract, wooden furniture begins to swell, leather fades and stains the flooring, and the moisture/humidity mixes with normal household odors and you now have a stinky house.

 The longer you leave the water damage untreated the more damage your home is at risk for.  Eventually, the flooring and subflooring will be so warped it will not be repairable, if the water is affecting your walls the paint can begin to blister and the drywall will mold, and if left long enough the structural wood will begin to swell, warp, and split apart.  DO NOT let water damage get to this point in your home.  This will take time to fix and you will be displaced from your home.

SERVPRO of Fort Smith has made its name by performing cleanup and restoration work after water damage. Using advanced extraction techniques, our technicians have the expertise, training, and certificates to help clear away water and mitigate loss.  As part of a national franchise, we have access to national resources that ensure our technicians are equipped with the best possible equipment, including Injectidry systems as well as truck-mounted extractors and desiccant humidifiers. If you notice or suspect water damage, Call us immediately, 479-452-8282, for an expert assessment. We can make it "Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage Restoration Service

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Utah County Water Damage News And Updates

The procedure of restoration starts as quickly as you pick up the phone to call us.  SERVPRO is accessible for your water emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you have a tiny water loss such as leakage of your washer or a big loss where you come back to several inches of water filling your garage.  It is important to take ASAP action whenever you deal with water in your home. The longer the water sits the more damage it causes and the more dangerous it can be.

Water damage

Water damage can be very stressful in your home and cause a lot of chaos. If you call SERVPRO, feel comfortable knowing that our technicians have the particular training for water damage and the knowledge required to get you through this stressful moment. The cornerstone of our company is water damage.

What are you going to expect when calling SERVPRO? We'll ask you a few questions about your water loss when you call. These issues will assist us to prepare with the necessary services, resources and number of technicians.

Be ready when you call to answer these questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (including agent name) if applicable
  • The street address of the damaged home
  • When did the flooding/water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damaged, (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available for our use?

Upon arrival at your home, SERVPRO will perform a thorough inspection including a damage evaluation.  Our technicians are trying to assess the seriousness of the damage at this point and to create an action plan.  We will inspect the source of the moisture and ensure that it is stopped before the restoration and drying process can start.  We will then determine the water's level of contamination

  • Category 1: “Clean Water”
  • Category 2: “Gray Water”
  • Category 3: “Black Water”

After this category of the water has been determined SERVPRO of Fort Smith can them go forward with our plan of action and begin the cleanup process.

479-452-8282

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is Here For Your Fire Restoration Needs

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building may never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.  The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Fort Smith should be called on-site immediately.  We can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but we must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. 

The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts at SERVPRO of Fort Smith will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

Fire Restoration Process

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage is probably the last thing on your mind, but you may want to move it up on your list of priorities; preparation is the key. The first 48 hours after a fire often makes the difference between ‘restoring’ vs. ‘replacing’ your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Fort Smith provides a timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal, to content claims inventory and document restoration. Here is a timeline to help ease your mind of what should be done before and after SERVPRO of Fort Smith arrives:

  1. One Hour: Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Fort Smith professional will contact you to arrange for service.
  2. Four Hours: Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of Fort Smith technician will be onsite to start mitigation services.
  3. Detailed Explanation:  A trained and uniformed Fort Smith employee will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.
  4. Pretesting: A SERVPRO of Fort Smith  employee will begin pretesting for restoration, working from the source of the damage outward.
  5. Eight Hours: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person.
  6. Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization: SERVPRO of Fort Smith will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property. We then use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to make it “Like it never even happened.”
  7. Final Walk-through: After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

SERVPRO of Fort Smith responds quickly, offering a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services to help you return home as soon as possible. Before risking further damage by attempting to clean up the damage on your own, call the fire damage clean up and restoration professionals at (479) 452-8282.

Fire Damage?? Large or Small, Give SERVPRO of Fort Smith a call

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family, but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home. 
 
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Fort Smith is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios. 
 
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Fort Smith are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage. 
 
In fire damage situations, there are three main types of severity. Putting each damage scenario into a certain level of severity helps our specialists know what types of methods to use when mitigating the problem. The three levels are minor, medium and major fire damage. 
  
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Fort Smith can be reached at (479) 452-8282, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you. 

What To Do Until Help Arrives

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

With the lowered temperatures from last week and the resulting frozen and broken water pipes, it seems appropriate to really talk about that to do until professionals can reach you to fix and/or dry your property. SERVPRO® teams are doing their best to get every job done quickly and completely so they can move on to the next site, but there were a great deal of homes and businesses affected by the cold. Because of this, we want to make sure that you know what to do to stop whatever the cause of the damage is and slow the damage process so that when we come in to restore your property, we can move quicker.

There are a few things you need to ask yourself as soon as water damage occurs.

  • “Is it safe to stay in the house?”
  • “Are there any electrical or ‘slip and fall’ hazards?”
  • “Can I perform the tasks at hand safely? Or should the whole process be left to professionals?”
  • “Will I be able to move wet objects? Are there objects that are too heavy to move away from the damage?”

Once these questions have been answered, you can proceed to do whatever you can do on your own.

You can remove excess water by mopping and blotting; but remember that the water is likely not just on the floor. Wiping excess water from wood furniture is especially important. Wood is particularly susceptible to water damage. It’s best to remove lamps and other tabletop items and promptly soak up as much water from the wood as is possible. While the damage will be different than that of a wood surface, other furniture materials and household items can be affected by water as well. It is best to prop wet upholstery and cushions and place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Never leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods out of the way of the moisture. Above all, just remember that removing excess water will prevent it from spreading to other items or other locations.

Never use a household vacuum to suck up water. There are other ways to dry out your floor, carpeting, and walls. If it were summer, turning the air conditioning on would help with drying. In winter however, running the AC is not always an acceptable solution (especially in Illinois right now with temperatures near freezing). Rather than turn down the heat, it’s better to use a dehumidifier to dry the air in the building. The only exception to this option is if there is an electrical issue present with the water damage. In that case, don’t use any electrical devices; televisions, microwaves, etc.

It’s easy to overlook this next task, but it is imperative to remove colored rugs from wet carpeting. The same goes for books, magazines or other colored items. The colors in these items could bleed into carpeting, leaving stains that will require special equipment to remove. Just as well, moving art objects to a safe, dry place can reduce damages to walls, floors, and the art itself.

By gathering loose items and keeping the water damage contained to as small of a place as possible, it is likely that the restoration of the property will be easy and much less expensive.

Winter weather is tough on buildings, and broken pipes can cause some of the worst damage. Just be prepared and hold on to your patience knowing that the teams at SERVPRO® will get to you as soon as they possibly can. We will always do our best to make it “Like it never even happened.” ®

If you experience water damage from broken pipes, roof leaks, or anything else be sure to get a hold of the professionals at SERVPRO® of Fort Smith for your cleaning and restoration needs. 479-452-8282

Preventing Commercial Pipes From Freezing

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

With colder temperatures approaching, these lower temps can cause your commercial business some challenges. Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs.

Some helpful tips to prevent frozen pipes:

Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.

Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.

Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate around not insulated pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes

Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.

Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.

Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Fort Smith as soon as possible... 479-452-8282

Automatic Fire Sprinkler Discharge and How to Handle It

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Silver Fire Sprinkler Fire Sprinkler System

Automatic fire sprinkler systems are widely considered the single most effective tool for protecting your structure, property, and lives from a fire.  Having an automatic fire sprinkler system in place is basically the same as having firefighter protection 24/7.  Fire sprinkler heads respond individually to a number of things including: Heat from a fire, Corrosion, Mechanical Damage, and Sabotage/Vandalism.  If you do have a fire in your building you are going to be very grateful for the fire sprinkler system, if it is an accidental discharge it will become somewhat of a burden. To Make things easier in the case of an accidental discharge follow these tips below.

  1. Shut Off Water Immediately

Shut off the water supply to the fire sprinkler system as soon as you can.  The faster you can turn the water off the less potential for major water damage you have.  Be aware that it will take a couple moments to stop, the water has to clear the lines first.

  1. Mitigate Future Damage

You will want to clear as much as possible from the affected area so mitigate further damage.  Move furniture, valuables, and equipment to a safe dry area to limit exposure and further damage.

  1. Call Your Insurance Company

You will want to call your insurance agent as soon as you can to find out what steps to take next and the claims process.  Also, so they can send someone to assess the situation and damage.  Their assessment will determine who is responsible for the damage.

  1. Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith

Call a restoration company that specializes in water damage like SERVPRO of Fort Smith to help mitigate and restore the area.  SERVPRO Fort Smith is a much better choice than DIY because we are trained in disaster cleanup and ready to help when you need us. 479-452-8282

Workplace First Aid Everyone Should Know

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Workplace First Aid Basics Everyone Should Know

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are very common in both children and adults and can be caused by trauma to the nose or simple irritation of the mucus membranes. Do not make a nosebleed victim raise their head or lie down, as this can actually make the bleeding worse. Instead, pinch the nostrils closed for as many as ten minutes, allowing the broken vein in the nose to close.

Cardiac Compressions

Nowadays, the American Heart Association doesn’t mandate that everyone learn rescue breathing—all you have to do is put your hands over the victim’s heart and push, to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. It’s a simple technique that could mean the difference between life and death, and the American Heart Association’s statistics demonstrate this in stark terms. Consider these fact

  • Approximately 88% of all cardiac arrests do not happen in a hospital or healthcare facility, and nowhere near a healthcare professional.
  • A large percentage of cardiac arrest victims appear perfectly healthy just before their attack.
  • It takes approximately 8-12 minutes on average for an ambulance to arrive on the scene of an emergency.
  • Bystander CPR could increase the victim’s chance of survival by as much as 300. 

The Heimlich Maneuver

Not to be confused with CPR, the Heimlich maneuver is supposed to help someone who is choking on a foreign object. First, ask the victim if they are choking; in an emergency situation, the person will usually not be able to talk.

How to Treat Shock

Shock occurs when too little blood circulates to the brain. This means that the brain is not receiving enough oxygen, which leads to a feeling of faintness, disorientation and dizziness. Shock may occur:

  • after an accident involving loss of blood
  • after a serious infection, with loss of fluids
  • after a serious burn
  • after other accidents that cause loss of fluids or blood
  • as part of an allergic reaction

Stop Heavy Bleeding

If someone is bleeding heavily, they will not be able to form a clot—and they could bleed out. You can stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound—ideally with a sterile cloth, although you can also use ripped pieces of T-shirt or anything else you have on hand. Raising the wounded limb over the heart will also help to slow down heavy bleeding.

12 Things to do During a Power Outage

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Surprisingly, power outages are even getting worse in the USA.  According to Inside Energy, the annual average of power outages doubles every five years! The reason for this has to do with aging infrastructure, more frequent storms, and problems sustaining the electric grid as populations grow.

Despite how common power outages are, few people are prepared for them and even fewer people know what to do if the power goes out.

Steps to Take Immediately After the Power Goes Out

Step 1: Turn On Your Emergency Lights

Make sure your emergency lights are somewhere accessible in case you have to find them in the dark.  Ideally, keep a flashlight in each room of your home.

In general, it is better to use battery-operated lights instead of candles because of the fire risk.

Step 2: See If Your Neighbors Have Power

If your neighbors still have electricity, then the problem is likely inside your home.  Start by checking the main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown.

Step 3: Check the Extent of the Problem

If your neighbors also don’t have electricity, you’ll want to see how wide-spread the problem is.  You can do this by calling your power supplier.  It might take a while to get through to them if a lot of people are trying to call.

You can also try calling friends who live nearby to see if they have power or not.

Step 4: Contact Family Members

During large power outages, stoplights and streetlights can go out too – making it unsafe to drive.

If your family members aren’t at home, get in contact with them.  It might be best for them to remain at their current location until it is safer for them to come home.

Note that your family should have a contact plan in place.

Step 5: Unplug Appliances

When the power comes back on, it can cause a huge power spike which may damage electronics.

Hopefully all of your sensitive electronics are on surge protectors.

Even if they are, it is still smart to unplug all of your sensitive (expensive) electronics from the wall so they don’t get damaged when the power comes back on.

Step 6: See if Water is Safe to Drink

When the power goes out, water treatment centers might not work.  You could still have clean-looking water coming from the tap, but it might not be safe to drink!

Call your local authorities to see if the water is safe to drink.  Or, you can listen to your emergency radio to see if there is a “boil alert” in place.

**If you are unsure whether the water is safe to drink, always play it safe!  Treat water before drinking it or use bottled water.

Step 7: Keep Fridge and Freezer Closed

According to Ready.gov, food kept in an unopened refrigerator will stay cold for about 4 hours.

A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. You can learn more about this on their food safety page.

Step 8:  Save Your Phone’s Battery

Turn off any power-consuming apps on your phone to save its battery.  Do this even if you have a solar charger because you might not always be able to charge it.

Step 9: Stay Cool (Summer Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during a heat wave and you have health conditions, then you might need to evacuate your home to a cooler location, such as a shopping mall or church.

Step 10: Stay Warm (Winter Power Outages)

If the power outage occurs during winter, now is the time to start using your emergency heating method.  A wood stove is my personal favorite off-grid heating method.

Be cautious about using generators, camp stoves, or grills for heating as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can get some passive solar heating during the daytime by keeping all curtains closed except those on south-facing windows.  Close all drapes at night to trap some heat, and line windows and doorways with towels to prevent heat from escaping.

Step 11: Prevent Pipes from Freezing (Winter Power Outages)

Hopefully your pipes are well insulated so they don’t freeze.  The easiest way to prevent pipes from freezing during power outages is to let a small stream of water flow through the faucets.

For long-term power outages during extreme weather, you’ll want to drain your hot water heater.  You will also need to winterize the drainage system by putting antifreeze into the drain traps below toilets, sinks, washing machines, etc.

12.  Stay Sane!

Play games, make shadow puppets, hang out with the neighbors in the dark…  You might even enjoy the power outage and the digital detox it gives you!

https://www.primalsurvivor.net/steps-after-power-outage/

Stop, Drop & Clean the Lent Out From Inside Your Dryer Vent!

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire?  Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent.  If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer.  You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”. 

Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.

Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven.  We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So, I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home, we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!

Here are a few tips from The Family Handy Man on how to clean the lint out of your dryer. 

https://www.familyhandyman.com/appliance-repair/washer-and-dryer-repair/dryer-lint-cleaning-tips/view-all 

If you so experience and fire caused by your dyer or any other appliances in your home call SERVPRO of Fort Smith today!  SERVPRO of Fort Smith will come and mitigate the damage, clean up & restore the affected area, and make it “Like it never even happened."  

479-452-8282

How to Make a Fire Safety Escape Plan for Your Family

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

In 2016 there were an estimated 364,300 reported residential fire and 2,000 fire related fatalities. In the event of fire, TIME is the BIGGEST ENEMY and EVERY SECOND COUNTS! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire.  The most important thing you can do to prepare is have a Safety Escape Plan.

At Home Fire Safety Plan Tips

First and foremost, make sure you have one working smoke alarm on every level of the home, as well as inside and outside each sleeping area.

Have two ways out of each room, and the proper equipment to get out any upper story windows. Walk through each room in your home with your family and point out possible exits. Also, provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.

Once you have established the exits, practice and show children how to get out of the house and check the door for heat before opening it.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke. Practice dropping to your stomach and shimmying out under the smoke with your children.

Make a plan to help pets evacuate safely as well if possible.

Once you are out of the house, STAY OUT. DO NOT go back in the house. There could be unseen damage and danger. Call 911 immediately.

Know where to meet after the escape. Your meeting place should be near the front of your home so firefighters know you are out.

Practice, Practice, Practice your escape plan. It is recommended you practice at least twice a year.  If you have young children it may require more than twice.  Practicing can save the lives of you and your family.

If you do have a fire in your home call SERVPRO of Fort Smith.. 479-452-8282!

Have You Considered Upgrading Your Commercial HVAC System?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner you know how important it is to have a fully functioning HVAC system.  If you don’t your employees and customers will let you know.  It will be hot or cold and you really are trying to keep it going and keep people comfortable.  Maybe your HVAC system is older and not functioning properly?  You may be thinking to yourself that is too expensive… but in the long run it may be worth it.  

Here are five reasons to consider upgrading your HVAC System from

Increase The Energy Efficiency

Lower operating costs should be one of your biggest goals. Even if it isn’t as much of a priority now, there’s still time to resolve to change now that the New Year has begun. One fantastic way to increase energy efficiency is to upgrade your current commercial HVAC system. Did you know that a newer system can allow for smaller energy consumption – by about 30%, in fact.

Maintain Your Good Reputation

Many businesses depend on a stellar reputation to ensure that they thrive. Reputation is important for your public image, especially in the customer-service sector. Aside from downtime that could rob you of future profits, an uncomfortable building environment due to aging HVAC system can also harm customer and client perception of how you run your organization. 

Make and Keep Employees Comfortable

When the interior of your building is kept at reasonable temperatures, your employees will be comfortable. When employees are comfortable, they will be happier and more motivated. When they aren’t distracted by the office being too hot or too cold, they can focus on getting more work done, improving their overall productivity. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality, either. How often are your employees missing time from work due to being sick? A little-known condition called sick building syndrome exists, and if this syndrome goes unaddressed, it could affect how your business is perceived throughout your industry and cause highly-qualified candidates to find employment elsewhere when you are actively recruiting.

Reduce Repair Costs

Newer commercial HVAC systems will have better warranties attached to them. Whether you choose to overhaul your existing system with brand new components or only add the latest technological advancements to the framework that is already in place, these warranties can help you avoid paying significant repair costs when such repairs are needed.

Begin Switching Refrigerant Now

The refrigerant that is most commonly used in many older models of commercial HVAC systems is being eliminated. R-22 refrigerant will be fully prohibited in January of 2020.

What is Air Duct Cleaning and Why Should We Have it done?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

If not properly installed, maintained and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the air of your commercial business. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on air duct cleaning, call us at SERVPRO of Fort Smith today, 479-452-8282

Prepare Your Home for Winter Storms Before It's Too Late

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again, time to prepare ourselves and homes for the brutal cold of winter storms. It is not something anyone looks forward to but it is best to be prepared.  

Follow these tips recommended by  www.ready.gov/winter-weather to prepare yourself and your home for winter.

Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.

Prepare You Home

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
    • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
    • Plan to bring pets inside.
    • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.

Follow these recommended tips and you will be prepared for those cold winters days.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter and Snow Storms

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

We have all been there, its's cold and snowing and you are having car problems.  Follow these tips to help prepare yourself and your car for a winter storm.

  1. Start to prepare your car before Thanksgiving.  It's easy to do it before it gets cold and snowy. Better too soon than too late.
  2. Check the tire pressure at least once a month through the winter.  As it gets colder outside the air molecules get smaller and tire pressure goes down. Low tire pressure will make your car under preform. You can find the suggested PSI (pounds per square inch) on your tires or on inside the drivers side door jam.
  3. Have your battery tested.  Nothing is worse than a dead battery when your freezing, not home or late for work.  Also make sure you have jumper cables in case you or someone you come across need them.
  4. Check your windshield for cracks and make sure you have good windshield wipers.  The cold can make your windshield crack and obstruct your vision.  Bad wipers can cause all sorts of problems and are an easy fix.
  5. Inspect your headlights and brake lights.  If its storming or dark your car can become very hard to see and cause an accident.
  6. Make sure you have warm clothes, proper winter shoes, and a blanket in your car in case you get stuck in traffic or your car breaks down.  This could save your life
  7. Lastly ALWAYS make sure you have a couple water bottles in your car somewhere.  No matter the time of year this could save your life or someone else's.

Follow these tips and you will be prepared for those winter storms that are bound to hit.

Snow Covered Roof, Majestic or Dangerous?

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fallen roof with heavy snow on top It's not so beautiful anymore.

Did you know one square foot of compacted snow can weigh close to 50 pounds?!! Think about how much weight is sitting on your roof.  Many roofs, especially, older, flat, or structures such as carports, garages, and sheds are not always rated to support this kind of weight.  It is important to remove as much of it as you can safely from the ground.  

** We advise you review your insurance policy and check with your agent before you have a problem.  Basic insurance policies do not cover collapse of a structure due the weight of snow or ice.

Check out this article from Travelers about safely removing snow from your roof before it is too late.

https://www.travelers.com/resources/weather/winter-storms/roof-snow-removal-tips.aspx?cm_mmc=TWITTER-_-190-_-768968169-_-20170110&linkId=33184720

Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith for any of your restoration needs... 479-452-8282

Hail Damage To Your Roof

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

In 2016, the United States experienced 5,601 severe hail storms, as documented by the NOAA Severe Weather Database. Hail can range in size from the size of pencil tip to the size of a softball.

Many homeowners are not aware of hail damage on their roofs. Hail damage to roof tops often times cannot be seen from the ground, and that’s a big reason why the idea of hail damage hardly ever crosses a homeowner’s mind.

Tell-Tale Signs of Hail Damage on a Roof

Although you cannot fully determine the amount of hail damage on a roof from the ground, there are some signs that a trained eye can point out and help determine if there may be more damage up top. Here are a few things to look for.

  1. Dented gutters, gutter screens, or downspouts
  2. Damage to siding and windowsills/casings
  3. Damage to air conditioners or other outdoor items
  4. Damage to decks or painted wood surfaces

Once you are on the roof check for these signs of roof damage:

  1. Dented vents, chimneys, or sky light covers
  2. Dented or damages shingles. (This may be the most important to check for.)

Dented or damages shingles are what leads to a damages and potentially leaky roof.  Some day you will never get a solid insurance claim without shingle damage.

What to do if you have Shingle Damage

Hail damage is covered by standard home insurance in most states but coverage is applied in a variety of ways, depending on where you live, your insurer and how your policy is set up. The best way to find out about your coverage is to reach out to your insurance provider before the damage occurs. 

If you have a damaged roof due to hail that has caused a leaky roof call SERVPRO of Fort Smith, today to help mitigate water damage in your home.

Call US Today!

SERVPRO of Fort Smith 479-452-8282

How Fast Can Water Damage Happen?

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage in your home time is not on your side.  In most cases the longer the water remains an issue the more at risk your home is for water damage.  Water damage can turn into mold within a few days, especially in warm environments.  Water damage is much easier and less expensive to mitigate before mold starts to grow.

Within a few minutes to a few hours, the water damage starts to spread and can damage flooring, furniture, and other items near the water.  Flooring can start to warp and lift, cloth furniture absorbs the water making it hard to extract, wooden furniture begins to swell, leather fades and stains the flooring, and the moisture/humidity mixes with normal household odors and you now have a stinky house.

The longer you leave the water damage untreated the more damage your home is at risk for.  Eventually, the flooring and subflooring will be so warped it will not be repairable, if the water is affecting your walls the paint can begin to blister and the drywall will mold, and if left long enough the structural wood will begin to swell, warp, and split apart.  DO NOT let water damage get to this point in your home.  This will take time to fix and you will be displaced from your home.

SERVPRO of Fort Smith has made its name by performing cleanup and restoration work after water damage. Using advanced extraction techniques, our technicians have the expertise, training, and certificates to help clear away water and mitigate loss.  As part of a national franchise, we have access to national resources that ensure our technicians are equipped with the best possible equipment, including Inject dry systems as well as truck-mounted extractors and desiccant humidifiers.

If you notice or suspect water damage, Call us immediately for an expert assessment, 479-452-8282.  We can make it "Like it never even happened.”

Why Board Up After a Commercial Fire?

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

If your Commercial property has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of your home with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

 Boarding Up

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. The premises still have sustainable inventory. If the building still contains products that appear viable, you should consider boarding. These products may involve evaluation and cleaning and may not be suitable for sale, but it may be useful for insurance reasons to have them correctly processed rather than stolen.

2. You want electronics and other valuables to be protected. You may be able to restore certain electronics or other precious assets to working condition depending on the extent of the fire damage. Loss can be much more costly than repairing or replacing covered.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of Fort Smith, about whether boarding-up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting the damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful.

Give us a call 479-452-8282

Water Damage Restoration Services

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

The procedure of restoration starts as quickly as you pick up the phone to call us.  SERVPRO of Fort Smith is accessible for your water emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you have a tiny water loss such as leakage of your washer or a big loss where you come back to several inches of water filling your garage.  It is important to take ASAP action whenever you deal with water in your home. The longer the water sits the more damage it causes and the more dangerous it can be.

Water damage

Water damage can be very stressful in your home and cause a lot of chaos. If you call SERVPRO of Fort Smith, feel comfortable knowing that our technicians have the particular training for water damage and the knowledge required to get you through this stressful moment. The cornerstone of our company is water damage.

What are you going to expect when calling SERVPRO of Fort Smith? We'll ask you a few questions about your water loss when you call. These issues will assist us to prepare with the necessary services, resources and number of technicians.

Be ready when you call to answer these questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (including agent name) if applicable
  • The street address of the damaged home
  • When did the flooding/water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damaged, (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available for our use?

Upon arrival at your home, SERVPRO of Fort Smith will perform a thorough inspection including a damage evaluation.  Our technicians are trying to assess the seriousness of the damage at this point and to create an action plan.  We will inspect the source of the moisture and ensure that it is stopped before the restoration and drying process can start.  We will then determine the water's level of contamination

  • Category 1: “Clean Water”
  • Category 2: “Gray Water”
  • Category 3: “Black Water”

After this category of the water has been determined SERVPRO of Fort Smith can them go forward with our plan of action and begin the cleanup process.

Give us a call 479-452-8282

Disaster Response Is Teamwork!

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

There is a cleaning and restoration business located in the Fort Smith area. You see their bright green trucks at businesses and residences around town. Their advertisements talk about disaster recovery. They seem to be good at drying buildings and always have the equipment needed. They will show up at commercial and residential locations after:

  • Fires
  • Floods
  • storms
  • Mold outbreaks

SERVPRO Has a Secret Weapon

That small company is one of many similar businesses around the country. At last count, there were more than 1,700 of them. Every one of them works locally, just like the one near you. Their corporate office activates the Disaster Recovery Team. The team turns those local experts into a regional task force. The recovery team is the communications center. It coordinates the activities of the task force and temporary labor brought in to assist with the damage.

Not all emergencies require a big response. They also have smaller response teams positioned. Those teams provide the same support as the corporate team, but on a smaller scale. These storm teams also play a role in larger regional disasters. They provide an intermediate level of control and operate as mobile command centers.

You now understand what makes that small cleaning and restoration business so special. They really are disaster recovery specialists. When fire damage, water damage or bad weather affect your home, you now know who to call. Those local cleaning and restoration professionals are ready to handle your problem. When they finish with the damage, your home will feel and look “Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Fort Smith

Give us a call 479-452-8282

Space Heater Safety Tips

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

As night-time temperatures dip this time of year, the usage of space heaters can go up.  Although helpful machines, they can pose a threat to your safety if not properly used.

Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year, and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health and Safety group.

Here are a few tips for using space heaters that will reduce the risk of fire in your home.  

-Before purchasing a space heater, check out the specifications and make sure that it's UL approved.

-Check for safety features such as an automatic shut off when the unit is tipped over and heat element guards.

-Read the owner's manual and be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on proper usage.

-Keep other objects at least 3ft. away from the heater.

-Never leave space heaters unattended.

-Be sure to turn off  your space heater before going to bed.

-Leaving a space heater unattended is never advisable.

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  SERVPRO of Fort Smith has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith (479) 452-8282

SERVPRO Specializes in Storm and Flood Damage

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 479-452-8282

Never Stop Learning

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

The Marketing Team

SERVPRO of Fort Smith attended meetings in Little Rock this week with several other SERVPRO franchises. We, here at SERVPRO, believe it is our duty to make sure we educate ourselves so that we can educate you. When disaster strikes you want to know where to turn and who to turn to. SERVPRO is the answer! We are constantly evaluating ourselves to make sure we are the best!  We strive to learn every facet of mitigation and restoration so that we can do our jobs more efficiently everyday.  Getting your life back to normal or getting your business back in full operation is what we shoot for on every job.  Thanks for choosing SERVPRO of Fort Smith.

Call us for any of your disaster needs 479-452-8282.  Let us fix it "Like it never even happened."

Facebook Live Broadcasts

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Every week, SERVPRO Fort Smith go live on Facebook sharing facts and tips helping the general public with simple, frontline, easy-to-do emergency mitigation tips for the inexperienced homeowner, renter, or facilities manager of any type or size of area.

Whether it is a commercial facility or a residential property our SERVPRO crew knows just what our community is looking for. As our Business Development team is on the ground speaking to customers and property owners, we incorporate those conversations into quick handy tips. Those tips are then shared weekly on Facebook. You can watch our live broadcasts and interact with your favorite host once a week, every Friday at 3 P.M. central time. to receive your SERVPRO Live broadcast go to SERVPRO Fort Smith on Facebook, like our page, and get access to all the great, wonderful, and sometimes life saving tips. 

We Were Ranked #12 of 1,020 Franchises in 2018

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fort Gibson business ranks high in company

by: Muskogee Phoenix

  • Feb 9, 2018

FORT GIBSON - SERVPRO, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, continues to dominate its segment of Entrepreneur magazines Franchise 500 list, receiving top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 15th consecutive year. 

Arthur Kelley, owner of SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh counties and Tahlequah and SERVPRO of Fort Smith, said the company also achieved the number 12 spot overall in the prestigious rankings, standing out in a record-breaking group of more than 1,020 franchises qualified for the 2018 list.

Contact SERVPRO of Fort Smith today for any of your fire, water, storm disaster needs at 479-452-8282.  You can trust us to be here and ready to help!  Like it never even happened!

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Fort Smith Home

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Conditions In Fort Smith Might Be Right For Mold

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Conditions In Fort Smith Might Be Right For Mold

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Fort Smith to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today 

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Fort Smith for mold remediation services.

Wildfire Damage Event

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire Damage Event

The active wildfires here in Southern California are increasing their impact as growing Santa Ana winds add fuel to these devastating blazes that are encroaching in our area. According to the New York Times, new fires broke out in Malibu on December 7, with at least 96,000 acres already burned in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations have closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 of our neighbors to seek safety. The “Thomas Fire” in the Ventura area continues to burn with the aid of strong winds. This fire has caused the closure of the 101 freeway and a boil-water advisory was issued for Ventura County. Santa Ana winds The Santa Ana winds that are enabling the fires to rapidly increase their reach can have speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. They are not expected to diminish until Friday into Saturday at the earliest. The National Weather Service has warned of “very rapid fire growth” in this area. SERVPRO Meteorologist Lela Davis said that the Santa Ana winds were already very dry when they reached the Southern California valley, allowing them to quickly pull moisture out of vegetation, increasing the risk for wildfires. For the first time ever, a purple wind warning was issued for today under the color-coded system used to advise about high winds. This purple warning pushed wind expectations from the “high” category to “extreme”. Ready to help Here at SERVPRO of Fort Smith we are monitoring this wildfire situation closely. Our thoughts are with those neighbors who may be put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a wildfire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a wildfire, SERVPRO of Fort Smith is Here to Help®. 

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Storms or Floods hit anywhere across the country, SERVPRO is ready!

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Fort Smith, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today

Does Your Fort Smith Home Have A Mold Problem?

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Does Your Fort Smith Home Have A Mold Problem?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Fort Smith has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to your Fort Smith Water Damage Event

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Faster to your Fort Smith Water Damage Event

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Fort Smith provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Fort Smith arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Fort Smith basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today 

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Fort Smith and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help

Restoring Your Fort Smith Commercial Property After A Water Damage

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Fort Smith Commercial Property After A Water Damage

Flooding and water damage events at Fort Smith commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Fort Smith will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today 

Our Highly Trained Staff

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Fort Smith is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Fort Smith

SERVPRO of Fort Smith specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Residents: We Specialize In Basement Clean Up

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Fort Smith basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today 

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Fort Smith and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help

Tornado 2018

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Late in the night on November 30th, 2018, eastern Oklahoma met a fate it wasn't expecting.

Locked away in the hills of Cherokee and Adair counties, a tornado rolled and jumped the hills of Lake Tenkiller destroying numerous homes beyond repair, leaving many families without food clothing and shelter.

Fortunately, no lives were lost in Oklahoma through this disastrous funnel that chose to spiral down into the quite lives of the residents that live in these areas.

Lake Tenkiller is known as an Oklahoma vacation destination so many property owners lost their vacation homes and most were not present in their properties due to the winter season. However, there were few full-time residents that experienced total loss and fewer that experienced some degree of structural damage.

SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties wants to thank all area first responders and area businesses for their effort and sacrifice in our communities that were affected by the tornado by helping residents get back on the road to recovery.

Mobile Home Combustion

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

In Oklahoma our communities have vast amounts of mobile homes.

When it comes to mobile homes, they require a different kind of understanding that the traditional property structure. Due to how mobile homes are made and manufactured, they require a different understanding for property care and maintenance.

Under extreme pressures such as tornadoes as experienced here in Oklahoma this combination can be deadly.

Pre-screen your mobile home for potential safety hazards such as but not limited too air tight doors for furnaces. Make sure your heating system is working properly and that the air flow exchange is not blocked in any way. Also check for leaks stains and debris.

Last but not least, during storms with extremely strong winds such as that that accompanies most tornadoes can affect the air exchanges within a mobile home. Please be sure to take all proper precautions for your region when face with storm warnings.

NSU Tahlequah

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

According to Northeastern State University's website, built in 1889, the Northeastern State University Seminary Hall is the oldest building on campus. Northeastern State University was originally founded in 1851 as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. The original school was located in Park Hill, but was destroyed by a fire on Easter Sunday in 1887. Two years later, the school was rebuilt in Tahlequah where it remains to this day.

Some believe that the NSU Seminary Hall is haunted. There have been strange reports of photographed orbs, puzzling sounds and odd smells. Others claim to have seen a female ghost wearing either a black uniform or white wedding gown. Some believe it is the ghost of Florence Wilson, a principal who spent 26 years at the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Wilson's fiancée, Pleasant Buchanan, was thought to have perished in the Civil War, and Wilson never married. Some believe she never left the school.

According to Northeastern State University's website,

Built in 1889, the Northeastern State University Seminary Hall is the oldest building on campus. Northeastern State University was originally founded in 1851 as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. The original school was located in Park Hill, but was destroyed by a fire on Easter Sunday in 1887. Two years later, the school was rebuilt in Tahlequah where it remains to this day.

Some believe that the NSU Seminary Hall is haunted. There have been strange reports of photographed orbs, puzzling sounds and odd smells. Others claim to have seen a female ghost wearing either a black uniform or white wedding gown. Some believe it is the ghost of Florence Wilson, a principal who spent 26 years at the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Wilson's fiancée, Pleasant Buchanan, was thought to have perished in the Civil War, and Wilson never married. Some believe she never left the school.

But according to those at SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties, Pleasant is there to provide company during the long and lingering hours of work that our crews put in. Our crews work for and with all clients living or deceased and will give you a story to tell about how scarily clean and restored your property was when we left. Who else to trust your historic buildings and properties with if not SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties.

Professional Development MPS

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Muskogee Public Schools are relocating their professional development building from the historic downtown Best Center to the new location in Country Club at MPS’s old Harris Jobe facility.

Our teams worked tirelessly on various projects throughout the entire facility to help the school board prepare for their move across town.

SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah assisted in general cleaning support from carpet cleaning (Muskogee’s Best of 2018) and mopping floors to cleaning light fixtures, dusting, wet wipe surface areas, wash windows, change out ceiling tiles, content manipulation which can sometimes include a pack-out/pack-in.

SERVPRO Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah does Emergency Ready Plans for all commercial and government facilities including schools and hospitals. We can also give these plans to your local first responders and property owners and managers. This is an exclusive offer from your area SERVPRO. 

Thanks Chicken Creek

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

This month, after the devastating tornado tore through Green Country, many of our first responders, tribal first responders, businesses, and volunteers responded to our hurting communities and families.

Chicken Creek specifically was responsive to their community's needs and worked with the Cherokee Nation on being able to meet those needs as well as partnering with SERVPRO.

We were glad to be of assistance in a time of need and are thankful we come from a community that supports each other in everyway. We were especially glad that Chicken Creek reached out to us to help support their community with lunch one weekend.

We hope and pray that Chicken Creek, along with every other community affected makes a great recovery and have their lives restored like this tornado never even happened.

Steps for Mold Remediation

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.

  • Step 1: Emergency Contact 918-913-4490
  • Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Step 3: Mold Containment
  • Step 4: Air Filtration
  • Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Step 7: Restoration

Mold Knowledge

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

After a hurricane, flood or other major storm, “green” products can be difficult to find. Bleach and dish detergent might be the only things available in your area. Bleach and dish detergent, common household items, can be used to clean mold in your home after a storm. The steps to take to clean up mold will depend on how much water damage your home suffered. If you have questions about this you can contact us.

Little Tank Big Damage

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Who would have thought that this little tank would have flooded multiple rooms in a local Tahlequah church causing the loss of carpets, flood cuts in the dry wall, and the loss of various other flooring materials from the multiple rooms. The flood destroyed flooring, walls, and the cost of time from personnel to mitigate the situation.

Fortunately, SERVPRO Muskogee & McIntosh Counties and Tahlequah was called to the scene to provide emergency mitigation services. We are glad to be a part of the Tahlequah Emergency Family. We were able to help, not only emergency mitigate the situation but dry and prep the church’s facility for any construction that needed to be done so they could resume church services at their regularly scheduled times. Thanks 29/11 for turning to us in your time of need.

A Year to Remember

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

After much invariably bad publicity for multiple housing issues, when local college, Bacone, took on new leadership one of their first moves was to call on a leader in the industry, SERVPRO. Bacone’s new leadership didn’t wait for a disaster to call SERVPRO they wanted to start the new 2018-2019 school year off right by allowing us to get involved in the beginning with a General Cleaning. Our General Cleanings can be light or deep and  include carpet, tile, windows, or multiple other surfaces and content. We left the historic buildings, dorms, and classrooms clean, fresh, aromatic and ready for new students when they moved in last week. 

This was the first time that SERVPRO had the opportunity to lend its expertise to one of the oldest colleges in the nation. Bacone is the oldest Native American College in Oklahoma founded in 1880 and SERVPRO was glad to partner, handling the delicacy of this project with the utmost care. 

Boomer and Sooner State of Storms

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Oklahoma’s central region of the state suffers from some of the most horrific storms the state and nation has ever seen. 

Tornado season in Oklahoma is nothing to take lightly. Even the slightest rains are heavy in this region and call for proper preparation.

Last week, the University of Oklahoma needed our support. One of their buildings on campus flooded only days before school was scheduled to start. Fortunately, we were able to provide support for the local SERVPRO Franchise and to the Univeristy of Oklahoma to help get them, back on schedule for classes to start. 

There is no storm too big or too small that we can’t handle. Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith for your free consultation at 1-800-SERVPRO. 

Storm Team 2018

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Due to freezing temps in the northern region of the states, our crews dispatched early this morning. Hitting the road and traveling north to we're ready to help out our northern cities.

Being Large Loss certified, when other parts of the country are in need of support for emergency mitigation services and in order to reduce and help prevent secondary and total loss, SERVPRO gets the call.

This is the second time this storm season our project crews traveled cross-country to help put families back into their homes. Helping create a safe environment for them to begin rebuilding.

It is important to call first responders during an emergency but it is just as important to know you will call SERVPRO next. We are always ready to begin emergency mitigation, work with your insurance company on your behalf, and work with the adjusters to ensure you are getting the best possible communication, answers, and results for your unique and unfortunate situation while you take care of your family. Let us take care of your property. It should be the last of your worries and will be with SERVPRO.

Call SERVPRO at 888-601-5526

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Oklahoma commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

"SERVPRO Rocks!!"

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

A retired firefighter, David Comingdeer was used to putting out fires and saving lives. Until he experienced his own fire, he never knew the violation such a turbulent experience provided.

The day before Christmas Eve David and his son Spencer had plans of hosting the family’s Christmas Dinner. An electrical malfunction and fire changed everything.

“With a house fire during Christmas, it’s been a real kick in the teeth,” David said.

Fortunately for David, he was insured, and allowed SERVPRO to help him mitigate his losses. Working with the insurance and adjuster directly, SERVPRO had David’s interests in mind 100% of the time and every step of the way. With SERVPRO, David maintained 100% of control when life seemed and felt out of control.

“They’re cleaning everything I’ve asked them to. I’ve been closely involved in the process, and I’m confident in the work,” David said. “I’m very impressed with the tedious job they’re doing.”

"I pray my friends and family never suffer a house fire...but if you do, I hope you have good insurance and help from these folks. SERVPRO Rocks!!!”

When Storms or Floods hit anywhere across the Country, SERVPRO is ready!

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams.

There is no storm too big or too small that we can’t handle. Call SERVPRO of Fort Smith for your free consultation at 1-800-SERVPRO.

Water Damage By The Inch...DID YOU KNOW?

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know?

A 1/4 inch supply line from the Ice Maker, with normal household pressure, can pump 1/2 to 1 gallon of water per minute.  That's 700-1,400 gallons of water running through the kitchen in a 24 hour time period.

Did you know?

A 3/8 inch supply line to a toilet can pump 2 to 3 gallons of water per minute with normal household pressure.  In a 24 hour period, that could be 3,000-4,000 gallons of water flowing through the home.  Hopefully not an upstairs toilet!

Did you know?

A 5/8 inch hose from a washing machine can pump 10-12 gallons per minute, or 14,000-17,000 gallons in a 24 hour period.  That is the size of a 18'x4' round swimming pool.

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW..

  • Where the main shut off is in your home?
  • Is the only shut off at the main meter?  Do you need to find it?
  • Does each appliance have its own shut off?

Find it, make it, let others know where it is in case you are on vacation, or away from home.

But in the unfortunate event that you should have a water leak... GIVE SERVPRO A CALL!

Where Mold Lives

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Porous wooden floor not coated, affected by mold.

Any porous material such as carpets/padding, ceiling tiles, insulation, wallboards, upholstered furniture and bedding that contain more than a small area of mold should usually be removed from any contaminated area and discarded.

Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely. Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold and hire a professional mold remediation service.

Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Molded areas must be cleaned an dried effectively to mitigate its return to the affected area.

Sometimes dehumidifiers and air scrubbers as well as containments are necessary to clean an area without affecting other areas. 

If you have any questions or want a free consultation please feel free to call SERVPRO Fort Smith  at 479-452-8282.

Cross Contamination

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

New insulation to be installed before completed remediation in designated room. Contaminated insulation to be discarded due to cross contamination.

Cross contamination is the process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect. It is the inadvertent transference of bacteria or other contaminants from one surface, substance, etc., to another especially because of unsanitary handling procedures. When proper precautions are not taken, usually due to lack of experience and/or information on the cleaning of microbials or molds, cross contamination occurs. Most molds and microbials are airborne and transfer very easily. Be sure to hire a professional if the area is larger than a 10"x10" area or if the situation persists after a proper environmental cleaning. Other factors may need to considered that the inexperienced person may not be aware of. For questions and a free consultation please call SERVPRO Fort Smith at 479-542-8282.

Water Destroys

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage on a hardwood floor.

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner's insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy.

Getting Back to Pre-Water Damaged Condition

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Leaky HVAC destroyed door before leak was found.

Every water damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. We carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.

After the bulk of the water has been removed, our technicians use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. we use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. We can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. We also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.

Secondhand Smoke

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Residence affect by smoke damage from a neighboring house fire one block away. Insurance covered loss and restoration services due neighbor’s fire.

Fire Damage

Did you know fewer deaths are caused by the actual fire itself? 

Did you know more deaths are caused by the smoke from a fire rather than the actual fire?

Smoke, much like water, moves to fill spaces. Just as a rock in a spring can break the flow of water in that specific place so does any content or material act as a filter blocking smoke’s pathway leaving a trail of affected content to be cleaned and restored. Smoke is made up of soot, carbon monoxide, and various other chemicals that may have been consumed by its fire. 

For these reasons it is extremely important to mitigate the damage caused by smoke even if the property itself wasn’t affect by the fire directly. The property can still decompose and deteriorate because of lingering smoke damage which is not only hazardous to the property but also to your health.

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