Recent Posts

Business Fire-Loss Claims

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Damage doesn't stop when the fire's out

While we want our business's to resume normal operations ASAP, recovering is key. This is where we, your local SERVPRO friends, come in to help. But, we want our business owners to understand fire damage assessments and the provisions of your insurance policy. 

Mitigate Damage

Preventing as much damage as possible after the fire can reduce the amount of your claim. Consider implementing these fire mitigation measures:

• Limit access to the property to minimize the risk of injury or further damage
• If utility services have not already been cut off, switch off electricity, gas and water
• Resist the urge to begin clean-up efforts until fire damage professionals determine how to proceed

Document the Physical Damage

Your insurance provider will need to know the extent of your physical losses. These can be documented through the use of photographs that exist in off-site storage or on a website, and through business records maintained by outside accountants or vendors. Your bank may be able to provide blueprints that can assist in determining any level of damage to the structure that will require repair. Your insurance adjuster can help you through this process.

Determine the Extent of Records Loss

If vital financial records were damaged or destroyed in the fire and its aftermath, you may consider calling in a forensic accountant. Such experts can help you recreate financial records, substantiate your losses properly and ensure that you receive full value for the insurance coverage you’ve purchased.

Estimate the Cost of Business Interruption

You may need or want to continue operations at another location while restoration is in progress. In that case, you’ll incur these expenses, at minimum:

• Property rental
• Equipment and furnishings leasing
• Utility service fees

We always have your back when you choose the green team.
(205) 926-6010

Grilling Safety — How to Stay Fire-Free

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Man cooking food on grill with people in the background. #safesummer

Fire-Free Summer

To make sure you have a safe grilling season, we will provide a list of safety precautions, such as how to check your gas lines before you start grilling and where to place your grill. Grilling is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Don't let one grilling mistake ruin your summer!

General grilling tips:

 -    Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

 -    The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.

 -    Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

 -    Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

 -    Never leave your grill unattended.

Before you use your grill:

Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for potential gas leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections If the leaks continue, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
Charcoal grills
  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire once it starts burning.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use an open flame. Be sure to use an extension cord rated for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

We wish you a safe and happy grilling season!

Equipped For Storm Damage

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Air Movers

For more than two decades, water damage restorers have been utilizing air moving equipment for the purposes of structural drying. The reason for this is because controlled drying processes depend on evaporation – the transition of liquid water to vapor.

Several different factors influence the rate of evaporation. Most are linked directly to changes in the air around damaged materials. Therefore, the application of air movement at the surface of wet objects is essential for the successful repair of water damage in Alabama homes.

The Control Of Microbial Growth

High powered air movers are very effective when it comes to drying surface water. At SERVPRO, they are a critical tool for preventing microbial growth. Practically speaking, if water activity (aw) can be limited to a level below 0.75, the development of microbes is slower. However, if held at a level under 0.65 aw, it is difficult for any microbes to grow, even on the most vulnerable materials.

This insures our dedication to drying all damaged materials in order to reach an equilibrium with an environment below the 0.65 aw cut off. The fastest way to do this is to install air movers and direct clean, dry air over wet surfaces. Crucially, if the exposed surface of hygroscopic substances (plasterboard) get dried quickly but their interior remains wet, microbial growth is still unlikely.

The Even Distribution Of Heat And Air

As the drying process progresses, our SERVPRO team tightly regulates the humidity, temperature, and airflow within the water damaged space. When air movers get used correctly, they must redirect clean air and support the even distribution of heat to any materials which are still intolerably wet. As the job is nearing completion, the technicians can start to relax humidity and airflow controls, but they must still maintain established drying goals. Moisture tests are carried out periodically to determine how much moisture the materials in the room contain and how long it is likely to take for them to be dried out.

At SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma, our professional team assesses water damage with proper training and experience. By using sophisticated structural drying techniques, our technicians ensure that all excess water, damp, and moisture gets eliminated. We are always available for fast, effective repairs.

What's In Your Water?

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that the water either coming into your home or from your home due to busted pipes or leaks has what we call a “category”? When it comes to handling mitigation in your home it is better to allow the professionals at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma to deal with the emergency because you have to treat the water correctly to be safe. You never know what is either in your water or what the water has passed through to create contamination.

The information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.

Category One: Clear Water

This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer for you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sinks overflow with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials. Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.

Category Two: Gray Water 

Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.
If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.

Category Three: Black Water

Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Cat 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water, or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.

Your SERVPRO friends are skilled in the safe handling of the different categories through training and protective clothing to eliminate the risk of sickness. 

Local Fire Restoration

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

After a Fire

A fire damage can be more involved than you may realize. Smoky residue saturates every opening because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist.

When the cleaning teams arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls, which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

"What could possibly happen if I do it myself?" 
A professional restoration team reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye, they might believe the issue has been fixed. Homeowners who do it themselves may experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on, which could also form an increased respiratory discomfort.  

We are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition. We want to save as much as possible.

"Like it never even happened."

What Alabama areas are taken care of by SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma? We cover more than our franchise name. We take pride in taking care of our local counties, as you can find towards the bottom of our homepage.

We are more than just a business. We are part of our community. Several times a day we help people over the phone, whether it be a carpet cleaning question or tips regarding their concerns. 

Water Damage..? What Now!?

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

When water damage occurs, do you know what to do and what not to do?

Water damage can happen at any point for anyone, home or business, resulting in damaged property. These do's are only for clean water and do not’s pertain to sewage water. Sewage water is treated differently since it causes different damage and requires a different cleanup process. With the right tools and pieces of equipment, our professionals can safely dry out your home or business and the contents within it. Here are some things to always keep in mind.

  • To minimize the damage, make sure to shut off the source of water and turn off the electricity. It is essential to remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and soaking up with towels. This is especially important for wood furniture. 
  • To ensure that more damage isn't sustained by the furniture make sure to try and move it, if safe to do so. 
  • Make sure to NOT enter a room with standing water since there could be a risk of electrical shock 
  • Make sure to disconnect all power first. 
  • It is recommended to NOT leave rugs and furniture upholstery wet against one another because the fabrics have the potential to bleed between each other. 
  • It is important to note that you should not be utilizing your household vacuum to try and suck up any water. 

If these tips are followed, then damage can be minimized and you will be better prepared for help to arrive. Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at 205.252.8110. Call us, the Centreville, Marion & Selma water restoration experts!

Preventing Damage During Spring Showers

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Raining on outdoor bush. April showers may bring May flowers. But, storm damage brings SERVPRO — and we'd like to prevent that, believe it or not!

April Showers Can Bring More Than Flowers

This is true, but unfortunately showers can also bring severe weather threats such as hail, high winds, tornadoes and lightning. According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms cause more than $1 billion in property damage each year. Without proper home preparation and maintenance upkeep, the damage could be very costly if severe weather came through. In Alabama, the weather changes one day to the next. Below are some helpful tips to prevent spring storms from damaging your home.

 Spring Storm Tips:

1.  Clean the gutters. Cleaning out any leaves or debris that may have accumulated in the gutters will help prevent water damage. Check to make sure the downspout directs water away from the foundation, and add extensions if necessary to keep the water away from your house. It’s also a good plan to install gutter guards. These will protect your gutters from clogging and ensure that water does not accumulate on the roof.

2.  Maintain roof maintenance. Replace roof shingles that are cracked or loose. This will help prevent damage from roof leaks.

3.  Check the caulking. It is important to check caulking for decay around doors, windows, corner boards, and joints, and re-caulk where needed. Be sure the seals are tight to improve insulation and prevent water damage.

4.  Look around the yard. Trim your trees and remove dead or loose branches to prevent them from becoming projectiles during a storm.

5.  Prepare your patio before a storm. When a storm is approaching, be sure to move all patio furniture, trash cans and any other loose outside items to your shed or garage – these could become flying projectiles.

How to Save More During an Emergency

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Seconds Count

Emergency Ready Program is an immediate plan of action for when your business experiences any damage. As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Get Started!

STEP 1: Visit SERVPRO.com/ready. Register for an account using your email address as your username and choose a password.

STEP 2: Choose your preferred SERVPRO Franchise Representative to contact in the event your home or business experiences water, fire, mold or other type of damage.

STEP 3: Begin creating ERPs for all of your properties.

STEP 4: Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan Application on your iPhone, tablet, Android or Blackberry device from the respective App Store.

STEP 5: Launch the Ready Plan App and sign in using the same username and password from STEP 1.

At this point, it may take a few minutes for the data to sync. All of your ERP information will appear on your tablet or mobile device. You can now access and manage ERP information from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Our SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma family is ready to help you in the most efficient way possible. Call today as our representative will help answer any ERP questions you may have.

(205) 926-6010

How DIY Can Get Outta Hand

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

"Don't It Yourself" mold image Hey Do-It-Yourselfer, We can Help!

Don’t Do It Yourself

We understand you want to save money, but taking the job upon yourself can cause more damage than it is worth. Don't be a “do-it-yourselfer”.

What Happens?

We had someone call about an extensive water leak in the roof. After they called around different businesses, they then decided to become a “do-it-yourselfer”. After a few hours on "Google" and "YouTube” they thought the job seemed simple enough. They then went to the expense to rent a carpet cleaner and buy a small dehumidifier. Thinking they fixed the problem themselves, they began to smell a musty odor. So they call SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia to come deodorize the home, however our technicians wanted to find the location of the smell.

After pulling the baseboards and the corners of the carpet up, we noticed immediately the water and the mold starting. After the initial inspection was done we provided them with a full estimate to fix the damages. They were shocked at how much lower our estimate was from all the others they had received. Within hours we began our work, returning this family’s home to "like new" condition in only two weeks.

We care for helping our community, and our priority is doing the job right the first time. Check in on our social media to stay updated on water and mold tips. 

Save yourself in the beginning— You call, we help. (205) 926-6010

2021 Flash Flood Facts

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

BEFORE THE FLOOD:

  1. Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  2. Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
  3. Seal walls in basement with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

DURING THE FLOOD:

  1. Disconnect electrical appliances if it’s safe to do so.
  2. Even in a panicked moment, avoid touching electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  3. Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
  4. It’s not safe to walk through moving water- even six inches deep of moving water can make you fall, escalating the situation.

AFTER THE FLOOD:

  1. Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  2. Avoid floodwaterswater may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.  Water may also be electrically charged.
  3. Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  4. Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

We’re part of our local community, but we also have our national Storm Response Team to reinforce us during widespread events. This is what we prepare for. Should your home or business be affected by the recent significant rain fall or flooding- Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma. 

We have you covered. ”Like it never even happened.”