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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Thanksgiving Safety Tips - Pandemic Edition

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving From SERVPRO poster Wishing you and your family a safe Thanksgiving!

Last Thanksgiving was weird enough. But let's talk about this year. Thanksgiving still isn't the same, but at least we can feel some relief from the progression in combating COVID-19. Though things are looking more hopeful, we should still keep up the good work of cleanliness. 

With festivities around the corner, we here at SERVPRO of Cenreville, Marion & Selma want to share what YOU need to know to keep your family safe this year. We also want to share the other major safety hazard... house fires. House fires can begin in an instant, normally because cooking is left unattended in the kitchen.

Wonder what you can do to stay safe and keep your kitchen under control? Follow these simple safety tips on preventing fires. In addition, due to widespread fear on the pandemic we have also included some safety tips to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking and check on frequently on your dishes.
  • Keep children away from the stove by at least 3 feet.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

COVID-19 Safety Tips

  • Save the fine china. Disposable utensils/cups/plates not only keeps germs from piling in your sink, but also less cleanup afterwards.
  • Keep two trashcans out to help prevent germy trash laying around.
  • Have germ-x available at your entrance and the beginning of the food line.
  • Avoid crowding around in the kitchen or any other food-preparation areas.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets.
  • If the weather is right, why not put up tables and eat outside?
  • If that's not an option, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors to allow circulation.
  • Ideally, we suggest keeping your guest list minimal.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • Call us to aid your cleaning needs!
    (205) 926-6010

We are here for all of your cleanup and fire restoration needs. Make sure that you're practicing fire safety this Holiday season and exercising precaution with company this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Cooler Weather is Here

Here in Centreville, AL its a tradition to enjoy the cooler nights outside around a homemade fire pit! Many of us are looking forward to spending time gathering around them to enjoy time with family and friends. Before you start dreaming of moonlit nights and toasted marshmallows, take a moment to check out some of these tips from Allstate to remember.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.
  • Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.
  • Check wind direction before lighting a fire.
  • Don’t use flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.
  • To start the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks. Then, add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning. 
  • Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke. 
  • Don’t wear flammable clothing (like nylon) or any loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in a specially designated ash storage metal can. 

Autumn Damage Prevention

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

Outdoor Cleaning Tips that Could help Prevent Damage this Fall

The chill is in the air and the leaves are piling up. Our team at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion & Selma is committed to helping our friends, you, by offering little tips and important reminders to help during times of need or to prevent damage altogether. As cooler weather approaches, here are some things you may want to add to your cleaning to-do's:

  • Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows.(Repair or replace as needed.)
  • Check and clean the gutters.
    (Do the downspouts, too.)
  • Clean the patio furniture.(Then store away.)
  • Drain and store garden hoses.
  • Check the exterior paint.(Touch up as needed.)
  • Drain the pool, if applicable.(Close it up for the year)

Some of these tips can help prevent future water damage as well, like cleaning your gutters and repair the weather stripping & caulk. So, remember:

Stay ahead. Be prepared.

Professional Cleaning & Disinfecting

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

An employee clothed in personal protective equipment spraying disinfectants in a building. We've Got You Covered.

Helping our Community, One Cleaning at a Time

As the virus has mutated into the variant, we want to reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. It's important to us that we all feel safe during this time.

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

Fall Water Damage Prevention Tips

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

1. Adjust your sprinkler timer

Water during the early morning and evening hours to reduce evaporation and find out how much water is required to effectively water your lawn. You'll see a difference in not only your lawn but also that water bill!

2. Check for leaks and building damage

Inspect all interior fixtures, as well as basements and crawlspaces and you may also want to inspect your building’s exterior for damage. With the increase of storms this time of year, water will try to find it's way inside.

3. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas

To reduce the likelihood of future freezing, wrap water pipes in unheated areas with insulation tubes and apply heat-tape prior to wrapping pipes with insulation. Doesn't hurt to get a jump start on this for the cooler weather ahead.

4. Know the location of your property shut-off valve

Knowing the location of your shut-off valve could save you money on water and damage repairs. The faster you can turn off the water, the less goes to waste.

5. Install a smart water flow monitoring system

When excessive water usage is detected, it immediately notifies the property manager that water spike above the preset limit has occurred. The alert can be sent to both a computer and a smartphone for the manager to act upon, and can be customized for business hours, as well as after hours and weekends.

Hurricane Season

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

Palm Tree blowing in strong winds Stay aware and prepared!

Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricane Ida made it's big appearance last week, causing water and wind damage. Hurricanes are one of the most dramatic, damaging and life altering events that can occur in our state.

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma wants to make sure you are prepare for further hurricanes this season.

Here are some tips:

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

According to msema.org, prepare a three to five-day disaster kid that should contain:

  1. Flashlight and battery-powered radio with additional batteries.
  2. Canned and non-perishable food.
  3. Bottled water.
  4. Toiletry items.
  5. Pet food and pet supplies.
  6. Medicine and prescription medication.
  7. Copies of important family papers and documents.

National Preparedness Month: Storm Prep

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

"Preparation isn't about convenience, rather the relief that you did."

During this time of year in Alabama, we not only experience a lot of heat but also rain, which includes thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and hurricanes. It would be beneficiary to think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below, we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens. 

Protect Your Electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for Power Outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay Away from Power Lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Don't Stay Outside 

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If you're inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes. 

Handy Emergency Kit 

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. 

If disaster does strike your home during a storm, your SERVPRO friends are ready to be apart of the team that pieces it back together. #SERVPROStrong 

(205) 926-6010

National Preparedness Month: Business Prep

9/8/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damage from strong winds, shingles missing. Wind damage can lead to other damages, which causes huge inconveniences for our businesses.

Flying Debris Protection 

High winds produce flying debris which can cause property damage, like a roof leak or broken windows, and even structural damage, like a fractured wall. We can help you minimize the risk of flying debris by following these tips.

1. Trim Trees and Clean Grounds

While high winds may result in a few missing shingles, the most significant damage is caused by flying tree branches and other miscellaneous debris. Therefore, all trees and bushes should be trimmed to minimize the risk of a damaged roof or structure. Additionally, you can police the property daily to collect any refuse, ensuring that it, too, does not harm your property in future storms. 

2. Secure and Reinforce Exterior Objects/Decor

Exterior objects like signs, furniture and fences, should be secured and reinforced to minimize any potential property damage. Depending on the severity of the winds, furniture and fence posts can become projectiles in volatile storms. You can secure these objects by mounting them to cement slabs or, regarding fences, replacing loose boards and railings.

3. Convert Gravel Pathways and Landscaping to Dirt or Concrete

A roof leak is common after high winds, and the main reason is roof damage caused by flying debris. Loose gravel and rock are some of the most common elements of flying debris, and each material adds to the risk of property damage during high winds. Replacing gravel driveways and pathways with concrete or asphalt and converting rock beds to mulch will minimize your risks during wind storms. 

4. Create an Emergency Action Plan

While you can take every preventative measure possible, nothing is guaranteed, and that is why you should have an emergency action plan in place. Restoration specialists from around the Selma, AL, area help with this type of planning, and many even offer customized plans that take effect immediately following a disaster.

Wind damage can result in many issues like a roof leak or broken windows, but there are things you, as a business owner, can do to help protect your property. Trimming trees, policing the grounds and reducing risks through appropriate landscaping are all proactive ways of protecting your business from future high wind storms.

Water Damage Insight for Business Owners

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Actions You Need To Take on Category 1 Water Damage

Most business owners are terrified when they hear those two dreaded words: water damage. However, what some do not realize is that there are different levels of water damage. Business owners need to be aware that clean water will also need to be properly taken care of to avoid damage, loss, and a progression to other, more serious water damage categories. If your property in Centreville, Marion, or Selma, AL, has water damage, here is a guide to how it starts and what action you need to take:

  1. What is Category 1 water damage? Category 1 water damage is caused by a clean water source that has not been contaminated. Since this water originates from sanitary conditions, it is not a risk to your health to be exposed to it. This category of water damage is the easiest to clean up. However, Category 1 water damage can progress quickly into Category 2 and Category 3 if not treated as soon as possible.

  2. What are the main causes of Category 1 water damage? The main sources of Category 1 water damage are usually a water supply line from an appliance that has broken, a sink or bathtub overflowing, or a broken pipe. 

  3. What is the cleanup process like? Specific professional water damage restoration services are needed, even with Category 1 damage. Removal of water is the first step, with remediation to follow if there is damage to the property. There are a variety of drying and restoration procedures to help save as much as possible. Certain things, such as carpets and walls, may be too damaged and therefore will have to be replaced.

Dealing with clean water damage in Selma, AL, can be stressful. By knowing how it starts and what steps you need to take, you will be better prepared to handle the situation and get your business back to normal.

Danger: Washing Machine Malfunction

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

FACTS

One of the most well-known causes of water damage in your home, washing machines can cause costly damage. After the deductible is paid, the average claim nationally for water damage from washing machine malfunction is more than five thousand dollars.

Since washing machines have various ways of creating water damage to your home, many homeowners do not totally understand the prevention options, risks, or cleanup options. Knowing just a bit about how your washing machine can create water damage, you can save thousands of dollars and many headaches. When this happens, professionals should be called.

Supply Hose Leaks 
Over 50% of claims from washing machine water damage can be traced to the failure of your supply hose. It can be caused by an aging hose, a poor connection to the wall or machine, or the hose being pinched while it is installed, causing a hairline break. Intake hoses are high-flow lines and can put out more than six hundred gallons of water in one hour. If the supply hose on your machine is over five years old or is not steel braided, get it replaced as soon as you can.

Drainage Issues And Flooding 
If there is a clog in your drainage pipe, the sewer backs up, or your drain pipe is not properly lined up, the drainage system of your washing machine causes some water damage at least. Most importantly, avoid a clog in the sewer line. When this backs up, you can be faced with water damage that is filled with contaminates and poses serious health risks. You most definitely need the help of our professionals if this happens to you. It's important you don't DIY this, because proper equipment and training is needed for health safety reasons.


Internal Leaks 
Your washing machine doesn't have to be incorrectly installed, old, or built poorly to create an internal leak. Overloading your machine on a regular basis can cause valves, gaskets, and bushings to crack or loosen. Smaller loads, even if it takes longer to do the laundry, keep your machine from shaking itself apart.

Identifying Your Leak 
If you have a leak that is constant, you likely have an issue with the supply hose. It is probably an internal leak if it happens during the wash cycle but before the spin cycle. With water on the floor during the spin cycle or right after the machine turns off, you probably have a drainage issue.

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can handle any washing machine leak in a timely and efficient manner. 

(205) 926-6010

When Mold Shows Up in Home Inspections

8/1/2021 (Permalink)

Home Buying

Home buying is a roller coaster; from new emotions and experiences to all the hoops you need to jump through. You spend countless hours viewing homes, finding neighborhoods you love and features you hate, and trying to work with lenders. Another hoop to jump through is a home inspection to ensure there are no issues with the home you want to buy. Home inspectors are trained to spot issues inside and outside the home that could cause potential issues in the future, including mold growth.

When a home inspector finds mold in a pending purchase it becomes a not so pleasant hiccup that can cause a lot of issues and can cost a bit of money if not treated appropriately. Mold loves a variety of different environments, and depending on the environment you can find different types of mold. These environments can be found in many different locations including:

  • Crawl spaces & attics.
  • Bathrooms where there could be an issue of improper ventilation.
  • Basement where groundwater finds its way into the foundation.
  • Underneath or behind refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines.
  • Around any windows that could be failing or already leaking.
  • Underneath, around, and behind sinks.
  • Under carpeting that has unusual staining spots on the top layer of flooring.  

There are many other places mold can start to spore, but a good indicator is any location that has high moisture or has had water damage in the past. Bathrooms and attics commonly have poor ventilation creating condensation; basements and crawlspaces collect ground water and fluids from broken pipes; refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers commonly have supply lines that are not connected correctly, become kinked, or clogged causing leaks; window seals deteriorate with time which can cause condensation on the inside and leaks from the outside; sinks are connected to a variety of pipes and connections that can deteriorate with age, clog, and break; carpeting tends to hide evidence of water damage. When these issues go unnoticed they all have the potential to create the perfect environment for mold growth, and the common denominator here is moisture.

When mold is in your home it can cause unfriendly odors, damage to walls and floors, and even create certain health effects for you and your family. The initial move to make in removing mold to recognize the most common areas for mold to grow.  

Household mold primarily thrives in damp, humid areas such as basements, showers, and around heating and cooling appliances. Mold in homes can also occur in carpets, ventilation ducts,  and crawlspaces. The best way to guard against mold in your house is to ensure there are no active leaks or areas where moisture is collecting regularly, and that your home has proper ventilation.

If you see mold in your home currently, or are even in the process of dealing with a home inspection today, our SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma family is a call away. We are ready to help make that house into a home. 

#thinkclean
#thinkgreen

Fire & Smoke Deodorization

7/25/2021 (Permalink)

Aftermath: Foul Oder 

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized.  Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places.  Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.  

Our dedicated SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC). SERVPRO also provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We don't cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; we seek out and remove the odor from the source

(205) 926-6010

Thunderstorm Facts

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Stormy sky with text on it, informing about storm facts. We're here to help by keeping you informed!

Types of Thunderstorms

It’s important to note that thunderstorms do not always produce moisture. A storm in which you see lightning and hear thunder but never feel a drop of water is known as a “dry” thunderstorm. Thunderstorms that produce hail and tornadoes are known as “supercell” storms. Storms occur either in clusters or lines; therefore, they may present as a single thunderstorm or as multiple thunderstorms hitting one after the other.

Causes

Thunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.

Thunderstorms must also be lifted to begin their formation. Some sources of lift include:

  • More heat on the ground than in the air
  • Changes in atmospheric conditions near mountains
  • Weather front changes caused by clashing cold and hot air
  • Drylines, or when moist and dry air clash
  • Land or sea breezes

Any of these situations can immediately create a thunderstorm without warning, even in the middle of a clear blue day. In many cases, these storms will also be accompanied by lightning. Most will not come with hail or tornadoes, unless they occur in tornado-prone states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

Grease Fire Awareness

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Cooking Oil Gone Wrong

Be prepared for the worst. If your oil catches on fire, here's what to do:

• Turn the Heat Off - Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
• Cover the Pot with a Metal Lid - Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
• Pour on Baking Soda - Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
• Spray the Pot with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher - This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
• Get Out and Call 911 - If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call 911.

Whatever you do, don't do the following:

• Do Not Use Water - Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
• Do Not Move the Pot or Carry It Outside - Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.
• Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire - Flour might look like baking soda, but it won't react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.

Make Your Home Safer for the Family

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

10 Tips to Make Your Home Safer Against Fires

Fires cause tragedies. Imagine your home (wether in Centreville, Marion or Selma areas) being ravaged by a raging fire. To think about the reality of it is scary, but it can help you to start thinking about prevention. We don't want you or your family to ever experience such a loss, but it is wise to prepare your home in the event of future disasters.

Join us in having peace-of-mind regarding fire safety in your home:

1. Smoke alarms: Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually.
2. Prepare children: Teach fire preparation to children, including the dangers of fire. Make sure they know the proper use of 911 for emergencies. Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
3. Plan where to go: Create an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of it. Choose an outside meeting spot for all family members to gather upon escaping. Conduct practice drills at least twice a year.
4. Share contact information: Make sure all household members know who to contact in the event that they cannot find each other during a home fire.
5. Educate on proper techniques: Teach everyone in the household to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.
6. Take action if you smoke: Smokers should take extra precautions, as many residential fire deaths are caused by smoking materials. Avoid smoking in bed, especially while sleepy or medicated. It is better to smoke outside.
7. Handle heaters: Portable heaters should be turned off when not in use.
8. Take care of candles: Candles should be extinguished when not in use, and never left unattended.
9. Store other sources of light: Speaking of candles, consider using flashlights during a power outage instead of candles.
10. Examine the home for other fire hazards: Check the electrical wiring and home heating sources to make sure they are safe

Severe Weather Supply List

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Lightening storm sky. Don't take your chances. Prepare for the worst in oder to come out best.

Don't Wait Too Late- Be Ready


Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

    • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
    • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
    • Extra batteries
    • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
    • Multi-purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Map(s) of the area


Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are: 

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two-way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area: 

    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

For more information check out redcross.org

Unpredictable Water Damages

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

What do water damages include?

  • Plumbing issues
  • Bursting/leaking pipes
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Weather-related water damage

Water enters unprotected areas quite often and need professional assistance to help them recover fast. 

It may be comforting to know that someone trustworthy is available to provide you with the services you need to keep your business running.

About US

We respond to your service request and provide you with rapid response times, and a unique solution to your problem. With several years of experience in the restoration industry and quality equipment at our disposal, we have the ability to handle water damage incidents affecting a single unit, or your entire building.

The information you provide during your initial call, helps us determine the amount of equipment and personnel needed to address your situation properly. So that once we arrive on your property, we can address any possible hazards and fully inspect the affected area for damages, getting to work immediately to solve your problem. 

We have access to both hand-held and truck mounted water extraction equipment, each with three main elements, a heater, pump, and vacuum system. Portable extractors hold anywhere from five to twelve gallons of water, while the truck mounted version handles up to 100 gallons of water or more, making it easy to remove excess water from various types of flooring, including carpeting and other upholstery items, such as rugs, and curtains. 

Our SERVPRO technicians use a variety of equipment to locate hidden moisture pockets, in walls, attics, and crawl spaces; water cannot hide from a quality infrared moisture detection device. Making it possible for us to dry hard to read, or hidden areas throughout your building and prevent secondary water damage from developing. 

Drying Process

SERVPRO technicians place the proper amount of air moving equipment and dehumidifiers into the affected area. We also use detection devices to check the vicinity for moisture and monitor relative humidity to ensure a proper drying environment exists to complete the water damage restoration and limit any interruptions to your businesses daily operations. 

Time & Damage Progressions During Water Losses

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

It's stressful when water damages occur in either our home or business. In a home, the water can damage family mementos and possessions, limit the amount of space available for you and your family, and cause a financial burden to bear.  In a business, these types of damages can limit productivity, disrupt day-to-day operations, and cause a loss of income for you and your employees. To reduce the severity of these potentially disastrous occurrences, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma offers 24/7/365 emergency response to begin mitigating water damages ASAP.  When water damage strikes, it is important to understand how the damages can progress if not quickly handled:

Within Minutes

  • Water spreads throughout your property, beginning to saturate items within its path
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, belongings, and other porous surfaces
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets
  • Photographs & Paper Goods become damaged

1-2 Hours

  • Drywall Swells
  • Metal Surfaces Tarnish
  • Furniture and Flooring begin to warp/mold
  • Odors begin to form

48 Hours-1 Week

  • Microbial Growth begins to occur
  • Metal begins to rust
  • Doors & Windows begin to swell and warp
  • Biohazard contamination becomes possible

Over 1 Week

  • Structural safety becomes compromised
  • Microbial growth spreads
  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically
  • Biohazard contamination poses a serious risk

If you home or business has suffered a water damage, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma at (205) 926-6010.  We have the expertise, experience, and equipment to take care of you and your property as quickly as possible, helping to make your damage “Like it never even happened.”

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.”

Moisture Control = Mold Control

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

Don't let moisture get out of hand—it is mold's best friend.

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Humidity levels change throughout the day as changes occur in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans, which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture. 

Don't face this alone. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can help remediate your mold growth.

(205) 926-6010 

Cover Your Bases on Flood Damage

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Flood waters entering a home through the garage door. Flood waters can creep in through outside doors, causing damage as time passes.

What's classified as a flood?

Floods are considered excess water in areas that are normally dry, causing water damage to a structure. Locally, they result from prolonged or very heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms, or even snowmelt (as we saw with the Ice/Winter Storm of 2021).

Common types of flooding

  1. Slow onset floods
  2. Rapid onset floods
  3. Flash floods

Flood warnings

Usually, a reasonable warning period is possible except in case of flash floods.

Common terms used by the meteorological department to describe the warnings for flooding are as:

  1. Minor flooding: Causes inconvenience, closing small roads and low-level bridges.
  2. Moderate Flooding: Low-lying areas inundated, requiring removal of stock, equipment and evacuation of isolated homes. Main road and rail bridges may be covered.
  3. Major flooding: Higher areas inundated, towns and properties isolated, and extensive damage.
  4. Local flooding: Intense rainfall, some high run-off, but usually no flooding in main streams;
  5. Significant river rises: This warning is issued if it is not certain that the initial flood levels will be exceeded in the main streams. It makes people aware that appreciable rises are expected.

After a Flood

The following are guidelines for the period following a flood:

  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is always here to guide you in the right direction after any disaster. 

(205) 926-6010

How Sump Pumps Work

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Sump Pumps— Let's Break it Down

Understanding the home building process is extremely beneficial when understanding how sump pumps work.    

After a hole is dug by an excavator for a basement, the next step is to put in foundation footings.  Foundation footings in Alabama are typically a poured cement slab, often reinforced with rebar.  The footings are poured into the excavated trench essentially in an outline of the foundation walls.  The footings provide a foundation upon which the cement bricks of the foundation will be laid, or upon which the cement walls of the foundation will be poured, depending on the type of basement wall construction used.  The soil upon which these footings are poured needs to stay at a consistent moisture level to prevent settlement, heave, or differential movement.  That’s where the sump pump and its supporting system comes into play.

A drain system is installed around the perimeter of the foundation/footings.  This drain system is essentially a system of pipes (surrounded by crushed stone) with holes in the top that collect water that is heading towards the foundation walls.  The water that is collected in these pipes is redirected into a sump crock in the basement, where a pump then pumps the water up and out of the basement.  Proper installation and maintenance of this entire system is essential to keeping a basement dry and stable. 

Helping you is our goal. The more knowledge you acquire around your home, the farther you set yourself ahead when potential damages come knocking on your door. 

#HeretoHelp
@SERVPROCMS

Fire Extinguishers: The Step By Step

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguishers– Gotta Have 'Em & Gotta Know How to Use 'Em

Portable fire extinguishers are life and property saving tools when used correctly. Before an accident occurs, it's seriously beneficial to read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out.

In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

It is always a good idea to show everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire. Idea: set up an area outside for the kids to practice on. It goes without saying but, fires are unpredictable. If more than one person knows how to use an extinguisher, you could save yourself from excessive damage to your home or better yet— save a life.

Winter Safety Tips

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

No one likes to be cold! Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home or work place during cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly.

How to keep your home safe and warm:

  • Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
  • Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

(via esfi.org)

Commercial Preparedness

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Turn off all utilities at the main switches or valves when instructed to do so. (Gas and electric shutoff) Board up windows prior to forecasted high wind storm events, such as hurricanes.

Disconnect all electrical equipment and appliances. Raise elevators (if applicable) from the bottom floor.

Ensure your server is protected and backed up in another location.

Employee safety should always be your first priority. Account for all employees by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places.

Contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise to set up an Emergency Response Profile (ERP), which outlines every step of your emergency plan in any situation. This is a free service to you, to help when a disaster hits unexpectedly. Call us with any questions.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

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.

We are Cleaning Experts

1/3/2020 (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 Centreville, Marion, and Selma 205-926-6010

Keep Your Storm Damage Minimal

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Reduce the Damage
-Stop the water at its source
-Take small electrical devices out from areas with excess water if safe to do so and turn off electricity to the home.
-Do not walk on wet carpeting.
-Take out small furnishings from areas that are carpeted or put aluminum foil under the legs of the furniture. This will stop permanent rust of furniture stains.
-Pin up furniture skirts and hang draperies, so they don’t come into contact with wet floors.
-Take out any breakables, high-value items, and moisture-sensitive items, plus any items that could stain the floor coverings. Look under beds and other furnishings.
-Plan for the restoration crews to move furniture to areas that are dry.
-Always wash your hands after you handle any items which are damaged.
-Avoid the risk of electric shock. Don’t use a home or shop vacuum to take the water out of your home.
-Do not be tempted to turn on heating, fans or air conditioning units, as they could spread contamination if the situation is related to sewage.


We Will Get the Water Out
-We’ll bring extraction equipment into your home to remove any water that is freestanding.
-Soaked and damaged carpeting and padding will be removed and need to be replaced.
-We use professional grade dehumidifying and drying equipment to dry the affected areas and get the humidity levels in your house back to normal. Additional tools will be used to find pockets of water that are hidden.
-Proper drying and extraction techniques will help minimize the possibility of damage that is secondary, like potential microbial growth.
-Our professionals will monitor daily the drying process and reposition the drying equipment as needed.

Prepare For Flooding

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

If you experience flooding during a storm event then pay attention to these tips:

Before

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Tell an adult if you hear a flood warning on the TV or radio.

During

  • Listen to authorities and safety officials.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move  immediately to higher ground. 
  • Help your family move important items to an upper floor. 
  • Do not walk through moving water. Even 6” of water can make you fall.

After

  • Stay away from flood water. It could be contaminated, meaning contain dangerous substances.
  • Stay away from moving water. It can knock you off your feet.
  • Stay out of the way of emergency workers so they can do their job easily.

Call us if you need us! 

Checking for Moisture

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that with any leak it's the water you don't see that causes the most damage.

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, a SERVPRO professional is on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restorable contents.  Remember, the faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility.

Each SERVPRO professional is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. There is a science to dehumidification. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building is quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma is ready to provide emergency water restoration services 24/7/365.

Give us a call today with all your restoration needs!

Why SERVPRO?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO has over 1,700 Franchises in the United States and Canada!? Or that SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and are the preferred vendor for many National and Local Insurance Companies!? 

Our highly trained restoration technicians are dedicated to responding faster to any disaster. We provide 24 hour services with experts that are highly qualified and trained to properly take care of your cleaning and restoration needs. 

We are here to take the stress and worry you may have when a disaster occurs and make it "Like it never even happened." You can depend on us for services to your residential and commercial needs! 

We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Give us a call for your restoration needs. 

Fire Damages in the Winter

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking 

  • Never leave the kitchen or hot appliances unattended while cooking.
  • Keep paper products, towels, potholders and other flammable materials away from the stove.
  • Clean your stove and oven often to avoid grease build up.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove while food is being prepared.

Candles 

  • Be sure to extinguish all candles before heading to bed at night.
  • Never leave the room with any candles burning.
  • Candles should be placed at a minimum of three feet from combustible materials such as your Christmas tree and/or decorations, curtains, blankets, etc
  • There are a variety of flameless scent options available on the market today, such as: wax warmers, oil diffusers and plug in air fresheners.

Smoking 

  • The warmth of your home may be tempting to smoke in during cold weather, but avoid smoking indoors at all costs. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and other smoking materials away from children, either high out of reach or locked in a cabinet.
  • Always use a sturdy, deep ashtray to put out smoking materials. Never discard your cigarette in vegetation such as plants, peat moss, mulch or anything else that can ignite easily.
  • Before you toss butts and ashes, ensure they are completely out. Douse them with water or sand to be certain.

Electrical Lighting 

  • Never use lit candles to decorate your tree.
  • Replace any string of lights that has loose bulb connections, frayed wires or a worn appearance with a new strand. Read the manufacturers instructions for how many light strands you can connect. Overloading your outlet and/or power strip can be very dangerous.
  •  Always turn Christmas lights off before you leave the house and before heading off to bed.

Dryers & Washing Machines 

  • Clean lint filters every time you use the dryer.
  • You should also have your dryer vent and ductwork professionally cleaned once a year.
  • In the interim of those cleanings, frequently check your vents and ductwork to ensure nothing is getting backed up. Make sure someone is home and awake while the cycle is going.

Christmas Trees

  • If using a real tree, be sure to choose one with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.Cut 2” off the trunk before you place it on the stand.  Add water to your tree daily to ensure the needles don’t dry out, real trees are extremely flammable when dry.

  • As with other combustibles, keep your tree three feet away from any heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, heat vents, etc. Make sure your tree isn’t blocking an exit out of the home, like a hallway or door.

Leaks, Big and Small

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Small or big leaks, they are all big!  A leak from a hole that is 1/16" in diameter can pour 822 gallons of water a day into your home! 

With any leak or spill, it is the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. In order to find what materials are wet we mainly rely on a Moisture Meter. There are two types, penetrating and non-penetrating.  Penetrating Moisture Meters measure the resistance between test pins inserted into a piece of wood/building material and use that reading as a proxy for the object’s absolute moisture level. Non-Penetrating Moisture Meters rely on the ability of moisture to inductively distort an electric field created by turning on the meter.  This sounds like a bunch of scientific talk, and it is!  But mainly the moisture meters will tell you when something is wet and how wet, so you can find any hidden wet spots in your home.  While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage that must be mitigated immediately.

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma has the tools to find where any water is lurking and we can come out and inspect to see how best to tackle any water damage. Call us today! 205-926-6010

When you need to get back to business quickly

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

As a commercial property management professional, your clients and tenants rely on you for efficient day-to-day operations of their property. They also depend on you to protect it. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma understands there is no such thing as a small emergency when it can negatively impact occupant safety, revenue loss and business continuity.

If you experience a loss in the following areas, we can assist you:

  • Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration
  • Fire, Smoke and Soot Restoration Services
  • Mold Mitigation Services
  • Commercial Large Loss and Storm Response Program

Timely mitigation is key to minimizing damage, business interruptions and recovery costs. You and those who depend on you will appreciate the rapid response, expertise and training that enables SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to help get your facility back into operation quickly.

Our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines help ensure timely communication and response and can reduce loss expense from secondary damages.

1 - You will be contacted within one hour from notice of loss to arrange for service

4 - A SERVPRO project manager will be onsite within four hours of loss notification

8 - Within 8 business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope of work will be communicated to the property manager or appropriate point of contact.

Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at 205-926-6010. With our trained professionals and specialized equipment, we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

A clean clothes dryer reduces your chance of fire

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2010-2014 US fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 fires each year involving clothes dryers and washing machines. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of those fires, washing machines and washer dryer combinations accounted for the remainder.

Doing laundry is most likely part of your everyday routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? Failure to clean dryers is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. With a few simple safety tips, you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

And don’t forget…

Dryers should be properly grounded. Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by anything. Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, etc. Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.

If you experience smoke or fire damage in your home or business anywhere in The Blackbelt area, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at 205-926-6010 to clean and restore you to preloss condition. We have highly trained technicians and top of line equipment to help clean and repair your fire loss, no matter how large or small

Teaching children what to do in a fire.

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths. In the United States Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. Make sure to have a meeting location outside the home.

How to help prevent flooding to your home in Helena or Great Falls due to a storm.

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

1.    Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.

2.    Make sure your roof is secure and protected.

3.     Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.

Why Pipes Burst

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it also expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It's not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream. Between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. It's this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always retreat back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately protected along their entire length by placement within the building's insulation, insulation on the pipe itself, or heating, are safe.

Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma if you experience a broken pipe in your Marion or Selma home (205) 926-6010.

Who is responsible for rental property damage?

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike both renters and property owners alike. A large water related disaster can render a property uninhabitable and cause permanent damage to the resident’s personal belongings.  When water damage strikes an apartment, who is the responsible party? The owner or the tenant?

Tenant Rights

Generally speaking, the responsibility of property maintenance falls on the landlord. If a landlord refuses necessary repairs or fails to address them in a timely fashion, and his negligence results in damage to the tenants property, (such may be the case with mold) they may be liable for the cost of replacing the affected items. Although details can vary from state to state, there are certain basic principals in place that outline the liable party. If in doubt, check with your local housing authority. 

Keep Lease Current

It’s a good idea to be aware of the terms laid out in your rental agreement/ lease as it pertains to property damage. Rental properties generally have property insurance and the lease agreement should specify what is covered and what is not.

Rental Insurance

It is a good idea to have a rental insurance policy in the event of an accident. Many property managers require rental insurance. Coverage can vary from policy to policy. Some policies cover property damage, theft, personal belongings and even lodging in the event of a displacing emergency. It’s a good idea to look into obtaining a rental insurance policy, and if you already have one, it’s good to be familiar with what is and what is not covered.

Property management/ owner duties

Any landlord is responsible for keeping the apartment maintained to an acceptable level of livability. Basic plumbing, appliance and electrical maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord, as is basic property upkeep. The landlord can be held negligible for damage incurred due to failing to perform these basic functions.

Damage to personal property

Damage to the building itself, as well as utilities and appliances should be covered by the property owner’s insurance policy. Damage to personal property falls under the responsibility of the party who caused the damages, which may or may not be the tenant.

We’re always here to help

When rain hits the Portland metro, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is on standby to help our local residents and businesses with their water damaged homes, apartments and businesses. If recent storms have caused flooding or a pipe has burst, our highly trained technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your property. We have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our local technicians will closely monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal. Call us today. 205-926-6010

Commercial Carpet Cleanings

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to having a highly visited office, as a business owner, you want to make the best impression possible on the clients that come in. If the client see visible dirt and spots they will associate that filth with the business. The dirt and germs that accumulate in carpeting will accelerate wear and tear on the carpet and will greatly reduce the overall cleanliness of the office. There are very simple ways to protect your carpet and to keep them clean.

Step 1) Understand the difference between stains and spots. The only difference between a spot and a stain is the time it was left to sit. You should immediately blot the affected area with a paper towel to absorb as much of the spill as possible as soon as it happens. Never wipe or rub the material into the carpet as it may cause lasting damage.

Step 2) Pre-spray cleaning solution onto the carpet to remove spots. Make sure to follow the instructiona on the product being used. If the product is improperly used you risk the chance of leaving behind sticky residue and it can collect even more dirt overtime.

Step 3) Choose the best equipment for the job.Routine cleaning, such as vacuuming daily, can reduce the need for a deep cleaning.

Step 4) Pre-vacuum before attempting to clean.This will remove the dry soil from the carpet as once it gets wet it could become embedded into the carpet.

Step 5) Train your staff. Keeping up a daily routine of cleaning will reduce cost overtime and will help the carpet to last longer.

Are you in need of a heavy cleaning for your carpets? Turn to the experts. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can do that for you!

Give us a call today to make an appointment.

(205)926-6010

Be Emergency-Ready

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

A reported 50% of businesses fail to reopen after suffering a major disaster.  Our goal is to help you ensure continuity and viability even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Across the nation, and free of charge, SERVPRO franchises have provided literally thousands of "Emergency Ready Plans" (ERP) to help commercial customers respond quickly and precisely to a disaster.  The tool helps ensure that your business will suffer minimal downtime and workplace continuity.

The SERVPRO is an excellent tool because it is so user friendly. By downloading the app on your telephone, you'll have finger-touch access to all the critical information you may need in an instance. Ever get those 3 a.m. water damage calls from your security guard? No need to get dressed and head to the office to show people where the water shut-off valve is located -- direct them using the app. It's a simple way to mitigate the critical problems that arise at the worst of times.

Call us, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma, at (205) 926-6010, and we will be happy to provide a complimentary, no-obligation ERP for your commercial properties. www.SERVPROmiamibeach.com

Emergency Ready Profile - Phone Application

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile - Phone Application

In times of emergency it is very crucial to be prepared. The Emergency Ready Profile application is a great step in the right direction of preparedness. Download the application in App Store by searching SERVPRO:

  • Add multiple building profiles.
  • Take pictures of shut off locations for fire sprinklers, water, and gas.
  • Add insurance information
  • Add local police and firefighter phone numbers

There are many other features within the application. One of the most popular is the sharing of the profile. Once the ERP is finished the owner of the profile can share with anyone who needs to be prepared for any situation. Now all your emergency personnel can find the shut off locations for anything just by opening their shared profile.

Commercial Duct Cleaning

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma on a Commercial Duct Cleaning in a industrial building.

Most people think that SERVPRO only does Water and Fire Damage jobs, but in reality SERVPRO does a whole lot more than the basics, including duct system cleanings, Carpet jobs, Strip and Wax jobs, etc. Most of the time around this time of year we typically get called multiple times about Duct system cleanings from all the spring pollen and years worth of dust and grime, but in this factory the powder from their products was inside the duct system lines so they called SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to come and clean them out. If you need your ducts cleaned today Residential OR Commercial call us at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at 205-926-6010 today for your free duct cleaning estimate.

Reasons to get an ERP for your business

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, the devastation can be tremendous. Extensive damage or loss of property can lead to uncertainty about the future of your business. To lessen the confusion that comes with a disaster, you need a plan of action in place before the devastation occurs. To protect your business in Centreville, Marion, and Selma, AL an emergency profile is a free and necessary service. This service can give you peace of mind in many ways:

1. Protect your assets. One of the most important uses of this type of profile is to protect your business’s physical location. An accurate assessment of your facility before a disaster is imperative. This assessment should include details of your business that would prove useful in the event of an emergency, such as contact information and safety details of the location. Your local emergency restoration service may provide a facility evaluation for no charge to your business.

2. Protect your clients. As a business owner, your clients are the priority. In an emergency, each client needs to be assured that your business will resume the operations and service of which he or she is a patron. An emergency profile lets your clients know that you are prepared for any emergency, and it can show that you value the loyalty shown to your business.

3. Protect your future. Only half of businesses that suffer an unexpected accident remain operational. Researchers have found that many of those businesses that do remain open have some type of disaster plan protocol. Within minutes, SERVPRO’s easy-to-use Emergency Ready Profile application provides you with the necessary tools to begin safeguarding your business with your own emergency plan protocol. With the ERP app and the experts from SERVPRO on your side, you will be able to better ensure the future operation of your business entity in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Creating an emergency profile is an excellent way to protect your business and its future operation, as well as the clients that allow your business to thrive. You can operate your business with the assurance that you are prepared for any disaster that could arise.

Kitchen fires

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fires are more common than we think, more than 166,100 house fires are responded to by U.S. fire departments each year.

Some Safety tips:

1. Always keep one or more fire extinguishers in your home, one in the kitchen, and one in your storage areas, pantry, or laundry room. 

2. Never have any oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

3. Place smoke alarms all throughout your house to always know when a fire is in your home.

4. If a fire occurs in your home GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP.

Once the fire is put call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to help take the cleaning out of your hands. 205-926-6010

Mold in older homes

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Throughout SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma's area there are a great deal of older homes and older buildings. Sometimes in these older homes there is almost always a problem with moister that almost always causes mold to grow where the naked eye can't seem to see. If you smell a mildew smell you probably need to give us a call. If you think you see a little bit in a shut off room, basement, garage then you might want to just call and ask questions. Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma today at 205-926-6010 for all your mold and mildew remediation questions, concerns and needs. Here we just want to help get your home "Like it never even happened."

Flooding

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding is serious, flooding can cause a lot of damage to your home which can also put you in danger, whether it is from a over flowing near by lake or river, or from a pipe busting and leaking non-stop, both can cause damage enough to maybe put yourself in danger. Most importantly during a flood if the water is at least to your knees be extra careful where you walk and what you step on, and during a pipe burst if it's in the ceiling be careful because the ceiling could fall in at any time, and if it's in the wall or floor be careful because it could have been going on long enough where you could fall through the floor or have black mold. If you have any problem with water call us at 205-926-6010, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is always here to help. 

The Importance of Draining Pipes for Winter

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

A majority of our customers who have suffered a water lost due to a broken pipe, ask us how it could have been avoided. At SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma, we're always glad to assist with helping our customers to take preventative measures at avoiding future property damage. Here are some maintenance tasks you can take to prevent future losses when the temperatures begin to drop.

  1. Shut off the main water valve. It may be located inside or outside of your house. If you cannot locate the main source, contact your local water supply company.
  2. Drain pipes of water. Turn on every water fixture in the house until the water stops running. Drain all water outside of the house by attaching a hose to a sill cock or basement faucet. Open all faucets and flush all toilets in the house, starting with the top floor and working your way down. Remove the toilet tank cover and continue flushing until all of the water has drained out.
  3. Force the water out. Use an air compressor to force any remaining water out of the pipes. Starting on the top floor, apply bursts of air to the main drains for several seconds each.
  4. Drain appliances. Turn on the dishwasher and allow it to run to clear water from the drain line. Run both hot and cold water through the washing machine to flush out all the lines. Open the shut-off valve beneath each toilet to allow compressed air to blow out water for a few seconds each, then close the valve.
  5. Extra Protection: Pour anti-freeze into all sink and bathtub drains. Add a small amount of anti-freeze to each toilet tank.
  6. When you are ready to use the water again, turn on the main water valve and let each fixture run until the pipes are full.

Disasters

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Equipment access from our trainership, and various SERVPRO locations.

Disaster waits for no one. It strikes when it wants too, usually leaving us barley any time to try to protect our homes. No matter when it strikes well try an get there as fast as we can. It doesn't matter if you own a 10 floored hotel and every floor is soaked from head to toe. We have the access to equipment, people, and help from many different SERVPRO locations. Doesn't matter where or who it is we are constantly helping each other with other jobs whether it be we didn't have time to do the job from being busy, or it was so big we needed help. Our goal is to always get done as quickly as possible, as we do it right.

When storm strikes CMS is ready!

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

As a flood damage restoration specialist, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma utilizes and maintains and inventory of state of the art equipment and houses a staff of highly trained and certified personnel to return your property to a pre-storm condition.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Being a locally owned and operated business enables us to respond fast with the correct resources. This is critical, as a fast response minimizes potential secondary damage and reduces the restoration cost.

Storm & Flood Resources

When a storm strikes, our team will measure our resources to handle a either a large storm or a flooding disaster. We have continuous access to equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650+ Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the entire United States.

When Storm or Flood Damage Strikes, Call the Experts at SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma. (205)-926-6010.

https://www.SERVPROcentrevillemarionandselma.com/

Storm damage is no game

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage can happen anywhere, not too long ago hurricane Micheal decided to come through the Florida pan handle coming up through the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi following all the other hurricanes. He left a lot of water on the ground all throughout our six counties. We had three water damages come from Micheal, and they were all from, trees hitting the roof and making the water come through the roof going all the way down through the houses. These problems can be prevented by trimming any of the trees that branches could land on your roof, and cut down all the trees that count crush your house have them no closer than 20-30 feet away from your house. Doing this could prevent a major storm damage, if the tree were to land on your house you'd have to call SERVPRO, then after us you would need a contractor, and he'd have to build you a new roof, which could all be prevented.

how to use: a fire place

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

STEP 1: Stay Safe
Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. First, always double-check that your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector are each in working order (check those batteries!). Remove anything flammable within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth, and use a fireplace screen as well. Make sure the flue isn’t blocked by obstructions like an animal’s nest, especially if this is your first time using the fireplace. If the system hasn’t been recently inspected, hire a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety institute of America (CSIA) to do the job.

STEP 2: Gather the Kindling
Gather kindling in a variety of sizes (small, medium, and large) for the proper fire-building technique that is outlined below. To emit less smoke and soot, make sure the wood is dry, well-seasoned, and split a minimum of six months ago. You can choose either hardwood or softwood for the fire; while hardwoods like oak or maple burn longer and create more sustained heat, softwoods like cedar or pine start fires easier because they ignite quickly. Whatever you don’t use can return to the firewood rack, best stored outdoors in an elevated and covered location.

Note: Never burn trash, plastic, painted materials, or anything with chemical treatment like scraps of pressure-treated wood—these materials can release harmful chemicals into your home.

STEP 3: Open the Damper
The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. When opened, it allows the smoke and ash to travel safely up the chimney. If you start a fire with a closed damper, however, the smoke will have no escape route and circle back into the house.

Adjust the damper as needed with the handle located inside of the chimney. It will move either front to back, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Check to make sure you opened it properly by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if necessary. You should see up the flue without any obstructions if the damper is open; a closed damper will block your view entirely.

STEP 4: Prime the Flue
Now, gauge the temperature. If you feel a rush of cold air (which usually occurs if the chimney is built on the outside of the house), then you need to prime the flue—in order words, you need to preheat it. Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke to blow into the room. Light a roll of newspaper and hold it against the open damper to send warm air into the flue. The draft should reverse after a few minutes, making your fireplace ready for action.

STEP 5: Build the Fire 
While there are multiple ways to build a fire, the CSIA recommends the top-down method, which produces less smoke and requires less tending. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal poker. Position large pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace in one row, perpendicular to the opening of the fireplace. Next, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack four or five rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. Now add your smallest pieces of wood, making sure these pieces are very dry. The tiniest bits (which can take the form of wood shavings or bunched-up newspapers) should be at the very top.

Light the top of the stack with a single match. The fire should travel down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like. Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out and all the embers have stopped burning.

STEP 6: Clean the Ashes 
The CSIA says you can leave a bed of ashes between one to two inches in the fireplace as an insulating layer, which helps the next fire to burn. But when you need to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. Coals may take several hours or several days to completely cool, and ash could still be burning during that time. Using a metal shovel, scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the container outdoors away from the house, and not in trash cansor on decks.

Following these steps could avoid a major fire damage.

Weather in Alabama

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Living in Alabama we never know if its going to be freezing, warm or hot outside, what ever Alabama decides to do you need to be prepared for freezing pipes. One way to avoid freezing pipes is to barely leave your sink faucet on where its dripping water. if you have a crawlspace, and not a concrete slab, you can take a small mini heater and place it right inside to make it warm under your house. Another way to avoid freezing pipes is to purchase heating tape from your local, Lowes, Home Depot, or Hard wear store. the wrap it around your pipes and plug it in which will allow the pipes to stay fairly warm. One last way to avoid busting pipes is insulate your pipes to avoid cold freezing air from flowing past your pipes.

Mold Remediation

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold all together can appear anywhere it can come from any type of moister buildup whether its from rain, dew, or anything else, and also it can grow in dark places that being said Mold, is a nasty thing, it can cause pain, or allergic reactions to anyone. Mold is in just about every house, business, and just about any other building in Alabama because of the humidity,rain and other various weather patterns we have down here in the south. If you even think you see mold, smell it, or anything dealing with mold you need to call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma right away. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma is always here to help. Our professionals know how to properly take care of your mold needs, leaving your house clean, and smelling amazing. 

Why SERVPRO?

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma understands the stress when you have a water damage in your business or home. That is why we are available 24/7 to help. Our team is fast and quick to any job at any size. 
Our certified technicians will mitigate the damage to prevent mold, mildew or bacteria. Using EPA disinfectants, we will make your business or home safe to reenter and occupy. We make sure our team is trained and up to date with all of their credentials. 
SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma has been trusted by local business's and insurance companies to assist with their water damage projects. We are there when your family needs help the most. Any type of damage in your home can be a devastating time and can cause a lot of stress in the household. Working with true professionals can definitely help the process and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. 
If you have emergency water damage or fire damage needs, please call us now SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma 205-926-6010

safety during the holidays

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

For many people November is a time to enjoy cooler temperatures, beautifully colored leaves and family oriented get togethers, like Thanksgiving. While you are busy whipping up delicious dishes, it is also important to take time to remember safety.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries in the United States. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 357,000 home structure fires each year. 45% of these fires are attributed to home cooking fires. These fires are also responsible for thousands of injuries and more than $6.9 billion in property damage each year.

Please remember to be as safe as possible and take precautions during the upcoming holiday season.

Simple ways to avoid a water damage

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful with planting trees

Planting trees may not be that popular, but if you are looking to add some shade to help your home cool down in those summer months, Be careful of trees with invasive roots. Trees with invasive roots can cause problems with irrigation problems, pipes and even septic tanks.

Keep an eye on your water bill

It is always a good idea to monitor your water bill regularly. That can be the best indication of a leak that you might not know about.

Chemicals may not be the best thing when unclogging your sink

Clogs happen. Everyone experiences them and those unclogging chemicals are extremely handy but they can eat away at pipes causing future problems. If you can avoid those chemicals and try using a drain snake instead.

Never pour grease down your sink

Grease can be harmful to pipes if it hardens inside the trap and cause back ups. Even if you think diluting grease with water would help, it doesn't. The best thing for grease is to put it in a disposable container and let it harden before you throw it away.

Have you checked behind your sink or washer lately?

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Do you ever look under your sink? All the way in the back behind the toilet paper and various cleaning products? What about pulling the washer away from the wall and looking behind that?

A lot of time you can have a water damage and not even realize it. That was the case in this job. Our customer had a leak in the wall behind his sink and didn't realize it until he tried to sell his home, and a home inspector found it, because it went unnoticed, mold grew and had to be fully re-mediated.

Leaks in the wall are hard to notice but there are some things to look for. Baseboard separation in one of the easiest things to spot. The baseboard swells up from the water and pulls away from the wall. 

Peeling paint or paint flaking away. These are easy to see but a very good indication of a potential water leak. 

Lastly, any sort of discoloration. If you are unsure if you have wet building material, call your local SERVPRO franchise for a moisture inspection.

Smoke alarm safety

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports nearly two-thirds of these fire-related deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarms present at all. Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when they are properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The NFPA recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.

Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Once smoke alarms are in place, it is important to maintain and regularly test the alarms to ensure they are in the proper working order. Review the tips provided here regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A preparedness plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. For tips or information on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma at 205-926-6010

Smoke Alarm Tips:

    • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
    • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
    • Test smoke detectors at least once a month using the test button
    • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

What happens after a leak?

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Over flowed toilets, sprinkler systems and broken pipes can all be culprits in water damage to your home. When water issues in your home go undetected or ignored it can lead to major issues and large bills.  Water has away of getting in all those little tiny places and can be easily over looked. The average cost on a water is between 1,000 to 4,000. This is not including any construction to get your house back to its original state.

A few things to keep in mind

  • The longer your water damage goes unnoticed with, the more likely you are to have a mold issue.
  • If your furnishings are not dried out properly and in a timely manner they also have a high chance of mold.
  • The length of time the water sits can greatly affect the restoration costs.
  • How much water was involved in the loss
  • What kind of water was involved, clean water contains little to no contaminates, grey water contains significant amounts of contaminates, black water is extremely contaminated.

Water damage can’t always be avoided, but with the proper equipment and knowledge it can be cleaned up “Like it never even happened.” If you find yourself with a water emergency don’t forget your favorite crew, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, an Selma is here to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day you can reach us at 205-926-6010

Fire damage in your home

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in your home can be a stressful event. Damage to your personal belongings and home are just some of the concerns you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns. The first 24 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. Our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. 

We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claim inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

What you can do until help arrives:

Do

    • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring
    • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery
    • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet

Don't

    • Wash any walls or painted surfaces
    • Shampoo carpets or upholstery
    • Clean any electrical equipment
    • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma understands your home is more than four walls. Your home includes your memories and personal belongings. We are trained in caring for both you and your home. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma can help you restore your home and personal belongings.

Before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma, the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at 205-926-6010.

3 Reasons Why Your Commercial Building Needs Professional Mold Intervention

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your' commercial building, there are many chores you can perform yourself. Sweeping, mopping and wiping down employee bathrooms are all manageable tasks; however, if you encounter mold on your property, its removal is not a job you want to handle on your own. Fungus cleanup is best left to a qualified mold mitigation and remediation service, which can offer several benefits for the condition of your building. 

1. Mold Is Not a Surface Fungus 

Unlike mildew, mold cannot simply be wiped away with a cloth and a household cleanser. Once mold spores take hold on a food source, they tend to grow roots deep into the surface. While spot cleaning mold with bleach may make it appear cleaned up, the roots remain and allow it to grow back within a day or two afterward. In addition, the water contained in many bleach products may only contribute to further mold development. 

2. Mold Spores Can Spread if Not Contained

Attempting mold cleanup on your own may make the problem worse because disturbed patches of fungus tend to release spores that can travel throughout your building to settle and grow elsewhere. The spread of these spores can happen quickly, especially if they find their way into your ventilation system. Remediation technicians can use containment systems as they employ a cleanup mold process to reduce the risk of further contamination. 

3. The Cause Must Be Addressed 

Fungus cleanup is only one factor in battling an infestation. Unless the cause of the growth is addressed, you may find that mold returns repeatedly, which can cause long-term damage to your building. Expert mold techs can discover the source of the problem, whether it is a hidden plumbing leak or excess moisture buildup behind your walls, and resolve the issue so mold does not grow back

Choosing reliable home restoration experts

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

There are many companies out there who claim to offer excellent storm damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, ice damming, and hail damage restoration services. Unfortunately, not all of them will deliver the quality of service you can be proud of. Before choosing a certain company for water restoration:

• Ask for referrals from friends who have suffered river flooding or wind damage, roof leak or roof damage.

• Contact the company and explain your river flooding, roof damage, wind damage, ice damage or hurricane damage situation. Get a quote for the water restoration process.

• Invite the home restoration experts to your home to assess the ground water levels, ice dams, roof leaks, hail damage and frozen pipes, flood water and ground water to see how much home restoration and storm remediation. is needed.

• Move out of the home if it is fully involved to allow the experts to have an easy time carrying out the water restoration and storm remediation.

Extension cord safety

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Every year around 3,330 homes fires are caused by extension cords. This results in about 50 deaths and over 250 injuries. These fires start when extension cords overheat when they are not used properly. Keep these tips in mind to help prevent extension cord fires.

  • Do not overload extension cords with plugs.
  • Check that they are not damaged. There should be no frayed sockets, loose wires, bare wires, and no cracks.
  • Do not run cords through walls or ceilings. If the cord is covered the heat cannot escape and result in a fire.
  • Never force a fit by cutting off parts from a three-prong plug to fit into a two-slot outlet.
  • Make sure the extension cords are used for their intended purpose such as indoor or outdoor use.
  • Do not use a power strip with heaters or fans because they can over heat.

Your home is filled with electric powered items so always be sure to use proper extension cord safety

Steps on what to do until help arrives

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

During a water loss it is important to take some steps that may help minimize the amount of damage to your property. The first thing to determine whether the water damage is from clean water. Clean water meaning it holds no threat to you and your health.  

In the case of water damage caused by clean water, the first thing you should do is shut off the source of water if possible or contact a professional if you are not sure how to do so. If it is safe to access the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off the circuit breakers.

Remove as much excess water as possible by means of mopping and blotting. If the affected areas have electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers to electrical equipment are exposed to water do not enter. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

The next thing to do is keep your possessions and valuables top of mind. Wipe excess water from your wood furniture. Raise them on blocks to avoid direct contact with wet flooring or carpet. Do not leave your books, newspaper, magazines on wet floors that may cause staining. Your important items such as computers, documents, and other valuables should be moved to a dry area. Do not use appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors. Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.

If the water loss happens to be caused by contaminated water the steps you should take are completely different. Avoid all contact with sewage and contaminated water. Try to avoid walking through the affected areas because it may lead to spreading the contaminated water. Do not turn on the HVAC system because there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air. Do not use household fans to dry structures because this too may spread contaminants. Always makes sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid further contamination.

Once you have taken the above steps, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to find the solution to your water loss needs. Our experts will remove all the water and properly dehumidify your home. We will also make sure the water damage does not lead to mold issues if it has not already happened.

Contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at (205)-926-6010.

FAQ's on mold

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

What is mold?

Molds are fungi that can be found indoors and outdoors. There are thousands of different molds. Molds grow best in humid and warm conditions.

What molds are most common indoors?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

Where can mold be found?

Molds can be found on any environment all year round. Indoors mold can be found where humidity levels are high such as basements or shower. Outdoors they can be found in shady damp areas where vegetation is decomposing.

What are recommendations?

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can. Moisture levels change throughout the day so be sure to use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep the levels low. This is true especially during the humid months.
  • Also, be sure that there is enough ventilation throughout your home.
  • Apply mold inhibitors to your paints before application.
  • Clean your bathrooms with mold killing products. Do not use carpet in bathrooms or basements.
  • Always remove or replace previously soaked carpets and clothe materials

If you suspect mold in your Centreville home call SERVRPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma to assess your mold remediation needs.

Mold Remediation process

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Centreville, Marion, and Selma's Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.

The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma (205)-926-6010.  The mold cleanup and restoration process begins the moment you call!  You will be asked a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® of Centreville, Marion, and Selma technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Your local SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Spring cleaning tips

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Spring time has become a staple time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects.  Although this is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for workplaces as well as homes.  The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and messes start to grow.  A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers.

Unless you’re an archetypal Danny Tanner or Monica Geller, chances are cleaning isn’t near the top of your to-do-list.  Lucky for you, we are here to help make that part just a tad bit easier with a list of some important areas to inspect during your spring cleaning.  

OUTSIDE

  • Windows

Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to clean.  Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals.  Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term.

  • Landscaping

This is very important for the presentation of your business.  Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape.  Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes.  Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business.

  • AC/HVAC

When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system.  Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing.  Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside.  Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts.  It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period. 

  • Pest Maintenance

Along with the rebirthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests.  Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem.  It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests.  Keep in mind your locale because different areas attract different pests, this will help inform you what to spray for. If you’re located near a ditch you’ll have more mosquitoes, among other pests, than a more urbanized area. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems year after year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in.

INSIDE

  • Dusting

Simple and effective.  Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas. 

  • Flooring/Carpets

As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up.  Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.

  • Reorganization

Reorganizing comes in two parts.  The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access.  Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed.  The second is the reorganization of the office itself.  This is more to keep a clean and presentable workplace.  Ideally this is a continuing process year round.  If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up the office and breathe some fresh air into the workplace. 

Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of spring cleaning takes priority.  For example, if you are in a retail business many of these basic cleanings, such as windows and organization, might already be factored into your weekly/monthly workflow.  Although it never hurts to go over all areas to make sure everything is getting done properly and efficiently.  Additionally, there will be some other more industry specific actions that require priority over window cleaning.  Remember, it’s most importantly to consider your specific business and the area in which you are doing business when prioritizing your spring cleaning.

Smart heating and cooling tips

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Running your household can often feel like a chore. There are many tasks related to maintenance that you have to keep in your mind at all times to keep your space performing in efficient ways. One primary area to focus your attention is the HVAC system you use to keep your home comfortable. Paying attention to the needs of your units can help you to avoid disaster and keep your home cooled and heated in the best possible ways.

To see excellent results from your maintenance endeavors, be sure to focus on specific aspects of your system. By paying attention to certain areas, you will have a much easier time getting your home in the state that you would like it to be in.

Low Numbers

Staying comfortable at home is not always the easiest of tasks. When you crank up the heat in the winter it can cost you. Energy bills are not cheap and plenty of homeowners are looking for ways to lower the numbers that they spend each month. To keep your costs low while simultaneously reducing the amount of stress on your heating and cooling systems you need to keep the thermostat set to lower numbers. When you turn the heat up as high as it can go, it will cost you a small fortune.

Instead, you can keep the thermostat at a normal temperature and see better results from a financial perspective. In addition to this, keeping your thermostat at a low temperature will help to ensure that you get many years of service out of your HVAC system. This does not mean that you can’t play around with keeping your house different temperatures but the default should always be something reasonable. Finding a balance here will help your home perform the way you would like it to.

Keeping It Clean

Another excellent way for you to make sure that your HVAC system is in great shape is by cleaning it out from time to time. Your units will benefit greatly by you taking a little bit of time to check over the various parts and provide a little care. The filters, for example, can wind up being one of the more important components of your system. These filters are responsible for catching any loose dust or dirt that is floating through the air and circulating through your units. Unfortunately, the filters can clog pretty quickly.

The more clogged a filter is, the more difficult it becomes for your HVAC system to perform the way it is intended. This can put a lot of strain on the unit, causing it to break and wear down far faster than is normal. To avoid all of this, get into the habit of changing the filters at a sensible pace. Knowing when it is time for you to change the filters can allow you the room that you require to keep your system running right and give your home a comfortable feeling whenever you walk through the door.

In the Still of the Night

Many HVAC systems also offer the option of running fans to keep a home circulated. This can be helpful if you want to make sure that your home has a fresh feeling. It can also be useful if you want to cool down your home with the natural air outside instead of having cooler air created by your unit. To achieve this goal with a level of success, run the fans primarily at night. Temperatures are lower at night and keeping the fans of your HVAC running at this point can help you to give your home a cool atmosphere.

Running a household is not always a simple task. To see the most success from your endeavors, focus on the maintenance required by your heating and cooling systems. The more you learn now, the easier it will be to spot an issue down the line

Mold growth after a small water leak?

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Sometimes a slow leak occurs inside your home causing damage that goes unnoticed. Many times people do not know that water damage occurred until they notice a foul mildew smell or see the presence of black mold. Once mold exists, spores created by the fungus can travel to other rooms inside your own home.

The spores easily become air-bound and travel to other areas of your home, possibly creating an issue with fungi in other areas besides the source. SERVPRO's technicians know how to mitigate mold issues. We always follow a strict set of procedures when mitigating fungal issues so that the fungus does not spread into other areas of the home.

Water damage scenarios create increased moisture that makes a good environment for mold development. Mold needs water, food and the ideal temperature to form and become a problem. Mold feeds off of any organic materials including paper and wood.

Various strains of mold grow in different temperatures. Some rare mold strains develop in extremely cold or hot temperatures. However, most types of fungi develop between 68 and 86 degrees.

Most types of fungus need incredibly high levels of moisture to survive. Although, some mold strains exist in rooms that have a relative humidity of 65%. When trying to prevent mold growth after a water damage situation, we attempt to drop the relative humidity below 65%.

The time it takes for mold to develop depends on the conditions. Some forms of fungus grow within twelve hours of a water damage problem taking place. Other molds grow into colonies but take between 24 and 48 hours to develop.

Most houses offer many food sources for a fungus. Outside dirt, drywall, carpet, and paper all offer mold growth opportunities if the moisture levels and the temperature inside are ideal. The more time that passes, the worse a mold problem can get.

If water sits inside your home for a long time, then it spreads to areas where microbes already exist and cause mold to develop. For help preventing fungus growth, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma at (205) 926-6010 for 24 hour service.  

Safety during storms

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

Contact SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion, and Selma (205)-926-6010 for 24 hour service and more readiness tips and tools on how to be prepared for severe weather. 

Flooding

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If flooding occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

Severe Weather

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO Corporate partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. Here is some information on severe weather!

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

 

It's getting cold outside...

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

Prevent Mold

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters.  Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

[All information is from mnn.com]

Fireplace safety in your home

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.

 via HGTV.com 

Water damage information

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage cleanup in school basement

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma 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 received a call at 3 pm from a local school that had excessive rain water backing up into several buildings on campus . One buildings basement was flooded with over a foot of water. We worked that night  until 7 pm extracting water. Then set up drying equipment. We came back the next morning on Saturday and finished tearing out damaged material and extracted the rest of the water. Job completion time including dry out was 3 days. Please remember to call SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma for all your cleanup needs. 

Residential water damage

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma 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.

Got a call at around 2 pm on Monday 7/3/2017 for a water damage for distraught home owner. The couple had just gotten home from an 11 day stay at the hospital due to the husband having a stroke. So they came home to a water damaged home due to a stopped up outer drain that caused rain water to back into there home. We responded immediately to help them. We extracted the water and setup drying equipment. The couple were so thankful that we were able to get there so fast to help them.    

Duct Cleaning

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Duct Cleaning Process:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
  • Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Centreville, Marion and Selma will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

Dealing with Smoke and Soot

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage to kitchen

It's devastating to experience the chaos of a fire in your home. Not only is it difficult to deal with the loss, but the clean up too. If it is a small isolated fire, getting the area cleaned and repaired should be a priority.

The first thing to consider is the ash and smoke damage that occurred. These can lead to corrosion, discoloration and unpleasant odor. Getting ash and smoke cleaned up immediately will prevent any of these from leading to an even larger problem. 

Take action and follow these steps if you find yourself handling the aftermath of a house fire. 

1. Contact your insurance company.

2. Contact your local fire restoration company - SERVPRO of Centreville ,Marion and Selma

3. Take photographs of the damage.

4. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurance company.

5. Make a list of everything you lost or that was destroyed.

6. We can help guide you to someone to find a place for you and your family to stay while your restoration company cleans up your property.

 So remember these steps for the next time you or a loved one is handling the aftermath of a house fire. 

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