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Answering the Call

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Answering the Call Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage

When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction in Texas the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut answered the call sending teams to Kingwood, Texas. Taking supplies and equipment our teams went down to help the residents and were humbled by the generosity of a community that didn’t have any clue how they were going to recover financially, much less emotionally from the impact of the storm. Rescuees were evacuated by boats from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving everything behind, but the spirit of giving and resilience impacted the teams from Knoxville.

The long-standing relationship between SERVPRO and the insurance companies helped our teams make a big impact and quickly. The insurance adjusters were recommending people call SERVPRO because it was a name that they could trust. Our teams were able to start water mitigation quickly and come alongside homeowners and other countless volunteers to help these families begin to get some semblance of recovery started.

Imagine your home with six to eight feet of standing water with the rescue boat pulling up outside and telling you it was the last call. Our team was humbled time and time again meeting over a hundred different families that had met that fate and yet met our team with smiles on their faces. Unanimously our team was impacted by Texas Strong, and have spoken so highly of these families since their return.

“We are humbled and we are changed by so many families and their generosity, not only with their resources but their encouragement and their prayers”, said Nathan Lloyd, our Business Development Manager.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville, are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.

Ready for whatever happens.

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Ready for whatever happens.

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 franchise, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms.

2016 Houston, TX Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall at the rate of 2.4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the county stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing 2000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchises System.

2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in the Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities, The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response

2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine, The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in the affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Be Storm Smart

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Storm Smart Storm Damage

Be Storm Smart

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

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,000 tornadoes

2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to 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 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-works and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

Water (one 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 contain

KNOXVILLE'S FASTEST CLEANUP TEAM

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation KNOXVILLE'S FASTEST CLEANUP TEAM SERVPRO Of West Knoxville

KNOXVILLE'S FASTEST CLEANUP TEAM

There is no such thing as a small disaster-especially when the water you do not see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot and other unforeseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you try to clean and dry it up yourself, consider how the damage can affect your property.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord knows how disruptive water damage can be for your home and business. We at SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord are trained and equipped to manage the drying process of any size water loss. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, you home or business will be quickly and thoroughly dried helping to prevent secondary water damage. With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord can help you regain control quickly, ensuring your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals.

USE A SERVPRO PROFESSIONAL WHEN WATER DAMAGE HITS YOUR HOME

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage USE A SERVPRO PROFESSIONAL WHEN WATER DAMAGE HITS YOUR HOME Water Damage Knoxville

Imagine coming home from work to a flooded home, thanks to a faulty mechanism in your washing machine. You are ready to pull your hair out! You know you need help now because those hardwood floors will absorb a lot of water, as will the lower portion of your walls. If left untreated, water damage can lead to mold and mildew problems, as well as cause structural weakness to the damaged areas.
 
Trying to repair the water damage yourself to your Knoxville home may end up making the problem even worse. Our professional techs at SERVPRO know all too well the damages water can do to your home. We have all the equipment needed to dry your walls and floors before that damage becomes permanent.
 
We also know that problems can happen anytime - day or night; this is the reason we offer our customers 24-Hour Emergency Services. We understand you need immediate professional help after your home is flooded.
 
SERVPRO is a locally owned and operated business with professionally trained technicians. Our techs are skilled in water restoration, mold remediation, carpet, and furniture cleaning as well as any other cleaning that may be needed. We know how to assess the problem and get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Our techs have all the knowledge, experience, and tools they need to restore your property correctly. We use four factors to help determine how long it will take to dry your home:
 
* Temperature: needs to be kept between 70 and 90 degrees.
 
* Humidity: ideally between 30% and 60%.
 
* Extraction of water: the more that can be removed, the better.
 
* Air Movement: need to steadily move wet air away from wet surfaces.
 
We finish each job by providing our customers with documents proving the property is restored to its preloss condition. SERVPRO works with you and your insurance company, providing you with any paperwork you need to process your claim. 

No matter what time of day or night, when an emergency happens, you can trust SERVPRO to respond to your water removal needs quickly. It's nice to know that someone has your back when a crisis strikes.
 
 
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How to prevent Electronics from causing extreme water damage

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to prevent Electronics from causing extreme water damage Water Damage Knoxville

Water damage can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it happens as the result of a flood due to heavy rains. Other times, it may be due to an inside flood, such as when a pipe or a water heater bursts. Whatever the case may be, if you are dealing with water damage or water-damaged electronics, appliances, or other devices, you need to proceed with extreme caution. The best thing you can do, after water damage has occurred, is to call on Nashville professionals who are familiar with dealing with such damage, such as our skilled pros at SERVPRO of West Knoxville. In the meantime, make sure you practice some good safety tips with the water damaged devices.

First things first, before you start thinking about possible water damage restoration, you need to make sure that you are not in immediate danger and that the devices that you own are not going to cause a fire or another serious incident.

After water damage has occurred, check your home to see if you have any damaged devices plugged in. If you find that you do, shut off the electricity at the breaker level. This will keep damaged devices from being able to start a fire. You should not touch, go near, or inspect any devices that are plugged in until you are certain that the electricity is off. Following this important tip will help you to avoid electric shock.

Believe it or not, it is not only plugged in water damaged electronics that pose a risk. Any device that contains a battery can also pose a serious risk. Thus, it's best to let our pros at SERVPRO of West Knoxville handle any such devices if you think they may have been damaged. At the very least, before touching any battery operated device, ensure that it is not giving off heat or smoke, bulging, melting, or making strange sounds. All these types of things are major warning signs that something serious and potentially dangerous is wrong with the battery!


As you can see, you're not always in the clear once the water subsides! To keep safe, contact the experts at SERVPRO of West Knoxville before you do anything. At the very least, follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Minimize Fire Damage Fire Damage Knoxville

How to Minimize Fire Damage

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

Choose the right professional for fire damage

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Choose the right professional for fire damage Fire Damage Knoxville

In the wake of a residential fire, the primary focus is on repairing the damage done to the inside of the house. However, moderate to severe incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of the building too. It is why SERVPRO conducts a full inspection of fire-damaged properties before we start any restoration work. 

The good news is that stains on masonry, concrete and other structural materials are almost always superficial. While brick and concrete are not impervious to fire damage in Knoxville homes, they are extremely sturdy and don’t succumb easily to heat. It means that, in most cases, we can use straightforward cleaning techniques to restore the outside of the property. 

Light Stains 

If there is no structural damage to the masonry, the SERVPRO technicians use mild cleaning agents to wash soot and smoke deposits from the surface. Where the staining is very light, dry sponging is enough to wipe away grime on block, brick, and concrete. Stubborn marks get lifted with alkaline detergents and direct scrubbing. Sodium hypochlorite is highly effective when it comes to soot removal, and it leaves no residues. 

Moderate Stains 

The difficult thing about soot is that it can be highly acidic. If it is not removed quickly, particularly from structural materials, there is a chance of corrosive residues becoming embedded deeper and deeper into the masonry. It is why SERVPRO pays close attention to cracked joints. 

They are delicately cleaned and repointed to dislodge any soot deposits which may be trying to move into the capillaries. Once this is complete, larger areas are dry sponged and vacuumed. Then, they are jet washed with a high powered pressure cleaning device. 

Heavy Stains 

The most severe staining occurs when heavily combustible materials have caught fire and burned for some time. In some cases, jet washing is still a suitable method of cleaning. We can add soot dissolving formulas like high PH degreasers, dry ice, or soda ash to increase optimal results. 

SERVPRO rarely recommends sand blasting for brick, block, and concrete because it is a very abrasive process and can cause additional damage. If there are smaller patches of masonry which are heavily soiled, the technicians may apply a poultice (sodium hypochlorite and diatomaceous earth). It takes 24-48 hours for the formula to take effect. 

The great thing about a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO is that we offer a complete package. We are part of a huge network of contractors, so there is no repair job too big for our team to handle. 

NADCA FAQs

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

NADCA had some fantastic frequently asked questions so I had to share...

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to collection a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health, The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flashlight and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following the Residential Cleaning Checklist can help to ensure a top quality job.

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • smokers in the household
  • pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
  • after home renovations or remodeling
  • prior to occupancy of a new home.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?

Antimicrobial chemicals are applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information. 

What criteria should I use when selecting an HVAC system cleaning contractor?

You should interview as many local contractors as possible. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quote. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of NADCA.
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
  • Get references from neighbors if possible.

You can also use the Residential Cleaning Checklist as part of the contractor selection process. 

What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning, as such claims are unsubstantiated.

Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

What kind of equipment is best for cleaning - truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?

NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to ACR, the NADCA standard. All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)

Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and follow ACR, the NADCA Standard, for cleaning to the best of their ability. Find a NADCA professional near you. Air duct cleaning companies must meet strict requirements to become a NADCA member. Among those requirements, all NADCA members must have a certified Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who has taken and passed the NADCA certification examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. View the NADCA Code of Ethics.

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

Courtesy of nadca.com

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions Commercial Water Damage

Knoxville Companies Look To SERVPRO Technicians For Water Damage Solutions

Hotels experience various types of water damage, including; plumbing leaks, malfunctioning fixtures, or storm damage that allows water to enter unprotected areas quite often and need professional assistance to help them recover fast. 
 
When your building is affected by these kinds of water damage incidents in Knoxville, it may be comforting to know that someone trustworthy is available to provide you with the services you need to keep your business running. 
 
SERVPRO technicians who respond to your service request live in the same area, giving us an opportunity to 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. 
 
After communicating your situation to your insurance company and agreeing on which services to implement, SERVPRO technicians mobilize as quickly and efficiently as possible, making every attempt to return your business to a quality pre-damage condition, in the least amount of time possible. 
 
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 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. 
 
During the 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 business's daily operations.