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Prevent Frozen Pipes from Causing Water Damage

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevent Frozen Pipes from Causing Water Damage Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a leading cause of water damage in the colder months of the year. Why?

Water has the unfortunate property in that as it freezes, it expands. This can affect all types of water lines, whether metal, plastic, or PVC. Simply, all pipes are subject to bursting given the right amount of pressure. As the water freezes, it can expand the pipe, eventually, cause a hairline crack or a complete break. At that point the portion unfrozen will then provide a continual stream of water until shut off, causing water damage throughout the property.

How can I prevent my pipes from freezing or bursting?

If possible, make sure that all pipes and supply lines on exterior walls are insulated. Exterior walls will be much colder than interior walls given their location. Additionally, all water lines in basements and crawlspaces need to be insulted as they will be subjected to very cold temperatures. Simple foam insulation wrap can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
Make sure all outdoor hoses are removed from exterior hose bibs.
Always keep your heating unit on and operational, even when away on vacation. If leaving for an extended period of time, set your thermostat to no colder than 55 degrees to ensure that your home has enough heat to properly keep interior pipes from freezing.
Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines located in that area. In extreme cases of sever cold for extended periods of time, ensure that exposed pipes are insulated. Space heaters (placed away from anything flammable) can provide heat and warmth to combat cold environments in garage areas.
If you notice very low water pressure from water supply areas, a frozen pipe could be the cause. Immediate action should be taken to identify the problem.
What should I do if my pipes are already frozen?

Turn on all the faucets with warm water, not hot, to a slow drip. This will help in supplying warmer water to the area without causing an abrupt temperature change. It will also help you in determining the location of the freeze.
Apply exterior heat to the frozen section of pipe. This can be done with a hair dryer, electric heating pad, space heater, towels soaked in warm water wrapped around the pipe. NEVER use open flame devices as this can be a major fire hazard.
Keep continual heat on the area until water flow is restored to normal.
Once restored, try to determine why the area froze. It may be as simple as adding insulation, sleeve wraps, UL listed heat tape, or other forms of insulation.
If you cannot locate, find, or properly thaw your pipes, call a professional plumber to assist.
What if my pipes burst and caused damage?

If your pipes have busted, cracked, or began leaking, immediate action should be taken to ensure that water damage can be minimized to your property. Soak up as much water as possible with towels or extract with a shop vac. It's often necessary to have professionals like SERVPRO come in and completely mitigate the water. Home drying efforts can help reduce damages, but will not get rid of all moisture and humidity. It's important to ensure that your property is completely dry and dehumidified to prevent secondary damage from ruining your home, flooring, furnishings, or building materials. Call SERVPRO today if you've had water damage from a pipe leak, and we'll work with you and/or your insurance company to make sure that your home is restored correctly!

Get more water damage tips here.

Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Knoxville

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Knoxville Mold Damage Knoxville

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly problems in the future is to handle every water damage as a threat to your property. SERVPRO of West Knoxville has the equipment and training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of West Knoxville will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO of West Knoxville
Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
Moisture meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of West Knoxville to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO of West Knoxville can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
Ultra-Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate.
This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The go consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attached to and neutralize odor-causing particles.


6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation BE FLOOD SMART Mold Damage


Floods are one the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert- there is always potential for flood damage. reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas. On average, floods cost 3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon 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 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 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.

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

If a flood does strike your home or business contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will help you take it back.

Mold Damage Removal Knoxville, TN

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Damage Removal Knoxville, TN Mold damage Knoxville, TN

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, your SERVPRO of West Knoxville 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 West Knoxville  

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of West Knoxville. A representative will ask 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. 

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surfaces on which mold appears. Anti fungal 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 West Knoxville 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. 


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. 

SERVPRO of West Knoxville understands mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. 

Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage Ice Damage


In the latest round of winter storms in Knoxville, TN, ice dams are forming on roofs all throughout the region, resulting in some substantial water damages. Which begs the question, just what exactly is an ice dam?

Simply put, an ice dam occurs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, preventing any melting snow from draining as it should, in to the gutter or off of the roof. Water backs up behind the ice dam and can leak into the home, possibly damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior building materials. (See a diagram of a typical ice dam to the right.)

What are the causes of ice dams? In most cases, once the roof is covered with snow and ice, it's the result of heat and warm air released into the attic or roof space. Once enough heat and warm air builds up, it can begin melting the bottom layer of moisture on the roof. With no place to drain, water can find its way into the roof, backing up under the shingles.

Most importantly, it's critical to understand that while ice dams can cause water damage to your home, it's not advisable to ever get on a roof to try and "fix" the problem, as a wet, frozen roof is an extremely unsafe environment, even for the trained professional.

Once ice dams are present, there is little to be done that is not potentially harmful to the roof. Using tools to break the ice can result in holes in the roof and damage to shingles. There are professional companies that use steam to mitigate ice dams, but here in Knoxville, TN, it's not a common enough occurrence to warrant companies here to have that expertise.

The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure proper ventilation and insulation within your attic. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has the capability to mitigate and clean up water damages from the ice dam, but not remove the ice dam itself. It's best to let all the water stop infiltrating before cleaning, as there may be additional extraction and damages that occur. To find out more about our services and storm response, click here.

Storm Damage Cleanup in Knoxville, TN

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage Cleanup in Knoxville, TN Storm Damage Cleanup


SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has been cleaning water damages in the local Knoxville, TN market for over 38 years. From toilet overflows, pipe bursts, dishwasher leaks, basement floods, and much more, SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has been providing Knoxville with quality cleanup and restoration work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's over 332,880 hours of being on call to help our clientele!

SERVPRO understands that even the smallest of water problems can be a major catastrophe for the average homeowner. Whether it be damaged property, mold growth, health concerns or other problems, SERVPRO has all the right tools to make it "Like It Never Even Happened®."

With over 190 years of combined experience with our technicians, SERVPRO will promptly arrive at your business or residence, assess the damage, provide a solution, and begin work to ensure that secondary damages do not occur. From extracting water, dehumidifaction, decontamination, mold remediation, full repairs and construction, SERVPRO is here to help day or night.

With free estimates and consultations in Knoxville, insurance billing availability, we're standing by to be of assistance to anyone in need. Find out more about all of our services here.

Science of Drying

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Science of Drying Science of Drying

Exploring the Science of Drying

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damage structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and places a fan or two around the damage, professional service may be necessary. 

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville has been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO is proud to utilize a newly developed tool SERVPRO DryBook.

The SERVPRO DryBook is a proprietary tool allowing us to capture and track the steps of restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This ensures your restoration is done properly and efficiently. It also improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home sooner.

Biohazard, Crime Scene and Vandalism Clean Up

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

General Biohazard, Crime Scene and Vandalism Clean Up Bio Hazard

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurances companies, SERVPRO of West Knoxville also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners 

Exposer to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substance can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

SERVPRO of West Knoxville Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazards substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state local health regulations. 

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of West Knoxville Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO of West Knoxville can help with the following issues:

  • Blood borne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson 
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation 

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO of West Knoxville today for 24-hour  Emergency Service. 

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals In Knoxville, TN

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals In Knoxville, TN Storm Damage

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through- especially if it is your property that has been damaged. 

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. 

Your SERVPRO of West Knoxville Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "like it never even happened." 

Water Damage From Storm Damage In Knoxville, TN

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Water Damage From Storm Damage In Knoxville, TN Storm Damage

Everyone knows that wood and water don't mix. Excessive water can cause wood flooring to buckle, bow, warp, split and deteriorate. But SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord also knows that these effects are not instant, and there is time to mitigate and prevent most flooring losses. Acting quickly enough, SERVPRO can often extract water, set job specific drying equipment, and salvage floors to the point of reuse. A good example is this gymnasium floor. A church in Knoxville, TN came in to 2 inches of water covering their entire gym floor. Their first thought was that their floors were ruined. But due to the flooring construction and quick response time, the floors were dried and salvaged using specialized drying techniques.

Some floors are unsalvageable, no matter how quick of a response or how much equipment is used, but it's always a good idea to determine your options upfront before making any decisions.

SERVPRO experts are trained at reading moisture content in building materials, and quickly making a decision on proceeding with drying techniques. So the next time your flooring is under inched of water, called the experts at SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord to determine if your floors can be salvaged, saving time, money, and headache.

Learn more about drying and dehumidification here.