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Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Oak Ridge

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Moisture In Walls Can Lead To Mold Damage In Oak Ridge Mold Damage in Oak Ridge Home

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 Oak Ridge 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 Oak Ridge 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 Oak Ridge 
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 Oak Ridge to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO ofOak Ridge 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.

Be Flood Smart

7/5/2017 (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. Floodsmart.gov 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 SERVPRO of Oak Ridge. 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.

Heating Hazards

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Heating Hazards House Fire

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the Nation Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.

Keep anything flammable at least three feet from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.

Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Test smoke alarms monthly.

Fire Alarms

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Alarms Fire Alarms

SMOKE ALARMS

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury by half.

The National Fire Protection Association 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.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Oak Ridge.

Install smoke alarms 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 cooking appliance.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Understanding Water Damage In Oak Ridge, TN

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding Water Damage In Oak Ridge, TN Water damage in a Oak Ridge Home

Understanding Water Types

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensure proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean, gray and black water is usually from a broken pipe. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminates to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Blackwater is highly contaminated and can be filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals, and more. Blackwater is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or natural disasters. Blackwater should always be handled by trained professionals. When you have water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Oak Ridge. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.

Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.

Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items, that may be sensitive to moisture, to a safe place.

Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.

Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to a vacuum cleaner.

Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.

Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Be Flood Smart

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Flood Smart Flood Damage In Oak Ridge, TN

BE FLOOD SMART

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 the potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov 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 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 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.

Be Storm Smart

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Storm Smart Storm Damage In Oak Ridge

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

Holiday Fire Season

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Season Fire Damage

It's the holiday season again. Brightly lit decorations, elaborate meals, and large gatherings are all a part of holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these annual traditions also cause an average of 230 homes fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries, and $17.3 million in property damage.

There are about 3 times as many cooking related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there on no holidays.  Luckily, homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts from SERVPRO

  • Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment. 
  • The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips from SERVPRO

  • Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.
  • Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.
  • Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts from SERVPRO

  • Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
  • On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips from SERVPRO

  • Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.
  • Use flameless candles.
  • If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length. 

Christmas Tree Fire Facts from SERVPRO

  • 50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
  • 31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • 14% involve decorative lights.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips from SERVPRO

  • Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
  • Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
  • Don't leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

Prevent Frozen Pipes from Causing Water Damage

6/14/2017 (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 crawl spaces need to be insulated 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 another form 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 minimalized 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!

Managing Mold

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Managing Mold Mold Damage

Managing Mold

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water lines. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.

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.

Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

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

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to 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 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 and 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 deposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongs

SERVPRO Franchise 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 deodorization 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.