Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage
When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction in Texas the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO of Maryville/Alcoa 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 Maryville.
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 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 Maryville and Alcoa, are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.
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
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 your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals.
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.
Prevent Fire Damage in the Winter Months in Maryville, TN
Fire Damage Maryville
Every winter we see an increase in the amount of residential house fires in Maryville, TN, resulting in fire damage. With the winter months come cold weather, and the need to add some extra heat. But along with the extra heat, there are added risks involved.
According to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association and NFPA, the National Fire Prevention Association, half of all home fires caused by heating sources occur in the months of December, January, and February. Additionally, 1 in 6 home fires are a result of heating equipment, and 1 in 5 home fire deaths.
Extra precaution should be used to prevent fire damage and recognize the added risks.
- Keep anything that can ignite and burn at least 3 feet from all heating sources. This includes gas fireplaces, wood burning fireplaces, space heaters, wood stoves, and radiators.
- Never use portable generators inside a residence. The output of carbon monoxide and fumes can be a silent killer.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector and inspect it at least once a month.
- Have a professional inspect your chimney annually to make sure it's operating correctly, and cleaned as needed.
- Never overload outlets with electrical heating sources. No more than one source should be plugged in to one outlet.
- Keep fire extinguishers serviced and up to date.
- If your pipes freeze and burst, be aware of electrical hazards with flooding water.
- Always discard used and cooled ashes properly, a minimum of 10 feet away from houses or any building, using a metal container.
To learn more about SERVPRO of Maryville/Alcoa and fire damage services, visit here. For more tips on preventing winter fires and education, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/winter and www.nfpa.org/winter.
Disaster Response - Plan for it with the SERVPRO ERP
SERVPRO can help!
Disaster strikes. But never when you expect it to. Be smart and plan ahead for water or fire damage.
SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord is proud to offer the Emergency Ready Plan (ERP), a great tool in preparing your commercial business for the worst-case scenario. The ERP works as a data collection source, storing all your important and vital information in one place: at your fingertips.
Never be lost or without key account, contact, and utility information again. The ERP app works seamlessly on computers, smartphones, and tablets. And since it's cloud based, all platforms are constantly synced together.
SERVPRO representatives will implement this service free of charge at your place of business. We will help you gather all information you may need in the event of an emergency, have all company contacts on file, and include pictures and locations of all shutoffs for utilities.
Water and fire damage can wreak havoc, but SERVPRO and the ERP app help you get back into business quicker, safer, and with less worry of losing vital information. Call today for a live demonstration over a computer, or live in person at your facility. 865-690-9658
Learn more about commercial services and disaster recovery here.
Be Flood Smart
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 with 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 will not 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.
How to prevent Electronics from causing extreme water damage
Water Damage Maryville
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 Maryville/Alcoa. 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 Maryville/Alcoa 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 Maryville/Alcoa before you do anything. At the very least, follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
BLOUNT COUNTY'S FASTEST CLEANUP TEAM
BLOUNT COUNTY'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 MARYVILLE/ALCOA 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, your 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 MARYVILLE/ALCOA 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 MARYVILLE/ALCOA the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals.
USE A SERVPRO PROFESSIONAL WHEN WATER DAMAGE HITS YOUR HOME
Water Damage Maryville
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.
Prevent Frozen Pipes from Causing Water Damage
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.