Recent Posts

Water Damage? What Now?!

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

When water damage occurs, do you know what to do and what not to do?

Water damage can happen at any point for anyone, home or business, resulting in damaged property. These do's are only for clean water and do not’s pertain to sewage water. Sewage water is treated differently since it causes different damage and requires a different cleanup process. With the right tools and pieces of equipment, our professionals can safely dry out your home or business and the contents within it. Here are some things to always keep in mind.
  • To minimize the damage, make sure to shut off the source of water and turn off the electricity. It is essential to remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and soaking up with towels. This is especially important for wood furniture. 
  • To ensure that more damage isn't sustained by the furniture make sure to try and move it, if safe to do so. 
  • Make sure to NOT enter a room with standing water since there could be a risk of electrical shock 
  • Make sure to disconnect all power first. 
  • It is recommended to NOT leave rugs and furniture upholstery wet against one another because the fabrics have the potential to bleed between each other. 
  • It is important to note that you should not be utilizing your household vacuum to try and suck up any water. 
If these tips are followed, then damage can be minimized and you will be better prepared for help to arrive. Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at 205.252.8110. Call us, Birmingham!

Salvaged Items After a Mold Damage

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know Mold can grow on more than just your walls?

It can grow on a variety of items, from furniture to walls to wood and flooring. When it comes to mold cleaning, however, you may be surprised about the number of objects that can be salvaged when you know the steps for cleaning them properly.

1. Leather Goods

Leather bags, jackets, and other items may be salvageable if you remove them from the affected area quickly. Because mold tends to spread faster in areas with high humidity, you can perform mold remediation for these items by transferring them to a room that is cool and dry. Once the leather has dried, you can sponge the surface with diluted baby soap to wipe away visible mold. Suede goods may need to be treated by a mold cleanup and restoration company.

2. Clothing

While not all clothing can recover from mold damage, you may be able to salvage some items. An Esporta Machine, which is designed to clean cotton clothing affected by mold, smoke, and other substances, can be effective in removing mold. You may be able to soak some fabrics in diluted vinegar to remove the mold, but this depends on how fragile the fabric is. Your restoration experts may able to advise you about other mold cleaning processes.

3. Paintings

Paintings affected by mold require special treatment. You may want to remove any wooden framing, as mold is attracted by wood fibers. Store the painting flat, away from humidity and sunlight, before contacting a professional artwork restoration company. Avoid bagging or sealing it in any kind of tight container, as this may create humid conditions that could encourage further mold growth. 

What to do...

When you find mold growth on your belongings, you may not know where to begin with mold cleaning. Contacting SERVPRO of Birmingham for removing your items from areas where mold is present. Our team can help you salvage irreplaceable items and proceed with the rest of the cleanup with confidence.

What Is In Your Water?

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that the water either coming into your home or from your home due to busted pipes or leaks has what we call a “category”? When it comes to handling mitigation in your home it is better to allow the professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham to deal with the emergency because you have to treat the water correctly to be safe. You never know what is either in your water or what the water has passed through to create contamination.

The information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.

Category One: Clear Water

This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer for you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sinks overflow with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials. Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.

Category Two: Gray Water 

Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.
If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.

Category Three: Black Water

Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Cat 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water, or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.

The team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is skilled in the safe handling of the different categories through training and protective clothing to eliminate the risk of sickness.

4th of July Tips During The Pandemic

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

The 4th of July is just ahead, 4th of July in Birmingham, AL is always one of the cities favorite times. This is a time when people typically enjoy the summer holiday with backyard barbecues, fireworks booming over Vulcan, or water fun. But this year, celebrating Independence Day will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow.

Community Safety

If your community is reopening, know which precautions to take in public settings.

  1. Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
  2. Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult.
  3. Follow guidelines for your area when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  5. Stay home if you are sick.

Fireworks Safety

While most kids love playing with fireworks, it is important to never toss or throw the fireworks at anyone. If dealing with fireworks, please consider the following safety tips and suggestions.

  1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Grilling Safety

Grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year in the U.S. To avoid this:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  2. Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
  4. Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

 If you are choosing to build a bonfire this weekend make sure that you are using only dry material and make sure that all debris is at least 10 feet away. When you are finished ensure that you extinguish the fire, pour water on all embers until the hissing sounds stop. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by when having bonfires or grills going so you can keep any fire damage from spreading in the case of an emergency. If you do have a fire damage know that SERVPRO of Birmingham is a call and ready throughout the entire Holiday weekend! We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and/or smoke damage.  We will ensure the highest care to get you back to celebrating the Freedom we have so graciously been given. 

We at SERVPRO of Birmingham hope these tips will help you have a fun and safe holiday! Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us, Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Home Fire Pit Tips

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

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

Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips:

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

6 Steps to Water Mitigation

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

When your property incurs water damage, acting quickly is important

When you discover water damage, you can count on SERVPRO of Birmingham's six-step restoration process to truly restore your property to its pre-damage condition.

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

  1. Initial Emergency Contact
    • You can call us 24 hours a day to begin the water restoration process because taking immediate action is crucial after water damage occurs. When you call us, we will ask you questions to get an overview of the damage and to help us determine what resources to dispatch to you.
  2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
    • When we arrive on the scene in response to water damage, we will do a detailed property inspection to assess the scope of the damage and to develop a thorough plan of action. We will identify the water source, the category of water, and check for safety concerns.
  3. Moisture Extraction
    • The water extraction process will remove the majority of moisture via our vacuum and pump units. We will start this process as quickly as possible to lessen the likelihood of more damage occurring and to reduce drying time. We can also help you move out of your belongings in the event that they might be damaged as well.
  4. Dehumidifying and Drying
    • After the excess water has been removed, we can begin fully drying all porous materials that have absorbed water. Our industrial-grade equipment moves air quickly and helps moisture to evaporate as fast as possible, which will dry out floors, walls, and carpets as well as discourage mold growth.
  5. Cleaning and Repair
    • After sustaining water damage, impacted surfaces will typically require professional cleaning. In addition to structural cleaning, we will clean your belongings that are able to be restored. We will also do odor removal to prevent the musty odor that water-damaged objects often develop.
  6. Restoration
    • The final step is ensuring that your property is restored to its pre-water condition. This will involve things like drywall and flooring repairs or even reconstruction. By working with us, you are working with a company that can handle all elements of the restoration, including the difficult reconstruction parts that truly restores things back to their pre-damaged state.

Hidden Appliance Leaks Can Cause Water Damages

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

White washer and dryer in a laundry room that are submerged in water Many of the appliances we use each day require a water source

Think about the last time your appliances were moved or inspected

Many of us don’t think about the household appliances that we use every single day. For most, they probably become a passing thought about how much wear and tear they are receiving. Most of the appliances we use to make our everyday lives easier to utilize water. This means they are prone to leaks at some point if they are not caught early on.  Water damage can sit for ages before you as a homeowner realize. This is why regular inspections are important for prevention.

Inspect These Appliances for Leaks Often

  • Hot Water Heater
    • The lifetime of a hot water heater will typically span 10 to 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier than this. The seals and pipes connected to the hot water heater can often break down, so keeping an eye out for any accumulation both during and after use is a smart move.
  • Refrigerator
    • The rarity with which refrigerators are moved can lead to secret water damage that festers for ages before it is brought to light. A refrigerator’s water lines are typically made from a soft plastic that can easily fail, so checking for leaks behind and under the fridge as part of your annual home maintenance is wise.
  • Dishwasher
    • A dishwasher’s tubing is just as problematic as a refrigerator, but is even more isolated and utilizes far more water. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance often does not cover water damage caused by older models of dishwashers, so regular checks are extremely important to keep up with.
  • Washing Machine
    • Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years in order to prevent hidden deterioration.
  • Air Conditioner
    • The drain in your HVAC unit is designed to keep condensation from pooling in and around the unit, but if this drain malfunctions, water damage can quickly be caused. Reference your manufacturer’s manual to determine how often your unit should be inspected and serviced—having a professional technician evaluate your machine is the best defense against HVAC-created water damage.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry-leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high-frequency touchpoints, foot traffic, and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible.
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham today at 205.252.8110 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

#1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers on the first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Where Is Your Emergency Storm Kit?

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon picture of an emergency kit that is red with a blue water bottle, yellow flashlight, white facemask Here are some of the items your kit should contain

Do you know where your emergency storm kit is?

If a community is not prepared for a severe storm, the results can be devastating. Since the Birmingham Area is no stranger to severe storms, SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to share some of the following tips to keep in mind while putting together an emergency kit in the event of a severe storm approaching. FEMA has stated that emergency kits should include some of the following:
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Emergency food and water
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal
These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources they can be easier to deal with.

SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to make sure the surrounding Birmingham Areas are prepared!

Protecting Your Business from a Storm

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Have you taken steps to protect your business and employees?

When we experience a thunderstorm in Birmingham, AL they can potentially cause extensive damage to your business. Power outages downed tree limbs, and flooding from rainstorms are all possibilities. SERVPRO of Birmingham has a few preventative steps you can take to ensure you are able to protect your business when these storms happen.

1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained

A lightning rod is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through a wire, instead of passing through the structure, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution. If your business is located in a tall building that may attract lightning, then maintaining the lightning rod can be essential. Have the rod checked annually for damage and ask your certification professionals to verify that it is up to code. If your business is located in an area where lightning is common, it is wise to have the unit cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.  2. Maintain All Trees on the Property  High winds can turn tree limbs into projectiles that may shatter your building’s windows and cause serious injury to your customers or employees. Make sure you are maintaining your landscaping so dead branches do not detach and strike people entering your business below. Trimming trees away from your building’s power lines can protect its power source during a thunderstorm 3. Have a Flood Plan in Place  Having a flood plan in place can possibly prevent flooding in your business, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting SERVPRO of Birmingham before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, our team can have help on hand right away.