Recent Posts

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.

Standing Water Precautions

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

When floodwater intrudes into your home or commercial business it can cause what is called "standing water". This can be a dangerous thing if not respected. Many times, standing water must be dealt with that can sometimes take up to 10 or 11 days to completely disappear unless it is able to be mitigated immediately. There are some precautionary measures to take into consideration when dealing with standing water. SERVPRO of Birmingham took some time to compile the ones we felt were the most important.

Standing Water are not natural swimming pools

  • Sewage, debris, and other unpleasant things can be in the standing water leftovers
  • Swimming, wading, or rafting can make you sick
  • Don’t drink the water
  • Water conducts electricity. Underground power lines can give you a dangerous shock

Standing Water vs. Animals:

  • Snakes and other animals may get into your building. Wear work boots and heavy gloves when you clean up
  • Some animals might find your office a cozy place to live
  • If tap water is unsafe to drink, it is unsafe for your pets

If you find yourself dealing with standing water of any kind, SERVPRO of Birmingham is here to help make it “Like it never even happened."

Commercial Damage Levels

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water falling from the ceiling into a group of grey and white office cubicles Downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers.

One of the areas SERVPRO of Birmingham has the capability to handle is commercial damage.

There are so many factors that can contribute to commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage which puts wear and tear on your property, down to the most basic water damage. No matter the source of the damage, this downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers.  When damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent? Below we have a grading system we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.  

Level 1

Small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.” Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have damage at your Commercial property. Give SERVPRO of Birmingham at call at 205.252.8110

Circumstances for a Flood Cut

4/6/2020 (Permalink)

When flooding affects your home our technicians may perform a technique called a "flood cut".

This specific technique requires cutting out sections of drywall about a foot above the flood line to inspect the wall behind it. While this process is not always necessary, there are a few circumstances that may require it after a flood occurs.

1. Black Water Floods

When outdoor flooding invades your home from overflowing streams or rivers, it may contain sewage, chemicals or dead animal carcasses. This water can be considered contaminated and is known as black water. A flood cut is usually necessary when this type of flooding occurs because your home’s drywall and any insulation behind it may be affected by the dirty water and may need replacing.

2. Wet Insulation

Flood technicians may perform a flood cut and tear out sections of drywall if they believe any insulation behind your home’s walls has water damage. Because insulation cannot be properly dried, a flood cut may be needed to remove any wet material. Once the interior wall is cleaned and dried, new insulation can be installed.

3. Mold Growth

After flooding, mold can begin to grow behind interior walls and spread quickly if it is not addressed. Flood technicians may perform a flood cut to check for mold and treat the area if any is found. Because mold does not need sunlight to grow, it can spread from interior walls to other areas and cause an unpleasant odor in your home. A flood cut can prevent this and keep mold at bay.

Do's and Don'ts for Water Damage

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

These DO's and DON'TS Emergency Tips for water damage will assist you in taking quick proper action to help you reduce damage and increase the chances of successful restoration before help arrives.

Sanitary Water-Clear

DO:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

DON'T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may occur.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as this may cause staining.

Contaminated Water-Gray, Black or Sewage

DO:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash you're hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON'T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated area.

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Fire Tips for Kids

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon of an orange haired little white girl dressed in a yellow firemans coat with a fire hose in her hand Children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 73% of all burn injuries happen in the home. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

Handling a Rainstorm

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A broken brown power line laying in the middle of a black road with cars driving by Rainstorms can bring winds strong enough to blow down power lines. This is why it is important to stay inside during these storms

WHEN WILL THE RAIN STOP?!

Alabama weather has been pretty wet in 2020. We have seen what feels like 40 days and 40 nights of nothing but rain and rainstorms. From downpours to flooding, its safe to say, Alabama is pretty soggy. Are you prepared to handle these rainstorms that we just can not seem to get away from?! In the event of a rainstorm, which we know is going to happen, here are several tips to help keep you safe. 1. If you’re driving during a rainstorm put on your headlights, hazard lights, and drive slowly to prevent hydroplaning.2. Get out of boats and stay away from large bodies of water in the case of lightning striking.3. Most importantly, Take shelter! We know that emergency situations are never an enjoyable time, but we strive to make life get back to normal quickly and smoothly. If you have a flooding emergency that takes place in your home or commercial business, we are here to help!

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Servicing your Smoke Alarm

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

White smoke alarm on a grey ceiling with white smoke rising toward the smoke alarm An unserviced smoke alarm is an unsafe smoke alarm

We’ve all heard the low, quiet, annoying beeping sound from inside the house that feels like it never beeps when you are standing next to it. Yes, you know what we are talking about, the smoke alarm. Did you know that the beeping sound is a reminder to change the batteries and perform a quick service to ensure it is working properly? The question is, do you know how to service your smoke alarms? We found some tips from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) about how to maintain your smoke alarms. 

  1. Smoke alarms should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  3. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.
  5. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  6. Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  7. When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

In the case of a fire emergency in your home or commercial business, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home. Why should you trust us? Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as an IICRC-Certified Firmed. SERVPRO of Birmingham is also an A+ rated business by the BBB. Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110