Recent Posts

How Should I Handle Hail Damage?

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

What Exactly is Hail?

The NOAA defines hail as a form of precipitation consisting of solid ice that forms inside thunderstorm updrafts. Hail can damage aircraft, homes, and cars, and can be deadly to livestock and people. Creating what is called "Hailstones". Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze. Hailstones then grow by colliding with liquid water drops that freeze onto the hailstone’s surface. If the water freezes instantaneously when colliding with the hailstone, cloudy ice will form as air bubbles will be trapped in the newly formed ice. However, if the water freezes slowly, the air bubbles can escape and the new ice will be clear. The hail falls when the thunderstorm's updraft can no longer support the weight of the hailstone, which can occur if the stone becomes large enough or the updraft weakens.

How Does Hail Damage Your Roof?

Hail can cause significant damage to the structural integrity of your home, no matter how sturdy your roof may seem. One of the most common types of hail damage is denting of aluminum and metal roofing. A dented, misshapen roof is a malfunctioning roof. If you notice such damages to your metal roof after a hailstorm, it’s important to contact the experts at SERVPRO of Birmingham as soon as possible. Asphalt shingle roofs can also be damaged by hail, but in the form of punctures, tears, fractures, and granular displacement. Repairing your asphalt shingle roof after hail damage is vital. Holes in the protective layers of your shingles could mean instantaneous or gradual leaks, which eventually lead to water damage. Additionally, the granules on your asphalt shingles provide a protective layer from the sun, so when there is a loss of granules, the shingles are more susceptible to UV light degradation, eventually causing cracks, blisters, leaks, and more. A swift response to hail damage is crucial to the safety of your home and health.

Repair Hail Damage with SERVPRO of Birmingham

As a locally operated business here in Birmingham, AL our team is able to respond quickly to your hail storm damage emergencies. When you call SERVPRO of Birmingham, our disaster recovery team will immediately tend to your needs, as a fast response is important to prevent further damage. The faster the response, the better. If you think you might have roof damage, it is safest to avoid going up on your roof to check for damages, because it might not be sturdy. Our professionals have the experience and tools necessary to safely inspect your roof after damage occurs. No matter the size of the project, the professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham will arrive quickly, prepared to repair your roof damages.

What Do To If Your Sink Is Clogged

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

The last thing you need in slowing down production at your business is a clogged drain! Something like this could easily cause water damage that has you closing your doors for more than a day! If your sink is draining slowly or not at all, producing an odor, there may be a clog. It is critical to take care of these as soon as possible. In the event that a blockage is allowed to accumulate, it can result in burst pipes and a need to reach out to a professional plumber. Prior to unclogging a sink with water, use a basin or cup to remove the standing water. Always attempt to plunge the water first. Small clogs are often easily dislodged with the standard cup plunger. It's recommended to try using one with a flat rim that creates a seal over the hole to apply the pressure necessary to dislodge it. Ensure that the sink contains the right amount of water to submerge the plunger's head.  Another way to solve the issue can involve taking a half-gallon of water and bringing it to a boil with heat. After taking measures to remove the sink's standing water, pour the boiling water directly towards the drain with the aid of a steady stream. It should start to drain. If it fails, let the water cool completely, then repeat an additional time. Baking soda mixtures offer a natural way to unclog a sink, as it proves gentle on the pipes in comparison to chemical openers. Pour a single cup of baking soda down the drain in addition to white vinegar of the same amount. Place a sinkhole cover or rubber stop over the opening. Wait 15 minutes, then remove the cover and run the water down to clear out the clog. If these solutions do not work, SERVPRO of Birmingham will be there to help find the solution.

Construction is Complete! Now What?

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

With all of the fast-paced commercial building construction and remodeling going on who has time to do your after-construction cleaning?  SERVPRO of Birmingham is here to ensure your finished building projects always look their best. During construction, a building can often trap moisture.  excessive moisture could result in mold growth.  If you think that your project may have a potential for moisture, rely on our experts at SERVPRO of Birmingham to provide you with the tools that you need to eliminate that humidity in the air by placing dehumidification to stabilize your environment and prevent the potential for mold growth. Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it is time to remove the dust, dirt, and construction debris from the structure in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate.  Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is here to ensure that your project is ready for interior design. This step in the process is referred to as post-construction cleaning. After all, designs are completed along with fresh paint and flooring, the final cleaning will make your project complete. You will want your facility to look its best when the doors are scheduled to open.  SERVPRO of Birmingham can provide a final detail clean to give the building that extra shine that will surely impress your customers. Let the professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham help to ensure your post-construction needs are handled in a timely manner so that you can open or reopen your business on time and as quickly as possible.

Two Minutes Is All It Takes

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape? The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire are to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 % of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Fire Safety Tips

  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. In many instances, your Birmingham, AL property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to pre-fire condition. We understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and more than a little vulnerable. Our technicians will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care. Until help arrives, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property. SERVPRO of Birmingham's Fire Damage Restoration Services Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differ greatly and require a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.
  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

April Showers Bring Water Damages By The Hour

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

As one of the wettest months in the year, April is known for its rainy days and perpetual showers. Though spring is officially here, we hardly get to enjoy the nice weather until late in the month or on those rare days when the weather allows some sunshine to peek through the clouds. 

One thing we can consistently expect from April is the amount of water damage claims our teams respond to. Though the after effects of water damage are all the same. the causes can vary depending on where the damage takes place. To minimize the risk of water in your home or office, here are a few of the top causes of spring water damage:

1. Flooding 

Whether because of heavy rains, a low water table, or leaks and cracks in your, flooding is the top cause of spring water damage. Waterproofing your basement and properly weather-sealing doors and windows can help in minimizing the risk of water damage in your home. 

2. Roof Leaks and Drain Back-Ups

Second to noticing cracks in your foundations, this can be one of the trickiest to get ahead on, mainly because most of us don’t spend much time out on our roofs. Periodically checking your roof and gutters is key to getting ahead of leaks and drain backups that can seep into your home.

3. Frozen Pipes

Last, but not least — frozen pipes. You may think frozen pipes are only a danger in the colder months, but the truth is, plenty of water damage claims happen when these pipes defrost in the warmer months. That’s because outside faucets and water irrigation systems that were shut off during the colder months, yet not properly insulated, begin to leak into your home once it is turned on. So instead of only watering your lawn, you may see these pipes have also watered your indoor living space.

There are plenty of other causes of water damage ranging from leaking AC units, downed trees, and even heavy storms. Whatever the cause, SERVPRO of Birmingham is only a call away. 

Our Disaster Response Team Is Ready To Handle Your Storm Damage

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

Storm season is well underway in our region of Central Alabama and our teams have stayed active in serving our communities following the aftermath of heavy winds, rain, hail, and even tornado watches and warnings. 

While the meteorologists can predict what will be the cause of storms, it’s hard to determine what the effects will look like once the winds have settled, the sirens go silent, and all that’s left is the debris and damage.

At SERVPRO of Birmingham, we’ve witnessed firsthand the magnitude of damage these storms have caused. They wreak havoc on homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and whatever structure stands in their way. 

Though we have absolutely no control over when, where, or what will be affected, we stand firm in the fact that we are “Ready for whatever happens” whenever it happens. 

Our Disaster Response Team is complete with experienced project managers that travel at a moment’s notice to site locations of large-scale storm events, making us “Faster to any size disaster.” Backed by one of the largest Emergency Response Teams in the country, we are uniquely equipped and positioned to take on even the largest restoration project; whether in Central Alabama or beyond. Our fleet of cars, trucks, vans, and yes — even 18-wheelers — are fully stocked with the resources needed to respond to disasters of any scale, anywhere. 

Whatever this storm season looks like, it is no match for the force that is our Disaster Recovery Team. 

No Job To Small

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Cleaning and restoring commercial properties require a unique blend of training, experience, and equipment. Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham has the resources and more than 30 years of expertise to give you excellent results while minimizing disruption to your clients. We can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Senior Facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Why SERVPRO?

  • FASTER: With more than 1,900 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned throughout the nation to be faster to any-sized disaster.
  • READY: SERVPRO is always ready to help when disaster strikes but also knows the importance of ensuring home and business owners are “Ready for whatever happens.”
  • PROOF: The science of Drying was developed out of the need to further validate the drying process and use more precise documentation on defining when a structure is dry.
  • HERE TO HELP: Communication is the most important part of the process to keep everyone informed during cleanup and restoration.  We accomplish this through the Here to Help Connection process.

Our team responds quickly to your Birmingham, AL area fire, water, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building, a senior facility, an apartment complex, or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our network of 1,900+ Franchises gives us access to trained restoration technicians and resources to respond to any size restoration emergency.

Benefits of Claims Inventory System

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance companies prefer to work with mitigation and restoration services that maintain up-to-date systems. 

The SERVPRO Claims Information System enables an insurance agent to access the information he or she needs to process and settle an insurance claim.

Insurance companies seek out Preferred Vendors for mitigation and restoration services. The SERVPRO Claims Information System is one of many features that can help an agent or adjuster settle an insurance claim. Here are four benefits of this system.


1. Access To Individual Claim Information

Insurance agents and adjusters can gain access to information for each claim through the Claims Information System. Local franchises upload damage information and estimate to an internal database. Documentation is then made available to representatives of property owners' insurance providers to facilitate the claim process.

2. Ease of Data Comparison and Research

Agents and adjusters can also access information to ensure that each estimate falls within the normal range nationwide and for the region, state, county, or the surrounding area of Birmingham, AL. Discrepancies may be due to extenuating factors for a particular job, such as secondary damage. A claims inventory system makes it easy to sort data based on causes of loss, types of claims, and job costs.

3. Shorter Processing Times

It may take less time to process an insurance claim if all of the information about the job is available in one convenient online resource. Insurers can access updated information at any time, which should prevent delays due to communication. An estimate that accounts for both damage mitigation and restoration may make it easier to settle a claim.

4. Updated Estimates and Job Information

Experienced mitigation professionals and the option for pretesting can increase the accuracy of initial estimates. If additional damage becomes apparent later in the mitigation or restoration process, this information is made available to agents and adjusters through the claims inventory system.

Are the Ducts in your Business Clean?

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know that investing in regular air duct cleaning can reduce indoor allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander?  Air duct cleaning is vital to the cleanliness of the air you breathe in.

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork in your home or business should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides commercial and residential air duct cleaning that can improve the air quality in your home or business.

How often do you need your air ducts cleaned?

It is recommended to get your air ducts cleaned every three to five years.  However, if you have elderly family members, pets, allergies, or young children it may be beneficial to clean your air ducts more often.  If you see a lot of dust gathering on furniture just after cleaning, that could be one sign that your air ducts need cleaning.

Our Duct Cleaning Process

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which aromatically adapts to the shape and diameter of the duct while traveling through the duct, removing debris and dirt before vacuuming begins
  • Next, powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfer the debris from the ducting to a collection bag.
  • Air is then filtered through a HEPA filtration system removing 99.97 percent of particles in the air-stream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Always have a replacement filter on hand so that we may change them out at the time of service.
If you have questions about air duct cleaning services for your home or business please give us a call at SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110 

What to do before a thunderstorm!

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms can be dangerous and not taken for granted. Every thunderstorm produces lightning and other hazardous weather conditions, which can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.

In Birmingham, AL we tend to get a mix of heavy rain and dry thunderstorms. Below are great tips from the READY to help prepare you for what to do before, during, and after a thunderstorm.

What to do before a thunderstorm

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard-top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
  • Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

SERVPRO of Birmingham urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a thunderstorm comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO of Birmingham will be here to help.