Recent Posts

No Days Off For Disasters

6/30/2022 (Permalink)

Summertime is here and we are all looking forward to warmer days and vacation getaways. The changing season presents us with the opportunity to lay back, enjoy the sun, and let the wind carry our worries away. 

But even with your away messages set and your phones on do not disturb, in our line of work, we’ve noticed that water damage doesn’t always get the memo. While you are away from home, water (in all classes) could be trickling inside your home just waiting upon your return. 

Summer storms, flash floods followed by sewage backups , clogged gutters and downspouts, cracks in the foundation that expand due to the heat; these are all common culprits when for this season’s water damage events. 

One of the easiest ways to prevent these potential dangers from ruining your summer is: (1) Regularly keep up with maintenance on the outside of your home and (2) If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period time, it’s best to shut your water main off. You won’t need it and it greatly minimizes the risk of water running through your home. 

Don’t let the headache of a water damage keep you from enjoying your summer vacation, but if you do arrive and notice that you now have an indoor pool in your living area, our team of IICRC water damage restoration certified professionals are more than happy to help get you back to a vacation state of mind! 

Why Work for SERVPRO of Birmingham?

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of people around you each and every day. We are seeking individuals who are self-motivated, proactive, responsible, and service-oriented teammates. Please join us in our mission to help our customers in their greatest moments of need. Coupled with a family-oriented culture and a standard of excellence in all we do, not only do our team members feel right at home, but they also end the day knowing that the work they deliver is among the best in the industry. At SERVPRO, positions are always available for the right individuals who wish to join us in our vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world. Not only is it our mission to develop a team of quality people who focus on fairness, excellence, and mutual respect, but we are also creating opportunities for our team members to grow within the organization. We desire to see you succeed!  So no matter which role you play in our organization, whether it is at the front desk taking calls or on the front lines extracting water, you can be certain that you are fulfilling duties that go beyond administrative tasks or heavy lifting, you are helping us restore hope and normalcy to the lives and daily routines of some of the most vulnerable and even traumatized members of our communities.  If you are highly dependable and excited about exceeding expectations, then you may be just the person we're looking for. To apply, visit our Birmingham Career Page!

Commercial Business Fire Damage

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

 The premiums for a bar, garage or a conventional office building may vary widely based on the difference in fire risk levels. Businesses that use hazardous or flammable equipment may have higher insurance premiums. These operations may involve

  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Cooking equipment
  • Smoking
  • Vehicles 
Structural Components - A building made of combustible materials such as wood may pose a greater fire risk than a structure that is built out of fire-resistant materials. Owners should consider the risk of fire in the primary structure in addition to any additions or modifications. The degree to which building materials may succumb to fire and the distance of a business from the nearest fire station may drive up the cost of a commercial insurance policy. Fire Safety Equipment - It is also crucial that a business be equipped with fire safety equipment. This may include
  • Alarms and detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers
Some regional building codes require hardwired fire alarms. These systems should also have a battery backup in case of power failure. Battery-powered smoke detectors should also be regularly tested and the batteries should be changed. Have fire suppression systems and equipment such as extinguishers periodically inspected to ensure that critical components will function in the event of a fire. All of these factors may impact the costs of commercial insurance coverage for a business located in Birmingham, AL. A business owner may want to compare commercial policies to find the right level of coverage for fire damage.

Where Should Home Fire Alarms Go?

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

While many homes in Birmingham, AL come already installed with all the smoke alarms you need to make sure you are keeping your family safe. As more research has been conducted over the years on fires and how they spread, requirements have changed. Many older homes do not meet these standards which can be dangerous in the case a fire does occur. Keep your family safe by ensuring a fire alarm is located in the following four locations! Bedrooms - The National Fire Protection Association suggests the placement of a fire alarm in every bedroom of the house. This ensures that if a fire occurs while your family is asleep, the alarms will wake quickly wake up everyone. Outside Every Sleeping Area - Not only should alarms be inside every bedroom, but there should also be a smoke alarm right outside the room or any other sleeping areas as well. This is so you can react and start to escape before any fire or smoke even enters your room. 10 Feet From Your Kitchen - Kitchen fires result in approximately 50 percent of all home fires, many of which result in serious fire damage to your home. Make sure a fire alarm is located 10 feet from your kitchen rather than inside it since smoke or steam from cooking can easily trigger it. Every Level of Your Home - Ensure that there is as least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Don’t forget your basement! Serious fire and smoke damage can occur from an undetected fire that starts in the basement. It doesn’t take long for a house fire to quickly get out of hand! That’s why it is so important to have all the required fire alarms installed so you can quickly get everyone out of your house and get in contact with the fire department and a fire restoration company to minimize the fire damage to your home.

Wait for an Adjuster After a Storm?

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

When storms hit the Birmingham, AL area, you might be thinking, "should I wait for an adjuster"?

Don't wait for a flood insurance adjuster following adverse weather or flooding. Contact water and storm damage specialists if you need assistance with flood damage mitigation or restoration. Our team has put together a few reasons not to wait before documenting the damage and taking steps to limit the extent of secondary damage to your home.

1. Documentation Is All You Need to File a Claim

An insurance adjuster does not need to witness damage firsthand to process a claim, but you do need to document the damage. Take extensive dated photographic or video evidence. Keep records of possessions, as well as their condition and value, and locate receipts for high-value items if possible. Footage and itemized records should be enough to prove your home and possessions sustained the damage you claim.

2. Adjusters Are Likely To Be Backlogged

Depending on the extent of a flood or storm and how many homes and businesses were affected, it may take adjusters a while to follow up on your flood insurance claims. It is better to document and immediately take steps to mitigate damage to keep conditions in your home from worsening. As a matter of fact, your insurance may not provide as much of a payout if you cannot prove you did everything in your power to limit damage in a timely manner.

3. Secondary Damage Can Start In Hours

The longer water damage sits, the more likely it is that building materials and contents will need to be replaced rather than restored. Mold damage can start to emerge within only 24 to 48 hours following a flood. You should take steps to eliminate the presence of water and moisture in your home as soon as possible.

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.