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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fire Pit Tips

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Here in Birmingham, AL it's 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 on fire pit safety: 

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. 

Red, White and Barbecue

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

One of the main ways The Fourth of July is celebrated in America is through fireworks and grilling. Every year thousands are injured by unsafely handling grills. Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham we care about fun and safety: therefore, we are giving you a few do's and don'ts when grilling, that way you can stay safe and grill your favorite meal at the same time.

What TO DO when grilling:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house.
  • Clean your grill regularly, this will decrease the amount of fuel the grill would have if there was ever a fire.
  • Check for gas leaks.
  • Keep decorations like umbrellas or plants away from your grill.
  • Keep a bottle of water near your grill just in case it is ever needed.

What NOT To Do when grilling:

  • Don't turn the gas on when the lid is closed: this causes gas to build up.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Overload the grill with food.
  • Never use a grill indoors.

Reminders:

  1. Do not panic if an emergency occurs, instead call SERVPRO.
  2. Keep safety always at the forefront of your mind.

 Why SERVPRO?

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

Have You Considered a Career at SERVPRO of Birmingham?

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

In today’s job market, job seekers are no longer looking for a place where they’ll make a paycheck, they are searching for a place where they’ll make a difference. At SERVPRO of Birmingham, our team members do just that on a daily basis. Not matter which role you play in our organization, whether its 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 

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 its 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’re looking for a place where you will make a difference in the lives you touch and have the opportunity to grow and develop your skills, a career at SERVPRO of Birmingham may be a great fit for you!

To apply, visit our website for open positions or send your resume to leo@SERVPROofbirmingham.com

TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS BEFORE LIGHTING FIREWORKS!

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

As Memorial Day and the 4th of July approach, make sure you and your family are aware of firework safety! We want the holidays for you and your family to be just as they were meant to be, FUN! Often times, though people handle fireworks in an unsafe manner. 

I am sure everyone has seen the viral video, "Back up Terry." In this video a man in a wheelchair lights a firework and there is a malfunction with his wheelchair. He can't get away from the firework fast enough, and the fireworks start going off right next to him. And yes, although we thought this video was funny, we need to realize that this could have ended entirely different and Terry could have been badly injured. 

DID YOU KNOW?

During the holiday months, on average 180 people a day go to the hospital for firework related injuries. We encourage you here at SERVPRO of Birmingham to: 

BE PREPARED!

  • Store fireworks away from children
  • Always read the labels and follow directions
  • Keep small children and pets indoors: they are easily frightened
  • Always have water near, in case of an incident

BE RESPONSIBLE!

  • Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water afterwards
  • Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly
  • Never re-light "dud" fireworks
  • Never keep fireworks in your pockets: the friction could set them off

BE SAFE!

  • An adult should always be the one lighting the fireworks
  • Keep matches & lighters away from children
  • Use fireworks outdoors only
  • Do not throw fireworks or hold them in your hand
  • Don't be like "Terry", light firework and move away quickly

BE AWARE!

  • Use only legal fireworks
  • Make sure you are able to set off fireworks (every state is different)
  • Fireworks are prohibited on all state parks, and state or federal forest land
  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that the local fire department responds to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year. THEREFORE, DO NOT point fireworks toward homes and keep away from bushes, leaves, and flammable substances.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A FIRE, SERVPRO CAN HELP!

Hurricane Season...

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

As we get ready to enter into hurricane season, we want to make sure our community is well prepared and informed of what to do in case the storms get way out of hand. To ensure you and your loved ones are safe during this upcoming storm season, read along for these tips on what to do to be storm safe:

  1. Know Your Risks: One the most important things you can do is understand how susceptible your area is to hurricane weather. Being informed pf the likelihood of how a hurricane can affect your area by keeping up to date with weather announcement and local and governments 
  2. Build an Emergency Kit: This one sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. Keeping an emergency kit that is stocked with water, canned foods, non perishables, and comfort items such as blankets and toys could be the difference between a disaster and an inconvenience. 
  3. Review And Gather Documents: Review your policies ahead of time to see what is covered and if flood insurance is available to you. Gather important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, birth certificates, deeds, or even sentimental documents and keep them in a fireproof and waterproof safe. 
  4. Be Informed: Knowing where to go and who to call is key to staying safe. Having an evacuation plan in place in the event of a disaster ensure members of your household know what to do in case home isn’t the safest place to be. Have a planned route and an alternate route to get to a safe place away from the storm.
  5. Strengthen Your Home: Taking a look around your property to see if you are vulnerable in the event of a hurricane is a key factor in minimizing your risk of damage. By looking for vulnerable areas, you’ll be able to address them and fortify and susceptible areas around the home or property.

Implementing these tips will help you face this hurricane season and minimize the risk of your property being a victim of the elements. Keep SERVPRO of Birmingham in mind for all your storm damage restoration needs. 

Commercial Cleaning Tips

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Spring  & Summer time has become a great time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects.  Although spring cleaning is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for commercial places as well.  The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and bacteria & messes start to grow.  A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers. Here is a list of some important areas to inspect during your deep cleaning cleaning:   

OUTSIDE

  • Windows
Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to keep clean.  Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals.  Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term. 
  • Landscaping
This is very important for the presentation of your business.  Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape.  Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes.  Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business. 
  • AC/HVAC
When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system.  Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing.  Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside.  Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts.  It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.  
  • Pest Maintenance
Along with the re-birthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests.  Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem.  It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems each year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in. 

INSIDE

  • Dusting
Simple and effective.  Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.  
  • Flooring/Carpets
As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up.  Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean. 
  • Reorganization
Reorganizing comes in two parts.  The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access.  Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed.  The second is the reorganization of the office itself. Ideally, this is a continuing process year round.  If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up and breathe some fresh air into the workplace.  Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of cleaning takes priority. If you need extra help or an even deeper clean call SERVPRO to help!

Sewer Line Issues

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties!!

 Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to floors, electrical systems, walls, etc. Learn about the most common causes of sewer backups, and what you as a commercial property owner can do urge your residents or your co-workers of steps to take to ensure there are no sewer line. Be aware of these four things that may be an indicator you have a sewer problem.

Odors:

Be aware of any odor around drains. If after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line. 

Clogged Drains :

A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility. 

Indentations in Landscaping:

Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots in the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building. 

Deformations in Landscaping:

In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered. Be proactive! Here are two things to do on a day to day basis to ensure there are no sewer problems for you and your commercial property. 
  • Properly dispose of grease.
Cooking oil should never go into the drain. You should let the grease cool off and then dispose of in the garbage can.
  • Properly dispose of paper products.
Paper towels, feminine hygiene products, cloth diapers, and hygienic wipes, etc. do not deteriorate quickly and can become a major problem.

EXPECTATIONS OF SERVPRO..

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

What should be expected when you contact us?

 First and foremost, expect our 24-hour availability! Whether you are calling day or night, weekday or weekends, and even during the holidays, you can always expect to speak with a real person about the emergency you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Birmingham is the top choice for many insurance agencies in the Shelby County and Jefferson County areas.  

Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting SERVPRO of Birmingham: 

 Quick Response - When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted them about the emergency. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, we will begin preparing to address the needs of your client. Arrive Time - Our technicians can be on-site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make the difference if your home or commercial business has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money. Inspection/Verbal Briefing - Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. Our team has the ability to let you know in the emergency is claim worthy or not as well. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you are aware of what will happen next. Our team's quick 24-hour response will allow us to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before we begin work on necessary repairs.

DO YOU HAVE AN ERP?

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

An ERP is an Emergency Ready Program. As a business owner you always want to make sure you have an action plan if ever an emergency occurs. If there was a flood, major leak or a tornado, as a commercial property you would want contacts and action plan close by. We couldn't imagine the amount of stress whenever something like that ever occurred! SERVPRO® of Birmingham wants to ease that stress and we realize that you might not think about the unexpected things that may happen, therefore we have implemented the ERP program. 

What is the Emergency Ready Program?

Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now!
  • As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research.
  • Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.
  • By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Why Implement the Emergency Ready Program?

 
  • The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage is of no-cost assessment to your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects.
  • It will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • An ERP can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes SERVPRO® of Birmingham as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
 Having an ERP saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. 

DON'T HAVE AN ERP? CALL US! (205) 664-6770!

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!

SERVPRO of Birmingham is IICRC Certified

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo. 

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration. 

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals. Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace. 

About SERVPRO of Birmingham

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

What Happens If You Discover Mold?

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, and anywhere there has been flooding.
  • Whenever mold drops on anything that has excessive moisture, it will grow. Check basements and places that hold a lot of moisture in your home, often to ensure no mold is present.

Here are some tips if you discover mold within your home or around your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

If you and your family have found mold growing in or around your home, the best decision to make is to call SERVPRO in order to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. SERVPRO has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem. Mold, like mentioned above, can cause numerous health effects and cause damage to your home.

Call SERVPRO (205) 664-6770

1. Assessment:

Your property will be carefully inspected using technology that can detect mold.

2.  Containment

Then, containing the mold will be the top priority, in order for it not to spread any further.

3. Air Filtration

Specialized equipment captures any mold that remains in the air.

4. Removing

Any mold growth, is removed using anti-fungal treatments.

5. Cleaning & Restoration 

SERVPRO cleans all furniture, clothing, walls, etc. with chemicals to ensure the mold will not return. Lastly, if anything in your home needs restored SERVPRO will repair those items.

Surviving the Flood...

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

We live in a world where mother nature has a mind of her own at times, and natural disaster can strike at anytime and can ruin the "normalcy" of the life we once had. The nice furniture, flooring, and decor that once occupied our home, now washed away by water. Whether the flooding that has occurred in your home was because of a pipe bursting, a sewer backup, faulty appliance, a heavy rain or even rising floodwaters, there are important steps you should take in order to keep you and your family safe. 

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

You and your family may not even be thinking about flooding, but rather tornado damage or hurricane damage. But with any severe storm or rain there is always a chance of flooding. And even appliances can cause flooding. Here at SERVPRO® of Birmingham we want you to be as prepared and safe as possible, therefore we put together some do and don'ts to put into practice after you have encountered flooding within your home.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

 Reminders:

  1. Do not panic, take a breath and understand that although today feels like the worst day ever. Things WILL get better.
  2. Keep safety always at the forefront of your mind (stop the water source, shut all electricity off, etc.)
  3. Call SERVPRO in order to get things clean, dry and back to beautiful as quickly as possible.

 Why SERVPRO?

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

Preparing For Severe Storms

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Expecting a tornado or other major storm? Knowing the right steps to take BEFORE a major storm comes can protect you, your family, and your property. Storms can be challenging all by themselves, do not let your lack of preparation add onto these already challenging times. SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to ease the burden and inform you of several steps you can take to stay safe.

Make a Plan of Action

When a major storm threatens your community, you want to be able to evacuate if need be. In order to do this in a safe and timely manner you must have an action plan in place.

  • Ensure everyone in the family is aware of this plan
  • Be aware of evacuation routes
  • If a tornado comes, know where you and your family will take cover
  • Plan for any animals you may have as well

Assemble an Emergency Kit

Having the necessary equipment and food for whenever a power outage may occur is a great step you can take in order to stay safe during a storm. Some important items for an Emergency Kit are:

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Food & Water
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio

Stay Informed During the Storm

Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing and steps to take to get to safety. However, if you ever hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.

If After the Storm, Damage Has Occurred Contact A Professional

Disaster can strike anytime and SERVPRO® of Birmingham is here to help. We are open 24/7 and work to respond quickly to calls to minimize damage, and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We are part of this community too and we take pride in being a part of Birmingham and want to do our part in making it the best it can be! 

Prolonging Your Life & The Life of Your Carpet

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Whether you have been living in an apartment complex for 6 months or a two-story house for 10 years, everyone needs to be mindful of when they last had their carpet professionally cleaned. We realize that there are things around the house that are tossed aside and forgotten about, however maintaining clean carpets should not be one of them. Here at SERVPRO® of Birmingham we understand life happens, like when your child spills a drink all over the carpet or the dog mistakes the carpet, for the grass outside. We get it, but we only want what's best for you and your health. 

Why Does My Carpet Need to be Professionally Cleaned? 

Many people have been exactly where you are now, thinking "I wipe up all spills and vacuum often, I am good to go." That simply is just not the case. And frankly this alone isn't good enough. It may not be evident to the naked eye, but carpets can house all sorts of dirt, bacteria, and allergens that can be harmful to your health. Carpets that are not well maintained can hold dust mites, molds, pet hair, dead skin cells, insect feces, and other particles deep-seated in their fibers. Below are three possible problems that can be the result of carpets that are not well-maintained.

Danger #1: Weak Immune System

  • Everyday our bodies fight to keep us healthy and strong. However, living in an unclean environment, leads to being exposed to harmful bacteria, which can cause you to be more susceptible to diseases.
  • Getting out carpets professionally cleaned helps to remove dust mites, bacteria and other allergens, which ultimately helps your family breathe easier and reduces the risk of colds and other health problems. As strange as it may sound, dirty carpet can negatively impact the airflow in your home.

Danger #2: Reduces the Life Span of the Carpet

  • Not professionally cleaning your carpet allows for dirt to stay embedded inside the fibers of the carpet. Which ultimately will lead to the fibers breaking and wearing down.
  • Regular vacuuming will keep your carpet looking good and prevent debris and dirt from embedding into the fibers.
  • Keeping your vacuum in good shape will help keep your carpet in good shape. A vacuum that is half full will be much less effective than an empty one. Be sure to keep it cleaned out and keep up on the maintenance with it as well.

Danger #3: Odor in Carpet                                                         

  • Professional cleaning companies can use top notch chemicals, to get out odors that regular vacuums or cleaners just simply cannot get out. A couple of these odors are dog urine and cigarette smoke. These odors almost always take a professional crew to come in and get rid of.

Do Not Worry! SERVPRO Can Help!

If you are unsatisfied with your carpet SERVPRO® of Birmingham is here to help. We are open 24/7 and work to respond quickly to calls.  We care about your health and safety. 

Trust SERVPROXIDE™ to Disinfect Your Commercial Space

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

One of our products SERVPROXIDE™ is our proprietary hospital-grade disinfectant registered with the EPA. It is a stabilized chlorine dioxide-based antimicrobial which carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating. The product itself doesn’t carry any fragrances other than a mild cleaning odor which dissipates quickly making it a great product for people with chemical or odor sensitivities.

There are many different applications for SERVPROXIDE™. It can eliminate odors through disinfecting and oxidation rather than just covering them up. That can be done by applying the product directly with towels or through misting or spraying which is often used when we clean HVAC systems. It has even been utilized in electrostatic spraying for an even application on surfaces inside buildings. 

In fact, SERVPROXIDE™ is the disinfectant we have used when we have been asked to clean and disinfect COVID-19 in homes and businesses here in Birmingham and throughout Jefferson/Shelby Counties.

The CDC recommends the usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar types of organisms to COVID-19 and SERVPROXIDE™ has EPA-approved claims against things like Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, staphylococcus, E.coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, and Swine flu. 

When you use SERVPRO of Birmingham, you can have rest at ease knowing that our team is using hospital-grade disinfectant registered with the EPA. Our chemists are even able to advise us in unorthodox situations to utilize our suite of cleaning products to clean and deodorize even the strongest and strangest combination of smells and soils.

What To Do After Your Pipes Burst

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

With the temperatures quickly rising and the hot summer season headed straight towards us, our natural inclination is to turn up the A/C indoors and head to the pool each chance we get. 

However, just because the risk for frozen pipes has passed, the risk of water damage still poses a threat even during the summer months. 

The extended use of air conditioning units, if not properly maintained, can cause drainage issues. To avoid this, make sure to change your air filter regularly. Regular inspections and cleanings are also important to prevent and stop any issues in your unit from worsening. One thing to keep an eye on is the drainage pan. Check to make sure water isn’t leaking and accumulating in the pan. Especially in the hotter weather; mold, mildew, and fungus can easily grow and spread. 

Another thing that keeps in mind is the potential for pipes to burst. Although burst pipes are more common during the colder months, hot summer weather can still cause this headache for a home or property owner. A good rule of thumb is to notice whenever there is a change in your water pressure. While it could be simply just an irritation, it could also be a sign that something bigger is on the verge of happened. This could be a result of corrosion build-up which leads to leaks and eventually, water getting into your home or office. 

The risk for pipes bursting doesn’t stop there. If you notice cracks appearing on the walls, especially around the corner, it’d be safe to assume there have been changes in your foundation. An easy solution, however, is to consistently water the soil and even place plants around the perimeter of the foundation. The plant helps moderate the temperature of the soil and can also serve to hold the ground together with its roots.

Don't Let Water Ruin Your Summer Fun!

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

With the temperatures quickly rising and the hot summer season headed straight towards us, our
the natural inclination is to turn up the A/C indoors!

However, the risk of water damage still poses
a threat even during the summer months.

The extended use of air conditioning units, if not properly maintained, can cause drainage issues. To avoid this, make sure to change your air filter regularly. Regular inspections and cleanings are also important to prevent and stop any issues in your unit from worsening. One thing to keep an eye on is the drainage pan. Check to make sure water isn’t leaking and accumulating in the pan. Especially in the hotter weather; mold, mildew, and fungus can easily grow and spread.

Another thing that keeps in mind is the potential for pipes to burst. Although burst pipes are more
common during the colder months, hot summer weather can still cause this headache for a home
or property owner. A good rule of thumb is to notice whenever there is a change in your water pressure. While it could be simply just an irritation, it could also be a sign that something bigger is on the verge of happening. This could be a result of corrosion build-up which leads to leaks and eventually, water getting into your home or office.

The risk for pipes bursting doesn’t stop there. If you notice cracks appearing on the walls, especially around the corner, it’d be safe to assume there have been changes in your foundation. An easy solution, however, is to consistently water the soil and even place plants around the perimeter of the foundation. The plants help moderate the temperature of the soil and can also serve to hold the ground together with their roots.

The last thing any home or property owner wants to deal with is water damage, no matter the
weather!

Fire Pit Safety Tips

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Warmer temperatures and longer days are finally upon us!

This time of year is one of the best because it is time to break out the fire pits. We know this is a great way to gather friends and family around in the backyard during the warmer months. Burgers on the grill, drinks in hand, and some background music is a sure way to have everyone in a good mood. Here is some quick and simple fire pit safety tips to keep the fire bright and the mood light:
  1. Clear all flammable materials away from your fire pit. Make sure it’s kept 10 feet away from the home or building. 
  2. Pile dirt or rocks to keep the fire on the ground from escaping 
  3. Before lighting your fire, check the wind direction. If it’s too windy, do not light your fire pit as the wind can cause the flames to travel.
  4. Contrary to popular belief, lighting fluid is not safe for lighting a fire pit. Use a commercial fire starter kick with kindling on top. 
  5. Once the fire pit is lit, never leave it unattended and never leave children or pets near the fire pit without adult supervision.
  6. Avoid  softwoods like pine or cedar to prevent flying sparks and flame “pops”, 
  7. Only put enough fuel to keep the fire burning gently to prevent flare-ups and uncontrollable flames. 
  8. To extinguish the flames, use water to drown out the fire and stir it with a shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished. Use the shovel to extinguish any escaped flames as well
  9. Dispose of the ashes in a metal can use only for fire pit ash storage. Careful, even after a few days the ashes are still hot enough to cause a fire. 
  10. Accidents happen, even with the correct preventative measures taken. Having a fire extinguisher nearby can greatly reduce the risk of the fire getting out of control. 

Dealing with Storm Damage to Your Property

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Storms can lead to a multitude of damage to your home or business.

Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is prepared for the storms that will hit the Jefferson and Shelby County Areas. There is potential for severe weather and with this comes overwhelming precipitation, wind speeds, and debris that can expose weak points in construction like gutters and downspouts. You may find it necessary to clean up water damage in your home. Fortunately, there are many professionals who can help. Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues. Here are a few helpful storm tips you may wish to know before you begin the cleanup process 1. Follow Safety Procedures - It's important to follow safety procedures before you proceed with storm cleanup. For example, turn off any electricity before entering a flooded area, and only use properly rated equipment when removing water. 2. Contact Your Insurance - You may also wish to contact your insurance about the damage to your property. Repairs can begin before your agent arrives on the scene, but you may find your insurance company has a couple of recommendations for local storm damage restoration companies, like SERVPRO of Birmingham, you can work with. 3. Contact a Professional Quickly - Another among many commonly recommended storm tips, is to contact a professional for any repairs that need to be made. This will help ensure that the restoration is conducted properly, and in some cases can help your insurance claim as well. 4. Wear Safety Gear - It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space. This may include work gloves, a face mask, clothing that covers the skin, proper shoes, and depending on the damage type a work helmet. 5. Cover Over Damaged Areas - Another step many professionals recommend is to cover over any damages until repairs can be made. This will help prevent further damage and help keep animals out of your home. Remember to follow these helpful storm tips when restoring your home. Always follow safety procedures such as turning off any electricity and wearing the proper safety equipment. It's also wise to contact a professional to perform any repairs, as well as your insurance company for any recommendations they may have. You should also cover over any damaged space until the repairs can begin in the area. Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is part of the larger, national Brand of SERVPRO Industries. In the event of damage from this storm, our teams have the ability to call in reinforcements from the Wilson Storm Team. Know that you can trust SERVPRO of Birmingham to put your home or business back together, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Birmingham Sends Help to North Texas

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

As a major Winter Storm Warning went into effect early Valentine’s Day weekend, North Texas settled in for what was expected to be a long and cold week of record-breaking temperatures. With almost 2 million residents losing power and multiple businesses closed due to dangerous road conditions, the White House had officially declared a state of emergency over Texas. Rolling blackouts and empty grocery stores cast an eerie, almost apocalyptic spell over the usually warm and sunny climate the state is known for. Amidst unprecedented times, Winter Storm Uri was as singular in its effects as it was harsh in its weather. Our crews from SERVPRO of Birmingham responded to the Storm call to help home and property managers regarding water damages caused by burst pipes. Our trained technicians have slushed through several inches of water to find collapsed ceilings, ruined furniture, and buckled flooring that has forced residents into the homes of friends and neighbors. Though this event was uncommon, this is what we have been trained for. This is what sets SERVPRO apart — when you call us, you get access to over 1700 franchisees who are ready to respond to disasters at this scale. Winter Storm Uri was unprecedented and unlike anything we could have expected, it has also revealed the depth of commitment and strength that flows through the SERVPRO system. There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people have called us to restore the damage from their homes and businesses: because we show up.

SERVPRO is One Team

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

When the south-central region of the United States endured below-freezing temperatures for multiple consecutive days, they turned to one brand to help restore their homes and businesses that were affected by burst pipes and water damage: SERVPRO. As the temperatures dropped, the number of customers affected by flooding caused burst pipes to quickly increase. By the end of the week, tens of thousands of home and business owners were calling SERVPRO to mitigate the damage. There’s a reason why during the most historic cold snap in 70 years, residents of the south-central and southwestern part of the United States called SERVPRO. In fact, there are about 1700. These 1700 reasons show up in the form of franchises and crews that have left their home states, some for extended periods of time, to travel with their equipment and assist local franchises in the restoration of these homes and businesses that suffered water damage. The amazing thing about choosing SERVPRO of Birmingham is that our customers don’t just get access to one restoration company, but they partner with a trusted name in the restoration industry that has access to a network of franchises that are willing to come and assist in historic events such as the one we as a region experienced in February of 2021. So no matter if it’s hurricanes or freezes, SERVPRO is always ready to unite forces to help a region restore its communities, living true to the tagline: One Team.

SERVPROXIDE Disinfects and Sanitizes!

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

One of our products SERVPROXIDETM is our proprietary hospital-grade disinfectant registered with the EPA. It is a stabilized chlorine dioxide-based antimicrobial which carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating. The product itself doesn’t carry any fragrances other than a mild cleaning odor which dissipates quickly making it a great product for people with chemical or odor sensitivities. There are many different applications for SERVPROXIDETM. It can eliminate odors through disinfecting and oxidation rather than just covering them up. That can be done by applying the product directly with towels or through misting or spraying which is often used when we clean HVAC systems. It has even been utilized in electrostatic spraying for an even application on surfaces inside buildings. In fact, SERVPROXIDETM is the disinfectant we have used when we have been asked to clean and disinfect COVID-19 in homes and businesses here in Wichita. The CDC recommends the usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar types of organisms to COVID-19 and SERVPROXIDE has EPA-approved claims against things like Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, staphylococcus, E.coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, and Swine flu. When you use SERVPRO, you can have rest at ease knowing that our team is using hospital-grade disinfectant registered with the EPA. Our chemists are even able to advise us in unorthodox situations to utilize our suite of cleaning products to clean and deodorize even the strongest and strangest combination of smells and soils.

Why Choose SERVPRO for Storm Damage Restoration?

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Let us give you 5 Reasons...

24-Hour Emergency Service

Unfortunately, disaster can strike at any time, and when it comes to water damage after a storm, time is of the essence. Every second a structure is exposed to water increases the chances of mold growth.  Our SERVPRO of Birmingham team is on-call 24-7, including holidays, to help after a storm. The professionals at SERVPRO are available 24-hours a day and work to provide storm restoration services for both residential properties and commercial buildings. They respond to calls quickly to minimize damage and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration. 

Certification and Experience

It is very important to have experienced professionals when dealing with water or fire damage. Look for a company with certifications backed up by real-world experience. The technicians at SERVPRO are all IICRC certified. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets high-quality standards for restoration companies. Employees at SERVPRO are constantly learning new techniques through e-Classes and certification training. 

Advanced Technology

Storm damage restoration is a complex process and requires advanced technology. Choosing a restoration company with the proper tools is crucial to minimizing damage. SERVPRO only uses the best technology and equipment, including water removal machines, moisture exposing tools, and deodorization materials. They have access to equipment housed in over 1,700 franchises and even have designated disaster recovery teams.

Locally Owned and Operated

Locally owned companies are more invested in ensuring communities bounce back after major storms. Their clients aren’t just clients—they’re neighbors, friends, and family. SERVPRO is a nationwide franchise, but each franchise is locally owned. This combination gives home and business owners the best of both worlds: the customer care and localized knowledge that comes with a local company and a large corporation's resources.

Familiar with Insurance Requirements

Storm damage restoration can be stressful. However, dealing with insurance providers afterward can be even worse. The best storm restoration companies are familiar with all major insurance providers and provide assistance with the claims process.

Here to Give You Peace

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham has been serving the Jefferson and Shelby County areas since 1999. Our team understands what it means to be a small business and how to effectively serve our community.  Our team also understands that even the briefest of business closings can have catastrophic consequences for both businesses and their employees. Because of this, know that SERVPRO of Birmingham works to get your business back up and running as soon as possible so that you and continue running operations as normal. Should your business be affected by Covid-19, our team is Here to Help!  We have been providing our proprietary Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned cleaning protocol in and around the Jefferson and Shelby County areas as businesses, schools, and churches that have had exposure to Covid-19.  These responsible business owners and managers reached out to us, had their facilities cleaned, and were able to display the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned window decals on their doors, assuring customers that they were cleaned, ready, and open for business! We are all in this together!  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.

How Commercial Cleaning Benefits Your Business

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial properties must be regularly cleaned to maximize their function and appearance. Commercial cleaning services range from general cleaning to more specialized services such as mold removal, fire and water cleanup, and air duct cleaning. Below is a more detailed description of the services SERVPRO of Birmingham offers:

  1. Water Damage Restoration - Water damage could be the result of a flood, water from a sink that has leaked, a pipe that has burst, or a faulty air conditioner. 
  2. Mold Remediation - Buildings, offices, and homes can sustain microbial growth of mold if excess water and humidity are left untreated. Mold can spread and cause health effects.
  3. Fire Damage Restoration - Fire damage carries with it the trauma of fire destruction, debris, air quality concerns, and potential health risks to those exposed. Water damage is often a secondary issue when there has been a fire. Fire damage services may include removal of debris, cleaning the fire-damaged areas of an office or home, purifying and making the air fresh and safe to breathe, and remediating any water damage.
  4. Reconstruction - In the event of a fire, water, or storm damage, the immediate concern is to protect the building, home, or office from further damage and to secure the structure for restoration to occur. Services include but are not limited to drywall, electrical, painting, roofing, tile, and carpet repair. 

 How Commercial Cleaning Services Benefit Your Business?To operate at peak productivity, businesses need to provide a clean environment for their team and clientele. Specialty cleaning services include air ducts and HVAC, biohazard and sewage, carpet and upholstery, drapes and blinds, ceilings, walls and hardwood floors, odor removal, and deodorization, and vandalism clean-up. Why Hire a Professional Commercial Cleaning Company?The number one reason to hire a cleaning service is that they are professionals who are trained in the latest technology in the cleaning industry. The right cleaning products are necessary to achieve the proper level and appearance of cleanliness. One reason to hire a professional cleaning company is health and safety. Your staff or clients won’t get sick as a result of an unhealthy work environment. It is important to have immediate service any hour or day of the week, especially during an emergency. Trust the team from SERVPRO of Birmingham to ensure your cleaning needs are met and your business or commercial property is ready to handle the demand of the day-to-day operations. Give our team a call today!

When Was Your Last HVAC Cleaning?

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

During this winter season are you thinking about the air quality in your business or commercial property? Air ducts and a lack of HVAC cleaning can be to blame for this. In fact, a non-maintained ventilation system is usually the culprit behind getting good, quality air circulation in any building. This is why you should make it a priority to get your air duct systems maintenance by professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham. Take a moment and think about how long have I had this system in place? Have I ever taken the time to have the system cleaned? Do I know what is hanging on to the vents in that system? You always want to take time to be mindful of your HVAC systems. Our professionals can evaluate air quality and the system to see if it’s time for service. If your system has been around for a long time and you have not conducted a thorough HVAC cleaning, there is a chance that your air ducts have begun to accumulate a lot of the following:

  • Contaminants
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Debris
These particles can cause allergies and illness for everyone who breathes the air. Having your HVAC cleaned at your business or commercial property can help clear out your air ducts to help circulate better air quality, and bring your employees better peace of mind. Remember that proper maintenance of your air ducts and having regular HVAC cleaning can extend the life of your system and most importantly, save your business money from costly repairs.

Choosing a Disaster Restoration Company

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Female Employee in a Black Hat and Black Jacket scanning a piece of content to inventory Our team works tirelessly to help ensure your home or commercial property is mitigated and restored.

The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a disaster to their home or property. That is a personal home property and a commercial business, there can be a handful of insurance policies and the well-being of those closest to you. SERVPRO of Birmingham understands it can create unwanted stress when it comes to choosing a restoration company. In an effort to help offset that stress you can feel, here are a few things to be on the lookout when choosing a company to restore your home or office after a disaster:

  • Trained and Certified by the IICRC  
    • The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Company) sets the standard in the disaster restoration industry. Choosing a company that has been trained and certified by the IICRC ensures you are working with professionals who truly know what they’re doing. SERVPRO of Birmingham has consistently gone through training and certification by the IICRC. 
  • Response Time
    • Disasters rarely happen on the clock. This means you need a restoration company that is always available to help whether it is on a weekend, holiday, or even during pandemic shutdowns. It’s important to choose a company that is always open. SERVPRO not only remained open during the shutdown, but we also assisted other essential businesses in keeping their doors open and employees safe by providing proactive disinfection services. We pride ourselves in not only always being open but also being faster to any size disaster.
  • Manpower
    • Major storm events can place a huge strain on restoration companies as they try to help their communities put the pieces of “normal life” back together. If the company isn’t adequately scaled to deal with the needs of their customers, this could result in job delays and cause even more damage than the storm itself. When that happens, instead of trusting out-of-town storm chasers who are here today and gone tomorrow, it’s critical to be able to count on your local disaster restoration company to answer your call among the dozens or hundreds of others that come in as a result of these storms. Thankfully, SERVPRO of Birmingham is not only capable of dealing with the needs of our customers in the territories we serve, but at our disposal are 1700+ franchises that are able to work together to serve our customers following large-scale disasters. 

The aftermath of these events, though shocking, does not have to be stressful. Whether its water, fire, or storm damage, the result of these disasters require the attention of a professional and trustworthy disaster restoration company, a company such as SERVPRO of Birmingham

Choosing a Local Restoration Companies

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Many people may not realize that a small grease fire can cause unsightly soot stains on their wall, or something like an electrical socket that might have a short in it can count as a home fire. 

So, what should you do if your home suffers fire damage? Getting help as soon as possible is the best way to help reduce long-term expenses. SERVPRO of Birmingham can send a team of our talented fire and smoke damage remediation technicians to your property as soon as you call.

What Can SERVPRO of Birmingham Do About a Small Kitchen Fire? 

Did you know that many people might not consider smaller-scale fires as an event they may need help remediating? Just because you experience a small-scare fire does not leave your home in need of reconstruction does not mean that it will not leave unsightly after-effects.  Take a few situations that maybe you have experienced as examples: 
  • Grease fires can leave greasy soot on your walls
  • Burning plastics can leave lingering malodors
  • Ashes can get stuck in your carpets or rug

What Can SERVPRO of Birmingham Do to Remediate These Damages?  

Our team is fire damage experts. This means our teams have been trained and certified to help restore fire damage. All our team members are IICRC certified to handle remediation. The IICRC sets the standard in the restoration industry. Choosing a company that has been trained and certified by the IICRC ensures you are working with professionals who truly know what they’re doing. To remediate, our team can: 
  • Use house-made cleaning agents designed to break down grime
  • Set up odor-reducing equipment, such as hydroxyl generators and thermal foggers
  • Professionally clean your carpets and upholstery to take the smokey smell and ashes away 
Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we have access to advanced technology designed to remediate the damages inside of your home. Trust us our team to help get your life back to normal.

Preventing Pipes From Freezing

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Lower Temps Mean Busted Pipes

The Birmingham, AL surrounding areas, are seeing some cooler than normal temps and when this happens, if you are not prepared, you could find yourself in an emergency water damage.

Below a few steps, you can take to help decrease your chances of dealing with pipe bursts as a result of the cold weather:

  1. Leave the Heat On - This may seem self-explanatory, but if you’re away overnight or gone for long periods of time, setting your indoor temperature no lower than 55°F helps ensure your pipes aren’t as exposed to the cold.
  2. Insulate Pipes - Though you should always ensure your attic and crawl space are properly insulated year-round, a makeshift quick, and inexpensive way to insulate your pipes would be to wrap pipes in heat take or heat cables with thermostat control. This will work in a pinch, but we recommend properly insulating these high-risk areas.
  3. Seal Cracks and Opening - To prevent drafts, seal or caulk cracks and openings around windows, doors, dryer vents, water pipes. and sill plates.
  4. Open Cabinets - Opening cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom allow for warmer air to circulate around the pipes and plumbing. Just make sure to move any cleaners or household chemicals away from the reach of children.
  5. Keep Garage Doors Closed - Protect your home from being exposed to colder temperatures and shield any water supply lines that may be in the garage by closing the garage door.
  6. Keep Interior Doors Open - For the same purpose of allowing warmer air to circulate around pipes and plumbing, keeping interior doors open helps to spread the warmth.
  7. Let Faucets Drip - Letting cold water drip from a faucet helps to keep water flowing throughout the pipes. As the water flows, even if it’s just a trickle, it helps to prevent pipes from freezing.

If you do find yourself in a water issue due to busted frozen pipes, make sure to call SERVPRO of Birmingham, our water damage professionals are trained and certified to handle any disaster you find yourself in during these colder months.

Preventing Spring Storms Water Damage

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Spring season is coming!

As we prepare to enter into the spring season, it’s important to note what we should be looking for to help minimize the chances of water damage affecting our homes. We when see the transition of seasons to such as spring and fall bring unpredictable weather patterns and this year will be no different. Springtime in the Birmingham area is known for storms and lightning shows. These storms often cause wind and water damage. While we can’t control the weather, we can do our best to ensure our homes are properly prepared for whatever happens. Here are a few things to inspect before the storms hit: 
  • Basement pumps- A working sump pump is crucial for helping to prevent water accumulation in your basement. Consider installing one with an alarm that warns when there is any water accumulation so you can attend to it quickly and prevent secondary water damage.
  • Debris removal- Make sure to clear debris from your gutters, downspouts, and window wells. This allows water to flow away from your home freely instead of flowing back in because of debris buildup.
  • Landscaping- This is an important and often overlooked step. Protruding branches and rotten trees often cause the most damage to homes and structures once strong winds and rain take place. The best way to prevent this is by trimming branches and clearing away trees that are too close to your home.
 These are only a few things to keep in mind to prepare for the spring storms coming our way. If water damage does occur as a result of storms, call SERVPRO of Birmingham to assist with the restoration and prevent secondary water damage such as mold growth.

Remodeling Your Basement to Be Waterproof

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Have you considered remodeling your home?

During the quarantine months, there was a major uptick in DIY home projects and renovations being made throughout the country. If you’re looking to change things up a bit, finishing your basement is one of the most common areas to start. A finished basement is a great place for older children to have their privacy, it can serve as space for a home office, and in some cases, it can even be used as a rented out space to bring in some extra income. However, one of the most common occurrences the crews at SERVPRO of Birmingham see is water damage resulting from finished basements that were not, in fact, finished. A key factor the homeowner missed is making sure their basement was properly waterproofed. Not only does this prevent your basement from flooding and potentially saving you thousands of dollars in the event of a storm or flood by reducing damage, but it also creates a healthier environment in your home and lowers heating and cooling costs. It also goes a long way in protecting your sump pump and preventing structural damage. As we enter into the volatile spring season, we can expect to see more rainwater getting into the basement as a result of storms. If not addressed quickly, water damage of this kind can lead to mold problems and potentially ruin furniture, not to mention, undoing the hard work that came with remodeling your space. The best way to keep your finished basement actually finished is by waterproofing and preventing it in the first place. If you find yourself ankle-deep in water in your basement, you can always call SERVPRO of Birmingham for all your water damage restoration needs. (205) 252-8110

How Extreme Cold Can Effect Your Business

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

This year we've seen colder than normal temps in our area and while we might enjoy a break from the heat, you always want to be prepared for those days of extreme cold temperatures. Did you know that your place of business can become damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health & the health of your customers are also at risk. Based on a report done by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), they estimated that in recent years, U.S. death rates in winter months have been 8 to 12 percent higher than in non-winter months. Much of this increase relates to seasonal changes in behavior and the human body, as well as increased exposure to respiratory diseases. Cold temperatures can also worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. For example, death rates from heart attacks increase as temperatures drop, likely due to the way cold affects blood circulation, blood vessels, and other factors With information like this, you must be aware of what could happen in your business should water damage or fire damage cut off your heat source. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused by long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately. We understand that a loss of heat from an emergency can affect your business. If you experience an emergency, know our team is ready to help you get your business back up and running.

Frozen Pipes in Your Commercial Business

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes in your business can be a big mess. When pipes freeze, they expand and may burst, leading to major water repairs. While our team will always be there to help mitigate these emergencies when they occur, we want to do what we can to provide information to you that can potentially help keep your business out of these situations.

Tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Water conservationists’ frown on allowing faucets to drip, but letting even a small amount of water to flow through pipes at all times can do a lot to prevent pipes from freezing. A steady drip is all that is needed to keep the pipes free from ice accumulation.
  • Many pipes do not have proper insulation to prevent them from freezing in cold weather. Pipe sleeves and heating tape can be applied to insulate the pipes. It is also a good precautionary measure to caulk around gaps where cold drafts can affect pipe temperatures.
  • Shut off any outside water sources that you don't need, especially if you are expecting particularly low temperatures. When a building is left unattended, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat from the room to circulate uninsulated pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes:

  • Hairdryer – This is one of the safest and most effective ways to thaw a pipe. Open the faucet and then heat the pipe by working back toward the area where the blockage has occurred.
  • Space heater – A small heater can work much faster than a hairdryer. Simply direct the heater toward the frozen area of the pipe.

 Make sure you and your employees know where the shut off valve is located. If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage from frozen pipes in your commercial building call SERVPRO of Birmingham as soon as possible.

Holiday Fire Facts

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Backyard porch that has been burned. Wood has been charred  and furniture damaged  Fire at this home caused by an overheated extension cord

The holidays are one of the most wonderful times of the year! Are we right?! There is nothing better than putting up those Holiday lights and having the home feel warm and cozy. Not to be forgotten the rides at night to see all the homes dressed up with holiday lights! No matter what type of decorations we hang up during the holidays, we’re surrounded by electricity! If we aren’t careful, it can be a huge hazard if not used or maintained properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), Holiday fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. SERVPRO of Birmingham what to help keep you safe during this Holiday season, with the help of the NPFA, we’ve pulled together some safety tips for you to keep in mind! Electrical Fire Safety Tips

  • Make sure that there are smoke detectors installed on every floor of the building, inside each room and right outside of every sleeping area to ensure that the alarms can be heard even when sleeping.
  • Test smoke detectors monthly to make sure that they’re working properly and have working batteries.
  • Have your electrical system inspected by a certified professional to make sure that all of the electrical work meets the National Electric Code safety standards.
  • Look and listen for signs of electrical problems such as, flickering or dim lights, buzzing or sizzling sounds from electrical outlets, or insulation and circuit breakers that trip repeatedly. If any of these or any other electrical problems are found, contact a professional as soon as possible for the issue to be inspected.
  • Avoid overloading outlets with too many electronics. Consider having more outlets or circuits installed by a professional.
  • In homes with children, install tamper-resistant devices to keep children from getting electrical shocks or burns.
  • Create an evacuation plan that can be used in the event of a fire.

Our team understands that there is nothing worse than being out of the home for the holidays. We know this time of year is filled with traditions and creating memories. Make sure to follow all the tips we’ve complied together but also if an emergency occurs inside your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to help you get back to your holiday traditions!

Commercial Mold Damage Tips

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Birmingham, AL.  

  1. Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
  2. Protect Yourself  - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
  3. Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 205.252.8110

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Keep your Halloween season spooky and fun!

Unfortunately, symbols of Halloween and activities while fun can also present fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware. Planning ahead, you can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. Taking simple fire safety precautions like keeping decorations far away from open flames and using battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns can help ensure your holiday remains festive and fun.  From the National Fire Protection Association, here are five Halloween fire safety tips:

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
  • When choosing costumes, stay away from the long trailing fabric.
  • Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper.
  • Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costumes.
  • Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly.

Everyone here at SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to ensure your Halloween is safe and fun! Follow these steps to enjoy your Halloween season. In the case of an emergency, know that the team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is going to work around the clock to help keep your Halloween season a good one! Give our team a call at 205.252.8110

Preparing for the Floods

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Green Toyota SUV in front of a collapsed tan commercial build Team Wilson is part of a larger Storm Team that can handle any emergency

Are You Ready for a Flood?

Hurricane season is in full force right now. This season we have already had two hurricanes hit our coastline at the same time. Texas and Louisiana both were ravaged head-on but both these storms continued into the states bringing a lot of rain. Many times when moments like this occur, our cities and towns are able to hand the onslaught of rain due to the fact it may not be typical to get so much in such a little time. Being only at the beginning of the hurricane season, we thought it is important to make sure to share some flood preparedness tips with you. Below are some tips which were provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to help you prepare your home or business for a flood.

Before the Flood:

  • Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel is susceptible to flooding.
  • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

During the Flood:

  • Turn off all utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water.  Even six inches or moving water can make you fall.

After the Flood:

  • Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters.  Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.  Water may also be electrically charged.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

 As always, our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is part of the larger, national Brand of SERVPRO Industries. In the event of a storm or flood, our teams have the ability to call in reinforcements from the Wilson Storm Team. Know that you can trust SERVPRO of Birmingham to put your home or business back together, “Like it never even happened.”

Heavy Rainfall Brings Water Damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

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!

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.

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

The SERVPRO Advantage

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is not just a local brand, but a national one.

Since its founding in 1967 SERVPRO has expanded to over 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada. Since then SERVPRO has also greatly expanded the array of services we offer. Since those services range from carpet cleaning and deodorization to large scale disaster recovery and with SERVPRO’s 1,700+ locations our collective knowledge and experience are one of the greatest assets SERVPRO has and we know how to use it. SERVPRO locations provide all kinds of support to each other ranging from equipment to people-power and technical advice. Sometimes we might run into an issue that we have not encountered before or possibly elements to a job that prevents our normal methods for jobs. This is when we have been able to rely on the knowledge base which our corporate office and other SERVPRO’s have accumulated. It does not matter what emergency you are facing. From Water Mitigation, Fire Restoration, or Mold Remediation. SERVPRO has the team and backing to handle it all. We are known for taking care of big problems and disasters, but we also are adept at helping people with issues you normally may not know the solution too. If you have an emergency which makes you think “I don’t even know who does this”, try giving us a call.

Why Realtors Should Choose SERVPRO of Birmingham

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Currently, we are in a time where the real estate market is hot. Houses are selling faster than they can be listed. We are seeing interest rates drop to an all-time low and what a better time to have an edge with a reputation for having quality listings whether it be a commercial or a residential listing. SERVPRO of Birmingham understands that you want to move a sale through quickly to get your commission. How your listing looks is everything to a potential buyer and we can assist in making that happen. It doesn’t matter what shape or situation your listing is in, the SERVPRO of Birmingham team can assist you in many different ways to make this sale is quick and the most profitable for you!  Our team can assist you in inspecting a crawl space/attic area for mold, water, or biohazard damage and fix this damage efficiently.  Our team can even assist in estate sales in the case of hoarder cleanouts with optional inventory itemization and cleaning services.   A SERVPRO of Birmingham professional would be happy to attend your next sales meeting to discuss how to recognize the potential for mold and what to do in case of a fire or water emergency.

Why Should you Board-Up?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Board-Ups can Save you Time and Money

If you have experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. Aside from the safety side of choosing to board-up your damage property, it can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process quicker. SERVPRO of Birmingham offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.

In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

Protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.

Keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

Limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Practicing Fire Drills

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Who else used to love fire drill days?!

We all remember those days when fire drills happened in school! Most of us loved them because it was a time to get a small 20-minute break from our classes, unless you had to stand out in the blazing heat or freezing cold, right?! Well did you know that fire drills are not just for schools, they should be practiced by businesses and even with your families in case of an emergency happening! There is nothing better than being prepared ahead of an emergency. It is crucial to the safety of all that everyone knows more than one way to exit your building or home. Important things to cover are a designated meeting spot (a safe distance from the structure where a headcount can be taken to inform first responders of anyone left in the building), and what to do should you not be able to have an escape route.  Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we suggest that you regularly perform a “fire drill” so that the plan is understood and walked through. That your peers or family members know what to do and how to keep themselves and others safe. If disaster should strike your home or business, know that SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready 24/7, 365. Call us at 205.252.8110 to help walk with you through the cleanup and repairs if an emergency happens in your home or commercial business. Call us, Birmingham!

How to Prevent Fire Damage from Grills

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Black grill that has caught fire with red flames on the porch of a black home Understanding grill safety could mean the difference between good food or a burnt home

Spring is almost upon us here in the Birmingham, AL area!

We all know what that means, it is time to fire up those grills! We all love the smells of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs but if you aren’t careful, that smell you are experiencing could be the smell of fire damage! SERVPRO of Birmingham has seen fire damage and smoke damage caused by the early celebrations of springtime. Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills? According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 64% of households own a gas grill, 44% own a charcoal grill and 9% own an electric grill. A good grill master knows that being unaware of grill safety can be a factor for seasonal fires. Below are some tips we got from our friends at Nationwide to ensure your grill season is a safe one! Grill Safety Tips:

  • Grill away from any structure.
  • Make sure your grill is stable.
  • Keep your grill clean.
  • Check for propane leaks.
  • If the flame goes out, wait five minutes before relighting.
  • Keep an eye on what is going on around the grill.
  • Be cautious when using a charcoal starter fluid.
  • Don't wear loose clothing or clothing that can dangle.
  • Be prepared to put out a fire.

If your property is affected by fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110.

Removing Malodors in a Commercial Business

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Have you experienced flooding or water damage in your Commercial business?

 These issues can leave unwelcome and defiantly unwanted odors in the air. This odor is most always displeasing to customers, employees or yourself. Based on the source of the issue, we have 5 tips to help solve the problem: 

1. Ventilate the Building and Evaluate the Situation - Allows any lingering scents to disperse through a window, if possible. You can then work to identify and locate any centralized, problematic scents. If sewage loss is causing the odor, it’s best to stay away from the contaminated water and contact SERVPRO of Birmingham to mitigate.

2. Dry Wet Carpeting and Flooring - Carpet holds moisture and it could be the source of the scent. A wet and dry vacuum, which can be rented if needed, can shampoo the carpet and then dry it afterward. This sanitizes the area to potentially remove some of the smell.

3. Scrub Moldy Surfaces - Mold growth left alone will continue to reproduce and spread along with its musty odor

4. Spray Furniture and Upholstery - Furniture can be sprayed and scrubbed. Porous materials are likely not able to be fully cleaned this way since the fungus settles within.

5. Consult Professionals for Extensive Cleanup - There are many instances that commercial-grade machines will need to be used to remove the malodor. An expert SERVPRO technician can help remove problems caused by floodwater and/or other water damage. When dealing with flood odors, most do-it-yourself remedies will fix only the symptom. Trust the help from SERVPRO of Birmingham where we can assist you to remove most of the unwanted smells alongside any mold growth or other nuisance.

Hotel Fire Damage Services

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a hotel can be a catastrophic incident. 

A challenge during a Hotel fire restoration is the inconvenience to the guests, leaving rooms with soot and smoke damage. SERVPRO of Birmingham uses a multi-step approach to minimize the damage and eliminate the odor as quickly as possible and with minimal interruption to your guests. Mitigation - Our technicians work to secure your hotel and prevent further secondary damage. This can include board-ups, establishing the temporary source of electricity and emergency drying of the structures that are wet after fire-fighting procedures. Structural Cleaning - Cleaning is one of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming steps in the restoration process. SERVPRO technicians use some of the best equipment and chemicals to clean the smoke and soot residues from your hotel. Our priority is to restore rather than to replace it.  Contents Cleaning - The contents of your hotel that are covered in smoke and soot are cleaned by SERVPRO professionals. While some contents can be cleaned on-site, other situations may require the contents to be moved to another site for cleaning and restoration. We ensure all contents are appropriately transported and cleaned while at our office cleaning location Specialty Restoration - Some content such as furniture, expensive artwork or upholstery needs special cleaning done by experts. 

Process of Fire Restoration

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire damage, preparation is the key.

The first 48 hours after a fire often can be the difference between "restoring" vs. "replacing" your property and/or personal items. SERVPRO of Birmingham provides timely response with restoration services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal, to content claims inventory and document restoration.

If you have experienced fire damage in your home or business, here is what to expect from us:

One Hour: Within one hour from notice of loss, a priority responder will contact you.

Four Hours: Within four hours of loss notification, our certified technicians will be onsite to assess the damage.

Eight Hours: Within eight hours of on-site arrival, certified technicians will be working neatly and efficiently to clean, restore, and deodorization. Pre-cleaning for restoration, to prevent any further damage from soot and smoke.

Detailed Explanation: A trained and uniformed technician will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome. We then use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your home or business is back to normal in an appropriate timeframe.

Final Walk-through: After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

What to do when your pipes freeze

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Lately, freezing weather has finally been hitting the Shelby and Jefferson County areas! The best thing you can do is know how to keep your pipes from freezing before those below freezing temperatures hit. While common during this time of year, frozen pipes are preventable.   SERVPRO® of Birmingham wants to offer some tips on how to keep this from happening in your home or business. Below Consumer Reports listed ways to help prevent your pipes from freezing and what you should do if freezing does occur.

How to prevent frozen pipes

Some of the steps experts recommend may go against your better instincts of conserving water and heat, but the extra expense is nothing compared with a hefty repair bill. Here’s what to do: 

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
  • Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
  • If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.

What to do if frozen pipes occur

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the mainline enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.) 

  • Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Knowledge to Handle a Commercial Water Damage

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Birmingham understands that Commercial property water damages have their own challenges.

This does not mean you need to be worried when an emergency does occur because we have certified technicians who understand the importance of getting your commercial property back up to normal as soon as possible. Our trained technicians work quickly to assess the situation, communicate a cleanup and drying plan, and start work immediately. We have the necessary resources to handle any size job. We understand that quick and efficiency must happen to minimize damage and to resume operations as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Birmingham has a large loss team specifically trained and ready to go in event of a large loss. If your commercial property experiences a water damage emergency call SERVPRO® of Birmingham. Our teams are readily available to make your property “Like it never even happened.” Our teams are staffed with highly trained technicians in property restoration under IICRC industry certifications, our teams are equipped with the education to restore your property.

Top Causes of Commercial Fires

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Room charred by fire. Walls have black fire damage with a roof which has collapsed Commercial Property Destroyed by Fire

Fire damage to your commercial business can be catastrophic. It does not matter what your business does, it can mean downtime, loss of goods, costly equipment loss, loss of property, or worse. A fire can quickly move through a building and even put your team at risk. If you are not prepared it can be a situation that escalates faster than you are ready to handle. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen or if it does, how it can be handled quickly and effectively. Below the United States Fire Administration has listed the top five leading causes of a commercial fire. 

Top causes of fires in commercial buildings

According to data from the United States Fire Administration, between 2006 and 2015, the top causes of fires in commercial buildings were: 

Cooking

Cooking is a huge danger, and it was a culprit behind 30,900 fires within the past decade. This is why it is so important to install fire alarms and a sprinkler system in your kitchen to prevent against the worst! 

Unintentional and Careless Behavior

This is a broad category. Unintentional and careless behavior, better known as accidents, caused more than 10,900 fires. While it’s hard to stop people from being careless, business owners and property managers can’t afford to be. 

Arson

Intentionally set fires represented 9,800 of the total fires in these properties. 

Electrical malfunction

Problems with the electricity or wiring in a building caused around 7,000 fires in the past decade. 

Heating problems

Problematic HVAC systems are the culprit behind about 6,000 commercial fires nationwide. 

Trust that SERVPRO of Birmingham keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. So our team will work around the clock to make sure it is “Like it never even happened,” and your business is back up and running!

Turkey Fryer Tips & Tricks

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

A fireman dressed in tan fire gear is putting out a fire with large flames in a fryer that is on a wood surface Alabaster Fire Department puts out a fryer fire caused by a frozen turkey

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there is nothing better than a deep-fried turkey during the holidays! Unfortunately, that also means a rise in house fires. It is estimated that 1000 house fires that occur during the holidays are related to turkey fryers.  Our friends at the Alabaster Fire Department shared a few things to be mindful of when you are preparing your Thanksgiving meal to keep yourself from having a house fire:

  • Keep outdoor deep-fryers off decks, out of garages, and a safe distance from trees and buildings.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking
  • Place the fryer on a level surface 
  • Follow the manufacture instructions 
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Turn the burner off before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  • Once finished, remove the pot from the burner; place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing of.

The Alabaster Fire Department also helped demonstrate what could happen during a turkey fryer fire if you aren’t careful in this Turkey Fryer Tips & Tricks videoSERVPRO of Birmingham wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday. In the unfortunate event of fire or smoke damage, we are available 24/7. Call us Birmingham, 205.252.8110

Commercial Water Damage

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

water on this commercial building floor with shelving on sides When a commercial business experiences water damage it not only slows production time but can damage the goods used to operate

Downtime means money lost!

Here are SERVPRO of Birmingham, we understand that when a commercial water emergency occurs in your business it is important that the issues is mitigated quickly and efficiently. During these emergencies, it is not just the building that needs to be back up and functioning but the materials and equipment you use on a daily basis that allows your business to be successful.  

SERVPRO of Birmingham has the ability to save things like office furniture, desk, and even sensitive information that may be stored in the office with our Document Restoration. We are in the business of restoring these items that may have been damaged during your water emergency. We always attempt to salvage anything damaged because we understand that it can keep the cost down for you and the insurance company as well the value it has to your company. If an item can be saved or restored it is worth the time to do so.  

SERVPRO of Birmingham works tirelessly to treat each of your items with special care to protect. Our team is trained to keep your items from damage while we do work. Our content specialists team does wonders with your clean-up on all types of materials.  

Trust that SERVPRO of Birmingham keeps in mind that time down for your business, is money lost. So our team will work around the clock to make sure it is “Like it never even happened.” and your business is back up and running!

Facts about Smoke and Soot Damange

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage can cause a long-lasting odor in your home

Smoke and soot can cause hidden damage and odor. Our Production Techs are experts when it comes to smoke damage who can accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a plan of action.   Facts about Smoke and Soot

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

 Different Types of Smoke Did you know there are actually different types of smoke? There is what is called wet smoke and dry smoke! Check out the two types below in more detail. Wet Smoke // Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke // Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore, smoke rises.

 Protein Fire Residue // Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Storm Damage Types

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storms have caused damage to this home's roof due to high winds by tearing away the shingles High winds from a storm can be the reason your roof has damage

Not all Storm Damage is Created Equal!

During storm season in Birmingham, AL we see a wide range of storm types. We see heavy rains, flooding, tornadoes and then wrapping all of those into one hurricane! Any one of these storm types could easily cause damage to your home or business. These damages can keep us from feeling like our home is complete or keeping us from running a business that contributes to our livelihood. No matter what your scenario, It is important to know the different damages that a storm can cause. Wind Damage Storm damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof due to strong winds that may loosen flashing. This can cause your roof shingles to be removed from your home or business causing leaks. Even a subtle roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions. A SERVPRO of Birmingham restoration expert can help property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively. Flooding Damage Heavy rains in the Birmingham, AL area can cause river flooding all around the Jefferson and Shelby County areas. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems which call for experts to assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Our SERVPRO of Birmingham team can assist in your cleanup process after flood damage has occurred.  Lighting Damage When a storm occurs, many times it brings the loud sounds of thunder which mean lighting is striking. Your home or business may have objects attached to the building that can attract a lightning strike that can cause a fire. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of roughly 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightning strikes, or discharges of massive charges of static electricity, cause about 2% of all fires. If this occurs in your home or business, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the team to help handle the restoration of both the fire and smoke damage.

Be Ready for a Hurricane

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Are You "Hurricane Ready"?

This time of year can always be scary for anyone who lives in the possible path of hurricanes or may have friends and family who do live in a consistent path. Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents and tornadoes all of which can destroy homes, buildings, and roads. It is important to stay ready so you do not find yourself scrambling to brace for the impact. There is always the potential looming that our area could be hit by a hurricane. Living in the Birmingham, AL area, it can be easy to think you don’t need to worry about the potential of a hurricane. Here are a few things to know ahead of a hurricane if one was to head our direction. 

Know the Difference

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. 

How to Prepare

  • Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Always Know the RisksTo find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at www.ready.gov/prepare

Got Mold?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

This home in Birmingham, AL found mold growth in their garage

Mold can be in your home and not even realize it. Whether you see the affected areas or not, here are a few things you can do! First, if you see visible mold, do not mess with it. When mold is disturbed, it can release microscopic mold spores. When this happens mold can circulate inside your home using your HVAC system and any fans you have on. This makes it so the affected areas grow and become larger. Check out what to do and not do.

What Should You Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and ALL fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO® of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Should You Not Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold

SERVPRO® of Birmingham specializes in mold remediation. We use specialized equipment and techniques to properly clean and resolve your mold problem quickly and safely. The safety and health of you and your family are our biggest concern. If you have mold in your home or business, give SERVPRO® of Birmingham a call at 205.252.8110

Always Be Looking for Water Damage

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water rings in your ceiling or walls is a sign of water damage

Water damage can be very detrimental to your home or business

The problem is the longer you wait after having water damage the more damage you are actually causing to your home or business. When you have water damage the best thing to do is shut off the water source that is causing the damage. If the damage is coming from something you are unable to cut off them you may need to contact a plumber in your area. Once this is completed then you want to call the professional experts here at SERVPRO® Birmingham to come out and assess the problem. It doesn’t matter the size of the damage we will be able to help get it under control.Water damage can be difficult to spot but some signs you can look for in your home and business:
  • Water rings on your ceiling or walls
  • Soft or sagging on your ceiling or walls
  • Wet or soggy carpets
  • Warping in your wood flooring
The best thing to do is call an expert right away before the problem gets worse. Our highly trained technicians are waiting for your call. We have our specialized equipment ready to use to get to your emergency mitigated as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse, call our highly trained team at SERVPRO® of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

HVAC Condensation Can Cause Water Damage

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

A leaking condensation pipe from an HVAC system A broken condensation pipe causes water damage in the home

High temps mean more condensation from your HVAC

When your HVAC creates condensation, that water needs somewhere to go and those lines can become clogged quickly. This can cause your emergency line to either break or your drop pan to overfill and that water needs somewhere to go!So what should you do if this happens causing water damage?

  • Call an HVAC company to service your unit. This is probably the easiest and most efficient method, but unfortunately the most expensive.
  • Check to make sure your primary condensation line, usually located near the ground outside the home in an area of high foot traffic, is slowly dripping water when your HVAC is on.
  • If your primary line is not dripping check the secondary line, usually located somewhere like above a window or door as to be more noticeable when dripping.
  • If the primary, or both lines, are not dripping while the unit is on, find a way to flush out or remove the potential blockage. The cleanout will usually be located close to the HVAC main unit. Make sure you thoroughly research how to properly clear your lines before attempting to!
  • Check your HVAC unit drip pan, make sure it has no holes or rust around it. If it is damaged you may need to have it replaced.

SERVPRO® Birmingham will come out and perform a free moisture inspection on your Birmingham residence or commercial property if you believe you may have had a potential accident. We get an estimate to you or begin communication with your insurance. If you HVAC leaking, call SERVPRO® of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

4th of July Safety Tips

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

4th of July in Birmingham, AL is always one of the cities favorite times. From the fireworks booming over Vulcan all the way down to the entire City of Alabaster, AL celebrating in parking lots and pools as the night sky is lit up. Gathering with family and friends gather around for food, festivities, and fun. It can be easy to just get lost in all the fun going on but this can be one of the most dangerous times of the year with things such as fireworks, sparklers, bonfires, and BBQ's becoming possible fire damage. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham has some reminders and safety tips to ensure this 4th is the best and safest it can be!  

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. 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.

  • Wear protective eye and hand gear
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets
  • Always have a bucket of water nearby
  • Keep unused fireworks in a closed box
  • Make sure all spectators are 25 to 40 feet away

If you do have 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 are 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

Have you Checked on your Toilet Lately?

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

An unchecked toilet can go from good to bad quickly

Many times the toilet in your home can be the last thing you think about causing water damage. As they age, however, the components that allow it to function properly can jam or malfunction, causing several potential problems. While some of these might be a drawn-out refilling process that can affect your monthly water bill, more severe consequences might include overflowing of the reservoir when the float mechanism does not engage.

Overflowing reservoirs might not affect your Birmingham home but it does often require professional water removal and recovery. Even with noticing the problem shortly after it begins, an instance like this can quickly cover the bathroom floor and affect cabinetry and the vanity as well. Our SERVPRO® professionals can understand the importance of reacting quickly to this situation.

The tile or laminate flooring likely installed in your bathroom can resist penetration from the pooling water, but saturation can still occur with these materials if the problem does not get addressed quickly enough. While each plank or tile itself works to resist absorbing the moisture, seams and grout joints are more penetrable. To protect your flooring from extensive damage, extraction must begin shortly after the situation gets discovered.

Our SERVPRO® of Birmingham professionals can arrive with high-powered extraction equipment for severe damages like our gas-powered units. For smaller pools, we can also bring in our portable sump pumps and extraction wands. Once the excess has gotten removed from the flooring, we can set up our advanced drying equipment to protect and preserve exposed cabinetry, fixtures, and flooring. We can double check our drying efforts with our thermal imagery cameras to detect lingering moisture pockets that require added attention.

As traumatic as an overflowing reservoir might seem, the right professional assistance can make this water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Give SERVPRO® of Birmingham a call anytime disaster strikes at 205.525.8110

Taking on Storms with Technology

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Free ERP App for your home or business

These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.govsuggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile®SERVPRO® of Birmingham is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency.By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App.  Get in touch with SERVPRO® of Birmingham today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business! Call us, Birmingham!

SERVPRO of Birmingham's Drying Equipment

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture Meters (like the one above) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.

Small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our SERVPRO of Birmingham technicians. Moisture Sensors - Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls. Moisture Meters - Used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Birmingham to monitor the drying process. Thermohygrometers - Measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized. Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers - Atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. Thermal Foggers - Dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach. Call us Birmingham, we have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 205.252.8110

7 Tips to Prevent Mold in your Commercial Business

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Why should you worry about mold in your building? According to OSHA, some mold, over time, may cause structural damage to wood along with damage to furnishings and finishes. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your business.

#1: Clean Out the Refrigerator

It can be difficult to keep track of shared refrigerators. Some people will always remember to clear out their leftovers, others won’t. Old food storage containers are a perfect breeding ground for mold. Over time, mold can travel to the shelving and even outside the refrigerator. Consider instituting an office refrigerator policy. If something is left in the fridge by a certain time each week, it goes in the garbage.

#2: Look for And Repair Leaks

Leaks from plumbing, windows, roofs, and more can lead to significant water damage in your business as well as an increased risk of mold growth. If you aren’t regularly inspecting your property, it’s easy for these leaks to go unchecked until they create a larger, more costly problem. Watch for telltale signs of a leak such as lower water pressure; wet spots on the floors, ceilings, or walls; and condensation around window sills and in attic spaces.

#3: Keep It Clean

It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in work and let clutter take over his or her workspace. However, clutter creates lots of hiding spots for crumbs and dust, which are both great food sources for mold. Make sure to clear the clutter and wipe down hard surfaces regularly. Make sure to promptly clean all spills as well. Clean and sanitize break rooms and bathrooms frequently. Both rooms provide ample opportunity for mold growth. These rooms should be cleaned at least weekly depending on how regularly people use each room.

#4: Turn on the AC/Dehumidifier

Leaks aren’t the only way for moisture to accumulate in your business. High humidity levels can lead to moisture and mold as well. On hot days, fans can cool you off, but they don’t do much for humidity levels. Run your AC or a dehumidifier to cut down the humidity in the building.

#5: Clean out Trash Cans

While you might switch out the liners regularly, can you remember the last time you washed out the trash cans? It’s easy for bits of food and condensation to sneak beneath liners into the can, which is all mold needs to grow. Try washing out office wastebaskets about once a month to prevent mold growth.

#6: Take Care of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can quickly distribute mold spores throughout your building if there is a problem. Make sure your HVAC system receives regular inspections. Sometimes moisture condenses inside air ducts or leaks drip onto ducts from ceiling tiles, which can lead to mold growth inside the ducts. Make sure to keep the HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Additionally, replace your filters as needed.

#7: Slope the Ground Away from the Foundation

If the ground around your building slopes toward the foundation, water can accumulate and weaken your building’s structure. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for mold to grow. The ground should slope away from the building. You should also make sure your building follows the local building codes for drainage. Mold is persistent. Even if you follow all the right steps it’s still possible for mold to grow and spread in your building. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we have the right experience in mold remediation to make your place of business “Like it never even happened.” Unfortunately, mold doesn’t stay put, it grows quickly. You’ll want to give us a call as soon as you notice it, so we can start the remediation process. Our technicians have the training, equipment, and knowledge necessary to help locate and remediate mold efficiently. If you find mold in your place of business, call us Birmingham at 205.282.8110

Fire Safety for Pets

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Pets can be considered family, too!

At any given moment, a fire emergency can take place in the North Houston area or abroad, and though unexpected; it can be beneficial to already have a plan in place for everyone in your home to evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can also spend some time on pet preparation so that you can have a better chance of getting your pets out of danger as well. You can be better prepared to keep your pets safe during a fire emergency by following these safety tips:

Practice Evacuating 

In the confusion caused by a fire, it can be hard to think of everything you need to do right away. If you have a plan in place and practice it a few times, you can be better prepared to handle a fire emergency. This can not only be helpful for pet safety, but also for the safety of everyone in your household. 

Notice Where Your Pets Are 

An important part of the planning process can be noticing where your pets usually spend their time. It can be especially helpful to note where they hide when frightened. You don’t want to put yourself at risk by spending too much time searching for your dog or cat during a fire emergency, but you can be better prepared to get yourself and your pets out as soon as possible by having a checklist of areas you can look. 

Keep Collars and Leashes Handy

Fires can be especially frightening to pets. By keeping their collars and leashes handy, you can more easily guide them out of the house. If you are unable to find them, it can be easier for the fire department to get them out if they are wearing collars. It can be a good idea to hang leashes by the door you are planning to evacuate through. Call us Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Flood Water Facts

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding can be disastrous

During this time of year, we see a lot of rain in the Birmingham, AL area. Across the United States though, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is always potential for flood damage Though you may have never experienced a flood in the past, there’s no level of security to assure that you will not in the future. Did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.  According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following safety tips:

Stay away from floodwaters

If you approach 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 of your feet.

Driving on a flooded road

turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and water 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.

Always be prepared and ready. 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. SERVPRO of Birmingham is prepared to handle any size disaster. The sooner work begins; the sooner your home or business can return “Like it never even happened.” Call us Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Handling Heavy Rains in Birmingham, AL

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is here in Birmingham, AL!

We all love the warmer weather, fresh cut lawns, and spring flowers but we all know, spring in the South brings a lot of rain! Springtime can be challenging to our homes, businesses, and landscaping. Many times the rain can bring backed up sewage, holes in our roofs that lead to water damage and flooding the basements. SERVPRO of Birmingham thought it would be important to share some safety tips with you regarding heavy rains and flooding so you can keep the water mitigation to a minimum this season. 

Heavy Rain Tips

  1. Check your Roof-Look for current damage and areas that look vulnerable to leaks. Repair these as soon as possible. If need be, call a roofer to perform the inspection and the repairs.
  2. Trim Foliage-Plants and trees with overgrown branches can pose a danger to your household in harsh winds and rain.
  3. Waterproof Windows-Check the edges of your window sills to see if they need a waterproof sealer or rubber on the edges.
  4. Clear out Gutters-It is important that these are clear in case of heavy rain to prevent any possible flooding. You should check your gutters a couple of times throughout the year as the wind tends to carry leaves and debris into the gutters blocking the water from flowing freely.

Remember, it is very important to keep an eye on these things because a small leak can cause a lot of damage. SERVPRO of Birmingham is always here to help! Call us Birmingham at (205) 252-8110

Why is Board Up Important?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Completed job after the adjacent home caught fire caused damage leading to board up

If your property in Birmingham, AL has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier.  SERVPRO of Birmingham offers full-service restoration specialists who can also assist in board-up services.  

Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

  • In a commercial setting, there may still be viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.
  • You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition.
  • You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out to prevent additional damage. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.
  • You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.
Talk to our experts at SERVPRO of Birmingham, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Call us Birmingham at (205) 664-6770.

Why is Our Basement Flooding?

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

This home is Pelham, AL experienced flooding issues in their basement and is an example of what could happen if the right steps are not taken.

During this time of year, Alabama sees an increase in rainstorms. When this happens there is the potential to see flooding in the basement in your Birmingham, AL home. By understanding the usual causes of water retention in the lower floors of your home, you can take the necessary maintenance steps to ensure that your property stays dry for years to come. Check out a few tips we have for you: 

1. Location and Climate Factors A primary cause of excess water is above-average rainfall. Choosing to reside in a coastal area, for example, can increase the risk of a basement flood. Even in dryer climates, laying your home’s foundation on a low-lying or sloped part of the property can cause water to pool under walls and seep through the outer layers of the building. 

2. Basement Drainage Should your home sit near or on the water table, a basement drainage system and sump pump will likely be necessary to prevent excess dampness in the flooring. If the pump system breaks down due to electrical or plumbing problems, contact a qualified professional who can perform wiring or pipe repair. A powered mechanism for removing water from the basement after flooding is the most robust method for the prevention of property damage. 

3. Sources of Leakage Sometimes the biggest issues facing the homeowner lie in the ingress of water. Cracked walls or insufficient sealants and waterproof coatings can allow water that would otherwise drain away to enter the basement. Improperly positioned or damaged gutters and downspouts can divert water toward the house rather than into the yard. Gutters can also become clogged with leaves or other material, causing them to overflow. Gaps in roofing tiles or shingles can also cause undesirable water redirection, especially in periods of extreme rain or snowmelt. Controlling the water volume before it reaches the basement is often the best preventative measure. Following the above checklist of troubleshooting tips will usually stop the problem before it begins. Should you experience unavoidable flooding and require basement cleanup and decontamination, contact SERVPRO of Birmingham where we specialize in that process to avoid potential health hazards.

Are You Prepared for a Thunderstom?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

During this time of year in Birmingham, AL we can experience a lot of rain, which can lead to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens. 

Protect your electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for power outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Go inside when you hear thunder

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes. 

Keep an emergency kit ready

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. If you have an emergency does strike your home during a thunderstorm, SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to help get your life back to normal. Call us Birmingham, (205) 664-6770

The Fire Restoration Process

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage is probably the last thing on your mind, but you may want to move it up on your list of priorities; preparation is the key. The first 48 hours after a fire often makes the difference between ‘restoring’ vs. ‘replacing’ your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Birmingham provides a timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal, to content claims inventory and document restoration.  

Here is a timeline to help ease your mind of what should be done before and after SERVPRO of Birmingham arrives: 

One Hour

Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Birmingham professional will contact you to arrange for service. 

Four Hours

Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of Birmingham technician will be onsite to start mitigation services. 

Detailed Explanation

A trained and uniformed SERVPRO of Birmingham employee will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome. 

Pretesting

A SERVPRO of Birmingham employee will begin pretesting for restoration, working from the source of the damage outward. 

Eight Hours

Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person. 

Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization

SERVPRO of Birmingham will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property. We then use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Final Walk-through

After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction. SERVPRO of Birmingham responds quickly, offering a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services to help you return home as soon as possible. Before risking further damage by attempting to clean up the damage on your own, call the fire damage clean up and restoration professionals. Call us Birmingham, (205) 664-6770

Residential Lighting Damage Happens More than You Think

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Strikes happen an average of twice a year

Home Lightning Strikes happen roughly twice a year!

Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we can help you with fire damages caused by lightning strikes. When the lightning hits a residence, it travels through the electrical lines to one of the home’s electrical boxes, which can catch fire. These fires can leave severe damage, including smoke damage to your home. SERVPRO of Birmingham’s mitigation team has the ability to do a chem-sponge technique that was used to clean soot off of the walls. In doing this, SERVPRO of Birmingham can ensure that no fire damage or smoke damage goes untreated. If needed, affected walls in all damaged rooms can be painted after the cleanup is completed and drywall replaced where necessary. Our professional in-house crew use a white-glove treatment on your residence and completed the entire project quickly; from the first contact to completion Here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we are proud to serve the residents of Birmingham, AL, especially when the worst happens. Why chose SERVPRO? Because in the event of fire damage or water damages large or small, we’re here to help. Call us Birmingham at (205) 664-6770

Getting Rid of Unpleasant Odors in your Home

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Our equipment is designed to treat your home of unwanted odors

Don’t live a life full of unpleasant smells

Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Birmingham provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products SERVPRO of Birmingham uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include: Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors. Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, crime scene situations, and animal odors. Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors. Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority. Fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Birmingham is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us, Birmingham at (205) 664-6770 

SERVPRO of Birmingham Can Handle Hoarding Cleanup

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Hoarding can be a sensitive situation

What is “Hoarding Disorder

According to The American Psychiatric Association ""People with hoarding disorder excessively save items that others may view as worthless. They have persistent difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces.Hoarding is not the same as collecting. Collectors look for specific items, such as model cars or stamps, and may organize or display them. People with hoarding disorder often save random items and store them haphazardly. In most cases, they save items that they feel they may need in the future, are valuable or have sentimental value. Some may also feel safer surrounded by the things they save.Hoarding disorder occurs in an estimated 2 to 6 percent of the population and often leads to substantial distress and problems functioning. Some research show hoarding disorder is more common in males than females. It is also more common among older adults--three times as many adults 55 to 94 years are affected by hoarding disorder compared to adults 34 to 44 years old” Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H. in July 2017 via www.psychiatry.org

What is Hoarding?

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

How can SERVPRO of Birmingham Help?

SERVPRO of Birmingham encounters hoarding situations in several different ways. We may be called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. We will communicate with the insurance company regarding the customer's contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored in our temporary storage in our warehouse so work on the fire or water loss can begin. Another way SERVPRO of Birmingham encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, caseworkers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well. Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Birmingham is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call us Birmingham at (205) 664-6770

What are those Noisy Water Pipes Saying?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

What is that noise?!

We all know the noises our home makes. That cracking when it is quiet, the sound of someone walking around in the attic or the quiet drip of the shower even hours after it has been used. Our homes all have a set of familiar noises! However, not all those sounds can be good for your home or your wallet! Especially, the sounds coming from your water pipes may be a warning. While a whistling faucet may simply require a new washer to quiet down, if you have a hissing, whistling sound in multiple fixtures and a hammering noise coming from your pipes, you could be headed for a pipe break! Residential water pressure is usually around 80 psi, but sometimes municipalities have to increase pressure for nearby non-residential facilities. When this happens in the Birmingham, AL area the increased water pressure can damage your home’s plumbing. In addition to the irritation of noisy pipes, high water pressure can:

  • Erode pipes
  • Reduce life expectancy of fixtures
  • Increase water bills
  • Result in leaks
  • Cause a pipe burst

What’s Causing the Noises?

As a large amount of water is forced through fixture openings designed to handle a lower flow, it makes a whistling sound, just like forcing a large amount of air through pursed lips causes a whistling sound. When water suddenly stops flowing through pipes, the momentum causes it to slam around inside the pipe, which causes a clanging or banging sound. Your plumbing has built-in air chambers to prevent this from happening, but when water pressure is higher than normal, the chambers aren’t enough to prevent the hammering sound. The longer you wait to address high water pressure in your home, the more likely it is to cause a pipe break.

What To Do About High Pressure

If you suspect your water pressure is too high, call a plumber in Birmingham, AL area to test the pressure for you. A device called a pressure regulating valve, or PRV can be installed to control the water pressure inside your home. Hiring a professional to prevent a pipe break is far preferable to hiring one to fix a broken pipe inside your walls. SERVPRO of Birmingham wants you to catch an emergency before they occur but if one happens before you can stop it, know that we are ready to help you at a moment’s notice. Our team of highly trained technicians will assess the damages and take the necessary steps to ensure this emergency feels "Like it never even happened." Call us Birmingham at (205) 664-6770

Document Drying Could Save What is Important to You

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's Freeze Drying Chamber

When you experience a flood at your home or place of business, you can't afford to lose important documents or paper goods to water damage. Using state of the art technology, SERVPRO is well equipped to properly dry and recover paper goods ranging from paper files to books to x-rays and photos.

Why use SERVPRO for document restoration?

The SERVPRO document restoration facility uses the latest vacuum free-drying method in addition to gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing. The facility is under 24-hour surveillance and is managed by HIPAA Master-certified technicians to ensure proper safety and privacy of your documents. The SERVPRO document restoration team has the capacity to handle large scale commercial losses and smaller residential jobs.

Are there other services than just document drying?

Yes, there are! In addition to drying your documents, SERVPRO also offers cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization. No matter your document restoration needs, SERVPRO of Birmingham is "Here to Help"!

There's no time to waste! Call SERVPRO of Birmingham today at (205) 664-6770

Any Time, Any Problem, SERVPRO of Birmingham is Ready to Help with Restoration Services

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO?

With any disaster, cleanup can be a hassle in the Birmingham, AL area. The mess left by floods, fires, or mold is a lot to handle by yourself. At SERVPRO of Birmingham, we provide emergency cleaning services for any of these problems. Let us help you get your life back to normal after an emergency. Sometimes the most damaging thing from a fire is the smoke and soot that comes with it. Our cleaning professionals will remove any traces and odor left by smoke and soot after a fire. Getting rid of the mess after a fire is a difficult job, and it requires knowledge and experience to be completely successful. The same is true when it comes to removing mold, mildew, and sewage. With our trusted professionals, you can be sure the damage from any disaster will be minimized as much as possible. Cleaning services from SERVPRO of Birmingham will take care of these messes so you don’t have to! If you’ve already had to deal with the stress of a disaster, let us take the stress out of the cleanup. We are available 24/7 to help with any emergency, at any time. Contact us today, and our professional cleaning services will take care of any emergencies you have. Whether its mold, water, or fire damage, our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham has the most reliable emergency restoration services. We are available any time, day or night, to help with any problem, and you can trust us to do our best work every time. 

Mold Damage

  • Mold grows when water damage has not been dried properly. If you have had previous water damage and are now seeing fuzzy or wet spots of mold somewhere in your home, call us today. The quicker a mold problem is taken care of by our professional restoration team, the less overall damage you will have to deal with.

Water Damage

  • Immense water damage, like a flood from a burst pipe, always happens when you least expect it. Our emergency restoration services are available 24/7 because these emergencies cannot wait. Immediate action must be taken in order to save your home or business. Our trusted team will respond quickly to clean up the mess and lower the possibility of mold growth.

Fire Damage

  • Fires are destructive, as well as the smoke and soot that comes with them. If these problems aren’t taken care of very quickly, the damage will be severe and permanent. Take action instantly after a fire and call our restoration team. We can fix all of the problems that come after a fire, and we do our best work to return your home or business to normal.

No matter what emergency you’re facing, contact us at SERVPRO of Birmingham today at (205) 664-6770 and let our emergency restoration services team take care of it!

Levels of Commercial Damage in Birmingham, AL

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham handles not only residential damage and restoration but commercial as well.

There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:

Level 1

Level 1 is a 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

Level 2 is a 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

Level 3 is a 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, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®

What to Do Until We Arrive During a Fire Damage

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating. It leaves behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Fire damages can affect ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO of Birmingham arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. n Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system
 Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at (205) 644-6770, if you've had a fire or would like to know how we can help in the event you do.

SERVPRO of Birmingham Can Restore Your Commercial Property from Storm Damage

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

What you want is access to a quality restoration company when recovering from storm damage in your Birmingham, AL area business. We have strategically located restoration teams with several years of experience helping businesses just like yours recover from storm damage throughout the area and all of the resources needed to assist you and your neighbors when an emergency situation strikes.

SERVPRO of Birmingham has a special DRT division  (Disaster Ready Team), who expertly trained teams composed of quality water, fire, mold, storm, and major event technicians, designed to assist you with cutting costs and saving time associated with the restoration of your business after a disaster. All of these teams are lead by an operations manager that assists with seamless communication and timely mitigation involving the recovery of your business. Services that SERVPRO of Birmingham provides to every business owner involves the mitigation of the wind, rain, and flood damage that causes substantial damage in a matter of minutes, requiring an immediate response and quick, efficient implementation to prevent excessive loss of revenue and productivity. It does not matter how small or large your property is; SERVPRO of Birmingham has the services, equipment, and personnel available to address the emergency affecting your business. We provide you with access to expertly trained storm and water damage restoration specialists, as well as cleaning and building preparation services to manage your restoration project from start to finish. Any storm can cause severe damage to your property when you are ill-prepared. Give us a call to help fortify your property against the wind, flood, storm, and tornado damage that this type of phenomenon generates. We can help protect your business and get things under control when everything is said and done. Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham at (205) 664-6770 for the professional restoration and cleaning services your company requires.

Preventing Your Pipes from Freezing

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for preventing frozen pipes inside and outside your home

Frozen Pipes Can Burst!

It has been colder here lately in the Birmingham, AL area! When cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter.Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:

  1. Keeping your house warm - If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
  2. Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.
  3. Insulation is key - Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

SERVPRO® of Birmingham is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (205) 664-6770

Birmingham, AL Commercial Property Management: Signs of Sewer Line Issues

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

While a blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties, legitimate concerns over sewer line functionality may be few and far between. However, when major sewer line issues occur, it is essential to remedy the problems quickly to avoid potential backups and structural damage. Be aware of these four signs, which may indicate sewer line problems.

1. Odors

While drain or toilet overflow are frequent problems in commercial properties, you should pay attention to odors surrounding these problems. For instance, if after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line.

2. Clogged Drains

A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility.

3. Indentations in Landscaping

Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots in the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building.

4. Deformations in Landscaping

In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist in the Birmingham, AL area to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered.

A blocked sewer line can wreak havoc on a business and may even lead to significant business interruption. You should be aware of the warning signs of such a problem so that you can resolve the issue as early as possible.

Top Commercial Mold Damage Tips to Remember After a Flood

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

If your home or commercial building recently flooded due to storm damage or some sort of plumbing issues, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your home or business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold in Birmingham, AL. 

Get Rid of Moisture

This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.  

Protect Yourself 

You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, PROTECT YOURSELF by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask. 

Hire a Professional

The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds is properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future. Visit www.SERVPRObirminghamsouth.com for more information on mold removal.

Dealing with Mold

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health issues and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem.

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Containment
Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Birmingham technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing
The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.

Cleaning
SERVPRO of Birmingham cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.

Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major repairs such as reconstruction.

Are You Ready for an Emergency?

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Setting up a quick and simple ERP

As a business owner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. We couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO® of Birmingham realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc.

Emergency Ready Program

Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.


The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage is of no-cost assessment to your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes SERVPRO® of Birmingham as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage clean up in Birmingham, AL

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

During the process of mold remediation, it’s important to protect yourself, and your staff, with the proper safety gear and equipment. If you’re concerned about conducting the procedure yourself, SERVPRO of Birmingham mold remediation specialist may be able to help. The recommendations for a safe cleanup remain the same for everyone involved.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

When cleaning up mold growth it’s important to wear protective clothing. A coverall suit is recommended in most cases, but long sleeves tucked into gloves, and long pants may work just as well. Protective gear is an important tool for keeping any cleaning agents and mold spores off of your skin. If wearing everyday clothing instead of a protective suit, it’s important to launder them in hot water immediately after use.

2. Change Before Entering an Uncontaminated Area

Another way to protect your business is to change out of your safety gear before entering uncontaminated areas. This can help prevent the spread of mold spores into areas where mold growth has not yet occurred. The necessity of changing gear is why many professional use covers for their hair and shoes, as well as wear protective over-suits.

3. Wear a Mask and Goggles

The use of a respirator mask and protective goggles are also recommended. These can help prevent the inhalation of any cleaning fumes, and keep dust or debris common to clean up out of your eyes. The mask and goggles should fit snugly without pinching.

Using the proper equipment when cleaning up mold can help protect everyone, including the cleanup crew and the employees who regularly work in the building. Proper gear can not only help prevent the spread of mold to uncontaminated areas but allow for cleaning solutions to be used safely. If you’re unsure about the proper procedure or don’t want to conduct the cleanup yourself, a professional may be able to help.

Do you have Mold?

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can spread through quickly through a home in as little as 48 hours, in the Birmingham Area!

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
    Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Birmingham! 205-664-6770

Golf Tournament Donations

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Every year we have a customer appreciation golf tournament where our customers come and enjoy a day on the course; everything is provided by SERVPRO. The past few years we had a corporate partnership with the American Red Cross but this year we decided to honor our firefighters in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. 

As part of the golf tournament sponsorship, you could support a firefighter foursome to play in the tournament. We were lucky enough to have almost 10 different fire stations present. We showed our appreciation during our lunch and then gifted them with over 10,000 in sponsorship donations. 

Our sales and marketing representatives have been delivering the checks over the last few weeks. We work very closely with our fire departments and appreciate all they do! We look forward to supporting them even more in the future. 

F1RST Responder Bowl Honoree

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

F1RST Responder Bowl

SERVPRO is proud to be the sponsor of the first-ever First Responder focused bowl game and we extend a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women on the front-lines. Their courage and compassion is inspiring to all. We are grateful to live in a country where individuals dedicate themselves to protecting and serving their fellow citizens. We are humbled by their bravery and thank them for putting their lives on the line in order to save those around them. We thank them for their service and sacrifice. 

The game will be played on December 26th in Dallas, TX. However and broadcast on ESPN; we have an exciting opportunity to take part, here in Birmingham, at the Birmingham Bowl.

We are currently seeking nominees within the Jefferson/Shelby County areas that are worthy of receiving the "Honor a Responder" award. To qualify, the nominee must have served in fire, police/law enforcement, EMT, National Guard, disaster relief, or military. This includes anyone who has been injured and returned to work, has saved lives during their career, entered retirement (but had served their community for many years), trained or mentored fellow First Responders, or has lost their life in the line of duty (their family members are encouraged to receive the award on their behalf). The nominee shall be someone who has accomplished something remarkable in 2018. The winner of this award, as well as their family and friends, will be given tickets to the Birmingham Bowl on December 22nd and will receive media recognition.  

Please forward your nomination, to include the name, affiliation or department, and the reason you feel they deserve this award, via email to; marketing@servrpoofbirmingham.com. The deadline is Friday, November 30th. The winner will be chosen by our corporate office. If you would like additional information please contact our marketing support coordinator, Adam West, at 205-664-6770. 

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to bestowing a local First Responder with this honor for years to come. Because when we lift up those we depend on, we strengthen our ability to serve - our ability to make the memories of Fire & Water Damage "Like it never even happened." ®

Prepare Now

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.

Make and Practice Your Plan Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.

Learn Life Saving Skills Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.

What to do until help arrives:

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO of Birmingham South arrives. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

-Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

-Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. n Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

-If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

-Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

-If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

-Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Safety Environmental

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fungal organisms can grow and multiply wherever suitable conditions of moisture and a food source exist. Common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold problems include flooding, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, overflow from sinks or sewers and damp basements or crawl spaces. Warping floors and discoloration of walls and ceilings can be indications of moisture problems. Unchecked moisture problems can lead to extensive mold contamination in your home, workplace or school.

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA-LAP) Proficient Mold Laboratory
  • Preliminary Indoor Mold and Bacterial Assessments
  • Post Remediation Mold and Bacterial Assessments
  • Black Water/Sewage Screen Assessments
  • Cause and Origin Insurance Assessments
  • Remediation Project Management/Oversight
  • Remediation/Design Specifications
  • Food Service Assessments

If mold spore concentrations are high, people can become sensitized and develop allergic reactions. Symptoms of mold-overexposure include respiratory problems, eye irritation and skin rashes. In addition, if mold growth is left unchecked, structural damage to the facility can occur.

Safety, Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Services, Inc. specializes in assessing mold growth and contamination. We have performed indoor air quality assessments for residences, businesses and schools throughout the United States. In addition, we can make recommendations for the remediation of your mold problem and perform turnkey project management to insure the problem is corrected.

selcinc.com

Power Outages

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Power Outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent use of medical devices.

PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.

  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS: 

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Hurricane Season

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Know the Difference
Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

What to do:

Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical
information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- 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 of your feet.
- If you come upon 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.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

via redcross.org

Defense Against Mold Growth

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent. 

Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations.

Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.

Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.

Respond to all water intrusions immediately.

Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.

Contact SERVPRO® of Birmingham South for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold.

It's the water you don't see [Part One]

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Birmingham South have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Birmingham South will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO® of Birmingham South:

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® of Birmingham South to monitor the drying process.

It's the water you don't see [Part Two]

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Birmingham South can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Birmingham South has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

WHY SERVPRO?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

In early October, a pipe broke in the ceiling over the weekend, causing water to flood and damage much of our 5,000 sq. ft. training center. We had a leadership seminar scheduled there in just a few days with clients flying in from as far as Australia. Our property manager called SERVPRO® and I coordinated with the local Franchise to work out the repairs to be done to our offices. The crew chief and his staff were prompt, professional and kept every commitment they made to us. This was essential as our offices are called “The Elite Center” because of the high-end furnishings and decor we have throughout. They listened and understood the importance of our deadlines and were able to get the offices in working order for the upcoming seminar, and then returned to do the “heavy lifting” and complete the work for an even larger seminar that began in three weeks: all was done on time. I have purposely waited to make sure all the repairs they did held up before writing you, and to see if we have any aftercare problems that we’d need addressed, but there weren’t any. They got it right the first time. As you’re aware, the stress one endures going through a catastrophic loss experience can either be elevated or diminished, based on the quality of the people one is working with to rectify the matter. To that end, SERVPRO® excelled. I recommend them to everyone I find that needs their services, and will continue to do so.

-Dave, CA

How To Prepare For Hurricane Season

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

Birmingham Commercial Water Loss

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

A local restaurant called SERVPRO of Birmingham South regarding a water loss where their sprinkler system burst causing damage throughout the kitchen and adjoining rooms. The water was extracted, all areas were treated and equipment was set. Luckily, this job only needed a few days of drying. The restaurant is in a very populated area with a lot of traffic so getting them back to normal needed to happen rather quickly. 

We know that no one plans on this happening but we want to be top of mind if it does. SERVPRO of Birmingham South has trained professionals, who care about your business or home as if it is their own. This can be a tough time for you and your family. Give us a call if you need us, 205-664-6670

University Tornado Damage 2018

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

As stated in a previous blog we had tornadoes through Alabama and our Large Loss Division has been working around the clock to help a local university get everything back in order. 

As of today they have been working over 40 days  on this job with mitigation services and that includes the 30 plus buildings affected. Part of the cleaning includes 'grounds' work, cleaning up the campus of debris and downed trees. A local roof and tree contractor has assisted in a majority of the large tree cleanup.

We packed up and stored many buildings, also moved those classrooms/offices to other buildings in the city. In the nursing building, we had to remove EVERYTHING from the building and into temp office trailers as well as temp storage so the building can be completely renovated.

Stayed tuned, there's more to come!

Your Time is Precious

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.

Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Birmingham South for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price. 

First Responder BBQ Cook-off

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

First place in the corporate division for pork!

This past weekend some of our sales and marketing representatives competed in a BBQ cook-off that was hosted by Hometown Lenders. This competition was held for our local first responders including firefighters and police officers. The money raised went to scholarships for children of first responders.

On the Friday before the competition they prepared by cooking hamburgers and hotdogs for all the employees at SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Once we gave them the thumbs up, they cooked the ribs and BBQ for everyone else at The Hoover Met! 

Our guys ended up winning first place in the corporate division for their pork! Great job! 

If you are wanting more information about our services pertaining to fire damage once your local fire department has arrived, give us a call - we clean up soot & smoke!!

Service Response Guidelines

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Have you heard of SERVPRO's Service Response Guidelines?

Within ONE hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. 

Within FOUR hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. 

Within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you by a SERVPRO Franchise Professional. 

What can SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do for you?

  • Fire smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Contents Claim Inventory Service
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Car
  • Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
  • Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Birmingham South we want to make sure your home and/or business is handled properly and with the utmost care so our employees are trained to better assist you!

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to safely clean and restore your home, utilizing the following procedures:

-Dispose of refuse

- Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment.

-Apply necessary treatments.

-Inspect carpet pad/carpet and provide service.

-Move and block furniture and contents.

-Perform emergency water extraction.

-Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premise for hidden moisture.

-Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis. 

-Identify the source/type of water

Your Home Is Your Safe Haven

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Your home should be your place of rest. But when water begins leaking - even small leaks in areas you can't see - your home could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones.

SERVPRO of Birmingham South professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your entire family and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That is why we offer 24-hour emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, SERVPRO of Birmingham South has the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.

After all, when it comes to your home and your family, even small disasters can feel like huge problems. So if a water damage occurs in your home, just call us 205-664-6770. We'll be there to help! 

Indoor Air Quality in Birmingham South

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Indoor air quality/environmental professionals evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure. Some specialize and are skilled in testing buildings for the presence of molds. Using various testing devices, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment. If you have concerns about mold, SERVPRO of Birmingham South can assist you in locating a qualified indoor air quality/environmental professional. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South cares about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations excessive mold growth is not a problem and SERVPRO of Birmingham South can safely restore your building to preloss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection. Please keep in mind SERVPRO of Birmingham South does not interpret insurance policies or coverage; you must consult your insurance company to determine the scope of policy coverage. 

Commercial Emergency Ready Profile

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be. 

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

Mold in Schools

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO of Birmingham South covers two large counties, we have quite a few school systems in the area. Because of the relationships we have formed with them, they are able to call us if they have any issues that their maintenance staff can not handle. They following information from https://www.epa.gov/ are reasons why you might find mold in schools and how to handle it. We get calls all the time for water and fire damages, but also for mold. If you suspect mold in your home, business or place of work - give us a call today! 

Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools

Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.

Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools

Reduce Indoor Humidity

  • Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
  • Control humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
  • Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
  • Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning in food service areas.

Inspect the building for signs of mold, moisture, leaks or spills

  • Check for moldy odors.
  • Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors, and window sills.
  • Look around and under sinks for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Inspect bathrooms for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Do not let water stand in air conditioning or refrigerator drip pans.

Respond promptly when you see signs of moisture and/or mold, or when leaks or spills occur

  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
  • Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • Check the mechanical room and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks, or spills.

Prevent moisture condensation

  • Add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e. windows, piping, exterior walls, room, or floors).

Floor and carpet cleaning

  • Remove spots and stains immediately, using the flooring manufacturer’s recommended techniques.
  • Use care to prevent excess moisture or cleaning residue accumulation and ensure that cleaned areas are dried quickly.
  • Do not install carpeting in areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

American Red Cross Safety Tips

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon 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.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.

On average:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:

  • Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
  • Install free smoke alarms
  • Replace batteries in existing alarms
  • Provide fire prevention and safety education

 

In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.

Join us April 28 through May 13 on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!

Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!

March Tornadoes in Alabama

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

In March 2018, storms and even tornadoes came through Alabama causing a lot of destruction in it's path. Our Large Loss Division packed up and headed that direction to be able to assist those affected, including a university in the area.

Not only were homes and businesses destroyed but this particular university had severe damage in multiple areas. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South pulled ceiling tiles thru hallways, removed hanging insulation and other type of debris as well as extracted areas that were affected through out the structure. Many areas had to be swept and mopped. This job was ongoing for a few weeks due to the size of the school and the damage that the tornado left. 

Whether it is your home or business, we are here to help you restore it quickly and professionally. All of our techniques are highly trained and prepared you handle everything with the utmost care. 

Busted Toilet Line in Birmingham South

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

This vacant residence experienced a toilet line that burst and ended up affected thirteen rooms total. Two rooms were tile and the others were all hardwood; some ended up being removed to dry the sub flooring. The hardwood had cupped and started buckling. The wood also ran underneath kitchen appliances, so those had to be moved to access that flooring to dry. 

We quickly dry your property using state-of-the-art water removal equipment and advanced drying techniques. We also want to make sure you are safe before someone arrives. So consider this:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Winter Storm Events

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We have had some pretty warm days here in Alabama the last few weeks but that doesn't mean the cold weather is over. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us! 205-664-6770

Smoke Webs

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know?

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/planning/3-business-fire-prevention-tips

NOAA Storm Data

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

The Storm Events Database contains the records used to create the official NOAA Storm Data publication, documenting: 

  1. The occurrence of storms and other significant weather phenomena having sufficient intensity to cause loss of life, injuries, significant property damage, and/or disruption to commerce;
  2. Rare, unusual, weather phenomena that generate media attention, such as snow flurries in South Florida or the San Diego coastal area; and
  3. Other significant meteorological events, such as record maximum or minimum temperatures or precipitation that occur in connection with another event.


The database currently contains data from January 1950 to November 2017, as entered by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). Due to changes in the data collection and processing procedures over time, there are unique periods of record available depending on the event type. NCEI has performed data reformatting and standardization of event types but has not changed any data values for locations, fatalities, injuries, damage, narratives and any other event specific information. Please refer to the Database Details page for more information. 

You can register your email address with NCEI to receive future information regarding access system downtime, data issues, new features and general news about the Storm Events Database. 

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information Storm Events Database:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

2018 Alabama Fire Chiefs' Conference

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

"The Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs is a fellowship of fire chiefs and senior chief officers from across the state dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and information to advance the delivery of emergency services throughout the state. The association shall foster career development, education, legislation and provide representation to enhance the professionalism and service delivery capabilities of fire and emergency medical services providers. Additionally, the association shall function in a vigilant, innovative, and proactive manner focusing on the objective of reducing the loss of life and property from fire, trauma, acute illness, and hazardous conditions within the state."

https://www.alfirechiefs.com

This year almost all SERVPRO franchises in Alabama united as one and sponsored the Fire Chiefs' Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There were firefighters from all over the state in one place which made it easy for us to visit with them and thank them for their service. 

Commericial Large Loss Fire in Alabaster

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

We received a call from a local insurance agent that we have a relationship with about a commercial building that had caught on fire.The building has multiple tenants, the source was unknown but once the fire department had came out to clear the scene, we were needed.

In one of the tenants space: all affected areas were extracted including carpet and ceiling tiles, which had to be removed. We had to remove baseboards, sheetrock ceiling and insulation, and then cut exterior walls. Equipment was set.  In the other tenant's space, they weren't as lucky and it had to be completely demoed. This job has been ongoing for two weeks due to the intense damage throughout the facility. These businesses are ready to get their daily routine back in order and we're thankful they called us to assist in the process.

Mold Remediation

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham South offers mold remediation and restoration; we have the training, equipment and expertise to better assist you. 

I spoke with our Mold and Biohazard Manager to ask him some questions about how this process works.

It is preferred that you have an Industrial Hygienist protocol done.

What is that?

This is a process where air sampling and affected areas are tested to provide a detailed remediation and restoration protocol for SERVPRO of Birmingham South to follow. There is also a post-test that will take place once we are finished to confirm clearance. 

Every time our team handles a mold job, we are required to wear the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which includes items such as coveralls and respirators. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South will make sure to keep anything deemed salvageable; we go above and beyond to ensure restoration before removal.  Unfortunately, in most situations there is a some tear out involved to remove affected areas such as drywall, flooring, and/or furniture.

During the mold remediation process a HEPA vacuum is used, HEPA filters are designed to capture particles as small as mold spores and to insure that they do not get reintroduced. Our mold experts use “negative air” containment, which is created by positioning negative air machines to introduce clean air into the affected area and push contaminated air outside the home.

You want to consider getting your HVAC cleaned as well, the mold spores can collect there and be dispersed throughout the home.

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. If you have any questions, give us a call today; 205-664-6770.

Commercial Fire in Downtown Birmingham

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

2018 has started off very busy for SERVPRO and locally for SERVPRO of Birmingham. SERVPRO of Birmingham South also transforms into Storm Team Wilson; we were covering a few states north of Alabama that dealt with freezing temperatures, and a lot of busted pipes. We had teams from all over the country come assist these local franchises who were inundated with business.

With these storm events going on outside of Alabama, we also had a freeze event going on right here! SERVPRO of Birmingham South had freezing temperatures and even snow! We were getting calls left and right.

If that wasn't enough, right? A new apartment complex in downtown Birmingham had an electrical fire. This happened in between two floors but there was smoke and soot throughout. Our crews got there and extracted a significant amount of water. They had to remove baseboards, affected drywall and all water damaged and smoke affected carpet tiles from hallway. This is just the beginning. Our team is still actively working on the job.

Our team in Birmingham is able to handle large loss disasters such as this apartment fire. We know these events are unexpected and whether it's your home or business, you want it back in order as soon as possible. Were Here to Help! 

Fire Cleanup & Restoration

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

What would you do if...

You receive a call from a client today with a fire loss?

You have a fire loss on one of your properties?

You have a fire at your own personal property?

Some statistics...

Fire claims spike during the months of November - February.

On average, Fire causes over $12.4 billion in property damage annualy.

Top 5 Causes of Fire loss:
Cooking equipment
Heating equipment
Intentional
Electrical distribution & lighting equipment
Smoking materials

After the fire is out...

You need a company "Like SERVPRO"
Industry research from 2016 by Buntin Group found that SERVPRO Brand is becoming synonymous with the services provided!

Why not a Contractor?

Mitigate, clean, & restore FIRST! Then repair and rebuild.

SERVPRO of Birmingham can handle it all -One Stop Shop.

By the way...

WE DO BOARDUP!
Many times, the home or building must be secured immediately BEFORE anything else.

Freezing Pipes

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

As a partner with the American Red Cross, here is some great information on freezing pipes that they have on their website! Check it out!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Prepare Your Business!

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Prepare your business for winter weather!

-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

-Ask your SERVPRO Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. 

What is an Emergency Ready Profile?

It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation. 

Controlling Mold

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

You Can Control Mold

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

www.cdc.gov

Industrial Hygienist

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

In some cases, our mold jobs need to be referred to an industrial hygienist. If you are like me then you're asking "what exactly is that and what do they do?" 

According to www.aiha.org ,  "Industrial Hygiene is a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community."

They describe Industrial hygienists as "scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community."

SERVPRO of Birmingham South does not do inspections but we can give you a quote on the visible substance you can SEE. 

The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:

  1. Emergency Contact - (205) 252-8110
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Fireplace Safety

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.
 via HGTV.com 

Every Second Counts

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

via http://www.nfpa.org/

Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!

Continuing Education

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham South has been hosting one continuing education class a month, this year in 2017. These classes are very popular with our insurance agents and adjusters, since they have to take a certain amount of hours to renew their licenses. Besides mold we touch on various topics which include Fire, Water, Biohazard Cleanup, and Ethics. The most popular class is our Ethics class, this month we had 40 people attend. (It probably has to do with the fact, they have to take Ethics to renew their license!) 

A few of our Sales and Marketing Representatives have to go through extensive training to become certified to teach these classes. They also have to take a 10 hour OSHA class to become certified. All classes are held at our facility on Huntley Parkway in Pelham, Alabama. We offer tours of the facility on breaks, or before or after the class. 

During our mold class a couple of months ago, our Sales & Marketing Representative Adam showed the class the proper PPE to wear. (See picture) While Stan taught the class. Mold is very common in Alabama because of our weather conditions. Some things we discuss during the class are:

- Understand the evolution of mold awareness

- Acknowledge mold as part of our environment

- Understand the basics of mold remediation

- Understand the effect of mold on buildings

- Recognize how mold is affecting Insurance Professionals and the Insurance Industry

Commercial - Emergency Response Team

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

As we mentioned in a previous blog, SERVPRO of Birmingham South has been working long hours over the last few months due to hurricanes. Even though we are a storm team as previously mentioned, we also send crews on site to work for weeks at a time. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South also has a Emergency Response Team/Large Loss Division that handles commercial properties. 

One of the commercial properties that we assisted was in Texas, a car dealership to be exact. They had over 30,000 square feet affected due to the hurricane. Most of the contents had to be disposed of or cleaned, flooring had to be removed, and equipment set. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South is able to cover large losses but also those that might not seem so big. 

Hurricane Season

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

These last couple of months the United States has been hit with a few hurricanes including Harvey in the Houston, Texas area and Irma hitting the Florida Keys. 


SERVPRO Corporate has four storm teams and SERVPRO of Birmingham is one of them, as "Storm Team Wilson." We cover eight states including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Indiana. When disaster strikes one of those states and the local SERVPRO's get inundated, Storm Team Wilson gets activated sending franchises or "teams" from all over the United States to come in and assist.  For Hurricane Harvey all four storm teams were activated and for Hurricane Irma we had two teams involved, one covering the south part of Florida and the other covering the north part.  Unfortunately, a lot of people were affected by these two hurricanes and these jobs are still being taken care of and will be for a long time to get their houses and lives back in order. We are thankful that we can be of assistance in these difficult times. 

Emergency Ready Profile

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc. 

That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
 The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”  Give us a call today and set up your ERP!

Why YOU should recycle

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Alabama's Recycling Economy

?During 2011, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) determined that Alabama spent $25 million to throw away over $193 million worth of recyclable materials.

According to the Alabama Solid Waste Management Plan of 2008, the total average daily solid waste generated by Alabamians is9.9 pounds per person, compared with the national average of 4.5 pounds. In 2010, the EPA MSW Characterization Study Report stated the total average daily solid waste generated by Alabamians is 6.3 pounds per person, compared with the national average of 4.3 pounds per person.

A 2016 Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) study determined that Alabama is home to 42 manufacturers who rely on recycled content feedstock. These companies generate more than $7.8 billion in yearly sales and employ more than 17,350 Alabama citizens directly working in the manufacture of recycled content products.

With more than 300 employees, KW Plastics in Troy, Alabama is the world's largest recycler of HDPE and PP plastic resins. Currently, KW receives enough plastic from Alabama to run the plant for only two days out of every year. Source: KW Plastics.

The Barton, Alabama SCA Tissue Plant recycles roughly 250,000 tons of paper per year. This is equivalent to almost 3% of the state's waste generation. Source: SCA Tissue/State of Alabama.

If Alabama recycled just 10% more materials each year, the potential economic impact would equate to over 1,400 jobs, over $66 million annual personal income, and $3 million annual state tax revenue. Source: SERDC.

Landfills generate revenue by imposing "tipping fees" when waste is placed in a facility. These fees average about $25/ton in Alabama. The national average is $45/ton, whereas some states, such as Vermont, charge upwards to $72/ton. Source: State of Garbage in America.

US Waste

Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour.

The United States of America is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.

Americans toss out enough aluminum every 3 months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2 billion trees per year.

Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper.

Manufacturers produce more than 15 million tons of expanded polystyrene (aka, StyrofoamTM) each year, but we recycle less than 1% of it.

According to theEPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 24% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.

The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is "Mount Rumpke." It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.

The US population discards each year 16 billion diapers, 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razor blades, and 220 million car tireseach year.

Recycling & Energy

Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy than making aluminum from raw materials, and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.

Only 10% of the 140.3 million cell phones retired in 2007 were recycled. If we recycled all of the cell phones retired each year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.

Recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 American homes in a year.

Recycling paper takes 60% less energy than making paper form raw materials.

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.

Recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making plastic from raw materials.

Over a ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 160 pounds of feldspar. Source: Keep America Beautiful

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

Courtesy of: aeconline.org

NADCA

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

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

Seasonal Watering Tips

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

INDOOR WATERING TIPS:

Don’t forget to check your faucets for leaks ?! Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Everyday Water Use
    • Do not let the faucet run while brushing your teeth. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a small glass with water for rinsing out your mouth.
    • Limit showers to no longer than 5-minutes.
    • Select the appropriate water level for the size of your load of laundry or dishes.
Watering Plants
    • Rotate plants toward the light whenever you water them to keep them growing straight.
    • Water hanging plants with ice cubes to keep water from spilling out of the bottom.
    • Use pots made from non-porous material such as plastic to help plants retain moisture longer

OUTDOOR WATERING TIPS:

Lawn care When the weather is hot, outdoor water usage increases significantly. The good news is that most lawns can thrive with less water than you think.

When to Water
    • To determine if your grass needs watering, step on it. If it springs back up, it doesn’t need watering. If the blades of the grass lie flat, it’s time to water.
    • Turn the sprinklers on at a low speed to avoid wasteful run-off. Remember, over-watering promotes shallow root growth, making your lawn less hardy.
    • Water early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set to help prevent losing water to evaporation. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation.
    • If using automatic sprinklers, install a rain sensor to avoid watering on rainy days.
How to Water
    • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, and as infrequently as possible. Never water to the point of run-off.
    • If necessary, water in several short sessions rather than one long one. Three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture.
    • Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Most southern lawns will thrive if they receive one inch of water per week during the summer.

For more information check out www.bwwb.org

Duct Cleaning

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Duct Cleaning Process:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Birmingham will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Birmingham can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

Alabama Forest Facts

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

When was the last time you remember hearing of or seeing a wildfire in Alabama.. especially the Birmingham area. You usually think of tornadoes and flooding when you think of natural disasters. But look at these facts as of May 2017:


Jefferson County:


Last 30 Days: 6 Wildfires & 184.00 Acres


Year To Date: 26 Wildfires & 363.55 Acres


Shelby County:


Last 30 Days:6 Wildfires & 8.50 Acres


Year To Date:12 Wildfires & 111.50 Acres


Per The Alabama Forestry Commission:


Wildfire Prevention is an important aspect of Forestry Commission operations. A good fire prevention program makes citizens aware of fire hazards and leads to a reduction in the number of wildfires in the state. The Forestry Commission actively works with local fire departments, schools and civic groups to present messages on safe outdoor activities and how to keep an area “fire-safe.”


Make sure you know the phone number to your local fire department in case of emergencies! SERVPRO of Birmingham covers ALL of Jefferson and Shelby Counties, so if you have smoke and/or fire damage whether from a wildfire or any other source; give us a call! 


http://www.forestry.alabama.gov/

Flood Facts

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on 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 of 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 riding 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 occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Birmingham.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

What to do until SERVPRO arrives!

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items

  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying

  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting

  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors

  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors

Seasonal watering tips

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

INDOOR WATERING TIPS:


Don’t forget to check your faucets for leaks ?! Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Everyday Water Use


  • Do not let the faucet run while brushing your teeth. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a small glass with water for rinsing out your mouth.

  • Limit showers to no longer than 5-minutes.

  • Select the appropriate water level for the size of your load of laundry or dishes.


Watering Plants


  • Rotate plants toward the light whenever you water them to keep them growing straight.

  • Water hanging plants with ice cubes to keep water from spilling out of the bottom.

  • Use pots made from non-porous material such as plastic to help plants retain moisture longer


OUTDOOR WATERING TIPS:


Lawn care When the weather is hot, outdoor water usage increases significantly. The good news is that most lawns can thrive with less water than you think.


When to Water


  • To determine if your grass needs watering, step on it. If it springs back up, it doesn’t need watering. If the blades of the grass lie flat, it’s time to water.

  • Turn the sprinklers on at a low speed to avoid wasteful run-off. Remember, over-watering promotes shallow root growth, making your lawn less hardy.

  • Water early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set to help prevent losing water to evaporation. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation.

  • If using automatic sprinklers, install a rain sensor to avoid watering on rainy days.


How to Water


  • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, and as infrequently as possible. Never water to the point of run-off.

  • If necessary, water in several short sessions rather than one long one. Three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture.

  • Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Most southern lawns will thrive if they receive one inch of water per week during the summer.


For more information check out www.bwwb.org


 

What's the difference?

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

What to do AFTER a water damage

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical. 

Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. Gray water is slightly contaminated water; clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, and chemicals. Black water is usually caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by a trained professional.

Make sure you...

-Shut off the water source if possible or contact someone to do it

-Turn off circuit breakers if safe from potential electrical shock. DO NOT enter rooms with standing water.

-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.

-Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, and other items of value to a safe place.

-Do not leave any books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpet.

-Do not use your household vacuum cleaner since there is potential for electrical shock. 

-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter the room if the ceiling is sagging.

Managing Mold

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health issues and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem. 

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. 

Assessment 

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. 

Containment

Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. 

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Birmingham technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. 

Removing 

The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.

Cleaning  

SERVPRO of Birmingham cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. 

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs  or major repairs such as reconstruction. 

Spring Cleaning Tips!

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Spring has arrived and we want you to keep your home or business in good condition all year long! We want you to prevent mold, water leaks, and even fires! 


In the meantime, here are some helpful tips about Spring-Cleaning for your OFFICE:


-Divide your workspace into zones: Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.


-Keep only what you need at arm's length: Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you've establishes for them.


-Create a daily paper system: Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled "to read," "to do," and "to file." Establish set days for each, so that you don't get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.


-Sort your catch-all drawer: Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn't being used.


-Eliminate digital clutter: Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your email inbox just as you would paper files- with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders.


-Disinfect regularly: Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes. 

How to help prevent mold

4/7/2017 (Permalink)

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters.  Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

[All information is from mnn.com]

Call us if you have any signs of mold, we have trained professionals to handle the infestation. 

IICRC - Water Damage

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.


More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.


All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.


[Information via IICRC.org]

Severe Weather Tips

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. 

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

 

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon 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.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Protect your property during an Ice Storm

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

 

Do you have an ERP for your business? Ask your SERVPRO of Birmingham Sales and Marketing Representative! 

Science of Drying

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. Your initial reaction will be to grab towels and a mop to clean up the water, maybe even a fan or two. Our professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. SERVPRO of Birmingham will inspect to detect everything that is wet, measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly and also speed up the process by using professional drying equipment. 

We use the latest technology and tools; The SERVPRO DryBook allows us to capture and track the steps of a restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This will ensure that your restoration is done properly and efficiently as well as improving results and restoring your property faster! 

Help Prevent Heat Related Fires

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

It’s going to get cold again here soon…


 


Besides using the fireplace to stay warm some people use alternative sources such as portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Heating equipment is the cause for many residential fires annually, causing deaths, injury and property damage. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of a heating-related fire:


 


-Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment


 


-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions


 


-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed


 


-Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.


 


-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters


 


-Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business.


 


-Test alarms monthly


 


-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional


 


-Make sure fireplaces have a screen to help prevent sparks


 


-Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container


 


For more information on safety tips call your local fire department.

Fire Safety

3/22/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham responds to many residential and commercial fire damages, which means we tend to stay in close contact with local fire departments.  


Here is some data:


In Alabama there are 796 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry.


Most fires are structure/residential and vehicles. 


 


Fires only make up about 6% of calls in Alabama, others include: service calls (7.8%), false alarms (8.4%), good intent (9.1%), and EMS (65.9%). For the National average, fires make up around 4.7%. Surprising!


 In 2016, 82 home fire fatalities were reported by the news media.


 


Fire prevention is important, we want to make sure your home or business stays safe. Make sure you replace batteries in your smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher close. If you don’t know what to do and need some helpful tips call your local fire department. 

Be Prepared!

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

You can purchase a Red Cross Emergency Kit!

SERVPRO teams up with the American Red Cross and they made a list of items you need in case of an emergency! Always be prepared!

 

Be Red Cross Ready!


Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.




At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:


 



  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

  • Extra batteriesFirst aid kit [Avail

  • First aid kit

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Map(s) of the area





Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

  • Games and activities for children

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

  • Two-way radios

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

  • Manual can opener





Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle

  • N95 or surgical masks

  • Matches

  • Rain gear

  • Towels

  • Work gloves

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Household liquid bleach

  • Entertainment items

  • Blankets or sleeping bags


For more information check out redcross.org



Open House

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham hosted an open house on February 7th. This was an opportunity to show our new building that we just finished in the Fall of 2016. Once we got all our employees settled in, it was time to invite our clients over. 

 

Throughout the day we had close to 75 people come take a tour of the facility, enjoy refreshments and giveaways, and just enjoy the atmosphere. We were actually surprised at the turn out since we had a torrential downpour that lasted most of the day. 

 

We also had a ribbon cutting (inside) with The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. The City of Pelham Mayor, Gary Waters, also stopped by and had some very kind words to say about SERVPRO of Birmingham. We truly appreciated everyone making this a great day for our company! 

 

Keep an eye out, it looks like we might be adding a THIRD building! 

Content Restoration after Fire Damage

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

 

2017 Commercial Water Damage

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

In early January 2017, we received a call from an insurance company around 9pm on a Saturday night regarding a water damage at a commercial property. This was the day after Birmingham and surrounding areas got hit with rain, sleet, and some snow. Needless to say the roads were frozen over and most were closed. 

This is NOT the way a business wants to start off the new year! 

The sprinkler system had a malfunction on the 7th floor and water ended up all the way on the bottom floor, over 40,000 square feet was affected. Carpet, ceiling tiles, drywall, and debris had to be removed and many chairs as well as other furniture had to be cleaned. 

Luckily, business interruption was very minimal. SERVPRO of Birmingham met with clients on site to review daily progress. 

There were 300 air movers on site and our crews, averaging 35 people per day, worked two weeks (literally 15 days straight) to get everything back "Like It Never Even Happened."

Mold Prevention

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips:

Moisture control is the key to mold control, so when water leaks or spills occur indoors, ACT QUICKLY.  If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases, mold will not grow.  

Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.  

Make sure the ground slopes away from the building's foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.  

Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

Keep indoor humidity low.  If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60% relative humidity (ideally, between 30% to 50%).  Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, which is a small, inexpensive instrument (from $10 to $50) that is available at many hardware stores.  

If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity. 

Operation Green Wave

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

Over 1,200 bags full of food!

Operation Green Wave is SERVPRO of Birmingham partnering with Vineyard Family Services. This is done annually around Christmas time. 

IT IS A SIMPLE PROGRAM THAT SIMPLY WORKS

  1. Food is purchased.
  2. Food is packed.
  3. Food is delivered to participating schools.

Vineyard Family Services is a faith-based agency and their backpack buddy program provides children 5-14 with nutritious easy to prepare food that they can take home. For more information on Vineyard Family Services check out their website WWW.VFSDADS.COM 

What we do is go out to our clients and give them the green bags that they can fill up with food. Every year we seem to have more and more participation and mainly from our commercial clients. In December 2016 we collected over 1,200 bags full of food we were able to donate to Vineyard Family Services. 

We hope to continue doing this year after year! 

Commercial Fire Damage

1/11/2017 (Permalink)

Where the fire originated.

Unfortunately late one night there was a fire at a local school, luckily it was during a holiday break there was time to clean up before students and teachers came back. The fire ended up being caused by a printer, more specifically an outlet. The fire caused the sprinkler system to go off, which caused the water damage. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham worked alongside the local fire department to clean up as much as possible the night the loss occurred. 

Many desks and chairs had to be removed for cleaning, and the fire started upstairs so needless to say numerous classrooms, hallways, and stairwells had to be cleared due to the water from the sprinkler system. 

Don't forget...

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.

Fire Safety Tips

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Tips For Fire Safety:

 

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

  2. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

    We partner with the American Red Cross and also our local fire departments so fire prevention is VERY important to us! These tips are from REDCROSS.ORG

 

 

Here are some tips on WHAT TO DO AFTER A FIRE:

 

  1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.


  2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.


  3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.


  4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

Caring for Yourself & Loved Ones
  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips. Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance- infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Also from REDCROSS.ORG, check it out for more information and make sure you are prepared in case an emergency happens in your Birmingham home!

For Immediate Service in Birmingham, Call SERVPRO

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Birmingham. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 205-664-6770

Residential Services

Whether your Birmingham home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Birmingham commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Birmingham Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/23/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Restoring Your Birmingham Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Birmingham commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.


Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges


Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.


About SERVPRO of Birmingham


SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. 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.

Does Your Birmingham Home Have A Mold Problem?

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

In Birmingham, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Golf Tournament 2016

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

The beautiful sunrise before getting the day started!

Every year SERVPRO of Birmingham hosts a golf tournament showing appreciation to our customers. This year was definitely one for the books, at least leading up to the day anyways. Due to some unexpected events we had to move the originally planned October tournament to November. Luckily, everything fell right into place!

 

We had a great turn out, the weather was absolutely perfect - it felt like a fall day. (yes, in November.. welcome to Alabama!) Our participants enjoyed the day as we catered to them; we had food, prizes, and 5 holes with challenges to make the game even more fun! A huge shout out to Highland Park Golf Course for helping us make this day go smoothly, you rock! 

 

Since SERVPRO has a partnership with the American Red Cross, all money raised at the tournament was matched and donated to our local chapter. Our team decided that it should go towards their Home Fire Prevention Campaign, which seemed only fitting. Fire Prevention Week was in October and we work closely with local fire departments as we try to promote fire safety.

 

All in all, the day was successful and we cannot wait until next year to make things even better!!

Also, a huge thank you to our sponsors: Prime Distributors, Sunbelt Rentals, and Sunbelt Paper and Packaging. We appreciate you!

2016 BOMA Golf Outing

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Alabama (BOMA Alabama) was established with the primary purposes of: (i) to provide a united body representing the commercial real estate community in related issues; (ii) to maintain and increase the level of professionalism in the real estate industry; and (iii) to keep its membership in tune with current issues concerning the real estate market; regulatory and legislative affairs, trends in marketing or specific building maintenance needs.

[Information from bomaalabama.org]

SERVPRO of Birmingham has provided major sponsorship for BOMA fall golf tournament for many years. And this year may have been the best ever! SERVPRO's customer support staff worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a great day of golf the BOMA and its guests alike. We appreciate the relationships we have made over the years through BOMA. 

 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Birmingham Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Birmingham will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our 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.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 205-664-6770

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Birmingham

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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.

When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready!

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service.

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

 

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Birmingham, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 205-664-6770

Helping to make it, "Like it never even happened."

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO - Restoration Vendor for Insurance Carriers Nationwide

The Brand You Know and Trust

You can recognize and trust the SERVPRO name... "Like It Never Even Happened."

Serving America Since 1967

Since 1967, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been assisting client's fire and water damages across the United States. Nearly four decades of experience have culminated in the proven processes, technology, equipment, and products to help ensure IICRC S500 industry standards are met and you are satisfied. 

More Than 1,500 Franchises Nationwide

Today, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals from more than 1,500 Franchises operate in 48 states. 

24-Hour Emergency Service

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing 24-hour emergency service to help you when you need it most.

Detailed Estimates

You will be provided a detailed estimate that clearly lists all services to be performed. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO.

Trained, Uniformed Franchise Professionals.. Your "Heroes"

When you call, a trained, uniformed SERVPRO Franchise Professional will arrive at your property with the equipment necessary to help protect the structure and contents. Your concerns will be addressed quickly and professionally to help begin the process of regaining control of your life. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham is Hiring

7/31/2016 (Permalink)

Crew Chiefs

  • Manage and complete jobs according to SERVPRO processes per work order.
  • Respond to service calls when needed.
  • Set up and establish efficient job flow, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job documentation, perform and supervise production work, and monitor assigned jobs from start to finish.
  • Follow and enforce all safety procedures on the job site.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Monitor all assigned jobs to ensure customer needs are met.

Production Technicians

  • Respond to service calls as needed.
  • Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines.
  • Communicate with crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met.
  • Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed.
  • Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.

Please apply in person at our office located at 2000 Huntley Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124. Thank you! 

SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC Certified Firm

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Birmingham

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

SERVPRO of Birmingham is continually growing!

7/12/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham as of July 2016

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. was founded in 1967. SERVPRO of Birmingham has been proud to serve th communities of Jefferson and Shelby counties since 1984. In 2007, we had outgrown our existing facilities, so we had to relocate some of our staff in multiple facilities in the Pelham and Chelsea/Westover areas. In January 2015, we broke ground on a 3-phase building project, designed to bring us all back into one location. Phase one was complete in December 2015, and now we are currently in phase two. We hope to complete this phase sometime in October, with a ribbon cutting in early November. Check out the progress! (See photo) 

In the midst of our transition, we have continued providing 24-hour emergency service and we are dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Birmingham. We can respond immediately to your emergency, and have the expertise to handle your cleanup and restoration needs.

Don't hesitate to call us!

Water Damage? What to do

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items

  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying

  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting

  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors

  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors

Tornado Need to Know

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

  • Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky

  • Large hail

  • Low-lying rotating cloud

  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Alabama and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.


Source: Stormaware.mo.gov/tornado-facts-history

Professional Damage Restoration

4/5/2016 (Permalink)

According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) there are a couple of reasons to choose a professional over doing it your self. Below are a few reasons:

  • The process of fire and water restoration is very involved when it is performed properly.
  • With quick reaction time and the appropriate skill set, a technician can help to prevent further damage and repair that which has already been done
  • The process and equipment used during fire and water restoration will vary from case to case, since different materials require their own unique care
  • For fire damage, general cleaning is done to remove ash and soot from ceiling to floor
  • The quick remediation of the problem is important for more than repairs, it is also a health consideration
  • Choose a company for fire and water restoration with the appropriate licenses and proof that they have the proper insurance.
  • Whether the work to be done is in a commercial or residential location, technicians with experience and certification should perform the damage recovery.

Disaster Recovery

3/30/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham not only covers all of Jefferson and Shelby Counties but is also 1 of 4 national SERVPRO storm teams. As a storm team we organize and manage efforts in 8 states if a wide-spread disaster were to strike. The 8 states we cover are Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Florida. During these catastrophic events, Storm Team Wilson would mobilize in the area bringing a large number of crews, equipment, and resources to customers affected. The storm team is managed from one office in Pelham, AL where we receive customer information, organize that information and respond to that customer quickly and professionally. We recruit crews starting with the closest to the affected area and move outward in concentric circles to ensure we are “faster to any size disaster.” As a SERVPRO national response team we respond to disasters as large as Hurricane Sandy and Irene to local flooding or freeze events.

Tornado Facts

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

We are in the middle of tornado season here in Alabama with our main threat being tornado and wind damage. Here are a couple of things from ready.gov to help be prepared in the event of severe weather.

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Restoration

3/22/2016 (Permalink)

Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family friend local contractor or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Birmingham you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.  

SERVPRO of Birmingham is Hiring

3/16/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham is currently looking for good quality people in our Production Division.

We are currently looking for the following positions:

Crew Chiefs

  • Manage and complete jobs according to SERVPRO processes per work order.
  • Respond to service calls when needed.
  • Set up and establish efficient job flow, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job documentation, perform and supervise production work, and monitor assigned jobs from start to finish.
  • Follow and enforce all safety procedures on the job site.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Monitor all assigned jobs to ensure customer needs are met.

Production Technicians

  • Respond to service calls as needed.
  • Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines.
  • Communicate with crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met.
  • Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed.
  • Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.

Please apply in person at our office located at 2000 Huntley Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124.

Flood Damage Prevention

3/14/2016 (Permalink)

A flooded garage where water was over a foot deep at one point.

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

  1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
  2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
  3.  Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.

Air Quality

3/10/2016 (Permalink)

Here are some things to consider from the American Lung Association about air quality in your home:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew? 
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere—kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • If you have an ongoing air quality issue, call SERVPRO of Birmingham for further consultation. We have a staff of professionals, certified in all aspects of deodorization and microbial remediation.

    Fire Damage: How do we do it?

    3/3/2016 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage

    Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Birmingham has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Birmingham enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our First Responders, Office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, managers and ownership so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.

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