Recent Posts

Water Damage Can Be Invisible

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever seen the disappearing water trick where a magician causes water that’s poured into a cup to magically vanish, as if into thin air? (Spoiler alert: sodium polyacrylate, the stuff in disposable diapers, is first put in the bottom of the cup to soak up the water!)

But water can still disappear even without any “magic” involved. It’s very adept at hiding and can be almost invisible. It sometimes hides so effectively that it can’t be detected unless special moisture meters are used. Why do you need to know this? Because even though water is essential for life, it’s also one the most destructive elements that can attack your north Georgia home or business.

It Can Run…

Water can be elusive because of the way it moves. It spreads out like the letter "T" – moving out and downward from its source. Even if water looks to be setting still, it really isn’t. Gravity continues to pull it down into the surface of the material it’s resting on. And as it moves, it spreads and soaks into whatever porous (allowing liquid or air to pass through) materials it encounters. But after spreading out and down it has another trick up its sleeve. It can also move up. It does this by wicking action. For example, water sitting at the bottom of drywall can wick up the wall at a rate of one inch per hour for the first 24 hours!

Because of water’s meandering ways it can easily hide inside insulation, behind walls and cabinets and in subfloors. Even if a surface feels dry, there may still be moisture hiding underneath or inside of it. What this can mean for your north Georgia home or business is that secondary damage like mold or warping may occur. It can even ruin expensive hardwood floors.

But it Can’t Hide

If you have, or even if you suspect you may have water damage, it’s highly important that a professional from SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties comes out and tests for moisture with specialized moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras. With this equipment we’ll be able to locate the confines of the affected area and show you the scope of the damage. Then our techs will go to work removing and drying the moisture to ensure that no further damage occurs, making it “Like it never even happened."

Why do we do this? Because water can’t hide from SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties!

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 - 
(706) 896-1880

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  Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

Its the Small Things

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever heard the old adage that great things come in small packages.  I believe that’s true.  In fact, most of the time, it’s the small things that make life so very special.

As a marketing rep at SERVPRO, I find it’s the small things that make this job so great.  Riding in the Christmas parade and seeing all of your friends waving back at you is not a grand and huge undertaking but it surely is fun!  Decorating a Christmas tree at the Chamber of Commerce is not a huge deal, but it gives you a great sense of satisfaction when it’s done. 

This week I had the opportunity to perform a very small task but it gave a great sense of accomplishment to many folks and for me completed another satisfying day at the job.  I took a ride yesterday and delivered Continuing Education certificates to the participants of our 2 classes this past month.  When I walked in the door with an envelope, they immediately began to smile because they knew what I had for them.  And each of them were so complimentary and gracious in their remarks about SERVPRO and how appreciative they were that our company believes in reaching out beyond our “walls” and providing this service. 

And so thank you SERVPRO for giving us a great opportunity to provide for our insurance agents.  Thank you for the opportunity to build into our community and to make it better!  Thank you to our team who made this possible – our crew who set up, our operations manager who was instrumental in paperwork, etc., our franchise owners who are always behind this great task and our instructor who hit a grand slam.

After all, it’s the small things.......

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Would you be mine?

There’s a new movie in theaters as we speak that celebrates the life and legacy of Mr. Rogers.  It’s starring Tom Hanks and my understanding is that he does an outstanding job representing this kind and gentle man who built his life into our children through the wonderful avenue of television.  While I’ll even bet that the jingle is still playing in your mind and you hear the train whistle and bell clanging as it rounds the corner.

While we think of the music, the sweater, the tennis shoes and the train coming around the bend, we can also think of our company, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer counties.  After all, I believe that’s why we are in business.  Day after day, we receive multiple calls asking us to rescue those who are in need.  Sometimes it’s dealing with water, flooding, frozen pipes, and mold and then sometimes, it’s dealing with the heartbreaking losses of fire and smoke damage.  I’ve experienced this trauma myself and can speak firsthand of the devastation that goes with it and I would never wish that on anyone.  Many people look at it as a job where I see it as a ministry.  Along the way of reassuring our customers that they are in excellent hands we can even make it as though “it never even happened”.  And we can encourage them emotionally and spiritually as well.  Isn’t this a great job?!

So I’m starting my day with a little jingle, “please won’t you be my neighbor?”

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only minutes to escape. Having a plan in place prior to an emergency will allow you and your employees to exit quickly in the event of a fire. We at SERVPRO can help you plan for a fire or other emergency by creating an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP is a no-cost assessment. All it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call us at 706-896-1880 or 706-273-7776 to schedule an appointment to begin your ERP.

National Preparedness Month

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, LLC, is once again proud to be a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition and is committed to helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to promote the importance of preparedness planning.

What does it mean to be prepared?

For FAMILIES, it means households have an emergency supply kit so they can be self-reliant for at least three days in case of emergency, and they have a plan for how they will respond and reconnect after an emergency.

For BUSINESSES, it means employers have planned for how they will survive a disaster; they've backed up critical information, developed a plan for assisting employees on site, established a call tree to account for employees, and identified back-up sources of power and supplies.

For SCHOOLS, it means schools and districts have developed, implemented, and communicated crisis plans.

Being prepared means staying informed, knowing how to get information and alerts from local emergency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Frequent home carpet cleaning is the only sure way to keep carpeting in good shape, but too many people still neglect to perform it often enough. Carpeting sustains a lot of wear and tear, picking up pet dander, soils, food particles, water, chemical residues, and a number of other contaminants. If these contaminants are allowed to sit for too long, they can damage the fibers, discolor them, or even attract pests or mold. It’s a situation no homeowner wants to get into, and professional treatment is the only way to ensure it doesn’t become a reality.

Why should professionals be brought in to perform home carpet cleaning?

It’s often impossible to know just how soiled the carpeting is, so it’s best to ensure treatment is thorough. And when it comes to thorough treatment, certified technicians are a homeowner’s best bet. Store bought or rented machines are limited in their effectiveness, and don’t provide the same level of performance that a commercial machine offers. Rented machines can’t agitate the fibers as vigorously, they can’t penetrate as deeply as a commercial machines, and they aren’t as precise. This leads to inferior treatment and rapid resoiling of the carpeting. 

While operating rental machinery may seem simple, there’s more to the process than one might realize. The biggest problems untrained people have when cleaning their carpets is using too much or too little water. With too little water, it will be impossible to effectively remove soils, and detergent residue will be left behind to dry and adhere to the flooring. Too much water, and the floor will remain damp for too long, allowing mold and pests to take root, and making it easy for people to dirty the flooring again. A lack of training is not the only issue, either, as rented machinery isn’t as precise at dispensing water, nor is it powerful enough to reliably extract it. 

Professional home carpet cleaning firms do not have these issues, as they are certified in the best industry practices and have the commercial quality equipment to match their expertise. For example, certified crews have received training from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), and are armed with the IICRC’s sophisticated treatment practices. This includes comprehensive procedures in removing dry soil, suspending matted-in soils, and removing them as well. Soil suspension and removal is not something a homeowner is equipped to handle, and that’s a problem because most of the worst soils are matted into the flooring. 

Certified home carpet cleaning professionals have powerful technology, including water extraction machines that agitate the fibers down to the backing. Professionals can also treat the carpeting to protect it from additional soiling and extend the carpeting’s longevity. It’s much more affordable than replacing the carpet, and much less of a headache, so professional treatment should be considered an investment, and not just a service.

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

When a storm leaves a home flooded, or a burst pipe causes serious issues in the house, getting water damage restoration services from a respected company should be considered a top priority. Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated, and there are people out there who pose as professionals or overstate their qualifications. Therefore, homeowners should be mindful of who they hire, as an untrained technician may do more harm than good or delay repairs, resulting in a higher degree of destruction. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points of emphasis:

·         Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Even though the industry is not regulated, technicians who have received certification have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional without trouble.

·         Do not select a technician based only on the price or an insurance company’s recommendation. When possible, speak to neighbors or friends who have had to hire a technician recently and try to get a recommendation from them. Insurance companies often select a restoration company based on price, and unusually low pricing suggests the company does not use modern drying or repair methods.

·         Choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services. The easiest way to determine the expertise of a firm is to see if they provide a full range of options for homeowners. Mold remediation, for example, is often needed given how quickly mold can set in. This is a standard field of knowledge that advanced technicians should possess. If a company doesn’t offer mold remediation, it may not be prepared for all job settings.

·         A company that is available 24/7 is a good sign. Stay away from any firms that are reluctant to start right away. In many cases modern equipment can enable near-complete drying in as little as 36 hours, although many situations require longer. Also, a homeowner should not have to wait before repairs begin. Every minute counts when there is standing water present, and reputable professionals understand this. If a technician insists on waiting to begin the remediation portion of the loss, they probably cannot be trusted to see the job through in a reasonable timeframe.

Using these guidelines, a homeowner should be able to find a technician that can be trusted and is equipped to do the job the right way. A storm or other disaster is hard enough to deal with, and a remediation firm should do everything in its power to make this difficult process easier.

Flooded Home Results in Mold

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

An unrecognized water loss resulted in this home being over-run with large amounts of mold. The home was a second home in Blairsville, GA and was not frequently visited. This photo shows what moisture left unattended can lead to.

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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties was called in to handle the damage to this home. The owners of this property were overjoyed with the results.

Hiring Rug Cleaning Services Instead Of Attempting DIY

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Choosing to hire certified rug cleaning services rather than opting to tackle a more DIY approach is the best option for any homeowner. While the process may seem as simple as a good vacuum and spot removal job, those alone will not help in prolonging the life of the rug. Many are instead leaving it up to a technician that has been highly educated and trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) will ensure the job is done properly. They have the latest tools and skills to carry out the job with the utmost care and detail. 

An increasing number of homeowners are finding themselves with area rugs in one or more rooms of their living space. Typically, they take quite a bit of abuse due to the day-to-day wear and tear done by family, pets, and guests. That heavy foot traffic leaves dirt, dust, odors and stains behind. What started out as a useful, yet decorative piece in a room ends up looking worn, dingy, and full of bothersome allergens. Routine upkeep such as vacuuming and minor stain removal can be done, yet it is imperative to have the piece removed and professionally cleaned on a regular basis. The frequency of this process truly depends on the extent of use the piece has.  

Technicians that are IICRC-certified have had the coursework and training necessary to provide superior rug cleaning services. From start to finish they will work tirelessly to restore the piece to its original, vibrant appearance. This attention to detail starts with an initial inspection to establish the type of material that will be dealt with, what debris and allergens are present, and if there is any damage to be addressed. At this time they will be able to give the homeowner an idea of the extent of treatment and time frame required. Typically the piece is removed from the home and brought to the business location, which is fully equipped to complete the job. The technician starts with a careful vacuuming to remove loose debris, which is followed by any needed stain and damage treatment, and a good rinse. Once completely dampened a gentle but effective cleansing solution is applied and a soft agitating brush is used on the surface. A hot water extraction technique may be utilized at this time for a deeper clean or it may go through a total immersion process. The rug is then meticulously rinsed.. Depending on the equipment in place, it may be placed in a rotating centrifuge to draw out a majority of the water or other another extraction method may be utilized. It is hung for complete drying before being transported and delivered back to the home. Prior to final delivery it will be groomed via a finishing brush and a combing of the fringe to complete its pristine appearance. 

While the do-it-yourself approach may seem doable to some, a true comprehensive treatment can only be done by those certified to perform these specialized rug cleaning services. It is important for homeowners to do a little investigating prior to choosing the firm to entrust with the job. Personal and online recommendations are a great starting point, as is the IICRC's own website. They provide a database of certified firms that are current on their training and continue to follow the industry standards. Additionally, viewing their website, contacting the business directly, and even visiting their facility will offer insight into the service and result to be expected. 

For most, this type of floor covering was an investment in the home's warmth and overall decor. While it is there to be walked upon, it is also important to protect and maintain it regularly.