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Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Houses can suffer a great deal of damage from a natural catastrophe, making fire and water restoration jobs two of the most common emergency services. It is even more common for these damages to arise from within the home itself, be it from faulty pipes or improper construction. Families shouldn’t suffer beyond the physical damage of their houses, so it becomes imperative to seek out only certified technicians in order to properly repair a home. Since these disasters can quickly get out of hand and will get worse as time goes on, one must move to expediently address the damages.

Depending on where the source is, rain and storm damage will begin to erode the bare surfaces surrounding it. Drywall for instance is one of the first victims, as it will quickly become saturated and discolored, eventually losing its structural integrity and collapsing. Fire and water restoration typically involves a thorough inspection of the premises, as the underlying source must be identified and treated in order to properly prevent the building from future damages. Carpet, furniture and electronics can all be damaged or destroyed if the problem is not dealt with in a reasonable time frame and by certified technicians. 

The process for resolving this type of damage involves removing any saturated drywall and replacing it with new material. In order to maintain the appearance throughout the home, technicians will affix the new drywall with the proper fasteners and it is then sanded down to match the surrounding wall. Further complications, either from waiting too long to treat, or from improper drying, involve the growth of mold throughout the home. To avoid this, technicians will use air mover fans and dehumidifiers to accelerate the natural drying process and fully remove the threat.

As destructive as floods and pipe breakages can be, damages from a blaze can be just as disastrous. IICRC-certified fire and water restoration crews use only the most recent and effective means in treating these types of disasters. While the worst-case scenarios involve the destruction of the entire building, blazes can affect many different things in a building, even if they were very small. For instance, soot is notorious for spreading into every nook and cranny. While it can be nearly impossible to remove it by one’s self, trained technicians utilize large HEPA certified vacuums and thermal fogging machines to remove all traces completely. 

On top of the immediate damage, fire and water restoration crews are necessary for removing the residual damage that can linger from old disasters. Only trained technicians can properly inspect a building or home in order to uncover problem areas such as damp materials and ash. Damp materials can foster mold growth, while ash can corrode metal, scratch glass, and when left untreated for long enough time, it can cause a strong, unpleasant odor.

Mold from Heavy Flooding a Serious Concern

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold from Heavy Flooding a Serious Concern 5 reasons to suspect you didn't cure your mold issues on your own! SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is here to help!

Mold from Heavy Flooding a Serious Concern

From August till the end of December 2015, North Georgia saw several incidents of heavy rainfall that led to massive flooding. In some parts, like Blairsville’s Meeks Park or entire neighborhoods in Ellijay, rising water levels were enough to shutter access to main roads and close down communities completely.

As the new year brings a break from the rain and the region settles into its familiar chilly weather pattern, many residents are still left dealing with the aftermath of last year’s torrential rains. Most notably, the potential for mold and bacteria growth is  concern for those affected by flooding.

SERVPRO has been helping businesses and residents since 1967. They will be happy to assist you in the cleanup and restoration of  your home from the serious aftermath effects of flooding fromheavy rains or plumbing.

5 reasons to suspect you didn’t cure your mold issues on your own:

  • Mold spores are airborne and invisible to the human eye. They can quickly multiply after your cleaning attempt. Air duct cleaning is essential after mold cleanup to capture mold spores and sanitize the system.

  • If you used bleach, it leaves residual moisture, which is one condition mold needs to grow.

  • If you used bleach on porous surfaces, such as unfinished wood and drywall, you may have killed mold on the surface. However, you quite possibly did not kill the roots beneath the surface.

  • You have a musty smell after cleaning.

  • If a dark stain reappears after cleaning, it could possibly be the return of mold

You may need a professional to, at least, evaluate your home and make sure it’s mold free. Mold issues are always best caught early or completely prevented.

For more information please visit or call us today at 706-896-1880.

10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs. Here are some ways to prevent water damage to your home or business:

1.       Clean and inspect gutters regularly.

2.       Keep downspouts clear of any blockages.

3.       Repair or replace roofing as needed.

4.       Be sure soffit vents are clean and unobstructed.

5.       Check for any cracks or peeling paint. These could indicate moisture retention.

6.       Fill low spots around building foundation with clean fill dirt.

7.       Create slope away from structure to drain runoff properly.

8.       Trim plants around building to avoid growth of mold or mildew.

9.       Make sure garden areas have adequate drainage.

10.   Apply a waterproofing coating to interior or exterior basement walls.

If you have any questions regarding any troubles you are experiencing, do not hesitate to contact our SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties office.

Spruce Up Your Space

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up---spring is finally here! Spring cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties can help get your facility in tip top shape. In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties crew professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and odor deodorization.

A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t work, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties have the tools to make your  home or business sparkle in no time!

Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips in Your Workplace from SERVPRO!

·         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 established for them.

·         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 e-mail 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.

·         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.

·         Disinfect Regularly:

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

Christine Osborn : Operations Manager

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Meet Christine Osborn, the Operations Manager of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties!

Christine wears many, many hats for SERVPRO. She manages all of the functions that happen within the franchise. She will even suit up and help out production to assist our customers to get their homes back to normal again.

Her background is in management, marketing and graphic design. She grew up on a farm in a small town in Iowa. She was in the Iowa Army National Guard and studied Music Education at a private university in Storm Lake, IA. She has a very wide variety of talents and interests. 

Christine is the mother of a very intelligent and loving son, Braxton, who is her entire world. In her free time she enjoys motivating others to set goals because her goal in life is to "Make A Difference". She says nothing is impossible as long as you tell yourself you can do it. Her and her son are also huge supporters of the Armed Services...past, present and future.

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. If we can assist you with any restoration needs, do not hesitate to contact our office.

RL Key: Marketing Manager

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

My name is RL Key and I am the Sales and Marketing Manager at SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. I am a Baptist preacher. My wife, Jess, and I have two beautiful, amazing and very spoiled little girls named Saylor and Sydney.

When I do get a break from selling everything under the sun, I like to try and relax on the golf course, which really means watching "Mickey Mouse and having tea parties." 

I am a die-hard Atlanta Falcons football fan. Some people might consider me to be a once in a lifetime fantasy football player. I prefer to be called the greatest of all time. 

On a real note I try to do as much as possible in the community. Currently, I am the chairman of the Business to Business Leads Group for the Union County Chamber of Commerce where I also serve as an Ambassador. If there is anything that I can do to help you, just let me know.

Home and Garden Show

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had so much fun at the Home & Garden Show in Hiawassee hosted at the Events Center at Fieldstone! We were able to meet customers and give them information they never knew regarding what was lurking in their HVAC duct systems and information regarding mold due to flooding among so much more! Thank you to everyone who came out to see us! If you didn't get a chance to come out or have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office will be happy to answer any questions you may have any kinds of issues you are experiencing. SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is always here to help!

Understanding The Fire Restoration Process

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

It is imperative that IICRC-approved fire restoration should be implemented as soon as possible after a house fire is out. The longer the delay in contacting a restoration company, the more opportunity there is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. A homeowner’s insurance company should be able to refer an approved and experienced restoration firm. It is surprising just how well restoration works in light of how destructive a fire can be. Depending on the damage, a home can often be restored to its before-fire state. A restoration team has a difficult task to perform, and a great deal of responsibility, but IICRC-approved technicians are well-equipped to return a home to its original condition.

The fire restoration process involves the repair of any structures damaged by smoke, fire, or water. Carpets undergo a chemical process to remove smoke odor. Sub-floor materials undergo inspection for damage and may need to be replaced. Upholstery and curtains are subject to a similar process. Furnishings are taken to a separate location and restored to pre-fire condition. The home is aired out for as long as needed to diminish the effects of odor and mildew, and deodorization efforts continue throughout the process. Through the cooperation of the insurance company, the restoration team, and the homeowner, a home can be restored and made safe to live in once again.

Don't take a chance on getting the Heebee Jeebees!

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Household mold is fungi and is commonly referred to as mildew. You know the stuff, mostly ... you know the smell. Childhood visits to lakeside cabins, 1970s ranch home basements and even your grandma's house might bring back the memory of your mom saying "shew, it smells musty in here." Musty, is, in all actuality a word. Your mom didn't make it up. See, fungi used to be classified as plants, for years, until some scientist discovered that it acts more like an animal. So, fungi got their very own kingdom. Ah, a kingdom … "my kingdom for a horse" said Shakespeare. Seemingly simple (like the illustration from the Bard), fungi actually appears in many forms, the quickest to come to mind is usually, a mushroom. Additionally, fungi can appear as a plant parasite and damage crops. The type of fungi we are talking about today is the type which produces household, “mildewly” and musty ol mold. That culprit, though common, is actually a diverse group of organisms.   

All fungi are made up of tiny filaments called hyphae. Isn't that interes … zzzzzz …. 

The hard walls of fungus (mold) are built out of chitin, the same material that insects and arthropods have as a hard outer shell. Ok, so that's kinda cool. That totally makes the "like animals" part make more sense. Mold reproduces via microscopic particles called spores. It's largely understood that spores are irritants and can cause health effects. The fungi in the outdoors is part of the highly complex process of decomposition, you know … how fallen trees rot and stuff. Organisms such as ants will actually transport bits of fungus to their food supply (usually leaves or plants) to aid in the breakdown. Ants cannot digest cellulose. So, they use fungi kinda like we use meat tenderizer.  

Mold lives by breaking down organic material and it spreads in a largely invisible web. The type of fungi that produces household mold and woodland mushrooms do differ, however; in the way that mushrooms emerge as visible evidence of fungi, so does dusty, fuzzy looking household mold.   

The common denominator in the growth of all mold, is moisture. All this talk of fungi, mold, mildewy smells, invisible webs … it's creepy, huh? That's why, here at SERVPRO, we recommend you never try to take care of mold issues in your house by yourself. If you can see it, there is usually so much you can't see … we don't want you to even think about it.  

We offer complete mold remediation services so you don't even have to! See, now that you understand how mold works … you'll also understand that a spray bottle of bleach and some rubber gloves are only going to worsen the bigger issue. If there is mold showing on the wall, the carpet … that invisible web we talked about ... is strewn far and wide. You can't be thinking about that! You'll get the heebee jeebees! No one wants the heebee jeebees! Not to mention, if you start trying to eradicate the visible stuff and you manage to get a little of the not so visible stuff, you'll stir up the spores! So, please if you see or suspect mold in your home, or Grandma's home … give us a call! 

Grilling Safety

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Summer time is grilling time. We all love to either cook on a grill or eat what has been cooked. Just thinking of all the mouthwatering goodies that can come off a grill makes me hungry, but before eating, comes safety! When grilling weather finally gets here after a long, cold winter, a lot of us will go drag the grill out of the garage and fire it up. If we don’t take time to check things out and clean everything properly (which ideally was done before putting it away last year), we are asking for trouble. Safety tips and procedures are given to us for a reason- our personal safety and the safety of our surroundings. In 2014 alone, over 16,000 people ended up in emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. A failure to properly clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire and a close second was having the grill too close to a flammable object, such as the house or porch railing. It can seem like a waste of precious grilling time to clean everything before firing up the grill, especially if you have done so before storage for the winter. You must remember that dust and insects can get into places that could cause a problem while your grill is in storage. Here is a comprehensive list of sensible rules to follow so that your grilling season will be a safe and happy experience:

1.Read the owner’s manual. I know, who reads those things. We all should so that we understand the proper way to use our equipment. Even if you have been grilling for years, when you buy a new grill, it is extremely important to read the manual. All grills are not the same.

2.Grills are for outside use ONLY. Both charcoal and gas grills should never be used indoors, never inside a tent and garage or any other enclosed space. Grills produce carbon monoxide, which may accumulate and kill you.

3.Use only in a well-ventilated area. Always set up your grill in an open area away from structures. Avoid dry leaves or brush and high traffic areas. No one wants little Bobby to come running around the corner and knock the grill over, that would spoil your whole day.

4.Follow electric codes. If you use an electrical apparatus, such as a rotisserie, with your grill, make sure it is up to code and the cord is place so that it is not a trip hazard.

5.Use long handled utensils. Barbecuing tools are made with extra-long handles for a reason, to avoid burns on your hands and arms. Use them.

6.Wear safe clothing. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to wear a fancy shirt or dress while barbecuing. Even if you are hosting a big party. Close fitting garments are best as they are less likely to come into contact with hot coals or gas burners. Those cumbersome oven mitts can be your best friends while grilling; scorched fingers from hot items are no fun.

7. Keep the fire under control. Keeping a close watch on the temperature of your fire can lessen flare-ups. If you must douse a flare-up with a mist of water, remove the food first. A fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand or even a water hose should be close by in case of a problem. Use baking soda to put out a grease fire; using water in this instance will just spread the fire.

8. Never leave a hot grill unattended. Just because the cooking is done and the fire is out doesn’t make a grill safe. It can stay hot enough to cause problems for up to an hour after being extinguished. Wait until it has cooled off before trying move it. And don't let people play around the grill while it is still hot. Grilling out is one of the best things about summer time. Hot dogs, hamburgers, even chicken all seem to taste better when cooked on the grill. This year you may want to try your hand at more exotic dishes such as Ginger-soy glazed Mahi-Mahi or Grilled Shrimp in a Banana-leaf Pouch. Whatever you decide to cook on your grill this summer, be sure to follow the safety rules so that you and your loved ones will have a fabulous summer with no trips to the emergency room.

For more tips and tricks to help you prevent leaks, fires and more sign up for occasional email newsletters OR please visit the SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties website!