If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (888) 557-2336

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

www.IICRC.org

Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

7/28/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Summer Safety Tips!

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.

In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grills fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.

Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation.

What damage can water cause in the home?

Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water.

When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors.

But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp.

There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition.

That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes.

Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

www.IICRC.org

The Next Step After Having Fire And Water Damage

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage are nightmares for any home or business owner because they typically force expensive repairs. This is particularly true when the building is flooded or a pipe bursts. Such disasters can destroy entire floors of a building, and make it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out. But cleaning it out is something that only professionals should be allowed to handle, especially if there is contaminated fluid or a lot of ash residue present. Certified technicians will have the tools and expertise needed to restore the building to normal and allow people to work or live in it without fear of health issues. 

How do professionals perform fire and water damage restoration?

The only way to deal with a flame’s aftermath is to clean the area up thoroughly. Even a small fire can leave behind a good deal of ash and soot, and it will become more than just an annoyance if it is allowed to spread through the building. Smoke is another concern, as it will create noxious odors that penetrate through walls and seemingly last forever. Technicians are prepared to work through the building, scrubbing down all affected surfaces, and surveying the property to find areas where the residue has settled. This includes the ventilation system as well, as ash is readily picked up by the building’s climate control system. In places where the residue has formed a thick, almost lacquer-like substance, technicians have special detergents that can eat through the muck and make it easy to wipe away. As for smoke odors, professionals typically use a device known as a thermal fogger. This device will fill the building with particles designed to neutralize smoke odors, and these particles are small enough to reach through walls, so they can go where the smoke is.

Floods, sewage backflows and plumbing disasters offer their own challenges, and take a lot of equipment that only fire and water damage restoration professionals have access to. For example, if the building is harboring several inches of water, industrial strength pumps will be needed to pull it out, and these pumps are often mounted to a truck. Once this is done, trained professionals will be able to identify what materials can be rescued and what materials are completely compromised. It is essential to get this part right because destroyed materials that are left behind can ferment mold and bacterial growth. 

Technicians will then work to dry the building, a process that requires several heavy duty air mover fans and dehumidifiers. This normally takes several days to see through, and technicians will monitor drying progress with moisture meters and regular inspections. Also, if there are any areas infested with mold or other microbes, fire and water damage restoration professionals can eliminate the threat with fungicides or other cleaning solutions. 

Certified fire and water damage restoration professionals are the people to call when disaster strikes. They can operate in any environment and ensure a building is as good as new, giving people the peace of mind they need when returning home or to work.

www.IICRC.org

Water Damage

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

When the Pipes Crack: Tips to Prevent Water Damage


When extreme temperatures strike, homeowners across the U.S. are crippled with millions of dollars in water damage to homes and buildings.

Leaving a home alone can become an expensive implication if things go astray while you are gone. And unfortunately more often than not, things do go wrong. Opportunely, there are certain things homeowners can do to protect their home and the interior possessions.

Water is the homeowners’ biggest enemy. If a pipe were to burst thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. The IICRC responds as an authority on pulling the pieces back together for home and business owners. When water damage results from cracked pipes, IICRC offers these tips for clean-up.

To Prevent Frozen Pipes:

• Wrap electrical heating tape on exterior pipes. Remove garden hoses from faucets.

• Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure it with tape.

• Let cold and hot water faucets drip. Running water helps prevent freezing pipes and reduces pressure build up in them.

• Inside the home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation around plumbing.

• Leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

• Locate the problem pipe, if possible, and open a faucet. As the pipe thaws, running water aids the melting process.

• Apply heat to the frozen section using a hand-held hair dryer or portable electric space heater. Do not use a blow torch as it could cause the pipe to explode. Do not use a propane or kerosene heater as these are hazardous for indoor use.

• If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe area, call a licensed plumber.

• If all else fails and you experience a burst pipe that results in water damage, shut off the main water valve and contact a professional water damage restoration company with trained technicians and extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment.

If Water Damage Occurs, Tips for Clean
-Up:

• Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak.

• Call an IICRC-certified professional water restoration firm immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. Certified Firms have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards.

• Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.

• Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees are present.

• Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

• Dry out before you rebuild. Professional water restorers have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country.

www.IICRC.org

What to do in a Flood

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States, causing more damage than any other weather-related disaster.  The location of your home or business has little to do with your risk factor for flooding.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.   According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 20% of all claims were for policies in low-risk communities.  Floods cost an average of $3 billion in annual losses with the average Commercial claims being $75,000,000.

The American Red Cross (ARC) offers the following flood safety tips:

Stay away from flood waters.  If you come up on a flowing stream where the 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. 

Do not try to drive on a flooded road.   If you approach a roadway that is flooded, turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and the water is rising rapidly, get out of the car and get to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two of moving water.  

Keep children out of the water.  Children are curious and lack judgment about running water and contaminated water.

That’s pretty basic…so here are some less well known tips to keep you safer in a flood!

  • If you have time, secure your home. Bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through moving water.Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Turn off 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.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.

After a Flood 

  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. 
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals. Call SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to help with cleanup, we have the equipment and expertise to restore your home to it's former glory. 

Apple Blossom Festival

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over 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 or production staff 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!

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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

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 –706-896-1880

Fireworks Safety

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

Buy Local Extravaganza 2018

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had so much fun at the Buy Local Extravaganza in Blairsville hosted at North Georgia Technical College! 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!

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at 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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

SERVPRO Christmas

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

The ladies of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had a great time at the Christmas Party! If you have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff 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!

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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke Alarm Campaign

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Towns County Sheriff's Office Empty Stocking Fund

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is so excited to help Sheriff Chris Clinton and the Towns County Sheriff's Office with their Empty Stocking Fund! We were able to provide toys to more than 61 children!

The Empty Stocking Fund empowers parents and guardians of children living in poverty by providing them with an opportunity to give their children gifts at Christmas time. 

About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin and 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

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

7/26/2018 (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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/26/2018 (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 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, 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 http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/storm-flooding-restoration that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 706-896-1880

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Caleb Weaver: Production Manager

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, a premier cleanup and restoration company, congratulates Caleb Weaver, as the new Production Manager. He will be responsible for managing production crews and jobs from start to finish.
Weaver joined the SERVPRO production team in 2009 as a Technician. He progressed to Crew Chief, Senior Crew Chief, and Assistant Production Manager before this promotion. He has earned the Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration . He is a certified lead paint renovator and has also completed forklift training.
“Our most important priority is to provide the very best support and service to our customers,” said Keith Wall, owner of SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. “The experience, knowledge and skills that Caleb Weaver brings to our franchise management team will help us better serve our community and continue to ensure our customers' satisfaction.”
“I’m very excited to join the management team at SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties,” said Weaver. “It’s a unique opportunity to continue to grow as a professional while helping people in a time of need.”
SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides cleanup and restoration services following a fire, water or even mold-related damage. Additional services offered include: cleaning and restoration of special items, such as HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers and documents that have sustained water damage.
For more information on SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties , please contact Keith Wall at 706-896-1880.

Faster to your Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Water Damage Ever

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

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.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –706-896-1880

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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.

For Immediate Service in Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, Call SERVPRO

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster inUnion, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. 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 –706-896-1880

Residential Services

Whether your 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 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: http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 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 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 – 706-896-1880

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 706-896-1880

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 706-896-1880

Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

Class A:   Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.

Class B:   Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C:   Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D:   Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question.  These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

Class K:   Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.  These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

Food Safety Tips

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Even though we live in the mountains, there is the potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Just ask the people who live in Gilmer County who experienced flooding in early August--or the people in Union County who experienced flooding in early July.



Here are some tips provided by ready.gov to keep you safe during floods:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
  • If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.

Flooded Home Results in Mold

7/17/2018 (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

7/17/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

7/17/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

7/17/2018 (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.

http://www.IICRC.org/

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only mnutes 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

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. 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 ememrgency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

Ready for Whatever Happens!

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

As severe weather approaches, you and your family are reminded to check our emergency supply kits, we are also reminded of the SERVPRO slogan "Ready for whatever happens".  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one full emergency supply kit for your home and smaller portable kits for your office and vehicles.

A basic emergency supply kit should contain at least the following:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

Remember, this is only a basic kit.  Your circumstances may require additional items.  Check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website on readiness at www.ready.gov for more information.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to learn more and be "Ready for whatever happens!"

Food Safety Tips

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Even though we live in the North Georgia mountains, there is the potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Just ask the people who live in Ellijay who experienced flooding in early August, or the people in Blairsville who experienced flooding in early July.



Here are some tips provided by ready.gov to keep you safe during floods:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
  • If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.

National Preparedness Month

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. 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 ememrgency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only mnutes 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.

Water Damage

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

When the Pipes Crack: Tips to Prevent Water Damage


When extreme temperatures strike, homeowners across the U.S. are crippled with millions of dollars in water damage to homes and buildings.

Leaving a home alone can become an expensive implication if things go astray while you are gone. And unfortunately more often than not, things do go wrong. Opportunely, there are certain things homeowners can do to protect their home and the interior possessions.

Water is the homeowners’ biggest enemy. If a pipe were to burst thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. The IICRC responds as an authority on pulling the pieces back together for home and business owners. When water damage results from cracked pipes, IICRC offers these tips for clean-up.

To Prevent Frozen Pipes:

• Wrap electrical heating tape on exterior pipes. Remove garden hoses from faucets.

• Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure it with tape.

• Let cold and hot water faucets drip. Running water helps prevent freezing pipes and reduces pressure build up in them.

• Inside the home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation around plumbing.

• Leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

• Locate the problem pipe, if possible, and open a faucet. As the pipe thaws, running water aids the melting process.

• Apply heat to the frozen section using a hand-held hair dryer or portable electric space heater. Do not use a blow torch as it could cause the pipe to explode. Do not use a propane or kerosene heater as these are hazardous for indoor use.

• If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe area, call a licensed plumber.

• If all else fails and you experience a burst pipe that results in water damage, shut off the main water valve and contact a professional water damage restoration company with trained technicians and extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment.

If Water Damage Occurs, Tips for Clean
-Up:

• Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak.

• Call an IICRC-certified professional water restoration firm immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. Certified Firms have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards.

• Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.

• Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees are present.

• Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

• Dry out before you rebuild. Professional water restorers have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country.

www.IICRC.org

Flooded Home Results in Mold

3/22/2018 (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.

Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

3/22/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Hiring Rug Cleaning Services Instead Of Attempting DIY

3/22/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

3/22/2018 (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.

www.IICRC.org

The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation. 

What damage can water cause in the home?

Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water. 

When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors. 

But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp. 

There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition. 

That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes. 

Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

www.IICRC.org

The Next Step After Having Fire And Water Damage

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage are nightmares for any home or business owner because they typically force expensive repairs. This is particularly true when the building is flooded or a pipe bursts. Such disasters can destroy entire floors of a building, and make it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out. But cleaning it out is something that only professionals should be allowed to handle, especially if there is contaminated fluid or a lot of ash residue present. Certified technicians will have the tools and expertise needed to restore the building to normal and allow people to work or live in it without fear of health issues. 

How do professionals perform fire and water damage restoration?

The only way to deal with a flame’s aftermath is to clean the area up thoroughly. Even a small fire can leave behind a good deal of ash and soot, and it will become more than just an annoyance if it is allowed to spread through the building. Smoke is another concern, as it will create noxious odors that penetrate through walls and seemingly last forever. Technicians are prepared to work through the building, scrubbing down all affected surfaces, and surveying the property to find areas where the residue has settled. This includes the ventilation system as well, as ash is readily picked up by the building’s climate control system. In places where the residue has formed a thick, almost lacquer-like substance, technicians have special detergents that can eat through the muck and make it easy to wipe away. As for smoke odors, professionals typically use a device known as a thermal fogger. This device will fill the building with particles designed to neutralize smoke odors, and these particles are small enough to reach through walls, so they can go where the smoke is.

Floods, sewage backflows and plumbing disasters offer their own challenges, and take a lot of equipment that only fire and water damage restoration professionals have access to. For example, if the building is harboring several inches of water, industrial strength pumps will be needed to pull it out, and these pumps are often mounted to a truck. Once this is done, trained professionals will be able to identify what materials can be rescued and what materials are completely compromised. It is essential to get this part right because destroyed materials that are left behind can ferment mold and bacterial growth. 

Technicians will then work to dry the building, a process that requires several heavy duty air mover fans and dehumidifiers. This normally takes several days to see through, and technicians will monitor drying progress with moisture meters and regular inspections. Also, if there are any areas infested with mold or other microbes, fire and water damage restoration professionals can eliminate the threat with fungicides or other cleaning solutions. 

Certified fire and water damage restoration professionals are the people to call when disaster strikes. They can operate in any environment and ensure a building is as good as new, giving people the peace of mind they need when returning home or to work.

www.IICRC.org

Summer Safety Tips!

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.

In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grills fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

Class A:   Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.

Class B:   Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C:   Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D:   Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question.  These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

Class K:   Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.  These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

www.IICRC.org

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

3/22/2018 (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.

http://www.IICRC.org/

Ready for Whatever Happens!

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

As severe weather approaches, you and your family are reminded to check our emergency supply kits, we are also reminded of the SERVPRO slogan "Ready for whatever happens".  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one full emergency supply kit for your home and smaller portable kits for your office and vehicles.

A basic emergency supply kit should contain at least the following:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

Remember, this is only a basic kit.  Your circumstances may require additional items.  Check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website on readiness at www.ready.gov for more information.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to learn more and be "Ready for whatever happens!"

Mold from Heavy Flooding a Serious Concern

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

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 SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com or call us today at 706-896-1880

10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage

2/27/2018 (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

2/27/2018 (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.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at 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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke Alarm Campaign

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

1/26/2018 (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 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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

Relay for Life 2016

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties had so much fun last Friday at the Relay for Life event in Blue Ridge, GA! Thank you to everyone who came out to support the cause!

What Is Relay?

  • Organized, overnight community fundraising walk
  • Teams of people camp out around a track
  • Members of each team take turns walking around the track
  • Food, games and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie
  • Family-friendly environment for the entire community

Because it's a team event, individual participants are not required to be there the entire time. But it's so much fun, you'll find it hard to leave!

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 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.

Sneaky Leaks: Tips to avoid disaster

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that the EPA reports that plumbing leaks account for more than One Trillion gallons of water waste, Nationwide. That’s TRILLION, with a T. One million gallons of water will fill a football field sized swimming pool nearly four feet deep. 
The EPA also reports, the average household loses 10,000 gallons each year due to leaks. That’s enough to fill a backyard pool six feet deep. 
So, what’s so leaky? Some leaks are super sneaky.
Here are five places you might be able to sneak up on your leaks!
1. HVAC drainage line: this isn’t a leak that uses excess water but it is a leak that can spill out of its containment pan, onto the floor and cause damage. 
THE FIX: It’s usually just that the line is clogged with dust or debris. Generally simple to fix.

2. Ice maker lines: Your ice maker is a workhorse. Tirelessly, it pools water into the mold so you can have cold beverages. The waterline that supplies this process is generally tucked behind the refrigerator, out of sight. Older models are usually equipped with a clear plastic tube that can pinch, become brittle and crack open or just get pulled out of the fixture. Newer models have a stainless, flexible hose that is much more durable. 
THE FIX: Check behind your fridge for any moisture or pooled water. A slow leak my never be seen depending on the type of flooring you have. Replacing this item is a YouTube video away.

3. Faucets: So, maybe faucets are less sneaky than attic or basement water lines … but little drips add up. It’s worth turning the controls a smidge tighter to see if you have a drip or just poor hand strength. 
THE FIX: It’s usually just an O ring or a washer. The internal workings of the standard kitchen or bathroom faucet do not work for forever. Also, you might consider changing the supply tube lines with braided lines.

4. Outdoor faucets: The invention of frost proof fixtures have significantly cut down on problems with outdoor faucets wreaking havoc. However, one little caveat we see time after time, is the improper installation of these handy-dandy faucets. See, they are supposed to be installed at a slight angle as to encourage any remaining water to run out of the pipe. Because: without water, a pipe can’t really freeze and burst. 
THE FIX: Unscrew the hose … run a little water on the ground, turn off the water … does the water continue to drip out of the faucet for a bit? If it’s dry as bone, there’s probably a good chance it’s not going to drain out. You are likely going to need a handy person or a plumber to fix this. **Remember, never leave hoses connected to faucets in the winter.

5. Dishwashers: Oh how we love or hate our dishwashers. Either they are saving us from the task of scrubbing never ending dishes, or they are doing a terrible job and we are still scrubbing dishes. Tucked back flush with our cabinets, we cannot see what is going on with the kitchen help. 
THE FIX: Look closely at the adjoining cabinetry for signs of moisture. If you are seeing the leak, it could be the door gasket or something rather simple. If it’s older, the tubs can form holes. 
THE FIX: Don’t over load your dishwasher and definitely use the proper soap. Other leaks, you may need help to resolve.

Other places to look for leaks: hot water heater, washing machine hoses (we recommend you change these every 5-7 years or switch to a braided line), under sinks, attic and basement pumping, access panels to plumbing otherwise walled off.

Remember at SERVPRO we can make sure any disaster you encounter is “Like it never even happened” but we also fully subscribe to the theory “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Should you have a leak sneak up on you and cause more than mess than you can handle, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is just a phone call away. 
www.SERVPROBlueRidge.com 
(706) 896-1880

Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

In 2011, there were 1.3 million house fires in the United States.

1.3 million families temporarily displaced.

We attach our memories to things. We often scoff at materialism and we even poke fun at those who tend to accumulate lots of “things” … but the truth is, sometimes, things have meaning.

Your grandmother’s quilt, photos of your children, artwork, the shoes you wore on your first date with your husband, a movie ticket from a special day with a good friend … these are all seemingly meaningless things. Some of us are more sentimental than others.

Out of 1.3 million, it’s a safe bet that some important “things” were lost. We helped approximately 240 customers last year and though we restored a lot of belongings, some items were too far gone. Some of those things were not replaceable. Worse than things are people injured or killed. Nearly 25 thousand people each year are injured or killed by fire and that’s why prevention is so important.  Here are some less common tips from Ready.gov, a website dedicated to disaster prevention.

Electrical

·         Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

·         Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

·         If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

·         Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

·         Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Cooking

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

·         Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

·         Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·         Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

·         Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Fires can spread from nearly harmless to engulfing in less than 30 seconds. Reavy.gov reports many people do not realize how incredibly fast fire is. Fire is not bright and glowing as it would seem. Especially in a house it quickly produces thick black smoke making everything dark. Additionally, it’s smoke and toxic fumes from the various materials in a home that usually kills people. These hard facts should be enough to help you create a fire escape plan for your family.

As for those belongings, put precious mementos in fireproof safe or box. Have your photos scanned so you have digital copies of all family photos, old and new. Terry and Tonya, two of our team members who help inventory belongings and restore items have thoroughly enjoyed breathing new life into “Grandmother’s China” and even finding lost treasures in the process of moving furniture and cleaning up after a disaster.

Here at SERVPRO, we are used to working with insurance companies to help restore or rebuild homes. In the Blue Ridge area, one of the agents we are blessed to work with is Kevin Panter, who offers the following advice “Insureds need to take their annual review with their insurance agent seriously.  It is often determined during a time of loss that the insured’s building limits and personal property contents limits are not adequate.  Having proper documentation and adequate limits will help make the claim process much easier.   Having cell phone videos and storing proper documentation off the premises will help greatly should a claim arise.” You can reach Kevin through his company www.KevinPanterInsurance.com .

“Our whole reason for existing as a business is to help our customers feel confident and comfortable as we restore their homes or businesses to preloss conditions. When disaster, small or large, strikes, you feel like you’ve lost control. We want to help you get it back. Our crews are often praised for their compassion. It is truly heartfelt,” explains Carnie Wall, co-owner.

Play that funky music, but get rid of that funky smell

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Most of us have walked into a business or even a home that didn’t smell … well, good. Sometimes the odor is identifiable and superficial cleaning will fix it or maybe it can just be stemming from some unpleasant thing that’s out of sight and no longer alive thus creating a big ol “eeewww” in the olfactory department.

More often, weird odors are not clearly seen or understood. Like musty basements … what is “musty” any way? That’s just a weird word. Restaurants often start to have an odd and not altogether pleasant smell from fryer oils, grease traps, garbage and other unsightly and unappetizing things we really don’t love to talk about. Maybe you are now thinking back to when your very own nose was offended by such an odor and how you really wish you hadn’t picked that particular place to try a salmon burger.

At SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties (yeah, we know that is a crazy long name) we are challenged with helping businesses and homeowners get rid of funky things. We can suggest a new musical playlist that’s less 1970s too, but we don’t specialize and can’t promise your satisfaction in that!

One of the ways we help to get rid of “funk” is through Air Duct Cleaning. Sometimes, you can change the carpet, paint the walls, bleach the tile and there is STILL an odor. Often times, that odor is coming from your Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. So, along with a smell, the air you are breathing isn’t so great either. Even the EPA suggests Air Duct and Ventilation system cleaning can be beneficial in situations where mold has been present or if any type of contaminant could have breached your system. Breaches happen in the case of older systems and just like your coffee table gets covered in dust, so does your duct work. We’ve talked about a lot of yucky things in this article and sadly, even the tidiest of Sally (or Sam) Homemakers can’t stop dust.

Inspecting the ventilation system is also a great way to reveal efficiency issues and potential hazards or problems. There could be lack of insulation along with a multitude of possible scenarios our technicians encounter when they go crawling around in attics and under floors. We have stories …

We pride ourselves on integrity, responsibility and commitment in our business. Our jobs often include doing our full level best to turn someone’s disaster into a happy ending, so in performing routine cleaning and inspections we are thrilled when we can be the ones to point out an issue and prevent disaster. That’s what we call a very good day.

To learn more about our Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning services visit www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com

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

8/18/2017 (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

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Summertime 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 shouldneverbe used indoors, never inside a tent or 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.

5.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.

6.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.

7.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.

8. 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.

9. 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 aroung 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 occassional email newsletters OR please visit theSERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Countieswebsite!

Home & Garden Show 2017

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Home & Garden Show 2017 Julie Seabolt (Marketing SMR) at the Home & Garden Show

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had so much fun at the Home & Garden Show in Hiawassee hosted at the Towns County Recreational Facitlity! 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

8/9/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

RL Key: Marketing Manager

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial RL Key: Marketing Manager RL Key : Marketing Manager

My name is RL Key and I am the Sales and Marketing Manager as 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.

Christine Harriott : Office Manager

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

General Christine Harriott : Office Manager Christine Harriott : Office Manager

Meet Christine Harriott, the Office Manger of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties!

Christine wears many, many hats for SERVPRO. She manages all of the functions that happen in the office as well as acts as marketing's side kick. She has also suited up and helped 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 autisic 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.

Caleb Weaver: Production Manager

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, a premier cleanup and restoration company, congratulates Caleb Weaver, as the new Production Manager. He will be responsible for managing production crews and jobs from start to finish.
Weaver joined the SERVPRO production team in 2009 as a Technician. He progressed to Crew Chief, Senior Crew Chief, and Assistant Production Manager before this promotion. He has earned the Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration . He is a certified lead paint renovator and has also completed forklift training.
“Our most important priority is to provide the very best support and service to our customers,” said Keith Wall, owner of SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. “The experience, knowledge and skills that Caleb Weaver brings to our franchise management team will help us better serve our community and continue to ensure our customers' satisfaction.”
“I’m very excited to join the management team at SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties,” said Weaver. “It’s a unique opportunity to continue to grow as a professional while helping people in a time of need.” 
SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides cleanup and restoration services following a fire, water or even mold-related damage. Additional services offered include: cleaning and restoration of special items, such as HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers and documents that have sustained water damage.
For more information on SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties , please contact Keith Wall at 706-896-1880.

Faster to your Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Water Damage Ever

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

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.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –706-896-1880

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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.

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 706-896-1880

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 706-896-1880

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 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 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

For Immediate Service in Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, Call SERVPRO

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster inUnion, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. 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 –706-896-1880

Residential Services

Whether your 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 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: http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 – 706-896-1880

SERVPRO Christmas

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

The ladies of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had a great time at the Christmas Party! If you have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff 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!

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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Towns County Sheriff's Office Empty Stocking Fund

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is so excited to help Sheriff Chris Clinton and the Towns County Sheriff's Office with their Empty Stocking Fund! We were able to provide toys to more than 61 children!

The Empty Stocking Fund empowers parents and guardians of children living in poverty by providing them with an opportunity to give their children gifts at Christmas time. 

About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin and 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Apple Blossom Festival

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over 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 or production staff 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!

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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Home & Garden Show 2016

7/31/2017 (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!

Home & Garden Show 2016

7/31/2017 (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!

Smoke Alarm Campaign

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

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

7/31/2017 (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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

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 –706-896-1880

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/31/2017 (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 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, 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 http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/storm-flooding-restoration that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 706-896-1880

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at 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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Fireworks Safety

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

Ready for Whatever Happens!

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

General Ready for Whatever Happens! SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is always "Ready for whatever happens!"

As severe weather approaches, you and your family are reminded to check our emergency supply kits, we are also reminded of the SERVPRO slogan "Ready for whatever happens".  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one full emergency supply kit for your home and smaller portable kits for your office and vehicles.

A basic emergency supply kit should contain at least the following:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

Remember, this is only a basic kit.  Your circumstances may require additional items.  Check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website on readiness at www.ready.gov for more information.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to learn more and be "Ready for whatever happens!"

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

7/28/2017 (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.

http://www.IICRC.org/

Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

www.IICRC.org

Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

Class A:   Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.

Class B:   Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C:   Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D:   Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question.  These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

Class K:   Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.  These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

Summer Safety Tips!

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.

In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grills fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.  Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

The Next Step After Having Fire And Water Damage

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage are nightmares for any home or business owner because they typically force expensive repairs. This is particularly true when the building is flooded or a pipe bursts. Such disasters can destroy entire floors of a building, and make it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out. But cleaning it out is something that only professionals should be allowed to handle, especially if there is contaminated fluid or a lot of ash residue present. Certified technicians will have the tools and expertise needed to restore the building to normal and allow people to work or live in it without fear of health issues. 

How do professionals perform fire and water damage restoration?

The only way to deal with a flame’s aftermath is to clean the area up thoroughly. Even a small fire can leave behind a good deal of ash and soot, and it will become more than just an annoyance if it is allowed to spread through the building. Smoke is another concern, as it will create noxious odors that penetrate through walls and seemingly last forever. Technicians are prepared to work through the building, scrubbing down all affected surfaces, and surveying the property to find areas where the residue has settled. This includes the ventilation system as well, as ash is readily picked up by the building’s climate control system. In places where the residue has formed a thick, almost lacquer-like substance, technicians have special detergents that can eat through the muck and make it easy to wipe away. As for smoke odors, professionals typically use a device known as a thermal fogger. This device will fill the building with particles designed to neutralize smoke odors, and these particles are small enough to reach through walls, so they can go where the smoke is.

Floods, sewage backflows and plumbing disasters offer their own challenges, and take a lot of equipment that only fire and water damage restoration professionals have access to. For example, if the building is harboring several inches of water, industrial strength pumps will be needed to pull it out, and these pumps are often mounted to a truck. Once this is done, trained professionals will be able to identify what materials can be rescued and what materials are completely compromised. It is essential to get this part right because destroyed materials that are left behind can ferment mold and bacterial growth. 

Technicians will then work to dry the building, a process that requires several heavy duty air mover fans and dehumidifiers. This normally takes several days to see through, and technicians will monitor drying progress with moisture meters and regular inspections. Also, if there are any areas infested with mold or other microbes, fire and water damage restoration professionals can eliminate the threat with fungicides or other cleaning solutions. 

Certified fire and water damage restoration professionals are the people to call when disaster strikes. They can operate in any environment and ensure a building is as good as new, giving people the peace of mind they need when returning home or to work.

www.IICRC.org

The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation. 

What damage can water cause in the home?

Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water. 

When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors. 

But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp. 

There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition. 

That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes. 

Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

www.IICRC.org

Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

7/28/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Hiring Rug Cleaning Services Instead Of Attempting DIY

7/28/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Water Damage

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

When the Pipes Crack: Tips to Prevent Water Damage


When extreme temperatures strike, homeowners across the U.S. are crippled with millions of dollars in water damage to homes and buildings.

Leaving a home alone can become an expensive implication if things go astray while you are gone. And unfortunately more often than not, things do go wrong. Opportunely, there are certain things homeowners can do to protect their home and the interior possessions.

Water is the homeowners’ biggest enemy. If a pipe were to burst thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. The IICRC responds as an authority on pulling the pieces back together for home and business owners. When water damage results from cracked pipes, IICRC offers these tips for clean-up.

To Prevent Frozen Pipes:

• Wrap electrical heating tape on exterior pipes. Remove garden hoses from faucets.

• Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure it with tape.

• Let cold and hot water faucets drip. Running water helps prevent freezing pipes and reduces pressure build up in them.

• Inside the home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation around plumbing.

• Leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

• Locate the problem pipe, if possible, and open a faucet. As the pipe thaws, running water aids the melting process.

• Apply heat to the frozen section using a hand-held hair dryer or portable electric space heater. Do not use a blow torch as it could cause the pipe to explode. Do not use a propane or kerosene heater as these are hazardous for indoor use.

• If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe area, call a licensed plumber.

• If all else fails and you experience a burst pipe that results in water damage, shut off the main water valve and contact a professional water damage restoration company with trained technicians and extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment. 

If Water Damage Occurs, Tips for Clean
-Up:

• Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak.

• Call an IICRC-certified professional water restoration firm immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. Certified Firms have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards. 

• Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.

• Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees are present.

• Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

• Dry out before you rebuild. Professional water restorers have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country.

www.IICRC.org

Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

7/28/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Flooded Home Results in Mold

7/28/2017 (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.

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only mnutes 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

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. 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 ememrgency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

Flood Safety Tips

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Even though we live in the mountains, there is the potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Just ask the people who live in Gilmer County who experienced flooding in early August--or the people in Union County who experienced flooding in early July.



Here are some tips provided by ready.gov to keep you safe during floods:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
  • If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.

What to Do in A Flood!

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States, causing more damage than any other weather-related disaster.  The location of your home or business has little to do with your risk factor for flooding.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.   According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 20% of all claims were for policies in low-risk communities.  Floods cost an average of $3 billion in annual losses with the average Commercial claims being $75,000,000.

The American Red Cross (ARC) offers the following flood safety tips:

Stay away from flood waters.  If you come up on a flowing stream where the 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. 

Do not try to drive on a flooded road.   If you approach a roadway that is flooded, turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and the water is rising rapidly, get out of the car and get to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two of moving water.  

Keep children out of the water.  Children are curious and lack judgment about running water and contaminated water.

That’s pretty basic…so here are some less well known tips to keep you safer in a flood!

  • If you have time, secure your home. Bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through moving water.Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Turn off 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.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.

After a Flood 

  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. 
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals. Call SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to help with cleanup, we have the equipment and expertise to restore your home to it's former glory. 

The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

6/25/2017 (Permalink)

The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation.

What damage can water cause in the home?

Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water.

When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors.

But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp.

There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition.

That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes.

Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

www.IICRC.org

Flood Safety Tips

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Even though we live in the mountains, there is the potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Just ask the people who live in Gilmer County who experienced flooding in early August--or the people in Union County who experienced flooding in early July.



Here are some tips provided by ready.gov to keep you safe during floods:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
  • If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.

National Preparedness Month

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. 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 ememrgency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only mnutes 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.

Flooded Home Results in Mold

3/20/2017 (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.

Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

3/20/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Water Damage

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

When the Pipes Crack: Tips to Prevent Water Damage


When extreme temperatures strike, homeowners across the U.S. are crippled with millions of dollars in water damage to homes and buildings.

Leaving a home alone can become an expensive implication if things go astray while you are gone. And unfortunately more often than not, things do go wrong. Opportunely, there are certain things homeowners can do to protect their home and the interior possessions.

Water is the homeowners’ biggest enemy. If a pipe were to burst thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. The IICRC responds as an authority on pulling the pieces back together for home and business owners. When water damage results from cracked pipes, IICRC offers these tips for clean-up.

To Prevent Frozen Pipes:

• Wrap electrical heating tape on exterior pipes. Remove garden hoses from faucets.

• Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure it with tape.

• Let cold and hot water faucets drip. Running water helps prevent freezing pipes and reduces pressure build up in them.

• Inside the home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation around plumbing.

• Leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

• Locate the problem pipe, if possible, and open a faucet. As the pipe thaws, running water aids the melting process.

• Apply heat to the frozen section using a hand-held hair dryer or portable electric space heater. Do not use a blow torch as it could cause the pipe to explode. Do not use a propane or kerosene heater as these are hazardous for indoor use.

• If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe area, call a licensed plumber.

• If all else fails and you experience a burst pipe that results in water damage, shut off the main water valve and contact a professional water damage restoration company with trained technicians and extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment.

If Water Damage Occurs, Tips for Clean
-Up:

• Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak.

• Call an IICRC-certified professional water restoration firm immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. Certified Firms have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards.

• Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.

• Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees are present.

• Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

• Dry out before you rebuild. Professional water restorers have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country.

www.IICRC.org

Hiring Rug Cleaning Services Instead Of Attempting DIY

3/20/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

3/20/2017 (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.

www.IICRC.org

The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation. 

What damage can water cause in the home?

Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water. 

When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors. 

But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp. 

There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition. 

That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes. 

Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

www.IICRC.org

The Next Step After Having Fire And Water Damage

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage are nightmares for any home or business owner because they typically force expensive repairs. This is particularly true when the building is flooded or a pipe bursts. Such disasters can destroy entire floors of a building, and make it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out. But cleaning it out is something that only professionals should be allowed to handle, especially if there is contaminated fluid or a lot of ash residue present. Certified technicians will have the tools and expertise needed to restore the building to normal and allow people to work or live in it without fear of health issues. 

How do professionals perform fire and water damage restoration?

The only way to deal with a flame’s aftermath is to clean the area up thoroughly. Even a small fire can leave behind a good deal of ash and soot, and it will become more than just an annoyance if it is allowed to spread through the building. Smoke is another concern, as it will create noxious odors that penetrate through walls and seemingly last forever. Technicians are prepared to work through the building, scrubbing down all affected surfaces, and surveying the property to find areas where the residue has settled. This includes the ventilation system as well, as ash is readily picked up by the building’s climate control system. In places where the residue has formed a thick, almost lacquer-like substance, technicians have special detergents that can eat through the muck and make it easy to wipe away. As for smoke odors, professionals typically use a device known as a thermal fogger. This device will fill the building with particles designed to neutralize smoke odors, and these particles are small enough to reach through walls, so they can go where the smoke is.

Floods, sewage backflows and plumbing disasters offer their own challenges, and take a lot of equipment that only fire and water damage restoration professionals have access to. For example, if the building is harboring several inches of water, industrial strength pumps will be needed to pull it out, and these pumps are often mounted to a truck. Once this is done, trained professionals will be able to identify what materials can be rescued and what materials are completely compromised. It is essential to get this part right because destroyed materials that are left behind can ferment mold and bacterial growth. 

Technicians will then work to dry the building, a process that requires several heavy duty air mover fans and dehumidifiers. This normally takes several days to see through, and technicians will monitor drying progress with moisture meters and regular inspections. Also, if there are any areas infested with mold or other microbes, fire and water damage restoration professionals can eliminate the threat with fungicides or other cleaning solutions. 

Certified fire and water damage restoration professionals are the people to call when disaster strikes. They can operate in any environment and ensure a building is as good as new, giving people the peace of mind they need when returning home or to work.

www.IICRC.org

Summer Safety Tips!

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.

In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grills fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.  Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

Class A:   Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.

Class B:   Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

Class C:   Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.

Class D:   Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question.  These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

Class K:   Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.  These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

www.IICRC.org

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

3/20/2017 (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.

http://www.IICRC.org/

Ready for Whatever Happens!

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

General Ready for Whatever Happens! SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is always "Ready for whatever happens!"

As severe weather approaches, you and your family are reminded to check our emergency supply kits, we are also reminded of the SERVPRO slogan "Ready for whatever happens".  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one full emergency supply kit for your home and smaller portable kits for your office and vehicles.


A basic emergency supply kit should contain at least the following:



  • Water (one gallon per person per day)

  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

  • Manual can opener

  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Clothing

  • Dust masks or bandanas

  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Hygiene items

  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account information

  • Cash

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof container


Remember, this is only a basic kit.  Your circumstances may require additional items.  Check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website on readiness at www.ready.gov for more information.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to learn more and be "Ready for whatever happens!"

Mold from Heavy Flooding a Serious Concern

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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 SERVPROBLUERIDGE.com or call us today at 706-896-1880.

10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage

2/3/2017 (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

2/3/2017 (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.

Grilling Safety

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

 Summertime 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 or 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.   5. 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.    6. 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.     7. 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.   8. 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. 9. 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 aroung 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 occassional email newsletters OR please visit the SERVPRO of Union, Towns,  Fannin & Gilmer Counties website! 

Fireworks Safety

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Almost everyone loves fireworks!  The Fourth of July is just around the corner and we will be looking forward to watching the beautiful fireworks displays.  Some of us will go to local displays and some of us will watch the magnificent displays around the country on television.  Did you know that the largest fireworks display in the world happened at the New Year countdown on January 1, 2016?  It was in the Philippine Arena, Ciudad de Victoria Bocaue Bulacan, Manila, Philippines, consisting of 810,904 fireworks, lasting for 1 hour 1 minute 32.35 seconds in the pouring rain.  Amazing, isn’t it?The Chinese stumbled upon a kind of natural firecracker as early as 200 B.C.  They would roast bamboo, which would explode with a bang due to the hollow air pockets inside.  They believed that the noise would ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists mixed together saltpeter (a common kitchen seasoning) charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients, unwittingly yielding the first crude form of gunpowder.  It is speculated that they were possibly trying to make an elixir for immortality.  When the Chinese began stuffing this volatile substance into bamboo shoots and throwing them into a fire, the first fireworks were born.   By the time of the Renaissance, pyrotechnic schools were training fireworks artists across Europe.  In the 1830s, the Italians began to incorporate very small amounts of metals and other additives to their fireworks, thus creating the bright, multicolored sparks and sunbursts seen in contemporary fireworks shows.  Until then, fireworks were just loud noises, orange flashes and faint golden traces of light. Legend has it that Captain John Smith set off the first fireworks display in America in 1608.  Some of the colonists may have gotten a little carried away and a spate of firecracker-related pranks became a public nuisance, prompting officials in Rhode Island to ban the “mischievous use of pyrotechnics” in 1731. Today, most states regulate how and where fireworks may be used, as well as the types of explosives would be available for consumers to purchase.  In 2009, nearly 9,000 Americans were hurt by fireworks with a disproportionate number of the injuries occurring in July.  This is why fireworks safety is so important.   The Fireworks Safety Code • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks• Keep fireworks in a closed box• Follow the instructions on each firework• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper• Stand well back• Never go near a firework that has been lit.  Even if• It hasn’t gone off, it could still explode• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them• Always supervise children around fireworks• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves• Never give sparklers to children under 5• Keep pets indoors• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never past 11pm

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

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Don't take a chance on getting the Heebee Jeebees! Avoiding the heebee jeebees is easy with one call to SERVPRO!

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! 

Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Where there's smoke, there is fire ... tips for fire prevention Tips from to prevent fires and good advice from local insurance pros.

In 2011, there were 1.3 million house fires in the United States.

1.3 million families temporarily displaced.

We attach our memories to things. We often scoff at materialism and we even poke fun at those who tend to accumulate lots of “things” … but the truth is, sometimes, things have meaning.

Your grandmother’s quilt, photos of your children, artwork, the shoes you wore on your first date with your husband, a movie ticket from a special day with a good friend … these are all seemingly meaningless things. Some of us are more sentimental than others.

Out of 1.3 million, it’s a safe bet that some important “things” were lost. We helped approximately 240 customers last year and though we restored a lot of belongings, some items were too far gone. Some of those things were not replaceable. Worse than things are people injured or killed. Nearly 25 thousand people each year are injured or killed by fire and that’s why prevention is so important.  Here are some less common tips from Ready.gov, a website dedicated to disaster prevention.

Electrical

·         Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

·         Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

·         If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

·         Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

·         Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Cooking

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

·         Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

·         Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·         Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

·         Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Fires can spread from nearly harmless to engulfing in less than 30 seconds. Reavy.gov reports many people do not realize how incredibly fast fire is. Fire is not bright and glowing as it would seem. Especially in a house it quickly produces thick black smoke making everything dark. Additionally, it’s smoke and toxic fumes from the various materials in a home that usually kills people. These hard facts should be enough to help you create a fire escape plan for your family.

As for those belongings, put precious mementos in fireproof safe or box. Have your photos scanned so you have digital copies of all family photos, old and new. Terry and Tonya, two of our team members who help inventory belongings and restore items have thoroughly enjoyed breathing new life into “Grandmother’s China” and even finding lost treasures in the process of moving furniture and cleaning up after a disaster.

Here at SERVPRO, we are used to working with insurance companies to help restore or rebuild homes. In the Blue Ridge area, one of the agents we are blessed to work with is Kevin Panter, who offers the following advice “Insureds need to take their annual review with their insurance agent seriously.  It is often determined during a time of loss that the insured’s building limits and personal property contents limits are not adequate.  Having proper documentation and adequate limits will help make the claim process much easier.   Having cell phone videos and storing proper documentation off the premises will help greatly should a claim arise.” You can reach Kevin through his company www.KevinPanterInsurance.com .

“Our whole reason for existing as a business is to help our customers feel confident and comfortable as we restore their homes or businesses to pre-loss conditions. When disaster, small or large, strikes, you feel like you’ve lost control. We want to help you get it back. Our crews are often praised for their compassion. It is truly heartfelt,” explains Carnie Wall, co-owner.

Play that funky music, but get rid of that funky smell

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Play that funky music, but get rid of that funky smell Got an odor? Is it a mystery? No need for Scooby Doo, it could be your HVAC system!

Most of us have walked into a business or even a home that didn’t smell … well, good. Sometimes the odor is identifiable and superficial cleaning will fix it or maybe it can just be stemming from some unpleasant thing that’s out of sight and no longer alive thus creating a big ol “eeewww” in the olfactory department.

More often, weird odors are not clearly seen or understood. Like musty basements … what is “musty” any way? That’s just a weird word. Restaurants often start to have an odd and not altogether pleasant smell from fryer oils, grease traps, garbage and other unsightly and unappetizing things we really don’t love to talk about. Maybe you are now thinking back to when your very own nose was offended by such an odor and how you really wish you hadn’t picked that particular place to try a salmon burger.

At SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties (yeah, we know that is a crazy long name) we are challenged with helping businesses and homeowners get rid of funky things. We can suggest a new musical playlist that’s less 1970s too, but we don’t specialize and can’t promise your satisfaction in that!

One of the ways we help to get rid of “funk” is through Air Duct Cleaning. Sometimes, you can change the carpet, paint the walls, bleach the tile and there is STILL an odor. Often times, that odor is coming from your Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. So, along with a smell, the air you are breathing isn’t so great either. Even the EPA suggests Air Duct and Ventilation system cleaning can be beneficial in situations where mold has been present or if any type of contaminant could have breached your system. Breaches happen in the case of older systems and just like your coffee table gets covered in dust, so does your duct work. We’ve talked about a lot of yucky things in this article and sadly, even the tidiest of Sally (or Sam) Homemakers can’t stop dust.

Inspecting the ventilation system is also a great way to reveal efficiency issues and potential hazards or problems. There could be lack of insulation along with a multitude of possible scenarios our technicians encounter when they go crawling around in attics and under floors. We have stories …

We pride ourselves on integrity, responsibility and commitment in our business. Our jobs often include doing our full level best to turn someone’s disaster into a happy ending, so in performing routine cleaning and inspections we are thrilled when we can be the ones to point out an issue and prevent disaster. That’s what we call a very good day.

To learn more about our Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning services visit www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com

Sneaky Leaks: Tips to avoid disaster

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Sneaky Leaks: Tips to avoid disaster We detail several ways to avoid the sneakiest leaks of all.

Did you know that the EPA reports that plumbing leaks account for more than One Trillion gallons of water waste, Nationwide. That’s TRILLION, with a T. One million gallons of water will fill a football field sized swimming pool nearly four feet deep. 
The EPA also reports, the average household loses 10,000 gallons each year due to leaks. That’s enough to fill a backyard pool six feet deep. 
So, what’s so leaky? Some leaks are super sneaky.
Here are five places you might be able to sneak up on your leaks!
1. HVAC drainage line: this isn’t a leak that uses excess water but it is a leak that can spill out of its containment pan, onto the floor and cause damage. 
THE FIX: It’s usually just that the line is clogged with dust or debris. Generally simple to fix.

2. Ice maker lines: Your icemaker is a workhorse. Tirelessly, it pools water into the mold so you can have cold beverages. The waterline that supplies this process is generally tucked behind the refrigerator, out of sight. Older models are usually equipped with a clear plastic tube that can pinch, become brittle and crack open or just get pulled out of the fixture. Newer models have a stainless, flexible hose that is much more durable. 
THE FIX: Check behind your fridge for any moisture or pooled water. A slow leak my never be seen depending on the type of flooring you have. Replacing this item is a YouTube video away.

3. Faucets: So, maybe faucets are less sneaky than attic or basement water lines … but little drips add up. It’s worth turning the controls a smidge tighter to see if you have a drip or just poor hand strength. 
THE FIX: It’s usually just an O ring or a washer. The internal workings of the standard kitchen or bathroom faucet do not work for forever. Also, you might consider changing the supply tube lines with braided lines.

4. Outdoor faucets: The invention of frost proof fixtures have significantly cut down on problems with outdoor faucets wreaking havoc. However, one little caveat we see time after time, is the improper installation of these handy-dandy faucets. See, they are supposed to be installed at a slight angle as to encourage any remaining water to run out of the pipe. Because: without water, a pipe can’t really freeze and burst. 
THE FIX: Unscrew the hose … run a little water on the ground, turn off the water … does the water continue to drip out of the faucet for a bit? If it’s dry as bone, there’s probably a good chance it’s not going to drain out. You are likely going to need a handy person or a plumber to fix this. **Remember, never leave hoses connected to faucets in the winter.

5. Dishwashers: Oh how we love or hate our dishwashers. Either they are saving us from the task of scrubbing never ending dishes, or they are doing a terrible job and we are still scrubbing dishes. Tucked back flush with our cabinets, we cannot see what is going on with the kitchen help. 
THE FIX: Look closely at the adjoining cabinetry for signs of moisture. If you are seeing the leak, it could be the door gasket or something rather simple. If it’s older, the tubs can form holes. 
THE FIX: Don’t over load your dishwasher and definitely use the proper soap. Other leaks, you may need help to resolve.

Other places to look for leaks: hot water heater, washing machine hoses (we recommend you change these every 5-7 years or switch to a braided line), under sinks, attic and basement pumping, access panels to plumbing otherwise walled off.

Remember at SERVPRO we can make sure any disaster you encounter is “like it never even happened” but we also fully subscribe to the theory “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Should you have a leak sneak up on you and cause more than mess than you can handle, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is just a phone call away. 
www.SERVPROBlueRidge.com 
(706) 896-1880

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at 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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

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 Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 – 706-896-1880

For Immediate Service in Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, Call SERVPRO

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster inUnion, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. 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 –706-896-1880

Residential Services

Whether your 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 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: http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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 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 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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties 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.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, 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 http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/storm-flooding-restoration that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 706-896-1880

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides 24-hour residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we’re dedicated to being faster to any size disaster, with the training, equipment, and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/11/2016 (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 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

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 –706-896-1880

Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 706-896-1880

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the tust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 706-896-1880

Faster to your Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer County Water Damage Even

7/11/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

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.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –706-896-1880

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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.

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

7/11/2016 (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.

http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Smoke Alarm Campaign May 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.


We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

Home & Garden Show 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Home & Garden Show 2016 Jesse Gibson

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!

Home & Garden Show 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Home & Garden Show 2016 RL Key and Christine Harriott

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!

Apple Blossom Festival 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties participated in the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA this May. We were able to meet customers from all over 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 or production staff 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!


 


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.


http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Relay for Life 2016

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties had so much fun last Friday at the Relay for Life event in Blue Ridge, GA! Thank you to everyone who came out to support the cause!

What Is Relay?

  • Organized, overnight community fundraising walk
  • Teams of people camp out around a track
  • Members of each team take turns walking around the track
  • Food, games and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie
  • Family-friendly environment for the entire community

Because it's a team event, individual participants are not required to be there the entire time. But it's so much fun, you'll find it hard to leave!

 

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 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.

Towns County Sheriff's Office Empty Stocking Fund

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin and Gilmer Counties is so excited to help Sheriff Chris Clinton and the Towns County Sheriff's Office with their Empty Stocking Fund! We were able to provide toys to more than 61 children!


The Empty Stocking Fund empowers parents and guardians of children living in poverty by providing them with an opportunity to give their children gifts at Christmas time. 


About SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties


SERVPRO of  Union, Towns, Fannin and 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.


http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Towns County Sheriff's Office Empty Stocking Parade

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

We had so much fun participating in Towns County Sheriff's Office Empty Stocking Parade! SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties placed 3rd in the float competition!

Caleb Weaver: Production Manager

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties, a premier cleanup and restoration company, congratulates Caleb Weaver, as the new Production Manager. He will be responsible for managing production crews and jobs from start to finish.
Weaver joined the SERVPRO production team in 2009 as a Technician. He progressed to Crew Chief, Senior Crew Chief, and Assistant Production Manager before this promotion. He has earned the Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration . He is a certified lead paint renovator and has also completed forklift training.
“Our most important priority is to provide the very best support and service to our customers,” said Keith Wall, owner of SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. “The experience, knowledge and skills that Caleb Weaver brings to our franchise management team will help us better serve our community and continue to ensure our customers' satisfaction.”
“I’m very excited to join the management team at SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties,” said Weaver. “It’s a unique opportunity to continue to grow as a professional while helping people in a time of need.”
SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties provides cleanup and restoration services following a fire, water or even mold-related damage. Additional services offered include: cleaning and restoration of special items, such as HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers and documents that have sustained water damage.
For more information on SERVPRO® of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties , please contact Keith Wall at 706-896-1880.

2015 SERVPRO Christmas

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

The ladies of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had a great time at the Christmas Party! If you have questions for us, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and our office or production staff 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!


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.


http://www.SERVPROuniontownsfanningilmercounties.com/crew-photos

Mountain Holiday Fest Shopping Spree Winner

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

We had such a great time shopping with our Mountain Holiday Fest $100 Shopping Spree winner, Wyatt McRae and his father Matthew McRae this Saturday! Be sure to like us on Facebook to keep up with all our community events!

Matthew Parton

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

"Being able to bring great customer service to our customers in their time of need is the best part of my job. We are the first step in making their disaster like it never even happened."

Fun in the Sun

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Fun in the Sun Jesse Gibson and owner, Carnie Wall

Our crew enjoyed a weekend out on the lake!

Snowball Gala

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

General Snowball Gala Keith, Sharla and Carnie at the Snowball Gala.

1st Annual Fundraising Snow Ball Gala hosted by the Mountain Marty. This event was held on November 15th at Brasstown Valley Resort and was a huge success.

Trap Shoot Event for Georgia's Sheriff's Youth Homes

6/13/2016 (Permalink)

Community Trap Shoot Event for Georgia's Sheriff's Youth Homes Carnie Wall, Caleb Weaver, Matthew Parton, Roy Johnson, Dalton Taylor, Jesse Gibson and Christine Harriott

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had a BLAST at the Trap Shoot Event for Georgia's Sheriff's Youth Homes! Thank you to the Towns County Sheriff's Office and to the Towns County CLEA group for making this possible! Our guys definitely enjoyed it!

Apple Blossom Festival 2016

6/10/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Apple Blossom Festival 2016 Our booth at the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA.

SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties had a booth at the 2016 Apple Blossom Festival in Ellijay, GA! 

We spent the day informing people about just what we do here at SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties.

Smoke Alarm Campaign 2016

6/10/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke Alarm Campaign 2016 Owner, Keith Wall, and our SERVPRO crew with the American Red Cross and the Towns County Fire Department.

The Red Cross DAT team and the Towns County Fire Dept. finished up their third SMOKE ALARM CAMPAIGN in Towns County and welcomed their new community partner SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. SERVPRO was a great addition to the team that provided much needed additional manpower, as well as, additional smoke alarms. 
Red Cross is in its second year of working with Fire Chief Harold Copeland and his fire fighters on the Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Campaign. This campaign was a program started by the Red Cross nationwide 3 years ago in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths in house fires by 25% within 5 years. On Wednesday, June 8th, we installed 150 new 10­year lithium battery smoke alarms in 51 homes in Towns County that couldn't afford them, didn't have working smoke alarms, or had old ones that needed replacing. We also proudly expanded this program to include Veterans in need of these alarms.
The Red Cross and Fire Dept. would like to especially thank Mr. Keith Wall, Owner, of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties and his team who are now a permanent member of this campaign going forward for all their time and efforts supporting this life saving campaign and for the purchase of the additional alarms needed. We'd like to thank Home Depot of Blairsville for their discounts on those smoke alarms.

We'd also would like to thank additional businesses in Hiawassee that supported us in this campaign. They are Hiawassee Hardware who provided batteries to be used in some current existing alarms, as well as, Hardee's, McDonalds and Zaxby's for
providing food for all the volunteers who came out to work this event. And last but not least thank you to all the workers, SERVPRO employees, Fire Fighters and Red Cross volunteers, this couldn't have been accomplished without you.

What to Do in A Flood!

6/1/2016 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States, causing more damage than any other weather-related disaster.  The location of your home or business has little to do with your risk factor for flooding.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.   According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 20% of all claims were for policies in low-risk communities.  Floods cost an average of $3 billion in annual losses with the average Commercial claims being $75,000,000.

The American Red Cross (ARC) offers the following flood safety tips:

Stay away from flood waters.  If you come up on a flowing stream where the 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. 

Do not try to drive on a flooded road.   If you approach a roadway that is flooded, turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and the water is rising rapidly, get out of the car and get to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two of moving water.  

Keep children out of the water.  Children are curious and lack judgement about running water and contaminated water.

That’s pretty basic…so here are some less well known tips to keep you safer in a flood!

  • If you have time, secure your home. Bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through moving water.Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Turn off 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.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • After a Flood 

  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. 
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals. Call SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to help with cleanup, we have the equipment and expertise to restore your home to it's former glory. 
  • Flood Safety Tips

    4/28/2016 (Permalink)

    Even though we live in the mountains, there is the potential for flooding. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Just ask the people who live in Gilmer County who experienced flooding in early August--or the people in Union County who experienced flooding in early July.



    Here are some tips provided by ready.gov to keep you safe during floods:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
  • If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.
  • National Preparedness Month

    4/28/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO Industries, Inc. 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 ememrgency management agencies, and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them.

    Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire?

    4/28/2016 (Permalink)

    How prepared are you? Do you have a fire escape plan for your business? A fire can spread quickly, leaving only mnutes 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.

    Flooded Home Results in Mold

    4/28/2016 (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.

    Frozen Pipes in North Georgia

    4/28/2016 (Permalink)

    It is very important, if you own a second home or are going to be gone for an extended period of time, that some form of heat if left on if the temperatures could get to freezing or below.

    Most feel that they will be saving SO much money by turning off all their heat. But how much money is going to be saved when you come home to busted water pipes that have resulted in this type of damage?

    Fire And Water Restoration Needs Immediate Attention

    4/21/2016 (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.


    www.IICRC.org

    Water Damage

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    When the Pipes Crack: Tips to Prevent Water Damage


    When extreme temperatures strike, homeowners across the U.S. are crippled with millions of dollars in water damage to homes and buildings.

    Leaving a home alone can become an expensive implication if things go astray while you are gone. And unfortunately more often than not, things do go wrong. Opportunely, there are certain things homeowners can do to protect their home and the interior possessions.

    Water is the homeowners’ biggest enemy. If a pipe were to burst thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. The IICRC responds as an authority on pulling the pieces back together for home and business owners. When water damage results from cracked pipes, IICRC offers these tips for clean-up.

    To Prevent Frozen Pipes:

    • Wrap electrical heating tape on exterior pipes. Remove garden hoses from faucets.

    • Cover pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass insulation and secure it with tape.

    • Let cold and hot water faucets drip. Running water helps prevent freezing pipes and reduces pressure build up in them.

    • Inside the home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to promote warm air circulation around plumbing.

    • Leave the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night, at least 55°F.

    To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

    • Locate the problem pipe, if possible, and open a faucet. As the pipe thaws, running water aids the melting process.

    • Apply heat to the frozen section using a hand-held hair dryer or portable electric space heater. Do not use a blow torch as it could cause the pipe to explode. Do not use a propane or kerosene heater as these are hazardous for indoor use.

    • If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe area, call a licensed plumber.

    • If all else fails and you experience a burst pipe that results in water damage, shut off the main water valve and contact a professional water damage restoration company with trained technicians and extraction, drying and dehumidifying equipment.

    If Water Damage Occurs, Tips for Clean
    -Up:

    • Shut off the main water valve, if practical, and call a plumber to fix the leak.

    • Call an IICRC-certified professional water restoration firm immediately for mitigation services, as required by your insurance policy. Certified Firms have the knowledge, experience and equipment to locate water wherever it goes, remove the excess, and dry your structure to industry standards.

    • Mop up standing water on flooring surfaces to prevent slip/fall hazards. If the burst pipe is overhead, drain ceiling cavities by punching “weep” holes.

    • Prevent mold growth. Although it takes a few days to appear, mold thrives on wood, paper, particle board or even household soil, when stagnant air, moisture, and temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees are present.

    • Wet clothing usually is salvageable. A 10-minute wash cycle in detergent and hot water should sanitize washable clothing and many household fabrics.

    • Dry out before you rebuild. Professional water restorers have a variety of instruments to determine when a building is dry, to prevent on-going microbial growth. Drying should not stop until wood or drywall moisture content (MC) falls below 16% MC. Normal MC is around 10% in most areas of the country.

    www.iicrc.org

    Hiring Rug Cleaning Services Instead Of Attempting DIY

    4/21/2016 (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.

    www.iicrc.org

    Home Carpet Cleaning Should Always Involve Professionals

    4/21/2016 (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.

    www.iicrc.org

    The Damage Water Causes Can Be Permanent If Not Treated Properly

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    The kind of damage water can create in the home is staggering, and if not dealt with promptly, it may result in permanent issues for the homeowner. Excess moisture is a constant enemy in buildings, seeping in around windows, through the HVAC system, from the plumbing, and even through the air every time a door is opened. As long as the home is maintained well, this isn’t a problem, but a flood or burst pipe can quickly change the situation. 

    What damage can water cause in the home?

    Excess moisture is unique in its destructive capabilities. Not only can it create significant and immediate physical devastation, it can make the home a hotspot for bacteria, viruses and molds. Floods are particularly troublesome, as they can fill the home with contaminated water. 

    When a flood slams into a building, it gathers in the lowest rooms, soaking everything in its wake. The flood brings in many hazards with it, sometimes including wildlife, chemical runoff, and various pathogens. For this reason, untrained people are strongly cautioned not to enter a building that has been wracked by a flood, as they may be bit or stung by dangerous wildlife. Chemical runoff includes fertilizers, road oils, and precipitants sitting on rooftops. This can make the fluid highly toxic and leave stains and odors. 

    But perhaps the most concerning damage water creates is pathological. Floods pick up fluid from rivers, lakes and ditches, and this fluid may contain cholera, hepatitis, dysentery and salmonella. It can wash in molds as well, turning the home into a biological hazard. What makes microbes especially dangerous in the home is that most houses are filled with organic materials, and these provide ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Drywall, carpets, upholstery, and wood are among the organic materials microbes may latch onto, and within 48 hours, any material that has been soaked through with contaminated fluid will usually be beyond salvaging. And even if the fluid is mostly benign, the withering exposure to moisture can yellow drywall and erode its integrity, and cause wood to warp. 

    There is no getting around it, the kind of damage water can produce is staggering, and it’s capable of leaving a building in a condemnable condition. 

    That’s why restoration firms are equipped to respond to disasters day and night, and are ready to treat floods and plumbing mishaps right away. Certified restoration firms, like those trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), have the skills and tools needed to deal with all kinds of moisture related disasters. Within a few days, restoration firms can remove all signs of excess moisture, saving sensitive materials, drying out the home, and destroying any signs of mold and microbes. 

    Floods and plumbing disasters cannot be ignored, and when they do emerge, the only way to deal with them safely is with a certified professional’s help.

    www.iicrc.org

    The Next Step After Having Fire And Water Damage

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Fire and water damage are nightmares for any home or business owner because they typically force expensive repairs. This is particularly true when the building is flooded or a pipe bursts. Such disasters can destroy entire floors of a building, and make it uninhabitable until it is cleaned out. But cleaning it out is something that only professionals should be allowed to handle, especially if there is contaminated fluid or a lot of ash residue present. Certified technicians will have the tools and expertise needed to restore the building to normal and allow people to work or live in it without fear of health issues. 

    How do professionals perform fire and water damage restoration?

    The only way to deal with a flame’s aftermath is to clean the area up thoroughly. Even a small fire can leave behind a good deal of ash and soot, and it will become more than just an annoyance if it is allowed to spread through the building. Smoke is another concern, as it will create noxious odors that penetrate through walls and seemingly last forever. Technicians are prepared to work through the building, scrubbing down all affected surfaces, and surveying the property to find areas where the residue has settled. This includes the ventilation system as well, as ash is readily picked up by the building’s climate control system. In places where the residue has formed a thick, almost lacquer-like substance, technicians have special detergents that can eat through the muck and make it easy to wipe away. As for smoke odors, professionals typically use a device known as a thermal fogger. This device will fill the building with particles designed to neutralize smoke odors, and these particles are small enough to reach through walls, so they can go where the smoke is.

    Floods, sewage backflows and plumbing disasters offer their own challenges, and take a lot of equipment that only fire and water damage restoration professionals have access to. For example, if the building is harboring several inches of water, industrial strength pumps will be needed to pull it out, and these pumps are often mounted to a truck. Once this is done, trained professionals will be able to identify what materials can be rescued and what materials are completely compromised. It is essential to get this part right because destroyed materials that are left behind can ferment mold and bacterial growth. 

    Technicians will then work to dry the building, a process that requires several heavy duty air mover fans and dehumidifiers. This normally takes several days to see through, and technicians will monitor drying progress with moisture meters and regular inspections. Also, if there are any areas infested with mold or other microbes, fire and water damage restoration professionals can eliminate the threat with fungicides or other cleaning solutions. 

    Certified fire and water damage restoration professionals are the people to call when disaster strikes. They can operate in any environment and ensure a building is as good as new, giving people the peace of mind they need when returning home or to work.

    www.iicrc.org

    Summer Safety Tips!

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July.

    In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

    There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  Did you know, July is the peak month for grills fires?  A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.  SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.  Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

    • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
    • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
    • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
    • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
    • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
    • Never leave your grill unattended.
    • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
    • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.  Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.
    • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

    Choosing the Proper Fire Extinguisher

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

    USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:

    • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
    • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
    • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
    • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
    • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

    Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

    Class A:   Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.

    Class B:   Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.

    Class C:   Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.

    Class D:   Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question.  These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.

    Class K:   Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.  These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

    Check out the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association for more information about fire extinguisher use, type and care.

    Damage from Water Should be Cleaned by Certified Professionals

    4/21/2016 (Permalink)

    The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

    Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of harmful substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

    This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

    That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of harmful pathogens.

    www.iicrc.org

    How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

    4/12/2016 (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.

    http://www.iicrc.org/

    Ready for Whatever Happens!

    4/5/2016 (Permalink)

    General Ready for Whatever Happens! SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties is always "Ready for whatever happens!"

    As severe weather approaches, you and your family are reminded to check our emergency supply kits, we are also reminded of the SERVPRO slogan "Ready for whatever happens".  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one full emergency supply kit for your home and smaller portable kits for your office and vehicles.

    A basic emergency supply kit should contain at least the following:

    • Water (one gallon per person per day)
    • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
    • Manual can opener
    • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Clothing
    • Dust masks or bandanas
    • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Hygiene items
    • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, ID and bank account information
    • Cash
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Matches in a waterproof container

    Remember, this is only a basic kit.  Your circumstances may require additional items.  Check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website on readiness at www.ready.gov for more information.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties to learn more and be "Ready for whatever happens!"

    SERVPRO Ranks #7 on 2015 Franchise 500 List

    4/16/2015 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO maintains its hold on the No. 7 spot overall on the Entrepreneur magazine's 2015 Franchise 500 list. This recognition marks the sixth consecutive year Entrepreneur has included the company in its Top 10 list and the 12th consecutive year SERVPRO has earned the top spot on the magazine's list in its own industry-Restoration Services.

    'It's very satisfying to represent the ongoing brand leadership of SERVPRO for disaster cleanup and restoration services in the Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties areas," said Keith Wall, owner of SERVPRO of Union, Towns, Fannin & Gilmer Counties. "As a SERVPRO franchise, we have the tools and knowledge--and the responsibility--to provide the best possible service to every customer."

    2014 Georgia SERVPRO Franchise of the Year

    2/25/2015 (Permalink)

    We are excited, humbled and blessed to announce the we were named the 2014 Georgia SERVPRO Franchise of the Year at the State meeting on February 20th. We are grateful to our customers for their trust in us, to our employees for the hard work they perform all the time, and to those who refer business to us. We will always work to make our customers feel comfortable and confident as we bring their homes and businesses back to pre-loss conditions. "Like it never even happened."

    Super Bowl Squares Winners

    2/5/2015 (Permalink)

    Congratulations to the winners of our 2015 Super Bowl Squares. Allison from Jeff Davis State Farm in Blairsville, Brenda from The Insurance Mart in Blue Ridge X 2 and Haley from Kevin Panter Insurance in Blue Ridge. Glad we could share the excitement with these and a HUGE Thank You to ALL who participated.

    Light Up Ellijay Parade

    12/5/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Light Up Ellijay Parade Light Up Ellijay Parade

    Fun Times at the Light Up Ellijay Parade

    Employee of the Month

    10/7/2014 (Permalink)

    General Employee of the Month Employee of the Month

    Congratulations to Russ Clouchete for being our September Employee of the Month. Russ was chosen for his hard work and attention to detail. Russ is also responsible for all the mechanic work at our company and does a great job of staying on top of any issues. Russ was awarded a $150 gift certificate at the place of his choice.  WAY TO GO RUSS!

    Winner of Tablet at Kiwanis Rodeo in Blue Ridge

    8/21/2014 (Permalink)

    Congratulations to Christine Tipton of Copper Hill, TN for being the winner of our give-a-way tablet at the Rodeo in Blue Ridge on August 16th. A huge Thank You for everyone who visited our booth.

    Production Crew

    5/30/2014 (Permalink)

    General Production Crew From Left to Right: Owner-Keith Wall, Production Manager-Matthew Parton, Brett, John, Russ, David, Kaleb, Dalton, Roy and Jason.

    Our Production Crew and their new uniforms. A huge thank you to all of our guys for their hard work and continually putting their best foot forward to do their best. So proud of them! Thank you for all you do!!

    Categories

    Archived Posts