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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

ONE TEAM

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is ONE TEAM

Whenever and wherever a disaster may be, SERVPRO will be there. With over 1,900 SERVPROs nationwide, we are quickly able to rally troops together creating an unstoppable force that is here to help.

Why Choose SERVPRO for Storm Damage Restoration?

All 1,900 SERVPROs are strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that when disaster strikes, we can most efficiently and effectively come to alleviate those affected.

Take Winter Storm Uri for example. When the south-central region of the United States experienced below-freezing temperatures, residential and commercial properties experienced burst pipes followed by severe levels of water damage. The moment there was a cry for help, SERVPRO of South Madison County began stocking up our trucks with air movers, dehumidifiers, moisture meters and driving cross-country with one goal in mind- to help those who need us most!

Within days thousands of hands were on deck working together as one cohesive unit to help mitigate the water damage that had occurred. The wonderful thing about choosing SERVPRO of South Madison County as your trusted restoration and reconstruction company, is that you not only work with a highly trusted name, but you gain access to all 1,900 franchises nation-wide who are willing to travel wherever they are needed when the time comes to take care of your mold, water, fire or storm damage.

Another beautiful thing about working with SERVPRO is that each franchise lives by the same service standards. We all are locally owned and operated, provide 24-hour emergency services, are highly trained and IICRC certified, have access to the most advanced technology in the restoration industry, and we are all familiar and experienced when it comes to insurance requirements.

Whether you experience tornadoes, floods or winter damage in Huntsville, Alabama, SERVPRO of South Madison County is here to help and so are our neighboring SERVPRO franchises.

Call us anytime, we are your local experts!

Salvage more with the SERVPRO experts

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Water technician using moisture meter SERVPRO trained technician using a meter to determine current moisture levels after a water damage.

Pretesting, Innovative Tools Help Salvage More Damaged Property, Belongings

If your commercial property in Huntsville, AL, sustains a water loss, the initial scene can be overwhelming. While it may seem like little is salvageable and your insurance claim will be over the top, a certified mold and water damage and restoration company will have the tools and expertise to perform pretesting and make a restoration plan to minimize claims and get your property back to “Like it never even happened.”

Inspection
Even though you may already have damage, a key to minimizing costs is ensuring it doesn’t spread. After calling a professional, they will quickly respond to start the saving process.

Within four hours, a technician will arrive on-site to assess the damage and develop a mitigation plan.
The professional will clearly explain the assessment and plan, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the process.
After the on-site visit, the professional will communicate the scope of the project with your insurance agent or claims adjuster.
Pretesting will be done to determine if items can be restored.

Restoration
Once the cleanup and restoration process begins, certified professionals have an arsenal of tools and techniques to clean, repair and restore the structure and many of the items within it. These include:

Moisture Detection: This is used to measure and monitor moisture levels, including detecting hidden water.
Water Extraction: To speed up the drying process, portable or truck-mounted extraction equipment will be used to pump out high levels of water.
Drying: Industrial-strength humidifiers and air mover are used to eradicate leftover moisture from throughout the structure.
Cleaning and Deodorizing: Salvageable belongings will be removed and taken to a secure location to clean and remove odors. Different methods will be used depending on the item, such as dry, immersive, or wet cleaning. Air scrubbers, thermal foggers and anti-microbial treatments are used in the property to eliminate odors and sanitize.

A water loss may seem like a difficult situation to get out of, but taking quick action and pretesting damaged items ensures more can be restored instead of replaced.

SERVPRO is ready to help this Spring!

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

With new flowers blooming, warmer weather walks in the park, and so on we welcome Spring. On the other hand, things like allergies, bee stings, flood warnings, and tornadoes we don't miss. Did you know our tornado season peaks during the months of March, April & May! Well, you know now! Let’s make sure your business is prepared in the event of a tornado.

  • KNOW WHERE TO GO: during a storm, you’re in panic mode so it’s best to have your designated storm area predetermined and known by all of your staff. This room should be reinforced by a professional to provide extra protection during severe storms. 
  • PREPARE YOUR SAFE ROOM: important documents, non-perishable foods, batteries & a flashlight, first aid kit, and so on should be in that area with easy access for you and your staff.
  • ADDED PROTECTION: Provide extra protection to prevent their bodies from direct contact with debris.

Even with that knowledge, your business is not protected, so know that as leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise and we’re here to help. When a major storm hits, it may overwhelm local restoration companies. We want you to know we can scale our resources by accessing the equipment and personnel of 1,700 Franchises. We can also access Disaster Recovery Teams that specialize in major storms and catastrophic events. So never fret! 

Anywhere you may live in Madison County, AL, we are proud to operate in your community. Give us a call at 256-533-5335 to learn more!

Common Causes of Preventable Fires in Your Home

4/11/2021 (Permalink)

Accelerant Keep your home safe from preventable fires

A home can easily catch fire in many different ways. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Cooking Equipment. Pots and pans can overheat and can easily cause a fire if the person cooking gets distracted.

  2. Heating Appliances. Portable heaters should be kept at least one yard away from anything. Especially if it could easily catch fire.

  3. Smoking. A cigarette butt that has not been put out properly can cause a small flame which could stay lit for a few hours.

  4. Candles. Yes we all love our homes looking and smelling pretty, but never leave a room with a burning candle going. A candle flame doesn’t even have to come in contact with flammable materials to combust into flame. The wax from the candle can easily overheat and light up on its own. Keep candles away from anything flammable. Blow candles out before leaving your home, the room and even before going to bed.

  5. Faulty Wiring. Inadequate wiring causes fires. If your lights dim when using other appliances, fuses blow the circuit frequently, or if an appliance only works by having to disconnect another- then you may have bad wiring. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any of these occurrences.

  6. Barbecues. They’re great for outdoor cooking meals and promote quality family time spent together. Plus who doesn’t love the smoky grilled flavor of any food prepared on them? Just make sure to keep barbecues away from your home. Barbecuing underneath covered porches, next to tablecloths, any plants, tree branches, falling leaves or keeping your accelerants (lighter fluid / box of matches) close to your grill could cause the spread of a fire. If you are using propane, be sure to check the gas tank for any leaks before using it.

  7. Lighting. Lamp shades build up heat if they are too close to the light bulbs. Keep lamps in areas where they can not be easily knocked over. Never use a scarf or other cloth to cover your lamps as heat build up can cause combustion.

  8. Christmas Trees. Real Christmas trees tend to dry out over time, and usually by the end of the holiday season they’re done. They can cause a very serious flash fires if not disposed of in a timely manner. A hot light or a spark can set the tree aflame almost immediately and these fires to spread quickly due to the prickly leaves being so dry.

By paying attention to these few small details you can avoid the unfortunate losses and burdens that come with a preventable fire in your home.


If you have had a fire in your home, and you need help with the cleanup. Give SERVPRO of South Madison a call. We are here to help you restore your home to its former glory.


Being Prepared in a Storm Situation

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Sample Emergency Kit Don't Forget Your Emergency Kit

We should always be prepared for the unexpected. It is very hard to predict when a natural disaster will occur. Emergency disaster kits are important steps to be prepared and to help protect your household from these events. Make sure your emergency kit is in a readily available place that is known to everyone in the household.

Here are a couple of items that should be included in your emergency disaster kit:

  • Water

  • Non-perishable food

  • Medicine

  • Flashlight

  • First aid kit

  • Batteries, power banks, & a cell phone with chargers

  • Blankets

  • Set of clothes & shoes

  • Dust masks

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Local map

  • Set of tools

  • Box of matches or lighter

  • Battery powered clock / and or radio

  • Personal items (ie. toiletries, extra pair of contact lenses -if you use them- etc.)

All of these items can be bought at stores or you can even purchase prepared kits online if you would like to purchase a kit that is ready to go. SERVPRO of South Madison County hopes you could share this information with friends or family to help them be prepared and safe for any unexpected events.

Secondary Damage after a Flood

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

A flood, fire or any disaster that involves the quick spread of large amounts of water can quickly lead to further damage from black mold formation at your home in Huntsville, AL or Madison, AL.

What Is Secondary Damage?

This type of damage begins to take hold soon after the threat of the original disaster is under control. It is often due to:

  • Improper sanitization measures
  • Delay in drying efforts
  • Insufficient repairs
  • Poor ventilation

Mold is among the most prevalent causes of damage in the aftermath of a flood. It can quickly form and spread in various circumstances, such as after using a fire hose to extinguish flames, when plumbing pipes freeze and break or when water enters a home through cracks or a faulty foundation during a severe storm.

What Is the Best Way To Prevent Black Mold After a Flood?
The most reliable way to avoid mold following a flood is to dry out your space immediately. When dealing with large volumes of water, it is best to contact a professional disaster restoration service to apply urgent and rigorous mold prevention measures. Flood recovery teams can use industrial-strength water extraction machines to reduce high humidity quickly and efficiently remove excess water before it leads to mold.

What Are Some Ways To Manage Mold After It Starts To Form?
If mold has already taken hold, professional restoration services can undertake mold remediation to prevent it from spreading. For example, air filtration and ozone treatments can remove hazardous mold spores and their musty odors from the air. When water saturates walls or ceilings, removing and replacing mold-infested drywall can prevent more severe structural problems. Immediate action can mitigate damage after a flood and may raise the chances for a successful insurance claim to defray post-flood expenses.
Secondary damage from black mold formation is avoidable if you take immediate steps to control high humidity and dry your space after a flood in Huntsville, AL. When in doubt, contact a professional flood restoration service for sound advice.

Rapid Response to Fire Damage

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Performs Rapid-Response Fire Restoration

Fire damage is an unfortunate risk in many businesses, particularly restaurants. Kitchen appliance mishaps and electrical failures are among the many causes of this. Sprinklers can mitigate the spread of flames, but the damage requires cleanup by trained professionals.

SERVPRO performs fire restoration services for Huntsville, Alabama businesses that have been affected by fire damage. Services are performed per Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines and local regulations.

Our team responds extremely rapidly getting trained inspectors on-site to conduct an analysis of the damage and to formulate a plan! 

We are always here to help!

How Do Technicians Determine What Cleaners to Use for Fire Damage?

  • Are surfaces porous or nonporous? Porous surfaces, like wood and fabric, can absorb soot. These surfaces require different cleaning methods compared to nonporous surfaces like metal, glass, or plastic.
  • Are soils hydrophilic or lipophilic? A surface otherwise unaffected by water-based cleaners might require a dry solvent to remove sediments.
  • Is wet cleaning or dry cleaning more effective? Many soils are addressed through wet cleaning, but dry-cleaning sponges, alkaline solutions, and solvent cleaners all play essential roles during mitigation.

SERVPRO of South Madison County can be reached at (256) 533-5335 for 24/7 commercial fire restoration.

Why use SERVPRO for Storm Restoration Work?

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

5 Reasons to use SERVPRO for storm damage restoration in Huntsville, AL.

24-Hour Emergency Service

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

Certification and Experience

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

Advanced Technology

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

Locally Owned and Operated

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

Familiar with Insurance Requirements

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

Smoke Detector Basics

3/6/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke touching a Smoke Detector in your home Do you know your smoke alarm basics?

One of the biggest basics of fire safety is the importance of smoke alarms. Checking them regularly and having them in your home are vital to safety. But many people don’t understand exactly how and why these smoke detectors will make a difference.

Experts estimate that many deaths from house fires occur in homes where there aren’t smoke detectors or where there aren’t enough smoke detectors.

That adds up to about 1,450 deaths per year that might be preventable with proper smoke alarms.

Do You Have Enough Alarms in your Huntsville, AL or Madison, AL home?

So, how can you tell if you have enough smoke alarms in your home? Here’s where experts recommend placing smoke alarms:

  • Outside every bedroom
  • Outside each sleeping area
  • On every level of the house
  • Living rooms, dens and family rooms
  • Near stairwells
  • Ten feet from appliances

Avoid installing them near windows, doors or ducts.

Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association offers this advice for maintaining your smoke alarms:

Don’t neglect to test your smoke alarms. You should check your smoke alarms every month to make sure they’re working properly.

Change your batteries. Once or twice a year is enough. Do it when you change your clocks to make it easier to remember.

Consider a system of interconnected smoke alarms. These can make your family safer because they alert the whole home to danger and are easier for everyone in your household to hear.

Replace your alarms on schedule. Most of the time, smoke alarms need to be replaced about every 10 years. That allows you to be sure they’re in good working order and will be ready if you ever need them.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help.

We Are The Cleaning Experts

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Coronavirus cell Don't forget to wear your mask!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of Coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas

  • Bathrooms

  • Schools/Classrooms

  • Offices

  • Retail Spaces

  • Water Fountains

  • Shelving/Racks

  • Sales Counters

  • Carpets and Rugs

  • Stair Handrails

  • Elevator Cars

  • Playground Equipment

  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the Coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today –SERVPRO of South Madison County, 256-533-5335

The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Water Damage

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Delaminated Carpet Carpet delamination damage from water saturation.

There is a difference between residences and businesses when it comes to water damage. Usually it is the type of carpet that gets wet that makes the most difference. In someone’s home, water damages usually have carpet over padding. So, in someone’s home, for example, the carpet is soaked and the padding is completely engulfed in water in many cases, or at least extremely wet. The usual process in a residential home is to remove the carpet from the floor and remove the padding. The next step is to remove the tack strip that holds the carpet down. Lastly, you’d add an air mover to dry the carpet.

Commercial buildings, however, you’d have wet carpet that is glued down to the floor which means, in most cases, there is no padding. This can be good and bad. The bad part? Getting the bottom of the carpet that is glued to the floor to dry.

Air movers are used to blow air onto the carpet to dry it. The problem is, the air mover only dries the surface of the carpet leaving the underside open to a new score of issues. The underside of the carpet can still be wet and if left that way, can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. If you didn’t know, mold growth in closed quarters, whether in your home or your business can cause health effects. After a few days of a wet carpet everyone will start to notice foul odors. Those odors are the growth of bacteria and mold.

Unless you have a moisture meter to determine if the carpet is wet underneath, you have to assume that the carpet is dry by feeling the surface of the carpet. As we have just learned, that could become a liability and opportunity for employees to complain and possibly bring legal action.

The Solution:

Drying underneath the carpet and preventing mold damage and bacteria growth. Remember that mold normally (but not always) takes 36 to 72 hours to start to grow. There are molds that grow faster, but this an average time period for most molds. If you work fast you have some time to prevent a serious issue. (Just an Fyi, any wet carpet areas more than 3x3 will need a IICRC certified professional to dry properly.)

The good news is, you can usually dry underneath the carpet without taking the carpet up, through osmosis! Drying the surface of the carpet will eventually "suck" the moisture from the bottom of the carpet to the top. By continuing to dry the carpet for about 3 days you will have successfully greatly lowered your chances of mold and bacteria growth underneath your carpet.

If you have a residential or commercial water damage, get the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County to come and assist in restoring your floors to their former glory!

Putting Out Small Fires

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Class C fire extinguisher Be sure your fire extinguisher is up to code.

Small house fires can be different depending on the type. For example; fires from cooking, electrical outlets or even some fireplace fires and camp fires can be put out by you but in different ways. Here is how you can manage a small fire in your home, office or anywhere while the fire department is on its way.

Cooking and Gas

Cooking or gas fires can be stopped by placing a lid over the pot or stove top to stop the oxygen from reaching the fire. If there is gas involved quickly turn off the gas supply to stop the spread of the fire. Having fire blankets is also a great way to smother the situation.

Electrical Fires

Misused or worn electrical outlets, electrical cords, and even heavily used appliances can cause electrical fires. Baking soda is great to put out an electrical fire. For example, a worn or frayed electrical cord that has sparked into a flame, pouring baking soda should smother out the fire. Be careful with this as the wire could still be live. Make sure to turn off the breaker as soon as possible. Additionally, fires caused by appliances like a stove or other large appliance should be put out with at least a class c extinguisher. It’s important that you never use water on an electrical fire. The result would be shocking! Since water is a conductor for electricity any water used on an electrical fire could backfire back to you.

Fireplace fires

A nice warm fire in the fireplace is usually something you love to cozy up to especially this winter! They’re usually contained and emit a wonderful glow, however, if you no longer need the fire make sure you put it out before leaving or going to bed. This goes for camp grounds and home fireplaces. Make sure you rake the coals or wood and sprinkle them with sand, flour or baking soda. This smothers the flames by taking away the oxygen.

If a small fire occurs in your home, office, or other building, call your local SERVPRO of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335. SERVPRO of South Madison County has certified professional who know how to remove smoke damage and make the area affected by the fire look “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Preparation for your Business

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention tips in your Huntsville, AL business.  Call the Servpro fire restoration experts if you have a fire. Up-to-date Fire Extinguisher at your business.

4 Lesser-Known Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Fire

The possibility that your Huntsville, AL, business building will experience a fire is likely a rare subject of your thoughts. However, the potential for a business fire to create disaster makes it essential to prioritize. While you may know the essential preventative measures, not all are widely acknowledged. So, here are four lesser-known ways to prepare your business for a fire.

1. Check the Lighting
If you should undergo a business fire, the first priority will be to exit the building. Unfortunately, this will be difficult if you can't find an exit. This is why lighting is so important. Make sure that employees will be able to clearly see where each escape route is. These are some areas to focus on:

  • Hallways
  • Doors
  • Signage

If possible, try to acquire emergency lighting that won't be affected by power outages.

2. Teach Fire Extinguisher Usage
While most every business trains its employees in how to exit a building, fire extinguishers may be neglected. However, the ability to put a fire out is an essential skill during such a disaster. Hold training sessions for this purpose, particularly for those that express a lack of knowledge in the subject.

3. Lower Storage
When storing items, be sure that everything is at least 24 inches away from the ceiling. In one respect, this fire preparation stops the damage from spreading too far. In another, it helps firemen use water in buildings that don't have sprinklers.

4. Inspect Extension Cords
It can be tempting to leave extension cords perpetually plugged in, especially if you work in an office setting. However, this can be a hazard and cause fire damage. Try to implement a policy of unplugging the cords after use.
No business owner wants to experience a fire, but you may find yourself faced with one. If this occurs, you'll want to know that you are fully prepared for a business fire. Just be sure to take immediate action and contact fire restoration experts afterward.

If emergency services are needed, always call 9-1-1 or your local Huntsville, AL or Madison County, AL fire departement.

https://maps.huntsvilleal.gov/firestationdistricts/

Do I have a leaky pipe?

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

A pipe leaking under the sink Stope Leaky Pipes Before a Disaster Occurs!

A leaking pipe at your home or business in Huntsville, AL, can be caused by a number of things. Frozen water inside supply lines, poor insulation, rust, or visible moisture are all signs that a supply line could be leaking.  Frozen water inside a supply line or rust may lead to a sudden burst of the line itself.  Often, there are signs that you can see that indicate a problem before the pipe actually bursts, and you have a major water cleanup job on hand. Keep an eye out to catch a leaking supply line before it becomes a problem.

1. Abnormally High Water Bills 
If you haven't significantly increased your company's water usage, then a sudden increase in your water bills may indicate a leak. A supply line leaking will drive your water cost up because there is always water flowing. Have a plumber come for an inspection to control the water costs and resolve problems that could lead to a major pipe burst cleanup job.

2. Changes in Water Pressure
A pipe that is frozen or leaking will not be able to provide the same amount of water pressure as a problem-free pipe. You may notice that sinks and toilets are slow to drain or that they clog easily. This could be due to decreased water pressure caused by a leaking supply line. The increased pressure of the pipes trying to do their job could lead to a pipe bursting.

3. Discovery of Water Damage
Standing water is usually a strong indicator that you have a problem. Pipe burst cleanup should be handled by a professional water restoration company. There are different categories of water that can come from a burst pipe, and you want to be careful when dealing with potentially contaminated water. Watermarks on ceilings and walls are other indicators that you have a leak. A professional team can use this information to evaluate the extent of the problem and help you restore your business.
Pipe burst cleanup is usually extensive and expensive, so keep an eye out for signs of leaking pipes. The sooner you can catch the problem, the better off your business will be.

Flashback: ‘The Storm of the Century’

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Here in the South, we are not as well equipped to handle significant snowfall as our fellow Northerners who experience it every year. Some may even joke that we can’t handle snowfall, period.

One year, we didn’t have a choice. We are sentimental today and decided to reminisce. Do you remember the ‘The Storm of the Century’, ‘granddaddy of ‘em all’, the ‘Superstorm of 1993’? If not, let us refresh your memory...7 inches of snow fell on Huntsville! As strong as a category 3 hurricane, but with freezing temperatures and snow, the ‘snowicane’ hit all 67 counties in Alabama with snow.

Don’t worry, the winter-time feels didn’t last long. It was below freezing that Sunday and back into the 60s by Tuesday. For a brief moment in time, we got to experience what some Northerners see as a normal winter.

Now, back to our scolding summer...

Resource: https://www.al.com/living/2016/03/alcom_vintage_-_march_1993_bli.html#:~:text=The%20National%20Weather%20Service%20called,1993%2C%20was%20a%20monster%20storm.


Fall = Fire Pits

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year again. Summer has come and gone. Ah, Fall...you are our favorite. Colorful leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkin spice. Now that we can spend more time outside in the enjoyable weather, it’s time to break out the fire pit.

Some safety tips to keep in mind while using your fire pit...

  • When using your fire pit, make sure it is a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures, trees, fences and power lines.

  • Do not start a fire if it is very windy. Sparks can be blown onto nearby flammable materials, starting a fire you did not intend.

  • Burn dry material. Damp/wet material causes excess smoke.

  • When starting the fire, use a lighter to ignite crumbled pieces of paper covered with small sticks.

  • Do not leave the fire unattended. Keep children and pets from getting too close.

  • Be proactive. Keep some type of fire extinguishing equipment nearby. This could be a water hose or a bucket with sand.

  • Ready to head in for the night? Make sure the fire is completely out. As it dies down, spread out the ashes to allow them to cool. Slowly pour water over them and make sure no burning embers remain.

  • And of course...enjoy it!

If you ever have fire or smoke damage to your home, call us here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, 256-533-5335. We are here for you 24/7.

Friendly Reminder: Test Your Smoke Alarms

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

In 2018, there were 379,600 residential building fires according to FEMA*. A house fire can happen to any of us. It can be a devastating loss, cost thousands of dollars and potentially very deadly. As a proactive measure, we install smoke alarms in our homes. But how many of us forget to test them to confirm they are working properly?

A few quick tips**:

  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Remember this: Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half**.

*Resource: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/res_bldg_fire_estimates.pdf

**Resource: The National Fire Protection Association

Commercial Losses Hit Hard

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, we handle both residential and commercial losses. We understand that commercial losses are significantly different due to any down time having an impact on business. We want to help you get your business up and running again as quickly as possible.

Water Damages

Has your business fallen victim to water damage? Whether caused by a leak in the AC, pipes, or toilets, call us! The quicker we are able to arrive on site, the quicker you will be back to running like a normal day. Typically, water damages take around 3-4 days to dry out.

Fire Damages

Fire can cause a lot of damage. Not only the fire itself, but when the fire department responds, they may break windows and kick in doors to quickly access the fire. In order to secure the building, our first step would be to board up windows and doors to protect from outside elements, as well as anyone who may try to access the building.

COVID Cleanings

With 2020 and the coronavirus, SERVPRO® of South Madison County now offers commercial COVID cleanings. We use FDA approved chemicals sprayed as a fine mist and wipe down/sanitize touch points.

Have a commercial loss? Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 256-533-5335.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Carpets!

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

How often do you clean your carpets at home? We do weekly. Sometimes twice a week because...dogs. Vacuuming weekly seems to be a pretty common metric. And how often do you have your carpets deep cleaned at home? The recommendation is once per year.

Now, think about the carpets in your office/place of business? How often do you have those cleaned? It is recommended that you have them professionally cleaned anywhere from every 3 months to once per year. This truly depends on your type of business and the amount of traffic.

We don’t tend to think about the affects soil has on our office carpets. Obviously, it can make the carpet appear dirty, but there are other factors at play. The not-so-obvious is that soil particles act as a grinding compound. As the carpet is walked on, the particles can cut the fibers, leading to fiber loss and potentially bare spots in the carpeting. Also, soiled carpet can become a breeding ground for mold and other microbes.

Sticking to regular professional carpet cleaning helps reduce the risk of repeated illness in the workplace, as well as reduce symptoms of allergies or asthma.

Ready to have your office carpets cleaned? Call SERVPRO® of South Madison County today at 256-533-5335.

Restoring Belongings After Flood Damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

When a flood damages your home, it can also effect personal property such as books, photos and documents. We know that these belongings may be important to you and we want to do everything we can to help restore them.

It is necessary to understand that water-damaged books and documents are not fully recoverable. This means they will not reach pre-damage condition, as some damage will always exist. Time is of the essence though. The faster the restoring process gets underway, the better each book or document will look after restoration.

Our SERVPRO® of South Madison County technicians use the vacuum freeze-drying method. Vacuum freeze drying is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and also the General Services Administration. This process involves freezing an item containing moisture and then it is dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation. In order to prevent further damage it is important that your water damaged documents be frozen as quickly as possible.

Freezer storage facilities at SERVPRO® Corporate give us the ability to store your paper products. We maintain a log of items moved into storage and where they are within the facility so we can return them easily after restorations are complete.

SERVPRO® of South Madison County is dedicated to assisting you with restoring these personal property items. Call us if you have a water damage at 256-533-5335.

SERVPRO® of South Madison County Becoming Storm Team Certified

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

We are excited to announce that SERVPRO® of South Madison County is now a proud franchise of the SERVPRO® Storm Team!

What is the Storm Team? When a tornado, hurricane or flood devastates an area, it can be difficult for the local businesses to keep up due to the influx of services required. This is exactly why SERVPRO® created the Storm Team, a network of strategically positioned teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO® is prepared for the unpredictable.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Storm Teams include:

  • 2017 California wildfires

  • 2017 Hurricane Irma

  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey

  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew

  • 2015 Carolina floods

  • 2014 Polar Vortex

  • 2012 Sandy

  • 2010 Nashville floods

  • 2008 Ike

  • 2007 Chicago floods

  • 2007 Ohio floods

  • 2007 California wildfires

  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

Mold Prevention Tips

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is a common household problem, and certainly an unwelcome one. Mold develops in warm, damp environments that have little/no air flow. The most common location to find mold growth is your shower or bathroom, but it is possible for mold to grow anywhere in your home. Other common locations include the kitchen, laundry area and crawlspace.

If water damage occurs in your home, be sure clean up occurs quickly. Using air conditioners during humid seasons and exhaust fans in the kitchen can help prevent mold from growing.

Also, it is a great idea to monitor moisture at the most common culprits. This includes checking for leaks around the toilet, tub, refrigerator, kitchen sink, and washer. Check air conditioner drip pans, any where you know condensation can build and ensure crawl spaces are well ventilated.

If you discover mold growth in your home, SERVPRO® of South Madison County provides mold remediation services. Call us anytime, 256-533-5335.

Meet Our Newest Team Member: ProMaster

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO® of South Madison County has a new team member and she’s a beaut! The new ProMaster van still has our iconic green SERVPRO® color, but is also bigger and a bit more stylish. It is a huge upgrade in terms of our vehicle department.

With more storage space and larger towing capacity, these vans don’t have any issues storing our heavy duty equipment. They are taller too, giving our technicians enough height to easily stand upright inside. The interior walls are nearly vertical, ensuring no wasted space. And the vehicles rear doors swing open 260 degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van allowing optimum loading capability.

Not only that, this ProMaster comes with a HydraMaster dual capacity vacuum and water outlet for steam cleaning and extraction. You may not know exactly what that means, but for us, it’s like Christmas morning with new toys!

With all of these features, it was a no-brainer for us to make the upgrade!

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? In order to help prevent a fire from spreading larger, it is important to know how to use it.

There is a simple acronym that may help you remember...PASS. This stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Now, for a breakdown:

Pull the pin: this depends on your specific model. Some have a locking pin on the handle/lever, while other models may even have a button.

Aim low: direct the hose nozzle at the base of the fire. Aiming at the flames is ineffective.

Squeeze the lever: squeeze the lever above the handle to discharge the extinguishing agent. Depending on your model, this may also be a button.

Sweep the nozzle: sweep the hose from side to side at the base of the fire. Repeat sweeping from side to side until the fire is completely out.

Once the fire is out and the situation has been assessed from your Fire Marshall, give SERVPRO® of South Madison County a call to begin the fire remediation process. 256-533-5335.

Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned Program

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

As businesses open back up and restrictions are lifted, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is taking ‘clean’ to a new standard. With 89% of consumers reporting they are uneasy about going back to brick-and-mortar locations*, we’ve come up with a plan to help you ease that worry by showing your employees and customers you are dedicated to providing a safe-as-possible environment. Introducing Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned.

This new defensive pathogen cleaning program goes above and beyond normal janitorial cleaning practices. With routine service, you will inspire confidence in your employees and customers.

How does it work?

Consult: We give a no-charge, on-site consultation and tailor a plan for your specific needs.

Clean: We put together your cleaning plan and assign a specific technician. An expert deep clean is performed using our EPA-Approved Hospital Grade cleaning solutions and adhere to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

Certify: Display the Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned seal (optional) at the entrance of your business. This seal demonstrates your commitment to the comfort and security of your employees, customers and community.

Interested in our Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned program? Call us today at 256-533-5335.

Note: We do not do pathogen testing.

*The Harris Poll conducted online on behalf of Fast, between April 28 and April 30, 2020. About 2,048 U.S. adults aged 18 or older participated. https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/350922/89-of-consumers-concerned-about-returning-to-bric.html

Property Managers Call SERVPRO® in Times of Need

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Property Managers have a lot on their plates. While their main priority is to be profitable for the owners, they deal with maintenance, advertising, tenant relationships, contractors for renovations, creating budgets, and any day-to-day issues that arise. Usually they are doing this for multiple properties as well. So just imagine already having a jam packed day and you walk in to one of the commercial properties to find a pipe has burst and there is water everywhere. Not a great start to the day.

This happened recently at the Regions Bank Building in downtown Huntsville. The Property Manager called us immediately and we were on-site within the hour. In times like these, a fast response is mandatory and invaluable.

Property Managers, we are here for you! Need an immediate response and quick action? Call SERVPRO® of South Madison County at 256-533-5335.

Commercial Business Fire Prevention

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

A great idea for any commercial business is to request an inspection from your local fire department. Why? These inspections help to point out safety violations and eliminate potential fire hazards. Madison Fire and Rescue will inspect buildings including: schools, daycare centers, businesses, restaurants and hotels.

There are a handful of common violations usually found during an inspection. These include: exit and emergency lights inoperable, blocked paths of egress, fire alarm systems not serviced and tested annually, automatic sprinkler systems not serviced and tested annually.

Requesting an inspection is easy. Visit https://www.madisonal.gov/473/Inspections for more information.

Sometimes, even with the best prevention measures, fires still happen. If your business experiences fire damage, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to help. Call us anytime at 256-533-5335.

Interesting Facts About House Fires

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

While the bulk of our calls are in regards to clients that have water damage, don’t forget that SERVPRO® of South Madison County serves those that have been impacted by fire damage as well.

We came across some interesting facts about house fires and thought we would share. All of the facts below are courtesy of http://www.plantation.org/psd/Fire/text/fire-dept/lsf/fire-escape.html.

  1. Every day in the United States, 1,500 homes burn.

  2. Each year, 6,500 people die and 280,000 are injured in home fires.

  3. Home fire fatalities account for approximately 78% of all deaths by fire.

  4. Smoke is a killer. 8 out of 10 fire fatalities are due to smoke inhalation.

  5. During the lifetime of average household, chances are 2 to 1 that there will be an accidental fire.

While we never want to experience the devastation of a house fire, know that if you are in need SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here 24/7 365. Call us at 256-533-5335.

SERVPRO® of South Madison County Supports Local First Responders

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, we love supporting and connecting with our community! In May, we were able to treat our first responders at the Madison City Fire & Rescue to a cookout. We also cleaned and sanitized 11 of their vehicles.

For this we use Vanquish, a one-step concentrated cleaner, broad-spectrum disinfectant, virucide, sanitizer, mildewstat, and deodorizer. Vanquish is used in medical, daycare and exercise facilities, as well as many other areas. It is effective against a long list of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It cleans without abrasives and deodorizes by killing the microorganisms that cause offensive odors.

We hope you enjoyed the food and love your super clean vehicles...thank you for all you do Madison Fire and Rescue!

Need a super clean? Call us at 256-533-5335.

Interesting Facts About Water, In Relation to Water Damage

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water. We don’t spend much time thinking about it on a day to day basis...until it causes some major damage. There are a ton of interesting facts regarding water in general, but we want to share some that can be linked to water damage. All of the facts below are courtesy of https://www.espwaterproducts.com/water-facts/.

  • A small drip from a faucet can waste as much as 34 gallons of water a day.

  • Every day, six billion gallons of treated water is lost due to leaking pipes in the U.S.

  • There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the U.S., wasting over two trillion gallons of treated drinking water.

  • More than half of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom.

  • The aging infrastructure in the U.S. causes a water main break every two minutes.

As you can see, even though we don’t think about water all the time, it has a major impact on society as a whole.

If you ever find that water has impacted your life in a damaging way, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here 24/7 365. Call us at 256-533-5335.

Dixie Alley: The New Tornado Alley

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

We’ve all heard of Tornado Alley, but have you heard of Dixie Alley? If you haven’t...now you have! And guess what? We’re in it.

A ‘recent study suggests that Dixie Alley is surpassing traditional Tornado Alley in terms of number of tornadoes and frequency of events’ (https://www.cbs17.com/weather/weather-stories/tornado-alley-is-shifting-eastward-into-the-mid-south/).

With increasing threats of tornadoes, it is more important than ever to be as prepared as possible.

Have a Plan: When you hear a tornado siren or are told to take shelter, do you know where you are going? Whether it’s a tornado shelter, windowless room in the lowest level of your home or a designated local community center, have a plan in place as to where you will seek shelter.

Prepare Ahead of Time: If you have a tornado shelter at your residence or a selected room, prep that area with helmets, bottled water, snacks, a portable charger, etc. You can even get it ready now!

Stay Connected: When you know a severe storm is heading your way, charge readily used electronics. If the power goes out, you will still be able to connect via broadband cellular network and browse Facebook, Twitter, FEMA for updates.

Know Who to Call: Once the storm is over, if you encounter water or fire damage, call a professional to help. SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to be of service in all your property damage restoration needs, including board ups! Call us at 256-533-5335. We are available 24/7 365 days a year.

Toilet Leak Tip from a Plumber

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Toilets can do some serious damage when they leak. One reason is due to the leak going undetected for some time. When this happens, the leak can soak through the sub floor and if on the second level can leak through the ceiling and wreak havoc.

When remodeling one of our bathrooms, a plumber gave us a tip to help in early detection of a toilet leak. His suggestion...when caulking the toilet base at the floor, leave a small section un-caulked. You can do this at the back of the base, closest to the wall to make it less noticeable. If/when there is a leak, the water will have an area to escape to, essentially ‘showing’ itself.

When you do detect a toilet leak, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to assist in any water damage that has occurred. Call us at 256-533-5335 anytime.

Did You Know? A Couple of Interesting Facts About Storms

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Recently, we stumbled across a couple of intriguing facts about storms. Maybe you already know about these? But if not, we think we may blow your mind!

Fact #1

“Thousands of years ago philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds” (https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/weather/thunder.html). Honestly, we think that is a pretty good theory considering the time!

Fact #2

It can thunder when it’s snowing. Wait, what?! Yes, you read that right. “Intense bands of snow can develop during blizzards and effect snow events in much the same way that a regular thunderstorm would form when it’s warm out. These strong bands can produce lightening and loud cracks of thunder all while dumping copious amounts of snow in a short period of time” (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/502190/11-booming-facts-about-thunderstorms).

And don’t forget...Fact #3: You can call SERVPRO® of South Madison County 24/7 365 for any storm-related water damage (256-533-5335).

SERVPRO® of South Madison County Disinfects Buildings During Coronavirus Concerns

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

With Alabama lifting the Stay at Home order and many professionals returning to work, a major concern for all has been safety and prevention. It is a stressful time, full of uncertainties. Returning to a building adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards is a small yet impactful gesture business owners can provide to employees. If your business has a confirmed case of coronavirus or you are taking a precautionary measure, SERVPRO® of South Madison County is here to help. Our team can provide services to any business...offices, retail stores or restaurants.

SERVPRO® of South Madison County has been fulfilling numerous requests for businesses requesting the proper services to clean, disinfect and sanitize properties. All of our practices are in accordance with CDC guidelines and local authorities.

The CDC encourages cleaning high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables at a minimum. They also recommend the cleaning be done with labeled hospital-grade disinfectant ratify that or some similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO® product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claim.

Our team can respond quickly and effectively, helping minimize business interruption.

Interested in scheduling a decontamination, general cleaning or just want to learn more about this service? Contact us at 256-533-5335.

Take on Storms with Technology

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

With severe storms increasing in Dixie Alley, it is important to be ready at a moment’s notice! Storm technology has improved greatly over the years, especially in increasing the time we have to prepare. Technology has become a vital tool not only before a storm, but during and after as well. It allows us to stay informed on the progression of the storm and keep in communication with others. A few tips to help you be ready the next time a storm is on the horizon:

Power Up

If you have enough warning time, charge the electronics you readily use to 100% in case of a power outage. Need a backup? Portable chargers and solar-powered chargers are great resources.

Track the Storm

Get the most up-to-date information by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels and governments, as well as your local weatherman/weatherwoman. Facebook and Twitter are great social media platforms for this.

Mark Yourself Safe

The Safety Check feature on Facebook is a great tool to use to let friends and family know that you are safe during an emergency event or disaster. Facebook will even prompt/notify you to use this feature if you are located in an affected area at that time. You can also utilize the Safe & Well feature on The American Red Cross site.

Have a Plan in Place

SERVPRO® of South Madison County is proud to offer The SERVPRO® Ready Plan, a free tool for both residential and commercial properties. With this plan, you create an Emergency READY Profile, which helps minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Create one today at ready.SERVPRO.com. Need help in developing the plan for your property or business? Call us at 256-533-5335.

Top 5 Appliances & Fixtures Most Likely to Cause Water Damage

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

They were invented to make our lives easier and save time. Because of them, we can focus on more enjoyable things. We don’t know about you, but washing dishes and clothes by hand or boiling water for a hot bath are not things we really want to spend our time doing. While appliances and fixtures can make life a breeze, they can also be the culprits of some serious water damage. Still, the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot. It never hurts to be aware though, so here are the top 5 appliances and fixtures most likely to cause water damage:

  1. Toilet

  2. Water Heater

  3. Air Conditioner

  4. Washing Machine

  5. Refrigerator

  6. Dishwasher

One thing to keep in mind...appliances/fixtures on the upper level of a multi-level home can cause the most damage due to water leaking from the top floor down into the lower floor.

If you suffer water damage from any of these, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO® of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 for emergency services. We are available 24/7 365 days a year.

Why Realtors Should Choose SERVPRO® of South Madison County

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

The Huntsville real estate market is on fire! Houses are receiving multiple offers and some even going for over listing price. When listing a home for sale, sellers have hundreds of real estate professionals to choose from. Want to provide a unique service to your sellers and stand out above the rest? Here at SERVPRO® of South Madison County, we know how your listing appears in photographs is extremely important. This is the first time a potential buyer will view the home, and the photographs can make or break a potential showing, and ultimately, a potential sale. From a general cleaning to make your listing shine, to treating water damage...even a hoarder cleanout, our team can help in a range of ways. Contact us today! A SERVPRO® of South Madison County professional would be happy to attend your next sales meeting to discuss our services and how we can help you.

IICRC Trained Technicians

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

IICRC Training and Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Employee Certification Training

The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Continuing Education Classes

SERVPRO of Madison County offers both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and Franchise staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation. Courses include:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Loss Control
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar (non-credit course)

Preparation for the Next Storm

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in Huntsville, Alabama home Storm in Huntsville, AL

One of the most important reasons to prepare for emergencies is so that quick, informed decisions can be made in the midst of crisis.

Having specific plans in place minimizes fear and confusion, and can ultimately save lives.

PLAN

Know what threats are in your area and plan for situations that may result, should they affect you.

Consider being stuck in your home or what to do if immediate evacuation is necessary.

PREPARE

Assemble GO KITS to be kept in your home and cars to ensure you have provisions and tools you may need to survive or treat injuries.

Take any action necessary, based on your plans that would make your response easier and faster for you and your family.

Make sure family members can turn off utilities if necessary.

PRACTICE

Going through the motions will reinforce actions that each individual should take and help them be clear minded and calm.

Testimonial

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

Mr. Hall, Huntsville AL - 

Fast. Professional. Friendly. Helpful. Highly recommend. [Update: it’s been several days now and I wish I could add a star. DeMarcus and his crew have been great. Myka from the front office contacted me multiple times to answer questions and help advise on the next steps. Brad, supervisor, has visited several times and provided a great understanding of the status and progress. They offer from minimal to robust levels of service, and supported my choices and provide recommendations for other services. My builder, who will handle the Reno, said right away, “Calling SERVPRO was the best decision.”

-Thank you Mr. Hall for allowing SERVPRO of Madison County to assist you on this project, it was our pleasure working with you!

Technology Advances

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

The past few decades has seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to restore a property back to preloss condition quickly, reliably, and more effectively.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets practical standards for restoration and cleaning. The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide is a specific set of practical standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture and dry a property quickly and effectively.

Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment

Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.

  • An infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.
  • Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation

Water Extraction Equipment

Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.

  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water. 
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Drying Equipment

Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.

  • High-speed air movers causes moisture to evaporate at a faster pace
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.

Odor Removal and Deodorization

Water and fire damage often causes powerful odors. The machines we use remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.

  • Air scrubbers
  • Thermal foggers and deodorization agents

Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Anti-Microbial Treatments

The use of OSHA-approved cleaning agents may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.

  • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

24 Hours 365 Days a Year

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Size Disaster

24 Hour Emergency Service

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Chicago Heights / Crete / Beecher provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (256) 533-5335

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of North and South Madison County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

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.

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North and South Madison County staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. Our crew is skilled, knowledgeable, professional and experienced to restore commercial and residential building after all types of property losses. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) industry certifications in Water, Fire, Mold, Carpet, and Upholstery, BioHazard and many more. You can rest assured and trust that our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property with as little disruption and demolition as possible, we work to restore your home and help to make it "Like it never even happened." Our training program includes the following:

IICRC Training and Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Employee Certification Training

The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Initial Franchise Training

A 21-day hands-on course at the SERVPRO Corporate Training Facility is the foundation of the SERVPRO training program. This course is primarily for new Franchise owners and covers many restoration topics:

  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
  • Mold Mitigation

e-Learnings

All of our staff have access to web-based training. This voluntary program is designed to be an ongoing, self-paced coaching series for a Franchise's employees. Video presentations and support materials are followed by a knowledge test at the end of each module. This keeps our technicians and office staff up to speed on industry standards and the professional quality you expect.

Continuing Education Classes

SERVPRO of North and South Madison County offers both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and Franchise staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation. Courses include:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Loss Control
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar (non-credit course)

Testimonials

4/11/2020 (Permalink)

 

I would like to thank the SERVPRO of Madison County Team for coming to my property to handle an issue. The production manager Tyrone Clinton was very nice. I would like to thank Corey for being very informative about the process! I would also like to thank Myka for keeping in touch as well. Once again thanks to everyone in my time of need. I will be recommending this company!

-Candi  Huntsville, AL

How Professionals Restore Water Damaged Subfloors in Huntsville Homes

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in Huntsville, Alabama home Water can quickly damage the subfloor. SERVPRO is equipped and trained to restore your water damaged floor.

Flood Damage and Subfloor Restoration for Huntsville Residents

Bringing your home back to its preloss condition after flooding can be a challenging task for even the most enthusiastic home repair people. Floodwaters spread quickly from the source and can often seep into the wall spaces or through the floor, where it begins to saturate the subfloor below. Subfloor damages as a result of flooding can result in significant losses for a homeowner. Once moisture saturates the subfloor, there is a high chance of rot, mold growth, or weakening of the structure itself.

Since harm to your subfloor often goes unnoticed, it can impact homeowners several months after flood damage to their Huntsville home. At SERVPRO, we find that a great many of our mold remediation jobs are caused by a flood or water incident at the property several months before. When your property is full of floodwater, understandably, you prioritize removing moisture and drying the property. However, without conducting a full inspection of the subfloor, you could be a victim of significant flood-related losses.

Assessing your subfloor can be difficult as various fittings need removal to gain access. SERVPRO technicians use moisture sensors to gain an accurate picture of subfloor water damage without removing materials. Moisture sensors use sharp probes to push through carpets and tell a technician whether or not standing water has migrated downward. Should a moisture sensor return a positive reading for moisture, your technician may need to remove carpet or floorboards to dry the subfloor.

Subfloor pads are often the first thing to go when water migrates into the subfloor. These large porous materials absorb water quickly and can break apart when wet. SERVPRO technicians can remove the pad, cut it into smaller pieces, and place it into a waste disposal bag. The removal of the pad allows us to gain direct access to the subfloor, where we can deploy standing extractors to remove any excess from the affected area. In some cases, we may deploy desiccant dehumidifiers to draw moisture from a subfloor with high levels of saturation. Once dry, we can replace the existing subfloor pad with a new one at a low-cost.

Professional restoration services can protect your home from sustaining damages further down the line. Contact SERVPRO of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335.

If Your Home or Business is Damaged by a Storm, Call SERVPRO

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage to a house in Huntsville Alabama Residential storm damage caused an intrusion of water

When your home or business sustains damage from a storm, you need help quickly and you need a company with the experience and expertise to get the job done right.

When you call the restoration specialists at SERVPRO of South Madison County, our team will be on-site quickly to assess the damage and create a plan to get you back into your home or business quickly. Our fast response helps to minimize further damage and reduce costs. With a network of over 1700 franchises, we have the manpower and resources to handle any size situation.

Damage caused by sudden storms can be devastating and overwhelming. We will work with your insurance company and walk you through the process of returning your property to its preloss state. Services that we provide include: water extraction, dehumidification, mold remediation, carpet cleaning, and odor removal. If your home or business has been damaged by a storm, call SERVPRO of South Madison County, anytime day or night at 256-533-5335.

Commercial Water Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Updating commercial plumbing from older materials to newer materials to prevent a commercial water damage. Building Plumbing System in Huntsville, AL

Should I Update My Plumbing System?

If your Huntsville, AL commercial property was built or repiped sometime between 1978 and 1996, there’s a good chance that it has polybutylene pipes. What once was hailed as a great new plumbing technology eventually turned into a bunch of burst pipes and flooded properties. Then, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was introduced. So, which is the best decision, keeping the old pipe system and risking a disaster or paying to repipe the building with PVC? The old pipes:

1. Degrade

What they didn’t realize about the material of this type of pipe is that it degrades over time. Water treatment chemicals, such as chlorine, can break down the material making it brittle. Over time, mini-fractures will form in the pipe, eventually causing it to rupture under the water’s force. Unfortunately, there’s no way to detect a problem with the pipe since the deterioration starts from within the pipe.

2. Affect the Water

Brittle, degrading pipes can affect the quality of the water. Chemicals can leach into the water.

3. Aren’t Repairable

There’s no way to repair a damaged polybutylene pipe since it degrades from the inside out. Replacement is your only option to protect your building.

4. Aren't Up to Code

Building codes in the United States and Canada no longer recognize these pipes. If you want your building to be up to code, you’ll have to get your building repiped with PVC.

5. Won’t Be Covered by Insurance

More than likely your insurance won’t cover your building if it has these old pipes. At the very least your insurance premiums may be a lot higher than they would be with newer pipes.

6. Lower the Building’s Value

Few will want to buy a building that’s not up to code. If they do, it’s going to probably be for a lot less than your building is worth. Getting your building up to code will make it much more appealing to potential buyers when it’s time to sell.
Getting new plumbing for your building could get expensive. If your building sustains water damage due to degraded polybutylene pipes, restoration professionals can return it to its preloss condition.

Smoke Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage in Huntsville, Alabama home Smoke Damage, Huntsville Alabama

Smoke Damage in Huntsville, Alabama

The homeowner thought this was a minor kitchen fire in Huntsville, AL. SERVPRO of South Madison County was called because the smell of the fire was persistent after several weeks. Our visual inspection didn't reveal the extent of the smoke damage but our testing told a different story.

The smoke had traveled throughout most of the house effecting the structure and contents. We took all the belongings back to our facility and had them cleaned and restored. The homeowners were very thankful for all the work that we did to get their home back and looking great once again.

SERVPRO of South Madison County has highly trained technicians with experience in smoke damage cleanup and restoration. Should you ever have even a small fire or smoke damage in your home or business, give us a call 256-533-5335.

Knowledge to Handle a Commercial Water Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Water Damage

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

Water Damage in your South Madison Home

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

  •  Identifying the source

Sometimes the source of water is easy to find. However, sometimes the issue is a pipe in the wall or a slow leak under the sink. Some signs of water damage are: standing water, discoloration, musty odors, and in some cases mold. Knowing where the water is will assist you in where to shut off the water. Some homes have a water shut-off valve in the home and most homes have a main shut-off valve commonly by the street. It is important that whatever the source of the water is repaired or replaced by a professional.

  • Minimizing the damage

While we cannot plan for when a water loss will happen we can control what happens after. Water will take the path of least resistance. Shut off the source of water from its source or from the main to your home. Call your insurance company and a water restoration company such as us so that we can inspect the damage and come up with and execute a plan to dry your home. It is always better to have a restoration company come out as soon as possible to start the drying process.

  • Time Frame

Remember, minimizing the damage will not stop the damage. Materials such as wood and drywall will absorb damage. Additionally, avoiding secondary damages depend on the source of water as well as time taken to remove said water from the affected materials. Given that we are able to get to your home and start work promptly our goal is to minimize any damage and necessary demolition in your home.

Emergency Ready Profile

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Take the time to download the SERVPRO  Emergency Ready Profile Mobile App.

Follow the app’s lead to answer the questions essential to helping us prepare to restore your commercial property damage. Designing a restoration and a mitigation plan before a crisis strikes is smart, permitting you to share the layout of your building and the location of key water, heating, cooling and electrical systems with us, so we waste no time verifying these essential details. We also recommend sharing with us the contact information of staff members designated by you to make decisions for your business if you are unavailable.

This tool is free to you so reach out to your South Madison County Sales and Marketing Representative today to get your ERP set up! 

Commercial Property Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a special divisions of trained teams composed of quality water, fire, mold, storm, and major event technicians, designed to assist you with the restoration of your business after a disaster.

All of these teams are lead by a manager that assists with communication and mitigation involving the recovery of your business. Services that SERVPRO provides to every business owner involves the mitigation of the wind, rain, and flood damage that causes damage in a matter of minutes, requiring an immediate response and quick, efficient to prevent excessive loss of money and time.

It does not matter how small or large your property is; SERVPRO has the services, equipment, and personnel available to address the emergency affecting your business. 

Call us today, we will help you with your business!

Fire Prevention

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Check your alarms, testing the alarms regularly and adding reliable protection when replacing expired alarms, because a home emergency can happen at any time and we want you to be prepared.

Fire Prevention Month is the prefect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms. changing batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarm for hassle-free protection, and escape planning.

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*

Having functioning alarms installed throughout your home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. They work around the clock to give your family an early alert in the event of an emergency, allowing you time to safely escape. Alarms should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each bedroom. Fire alarms should also be placed on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage.

https://www.firstalert.com/community/safety-corner/fire-prevention-month/

First Responders

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

In our line of business we tend to work closely with First Responders such as police, EMTs, and firefighters. Sometimes they are still on the scene when we go cleanup after an event has occurred. 

In our Marketing Department we go visit them and see what we can do to make their jobs easier when we arrive. We never want to be in the way of doing their job. 

We have also taken them baskets full of goodies and even done events alongside them to show what we do after they have done their job. Fire Prevention Month is huge around SERVPRO. We never want anything to happen to you or your property but we want you to know we are available to help in case something does happen! 

Give us a call if you need us! 

Tornado safety tips

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

drawing of a tornado sign Tornado sign

Inside: 

1. Stay away from windows/doors that lead to the outside. 

2. Take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture. 

3. Use hands/arms to protect our head/neck. 

Outside: 

1. Get in low area/ditch or crouch next to sturdy building. 

2. Use hands/arms to protect head/neck. 

Automotive: 

1. Get out and get as far away from vehicle as possible. 

2. Follow instructions for outside safety procedure. 

ALWAYS BE AWARE OF FLOODING IN YOUR AREA. 

Remember: October is a high warning time for tornadoes and hurricanes in Alabama. Stay safe! 

Storm Team Preparedness

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

If you aren't familiar with the SERVPRO system, all franchises are individually owned and operated. Headquarters is located in Gallatin, Tennessee but we also have four storm teams. One of those storm teams is located in Birmingham, Alabama. 

For instance, if some type of event such as a hurricane or tornado comes through then the storm team in Birmingham facilitates sending other franchises to go in and help those other franchises affected in that area. This usually happens with the local franchises are too inundated to handle the jobs coming in. 

Franchises from all over the United States will drive thousands of miles to come help those in need. We are one big "green" family! So if you are ever in need during some catastrophic event, don't hesitate to call us! We are available 24/7, 365!

Thunder storm safety tips!

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Thunder Storm Thunder storm

A thunder storm watch means that a storm is close to or coming soon to your area. A thunder storm warning means that the storm is about to hit or has already arrived in your area. 

Here's a few tips on how to stay safe during a thunder storm! 

Outdoors: 

  1. Keep an eye on the sky. Watch the weather at all times. 
  2. Find a safe place. A building or car will do. Make sure all the windows are closed and avoid places with a lot of metal such as bleachers or dugouts. 
  3. If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
  4. If with others, stay about 15 feet apart. 
  5. Stay away and out of water! 
  6. Stay away from metal and remove backpacks/purses because they usually contain metal. 
  7. After the storm has passed wait 30 minutes before resuming to usual activities. 

Indoors: 

  1. Avoid water. Don't shower, do laundry, wash dishes, or wash your hands. 
  2. Do not use cords! Chargers, extensions, corded phones are  bad idea during a thunder storm. 
  3. Do not use electrical equipment. Computers or other electrical appliances.
  4. Stay inside and away from windows. Keep all windows and doors closed. 

If someone is struck by lightening call 911 for help immediately. The person struck will no carry any charge so it is okay to touch them. 

Mold prevention tips!

8/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold

Let's be clear, there is no sure proof way to prevent mold however, you can make it less likely to enter your home or business! 

  1. Identify the problem areas. Anywhere that holds water can give mold a chance to grow. Basements that flood, windows and air vents that gain too much condensation, water stains on the ceiling tiles. Simply remove any water damaged items and try to keep water from standing too long in the other areas. 
  2. Keep it dry! Anything wet needs to be dried as soon as possible. 
  3. Make sure that your home has proper ventilation. Most common areas that need good ventilation are your kitchen, bathrooms, basements, and attics. Be sure they have enough air flow to keep things dry and at a decent temperature. 
  4. Install mold resistant products! If you're buying, building, or renovating try using mold-resistant drywall. 
  5. Direct water away from your home.
  6. Keep roof gutters clean and stable. 
  7. IF you have indoor plants, be sure to check them weekly for mold. Use Taheebo tea mixed with the water when watering your plants to help keep mold away! 

For more information check out: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/how-to-prevent-mold-9-tips  

Or go to: https://www.SERVPROmadisoncountyal.com/

Hot home? Cool tips!

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

AC meme

With the heat still rising for Alabama we have discovered some ways to help keep your home cool and your bill low! Here's some problems you may have and we have the solutions. 

Glass windows letting in too much sun?

Cover all your glass windows with a dark blanket/towel, for best outcome, use blackout curtains! 

Cracks at the bottom of your doors? 

Take a thin towel/blanket, roll it up, and put it in front of the crack. Or cut a pool noodle! Slide the pool noodle on the bottom of the door for easier open and closing. 

 Air not circulating? 

Use fans! Don't turn up the ac. 

Bed too hot? 

Change to silk sheets. 

Other helpful tips:

Don't use candles, even though the flame is little it still gives off heat. 

Also, try grilling more! Heat from your oven/stove/microwave/and other inside appliances radiate heat. 

Lastly... KEEP YOUR VENTS CLEAN!! 

Natural ways to fireproof your home!

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Home on fire

Want to keep your family as safe as possible from fire? We have put together some safe and natural ways to help fireproof your home! 

First, let's start with the yard. You will need to remove any dry or dead plants/weeds in the yard, even if they cannot be fully removed be sure to keep your yard watered. Try to keep all your trees and bushes trimmed, be sure to remove any branches or dead leaves that may fall into your yard. Plant fire resistant plants around your home, remember, not every plant will grow in the conditions you live in. Be sure to do your research and keep the plants alive and well! 

Second, let's fireproof your home! If you see a fire close to your home, whether it be a wild fire or another property close to you, wet down your roof and any wood surfaces on the outside of your home. When remodeling, if you do not already have these on your home, consider using metal or tiles for your roof. Use fire retardant paints. For the outside of your home try to use stone or brick. 

Last but certainly not least! Test your smoke detectors at least once a month, make sure to change the batteries at least two times a year. Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher handy in all areas of your home. Keep all trash on the outside of the home. And if a fire occurs near your home be sure to move all vehicles and gas cans away from your home. Be careful where your smoke and try not to use grills or fire pits when the weather is dry. 

For insurance claim purposes, take pictures of the inside and outside of your home every year. 

Commercial Services

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Cleaning

Did you know that SERVPRO does commercial cleaning? That's right! WE do! Servicing everything BIG to small: restaurants, hotels/motels, retail, hospitals, industrial, and so much more! We don't just cater to your fire/water/mold damages. We CLEAN your business! Carpet, upholstery, you name it: we'll clean it! We take pride in keeping YOUR business clean and tidy. Appearances are everything and when it comes to business, people do judge a book by its cover. Let us help you make a good impression!

For more information visit our website at SERVPRO of Madison: https://www.SERVPROmadisoncountyal.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning or email: offfice@SERVPRO10930/com  call: (256) 533-5335

Also like and follow our Facebook/Instagram/Twitter pages at SERVPRO of Madison County 

Commercial Damages

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoration

When fire/water/mold take control of your business, we help take it back! Locally owned and operated in Huntsville Alabama, we serve our community with pride in ALL we do! We will clean and restore your damages and make it look "Like it never even happened." With 24 hour emergency services 7 days a week 365 days a year and 1,700 franchises, we act faster to any size disaster! 

Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • The Pentagon 

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood.  

 Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita 

Got Fire Damage?

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage to house

Did fire, smoke, or soot damage your home or business? Give us a call! (256) 533-5335. We have the  experts to help clean and restore your home or building! Our technicians are trained to eliminate the odor from smoke, clean the mess left behind from soot, and restore what fire has taken a toll on. While each fire damage situation is different from another, it requires a unique solution tailored to the specific condition(s).  When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration.  

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

For more information visit our website at: https://www.SERVPROmadisoncountyal.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration and check under our fire tab! 

Like us on Facebook at SERVPRO of Madison County for tips/tricks/diys for your home or business! 

Fire safety tips!

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Look. Listen. and Learn.

In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,275 civilian deaths, 15,775 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property damage. A U.S. fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 64 seconds. 

  • One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
  • One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.
  • One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 41 minutes.
  • One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.
  • One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 8 seconds.

Fire Safety Tips

  • When cooking, always wear fitted clothing, and do not leave stoves unattended.
  • Never smoke in bed, and keep lighters and matches away from kids.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from a flammable source, and do not leave fireplaces unattended.
  • Do not use damaged electrical cords or overload outlets.

For more information go to http://alabamapublichealth.gov/injuryprevention/fire.html 

Commercial Water Damage in South Madison County

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 

Control Moisture to Control Mold

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

MOLDS:

Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. This website provides guidance about mold and moisture for homes, schools, multifamily and commercial buildings. Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality.

https://www.epa.gov/mold

Water Restoration , Mold Mitigation

7/13/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Waters can cause more than just property damage

Flood Clean-Up: Avoid Indoor Air Problems

Introduction

During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

This page discusses problems caused by microbial growth, as well as other potential effects of flooding, on long-term indoor air quality and the steps you can take to lessen these effects. Although the information contained here emphasizes residential flood cleanup, it is also applicable to other types of buildings.

Prepare for Clean-up

Obtain a copy of the free booklet, Repairing Your Flooded Home, from the Federal Emerge Management Agency (FEMA) or your local chapter of the American Red Cross (see listings at the end of this fact sheet). Read that booklet carefully before cleanup because it discusses flood safety issues and can save your life. The booklet also contains detailed information on proper methods for cleaning up your home.

This fact sheet provides additional information, not covered in the FEMA/American Red Cross booklet, on indoor air quality concerns related to flooding. Many of the methods used for general cleanup, as detailed in the booklet, are the same as those used to avoid problems with indoor air quality. For brevity, we have not provided detail on the general methods used for cleanup here. This fact sheet is intended to be used in conjunction with the FEMA) American Red Cross booklet.

Avoid Problems from Microbial Growth:

Remove Standing Water

Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and be inhaled. Where floodwater contains sewage or decaying animal carcass infectious disease is of concern. Even when flooding due to rainwater, the growth of microorganisms can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. For these health reasons, and to lessen structural damage, all standing water should be removed as quickly as possible.

Dry Out Your Home

Excess moisture in the home is an indoor air quality concern for three reasons:

Microorganisms brought into the home during flooding may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate deep into soaked, porous materials and later be released into air or water. Coming in contact with air or water that contains these organisms can make you sick.

  • High humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the excessive growth of microorganisms that are always present in the home. This may result in additional health concerns such as allergic reactions.
  • Long term increases in humidity in the home can also foster the growth of dust mites. Dust mites are a major cause of allergic reactions and asthma.

See Step 4 of the American Red Cross/FEMA booklet, Repairing Your Flooded Home, on steps that should be taken to open up and dry out ceilings, walls, and floors in the home.

Be patient. The drying out process could take several weeks, and growth of microorganisms will continue as long as humidity is high. If the house is not properly, a musty odor signifying growth of microorganisms, can remain long after the flood.

Remove Wet Towels

It can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items that were soaked by water may be unhealthy. Some materials tend to absorb and keep water more than others. As a general rule: Materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried should be discarded, as they can remain a source of microbial growth.

Information on the types of water-damaged materials that should be discarded are provided in Step 4 of the American Red Cross/FEMA booklet, Repairing Your Flooded Home. The booklet suggests that you may be able to dry out and save certain building materials (for example, wallboard, fiberglass insulation, and wall-to-wall carpeting that were soaked only with clean rainwater and plaster). You may, however, want to consider removing arid replacing them to avoid indoor air quality problems. Because they take a long time to dry, they may be a source of microbial growth.

In addition, fiberboard, fibrous insulation, and disposable filters should be replaced, if they are present in your heating and air conditioning system and contacted water. (If a fitter was designed to be cleaned with water and was in contact with clean rainwater only, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned before reinstalling.)

Avoid Problems from the Use of Cleaners and Disinfectants

The cleanup process involves thorough washing and disinfecting of the walls, floors, closets, shelves, and contents of the house. In most cases, common household cleaning products and disinfectants are used for this task. FEMA also suggests the use of disinfectants and sanitizers on the duct work for the heating and air conditioning system, if it has been flooded.

Disinfectants and sanitizers contain toxic substances. The ability of chemicals in other household products used for cleaning to cause health effects varies greatly, from those with no known health effect to those that are highly toxic. Read and follow label instructions carefully, and provide fresh air by opening windows and doors. If it is safe for you to use electricity and the home is dry, use fans both during and after the use of disinfecting, cleaning and sanitizing products.

Be careful about mixing household cleaners and disinfectants together. Check labels for cautions on this. Mixing certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury and even death.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal at high levels. Carbon monoxide levels can build up rapidly if certain types of combustion devices (for example, gasoline-powered generators, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal-burning devices) are used indoors. Do not use combustion devices designed for outdoor use indoors.

Avoid Problems from Airborne Asbestos and Lead Dust

Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur if asbestos-containing materials present in the home are disturbed. Airborne asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest and abdominal linings. If you know or suspect that your home contains asbestos, contact the EPA TSCA Assistance Information Service at (404) 562-9143 for information on steps you should take to avoid exposure.

Lead is a highly toxic metal which produces a range of adverse health effects, particularly in young children. Disturbance or removal of materials containing lead-based paint may result in elevated concentration of lead dust in the air, if you know or suspect that your home contains lead-based paint, contact the EPA lead hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD for information steps you should take to avoid exposure.

Additional Information

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional 4 Phone: 1-800-241-1754 or (404) 562-9900
  • FEMA Public Affairs Phone: (202) 646-4600
  • American Red Cross - Publication Number ARC 4477

https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/index.html

Warm Weather Energy Efficiency Tips

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Ensure air conditioning vents are unobstructed and opened to full capacity.

Get your air conditioning unit serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently.

Clean range-hood grease filter to ensure proper ventilation.

Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils to improve efficiency.

Remember that dark colors absorb heat. You can repel excess heat by using light-colored blinds, shades and draperies on the sunny sides of the house. Make sure the draperies are insulated or lined.

Use natural lighting early in the day and late in the afternoon to reduce your energy usage.

Use ventilated awnings and other shading devices to prevent heat from entering windows exposed to direct sunlight.

Perform activities such as mopping and washing dishes in the coolest part of the day. These tasks add moisture - and heat - to your home in the summer.

Use a bathroom exhaust fan or open a window to remove heat and moisture when the bathroom door is closed. This spares the air conditioner extra work.

Use your kitchen exhaust fan to remove excess heat, moisture and cooking odors. But don't let it run more than 15 minutes after cooking or it will be taking out conditioned air.

Try setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or above during the summer. If you have a ceiling fan, you may be able to raise the temperature to 80 degrees or higher. 

Set the thermostat and then forget it. If you change the temperature often during the day, you are more likely to waste energy.

Hang laundry outside to dry during the warm weather. Running the dryer raises the overall temperature of the house and requires a great deal of electricity.

https://www.alabamapower.com/residential/ways-to-save/energy-saving-tips/seasonal-tips/warm-weather.html

Tornado Safety in Madison County

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar.If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Call us if you suspect any damage in your home or business from tornadoes! We are available in Madison County 365 days a year, 24/7! 

Be Cautious During Flooding in Madison County

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.

  • Develop slowly or quickly – Flash floods can come with no warning.

  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

    • Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

  • Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.

Flood Coverage

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

When you purchase your commercial insurance package, you probably don't think about getting extra coverage for specific damage to your building in other area that may occur if a powerful storm hits. Your property insurance, however, is unlikely to protect you if your building needs services for damage caused by floodwaters. Flood insurance provides extra support if your commercial property is damaged by a natural flooding disaster.

Property policies usually only cover damage that occurs as the result of an internal cause. For example, if a pipe bursts or a fire breaks out, your property insurance is likely to pay for the repairs you need. Flood coverage is necessary, however, when the water damage is the result of an external cause, such as a thunderstorm, hurricane or water main break. If you live in a Special Hazard Flood Area or an area particularly prone to flooding, you may be required by law to have a separate flood policy. Even if you don't live in a flood plain, if your area experiences seasons of heavy rainfall or snow, it is advisable to build extra protection into your commercial insurance portfolio.

Prepare for Hurricane Season & Flooding!

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared in case a storm event happens in your area? I know it's easy for us to think "that won't happen to me or my family!" but you honestly never know. Just this past weekend in Alabama we had unexpected flooding throughout the State.

There are many websites you can go to and look at how to become prepared in case of a Hurricane or flooding event. Things such as an evacuation plan, having important documents or medication in a safe place, having bags packed or even moving things to higher places like an attic. 

Stay away from flooded areas and do not drive through the water! We want you to keep our number handy and call us if you need us! 

Tips to Handle Mold After Water Damage

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is often a problem after a water damage.  Many homeowners try to handle water damage cleanup themselves and unseen damage leaves moisture that later causes mold to grow.

If you had a water damage recently and you now smell a musty odor or have visible mold, here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help control mold problems:

  • The source of mold is moisture; therefore fix all leaks in pipes and in any damp area around tubs and sinks.
  • Rebuild, or retrofit, with water-resistant building materials such as tile, stone, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized or stainless steel hardware, indoor/outdoor carpeting, waterproof wallboard and water-resistant glues.
  • Prevent seepage of water from outdoors into your house. It is important to have rainwater from gutters or roof drains away from the structure. Ground around the house should slope away to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.
  • Cover dirt in crawl spaces with plastic to prevent moisture from coming up from the ground. Ventilate the area as much as possible.
  • Clean fabrics such as curtains and upholstery often to keep them dry, because soil promotes mold growth.
  • Consider having ductwork cleaned and inspected professionally or replaced if you suspect mold exists on the inside surface of the duct or if duct insulation has been wet.
  • Reduce the moisture in the air with dehumidifiers, fans and open windows or air conditioners.
  • Do not use fans or vacuum cleaners if mold already exists, especially in hot weather. A fan or vacuum cleaner will spread the mold spores.
  • In moisture-prone areas, choose carpets of man-made fibers.
  • Reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating.
  • Routinely check potential problem spots.

For more information, visit www.fema.gov/removing-mold-your-home.

Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup in Huntsville

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

Recognized as a leading fire, water, and mold restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO also offers fast and reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

SERVPRO of South Madison County technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. 

Our services cover the following issues:

  • Bloodbourne Pathogens: SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substance resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
  • Methamphetamine Labs: Many chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces. 
  • Crime Scene Residues: Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues can be cleaned from surfaces and contents to restore your property. 
  • Arson and Vandalism: After the fire trucks are gone, your home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 
  • Sewage Backups: Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
  • Black Water Intrusions: This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
    • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
    • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation: Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Spring Maintenance Musts For Huntsville Homeowners

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Spring in Huntsville means rain and storms, and for many people that can lead to wet floors or even flooding. Intrusion of water into your home can result in mold growth, if left unattended. The best way to control mold growth is to control the moisture. Following these maintenance tips could save yourself a lot of problems down the line.

  • Check your roof for any cracks or damage. This will help prevent leaking into the upper floors of your home.
  • Clean and check your gutters. When gutters are clogged and not allowing water to drain properly, it could be coming back into your basement or crawl space.
  • If your home has a chimney, have it cleaned and examined for damage.

If these problems are left to sit, your home could be at risk for water damage and potentially mold damage. This could lead to very expensive repairs to both the interior and exterior of your home. SERVPRO of South Madison County recommends keeping up with your household maintenance before the springtime showers begin. 

If you find yourself with a soggy or soaked carpet, give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call!  We know how to handle your small water damages as well as your large water damages. If you have any questions or need assistance, just call 256-533-5335 and we will answer 24/7!

The Trouble with DIY Restoration

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Huntsville and Madison residents take pride in their homes and properties. When disaster strikes or when you have a substantial mess to clean up, it is a common belief to roll up your sleeves and get to work to fix the problem as best as you can on your own. The trouble with DIY restoration for water incidents is that many homeowners don't get all of the problem addressed, allowing for continued damage.

While a homeowner might see a water damage situation in their Huntsville  residence as little more than a reason to break out the mop and run some fans, there is much more to water damage restoration. Ensuring that the area gets thoroughly dried requires specialized equipment and detection tools. Failure to get your home below moisture standards for a house can lead to worsening conditions that pose a threat to the structure, as well as your family.

One of the reasons that you might consider professional restoration like SERVPRO provides is our ability to respond to your situation rapidly. Even in smaller scale water incidents, fast response time is critical to mitigating loss and to get to work quickly on removing the water and drying up the affected areas.

Another reason that a homeowner should think about our SERVPRO team is our industry-leading equipment, expertise, and unique training. These facts help us quickly assess the full scope of the damage that affects your home and choose the most efficient and practical approach to eliminating the moisture and preserving the construction materials that have gotten saturated by the incident.

As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something happens to their home, situations like water damages require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. Our SERVPRO of South Madison County water damage technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling (256) 533-5335.

SERVPRO is Always Storm Ready

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 256-533-5335

IICRC Certified Firm

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Madison County 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 South Madison County

SERVPRO of South Madison County 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.

24-Hour Emergency Service

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Madison County. 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 – 256-533-5335

Residential Services

Whether your Madison County 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 Madison County 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: click here.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Vacation Tips To Prevent Mold

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Mold prevention is something that few people think about until the damage is done. Mold growth can occur in less than 48 hours, and water damage can decrease that time significantly. No one wants to come home from a vacation to find that they’ve got a problem, but there are steps you can take to avoid that.

Turn Off Your Water

Turning off the water at the main connection might seem like overkill, but it could save you a headache and a lot of money. One leaky connection or busted pipe can quickly lead to thousands of dollars of water damage, and the wet conditions are ideal for mold growth. Shutting down that possibility is a quick and easy mold prevention measure that everyone can take with just a few common tools.

Turn Down the Temperature

Warm, wet spaces are the best place for mold spores to develop into colonies. Keeping the temperature low in your space may not be entirely comfortable when you get home, but it will negate the possibility that mold will grow and spread in your absence. Turn down your air conditioning, or simply turn off your heating system, and relax in the knowledge that your space will be uncomfortable for any lingering mold spores.

If All Else Fails

Call a professional. Even if you’ve been as proactive as you could be, the unexpected can still leave you with a problem. A do-it-yourself fix might seem like a good option in the heat of the moment, but invariably a professional approach is best when it comes to isolating and mitigating mold. A qualified contractor can use specialized equipment to dehumidify your space, filter the air to remove excess spores, and restore your property to its former glory.

Mold prevention is a simple and often overlooked step when readying for vacation. Be sure you use these tips to avoid mold growth and water damage while you’re away. 

Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding?

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.

As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.

In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
  • Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
  • Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
  • Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan
  • Know how to safely shut-off utilities
  • Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
  • Have a portable radio to listen for important current information

The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.  

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Waking up is hard to do. You need to get out of your cozy bed, go wash up, get dressed and get some coffee in you before you start your day. Now think of getting out of bed, as hard as that is, walking slowly to the shower, opening the hot water, and waiting for it to run so you can hop in, and nothing happens.

Water stays cold as ice, you realize you can't hit the shower this morning, and you try to figure out what just happened. Is it the water heater? Could it be broken? Time to check it out.

As you walk downstairs you hear a low trickling noise as if a faucet is open somewhere. You keep going, and as you approach the basement, you hear it louder - there is water running somewhere over there. Question is - where? As you reach the last step, you put your foot down and immediately realize you haven't even opened your eyes properly. You're standing in a big pond, which was once your basement. No hot shower today. What now then?

First thing - close the water source. Whether it's the water heater or a pipe, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains and shut down any valve leading to the affected area.

Second, take care of all that water. Water spreads fast and has the power to cause lots and lots of trouble over time. If you don't have a water drain in the basement, it's time to call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335.

Water leaks and floods should be taken care of as fast as possible. The reason is that most homes aren't waterproof on the inside. Standing water will ruin your carpets, floors, furniture, and even get into drywall if given the opportunity. Moreover, the standing water becomes a health hazard after a while, even if they came from a clean source (also called Category 1 water damage). Another reason for you to hurry is mold and how fast mold can start to grow after your basement suffered from a water damage.

SERVPRO of South Madison County offers a 24/7 response to all your water damage requirements and needs, providing you a quick and thorough solution to your problem. We'll get your life back to normal in no time.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Frigid winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing. We’ve pulled together tips to help prevent frozen pipes and a list of suggestions for you to follow if they do.

Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. That’s especially the case when you are at below freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive.

To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:

  • Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
  • Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
  • Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
  • Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
  • Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
  • Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
  • Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
  • Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
  • Place a 60-watt bulb in areas where you’re concerned about pipes freezing. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
  • Take swift action if the pipes located inside an exterior wall are freezing. Cut a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.

Signs of frozen pipes

One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, first head to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don’t have a leak. Once you’ve confirmed these two things, continue your inspection to make sure one of your pipes has not burst.

If your search reveals that your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two choices:

  1. Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is a good idea if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.
  2. Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.

If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. Keeping the faucet open also allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will expedite the thawing process.
  • Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, scouring the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
  • Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.

Candle Safety

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

While flashlights and battery-powered lamps are safe sources of light during lengthy power outages, candles are also reliable alternatives if used safely. It’s important to remember that a candle is an open flame, which always runs the potential risk of a fire-related accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20% of candle fires involving fatalities occur during a loss of power.

Here are some safety precautions to follow when the lights go out:

DO pay attention to proximity. It’s important to make sure that you’re not burning a candle on or near anything that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, or any other flammable objects. Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another so they don’t melt one another or burn improperly.

DON’T leave burning candles unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to one room in the house so the location of family members can always be accounted for and you can keep an eye on open flames. Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving a room.

DO place candles on a fire-resistant surface. Place a handle in its holder on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan or ceramic plate.

DON’T light a candle if you smell gas. If you smell gas inside or outside your home, immediately put out all open flames, shut off your gas supply, leave the area, get to a safe place, and call 911.

DO use pillar or container candles. Broader-based candles are a suitable option for power outages, as these are less likely to be accidentally knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass hurricane holders or globes.

DON’T use candles as a search guide or night light. Avoid walking around with a candle. Dark rooms can increase the chance of tripping or brushing against a flammable item. Use a flashlight instead.

DO keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Place candles up high to avoid the risk of pets, children, or adults accidentally bumping candles over in the dark.

If you have any questions on candle safety or need any fire mitigation services, contact SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335. We are available 24/7 to assist.

Basement Water Damage

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen in any area of your home. However, the basement offers its own unique challenges when it comes to water damages. The most common type of water damage in the basement results from broken water pipes. The first step is to turn off the water at the main valve. You'll need to start cleaning up right away to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from forming. 

It is important that you remove rugs, furniture and other items that have gotten wet. Take them outdoors where they can completely dry in the sun. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is made especially for water cleanup. A submersible pump is a good tool to use if you can rent one. Use a powerful fan to finish drying the room. 

Choose a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of South Madison County. These types of companies have both the experience and the equipment to remove the water in basement. Call your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover water or flood damage. Water can seep behind walls and other places where major damage can occur. 

Water damage in the basement can also cause structural damage. If this is the case, it will cost a lot more money than simply hiring a restoration expert. Underground water seepage can cause the surrounding ground to shift. Evidence of this type of damage is found with cracks along the walls and ceilings.

Do not hire a carpet cleaning service to restore your basement. They may not have the experience, education or skill to complete the job correctly. Instead, look in your local yellow pages for an actual fire and water restoration company. Pay careful attention to the contract before you sign it. Most restoration companies will guarantee their work. 

Floods and water emergencies can happen to any homeowner. Be prepared for this type of emergency by choosing experts before you need them. A water emergency can occur in your utility room where your washer and dryer is found. Other common places include the dishwasher, refrigerator with ice maker and pipes underneath the house.

Know where your water main cutoff is located before an emergency. Turning off the water will prevent further damage while you wait for a professional restoration company to come to your home.

SERVPRO of South Madison County professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.

Mold Remediation For Your Huntsville Restaurant

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

When mold damage threatens your restaurant, count on the SERVPRO team!

Huntsville restaurants, bakeries, and other food preparation enterprises know inspections are regularly conducted to ensure public health and safety. Mold growth is one of the negative marks your business can receive, so you want to move on mold remediation before the inspector comes. Stick to creating your delicious savory and sweet treats and hire us to manage the mold.

Mold damage in your Huntsville restaurant not only violates health regulations but also repels your customers if they see or hear about it. In a perfect world, your business would never need to deal with mold growth, but the conditions supportive of mold spores are common in most food preparation areas. Mold prefers temperatures from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but some strains thrive at temperatures as low as 30 or high as 120 degrees. Water, even in the form of steam or high humidity fuels the growth of the fungi, and organic materials offer a food source. All commercial kitchens present this type of environment. We are familiar with the challenges of mold remediation in these circumstances.

Expect SERVPRO mold remediation technicians to assess both the current mold damage and the various sources of moisture observed. Unless your business addresses the moisture issues, mold can recur. In kitchens, one of the essentials is an adequate ventilation system, including exhaust fans that move the steam out of the area. Spills, neglected plumbing leaks, and condensation from coolers, freezers, and ice machines all contribute to the water mold spores seek to absorb.

We do our best to complete the mold remediation while allowing your business to operate. The SERVPRO team erects physical barriers to contain the mold area, a zone outside of which your staff and customers remain during the process. Air quality cannot be compromised, so we frequently use negative air pressure machines to prevent the contaminated air from drifting into the rest of your business and employ HEPA filters to catch airborne debris before venting to the outdoors.

Let SERVPRO of South Madison County partner with you when mold damage threatens your food service business. Call us for an evaluation of even a minor infestation at (256) 533-5335, the sooner, the better to retain your hard-earned reputation for unique and tasty delicacies.

The Trouble With DIY Restoration

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage, it's often the damage that you don't see that ends up causing serious issues.

Huntsville and Madison residents take pride in their homes and properties. When disaster strikes or when you have a substantial mess to clean up, it is a common belief to roll up your sleeves and get to work to fix the problem as best as you can on your own. The trouble with DIY restoration for water incidents is that many homeowners don't get all of the problem addressed, allowing for continued damage.

While a homeowner might see a water damage situation in their Huntsville  residence as little more than a reason to break out the mop and run some fans, there is much more to water damage restoration. Ensuring that the area gets thoroughly dried requires specialized equipment and detection tools. Failure to get your home below moisture standards for a house can lead to worsening conditions that pose a threat to the structure, as well as your family.

One of the reasons that you might consider professional restoration like SERVPRO provides is our ability to respond to your situation rapidly. Even in smaller scale water incidents, fast response time is critical to mitigating loss and to get to work quickly on removing the water and drying up the affected areas.

Another reason that a homeowner should think about our SERVPRO team is our industry-leading equipment, expertise, and unique training. These facts help us quickly assess the full scope of the damage that affects your home and choose the most efficient and practical approach to eliminating the moisture and preserving the construction materials that have gotten saturated by the incident.

As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something happens to their home, situations like water damages require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. Our SERVPRO of South Madison County water damage technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling (256) 533-5335.

Restoring Your Church After A Flood

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Your Huntsville church serves many residents throughout the community, often several days a week. Even without being used 24/7, elements of the building are prone to wear and tear throughout the drastic weather changes from season to season. 

The resulting flood damages to your Huntsville church might not get noticed immediately due to the sporadic use of the building, which can allow for widespread concerns. Water can move quickly and affect many areas of your church in a brief period.  Prolonged exposure poses even greater concerns for those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. In any flooding situation, professional restoration experts like our SERVPRO team can help you resolve the situation quickly.

Flooding can do major damage to structural components, but if you contact our technicians immediately, our rapid response team can help to mitigate some of these losses before areas of your church become irreparably damaged. Part of this practice is our pack-out process which removes items that could be at risk for further damage from the area for concentrated restoration work and safeguarding until the building gets restored to preloss conditions.

Our SERVPRO professionals can also help you overcome this situation and guarantee that the job gets done correctly. With flood cuts (where lower portions of drywall get removed throughout affected areas and later replaced), our team can utilize equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from wall cavities to prevent secondary hazards like mold growth.

While you might never get prepared to face a natural disaster or accident which causes flooding in your church, having the right team of professionals ready to help can take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders. You can count on our SERVPRO of South Madison County to arrive quickly and work to limit your loss and restore your church completely. Give us a call 24/7 at (256) 533-5335.

Every Second Counts During A Fire

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.  In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.

A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.

Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.

Fire Prevention Week 2018

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

This week is Fire Prevention Week!  Here's some information from the National Fire Protection Association on this year's campaign:

2018 Campaign

This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:

LOOK
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – He’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.

Mold Growth Linked To High Indoor Humidity In Alabama

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Drywall is one organic material in your home that mold damage can thrive on.

Residents of Huntsville experience long, hot and humid summers. High levels of airborne moisture and warm temperatures indoors can contribute to the increased likelihood of mold growth in your home, even if you have air conditioning operating. Working with a reputable mold remediation company can help you pinpoint the reasons mold growth is an issue in your home and remediate the current growth.

Water is the fuel that accelerates mold damage in your Huntsville/Madison home. Mold spores are very opportunistic, gaining enough moisture from small amounts of dampness or small collections of condensation to begin growth. Running an air conditioner is often recommended to reduce interior humidity below 60 percent, the level where mold can find a supportive environment even without spills, leaks, or flooding.

Ironically, AC units can provide the moisture if operating inefficiently. An air conditioner too small for the area is one problem, but an overly powerful system also can fail to reduce the humidity enough to halt mold development.

Air conditioning provides a cooling feeling when it removes moisture from the air, usually by condensing the water vapor on refrigerated coils. If adjusted correctly and draining properly, the system works well and prevents the conditions conducive to mold growth. Sometimes a larger than necessary unit does not operate long enough to reduce the humidity below the “sweet spot” for mold growth. It pumps cold air into the rooms too quickly and then cycles off before the humidity reduces. Mold then grows on the damp surfaces, necessitating mold remediation by our SERVPRO crews.

Keeping AC condensers and coils clean and the drains free-flowing is also key to preventing interior mold growth during a hot summer. If the drain is plugged, it may overflow, depositing moisture on a wall or floor nearby. Mold finds wood and drywall perfect organic surfaces to call home. SERVPRO inspects for these moisture sources when we arrive to assess and plan for mold remediation. If the homeowner does not address these issues, chances are good that mold can return even after we complete a professional treatment.

SERVPRO of South Madison County is here to help community residents understand why mold finds a home attractive. We design strategies to remove current mold growth while also preventing future outbreaks. Call us at (256) 533-5335 to schedule an evaluation.

Basic Flood Safety Tips

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

More than half of flood-related drownings occur when someone drives into hazardous water.

Floods are intense and dangerous. While waters may look calm, don’t be fooled. A mere 6 inches of water can take down a full-grown man, sweeping him into the often unrelenting currents. If you are ever caught in a flood, you should be aware of basic flood safety, and review the five safety tips below.

1. Evacuate

The first safety tip is to listen to warnings and evacuate, if so ordered. Never assume to know better than the agencies that are warning you. Also, keep in mind that when areas are evacuated it likely means that emergency services will not be available in those areas for the time being.

2. Turn around. Don’t Drown!

If you are unable or unwilling to evacuate your home, then whatever you do avoid areas that are flooding around you and attempt to stay on dry land. The adage of “Turn around. Don’t drown!” is not to be taken lightly. To remain safe during the flood, it is essential that you avoid rising water for as long as possible.

3. Avoid Bridges

While bridges may appear to be dry and stable, if there is fast-moving water directly underneath them, it is basic flood safety to avoid them because they can be washed away with little warning. 

4. Listen to Emergency Broadcasts

If you have a radio or cellular service during the flood, be sure to stay tuned into NOAA Weather Radio, EAS, or a local alert system to stay up-to-date on any further developments in your area. These stations can provide valuable information about rescue developments and any new storm surges.

5. Elevate Yourself

The most important element of surviving a flood is to elevate yourself. Try to remain above the rising water but do not allow yourself to get trapped in a room with no exits, like an attic.

While these flood safety tips cover the basics, you’ll want to check with the local emergency management office or other experts in your area to verify any other necessary safety precautions.

Mold Prevention Tips That Work

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Although there are a variety of challenges that residential and commercial property owners can experience, the presence of mold is particularly problematic. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that mold can cause health problems and decrease the structural integrity of one’s property. There are ways to prevent the growth of mold, but your best course of action is hiring a professional mold remediation company. Try implementing some or all of the following mold prevention tips:

  1. Invest In A Dehumidification System.

One of the best ways to prevent the growth and proliferation of mold is to invest in an air conditioner that features a dehumidification system. These systems are effective in removing moisture from your property. Once the moisture is removed, the mold is deprived of one of the vital nutrients that help it grow.

  1. Be Cautious When Turning The AC Off.

Make sure that you are cautious when you turn off your air conditioner. In climates that are humid, a long-standing period of inactivity can enable humidity levels to become dangerously high. If the humidity level becomes extremely high, it creates the moist environment necessary for mold to grow and thrive.

  1. Use Insulation.

Another strategy you can use to prevent mold is the use of insulation. By installing insulation as well as vapor barriers, you can prevent condensation from accumulating on objects like plumbing fixtures, beams, and water pipes.

  1. Avoid Standing Water.

Stagnant water can become a breeding area for mold. Make sure that you keep your tubs, showers, sinks and all other wet regions of your property free of standing water.

Mold can be a severe problem for residential and commercial property owners to handle. However, using the prevention tips and tricks outlined above can help you keep mold from growing. In the event that mold growth does affect your Huntsville home, call a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of South Madison County has extensive experience in the mold remediation field and can assist with your mold restoration needs.

What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims?

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

The Northeast and the Southern states are both at high risk for wind-related damage.

You may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of homeowner insurance claims is not fire damage or water damage. It’s wind and hail damage.

According to The Insurance Information Institute,  national statistics (2010 to 2014) from property & casualty insurance companies show that 3 out of 100 homeowners filed claims in the wind/hail category.  The number of claims caused by wind/hail was nearly double the second most frequent reason for homeowner claims. In that second position? Water damage and freezing. 

Fires Cause The Most Damage
Water damage and freezing claims were made by nearly 19 out of 1,000 homeowners. Though fire claims are much rarer—fewer than four claims per 1,000 homes—fires cause the most property damage. The average fire claim in the U.S. was for $39,791. By contrast, the average wind or hail claim totaled $8,041.

One Company Paid $2.4 Billion in 2014 Homeowner Claims
The losses covered by just one insurance company are large. Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. 

Read Our Other Blog Posts
If you’re concerned about making sure your house is well prepared for a wind, hail, fire, water, or other natural disaster, look through the many blog posts here on our website. We cover many specifics. We try to give you information that will protect your family, home, and business from natural disasters.
 
Visit Your Insurance Company's Website

Go to your homeowner insurance company's website. Many insurance companies publish tips on their websites on how you can avoid claims. The Travelers website talks about installing water sensors to keep small leaks from becoming big ones.  At Nationwide’s website, you can learn how to make sure your home is covered for all it’s full value. State Farm and Allstate also have numerous blog posts with tips for homeowners and renters.  

For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256) 533-5335

What To Toss & What To Keep After A Fire

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

It’s impossible to accurately depict how devastating a fire can be when it affects a person’s home. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of this tragedy, you know what a helpless feeling it can be. In the aftermath, you need to go through the cleanup process and decide what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things you can salvage, while others pose health hazards to hang onto. 

Food

You don’t automatically have to throw out all of your food following a fire. However, fire damage at your Huntsville, AL home can render some things unhealthy. Inspect your food supply carefully following a fire to determine what can say or go. You should toss the following:

• Opened containers or perishable foods.
• Food you stored in thin plastic bags or cardboard.
• Non-perishable food that was close to the heat. 

Medicine

High heat will wreak havoc with your medicine or cosmetics. You don’t want to risk ingesting anything that you know was either in or close to the fire. You definitely should throw away the items if they are charred or have other obvious defects or damage. 

Burned Clothing

Though you hate the thought of having to replace your wardrobe, much of it may be unsalvageable. You may be able to save some items by thoroughly cleaning it. But if there are obvious burn marks, you may be out of luck. Use caution when deciding whether to keep baby clothes.  SERVPRO can help you with any clothing items that were affected by smoke and could be saved by careful cleaning.  This applies to dry cleaning items as well.  

Bedding

If a fire affected mattresses, your best bet is to discard it. You don’t want to sleep on something that was exposed to smoke damage and harmful materials. 

It’s hard to throw away items, especially if they have intrinsic meaning and value. However, you’ll feel better knowing you’re providing a safer environment for your loved ones.

Yellowing And Discoloration After A Fire Damage

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business.

Did You Know?

house fire can be damaging even after the firefighters have distinguished the flames.  Don't make matters worse!  

According to the experts at IICRC, "To return your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner."

Stated below are some timeframe constraints following a fire damage by the professionals at IICRC.

"Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.

Within HoursAcid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.

Within DaysIn time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replace­ment; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.

Within WeeksRestoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues."

We hope this information was helpful to you and remember to call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 to ensure proper restoration of your home or office following a fire damage here in Huntsville and surrounding areas.

http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/fire-smoke-restoration/

Six Things To Know About Mold In Your Home

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is something most homeowners don't want to learn about. If you know a lot about the fungus, chances are you've had to deal with a mold problem. However, learning about the common household nuisance could help you better understand how to prevent and take care of the issue.

1. It Is Everywhere. Mold spores are a naturally occurring part of the environment. At any given time, you can find spores in the air both indoors and outdoors.
2. It Needs Moisture. A moisture problem could be a great indicator that you have mold in your home. Mold spores need water to really thrive, but even high humidity could do the trick.
3. It Can Spread Quickly. In the right environment, mold spores can become quite active and spread through airflow. This allows the fungus to create colonies all over your home.
4. It Is Smelly. Black mold, and other types of the fungus, often produce a musty odor. If you notice your Huntsville home has started to smell funky, it could be a sign that mold is already in your house.
5. It Is Hard To Clean. The mold cleanup process is not suitable for everyone to undertake. It requires a certain level of technical know-how, which is why you may get the best results by working with a residential mold remediation company.
6. It Can Be Prevented. Moisture control, cleanliness and an eye for detail can help prevent mold growth. If you can't completely prevent the problem, you can at least catch the issue before it spreads further in your house.

As a homeowner, you may be terrified of the thought of mold. You know it can damage your home, reduce your chances of selling and become a recurring problem. Whether you found black mold or you simply want to prevent it, learning more about the fungus can help prepare you for what's next and make the problem a little less scary.

Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold. 

Selling A Home & Mold Remediation

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

If the house you are trying to sell has mold, call SERVPRO of South Madison County for help 256-533-5335

Are you trying to sell your house in the Huntsville area this year?  We receive numerous calls this time of year from people who are trying to sell their house but need to have mold remediation done before the interested buyer will sign the contract.  SERVPRO of South Madison County is HERE TO HELP!

Here are some things you need to know when it comes to mold remediation on the house you are trying to sell:

  • Address the Source - If the mold is coming from a leaking hot water heater, no matter how many times we come out to remediate the mold, if the leaking hot water heater does not get fixed, the mold will keep returning.
  • Depending on the severity of the mold that is present, it may be necessary to have an Industrial Hygienist come in to test for the types of mold present as well as how high of a count of mold spores are present. Our general rule of thumb is if you have a span of more than 10 square feet of mold, you probably need to have mold testing done.  Having this information will allow us  to take the necessary steps to get your home back to preloss condition.  The final step is to have the Industrial Hygienist come back out and test again to ensure that we have brought the mold spore count back down to an acceptable level. 
  • We do not test for mold. As a professional mold remediation company, it would present a conflict of interest if we were also the Industrial Hygienist that came in behind ourselves to test the site and claim it as being cleared.  We want to avoid any appearance of false test results in order to clear our own work.

Taking the points listed above into consideration, please be sure to allow for enough time for each step as well as the Mold Remediation Process.  We know a quick sell is important to you and your satisfaction in our mold remediation service is important to us.  

Don't Neglect Indoor Air Quality

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering the environment of a new job is often a part of the first day. You figure out who to go to for help, how to use the copier, and what time of day is best to visit the break room to guarantee the coffee will be fresh. But another vital part of our work environments that we often neglect to evaluate is the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). As a business owner or a building manager, this element is a vital part of a thriving business and happy and healthy employees.

The sources of pollutants are sometimes hard to identify and are hard to totally eliminate from a building. They come from multiple sources and some causes, specifically building materials like insulation or paint, continuously emit pollutants. In other circumstances, pollutants that originate in an appliance or building system could be spread at regular intervals or even seasonally when things like air conditioning or the furnace turn on. And still, other pollutants are harder to predict as they are associated with human behavior, such as cleaning or re-decorating.

Thankfully, administrations like OSHA have provided guidelines to give us a baseline for treating and assessing Indoor Air Quality. OSHA suggests considering the following factors when assessing your building’s IAQ: temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the presence of mold and chemicals. Improving these factors can improve the Indoor Air Quality even when the sources of pollutants cannot be totally eliminated.

If you are concerned about the air quality in your workplace, give SERVPRO a call to find out how we can help.  

Inspecting A Commercial Facility For Mold

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors.

No commercial building in Huntsville is completely immune from developing a mold problem. Mold can occur any time there is excess dampness or condensation inside a facility. If you’re unsure whether there is mold at your commercial property, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test so you can try to catch it early. 

First, here are a few questions to consider: 

1. Has there been any recent water damage? Moisture is the primary source of mold, so whether it’s a leaky roof or the effects of flooding, any kind of water inside your commercial facility can lead to mold growth. 

2. Are the air ducts cleaned regularly? HVAC and other ventilation systems are commonly known to carry mold, so it’s important to find out when they were last cleaned. 

3. Is there a strong odor in the building? Sometimes a musty smell means there is mold present. If your employees report an unpleasant odor, it could be the presence of black mold, which is often smelled before it is seen.

Mold can hide in many places indoors, such as under carpet, inside walls and paneling, and in piping and insulation. It has also been found behind wallpaper, but it’s important to be cautious about investigating it without an indoor environmental specialist present; once exposed, mold spores can spread easily. It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors. If you do suspect a mold outbreak at your commercial facility, stay away from suspected areas until experts can come and perform the necessary tests. 

If mold breaks out, but goes undetected for a long time, it can cause more damage. That could disrupt your operations and impact you financially. If your building has suffered any water damage, watch for mold signs. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner an indoor environmental specialist can come in to clean it up. 


Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold. 

Common Causes of House Fires

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

A grease fire caused this damage to a Huntsville home.

If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.

Electrical Outlets

Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.

  • If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
  • Do not overload your circuits.
  • Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.

Kitchen Fires

Accidents in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
  • Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
  • Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
  • Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.

Dryers

Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.

  • Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
  • Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
  • Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.

Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Proper fire safety equipment and regular maintenance can decrease your risk of costly fire damage.

Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know

During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:

  • Two civilian deaths
  • 115 civilian injuries
  • $246 million in property damage

In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.

Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.

Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)

Fires

  1. Cooking equipment 57%
  2. Heating equipment 10%
  3. Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
  4. Smoking material 7%
  5. Intentional 5%

Property Damage

  1. Cooking equipment 40%
  2. Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
  3. Intentional 10%
  4. Heating equipment 7%
  5. Smoking Material 5%

Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million

If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire, or in need of a deep clean, call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335. 

We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

Lightning Safety Tips

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These accidents are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.

1)      Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.

2)      Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.

3)      Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.

4)      Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.

5)      Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.

6)      If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.

Restoring Your Belongings After A Water Leak

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in your home can be devastating, whether it comes from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Huntsville/Madison County home.

1. Separate Items

Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s important to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean, since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.

2. Dry-Clean Non-Porous Items

Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from non-porous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items. 

3. Air-Dry When Appropriate

If you’re not dealing with hazardous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the air flow inside your home with the use of open windows, air conditioners and fans. 

4. Toss Dangerous Items

Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables. 

While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. For help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items, it’s best to wait for professional help to arrive. Visit SERVPRO of South Madison County for more information on water damage.

Prepare for a thunderstorm

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm Preparedness

All thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. On average, lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more in the US each year. Dangers associated with thunderstorms include strong winds, flash flooding, hail, and even tornadoes.


To prepare for a thunderstorm:

  • Trim or remove tree limbs near your home. Remove any dead or rotting trees.
  • Secure outdoor items.
  • Postpone or cancel outdoor activities.
  • Go inside - if you can't reach a building, get in a hard-top vehicle.
  • Secure doors and windows. Close blinds, curtains, or shutters.
  • Unplug electronics.

When a thunderstorm occurs:

  • Remember this phrase: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". Go inside during thunderstorms.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio such as a NOAA Weather Radio for updates and information.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from lightning-caused power surges.
  • Water conducts electricity. Water-based activities and chores should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
  • Windows, porches, and doorways can be dangerous in storms - stay inside.
  • If you can't get inside, try to avoid natural lightning rods - like a large tree in an open field, and try not to be the tallest thing on a hill, open field, or beach.
  • Try not to touch metal - including your car - metal conducts electricity.
  • Stay in your car if you're driving. Pull over and turn on your hazard lights until heavy rain ends.

 After the storm passes:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown!
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Keep a close eye on your pets to keep them safe.

The professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County are highly trained and certified.  Our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge they need to help with any water or fire loss.

SERVPRO of South Madison County

(256) 533-5335

We are here to help 24/7!

Top Reasons Toilets Leak When Flushed

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Leaking water is never ideal. It can waste your money and even cause damage to your Huntsville home. If you have a leaking toilet, you may be at your wits end. Why is it happening and how can you stop it?

Knowing the why can help you better understand how to fix the problem. As you try to investigate your bathroom leak, consider these possibilities:

Damaged Wax Ring: The wax ring at the base of the toilet may dry out or get damaged in another way. This makes the seal imperfect and can lead to leaks. If this is the culprit, you'll notice the water coming from the base of the toilet.

Loose Tank: Over time, the tank of your toilet may loosen due to use. Tanks have to fit tightly onto the seat to stop leaks from taking place. If the tank is the issue, you may notice water seeping out at the base of the tank.

Broken Closet Flange: The closet flange provides a mount for the toilet on the floor. If this part is bent or damaged, it could lead to a leaking toilet. Fixing this piece requires you to either replace the whole flange or fill in the missing piece.

Loose Closet Bolts: The closet bolts work to hold the toilet to the ground. If they get loosened over time, you may notice water pooling at the base of the toilet every time you flush. You may be able to fix this problem by simply tightening the bolts. However, you need to be careful not to over-tighten, as this can lead to cracks.

Poor Installation: Finally, if the toilet was not installed correctly to begin with, you may have leaking problems from day one. The only way to fix this issue is to try to reinstall the toilet. You may need a new wax seal and flange anyway.

Because a leaking toilet can lead to major water damage, you may not want to try to fix the problem on your own. Turning to a professional water damage specialist can help you fix the problem quickly.

Lunch & Learn With Us

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Do you work for a real estate office or insurance agency? Are you part of a company that could benefit from having a quick knowledge of restoration and commercial cleaning options for your clients?

We can offer you and your coworkers a great opportunity for to learn all of SERVPRO's services that are relevant to you and your industry. 

But wait...why not do it over coffee and donuts? Or maybe lunch? Or fresh, homemade cookies?

Are we getting your attention yet?

Our SERVPRO marketing representatives would love to chat with you and your coworkers and let you know about all that SERVPRO of South Madison County has to offer you. Whether you find yourself dealing with a disaster situation or you just need to have some general cleaning or mold testing done, we want you to know that SERVPRO is here to help.

There is no cost for a Lunch & Learn, just give us a call and make an appointment and our marketing representatives will come to you! It is only approximately 15-30 minutes in duration, and participants are free to ask questions and chat as long as is needed. 

If you are interested in setting up a SERVPRO Lunch & Learn for you and your coworkers, call us and we will schedule a date and time that works best for you! All you'll have to do is be present and hungry to eat good food and learn a little more about how SERVPRO of South Madison County can help with your cleaning and restoration needs.

Clogged Gutters Can Worsen Potential Flood Damage

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Gutters should not overflow and all surface water should be directed away from your home.

Does your home have a basement or crawl space?  If so, you should take some time to inspect how heavy rains flow from your roof.  An clogged gutter will overflow and dump water right next to your foundation which could lead to a water damage in the basement or crawl space.  

Inspect and clean your home’s gutters and downspouts at least once a year. It may seem that all storm damage results from rising waters, but the reality is that the rainfall cascading off your home’s roof could contribute quite a bit to that. If your home’s gutters and downspouts are not properly directing this runoff, you could end up with a damaged foundation, roof damage and more flooding than you would have had otherwise. 

Also, make sure your downspout extensions direct water away from your home's foundation.  They should extend out at least 3 feet to an area where the water will drain away from your home.

Next time the Huntsville/Madison County area is hit with heavy rains, take a minute to inspect around your home for these issues.  If despite your best efforts to prevent flood damage, you do experience flooding in your home, it is important to get help from a professional storm damage company as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of South Madison County can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Handling A Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Spring storms can be really stressful for residential and commercial building owners in Huntsville. You have to worry about hail, wind and water damage whenever a storm is predicted for your area. Even when a storm is forecasted, you never know exactly what's going to happen. Sometimes, the storms may leave your building unaffected, and other times, you're left dealing with lots of damage. For example, your area could be under threat of heavy rains, but did you know that could put you at risk for a sewer backup?

Overwhelming Amounts of Water

Heavy rainfall can leave systems waterlogged, and the city sewer system is no different. During heavy downpours, sewer systems can take on too much water. This causes the sewer water to back up into commercial buildings and sometimes homes.

Downpours aren't the only potential cause of a sewer backup. This issue can also be caused by the following situations:

* Tree roots grow into pipes.
* Broken pipes don't allow sewage to leave.
* Grease or other waste creates a plug.
* Vandals drop large items into manhole covers.

No matter why sewage is coming into your building, you need to react quickly.

Creating Black Water

When flooding is combined with sewage, your building is now full of contaminated water. This particular variety of contaminated water is often referred to as black water because it could contain fecal matter, microbes and harsh chemicals. Because this water can be highly unsanitary, you need to get the flooding taken care of as quickly as possible. Not only could you be dealing with normal flooding issues, but you may add other problems to the mix as well.

If you ever have to deal with black water, it's a good idea to bring in trained water damage restoration experts as soon as possible. When there is a sewer backup in your building, it's nice to know who you can turn to for fast, reliable help.  

Call SERVPRO Today – We’re Ready To Help 256-533-5335

Signs of Mold After Water Damage

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of South Madison County handles water damages every day and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is important to be alert for:

- The presence of visible mold

-Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present

- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth

- Excessive humidity  

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth.  

Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a heath threat.

If you suspect you have a mold problem in your Huntsville home or business, give SERVPRO a call to find out how we can help you!

Springtime Tips for Huntsville Homeowners

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Spring in Huntsville means rain and storms, and for many people that can lead to wet floors or even flooding. Intrusion of water into your home can result in mold growth, if left unattended. The best way to control mold growth is to control the moisture. Following these maintenance tips could save yourself a lot of problems down the line.

  • Check your roof for any cracks or damage. This will help prevent leaking into the upper floors of your home.
  • Clean and check your gutters. When gutters are clogged and not allowing water to drain properly, it could be coming back into your basement or crawl space.
  • If your home has a chimney, have it cleaned and examined for damage.

If these problems are left to sit, your home could be at risk for water damage and potentially mold damage. This could lead to very expensive repairs to both the interior and exterior of your home. SERVPRO of South Madison County recommends keeping up with your household maintenance before the springtime showers begin. 

If you find yourself with a soggy or soaked carpet, give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call!  We know how to handle your small water damages as well as your large water damages. If you have any questions or need assistance, just call 256-533-5335 and we will answer 24/7!

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Minimize the extent of water damage by knowing how to shut off your water during a water emergency.

In an emergency, you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more).  Take some time to locate your shut-off valve before an emergency strikes so that you will be better prepared to act quickly if needed.   

Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. If you still have a copy of the home inspection report from the purchase of your home, the location of the shut-off valve may be included in the plumbing section of the report.  In most homes in Huntsville, the water shut-off valve should be just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall. 

2. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off valve in your home? Have one installed by a plumber.   

If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335

3. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.

Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. You may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box, you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
 
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink, just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking, just shut the valves to it off.

If you have a young relative who has recently moved out on their own for the first time, share these tips with them.  Landlords may also want to make sure that all of their tenants are aware of the location of the shut-off valve.  

Drying Out Your Bedroom Carpet After Water Damage In Your Huntsville Home

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

One of our technicians uses weighted extraction to remove water from the carpet of a Huntsville home.

Rely on SERVPRO for Water Extraction from Carpets


Water damage can happen in your bedroom at any time.  All it takes is a leak, a damaged pipe or even extreme weather.  A wet carpet is frustrating and you want to get it dried out as quickly as possible.  You might be worried about whether your carpet needs to be replaced.  That is why we recommend you call SERVPRO at once.  We can begin drying your carpet quickly to prevent further damage. 
 
It is understandable to be concerned that water damage in your Huntsville home means disruption for you and your family.  However, in some cases, it is possible for our IICRC-certified technicians to dry out your bedroom carpet while it is still in place.  Our experts thoroughly examine your carpet and the extent of the harm to determine whether in place drying is a practical option.  It may be necessary to remove your bed, but smaller furniture items such as a chest or a chair can simply be moved from place to place within the room until water extraction is complete. 
 
The first step is to extract any standing water.  We train our technicians to use the right type of extraction tools to extract the maximum amount of water with the minimum amount of damage to your carpet. 
 
In place, extraction may begin with a wand tool to prevent water migration.  However, the most useful piece of gear is a weighted extraction tool, which uses the body weight of one of our technicians standing on it for maximum water removal.  SERVPRO understands that drying carpet without removing it means a longer and more thorough extraction process for best results. 
 
Do not worry if your bedroom carpet is wet – it may be possible to save it.  Give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call at (256) 533-5335 to find out.

Huntsville's Regulations & Planning To Minimize Flooding

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."

With all of the rain over the weekend, many communities in the Tennessee Valley have experienced some flooding issues.  The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away.  While the weather can't be controlled, there are proactive measures that can be taken to minimize flooding. 

Thirteen percent of Huntsville’s developed property is within floodplains.  Here are some steps that city officials have put into place to minimize flooding:

  • Huntsville officials established strict flood mitigation regulations in 1991 that have been constantly re-examined and updated
  • All new commercial and residential development must have retaining areas or draining that can manage the flow of excess water
  • Any building within the flood zones must be elevated or flood-proof
  • Homes in newer neighborhoods in south Huntsville with a proximity to the river and the feeder creeks must be a foot higher off the ground than standard
  • Public Works, Landscape Management and Engineering share the role in keeping waterways free of debris, though landowners must assume a role in clearing banks and ditches adjacent to their property
  • Land in floodplain area that couldn’t be adopted as commercial or residential has been transformed into greenspace (recreational areas for walking, hiking and biking)
  • Most Huntsville residential draining systems are designed for a 10-year storm, meaning an event that has a 10 percent chance of happening each year
  • Huntsville is a participant in a National Flood Insurance program through FEMA and also provides updates to residents whose homes are in floodplains

Safety Tips for National Burn Awareness Week

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

The smell of cookies baking in the oven or tasty sauces simmering on the stovetop is hard to resist for adults and children alike. However, before you dip your finger into the pot to taste that delicious soup, know that the majority of children who are hospitalized for burn-related injuries suffer from scald burns (65 percent) or contact burns (20 percent).  Hot tap water scald burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.

Scalds are the most common burn injury among young children and one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home for children under age four. U.S. hospitals treat an estimated 110,000 people under 19 for scalds every year.

While thousands of scald burns occur annually, increased awareness of the dangers can prevent injuries. To help people be mindful of scald burns, the American Burn Association has declared the first week of February National Burn Awareness Week.

Following a few simple precautions will help keep you and your little chef safe from potential burns:

  1. Cool a burn under cold running water for 10-15 minutes and call 9-1-1 for serious burns.
  2. Always supervise children in the kitchen and dining areas.
  3. Create a “No Child Zone” while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages.
  4. Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, place the child into a high chair or other safe area while cooking.
  5. Children love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from its edge; also, keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
  6. Keep clothing from coming in contact with flames or heating elements.
  7. A small adjustment to your water heater can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
  8. Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline, and lighters in a safe place out of children’s reach and avoid novelty lighters as they may look like toys in a child’s eyes.
  9. When filling the bathtub, turn on cold water first then mix in warmer water carefully.

National Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to share this information, develop a home fire drill, check your smoke alarms, and to make your kitchen safe for your little chef in training.

Huntsville/Madison Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup and Restoration

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

We provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations.

Recognized as a leading fire, water, and mold restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO also offers fast and reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

SERVPRO of South Madison County technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. 

Our services cover the following issues:

  • Bloodbourne Pathogens: SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substance resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
  • Methamphetamine Labs: Many chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces. 
  • Crime Scene Residues: Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues can be cleaned from surfaces and contents to restore your property. 
  • Arson and Vandalism: After the fire trucks are gone, your home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 
  • Sewage Backups: Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
  • Black Water Intrusions: This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
    • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
    • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation: Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Water Damage Statistics

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common a problem water damage can be. According to insurance industry research,

  • 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day
  • 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime.
  • 37% of U.S. homeowners claim to have experienced water damage

Water leaks cause incredible amounts of damage and waste.

  • Water leaks from homes in the US can exceed 1 trillion gallons of water in a year. 
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water a day. 
  • A continuously running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day, and
  • A 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day.  
  • A faucet leaking at a rate of 1 drop per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water in a year.  

Protecting Your Warehouse Inventory From Water Damage

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Damage in a warehouse needs to be dealt with right away so that the items stored have the best chance of recovery.

Commercial water damage presents double trouble to you as an owner and employer. Not only do you need to recover your premises, equipment, and inventory from the effects of leaks or flooding, you also have employees and customers who rely on you to keep your business running even while restoration efforts are in process. SERVPRO works closely with our commercial clients to avoid closure or a shut down even after a significant water damage to your warehouse or other storage facility affects your business. We encourage business owners to consult with us before any warehouse water disaster by developing an Emergency READY Profile. 

Preventing commercial water damage in Huntsville may not be possible if heavy storms or flooding affect your warehouse but a review of your preparedness can limit the effects to your bottom line. Take advantage of our training and expertise by scheduling a thorough assessment of your warehouse and other operations. There is no charge for our review of your facilities, and we will use the information to ready your team should the worst happen. 

You can also reduce and prevent the impact of flooding and water damage to both business operations and inventory:

  • Keep stock off the floor.
  • Routinely clean external and internal drains of debris such as leaves, waste, and other vegetation.
  • Prevent water entering the building by installing permanent or removable barriers to seal doors, windows and other openings.
  • Raise electrical sockets to keep them clear of possible flood water.

Water Damage Ten Times More Likely Than Fire

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen to anyone.

Most homeowners worry about experiencing a fire.  Few of us worry about having a water damage in our home.  A study of claims data from a major insurance company shows that your home is 10 times more likely to be damaged by water than fire.  

Fortunately, much of this water-related damage can be prevented and taking a few simple home maintenance steps can help decrease the chances of water damage.  

The following list provides preventive measures to help avoid the top four common causes of non-weather related water damage:

Leaks from washing machine hoses: Washing machine hoses should be inspected annually and replaced every five years – or immediately, if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.

Leaky plumbing around water heaters: Plumbing should be inspected annually and repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, water heaters should be installed in an area with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Leaks from refrigerator ice machines: Ice maker connections, usually located behind the refrigerator, should be inspected annually and hoses replaced if they appear cracked or corroded.

Clogged drain lines on air conditioning units: Air conditioning drain lines should be checked yearly.

Tips To Prevent Fires In The Workplace

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Last week was Fire Prevention Week and we shared tips on fire safety on our Facebook page.  While the main focus is on preventing residential fires, it is also a good time to revisit workplace fire safety and prevention especially since several Huntsville businesses have experienced fire damage recently.   

12 Tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:

Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.

Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.

Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.

Step 6. Maintenance – Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.

Step 7. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.

Step 8. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.

Step 9. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.

Step 10. Prevent Ignition – Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.

Step 11. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.

Step 12. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number and floor plan should be posted.

All of these tips can help prevent fires in your business, office or warehouse.  But it's important to note that sometimes the unexpected happens regardless of preventative measures.  The simple truth is that fire emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Facts About Home Fire Sprinklers

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

Make no mistake: smoke alarms are crucial and significantly cut the risk of dying in a home fire. But these devices do nothing to suppress a fire. Home fire sprinklers in coordination with smoke alarms have been proven to protect lives and property against fire. 

Home fire sprinklers
  • If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present.
  • Sprinklers reduce direct property damage by about 70 percent per fire.
  • Research shows that when sprinklers were present during a fire, the fire is kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
  • Roughly 85 percent of the time, just one sprinkler operates during a fire.
  • Each individual sprinkler is designed and calibrated to go off only when it senses a significant heat change.
  • Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.

Model safety codes now require the use of home fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. These requirements offer the highest level of safety to protect the people of your community. To learn how to advocate for fire sprinklers in your community’s new homes, visit NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.

Fast Facts About Home Fires

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Home fires
  • Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
  • One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Most fatal fires kill one or two people.
  • During 2010-2014, roughly, one of every 338 households reported a  home fire per year.

How Temperature Affects Mold Growth

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

While stopping mold growth is very difficult without adequate tools and training, slowing (or accelerating) expansion could be as simple as changing your thermostat. Mold is hardy by nature, but that does not mean it is invulnerable to environmental changes. The key to controlling mold damage in Huntsville and Madison County could very well be careful climate control. Before calling SERVPRO to your home, consider what each of these conditions can do to affect mold growth. 
 
Warm Temperatures 
The ideal conditions for mold damage in Huntsville tend to involve temperatures at or slightly above room temperature. These temperatures are not only the most comfortable for humans, but also for most types of mold. Mold usually grows fastest when your home is in its default state. While cranking up the air conditioning or turning off the heat may help to slow the spread of mold, it will also likely create uncomfortable conditions for you, so consider carefully any changes you make. 
 
Cold Temperatures 
Few types of mold grow well in colder climes as warmer ones. In northern parts of the country, the fungi are much more common in the summer, as freezing temperatures present a serious impediment to efficient growth. However, living in low temperatures can create safety hazards, meaning that a cold day only tends to advantage non-climate-controlled parts of the home such as garages and outdoor areas. 
 
Summer Heat 
Particularly hot summer days can be either harmful or helpful, depending on conditions. Unfortunately, most hot days in Huntsville tend to carry with them conditions of high humidity, fostering increased mold growth. 

If you suspect that your Huntsville home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of South Madison County can inspect, assess and remediate your property.

If You See Signs of Mold, 
Call Us Today – (256) 533-5335

Our Work In Houston

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

For the last month, we have had crews in Houston helping other SERVPRO franchises clean up flood damaged homes and businesses.  We frequently send crews out of town to help other SERVPRO franchises when a large disaster such as a hurricane or flood affects their area.  

Our first round of crews left Huntsville on August 29th.  They were loaded up with equipment and supplies and had quite a long drive.  Because flood damaged materials must be removed for proper restoration, they faced hard work removing flooring and drywall day after day.  They also work long hours and weekends.  After two weeks, we always swap out our crews.  The original crews need and deserve a rest after all of their hard work and the new crews are rested and ready to help those who need it.  

We operate on a wait list and were given a list of 50 homeowners needing our help when we arrived.   Eventually that list grew to 80 names. Our primary focus is to remove damaged materials and dry out the home as quickly as possible to prevent secondary damage and mold growth.  We also want to save as much of the homeowner's belongings as possible.  

Our crews received raving reviews from many of the homeowners that they worked so hard to help.  We are very proud of their efforts and hard work!  

Great job, SERVPRO TEAM!

Tips To Control Mold

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

If you suspect that your Huntsville home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO can inspect, assess and remediate your property.

As we discussed in our previous blog post, mold is often a problem after a water damage.  Many homeowners try to handle water damage cleanup themselves and unseen damage leaves moisture that later causes mold to grow.

If you had a water damage recently and you now smell a musty odor or have visible mold, here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help control mold problems:

  • The source of mold is moisture; therefore fix all leaks in pipes and in any damp area around tubs and sinks.
  • Rebuild, or retrofit, with water-resistant building materials such as tile, stone, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized or stainless steel hardware, indoor/outdoor carpeting, waterproof wallboard and water-resistant glues.
  • Prevent seepage of water from outdoors into your house. It is important to have rainwater from gutters or roof drains away from the structure. Ground around the house should slope away to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.
  • Cover dirt in crawl spaces with plastic to prevent moisture from coming up from the ground. Ventilate the area as much as possible.
  • Clean fabrics such as curtains and upholstery often to keep them dry, because soil promotes mold growth.
  • Consider having ductwork cleaned and inspected professionally or replaced if you suspect mold exists on the inside surface of the duct or if duct insulation has been wet.
  • Reduce the moisture in the air with dehumidifiers, fans and open windows or air conditioners.
  • Do not use fans or vacuum cleaners if mold already exists, especially in hot weather. A fan or vacuum cleaner will spread the mold spores.
  • In moisture-prone areas, choose carpets of man-made fibers.
  • Reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating.
  • Routinely check potential problem spots.

For more information, visit www.fema.gov/removing-mold-your-home.

Flood Damage Can Lead To Mold Problems

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can be a growing problem in the aftermath of floods.

When the Huntsville area is hit with heavy rains, it sometimes results in flood damage to homes and businesses.  Basements are a common problem for homeowners.  Flood waters also enter a home or business through a garage or other entry door.  

SERVPRO usually fields lots of calls in our office after flooding.  Homeowners are anxious to get back in their homes.  Some call us for help.  Some call for advice.  And, unfortunately, many don't call us and simply try to clean up the water damage themselves. 

Those people often end up calling us later when they discover mold growing.  Mold grows best in damp areas where humidity is high.  Moisture in basements, walls, carpets and wood provide an environment for mold to flourish.

If your home or business suffered flood or water damage recently, please take the time to inspect the area carefully.  If you see mold or suspect mold may be present, give SERVPRO a call.  

Furnace Puffbacks Leave a Sooty Mess

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

One of our technicians carefully cleans soot from a customer's ceiling.

A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.

Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps you can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:

  • Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
  • Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.

If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.

Fortunately, if your home or business does experience a puffback, SERVPRO of South Madison County has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors.  We have cleaned soot from puffbacks in many homes in Huntsville and Madison County in the 20 years we have been in business.   

Safety and Cleanup Steps after Fire Damage

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

A grease fire caused fire and smoke damage to several rooms of this home in Huntsville.

How do you clean up after fire damage?

First, consider your safety. Only stay in your fire damaged home if you know it’s safe. Remember that electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most common ways people get injured after a fire.

If putting the fire out has left lots of water on your property, avoid lifting wet materials. They could be much heavier than you think. When fire has damaged your property, some of the first steps you should take are:


What To Do After Fire Damage
•    Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
•    Keep everyone’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
•    Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
•    If your electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
•    Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
•    Wash your houseplants on both sides of leaves.
•    Change your HVAC filter.
•    Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After Fire Damage
•    Don't try to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo your carpet or upholstery without contacting a professional. You may do more damage. 
•    Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
•    Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
•    Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
•    Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Remember, we’re here to help. We are fire restoration contractors. Many people in the Huntsville/Madison County region have used our professional fire restoration services. So call SERVPRO of South Madison County anytime, 24/7 at 256-533-5335.  

Stopping Mold Growth

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

The simplest way to stop mold growth is to reduce moisture.

Mold growth is not as noticeable as fire or water damage. It can be just as dangerous to residents and destroy as much property if left unchecked and untreated. Stopping the advancement of mold growth, however, is simpler to accomplish for the most part.

To understand how SERVPRO stops mold damage in Huntsville homes and businesses, it helps to know how mold gets started in the first place. Individual mold spores are smaller than a mustard seed, but function in the same manner. A mass containing thousands of them is much smaller than a dandelion, but when it is disturbed, reacts the same way; it breaks apart and spreads the spores (seeds) as far as an air current takes them.

In most cases, these spores touchdown and remain inert, a threat to no one or anything. To expand, they need moisture. The expanding spores extend hyphae across surfaces, seeking a food source so they can grow. When they find one, the spores form a new mass, and the cycle repeats itself, spreading across walls, ceilings, under carpets, and into HVAC ductwork. Most of this takes place between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but a few species of mold can grow at high or lower temperatures. To stop growth and render the spores inert, we perform the following tasks: reduce the moisture available, remove the food source and either raise or lower the temperature.

The simplest way to stop growth is to reduce moisture. Our technicians examine the area around it for standing water and measure the humidity level. We use pumps and extractors to remove visible water and draw unseen water from floors and carpets and set-up dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air.

Removing the food source requires a certain amount of demolition that starts with removing drywall and ceiling tiles. It is simply not cost-effective to try to clean and restore them. If we find mold under a carpet, the same is true.

Changing the temperature is the most difficult factor to manage. Trying to raise or lower the temperature of an affected area can take a long time since it is usually unsafe to engage the HVAC with an active mold growth in the home. In smaller areas, we use heaters to raise the temperature effectively, but even then, we do so as part of reducing the moisture levels.

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of South Madison County is close by and ready to help with your mold-damaged property.  Contact us today at (256) 533-5335 if you need our help or suspect there may be a problem and want to schedule an inspection.

Tips to Prevent Bathroom Mold

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Mold spores thrive on moisture.

Ahhhh a hot, steamy shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. And while you’re relaxing the humidity level in your bathroom is rising, which can create an ideal environment for moldand mildew.

Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bathroom is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.

Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that the exhaust fan comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hard wire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity, invest in a humidity sensor.

Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.

Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.

Commercial Cleaning Services

7/30/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Madison County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine.

SERVPRO of South Madison County offers specialty cleaning services ranging from cleaning office upholstery to making storefront windows crystal clear. We have the specialized training and products to get your commercial or residential property clean, safe, and healthy again.

A Clean Business Keeps Customers Coming Back
Your business represents you.  A clean and attractive business keeps customers coming and leaves a positive impression. SERVPRO of South Madison County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine. 

Our commercial specialty cleaning services include:
•    Air Ducts and HVAC
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
•    Biohazard and Sewage
SERVPRO of South Madison County is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
•    Trauma and Crime Scene
Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of South Madison County will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
•    Carpet and Upholstery
Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery.
•    Drapes and Blinds
We carefully inspect and test fabrics to determine which of SERVPRO’s five cleaning methods is best suited to your fabrics. 
•    Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Your heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property.
•    Odor Removal and Deodorization
SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
•    Vandalism
Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.


We’re Here Whenever You Need Us 
The team at SERVPRO of South Madison County also has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup. 

Call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 anytime.

We've served clients in Huntsville, Madison, New Hope, Gurley, Owens Crossroads and beyond. 

Businesses Can Be Prepared

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

Download the SERVPRO ERP App Today

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

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

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/ to get started.  

Repairing Your Home After a Fire

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Most people who suffer fire damage want their lives and their homes to return to normal as soon as possible. Here's how.

Has your home recently been damaged by fire? If so, you’re probably eager to get started cleaning up and restoring your home and belongings. Most people who suffer fire damage want their lives and their homes to return to normal as soon as possible. But many don’t know the costs. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair smoke and fire damage is $8,571.

Fire damage can make areas of your home unusable until the fire damage has been repaired. More extensive fire damage may make your entire home unsafe. You may have to live elsewhere  until cleanup and repair work gets done.  No matter how minor or significant the fire damage restoration work is, you want to know how long it will take. The timeline depends on the restorative process and whether you take the opportunity to do remodeling at the same time.

Starting Fire Damage Repair Work 
It can be difficult to determine how and where to get started with fire damage repair work. The first step in the repair process is to remove water from the home if firefighters used water during the extinguishing process. Water extraction can be completed by the professionals from SERVPRO of South Madison County quickly and affordably. We arrive in our green vehicles stocked with equipment and supplies to surmount any cleaning and restoration need you have. 

Call SERVPRO of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335 Anytime

SERVPRO of South Madison County can also suggest to you and your adjuster what items and materials are salvageable. Keep in mind that smoke damage can also be a problem.  Some items, such as carpeting and your HVAC system may need to be professionally cleaned to remove the smoke odor from your home. 

Get Professional Help
Repairing your home after you have suffered fire damage is not something that you want to attempt on your own. A fire damage restoration project requires a considerable amount of time and energy to complete. But SERVPRO South Madison County can help you restore your property in minimal time with minimal costs. Our IICRC cleanup and restoration certified technicians have the skills and assets to do a quality job. We are a locally owned and operated fire damage repair franchise. 

How clean is the air in your office?

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Indoor air quality in commercial buildings is a factor in good health.

Indoor air quality is a major concern for businesses, building managers, tenants, and employees. Clean air impacts the health, comfort, well being, and productivity of building occupants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment.

More Pollution Inside Than Outside
Studies conducted by the EPA and others show that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of pollutants that are higher than levels found outside. Pollutants in commercial buildings and other indoor environments can increase the risk of illness. The EPA and independent scientific panels have consistently ranked indoor air pollution as an important environmental health problem. While most buildings do not have severe indoor air quality problems, even well-run buildings can sometimes experience episodes of poor indoor air quality.

Interested in discussing cleaning needs for your property? Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335

How To Improve The Air Inside Your Commercial Building
Some simple steps can have a big impact on the quality of the air inside your commercial building:

• Don’t block air vents or grills
• Comply with the office and building smoking policy
• Water and maintain office plants properly
• Dispose of garbage promptly and properly
• Store food properly
• Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants
• Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem

Interested in discussing cleaning needs for your property? Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335

Why You Should Repair Minor Storm Damage Quickly

6/22/2017 (Permalink)

Left alone, minor damage often becomes major damage.

In the Huntsville/Madison County region, some storms may not seem very powerful, but weaker storms can be deceiving. Hearing about a predicted minor storm may cause you to think that there’s little possibility your Huntsville home or business will suffer storm damage. However, storm damage doesn’t always mean 3 feet of water in your basement or a 100 foot spruce tree sitting in your bedroom.

Storm damage as minor as losing a few roof shingles or a broken window can hurt. Both of these situations and many others require repairs. Left alone, minor damage (like a slow leak or a little crack) can worsen over time. Preventing minor storm damage from becoming a major issue can stop higher repair bills from sneaking up on you.

For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256)533-5335 Anytime

Minor Leads To Major
Huntsville homeowners and business owners who don’t repair minor damage often are forced to face much greater damage in time.  SERVPRO of South Madison County can help you make minor repairs before they become major headaches.  By not procrastinating you avoid the risk of major repairs and major inconveniences in the future.

Welcome Mat For Rodents
Any opening (missing shingles, peeling siding, etc.) sends a welcome mat for water and insects, and rodents to enter. Larger openings in your roof can permit rodents and birds to come in and make their homes in your attic space. Some rodents are more damaging than others and won't stay in the attic but will find their way into other areas of your home. 

Extensive Restoration Training
Because we are SERVPRO of South Madison County, we have extensive training in all aspects of repairs and restorations. That’s true for both residential and commercial properties. We have completed jobs of all sizes over the years, and we can successfully handle any size disaster, including the one you’re facing. Our certifications cover the many different cleaning and restorative types of work that storm damage can cause.

We are ready to restore your home or business to its previous beautiful condition. Minor repairs now can provide major protection for your home or business later.

Heavy Rains Expected? SERVPRO is Ready!

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Heavy rainfall forecast for Huntsville and Madison County between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning

Whenever heavy rains are expected in the Huntsville/Madison County area, SERVPRO of South Madison County understands the potential for serious problems for homeowners and businesses. If you find yourself in over your head with water problems call your qualified SERVPRO team today and we'll get you back on track fast, so fast you'll wonder why you ever hesitated to make the call at all!

Do you have a water damage, roof leak, sump pump failure, or need any general clean up from water problems and/or flooding?  Call us today and we'll make it all go away!

SERVPRO of South Madison County proudly serves those in need!  We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve.  We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning.  Let us help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”

For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs, Call SERVPRO of South Madison County 256-533-5335 

Huntsville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Huntsville

SERVPRO of South Madison County 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 - 256-533-5335

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 South Madison County 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 South Madison County

SERVPRO of South Madison County 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.

Restoring Your Huntsville Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Huntsville 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 South Madison County

SERVPRO of South Madison County 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.

Certifications

  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

Huntsville Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of South Madison County 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 – 256-533-5335

When Storms or Floods hit Madison County, SERVPRO is ready!

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Madison County.

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

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 256-533-5335

Huntsville Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

The refrigerator supply line leaked in the kitchen above and caused water damage to the basement in this Huntsville home.

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 Huntsville 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 - 256-533-5335

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 South Madison County 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 256-533-5335

For Immediate Service in Madison County, Call SERVPRO

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Madison County. 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 – 256-533-5335

Residential Services

Whether your Madison County 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 Madison County 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: click here.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Does Your Madison County Home Have A Mold Problem?

5/5/2017 (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 – 256-533-5335

Small Water Damage Can Lead to Unseen Problems

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Water Intrusion in One Room can Mean Water Damage in Other Rooms. Removing surface water can help prevent more extensive damage. However, water intrusion invade floors, ceilings and walls to find the lowest point in your home. Standing water from an overflowing bathtub or other water incident will search for pin hole crevices and creak in your floor and walls looking for a way a travel downward. Surface such as a woof, drywall and carpet pull water away from plain sight and into the interiors of your home. 

Should a water incident occur in your home, remove excess water with mopping and blotting, remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying and place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs. These tips may prevent further damage to your home and personal belongings.

SERVPRO® of the Quad Cities Professionals can help:

Service Response Guidelines 

1) Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Professional will contact you to arrange for service

 

4) Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to start mitigation service.

 

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

** Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.  

Mold and the Precautions to Take

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Central Huntsville handles water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is important to be alert for:

- The presence of visible mold

-Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present

- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.

- Excessive humidity  

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth.  

Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions  that pose a heath threat.

Flood Damages and Flood Insurance In North Alabama

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

In North Alabama we know how drastic the weather can be and how suddenly it can change. It is important to know the terms associated with flooding and what kind of coverage you have on your home.

Flood Terms:

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.

Knowing About Flood Insurance: 

  • Regular homeowners insurance does not cover flood water damages and when purchased from you insurance company is ran through the National Flood Insurance Program. 
  • If there is sewage back up caused by a flood then it would be only be covered by flood insurance. 
  • Upon the purchase of flood insurance there is a 30 Day waiting period before the insurance kicks in, so it is important to plan ahead. 
  • Find out if  you are in a flood plain. If you are not you want to calculate the risk of not having flood insurance. 

SERVPRO® Water Damage and Fire Restoration Construction

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Often when our homes face a fire or water damage we are left with an abundance of issues that need to be faced. SERVPRO Central Huntsville has helped many in our community face all these problems in a "one stop shop". Below is the process typically followed for our customers who have construction needs after a fire or water damage.

1. Contact insurance agent or SERVPRO directly when the problem arises. 

2. SERVPRO of Central Huntsville responses quickly and starts mitigation to prevent further damage. 

3. Construction is needed once mitigation is complete. Instead of calling around for contractors to do each project, SERVPRO will handle the headache and work with your insurance company to provide the construction needs to your home or business. 

We are looking to help our customers feel at ease through the stressful times of disaster taking care of all their needs in one place. 

Keeping Warm in North Alabama this Winter

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Freezing temperatures are upon us here in the Huntsville area. It is the season where we start to see a lot of water damages due to pipes that burst. People's biggest mistake that leads to more costly damages is not acting promptly and correctly.

When you have realized that a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps to minimize your damage and in the long run, save you money.

1. Stop the Water Flow

Turn off the water main as soon as you notice something is wrong. The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 106 gallons; that’s two full baths an hour. Once water is off, make sure you drain the lines throughout the home

2. Locate, Inspect, and Repair the Damage

Once the damage is inspected, you will determine if this is something that you can handle on your own or if you need to bring in a plumber.

3. Call the Professional Drying Company

Once the repair is made and there will be no further damage, call professional water restoration. Areas that have been soaked in water susceptible to mold, mildew, and can cause your family unwanted illness.

The longer you wait to make these repairs the more damage will be caused. In turn, higher cost for restorations and getting your home back to normal.

Do's and Don'ts When Experiencing a Water Damage

6/17/2016 (Permalink)

Do:

  • üRemove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • ü   Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
  • ü   Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.
  • ü   Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • ü   Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • ü   Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • ü   Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • ü   Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible.
  • ü   Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors.
Don’t:
  • ü   Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • ü   Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • ü   Use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • ü   Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • ü   Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
 

What you can do until help arrives after a fire

6/17/2016 (Permalink)

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

DO NOT:

  • Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Clean any electrical equipment.
  • Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

10 Fire Safety Tips

6/17/2016 (Permalink)

1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.

6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

SERVPRO of Central Huntsville can now handle ALL your needs!

6/16/2016 (Permalink)

This kitchen was charred beyond recognition after a full house fire

Exciting Announcement:  SERVPRO of South Madison County now offers building/reconstruction services for both residential and commercial properties.


An example of our work:  A fire started in the kitchen and ravaged this home in Huntsville, ruining the hardwood floors, walls, ceiling, marble countertops, backsplash, custom cabinets, and many other stylish amenities that made this home special.  With quick work on the demo and restoration and patient, professional effort on the reconstruction, this home looks gorgeous again and its..."Like it never even happened."  


SERVPRO of South Madison County can truly live up to that slogan now that we are capable of construction as well as the demo and mitigation!  See the after photos in our before/after photos section to see how lovely this home looks after its "reconstructive surgery".

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