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Water Damage Prevention | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water covering a kitchen floor. Water damage throughout the kitchen floor.

Many homeowners know about the dangers of fires or thunderstorms, but have you considered that flooding could also be a hazard? It is reported that 90% of natural disasters include some form of flooding, making it crucial for homeowners to be informed.

How Can Homeowners Lessen Their Flood Damage Risk?

Flooding can cause excessive damage to the unprepared home, and though natural disasters cannot be prevented, these devastating damages sometimes can:

Know your risk. Check in with your local emergency officials and the FEMA Flood Map Tool to understand precautions and risks specific to your location.

Anchor propane and fuel tanks. If a fuel tank tips over due to a flood, it can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire. Remove fuel tanks from the property or anchor them securely.

Turn off electricity. It might seem unlikely that the floodwaters will interact with the electrical current in the home, but it is a recipe for disaster regardless. Prevent shocks and electrocution by making certain to cut the electricity to affected areas of the home.

Discuss emergency procedures. Make sure your family is aware of the evacuation plan and where to locate emergency supplies in the event that you are not home.

Raise hazardous materials. Chemicals and other hazardous substances are in a lot of everyday household items. Elevating these substances will allow you to keep them from polluting the water in your home.

Prepare appliances. Using household objects, elevate appliances to prevent their internal workings from becoming waterlogged.

In the event of a disaster, keeping your family safe is most important. Take advance precautions and plot out evacuation procedures ahead of time to help protect your home from extensive water damage and protect your family from danger as well.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is here to help. Our fully trained water remediation technicians will be there for you when you call.

Steps to take after the fire | SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

The damage from the fire The feeling of loss felt after a fire can be overwhelming.

  1. Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
  2. Know who to call.
    1. Contact family members and let them know you are safe and unharmed.
    2. Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
    3. You may request a fire mitigation company at this time for contents cleaning, structure cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782.
    4. Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. Our company is the preferred restoration partner to The American Red Cross.
  3. Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
  4. If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. Our company is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
  5. Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.

Places to Be on Guard for Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen as a result of severe weather, but it can also happens for a variety of other reasons. Weather-related causes are the most familiar, but certainly are not the only cause homeowners should be concerned with.

Water damage is both a complicated and costly endeavor. Many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover water damage, and when they do, the average claim totals nearly $7,000. Knowing the places to be on guard for water damage is wise for homeowners and can help them avoid unnecessary expenses.

Where to Look for Water Damage
  • The cabinets under the sink. The area under a sink can often hide small drips, which can turn into big water damage and give rise to mold in the dark, damp area.

  • Behind the tub casing. The caulk that seals tubs will wear out over time, leaving a perfect crack for water to slip through.

  • Behind drywall. Drywall is made to hide the structure of the home, but it can also hide water damage to that structure—especially following floods or burst pipes elsewhere in the home.

  • At roof intersections. The seals around common roof intersections such as chimneys and exhaust fans are designed to keep out water but are not designed to last forever.

  • Inside an AC unit. The line that drains condensation from the air conditioning unit can become clogged, causing a backup that dispenses water inside of the unit instead.

  • Beneath appliances. Washing machines and dishwashers pump a large volume of water into and out of the house and can cause hidden leaks that lead to costly repairs.

  • Behind exterior faucets. A house’s siding can easily hide a leak from an exterior faucet, which can occur when its bond to the water pipe falters.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

What to Know About Lightning and Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

lightning strikes in dark stormy sky Storm and lighting damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience

The damage from thunderstorms is not always limited to high winds and flooding. Because of the nature of thunderstorms, even those without rain have the potential for lightning strikes, which can be dangerous or deadly.

Storms always carry an electrical charge, meaning there is always a chance they will produce lightning. Lightning bolts are dangerous to humans and objects in their path, as a lightning bolt can reach 500,000 degrees. Knowing the basics of lightning and the hazards it can cause is key to staying safe.

The Basics of Lightning

We’ve discussed that all thunderstorms carry an electrical charge, and a lightning bolt is just a physical manifestation of this electricity, which can strike the ground or across the clouds.

If the lightning does head toward the ground, it will typically seek an object to strike as the air is a poor conductor. If this object happens to be a building, it will make use of the water pipes and electrical wiring to travel toward the ground.

The Basics of Lightning Damage

It is always important to seek shelter if there is lightning imminent. Though the [damages that lightning can cause to a home] are frightening, they are much less dangerous than the damage lightning can cause to a human. If lightning strikes a home it can…

…start fires. Lightning poses a high risk of fire when it strikes a building because it reaches such high temperatures. It can ignite building materials on impact, in addition to causing damage to electrical wiring, which can start a fire later on.

…damage appliances. As lightning routes itself through a home’s electrical wiring, it can transfer its charge along the way. Any electrical appliance not connected to a surge protector is at risk if lightning strikes the home.

…send shockwaves through the home. Shock waves in the clouds are known as thunder, but shock waves on the ground can cause serious damage. These waves travel with lightning and can shatter glass, explode brick and damage a home’s structure with their force.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Common Causes of House Fires | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

A house on fire A fire to this home quickly grows out of control.

It is highly advisable for homeowners to have working smoke alarms in every room of the house, but there are additional ways to be vigilant about fire prevention.

A variety of events can cause house fires, from the most obvious fire hazard to the least conspicuous household supply. It is important to know the risks so you can prevent them and keep your home safe from fires.

How Frequent Are House Fires?

While the reasons to be vigilant about fire protection are numerous, many people do not realize just how often they occur. According to the NFPA, a home fire starts every 24 seconds.

Cooking incidents make up over half of reported fires, but many other things around the home can be a cause.

What Are Common House Fire Causes?

There are many causes of house fires that most people would not even think of. Understanding the everyday occurrences that lead to fires and how to prevent them can go a long way in prevention:

Faulty smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and checked using the built-in test button once per month.

Built-up dryer lint. As lint gathers in the tray of the dryer, it becomes the perfect combustible material. As the dryer heats up, it can eventually lead to a fire if the tray is left uncleaned.

Unmonitored open flames. If an open flame is present—whether from cooking, candles or a fireplace—there is always the chance it will spread.

Frayed electrical cords. Frayed cords should be replaced immediately to prevent them from sparking. Additionally, running cords under rugs and furniture can be a hazard, as they can put off heat and combust.

Combustible household supplies. Chemicals and aerosol cans are around nearly every home, and many of them are highly combustible. These products should be kept away from heat sources to mitigate risks.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Faulty Hot Water Heater | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

A leaking water heater is no fun!

Water can damage your home in many ways. Most of the time it's an external threat, but sometimes a leak from inside can cause just as much, or even more, damage.  When a leak develops, the water might not come rushing out at once. Most of the time it's a slow leak that may go unnoticed for days.

If the water heater is located on an upper floor, the damage will be even more extensive, since water always flows downhill. The leaking water heater on a second floor can cause extensive damage to both walls and flooring as the water seeks the lowest spot in the building or home.

Fortunately, there are steps people can take to minimize the risk of a water heater causing damage to their home or business.  The first thing people need to do is regularly inspect the water heater and the pipes around the unit for any signs of leakage, moisture, mold, mineral buildup and corrosion.  Putting in an inexpensive drip pan below the water heater that drains to the outside of the property can help prevent thousands of dollars in water damage in many cases.

Age is also a big factor. Many water heater manufacturers estimate the lifespan of these appliances to be 8 to 12 years, so replacing a unit when it is nearing this age can be a good insurance policy against unwanted damage.

What to look for:

  • Water doesn't get as hot as it used to.
  • There's rust in water coming from your faucets or on your clothes.
  • Your hot water heater makes cracking and popping sounds when it's heating.
  • There's a metallic taste in your hot water.
  • Rust is forming on the outside bottom of your water heater.
  • A puddle is forming under your hot water heater.
  • The burner units have become clogged or rusty.

Unfortunately, leaking water heaters result in countless insurance claims each year. If a small leak goes unnoticed – occurring while you are on vacation, for example – the damage can quickly escalate into a major claim. Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 if you experience water damage caused by a faulty hot water heater.

Water Damage Timeline | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

6/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water intrusion into your Loganville, GA home or business requires a fast response to mitigate the damage.  Let’s examine how water damage can affect your home or business over time:

First Sixty Minutes

  • Water is invasive and can quickly spread throughout the structure, finding the least path of resistance.
  • Water saturates the structure, getting under flooring, behind cabinets and into walls and ceilings.
  • Dyes on paper goods may bleed.

First 24 Hours

  • Drywall starts swelling and breaking down.
  • Wood furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Metal surfaces may begin tarnishing.
  • Musty odors begin to intensify.
  • Inks and dyes continue spreading.

48 Hours to 1 Week

  • Mold may begin to develop and spread.
  • Doors, windows, casing and wood structure begin to swell and warp.
  • Wood flooring may swell and buckle.
  • Metals begin to rust and corrode.
  • Flooring adhesives begin to break down and release.
  • Restoration expense has increased.

After 1 Week

  • Structural safety concerns may be present.
  • Health concerns may arise requiring relocation of occupants.
  • Restoration time and cost have dramatically increased.

Often water damage goes unnoticed when it is caused by a leak underneath a cabinet, behind the refrigerator or in your attic or basement.  Many times, you are not physically able to identify where the water migrated.  If you find water leaking in your home or business, go ahead and call a professional to come find out the extent of the problem.  Remember even small leaks follow the Water Damage Timeline.

Storm Damage Commonly Produced by Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

An example of hail that can damage your Snellville, GA home.

Thunderstorms are commonplace during the spring and summer, and they can often bring storm damage with them.

Are you familiar with the most common types of damage caused by thunderstorms?

Basics of Thunderstorms

Throughout the world, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year. In the U.S., the number typically comes to around 100,000 thunderstorms per year, with 10% of those considered severe.

For a thunderstorm to form, moisture and rising unstable air are needed, along with a “lifting” mechanism. This could be hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

The three stages in the life cycle of a thunderstorm are the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. It is the mature stage when hail, heavy rain, frequent lightning, strong winds and tornadoes are most likely to occur.

The Damage Thunderstorms Can Bring

There are many aspects of a thunderstorm that can prove dangerous, but one of the greatest risks is the chance of flying debris due to high winds.

In a severe thunderstorm, wind speeds can gust in excess of 57.5 mph, which is more than enough to cause wind damage to your property.

With high winds, there is an increased chance of even the most harmless-seeming of items turning into a projectile, such as tree branches, gravel, mailboxes, fencing, lawn furniture, potted plants and garbage cans. Prior to thunderstorms rolling through, you should take care to make sure items in your yard are secured.

Besides wind damage, thunderstorms can also produce the following damage:

  • Lightning damage. If lightning strikes a home or building, that electricity can pass through the wiring of the home. This could severely damage any electrical appliances that are plugged into an outlet. Lightning can also result in the starting of fires.

  • Tornado damage. Tornadoes are extremely destructive, and they can have wind speeds reaching upward of 200 mph in the worst of occurrences. Tornadoes can do severe structural damage in a very short amount of time.

  • Flood damage. It is not uncommon for heavy rains to accompany a thunderstorm, and occasionally, that can lead to flash flooding. These floods can damage structures, tear trees out of the ground and sweep things away.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

When Floods or Storms hit Lawrenceville SERVPRO® is Ready!

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

A fast storm moves through Lawrenceville.

SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South 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.  Because we are a local provider of emergency services, our equipment can be placed on site the day it's needed most!

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 towns such as Snellville, Lawrenceville or Lilburn, 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 at (770) 448-5782.

Urgent Cleanup --Water Leak Inside Bank

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

A large bank in Lawrenceville called SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South to ask for our mitigation services and needed us to come as quickly as possible.  Because it was a holiday weekend, our access to the bank was done remotely by the maintenance company.  We had to agree to keep the bank door closed and locked at all times for security measures.

We found the cause of water infiltration was due to rain water collecting in a fiber line conduit outside the bank which lead to the server room inside the bank.  Water had affected the VCT and walls in the Server room and leaked to the supply room.  This had affected the rubber backed glued down carpet tiles and walls.  We extracted all the VCT and carpets and then treated the area and set equipment.  Because there was no drain, we had to use a trash can to catch the water from the dehumidifiers.  The manager did not want us to pull up any carpet or any cove base which caused for a longer drying cycle.

Mitigation included extraction, content manipulation and drying of the structure. We had to monitor over the holiday weekend, but were focused on getting the bank open and in good order by regular banking hours.  This job presented challenges because of tight security and unusual access.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South will go beyond to get businesses back in working order and received a big thank you from the bank maintenance supervisor.