If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (770) 448-5782

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

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The 6 Steps to Water Restoration SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water loss in a home Water loss in home.

There is nothing that can prepare you for the emotional impact of water damage, but you should act fast when it does happen.

You can call us 24 hours a day to set the restoration process in motion so you can recover as quickly as possible from water damage. Here’s what the process is like:

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

1. Initial Emergency Contact
There is no typical time for water damage to occur, which is why we are available 24 hours a day to answer your call for restoration. Over the phone, we will obtain pertinent details about your situation and draft a plan to ensure you receive the equipment and staff you need.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
Once we arrive at the scene, we will check immediately for safety hazards to ensure you are not in harm’s way, and stop any excess water flow if applicable. Then we will do a complete damage assessment and create a plan for restoration custom to your situation.

3. Moisture Extraction
Removing moisture from the impacted area is one of the highest priorities next to safety, which is why we move on to this step as quickly as possible. We have the equipment to remove hundreds of gallons of water at a time to ensure we can handle water damage of any size.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
After removing the excess moisture from the area, we will start dehumidifying the air and drying out belongings and surfaces that have absorbed moisture. This is important because inadequate moisture removal can lead to strong odors and persistent mold and mildew growth on objects.

5. Cleaning Belongings
Items that have been impacted by water damage can be contaminated even if they have not absorbed water, which is why we clean everything that may have been infected. We practice the highest standards of sanitization and deodorization so you have no lingering reminders of the damages.

6. Restoration and Repair
You can not only count on us for moisture removal, but you can depend on us for a complete restoration process, including any structural or cosmetic repairs required. From patching drywall to installing new floor treatments, we can fully restore your home or office to how it was before the damage.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.

Why SERVPRO?

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Home owners and business owners rely on SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South to restore damaged property for many reasons. Listed below are some of the most important:

  1. SERVPRO® is Trained & Qualified

Our crew members have the best training through the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) in water, fire, and mold damage restoration.   In addition to IICRC SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South has certifications from Occupational Safety and Environmental Education, Inc., The Environmental Protective Division of the State of Georgia and The Environmental Institute for Asbestos Abatement.

  1. We Respond Promptly 

 You can reach SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Our phones are answered by our trained-on call managers for the week outside business hours. This means that you will always speak to someone who is able to dispatch crews to assist you.  We’re faster to any size disaster.

  1. We Understand

SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South understands the situation and how you feel when it comes to a loss. We’re on the same page with you when it comes to keeping the cost down, remediating the damage and making your home or business look and feel “Like it never even happened”.

  1. Restore vs Replace Philosophy 

To someone who is untrained when it comes to a water or fire damage, it would make sense to replace everything. The drying and cleaning methods that we use allow us to save a lot rather than replacing it. The benefit of restoring is being cost effective, saving time, and giving the customer peace of mind.

 SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is always here to help whenever you need it. If you discover water coming through the ceiling of your home at 4 AM, or your warehouse is full of smoke, call us at 770-448-5782.  You will be speaking to a decision maker who is able to dispatch a crew and help you immediately.

Contents in the home after a fire

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and items you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South understands just how trying, disruptive, and traumatic major losses such as a fire can be.

As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:

Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all of your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.

Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization, and storage while structural repairs are being completed. Our supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.

Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all of the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more.

When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take back control. Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South for help: (770)448-5782.

Questions for Your Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South's green work van with SERVPRO logo at clean up site. A quick response from SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South ensures your Clean-up and Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Do you have a plan for what to do if damage were to occur to your home? Discovering damage can be a scary thing, so it is wise for homeowners to have a plan in place before this occurs. Choosing an experienced and reputable restoration company is the best way to ensure you have a smooth restoration process and your home is restored to its pre-damage condition.

During the planning stages, it is important to choose a company that is well-rounded and can tackle many types of damages. This will ensure you are prepared regardless of the issue that arises, and they can handle the more nuanced aspects of damage that can occur—for example, fire leading to hazardous air quality or water damage causing damage to a home’s structural elements. This will ensure you are not stuck with a company that can only do half the job, and will instead make sure your home is completely restored.

<h3to-look-for-in-a-restoration-company">What to Look for in a Restoration Company

Knowing what to expect from the restoration company you choose can make a big difference in the period after the damage that is fraught with emotion. Asking key questions of your restoration company will ensure you make the right decision when the time comes.

Do You Have Flexible Hours?

No one can predict when a disaster will occur, which is why choosing a company that does not stick to a strict set of business hours is so valuable. We have a 247 emergency line so we are able to have our technicians respond regardless of the hour in order to start your restoration fast.

How Are Your Staff Members Trained?

Performing restoration is a highly skilled job, which is why our technicians are highly trained. We base all of our education on IICRC guidelines in order to have our staff be knowledgeable in the latest developments in restoration. This ensures they are able to tackle any damage with confidence and expertise.

Can You Handle Large Disasters?

Handling single-home damage is one thing, but many companies might not be equipped to handle events that occur on a larger scale. With a network of 1,700 franchises across the country, we have a vast network to call upon should the situation necessitate it. This guarantees that we can handle localized damage with the same level of care as we can a natural disaster.

If you have experienced storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.

Reducing Risks for Small Business Owners | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Being prepared can make a difference. Being prepared is a smart decision!

Understanding your risks as a business owner is an important part of keeping your investment protected. Being prepared for all sorts of risks is a wise move, but unfortunately, many business owners are not adequately prepared for natural disasters.

Natural disasters are becoming a more frequent occurrence throughout the country, and while certain areas might be more vulnerable than others, one can happen at any time in any part of the world. That is why it is important for business owners to know what they will do when a disaster becomes imminent as well as how to handle the lingering effects of one in order to restore your business and minimize the interruption in operations.

How Small Business Owners Are Able to Plan for Disasters

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Every insurance policy is different, but in many cases, a single business policy is not enough. Catastrophic events such as natural disasters are often beyond the scope of coverage for insurance claims, requiring business owners to purchase extra commercial policies for their business to make sure they are protected.

2. Create Your Action Plan
Because evacuation orders are often only given with moments’ notice, it is important to have a clear-cut plan for what you will do as soon as it is time to escape. Create a document that details the location of emergency supplies, pathways of evacuation and how to get to local shelters to seek safety. Knowing these points in advance will help you move quickly when necessary, allowing for a smooth transition once a disaster is nearby.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
Preparing your staff for an emergency is another important aspect of business ownership, as it helps keep your employees safe and lessens your own liability in the process. Training staff on the procedures for emergency action and scheduling regular workplace drills to go over various scenarios will help everyone be safer in a disaster scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Minimizing an interruption in operations is one of the smartest strategies for business owners after a disaster, and deciding which restoration company you will work with in advance is a great way to do this. This will allow you to place the call immediately—especially if your company has a 247 emergency line—so you are able to resume your business operations quickly.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

We are cleaning experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Covid-19 SERVPRO of Gwinnett Southeast and Southwest is here to help!

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 Gwinnett County Southeast and Southwest, 770-448-5782

How to Prepare Your Business for Flooding | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

 Flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water. A flood can happened when you least expect it. If your business experiences any water damage, contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South. We will get yo

Preparing for a flood is one of the smartest things that a business owner can do, even if they are not in an area typically prone to flooding. Statistically, 90% of natural disasters involve flooding and commonly impact areas that are not usual flooding targets.

Increasing your emergency preparedness by planning for a flood is a great idea not only for the safety of yourself and your staff but also for the continuity of your business. By planning in advance and preserving documentation, you can be more prepared to reopen after the flooding passes.

<h3to-prepare">How to Prepare

It is not uncommon for business owners to not know where to start on flood preparations, but thankfully there are many resources out there. Some things to do include:

  • Use the FEMA Flood Map and locate your building in order to determine any geographical risks you might face.
  • Place copies of important documents in a secure location you will be able to access following a flood.
  • Educate employees on your official flooding action procedures, which will ensure everyone knows what their role is in a flood scenario.
  • Identify evacuation routes from various locations around the building and host regular drills.
  • Consider the idea of adding flood insurance to your business policy.
  • Store non-perishable food and water in case you face wait times for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Raise up any valuable electronics out of the water’s path.

<h3to-decide-what-documents-to-copy">How to Decide What Documents to Copy

When it comes to copying documents, it is better to have anything you think you might need instead of failing to remember something. Some important things to include are:

  • An outline of your business continuity tasks
  • Means of contact for any staff members and third-party services you may need to contact
  • Your insurance agent’s contact information
  • Detailed steps for recovering computer files that have been backed up
  • Financial documents such as bank account information

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

How to Make Sure Your Business Is Prepared for Disasters | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

A catostrophic fire Fires started from lighting storms.

If you are a business owner, or run a business, there are many, many facets of the business that must be addressed. One of those is emergency preparedness, which is probably the most important factor to think about.

Even though you may have a plan in place, it will not stop all disasters, but it can still give your business a leg up on the safety side. This will allow you to at least make sure that your employees know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

Making a Plan

If you have not taken the time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations, please make that one of your top priorities!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

A disaster is a disaster whether it’s man-made or caused by nature. If there is no emergency plan for your business, things could get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities.

By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where to Begin

When beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, first evaluate what disasters could most likely occur—also include those that are a longshot but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

Conducting a business impact analysis (BIA) can help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

After an emergency preparedness plan has been developed, be sure to review and practice it with your employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We Are Here to Help After Storms Impact the Area | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

A storm damaged roof. Damage caused by a fast moving storm.

The commonality of severe storms can make it easy to forget their severity, but it is wise for homeowners to be aware of the damage they can cause. In 2018, over $2 billion in damages were filed with homeowners’ insurance companies—meaning a recovery plan is vital.

Being aware of your options for storm damage restoration is a wise thing to do in advance, so you know who to call the moment damage strikes. Because we are here 24 hours a day, we can help you whenever you need us so you can have your restoration completed faster.

How We Can Help After a Storm

Multiple Types of Damage Restoration
Storms often bring about both structural and water damages, and because we are fully certified for both, we can help with full restoration. This prevents homeowners from having to deal with multiple companies or live with incomplete work, instead ensuring that you can have your storm damage fully restored on an efficient schedule.

Fully Trained Technician Teams
Technicians who perform restoration have a big responsibility, which is why we invest so heavily in ours being fully trained and certified. We train all of our workforce in accordance with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification industry standards, and we offer many opportunities for our technicians to expand their knowledge and expertise throughout their careers to stay up to date.

Resources for Any Disaster
Because SERVPRO® is a national brand, we have the best of both worlds—we are a locally owned business, but in cases of widespread damage, we are able to call upon other assets in order to provide additional resources and make sure everyone in the community can get the restoration services they need in a timely manner.

A Reputation You Can Count On
In our many years of restoration in the community, we have seen many unscrupulous business practices pop up after severe storms. That is why we are proud of our reputation for quality and dependable service and will do everything we can to work with you and complete your restoration without hassle.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

How Hidden Water Leaks Can Surface From Appliances | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

An appliance leak. A leaky appliance can lead to frustration.

Water damage is an increasingly common problem, but did you know that one of the most common causes of water leaks comes from right inside the home?

Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines utilize large volumes of water each day, leading to water damage that often remains hidden for a while before homeowners are ever made aware. Fortunately, we’ve got the guide to help you check and prevent leaks from getting out of hand.

Common Appliances That Lead to Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are typically designed to last for up to 15 years, but leaks can begin much earlier. Because of their design, faulty materials or installation can cause the heater’s elements to break down over time. Staying aware of how it’s operating and replacing on schedule is important for prevention.

Refrigerator
The most common type of water line that runs to a refrigerator is a kind made of bendable plastic, which is a material prone to tears and sealant issues. Because of this, hidden leaks can arise. Due to the fact that refrigerators are rarely moved, these leaks can go on for a long time before homeowners are aware. Regular inspections are the best prevention method.

Dishwasher
Along the same vein, dishwashers are typically only moved when they need replacement, which can reveal water damage years in the making. Make a point to check behind yours often, especially because there are many situations where water damage is not covered by insurance and it is better to catch it early to avoid serious issues.

Washing Machine
Washing machines are one of the most common places for homeowners to get leaks. They are so prone to them that experts recommend checking their hoses for leaks once a month at minimum. The hoses should also be replaced every five years regardless of if they have visible aging.

Air Conditioner
HVAC units commonly create condensation, and as long as they are draining properly, there is no cause for concern. Unfortunately, once an issue arises with this system, water can become backlogged in and around the unit and cause damage. Keeping up with your recommended maintenance is the best prevention method, as well as checking the unit for anything amiss.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

SERVPRO® of Gwinnett Co. South Uses Team Approach to Help Clients

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Monday through Friday at 8:15am the entire staff of SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South begins with a meeting in front of our Work In Progress board.  This WIP board, as it is called, shows our Work in Progress and lets everyone assess and review what work is scheduled for the day and for the week ahead.  This daily meeting is good example of the team approach SERVPRO® takes in providing quality work to our customers.  The corporate theme of “One Team” makes sure that all team members, from the front office to the crew of technicians, know that they each have to play a role in getting the job done.  SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is locally known for its prompt and professional service.

We offer full-service restoration, meaning we can handle your loss through the emergency service response, mitigation of damage and complete reconstruction.  When clients learn that we can do all stages of the disaster recovery work they are relieved knowing that they will not have to deal with a multitude of people and companies to get the job done.

Our business is one that no one hopes to need, but our hope is that we can assist both homeowners and businesses to be prepared and to know who to call if a disaster strikes.

Finding Your Trusted Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house. Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is here to help when a fire strikes.

Fire preparedness is a habit you should be in at all times of the year, but as winter approaches, it is a time to be especially vigilant. House fires occur most often in the winter months, according to the Red Cross.

Now is a great time to review and rehearse your household’s fire escape plan, and you also may want to consider researching restoration companies. If you suffer a home fire, knowing who you can call once the flames are extinguished can help your repairs happen more quickly so your home can be back to its condition before the fire occurred.

<h3home-fire-restoration-process">Our Home Fire Restoration Process

When doing a restoration job after a home fire, we understand the importance of making sure it is done correctly. There are several aspects that must be considered, including damage to structures, belongings and even the air supply of your home. By taking all this into consideration, we are able to utilize the following methods to provide you with restoration:

Structural Cleaning

Restoring the structural elements of a home consists of cleaning and repairing any floors, drywall portions or other sections that have been impacted. We will first perform tests to determine how your damage is spread through the home and what work should be done, then our technicians will begin taking action to remove the soot, smoke and flames from these items.

Content Cleaning

In most cases of damage to your belongings, it is more cost-effective to have them restored rather than to replace them. We use advanced cleaning tools with both wet and dry cleaning methodology in order to restore the items we are able to in your home. We can typically handle everything from upholstery to wood furniture to electronics, making sure you can keep the majority of the items you love.

Deodorization Services

While the damage to structures and contents is visible, there is also air quality damage that fires can cause. Not only can smoke odors linger for a long time throughout the home, but the airborne soot particles left behind can lead to serious health issues later on. We make use of air scrubbers and other tools to deodorize and purify the air, ensuring all smoke smells and hazardous soot particles get removed.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

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.

WE ARE READY | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

This flooded building was caused by a storm.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South specializes in storm clean up and flood damage restoration.  Our highly trained crews are ready with the equipment and knowledge needed to restore your property to its preloss condition.

Our Core Services:

  • Emergency Service
  • Water Mitigation
  • Mold Remediation
  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Construction Repair

Fast Response:

Being locally owned and operated, means we can respond quicker and with the right resources.  Fast response helps limit the damage and potential for costly repair.  Being local means, we can get boots on the ground fast, and not roll out unnecessary people or equipment.

Training:

Our average technician has over five years of experience with our franchise.  All our technicians are IICRC certified and many hold numerous certifications including:

  • WRT –  Water Restoration
  • ASD –  Applied Structural Drying
  • CDS –  Commercial Drying Specialist
  • AMRT – Microbial Remediation Technician
  • FRS –   Fire & Smoke Restoration
  • OCT –   Odor Control Technician

 Resources:

No matter the size of the job we will have the resources.  Our local office houses over 500 pieces of drying equipment such as air movers, dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and generators.  When large storms roll through or multiple large commercial buildings are flooded we can pull equipment and people from our network of over 1,600 franchises across the county.

Emergency Water Mitigation | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

When flooding water infiltrates your home or business call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South immediately to get emergency services started.  While most instances of rising flood water entering your structure are not covered by insurance, you will usually need professional assistance to remove the water in a timely manner. 

Once our office receives your call at (770) 448-5782 we will dispatch an emergency service crew that can be onsite within one hour to extract the water using truck mounted or portable extractors.  Once the water is extracted our crews will determine any hazards that may be present and develop a plan for drying and a scope for material removal.

Our technicians will go over with you our recommendations for drying and demolition, so that you can make the right choice moving forward for your home or business.  When the flooding is limited in nature, there are many things an owner can do on their own or with the help of some good friends and colleagues.  If the flooding was substantial, it may be in your best interests to let the professionals complete the work.

Grilling Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

As the temperatures have already started to soar, it’s time to start thinking about summer.  There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months!  A backyard barbeque can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. As your local SERVPRO® professional, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and over hanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coal completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby as a safety measure.

Flood Prevention Tips for your Home or Business

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded building in Snellville, GA

Flood Protection Tips

When stormy weather brings an abundance of rain, rising flood waters can be damaging and dangerous.  Fortunately, there are things you can do ahead of storm season to help lessen any potential damage to your home or business.  The following tips may help you avoid costly flood damage repairs.

  1. Inspect the Structure

Take a good visual inspection of your roof and building foundation.  If you are not able to get on your roof, it’s a good idea to hire a roofer to do a quick inspection.  Often flashing around chimneys can get dislodged and wind can do damage to your shingles.  A damaged roof is often the cause for water entering the structure.  Also take a good look at your basement foundation walls.  Have any cracks discovered repaired and waterproofed as soon as possible.

  1. Check Sump Pumps

It’s a good idea to have any sump pumps inspected by a plumber on an annual basis.  Many times, a faulty or unplugged pump can spell disaster.  Make sure any floats in the pump are free from being tangled.  While pumps won’t eliminate all the damage, they will certainly prevent major flood damage.

  1. Gutters and Downspouts

Make certain that your gutters are kept clean on a regular basis.  Clogged gutters can cause water to back up thereby creating problems.  Make sure the water collected in your gutters can move freely to the downspouts.  The downspouts should direct water away from the structure.  Often extensions can be added to ensure water is being directed far enough away.

  1. Have a Plan

Having an emergency plan in place will help everyone understand what they are supposed to do.  Keep the plan up to date and review on a regular schedule.  Tasks can be distributed so that everyone has a role.

Even being prepared is sometimes not enough when bad flooding occurs.  Hopefully by following these tips you will be able to minimize any potential damage.  If flooding does affect your home or business, give SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South a call at 770-448-5782.

Sprinkler Malfunction causes Water Damage in Baseball Stadium

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Atlanta is fortunate to have a new "state of the art" Baseball stadium that is called Suntrust Park.  SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South was contacted by a local Fire Sprinkler Company in Loganville because their client, Suntrust Park, had a water damage issue caused by the malfunction of the sprinkler system in one of the offices.

When our technicians arrived they discovered that a pipe to the sprinkler system had burst in the stairway area which caused water to migrate through three different rooms.  The Sprinkler Company only wanted us to extract the water in two of the areas which had unfinished concrete, but one of the affected areas was finished and carpeted which required extraction and drying equipment.  Because the carpet tiles had rubber backing, they had to be removed to get the concrete back to goal.  Equipment was set in the finished room and monitored daily.

It was one of the jobs that our technicians talked about quite often.  We helped Suntrust Park, Home of the Atlanta Braves, have clean dry offices.  SERVPRO made a strong First Pitch!!

SERVPRO® of Gwinnett Co. South Helps Local Police Station

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Our local police precinct called because of a sewage back-up from the toilet in the women's bathroom.  This affected the hallway and went into the men's bathroom lobby as well.  The first floor was also affected in the office areas underneath the second floor bathrooms.  We had to place dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and disinfect the affected areas.  The ceiling tiles  had to be removed as well because it had become affected with the sewage back-up.

It was after we did the flood cuts that we noticed the existence of mold.  Pre-existing microbial growth from past water damage had caused extensive damage behind the bathroom tiles, under the hallway carpet, even under the metal sill plates and behind the wallpaper.  It was determined that all the drywall in the affected areas had to be removed as well because of the microbial growth.  After the affected areas were removed, dried and treated, a third party Industrial Hygienist came to do clearance testing.  The chief of police was pleased that we were there to help, and he could rest assured that now his Precinct would be a healthy place for his police force in the future.

This commercial job entailed more than was originally scoped because of the discovery of microbial growth; however, we received a glowing report from the chief.  He stated that he would not hesitate to recommend SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South to other precincts that are affected by water damage.  

Church Restoration is a Top Priority With SERVPRO® of Gwinnett Co. South

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is located in an area with many churches, synagogues and other religious institutions, and we market to them so that they will know how we can help if a disaster such as water damage, fire, mold or flooding has affected their facility.  We recommend that they have an Emergency Ready Plan  so that they know before a disaster strikes where their water, gas and electrical systems are located, how to cut them off and who to contact.  It is often the pastor or a board member who knows, but often when an emergency happens they are unavailable.  It is essential for religious institution to have a plan on file so that prompt clean up can begin.

Many of the churches in Snellville and Grayson have preschools attached to them, and we have helped them with emergency services from toilet overflows because of children putting toys, etc. in the toilet.  These churches were relieved that we could begin mitigation so quickly and that the preschool would not be disrupted for a lengthy time.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is equipped with highly qualified technicians, all the mitigation equipment necessary and a professional construction department to make religious properties a top priority.

Practicing a “Restore vs. Replace” Mentality | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

This fire damaged home was caused by an electrical fire.

It’s well known that when disaster strikes, we can get there faster, but that is not the only reason why we should be one of your first calls if the worst should occur.

When it comes to your property, our technicians have a “restore first” mentality, which is aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps reduce the interruptions to life and helps get your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.

Restore First for Fire Damage

Knowing what to do after a fire has damaged your property is stressful, but that’s where we come in. Once you’ve contacted us, our team will spring into action.

Every fire damage event is different, and while our highly trained team can come up with a unique solution that is tailored to your needs, the general process remains the same.

Here are the steps that are included in our process:

1. Emergency contact. Once you’ve contacted us, you will be asked a series of questions regarding the fire damage. This helps us make sure our team is dispatched with the appropriate equipment and resources.

2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. Upon arrival, the team will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. This helps us determine the right plan of action moving forward.

3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Because fire damage can compromise windows, walls and roofs, we will make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs.

4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Since water damage can accompany fire damage, we’ll begin the removal process right away. Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. We have specialized equipment and techniques that are used to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If it is possible, we will clean restorable items and structures. Not only will they be cleaned, but industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment are used to help remove odors.

7. Restoration. This is our final step, getting your property back to pre-fire condition. Restoration can include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also call for major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ways to Prevent Fires While Cooking | SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Extinguishing an oven fire.

Even though the kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to catch up or enjoy preparing and eating a meal together, it is also a place where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out a whopping $130 million for homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Fire Safety Tips in the Kitchen

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety precaution you should observe. Take a look at these other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. What type of clothing are you wearing? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. What type of items are you placing around or on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Do you have a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. How are you disposing of hot grease? While the grease may not be on fire, it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Do you have a fire escape plan? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

 

Commercial Large Loss

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Large Commercial Loss

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Water damage to your commercial building can be as simple as outside flood water entering the front lobby of your building or as complex as a fire sprinkler discharging on the tenth floor of an office building.  We have extensive experience on all different types and sizes of commercial water losses in the greater Atlanta area.

Developing a Plan

As soon as we arrive onsite our number one priority is learning your main priority.  After all, nobody knows your business better than you do!  Our technicians understand that you need to have your business up and running as soon as possible.  We also understand that as a business owner or manager you are having to deal with dozens of needs during a crisis: employees, inventory, technology, customers.  We need to understand your priority so that we can develop a plan that works for your business.

Large Loss Response Team

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is a qualified Large Loss Response Team (LLRT).  Being named an LLRT team member means that we have been vetted for having the resources and experience to handle large commercial losses.  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we will be on our way with the help you need!

Our Service Sets Us Apart

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Why use SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South for your water, fire or mold disasters?  The main reason to use our company is the type of service we give.  We are committed to helping the homeowner or business understand the process of mitigation and to offer the highest quality of service.  Our technicians have many years of experience and have the knowledge of how to best apply the guidelines for the restoration process.

Our clients can rely on us to call before we come, to show up on time, to perform the needed mitigation work in a timely manner and to explain the process in extensive detail.  We value the confidence that our clients have with us.  Our technicians’ high standard of professionalism can turn an unfortunate water or fire damage into a more positive one by our extraordinary customer service.

Here to help!

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

We understand that emergencies never happen at a good time.  That’s where we can help!  No matter whether you have water, mold or smoke damage, you can count on us to be ready.  SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South has a qualified team that can begin your emergency restoration services today. 

Water Damage

Suffering severe water damage from flooding water or a burst pipe needs immediate attention.  The water needs to be extracted so that drying can take place as soon as possible.  The longer water sits in your home or business the greater chances of having secondary damages such as mold.  We have a team of trained water technicians on call 24 hours a day.  When you call our number after hours you will get a live person who will page the water team that is on call.  Our average call back time for the technician responding is just 14 minutes.

Mold Damage

If you see mold inside your home or office then give SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South a call.  We have trained IICRC technicians certified as Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians that can remediate the problem.  Mold estimates are scheduled by our office administration team during regular business hours.  There is a service fee for scheduling a technician to visit your home and develop a written estimate for remediation.  This service fee is deducted from the estimate if you select us to complete the work. 

Mold often appears from water damage that is not seen or was not dried properly.  Sometimes mold is not visually present but there is a moldy or stale smell in the air.  In this case you will need to call an Industrial Hygienist to come and sample the home.  They will send these samples to a lab to determine what types of mold are present and if you have a problem that needs our attention.

Fire Damage

Fires can be destructive along with the soot and smoke that are also present.  Fire damage requires emergency service as soon as possible.  Securing the home from unwanted visitors and mitigating corrosive damage to metals that can become pitted from the acidic soot are just a few of the items that require immediate attention.  We are trained, licensed and insured to handle all the problems that come from having a fire.

When Water Damage Strikes

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most important things about water damage is to treat it quickly. Whether you have sustained a busted pipe or something more serious, if the water damage reached your carpets and was not treated professionally, you still have damage happening right beneath your feet. Mold is growing in your carpets, and you need to take care of it. ASAP.

Mold can start within 24-48 hours of the time of loss in the right environment and conditions. Your home offers a constant food supply to the mold spores. Mold spores feed on wood, drywall, insulation, paper and anything it can get attached on. After a day or more, the mold starts colonizing, creating those big black stains we all know from photos (or from our home, if luck wasn't on our side).

Mold Is Dangerous, Even When Hidden

In most cases, mold will be discovered after it colonizes, and by then its growth is rapid. If you suspect you have mold, you should call a mold expert to check it out. Whether it's a water damage certified technician, a home inspector or an industrial hygienist. The mold usually grows where water damage hit, or where high humidity is found. If water leaked on your carpet - that's where the mold will start growing.

To protect your carpets from mold after they're flooded by water, you should follow the steps below. If it already happened, and you missed one of the steps, you should check your carpets for dark stains or moldy smell. You don't want mold growing under your carpets, in your floors and all around your home.

Steps to prevent mold after water damage:

  1. Stop the water source - first thing first. Stop the water from flowing in and get them out of your home. If it's a leaky pipe or a broken appliance, close the water main. If it's the roof, try and see if you can get a roofing company to come for an emergency service and close the gap. Once you've stopped the water from coming, you need to get it out.
  2. Extract the water - to prevent further damage and minimize long term effects, it's important to get the water out. If it's a small amount, you can blot it out or use a mop to absorb it (if on the floor and not carpets). If it's a large amount, get a water mitigation company like SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South to help you with it.
  3. Get it Dry – Fast! - If you have fans, or you know where you can rent drying fans - go for it. If you need some help with drying your home, we'd be glad to help as well. Call us and let us know what you need. It's important to have the property dried as fast as you can to avoid mold growth, as well as the water being absorbed in carpets, floors, rugs or other items. It's also recommended to use dehumidifiers to lower the humidity in the affected area, especially if you can't air it out properly.
  4. Steam clean everything you can - carpets, rugs, flooring, furniture - if it had water get to it you want it professionally cleaned right now, before the mold gets comfortable and colonizes. Once the mold sets in, that item is probably lost and will need to be replaced.
  5. Sanitize the affected area - if you hired a professional damage restoration company, they'll do it as part of the water mitigation process. If you didn't, and decided to solve the issue yourself, you should clean anything that met the water.

WE WILL MAKE SURE THE MOLD IS GONE

If you still feel like your clean-up wasn't enough, or you feel there is mold hiding somewhere - contact us at SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We'd be more than happy to pay you a visit and provide a professional opinion on the matter.

Remember, it's very dangerous to have mold in your home - mold can have very serious side effects on you and your health. Get your mold remediated as soon as you can.

Smoke and Fire Deodorization

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Fire Deodorization

Strong smells often linger after having a fire.  The type of smells that develop are determined by the type of material that was on fire or smoldering.  A hot fire that burned natural building materials will smell different than that of a protein fire from frying or a slow smoldering fire that burned plastics and rubber.  These odors can cause years of problems if they are not handled by a professional.  At SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South we employ a multi-step approach to deodorization.

Source Removal

The first step in deodorization is to find the source.  In the case of a fire the area may be obvious, however there are many causes of odor that may not be easily noticed.  Once the source is found by our trained technicians we must remove it. 

Cleaning

The next step in the process is to clean the effected areas.  Many of the soot particles are deposited both on and often inside certain building materials depending on how hot the fire was.  Our technicians are trained on different cleaning strategies dependent on the surface to be cleaned and the soils deposited.

Deodorizing

We employ a combination of pairing and masking deodorization techniques depending on the situation.  Hot fires open the pores of building materials where foul smelling soot can be deposited.  When the fire is extinguished and the materials cool down, the pores of these material shrink, thus trapping odor molecules inside.  In such cases we will use a pairing agent along with a Hot Thermal Fogger to reopen the pores.  The pairing agent will attach to and change the odor molecule so that it no longer smells.

Sealing

While sealing of wood is not always required, we will often do this on studs and structural members.  One of the reasons for sealing is because these building components are often covered up by drywall, or they are located in hard to reach areas.  Summer brings hot weather and as building materials heat up, these materials are capable of releasing odors.  Sealing ensures that any soot not completely eliminated from cleaning remains trapped.

Steps for Preventing Mold

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Intrusion of water into your building can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth.

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 health threat.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South handles water damages every day and knows that 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 vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, 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.

To control mold growth in your business, we offer the following tips:

  • Repair leaky plumbing and leaks in the foundation of your building
  • Reduce moisture with increased surface temperatures or reduced humidity levels in the air. To increase surface temperatures, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce humidity, repair leaks, increase ventilation if outside air is cold and dry or use a dehumidifier.
  • Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed
  • Maintain indoor humidity below 50 percent
  • Perform regular inspections and maintenance on buildings and heating and air conditioning equipment
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 1-2 days
  • Provide adequate drainage around the foundation of your building.  Regularly maintain roof gutters, and ensure that water does not collect near the foundation
  • Insulate windows, walls, pipes, roofs, exterior, floors and other cold surfaces to reduce condensation
  • Watch your utility bills; an unusually high water bill could signal an interior leaking problem 

If you are sure or suspect that there is mold in your building, call SERVPRO immediately at 770-448-5782. The longer you wait to call, the mold growth will continue to spread, resulting in a greater chance of unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of mold damage.

Why Call SERVPRO for your Mitigation Needs?

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

We understand that emergencies never happen at a good time. That’s where we can help! No matter whether you have water, mold or smoke damage, you can count on us to be ready. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South has a qualified team that can begin your emergency restoration services today.

Water Damage

Suffering severe water damage from flooding water or a burst pipe needs immediate attention. The water needs to be extracted so that drying can take place as soon as possible. The longer water sits in your home or business the greater chances of having secondary damages such as mold. We have a team of trained water technicians on call 24 hours a day. When you call our number after hours you will get a live person who will page the water team that is on call. Our average call back time for the technician responding is just 14 minutes.

Mold Damage

If you see mold inside your home or office then give SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South a call. We have trained IICRC technicians certified as Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians that can remediate the problem. Mold estimates are scheduled by our office administration team during regular business hours. There is a service fee for scheduling a technician to visit your home and develop a written estimate for remediation. This service fee is deducted from the estimate if you select us to complete the work.

Mold often appears from water damage that is not seen or was not dried properly. Sometimes mold is not visually present but there is a moldy or stale smell in the air. In this case you will need to call an Industrial Hygienist to come and sample the home. They will send these samples to a lab to determine what types of mold are present and if you have a problem that needs our attention.

Fire Damage

Fires can be destructive along with the soot and smoke that are also present. Fire damage requires emergency service as soon as possible. Securing the home from unwanted visitors and mitigating corrosive damage to metals that can become pitted from the acidic soot are just a few of the items that require immediate attention. We are trained, licensed and insured to handle all the problems that come from having a fire.

We Certify Our Whole Team

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

How do you know if the company you choose to mitigate your water damage has the proper training?  In the restoration industry, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration and Certification (IICRC) developed the “Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration” or S500.  Along with the written standard the IICRC also provides training and certification for restoring property damage.

We believe that ALL our employees need to be IICRC trained in Water Damage Restoration.  We don’t believe in sending out one trained technician with a team of uncertified workers.  On the job training certainly helps but being a certified Water Damage Technician is crucial.  At SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South we send all of our full-time employees to the three-day IICRC training class after six months of employment.  This includes production personnel, our office staff and the marketing department.  If you touch a water damage file…you get trained!

Meet Our Mitigation Team

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South would like to introduce you to our hard-working team. We have a well-educated group here to help you in a disaster situation. Our office staff consists of Vicki Wheeler, Amanda Barber and Baylee Kelley. They will be the first voice you hear and your first contact with our company. Tammie Logan is our accounts manager and will be able to help with any payment questions or concerns. Lori Miller is our reconstruction administrator and will be able to answer any questions your have regarding reconstruction after your mitigation has been completed. Our office staff is IICRC certified and knowledgeable in the mitigation process.

Our crew chiefs hold certifications in WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician), AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician), FSRT (Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician) & ASD (Applied Structural Drying Technician) amongst their other certifications. Our crew chief team consists of Jesse Garmon, Benny Stanley, Tom Jackson, Keonte Askew and Alex Flores. Our technicians that are always there to lend a helping hand are Mindi Marshall, Melody Marshall, Michelle Kelly, Brittany Trotty-Moctezuma, Cindy Purvis, Gilberto Villagomez, Jerry Moctezuma, Mauricio Vargas and Elizabeth Abreu. We make sure that anyone in our crew can assist you with any questions or concerns during the mitigation or remediation process.

Please call our office at any time, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Our office number is 770-448-5782.

Meet our Reconstruction Department

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South we are excited to introduce our Reconstruction Team. We have 3 Project Managers: Mike, Austin and Cameron as well as Lori, our Reconstruction Administrator!

Our experience in construction dates to the early 2000's when we started out as just a general construction company.

Our reconstruction department can handle any size job. We will do insurance jobs or self-pay jobs. No job is too small or too large for our team.

We believe in quality, honesty and hard work.  We are a company based on trust and reliability. We value our customers opinions and strive to make it the easiest experience in a difficult time.

If you are looking for a reliable reconstruction team, then we are your guys. We build more than homes; we build lasting relationships. Give us a call at 770-448-5782 for all your reconstruction needs.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett is CPR Certified

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

What started out as just training for our on-site personnel turned into training for our whole office. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South received a visit from Benjamin Karp at Georgia CPR. In the picture you can see us practicing our CPR techniques!

We were taught how to position a person to perform chest compressions and how to properly administer the technique. In addition to learning how to administer CPR, we learned whether you should. We were taught that before beginning CPR, you should first check to see if the person is conscious or unconscious. We were taught how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to deliver a shock to a patient before beginning CPR as well. 

In conclusion, Not only are we a firm that is certified in Water, Mold and Fire but we are all certified in CPR, First Aid and AED as well! We are always prepared!!

Steps to Preventing a Commercial Water Loss

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Having a water loss in your home is bad enough, however, water damage in your commercial building can be even worse in some cases. There are several reasons why commercial water damage can be more of a nightmare than residential water damage. For one, serious water damage can keep employees out of your office or important business from getting done. Here at SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South, we recommend you do the following things to prevent ever having water damage in your commercial building.

Maintain the Grounds Around Your Building- If you don’t pay close attention, roots from trees in your yard can grow towards your pipes and cause them to break in some cases. The best way to prevent this is to not plant any trees close to any pipes going through your yard, but if you haven’t done that you should pay close attention to make sure you don’t have any roots threatening your pipes.

Look Out for Restroom Over-Usage- All-too-often bathrooms, especially toilets and urinals, can be very prone to flooding. Obviously, this is most common when the bathrooms are frequently used. If you have bathrooms that receive a significant amount of use, you should make sure it receives maintenance checks regularly to catch any problems before they cause you a serious issue.

Have Your Building Inspected by A Professional- It never hurts to call in a professional to inspect your building for any potential water damage risks you may have. A large amount of water damage issues is caused by a small problem becoming more serious and eventually causing a flood. A professional inspection will be able to catch these problems before they lead to any serious problems.

Educate Your Employees- With so many different people in and out of your building every day, there is greater chance of flooding due to human error. To help mitigate this possibility, you should educate your employees about what they should and shouldn’t do to prevent flooding and water damage from happening. Most of these suggestions will be common sense things to do, but making a point of it can help prevent foolish mistakes.

Even following all the steps above there is still the potential that a water loss happens to you. If it ever does, our team at SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is here to help. Contact us at 770-448-5782 24/7.

After a Storm Event

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

After a storm, our experience from past storms have shown us that people are resourceful and get anxious to get back home and get their business back up and running. What is important to remember is not to jeopardize your health and safety because you are trying to recover as fast as possible.

Too often claims have been compromised because evidence has been disposed of or altered. To avoid your carrier alleging they didn’t see the evidence of the covered cause of loss or the damaged property, you need to document with photo and video, promptly communicate with your insurance company, and ask them for written instructions on when and how to handle the damage. These best practices sound good but often you can’t reach your insurance company after a storm or get a person on the phone. If this happens to you, continue to document and ensure mitigation but do not throw away items or alter the impact of the damages in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Sometimes it takes weeks before an adjuster comes to the property or even weeks to get access to go back to your property

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. The insurance company is panicked about this storm and the aftermath too. In part, because the storm cuts into their profits, and because the magnitude of loss and number of claims may be too much for their systems and teams to handle.
  2. This may be your adjuster’s first hurricane assignment.
  3. The representative coming to your property doesn’t have a copy of your insurance policy. Deposition after deposition tells us that the adjuster may have access to a declaration page on an IPad but these adjusters are not studying your coverage and endorsements, but are relying on their “experience”.
  4. You can get another copy of insurance policy from the company and you should ask for the complete copy. If you don’t ask for it, some insurance companies may take your silence to mean that you were familiar with the coverage. Some carriers give the impression that any insured who doesn’t ask for help knows all of the insurance provisions backwards and forward and they don’t assist their insureds.

If you have been affected by a storm event. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are used to speaking with adjusters and can help. We are available 24/7.

Oh No! A Pipe Burst, What Next?

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

It might be the sound of dripping water on the ceiling or behind a wall, or a mysterious puddle on the floor. Maybe you've noticed a decrease in water pressure when you turn on the hot water faucet, or no water flow whatsoever. These are all signs that a pipe may have burst.

It only takes a small hole to cause you big problems when the water starts to melt.

Pipe Bursts Can Be Destructive

They happen most often in the wintertime, when water freezes inside - outdoor plumbing or in pipes near exterior walls. As the water freezes, its volume can expand and it exerts pressure on the pipe's walls. The ice can block the pipe so that the water that is behind it adds even more pressure. Whether the pipe is copper, lead, or PVC, it can give way under the pressure. you may not become aware of the emergency until the weather warms up. Then your first sign might be wet ceilings or walls if the broken pipe is concealed from view.

What to do When a Pipe Bursts

  1. If you discover a leak, try to discover where the leak seems to be coming from, and then turn off the water at the main water valve. That will stop the water flow and hopefully keep the damage down.
  2. If possible, you may need to also turn off the electricity in the affected area.
  3. Call a licensed plumber to repair the leak. Many plumbers have 24/hour availability in emergencies for plumbing repair. It is a good idea to keep a plumber's contact information handy just for these kinds of situations. The plumber will be able to replace the damaged pipes or fittings and turn your water back on.
  4. Once the leak has been repaired, you may mitigation. Mitigation may include water extraction, removal of affected materials that may work as a moisture barrier and setting drying equipment.

How to Prevent Burst Pipes

Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent cold weather emergencies:

  1. If plumbing runs along an exterior wall, leave the water dripping in the faucet and open the under-sink cabinet to let the warmer indoor air in.
  2. If the outdoor temperature is supposed to drop and you will be away, make sure before you go that the inside temperature will be maintained above 55 degrees in your absence.
  3. Insulate pipes in unheated areas.

Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any water emergency needs.

Deep Frying a Turkey Safely

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Every holiday people are lured in by the promise of moist, sweet turkey meat and the deep turkey fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  However, cooking up Tom the Turkey in a vat of boiling oil does come with many dangers.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage.

Therefore it is most important to follow a few safety precautions if you choose to fry a turkey for the holidays.

  • Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey

Frozen turkeys are full of moisture, and we all know how water and hot oil don’t mix well.  Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed before trying to fry it.

  • Turkey Fryers can Easily Tip Over

Be sure that you place your turkey fryer on solid footing so that it will not tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.

  • Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot

When oil gets around 400-425 degrees it can catch on fire by itself.  Most fryers do not have thermostat controls, and it would be prudent to have a thermometer to make sure you keep the oil below 400 degrees.

  • Don’t Use Too Much Oil

An overfilled cooking pot can cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and when the oil runs down next to the flame on the burner, a catastrophic fire could result.

  • Never Deep-Fry Indoors or in a Garage

The best place to use a turkey fryer is on a level spot out in your yard away from the house or anything flammable.

May these tips help you and your family to enjoy a safe holiday with a delicious fried turkey. Remember to call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South if you have any water, fire or mold problems during the holidays. Call us at 770-448-5782. We can help 24/7.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

11/13/2018 (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.

Make sure your home is protected. Contact our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 to make sure you have the coverage you, your family and home need.

Candle Safety

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

As peak hurricane season continues through the end of November and winter storms follow, it’s critical that you and your family know the best practices for staying safe during power outages.

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 our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are available 24/7 to assist.

What is a Water Mitigation Technician?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

A water mitigation technician works, usually in connection with a water-damage restoration team, to mitigate water damage to your home. If your home is subject to serious water damage, due to burst pipes, flooding, fire-extinguishing water hoses or some other unforeseen catastrophe, it can be a real problem. Your house will be a mess, carpets and furniture can be soaked, and valuables can be damaged, sometimes beyond repair.

A technician from your water-damage restoration company works to dry and remove as much of this water as possible from your home and salvage your possessions to the best of his ability. They are able to do this due to a combination of sophisticated drying equipment provided by the water-damage restoration contractor, combined with expertly trained technicians.

These technicians understand the different types of water damage, such as damage from sanitary water, gray water or black water. They can determine how severe your water damage is, such as damage that only affects part of a room, damage that affects an entire room, damage where ceilings, walls, carpet and insulation are fully saturated, and specialty drying situations.

Do I need a Water Mitigation Technician?

You can certainly try to clean up the water without the help of a water-damage restoration company, but your best chance of getting your life back to normal as quickly as possible is through hiring water mitigation professionals. In addition to saving you a lot of labor and heartache, an experienced, quality water mitigation company like SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South knows the fastest way to effectively dry your home. They can also determine the best way to save salvageable property and how to deal with problems like mold and bacteria. They also know how to work with your insurance and can make that part a smooth process as well.

Where Do I Find a Water Mitigation Technician?

If you need water damage restoration, you can contact our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South right now. We offer 24/7 emergency water mitigation restoration services. You can contact us at 770-448-5782 for all your emergency needs.

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

6/25/2018 (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. Could you have forgotten to turn on 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, a pipe or a water leaking in from a window, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains, shut down any valve leading to the affected area, and close the window if that was the source of the water.

Second thing you do is 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 Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782.

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.

our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South 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.

What To Do When Your Sump Pump Fails?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In most cases sump pumps fail during rain events. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. So what do you do at that point? Here’s a couple of suggestions to assist you in navigating a difficult situation.

First, you’re going to need to get the sump pump fixed. A plumber is going to be necessary to get the sump pump back up and running. Immediately call a licensed plumber in your area and get on their schedule as quickly as possible. During rain events, it’s not unusual for many homes in the area to suffer the same fate as you, so plumbers will get booked up quickly. Act fast and call for their help!

Second, do the same with a certified water mitigation company.  Many times, it doesn’t make sense for a water mitigation company to come out immediately, because you’re paying them to pump out water as more water is coming in. It’s just an endless cycle that can cost you a lot of money without doing much in the way of saving your home. You may decide that’s worth the money to you, but in many cases, it makes more sense to try and manage things temporarily while you wait for a plumber to fix your sump pump. That said, even if the plumber fixes your sump pump you’re still going to need a restoration company to come in and remove any excess moisture and dry out the affected areas.

Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 for any of your mitigation needs.  

Prevent Moldy Carpets

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in virtually every area of a home and on any surface, if given the right environment. That includes your beautiful carpets that you spend so much energy trying to keep clean and looking beautiful. While there can be many causes of mold in a home, when it comes to moldy carpets there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances you ever have to deal with it.

Mold damage can be costly.  Not to mention the health effects it can bring upon inhabitants of the dwelling with a mold problem. As with many aspects of home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Not only can moldy carpets be unsightly and need to be replaced, they can be the tip of the iceberg in terms of more substantial damage to your property. So, consider taking these steps to keep black mold from growing on your carpets!

Control the humidity and temperature in your home

Mold grows best with a certain amount of moisture in the air as well as certain temperature ranges. One way to help prevent mold growth on any surface in your home, including your carpets, is to ensure your humidity levels never reach 60%. And while it’s unlikely you like living in this warm of a house, make sure you don’t set the thermometer to 80 degrees.

Consider a different floor covering in areas prone to moisture

Some areas of a home are just more prone to humidity and moisture. Like your bathroom, for instance. Every design aspect of your home should be done with appearance and functionality in mind, and that includes making sure you’re making smart decisions about the type of floor coverings to have in certain areas based on the area’s usage along with environmental aspects. When it comes to bathroom floors, and to a lesser extent basement floors, sometimes the smartest plan is to avoid carpets altogether.

Use carpet padding that is anti-microbial

There are a few different types of padding most commonly used in residential homes. While some are more budget friendly than others, if you’re considering carpet in areas that may be more prone to moisture issues, consider installing rubber-slab carpet padding. It’s much more resistant to mold growth than traditional carpet pads. 

If you do get standing water on your carpets, get it out fast!

This goes for any surface type in your home, and it’s especially true with carpets. With the right humidity levels and temperatures, mold growth can accelerate quickly when food and water are present. Getting the water and excess moisture out quickly can be the difference between a close call and a serious health problem for your family.

Clean your carpets regularly

Vacuuming your carpets regularly, along with having them professionally steam cleaned, can go a long way in preventing mold growth. One of the components of rapid mold growth is food, and mold loves dirt, grime, food, and any other organic substance that can be found in your carpet fibers. Regularly cleaning your carpets is a great way to help reduce the likelihood of dealing with mold in the future! 

Typically, if you have black mold on your carpets a visual inspection is all that is necessary. But in other instances, you may notice a musty smell or perhaps you’ve also been experiencing some troubling health issues that you think may be attributed to high levels of mold. In most states, mold remediation companies must be different than mold testing companies. The way it works is that the mold testing company will come take environmental samples from your home and have them sent off to a lab to be evaluated. If it’s determined through the testing that your home has a toxic black mold problem, it’s at that point that you’ll want to hire a mold removal company like us. Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782.

Prevent Mold Growth in the Summer

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked.

If you simply leave the air conditioning running, it will cool the home and remove moisture from the air and circulate and filter the air.

Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On."

Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions.

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that self-cleaning should be considered if the area to be treated is less than 10 square feet. A guide to treatment and cleaning is available at http://www.epa.gov/mold/index.html. You can also learn more about mold remediation contractors and remedies for contaminated buildings.

Molds present at typical indoor levels have never been scientifically shown to cause any other illness.

Even when mold spores were at elevated levels, there were no similar elevated reports of illnesses. Examples from the article show certain occupations that are exposed to extremely high concentrations of mold spores.

  • Sawmills: 1.5 million CFU/m3 (colony-forming units per cubic meter of air).
  • Honeybee overwintering facilities: 2,200 to 13,931 CFU/m3
  • Spawning sheds of mushroom farms: 100,000 CFU/m3
  • Municipal waste-composting facility: 8.2 million CFU/m3
  • Farms: 120,000,000 CFU/m3; it's 10 times greater (1.2 billion CFU/m3) on farms where adverse health effects are reported.

In these highly exposed populations, however, there are no reports of brain damage or of many of the other fungal diseases now common in current indoor mold attributions. What I gathered from the article is that some people -- those with asthma, hay fever or suppressed immune systems -- can be affected by low levels of mold spores, while the majority are not aware of the spores in the very air they breathe, even when there are elevated levels.

When mold spores are discovered at elevated indoor levels, you need to contact your doctor first to determine if the mold species will affect you or your family. Then you need to consider some type of removal or treatment of the affected areas.

Will Homeowners Insurance Pay for a Fallen Tree?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

If a tree falls in your yard, and no one hears it, is it covered by your insurance? What about the cost to remove a fallen tree? The answer, as it is with all insurance questions, is “it depends”. Policy forms vary.

Did a Tree Hit Your Home or Other Structure?   

If so, you probably have coverage for:

The cost to remove the tree

The damage to your home, fence or other structure

But, not coverage of the cost to replace the tree itself.

Is a Fallen Tree Blocking Your Driveway?

Depending on the edition of your home insurance policy, you may have coverage for at least some of the cost to remove a tree that’s blocking your driveway. Even if it didn’t damage any of your property.

Did a Tree Fall on Your Car?

If so, your auto policy, not your homeowner’s policy, might pay to fix your car. Hopefully, you have Georgia auto insurance, and chose to buy “other than collision” (widely known as “comprehensive”) coverage. The cost to remove the tree is not covered by either home or auto insurance, unless the tree blocks your driveway (see above).

If There’s No Damage, There May Be No Coverage

If a tree falls without damaging any insured structures or blocking the driveway, you will likely need to pay the costs to remove it. Some insurance policies provide a limited amount of coverage for these cases. Check with your agent or insurance company to see if yours does.

Did Your Tree Hit Your Neighbor’s Property?

If so, the damage would be covered under THEIR homeowner’s policy, not yours. If the tree fell due to obvious neglect, your liability insurance might apply.

Tips to File an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree

Take photos, preferably from different angles to show the damage.

If utility wires are involved, stay away! Call your electric utility to have the wires cleared.

Call your insurance agent or company to report the claim.

If there has been damage sustained by your home, call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 and we will be there to help.

What is Considered a Storm Event

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

A storm event can affect a home in multiple ways. You can have a water loss caused by flooding, a tree through the roof or even shingles being blown off. Each of these situations can allow water to infiltrate your home. If this water isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, it can lead to mold. Mold can start within the first 48-72 hours of a water loss. Sometimes that time frame is shorter if the climate cannot be controlled by your heating or air and it is very humid and warm out. Sometimes that time frame can go a little further if the home is conditioned or it is cold and dry temperatures outside.

Most people hear storm event and think of hurricanes or tornadoes, but a storm event can be just a continuous heavy rain or strong winds or even hail. If you have water coming into your home and you are unsure if it was caused by a storm event or just need some advice, contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are available 24/7 for any of your needs.

Emergency Readiness Plan

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be “Ready for whatever happens” by letting one of our Marketing Representatives complete an Emergency Ready Profile on your business or office site. The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. An Emergency Ready Profile will contain the following:

  • Emergency Action Checklist
  • Advanced Warning and Emergency Contacts
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Main Utility Information (Shut Off Locations)
  • Primary Contact Information (Work Authorization Contact)
  • Insurance Contact Information
  • Miscellaneous Contact Information
  • Property Overview
  • Building Access Information

Not too long ago we completed an Emergency Ready Profile on a well-established funeral home, but no one in the office knew where the water cut-off was located. The next day when the owner of the funeral home was on site, he showed our representative the water cut-off. It was under a brick under some azalea bushes! Can you imagine the scope of water damage if the owner were absent and no one else knew the location of the water cut-off. Needless to say, he was delighted to have an Emergency Ready Profile. Now he can enjoy his vacations more knowing that his company has a written emergency plan and a digital one.

By implementing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you can benefit from SERVPRO’S 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 to get started.

SERVPRO Goes to Southern Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast enjoys being with our agents, vendors and adjusters for the fall and spring Southern Loss Association Golf and Tennis Tournaments.   We usually sponsor two or three golf foursomes and a doubles tennis team. After eighteen holes and the tennis tournament finishes comes the best part for us. That is when we get to visit and mingle with our agent and adjuster friends and get to know them better in a more relaxed and informal way. Every season our group gets larger with more participants. We think that Southern Loss offers our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest a unique opportunity to network with a very large group of people who are involved in the restoration business. A lot of the Commercial contacts we have made for our franchise have been through the Southern Loss Association Golf and Tennis Tournaments. We will continue to be active in this organization.

SERVPRO Tips for a Commercial Water Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you find yourself in a commercial disaster the first thing you should do is call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 so that we can dispatch technicians out right away and we will make sure you get some help.

Tips until SERVPRO arrives:

  • Shut off the water source if identified.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
  • DO NOT use regular vacuum to remove water
  • Locate insurance information
  • When we arrive we will do a very thorough dry out and complete it in a timely manner. We practice the science of drying...and we specialize in restoring your property. We are a "One Stop Shop" – Which means we are a company that can dry out your property, take care of your contents, and rebuild if necessary. Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782, we are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all your commercial needs.

SERVPRO Can Handle Your Fire Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. When one experiences a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is pertinent to keep your composure and take all of the necessary steps to ensure that the life of you and other people are safe. In the aftermath of a fire, fire restoration services can assist in getting rid of the damage in your home. Companies that offer fire cleanup provide you with all of the services needed to restore your home.

After one experiences a fire damage from a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is important to contact a fire restoration company immediately. By scheduling fire restoration services right away, you have the ability to minimize the losses, smoke damage, soot damage and the time needed for fire cleanup. You are also preventing a decline in air quality. The air quality deteriorates immediately after a fire. With better air quality, you are able to complete fire cleanup sooner. To begin the restoration process, a representative will ask a host of questions pertaining to the fire, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. Fire loss refers to the items lost during a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage.

When our franchises arrives at your home, they will begin the process by assessing the severity of the fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. After the fire restoration company has completed their assessment, they will initiate the restoration process by removing smoke damage. The air quality is directly tied to smoke damage and soot damage. Thus, when the smoke damage is eliminated, the air quality improves. Due to smoke odors lingering long after fire damage, it is important to remove smoke damage first. Otherwise, it will make the fire loss more profuse and fire cleanup more of a hassle. During the initial phase of the restoration process, your home’s windows may be boarded. This is done to prevent additional damage from occurring. They may also place tarps on damaged roofs. The company will cautiously inspect to determine the severity of the fire loss, smoke damage, and soot damage. This gives the company the ability to develop a fire cleanup strategy.

The final phase of fire restoration is fire cleanup. The fire restoration company is trained to restore fire damage in a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage. After the fire cleanup is finished, your home should be as good as new. Do not hesitate to schedule fire damage restoration services right away. Restoration is the final step and it may vary depending of the severity of the fire. Restoration typically involves repairs such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. In severe cases, it may involve major repairs such as the replacement of multiple areas or rooms in a home or a business. Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 for all your fire damage needs or questions.

Tips after a Fire Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call our franchises frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring a certified fire restoration team who will guarantee their work.

Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. We highly recommend you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, we would recommend that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. Once flooring has been removed, you would need to dry the structure by placing fans and/or dehumidifiers. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry.

Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for all your needs.

What Is Mold and How Is It Remediated

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is found under the fungi classification. It is a soft green or at times grey growth which develops on objects or old food left for a lengthy period in warm, wet air. It can be found in outdoor and indoor places, thus, it is important for the indoor humidity to be kept below forty-five percent because a higher humidity supports the growth of this class of fungus. Floods and high humidity levels often lead to microbial growth and fungus. Microbial growth can be present in an area, but that does not classify it as mold. The most efficient method of controlling microbial growth is by the moderation of temperature. When the temperature is lowered, the rate of microbial growth decreases rapidly.

Mold and mildew are two fungi that people often tend to confuse. Mildew appears to be powdery and white in color then later turns to brown, black or yellow. The other fungus seems fuzzy but can appear in similar colors as the mildew. Mildew damages crops while molds damage the structural foundations of homes. Both fungi are usually accompanied by a musty odor which can lead to more health issues. It likes to thrive in moisturized areas and grows quickly into colonies with water exposure. These colonies are responsible for the production of irritants and allergens that affect the health of people. For remediation of molds to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow. The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi are removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again. It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves. Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers. It is essential for the environmental hygienist to have a protective suit because harsh chemicals are used for the mold cleanup. Hard surfaces with moldy growth have to be scrubbed with water and detergent and left to dry completely. Porous materials like carpets and ceiling tiles need to be disposed of by the environmental hygienists if they get moldy. The crevices of these porous materials are prone to mold growth, and painting can only happen once the environmental hygienists complete the mold cleanup otherwise the paint peels off. The correct mitigation strategies need to be employed for effective cleanup. Contact our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 for more information on mold remediation.

Call SERVPRO for Mold Remediation Needs

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation. If you suspect that your Gwinnett County home or business has a mold problem, our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest can inspect, assess and remediate your property.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 770-448-5782

  • Some restoration companies advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee to remove all molds. This is a fallacy because removing all molds from a house or business is impossible; microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the 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

Mold vs Mildew

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

How to determine which one you have?

Before anyone panics, let’s be clear. We live in the south, in a humid environment. Everyone has mold in their house. Everyone.

Mold and mildew have a few common characteristics. They both like warm areas and spread easily. They live on various surfaces, from food to your shower. And of course, they are both types of fungi.

But they are very different when it comes to size, color and texture.

Primarily mildew is a plant disease but it can thrive on any organic matter, not just living tissue. It can appear on clothing, leather, paper, walls, ceilings, floor and even on your shower wall. It usually grows in a flat pattern in a white, gray or yellowish color. It will turn brown or black over time.

Mold is usually fuzzy and appears in irregular shaped spots. It also can appear in many different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white. Mold grows on organic matter everywhere but is only visible once the colonies grow.

While most mold is not toxic, prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health issues. 

If you are not sure what you have, you can have it tested. Obviously the best course of action is to ask for professional assistance but you can easily identify which one it is with a little bit of household bleach.

Apply a few drops of bleach to the affected area. Wait about 5 minutes and inspect the spot. If it becomes lighter, you are dealing with mildew. If it remains dark, it is most likely mold.

The best and most efficient way to prevent mold and mildew in your house is to keep all areas dry and moisture free. Keep your air ducts clean and in good condition.

If you discover you have a mold issue call a professional. Do not try to remediate this yourself. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 and we can help!

Call SERVPRO for your Commercial Needs

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage can be caused by things such as rain storms, broken pipes, humidity, faulty appliances or slow leaks. This can lead to mold or bacterial contamination if you do not have it cleaned up properly. A full-service property restoration company like our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South can help your business recover from water damage. We understand that the damage needs to be mitigated quickly to minimize the downtime your business is experiencing, and we have 24-hour emergency response, every single day of the year in Gwinnett County and the surrounding areas. Our team of technicians is IICRC-certified and will identify what is causing the water damage and will work alongside utility companies and commercial plumbers to make sure your building is secure against any secondary water damage or loss. We’ll also get rid of any debris and hazards and start extracting the water from your commercial property. Once we’ve removed all the standing water, our technicians will start the drying process of your structure using equipment and techniques which are state-of-the-art. If there is Category 3, i.e. sewage water, present in your building, our professionals, who deal with hazardous materials, will use antimicrobials to ensure your commercial building is decontaminated and to protect you and your staff against any health risks. Part of the water damage cleanup process includes our technicians using special treatments to avoid mold growing in your building. In cases of long-term moisture where mold is already found, our certified mold remediation specialists will clean and get rid of as much mold growth as is possible. We will also decontaminate your property to stop any more issues and we can work alongside certified environmental hygienists to give testing and clearances so you and your staff can have a peace of mind. Our team has the equipment and the staffing to take care of a commercial water loss of any size. We can help you recover from industrial plumbing failure and major floods to any other loss your commercial building might face If you’ve experienced a commercial water loss, speak with us at our franchise, SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South by dialing 770-448-5782 for a prompt 24/7 response.

Common Causes of Commercial Water Losses

5/18/2018 (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.   

If your business has suffered commercial water damage, our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at 770-448-5782 for fast help.

When Storms Hit

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.   Storm damage can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”   Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.   Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South. Dial 770-448-5782 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

After the Fire Trucks Leave

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782.

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast, which is a 24 hours emergency service provider. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch our IICRC Certified Fire Technician with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the technician can board up missing windows and walls.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The technicians use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Like it never even happened.

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it’s the SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. The SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South works endlessly to make sure our customers are happy. We have one objective in the aftermath of disaster: to make their loss “Like it never even happened.”

No matter the job or the size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with the cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damages caused from frigid temperatures.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any of your mitigation needs.

WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER A HOUSE FIRE

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

  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.

WHY MORE INSURANCE AGENTS CHOOSE SERVPRO

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO blends customer service with accountability! They understand your responsibility to provide results to your shareholders and clients. SERVPRO is uniquely qualified to help when disaster strikes, making you their "hero" in their times of need. 

We are here to make you look good.

There are many ways to ensure success as an insurance agent. Having a strong office staff, a company who pays claims in an ethical and timely manner, advertising, being involved in your community, and maintaining a positive relationship with your clients are just a few. SERVPRO knows how critical it is that every job goes as smooth as possible, ensuring your clients trust you time and time again when they need help. Our teams are trained to reduce the lost time and mitigate the damages as quickly as possible. Whether it’s fire, water, mold or any other cleanup; we are here to help, 24 hours a day. 

Our team members are available for direct cellular calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You earn your client’s loyalty by providing timely solutions. You provide help in a time of need. Instead of offering a call center solution, our team members are available to take the call on their business line! We will personally call your client back, offer a listening ear, and take away some of the fear they are experiencing.

Having a relationship with SERVPRO and our team of highly trained professionals has many benefits. We will ensure help arrives quickly (following our 1-4-8 time commitment), and our production team will help your clients regain control of their lives by treating them with respect, courteousness and working hard to get the job done correctly the first time. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO. Calling direct reduces wait times. The faster SERPVRO's team can arrive onsite to perform the cleanup, the better the results. 

That’s the SERVPRO difference. Contact us at the SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are always here to help!

What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth?

Keeping mold from growing in your home is an important consideration for a healthy, safe environment to live. The first task in keeping mold at bay is discovering what areas and conditions might encourage mold growth. Molds are pervasive everywhere, and thrive in wet conditions. How does mold grow? Mold grows best when moisture and humidity are present. When mold spores encounter a damp surface most advantageous for fungal growth, they can begin to grow and thrive.

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

Mold spores require three things in order to grow mold:

    • nutrients
    • moisture
    • time (mold growth can start after 24 hours

How Does Mold Grow in a House?

Mold spores are everywhere, and are carried by air currents. If the spores discover a moist, dark environment they will likely settle and proliferate until your home has a major mold issue. They key to preventing mold in your house is to be diligent about maintaining proper moisture levels, keeping up with home maintenance, like roof or plumbing leaks, and quickly and effectively cleaning and drying any water spills, leaks, or flooding.

Moisture Levels in the Home

The EPA suggests maintaining or reducing home humidity levels to 30-60% (ideally 30-50%) to prevent mold growth. Mold also grows optimally in warmer conditions, and flourishes the best between 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C). Condensation on or around windows can be an indication that your home’s moisture levels are too high. Two ways a homeowner can decrease the humidity in the home is by increasing ventilation and buying a dehumidifier.

To increase your home’s ventilation, be sure to use correctly vented exhaust fans while in the kitchen and bathroom, to reduce the moisture in the air. Assure that ventilation throughout your home is adequate to keep up with moisture levels. If your home is still struggling with higher than advisable humidity levels, consider buying a dehumidifier to maintain a healthy home moisture quantity that is unsusceptible or resistant to mold growth. Make sure you purchase a dehumidifier that will cover the square footage necessary for your residence.

Leaks and Home Maintenance

If your home has a leak, there is likely a mold issue. Leaks can occur in pipes, roofs, basements, appliances and windows. Because leaks are usually undetectable behind a wall or in the attic, leaks can have the advantage of time to release water into your home continuously. This constant influx of water can fuel mold growth considerably. To look for leaks, be on the watch for:

  • water stains
  • warping or bowing of walls
  • deterioration of wood
  • bubbling or cracking paint or wallpaper
  • mold symptoms (aka “sick building syndrome”)

Flooding and Other Water Damage

Flooding is a serious risk factor for mold. When excessive amounts of water enter a building and remain for a period of time, mold will begin to develop. Remember, mold can begin to emerge in 24 hours under the right growing conditions. Therefore prompt action is needed in the event of a flood to prevent or reduce mold damage in your home.

Flooding is a serious risk factor for mold.

You may wish to hire a professional like SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 to restore your home after a flood. This is a very good option if you can afford to hire someone who has the credentials and equipment to deal with flood and water damage in a home, or if your insurance provides you with this option. Be sure to check your home’s insurance policy on flooding and mold damage.

A Few Types of Storm Damage

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Wind Damage Restoration Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious. How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce moist, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any of your storm concerns.

Water Damage Mitigation in Gwinnett County

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South provides 24-hour fire, water and mold restoration services in Gwinnett County and the surrounding areas.

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

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage can be very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 770-448-5782

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.

WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION PROCESS

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has a restoration process that all clients are brought through. This process assures that the home or office is always restored to a clean, sanitary state as quickly and as efficiently as possible. SERVPRO clients have had this process applied to their water damage disasters.

The six-step process includes:

1) Initial contact

SERVPRO is proud to offer 24-hour emergency response. Here at SERVPRO, we understand that, when dealing with water damage emergencies, every minute counts. When you call, the representative will ask specific questions regarding your particular water damage emergency.

2) Inspection and assessment

The restoration process will officially begin with a detailed assessment of the damage by a certified professional. There are different classification levels of contamination that will determine what steps are required to complete the restoration.

3) Water extraction/removal

The water extraction process will remove the majority of the water from the home or office. If extensive restoration is needed, we can conduct a “move out” to safely and efficiently move out belongings. Our professionals will inspect and determine if carpet or carpet padding will need to be replaced.

4) Drying/dehumidification

After the water removal process, floors and walls will need to be dried and dehumidified fully to prevent warping or potential mold damage. Using specialized equipment, our professionals will remove the last trace amounts of moisture in the home or office.

5) Cleaning/sanitizing

After extracting the water and fully drying the surfaces, SERVPRO professionals will clean the surfaces as well as belongings like furniture and personal items that may have been damaged by the water.

6) Restoration

The final step in the process is restoration, which may include things like minor repair to drywall, installing new carpet, or other reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South’s professional water damage restoration experts have been trained to strict industry standards, and use state of the art industrial equipment. It’s SERVPRO’s goal to make it seem, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 770-448-5782 for all your water damage needs.

Bio-Hazard Remediation

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Bio-Hazard remediation is a solemn but necessary practice in the field of restoration. If you have ever had the misfortune to discover a deceased family member or loved one, you may not realize how important it is to inquire about forensic remediation services. Bio-Hazard remediation can be necessary to restore a home back to preloss conditions. The three main causes of forensic damage are: suicide, homicide, and unassisted deaths. An unassisted death occurs when someone expires and the body is not discovered for an extended period of time. If a body sits for an excessive amount of time, the advanced stages of decomposition set in. Unassisted deaths are unfortunately common and more damage to the home can occur the longer a body is allowed to decompose. 

The biggest reason to have a professional company to perform this service is safety. It cannot be stressed enough how important safety is when it comes to any environment that may deal with blood or other bodily fluids. First and foremost, blood is pathogenic. What that means is that any fresh blood has the possibility to make you sick. Technicians are donned in Tyvek suits, gloves, and full face shields. Having the correct personal protection equipment is crucial when handling any materials affected with blood. There are times when the bereaved enlist volunteers to help clean up the areas that wear little or no protective gear and are subjecting themselves to a harmful environment. During extreme cases, any illness obtained by volunteers could potentially hold the bereaved liable for damages. When you hire SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South, you don't need to worry about any such complications because we educate our employees to be certified in all restorative fields. Each franchise carries various insurances necessary for the restoration field.

            Another main reason to outsource this line of work to the professionals is to insure that you are receiving the most quality of service. Certified technicians will understand what types of materials are salvageable or not depending on how affected the areas are. When blood is pooled on the carpet, it is not safe to clean and sanitize the area. The most appropriate step to take is to remove the carpet and pad. Once the carpet and pad has been removed, the technicians will now address the sub floor. The sub floor will be cleaned and sanitized with an E.P.A. registered disinfectant and sealed with an antimicrobial sealer if necessary. There have been scenarios where the bereaved has tried to clean and sanitize porous materials such as carpet, but then have become sick in the future. If porous materials are only lightly affected by splatter instead of being completely saturated, they may be cleaned and sanitized. However, in many instances of cleaning and sanitizing, these lightly affected areas still leave an unsightly stain.

            After the damage has been assessed and the areas properly mitigated, any soiled materials are then bagged in bio hazard bags and properly discarded and hauled from the work site. A side effect of the deceased can be the odor. We have several different pieces of equipment that are designed to handle many types of odors, especially odors that are protein base. Once the technicians are completely finished, the affected area is now safe for the bereaved and will allow them to mourn properly without the added stress.

Please contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are always here to help.

Emergency Ready Profile

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be “Ready for whatever happens” by letting one of our Marketing Representatives complete an Emergency Ready Profile on your business or office site. The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. An Emergency Ready Profile will contain the following:

  • Emergency Action Checklist
  • Advanced Warning and Emergency Contacts
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Main Utility Information (Shut Off Locations)
  • Primary Contact Information (Work Authorization Contact)
  • Insurance Contact Information
  • Miscellaneous Contact Information
  • Property Overview
  • Building Access Information

Not too long ago we completed an Emergency Ready Profile on a well-established funeral home, but no one in the office knew where the water cut-off was located. The next day when the owner of the funeral home was on site, he showed our representative the water cut-off. It was under a brick under some azalea bushes! Can you imagine the scope of water damage if the owner were absent and no one else knew the location of the water cut-off. Needless to say, he was delighted to have an Emergency Ready Profile. Now he can enjoy his vacations more knowing that his company has a written emergency plan and a digital one.

By implementing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you can benefit from SERVPRO'S 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 so we can create your Emergency Ready Profile today!

Severe Weather Readiness

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Are you ready for Severe Weather?

Severe weather is unpredictable and SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South wants you to be safe no matter the season! Below are some severe weather readiness tips to help guide you, no matter what type of disaster you may encounter.

Weather Radios: Weather radios are the most reliable way to receive notifications of severe weather in your area. Although cellular phones, weather apps, social media as well as wireless emergency alerts (WEA’s) are what the majority of us depend on to keep informed, the truth is those devices can have their limitations during severe weather and can be interrupted. Mobile devices rely on towers and those towers can be damaged and cease to function during severe weather. A weather radio, WITH CHARGED BATTERIES, is the most reliable way to be informed of severe weather. Be sure to properly program your weather radio so you only receive the alerts you want for the counties you want.

Emergency Supply Kit: Having an emergency kit can be a life saver. Most emergency management agencies recommend supplies for up to three days. The following is a list you can use as a guideline:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day
  • Food – non-perishable
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Frist Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Clothing, blankets
  • Dust mask or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
  • Wrench or other tools to shit off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents. (Copy of insurance policy, bank account info, identification, etc.)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof case
  • Cash

Make family plan: Make sure all members in the household are aware where they are to go in the event of severe weather. If for some reason the family is separated in the event of a severe storm, have a meeting place established as to aid in finding each other amidst devastation.

Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are here to help!

Basement Flooding

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

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

  • A sewer pipe that is blocked or cracked
  • Surface water from heavy rains that can 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

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. 

Please contact the SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are here to help!

When Winter Weather Strikes

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Winter weather can lead to water damage, roof damage, broken pipes & ice damming. SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South wants to make sure you are prepared for storms and know what to do in case you do have a damage! 

Tips for Preparing your Home for Winter Weather:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes. 
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of the home. 
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shutoff valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off".
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shutoff. 
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.  
  • Tips for Preparing your Business for Winter Weather:
  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and/or snow, can cause branches to fall which would cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.  
  • Ask SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South about creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business for any future or potential emergencies.  

If your Gwinnett County home or business experiences water damage, broken pipes or ice damming, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We'll make it "Like it never even happened." 

Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Every holiday people are lured in by the promise of moist, sweet turkey meat and the deep turkey fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  However, cooking up Tom the Turkey in a vat of boiling oil does come with many dangers.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage.

Therefore it is most important to follow a few safety precautions if you choose to fry a turkey for the holidays.

  • Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey

Frozen turkeys are full of moisture, and we all know how water and hot oil don’t mix well.  Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed before trying to fry it.

  • Turkey Fryers can Easily Tip Over

Be sure that you place your turkey fryer on solid footing so that it will not tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.

  • Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot

When oil gets around 400-425 degrees it can catch on fire by itself.  Most fryers do not have thermostat controls, and it would be prudent to have a thermometer to make sure you keep the oil below 400 degrees.

  • Don’t Use Too Much Oil

An overfilled cooking pot can cause oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and when the oil runs down next to the flame on the burner, a catastrophic fire could result.

  • Never Deep-Fry Indoors or in a Garage

The best place to use a turkey fryer is on a level spot out in your yard away from the house or anything flammable.

May these tips help you and your family to enjoy a safe holiday with a delicious fried turkey. Remember to call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South if you have any water, fire or mold problems during the holidays. Call us at 770-448-5782. We can help 24/7.

Celebrate Safely

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Each November families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According the  National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries, and Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times the average number.  The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. 

Tips for avoiding kitchen fires:

  • Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towel or curtains – away from stovetop.

If a fire occurs while you are cooking, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure other are getting out and that you have a clear way out.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If the fire is out of control, just get out! When pou leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South and their professional team wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

SERVPRO GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY WITH SOLES4SOULS

11/3/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is giving back to the community through SOLES4SOULS

SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South along with many SERVPRO® Franchises are planning a drive to collect 10,000 shoes to help the poor.  The used and new shoes can be dropped off at schools and local churches.   We will be collected shoes between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2017.

The shoes that SERVPRO® collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls—a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing.  This organization which was founded in 2006 has distributed more than 26 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.  SERVPRO® is a strong supporter of Soles4Souls’ anti-poverty mission, and we hope to take a big step in providing the organization with the used shoes they require to keep making a difference for people in need.

Soles4Souls will convert every pair of shoes collected from the community into a value-added social currency to achieve positive change, both humanitarian and economic.  Most of the gently used shoes will be distributed to microenterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti and other poor nations.  The resulting revenue will help fund the free distribution of new shoes in the U.S., Canada and developing nations around the world.

“The simple truth is that almost anyone with a closet has shoes they don’t wear, or an old pair that will just end up in a landfill,” said Neal Thompson.  “Give those to us, and know that you are taking a step to making the world a better place for all of us.”

Our SERVPRO® Franchises will be asking schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners to partner with us in collecting shoes, new and old.  We in turn will send them to Soles4Souls for distribution to those in need.  Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operation and governance.  Please visit www.soles4souls.org for more information.

MANAGING MOLD

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

Extensive mold growth on ceilings and walls.

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there is a water intrusion, like a leaking water line or roof leak. Mold can cause health issues and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, our SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process:

  • Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 or 1-800-SERVPRO to begin the mold cleanup and restoration process.

Our professionals will ask questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed.

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  • Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area.

  • Air Filtration

Special filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air using air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of the mold spores.

  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatment s will be used to eliminate mold colonies, but sold-infested porous materials may need to be removed and disposed.

  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings

Our SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold.

  • Restoration

Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting and installing new carper or it may entail major repairs such as reconstruction.

Call the SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are here to help!

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South is an IICRC Certified Firm

10/5/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South 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 Gwinnett County South

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South 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.

Faster to Your Stone Mountain, GA Water Loss

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

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

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  Our SERVPRO franchises arrive quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 770-448-5782

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.

Restoring Your Lawrenceville Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Lawrenceville, GA 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 Gwinnett County South

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South 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.

Discovering Water Damage in Your Home

8/1/2016 (Permalink)

Location for water supply valve under a toilet.

If you discover a water leak in your home, the first few minutes are critical.  The top priority is to avoid panic and focus on getting the source of the water stopped.  The most common water leaks in a home can be traced to the kitchen or a bathroom. 

Most all common water supplies in a residence have a cut-off valve nearby and all valves can be turned off with a clockwise turn.  If the source of the leak is your washing machine, the valves to turn off the flow are located behind the machine.  Do not disconnect the hoses.  Instead, turn off the water flow where the hoses are connected in the wall. 

In the kitchen, you will find shut-off values for the faucet under the sink.  This is also where you will most likely find the shut-off valve for an ice maker, if your freezer is equipped with one.  The valve that controls your sink is usually the same valve that provides flow to your dishwasher.  In a bathroom, cutoff valves are below the sink and may be within a sink cabinet if you have one.  The supply line for the toilet is commonly located under and behind the seat. 

A water heater can also be the source of your leak.  If it is a gas tank, turn off the gas supply first then turn off the water.  The water supply valve is usually located near or above the top of the tank.

Stopping the leak at its source as quickly as possible will minimize damage to cabinets, floors, walls and contents.  Within a single minute, several gallons of water can flow into your home and saturate anything in its path, including adjacent rooms. 

Some leaks cannot be stopped with an inside valve so the water supply to your house has to be interrupted.  Lines carrying water into your home come from a main line outside that can usually be found close to the street where your water meter is located. 

At SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South, we are experts at mitigating water damages.  Our emergency services include extraction, removal of damaged debris, getting your home dry and providing you with the information and services you need to make water damage “Like it never even happened.”  Call us at (770) 448-5782

Summer Safety Tips

7/15/2016 (Permalink)

Happy 4th of July!

Summer is synonymous with vacations, barbeques and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms—especially in July. Each year around 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatments after firework-related incidents, according to the U.S consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbeque can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. As your local SERVPRO professional, we want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster free!

-Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

-The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and over hanging branches.

-Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

-Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

-Never leave your grill unattended.

- When using a charcoal grill, let the coal completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

-Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.

-Do not to try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.

-The Safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Categories

Archived Posts