Recent Posts

Why Do I Have a Wet Crawl Space?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why Do I Have a Wet Crawl Space? Unfortunately, you may encounter a wet crawl space at your home in Cookeville, TN.

April showers bring May flowers. As a homeowner in Cookeville, TN, you know that April showers can also bring flooding, and sometimes a wet crawl space. Moisture under your house can wreak havoc above as well. Protect your home by understanding the following 4 causes and preventative measures:

1. Gutters

You may not realize that improperly placed gutters and downspouts invite flood water into your home. Check your gutters often for debris and clean them out when necessary. Aim downspouts away from your house and attach a 2-foot block at the end to direct rainwater further away.

2. Landscape Gradient

Rainwater follows the laws of gravity, so pay close attention to which way your yard slopes. Does your landscaping incline as it moves away from the house? If so, water is invading the foundation and draining into the areas around the crawl space. Next time it rains inspect your yard and pay specific attention to where the water pools. If there is standing water next to your home, look into readjusting the slope of your yard.

3. Outdoor Watering

Even on a beautiful, dry spring day, there is the possibility of a wet crawl space. The danger is something you least expect: yourself. Those breathtaking flowerbeds you plant against your house may be draining into your home. Overwatering foliage and accidentally leaving a hose running create the possibility of a man-made flood.

4. Broken Pipe

Whether a pipe breaks inside or outside of your home, the water can travel downwards and find its way into your crawl space. Be aware of any suspicious wet spots in your carpet or walls that may hint at a leaky pipe so you can quickly take action to avoid further damage.

Unfortunately, you may encounter a wet crawl space at your home in Cookeville, TN. Regardless of whether a torrential downpour proves too much for your landscaping, or you leave the hose on overnight, a water restoration specialist is there to help. Acting quickly to reduce loss, the experts efficiently dry, disinfect and restore your space and belongings. Talk to your insurance agent to check if water damage is covered under your policy. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

The Process of Drying Important Documents After a Flood

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Process of Drying Important Documents After a Flood Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost.

When your business in Cookeville, TN, experiences flooding, it is likely to affect more than the floors and the furniture. Many of your important documents may also be damaged. If you have wet documents as the result of a flood at your company, a document restoration company can help you salvage them. This process has four or five steps, depending on the type of documents being restored.

1. Drying

The first thing restoration specialists have to do is remove the excess water. Document drying can be performed with a variety of methods, but one of the most effective ways to dry important documents, books or photographs is freeze-drying. Freezing the documents halts deterioration and allows documents to maintain their basic structure by solidifying them.

2. Sterilizing

Wet documents are often breeding grounds for bacteria after a flood. Many restoration companies use gamma irradiation to penetrate the fibers of documents and kill any microorganisms that are embedded within without the use of chemicals or heat.

3. Deodorizing

Another benefit of gamma irradiation is that it deodorizes your important papers that have been affected by potentially smelly floodwaters. If you must keep the paper itself, you want a process that removes any trace of musty odor.

4. Digitizing

A flood often changes the way businesses keep records. One way to safeguard your documents from future flooding incidents is to digitize and back up your important data. Recovered documents can be digitized, which helps you maximize your protection and also saves storage space.

5. Re-jacketing

For items that cannot be fully digitized, such as books, restoration experts in Cookeville, TN, may be able to replace the book jacket. This process can help you save the book even if the cover is not salvageable.

Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost. Restoration professionals may have the tools you need to recover wet documents so that you don't lose important information. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

How Do I Plan an Emergency Escape Drill for My Business?

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How Do I Plan an Emergency Escape Drill for My Business? Trigger your fire or disaster alert system’s test or drill programs at random intervals.

Having an emergency escape plan in place for your business is a critical part of workplace safety. Not only does it protect your employees, but it protects your customers. But how do you create an effective escape drill or fire drill for your Cookeville, TN, business?

Know Your Escape Points

You should map out every safe escape point in your building. This can include:

• Exterior doors
• Employee exits
• Stairwells
• Windows

Every floor should have its own accessible escape points. Make sure your escape plan includes these access points. Educate employees on their locations and proximity to various areas, so that no matter where employees are they can reach the closest safe exit – and shepherd customers as needed. Employees should also be able to quickly remember alternative safe exit points in the event their closest exit is blocked off or dangerous.

Hold Safety Seminars

Employees need to know the routine for a fire drill or evacuation before they can practice it. Hold safety seminars teaching them the important details and safe pathways, and do multiple practice runs during these seminars. Answer any questions that may arise to help your employees understand.

Designate Evacuation Leaders

Multiple employees per shift should be designated and trained to act as evacuation leaders, guiding others in the event of a crisis. During your drills, activate your evacuation leaders to test their responses and their knowledge of safe escape routes.

Use Random Testing

Trigger your fire or disaster alert system’s test or drill programs at random intervals. You should also have planned, scheduled fire drills to help employees practice, but random drills will help them memorize exactly how they should be responding in the event of a real crisis. Make sure not to actively trigger a real alert, though, as sometimes this can initiate a response by emergency services. If you’re not sure how to conduct a test/drill run, speak with your fire and emergency system installer to gain more insight. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

3 Steps To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Steps To Prepare Your Business for a Fire It's still possible to be impacted by a fire, even with a solid contingency plan in place.

Running a business in Cookeville, TN, is difficult enough, not to mention the potential issues you may run into that don't even involve your day-to-day business transactions. Thousands of businesses in the U.S., both small and large, have been destroyed by fires. Unfortunately, fire safety isn't a top priority for many business owners, so they're not prepared when an incident occurs. Not only can this threaten the lives of their employees, but it also increases the chances of the business becoming a complete loss. Here are a few ways you can create a contingency plan for your business to avoid a devastation like this.

1. Invest in Fire Insurance

Most businesses don't have the finances to make a comeback after a serious fire, because losses often include the building (walls, flooring, roofing, etc.), inventory, important documents and equipment. Luckily, many business insurance plans include fire coverage. Take a close look at your policy to make sure fire coverage is included. If it's not, it may be worth paying extra for it.

2. Install Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems

Fire damage can be significantly decreased with proper alarm systems. Find one that will immediately notify authorities of the emergency so firefighters can put out the fire before it spreads. Automatic sprinkler systems can be a good investment to help slow down a fire until help arrives.

3. Create an Employee Evacuation Plan

Without proper planning and organization, chaos can quickly ensue during an emergency, putting many people in danger. Create an evacuation plan so your employees know where to go (and where not to go) when they hear the fire alarm. Practice it twice a year and revise it as necessary.

It's still possible to be impacted by a fire, even with a solid contingency plan in place. In these cases, look for a reputable fire restoration company in your area to help get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/. 

What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy? Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye.

If you’re only seeing the beginnings of a mold outbreak, it may be possible to contain and remediate your house mold on your own. If you’ve only got small mold deposits in your Cookeville, TN, home, here are a few pointers on how to carefully remove mold growth from your house.

Cleaning Small Amounts of Mold

To clean a small amount of mold from your home, you should:

• Always wear protective equipment. Cover your eyes, mouth, and nose. Make sure to wear gloves and clothing that can either be washed or thrown away when you’re done.
• Find and remediate the source of moisture. Before getting rid of the mold, get rid of the source or the mold will only come back. You’ll usually find some kind of water damage fueling house mold, such as leaking pipes or condensation.
• Wipe the affected area with detergent and water. A mild mix of detergent and water should serve to wipe away the mold without damaging the surface underneath it. If your house mold won’t wipe off with this mixture, you may be dealing with deeper infestation requiring professional support.
• Only use bleach sparingly. Bleach can sometimes kill mold, but it will also damage the surfaces underneath it.
• Soak affected items with baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar are age-old solutions for killing mold. These can work on patches on the walls or floors, or on personal items that need to be cleaned. Soak these items in a solution of baking soda and vinegar; scrub the mold spots with the same solution before washing.

What You See May Not Be What You Get

Even if you only see small amounts of mold in your home, you may actually have a deeper infestation hidden behind wallpaper, drywall, floorboards, or linoleum tile. Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

What Happens After a Fire’s Flames Are Tamed

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What Happens After a Fire’s Flames Are Tamed Not only does fire damage a property, but water from a fire hose can cause additional problems if not cleaned up immediately.

When thinking of a fire’s aftermath, charred property comes to mind. However, there’s a secondary effect: Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage from the extinguishing process. Understanding how the two damage your residence is key to knowing the appropriate process for cleanup in Cookeville, TN.

Soot Doesn’t Suit Your Home

Fire leaves behind corrosive, acidic soot. This soot discolors and disfigures furnishings and flooring within hours. That is but the beginning of the problems. If left alone for even a few days more, soot’s profound consequences can be as such:

• Rusted or corroded metals
• Wall discoloration
• Permanent furniture upholstery stains
• Flooring damage that needs refinement or replacement
• Glass and china disfigurement
• Harmful airborne chemicals from burning plastics

Where There Once Was Smoke, There’s Water

Heat, oxygen, and fuel are needed to sustain a blaze. Water removes heat from a fire when it evaporates, so it remains a staple of modern containment protocol. When the fire department uses a fire hose, hundreds of gallons of water pour into your home. This water can become even more problematic than the fire damage alone if left to fester. Dangers associated with water damage include things such as mold, flooding, odor, and damage to flooring, walls, wires, and electronics.

Time Is Vital for Revival

Every moment that passes without treatment, the damage stands to become worse. It’s essential to start the cleanup process immediately once your home is no longer burning. Thankfully, knowledge of the potential hazards informs you of what to look for and eases the process of dealing with insurance.

On top of being urgent, cleanup of the aftermath of fire damage is not simple. If you wish to do it yourself, it’s worth noting that most people do not have cheap or easy access to the industrial machines necessary to safely and completely remove water damage or soot.

Not only does fire damage a property, but water from a fire hose can cause additional problems if not cleaned up immediately. A damage recovery service deploys experts who use professional tools and established procedures to mitigate your property’s damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy?

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy? Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye.

If you’re only seeing the beginnings of a mold outbreak, it may be possible to contain and remediate your house mold on your own. If you’ve only got small mold deposits in your Cookeville, TN, home, here are a few pointers on how to carefully remove mold growth from your house.

Cleaning Small Amounts of Mold

To clean a small amount of mold from your home, you should:

• Always wear protective equipment. Cover your eyes, mouth, and nose. Make sure to wear gloves and clothing that can either be washed or thrown away when you’re done.
• Find and remediate the source of moisture. Before getting rid of the mold, get rid of the source or the mold will only come back. You’ll usually find some kind of water damage fueling house mold, such as leaking pipes or condensation.
• Wipe the affected area with detergent and water. A mild mix of detergent and water should serve to wipe away the mold without damaging the surface underneath it. If your house mold won’t wipe off with this mixture, you may be dealing with deeper infestation requiring professional support.
• Only use bleach sparingly. Bleach can sometimes kill mold, but it will also damage the surfaces underneath it.
• Soak affected items with baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar are age-old solutions for killing mold. These can work on patches on the walls or floors, or on personal items that need to be cleaned. Soak these items in a solution of baking soda and vinegar; scrub the mold spots with the same solution before washing.

What You See May Not Be What You Get

Even if you only see small amounts of mold in your home, you may actually have a deeper infestation hidden behind wallpaper, drywall, floorboards, or linoleum tile. Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

Cookeville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cookeville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service to the Upper Cumberland.

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(931)528-9292

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet our crew!

Spock's Guide to Drying Water Damage

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected; in this case, I would think interesting would suffice."

Water damage is something we come into contact with on a daily basis. Some days it could be a small water leak from a loose plumbing fixture. Other days it could be a three story loss from a sprinkler head bursting.

No matter the size, the same principals apply to drying a structure. There's a scientific technique behind the process, and here it is, explained by Spock:

"Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

The first step in the drying process is an inspection, also known as a Loss Assessment Report. Upon arrival, the water technician must first assess any health concerns and safety hazards. Depending on where the water came from (sewage compared to a washing machine overflow) there could be pathogens that have the potential for serious adverse health effects. Structural damage or exposed wires would be a safety concern.

Determining the source of the water intrusion is also important in the drying process. Before the drying can begin, the water source must be stopped and the extent of intrusion evaluated.

Once the water source has been stopped, the technician can begin scoping the damage. Moisture meters are used to determine the saturation of materials and boroscopes can be used to view inside cavities for a better understanding of the structure's condition.

 "A dazzling display of logic."

Logically, the next step in the drying process is to remove any standing water. The primary purpose of water extraction is to stop any further water migration. This prevents other surfaces and rooms from being affected, so it should be done as quickly as possible.

The other reason for water extraction is to speed up the drying time. The only ways for water to be removed from a home or business is evaporation or extraction. The more water that is extracted, the less that will need to be evaporated.

 "Change is the essential process of all existence."

To completely dry a structure, a technician must increase the rate of evaporation from the wet materials. Evaporation will increase when the temperature is raised, when drier air is used, and when air is moved across the wet surface.

In order to achieve this, a number of different types of equipment is used. Air movers are essentially compact, high velocity fans. By strategically placing them in an affected area, the air movers help accelerate the rate warm air heats the surfaces. Industrial dehumidifiers balance the drying system by removing the moisture that air movers sweep away from wet materials.

"Insufficient facts always invite danger."

A lawyer will tell you if it's not documented, it didn't happen. In the restoration industry all activities that relate to a job should be documented by the water technician. After the first 24 hours of drying, materials should be monitored to determine if progress has been made. The materials should be monitored every 24 hours after, until the drying has been completed.

If you've had water damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury for 24/7 emergency services.

The Fire Is Out. Now What?

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

We've been taught since preschool that when you see smoke or flames in your house, call 911 immediately. What homeowners need to do after the fire department leaves is less common knowledge. This is where SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury comes in.

Speed Is Key

Within hours of the fire being out, metals tarnish, countertops yellow, and grout stains.
Within days, walls yellow, clothing stains, and circuit boards may fail due to corrosion. This is why it is important to contact your insurance to verify coverage and file a claim as soon as possible.

Once the home is released by the fire department, schedule an initial assessment with a trained and licensed fire restoration company to see what can be salvaged and develop a plan of action. After the initial assessment is complete, the home should be boarded up and the roof tarped to maintain security and protect from further damages.

Fire Mitigation

The first step in the mitigation process is to pack out and clean the contents that were affected by smoke and soot. All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. Restoration professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. They should be able provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. Finally, restoration professionals can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested.

Content Inventory

Restoration professionals can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable - allowing for easier contents settlement.

Restore VS Replace

Once the contents are out of the home, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury's technicians will reassess the structure for unseen damages. We will clean and disinfect structure materials that were affected, and restore the home to its pre-fire condition. This may include some repairs to the structure.

We focus on restoring versus replacing because restoring the affected areas of your property is substantially less costly than demolishing and replacing those areas. This “restore first” mentality also allows us to get your home back to pre-fire condition quicker and with less disruption.

Once the repairs are complete, the home is deodorized and the contents are moved back in "Like it never even happened."