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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Preparing for Fall Storms

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

If you know the Upper Cumberland area, it should come as no surprise that our area gets a heavy dose of annual rainfall, which is great to cool off from a hot, sticky day. However, it can also mean storm damage, water damage, and frequent flooding in your Cookeville home or business. To alleviate storm damage as the temperatures decrease, you have to take the appropriate measures to reduce and prevent further damage. 

Storm Damage Checklist: Get The Scoop On Flood Remediation

  • DO remove excess water by blotting and mopping affected areas.
  • DO remove colored items from wet carpeting.
  • DO gather and remove loose objects from wet areas and move to a safe place. 
  • DO place wood blocks and aluminum foil between wet carpets and furniture legs and prop all wet cushions. 
  • DON’T leave wet fabrics, furs, and leather goods lying around! Make sure to hang them up.
  • DON’T use household appliances! This means not using your vacuum cleaner to remove water. 
  • DON’T turn on the ceiling fan if the ceiling is wet! This also includes staying away from rooms where the ceiling is sagging from excess water. 

Further Cleanup: Electronic Restoration

  • We know that water damage can cause a severe threat to your electronics. If you think that any of your electrical devices has been a victim of water damage, DO NOT attempt to turn them on! 
  • To prevent further corrosion and damage, we start the restoration process by cleaning up the exterior of all electronic devices. 
  • Electronics will be examined thoroughly by an experienced electronics technician afterward. 
  • We can handle anything from TV sets to computers and more! 


It’s hard to predict the unpredictable, but a few practical measures and a call to SERVPRO of Cookeville can get you back on your feet after a storm in the Upper Cumberland. Contact us today at 931-528-9292. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

How To Handle Water Damage In Your Attic

9/3/2021 (Permalink)

Late summer in the Upper Cumberland means an influx of rainwater is rolling through town. These storms can severely impact your roof and spaces like your attic in your home. Water damage isn’t something to take lightly, and your attic is one of the places in your house that is most susceptible to water damage if your roof is in less than ideal repair. In the unfortunate event that you experience water damage in your attic, here’s what you should do next.

1. Figure out where the water is coming from.

First things first, always assess the water damage and try to determine where the water is coming into your attic. Figuring out where the water is coming from is key to preventing further damage and helps you realize what you should address first. Be sure to turn off the electricity before assessing the damage and touching anything electrical in the area! Water and electricity is never a good combination. The water damage may be more extensive than what meets the eye, so take careful notice of any water damage that is deeper than it may appear on the surface.

2. Stop the water leak(s).

Once you determine where the water is coming from, see if you can stop the water leak or call a professional to come and stop it as soon as possible. Take pictures of the leak and the damage for your home insurance carrier in the event that the damage goes beyond your deductible. These are essential for your claim to be approved and water damage to be minimized. You can reach the water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Cookeville 24/7 for any emergencies at 931-528-9292.

3. Repair the damage.

Especially if there are any structural problems as a result of the water damage, your attic will need to be repaired in short order. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to hire professionals to repair structural, electrical, plumbing, or insulation damage. All of these types of attic damage affect your home beyond just the attic, which is why it’s integral to get them assessed and repaired.

Water damage in your attic requires attention and remedial action, and routinely checking your attic after it rains is a good practice to get in the habit of to minimize any potential damage that may come your way. If left unnoticed and unattended for a long time, water damage can severely alter the framework and livability of your home, which is why it should be adequately paid attention to. For help handling any water, fire, or storm damage as well as mold remediation and biohazard cleanup (including COVID-19 cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection services), contact SERVPRO of Cookeville at 931-528-9292. Our team is expertly trained and equipped with state-of-the-art technology to return your home or business to tip-top shape.

Mold Remediation In Your Commercial Building

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

All it takes is a dripping pipe or even excess humidity for a mold colony to form in your Nashville commercial building. Once this happens, microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, making it that much harder to remove all mold from your Upper Cumberland building without the proper equipment and safety measures. 

What’s the 411 on Mold? 

  • Aside from being microscopic, mold spores float in the air and can enter your building through windows, HVAC systems, doors, or even take a trip to your building through your clothing or a pet. Talk about an unannounced guest! 
  • Mold spores flourish in moisture-rich environments. This means mold can grow dramatically in the presence of water, forming mold colonies. Adding insult to injury, these colonies oftentimes produce health effects. 
  • Before the mold remediation process, our team of professionals must address any water or moisture in the building environment before proceeding with the inspection and mold damage assessment. 
  • Excess humidity is also a culprit to mold growth in your Nashville commercial building. That’s why it’s important to keep indoor humidity below 45 percent. 
  • To find out where affected areas are in your building, mold often has a strong, musty smell, which can help you in your mold remediation journey. 

The Dos And Don’ts of Mold Damage

  • As obvious as it may be, DO stay out of the affected area(s) and turn off all HVAC systems and fans!
  • Call SERVPRO of Cookeville, where our highly trained technicians specialize in mold remediation with advanced technology and expertise in this field. 
  • No matter what, DON’T touch or disturb the mold!
  • DON’T try to dry the area without professional supervision.
  • DON’T blow air across the surfaces where the mold resides. This will cause the mold to spread faster. 
  • DON’T spray disinfectants or bleach on mold. 


Not only can mold cause damage to your Nashville commercial building, but it can also be hazardous to your health. If you think your building may show signs of mold damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Cookeville today at 931-528-9292. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

What To Do After Smoke Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Dealing with the cleanup that comes post-fire damage is devastating enough, but what about handling the soot and smoke smell afterward? Often, it’s true that scents can bring back emotional memories, and the smoke damage is sure to conjure up some traumatic ones. That’s why, at SERVPRO of Cookeville, we specialize in deodorization and odor removal so that you can start the restoration process post-disaster.   

What Are Some Ways SERVPRO of Cookeville Can Eliminate Smoke Odors?

  • Our experienced team is trained to identify and eradicate offensive odors as a result of smoke damage. These odors are known to come from sources beyond the interior of your home in the Upper Cumberland. 
  • We have the training and equipment required to detect these odors, thereby eliminating them soon afterward. Our technicians have access to numerous odor removal products capable of penetrating through carpets, upholstery, and surfaces to neutralize the smell completely. 
  • We also teach IICRC technical courses in proper odor removal. We know that just going surface level won’t be enough to thoroughly eliminate smoke odors, especially if those odors are severe or persistent. In other words, we know better than to take shortcuts! 

How Can I Recover Important Documents And Precious Photographs After Smoke Damage?   

We handle all documents and photographs with extreme care to ensure that fire/smoke damage doesn’t ruin the items further. Although some documents may be beyond saving, SERVPRO of Cookeville can still save many of your documents and help reduce further damage. 

There are five options for document/photograph drying, depending on the level of smoke, soot, and fire damage. These options are: 

  • Vacuum Thermal Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Air Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying 
  • Air Drying


Smoke damage to your home in the Upper Cumberland as a byproduct of fire damage doesn’t have to turn your life upside down. However, with our expertise in this field and our prompt response time, you can get your life back to normal in no time! Don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cookeville today at 931-528-9292. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Dangers Of Fire Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

When not properly addressed and taken care of, fire damage in Cookeville, or any other place in the Upper Cumberland, can spell disaster for a building’s structural integrity as well as the general health and well-being of the building’s occupants. After a fire, there are several necessary steps that must be taken during the fire damage restoration process to restore buildings to their original conditions and ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters them.

So, what are some of the dangers of fire damage in the Upper Cumberland?

  • Fire damage can leave your building full of soot, which when inhaled, can cause or exacerbate serious conditions like lung cancer, asthma, and more. 
  • Heat can severely weaken or damage concrete, wood, and other structural materials that often make up the commercial and residential buildings. Your building should always be assessed post-fire damage to check for structural damage before you or anyone else enters it again.
  • Permanent fire damage can also impact the buildings adjacent to where the fire took place. Depending on how far the fire and smoke spread, others buildings nearby may not be safe or need to be restored, too.

How can you restore fire damage?

Here at SERVPRO of Cookeville, our fire damage restoration process consists of the following steps. 

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call 931-528-9292.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test the adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the damage. 

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

We can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs to prevent further damage. 

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

If water is present, the removal process begins almost immediately.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Specialized equipment and techniques help remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Next up comes cleaning, sanitization, and disinfecting. 

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step to restore the building to its pre-fire condition.


You can contact SERVPRO of Cookeville for fire damage restoration or other disaster restoration services by calling 931-528-9292. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Water Damage Repair in Cookeville

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

If you have lived in the Upper Cumberland for long enough, chances are, you’re aware that we get quite a lot of rain, which can lead to frequent flooding. Losing all of your precious belongings (and with that, memories) in a relentless torrent can undoubtedly be mentally, emotionally, and physically overwhelming. Thankfully, we have the expertise required to help you restore what was lost and get back to a new normal after water damage to your home or business. 

Safety First, Safety Second…

  • As always, in these instances, your number one priority should be safety. Is it safe to stay inside your home or business?
  • You should be sure only to do indoor activities that are safe for you to perform post-flooding. 
  • Don’t push yourself to lift too many objects, because wet materials can be VERY heavy- be careful! 
  • Some of the most prevalent concerns involving water damage are electrical hazards and “slip and fall” incidents, so be aware of the damage post-flood. 

How Do I Restore My Belongings After Water Damage To My Upper Cumberland Home Or Business? 

  • Here at SERVPRO of Cookeville, our philosophy of “restore” and not “replace” motivates us to help you restore your items as if they were our own, and we work tirelessly to make sure your belongings are as good as they were pre-flood. As a result, we first pretest your contents to start this process. 
  • Next, we utilize several methods to clean your materials, including dry cleaning, wet cleaning, spray and wipe, immersion cleaning, foam cleaning, and abrasive cleaning. 
  • Suppose your home or business requires intensive cleanup and restoration. In that case, SERVPRO of Cookeville can coordinate an efficient, effective, and stress-free move-out of the affected area(s). This provides several benefits, including a quicker remodeling process and protecting items from further damage. 
  • We also provide electronic cleanup, photograph, and document drying services, and contents claim inventory services.  


If you find yourself needing extra guidance on a trying and emotional experience such as water damage repair in the Upper Cumberland, look no further than SERVPRO of Cookeville! As trusted leaders in the restoration industry, we pride ourselves on our ongoing training and rapid 24/7 emergency response because we know that natural disasters don’t come announced! Contact us today at 931-528-9292.

This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Retail Store Storm Damage & The Necessity of a Speedy Response

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Severe weather such as storms and hurricanes can cause flooding that can devastate your retail store and interrupt business operations in just a few minutes. Depending on the extent of damage, you may need to close your business for several days or weeks to have the destruction repaired. Closing the doors can lead to a loss of revenue.

Acting quickly is crucial to avoid significant losses if you are dealing with commercial flood damage in your Cookeville retail store. Getting help from a remediation company can ensure that you get back to business quickly to avoid losing customers. Acting fast can also prevent mold infestation, which can sometimes cause effects to human health.

After flood water has entered your store, the loss of inventory will compromise your business operations. The stock in your store holds a large amount of capital. When you find ruined goods, you should immediately document the damage and the value of the products so that you can deduct the loss from your taxable income. Our team can help you separate the ruined inventory and document the damage for insurance claims purposes.

Even though it is not always possible to restore some flood-damaged merchandise, our crew can help you restore salvageable store fixtures and equipment. We can generally dry electronic equipment like computers and cash registers effectively. If the electronic equipment sustained damage, we also work with professionals who specialize in restoring electronic equipment.

Whatever the situation, our SERVPRO crew will develop a tailor-made plan to return your business to its preloss state. 

We have the experience to restore commercial properties after flood damage. Using the latest flood damage restoration techniques and equipment, like high-pressure pumps, our crew can remove the water from your business premises. Our top of the line moisture detection equipment enables us to inspect for moisture in hard-to-reach areas like high ceilings. Our restorers are able to quickly assess large areas of the building to see how moisture traveled. We can then dry the structure using air moving and dehumidifying equipment. Our SERVPRO team can also clean and disinfect the affected area using professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents to eliminate the contaminants that came in with the floodwater.

After experiencing flood damage in your Cookeville retail store, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury can help you get back to business by restoring the structure. Call us 24/7 at 931-528-9292 for a quick remediation process that can make the damage seem “Like it never even happened.”

Why Estimate?

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Many properties are ravaged by storm and water damage every year. The problem isn’t necessarily the water damage; what is particularly problematic is the way in which the damage could be remediated. Especially when the areas of water damage are spread out over a large commercial property, it’s imperative that you call a Commercial Restoration Company to get an estimate before stepping in to tackle the project.

Getting an Estimate

When you’ve got your back against the wall and in need of storm damage repairs, it’s better to go in with a plan and a budget rather than just trying to wing it. That’s where an estimate comes in handy. If you consider the estimate as a blueprint for what you need to do to restore your commercial property to its original luster, it will serve you well from start to finish of your project.

The Importance of an Estimate

An estimate isn’t just an important step to take from an insurance standpoint (i.e. making sure to cross your t’s and dot your I’s); it’s also the preferred way to begin a storm restoration project. Having an estimate in hand helps both you and the restoration company agree on the terms of the arrangement and the budgeting of the project. That way, it allows you to see exactly what needs to be done without guessing. This is not just helpful for you, the customer, from a budgeting standpoint; it’s also incredibly important for the company to ensure they are able to deliver on their expectations in the end.

Who to Call for your Commercial Property

Having an estimate before starting any storm restoration repairs comes recommended by all reputable storm restoration companies. If you’re in need of commercial storm damage repairs, it’s important that you call SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury today at 931-528-9292 for a consultation to get your estimate and start getting the ball rolling on your project.

How SERVPRO of Cookeville Restores after a Flood

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

When a flood happens inside your home, there are many different areas of the home that can be affected. Water damage from floods can destroy your home’s structure, carpet, flooring, and more. Electrical problems often occur after home flooding and there are many steps that need to be taken to start repairing the damage the flood has caused. See the steps that SERVPRO takes to restore properties following flood damage in the Upper Cumberland.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

We understand that water damage can come at any time so we’re ready to field your emergency call 24/7 to ensure a timely response. Once receiving your call, our specialists are trained to ask you several simple questions that will help us understand what needs to be done to your property.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

Once we have all of the information we need, our team will arrive promptly at your property to assess the water damage personally to determine the best course of action. During this assessment, our team will check the moisture levels of your property, survey any damages that may have occurred, and identify the types of water present in the area.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

Depending on the amount of water that makes up your flooded space, our team may use powerful submersible pumps in addition to industrial strength, wet/dry vacuums. We also use a variety of water extraction equipment such as moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters to measure the extent of moisture saturation in your space along with truck-mounted and portable extraction units that perform efficient water removal.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

After taking careful measurements to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your home or business., the SERVPRO team will dry and dehumidify your space. While the space is drying, our team will check the moisture levels of all pertinent floors and walls to monitor the drying process so that swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture doesn’t happen.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Our team understands that even if the water is out, you still aren’t out of the woods when it comes to water damage odor removal, and deodorization. Our technical expertise and industrial-grade air scrubbers and fogging equipment go well beyond simply masking odors. Depending on the scenario, we may use antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments to clean your property. Furthermore, we will remove and dispose of damaged materials with guidance from you and your insurance adjuster.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the final step in the equation. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. If you’re looking for someone to simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial water damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas, then look to the team at SERVPRO.

Choosing SERVPRO for your Water Damage Restoration Needs

The best part about sticking with SERVPRO is that you can rest assured that every team member has extensive water damage restoration training that helps you get back to normal more quickly. Their dedication to responding immediately to water emergencies lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces your costs. Make sure to call SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury at 931-528-9292 if you’re in need of water damage restoration following a flood.

How Winds Can Damage Your Home

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

High winds can damage your home 

As high wind speed moves through the community, they can carry debris from homes and buildings, which can contribute to the widespread destruction of properties. It is for this reason that it is essential to put in place preventive measures to prevent high winds from incurring damages on your property. Read on to learn more about how much wind your home can withstand and ways to strengthen your home from high winds.

How Much Wind Can Your Home Withstand?

Even though all properties are truly unique in their own way, they all have relatively similar structural features that help them sway with the high winds. As storms have increased in severity in recent years, many building codes have been updated to ensure that properties of all sizes and classifications can withstand strong high winds, thereby decreasing the costs associated with storm damages.

According to the NOAA, hurricanes start at 74mph which are then classified by specific categories (1-5). For wind speeds weaker than 74 mph, you can still note these characteristics:

  • 19mph: the swaying of small trees.
  • 25mph: one cannot use the umbrella, and whistling of wires and branches can be heard.
  • 32mph: difficulty when walking through the wind and swaying of the whole trees.
  • 39mph: branches begin to break from trees, and vehicles veer on the road.
  • 47mph: small structural damage.
  • 55mph: wind begin to uproot trees, more structural damages.
  • 64mph and up; most structural damage.

As you can see, it’s not until wind speeds top 47 mph that structural damage is likely to occur.

Ways to Strengthen Your Home From High Winds

If you want to rest easier when high winds blow through your neighborhood, then start with investing in modifications to your home that help reduce damage from heavy winds, such as pressure-rated windows. If you get the right pressure-rated windows, your property could be able to withstand wind gusts of up to 150 mph (Category 4 hurricane). Any doors that are leading to the outside should also be secured with three hinges and should be anchored to the door frame with a deadbolt.

Turning your home into a wind fortress may be extreme if you aren’t regularly forced to deal with strong winds. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take simple preventative measures to mitigate potential damage from the occasional heavy gusts.

Restoring Your Home Following High Wind Damage

Following a high wind severe storm has rolled through, assess your property from top to bottom to determine if any damages have occurred. No matter when you end up sustaining high wind damages to your property, you can trust SERVPRO of Cookeville to restore your property back to its pre-storm condition. Call us today at (931) 528-9292 to request a consultation!

Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Storm

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Implement  A Storm Preparedness Plan For Your Business

Storms can wreak havoc on commercial buildings. By implementing some sound storm preparedness plans you can reduce the risk of severe damage to your property in the Upper Cumberland.

1. Mitigate the Risks
Strong winds and heavy rain account for much of the damage during a storm. Before the storm hits, prepare your property to reduce the risk of extensive damage.

Bring in outdoor equipment, such as grills and lawn furniture to avoid items becoming airborne. Board up windows and glass doors so they don't shatter during the storm.

Inspect roofing materials to ensure they are secured. Fix any loose materials right away.
Trim any loose branches near the building so they don't damage the siding or break windows.
Disconnect computers and other electrical devices. Don't unplug the refrigerator, however.
Move loose items away from windows inside the building as much as possible.

2. Train Employees on Storm Procedures
Make sure all employees and visitors understand what to do in an emergency. Property management must develop work instructions to address the risks and then train workers on the procedures.
Conduct emergency drills with all employees so that they are familiar with the storm preparedness procedures. This will reduce the risk of people becoming panicked during a true emergency.
Designate evacuation exits and assign persons who are responsible to account for employees and visitors.

3. Inspect the Property After the Storm Passes
Wait until you are sure that the storm has passed before inspecting the building. If the emergency required persons to evacuate, don't allow employees to enter the building until authorities have given permission to do so.
Authorized personnel should inspect the property around the building to look for damage. They can identify issues to the structural integrity of the building and look for potential hazards that must be addressed. Call a storm restoration service if you need help with repairs.

Implement a sound storm preparedness plan to reduce the risk of damage during a storm.

3 Roof Repair Troubleshooting Tips

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Three Types of Roof Damage You Could Be Dealing With

Whether you live on a beach with hurricanes or on a mountain with heavy winter snowstorms, your home can be at risk of sustaining wind damage. Because the roof is one of the most common places for it to happen, it is helpful to know how to quickly respond to problems there. Sometimes, you will need to call a storm damage remediation expert for help, but other times, you can fix things yourself. Here are three tips for recognizing the type of roof damage you are dealing with:


1. Check the Flashing
It is common for high winds to damage roof flashing in the Upper Cumberland. This is the material that protects the seams of roof fixtures such as your chimney. While you are checking the flashing, do not forget about the surrounding sealant. If it is old or cracked, you will need to replace it. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive kind of roof repair.


2. Look for Damaged Parts
A roof has several parts including vent boots, shingles and slits. Take time to carefully examine all of them. Damaged vent boots can lead to leaks, and it is easy for shingles to break and for slits to corrode. If any of this kind of roof damage occurs, you will need to buy replacement materials. This sort of roof repair can be more costly than flashing or sealant fixes, but it probably still will not break the bank.


3. Check for Holes
A puncture is one of the most expensive types of roof repairs you will encounter. If you notice a hole in your roof, moving quickly can save you money by reducing the amount of additional damage that may occur. Holes are not the kind of repair you want to make yourself though. Even if it can be costly, is better to leave this job to professionals.
If high winds damage your roof, it can be helpful to know what kind of roof repair you will need to make. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to solve the problem yourself, or you made need professional assistance. Either way, acting quickly can reduce problems.

Want Quick Action From Your Insurance Company? Call the Right Cleanup Team

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Like anyone in Cookeville, TN you dread the thought of water damage or a flood infiltrating your business. If you need immediate help following incidents such as these, you should have two groups on your mind: your insurance agency and a storm restoration company. Both of these essential helpers will help get your business back on track.

Your First Responsibilities

Large thunderstorms, hurricanes, or problems with sewage or plumbing can bring large amounts of water into your office. This flood damage can pose serious health risks and may damage your building and important materials. Make sure do the following without delay:

  • Safely exit your building.
  • Stay away from any black water.
  • Call a disaster relief company.
  • Get in touch with your insurance provider.

What the Restoration Team Will Do

Qualified, experienced storm restoration professionals have the skill and equipment to remove all the water from your office and to get your facility back to pre-flood condition. The technicians will inspect the affected area and will then determine what they can salvage and what they must restore or completely replace. The team will extract all water and dry your floors, walls and furniture. They’ll also clean and sanitize all parts of your office.

What Role Does the Insurance Play

You need to provide your insurance company with detailed information about the incident so it knows how to proceed. Your agent will review your policy and discuss with you what it will cover and what, if anything, storm restoration and cleanup costs it will not cover.

How They Work Together

Sometimes, an insurance company will delay claim processing or payment because the storm response team is slow to do its part. A top professional company such as SERVPRO will get on the case quickly to help move the insurance process along.

You need a quick, successful storm restoration response. With SERVPRO and your insurance company working in tandem, you should be in good shape.

Choosing a Large Loss Recovery Firm

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

While any disaster is tough to cope with, large loss incidents present a unique set of challenges. The breadth of damage is larger, and the resources required for repair are equally inflated. It’s key that you get the right team to handle your Cookeville, TN, catastrophic loss or things could get worse. Know what to look for in a large loss team – follow these tips.

What is a Large Loss Event

Generally speaking, a large loss event is one that stretches beyond one or two properties, to encompass an entire neighborhood, region or even larger area. Examples can include;

  • hurricanes/storm damage
  • widespread flooding
  • earthquakes
  • terrorist events

These events require a higher magnitude of the response due to size and resources needed.

Look for Experience

While any local cleanup company can claim they know large response, only a few truly have the experience. Ask a prospective cleanup partner for specific examples and strategies used in a wide breadth of disasters. This can help you determine if they can handle your catastrophic loss.

Look for a Big Team

A big loss requires a big response, and that won’t come from a ragtag team. Make sure your prospective partner has a good-sized staff trained to properly respond, manage the project, and restore the affected structure or structures.

Look for Speed

Flooding can cause major damage to your property in just 24 hours or less, so it’s critical that a disaster response team assess the damage and formulate a plan quickly. Make sure to choose a cleanup partner able to arrive within an hour of your phone call.
The way you handle a large catastrophic loss can have implications for years to come. Make sure you do things the right way. Use the above tips to find the right cleanup partner and you won’t regret making the wrong decision.

3 Tips for Preventing a Space Heater Fire

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Does your home in Cookeville have a space heater? Being responsible for more than 40% of heater fires, a burned space heater is a common culprit that many fire cleanup specialists see often. There are many easy ways to stay safe with one of these fixtures in your home.

1. Leave Space
It's called a space heater because it's designed to heat space, not your curtains. In addition to keeping your heater away from any fabrics or other flammables, be sure to inform your children about the dangers of leaving objects near them. Plastic toys melt if left close by a heater for a long time. If you have pets, take steps to ensure that they won't knock over the heater or otherwise harm themselves accidentally.

2. Keep It Clean
Another common cause of a burned space heater is a clogged filter. Though not all units come with one, it's important to clean it regularly if yours does. Different cleaning measures are recommended based on the manufacturer's instructions. If you lost your manual, check online for a pdf of it or look on your unit for a phone number to call. No matter what, be sure that you never clean your filter with any type of alcohol or scented aerosol spray as both are extremely flammable. The smoke cleanup from that is a hassle that you don't want to deal with.

3. Set a Timer
We all forget things every once in a while, but it's important that you don't forget to turn off your space heater. While some units come with a timer, most don't. If yours doesn't, try setting a timer on your phone, microwave, or oven. Additionally, if your home has a smart assistant, consider using wall plug accessories to automatically shut off your unit.

With some knowledge, it's certain that your home won't be affected by a burned space heater anytime soon.

What Is Content Cleaning?

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Clothing and other items that have been damaged, but not destroyed, due to a fire can sometimes be restored by dry-cleaning and other methods to remove soot and smoke smells. This process is called content cleaning.

What Types of Contents Can Be Cleaned?

Contents are classified as either hard or soft. Soft contents include items made from fabric and other soft materials:

  • Clothing
  • Leather goods
  • Bedding
  • Uniforms
  • Heirlooms

Hard contents include items such as furniture, electronics, collectibles, sports equipment and antiques. Whether the item is hard or soft and what type of material is its made from affects the cleaning method utilized.

Cleaning Methods
Content restoration professionals use different types of cleaning methods for different types of contents. Dry-cleaning is often used to remove light residues or pre-clean clothing. Wet cleaning can be used to remove heavy residues. Spray and wipe methods are used on items that may be damaged by wet cleaning. Foam cleaning is used for upholstery fabrics. Abrasive cleaning is used on some hard surfaces and immersion cleaning is used for contents that can be submerged in cleaning products.

Contents Analysis
After you contact a fire restoration company in Cookeville, to perform content cleaning, a team member will examine your property and determine which items are salvageable. Unsalvageable items need to be replaced.

Pack Up, Pack Out and Pack Back
If extensive restoration is needed, the restoration company can pack up and move your damaged items to their facility for cleaning. The items are then packed out and cleaned. The clean items are kept in content storage until they are ready to be packed back and delivered to the homeowner.
Dry-cleaning and other cleaning methods can be used by fire restoration professionals to restore some items damaged by fires. A content cleaning team in your area can assess the salvageability of your contents and save you money by restoring some items that would otherwise need to be replaced.

3 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Prevent Water Damage In Your Home

Water is one of the most common causes of damage to homes in the United States. Melting snow and ice, heavy rains, burst pipes and leaky plumbing make water in home a year-round threat for damage. These three tips can help you prevent water damage to your home.

1. Disconnect Hoses in the Fall
Outdoor hoses that are left connected to water sources during the winter can freeze and cause ice blocks that may restrict water flow or cause a broken pipe. To avoid this problem, hoses should be drained and disconnected before winter weather arrives.

2. Learn Where Your Water Main Shutoff Is and How To Operate It
Your water main is responsible for supplying water to your entire house. One of the first things you should do when a water emergency, such as a broken pipe or an overflowing toilet, causes water in home is to close your water main shutoff. This action prevents water from being distributed to the rest of the pipes in your house and stops additional water from leaking into your home. Once you have stopped the flow of water, you can call a water remediation company in the Upper Cumberland, to dry out your home. It can also be a good idea to shut off your water when you will be away from home for an extended period of time.

3. Maintain Trees and Other Plants in Your Yard
The roots from trees and shrubs that are too close to your home can grow into or wrap around pipes and cause leaks or broken pipes. Removing these plants from areas near your plumbing is an important part of your pipe cleanup plan.
Water in the home can cause a significant amount of damage. There are steps you can take to mitigate water damage, but it is best to avoid it altogether by following these tips to prevent water damage.

3 Ways To Prevent Clogged Toilets

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Take The Following Steps To Help Protect Your Building

Keeping your bathrooms clean and functioning properly can be a hassle in commercial buildings. After all, you never know exactly who is attempting to flush what down your precious septic system. While you may not be able to control many clogged toilet scenarios, there are a few steps you can take to help protect your building in the Upper Cumberland.

1. Post Signs and Notices
A few simple instructions can go a long way for most visitors. If you prefer that customers dispose of feminine hygiene products in specifically marked wastebaskets, as opposed to flushing them down the toilet, then hang up a sign asking them to do so. Many people do abide by the laws of common courtesy and a simple reminder can help prevent unwanted toilet overflow.

2. Opt for Thinner Toilet Paper
Thicker, more luxurious toilet paper is preferable for home bathrooms, but it might not be the best choice for your commercial ones. Customers who tend to use thicker wads of toilet paper pose a risk to your sewage system. Thinner paper is much less likely to clog up the pipes.

3. Provide Plenty of Trash Cans and Waste Baskets
If there aren't any trash cans available, customers often choose to flush trash down the toilet. They may believe that it's a much more polite alternative than leaving trash on the counters or floors, but your clogged toilet tends to disagree. Offering plenty of places for customers to discard their trash is a simple and effective way to prevent these accidents from happening.
A clogged toilet is an unpleasant sight in any commercial bathroom. Protecting your bathrooms isn't just about preventing septic issues, it's also important to leave a good impression on your customers. The pointers above can certainly help maintain harmony in your commercial bathroom, but there's no real way to prevent disaster entirely. If you do discover septic issues in your building, it's important that you call flood remediation experts as soon as possible.

Can Electronics Be Salvaged After A Fire?

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Can Electronics Be Salvaged After A Fire?

When your business endures a fire in the Upper Cumberland, you may suspect everything, especially the electronics, are unsalvageable. Whether an electrical fire or another kind, there's a chance you can clean some of the damaged electronics to salvage them.

1. Remove the Memory
You probably can't determine if the equipment is salvageable or not until quite a bit later. Still, you should remove the device's memory to ensure your data stays as safe as possible. Computer hard drives and camera memory cards may be protected from smoke damage. However, they need to be removed and stored safely until someone can inspect them. Even if the equipment itself can't be repaired, you can hopefully retain the critical data.

2. Unplug
Next, you'll need to unplug your electronic equipment. Electronics that have been exposed to smoke run the risk of starting an electrical fire. Unplugging these devices also reduces the risk of incurring more damage before cleaning.

3. Check Warranties
Keep all your warranties in a safe and accessible place. Some of your equipment may still be under warranty, as many warranties cover smoke damage.

4. Clean
It's better to leave cleaning up to fire damage restoration professionals, but you can try it yourself. Similar to computer cleanup, most devices require the removal of the outer casing. Once you inspect the inside, you can see the extent of the damage. You may find damage or just smoke and soot residue. Spraying the area with compressed air could get rid of the contaminants. Also, wipe down all non-electronic areas, such as vents, with a damp cloth.

5. Air Out
Airing the device out can help dry out any moisture and remove smoke odor. Let it air out for a few days, if possible.

If your business suffers fire damage from an electrical fire, it's crucial to take precautions when handling your affected possessions.

Electronics require extra care, so now you know how to clean them. Call us if you need any extra assistance at 931-528-9292

When To Shut Off the Water at a Commercial Building

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building owners and managers may need to shut off the main water supply for several reasons. Bursting pipes and plumbing work in or around a structure may necessitate turning off the flow of water through the pipes of a structure for a temporary period of time. Find out more about three scenarios in which it could be necessary to turn off a building’s water.

1. When A Supply Line Breaks
Shutting off the water supply is the most effective way to limit damage until a broken line can be fixed. While the water that remains in a pipe at the time of shutoff will still leak, the flow will be slower and soon come to a stop. Collecting leaking water in containers may enable a business or commercial property owner to reduce the amount of cleanup and restoration necessary.

2. During Plumbing Maintenance or Repairs
A plumber can fix broken pipe and inspect plumbing before turning the water in a structure back on. If a pipe has not necessitated emergency maintenance, a licensed plumbing professional can identify whether it is necessary to shut off the water.

3. When Municipal Water Service Is Scheduled
Municipal service in response to bursting pipes or other major water damage may also require turning off the main valve. This valve is typically located between where water pipes enter a structure and the water meter. A special T-wrench may be necessary to shut off an outdoor water main shutoff valve, which could make it necessary to contact the water company.

Bursting pipes or other plumbing problems may require temporarily shutting off the water supply to a building. In the event of water damage, it may also be necessary to access an outdoor shutoff for a commercial structure. Structures supplied by private wells should be shut off at the pump.

Want Quick Action From Your Insurance Company? Call the Right Cleanup Team

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Like anyone in the Upper Cumberland, you dread the thought of water damage or a flood infiltrating your business. If you need immediate help following incidents such as these, you should have two groups on your mind: your insurance agency and a storm restoration company. Both of these essential helpers will help get your business back on track.

Your First Responsibilities

Large thunderstorms, hurricanes, or problems with sewage or plumbing can bring large amounts of water into your office. This flood damage can pose serious health risks and may damage your building and important materials. Make sure do the following without delay:

  • Safely exit your building.
  • Stay away from any black water.
  • Call a disaster relief company.
  • Get in touch with your insurance provider.

What the Restoration Team Will Do

Qualified, experienced storm restoration professionals have the skill and equipment to remove all the water from your office and to get your facility back to pre-flood condition. The technicians will inspect the affected area and will then determine what they can salvage and what they must restore or completely replace. The team will extract all water and dry your floors, walls and furniture. They’ll also clean and sanitize all parts of your office.

What Role Does the Insurance Play

You need to provide your insurance company with detailed information about the incident so it knows how to proceed. Your agent will review your policy and discuss with you what it will cover and what, if anything, storm restoration and cleanup costs it will not cover.

How They Work Together

Sometimes, an insurance company will delay claim processing or payment because the storm response team is slow to do its part. A top professional company such as SERVPRO will get on the case quickly to help move the insurance process along.

You need a quick, successful storm restoration response. With SERVPRO and your insurance company working in tandem, you should be in good shape.

Cleaning Services

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury knows how hectic life gets. We all get pulled in multiple directions with work, family and friends, and many things can happens. The carpets acquire stains from kids and pets and homes just get dirty. We completely understand that life can get in the way of keeping a house maintained at all times. We have the expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service.  Our team of dedicated and highly trained residential cleaning specialists that will ease the burden of cleaning of your home. We pride ourselves on the ability to create a safe, clean and comfortable living environment for you and your family.

 Residential Cleaning Services include:

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

The SERVPRO carpet and upholstery cleaning service will not only get out the dirt you see, but will also remove the unwanted dust you don’t. A professionally cleaned carpet and furniture may make all the difference in brightening up a room and freshening up your home.

Air Duct Cleaning

We all have tasks around the house that don’t make it to the top of our priority list. Properly maintaining your home’s air ducts should not be one of them. Regular duct cleaning can increase your home’s heating and cooling efficiency and improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

Odor Removal

Your basic cleaning service is not going to have the expertise to effectively deodorize your home. Take advantage of SERVPRO’s residential cleaning services to remove unwanted odors.

Sewage and Biohazard Clean Up

Our experts are ready to assist in the clean up of sewage and other biohazard materials and provide deep cleaning services for your home. Find out more about our franchise professionals.


We do these things and much more! 

Call us today to make it "Like it never even happened."

Ceiling water damages deserve undivided attention.

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

There is nothing more horrifying than sitting in your living room one day, and you notice an unsightly brown projection beginning to peel from your ceiling. You may be wondering why there is a brown spot and how it may have gotten there. After a few Google searches, you realize that your ceiling has been damaged by water. Instead of worrying, start thinking about what action steps to take next. 

Although any water damage situation can be stressful, there is good news; if you are reading this post, you likely recognized the sign of ceiling water damage early on. Finding ceiling water damage at early stages allows a homeowner to avert further structural damages. 

In this blog post, we will be going over five actionable steps you, as a property owner, should take after finding out that you have a ceiling water damage issue.

Step 1: Address your water damage ceiling situation calmly. 

When it comes to water damage repair, we tend to be distressed over the situation and rashly make decisions. Oversee the damage calmly and make an informed decision whether to address it yourself or to seek professional help. It is essential to be aware that quickly addressing a water damage situation can save a property owner from more significant expenses.

Step 2: Find the source of the water damaged ceiling. 

There are two primary sources of why a water damaged ceiling may be occurring. The first possible cause of the water damaged ceiling may be the result of a roof leak. A clear sign that you have a roof leak will be clearly shown when your ceiling only gets wet after rainfall. 

Another likely cause of a water damaged ceiling is when a property has a pipe brake or defective plumbing pipes. Malfunctioning plumbing piping will lead to water damage when a pipe begins to drip in between the drywall. 

Step 3: Remove all water damaged materials.

When you have a water damaged ceiling, remove all the wet materials so that mold will have a less likely chance to grow. There is more to a water damaged ceiling than wet drywall. Inside your wet drywall will also be wet insulation; both materials need to be removed. 

Step 4: Check for signs of mold damage.

Whenever there is impending water damage, one of the likely outcomes to watch out for is mold growth. Mold is a type of fungi that can live and thrive anywhere with a little bit of moisture. The professionals at SERVPRO know they have a 48-hour window to mitigate water damage before mold begins to grow. When you find mold, it is essential to contact a professional in mold remediation to ensure a healthy environment in your home. 

Step 5: Dry the water damaged ceiling 

Once you have isolated and located the source, it is time to dry the damaged area. Water damage professionals use fans and dehumidifiers to dry water-damaged regions thoroughly. You can rent drying equipment at a hardware store, but it is best to hire professionals specializing in water damage repair services. Water restorers have all the necessary drying equipment and disinfectants to ensure your property is ready to be put back "Like it never even happened." 

When to call the professionals at SERVPRO 

As you learned throughout this blog post, ceiling water damage goes beyond aesthetics: mold can develop and cause severe structural damage. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury at the first sign of ceiling water damage. The professionals will ensure your water damaged ceiling is mitigated correctly and not prone to future mold growth. 

The professionals at SERVPRO have witnessed many situations where a property owner has tried to mitigate the water damages on their own, causing more severe issues in the future. 

Water damage mitigation is more than just placing drying equipment. The professionals at SERVPRO go through extensive water damage training to ensure all moisture is at proper levels and the property is free from future mold growth. 


Contact us today to schedule an inspection when you think or know your property has a water damage issue. We are available 24/7 every day of the year for disaster mitigation!

How Can A Clogged Dishwasher Drain Hose Cause Water Damage?

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

The water damage professionals at SERVPRO have restored many water damages from a clogged dishwasher drain hose. 

Dishwashers are an easy and comfortable part of our lives in our modern society. We load the dishwasher with the day's dishes, run a cleaning loop, and then spend the next hour doing other things. It is easy for us to take getting a functioning dishwasher for granted before it suddenly stops working.

A common reason for a dishwasher to malfunction is when food, paper, and other debris collect in your dishwasher drain hose and cause a clog. A clogged dishwasher drain hose will trigger backups and limit a dishwasher's efficiency.

If your dishwasher develops a clog of some kind, you might be in for some severe problems, mainly when it overflows. Dishwasher water damage does not end here; if it goes unnoticed for long, it can cost you serious secondary damages. 

In this blog post, we will go over the early signs to look for when you think your dishwasher drain hose is clogged, actionable steps to unclog the drain hose, and who to call for water damage restoration.  

What does a clogged dishwasher drain hose look like?

Underneath your dishwasher unit, there is a drain hose that can crack, clog, and deteriorate over time, causing a water damage leak. Early warning signs of dishwasher leakage are frequently found under and behind the unit, where plumbing connections are hidden. 

To ensure a well-functioning dishwasher, you should remove the front kickplate two to three times a year and search beneath the dishwasher for dripping or other signs of water leakage. It is best to check the unit for a clogged hose, both when it is turned off and filling.

When a clogged dishwasher drain hose goes unnoticed and untreated, it can easily become the cause of severe water damage to your kitchen and home in little time.

3 Early signs of a clogged dishwasher drain hose

1) Loud noises

Dishwashers are not known for being very silent, but the sound they produce is usually pretty predictable. If you hear uncommon noises coming from your dishwasher, it may be due to a clog.

2) Gurgling 

It's never a positive thing if the drains are gurgling. Although this does not always indicate that you are dealing with a major plumbing problem, it does indicate that something isn't quite right. If you hear gurgling, it means there's a clog, or at least a partial clog, somewhere in either your drain hose or pipe.

3) Water overflow

When the dishwasher backs up into the kitchen sink, you know something is wrong. A dishwasher overflow indicates that the water is unable to flow due to a clogged drain hose.

How to unclog a dishwasher drain hose

If you've figured out what's causing your dishwasher hose to clog, make sure you're prepared to unclog your drains. Below we are going to be going over a way to unclog your dishwasher drain hose, but remember that it is always wise to hire a local plumbing professional with the right knowledge.

Tools you may need: 

  • Drain auger or snake.
  • Gloves.
  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Phillips head/flathead screwdriver
  • Baking soda

(Before starting any dishwasher repairs, unplug the unit!)

To start the unclogging process, you will want to remove the dish racks and then remove the drain grate with a screwdriver. Manually remove any visible debris and then use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. After you let the solution sit, you can add boiling water down the drain hose. Reattach and reinsert the rack and grate and check to see if the dishwasher is properly draining. 

Contact SERVPRO for dishwasher water damage restoration

At SERVPRO, we believe that no water damage is the best kind of water damage. You can count on the IICRC certified professionals at SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury when your dishwasher malfunctions and causes water damage throughout your home. Your kitchen will be back in a pre-water damage state in no time with the help of our experts. 

Contact us today! We offer 24/7 emergency services to all property owners throughout the greater Upper Cumberland area.

5 Safety Tips To Avoid Chimney Fire Damage

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Chimney fire damage can be prevented 

Chimney fires are a lot more common than most people realize since most chimney fires aren't "full-on" fires that burst out from the top of the chimney and burn the house down. Tiny chimney fires are the most common; they start and then go out on their own but typically result in a damaging cycle for your chimney.

This blog post will discuss how many chimney fires start in the Upper Cumberland and provide prevention tips to avoid unwanted fire disasters.

How do chimney fires start?

It's far too common for chimney fires to start when debris (nests and leaves) and creosote buildup within the chimney. Burning unseasoned wood, a limited air supply (like failing to open the damper), lower than average chimney temperatures, overloading the firebox are all conditions that promote creosote buildup. 

Signs of a dirty chimney

  • The fireplace emits a strong odor of burned wood when not in use.
  • Poorly burning fires causing a lot of smoke in the home.
  • A black chimney damper. The damper is typically located directly above the firebox.

5 Safety tips to avoid chimney fire damage

1) Keep the chimney clean

Keeping your chimney clean is the easiest way to avoid chimney fire damage. Burning wood produces creosote, a hazardous and easily flammable byproduct. Creosote buildup on the interior walls of the chimney causes the majority of home chimney fires. Creosote may appear like tar-like texture or crusty and hard.

2) Use fireplace doors and a screen

Before starting a fire, it is best to have both a door and screen installed. Doors and screens will help prevent smoke, hot embers, and carbon monoxide from entering your home. 

3) Burn suitable materials 

Professional chimney cleanings will clear the fireplace flue of flammable creosote. However, by burning "clean" flames, you can help keep creosote from forming in the first place. Use seasoned wood that has been drying for at least six months and has a low moisture content. 

4) Keep the damper open 

When you're lighting a fire in your fireplace, leave the damper wide open to minimize creosote buildup.

5) Install a chimney cap

When loose embers move higher up the flue, debris such as leaves or bird nests may catch fire. Install a chimney cap to prevent unwanted materials from entering the chimney flue. 

The chimney cap will also prevent "back puffing," which occurs when escaping smoke re-enters the chimney and then your home. 

Lastly, a chimney cap will reduce moisture from entering your home. Water in your chimney can destroy the dampers, liners, and also mortar joints of your chimney. Keep in mind that chimney mold growth is common when there is excess water.  

Why are annual inspections so important? 

A previous chimney fire, particularly one that went unnoticed, may cause severe damage to your chimney system as well as your home. A damaged or melted roof, heat damage to your walls, ceilings, or structural beams near the chimney are all possible areas for fire damage. 

The most damaging outcome of a chimney fire is that it opens paths for carbon monoxide to enter the house and removes the protections that shield the home from future fires. A stray spark or second chimney fire could quickly lead to a house fire if the previous damage is not correctly repaired. So, with that being said, it's always wise to get an annual inspection done to ensure your chimney is ready to be put into use.

Call SERVPRO for chimney fire damage cleanup.

The professionals at SERVPRO get many calls a year regarding house fires caused by a chimney. When you call SERVPRO of Cookeville, a certified professional will come out and inspect the cause of the chimney fire damage so you can ensure that it doesn't happen again. Following a thorough inspection, we will then perform mitigation and restoration services to clean up and repair the fire damage “Like it never even happened.”


SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We’re also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which gives us access to more resources for larger cleaning or restoration projects or major storm scenarios. Our team is fully equipped with state-of-the-art tools and has years of experience in cleaning after smoke damage and restoring chimney fire damage. We offer 24/7 emergency services to our customers, so feel free to contact us anytime!

3 Common Signs a Commercial Property Has A Mold Issue

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Learn the signs of a commercial mold issue before you get your property inspected 

Mold issues seem to be popping up all over the Upper Cumberland. It is possible to find mold growth outside, indoors, at work, and at home. Did you know that mold is commonly found in office buildings and many other commercial buildings? When it comes to mold growth, no indoor area is entirely free of mold spores. 

The purpose of this blog post is to help you identify if your commercial property has a mold issue and what steps you should take to ensure you are getting the best mold remediation services.  

Why are mold inspections necessary? 

Mold inspections are essential when you believe your property has a mold issue. A mold inspection done by a professional will help you identify how much mold is present in your building. When choosing a mold inspector, make sure you hire a reputable company that is experts in their field. 

Many contractors will say that they know how to do mold inspection, but really only a professional mold inspector understands that mold can be difficult to locate; mold likes to hide in dark hard to reach areas. 

The issue with mold is that it pollutes the environment and will challenge your establishment's structural integrity. In some cases, our professionals have found that commercial buildings hold off on mold remediation to avoid business interruptions. Rather than holding off, you need to contact mold restoration experts right away to prevent further damages to your property. The professionals at SERVPRO of Cookeville are just one call away from being at your doorsteps!

Three common signs of commercial mold

1) Musty odors

Drywall, wallpaper, tile, and other flooring types often hide mold growth, and therefore, the smell could be your only way of identifying it. Mold will have a powerful, musty smell around the area where mold is hidden. Wh have found that the mustiest odors come from carpet mold issues.  Call for a mold inspection if you notice an odor and can not identify the source.

2) Visible mold damage

Familiar places where mold will show as discoloration:

  • Wallpaper Seams
  • Window Sills
  • Tile Grout
  • Ceiling corners
  • Wall Switch Plates
  • HVAC Drip Pans

3) Water stains

Mold is usually associated with water damage. It would be best to call a professional mold remediation company if you notice any dark spots on ceiling tiles and walls, bubbling on wallpapers, or stains on carpets that are spreading. 

The common reason for water stains: 

The importance of a mold sample

When you contact a professional mold inspector, they will come and do a thorough evaluation of your property and take an air quality test and a mold sample to see what kind of mold is present in your property. Remember, mold can grow and severely contaminate a property when left unattended. If it goes unattended long enough, it may reduce the air quality of your property. 

5 common types of molds found at a commercial property

  1. Aspergillus
  2. Cladosporium
  3. Alternaria
  4. Stachybotrys
  5.  Penicillium 

Contact the mold professionals at SERVPRO

In most cases, once we know what kind of mold is present, we will begin the mold remediation process. Removal and remediation of mold will typically require water restoration services because most mold issues are the result of water damage loss.

Commercial mold removal steps are:

  • Fixing the water leak issue.
  • Isolating the contaminated area.
  • Removing damaged material.
  • Placing contaminated materials in a plastic bag.
  • Drying
  • Mold cleaning 

If left untreated, mold will quickly spread through the commercial property. Fortunately, the experts at SERVPRO of East Dayton/Beavercreek react promptly to contain the mold infestation and prevent it from spreading to other areas of your property. Our IICRC certified team is fully equipped with state-of-the-art tools and has qualified experience in restoring mold damage. Contact us today!

What are Soot Webs After Fire Damages?

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Soot webs are also known as black cobwebs 

A fire event in your house or property can be wild and unforgiving, causing unimaginable destruction. Not only does such an incident affect you emotionally and financially, but it also causes hidden damages such as lingering smoke damage and dark-colored soot webs hanging on walls- putting the health of your property at risk. Although these damages might not be as visible and noticeable, they might cause harm equivalent to the fire itself. 

SERVPRO is a reputable restoration company providing smoke and soot damage restoration services with its IICRC trained technicians and over-the-edge technology - to reinstate your property back to its original functional preloss shape in a relatively short time!

The aftermath, including smoke and soot released from the fire, can also cause the property to deteriorate and collapse. As soon as our 24/7 emergency restoration team reaches on-site, we inspect the site and perform several other tests to investigate any likely threats for future damages.

Our fire mitigation services include removing damaged components, or in this case, black cobwebs - using modern tools and suitable chemicals, evaluating property’s structural framing, clean up and deodorizing using odor counteractants - to help you with faster recovery with our efficient, prompt, and par excellence services!

What are soot webs?

We are often called up by our customers complaining of black spider webs in their post-fire-damaged properties, regardless of their weekly cleaning routine. While they sheepishly mistake it for their inadequate cleaning skills, being completely oblivious of the actual reason behind it.

During a fire, the burning of synthetic or petroleum-based material such as plastic, form, wood products, or paper can result in soot webs. The charged soot particles released from these sources stick together to make long chains of ionized soot, resulting in a web-like-structure known as black cobwebs. They are usually found on the ceilings and in the room corners due to low circulation in these areas. 

The build-up heat in a fire advances towards the structure’s cold places as the air seeks to attain atmospheric equilibrium. Thus the heat soot particles are carried away through the air towards the cold regions, where they concentrate - becoming soot webs. These smoke web structures are undoubtedly new, and as commonly perceived, they are not formed as a result of soot sticking to the cobwebs already existing before the fire outbreak.

How do you clean soot webs?

If, unfortunately, you find soot webs in your house or business property, never try to get rid of it on your own. Specialized training and machinery are necessary for cleaning soot webs. Cleaning soot webs on your own may lead to secondary damage and further trouble!

Depending upon the fire outbreak's nature, we strive to provide you with a solution well-suited to your restoration needs. SERVPRO, having years of experience in fire damage restoration, with its certified and efficient technicians and up-to-date tools and technology, assures to professionally assist you in removing smoke damage on walls!


While it's always good to educate yourself regarding precautionary methods to avoid getting yourself into any inconvenience; however, if you are caught in this unforeseen situation, do not panic; contact us right away.

Residential Repair & Restoration

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Needing residential restoration services is not something that customers typically plan for, and it’s natural to not know what to expect when your home requires repair.

In these cases, you can trust SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury to expertly handle any repair and restoration work on your home.

Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible for our customers, so we oversee all phases of the reconstruction until your property is restored to its prior condition. Our project managers and construction coordinators will communicate with you regularly, making sure you’re always kept in the loop.

Our Process

After your property is stabilized, SERVPRO will begin repair and restoration work on your home. We strive to provide prompt estimates for repair and restoration, and we will also work with insurance adjusters when necessary to streamline the claims process. 

From inspecting your home and formulating a restoration plan to repairing and rebuilding affected areas, we always aim to exceed your expectations, and make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

After a disaster, SERVPRO will remove or “packout” your affected belongings. We utilize state-of-the-art technologies to expertly clean and deodorize your contents. Your belongings are then securely stored until you are ready for their return. You can rest assured that your things are safe with us, and we will always handle your possessions with care and respect.

Our Repair & Restoration Services Include:

  • Board-up and tarping to protect and secure your home
  • Detailed repair estimates
  • Full-service general contractor capabilities
  • Insurance claim assistance
  • Specialized restoration tools and processes to save your belongings

No matter your need for repair and restoration services, trust SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury to get the job done right. When working with us, you can rest assured that once the process is finished, your home will look just as it did before your loss happened.

Get in touch with us today for more information on our repair and restoration services.

Weather Damage Services

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

When bad weather strikes and causes damage to your home in the Upper Cumberland, count on SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury to handle the restoration process from start to finish. Our employees understand the hardships that often accompany weather-related disasters and losses, which is why you can trust us to take care of your home and restore it to its preloss condition in the safest and most efficient way possible.

About Our Services

SERVPRO has a long history of consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations. Here are some of the things that are included in our weather damage services:

  • Board-up and tarping to protect and secure the home
  • Demolition for safety purposes
  • Temporary power and lighting
  • Large-scale drying equipment
  • Mobile command center

When necessary, SERVPRO will also help you to navigate the insurance claim process and correspond with insurance agents to expedite the recovery process.

Emergency Response

In addition to handling non-emergency situations, SERVPRO is well-equipped to respond to emergencies as well. Our experienced, certified team is available 24/7/365 for on-site response within four hours of your call. We always have personnel and equipment standing by, ready to be dispatched and begin coordinating emergency services to restore your property. 

No matter the size of your loss, we are committed to getting the job done right. Our experienced team utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to maintain a healthy working environment and ensure that your home is restored to its preloss condition.

Why Choose Us?

At SERVPRO, our company culture is strongly focused on integrity and compassion. This is why we are committed to understanding your concerns and being accessible to you during the entire restoration process. 

To learn more about our weather damage services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

How To Survive Commercial Property Large Loss

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

How to Survive Large Loss

Large commercial property loss is a facility manager’s nightmare. The sudden occurrence of water damage from a burst pipe, the horror of a fire, the devastation from a tornado causes your business and operations to cease. How do you survive such a large, catastrophic property loss? Will you be able to stay in business? How will you serve your customers? What happens to your employees?

SERVPRO is your large loss expert. With over 50 years of experience in large commercial loss from catastrophic weather, fires, and water damage, we’ve amassed knowledge, equipment, and project management techniques that have helped thousands of businesses survive large loss. We can help you, too.

What is Large Loss, and Why Does it Matter?

Large loss can be defined by the dollar amount of the claim (over $50,000), the facility size, the square footage of the building affected, or the number of floors affected by the loss.

Large loss affects any facility in any industry including hospitalityhealthcare, retail, manufacturingproperty management, and schools. Large loss can demolish a mom & pop shop or devastate a global corporate operation by halting operations, displacing occupants, and threatening to shut down your business. No one is exempt from the threat of large loss, but there are strategies you can employ to ensure business continuity and swift recovery. Knowing and executing these strategies is vital to surviving large commercial property loss.

How to Prepare for Large Loss 

In order to survive a large commercial property loss from fire, storm, or water damage, pre-planning is paramount. Take advantage of SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile which includes:

Emergency Ready Profile: SERVPRO will work with you to create an Emergency Ready Profile for your unique property. This plan allows us to gather advanced knowledge before disaster strikes so that our team is ready to work with your team to mitigate damage quickly and efficiently.

Pre-disaster walk through consultation:  Your SERVPRO representative will visit your facility and identify any areas of vulnerability as well as gain familiarity with ‘the lay of the land’ to speed response and recovery maneuvers.

Priority Response: As an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) Client, you are our priority in the event of a wide-spread weather event. We’ll have a crew on site within 2 hours of your call (usually sooner than that). Catastrophic weather affects large populations - you want to be first in line to begin mitigation and repairs. We assure local and accessible project management with your SERVPRO contact plus the added capacity of equipment and manpower availability during a time when everyone is frantic to secure restoration services.

How to Survive a Large Loss:

When the inevitable, devastating large loss occurs, what actually happens? How does SERVPRO ensure the survival of your business operations? Each loss is different owing to the type of property disaster (water damage, fire and smoke damage, hurricane and wind damage) and the industry affected. 

When you call SERVPRO, a project manager will return your call promptly and have a crew on-site within 2 hours or less. It’s vital to call SERVPRO right away to avoid costly delays from further, secondary damage.

 An assessment will be made; the first actions will be the safety of occupants and security of your property. SERVPRO’s safety assessment and emergency response can include: boarding up areas exposed by fire or wind damage such as walls, doors, and windows. SERVPRO can also erect security fencing to protect against injuries or intruders.

Next, SERVPRO will initiate emergency mitigation. In the case of large loss water damage, we’ll employ large scale drying response techniques with drying equipment. Choosing SERVPRO to mitigate your large loss means that you have access to our huge capacity and selection of water mitigation equipment to extract large volumes of water and dry any type of structure. 

SERVPRO will help you with business continuity during the loss by rerouting occupants and customers safely and arranging removal and recovery of affected contents. Should you need temporary storage of equipment or contents, we can assist with arrangements. Temporary operations and office space can be secured so that you can continue to service your valuable customers during the disruption.

Meanwhile, we’re working with your insurance adjuster to expedite your claim. Your project manager will be onsite frequently with support staff to manage the large loss details. While the mitigation is proceeding, plans for reconstruction are being made and those materials and trades such as electrical, drywall, and plumbing are arranged for you. Building permits will be obtained on your behalf so that rebuilding can begin quickly.

As a SERVPRO ERP Client, you and other key decision-makers can all be kept in the loop. Communication is integral to surviving large commercial property loss and SERVPRO has the tools to accomplish transparent communication with you.

More Than Just Surviving Large Loss

Commercial large loss is overwhelming, but with SERVPRO as your strategic large loss partner, you have pre-planning resources to avoid or minimize damage, in-loss response and resources, and our expert coaching and support along the way. Many business owners have been enriched by the relationship with SERVPRO during a large loss and emerge with renewed business vigor and success. Don’t just survive large loss - thrive!

Prepare to Survive and Thrive!

We sincerely hope that you never experience a commercial large loss but unfortunately, it’s not usually “if”, it’s “when”. Prepare to survive, prepare to thrive with SERVPRO by securing your Emergency Ready Profile. Give us a call or contact us today to get started.

First Responders Face Unknown Hazards

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to floods and other disasters, a first responder is like the pioneers in days of old. The pioneers blazed trails through new territory and made possible the Westward expansion. They explored the unknown reaches of our country, often at significant personal risk.
The first responders of today have a similar role. The difference is that they already know their destination. What they don’t know is the extent of the damage they will encounter. They don’t know what hazards they will face. They don’t even know if they can reach the problem areas. They may face many risks:

  • Diseases brought by the flood
  • Injury from debris, damaged buildings, live electric wires and gas leaks
  • Animal encounters

First Responders Work Together as Teams

Teamwork is an essential part of a flood response strategy. When necessary, a first responder can summon additional support. Together, they remove obstructions, eliminate hazards and make the area safe. Once this is complete, homeowners may return to their homes.

Immunizations Are an Important Part of Personal Safety

Flooded areas are breeding zones for diseases. Because first responders are on the front lines of the flood recovery, they are the most susceptible to water-borne and insect-borne illnesses. They are also at higher risk from the inevitable cuts and scrapes that occur in the performance of their duties.
Immunizations are the best way to avoid these diseases. Emergency workers require protection from tetanus and hepatitis B. Individual response units and agencies may require their members to get protection from additional diseases such as typhoid or cholera.

It’s Time To Return to Your Home

Don’t forget to thank every first responder you encounter. They make it possible for you to return home and start the restoration. It’s helpful to know that there are disaster recovery specialists located in the Cookeville, TN, area ready to help restore your home. They are just a phone call away. When it’s over, it will be “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke Damage and Your Company: Talking to Your Insurance

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Tips To Keep In Mind When Talking To Your Insurance Agent

If your Cookeville, TN, business has been through a fire, it may contain some smoke damage. In many cases you may believe that your insurance policy should cover this. However, the process of filing a claim can seem tricky. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when talking to your insurance agent.

1. Create Records of the Damage

Before your insurance agent arrives on the scene you can begin documenting any fire or soot damage you may find. You will want to date everything and note locations and type of damage, the estimated value of the original item, and when possible take photographs. This will help your agent begin the claim process when they arrive.

2. Know What Your Policy Contains

It is also your responsibility to know what your insurance policy contains before any smoke damage occurs. This way you can know what is covered and what is not, and purchase any additional policies you may desire to fill in any coverage gaps.

3. Call a Professional for Help

In many cases your insurance agent may have a professional restoration service they recommend to help with any repair and smoke cleaning. These services already have the tools and knowledge needed to safely restore the property to working condition. They may also have tools in place that can help your insurance agent check up-to-date information, as well as streamline parts of the claim filing process.

When discussing your claim with your insurance agent, it's important to have documented everything. You may even want to include photographs where possible. You should also know what your policy contains as well as any additional insurance coverage you may have purchased for your company. This may include smoke damage as well as damages caused by the fire itself. It's also a good idea to ask your agent if they recommend a professional service, as some of these already have tools in place to help make the documentation and claim filing easier.

Advice for Protecting Your Building From a Flood

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Until it happens to you, the thought of becoming a victim of a flood seems remote. In reality, though, floods are among the most common disasters to strike a business, and the threat is only growing. Flood damage is a devastating situation for a company to deal with, but SERVPRO professionals in Cookeville, TN, can help you through the process. Aside from having proper flood insurance in place, partnering with a flood remediation team is one of the best ways to protect your company from rising waters. The team should operate on the principle "Faster to any size disaster" because speed is an important factor when it comes to minimizing the damage.

The Increasing Threat of Floods

With rising temperatures comes the threat of heavier rain events and the greater likelihood that a company will experience storm damage at some point. Floods can come in many levels of severity and from the following events:

  • Torrential downpours
  • Consistent rains over several days
  • Hurricanes
  • Saturated ground
  • High tides coupled with higher sea levels
  • High winds near lakes and oceans

The fact is, FEMA recently redrew the floodplain maps to reflect the greater threat of flooding. It might be a good idea to check to see if the floodplain map has changed in Carthage, TN.

The Best Protection

Flood damage is nothing to mess around with. It requires a fast response by professionals. The quicker a team arrives with powerful equipment the sooner it can begin the remediation process. It all begins with an inspection and an assessment of the problem, and then moves on to water removal. From there, the team can work on drying out the building to lessen the chance of mold gaining a foothold. Dry-cleaning may be used to clean and dry clothes, and then cleaning and sanitizing will take place.

Other techniques such as a tear out of damaged material may be needed. In the end, though, with the right remediation team, flood damage will look
"Like it never even happened."

Flooding and Unforeseen Secondary Damage

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Flood and water damage cleanup in the Upper Cumberland is both time-consuming and labor-intensive, but not completing the job properly can lead to problems later on. Secondary damage like black mold and drywall issues will eventually rear their head, and can be even more dangerous than the initial flooding.

Primary vs. Secondary

When you’ve experienced a flood or burst pipe, it may be easy to spot the initial damage to your property. Things get wet and need to be dried out, while water needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Secondary damage occurs over time and can have a variety of causes, including the following:

  • Improper initial cleanup
  • Unseen damage
  • High humidity preventing evaporation
  • Poor airflow through the site
  • Hidden standing water
  • Weakened pipes that burst at a later date

This continuous and slowly-evaporating moisture can lead to mold and other problems that can be more difficult to repair.

Warped Views

Hardwood flooring is especially susceptible to poor drying times. Water seeps into small micro-fissures in the wood grain and can lead to cracking and even warped floorboards. These pieces will need to be replaced, which is a costly venture when trying to match board color and width.

Other furniture can suffer from poor drying as well, including countertops forced out of shape thanks to rotting or warping supports. Without proper ventilation to allow moisture to evaporate effectively, there are many components that will need to be replaced.

Moldy Moulding

The greatest danger exacerbated by lingering moisture is black mold. This toxic substance will grow in the darkest spots of your home before you even realize it’s there. Often times drywall is the culprit, since it absorbs wetness easily but can hide it within walls, well out of sight.

In the Upper Cumberland, humidity is going to be a problem whenever you attempt to keep things dry. Invest in a dehumidifier to lessen its intensity. Whenever you have water damage from flooding or burst pipes, take the time to adequately air out your home to make sure water evaporated effectively, stopping the spread of black mold in its tracks!

4 Steps for Preventing Unexpected Water Damage While on Vacation

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Follow These Four Steps Before Leaving for Vacation

The last you want to come home to after a long, relaxing vacation is a flooded house. However, water damage can easily occur to your home in the Upper Cumberland if a necessary water pipe repair or leaking faucet is left unattended for a long period of time. Left to sit long enough, flood waters can cause extreme damage to the structure of your house and will need to be addressed by a water damage restoration company. To prevent flooding from occurring to your home and damaging your belongings while you’re away, follow these four steps before leaving for vacation.

1. Clean Gutters

Make sure to remove all dead leaves and debris from gutters before heading out on vacation. If it rains while you are gone, a clogged gutter can lead to a leaky roof which can ultimately cause extensive water damage to both the interior and exterior of your home.

2. Check Water Pipes

Make sure to examine your home’s water pipes to check for any existing issues. If you do notice a problem with your water heater, pipes, or connecting hoses, make sure to perform a water pipe repair before departing to avoid a broken pipe.

3. Shut Off Water

If possible, shut off the main water valve while you’re away as an extra precaution. If you still need some water to run the sprinkler system or water plants, then turn off any water supply valves that won’t be used while you’re gone.

4. Get Help From a Friend

Ask a trusted friend or family member to check on your home occasionally while you’re gone. In addition to asking someone to water the plants and take out the trash, ask them to keep a look out for possible leaks.

It might seem convenient to put off a water pipe repair until after you get back from vacation. However, your future self will be thankful that you were proactive in protecting your home from water damage by following these four steps.

Dealing With Leaky Pipes at Your Commercial Property

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to running your commercial building in the Upper Cumberland, you probably know that time is money. Being forced to close in order to orchestrate a pipe burst cleanup isn't ideal for your business. It's a good idea to have a plan in place to make the process as efficient as possible.

Spot Sources of Water Damage

If your commercial real estate is old or hasn't been properly maintained, your plumbing might not be in the best shape. Something like your supply line leaking or a sewer backup can cause serious water damage. Water damage can compromise the structural safety of the building. There are common signs to keep an eye out for, including:

  • Pooling water in the kitchen or bathroom areas
  • Consistent dripping from a particular spot in your ceiling
  • Overflowing toilets
  • Backed up drains

Mitigate Water Damage

If you find evidence of potential water damage, it's best to turn off your water completely. Clean up what you can and call in the professionals, to avoid causing further damage. Certified commercial water restoration technicians follow strict protocols to ensure the area is properly cleaned, dried and restored- especially when it comes to a pipe burst cleanup. They also know how to specifically handle upholstery and odor control.

Prevent Water Damage

To keep another big water cleanup from happening again, you may want to organize a maintenance schedule for all of your water-related systems. That way you can catch issues early and replace what you need to before the mess. You don't need to keep track of all of this yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that provide support for commercial buildings.

Managing commercial property can be a lot of work, especially when encountering seemingly inevitable obstacles like a pipe burst cleanup. If you know what to look for and have a plan prepared, you can make it easier for your future self.

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

As a commercial business owner or property manager, you’ve made long-term investments for both yourself and your employees. Keeping those assets safe from the real possibility of fire requires taking the time and effort to inspect and maintain the mechanics of your business’s fire sprinkler system. NFPA 25 is the Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, and it should be referred to, along with codes and regulations specific to your location in the Upper Cumberland. Additionally, you should keep in mind the following items.

1. Keep Maintenance Dates Handy

When your sprinkler system is installed, a tag is attached displaying in detail the inspection, test and maintenance service performed. A new tag will be attached each time a service has been completed. Although the tag confirms dates of service, have a calendar within reach to remind you of the scheduling of future inspections and tests. Having a backup means fewer chances of receiving violations and costly penalty charges for forgetting to maintain your sprinklers.

2. Be Aware of Hazards

Always keep an eye out for all possible fire hazards, in addition to whatever objects could prevent the fire sprinkler system from working properly. Avoid placing tall objects beneath sprinklers to ensure water is distributed evenly throughout the space. A room packed to capacity could impede the sprinkler head and essentially cause more fire damage.

3. Enlist Professionals To Clean Up After Sprinkler Use

It’s a given that a sprinkler system is used to put out fires, but the system itself could cause water damage to the premises, not only to furniture, fabrics, and equipment, but also beneath the surface if left untreated. A water damage restoration specialist can help to clean up the aftermath if your system is ever engaged.

The state fire marshal’s office, local fire departments, and certified fire sprinkler contractors are available to answer any questions you might have concerning the maintenance and use of your sprinkler or fire suppression system. Be proactive. Maintain, test, and inspect your sprinkler system according to the codes and standards as directed.

How To Prevent a Dryer Fire

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Many appliances in your home that you use on a daily basis can result in a home fire in the Upper Cumberland, if broken or not maintained correctly, including your clothes dryer. While a fire damage cleanup company can help if this situation does arise, there are several important steps for preventing a lint fire in your home.

Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed and Maintained

Having a professional technician install your dryer and service it at least twice a year is a great start to making sure your dryer is set up to perform optimally. There are many areas of your dryer where lint can cause dangerous blockages, and a technician can check if any repairs are necessary.

Fully Remove Lint

Many people know that they are supposed to clean the lint filter after they do a load, but not everyone is aware they should also clean out their vent pipes regularly to prevent a lint fire. Make sure to never neglect cleaning the lint filter before starting a new load and clean the inside your dryer from any remaining lint. If you feel your dryer is getting too hot or there is no air escaping from the dryer vent, clean the air exhaust vent pipe from all lint and debris.

Practice Good Habits

When doing laundry, be aware of potential fire hazards that can result in a dryer fire. Keep flammable objects off the surface of the appliance and avoid overloading your dryer. It is also a good idea to never do laundry when you’re asleep or away so you can address an issue right away.
While you might assume that your dryer will always work as it should, a lint fire can happen with improper maintenance. Make sure to get the help of a professional when needed and try to remove as much lint as possible from your dryer in between cleanings.

What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?

When you're affected by heavy storm damage, you can get emergency help from the government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Financial assistance can be used to help you get back on your feet. Before getting into the services FEMA provides, take a look at who qualifies:

  • Was your home damage a direct result of the storm?
  • Is your home uninhabitable?
  • Did you need to stay in a hotel because of power or water loss?
  • Have you checked with your insurance provider?
  • Do you live within a mandatory evacuation zone?

If your insurance company covers your losses, the agency won't pay for any covered costs for repairs or hotel bills.

Structural Repairs to Your Home

The grants from FEMA are intended to pay for minimal repairs that make it safe for you to live in your home. The financial assistance should go to the structural repairs your home needs. These repairs may include the foundation, walls, doors, cabinetry, and roof of your home, for example. If you aren't sure how much money you'll need, get an estimate from flood damage repair and recovery experts.

Temporary Housing

Sometimes, such as during Hurricane Harvey, it's not safe to remain in your home. Whether the dangers are related to power and water outages or structural damages, you may get help paying for a hotel room. If your insurance provides this type of cover during the flood, the agency won't cover the costs. If you do qualify, you'll need to find a hotel participating in the government's transitional housing program.

Medical Equipment

When you require a generator for medical devices, the government agency may reimburse you for the cost. To get this reimbursement, you must save your receipt and get a letter from your doctor. With this information, follow the registration process and wait to be contacted.
FEMA offers several services to help you out when flooding and other emergencies have made it impossible to remain in your Upper Cumberland home. Determine whether you qualify and then take the appropriate registration steps for financial assistance, loans, and reimbursement.

Flood Hazards for First Responders

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

When a flood hits Cookeville, TN, a first responder is the hero of the day as he or she works to protect lives, property and the environment. It is important for these trained professionals to look after themselves as well, and this work comes with its own set of potential risks. Rather than put yourself or others at risk, follow these simple steps to stay safe.

3 Steps You Should Follow to Stay Safe.

Safety Checklist 

Flood response has its own set of hazards. Prior to heading out to help others, take time to review personal safety procedures.

  • Immunizations for Hepatitis B and tetanus must be up-to-date.
  • Protective clothing should include chemical-resistant outer clothing, goggles, boots and plastic or rubber gloves. 
  • Layer latex gloves over puncture-resistant gloves and discard them after use.

Other Precautions

After cleaning, don’t wear contaminated clothes in your personal vehicle. Remember to shower and change into uncontaminated clothes when your shift as a first responder ends. Wear a disposable N95 mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold. Clean wet surfaces with clean water and disinfectant. Properly vent portable generators and avoid the risk of electrocution.

More Protections

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when working near traffic. Watch for sinkholes and areas where the terrain has sustained damage. Seek medical care if you are exposed to raw sewage or chemicals. Frequently wash your hands in soap and clean water or with alcohol-based gel, especially before meals and after handling potentially contaminated materials.

The major cause of loss of life in floods is being trapped in a vehicle. It takes only a foot of water to float many cars and trucks, and once the wheels are off the road, rolling, flipping, or colliding with anything downstream can happen quickly. 

A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation. Though staying dry may be impossible, staying safe doesn’t have to be.

3 Safety Tips for Driving on Flooded Roads

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Safety Tips To Keep In Mind To Ensure You Get Home Safely

Flooding in the Upper Cumberland can cause widespread damage to homes and other properties. However, few things are as fraught with danger than a flooded street. Water depth and swiftness can be difficult to gauge when driving and both can cause your vehicle to become trapped or swept away. If you encounter a flooded road while driving, there are a few safety tips you can keep in mind to ensure you get home safely.

1. Watch for Signs and Barriers

If strong thunderstorms have caused localized flooding, be aware of caution signs that alert drivers of dangerous areas. If you encounter a barrier across a flooded street, obey the posted signs that accompany it and turn around or follow any detour signs to avoid driving through the flooded area. Follow any directions flood damage and remediation service technicians give you if they happen to be working in the area.

2. Avoid Driving Through Standing Water

One of the most important travel tips to keep in mind while driving during a flash flood is to steer clear of standing water. This includes large puddles you might encounter in parking lots and highways. The depth of the water can be difficult to judge and could disable and damage your car if you try to drive through it. Flooded roads can also develop deep potholes and structural weaknesses that might cause you and your vehicle to become stranded.

3. Try to Reach Higher Ground

If you are driving on a road that starts to flood, try to drive in a direction that will take you to higher ground. If water levels start to rise, it is a good idea to pull over and move uphill on foot, away from flash flood waters, as your car’s tires may lose contact with the road if the water gets too deep.

Driving in the Upper Cumberland can be a challenge during heavy rain, especially when you encounter a flooded street. Knowing how to stay safe can help you reach your destination without injury or damage to your car.

Black Water 101: 4 Situations in Which You Need To Treat Flood Waters as a Health Hazard

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

If your business in the Upper Cumberland has recently experienced any flooding, you are likely already worried about the damage the water has caused to your building. However, you also need to be concerned about the safety of the water itself since flood water is often considered black water. This label is used to categorize contaminated water that poses a serious health hazard to anyone who comes into contact with it. If the flood was caused by any of the four following situations, get help immediately.

1. Sewage Leak

Sewage leaks due to issues with a septic tank or a burst sewer main can quickly lead to flooding and needs to be addressed immediately by a storm damage restoration specialist. It is important that the building is immediately evacuated and that any items contaminated by the water are not touched.

2. Toilet Backup

A toilet that is clogged or experiencing a backup can overflow and flood the bathroom before anyone is aware of what happened. Although you likely will be fine cleaning a small overflow yourself, a large-scale backup can post a health hazard. It is important to keep all customers and staff outside of the affected area.

3. Flooding From Outside

If flood water from outside (including water from overflowing rivers or streams) enters your building, you need to assume it is contaminated water. This is true even if you don’t know the source of the water or don’t identify any visible sewage.

4. Stagnant Water

If flooding occurs with your business, it can become black water if not quickly addressed. Water that stands in one place for an extended period of time can harbor harmful bacteria and become a serious health threat.

Although you might be eager to retrieve your items or enter your building to examine the damage, you will need to wait if you suspect the flood water might be contaminated. Remember to always leave the area and contact a professional when dealing with black water!

2 Fire Causes Not Covered By Insurance

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Two Types of Fires that Are Not Covered By Insurance

Homeowner's insurance covers the majority of home fire causes. The main exceptions are houses that are vacant, such as vacation homes, or intentional fires. An insurance policy should also shield the named insured and other residents from liability unless there is any proof of arson. Find out more about the two types of fires that are not covered perils and how to increase the overall level of protection from fire risks at a residence in the Upper Cumberland. 

1. Vacant Home Fire

The terms of most standard homeowners policies define a residence that has not been occupied for 30 consecutive days as vacant. A vacant home endorsement, rider or a separate policy will be necessary to cover any type of fire that breaks out in this structure. Vacancy policies may be added to a primary property policy as an endorsement or rider or be obtained in the form of a supplementary policy. This coverage will apply during any periods of time in which the residence is vacant.

2. Arson

A deliberate home fire is not covered by any insurance policy. Starting a fire may be related to an attempt to commit insurance fraud, damage property or endanger the residents of a home. If an investigation discovers evidence of an intentional fire, criminal charges may be brought against the named insured or another party. Penalties may range from mischief all the way up to a misdemeanor or felony. Aggravated or first-degree arson can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years or longer.

Owners of vacation homes should maintain vacancy coverage. It is also a good idea to confirm the extent of home fire liability protection on a standard homeowners policy. No coverage will apply to intentional fires. If a fire damages building materials and contents at a residence in the Upper Cumberland, the owner should contact cleanup and restoration professionals.

Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Running a business in Cookeville, TN, can be 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.

3 Steps To Prepare for a Fire

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

The Process of Drying Important Documents After a Flood

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Call us at 931.528.9292 for more information!

Restoring Your Cookeville Commercial Property After Water Damage

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Cookeville 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 Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury 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.

Choose SERVPRO to Clean Smoke Damage after a Fire

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without SERVPRO professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Calling SERVPRO to clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough.

SERVPRO can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If SERVPRO isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing SERVPRO will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. Our professionals will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, SERVPRO will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury serves the Upper Cumberland area. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning.

Call us for any of your cleaning or restoration needs at (931)-528-9292.

Source: http://www.IICRC.org/why-professionals-should-clean-smoke-damage-from-fire-a-38.html

What Happens After a Fire’s Flames Are Tamed?

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

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 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/.

Injectidry Hardwood Floor Drying System

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

The Inject dry Hardwood Floor Drying System is the latest and greatest hardwood dryer in the industry. It's used to dry high-risk areas of moisture under hardwood, marble, and tile that regular dehumidifiers just can't quite reach. By exchanging the air in a targeted area with negative pressure, the air movement becomes a vehicle for moisture. When caught in time, this can keep your expensive hardwood and engineered hardwood from warping. 

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury serves the Upper Cumberland area.

We are licensed by the IICRC. Call us for any of your cleaning or restoration needs at (931) 528-9292.

Spock's Guide to Drying Water Damage

5/19/2020 (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's a small water leak from a loose plumbing fixture. Other days it's a three story loss from a sprinkler head bursting in a commercial building.

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 borescopes 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.

Customer Biohazard Feedback

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

"SERVPRO just finished a 12 week project on my brother's house in Cookeville. My brother died in the house, and it was a few weeks before his body was discovered. There was MAJOR cleanup and restoration work that had to be done. I live in Michigan, so it could have been a nightmare trying to coordinate and manage this effort from 550 miles away. However, Lee and his people made it very easy! They all were professional, dependable, hard working, and great to work with. I would give them 10 stars if I could!"

source: google review

Need Biohazard Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today – (931) 528-9292

The decontamination of a home or business due to biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances.

We are available 24 hours a day—our highly trained technicians are standing by. We have the qualified trained professionals who are ready to respond to these incidents. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Mold Remediation Customer Feedback

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Bonnie Woodward  recommends SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury.
 

"Melissa and Josh were amazing! Very professional, friendly, and hard working! Excellent job guys!!! I would highly recommend SERVPRO of Cookeville! Quality work plus excellent service! They don’t make businesses like this much anymore! Thank you!"

The work we provided in this instance was mold testing and mold remediation. Mold can produce allergens and irritants that potentially could irritate you or your family. SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury has trained technicians for your mold remediation in your home or business.  Mold can spread quickly through your Cookeville home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold, we can inspect and assess your property quickly upon arrival. If mold is discovered we have expertise and knowledge to restore your home back to pre mold conditions. 

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.

If You See Signs of Mold, 
Call Us Today – (931) 528-9292

The Fire Is Out. Now What?

5/4/2020 (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."

Flood Water

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded areas are not only a hassle to clean, but can also threaten your health. Water that flows in from outside of your house can pick up a lot of bacteria on the way before it even enters the house. Having the water sit, especially on a humid day, can cause more bacteria and mold growth. Getting the area cleared out and cleaned up as fast as possible will prevent the situation from getting worse and causing more water and mold damage. 

According to the IICRC, these are valuable tips for cleaning up after a flood has left water damage in your home. 

  • Safety is first and foremost. Be cautious when entering buildings that have been flooded. Ensure that the electric is turned off and the structure of the building is safe to walk into.
  • Keep the area ventilated. Flooded waters can bring in all different types of bacteria that can become airborne and cause illness. Make sure to open windows and place a fan in the window to ventilate the area. 
  • Know what to throw away and what to salvage. Any type of porous item the absorbs the contaminated flood water should not be salvaged. Examples-drywall, carpet, mattresses, pillows, box springs, and particle board. Clothing and some other household fabrics may be salvageable by soaking in warm water and washing multiple times. 
  • Prevent mold growth. With the moist environment that is created by a flood, there is lots of room for mold to grow. Try to keep the air circulating and maintain moderate temperature to prevent mold growth. 

As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury has advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water-damage condition. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry.

Source-http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/water-damage/

Tips for Disinfecting Your Home or Business

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

In these times of uncertainty, preparation is the best defense against COVID-19. SERVPRO professionals are trained and certified in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. And we’re here to help – 24/7. 

That being said, we can ALL do our part to combat the spread of this virus and develop some good hygiene habits along the way! Below is a checklist from the CDC of tips to keep your home and business clean.

Clean

  • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include: Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

Disinfect

  • Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
  • Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant.
    Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
    Many products recommend:
    • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
    • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
    Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
    Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute
    To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
      OR
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.

Soft surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes

  • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

    OR

  • Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.

Electronics

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.

  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
  • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting
    • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.

Laundry

For clothing, towels, linens and other items

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Dirty laundry from a sick person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.

Bedroom and Bathroom

Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for sick person (if possible)

  • The sick person should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).
  • If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Reduce cleaning to as-needed (e.g. soiled items and surfaces) to minimize the amount of contact with the sick person.
    • Caregivers can provide personal cleaning supplies to the sick person (if appropriate). Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA-registered disinfectants.
  • If shared bathroom: Clean and disinfect after each use by the sick person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
  • See precautions for household members and caregivers for more information.

Food

  • Stay separated: The sick person should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
  • Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any non-disposable used food service items with gloves and wash with hot water or in a dishwasher. 

    Clean hands after handling used food service items.

Trash

  • Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the sick person. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.

Five Tips To Prevent Infection

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

In these times of uncertainty, preparation is the best defense against COVID-19. SERVPRO professionals are trained and certified in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. And we’re here to help – 24/7. We can all do our part to combat this crisis by following these 5 steps: 

1. Clean Your Hands       

  • Use soap and warm water. Rub your hands really well for at least 15 seconds. Rub your palms, fingernail, in between your fingers, and the backs of your hands.
  • Or, if your hands do not look dirty, clean them with alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Rub the sanitizer all over your hands, especially under your nails and between your fingers, until your hands are dry
  • Clean your hands before touching or eating food. Clean them after you use the bathroom, take out the trash, change a diaper, visit someone who is ill, or play with a pet. 


2. Make sure health care providers clean their hands or wear gloves.  

  • Doctors, nurses, dentist and other health care providers come into contact with lots of bacteria and viruses. So before they treat you, ask them if they've cleaned their hands.
  • Healthcare providers should wear clean gloves when they perform tasks such as taking blood, touching wounds or body fluids and examining your mouth or private parts. Don't be afraid to ask them if they should wear gloves. 


3. Cover your mouth and nose. 

  • Many diseases are spread through sneezes and coughs.  When you sneeze or cough, the germs can travel 3 feet or more! Cover your mouth and nose to prevent the spread of infection to others.
  • Use a tissue! Keep tissues handy at home, at work and in your pocket. Be sure to throw away used tissues and then clean your hands.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with the bend of your elbow or hands. If you use your hands, clean them right away. 


4. If you are sick, avoid close contact with others.   

  • If you are sick, stay away from other people or stay home. Don't shake hands or touch others      
  • When you go for medical treatment, call ahead and ask if there's anything you can do to avoid infecting people in the waiting room

4. Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Customer Praise For Water Leak

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

There's been lots of work to do with the excess rain we've had in the Upper Cumberland lately! Here are a couple of customer reviews on the work we've completed for flooding and water damage.

Mr. Loftis had to say this about our work:

"Ice maker leak, undetected for days, maybe weeks, damaged my hardwood floors. SERVPRO came in and set up drying equipment the next morning, arranged for a flooring company to do the replacement and arranged everything else. Love these guys! Highly recommend them."

Mrs. Robbins had these kind words: 

"SERVPRO of Cookeville did an awesome job after we had some water damage. We highly recommend their services. They were professional, courteous and caring at all times. Lesa, in the office, is wonderful to work with. Very dependable team."

We are Cleaning Experts

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

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 Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury, 931-528-9292]


Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Flooding? SERVPRO tips to keep mold at bay!

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding can cause many issues in your home. It can damage the structure of your walls, ceilings and floors. It can ruin personal items and spoil any food or toiletries it touches. If left untreated, it can also lead to mold growth. There are several things you can do to ensure that your home in the Upper Cumberland doesn't develop a mold problem in addition to water damage after a flood.

Have the Experts on Speed Dial

Your first instinct may be to call your insurance agent, but your next call should be to water mitigation experts. These professionals offer several valuable services when your home has been flooded:

  • Assess extent of damage
  • Create a remediation plan and timeline
  • Provide an estimate of the cost of repairs
  • Confirm level of damage for insurance purposes

Mold growth can occur within 24 hours of the appearance of excess moisture, particularly if it is coupled with contamination, as flood water tends to be. Calling the experts the moment you know you need them is your strongest defense against a fungal invasion.

Get Rid of the Water

Floodwater creates a breeding ground for mold on any surface it touches. If you don't want to add mold removal to the list of expenses you incur from the flooding incident, you must remove its cause. A sump pump is useful for extracting excess water and letting the surfaces start to dry.

Control the Humidity

Humid air can be just as inviting to mold spores as standing water. If you can safely use a dehumidifier, it can help lower the moisture in the air to discourage fungus growth. If it is not safe to plug in a machine, however, you can still increase the air flow to help dry out your home with fans and, if the air outside is not humid, open windows.

Preventing mold growth can be a challenging task, but it is possible if you act quickly. By calling in experts and reducing the moisture in your home and in the air, you can decrease your chances of secondary damage.

How To Handle Mold Growth on Food

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Food in a plastic container with mold Mold growth on food

Witnessing mold growth on your food can be an uncomfortable experience. It’s often a sign of an underlying problem in your home. If you notice the dreaded black, blue or green fuzz growing on your bread, vegetables or fruits, simply throwing the food away is not enough. These tips are great for homeowners who want to responsibly inhibit mold damage to their property.

Causes of a Mold Outbreak

Common causes of mold in Woodbury, TN include:

  • High humidity
  • Water damage to your walls
  • Impure air

Mold can thrive on food because it needs nutrients to grow. It often pops up on bread stored in the back of a cupboard or breadbox because the area is moist and dark. Many people don’t know that mold growth on food might mean that there are millions of invisible spores in the air that can spread rapidly, sometimes in a few hours.

Mold Remediation Techniques

Fortunately, anyone can complete steps to prevent their food from spoiling. Keeping bread and other food items in the fridge is a great start. The colder temperatures stop mold in its tracks so you can inspect your home for the root cause.
Check for water leaks that can damage the interior of your property. Water leaks are often undetected, but sometimes there are signs such as water marks or slow drips underneath your sink. Calling residential mold experts for a yearly checkup can save you the hassle of figuring it out on your own.
Safely dispose contaminated food by putting it in a plastic bag and taking the trash out of your home as soon as possible. Clean the infested area with soap and water to kill the harmful bacteria.
Mold growth on your food should be handled with care instead of panic. Remove the spoiled items and remember to take these precautions to complete a responsible mold cleanup.

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A big hole on ceiling Holes, cracks, or other injuries to your roof can allow water into your building

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

From faulty fire sprinklers to a broken pipe, there are many ways unwanted water can enter your commercial space in Monterey, TN. When it comes to preventing excess water, knowledge is power. Here are five of the most common causes of commercial water damage.

1. Malfunctioning Fire Sprinklers

Sprinklers are a must-have for maximum fire safety. If they malfunction, however, they can shower your commercial property with unwanted water. Routine checkups can prevent your sprinkler system from activating when you don't want it to.

2. Roof Damage

Holes, cracks, or other injuries to your roof can allow water into your building. Just like your sprinkler system, the best way to prevent roof problems is to perform regular inspections and repair small issues before they become big ones. If your building has gutters, keeping them clean can prevent water problems too.

3. Broken Pipes

Your building likely relies on a large network of pipes to deliver water to wherever you need it. Lots of pipes means lots of opportunities for something to go wrong, whether that's a poorly installed joint or a broken pipe. When a pipe bursts, it can cause considerable flooding in your building, so be sure to protect your pipes against freezing by insulating them or, when temperatures drop extremely low, leaving a small stream of water running.

4. Toilet Overflow

A backed-up sewer line can cause myriad problems for your commercial space. In addition to water damage, an overflowing toilet can also unleash contaminated water into your building. When that happens, it's best to leave cleanup and water repair to an experienced water damage restoration company

5. Water Heater Damage

Over time, your building's water heater may start to show its age. If your water heater loses its seal, cracks, or otherwise malfunctions, it can cause water damage. Regular maintenance and flushing of your water heater can prolong the life of your unit.
When you maintain a commercial building, the potential for water damage is always on your radar. While it's virtually impossible to prevent every broken pipe or overflowing toilet, with consistent inspections and maintenance, you can reduce the likelihood of water damage to your property.

First Responders Face Unknown Hazards

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighter walking towards the fire truck First responders work together as teams

First Responders Face Unknown Hazards

When it comes to floods and other disasters, a first responder is like the pioneers in days of old. The pioneers blazed trails through new territory and made possible the Westward expansion. They explored the unknown reaches of our country, often at significant personal risk.
The first responders of today have a similar role. The difference is that they already know their destination. What they don’t know is the extent of the damage they will encounter. They don’t know what hazards they will face. They don’t even know if they can reach the problem areas. They may face many risks:

  • Diseases brought by the flood
  • Injury from debris, damaged buildings, live electric wires and gas leaks
  • Animal encounters

First Responders Work Together as Teams

Teamwork is an essential part of a flood response strategy. When necessary, a first responder can summon additional support. Together, they remove obstructions, eliminate hazards and make the area safe. Once this is complete, homeowners may return to their homes.

Immunizations Are an Important Part of Personal Safety

Flooded areas are breeding zones for diseases. Because first responders are on the front lines of the flood recovery, they are the most susceptible to water-borne and insect-borne illnesses. They are also at higher risk from the inevitable cuts and scrapes that occur in the performance of their duties.
Immunizations are the best way to avoid these diseases. Emergency workers require protection from tetanus and hepatitis B. Individual response units and agencies may require their members to get protection from additional diseases such as typhoid or cholera.

It’s Time To Return to Your Home

Don’t forget to thank every first responder you encounter. They make it possible for you to return home and start the restoration. It’s helpful to know that there are disaster recovery specialists located in the Gordonsville, TN, area ready to help restore your home. They are just a phone call away. When it’s over, it will be “Like it never even happened.”

Flooding and Unforeseen Secondary Damage

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

Hardwood water damage after pipe break in a Smithville,TN home

Flood and water damage cleanup in Smithville, TN, is both time-consuming and labor-intensive, but not completing the job properly can lead to problems later on. Secondary damage like black mold and drywall issues will eventually rear their head, and can be even more dangerous than the initial flooding.

Primary vs. Secondary

When you’ve experienced a flood or burst pipe, it may be easy to spot the initial damage to your property. Things get wet and need to be dried out, while water needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Secondary damage occurs over time and can have a variety of causes, including the following:

  • Improper initial cleanup
  • Unseen damage
  • High humidity preventing evaporation
  • Poor airflow through the site
  • Hidden standing water
  • Weakened pipes that burst at a later date

This continuous and slowly-evaporating moisture can lead to mold and other problems that can be more difficult to repair.

Warped Views

Hardwood flooring is especially susceptible to poor drying times. Water seeps into small micro-fissures in the wood grain and can lead to cracking and even warped floorboards. These pieces will need to be replaced, which is a costly venture when trying to match board color and width.

Other furniture can suffer from poor drying as well, including countertops forced out of shape thanks to rotting or warping supports. Without proper ventilation to allow moisture to evaporate effectively, there are many components that will need to be replaced.

Moldy Moulding

The greatest danger exacerbated by lingering moisture is black mold. This toxic substance will grow in the darkest spots of your home before you even realize it’s there. Often times drywall is the culprit, since it absorbs wetness easily but can hide it within walls, well out of sight.

In Smithville, TN, humidity is going to be a problem whenever you attempt to keep things dry. Invest in a dehumidifier to lessen its intensity. Whenever you have water damage from flooding or burst pipes, take the time to adequately air out your home to make sure water evaporated effectively, stopping the spread of black mold in its tracks!

Advice for Protecting Your Building From a Flood

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Floods can come from hurricanes

Until it happens to you, the thought of becoming a victim of a flood seems remote. In reality, though, floods are among the most common disasters to strike a business, and the threat is only growing. Flood damage is a devastating situation for a company to deal with, but professionals in Carthage, TN, can help you through the process. Aside from having proper flood insurance in place, partnering with a flood remediation team is one of the best ways to protect your company from rising waters. The team should operate on the principle Faster to any size disaster because speed is an important factor when it comes to minimizing the damage.

The Increasing Threat of Floods

With rising temperatures comes the threat of heavier rain events and the greater likelihood that a company will experience storm damage at some point. Floods can come in many levels of severity and from the following events:

  • Torrential downpours
  • Consistent rains over several days
  • Hurricanes
  • Saturated ground
  • High tides coupled with higher sea levels
  • High winds near lakes and oceans

The fact is, FEMA recently redrew the floodplain maps to reflect the greater threat of flooding. It might be a good idea to check to see if the floodplain map has changed in Carthage, TN.

The Best Protection

Flood damage is nothing to mess around with. It requires a fast response by professionals. The quicker a team arrives with powerful equipment the sooner it can begin the remediation process. It all begins with an inspection and an assessment of the problem, and then moves on to water removal. From there, the team can work on drying out the building to lessen the chance of mold gaining a foothold. Dry-cleaning may be used to clean and dry clothes, and then cleaning and sanitizing will take place.
Other techniques such as a tear out of damaged material may be needed. In the end, though, with the right remediation team, flood damage will look Like it never even happened.

Smoke Damage and Your Company: Talking to Your Insurance

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Call a professional for help

Tips To Keep In Mind When Talking To Your Insurance Agent

If your Cookeville, TN, business has been through a fire, it may contain some smoke damage. In many cases you may believe that your insurance policy should cover this. However, the process of filing a claim can seem tricky. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when talking to your insurance agent.

1. Create Records of the Damage

Before your insurance agent arrives on the scene you can begin documenting any fire or soot damage you may find. You will want to date everything and note locations and type of damage, the estimated value of the original item, and when possible take photographs. This will help your agent begin the claim process when they arrive.

2. Know What Your Policy Contains

It is also your responsibility to know what your insurance policy contains before any smoke damage occurs. This way you can know what is covered and what is not, and purchase any additional policies you may desire to fill in any coverage gaps.

3. Call a Professional for Help

In many cases your insurance agent may have a professional restoration service they recommend to help with any repair and smoke cleaning. These services already have the tools and knowledge needed to safely restore the property to working condition. They may also have tools in place that can help your insurance agent check up-to-date information, as well as streamline parts of the claim filing process.
When discussing your claim with your insurance agent, it's important to have documented everything. You may even want to include photographs where possible. You should also know what your policy contains as well as any additional insurance coverage you may have purchased for your company. This may include smoke damage as well as damages caused by the fire itself. It's also a good idea to ask your agent if they recommend a professional service, as some of these already have tools in place to help make the documentation and claim filing easier.

3 Ways to Find a Mold Growth in Your Building

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Check your air ducts

Ways To Confirm You Have Mold In Your Building

Mold is a common problem in many buildings. It grows easily in moist environments and can spread quickly, so you can sometimes develop a problem overnight. In some cases, you may need to hire an indoor environmental specialist. If you believe that you have mold in your Silver Point, TN, building, here are a few ways to confirm your suspicions.

1. Look for Visible Signs

Perhaps the easiest way to spot a mold is simply to look for one. This fungus comes in many colors and usually has a fuzzy appearance. The first places that you should check are those with excessive moisture, such as air ducts, plumbing fixtures and any leaky or water damaged areas. While some mold will be easy to find, some may be hidden, so you should not rely solely on this method.

2. Check for Unpleasant Odors

In cases of hidden mold, there is another technique that you can use to determine its presence. This fungus often gives off a musty odor, so you might be able to smell it before you can see it. If you notice a mildewy scent in the building but are unable to locate the source, chances are you have hidden mold that will likely require you to hire an indoor environmental specialist.

3. Hire a Professional

If you believe that you have mold growing in your building but haven’t been able to find it on your own, then it’s time to hire a professional. A trained specialist can perform a mold test to determine if there is excessive growth. Once they have done so, they can inform you of the best way to move forward.
Sometimes the presence of mold is obvious, but if you are uncertain, it is best to hire an indoor environmental specialist to perform the test for you. Attempting to do so on your own will likely result in inaccurate findings. If there is a growth, a mold remediation company can remove it and help keep it from returning.

Flood Hazards for First Responders

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

If suffering from storm damage follow these tips to stay safe

When a flood hits Cookeville, TN, a first responder is the hero of the day as he or she works to protect lives, property and the environment. It is important for these trained professionals to look after themselves as well, and this work comes with its own set of potential risks. Rather than put yourself or others at risk, follow these simple steps to stay safe.

3 Steps You Should Follow to Stay Safe.

Safety Checklist 

Flood response has its own set of hazards. Prior to heading out to help others, take time to review personal safety procedures.

  • Immunizations for Hepatitis B and tetanus must be up-to-date.
  • Protective clothing should include chemical-resistant outer clothing, goggles, boots and plastic or rubber gloves. 
  • Layer latex gloves over puncture-resistant gloves and discard them after use.

Other Precautions

After cleaning, don’t wear contaminated clothes in your personal vehicle. Remember to shower and change into uncontaminated clothes when your shift as a first responder ends. Wear a disposable N95 mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold. Clean wet surfaces with clean water and disinfectant. Properly vent portable generators and avoid the risk of electrocution.

More Protections

Be aware of your surroundings, especially when working near traffic. Watch for sinkholes and areas where the terrain has sustained damage. Seek medical care if you are exposed to raw sewage or chemicals. Frequently wash your hands in soap and clean water or with alcohol-based gel, especially before meals and after handling potentially contaminated materials.

The major cause of loss of life in floods is being trapped in a vehicle. It takes only a foot of water to float many cars and trucks, and once the wheels are off the road, rolling, flipping, or colliding with anything downstream can happen quickly. 

A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation. Though staying dry may be impossible, staying safe doesn’t have to be.

What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Federal Emergency Management Agency

What Types of Assistance Can You Expect From FEMA?

When you're affected by heavy storm damage, you can get emergency help from the government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Financial assistance can be used to help you get back on your feet. Before getting into the services FEMA provides, take a look at who qualifies:

  • Was your home damage a direct result of the storm?
  • Is your home uninhabitable?
  • Did you need to stay in a hotel because of power or water loss?
  • Have you checked with your insurance provider?
  • Do you live within a mandatory evacuation zone?

If your insurance company covers your losses, the agency won't pay for any covered costs for repairs or hotel bills.

Structural Repairs to Your Home

The grants from FEMA are intended to pay for minimal repairs that make it safe for you to live in your home. The financial assistance should go to the structural repairs your home needs. These repairs may include the foundation, walls, doors, cabinetry, and roof of your home, for example. If you aren't sure how much money you'll need, get an estimate from flood damage repair and recovery experts.

Temporary Housing

Sometimes, such as during Hurricane Harvey, it's not safe to remain in your home. Whether the dangers are related to power and water outages or structural damages, you may get help paying for a hotel room. If your insurance provides this type of cover during the flood, the agency won't cover the costs. If you do qualify, you'll need to find a hotel participating in the government's transitional housing program.

Medical Equipment

When you require a generator for medical devices, the government agency may reimburse you for the cost. To get this reimbursement, you must save your receipt and get a letter from your doctor. With this information, follow the registration process and wait to be contacted.
FEMA offers several services to help you out when flooding and other emergencies have made it impossible to remain in your Algood, TN, home. Determine whether you qualify and then take the appropriate registration steps for financial assistance, loans, and reimbursement.

How To Prevent a Dryer Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Clean the lint after every load

Many appliances in your home that you use on a daily basis can result in a home fire in Baxter, TN, if broken or not maintained correctly, including your clothes dryer. While a fire damage cleanup company can help if this situation does arise, there are several important steps for preventing a lint fire in your home.

Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed and Maintained

Having a professional technician install your dryer and service it at least twice a year is a great start to making sure your dryer is set up to perform optimally. There are many areas of your dryer where lint can cause dangerous blockages, and a technician can check if any repairs are necessary.

Fully Remove Lint

Many people know that they are supposed to clean the lint filter after they do a load, but not everyone is aware they should also clean out their vent pipes regularly to prevent a lint fire. Make sure to never neglect cleaning the lint filter before starting a new load and clean the inside your dryer from any remaining lint. If you feel your dryer is getting too hot or there is no air escaping from the dryer vent, clean the air exhaust vent pipe from all lint and debris.

Practice Good Habits

When doing laundry, be aware of potential fire hazards that can result in a dryer fire. Keep flammable objects off the surface of the appliance and avoid overloading your dryer. It is also a good idea to never do laundry when you’re asleep or away so you can address an issue right away.
While you might assume that your dryer will always work as it should, a lint fire can happen with improper maintenance. Make sure to get the help of a professional when needed and try to remove as much lint as possible from your dryer in between cleanings.

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Maintain, test, and inspect your sprinkler system

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

As a commercial business owner or property manager, you’ve made long-term investments for both yourself and your employees. Keeping those assets safe from the real possibility of fire requires taking the time and effort to inspect and maintain the mechanics of your business’s fire sprinkler system. NFPA 25 is the Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, and it should be referred to, along with Monterey, TN, codes and regulations. Additionally, you should keep in mind the following items.

1. Keep Maintenance Dates Handy

When your sprinkler system is installed, a tag is attached displaying in detail the inspection, test and maintenance service performed. A new tag will be attached each time a service has been completed. Although the tag confirms dates of service, have a calendar within reach to remind you of the scheduling of future inspections and tests. Having a backup means fewer chances of receiving violations and costly penalty charges for forgetting to maintain your sprinklers.

2. Be Aware of Hazards

Always keep an eye out for all possible fire hazards, in addition to whatever objects could prevent the fire sprinkler system from working properly. Avoid placing tall objects beneath sprinklers to ensure water is distributed evenly throughout the space. A room packed to capacity could impede the sprinkler head and essentially cause more fire damage.

3. Enlist Professionals To Clean Up After Sprinkler Use

It’s a given that a sprinkler system is used to put out fires, but the system itself could cause water damage to the premises, not only to furniture, fabrics, and equipment, but also beneath the surface if left untreated. A water damage restoration specialist can help to clean up the aftermath if your system is ever engaged.

The state fire marshal’s office, local fire departments, and certified fire sprinkler contractors are available to answer any questions you might have concerning the maintenance and use of your sprinkler or fire suppression system. Be proactive. Maintain, test, and inspect your sprinkler system according to the codes and standards as directed.

Dealing With Leaky Pipes at Your Commercial Property

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage cleanup in Woodbury,TN

When it comes to running your commercial building in Woodbury, TN, you probably know that time is money. Being forced to close in order to orchestrate a pipe burst cleanup isn't ideal for your business. It's a good idea to have a plan in place to make the process as efficient as possible.

Spot Sources of Water Damage

If your commercial real estate is old or hasn't been properly maintained, your plumbing might not be in the best shape. Something like your supply line leaking or a sewer backup can cause serious water damage. Water damage can compromise the structural safety of the building. There are common signs to keep an eye out for, including:

  • Pooling water in the kitchen or bathroom areas
  • Consistent dripping from a particular spot in your ceiling
  • Overflowing toilets
  • Backed up drains

Mitigate Water Damage

If you find evidence of potential water damage, it's best to turn off your water completely. Clean up what you can and call in the professionals, to avoid causing further damage. Certified commercial water restoration technicians follow strict protocols to ensure the area is properly cleaned, dried and restored- especially when it comes to a pipe burst cleanup. They also know how to specifically handle upholstery and odor control.

Prevent Water Damage

To keep another big water cleanup from happening again, you may want to organize a maintenance schedule for all of your water-related systems. That way you can catch issues early and replace what you need to before the mess. You don't need to keep track of all of this yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that provide support for commercial buildings.

Managing commercial property can be a lot of work, especially when encountering seemingly inevitable obstacles like a pipe burst cleanup. If you know what to look for and have a plan prepared, you can make it easier for your future self.

4 Steps for Preventing Unexpected Water Damage While on Vacation

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to shut off the main water valve while you're away

Follow These Four Steps Before Leaving for Vacation

The last you want to come home to after a long, relaxing vacation is a flooded house. However, water damage can easily occur to your home in Gordonsville, TN, if a necessary water pipe repair or leaking faucet is left unattended for a long period of time. Left to sit long enough, flood waters can cause extreme damage to the structure of your house and will need to be addressed by a water damage restoration company. To prevent flooding from occurring to your home and damaging your belongings while you’re away, follow these four steps before leaving for vacation.

1. Clean Gutters

Make sure to remove all dead leaves and debris from gutters before heading out on vacation. If it rains while you are gone, a clogged gutter can lead to a leaky roof which can ultimately cause extensive water damage to both the interior and exterior of your home.

2. Check Water Pipes

Make sure to examine your home’s water pipes to check for any existing issues. If you do notice a problem with your water heater, pipes, or connecting hoses, make sure to perform a water pipe repair before departing to avoid a broken pipe.

3. Shut Off Water

If possible, shut off the main water valve while you’re away as an extra precaution. If you still need some water to run the sprinkler system or water plants, then turn off any water supply valves that won’t be used while you’re gone.

4. Get Help From a Friend

Ask a trusted friend or family member to check on your home occasionally while you’re gone. In addition to asking someone to water the plants and take out the trash, ask them to keep a look out for possible leaks.

It might seem convenient to put a off water pipe repair until after you get back from vacation. However, your future self will be thankful that you were proactive in protecting your home from water damage by following these five steps.

Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare your Business for a Fire by having an evacuation plan.

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.

3 Steps To Prepare for a Fire

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Identifying the Type of Mold Growing In Your Home

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Aspergillus is a type of mold you can find in your Smithville, TN home

Not all molds are created equal. In fact, like any species, there are a variety of types of mold growth that may invade your dwelling. Some of the more common types of house mold you may discover in your Smithville, TN, home include the following:

  • Stachysbotrys chartarum, otherwise known as "black mold"
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetomium
  • Penicillium

Though all molds thrive in high humidity, many house molds prefer certain types of materials. For instance, penicillium prefers insulation and furnishings while Chaetomium prefers drywall with water damage. Black mold prefers dark, wet environments such as air conditioning pipes and ducts.

Treating Common House Molds

Regardless of the type of mold growth you discover in your home, it is essential that you contact a mold remediation professional to assess the extent of the issue and to provide a customized treatment plan. Despite needing very little to grow and thrive, remediating mold is a complex and dangerous undertaking that requires extensive knowledge of the fungus and specialized equipment.

If you fail to rid your house of its mold problem the first time around, you risk giving the fungus room to spread. Your home has already likely suffered considerable damage after the first infestation, so there's no telling how much damage a recurrent issue can cause. A professional knows all of the various types of molds' hiding places and can thoroughly inspect and test your home to ensure he or she gets rid of it before embarking on the restoration process.

Common Misconceptions About Mold

Controlling mold and preventing recurrent infestations begins with understanding mold. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the fungus. It's time to lay those misconceptions to rest.

For one, mold is not only found in homes in which there is water damage. Mold can grow on any surface on which there is any amount of moisture.

Two, black mold is not the only harmful type of mold. Any type of mold can wreak havoc on your home and its belongings.

Three, mold cannot be treated with DIY methods—at least, most mold can't. Unless the mold growth is on a nonporous surface, it's best to contract a mold cleanup crew for swift and effective remediation.

2 Fire Causes Not Covered By Insurance

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Vacant home fire in Carthage, TN

Two Types of Fires that Are Not Covered By Insurance

Homeowners insurance covers the majority of home fire causes. The main exceptions are houses that are vacant, such as vacation homes, or intentional fires. An insurance policy should also shield the named insured and other residents from liability unless there is any proof of arson. Find out more about the two types of fires that are not covered perils and how to increase the overall level of protection from fire risks at a residence in Carthage, TN.

1. Vacant Home Fire

The terms of most standard homeowners policies define a residence that has not been occupied for 30 consecutive days as vacant. A vacant home endorsement, rider or a separate policy will be necessary to cover any type of fire that breaks out in this structure. Vacancy policies may be added to a primary property policy as an endorsement or rider or be obtained in the form of a supplementary policy. This coverage will apply during any periods of time in which the residence is vacant.

2. Arson

A deliberate home fire is not covered by any insurance policy. Starting a fire may be related to an attempt to commit insurance fraud, damage property or endanger the residents of a home. If an investigation discovers evidence of an intentional fire, criminal charges may be brought against the named insured or another party. Penalties may range from mischief all the way up to a misdemeanor or felony. Aggravated or first-degree arson can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years or longer.

Owners of vacation homes should maintain vacancy coverage. It is also a good idea to confirm the extent of home fire liability protection on a standard homeowners policy. No coverage will apply to intentional fires. If a fire damages building materials and contents at a residence in Carthage, TN, the owner should contact cleanup and restoration professionals.

What If This Is Your Business?

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Would you be ready?

As many as 50% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. In case you misread that, FIFTY PERCENT of businesses never reopen. In just two years’ time, over 50 % of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and the vast majority (81%) of these interruptions caused the business to be closed one or more days. An estimated 95% of disasters are man-made or internal, such as fire or internal flooding.

Now that the statistics are out of the way, what can you do about it?

I'm sure your business has evacuation plans and basic emergency plans:

  • Do you know where they are?
  • Do all of your employees know where the gas shut off is?
  • Would you have access to all of your primary contact numbers should the office catch on fire?

SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury provides free Emergency Ready Profiles for all commercial properties. These ERP's provide facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. It is a startup approach that provides critical information needed to begin mitigation and emergency services, saving you time and money. All of this in one folder for easy access.

But wait! There's more! (You better have said that in a Billy Mays voice.) Once all of your facility's information has been captured, SERVPRO of Cookeville will provide you with a digital copy via our mobile app. The app is password secured, but has the abilty of profile sharing should you want to delegate it to some of your team.

So I ask you again, what if this is your business? Would you be part of the 50% that never reopens? Would you know who to call? By working with SERVPRO of Cookeville to develop your personalized EMERGENCY READY PROFILE your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any man-made or natural disaster. SERVPRO of Cookeville / Carthage / Smithville / Woodbury is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Is All Flood Water Contaminated Black Water?

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don't wait for regular business hours

Restoration professionals classify flood water as Category Three water damage. The categories used to describe damage are based on the level of contamination present in water. Learn more about the conditions that tend to cause black water to accumulate during a flood.

Water Sources

The cause of a flood determines the initial level of contamination. There are several common sources of flood water:

  • Heavy rains
  • Rising bodies of surface water
  • Storm surges
  • Sewer backups

Even if this flooding starts as Category Two gray water that does not contain solid waste, contamination can occur as soon as the water travels over land or stands for hours or days. Damage caused by contaminated water must be cleaned, disinfected and dried.

Courses or Paths

Water may accumulate contaminants as it travels through an area. In addition to solid waste, which may be introduced from an overflowing municipal main, this water could also carry other substances that can pose health or safety risks:

  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbes

Depending on where flooding originates and where standing water accumulates, different types of contamination may or may not be present. It is advisable to disinfect any areas exposed to flooding.

Standing Water

Regardless of the initial level of contamination in water, standing water will degrade and become more contaminated over time. Within a matter of days, clean, treated Category One water from a pipe break can degrade into Category Two and eventually Category Three water damage. Damage mitigation and restoration experts recommend timely extraction, cleaning, disinfection and drying.

There are a number of ways in which flood water may become contaminated. If there is a reasonable possibility that water may contain solid waste, any damage it causes will be classified as Category Three damage. If flooding has damaged a commercial building in Cookeville, TN, the property owner or manager should arrange for storm damage mitigation and restoration.

The Fire Is Out. Now What?

5/4/2019 (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."

Bathub Sewage 101

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub, you will need to take care of this issue as soon as possible.

A sewer backup can be quite unpleasant - especially when it occurs in your bathtub. If you are suffering from this type of sewage, you probably want to take care of the issue as soon as possible. However, there are times that it makes sense to fix the backup yourself and times when expert help is needed. Here’s how to figure out which situation you are dealing with.

Do-It-Yourself Scenarios

If the bathtub backup is small and did not cause extensive damage - and you have the proper protective gear and equipment - you can attempt to begin cleanup yourself. Here are some tips to remember during the process:

  • If you are dealing with flooding, do not run your air conditioner or heating system.
  • Throw away any non-essential items ruined by the sewer backup and keep them away from clean areas.
  • Move clean items into a clean space as soon as possible.
  • Open your doors and windows if it is sunny and dry outside.
  • Try to learn techniques to prevent future backups, with or without professional assistance.

If you run into a bigger issue at any point during cleanup, remember to call a plumber, cleanup service or other professional for help.

Expert Help Scenarios

There are certain cases that call for professional assistance no matter what. If you are facing a huge flood, extensive damage or a massive backup, a professional water damage restoration company in Baxter, TN, should be called to help with cleanup tasks. You may also need to talk to other experts to handle specific issues that arise.

Final Advice

When it comes to a sewer backup, you want to use all of the resources available to you to get your bathroom back in clean, usable shape as soon as possible. It can be hard to ask for help, but assistance and investment are both worth the end result of a safe and secure home.

Understanding the Typical Causes of Commercial Water Damage

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

When you have a pipe burst, you should call SERVPRO

Whether you’re dealing with the everyday broken pipe or a substantial flooding problem that can lead to hefty water repair costs, it’s important that you understand the typical causes of most commercial water damage issues when you’re a business owner in Silver Point, TN. Here, we’ll dive into many of the usual culprits, helping you to achieve a better understanding of what can go wrong and how to be on the lookout for common signs before disaster strikes.

Faulty Pipes and Bad Plumbing Systems

Major commercial buildings have a lot of water passing through their pipelines on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s easy for excessive use to cause damages that can lead to worse problems like a broken pipe or leaky faucets. Since this is a fairly common issue, most experienced water restoration specialists can quickly address the situation before it becomes a bigger headache.

Failing Appliances

Depending on your line of work, you could have many appliances in your building that can result in future flooding, including:

  • Dishwashers
  • Water heaters, or
  • Clothes Washers

To ensure that these appliances are working properly and they won’t lead to costly water repair, it’s best to conduct regular inspections so as to avoid any mishaps.

Toilet Overflow or Backed Up Sewer Lines

There’s plenty of opportunity for things to go awry when you’re dealing with commercial plumbing, and this includes overflowing toilets or potential sewer line blockages. Given the unpleasant and possibly hazardous nature of the issue, it’s important to let professionals handle the cleanup and restoration process in the right way.

See the Signs Ahead of Time

Being a business owner in Silver Point, TN requires wearing many hats, but when it comes to dealing with issues like a broken pipe or faulty appliances, there’s no time to let seemingly small problems linger. Understanding what can cause substantial water damage ahead of time leaves you more prepared for managing any situations as they arise, so knowing these typical causes is a surefire way to better handle any future predicaments.

Steps To Prevent Mold Growth in Commercial Properties

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Level of humidity and moisture can damage a building and increase mold growing

Mold can have a disastrous effect on a business in Woodbury, TN, which is why mold prevention is often important. There are several ways business owners and managers can make it difficult for mold to grow and spread in their properties.

1. Prevent Damage From Water

Most types of mold need water to grow, and protecting your business from leaks and floods by quickly fixing any small issues can prevent mold growth long-term. In addition to flooding and leaks, high levels of humidity and moisture can also damage a building and increase the likelihood of mold growing in the business. If certain areas in your building, such as bathrooms or attics, are prone to high levels of humidity, it can be helpful to use dehumidifiers and increase the airflow.

2. Mitigate the Effects of Leaks or Floods

Unfortunately, water damage cannot always be avoided. Broken appliances, pipe leaks and pipe breaks are all common causes of destruction from water, and if a leak or flood occurs without warning, it’s wise to act quickly. Removing any water as quickly and as safely as possible is an important step in mold prevention. After water is removed, it can also be helpful to contact water and mold damage experts who can help to keep the area dry and mitigate the effects of the existing damage.

3. Be Aware of Common Sites of Growth

In addition to preventing water damage and mitigating the effects of any leaks or floods, it’s useful for business owners and managers to know locations where mold commonly grows. Often, mold growth is found under sinks, in kitchens and bathrooms and close to appliances that use water. Routinely inspecting areas in your business where mold may grow can help you become aware if a problem is present.

Mold prevention can save business owners time and money if it is done well. For business owners, it is wise to prevent water from accumulating in one area, quickly react to leaks or flooding and know where mold is likely to grow.

3 Steps To Choosing a Storm Damage Service To Assist With Your Insured Commercial Clients

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Cookeville/ Carthage/ Smithville/ Woodbury, we are ready for you.

As an insurance agent who works with business owners in Gordonsville, TN, the level of customer service you can provide is no doubt important to you. However, when natural disasters like violent storms hit the area, you may find yourself trying to serve multiple clients who all need help with their claims and storm restoration. Working with a storm damage response service can help streamline this process, and there are several strategies you can use for finding one that is compatible for how you assist your clients.

1. Review Your Client List

Before you choose a storm response team to help your customers make more efficient claims, it may be helpful to review your client list. Having a better understanding of how many businesses in the area would make claims through your agency may better allow you to choose a service based on size, location, and availability.

2. Consider Which Events Your Company Covers

Working with a disaster response team that can assist your clients with the events your insurance company covers can make for a better, more efficient pairing when business owners experience fire or flood damage. If your company offers limited coverage for certain types of floods, it is a good idea to discuss this with the storm restoration franchise manager before signing a contract.

3. Review the Benefits

Working with a storm damage and restoration service can be beneficial; however, before you make your final choice, consider the benefits to both yourself and your clients. Restoration and mitigation services may help your clients realize a path to recovery while having the support of the franchise and its corporate services can help you better serve your clients. This can help strengthen business connections and boost your local reputation as an insurance agent.

Working as an insurance agent in Gordonsville, TN, can be difficult to serve multiple commercial clients when disaster strikes the area. Choosing the right storm restoration service to work with during these times can have a positive effect on both your business and its clients.

3 Tips for Handling Noisy Water Pipes

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Contact SERVPRO for professional guidance.

Precautionary Steps When A Pipe Break Is Ready To Happen

If you’re a homeowner in Carthage, TN, you’ve probably had to deal with noisy water pipes at some point in your life. The most common cause is too much water pressure coming through them, which causes that unpleasant hammering sound. Understandably, most people think these sounds are harmless, but it’s worth it to pay closer attention — they could be a warning sign of a pipe break ready to happen.

1. Know the Reasons Behind the Sounds

Your home’s pipes bring water from behind your wall to your fixtures and appliances. If those pipes get clogged, corroded, or frozen, there can be substantial damage. There could also be problems with your pipe installation; pipe straps and fittings play a crucial role in maintaining a steady water pressure. When that hardware malfunctions, it could result in a major pipe burst.

2. Proceed With Caution

If you can isolate where the sound is coming from, that’s a major step in avoiding a nasty pipe break. To isolate the sound, go to different parts of your home where the pipes connect and take note if any of them chatter, vibrate, or feel loose. Once you’re sure, shut off the water supply to that pipe or refrain from using it to avoid a burst and subsequent flooding.

3. Contact Specialists

Once you’ve taken some precautionary steps, consider reaching out to the water restoration specialists in Carthage, TN. They can accurately determine the problems with affected pipes and help you figure out what the next steps are. This can save you time and money in the long run.

Unfortunately, a pipe break often leads to substantial flooding and building material damage.
In this case, it’s important to fix the broken pipe (or pipes) rather than treating the symptoms of it. Fortunately, with some professional guidance, you’ll be on your way to getting your home back to normal.

FAQs About the Mold Containment Process

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Stop mold spreading in your home.

Mold contamination can be a major issue for homeowners in Cookeville, TN, and the process of mold remediation can seem overwhelming. However, understanding the process of mold containment can be helpful to homeowners.

How Is Mold Contained?

After mold is discovered in a home, homeowners often find it helpful to seek out professionals in mold remediation. After assessing the home, the process of containment begins, which often includes:

  • Decreasing the air flow in the area(s) affected by mold by turning off air conditioning or heat and closing windows in the home
  • Keeping all areas within the home dry as possible
  • Using equipment such as negative air chambers in order to keep the spores in one place

Why Is Containment Important?

Containing mold often requires the use of various strategies and pieces of equipment. Mold containment is generally beneficial after mold contamination is found in a home for the following reasons:

  • Reduces the likelihood of mold spreading to areas of the home that haven’t yet been impacted by mold growth, therefore preventing structural damage and damage to items within the home
  • Stops mold from further damaging affected areas
  • Lowers the overall costs of the restoration process by preventing new damage

What Happens After Containment?

The mold remediation process doesn’t stop after the mold is contained. Once professionals are certain that the mold is contained, the process of restoring the home and items damaged by mold really begins. Since mold spores exist everywhere, air filtration devices are used to bring the mold spores down to a safe level. Then, items that have been damaged by mold are removed from the home and are cleaned, and either restored or replaced. Finally, restoration of the home begins.

Containment is one of the most important steps in restoring a home affected by mold contamination. Understanding what the mold containment process entails, why it’s important and the steps that follow can help homeowners prepare for mold remediation.

Why SERVPRO’s Claims Inventory System Might Be an Insurance Agent’s Best Friend

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can provide you with the tools you need to do the best for both your client and the agency.

Why SERVPRO’s Claims Inventory System Might Be An Insurance Agent’s Best Friend

When a client suffers damage to their Carthage, TN home, they will undoubtedly file an insurance claim. While working through the claim, you may end up accumulating quite a bit of related materials. In order to make the process easier for you, SERVPRO has a claims inventory system to help you keep track of any necessary information. These are a few things that they can provide for you.


1. Pictures of Damaged Items


During the restoration process, SERVPRO will take pictures of any damaged items which will make it easier for you when determining what the client has lost. They will provide you with an itemized loss inventory that includes photos of items and an Excel formatted report.


2. A Complete Job File


Along with the loss inventory, the Claims Information Center can give you an electronic job file with information you might need to complete the insurance claim. This will include loss photos, the first notice of loss as well as a detailed estimate of repair costs. They will also provide scanned copies of important paperwork and forms. It can be emailed to you or, if you prefer, you can receive a hard copy.


3. Online Access to Files


In order to make your work easier, as the insurance agent, you will have online access to all files related to the job. Having this information when you need it can help you complete the process more quickly. It can also help you to be sure you are making the best, most informed decision when it comes to your client’s claim.


When you are working on an insurance claim with your client, you want to have the most accurate data so you can make the right call for him or her. Using a damage restoration service that helps in this area can make it easier. SERVPRO can provide you with the tools you need to do the best for both your client and the agency.

Black Water 101: 4 Situations in Which You Need To Treat Flood Waters as a Health Hazard

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Contact SERVPRO when dealing with black water.

Flood Waters often Considered Black Water

If your business in Cookeville, TN, has recently experienced any flooding, you are likely already worried about the damage the water has caused to your building. However, you also need to be concerned about the safety of the water itself since flood water is often considered black water. This label is used to categorize contaminated water that poses a serious health hazard to anyone who comes into contact with it. If the flood was caused by any of the four following situations, get help immediately.

1. Sewage Leak

Sewage leaks due to issues with a septic tank or a burst sewer main can quickly lead to a flooding and needs to be addressed immediately by a storm damage restoration specialist. It is important that the building is immediately evacuated and that any items contaminated by the water are not touched.

2. Toilet Backup

A toilet that is clogged or experiencing a backup can overflow and flood the bathroom before anyone is aware of what happened. Although you likely will be fine cleaning a small overflow yourself, a large-scale backup can post a health hazard. It is important to keep all customers and staff outside of the affected area.

3. Flooding From Outside

If flood water from outside, including water from overflowing rivers or streams, enter your building, you need to assume it is contaminated water. This is true even if you don’t know the source of the water or don’t identify any visible sewage.

4. Stagnant Water

If flooding occurs with your business, it can become black water if not quickly addressed. Water that stands in one place for an extended period of time can harbor harmful bacteria and become a serious health threat.

Although you might be eager to retrieve your items or enter your building to examine the damage, you will need to wait if you suspect the flood water might be contaminated. Remember to always leave the area and contact a professional when dealing with black water!

4 Key Points Regarding Home Fires and Insurance Coverage

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Ask your insurance agent if you are covered

Home Fires And Insurance Coverage

A home fire can severely damage or even destroy your property. Fortunately, most homeowner’s insurance policies cover fire damage, helping to reduce out-of-pocket restoration costs. Because coverage varies, it’s important to familiarize yourself with specific policy details, exclusions and additional options that may provide enhanced protection.

1. Common Insurance Coverage

When it comes to fires, insurance typically covers costs associated with repairing or rebuilding the dwelling as well as replacing damaged possessions. If your home is temporarily uninhabitable, many policies also provide additional living expenses to fund interim housing.

2. Liability Protection

Liability protection is another common component of many policies. Possessing this coverage can be important, especially if someone is injured at your residence or the actions of a household member spark the home fire.

3. Vacant Home Fires

Some residents of Carthage, TN , may own dwellings that are vacant for a portion of the year. While the exact definition varies, a residence is often deemed vacant if it’s unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. If you own a vacation home, this distinction can be important because your insurance provider may deny a claim if it can prove the incident was a vacant home fire.

To safeguard your investment and financial security, you should discuss your options with an insurance representative. You may be able to include an endorsement on your current coverage or purchase vacant home insurance.

4. Arson

Intentionally setting a residence on fire is a crime that nullifies insurance coverage. To combat fraud and rule out arson, your provider will likely investigate the cause of any reported inferno. Suspicious behavior, such as increasing coverage or making several expensive purchases, prior to the blaze may also cause your provider to question and possibly deny your claim.

A devastating home fire is a potential threat that many homeowners fear. Recognizing exclusions and ensuring you have adequate coverage for every property you own can spare you from costly out-of-pocket expenses, providing some peace of mind.

Understanding Fungus: Mold and Mildew After a Storm

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Avoid mold damage in your Cookeville, TN home

The Difference Between Mold And Mildew

Mold damage may be one of the greatest fears for any homeowner. An infestation can cause thousands in damage, and if a result of lingering issues, homeowners’ insurance may not cover the costs. While it is a fear, most don’t understand the difference between mold and mildew. One is hard to remedy, possibly requiring a specialist, and the other is a simple fix, likely resolved with a store-bought cleaner.

1. Size

Mildew growth can be subtle, often manifesting in small areas and only on the surface. Mold, on the other hand, is more predominant, and when it appears on the surface of a wall, you likely have a more significant issue in the wall cavity.

2. Color

When you encounter actual mold growth and mold damage, the color can be a dead giveaway as to whether it is mildew or mold. Mold is typically black and green. However, it may even be shades of blue and yellow, depending on the surfaces it has invaded. Mildew generally is only one of two colors, either gray or white.

3. Texture

The most apparent difference between mold and mildew is the texture. Mold is overall more textured and is likely fuzzy in appearance. Mildew is flat and appears as more of a stain than a growth.

4. Spread

While both mold and mildew spread quickly, mildew, as a surface fungus, tends to be a little more manageable. Mold, because of its nature, often develops in areas that are not easily visible, meaning that when it is discovered, it is more of an infestation. If you find mold, there is likely more lurking behind drywall and under floorboards. In most cases, you may need a mold remediation specialist in the Cookeville, TN, area to asses the damage.

Mold damage is no laughing matter, and it can lead to many problems if not handled properly. However, not every fungal growth is mold. Mildew is a manageable growth that can be resolved with basic household cleaners.

What To Expect From Your Insurance Company After a Broken Pipe

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Not many insurance policies will cover the cost to fix a broken pipe in Carthage, TN

You walk into your kitchen and step into an inch of standing water. Upon quick inspection, you discover that a broken pipe under the sink is the cause of the flood. Your mind automatically starts figuring how much this is going to cost. Will your insurance policy cover part of it, and if so, how much?

Likely Coverage

Your insurance company probably considers plumbing repair to be part of regular home maintenance. Therefore, not many insurance policies will cover the cost to fix a broken pipe. However, the water damage that occurs as a result of the leak is a different story. Most homeowners’ policies cover water damage to:

  • Flooring, including tiles and carpet
  • Cabinets
  • Walls
  • Ceilings

Your insurance adjuster in Carthage, TN, knows that water damage only gets worse the longer it stands. The company has a vested interest, therefore, in making sure you have the means to fix problems caused by the flood as soon as possible.

Possible Denial

While your insurance coverage should take care of the damage to your home, there are certain instances where your claim could be denied. If the water volume is significant and rises quickly, the damage is probably too great to be covered by a standard property policy. You may need to depend on your separate policy designed specifically for flooding in that case. If the adjuster can tell that the damage was caused by a long-term leak that resulted in a broken pipe, or if the pipe broke as the result of improper heating or insulation around it, the insurance company may see this as neglect. Your claim is likely to be denied if it seems that the water damage was caused by your failure to fix an existing problem.

The key to getting your insurance claim accepted after a flood from a broken pipe is timely reporting. Call your agent, and then call water remediation specialists who can start repairs quickly.

Fire Suppression System: Performing a Water Flow Test

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

A fire sprinkler system is required in commercial properties

Fire Suppression System: Performing a Water Flow Test

A fire sprinkler is a common and often required fire prevention tool in commercial properties. However, it is necessary to test your system at least a couple of times a year and have a full-blown inspection at least once a year. To check your system, follow these four steps.

1. Notify Proper Authorities

If your fire suppression system is connected to a central alarm, then it is necessary to notify the property authorities about your test. While it may not be apparent, a test of your system will notify the authorities, and it will not come through as a false alarm. Reach out to your alarm provider and your local fire department to ensure that they do not respond to the test alarm.

2. Open the Test Valve

Every fire sprinkler system will have an inspector’s test valve. To test the water flow within the system, you merely turn the valve so that it is in line with the water pipe. This will pressurize the system, creating a controlled alarm without dousing your property with water.

3. Wait For Alarm To Sound and Confirm

Once the valve is open, you will need to wait about 60 seconds, at which point the alarm will sound. When the alarm sounds, call your alarm provider to ensure that the signal was received.

4. Close the Valve and Notify Authorities

Once you have confirmed that the alarm is operating correctly, you can slowly close the valve. After the valve is shut and the signal is off, call the fire department and your alarm company to let them know the test is finished.

Additionally, once everything is off, walk your property and check for any leaks that may have occurred during the test. If you find leaks, you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Cookeville, TN, area for not only the fire sprinkler cleanup but also to replace any damaged lines.

A fire sprinkler system is a lifesaving piece of equipment. Performing water flow tests and scheduling annual inspections will ensure the functionality of your system for years to come.

3 Steps for Minimizing Water Damage

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Flooring damaged by water loss in a Cookeville,TN kitchen

3 Steps for Minimizing Water Damage

It doesn't take long for a kitchen leak to turn into kitchen flooding. When you have unwanted water in the home and while you're waiting for water damage restoration professionals to arrive, take the following steps to minimize or prevent damage. After addressing immediate circumstances, don't forget to contact your insurance agent.

1. Maintain Safety

Determine whether it's safe for you and your family to remain in the home. Sometimes flooding water in home settings leads to slips and falls or electrical hazards. Be careful about lifting water-logged objects. Stick to repair tasks that are you know are safe; don't mess with gas supply lines or work in areas where water and electricity are both present.

2. Shut Off the Water

Most of the water-related repairs you do in your home won't require more than shutting of the indoor supply valve. However, you should also know where your main water supply is located. There should be an indoor cutoff valve beneath the fixtures in your home. For instance, if you're completing a kitchen repair, check under the sink for a knob connected to the water pipes. The shutoff switch for many appliances, such as the dishwasher, is located on the appliance itself.

3. Remove Excess Water

Mop or vacuum water (with a wet-dry shop vac) as quickly as possible to prevent water from sitting on wood or carpeted floors. Remove wet furnishings and set up as much ventilation as possible to get the area dried out. Portable items, such as rugs, fine art, couch cushions, small tables, and appliances, should be carried into a dry area to prevent further risk of damage.

Water damage restoration professionals can do a lot toward getting your home back into good condition. When you take quick action to turn off the water and clean up as much of the flooding as possible before the Cookeville, TN, professionals arrive, your home will be in even better shape.

Helpful Hints to Minimize Fire Risks While Cooking

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Don’t overfill your pans with oil when you cook on the stove

Of all the rooms in your home where you gather and spend time, the kitchen may be the most popular. Not only do you prepare and eat meals here, but it’s a common place to visit with one another and with visitors. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that fires occur here often. Many of these mishaps start due to poor cooking techniques or simply not paying attention while at the stove or oven. Here are some tips to help avoid fires from starting in your Carthage, TN, kitchen.

Make Sure Your Appliances Are in Tip-Top Shape

You no doubt use your stove, oven and other kitchen appliances frequently. Over time, like anything else, they’ll begin to falter. Faulty appliances are a big cause for fire damage. Make sure they are working properly and efficiently.

  • Have a trained professional service your oven and stove if you detect any issues.
  • Service your appliances if they are more than 10 years old.
  • Clean your appliances, including the toaster, regularly.

Be Careful With Grease

If you enjoy frying foods, you probably use some type of cooking oil. While this can help concoct some delicious meals, it can also lead to a grease fire. Don’t overfill your pans with oil when you cook on the stove. Also, make sure you promptly clean up any cooking oil spills.

Don’t Walk Away

It’s easy to let ringing phones, television shows, knocks on the door or needy children distract you. However, don’t ever leave your food unattended on the stove. Heat can build up quickly and can ignite and catch fire nearby. Of all the tips to help prevent fires

Watch out for Towels

People typically hang towels near the oven or stove. If you do this, make sure they are far enough away that they don’t pose a hazard.

If you have to call in an expert to clean up after a fire, there are trained professionals who can help. However, if you are aware of these tips, you can keep your kitchen and home free of fire concerns.

How Do I Know If I Have Mold?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Musty mold odor call a mold restoration company in Gordonsville,TN

Finding out if you have mold is easy if it’s where you can see it. But mold is tricky and likes to hang out in the dark, damp spaces many business owners never think to check. You can’t check everywhere, so how can you figure out if you have mold? The best way is to hire a Gordonsville,TN, indoor environmental specialist. If that’s not an option, here are some tips to figuring out if you have mold.

You Have Allergic Symptoms

The full health threat of mold is unclear, but it’s pretty well accepted that mold can trigger allergic reactions. Those include:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore Eyes
  • Nasal Congestion

and more. If you or your employees have allergies that only seem to crop up when you’re inside, there’s a good chance there could be mold growing somewhere in your building. An indoor environmental specialist can help you make a clear determination.

Musty, Mold Odor
Believe it or not, a moldy smell is often the only hint that these pesky spores are growing in your building. A mold smell is best described as musky, damp and mildew-like. It may tickle your nose, or simply be unpleasant. Either way, don't ignore mold odors even if you can’t see mold. Have an expert do a basic examination and a mold test sooner rather than later.

Signs of Water Problems
A lingering drip, condensation on pipes – there are lots of little things businesses learn to ignore because they aren’t causing trouble. But long-term moisture problems will almost always lead to mold growth over time. If you have known water problems, however minor, you might want to have an indoor environmental specialist take a look.
Detecting mold requires vigilance. Talk to your local mold specialist and keep your eyes open for the subtle signs to learn how to spot and shut down mold before it really gets started.

4 Things Property Owners Should Do After a Fire

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Board up in Carthage,TN

Cleanup and Recovery Process After a Fire

A fire at a commercial building may result in the partial or total loss of property. Owners or tenants may also be confronted with the loss of revenue during the fire restoration process. Property owners should follow these four steps to facilitate the cleanup and recovery process.

1. Contact the Insurer

Building owners should immediately contact commercial property insurance providers. Fire damage is usually covered by these standard policies. Depending on the condition of the property, owners or tenants may also want to file a business interruption claim if they have this rider on their commercial insurance or separate interruption insurance coverage.

2. Document the Damage

Owners should try to obtain photographic or video footage of the property to support a fire insurance claim. Wear personal protective equipment such as a mask and try not to touch any contents while obtaining documentation. Spread out towels or other coverings to avoid grinding soot and ash into flooring.

3. Board Up and Secure the Premises

Insurers require that property owners take measures to mitigate fire damage. An owner can do boarding up or tarping with at least one other person, or rely on the expertise of mitigation or fire restoration professionals. Mitigation may involve boarding up missing windows with plywood, covering damaged portions of the roof with tarp, and putting up security fencing.

4. Set Aside Damaged Contents

Property owners may also want to begin sorting through contents to determine whether items are candidates for smoke cleaning or must be disposed of and replaced. This process can help owners file an accurate claim, obtain sufficient compensation for losses, and restore properties to pre-fire condition.

All of these measures can lay the groundwork for the cleanup process following a fire at a commercial building in Carthage, TN. A fire restoration company can repair damage and help owners or tenants get back to business.

3 Safety Tips for Driving on Flooded Roads

11/17/2018 (Permalink)

Driving in Algood,TN can be a challenge, especially when you encounter a flooded street

Safety Tips To Keep In Mind To Ensure You Get Home Safely

Flooding in Algood, TN, can cause widespread damage to homes and other properties. However, few things are as fraught with danger than a flooded street. Water depth and swiftness can be difficult to gauge when driving and both can cause your vehicle to become trapped or swept away. If you encounter a flooded road while driving, there are a few safety tips you can keep in mind to ensure you get home safely.

1. Watch for Signs and Barriers

If strong thunderstorms have caused localized flooding, be aware of caution signs that alert drivers of dangerous areas. If you encounter a barrier across a flooded street, obey the posted signs that accompany it and turn around or follow any detour signs to avoid driving through the flooded area. Follow any directions flood damage and remediation service technicians give you if they happen to be working in the area.

2. Avoid Driving Through Standing Water

One of the most important travel tips to keep in mind while driving during a flash flood is to steer clear of standing water. This includes large puddles you might encounter in parking lots and highways. The depth of the water can be difficult to judge and could disable and damage your car if you try to drive through it. Flooded roads can also develop deep potholes and structural weaknesses that might cause you and your vehicle to become stranded.

3. Try to Reach Higher Ground

If you are driving on a road that starts to flood, try to drive in a direction that will take you to higher ground. If water levels start to rise, it is a good idea to pull over and move uphill on foot, away from flash flood waters, as your car’s tires may lose contact with the road if the water gets too deep.

Driving in Algood, TN, can be a challenge during heavy rain, especially when you encounter a flooded street. Knowing how to stay safe can help you reach your destination without injury or damage to your car.

Fire Safety: Understanding the Main Types of Smoke Detectors

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Purchase your smoke detector at Smithville,TN

A smoke alarm sounds like a simple enough purchase, but when you get to the store, you are confronted with several models and terms like photoelectric, ionization and dual sensor. What does any of that mean? Well, keep reading to find out.

1. Photoelectric Alarms

A photoelectric smoke detector may be best known for its accuracy and durability. These alarms utilize a small strobe light within the housing, and when smoke enters the covering, the light is reflected toward an internal sensor that triggers the alarm. These detectors have less false alarms than ionization models because the deflection requires larger smoke particles, like those created in electrical or other common house fires.

2. Ionization Alarms

An ionization smoke alarm works by electrifying the air that enters the chamber, and when smoke enters the housing, the current is interrupted causing the alarm to sound. Unfortunately, these alarms are triggered by smaller smoke particles, meaning that false alarms do occur, especially in areas like kitchens.

3. Dual-Sensor Alarms

A dual-sensor alarm is precisely as it sounds, it is a combination of both the photoelectric and ionization alarms, making it one of the best devices for smoke detection. Unfortunately, the increased performance also comes with an increased priced tag.

4. Beyond Alarms

Many consider fire safety a significant part of home and family safety, but it goes beyond the purchase of smoke detectors. A safety plan should include evacuation routes and regular family safety meetings. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to hire a company in Smithville,TN, that specializes in emergency planning to help you prepare for a worst-case scenario.

While it seems like a simple tool, every smoke alarm has specifications that make it useful for only certain types of situations. A photoelectric alarm is best suited for dense, slow-burning fires while an ionization alarm is designed for quicker moving fires, like grease and paper. A dual-sensor alarm may be your best choice of alarm, but the price is more. No matter your decision, just know that preparation and detection can be critical to your safety.

How Smart Business Owners Prepare for Emergencies

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Evacuation procedure, including escape routes in Carthage,TN

If you are like most business owners in Carthage, TN, you want to do what you can to protect your business from catastrophe. Of course, safeguarding your building and other physical assets is only part of the equation. You also must take steps to ensure your employees and customers are safe during an emergency. By taking your routine fire drill to the next level, you increase your odds of avoiding disaster.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

Business owners have a duty to protect their employees and customers from injury. Before planning your drill, you must draft an action plan. To comply with OSHA regulations, business action plans must include at least the following components:

  • A procedure for reporting emergencies
  • An evacuation procedure, including escape routes
  • A description for continuing essential operations
  • A method for accounting for employees during the situation
  • An assignment of rescue and medical duties for designated employees
  • A detailed list of contact personnel inside and outside the organization

Hold Periodic Drills
Your organization’s action plan is only good if your employees know how to implement it. The best way to train your employees is to hold a fire drill. During the drill, encourage employees to follow the action plan completely. You may also want to collaborate with emergency responders to make the drill as realistic as possible. Remember, planned drills are usually not as good as surprise one.

Evaluate the Success of Your Action Plan
After you complete a drill, you must have a method for evaluating its success. Ask each department to prepare a report card. Then, look for holes in your action plan. If the plan needs rewriting, do so before your organization’s next drill.


While you can probably use a restoration service to repair your business after a catastrophe, you can’t replace human life. With a complete action plan and a regular fire drill schedule, you can likely boost your odds of keeping everyone in your company safe during a disaster.

What to Do About Crawl Space Water

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover on a water damage in a Cookeville,TN home

When you live in Cookeville, TN, finding a wet crawl space in your home may not be something you immediately think can cause problems in your home. However, if left unattended water in the crawl space can lead to foundation damage and eventual mold growth.

Reasons Crawl Spaces Get Water

While it seems like a small area to worry about, discovering water in the crawlspace is not uncommon. Finding flooding in your crawl space can happen for several reasons.

  • Broken water lines
  • Subterranean water
  • Heavy storm rains
  • Improper drainage from downspouts and gutters
  • Improper sloping of landscaping
  • Over watering of landscaping

The first two in this list are perhaps what most people think crawl space water is from. However improper drainage from spouts and landscaping, and over watering can be equally culpable, and more preventable.

How to Deal With Crawl Space Water

If you find you have a wet crawl space or potential flooding issue it’s best to contact a professional to deal with the problem. They can assess the area containing flood water, and do what's needed to take care of the problem, find the water’s source, repair any damages, and further protect your home.

Tips for Preventing Water in the Crawl Space

There are a few things you can do to help prevent flood damage in your crawl space on your own. You can grade your landscaping so it slopes away from your home, and include irrigation or base layers into your gardens or flower beds to help direct water away as well. Also ensure all hoses have been turned off after the watering is completed. Downspouts should include a back-splash and be angled away from the building, while regularly cleaning and maintaining gutters can help prevent water overflow that pools around the home’s foundation.

If you find you have a wet crawl space it’s best to quickly contact a professional to discover the root of the problem. Remember, there are thing you can do to protect your home as well.

Key Steps You Should Complete During Sprinkler System Maintenance

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial water loss in Smithville, TN

Depending on the nature of your Smithville, TN, business, your sprinkler system may be a vital component of your success. Because it’s idle during winter, it’s important to ensure that this system is functioning properly before you restart it at the beginning of the growing season. To accomplish this, you should complete routine irrigation maintenance.

Optimal Performance

An irrigation system evaluation enables you to identify any existing issues that may interfere with optimal performance, such as broken sprinkler heads, clogs and water leaks. It also ensures your system is ready to go when you need it to perform, helping to minimize potentially harmful irrigation delays.

Initial Steps

Before you turn your system’s water on, you may want to remove sprinkler heads. This may help clear debris near valves, reducing the risk of obstructions.

When you’re ready to initiate water flow, increase pressure slowly. If you immediately turn the water on full strength, the intense initial pressure may cause some components to crack or burst.

Maintenance Checklist

Once the water is turned on, you can evaluate how individual components are functioning. To complete an efficient irrigation maintenance review, you should take the following steps:

  • Ensure the system has adequate water pressure
  • Confirm that each valve has the proper orientation
  • Verify the rotation of heads and adjust as needed
  • Clean filters, if necessary
  • Inspect and clean sensors

It’s also important to check your system’s controller. You may need to reprogram this component to setup automatic watering. You may also need to replace backup batteries.

Avoid Sprinkler Flooding

Every business owner wants their sprinkler system to efficiently perform its duty. Completing annual irrigation maintenance can help minimize the risk of performance issues as well as potentially destructive sprinkler flooding. Flooding can be costly, especially if it flows into your building and necessitates the need for extensive cleanup efforts. In short, an annual irrigation system evaluation helps to ensure optimal performance as well as protect your property and financial interests.

After a Flood: What Not To Do

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Equipment ready for any storm damage in Carthage, TN

If your home in Carthage, TN, is plagued by flood water, you will undoubtedly get a lot of advice about what to do to make the recovery process smoother. Avoiding unnecessary or harmful behavior, however, is just as important, if not more so, than taking positive steps. Here are five actions to avoid so that you don't make a situation that's potentially dangerous worse for you and your family.

1. Don't Stay.

Step one of dealing with a flooded home is getting out of it. Don't try to stay in your house, especially if you have significant damage or if evacuation is recommended or mandated. You could be putting your family's safety at risk.

2. Don't Wade.

A number of problems could arise from standing flood water. It could be charged with electricity, hiding sharp or dangerous items or filled with bacteria. At any rate, you don't want this water to touch your skin or be anywhere near you.

3. Don't Play.

If you are waiting to be rescued or waiting on an adjuster to arrive, you may feel bored. Fight the urge to play games on your phone or use it in any way that depletes the charge. You may need it for emergency reasons, and you may not have any place to recharge it.

4. Don't Buy.

Purchasing new furniture or replacing destroyed items is the very last item on the restoration to-do list. Buying these things before you have a clean, restored place to put them is inadvisable.

5. Don't Hesitate.

You may see widespread water damage all around you, but don't assume that your insurance company and flood restoration specialists won't have time to come and assess your property. Go ahead and give them a call to report the damage to your home. The sooner you call, the sooner they can help.

Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action. Take the steps you need to take, and avoid the things that work against you.

What Is Mold? Your Guide To Understanding This Fungus Among Us

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Cookeville, TN

Mold is one of those dreaded problems that most homeowners are forced to deal with at least once or twice in their lifetimes. However, just because it is a common problem does not make it any easier to remediate—or understand. If you want to better understand black mold, its causes and how you can prevent it, contact your Cookeville, TN, mold remediation team to discuss your concerns and find answers to your most pressing questions.

What Are the Types?

If you want to know how to prevent mold and, when it's present, how to get rid of it, you need to first understand the different varieties and which may be present in your home. There are four main types:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

Your mold cleanup team can help you identify the type present in your home and advise you on the best way to deal with it. If it is black mold, the team can act swiftly to prevent further contamination and prevent unwanted side effects.

Where Is It Found?

Mold can grow in just about any environment and all year round. However, its growth is typically encouraged by high humidity levels and warm conditions. Outdoors, you may be able to find it in moist, shady areas where leaves or other vegetation are decomposing. Indoors, you may be able to find it where humidity levels are high.

How Can You Prevent Exposure?

Preventing mold exposure does not have to be hard, and in fact, many proven prevention measures are things you likely do already. For instance, if you notice a moisture problem, you fix it. If your roof has a leak, you patch it. If the air in your home feels wet, you invest in a dehumidifier. In short, the key to preventing mold is moisture control.

It can be disheartening to find black mold or mold of any kind in one's home. If you discover the fungi in your home, reach out to Cookeville, TN , mold remediation experts to correct the issue and prevent further problems.

How To Protect Your Building After a Fire

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Woodbury, TN home

Even immediately after a building fire, you realize that the structure and content of your building may be damaged by fire, heat or smoke. Sometimes firefighters use a ventilation technique to help put out a fire. That sounds pretty harmless, but it really means they break through the roof, walls or windows of your building during the firefight. This necessary technique helps firefighters to:

  • Remove smoke
  • Release heat
  • Improve vision for firefighter safety
  • Increase the speed at which the fire can be put out

If your building in Woodbury, TN has fire damage to exterior walls or the roof, or if firefighters had to break through the exterior, you will need to cover these areas to protect your property from weather and exposure.

Protection From the Elements

It’s important that you hire the right remediation company to ensure the best recovery during fire cleanup. Proper recovery specialists will begin immediately by protecting your building and its contents from the elements. Here are some ways your building might need additional protection during mitigation:

  • Tarp Services. Tarps are usually placed on the building to protect from water damage until roof repair is complete.
  • Boarding Up. This method is used to close off the building walls and windows to keep people out for safety or to guard against theft.
  • Fencing. Effective to keep people at a safe distance from the building during cleanup and construction.

These barriers protect property for you and your clients for the duration of the recovery process. This ensures that the contents and structure will not be further damaged by rain, wind, or humans.

Recovery Assistance

The many steps involved in fire cleanup can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. A professional company is efficient in handling all the steps while guiding you through the process. They are experienced and knowledgeable about proper cleaning methods with a focus on recovering items that can be saved so you can get back to work as quickly as possible.

How To Train Employees on Evacuation Protocol

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storm equipment in Smithville, TN

As a business owner in Smithville, TN, your goal is usually to keep your employees at work, not to teach them to get out. However, in the event of a real emergency, or planned fire drill, getting out is exactly what you need them to do. Review the tips below to put a preparedness plan into place to keep you and your staff safe in a disaster.

What To Do Before an Evacuation Drill

Prior to tripping the smoke alarm and expecting an efficient fire drill to occur, you must plan and train your staff accordingly.

  • Create an emergency action plan. Include primary and secondary escape routes and assign responsibilities, such as shutting down hazardous materials equipment or calling 911. Specific roles and responsibilities vary by the type of business and building.
  • Train staff on how to recognize the alarm, and ensure that it can be seen, heard and/or felt by all personnel. Plan for employees with disabilities.
  • Communicate both verbally and in writing a clear policy and procedure related to evacuation. Provide each person a copy or post throughout the building.

What To Do After a Drill

Your employees are out of the building safely. Now what?

  • Even in a drill, account for all employees. Set a specific meeting place for each employee and assign someone to check all names against a predetermined list. In an actual disaster, knowing if someone is still inside the building is critical.
  • Repeat the drill often so that your staff can easily perform the steps quickly under pressure. Practicing is especially important at onset, when new employees join and when changes are made to the business or the plan.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of each drill, so continual improvements can be made.

Whether you are conducting a fire drill, or experiencing a real emergency at your business in Smithville, TN, the goal is to get your employees out safely. If a disaster should occur, once everyone is safe, conduct a visual damage check of your commercial property. If damage is present, contact a storm restoration specialist and your insurance agent as soon as possible.

Ways To Keep Water out of Your Crawl Space

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Floor damaged caused by water loss in a Cookeville, TN home

When it comes to flooding at home, basements, cellars and crawl spaces are among the most common places to find water. While you may not worry too much about a little water in this tiny part of your home, if you neglect the problem, it could lead to more serious issues in your Cookeville, TN, home. Make sure you take the proper action to help ensure you don’t end up with a wet crawl space.

How it Happens

As a homeowner, you have a host of matters you must deal with to keep your home safe. A flood can frustrate you because of the cleanup and repair costs, not to mention to potential health and safety hazards. Here are some signs your crawl space may be at risk for water buildup:

  • Broken underground lines
  • Poorly graded property
  • Broken or incorrectly installed downspouts and rain gutters

Pay Attention to Landscaping

One of the biggest culprits for a wet crawl space is when your property doesn’t have the right slope. Your lawn and other landscaping should slope away from your home so when heavy rain comes, it won’t build up on your property and find its way into your basement. Make sure water is draining away from your house.

Don’t Water too Much

If you’ve got a garden or flower bed close to your home, be careful about how much you water it. Overwatering can easily cause water to leak into your crawl space and cause flooding.

Check Your Rain Gutters

If a storm hits, you count on rain gutters and downspouts to guide water away from your home toward the street. Check these on your house to ensure they are collecting water near your foundation or window wells.

If you’re worried about a wet crawl space, get in touch with a professional to inspect your property. These technicians can also help you clean up after a flood.

3 Steps for Preparing for Mold Remediation

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

These steps can effectively address mold issues.

There are many misconceptions about mold, making it difficult for property owners to understand how long the process should take and how to budget for the work. For example, many people don't understand that mold exists everywhere. Spores get into buildings through open doors, ventilation systems, and on clothing. Consider the following facts about mold:

• Spores are microscopic and can't be completely removed from a building.
• Moist and mildly humid conditions promote mold growth.
Mold removal (or remediation) begins by identifying areas of moisture and correcting those issues.
Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, isn't always toxic. However, when you find any type of mold in your building, you should stay away from that area without disturbing the mold.

With these facts in mind, take the following steps when preparing for mold remediation. Many Cookeville, TN, businesses have built these steps into their maintenance protocols to avoid costly repairs in the future.

1. Learn how moisture gets into your buildings. Before you call a mold removal professional, you can begin resolving this problem by finding the source of moisture. This often requires visually inspecting your entire property. If mold has spread throughout your building, the source of the problem may be pretty far from the initial source of moisture. Professionals will also want to inspect the source of trouble to prevent future mold growth.

2. Make a record of the problem. Insurance companies in Cookeville, TN, often require proof of mold before agreeing to pay for remediation. Your written records and photos of the area could also be used by professionals when they plan their remediation efforts. Your records may also be used to determine the extent of the problem.

3. Plan for three to seven days of remediation work. The mold removal process typically includes the same steps:

• Resolving the water problem
• Isolating areas of mold contamination
• Misting contaminated areas to control dust
• Removing and disposing of damaged materials
• Thoroughly cleaning and drying infected areas
• Replacing removed materials

These steps can effectively address mold issues. After the area has been cleared by professionals, you can safely begin using that part of your property again. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

3 Ways To Incorporate Smart Home Fire Protection

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety in the home is all about preventative measures.

The National Fire Protection Association has long held the minimum standards for smoke alarm quota within the home, often requiring at least one per floor and one in every sleeping area. Yet, with the expansion of average home sizes and an increase of flammable materials within the household, the question of fire safety has become one of smarts.

The potential of the devastating effects and extensive restoration process of a house fire may prompt you to incorporate smart smoke alarm technology in your Cookeville, TN, home. Here are three options to consider:

1. Smart Batteries

These function in the same way as regular smoke detector batteries, with the added feature of Wi-Fi connectivity. This smart capability can send an alert to your phone when the smoke detector sounds and when the five-year battery is running low. Most smoke detectors have an average lifespan of ten years, making smart batteries a simple adaptation to the system you already have in place.

2. Listeners

If you have a larger home, a listener device could save you the hassle of routinely replacing the numerous smoke detectors within your residence. These devices plug into the wall and listen for the specific frequency of smoke alarms, sending your phone a notification if the frequency is detected. One listener device can cover upwards of an entire floor, making it an excellent connectivity tool for large homes.

3. Smart Smoke Detectors

The most comprehensive option of the three, this system would replace your current devices with internet-connected versions. Many versions include app access on your phone, allowing you to silence false alarms via push notification. Furthermore, the system can alert you when batteries are running low, effectively avoiding the notorious chirping of a traditional smoke alarm.

Fire safety in the home is all about preventative measures. Utilizing smart home fire protection technology to advance the system you already have in place provides numerous benefits. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.

Why Do I Have a Wet Crawl Space?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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/.

What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Restoring Your Cookeville Commercial Property After a Water Damage

9/13/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Cookeville 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 Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury 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.

For Emergency Services in the Upper Cumberland, Call SERVPRO

8/26/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Putnam, Smith, Dekalb, Cannon, White and Cumberland Counties. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 931.528.9292

Residential Services

Whether your Cookeville home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Cookeville commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: 

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile Application Keeps Critical Disaster Recovery and Restoration Information at Property Owners' Fingertips

5/2/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO encourages property owners to take advantage of free download to create an Emergency Ready Profile

For a property owner, a worst-case disaster scenario involving fire or water damage can seem unthinkable and then suddenly become a reality. In the aftermath of a disaster, quick response time by a disaster recovery and restoration specialist can help minimize property damage as well as inventory or home contents loss. To provide home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in the experts when disaster strikes, SERVPRO announces the public release of their SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile Application. The free App is now available to download from app stores across three mobile platforms: Android™, iOS® and Blackberry®.

"The one constant in disasters," says Rick Isaacson, Executive Vice President of SERVPRO Industries, Inc, "is that there isn't any constant. Disasters are unpredictable and frequently strike without warning. That's why SERVPRO's Ready Plan mobile app is so valuable. In the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using their cell phones."

The application allows both residential and commercial property managers and owners to create an Emergency Ready Profile that contains critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs. In addition to property details, the application tracks prior loss history, utility shut off locations, and key contacts; stores photos of the damage; and integrates local weather forecasts and more, including the address and contact information for the user's preferred SERVPRO Franchise.

Through the application, the user can quickly call SERVPRO or submit an electronic "First Notice of Loss" (FNOL) to the SERVPRO National Call Center setting the wheels of recovery in motion. Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal, "Like it never even happened."

"I hope that businesses and homeowners nationwide will take a moment to download our new Ready Plan mobile app to their smart phone," said Isaacson. "Having that information literally at your fingertips in an emergency can prove invaluable if disaster does strike."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration and repair services for both commercial and residential customers. SERVPRO also offers large loss, national storm response, mold remediation and other property maintenance and restoration services.

For more information about SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury, please visit www.SERVPROcookeville.com.

What is Black Mold?

3/29/2016 (Permalink)

You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants. However, many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants. Treat any mold with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can cause reactions, you should contact us regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold may exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury immediately. 

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale disasters.

When Hoarding Becomes a Biohazard

2/17/2016 (Permalink)

As the public defines clutter it is usually a situation where the homeowner becomes uncomfortable where they live and believes that the home is not organized. As you imagine every clutter issue is different from one person to the next. What one person considers clutter, another person thinks it is organized and acceptable.

There are those situations where clutter becomes extreme to the point where it becomes a safety and health concern. Again every situation is different and what the local government thinks is extreme maybe different from what you think. The bottom line is that whether the local government or you think that the clutter is an extreme situation can lead to an unhealthy situation including bio hazard situations.

The term bio hazard seems to have a strong context, but it does describe what can happen when extreme cluttering gets out of control. Let’s talk about some of the bio hazards that may be created when major clutter situations occur.

Biohazard Food Concerns

When you first read the word food, you may have thought you read it wrong. But food is a leading cause of biohazard situations with extreme clutter. Those who have major clutter issues, eventually lose the use of the kitchen and the kitchen appliances. They take the food and eat it in every other room in the house. Instead of throwing the food away they leave the left overs where they ate. One of the theories explained, is the concept that those who clutter have a short span of attention. Something takes them away from putting the food back in the correct place.

The next problem is that the food rots and creates mold issues and draws in mice and rats. The mice and rats leave tons of urine and feces. The feces itself has a deadly disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This disease is deadly according to the CDC and can actually be contracted by breathing it in.

Safety

Every fire department has complained about extreme cluttered homes. Cluttering can be so bad, that if there is a fire it becomes almost impossible to pull someone out alive. The clutter itself becomes a fire fuel that when lit is impossible to stop. The other issues are the actual clutter following on top of someone and burying them alive. Cases upon cases are documented of people being found days and months later buried in piles of clutter.

Human Feces and Human Urine

A major reason why people clutter extremely is the emotional attachment to what they are cluttering. To part with what they have collected is almost impossible and they will hold on to these items forever without help.

One thing that clutter victims collect is there own urine and feces. Urine is collected in all kinds of bottles and feces stored in plastic bags. These items are stored all around the clutter and underneath piles of stuff.

Clutter clean up with bio hazard

Many families and friends and even professional organizers feel the need to assist in extreme hoarding situations. As they begin the task of removing, organizing and sorting the items they start to smell bad odors. The bad odors they discover come from mold and rotten food and of course rat and mice feces. At this point most friends and family members of clutters hire someone who has certifications and experience.

SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury has trained professionals that are eqipped to handle hoarding problems. Call us today at (931)528-9292.

Us vs. Mom and Pop

2/10/2016 (Permalink)

I was out the other day, trying to get some creative juices flowing. My friend and I start a conversation about what all SERVPRO of Cookeville does, loud enough for people around us to hear. All of a sudden a guy chimes in with, "You can't compete with mom and pop shops in this area." Then proceeds to list all of the reasons why. It really got me thinking….

 There has been a lot of buzz lately about shopping local and supporting small business. The argument for it is pretty compelling. Strictly based on economics, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy and only $27 leaves. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves. Non-profits receive 250% more from small businesses than large ones.

 SERVPRO is becoming a well known brand. Most people have seen the commercials on TV. To some this give off a very large business/corporation vibe. Although we have a corporate office, all of the franchises are independently owned and operated. This means that we are a small business. All of our employees live in the area we service. We personally buy locally, and our business buys as much as possible locally. Our kids go to school in this area, and because of that, we help with fundraisers and sponsorships. Our local economy and infrastructure are important to our business. To be proactive and involved with this, we are active members of our Chamber of Commerce. We want other small business in our area to succeed, so we are active in local business networking groups.

 If you are in any kind of business, or if you are not and have common sense, you know that customer service matters. I like going to the small boutique on our square because they know my name, size, and style. I feel like it’s a personal interaction more than a business transaction. We treat our customers the same. I run into customers from last year at the coffee shop and catch up with them. They know that they can call us at 2am, and sometimes they do. I love when we get a call that starts with, "I know you don't remember me, but you did some work on my house…" We do remember them and it makes them feel like more than an invoice. And we do work honestly. We're not going to try to upsell you on a product you don't need  

We are a small business and hiring us has all of the benefits of hiring other small businesses, but there is one HUGE difference. Do you know who mom and pop shops call when they have too large a job? They call us. When mom and pop shops are out of equipment, they are out of equipment. Done. We have the resources of another 1,699 franchise, plus our corporate office. If every building in downtown on Main Street floods, we can handle it. When I called our corporate office to see if they could give me a number of just the vehicles in the system, they said there too many to keep a list. That's a pretty big difference.

So to finish my story, the reply that the over opiniated guy got was, " We are a small business with huge resources." And that pretty much sums it up. 

The Worst Advice We've Heard in the Restoration Industry

1/31/2016 (Permalink)

The Internet is a great thing. Without it we wouldn't have Facebook or Netflix and I wouldn't know how to waste 80% of my time. On the other hand we've all seen the Abraham Lincoln quote, "Don't believe everything you see on the Internet" and the State Farm French model commercial. Most of this stuff is just silly and not doing any damage other than dumbing down a small percentage of our society. It's 2016 and just last week there was a Twitter feud between B.O.B. and Neil deGrasse Tyson over the earth being flat. (Dope tracks were dropped and everything. It was a mess.)  

 But what happens when you have water damage in your home and go to the Internet for advice? There's too many websites and YouTube channels claiming to be professionals that aren't. If you follow bad remediation advice it could lead to secondary damage, cost thousands of dollars to properly fix, and result in your insurance claim being denied.  

Here's some advice we've heard that you should avoid:

  • Don't contact your insurance company.
  • Yes, do. You will want to know what your insurance policy covers and what your options are. If it's not covered under your policy, they can at least give you a list of trusted vendors they've worked with before. If it is covered, you will want to see if it's in your best interest to file a claim. Depending on the total cost of remediation and mitigation, specifically how close it is to your deductible, your agent might advise against it.

  • If you have water damage, shut up the house and turn on the heat.
  • While on the surface this seems like it would work, it doesn't. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. The heat is going to make the water evaporate, but without ventilation the moisture will stay in the air. Mold needs moisture and warm temperature to grow, so doing this makes a perfect breeding ground.

  • Put some box fans on it.
  • Trust me, if this were true, we could save a lot of money going to the dollar store to buy box fans instead of our air movers and blowers. While we do use fans in the drying process, our's are much more powerful. Household fans are not equipped to remove enough moisture or deliver enough air movement to help prevent further damage.

  •    Bleach kills mold.
  • This sentence just wasn't finished. Bleach kills mold it comes in contact with. If you have mold in your bathtub, on the tile, or another non-porous surface, bleach is the way to go. On drywall or wood, not so much. Bleach cannot penetrate these materials, so only the mold growing on the surface is killed.

  • All you need is soap and water to clean up after a fire.
  • Surprisingly enough, we heard this from an adjuster we were working for. It simply isn't true. Fires are extremely complex to clean up after and many factors go into how you should do it. What kind of smoke residue is left behind is determined by what was burning and the oxygen content of the fire. The residue and surface you are cleaning determines the chemicals that are used to remove the damage. While soap and water can be used, unless it is a very small fire, it is almost never enough to thoroughly clean.

  • You can do it yourself. Just YouTube it.
  • Don't be that guy. After a water damage, it takes 48-72 hours for mold to grow. It takes only minutes for permanent discoloration after soot settles. Water, fire and mold damages shouldn't be treated like a DIY project. Hiring a professional can save you time and lots of money in the end. And we won't have to change our slogan to "We Repair what Your Husband Fixed." 

    Understanding and Preventing Ice Dams

    1/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Understanding and Preventing Ice Dams 

    Ice dams can be incredibly destructive in the winter. They can cause leaks that rot away the structure of the house. Fortunately, they can be prevented with a little maintenance and care. You should understand what ice dams are and how to prevent them from forming.

    Understanding What an Ice Dam Is
    An ice dam is something that forms on the edge or lower portion of your roof. The dam is an area of ice that acts like a wall. Ice dams stop snow and water from moving naturally off your roof. The water will begin to accumulate on your roof behind the dam. Ice dams are dangerous because the water on your roof will usually flow under the shingles and into your home. This can cause a massive amount of water damage to the structure of your house. Additionally, the ice itself could punch a hole in the roof that allows water to enter. The dam could tear the gutters out opening a new path where water can enter the house.

    Why Ice Dams Form
    An ice dam can form on any home when the temperatures are right and there is snow on the roof. The main cause of ice dams is the constant melting and then refreezing of water and snow. The melting snow rolls down the side of the roof. The cold air then causes it to freeze. If this process is allowed to go one for some time, then the frozen patches of water will start to grow. This occurs until a tall dam has formed. Homes that are emitting a large amount of heat through the roof are more vulnerable to ice dams.

    Attic Ventilation
    One of the main ways to prevent ice dams is to make certain the attic has good ventilation. A warm attic will cause the snow on the roof to continually melt. The cold weather will cause it to refreeze until an ice dam appears. You should install a fan or other ventilation system so that your attic stays cool in the winter. It will also help to repair any holes or gaps in the roof where water could find a way into your house.

    Upgrading the Gutters
    Another option to prevent ice dams is to upgrade the gutters along the edge of your roof. There are now gutter heating systems available. A series of cables are installed down the length of your gutters. A shield is placed on top of the gutters. The cables are actually heating elements. Any snow or ice that gathers on the edge of your roof is melted with this gentle heat. This reduces the chance that any amount of ice will accumulate and create a dam causing water damage.

    Keeping the Roof Clean
    If your home is prone to ice dams, then you need to keep the roof clean. This means removing as much snow from the roof as possible. Many tools and devices are available that can be used to safely remove snow from a roof without requiring you to climb a dangerous ladder in the winter. Removing the snow prevents it from melting and refreezing into an ice dam.

    Breaking Up an Ice Dam
    If there is an ice dam already on your roof, then it is possible to break it up manually to minimize damage. You will need to use a tool to slowly chip off pieces of the dam. The goal is to create a channel through the dam so that the water trapped behind can escape and flow off the roof. This can temporarily solve the problem although the channel will likely fill in with more ice over time.

    Our technicians are highly trained and experienced with every water damage situation from sewage damage clean up, mold removal, smoke damage repair, fire damage repair, flooded basement, wet carpet, wet walls, carpet water damage, basement water damage, flooded crawl space, sewer backup, sewage removal, mud removal, commercial water damage, restoration, house water damage, building water damage, hotel water damage, flooded building, crawl space water damage, crawl space sewage damage, pump out and dry out.

    When your home is being threatened by water damage from flooding or leaks, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury's staff have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects water damage can have in order to help preserve and restore your property. Our Professionals have the equipment and experience necessary to handle the most challenging water damage and removal situations and are available around-the-clock. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury professionals concentrate on safely drying, deodorizing and disinfecting the areas flooded or damaged by water.

    SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthge/SmithvilleWoodbury proudly serves Putnam, Smith, DeKalb, Cannon, Cumberland, Jackson, Overton and surrounding counties.

    Contact SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury Regarding Your Water Damage Emergency - (931)528-9292

    FAQs about Air Duct Cleaning

    1/6/2016 (Permalink)

    Before and after of a commercial duct cleaning by SERVPRO of Cookeville.

     While many homeowners are beginning to realize the importance of routine duct cleaning, you may still have questions about the process. That's why we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about who should clean your ducts, why it's necessary, and how it's done.


    "Why do my air ducts need to be cleaned?"

    Over the years, dust, allergens, dirt, and other debris can accumulate in your ducts. In fact, it can build up in layers as much as three inches deep! This filth can trap bacteria and foster mold growth, creating potential health threats for your family. And, to make matters worse, every time your HVAC system turns on, some of these contaminants are circulated throughout your house. Having your air ducts cleaned removes this accumulation of pollutants and greatly improves the air quality of your home. For safe, breathable air, you should have your ducts cleaned at least every four years.

    "How exactly is my ductwork cleaned?"

    Using specialized tools and a negative airflow system (essentially a huge vacuum), air duct cleaners scrape the dust, dirt, and debris from your ducts. The tools agitate the particles away from the sides of the ducts and the vacuum keeps them from escaping into your house. The cleaning should also include air washing furnace and air conditioner components, vacuuming registers, and applying mold inhibiting agents if necessary.

    "Who should clean my ducts?"

    Only trust a professional duct cleaning service. These experts have the knowledge and specialized equipment to effectively remove all of the dust and debris from your ductwork without damaging it or dispersing the pollutants throughout your house. 

    "Will duct cleaning damage my furnace or air conditioner?"

    No: duct cleaners use specialized tools and techniques to remove accumulated dust without harming any component of your HVAC system. In fact, your furnace and air conditioner will actually work better after a cleaning: airflow will be improved, so your heating and cooling system can run more efficiently.

    "My home is new, so I don't need a duct cleaning, right?"

    Wrong! Construction is a messy process, and frequently debris and drywall dust get into your ductwork. This blocks airflow, traps even more dust, and can contribute to mold growth. A thorough cleaning will remove any obstructions, as well as the accumulated dust, to get your ducts into great shape!

    "Will my house be less dusty after my ductwork cleaning?"

    You bet! Because your heating and cooling system circulates dust from your ductwork throughout your home, eliminating that dust means your whole house will be cleaner.

    "Since my new furnace clean, I don't need a duct cleaning, right?"

    Wrong. Even though your new furnace is clean, there is still dust in your ducts. And, because the fan on your new furnace is probably more powerful than the old one, all that dust and dirt is going to be blown straight into your rooms! Most HVAC cleaning specialists recommend a complete ductwork cleaning in tandem with any new furnace or air conditioner installation.

    "Will duct cleaning help my allergies?"

    Most likely. The accumulation inside your ducts includes pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens as well as dirt. Removing this debris should greatly decrease the concentration of allergens in the air and reduce your allergy symptoms.

    If you have any additional questions about ductwork cleaning or need to schedule a cleaning for your ductwork, contact SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury. They'll be able to provide additional information and superior cleaning!

    The Battleground for Christmas

    12/16/2015 (Permalink)

    In the early 1900's, insurance companies wanted to stifle the Christmas season. That's not much of an exaggeration, but they had good intentions.

    In the middle of the 1600's people started lighting up their Christmas trees. Of course no one had our modern electric lights then, so they would place candles, held by wax, on the end of the branches. They learned very early on this was extremely dangerous, but electric strands weren't to be invented until the late 19th century.

    In 1882, an associate of Thomas Edison hand wired a strand of 80 red, white and blue lights for his personal Christmas tree. He placed his tree in his New York apartment window for all to see. The demand for these stringed lights went up and they were being mass produced in 1890. Let me clarify though, the demand went up among the extremely wealthy of the time. One strand of lights cost $300 in today's currency, including the fee for the electrician that had to install them. Since the price was so high people were still using candles well into the 20th century.

    Unsurprisingly, candle-lit trees brought grief to insurance companies who increasingly had to deal with the claims relating to the tree fires. So many disastrous fires occured, newspapers would report the season's first fire as casually as the first snow fall. And the damage didn't discriminate against people. One unlucky Santa Clause caught fire while reaching to grab a present under the tree at a department store. He was burned, but lucky.

    In 1908, a group of insurance companies collectively refused to pay for fires started by Christmas trees with candles. They adopted a clause of "knowing risks" in their policies. This clause was inserted mainly because a fire was practically inevitable when lit candles were placed on dry trees. This meant that department store windows illuminating with Christmas joy was banned. Church sanctuaries swelling with pines and  firs were banned. Halls decked with boughs of holly were forbidden--as long as they wanted to keep their insurance policy.

    Electric lights offered an alternative. However, they weren't much more reliable for safety. The next year the insurance underwriters added 'electric lights' to their list of banned decorations. Not until the 1920's were safer lights available. However Christmas tree fires were still common. In 1943, Bing Crosby's mansion was engulfed in flames after his Christmas tree lights short circuted. Most of his loss was covered by insurance though, as they had started to relent.

    Still today we have fires starting from our strands of lights. While hanging them up it's important to remember the following:

    • Electricity can and will travel through you to get to its home, which is the ground.
    • If you discover a loose wire when you're hanging your Christmas lights, do not touch the bare wires.
    • Don't use staples to hand your lights unless you have a guide specifically designed to sheild the cable from the wires.
    • Water + Christmas lights = No fun. Make sure when hanging them outside you use UL rated, water proof lights.

    Once you have the lights hung, remember these fire safety tips:

    • If you have a real tree, make sure it is fresh and the needles don't fall off easily.
    • If you have an artificial tree, look for the "flame resistant" label.
    • Cut real trees 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk to ensure water absorption and water daily.
    • Place tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
    • Never connect more that 3 strands together.
    • Turn off lights when you go to bed and leave the house.
    • Dispose of live trees soon (less than 4 weeks after putting it up).

    Four Ways to Lessen Winter Insurance Woes

    12/4/2015 (Permalink)

    For residents of the East Coast, the winter of 2014–15 served up some of the snowiest and coldest conditions on record.

    For insurance companies, this was also one of the costliest seasons on record — more costly in fact than Superstorm Sandy.

    The majority of homeowners’ losses were the result of ice dams and frozen pipes, many of which could have been prevented. 

    Claims and risk management teams studied losses to understand how they could have been prevented. Based on these insights, we have compiled advice that you can use to help them mitigate winter weather-related risks, this year and beyond:

    1. Fortify an unoccupied home 

    Risk: Homeowners who are away from home at the time of a loss are at greater risk of devastating damage due to a delayed response. In fact, homeowners who were away from home when a loss occurred experienced more than four times the amount of damage from burst pipes.

    Recommendations: Install a whole-house leak detection system that includes an automatic water shut-off option. These devices, such as Leak Defense System, can detect abnormalities in a pipe's water flow and automatically shut off the water supply—preventing a major loss from occurring. Smart thermostats, like Nest, can remotely alert homeowners of any temperature changes that could lead to a frozen or burst pipe.

    Actual loss story: While away on vacation, a family's burglar alarm system alerted them to movement within the home. The police department saw no signs of a break-in, but when nearby family members inspected the home they discovered not one but four burst pipes. The burst pipes allowed for water, which had been running for more than 24 hours, to leak onto each level of the home, causing a $1 million loss.

    2. Address uninsulated pipes 

    Risk: During periods of extreme temperatures, uninsulated pipes are at high risk for freezing and bursting. The risk is increased because these pipes are often located in unheated spaces, like the attic.

    Recommendations: Pipes in unheated areas, along with all exposed surfaces (like tees and valves) should be properly insulated with flexible closed cell polyethylene or elastomeric insulation or wrapped in self-regulating heat cable. Both can be found at most home improvements stores for around $5 each. Attics should also be adequately insulated and ventilated.

    Actual loss story: When a pipe burst in the attic of a homeowner's secondary home, water flowed unnoticed for weeks until a neighbor spotted the issue. By that time, the water had caused extensive damage throughout the home. The result was a loss of more than $2 million.

    3. Protect the roof against ice dams

    Risk: Ice dams form after heavy snowfall, when heat radiating from a home causes the underside of a snow layer to melt. The melted snow drains along the roof until it cools and freezes into an ice dam, trapping future runoff from draining. This water can then leak into a home through the roof.

    Recommendations: A properly insulated and adequately ventilated attic is critical in maintaining proper temperature and airflow. A roofing underlayment can help prevent water from leaking through the roof. Schedule a roof inspection before the start of winter to identify any weak spots and to replace damaged shingles or tiles, and arrange for gutters to be cleaned prior to the winter season. Regularly remove snow from the roof, especially following large storms. Clients with aluminum or copper gutters should install heated cables to gutters and downspouts to prevent melted snow from freezing.

    Actual loss story: After several large snowstorms in a hard-hit area of the Northeast, a MA resident noticed water seeping through the ceilings and walls within an area of their home. Upon inspection it was found that the water was in fact melted snow seeping in through the roof. The resulting damage was severe and would require structural repairs. The claim totaled $200,000.

    4. Assess risk outside the home 

    Risk: Damage from burst pipes does not exclusively originate from pipes inside the home. If property includes an outdoor system such as a swimming pool, it can cause pressure to connected indoor piping, which can burst.

    Recommendations: Advise your clients to properly winterize all outdoor systems: Close any inside valves that supply outdoor hoses and open outside valves to allow the remaining water to drain, swimming pools and irrigation systems should be properly winterized, and consider replacing your garden hose faucet with a “frost proof” version, which costs about $30.

    Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/11/18/4-ways-to-lessen-winter-insurance-woes?page=5

    Mold Causes

    11/24/2015 (Permalink)

    Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outside. It usually isn't a problem until it starts to grow inside. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. There are 4 critical requirements for mold to grow.

    • Mold Spores - When mold reproduces, it creates mold spores. Mold spores can survive in much harsher conditions than mold and spread through the air current. They are literally everywhere. Using an air purifier in your home that has a HEPA filter will help with eliminating the spores in the air. 
    • Food - In buildings, molds are most commonly found on cellulosic building materials, meaning anything with paper, wood or natural fiber textiles. Molds eat the sugar and starch from the cellulose. But mold can also grow on non-cellulosic material, such as plastic, provided that there is some sort of food source on it. Even the oil from your skin on stainless steel, or a soap residue after cleaning will provide sufficient nutrients for mold to grow. It's virtually impossible to eliminate mold food sources from your home. 
    • Temperature - Most molds grow at 40-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, we're quite comfortable between those temperatures also. 
    • Moisture - Finally, something you can control. Molds require high m oisture levels. Mold spores that have been dormant for years can can begin growing if adequate moisture or humidity is present. After mold has started to grow, it can survive at lower humidity levels. Mold only needs 24-48 hours of moisture to grow. Therefore if if a suitable material in your house has been wet longer than a day, there's a chance mold is already present. 

    When your home is being threatened by mold from any type of water damage or just summer humidity, SERVPRO of Cookeville has the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects mold can have in order to help preserve and restore your property. We have the equipment and experience necessary to handle the most challenging mold removal situations and are available around-the-clock. We concentrate on safely drying, deodorizing and disinfecting the areas flooded or damaged by water. When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back.

    Prevent Frozen Pipes

    11/3/2015 (Permalink)

    Home is frozen after pipes burst.

    According to the Insurance Information Institute, winter storms are the third largest cause of catastrophic claims behind hurricanes and tornados. Winter damage and freezing account for almost 22% of homeowner’s claims, averaging $4,024 a claim. A crack as small as one-eighth inch in a pipe can spew as much as 250 gallons of water a day.

    The science behind it is simple. We've seen it when we leave a coke can in the freezer too long and it bursts. Ice takes up about 10% more space that liquid does. But surprisingly, it isn't the expansion of ice that causes the pipes to burst. When there is an ice blockage in your pipes, the water between the blockage and the water main can recede back to the main. It has somewhere to travel. But the water between the blockage and the faucet builds pressure. If you leave a trickle in the faucet when temperatures drop below 20 degrees, it alleviates the pressure. 

    It's very important if you are traveling for the weekend or the holidays that you turn off the main water valve. However, if you don't empty the pipes after, you can still come home to a mess. Remember, the water that is still in the pipes can freeze and cause the pressure needed to burst. 

    You should also leave the cabinet doors under the sink open, especially if your sink is on an exterior wall. This allows warm air to circulate in the cabinet. The same is true of your laundry room. 

    When your home is being threatened by water damage from a burst pipe or any type of water damage from flooding or leaks, SERVPRO of Cookeville has the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects water damage can have in order to help preserve and restore your property. We have the equipment and experience necessary to handle the most challenging water damage and removal situations and are available around-the-clock. We concentrate on safely drying, deodorizing and disinfecting the areas flooded or damaged by water. When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back.

    Contact SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury Regarding Your Water Damage Emergency (931) 528-9292

    How to Select a Professional Carpet Cleaner

    10/28/2015 (Permalink)

    In just a few weeks family and friends will be gathering in your home. After cooking, cleaning, and day to day chores that have to be done, who has time to deep clean their carpets? Not many do, but they don't know how to pick one with all the ads on TV and in newspapers. Here's what the IICRC suggests: 

     The media has related horror stories of trusting consumers who have responded to low-price carpet cleaning specials only to become victims of unethical cleaners who refuse to honor the advertised price, intimidate the consumers and do poor quality work.

    Bait-and-switch operators are prevalent in many industries, and the carpet cleaning industry is no exception. This does not mean that all carpet cleaners are rip-off artists. How do you know who is and who is not? The professional carpet cleaning industry has cited these scam activities as a major industry concern and is taking action to help eliminate unprofessional workmanship and unethical tactics. One of the leaders in this campaign is the IICRC, an international, non-profit organization that certifies cleaners who meet prescribed levels of technical proficiency and pledge to operate by a Code of Ethics.

    To help educate consumers so they will not become victims of fraudulent practices within the cleaning industry, the IICRC has released a list of guidelines to consider when selecting a carpet cleaner.

    • Price – If an advertised price sounds too good to be true – it is! Often carpet cleaners advertise a low price just to get their foot in the door. Use common sense; a low price usually equates to low quality for any product or service. Legitimate business people have expenses they must cover, including license, taxes, insurance, employee wages, and benefits, and quality tools of the trade. A professional carpet cleaner who must cover all of these business expenses and make a profit to stay in the business cannot afford to drive to your house for $5.95, much less clean a room of carpet when there.
    • Quality – Never should the price of cleaning services be the sole criterion for selecting a carpet cleaner. A price that sounds high may not be a signal of a rip-off. In all professions, quality work deserves a quality price.
    • Truth in Advertising – Read the fine print in advertised specials to find out exactly what the price includes, and request a firm price in writing before the work begins.
    • Training – Professional cleaning firms require management and employees to engage in formal training in a variety of cleaning disciplines, and these educational efforts will be ongoing.  Consumers should ask about the formal training background of technicians who will be cleaning their carpet.
    • Certification – Professional firms require technicians who have certification from organizations like the IICRC or through comparable franchise or independent training and testing organizations.
    • Experience – The years of experience a firm has, combined with formal training programs, contribute significantly to the experience and proficiency of its employees.
    • Knowledgeable – Professional firms employ and train technicians who have the ability to answer basic questions regarding carpet performance and maintenance, as well as spotting and cleaning.
    • References – Consumers should ask for references from previous customers, and they should consult friends and business acquaintances about the reputation of the cleaning firm they are considering. Do not hesitate to call the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau.
    • Trade Associations – Professional cleaning firms are members of regional or national trade associations or other organizations that promote high ethical standards and continuing education. Look for trade association logos in advertising.
    • Credibility – Community involvement through the Chamber of Commerce and/or professional business, charitable or similar organizations will be undertaken by concerned, caring professionals. Look for logos indicating involvement in these organizations.
    • Method – Ask the cleaner which method of cleaning will be used and the advantages and disadvantages of this method compared to other methods.
    • Proof – Never hesitate to ask for proof. Ask to see the cleaner’s certification card, business license and insurance certificate.
    • No Pressure – Technicians must be courteous and willing to take the time to thoroughly explain the cleaning and to answer all questions. The consumer should never feel pressured.

    SERVPRO of Cookeville has professionals that are specifically trained in carpet cleaning. If you need your carpets cleaned this holiday season, call us at (931)528-9292.

    Fire Prevention Week in Cookeville

    10/6/2015 (Permalink)

    October 4-10 is Fire Prevention week and when it comes to house fires, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury wants you to be safe and prepared. Here are some tips on fire safety provided by the National Fire Prevention Association so you can be SERVPRO READY:

    Test your smoke alarms – According to NFPA 60% of reported home fire deaths from 2007 to 2011 were homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Usually, smoke alarms fail to operate due to batteries missing, they’re disconnected, or they are dead. Checking to make sure your smoke alarms work could save you and your family’s life.

    Plan an Escape Route- Only about one-third of Americans have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Having an escape plan during a fire is essential so you and your family know exactly where to go during an emergency. Make the meeting location somewhere memorable such as the mailbox. Make alternate routes as well in case your original route is blocked.

    Cooking-Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is a huge factor to these fires and can be extremely dangerous. Make sure your stove is being supervised at all times to avoid cooking fires.

    Electrical Fires- These types of fires can be caused from various electrical equipment such as washers or dryers, fans, portable or stationary space heaters, air conditioning equipment, and water heaters. This equipment should be monitored frequently to ensure fires do not occur. Especially remember to turn off electrical equipment such as space heaters when leaving your home to avoid fires.

    Candles- Burning scented candles during fall may bring the spirit of the season to your home, but they can also be dangerous if left unattended. On average, there are 32 home candle fires reported per day. Blow out your candles before going to bed and do not leave them in areas where they can easily catch other objects on fire.

    SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury wants to ensure you take fire safety precautions during this week as well as throughout the rest of the year. If your home faces damage due to a fire, call SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury at (931) 528-9292. We will clean up any fire damage in your home and make it look "Like it never even happened." 

    Hoarding in Cookeville

    9/18/2015 (Permalink)

    A landlord's worst nightmare. After renters vacated the home, this is what was left behind.

    "Up to 5% of the world populations display signs of clinical hoarding, " according to psychologydegree.net. If you have a hoarding issue, a restoration professional can help, espcially when you are dealing with biohazard and odors.

    SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury serves the Upper Cumberland area. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning. Call us for any of your cleaning or restoration needs at (931) 996-9113.

    Why choose SERVPRO to clean smoke damage from a fire?

    9/8/2015 (Permalink)

    When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without SERVPRO professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal.

    While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Calling SERVPRO to clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough.

    SERVPRO can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

    If SERVPRO isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

    The first thing SERVPRO will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. Our professionals will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, SERVPRO will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

    This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury serves the Upper Cumberland area. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning. Call us for any of your cleaning or restoration needs at (931) 996-9113

    Source: http://www.iicrc.org/why-professionals-should-clean-smoke-damage-from-fire-a-38.html

    Flood Water

    9/3/2015 (Permalink)

    Flooded areas are not only a hassle to clean, but can also threaten your health. Water that flows in from outside of your house can pick up a lot of bacteria on the way before it even enters the house. Having the water sit, especially on a humid day, can cause more bacteria and mold growth. Getting the area cleared out and cleaned up as fast as possible will prevent the situation from getting worse and causing more water and mold damage. 

    According to the IICRC, these are valuable tips for cleaning up after a flood has left water damage in your home. 

    • Safety is first and foremost. Be cautious when enterin buildings that have been flooded. Ensure that the electric is turned off and the structure of the building is safe to walk into.
    • Keep the area ventilated. Flooded waters can bring in all different types of bacteria that can become airborne and cause illness. Make sure to open windows and place a fan in the window to ventilate the area. 
    • Know what to throw away and what to salvage. Any type of porous item the absorbs the contaminated flood water should not be salvaged. Examples-drywall, carpet, mattresses, pillows, box springs, and particle board. Clothing and some other household fabrics may be salvageable by sosaking in warm water and washing multiple times. 
    • Prevent mold growth. With the moist environment that is created by a flood, there is lots of room for mold to grow. Try to keep the air circulating and maintain moderate temperatur to prevent mold growth. 

    As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/SmithvilleWoodbury has advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water-damage condition. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry.

    Source-http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/water-damage/

    National Preparedness Month

    9/1/2015 (Permalink)

    #HowPreparedAreYou

    It's chilly in the mornings and evenings. It's breezy during the days. I seen pumpkins at a produce stand the other day. That can only mean one thing, it's almost FALL!!

    It's the first day of September, and you may not know, but it's also the first day of National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

    First, you should know the types of disasters and emergencies that are likely in your area. For example, we are more likely to have tornadoes than we are wildfires. This week we will be talking about floods. Remember 4th of July weekend, anyone?

    After you've identified which disasters are prevalent in your area, you should make a plan specific for each one.   Have a family meeting to go over them and get suggestions from your children so they become involved.  

    Visit our Facebook page SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury for more tips this month!

    Injectidry Hardwood Floor Drying System

    5/14/2015 (Permalink)

    We've updated our inventory! The Inject dry Hardwood Floor Drying System is the latest and greatest hardwood dryer in the industry. It's used to dry high-risk areas of moisture under hardwood, marble, and tile that regular dehumidifiers just can't quite reach. By exchanging the air in a targeted area with negative pressure, the air movement becomes a vehicle for moisture. When caught in time, this can keep your expensive hardwood and engineered hardwood from warping. 

    SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Cookeville/Carthage/Smithville/Woodbury serves the Upper Cumberland area. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning. Call us for any of your cleaning or restoration needs at (931) 996-9113 

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