Recent Posts

Adding Storm Shutters to a Home

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Adding Storm Shutters to a Home Storm shutters can protect you and the interior of your home from flying glass and debris in the midst of a storm.

When nature is at its most wrathful in Johnson City, TN, high winds are often responsible for property damage. Installing window protection can be a prudent investment to protect your home and its contents. Learning about the window types available is the first step toward making an appropriate purchase for your needs.

Know Your Options

Shutters designed to be a temporary application when gales are predicted are the least expensive and least aesthetically-pleasing option. Permanent ones can be costly but add design interest and practical functions. Shutter styles include:

• Temporary: These are made of steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate and are held in place by channels bolted onto the house above and below windows. Channels are removable, and the cost is usually less than $20 per window.
• Accordion: These are permanent, manually operated, and stored in boxes alongside windows when they are not in use. Made of polycarbonate or metal, they usually cost between $15 and $25 per square foot.
• Rolling: These are also permanent and have the added benefit of offering insulation and increased privacy as well as protection from high winds. Made of polycarbonate or high-quality steel, they can be manually or automatically activated. Prices range from $20-$30 per square foot.
• Bahama: These offer shade and privacy as well as storm protection. They range from $15 to $20 per square foot.
• Colonial style: These are both permanent and decorative. Depending on window size, the shutters can be tri-fold or bi-fold. They are bolted into place when needed and range in price from $200 to $500 per window, depending on size and material.

Storm shutters can protect you and the interior of your home from flying glass and debris in the midst of a storm. However, in the event that high winds damage your home, professionals can help with interior and exterior damage and cleanup once the storm has passed. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

3 Tips for Reducing the Risk of Space Heater Fires

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Tips for Reducing the Risk of Space Heater Fires Knowing how to use a space heater safely is important to protect your family from the threat of a burned space heater or a devastating fire.

Using space heaters can be a convenient way to keep certain areas of your Johnson City, TN, home cozy, especially those that do not receive enough heat from the furnace or are located on an outer ground floor. While these units can be handy, they might also increase the risk of a fire and a burned space heater. Keeping a few safety tips in mind can help you reduce the possibility of space heater fires and ensure your family’s well-being.

1. Give the Unit Space

One of the most common causes of space heater fires is putting heaters in an area where they do not have enough room for proper heat flow. This can cause the unit to overheat and start a fire. Putting a heater in an enclosed space can also cause objects around it to catch fire, such as bedding, clothing and other fabrics. The risk is usually highest in the bedroom, where blankets and stuffed toys can fall off the bed and onto the heater and spark a blaze. A fire and smoke cleanup service can advise you about the best placement for your space heater.

2. Ground the Plug at a Wall Outlet

Most space heaters are designed to operate from one electrical socket. As such, plugging them into an extension cord or a multi-socket power strip may cause them to overheat. This may start at the plug itself, which can melt it or the cord. Overheating at the power source may also cause a power surge, which can result in a burned space heater or a fire.

3. Set Your Heater on a Stable Surface

When you first buy a space heater, it is important that you read all instructions and set your unit on a stable surface instead of a table or other object. If the surface is unstable, the unit can be knocked over and come into contact with flammable objects.

Space heaters can make your Johnson City, TN, home comfortable. However, knowing how to use them safely is important to protect your family from the threat of a burned space heater or a devastating fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

Fighting Mold in the Lunchroom Fridge

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fighting Mold in the Lunchroom Fridge Once you remove the fridge mold, it should be safe to return new food to the unit.

Company lunchrooms often have a fridge full of containers of unknown casseroles, vegetables, and desserts. These same refrigerators are often receptacles for leftover lunches of Chinese food, overlooked yogurt cartons, and curdled cream for coffee. The problem with forgotten food in the communal icebox is that fridge mold can develop. Sadly, with fungus growing inside the fridge, a yeasty, mold smell can also develop and spread into the breakroom. The following steps can help you remove the mold once it appears in the lunchroom refrigerator.

1. Empty the fridge. Toss all the containers, bags, and boxes of food into the garbage because they are probably contaminated with mold spores. If there is more than one fridge in the office, transfer frozen and perishable food items until cleanup is complete.

2. Make or purchase a mold remover. If you are making the cleaning solution, try mixing two cups of warm water and one cup of white vinegar. Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Warning: Do not use bleach because it is too abrasive on the inside walls of the refrigerator.

3. Scrub inside the icebox and remove the fridge mold. After donning a safety mask, spray the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator. Spray any mold colonies liberally. Remove the mold and cleaning spray with a wet cloth or sponge. If mold is severe, contact a mold removal team in Johnson City, TN, to eliminate the fungus.

4. Reapply the cleaning solution to the inside of the fridge. Although it may appear the mold is gone, spores can easily hide in plain sight. By cleaning all surfaces a second time, you can be sure to remove the spores and the mold smell as you continue disinfecting the fridge.

Once you remove the fridge mold, it should be safe to return new food to the unit. However, to make sure the mold doesn’t return, check for food that needs to be discarded on a weekly basis. By rotating the food inside the refrigerator, you can make sure your lunchroom is mold free. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

OMG, There Is Water in the Light Fixture!

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage OMG, There Is Water in the Light Fixture! Once the area has been restored back to normal, you can put in that new fixture (the one without water in the light) you really wanted to begin with.

The little water drops seem so gentle as they land on your shoulder, but these deceiving little guys have just dropped some big news on you. As you look up, you finally see what they were trying to tell you... there is water in the light fixture. Now you are in a heightened state of concern. Scratch that, you are in a full panic. You need to know what to do right now, so here is a quick look at important steps to take to protect your safety, prevent further damage, and restore your home in Johnson City, NC.

• Turn off the electricity at the power supply panel. Don't touch the light switch and don't touch any area in contact with water until you have shut the power off at your home's power supply panel.
• Turn off the water supply. Identify the source of the water and shut it off. If you are having difficulty finding the leak, you can always turn off the main water supply that comes into your home until the professionals come.

Now you have eliminated the immediate danger of electrical shock and have stopped the leak. The water in the light is still there, but you have a little more time to assess the damage for clean-up and repair.

Obviously, you have to replace a light fixture, but as you are looking up, you notice a sagging section from the ceiling. It's now clear that you have ceiling damage, too. Water damage requires special cleaning methods depending on the type of water that caused the damage: was it clean water from a pipe, "gray" water from a shower drain or washing machine, or "black" water from the toilet or a regional flood? Each type of water requires a different level of cleaning and restoration, but specialists can help do this in a comprehensive and safe way for your family.

Once the area has been restored back to normal, you can put in that new fixture (the one without water in the light) you really wanted to begin with.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

The Emergency Sprinklers Went Off, But There Wasn't a Fire: What's Next?

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Emergency Sprinklers Went Off, But There Wasn't a Fire: What's Next? When emergency sprinklers go off, you may have to deal with flooding.

Your commercial building in Johnson City, TN, is equipped with fire sprinklers. This emergency system helps control flames should a fire break out on your property. However, this system might not always work correctly. If the sprinklers go off when there wasn't a fire, you may want to do the following.

• Turn off the water. Because the sprinklers started going off without a reason, you may need to turn the water off to stop the water from flooding your building. Quickly turning off the source of the water can help reduce the amount of damage the deluge is able to do.
• Call your insurance company. Your commercial insurance may help cover the cost of fixing up water damage. Of course, many coverages have limitations on what will be covered. You can talk to your insurance provider to find out if the accidental running of emergency sprinklers qualifies under your policy.
• Call a restoration company. Whether or not your insurance will help pay for the damages, you need to clean up after the flooding has occurred. A professional restoration team can help you get rid of the standing water, dry out your belongings and repair the damages done to building materials.
• Schedule an inspection. Most fire sprinklers are designed to only go off when the temperature near a sensor reaches fire-like heights. If your system started spraying for no reason, you may want to have it inspected. This may help you figure out what caused the water to turn on and fix the issue.
• Set up regular maintenance. Performing regular maintenance on your sprinkler system can help ensure you don't have to deal with this dilemma ever again. You may be able to hire a professional to clean and repair the sprinklers.

When emergency sprinklers go off, you may have to deal with flooding. Quickly cleaning up the water and assessing what caused the sprinklers to go off are important steps in this process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

Removing Odors After Water Damage

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Removing Odors After Water Damage There is no need to live with the offensive odor of mildew and mold growth.

Water damage to your building in Johnson City, TN, can be caused by leaky pipes, torrential rains, or floodwaters. The damage may also be limited to one room or to an entire floor as the water seeps into walls or stands 18 inches deep. No matter how much water damages the structure, the problem the receding water leaves behind usually still includes mold growth and its horrible odor.

Offensive Odor

The offensive smell that lingers after the flood is probably due to one or more of the following situations:

Mold colonies
• Mildew growth
• Bacteria development

The problem usually needs to be addressed to eliminate the smell.

Injured Items

Although cleaning one room with moldy items by tossing them out may eliminate the smell and possible contamination in the general area, it may not be enough to contain mold and its odor. Mold remediation experts suggest throwing out anything that shows any sign of mildew or mold growth, especially those objects that have been standing in flood water for longer than 24 hours. Additionally, items effected by sewage loss should be discarded.

Dangerous Dampness

Mold thrives in dark, damp places. Behind wet walls, under moist flooring, and below soggy floorboards can be perfect breeding grounds for thriving mold colonies. To remove the mold and its offensive odor the water problems such as trickles, tiny leaks, and damp spots need to be removed in the affected area.

Constant Cleaning

As the mold is washed from damaged surfaces, the chance of spores dispersing to other areas is often great. That is why there can be constant cleaning to remove offensive odors after water damage. The key is generally disinfecting, deodorizing, and air flow on a regular basis. Dehumidifiers can also be used if air flow is a problem because of weather conditions.

Successful Elimination

There is no need to live with the offensive odor of mildew and mold growth. Removing wet items, drying out damp areas, and cleaning contaminated surfaces can help eliminate the smell. With regular inspections of previously infected areas, the problem can often be kept under control. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

Water Damage: The Hidden Side of Fire Restoration

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage: The Hidden Side of Fire Restoration Smoke cleanup may be your main focus when your business in Johnson City, TN, catches fire, but water cleanup is an inevitable part of the process.

Water Damage: The Hidden Side of Fire Restoration

When your business in Johnson City, TN, is ravaged by fire, smoke and fire cleanup are not the only aspects of the restoration process you must undergo. The immense amount of water needed to put out the fire must also be extracted. Restoration service professionals can perform water cleanup. Knowing what to expect from this process can help make it go more smoothly.

Identifying Immediate Needs

After a fire, chances are that most of the items in the affected space have been damaged by smoke, fire or water and thus need to be cleaned. Start by securing what you need to keep your company in business while smoke cleanup is in progress:

• Basic office supplies
• Essential equipment needed to run the business
• Temporary space

Even if items in your business are not affected by the fire, they may have water damage and may need to be cleaned or discarded. Keep track of the items you have to purchase to stay operational.

Identifying Salvageable Items

It’s important to call restoration professionals with a specialization in water cleanup because the water used to put out the fire may have been contaminated, thus it is unsafe for you and your employees. The technicians can help you by identifying what can be saved and making sure that it is cleaned properly before you use it again.

Identifying Items That Must Be Replaced

Some items may be too damaged to salvage. Once the fire department tells you that it is safe to enter your business again, make a list of all the items you need to replace. This list can help your insurance adjuster determine how big of a payment your policy allows.

Smoke cleanup may be your main focus when your business in Johnson City, TN, catches fire, but water cleanup is an inevitable part of the process after the fire has been put out. Therefore, it’s a good idea to hire restoration specialists who are certified to provide both services. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/

Does Mold Go Away On Its Own?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Mold Go Away On Its Own? If you are concerned about black mold or other mold growth, schedule a test with a service that provides mold cleanup in Johnson City, TN.

Mold requires a combination of organic material and moisture in order to grow. Once mold develops, it remains present even after the source of excess moisture is addressed and humidity levels drop. Whether you are dealing with black mold or another type of mold, addressing a moisture problem is only the first step. You should also arrange for mold cleanup to ensure that the problem does not return.

Here are several facts that you should keep in mind regarding mold and moisture.

• Mold remains active as long as relative humidity levels are 60 percent or higher. If you want to stop the growth of mold and render it inactive, you should maintain humidity levels at 50 percent or lower. Mold will not continue to grow without moisture, but it also does not disappear.

• If mold is still present when moisture levels rise, colonies will start growing again. Mold requires moisture to sustain the growth phase. If you already have any kind of mold in your residence, including black mold, moisture will stimulate this growth.

• Mold spores are resistant to desiccation, or drying out. Dry spores may spread even more easily than mold in other stages of the growth cycle. Even inactive mold growth will occasionally emit spores. These spores generally do not become airborne unless disturbed.

• Mold toxins are not alive, and they are stable. Mycotoxins can be present anywhere that mold is present. These toxins are not alive and are not affected by the presence or absence of moisture sources. Once they develop, these toxins remain present until removed.

If you are concerned about black mold or other mold growth, schedule a test with a service that provides mold cleanup in Johnson City, TN. In addition to resolving the moisture problem that is causing mold to develop, you should also eliminate the presence of mold so that it does not intensify or spread. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

Fire and Water: Reclaiming Your Home From the Elements

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire and Water: Reclaiming Your Home From the Elements The fire damage left after the flames are overcome may be your primary concern, but it is not the only issue that must be resolved.

If your home catches fire, there will likely be quite a few problems that need to be addressed. Fire damage is only one of the issues with which you have to contend when your home catches fire. A common side effect of a house fire is excess water and its damaging aftermath.

Extraction and Disinfection

When a fire breaks out in your home in Johnson City, TN, it damages everything it comes into contact with. In addition to the destruction it leaves in its wake, it puts out a substantial amount of heat, which can lead to a myriad of problems:

• Busted pipes
• Melted supply lines
• Cracked toilets
• Broken water tank

Even if by some miracle none of these problems occur, a lot of water comes out of the fire hose used to put out those flames. It’s almost a guarantee, therefore, that any home with fire damage also has significant water damage. Before fire restoration specialists can deal with the soot and smoke, they have to clean up the excess water.

Cleaning and Purifying

After the water has been removed, the technicians can tackle the soot. Every surface in every room where there was fire is probably going to be covered in soot, so every surface has to be cleaned. The techniques the professionals use remove the soot while protecting the surface from any further damage. When all the soot is gone, the smoke cleaning begins. Industrial air scrubbers are used to purify the air, removing not only the smell of the smoke but the particles that cause it. Foggers may also be used to sanitize smoke-infused rooms.

The fire damage left after the flames are overcome may be your primary concern, but it is not the only issue that must be resolved. Expert technicians in Johnson City, TN, who specialize in fire and water damage can offer a comprehensive restoration service. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/

Avoid Mold Damage by Preventing Ice Dams

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

When spring arrives in Johnson City, TN, and temperatures rise, snow can begin to thaw. But as the melting snow freezes each night, a ridge of ice can form on the edge of the gutters or eaves of the roof. The result is what many call an ice dam. The dam is a thick ridge of frozen water along the edge of the building’s roof that catches the melting snow and prevents it from draining off the structure. As the water backs up and refreezes, the weight can tear off shingles, damage gutters, and push water into attic or ceiling areas. That is why most building owners cringe when they see a long row of icicles cascading from their building’s eaves. It is typically a sure sign of ice damming.

Preventing Ice Dams

One of the most effective ways to stop an ice dam is by making sure the roof is cold. Although the dams are often a fact of life in areas with heavy snow, ice dams can be eliminated or reduced by taking the following steps:

• Top off attic insulation so it is 12 to 14 inches in depth.
• Close attic bypasses and control heat loss into the attic.
• Add attic soffit and roof vents to provide proper attic ventilation.

Also, by insuring continuous airflow within the attic, the chances the area will fill with residual heat are much less than without the airflow.

Avoiding Water Damage

When the frozen water dam forces liquid into the attic, walls, or roofing of a building, it can lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold remediation experts suggest drying out any wet or damp structural areas as soon as they are discovered because mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours. Since wet areas often hide extensive mold colonies, black mold can quickly grow inside the walls or within the ceilings.

If an ice dam appears on the roof of your building, take immediate action to protect the structure from water damage. A few preventative steps can go a long way in avoiding widespread seepage and costly mold cleanup.