Archived Blog Posts
Training Your Employees on Fire Safety in the Workplace
If you have fire damage to your business, you can depend on SERVPRO of Douglasville.
Owning a business presents a large liability for multiple reasons. While you have many things you must plan for, planning for an emergency event such as a fire should certainly be part of your routine. Every year, fires lead to around $10 billion in overall damages, and if your business is not prepared before one happens, these damages can devastate you.
One of the best ways to boost the overall fire safety of your workplace is by training your employees to be conscious about it. When they are empowered to practice fire safety themselves, you can significantly lower your risk and ensure everyone is working together to create a safer office space.
Tips to Empower Your Employees to Be Fire-Safe
Create a fire safety committee. Installing a properly equipped fire safety committee in your office is a great way to tackle fire safety problems and allow you to delegate some of the planning so it does not all fall on you. A fire safety committee can plan evacuation drills, suggest improvements around the office and communicate other fire safety efforts with the staff at large so everyone is in the loop.
Make sure everyone knows the fire protocol. Fire alarms can incite panic in even the most prepared of individuals, but knowing what to do can significantly reduce the fearful instincts they might inspire. Be sure that you have regular workplace fire evacuation drills in order to help your employees be prepared for a real-world fire scenario. Everyone in your building should feel comfortable navigating emergency exit routes and getting to safety when a fire starts anywhere in the building.
Have a fire extinguisher seminar regularly. Fire extinguishers are an effective way to stop an electrical or other small fire in its tracks before it becomes out of hand—but only if your staff knows how to use them. Make sure to train everyone on their operation (you can often have local fire officials pay a visit to do this), and clearly mark where they are throughout the office so everyone is empowered to take action at the first sight of a spark.
If you have fire damage to your business, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn about our commercial restoration process.
How to Prepare Before a Storm
SERVPRO of Douglasville is your storm damage cleanup expert.
Before a storm strikes, follow these safety measures to ensure your family and home are safe. You’ll also want to prepare an Emergency Supply Kit to get each person through three days should you lose power or have no running water.
Follow these steps to prepare for when a storm hits:
• In warm weather, turn your air conditioning down. In cold weather, turn your heat up. During and after the storm, keep doors and windows closed - you can retain inside temperature for as long as 48 hours.
• Charge your cell phone and other devices that need to be charged.
• Keep freezer doors closed and sealed. Frozen food will keep two or three days in a well-filled freezer.
• Leave a porch or front light on. This helps our crews know when repair work is successful.
Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits. Hot appliances pose a fire hazard, including:
• Electric space heaters
• Washers and dryers
• Microwave ovens
• Refrigerators and freezers
Our Thorough Water Damage Inspection Process
If you have had water damage to your home, you can count on SERVPRO of Douglasville to help you recover.
When you call us for water damage, you can be certain that you will receive a complete water restoration process that addresses all possible points of damage. One of the ways that we ensure this is by doing a complete and thorough inspection during our water damage restoration process.
Once you get in touch with us, our highly trained technicians will respond quickly and do a full inspection to create a water damage restoration plan. Here’s how it works:
- Identify and Stop Continuing Water Flow
If the water is due to something such as a broken pipe or plumbing issue, it is possible that moisture may still be seeping into the area undetected. We will do a complete assessment to determine if there is still an active flow of water due to a leak and if so, we will stop it to prevent any further damage from occurring.
- Define the Classification of Water
Understanding the categorical classification of the water damage will help us determine the severity and how to proceed with the repairs. There are three types of water damage categories that are possible when damage is present.
- Category 1 Water consists of clean water that is not contaminated.
- Category 2 Water is contaminated with chemical or biological byproducts, which can be common after dishwashers or sump pumps overflow.
- Category 3 Water is severely contaminated, often caused by floods or sewage overflows, and can cause serious health issues.
- Inspect the Area and Determine the Extent of the Damage
Water damage can be especially tricky because it can impact areas that are not immediately visible to the naked eye. Moisture can seep into drywall and impact the structure of the home, which can also affect adjacent rooms that were not touched by flooding. We will do a full inspection to determine just how far-reaching the damage is so you can have a full and complete restoration that leaves no affected area untreated.
If you have had water damage to your home, you can count on us to help you recover. Contact us at any hour to set our water damage restoration plan in motion.
Science of Drying
SERVPRO® of Douglasville professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO® of Douglasville professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your home or business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening; measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly; and speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help "speed up Mother Nature?" A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material?but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.
SERVPRO® of Douglasville has the tools to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. SERVPRO® also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help accelerate the drying of your home or business.
It's not only the equipment, but the technology too! SERVPRO® pf Douglasville utilizes DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.
The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Douglasville professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage "Like it never even happened."
*Source Restoration Newsline Vol 32, Iss 7
Summer is full of fun and new adventures. Follow safety guidelines to ensure a good time is had by all.
SERVPRO® hopes you stay safe and have an awesome summer. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to keep you and your family safe.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen an existing campfire.
Summer is full of fun and new adventures. Whatever your adventure, follow all safety guidelines to ensure a good time is had by all.
*Source Restoration Newsline Vol 32, Iss 6
Restoring Your Business After a Flood
SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local restoration experts for restoring your business following a flood.
Floods can be miserable ordeals, even with extensive preparation. They can spring up with little to no warning and saddle you with the responsibility of a lengthy, expensive restoration period. Your business could be
underwater in a flash, and you could be faced with mounting repair bills and extended interruption to your business.
But floods can also be regenerative. Large-scale damage to your business is an opportunity to rebuild and minimize potential damage and disruption that could be caused by future floods. If your business has sustained flood damage, do not panic. Think of it as a chance to fortify your business against future flood damage rather than nothing but a ruinous misfortune.
Cleaning Up After a Flood
Once floodwaters start to recede, you may want to immediately get your hands dirty and start the cleanup effort. Fight that urge. Never re-enter premises until you are absolutely sure they are safe. Floods leave multiple hazards in their wake, such as exposed wires, weakened buildings and contaminated water. Your first priority should be the safety of yourself, your employees and anyone else who might enter or pass near your business.
Local insurers often visit flood-damaged premises and offer guidance after floodwaters start to retreat. Until then, use extreme caution when visiting your business.
Before entering your flood-damaged building:
- Notify your insurer. Take pictures of contents and damage for your insurer—the more the better—but only if it is safe to do so.
- Turn off your building’s gas and electricity, and any fuel taps. Never touch sources of electricity when standing in floodwater.
- Check for structural damage before entering the building. Do not enter if there is any chance it may collapse.
- Assume that all water-damaged structures are unstable until proven otherwise.
- Treat all stairs, floors, roofs and overhangs as unsafe until inspected.
Your insurer will send a loss adjuster and other specialists to assess your business’ damage. After ensuring that your property is stable, it is time to get dirty.
When beginning cleanup efforts, follow this guidance:
- Ensure you and your employees follow every health and safety precaution, such as wearing boots, rubber gloves and other personal protective clothing.
- Use caution when handling debris—it may be contaminated or harbor unseen sharp objects.
- Dispose of equipment only after notifying your insurer.
- Disinfect your property with ordinary household cleaners, but follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you are disinfecting properly. Let cleaned surfaces dry completely.
- Open a window and leave the building if you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing—these may be signs of a gas leak.
- Operate electrical equipment only if the ground is dry—never operate electrical equipment that is in or near water.
- Clean any water taps that were submerged in contaminated floodwater with a bleach solution. Let the water run for 30 seconds prior to using it.
- Drain water in stages to avoid disparity between the water pressure inside and outside your building.
- Shovel mud out in stages so the pressure inside and outside remains equal. Remove the rest with a hose, but make sure it is not a high-pressure one—these hoses can blast contaminants into the air.
- Use a pump and generator to remove water. Position the generator outside in the open air if it produces carbon monoxide. Only pump out water once the flood levels outside your property are lower than inside.
- Keep windows and doors open, weather permitting, to expedite drying, but never sacrifice building security.
- Dry your building using a combination of fans, industrial heaters and dehumidifiers. Your insurer may provide these tools.
- Leave central heating on at 68° F or above to encourage drying if it is safe.
Upgrading After a Flood
Make the most out of an unfortunate situation by using your flood damage as an opportunity to repair your property with flood-resistant products. Consider installing the following flood-resistant precautions:
- Pumps and pump systems sit below the ground floor to remove water that enters from the ground.
- Flood skirts which act as barriers around any potential inlet for water.
- One-way valves fit to water pipes to prevent water backing up into your property.
- Water-resistant sealants refer to a wide variety of sealants—you can use them all over your property.
- Plastic fittings in kitchen or lavatory areas are more durable than reconstituted wood, which disintegrates in a flood.
- Electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring should sit at least 12 inches above the 100-year flood level in your area to prevent water damage.
- High shelving is a convenient option for ensuring you have an area above floodwater to store valuable items.
No matter what you install, the ultimate preparation for a flood is proper insurance. Remember that your damaged stock and premises will not be the only setback you suffer from a flood—interruption to your business’ continuity can be fatal. Purchase a comprehensive policy tailored to your specific industry and location that accounts for business interruption. Taking risk-reduction measures may help cut down your premium or excess.
The Most Common Types of Water Damage in Your Home
SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local water restoration experts. We have the tools and technology to handle any restoration.
For most of us, the specific types of nomenclature for water damage in our homes are not as important as the need to just have it prevented, fixed or restored. However to certain people (like your insurance agent), these differentiations are very important.
The specific instance and cause of your water issue could make the difference in whether the repair gets paid for by your insurance company.
So, let’s break it down into the three types of damage you’ll need to know about when reporting water damage to your insurance—and then you should double-check your policy to see which you’re covered for, so you don’t get surprised if one of them becomes suddenly very relevant.
The 3 Delineations of Water Damage
Sewer or water backup. The other types of damage may have more potential for destruction, but this one is the most potentially toxic, and let’s face it, the yuckiest. Sewer or water backup is what happens when water from sewer pipes or drainage systems gets pushed back up into your home. The causes range from aging or degrading sewer systems to blockages in sewer lines due to thirsty tree roots that find a crack in a pipe.
This type of claim also encompasses damage from backup of rainwater and debris caused by blocked gutters or rainwater pipes.
Overflow and discharge. The dishwasher explodes. The pipes freeze. The washing machine overflows or the kids forget the bath is running. These are the types of damage caused by overflow and discharge. When water is released or bursts from plumbing or appliances, and there’s a sudden emanation of water, this is the type of claim you’re looking at.
Flood. This one is sometimes confused with overflow, because we tend to say things like, “My water heater burst and now my basement is flooded.” But for insurance and damage purposes, the definition of a flood event is more environmental—“a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties.” In other words, it’s not truly considered a flood unless a rainstorm or other natural occurrence causes it.
No matter the cause of your water damage, we have the tools, the tech and the training to restore your home to its original state. Call or click when you need us on the scene, or simply to find out how we can help.
Spotlight on: Document Restoration
SERVPRO of Douglasville can restore your documents following a water or fire to prevent the loss of important information.
As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO® of Douglasville knows timely mitigation is the key to reducing severity and recovering damaged items. Water-damaged paper goods can rapidly deteriorate. Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever. Let SERVPRO's Document Restoration Team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.
Vacuum freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water-damaged documents. SERVPRO® of Douglasville uses sublimation, turning a solid directly into a vapor, skipping the liquid stage, to avoid causing more damage to the documents. An example of sublimation is dry ice: dry ice is made of carbon dioxide (not water.) When dry ice is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, it begins to sublimate?it turns directly from its solid stage into its gaseous stage, bypassing the liquid stage.
This process can recover even the most delicate items, from documents to photographs and x-rays, to entire business archives. SERVPRO's goal is to make this process as simple as possible for our customers!
*Restoration Newsline Vol 32, Iss 7
What to Do After a Flash Flood
SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local water restoration experts. We have around-the-clock service for emergencies.
July in the greater Atlanta area typically involves over 16 days of expected rain—that’s over half the month. And while the average rainfall amount from those days isn’t anything overwhelming, there’s always a chance that one of those rainy Georgia days could turn into something unexpected.
A flood warning is issued. Suddenly water is crossing roads, creeks are backing up and the weatherperson is warning you about dangerous conditions outside.
Water’s pouring into the basement or garage, and now you’ve got ruined carpet, flooded rooms and other issues. You’ve taken shelter on higher ground if necessary, you’ve stayed off the roads and away from rushing water. Your family is safe, and you’ve got an emergency kit prepared for power loss or perished food.
But when the waters recede and the flooding is over, what are your next steps?
First of all, and most importantly, be safety-conscious. If you have time before water starts coming in, unplug your appliances.
If standing water is in your home near appliances that are still plugged in, leave them be. Attempting to unplug them can result in fatal electric shock, because they may charge the water surrounding you.
If perishable food has been touched by flood water, consider it unsafe and throw it out. Also boil any tap water before drinking until you know it’s safe and uncontaminated with flood water.
Depending on the amount of water present, you may be able to take care of the drainage yourself if your home has a sump pump, or even a wet/dry vac. But if the damage from a flash flood is more than you can manage, or if it has caused other issues that need your attention, don’t wait—call the water damage technicians at SERVPRO of Douglasville.
With a locally owned and operated office nearby and 24⁄7 emergency services, we can be onsite quickly to mitigate damage, prevent further damage and restore your basement or garage to its original state.
With highly advanced technology, skilled technicians and around-the-clock service for emergencies, we’ve got the tools and the people to get the job done. Get in touch today if you’ve experienced water damage.
Follow These Safety Tips if You Suspect Mold
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Douglasville for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Douglasville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 770-489-5659
Fire extinguishers are only effective if you know how to use them properly.
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2
Smoke Damage Cleaning
Smoke damage cleaning is, perhaps, the most complicated form of treatment for a homeowner to accomplish themselves. Not only does it take a thorough approach and deep remediation of nearly every surface in the building, it can only be done effectively if the areas behind the building’s walls receive treatment as well. This is a massive challenge to anyone but certified professionals, as these experts have the know-how, manpower and equipment to complete the task properly. SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local expert in smoke damage cleaning and restoration.
Once the fire dies out, the problem is only beginning. Soot and smoke have a tendency to get everywhere, and these particles are so small that they can pass through walls effortlessly. They will also cake onto furniture, countertops, floors and walls if not dealt with right away, causing discoloration and overpowering odors. Smoke damage cleaning has to address both issues to be completely effective.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Douglasville are certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and have the expertise and materials needed to do the job right. With powerful treatment solutions, the soot and smoke can be removed during a deep scrubbing of the building. Professionals have access to thermal fogging technology to take care of the odors emanating from behind walls. The thermal fogging produces a cloud of odor neutralizing particles that can go where the smoke does.
Dangers of Extreme Cold
While your home can get damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.
Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold in 2015.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
An Overview of Applying for a Disaster Loan as a Small Business Owner
Disasters are something that no one ever wants to experience, especially if they own their own business. The damage done from disasters can completely change your business’ plans for the future, and often, business owners are never able to recover.
While there is no way to predict when or how a disaster will occur, the best thing you can do is ensure you have a plan in place.
You will often be able to rely on your insurance for at least some coverage related to the disaster, but these funds are often not enough or available fast enough to be as helpful as they could be. Fortunately, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has developed a robust loan program to help small businesses in the aftermath so they can receive the funds they need.
Utilizing the Disaster Loan Program After a Disaster Impacts Your Business
What can I use the loans for? While many damages that a disaster causes can be claimed on your insurance, this can be a long process and often does not cover every expense your business may face. The SBA loans can be utilized for costs to repair damage as well as to cover a loss in revenue so you can have the funds you need to cover bills, payroll and other expenses that do not halt just because a disaster occurs.
When can I apply for a disaster loan? In order for the disaster loan funds to be made available, a disaster must be declared by the SBA in your area. From there, you can apply for a loan and work with the SBA to see what you are eligible for and when you will receive it.
How can I go about getting repairs done to my business? Starting on the process of having restoration done to your commercial property can be daunting, but it is important to begin as quickly as possible to prevent any secondary damages. Having a commercial restoration company you can trust is important, as is calling them as quickly as possible after you discover damage to your business.
If you need commercial restoration, we are here to help. You can get in touch with us at any time to report your damages and get a quick response. Contact us to learn more.
Things Often Forgotten When Business Owners Prepare for a Disaster
If you are increasing your disaster preparedness efforts at your business, it may feel like there are many things to consider—and there are. While the work of preparing your business for a disaster may feel overwhelming, it is a very important project to undertake.
Being prepared not only helps you and employees stay safer, but it also increases your chances of being able to reopen in the disaster’s aftermath.
Because there are so many moving parts to consider for disaster recovery, staying organized is key. Having a master disaster plan is recommended so you have an easy reference for any possible scenario, including evacuation procedures, communication plans and opportunities for financial assistance that can help your business recover.
However, even for the most organized person, it can be easy to have things accidentally slip through the cracks, which is why we have compiled some key things that business owners often forget when planning for disasters.
The Things Business Owners Often Forget About Disaster Planning
Check your insurance in advance. You are likely aware of how to get in touch with your insurance and begin filling a claim, but it is also smart to know what is covered well before you need assistance with something. It is wise to get in touch with your insurance provider in advance to see what exactly your policy will take care of and to purchase additional coverage if needed.
Keep an inventory of your emergency kit. An office emergency kit is a great thing to have, but often, they can become a go-to for everything from an anti-inflammatory to a bandaid for staff with minor ailments. This is part of what a first aid kit is intended for, but it is wise to routinely take an inventory and replenish your supplies in case a real emergency were to occur.
Know how to keep in touch with everyone. If you primarily use a business phone, you may not have people’s numbers saved in a way where you can access them away from the office. Make sure you have a way to keep in touch with staff, vendors and any other relevant parties who may need to know about closures and operations after a disaster.
If your business is hit by a disaster, we are here to help with commercial restoration. You can contact us at any hour to see how we can help your business recover or to report damage to your building.
Why Preparing for a Disaster Makes Good Business Sense
There are many things that business owners must think about throughout their day-to-day operations, and for many of them, adding something extra onto this task list may seem impossible.
While this is understandable, when it comes to preparing for a disaster, it is imperative that business owners make the time to consider it. Many businesses do not get the chance to recover from a disaster, and while you can’t plan for everything, it is important to prepare for what you can.
Not only will disaster planning help you and your employees stay safer in advance of and during a disaster, but it also makes good businesses sense. Disaster recovery can be too difficult for businesses who have not prepared, rendering them unable to reopen. However, by thinking ahead and utilizing your resources, you can reduce the likelihood that this scenario will happen to you.
How Disaster Preparedness Helps a Business’ Bottom Line
You can quickly pursue restoration to prevent further damage. When you know which commercial restoration company you will work with, you are at an advantage, as you can immediately place the call to them once you discover damage at your business. This gets you in the queue faster, so you can receive a rapid response and prevent more damage from occurring in the meantime.
You can utilize your resources efficiently. After a disaster is declared, the Small Business Administration provides loans for business owners to help with the cost of recovery. If you know about these options in advance, you can apply right away when the time comes to receive these funds as quickly as possible.
You can lessen the time of closure. It is to be expected that you will have to close your doors for at least a bit while you have the damage restored and prepare to resume operations again, but by planning ahead, you can significantly reduce this time. By making your recovery as efficient as possible, you can get your doors reopened quickly so you can continue to do what you love.
If your business is damaged in a disaster, we are here to help you. Contact us about commercial restoration 24⁄7 to learn more or to report damages to your business after a disaster.
Why We Approach All Damages With a Restoration-First Mindset
If you sustain damage to your home, whether it be due to a fire, a flood or some other type of scenario, it can be difficult to know what comes next. Many people who have never had serious damages before might assume that a damaged area must be completely rebuilt and that all items must be liquidated and replaced—but when you work with us, that is not necessarily the case.
When we approach household damages, we do so with a restoration-first mindset. After helping countless families in the area recover from various damages, we understand how helpful it is to have your items restored instead of replaced.
Not only are many things irreplaceable due to sentimental value, but being able to keep your belongings also saves you time and money as your family works on recovering emotionally from the event.
The Benefits of Our Restoration-Focused Approach
We can salvage many irreplaceable items. While an insurance adjuster can easily come in and provide you with a dollar value for everything in your home, we understand that it is not always that simple. Objects such as family heirlooms and photographs could never be replaced for any amount of money, which is why we will do everything we are able to restore them instead.
We are able to work with your insurance. If you are able to claim damages on your insurance, such as in the event of water damage, you certainly should—however, this can lead to a higher premium as a result. We will work directly with your insurance to lower the costs with restoration instead of liquidation to save you money.
We can make your items safe for use again. There are many things to consider when an object is damaged by fire and water, such as lingering smoke and soot odors or the possibility of mold beginning to grow. However, we have the technology to make sure your items are totally safe to use once more. We can clean, deodorize and sanitize your items so you can be certain they are safe for your family to use.
If you have sustained damage and are not sure what comes next, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to see how we can help you with every aspect of the restoration process.
Why It Makes Sense to Work With a Professional Restoration Company
There are few things more disruptive to your life than damages to your home. Not only can they be difficult to deal with from a logistical level, but the emotions associated with damage that is due to a disaster can understandably lead to long-lasting issues for everyone who experienced it.
During the aftermath, there are many difficulties that can arise—but if you work with a professional restoration company, the entire process can be made much easier to handle. Not only will a restoration company ensure that your damage is handled, but they can also work with your insurance on your behalf and make sure that any items that could possibly be saved will be.
Why to Consider Working With a Restoration Company After Damages
We can work with your insurance. Paperwork and documentation are often some of the most difficult things to deal with after damage occurs to your home, but when you work with us for restoration, we can work with your insurance on your behalf. Insurance claims can be expensive to file, which can cost you money in the long run, but we will work with your insurance to keep your claim amount as low as possible and reduce your stress.
We take a restore-first mentality. If you have to suddenly leave your home due to an emergency or damages, you will likely only have time to grab the essentials—leaving many items of sentiment behind. That is why we take a restore-first mentality, instead of simply recommending replacement. We do our best to save your items with our highly technical restoration equipment and only recommend full replacement as a last resort.
We handle all aspects of the restoration. There are many small touches that make a house a home, and we believe the cosmetic details are one of them. We will handle all the little things at the end of your restoration to make sure your home looks exactly as it did pre-damage, from paint colors to doorknobs and everything in between.
If you have damage due to your home, we hope you will consider using us for restoration. We are here 24⁄7 to take your call and begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
How Our Restoration-First Mentality Works for You
If you have sustained damage to your home for the first time, you are likely to learn quite a bit about how the recovery process works. Not only are there logistical considerations to handle, but there is also the emotional impact of going through an event that damages your home, which can be significant.
Fortunately, working with the right restoration company can help you throughout the entire process. Not only can restoration save you money on costly insurance claims that can increase your premium, but it can also help your family heal more easily from the trauma. Read on to learn more about our restoration-first philosophy.
The Importance of a Restoration-First Philosophy
We are determined to save your belongings. While many people assume that everything they own will need to be liquidated after damages, when you work with us that is not necessarily the case. We have all the equipment necessary to clean, sanitize and deodorize objects after damage, allowing us to restore items that normally could not be salvaged. This is a cost-effective process compared to replacement and ensures that you will be able to hang onto the objects you already own and love if it is possible to do so.
We are determined to handle all the damage. The small touches make your house feel like a home, and when we handle restoration, we understand the importance of these little things. We handle all aspects of your damage, from the big, structural issues to small things like painting and refinishing floors. That way, you recognize your home as soon as you walk through the door.
We are determined to help you heal. The time after you sustain household damage can be tumultuous, especially if you have to leave the home for the restoration to take place. We understand this, which is why we work as quickly as possible to get your damages taken care of so you can return home.
If you have damage to your home, we are here to help. You can get in touch at any time to report damage with our 24⁄7 emergency line. Contact us today to learn more.
8 Things to Do After a House Fire
Moving on after a house fire can seem daunting—in fact, sometimes it can feel downright impossible. But it doesn’t have to. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is a crucial first step in putting your life back together.
If you’ve just suffered a house fire, follow these eight steps to help you and your family through this difficult time.
Find a Place to Stay
House fires are a terrifying experience, especially for children and pets. Finding a safe and comfortable place to relocate—even if it’s only for one night—will help you plan your next steps and give your family time to rest.
If staying at a hotel or with friends or family isn’t available, reach out to your local disaster relief agency like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. Many times, these organizations can provide temporary shelter for free.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
File your claim immediately. The sooner you alert your insurance carrier, the sooner you can begin repairs or searching for a new home. Many carriers also provide help for daily expenses known as loss of use funds. These are especially useful if you lost your credit or debit cards in the fire.
Your agent can also help you find cleaning or abatement services.
Contact the Police
Empty homes—even those with fire damage—can be attractive locations for squatters and looters. Alerting local police to your fire will ensure your property remains safe during your absence. Boarding up windows and doors will provide an additional layer of security. You can tackle this job yourself or hire a pro.
The cost to board your windows will range from between $20 and $100 per window. Prices will vary based on the number and size of windows, and whether you hire a pro or not. Be sure to check with your fire department to ensure the home is safe to enter before beginning this job.
Plan Your Finances
Financial responsibilities will continue regardless of your fire. Many insurance policies cover mortgages, but it’s important to check on other recurring costs like car payments as well. Additionally, consider canceling cable and internet services if you won’t be in your home for several months. If you’re planning to front the costs of abatement, you can expect to pay between $800 and $25,300+.
It’s common to lose possessions like cooking equipment and clothing in the fire, too. Keep your receipts when replacing these items to ensure you’re quickly reimbursed. These can be pricey purchases if made at once for several family members.
Create a List of Damaged Items
Making a list of items—both big and small—that were lost or damaged in the fire will ensure you’re reimbursed. Many carriers will require detailed information like make and model, serial numbers, and receipts. This can be difficult if your home was completely destroyed or you don’t yet have access to it. If you have a computer, searching online bank statements can help you present proof of purchase and exact costs.
It’s also critical to make a list of important documents that were lost in the fire. Items like drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, passports, titles and deeds, medical records, tax information, etc., will need to be replaced immediately. Your agent will let you know which items are necessary for your claim. Replace those first.
Check on the Safety of Your Home
House fires can weaken the structural integrity of your home and leave behind noxious fumes from burned materials. If you need to return home to recover items, wait until a fire marshal has deemed the area safe. Aside from being dangerous, re-entering your home too soon can also void parts of your insurance policy—which can cause major problems when it comes to getting reimbursed later. Only enter your home once it’s deemed safe by the fire department and your insurance carrier.
Save Undamaged Possessions
If your home was partially damaged and deemed safe to re-enter, go back and remove anything that wasn’t affected by the fire. It’s also recommended to clean items after they’re removed from the house. Professional cleaning services have the experience and tools necessary to restore fire-affected items.
Many homeowners rent a storage unit to house salvageable items. Leaving possessions in your home can cause further damage and make it difficult for your abatement and repair crews to work. Most homeowners pay between $40 and $225 a month for storage units. Size and extras like climate control will affect pricing.
Wait to Turn on Utilities
In some cases, firefighters will turn off utilities to prevent further damage. If your utilities are disconnected, contact your fire department and utility provider before turning them on again. Connecting unsafe utilities can cause additional fires, gas leaks, and severe water damage. Have a professional inspect your home before attempting to turn on your utilities.
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO® of Douglasville's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Douglasville will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Douglasville can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Douglasville uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville today.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4