Archived Blog Posts
While flashlights and battery-powered lamps are safe sources of light during lengthy power outages, candles are also reliable alternatives if used safely. It’s important to remember that a candle is an open flame, which always runs the potential risk of a fire-related accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20% of candle fires involving fatalities occur during a loss of power.
Here are some safety precautions to follow when the lights go out:
DO pay attention to proximity. It’s important to make sure that you’re not burning a candle on or near anything that could catch fire. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, or any other flammable objects. Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another so they don’t melt one another or burn improperly.
DON’T leave burning candles unattended. Try to restrict people and candles to one room in the house so the location of family members can always be accounted for and you can keep an eye on open flames. Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving a room.
DO place candles on a fire-resistant surface. Place a handle in its holder on a stable, nonflammable surface, such as a metal cookie sheet, frying pan or ceramic plate.
DON’T light a candle if you smell gas. If you smell gas inside or outside your home, immediately put out all open flames, shut off your gas supply, leave the area, get to a safe place, and call 911.
DO use pillar or container candles. Broader-based candles are a suitable option for power outages, as these are less likely to be accidentally knocked over. When possible, candles should be enclosed within glass hurricane holders or globes.
DON’T use candles as a search guide or night light. Avoid walking around with a candle. Dark rooms can increase the chance of tripping or brushing against a flammable item. Use a flashlight instead.
DO keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Place candles up high to avoid the risk of pets, children, or adults accidentally bumping candles over in the dark.
If you have any questions on candle safety or need any fire mitigation services, contact SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335. We are available 24/7 to assist.
Basement Water Damage
Water damage can happen in any area of your home. However, the basement offers its own unique challenges when it comes to water damages. The most common type of water damage in the basement results from broken water pipes. The first step is to turn off the water at the main valve. You'll need to start cleaning up right away to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from forming.
It is important that you remove rugs, furniture and other items that have gotten wet. Take them outdoors where they can completely dry in the sun. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is made especially for water cleanup. A submersible pump is a good tool to use if you can rent one. Use a powerful fan to finish drying the room.
Choose a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO of South Madison County. These types of companies have both the experience and the equipment to remove the water in basement. Call your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover water or flood damage. Water can seep behind walls and other places where major damage can occur.
Water damage in the basement can also cause structural damage. If this is the case, it will cost a lot more money than simply hiring a restoration expert. Underground water seepage can cause the surrounding ground to shift. Evidence of this type of damage is found with cracks along the walls and ceilings.
Do not hire a carpet cleaning service to restore your basement. They may not have the experience, education or skill to complete the job correctly. Instead, look in your local yellow pages for an actual fire and water restoration company. Pay careful attention to the contract before you sign it. Most restoration companies will guarantee their work.
Floods and water emergencies can happen to any homeowner. Be prepared for this type of emergency by choosing experts before you need them. A water emergency can occur in your utility room where your washer and dryer is found. Other common places include the dishwasher, refrigerator with ice maker and pipes underneath the house.
Know where your water main cutoff is located before an emergency. Turning off the water will prevent further damage while you wait for a professional restoration company to come to your home.
SERVPRO of South Madison County professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.
Mold Remediation For Your Huntsville Restaurant
When mold damage threatens your restaurant, count on the SERVPRO team!
Huntsville restaurants, bakeries, and other food preparation enterprises know inspections are regularly conducted to ensure public health and safety. Mold growth is one of the negative marks your business can receive, so you want to move on mold remediation before the inspector comes. Stick to creating your delicious savory and sweet treats and hire us to manage the mold.
Mold damage in your Huntsville restaurant not only violates health regulations but also repels your customers if they see or hear about it. In a perfect world, your business would never need to deal with mold growth, but the conditions supportive of mold spores are common in most food preparation areas. Mold prefers temperatures from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but some strains thrive at temperatures as low as 30 or high as 120 degrees. Water, even in the form of steam or high humidity fuels the growth of the fungi, and organic materials offer a food source. All commercial kitchens present this type of environment. We are familiar with the challenges of mold remediation in these circumstances.
Expect SERVPRO mold remediation technicians to assess both the current mold damage and the various sources of moisture observed. Unless your business addresses the moisture issues, mold can recur. In kitchens, one of the essentials is an adequate ventilation system, including exhaust fans that move the steam out of the area. Spills, neglected plumbing leaks, and condensation from coolers, freezers, and ice machines all contribute to the water mold spores seek to absorb.
We do our best to complete the mold remediation while allowing your business to operate. The SERVPRO team erects physical barriers to contain the mold area, a zone outside of which your staff and customers remain during the process. Air quality cannot be compromised, so we frequently use negative air pressure machines to prevent the contaminated air from drifting into the rest of your business and employ HEPA filters to catch airborne debris before venting to the outdoors.
Let SERVPRO of South Madison County partner with you when mold damage threatens your food service business. Call us for an evaluation of even a minor infestation at (256) 533-5335, the sooner, the better to retain your hard-earned reputation for unique and tasty delicacies.
The Trouble With DIY Restoration
When dealing with water damage, it's often the damage that you don't see that ends up causing serious issues.
Huntsville and Madison residents take pride in their homes and properties. When disaster strikes or when you have a substantial mess to clean up, it is a common belief to roll up your sleeves and get to work to fix the problem as best as you can on your own. The trouble with DIY restoration for water incidents is that many homeowners don't get all of the problem addressed, allowing for continued damage.
While a homeowner might see a water damage situation in their Huntsville residence as little more than a reason to break out the mop and run some fans, there is much more to water damage restoration. Ensuring that the area gets thoroughly dried requires specialized equipment and detection tools. Failure to get your home below moisture standards for a house can lead to worsening conditions that pose a threat to the structure, as well as your family.
One of the reasons that you might consider professional restoration like SERVPRO provides is our ability to respond to your situation rapidly. Even in smaller scale water incidents, fast response time is critical to mitigating loss and to get to work quickly on removing the water and drying up the affected areas.
Another reason that a homeowner should think about our SERVPRO team is our industry-leading equipment, expertise, and unique training. These facts help us quickly assess the full scope of the damage that affects your home and choose the most efficient and practical approach to eliminating the moisture and preserving the construction materials that have gotten saturated by the incident.
As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something happens to their home, situations like water damages require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. Our SERVPRO of South Madison County water damage technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling (256) 533-5335.
Restoring Your Church After A Flood
Your Huntsville church serves many residents throughout the community, often several days a week. Even without being used 24/7, elements of the building are prone to wear and tear throughout the drastic weather changes from season to season.
The resulting flood damages to your Huntsville church might not get noticed immediately due to the sporadic use of the building, which can allow for widespread concerns. Water can move quickly and affect many areas of your church in a brief period. Prolonged exposure poses even greater concerns for those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. In any flooding situation, professional restoration experts like our SERVPRO team can help you resolve the situation quickly.
Flooding can do major damage to structural components, but if you contact our technicians immediately, our rapid response team can help to mitigate some of these losses before areas of your church become irreparably damaged. Part of this practice is our pack-out process which removes items that could be at risk for further damage from the area for concentrated restoration work and safeguarding until the building gets restored to preloss conditions.
Our SERVPRO professionals can also help you overcome this situation and guarantee that the job gets done correctly. With flood cuts (where lower portions of drywall get removed throughout affected areas and later replaced), our team can utilize equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from wall cavities to prevent secondary hazards like mold growth.
While you might never get prepared to face a natural disaster or accident which causes flooding in your church, having the right team of professionals ready to help can take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders. You can count on our SERVPRO of South Madison County to arrive quickly and work to limit your loss and restore your church completely. Give us a call 24/7 at (256) 533-5335.
Every Second Counts During A Fire
Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.
A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.
Fire Prevention Week 2018
This week is Fire Prevention Week! Here's some information from the National Fire Protection Association on this year's campaign:
This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – He’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.
Mold Growth Linked To High Indoor Humidity In Alabama
Drywall is one organic material in your home that mold damage can thrive on.
Residents of Huntsville experience long, hot and humid summers. High levels of airborne moisture and warm temperatures indoors can contribute to the increased likelihood of mold growth in your home, even if you have air conditioning operating. Working with a reputable mold remediation company can help you pinpoint the reasons mold growth is an issue in your home and remediate the current growth.
Water is the fuel that accelerates mold damage in your Huntsville/Madison home. Mold spores are very opportunistic, gaining enough moisture from small amounts of dampness or small collections of condensation to begin growth. Running an air conditioner is often recommended to reduce interior humidity below 60 percent, the level where mold can find a supportive environment even without spills, leaks, or flooding.
Ironically, AC units can provide the moisture if operating inefficiently. An air conditioner too small for the area is one problem, but an overly powerful system also can fail to reduce the humidity enough to halt mold development.
Air conditioning provides a cooling feeling when it removes moisture from the air, usually by condensing the water vapor on refrigerated coils. If adjusted correctly and draining properly, the system works well and prevents the conditions conducive to mold growth. Sometimes a larger than necessary unit does not operate long enough to reduce the humidity below the “sweet spot” for mold growth. It pumps cold air into the rooms too quickly and then cycles off before the humidity reduces. Mold then grows on the damp surfaces, necessitating mold remediation by our SERVPRO crews.
Keeping AC condensers and coils clean and the drains free-flowing is also key to preventing interior mold growth during a hot summer. If the drain is plugged, it may overflow, depositing moisture on a wall or floor nearby. Mold finds wood and drywall perfect organic surfaces to call home. SERVPRO inspects for these moisture sources when we arrive to assess and plan for mold remediation. If the homeowner does not address these issues, chances are good that mold can return even after we complete a professional treatment.
SERVPRO of South Madison County is here to help community residents understand why mold finds a home attractive. We design strategies to remove current mold growth while also preventing future outbreaks. Call us at (256) 533-5335 to schedule an evaluation.
Basic Flood Safety Tips
More than half of flood-related drownings occur when someone drives into hazardous water.
Floods are intense and dangerous. While waters may look calm, don’t be fooled. A mere 6 inches of water can take down a full-grown man, sweeping him into the often unrelenting currents. If you are ever caught in a flood, you should be aware of basic flood safety, and review the five safety tips below.
The first safety tip is to listen to warnings and evacuate, if so ordered. Never assume to know better than the agencies that are warning you. Also, keep in mind that when areas are evacuated it likely means that emergency services will not be available in those areas for the time being.
2. Turn around. Don’t Drown!
If you are unable or unwilling to evacuate your home, then whatever you do avoid areas that are flooding around you and attempt to stay on dry land. The adage of “Turn around. Don’t drown!” is not to be taken lightly. To remain safe during the flood, it is essential that you avoid rising water for as long as possible.
3. Avoid Bridges
While bridges may appear to be dry and stable, if there is fast-moving water directly underneath them, it is basic flood safety to avoid them because they can be washed away with little warning.
4. Listen to Emergency Broadcasts
If you have a radio or cellular service during the flood, be sure to stay tuned into NOAA Weather Radio, EAS, or a local alert system to stay up-to-date on any further developments in your area. These stations can provide valuable information about rescue developments and any new storm surges.
5. Elevate Yourself
The most important element of surviving a flood is to elevate yourself. Try to remain above the rising water but do not allow yourself to get trapped in a room with no exits, like an attic.
While these flood safety tips cover the basics, you’ll want to check with the local emergency management office or other experts in your area to verify any other necessary safety precautions.
Mold Prevention Tips That Work
Although there are a variety of challenges that residential and commercial property owners can experience, the presence of mold is particularly problematic. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that mold can cause health problems and decrease the structural integrity of one’s property. There are ways to prevent the growth of mold, but your best course of action is hiring a professional mold remediation company. Try implementing some or all of the following mold prevention tips:
- Invest In A Dehumidification System.
One of the best ways to prevent the growth and proliferation of mold is to invest in an air conditioner that features a dehumidification system. These systems are effective in removing moisture from your property. Once the moisture is removed, the mold is deprived of one of the vital nutrients that help it grow.
- Be Cautious When Turning The AC Off.
Make sure that you are cautious when you turn off your air conditioner. In climates that are humid, a long-standing period of inactivity can enable humidity levels to become dangerously high. If the humidity level becomes extremely high, it creates the moist environment necessary for mold to grow and thrive.
- Use Insulation.
Another strategy you can use to prevent mold is the use of insulation. By installing insulation as well as vapor barriers, you can prevent condensation from accumulating on objects like plumbing fixtures, beams, and water pipes.
- Avoid Standing Water.
Stagnant water can become a breeding area for mold. Make sure that you keep your tubs, showers, sinks and all other wet regions of your property free of standing water.
Mold can be a severe problem for residential and commercial property owners to handle. However, using the prevention tips and tricks outlined above can help you keep mold from growing. In the event that mold growth does affect your Huntsville home, call a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of South Madison County has extensive experience in the mold remediation field and can assist with your mold restoration needs.
What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims?
The Northeast and the Southern states are both at high risk for wind-related damage.
You may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of homeowner insurance claims is not fire damage or water damage. It’s wind and hail damage.
According to The Insurance Information Institute, national statistics (2010 to 2014) from property & casualty insurance companies show that 3 out of 100 homeowners filed claims in the wind/hail category. The number of claims caused by wind/hail was nearly double the second most frequent reason for homeowner claims. In that second position? Water damage and freezing.
Fires Cause The Most Damage
Water damage and freezing claims were made by nearly 19 out of 1,000 homeowners. Though fire claims are much rarer—fewer than four claims per 1,000 homes—fires cause the most property damage. The average fire claim in the U.S. was for $39,791. By contrast, the average wind or hail claim totaled $8,041.
One Company Paid $2.4 Billion in 2014 Homeowner Claims
The losses covered by just one insurance company are large. Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas.
Read Our Other Blog Posts
If you’re concerned about making sure your house is well prepared for a wind, hail, fire, water, or other natural disaster, look through the many blog posts here on our website. We cover many specifics. We try to give you information that will protect your family, home, and business from natural disasters.
Visit Your Insurance Company's Website
Go to your homeowner insurance company's website. Many insurance companies publish tips on their websites on how you can avoid claims. The Travelers website talks about installing water sensors to keep small leaks from becoming big ones. At Nationwide’s website, you can learn how to make sure your home is covered for all it’s full value. State Farm and Allstate also have numerous blog posts with tips for homeowners and renters.
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256) 533-5335
What To Toss & What To Keep After A Fire
It’s impossible to accurately depict how devastating a fire can be when it affects a person’s home. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of this tragedy, you know what a helpless feeling it can be. In the aftermath, you need to go through the cleanup process and decide what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things you can salvage, while others pose health hazards to hang onto.
You don’t automatically have to throw out all of your food following a fire. However, fire damage at your Huntsville, AL home can render some things unhealthy. Inspect your food supply carefully following a fire to determine what can say or go. You should toss the following:
• Opened containers or perishable foods.
• Food you stored in thin plastic bags or cardboard.
• Non-perishable food that was close to the heat.
High heat will wreak havoc with your medicine or cosmetics. You don’t want to risk ingesting anything that you know was either in or close to the fire. You definitely should throw away the items if they are charred or have other obvious defects or damage.
Though you hate the thought of having to replace your wardrobe, much of it may be unsalvageable. You may be able to save some items by thoroughly cleaning it. But if there are obvious burn marks, you may be out of luck. Use caution when deciding whether to keep baby clothes. SERVPRO can help you with any clothing items that were affected by smoke and could be saved by careful cleaning. This applies to dry cleaning items as well.
If a fire affected mattresses, your best bet is to discard it. You don’t want to sleep on something that was exposed to smoke damage and harmful materials.
It’s hard to throw away items, especially if they have intrinsic meaning and value. However, you’ll feel better knowing you’re providing a safer environment for your loved ones.
Yellowing And Discoloration After A Fire Damage
We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business.
Did You Know?
A house fire can be damaging even after the firefighters have distinguished the flames. Don't make matters worse!
According to the experts at IICRC, "To return your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner."
Stated below are some timeframe constraints following a fire damage by the professionals at IICRC.
"Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.
Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.
Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replacement; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.
Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues."
We hope this information was helpful to you and remember to call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 to ensure proper restoration of your home or office following a fire damage here in Huntsville and surrounding areas.
Six Things To Know About Mold In Your Home
Mold is something most homeowners don't want to learn about. If you know a lot about the fungus, chances are you've had to deal with a mold problem. However, learning about the common household nuisance could help you better understand how to prevent and take care of the issue.
1. It Is Everywhere. Mold spores are a naturally occurring part of the environment. At any given time, you can find spores in the air both indoors and outdoors.
2. It Needs Moisture. A moisture problem could be a great indicator that you have mold in your home. Mold spores need water to really thrive, but even high humidity could do the trick.
3. It Can Spread Quickly. In the right environment, mold spores can become quite active and spread through airflow. This allows the fungus to create colonies all over your home.
4. It Is Smelly. Black mold, and other types of the fungus, often produce a musty odor. If you notice your Huntsville home has started to smell funky, it could be a sign that mold is already in your house.
5. It Is Hard To Clean. The mold cleanup process is not suitable for everyone to undertake. It requires a certain level of technical know-how, which is why you may get the best results by working with a residential mold remediation company.
6. It Can Be Prevented. Moisture control, cleanliness and an eye for detail can help prevent mold growth. If you can't completely prevent the problem, you can at least catch the issue before it spreads further in your house.
As a homeowner, you may be terrified of the thought of mold. You know it can damage your home, reduce your chances of selling and become a recurring problem. Whether you found black mold or you simply want to prevent it, learning more about the fungus can help prepare you for what's next and make the problem a little less scary.
Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold.
Selling A Home & Mold Remediation
If the house you are trying to sell has mold, call SERVPRO of South Madison County for help 256-533-5335
Are you trying to sell your house in the Huntsville area this year? We receive numerous calls this time of year from people who are trying to sell their house but need to have mold remediation done before the interested buyer will sign the contract. SERVPRO of South Madison County is HERE TO HELP!
Here are some things you need to know when it comes to mold remediation on the house you are trying to sell:
- Address the Source - If the mold is coming from a leaking hot water heater, no matter how many times we come out to remediate the mold, if the leaking hot water heater does not get fixed, the mold will keep returning.
- Depending on the severity of the mold that is present, it may be necessary to have an Industrial Hygienist come in to test for the types of mold present as well as how high of a count of mold spores are present. Our general rule of thumb is if you have a span of more than 10 square feet of mold, you probably need to have mold testing done. Having this information will allow us to take the necessary steps to get your home back to preloss condition. The final step is to have the Industrial Hygienist come back out and test again to ensure that we have brought the mold spore count back down to an acceptable level.
- We do not test for mold. As a professional mold remediation company, it would present a conflict of interest if we were also the Industrial Hygienist that came in behind ourselves to test the site and claim it as being cleared. We want to avoid any appearance of false test results in order to clear our own work.
Taking the points listed above into consideration, please be sure to allow for enough time for each step as well as the Mold Remediation Process. We know a quick sell is important to you and your satisfaction in our mold remediation service is important to us.
Don't Neglect Indoor Air Quality
Discovering the environment of a new job is often a part of the first day. You figure out who to go to for help, how to use the copier, and what time of day is best to visit the break room to guarantee the coffee will be fresh. But another vital part of our work environments that we often neglect to evaluate is the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). As a business owner or a building manager, this element is a vital part of a thriving business and happy and healthy employees.
The sources of pollutants are sometimes hard to identify and are hard to totally eliminate from a building. They come from multiple sources and some causes, specifically building materials like insulation or paint, continuously emit pollutants. In other circumstances, pollutants that originate in an appliance or building system could be spread at regular intervals or even seasonally when things like air conditioning or the furnace turn on. And still, other pollutants are harder to predict as they are associated with human behavior, such as cleaning or re-decorating.
Thankfully, administrations like OSHA have provided guidelines to give us a baseline for treating and assessing Indoor Air Quality. OSHA suggests considering the following factors when assessing your building’s IAQ: temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the presence of mold and chemicals. Improving these factors can improve the Indoor Air Quality even when the sources of pollutants cannot be totally eliminated.
If you are concerned about the air quality in your workplace, give SERVPRO a call to find out how we can help.
Inspecting A Commercial Facility For Mold
It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors.
No commercial building in Huntsville is completely immune from developing a mold problem. Mold can occur any time there is excess dampness or condensation inside a facility. If you’re unsure whether there is mold at your commercial property, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test so you can try to catch it early.
First, here are a few questions to consider:
1. Has there been any recent water damage? Moisture is the primary source of mold, so whether it’s a leaky roof or the effects of flooding, any kind of water inside your commercial facility can lead to mold growth.
2. Are the air ducts cleaned regularly? HVAC and other ventilation systems are commonly known to carry mold, so it’s important to find out when they were last cleaned.
3. Is there a strong odor in the building? Sometimes a musty smell means there is mold present. If your employees report an unpleasant odor, it could be the presence of black mold, which is often smelled before it is seen.
Mold can hide in many places indoors, such as under carpet, inside walls and paneling, and in piping and insulation. It has also been found behind wallpaper, but it’s important to be cautious about investigating it without an indoor environmental specialist present; once exposed, mold spores can spread easily. It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors. If you do suspect a mold outbreak at your commercial facility, stay away from suspected areas until experts can come and perform the necessary tests.
If mold breaks out, but goes undetected for a long time, it can cause more damage. That could disrupt your operations and impact you financially. If your building has suffered any water damage, watch for mold signs. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner an indoor environmental specialist can come in to clean it up.
Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold.
Common Causes of House Fires
A grease fire caused this damage to a Huntsville home.
If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.
Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.
- If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
- Do not overload your circuits.
- Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.
Accidents in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
- Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
- Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
- Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
- Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.
Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.
- Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
- Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
- Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.
Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety
Proper fire safety equipment and regular maintenance can decrease your risk of costly fire damage.
Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know
During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:
- Two civilian deaths
- 115 civilian injuries
- $246 million in property damage
In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.
Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.
Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)
- Cooking equipment 57%
- Heating equipment 10%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
- Smoking material 7%
- Intentional 5%
- Cooking equipment 40%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
- Intentional 10%
- Heating equipment 7%
- Smoking Material 5%
Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million
If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire, or in need of a deep clean, call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335.
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.
- Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
Lightning Safety Tips
Lightning from thunderstorms injures hundreds of people in the U.S. every year and kills dozens. These accidents are easily preventable if you follow these simple safety tips.
1) Listen to the radio and television for severe thunderstorm warnings. The National Weather Service issues warnings for counties and even sends out text messages now to our mobile phones when storms are on their way. Pay attention and heed their warnings for safety.
2) Remember the 30 second rule. If there is not 30 seconds in between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, it’s time to go indoors.
3) Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around so if there is a storm, move indoors if at all possible or into a hard top car if there are no buildings around.
4) Once inside, stay away from windows, plumbing and electrical. If lightning strikes outside, it can carry inside via land lines.
5) Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. If you can hear thunder than you are close enough to get struck by lightning.
6) If you are caught outside, avoid standing by tall isolated objects such as trees. Find a grouping of small trees surrounded by taller ones, avoid bodies of water, and if there is only open spaces, look for a dry low-lying area and try to make yourself the smallest target possible. Do not lay flat on the ground, rather crouch with your head between your knees. Sheds, outhouses and tents provide no safety so keep this in mind when you are hiking or camping. Always think ahead and be prepared in the event that you are caught in a thunderstorm and if possible, turn around on your trip and head home.
Restoring Your Belongings After A Water Leak
Water damage in your home can be devastating, whether it comes from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Huntsville/Madison County home.
1. Separate Items
Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s important to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean, since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.
2. Dry-Clean Non-Porous Items
Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from non-porous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items.
3. Air-Dry When Appropriate
If you’re not dealing with hazardous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the air flow inside your home with the use of open windows, air conditioners and fans.
4. Toss Dangerous Items
Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables.
While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. For help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items, it’s best to wait for professional help to arrive. Visit SERVPRO of South Madison County for more information on water damage.
Prepare for a thunderstorm
All thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. On average, lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more in the US each year. Dangers associated with thunderstorms include strong winds, flash flooding, hail, and even tornadoes.
To prepare for a thunderstorm:
- Trim or remove tree limbs near your home. Remove any dead or rotting trees.
- Secure outdoor items.
- Postpone or cancel outdoor activities.
- Go inside - if you can't reach a building, get in a hard-top vehicle.
- Secure doors and windows. Close blinds, curtains, or shutters.
- Unplug electronics.
When a thunderstorm occurs:
- Remember this phrase: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". Go inside during thunderstorms.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio such as a NOAA Weather Radio for updates and information.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from lightning-caused power surges.
- Water conducts electricity. Water-based activities and chores should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
- Windows, porches, and doorways can be dangerous in storms - stay inside.
- If you can't get inside, try to avoid natural lightning rods - like a large tree in an open field, and try not to be the tallest thing on a hill, open field, or beach.
- Try not to touch metal - including your car - metal conducts electricity.
- Stay in your car if you're driving. Pull over and turn on your hazard lights until heavy rain ends.
After the storm passes:
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Keep a close eye on your pets to keep them safe.
The professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County are highly trained and certified. Our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge they need to help with any water or fire loss.
SERVPRO of South Madison County
We are here to help 24/7!
Top Reasons Toilets Leak When Flushed
Leaking water is never ideal. It can waste your money and even cause damage to your Huntsville home. If you have a leaking toilet, you may be at your wits end. Why is it happening and how can you stop it?
Knowing the why can help you better understand how to fix the problem. As you try to investigate your bathroom leak, consider these possibilities:
Damaged Wax Ring: The wax ring at the base of the toilet may dry out or get damaged in another way. This makes the seal imperfect and can lead to leaks. If this is the culprit, you'll notice the water coming from the base of the toilet.
Loose Tank: Over time, the tank of your toilet may loosen due to use. Tanks have to fit tightly onto the seat to stop leaks from taking place. If the tank is the issue, you may notice water seeping out at the base of the tank.
Broken Closet Flange: The closet flange provides a mount for the toilet on the floor. If this part is bent or damaged, it could lead to a leaking toilet. Fixing this piece requires you to either replace the whole flange or fill in the missing piece.
Loose Closet Bolts: The closet bolts work to hold the toilet to the ground. If they get loosened over time, you may notice water pooling at the base of the toilet every time you flush. You may be able to fix this problem by simply tightening the bolts. However, you need to be careful not to over-tighten, as this can lead to cracks.
Poor Installation: Finally, if the toilet was not installed correctly to begin with, you may have leaking problems from day one. The only way to fix this issue is to try to reinstall the toilet. You may need a new wax seal and flange anyway.
Because a leaking toilet can lead to major water damage, you may not want to try to fix the problem on your own. Turning to a professional water damage specialist can help you fix the problem quickly.
Lunch & Learn With Us
Do you work for a real estate office or insurance agency? Are you part of a company that could benefit from having a quick knowledge of restoration and commercial cleaning options for your clients?
We can offer you and your coworkers a great opportunity for to learn all of SERVPRO's services that are relevant to you and your industry.
But wait...why not do it over coffee and donuts? Or maybe lunch? Or fresh, homemade cookies?
Are we getting your attention yet?
Our SERVPRO marketing representatives would love to chat with you and your coworkers and let you know about all that SERVPRO of South Madison County has to offer you. Whether you find yourself dealing with a disaster situation or you just need to have some general cleaning or mold testing done, we want you to know that SERVPRO is here to help.
There is no cost for a Lunch & Learn, just give us a call and make an appointment and our marketing representatives will come to you! It is only approximately 15-30 minutes in duration, and participants are free to ask questions and chat as long as is needed.
If you are interested in setting up a SERVPRO Lunch & Learn for you and your coworkers, call us and we will schedule a date and time that works best for you! All you'll have to do is be present and hungry to eat good food and learn a little more about how SERVPRO of South Madison County can help with your cleaning and restoration needs.
Clogged Gutters Can Worsen Potential Flood Damage
Gutters should not overflow and all surface water should be directed away from your home.
Does your home have a basement or crawl space? If so, you should take some time to inspect how heavy rains flow from your roof. An clogged gutter will overflow and dump water right next to your foundation which could lead to a water damage in the basement or crawl space.
Inspect and clean your home’s gutters and downspouts at least once a year. It may seem that all storm damage results from rising waters, but the reality is that the rainfall cascading off your home’s roof could contribute quite a bit to that. If your home’s gutters and downspouts are not properly directing this runoff, you could end up with a damaged foundation, roof damage and more flooding than you would have had otherwise.
Also, make sure your downspout extensions direct water away from your home's foundation. They should extend out at least 3 feet to an area where the water will drain away from your home.
Next time the Huntsville/Madison County area is hit with heavy rains, take a minute to inspect around your home for these issues. If despite your best efforts to prevent flood damage, you do experience flooding in your home, it is important to get help from a professional storm damage company as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of South Madison County can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Handling A Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains
Spring storms can be really stressful for residential and commercial building owners in Huntsville. You have to worry about hail, wind and water damage whenever a storm is predicted for your area. Even when a storm is forecasted, you never know exactly what's going to happen. Sometimes, the storms may leave your building unaffected, and other times, you're left dealing with lots of damage. For example, your area could be under threat of heavy rains, but did you know that could put you at risk for a sewer backup?
Overwhelming Amounts of Water
Heavy rainfall can leave systems waterlogged, and the city sewer system is no different. During heavy downpours, sewer systems can take on too much water. This causes the sewer water to back up into commercial buildings and sometimes homes.
Downpours aren't the only potential cause of a sewer backup. This issue can also be caused by the following situations:
* Tree roots grow into pipes.
* Broken pipes don't allow sewage to leave.
* Grease or other waste creates a plug.
* Vandals drop large items into manhole covers.
No matter why sewage is coming into your building, you need to react quickly.
Creating Black Water
When flooding is combined with sewage, your building is now full of contaminated water. This particular variety of contaminated water is often referred to as black water because it could contain fecal matter, microbes and harsh chemicals. Because this water can be highly unsanitary, you need to get the flooding taken care of as quickly as possible. Not only could you be dealing with normal flooding issues, but you may add other problems to the mix as well.
If you ever have to deal with black water, it's a good idea to bring in trained water damage restoration experts as soon as possible. When there is a sewer backup in your building, it's nice to know who you can turn to for fast, reliable help.
Call SERVPRO Today – We’re Ready To Help 256-533-5335
Signs of Mold After Water Damage
SERVPRO® of South Madison County handles water damages every day and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is important to be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold
-Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
- Excessive humidity
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth.
Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a heath threat.
If you suspect you have a mold problem in your Huntsville home or business, give SERVPRO a call to find out how we can help you!
Springtime Tips for Huntsville Homeowners
Spring in Huntsville means rain and storms, and for many people that can lead to wet floors or even flooding. Intrusion of water into your home can result in mold growth, if left unattended. The best way to control mold growth is to control the moisture. Following these maintenance tips could save yourself a lot of problems down the line.
- Check your roof for any cracks or damage. This will help prevent leaking into the upper floors of your home.
- Clean and check your gutters. When gutters are clogged and not allowing water to drain properly, it could be coming back into your basement or crawl space.
- If your home has a chimney, have it cleaned and examined for damage.
If these problems are left to sit, your home could be at risk for water damage and potentially mold damage. This could lead to very expensive repairs to both the interior and exterior of your home. SERVPRO of South Madison County recommends keeping up with your household maintenance before the springtime showers begin.
If you find yourself with a soggy or soaked carpet, give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call! We know how to handle your small water damages as well as your large water damages. If you have any questions or need assistance, just call 256-533-5335 and we will answer 24/7!
Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
Minimize the extent of water damage by knowing how to shut off your water during a water emergency.
In an emergency, you may have to shut off the water to your home. For example, freezing or thawing may cause a water pipe to break. Water pipe breaks are also common with most types of natural disasters (winter storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more). Take some time to locate your shut-off valve before an emergency strikes so that you will be better prepared to act quickly if needed.
Where’s The Water Shut-Off Valve?
1. Look for the water shut-off valve where the water line enters your house. If you still have a copy of the home inspection report from the purchase of your home, the location of the shut-off valve may be included in the plumbing section of the report. In most homes in Huntsville, the water shut-off valve should be just inside the house where the water line enters through your home’s foundation or exterior wall.
2. Often the water shut-off valve is a quarter-turn ball valve. If that’s what you have, turn the valve a quarter of a turn until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe. Or your home may have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. Don’t have a master shut-off valve in your home? Have one installed by a plumber.
If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335
3. Another water shut-off option is closing the municipal water meter shut-off valve. This valve, if you have municipal water, typically is in your front or side yard. Look for a round metal lid or box close to your property line. It’s often 24 to 48 inches from the curb or fence line.
Don’t reach into the meter box until you inspect the area for debris and rodents. You may want to wear gloves. Once inside the municipal water meter box, you’ll need pliers or a specialty tool to turn the valve. Turn it until it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.
Shut-Off Valves For Single Rooms
Sometimes you only need to shut off the water to one room. Most newer houses have shut-off valves at every sink and toilet. Your water heater may have several shut-off valves. If your issue is one leaking sink, just shut off water to that sink. If you know the water heater is leaking, just shut the valves to it off.
If you have a young relative who has recently moved out on their own for the first time, share these tips with them. Landlords may also want to make sure that all of their tenants are aware of the location of the shut-off valve.
Drying Out Your Bedroom Carpet After Water Damage In Your Huntsville Home
One of our technicians uses weighted extraction to remove water from the carpet of a Huntsville home.
Rely on SERVPRO for Water Extraction from Carpets
Water damage can happen in your bedroom at any time. All it takes is a leak, a damaged pipe or even extreme weather. A wet carpet is frustrating and you want to get it dried out as quickly as possible. You might be worried about whether your carpet needs to be replaced. That is why we recommend you call SERVPRO at once. We can begin drying your carpet quickly to prevent further damage.
It is understandable to be concerned that water damage in your Huntsville home means disruption for you and your family. However, in some cases, it is possible for our IICRC-certified technicians to dry out your bedroom carpet while it is still in place. Our experts thoroughly examine your carpet and the extent of the harm to determine whether in place drying is a practical option. It may be necessary to remove your bed, but smaller furniture items such as a chest or a chair can simply be moved from place to place within the room until water extraction is complete.
The first step is to extract any standing water. We train our technicians to use the right type of extraction tools to extract the maximum amount of water with the minimum amount of damage to your carpet.
In place, extraction may begin with a wand tool to prevent water migration. However, the most useful piece of gear is a weighted extraction tool, which uses the body weight of one of our technicians standing on it for maximum water removal. SERVPRO understands that drying carpet without removing it means a longer and more thorough extraction process for best results.
Do not worry if your bedroom carpet is wet – it may be possible to save it. Give SERVPRO of South Madison County a call at (256) 533-5335 to find out.
Huntsville's Regulations & Planning To Minimize Flooding
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."
With all of the rain over the weekend, many communities in the Tennessee Valley have experienced some flooding issues. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry it away. While the weather can't be controlled, there are proactive measures that can be taken to minimize flooding.
Thirteen percent of Huntsville’s developed property is within floodplains. Here are some steps that city officials have put into place to minimize flooding:
- Huntsville officials established strict flood mitigation regulations in 1991 that have been constantly re-examined and updated
- All new commercial and residential development must have retaining areas or draining that can manage the flow of excess water
- Any building within the flood zones must be elevated or flood-proof
- Homes in newer neighborhoods in south Huntsville with a proximity to the river and the feeder creeks must be a foot higher off the ground than standard
- Public Works, Landscape Management and Engineering share the role in keeping waterways free of debris, though landowners must assume a role in clearing banks and ditches adjacent to their property
- Land in floodplain area that couldn’t be adopted as commercial or residential has been transformed into greenspace (recreational areas for walking, hiking and biking)
- Most Huntsville residential draining systems are designed for a 10-year storm, meaning an event that has a 10 percent chance of happening each year
- Huntsville is a participant in a National Flood Insurance program through FEMA and also provides updates to residents whose homes are in floodplains
Safety Tips for National Burn Awareness Week
The smell of cookies baking in the oven or tasty sauces simmering on the stovetop is hard to resist for adults and children alike. However, before you dip your finger into the pot to taste that delicious soup, know that the majority of children who are hospitalized for burn-related injuries suffer from scald burns (65 percent) or contact burns (20 percent). Hot tap water scald burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.
Scalds are the most common burn injury among young children and one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home for children under age four. U.S. hospitals treat an estimated 110,000 people under 19 for scalds every year.
While thousands of scald burns occur annually, increased awareness of the dangers can prevent injuries. To help people be mindful of scald burns, the American Burn Association has declared the first week of February National Burn Awareness Week.
Following a few simple precautions will help keep you and your little chef safe from potential burns:
- Cool a burn under cold running water for 10-15 minutes and call 9-1-1 for serious burns.
- Always supervise children in the kitchen and dining areas.
- Create a “No Child Zone” while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages.
- Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, place the child into a high chair or other safe area while cooking.
- Children love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from its edge; also, keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
- Keep clothing from coming in contact with flames or heating elements.
- A small adjustment to your water heater can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline, and lighters in a safe place out of children’s reach and avoid novelty lighters as they may look like toys in a child’s eyes.
- When filling the bathtub, turn on cold water first then mix in warmer water carefully.
National Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to share this information, develop a home fire drill, check your smoke alarms, and to make your kitchen safe for your little chef in training.
Huntsville/Madison Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup and Restoration
We provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations.
Recognized as a leading fire, water, and mold restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO also offers fast and reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
SERVPRO of South Madison County technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
Our services cover the following issues:
- Bloodbourne Pathogens: SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substance resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
- Methamphetamine Labs: Many chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
- Crime Scene Residues: Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues can be cleaned from surfaces and contents to restore your property.
- Arson and Vandalism: After the fire trucks are gone, your home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet.
- Sewage Backups: Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- Black Water Intrusions: This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation: Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
Water Damage Statistics
When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common a problem water damage can be. According to insurance industry research,
- 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day
- 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime.
- 37% of U.S. homeowners claim to have experienced water damage
Water leaks cause incredible amounts of damage and waste.
- Water leaks from homes in the US can exceed 1 trillion gallons of water in a year.
- Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water a day.
- A continuously running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day, and
- A 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day.
- A faucet leaking at a rate of 1 drop per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water in a year.
Protecting Your Warehouse Inventory From Water Damage
Damage in a warehouse needs to be dealt with right away so that the items stored have the best chance of recovery.
Commercial water damage presents double trouble to you as an owner and employer. Not only do you need to recover your premises, equipment, and inventory from the effects of leaks or flooding, you also have employees and customers who rely on you to keep your business running even while restoration efforts are in process. SERVPRO works closely with our commercial clients to avoid closure or a shut down even after a significant water damage to your warehouse or other storage facility affects your business. We encourage business owners to consult with us before any warehouse water disaster by developing an Emergency READY Profile.
Preventing commercial water damage in Huntsville may not be possible if heavy storms or flooding affect your warehouse but a review of your preparedness can limit the effects to your bottom line. Take advantage of our training and expertise by scheduling a thorough assessment of your warehouse and other operations. There is no charge for our review of your facilities, and we will use the information to ready your team should the worst happen.
You can also reduce and prevent the impact of flooding and water damage to both business operations and inventory:
- Keep stock off the floor.
- Routinely clean external and internal drains of debris such as leaves, waste, and other vegetation.
- Prevent water entering the building by installing permanent or removable barriers to seal doors, windows and other openings.
- Raise electrical sockets to keep them clear of possible flood water.
Water Damage Ten Times More Likely Than Fire
Water damage can happen to anyone.
Most homeowners worry about experiencing a fire. Few of us worry about having a water damage in our home. A study of claims data from a major insurance company shows that your home is 10 times more likely to be damaged by water than fire.
Fortunately, much of this water-related damage can be prevented and taking a few simple home maintenance steps can help decrease the chances of water damage.
The following list provides preventive measures to help avoid the top four common causes of non-weather related water damage:
Leaks from washing machine hoses: Washing machine hoses should be inspected annually and replaced every five years – or immediately, if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.
Leaky plumbing around water heaters: Plumbing should be inspected annually and repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, water heaters should be installed in an area with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.
Leaks from refrigerator ice machines: Ice maker connections, usually located behind the refrigerator, should be inspected annually and hoses replaced if they appear cracked or corroded.
Clogged drain lines on air conditioning units: Air conditioning drain lines should be checked yearly.
Tips To Prevent Fires In The Workplace
Last week was Fire Prevention Week and we shared tips on fire safety on our Facebook page. While the main focus is on preventing residential fires, it is also a good time to revisit workplace fire safety and prevention especially since several Huntsville businesses have experienced fire damage recently.
12 Tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:
Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.
Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.
Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.
Step 6. Maintenance – Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
Step 7. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.
Step 8. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.
Step 9. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.
Step 10. Prevent Ignition – Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.
Step 11. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.
Step 12. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number and floor plan should be posted.
All of these tips can help prevent fires in your business, office or warehouse. But it's important to note that sometimes the unexpected happens regardless of preventative measures. The simple truth is that fire emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.
Facts About Home Fire Sprinklers
Make no mistake: smoke alarms are crucial and significantly cut the risk of dying in a home fire. But these devices do nothing to suppress a fire. Home fire sprinklers in coordination with smoke alarms have been proven to protect lives and property against fire.
Home fire sprinklers
- If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present.
- Sprinklers reduce direct property damage by about 70 percent per fire.
- Research shows that when sprinklers were present during a fire, the fire is kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time.
- Roughly 85 percent of the time, just one sprinkler operates during a fire.
- Each individual sprinkler is designed and calibrated to go off only when it senses a significant heat change.
- Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.
Model safety codes now require the use of home fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. These requirements offer the highest level of safety to protect the people of your community. To learn how to advocate for fire sprinklers in your community’s new homes, visit NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.
Fast Facts About Home Fires
- Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
- One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
- Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.
- On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Most fatal fires kill one or two people.
- During 2010-2014, roughly, one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year.
How Temperature Affects Mold Growth
While stopping mold growth is very difficult without adequate tools and training, slowing (or accelerating) expansion could be as simple as changing your thermostat. Mold is hardy by nature, but that does not mean it is invulnerable to environmental changes. The key to controlling mold damage in Huntsville and Madison County could very well be careful climate control. Before calling SERVPRO to your home, consider what each of these conditions can do to affect mold growth.
The ideal conditions for mold damage in Huntsville tend to involve temperatures at or slightly above room temperature. These temperatures are not only the most comfortable for humans, but also for most types of mold. Mold usually grows fastest when your home is in its default state. While cranking up the air conditioning or turning off the heat may help to slow the spread of mold, it will also likely create uncomfortable conditions for you, so consider carefully any changes you make.
Few types of mold grow well in colder climes as warmer ones. In northern parts of the country, the fungi are much more common in the summer, as freezing temperatures present a serious impediment to efficient growth. However, living in low temperatures can create safety hazards, meaning that a cold day only tends to advantage non-climate-controlled parts of the home such as garages and outdoor areas.
Particularly hot summer days can be either harmful or helpful, depending on conditions. Unfortunately, most hot days in Huntsville tend to carry with them conditions of high humidity, fostering increased mold growth.
If you suspect that your Huntsville home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of South Madison County can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
If You See Signs of Mold,
Call Us Today – (256) 533-5335
Our Work In Houston
For the last month, we have had crews in Houston helping other SERVPRO franchises clean up flood damaged homes and businesses. We frequently send crews out of town to help other SERVPRO franchises when a large disaster such as a hurricane or flood affects their area.
Our first round of crews left Huntsville on August 29th. They were loaded up with equipment and supplies and had quite a long drive. Because flood damaged materials must be removed for proper restoration, they faced hard work removing flooring and drywall day after day. They also work long hours and weekends. After two weeks, we always swap out our crews. The original crews need and deserve a rest after all of their hard work and the new crews are rested and ready to help those who need it.
We operate on a wait list and were given a list of 50 homeowners needing our help when we arrived. Eventually that list grew to 80 names. Our primary focus is to remove damaged materials and dry out the home as quickly as possible to prevent secondary damage and mold growth. We also want to save as much of the homeowner's belongings as possible.
Our crews received raving reviews from many of the homeowners that they worked so hard to help. We are very proud of their efforts and hard work!
Great job, SERVPRO TEAM!
Tips To Control Mold
If you suspect that your Huntsville home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO can inspect, assess and remediate your property.
As we discussed in our previous blog post, mold is often a problem after a water damage. Many homeowners try to handle water damage cleanup themselves and unseen damage leaves moisture that later causes mold to grow.
If you had a water damage recently and you now smell a musty odor or have visible mold, here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help control mold problems:
- The source of mold is moisture; therefore fix all leaks in pipes and in any damp area around tubs and sinks.
- Rebuild, or retrofit, with water-resistant building materials such as tile, stone, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized or stainless steel hardware, indoor/outdoor carpeting, waterproof wallboard and water-resistant glues.
- Prevent seepage of water from outdoors into your house. It is important to have rainwater from gutters or roof drains away from the structure. Ground around the house should slope away to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.
- Cover dirt in crawl spaces with plastic to prevent moisture from coming up from the ground. Ventilate the area as much as possible.
- Clean fabrics such as curtains and upholstery often to keep them dry, because soil promotes mold growth.
- Consider having ductwork cleaned and inspected professionally or replaced if you suspect mold exists on the inside surface of the duct or if duct insulation has been wet.
- Reduce the moisture in the air with dehumidifiers, fans and open windows or air conditioners.
- Do not use fans or vacuum cleaners if mold already exists, especially in hot weather. A fan or vacuum cleaner will spread the mold spores.
- In moisture-prone areas, choose carpets of man-made fibers.
- Reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating.
- Routinely check potential problem spots.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov/removing-mold-your-home.
Flood Damage Can Lead To Mold Problems
Mold can be a growing problem in the aftermath of floods.
When the Huntsville area is hit with heavy rains, it sometimes results in flood damage to homes and businesses. Basements are a common problem for homeowners. Flood waters also enter a home or business through a garage or other entry door.
SERVPRO usually fields lots of calls in our office after flooding. Homeowners are anxious to get back in their homes. Some call us for help. Some call for advice. And, unfortunately, many don't call us and simply try to clean up the water damage themselves.
Those people often end up calling us later when they discover mold growing. Mold grows best in damp areas where humidity is high. Moisture in basements, walls, carpets and wood provide an environment for mold to flourish.
If your home or business suffered flood or water damage recently, please take the time to inspect the area carefully. If you see mold or suspect mold may be present, give SERVPRO a call.
Furnace Puffbacks Leave a Sooty Mess
One of our technicians carefully cleans soot from a customer's ceiling.
A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.
Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps you can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:
- Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
- Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
- Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.
If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.
Fortunately, if your home or business does experience a puffback, SERVPRO of South Madison County has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors. We have cleaned soot from puffbacks in many homes in Huntsville and Madison County in the 20 years we have been in business.
Safety and Cleanup Steps after Fire Damage
A grease fire caused fire and smoke damage to several rooms of this home in Huntsville.
How do you clean up after fire damage?
First, consider your safety. Only stay in your fire damaged home if you know it’s safe. Remember that electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most common ways people get injured after a fire.
If putting the fire out has left lots of water on your property, avoid lifting wet materials. They could be much heavier than you think. When fire has damaged your property, some of the first steps you should take are:
What To Do After Fire Damage
• Limit movement in your home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
• Keep everyone’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
• Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
• If your electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open.
• Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
• Wash your houseplants on both sides of leaves.
• Change your HVAC filter.
• Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After Fire Damage
• Don't try to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo your carpet or upholstery without contacting a professional. You may do more damage.
• Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
• Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
• Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
• Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Remember, we’re here to help. We are fire restoration contractors. Many people in the Huntsville/Madison County region have used our professional fire restoration services. So call SERVPRO of South Madison County anytime, 24/7 at 256-533-5335.
Stopping Mold Growth
The simplest way to stop mold growth is to reduce moisture.
Mold growth is not as noticeable as fire or water damage. It can be just as dangerous to residents and destroy as much property if left unchecked and untreated. Stopping the advancement of mold growth, however, is simpler to accomplish for the most part.
To understand how SERVPRO stops mold damage in Huntsville homes and businesses, it helps to know how mold gets started in the first place. Individual mold spores are smaller than a mustard seed, but function in the same manner. A mass containing thousands of them is much smaller than a dandelion, but when it is disturbed, reacts the same way; it breaks apart and spreads the spores (seeds) as far as an air current takes them.
In most cases, these spores touchdown and remain inert, a threat to no one or anything. To expand, they need moisture. The expanding spores extend hyphae across surfaces, seeking a food source so they can grow. When they find one, the spores form a new mass, and the cycle repeats itself, spreading across walls, ceilings, under carpets, and into HVAC ductwork. Most of this takes place between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but a few species of mold can grow at high or lower temperatures. To stop growth and render the spores inert, we perform the following tasks: reduce the moisture available, remove the food source and either raise or lower the temperature.
The simplest way to stop growth is to reduce moisture. Our technicians examine the area around it for standing water and measure the humidity level. We use pumps and extractors to remove visible water and draw unseen water from floors and carpets and set-up dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air.
Removing the food source requires a certain amount of demolition that starts with removing drywall and ceiling tiles. It is simply not cost-effective to try to clean and restore them. If we find mold under a carpet, the same is true.
Changing the temperature is the most difficult factor to manage. Trying to raise or lower the temperature of an affected area can take a long time since it is usually unsafe to engage the HVAC with an active mold growth in the home. In smaller areas, we use heaters to raise the temperature effectively, but even then, we do so as part of reducing the moisture levels.
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of South Madison County is close by and ready to help with your mold-damaged property. Contact us today at (256) 533-5335 if you need our help or suspect there may be a problem and want to schedule an inspection.
Tips to Prevent Bathroom Mold
Mold spores thrive on moisture.
Ahhhh a hot, steamy shower feels good to achy muscles, washing away your cares for a while. And while you’re relaxing the humidity level in your bathroom is rising, which can create an ideal environment for moldand mildew.
Preventing Mold with a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.
Many people think that the exhaust fan in the bathroom is there to remove away unpleasant odors. While they can help with that, these fans actually serve a much larger purpose. Bathroom exhaust fans draw the moisture-laden air that fills the room after a steamy shower or hot bath out of the bath room, bringing the room’s humidity down to a healthier level. This is a vital step in preventing mold growth and averting mold damage.
Your bathroom is an ideal location for mold because it thrives in a humid environment. One way to ensure that the exhaust fan comes on each time you enter the bath is to have an electrician hard wire the fan to the light switch. But for more efficient way of controlling humidity, invest in a humidity sensor.
Most people turn the fan on when they enter their bathroom to shower and turn it off when they leave. Unfortunately, this does not always give the exhaust fan enough time to evacuate the steam and humidity. Ideally, the fan needs to run until the moisture level in the bathroom is back to normal. You could just leave the fan running and come back later to turn it off, but you run the risk of forgetting it. This wastes energy and can shorten the lifespan of the exhaust fan. Instead, consider installing a humidity sensor. The sensor will automatically cut the fan off when the correct humidity level is restored. It is an easy way to prevent mold damage.
Dealing With Mold
If you find that you have a mold issue in your bathroom, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Disturbing the mold may facilitate its spread and contaminate other areas of your home or business that can be prevented. Spreading and cross contaminating your home or business could end up costing more money in the long run. Instead, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County. Our technicians have the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to address mold damage. They can inspect the area, identify the source of moisture, contain the mold, remove it, properly cleanse your belongings and restore your home or business to a healthy environment.
Commercial Cleaning Services
SERVPRO of South Madison County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine.
SERVPRO of South Madison County offers specialty cleaning services ranging from cleaning office upholstery to making storefront windows crystal clear. We have the specialized training and products to get your commercial or residential property clean, safe, and healthy again.
A Clean Business Keeps Customers Coming Back
Your business represents you. A clean and attractive business keeps customers coming and leaves a positive impression. SERVPRO of South Madison County wants every inch of your facility to sparkle and shine.
Our commercial specialty cleaning services include:
• Air Ducts and HVAC
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating dust, pollen, odors, dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
• Biohazard and Sewage
SERVPRO of South Madison County is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
• Trauma and Crime Scene
Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of South Madison County will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
• Carpet and Upholstery
Even the highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery.
• Drapes and Blinds
We carefully inspect and test fabrics to determine which of SERVPRO’s five cleaning methods is best suited to your fabrics.
• Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Your heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property.
• Odor Removal and Deodorization
SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.
We’re Here Whenever You Need Us
The team at SERVPRO of South Madison County also has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire damage restoration services, mold remediation, commercial services, and natural disaster cleanup.
Call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 anytime.
We've served clients in Huntsville, Madison, New Hope, Gurley, Owens Crossroads and beyond.
Businesses Can Be Prepared
Download the SERVPRO ERP App Today
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Are You Ready?
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/ to get started.
Repairing Your Home After a Fire
Most people who suffer fire damage want their lives and their homes to return to normal as soon as possible. Here's how.
Has your home recently been damaged by fire? If so, you’re probably eager to get started cleaning up and restoring your home and belongings. Most people who suffer fire damage want their lives and their homes to return to normal as soon as possible. But many don’t know the costs. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair smoke and fire damage is $8,571.
Fire damage can make areas of your home unusable until the fire damage has been repaired. More extensive fire damage may make your entire home unsafe. You may have to live elsewhere until cleanup and repair work gets done. No matter how minor or significant the fire damage restoration work is, you want to know how long it will take. The timeline depends on the restorative process and whether you take the opportunity to do remodeling at the same time.
Starting Fire Damage Repair Work
It can be difficult to determine how and where to get started with fire damage repair work. The first step in the repair process is to remove water from the home if firefighters used water during the extinguishing process. Water extraction can be completed by the professionals from SERVPRO of South Madison County quickly and affordably. We arrive in our green vehicles stocked with equipment and supplies to surmount any cleaning and restoration need you have.
Call SERVPRO of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335 Anytime
SERVPRO of South Madison County can also suggest to you and your adjuster what items and materials are salvageable. Keep in mind that smoke damage can also be a problem. Some items, such as carpeting and your HVAC system may need to be professionally cleaned to remove the smoke odor from your home.
Get Professional Help
Repairing your home after you have suffered fire damage is not something that you want to attempt on your own. A fire damage restoration project requires a considerable amount of time and energy to complete. But SERVPRO South Madison County can help you restore your property in minimal time with minimal costs. Our IICRC cleanup and restoration certified technicians have the skills and assets to do a quality job. We are a locally owned and operated fire damage repair franchise.
How clean is the air in your office?
Indoor air quality in commercial buildings is a factor in good health.
Indoor air quality is a major concern for businesses, building managers, tenants, and employees. Clean air impacts the health, comfort, well being, and productivity of building occupants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment.
More Pollution Inside Than Outside
Studies conducted by the EPA and others show that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of pollutants that are higher than levels found outside. Pollutants in commercial buildings and other indoor environments can increase the risk of illness. The EPA and independent scientific panels have consistently ranked indoor air pollution as an important environmental health problem. While most buildings do not have severe indoor air quality problems, even well-run buildings can sometimes experience episodes of poor indoor air quality.
Interested in discussing cleaning needs for your property? Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335
How To Improve The Air Inside Your Commercial Building
Some simple steps can have a big impact on the quality of the air inside your commercial building:
• Don’t block air vents or grills
• Comply with the office and building smoking policy
• Water and maintain office plants properly
• Dispose of garbage promptly and properly
• Store food properly
• Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants
• Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem
Interested in discussing cleaning needs for your property? Call SERVPRO Of South Madison County at (256) 533-5335
Why You Should Repair Minor Storm Damage Quickly
Left alone, minor damage often becomes major damage.
In the Huntsville/Madison County region, some storms may not seem very powerful, but weaker storms can be deceiving. Hearing about a predicted minor storm may cause you to think that there’s little possibility your Huntsville home or business will suffer storm damage. However, storm damage doesn’t always mean 3 feet of water in your basement or a 100 foot spruce tree sitting in your bedroom.
Storm damage as minor as losing a few roof shingles or a broken window can hurt. Both of these situations and many others require repairs. Left alone, minor damage (like a slow leak or a little crack) can worsen over time. Preventing minor storm damage from becoming a major issue can stop higher repair bills from sneaking up on you.
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256)533-5335 Anytime
Minor Leads To Major
Huntsville homeowners and business owners who don’t repair minor damage often are forced to face much greater damage in time. SERVPRO of South Madison County can help you make minor repairs before they become major headaches. By not procrastinating you avoid the risk of major repairs and major inconveniences in the future.
Welcome Mat For Rodents
Any opening (missing shingles, peeling siding, etc.) sends a welcome mat for water and insects, and rodents to enter. Larger openings in your roof can permit rodents and birds to come in and make their homes in your attic space. Some rodents are more damaging than others and won't stay in the attic but will find their way into other areas of your home.
Extensive Restoration Training
Because we are SERVPRO of South Madison County, we have extensive training in all aspects of repairs and restorations. That’s true for both residential and commercial properties. We have completed jobs of all sizes over the years, and we can successfully handle any size disaster, including the one you’re facing. Our certifications cover the many different cleaning and restorative types of work that storm damage can cause.
We are ready to restore your home or business to its previous beautiful condition. Minor repairs now can provide major protection for your home or business later.
Heavy Rains Expected? SERVPRO is Ready!
Heavy rainfall forecast for Huntsville and Madison County between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning
Whenever heavy rains are expected in the Huntsville/Madison County area, SERVPRO of South Madison County understands the potential for serious problems for homeowners and businesses. If you find yourself in over your head with water problems call your qualified SERVPRO team today and we'll get you back on track fast, so fast you'll wonder why you ever hesitated to make the call at all!
Do you have a water damage, roof leak, sump pump failure, or need any general clean up from water problems and/or flooding? Call us today and we'll make it all go away!
SERVPRO of South Madison County proudly serves those in need! We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve. We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. Let us help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs, Call SERVPRO of South Madison County 256-533-5335
Huntsville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Huntsville
SERVPRO of South Madison County 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 - 256-533-5335
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 South Madison County 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 South Madison County
SERVPRO of South Madison County 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.
Restoring Your Huntsville Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges
Flooding and water damage events at Huntsville 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 South Madison County
SERVPRO of South Madison County 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.
- RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- HST - Health and safety Technician
- IICRC Certified Firm
- AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
- OCT - Odor Control Technician
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
Huntsville Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Huntsville Home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of South Madison County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 256-533-5335
When Storms or Floods hit Madison County, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Madison County.
SERVPRO of South Madison County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Madison County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 256-533-5335
Huntsville Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
The refrigerator supply line leaked in the kitchen above and caused water damage to the basement in this Huntsville home.
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Huntsville basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 256-533-5335
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of South Madison County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 256-533-5335
For Immediate Service in Madison County, Call SERVPRO
SERVPRO of South Madison County provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Madison County. 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 – 256-533-5335
Whether your Madison County 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:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Madison County 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: click here.
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Does Your Madison County Home Have A Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 256-533-5335
Small Water Damage Can Lead to Unseen Problems
Water Intrusion in One Room can Mean Water Damage in Other Rooms. Removing surface water can help prevent more extensive damage. However, water intrusion invade floors, ceilings and walls to find the lowest point in your home. Standing water from an overflowing bathtub or other water incident will search for pin hole crevices and creak in your floor and walls looking for a way a travel downward. Surface such as a woof, drywall and carpet pull water away from plain sight and into the interiors of your home.
Should a water incident occur in your home, remove excess water with mopping and blotting, remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying and place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs. These tips may prevent further damage to your home and personal belongings.
SERVPRO® of the Quad Cities Professionals can help:
Service Response Guidelines
1) Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Professional will contact you to arrange for service
4) Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Professional will be on-site to start mitigation service.
8) Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.
** Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.
Mold and the Precautions to Take
SERVPRO® of Central Huntsville handles water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is important to be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold
-Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth.
Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a heath threat.
Flood Damages and Flood Insurance In North Alabama
In North Alabama we know how drastic the weather can be and how suddenly it can change. It is important to know the terms associated with flooding and what kind of coverage you have on your home.
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible.
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.
Knowing About Flood Insurance:
- Regular homeowners insurance does not cover flood water damages and when purchased from you insurance company is ran through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- If there is sewage back up caused by a flood then it would be only be covered by flood insurance.
- Upon the purchase of flood insurance there is a 30 Day waiting period before the insurance kicks in, so it is important to plan ahead.
- Find out if you are in a flood plain. If you are not you want to calculate the risk of not having flood insurance.
SERVPRO® Water Damage and Fire Restoration Construction
Often when our homes face a fire or water damage we are left with an abundance of issues that need to be faced. SERVPRO Central Huntsville has helped many in our community face all these problems in a "one stop shop". Below is the process typically followed for our customers who have construction needs after a fire or water damage.
1. Contact insurance agent or SERVPRO directly when the problem arises.
2. SERVPRO of Central Huntsville responses quickly and starts mitigation to prevent further damage.
3. Construction is needed once mitigation is complete. Instead of calling around for contractors to do each project, SERVPRO will handle the headache and work with your insurance company to provide the construction needs to your home or business.
We are looking to help our customers feel at ease through the stressful times of disaster taking care of all their needs in one place.
Keeping Warm in North Alabama this Winter
Freezing temperatures are upon us here in the Huntsville area. It is the season where we start to see a lot of water damages due to pipes that burst. People's biggest mistake that leads to more costly damages is not acting promptly and correctly.
When you have realized that a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps to minimize your damage and in the long run, save you money.
1. Stop the Water Flow
Turn off the water main as soon as you notice something is wrong. The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 106 gallons; that’s two full baths an hour. Once water is off, make sure you drain the lines throughout the home
2. Locate, Inspect, and Repair the Damage
Once the damage is inspected, you will determine if this is something that you can handle on your own or if you need to bring in a plumber.
3. Call the Professional Drying Company
Once the repair is made and there will be no further damage, call professional water restoration. Areas that have been soaked in water susceptible to mold, mildew, and can cause your family unwanted illness.
The longer you wait to make these repairs the more damage will be caused. In turn, higher cost for restorations and getting your home back to normal.
Do's and Don'ts When Experiencing a Water Damage
- üRemove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- ü Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and table top items.
- ü Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for even drying.
- ü Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- ü Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- ü Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
- ü Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place.
- ü Open and place luggage, in sunlight to dry, if possible.
- ü Gather loose items, toys, etc. from floors.
- ü Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- ü Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
- ü Use your household vacuum to remove water.
- ü Use TVs or other household appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- ü Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
What you can do until help arrives after a fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
- Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Wash any walls or painted surfaces.
- Shampoo carpet or upholstery.
- Clean any electrical equipment.
- Send clothing to dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
10 Fire Safety Tips
1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.
6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.
SERVPRO of Central Huntsville can now handle ALL your needs!
This kitchen was charred beyond recognition after a full house fire
Exciting Announcement: SERVPRO of South Madison County now offers building/reconstruction services for both residential and commercial properties.
An example of our work: A fire started in the kitchen and ravaged this home in Huntsville, ruining the hardwood floors, walls, ceiling, marble countertops, backsplash, custom cabinets, and many other stylish amenities that made this home special. With quick work on the demo and restoration and patient, professional effort on the reconstruction, this home looks gorgeous again and its..."Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of South Madison County can truly live up to that slogan now that we are capable of construction as well as the demo and mitigation! See the after photos in our before/after photos section to see how lovely this home looks after its "reconstructive surgery".