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Prefect Your Home From Fire Damage

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Red roof of home with fire damage Fire Damage in Knoxville Home

SERVPRO Restores Fire and Smoke Damage Quickly to Ensure Life in Your Seattle Home Gets Back to Normal 

Regardless of the scope of a house fire, the levels and layers of damage can be immense. Many homeowners are best off seeking another place to stay when their Knoxville home is restored. Not only is there odorous soot and debris that gets tracked through the house, but there is the potential for breathing in harmful irritants found in soot and smoke residue. The good news is that our trained and IICRC-certified technicians are available 24/7 to address any fire emergency you may have. 

Why Do I Need Professional Cleanup for a Small Fire? 

Our team at SERVPRO has the skills and equipment necessary to handle your fire and smoke damage quickly in Knoxville efficiently. Many airborne soot particles can be invisible to the naked eye. A significant element of fire loss mitigation is the use of advanced equipment that helps to capture all particulates. Some of the methods that we use include actions like: 

  • Odor-control material that helps to neutralize odors from the fire
  • Total removal and disposal of debris and charred items to cut back on odors
  • Deployment of air scrubber technology, which helps to improve air quality while mitigation takes place 

How Can You Prevent Debris and Grime from Getting Tracked Throughout My Home? 

In many cases, our team partitions off the fire loss zone from the rest of your interior to limit cross-contamination. It is vital to remove charred building materials and any non-salvageable items carefully and meticulously to prevent tracking. Our crew also wears personal protective equipment (PPE) and foot coverings to cut back on cross-contamination from one room to the next. 

After Extinguishing the Fire, Everything is Wet, Now What? 

From the moment that our crew arrives on your property, we assess the damages, which includes looking at all areas where water or chemicals from extinguishing the fire may be present. During cleaning up debris and controlled demolition methods, we also use different tools to locate hidden moisture, including: 

  • Moisture sensors
  • Moisture meters
  • Thermal imaging 

We carefully of any saturated, non-salvageable materials, and our team uses targeted drying with the help of industrial-strength fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers. 

What is a Controlled Demolition? 

Depending on the amount of fire damage to your Knoxville building materials, controlled demolition might be a necessity. This process can often save homeowners a considerable amount of money by carefully removing damaged materials and replacing them with brand new items. If you have charred wooden studs, we have a variety of harsh measures to remove it. Everything is then treated with a special sealant to keep odors from permeating throughout your interior. 

What is Done for Smoke Odors? 

SERVPRO has a specific process that allows us to remove odorous smoke particles and soot from your home after a fire loss. Every step helps break down stubborn residue while also pinpointing specific areas where particles might have wandered. 

  • We offer pack-out services to remove furnishings and personal belongings to clean and deodorize offsite. This service limits the amount of smoke residue transfer into other unaffected areas of your home.
  • We carefully begin cleaning any surfaces covered in soot residue, ensuring that no area gets left untreated. Our trucks house EPA-approved disinfectant solutions and cleaning agents that remove waste from various materials, including sheetrock, plastics, and wood.
  • Should pungent odors occur, we can recreate the event that brought on odor penetration. We have fogging equipment that heats deodorant agents to create a chemical cloud that quickly penetrates materials to target the odor molecules.
  • We can also seal exposed surfaces, such as walls, using special primers before a final coat of color. We also have a process for sealing ductwork in your home if particles have traveled throughout the HVAC system. 

When it comes to the equipment that we use most often with a fire loss project, we have the best tools and products for cleaning and restoring the air quality in your home. 

  • Air scrubbers help cut back on debris and particulates throughout your interior.
  • Hydroxyl generators are dual-acting, allowing our crew to filter the air in your home while deodorizing it at the same time. These generators have HEPA filtration, bringing air into the machine where the filter traps debris, particles, and microbes. 

Have trained technicians on your side to help with fire and smoke damage is a good feeling. Call us at SERVPRO of West Knoxville at (865) 690-9658 when you need emergency service. Once you call, we can have a team on-site in as little as four hours to get to work!

WHAT HOMEOWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WATER DAMAGE

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

White wall in a home with mold damage Mold Damage Knoxville

MOLD & MILDEW

These problems can develop and spread quickly to other areas utilized by the family regularly. At worst, these microorganisms create medical issues such as asthma, allergies, and respiratory ailments. Valuable property like heirlooms, family photo albums, clothing, and furniture items risk being lost forever due to the water that destroys them. Reputable specialists for SERVPRO of West Knoxville have the training, skills, and experience to provide water damage restoration services. We work quickly and efficiently to protect your personal property and furnishings.

VENTILATION

The water damage restoration process used by SERVPRO of West Knoxville begins with proper ventilation within the affected area. This critical step ensures individuals in the area will have the fresh air necessary to combat the strong odors, gases, and fumes often present in water-damaged areas. Fischer's contractors will open windows and doors and place large industrial fans to help with the drying process.

EXTRACTION

Sizeable industrial water extractors absorb the excessive moisture from the floor and furniture. This equipment is a crucial aid in the drying process. We apply cleaners and disinfectants to the damaged property to kill bacteria before it can be released into the air.

If mold, mildew, algae or other microorganisms are present, we treat and remove it to eliminate further breeding and colonizing. This dramatically reduces the risk of individuals within the home being inflicted with medical ailments. We pay special attention to HVAC systems and ventilation systems installed throughout the house. Our technicians thoroughly clean these systems to prevent any microorganisms from deposited in the home's living spaces. We apply special disinfectants to surface areas to prevent further contamination of bacteria and mold.

ONE-STOP SHOP

Our technicians at SERVPRO of West Knoxville can complete these repair services quickly and efficiently to return your home to livable conditions. This makes it possible to contact one company for all of your water damage needs. There's no need to enlist the help of several other contractors to perform the services to get your home back in order. For many residents in the Knoxville, TN area, this means a more economical means for having the water damage restoration completed within their home without going over their budget.

Are Candles Safe For Your Home

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Candles are a common but dangerous household item. According to Alder Home Security, candles are the fourth leading cause of house fires. The National Fire Protection Association reported a candle fire report 24 times per day, with about one-third of them beginning in bedrooms. Around the December holidays, be especially aware if a candle is lit - fires caused by candles spike during the winter season. To safely scent your home in Knoxville, TN, check out the following three candle alternatives. 

Candle Alternatives

  1.  Flameless Candles

Battery-operated flameless candles are an excellent option for areas of your home that are often vacant, such as hallways, guest rooms, and bathrooms. They are usually made with scented wax to smell like an authentic candle and flicker as if they were lit with a real flame. According to the National Candle Association, leaving candles unattended or forgetting to blow them out are two of the reasons for 85 percent of fires, and flame-free candles can be a preventative measure. 

  1. Luminaries

If you’re looking for an option that looks different than a traditional candle, picking up a flameless luminary is a way to go. It’s made up of a decorated shade, and some brands allow you to choose between different scents. As a bonus, some types shut off after four hours, so you don’t have to remember to turn them off. 

  1. Candle Warmers

For those who enjoy the look and smell of an authentic candle, candle warmers make great lit candle alternatives. The lamp heats the wax from the candle by warming the top to release its scent. The lights come in multiple designs and can hold most 22-ounce candles. You may be able to purchase scented candles with or without a wick or heat your own. 

Candle alternatives are excellent additions to homes to prevent candle-related fires. These options can still provide the look, smell, and cozy atmospheres in Knoxville, TN that traditional candles offer – without the risk.

Why Use a Professional for Fire Damage

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

White house with fire damage Knoxville fire damage

What isn’t burned or destroyed in a fire is often in need of serious repair. Fires often leave behind soot, smoke, and water damage. The types of damage you have will ultimately affect the cost of repair.

Comparing the Cost of a DIY Cleanup vs. Hiring a Professional

Things to note when considering whether to clean and repair on your own should include the following:

  1. If attempting to clean or repair items yourself, safety should be your top priority. Mold from water damage, soot, and other contaminants are toxic and may cause long-term health problems if you don’t protect yourself from exposure. There can also be structural damage or exposed building materials such as asbestos after a fire that present hazards.
  2. Consider the health risks carefully. While it may seem efficient to clean some items yourself (and you sometimes can take extreme precautions), you should know that asthma and other respiratory conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to toxins.
  3. Consider the costs of DIY cleaning. If you fail to clean water damage properly, mold can return. If you fail to clean soot thoroughly from air ducts or vents, it can spread throughout your home, re-infecting rooms. If this happens, you will have to pay for a professional to do the job correctly.

Estimating Costs for Types of Fire Damage

The cost of fire damage repair depends on several factors, including whether the affected area is a commercial or residential location, whether there’s both water and fire damage, and the size of the affected area.

Water damage repair in Knoxville can cost between $3 to $4 per square foot to repair. This can include extracting water, removing damaged carpet, and dehumidifying the area. If you have mold from the water damage, repair costs could significantly increase.

Soot damage cleanup often costs an estimated $2,000 to $6,000+. Soot is the residue left from the organic matter that burned. There are two types of smoke-dry and oily. You may be able to launder items affected by dry soot yourself, but a professional must clean oily smoke. *It’s best to have an expert review the damage and type of smoke before completing any DIY laundering, mainly to prevent clogging washing and drying machines with soot.

Smoke damage cleanup can range from $800 to $5,000+ depending on the treatment you select and the extent of the damage. You will likely need a professional to complete a thermal fogging or ozone treatment to remove the smell of smoke from your home, furniture, and fabric materials.

What You’ll Need to Compete a DIY Cleanup

If you decide to clean up fire damage yourself, first read our cleanup tips for fire damage.

Wall Cleanup

If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to clean walls with a disinfectant. If the residue is oily, it will need to be professionally cleaned.

Floor Cleanup

If you have tile flooring, you can likely clean it yourself with a general cleaner. Laminate floors, carpet, and carpet padding will probably need to be replaced. Hardwood floors may need professional refinishing.

Vent and Duct Cleanup

You or a professional will also need to clean air ducts, furnace, and air-conditioning filters to prevent the further spread of soot.

Belongings Cleanup

If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to launder drapes, pillows, and fabric as you would frequently, but you should first consult a professional to avoid damaging laundry appliances. If it’s oily soot, you must utilize professional fabric restoration services.

For items that were only exposed to smoke, such as books, you may be able to remove the smell by enclosing them in a plastic bag with charcoal for a few days. The charcoal will absorb the scent.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional

Soot and mold are toxic. When a fire ravages a home or office, it can leave behind the smoke, which can harm your health if you don’t handle it properly. We know how to clean residue and mold effectively, which can help ensure you can get back into your home or office as safely and quickly.

Insurance can be challenging. Our experienced staff members will work alongside you to ensure the insurance process is equitable. We have decades of experience navigating the nuances of insurance claims – plus, we’re an approved smoke and fire damage contractor for many Knoxville insurance companies.

After a fire, make sure you hire a company you can count on to help restore your office or home. You can rely on SERVPRO of West Knoxville to help you restore, repair, and rebuild any residential or commercial property.

If you have a fire, water, or smoke damage, call our experienced professionals at 865-690-9658 to schedule a free estimate.

Flood Damage in Knoxville

5/30/2020 (Permalink)

Living room in Knoxville flooded with water Flood Damage

Flood Damage Mitigation and Restoration Service in Knoxville

Not all floods in homes are caused by flooding from overflowing streams or flash floods. Knoxville homes can be flooded from overflowing toilets that become plugged or if the main drain under the house is blocked. Water discharged from laundry machines, for example, has nowhere to go but back up through the toilets and onto the floor of the bathroom. Contaminated water can spread out from the bathroom to other adjacent rooms such as the master bedroom or into a hallway.

SERVPRO provides flood damage mitigation and restoration service throughout the Knoxville and surrounding areas. We have a large team ready to respond to every kind of disaster. These folks are highly trained professionals and hold numerous certifications for cleaning, restoration, decontamination, mold control, and much more. We respond to your call in less than four hours, and our call center is available 24 / 7 to take your request and mobilize a team.

Restoration After a Plugged Drain Causes a Flood

The sewer under your home can plug for many different reasons. A broken tile, tree roots, or an object flushed down the toilet becomes lodged in the drain causing a blockage. A rush of water draining from laundry machines or perhaps a bathtub can cause the water to back up through the toilets and overflow onto the floors. Unfortunately, this water is considered contaminated, and the floors and any objects on the floors must be appropriately decontaminated and cleaned.

SERVPRO can help in these situations. We have the equipment, the chemicals needed for decontamination, and the trained staff to manage these situations. Sealed floors, such as tile floors, can usually be decontaminated and cleaned. We carefully remove carpeted flooring and the underpad to avoid distributing contaminated material and discarded.

In some situations, SERVPRO may also suggest that hardwood floors must be removed. Contaminated water can penetrate to the subfloor. Water can be removed. However, contaminated material could remain, leaving a potential health hazard. We work closely with insurance adjusters and the homeowner to provide advice on the best approach to take.

Call SERVPRO of West Knoxville at (865) 690-9658 for 24/7 service. We proudly serve Knoxville and surrounding areas. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Every Hour Matters

5/30/2020 (Permalink)

Water flooded a brown home Water Damage Knoxville

With water damage clean up and dry out, time is essential for preventing further damage to keep costs down and to ensure that your insurance claim is not denied. Water damage restoration companies know that the first 24 to 48 hours are critical to preventing microbial growth and secondary damage.

The nature of water damage is that “wet goes to dry.” So, although the water damage in your home is limited to specific areas, the water is continuing to migrate toward other dry materials. If you dip a sponge into an inch or two of water and stand it on end on a countertop with the wet side down, in a short while, the entire sponge will be damp. Even though the water has to overcome gravity, it will wick up the sponge as it seeks out more dry material. In the same way, the water in your house will migrate under walls and cabinets, and wick up walls, insulation, the wood in the framing and offices, and your furniture. The longer the moisture remains in your home, the further the water and the damage spreads, and the more likely it is to promote microbial growth, including mold.

The moisture in your home will begin to evaporate and cause humidity to rise beyond what your air conditioner can handle. It is essential to get the humidity levels down to 40% or lower as soon as possible, which is why high capacity dehumidifiers are critical to water damage restoration. High humidity levels mean that the air in your house is holding nearly as much moisture as it can, and that moisture will begin to condense on the surfaces in the home. An example of this is when you raise the humidity in your bathroom during a shower. You can see the moisture that condenses on your mirror. The moisture condensing on the surfaces in your home will damage those surfaces, and the natural amounts of dust in the air will produce optimal conditions for the growth of mold. The longer the moist conditions exist, the higher the risk of this additional damage to your home and its contents.

Also, if you look at your homeowner’s insurance policy, you will see that you agree that if you suffer a loss, you will take immediate steps to prevent further damage. Failure to do so could result in the denial of your claim because insurance companies don’t want to pay to repair more damage than is necessary. The first thing an insurance company will tell you is to get a restoration company to begin the dry out. They don’t tell you that because they like to spend money. They inform you that because they know it will cost less, in the long run, to take care of the water damage as soon as possible.

Waiting to dry out your home after a water damage event can be very costly. The water will continue to migrate to dry materials, causing more damage to walls, flooring, cabinets, and contents. The excess moisture in the air will cause damage to other surfaces in your home, including your furnishings, and will also promote microbial growth. Finally, failing to take immediate steps to mitigate the water damage could result in your insurance claim being denied.

HOW LONG CAN GERMS LIVE ON SURFACES?

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Germs have been rough this year and continue to hit during spring. Reports on the potential dangers of antibiotic-resistant superbugs mingle with discussions of the effectiveness of vaccinations and various other medical interventions. While germs may be too small to be seen with the naked eye, encountering them can have a significant impact on your health, and these microscopic menaces can lie in wait on a wide array of joint surfaces. How long can germs live on surfaces? And what can you do to protect yourself and your health?

HOW LONG CAN GERMS LIVE ON SURFACES?

When germs are on the prowl, no place is safe. Buses, commuter trains, rental cars, and private vehicles transport both people and virulent bacteria. Retail establishments, health clubs, educational institutions, restaurants, hotel rooms, and even cruise ship cabins can shelter germs. Practically anything that you touch can expose you to viruses, putting your health at risk. According to the National Health Service, the lifespan of a germ varies depending on the type of germ and the surface that it is on. How long can bacteria live on surfaces? Below we explore a few common examples.

COLD GERMS

The common cold is a frequent source of misery. A variety of viruses can trigger it, and like other viruses, cold germs tend to survive for more extended periods on hard, nonporous surfaces like desktops and handrails. On suitable indoor surfaces, cold germs can linger for days, but fortunately, they rarely remain infectious for more than 24 hours. Cold viruses can also thrive on the skin, but their survival time there is generally measured in mere minutes or hours.

INFLUENZA GERMS

Viruses that cause influenza can survive in the air as droplets for hours and live on hard surfaces like phones and keyboards for up to 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses clinging to a tissue can last for about 15 minutes, but germs on the hands tend to fade quickly. Most will be only a minimal threat after five minutes. It may be a small window of time, but influenza germs don’t warn you of their presence and can make you very sick if you’re unlucky enough to encounter them when they’re infectious.

NOROVIRUS GERMS

A highly contagious virus that triggers stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea in those unfortunate enough to catch it, a norovirus can spread through small droplets that travel through the air before settling on surfaces like elevator buttons, tabletops, and clothing. While they don’t thrive as successfully on porous materials like tissues and fabrics, noroviruses can survive on hard surfaces for days or weeks if the conditions are favorable.

MRSA GERMS

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, the culprits behind dangerous MRSA infections, are unfazed by many of the antibiotics that are effective in combating other staph infections. Like viruses, these germs tend to survive for shorter periods on porous surfaces than they do on nonporous ones, but they’re capable of living for days or weeks on surfaces if the circumstances are right.

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM GERMS

Everyone has seen it. If you’ve worked in restaurants or other public venues, you may even have wielded it: the dreaded wet, grey rag. Habitually passed over tabletops between customers with a few desultorily swipes, it is an inadequate weapon when it comes to eradicating germs. But what is required to disinfect a surface?

DISINFECTING BASICS

If you want to kill the germs lurking on a surface, you need to choose an appropriate disinfectant. You also have to apply it correctly. That means saturating the surface with enough of the germ-fighting chemical to get the job done and ensuring that there’s enough contact time (the time when the chemical is on the cover) to allow it to eliminate any germs present. Choosing a low-grade disinfectant or skimping on either saturation or contact time can compromise your germ-fighting efforts, so it’s vital that you select your products carefully and read and follow their directions.

The Importance Of Regular Professional Cleaning

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning out a dirty dry vent Dryer vents

Dryer vents clog when enough lint accumulates in your ventilation system to cause a blockage. Dryer vents can plug in a variety of ways. For one, a lengthy distance on a dryer ventilation system increases the likelihood of bends and curves in the system, where lint is most likely to collect. Second, dryer ventilation tubes are made from pliable plastic or foil, which can be easily crushed or dented given enough pressure. Finally, poorly connected ventilation or dryer vent screen can cause lint to trap. Some ventilation screens serve to prevent animals from accessing the ventilation, but these screens can also create a barrier for dust.

The highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut can help. Give us a call at 865-690-9658

Things to Know About Air Duct Cleaning

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Merely living in your home creates dust and dirt. Have you ever seen dust floating in the air in your home when the sun shines in? That dust, dirt, pet dander, and those allergens get pulled into the air handling system in your home. It builds up in the ductwork, some of it gets recirculated back into your home, and the air filter captures some of it if the one you use is of good quality. Eventually, enough builds up to the point where more of it blows back into your home. Your furnace or air conditioner must run longer to cool or heat your home, which costs you more in utility bills. With a service call from Sears Air Duct Cleaning, you can feel comfortable in knowing that that accumulation of Dust, Dirt, dander, and allergens has been cleaned from your HVAC duct system. 

Water Damage Tips

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage caused from washer leaking in Knoxville Water Damage in Knoxville

When dealing with an incidence of water damage or flooding in your home, the last thing you need to be doing is spending hours researching every detail of the water mitigation and restoration process. Highlighted below are a few essential tips to remember before beginning any water damage restoration project.

  1. Time is of the Essence: Once water damage has occurred, you have 24 – 48 hours to address the water damage before mold and mildew begin to grow. This mold may pose a health risk to your family, as well as cause an unnecessary additional headache for you during what is already stressful time.
  2. Safety First: Before you begin any remediation, ensure that you are not endangering yourself or others. Consider if it is safe to be in the house before starting to conduct any restoration activities yourself.
  3. Document Damage: Be sure to take plenty of photos of the affected area(s) before beginning any water damage remediation. Catalog lost items, along with their value, for your insurance company.
  4. Remove Affected Materials: This includes the disposal of floor coverings; carpet, cushion, pad, felt and sheet vinyl, laminate, or tile flooring materials. Remove wet items and clear the floor to mitigate damages.
  5. Call in the Experts: Call SERVPRO of West Knoxville at 865-690-9658 for live help 24/7 from one of our supervisors. When you make a call, day or night, you talk to an experienced professional that can help you in understanding the water damage cleanup process. We’re here to help make the best of a stressful situation!