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Can Winter Storms Cause Water Damage?

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Can Winter Storms Cause Water Damage? Frozen pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage during the winter.

Can Winter Storms Cause Water Damage?

Water damage can occur at any time of year, but winter storms pose several unique risks. Find out more about the causes of a burst pipe, ice damming and leaks during cold weather, and how to prevent these situations.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage during the winter. Water can freeze in an exposed pipe when the temperature dips below freezing. This blockage will cause pressure to build up in the frozen pipe and may cause the pipe to burst. Building owners or managers can take several measures to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Insulate exposed pipes
  • Drip faucets
  • Maintain consistent interior temperatures

These methods can help building owners avoid costly water damage from a burst pipe. This cause of major wintertime damage can usually be prevented. 

Ice Damming

A blocked drainage system can cause ice to melt and refreeze on the roof of a building. Standing water can cause any roofing materials to deteriorate. Make sure that roof drains, gutters and downspouts are clear, and that attic and roof temperatures remain as consistent as possible.

Leaks and Thawing

As snow and ice thaws, it may result in a leak. This is particularly the case if roofing or building materials have sustained damage due to winter storms. There are several ways to prevent leaks:

  • Regular annual inspections
  • Checks throughout the year
  • Monitoring the structure for leaks

Leaks from a roof or through a building envelope will cause water damage and may increase the risk of mold. It is important that building owners take measures to seal out water.

All of these factors may result in wintertime water damage to a commercial structure in Knoxville, TN. In the event of a burst pipe or any other type of damage, a building owner or manager should contact a mitigation and restoration company as soon as possible.

Refrigerator Line Breaks in Knoxville Home

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Refrigerator Line Breaks in Knoxville Home Water Damage Knoxville Home

Water damage can happen at any time; it is often at inconvenient times. This was the case for Mrs. Gilmore. Thankfully SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut was available. Mrs. Gilmore's refrigerator line broke which lead to massive amounts of water damage throughout the kitchen and the dining room. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut was able to come out that night and set up drying units to limit the damage.

After further assessment and consulting with Mrs. Gilmore we decided the best course was the replace all of the flooring in the kitchen. Mrs. Gilmore was able to pick out the style that she wanted and new kitchen's appliances With the help of SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut a terrible situation was turned into a good one.

3 Steps To Smother a Grease Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Steps To Smother a Grease Fire Grease fire can burn hotter that other types of kitchen fire

3 Steps To Smother A Grease Fire

Grease fires can burn hotter than most other types of kitchen fires. It is important to know how to safely extinguish these fires, as using a pressurized fire extinguisher may actually cause this type of fire to spread. Here are the three steps necessary to safely smother a grease fire.

1. Turn Off the Heat

The first step to handle smoking grease or a fire is to turn off the source of heat. This can prevent grease from becoming even hotter. Do not attempt to move a pan or pot off of the burner, as motion can intensify the fire.

2. Smother the Flames

There are two effective ways to quickly smother flames. It is a good idea to keep baking soda and salt handy if you are cooking with large amounts of grease. Baking soda consists of sodium bicarbonate, which releases carbon dioxide. Salt draws heat out of grease to limit its combustibility.

An intense grease fire will draw in oxygen through convection and may resist this smothering effect. Limit the supply of oxygen by immediately covering the pot or pan with a metal lid, cookie sheet, or another pot or pan.

3. Make Sure the Fire Is Out

Monitor the situation to make sure that a fire is not spreading. Wait at least 20 minutes for grease to cool before checking the condition under the cover. Lifting a cover too quickly can introduce a surge of oxygen that may cause a fire to reignite.

These steps should make it possible to safely contain a grease fire, which will limit safety risks and property damage. In the event of a fire that is too intense to smother, close the doors leading to the kitchen and evacuate. Any type of fire can result in extensive damage. If this occurs, contact a fire cleanup and restoration service located in Bearden, TN.

Is an Air Purifier Right for Your Home?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is an Air Purifier Right for Your Home? HEPA filters are mechanical air filters

Look For An Air Filtration To Clean Your Home Air

Air pollution is a valid concern for almost anyone that lives in a city. The dust, contaminates, and odor can sometimes be heavy enough to be seen, and they have even been given the pollutants a name – smog. However, your home in Knoxville, TN, can also develop dust, contaminates, and odor problems. Moving air about with a fan is not the best solution; it only moves the problem from one room to another. Why not look into an air filtration device to help clean your home’s air?

Finding the Facts

Mold, dust and odors are almost always in the world around us. When those particles are inside your home, they are typically considered to be inside air pollutants, and generally, they fall into one of these categories:

  • Gaseous
  • Biological
  • Chemical

This includes dust mites, cooking odors, mildew, viruses and animal dander.

Breathing Much Easier

Air filtration systems filter the pollutants out of the air from all three categories. Keeping the allergens and mold spores filtered out of the air can provide a cleaner atmosphere inside your home, and this can combat lingering odors, as well as deliver fresh, breathable air.

Removing the Particles

Different purifiers employ different methods to filter the air, but often they work in one of these three ways.

  •  Electrostatic precipitation
  •  Ionization
  •  Filtration

Each method has its pros and cons, but most people find the HEPA filtration system the most cost effective. The air is forced through the filter where the particles are captured. As the clean air rushes out of the filter, it can then fill your home with fresh, renewed air.

When trying to decide which of these systems is right for your family, contact a team of air and mold professionals that can help you choose which of the air filtration machines will effectively remove the particles in the room. Allergens, dust, and mold can try to take over your home, but you can fight back with an air purifier system just right for your home.

Flood Damage and Frozen Pipes: 3 Important Insurance Facts for

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flood Damage and Frozen Pipes: 3 Important Insurance Facts for Busted pipe in a Bearden, TN home

Flood Damage and Frozen Pipes

Investing in homeowner’s insurance can protect your Bearden, TN, home when unexpected disaster strikes. However, when it comes to flooding, you may worry about gaps in your coverage and which circumstances are covered. Some instances, such as flooding as a result from a burst water pipe during cold weather may allow you to file an insurance claim; however, it is important to understand what you can expect as far as how much of the damage will be covered and what you might have to pay for out of pocket.

1. Preventative Measures Can Affect Coverage

Some insurance companies require that you take preventative measures to prevent frozen pipes. For example, insulating them in cold weather and performing regular maintenance that keeps them in good working order may be necessary for filing an insurance claim in the event of a pipe break. It is wise to understand the terms of your insurance coverage so you can take steps to comply.

2. Affected Surroundings Are Usually Covered

Because water damage from a burst pipe can be significant, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover affected surfaces such as ruined flooring, soaked drywall and wood cabinets. If any building material needs to be removed in order to access frozen pipes, you might be compensated for this too, especially if the temperature plummeted unexpectedly and you did not have the opportunity to insulate them.

3. Pipe Repair Costs Are Typically Not Covered

While your insurance company may help you cover costs for a flood damage and restoration service to come in and repair floors, walls and other structures, you will likely have to pay a plumber out of pocket when it comes to repairing the broken pipe itself. Since this can be a considerable expense, it is a good idea to have a plan in place and to retain the services of a trusted professional before this type of problem occurs.

Being able to file insurance claim when a frozen water pipe breaks and damages your Bearden, TN, home can give you peace of mind during such an incident. However, it is wise to learn the details of your coverage so you are prepared in the face of an indoor winter flood.

Winter Weather Worries

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Weather Worries Winter Weather Knoxville

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the obstruction. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross.
-Be sure to thoroughly drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
-Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
-When the weather is frigid, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
-Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

Ice dams can be a little-known, but a significant problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of the exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to help prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO of West Knoxville is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance?

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance? Smoke damage in a Knoxville, TN building

If your commercial building or one adjacent to yours recently sustained a fire, and you are left dealing with smoke-related damage, you may be worried about making a claim with your insurance company. Is smoke damage a covered loss? Read on to learn everything you need to know about smoke claims to put your mind at ease.

Soot Damage and Insurance

In most cases, damage from smoke will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. This is even the case if the fire occurred at a company right next to yours. However, there are some steps you need to take to properly file your claim and increase the chances of it being accepted. They are as follows:

  1. Contact your insurance company to report the smoke damage and file a claim.
  2. Assess your loss and prepare a smoke cleanup plan with the help of professionals.
  3. Record proof of any damage and repairs through photographs, receipts and other documents.
  4. Prepare for the insurance adjuster to arrive for surveying purposes.

Following the steps above will increase the chances of restoring your property as best as you can. Having a solid plan in place will also make it more likely that your insurance company will approve your claim.

Smoke Cleaning Assistance

As you can see above, creating an action plan for cleanup is one of the most important parts of this entire claims and restoration process. A reliable Knoxville, TN, fire damage restoration company should be able to arrive on an emergency basis, assess the situation and help you build a cleanup plan that will likely include reducing odors and eliminating smoke from your building.

Smoke damage isn’t always easy to deal with, and communication with your insurance provider can be even more frustrating. Following the steps above and knowing where to turn for cleanup help can make your business’s post-fire future more positive.

Water Damage Strikes When You Least Expect It

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Strikes When You Least Expect It Water Damage Knoxville Home

Water damage can happen at any time, often when you least expect it. This was the case for Mr. Watson and his family in Knoxville, TN. Their washing started to leak while they were away on vacation. His first call was too SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut. The water damage had affected the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and bedroom. We were able to respond within the hour and preserve most of the flooring in those rooms. We set up drying units throughout the rooms. We then replaced a small portion of the tile in the bathroom. Because we were able to come out so quickly the water damage was cleaned up within two days. 

Prevention Is Key to Avoiding Ice Dams

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevention Is Key to Avoiding Ice Dams Ice dam can cause extensive water damage to your Knoxville, TN home

It's easy to fall into the habit of ignoring the gutters that run along the roof of your home. Unfortunately, that hard-to-see space can trap a lot of debris throughout the year, and when they become clogged with leaves and dirt, you and your home may suffer from the effects of an ice dam.

There are a few crucial facts all homeowners should understand about this type of winter water damage:

  • When ice builds up at the edge of the roof, water pools and melts into the home.
  • The resulting damages often go unnoticed until repairs are very expensive.
  • Ice dams and their related damages are avoidable.
  • Proper insulation can prevent dams from forming.
  • Roof maintenance and ventilation also stop dams from forming.

How Do Dams Happen?

As winter temperatures fluctuate, snow on the roof melts and refreezes. Just a couple of inches of snow on the roof can melt and refreeze into dams. As the cycle of thawing and freezing continues, a roof leak may develop until water seeps behind siding or inside the walls. Once there, the developing damage is often out of sight until much of the home has been impacted.

You Can Prevent an Ice Dam

Ceiling insulation with a rating of R-38 and about 12 inches of either cellulose or fiberglass is a strong preventative step. This layer of insulation should be consistently deep with special care given to areas where the walls meet the ceiling. Make sure insulation is sealed appropriately to prevent air and moisture from seeping where it shouldn't be.

Next, make sure there's a soffit-to-ridge ventilation system installed along the roof. If you have some ventilation, but you're not sure if it's adequate, contact a water damage restoration professional to assess the existing system.

Finally, restrict the loss of heat from the warmth indoors through the attic. Spray foam urethane, caulking, and weather-stripping can seal up holes, such as around lighting fixtures.

An ice dam can cause extensive water damage to your Knoxville, TN, home. Act now to put prevention techniques in place and contact professionals for help when you don't know how to proceed.

How a Post-fire Board Up Can Protect Your Home

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How a Post-fire Board Up Can Protect Your Home Using an emergency board up to protect your home can help prevent other kinds of loss as well

How a Post-fire Board Up Can Protect Your Home

If your Bearden, TN, home has suffered a fire then you may be wondering if it’s necessary to board up the building. Many fire damage restoration professionals recommend using tarps or boards to cover the damaged areas of your home for several reasons.

1. Helps Prevent Further Damage

On its own fire damage may leave you with costly repairs, but it can also leave your home open to other elements that can cause further damage. Using tarps and boards to cover the damaged areas can help prevent flooding from rain or snow, wind damage, and even animal intrusion. Covering damaged areas may also make it easier to conduct repairs one section at a time.

2. Helps Maintain Your Insurance Coverage

When you board up your home after a fire you may also be following the requirements of your insurance provider. Protecting your home against additional damage can be considered part of your responsibilities as the homeowner. Failure to do so could cause problems with your claim. In many cases your insurance provider may have professionals they recommend for the job.

3. Helps Prevent Additional Loss

Using an emergency board up to protect your home can help prevent other kinds of loss as well. Boarding over the damaged areas may dissuade intruders from taking advantage of the opportunity to get inside via an unprotected opening. Boarding over damage is also one way to show that the home has not been abandoned, and will be receiving repairs.

Constructing a board up over the damaged areas of your home after a fire can help you in a number of ways. This practice can help protect your home against further damage, help dissuade intruders from taking advantage of damaged areas, and in some cases help maintain your insurance coverage. If you are unsure how to properly cover the damaged area, a professional may be able to help.