Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.

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.

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!

Tips for Stopping Plant Mildew in its Tracks

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew may not kill your favorite fern immediately, but over time it can cause some serious damage

Whether a chic cactus or a beautiful begonia, plants are attractive, air-clearing additions that generally brighten the atmosphere of our homes. But like many things in the home, plants are susceptible to mildew. While plant mildew can seriously harm foliage, there are ways to prevent it from taking hold. Follow these tips to keep the plants in your Blue Grass, TN, home from becoming victims of this household menace.

What is Mildew?

Like mold, mildew is an unsightly type of fungus. It feeds on organic materials like clothes, paper, ceilings and walls, thriving on moist air. Unlike mold, however, mildew isn’t black. Instead mildew growth:

  • Appears like white or gray spots
  • Looks dusty or chalky
  • Takes hold when plant foliage is dry

Mildew can quickly coat foliage, blocking the sunlight your plant needs. The result is a plant that stops growing and eventually dies. Fortunately, solving a plant fungus problem can be easier than you think.

Clean It Off

Luckily, some of the best tools against plant mildew are right in your cabinet. Start by mixing baking soda with liquid soap to form a spray. Spritz your plants to neutralize existing mildew and prevent new mildew from forming. Spray foliage with mouthwash or mix and spray a solution of one part milk and three parts water to further paralyze mildew spores.

Water Your Plants

While mildew likes moisture, it tends to form on dry plants. Powdery mildew proliferates on dry leaves, in areas with low lighting and high humidity. Keep a regular watering schedule to ensure your plants aren’t becoming dry breeding grounds for this powdery fungus.
Plant mildew may not kill your favorite fern immediately, but over time it can cause some serious damage. Use these simple kitchen tricks to shut it down, or contact a mold specialist to learn more about stopping this and other household fungi in their tracks.

Key Points About Mold Insurance Coverage Every Business Owner Should Know

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Hand holding pen with the words "Are you covered?" Some policies may provide limited protection against mold, you should carefully review the details of your current mold insurance coverage.

Because of the prevalence of mold spores in the environment, it may be impossible to deem any commercial building in Knoxville, TN, mold-free. To complicate matters, mold thrives in moist environments and can grow behind walls and under flooring. While commercial insurance may protect your property from a variety of perils, you may be surprised to learn that some policies may provide limited protection against mold. For this reason, you should carefully review the details of your current mold insurance coverage.

Common Exclusions

Some insurance policies list numerous exclusions that may cause the company to deny a mold damage claim. Common exclusions include the following:

• Moisture intrusion resulting from a construction defect
• Damage caused by a long-term leak
• Problems arising from deferred maintenance
• Leaks resulting from normal wear and tear

As a result, it’s important for you to promptly address any visible leaks and maintain HVAC equipment and plumbing systems according to manufacturer recommendations.

Annual Policy Limits

Commercial insurance companies can also write policies that include low annual policy limits. In the event of serious mold contamination, an insurance payout as low as $5,000 may not adequately finance mold remediation efforts, forcing you to pay additional expenses out-of-pocket.

Specified Perils

Another potential policy detail that may null a mold-related claim is the requirement that you prove that a qualifying peril caused the mold contamination. Meeting this condition may be particularly difficult if your maintenance records and other vital documentation are not complete and well-organized.

Flood Damage

Mold contamination resulting from flood damage is another possible coverage limitation. Many policies may not cover mold damage resulting from a flood unless you have supplemental flood coverage.

Understanding Your Policy Is Vital
The specific language of commercial insurance policies varies. To ensure you are adequately protected against mold contamination, it’s essential that you review your coverage and identify any exclusions that may cost you significant out-of-pocket expenses if a mold problem arises.

5 Places Mold May Be Lurking Inside Your Home

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth inside wall. The fungus can proliferate behind walls.

Damp environments often create ideal locations for mold and mildew growth. Although both can be unsightly, mold tends to be more invasive. To alleviate the risk of mold damage, every homeowner in Farragut, TN should control moisture levels inside their residence and promptly address any existing leaks. Understanding common areas where the fungus may proliferate can also help everyone safeguard the integrity of their homes.

1. Under Appliances and Sinks

Supply lines allow easy access to water throughout your home, including the bathroom and kitchen. Appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers also utilize the liquid. Over time, connections can loosen and components can deteriorate, resulting in leaks. Because of this, you should routinely inspect under sinks and around appliances for dripping or pooled water and promptly commence any necessary repairs.

2. Inside Your Refrigerator

Because it’s often damp, your refrigerator may be susceptible to mold growth. Routinely cleaning this appliance and removing old or spoiled food can prevent this problem.

3. Beneath Carpets

Carpets are another area of your home potentially vulnerable to mold damage. If any of your home’s carpeting becomes saturated, removing it may be the only way to prevent extensive contamination.

4. Behind Walls

The fungus can proliferate behind walls. In the event of water damage from a flood or burst pipe, remove any soaked drywall and insulation. You should also promptly investigate damp, bubbled or stained walls and ceilings for hidden leaks and mold growth.

5. In Your Bathroom

Your bathroom may be one of the dampest areas of your home. Regularly cleaning the space and drying the area around sinks is important. You should also wipe down your shower after every use and utilize the bathroom fan while bathing to reduce condensation buildup.

Sustaining mold damage can be a nightmare for any homeowner. Taking proactive measures can reduce the risk of substantial growth and minimize the need for professional mold remediation services

Crawl Space Clean Up

4/7/2019 (Permalink)

Crawl Space Clean up Knoxville

SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut is excited to add Crawl Space Cleanup and Encapsulation to our company. Our crews can clean up, seal, and insulate your space quickly. We specialize in specialize e in mold and rotten crawl space clean up and repair.

While many homeowners do not access their crawl space regularly or use it for storage, what happens in this space can have a significant impact on the rest of the home.

If you have a vented crawl space, you can count on 40% of the air in your home coming from your crawl space. Anything in that air — including mold spores, odors, and humidity — are all brought up into your home. These particles may be invisible, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful.

For a free crawl space quote, contact us by phone or e-mail today!

3 Ways a Storm Damage Cleanup Service Can Assist With Business Insurance Claims

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Disaster response teams from restoration services like SERVPRO are trained to move quickly in the event of a major natural disaster.

3 Ways A Storm Damage Cleanup Service Can Assist With Business Insurance Claims 

When a fire or storm damage affects your Knoxville, TN business, one of the first actions you might take is to file a claim with your insurance company. However, if a natural disaster has caused widespread destruction in the area, your local claim services might be inundated with calls. If so, then working with a storm damage cleanup service may offer several advantages when it comes to getting your claim prepared and filed promptly.

1. Vendor Partnership

Some emergency response services partner with insurance companies to assist them with multiple claims in times of extreme need. When you work with these vendors, you may have more of a direct line to an agent if you need to ask questions, want to schedule a visit for the insurance adjustor or other claim services. This can be to your advantage, no matter how many other businesses in the area have been affected.

2. Faster Damage Estimates

When your business is damaged by fire or flooding, it can be difficult to gauge how much damage has been done simply by eyeballing the property. For example, in the case of flooding, interior walls and the padding material under carpeting may have been damaged by moisture. However, since these problems are not plainly visible, they may be overlooked. Having a professional storm damage service survey your building may result in a more accurate estimate.

3. Faster Service

Disaster response teams from restoration services like SERVPRO are trained to move quickly in the event of a major natural disaster so they can perform mitigation duties and attempt to reduce the amount of damage your building might suffer. The faster they arrive at your business, the quicker you can get a complete report and file your insurance claim, which may help streamline the process.

When disaster strikes your Knoxville, TN business, it can be difficult to know where to begin when reporting the damage to your local insurance claim services. However, working with a storm damage and cleanup service may offer several advantages that help you get back on your feet.

4 Reasons To Add SERVPRO to Your Preferred Vendors List

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Farragut is ready to respond!

Reasons to Add SERVPRO to Your Preferred Vendors List

When you work as an insurance agent in Bearden, TN, it can be helpful to have a list of preferred vendors when a client needs restoration work done on their home. This can allow you to move forward more quickly and reduce the effects of decision fatigue that you may feel during the claims process. Here are some reasons why adding SERVPRO to your list is a good idea.

1. They Are Certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
Because they are certified by the IICRC, the company has a set of standards that they must adhere to. All employees will be trained to follow the necessary procedures to produce the highest quality work.

2. They Follow Strict Guidelines
In order to provide their insurance clients with the best, the company has their own standards for their vendor program franchises as well. There are several guidelines that must be followed for a franchise to receive client referrals. They also perform background checks on employees, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you will have only the best workers for your client.

3. They Provide Quality Work Quickly
As an insurance agent, your time is valuable. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, so they can get started on the restoration process as soon as you need them. They can begin mitigation within a few hours of your call, which means faster and less costly repairs.

4. They Use Their Claims Information Center To Keep Track of Important Information
When you are working on an insurance claim, you have a lot of information to keep track of. The CIC gives you access to important information like scanned documents and photos of damaged property all in one place.

A preferred vendors list is a great tool for an insurance agent. Adding a high-quality damage restoration company like SERVPRO to yours will help both you and your clients.

Using a Portable Fire Extinguisher

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher

A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National

Fire Prevention Association suggests remembering the word PASS:

-Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release
the locking mechanism.

-Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar
with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have
limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. For more information
on the different types of fire extinguishers and to ensure you have the proper one, visit nfpa.org.

When To Get a Commercial Mold Inspection

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a Rocky Hill,TN commercial property

You have your heart set on buying a commercial property in Rocky Hill, TN. One catches your eye and it is love at first sight. Before you sign the papers, do you need a mold inspection? Here are some helpful tips to know when to take this step.

What Does an Inspection Involve?

When a professional investigates a potential mold problem, they often perform these tasks:

  • Look for evidence of visible mold or moisture inside and outside the building.
  • Investigate potential problem areas, such as older roofing or windows. If you have disclosure papers or building records, provide these to the inspector.
  • Use specialized equipment to measure humidity, test air quality or obtain samples for analysis.

When Is This Step Necessary?

It is always your choice whether or not to have a mold inspection completed on the building. It may seem costly upfront, but save you money in the long run. You should strongly consider this step in these instances:

  • You notice evidence of current or past water damage. Pay close attention in bathrooms, on ceilings and around doors and windows.
  • You observe visible mold. Oftentimes, when present it goes further than the naked eye can see.

There Is Mold, Now What?

If the assessment reveals a mold problem, you need to make a decision. You can walk away from the property or purchase and remediate the issue. If you choose the latter, partner with a mold restoration specialist to ensure that the work is done safely and effectively.

When in the market to buy a new commercial property in Rocky Hill, TN, use your heart and your head. Choose your dream property, then consider all relevant information before you finalize the purchase. If you notice water damage or other potential problems, have a comprehensive mold inspection completed. If you then choose to go forward, work with a specialist for proper mold remediation.

3 Fire Extinguisher Tips for Business Owners

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can protect your staff and property in Bearden,TN

Fire Extinguisher at Your Commercial Property

Keeping a fire extinguisher at your commercial property in Bearden, TN, is a wise choice. In an emergency, effective use of the device reduces potential fire damage and protects staff. Consider the following three tips:

1. Purchase the Right Extinguisher

Do your homework before going shopping. Look into local fire code ordinances to determine how many devices you need for your property based on the square footage. There are also different classes of extinguishers depending on possible hazards at your place of business.

  • Class A – Paper, cloth, wood
  • Class B – Flammable liquids such as gasoline
  • Class C – Electrical fires
  • Class D – Metals including lithium, titanium and magnesium
  • Class K – Cooking oils or grease in a kitchen fire

2. Train Staff on Correct Usage Techniques

It is not enough to have a fire extinguisher present, employees must be trained on proper usage. Extinguishers are most effective on small fires in the early stages. For portable extinguishers, the PASS method is an easy way to teach and learn.

  • Pull – Remove the pin
  • Aim – Point the nozzle at the bottom of the flames
  • Squeeze – Maintain pressure on the handle to activate the device
  • Sweep – Move the device from side to side towards the fire

3. Plan for Fire Emergencies

Extinguishers are part of a more comprehensive safety plan. In the case of a fire emergency, there are other considerations for both staff safety and minimizing fire damage.

  • Evacuation – Practice procedures, exit routes and roles
  • Supplies – In addition to extinguishers, have disaster supply kits on hand
  • Hazards – Map potential onsite hazards, such as combustibles
  • Insurance – Obtain coverage through a commercial insurance company
  • Recovery – Have contact information readily available for a fire restoration company

A fire extinguisher is a smart way to protect your staff and property in Bearden, TN, in the event of a fire emergency. Prepare ahead of time by purchasing the appropriate device, training staff and knowing what to do during and in the aftermath of a fire.

Property Loss and Flood Damage: How To Make a Flood Damage Claim

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded living room in a Farragut,TN home

Standard Process To Filling A Claim

A flood claim can be overwhelming since, at times, it follows in the wake of significant property loss. Thankfully, as insurers are at the tip of the bureaucratic food chain, there is a standard process to filing a claim, which should ease some of your stress.

1. Notify Your Insurance Provider

While the emotional response to a flood can be devastating and even mentally crippling, the first thing to do is notify your insurance provider. Notifying your insurance provider accomplishes two things:

  • It begins the process of rebuilding your life and your property.
  • It provides clear expectations of responsibility between homeowner and insurer.

After initiating contact, your insurer will likely schedule a visit from an adjuster to assess the damage to your property and to determine ultimate causality.

2. Document All Property Damage

The essential piece of any flood claim is the documentation of all property damage. True, the adjuster will take note of obvious property damage, but you will want to do your own walk-through and photograph any damage you see; not because adjusters aren’t trustworthy, but because you know your property better.

3. Compile and Complete a Proof of Loss Statement

An insurance claim typically requires a Proof of Loss statement, which is submitted within 60 days of the incurred damage. This document consists of your sworn statement, the claim amount, and any supporting proof or documentation. You can and should include any photographs and receipts in this file.

4. Collect Restoration Estimates

Once you have filed your claim and an adjuster approves further action, you can collect estimates for any necessary restoration work. Collecting estimates is as easy as calling a few emergency restoration companies from the Farragut, TN, area and scheduling a visit. Once a list is compiled, you can present it to your insurer, and they will help you select the best option.

Flood damage is a nuisance, and it can be emotionally and physically exhausting sorting through the destruction. Fortunately, a flood claim is a predictable procedure with standard practices and steps that are typically followed by every insurer.

What To Do Before Help Arrives

10/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® of West Knoxville and Farragut

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.

Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
in smoke odor.