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Basics of the Flood Cleanup Process

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Basics of the Flood Cleanup Process Water damage on a basement in Ooltewah, TN

When your home is flooded, you may not know where to start the flood clean process. The EPA has several cleaning requirements for ensuring that your home in Ooltewah, TN, returns to a habitable state after a flood. When flood mitigation experts have removed excess water, they start the sanitation process. Your home is not clean until all the parts of this process are complete.

Item Assessment

Technicians may need to remove items from your home that have been damaged or destroyed by the flood. Anything in your house is subject to removal:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Draperies
  • Electronics
  • Documents
  • Books

The professionals will assess the items and decide if they can be set aside for cleaning or if they just need to be thrown away. All items that can be salvaged must be clean before they are placed back in your home.

Material Removal

If the flooding was extensive, cleaning requirements may dictate that part of the structure of your home be removed. Ceilings that have flood damage may be taken out, especially if they cover damp insulation. Even part of your walls or floors may have to be replaced. Those doing the repairs are likely to remove these materials before they attempt to disinfect anything.

Home Sanitation

To combat the germs that are undoubtedly present in flood water, everything that remains has to be sanitized. Every surface that is damaged by the flood must be cleaned with flood disinfectant. The appropriate protective equipment, such as goggles, face masks, respirators and gloves, should be worn. Try to avoid mixing different cleaners, as they may contain chemicals that release toxic fumes when combined. Sanitation is not complete until every surface has been cleaned and dried.

Cleanup is not always a quick process, but you want to make sure it is a thorough one. Following these cleaning requirements ensures that your home is safe once restoration is complete.

Recover From HVAC Water Damage

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Recover From HVAC Water Damage Air movers on a water damage in Collegedale, TN

Regardless of the type of business you operate in Collegedale, TN, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system helps your commercial property stay comfortable all year long. What happens if a pipe bursts unexpectedly and causes a furnace flood? How does water impact the HVAC system? What actions do you take to recover

Consequences of Water Damage

Water damage creates problems for furnaces and air ducts beyond what is visible to the untrained eye. Both immediate and long-term complications can occur, including the following:

  • Ductwork exposed to flooding may deteriorate or harbor mold. Using the heating or air conditioning does not dry the ventilation system.
  • A flooded furnace can result in a host of problems. Submersion or exposure to water may cause the furnace to stop functioning. Worse yet, a malfunctioning furnace could possibly cause an electrical fire or leak carbon monoxide.

Steps for Recovery

Problems due to ductwork water damage or a furnace flood can be prevented by taking immediate, appropriate action after a pipe bursts on your property:

  • Contact your commercial insurance agent. Oftentimes insurance policies cover water damage from a broken pipe, which likely includes the HVAC system.
  • As soon as possible, call an emergency water restoration specialist. Do not attempt to inspect or repair HVAC equipment yourself. This may pose a safety risk, cause further damage to the system or impact insurance coverage.
  • For the ventilation system, air duct cleaning or duct replacement may be recommended depending on the extent of the water damage.
  • The furnace requires a full inspection. Parts of the furnace may need to be repaired or replaced, such as ignition systems, motors or valves. In some instances the entire furnace may need replaced.

Water damage to the HVAC system at your commercial property in Collegedale, TN, can cause long-term problems if not addressed. Whether waterlogged ductwork or a furnace flood is the culprit, take immediate action to clean, repair or replace the necessary components.

How To Remove Mold Odor From Your Home

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Remove Mold Odor From Your Home Mold behind baseboards in a Chattanooga, TN home

Mold can be a serious problem for any Chattanooga, TN, homeowner, especially when it comes to getting rid of the odor once the mold has been removed – a side effect of the mycotoxin it contains. If you are experiencing this issue in the aftermath of a flood or other moisture damage, then you know moldy smells can be quite unpleasant. However, there are a few ways you can handle the odor until a mold cleanup and remediation company can be called in to help with the problem.

Learn About Mold

Learning about your enemy can help you destroy it. One fact that may help you is to understand that the musty smell that mold emits is due to the mycotoxin it releases as it eats and grows. The more mold that is present, the stronger the odor is likely to be. Black mold can smell particularly strong, and you may even catch the smell before you see any visual signs.

Reduce Indoor Moisture

Moisture can be a major contributor to mold growth and high humidity can cause it to grow on a variety of surfaces, such as:

  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Drywall

Reducing indoor moisture with fans and by opening windows may help stunt mold growth and reduce the odor. It is important to remember, however, that this is probably a temporary fix and that the air might still need to be cleaned commercially.

Have an Expert Come In

Professional mold removal technicians have machines available that clean the air instead of simply masking it with air fresheners. Air filtration devices and ozone machines can destroy molecules in the air that cause the musty odor and leave any room smelling fresh. This type of mold remediation can ensure that the smell will not return once the process is complete.

Mold mycotoxin can cause strong, unpleasant odors to linger in your Chattanooga, TN, home after a flood or other problem that caused fungus growth. Knowing how to handle these smells can help expedite the cleanup process and leave your home smelling pleasant once more.

Chattanooga Mold Damage - Everything You Need to Know about Mold: 17 Tips and Facts

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Chattanooga Mold Damage - Everything You Need to Know about Mold: 17 Tips and Facts 17 Facts About Mold - Mold in a Dish
  1. Mold is alive. It's a microorganism in the fungus family.
  2. Most information available about so-called "Black Mold" isn't accurate.
  3. Mold has over 100,000 different species, and you can find it in just about any size and color imaginable. Without a microscope, the naked human eye can't tell whether a mold is toxic or safe.
  4. Even though there are so many different types of mold in existence, you don't need to know what kind of mold is in your home in order for you to kill or eliminate it. All molds respond to the same methods of treatment to prevent mold damage in Chattanooga. As an organism that's alive, it needs a source of food and a source of moisture in order to live. You can eradicate mold by taking away its water or food source. For most people, taking away the food source is difficult because mold uses wood and other materials commonly found in buildings as a food source. Eliminating the water source is much easier.
  5. According to the E.P.A., we spend about 10 percent of our time outdoors breathing fresh air and the other 90 percent indoors. Eliminating indoor mold can improve overall health as well as prevent mold damage.
  6. The term "Black Mold" commonly means any type of mold that produces toxins. Certain molds, like Stachbotrys, are black and produce mycotoxins. Still, mold removal should be a priority for most individuals, especially if you spend a lot of time indoors.
  7. Although mold isn't something humans want to grow in their homes, it is natural and has other purposes that can be useful. It helps any organic matter that has died to decompose, and it is also helpful to humans in cheese-making and in the creation of antibiotics.
  8. Molds create and release microscopic spores through the air that will grow on another surface in order for the mold to reproduce.
  9. Molds have the ability to grow on just about any surface, which includes drywall, metal, plastic, wood and glass. It can grow on nonporous surfaces as long as it has something to feed on, such as water and dust.
  10. Humans can breathe in mold spores, and they can also ingest or touch foods and other items that may have mold on them. Colonies of mold have the ability to form and grow in under 48 hours.
  11. The U.S. government has no guidelines on what does or doesn't constitute excessive or unsafe mold levels. However, if you can see or smell mold in your environment, chances are it's removal is needed.
  12. Mold in your home can scare off potential buyers if you're trying to sell your home in addition to causing mold damage that can be expensive to repair.
  13. According to studies, somewhere between 50 to 65% of households have a problem with mold.
  14. With every breath, you breathe in small amounts of mold. Only sterilized rooms like those in hospitals have no mold whatsoever. Even after mold removal services, a home may still have small percentages of mold.
  15. Although some individuals may not feel affected by mold, others may have allergies.
  16. A number of insurance policies for homeowners won't cover mold damage or claims related to mold in the home.
  17. In addition to mold, other factors that can impact the quality of your air at home include asbestos, chimney and fireplace debris, radon, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke and lead.

SERVPRO of Chattanooga is locally owned and operated and serves Chattanooga and surrounding locations.

If you need a mold removal company IICRC Certified Firm give us a call at (423) 326-1406 Or visit our website at:

A Quick Response to Smoke Damage Saves Money

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A Quick Response to Smoke Damage Saves Money Kitchen fire damage in a Jasper, TN home

Responding immediately is the best way to save your Jasper, TN, building, assets, and budget when dealing with fire and smoke damage. It's important to keep in mind that there are actions you should take and actions that are better left to the professionals. After leaving the building, contacting emergency personnel, and making sure your staff are okay, it's time to make a couple of phone calls. The first should be to your insurance company and the second to professional fire and smoke cleaning and restoration professionals.

A Focus on Safety

If it is safe to enter the building after smoke damage, make sure you prepare to do so safely.

  • Obtain permission from emergency responders, such as the firefighters.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a face mask and gloves.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows and doors. Position fans to provide airflow.

Cleaning You Can Do

Although most of the work should be carried out by restoration professionals, there is some cleanup you can tackle while waiting for the restoration company to arrive. Make sure you have permission from your insurance company before you begin cleaning. Your cleaning efforts should start at the ceiling and always move from the top down. If you are using a vacuum, be sure it has a high efficiency filter. The risk of polluted air is a real hazard after soot damage occurs.

Professional Services.

Even if you plan to do a lot of the cleanup on your own, you'll need professionals to assess and complete the task. Did you know that acid soot can lead to discoloration in wood, marble, and plastics within a few short minutes? If left for days, soot residue can lead to permanent discoloration on floors and furnishings. A quick professional response will minimize the extent of damage and could keep your recovery costs down. Fortunately, the cost of restoration following smoke damage may be covered even if the fire occurred at a Jasper, TN, building or office next to yours.

Are Storm Damage and Flooding the Same?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are Storm Damage and Flooding the Same? Storm damage in Collegedale, TN in building

Torrential rain, golf ball sized hail and high winds invade your business in Collegedale, TN. These events cause water damage inside your property. There is flooding on the ground floor, so is this considered flood damage? Or is it storm damage because the storm caused the flooding? You are not alone if you find this confusing. Read below to understand the difference between the two.

Flood Damage

To an insurance company, there is a clear cut difference between water damage caused by a flood, and water damage caused by a storm. If you have flood insurance for your property, the following indicate that it will likely cover the damage:

  • Your business and at least one other property (or two or more acres) are normally dry, but are suddenly and temporarily flooded.
  • A natural source causes the flood waters, such as a hurricane storm surge or mudflow. Any other sudden accumulation of water rising up into your commercial property is considered a flood, including heavy rainfall that saturates and seeps up from the ground into homes or businesses.

Storm Damage

Storms cause a myriad of problems, not limited to water and wind damage. The following are common types of commercial problems caused by a storm:

  • Heavy winds, rain or hail may crack or stress the windows, foundation or roofing material, leading to water getting in. When the water damage is caused by falling rain that does not rise up from the ground into your property, it is considered caused by the storm even if the result is flood water inside your business.
  • The damage from winds, rain or other event only impact your business, not necessarily the surrounding areas.

Whether storm damage or flood damage ravages your commercial property in Collegedale, TN, storm and water restoration specialists are your first line of defense. Depending on the cause of damage and your specific policy, your commercial insurance may or may not provide coverage.

Can Water Damage Be Prevented?

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can Water Damage Be Prevented? Water damaged carpet in Chattanooga, TN home

If you take pride in your Chattanooga, TN  home, you want to do what you can to keep your property looking its best. Maintaining your house can go a long way toward helping you avoid major catastrophes, including the following:

• Water in home
• Roof in disrepair
• Electrical fire in kitchen
• Mold in home

Of course, you can't always foresee into the future. This means there may be times when you have to turn to a professional remediation team to help you clean up water damages. You may be able to prevent some water dilemmas by keeping the following tips in mind.

Be Vigilant

An excess amount of moisture from a broken pipe can leave you with a lot of damage if you don't catch it early. If you're vigilant around your house, you'll notice signs of leaks before the water introduces mold into your space. Watch for water stains on your walls and ceiling. Look for other signs of moisture, such as peeling paint and bubbling flooring.

Have Inspections

Your plumbing, HVAC unit and appliances could malfunction and lead to water in home. If you have these parts of your house inspected annually, you can reduce the chances of a flood happening. A plumber can look at your pipes to ensure there are no clogs or breaks you need to know about. An HVAC repairman can assess your heating and cooling units to check for signs of wear and tear. You should make sure your dishwasher, washing machine and refrigerator are inspected too because these appliances can have faulty hoses or broken water supply lines that lead to flooding.

Make a Plan

Sometimes knowing who you would call for a pipe cleanup can help you prevent major damage to your home. Figure out which water cleanup crew you want to turn to before flooding starts, so you can react as quickly as possible.

You may find water in home at any time. Doing what you can to prevent this problem can save you hassle in the future.

Get Those Nasty Smells out of Your Home After a Flood

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

As if a flood’s potentially devastating effects of structural damage and loss of valuables aren’t enough to cause grief, you also have to deal with the awful smells the water leaves behind. If even you’re able to salvage your home and belongings, it’s not easy getting rid of the stench of sewage, mold growth or flood water. If you’re contending with these issues, you need the best solutions possible to ensure your home is back to normal.

What Leaves the Odors?

The musty, dingy, unbearable smells floods leave behind can come from various sources. Often, flooding occurs because of backed-up sewers or broken plumbing lines. When there is sewage loss, there will be the terrible odor of feces and other hazardous materials. Not only can this be difficult for your nose to bear, but it can also make you and family members in your Chattanooga, TN home very sick.

Prevent Backups

One of the best ways to get rid of awful sewage smells is to ensure your system doesn’t back up. There are a few measures you can take to prevent these issues:

• Install a backwater prevention valve
• Install plastic pipe in your sewer line
• Cut tree roots
• Don’t pour grease down your sinks or other drains

How to Clean Up

If flooding still brings foul smells into your home, you can take quick action or call on a professional cleanup company to assist you. A technician will use various methods to help eliminate bad odors as well as mold growth. This will include a thorough steam-cleaning of your floors, washing walls with soap, cleaning ducts, disinfecting plumbing fixtures and more.

If you want to avoid mold growth and say goodbye to the smell of sewage after a flood, use these steps. You don’t have to live with these horrible stenches or live under these conditions after you’ve suffered through flood damage. Visit for more information on storm damage. 

Five Cooking Safety Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is a part of daily life, but it is also the number one cause of house fires. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to prevent a kitchen fire in your Chattanooga, TN home. Read on for a handful of tips to keep you safe.

1. Stay Present

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of all house fires. If you need to leave the room while cooking, turn off the burners or broiler and remove food from heat.

2. Keep a Fire Extinguisher

If a fire starts, a fire extinguisher is your best bet for quickly getting rid of the flames. It’s not enough to just own an extinguisher, however. Make sure you know how to use it.

3. Watch What You Wear

Flowy sleeves and loose-fitting clothing are at a higher risk of catching fire near an open flame. It’s better to wear form-fitting clothing with short sleeves or to make sure loose clothes are tied back with the help of an apron.

4. Never Pour Hot Grease in a Garbage Can

This is one of the most important safety tips as grease is one of the leading residential fire causes. Grease burns hot, so even if the grease is not on fire when you pour it into the can, it can quickly cause the garbage contained inside to light up. Always let grease cool completely and then pour it into an old jar or can for safe disposal.

5. Clear the Area

Before you even get started cooking, take a look around the area. Do you see any cleaning cloths, curtains, cords or oven mitts laying near the oven burners? Be sure to move them out of the way before turning on the stovetop.

Cooking-related fires might be the leading cause of home fires, but with these helpful tips, you can help avoid one in your Chattanooga, TN home. Visit for more information on fire damage. 

Understanding Mold Remediation

7/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold cleanup is referred to as remediation rather than removal for a scientific reason: you can’t get rid of mold spores. The naturally occurring, microscopic entities are present everywhere indoors and outdoors. Once black mold or any other colony has grown in your establishment, mold remediation must immediately begin in order to limit the spread of the mold. While each situation is unique, here are six general steps a professional cleanup and restoration company will take to rid your Chattanooga, TN business of its fungal presence:

1. Inspection

Mold remediation experts will assess the property for noticeable signs of mold. A variety of technology can be utilized to detect the subliminal signs of mold, often found behind interior walls or under carpeted floors.

2. Containment

The HVAC system and fans will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold spores through airways. The contaminated area will be closed with technology tactics and physical barriers to contain the mold within a restricted area.

3. Filtration

Possible irritants contained in black mold can spread to the surrounding air. Using advanced filtration technology, workers will capture the microscopic spores to filter air during the cleanup process.

4. Removal

Dependent on the amount of mold growth some building materials may have to be removed and disposed of. Porous materials such as carpet, drywall or wood can retain the moisture and spores that led to the original mold growth. For safety and prevention of returning mold, materials damaged by black mold must be removed.

5. Cleaning
In-depth cleaning of restorable items includes specialized cleaning methods, disinfection and sanitizing and thorough drying. Any lingering odors can be removed with fogging equipment.

6. Restoration

Full restoration minimizes the threat of mold returning through thoroughly cleaning and drying effected materials. However, significant mold damage could require replacement of drywall, subflooring or other porous building materials that could retain mold spores.

Visit for more information on mold.