Recent Posts

Speed is Key for Water Damages

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

What is Mitigation?

In its simplest form, mitigation is what we do to stop the damage that would occur if nothing is done following a water or fire damage. If not mitigated, water and contaminants that are the by-products of fire damage cause significantly more damage over time to the property. 

The primary goals of mitigation are the following:

  • stop the damage
  • save costs (decide whether items need to be restored or replaced)
  • get the home or business owner back to normal, faster.

The insured has a responsibility to mitigate even before the insurance adjuster and restorative drying vendor arrives; but, a property owner can only do so much. The restorative drying vendor should be ready for whatever happens.

Speed is Key

Fast response during the water damage is vital as significant damage to both structure and contents can occur as early as a few hours.

Speed is the key to effective mitigation, and effective mitigation saves time, headaches, and money.  

The primary reason to respond quickly is to avoid secondary damage. After the water is extracted and the area is sanitized, the drying equipment is set. The key to successful drying is creating a balanced drying system. Wood floors pose special problems for extraction as water becomes trapped under and between the planks. Water atop the wood floor is removed with a light squeegee wand but that below may need to be extracted by specialty drying equipment such as the mat system we see in this picture. Air movers direct airflow to the areas that are in need.

Choose a Quality Restoration Vendor

An effective mitigation company needs to be ready for whatever happens, and have the equipment needed to mitigate the loss as quickly as possible, regardless of the size and/or extent of the loss conditions.

At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we understand the need to be faster to any size disaster. Call us and we will make your water or fire damage "Like it never even happened." 

Detecting Water Damage

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen when you least expect it. Standing water is one thing, but, what happens with the water that you don't see? And, what happens if there is too much water to clean up?

Detecting Water Damage

With water damage, it's the water you don't see that causes the most damage. It is no surprise that water damage that has not been properly mitigated can lead to microbial growth and mold. After a water damage, it is important to have the entire area checked for moisture in order to prevent more extensive damage, and ultimately, more expensive repairs. If you've noticed water damage, call your local SERVPRO professional. We will be able to determine if the moisture levels in the home are normal. If they are not, we will show you where the moisture is found, develop a scope of how the site should be properly mitigated, and update you daily with drying progress. 

Call SERVPRO

There is no such thing as a small disaster. A small leak now can turn into a large damage if not properly remediated. By using a quality restoration team like SERVPRO of Baldwin County, that unexpected water damage will stay a thing of the past. If you have a water damage, call the team that is faster to any size disaster.

Always be Ready

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

National Fire Prevention Month is coming up in October, which makes it the perfect time to make or review your plan of what you and your family should do if there was a fire in your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1,345,500 fires were reported in 2015. These fires are most commonly caused by cooking, smoking, heating, and faulty wiring.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door can help slow the spead of smoke. Install smoke alarms in each sleeping room and also outside every sleeping room. These smoke alarms should be interconnected, meaning they communicate with each other, forming an integrated system of protection for your home. The NFPA recommends you walk through your home and examine all possible escape exits. Households with children should draw a floor plan of your home, showing two possible exits out of every room. Agree on a meeting place outside away from your home where each family member will gather after escaping or waiting on the fire department.

Safety Steps:

  • If are in a closed room, touch the door to see if its hot. If you feel heat, or see smoke, do not open the door and try another escape route. Even if the door feels cool, open it slowly.
  • Always crawl low to your exit, keeping your head one to two feet above the floor, where the air will be clearer.
  • If you are trapped, calling the fire department immediately. Seal your door with towels and signal from your window.

For easy planning, download NFPA's escape planning grid. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety.

Fire Damage

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage can be stressful and overwhelming. Whether it is your home or your business, it is never easy to see your belongings covered in smoke or soot. Once you have a fire, it is important to contact your insurance agent and let them know what has happened. If the fire is large enough to warrant a claim, the sooner you file means the sooner your adjuster will be able to assess your damage. Your next call should be to a reputable restoration company such as SERVPRO of Baldwin County. Following a fire, it is important to make sure your structure is secure to prohibit vandalism to your structure and contents. SERVPRO of Baldwin County can do this for you by providing emergency board-up services and roof tarping if necessary. Depending on whether or not you have filed a claim, our team will develop a scope with you or with you and your adjuster. We will assess all of the structure and contents to determine what is salvageable and what needs to be removed and/or inventoried to be replaced. Often the restoration and cleaning of the contents can be completed onsite, but, if that is not possible, we will clean, pack, and move your contents to store in our climate controlled facility. We will also provide you with an electronic inventory. If the contents must be moved out for repairs, following the move out, we will begin with the structural work which can include the following: cleaning, demolition, and/or repairs. We will move your clean belongings back into your home or business following completion of the structural work.

Call SERVPRO of Baldwin County

When choosing a restoration company, it is important to choose an IICRC certified firm such as SERVPRO of Baldwin County. Our team is professionally trained and specializes in water (WTR) and fire (FRST) damage restoration for both residential and commercial properties. We provide emergency services and are available 24/7. 

What to Do: Water Damage from Clean Water

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Do:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much exess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Commercial Mitigation

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems can be a common source of water damage in commercial facilities. While their benefits far outweigh their cons, both properly and improperly working sprinkler systems can contribute to a flooded facility. In this case, a fire in an adjacent building caused the sprinkler system in this building to go off over the weekend. The sprinkler shut-off was eventually found but not until the damage had affected 36,000 sq ft of the facility. If this was your facility, what would you do?

Choose a Trained Professional

When your facility is affected, it is important to call a commercial drying specialist such as SERVPRO of Baldwin County.  At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we understand that every hour closed leads to an hour lost of productivity and potential revenue. Commercial damage restoration produces unique challenges so it is very important to choose a trained professional with a proven track record. 

At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we will respond immediately to your damage regardless of size or scope. When your facility is affected, no job is too big or too small. 

If your find yourself in this situation, call SERVPRO of Baldwin County.

Fire Damage: Common Causes

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Home electrical fires account for 51,000 fires each year, and an estimated $1.3 billion in property damage. Learn these common causes of fire damage to prevent fire damage in your home or business:

Many electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets or outdated appliances. Frayed appliance cords can also lead to electrical fires.  Under no circumstances should you ever remove the ground plug from an appliance cord. These appliance cords are only to be used with outlets that can handle the extra amount of electricity.

Another cause of electrical fires is the misuse of extension cords. Extension cords are only to be used on a temporary basis and not as permanent wiring. Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when not used properly. Never should you run extension cords through walls and ceilings, and never use nails or staples to hold an extension cord in place.

Space heaters are also a major cause of electrical fires. Space heaters should always be kept on a flat, level surface to prevent being turned over. These portable heaters are often placed too close to curtains, beds, and other combustible surfaces. Remember to always keep space heaters at least three feet from items that can burn. 

What to Do After a Water Damage

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Do:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much exess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Don't

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment have been exposed to or are submerged in water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as this could potentially cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or any other rugs on the floor on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock to yourself or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, and especially not on wet concrete flooring.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. 

Restoring Commercial Property

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Baldwin County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Baldwin County

SERVPRO of Baldwin County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Water Damage: Immediate Response

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

When your home or business has a water damage, it is essential to call a company that has the capacity to handle your damage and one that can provide you with IMMEDIATE response. At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we pride ourselves on capacity and fast response. This picture was taken outside of a business that had flooded due to severe wind damage last week in Gulf Shores. Despite significant damage, we were able to limit business interruption and the business re-opened the next day.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.