Recent Posts

Your Home Is Your Safe Haven

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Your home should be your place of rest. But when water begins leaking - even small leaks in areas you can't see - your home could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones.

SERVPRO of Birmingham South professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your entire family and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That is why we offer 24-hour emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, SERVPRO of Birmingham South has the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.

After all, when it comes to your home and your family, even small disasters can feel like huge problems. So if a water damage occurs in your home, just call us 205-664-6770. We'll be there to help! 

Indoor Air Quality in Birmingham South

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Indoor air quality/environmental professionals evaluate the quality of the air inside a structure. Some specialize and are skilled in testing buildings for the presence of molds. Using various testing devices, these professionals collect air and surface samples to compare the indoor mold spore count to the outdoor environment. If you have concerns about mold, SERVPRO of Birmingham South can assist you in locating a qualified indoor air quality/environmental professional. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South cares about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations excessive mold growth is not a problem and SERVPRO of Birmingham South can safely restore your building to preloss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection. Please keep in mind SERVPRO of Birmingham South does not interpret insurance policies or coverage; you must consult your insurance company to determine the scope of policy coverage. 

Commercial Emergency Ready Profile

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be. 

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

Mold in Schools

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO of Birmingham South covers two large counties, we have quite a few school systems in the area. Because of the relationships we have formed with them, they are able to call us if they have any issues that their maintenance staff can not handle. They following information from https://www.epa.gov/ are reasons why you might find mold in schools and how to handle it. We get calls all the time for water and fire damages, but also for mold. If you suspect mold in your home, business or place of work - give us a call today! 

Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools

Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.

Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools

Reduce Indoor Humidity

  • Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
  • Control humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
  • Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
  • Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning in food service areas.

Inspect the building for signs of mold, moisture, leaks or spills

  • Check for moldy odors.
  • Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors, and window sills.
  • Look around and under sinks for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Inspect bathrooms for standing water, water stains, or mold.
  • Do not let water stand in air conditioning or refrigerator drip pans.

Respond promptly when you see signs of moisture and/or mold, or when leaks or spills occur

  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely.
  • Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • Check the mechanical room and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks, or spills.

Prevent moisture condensation

  • Add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e. windows, piping, exterior walls, room, or floors).

Floor and carpet cleaning

  • Remove spots and stains immediately, using the flooring manufacturer’s recommended techniques.
  • Use care to prevent excess moisture or cleaning residue accumulation and ensure that cleaned areas are dried quickly.
  • Do not install carpeting in areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

American Red Cross Safety Tips

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So we set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.

On average:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives- that’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners, Red Cross volunteers:

  • Canvass at-risk neighborhoods
  • Install free smoke alarms
  • Replace batteries in existing alarms
  • Provide fire prevention and safety education

 

In just three years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 1 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires.

Join us April 28 through May 13 on a Sound the Alarm home visit in your community, where teams of volunteers will be installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Together, we can save lives!

Check out www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm for more information and how to help in YOUR community!!

March Tornadoes in Alabama

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

In March 2018, storms and even tornadoes came through Alabama causing a lot of destruction in it's path. Our Large Loss Division packed up and headed that direction to be able to assist those affected, including a university in the area.

Not only were homes and businesses destroyed but this particular university had severe damage in multiple areas. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South pulled ceiling tiles thru hallways, removed hanging insulation and other type of debris as well as extracted areas that were affected through out the structure. Many areas had to be swept and mopped. This job was ongoing for a few weeks due to the size of the school and the damage that the tornado left. 

Whether it is your home or business, we are here to help you restore it quickly and professionally. All of our techniques are highly trained and prepared you handle everything with the utmost care. 

Busted Toilet Line in Birmingham South

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

This vacant residence experienced a toilet line that burst and ended up affected thirteen rooms total. Two rooms were tile and the others were all hardwood; some ended up being removed to dry the sub flooring. The hardwood had cupped and started buckling. The wood also ran underneath kitchen appliances, so those had to be moved to access that flooring to dry. 

We quickly dry your property using state-of-the-art water removal equipment and advanced drying techniques. We also want to make sure you are safe before someone arrives. So consider this:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Winter Storm Events

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We have had some pretty warm days here in Alabama the last few weeks but that doesn't mean the cold weather is over. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us! 205-664-6770

Smoke Webs

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know?

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/planning/3-business-fire-prevention-tips