If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (205) 252-8110

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Safety Environmental

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fungal organisms can grow and multiply wherever suitable conditions of moisture and a food source exist. Common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold problems include flooding, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, overflow from sinks or sewers and damp basements or crawl spaces. Warping floors and discoloration of walls and ceilings can be indications of moisture problems. Unchecked moisture problems can lead to extensive mold contamination in your home, workplace or school.

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA-LAP) Proficient Mold Laboratory
  • Preliminary Indoor Mold and Bacterial Assessments
  • Post Remediation Mold and Bacterial Assessments
  • Black Water/Sewage Screen Assessments
  • Cause and Origin Insurance Assessments
  • Remediation Project Management/Oversight
  • Remediation/Design Specifications
  • Food Service Assessments

If mold spore concentrations are high, people can become sensitized and develop allergic reactions. Symptoms of mold-overexposure include respiratory problems, eye irritation and skin rashes. In addition, if mold growth is left unchecked, structural damage to the facility can occur.

Safety, Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Services, Inc. specializes in assessing mold growth and contamination. We have performed indoor air quality assessments for residences, businesses and schools throughout the United States. In addition, we can make recommendations for the remediation of your mold problem and perform turnkey project management to insure the problem is corrected.

selcinc.com

Power Outages

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Power Outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent use of medical devices.

PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.

  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS: 

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Hurricane Season

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Know the Difference
Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

What to do:

Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical
information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- 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.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- 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.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

via redcross.org

Defense Against Mold Growth

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent. 

Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations.

Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.

Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.

Respond to all water intrusions immediately.

Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.

Contact SERVPRO® of Birmingham South for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold.

It's the water you don't see [Part One]

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Birmingham South have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Birmingham South will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO® of Birmingham South:

Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® of Birmingham South to monitor the drying process.

It's the water you don't see [Part Two]

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Birmingham South can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.

Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Birmingham South has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

WHY SERVPRO?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

In early October, a pipe broke in the ceiling over the weekend, causing water to flood and damage much of our 5,000 sq. ft. training center. We had a leadership seminar scheduled there in just a few days with clients flying in from as far as Australia. Our property manager called SERVPRO® and I coordinated with the local Franchise to work out the repairs to be done to our offices. The crew chief and his staff were prompt, professional and kept every commitment they made to us. This was essential as our offices are called “The Elite Center” because of the high-end furnishings and decor we have throughout. They listened and understood the importance of our deadlines and were able to get the offices in working order for the upcoming seminar, and then returned to do the “heavy lifting” and complete the work for an even larger seminar that began in three weeks: all was done on time. I have purposely waited to make sure all the repairs they did held up before writing you, and to see if we have any aftercare problems that we’d need addressed, but there weren’t any. They got it right the first time. As you’re aware, the stress one endures going through a catastrophic loss experience can either be elevated or diminished, based on the quality of the people one is working with to rectify the matter. To that end, SERVPRO® excelled. I recommend them to everyone I find that needs their services, and will continue to do so.

-Dave, CA

How To Prepare For Hurricane Season

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

Birmingham Commercial Water Loss

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Birmingham Commercial Water Loss

A local restaurant called SERVPRO of Birmingham South regarding a water loss where their sprinkler system burst causing damage throughout the kitchen and adjoining rooms. The water was extracted, all areas were treated and equipment was set. Luckily, this job only needed a few days of drying. The restaurant is in a very populated area with a lot of traffic so getting them back to normal needed to happen rather quickly. 

We know that no one plans on this happening but we want to be top of mind if it does. SERVPRO of Birmingham South has trained professionals, who care about your business or home as if it is their own. This can be a tough time for you and your family. Give us a call if you need us, 205-664-6670

University Tornado Damage 2018

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage University Tornado Damage 2018

As stated in a previous blog we had tornadoes through Alabama and our Large Loss Division has been working around the clock to help a local university get everything back in order. 

As of today they have been working over 40 days  on this job with mitigation services and that includes the 30 plus buildings affected. Part of the cleaning includes 'grounds' work, cleaning up the campus of debris and downed trees. A local roof and tree contractor has assisted in a majority of the large tree cleanup.

We packed up and stored many buildings, also moved those classrooms/offices to other buildings in the city. In the nursing building, we had to remove EVERYTHING from the building and into temp office trailers as well as temp storage so the building can be completely renovated.

Stayed tuned, there's more to come!

Your Time is Precious

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Your Time is Precious

When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.

Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Birmingham South for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price. 

First Responder BBQ Cook-off

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage First Responder BBQ Cook-off First place in the corporate division for pork!

This past weekend some of our sales and marketing representatives competed in a BBQ cook-off that was hosted by Hometown Lenders. This competition was held for our local first responders including firefighters and police officers. The money raised went to scholarships for children of first responders.

On the Friday before the competition they prepared by cooking hamburgers and hotdogs for all the employees at SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Once we gave them the thumbs up, they cooked the ribs and BBQ for everyone else at The Hoover Met! 

Our guys ended up winning first place in the corporate division for their pork! Great job! 

If you are wanting more information about our services pertaining to fire damage once your local fire department has arrived, give us a call - we clean up soot & smoke!!

Service Response Guidelines

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Have you heard of SERVPRO's Service Response Guidelines?

Within ONE hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. 

Within FOUR hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. 

Within EIGHT business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to you by a SERVPRO Franchise Professional. 

What can SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do for you?

  • Fire smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration
  • Water Removal and Dehumidification
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Contents Claim Inventory Service
  • Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Car
  • Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization
  • Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry Cleaning Methods

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Birmingham South we want to make sure your home and/or business is handled properly and with the utmost care so our employees are trained to better assist you!

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to safely clean and restore your home, utilizing the following procedures:

-Dispose of refuse

- Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment.

-Apply necessary treatments.

-Inspect carpet pad/carpet and provide service.

-Move and block furniture and contents.

-Perform emergency water extraction.

-Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premise for hidden moisture.

-Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis. 

-Identify the source/type of water

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)

Mold Remediation Indoor Air Quality in Birmingham South

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)

Mold Remediation Mold in Schools

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)

Fire Damage American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

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)

Commercial March Tornadoes in Alabama

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)

Fire Damage Smoke Webs

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

NOAA Storm Data

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage NOAA Storm Data

The Storm Events Database contains the records used to create the official NOAA Storm Data publication, documenting: 

  1. The occurrence of storms and other significant weather phenomena having sufficient intensity to cause loss of life, injuries, significant property damage, and/or disruption to commerce;
  2. Rare, unusual, weather phenomena that generate media attention, such as snow flurries in South Florida or the San Diego coastal area; and
  3. Other significant meteorological events, such as record maximum or minimum temperatures or precipitation that occur in connection with another event.


The database currently contains data from January 1950 to November 2017, as entered by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). Due to changes in the data collection and processing procedures over time, there are unique periods of record available depending on the event type. NCEI has performed data reformatting and standardization of event types but has not changed any data values for locations, fatalities, injuries, damage, narratives and any other event specific information. Please refer to the Database Details page for more information. 

You can register your email address with NCEI to receive future information regarding access system downtime, data issues, new features and general news about the Storm Events Database. 

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information Storm Events Database:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

2018 Alabama Fire Chiefs' Conference

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 2018 Alabama Fire Chiefs' Conference

"The Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs is a fellowship of fire chiefs and senior chief officers from across the state dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and information to advance the delivery of emergency services throughout the state. The association shall foster career development, education, legislation and provide representation to enhance the professionalism and service delivery capabilities of fire and emergency medical services providers. Additionally, the association shall function in a vigilant, innovative, and proactive manner focusing on the objective of reducing the loss of life and property from fire, trauma, acute illness, and hazardous conditions within the state."

https://www.alfirechiefs.com

This year almost all SERVPRO franchises in Alabama united as one and sponsored the Fire Chiefs' Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There were firefighters from all over the state in one place which made it easy for us to visit with them and thank them for their service. 

Commericial Large Loss Fire in Alabaster

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commericial Large Loss Fire in Alabaster

We received a call from a local insurance agent that we have a relationship with about a commercial building that had caught on fire.The building has multiple tenants, the source was unknown but once the fire department had came out to clear the scene, we were needed.

In one of the tenants space: all affected areas were extracted including carpet and ceiling tiles, which had to be removed. We had to remove baseboards, sheetrock ceiling and insulation, and then cut exterior walls. Equipment was set.  In the other tenant's space, they weren't as lucky and it had to be completely demoed. This job has been ongoing for two weeks due to the intense damage throughout the facility. These businesses are ready to get their daily routine back in order and we're thankful they called us to assist in the process.

Mold Remediation

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation

SERVPRO of Birmingham South offers mold remediation and restoration; we have the training, equipment and expertise to better assist you. 

I spoke with our Mold and Biohazard Manager to ask him some questions about how this process works.

It is preferred that you have an Industrial Hygienist protocol done.

What is that?

This is a process where air sampling and affected areas are tested to provide a detailed remediation and restoration protocol for SERVPRO of Birmingham South to follow. There is also a post-test that will take place once we are finished to confirm clearance. 

Every time our team handles a mold job, we are required to wear the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which includes items such as coveralls and respirators. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South will make sure to keep anything deemed salvageable; we go above and beyond to ensure restoration before removal.  Unfortunately, in most situations there is a some tear out involved to remove affected areas such as drywall, flooring, and/or furniture.

During the mold remediation process a HEPA vacuum is used, HEPA filters are designed to capture particles as small as mold spores and to insure that they do not get reintroduced. Our mold experts use “negative air” containment, which is created by positioning negative air machines to introduce clean air into the affected area and push contaminated air outside the home.

You want to consider getting your HVAC cleaned as well, the mold spores can collect there and be dispersed throughout the home.

Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. If you have any questions, give us a call today; 205-664-6770.

Commercial Fire in Downtown Birmingham

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire in Downtown Birmingham

2018 has started off very busy for SERVPRO and locally for SERVPRO of Birmingham. SERVPRO of Birmingham South also transforms into Storm Team Wilson; we were covering a few states north of Alabama that dealt with freezing temperatures, and a lot of busted pipes. We had teams from all over the country come assist these local franchises who were inundated with business.

With these storm events going on outside of Alabama, we also had a freeze event going on right here! SERVPRO of Birmingham South had freezing temperatures and even snow! We were getting calls left and right.

If that wasn't enough, right? A new apartment complex in downtown Birmingham had an electrical fire. This happened in between two floors but there was smoke and soot throughout. Our crews got there and extracted a significant amount of water. They had to remove baseboards, affected drywall and all water damaged and smoke affected carpet tiles from hallway. This is just the beginning. Our team is still actively working on the job.

Our team in Birmingham is able to handle large loss disasters such as this apartment fire. We know these events are unexpected and whether it's your home or business, you want it back in order as soon as possible. Were Here to Help! 

Fire Cleanup & Restoration

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

What would you do if...

You receive a call from a client today with a fire loss?

You have a fire loss on one of your properties?

You have a fire at your own personal property?

Some statistics...

Fire claims spike during the months of November - February.

On average, Fire causes over $12.4 billion in property damage annualy.

Top 5 Causes of Fire loss:
Cooking equipment
Heating equipment
Intentional
Electrical distribution & lighting equipment
Smoking materials

After the fire is out...

You need a company "Like SERVPRO"
Industry research from 2016 by Buntin Group found that SERVPRO Brand is becoming synonymous with the services provided!

Why not a Contractor?

Mitigate, clean, & restore FIRST! Then repair and rebuild.

SERVPRO of Birmingham can handle it all -One Stop Shop.

By the way...

WE DO BOARDUP!
Many times, the home or building must be secured immediately BEFORE anything else.

Freezing Pipes

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Freezing Pipes
As a partner with the American Red Cross, here is some great information on freezing pipes that they have on their website! Check it out!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes

Prepare Your Business!

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Prepare your business for winter weather!

-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 

-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential. 

-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.

-Ask your SERVPRO Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. 

What is an Emergency Ready Profile?

It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation. 

Controlling Mold

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

You Can Control Mold

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

www.cdc.gov

Industrial Hygienist

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Industrial Hygienist

In some cases, our mold jobs need to be referred to an industrial hygienist. If you are like me then you're asking "what exactly is that and what do they do?" 

According to www.aiha.org ,  "Industrial Hygiene is a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community."

They describe Industrial hygienists as "scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community."

SERVPRO of Birmingham South does not do inspections but we can give you a quote on the visible substance you can SEE. 

The steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:

  1. Emergency Contact - (205) 252-8110
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

Fireplace Safety

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.
 via HGTV.com 

Every Second Counts

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

via http://www.nfpa.org/

Have you contacted your local fire department? See how you can get involved with them and your community to prevent house fires. Sometimes they will have events or give out smoke detectors for your home. Don't think this could never happen to you because it easily could. We don't have control over everything in our homes! Be safe and have a plan!

Continuing Education

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Continuing Education

SERVPRO of Birmingham South has been hosting one continuing education class a month, this year in 2017. These classes are very popular with our insurance agents and adjusters, since they have to take a certain amount of hours to renew their licenses. Besides mold we touch on various topics which include Fire, Water, Biohazard Cleanup, and Ethics. The most popular class is our Ethics class, this month we had 40 people attend. (It probably has to do with the fact, they have to take Ethics to renew their license!) 

A few of our Sales and Marketing Representatives have to go through extensive training to become certified to teach these classes. They also have to take a 10 hour OSHA class to become certified. All classes are held at our facility on Huntley Parkway in Pelham, Alabama. We offer tours of the facility on breaks, or before or after the class. 

During our mold class a couple of months ago, our Sales & Marketing Representative Adam showed the class the proper PPE to wear. (See picture) While Stan taught the class. Mold is very common in Alabama because of our weather conditions. Some things we discuss during the class are:

- Understand the evolution of mold awareness

- Acknowledge mold as part of our environment

- Understand the basics of mold remediation

- Understand the effect of mold on buildings

- Recognize how mold is affecting Insurance Professionals and the Insurance Industry

Commercial - Emergency Response Team

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial - Emergency Response Team

As we mentioned in a previous blog, SERVPRO of Birmingham South has been working long hours over the last few months due to hurricanes. Even though we are a storm team as previously mentioned, we also send crews on site to work for weeks at a time. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South also has a Emergency Response Team/Large Loss Division that handles commercial properties. 

One of the commercial properties that we assisted was in Texas, a car dealership to be exact. They had over 30,000 square feet affected due to the hurricane. Most of the contents had to be disposed of or cleaned, flooring had to be removed, and equipment set. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham South is able to cover large losses but also those that might not seem so big. 

Hurricane Season

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

These last couple of months the United States has been hit with a few hurricanes including Harvey in the Houston, Texas area and Irma hitting the Florida Keys. 


SERVPRO Corporate has four storm teams and SERVPRO of Birmingham is one of them, as "Storm Team Wilson." We cover eight states including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Indiana. When disaster strikes one of those states and the local SERVPRO's get inundated, Storm Team Wilson gets activated sending franchises or "teams" from all over the United States to come in and assist.  For Hurricane Harvey all four storm teams were activated and for Hurricane Irma we had two teams involved, one covering the south part of Florida and the other covering the north part.  Unfortunately, a lot of people were affected by these two hurricanes and these jobs are still being taken care of and will be for a long time to get their houses and lives back in order. We are thankful that we can be of assistance in these difficult times. 

Emergency Ready Profile

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc. 

That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry 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. 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.
 The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”  Give us a call today and set up your ERP!

Why YOU should recycle

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Alabama's Recycling Economy

?During 2011, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) determined that Alabama spent $25 million to throw away over $193 million worth of recyclable materials.

According to the Alabama Solid Waste Management Plan of 2008, the total average daily solid waste generated by Alabamians is9.9 pounds per person, compared with the national average of 4.5 pounds. In 2010, the EPA MSW Characterization Study Report stated the total average daily solid waste generated by Alabamians is 6.3 pounds per person, compared with the national average of 4.3 pounds per person.

A 2016 Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) study determined that Alabama is home to 42 manufacturers who rely on recycled content feedstock. These companies generate more than $7.8 billion in yearly sales and employ more than 17,350 Alabama citizens directly working in the manufacture of recycled content products.

With more than 300 employees, KW Plastics in Troy, Alabama is the world's largest recycler of HDPE and PP plastic resins. Currently, KW receives enough plastic from Alabama to run the plant for only two days out of every year. Source: KW Plastics.

The Barton, Alabama SCA Tissue Plant recycles roughly 250,000 tons of paper per year. This is equivalent to almost 3% of the state's waste generation. Source: SCA Tissue/State of Alabama.

If Alabama recycled just 10% more materials each year, the potential economic impact would equate to over 1,400 jobs, over $66 million annual personal income, and $3 million annual state tax revenue. Source: SERDC.

Landfills generate revenue by imposing "tipping fees" when waste is placed in a facility. These fees average about $25/ton in Alabama. The national average is $45/ton, whereas some states, such as Vermont, charge upwards to $72/ton. Source: State of Garbage in America.

US Waste

Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour.

The United States of America is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.

Americans toss out enough aluminum every 3 months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2 billion trees per year.

Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper.

Manufacturers produce more than 15 million tons of expanded polystyrene (aka, StyrofoamTM) each year, but we recycle less than 1% of it.

According to theEPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 24% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream.

The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is "Mount Rumpke." It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.

The US population discards each year 16 billion diapers, 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razor blades, and 220 million car tireseach year.

Recycling & Energy

Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy than making aluminum from raw materials, and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.

Only 10% of the 140.3 million cell phones retired in 2007 were recycled. If we recycled all of the cell phones retired each year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.

Recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 American homes in a year.

Recycling paper takes 60% less energy than making paper form raw materials.

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.

Recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making plastic from raw materials.

Over a ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, 380 pounds of limestone, and 160 pounds of feldspar. Source: Keep America Beautiful

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

Courtesy of: aeconline.org

NADCA

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

NADCA had some fantastic frequently asked questions so I had to share...

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to collection a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health, The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flashlight and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following the Residential Cleaning Checklist can help to ensure a top quality job.

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

 

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • smokers in the household
  • pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
  • after home renovations or remodeling
  • prior to occupancy of a new home.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?

Antimicrobial chemicals are applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information. 

What criteria should I use when selecting an HVAC system cleaning contractor?

You should interview as many local contractors as possible. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quote. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of NADCA.
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
  • Get references from neighbors if possible.

You can also use the Residential Cleaning Checklist as part of the contractor selection process. 

What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning, as such claims are unsubstantiated.

Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

What kind of equipment is best for cleaning - truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?

NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to ACR, the NADCA standard. All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)

Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and follow ACR, the NADCA Standard, for cleaning to the best of their ability. Find a NADCA professional near you. Air duct cleaning companies must meet strict requirements to become a NADCA member. Among those requirements, all NADCA members must have a certified Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who has taken and passed the NADCA certification examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. View the NADCA Code of Ethics.

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

Courtesy of nadca.com

Seasonal Watering Tips

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

INDOOR WATERING TIPS:

Don’t forget to check your faucets for leaks ?! Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Everyday Water Use
    • Do not let the faucet run while brushing your teeth. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a small glass with water for rinsing out your mouth.
    • Limit showers to no longer than 5-minutes.
    • Select the appropriate water level for the size of your load of laundry or dishes.
Watering Plants
    • Rotate plants toward the light whenever you water them to keep them growing straight.
    • Water hanging plants with ice cubes to keep water from spilling out of the bottom.
    • Use pots made from non-porous material such as plastic to help plants retain moisture longer

OUTDOOR WATERING TIPS:

Lawn care When the weather is hot, outdoor water usage increases significantly. The good news is that most lawns can thrive with less water than you think.

When to Water
    • To determine if your grass needs watering, step on it. If it springs back up, it doesn’t need watering. If the blades of the grass lie flat, it’s time to water.
    • Turn the sprinklers on at a low speed to avoid wasteful run-off. Remember, over-watering promotes shallow root growth, making your lawn less hardy.
    • Water early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set to help prevent losing water to evaporation. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation.
    • If using automatic sprinklers, install a rain sensor to avoid watering on rainy days.
How to Water
    • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, and as infrequently as possible. Never water to the point of run-off.
    • If necessary, water in several short sessions rather than one long one. Three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture.
    • Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Most southern lawns will thrive if they receive one inch of water per week during the summer.

For more information check out www.bwwb.org

Duct Cleaning

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Duct Cleaning Process:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Birmingham will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Birmingham can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

Alabama Forest Facts

5/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Alabama Forest Facts

When was the last time you remember hearing of or seeing a wildfire in Alabama.. especially the Birmingham area. You usually think of tornadoes and flooding when you think of natural disasters. But look at these facts as of May 2017:


Jefferson County:


Last 30 Days: 6 Wildfires & 184.00 Acres


Year To Date: 26 Wildfires & 363.55 Acres


Shelby County:


Last 30 Days:6 Wildfires & 8.50 Acres


Year To Date:12 Wildfires & 111.50 Acres


Per The Alabama Forestry Commission:


Wildfire Prevention is an important aspect of Forestry Commission operations. A good fire prevention program makes citizens aware of fire hazards and leads to a reduction in the number of wildfires in the state. The Forestry Commission actively works with local fire departments, schools and civic groups to present messages on safe outdoor activities and how to keep an area “fire-safe.”


Make sure you know the phone number to your local fire department in case of emergencies! SERVPRO of Birmingham covers ALL of Jefferson and Shelby Counties, so if you have smoke and/or fire damage whether from a wildfire or any other source; give us a call! 


http://www.forestry.alabama.gov/

Flood Facts

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Facts

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding 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.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Birmingham.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

What to do until SERVPRO arrives!

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess 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

Seasonal watering tips

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

INDOOR WATERING TIPS:


Don’t forget to check your faucets for leaks ?! Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Everyday Water Use


  • Do not let the faucet run while brushing your teeth. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a small glass with water for rinsing out your mouth.

  • Limit showers to no longer than 5-minutes.

  • Select the appropriate water level for the size of your load of laundry or dishes.


Watering Plants


  • Rotate plants toward the light whenever you water them to keep them growing straight.

  • Water hanging plants with ice cubes to keep water from spilling out of the bottom.

  • Use pots made from non-porous material such as plastic to help plants retain moisture longer


OUTDOOR WATERING TIPS:


Lawn care When the weather is hot, outdoor water usage increases significantly. The good news is that most lawns can thrive with less water than you think.


When to Water


  • To determine if your grass needs watering, step on it. If it springs back up, it doesn’t need watering. If the blades of the grass lie flat, it’s time to water.

  • Turn the sprinklers on at a low speed to avoid wasteful run-off. Remember, over-watering promotes shallow root growth, making your lawn less hardy.

  • Water early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set to help prevent losing water to evaporation. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation.

  • If using automatic sprinklers, install a rain sensor to avoid watering on rainy days.


How to Water


  • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, and as infrequently as possible. Never water to the point of run-off.

  • If necessary, water in several short sessions rather than one long one. Three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture.

  • Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Most southern lawns will thrive if they receive one inch of water per week during the summer.


For more information check out www.bwwb.org


 

What's the difference?

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

What to do AFTER a water damage

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do AFTER a water damage

Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical. 

Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. Gray water is slightly contaminated water; clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, and chemicals. Black water is usually caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by a trained professional.

Make sure you...

-Shut off the water source if possible or contact someone to do it

-Turn off circuit breakers if safe from potential electrical shock. DO NOT enter rooms with standing water.

-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.

-Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, and other items of value to a safe place.

-Do not leave any books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpet.

-Do not use your household vacuum cleaner since there is potential for electrical shock. 

-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter the room if the ceiling is sagging.

Managing Mold

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Managing Mold

When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health issues and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem. 

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. 

Assessment 

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. 

Containment

Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. 

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Birmingham technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. 

Removing 

The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.

Cleaning  

SERVPRO of Birmingham cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. 

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs  or major repairs such as reconstruction. 

Spring Cleaning Tips!

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Spring Cleaning Tips!

Spring has arrived and we want you to keep your home or business in good condition all year long! We want you to prevent mold, water leaks, and even fires! 


In the meantime, here are some helpful tips about Spring-Cleaning for your OFFICE:


-Divide your workspace into zones: Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.


-Keep only what you need at arm's length: Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you've establishes for them.


-Create a daily paper system: Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled "to read," "to do," and "to file." Establish set days for each, so that you don't get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.


-Sort your catch-all drawer: Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn't being used.


-Eliminate digital clutter: Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your email inbox just as you would paper files- with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders.


-Disinfect regularly: Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes. 

How to help prevent mold

4/7/2017 (Permalink)

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters.  Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

[All information is from mnn.com]

Call us if you have any signs of mold, we have trained professionals to handle the infestation. 

IICRC - Water Damage

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.


More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.


All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.


[Information via IICRC.org]

Severe Weather Tips

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Tips

Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. 

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.

Protect your property during an Ice Storm

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

 

Do you have an ERP for your business? Ask your SERVPRO of Birmingham Sales and Marketing Representative! 

Science of Drying

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. Your initial reaction will be to grab towels and a mop to clean up the water, maybe even a fan or two. Our professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. SERVPRO of Birmingham will inspect to detect everything that is wet, measure how much moisture is in the wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly and also speed up the process by using professional drying equipment. 

We use the latest technology and tools; The SERVPRO DryBook allows us to capture and track the steps of a restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This will ensure that your restoration is done properly and efficiently as well as improving results and restoring your property faster! 

Help Prevent Heat Related Fires

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

It’s going to get cold again here soon…


 


Besides using the fireplace to stay warm some people use alternative sources such as portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Heating equipment is the cause for many residential fires annually, causing deaths, injury and property damage. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of a heating-related fire:


 


-Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment


 


-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions


 


-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed


 


-Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.


 


-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters


 


-Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business.


 


-Test alarms monthly


 


-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional


 


-Make sure fireplaces have a screen to help prevent sparks


 


-Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container


 


For more information on safety tips call your local fire department.

Fire Safety

3/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety

SERVPRO of Birmingham responds to many residential and commercial fire damages, which means we tend to stay in close contact with local fire departments.  


Here is some data:


In Alabama there are 796 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry.


Most fires are structure/residential and vehicles. 


 


Fires only make up about 6% of calls in Alabama, others include: service calls (7.8%), false alarms (8.4%), good intent (9.1%), and EMS (65.9%). For the National average, fires make up around 4.7%. Surprising!


 In 2016, 82 home fire fatalities were reported by the news media.


 


Fire prevention is important, we want to make sure your home or business stays safe. Make sure you replace batteries in your smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher close. If you don’t know what to do and need some helpful tips call your local fire department. 

Be Prepared!

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Prepared! You can purchase a Red Cross Emergency Kit!

SERVPRO teams up with the American Red Cross and they made a list of items you need in case of an emergency! Always be prepared!

 

Be Red Cross Ready!


Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.




At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:


 



  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

  • Extra batteriesFirst aid kit [Avail

  • First aid kit

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Map(s) of the area





Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

  • Games and activities for children

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

  • Two-way radios

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

  • Manual can opener





Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle

  • N95 or surgical masks

  • Matches

  • Rain gear

  • Towels

  • Work gloves

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Household liquid bleach

  • Entertainment items

  • Blankets or sleeping bags


For more information check out redcross.org



Open House

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

Community Open House

SERVPRO of Birmingham hosted an open house on February 7th. This was an opportunity to show our new building that we just finished in the Fall of 2016. Once we got all our employees settled in, it was time to invite our clients over. 

 

Throughout the day we had close to 75 people come take a tour of the facility, enjoy refreshments and giveaways, and just enjoy the atmosphere. We were actually surprised at the turn out since we had a torrential downpour that lasted most of the day. 

 

We also had a ribbon cutting (inside) with The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. The City of Pelham Mayor, Gary Waters, also stopped by and had some very kind words to say about SERVPRO of Birmingham. We truly appreciated everyone making this a great day for our company! 

 

Keep an eye out, it looks like we might be adding a THIRD building! 

Content Restoration after Fire Damage

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Content Restoration after Fire Damage

CONTENTS RESTORATION

From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, we'll treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.

Key Issues

  • Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
  • Contents inventory
  • Determine replacement and restoration
  • Pack
  • Ozone treatment
  • Cleaning
  • Odor removal
  • Secure
  • Return

Contents Inventory

  • We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
  • We carefully pack all salvable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
  • Unsalvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.

Contents Valuation

We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvable inventory items.

Restoration

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Proper handling of all electronics
  • Photographs and artwork
  • Fabrics
  • Clothes
  • Memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Soft goods
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Appliances
  • Surfaces
  • Odor Removal

 

2017 Commercial Water Damage

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 2017 Commercial Water Damage

In early January 2017, we received a call from an insurance company around 9pm on a Saturday night regarding a water damage at a commercial property. This was the day after Birmingham and surrounding areas got hit with rain, sleet, and some snow. Needless to say the roads were frozen over and most were closed. 

This is NOT the way a business wants to start off the new year! 

The sprinkler system had a malfunction on the 7th floor and water ended up all the way on the bottom floor, over 40,000 square feet was affected. Carpet, ceiling tiles, drywall, and debris had to be removed and many chairs as well as other furniture had to be cleaned. 

Luckily, business interruption was very minimal. SERVPRO of Birmingham met with clients on site to review daily progress. 

There were 300 air movers on site and our crews, averaging 35 people per day, worked two weeks (literally 15 days straight) to get everything back "Like It Never Even Happened."

Mold Prevention

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Prevention

Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips:

Moisture control is the key to mold control, so when water leaks or spills occur indoors, ACT QUICKLY.  If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases, mold will not grow.  

Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.  

Make sure the ground slopes away from the building's foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.  

Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.

Keep indoor humidity low.  If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60% relative humidity (ideally, between 30% to 50%).  Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, which is a small, inexpensive instrument (from $10 to $50) that is available at many hardware stores.  

If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.  Condensation can be a sign of high humidity. 

Operation Green Wave

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Operation Green Wave Over 1,200 bags full of food!

Operation Green Wave is SERVPRO of Birmingham partnering with Vineyard Family Services. This is done annually around Christmas time. 

IT IS A SIMPLE PROGRAM THAT SIMPLY WORKS

  1. Food is purchased.
  2. Food is packed.
  3. Food is delivered to participating schools.

Vineyard Family Services is a faith-based agency and their backpack buddy program provides children 5-14 with nutritious easy to prepare food that they can take home. For more information on Vineyard Family Services check out their website WWW.VFSDADS.COM 

What we do is go out to our clients and give them the green bags that they can fill up with food. Every year we seem to have more and more participation and mainly from our commercial clients. In December 2016 we collected over 1,200 bags full of food we were able to donate to Vineyard Family Services. 

We hope to continue doing this year after year! 

Commercial Fire Damage

1/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Commercial Fire Damage Where the fire originated.

Unfortunately late one night there was a fire at a local school, luckily it was during a holiday break there was time to clean up before students and teachers came back. The fire ended up being caused by a printer, more specifically an outlet. The fire caused the sprinkler system to go off, which caused the water damage. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham worked alongside the local fire department to clean up as much as possible the night the loss occurred. 

Many desks and chairs had to be removed for cleaning, and the fire started upstairs so needless to say numerous classrooms, hallways, and stairwells had to be cleared due to the water from the sprinkler system. 

Don't forget...

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.

Fire Safety Tips

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety Tips

Tips For Fire Safety:

 

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

  2. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

    We partner with the American Red Cross and also our local fire departments so fire prevention is VERY important to us! These tips are from REDCROSS.ORG

 

 

Here are some tips on WHAT TO DO AFTER A FIRE:

 

  1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.


  2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.


  3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.


  4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

Caring for Yourself & Loved Ones
  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips. Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance- infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Also from REDCROSS.ORG, check it out for more information and make sure you are prepared in case an emergency happens in your Birmingham home!

For Immediate Service in Birmingham, Call SERVPRO

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Birmingham. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 205-664-6770

Residential Services

Whether your Birmingham home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Birmingham commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Birmingham Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/23/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Birmingham for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Restoring Your Birmingham Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Birmingham Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Birmingham 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 Birmingham


SERVPRO of Birmingham 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.

Does Your Birmingham Home Have A Mold Problem?

11/9/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Your Birmingham Home Have A Mold Problem? In Birmingham, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

Golf Tournament 2016

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Community Golf Tournament 2016 The beautiful sunrise before getting the day started!

Every year SERVPRO of Birmingham hosts a golf tournament showing appreciation to our customers. This year was definitely one for the books, at least leading up to the day anyways. Due to some unexpected events we had to move the originally planned October tournament to November. Luckily, everything fell right into place!

 

We had a great turn out, the weather was absolutely perfect - it felt like a fall day. (yes, in November.. welcome to Alabama!) Our participants enjoyed the day as we catered to them; we had food, prizes, and 5 holes with challenges to make the game even more fun! A huge shout out to Highland Park Golf Course for helping us make this day go smoothly, you rock! 

 

Since SERVPRO has a partnership with the American Red Cross, all money raised at the tournament was matched and donated to our local chapter. Our team decided that it should go towards their Home Fire Prevention Campaign, which seemed only fitting. Fire Prevention Week was in October and we work closely with local fire departments as we try to promote fire safety.

 

All in all, the day was successful and we cannot wait until next year to make things even better!!

Also, a huge thank you to our sponsors: Prime Distributors, Sunbelt Rentals, and Sunbelt Paper and Packaging. We appreciate you!

2016 BOMA Golf Outing

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Community 2016 BOMA Golf Outing

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Alabama (BOMA Alabama) was established with the primary purposes of: (i) to provide a united body representing the commercial real estate community in related issues; (ii) to maintain and increase the level of professionalism in the real estate industry; and (iii) to keep its membership in tune with current issues concerning the real estate market; regulatory and legislative affairs, trends in marketing or specific building maintenance needs.

[Information from bomaalabama.org]

SERVPRO of Birmingham has provided major sponsorship for BOMA fall golf tournament for many years. And this year may have been the best ever! SERVPRO's customer support staff worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a great day of golf the BOMA and its guests alike. We appreciate the relationships we have made over the years through BOMA. 

 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Birmingham Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Birmingham will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 205-664-6770

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Birmingham is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 205-664-6770

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Birmingham

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready!

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready! SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service.

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

 

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Birmingham, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 205-664-6770

Helping to make it, "Like it never even happened."

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO - Restoration Vendor for Insurance Carriers Nationwide

The Brand You Know and Trust

You can recognize and trust the SERVPRO name... "Like It Never Even Happened."

Serving America Since 1967

Since 1967, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have been assisting client's fire and water damages across the United States. Nearly four decades of experience have culminated in the proven processes, technology, equipment, and products to help ensure IICRC S500 industry standards are met and you are satisfied. 

More Than 1,500 Franchises Nationwide

Today, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals from more than 1,500 Franchises operate in 48 states. 

24-Hour Emergency Service

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing 24-hour emergency service to help you when you need it most.

Detailed Estimates

You will be provided a detailed estimate that clearly lists all services to be performed. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO.

Trained, Uniformed Franchise Professionals.. Your "Heroes"

When you call, a trained, uniformed SERVPRO Franchise Professional will arrive at your property with the equipment necessary to help protect the structure and contents. Your concerns will be addressed quickly and professionally to help begin the process of regaining control of your life. 

SERVPRO of Birmingham is Hiring

7/31/2016 (Permalink)

Crew Chiefs

  • Manage and complete jobs according to SERVPRO processes per work order.
  • Respond to service calls when needed.
  • Set up and establish efficient job flow, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job documentation, perform and supervise production work, and monitor assigned jobs from start to finish.
  • Follow and enforce all safety procedures on the job site.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Monitor all assigned jobs to ensure customer needs are met.

Production Technicians

  • Respond to service calls as needed.
  • Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines.
  • Communicate with crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met.
  • Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed.
  • Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.

Please apply in person at our office located at 2000 Huntley Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124. Thank you! 

SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC Certified Firm

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Birmingham

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

SERVPRO of Birmingham is continually growing!

7/12/2016 (Permalink)

Community SERVPRO of Birmingham is continually growing! SERVPRO of Birmingham as of July 2016

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. was founded in 1967. SERVPRO of Birmingham has been proud to serve th communities of Jefferson and Shelby counties since 1984. In 2007, we had outgrown our existing facilities, so we had to relocate some of our staff in multiple facilities in the Pelham and Chelsea/Westover areas. In January 2015, we broke ground on a 3-phase building project, designed to bring us all back into one location. Phase one was complete in December 2015, and now we are currently in phase two. We hope to complete this phase sometime in October, with a ribbon cutting in early November. Check out the progress! (See photo) 

In the midst of our transition, we have continued providing 24-hour emergency service and we are dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Birmingham. We can respond immediately to your emergency, and have the expertise to handle your cleanup and restoration needs.

Don't hesitate to call us!

Water Damage? What to do

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage? What to do

If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.

  • Shut off the source of the water.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess 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

Tornado Need to Know

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Need to Know

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

  • Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky

  • Large hail

  • Low-lying rotating cloud

  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Alabama and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.


Source: Stormaware.mo.gov/tornado-facts-history

Professional Damage Restoration

4/5/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Professional Damage Restoration

According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) there are a couple of reasons to choose a professional over doing it your self. Below are a few reasons:

  • The process of fire and water restoration is very involved when it is performed properly.
  • With quick reaction time and the appropriate skill set, a technician can help to prevent further damage and repair that which has already been done
  • The process and equipment used during fire and water restoration will vary from case to case, since different materials require their own unique care
  • For fire damage, general cleaning is done to remove ash and soot from ceiling to floor
  • The quick remediation of the problem is important for more than repairs, it is also a health consideration
  • Choose a company for fire and water restoration with the appropriate licenses and proof that they have the proper insurance.
  • Whether the work to be done is in a commercial or residential location, technicians with experience and certification should perform the damage recovery.

Disaster Recovery

3/30/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Disaster Recovery

SERVPRO of Birmingham not only covers all of Jefferson and Shelby Counties but is also 1 of 4 national SERVPRO storm teams. As a storm team we organize and manage efforts in 8 states if a wide-spread disaster were to strike. The 8 states we cover are Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Florida. During these catastrophic events, Storm Team Wilson would mobilize in the area bringing a large number of crews, equipment, and resources to customers affected. The storm team is managed from one office in Pelham, AL where we receive customer information, organize that information and respond to that customer quickly and professionally. We recruit crews starting with the closest to the affected area and move outward in concentric circles to ensure we are “faster to any size disaster.” As a SERVPRO national response team we respond to disasters as large as Hurricane Sandy and Irene to local flooding or freeze events.

Tornado Facts

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Facts

We are in the middle of tornado season here in Alabama with our main threat being tornado and wind damage. Here are a couple of things from ready.gov to help be prepared in the event of severe weather.

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Restoration

3/22/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration

Imagine you come home for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family friend local contractor or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/356 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Birmingham you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.  

SERVPRO of Birmingham is Hiring

3/16/2016 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Birmingham is Hiring

SERVPRO of Birmingham is currently looking for good quality people in our Production Division.

We are currently looking for the following positions:

Crew Chiefs

  • Manage and complete jobs according to SERVPRO processes per work order.
  • Respond to service calls when needed.
  • Set up and establish efficient job flow, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job documentation, perform and supervise production work, and monitor assigned jobs from start to finish.
  • Follow and enforce all safety procedures on the job site.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Monitor all assigned jobs to ensure customer needs are met.

Production Technicians

  • Respond to service calls as needed.
  • Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines.
  • Communicate with crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met.
  • Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed.
  • Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.

Please apply in person at our office located at 2000 Huntley Parkway, Pelham, AL 35124.

Flood Damage Prevention

3/14/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flood Damage Prevention A flooded garage where water was over a foot deep at one point.

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

  1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
  2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
  3.  Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.

Air Quality

3/10/2016 (Permalink)

General Air Quality

Here are some things to consider from the American Lung Association about air quality in your home:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew? 
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere—kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • If you have an ongoing air quality issue, call SERVPRO of Birmingham for further consultation. We have a staff of professionals, certified in all aspects of deodorization and microbial remediation.

    Fire Damage: How do we do it?

    3/3/2016 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Fire Damage: How do we do it? Fire Damage

    Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Birmingham has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Birmingham enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our First Responders, Office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, managers and ownership so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.

    Categories

    Archived Posts