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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Protecting your business from a storm

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Have you taken steps to protect your business and employees on the Mississippi Gulf Coast?

When we experience a thunderstorm in the greater Hattiesburg area, it can potentially cause extensive damage to your business. Power outages downed tree limbs, and flooding from rainstorms are all possibilities. SERVPRO of Hattiesburg has a few preventative steps you can take to ensure you are able to protect your business when these storms happen.

1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained

A lightning rod is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through a wire, instead of passing through the structure, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution. If your business is located in a tall building that may attract lightning, then maintaining the lightning rod can be essential. Have the rod checked annually for damage and ask your certification professionals to verify that it is up to code. If your business is located in an area where lightning is common, it is wise to have the unit cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.  

2. Maintain All Trees on the Property  High winds can turn tree limbs into projectiles that may shatter your building’s windows and cause serious injury to your customers or employees. Make sure you are maintaining your landscaping so dead branches do not detach and strike people entering your business below. Trimming trees away from your building’s power lines can protect its power source during a thunderstorm 

3. Have a Flood Plan in Place  Having a flood plan in place can possibly prevent flooding in your business, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting SERVPRO of Hattiesburg before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, our team can have help on hand right away.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold During Cleanup

During the process of mold remediation, it’s important to protect yourself, and your staff, with the proper safety gear and equipment. If you’re concerned about conducting the procedure yourself, a SERVPRO of Hattiesburg mold remediation specialist may be able to help. The recommendations for a safe cleanup remain the same for everyone involved.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

When cleaning up mold growth it’s important to wear protective clothing. A coverall suit is recommended in most cases, but long sleeves tucked into gloves, and long pants may work just as well. Protective gear is an important tool for keeping any cleaning agents and mold spores off of your skin. If wearing everyday clothing instead of a protective suit, it’s important to launder them in hot water immediately after use.

2. Change Before Entering an Uncontaminated Area

Another way to protect your business is to change out of your safety gear before entering uncontaminated areas. This can help prevent the spread of mold spores into areas where mold growth has not yet occurred. The necessity of changing gear is why many professional use covers for their hair and shoes, as well as wear protective over-suits.

3. Wear a Mask and Goggles

The use of a respirator mask and protective goggles are also recommended. These can help prevent the inhalation of any cleaning fumes, and keep dust or debris common to clean up out of your eyes. The mask and goggles should fit snugly without pinching.

Using the proper equipment when cleaning up mold can help protect everyone, including the cleanup crew and the employees who regularly work in the building. Proper gear can not only help prevent the spread of mold to uncontaminated areas but allow for cleaning solutions to be used safely. If you’re unsure about the proper procedure or don’t want to conduct the cleanup yourself, a professional may be able to help.

call us at 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Fire Tips for Kids

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

According to the American Burn Association, children are the most susceptible to burn injuries. 73% of all burn injuries happen in the home. At some point in time, children are going to be curious about fire, but it can be dangerous and costly.

Here are some tips to follow to keep your family safe according to the National Protection Association:

  • Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children, preferably somewhere up high or in a locked cabinet.
  • Closely supervise your children, making sure that they are away from any fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, fire pits, and stoves.
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to teach your children about fire safety.
  • Explain that fires are something to be taken seriously as they move very fast and can hurt you with contact.
  • Teach young children to not touch matches or lighters, and to notify an adult immediately if found.
  • Establish a clear set of rules and consequences about unsupervised and unapproved uses of fire.
  • Remember, children are always watching. Make sure you set a good example by handling fire in a safe manner.
  • Show your children appreciation for displaying respect and age-appropriate responsibility when it comes to fire.

If your children happen to burn themselves, cool the burn by running it under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it is a more serious burn, CALL 9-1-1.

Standing Water

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

When floodwater intrudes into your home or commercial business it can cause "standing water", which can be dangerous. Here are some precautions you can take if dealing with standing water.

Standing Water are not natural swimming pools

  • Sewage, debris, and other unpleasant things can be in the standing water leftovers
  • Swimming, wading, or rafting can make you sick
  • Don’t drink the water
  • Water conducts electricity. Underground power lines can give you a dangerous shock

Standing Water vs. Animals:

  • Snakes and other animals may get into your building. Wear work boots and heavy gloves when you clean up
  • Some animals might find your office a cozy place to live
  • If tap water is unsafe to drink, it is unsafe for your pets

If you find yourself dealing with standing water of any kind, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is here to make it “Like it never even happened."

Signs of Water Damage

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage can be very detrimental to your home or business

The longer you wait after having water damage the more damage you are causing to your home or business. When you have water damage the best thing to do is shut off the water source that is causing the damage. If the damage is coming from something you are unable to cut off, you may need to contact a plumber in your area. Once this is completed, you will want to call the professional here at SERVPRO® of Hattiesburg. No matter how big or small, we will be able to help get it under control.Water damage can be difficult to spot but some signs you can look for in your home and business:

  • Water rings on your ceiling or walls
  • Soft or sagging on your ceiling or walls
  • Wet or soggy carpets
  • Warping in your wood flooring

The best thing to do is call an expert right away before the problem gets worse. Our highly trained technicians are waiting for your call. We have our specialized equipment ready to use to get to your emergency mitigated as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse, call our highly trained team at SERVPRO® of Hattiesburg 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Flood Damage Restoration For Your Mississippi Gulf Coast Home

4/25/2020 (Permalink)

As many people on the MS Gulf Coast know, flooding can easily disrupt a person’s everyday life and leave your home destroyed. If not appropriately resolved, water often causes severe damage that gets worse over time. Having the ability to restore water-damaged buildings is an invaluable service to both you and your insurance company. 

Restoring water-damaged structures requires the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training, years of experience, and specialized equipment normally unavailable to your everyday homeowner. 

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg can help you understand the technical aspects of your flood damage restoration and provide you with the communication necessary to make the situation far less stressful. 

At SERVPRO of Hattiesburg, we use the IICRC’s Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (S500). It presents us with a standard to adhere to when addressing flood damage in your home, with five fundamental principles.

• We provide health and safety procedures for workers and occupants.

• Document all conditions and work procedures.

• Perform damage mitigation to limit losses.

• Implement fast, efficient drying methods.

• Offer both cleaning and repair services.

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg technicians provide customers with a quick response, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, to prevent further damage. We address many dangers that exist concerning flood damage restoration that can injure you or even take your life. Our team looks for slip, trip, and fall hazards, chemical and environmental hazards, including hazardous materials, structural, and electrical.

Regardless of how secure you think you are, safety should always be your primary concern when dealing with flood damage restoration in your home. Water itself can be dangerous – often containing biohazards that you cannot recognize without special equipment. Always think about how long water remains in your home and the possibility of mold contamination. 

If you need assistance, call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg. We can help you with all types of flood damage, cleaning, and restoration services throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster– call today 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Protect your Hattiesburg/ MS Gulf Coast Business from Storm Damage

4/25/2020 (Permalink)

As the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been experiencing powerful storms, and 2020 Hurricane Season is nearing, we thought it’d be a good time to go over how to protect your property from water damage. 

A flooded building can wreak havoc on your business operations and day to day life. If you are concerned about flood water, it is important to do what you can now so that your business property is better protected later. Here's how you can protect your property through this storm season.

Preparing Your Building

Before a flood even occurs, you can take steps to seal your building from water. Start by applying a waterproof coating to the exterior walls. Several other steps are also important.

" Install waterproof shields over windows and doors where possible.

" Strengthen walls to stand against the pressure of flood water or flood debris.

" Seal all areas where utilities enter the building.

" Anchor the building if necessary.

Protecting the Lower Levels

Inspect your first floor to ensure there are no areas where flood water can easily enter the premises. Regrade any land that slopes into your property, extend or redirect gutter spouts and repair any cracks in the walls. Move any valuable equipment or furniture to higher ground and create digital backups of any important paper documentation.

Taking Other Safety Measures

Water damage is not the only thing to worry about during flooding. It is also important to properly anchor any fuel tanks to prevent the water from sweeping them away, which can cause the lines to break and fires or explosions to happen. Sewer backflow valves are also important.

Preparing for Restoration

No matter how well you prepare your building for a flood, at least some damage is still likely to occur. Call a well-respected restoration company to help you remove moisture, dry materials and get your property ready to do business again.

Being 100 percent prepared for a natural disaster is practically impossible, but preparing now for a later storm means getting back into the swing of things as quickly as possible after any damage happens.

2020 Hurricane Season

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for a Hurricane.

This 2020 Hurricane season is estimated to be more active than previous years. It's important to know what to do before it hits to help prevent damage or loss to your property.

List of Supplies

  1. An Emergency Readiness Plan for your family
  2. 3 days worth of water
  3. 3 days of non perishable food for each person or pet
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Battery Powered Radio or radio alert 
  6. Portable Power bank to charge cell phones
  7. Full Tank of Gas in car
  8. Batteries
  9. Whistle to Signal for Help

How to Prepare Your Home

  • Cover your windows with storm shutter or plywood, or use tape the glass so the broken shards stay together
  • Learn if you are in an area that floods, and how to properly sand bag your home
  • Clean out your rain gutters

If you’ve already experienced flooding or storm damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Hattiesburg 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Different Types of Storm Damage

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

There are several types of storm damage including wind, flooding, or even fire. Flooding can cause extensive amounts of damage to your home, and lightning can create fires while high winds can cause many issues to the structure of your home.

Wind
The damage which results from extremely high winds is quite easy to see most of the time. Nowadays, roof shingles are designed better than their predecessors regarding their resistance to wind and the ever-increasing knowledge and standards. There is many times little can be done to prevent damage by wind in conditions that are very extreme. Roofs that are wind-damaged usually appear to be affected only in certain spots. The edges or perimeter of the room are affected by high winds easily, since the edge of a roof is quite prone to lifting.

Hail
Round dings in metal are clear signs of hail damage. Determining whether your roof has suffered damage from a hail storm, however, could be a bit more challenging. After hail hits the roof, it knocks off the protective granules where the hail has hit, and these areas of damage are the sources of leaks in the roof in the future if it is not fixed within a few years’ time.

Snow
Snow causes most of its damage from the weight of it, which immensely increases when ice, rain and sleet are added to it. On an average-sized roof, two feet of snow can weigh the equivalent of thirty-eight thousand pounds or nineteen tons. The obvious sign many times that a roof is about to fail is if it is sagging.

Ice
The functionality of a lot of gutter and roof systems are affected by the temperatures that fluctuate, making the snow melt then refreeze on the edge of the roof. This makes a dam which the water cannot pass through, meaning that as more snow melts off the roof and trickles down, it gets blocked by an ice dam and makes a puddle. Since roofs were not made to handle standing water, especially as the water line and growing puddle move up the roof, the water can seep through small openings in the roof into your home or attic.

Rain and Flood Damage
Water running out of a typical water drainage basin due to overflowing from a storm can wreak havoc on your property. Streams, creeks, rivers or lakes which overflow, flash floods, a storm surge or a tsunami are all examples of flood damage that are possible.

Flooding can cause damage to your property including your foundation and drywall damage. Most of the time the drywall will need to be removed and replaced. The flooding can also cause mold to grow on the property due to standing or hidden water, such as inside the walls. This should be taken care of as soon as possible, usually by a professional storm damage remediation company, as mold can cause a serious health risk to you and your family.

Call an Expert
At the first sign of damage contact a professional storm damage restoration company. We use specialized equipment and technology to tackle any storm damage to your property. We will be able to restore your property back to normal.

Contact SERVPRO of Hattiesburg to restore your commercial or residential storm damage "Like it never even happened." 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Are You "Hurricane Ready"?

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

As 2020 Hurricane Season approaches, it is important to be prepared beforehand. Living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast can be scary during hurricane season, as we experience several storms during these months. Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents and tornadoes all of which can destroy homes, buildings, and roads. It is important to stay ready so you do not find yourself scrambling to brace for the impact. There is always the potential looming that our area could be hit by a hurricane. Here are a few things to know ahead of a hurricane if one was to head our direction. 

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. 

How to Prepare

•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.

•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.

Storm Damage Types

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

There are several types of storm damage including wind, flooding, or even fire. Flooding can cause extensive amounts of damage to your home, and lightning can create fires while high winds can cause many issues to the structure of your home.

Wind

The damage which results from extremely high winds is quite easy to see most of the time. Nowadays, roof shingles are designed better than their predecessors regarding their resistance to wind and the ever-increasing knowledge and standards. There is many times little can be done to prevent damage by wind in conditions that are very extreme. Roofs that are wind-damaged usually appear to be affected only in certain spots. The edges or perimeter of the room are affected by high winds easily, since the edge of a roof is quite prone to lifting.

Hail

Round dings in metal are clear signs of hail damage. Determining whether your roof has suffered damage from a hail storm, however, could be a bit more challenging. After hail hits the roof, it knocks off the protective granules where the hail has hit, and these areas of damage are the sources of leaks in the roof in the future if it is not fixed within a few years’ time.

Snow

Snow causes most of its damage from the weight of it, which immensely increases when ice, rain and sleet are added to it. On an average-sized roof, two feet of snow can weigh the equivalent of thirty-eight thousand pounds or nineteen tons. The obvious sign many times that a roof is about to fail is if it is sagging.

Ice

The functionality of a lot of gutter and roof systems are affected by the temperatures that fluctuate, making the snow melt then refreeze on the edge of the roof. This makes a dam which the water cannot pass through, meaning that as more snow melts off the roof and trickles down, it gets blocked by an ice dam and makes a puddle. Since roofs were not made to handle standing water, especially as the water line and growing puddle move up the roof, the water can seep through small openings in the roof into your home or attic.

Rain and Flood Damage

Water running out of a typical water drainage basin due to overflowing from a storm can wreak havoc on your property. Streams, creeks, rivers or lakes which overflow, flash floods, a storm surge or a tsunami are all examples of flood damage that are possible.

Flooding can cause damage to your property including your foundation and drywall damage. Most of the time the drywall will need to be removed and replaced. The flooding can also cause mold to grow on the property due to standing or hidden water, such as inside the walls. This should be taken care of as soon as possible, usually by a professional storm damage remediation company, as mold can cause a serious health risk to you and your family.

Call an Expert

At the first sign of damage contact a professional storm damage restoration company. We use specialized equipment and technology to tackle any storm damage to your property. We will be able to restore your property back to normal.

Contact SERVPRO of Hattiesburg to restore your commercial or residential storm damage "Like it never even happened.”

Dehumidifying Your Home

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

When you live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, humidity is inevitable. The warm weather we enjoy so much is saturated by a significant amount of water, which generates the excessive moisture around you. While many fear what the humidity means for their hair or their skin, have you thought about what it means for your home?

In humid climates, homes run serious risk of damage from collecting all of the moisture the air carries. A common result of high humidity levels in your home is mold. Mold grows quickly in warm, damp conditions and can fester into an entire colony within 24 hours of their spores attaching themselves to surfaces and feeding. This can cause health effects.

That’s why it’s critically important to take steps in preventing mold growth in the first place. We recommend starting with a dehumidifier for your home. Using a dehumidifier will help you maintain optimal humidity levels that are both healthy and comfortable. Running fans, and checking up on your HVAC system will also help keep the humidity down. Make sure everything is running smoothly and functioning properly to help circulate air flow, and if you need help with an inspection you can always call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg We’ll also help check your vents, filters, and make sure everything is in good working condition.

If you do discover mold growing in your home, it should be dealt with immediately - it can be harmful to your home and your health. Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg at 601-544-0512 and our quick response team will be there to begin the mold remediation process right away.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities in your home, causing damage you can not see. Our smoke and fire damage expertise allows us to inspect and accurately assess the scope 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

Believe it or not, there are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before the restoration process begins, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg 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. 

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 at your home or commercial business.  Our professional team has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Hattiesburg, 601-544-0512

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Coronavirus – What You Can Do

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

Across the nation and the world as a whole, coronavirus is the top headline as everyone tries to comprehend the situation.

Experts are saying the virus seems to be hardest on the elderly and health-compromised populations, while children and young people are not affected as seriously. However, it is important we all do our part to help stop the spread of this illness.

Because the situation is changing rapidly, it is important to continue referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date information. 

 In the meantime, it is important to follow these best practices:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you have a fever or present a risk of spreading illness to others.
  • Maintain a proper social distance between people (3 feet).
  • Shaking hands and other forms of social greeting that creates contact with other people is discouraged during this period.
     

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg Storm Response

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is a dedicated member of SERVPRO's National Storm Team. The SERVPRO National Storm Team mobilizes to areas affected by catastrophic flooding, tornadoes, and other disasters. This helps the local franchises service their customers by providing a fast response. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost. Furthermore, it is essential in reducing costs due to secondary damage and time out of the home or business. No matter the size of the catastrophe, you can rest assured that SERVPRO is here to help.

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg

Our team has traveled to multiple storms along the Gulf Coast. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic damage to the Gulf Coast and parts of inland Texas.  Our team mobilized 8 crews and 2 project managers to help the local franchises during the months of August and September. We were very grateful for the opportunity to help the fantastic Houston area franchises, Team Stone, and their residential and commercial customers. 

Commercial Water Damage

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

water damage in hallway This photo was taken at a recent commercial water damage.

No one wants to discover water or fire damage on a Monday morning. Unfortunately, a commercial facility is more likely to have a larger, more significant damage than a residential home. This is not only because of the facility's size, but it is also because commercial facilities generally have longer periods without anyone there (i.e. overnight, weekends, holidays). Because of this, it is important to have a plan in place in case a disaster does happen. 

Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg

Did you know that we do commercial damage restoration? We know the stress and anxiety that water or fire damage can bring to your business. At SERVPRO of Hattiesburg, we are dedicated to limiting your business interruption by being faster to any size disaster. We can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce future damage water can cause. We have the right equipment, procedures and training to help ensure the structure is clean & dry the first time, saving you time and money. 

Commercial Water Damage Restoration Facts

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

In the restoration industry, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to water and the havoc it can wreak.  

Water Restoration Facts

  • A sheet of drywall standing upright in 1/2" of water can absorb as much as 6 inches in less than 3 hours.
  • Water is known as a "universal solvent" because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.
  • Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated, moist environment.
  • A puddle of water around a water heater indicates a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings.  Act quickly as water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

Water Contamination Categories in the Restoration Industry

  • Category One-Water from a clean source that poses no risk of sickness or discomfort such as from an overflowing bathtub or from a broken water supply pipe.
  • Category Two-Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination such as water from a dishwasher or washer, or aquarium leak or discharged Category One water that sits untreated for more than 24 hours becomes a Category Two.
  • Category Three- Water coming from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents such as releases from septic systems and flood waters or discharged Category One water that sits for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three, or discharged Category Two water that sits for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

The use of chemical agents that act as biocides may be used when there is a need to control or destroy pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project.  The EPA defines three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers which are designed to reduce the number of microorganisms
  • Disinfectants which are designed to destroy or inhibit the growth, but not necessarily  the spores.
  • Sterilizers which are designed to destroy all microorganisms and their spores, such as mold, bacteria, viruses, etc.

Have commercial water damage questions? Call 601-544-0512 or 228-467-4450

Mold Remediation Process

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Mold remediation process

Often times, we receive calls requesting information about how our team goes about the mold remediation process. Unfortunately, the answer is not the same for everyone. The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and types of surfaces on which the mold appears. As you can imagine, this can vary greatly from one home or business to the next.

What is the Process?

In almost every scenario, your property will have to be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water - most often, these are hidden from plain view.

Before any remediation process occurs, various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area. Such containment procedures include physical barriers (i.e. plastic) and use of negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress. 

In some cases, we may recommend cleaning the material with an antifungal and antimicrobial treatment. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Unfortunately, not all scenarios allow for simply treating and wiping down. Removing and disposing of mold-infested drywall and flooring may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. Following this, the areas must be properly treated. Simply removing and replacing the affected materials does not fix the mold problem.

In many instances, in order to properly treat your your home or business, we will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. A variety of cleaning techniques will be used to clean and sanitize your belongings. We may also utilize specialty equipment to deodorize lingering odors associated with mold or mildew.

Mold?

Mold can be a serious problem on the Gulf Coast due to high temperatures and high humidity. If you think you have mold, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Hattiesburg: 601-544-0512

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen fast and in many environments. Hurricanes are not the only weather event that bring widespread flooding, but they are certainly the costliest. Additionally, according to this article, "2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the United States, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday, totaling $306 billion. The previous record year, 2005, saw $215 billion in disasters." Source

With modern technology, we can receive early warnings that a hurricane is tracking towards our area; however, we cannot determine the flooding that may come as result. As we near 2020 hurricane season, it is prudent to be prepared for potential flooding. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding:

  • Water - 3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food - 3+ day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio if possible)
  • Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the aea
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreeen
  • Camera for photos of damage

Remember: when catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is here to help. We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile or respond to any size damage to begin cleanup and restoration. In the event of a storm, call the cleanup team that is FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER. When the storms roll out, we roll in. 

You Can Trust SERVPRO!

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

Serving America Since 1967

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have been helping home and business owners recover from fire damages across the United States.

Over 1,600 Franchises Nationwide

More locations means faster response. A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can usually be on-site within four hours to help protect the structure, business and personal property.

SERVPRO® National Call Center Served 313 Insurance and Property Management Companies and Their Clients Nationwide in the Last Year Alone.

We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore, the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year. That helps lower your insurance rates too!

24-Hour Emergency Service

 In our business, you need us fast! The sooner we arrive, the better the chance we can reduce damage and save money. Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Trained, Uniformed Franchise Professionals

A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible.

References

From large commercial environments to small residential losses, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand your loss is the job that matters most! We will be happy to provide references so you can feel confident that SERVPRO® is the best system to service your needs.

Emergency Fire Damage Process Overview

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

ONE HOUR: 

Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service. You’ll know help is on the way!

FOUR HOURS:

Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.

DETAILED EXPLANATION:

A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome. EIGHT HOURS: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.

PRETESTING:

A SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.

EIGHT HOURS:

Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally the adjuster or property manager.

CLEANING, RESTORATION & DEODORIZATION:

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. They will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.

FINAL WALK-THROUGH:

After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

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

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on walls Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

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 Hattiesburg 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 Hattiesburg 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 –601-544-0512

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

1/12/2020 (Permalink)

It’s almost that time of the year. Summer comes with rain. Rain comes with thunder storms and lightning. Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:

  • Include powerful winds over 50 MPH;
  • Create hail; and
  • Cause flash flooding and tornadoes.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A THUNDERSTORM WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Move from outdoors into a building or car.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use landline phones.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places, they can occur year-round and at any hour.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Identify nearby, sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study, and play.
  • Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.
  • Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg today at 601-544-0512

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg Provides Solutions to your Water Damage Needs

1/11/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration

The Process:

  • Our uniformed team of professionals will arrive on-site usually within four hours of notification to begin providing a resolution to the water damage situation.
  • Technicians communicate their assessment with the property manager or owner in detail before beginning the cleanup and restoration process
  • Our Hattiesburg team utilizes industry guidelines, knowledge, training and industrial equipment to examine the extent of the damage.
  • Restoration services include moisture detection, water extraction, humidification and contents inventory.
  • Closing the event work order in a timely manner through electronic claims reporting,consistent communication and professional restoration techniques.
  • SERVPRO of Hattiesburg available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you need water damage cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg 601-544-0512!

Commercial Mitigation

1/11/2020 (Permalink)

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

Choose a Trained Professional

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

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

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

Restoring Commercial Property

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Hattiesburg 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 Hattiesburg

SERVPRO of Hattiesburg 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.

Three Mistakes That Can Lead To Mildew

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

You’ve watered them, put them in the sun and maybe even repotted them - so why are your house plants covered in white and grey spots? The answer is plant mildew, a troublesome fungus that, if left to spread, can spell the end of your favorite foliage. Keeping this fungus at bay starts with figuring out how it got on your Mississippi Gulf Coast home’s plants to begin with. Here are three mistakes that can lead to mildew forming on your plants.

What is Mildew?

Mildew is often mentioned alongside mold and with good reason. Both are fungi that feed on organic materials like paper, wood, ceilings and yes, plants. While mold is known for its dark, fuzzy appearance, mildew tends to be:

  • White or gray
  • Appear chalky or like dust
  • Show up as dots on plant leaves

Like mold, mildew can spread if left unchallenged. It can prevent your house plants from getting the nutrients they need, killing them. Prevention is the key. But just what might you be doing wrong?

Low Lighting

Like its moldy cousin, mildew tends to like dark areas. Stop its formation on your plants by bringing pots into brighter areas of the home. This may have the added benefit of helping your plant get more sunlight.

Too Much Humidity

Also similar to mold, mildew enjoys moist air. Prevent it from taking hold by investing in a dehumidifier for your home. Keep it on near your plants to stop the fungus.

Dryness

Keeping a regular plant watering schedule not only helps plants grow but can keep mildew away. That’s because while plant mildew likes moist air, it loves dry foliage.
Plant mildew is more than just unsightly. If left to grow, it can become deadly for your favorite house plants. Take the above steps to curb mildew growth and talk to a mold specialist if fungus has taken over your house plants in general.

Advanced Technologies and Techniques

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

When unwelcome water finds its way into your business, you know you want it gone. Fast. You want to avoid mold, odors, and all the other problems that come with lingering water in all the wrong spaces. This is when you call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg!

The question is… “How do I know for sure if my commercial building is completely dry?”

The answer is THERMAL IMAGING CAMERAS.  SERVPRO of Hattiesburg utilizes these special cameras to identify moisture by detecting temperature differentials. This provides a visual map of where our trained  technicians need to look to confirm the presence of moisture or water damage with a moisture meter.

Our SERVPRO of Hattiesburg technicians have been trained and are experienced in using Infrared Thermal Imagining. This allows our team to quickly assess walls, ceilings and other building material for active moisture… especially in those “hard to reach” areas that could otherwise be easily overlooked. Using Infrared Thermal Imaging technology ensures you receive most comprehensive and thorough assessment available.  For any commercial loss call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg, 24 hours a day 7 days a week! 

Advanced Technologies and Techniques: Part 2

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

The past few decades has seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow SERVPRO of Hattiesburg Professionals to restore a property back to preloss condition quickly, reliably, and more effectively.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets practical standards for restoration and cleaning. The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide is a specific set of practical standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture and dry a property quickly and effectively.

Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment

Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.

  • An infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.
  • Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation

Water Extraction Equipment

Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.

  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water. 
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Drying Equipment

Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.

  • High-speed air movers causes moisture to evaporate at a faster pace
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.

Odor Removal and Deodorization

Water and fire damage often causes powerful odors. The machines we use remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.

  • Air scrubbers
  • Thermal foggers and deodorization agents

Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Anti-Microbial Treatments

The use of OSHA-approved cleaning agents may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.

  • Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.
  • Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

Property Disaster? "We are always here to help."

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another catchy tag line for SERVPRO. It is a commitment from each SERVPRO of Hattiesburg team member to be there when you need them most. 

Whether you are a small business or home owner facing minor fire or water damage, or property manager dealing with a widespread disaster, the SERVPRO system has the resources to respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner help arrives, the sooner restoration begins and the sooner you can resume life and business as usual. SERVPRO of Hattiesburg is just the tip of the iceberg.

If a fire, water or mold damage strikes, no matter the time, call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg. We will help make your property disaster "Like it never even happened." Call on a restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners all over the United States. You can trust the SERVPRO brand, too! 

The 4 Worst Types of Winter Storm Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Types Of Damage A Winter Storm Can Cause

Adverse winter weather can cause severe damage to your home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Low temperatures, snow, and high winds can all lead to problems that require repairs or restoration. Find out more about the four worst types of damage a winter storm can cause.

1. Roof Collapse

A layer of dry snow three inches deep can add up to 10 pounds per square foot of additional weight to a roof. Three inches of wet snow can weigh as much as 60 pounds per square foot. A blizzard can build up far more weight. A roof collapse threatens the safety of all inhabitants and can lead to extensive water damage. A cave-in calls for evacuation and extensive roof repairs or a rebuild.

2. Ice Damming

Ice dams form when snow melts due to an unevenly warm roof and refreezes near the eaves. This may cause water to seep under shingles and lead to roof damage, water damage, and mold in the attic or insulation. Keep your attic cool, well-insulated, and ventilated and the drainage system clear to prevent damming after a winter storm.

3. Pipe Bursts

Frozen pipes can burst and cause major water damage. Allow faucets to trickle and heat your home to a safe temperature – no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit – even when you are out of town.

4. Undermined Doors and Windows

Winter weather can wear down doors, windows, and weather stripping. This causes cold drafts to enter and allows heated air to escape. A door may even blow open when you are away and lead to water damage and an increased risk of intrusion. Maintain the condition of exterior doors and windows.

All of these events can cause thousands of dollars in damage. If any part of your home succumbs to adverse weather, rely on winter storm damage restoration specialists in Hattiesburg, MS.

Floods

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.

  • Develop slowly or quickly – Flash floods can come with no warning.

  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

         (Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.)

  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

  • Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.

    • Evacuate if told to do so.

    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.

    • Stay where you are.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A FLOOD THREATENS

Prepare NOW

  • Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.

  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.

  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.

  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

    https://www.ready.gov/floods

Weather Alerts: What They Mean

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

  1. The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as any storm that produces one or more of the following elements:
  • A tornado.
  • Damaging winds or speeds of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater.
  • Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Hurricane Watch
    Winds greater than 74 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning
    Winds greater than 74 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Watch
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours. Usually issued for areas to either side of the Hurricane Warning area.
  • Tornado Watch
    Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning
    A tornado has actually been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch
    Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning
    There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch
    Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning
    Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory
    Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning
    Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Special Marine Warning
    Warnings of interest to boaters, usually because of rough conditions, squall lines, waterspouts,
  • Hurricane or Tropical Storm Statement
    Statements issued periodically by the National Hurricane Center with an overview of the current situation.

IICRC Applied Microbial Growth Remediation Technician

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Our team members just returned from SERVPRO Industries in Gallatin, TN where they had the opportunity to obtain their IICRC AMRT certification. 

The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

What is the purpose of the IICRC?

The Mission of the IICRC is to establish and advance globally recognized standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industries. (source)

The IICRC serves as an independent, certification body, that sets and promotes high standards and ethics, and advances communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC also ensures that when consumers hire a Certified Firm or technician, they have hired experts who will provide reasonable assurance that work will be completed in accordance with the industry’s “standard of care.” (source)

Applied Microbial Growth Remediation Technician (AMRT)

Applied Microbial Growth Remediation Technician is just one of the many certifications offered by the IICRC. The IICRC is an organizational body that sets the standards for the Cleaning and Restoration community. The AMRT course teaches course takers the content in the ANSI/IICRC's S520 (Standard for Professional Mold Remediation) with both academic and hands-on lessons set up to emulate actual mold remediation projects. 

From their website (source):

"The ANSI/IICRC S520 is a procedural standard and reference guide for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents. The ANSI/IICRC S520 is based on reliable remediation and restoration principles, research and practical experience and attempts to combine essential academic principles with practical elements of water damage restoration for technicians facing “real-life” mold remediation challenges. The S520 and R520 are written for use by those involved in the mold remediation industry, and is the result of collaboration among microbiologists and other scientists, public health professionals, industrial hygienists, remediation contractors, restoration service companies, cleaning and restoration training schools and trade associations that service the professional restoration industry, allied trade-persons and others with related professional and practical experience."

Trained Professionals at SERVPRO of Hattiesburg

From on the job training to IICRC certifications and training at our Corporate headquarters, SERVPRO of Hattiesburg's trained professionals utilize the latest techniques and technology on every job. If you experience a microbial growth or mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Hattiesburg today!

601-544-0512

office@SERVPROhattiesburg.com

The Truth About Mold

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores are everywhere in our environment and can enter homes easily. Most types of mold grow quickly if they have a water source, an organic food source, and temperatures between 60 and 86 Fahrenheit. In South Mississippi, mold grows especially easily in our warm, humid climate. 

An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors is a public health problem by encouraging growth of molds, dust mites, and other organisms.

Control Moisture and Reduce Mold

  • Correct any water leaks or standing water.
  • Remove standing water under cooling coils or air handling units.
  • Replace washing machine hoses with steel mesh lines.
  • Move large objects away from the walls to provide good air circulation.
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
  • Leave AC unit on when away from home 

Mold: What to Know

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. 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.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

https://www.epa.gov/mold/ten-things-you-should-know-about-mold

 

Fire Damage

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

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

Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg

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

Our Step by Step Fire Damage Restoration Process

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Every fire damage event is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today 601-544-0512

Extension Cord Safety Tips

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Extension cords are one of the most commonly misused items in a home and at the office.  To ensure safety use these following tips when using extension cords.

  • Determine the correct wattage required to power the device and be sure to select the correct size of the extension cord.  If connecting two or more devices, add together the wattage rating for all devices to prevent overload.
  • Select the appropriate extension cord for using devices indoor or outdoor.
  • Do not use extension cords that are cut or damaged. Touching the exposed strand of wire can give someone electric shock or burn.
  • Be sure to unplug extension cords when finished using due to the cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged.
  • Running a cord under carpet or across a doorway is unsafe.

If you have any questions regarding fire damage please call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg at 601-544-0512

Water Mitigation in Greater Hattiesburg Area

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in the ceiling and walls of a home. This loss was caused by a leak in the attic which caused significant damage throughout the home. We performed mitigation prior to reconstruction.

This loss was caused by a leak in the attic which caused significant damage throughout the home. We performed mitigation prior to reconstruction.

As mitigation specialists, our trained team of experts at SERVPRO of Hattiesburg focus on reducing loss, enabling quick recoveries and lessening costs involved with restoration of property damage events. Proper mitigation is especially important due to our climate in South Mississippi.

Why Mitigate?

  • Mitigation reduces losses of life and property.
  • Mitigation enables people to recover more quickly from a disaster.
  • Mitigation lessens the financial impact of disasters.

When to Mitigate:

  • Water
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Crime Scene

Mitigation: How does it Help?

Benefits the Claims Representative by:

  • Increasing customer satisfaction through immediate attention!
  • Reducing costs per claim.
  • Closing claims more rapidly.
  • Enhancing your company's reputation as a responsive insurer.
  • Improving policyholder retention.

Benefits the Policyholder by Reducing:

  • The amount of time a policyholder is inconvenienced.
  • The amount of time business is interrupted.
  • The potential for mold growth.
  • The loss of personal valuables and beloved belongings.
  • The cost of insurance.

Benefits the Policyholder by Increasing:

  • The insured's satisfaction with the claims experience.
  • The insured's trust in your company as a responsive insurer.
  • The potential for preserving irreplaceable heirlooms, art, and sentimental treasures.
  • The amount of structure and contents that are restored.

Types of Water

  • Cat 1: Broken Pipe, Icemaker, Drain overflow; no waste or contaminants
  • Cat 2: Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Roof Leak; some soils and contaminants
  • Cat 3: Raw sewage, Floods; high degree of waste and contaminants

Water Mitigation Procedure

  • Extraction of excess water
  • Mold and microbial prevention
  • Drying Process: Dehumidification and evaptoration
  • Monitoring the drying process
  • Rebuild and final cleanup

Common Causes of Fire Damage

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO workers and Firefighters working together at a fire job. SERVPRO Residential Fire

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

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

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

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

Fire Damage: What to Do

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.

Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

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

Fire Damage: What Not To Do

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Don't

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Professional.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Professional.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service technician.
  • Turn on your HVAC system for heating or cooling the structure. Smoke can travel through your ductwork and create secondary damage.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Water Damage from Clean Water: What Not to Do

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Don't:

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

Water Damage from Contaminated Water: Do & Don't

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding outside of a building in the MS Delta Heavy rains brought significant flooding to the Mississippi Delta in March 2016. The water remained high for 3 weeks.

What is Contaminated Water?

As defined by the IICRC, Category 3 water is water that which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood waters from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water can enter a building through wind or storm damage. The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assempblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. 

If you find your home or building affected by contaminated water, we've listed a few of our favorite tips for what to do and what not to do after a water damage.

Do

Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

Contact a restoration professional such as SERVPRO of Baldwin County.

Don't

Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet carpets.

Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Note

If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Water Damage Restoration: Speed is Key

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers in a beach home that had water damage in wall cavities. After the water was extracted in this beach home, we set equipment to help reduce secondary damages due water & moisture trapped in wall cavities.

What is Mitigation?

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

The primary goals of mitigation are the following:

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

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

Speed is Key

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

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

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

Choose a Quality Restoration Vendor

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

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

when Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

It’s that time of the year. Summer comes with rain. Rain comes with thunder storms and lightning. Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:

  • Include powerful winds over 50 MPH;
  • Create hail; and
  • Cause flash flooding and tornadoes.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A THUNDERSTORM WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Move from outdoors into a building or car.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use landline phones.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places, they can occur year-round and at any hour.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Identify nearby, sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study, and play.
  • Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.
  • Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Hattiesburg today at 601-544-0512

Benefits of a National Brand

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is the only mitigation company with national advertising. You know us and trust us. Effective results are the results of consistent training and execution.

Since 1967, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. has been redefining and improving the mitigation and restoration industries. In 1992, the SERVPRO National Training Center was developed specifically to teach restoration and mitigations skills to insurance industry employees, as well as Franchise owners. SERVPRO has been a state –approved Continuing Education Course Location and an IICRC-approved school since 1997. In May of 2005, SERVPRO moved to a new corporate location with an innovative and much larger Training Center.

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is one of nine organizations qualified to offer the Applied Structural Drying course. The Applied Structural Drying course covers the effective, efficient, and timely drying of water-damaged structures and contents, using comprehensive classroom and hands-on training, in order to facilitate appropriate decision-making within a restorative drying environment. Students will experience live, hands-on use of instruments, extraction systems, drying equipment, and chemistry use in an actual flooded building situation.

 

Water Damage from Clean Water: What to Do

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Do:

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

Spotting Water Damage in your House

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

thermal imaging Thermal imaging can detect cooler temperatures in materials. Cooler temperatures are usually a sign of water damage.

In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.

One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.

1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.

3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.

4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

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