Recent Posts

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Waking up is hard to do. You need to get out of your cozy bed, go wash up, get dressed and get some coffee in you before you start your day. Now think of getting out of bed, as hard as that is, walking slowly to the shower, opening the hot water, and waiting for it to run so you can hop in, and nothing happens.

Water stays cold as ice, you realize you can't hit the shower this morning, and you try to figure out what just happened. Could you have forgotten to turn on the water heater? Could it be broken? Time to check it out.

As you walk downstairs you hear a low trickling noise as if a faucet is open somewhere. You keep going, and as you approach the basement, you hear it louder - there is water running somewhere over there. Question is - where? As you reach the last step, you put your foot down and immediately realize you haven't even opened your eyes properly. You're standing in a big pond, which was once your basement. No hot shower today. What now then?

First thing - close the water source. Whether it's the water heater, a pipe or a water leaking in from a window, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains, shut down any valve leading to the affected area, and close the window if that was the source of the water.

Second thing you do is take care of all that water. Water spreads fast and has the power to cause lots and lots of trouble over time. If you don't have a water drain in the basement, it's time to call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782.

Water leaks and floods should be taken care of as fast as possible. The reason is that most homes aren't waterproof on the inside. Standing water will ruin your carpets, floors, furniture, and even get into drywall if given the opportunity. Moreover, the standing water becomes a health hazard after a while, even if they came from a clean source (also called Category 1 water damage). Another reason for you to hurry is mold and how fast mold can start to grow after your basement suffered from a water damage.

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast offers a 24/7 response to all your water damage requirements and needs, providing you a quick and thorough solution to your problem. We'll get your life back to normal in no time.

What To Do When Your Sump Pump Fails?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In most cases sump pumps fail during rain events. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. So what do you do at that point? Here’s a couple of suggestions to assist you in navigating a difficult situation.

First, you’re going to need to get the sump pump fixed. A plumber is going to be necessary to get the sump pump back up and running. Immediately call a licensed plumber in your area and get on their schedule as quickly as possible. During rain events, it’s not unusual for many homes in the area to suffer the same fate as you, so plumbers will get booked up quickly. Act fast and call for their help!

Second, do the same with a certified water mitigation company.  Many times, it doesn’t make sense for a water mitigation company to come out immediately, because you’re paying them to pump out water as more water is coming in. It’s just an endless cycle that can cost you a lot of money without doing much in the way of saving your home. You may decide that’s worth the money to you, but in many cases, it makes more sense to try and manage things temporarily while you wait for a plumber to fix your sump pump. That said, even if the plumber fixes your sump pump you’re still going to need a restoration company to come in and remove any excess moisture and dry out the affected areas.

Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782 for any of your mitigation needs.  

Prevent Moldy Carpets

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in virtually every area of a home and on any surface, if given the right environment. That includes your beautiful carpets that you spend so much energy trying to keep clean and looking beautiful. While there can be many causes of mold in a home, when it comes to moldy carpets there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances you ever have to deal with it.

Mold damage can be costly.  Not to mention the health effects it can bring upon inhabitants of the dwelling with a mold problem. As with many aspects of home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Not only can moldy carpets be unsightly and need to be replaced, they can be the tip of the iceberg in terms of more substantial damage to your property. So, consider taking these steps to keep black mold from growing on your carpets!

Control the humidity and temperature in your home

Mold grows best with a certain amount of moisture in the air as well as certain temperature ranges. One way to help prevent mold growth on any surface in your home, including your carpets, is to ensure your humidity levels never reach 60%. And while it’s unlikely you like living in this warm of a house, make sure you don’t set the thermometer to 80 degrees.

Consider a different floor covering in areas prone to moisture

Some areas of a home are just more prone to humidity and moisture. Like your bathroom, for instance. Every design aspect of your home should be done with appearance and functionality in mind, and that includes making sure you’re making smart decisions about the type of floor coverings to have in certain areas based on the area’s usage along with environmental aspects. When it comes to bathroom floors, and to a lesser extent basement floors, sometimes the smartest plan is to avoid carpets altogether.

Use carpet padding that is anti-microbial

There are a few different types of padding most commonly used in residential homes. While some are more budget friendly than others, if you’re considering carpet in areas that may be more prone to moisture issues, consider installing rubber-slab carpet padding. It’s much more resistant to mold growth than traditional carpet pads. 

If you do get standing water on your carpets, get it out fast!

This goes for any surface type in your home, and it’s especially true with carpets. With the right humidity levels and temperatures, mold growth can accelerate quickly when food and water are present. Getting the water and excess moisture out quickly can be the difference between a close call and a serious health problem for your family.

Clean your carpets regularly

Vacuuming your carpets regularly, along with having them professionally steam cleaned, can go a long way in preventing mold growth. One of the components of rapid mold growth is food, and mold loves dirt, grime, food, and any other organic substance that can be found in your carpet fibers. Regularly cleaning your carpets is a great way to help reduce the likelihood of dealing with mold in the future! 

Typically, if you have black mold on your carpets a visual inspection is all that is necessary. But in other instances, you may notice a musty smell or perhaps you’ve also been experiencing some troubling health issues that you think may be attributed to high levels of mold. In most states, mold remediation companies must be different than mold testing companies. The way it works is that the mold testing company will come take environmental samples from your home and have them sent off to a lab to be evaluated. If it’s determined through the testing that your home has a toxic black mold problem, it’s at that point that you’ll want to hire a mold removal company like us. Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782.

Prevent Mold Growth in the Summer

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked.

If you simply leave the air conditioning running, it will cool the home and remove moisture from the air and circulate and filter the air.

Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On."

Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions.

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that self-cleaning should be considered if the area to be treated is less than 10 square feet. A guide to treatment and cleaning is available at http://www.epa.gov/mold/index.html. You can also learn more about mold remediation contractors and remedies for contaminated buildings.

Molds present at typical indoor levels have never been scientifically shown to cause any other illness.

Even when mold spores were at elevated levels, there were no similar elevated reports of illnesses. Examples from the article show certain occupations that are exposed to extremely high concentrations of mold spores.

  • Sawmills: 1.5 million CFU/m3 (colony-forming units per cubic meter of air).
  • Honeybee overwintering facilities: 2,200 to 13,931 CFU/m3
  • Spawning sheds of mushroom farms: 100,000 CFU/m3
  • Municipal waste-composting facility: 8.2 million CFU/m3
  • Farms: 120,000,000 CFU/m3; it's 10 times greater (1.2 billion CFU/m3) on farms where adverse health effects are reported.

In these highly exposed populations, however, there are no reports of brain damage or of many of the other fungal diseases now common in current indoor mold attributions. What I gathered from the article is that some people -- those with asthma, hay fever or suppressed immune systems -- can be affected by low levels of mold spores, while the majority are not aware of the spores in the very air they breathe, even when there are elevated levels.

When mold spores are discovered at elevated indoor levels, you need to contact your doctor first to determine if the mold species will affect you or your family. Then you need to consider some type of removal or treatment of the affected areas.

Will Homeowners Insurance Pay for a Fallen Tree?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

If a tree falls in your yard, and no one hears it, is it covered by your insurance? What about the cost to remove a fallen tree? The answer, as it is with all insurance questions, is “it depends”. Policy forms vary.

Did a Tree Hit Your Home or Other Structure?   

If so, you probably have coverage for:

The cost to remove the tree

The damage to your home, fence or other structure

But, not coverage of the cost to replace the tree itself.

Is a Fallen Tree Blocking Your Driveway?

Depending on the edition of your home insurance policy, you may have coverage for at least some of the cost to remove a tree that’s blocking your driveway. Even if it didn’t damage any of your property.

Did a Tree Fall on Your Car?

If so, your auto policy, not your homeowner’s policy, might pay to fix your car. Hopefully, you have Georgia auto insurance, and chose to buy “other than collision” (widely known as “comprehensive”) coverage. The cost to remove the tree is not covered by either home or auto insurance, unless the tree blocks your driveway (see above).

If There’s No Damage, There May Be No Coverage

If a tree falls without damaging any insured structures or blocking the driveway, you will likely need to pay the costs to remove it. Some insurance policies provide a limited amount of coverage for these cases. Check with your agent or insurance company to see if yours does.

Did Your Tree Hit Your Neighbor’s Property?

If so, the damage would be covered under THEIR homeowner’s policy, not yours. If the tree fell due to obvious neglect, your liability insurance might apply.

Tips to File an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree

Take photos, preferably from different angles to show the damage.

If utility wires are involved, stay away! Call your electric utility to have the wires cleared.

Call your insurance agent or company to report the claim.

If there has been damage sustained by your home, call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782 and we will be there to help.

What is Considered a Storm Event

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

A storm event can affect a home in multiple ways. You can have a water loss caused by flooding, a tree through the roof or even shingles being blown off. Each of these situations can allow water to infiltrate your home. If this water isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, it can lead to mold. Mold can start within the first 48-72 hours of a water loss. Sometimes that time frame is shorter if the climate cannot be controlled by your heating or air and it is very humid and warm out. Sometimes that time frame can go a little further if the home is conditioned or it is cold and dry temperatures outside.

Most people hear storm event and think of hurricanes or tornadoes, but a storm event can be just a continuous heavy rain or strong winds or even hail. If you have water coming into your home and you are unsure if it was caused by a storm event or just need some advice, contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782. We are available 24/7 for any of your needs.

Emergency Readiness Plan

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be “Ready for whatever happens” by letting one of our Marketing Representatives complete an Emergency Ready Profile on your business or office site. The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. An Emergency Ready Profile will contain the following:

  • Emergency Action Checklist
  • Advanced Warning and Emergency Contacts
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Main Utility Information (Shut Off Locations)
  • Primary Contact Information (Work Authorization Contact)
  • Insurance Contact Information
  • Miscellaneous Contact Information
  • Property Overview
  • Building Access Information

Not too long ago we completed an Emergency Ready Profile on a well-established funeral home, but no one in the office knew where the water cut-off was located. The next day when the owner of the funeral home was on site, he showed our representative the water cut-off. It was under a brick under some azalea bushes! Can you imagine the scope of water damage if the owner were absent and no one else knew the location of the water cut-off. Needless to say, he was delighted to have an Emergency Ready Profile. Now he can enjoy his vacations more knowing that his company has a written emergency plan and a digital one.

By implementing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you can benefit from SERVPRO’S 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782 to get started.

SERVPRO Goes to Southern Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast enjoys being with our agents, vendors and adjusters for the fall and spring Southern Loss Association Golf and Tennis Tournaments.   We usually sponsor two or three golf foursomes and a doubles tennis team. After eighteen holes and the tennis tournament finishes comes the best part for us. That is when we get to visit and mingle with our agent and adjuster friends and get to know them better in a more relaxed and informal way. Every season our group gets larger with more participants. We think that Southern Loss offers SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast a unique opportunity to network with a very large group of people who are involved in the restoration business. A lot of the Commercial contacts we have made for our franchise have been through the Southern Loss Association Golf and Tennis Tournaments. We will continue to be active in this organization.

SERVPRO Tips for a Commercial Water Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you find yourself in a commercial disaster the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782 so that we can dispatch technicians out right away and we will make sure you get some help.

Tips until SERVPRO arrives:

  • Shut off the water source if identified.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
  • DO NOT use regular vacuum to remove water
  • Locate insurance information
  • When we arrive we will do a very thorough dry out and complete it in a timely manner. We practice the science of drying...and we specialize in restoring your property. We are a "One Stop Shop" – Which means we are a company that can dry out your property, take care of your contents, and rebuild if necessary. Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782, we are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all your commercial needs.

SERVPRO Can Handle Your Fire Loss

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. When one experiences a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is pertinent to keep your composure and take all of the necessary steps to ensure that the life of you and other people are safe. In the aftermath of a fire, fire restoration services can assist in getting rid of the damage in your home. Companies that offer fire cleanup provide you with all of the services needed to restore your home.

After one experiences a fire damage from a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage, it is important to contact a fire restoration company immediately. By scheduling fire restoration services right away, you have the ability to minimize the losses, smoke damage, soot damage and the time needed for fire cleanup. You are also preventing a decline in air quality. The air quality deteriorates immediately after a fire. With better air quality, you are able to complete fire cleanup sooner. To begin the restoration process, a representative will ask a host of questions pertaining to the fire, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. Fire loss refers to the items lost during a fire in home, fire in business or commercial fire damage.

When SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast arrives at your home, they will begin the process by assessing the severity of the fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, and fire loss. After the fire restoration company has completed their assessment, they will initiate the restoration process by removing smoke damage. The air quality is directly tied to smoke damage and soot damage. Thus, when the smoke damage is eliminated, the air quality improves. Due to smoke odors lingering long after fire damage, it is important to remove smoke damage first. Otherwise, it will make the fire loss more profuse and fire cleanup more of a hassle. During the initial phase of the restoration process, your home’s windows may be boarded. This is done to prevent additional damage from occurring. They may also place tarps on damaged roofs. The company will cautiously inspect to determine the severity of the fire loss, smoke damage, and soot damage. This gives the company the ability to develop a fire cleanup strategy.

The final phase of fire restoration is fire cleanup. The fire restoration company is trained to restore fire damage in a fire in home, a fire in business or commercial fire damage. After the fire cleanup is finished, your home should be as good as new. Do not hesitate to schedule fire damage restoration services right away. Restoration is the final step and it may vary depending of the severity of the fire. Restoration typically involves repairs such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. In severe cases, it may involve major repairs such as the replacement of multiple areas or rooms in a home or a business. Call SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast at 770-448-5782 for all your fire damage needs or questions.