Recent Posts

Yes, Your Open-Concept House Design is More Flammable

5/15/2022 (Permalink)

dryers covered in soot and caution tape, white text box with orange letters "soot fire smoke" SERVPRO logo bottom center When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova. responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, ASAP.

SERVPRO Eliminates Soot and Smoke Residues After a House Fire

Your Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. Most of the materials used for constructing your home are flammable and actually fuel the spread throughout the structure. Further, the “open-concept” design that has become popularized thanks to HGTV personalities is a fire-spreading hazard. Flames and smoke can quickly move throughout the home because there is less fuel to burn, i.e. less walls, doors, etc. Building designs that have individual rooms with doors are more likely to have a slower spread since the fire can be temporarily isolated by the closing of doors. In any case, if your property catches on fire, it can incur extensive damage—and fast! 

Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task. Most often, the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. 

Fortunately, our SERVPRO fire restoration professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can be found around the fire's originating point, where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials. 

Removing this residue requires multiple approaches.

Soot Damages

Soot is most concentrated where it burned longest, but matted debris and film from the combustion leave a dark or black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials, too. Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums. 

Smoke Damages

Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting, and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernible scent behind. 

The Right Solution

Unfortunately, this causes a bigger mess than most people are equipped to handle. Fire damage proves to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. We always suggest hiring a professional fire cleanup and restoration expert. We may be biased, but SERVPRO is just that. We have the experience, tools, and techniques to help you through widespread fire, smoke, and soot damages. 

When you face the effects after a house fire, SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova. responds quickly to get your home back to preloss conditions, as soon as possible. Give us a call at (901) 382-0900.

Fire Prevention: Save Your Home and Family

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

clipboard, man holding it, inspecting fire extinguishers, clip board in foreground, SERVPRO orange house logo in top center These fire prevention tips can save your home and your life. Call SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900 for restoration.
 

Fire prevention can save your home and your life.

You protect your family by locking doors at night, monitoring who they spend time with and where they go. But do you consider fire prevention and preparedness tips?

As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. It puts your family’s safety at risk, and you could lose many possessions including your home itself. Avoid this frightful scenario and potentially save lives by reducing the risk of fire.

Maintain Smoke Alarms

All homes should have smoke alarms to alert you to fire danger. One or two alarm devices are not enough if you have multiple levels or a larger property. Your home should have a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. Maintain your smoke alarms to ensure they are effective in the unfortunate incident of a fire.

  • Test your smoke alarm once per month by pressing their tester button.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once per year.
  • Never disconnect your smoke alarm.

Practice an Evacuation Plan

It is a wise idea to explain rules for safely exiting the home. Putting together a simple to understand plan for all family members is an easy way to make sure you and your family are on the same page in the event of a fire emergency.

Something as simple as identifying a meeting location outside, explaining how to open tricky windows, or showing how to remove cut window screens is a great start for teaching young children safe fire evacuation. Teaching administration of tools like the fire extinguisher and its location can prevent small kitchen fires from forming catastrophes.

Keep an Eye on the Dryer

Of major appliances, the dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire apart from countertop ovens and griddles. Check the filter and remove lint buildup after every load. Doing this also helps dry time, so it’s a win-win! We also recommend inspecting the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent for proper ventilation. There are many YouTube tutorials that explain the ins and outs of dryers and their filters—those videos may be useful for extra, seasonal, deep cleanings.

Inspect Outlets

Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire precaution. Never overload your outlets. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with computers and TVs. If an outlet looks dingy, it could be blown which indicates hidden problems. Outlet inspection is especially necessary for rental apartments or townhomes. Take precaution and call a professional electrician or property maintenance for help. We do not recommend fixing electrical problems. This is not a DIY project. 

Be Careful When You Cook

Because there are many silent heat sources in a kitchen, fire prevention is most likely and therefore most important here. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. If the oven emits an unusual amount of heat when closed and cooking, there may be problems with the seal or heating mechanism. It does not hurt to have a professional look at the appliance to ensure the temperature regulation mechanisms are working properly.

If all is functioning, it is wise to use the self-clean setting when your oven looks particularly grimy. This will heat the inside of the oven to a high temperature, burning stuck-on residue. When the self-cleaning is done, the food particles inside will be ash and can be easily wiped out. This is a simple and effective way to clean an oven. However, do not leave your oven unattended while this process is happening.

In fact, never leave any kitchen appliance unattended, especially food on the stove. A good rule of thumb is to store items off and away from the stove—you may not know when a child messes with the dials or an adult forgetfully leaves a burner on. In this age, stoves have smart locks that prevent accidental dial clicks. Regardless, putting items away ASAP as opposed to leaving them on the stove is a good, safe practice.

You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. We, at SERVPRO, want you to help prepare you. Still, accidents happen. In the event of an unfortunate situation, we offer fire damage services like Fire & Smoke Restoration, soot and odor removal and contents cleaning. If you have fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900.

Benefits of Large Loss For Your Commercial Business

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

brown and orange brick commercial building large loss restoration, servpro orange house logo in top right Large Loss Restoration of Your Commercial Property

Large Loss Restoration of Your Commercial Property

When a property is affected by a disaster, catastrophic loss occurs. Whether the large, commercial property sustains water, fire, or storm damage, there will be many different moving parts involved to restore the business to its preloss condition. Employing a restoration company that offers significant loss response can be useful for insurance agents and business owners alike. A professional like SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova will be able to make the process run smoothly since we work with the insurance directly and handle all parts of most large loss jobs in-house.

Our services include water extraction, board-up services, HEPA filtration, mold remediation, fire cleanup, contents cleaning, odor removal, biohazard cleanup, construction, and much more.

1. Experts Are Equipped With the Right Tools

When a major disaster strikes a large geographic area, it's common for restoration experts to be overwhelmed with requests and phone calls. Some local restoration companies may not be equipped to handle all types of disasters or at a large scale, and these companies may not have access to specialized tools.

A restoration company with a broad reach and the resources of 18 other locations, can bring in experts with the necessary tools to assist in the cleanup and restoration process of even the biggest and most complex jobs.

2. Experience to Handle Catastrophes

Whether a catastrophic loss occurs due to flooding, storm damage, or a fire, it's essential for business owners and insurance agents alike to know that the professionals restoring commercial properties are experienced. One person alone may not have the experience to respond to a major disaster. However, when numerous people assist in responding to a disaster, everyone's combined experience makes the loss response team equipped to manage many aspects of commercial property damage. 

3. Timely Reactions

When widespread damage occurs to an area, other local restoration companies may not assess quickly enough to be a real help. Unfortunately, a slow response can cause a property to acquire more issues, such as mold growth and structural damage. With our 24 hour emergency response, however, professionals can quickly assess a property, and take next steps. After a thorough assessment, experts can begin restoration. So, the faster the professional gets to the job site, the faster your commercial property can be restored to its preloss condition.

There is a reason SERVPRO has ranked number one in the industry for over 20 years. We stand with our work because we really are “here to help.”

SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile Helps Prepare Your Company for Emergencies

We want to help your business to be ready for the damaging effects of fire, water, and storm. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate action plan.

Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage affects your business. 

The Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a tablet and phone application that allows you to take photographs of important safety and emergency features in your business. Each photograph will have a written explanation of how to turn off the different utility systems. One of our SERVPRO employees will walk you through your business’s safety features and help you establish a plan in preparation for an emergency. Remember Murphy’s law—If anything can go wrong, it will. So, we want to make sure you are not caught unawares. 

For additional information regarding SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, contact SERVPRO of East Memphis at (901) 382-0900.

What Is The IIRC? What Does It Mean For Me?

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC logo with dotted globe and orange SERVPRO house logo If your home or business suffered water, storm, or fire damage, call us for 24 hours emergency service or for a free estimate.

What Is An IICRC Certification? Why Does It Matter?

The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization for the Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Industries. 

When considering who to call for water damage, do you go with the company your insurance company recommends? How about your neighbor’s recommendation? In the internet age of information-overload and bias, how can you know what’s right? Who really does the best job? Who does the most work for the money? Who handles a water loss job from start to finish? SERVPRO is proud to be your one-stop-shop for disaster relief after a fire, flood, or storm—but don’t take our word for it—let us show you.

Your local SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova is proudly an IICRC accredited firm.

What is an IICRC Certification?

IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the IICRC logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise.

All IICRC Certified Firms must:  

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.  
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry. 
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.  

When it comes to cleaning, restoration and inspection, the IICRC writes the books. As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Standards Developing Organization (SDO), the IICRC has paved the way in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, upholstery and fabric cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.  

Each IICRC standard takes years to develop and the coordination of several experts in the field, including:

  1. allied trades persons
  2. manufacturers
  3. international, national and regional trade associations
  4. individual or franchise professionals
  5. cleaning, inspection and restoration industry organizations
  6. insurance industry
  7. training schools
  8. contractors and public health professionals

These standards are reviewed and updated at least every five years. Many of these fields, such as the water damage restoration field, change rapidly and those who are certified keep up with the advancement of the science and generally accepted practices of the industry.

We don’t take this stamp of approval lightly—we uphold it. If your home or business suffered water, storm, or fire damage, call us for 24 hours emergency service or for a free estimate.

What Is Cat 3 Water Loss? What About Cat 1 and Cat 2?

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

water damage on cement, the words "water damage" in Red Hat font overlayed over the image with a green tint Have commercial water damage? Call SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova.

If you experienced a natural flood or sewage break at your home, you might have been told your property sustained Cat 3 (Category 3) water damage. So what is Cat 3 water damage? And what are the other 2?

Water Damage Categories

They are classified as follows:

  • Category 1 damage, also known as “white water” (clean water)
  • Category 2 damage, also known as “gray water” (clean water that sat for a while)
  • Category 3 damage, which is known as “black water” (usually from flood water)

Category 3 water is not only contaminated, but it can also cause damage to your home. Professionally trained technicians can, fortunately, help you clean and decontaminate the building and items after a Cat 3 water incident.

Cleaning Procedures

When facing water damage caused by a contaminated liquid, your safest plan usually involves contacting a local restoration company. Professionals are trained to arrive quickly, assess damage accurately, and work safely and efficiently to clean, restore and construct your property.

After the assessment, the following cleaning steps typically occur:

  1. Removal of water
  2. Humidity reduction and drying of wet surfaces
  3. Sanitation and cleaning of damaged areas
  4. Remediation of damaged property through deep cleaning and reconstruction

The professional you choose may also offer digitization services for wet financial documents or photographs that need to be preserved. Additionally, trained technicians on the scene may have suggestions for a preservation method or a long-term storage situation for items that are priceless and irreplaceable, yet not entirely salvageable.

Being Prepared

Help us help you persevere in the face of such a nightmare. SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova is a local professional in the cleaning, restoration, and construction industry. Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. For a free estimate, call us today.

What is Wet and Dry Smoke?

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

kitchen filled with soot, old yellow walls covered in soot damage Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova today at (901) 382-0900.

Did you know different types of smoke damages emerge based on the type of material burning? These smoke types determine the measures professional fire restoration technicians take when cleaning up after a fire. We break down the types.

Wet and Dry Smoke?

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, a professional like SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova tests the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pre-testing. 

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, extremely pungent odor. 

It's important to survey all areas of a property because every part has the potential for damages. Smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure, and smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action to restore your property to its preloss condition. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova today at (901) 382-0900.

SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova Introduces Employee Volunteer Time Off

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

3 polaroids of SERVPRO employees using their volunteer time off, on a green background In support of our core values and a healthy work-life balance, SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova rolled out a Volunteer Time Off.

Introducing Volunteer Time Off

SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova is uniquely positioned to help people during and after disasters with our immediate response to fire, water, storm, and smoke damage. Our company culture of helping others is not just confined to the workplace, but extended into our daily lives.

Healthy Work-Life Balance

In support of our core values and a healthy work-life balance, SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova rolled out a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy that allows all full-time employees to take up to 16 hours of paid leave to complete volunteer work of their choosing each year.

Employees are already enthusiastically using this time in a way that supports their personal values. This policy gives employees a greater capacity to donate time and energy to causes near to their hearts and have a direct impact on their communities.

The goal is to aid local organizations in a tangible way while fostering stronger, more meaningful community connections in all six SERVPRO Team Nicholson locations. This includes Clarksville and Memphis in Tennessee; St. Pete, Orlando, and Tampa in Florida; and Fort Worth in Texas.

With about 160 full-time employees in six locations across three states, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida, if each eligible worker uses their 16 hours of VTO each year, SERVPRO Team Nicholson will contribute around 2,500 work hours to local charities.

Protect Your Business from Flood Damage

4/10/2022 (Permalink)

green emergency evacuation plan graphic, SERVPRO logo Have a storm plan in case of an emergency!

Protect Your Business from Water Damage

Any building has the potential for flood damage. Even properties nowhere near water can incur damage from toilets overflowing, pipes bursting, roof leaks or intense rains. To avoid having to put your business on hold for massive flood cleanup, follow these tips to protect your building from significant damage.

Inspect Building Before Bad Weather

While sticking to a seasonal inspection schedule is recommended, if the forecast indicates that a strong storm is approaching, it makes sense to inspect it again. Look for cracks and leaks in exterior walls, foundation, and roof. If you find any, contact storm damage experts for repairs that can be done before the storm hits. 

Clean Drainage

Giving excess water a place to go is vital to keeping it out of the cracks and crevices of your roof and walls. Clean gutters and downspouts of debris, particularly during storm season. Directing the downpour away from the roof and foundation of your building can help prevent seeping flood damage. 

Test Sump Pump

If your building has low-lying ground that holds water after rain, a sump pump is beneficial to pump out the extra water—but only if it is working properly. These pumps are designed to get rid of water as soon as sensors are triggered. Regular testing, particularly before a major storm hits, is advisable.

Have an Emergency Plan

An emergency plan can help everyone understand clearly what they are supposed to do in any case of damage. Make sure it is up to date and that all employees have access to the latest version. Assign tasks that designate what each person needs to do in the event of a flood emergency. SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova creates emergency plans for businesses, call us today at (901) 382-0900 to find out how you can protect your business and make it as flood-resistant as possible.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1950 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

We are proud to serve our local communities:

How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plan

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

group of animated animals under the words "emergency evac" Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.
 

Plan For Your Pets

Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well. 

Make an Evacuation Plan

Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. 

You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate. 

Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:

  • A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
  • Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
  • A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
  • Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
  • Medications
  • Toys

Don’t Have to Evacuate? 

If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.

Pet Stress Symptoms

Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.

As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:

  • Remain calm as an owner
  • Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
  • Close blinds and curtains
  • Keep them in their normal routine, if possible

Read more storm and pet related articles here.

Protect Your Home Against Wind Damage

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

a green truck graphic climbing up a scale graph with the words "we scale our resources" When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

While thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more severe and may be more costly. Still, thunderstorms are responsible for a lot of damage, such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding. Either way, billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. While understanding the nature of wind damage can’t stop them from happening, it can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

What You Need to Know

Flying Debris is a Damage Risk

Flying debris can cause more damage than strong winds themselves. Damage can result from plants or other unsecured structures and objects. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans are either secured or brought inside. Bonus tip: For severe weather, secure your doors and windows, too.

A Well-Designed Roofing System Does Wonders

Apply roof deck, shingles, or membrane over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the structure in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.

The construction phase of building a structure is the most influential piece in reducing damage caused by storms. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck, so fasten that siding down. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure.

Monitor and Maintain Your Trees.

Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Maintain your trees by removing dead limbs. In addition, remove the entire tree if it is dead. Healthy trees should have strong enough roots to withstand fairly strong winds, but dead trees will not.

Mitigating Damage After a Storm

What happens after the storm? 

First, close any openings as soon as possible. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common source of water damage in these situations. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nail it over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up, if needed, so contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If the damage is too much to handle on your own, contact a restoration professional as soon as you can to help limit and repair damage and respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Faster Response

SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quickly to your area with the right resources. This is extremely important because a fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Resources to Scale Up for Large Disasters

When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1900 franchises across the country as well as our elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.