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SERVPRO and Customer Service

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

hand written letter from satisfied customer-wording of praise on techs and workmanship Customer Feedback on Services

SERVPRO and Customer Service

Our Vision Statement is to be the most reliable and consistent restoration company in North Alabama.  Being reliable to our customers is letting them know we are available 24/7 for an emergency loss to property.  Our customer is the most important part of our business.  They are the purpose of our work and they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to service them

Customers of SERVPRO are what drive our employee’s actions.  We are here to take care of their needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service.  This service starts at the beginning of the customers needs and extends even after the customer’s requirements are met. 

Our Mission Statement at SERVPRO is To Maintain a Team of honest and reliable people who serve our community by exceeding expectations while helping them recover from losses to their property.  Our team of technicians are highly trained and managed by an exceptional team of Management. They are required to attend weekly meetings to ensure workmanship and proper procedures and are WRT Certified through the IICRC. 

The key aspects our customers will experience with SERVPRO are:

The key aspects our customers will see from SERVPRO are:

1.     Managed Commitments

2.     Communication

3.     Start things and Complete them

4.     Being Truthful

5.     True to Our Values

During the event of an unfortunate property loss, call upon SERVPRO and know that our commitment is to you and your property.  Let our team of trained technicians take the worry out of your hands by delivering professional and high quality service.  Your home is a large investment and restoring it back is our job. Be assured that we are going to be reliable and consistent.

Is Your Business Hurricane Ready?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

hurricane destruction including debris, vehicles stranded, destroyed homes and excessive water Destruction from Hurricane Dorian 2019

Significant portions of the United States are at risk for the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes. It is important that a business throughout the country understand the risks and potential impacts and prepare accordingly for a Hurricane.  The National Hurricane Center reports the greatest threat to life and property along the coasts are storm surge and large waves caused by hurricanes. Inland flooding accounts for more than 50 percent of hurricane-related deaths each year. Furthermore hurricane force winds and windborne debris can destroy buildings and mobile homes and pose a major risk to people and property.

Preparing your Employees and business is the best way to diffuse the impact of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm.  Listed below are some steps for you as the owner and your employees to learn and practice:

  1. Prepare A Plan and Practice It! – Plan an overall strategy that extends to all parts of your business.  Back up data and relocate equipment to an offsite location.  Make sure that all data is correct on your employees so they can be reached easily.  Remember that Practice makes Perfect.  Your plan needs to be practiced and tested.
  2. To remain competitive in today’s business society, businesses depend on information technology. Without access to data, business quickly comes to a screeching halt.  Since there is advance warning when a hurricane approaches, it is important to transport your data quickly and at the first sign of trouble.
  3. Protect Your Site - Ways to do this include Uninterruptible Power Supply (batteries and generators), backup water source and a supply of gasoline powered pumps to keep the lower levels of the facility clear of flood waters.
  4. Operate Remotely - Employees may be unable to leave their homes in a state of emergency or may be unwilling to leave their families. It is very important to plan for this scenario in which your business facility is operational but the employees are unable or unwilling to get there. One way to prepare for this contingency is to develop a method to operate the critical components of your business remotely.
  5. Establish an On Site Support Plan – Prepare a specially selected team of employees to provide support for the business.  This would include employees on site and others to oversee the homes and family members of those that remained on site.
  6. Secure A Recovery Services Provider – They can continue doing business for you during your outage
  7. Declare Early – Activate your recovery plan.  Do not hesitate and wait to long to put in place what you have practiced. 
  8. Implement an Effective Communications Strategy - Communications are important to any business entity. In the event of a pending hurricane, it becomes even more crucial. Communications are needed to coordinate emergency activities, to implement the recovery/contingency plan, to warn employees of impending danger.
  9. Expect the Unexpected - Remain flexible and adaptable.  Prepare, Plan, and Practice

 The key if to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. 

How You Can Help Victims of Hurricane Dorian 2019

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Red triangle with white exclamation point on a wave for Hurricane Warning. Wording Hurricane Dorian How Can Your Help. Helping the Victims of Hurricane Dorian 2019

Hurricane Dorian roared ashore last week with 185 mph winds and heavy rains causing substantial damage to homes in Grand Bahama and Abaco before heading back out to sea, and returning to lash North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  The storm was extremely powerful, long-lived, and destructive.   Dorian developed from a tropical wave on August 24 in the Central Atlantic. The system gradually intensified while moving toward the Lesser Antilles, before becoming a hurricane on August 28. From August 26 to August 28, the storm affected Caribbean nations and territories devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Dorian's 185 mph (295 km/h) sustained winds at landfall on Elbow Cay ties it with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane as the strongest landfalling Atlantic hurricane, measured by sustained winds. The true death toll is unknown, but news sources in the Bahamas suggested that it may exceed 3,000. Property damages were estimated at $7 billion for the Bahamas. Damage estimates in the U.S. and Canada are currently unknown

If you want to know what you can do to help out, here are a few tips:

  • While you may want to send food and other items, the infrastructure may not support those donations. Many organizations have been clear that cash, or cash equivalent, is preferred.
  • Be wary of personal solicitations on your doorstep or over the phone. Make sure that gifts made by checks or credit card gifts are secure. If you don't want to donate online or by text, most organizations have alternatives, like donation forms that you can mail together with a check. 
  • Check out the credentials of a potential donee/charitable organization before you donate. If you’re looking for a tax break, you can always confirm charitable status through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) web site using the TEOS Search Tool. Remember that some organizations, like churches, may not be listed on the IRS website, so don't be afraid to ask organizations which don't appear on the list for more information.
  • For federal income tax purposes, you can only deduct contributions to qualified tax-exempt charitable organizations.
  • Read the fine print before sending money abroad.  Details are always important but especially if you’re not familiar with an organization. You can always give to S. charities that provide international aid and still claim a deduction. 
  • Be sure to document your gifts and get receipts: the IRS requires that you do so for tax purposes and having the information available is handy if you want to follow up with another donation. Never hesitate to ask the charitable organization or your tax professional if you have questions.

If you want to help but aren't sure where to start, tax-exempt charities that have indicated they are accepting Dorian-specific donations include:

  • American Red Cross.To make a financial donation, visit org, call 1-800-435-7669 or by mail a donation form.
  • Catholic Charities of USA.To make a financial donation, visit CCUSA's disaster-specific website.
  • Global Giving. To make a financial donation, visit their website.
  • Salvation Army.To make a financial donation, visit helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1.800.SAL ARMY.
  • Save the Children.To support Save the Children’s response efforts, visit their website.
  • Team Rubicon.To assist a team of military veterans and first responders with their Bahamas response effort, you can make a donation on their website.
  • Water Mission.To help provide emergency safe water solutions to people in dire need in the Bahamas, you can make a donation on Water Mission’s website.
  • World Central Kitchen.To help Chef José Andrés feed survivors of Hurricane Dorian, visit WCK’s website: wck.org

Creating a Fireproof Workplace

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher, Fire Alarm with Be Aware Know Where wording Fire Safety at the Workplace

Creating a Fireproof Workplace

 Creating a safety plan, securing your premises, installing sprinklers and fire extinguishers, and developing and practicing an evacuation plan all lead to a safer workplace.  Employers should train workers about fire hazards in the workplace and about what to do in a fire emergency.  If you expect your workers to use portable fire extinguishers, you must provide hands-on training in using this equipment..  Fireproofing an office should be a top priority.

  Fire can severely impact productivity, ravage inventory, and cause very costly infrastructure damage.  Claims for injuries and death can lead to higher premiums, and sometimes lawsuits.  The following practices can reduce fire hazards in the workplace and reduce the likelihood of claims.

  • Train employees to look for signs of hazards
  • Store paper and cardboard in a proper area
  • Oil, grease and solvents should be stored in a fire resistant container and removed from the premises as soon as possible
  • Make sure all flammable liquids have lids and are covered when not in use
  • Establish a strict smoking policy and enforce it
  • Train employees on fire response and have fire extinguishers  in designated areas

A business that uses vehicles for delivery and hauling equipment should make sure employees are trained properly on refueling.

  • Refuel in a safe area where there are no sparks or cigarette smoking allowed
  • Store and transport fuel in a Department of Transportation approved container
  • Refill containers on the ground and not in the back of a vehicle
  • Do no refill vehicles or equipment while running
  • Ground yourself before you start refueling to prevent static buildup

Using electrical cords improperly is a work place hazard.  We tend to overload when trying to get everything where we want it.  Remember that electrical cords that are rated for indoor use are not appropriate for outside.  The cold and heat can compromise the cord.  Cords should not be ran under doorways and through windows.  Shutting the doors and windows can squeeze the insulating jacket and cause sparks. 

Controlling a hazard at its source is the best form of protection.  Every worker plays a role in fire safety.  Recognize and resolve any hazards you may notice. 

How to Spot Electrical Problems in Your Home

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Fire started in electrical outlet with Electrical Fire Prevention wording Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Home

How to Spot Electrical Problems in Your Home

Most Electrical Fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. A worn or frayed cord can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire. There are signs to look for and smells that will let you know if your home is in danger of an electrical fire.  If you notice any of the signs below take safety precautions to locate the source: 

  1. Circuit breaker keeps tripping.
  2. Burnt smell with no identifiable source. (If you smell something burning and can't            
  3. find the source, call the fire department).
  4. Several discolored or charred outlets and switches.
  5. You have old outdated wiring.

 Hidden Dangers:

 There are other electrical fire dangers in your home that, while they may not be as obvious, are no less dangerous.

Old Wiring – if the home is over 50 yeas old

Aluminum Wiring - houses built in the 1960’s and early 1970’s

Arc Faults - when electrical current veers off its intended path

Counterfeit Electrical Products – buy electrical products only form reputable retailers

Extinguishing an Electrical Fire

Electrical fires are tricky to put out. If you douse them with water, you run the risk of electrocution, and not all chemical fire suppressants will extinguish them completely. To be safe, make sure your household fire extinguisher is rated A-B-C, which indicates that it is effective against fires involving ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment.

Prevent House Fires by Cleaning out Dryer Vents

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

white dryer with flames shooting out Preventing Fire Damage from Clogged Dryer Vents

One of the leading causes of a house fire is an appliance we look at as harmless.  Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer hose and vent duct, reducing air flow, backing up exhaust gases and eventually creating a fire.   The National Fire Protection Association reports nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires each year. These clothes dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property loss.  34% of dryer fires are due to not cleaning the dryer.  Overloading your dryer is as much a big deal due to excessive lent that causes poor ventilation.   When there is no where for the excessive lent to go it can cause overheating of the dryer which can turn into a fire hazard.  Dryer vent ducts should be inspected at least once a year to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.   

 When a dryer becomes clogged it gives off signs that we need to pay attention to and resolve.  Acknowledging these signs immediately can reduce the chances of severely clogged ducts and a potential fire hazard.  Below is a list of things to look for when determining if your dryer hose and vent duct could be clogged:       

  • A musty odor is discovered in the clothing following the drying cycle
  • Clothes seem unusually hot to the touch
  • Excessive heat is noticed in the room in which the washer and dryer are operated
  • The dryer vent hood flap to the exterior of your home does not open properly when you use the dryer
  • Debris is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening
  • Large amounts of lint build-up in the lint trap during each cycle
  • Odor noticed from dryer sheets used during the drying cycle

Taking steps to prevent a dryer fire can start by reading the manual for instructions and warning signs during installation.  After each load of laundry the dryer vent should be cleaned of lent and the dryer checked for any debris that could have fallen out of clothing.  Listed below are more safety precautions to take to ensure your dryer is working properly and not a fire hazard:

  • Clean the filter with a nylon brush at least once every six (6) months or more often if it becomes clogged
  • Completely clean lint out of the vent pipe every three (3) months
  • Check occasionally through the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it isn’t damaged
  • Put a cover on outside wall dampers to keep out the elements
  • Ensure the outdoor vent cover opens when the dryer is on

These recommendations should be followed and practiced by all that utilize a dryer in their home.  Taking precautions can save lives, millions in property loss and reduce the risk of injury.  Call today for your inspection and scheduling of duct cleaning at your SERVPRO of the Quad Cities.  We are available 24/7 servicing our community.

Water Damage and Electrical Wiring

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Avoid Electrical Shock

The Dangers of Water-Damage and Electrical Wiring

Returning home after water damage has affected your home can be very devastating and stressful event.  While your instincts tell you to start cleaning and removing items the most important and first step should be safety.  Knowing what safety precautions to take can safe a life and reduce the risk of a fire. 

Electricity and water are dangerous when combined because water is a conductor of electricity.  Water allows electricity to flow through it.  Any kind of damaged wiring allows for a risk of electrical shock and puts family or your employees in life threatening danger.  Any wires that have come into contact with standing water should be immediately inspected by a professional.  Not only are exposed wiring a threat for electrical shock but a risk of a devastating property fire.

If the water has risen to an electrical outlet one should try and switch off the power source.  Once all power sources are turned off the electrical equipment can be unplugged.  This allows the equipment to have a greater chance of being saved. 

As with electrical the smell of gas is another safety concern.  If you return to your home or business and smell gas you should leave immediately and notify the authorities there could be a risk of explosion. 

When dealing with a water damage to a business or home consider the signs and safety tips listed as a safety precaution:

     Any wires that have come into contact with      water should be replaced by a professional

     If a humming or buzzing noise is heard do not attempt to handle in any way

     If a buzzing wire is in a pool of water avoid the area.  Water carries a charge and is as      dangerous as the wire.

     Try and switch off the power source. 

     Do not try to operate electrical equipment or appliances that have come into contact with water

With any catastrophe that has caused damage to your home, Safety should be your first concern.  Our homes are one of the most expensive investments and having a safety plan and safety precautions to follow can save lives and your investment from further damage.  

SERVPRO of the Quad Cities has trained technicians in Water Restoration.  If you find your home under water call for clean up and drying out.  Safety first and then the professional cleanup begins. 

Mold and Lake Homes

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold found in closet of home

Mold and Lake Homes

When a building, such as a lake house, is closed up and has little to no ventilation, mold has the opportunity to grow and contaminate the structure.  Mold is quick growing and can take hold in 47 hours.  To prevent this mold growth, make sure that moisture and humidity is reduced as much as possible.  In order for the mold to grow it takes a damp environment, so taking measures to control the humidity will control the growth.  Consider taking the steps below to control mold issues and keep your homes environment from inviting mold to grow.

  • Increase the ventilation in your home. Air movement reduces mold growth.
  • Try running a fan or air conditioner when you are away.
  • Leave interior doors open
  • Have a dehumidifier in your home
  • Remove all wet towels and wet clothing from home and dry outside
  • Remove water from the toilet and bottom of dishwasher when leaving the home for an extended amount of time
  • Make sure your gutters have been cleaned of debris
  • Removing and cutting back on tree branches can allow the sun in
  • It is also a good idea to make sure someone periodically checks on your Property so any issues can be addressed early on          

Mold is a living organism that naturally exists in the outdoor environment. Mold ejects spores into the air. These spores are similar to plant seeds and will grow additional mold when and if these spores land upon an area which provides moisture and a suitable food source.  While Mold can be a cause for concern, following the preventative measures listed above can ensure your property is suitable for occupancy.

 Non-porous items like metal, concrete, countertops, appliances, and decking can be cleaned with an eco-friendly product.  When items such as carpets, upholstery, ceiling tiles, mattresses and dry wall become invaded with mold they will need to be discarded of.

If you return to your lake home and find yourself with a mold issue call SERVPRO of the Quad Cities for an inspection and moisture check.  Our technicians are highly trained in Mold Remediation. 

Keep your business safe by being prepared with an ERP.

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Steps to take to keep your Business from Flooding

Taking the right steps can help flood proof your Commercial Business

Flooding is one of the biggest concerns and can cause the most damage to your Commercial building, but when you are properly prepared and take the right measures you can help flood proof your business.  The more prepared you are and having a risk assessment can protect and keep the doors of your business open. 

What can you do to Keep your Business from Flooding?

Business Continuity Plan

     An effective business continuity plan builds upon four key steps, such as

     identifying flood risks, assessing critical business components and the  

     resources to support them, and where to house back-up and maintain critical  

     equipment at another location or safe space.

Flood Insurance

Usually, basic commercial property insurance does not cover floods, so make sure to get flood coverage through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.

Design and Construction

Take precautionary measures with the design and construction of your building, especially if you are located along the coastline or in a high-risk flood zone.  Consider elevating your building if it is waterfront or in a flood prone area

Clean Up

Prevent water from backing up into your building by cleaning out gutters, downspouts, and roof drains before a storm.

Flood Barriers

     Metal Flood Barriers can be a great way to help shield your business from   

     high-velocity water loads. These highly resistant metal flooding protection

     systems have a long and effective flood barrier in flood-prone areas all over

     the world.

     Aqua Barrier inflated water dams are the ultimate flood barrier for commercial

     areas. The barrier guards your business by placing it around the premises

     preventing invasive water from damaging your property.

Keep your business safe by being prepared with an ERP.

SERVPRO of the Quad Cites can schedule your Commercial Emergency Ready Profile.   The Profile is designed to help business owners save time and money.  Before an emergency strikes your business your SERVPRO Marketing Representative will know your specific emergency contacts, business needs and circumstances allowing a quicker response time.  For more information on the SERVPRO ERP System call us at 256-383-4470.

Routine Maintenance to avoid an ac leak in attic

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage to ceiling from ac drip pan that is overflowing.

What’s the best way to avoid an air conditioner leak? Routine Maintenance.

When the air conditioning system runs, it not only cools the temperature of the air in your home, but it also removes humidity out of the air within your home and collects this moisture in a large drain pan inside your AC system below the system's evaporator coil.  In a very humid climate, air conditioning systems remove 20-30 gallons of water a day from the air within your home and all this water has to drain somewhere.

Unfortunately, sometimes condensate drain pans and lines can get damaged or clogged. Overflowing drip pans are a serious hazard that homeowners need to be aware of. The excess water can saturate your home’s ceiling, causing mildew, mold and eventually rot.  In fact most homeowners fail to realize there is a problem with their ac unit until the attic is saturated with water

Regular maintenance for your HVAC unit will keep your condensate line from clogging in the first place. Getting into the habit of inspecting your attic on a regular basis for signs of moisture and the ac drip pan can reduce the chances of a major catastrophe and damage to your home.

The following tips can be used for reducing the chances of water damages:

  • Ensure that the central AC system is installed using a secondary drain line, more so if the unit is in the attic.
  • Have drain pan shutoff switch installed, and equip it with a float.
  • Ensure AC unit is installed with a safety pan to catch overflow.
  • Regularly clean HVAC filter or change it out.
  • Ensure correctly insulated duct work.
  • Regularly check on AC refrigerant levels.
  • Use a 50/50 solution of water and bleach to prevent mold or mildew build up in condensate pump.
  • Ensure drain lines include an air vent and p-trap.
  • Have a yearly HVAC maintenance schedule to ensure best performance while minimizing AC and furnace repairs.

Introducing the float switch

A float switch is an electronic water sensor for your HVAC system. It gives your AC system the ability to detect if it has a clogged drain, and if the switch detects a clogged drain , it immediately shuts the system off.  Float switches are great, and can save an expense of coming home to a collapsed ceiling or water damage to your home and furnishings.   Remember when moving into a new home check to see if the previous owner had one installed on the HVAC unit for safety measures.

In the event of a  water damage SERVPRO is always here. At SERVPRO of the Quad Cities, we know how important it is to get your home back in order as quickly as possible. We'll help you mitigate the costs of any water emergency by restoring your possessions and preventing future damage to your home. For more information about our water removal services or to receive a quote, call us 24/7 at (256)-383-4470