Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire can has taken on many connotations throughout the years. Maybe the most famous use of the phrase was the Johnny Cash song, but have you ever heard of it when discussing Gulf Coast weather? Storms are all too common along our stretch of the shore. From hurricanes to summertime thunderstorms, to even the rare ice storms in the winter, we have seen it all. We are all too familiar with the extremities of mother nature and how it can change on a dime. This summer in June 2018, there was a new phrase coined as a ring of fire” thunderstorms made their way onshore. Okay, so maybe this isn’t the scientific term, but many media stations in our area quickly coined the phrase. The “ring of fire” storms were a group of tightly clustered severe thunderstorms that spun around an area of high pressure, bringing a weeklong super soaker effect to areas from the Mississippi coast to the Florida panhandle. Although many of us think of hurricanes when we think of catastrophic events, random weather phenomenon such as these can bring equal amounts of damage. Luckily, you can always count on the experts here at SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest to be here to help you when disaster strikes.
What is Storm Cleanup?
We talk a lot about storm cleanup at SERVPRO, but what exactly does that encompass? Storm cleanup can refer to a wide variety of different situations. From localized pop up severe events such as thunderstorms and flash flooding, to widespread natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadic outbreaks. The wide array of scenarios can leave a variety of damage in their wake. That is why it is important to call the experts at SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest, if you ever experience any type of damage as the result of a storm situation. We have the knowledge and experience to handle any type of damage Mother Nature may throw your way. As part of the national network of SERVPRO Storm Response franchises, we have responded to numerous storm situations throughout the country. Our hands-on expertise means that you can trust you are receiving the best service each time we arrive on-site!
Water Damage vs. Flood Damage
You may think that water damage and flood damage are the same thing, but they are actually two completely different types of losses. Why they are different is quite simple. They involve two different categories of water. Based on IICRC standards, there are three categories of water that may be encountered on a water damage site. “Clean water” falls in to Category 1 and poses no health risks. An example would be a leak from an ice maker supply line. Category 2, or “Grey water” has significant contamination from mold, bacteria or chemicals. Flood water falls into Category 3 or “Black water”, which is water with significant levels of toxins, disease causing organisms and/or other agents making it grossly unsanitary. It is difficult for many to understand why flood waters would fall in to this category. It is just river water or rain water, why is it so unsanitary? When massive flooding occurs, significant amounts of water flow from one area to another. This water picks up all of the bacteria and toxins from everything it flows across, through or over. Sewage back-ups, dead animals, leaking chemicals…the list goes on. This is what separates flood damage from water damage. Due to the significant levels of contaminants the water and everything that it has touched must be treated to prevent the spread of possible disease-causing bacteria. At SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest, we know how to handle flood damage! As part of the national network that makes up the SERVPRO Disaster Response Team, we have traveled all over the country to help those affected by flooding. If you ever experience a flood loss, call the experts at SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest to help you get your life back on track faster!
Priority Service Agreement
When the unexpected occurs, the last thing you want to be thinking about is who you will call to provide emergency services. Time is critical and you don't want to waste it negotiating with a mitigation company. With a Priority Service Agreement (PSA) in place, it serves as an extension of your emergency response plan. You get fast service from experienced professionals who have already evaluated your business to design the most efficient response plan possible. When you choose to have a PSA with SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest, you can rest comfortably with the peace of mind that comes from having an industry leader at your fingertips. We have the training, experience and equipment to handle any type of commercial loss, no matter how large or how complex. For more information on this program, contact us at 251-633-7500.
Home Safety Mistakes
Home Safety Mistakes
Can you name the most common causes of residential fires? You may immediately think of fireplaces and gas appliances, but many people overlook the most dangerous sources of home fires. Here is a list of the mistakes many homeowners make when it comes to fire safety:
- Walking away from a stove with an open flame. Just one small stray spark can quickly engulf your entire kitchen.
- Continuing to use frayed electronic cords.
- Forgetting to unplug appliances such as irons, hair dryers or curling irons or even cell phones. Leaving appliances plugged in could cause them to overheat and start a fire.
- Forgetting to clean out your dryer’s lint trap. Trapped fibers can quickly ignite when you start another cycle.
- Taking the batteries out of your smoke detector.
- Not having a sprinkler system installed. Yes, residential sprinkler systems could save your home from a fire.
- Placing a space heater too close to fabrics.
- Neglecting to have your chimney cleaned annually.
- Falling asleep or leaving the home while candles are burning.
Knowledge is the best way to prevent a fire in your home, but if the unexpected does occur, be sure to call the experts at SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest. Our certified, IICRC technicians have the training, knowledge and experience to make it “Like it never even happened."
What Could Be Hiding in Your Ducts
What Your Ducts Could Be Hiding
Mold likes to lurk in hidden spaces. Often, you may have no idea that you have a mold issue until you start to experience some of the nasty side effects including a bad odor or health problems. Mold can wreak havoc on compromised immune systems, but it can also cause breathing difficulties and respiratory issues in perfectly healthy individuals. One of the biggest problems with mold is how the structure allows it to spread very rapidly throughout your business. When the spores become airborne, they are easily moved about by air flow and set up new colonies wherever they land. One of the most commonly overlooked spaces where mold could be hiding is the HVAC system. Even with regular HVAC maintenance and filter changes, the ductwork still needs to be properly cleaned on a routine basis to prevent possible buildup. Ductwork can harbor moisture, which may lead to mold growth. At SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest we recommend that you have your ducts cleaned and inspected at least once a year to keep your unit running in optimal condition and to keep your business mold free.
Commercial Losses and the SERVPRO Difference
When it comes to large commercial losses they often present many more challenges than a residential job. For most commercial water damages, the size and scale of the building alone means that there is much more area to be dried. Often the building involves multiple floors affected and displaced tenants or customers. At SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest, we have the resources, knowledge and skilled team members to take care of any size commercial loss. We have spent years developing operating procedures and processes to ensure the fastest response times and most efficient treatment plans. The SERVPRO difference means that your business is back up and running as quickly as possible. To further help minimize business interruption and damages associated with emergency situations, contact us today to learn more about our FREE Emergency Ready Program. We will develop a customized emergency plan for your business to help you prepare for the unexpected. We can’t predict the future, but we can help you be ready for whatever happens!
The Recipe for Fire
Fire can cause a multitude of damage resulting in a meandering and lengthy recovery process. Its amazing to think that something which is so elementally simple could wreak the insurmountable misery that it does. When it comes to the “recipe" for fire, it is relatively simple. For fire to exist, it must have:
- Fuel – wood, coal, oil, paper, natural gas, etc.
- Heat – for a fire to begin there must be some type of heat present to start the chemical reaction. This could be a spark, a small flame or high temperature.
- Sustaining Chemical Reaction – combustion
Without even one of these ingredients the fire would be extinguished. At SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest we are always Here to Help if you find yourself affected by a fire in your home or office.
Commercial Fire Safety Tips
We talk a lot about residential fires but at SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest, we also handle a large volume of commercial fires. There are a variety of scenarios that you may encounter when discussing a fire in a commercial building. From multi-tenant buildings to schools and restaurants, there are a multitude of planning and safety tips we could cover. For the focus of this article we are going to concentrate on kitchen fires in the restaurant and hospitality industry. With large ovens, open flames, cooking oils, electrical equipment and the hustle and bustle of large numbers of employees, the fire hazards abound. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, nearly 8,000 establishments reported a fire every year, resulting in an annual average of nearly $246 million in property damage annually. A fire in your business can lead to lost productivity and revenue and we want to help you be better protected. Here are some safety tips to help protect your investment:
- Install an automatic fire suppression system.
- Keep portable fire extinguishers on hand as backup.
- Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment.
- Regularly inspect cooking systems for grease buildup.
- Train your staff on proper use of fire extinguishers.
- Store flammable liquids properly.
- Be prepared: have an emergency plan in place.
SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest also offers our FREE Emergency Ready Plan service to help you develop a customized emergency plan for your facility. Call us today at 251-633-7500 to schedule a consultation.
Water Damage Statistics
Whether it is a small loss or a complete flood situation, water damage is always an unsettling experience. Nearly 93% of all losses could have been prevented and we want to help you protect your home or business from the unexpected. From leaking pipes to a natural disaster, the term “water damage” can cover a variety of situations. It is important that you check your homeowner’s policy and truly understand your coverage limits. If you think it will never happen to you, think again. According to statistics set forth by the American Insurance Association, nearly 40% of current homeowners have experienced some form of a water damage loss. It is the second most common reason for filing an insurance claim in the United States and causes billions in property damage each year. The most common cause of water damage is completely preventable! Broken pipes and hoses from ice maker lines, dishwashers and washing machines are the number one culprit. Did you know that nearly 250 gallons of water can escape from a 1/8-inch crack in a typical household pipe in a 24-hour period? You can visit your local home improvement store to replace old pipes with new materials for an easy fix. Nobody can ever predict the future, but knowledge is always your best line of defense! If you experience water damage, remember that SERVPRO of Mobile Northwest is available 24/7 to help…call us at 251-633-7500.