Recent Posts

Gutters Matter

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Gutters Matter

August 5th, 2020

Several weeks back our area experienced a significant amount of rainfall which brought the wettest on record according to the National Weather Service. In receiving this significant amount of rainfall, aside from the flooding (water damage) that comes as a result of rising rivers or other bodies of water, we began also receiving calls from customers that had unexplained mold growing on their ceilings as well as outside walls on their homes or businesses. Since one of the key factors in properly mitigating a water damage is identifying the source, naturally we began with a roof inspection, which in every case to the date of this blog posting, has produced no findings which would indicate a raised nail, missing screw, or shingle tab is the culprit. Following a flood of questions to the homeowner, which generally reveal no prior history of brown stains or leaks from the ceiling or walls, some may not know to look at or inspect the gutter system.

Gutters play a significant role in a number of things which protect the home. They keep water from running directly off of a roof and onto a deck, into your flower bed, and through the proper design/installation/operation of the gutter system, also diverts water away from the foundation of the home. According to our friends over at Erie Insurance, failing to annually inspect your gutter system can result in Foundation Problems, Broken Gutters, Wall and Ceiling Damage, a Wet Basement, and Insect Infestations.

Our customers were all found to have the same issue, easily avoidable clogged gutters which permitted the gutter system to become backfilled with water, further permitting that water to intrude into the home. Following a brief inspection of the gutters, debris was found in the downspouts, in some cases with plants growing out of them, which prevented the water from properly draining.

As their article properly suggests, gutter damage is expensive to mitigate, but inexpensive and easy to prevent. Take the proper precaution to inspect your gutters, ensuring you have the proper tools, ladder, and equipment to mitigate any issues you find. Taking the time to do this will allow you to also better inspect your homes roof for any damage from the previous season, as well as other areas you may need to focus on moving forward.

If your home has suffered water damage, call SERVPRO of LBL North to assist you in mitigating this damage! We are always happy to help!

JN

References:

Metz, J. (2018, October 17). 5 Common problems caused by clogged gutters. Retrieved from Erie Insurance: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/clean-gutters

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. (2020, August 5th). National Climate Report - June 2020. Retrieved from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/202006

Trust the Service Professionals

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO? Trust the Service Professionals 

June 26th, 2020 

It never fails. You come home from work, it has been a long day, and just when you think it would not get any worse, you open the door into your home and water trickles down over your feet. That washer you placed on a delayed start before you left for work kicked on and during the operation a hose or fitting failed resulting in water flooding your laundry room……….. which migrated into the hallway………which further expanded into your bedroom and living room. Your cat is standing on the back of the couch looking at you for an explanation because her food bowl has floated off down the hallway and well, cats don't swim. She's hungry!

You find yourself looking at a dozen scenarios, none of which are pleasant. Maybe this is your first water loss, or your first ever insurance claim on a home. Then come the questions:

Who do I call because it’s after hours and everyone is closed?

What does my insurance policy cover?

Will my stuff be able to be saved?

Is my house a total loss?

Will we be able to live here while the repairs are being made?

WHAT DO I DO?

The answer is too easy! Call 1-800-SERVPRO or visit our website at www.SERVPROLBLNorth.com and simply Request Help ONLINE by finding the “Get Help” section on the right side of our website. You will receive contact from a SERVPRO professional regarding your emergency within one hour, and within four hours you will have a mitigation team on site to begin evaluating and beginning the process to restore your home. Because we are the #1 Fire, Water and Restoration Company in the nation, we are generally able to immediately begin working on your emergency. Our team of professionals will evaluate your loss, and step by step go over with you the elements of the restoration process as well as provide you with an understanding of what you can expect throughout. We understand this can be a very difficult and stressful time in your life, and our team will work to walk you through everything. Rest assured, our #1 priority is you, and getting everything back “Like it never even happened.” We're also pet friendly! 

JN

Why SERVPRO? Because We're Truly "Here to Help"

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

June 17th, 2020

     When I was made aware of SERVPRO and the opportunity to serve a local franchise as their Sales and Marketing Manager, the first thing I did (as many do, or should do) is conduct some brief research on the organization. I had observed the bright green trucks buzzing around in the community, and I recognized the orange house as well as the name SERVPRO. As someone on the outside of the organization who had never utilized them before, I was not aware of what exactly the company did.

     What I saw was a Mission Statement and Vision which was very customer centric, which, any company that provides a service should be. Where the line between a standard company and service versus an exceptional company and service differs, is the ownership in the language provided in the Mission and/or Vision of the organization. In other words, the language is more than just words on piece of paper, it is lived and/or practiced from the top down.

     Shortly after accepting the position and the completion of the training program, it was time to hit the road and begin introducing myself to the communities in which our franchise services. Just as I was getting to know our customers and agents by name, COVID-19 set in, and as it has for anyone who relies on a face to face continuous relationship by which to keep the wheels turning, this disrupted that routine, forcing all of us in the SERVPRO organization from the top down to adapt and evolve.

     From a marketing standpoint we are taught in college to look for ways to capitalize on an opportunity. Naturally for a professional cleaning organization, the knee jerk reaction to a viral pandemic is to recognize that the services we provide are a (not necessarily THE) solution to the problem. Naturally, a marketer would understand and see that through this, the organization has the potential to not only be a solution to a problem, but also see an uptick in cleaning service opportunities.

     During a sales forum weeks into the pandemic as shutdowns began to increase across the nation, the question was raised as to why there were no television advertisements communicating the message that SERVPRO has a potential solution to the question of disinfecting facilities. The response given was simple, but strong. As the national leader in cleaning and restoration, there is an ethical responsibility to recognize the depth and severity of the national crisis. Instead of flooding the airwaves with advertisements which could be viewed by many as a means to capitalize on what continues to be a tragic and uncertain time in our nation’s history, SERVPRO turned to its dedicated team of marketing professionals to approach their respective areas based on the needs of the community, and from a sense of personal compassion. In other words, there is no better way to say “We’re Here to Help”, than to do it in person, from a position of genuine care.

     SERVPRO’s Mission Statement reads “To develop a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.” From this, and a position of recognizing the uncertainty many families and businesses in our community are facing, we can assess each situation and request for help on an individual basis, and the sense of compassion that comes along with this, can only be done by living up to the final three factors of excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.

     SERVPRO of LBL North understands that each of our customers are trying to balance the safety of both their employees and their customers, and the ability to lend a hand during a time of need is a genuine gift. Our organization has been able to mobilize crews on a moment’s notice when the call comes in that assistance is needed to deep clean and/or disinfect a facility to help minimize the chances that members of our community may have in contracting the virus. When our production teams have been stretched thin with other projects, our sales and marketing team as well as our office staff have stepped up to ensure we are able to help our community. It isn’t necessarily enough to say “we’re all in this together”, but SERVPRO is most certainly “Here to Help”.

John Norwood

Sales and Marketing Manager

SERVPRO of LBL North

Spring Severe Weather 2020 Awareness

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Prepare for Spring Severe Weather

April 29th, 2020

    With the unusually warm weather upon us, and the heavy amount of rain that has fallen over the course of the Winter, it is imperative to understand the implications this combination of weather events could potentially bring, mainly severe weather and flooding.

    Severe Weather in and of itself can consist of high winds, torrential rains, tornadoes and flooding. The part most concerning is flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flooding is the most common natural disaster. While flooding from a broken pipe, faulty dishwasher, or other household appliance presents clean water into the home, water from a flood poses significant concern when it comes to what’s “in” the water.

    The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) explains that water from a flood, or outside source could potentially contain disease, chemicals, bacteria, human waste and other contaminants that could bring about long-term health risks if exposed to for extended lengths of time. When your home is exposed to outside flood water, it is imperative that you contact SERVPRO of LBL North immediately so that we can minimize the effects of this damage. Our offices can be reached at (270) 753-1160.

JN

References:

Brooks, K. (2020, March 16th). SERVPRO encourages property owners to prepare now for severe spring weather. Retrieved from Global Newswire: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/16/2001201/0/en/SERVPRO-Encourages-Property-Owners-to-Prepare-Now-for-Severe-Spring-Weather.html

Businesses Adapting to Work at Home Models

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

Business Adaptations Post COVID-19

April 27th, 2019

     From every crisis in history, there are lessons to be learned, and adaptions that can be implemented on just about every level. For businesses (large and small) this will likely result in a shift in the operational business model for many. The emergence of COVID-19 has permitted some businesses to see just how well they can operate, even if only for a short period of time, with their employees working remotely.

     At SERVPRO, one of the biggest concern’s businesses have following a major loss, is how long the operation will need to be shut down in order to mitigate the issue. Granted working from home is not conducive for retail outlets and restaurants, but for offices which do not provide a physical product, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that while the loss is being mitigated, that operations may continue, albeit from remote locations.

     Once a business suffers a loss, the time in which SERVPRO needs to get in, adequately assess the loss, and mitigate it, is often dictated by when the company will need to reopen, close down, etc. It is not always as simple as shutting the doors, however, now with what we have taken away from the COVID-19 pandemic, it could provide quicker response times by SERVPRO, and a smooth temporary transition on the part of the business while SERVPRO mitigates the issue.

JN

References:

Hern, A. (2020, March 13th). The Guardian. Retrieved from Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/13/covid-19-could-cause-permanent-shift-towards-home-working

SERVPRO Continues to Adapt

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Continues to Adapt

April 27th, 2020

    As of the date of this blog posting, the world continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken center stage in just about every facet of American life. There is no element of our nation that remains untouched by this virus, including the many SERVPRO franchises scattered throughout the nation. One thing that is for certain as Forbes magazine puts it, businesses will fail, and new businesses will emerge. Those that survive, will have shown the ability to adapt to change, rather than take a stalled approach, or a “wait and see” tactic.

    SERVPRO quite simply, adjusts. Going from operations heavy on fire and water mitigation to a sudden/rapid shift to biohazard cleaning has been the focus of the company for the past two months. As the new hashtag adapted by SERVPRO, and other companies as well, we stand by our Vision Statement, in that we strive “to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world”.

    When the Nashville flood hit, SERVPRO responded. When hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboards, SERVPRO responded. Now, with COVID-19 ravaging our nation, SERVPRO has again answered the call.

    Whether big or small, SERVPRO of LBL North is here to help! It is imperative that all businesses take a hard look at the preventative measures they have in place to minimize as much as possible the infection of its workers as the State of Tennessee begins its pursuit towards some form of normalcy again. SERVPRO of LBL North stands ready to help with this. Give us a call at (270) 753-1160 to discuss our preventative cleaning measures with you and your staff.

JN

References:

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. (2020, April 27). Our mission, vision, purpose, values, & long term goals. Retrieved from SERVPRO Industries, Inc.: https://www.SERVPRO.com/our_mission

Zukis, B. (2020, March 30). Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from A ceo cheatsheet for business strategy after covid-19: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobzukis/2020/03/30/a-ceo-cheatsheet-for-business-strategy-after-covid-19/#6b70db68330c

SERVPRO Pet of the Week

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

March 21, 2020

SERVPRO of LBL North Pet of the Week

Do you want your pet featured on our Facebook page, as the SERVPRO pet of the week? Make sure you like our Facebook page and submit your pet photos and fun facts to us. You can submit this information via Facebook messenger or email mmillison@lblsouth.com. We have included a form below for you to get an idea of what fun facts to send. Pets will be selected at random and posted each Friday.

Owners Name (optional):__________________________

Pets Name:__________________________________

Pets Nickname(s):_____________________________

Breed:__________________________________

Age:__________

Favorite Treat(s):________________________________

Favorite Toy(s):__________________________________

Favorite Activities:________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

Fun Facts/Anything you want shared:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please email the photo and information to mmillison@lblsouth.com , or message it via our SERVPRO of LBL Facebook Page.

THANK YOU!!

How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Disinfecting Your Home

April, 20th, 2020 

What Disinfectant to Use and How to Use It?

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the issue has caused concern for the manner in which Americans behave in terms of cleanliness. How long do we wash our hands? Do we use warm water and soap, or does cold water have the same effect? Is Lysol better than a multipurpose cleaner? What you may be surprised to know is that many are using the right disinfectant incorrectly. Many of us simply take Lysol for instance, spray a surface and immediately wipe it dry. This is entirely the wrong way to use the disinfectant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center’s for Disease Control (CDC), the dwell time in which a chemical (Lysol for instance) ranges from thirty seconds, to upwards of ten minutes depending upon the bacteria or virus you are looking to minimize exposure to. That list of household disinfectants is available by clicking HERE. If the link does not work, refer to the full reference listed at the conclusion of this blog.

Where do I need to Focus?

According to the CDC, high touch areas in the home are of primary concern when it comes to routine cleaning/disinfecting. High touch areas include but are not limited to; tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets/handles, desks, phones, keyboards, faucets, sinks, etc. Be careful when cleaning soft surfaces and electronics. Make sure to consult the instructions on the product prior to using it on each different type of surface, and consulting with the EPA’s Registered Household Disinfectant Guide to see how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface before wiping it dry.

Always make sure to use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when using household or other chemical disinfectants. Generally, standard rubber gloves will be sufficient, and it is always recommended to wash your hands in warm soapy water for no less than 20 seconds once cleaning has been concluded and cleaning chemicals have been properly stored away from the reach of young children. You can view other cleaning recommendations by visiting HERE. If the link does not work, you can review the full link provided in the list of references below.

 References:

Center's for Disease Control (CDC). (2020, April 20). Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home. Retrieved from Center's for Disease Control : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020, April 20th). List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. Retrieved from United States Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

When Fire Strikes

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

March 6th, 2020

Fire!! What to Do Next??

When disaster strikes, and your home is involved in a fire, your mind is frantic, and you have no idea what the next step is. You never pictured this would happen and you probably never thought what happens now. Below we have provided some of those next steps for you to take once your home has been involved in a fire.

  1. First and foremost, safety is the most important. Find a safe place for your family and pets to stay. This should be a place that can help ease your mind and give you a place to think about what you need to do next. If you don’t have a family member or friend to stay with, check with a local disaster relief program like the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army as they can often provide you with free temporary housing. Accomplishing this one minor goal can help feel like you have some control of the situation.
  2. Your next step should be to contact your insurance agent. The faster you contact your insurance agent; the faster things can begin whether it is repairs or looking for a new home. They also may be able to help you with your expenses due to losses in the fire. Insurance companies can also help you find a cleaning or mitigation/restoration service.
  3. Contact the Police. To ensure the safety of your home, the windows and doors should be boarded up to ensure the building and belongings are left alone.
  4. Plan out finances. Ensure you are prepared to pay your bills and it may even be best to suspend your cable and internet bills since you will not be in your home for a while. Some insurance companies will assist with these payments during this time.
  5. Get a list of damaged items and be sure to report them to your insurance agent, also make sure you report all important documents that were loss and need to be replaced. These should be of high priority.
  6. Before reentering your home, make sure it is reported to be safe by a fire marshal. Also, make sure you have spoken with your insurance agent to be sure that it does not void any of your policy if you are to enter your home. Always check with your agent before doing anything.
  7. Finally, you may feel like it is your responsibility to go into the home and start packing up and collecting undamaged items. This can take weeks and can take away from the important things that are of higher priority. At SERVPRO we can pack up all belongings, clean them, and store them with us, until we have completed all our steps to ensure it looks "Like it never even happened." Then we will return all your cleaned items back to where they were. This process can be long and drawn out but with our elite team of professionals we are able to complete these tasks with ease. We also can assist with communication between insurance agents/adjusters to help put homeowners at ease.

If you have any questions check out the link below or if you or someone you know is in the process of going through any of these tasks and need help, feel free to call SERVPRO of LBL (731) 642-1284 and we will be happy to assist you during this difficult time.

Resources:

8 Things to Do After a Fire

Living With Mold is Simple, Don't

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

February 7th, 2020

Living with Mold is Simple……. Don’t

Suppose your house suffered some wind damage recently due to the high winds that came through back in October (2019). You patched the roof with plans to “fix it yourself” when the seasons change and the temps warm up. A temporary tarp or other covering it currently being utilized to minimize further water from leaking into your house. You assume everything will be fine, and come Spring, one weekend you and perhaps some friends and family will simply remove the temporary covering and patch the roof. Everything is then good to go…..right? Not exactly.

See the entire time you have had the temporary patch on the house, water could have leaked in. Not to mention, what happened to all the water that leaked in before? Did you simply mop up what you could find, spray a little Kilz or similar product on the roof in order to remove the visible reminder of your misfortune? Well, when the season warms, and your attic space heats up, mold will begin to form, if it hasn’t already.

The type of mold that forms will cause problems, but what those problems are is hard to tell. Every type of mold runs the potential to cause health issues. As the mold grows, spores are released into the air, eventually getting into your HVAC lines and negatively affecting the air quality in your home. Since mold requires moisture to grow, the moisture it absorbs also absorbs into the wood, potentially causing wood rot. It should be noted that mold itself does not rot wood, but the moisture it attracts does. This is why it is very important to contact SERVPRO if you suffered water damage from any type of storm event in the past.

According to FEMA, using the residents of Hurricane IRENE as an example, once you see you have water damage, you should do everything you can to dry out immediately. If you do not have the proper tools and resources to do it, SERVPRO of LBL North does, and will respond to your call within four hours or less with the proper drying equipment. If you see mold, the general rule of thumb is DON’T DISTURB IT! Contact SERVPRO of LBL North and let us examine the mold, determine the type, and safely remove it from your home. Improperly disturbing/removing mold from your home could give it more moisture/room to grow. It is best to let professionals get rid of it the moment it is detected.

RESOURCE

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2011, September 18th). Be safe, don't stay in a home infested with mold or mildew. Retrieved from Federal Emergency Management Association: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2011/09/18/be-safe-dont-stay-home-infested-mold-or-mildew