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If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties today.

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Avoiding a Furnace Fire | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

If you live in Bryan County or any of our neighboring counties, fall is probably the furthest thing from your mind. But it’s just around the corner.

One frosty morning soon, you may be hurrying to turn on your furnace. Take some time now to perform preventive maintenance so you won’t run the risk of a fire.

Did you know? Around 62 million American homes use gas furnaces to stay warm. Others burn wood, and about 130,000 households still have coal stoves or furnaces.

Generally, furnaces provide cost-effective heat. Still, they need to be properly maintained, or they can cause house fires.

In this blog, we’ll look at gas furnace maintenance. If you have any furnace, though, make sure it’s safe before lighting it this fall.

Cleaning Time!

Tidy the area. Yes, stuff can be stored around the furnace during the summer. Move any boxes, trash or debris at least three feet away from your furnace before operating.

Wipe down the furnace. Clean cobwebs, dirt and anything else off the furnace. Dirt can lead to overheating. It can also prevent you from noticing problems with your furnace.

Clean the Air Filter

Dirty air filters can lead to obstructed air flow and overheating. This can increase your risk of fire.

Clean Outside Vents and Flues

Call in a professional if you need help with this!

Check Smoke and CO Alarms

Smoke can indicate a house fire, while CO in the air can make you sick before you notice it. Test your smoke and CO alarms, and replace dead batteries right away.

Professional Maintenance

Every year, have a professional inspect your furnace. A good technician can identify and address issues such as a cracked heat exchanger or incorrect pressure. This fall is a great time to make an appointment to have your furnace maintained.

If your home has suffered fire damage, SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties can help. Our agents are on call around the clock, so we can start helping you get back to normal, fast. Contact us at any hour for assistance.

If you have water damage in your home, contact us! SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties is your local water restoration expert

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Basement and Foundation Water | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, and East Liberty Counties

When you feel water dripping onto your face, you know you have a roof leak. When you see water pooling around your sink, you know you have a pipe problem. But when do you first realize there’s a problem with water getting into your foundation?

Seeing dampness in your basement—if you have one—may be the first step. But often, foundation water problems aren’t discovered or corrected until they’ve done real damage to your house or business.

How Does Water Get Into Your Foundation?

One likely reason: rainwater draining under your house. If your house is built in a low-lying area or depression (the land around is higher than your house), then water can accumulate and seep inside.

Why Does Low-Lying Water Matter?

You can’t actually see the foundation of your house, unless, as we said, you have a full basement. If you just have a tiny crawl space, you may never go there except during a tornado warning. So what does a little water matter?

Quite a lot, actually. Dampness can encourage black mold to grow, making people in your household ill. Termites, which like damp wood, may move in. Plus, water may crack concrete walls and weaken wooden support beams, leading to serious structural damage.

Solutions That Last

It’s not easy to keep water away from your foundation or basement. In fact, some dampness may be a given. But you can prevent accumulation and damage by (1) keeping water away and (2) shunting water out.

To keep water away from your basement or foundation, you want your house to be elevated at least a little—some experts suggest a grade of about an inch per foot, for at least six feet around your house. This way, rainwater and other groundwater drains away from your building, not toward it.

Also, look for faults in construction that might be letting water in. These can include places where below-ground pipes enter your home or business. Cracked concrete can also admit water.

To get rid of unwanted water, you may want to consult a contractor about French drains or drain tile systems. A sump pump can also help remove water from your basement. None of these fixes are quick or easy, but they beat correcting the long-term, expensive damage that can arise over time.

If water damages your home, we’re there for you. Contact us at any hour for assistance.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh, East Liberty is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration need

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Preparing to Handle the Recovery Process After a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties

Any time a fire occurs in or around your home, it will be a difficult event to process. Both experiencing the fire itself and working toward recovery can feel overwhelming, but planning ahead for how you will do this can make it a much more manageable task.

We always recommend making your fire safety measures, such as an evacuation plan, first priority, but once you do that, it is smart to consider how you will recover.

Prepare yourself for what to expect. Understanding how house fires cause damage can help prepare you for what to expect before you go into your home, which can be a jarring experience. Smoke and soot can make the damages appear widespread even if the fire was contained to a small area, and moisture damage can also be present from extinguishing efforts.

Wait to enter your home. The structural damage caused by fires are often readily apparent, but they can also be completely invisible. For this reason, fire officials will inspect your home to be sure it is safe to enter before anyone is allowed in, and you should always wait for this official word before you head inside the building.

Contact your insurance company. Insurance claims can often take a long time to process, so starting on them as soon as possible is recommended. Policies and processes can vary between providers, so it is best to get in touch with your policyholder quickly in order to understand what steps to take.

Document the damages. Having thorough records regarding the damage will make the restoration and replacement process much easier to manage. Typically, the insurance will require this, but even if they do not, we recommend taking photos and making a list of all impacted areas and items just in case.

Contact your restoration company. A house fire is a life-altering event that can stick with you for a long time. However, moving forward with restoration and returning to your normal lifestyle is important to healing, which is why you should work with a restoration company you can count on to do the work in a timely, professional manner.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties is the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Practice Fire Safety When You Grill | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

It is always fun to make the most of the extra daylight of summer, and for many of us, that means grilling up many meals and enjoying them outside. Because grilling is something many of us do regularly, the safety aspects of it often get overlooked—but because it is an open flame, you always want to be careful when it is time to cook.

It is reported by the U.S. Fire Administration that there are nearly 6,000 fires that result from grilling every year, leading to millions in property damages. If you can take a few precautions each time you light the grill, you can significantly lessen the chance of a fire starting in your backyard.

Always Be Careful When It Is Time to Cook on the Grill

Create a safe zone around your grill. It might be tempting to situate your grill in a spot that is convenient to your back door, but you should always remember the three-foot rule when placing it in your yard. A flare-up can be quite large, igniting any flammable materials that happen to be nearby.

Clean your grill grates often. A simple brush after each use of the grill can significantly reduce your chances of a fire, and it can make your food cook better, too. The bits of food can ignite if left unattended for long enough, and because they are often greasy, they may lead to a fire that can’t be put out with water.

Never leave the grill unattended. While walking into the kitchen for a single item or taking a quick break may seem harmless enough, your grill should never leave your sight while it is lit. Even with the lid on, grills can start fires in an instant—it is best to always act as though this is a possibility and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

Inspect the grill regularly. For those that use charcoal grills, an inspection might be more simple. If you have a propane grill, you want to inspect things thoroughly to prevent any possible gas leaks. Your gas line can wear down over time, as can your connectors and even the tank itself. Gas leaks can lead to fires, so it is best to do a thorough check each time.

If you have a grill fire do damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties is your local restoration expert. No matter the disaster we are here to help. Contact us.

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

3 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO® | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

Quick! Name three things that come in groups of threes. If you choose sneezes, barbershop trio singers or three-leaf clovers, you’re right on the money. We’d like to add one more big THREE: our trifecta of service.

When you need somewhere to turn for emergency cleaning and restoration, there are three great reasons to choose SERVPRO®: science-backed cleaning, a strong ethos of teamwork and 24-hour service.

Let us take a minute to tell you about each of these in more detail.

We Bring the Science

At SERVPRO®, we do the research to bring the exact protocol you need, whether it’s flood remediation or disinfecting.

You may not have thought much about the science behind cleaning….but that’s OK, because we have! For everyday disinfection against disease such as COVID-19, we use EPA-approved products.

And we follow standards set by organizations such as the CDC to ensure you’re getting hospital-grade cleaning.

You’re on Our Team

One thing that makes SERVPRO® great is our teamwork. We synergize to get you the right cleaning and restoration services at the right time. And best of all, you’re part of our team.

Whether it’s a defensive cleaning program or an emergency job, we work with you to create the best plan for your business. We consult with you before we get started, and check in to make sure we’re providing exactly what you need.

We’re Here 247

Disaster doesn’t conveniently schedule an appointment between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to strike. It can happen any time.

Well, guess what—at SERVPRO®, we’re ready, any time. You can call our hotline or fill out a web form and we’ll assess your problem and give you the cleaning and restoration assistance you need to get your business up and running again.

So there you have it—three excellent reasons to choose us!

When disaster strikes, SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties can help. Contact us at any hour for assistance.

If your business experiences fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration. Call us today!

11/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Evacuation Drills for the Workplace | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

Planning ahead for possible pitfalls and setbacks is an essential component of business ownership, and that means going beyond market predictions and considering real-world dangers such as emergencies as well. With commercial fires impacting so many businesses annually, the best thing to do is put a plan in place just in case one happens to you.

The most important part of any fire safety effort is an escape plan—being able to get yourself and your staff out of the building quickly will help everyone feel more protected in the workplace and allow everyone to get out quickly and calmly.

Planning Your Business’ Fire Drills

Consult with your local fire officials. You have plenty of online resources available regarding workplace fire safety, but do not forget to make use of your local fire station as well. Typically, the fire marshal can come by to provide a personalized assessment of your building so you know what escape routes are best and what improvements you can make.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. Once it has been decided what fire exits to use, mark the routes clearly so they are visible for everyone in the building and brief staff on the future drill. Preparing everyone in advance for the drill can reduce panic and help everyone move to safety more efficiently.

Have fire drills frequently. While fire drills can be a dull thing if they happen regularly, they should occur often enough that they are familiar to everyone who works in your building. Typically, scheduling them at the beginning of every quarter will be frequent enough to ensure everyone has the protocols down.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can start for a number of reasons and can begin spreading nearly anywhere inside of a building. When you plan your fire drills, make sure to take this into account by having the fire “start” in different part of the building. This will help your staff be well-versed in all the fire escape routes, not just the most convenient ones to their workspace.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Fire can strike even the best-prepared business. Contact us to discuss a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Who Should Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher? | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, & East Liberty Counties

The short answer is—everyone! If you own a business, even a dress shop or accounting office where you never expect anything as exciting as a fire, accidents can happen.

A customer could carelessly sneak a cigarette, for instance, or an electrical spark from a device charger could set some lint on fire.

##Fire Extinguishers—A Business Must

In fact, all buildings except for one- and two-family homes are required by the National Fire Prevention Association code to keep a fire extinguisher on premise. Your fire extinguisher must be:

Accessible. This means it’s not too low or too high to easily grab. Plus, it can’t be more than 75 feet away from any location in your building (closer, if you have hazardous areas such as grease cookers).

Visible. If it isn’t out in the open, its location must be clearly indicated by signage.

Types of Extinguishers

The different hazards in your business indicate the type of extinguisher you need:

  1. Class A is your basic extinguisher.

  2. Class B is good against flammable liquids, such as paint thinner or grease.

  3. Class C is also non-conductive, meaning it’s safer around electrical fires.

  4. Class D extinguishers even put out fires involving burning metal.

Know How to Use

Using a fire extinguisher includes four steps. PULL the pin to release the seal, then POINT the nozzle at the base of the fire. SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing chemical. SWEEP gently back and forth until the fire is out. (Warning: if you have never used a fire extinguisher before, know that you will make a mess.)

It’s a good idea to use a staff meeting to give employees a refresher on fire extinguisher use. You can also use a poster, such as one by OSHA, to illustrate how to use a fire extinguisher.

Fires may be rare, but it’s best to be prepared. To discuss a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, contact us at any hour for assistance.

SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us if you have any storm damage.

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Alert? Be Financially Prepared | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, McIntosh and East Liberty Counties

Lightening crashes. Water creeps under your garage door. You have to stay in a motel. And that’s just the first day.

For many people, storm damage can be extremely expensive. In fact, storms hit Americans for about $34 billion in losses every year.

As you scramble to protect or recover possessions, find a missing pet, or even seek out a place to stay, you also need to recover financially from the damage. Careful planning can help you do just that.

Planning Ahead

Check Your Coverage. United Policyholders, a nonprofit group dedicated to informing and advocating for insurance policyholders, advises everyone to take a close look at their insurance policy. Make sure you know exactly what kinds and sources of damage are covered—and fill in any gaps.

Perform Due Diligence. Maintain your property. Always make sure your gutters are clean. Keep your roof in good condition. Take care of any problems as they occur, as insurance often will not cover existing damage or wear and tear.

Moving Forward

First Things. After a storm, get your family to safety. Then check your house for hazards, such as downed power lines or standing water. If you need help finding a place to stay, making urgent repairs or even getting a hot meal, call your local FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) office.

Make Detailed Records. As you prepare your claim, take plenty of pictures and make notes of every detail, from mold to missing shingles.

File Wisely. Before you file, look at your deductible. If it’s going to raise your rate, you may not want to file a claim that’s smaller than your deductible. If you do choose to file, be persistent and precise in your claim, and keep careful records of your conversations with your insurance company. With dedication, you should soon have your claim met and your property in tip-top shape again!

We have many years of experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.

Are you in need of repairs due to water damage? Contact SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties for quick & professional service.

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky Pipes? Find Them and Fix Them! | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

Leaky pipes are like termites. They may leave telltale signs, but you often don’t notice them until the damage has been done.

Every now and then, you should check your home or business for leaking pipes. Insurance companies often do not cover the damage they cause, which is why it’s so important to identify them early.

If your leak is hard to access, you’ll probably have to call in expert help to fix it. But if you can find it, you can probably fix it.

If you’ve never repaired, it may be easier than you think. This video is just one DIY tutorial you can find online. We recommend looking at instructions by a well-known company, but there are plenty of homemade resources out there, too…just remember they don’t have to be vetted to be online.

Become a Leak Detective

Do I actually have a leak? Look for tell-tale signs, such as stains on your ceiling, damaged or loose flooring, or grout and caulking that are coming away. Also check for loose sink hands or faucets. See if your toilet can be moved, even a little. Plus, check for mold.

Source that leak. Where exactly is the leak? Grab your flashlight and find out. Check under countertops and sinks. Open the panel behind your tub. For small leaks, fill a sink or tub. Let water drain and check visible pipe joints for dampness. Use a dry tissue or handkerchief to detect small amounts of moisture at joints.

Do you need a plumber? If you can easily get to a leaky pipe, you can likely repair it yourself. But if you have to call a plumber, don’t worry—a small investment now can save you a lot down in the future.

Success! My Leak Is Gone. But My Baseboard Is Moldy…

Have you already experienced damage from a leaky pipe? Call SERVPRO®. We’ve been cleaning up water damage for two generations.

We’ll pick up the phone any time, day or night. As a nation-wide company with local ownership, we deliver a powerful combination of national expertise and neighborly customer service.

Need help cleaning up water damage? Contact us day or night for the rapid response we’re famed for.

SERVPRO of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh, East Liberty Counties is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Build a Disaster-Ready Business | SERVPRO® of Bryan, Effingham, Mcintosh & East Liberty Counties

Honestly, no one wants to think too much about disaster. That may be why up to 75% of small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan, according to a survey by Nationwide Insurance. Maybe they are just super-busy, or maybe they really don’t want to imagine their company up in flames.

However, disaster awareness leads to disaster preparation. And being prepared can save you precious time when a flood, tornado, fire or other emergency happens. With a plan in in place, you can recover and get back to business much more quickly, while minimizing losses and protecting people and property.

Your First Plan? Plan.

After disaster strikes, time is of essence. You’ll want to get the circumstance under control if possible, such as shutting off water if a broken pipe is flooding your building. You’ll want to protect life and property. To do this, you need to have a chain of command and clear disaster-response instructions in place, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Know Your Numbers

Phone numbers, that is. You don’t want all your essential contact information to be on a piece of paper in a desk in a burning building. Instead, have an off-site, accessible file of contact data. Include your managers and employees, emergency services, vendors/suppliers, and your landlord/tenants. Also have a means of communicating with customers about changes in service.

Have a Team Ready

Well before disaster, have a deep bench of helpers lined up. Of course your insurance company is key here. You may also have very specific needs, such as a generator to supply emergency power. Have a relationship with that supplier already, so you aren’t calling around. And be sure to include a disaster-mitigation company such as SERVPRO®. Not only will we respond to clean and remediate at any time, we’ll help you create a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile so you can be prepared for disaster well before it strikes.

Want to discuss a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business? Contact us at any hour for assistance.